Stephanie (kallysti) wrote in fantasywriting,

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In the Failing Light

((Ok.  My attempt to continue it begins!  I'm really going for all-out darker-than-hell here.  Tell me if it starts to brighten up too much, after a while.  Comments are always welcome.  It does need a little editting work, maybe a lot. =D))

Gray. The world around Kallysti was gray. From the uniform slate colored ground in every direction to the unchanging leaden sky above... to the ashes of her heart. She didn't know where she was; she didn't care.

Gone. Everything was gone in a wash of blood and pain over the years: the world, her friends, her love. Selquinn. At the thought of his name, the image of his death cycled through her mind yet again... and again... and again. She'd seen it a thousand times now. Even if they hadn't mader her watch... repeatedly... she would still have kept seeing it. All was lost, but the tears no longer came. They'd stopped years ago. All that remained was the weight: the unbearable dead weight of loss that never left her.

She closed her eyes and pulled the cloak Wych had given her tightly around herself as she curled up as small as she could on her side. Wych... the cloak... his final gesture... the sacrifices. All the sacrifices... for nothing. Why?

Still, the tears wouldn't come. She would try to sleep then. Maybe she wouldn't wake up this time...


Traitorously, her eyes opened again. Kallysti reached up to drag the cloak away from her face and surveyed the landscape. Nothing had changed, not even the quality or brightness of whatever sourceless light revealed her strange surroundings.

With one arm she tried to push herself upright but the wasted and disused muscles were not enough and it quickly buckled under her. She stayed on her side for a moment and studied it's emaciated length before rolling forward. Now bracing both hands against the ground, she managed to lever herself into a sitting position with both legs folded beneath her. After a few slow, shaky attempts she managed to then get to her feet. Randomly, she began to slowly shuffle in the direction she was facing...


The patrol had set out a couple hours previous, so they were still pretty fresh. Drinow, after much training, had finally been allowed out scouting with the two older, hardened veterans. He continued to range far out ahead of them and back again, still testing his sense of direction in this featureless place.

The other two were content to let him. Full Fier'dal to Drinow's half, the male and female scouts looked as though they could be siblings. With shoulder-length blonde hair pulled neatly back, they moved with the smooth, silent grace of their people. Neither said a word, relying on the confidence only brought on by long experience. The female would occasionally almost smile when the ranging half elf brought back his continuous reports of 'nothing yet' but the male's face remained stony and cold. Until Drinow came running back sooner than he had been, waving his arms frantically.

The two Fier'dal went simultaneously into action: daggers appeared as if by magic in her, the rogue's, hands while he, the ranger, quickly unslung the bow from his back with practiced ease. "What is it?" she asked the panting half elf as he stopped in front of them.

"Tier'dal," he answered, catching his breath.

"How many?"

"Just... just one," he swallowed, "and she seems to be injured. I watched as she fell and didn't get back up..."

"And you came back here to tell us that?" she snapped.

"My job," he said calmly, "is to report back anything unusual. A single injured dark elf is quite so, as I was told they only come here themselves in armies. Anything that comes here by itself can only be an oddity of a dark elf or else it's one of Hate's... abominations."

"I suppose..."

The half elf continued past the interuption, "She didn't seem to be going anywhere when I left, so I came back for you two. I didn't know whether I should kill her or capture her."

"Kill her," came the rogue's disgusted answer.

The ranger, silent and still until now, shook his head, "There's just one and easily taken, from what you're saying."

"It could be a trap!" the rogue and the half elf said together.

"It could," he nodded in agreement, "let's go check it out..."


She had finally been able to go no further. Kallysti let her breathing grow more shallow as she lay face-down in the dirt, Wych's old cloak covering her from the neck down. Even turning her head hurt but she did so as she heard the first thing in this place besides her own shuffling movement and ragged breathing. She opened her eyes as she turned her head. A sickening wave of dizzying nausea hit her full-force but not before she made out three figures, rapidly yet warily approaching her. She closed her eyes again and let them come. It didn't matter.

A young voice floated down to her, feeling harsh in her ears after the silence, "Here, let's get a better look," it said as it grabbed the edge of the cloak to lift it up.

An ear-piercing shriek tore from her throat as the thick material was ripped from the dried blood across her unhealed back. Her eyes flew open and her swimming vision made out a strangely tanned blur that was suddenly knocked aside. Her eyes closed again.

Strong yet infinitely gentle hands lifted her. She gasped a little in involuntary pain as she was turned over to rest in a protective embrace. Kallysti opened her eyes yet again to find herself staring into a field of a depthless golden-green gaze. "Kal," the familiar voice was soft and choked but it was still the one imprinted into her heart and her mind, "Kal, is it really you?"


Drinow stood up, brushing himself off and shared a confused look with the Fier'dal woman now standing beside him. They both stared, stunned, at the strange scene before them: Captain Thornwood- a man who, until this very moment, had always been utterly devoid of emotion- sitting on the ground, gently rocking the unconscious Tier'dal woman, tears streaming down his face.
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