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The Reign of Terror: Part 3

The halls were silent, save for the sound of their footfalls. Rytheran glanced at his companion and delved within his memory. To recall the glory that they had once commanded, he was forced to concentrate. It was difficult to do while seeing them both as they were now-desiccated corpses with nary a remnant of flesh, covered in ruined clothing that had once designated them as scholars and officials of their race. As he focused, the glamour wove about him and repaired centuries of decay. Flesh covered his bones, moth-eaten and timeworn robes were made whole, and his vibrant eyes returned to fill his empty sockets.

“Love, I would keep you in that form for the further eternity could I accept it as reality, but we both know truth beyond lies, and I would ask you to not cause this undue pain. Let our memories be just that, so that our tortured souls are not carved deeper still with the cold blade of time.” Aerfalle brushed a lock of glamorous hair away from Rytheran’s brow and the image faded, returning his features to a grim visage.

“For so many millennia, my love, that blade has etched into my being.” Rytheran paused as they separated. “Why now? We searched for so long while the Servant walked. Why not call to us then? So many of the Firstborn scattered across the deserts and lost in the war against the dark spawn.

“We had thought Amauxi fallen during the second sending. Had His Eternal Splendor seen so far into the future to hide him even then? And what of the sacrifices made while the outlanders did our bidding without coaxing? Had he foreseen the end of the fourth sending at their hand?

“Had he expected that this horde, with the guidance of the last child of the Yalain, would succeed?” Rytheran asked as they resumed their walk down the ancient hallway. “They are whelps, barely capable of channeling the art.”

“All, that is, but one.” Aerfalle smirked. “She stirs the things that sleep, and I can sense your elation growing. You think her singing will stir the Old Ones.”

“‘Tis true. I hold hope still that their voices will rise again. But as the dark spawn grow more powerful, loosed from their deepest trenches to walk the world again, I fear for Killiakta. The singer knows little of what she does, and what knowledge we have of the entity of energy and his delving only yields supposition that one of the K-“

“No…the sendings cannot be this close.” Aerfalle placed her hand on a door, crafted millennia before, and it opened without sound.

The chamber beyond housed an eclectic assembly not seen since the fourth sending, when the decision was made to join the battle against the Uvriliim and Paanuvriliim. Amauxi, one of the first Filinuvekta, was seated between representatives from the Latzimestal and the Sand Kings. Their conversation was civil, nearly hushed. Amauxi stood as the Lord and Dark Lady entered the hall.

“Eons have not washed away your grace and beauty, Aerfalle, nor have they dimmed your presence, Lord Rytheran.” Amauxi bowed. As one, the assembled collection of Undead stood and greeted the pair. Aerfalle and Rytheran nodded in unison, and took their places on thrones that had been prepared for their arrival. Amauxi stepped next to the center of the gathered Undead.

“For millennia I have stood watch, and kept secret the resting place of the King. Now he begs me come to all and begin discourse. The outlanders draw too near failure, and this incursion of the Olthoi is one he had not foreseen. The heavens are confused and muddled, and singers whose voices have long been silenced are raised in a chorale that nothing hears. The last child of Yalain is paralyzed, and our eyes upon him have gone blind. Beloved Killiakta draws nearer to destruction than she has ever been before.

“Ours is an ignoble task, that beckons we send an emissary to impart a gift to the outlander horde. As it is His will, so it must be done.”

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