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Sunday, March 17, 2013
"I can't help but wonder what they will think of us?" Trevard said, looking out on desolate plains below, gashes in the land stretching out from the bottom of the white walls,with craters from catapults and the like empty, and emitting a strange foul smelling gas.
"They will remember us for our valiance Trevard, for what we have done to protect them, to shield them as we would our own children." A wizened immortal told him from the depths of the cave like chamber.
"I can't believe that", Trevard interceded, "the way they watched us fight the elementals, after decrying violence for more than an age… They will remember us, but not for the reasons we would want them to."
"You speak wisely", the withered immortal said foregoing the wine that was proffered to him by one of the chamberlains, "But it matters not, we die, and with them go our hopes, may we pray to the forgotten gods that they carry on our spirit."
"Don't you see it?" Trevard asked, waving his hand at the broiling sky above. "What they think of us now will decide their fate and--"
"…. The elementals will never awaken brother, of that I am certain", the wizened immortal slid in smoothly, rising from his throne like seat. "we will teach them to guard the gate, to keep the watch lest ….", the wizened immortals eyes grew distant at this and he gripped Trevards shoulder tightly. "Great powers are at work brother, and we must make ready for the change."
At this Trevard gripped the metal railing with new life, his knuckles turning an ever lighter shade of white. "They will discover our mistake, they will blame us for the enticing's of our enemies! Why go down into the pit so soon?" Trevard asked angrily. "We could destroy them… of this I am certain." Trevard echoed his brothers words.
"You betray yourself Trevard!... You have agreed to the charge of the gods, do not shirk your task when they rely so heavily upon our success." The wizened immortal glowed sharply in reprimand, precious energy going into the illumination of his flesh.
Trevard flinched at the sparks that seemed to shoot from his brothers eyes, the remaining chamberlains scurrying from the room as if the elderly immortal had made some grand display of power.
The life seemed to leave from Trevard's eyes, and he slumped over on the railing, saying, "the work of my hands."
"Will never be forgotten", his brother finished with satisfaction, as Trevard stared at the destruction below, noticing for the first time the glow that grew in the distance and a bugle rousing seemingly from the mountaintops behind the desolate waste, west of the citadel.
"They will need us brother." Trevard said, it was a silent question and life briefly rekindled in his eyes. The men below were being marshalled, and from the ground could be seen alongside the battlements readying for battle, a silver and gold shimmer occasionally breaching the encroaching darkness as the officers walked to and fro giving out orders. Though dawn it was practically pitch, a storm being gathered above their heads and Trevard could tell the ranks of his enemy approached, the shadows in the distant growing longer and longer as the sun behind them rose. "They will need our strength." Trevard repeated, staring this time not at the elderly immortal but at the rising tide of lightning in the east, and his eyes smarted from the smell of ozone in the air.
"To battle." The elderly immortal agreed, and his aged hand shook as he brought the glass of recently poured wine up to his lips. The wine was quickly downed, but its remains were bloody on the immortals cheeks, and he suddenly regretted the use of his power at the renewed shaking of his hand as he set the cup upon the table. The wine like the blood of the soldiers below remained upon his cheek, the elderly immortal thought as his brother left the room, he was responsible for their suffering like no other creature in their history, even the ones that now sought their vengeance in the burning catapult pits below. The elderly immortal looked out from the balcony and watched. Watched the air choke what was left of the cleansing spring air, watched the lines of his creations ready to receive the fiery charge, and he watched through bleary eyes as his own foe stood upon a precipice issuing orders from afar. His brother would not be strong enough for the days ahead, the elderly immortal thought to himself, pouring yet another glass of wine, Trevard would need him more than he could possibly know…