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The Black Wolf's Lament: The Meanderings of Drez Palldannyr

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He sits alone in the secluded grove, his mind flying between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. He places the locket in the sacred circle. His mother had taught him to draw it when he was a child. When he was younger, it had forged a special bond between Cia'la, his sister, and himself. Now, he placed her locket inside it whenever he wanted to talk to her. It was his way of dealing with a troubled mind. And his mind was definitely troubled now.

 

A single tear falls.

 

"Cia'la, I have worked hard to conquer every obstacle in my way. I've trained and fought to be a beacon for our people, a defender and a champion, but the road has been so hard without you. I've killed countless legions of the dark skinned monsters, hoping that one day I'll find the ones who did this to you. Everyday I think of your warm smile and I curse the drow."

 

The locket begins to glow, and he is startled. Never has this happened before. Suddenly, the ethereal image of Cia'la appears before him.

 

"Why do you weep, my brother? You have made me, and our ancestors proud."

 

"Cia'la? Is it really you? Can this truly be?"

 

"You have called me in the sacred circle D'rezzya, and I have come to you. Mother never told you what the circle was for, but long has it been used to speak with our ancestors."

"It warms my heart to see you again. I have missed you so these long years. Do you mean to tell me that you've seen the things I've done?"

 

"I have. I have been watching you. I saw the memorial, I saw the pain you have suffered. I saw you with her."

"Her?"

 

"In the butterfly grove. I was in the place with your wolf friend. You passed through his thoughts momentarily and I knew you were nearby. I came to watch you when you told her the story. When you told her why you hate them so much."

He looks down, deep in thought. "Astella"

 

"I also heard the things you said to her. You may not know it, but you're inspiring her to show the hero within herself. But, my beloved brother, do not forget who you are. There is much that you can accomplish, never dismiss the hero in yourself."

 

"She is a good friend, and a kindred spirit. Annakolia needs champions like her. But how can I be that kind of hero when I can't rid myself of the need to avenge you? The realm doesn't need a hero with such a violent obsession."

 

"It is your desire to see justice done that drives you. It is that which makes you a hero. Those who know you will see it. Those who cannot see it, do not matter."

"I see. But, sister...."

 

"No, D'rezzya. It is that simple. Stand by those that count on you, and be the man that I know you are. I must go now. It will be some time before I can come to you again, just know that I hear you, and I love you, my dear brother"

"Thank you Cia'la. You have given me a priceless gift this night."

 

The image fades from sight, and the glow recedes. He lifts the locket from the circle and wraps it once more around his neck. He wipes the circle away and stands, a renewed strength in his heart. He would stand by her. If his plan to save Annakolia was to work, he would need her help.

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The tree shatters as his fist makes impact. Splinters scatter out behind it, or rather where it was. The top half topples to the ground with a resounding boom. He stands there, seething in anger behind his helm. Perhaps this wasn't a good day to be a tree.

 

"It was foolish.", he chides himself. "Such petty dealings are beneath my concern. Why did I feel it necessary to participate?"

 

"Because she wasn't there brother.", a voice softly echoed behind him. "You felt the need to defend what was hers in her absence."

 

He turns quickly about. "Cia'la?" Her ghostly, translucent form hovers mere inches off the ground.

 

"Yes, my dear brother. I have come to you in your time of need."

 

"But... I didn't call you with the sacred circle. How is it that you've traveled across the veil?"

 

"Your power has grown stronger, and with it, your link to our ancestors in the realms beyond. Because of this, and because our bond is so strong, I am able to speak with you when you focus your magic. I have seen the darkness in your mind and though I was forbidden to watch your gathering, I know what troubles you."

"Forbidden?"

 

"Yes, there are ancestors who were once members of your order. They saw your conclave of masters and sought to hide its dealings from us so that we would not pass its secrets to our living kin. But I have seen its fears in your thoughts."

"Then you know that I fear the extinction of our order. This has been the first season in recorded history where no eligible candidates for the training have been found. With no new blood to pass on our traditions, our numbers wearing thin, and tensions among the lands growing ever more fragile, I fear that we will be powerless to save even our own kind from the chaos that would ensue."

 

"Yes brother. That is distressing. But have hope. If there is a gifted mortal alive in Galandar, you, D'rezzya, will find him, and train him to be the best.

 

It also troubles you that you have not seen your wife. You will find her soon enough. You were forced to leave for a long time without telling her where you were going and when you would return. That can place a great deal of strain on a human. Your reasons were just, but do not forget that not all races are as rational as we elves. She loves you, brother, and though she may be angry, she will remember it when you find her."

"Thank you, Cia'la. I wish that I had Lady Galadriel's foresight. It would help me with all of these thing. Perhaps, in my absence, Astella has made some progress towards finding a way to help Annakolia. I hope that when this is all over, we can find somewhere safe to raise a family. I would like the challenge of teaching the blade dance to a child with Astella's temper." He chuckles softly to himself.

 

"And you shall have that chance one day, my dear brother. The ancestors, and I'm sure the gods themselves, smile upon your union. Ever do the ancestors hear with me speak of their pride in you. Never stop being a beacon of light to our people, and never stop believing in yourself, D'rezzya. I will be watching over you."

Her image fades and Drez is left standing there, the remains of the tree lying on the ground behind him.

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