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Archive for October, 2012

Searching Silithus

It had been- more, than she had expected.

A moment that was indelibly etched into the fabric of her being, seared into her bones like white fire.

She’d never been to an ordination before. But even if she had, there would have been no way for her to know, to understand, as she did now.

Darkness and doubt had blunted the simple pleasures of being alive, casting perpetual twilight on her days; quiet, unspoken heartache had held as tightly as no lover could. Grief, despair, the inevitability of failure- these things had been facts in her life, and she’d born them as best she could. It was rare that she didn’t feel the weight on her shoulders, oppressive and smothering.

And all at once, it was lifted. How could she have known?

It was time to let go, and she felt that realization with the same tenacity that had defined her search before. He wasn’t coming back- no more so than Strahm had. No more so than Mayru, nor Gale, nor any of those that she’d lost to time and mortality. She’d never been good at letting go; not really. The memories were sacred, were held dear when nothing else seemed good in the world- and worse, they were glossed over with time, worn to a rosy glow that the reality had never truly matched.

She could scarcely recall what shade of grey the man’s eyes had been, beneath the wide brim of his hat- though the shape of his hands lingered curiously on.

Mykhael was still painfully clear. She’d marked Thoran’s birthday as it had passed- had visited the wee cabin that they’d called home, lit a candle and returned to camp; it was time to let go. The Light willed she should be ready for what was to come- and how could she, when she lived among ghosts?

Silithus smelled unpleasantly of hot, rancid cinnamon- all at once spicy and oppresive and wrong in ways she couldn’t put words to. She’d been fearful, the last time she’d stood here- afraid to hope, but even more afraid of the consequences, should they fail. Which they had, of course.

Now the Silithid were no longer controlled by the Apophan; the Cult had fallen, and she had done nothing to be a part of that effort, too burdened by troubles closer to home. It was queer, standing here, feeling the sand as though it was alive with the multitudinous vibrations of the hives hidden deep below the surface- subtle. Perhaps she only imagined it? The Light was living flame within her, a steady brightness that held her heart beating and her feet moving- careful steps, uneven shufflings to keep from revealing herself as humanoid life.

She reeked of that cloying cinnamon scent, had purchased it from a man who swore it would keep them from paying her much mind, but still she took care. The sun overhead was relentless, baking her inside the thick layers of plate armor that were a paladin’s accoutrements. It was difficult to breathe, difficult to see through the sweat that slid slickly down her skin, dampened her hair. Hours, she’d been searching.

Somehow, she’d know the bones when she found them- would feel… something.

Though the scent worked to keep her from being swarmed by Silithid, Odynae Dawnhammer would have been hard pressed to find the bones of her dead husband amongst the hundreds- no, thousands- of corpses picked clean and left to the sands and the carrion birds throughout the ages.

Not even the Light could have told her which bones were his.

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