Private Tales The Aftermath

Eleanor Griffin

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After the events of Pandemonium Eleanor and Qouril had started to head back to Elbion. However, the premonition that Luna was injured still weighed heavily on her mind. Halfway back to Elbion they encountered a group of mages also returning from Pandemonium, though they seemed much worse for wear. They had informed them of the appearance of a portal stone at the epicenter of the mist.

With this new revilation, Eleanor could not go back just yet. If there was even a sliver of a chance she had to investigate. So she said goodbye to Qouril and headed to the portal stone on her own. When she reached it she could sense an expanded network. There were more active stones now. Straining her senses she could even tell one of them was in the Eretejva Tundra. Without hesitation, without even thinking through the risks she activated it. There was a flash of darkness then what seemed like a long moment before a sudden cold washed over her and she found herself standing in the snow next to another stone.

Blood still smeared her face, her hair, tied back in its usual ponytail, was now completely white and Her jacket and trousers torn in one or two places. They were not made for this kind of weather. She pulled her coat tighter around herself as she looked around. Her eyes falling on a limp form in the snow not far off.

Running over she found it was in fact Luna. Turning her teacher over she held her in her arm "Luna! Luna!" She called out, desperately trying to wake her. She held out one of her hands and tried to impart some small amount of healing on her but she found her own aura and the void from her book were both severely depleted. She pulled her closer, trembling, She was so cold, Luna was always cold but this was cold even for her.

It didn't matter if it would weaken her, she had to do something. Reaching out with some of her own aura she imparted warmth and what little healing she could onto Luna. Her palm cupping the side of Luna's face. "Please, please wake up," She pleaded, tears stinging her eyes as they met the cold air.

Luna Slateforge

OOC: Trigger Warning
suicide attempt and/or self-harm
 
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Luna Slateforge

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Luna remained unconscious as she laid limp in her arms. Her aura was weak as another seemed attached to her and actively keeping her from slipping away. The same aura she had sensed flashing at a time that seemed long ago. Gwendolyn's. "That will not be enough child. She needed my aid and it cost her a great deal. Though it seems the wretch she allowed to attach to herself seems to be filling her role." The whisper came as she felt her masters presence surround her. "She will not die..... However, I think she would find that a disappointment honestly. The centuries tend to weigh on her more than most." He chuckled. "She was always a good little solider, and the bond you share touches me if not only as amusing. I can help if you wish?"
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Trembling Eleanor pulled Luna close, tears running down her face. She knew what it felt like to look forward to the end. It would be so beautiful if both of them could disappear together. Yet it seemed that that gift was withheld from them. The only thing she could do was make living a little more bearable. People like Luan and Qouril made living a little easier. She hoped she could be one of those people for Luna.

Eleanor closed her eyes so she could sense Bastellen's presence more clearly. "Your gifts never come without a price. What is the cost of this miracle?" she asked.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Child you offend me. I simply offer a gift. As my Void Forger I believe you to be entitled."
He spoke warmly as she felt an invisible hand wipe away her tears and a few loose strands of hair that had fallen in her face behind her ear.
"I would not ponder too long as I am not known for my generosity, and it is known to be quite fleeting.."
Black fluid began to leak from the side of Luna's mouth as she seemed to be fading faster no doubt it being cruelly brought on by Bastellen to hasten Eleanor's decision.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor opened her eyes and looked at the white mark that graced her palms. The mark of the void forger. Bastellen's words spoke of generosity but Eleanor could read beneath the lines. She was the Void Forger, but she had been avoiding her duties as such. If she was to truly deserve such a gift they would need her cooperation in the future.

Eleanor looked up at the sky "I am your perfect tool, my will is yours, grant me this boon and save your servant." She begged, a tear running down her face.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"It is done."
He said as his presence began to lift.
"I do hope you will remember this boon in the future child."
He said as his presence fully lifted and Luna's eyes flew open as she seemed to purge the rest of her masters essence from her body choking on a final glob of void tar as she leaned forward finally hacking it up along with a large amount of red mist before she relaxed back into Eleanor's lap.
"Pup..?"
She muttered softly as every breath seemed to pain her even as her strength was returning. "Gwendolyn.." She muttered looking around as she seemed confused as her senses began returning as well.
"How are you here..You were traveling to visit your companion in Elbion...I thought my time on this existence was over.."
She said seeming to softly ramble before she finally relaxed once more and her expression went from confused to its usual deadpan. "Your freezing...The shrine is not far."
She said laboring as tried to rise before falling back into her lap with a wheezing groan.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Tears streamed freely down her face as relief, grief, pain, and regret washed over her. "I'm freezing? You have been lying in the snow for hours." Eleanor said gently, caressing Luna's cheek, and looking at her with such gentleness and longing in her sad eyes. Was it selfish of her to deny Luna her eternal rest? Eleanor leaned forward and planted a kiss on Luna's forehead "I'm sorry," She whispered before pulling away. "Come, Let's get you back to the shrine," She said helping Luan rise, taking her arm over her shoulders and letting her lean heavily on her. Taking her arm and wrapping it around Luna's waist for support.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Thank you."
Luna said softly seemingly taken aback by Eleanor's touch, but rose with her quietly and did indeed lean heavily upon her.
"It shouldnt be too far now. 2 miles east from that tree."
She said gesturing to a tree seemingly no different from any of the others. She had been here a long time. Silence followed except for her occasional wheeze in her breathing as it slowly returned to normal and while still weak her leaning on Eleanor lessened slightly as the shrine came into view.
"You were not selfish."
She said finally as they walked and while Luna was sure she could manage to walk on her own without too much struggle she was reluctant to break from her students embrace. She had strong feelings for the girl in a very motherly way even if she knew that some where beyond the tundra and over the seas she had her own real mother.
"It was me who was selfish. I have many waiting for me in the beyond, and in my rush to meet them I forgot who I would be leaving behind. You still have much to learn, and guidance to be given. Thank you for reminding me young one."
She said as she broke from Eleanor's grip gently clutching her ribs for a moment with a wheeze as her legs seemed almost ready to give. But her eyes hardened with a grim steel to them as she seemed to steady and push open the heavy door herself.

The cabin of the shrine had been empty as Elise had left to prepare for their meeting with Maywynn, and Luna simply assumed she had taken Syn with her. With Eleanor gone as well Luna had been alone once more at her shrine as she had been all those years ago. However not a thing was out of place along with the winter cloak and clothes she had gifted Eleanor all those weeks ago. She struggled for a moment but soon a fire was blazing as she set some tea to boil and collapsed in her bearskin chair by the fireplace. It would seem Luna was her usual self to any that didn't truly know her, but to those that did it would seem she had been rather depressed and beaten down, not just physically but mentally frayed at the edges. The cabin while to the untrained eye was well maintained by Luna's usual methodical standards it was an absolute wreck.

The bed was made perfectly but the pillows were slightly misaligned. The mugs for tea were on the bottom shelf instead of the top, papers on the table were stacked neatly but slightly out of line with each other, her spare cloak usually so clean it seemed to blend with the snow, was covered in traces of blood stains, and her bow was leaned next to the table instead of hung neatly by the door, and it appeared from the lack of meat curing in the cupboard that she had been eating even less than what was usual for her. Ever since the announcement that soon they would be traveling to see her old Mistress Luna had been going slightly down hill, though it seemed in her loneliness it had taken an even harder down turn than one would think were possible for someone as mentally hardened as the ghost of the tundra.
 

Eleanor Griffin

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"You should take it easy," Eleanor said sitting down on the floor near the fire, letting the warmth wash over her cold bones. She took off her hat and tucked a loose strand of white hair behind her ear as she stared absently into the dancing flames. "You just went through a lot," Eleanor could feel Luna's aura stretched so thin. She wanted to comfort her, to sit at her feet and rest her head on her knee and let her know that she was there for her... but she didn't. She couldn't. Instead, she turned to look up at Luna. "I'll take care of the sacrifice tonight," she said, a small smile on her face, a sadness glistening behind her gentle eyes.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"That is not necessary."
Luna said matter of factly as she began to rise before clutching her ribs with a pained gasp and sinking back into the chair with a groan.
"But I suppose it cant be helped.."
She muttered softly staring down unable to meet her students eyes. She stripped off her cloak and top as she laid with only her undergarments covering her breasts revealing the many scars of battles fought in the past and a nasty new puncture wound like that of an animals claw in her stomach along with a black bruise running up the entire left side of her rib cage. another set of punctures that looked like teeth marks ran down her her right bicep and fore arm and another matching set on her left shoulder. The wounds oozed black void essence as it seemed their master was healing them slowly and undoubtedly painfully. She ignored all this however as she passed Eleanor her own book unclipping its silver chain from her hip so she could restore its power along with her own during the ritual before her eyes started to droop. She seemed to fight to keep them open however as if the thought of sleep terrified her.
"It was a land of demons.."
She muttered.
"The air was unfit to breath..the ground was unfit to walk..Their screams, the feeling of their teeth.."
She seemed to ramble half asleep. Another presence Eleanor had only lightly felt seemed to grow stronger as a warm feeling seemed to embrace her. It was as if Bastellen had returned but this was not him. She felt kindness, love and thankfulness as if she was being embraced by an invisible girl of her same size.
"She sleeps now...Leave her be..I cant thank you enough for being here for her. She..means much to me..and your feelings for her are pure. She needs you....and your here...Thank you."
It whispered warmly in her ear as an invisible kiss was planted on her cheek before she felt the aura receded back into Luna's own causing her a slight twitch before her mutterings ceased and the stress seemed to leave her expression at least slightly as her body relaxed in the chair.
 

Eleanor Griffin

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Luna, had done this many times before but this time as Eleanors eyes traced her many familiar scars and the new wounds that framed her figure she found her face growing hot. She quickly averted her eyes as she found them lingering on the scare that ran along her pelvis and disappeared under the band of her underwear.

She took her book not meeting Luna's eyes. She listened as Luna began muttering about the horrors she had faced in the mist. It was strange how someone Eleanor has seen as being so strong had gone into the mist and come out broken. While someone so weak like Eleanor had gone in and come out stronger. She watched as Luna fell asleep. She was about to leave when she was halted by a warm presence. She sucked in her breath as she felt it surround her. A warm embrace. Then a kiss. Her hand touched her cheek where the kiss had been, a single tear running down her face. "Gwendolen," She whispered.

She wanted to be there for Luna more than anything, but she wasn't sure she knew how. She took on last long look at Luna's sleeping form before heading out the door into the cold.

She had never done the ritual by herself before. She had assisted Luna before and she knew the steps, It just made her feel sick whenever she had to do it. But Luna needed her to do this, and she had made a promise. She was a tool after all, and tools did not have the luxury of choice, no matter how gruesome the job.

Luna had been away from the shrine most of the day so she hadn't had an opportunity to hunt. She would have to find a sacrifice herself. Strapping Luna's book next to her own she started off into the darkening forest. She didn't have a bow but he aim wasn't the best anyway, she didn't need it. She soon found some dear tracks in the snow, she followed them quieting her own steps so as not to startle any. After about an hour she came upon a clearing where five deer stood stripping the bark from the surrounding birch trees. It was two doe's and three fauns. She froze unmovingly. She didn't need to move. She looked out at them, unaware of her presence. She had to pick one, she had to take it's life and bring it back with her. She knew she could not carry one of the does so with a heavy heart she closed her eyes. She could feel their aura's wavering in her senses. Allowing her mind to focus on the closest faun she focussed on it's heartbeat, changing it's resonance to that of the sleeping drug that Elise had given her all those months ago.

She opened her eyes as the dear fell limp in the snow and the rest darted away in panic. She walked over to it, looking down on it sadly before cutting its throat. Lifting it up onto her shoulders she carried it's corpse back to the shrine. It was heavier than she expected. When she returned to the shrin it was dark. She slowly climbed the stairs and place the faun on the altar. Luna often made large sacrifices, but Eleanor knew that Balstellen would accept her own smaller sacrifice. It was a young life cut short. Her experience told her that this was better than a big or flashy gift.

She took out both of the books and looked up at the star strew sky, in the distance the last remnants of a crimson sunset streaked the horizon. A single tear ran down her face, stinging in the cold. "I am your tool, your will is mine," She spoke to the darkness before beginning the ritual.

***

It was completely dark when Eleanor returned. Luna was still sleeping in the chair and the fire was starting to dim. She placed Luna's now full book at her teacher's feet before putting another log on the fire. She then went over to the wash basin and cleaned the blood off her hands and face, some of it was hers, some the demons from the mist, and some the deer.

She took off her coat and boots and sat down on the edge of the bed. For a long time, she just sat there watching Luna's chest rise and fall gently with her breath. Eleanor's eyes drifted shut, she was exhausted. She undressed herself and slipped into bed under the warm pelts, but it was several hours before She could quiet her racing mind and fall asleep. Thinking about what Gwendolen had said, what Luna had said. But how could anyone love a monster?
 
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Luna Slateforge

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Screams. She felt them all around her.
"Why!" "Oh god!" "Please save us!" She turned as she saw the young girl.
The rocking of the ship. The sound of whips. She tried to move but was halted as the shackles kept her nailed to the wood of the ships floor. "But you cant can you.." The girl stood looking down on her as a wide, evil grin began cracking her features. "Your weakness will always stop you, Your pain will never cover your sins! You sickening puke." She spat venomously her grin spreading far wider than what would be humanly possible. "And you know that. You never should have come out of that mist Luna. "
"I know."
Luna said hanging her head as the child approached. "But people need me."
The child chuckled in a manner unfitting of someone her age.
"For how long? huh...HOW LONG!" She said as her void dropped into uneven octaves like a beast of the void. Suddenly she felt the thing retreat as a warm presence seemed to surround her as it always had.
"Wake love.."
She whispered as Luna's eyes snapped open. She sat up as the night was still thick outside. Her wounds were close to healing as she rose weakly stumbling once as she re stoked the fire, and placed her book in the chair before went for the bed. She slipped into it gently wrapping her body around Eleanor so softly the girl wouldn't wake. She held her tightly snuggling her head into Eleanor's neck as she slipped into a peaceful sleep until the morning light began to creep into the windows of the cabin.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Lemon cake; the taste lingered on her tongue as she woke. Her breath caught as she realized Luna was wrapped around her. Her bare skin pressed against her back. Her limp hand rested gently near Eleanor's heart. She could feel the corner of her lips pressed against the base of her neck, her soft breath running along her skin. Her aura enveloping her. Was she dreaming? She dared not move, lest she wake Luna or wake up herself. Closing her eyes again she let out a soft sigh, letting their aura's mingle. She could feel Luna's heartbeat against her back, a warm ripple in the still gray sea of Luna's aura. Others found Luna's touch cold. Eleanor couldn't imagine how, letting herself sink into the warmth of their touch. She must be dreaming, how could a monster such as herself deserve such a thing. But it was a good dream. She just wished it would last.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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She felt the feeling of her skin, and the beating of her heart. It was all too much for her and stirred a feeling inside her that she didnt fully understand. She had felt this way before and it terrified her, but the child had sacrificed much for her, and trusted her...So she reluctantly rose and almost kissed her neck, her lips hovering above them barely grazing her skin before she pulled back thinking better of it.
"Stay resting young one."
Luna said as she sensed that Eleanor was awake. She had been awake as well but had not wanted to wake the girl who had seemed to have gone through quite a bit herself before carrying her across the tundra in clothes that were far too thin. She barely remembered yesterday let alone how she had become wrapped around the girl. However she rose silently and began making tea after emptying out the tea from the night before.
It was a nice jade oolong tea as the floral aroma filled the cabin.
She busied her self straightening things that had been out of place, and putting on a fresh cloak laying out some thicker clothes of Eleanor's she had left behind and Luna had had time to sew fur linings inside them.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor sighed as Luna pulled away. So it wasn't a dream. But it was over. her eyes fluttered open as she rolled over to watch Luna get ready. She let out a soft groan as she realized how sore her body was. She had been running on adrenalin all day yesterday but she had pushed herself to her limits. She had broken a couple of ribs in that fight and even though they were healed now she ached all over, her body feeling stiff and heavy. She looked at Luna through heavy lids, a tired smile parting her cracked lips. Then full lucidity washed over her as a ray morning light cast itself across her face.

She blinked and sat up. She might feel tired but Luna was probably just as worn out as she was. There was no point in her staying in bed. She got up, putting on the cloaths that Luna had set aside for her. The lining was a nice addition. It was sure to keep her warm. She found a comb and brushed out her hair breathing in the relaxing scent of the tea as it filled the cabin. Then tying back her hair she turned to Luna.

"How are you feeling this morning?" She asked
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Fine." Luna said shortly as she poured the tea and handed her a steaming cup. She set the kettle aside and placed some cured rabbit meat on a spit before clipping on her books chain to her belt as she remained topless besides her bra. Her wounds had healed but left new nasty blackened scars that matched the rest. She was silent as the rabbit cooked before placing bread and the meat on a plate for each of them." How are you feeling?" She asked noticing her soreness Luna pressed a hand to the middle of her breasts directly over her heart and with energy flowing from her book as Eleanor felt her soreness slowly began to flow away as luna quickly seemed to notice where her hand was and withdrew it quickly. "That should make it a little easier to move around. Now eat please.." She said softly sitting at the table and gesturing for her to do the same. "How was your elf friend in Elbion?"
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor sighed clossing her eyes as her soreness melted away. She was still tired but the aching had lessened. She then got up and joined Luna at the table taking a palate of meat for herself and pouring herself a cup of tea. "I'm alright now," She said, reluctant to talk about what had happened in the mist. That was her burden to bear alone.

"Qouril seemed to be doing well, though we didn't have the opportunity to talk about much aside from small talk. Though it was nice to see him," she said staring off at nothing a soft nostalgic smile on her face. She sighed snapping out of her thoughts and taking a bite of the rabbit. She glanced around at the cottage and then back at her plate. "We could use more vegetables. Maybe I can get some the next time I go back to Elbion. Though having the portal so close might bring us unwanted attention." She added her absent musing turning to a frown. She folded her hands in front of her and closed her eyes as the weight of that realization sunk in. If that happened and they had to flee, she knew what she would have to do. "If worst comes to worst I can activate another shrine... but it would take a lot of sacrifices, and deer and wolves won't do this time,"
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Yes...The portal stone will be problematic. We enjoy our solitude here. It was one of the few reasons that this was one of the few shrine's that survived the purge." Luna said with a sigh as she rose quietly.
"But soon you will be seeing one of the two other shrines that survived. Maywynn is rarely found when she does not wish to be. Luckily she is expecting us."
At the sound of her name the temperature dropped and the hairs on Eleanor's neck raised involuntarily. Luna herself seemed to shift uncomfortably as she made for the door grabbing her bow.
"I have a deer already prepared for the sacrifice this morning. I will ask you to preform it if you would. I have to speak with an old friend for a little heightened protection in light of us having to deal with more prying eyes sooner rather than later."
She said shortly as she shouldered open the door and walked out into the snow silently.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor felt the temperature drop at the mention of Maywynn. Luna seemed terrified of her. IF something scared Luna then she felt she would be justified to be afraid of it too. Yet she couldn't bring her self to feel fear. Ever since she had received Bastelens blessing she didn't see the point. She was not afraid of death for that would mean realize, she was not afraid of pain for nothing could be more painful than Bastellen's blessing and as a tool she had resigned herself to the pain, she didn't even fear losing those she cared about, it would be painful but it was inevitable. At this point the only thing she was afraid of was herself, but she didn't really have the energy to even be afraid of that anymore.

Eleanor closed her eyes and nodded. "I can do that," She said. She took a moment before attaching her book and ritual dagger to her belt and following Luna out. She watched Luna disappear off into the white landscape of the tundra before extending black tendrils from her book and lifting the dear Luna had mentioned off the tree and began climbing the stairs to the shrine.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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Luna walked through the dense wood. Her feet made little to no noise as they seemed to glide above the snow. She stopped as she came to a circle in the center of a clearing in the woods. A white wolf stood there seemingly waiting. Luna dropped to her knees in a submissive manner as the wolf rose to walk up to her. It's teeth werent bared as it approached her before licking her face and placing its front paws on Luna's shoulders. It was almost half the size of a full grown bear.
"Luna my pup. It has been a long time."
It spoke in a deep growl that still had the undertones of famine softness.
"I know mother." Luna replied softly "But I have come to ask a favor."
"And what is that pup." The wolf growled softly.
"It seems we are destined to garner much more traffic than we used to. I would like to know we will have your and the packs watchful eyes for us."
She said looking down unable to meet her wolf mothers eyes.

"Pup.." She responded softly. "You have always been my little lone wolf, So I am sure other's are not welcome. But unwanted attention is not all that is troubling you. I know this. You can hide nothing for me. You always were the most emotional of my children."
She growled as she nudged Luna's chin up with her muzzle making her pup look into her eyes.
"I...My master spoke to me. I have to take my own student to someone very dangerious. Someone I feel may use her more than my master already has....But first...We must go slay the Yao Guai.
Long ago he took something from me while I was traveling back to the shrine..I need it back." "I see..." Her mother said after a moment. "Do not be frightened for your own pup She will either become stronger by the hardship of the task at hand or she will become nourishment for something that does. That is the way of our land. Had you not become hard and fierce you too would have been food. And I would have mourned not." Luna nodded. To others the words sounded harsh, but Luna knew of her mothers love and accpeted her words as simple honesty. "Remeber our ways...And go with my blessing. Should any enter our territory you shall be the first to know. I will send your brother Fang with word. Go now." She said as she dropped back to the ground and padded away through the snow without even turning back. Wolves were not known for compassion or emotion, but Luna felt her love as she rose and turned back to take the long walk back to the cabin. When Eleanor was done with the ritual she would depart with her, and reclaim what was taken from her all those years ago.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor descended the stares after having completed the sacrifice. It was easier this time. She was starting to understand, everything ends and death is the natural resolution of life. Like the meat on the table, these sacrifices are necessary parts of their survival. It was the sacrifices that allowed her to defeat that monster in the mist and protect Quoril.

She paused at the bottom of the hill and glanced around before moving over to a tree, from which hung the corps of a pair of bandits that Luna had strung up. Ignoring them she sat down in the snow crossing her legs beneath her and closed her eyes. She could feel her breath hang in the air before getting picked up by the light breeze. She took a deep breath letting the cold air sting her lungs. The cold snow pressing against her legs. She stilled her senses and turned them inwards. her heart beat filling her senses drowning out everything else, her breath easing her thoughts to stillness. She wasn't seeking Bastellen. Nor was she looking for answers. Just a stillness.

There was a crunch in the snow and Eleanor weakly sensed another aura. She opened her eyes and extended her senses. Luna was returning. She stood up and moved to meet her teacher. "The sacrifice is taken care of," She said.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Good...Thank you pup.."
She said in her usual flat tone but still came off distracted as she gestured Eleanor to wait for her as she entered the cabin and came back out quickly. A small bundle of medical supplies a small cross bow like one Elise wielded, A black steel short sword and great sword along with an extra full quiver of arrows and a small bundle of bolts. She hand Eleanor the crossbow and bolts along with the short sword before strapped the great sword on her back along with the extra quiver.
"We have a relic to retrieve before we make our journey. Come with me."
She said brushing past Eleanor and continuing into an even thicker part of the wooded tundra. Soon they came to a rocky out crop and Luna stopped at the mouth of a massive cave. Without even a glance back to make sure Eleanor was behind her she notched two arrows to her bow and entered slowly. It was silent as a grave. But soon a low growl like breathing began to fill the cave.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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At Luna's bidding, Eleanor waited patiently outside the cabin for her. When she came out with the weapons and suplise she raised a quizzical brow, taking the crossbow and sword. She unsheathing the sword she held it up and sighted down the blade wrinkling her nose skeptically. She didn't really have any training with a sword and doubted she would be much use with it. Though she did know how to use a crossbow and this one was light enough that she could handle it easily. She resheathed the sword and attached the sheath to her belt before attaching the quiver to her belt beside it.

A relic, it seemed Bastellen didn't waste any time cashing in on her promise. Even if it had been an unspoken one. She loaded a bolt into the crossbow, expression impassive, before following after Luna. After walking for some time in silence they came upon a cave. Eleanor could sense something large inside the cave, definitely not human, almost beastly in nature, and there was a second aura a void aura flickering in and out. It seemed rather weak but they weren't close enough for her to make out exactly what it was.

Luna entered the cave without even looking back. Eleanor clenched her teeth and sucked in her breath as she raised her crossbow. Luna couldn't sense things in the dark like she or Syn could. Luna was going in blind. She would just have to watch her back, Eleanor though following close behind Luna as they entered the darkness.

As they got closer the auras grew stronger and darkness deeper. Eleanor could hear breathing too, in tune with the things heartbeat. It seemed rather slow, and it hadn't seemed to notice them yet. Was it asleep? Eleanor leaned in close to Luna, her lips hovering near her ear "I think it's asleep," she whispered.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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"Then let us wake it."
Luna said flatly with an undertone of bitterness in her voice as she loosed both her arrows. They struck with wet thunks as she sheathed her bow and drew her blade.
The roar that followed was deafening as the thing that was asleep woke up. Luna's book raised up a shield but not quickly enough as a wall of fur and teeth crashed into her only giving her enough time to shove Eleanor into the far side of the wall as the massive beast brushed past her.
The massive bear had its teeth sunk into Luna and shook her like a doll before throwing her into the trees where she landed roughly her sword falling half way through the shaking at the bears feet.
It stomped its front paws raising up to its full 14ft height before letting out a massive bellowing roar and falling back to all fours.
It's glowing red eyes falling on Eleanor. A Great sword handle was sunk into its back as it turned glinting in the light and the bearer of that second weakened aura was revealed. The right hand of Bastellen. The Void Render.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

Void Forger
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Eleanor's heart was racing. This was just like the mists, but unlike the mist demon, this thing only had one soul, she would not be able to do what she did in the mist. Now that she was closer she could make out more details. Somehow she knew that the swords name was Void Render, and she knew how it worked. It sucked blood. But it seemed to be weakened. All these thoughts flooded her mind in an instant.

The bear turned on her. She loosed the bolt from her crossbow. Black void coalescing around her as she threw up a shield just as its claws came rending down on her. She flinched but the shield held long enough for her to draw her dagger. The bear brought it's claws down once again but instead of the shield shattering inwards, it burst outwards with incredible force knocking the bear back a pace. Concentrating void aura at her feet she used it to propel herself across the cave landing in a crouch near its entrance the void swirling around her.

She didn't give it time to react. The void formed over a score of needle-like spikes rushing forwards to impale the beast as it turned to face her. They drove deep into its skin but its hide was thick. The beast wasn't just tough, it was also fast. The needles reseeded as the thing charged ignoring its injuries. She threw up another shield but the force of its charge sent her flying back into the snow.
 
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