Private Tales The Ending of The Beginning.

Luna Slateforge

High Priestess Of Bastellen
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It had begun to rain. Luna had pulled off her cloak and let wash over her.

The chill of the air on her wet skin reminded her of home. Not the tundra.

But her older home. On the coast. During the winter the sea spray would often feel like this. She closed her eyes as they walked up the steps and stopped for a moment to savor it.

She was a peaceful healer. A tender soul locked in the tattered remains of her body.

She was a delicate rose that was forced to be used as a sword. And it seemed Luna had faired about as well as a rose used as a sword.

She walked with a limp. Her black eye never closing. Her healing magic was getting weaker. She coughed more. Black blood stained the corners of her mouth and nose. Her good eye was bloodshot from the stress of the fights and journey.

But even as every step seemed to bring pain not once did she complain, not once did she stop for any reason than Eleanor wanting to rest. This was Luna’s way. No priestess in Bastellens ranks had ever carried their cross like her. She embodied unselfish dedication. If only she had found a church or something other than this...

”Black Rock keep.” She said as they arrived. It looked little more than a cave. As they reached the top of the stairs and entered the cave Luna’s legs began to wobble.

“Pup!” Luna cried out reaching for Eleanor to hopefully help lower her down. Ever since her fight with Valkery she had been in a bad way.

Something about being bonded to another’s book as well as something the madam may have done without either of their knowledge either way her condition had been slowly going down hill.

There was only so long a mortal could channel the void. Inside the cave was narrow. Torches of black void fire burned in their brackets. A heavy black iron door sat at the very end. It opened and Elise poked out her head.

“Oh it’s you two. Where the hell have you been?” She asked with a good natured smirk. “Come on in. She’s waiting..” Elise said with a slight tone of fear and dislike for this “she.”

“She’s right. Maywynn must not be kept waiting.” Luna said trying to stand and falling back to her butt. “Just go without me. I need to..catch my..breath..” Luna wheezed our panting between words.

“Void sickness?” Elise asked. “Hack up a lung for yes. Don’t Hack up a lung for no.” Luna actually opened her mouth to retort.

“Ha. Your jokes are as-ack!” She said as the sudden string of speech left her coughing and retching until a genuine lump of void gunk that seemed to move on its own for a minute before settling. “I’ll...I’ll take care of that. Common up you come you old wolf.” “I am not old you sleezy pit viper.” Luna shot back.

“Yeah yeah hisss hisss.” Elise retorted with an eye roll. Despite her generally abrasive and aggressive manner the way Elise handled Luna after seeming to realize her sickness was a drastic change to her usual behavior.

Elise had a look in her eye that was as foreign to her as a genuine emotion was to Luna. It was compassion.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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The journey was long with much walking, but Eleanor was young and healthy. It was Luna's condition that worried her. She could sense that Luna was in a lot of pain, though she tried to hide it, and was only growing weaker the longer they travailed.

Eleanor knew Luna would never admit to her weakness, she would push herself well beyond the edge out of a sense of duty. She already had. All Elanor could do was insist that they take frequent rests. From what she had heard this Maywen was not the type one should keep waiting, but Luna was more important right now. If Bastellen had a problem with their slightly slower pace he would say something.

Rain started to fall as they climbed the long flight of stone stairs leading up the mountain side to Blackrock. Eleanor followed just behind Luna to catch her if she stumbled.

They entered the cave. Luna teetered grabbing at Eleanor's arm.

"Whoa, there, I got you," Eleanor said catching her and helping her sit down. "Just rest."

Elise exited from the heavy mettle door at the end of the hall and Eleanor scowled. Then Luna started coughing again. Eleanor knelt beside her placing a hand on her shoulder. Strangely though Elise reaction was far more gentile than usual, though still dripping with sarcasm.

Eleanor was so thrown off by this new behavior that she didn't protest when Elise helped Luna to her feet. Eleanor stood and looked at the door at the end of the hall. She could feel a strong void aura beyond the door. Stronger than that of her or her sisters, or even the books they carried.

Eleanor's face was impassive, her feelings pushed to the pit of her stomach, far from the cold surface, though unlike the last time Elise had seen her the look of despair in her eyes had been replaced with calm purpose. Exhaustion, replaced with a knowing acceptance. Perhaps it was this kind of acceptance that drove Luna to this point, Eleanor felt as if she could endure anything. But she also knew, at her core, she was stronger than Luna. She did not hold this against Luna. In fact, it was this softness that made her the ideal Head Priestess, if only she had been with the order in its heyday when individuals did not have to be stretched so thin to keep the order alive.

"We have kept her waiting long enough," Eleanor said heading for the door.
 
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Maywynn Wrath

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The hall was dark. A blood red velvet carpet led down the long hallway.

Many heavy metal doors sat in random parts along the hall of the deep cavernous room of darkness like the throat of a massive beast. Murals and oil paintings of suffering, the orders history decorated the walls ending in a small row of portraits.

Many were of single people. Each seemed to wear the armor of head dreadweaver or the robes of head priestess.

It was a final portrait that seemed to be larger than the rest. It was a group painting and a very good one at that. Three priestess and three dreadweavers sat around a young girl dressed in a gorgeous dress of black and red.

Butterflies of pure void seemed to break off. The artist even catching a few as they broke away from the child’s form.

She was beautiful, her looks a thing of unmarred perfection. However her eyes spoke the truth of her. Pitch black much like Luna’s own but with small red circles of glowing anger inside them. She smiled with two rows of sharp white teeth a little too widely.

Her smile that of a predator.

A younger Luna sat among the group as well. Her face bearing a huge, warm smile that even went up to her blue eyes. Her skin unmarred by scars and pain. A look that had never come close to crossing Luna’s face since Eleanor had known her. This was long ago. A younger girl sat next to her with an arm thrown around her shoulder beaming just as brightly. A younger Elise sat on Luna’s other side.

The snide “too cool for this but I’ll humor you.” Smirk still chiseled into her face as it always was as she leaned on Luna’s other side. Her teeth sharp like the girls, but while Elises looked manufactured something about the girl in the middles felt as if hers were not. The others were people Eleanor had not seen before, but judging from the fact Luna was an elf and they aged so slowly..She looked about in her mid twenties to early thirties so did Elise..In this they looked no older than teenagers.

“Do you like them?” A voice would come from the darkness. Deeper still sat a throne. Built of gold and human bones. Lounging on it was a girl. The girl. From the painting. Completely unchanged by the passage of time. Looking as if she had simply stepped from the painting.

She slowly seemed to melt into void energy dripping from her throne before forming into a swarm of black butterflies rushing towards Eleanor before halting short and reforming the girls figure. Her face an inch from Eleanor’s.

“So your the one he spoke of..” Her breathing was heavy and a blush of pure lustful adorationentered a face far too young to look so “longing.” She reached out to cup Eleanor’s cheek in her hand.

Rubbing a thumb across her smooth skin she shivered.

“Such power...” black tears welled up in her eyes as she embraced Elanor comically barely coming up to her stomach. But her touch was freezing cold. As she pulled away anywhere she had touched felt as if her hand had pulled some bit of warmth and happiness from it.

The feeling faded quickly but still felt so wrong coming from someone so small, and cute.

“With you we shall rise..He will be returned to us..Sweet child your presence here blesses us truly.” She said with genuine admiration. “Welcome sister to blackrock keep. I am Maywynn. As our master commands I shall train and prepare you for your role here.“ She said pulling away beaming all the world like a small girl given candy.

“I am sure you know little of me and this place. Please ask anything and I shall answer.” She said warmly. Though it was much like a snake pretending it wasn’t deadly.

It wasn’t fake so to speak, she truly was warmly welcoming Eleanor, but like a dragon spewing flowers or a ferocious black knight riding a rainbow unicorn into battle it just seemed wrong.

Everything about her was wrong.
 
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Luna Slateforge

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“She’s changed.” Elise said as they walked down a side hallway letting Eleanor go on with out them.

“I know.” Luna said back. “She doesn’t-.” Luna began before Elise cut her off. “She’s like you..before.” “Enough.” Luna shot back struggling slightly in Elise’s grasp only to grunt in pain as her grip only tightened.

“Calm down. This void sickness is beyond what you can handle. Stop fighting me..besides you know it’s true.” Elise retorted as Luna ceased her struggle and allowed Elise to carry her deeper. They came to a large open room.

“Oh..” Luna said as she saw inside.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor walked down the hall, glancing at the paintings as she passed. She sensed Luna and Elise move off down a separate corridor but didn't bother to look back at them. They would be ok on their own. Before her the void called to her, she must continue onward. She paused in front of the group painting looking at the young happy face of Luna that looked back at her from the painting. the young image of Elise looked smug but it didn't seem to carry the same malice and venom that the Elise she knew did. Then there was the girl in the middle.

"Do you like them?" A voice carried from the end of the hall. Eleanor turned. The girl looked young but that did not betray her age, she was ancient and Eleanor could feel it. The girl melted into void and rushed forwards reforming inches from her face. Eleanor stood perfectly still, locking eyes with the void, unmoved.

Maywynn's touch was like ice, Eleanor still didn't move, nor did she speak. She only watched. Eleanor saw past the voidgirls childish friendly demeanor, she was pure void. The voids only purpose was to consume. It could be bent to other purposes but at it's core that was its only reason for existing.

Maywynn told Eleanor she would reveal the answers to any questions Eleanor had.

Eleanor began walking back towards the throne with Maywynn, "I think I understand. This is the heart... no, not the heart, the core, of the order. Here a piece of the order, as it once was, is preserved. You are the void incarnate. I don't need to be told this to know that there is no humanity left in you. And I am here to return the order to what it once was. I am here to learn the secrets of the order, and to grow in power." They stopped in front of the throne. Eleanor's eyes traced the gold and bones that formed the chair. Her face unchanged but her eyes lingered.

She pulled here eyes away and turned to Maywynn "I believe the question is not what do I want to know but what do you have to teach me?"
 
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Luna Slateforge

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Tilting her head curiously at the girls fearlessness and perceptive presence.

“Much. So much. But I doubt you will struggle to excel.” She said with a slight chuckle.

“But in all honestY it’s not what I can teach you. It’s what I can show you.” She said as her voice suddenly shifting to a gargling mess of pure hatred and deep baritone. She cleared her throat politely covering her mouth.

“Excuse me.” She said with a giggle. Her voice retiring to its warm childish illusion. “Follow me please.” She said with a sweeping motion.

The throne slid aside to reveal a door. While the same heavy metal of the others something about the door felt cold and foreboding in a way the others did not. A rat passed it. Pausing, it sniffed at the door before turning to leave.

It’s tail brushed against it.

The effect was instant.

A outline of the rat was sucked from its body and into the door before its body exploded with a small pop as the door the devoured the carcass as it simply drew it into itself. Maywynn giggled as she placed her hand to the door. It opened with a smooth click. Inside was a stone table.

On either side were grooves that ran to where a book sat. Unlike the others this copy was much thicker and wider. Gold outlined the patterns intricately placed into the leather. It was like no leather normally seen..like it wasn’t animal leather...

“This book will show you the way. Only the void forger of prophecy may open it. The only of its kind. Any who open it but his single chosen will suffer a fate worse than death.” Maywynn explained with a gleeful look in her cold eyes

“Even..m..myself..” She finished with resentment leaking into her cheery tone before she could stop it.

“So if your ready the ceremony of the book need only require the heart and blood of the devoted. The void takes without judgement or discretion even if its own in the name of strength and power. This is the most basic rule. It is honored here.” She said snapping her fingers. Elise dragged Luna in. The priestess struggled against her former friend.

“Elise get off me!” Luna growled thrashing violently before she rolled into a coughing fit leaving her her wheezing and limp as she tried to catch her breath. Her eyes wide and full of fear before seeming to relax. Her struggling ceased even as she slightly caught her breath.

“T-take care of her Elise..please..” Luna said with a slight tremor. “That’s my job.” Elise said with a slight crack in her sarcasm.

Regret peaking through it.

“Then do your job..for once..” Luna snipped back with a slight smirk. A far cry from the happy girl of the portrait. A grim smirk of acceptance.

Elise laid her on the table as she groaned. Black void chains sprung from the alter. Binding her limbs and pulling her into place. Her sides lined up with the grooves in the alter.

A small platter sat next to the book where the grooves connected and flowed into it. Maywynn produced a jagged black steel dagger. “He has seen it fit to bless you with the honors.” Maywynn said presenting the dagger to Eleanor with a slight bow. Luna simply lay there coughing slightly. Her eyes begging Eleanor to help her.

Even as acceptance was plainly seen on her features her eyes roamed ceaselessly looking for a way to escape. The eyes of a survivor unable to accept death. The eyes of a wolf. She bit back the pleas for help and mercy. Her eyes screaming what her voice refused to.

“You could beg..” Maywynn said with a smirk melting and reforming next to the bound priestess. Luna simply glanced away with silent disdain.

“After what you did to me..” She said with a chill entering her cheery tone.

“I only wish I could do it myself.” She said taking Luna’s face in her hands. She strained away from her as little as the chains allowed Before Maywynn forced her to look her in the eye.

“Beg.” Maywynn said with a cold menace in her tone that begged to kill Lunaas painfully slow as possible. She glanced up at Eleanor with a pause. “Please?” She said happily. Luna remained silent. “Fine..” Maywynn said darkly flaring daggers at the bound woman.

“Complete the ritual. The door will remain sealed until the book is opened. Should you return I will be waiting in the throne room to discuss what you have learned and help you master it. As I said I doubt you will struggle, but there are some powers even I am not to know, but I will aid you as much as I can.” Maywynn said with a deep, respectful bow before melting into nothing and leaving the room in a swarm of beautiful black butterflies.

Elise simply leaned against the wall next to the exit as the door shut with a soft click.

“I’ve got patrols to do so let’s hurry this up.” Elise said in her normal nonchalant tone. However the words sounded hollow. Said with not thought or maliciousness. Adding to this Elise had suddenly found an extreme interest in the ground and seemed
content to study it until it crumbled to dust.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor watched as Luna was lead in. Eleanor did not have to look in Luna's eyes to sense her fear. Luna was laid out on the alter and Maywynn handed Eleanor a dagger. Eleanor stared at the blade though her face remained unchanging. Maywynn taunted Luna, she could tell that Maywynn was reveling in the pointless cruelty. Eleanor's jaw tightened, almost imperceptibly.

Once Maywynn had gone Eleanor relaxed, she walked up to the alter a soft smile on her lips and such gentile sorrow in her eyes. She sat down on the edge of the alter next to Luna.

"Those won't be necessary." With a moments focuses the void chains released Luna. She helped Luna sit up and placed her palm against her cheek looking at her with such gentileness, like Luna with her scars and battered features was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. "There's nothing to be afraid of. You have done so much more than was ever expected of you, been so much more than just a priestess, It's time to rest. You are aloud to rest now." Eleanor's smile widened though her eyes were moist.
 

Luna Slateforge

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Her breathing quickened. She was close to panicking, tense..Ready to flee with no place to run. It halted to a stop at Eleanor’s touch. “R-rest..” She said with a sense of longing. Her shivering half naked body continued to quiver in the bone chilling air if the keep.

She was only wrapped in white linens to allow easier access to what was important as was tradition. Her scars, punctures, scratches, bites, sword slashes, and stab wounds. All put on display to the cold unfeeling darkness to unvaryingly assess.

Despite this the look on the girls face as she cupped Luna’s cheek....

Gentle.

Loving.

Kind.

She wept then.

Unable to hold herself together for another moment she clutched Eleanor’s hand at first before throwing herself into a full embrace as waves of shoulder shaking sobs.

“I lived because he made me..” She said between sobs of pure fear and sorrow.

“But after I met you..I lived for you pup.. You never asked for this life..I tried to shield you..aid you...love you..and I failed..” Luna said bitterly.

“Now I will never see what a beautiful leader I know you will be..I..I want your happiness..Your safety more than anything..How can I leave with so much to be done..Longing for this release...It’s so selfish..” She continued.

Clutching Eleanor as she had in the long cold nights of the tundra when the wolf howls would keep Eleanor up at night..

So long ago.. “I...I..Only wish I could have done more..” She whispered. “Please..b..” Her voice caught and faltered.. “be gentle..I..It’s just like the deer at the..s-shrine..” She said. Instructing and aiding even as her own chapters closed.

The fear remained but for the first time a genuine smile of relief fought the fear in her expression as she tried to calm her returning panic in her breathing.

Half beginning to lay back on the table but halting as her survival instincts seemed to be fighting tooth and nail to keep her from laying fully back. She struggled halfway between acceptance and full on panic attack.

Her body shaking as she hung in limbo both physically and mentally. A wolf fighting its whole life. Not from choice, but necessity.

It’s ears torn. Fur matted and faded. Scars of pain. But when it’s salvation is at hand. It’s time up. It simply refused to accept the reality even as they were led to the end of their time.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor let her fingers slip through Luna's hair to the back of her neck and hugged Luna close to her, she could feel her trembling, Eleanor a rock in the storm for her to lean on.

"You haven't failed, and your not selfish. You have done what you set out to do and now you have earned your rest."

Luna begged her to be gentile, reminding her of her first sacrifice, how she had trembled and cried to kill the doe with her own hands. Now she was still, holding her mentor close.

Luna pulled back slightly, but Eleanor pulled her back to her. "You won't feel a thing," She whispered in her ear. Eleanor let aura flow from her hand flooding Luna with euphoria, as her other hand twisted the dagger driving it into her back. Eleanor felt Luna shudder and then go limp in her arms. Warm blood running down the dagger and onto her hand pooling on the alter and flowing into the grooves.

Eleanor gently lowered Luna down onto the table. She stood her face growing stony again, while a single tear dripped from her chin. Void tendrils emerged from her book and gently cut open Luna's chest lifting out her still heart and placing on the tray as the blood flowed from the grooves to join it.

The book glowed black and the whispering in Eleanor's mind rose to a crescendo, thousands of voices crying and screaming and calling out. Eleanor walked around the alter to stand before the book placed the dagger on the stone above the book, and with her blood soaked hand turned the cover.

She looked on the first page and the void lurched from the pages latching on to her pulling her in closer, her eyes going white, as it sucked the blood from the sacrifice and the heart turned to ash.

Eleanor began to turn the pages, eye's locked on the pages and tracking the words with an unnatural speed, unable to look away.

*****
It was over an hour later when Eleanor stepped from the chamber, as expressionless as the moment she had stepped in, though a pit weighed like a rock in her stomach, and her eyes had not returned to their original color.

She looked down at the waiting Maywynn, no need to speak what was unspoken.
 

Luna Slateforge

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Her breath lurched. Her eyes widened but the pain didn’t come. She gave a small jerk and went still.

“Goodbye pup..”

She whispered back placing a hand on her students head and ruffling her hair as she always had done.

She died with a smirk on her face and a small glint in her eye. Tears running down her cheeks. A mixture of sadness and relief filled her face as her eyes slowly closed and she moved no more.

“Damn it!” Elise suddenly burst from her silence bouncing back from the wall she leaned on and driving her fist into it. The stone cracked.

She pulled it free as the injury of a completely destroyed right hand Healed itself. Tears fell to the ground. But she set her jaw and wiped her eyes before turning.

“She didn’t deserve that. When you no longer need Maywynn..” Elise caught herself.Shaking the thoughts from her brain.

“Im..Im glad you had the strength to do what was necessary for the good of the order mistress.” Standing at attention as the door slid back open smoothly.

“I’ll..I’ll prepare the body. Im sure you would like to have final say in things, but I’ll clean and dress her proper..least I can do...meet me at the entrance when your finished. If I’m not there find me at the infirmary third door on the left..” Elise said turning to where Luna lay.

“That is unless you would like me to escort you.” She said her smug expression having withered to a silent wall of restrained emotion long before this.
 
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Maywynn Wrath

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“The chosen.” She said simply standing and bowing deeply.

“He has spoken to me...I heard it’s whispers..Such power..” She looked with devoted admiration at this wonderful, terrifying new force for her master.

“Shut out the world mistress. Feel the void around you. Bend it to your will. You no longer need this.” She said slowly taking away her book.

“Let it flow through you. Not the book. It is now an extension of you. Your humanity and the void in perfect communion..Can you feel it?” She said with glee.

“Oh and your throne of course mistress.” She said making a sweeping gesture to the throne as it slid back in place. She then melted and reappeared on a comfortable black mat. Blood red pillows littered it on the thrones left hand side.

On the right was a simple threadbare mat worn from use. The seat of the high priestess...Luna’s seat.. A small tin of mint tea leaves sat next to an old kettle. Luna’s favorite. That first cold night in the tundra...

“I can have that spot cleared away for you..” Maywynn said with an ill concealed smirk.

“And make room for the new high priestess. We have candidates for a new priestess for you to review yourself mistress. I will have Elise bring them around when your ready.” Maywynn said with a smirk.

“Where is that useless girl.. Doesn’t she know her place is by your side? Shall I punish her for such negligence in her duties?” She asked like a lap dog ready to serve however possible.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor closed the book and looked at Elise, at her outburst and the cracks in the usually smug warriors facade.

“She didn’t deserve that. When you no longer need Maywynn..” Elise caught herself.Shaking the thoughts from her brain.
"She did deserve that. That was the most beautiful gift I could have given her. The only thing that her heart longed for more than rest was my safety and well being. This was the only way her heart would accept rest," Eleanor said moving out from behind the alter.

“Im..Im glad you had the strength to do what was necessary for the good of the order mistress.” Standing at attention as the door slid back open smoothly.
Eleanor nodded. "That's better."

“I’ll..I’ll prepare the body. Im sure you would like to have final say in things, but I’ll clean and dress her proper..least I can do...meet me at the entrance when your finished. If I’m not there find me at the infirmary third door on the left..” Elise said turning to where Luna lay.

“That is unless you would like me to escort you.” She said her smug expression having withered to a silent wall of restrained emotion long before this.
"No, take care of Luna. I will come find you when I need you," She said as she walked back into the main hall.

She looked down at the waiting Maywynn, no need to speak what was unspoken.
“The chosen.” She said simply standing and bowing deeply.

“He has spoken to me...I heard it’s whispers..Such power..” She looked with devoted admiration at this wonderful, terrifying new force for her master.

“Shut out the world mistress. Feel the void around you. Bend it to your will. You no longer need this.” She said slowly taking away her book.
The book seemed to drain it's power, the void flowing through her, there was a strange tightness, like it was pushing at the boundaries of it's new cage. A tingling beneath her skin and behind her eyes, but no pain, not like before.

She used to think the pain was a punishment, Bastellen's sick way of tormenting his followers. Now she understood, it had all been to prepare her for this. It was no longer necessary.

“Oh and your throne of course mistress.” She said making a sweeping gesture to the throne as it slid back in place. She then melted and reappeared on a comfortable black mat. Blood red pillows littered it on the thrones left hand side.

On the right was a simple threadbare mat worn from use. The seat of the high priestess...Luna’s seat.. A small tin of mint tea leaves sat next to an old kettle. Luna’s favorite. That first cold night in the tundra...

“I can have that spot cleared away for you..” Maywynn said with an ill concealed smirk.

“And make room for the new high priestess. We have candidates for a new priestess for you to review yourself mistress. I will have Elise bring them around when your ready.” Maywynn said with a smirk.

“Where is that useless girl.. Doesn’t she know her place is by your side? Shall I punish her for such negligence in her duties?” She asked like a lap dog ready to serve however possible.
Eleanor looked at the Throne for a long moment before turning to the simple mat to it's right, a soft smile crossed her features which quickly hardened at Maywynn's mention of having the things removed. Eleanor knelt on one knee and carefully picked up the small tin of dried leaves. Her fingers brushing across the simple mat. Luna never gave herself enough credit, she deserved so much more than these simple things. Eleanor would make sure that the next priestess would be given all the beautiful things that she could provide in their orders broken state.

"Have these things taken to my chambers."

"Elise is doing my bidding, don't be so quick to jump to punishment or you will end up with another broken dog who can no longer serve their purpose. We cannot afford that."

Whispers rose in Eleanor's ears, "Hatred is a tool. Use it." The seed of an idea planted itself in Eleanor's mind. Elise hated Maywynn, Eleanor had no love for her either, but this hatred of Elise's could be nurtured to bring her closer to Eleanor.

Eleanor walked back to the throne and sat down leaning on the arm and looked down at where Maywynn sat. "Elise is taking the loss rather hard. If she had her way she would have me snap your neck." Eleanor let the words hang heavy in the air before continuing "But we both know that cannot happen."

Eleanor straitened in her chair and looked down the hall. "About these candidates." Eleanor looked down at her still blood soaked hand. She held it up and void enveloped it for a moment the blood disintegrating and the void retreating back up her arm. "We now have two unclaimed books." She laced her fingers together and leaned forwards resting her elbows on her knees as she though out loud "Our first priority is the new high priestess but it would be a mistake to leave the second empty slot unfilled for to long."
 

Maywynn Wrath

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“Elise is taking the loss rather hard..” Her mistress began.
“Elise is emotional and irrational I..” Maywynn began with a matter-of-fact tone.

“If she had her way she would have me snap your neck...” Maywynn halted speech completely as the comment hung heavy in the air over her.

The brief pause of the hangman’s lever.

The hovering of an executioners ax.

“But we both know that cannot happen..” Eleanor said after a moment of letting the void girl churn. She flinched at her words but intended as the pressure was suddenly relieved.

“O..Of course Mistress..” She said quietly. “I...I will go fetch the first candidate for high priestess. She’s been in her cell for a few weeks. I’m sure she’ll be happy to be out..” Maywynn said with a giggle as she meted away and the room was still once more.

“Creepy little thing isn’t she..” Avoice came from above her throne. Elise was perched at the top of her throne looking down on her crouching from above like a gargoyle. It seemed Elise and Luna had always been the only ones to slip in on her so easily. It seemed Elise had not changed in this single aspect she shared with her old teacher.

She drooped from her perch and landed politely at her knees bowing before Eleanor before raising up but remaining on her knees submissively.

“She is ready for you upon your completion of your business mistress. It is not my place but I would ask if you would allow me to be with you as we lay her to rest. There was a a small cliff side garden she kept in her time here. I believe that is where she would like to be most..” Elise said in a monotone that lacked her usual flair. After waiting for Eleanor to ask her to rise she would stand and approach Luna’s mat, Tea tin and kettle.

“She could have had whatever she wanted you know? Our master often showered her with gifts in the beginning, but it was when she became head priestess that she began to reject them. “Humbleness is the heart of our branch of order. As priestesses we must spread the goodwill of our master, care for our masters needs and care for those in our order and outside alike.” Elise recited like Luna had said it a million times to her...In reality she very much had.

“I’ll take these to your quarters. After we lay Luna to rest I will show you to your quarters if you find that agreeable of course mistress.” Elise said gently gathering up Luna’s things andcarefully folding the sturdy old mat and turning to leave.

However she halted as she began to slip into the shadows. “Maywynn is loyal to no one but our master. She will support you only as long as she needs to. Just ask the last void forger..You’ll see her when we go and lay Luna next to her.” She said darkly slipping into the shadows as the door to her throne room opened and Maywynn came strolling in.

An elf girl bound in shackles, gagged and sporting a bleeding broken nose was trying to follow behind the girl as fast as her ankle shackles would allow often leading her to stumble awkwardly.

“we caught her sneaking around in our cave. Our master marked her as soon as we captured her. Timid thing, but that nose is broken because she head butted me when I walked in. Don’t be fooled.. She bears the markings of a steel legion soldier. Seems she was a combat medic.” The elf’s glasses began slipping down her nose.

With a shaking hand she tried to catch them as they slipped off but the shackles kept her hands from coming all the way up and they fell to the ground with a crack.

“Oh and she’s clumsy.” Maywynn said with a grin at the girls squeak of dismay as she knelt next to her shattered pair of glasses. As she looked up at Eleanor there were tears in her eyes.

The time here had broken her in all the ways the ravages of war had left intact.

“I have a few others I can show you. Honestly our master does have a good sense of humor. Would you like to kill her? Orhave her sent back to her cell?” Maywynn asked with her grin only widening as the gagged elf glanced between her and Eleanor with wide eyes and a whimper.

Her eyes not really seeing Eleanor or Maywynn but glancing at the direction she heard their voice. Shaking her head she tried to plead despite the gag causing drool to gather around the gag and flow down her chin.

“Disgusting..” Maywynn said dryly as the girls beautiful face quickly became a mess of tears, blood, snot, and drool.

“Pwesh don keh mi..pwesh...pweash...” she said pushing her self forward onto her stomach. “Js dn hur mi an mr..” She pleaded.

“Pathetic..” Maywynn said with a disgusted smirk.
 
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Maywynn left to retrieve the candidate.

Eleanor started as she suddenly became aware of a presence hanging over her. She looked up as Elise spoke.

She watched as the woman dropped to her knees in front of her. Then Elise requested to be present at the funeral.

"Of course, She was your sister longer than she was mine." When it became clear that Elise was not going to rise of her own accord Eleanor waved offhandedly "You may rise."

She listened as Elise talked about Luna about her past. So she had chosen a life of simplicity. In a way Eleanor was not surprised.

Elise also warned her against Maywynn. "That is to be expected," She muttered, more to herself as Elise left. The void was only loyal to Bastellen, as the void forger is was her job to bend it to the will of the order. Will of the order was the will of Bastellen, however, the void could be shortsighted.

Maywynn returned dragging a pitiful looking elf girl. Eleanor rose from her seat and approached the pair, brow furrowed. She looked so terrified, so broken... "Like you were," the whispers crooned in her ear. Eleanor scowled swatting the thought away. "Malleable," The whispers insisted. She sighed, no use fighting these thoughts. Eleanor's face softened and she knelt down in front of the girl.

"Now this won't do," She said helping her sit up and removing the gag. Taking a handkerchief from her pocket she cleaned the drool and blood from her face. "These are so unnecessary," Eleanor said as she removed the shackles from her wrists and ankles. Then Eleanor picked up the glasses from the floor, eye's lingering over the cracked lens before handing them to the girl. "Here, you'll need these, I'm sorry about the crack." Eleanor was soft and gentile with the girl, her face showing more emotion than it had since arriving at Blackrock.
 
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Melaniphi Syllis

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“T-thank you..” Was all Melaniphi could manage as he young woman sitting atop a throne of human bones seemed to be the kindest here.

Freeing her and cleaning her face. Placing her glasses on her nose they instantly slid down. She pushed them back up carefully adjusting to her now very split vision.

“Ow...headache..” She said with a squint and a sigh pulling them off and folding them.

She had been poking around a cave she had heard talk of. People had gone missing. One hike. One neck pain. And one long nap later....She woke in hell. Dark, cold, and unforgiving. A prison of the damned. Bowls and screeches. Surviving off of bugs and bowls of water slid through a slat once a day. She was truly broken.

“I...It’s fine I can fix them l-later..” She said as the shackles came off. “Are you going to kill me?” She said finally after a small moment of silence.

The deepest feeling of dread had been washing over her. The tension was torturing her.

At least if she died she wouldn’t have to endure this awful spine numbing dread the young woman’s mere presence alone radiated.

“I..I’m Melaniphi by..by the say..may..I mean by the way.” She stuttered through trembling lips.
 
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"Melaniphi, No one is going to kill you," Eleanor said taking the girls hands in hers and helping her to her feet.

This was the one. She was nervous and terrified but with time she could be brought to care for her sisters. Eleanor could sense a softness within her, a soul that could not bear pain, weather that be her own or that of others. While Maywynn saw this as weakness Eleanor saw it as strength. It took a gentle heart to be high priestess.

'Now to turn her into a Priestess,' she though, her mind wandered back to her first days with the order, the terror and helplessness, and Luna, the only light in the darkness. What was is about Luna that had taken Eleanor from scared child to void forger?

Eleanor looked at Maywynn and nodded "Have a room prepared for this one, we can't have her staying in the cells."

Eleanor turned back back to Melaniphi "I have something important that I need to attend to, you can come with me, or Maywynn can show you to your new room," Eleanor said giving Melaniphi the illusion of choice. She knew the terrified girl would prefer to stay with Eleanor over the cruel terror of Maywynn.
 
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Melaniphi Syllis

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“I..I’ll go with you if that’s alright..” Melaniphi said drawing closer to Eleanor as Maywynn looked ready to tear her to pieces. “HER!?” Maywynn said unable to keep her disagreement and shear shock in check.

“You replace one weakling with another?” She said rushing forward to face Eleanor. It looked almost comical. Like a child fighting with her older sister. But the tension in the room rose as the temperature dropped in the room so low Melaniphi could see her own breath. She ducked behind Eleanor. Hiding behind her as the child drew close.

“Our master brought you here to add strength to our order. We are no poor house for weak, and broken wretches.” She spat angrily enunciating her words with a genuine stamp of her foot. It was obvious she had brought Melaniphi out first to see her mistress execute her.

And as her plan was turned on herself she felt undercut.

Her true weakness glaringly obvious even to Melaniphi but lost on the only person it effected. Maywynn was prideful. Extremely so.

“You may have our masters favor but I am his bridge. You may sit on the throne and think yourself all powerful...but this keep is my domain child.” She said darkly. Her pale cheeks alighting a light violet of indignant anger making her look all the world like a corpse in repose. Her pride had clouded her judgment. She had forgotten her place. She even seemed to realize it in her eyes, but her pride refused to let her back down now.
 
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Eleanor turned on Maywynn all genteelness melting from her face, cold hard eyes locking on Maywynn as she advanced. The butterflies that came from Maywynn ceased and she found herself forced to remain in her current form.

"You are a bridge," with a wave of Eleanor's hand Maywynn was lifted off the ground "and bridges are made to be stepped on." and flung against the stone wall with the audible crack of ribs. Eleanor continued to advance. "Interesting, so you do still have bones in this form." She said a grin coming over her features. "I wonder," She said grabbing Maywynn by the hair and lifting her up off the floor, looking her in the eyes "Can you also still feel pain?" She shoved Maywynn's face down as she brought her knee up. There was another crack. When Eleanor lifted Maywynn's head back up black blood was bleeding from a broken nose, prevented from healing by Eleanor's control. "Facinating." Eleanor looked at the blood for a moment before doping Maywynn on the ground. "Blackrock is my domain, this order is under my protection, and who I chose to accept is my decision, understand." Eleanor knelt down over Maywynn placing a finger under her chin forcing the voidbridge to look up at her. Eleanor's face was hard her white eyes like ice.
 

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"What is this?" Maywynn said with shock etched into her features. "M-My form..You.." She was cut off as she was lifted from the ground. She cried out in pain as Eleanor inflicted injuries upon her. As she lay her eyes held a pure hatred in them. She would kill Eleanor inch by inch. Make her scream and beg for mercy if she could. But she couldn't so she lay on the ground as Elanor dropped her bleeding her disgusting blood. She refused to look at this wretched mortal as she approached before she was forced to.

A cold finger placed under her chin.

She flinched.

There were only two things Maywynn could not stand. Being embarrassed..

..and being touched.

"D..Don't.." She began tensing as she realized she was in no position to demand anything. "U...Understood." She said slightly under her breath still refusing to meet her mistress's eye. The finger stayed. After a moment it began lifting her head up further straining her injured neck and back.

"I understand.." She said louder but still refused to submit. She felt her form slowly begin to tear as if the girls touch alone held the power to command her form to eat itself. She grit her teeth to the burning pain slowly encasing her entire body. Finally she looked into those cold white eyes glaring down at her with disgust.

"I understand mistress. Please forgive my outburst.." She said finally as the finger was removed and she was able to drop back down to the floor at her mistresses feet. She tried to rise only to feel a boot on her back forcing her back to the ground with another painful crunch that left her body feeling like a bag of broken glass. "Made to be stepped on." echoed in her mind as she lay there bleeding and utterly humiliated.

"May I please rise..mistress.." She asked quietly with a tone that suggested the words almost caused her physical harm to say.
 
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Melaniphi Syllis

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"Stop! Your killing her!" Melaniphi protested as Elanor began her onslaught of misery on Maywynn. Even if the child had been cruel.. Seeing someone in pain broke the girls heart.

"Shes just a kid!" The elf continued to protest. Having no power to intervene and too much fear to even if she had the healer simply watched until it was over. The child had been terrifying, but if the young woman had not been so kind to her before she would have preferred staying with the butterfly girl..The young woman was terrifying. All of the kindness and warmth she had displayed had evaporated like camel piss in the dessert.

Now Melaniphi didnt know what to think. Everything had been happening so quickly. Her mind went back to the battlefield. The same sounds of crunching bone, and suffering.. She stepped back from both of them. She had to escape this place..She glanced around. besides the cells she hadnt seen any of the rest of this place. It didnt matter. She ran taking the first door she saw. Opening it she ran though the darkness only to run smack into another person. She stepped back.

"Oh..S..Sorry she said out of polite habit. "Why in such a hurry love. Nothing this way but a few things that will eat you." Elise said jokingly as her face came into the torch light. The elf saw the sharp teeth. The darkness in her eyes, and promptly fell to her knee with a frightened scream. "Oh gods..Oh gods..Please dont eat me!" She squeaked trying to form the smallest ball she could with her body on the ground.

"What?" Elise said with a raised eyebrow. "It was a joke...." She said quizzically. The sound of snapping teeth and angry gurgling sounded from the darkness behind her further down the hallway. "Well..I mean it isnt a joke, but I wasn't talking about me at any rate." She said with a huff.

"Alright girly.. Lets go..Back through the door you came." She said with a good natured chuckle as she offered the crying girl balled up on the floor her hand. She felt the mark...Smelled it on the girl..It had been the only thing keeping Elise from tearing her to pieces on sight as an outsider. Slowly she took it. Elise helping her to her feet gently. "There we go." She said comfortingly as they walked to the door. Melaniphi stopped.

"Two people were fighting in there..a girl and a young woman.." She said a tremor of fear entering her tone as she remembered the young womans eyes. "mmhm. Sounds about right. Lets see who won then shall we?" Elsie said with a joking smile as she opened the door.

"Strays should either be kept on a leash or wear a bell. This one ran right into me." She said to Eleanor as she entered with a sad half smile of jovial endearment.

"Besides i thought scaring sweet little flowers like this was my job. Stop stealing all my work mistress." She said with her normal smirk slowly returning only to vanish like a whisp of smoke blown by the wind as she remembered why she had returned.

"Everything is in place mistress. I can show you to it now if that is your will." She said solemnly with a slight bow.
 
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Eleanor removed her foot "That's better, now behave yourself," Eleanor's smile softened as she turned back to Mel.

Eleanor knew she had just made an enemy in Maywynn, and that this display of power in front of Mel would shake the potential new priestess' trust in her, but if Maywynn had killed the previous Void Forger then any ideas of her challenging Eleanor while she was new and inexperienced needed to be squashed.

Eleanor saw the terror in Mel's eyes right before she ran off. "Oh dear," She muttered as Mel ran out the door.

Eleanor began to follow but sensing Elise's presence in that direction she halted. After waiting a moment Elise returned with Mel. Eleanor smiled, her expression gentile again, it was almost hard to imagine her capable of the cruelty Mel had just witnessed.

"Strays should either be kept on a leash or wear a bell. This one ran right into me." She said to Eleanor as she entered with a sad half smile of jovial endearment.

"Besides i thought scaring sweet little flowers like this was my job. Stop stealing all my work mistress." She said with her normal smirk slowly returning
"The only one who needs a leash is this one," Eleanor scoffed flicking her thumb at Maywynn who still lay on the floor. Eleanor had released her control over the void girl and she was starting to heal slowly.

Eleanor then looked at Mel and smiled gently "I'm sorry about that, you shouldn't of had to see that. But you needn't worry, It may look like a child but it is much older than any of us. It's not really even human anymore."

"Everything is in place mistress. I can show you to it now if that is your will." She said solemnly with a slight bow.
"Thank you, Elise." Eleanor nodded, then she held out a hand out to Mel "Come, it would probably be unwise for you to stay here by yourself."

Eleanor realized how cold her touch could be, she used aura to warm her hand but it felt odd, more like warmed metal than flesh.

"Lead the way Elise."
 

Melaniphi Syllis

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"Older than all of us..Really?" She glanced over Eleanors shoulder to se the broken girl pullherself up from the ground.

"How old is she then?" She asked as Maywynn looked her dead in the eyes. Her face still stained black from blood. She hissed between her sharp teeth like an angry cat and disappeared, melting into the shadows.

"Fourtunas sake..Was that black stuff...her blood?" Melaniphi asked as she jumped at the hiss but relaxed as the girl faded away. Elise paused when she saw Eleanor wishing to take Melaniphi along.

"An outsider mistress? She should not attend, its against tradition." She said glaring at the girl.

Her tightly bound emotions jerking at the chains she bound them with by sheer force of will. Melaniphi froze and turned away from them both closing her eyes. She waited to hear violence. However none came. She didn’t understand at first, but when she opened her eyes understanding slowly crept into her mind.

Elise chewed her lip for a moment before bowing deeply.

"My apologies. Your will is mine to obey mistress forgive my emotional misstep." She said simply her usually playful smirk a grim line of grief.

Th butterfly girls anger had been aggressive. Her moves confrontational.
She had seen what Elise displayed with regularity in the battlefield. Elise’s anger was fueled by grief..

"Please follow me.." She said turning on her heel and walking to another door across the great hall. Opening it she would wait for them to follow before leading the way. "I seem to be causing a lot of trouble for you.." She whispered to Eleanor as they walked.

She looked at the back of Elise ahead of them and decided to ask the questions burning in her mouth. "Who is she? A monster like the butterfly girl?" She asked gesturing to Elise.

remembering her sharp teeth and the fact the child had the same kind.

"And who are you for that matter? What is this place? This order? Who do you serve? Where are we going? to a ritualistic sacrifice or something? I dont have to see it do I?" She said letting all of her questions pour out in a deluge of words the inner scholar pushing her fear aside in her quest for knowledge. However as she said "Ritualistic sacrifice”....Elise stopped. Clenching her fists until they shook.

"Soeakto my mistress after our task has been completedplease.." She said seeming to need to take a moment as her hands unclenched and she halted her shaking.

Afterwards Melaniphi was silent walking next to Eleanor. After many twists and turns they arrived at the door. unlike most it seemed older in a sense.

"Dont touch anything.." Elise said directly to the young elf causing her to tense as fear wrapped her soul. A room of cursed objects? Maybe a treasury?

Elsie opened the door to reveal..

A small room, and a dingy one at that.

A small bed sat neatly made against the cave wall. next to it was am old table and chair along with stacks of journals and books littering the tables workable space A knife sticking point down on piece of parchment roll holding it to the sturdy surface of the table.

A pipe and gardening supplies sat in a corner on the far wall beside another door. Elise walked through the room quickly like the speed itself would save her from something.

What she was trying to avoid was unknown but she quickly shouldered open the other door and Melaniphi was hit with fresh air instantly.

She shuddered with pleasure as the cold mountain air filled her lungs as it spread from the open door. Following Elanors lead she walked out to see...

A gorgeous garden. It was set up like the room behind them if one of the walls had been removed. A cave close to the peak of of the mountain black rock keep called home. Roses of many different colors as well as herbs, moonlace, vegetables, and millions of other beautiful and exotic flowers grew. It was unkept and wild but it seemed it had been so well planned and maintained that even in disrepair it impressed. close to the cliffs edge overlooking the gorgeous view a hole was dug next to a small head stone. "Gwendolyn." Was inscribed on it.

Next to it was Lunas own head stone. "Luna." Was all it said. in front of the grave Luna lay. Fully dressed and looking peaceful.

She almost looked like she would half open her eyes and correct Eleanor's stance as she had all of those years ago. "Step left not right pup. Youll leave yourself open." She would say softly, as Eleanor would begin to get slightly sloppy after thinking her teacher had fallen asleep.

There would be no words this time.

No corrections or advice. Only the silence of the dead. Elsie fell to her knees and crawled to the body.

"Bowing as low as she could she said in a voice that lurched and fought to stay level. her hands tightening and untightening along with her jaw. "A slave, a priestess, a guiding light........a friend..." Elise said. Her shoulders beginning to tremble she took a moment to gather herself.

"May you find your rest you old wolf.." She said finally. Standing she walked and stood behind Eleanor. gesturing as if to say.

"Your turn." As she did not trust herself to look up or speak should she begin to weep. Melaniphi stood silently. Elise was right..She should not be here. So much was happening...The woman was an elf like herself. Her beauty scarred by old vicious wounds and yet still she looked at peace.

“W..who...” She almost asked but silenced herself as Elise finally stood next to her allowing Eleanor forward. Her heart broke for these people those she did not know them..

Voices encouraging her locked at her ears. Whispers.. She blinked and silently took Elise’s hand. The dreadweaver paused for a moment.

Looking at the elf clutching her hand tightly and Luna. She paused, but did not pull her hand away.

She then simply turned forward keeping the girls hand in hers.
 
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"An outsider mistress? She should not attend, its against tradition." She said glaring at the girl.
Eleanor was starting to understand Elise. Her usual hostile quips and slide remarks a cover for the pain that she carried, the loneliness she felt.

The Great black book had told her that all the whispers were connected, that they linked them together. If that was the case then she should be able to...

Elise heard the whispers around her shift several speaking together. 'She is to be one of us. She must see that we are capable of grief and kindness, not just violence.'

"My apologies. Your will is mine to obey mistress forgive my emotional misstep." She said simply her usually playful smirk a grim line of grief.
Eleanor nodded following Elise. Eleanor chuckled good naturedly when Mel asked if Elise was a monster too. She asked her who she was, the questions continuing to flow without much pause.

Elise snapped at Mel and the girl grew quite. Eleanor patted the back of Mel's hand, but unlike the hand Mel was holding this one was cold. "I suppose who's a monster depends on who you are asking," Eleanor remembered a time when she felt that all of this made her a monster. Now she didn't know anymore. "If you asked a troll who the monsters were, they would say humans. Humans often hunt trolls, and will kill them on sight without provocation. If a human finds a troll's cave or nest they will destroy it. So who is the real monster, the troll or the human?" Eleanor said.

They came to a door. Elise warned Mel not to touch anything.

As they entered Eleanor immediately recognized the space. Even though she had never been here it was so familiar. She felt a pang in her chest as her thoughts wandered to the cabin in the tundra.

They walked out into a garden, Eleanor's emotional mask began to crack as sorrow filled her eyes. Luna did like flowers, too bad they didn't grow well in the tundra. Her eyes fell of Luna's cold gray form. She felt like some one was tearing at her heart, as the ache worsened. She hadn't felt like this in the moment. In the moment she had been happy to see Luna's suffering was over. But now it was starting to sink in how much she was going to miss her teacher.

The pain had been absent before but it was not new. She had felt this same pain when her brother had died. She had only just moved past that pain and now it was back. She struggled to push the pain aside again but couldn't, not while she stood here in this garden looking at Luna lying so still and peacefully.

Elise said some words but Eleanor was barely listening. Elise encouraged her to step forwards to speak her part, but had to prompt her again before she realized it. Eleanor let go of Mel's hand, she hadn't noticed that her grip had tightened.

Eleanor stepped forwards and knelt down next to Luna. She took Luna's cold hand in her's. It had always been cold, but this felt different. Eleanor bowed low pressing her forehead to the back of Luna's hand. "Teacher, sister, friend-" Eleanor's voice wavered, no longer able to fight the pain, tears welling up in her eyes. 'don't fight it. Mel need's to see this side of you,' Eleanor thought 'but I don't want to see it.'

"Please be happy and rest," Eleanor whispered her voice cracking as her shoulders began to shake and she let herself fall into her grief.
 
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Everything was so bizarre and yet Melani stayed close to Eleanor. Whispers growing louder.

Tickling her ears with nothings of somewhere that Melani never wanted to visit. It made her skin crawl to hear the pain in the tones. The accompaniment of wails and small screams that made you want to look over your shoulder.

However as Eleanor collapsed into her grief Melani felt Elise release her hand. She nodded towards Eleanor. Melani shook her head vigorously. She already felt she did not belong.

There was no way she would...

Elise gave her a reassuring pat on her shoulder ushering her forward slightly. She almost stumbled but corrected herself as she bowed next to Eleanor she slowly placed an arm around her shoulder. There were never words that helped. Never anything to be done to assuage the grief.

Mels hand was beginning to glow. As it did Eleanor would begin to feel better. The grief and pain would still naw at her very mind and soul, but it would begin to feel muted for a moment. Like her body was not so physically impacted by it. On her left Melaniphi was crying.

Tears of someone who loathed to see pain and death of any kind. Seeing someone lying there. It was too much for the fragile girl and yet she remained. Wordless. Until there was a small knock on Luna’s rooms door. Elise glanced at the pair before taking her leave wordlessly.

“What is it.” Elise said through the door. Not bothering to open it. It wouldn’t do for any outside of herself and the new high priestess to see the void forger in such a state. “The candidates are ready.” Came a voice that sounded hollow through the door. “Alright. Assemble them in the ring. We will be down when we have concluded our business here.” Elise said still not opening the door. “Very well.” The voice said back as she felt a presence move away. Elise remained there for a few minutes before returning to the garden.

“When your ready mistress. She...She hoped you would be the one to finally lay her down. However if you...lack the ability...She would understand...” Elise finally said after a great deal of time had passed. Melani had begun to go pale. Everything she had been through had been hard on her body and magic. Even this little bit she was doing with Eleanor was causing her to look paler and more grief stricken by the second. And yet wordlessly she held her own burden.

She felt the pain in this young woman. She could not let it go untended. Melaniphis own flaws coming to light. Her hatred of pain, and her unwillingness to give up on something even if it meant giving too much of her self. Flaws and a ticket to an early grave for some. One of the greatest qualities a person could have to others.
 
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Eleanor felt a hand on her back. A warmth she hadn't felt in a long time washing over her. He sobs subsided and taking a shaky breath she looked up at Mel. The young elf was crying.

For a moment Eleanor forgot her carefully crafted purpose. This girl did not deserve this. Eleanor thought. She was too pure.

Eleanor was snapped out of her thoughts when Elise spoke. She nodded wiping tears from her eyes and stood. "I can"

stepping back to stand at Luna's feet Eleanor closed her eyes and held out her hands palms up. The symbols of Bastellen on her palms and the ruins on her arms turned from white to black and void began to seep from the ruins into the palms of her hands, flowing out from her and surrounding Luna. The earth beneath Luna was dug up and the former high priestess was lowered into the hole, the dirt falling back to cover the body.

Eleanor opened her eyes and looked at the grave, a sad smile tracing her features "Rest my friend," She whispered.

Turning back to the others she nodded, her composure coming back to her. Luna would not have been happy here any longer. It was selfish of her to wish that Luna had lived longer for her sake.

Looking at Melaniphi, Eleanor realized how exhausted and frail she looked, her nose still bloody.

"Oh dear, you look about to collapse." She turned to Elise, "Take Melaniphi to her new rooms, get her some warm food, and clean cloths and a warm bath if possible," Eleanor said.