Private Tales The Ending of The Beginning.

Elise Darkwater

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“As you wish mistress.” Elise said glancing at the elf with a look of distrustful annoyance. Elise didn’t like new comers until they proved their loyalty they were a liability in her opinion. But the child was pure. And she was marked. Had the whispers not told her themselves.

“Come on love. Let’s be off then. Kitchens will be busy this time of night. At least they better be..” Elise said ending darkly as her own stomach growled. “O-ok.. Melaniphi said taking a solid step before stumbling someone and leaning on Elise.

“Sorry...j..just light headed.” She squeaked bracing for retaliation of some kind. Her wide eyes never leaving Elise’s teeth. “It’s fine.” Elise said neutrally deftly steadying the girl and helping her off down the hallway. “I will meet you in the throne room after the task is complete.” She said with another bow before she was gone. Just Eleanor in the garden of a friend..The light drizzle of rain had turned for the worse. It now pelted the mountain side. Droplets of water formed on the flowers pelts as they almost seemed to weep for their old caretaker.

.....................

Elise returned to the throne room shortly. “She got some soup and tea inside her. It did her well. I helped prepare a bath and instructed her to rest afterwards.” Elise said with a bow. Waiting to be asked to rise once more she would stand and produced a cloth wrapped bundle.

Unwrapping the bundle she would produce what appeared to be a steaming hot square of bread roll. Taking out her own she would toss one to Eleanor. “The put cooked dear meat and vegetables in these.” Elise said with a grim smirk.

“I didn’t think it would be a very “soup and sleep” kind of evening for either of us. They hand these out as rations..” She bit into her own.

“Maywynn had me prepare the pit. Dreadweaver selection. Follow your gut.“ She said simply. Taking a seat at the steps at the feet of Eleanor’s throne she chewed thoughtfully.

“And all the same you’ve made an enemy of her..I don’t like this...She’llwant to even the score quickly. I doubt you should be worried...but you should be mindful. She doesn’t think like a human. The void is patient.” Why was she doing this? What did she care for this woman? She should be playing it safe.

“Take care of the child..” echoed through her mind. Not the whispers..The voice of Luna...screw that old wolf for forcing her into this..

She was taking a risk aiding with a brand new void forger over the very bridge of her god. Though something about what Luna had asked of her...

She just felt compelled.

However given their history it seemed her brief and neutral tone showed she full expected to be rejected.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor stood alone in the garden letting the ice cold rain come down around her and run down her skin. Letting it wash away all the pain and carry it down to feed the earth.

Eleanor did not stay long. Opening her eyes she bowed one last time to Luna's tombstone and headed inside.

Heading back to the throne room she took off her wet coat, the cloths underneath damp in patches but not soaked. She sat down on the throne draping her coat over the arm of the chair. She took off her hat and placed it on top of the coat sitting down in the chair and folding her hands thoughtfully.

It had been only a few hours since she had arrived, and only several days since she had made that last fatal deal with her master. The deal to serve him with all her cunning and will. Yet so much had happened. Luna was at peace, a new High priestess was chosen, and she was the new leader of the cult. She had known that the role of Void Forger was important but she had not fully understood that it had meant she would be carrying her sisters into a new era of prosperity.

Elise returned and keeled, reporting on Melaniphi's status. Eleanor allowed Elise to rise and she continued, explaining that it would probably be a long night for the both of them. Eleanor took the food gratefully, eating as she listened. Elise explain that new dread weavers were to be selected. This made sense, while priestesses were important, in these uncertain times warriors were needed first before healers. Elise also warned Eleanor of Maywenn.

It was strange, there was a time when she feared and hated Elise, but now she could not help but see a sister in her. Perhaps it was the kinship she saw her and Luna had shared. Or perhaps it was her new role of leader. Either way, Eleanor knew now that Elise was not responsible for her brothers death. It was a tragedy she was willing to put behind them.

"I knew challenging Maywynn would be dangerous. Though you have been with the order far longer than I, since the beginning I have been the most intimate with the void and I am familiar with it's temperament. She saw my choice of Melaniphi as weakness, I needed to counter that perception quickly before she got any ideas. I don't intend to keep her on a leash very long. She revels in pain and misery and longs for domination over others. There is a place for that. Her shortsightedness meant that this order stagnated. She will soon learn that by deferring to my authority in some matters she gains so much more in others." Eleanor paused looking off down the hall.

"...though I have one question. If the last dread weaver had control over the void like I do, how did she manage to kill them?" Eleanor asked.
 

Elise Darkwater

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“While she was a dread weaver she was also void forger at her time of....death..” Elise said. The last word carried a bitter tone to it. “One of my greatest mistakes..and the mistake that tore me from my position as Head dread weaver.” Elise said grimly.

“Void forger is chosen from one party or the other in a set rotation by our master. It keeps power balanced between the two sects, and at different times it’s proven beneficial to the order. Dreadweavers in time of conflict. Priestesses time of need. The last void forger was a dreadweaver and I have no doubt had you not shown promise so early you would have been a priestess. That’s why he sent you to Luna and didn’t keep me with you. Luckily we found Syn..A finer head dreadweaver I can’t imagine..” She said finally.

A longing in her voice...

“But to answer your question..She struck while she was injured and weak. She used those loyal to her to draw me away..Took my form..slipped past the guards..” Elise had tears starting to brim in her eyes once more. Her pain and inner self being laid bare.

“She died screaming that I betrayed her. I was banished..The bodyguard. The trusted right hand forcing the void forger to eat her own heart...among...Other things..That was when I ran with my bandit gang..Got all these tattoos..after some time Maywynns ruse was revealed by Luna and she banished Maywynn to a prison of her own making for a set time that the order high council determined in private. I was welcomed back into the order...but my reputation was shatter in a way no time or proven innocence could repair..”

She wipes her mouth and eyes as she seemed to pause for a moment with a look of realization at how open she was being.

Like an open book being slammed shut she turned away. The usual Elise took her place. One that didn’t reflect her age and pain in her eyes. “But you didn’t want to hear all that..I’m not as direct as Luna..get to tangled in me own yarns..apologies mistress..Shall we be off or do you wish to savor your meal longer?” Elise asked respectfully as she saw Eleanor finish her food.

“The pit is not a place one enjoys going to.....not even me..” She said her tone fraught with disgust.

“Many dreadweavers have upset great leaders in exchange for one with more prowess with little regard for aged wisdom....It’s an evil place..but one that has produced many great warriors and kept our ranks cleansed of cowardice.” She admitted as she waited for Eleanor to rise and follow her. Taking a side door soon they were descending many steps down. After a short time they came to a cavernous expanse. They walked out onto a balcony that extended above the pit offering a perfect vantage point.

Inside was well lit with torches and revealed a ten foot deep pit. Encircled in walls of iron spiked fencing and encircled with a moat of wicked spikes. Skulls and further remains of warriors past littered it. One in the center lay dressed in a deep black and while ancient still look slightly newer that the others. It’s crushed skull laying separate from the rest of the body. “Those killed in the pit remain. No matter their status..” Elise said with another slight tone of disgust as Maywynn appeared. “Here we have our six candidates!” Maywynn said with obvious enjoyment as she revealed 6 girls of various ages.

Two looked identical.

Another was a tall blonde. Slightly older than the twins who looked about 16 to 18 this woman was clearly in her early twenties. She glanced about with a glare that said her time here had been quite unkind.

A dark elf with a messy mop of raven hair was looking at the group at large with one wide, fearful eye peaking from her mane, a taller darker skinned woman was clearly the oldest looking to be in her late thirties, another elf of the not dark variety looked dead to the world. Her beauty marred with the obvious signs of abuse.

Though she looked almost regal with a youthful figure and silver mane of hair her eyes told the tail of a cold blooded killer.

She bore the mark of a sweet tempered person poisoned by the treachery of others.

“Single combat! To submission. I will oversee the fight on the ground to handle any “problem cases.” and The Void forger shall decide whether execution or mercy is to be handed down. If you kill before instructed....” Her mouth opened wider than is should have. A slimy black tongue the size of a snake Slithered over two rows of razor sharp teeth. “I shall devour you slowly. Bit. By bit.” She said before her mouth snapped shut and a normal if not creepy little girl stood before them once more.

“After such a contest the next dreadweavers shall be decided. The void forger shall decide the fighting pairs. That is all” Maywynn said with a flourish.

Tip toeing around the fighters as they were bound and examining them like cuts of meat or pieces of candy. A smile of pure spine chilling join on her face as her black eyes gave out nothing but cold hatred.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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When Maywynn was finished speaking Eleanor jumped down into the pit letting the void carry her to a secure landing. She was still getting used to this new form of controlling the void. She had become good at calling forth the void from the book at her side. Now that the void had shifted to her hands and skin she had to think more clearly of her intention before acting.

Eleanor walked past each of the girls who were chain up around the edge of the pit, looking them in the eyes and evaluating them. While Maywynn observed the girls with a malice and a hunger, Eleanor looked on impassively, only her eyes betraying the deep seated calculations that went through her thoughts at that time.

In the eyes of the twins, though they shared a face and the same red hair, she saw two different temperaments. She had sensed this in their auras. One looked away from her gaze as she passed, while the other glared and lurched at her a fire in her eyes.

The tall blond woman held a guarded mistrust and suspicion in her eyes.

The dark elf looked on in terror afraid to even take her eyes off of Eleanor and Maywynn, her gaze switching between the two, unsure who to devote her full attention.

The older woman looked back at Eleanor with a strange calm and serenity, seemingly out of place in a woman who was about to be forced to fight, very likely, to the death. Eleanor's brow furrowed for a second before her composure returned to her.

The last woman's eyes were cold and dead. Eleanor knew that this woman would kill without a second thought.

Eleanor wandered to the center of the floor pondering her options, after a moment she pointed at the twin with fire in her eyes, "the first match will be between her," She then pointed at the blond woman "And her."

Eleanor then jumped and the void carried her back up to the balcony.

---

The redhead glanced at her sister as she was unchained. The twins looked the same in almost every way except for the scar that marred fighters lower lip. the sister, still chained, looked back at her, eyes wide with concern.

The taller blond rolled her shoulders and walked into the center of the floor. The blond was the tallest of all of them, with an athletic build. She looked like she could probably break the redhead's arm if she really had a mind to.

The redhead gritted her teeth, and clenched her fists, bouncing on her heals.

"Begin!" the woman they called Void Forger cried out from the balcony above.

The redhead rushed at the blond. The blond braced her back foot and sent the red head reeling with a right hook to the jaw.

The red head staggered a hand on her cheek as she glared at the blond who put her fits up in a defensive stance. She rushed her again dodging the first punch but taking the second one. She staggered again her nose bleeding.

"I don't like beating up a kid," The blond said "Just give them a good show before letting me win and i'll go easy on you, and the'll probably call mercy."

The redhead wiped blood from her nose with the back of her hand and glanced back at her sister who stared back at her with wide eyed concern. She looked back at the blond "I can't do that," She spat, before coming in close again. Though this time she held her arms up blocking the blonds blows before ducking under her guard and grappling her leg. With a shift of her weight she pulled the blonds leg out from under her and threw her to the ground.

The blond gasped as the wind was knocked out of her. She locked her legs around the redhead and tried to roll over as the redhead started to wail on her.

Finally getting on top the blond got her in a head lock. The redhead kicked as she desperately tried to get free.

"Last chance kid," The blond hissed in her ear "agree to let me win and i'll give you the chance to give them a bit of a show before taking you out."

"I don't need your help," The redhead hissed. There was a flash of light and a searing hot pain on the blonds arm as the redhead's palms ignited. While nearby the remaining cloths of one of the skeletons smoldered and turned to ash.

The blond cried out letting go and the redhead got the blonds arm in a lock getting on top again and forcing her arm into a painful position as she got her legs locked around the blond's neck as she continued to apply pressure.

A few moments later and the blond desperately tried to tap out signaling her defeat. The redhead did not let go but lessened her hold so it was no longer choking her opponent, as she looked expectantly at Maywynn to see weather this was considered a win.
 

Elise Darkwater

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Elise watched the fight with disgust plain in her features however she sidelined her personal opinion of the pit to speak to her mistress.

“Pyros...both of them...” Elise commented kneeling at Eleanor’s right side. “Their entire family has history with it. Out of all the prisoners here they were the riskiest to take. I cautioned Maywynn but their power was too much for her to resist. A flaw. But as there have been little to no consequences to it I concede her risk may have paid off.”

There was a note of hatred in her tone as she used it but given her weakness and general dislike of fire it seemed she her hatred was more of the fire than the ones that controlled it. “The blonde was a ranger. Caught her in the caves. Not much of a story. Common rank, trained fighter pretty...blasé..” She said before continuing.

“However, no one has ever come as close to escaping her cell as that one. She’s smart as a whip. Cunning too and rather ruthless when you really see what she’s been able to do.” Elise paused as the fight concluded. The red head has won out in the end. Forcing the blonde to frantically tap out in what could turn to be a futile plea for mercy. Maywynn reformed India front of them. Her glee so barely contained as she almost seemed to want to eat the very essence of the pain and humiliation coming from the blonde girl.

“It is decided. Release her.” She commanded.

Once done the void formed around her and would pick up the blonde still panting on the ground by the back of her neck with a grip that made the girl cry out. Holding her up to Eleanor with the giddiness of a dog bringing back a dead animal to their master. “As she always will she will live or die at your word mistress.” She said as the blonde kicked her legs and kept thrashing in the grip of the void as she seemed to realize these may very well be her final moments.

“Do your worst you....You Creepy bitches the lot of you! If I had my sword I’d shove it right up your asses starting with this little-Ahhhhh!” The grip further tightned causing her scream of pain to turn to a helpless gurgle and her legs went limp. “Such insolence..” Maywynn commented like someone was drizzling chocolate syrup on her favorite dessert. She then looked to Eleanor.

“Your supposed to go down and examine them yourself.” Elise whispered.

“For what it’s worth I like them both.” Her playful tone bringing back the old Elise for a moment before this new more grim person pretending to be Elise returned in the flash of a moment. While the blonde hung in her grasp her eyes still glared hatred at those around her. Even the red head that bested her revived her own death glare.

The words of her teacher spoke to her soul.

“A wolf is much like a person. One alone can grow strong. But to harness that strength they must realize a pack will enhance it. In order for them to see this nature must often break them harshly.

A lone wolf will not lead a pack if it continues to do fine on its own. It is after this breaking that the wolf has the true decision to make. Survival with others or death.” Luna had said when asked why she didn’t move on after being sent to that cold cabin in a far away land.

This blonde was a lone wolf.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Elenor watched the fight intently as Elise talked. The redhead seemed to be taking a beating, her tactics were reckless. Though the blond was not much better, she was more guarded but relied to much on her strength, and underestimated her opponent. Eleanor leaned in for a better look as the tables turned and the redhead got the blond in a headlock. The win was decided soon after that.

The redhead picked herself off the floor and the blond was grabed by Maywynn. At Elise instruction Eleanor nodded and then jumped down in to the pit.

The redhead stood bent over and panting as she held the back of her hand to her bloody nose.

Eleanor looked at Maywynn and with a wave of her hand to the ground to her right she spoke "Put her down there and hold her," she instructed.

The blond was set down and stood restrained by the void, still struggling.

Eleanor stood between the redhead and blond, drawing a dagger from her side she handed it to the redhead before slowly walking around to stand behind her.

The girl looked down at the dagger with uncertainty.

"Kill her," Eleanor said, with a certain cold finality that made even Elise shiver.

The blond was pushed forwards as she began to struggle in earnest a panic coming into her eyes.

The girl blinked shaking her head "No I-"

Eleanor placed a hand on her shoulder "Kill her or your sister will take her-"

Before Eleanor could even finish the redhead lurched forwards driving the dagger into the other woman's stomach.

"No! Yerin!" her sister shirked, to late.

Eleanor smiled, wide and unnerving. "Good," She crooned "That's better," she leaned in closer patting the girl on the shoulder.

Yerin spun around stepping back from Eleanor, hatred burning in her eyes, her nose wrinkled in a snarl as she pointed the dagger at Eleanor.

"Look here witch, I'll fight all of you if I have to." Yerin growled.

Eleanor's smiled didn't diminish. Instead she grabbed the dagger by the blade and stepped in close her face inches from the girls. "That can be arranged." She twisted the dagger out of her grip as the anger melted from the girls face, replaced by fear.

Eleanor stepped back, the void licking the blood from the blade before sheathing it. Her smile disappeared almost as quickly as it had come. "The next match will be between the victors sister and the dark elf," She said, the void caring her back up to the balcony.
 
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Elise Darkwater

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Elise began her sprint to her mistress when the dagger was involved but was quickly back to her post by her side as Eleanor returned.

“She may be trouble, but I see the same positives I think you do..by the way...I’m trying to sleep tonight..leave acting like that to Maywynn...That was scary..” She said after a moment as the dark elf was released along with the victors twin.

Both looked pale and wide eyed in wake of what they had just witnessed.

The possible fate of one or the other.

“So two bunnies. This will be fun...” Elise said only half paying attention. Her obvious disgust still prevalent in her tone.

Maywynn laughed as she tore into the corpse like a starving animal. Blood covered her mouth as she relished the flesh. She ate before she absorbed what was left into her body.

“Ahhh..” She said smacking her lips with a satisfied sigh. “Now...Begin!” She said as she watched the two girls unable to meet each others eyes.
 

Eleanor Griffin

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“She may be trouble, but I see the same positives I think you do..by the way...I’m trying to sleep tonight..leave acting like that to Maywynn...That was scary..”
Eleanor glanced at Elise "To best serve our master I must be able to fill many rolls," Eleanor stated, sounding all the world like Luna.

“So two bunnies. This will be fun...” Elise said only half paying attention. Her obvious disgust still prevalent in her tone.
"Luana used to call me a bunny. They might surprise you."

------

The second twin was released and she watched as her sister was restrained again, presumably to make sure she did not interfere. "You got this Sarin" Yerin mouthed, but there was a desperation in her eyes. She had to win, because no other outcome was conceivable.

The dark elf was still staring wide eyed at where the blond's remains had been moments ago. Her eyes snapped up to lock on Sarin, wild and panicked.

Sarin took a step back but the elf was already running at her. Sarin was knocked over, dancing lights flashing across her vision as her head hit the stone. She brought up her arms as nails clawed at her face. She struggled trying to get the elf off her while protecting her face. She managed to grab the elf by the wrists for a split second and brought her head up in a headbutt to the elf's face.

The elf cried out her hands going to her face. Sarin bucked, throwing the elf off of her and rolling over to get away. Sarin felt a pain in her scalp as the elf grabbed her by the hair. And she fell back to the ground. She kicked the elf in the stomach as the elf tried to get on top of her again. the elf doubled over and Sarin pinned the elfs hair to the ground with her knee pushing her face into the ground and climbing on top of her. She smashed her face into the ground again this time with more force, blood smearing on the stone.

The elf then bit Sarin's arm and would not let go. Tears welled up in her eyes. She punched at the elf and applied pressure to the elf's neck till she let go.

Sarin didn't let up, continuing to choke out the elf till the elf passed out or she was stopped by Maywynn.
 

Maywynn Wrath

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“Enough....” Maywynn said after watching the thrashing body of the dark elf finally go still with a gurgle. The elf squeaked shaking with fear. Drawing her legs into her body Maywynn picked up the balled up girl by her neck.

“Childish and scared...The fear coming off of you is intoxicating...I hope she kills you...” Maywynn whispered. Elise looked at Eleanor. Almost ready to protest but shut her mouth. It was not her place to speak.

“Void forger hand down your sentence!” Maywynn said like her joy at the death and misery was uncontainable. “Please no..Please no..lem ka nema lek meh la chek mi.” She began to whisper to herself over and over.
 
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Eleanor Griffin

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Eleanor again jumped down from the balcony into the ring. Both of the girls were bloodied, this fight had been more brutal than the previous one. Sarin stood trembling and breathing heavily, bloody scratches across her face. While tears streamed down the elf's bloodied face.

Eleanor waved for Maywynn to put the elf down. The elf collapsed to her knees. Eleanor gently lifted the elf's chin to look her in the face. The elf winced and did not meet Eleanor's gaze. Eleanor drew her dagger and held it up in front of the elf's gaze forcing her to look at it.

"You have no control, you are nothing and you will die as nothing. I will give you a choice." Eleanor let go of the elf's chin and held out the dagger. "Take this, you can either use it to end yourself or you can chose to live and swear your life to a purpose greater than yourself.

The elf knelt holding the dagger and trembling, eyes locked on the blade and the terrible choice.

Eleanor squatted down to be on a level with the elf "The choice is yours, but with us, your life won't be yours, but you will gain a power far greater than that of any mortal," She spoke softly. Leaning in she whispered "We can teach you the power to destroy fear itself."

The dark elf's trembling stilled, looking up at Eleanor she pressed the pommel of the dagger to her heart in a salute. "My life is yours."

Eleanor smiled then helped the elf stand. "Good, what is your name?"

"Dourga," the elf muttered glancing away gain.

"Then Welcome Dourga," Eleanor said taking the dagger and returning it to her belt.

Turning away she spoke to the the group, "They both pass." She announced.