Jump to content

With My Eyes: Lady Stardust


Recommended Posts

[spoiler=One: Departed]


The man rolled in his troubled sleep. He barely slept anymore, not with the dreams coming back every night. Dreams of the tower, the fall and the winter. And of course, him. He always saw himself in his dreams, but it was always different. He sighed in his sleep. More often than not, he was dead when he found himself. Dried up in the sands of the desert. Hanged for theft. Drowned in the bathroom. It barely surprised him anymore; he had got used to seeing himself having already left the world of the living.


No, it was when he was alive that terrified him the most.


Without exceptions, he was always depicted as a monster. A creature that barely had any resemblance to him, a black horror with long, gray veins running across his skin. Only once, he had met his own gaze, and he had awoken immediately, thinking I can't be alive, not after that.


Those eyes were not for the living to see. They were pits of darkness, but also bright beacons. Green and red, black and white, and yet colorless. They were everything, but also nothing. And what the man feared the most was that he could see himself in those eyes. They were his own as much as they were that creature's.



Zerato stood outside the large, magnificent door. He had grown impatient over the last few minutes, and his fists trembled, the spirits within him almost raging. He had to release them sooner or later, let them break free for a short while, and then gather them again. Such were the rules upon which he had agreed with the spirits, and so they must be followed. The commandments were harsh, but the power they provided... mind-boggling. But for now, he silenced them, trying to not hear their calls as the anger turned to desperation. Let us live, angel, let us live once more... He sighed. A massive headache was building up, a mental assault from the spirits, but Zerato endured as he had many times before.


The door opened only a few minutes later. One of the Darkness' personal guards stood just inside, and Zerato briefly smiled. It was a guard he knew well. “Lucius.” The guard nodded. Much like Zerato himself, Lucius had once served the Light. At the battle of Creator's Peak, however, Lucius dai Grepher had fallen and was suspected dead. The war had ended in favor of the Light's cause, but when Zerato had returned to the mountain's foot a few days later, the body was gone. It was only years afterwards that the angel had heard of his friend's fate: He had been rescued from the brink of death by the enemies' witch doctors, but in the process he had... turned into something else. Something... fallen. And now, they both stood here. Zerato looked at his old friend, and he saw in his eyes that he was thinking the same. The angel nodded. “Is the Glorious Darkness... present?” Lucius grunted. He didn't speak much these days, Zerato thought, but maybe that was just normal. The man before him was a soldier firsthand, but the war against the Light had ceased for the time being as both sides reinforced their armies and rebuilt burned villages. “He's not pleased, so watch your tongue, Zera.” He nodded. He knew what the Darkness could do with those that didn't please him. “No reason to worry, Lucius, I bring...”

Let us live again, angel, give us our life back...


Zerato shut his mouth tight to stop himself from screaming. He felt as if the spirits inside him were hammering at his very soul, tearing apart his mind one memory at a time. For a split second, he felt as if living dead, wandering between life and death. The spirits gradually ceased, and he took a deep breath. Lucius looked at him. “You alright, Zera?” Lucius knew of his bond with the spirits, what he had to endure to keep them at bay. “Is it them?” Zerato nodded. “But don't worry, old friend. It's been worse.” He shifted his shoulders, and turned to the second door across the room. The Glorious Darkness' throne room. “Better not keep the Glorious waiting. We'll meet later, Lucius.” The warrior nodded, and Zerato wandered off.


The throne room was as dim as always. Zerato normally had no problem with seeing in the dark, but this room had always been shady to him. The shadows distressed the angel, for he was sure he could see the spirits in them, always hiding in the corner of his eye. I've been waiting, Zerato...

He gulped. He could not see the Glorious Darkness himself - his eyes were not worthy of such a thing - but he could feel his presence. Zerato's own strength and the power of the spirits combined was dwarfed by that of his Glorious Darkness' presence. He felt like a fly, trapped in a spider's web. He gulped, and spoke to the dark room. “I have arrived, my lord. And I bring good news.” Zerato felt a difference in the air, a warmth spreading through the room. “At this very moment, Fitzgerald's legion is crossing our borders.” He took a deep breath, and sensed that the Darkness was... curious. Speak, Zerato, for I have no wish to dwell with you for long... The angel nodded. “He has answered your call, and his legion will fight alongside us against the Sanctuary.” A pleasant sensation spread through Zerato's body, ridding him of his headache and his fears. The Glorious One was pleased. Call Fitzgerald to the city immediately... I wish to speak to him. Zerato nodded. “Of course, my lord.” He backed slowly out of the room, and closed the door behind him.



Fifteen minutes later, Zerato stepped into the castle's grand hall, where lunch was being served. The angel hadn't had any breakfast this day: Fitzgerald's messenger had arrived early in the morning. He gazed around for a few seconds, and found Lucius at the far end of the table, intensely discussing something with a man Zerato didn't recognize. He wore a richly ornamented black suit with purple laces on the chest and legs. He had a long mane of black hair, put up in a ponytail. Zerato sensed a feeling of power around him, pure arcane strength that could be well used on a battlefield. However, he couldn't recall ever meeting the magician before. He walked over to Lucius, gradually starting to hear his conversation over the constant chatter of the crowd. They were talking about the war, it seemed. He sat down just across the table, and Lucius smiled at him. “There you are, Zera. Thought you'd never get out.” He nodded at the magician. “I don't think you've met, have you?” Zerato shook his head, and Lucius' guest did the same. When he spoke, the magician's voice sounded like that of wind running in the willows. “My name is Zynthera. I've heard much about you, Zerato.” The dark angel looked at Lucius, who looked at him as if to say I haven't told him that much and nodded. “You must be starving, Zera.” Zerato nodded, and looked around. The large hall that served as dining room was packed with lowly knights and soldiers of the Glorious One. The tables were stuffed with so much food that it almost looked like a feast. “Isn't this a bit much for a lunch, though?” At first, both Lucius and Zynthera stared at him with their eyes wide open, and Zerato was suddenly stressed. Then, to his surprise, the magician spoke. “Of course... he must have came through the corridors...” He looked resolutely at Zerato. “You don't know what time it is, do you?” Zerato pondered it for a few seconds. “It should be just a few hours 'til noon.” Lucius and Zynthera gasped in unison, and Zerato suddenly became very afraid. Again the feeling was there: something was very wrong. “It's almost midnight, Zera. You were in the lord's room for hours!”



The man awakened. The house he had built last year creaked around him, and the roofpanes clattered. There was a storm passing over the country, a storm unlike any other. None like it had been heard of in the history of man. He was the only one left in the village; everyone else had left just a few hours ago. He had actually been sleeping for once. His dream had worried him: He had been alive this time. He hadn't seen himself, but he could feel that he was there. The creature that was him that was a creature was there. He only vaguely recalled the rest of the dream, everything but the presence of himself was fading away. He looked out the window, and saw the storm approaching over the mountains. As he stood there for a few minutes, he realized that the eye of the storm would pass just north of the village. These houses would probably be completely ruined, and he himself would be buried under the rubble for days, possibly. If the others came back. I'm not a hero, he said to himself.



[spoiler=Two: Lady Stardust]


With My Eyes: Lady Stardust


The storm never ceased. The man walked around the streets of the deserted village, the ruins of his shabby house providing little more shelter. The sturdier of the building still stood here, but the man could see that they were going to fall down. Nothing could survive a storm of this size. Not even himself, he realized. He sighed. If he was going to die today, it made no difference if it would be by the storm, throwing him hundreds of yards in the air, or by a collapsing building. To the north, the trees of the great forest cracked and fell by the force of the storm. As he walked past the Meadow tavern, a crackling thunder echoed throughout the village. The man turned. Lightning had struck the old watchtower just outside the city, and it was blazing with a fire as white as snow. For almost a minute, the man just stood there and watched the burning tower in all it's destructive glory. It's a beacon, he realized. A signal flare, a guiding light. A lighthouse for the darkness. He made a run for it.



“There's a storm coming in from the east, Lord Zerato.” The archangel looked at the hovering ball that stood before him. He had never really understood how their messengers could speak, but it didn't matter to him. “The earls of the Plains have evacuated their villagers and emptied their castles. Sir Freed thinks that it's headed for the Sanctuary.” Zerato nodded. “You're dismissed, messenger. Rest.” There was a flicker of golden light around the orb. “Thank you, archlord.” It scurried away, humming a merry tune. Zerato walked over to a window and looked to the east. He could not see anything in particular, and in his mind, he traveled over the vast landscape. For miles, there would be nothing but fields where his peasants would grow their crops. Then, the forests would come, the tiny villages among them providing lumber and stone for their archlord.


And then, there would be the mountains. Zerato could not understand how they were created. The mountain range stretched from the northern coast all the way to the Amazoness' lands in the south. They stood much taller than any building, reaching mile-high to the skies. And among them, there was one that towered over even the tallest. The Creator's Peak, over six miles high. The legends say that deep within the mountain, at its very heart, slumbers the very essence of life itself, the Giver and the Taker, Justice and Rule.

The one they call God.


Zerato shook his head, and shut his mind from traveling thoughts. There was a more urgent matter at hand. As airborne as it was, the Sanctuary would suffer hard from that storm if it were to hit them directly. He would have to ask the Council about this. He was just about to turn away from the window when something bumped into his knee. “Message for the archlord Zerato.” It was another messenger orb. Zerato smiled, even though the orb couldn't see him. “It's me, alright. Speak quickly, for I am on my way out.” The orb shrieked of appreciation and sudden stress, and quickly recited. “Lady Eliza requests a meeting with you in her chambers immediately.” Zerato cursed under his breath. His sister could sure be demanding when it came to “important” matters. He nodded. “Tell the lady that I will be attending an important meeting for the day. I do not know how long it will take.” The orb glittered. “Always a pleasure, sir Archlord.” By then, Zerato had already left the room and was hurrying down the stairs.



The burning tower was a disaster. Falling rubble had destroyed the wooden staircase on several places, but the man had taken his chance and was now halfway there. He held onto a torch-holder, in case the stairs would fall beneath him, and caught his breath. Far above him stood the great inferno that was the tower's keep. He was not entirely sure why he needed to get to the top: He just knew. He ran off again, but was stopped by a loud, crackling noise somewhere from above. He looked up.



The tower was built over three hundred years ago, during the Great Plague, and was built as a defense against the undead. Armed with fifty men, both swordsmen and archers, the tower proved safe against the forsaken creatures. Even the crafty Deathkaiser Dragons, resurrected from the bodies of thousands, could be warded off and kept at bay. Some of these great deeds can be given to the soldiers of keep, always willing to keep their land safe. However, most of the credit belonged to a young paladin from the Sanctuary. Originally a knight from the south, far beyond the Amazoness' lands, he had arrived at the sanctuary on a mission from his lord, and had met with Archlord Christia. Soon after that, the knight had joined their church and was sent off to the tower. He was the one that blessed the archers' arrows and the soldiers' blades with water drawn from a holy altar. The altar was positioned at the top of the tower, on a solid wood foundation, and so the young paladin kept his rest at the tower's keep. When the Plague was rid and the last of the undead had been purged, the paladin returned to the Sanctuary and joined the service of the archlord. A few soldiers returned with him, but the majority stayed at the tower and built a few houses around it. Soon, a village prospered, and the soldier's descendants became miners and woodcutters. No one bothered to return the altar to the Sanctuary. After all, it was a solid block of stone, weighing over a thousand pounds. It surely wouldn't be of any harm to anyone if it stayed.



The man stopped dead in his tracks. From far above, crashing down through the wooden stairs, a yard-wide meteor came down. He was bombarded by a shower of wooden splinters, but he couldn't move an inch. It was meant to be. Everything is meant to be. The burning rock came closer and closer. It is time.



The doors closed behind Zerato as he entered the council chamber. The roof was a magnificent and perfectly circular dome, much like his own. The four chancellors were already seated. Zerato nodded at one of them, an angel like himself with red skin and garments, who nodded back.“The council is now opened. The four Agents of the World and the Archlord have gathered. The Splendid One is missing.” Zerato nodded. His second in command had been gone for almost six months, managing a new colony across the ocean. The red angel continued. “I, Mars, shall lead this council for the time being.” He cleared his throat. “I think we all know what the most important topic is.” Zerato nodded, and so did the other chancellors. Another angel, the purple and the single most powerful of the four - his powers rivaled even Zerato's - stepped forward. Mars nodded. “Saturn, you may speak.” He nodded back. “Thank you. The storm is approaching quickly, and there is not enough time to evacuate everyone. We suspect it to be within sight in approximately eight hours, and hit us straight-on in twelve. The citizen are being informed as we speak.” He looked at a sheet of paper that lay at the table between them. “My research team returned just a few hours ago, and they believe that the storm is spellwork.” The three other chancellors gasped, and Saturn nodded. “And since it came from the mountains, we can only suspect one.”


“Gandora.” Zerato cursed under his breath. “Obviously.” The once so great Gandora had betrayed the Sanctuary years ago, while still under the rule of Christia, by casting an entire town into another dimension. The dragon, even then a grand creature, fled to the mountains and was never heard from again. Until now, that was.



Many hours later, Zerato walked the streets of the Sanctuary City. Strong winds were building up, but the storm was still hours away. The citizen were gathering at the Roc terminals, trying to escape as fast as possible. But they were many, and the city's limited means of transportation made it even harder. Families would be split in the madness that followed. But it was either that, or death. He stopped outside a large manor built entirely of polished white stone. There was a light in one of the windows; Eliza would surely be waiting for him, even with the storm near by. He knocked the door, and a few minutes later it opened and Zerato smiled. His sister looked as glorious as ever, her skin white as snow and her amber eyes. She was wearing a long, blue coat with white lines, with her wings sticking out on the back. “Come in, brother. Shield yourself against the wind.” Zerato nodded, and stepped inside.


“You've heard about the storm, I guess.” Eliza had quickly made two cups of tea, and she took a sip from hers. “Yes, and that's why I needed to talk to you.” The windowpanes rattled; the storm was coming closer. Eliza nodded. “You know of my connection with the wind. This is far from natural.” She lowered her voice. “I've studied the storm with my own eyes, and I've seen enough. The storm is caused by a wizard, a source of magic more powerful than anything we've ever encountered.” Zerato nodded. “I know, dear sister, I know. The council and I have argued about the storm's spellwork for hours now. We suspect Gandora to be the one behind this. We will find him and eliminate him once the storm settles.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...