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I Have a Little Plan - Part XXI & Epilogue

Started by Harlwystyr
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Daggerfall Covenant
Part XXI & Epilogue

What had been Arthaurak fell into a pile of ash that could best be described as a miniature mountain. Hard-eyed, Harlwystyr watched as the golden-white fires rolled away from the remains of his old enemy and back to his hands.

A few motes of energy clung to the ashes; motes he could not rake or force to him by means of any magic he held, no matter how unworthy Arthaurak had been of such energies.

His eyes followed the motes as they darted from the remains and flew through the ceiling as if it hadn't been there, and knew why destroying Arthaurak was beyond him. The necromancer had too great a supply of host bodies and minds to ride for one man to slay. It would take groups - perhaps - striking simultaneously to truly defeat the vampire forever. Unless, of course, Arthaurak would be selfless enough to let his life fade, as Durana had.

Hah. As if that would ever happen.

Harl closed his eyes and spread his hands, sending the golden-white flames to either side to eat away at the tower's walls and ceiling, gradually reducing it until a strong foundation was all that was left. And then he directed it back into him, absorbing his own fire as well as Durana's.

It was still too much.

He'd known it would be. Yet he did not lack the sense to let it all loose here, within a populated space where there would be innocent bystanders - or lurking magelings ready to snatch it and empower themselves. So his body drank the magic as he fought to hold it, and the real pain began.

From the air where he hung a few feets above the foundation, he soared, a golden-white streak of light seeking the sky - past the cerulean divide of the Iliac Bay and then over the rugged edges of the Wrothgarian Mountains, heading north.

"Arrrrgh!" he screamed into the gusts of wind reacting to his own swift flight. Divines curse, but it hurt...

He dived, eyes and body aimed at the rocky cliffs near Northpoint facing the meeting place between the Eltheric Ocean and the Sea of Ghosts. He veered into the nearby forest, fighting to slow his fall. He was sure the local officials wouldn't consider it a great gift if he marked the area with a great burning scar...

Cursing and growling, Harl fought for control. He managed to raise his hands enough to counter his impact with a spell; an improvised idea comprised of sending tiny jets of air down towards the ground to slow himself.

He won. Somehow his spells managed to slow him enough to merely send him tumbling down into the underbrush of the forest, sending him stomach first into a minor boulder. Harl fought for air and staggered to his feet, but stumbled and fell back onto all four; his face striking down into the mud. Ah, a fitting treatment for the righteous, conquering hero.

Harl felt the ground beneath his heels again and got up, though did not recall doing so. Too much magic... It was stabbing out from him at nearby trees, searing holes where they hit.

"Too much," he groaned in agony. "Oh, by Magnus, it's too much!"

He stumbled forward, his blazing fingers hitting the grass and scorching the spots to charred areas of death. Tears welling in his eyes never rolled out; hissing out because of the fire, and Harl knew he had to find a solution, and fast.

His eyes trailed toward the outcropping of the cliff. And the sea.

"The sea," he gasped. "That's it!"

He advanced, crawling in a manner not befitting the lowliest of beggars, fire springing from his body with every moment to lick at tree trunks and branches, and reduce them.


Coughing out blood that didn't come, breathing out flames that leaked out all too frequently, and with a pained expression on his face, Harlwystyr neared the cliffs.

Just over there... aye... he continued to crawl, up over a muddy hill and down on a stone-studded path that bruised his legs and arms. There was no sign of critters or other wildlife in sight.

Finally he reached the cliffs.

Where great waves clashed against the cliffs, striking with unrelenting force upon their ancient foe and displayed endless patience in doing so.

"I blaze with your fire, most faithful of companions. You have given so much to Tamriel already, and I shall honour thine devotion," he managed, stretching out a hand towards the sea.

He trembled as he closed his eyes, fighting off the pain to concentrate on his task. For a moment he thought two female eyes peered into his mind to smile at him. Then he felt the winds howling down around his frame with hungry and almost savage determination, pulling him from his feet to hover in the air.

Golden-white flames caressed him, soothing his cheeks as they flowed from his lips, and he felt like his entire body was a living fire; a fire that only served one purpose - to fade out of a dangerous state. He felt the energies of Durana - the woman he'd never stopped loving - drain from him in a roaring flood that went on and blessedly on...

He was nothing without her, and yet he was everything; whole and restored to his former self, yet without the woman he knew so well.

Magic gently lowered him to his feet again, and he was standing as he watched the fires meld with the gusts of wind, disappearing. Not dying, but melding with the winds as they struck out over the ocean, flying before spreading in smaller streams.

The air previously filled with raging storms was now full of white light, towering before Harl to warm him as he whispered his farewell to the woman he'd first met so many centuries ago.

------------------------------------- Epilogue -------------------------------------

"No, no, no, no, you fool! When you're gloating and striking a pose, what do you think your enemy will be doing? Watch you in admiration?"

Halwend Thorne lurched forward, his blade swinging down to strike the young Cloak's blade aside with ease, the protective magic placed upon the recruit he was training preventing any real damage from visiting him.

"You bring your blade up like this, see? If you fail to do that, there'll be a blade buried in your neck. Or skull. Or whatever other part your enemy feels like slicing."

It was the clear and bright morning on the tenth day after the death of Durana Emhardt. Past Halwend's shoulder, a good twelve strides toward a bigger spot stood Thalric Camry, tutoring another group of recruits in the finer techniques of combat.

Jalinda and Harlwystyr were sitting below a large brown tree reaching far enough into the sky to shed a pleasant shade over their resting spot. They both looked tired, yet with wide smiles on their lips as they watched Halwend struggle with the rudimentary troubles of teaching.

Jalinda was running fingers through her dusky hair as she observed the training. She turned her head to send Harl a smile.

"I've not felt this happy in a long time," she said softly. "With Arthaurak gone and Thalric with a purpose - all of us with a purpose!"

"Arthaurk isn't gone lass; he's just not what he was," Harl corrected her. "He lives - or 'unlives' - like he has so often. That's simply how he deals in life."

Jalinda winced and shook her head, then smiled again and gestured towards the open glade where the recruits were busy. "So, Cobalt Cloaks eh? Odd name."

"Well, I was thinking it'd match the blue cloaks we're wearing," Harl replied with a smirk.

"If you've started thinking again," Jalinda grinned, "Tamriel is in trouble indeed."

They chuckled and held around each other, smiling as they looked back out at Halwend, Thalric, and the rest.

And at brighter times to come.
This post was last modified: November 15th 2013, 02:16 PM by Harlwystyr
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