Chapter 24 – Awakening
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Chapter 24 - Awakening


Lia leaned against the wall, a small frown on her brow as she looked at the room. Four walls, two doors and a strange, unsettling vibration.

“What did I unknowingly witness as the Lia of old?” she said to the darkness.

Lia sighed heavily, the feeling of his absence strong.

“My dark prince…” she whispered, “I feel like it is just out of my grasp, like trying to catch a wisp of smoke on the wind.”

She rubbed behind her ear absently before running her hand through her copper hair.

“I will not return to this place. I know where both doors lead, this play on choice…” she laughed at her own absurdity, “is tiring.”

“There is only one thing I wish to see before I wake, that dream I have every night since we were parted.” she smiled, her lips twisting into a soft smile.

“It does not matter the doors I have concocted, nothing will stop me.” she said at a whisper, closing her amber eyes.

Her smile grew as she felt the hard stone at her back soften. The cold of the chamber shifted to crisp night air and a warm embrace surrounded her. His scent surrounded her, the press of his body against her back, his arm holding her to him and his sleeping breath in her hair. She moved slightly, relishing the sensation of his body against hers, his chest rising and falling as he slept.

Slipping out of his arms, she sat on the edge of the bed. Standing, she shivered in the cold air, sending goose flesh over her naked body. Smiling, she looked down at him for a moment before walking to the side table and pouring herself some water. Hearing movement, she looked over her shoulder, hoping to see his eyes on her. Instead, he lay still deep in sleep.

Quiet embers burned in her eyes as their discussion from earlier in the night came to mind. Both of them on the bed in a loose embrace and facing each other in the dim light, trading gentle touches and searing glances.

Lia frowned slightly, running a fingertip over the golden glow under his skin, “The moment your partner comes for you and you must leave, do not find me to say goodbye. If we have to part in each other’s company, I might not be able to let you go.”

Rhyker looked at her, his eyes gentle, “Then let me say goodbye with every moment we have until then.”

She smiled in return, a blush heating her cheeks, “The moment we are reunited, I demand one thing from you.”

He nodded, his eyes on hers.

Lia took a deep breath, “I wish for us to be bound in soul like the warriors of the wilderelves in ancient times. We could stay together entwined until the end.”

He looked at her, sliding some errant strands of copper hair back and away from her face before tracing a brow with a thumb.

“Our ancestors used to do this; it allowed them to combine their threads, made them stronger. You wish to do this?”

Lia nodded, “You will make me wait for six years, my dark prince. The moment we are reunited we will not be parted, even if I have to cut my way through anything before us.”

“I already know everything I need to know about you, you are mine, as I am yours.”

He leaned in and kissed her, their lips meeting in earnest, “Then it will be so.” he said, breathing the words into her mouth as she pressed herself against him.

She looked at his sleeping form with desire, the low glow accentuating her naked curves. Placing the crystal goblet down, she slinked back to the bed, sliding her legs under the covers and half laying, propping herself on a pillow. Her hair tumbled down like a waterfall made of fire as she rested her head on her hand, her fingertips tracking their way over his bare shoulder. His face was youthful and without the pains of his past, lost in the innocence of sleep.

A sly smile grew on her lips; he had murmured her name in his sleep. Her fingers growing more adventurous, gliding them more firmly over his chest. Lia watched his face, hoping for him to wake so she could indulge herself in his waking moments. Distracted, she noticed a faint glow from his hair, she carefully parted it and folded his ear forward, to expose a series of sigils of their kind.

Lia gasped, choking for breath. Darkness invading everything around her. drowning her in its oppressive roil. She lashed out trying to free herself as tentacles of darkness coiled around her, dragging her down and smothering her in their cold embrace. She struggled to open her eyes, her lids heavy and movement sluggish. A foul taste invaded her mouth as her senses rushed back to her.

“I got you, I got you.” came the distant unfamiliar voice through the darkness.

Lia struggled to speak, the effort making her cough violently, each spasm tearing through her weakened body leaving a trail of hot fire.

“Listen to me, fyrelf. I have an elixir here that Selera said would help when you woke.” said the voice in her ear, “Stop fighting. You have been sleeping for a number of days. Try to fall still if you hear me.”

Sialin pondered the voice, one that was both familiar, yet distant. She had no choice and let herself calm. The inky darkness holding her down in her weakened state.

“Aye, that’s what I am meaning. Just listen to my voice.”

Sialin heard what sounded like distant movement and a weighty pressure lift off her chest, “Now that you are still, I will light a lantern, it’s the early hours ‘for daybreak and me eye is not as good as it once was.”

A gentle scraping and the sound of flames igniting could be heard over a faint shuffle.

“I got here a vial of glowing blue elixir, I will lift your head and let it trickle real slow.”

Sialin felt herself being lifted gently, a pillow slid under her upper back and head. A faint musky, sweet scent invaded her nose; it reminded her of Rietta and the comfort of her embrace.

“No, no falling back to sleep yet, have some of this first, then you can sleep the day away. I’ll even have food for you when you wake. It will take a few days to get your strength back.”

The cold glass spout of the vial touched her lips, and a familiar refreshing taste of water and roses slipped at an agonisingly slow pace into her mouth. Attempting to swallow, she choked, coughing roughly.

“Slow like, fyrelf. Slow. Now let’s try again.”

Finally, she was able to swallow the smallest amount, the first sparks of her ethereal fire flickering to life within her.

“Good, now we’ll try a little more.”

With her throat wetted, Sialin drank greedily. Choking slightly but still managing to swallow it down while feeling the blissful cold fire flood through her, rejuvenating her body and bringing a sense of faint readiness to her tired limbs.

“Who…” Sialin managed to whisper, her eyes open but blurred beyond anything she had experienced before, just the movement of shadows and the flicker from the lantern.

“Aye, I guess you’d be wondering. The name is Wrenna, an old flame of the Captain’s.”

“Wren-na…” Sialin whispered.


“More…” Sialin said, letting her hand slip to the edge of the draw under the bed.

“There is more of that blue glowy stuff?”

“Yes…” Sialin tilted her head, letting it roll to the side limply.

She blinked a few times, the blurriness clearing to a degree while she tried to focus on the lantern. Wrenna’s form was knelt over the drawer, carefully going though it in the search for more vials.

“By the gods, is this a… No it couldn’t be.” said Wrenna under her breath, “Who are you really, Sialin? I know you studied at the Spyres… ahh, found them.”

Wrenna closed the drawer and settled the sizable leather pouch on the bed beside Sialin, quickly opening it.

“How many?”

Sialin closed her eyes and swallowed, “All.”

Wrenna’s eyes snapped wide, “All of them? I thinks you are muddled, who knows what they will do to you.”

“If she says ‘all’, we give her them all.” came the soft voice from the door.

Wrenna quickly shifted, her eyes finding his form leaning against the frame, “Illias!”

“Those vials are her flames, if she drinks all of those she will be up by midday, maybe sooner with some food in her stomach.” he said, calmly watching as Sialin tried to turn her head, “Do you want me to take over?”

Wrenna looked at Lia quickly then back to him, “Aye, you would know better than me. Being around her kind your whole life and all. I’ll get some fare.” she said as she stood.

Meeting him in the door she met his eyes, “She bears the crest of Martyn’s house, it is in her…” she stopped, noting Illias’s sharpening expression.

“Dwarven fare, hold the liquor.” he said quietly, his curiosity piqued.


He nodded, letting her pass and closing the door. He folded up his sleeves and sat on the edge of the bed.

“Sialin.” he said quietly.

Sialin swallowed, “Illias.” she whispered, trying to focus her eyes.

“Shall I put a drop or two in your eyes?”


He nodded, selecting a vial and breaking its seal. The wispy flames flickering brightly in the dim light as he leaned over her, holding her eyelids open in turn, dripping a few drops in each. He watched her carefully as she blinked rapidly.

“Selera is going to meet with the Crimson Demon.” he said quietly, looking into her eyes, watching her focus properly on him.

“Rhyker?” she whispered.

“That is his name?”


He showed her the vial before bringing it to her lips, allowing her to drink it.

She swallowed and took a breath, “Dessia, Odessia.”

Illias stared at her, his eyes on hers in surprise, a frown creasing his brow, “How do you know that name, Sialin?”

Sialin closed her eyes and breathed deeply, “Family.”

“Family? She is your, no, she couldn’t be, an aunt maybe, grand aunt?”

She nodded slightly, her eyes on his as she watched him think.

“You know who I am?”

“I know who you are, Illias. Bloodborn of Aldaliss.” she said at a little above a whisper, her breathing coming easier, watching his face, “My uncle in name.”

He paused, midway through unstopping the next vial, his eyes on hers in alarm, “What did you say?”

“Eira Lin adopted me when Odessia passed.”

Illias stared at her, “Eira…” he whispered as a pained shadow crossing his eyes, “You have Honour’s journals... Then you know.”

“It was not your fault. She never blamed you.” Sialin said quietly.

Illias frowned slightly, bringing the next vial to Lia’s lips and letting her drink.

He nodded, “Thank you.”

She looked at him, feeling further from the edge by the moment, “You are not the Illias I know.”

A small smile came to his lips as he prepared another vial, “I have returned from the twilight, I am no longer Illias the wretch and for that, I must thank you.”

Sialin tried to lift herself unsuccessfully, shaking her head as Illias watched.

“How long have I slept?” she asked, her eyes on Illias.

“In the morning it will be six days. Groyven’s sigil has not dimmed, last I checked on you it had almost matured. At least we know he is still alive, maybe Tiffaniel too.”

“They are alive, I am sure of it. My little prince lives.” Sialin said before wincing, “Six days? Why is Selera trying to meet with Rhyker?” she breathed in deeply, finally getting a full breath, “His partner, Kit would be with him, trust me when I say she is extremely dangerous.”

“They are accompanying Martyn and Hima. They and the rest of the company continued on the desert road while Martyn was at the Enclave. We have a potential path to the children, Selera is on it now. We now know there are eight of those devices, Martyn has three in his possession and has been collecting them. While he is out here, he has his sights set on finding another that he knows the location of; he promised it to Selera if it holds power.”

Illias handed her another vial, “Something much larger is afoot. The children, Selera confronting your chosen and everything else is secondary. She has been venting her aggravation that the Demon…” he glanced at Sialin, “That Rhyker has not come for you.”

“It is not time, Illias. She does not understand that we could decide it together.” she frowned, pondering the thought as she drank another vial, “Their reason for being out here was already in action more than six years ago, maybe longer.”

“When I met him, he had come to the academy to search the repository in the old library for maps. From before the fall of the world. They are searching for something.”

Illias watched Sialin with a strange expression, “Selera should be meeting your chosen this evening. Are you not concerned?”

She smiled, shaking her head slightly, “He will tell her the same. If anything, I am concerned for her. Kit may not appreciate her losing her temper.”

“Aye, Sialin. I have heard some tales of her, to be sure.” said Wrenna, from the doorway, “’Frightening’ is not a word I use lightly. Those things I have been hearing are frightening, even to me.”

She watched the greying, russet haired half-elf while she placed a basket down on the table.

“You have actually seen her?” Wrenna asked.

Sialin nodded, holding her hand out for another vial, “Wrenna, it is good to see you again.”

Wrenna looked at her in surprise, “Sialin, I have never…” she paused, staring at Sialin with intensity.

“You asked who I am, I was a lot younger then. Still a child.”

Wrenna came a little closer, “No?”

“I promised to work out how to fix your scars.”

Wrenna’s eye widened in sudden recognition, “Lia the pup?! Eira’s daughter?”

Sialin smiled, taking another vial from Illias, “Aye, Wrenna. Lia the pup, now grown.”




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