Firus Envy

Two Years & a Lifetime Later

So much has happened…has changed since I have last written here. I was furious beyond measure at Raziel for seeming to snub me – for running. Yet my actions, while full of self-righteous fury at the time, now seem to me a large part of the problem. After we had been together that one night and subsequently fought I decided to take that fight as far as I was able. I was not happy and I was going to let the world in on my feelings as well. So I began to do little things that I knew would annoy him…like snubbing him, being incredibly spiteful. I even plotted to make him think that I killed a few people, just to let him know how extremely angry I was with him. For days and weeks this dragged on…with only one day of relief. For one day, we seemed to be happy once more. He apologized through his music and I was drawn to that sweet sound and resolved to try one more time to make everything work. I was drawn and repelled to him at the same time. I hated the way he made me feel, the things he made me think about at times but at the same time I yearned for that modicum of excitement, of dangerous difference. So, in the gnomish city we flew above the clouds and resolved or problems…or so I thought.

The next few days confused me even more! We traveled north to seek a cure for the Firus Virus that had been running rampant. We sought the wisdom of an old sage that was supposed to help us find what we needed. In the process we all got hurt. I nearly drowned in a pool of icy black death-water and, when we finally got to the sage, Gaz and Raziel and I were forced to choose a random number before any of our questions were asked or answered. We chose seven. Little did we know the consequences of that simple number. There was a deck of cards that each of us drew from, in order, and Raziel and Gaz got the brunt of the misfortune. Though I don’t know for sure what happened to them, they both seemed very out-of-it and weakened. But at least some good came of the whole endeavor. I drew two cards, one that made me feel a lot stronger and granted me a strange-looking but oddly beautiful headdress and a card that granted me a large keep, with servants and furnishings included. And we got to ask our questions, something we needed to do if we had any hope of figuring out how to stop or at least slow down the virus that was spreading across the world. And with my increased power, I would be better able to fight and to help the people that needed it. As long as I had Raziel and Gaz with me, I couldn’t see doing anything less.

But somehow this made Raziel extremely upset. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was suddenly getting the cold shoulder and being ignored again! I was only doing what he asked – what he wanted. I was on this journey, to save the world, and I was doing the best that I could to make sure that we accomplished just that. It came to a head one night below a tax-collector’s ship that we had commandeered. Fire and ice clashed in a titanic battle of wills. When, in a cold fury, Raziel declared that I didn’t love him, didn’t care about him, because I hadn’t jumped at the sage’s offer of rescinding the cards we had drawn and going on our way without asking our questions, I was flabbergasted. Hadn’t Raziel been the very one advocating that we needed to save the world and its people at all costs?? Fire-mingled fury flared from my heart and overtook me. When he claimed that I did nothing but think of myself because I had taken the tax collector’s money without a thought inflamed the already blazing fire, turning it into a veritable inferno. Anger blazed from my eyes at his misguided assumptions. Hadn’t I been doing all of this for his sake?? Forsaking my attempts at returning to my own world in order to try and save this world that I didn’t even know?? Gathering power and money so that, together, we could make a difference and be “good”, as I thought he so desperately wanted? Fine. If this is all he thought of me, then I was gone. No second chances in my mind. In fury, I took off all of my bags and dropped them haphazardly at his feet. My clothes were next. If he wanted any of it, he was free to it. If that was what was important to him he could have it all for all I cared. I stormed out of the room towards the room Carlita was in, vowing not to continue with this foolish mission, only to let him gather what it was he wanted so I could return and then leave again, this time for good.

All of that changed just a few moments later, with the tiniest of motions. A small kick, that’s all it was, but it changed everything. I was pregnant. Pregnant with Raziel’s child. Half-demon, half fire-elf – the poor child seemed destined for a life of trouble and misconceptions. And I, I didn’t want to stay with Raziel anymore, not for anything. But what to do about what I had just felt?? I cried and held my abdomen, wondering at life and its cruel jokes. If we were on land, I could have found some choice herbs that would ensure the child was never born. But we weren’t on land. I needed time; time to think, time to decide. I hit upon the idea of making some magical items for the group to use on our trip to the north to find the cure. I quickly and tersely told both Gaz and Raziel not to disturb me for the next week. A week would be perfect – it would give me time to decide what to do…and magic always helped me to relax and to focus. I went into a room on the tax collector’s ship to begin.

But something was off. As I entered, I could feel magic enveloping the entire room. I realized, after I entered, that it was some sort of time warp that was disrupting the flow of time. I sighed – at least I would be able to finish the items without a problem. I began work and focused my mind on only that. Oh I paused to eat and to drink, occasionally to sleep, but my mind never left my work. How much time passed, I couldn’t tell. One day blended into the next. Had I been here a day? a week? years? I looked down towards my stomach as a stab of pain shot through it and noticed that it had grown quite large. Longer than a few weeks then, I thought. I went back to work, only to have another stab of pain interrupt me a few moments later. Annoyed, I sat the tools I was using down and proceeded to sit on the small pile of blankets I had been using as a bed. I rubbed my swollen belly and noticed a ripple of movement across it. I drew my hand back in fear. Fire…fire would help me to relax. I lit a few candles and positioned them throughout the room. It was lucky I did it when I did. A few moments after I had finished placing the candles I felt another jolt of pain, this one hurting more than the others. The pains continued to grow worse and to come more and more often. I couldn’t move from the blankets I was on. I moaned in primal pain, my parched lips half-open as I realized with a start that I was having the baby. I should have panicked but everything felt so surreal in that little room and I was determined to beat the pain and to prove to everyone that I was useful to the group. I somehow managed to stay awake throughout the ordeal and a few hours later; bloody, hurting, and exhausted, I lay triumphantly on the blood-soaked pile of blankets, holding a small white-haired, pointy-eared creature bundled in blankets close to my heart. I had done it! My heart melted at his sweet face. Zeldaryn Kallyl I sighed happily. His name will be Zeldaryn

Days turned to months and the boy-child grew. The work I had begun took longer than I had ever thought it would. Zel grew into a mostly-happy young child and still I worked on, with Zel eventually learning what I was doing and doing his best to help me. I feared to leave, feared to lose the work that I had imbued with so much of myself. I made Zel a set of paintbrushes to entertain himself with and he became quite a proficient artist. That and helping me were some of his only past times. As he grew, he reminded me more and more of his father. I thought about what had happened, this time with a clearer head and with the patience that I had had to learn with a small child running about. Perhaps he wasn’t as much of a jerk as I had thought he was. I sighed sadly. Too bad it had taken me this long to figure it out. I know I could have done more to make him feel like I loved him – his reaction the first time I had said those words made me hesitate to do anything suggesting that I did love him. But I had been too hasty in my actions and I feared I had alienated the one true love I had ever had. I looked deeper in my heart and found that I still held him close, for all that we had fought. I still loved him.

When the items were finally complete, we left the bubble. Zel went first and the bubble that I had somehow created with my magic broke and dragged me with it. I collapsed on the floor, unconscious.

When I awoke, it was to the concerned faces of Gaz, Raziel, and Zel. I looked up at Raziel and smiled at him tenderly for a second, happy at just being able to see his face. It had been such a long time. Though I wasn’t sure I was going to at first, I eventually told Raziel who Zel was and that he was his father. I had thought he wasn’t going to be pleased but he turned out to be a better father than I ever expected. He seemed to care for the boy almost instantly. I smiled, glad that Zel would have a father, but my heart wasn’t truly in it…it was a family that I longed for. But I didn’t want to drive Raz away anymore than I already had. I let him bond with Zel and did the best I could to leave them alone.

This is where the story starts to turn ugly. Carlita, who we had kept under our surveillance for the journey to the north, escaped while we were in one of the northern cities. She set the boats and the whole city on fire and proceeded to fly, cackling, away. Zel and Raziel built a boat together and we managed to save the residents, going towards the next town to the north. Carlita was waiting there, though. She had already taken infected a lot of the town with the Firus Virus and had taken control of them. They moved to attack us and a battle ensued. It was fierce, but eventually we gained the upper hand. I finished off Carlita once and for all with a beam of disintegration that I put all of my effort into. I wanted her to be gone and to quit trying to hurt the ones I loved. I smiled ferally as I watched her body crumble to ash.

...Except it wasn’t really her. It took us a few weeks to figure it out but it turned out that she had somehow switched bodies with Raziel. I was horrified! The only thing that kept Raz on this plane of existence was the soul-splice that bound us together. I had thought it broken when Carlita was destroyed but it wasn’t the case. Carlita had been alone with Zel too…as soon as she was discovered she spoke some sort of arcane word to Zel and he flew off to do whatever dastardly deed she had mind-controlled him to perform. Gaz flew after him – he was the only one who could keep up – while Raziel’s spirit struggled valiantly with Carlita’s to gain control of his body. I could only watch in horror.

Finally, Raziel did gain control. But our son and Gaz were still in danger, with no way for us to catch up to them. Then Raz had an idea, though it was dangerous. He would have another battle of wills with Carlita. If he took control of her spirit using his body, he might be able to undo whatever geas Carlita had put on Zel. It would be tough, but it was the only chance we had to try and save him. My hands shook as Raziel bid me wait and watch, and kill his body if Carlita took it over again. Could I do it? I would have to. Then those three little words that I had been so longing to hear were spoken. Simple, but more beautiful than any words I had yet heard. I love you Nothing more – but there didn’t need to be more. I whispered the words back to him and my world felt right again. I would do what I needed to do. I had to be strong for him and for Zel. I drew a deep breath and pulled out my dagger, then watched and waited as Raziel released Carlita once more.

A struggle of wills ensued, and I am happy to say that Raziel won out once more. He got a picture from Carlita’s mind of where she had sent Zel and we teleported there…only to look up in horror at the sight of our son, fully demonized and sporting large, obsidian-black horns and a leering, hateful visage. My Zel! I couldn’t stand it. I cast a fly spell and flew up to try and knock him out of whatever Carlita had done to him. I don’t remember much of the battle after that, only the sight of Gaz’adrias, in full angelic battle-fury waging and epic-looking battle with Zel, who truly looked like something born of the Abyss. I grabbed at him and tried to shake him out of it, but nothing seemed to work.

Finally, though I don’t know exactly how, we were triumphant. Zel fell to the ground, back to his old self, though unconscious and decidedly the worse for the wear. He was bleeding from a number of places, though Gaz had been as gentle as he could. And Carlita’s plan – Zel had dripped blood into an evil-looking temple. Gaz had, luckily washed most of it away but a small amount had still gotten in. Raziel rushed over to Zel’s side and I let him take over. The temple opened and a large mummy came shambling out. I disintegrated it, letting the spell fly along with all my pent-up anger and fury that I hadn’t been able to unleash on the true Carlita and watched in satisfaction at the mummy shriveled and then turned to ash, leaving a black box behind. It was decidedly evil, and Raziel buried it, surrounding it with the hardest substance we could think of.

That’s when we met Fairelsh. He was a drow with wild red hair that came upon us. But he seemed nice enough after we convinced him that we weren’t evil and he led us to a place we could stay the night. I was drained and hurt more than I had ever hurt before, but as I lay down next to Raziel, with Zel curled up between us, I was also happier than I had ever been. It was right and good. I was truly part of a family. I felt home, more so than I ever had with the other fire elves. I smiled and went to sleep, content that my family was safe and would live to see another day.

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