The Shattering

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Literature Text

Even now, the Citadel took Drekk’s breath away.  Here, Nature itself venerated the Gem; the Citadel was a shrine built by the forest.
Trees encircled a clearing roughly thirty feet across, their branches and leaves forming intricate archways and lattices, reaching over the center to bathe the Gem in a brilliant pattern of dappled half-light, constantly shifting with the subtle breeze.  Dazzling flowers of every conceivable variety turned their blooms, as one, towards the center.  A soft carpet of vines and grasses paved the ground.  And in the center, where the Gem itself rested, a pedestal had grown, branches weaving into a living cradle, holding and protecting that which gave the gift of magic to the world: the life-bearer, Elemanti.
Drekk approached the sacred heart of the earth with reverent slowness, his footsteps falling softly on the carpeted floor of the forest.  Drawing his sword, he knelt before the radiance of the Elemanti, bathed in awe.  He was still for some time.
The sound of raised voices resounded through the forest, faint but persistent, and Drekk remembered that he was not alone.  Men had followed him here.  Humans, he thought, with their arrogance, their disdain for the balance of life, the beauty of magic.  Drekk wondered, not for the first time, what his creators would do were they in his place.  Would they take back their precious gift?  Would they choose a world without magic, rather than see it abused and defiled?
The voices grew louder, and with them could be heard the faint crashing of dozens of marching feet.  The time had come to act.  Reluctantly, Drekk stood and raised his sword.
“May the sacred Stars forgive me,” he whispered.  Then he plunged his sword hilt-deep into the Gem.
The very forest cried out in pain: a primal, violent cracking and groaning, and a screeching like glass being scored.
Deep within the Gem, emanating from Drekk’s sword, a million hairline cracks spidered slowly outwards as he drained away the perfection of the Elemanti, its life-force, its very essence.  He realized suddenly that his face was burning, his vision blurred.  He could not comprehend until he felt the wetness splash onto his hand; he was crying.  Tears streamed down his face, acidic with the disuse of centuries.  He gritted his teeth and redoubled his efforts.
The Citadel was in its death throes; plants were withering, shriveling up; insects lay twitching and gasping—the whole forest was turning to dust.  Slowly, the forest’s wails faded to a soft whimper, and then all was quiet.  It seemed as if time itself stood still.
With a final, wrenching thrust, Drekk shattered the Gem.  A countless multitude of shards exploded in every direction with a light like the birth of the universe, and then all was still.  At last, Drekk alone stood, in the center of a massive crater, the flesh scoured clean from his face and hands.
The only sounds for miles were his soft, rasping sobs.
This was a little piece I wrote on a whim a while back. I've been meaning to upload it for quite some time. I wanted to explore the history of Gaia (my story's setting) a bit further, and I wanted to expound on Drekk's character. Drekk is quite an important figure...quite important, indeed...

Hope you like it.

399 words
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