Swordsinger Ch1: Memories

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Chapter 1 [memories]

The date is 13019, Kemen, the 57th day of Coiasira. It is late afternoon, though the sky is pitch black. A battle rages around the once-purified Hidden Lake. The world is breaking apart.

That is the day I was killed.

I am Caele Agarwath, a dark elf of seventy-one years, though I look to be seventeen the way humans age. I am a young soldier, and a former dragonrider. My story is longer than most, and at this part I will begin.

The day I was killed, we fought the last battle of a war that eventually destroyed our world. After watching another - a close friend - die, an ally turned against me and took my life in a fit of rage. I entered the Void, a place of blackness, and began to wander.

Vladimir found me. He's what's called an Ether Spirit - a spirit entrusted with the protection of a particular dimension, or 'Realm'. Each Realm has one, some counted among the gods. It is rumored that some of the Ethers are the children of the Five, Felnova's five dragon gods and goddesses. Vladimir is the Ether of the Shadowrealm. He told me that I could come back to the Spirit Realm with him, and rejoin my dragon Saudi, but he didn't have time to escort me. I was on my own.

He opened a portal and I stepped through into another world. But this wasn't the true Soulplane; it was a fragment, a frozen section of another dimension's Spirit Realm. Time never moves in this place. And now I'm trapped.

The shadow Ether told me he'd return later when I asked him. It has been several weeks since that moment. I don't know what to do anymore. Constantly, I am haunted by visions of the past. There is one, one I can't escape.

I had been injured in my training years, at the age of sixteen - back then, it hadn't been bad, but as a child I was afraid of what the others might think of me. I met one of our mentors and he told me something I will never forget...

A week had passed; the injury had not gotten better, despite Caele's care. He slipped into a basement near the training grounds and struggled with a fresh bandage between classes, one strip clenched between his teeth. He pulled it tightly, racing the clock; and froze as he heard another enter the room. No! Nobody could know - what would they make of him? It was a small scratch. Small to their standards. If they found that he couldn't even heal -

"Caele?" It was one of the trainers. He cursed his luck and spit out the bandage, too late to hide it - the man came into view. He nodded silently, eyes averted; the trainer came to stand in front of him, eying the boy's injured hand with a practiced eye. A large drow, one of the elder bloodline, dark brown hair streaked with strands of grey; he sank to one knee and took the boy's hand in his own, waiting until Caele looked up again. Pale blue met silver; regret to sympathy. "You were injured some time ago," he commented, unwrapping the half-done bandage to examine the slash beneath. "But you did not tell any of us…? Why, young one?"

"I thought… I just…" The words wouldn't come. If this trainer found out - a man he had only trained under but once - he could become the laughingstock of the army.

"You thought you would be made fun of from your injury? Caele, you must understand - things like this cannot go ignored." A small, gentle smile. It reminded him of his father. "All warriors get hurt at least once, little one, more often many times. But half the world's heroes would be dead if they hid their hurts and had them not healed."

He looked back at Caele's palm and took his other hand, turning them slowly over. A quick word, a flash of white, and the pain suddenly vanished. The wound healed without a scar. Slowly, he turned the boy's right hand back and touched his slender fingers, marking the calluses and blister scars that had appeared on his smooth skin. "These are not the hands of a warrior," he said softly, letting Caele's hand go. "You would have excelled at many other tasks, Caele, so many much more fitting than the life of a soldier. Why did you choose this path?"

"Because I have to," Caele answered immediately, meeting the trainer's gaze with sudden determination. It wasn't something he could help; this happened when he was questioned about his future. He couldn't be denied. He had to keep to his promise… rid the world of those unjust to others. Kill the murderers and those that thrived on innocent fear. "This is my destiny… I have to. I made a promise."

The trainer rose and patted Caele's shoulder companionably, giving him a gentle push towards the doorway. "I understand; I made much of the same promise years ago some time I had joined the military." A smile. "After all, I was apprenticed to a blacksmith before I started training."

Caele stared at him. The man gave him a wink and left, leaving the boy alone with his thoughts. He glanced down at his hands and flexed his fingers, eyes following his slender hands, blistered and scarred by swordfighting. Hands better suited to gentler tasks.

With a shuddering sigh, the young boy rose and stepped back into the light, dark thoughts settling like cobwebs in his mind.

Will I become a warrior? he thought, waving to his fellow students. Will I be able to live up to my promise?

Do I even belong?


These thoughts haunted me, and they still do. For years after, I fought among the elves of Heartwood, the dragons of Felnova, with and against my own kin and kind. I never thought what could happen if I became anything other than what I had been training for. I never thought what I could do as a mage, a craftsman - I was born to hold a sword, I told myself. I had to uphold the ideals of my mother and father, and avenge those who had suffered like I had.

I never learned what promise the trainer had made. But in his eyes, I think that beyond what he thought was a simple childhood dream, he could see what I would become. Have I indeed upheld what I desired to be? In the end, I look over what I've done in my life and realize that the answer to that is yes, in part I was happy to die.. But never, never could I have guessed that my part in this life wasn't coming to a close.

I was going to come back. But before that, there was another story to be told.
Whoot! My Young Authors entry for this year is DONE! 8DDD God, this took so long. Chapter 1 of 8, and I finished about six hours before the deadline - and then proceeded to spend the day at Equine Affaire, hoping against hope that my teacher would *actually* get the email with everything in it. x) Which he did, to my vast relief.

This is my remake of Darkeh's and I's collab, Dirge of the Lost, with lots more added in. :3 It tells the story of Caele and Remeira in a side Soulplane and their adventures there, kind of a prequel to the Kairn plot in BTACD. Lots of oldbie characters come in here, including Ramoth, Drakaras, Zoicite and many other good friends. <3

Other chapters will come soon; going to try and get them up all today before I go work on arts. Expect big updates by the end of the week!

[a note for the critiquers: I've already turned this in so I can't make any major edits, but if you see anything please tell me! it'll help with the next story I write. (: thankee!]

ALSO, oh bajeebus dA and Firefox, don't scare me like that. *A* 'The connection was reset while trying to load this page'
/KICKS hard

» on to chapter 2

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Oh my god this is SO OLD and so badly written I am so sorry