A joint work by Morrigan and Maerista in Dark Ages
Battle in the Forest
"Get out of my face!" Morrigan yelled as she smacked a kobold over the head with a small thick branch. The branch hit the kobold dead center, right above the eyes. It was a lucky shot.
Morrigan, a Priestess almost 20 years of age, was perhaps the farthest you could get from a typical priest. The kobold seemed unharmed by the hit, and swiped at Morrigan with its dagger. Morrigan narrowly avoided it. Meanwhile Toir?sa, one of Morrigan's few friends in life, was fighting a different kobold while being watched by her tense student Elisabeth. Both followed the path of the monk.
Toir?sa stepped quickly to the side to avoid the kobold's Jab with a short sword, and returned with a swift kick before dashing behind him, where she punched the thing in the back. There was a cracking noise and a scream as the kobold fell to the ground - Toir?sa had broken its back.
"Torri!!" Morrigan yelled, sounding rather worried. "A little help here!"
Toir?sa spun around to see Morrigan. She had done it again - become the center of the action. She was being backed up against a tree by 2 kobolds who must have had only one thing on their mind - dinner. Toir?sa knew exactly how to handle the situation, after all this wasn't the first time such a thing had happened. KELBEROTH STRIKE!
Morrigan saw the shock go though the body of one of the kobolds. She had learned about this attack from her friendship and knew exactly what to do. With the kobolds distracted she dashed to the middle of the path where she had dropped her Holy Hermes. Snatching it up she needed to concentrate for but a moment before the healing light circled Toir?sa several times. Elisabeth, who had gone unnoticed by the kobolds, took her chances and struck one in the back repeatedly while they both attacked Toir?sa. The kobolds fell quickly as the two monks broke several bones in their bodies.
"Oy" Morrigan mumbled as she sat on the ground, "Seems like every time we clear this path thought the East Woods to Piet, them darn kobolds come back and then some." She turned to face her friends.
"These were particularly weak if you ask me," Toir?sa said, as she seemed to have barely broken a sweat. "Wouldn't you agree Elisabeth?"
Elisabeth did not answer.
"Well at least we made the road safe, for today at least," Morrigan said smiling. "Though I feel as if we are getting into a rut. We seem to do this at least every 10 days now and the path is always full. And hey Elisabeth? Do you ever speak?"
Elisabeth opened her mouth as if to speak, but then stopped and never said a word.
"I see," Morrigan went on. "Well... the sun is setting, we'd better get back to town."
The three friends picked themselves up and returned to Mileth and the Inn.
"Morrigan?" said a soft female voice. Morrigan rolled over in her bed. "Morrigan?" it repeated still soft and friendly. "Morrigan..." it repeated with some force. "MORRIGAN!" it yelled, finally, with a harsh tone to it. "Huh? what?" Morrigan awoke, startled, sitting up in her bed. "Morrigan..." The voice said much friendlier now, "it's not nice to keep your mother waiting."
Morrigan woke up, shocked. "Mom? You're... you're dead!" Morrigan said, half awake. It was Morrigan's mother, also known as Ree. She had a black dress on, a simple one, giving her the appearance of a well dressed peasant. Her hair was a soft blue, not too bright, but not too dark. It was long too, going down past her knees. One could not tell her age by her looks - she was supposedly over 100 years of age yet appeared to be only 17 at the most.
"I still am," Ree muttered.
"But... then... what? I don't understand."
"You will. Turn to the last pages of my diary."
"They're blank aren't they mother? I've read the whole book from cover to cover. I don't see how a single soul could ever do what you did, nor do I see how the two..."
"Open the book to them my dear, you will see" Morrigan's mom said reassuringly. Cold as ever. She was always like this.
Morrigan grabbed her bag that she carried her things in and quickly pulled a book with a metal cover out. It was locked but the lock had no keyhole on it. Morrigan grabbed the lock. It was a special design by her mother built only to open when the hand of Morrigan or her mom was wrapped around it. Morrigan squeezed it. Click! The lock opened. She quickly flipped through the pages to the last one. "It's empty Mother!" Morrigan exclaimed, "Just like I said... Mother?" Morrigan looked around.
"Behind you" Ree said lighting a candle with a touch, setting it on the table in the room. "Place the book on the table and sit down. You will have some reading to do in a moment."
Morrigan followed her Mother's orders, without question, without even stopping to think if this was some sort of trick.
"Take this" Ree said, handing a dagger to Morrigan. "But first, I want you to do one thing."
"Yes mother?" Morrigan said, a little nervously.
"Hug me, please. I may only be an illusion, but it's hard to explain, I am all that's left and after you do what you are about to, I fear I will be nothing more than a voice guiding you if I am lucky," Ree said. She was about to burst into tears, yet she maintained a straight face.
"Mother... I..." Morrigan said. She too was about to cry, and Ree could tell, so she hugged her little girl.
"I'm sorry..." Ree said, showing no signs of the emotional chaos she was feeling deep inside. "I'm sorry, I never said goodbye." She looked at the ground.
"Mom" Morrigan said, now crying. The two embraced, and held each other tightly.
A tear fell down Ree's cheek. "Come on Morrigan..." Ree said, her voice unchanged. "It's really easy, you to cut yourself, draw blood, and let at least one drop fall on the book..."
"I don't want to..." said Morrigan still crying. "I want to stay here with you, forever..."
"I knew you'd say that," Ree sighed, "and I knew I'd have to do this..."
Ree grabbed Morrigan's hand and held it over the book with one hand. She then with her other free hand grabbed the dagger and cut Morrigan carefully on the tip of her finger to draw just a little blood. A soft "Ow" escaped Morrigan's lips as the blade crossed her fingertip. Ree smiled, and kissed Morrigan on the forehead. "Goodbye," she said, and faded like a mist from the room. Morrigan fell out of the chair, her weight no longer supported by Ree, and she cried for what seemed like hours.
Morrigan awoke with the sun. Was she dreaming? She started to get up. Boink! She hit her head on the table. No she hadn't been. 'The Book!' she thought. 'What happened to it!' Quickly she got up on the chair and looked at the last two pages of the book. They were covered in red ink that had not been there before. She read:
Morrigan, it is time you learn the Truth - what I have hidden from you all these years. I will start off by saying that I am writing this message to you, my dear dear girl, on our ship. My dear, if only you knew of the mistakes one can make in 923 years. I have read too far into fate and see I have very little time. I have read fate, and know, or knew rather, that you would one day read this message, and now you know that as you read this you are guided by an inescapable fate that will bring you to freedom of this life without a choice, a life I only thought I was going to live. Alas I was cheated, tricked into creating you. Yes I created you - you have no father. You will understand more later. If I tell you more now, fate may change, and you may be forever living by it. One day we will be together, but there is only one way to do that my dear. There will be a message board in the town you are staying in, the town will be Mileth, do not ask how I know this. Go to that message board and find a post by your friend Maerista. Do not let her die! Follow her where ever she is headed - you will understand why later.
Remember, I always loved you.
I always will love you no matter where or what you are.
Ree Shi, Danaan 3291
Morrigan got up out of the chair, quickly packed her things, and left for the noticeboard. From there... only fate knew.
Even Darkness Casts a Shadow
Maerista scrambled up the incline, pulling herself between two giant rocks that seemed to be acting almost as gatekeepers to this desolate land in which she now found herself. It was the fall of the 8th Deoch, and already the white tongues of frost had begun to invade these hills.
Mae paused briefly, to catch her breath, and looked behind her to see how far she had come. Not far in physical terms, it must be said. She had travelled for a double moon, northwards from Suomi, her homeland. A grim march towards what she fully expected to be her doom.
For the hundredth time she pulled two documents from her pack. The first, her own notes on the Book of the Black Cow, recently unearthed in Pravat. And the second, a book written by Rookerin entitled "To See With Eyes Unclouded" which she had found hidden in the Loures Library, and promptly took for herself. With fingers quivering slightly from the cold, she opened the latter, and located an underlined passage near the end.
"None with the spark of Danaan could reach this height of Kadath without going mad."
A self-fulfilling prophecy, she thought to herself sardonically. Who else but one filled with madness would ever come to a place like this?
Nevertheless, Mae had taken the warnings in the Book of the Black Cow seriously - even the greatest of the Aosdans had been twisted by the darkness in Kadath - and had availed herself of the magickal defences offered by her god, Gramail. It was whispered quietly in priestly circles that Gramail himself had once been an ancient Aosdan who had failed to act as his fellows fell under the influence of darkness. Maerista was determined not to make the same mistake. She would end this Anaman Pact before it had even begun. Clutching her prayer necklace, she ran its smooth surface between her fingers and, praying for protection, hoped that her god approved.
Placing the writings back in her pack, the priestess moved off again, pulling her cloak ever more tightly around herself. How different she felt now from that young girl who had arrived so full of life and enthusiasm in Mileth almost exactly three Deochs ago. Where now was the Maerista who had argued so fervently with Etienne that rules and laws were unnecessary in Community - that compassion, honesty and openness were the answers to evil, not ever harsher punishments? What had happened to the Maerista who encouraged and supported those around her, rather than politicking against and gossiping about those Aislings she or her friends happened to dislike? Mae grimaced as the realisation of how far she had fallen gripped her once more with icy fingers. Once she had been able to see and appreciate the good in people, no matter what their flaws. But now, all she could see was her own pain - her own sense of failure and despair.
"I wonder if this is how Danaan felt when she sacrificed herself for us," she muttered aloud.
If the hills knew the answer to that, they kept their own counsel.
A couple of hours passed, but Mae's progress towards the dark places hardly faltered. A distant murmuring sound that had seemed to be coming from all around her, finally began to coalesce into perceptible voices.
"Why are you coming?" they whispered. "You are a great Aisling, and loved by many. Use your power and influence to change things to be as you want them! Return to Mileth and take your rightful place as burgess of that town!"
Maerista shook her head, seemingly disagreeing and trying to remove the voices from her mind simultaneously. "Power corrupts me," she said to the freezing air. "I lost touch with my dream and became a slave to petty rules."
"That dream is over, Lady Maerista. You tried to create a sense of family among those you loved. But you failed. You tried everything you could think of to show them your dream, but they didn't see it did they? They are blind, Mae, blind. Blinded by Danaan's light in their eyes."
"Yes, child. We can see you are beginning to understand. That abominable spark in you grows dim. Soon you too shall see clearly."
Maerista stiffened at the reference to Rookerin's words, spoken, according to his book, as he had reformed the Pact of Anaman. "You cannot corrupt me!" she almost spat. "I come to give my life to end yours! This will be my penance for the wrongs I've done."
Suddenly laughter rang out from every direction. "Wonderful! Your arrogance and egotism is greater than could ever have been hoped! So you consider yourself worthy? Then come, come by all means!"
Mae's shoulders sagged as she realised that the motives she had thought of as the purest of all - the very things that had driven her here in the first place - were derived only from her stupid pride. Even lost in her greatest sense of failure and despair, her pride still ruled her. But what else was left? To return to Mileth and beg forgiveness? To go crawling back in defeat after having left with such haughty melodrama? No, better to die a martyr than face that.
And somewhere ahead in the darkness, a voice howled in victory.
The Mountain that Maddens, Kadath
Sometimes we do things for reasons we do not know. Is it fate that drives us? Or does love send us even as far as the end of existence after those we love?
Morrigan dashed thought the quickly thinning forest toward the foot of a rocky mountain. 'How do I get myself into these messes,' she thought to herself as she ran toward a low cliffside, only about 16 hands high. "Oh... damn..." Morrigan mumbled as she neared the ridge. "Here we go". Morrigan quickly started scampering up the side of the slope.
From the woods came a howl. Out of the trees came two dark wolves - they were like shadows, dark yet you could almost see though them. They rushed thought the the underbrush, and quickly to the cliff wall. They leapt up almost biting Morrigan's foot off as she pulled herself over the top of the ridge. The wolves could not climb up the side of the cliff, and growled as they tried to jump up to the top of the cliff wall.
Morrigan caught her breath then stood up and looked back at her pursuers. "Can't get me now, you stupid little wolves!" she said sticking her tongue out at them. Suddenly a bolt of lighting struck the ground near her, and Morrigan ran like a scared rabbit up the side of the mountain.
"Maerista!" Morrigan yelled as she tried to climb the side of the mountain after her friend. "Maerista why? Come back, let's both go back to Mileth!"
Maerista kept climbing. They were on the Foot of Kadath, climbing slowly to its peak. The wind was strong now.
"Come on! Please listen!" Morrigan yelled so she could be heard over the wind.
Maerista stopped and looked back, a sudden look of intense panic on her face. "Morrigan! How did you find me? Go back while you still can! There is no need for both of us to die!"
Morrigan went on climbing while figuring that she could drag Maerista back if she had to. "Just stay there!" Morrigan yelled over the wind. Sometimes Mae almost seemed within arms reach, but then the mists would swirl between them, and when they cleared, she would be further away again.
Darkness fell unnaturally swiftly. Morrigan could feel the cold of night biting at her exposed skin. It started to snow. Morrigan could see the snowflakes, like little designs that flew thought the air. She counted them as she climbed. One, Two, Three, Four. Each one not like the last. Twenty, Twenty-one, Twenty-two. Why am counting these? she wondered. Hey snow isn't white, it makes a rainbow, but then... where am I... what is that up ahead?
To See is to Despair
The voices had fallen silent now, as Maerista continued her steady climb, leaning heavily on her staff. She initially felt relief, but in many ways the quiet was more disturbing. Mae could feel their presence, watching her, choosing to leave her alone with her despair while she followed the inevitable course of her fate. There was no sound of Morrigan from behind now either. Mae knew that her friend would not give up - the bond between them was too strong. And so she quickened her pace, determined to give herself the time to do what must be done, before Morri could arrive and ... complicate everything. From the corner of her eye, Maerista noticed a thick, freezing mist rising up from the ground behind her. "I see you want to keep this between just you and I too," she muttered under her breath.
Without warning, the slope levelled off and the priestess staggered to keep her balance as she found herself standing at the edge of a stunningly beautiful plateau of sheet ice. Every conceivable pattern seemed to shift chaotically within its ordered surface. Ahead, the hills rose still further into the sky, but into the base of this nearest cliff-face an entrance had been hewn from the rocks and adorned with pillars, after the style of the temples of the gods of Temuair.
Pushing her hair away from her face, Maerista moved carefully towards the temple's gaping maw. She held her staff before her in a two-handed grip, more as a comfort than anything else. Was she moving towards the temple, or was it moving towards her? It was so difficult to tell. In a matter of moments, Mae found herself standing on the lowest temple step, staring up into darkness. "Not just the absence of light," she said out loud, as if to confirm the true horror of the vision to herself, "but darkness in pure form. I guess I've found what I was looking for." An ache of fear gripped her stomach. Climbing the steps, Maerista passed over the threshold and promptly vanished from view.
"Welcome," said a voice. A single voice. Melodious and pure.
Maerista stood perfectly still, trying to judge the location of the voice in the darkness. After a few moments she realised she had been holding her breath, and consciously let it out. "Show yourself," she said, her fear betraying itself through the inevitable quiver in her voice.
"As you wish, my Lady."
The darkness swam before Maerista's eyes, and a man-shape appeared - a dark knight - formed from the darkness, yet still somehow a part of it. "I am the one you seek," it said.
"Are you the one called Anaman?"
"I am. And I am the one who can bring you peace."
Maerista tried to focus on the form in front of her, but could not. "How?" she uttered, softly.
The presence seemed to grow closer, almost eagerly. "The spark of Danaan within you is dim, but it lives nontheless. Guilt is the control She places on all her children. It limits you, Maerista. You cannot be free to be who you truly are while you are bound by it." The dark knight came closer, almost whispering now. "You know you are worthy - I can feel it. I can set you free, Mae. Freedom from guilt. The freedom to choose your own destiny!"
Mae stared blankly into the darkness for a moment. Then suddenly she spoke. "Freedom from having to care what others think of me?" Her eyes darted to the dark figure, a momentary pleading look crossing her face.
"Yes." hissed the darkness. "Oh yes..."
"What must I do?"
"Oh Maerista, my dear girl, I thought you would never ask!" Anaman's features suddenly became clear enough for Maerista to make out a smile. "Give me your hand," it commanded. "Do not resist me."
Maerista released her grip on her staff, noticing for the first time just how tightly she had been grasping it. She held out her arm to the knight before her. Anaman grasped it and immediately a brilliant light burst into existence from deep within Maerista's chest, causing her to gasp involuntarily, her back arching slightly.
"Do not be afraid, Mae. Soon the pain will be over."
The burning glow of light began to move gradually from Maerista's chest across to her shoulder, and then began to creep down her arm to where the dark knight gripped her. Waves of agony passed through the priestess's body, making it tremble like a tree in a storm. The inside of the temple came into sharp focus as Danaan's light cast aside the darkness one last time...
Into the blinding light stumbled Morrigan, exhausted but looking as determined as ever. "I will not let you do this!"
The dark knight took only a moment to re-evaluate the situation. With its free hand it made a gesture in the air. Two lines and a swirl to bind them. There was a sharp crack of air being displaced, and instantly between Anaman and Morrigan stood two Succubi. Tall, dark, beautiful, magnificent.
One of the Succubi reached out and lifted Morrigan clean off the ground, then threw her to one side. Morrigan collapsed in a heap on the floor and lay still.
"Morri!" yelled Maerista, breaking free from the trance into which she had fallen. The dark knight seemed momentarily distracted by Maerista's shout. Sensing a weakness, the priestess gathered her remaining strength, and poured it into the light before her, pushing it towards the core of the dark knight's being. "By all the gods of Temuair I'll not let you harm her!"
Anaman's eyes widened. "No! Don't be such a fool!"
Maerista concentrated harder, trying to envelop the darkness with the light. Trying to crush it out of existence. At first it looked like she might almost succeed, but then the light began to wane. The look of pain on Mae's face was mirrored only by the glee on the soulless visage of the dark figure still grasping her arm. Then, suddenly, the light vanished, and Maerista was thrown back across the temple - lost in the darkness.
Anaman's eyes shone brilliant red, like rubies.
With Black Wings
"Kill the one with green hair, she has gone mad and is no use to us," the dark knight said, his red eyes glowing when he spoke.
The two Succubi approached where Morrigan lay, in the center of some sort of pentagram. One entered the circle and knelt down near Morrigan. Morrigan herself was drawing a circle in the ground with her finger mumbling one word over and over - "Darkness".
"You want us to kill her, my Lord?" the Succubus said as she got up.
The dark knight turned to her angrily and snapped "Didn't I just say that?" his eyes now glowing like fire.
"I would," responded the Succubus, "but there is one problem, my Lord. Our kind has a rule about killing..."
"What do you mean?" Anaman yelled in rage.
"I mean, my Lord," the Succubus went on, "we never kill one of our own blood."
"Do you mean to tell me that that thing is one of you?"
"Not exactly, my Lord, but to kill her would bring an about an end to us all. You see, almost 800 winters ago a contract was made with a young wizard. I believe you are familiar with it - the Contract of Eud," The Succubus said.
"That foolish mistake you made 800 years ago... You mean to tell me she is Ree? How truly pitiful," the Dark Knight added, almost laughing.
"She isn't Ree, my Lord. You're welcome to kill her yourself though..." And with that the Succubi left the shrine, stepping out into the cold night air.
"There are 357 dents in the area that I circle..." Morrigan muttered, "but only dark eyes see red things that are blue." She rolled over on her back and sat cross-legged.
Anaman turned to face Maerista, who had fallen to the cold stone floor of the temple. "You...." he growled "You're next. But don't worry, I'll give you the added bonus of watching your friend die as well." You could almost see the smile of glee as the dark knight started walk towards Morrigan.
"No!" Maerista called out, weakly. "Please, just leave her be! You already have me, what more could you want?!".
Morrigan slowly stood up. "Mae? where?" she said, sounding asleep, stumbling toward Maerista and the dark knight.
Anaman drew his sword, a fine dark blade, and bought it down on Morrigan, hitting her in the stomach. There was a scream of pain. The sword lay deep in the right side of Morrigan just above the hips. He raised his sword to strike again and Morrigan fell to her knees. Then he struck, the blade passing though her shoulder and hitting her heart. She hit the ground on her side, and Maerista saw the blue glow form her eyes flicker and vanish.
"And now you," the dark one growled at Maerista as he started to approach her. She stood uncertainly, and started backing up, further, further, until she was against the wall. She could hear her heart beating. But wait! That was not her heart - it was beating too slowly and much to loud!
Boom boom the beating went. The dark knight stopped. Boom boom the beating went. He slowly turned. Boom boom, again, again, like a clock. He looked at Morrigan. "How odd" he thought aloud. Boom Boom, it got faster and louder. He walked slowly toward Morrigan. The beating was all you could hear. He was all but five paces away from her when the beating sound stopped suddenly. He looked at Morrigan's face - stared at it, his sword ready. Suddenly her eyes opened, the once soft blue friendly eyes had been replaced by a blood red glow that seemed to be only a weak projection of the anger that was inside. She got up slowly, as her wounds gradually sealed themselves. Her hair slowly turned a blue, then a purple. Small bones stuck out of her back. Like fingers they grew to be small wings - the bones growing in size as flesh seemed to grow around them. Anaman struck at her with his sword, but she grabbed his blade and in an instant she had her hand around his neck, his metal armor bent under her grip.
"No..." Morrigan said. "No, that's what you want, for if I kill you, I will only be one of you..." Morrigan held the dark knight off his feet.
"Go ahead," he choked. "It's in you, it's your blood, your Fate."
Morrigan simply responded "Fate? there is no such thing for an Aisling," and tossed him aside, deep into the shadows, as if he was merely a doll. She walked over to Maerista who stood frozen in fear and shock, and took her in her arms, embracing, a kiss. "Wasn't that always your dream? To be this close to one?" Maerista said nothing. Morrigan didn't need a response. She picked Mae up gently, and walked out of the temple. Launching herself into the air, she flew south, not really knowing where she was headed.
When Maerista awoke, she was surrounded by five great oaks. She recognized this place instantly, so close to Suomi Village. These were the oak trees that she used to visit often. But where was Morrigan? Maerista sat up and looked around. Toir?sa and Elisabeth were there near a fire, watching over her.
"Maerista, you're awake," Toir?sa said, sounding relieved. "You've been out for days. We would have moved you but Morrigan wouldn't let us."
Elisabeth said nothing but simply faced Maerista and smiled - it was her way.
"Morrigan!" Maerista said, sitting up. "Where is she?" Elisabeth pointed up to one of the trees. In the darkness of night, Maerista could see two soft blue glows. "Morrigan, is that..." Maerista started but was quickly interrupted by Morrigan who snapped, "Yeah it's me! Now stay away lest I end up hurting some one I care for!"
There was a moment of silence. "Morrigan..." Maerista said in a calming voice. "Why do you say that?"
Morrigan did not answer, but stayed hiding up in the tree. She threw a book at Maerista's feet. It was the metal-covered one that had belonged to her mother. "Read the last page," Morrigan muttered. "Then perhaps you'll understand... all of you will then..."
Maerista picked up the book, walked over to the fire and sat next to Toir?sa and Elisabeth. "How long has she been like this?" she asked the two, knowing however that she would only get a answer from one.
"Ever since she went to get us and brought us here to you," Toir?sa said, "she climbed that tree and refused to come down. And she threatened to kill herself if we moved you."
Maerista opened the unlocked book and turned to the last page, "Shall I read?" she asked. Toir?sa and Elisabeth both nodded and so Maerista read the words from the page.
This will be my final message, and now I shall explain it all. My Contract with the Dubhaimid, my selling of my freedom, my mistake. I assisted in the creation of two Half Dubhaimid as you could call them. What I did I did to live with the power of a god. I made you by Contract, that's what I did, just like the last, yeah. How? A baby, yes a baby, I murdered, new born. Drained of blood like cattle, heart removed, replaced with the cold dark heart of a Succubus, yes, your blood, that be Dubhaimid too, not all, no no no, you have my blood, for you see you are my child, born form me, to die, only to die, you took some of my blood, that would make you free, free my dear, free....
"She went mad" Morrigan muttered weakly. She had climbed down from the tree, her Mystic Gown torn and cut. She had two large scars where she had been attacked by the dark knight's blade, and she seemed as pale as a ghost. "Mom... she went mad."
The three looked at Morrigan, "Morrigan are you ok?" Toir?sa asked. Morrigan didn't answer.
"Morrigan?" Maerista said. "Are you there?" Morrigan said nothing, but suddenly keeled over. Suddenly it occurred to Mae, how much blood had Morrigan lost? How did she manage to stay alive all this time? She grabbed Morrigan's back pack, and emptied it, grabbing the knife that Morrigan always kept with her. Carefully, using a skill she had learned so long ago, but hardly used, she started to transfer her own blood into Morrigan, mingling their blood together. The minutes seemed to pass like hours as they watched and hoped.
Finally, after what felt like days, Morrigan at last opened her eyes. "Why?" she said weakly "Why did you save my life?"
Maerista looked into the soft glow of Morrigan's eyes, "I told you once I would die for you, and that I would support you always, whoever you are and whatever you choose to do. Didn't you know that I love you?"
Morrigan smiled. She knew she did not have to answer. Nothing could take away this moment, nothing at all.
There was a loud knock at the door. Maerista smoothed out the parchment she was working on and looked up. "Come in," she called. The door groaned wearily and Morrigan slipped through, closing the door behind herself and leaning back against it with a huge sigh.
"It happened again, Mae."
"Did anyone see?"
"No, I don't think so. But the truth is going to come out sooner or later. It's hard to hide in a city of Aislings when I look like a Succubus." She sighed again. "When I am a Succubus," she corrected herself.
Mae went over to her friend and gave her a hug, kissing her gently. "Don't worry, we'll think of something." She smiled suddenly. "I've been catching up with the news. Did you know that Burgess Dartanian has passed a law making attacking 'summoned creatures' illegal unless they're hostile?"
Morrigan pouted dramatically. "Last I checked I'm not a summoned creature!"
"Yes, but the people of Mileth don't know that!"
"Well, that's the whole problem isn't it!"
Mae smiled wryly. "Perhaps we could find a priest of Sgrios to summon you?"
"Don't you dare!" laughed Morrigan, poking Maerista with her Holy Hermes. Turning to leave once more she added, "Don't stay up writing too late!"
"I won't, I promise," Mae smiled. Shutting the door quietly behind her friend, she sat down once more and looked down at the parchment. After a few moments she began to write again:
"To be forgiven and accepted is to be freed from guilt. This is the way of Danaan's compassionate light..."