Author: Riyin Nos Reche PM
This is going to me my "Masterpiece". I've decided to devote my literary skills to it, so reviews would be appreciated immensely. The story revolves around a Chronicler of the Dark, a human whose organization is based on learning about supernatural things to better combat them if they become a threat. He gets a meeting with Nuada, of the Autumn Court, and it goes from there. CheersRated: Fiction M - English - Supernatural/Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,410 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-02-12 - Published: 06-15-12 - id: 3032490
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"Bleak, the rituals of the Fae are many, yet this must be understood. You are human, and as such have a unique position. While we view you as nothing, and your word likewise, you are as well unbound to any lord or lady, and our rules are not yours. Enjoy your freedom Bleak, for it is a manifold blessing. Beware, however, should you ever have the misfortune of entering a Fae court. Like a rose colored black, your humanity is a taint in these halls, and though you can prick us as much as you like, the Fae will do all in their power to remove you, so that you darken their garden no more."
- Nuada, Champion of the Changelings, emissary to the mortal realm, Prince of the Autumn Court, speaking to James Montolio Black II, Chronicler of The Dark.
Chapter 2: A War of Roses
The blades, Cold Iron hand and a half swords about 32 inches in length, were quite common among the courtiers and warriors of the autumn court, for the very sight of Cold Iron sword, especially with a black, steel spike protruding from the base of the grip, was enough to send the most stalwart of the Fae Folk into a catatonic state of fear. What made these blades special was not the iron itself, but the vines, black and with veins of crimson, that were weaved into the metal as skillfully as if they had grown among it. The vines, known as Black Briarwood, grew almost exclusively in the realms of the Fae, though a less dangerous mirror plant was harvested commonly in the mortal realm. Affixed to each hilt was a black rose, with thorns not on its stem, but among the petals. Holding the hilt of the first blade, Anguish, the only part of the weapon without spiked protrusions, Nuada gazed stonily at his opponent. The rest of the Fae court had retreated to the ends of the court, with the bravest standing close to the sidelines in anticipation. Aeron of course wielded the ceremonial blade of the Autumn court, Nightshade. The two combatants weighed each other's strengths and weaknesses, and the entirety of the court, normally filled with laughter and screams in equal measure, was as silent as the graveyard that was its sister in the mortal coil. Only the shuffling of nervous feet and the heavy breathing of anticipated spectators broke the silence, until Nuada decided it was time.
"Let's get this over with," He muttered in a low growl, before rushing in towards Aeron at breakneck speeds. Smiling, and holding his own blade out wide, Aeron easily deflected Nuada's rush, and the King of the Autumn Court laughed high and shrill, before turning and slashing Nuada just under his eye.
A flash of light. Nuada and Aeron stood back to back, fighting against a human army who had somehow found their way into Faerieland. Backed by rebellious trolls and even one of the Elvellon, not a Grey Elf like Nuada, but an elf of the sun, the army was more fearsome than the norm for a human army. Aeron and Nuada twirled and reversed places, in a dance of death, their movements complimenting each other perfectly. The Elvish swordsman came in hard, and would have skewered Nuada but for Aeron, who with no other alternative slowed the speed of the blade by nicking it with his arm, his sword having been stuck in one of the two great trolls. Nuada pivoted, and deflected the lunge back at the Elf, catching him in the neck with his own blade. With the elf gone, the humans threw their plumed helms upon the ground in surrender, and their banner, an eagle affixed to a tall post, was added to many such like it in Maeve's trophy room. Nuada was once again stunned by the outcome of the battle.
"Why would you do that Aeron?"
"Silly little brother, it's just a sword."
"Brother, you can't just-"
Another thrust of a sword, so damnably similar to that one on that long ago day, brought Nuada crashing back to his senses.
"Come now, Nuada! Is this the extent of your skills as a swordsman? I have witnessed better, and I will not have it said that I wasted a Black Briar blade on an incompetent opponent!" Nuada smiled grimly upon hearing this.
Very well. Ludi Incipiant. Without a second thought, Nuada twisted in a full pivot and his sword came rushing in, faster and more deadly than before. He made sure to target Aeron's weak side, where a single part of his arm was numb. In that one spot where long ago, he had risked his life for a friend. Aeron barely had time to block before another strike came in, higher than the first, which he dodged hastily. Blades crossed, they leaned in close, and Aeron bared his teeth in a savage grin.
"Ruthless… Now that's more like it!" he shouted, before twisting away.
James, meanwhile, though it was past sundown, slept not at all as he mused on the day's findings. The Fae… But who, or more accurately what, are they? Kicking stones into the harbor as he walked the docks, James grimaced as the truth sunk in. I need more… Turning on his heel, James walked briskly back, determined to find answers to the questions that plagued him.
A thorn grazed his cheek, and Nuada howled in pain and rage. Even the slightest touch of a thorn caused excruciating agony. Aeron laughed all the more for it when Nuada swung in a wicked backhand, returning the favor.
Aeron's battle rage had overtaken him once again. Aeron had a rare disease, found only among Fae, in which the sight of blood gave him a Schizophrenic madness, and he lost his senses.
"Aeron, you must calm down!" Nuada screamed hoarsely over the smoke and fire of the battlefield between the Purple Court and the rebellious Gold Court, which Aeron and Nuada exterminated to the last. "They are gone, Aeron!" Nuada dodged a backhand swipe.
"Blood! Fire and smoke and darkness! Golden dragons dance in the flames, and the souls of the damned call to me! Die dragon!"
"They are all gone! Gone! Leave them to their misery!"
"Misery and thorns! Roses and blood! Die!" Aeron turned, and with a pivot, sliced Nuada's cheek. Nuada fell to the ground to avoid it, and Aeron advanced slowly, cackling and screaming. Nuada tried to plead one more time.
"Please Aeron, it's me! Your-"
"Brother…" Aeron dropped to his knees. "Brother, is the blood gone away yet?"
"Soon, Aeron, soon," Nuada gasped, wiping the blood from his face, "Soon we will have no need for blood."
Aeron yelled at him maniacally as they continued their macabre dance. "First blood! First blood! A dance in fear is ours! A dance in fire!" So saying, Aeron twisted away, and, one by one, tipped over seven brightly lit braziers, scattering the halls center with burning hot coals. The braziers were the hall's only illumination, and now centered, it stood as a dark beacon to the dance of death being performed by the two combatants. Nuada hissed as his left foot brushed against a coal, searing through the leather and burning the outside. He had seen personally the effects of Aeron's battle madness, but to bring fire into it? Black Briar blades and fire?
"This is madness Aeron, you'll burn the hall to the ground!" Indeed, the wood and dirt foundations of the walls were burning, lighting up the room. The Unseelie Fae were already leaving through the narrow drapes, to find a new haven before the sun rose. Aeron laughed.
"Burn it, sear, through my eyes! And yours, my friend! Your eyes see the heat!" leaping through the space above the hot coals, Aeron aimed a deep slash, cutting across Nuada's chest and tearing through his armor. Grunting and ripping off the tattered pieces, Nuada swung his sword up, catching Aeron's leg as he soared past, hitting the wall and falling limp briefly. As Aeron staggered to his feet, Nuada clutched his side, the wound bleeding freely. Both combatants, one leaning against the wall, crippled, and one armorless, covered in his own blood, were terrifying apparitions.
"Enough is enough, Aeron my friend… My brother, Yield," Nuada implored.
"I will yield when your head rolls! Rolls and rolls ever on, EVER STRONG!" With a sickening crunch, Aeron's leg collapsed, and he howled, in a gleefully mad intoxication of pain, before lunging once more at Nuada, who, full of more pain than Aeron could ever understand, simply sidestepped. Aeron's eyes showed no comprehension of what was happening as his body hit the wall, and trapped by the banners of his own court, began to burn. No screams issued forth, and no curses were bellowed. The hall was silent, with Nuada the only living creature standing within the broken and burning remains of what was once the Autumn court. The smell of burnt flesh was excruciating, and Nuada paused only to take Aeron's crown from his scorched head before staggering away, bleeding and broken, into the fast-fading night, his obsidian skin burning, too, as the first rays of dawn touched it. On that day, Nuada truly mastered the emotion of remorse, as he cursed himself for the tears he could not bring to bear, and the brother he could not save. Nuada barely made it to the hollow of the old thorn tree, by which he had met his Chronicler, before his eyes dimmed, his senses blurred, and he slept.