They say writing is rewriting, no? This evening I placed myself upon this path. Once again, my main project is getting some attention. The first prologue I wrote for Nivitera’s Promise can be found here. This current blog is a rewrite of that. Is it better? Is it worse? I am honestly not sure. I suppose it is up to the audience to decide that. Enjoy!
NOTE: Not proofread.
Darkness lay draped across the landscape. Prominent was winter’s embrace. Leafless trees and frost covered pines swayed alike upon the frigid wind. The ground below remained frozen beneath a sheet of white. Among a million distant stars hung a single, pale blue moon. The moonlight provoked a masquerade of gentleness. Silence enhanced its charade; creating the illusion of calm and wellbeing within this world.
A lone wolf treaded through the snow; dashing ever onward. Four strong paws carried him with ease. His pelt equaled a night sky; one devoid of stars or moons. It rippled beneath a thin aura of white and pale blue hues. Gleaming as bright as the moon, a star-shaped stone sat within a ring of gold that encased a toe on his front left paw. A pair of determined eyes stared ahead; unblinking. The right held the blue of a summer evening while the left seemed reminiscent of this wolf’s only companion; the moon. Smooth as liquid he moved; flowing from one form into the next to carry himself apace. The encasing of blue and white cascaded about him in faultless concord with his being. With mind and stride solid as stone, he pushed himself forward.
A fortress of dark-grey stonework loomed in the distance. Four towers reached higher than ancient trees. The fifth tower, located in the very heart of the fortress, reached to the heavens and surpassed the blanket of stars; merging with the darkness itself. Two outer walls of lesser significance fortified the structure’s defenses.
Anxiety and instinct intensified within the black wolf as he surged forward; eyes fixed upon the massive structure. Adrenaline wormed its way through his system; accelerating his movements. His nostrils flared as a familiar scent found him. This scent had driven his departure from him. This scent had pushed him to run for days. This scent made him lust for blood. This scent drove him mad.
As the amount of surrounding trees thinned, the true size of the fortress became evident. Beyond the titanic walls that stretched to either side beyond the wolf’s sight, the keep itself was both gargantuan and herculean. Its massive size and architectural design served to attenuate any who desired to besiege it. It portended evil and harm, yet the wolf discarded any admonishing feelings. Every beat of his heart pushed him forward until he reached the first barrier between him and his target.
With complete mitigation for his own wellbeing, he hurdled toward the obstruction of bricks. The whiteness of his jaws glittered in the light of the pale moon as he parted his fangs and released a growl from deep within his throat. The thin aura of white and blue grew in size around him and surrounded him in a thick whirlwind that whipped his ears about and tore at his fur.
A thud, a crack and finally a complete burst announced that a hole now existed within the stone wall. Dust drifted through the air and sought its way earthwards; the remnants of the obsidian wolf’s dilapidation. The beast ran onwards; conviction in both eyes. Fortitude existed within every inch of the wind-enveloped creature as he leaped forward and crushed a portion of the second bulwark. The colossal edifice remained.
While the dust dwindled about around him, the wolf gathered himself and studied his surroundings meticulously. Beneath him, an expanse of snow-covered grass climbed a steady incline to the location of the fort. A handful of trees stood scattered about in a natural fashion. The sharp peaks of rocks displayed themselves above the frosty blanket. Wind was naught due to the loftiness of the fortifications. What air remained smelled faintly of pine wood. Thick as honey remained the smell of the wolf’s target. His hunt was upon its closure. Hope he held for a positive denouement.
While vigilant, the wolf ran. His paws consumed several meters in seconds; closing the distance between himself and his objective. Every pulse within him drove him onwards; sending renewed vitality into his blood stream. His teeth remained ajar and the wind around him remained vast; its potency evident from the acceleration it gifted to the wolf within its midst.
Darting by trees and jumping over rocks with seeming ease, the wolf hastened until he reached what had lured him. The deep grey rock of the building seemed darker than shadow though it was not. The four outer turrets seemed to reach higher than the moon, while the summit of the final tower penetrated the starlit ceiling itself and stretched beyond. Granite constructed the entirety of the building. Following along it, the wolf ran while his eyes flicked from side to side in a desperate attempt to find a method of entry.
In the distance, a thin line of golden light extended from the fortress and stretched across the snow. With conspicuous excitement, the wolf leaped forward; eyes glued to the phenomenon. Within several seconds, he discovered the source. Two large, wooden doors that stood taller than two men, allowed a slim strip of light to pass outward. A disesteemed expression gripped the wolf’s face as he stood before the massive objects. The aura of wind around him hissed with contempt before lashing forward like hungry flames and ramming into the doors.
A creak sounded. A clang followed. The doors became undone. A second wind erupted from the wolf as he stood snarling. As if light as paper, the doors swung inwards and hit the walls beyond with an audible bang. The opulent interior revealed itself.
Carpets of lavish red lay draped across the polished marble floors. Extensive abstract designs had been woven into the rugs. The pale white walls shimmered. Large pillars sat at regular intervals within the corridors to support the massiveness of the structure. Large, exaggerated paintings hung from the walls. The images depicted wars of the past or great heroes. Valor was evident upon all their faces. Fire-breathing dragons were seen fighting legions of men and women. Dramatized displays of magics defeated entire armies. These were the stories of old.
Flames that drifted above bright red stones which had been set into the walls lit the corridors. Where carpets did not lay, extensive floor work was equally impressive. Mosaics depicted the sun and the movement of the moons. Entire constellations found representations beneath the feet of those who wandered these halls.
Few they were, the wolf knew. Aside from himself, the halls were empty and silence reigned. Far beyond, the distant howl of the natural wind howled.
His own winds subsided as he pointed his nose downward and sought for an ever-familiar smell. Race did his heart. Every beat equaled a heavy drum within his chest. He was close. The sensation dwelled within every bone and every nerve.
Her scent filled him; surprisingly floral yet sharp. Upon finding the odor within his nostrils, he instantaneously moved. Appetence filled him and his instinct thrived. Blood, thirst, craving; boundless sensations occupied his heart and mind. Desires tyrannized logic. Sense scattered.
The scent intensified and drew the wolf through empty corridors with an august appearance until he reached a pair of elaborately carved wooden doors. Countless animals sat upon the polished wood and golden handles held the room shut.
It took but one leap.
Bolstered by the power of air, the wolf flung himself headfirst in the direction of the doors. Clattering, creaking and cracking sounds echoed throughout the corridor as the doors shattered and pieces of wood of various sizes were flung about in a chaotic manner. The hinges rattled where they sat from the impact while nails rolled across the floor and the golden knobs became buried underneath the heavy wood splinters.
Inward he walked; across the bed of rubble below his feet. His eyes never moved from what he observed within. Paces deliberate yet measured, the wolf moved toward her.
A chamber, generous in size, presented itself. Arsenic green marble floors gleamed. An extensive of bright maroon stretched from the entrance to the opposing end of the room where an elevated platform had been built. Walls of cool grey marble were covered in elaborate tapestries of vibrant hues. From the ceiling hung a multitude of chandeliers made entirely made of gold and silver. The collection hung upon the vivid carpet below. Dazzling white light emanated from them and caused the gemstones within the ceiling to glitter. Emeralds, sapphires, rubies and amethyst sparkled in unison.
Upon the raised platform stood a single chair as elaborate as a throne and taller than any man. The object seemed to be constructed from nothing but silver or a likewise metal. The legs of the object curved like snakes and were inlaid with precious gems akin to diamonds. The back, seat and manchette were covered in cushioning across which lay fabrics of electric violet with lilac floral patterns interwoven into the fabric. Upon the cresting rail rested three crowns; all of gold. The first seemed to be inlaid with clear blue apatite and aquamarines. The second held several citrines and garnets. The final crown was decorated with lapis lazuli and opals.
The elaborate cathedra held an occupied. A woman sat upon it with an unusually relaxed air about her. Thick, raven-black hair hung behind her to the ends of her shoulder blades. They cascaded and framed her pale, refined face. Perceptive, cat-like eyes watched the world with large pupils that swam within clouds of grey. Long black lashes framed her eyes; curling elegantly upwards. Thin, perfectly symmetrical brows sat above her twin storms. A slim nose sat above thin, pink lips. A choker around her slender neck, displayed a gemstone that glowed. The colors within seemed to be fluid as they changed, swayed and moved of its own accord. The object cast a ring of soft, colorful light upon the woman’s skin.
Her shoulders, round and high, remained bare; displaying countless square inches of bare skin. Her upper arms remained alike. Slender, black gloves extended from elbows to her hands, where the fabric wrapped only around her thumb but left the remainder of her fingers bare. Small obsidians decorated the backs of these gloves. A tunic of warm grey clung to her hourglass figure. Onyxes and obsidians lined the sweetheart neckline. A black leather belt wrapped around her waist. From it hung countless knives of various sizes and proportions. Their bare blades swayed as she moved. Her lengthy, thin legs, that extended from her wide hips were clad in black leggings and extended into black leather boots that held a wide heel.
A virtuous smile held her lips and her eyes gleamed with interest. “Well then.” she spoke, her melodic voice carrying throughout the entire chamber. Its warmth eclipsed the summer sun.
The wolf remained silent as he strode forward; jaws bared and eyes ablaze with hatred.
Drawing a finger to her lips, the woman made herself look thoughtful. “It seems you have made a spectacle of destroying my residence, hmm?” she hummed sweetly.
The wolf halted after having crossed half the distance to her. His eyes of opposing blue watched her attentively. In doing so, his pupils never left and his lids never blinked. From deep within his throat one word came in a deep rumble. It struck not the walls but was audible to the woman’s ears nonetheless. “Licia.”
She remained smiling as she gave him an affirmative nod. Her formerly upraised hand she placed back upon the arm rest; returning to her gracious demeanor. “And whom might you be?” she inquired.
The wolf’s tone was precarious as he replied, “You ask the name of your murderer?”
Licia tilted her head curiously before she answered, “There is that chance.” Her smile widened and she laughed; a cold giggle echoed throughout the room. As abruptly as its inception, the sound died away as the grey eyes rolled and found an unexpected object. “My, my.” she hummed while tapping the fingers of her left hand atop the armrest of her chair. The motion was soundless. “I did not think I would be blessed with an audience such as yourself.” she pronounced with a serious expression.
The wolf clasped down his teeth in a sharp chomp. “My status has little to do with my objective. I may hold the Wind Sword yet your blood might still spill for me, Licia the Black.” he growled.
With a soft click of the heel of her boot being placed beside the other, Licia uncrossed her legs and rose to her feet. “You amuse me.” she stated. “As do many of your brethren. I knew one such as you. A kind soul he was.” she explained as she stepped down from the raised plateau.
“How a wretched being such as yourself obtained friendship is a mysterious occurrence; likewise, is that you obtained Vi’s favor.” Still growling, the wolf sank deeper through his legs. The current of winds around him moved more sporadically as his mood shifted to an intense state.
“Hmm.” Licia hummed, “Do you object?”
“The world does.” the black wolf replied with a violent snarl.
The comment caused the woman to roll her eyes, seeming to be miffed. Whilst taking a step nearer to her opponent, the woman raised up both her hands and connected her first two fingers with her thumb before moving both towards the crystal at her throat. Upon her fingers connected with the surface of the glowing object, the colorful light found itself substituted. For the duration of a second, the light was white and staggering. As the illumination faded, Licia drew forth two objects.
In each hand, she held a rapier of a brilliant steel that held impeccable luster. The pommels were a deep black while the handles seemed white beneath her hands. The guards of both held a reflective brilliance to them; causing the ceiling lights to dance upon them. The crossbar seemed to hold a bronze sheen to it. The blade itself, from the ricasso to the debole held resemblance to silver intermingled with white gold. What made the swords remarkably however, was the glaze of transparent color that lay over each. This enamel created of nothing but energy acted in the same way as its source. Colors swam and swirled; ever-changing and undefinable. These thin, intangible layers cast no light but demanded attention of no lesser scale than the gem that had created it was due. At the very tip of each blade sat a tiny sparkle; unseen when the blades were still in the air, but flaring up as the blade moved; its intensity emphasized by the speed of action.
Licia’s smile returned to her as she raised her blades appropriately. “Now then.” she proceeded in a lukewarm tone. “We shall dance with destiny, Wind Wolf.”
Winds lashed about and blades glinted with every movement. The snow remained beyond. The moon was still full. The wind howled and the trees continue to sway. Morning would still come yet one less life would find it alive. Tonight, blood was spilled but it belonged to one and one alone.