Disclaimer: Blue Eyed Winged Elf and Saharian SaDiablo do NOT own any part of Black Jewel's Trilogy.
The Light's Mistress
By: Blue Eyed Winged Elf
Co-written by: Saharian SaDiablo (ARE YOU HAPPY??!! I DIDN'T FORGET!)
The creation of the Blood was the beginning of the new era. The well known legend of how the Dragon Queen sacrificed herself and gave humans the gift of Craft has several different versions. Yet, there is another story. One that begins far before the Dragons existed to walk the Realms. One that begins at the time of the first Witch, long before Jaenelle and Cassandra; back to the time of the first Queen of the Darkness. One that began so long ago, that it lies in the tomb of untold and forgotten lore of the olden times. The tale of the Light's Mistress.
She stood in the middle of the battlefield, flaming sword in hand never still. The enemy was retreating slowly, but were not yielding easily. If she wanted to win, then it was seen that she would have to work for it. Roaring a battle cry, she charged into the fray, sword spinning in a deadly pattern, moving in time to a deadly dance. Parry, slash, dodge, thrust; she was a battle queen in all her glory. A sudden shadow condemned her wild joy as the bloodlust cleared away. She bared her teeth in a deadly smile, cinnamon hair now stained a deep red, swirling around her. The Lady of the Darkness was coming. Still smiling, she whipped her sword around her waist in a silent challenge. One that could not be refused.
The ranks of the vast army of the human Blood parted. A figure strode down the clear path. Short midnight black hair framed her face, not moving with the howling wind and her deep green eyes held cold naked fury. Her skin was so pale you could see the red of her blood, and her bare feet ended more in wolf's paws. Her hands were thin and looked delicate; until at closer range you could see the silver claws jutting out from her fingertips. Her face held a feral, feline beauty and pointed cat's ears peaked out from under her hair, swerving in all directions at once to hear the sounds of battle surrounding her. She wore a long, black gown made of spider silk and Ebony Jewels hung in a necklace made like a spider web. She wore two silver bangles that contained an Ebony Jewel as well. No doubt she wanted to be at full strength. She carried no weapon.
The Queen of the Darkness stood in the middle of the blood-soaked field, surveying the bodies lying everywhere. An intense cold burned through the field, splintering the cold crust the madness and rage lurked underneath her calm exterior.
The Light's Mistress stood on the other side, flanked by her troops. Her waist length cinnamon hair swirled all around her. Eyes the colour of red wine, the colour of blood filled with intense bloodlust and rage stared back at the Queen of the Darkness. At Witch. Flames danced in her eyes. Unlike her opponent, she wore a crimson tunic with black arm guards and sword gloves. Black breaches covered her legs. A flowing dark scarlet cape finished the outfit. Unlike Witch, she wore fighting gear. A pale, creamy rose complexion and a tall, sinewy build gave her a commanding presence. Instead of a Jewel, she wore a pendant shaped like a flame around her neck. It flared with its own inner fire, waiting for the power contained in it to be released by its Mistress.
Witch raised her hand. Her troops swiftly moved back. Seeing what was about to happen, The Light's Mistress forced her own soldiers back. If she was to destroy this terrible dark force, then she had to have some room to manoeuvre. The minutes slid slowly by, as soldiers on both sides awaited the furious battle that was sure to come.
Silence overcame the battle field. Every breath was held in terrified speechlessness. Who was to win? Who would begin the deadly dance? Every eye was on the two women.
Suddenly Witch made a slashing motion with her right hand. A magnificent war blade appeared in her hand, glimmering coldly. The dress split up the sides, climbing higher and higher, revealing the creamy skin of her thighs. It stopped mere inches from her hips. The gowns sleeves melted away, leaving her in a sleeveless black combat outfit. The two commanders locked eyes; frozen green with blazing crimson.
The Light's Mistress charged forward, flaming sword in hand, raised in front of her. Fiery wings erupted from her back, as she streaked up the battlefield. Witch met her blade with her own. The resulting clash rang throughout the silent battle field. No one was moving but them. The Mistress swung her blade free and slashed at the left side of Witch's face. Witch parried the blow, only to be slashed across the stomach as her opponent dropped to one knee and delivered the slicing swing. Blood poured from the shallow gash. The spider silk gown began to curl at the edges, as though it had been set on fire. No time to heal it. The Light's Mistress slashed at Witch's head. She instinctively blocked the blow and thrust at the other woman, meaning to run her through.
She saw it coming and twisted to one side. The shining war blade punched a hole in her abdomen, missing anything vital. Anger flared briefly in her blood-red eyes. Witch leapt back and slashed savagely crosswise, as if to slice her opponent in two. The Light's Mistress spread her flaming wings and
gracefully vaulted into the air. Spinning the sword, flames dancing, she hurled it downwards. "Rain of Fyre!" she yelled viciously. The sword disappeared only to be replaced by a meteor shower of flames hurtling down at Witch.
Through frozen forest green eyes, Witch watched the many fire balls hurtle towards her. In one movement a pair of ebony wings exploded from her back and she threw herself skywards. The fireballs slammed into the ground where the Lady of the Darkness once stood, burning a smouldering crater.
The Light's Mistress hovered in the air, a look of loathing rage twisting her face. She hurled herself at Witch. Another vicious dance began. Blades whirling around them, they moved in perfect time. Witch saw an opening in the other's defence and she went for it. Feinting a swing at her head, which was instantly blocked, Witch thrust forwards.
The Light's Mistress felt the cold blade enter her body. She could feel the hilt pressing against her abdomen, could feel the razor sharp point protruding from her back. Gathering her strength, she raised her hand.
Witch regarded the other with her cold green eyes. Suddenly, the Light's Mistress raised her hand...... and pointed it into her face. Light began to gather in her palm. Witch had only enough time to look up when the light blasted straight into her face.
The soldiers of both sides stared into the red sky of a new dawn. Two figures plummeted to the ground, their wings doing nothing to save them from the long fall. They moved back as the bodies fell into the small space. Panting, Witch struggled to stand. She had barely managed to get a shield up, but the
blast was not completely deflected. Her hair was burned as well as most of her face and the once magnificent gown hung in tatters around her. The other woman lay still, the blade still through her. Scornfully, she withdrew the blade from the other woman's body. She had won.
Suddenly, Light's Mistress leapt upright, her breathing laboured. Seizing Witch in a death grip, she gritted into her face, "You will never walk these realms again. Witch will continue to be reborn, but you will never be. You will remain in your Darkness, knowing that you are forever trapped,
never to see the light of day again." A light flared from her hands and engulfed the two women. When it faded, the Light's Mistress collapsed in a heap, blood leaking from the awful wound.
Witch stood, panting. She had won. The bitch was dead; that was all that mattered. Now, she could slaughter the rest of those people who walked in their so-called light. Dripping blood from numerous wounds, Witch turned and rushed onto the battlefield, her troops following, screaming battle cries. When they were done, the nearby river ran red.
Long years have passed since the slaughter of the Rhumians; the people who once drew their power from the Light. All those present at the slaughter soon grew old and died as the time passed by. The Queen of the Darkness, the one known as Witch also felt the weight of the years press in on her. Feeling the effects of her old foes curse, she knew it was only a matter of time before, she too, returned to her beloved Darkness.
Since her death, hundreds of Witches had seen the light of day, and ended their existence to return to the ever-going Darkness. Although all of them were the Queen of Ebon Askavi- an ancient place that was there even when the first Witch fought the Light's Mistress on the blood-soaked soil that was soon named part of Terreille, the Realm of Light- the true form of Witch was never born again. The Mistress's curse held true.
However, as time passes, different dreamers awaken and are brought into the world. Though some of the dreamers that had formed the first Witch are long gone, and will never be seen walking the realms again, the Blood that have truth in the claim that they are dreams made flesh are formed of the present dreamers. Whoever they are, someone had dreamed of them, giving them form and purpose.
Several millennia's have passed since the death of the last true Witch. Now, there is another. Born twenty-five years ago, she purged the Realms of the tainted Blood. Many dreamers have given her form, and now struggle to anchor their dream to her body. Now, the first true Witch in millennia, is named Jaenelle Angelline.
It was midnight. Saetan stood in the Queen's Chambers as he watched his Queen sleep peacefully. Three months since she purged the realms had passed and she was still healing. Draca had warned them all that any strong emotions in the chambers could destroy all the effort the kindred had put into healing her. So, he stood trying to be as neutral as humanly possible while the daughter of his soul slept on. Tucking his head against his chest, he slipped quietly into dreams of his witch-child, healed and whole.
A wrenching scream smashed his dreams and slumber into thousands of pieces. Trying to clear the sleep from his eyes, he turned to the bed with the once still body on it.
Saetan watched as Jaenelle thrashed around wildly and flung her body out of the bed. He quickly wrapped a black shield around her, just in time as her thrashing carried her into the wall with a loud thud. She lay still.
"Witch-child?" he asked softly, placing her back on the bed. Her eyelids fluttered rapidly at the sound of his voice. She looked up at him for a second and closed her eyes and lay back, slightly twitching. A few minutes later her muscles tightened in a furious spasm making her back arch, straining tightly and she screamed, "DAEMON."
He sent a quick mental probe to his son and was rewarded with a furious jab. A few seconds later, the closed door exploded. His son, his mirror stood in the doorway, cold naked fury lighting his eyes and making his beautiful face look like a cold mask. Daemon walked to the bed snarling. The snarl was not directed to the bed's occupant. He gathered the important bundle into his arms and shot Saetan a cold, furious, malevolent look. Too many emotions were blended into that look, but he could have sworn fear was one of them.
"What did you do to her?" he asked softly, coldly.
The High Lord of Hell gave his son a shocked look. "Nothing," he said, the surprise of being accused of such a thing apparent on his face.
"You son of a whoring bitch! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!" Apparently, Draca's warnings didn't apply to his son. A chair exploded beside him. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!" Although Daemon wasn't one to have hot outbursts, when it came to his Queen, there were many exceptions.
Saetan opened his mouth, he could feel the anger in the air. Sweet Darkness, please don't let Jaenelle become crippled over this.
Sapphire eyes snapped open. A bruised, haunted look filled her eyes. "Daemon?" she asked, in that all too familiar terrified whisper.
Shooting Saetan a worried look, anger forgotten, he returned his attention to the golden haired woman in the bed.
"Make it go away," she whispered. Daemon's body shook in a sudden shiver. "Sweetheart, make what go away?" Daemon's eyes shone with compressed worry, his face a carefully blank mask.
"I- I don't know." Suddenly she let out a scream of pure agony. The shrill sound hung in the air. Shaking, she clung to Daemon for all the support he was worth. "It hurts..." she whimpered. Her body became suddenly rigid and shook in uncontrollable spasms. If she continued like this, she would snap something. And there wasn't a damn thing he could do. The only thing Daemon could do was hold on tighter.
Thought's formed, then banged into each other and exploded in Saetan's head. Watching his son hold his Queen, and daughter made the primal instincts that was part of being a Warlord Prince rise to the surface, threatening his every move, let along thought.
A sudden scream brought him back to reality and cleared his head. What was he doing? Jaenelle was suffering and here he was, snarling over the fact that he wasn't the one holding her. Another scream brought him out of his chair to hover over her bed. Face straining to shatter that neutral mask, he squeezed Daemon's shoulder reassuringly.
"It burns!" Jaenelle gasped, her muscles starting to relax. Well, they weren't straining quite as tightly now, allowing her to speak in short gasps. "Something's bashing into my barriers, trying to break through." She screamed again. "It feels like it's lighting a fire." She began to shake uncontrollably, sweat beading on her forehead.
Daemons face became expressionless and cold as he retreated behind the all-to-familiar mask. Jaenelle managed to stop shaking long enough to scream, "LEAVE ME ALONE!!" A tidal-wave of dark power slammed into the room, surrounding Jaenelle, forcing Daemon to let go and lifting her off the bed. She hung suspended in the air a foot above the bed. She dropped to the bed, looking exhausted and sweaty and pale.
Daemon and Saetan rushed forwards, concerned. Jaenelle gave them a tired, wobbly smile. "It's gone, for now." She fell back into the tangled sheets, exhausted. Saetan was sure that his son wanted to know what just happened as well, but the look he received when he opened his mouth made the words die on his tongue. He slowly closed his mouth, to Daemon's approval. Jaenelle shivered, but it wasn't due to some unknown attack on her inner-barriers. Daemon wrapped his arms around her once again.
"Try to get some sleep, sweetheart." Daemon's words were spoken mere seconds too late. Jaenelle's head sagged against his chest, her breathing light and even.
Gently, he laid his exhausted Queen on the bed and did his best to wrap her in the shredded, tangled sheets. Once he was sure she was comfortable, he slowly stood up.
"Daemon, I think it's best if we leave her to sleep," Saetan said gently, resting his hand on his son's shoulder.
"But-" Daemon protested weakly. Saetan understood that under that cold, distant mask was blinding pain and anguish, directed towards his Queen. Sweet Darkness, how his son loved her. But there were times for everything, and now was not the time for the particular feelings Daemon was struggling with.
Gently, he steered Daemon away from the bed and the oh-so-frail occupant and out of the room. His son did not resist the gentle had firmly squeezing his shoulder in a small offering of comfort. There was something very wrong with the events that they had just witnessed. Something very wrong indeed.
As soon as they were out of the room and into Saetan's private study, Saetan started pacing furiously. A glass and a decanter full of brandy drifted over to him. Hands shaking, he filled the glass with brandy and gulped it down. Pain needed to be dulled. No matter the intensity of the hangover the next morning. He quickly filled another glass and drained it, followed by another.
Daemon stood in a corner, watching his father drain glass after glass of brandy, in a futile effort to calm frayed nerves. Any other time, he would have laughed at the frantic drinking, but now was not one of those times.
"Father?" he asked quietly. No response from Saetan who now held the glass.
"Saetan," Daemon said sharply. He needed his father's attention. Something was wrong.
"Do you have any idea what just happened in there?" Saetan said quietly. Dangerously. Fearfully.
Daemon shook his head, a slight, graceful movement only he was capable of making. "Something attacked Jaenelle's inner barriers?"
"That's exactly my point. Something attacked Jaenelle's barriers. Something launched a vicious attack on her inner barriers and almost broke through. Nothing in the history of the Blood should be strong enough to break through! Hell's fire! Nothing is stronger than Jaenelle!"
"Hell's fire, Mother Night and may the Darkness be merciful," Daemon said softly. "Wait. You said that nothing is stronger than Jaenelle. She doesn't wear the Ebony anymore. She isn't the Queen of Ebon Askavi. Granted, she is the true dreams made flesh, she just doesn't have as much power as she once did." Daemon's face and voice took on a bitter tone. "She never should have lost it."
"Damn it Daemon! That's not the point!"
"Oh, isn't it? Then tell me. What is the point, Father?!" Daemon snapped, his voice taking on a frosty edge.
"Daemon, the point is that although Jaenelle no longer wears the Ebony, she's still much stronger than anyone else. But something was able to almost break through her barriers. Jaenelle's barriers." Saetan gently massaged his temples. Damn, the brandy was starting to take effect. He would have to ask Khary or Draca for something to ease the hangover tomorrow.
Daemon sucked in a breath. "But you said it yourself. Jaenelle isn't as strong as she once was. So doesn't that mean that a male or someone who wears the Black can break through?"
"No one wears the Black anymore Daemon. The only other Black Jewel in the realms are what ever's left in the Twilight's Dawn. Worn by Jaenelle. And we didn't attack her." Saetan's voice sounded weary.
"Mother Night," Daemon whispered.
"Now do you understand? The other thing that worries me is the burning feeling she described and that huge surge of power I felt in that room," Saetan said.
"Craft doesn't burn," Daemon said sharply, his deep, cultured voice laced with impatience.
"Not psychically. Physically, it can light fires, but not when used as a psychic attack. There is something wrong with this whole attack," his father explained, using all the knowledge of Craft he had. He raised the glass to his lips to take a comforting sip when his son started to talk.
"Honestly, I don't know what is going on here, but I can tell you something about that power. I felt something rising beneath the Black."
All the colour drained from Saetan's face. "Beneath- beneath," he gasped as he spluttered on the brandy and started to cough violently. Daemon was behind his father in an instant, firmly patting his back. When he was sure Saetan could breathe, the frantic patting turned into a massage to ease tired muscles. Personally, Daemon felt that he could use one himself, but his father had to get over the shock first.
"Beneath the Black?!" Saetan exclaimed in complete astonishment. "What does that mean?"
"It means, dear Father, that Jaenelle may still have more power than all of us combined in the entire Hall."