Unto Tellius, a Curse

Thrust aside, he lay in the dirt with the wounded wing he was to drag now.

"Begone, wretch," sneered the man who scowled at the poor being. "I haven't a use for abominations such as you."

His fears and confusion were suddenly swept aside. Rage arose in him once more. As the man whirled about on his heel and hastily departed, the angered creature rose from the ground, his eyes now aflame with nothing less of anger and hate. But he lifted his head and stared to the stretch of branches about. The moon's light crept through the canopy's cracks, and beyond that light was the moon itself. It was of full glory. It was a beautiful white orb of mesmerizing purity within the darkness.

But what sort of purity was swelling in his chest? What sort of purity was this feral thirst...?


Though wild noise dominated the room below, it was to the scratching of his quill that he listened. The remnants of the sun's glow were fading into the horizon. He sketched the numbers symbolizing the present day, year, and month at the top of the book's tan page. It would be the fifty-sixth page to be written. With his ruby eyes focused upon the blank paper, he listened to the commotion below.

"Who thinks I can chug all this down without stopping?" he heard Boyd daringly exclaim.

Following that was a song of voices, chanting, "Do it! Do it! Do it!" Among them were Shinon; Gatrie; Rolf; Mist; Mia; a few of their visitors including Lethe, Marcia, and Makalov; even Ike. He could hear every one of them. But he could not hear the voices of Mordecai, Titania, Oscar, Janaff, or Muarim. They were silent amidst the chanting. Soon Ranulf and Tormod became a part of it as well.

He went back to writing. He had challenged himself to write in the ancient language. Thus, as he ignored the noise, the sage slowly began to scratch the first symbols upon the page.

Footsteps faintly reached his ears. He did neither stop nor slow. The door behind him pushed open, a figure clutching its black doorknob. He refused to turn his pale peach face to the light pouring in. Titania entered, a golden candle holder held by its elegantly curving handle, her red braided ponytail swaying behind her. The white wax candle she carried had a small orange flame dancing atop it. She was wearing a white dress, a golden sash around her waist, a round golden cloth that hung from the sash and reached past her knees, a yellow collar with bumps along the edges and separate from the dress with the exception of the cleaner edges, and gold along the ends of her sleeves with single curls extending from the thin borders.

Titania set the candle down near the book. She smiled as the flame illuminated his pale face, revealed his long black-teal hair, and cast an amber glow into his pupils and irises. Still, he did not look up.

"Writing in the dark, Soren?" she casually teased. "Typical, typical."

He didn't glance up at her face for that remark, however. He did so because Titania petted the top of his head twice. Still expressing nothing, Soren stared at Titania's smiling face. Her emerald eyes glimmered playfully. Titania whirled about and gracefully departed. Watching her leave his room, Soren's gaze lingered upon her until she disappeared at the right of the doorframe.

Downstairs, the chants changed, becoming a pounding cluster of, "Go Boyd! Go Boyd!" People slammed their fists against the table. Shinon hiccuped, evidently drunk. Titania's footsteps faded.

Soren returned to his book, lending his focus to the page once more. His hair reached several inches past the middle of his back. It, unrestrained by his usual golden band, spilled over the table and hung below the edge of the desk. He wore a black shirt with long sleeves expanded at the ends, and a raised neck collar with a cornered split in the middle front. He donned black pants that were cut below the knees when he was seated in a chair. His face bore an adolescent youth, though he was a bit older than he seemed, with a small noise and chin and smoothly featured cheeks. The nails on his fingers were slightly long and had somewhat round, pointed tips.

He dipped the stiff and bare tip of his quill into the black ink bottle, sinking it twice before then placing it upon the page. Soren began the passage...

"It has been long since the fall of Ashnard," he cautiously wrote in this difficult language. "The days that followed were wrought with such mirth that I, in my own content and daring mood, asked Ike to recall the minute that his father had died. I remember the silence he then evoked. Though I apologized for being rude, he bluntly responded that he was accustomed to it. There was an uneasy silence. I was not certain if he wanted me to leave.

"However, what he told me was most...disturbing."

Cheers erupted below as Boyd dropped a hollow barrel, savoring his praise.

"It was in the morning that I asked him, and it was in the morning that he told me. Ike said that his father told him not to seek revenge on the Black Knight. He was told to live in peace within the borders of Gallia. This deeply worries me." He dipped his quill.

"I think I can understand why Greil said this. If Ike sought revenge, then he would become a part of the chaos, and a giver, a waker of chaos...and he would drag us with him. Our deeds, despite intention, would be remembered. Grudges would be given birth."

There was a commotion. Rolf had stolen Boyd's headband.

"Our faces would be remembered. Battles of rage would break loose."

Boyd was hollering.

"And those who named us heroes would fight back."

Oscar, in a panic, attempted to calm them. Soren replaced his quill's tip with more ink.

"Although Ashnard is dead..."

Rolf and Boyd thundered down the hallway.

"I dread tomorrow's dawn. We were given no chance to do as Greil said.

"Ah, turmoil...it is what drives anger and hate...

"What does a Branded like me know, though? Plenty enough."

Soren rested the quill in its little ink bottle. He arose from his simple wooden chair, pushing it back, and flipped the cover which closed the book. He stepped around his chair and pushed it into the desk. Feeling famished, Soren turned and absentmindedly ambled out of his room with the candle's flame still alive. He turned to the right. But the sound of hurried footsteps interrupted him. Upon turning his head, he saw Rolf bolt into view from the bending wall, around the corner and past him. He watched Rolf flee down his hallway before glancing back to the corner. Boyd stormed in with tremendous speed, and blindly he rushed forth with an uncoordinated sway, slamming right into Soren -- who was shorter and a tad more fragile -- which caused them both to fall. Soren was thrown a painfully long distance away and landed on his back, his skull bouncing against the floor.

"AUCK!" he screamed in agony. Boyd had clearly fallen on his back, but not nearly as hard. The warrior shakily rose from the ground and scrambled over to Soren.

"S-sor...reh..." he apologized uncertainly, seeming dazed.

When Soren pushed himself back up, he abruptly clutched the back of his head. His face twisted with pain. He swung around, his glare murderous. Boyd realized that Soren desired no apology, and so he whirled around and ran for the dining room.

The chatter below subsided quickly. They knew from the thuds and voices what had happened. Now it would only be a matter of time before Soren did one last thing before dinner.


And that last thing was crack.