Disclaimer: I do not own Legacy of Kain. The OC is mine, though.
Summary: This is a sequel to The Last Winter. Nosgoth has changed. Gone is the sun, the rain, the snow. What's left in its place is a land decaying before the eyes of two Kains and a woman that should be dead. One Kain seeks it's complete destruction, another searches for it's salvation and the last is a weary observer wondering if perhaps death would have been the more merciful of her fates.
AN: I'm a terrible person for starting stories and never finishing them. Thou hast been warned!!! Also, if you haven't read The Last Winter this might be confusing. But I tried to make it as easy to digest as possible. The Last Winter is LOOOOOONG. Possibly more than most would be willing to stomach.
The truth has been revealed to me.
And it has been shown as the cruel, double-edged sword that it is.
One side of this wonderfully dangerous weapon protects me from those who would seek to use ignorance against me; wield such unawareness in the hopes of controlling me, using me.
But it is as I've said, a double-sided weapon.
Sometimes the truth cuts you deeper than your most hated enemy's blade.
Using this weapon stings me. But it is still my truth, my magnificently beautiful, soul-destroying saviour.
You would ask me, no doubt, if I would have preferred my ignorance. As though blinding myself to the hard facts could somehow immunise me from a would-be fate and hiding from a simple realization, protect me. The only way to protect myself is to take up the arms of knowledge.
I tell you now that I have accepted the truth that was so very bluntly laid in my lap. It is my only defense.
But that acceptance comes with despair, a hopelessness that threatens to consume me.
Always have I been a child of winter.
What then is there to do when the last winter has been and gone?
Truly, 'lost' does not adequately describe my present predicament, for coldness has always rested within these mountainous veins of mine. My life defined by the endless passing of the seasons and the coming of winter. And now, a winter that will never be again.
It disturbed me: this drying, grey monotony that encroached upon Nosgoth. It left a faint taste of ash and rotting flesh in the back of my mouth and turned my stomach. But it was another truth. There was no option for me, but to accept it.
A shadow crept across the crumbling stone of the ancient vampire ruin sheltering me and a long sigh passed my lips. Already, black clouds had appeared on the horizon. The knowledge was instinctual; they were not of nature's design.
What this meant for Nosgoth? I wasn't certain, but my gut told me it was nothing good.
I'd always wished to see the world as my father had described it in his tales but the world was most likely suffering the same as this long forgotten place. Crumbling. Decaying. But this old stone had retained something greater than the citadel, the pillars. It remained untainted. Still pure and unmolested by the dark, restless hands of a terribly young Kain's making. It was a pity. Really.
Ah, yes. Kain.
The Vampire. The forsaken guardian of Balance. The redeemer, turned destroyer, turned saviour. Set to restore the pillars…only to destroy them. Then returned from the future to save the world from the grip of enemies greater than all knowing.
There is but one problem with that, as I see it, there are now two of him running around. Which by all rights is two too many.
Indeed, it would be correct to assume that there is no love lost between us.
His fault entirely, let me assure you.
He is a heartless bastard if ever there was one. One could not mistake the sophisticated speech and nobler-than-though attitude to mean him more than the self-serving monster that he is, through and through. A very conniving, manipulative, spiteful demon should a simpleton ever think otherwise. Oh yes, the memory of the first and only time I ever had the misfortune of meeting the creature, still burns within me when I close my eyes. Visions of a snarling, shadow like form haunt my dreams most nights. As I spoke of the weapon of ignorance, it must be made known that Kain uses truth as his primary tool in manipulation. Indeed, as subtle as his violent presence, so too are his tactics cleverly disguised beneath the seemingly altruistic concepts of mercy and compassion.
He understood my situation perfectly. Clever. Incredibly intelligent. The worst kind. And he found a way to use that to his advantage. He let me live for no other reason than to upset his ever-hated 'wheel' and trouble the so-called God that claimed its hub.
As quick of mind as the demon might be, I'd come to realize I was more than the average 'peasant' he so adamantly claimed me to be. While it would be underestimating to say that Kain did not predict such a revelation to grace my mind, the speed at which it all came into sharp focus would have put him off-guard no doubt.
That does not take away from the gratitude I feel for the knowledge he offered me…even at its price.
Truly, it was the first thing hastily learned about Kain's offerings. Everything has its price. Even the truth.
Although the payment was acceptable, it presented me with numerous new questions and suspicions as to just what this monster planned on doing. That in its self worried me. Uncertainty. When it concerned my well-being and Kain's future plans, I trusted the pig about as far as I could kick him. That, is not very far at all.
Truth and uncertainty. They are the two most powerful words present in my life.
It would be preferable if there were a little more truth than uncertainty but beggars can't be choosers as they say.
This new world is so dark in my eyes. So unforgivably unstable it worries me. Everything is now so unsure. Where once I knew my place, my exact purpose, now nothing is guaranteed.
When you think you're going to die, everything is clearer. The ground beneath your feet is firmer and from there you can see things as they are. It was in those moments that I truly saw Kain. I saw that monster I spoke of…and I also realized that he wasn't lying to me.
He used the truth as a hammer with which he bludgeoned me temporarily void of a soul. Void of anything but my racing mind. For minutes I felt nothing. Not my wounds, not even my fear.
How would you be able to feel anything in the wake of the knowledge that we were all cogs in a wheel of another's design, nothing more than slaves. Not even aware of our elusive master's plans. Trapped in a pointless cycle of monotonous life and meaningless death. Imagine my horror to be told that a creature waits to devour my very soul after I left the world of the living. If that is not an incentive to continue breathing, truly, I don't know what is.
He eagerly, gleefully told me that what choices I once thought I had, were not random…and not of my doing. He convinced me, that truly despicable bastard, that in some future seen by this Elder God, my ancestors and the ancestors of those in the village had posed trouble to its grand scheme. By no means were any of us warriors, scholars, magicians…and yet, this vampire told me plainly that what this creature could not consume or control, it removed. Presumably, we were more a hindrance than a threat.
What is that saying? "Out of sight, out of mind".
I thought I was surely going to die that night. In retrospect, I should be dead. The fact that I live now is as Kain had so delicately put it "Something else to trouble that parasite's sleep".
Surely, this is how it feels to be a tool. A living tool. But a tool nonetheless. To think, I can thank my continued existence on the vengefulness of one crazed Vampire from a future time. Although, there was another factor. There is nothing quite like the expression on a Vampire's face as he tells you that you aren't even fit for a light meal. It's truly extraordinary. A little bit of humour mingled with disappointment. Unfortunately, the poison that was floating through my veins was no laughing matter.
Yes, that creature's bite had poisoned my blood. Although, the cold and the chill of the weather had slowed the infection's progress. How fortunate. It was only as the pass out of the valley greeted me that I saw the effects of the infection. After the vampire had left me, I'd placed a poultice on it, scavenged from the dead Apothecary.
Oh yes. All the villagers were indeed dead.
But they hadn't been murdered by Kain. No. It would seem that one of my once would-be suitors was afflicted with madness and had slain them all in his delirium.
He'd of course tried to slay Kain. Obviously he was not only insane but still unbelievably stupid.
The poultice that was placed on the wound had saved my life. By the time the fever hit me it would have already been too late.
My journey down the mountain and out of the valley was almost the end of me. But I lived.
The extent of my fortune was truly staggering.
But escaping the mountain was only the beginning of my difficult path.