Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Aidyn Chronicles. Those rights belong to H2O Interactive and THQ.
Author's Note: I was making my yearly play-through of Aidyn Chronicles when I realized something. There are almost no fanfics written for this amazing series. So I thought I might try my hand at writing one. I hope you all enjoy!
Brenna would often stay up late and guard the camp, as her comrades rested. For one thing, her leather poncho blended in nicely with the nighttime surroundings allowing her to act more stealthily than her companions in their bright tunics and armors, giving her the upper hand if an enemy tried to ambush them. And for another, ever since that cursed magician named Niesen had joined the group, she began to grow more and more uneasy making sleep an almost impossible feat for her. The others pretended not to notice how the strange creatures of the bog had taken a liking of hovering only a few yards away from them, as if waiting for something. As soon as anyone made a movement toward them they would once again retreat into the recesses of the dark, swampy lands. But every night their attempts grew more and more daring and Brenna was beginning to wonder how long it would be before they stopped fleeing from the small of this had started ever since he joined them. He never made it clear to anyone other than Alaron and Rheda what type of curse was cast upon him, simply that it wouldn't be much longer until he was not a part of this world, which would cause Alaron to reassure him that they were going to save him and nothing could stop them from doing otherwise. The thought made Brenna snort. Though she was no skilled magician herself(save for a few elemental spells she had picked up along the way), even she knew that whatever it was that plagued Niesen couldn't be so easily cured. The decay he reeked was almost palpable and some nights, Brenna felt as though she would gag on it alone. His demeanor didn't earn him any bonus points with her either. He was always so sharp and sarcastic, his biting wit almost a match for hers. Only he had a knack for saying it when it should be kept silent, Brenna mused. She looked over her shoulder to see him sitting across the fire. She had thought she made her feelings about him clear but every night he remained outside with her, making sure the fire kept a nice, crackling roar while she was on post. Some nights he would attempt to make small talk, most of which she ignored. Other nights he would simply gaze into the embers, his milky stare searching for something she could never see. Tonight the demons seemed to stay at bay and Brenna decided she may as well humor the magician by joining him at the campsite. Walking as quietly as was possible, she attempted to unsettle the magician by standing behind him, which only earned her a dry chuckle in return.
"You're going to have to do far better than that if you want scare me."
"How did you…?"
"I could hear your footsteps a mile a way. I thought thieves were supposed to be aloof and stealthy?" He said, a smirk playing upon his chapped lips.
Brenna bit back her tongue. There was no way this wretch would unnerve her, of that she was certain. Perhaps playing into his incessant small talk wouldn't be such a bad thing after all, she decided as she sat down beside him. She would play the role of the questioner, that way there would be no other chance for him to catch her off guard. She started with the most obvious question that came to mind.
"How did you go blind?"
"Oh that? I just decided one day I didn't like my view of the world and decided I would change my perception of it."
Brenna chose to take the higher ground, though she was silently fuming. Every time he got the chance he would try and trump her. Not tonight.
"So I take it that it was a spell gone awry? Maybe even that curse of yours?"
The campgrounds grew silent for a moment and Brenna was beginning to think that he would not speak again.
When he finally did decide to answer, his muffled response was practically inaudible.
"Sorry? Didn't quite catch that last bit."
"I said I was born blind. The spell didn't have any effect on that, though I'm sure if I did have vision it would slowly be robbing me of that as well, thanks for asking."
Brenna felt guilty for a moment. She wanted to unnerve and berate him as he so often did to her, not actually hurt him. She stole a quick glance of her companion, her eyes searching his face for any emotion. Though his face was it's usual blank slate, Brenna could tell she had hit a nerve from his tense posture and his sharp intakes of breath.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to…"
"To remind me of it? You certainly did an excellent job of that, now didn't you?"
Brenna felt the waves of fury crash over her again and this time she did not attempt to control them.
"Well maybe I wouldn't have accidentally done it, if you weren't such an ass to me! You're completely honest with Alaron and Rheda, what makes me so different?"
"You have no idea what I could possibly be going through, that's what makes you so different."
"Oh really? Well, why don't you try and explain it to me, I'm sure I can grasp the situation more easily than you think." Brenna shot back, crossing her arms over her chest as though she were a child once more.
"I stood up to a high wizard. I lost. End of story." Niesen deadpanned.
"Not end of story, that doesn't in the slightest sense tell me what's going on with you."
Before she had chance to react, the blind wizard had pinned her down, his face dangerously close to her own.
"You really are an impertinent girl, aren't you? You want to know what's wrong with me? I lost to the high necromancer and now he's sentenced me to be consumed by magic until I am neither living nor dead, a mere puppet to do his bidding as so many others. But not before he destroyed my village, not before he killed my family, laughing as I could only stand helplessly by and hear their final moments of suffering before they were consumed by the flames that ended Pome." he hissed out at her through gritted teeth.
Brenna squirmed uneasily beneath him, her wrists aching in pain against the viselike grip he had on her.
"Let me go Niesen, now." she ordered, glaring at the magician even though she knew he couldn't see her.
Immediately the magician recoiled, almost as if she had burned him.
"I… I didn't mean to hurt you."
Brenna cautiously took her seat beside him once more, eyeing him warily.
"….It's okay. I suppose I don't exactly know what you're going through, though I did lose my parents as well." Her statement was only met by silence, and she decided to take that as her cue to continue on.
"They were slain by the minions of chaos when I was only a child and I was left an orphan. The villagers hated me, they viewed me as curse brought on by debauchery and sin. No one would even look at me, let alone take me in. One day, I was successfully caught by a local merchant, though I can't remember what I was trying to take. My age didn't stop the guards from seizing me and throwing me in the dungeon. It was actually better there, believe it or not. When the King found out what I had done, he didn't banish me or kill me as so many expected. Instead he adopted me as a daughter of sorts, though I never got any of the luxuries of a princess. Still, things got easier for me then though I still have a few reminders of my past."
"…Like what?" Niesen voice seemed a bit raspy, but curious none the less.
"Like a few scars on my wrists and arms, each a different encounter with a merchant until my final capture." Brenna chuckled darkly, her gaze cast on her marred arms.
"Let me see." His quick response caught Brenna off guard.
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm afraid you can't see."
Niesen gave a frustrated sigh, before attempting to reach out to her.
"A blind man sees with his hands, not his eyes Brenna."
Brenna looked at him hesitantly, slowly stretching out her arms into the blind man's reach. His fingers roved over them gently, tracing along the many lines that were permanently etched across her skin. Brenna was tried to ignore the warm sensation that was now rising it's way into her cheeks. Though a seemingly simple act, Brenna never let anyone see her scars if she could help it, whether it be with their eyes or hands.
"It must have been awhile before you were finally caught." Niesen mused, his fingers still hovering above her skin.
"It was three years." Brenna replied, her breath slightly hitched in her throat.
She gazed at him curiously for a moment, before withdrawing her arms from his grasp.
"You sense what I am more strongly than the others, don't you?" Niesen questioned, his empty hands still outstretched.
Brenna remained silent, before turning away from him.
"You sense the death that surrounds me. My curse is not natural, even as far as magic goes. It disrupts the natural flow of energy within me, causing me to slowly become tainted with chaos."
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't sense anything different with you at all." Brenna quickly lied.
Niesen continued on, as if he heard none of what she had spoken. "We're linked, you and I. It's not the fact that we both have similar dispositions or even similar pasts. It's the magic running between us."
"We both carry within us a bond between the earth and ourselves. We sense what effects the natural cycles of life and death more strongly than anyone else in the group. That's why you have an easier time being around Alaron than me. The problem within him lies within name and name only. The problem within me goes down to my very core and effects my very nature. Even magic as old as the sky and earth, can now only watch as I slowly perish."
Brenna felt something hot prickle at the corners of her eyes and she quickly clenched them shut. How could it be that the one person that had always evoked anger and irritation from her, was the same person that she now weeps for?
She reached her hand across to him and held his hand with her own.
"Why am I the one that has to know all of this?"
He clenched her hand tightly as a mournful smile played upon his lips.
"Because you asked it of me."