Azimuth, Mortainius etc. © Silicon Knights, Eidos Interactive & Crystal Dynamics

Thank You and apologies (:P) to Debb who helped with the overall FanFic,
put up with my weirdness and generally listening to the onslaught of madness
created by my dear muse.

Azimuth
By Taransay

Prologue

Child of Glass

I stared at him through unquestioning eyes; I would not give him the satisfaction that I had questions that I demanded to be answered.
"Are you suggesting that this girl be worth anything?" My fathers voice rumbled on in the background. He was annoyed by his visit and this stranger annoyed him even more so. An annoyance that steamed in pure hatred although I am not certain where it came from, but then my father had a hatred for a majority of things, myself included.

The stranger had appeared to which he, he being my father, had scoffed and in the pompous manner that was derived from him, he had turned to the stranger and regarded him under a scornful gaze. "This is mockery…"
"I do not mock my good man."

We stood, me and father and him, out under the sky of an evening hue, in the middle of the street, my father as usual making a scene. Mother being the gentle delicate woman she was attempted to calm him down. Moments later she retreated to the house holding the side of her face from where he had struck her.

"I don't believe you, this wretch here is nothing, nothing you here me! Her whole life is worthless." To this I cringed as he addressed me so and looked at the stranger that had come to us.

A man of sorts, if you could regard him as that, and yes of course I knew of him, who didn't throughout this land, heavily cloaked in black his whole essence radiated slight forebode. 'Cadaverous' might be the correct word for such a being, and this 'man' had come seeking us.

I gazed up at the stranger in a merciless fashion, my eyes fierce and burning in determination that I was worth more then what my father regarded me as.
"Why not allow the child to speak?"
To this simple comment my father nearly choked on his own tongue. "Because her words are worth nothing." he replied, a hiss shaping on the very tip of his tongue. "Now, get out of here before I do something I might regret."
"I have nothing to fear of you." I heard the stranger reply calmly, and I knew he was right. I knew and understood that with ease he could destroy my father if he so wished, to clench a hold of his very essence and make it crumble as if it was dust.

"For now I will leave you and your daughter, but only for now." And he left, and to watch him leave I found my own mind screaming, no don't go. With invisible hands I grasped out for him, in all senses he was my way of escaping this life, my exit, my rescue.

But he did leave and I was dragged in by my father, back to the house that was my prison and torment. Inside these walls a hundred nightmares could be woven, and I would collect them together, shut them up, close my eyes and pretend that I wasn't here.

I was the outcast, not chosen to be but just born into it. The outcast of the town and of the family, what family there was. I had siblings but most of them had left for families of their own, I was the youngest and forever getting in the way, or so father reckoned. In all accounts he saw me as a nuisance, the plague of the family. Gentle, caring mother doted on me, she saw me as a weak and frail creature that needed extra care… if only she knew…

On a chair I sat, next to the open fire, emotionless and unmoving as he paced the floor of the house like some savage beast. A grotesque mood appeared upon his face, showing him really for the monster that he was, whilst mother nervously rearranged her thread work in the corner. By now she was used to his moods, as was I, it was all apart of him and our lives and to her and me it was never going to change.

"Is he gone dear?" There was quiver in her voice she attempted to hide as she made her way to the stove. Surprisingly my father was pale, a worried look slowly etching over his face, but as mother spoke his emotion was soon extinguished and instead replaced by that of anger and annoyance.
"Yes, I sent him packing."
"Strange, do you really believe…"
"Quiet woman, I am trying to think."

Already I felt myself shake inside. I wondered what would follow next, and I found myself praying that mother would remain quiet for her own safety and that of mine. My hands ran roughly over the arms of the chair, with nervousness bore inside of me. My knuckles had grown white from the iconic formation of the fact that I had been gripping the chair too tightly.

His pace was abruptly stopped within the motion of walking, his eyes glaring at me in some reproachful manner. He came close and dropped beside me on one knee, starring into my eyes and daring me to glance away. I did so only to have my head turned to look at him once more with those rough hands of his. "What do you think girl?"
I felt my insides grow cold and a shiver grasp at my spine, a stammer already quelling within my throat. "I… I have no opinion Sir."

His miserable mouth twisted itself into a bitter sneer. "You do when I ask it of you."
Inside my stomach lurched forwards, ah an opinion, yes I had a thousand of them, but only what my mind knew of. In front of him I acted unseeing and slow minded in hope that he would take pity if ever I strayed wrong. In front of others I displayed the same act, especially to that of the townsfolk and of course they whispered. Tales told of the demonic child that could summon devils at her will. With all the witch hunting that was fortified I am surprised that I survived… and yet something kept me safe, something that the stranger had seen and was now beginning to grasp at.

Slowly I felt my eyes narrow, bitterness… Strange, I was now becoming aware of a new emotion that I had never possessed before, and to this I felt the coldness wrap itself in an embrace around my essence and soul.

"Will you release me Sir? Will you ever let me go?"
The atmosphere was already tense. My mother's nervous intake of air and then her sentence that showed once more she was trying to calm the situation or at least divert his attention from myself to elsewhere. "Come and have your tea dear." Once more that nervous quiver and then the feeling of sharp pain that graced my own face.

He had the opinion that if you could shut something away and pretend it didn't exist everything would be fine, which is what many times he did with me. Once more I felt the unfaltering steps of the cold surface of the floor as by my arm he hauled me through the corridor and up the stairs.

Moments later I was within the small room that was my own, the door being bolted and me starring stubbornly at it whilst my hand attempted to sooth the pain that caressed my face.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and felt my senses leave me, dropping back into the darkness and it welcomed me. It seemed to be the only element that did, the only essence in the world that greeted someone such as myself. In moments such as those it is where I normally dwelled, it was where my own anger collected and manifested, shaping itself into many shapes, voids and voices.

I did not cry, I never really have. If I ever do then the tears are like glass, they are sharp and bite into my own flesh. Tears to me are weakness; if I show weakness then I will be consumed by all those around me.

My mind set to work to sooth my soul. It painted a scene for me, one to which I was no longer afraid, darkness was my companion and no one could ever hurt me. In all accounts the silky threads of shadows protected me. Those that others feared I turned towards for console, and to this I fell asleep.

It was the cold breeze from outside that awoke me, like a cool cold hand caressing my skin to which the pain had now gone. My hand went to my fringe and I brushed it out of my eyes before it was I sat up.

For a while I was seated once more on the edge of the hard bed and looked into a small mirror that mother had given to me. I remember her words as she had given me such a gift. 'Your beautiful my child, never be afraid to look at yourself.' But I was… afraid. And now as my reflection glanced back I felt myself cringe and place the mirror back quickly. My reflection was only there to remind me of how I differed from the others, how it was that I was this 'demonic child', in all accounts a freak.

The house was silent, respiration from the night sounds outside. I got up to close the window. Out in the distance I heard someone from the night call shout. Their duty was to protect us from the monstrosities such as Vampires, not that I needed protecting.

The breeze within the house from my open window blew threw, it was now that I shut it and as I did so it created a small back draft which made my room door creek slightly. To this I turned and mused upon the thoughts of how odd it was to make such a noise. Had not father locked it like he usually did? I am certain he had, in fact I remember the key turning within the lock and hearing his steady footfalls echo down the corridor.

With curiosity I approached. Whatever the case the door was now open. Maybe mother had unlocked it before going to bed herself. For a moment I thought… Yet what did it matter that the door was now open? One chance was approaching me, which I dared not let go of. And so with all strength that I had at the time I grasped at it, and following my senses I fled the house that had been the shelter and yet dwelling place of my nightmares since I had been born.

Into the night I stepped, merely a child, easy prey for any Vampire that might have passed the night watch, but I didn't fear them, in truth I feared my father more. No, I didn't fear those that preyed upon mortal blood for I knew if I needed it I had something to call forth upon, something that would wrap its essence around me and take me far from harms way.

For just a moment my steps faulted as my mind reacted to what exactly I was doing. What about her? What about mother, the one who had sheltered me when she could? As I stood within the street my mind overall debated on whether I should stay for her sake. Then something else replied, to which it stated that it might have been her who had opened the door, maybe her who was pointing me in this direction. Whatever it was I decided not to linger anymore. With my mind was made up I dared not remain anymore outside the house in case I was seen.

So with this in mind and without another hesitation I took my leave and made way down the street. I was going to find this stranger, the one my father hated, and find out what he wanted - although I am certain that something inside of me already knew. Perhaps I was being summoned, drawn, lead to what was mine for the taking. So I allowed my senses to guide me to him in hope that I was not wrong and in hope that I could leave this town before the monster himself knew I was gone.

The night air itself was bitter, bitter to suit my own mood, and no one was on the streets, no one that I was interested in seeing anyway. I passed those that were out almost shadow like, to say the very least no one questioned me; they either did not see, did not care or dared not to. The matter was that I could pass by unnoticed to them if I so desired and at times I had done this. Times when my father had been too much to deal with and I had escaped onto the streets of the town. Once more I had escaped, but this time I was certain that I wasn't going to return.

Descending from street to street in all accounts I had no real idea where it was I was going but inside I seemed to have this knowing. The streets stretching out in front, darkness lingering wherever it could - clinging to the corners, grasping a hold of the majority of elements and feeding off those that were afraid of it. My mind was reeling slowly, pulling on the sights it saw, the sounds it heard, the smells it smelt.

The disjointed stone road I had followed faulted ahead, a small wall jutted out and beyond that I was being called.

My hands rested upon the stones, my skin absorbing the cold and moisture of the overall structure that the stones were developed of. It was but a small wall I climbed, perhaps it was the child-like nature which was still in me that compelled me to do so. And at first I slid but it was climbable and I was able to pull myself up to the top. I then satisfied myself by gazing upon the one who I had been searching for.

From the wall I starred down at him, to which he turned suddenly and regarded me.
"My associate informed me that you would come at your own accord."

I was a child of twelve, small in frame and gazing down at him without fear. Realisation struck to why I had climbed this small wall in the first place, it was so that now it seemed I was near to his own height and not just that of a girls. It was also my own symbolic gesture to show that I was not weak - a way to prove myself.

There was no point in playing slow-witted or shy, he knew that it was all an act and for the first time someone was really seeing who I was.

The wind stirred around us, there was no essence of light and yet I was seeing him clearly as he was seeing me.
"Your Mortanius." I suddenly announced.
"You know of me?"
"Who doesn't?"

Without hesitation he approached and picked me up, plucking me off the wall.
"Ah…" He chuckled dryly, his vocal chords echoing, and then he set me down beside him.

Moments past as he gazed down at me, to whom I returned his gaze with that fierce nature that burned inside of me, that nature which was fighting to escape. I felt the flicker of hope ignite itself inside of me. "Tell me, are you here to take him?"
"Would you like me to?"
"Do you desire an answer to that?"
He was taken aback by my sharp replies and questions, statements made that suggested my mind seemed far older then my age, to this he chuckled to himself once more. "No child, I am here to take you."

I gritted my teeth, already I could feel that spark ignite itself inside of me once more, and to the silence I felt my eyes flair slightly. "I am not ready to die."
He took in the reaction that I had given and yet it didn't disturb him, not like it would have done others. "I was not here to suggest that you are." He gestured. "This, symbolized by our meeting, is just the beginning of your life."

At that moment I had no idea what he was talking about, only that it had something to do with me, and all those questions I had when I had first met him out on the street with my father, started to resurface once more. Boldly I asked him, my voice as striking and as cold as ice itself. "Do you know of me?"
"Yes." He replied in very much the same vocals as before. "The child who the town whispers of."
An even gaze was returned to him. "I am the Demons child." My voice didn't falter at that, in all confidence my voice was strong.

His face remained expressionless. "You are Azimuth," he said. "Guardian to the Pillar of Dimension."