This story involves a preferred ending for me and my girlfriend. We made our pawns based on each others characters so it seemed as though they traveled together. This story involves their cycle as Arisen where her character is the arisen.
Arisen: Ashling Illadel
Pawn: Yresil Calisifer
The torrential world swirled around them. An endless expanse which ventured into endless worlds. How many had come here before, how many had taken this task. Savan was gone, she was here alone. Well almost. Ashling's eyes trailed up to the tall drow who traveled with her. His ebony skin seemed to catch the vorpal lights around them. His silvery snow hair flowed gently. A handsome man, he stood nearly twice of her. Despite supposedly lacking the flicker that made one human he had held concern for her, and loyally come to this place. Faced every task bravely and did not let her stand alone no matter what stood before them. Her heart thumped in her chest.
The new seneschal looked to her throne. A stone seat forged of rift stone. Once held by a proud stout young man. Now to be mounted by a young halfling with soft caramel curls and a womanly sweet face. It was strange thinking how different each proud sponsor was, yet all who came here held this position and survived the same trials. It was her turn now. Ashling took a deep breath. Breath, was it even needed, she was undying now as Savan had stated. It was her world to watch over. So why should she not.
"Yresil, wait for me." Ashling muttered just softly enough for him to hear. He turned to her, one eye prevailed, the other scarred and sealed since she had met him through that stone.
"Of course Arisen." Yresil said just in time to see her pout as she took her seat. Ashling suddenly began to glow, her body becoming a pillar of light before only a figure of white remained. Yresil's brow rose, she seemed to give him that look whenever he addressed her as of late.
The world fell into place like rapidly running paint. The world around her was beautiful once more, the ocean was lush and blue. The sky a perfect azure. The cry of dragons was long since gone. Ashling saw Adaro the chieftain and raised her hand in greeting. Perhaps this would not be so bad.
"Adaro!" She called soundlessly. Ashling blinked, then scanned her surroundings. Cassardis surrounded her but she did not seem to be here. No one noticed her at all. Ashling looked down at her hands, or tried to. She appeared passive, barely a refraction of light where she stood. Ashling was not able to interact as she once had. Her eyes scanned the world she once knew, was this the same. Were these the same people. Did she recreate this from her memory.
Ashling began to walk, slowly. The inn received little business from anyone but travelers visiting the seaside. The shops saw the usual trade with the fisherman. The church stood proud atop the hills. The sea air filled her lungs, or maybe she only imagined it did. Ashling frowned at this thought, so beautiful, so close and yet so far. But, it was her home. Her home!
Ashling hurried through the sweet little town and hurried towards her former abode.. She caught a glimpse of the very place she'd laid as her heart was forced from her breast on the way. Ashling ran inside, her eyes darted about. Was someone else here!
Ashling scanned the home, the same pots and pans. The same jars and bed. Everything was exactly the same. It was empty. Was it still her home, or was the owner out. Ashling reached for a pot and simply passed through it. Somehow she would have the power to summon a dragon into this world. But right now she felt like less than the wind.
Satisfied with her excursion Ashling closed her eyes and thought of the one place she wanted to be. When she opened them the eternal vortex greeted her. Yresil still stood where she had asked him to wait, looking slightly dumbfounded. A small smile touched his lips, it was sweet his level of dedication. But she wished he would use her name like she continuously asked him to. Ashling knew he understood, he seemed to show something sometime. Something different from the 'Passing of the Soul' Selene's Arisen had mentioned. Yresil just seemed to look at her in a strange way.
"Are you alright?" Yresil slowly stepped closer, cautious. They had bested Savan and his Pawn, they had won a great honor. But Ashling did not seem pleased. Though he could not blame her. Savan did not make it seem like an appealing fate. An honest, great one but he admitted to being worn by the eternal cycle.
"I'm fine. I'm simply deciding how to prepare the next." Ashling lied, she could see that he was not convinced. Still he did not push the matter. It was a difficult important moment for them. Like Sauld, Yresil would remain by her side in this place. She would decide the world as its senschal, or god, or whatever. He would be her Pawn, forever by her side.
"Yresil?" Ashling's soft yet firm voice beckoned his attention. Yresil nearly felt the need to stand at attention as he signaled his acknowledgement. "Are you happy here? With this? To stay here... with..."
She bit her lip to stave off the rush of emotions that threatened to carry on her words. It was childish but she had imagined a victory with meals and joy and a good life. Not this.
"As long as I am with you master." Yresil sounded more at peace than the happiest man in the world. Ashling felt compelled to look deep into his amethyst eye. The smile creasing his lips was so serene. Yresil was truly satisfied to remain with her, forever. A smile, though sad pulled at her lips.
"Thank you." Ashling rose from the throne, tired of sitting upon the cold slab. Her mind was racing with her journey here, with the revelation Savan had laid upon her. The world, forged by her desire, by her power. The people, the monsters, the arisen, the dragon. How long had Savan waited to plan his efforts. How long had he sat upon this throne.
"Of course master. After all, it is up to you to ensure the world continues. To give it what it truly needs." Yresil nodded resolute in his words. He believed that Ashling would find her way. As long as she was with him he would walk wherever she requested. Wherever she ventured.
"What it needs." Ashling muttered softly, repeating his words. Yresil satisfied turned away from her, gazing into the expanse beyond where he had ever been. His time in the rift had never led to this place. Though seemingly empty it held more than it showed. He did not notice Ashling's attention.
.Ashling stared at his back, it seemed so small somehow. Ashling brushed a hand through her hair. Yresil, she knew how she felt for him. Some part of her wanted him to feel the same for her. Some part of her told her he did. Yresil just needed a push. But here in this place, no such joy would come for them. This endless cycle, it would not allow such a thing. It would not let the world progress either. Ashling closed his eyes, she needed a new path. The seneschal was a cursed fate constantly repeated. There had to be another choice.
Ashling felt a warmth in her chest suddenly. It burst like fire inside of her. Ashling's hands rose to cover the spot. She did not feel her chest, no instead she felt opened. Slowly her hands curled around something that was hot like fire and cold as ice. It was solid and yet intangible at the same time. Slowly she withdrew from her heart the blade that had destroyed Savan. Earned from Grigori. Why was such a thing offered to the seneschal the second they earned their heart. Ashling's eyes opened to stare upon the beautiful brand. The sword which could end the life of the eternal watcher. Of the creator, of god. Ashling felt it, it yearned for her as she yearned for it. An end.
Her gaze drifted to Yresil who seemed fascinated by the turbulent world. Her heart pulsed with life. They had come to this place together. She began to reminisce on their greatest moments.
When she called to the rift as it called to her he had appeared to stand by her side. He aided her in facing her first hydra. They defeated griffins together. In devil fire grove he had thrown her from the coming flames of the drake and up above them. She had pierced her blade into the creature's heart as its cone of flame ended and descended with its dying body. She remembered his fearful cries as he sought her body amongst the rough scaled corpse.
Together they had made friends and aided many. They had changed lives and saved more. Repelled goblins, ended zealot rebellions and even defeated the duke's men. Then he had without hesitation plummeted into the abyss after her once she been knocked in. He faced the depths of hell with her and together they had come here. Through each trial he seemed to show more life. More concern for her. He laughed even, and his smiles were so beautiful. He had to be more than some soulless shell. Even if he did not have the soul to find the beauty of the world, he had the heart to cherish it.
Ashling knew she could not leave him here. Knew that it would be unfair to make him stand here by her side until the next Arisen arrived. Even then, how could she kill so many. Ashling could not send down the dragon to slay those she knew as allies. Family friends, what kind of cruelty did it take to send death to the world. Regardless of the purpose, was it not an evil act. A necessary evil one might say. For a greater good. For the cause. But what was it, to repeat the world. To forge the eternal ring which allowed for naught to move on. To keep the man she loved trapped in this place. Or some greater god knows where.
Ashling knew her answer. This cycle must end. There was no purpose to it. She turned the blade to her heart and raised it high. All she had wanted was to tell him she loved it. Ashling looked to Yresil, the desire burned inside of her. But she knew if she told him then it would be impossible to take the next step. Selfishly she would cling to this place, to him. She was only as she was born. Perhaps it was selfish, but to remain with him was her greatest desire. To keep him here was a horrible fate, to send down the beast was a cruel act and to remain here was an insufferable thought. Ashling smiled.
"I love you Yresil." Little more than a hushed breath as the blade pierced her breast. Ashling felt it, the cold sting, then the warm crackling and finally she slowly began to fall back. Her eyes remained open just long enough to see Yresil turned, his eye wide with shock and fear. His voice cracked as he rushed towards hers. Had he heard her.
"No!" Yresil sprinted towards Ashling. He dropped to his knees hard at her side, his hands sought the sword but would not touch for fear. Ashling, she had stabbed herself. Yresil felt a new sensation he had never known in all his time. Such a truth had never faced him. But why.
"No. No... No... NO!" Yresil's voice boomed throughout the world like thunder. Ashling was gone, they had only just arisen to this place. Why, why could she not speak to him first.
His lips trembled, he felt something tugging at his chest. He felt weak, something inside him threatened to well up and pour from him. Light blinded him momentarily. As his vision returned he saw the blue sky below them. Spreading wider until Ashling's body fell through.
"Master!" Yresil called out just as she fell and dove into the hole which threatened to drop him as well. Her body fell farther and farther from him. Clouds slapped him with cold wind. The deep blue sky threatened to swallow him again. Ashling looked peaceful but, this could not be the end. The clouds broke and the mighty ocean laid below him. The end, their end.
A rush of wind hit him. Then another. And another. Yresil felt as if something were filling him. His gaze focused upon Ashling as she plummeted farther from him and closer to the sea. Golden lights engulfed him, stabbed him over and over as a million shattered pieces began to fill him. It felt as if he were being molded, shaped and born. The sky which they fell through was a beautiful azure. The clouds were soft and fluffy, not just water. The ocean was so crisp and blue and so full of life. Yresil could see it all, both eyes finally open. The scar nothing more than a decoration now as he saw the world for the first time in its true beauty. Even the threatening sea now held aught for him. Yresil's eyes focused on the most important thing in the world to him. Ashling, sword in her chest as she plummeted. So beautiful, he cherished her. All they had been through, and he had not had the chance to tell her. That feeling which had lingered inside of him, the strange thing which could have been emotion which had swelled his heart when he was around her. It was now something he could see, something he could know. Love. Yresil would not let the love of his existence die like this. He would not be parted after coming to this moment. His body locked up like a bullet and he darted through the air. Drawing closer to her. His face locked stern as her visage became clearer the closer he drew. The sea seemed to become smaller as he chased her through the spectating sky. The clouds now behind them.
Inch by inch he fought the wind towards her. He could almost reach her. One arm reached out, he had to catch her. The sea was so close.
"ASHLING!" Yresil called out as she desperately wanted just as they plummeted into the sea. The pain wracked him, crushed him. Yet he did not break. He felt it in his hand. One held something both hot and cold, the other clutched what he knew must be Ashling. The crystal light penetrated the water as they sank.
Yresil could not breathe, but he knew what he must do. He pulled out the Godsbane blade, immediately it seemed to vaporize from his hold. No blood came from her and the ocean seemed to welcome them.
Moments later they washed ashore. Yresil's body burned from kicking and pumping within the ocean to get them to the sands of her home. Ashling lay there, cold and wet. The sand molded to her shape, golden below her. Ashling was not moving. Yresil pulled his gauntlets and tossed them away.
"Ashling! Ashling." Yresil could not let it end this way. It could not end this way. He found it, the thing she had always wanted of him. It could not end this way. What god would give him this gift at the cost of his greatest treasure. A world without Ashling would mean nothing.
"I..." He opened her vest quickly and undid her shirt. He began to pump her chest, then breathe in her mouth. Trying to get her to breathe, Yresil desperately worked to wake her. The quiet beach seeming to taunt him. Finally he slumped and scooped her against him. Tears sliding from his cheek at the failure to make her move. His heart finally awoken now broken. His body shook with sobs as tears began to spill. A man who wielded a weapon his size and stood before monstrous creatures brought to tears at this. It was the most wonderful and horrible thing he had ever felt.
"I love you Ashling." Finally, the words he had never knew how to say. So simple yet so powerful. And here she was, unable to hear them. He clutched her tight, unwilling to release her. Ba bump.
Yresil's held Ashling firmly to him, dead set to never let go. Ba bump. Even as a warm sensation crawled up his sensation. Even as her soft voice played in his head.
"Yresil?" His heart stopped, suddenly he lifted his head and looked down. Ashling stared up at him with beautiful mismatched blue eyes. A small smile played on her lips. Ashling did not know what happened. Last she remembered was his cry. The world fading. The end of the cycle. Yet here she laid in the very place it had begun. The very spot her heart had been taken from her. Feeling happy.
"Did you say my..."
Before she could finish Yresil's lips were upon hers. Ashling felt fire suddenly shoot through her veins. It engulfed her as though his lips were a flame which ignited oil on her lips. Yresil held Ashling firmly. It was the hold of a lover, of one who had always protected her and would never allow her to be apart from him. Ashling found herself kissing him back. So passionate and tender. Ashling's fingers curled firmly in his hair as the other cupped his cheek. She did not know how, where, when, or why she was here. All she knew was that she wanted this moment to last for eternity.