Tuesday, 10 November 2009

An Ancient Grudge



"Mom," I said, "do you really think you should go alone?"

"We've been over this, Myrrh," she replied. "Those demons will run if they even have a hint that I have help. No, I must do this alone." I had tried to persuade Mom to at least bring Trim or Pillow but even they, she claimed, would jeopardize all.


"Well, at least bring your best gear, Mom!" I cried. "Why are you going there—alone!—with just that sword and your dragoon gun? Why are you going out wearing that dress?"

"My dear," she replied, "this is not a dress and it is not 'just that sword'... this blessed garb of—" "—of undead slaying, Mom! Undead slaying!" I must've thrown my hands up in exasperation. "Those things were designed to combat the undead, not demons!"

"I know... I know..." she said. "But in doing this, I must represent the Argent Dawn, of which I am an honorary member. Yes, these were not built specifically to combat demons, but they have no weaknesses against them either. Would you rather I went in there clothed with the shells of Cryptlords?"

"No, Mom... but don't you have any of those from the Argent Crusade? Aren't those powerful enough?"

"I had considered that, but no... if they saw me garbed in full battle gear, they would flee and tracking them down would be for naught. No, these will be sufficient... and underneath these I can wear more protection. I bring my dragoon gun as a representative of the Burning Dragoons..."

"And the sword?" I ask.

"My 'ace-in-the-hole', as they say," she replied. "Long have I searched for the smith, and I have endured many terrors to obtain this innocuous blade." I look at the blade again. It looked like a long shard cut out of purple glass, etched with designs near the edge, but as Mom unsheathed the blade, it rang like metal.

"Then," I said. "Before you go, let me please put some insurance on it."

"Alright, dear," she said. "Go ahead."

I reached into my bag and took out a small but radiant shard, some dust, and an elixir that I obtained with much difficulty. I unstoppered the small bottle and put it to my lips, filling my mouth with the precious liquid. Then I picked up the weapon and I blew, spraying the elixir evenly on every part of the blade. I gathered the dust in one of my hands and sprinkled it on the still wet blade, coating it. Then I took the shard, held it agains the blade and cried out:

"Und wenn die Welt voll Dämonen wär

Und wollt uns gar verschlingen,

So fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr,

Es soll uns doch gelingen."

Immediately, the shard was consumed and ignited the coated shard-like blade, bathing it in fire. I grasp the blade with one gloved hand, the hilt with the other, and presented it to Mom. "I have enchanted the blade..." I said. "... enchanted it with my 'ace-in-the-hole'. It will burn those whom you hunt, but no one else."

"Thank you, dear Myrrh," she said, sheathing the blade and slinging it on her back. "Now I must be off."

She had reached the threshold when I cried out "Mom! Please come back! Please come back to me! Promise me that you will come back to me!"

Mom paused at the door, and said "I will come back."

"Light be with you, Ærynn," I said. "And with you," she said. Then she was gone.