Check out the first entry of the Memoirs here.
Hysteria burned. Flames flickered along the rooftops and city walls. High above the blaze, its serpentine body wrapped around the keep’s highest tower, an ivory white scaled dragon stayed motionless. To Bors nocturnal vision at this distance, it appeared the beast wasn’t even breathing.
“It would appear someone has irked Yolavolys,” he commented.
Tin Fiddle snorted. “That’s an understatement.”
His troll companion shrugged. “I wonder what ignited her ire.”
Bors nodded to himself. “No surprise there. Is it known what he did this time?”
“He took her dinner away before she had finished.” Tin Fiddle smiled at the screams in the distance. “And here I thought Ji loved its meals the most. This is very entertaining.”
Bors continued to stare at the blazing living tableau set before him and the manservant. “Your Lady is going to be displeased that her city is aflame.”
“Shouldn’t you be assisting her in deescalating the situation?”
Tin Fiddle yawned, taking a seat upon the hilltop, leaning his back against the oak tree’s wide trunk. “You would assume so, wouldn’t you?” He pointed at four sets of coalescing lights taking place around Yolavolys. “I don’t feel like dealing with them.”
“And who are they?”
“The Four Points of the Celestial Body.”
Bors placed his deformed face in his gnarled hands. “You neglected to mention that Yolavolys was the Celestial Body.”
Tin Fiddle giggled like a mischievous boy. “I never did, did I?”
“You really have to stop hitting me.” The manservant pulled himself from the impression that his body had made in the tree’s trunk.
“You have to stop not informing me of the shitstorms you keep dragging me into,” Bors rebutted.
“That’s a matter of opinion,” Tin Fiddle contested.
Bors squinted at the lights as they began to take form. “So the four following her around all the time…”
“To be honest, I didn’t think I had to spell it out for you. You knew that Iris was a dragon. I figured you’d do the arithmetic.” Tin Fiddle looked to the four dragons that had finally materialized around Yolavolys.
The massive beasts had taken their place of protection in accordance with each one’s aspect. One hovered above the keep tower, its’ ice blue scales causing the air to begin steaming and fogging from the immense difference of temperature between it and the inferno below it.
“Shukshik the Northern Star.”
Tin Fiddle pointed at the second dragon who was almost indistinguishable from the flames it had begun to draw from its surroundings.
“Selena the Southern Star.”
The third dragon’s bronze, earthy scaled body coiled upon itself in the air to the east of Yolavolys.
“Anya the Eastern Star.”
Tin Fiddle smiled dumbly as he looked upon the fourth and final Point of the Celestial Body, emerald scales shining hauntingly.
“Iris the Western Star.”
“F-f-ive dragons?” Bors managed to stutter out.
Bors face adopted a thoughtful appearance. “I assume that this Alignment is nothing compared to last century’s…?”
“Kali says there’s never been a more potent Alignment ever seen.” Tin Fiddle picked up the pack that had flown from his back. He reached in and offered up a handful of candied walnuts to the troll. “Here, take a handful. This firework show isn’t even in full swing.”
“Oh.” Bors tossed his maul to the ground, took a seat beside his friend and had one of the offered snacks. The pair sat in silence for a few short minutes, nibbling upon their food. “I suddenly do not care,” Bors said around a crunchy mouthful, “about the fate of this city.”
“Why has your Mistress not compelled you yet? I thought her thirst for power would extend to wanting those five as trophies. Certainly-”
A blood chilling scream came from Tin Fiddle as he clutched at his abdomen.
Bors sighed. “There it is.” He looked up sharply at the sudden black cloud coming from the direction of the city’s graveyard. Focusing his eyes further, he saw that it was no cloud at all. “The Sister moves, I see.”
A pained breath escaped Tin Fiddle.
Boom. A sudden thunderbolt struck down from the sky, slamming into the baker’s district of the city. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Six more lightning strikes. Six more times they landed in the same destination. Bors bit his bottom lip nervously. “The Fallen rises.” He looked down at his friend. “What were you saying, Toernslaav?”
Another shot of pain ran through Tin Fiddle’s body. “I said, I’m going to-”
The sentence was cut off by the avalanche of dead brown and orange leaves falling from the tree above them. The warm summer night had turned to a crisp cold. The foliage along the hilltop had lost all moisture, dying in the span of an inhalation. A death tinged wind blew from the south, scattering the leaves from the troll and the man.
Tin Fiddle went still beside Bors, his laboured breaths and erratic spasms ceasing. Bors turned his head and was aghast at what he saw.
Where his lifelong friend had been, an apparition of shadow lay, staring straight up at the sky. The shadow of the man who was known now as Tin Fiddle, rose to a sitting position, then to his feet. The tattoo chains upon his right forearm had lengthened, and taken upon a solid form, leaving three feet of shadowy linked steel covering Tin Fiddle’s star metal hand. He reached his left arm forward in front of him into what he would later tell Bors was the Abyss. What he drew out from the realm of absolute nothingness, could only really be described as a weapon, dagger shaped, forged from, well, the idea of nothing.
Tin Fiddle slowly turned his face to Bors. His eyes were completely absent of life, turned to dead, black coals.
“I’m going to kill her.”
Bors did not ask who her was.
“Have you ever wanted to murder a goddess, brother?” The thing that was Tin Fiddle, once, long ago, known as Toernslaav, did not wait for a response and took off sprinting down the hill towards Hysteria.
Never waste an opportunity.
The ogre-sized troll stood and reached down to pick up his trusted maul, taking the haft in one gnarled hand.
“No, brother, I never have.” He began taking long, loping strides to catch up to his friend, hoping to pull him back from the darkness that had overtaken him before catastrophe occurred.
If anyone listened close enough, through the screams of citizens burning, and fleeing their beloved homes, one may have caught the notes coming from a lute, the heart wrenching prelude of tragedy.
Let us pull back to gain a view of the painting as a whole, my captive audience. See, there, the impossibly tiny shadow driven to live on through Death by revenge, racing towards a city of legend ablaze, pursued by an ancient of the Earth bound to this shadow by ties stronger then blood. Upon the horizon, see the white serpent encircled by her eternal guardians, the Four Points of the Compass embodied. A hurricane of ravens snuffs flames and lives indiscriminately. Lightning strikes its step throughout the dying city. Autumn’s wind rushes towards the Celestial Body.
Isn’t the convergence of power a beautiful thing?