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Friv
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Twilight of the Second Age, Epilogue: Hope

25 Aug 2006, 10:19

Table of Contents

Wow. Now it's over.

-----

“Ow.”

It was night, and the valley was strewn with corpses. In and amongst the decayed bodies of soldiers were the occasional bear corpse, where a huraka had failed to escape in time and been destroyed once and for all. The battle was all but over; the Wind Master’s army had pursued the fleeing zombies and ghosts, led by their Lunar companion.

One of these corpses shuddered, and was pushed aside. Cracking his neck, Twice-Forged Steel rose from the wreckage and looked over the valley. “Well, that went badly.” Checking his cloak, he looked around, pulling Restraint from the neck of the huraka. “Thanks for covering for me.” He chuckled at his own joke, but his grim mood returned as he surveyed the destruction.

Not far away, he saw the top half of the Penitent And Terror, and sighed, ambling over to them. “It was nice knowing you, pal. Never did find out if you were a guy or a girl. Oblivion take your soul.” He lowered his head, crossing his hands in front of his chest in respect, and kneeled beside the corpse of his fellow Deathknight. For a few moments, he remained there, and then he spoke again. “Hey, your powerbow! Well, you won’t be needing it. You don’t mind, do you?” Taking the bow, he slung it over his shoulder, and turned. “Wonder who else survived…?” He thought back to where the battle had been when he had fallen. The Grim Night Falling had been slain by the Lunar, over that way, and Steel started trudging towards where he had last seen the deathknight; that armour was very nice, and recovering the soulsteel of these soldiers was something, at least. He’d also seen the Ebon Guardian die, but hadn’t spotted the one person that he was most worried about…

“There you are.” The voice was cool, passionless, and the best thing that Steel had heard all day. He spun with a grin.

“Jasmine! You’re alive!”

“Next guess.”

There was a pause, as Steel blinked and considered his companion. Corpse-Scented With Jasmine stood before him, her veils in a shambles, gangrenous flesh showing for the first time in months. For a moment, he just stared in confusion, before noticing the rent veils around her midriff, and a conspicuous lack of intenstines. “Jasmine! You died and came back as a ghost, and are now possessing your own corpse!”

“Indeed.” Jasmine sighed, shaking her head, and gestured out over the field. “Quite the disaster.”

“Eyep.” Steel sat down on a corpse, glumly. “I’m glad that you’re al… here, but it doesn’t really matter. We lost the Lover’s army, at least three and a half deathknights…”

“Four and a half. You’re the only true survivor.” Jasmine sat beside him, following his gaze out over the lake.

“Even better.” Steel looked down at the ground. “The army, all the Abyssals but me, and to top it off, that Splinter got away with the secret. The Lover is going to soulforge us for sure.”

“If we return to her.”

“Well, of course we’re going to return to her. If we don’t, she’ll…” Steel trailed off and looked up abruptly, meeting Jasmine’s eyes.

“She has suffered an immense setback, lost over half her Abyssals, and must now concern herself with defense against the Splinter. We, by contrast, have our own not-inconsiderable skills, and though my powers are weakened by death, I remain a master of the Shadowlands Circle of Necromancy. If we travel far enough, she will not have the resources to pursue us.” Jasmine’s voice was matter-of-fact.

“Hm.” Steel stood up abruptly, with a grin. “Jasmine, my love, you know just what to say to make a guy feel like the top of the world again. Let’s do it. We have an arsenal of soulsteel, a head start, and each other.” He held out a hand, which Jasmine took, and he pulled her to her feet with a laugh, catching her in a hug. “The world isn’t going to know what hit it!” He laughed again, letting her go; she smoothed out her veils as best she could. “First things first. I bet you’d fill out Grim’s armour better than she ever did. Then we can grab the others’ stuff before those elementals get back, and slip off.”

As the two strolled towards the second fallen Deathknight, Steel grinned. “You know, I feel good about this. This whole mission has been nothing but a disaster, and it felt like we got sidelined by that Solar brat. This time, though… big things in our future, hon. I can feel it.”

He looked out over the valley, where the moon cast its light on the lake. “Yep, tommorow’s another day.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Epiphany
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25 Aug 2006, 21:48

I'm hugely amused that the hopeful, nice ending...ended with Abyssals. Optimistic Abyssals.

That just about steals the show, honestly. Friv, you are a freaking genius.

And I'm still going to miss this series.
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Re: Twilight of the Second Age, Epilogue: Hope

05 Jan 2008, 21:17

Just finished my second read through of this and I enjoyed it just as much this time around. Only an Abyssal could half survive a conflict. If you ever do revisit this story, you might want to consider adding in an epilogue for Mr. Nash. One assumes he just got there too late to make a difference, but it would be interesting to see his reaction to the situation.

I suppose his part was small enough that could remove him instead. At the moment though he does seem to only be a tangential part of the story without much reason to bother writing about him. However, since he becomes more important later on, I'd suggest you go with a more inclusive approach with him and write his epilogue.
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Re: Twilight of the Second Age, Epilogue: Hope

05 Jan 2008, 22:12

Awwww....

Abyssal sweet. :)

Nice stuff, Friv. I do like your work.
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Friv
Essence 6
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Re: Twilight of the Second Age, Epilogue: Hope

05 Jan 2008, 22:48

Wow, blast from the past. :)

BrilliantRain: Yeah, adding an epilogue for Nash and Sirrim might not be a bad idea. I may backtrack and do that at some point in the near future. Good thought. :)

And many thanks, Morninglight.
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