The Irrevocable Consequence

Above, the swollen, churning sky unleashes its emotions upon the world. The rain falls in cascades, pummeling things already swallowed by the Night.

At the last, my legs fail me and I collapse to the ground. The will driving my motivation thus far abruptly takes flight, leaving me to corrode in my own soulful chaos.

The weight of the rain, the darkness, the cold, is as equilibrium to the weight of grief goring into me, burning me like ice. Does the sky cry for me this night – having witnessed the final outtake of my sorrow? I doubt such sympathy from her. Not now I am branded as having defied the laws of magic that maintain the balance of my world.

Piercing the rain, my eyes briefly scan the ruptured clouds, seeking the solace of the Night’s capricious light. As though ashamed, the moon would not show its pearly, ethereal face.

I am a Child of the Night, one of the Twilight Fae; a werecat. Although able to hold a beast form, I prefer my humanoid guise; aside from the eldritch gleam in my eyes, the extended point of my ears and curve of my teeth, I could almost pass as human … almost.

The energy of the world when shrouded in darkness is my symphony. If I focus enough, I feel the threads of magic in every object; sense the rhythms and motions of things both breathing and breathless. But not this night; despite my broken, straining efforts, nothing but a chasm of emptiness receives my unspoken callings.

I feel abandoned, chided and separated from all remnants of comfort and familiarity, although I am aware I only have myself to blame.

Even still, this charge seems unfairly and irrevocably substantial. Was my one act of defiance that detestable, that the Watchmen of Whilnhem set the very Night against me? Were they not satisfied with taking away my name?

I cringe at the raw reminder and cradle my arms against my chest; my name. A Fae’s true power is held in their name, and now, I am without one. For one moment my emotions boil like ejected venom, and I want nothing more than to curse the Watchmen and their whimsical laws that governed our world. But my jaw clenches like a vice, and the venom turns black and in-noxious. I realize I do not have the power left for spite. There has already been too much cursing of late.

As that fleeting flare of anger wanes, sorrowful memories creep in like cold, glassy shadows. The reason why I had trespassed into vampire territory with reckless abandon and used illicit magics that defied the Watchmen’s laws was now the core of my grief.

That reason … was Thaiskiril.

My mind begins to wander, losing itself through scattered thoughts. Dropping all resistance, I fall into my ocean of memories, careless of how they tossed me.

*

A kindred werecat, Thaiskiril was of a lineage of Noble blood, but he did not esteem his inheritance as a reason for arrogance, ambition or discrimination. Quite contrary, he yearned for the simplicities and freedoms of a lesser bred soul. He prowled with the minor Twilight Fae, and socially mingled with any being he considered benevolent.

He was the reason for my life. Had not he made an intervention, and rescued me from the violent assaults of a wraith, my death would have made its echo on the world a long time ago. Despite my unruly youthfulness, he ungrudgingly assigned himself as my guardian, and for such unconditional affection and instruction, I adored him.

In fact, my passion was unyielding and consuming. I fell in love with him. But his love for me was not the same, and his fascination for mortal company had his heart fall for the innocent charms of a human maiden named Alicia.

My jealousy and detest were beasts I wanted so desperately to feed, but my love for Thaiskiril was greater, and for that I could not create any unwanted intervention or harm between them. If he chose Alicia as his soul mate, then it was something I would learn to accept.

Yet, despite my approval of the match – however reluctant –, I could not rid myself of the chilling sensation of some distant, veiled doom. The wise warnings from Fae generations passed repeatedly haunted my subconscious thoughts: “A union of eternal love between Fae and mortal is doomed, for the threads of magic shall never join them.”

The selfish part of me wanted that to be true. The part of me that cared for Thaiskiril, hoped with silent fervency, that it was not.

Perhaps it was doomed from the start, or perhaps doom was thrust upon them by forces beyond their control. The impulses of Fate may never be safely determined.

The ruination began when a prominent, oppressive vampire called Lord Duernard, became aware of Alicia’s interactions with the Fae Realm. Intrigued by the concept that a mere human girl could seduce a werecat of high aristocracy, he surreptitiously sought Alicia out. Instantly ravaged by lust and envy, Duernard wanted her for himself, and when opportunity arose, he stole her away and retreated to the fortified domain of his manor.

Outraged, Thaiskiril pursued after them in an endeavour of rescue. Against his orders, I shadowed his movements, my loyalty to him as inseparable as the blood pulsing through my body.

I knew the vampire would attempt to use Alicia in some twisted performance to trap Thaiskiril; as powerful as Duernard boasted to be, Thais was indisputably of a stronger calibre, and as such the vile blood-sucker held minimal chance of success in a one-on-one duel. Obtaining the unfair advantage was his only possible claim to victory, and with Thaiskiril recklessly willing to abandon his own safety for the sake of Alicia, I realized terrible consequences were lying in wait, ready to be triggered by some foolish act of daring, fear or rage.

I could not allow Thaiskiril to make any such choice.

How I managed to breach the outrageous levels of aegis encompassing the vampire’s mansion, and infringe into its archaic internal structures undetected, was a memory I could not recall. My instincts must have assailed the controls of my logicality and taken full command, erasing the imprint of that span of events in the process.

Regardless of my means, I managed to reach the place where Thaiskiril’s scent trail ended. It was a chamber cold and sombre, magnificent and foreboding, and strung with countless candles aligned in a decorous display, suspended on nothing but air. At the far end stood Lord Duernard, framed in condescension. He had Alicia placed on display between two cloaked cohorts, forced to stand witness against her will.

Thaiskiril stood near the centre of the room, blocked from further advancement by a row of extravagant suits of armour. There were no living souls inside those suits. They emanated a dead, poisonous energy; Duernard no doubt had them animated using some dark, necromantic craft.

The vampire’s voice echoed across the hall. His tone was mocking, venomous, dastardly; my ears burned as his vile breath cursed the air.

‘What is the matter, Thaiskiril? You do not seem all that intent at your rescue. Could it be that you do not care for this girl as much as you originally claimed? How typical – I would have expected nothing less from a Noble. If you really insist on recovering this mortal, then by all means take her back – if you think you can. She’s standing right here … so what are you waiting for?’

Thaiskiril’s energy ignited with fervent fury. He was so beautiful, and so terrifying. Yet I was terrified for him. I wanted to scream out a warning, sensing that something was wrong, but the point of no return had come and gone.

Thaiskiril unleashed a whiplash of energy, shattering the armoured suits into oblivion. He then leapt across the room and made to lunge at the guards restraining Alicia.

That one act sealed his fate.

Without warning, a new energy manifested itself, filling the room with an oppressing force. Thaiskiril suddenly froze, and made no effort to move either forward or back. I heard Alicia cry out in a panic. Shock electrified my senses. Dread began to quiver through me. That energy was not of vampire origin – it was far more omnipotent.

‘Surprised, are we, Thaiskiril?’ Duernard chided conceitedly. ‘Do not tell me you failed to consider I would cast the Oath of Quendillus over this girl?’

I could not see Thaiskiril’s expression, but I did not require it to interpret his frame of mind – Lord Duernard’s reply explained it for me.

‘You did not consider it then? So, I have in effect, completely outwitted you in regards to this. You see, my coveting Alicia is not as recent or as random as you might think. I had this planned out well before I physically spirited her away.’ He descended from his stage and walked right up to his prisoner; Thaiskiril could do nothing but stare back at him. ‘And now,’ he continued, ‘now you will never get her back. The Oath is as this: that anyone who attempts to take Alicia from me by force, will be rendered without power and motion until such a time as that one decides to truthfully cease from acquiring her.’

I watched as Thaiskiril tensed up and flinched. Lord Duernard laughed as the failed attempt at breaking free had the spell intensify, forcing its captive down on one knee.

‘There is no use in trying to defy the Oath of Quendillus,’ Duernard remarked. ‘Only when you resign in your heart to pursue Alicia no more, will you be able to move again. But … I doubt very much that will ever happen – it is transparent you are irrevocably in love with this fickle, fragile mortal.’ The vampire lord stuck his finger out and flicked Thaiskiril under the chin. ‘Smitten as such, I suppose you will remain stuck like this forever.’

Selfish, cruel bastard! Every inch of me was burning to leap into action and tear that vampire’s repulsive, gloating head clean off his shoulders. The situation had been forced entirely to his demented favour. Alicia could not be freed by anyone using force, and Thaiskiril would never relinquish his love of her – which would doom him to remain sealed under the spell of motionlessness for the rest of his existence.

I had to bide my time in this regard. I had no choice. I was not strong enough to take on Lord Duerard alone. No, I would wait until he retired from the spectacle before making my move. Once he left Thaiskiril to wallow in an undeserved misery, frozen by his own passions, it would advantageously allow me access. Even if I had to drag Thais as deadweight out of this place – I would see him to safety.

But in my naive assuming, I failed to realize the true extent of Duernard’s wicked plot until it was already in effect. In an unpredictable act, the vampire began to cast an alchemic seal over the floor surrounding Thaiskiril.

‘Ah, yes, it has been a most entertaining evening,’ Duernard declared in perverse satisfaction. ‘But all good things must regretfully end at one point or another. Your time, Thaiskiril, is up.’

The seal beneath Thaiskiril erupted with a sudden light, and with its illumination came a scream of agony. My whole body recoiled from the sound and my heart throbbed frantically. As the light dispelled, in horror I realized it had transmuted into a cordon of solid gold.

As sunlight was to vampires and silver to werewolves, so was gold to werecats. Forced to kneel over the deadly mineral, Thaiskiril would succumb to a slow and torturous death of being burned alive.

My previous plan was rendered useless. There was no more time to consider any sane tactics. Spurred by ferocity and desperation, I sprang from my hiding place, and sprinted toward Thaiskiril. Snarling, I lashed out at Lord Duerard, forcing him to leap a good distance away.

There, in that moment, I could only choose one to save. Without reservation I made my choice, my frame of mind becoming nonsensical and wild. If Thaiskiril could not break the Oath of Quentillus over himself, then I would do it for him!

Evoking my own magic and releasing it into my words, I cried from the utmost recesses of my soul. ‘Watchmen of Whilnhem, heed me now! I break this Oath of Quentillus binding Thaiskiril Leronius to the mortal girl Alicia. Take what you will from me – punish how you deem to justify, but this bond I hereby eternally destroy! In your power do this and send us both from this accursed place!’

Heedless of my own suffering, I stepped out onto the golden circle and wrapped my arms around Thaiskiril. I looked into his eyes and saw an amalgamation of emotions: confusion, alarm, disbelief and finally dread as the revelation of what I had instigated took its hold.

‘I’m so sorry!’ I howled, watching his eyes fix onto Alicia. Evading regret I turned my head away, fixating on the conviction that in my power I could not have saved her as well. Certain of my choice, I relinquished myself to the powers of the Watchmen of Whilnhem.

Suddenly, Alicia, Lord Duernard, and the chamber were erased from my senses. There then came excessive heat and bursts of brilliant light. I clung with all my strength to Thaiskiril’s unmoving form, as something else unseen clung to me from behind, drawing something out of me. I felt a sudden, terrible loss, as the power and memory of my name was taken away. My awareness then collapsed in the torrent of overwhelming energies.

Darkness followed.

When I awoke, I was far beyond the borders of Duernard’s territory, somewhere along the rocky shoals fringing a forest. Thaiskiril was nowhere to be seen. Had he been teleported elsewhere? Or had he already awakened and, consumed by his loss of Alicia, abandoned me to whatever fate I deserved and fled into the Night’s embrace.

Sorrow suddenly bore its fangs into my heart. Thaiskiril would never forgive me for this. I had chosen to save him, instead of Alicia, and although he would be able to rescue her now – unbound by the Oath – she would more than likely already be turned; she would be lost to him, forever.

Remorse became all-encompassing, drowning reason and resolve. What had this accomplished? My good intentions had left nothing but grief and tragedy.

Nameless and unloved, I did the only thing left of my will … I ran.

*

Above, the swollen, churning sky unleashes its emotions upon the world. The rain falls in cascades, pummeling things already swallowed by the Night.

Does the sky cry for me this night – having witnessed the final outtake of my sorrow? No, the sky cries over a love now lost, and an innocent child doomed to a dark endlessness. I cry only for myself; that I have been the cause of this irrevocable consequence.

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