Chapter Fifteen: Alassiel Le’lorinel

Later, Alassiel would have trouble remembering her descent. The smoke from Maithum falls swirling in the dying storm, evidence of the battle still raging on, the people of the Veil slowly taking back their world from Lahk’s tyranny. For her, it was a nightmarish series of glimpses of the city beneath, lit with lightning blasts like claws from the sky, pain from the wind and rain lashing at her face, causing free strands of her crimson hair to slash across her like knifes, visions of Lahk at the bottom, of the thousand nightmares he had brought upon her and her friends.

As Alassiel descended, she fought with the storm she had summoned, trying to calm it. These things took on lives of their own with time, building beyond what the druid had built… and she would not allow her people to come to harm by it’s hand. She couldn’t dismiss it entirely, not even with her druidic magic and divine powers, not after it had grown so far beyond what she had built… but she could calm it, let it spend its fury harmlessly.

Then out of the darkness of the storm, a flash of lightning illuminated the walls of the castle rising just before her. She threw her wind forward, slowing rapidly, just enough to land in a crouch against the shock of impact against the dark stone. The red-haired elf was shrouded almost entirely by the blinding wind and rain as she rose, scanning around for Lahk. She couldn’t find where the man had fallen for long moments until she caught sight of the cracked stone, evidence of his heavy impact against the black rock of the ramparts. She could barely see more than a few feet before her face, but she tried to expand her sense outward, searching for his dark magic… and find it. Ahead… not far. Moving slowly.

Although the dawn had fully risen by now, it was black as midnight beneath the dying storm as Alassiel crept forward in the rain, Menelrûth held ready in her hands. He had pulled himself out of the small crater he had landed in, obviously, so he was still alive… and he was still dangerous.

Out of the darkness, the druid caught sight of a light ahead… an entrance into the keep below form the ramparts, the flicking light of fire within making her shudder with the memory of heat, realizing suddenly how cold she was in the storm… and tension. Slowly, sword at guard position, Alassiel stepped towards the entrance.

Slouched at the back wall was Lahk.

Her brother didn’t look good. His armor was mostly black now, charred from lightning, darker in some places where the blasts had burned through, scarring his skin. One of his legs was clearly broken, and the angle his right shoulder was at wasn’t natural either. His face fared even worse… he must have landed on one side of it, because the right side of his face had nearly be obliterated. One eye was simply gone, and his nose and right cheek were mush, a mass of what would doubtless become legendary scar tissue. More than rain dripped from his drenched form… blood seeped down to the ground from his still form, staining the stone crimson.

For all that, however, he still held the ruin of the wrecked Blackwand, and his remaining eye focused on her intently as she stepped into the room. His feet licking the ground, boots sliding in the pool of his own blood and rain water, he pushed himself up to his feet, using the wall as a lever to hold himself up. Alassiel stood waiting, adjusting the grip on Menelrûth before raising the sword to the ready. The two faced each other in silence, the only sound the dying rumble of thunder. Even the sounds of battle had stopped.

Lahk spoke first. “Brother, you say… that explains it…”

She shook her head. “No, it doesn’t. Who your parents were means nothing Lahk, no more than mine.”

“I don’t understand…” he said softly… the first words she had heard from him without a trace of anger or resentment in the time she had known the evil man.

“I know you don’t. I’m sorry, but you never will. If you could understand, you’d not be who you are.” Alassiel was crying softly. Her face turned slightly to the side, listening. “Battle’s over. The city belongs to Silas again. It’s done, Lahk. It’s over.”

Lahk staggered away from the wall slowly. The broken remnants of Blackwand clutched in his hands. “Do you want your revenge now, sister?”

The elf shook her head.

Lahk smiled. “Then lets get this over with.”

He charged.

His broken leg didn’t slow him, his boots sending rainwater spraying into the air as he ran on the cripple limb, ignoring the pain. Even so badly injured, he was still fast as a striking snake.

Blackwand, even broken, was raised for a lethal strike, slashing forward at Alassiel’s throat with all the speed left in his body.

Menelrûth rose up as well, Alassiel sliding across his attack. She made a single, smooth cut.

And the War of Ascension ended.

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