There is something strangely soothing about standing in the middle of a raging storm. As the wind and the snow beat against my face I felt the cold sting of the snowflakes colliding with my skin; yet I didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps it was because a part of this storm reflected what has been a part of me for as long as I can recall.
You do not negotiate with a storm. You do not try to find reason in the chaos of the wind and rain, nor do you try to justify its actions. You simply face it.
I had always believed that the chaos that was in me was just that. Chaos. An unnamable source without thought or reason… But lately I was beginning to think that there was something more purposeful and patterned in the shape of the darkness in my thoughts. There was a power granted that I did not possess and knowledge given that I could not have had before. There was someone, or something, behind the veil of shadow in my mind; I was sure of it.
I had taken a break from the rest of the group inside of Asacia’s home to collect my thoughts outside in the snow. The others were taking a short rest before beginning preparations for the next battle; including training with the mentors that had been brought to the house.
But there was something I needed to know before I could move forward. I stepped further away from the house, allowing myself to be swallowed up completely by the storm, and closed my eyes. Directing my thoughts inward, but not towards Selena, I instead searched for the shade in my mind and addressed only what I knew as the darkness that was in me:
I have tried to ignore you for as long as I can remember… I have pretended that you have only ever been part of my imagination and a reflection of myself… but I cannot believe that anymore. What are you and what do you want with me? How do benefit by granting me power?
I waited for a few moments not knowing exactly what I expected in response. There was only the storm that raged around me.
Impatient, and believing that there was in fact something there, I implored again, this time in Abyssal: Answer me…
If you will not speak then perhaps you can listen…
Assuming you are like any other being or beings in existence I know you want something. If you want chaos then I can assure you that there will be more chaos to follow in my wake regardless of your presence. If you want power then I can also assure you that I have been set on that path already.
You prey on me when I am weak willed… but what if we could come to an understanding? If your end goal is to take complete control over my being then I promise you that I WILL find a way to expel you permanently. But… if you are willing to communicate your desires then it is possible we can come to a mutually beneficial relationship.
End this manipulation and start an exchange of services. The choice is yours. Continue to gamble on the fact that I will progressively lose more and more control of myself, or begin to work with me as a partner.
A few more moments passed. I remained standing still in the snow, which by now was almost to my knees, and waited…
Perhaps I really was insane and was only talking to myself.
I was about to turn back to the house to begin my training but before I could turn to move I felt a presence fill my mind that was larger and more powerful then any I had ever felt before in my life. It seemed to be the presence of a being so large that it encompassed the entirety of my aura with its magnitude so that I couldn’t help but drop to my knees in attempt to keep myself upright.
A voice then filled every corner of my mind:
Kaicoran Illythua Cor-nyss'a.
Child of the rejected court, brother of the daughter of the queen, protector of the unseen and the joint heir of Design
Prophetic child of the Joining.
You speak to me as a nameless entity, giving soul to the darkness and naming it intelligence without comprehension.
You assume that I am Chaos
You are wrong.
I am Desire.
The intensity of Love and Hate, Desire is the enemy of apathy and Chaos. Ally of Pain.
There is a reason the drixl delivered you safely to her in the forest. There is a reason you were chosen.
You were not expelled because you were a half-ling. You were rejected by the court because you heard me in your infancy. Because in your development you embraced the shadow and void and you yearned for power.
Such ambition is dangerous to any in power who fear children of prophesy.
Do not make their same mistake.
Do not reject me.
You are not a child of Selena. Though she aids you, she knows you are not a child of the night. You are mine.
I am higher than she who organized the court. The fey gods bow to me child. And one day they will bow to your sister.
Do not give in to madness and chaos. The schism makes the drixl strong when they resist, not because they embrace it.
I am Ireia, and you are the Protector. Prepare yourself. This is only one of many such adventures.
If you are faithful to me, I will give you strength.
Discuss with me your desires before pursuing them, and you will have luck. Act on your passions when they are constructive, and I will move your obstacles. Swear to act, and not be acted upon, and in MY sight—Under MY gaze—you will be mighty.
Do you agree?
For moment I knelt in the snow, comprehending all that been communicated to me, and felt my mind become still and calm… calmer than it had since before I had left the forest with Sister.
I answered her… If what you say is true then you have spoken great comfort to my mind… If you will allow me to be a Protector once more and help me resist the chaos that is in me… Then yes, I agree.
There was a feeling of approval that resonated throughout my mind and body and then, slowly withdrawing itself, the presence shrunk until it again only occupied a small corner in my mind. Although I felt like something inside me remained changed still.
I felt for the first time that I was whole.
I drew Oathbringr from its sheath and held it with both hands by the hilt, the blade towards the ground, and whispered down into the gem set in the pommel of the sword in Ancient.
“You are named Oathbringr… so upon you I will make this oath: Agents of Chaos and Madness will fall to this blade in memory of Sister and in protection of all that is good upon this earth… with you I shall wield the chaos within me as a weapon in my hands; never again to be subject to its whims… This I swear.”
A small puff of air blew out from the blade upon the completion of the oath and I knew that I would see this oath fulfilled.
I felt another smaller voice enter my mind; this time it was a voice that I knew.
Peace dear Brother… be at peace…
I sheathed my sword once more and turned back to the warmth of Asacia’s mountain home and felt a single warm tear run down my cheek before disappearing into the snow. It seemed that the intensity of the blizzard outside had subsided somewhat and the light from inside the cabin was brighter and more inviting than it had been a few minutes earlier. The worst of the storm appeared to be over.