Aldar’s Remembrance



“I am sure it is strange for things to differ. Usually you all just pass on by and through without much conversation. I do not usually care. But this time I have questions, questions about what you saw in the Underworld. I wish for you to answer them..”

“I, uh yes. Sir.”

“Tell me. How did it begin?”

“We were all of us gathered. Grouped, we call it. And then the Lady came, with Her Bloodsworn. She was beautiful. Wondrous. Divine. Larger than all of us, towering. Bigger even than you! It was mag-“

“Do not belabor the point.”

“Er. Right. She blessed us. So did the Righteous Fire. I was never much of anything before then. But when She gave us Her grace I felt invulnerable, invincible. Like I could fight anything, defeat anything.”

“Clearly you could not.”

“Yes. We went to the Underworld. We spread out, fighting the undead wherever we found them. It didn’t seem difficult to bring them down. Some of us still died, but we were united. And the Lightbringer went to Slith’s fortress. They, the Vice-Royals I mean, sealed the gates, but She just crashed through them. I heard it’s actually called Cor Kanth, if you know it?”

“I know what Cor Kanth is. Slith’s own fortress is actually, or was, Cor Triphyn.”


“You don’t know much history, do you?”

“Most of us don’t really care about that sort of thing, I think. I sometimes don’t even remember the big thing from last week.”


“Okay. Um, Lady Aurora went into the fortress. She fought two of the Urs there.”

“Ur’Vampires. Which?”

“We call them Urs, it’s faster to say.”


“Oh. Uh, Asztrik and, um, Prioska? The crazy one and the illusion one. They were strong! Usually they just kill us if they’re being Vice-Royals. They even put up a fight against a Goddess.”

“But it was not enough, was it?”

“Not really. I saw them smashing and punching her, all the claw and talon and rage thing, they hit Her with everything I’ve ever seen somebody do! And all they got was one drop of blood. Then She just lit up! It was like a new dawn rising, it looked amazing. A sun to eclipse the black, the coming of the Morning Star relived, She who is its Child beneath the heavens-“

“You sound ridiculous.”

“Oh. Sorry. So, She drew Her second scimitar. The one made of Primordial Fire. She’d been fighting with just one! And then She cut down both of them. They said they would rise again. I suppose that means they aren’t really DEAD-dead? But they fought and got beaten pretty brutally. They like, died. Do you think they’re regretting picking a fight?”

“If they do, it is not any more than I regret this conversation.”

“Thanks! After the fight She went into Slith’s throne room. He wasn’t there, so She cut a hole in the universe and went to the Soulbleed Nexus. But that’s when it got, like, weird. He wasn’t there either. Just his armour. And even Lady Aurora was confused. But now we don’t know where Slith is. The Bloodsworn Gods said They would look for him on the planes, so I don’t think he’s even in the Underworld now. And that’s sort of where it ended.”

“I see.”

“Do YOU know where he might be?”



“Do you know what it is to be a parent?”

“Um. I’ve been to Mysia a few times, but I don’t think anything ever came of it.”

“You think you know everything about the world. Then. Then something happens. A touch, a glance. And before you know it. Something new. And in a moment, you know that everything else doesn’t matter any more. You’ve created something. A spark of something priceless, something you would give anything to protect. Something you would break any law, break any rule, to keep safe. Because nothing matters beyond the life you’ve created. You don’t matter.”


“Your brothers and sisters don’t understand, of course. How could they? Arrogant, vacuous, obsessed with their own vanity and pride. Worse, they want to destroy it. They even try to kill it, or make YOU kill it. Let them pronounce
whatever punishment they want. You take your life where they don’t dare follow. You find somewhere as far from them as possible.”


“Ages pass. Eons. Your brothers and sisters even try once or twice to kill the life you made, to erase the stain because they think it will make you return to the fold. You turn to what you know, bitter and vengeful. You remake, reshape. You create guardians. Protectors. An Order. Your old family failed you, but these will be forever loyal. They won’t break their code, will never surrender their honour.”

“It’s really-“

“The child grows up. Rebels. Children always test their limits. There is so much of her in it, so much that even without her it gives you joy, sparks her anew in your memory. There are many such antics, throughout the ages. He usually escapes punishment, especially after the changed order of things. Here and there you step in. Give a guiding hand. Try to help without him knowing. But nobody likes to be watched forever over their shoulder. You have to let them learn to fly.”

“I don’t think-“

“And then they do something that you know your family can never forgive. Will never forgive. But it is your child. And your life isn’t yours any more. It hasn’t been for a long time. So you break yourself. For him. You surrender everything you have made, everything you have built. Your child will inherit it. But then you have to watch. Watch him stripped of everything wondrous. Watch your family condemn him to a living death. Watch your family chain him to a throne to languish in apathy. Because they make you watch it happen. You don’t get a choice.”

“I just-“

“And then you are put here. Far from the only thing you care about. He can never be here. He is bound, tethered. Unable to die, unable to escape. You sit and judge, and judge, and judge, and listen to the hapless fools blathering about their lives and pathetic foibles and complaining that it wasn’t a fair fight or any one of a thousand other excuses.”

“That’s not exactly-“

“And you wonder if he even remembers himself any more. For years you console yourself with the memory of him, and even the memory of a memory until that, too, is gone. Because he is a hollow, dead thing.”

“If I could only-“

“And what’s worse, you can’t be with her either. All you have is the memory of the last moment when there were three of you. Only memory. Because I still haven’t found her, in all these dead realms.”



“So, uh. Can I go back to life now?”

“No. You know too much.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Summary: A departed soul recounts Aurora’s assault on the Underworld, where the Lightbringer faced two Vice-Royals only to find Slith gone.