The Heroes of Feather Falls

The Heart of Darkness

From the Journal of Roathraxiel

Journal Entry: The Heart of Darkness

It has been three days since the prison-break. I am hungry and lost. I have allowed a group of primers to join me, but I have allowed myself to become swept up in their evil quest to bring the Outre realms to the inner planes. Terrestrials should never be trusted — especially those from the prime. Their arrogance is astonishing. The humans especially… there are things that they are not meant to know. They push, and now they found something that pushed back. They insist we travel by day. Their inferior eyes do not adjust well. It is too bright. I am tired. …so hungry. I have not caught a real meal in weeks.

I do not understand them. I do not trust them. They continuously act only in their own self interests, violently, threateningly, eager to take and take and take. But when I speak as they do, they impose higher morals and judgements as if they were the patrons of saints and the very guardians of light.

I am Roathraxiel, Nightbringer Lord of Clan Storm Demon, Harbingher of the Night Beyond Nights. I will not be toyed with thusly.

We are angry. We are hungry.

Tonight I ushered one of our party into the Long Night. His name was Glen MacElroy.

For reasons that I will attempt to explain once understood fully, we found ourselves at an altar dedicated to the Night God of my strange kin — the Nightgaunts. It quickly became apparent to me that my cohorts are city rats and know nothing of the traditions of hunters. I cut myself and made an offering of my own essence to Nodens. It was then that he addressed me. Unable to keep their teeth together, my cohorts spoke up one by one.

We were to offer a sacrifice to summon his avatar, a necessary evil required to strike at a darker force unleashed by the pink one’s actions. I would have been content to find one of the demons we had foolishly released only moments before, but I knew that impatience would overpower thought and this group would have acted before I returned.

It was at that time that Glen spoke up and offered himself. It was a noble mark I had never seen expressed by a human. Perhaps it was one last selfish attempt at redemption. Perhaps it was honest. That is not for me to judge. The others began to argue and cut straws as if they had intended to cast lots. The elf spoke up to offer himself, but I knew it would not be him. When Glen first spoke, I felt Nihlsihlhara stir on my back, coming to consciousness. She knew it would be Glen, and so did I.

“I will be gentle, and I will be quick,” I said, placing my hand on his shoulder. “Please disrobe.”

I also disrobed, and placed his items and mine into my bag. I fashioned a white paint from chalk and bone, painting my face, ribs, arms and legs. From my own wings I plucked the newest, fairest, and shiniest feathers. I burned them to ash, and mixed them with my own blood. In quick strokes I painted small feathers on his back and arms, and printed both hands outstretched over his heart.

“This is Nihlsihlhara,” I told him, raising her obsidian beauty to his eyes. “She is a shard of Elemental Darkness, the Night Beyond Nights. She contains the whole of the night sky. We shall usher you into the Long Night. When you are ready, please lay yourself on the altar.” After his goodbyes, he prepared himself. I stood above him and touched Nihlsihlhara to his chest. She pulsed with power at every beat of his heart.

“Let your stars shine through,” I whispered. Brilliant white light washed all color from the room. “Glen MacElroy, on Obsidian Wings, I remit your body and soul to the Long Night. Go in glory.” Nihlsihlhara sank effortlessly into his chest. Her light filled him, and for a moment, as his gaze locked with mine, his eyes too were full of stars.

Nodens, Lord of the Hunt accepted his sacrifice. Glen MacElroy ceased to be human, and became the Avatar of a God. I will not try to describe the alien beauty of what he became. There are no words in the sounds of men worthy.

Go in glory, Glen, and may your hunts be bountiful.

His name was Glen MacElroy.

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