With the loss of her parents, along with the disappearance of her sister, Kyrna is left in charge of the Vaettir, one of the most powerful nature clans still in existence. As she leads them in the defense of their homelands against the poisonous DarkKeepers, a powerful secret is revealed; one that t
Kyrna was no fool. She knew she had an angelic face, and people often underestimated her for it. She liked it that way. It let her work her own agendas without having to explain her every move. And in her line of work, this was necessary. People with her particular gifts were viewed with suspicion at best. And Kyrna didn’t like to think about what the worst case outcomes were. No, she kept her skills quiet and her guard up. It was best that way.
On this particular evening, she was on a very special mission. One that she had a personal interest in that went beyond her professional involvement. Normally, she didn’t ask any more questions than necessary to get the details of her task. But this time, her syrona was tinged with a deep blue, a signal to Kyrna that this may at last be the lead she had been waiting for. And so, she made that extra step into the realm, with the firm intent to ferret out the truth once and for all.
The evening was still, with a faint smell of smoke from the fires that had been burning for over two weeks. Normally, the smell would twist Kyrna’s stomach into knots, but tonight her intent focus on the undertaking ahead helped her block the odor out, as well as the memories. She moved briskly through the shadows, pausing only briefly to gather her bearings as she moved deeper into the city. She didn’t like to come this far inside the gates, but her syrona was almost thrumming with a song that told her she was finally getting close to the truth. So she pushed on, blocking out her fear, focusing on the music only she could hear. The song grew louder and louder in her mind as she moved towards the tower standing tall in the center of the city. Her breath grew shallow, and she had to stop for a moment and re-group. Breathing deeply, turning her mind’s eye inward on the deep blue, and listening to the almost hypnotic hum, she steadied herself.
A group of guards moved by at a slow pace, scanning the streets for signs of anything out of place. Kyrna shrank back into the darkness of the alley and calmly waited for them to pass. She knew sudden movements would notify the platoon’s Drakyn’s, the mounts they rode, of her location – they had a sixth sense that she was all too familiar with- and so she kept stone still. They plodded along slowly, sniffing the air, listening with the ears of a bat, waiting to detect anything that would alert them to enemies. But luck was on her side, and they finally passed by, around the next street’s bend and out of sight. Kyrna knew this was only one of several guard patrols out this night, so she kept her senses sharp, while still focusing on her syrona’s pull. She could not afford to make any mistakes this night. She somehow knew this was her one chance, and she had no intentions of anything ruining it.
The tower grew taller as she neared the inner courtyard. She could see a faint light from a room near the very top. That light seemed to combine with the song in her mind, until it was almost unbearably loud. Again, her breathing grew short and she had a sudden vision of a cloaked figure in front of a table. A figure that was waiting for her. Waiting for her to enter the room and face the truth. All at once, she knew with certainty that her fate would be sealed this night. A fate not yet written, but one that would come to pass one way or another. A terrible fear swept through her, and for the first time, she doubted if she would be successful. It was a foolish thing to let that fear in, she knew this, but the stakes were too high, and it could not be stopped. Not only her outcome, but the fate of all her kind, rested on this one encounter. The sheer importance of that knowledge immobilized her. She wondered how she got here. Why her? When she was approached by the stranger to find the missing babe, it seemed like a simple enough task. Until her syrona told her otherwise. Until she understood that the missing babe was the last of her kind, and the reason why she had always felt her powers fading. If this babe did not survive this night, her entire kind would perish. It was a frightening thought, yet with one final push of will, she began moving forward again. It was up to her, and she must succeed.
She reached the stone wall and felt her way around towards the back until her fingers brushed the wooden door. Very quietly, she unhooked the latch and eased the door open, holding her breath and listening for any sign of alarms sounding. When she was certain nothing would prevent her from entering, she snuck her way in and carefully closed the door behind her. In front of her was a long winding staircase lit only here and there by stuttering torches. The song in her head and the thrum of her syrona was nearly overpowering, and as she inched up the stairs, it became ever increasing in its intensity. When her foot finally reached the top landing, she paused. Gathering her mental strength inward, and steeling herself for the showdown she knew was on the other side of the doorway in front of her, she paused to reflect.
She had always had a special understanding of her people’s power of the syrona, that gift that allowed her kind to see beyond the physical realm and harness the full power of nature. But its existence and its destiny lay in conflict in her mind. It had not been that long ago that she had begun having visions that revealed to her the role she would play in securing her people’s future. She had not told anyone in her clan of these visions, yet all had known, and she had consequently been treated as a deity in her culture because of it. To the outside world she was a baby-faced, delicate young woman who was easily forgotten, and this served her purposes well, as it had allowed her to move freely about the world in preparation for this one night.
Kyrna took a deep breath and slowly reached her fingers towards the doorknob. It turned easily in her hand, and the door swung open with nary a sound. As she crossed the threshold into the room, she noticed two things immediately. A table in the center of the room, and the cloaked figure that she had foreseen. It turned, and her gaze was captured by a set of intensely burning amber eyes. In its hands, it held a sharp knife etched in gold and the ancient symbols of her people’s language. A soft rustling caught Kyrna’s attention, and a quick glance at the table confirmed that the babe was laying there, nestled in a mass of blankets, eerily calm. It was almost as if it knew that one wrong move would cause their enemy to strike. Kyrna drew in a calming breath, preparing for what was to come. She did not have long to wait. The air was suddenly filled with an electric current, pushing out from the robed figure, as it tested Kyrna’s boundaries. She countered with a cool wind that blew her enemy’s robes around and extinguished the candles that lined the walls. The room was plunged in darkness and Kyrna heard a slow hiss starting. She realized her foe was laughing, the sound dry and raspy as a snake’s scales rubbing along stone. Kyrna closed her eyes, envisioning the room, the table, and the one thing lying between her and a secure future for all future generations of her people. She drew in her will, focusing all her energy on gathering in her syrona, pulling it into a tight ball, ready to hurl one mighty blow at her enemy. A blow destined for destruction.
The minute she realized her mistake, the cloaked one realized it too. The millisecond it took for her to focus all energy inward and create her ball of energy was too long. In one swift movement, her enemy attacked. Not with mental power, but physical. With one swift move, the knife slashed downward, into the babe. It made no sound, as it had felt no pain, but Kyrna cried out sharply. She was overcome with both physical and mental agony, and as she felt her chest and the sticky warmth running down her front, she realized her life force was leaking out of her as the babe’s blood flowed out of it. As the light faded from her eyes, one thought overwhelmed her mind and the only thing she could whisper was “I failed”. She slumped slowly to the floor, dying a physical death, and along with it, ending her future people’s existence.
As Kyrna fell to the ground, Slirion stepped over her body and looked down at the angelic face he had just slain. He felt no remorse, as that would require humanity. No, what he did feel, though, was a sense of completeness. His calling had been fulfilled the moment the knife, their knife, had spilled Kyrna and the babe’s blood. He would be a hero among his kind and this thought made him smile. An evil smile that showed the glint of his sharp teeth and made his reptilian face even more repellent than normal. With one last look at the fallen girl, he made a sharp movement with his hands and vanished with a flash of smoke and repugnant odor.