Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Gladium


Whereas my first piece of fan-fiction very much foreshadowed the future of the main character and his later importance in Guild Wars 2, my second story is very much the antithesis of that.  The exact time of this tale takes some time in the future, perhaps even long after the wars with the Elder Dragons.    As always, the fiction is written as true to the existing lore as possible.  We often times hear so much about the heroes leading up to and briefly during their actions, but rarely do we gain insight about them long after their heroic deeds.    War is not without its costs, and even the bravest of soldiers is always left with scars.

                 An elderly charr woman laid across the soft hospital bed, huddled in several roughly crafted hand-woven blankets.  The mound of sheets was sprawled unevenly across her, but she never made an attempt to correct them.  Instead, she stared out the nearest window that was the only light source for the room.  The nearby human nurses had asked her repeatedly to move to a more appropriate room with better quality lighting, but the wrinkled charr simply ignored them. 

                The room had been her refuge for nearly two decades.  Nurses had come and gone over the years, but the charr’s weathered demeanor was always the same.  Her front teeth were stained yellow, and the upper left canine smelled of particularly noticeable decay.  The charr’s hair was roughly matted from dried sweat, her eyes strained towards the horizon outside the window, and much to the dismay of her overburdened caretakers, always silent.  

                A small, human female child sat huddled in the nearest corner to the doorway.  Her name was Emily, and she was the daughter of one of the female staff at the hospital.  Emily’s mother was overworked, and was incapable of watching her child throughout the day.  Emily would always promise her mother to stay in the waiting room in the morning, but after an hour or two, would sneak out into the ward.  Over the past week, she had become captivated by this silent charr in room 209, and had begun to knit blankets for the woman.  Her latest creation was currently enveloping most of her body and was nearly finished.  Golden stars and crescent moons were gingerly wrapped around the border of the azure-colored cloth.

                Emily had always paid particular attention to the weather on the days she would visit.  Storms were particularly rough on the patients of this small veteran’s hospital located on the upper edge of Divinity’s Reach.  Emily felt obligated to be there on the worst days, and always sought to help comfort the traumatized veterans during the tempest.

                As if on cue, the light in the room began to fade, and Emily knew a storm was coming.  She looked down and began to knit furiously, desperately hoping to finish before the rain started. 

                Dark clouds filled the sky, and the inhabitants of the hospital grew still.  The girl’s wish would not hold true, and rain began to tap against the window. The calm before the storm had passed.  The wind suddenly picked up, and the whole building began to shake. Screams and cries of anguish broke out around the hospital as the wind roared against the outdoor stone walls. Outside the room, nurses rushed frantically down the hall consoling the hundreds of terrified veterans.

                Emily placed the blanket down, she knew she would not have time to complete it before it would be needed.  The charr’s face began to shift, and Emily knew where it was headed.  The wrinkled, concentrated brows became arched in frustration and agony.  Her eye’s slowly lost their inner glow and began to fade into darkness.   With a sudden twich, all four of her ears began to perk up in alarm. 

                A storm was brewing in the charr’s mind.  A hurricane of a long-forgotten story.   A tale of dragon and branded land. Of corrupted creatures and a lost warband.  Of a family fractured by crystal in seconds. 

                A flash of lighting struck the tallest tower of Divinity’s Reach, and the walls began to shake with fury.  The charr’s eyes welled with sorrow and began to flood with tears.  Emily leapt from her stool and paced across the room to the closest bedside.  She knelt down and stared into the woman’s eyes.

                However, the woman would not return her glance.  Instead, her eyes began to dart about the room in a desperate attempt to catch something that was not really there.  Emily grabbed the charr’s arms and tried to catch her glance.  A slow growl began to echo out of the woman’s chest that began to steadily increase in volume.  Emily was losing the fight and she knew it.  If left undisturbed, the woman would begin to convulse into a frightful fit for hours.  Time was running out.  Emily glanced around the room frantically and her eyes darted to a small, unnoticed plaque above the bed. 


                Suddenly, the charr’s eyes stopped moving and her attention slid to the small childling leaning against her.

                Startled by its effect, Emily continued, “Almorra Soulkeeper, it’s alright.  I will never let you go.”
Emily placed her unfinished blanket carefully over the elderly charr woman and laid down next to her.  The pair embraced each other long after the skies above the city had cleared.  

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