As Krystal travels across the grounds to the gloomy castle, she ponders how she can get Morgana to end this situation. Finally she hits upon an idea... As she raises her hand to blast the door open, it opens of its own accord. From deep within the darkened structure, a chuckle reverberates..."Won't you come in, my dear girl.", purrs the voice of Morgana, seemingly from all around her. A small ball of what could only be described as a sickening, unholy, green glow moves away down one of the darkened corridors. Krystal, having no other guide, follows warily. Past many dark, oaken, door faces is she led, until finally, the ball disappears as a fire-lit room comes into view. Morgana turns to meet Krystal with a small smile as she pours herself a glass of port. "Join me?", asks Morgana.
"No...or rather, I have a proposition for you, dark one...", said Krystal.
Jormurgandr has seen the solution Krystal has in mind... It starts him trying to recollect ages past. SSSSSSSSSSSSomething is nagging at hisssss mind."Think, JORMURGANDR, think... when wassss the lasssst time you really involved yoursssself with the Fae?" Contemplating his experiencess from the beginning, he remembers. The rift, the rending of the light and the dark, in fact hiss own part in it. The Fae at one time were grey, both light and dark. He knowss now what he musst do, the time iss not yet come, but thiss much iss necesssary... "For now, the rift musst remain, and one sside musst not become too powerful. Morgana isssss clossser than ssshe knowsss to tipping the balance, and I really do not want to desssstroy thissss reality. I can not interfere directly, but perhapsssss I can help. Morgana hasssss relied on outsssside help. SSssssso by the rulesssss made binding at the beginning, I may 'help'".
Traveling back into time, he arrives at the court of the Grey Fae. As he makes his entrance the High Court Guard rush to attack. Quickly the World Serpent reverts to one of his powerful avatars, one these underlings will recognize. Immediately the Guard Captain halts the attack and speaks in a manner of respect. "Lord of Serpentss... Forgive me, you were not recognized. Where have you been, my Lord? Forces have been gathering and civil war isss now quite near..." "No need for apologiesss Tomassss, you were performing your dutiessss. Now take me to Emperor Telperion immediately... the time that wassss foretold issss nigh and he mussst perform hisssss duty."
As the Serpent is ushered into the Emperor’s war room, the distant rumble of a massive force moving this way can be heard. Auron Telperion glances toward his old friend... at first a look of joy crosses his face, then a look of doubt. "JORMURGANDR... please, I beseech thee... tell me that this is not the moment!" The World Serpent slowly nods... “Auron... you knew thisssss time would come. Nothing lassstss forever, my dear friend. Part of my esssssence, that weakened me greatly to give up, musssst now be returned so that this realm may ssssurvive.“ Auron storms, “This shall not be, Snake... not now... and I defy you to try and take what you once gave freely.” JORMURGANDR slowly shakes his head... “ YOU DARE TO DEFY ME AURON !!! YOU AGREED WHEN YOU WERE GIVEN THE SSSSSPEAR OF THE ELVEN KINGSSSS THAT YOU WOULD SSSSURRENDER IT WHEN THE “TIME CAME!!! THISSSS ISSS THE TIME, FOUL OATH BREAKER !!!!! I NOW RECLAIM THE FANG!!!"
The World Serpent rips the Spear from the emperor and thrusts it into the ground. There is a horrendous rent formed in the earth and a deep, dusky shadow envelopes the side Auron is on, while a shining dawn light envelopes the side of the encroaching army. "There sssshall now be a court of Dark, which you and your descedantssss will rule, Telperion, and a Court of Light, which your noble Rival Claghorn sssshalll rule... ssssssomeday, they will be reunited and the Fae will once again be prominent in many realms."
Concentrating, JORMURGANDR tries to return to the outside of this same castle at a different point in time. In his arms, he has a weapon unlike any other. This lesser avatar feels its power and now knows what he must strive for... but no matter, he knows this weapon and what it can do. He can not reveal all to Absss but he can reveal some. As he heads to the current Fae here & now, he can not hold on and the weapon is torn from his grasp, plummeting into the deepest part of the darkness surrounding what is now Morgana's castle. He heads into the area to retrieve it, but he hears a voice "No, Creations Bane... you must not just give her the weapon. You may reveal it, but she must earn it... Remember, you may only reveal 3 things about the weapon and after you tell her it's whereaboutss you'll have only two left."
JORMURGANDR is then transported to his friend. "ABSSSSSS my dear, I can not interfere directly, but Morgana doesssss not follow the rulessss. Unfortunately itsssss a family trait... I have heard your deal with Morgana, and there isss little I can do to alter it. There issss a weapon that can “even” the oddsss. Absssssss, you mussssst use thisssss... it issss fore-ordained. The weapon liessss near the center of Morgana’ssss power in the SSSSShadow. It isssss guarded by the vilesssst of SSSSwamp Trollssss. Go now and get it !!!! Morgana mussst wait to sssee if youcan complete thissssss tasssk. A sssecret I may reveal to you ... gofor the weapon sssstraight out and ussssse it... SSSSSpeak the phrasssse Tân yn dy gallon (Fire in your heart) it will give you the power to wield it... to claim the weapon for your usssse."
Krystal was leaving the castle, and was about to head back to the Hedge-maze, when Jormy spoke in her mind. Hearing her friend, Krystal takes flight and veers towards the dark swampy area nearby. Warily she nears a group Swamp Trolls, hiding her presence by taking the form of a marsh fly. She flies between the five trolls and lands near the blade, which began to take on a slight glow as she approached it. Though Krystal could feel the raw magical power within the blade, she was not yet experienced enough to accurately gauge its full abilities. Its signature, however, reminded her of Jormy. As Krystal swiftly regained her human form, she placed her hand upon the hilt..she is enveloped in a warm white glow. Remembering the phase which Jormy had sent her, she speaks in a voice reverberating with Power... "Tân yn dy gallon!" The trolls, shielding their eyes from the brilliant light, begin to surge in her direction. Krystal, who had never used a bladed weapon other than in her fencing lessons as a college student, was about to panic, but a calming wave of warmth flowed down from the hilt of the blade to surround her. Taking a fencing stance she spun to face the first troll to arrive. As she faced the troll, the balance of the blade shifted until it felt in all manner like her old rapier at home. Krystal grimly smiled, and began to work.
As she turned from bringing down the final troll, Krystal knew their regeneration would soon have them back on their feet. She hurried back to King Oberon's castle, hoping that someone could explain things...Leo , if necessary, though Jormy would do just fine. "Leo... what can you tell me about this weapon?", asked Krystal. Leo was about to take the weapon to examine it, when a flash of heat and light warned him off. Asking Krystal to hold it for him , he examined it carefully. "Give me a moment to search my notes...", he said. "Hmmm...no, not that one...closer, but still not it...Oh, my!!, we have to see King Oberon and Queen Titania!"
A short time later...
"Leo, you are interrupting the business of the court, I hope this... Where did you get that?! Krystal, what's this all about and how did you find it?!", says King Oberon, in a hushed voice. "I don't understand...Jormy directed me to find and retrieve it, and now it won't let anyone else touch it...What exactly is it? I've set up a sort of duel with Morgana, so that I can get her to stop harassing me..." "The Spear of the Elven Kings....the time may be near...do you know how to use a blade, Krystal?" "I trained in fencing when I was in college, but its been years...", Krystal answered. "Then, I fear you must train once more... you must become expert in its use, for the weapon skill of Morgana is immense, learned over several human lifetimes." "No wonder she agreed to the duel so quickly...what have I done? ...If I lose, I must serve the Dark court for a year and a day. If I win, I'm free of her harassment for 100 years... please, tell me what I must know... what I must do...", Krystal says.
"You were a bit rash in requesting the duel, true...". stated King Oberon, "but this might still be turned to your advantage.What exactly were the terms you agreed to?", he queries. "She names the format...she's already chosen to have an all out battle, all her skills vs. my ingenuity, but only to give/first blood,as she'd prefer to recruit me... I name the time, which allows me to be prepared... A 'neutral' judge names the place, though it must be accessible to all fae creatures...and he or she decides when a foul has occurred... I'd thought to request Jormy, because he would have the power to make his rulings stick.", said Krystal. "In those particulars, you thinking was quite sound...", said Queen Titania. "You must find someone to train you properly, and it would be best if it occurred out of Fae-re...less chance of her spying on your preparations...Leo, you will teach her the spells necessary to block scrying...", stated King Oberon. "Of course, my Liege...", said Leo. "Very well then...train yourself to perfection, Krystal, for more rides upon this battle than you know, and 'twould not be prudent to reveal more to you," stated Oberon. "Come with me, Krystal, I'll teach you those spells," said Leo.
"So,Headmaster StarRunner...I was wondering who I could get to train me in the use of this weapon...uh, you might not want to touch that, it protects itself...," said Krystal. Withdrawing his hand, Headmaster StarRunner replied, "Jayariel, our Weaponsmaster, should do nicely. I'll summon him and you can ask him yourself." James concentrates for a moment and sighs, then looks at Krystal and says, "He's on his way...would you care for some tea?" A few moments later, there is a soft tapping on the door, which then opens. "Ah, so you have decided to come for weapons training, young Krystal?" Weaponsmaster Jayariel Drillowup said as he entered the room. "I must warn you... I trained under my own father, and I also trained under the legendary drow ranger, Drizz't Dourden himself, when he was an old fighter before he retired." Glancing at the weapon she wields, a smile lights up his face. "A spear is a most difficult weapon to fight with. While over the years I have used bows and arrows, swords, scimitars and others I have a bit of experience with polearms and spears too... Headmaster, I am honored to accept Krystal Murphy as my newest student, for just as she helped to rescue us this is the least I can do to repay the joh (debt) I owe to her."
It was a quiet night in the Super Hero City University training facility. Ice Ray Academy's Weaponsmaster Jayariel Drillowup had been asked by the human female Krystal Murphy aka Acidburn to meet her there. According to his friend Jenna Firemage, who had become one of her first friends in the city, Acidburn wanted to learn how to better fight with armed combat. Normally he would not have wasted his time training a female like her, but she was of fae blood, like his race... they were distantly related. Not only that, but his girlfriend Corrine Daniels,was fast becoming one of her friends due to the events that resulted in Acidburn rescuing him and his human colleagues from the plane of Dominaria a few months ago, and she had personally told him that either he helped Acidburn out or she would.devastate him with her very powerful spells. Jayariel didn't need much convincing to be perfectly honest.
He had seen firsthand how strong Acidburn was becoming but knew she needed training in the ancient arts of armed combat if she was to take on Lucifer and other enemies in the world she had made. Turning to his female astral panther, Jaegarjumi, he mentally asked her to keep her nose open for Krystal's appearance on the scene. “Not that she will too easily surprise us...”, he told his combat and tracking partner telepathically, along the astral bond they shared, “... but too often in the news lately, has it been said she is learning magic too fast for her own good.”
Reaching into an extra dimensional space of his Drow uniform, Jayariel took out a small black box. Inside it he knew rested a piece of the deadliest thing, one that all those who used magic feared..... anti-magic matter. It was his deepest secret and had been given to him long ago as a reward for helping to banish the same Errtu the Balor that his human mentor, The Inkling, had once transformed into with tragic consequences. With it, one would literally for a certain amount of set time be able to temporarily nullify all magic within a set area. Setting the box back in the pocket dimension, he next pulled out his magical scimitars. Any evil drow would have literally taken his head to have obtained them, for Jayariel had inherited them a few centuries ago from his last living relative, the legendary Drizz't Dourden. These scimitars and certain pieces of his armor, along with the secret Drow combat training he had spent his first century of life learning and receiving, were what enabled him to have become the very first non human holder of the title Weaponsmaster.
"Hello...anyone in here? ...I'm sure this is where James said he would be," stated Krystal as she entered the building. She began to practice the 'limbering-up" exercises that she had learned as a fencer in college, then some general agility drills to ready her self for her first lesson...a few moments later, just as Krystal was starting to worry, she heard a clapping sound from one darkened corner. Peering into the darkness, her eyes began to glow faintly and she began to see what the darkness hid...Jay and his panther were lounging against the wall, watching her. "I have seen your style of combat before, Acidburn," he said with a small smile. "However, it takes more then just fast attacking and luck to become a Weaponsmaster like myself. One has to train for decades with every weapon known to exist and learn to incorporate all known styles of combat into one perfectly fluid technique." Jayariel put his weapons off to one side of the gym on the floor. "Don't expect me to go easy on you, just because you are younger then me in age and experience. I intend to fully test you with every style of weapon and unarmed combat I have learned and even magical combat. Your first test is very simple... Just see if you can hit me with an open fist at all." That being said, he activated his secret Drow combat speed and suddenly vanished!
Krystal first tried to spot the wily drow visually, but he was moving so swiftly that she only caught a glimpse now and then...just about the time she thought she had figured out his movement pattern, she felt a massive strike from her left, and barely retained her feet, so powerful was the blow. Krystal took a deep breath as the patter of his feet took Jay to the far side of the room...hmm that gave Krystal an idea... This time she concentrated on her hearing as well. The blow this time landed from the right... Krystal thought to herself, "He's an elf, dimwit, he only makes sounds when he wants to." As she prepared herself for the next attack, Krystal was nearly at a loss as to how to handle this situation, but she would never give up trying. Krystal opened all her senses as fully as possible... in the micro second before an attack would have hit her from the right again, she felt the stirring of an air current where there had been none before. She shot out her fist, chest high, directly to her right and plucked the button from Jay's shirt, before going into a diving roll to the left. She arose, breathing hard, as Jay looked at her in satisfaction.
"I knew you would be a challenge...", he bowed slightly in her direction, and said a single word,"Again." He called out, his voice taunting her. Jayariel sped up and even silenced his movements. It had been a very long time since anyone had challenged him this way and he was enjoying the test. His movements varied from direction to direction as he had used ventriloquism to bounce his voice off the walls, then suddenly from behind her, he did a teasing motion of lightly pulling her hair.
After feeling the gentle tug upon her hair, Krystal knew she would have to maintain this new "battle-sense" state if she was to have any hope of keeping up with the drow. While she was not able to avoid every blow, nor to land every punch, Krystal was able to hold her attacker off to a great degree. While he did not say so, this impressed Jayariel more than he would normally admit...perhaps this one was worthy, after all.
After an hour of this, he visualized himself. "That was good... how you kept your emotions under control. Now, however, I want you to unleash your anger and emotions against me." That being said, he put on a glamour of Morgana herself. "You weak fae, show me why you believe you are the chosen heroine of legend!" Cackling, "she" creates multiple illusions of herself, while continually taunting her to see how well she was able to concentrate under extreme mental and emotional pressure. "If you can't defeat a fake Morgana using just your wits, how can you ever hope to defeat her truly if you can't fight back insults?"
"Chosen Heroine?!", thought Krystal, "I knew King Oberon and the others were keeping something from me!!...But nevermind, got to concentrate..." Focusing on her anger while maintaining the "battle-sense" state was proving to be quite difficult, but due to Jay's use of Morgana's face, Krystal somehow managed to balance the two. As the slew of Morgana's circled her...taunted her... Krystal realized only one of the figures was producing air current changes...the others were only illusion...Krystal maintained her facing of the real figure, and when 'she' was in mid-step and slightly off balance she rushed in to attack. She stopped her blow fractions of an inch before it connected, and as Jay dropped the glamour, he nodded grimly.
"Well done, indeed. Some I have tested this way have failed because they were unable to balance their emotional and mental states of being," he told Krystal. He then called for Jaegarjumi to join them. "This is going to be harder, Krystal, but I want you to use your magic to elude both me and my panther companion here... No leaving the room, but you are free to use any illusions or tricks you can think up to deceive every sense we possess." The female black panther growled low in her throat. Normally, Jayariel would do this type of testing outdoors, but he didn't want any heroes, villains or other heroines to mistake her for a demon and besides this was secret training too. For being 500 pounds of muscle, Jaegarjumi didn't look her size, because she was using an innate ability to mask it while not in actual combat.
Krystal thought for a moment, then gave a nod. She accelerated across the large room and near the center, paused and transformed...her new form? She raised her black and white striped tail and released a powerful cloud of musk into the air. As Jumi started forward, Krystal transformed again, into a small, brightly colored humming bird... streaking for the rafters, she transforms again, into a large gorrilla, who grabs one of the rafters and with a mighty thump shakes loose decades of accumulated dust from the entire ceiling area. Krystal releases her grip, drops into the cloud of dust and transforms once more. "Let's see how long it takes them to unravel this mystery...", Krystal thinks.
"First mistake," Jayariel thinks when the musk attack hits. "Doesn't expect that we would have experience with skunks." He nods at Jaegarjumi and she immediately goes into her tracking mode. Not relying on scent for the duration of this attack, her eyes focus on all movements besides those of her and her master. Her ears twitch and she purrs for a second. During all this, Jayariel's eyes are closed, not because he was blinded since drow can see in infrared, but to let Krystal think he was affected. His mind is tracking her telepathically through Jaegarjumi's eyes, through their shared mental bond. When the gorilla is heard jumping, this startles Jayariel, but the panther is in her natural habitat. She snarls, her long tail pointed straight out, then uses her own innate ability to grow to three times her regular size. Soundlessly she jumps high into the air and lands in the rafters, intentionally jumping after Krystal has jumped down to better track her scent.
Down below, Jayariel knows the dust cloud has dampened the musk attack, and he uses his magic to turn off the lights in the room using telekinesis. Watching closely, he senses the human female's body heat and grins, before suddenly speeding up his movements so he seems to be like a tornado, so fast is he running in circles, to blow away the dust in the air. Then, Jaegarjumi jumped down and he concentrated, using his magic to mentally project his body and hers onto the Astral Plane physically. Once there, they were in an astral version of the gymnasium, and mentally reviewed all her movements and tactics. Together, they were able to figure she was not using the power of elemental magic itself to prevent them from tracking her magically. Returning back to the here and now, Jayariel grabbed one of his enchanted scimitars and used it to project a small layer of snow and ice in all directions throughout the room. As soon as it hit something invisible, and the air began moving around the elemental attack, the panther came up from behind in a flying jump... upon landing, she emitted a huge roar which shook the walls and floor but not affecting the drow, because when she landed he jumped into the ceiling rafters using the enchanted bracers on his ankles, which increased his leg speed in combat, and from there he was able to view the entire room. He used his magic to track the panther's magically enhanced roar like a form of fae "sonar."
As the wall Krystal's form stood upon began to vibrate, Krystal had to take to the air. The cold from the ice and snow slowed her forms movements somewhat. As Jayariel watched carefully from above, he finally noticed the small fly, which flew a winding path to the floor, landing near the big cat. "An insect?" Jayariel felt embarrassed. He had never before been tricked so well. Looking at Jaegarjumi, he was a little irritated to see her lazily yawning. In fact, that was her way of silently laughing at him. She had known all along the fly was Krystal, but had wanted to see if he could figure that out without her help. "After I get done training you, I am putting in for vacation time so I can do self training on my own," he said loudly. "Okay Krystal... you have passed."
"Thanks, Jay...I just figured that the powerless and insignificant is often overlooked...so when I wish to be overlooked, why not become something small and insignificant..."said Krystal, still shivering slightly as she resumed her original human form. As she picked up her new blade, she once again felt the warmth flowing through her. She was quickly comfortable again, and felt she had made real progress tonight. "Morgana, If I can fool a drow, even for a moment, I can defeat you when the time comes...",thought Krystal. "Now...to find out what else the fae know, that I don't."
"Alright Leo...spill...", said Krystal in an slightly angry tone. "Spill? I'm not sure I know what you mean. I see nothing spilled."said Leo. "The beans,Leo...damn it, tell me whats going on...even that drow I dragged back from Dominaria knows more about these things than I do.", snapped Krystal. "Well, its really just a legend... sort of a prophesy... That The Spear of the Elven Kings, disappeared from Fae-re at about the time of the Rending...the formation of the dual courts. The legend says that a hero of the lineage of Claghorn will rise and the rift may be healed, or else the courts may be severed forever... Clagorn is an Ancestor of Titania, while Morgana descends from Auron the Foresworn.", Leo replies, "But we did not want to burden you further than necessary." "Nor," he continues," do I know how the drow became so well informed...it is known that many of the races related to the fae share our sending ability, and some can read memories as well...perhaps he 'overheard' someone at the banquet,and read deeper than is normally allowed in 'polite' company..."
New day, new training exercises. Weaponsmaster Jayariel Drillowup patiently was waiting for Acidburn in one of the forests specifically set aside for heroes/ heroines to train in since the mayor didn't really like having to spend money on city building repairs. This was going to be a tougher training regiment for her, because he was not going to allow usage of magic this time, just so he could test truly how strong she was in combat. Taking out his antimagic cube, Jayariel mentally thought out the secret phrase to activate it. For 500 yards in every single direction in a sphere, all magic ceased to work. For safety purposes, even Jaegarjumi was not summoned out this time. He then took off all his enchanted weapons and armor and replaced them with regular copies forged long ago for such this purpose.
"Listen, Jay...I really wanted to thank you for these lessons...by the way, what did you mean when you mentioned the "Chosen Heroine " stuff last night? I haven't made any claims to be a "Chosen One." So...where is this coming from, before we get started," Krystal asks, as she warms up with her usual exercises. "Ah... that is an excellent question, Krystal.", he said. "While the fae in your world have one version of events, I believe you will want to hear personally from the one who made the prophecy in question."
He sent out a silent prayer and the Child Goddess Aphrael appeared. "Young Krystal... do not be afraid.", she said to her. "I mean no harm to you or other humans or fae here in Super Hero City. Jayariel mentioned the prophecy as the Drow have it recorded, but I was the one who made it long ago, when the fae races were not yet split apart.I foresaw the great betrayal that led to Lloth and her race of Drow being cast from the pantheon of the Elvish gods of Fae. Jayariel could tell you the story, or your fae mentors, but for fear of racial biaswill not do so... I shall."
"Back then, the fae were a peaceful race and only went to war if their gods or goddesses commanded it for the safety of the world itself. But sometimes the greatest evil comes from love itself and this was just one such story. Before she was known as Lloth, she was among the most beautiful of the Elvish goddesses. Her name was Araushnee. Among the rules of the Fae are a few that must never be broken. Lusting after a greater God is among the greatest treachery of them. She dared to fall in love with the god who created the Elvish race and when he rebuffed her, she began plotting revenge. Knowing that the Orc God Gruumsh had great enmity against Corellon Larethian, Araushnee had him secretly attack the god while he was out hunting. This treachery was unforeseen by anyone else because everyone was well aware of their eternity of hatred. While Gruumsh was driven off by Corellon's friends, she used her magic to cast an enchantment upon him which made him want no other as his lover. But his wife managed to break the spell and in his wrath, he cursed Araushnee, so that her skin turned black as night and her lower body became that of a giant spider. Gnashing her teeth in despair, Lloth and her two deity children fled the pantheon deep underground and their once beautiful race was cursed like them, for they knew that from now on sunlight would forever be their enemy while they remained evil." "Yes, I have heard legends of the origins of the drow, and of their mysterious goddess, but what has that to do with the 'Chosen Heroine', and why did Jay think that one might be me," Krystal queried. "I've just been informed recently of a prophesy from my own branch of the fae...has that anything to do with it?". she continued.
"When a lesser race shall give birth to children unburdened by hatred, know ye the great rift will not last long. Seek therefor out the guardian of peace and if she proves worthy then let her gather the Cursed warrior of fae, the leader with hair of fire, the child of fire, He Who Was Born Twice, The Weaponsmaster of the Cursed Race, the GodSlayer and together they shall wage war against the great betrayers. In the aftermath, the two great fae kingdoms long embroiled in hate shall be reunited and the cursed race shall be redeemed."
"This was the prophecy I made, Krystal, and as for how it concerns you, it is my belief that you are the guardian of peace it speaks of and the time has come finally for the races of Fae to be united in peace again." "So...in both legends, the 'Chosen One' will have a chance to reunite the outcasts with the main portion of their respective groups...hmmm that's interesting... but why did Jay believe I might be this 'Chosen One'?" asks Krystal.
"Krystal, you do not have your magical and super powers by chance.", Aphrael said to her. "Do you remember when you traveled back in time and met the Greek Fates? That was meant to happen because it showed you are the one whom the gods themselves have been waiting for all these many centuries... Supposedly, the child of prophecy was to have come through Ice Ray Academy but fate itself seems to have changed that." "Well, Jay here IS training me, so technically I am a student of the academy, I guess...but I'm just a little crossbred fae...I didn't even know about that until a few months ago...I've just been trying to do my best...to do my part, to help out..."
"That in itself shows you have honor and do not seek to better yourself at the disadvantage of those who have no powers," she said to her. "Few are successful indeed at always fighting off the temptation. When you made amends following the incident at Halloween, it was yet another showing forth of compassion." "But... I shouldn't have ever done those things...my control should be better, over my own actions, at least...how can I be a "Chosen One', if I can't even control myself...granted, they could have warned me sooner what Samhain does to the fae, but that's no excuse...I could have hurt someone," Krystal babbled.
"This is why Jenna Firemage and Jayariel both have been teaching you, training and giving you examples of how to control your inner emotions, Krystal. Unlike them, you have only lost control once, while Jayariel was literally raised to believe Drow were superior to all other created races and only in the last few centuries has he learned how much of a myth that truly is. Jenna, to be perfectly honest, I myself found challenging to watch over the years. Few, besides you and those at the academy, know how hard she fought to shake off the evil magic that manipulated her and her brother, The Inkling. Even though she succeeded, she still has years of redemption ahead of her for all the evil she did."
"Well, I believe I could control myself, now that I know what to expect, and Alex says he'll not leave me alone in that condition again...I hope Jenna can come to face what she must, so that she'll finally forgive herself," Krystal says. "Jay, we have some training to do today, don't we?... I'm not letting Morgana force me to do her bidding, ever... c'mon.", she continues. Aphrael disappears as suddenly and silently as she had come, but first she had one last thing to tell Krystal. "When you are finished with your combat training, return to the Ice Ray Academy library and read a tome called "Fae and Human Legendary Users of Magic. It contains knowledge as to how you will be able to unlock your hidden true potential."
Jayariel could see that she was very much confused by the knowledge she had received. "Last time we worked on your magic Krystal, but this time it will be physical training in combat. The cube prevents either of us from using Fae or other types of magic, so I hope you are fully prepared." JORMURGANDR had heard enough... he had been keeping watch over his friend, because he has never trusted the drow and he especially didn't like Lloth. "ABSSSSSSSS... QUIT YOUR WHINING and do what hassss been decreed you mussssst do. But realize the time of what will happened hasssss ended... There are two posssssible futuressss, but what you do determinesss which one ssssshall be. Jayariel train her well... that weapon isssss a part of me, I wassss there at the rifting... I am prepared to dessstroy the entire realm if necesssary... I will hold you persssonally resssponsible !!!!!!!!!" "Lord Jormurgandr, I will make certain nothing foolish happens.", Jayariel said calmly to The World Serpent, even though inwardly he was very afraid. "If I should fail to train her well, take your wrath out upon me alone rather than unleashing it upon the world, I would rather accept being destroyed myself. Lives can be begun again, but knowledge stored is at risk for being lost forever."
"Jormy...I have already said that ...that...fae...will not get the better of me! I'm going to show her a thing or two she may never have seen before, even given that shes lived nearly forever. What you may not have guessed, Jay ,is that I have only used my magic during the transformations I did in our sessions last night. Morgana has the same fae abilities as myself, and has had far longer to learn how best to take advantage of those, so I have refrained from using magic as much as possible...my new 'battle-sense', as well as most of my other 'enhanced' senses, comes from my ability to concentrate, learned over many months to suppress my 'sheen' in public.", Krystal informs him. "My reflexes are sharpened by daily agility training, and my strength, while partially dampened, comes from physical training on a daily basis as well...shall we begin?", she continued.
"So be it, Krystal, but I'll hold back somewhat, so as not to anger The World Serpent." That being said, suddenly Jayariel leapt at her, his scimitars flashing in complicated movements in front of her as his wrists and arms moved faster then a human would ever see except in movies or videogames. "These weapons will not draw blood unless you willingly let me slip through your defenses. Prove you are worthy of Aphrael's prophecy concerning you being 'The Chosen One' and take me down or you will not pass this stage of your training." Her weapon was in position before the wily drow could reach her, and met his with a will...the clang of steel on steel rang through the woodlands. Back and forth they battled, first one, then the other giving ground momentarily to gain an advantage...at first Jayrieal slipped past her guard occasionally, but as Krystal remembered her training, it happened less and less often...finally after 15 minutes in which neither one landed a blow,Krystal signaled for a breather...
"How...*puff, puff* was... *puff* that?",she asked. "Well done Krystal," Jayariel said his entire body covered in sweat. "I will admit I haven't broken a sweat like that in at least fifteen years, since I trained Jenna and her brothers. What weapon would you like to train with next?" He could see that she was pressing herself to her limits and it pleased him. That was actually the only way he could be defeated when the antimagic cube was in effect. "If you can fight against Morgana with this same type of resilience you should be able to defeat her easy enough." "Any you wish would be fine, though this is the only one I really need training in...", said Krystal, indicating her sword. "Krystal, a long time ago, the legendary Drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden received a bow after his female friend Cattibrie Battlehammer died," Jayariel said to her. "Though you may choose never to use it in battle, I want you to have it, because I feel that no one else can handle its legendary magical power.After your duel with Morgana, I shall give it to you."
"Why, Jay, my friend...I'd be honored...and if either or both of the Prophecies come to be, I'm sure I'll need it...I'm not sure I can properly express my gratitude for this honor...", said Krystal. "That reminds me...won't you and the others from the Academy please come and witness my duel with Morgana?", she continued. "It would be a great honor indeed... I accept on behalf of my colleagues ," Jayariel said in response to Krystal's invitation. "If she does attempt to break the rules of the duel in a dishonorable manner, we can bear witness to King Oberon and Queen Titania that you followed them."
Krystal found the Postmodern Pugilist in the clearing where she normally trained with Private Avenger. She was standing still, eyes closed. After a moment Pink shrugged and opened her eyes. “Hey, Krys what’s up?” “Sorry... were you meditating?” “Nah, just listening, practicing that stuff PA’s taught me.” Pink’s lips twitched in half a smile. “Figured I owed it to him to try to understand where he’s coming from more. Plus it feels like ages since I was out in the open air. PA’s somewhere about... I can find him if you want him.” "We were only out here yesterday," Krystal puzzled but she brushed it aside as she explained what she was wanting. "You want me to train you in fighting?" Pink frowned. "Hand to hand or guns... cos, really, sword fighting's more St Joan's thing..." "I'm doing well with hand held weapons...", Acidburn replied. "I have a drow training me, thanks." Pink whistled appreciatively. "Hand to hand is what I need...", Acidburn went on, "... I'm quite different in height and strength to a drow, I'm much closer to you. I need to know how to fight Morgana without a weapon in case I - well in case I drop it or something." There was a low rumbling sound as though a serpent that surrounded the world had heard something he didn't like. "Thunder..." Acidburn said hurriedly "... I'm sure it's going to rain, let's get inside and use the training suite." “OK,” said Pink, stepping back slightly, placing her hand on AB’s shoulder as they turned to leave the glen. The next thing Acidburn knew, Pink had kicked her legs away and shoved her hard on the shoulder at the same time. Krys found herself face down on the ground with her arms yanked up behind her and Pink kneeling on her back. “Lesson one” Pink whispered savagely in her ear. “Don’t assume you can pick the fight ground, don’t assume your opponent is going to be honorable, and NEVER NEVER turn your back on them.” “Lesson learnt.” Krystal spat mud out of her mouth “Can I get up now?” “Sure,” Pink said, kicking AB in the ribs, then bending to help her up. “Oh and don’t assume it won’t rain when you have the fight. So you’d better learn to fight in the rain.” Acidburn yanked hard on Pink’s arm, intending to pull her to the ground, only to find it was like yanking on a steel girder. Pink grinned. “Nice try,” she said. “But I don’t actually have time to fight right now, just wanted to give you a little lesson in being prepared. I promised PA I’d meet him for another driving lesson in 30 minutes and I want a shower first.” “Okay,” Acidburn stood up, then rose slowly into the air. “If it’s ok with you I’ll let you leave the clearing first.” Pink laughed. “You’re learning. I’ll see you - tomorrow? Day after?” “Tomorrow if it’s ok with you - enjoy the driving lesson.” Pink grimaced. “Can only hope it ends better than the last one.”, she murmured.
“You enjoyed that.” PA spoke from a tree above Pink’s head, making her jump. “A bit,” Pink admitted, shamefacedly as PA slipped down to stand in front of her. “Pay back for the wilderness skills lesson, Maggie?” PA studied her curiously, “You know she’ll always have her magic... she might as well use it.” Pink shrugged. “That was ages ago, I’d forgotten about it. No, she just…. Well …. I like her, she’s a nice person but she’s such a goody two shoes sometimes. It was fun reminding her I’m not... that’s all.” PA frowned. “Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of training her,” he reminded Pink. Pink rolled her eyes. “Fine, fine, I’ll sit down and work out a proper training program after your driving lesson this afternoon. If we can manage not to get ourselves blown out into space this time, that is. Twice...” “Three times.” PA grinned. “And they were all YOUR fault.” He took her hand and folded it under his arm. “Shall we?” he asked indicating the path that led back to the TurboCave. “I haven’t spent enough time with Obsy lately.” Pink mused, “I might see if I can take a road trip with her somewhere.”
When Acidburn met Pink in the glade the next morning, Pink looked… well, terrible sprang to mind. Dark shadows seemed painted under her eyes, rumpled clothes suggested she’d slept in them and a bad tempered scowl completed the picture. Even her headflames looked tangled and unkempt, though Krys was sure the pink leaping living flames didn’t normally get brushed. “Are you ok, Pink?” she asked her friend eyeing her anxiously. Pink was twitchy, pacing the clearing, glancing around as though waiting for an attack. “Yeah, Krys, I’m fine.” Pink rubbed her eyes and yawned. “Not had much sleep lately. That's all.” “We can put this off if you like.” Krystal offered, “let you get some sleep.” “No…” Pink yawned again. “I’m here now, God knows when I’ll be able to do it if I don’t do it now. Just give me a few minutes ok?” "Ok, if you're sure."
Pink pulled a thermos flask and a box of cereal bars out of her bag. “Breakfast,” she explained. “Or supper. Something.” and proceeded to eat the bars. She didn’t bother to take the wrappers off first. “Hungry,” Pink explained “Lot of healing to do lately.” She looked at the box the cereal bars had come in, then ate that too. “Are you sure you’re ok?” Krystal asked. “Yeah,” Pink opened the thermos flask. Steam poured out the neck of the bottle. Pink looked at it as if surprised. “Still hot,” she commented. “OK,” she set the thermos down carefully and looked at Krystal as if for the first time.
“OK, so, if I remember right, you’ve had weapons training with a drow, Jay something or other, and you want me to teach you hand to hand in case you drop the sword? Or spear or whatever the mystical blade is.” “Spear. That’s right,” Acidburn nodded. “I have my magic but one round we won’t be using it.” Pink frowned. “Yeah right... Morgana won’t use magic... and Jormurgandr won’t eat people who annoy him." “The judges will spot if she tries to cheat.” Acidburn protested. “They’d better or you’ll be toast.” Pink said roughly. She went over to her thermos and poured a mug of the now cooling black coffee. “Who’ve you got judging?” “Jormurgandr.” Pink sprayed coffee and began laughing. It was the first time Krystal had seen Pink relax since they’d got there. “Your best friend the World Serpent,” she chuckled. “Okay... a Norse deity,” .... somewhere there was a rumble..... “Sorry, the main Norse Deity” she corrected herself. “Yeah... he should be able to keep Morgana in order. Okay, so she probably won’t cheat but she’s still gonna fight dirty… I need to teach you how to handle that…” Pink drank the rest of the coffee straight from her flask and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “Which means… you’re going to have to fight dirty yourself. You ready for that?”
Krystal thought back to a conversation she’d had with Alex that morning. "Krys, tell me again....why are you doing this? Why not Jorm or somebody else from Fae-re?", asked Alex. Krystal swings at the heavy bag she has mounted in her spare room. "Because, she sent that poor creature after me here, not in Faere...BAM!...she might send others...BAM!...at any time...BAM!...for the rest of our lives...BAM!...I thought , at some point, we might want to start a family...BAM!...But not with that Bitch sending thugs and wild things after us...BAM! BAM! BAM!", was Krystal's reply.
“I’ll do whatever it takes.” Krys promised. “Good.” Pink launched herself at Acidburn’s knees, but the silver-skinned heroine had seen that coming and easily skipped out of Pink’s way. Pink, on hands and knees in the mud laughed. “Good girl, you’re learning.” She stood up and strode to the side of the clearing. “...Here...” She tossed a wooden practice spear to Acidburn, then hefted a wooden two-handed broadsword herself and adopted a fighting pose. “Come get some, little girl.” she whispered. Krys raised her spear in a salute then lept to the attack. For a few moments the clearing rang with the dull “thock thock” as wooden weapon bounced off wooden weapon, but Acidburn was the better fighter.
Almost too easily, she caught Pink’s sword on her spear and twisted. The sword flew out of Pink’s hand and across the clearing. Krystal grinned and gestured for Pink to go pick it up. Instead she found herself suddenly rushed by the flamed-headed pugilist, lifted off her feet and slammed against a tree. “DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!” Pink yelled in her face. “Don’t ever give up an advantage like that.” “OK... OK...” Krystal was alarmed and starting to wonder whether asking Pink to train her had been such a good idea. Pink was always volatile but today, snarling in Krystal’s face, Pink seemed positively unbalanced. “Is this training Pink?” Krys asked. “Because – “ a moment later the neck Pink was gripping had gone and a butterfly flitted away from the tree, transforming back into Krystal as she landed. “Sorry.” Pink rubbed her head. “Look, let’s start again, let’s start with talking – in fact let’s go get breakfast somewhere and talk... I’ve had a rough – er – night – and I really need to eat more.”
“The thing is...” Pink explained over a plateful of fried food. “... if I know anything about Morgana, and believe me I do... she is going to take advantage of everything nice about you.” She paused and slurped a forkful of fried eggs. “If you drop your sword, she will try to take first blood. If she drops a sword and you let her pick it up again she will try go for the first blood whilst you’re waiting for her to get the sword... don't think she won't find a way within the rules to exploit your nice nature.” Krys nodded, sipping her peppermint tea. “And even if you get through this fight, Krys you need to learn this stuff. I don’t want you to die.” Pink’s eyes were dark and serious. “I’ve seen too many friends die, Krys, and you are way too nice to survive.” “What would you do if Morgana dropped her sword?” asked Krystal thoughtfully. “Me?” Pink blinked. “Now? I’d shoot her. Then I’d shoot her again to make sure. Sod this "first blood" crap.”
Krystal started laughing and after a moment Pink joined in. “Seriously, Krystal... if Morgana drops her sword, attack her, don’t give her time to pick it up. Throw a knife at her chest if you can, get in close and make her defend herself with her bare hands. Keep her off balance and don’t let her get a chance to let the weapon back.” Pink swallowed a mouthful of coffee. “I’ll teach you hand to hand fighting, Krys, but you’ve got to find the willingness to use it in yourself. You’ve got to be willing to break Morgana’s nose, or her ribs, or blind her, just to get yourself an edge in the fight and what worries me is I don’t see that in you.” Pink looked her friend in the eyes. “You’re the kind of person who’d do the minimum harm to a villain you’re taking down. You look for a peaceful resolution if two friends are fighting. I love that in you, you’re like a ray of hope. But you’re going to be fighting for your freedom and you’re going to need to let go of that kindness.” She set down her coffee cup. “Otherwise, Krys, Morgana is going to beat you.”
"Alex, you know I have to do this...and you know why..." said Krystal. "Babe, you know I worry...but it's part of who you are...It's part of why I love you," said Alex, "but if you think you're going alone, you're nuts!" "Leo, will you contact Morgana and tell her it'll be today.", Krystal 'sent'. "Will do, Bella...", was the reply. "I have to run by the 'cave first.", said Krystal, "meet me at Rainbows."
An hour later...
"Pink, I'm as ready as I'll ever be, thanks, in part, to you...and I want this settled...today's the day.", stated Krystal. "Will you please explain to Felix and Obsidian what happened, in case I can't come back?", Krystal asked. "Yeah...you mean you're gonna go there in the flesh, not just do this in a dream?", said Pink. Krystal turned to face the doorway, and said as she strode with determination towards it, "Exactly..."
30 minutes later, outside of Rainbows...
"Funny, all the vehicles from the 'cave are here...I wonder what's up..." thought Krystal. As she entered, she saw that every one of her leaguemates who weren't out of town on a mission standing inside. "Pink, Obsidian, Felix...What's all this?" Pink started to say something, but Obsidian placed a hand on her shoulder and said, "Wouldn't be very good leaders, If WE let you go through this alone...Krystal, I'm surprised at you...You know thaTurbos always have each others back." All her teammates yelled things like "Damn Straight!", "You better believe it!", and similar sentiments, as Felix and Pink forgot themselves for a moment and shared a 'high-five'. Obsidian said, "If you must do this, and if it must be today, why then, we are going with you." "Power Bottom...", she continued, "... I believe your hedge-maze will be rather busy today." PB grinned and raised his right hand, which began to glow. "No walk through the maze today. This is an OFFICIAL event and we're going to travel in style, and really make an entrance." Power Bottom extended a line of power to Obsidian, who used it to amplify her own reality shaping powers and the group vanished.
The group materialized in the throne room in the Castle of Dreams, the heart of Fae-Re. Krystal and Alex were in the forefront kneeling before the twin thrones, the others were standing behind them, some with heads bowed in respect, some looking defiantly or wonderingly at the scene before them. King Oberon looked up from his work, smiled at the entrance made by his 'niece' and her friends, then turned solemn as he remembered why Krystal was here today. "Krystal, are you prepared? According to your agreement with Morgana, if you lose, you must serve the dark court for a year and a day," stated Oberon. "I am prepared to honor my agreement if I am not victorious...Morgana will do the same?", queried Krystal. "She has requested that you both make magically binding oaths so that neither of you can back out once the contest begins...it is a good idea, since we know your intentions are honorable...it will force her to honor the agreement as well.", said Leo from his place beside QueenTitania's throne. "Very well...where will we hold this 'contest'?", asked Krystal. "I've taken the liberty of preparing a spell for this occasion," said Titania,"follow me..."
As the group followed Titania outside of the city, Krystal prayed to the Child Goddess Aphrael, to bring her friends from Ice Ray Academy to her in Fae-re. Moments later, they appeared outside the city-castle gates, just as Krystal and her league went past. The enlarged group approached an empty field close to the city and Titania pronounced her spell...instantly the field began to clear itself of plant life, sun-fired mud bricks began to rain from the sky, then carved blocks of marble...within minutes, a perfect replica of the Coliseum of Rome at the height of the Caeser's reign, stood upon the field. As the delegation moved inside, red curtains and golden seats appeared in the Imperial box and a flat green field of short grass appeared in the center.
As her guests found seats around the Imperial box, Krystal saw the other end of the stadium filling with trolls, werefolk and other folk of evil bent. In the celebrants box at the far end of the field from the Imperial box, Morgana and her flunkies materialized with trumpeted fanfare. Morgana levitated herself to a position near the center of the field, and stood there with her arms crossed, gently tapping her foot. Krystal strode confidently out to meet her... Leo following a step behind. "So, you finally deem yourself ready to meet Me on the field of battle?", sneered Morgana. "As my good friend, Captain Avenger, (pointing him out in the seats near the Imperial box) is fond of saying, "Come Get Some!"", snarled Krystal.
As the two combatants circled warily, Morgana subtly began to mutter a spell growing slightly louder as it neared completion. Though Krystal kept matching Morgana's movements, she began moving slightly more slowly, Pink focused nervously on Krystal's face and noticed that her gaze had become somewhat fixed and distant...Pink was about to shout "FOUL!" when Morgana spoke... "Krystal, dear, won't you give up this silly fight and join me?" Krystal looked dazed and slowly spoke the words. "I will never join you as a result of one of your foul spells.", Krystal finished in a snarl as her expression snapped back to normal.
"Your will is strong, dear...is your magic?", was Morgana reply, as her form swiftly shifted to a large she-wolf. Krystal's transformation was just as swift and just as surprising, as she became an enormous black panther. The animals snarled and exchanged several bites and clawed blows. It was clear that neither form held a real advantage. It was only because of each animals' thick fur that neither drew blood at this point. Krystal felt the flare of Morgana's magic as she began to transform once more. As Morgana faced her in the form of an ebony unicorn mare, Krystal had anticipated her, and became a snowy-white unicorn mare herself. As the two fenced with their horns, each was kicking with her forelegs, trying to cause a bruise or broken leg to gain an advantage.
Krystal began to drive Morgana back, as she had the advantages of youth and fencing training, albeit in human form...once more she felt the flare of transformation. She now faced a smallish red dragon... she shifted her form to a golden dragon of similar size. As they took to the air above the field, the combatants dived and rolled, each trying to breathe their fiery breath upon their opponent. Finally, it had become apparent to all present that Krystal's wits were an able match for the greater experience and magical prowess of Morgana. Morgana returned to the field, and though it looked as if Krystal would make a swooping attack against her grounded opponent, she chose instead to land before her.
Morgana drew forth her favorite weapon, an enormous silvery longsword, and saluted Krystal with it. "Your wits, will and magic have matched me blow for blow, my dear, but a youngster such as yourself could not possibly match me with my lovely blade...do you recognize it, I wonder...Yes, it's a perfect replica of Excalibur...I charmed the original away from that fool, Arthur, on more than one occasion, more than sufficient opportunity to cast the spells necessary to duplicate it, without that annoying enchantment that forces one to do good...Have at you!!", Morgan cried. Krystal's blade quickly met Morgana's with a clang of metal and a flash of sparks. The pair exchanged blow after blow, spinning first this way, then leaping that way, dodging and weaving about each other... their movements becoming so quick and violent that many in the seats above could no longer make out their location at any one moment, but could only judge from the locations of the spark-showers and the metallic clangs where the latest exchange had occurred... but each time the sparks flew and the metal clanged... there was never the sound of metal upon flesh...
"How is this possible?", thought Morgana, "It's been nearly five centuries since any were a match for me with my blade...I'll have to do something to gain an advantage."
Morgana swiftly teleported to the far end of the field, as she needed a moment to prepare a spell. As Krystal rushed to re-engage her foe, the entire field became a flood of blinding light, as Morgana's Solar Burst went off directly in Krystal's face. Lucifer grinned and applauded, "Bravo!", he cried., but in the same breath both Jormugandr and Captain Avenger screamed "Foul!"
Both combatants were momentarily immobilized, and the trio of Turbos were immediately by Krystal's side. Morgana simpered, "Is there a problem?" Lucifer smiled and smoothly purred, "Not a thing wrong that I can see." Captain Avenger snarled back at him, "How is she supposed to fight blinded like that?", for it was obvious to all that Krystal could not see. Lucifer smirked, and said, "Not Morgana's problem, there were no rules against the use of any of their powers or abilities, were there?" Leo joined the group, and explained that while Krystal was indeed blinded, her regeneration would clear that up in about an hour. "See," smirked Lucifer,"... no permanent harm done. Meantime there's a contest to finish." "I don't like it," said Cap, " what if Morgana uses some other spell while Krystal is blind, couldn't we just postpone the end of this until Krystal can see again?" Lucifer stated firmly "Certainly not!... both combatants would have to agree to it...why would Morgana give up her fairly-won advantage?"
Jormurgandr had been following the exchange while trying to come up with a fair way to help Krystal...he had followed Krystal's training closely and knew every nuance she had added to her skills. He was also aware of the anti-magic device that Jayariel had used during her training. Calling the drow to his side, Jormurgandr explained to Lucifer and Cap his plan, and as Jayariel arrived Jormurgandr asked him ,"Do you have your anti-magic device with you?" Jayariel took out his cube and carefully handed it over to Jormurgandr, "This will produce a nonmagical binding area effect... if Morgana tries to cheat while this is active, this will negate it.", he told them. "I trained with our friend using this once so she knows how it works but I'll explain it to you too. When activated, a sphere of antimagic appears according to the wishes of the user. All arcane/innate/ enchantments or enchanted artifacts become powerless until this is dispelled. Should Morgana try anything else via magic, it will fail."
Lucifer looked at the cube with pure power-lust in his eyes, "May I see that?" "SSSSS-certainly not!!", hissed Jormurgandrt, handing the cube back to Jayariel, "if the combatants agree, we could get this over with." Lucifer raised his finger to make a point, "I really must protest...you'd have us deprive these two lovely ladies of one of their native abilities? I suppose next you'd like us to tie Morgana's hands behind her back? That makes just as much sense...really, snake-boy, your bias is showing."
Jormurgandr hissed in rage...his fists began to glow with a green dark-matter energy nimbus. Cap stepped between Lucifer, whose hands had sheathed themselves in a glowing red nimbus, and Jormurgandr, who looked ready to begin Lucifer's personal Armmegedon, and raised his hands... "Boys...a little decorum here if you please...Stand down.", Cap said. "We need to make a ruling...Lucifer makes a valid point, but Jormurgandr's argument holds merit, too...I say we leave the decision to the combatants...agreed?", Cap continued.
Though both knew that this enmity between them was not over, now was not the time to have this out...As Jormurgandr lowered his fists to his sides and dropped the nimbus surrounding them, he hissed loudly, then sighed. "Agreed." Lucifer stared at Jormurgandr for a moment more, then dropped the energy-nimbus from his own hands...he really was growing to dislike the Serpent-god, but finally he turned to Cap with a small smile and said, "Of course, my dear friend." "Morgana, we can negate magic upon the field...you may continue the duel immediately while this is so or allow Krystal time to regain her vision, what say you?", said Jormurgandr. "Aye, let's do it now!", was Morgana's reply. "Krystal, are you able to continue, given those conditions, my friend?", said Jormurgandr.
Krystal realized that Morgana had been unable to scry upon her training, and thought her at a huge disadvantage...she decided that she could use this fact. With weary resignation in her voice, Krystal said, "Let's get this over with." "Excellent...she's too stubborn to back down in front of all these witnesses, but the cherub has obviously given up...", gloated Morgana inwardly. "Don't worry, I'll make this quick...", Morgana cooed. Morgana strode over and was planning to scratch Krystal's cheek with her sword, but at the moment her blade approached, Krystal's battle-sense detected the movement.
As she spun and ducked away, she twisted the hilt of the spear, and it released a second blade. Morgana felt a slight sting and looked down...her hand had a small dripping scratch upon it... "Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!", cried Morgana. She drew back her sword for a killing thrust, but the venom from the second blade...the Fang... paralyzed her in that instant. The crowd sat stunned for a moment, then broke into thunderous applause. As the Evil beings looked sadly at Morgana, they slunk from the stadium...not one even tried to help Morgana.
A moment passed while Krystal was carried by her friends from the field amidst much cheering and fanfare...but the one person you'd expect to be in the fore-front, cheering the loudest,was missing. Morgana was still standing frozen, paralysed by the venom from the Fang, near the center of the field...Alex approached her cautiously. "I saw what you tried to do, bitch...know this...Krystal might have the magic...she might be the smart one, I wouldn't even have any powers if it weren't for her...but if you ever come after her or anyone else she loves, I'll kill you...I know that fae are incredibly hard to kill, but believe me, bitch...I'll find a way." With that Alex spun and strode from the field towards the sound of cheering.
"Congratulations Acidburn," Jayariel said as he and his friends from the Academy joined her and the other members of Turbulence on the field. "I am glad to see my short amount of training paid off." A note was at the same time slipped into her pocket to be read at a more private location. "You have done well, young Krystal," Aphrael said to her. "However Morgana will not soon forget or forgive her defeat here today. Whenever you are ready, talk to me and I will do what I can to help you on future quests you might be called upon to partake in."
OOC: For more information canonwise on the history of Lloth and the separation of the Dark Elves (Drow) from the surface elves, I direct fans to this wonderful book.