Weight of the World
The stillness of his mind, the utter quiet of his meditation chamber a welcome relief. The complete change from the constant turmoil that usually assailed his senses. Here in this room he felt the Furies that swirled and eddied, the beings, made up of the pure essence of life, the true force of creation itself, as they shielded him from the outside world. Within this room he could step away from the people who clamored for his attention. Here he could find relief from the malevolent presence of The Other. For the brief moments he allowed himself to separate from the world beyond these four walls, he was free of the constant and steady pulse of The Other's thoughts and feelings. Free of the despair that threatened to drown him even as it fueled The Other's damned existence. He and The Other existed in tandem, a balance subtly preserved by the pieces of their Great Game, a game of movement and counter-movement that had gone on for a millennia, perhaps longer.
Here in the silence of his chamber he could almost remember the Before. Fleeting glimpses of the time that came before The Other's coming, flashing before his eyes then vanishing into the darkness in the corners of his mind. Vividly, color more vibrant than he had seen since his strange birth assailed his mind's eye, coaxing, clawing at the remembrances that stubbornly clung to the mist that clouded his past.
As was common, his meditation turned to the time of his arrival. A great contraction of the Earth itself, spat him out upon the land. Naked, without purpose, lying prostrate on the still smoking ground, weakened arms pulling at the dirt he clawed at with tortured fingers. Fear and loneliness, like he had never known, gripped his mind, threatening to send him falling into madness. Mewling like a newborn babe, tears streaming from his eyes, he first felt the presence of The Other. A daemonic entity, stabbing into the far reaches of his consciousness, it whispered tantalizing promises, pledges of pleasure and power if he would but turn from his path. He cried to the darkness, begged for the pain to stop, screamed that he knew not of what the voice spoke. He railed against it, crying that he had no purpose, that he tread no path. He felt like his mind would break under the weight of The Other's presence, that his body would be consumed in the flames of The Other's rage at his refusal. He made a choice, he chose to resist, to fling his defiance in the face of that alien mind and with that choice something in him awakened. Something in him provided strength and life where there had been none.
He stood, this new found power fueling his weakened limbs and as he did he felt and heard the bellow of The Other's anger as it receded from his mind, its sudden withdraw leaving a gaping hole, a void, at the very core of his soul. He stumbled, his breath coming in ragged gasps, blackness closing in at the edges of his vision. It was in that moment, in the blackest seconds of his life, that he felt them and with their arrival his life gained new purpose. It was as if his struggle with The Other had awakened the essence of the planet itself. Every rock and tree, every plant and animal, even the very air around him vibrated with life where an instant before there had been naught but desolation and death. They swirled around him, responded to his every thought and motion. They closed around his mind, blocking out the predations of The Others soul sucking presence.
A tremor, a movement of the very stone that formed the walls of his chamber, brought him back to the moment, bringing his mind from a time a thousand years ago to the present, to the now. His eyes snapped open, startlingly blue orbs that took in the room around him and a heavy sigh escaped hi parched lips as he stood, wiping the sweat from his furrowed brow. Something was wrong. A feeling of unease creeping into his bones, a wrongness that he felt to his very core.
Walking to the edge of the curved wall, he placed his palm on the cool stone and braced himself for the onslaught of emotion and thought that was to come. As the three foot thick stone wall rippled and melted away from his touch, a hole large enough for him to step through appeared and through it all the noise and chaos that saturated the world outside of his chamber, the thoughts of a million minds; man, animal, tree, and rock, all with there own presence, all with hopes and desires, from simple to grandiose, rushed at him, clawing at his mind. He shut them out. He felt him, The Other, its pulsing life force quickening, moving at a speed almost to fast to discern in the anarchy of life energy that moved around him.
He quickened his pace, sudden trepidation gripping his soul. As he moved to the rampart that surrounded his rooms and stepped the edge, he felt the Air Furies, countless millions of them, move around him, churning the air to a forceful gale that whipped the hem of his snow white robe about in the current. The same air that flowed as a gentle breeze a thousand feet below him, teasing the swaying grass below with its playful meanderings. Reaching for his power, commanding the furies around him with practiced grace, he created his working. His outline blurred and his body vanished as the crafting took hold.
He soared, faster than thought, the ground speeding away below him, a blur of green and brown and yellow. Freedom, exhilaration, and joy suffused his ancient limbs as he flew, his own life force mingled with the Furies of the air. As soon as his sensations had began, they came to and end, his elation siphoning away as his crafting dissipated.
He stood upon a great mountain, the same vast formation of rock he had come into this world upon, its snowy facade falling away from his feet to the earth miles below. In the blink of an eye he had traveled 800 leagues, the Talisariat, his home, and his children stood 3000 miles away. Here he was as alone as he could be outside of his chamber. Here his only company the wind and snow and stone.
Looming in front of him, pulsing with the malevolent power of The Other, a wall, the defining border between the realms of light and darkness. Had he wished he could have stretched out his hand and touched the boundary of The Other's domain. With a thought he could have pierced the veil into the ether of the Dark Lands themselves. From this short distance he could easily feel the primal, destructive power that The Other wielded. The very air around him hummed with its dastardly energy, its fearsome evil a palpable thing.
Without doubt he knew that The Other stirred. Without doubt he knew that his ever present nemesis moved his pieces across the board. He knew without doubt that The Other had hatched some nefarious plot that he now put into motion. He knew without doubt that this move was the end game. The lives of every living, breathing, creature on this planet now hung in the balance.
Standing on the great mountaintop, his mountaintop, the Radan, the Holy Warrior who had challenged The Other since its coming, shouted his defiance to the brooding sky above. The mountain beneath his feet trembled with his might. The skies erupted into a dazzling display of lightning and wind, churning the snow from the mountain's top into a blinding whirlwind of vicious ice. As it had been for a thousand years he would answer The Other's challenge. But this time he would not answer it alone.
As the wind receded and the ground stilled and the blinding shroud of snow and ice once more fell still, of the white clad warrior no sign remained save his footprints, etched into the mountaintop. As if by leaving his mark he defied The other to cross its boundary. An everlasting sign that said that he had accepted the monumental task that lay before him, that the weight of the world lay comfortably on his broad shoulders.
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