Moonfall (Diana fanfic)

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[First post/fanfic. I'll continue posting if it's people like it]

Prologue: Dawn

“Be proud young Diana” spoke the aging Adus to me. “They are now with our Mother, an honorable warriors' path they have led.”

Echoes and murmurs around us affirmed what he spoke. Then silence fell upon us all. It was noon and our goddess was at her peak, blazing down through the thin clouds and bathing us in her warmth.

“It is time,” Adus said, leaving my side to stand in front of two large piles of wood, each topped with a golden armor-clad figure. Their helmets lay on their chest, and in each hand they held either a glistening sword or dazzling shield. “Brothers and sisters, today we bid farewell to Marceus and Donalla of the noble Solari. They have fought valiantly for our Mother, and have achieved glory everlasting. We beseech you, ever fair goddess, take them back into your fold. May the passionate flames of their love for you burn, eternal.”

Adus moved closer and held up his arms until each hand ignited itself in golden flame. He did not flinch in pain or scream out, but instead smiled. “Until we meet again, brother, sister.” Dropping his hands, he lit the two pyres and they were instantly consumed in flame. He stepped back to my side as the entire village each unsheathed his or her own polished longsword and bowed their heads in respect. The light from the sun and the blaze from the fire sparkled furiously off the blades as the heavy smoke rose up swirling and the smell of burning flesh fouled the air.

I don't remember how long we stood in silence, but there was nothing left save their armor. The gold glowed brilliantly in absence of the bodies that once occupied it. The helmet had lost its feathery plume, burned away into ash just like their previous owners, scattered in the four directions of the wind. Nothing of this world remained of them, save their belongings, the man's sword Ashmaker; the woman's, Solstice.

When the entire pyres of wood had burned away leaving black charred marks in the earth, the swords were sheathed and a group came forward to claim the armor and shields. Raising each article above their head, they burst into song of worship while proceeding one by one out of the ring and down the mountain to the village. When the last armor-bearer had left, they were followed by the rest of the village, single file, but singing all as one. Adus, however, had stayed by my side.

“Be happy Diana. This is the most we could ever wish for. They have done their duty, for our Mother...” he spoke kindly. “With their death, your mother and father have forged a path of greatness for you child. As their single and only offspring, you inherit both Ashmaker and Solstice. You can become one of the few blessed to surpass us all in glory...”

I said nothing, but continued to look off the ledge. I wondered how easy it would be to end it now – would I get scared and try to stop myself, or would I just keep going until I was spiraling downward, faster and faster until it all went white? Adus continued talking but I did not hear anything but the whistling wind that had carried my parents far away.

“Child. The burden of the blades is now yours to bear. Return to us when you have received Her blessing,” Adus had continued speaking, taking my silence for attentive listening. With that, he bowed deeply to me, and left me alone as he made his way down to the village. The wind had swept up his voice, somber and wavering:

“...glory, glory, glory be
…battles won and death conquered
…shining golden dawn til blazing
...embrace of our Mother
...eternal flames, eternal honor
...glory, glory, glory be'er will the Sun set”

This marked the first day that changed my life forever.

Snippet 8/9/2012
Chapter One: Rise

I stood there alone, on the peak of Mount Targon with nothing but the whistling wind to keep me company. The piles of ash were taken by the wind with every gust and my only companions of what my life had been lay in the two relic-weapons of my late parents, sparkling amongst the black. They remained flawless despite their owners having been incinerated, and I realized I had never seen blades so beautiful than in that moment.

Many days I had dreamed of inheriting one of them, though I had a preference for Mother's blade, Solstice. It was thinner than most, tapering down to a very sharp and jagged point, as if the tip had broken off in a battle centuries ago. The handle was light with a guard made of interlocking bands of silver and gold and etches of runes ran the length of the blade. It was a sword of quick combat and unpredictable maneuvers even though it look less than menacing in a woman's hands. Solstice had been passed down from generation to generation through the Rite of Kor in an unbroken chain of female Solari.

Ashbringer was a blade for defense, but Father had used it otherwise. Inheriting it from the Rite of Kor over his older brother, it had remained in his family for centuries. It was a blade of menancing weight with a ribbed handle and wide guard made of blinding silver which gave way to a thick and swollen blade. Of the rune-weapons, Ashbringer was one of the few to be considered a great sword, and the only one fit for a defender rather than a warrior. In Father's hands though, Ashbringer was a weapon that was the perfect compliment to the quickblade Solstice. While Solstice would weave in and out performing fleurets that would catch an enemy off-guard, Ashbringer would slam in with it's heavy weight to destroy any defense the opponent might put up. The best defense was a strong offense, he used to say, and together, the union of Ashbringer and Solstice found few that could challenge the power of the Solari, or the power of the Fated Lovers.

How that nickname for Mother and Father brought back memories. The union of the great defense with the dancing offense had ushered excited whispers when they had begun dating. More than whispers when they had announced their plans to wed. And outright excited gossip when they had partaken in the Ritual of Geminus Sol, the ancient custom for longevity and health for twin babes.

That night, I'm told, had gone horribly wrong....

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I like it and would like to wee where the story is going

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Cerulean Laser

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I like it already.