Merlin - 20 The Art of Dying
An empire in ruin, a capital city lost to nature's wrath to the point of antiquity, vines to each pillar, open sewers now ducts for clean rivers, without the peaks of certain forgotten towers that now crumble and break. Reckless abandon and sleight of seeds, the stones at shoulders' length push apart by stretching grains in the streets filled with cats that chase away any flighty members of the nomadic fowl or varmint peasantry. Collapsed arch and buttress, unseemly doors that rot in the summer sun, and vines that hang where they can, supporting the occasional ancestor to swing and taunt the cats of no real danger. Countless homes stretching to the horizon resting jumbled and broken like toddler building blocks, savant creation now a slow mountain of mistakes confined to an endless quarter of creation.
The Phoenician, with rings of ink soaked into his arms, walks like a thief in the night, a hood over his bald scalp in the calm hanging sun, ever so cautious of what lurks with the larks. The exceedingly abandoned city holds far too much intrigue, the symbol of anarchy that his harvester malice could respect. A fascinating collection of settings, missing all of the kinetic stamina, silent to the touch every room vaunt, the populace that once rested within the walls. He follows the feathered and furred tails that skittish and scurry, into the recesses of the hiding shade. All of his fears contained he slips away gracefully, where the light slips through as his eyes turn red, into the catacombs of the aging city.
In the shaded streets the stalks of lilies beneath the canopy of vines, remnants of carts among the long walls, the edges lined with little rot, the insects gone to the feast of their predators, with the exception of the occasional spider to stanch what remains crawling in the cracks and crevasses with wispy spider web. As let the sun never to blind eyes, falling below the land and the snakes and other night urchins escape the foray for an easy feast in elemental darkness, the parliament heard from the forest deep hooting about their dreams of the day and the frayed ends of their sanity.
Reaching through the aged windows and examining the dusty disheveled artifacts, the bangle on his wrist gracefully catches the moon. Each trinket of mystery's past brings a whelp memory of childhood and apprentice times. Many of the stones laden of the warm wind street are broken runes or moonstones that lurk with canny rudiments of irradiant importance, glowing in the night ever dimly so, just as the skin of the Phoenician. The pointed spear shaped leaves collect the evening mist above a body of water, his hand seemingly turning to stone, blighting the leaf he takes from the vine.
There then stands a horse in the hallway to long and tall to escape. Its skin a body of water, smoke and light clear on the surface but at its core a swirling dark pool of smoke and ice, shedding lightning that graces the wall with brushstroke. A mare of the night, one of the steeds of the sun god, banished for treason accordant with the mortals. A natural instinct of fear washes its spirit with a forceful tide as it sheds lightning to the ground from its body. It slightly rears to intimidate him, but he approaches without regard, his shaking hand forward, the lightning crawling from time to time along his arms and hands as he waves through the aquatic lines of light. Some of the energy saps to the walls the way branches do while walking through the wood.
Greeting the nightmare, it abruptly runs into the open and bursts into water and fire, blatantly steaming him to much visible content. He gives chase like the wind and as fire through the air, gusts as a natural predator in the night leaping from a high wall in silence, landing himself a furious infernal creature of the utmost primordial darkness. He burns like electric water, forcing his radiant fingers into the back of the steed, the piercing wound melts and pours mountain water of the light as it begins to buck and falter the like, as he pulls a dark crystal that radiates a brilliant light, a sunstone the light of fierce coals the shape of a sphere. Controlling a fragile source of death, the slayer slowly rises to his leather heel, from one knee as the creature slowly melts into the ground, leaving only its blood, captured into death a rapture of a diamond storm in the audience of the quintessence evening wind.
The night closes and a day passes, with sun and wheat a minority resident of the endless sea of a city forever of stone. A black fire raven rests on ledge, waiting for excess carrion with a genuine sense of fascination that afternoon, as the setting sun deals bales of gold. While the light is low, the bird seems to burn red at its edges, giving a fine black settling ash. In shedding, that burns and falls to dust fine course black silt that forever fills occult sand clocks that are all that remain at the court of the vanished empire, the vacant remnants of life, and continual fires on ancient and venerable torches.
Dark rancid rainclouds come to play, as lightning dances from the corners and edges of tables and thrones, between the empty curtain rings and broken chalices, and across the surface of the mind, each line contrast to the dark oblivion and hollow sky. The dead weather giving way to the night and its powers of bright darkness, with each gust of summer wind the memories of forgotten times, and each decisive moment an archetype corrosion of fate's temptation. He holds the orb before him, walking as if by careful nature, and the power at his fingertips trembling, as a brewing storm venturing toward wrath and redemption. Emanating a diabolic presence, he raises the magic artifact and smashes before his feet, the torches flustering in the wind, the unfastened decor strewn, and a large flame from the shattering glowing ashes of fire and ice, jagged and apparent.
She lies in the shards and dusty ember where the flame resides, screaming still after the flames recede, his queen resurrected from the purgatory of deep hell, where he quickly kneels to scoop her from the atrocious burns if she lay in wait, to set her upon an alter in the temple. He quickly brings her water, she gasps and is tearing and lamenting, her arms are scarred as if giant birds with metal talons of fire had rested on hot coals then carried her anon, her clothes torn and ravaged, another dole of water repast she the parched. Her appearance singed and disheveled, his eyes slowly fill with silver from their bottom, and frost begins to gather on his eyes, than in other places, it begins to rain on the scattered fires, rainfall washes away the ice accumulated on him and she throws her arms around her savior.