Ebonwing - Prologue
Once Upon a Time
Welcome to this story. It shall begin, as all stories do, in the beginning
the very beginning. In the time before time, when the world was primal and new, there was a great battle. This fight was the first war, and it was the turning point of many if not all lives
The Archangel Azmadiel watched, as he always did, fanning his black and white stippled wings. The wind swept his hair from the back of his neck, revealing the rectangle of enochian. It glowed softly as he channeled his energy. The block of runes faded as he felt the summoning was taking effect. His warrior brothers would return to him. They would come. The golden spider crawled along the ground. He placed his hand on the ground, picking up the small golden creature. He placed the animal to his chest and with a sharp, electrical smell, the animal began to meld into the angel's flesh. The amber arachnid looked no more noticeable than a tattoo.
His eyes scanned the Flights as they moved through the air. The angels flew in sharp flocks. This would be their first fight to battle their greatest enemy. Azmadiel's mind turned inward as he watched the dark shadows that mottled the land, speckling its emerald landscape. Choirs from all orders of angels charged from their heavenly heights and cascaded down to the earth below. They were the pinnacle of light and energy. They were creatures of fire and ice. They graced the fields and skies filling them with both beauty and terror.
They swept up, swinging back arms bearing swords, spears and other weapons. Azmadiel watched the angels calling on ice, fire and acid, swashing the landscape with their magic. He knew the elements themselves were being torn apart as they were used as weapons for the first time. The first battle. Angels prepared for war...the first war.
Soon, one of the greater Flights came into view. They were an exact, precise group. Their wings beat in a concise movement that mirrored the stroke of wings, the wings of their wingleader, the Archangel Gabriel.
Gabriel swept up his dark wings, catching a soft breeze and joined Azmadiel atop the jagged peak. The rest of the flock settled down around them, perched on the mountain's side. Azmadiel smiled and swept back his slowly smiled and stared at the small gathering. The black and white angel sensed his own forces waiting behind him, patient, calm and observant. The watchers. He waited a moment later, as their last Flight joined them. They came in a flurry of light and fire that burst through a portal above the Archangels and their smaller flights.
The leader of the grand, shining guard was a well built angel
the Archangel Michael. The Archangel stood, tall and strong, with thickly feathered white wings unfurled magnificently behind him. Yet, despite his calm manner, the hand that clutched his flaming sword was white and pale. The two Archangels were day and night standing next to each other, Michael's gleaming paleness and Gabriel's knowing darkness, and there was Azmadiel, the dawn, the twilight, wings and hair mottled in black and white. Stepping forward, Gabriel nodded and lifted his gleaming eyes towards the fair haired warrior.
Michael, we have taken out the north wing of Lucifers forces. The mountains of Heral Karas are secure and the Fiends will not dare threaten Karaes Hold. Michael stared coldly, a coldness that came only in the brightest, most blinding lights. He studied Gabriel's black wings. Then Michael turned to the rest of the assembled group.
Gabriel has spoken. Not even the Morninglord himself would dare threaten our hold. It is there where we shall organize our further work With a sly smile, he turned back to Gabriel. But there are some whose loyalty must be questioned. This is a dangerous time. This is dangerous when those with even the smallest amount of free will may disobey Him. Gabriel stood still and pale in the waning light, shadowed only by his own wings. Nodding slightly, Gabriel smirked, more to himself than the others.
Yes, Michael, you are correct
loyalty must be questioned. Gabriel said softly. They looked at each other, but their gazes were unreadable.
Take the Cherubim, the entire choir to the Verastis mountains and cast your gaze there. Tell me if the Morninglord and his get reside there. Kill the child, but leave me to deal with Lucafre himself. With a curt nod, Michael summoned his assembled group. Lifting their gleaming wings, Michael fell from the sharp mountainside and drifted up towards the southern end of the area. Immediately, his cadre followed the Archangel, their wings beating in unison
Turning to the group as they soared, Gabriel began to issue commands. Take the South wing over to the burning heights and drop down into Saras mountain. I will take Azmadiel and his Flight and center down into the area. We will be able to cut them off if we run into trouble. Remember, first sever the wings, then destroy the rest. Use balefire if you can. Azmadiel, Amel and I will infiltrate first to determine a successful plan of attack. Then with that he dropped from the mountain. He dipped down onto a wing and swerved down into the small valley. The rest of the angels followed.
Gabriel landed on a small outcropping that bordered the valley. The outcropping was draped in thick vines and fine strands of Hellas root. The plants concealed the dark cave that housed the Morninglord. Gabriel wove a communication thread and sent it to two of the angels *Amel and Azmadiel, keep the others busy. Use your collective talents of wing and sight to bind them, they must not know where the mortal and Morninglord are residing. Do not harm your brothers though. Remember, you two, and I, hold no place in this war.* The two angels nodded and looked down toward the shapes barely visible above the horizon.
Gabriel threaded some of the gleaming cords of black magic behind him as he stepped into the cave. He wound his way through the labyrinth until he entered the circular chamber. He knelt in the center of the huge pentagram emblazoned on the floor. He plucked a single dark feather from his wing. It was glistening like glass and it was stiff and shining. He lifted the feather and with the edge of the pinion he sliced along the tender flesh of his palm. He winced at the pain, which was so foreign to him. Then he lifted his palm over the pentagram.
Letting his blood scatter along the floor he looked up and purred out softly Lucafre, T'ldar iva dimar. He let the ancient words flow from his lips. The words of creation, of making. They thrummed through his mouth and filled his wings and body with a hum. The hum spread and he strung the strands of vibrations around themselves, weaving them into a potent spell. As though letting go of a needle, he let the magic slip into the pentagram. It began to glow in a soft violet light and hummed back in response. He let his eyes close for a moment as he calmed. Gabriel's eyes didn't open until the air began to grind with a new vibration. When he looked, he noticed movment towards the rear of the room.
The back panel of the chamber slid open to reveal a well-muscled, tall man sporting two inky black wings. Lucafre. The Morninglord. His features were chiseled but fine. His eyes so fullof light that it drew away Gabriel's breath. Gabriel look at him in awe for a moment before he remembered why he was here. He barely noticed the other angels, the fallen, waiting just beyond the threshold. Gabriel noted their positions and looked at the Morninglord. He wove a thickly corded mind-thread and sent it toward Lucafre.
*Lord of the Morning, Michael has sent the Choirs for you. They wish for us to take you to him
and the child
* It was here Gabriel balked. What would he say
.what was this child. Nephilim. Horror struck Gabriel's heart as the fiend-get charged forward as though summoned. Snarling with a bestial ferocity the pale-skinned ghost-child hissed. Gabriel froze as he stared disbelieving. It was only a waif of a boy, frail and human, yet sporting large, ebony wings. A silver-winged angel that had been hiding just beyond the panel surged forward after the child. The angel grabbed the childs wing and shoulder.
Gabriel studied the boy as the child struggled in the angels grasp. His hair was long and silken and the same shade of his fathers tangled black mane. His wings, like Gabriel's and Lucafre's, were ebony and each feather refracted in the glistening light. The boy-childs eyes were pure black pits and without sheen or reflection. Gabriel was taken aback by the childs frightening visage. Anger?
*Lucafre, what is it?* He asked along the mind-thread, even though he knew what it was. Lucafre said nothing, only meeting Gabriels gaze. He placed his hand on the growling childs head. Despite the childs anger, it was not outright attacking anyone. Its actions were foreign however, the angels had never known anger, or fear, only detached interest it seemed. They didnt know why the hissing boy was acting so strangely. The silver winged angel holding the boy looked pleadingly up at Gabriel, his eyes questioning, asking why.
*This child is my get, mine and a mortal womans. He is broken....he is Nephilim. He must be taken to the mortals, he cannot survive among the angels. They will kill him* sent the Morninglord dispassionately. He pushed the boy a little closer to Gabriel. *Take him, hide him, send him to the humans, or the elves.* Gabriel stared at the snarling boy and nodded. He decided an elf would be safer, one that was not so
he looked up at the Morninglord. He motioned for the boy to come to him. The boy stared, bewildered for a moment then went into Gabriels arms.
With a nod, the black winged man turned from the hissing boy. Gabriel took the boy, but he knew the Nephilim might be killed by the loyal angels. This boy would have the power of the angels, yet the free will of a mortal. The first signs of fear began to fill him. He began to wonder about the small mortal lands that were below. He had heard of only one other nephilim. One that resided among the humans. She was allowed to live...because Gabriel himself could protected her even though she was nephilim. If anyone knew of the girl, she too would be destroyed. He was her guardian though. She was his responsibility. His only daughter.