EDIT: Now with an illustration by the wonderful Lizzie Jones (Estantia)!
Context bit first – this is fiction for the Empire LARP campaign run by Profound Decisions. I don’t own the setting or the world, and am writing this as a player with no special knowledge of either.
This particular bit of fiction is based on events which happened at the Summer Solstice event this year and, specifically, how my character (Levi of Zephaniah’s Lament) died. The second half of it is very much acanonical when it comes to existing knowledge of how the afterlife works in setting, but I like it and so it’s staying.
Also heavy CW for suicide by blade, which is why the whole piece is under the Continue Reading link]
“-she’s my sister, and I love her.”
He feels his voice break a little on the words – a splinter of pain, sliding through a crack in the armour he’s wrapped around his heart and soul. Blood dripping from a wounded soldier’s side, leaking through strapped-up leather and carefully-arranged tabard.
I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. Look to the others. I’m fine.
Two breaths. Slow. Deliberate. Settling.
The dagger’s cold against his throat, tucked in where he can feel his heartbeat thrumming along the length of the blade. Training and long practice has it nestled at the perfect spot: mercy in a single cut, last service for those whose wounds would otherwise lead to nothing but a slow, agonising death.
One breath. Feel the Labyrinth calling.
Mercy in a single cut.
The boy blinks, eyes stinging with the sudden light, and slowly, hesitantly reaches up.
Unscarred fingers trace the tip of one sharply-pointed ear, skin unmarked by blade or fire, and he grins, wild Summer exhilaration thrilling through his veins as he drops to one knee, brown-leather-clad body bending in a sprinter’s crouch.
‘Run fast, Unconquered,’ the wind whispers.
And he does
Illustration by Lizzie Jones (Estantia)