Eternal Shadows

The First Realm


a part of Eternal Shadows, by incendium.


incendium holds sovereignty over The First Realm, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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The First Realm is a part of Eternal Shadows.

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Gabriel [1] "I couldn't save them, okay? Are you happy now?"

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Character Portrait: Gabriel

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It seemed her palace hadn’t changed much in the three years he’d spent as a stray—it was still cold and overbearing in its intimidating stone gown, steadfast as ever but not without some air of delicate beauty and flawless grace. He always thought it was a rather fitting abode for those who called themselves gods... inviting and merciless at the same time. After all, it was with perfect allure that all evils beckoned their prey—promising good to all but only truly delivering to some—like carnivorous plants that boast oxygen to those larger and food to those smaller. Oh, did you think the plant would just sit there and let you eat at its expense? No, little fly—the food that was promised to you is yours—surely—but to attain it you must part with your life.

As he left the surrounding night for the innards of the palace, he dimly wondered where and when this sudden eloquence had broken into his soul, but it didn’t loiter around long enough for him to take any real notice. No pretty words could change the truth of the matter. Her palace was a prison. A pound for hopeless tramps and strays like him and an adventure for the obedient and trusting pedigrees like everyone else. It was a prison. But it was only his prison, and as such the bars were visible only to him. No one else really noticed how everything got darker the more steps you take inside. No one noticed how cold it was. How empty. How dark.

It was quite a long time before he reached the darkest place of all. No—it was the second darkest place. His room was the darkest. His empty room with nothing but bars and chains and airless darkness. Her room was the second darkest. That’s what he realized as he stared darkly at the door of her room. There weren’t any bars in her room, for some reason. Her room was the only place that wasn’t a prison. It took him a minute to remember why, but he regretted thinking about it when he did. Why wasn’t the second darkest room a prison cell? He knew why. It was an execution chamber. The place where god died. When he thought about it, staring at her door, he started to wonder if she knew that her father was killed there. If it was him, he wouldn’t want to lay in the same place someone else died. But then again, that’s exactly what he used to do.

He stared at the door for a few minutes before he started to realize how stupid it was. No one else saw this place as he did—the darkness was only reflected in his eyes. And because of that he was more afraid of the door than actually facing what he’d done. So he decided he didn’t have to go through the door. He didn’t even have to touch it. Well, maybe he had to touch it. The old man would want him to suffer for running off for three years, and touching the door seemed like a good way to do that. Maybe if he started his own suffering it wouldn’t be as bad. And maybe Alexandria wasn’t even in there. It’d been three years, after all. Maybe he could just lean against the door and start talking and do what he should’ve done then, and be rewarded with a clean conscience without all the trouble of facing her again. Maybe he could slip out before morning and no one would ever know. Maybe there was some god out there that loved him.

“I… um… you asked me… why I killed your old man…,” he whispered, stalking the door to lean a fist and a forehead on it. As he continued, he couldn’t quite keep his voice at a steady volume. It fluctuated somewhere between a breath and a low, strained murmur, like he couldn’t quite decide if he should be a man about it—quietly, of course; there was no need to wake anyone else in the palace—in case she wasn’t there or do everything in his power not to be heard if she was. “…Three years ago… well, three years and twenty-two days…uh, not that I counted or anything… or kept track from the beginning... damn it. I, uh… I have to answer you sooner or later… since I… well, ran away in tears like a little… you know what, let’s just start this over. I’m sure you’re sleeping anyway… in a room… that isn’t this one… God… Why didn’t I… why the hell didn’t I practice this shit? God damn it… I had three years… I shoulda practiced…”

He fell silent for a moment, listening to the air behind the door, trying to judge if she was there or not. It probably wasn’t too late to run again. He’d done it once right in front of her, so what was the shame of doing it again like this? She might not even be there.

But the old man was. It was a scary thought—one that he hadn’t fully grasped before. Her dad already had it coming to him for running—he knew that much—so to even think about running again was just… man… what had he become? And why was talking so damn hard for him? Was he always this much of a pussy? He couldn’t quite remember. That worried him.

“I… um… are you… are you there? Alexandria… about what happened…with the old man… I… I made a deal with him, once… I exchanged my life for… well… something I thought… was important to me… but I didn’t… I didn’t understand the price I would pay. So when he… he… took… something from me… something I wasn’t expecting him to take… I killed him because I didn’t realize it was part of the price... I killed your father because I wanted revenge… I killed him because I was stupid…,“ realizing something, he backed away from the door to shake his head. “I should’ve just said that when you’d asked… I killed him because I was stupid.”

He knew a simple answer like that—blaming it on stupidity—would’ve never satisfied her. Hell, he didn’t even know if his legitimate answer would satisfy her. That’s partially why he was internally petrified. Would the master still tolerate the mutt that not only killed her father, but ran away when he was supposed to be making up for it? Making up for it…? Well, as much as a mutt could make up for biting all his previous masters. “I’m sorry failing your command before.”