Jadis fell for what felt like a long time. When he stopped falling, he wasn't exactly sure what he stood on. It wasn't solid, exactly, but neither was it squishy. It wasn't hard, and it wasn't soft. Neither was it warm or cold. But for the fact something was supporting him, he honestly would have said he stood on nothing itself.
He could feel another presence with him, a looming vastness. It frightened him, the warped malevolence and evil surrounding him.
He took a faltering step forward, trying to comprehend what it was he stood on. "Its like the night sky," he realized. "Only, no stars."
"Someone has come within my realm.
Jadis jumped, taken by surprise. The voice had no single place, it came from all around him so he could not pinpoint where it was.
"Its been a long time since I have had a visitor.
"Where are you?" Jadis asked quietly.
"I am everywhere. This is my place, while I await the corruption of the Heart of Light.
"Or the cleansing of yours," Jadis said.
"That is correct.
"Do you have a solid form I could actually see?" Jadis questioned.
A faint outline of something, a flame maybe? formed before him. Then, slowly, it shifted into the visible form of a man
, richly robed. Small black dots danced in his eyes, much to Jadis' surprise.
"It is not my regular form, but I believe you'll find it easier to bear.
" His dark eyes regarded Jadis thoughtfully. "You are only half a man. how is this possible?
"Azarael tried to turn my to the Dark, but I resisted. Then...I just splot, and there were two of me, a Light and a Dark." his eyes narrowed. "But wouldn't you know? Aren't the Hand and the Heart connected?"
"Not in the way people think. After all, were we connected as such, it would be easier to be destroyed.
"Do you have a name besides the Heart of Darkness?" Jadis asked. He was surprised at himself. Here he was, in the presence of the Heart itself, and he was not only remaining in control of himself but demanding answers of it. He wondered what Shaddoc would say.
"I have many names. Some are names of fear. Others are terms of adoration. Still others are simply means for people to identify.
"What shall I call you then?"
The Hand paused to consider this. "You will not call me in adoration, and you control your fear. A means of identification then. You will call me Adon.
Adon. Lord. He noted the 'will', which made the statement more of a command. He didn't feel any inclination to disobey either. Shuddering, he reminded himself that this was the Heart of Darkness. He couldn't afford to underestimate him, or his power. "Adon, is there a way out of this place?"
Adon smiled slightly. "Perhaps, if you amuse me enough. Or if Azarael begs prettily enough. He has been asking to have you returned for the past half-hour.
" He tilted his head back, smiling as if he'd just heard something amusing. Jadis had a mental image of Azarael standing before the open wall, cursing a blue streak. He felt like doing the same.
"What exactly do you want?"
"You apparently mean an awful lot to him,
" Adon continued, as though he hadn't heard Jadis. he nodded after a minute. "Ah, a matter of vengeance against your father. He must have been quite the man to have annoyed Azarael.
" He waited a moment, then nodded again. "Ah, I understand. Jadis Firesoul, a son of the Wings. What a pleasant surprise
"Son of the...what? And I'm not Firesoul! Who the heck is he anyway?"
"I'm surprised Azarael left you ignorant. Why would we call you something you aren't? You are the heir of Lyorn Firesoul, once Bearer of the White Wings.
Jadis stared at him, dumbfounded. That was...one heck of a claim. Deciding to try and ignore it, he went down the path of least resistance. "Why do you call him that? He didn't actually carry the Wings, did he?""For a short time, though not many knew. It truly rankled in Azarael's heart, for Lyorn was such a deadly opponent. Now he, he knew well the fighting strengths of the Light. He nearly had Lyorn, did Azarael, but Firesoul, seeing the trap laid, gave up the power of the Wings to Emagene and went down fighting the Hand of Darkness himself.
"Are the Hand and the Wings the same person?"
"They are usually the same person, but they had been known to separate. Take, for instance, the twins Brander, my Hand, and Angeline, the Bearer of Black Wings.
" He smiled faintly. "That was a good time. The Darkness thrived then.
Jadis saw two insubstantial figures form in the shadows nearby, a boy and girl, hardly adults. As one they leapt toward Jadis, but their ghostly images slipped through him. Jadis shivered from the chill that passed through his body, watching as tghe two took place on either side of Adon, who rested his hands on their shoulders. "What are they?" Jadis asked, eying them cautiously.
"They are their souls. Do not fear them. They are pleased to meet you.
Jadis eyed their hard gazes with doubt. "Were they weakened, spread out in two people like that?"
"Whatever would give you that impression? Twins already share a bond deeper than our understanding can comprehend. The Hand and the Wings are connected in a similar way. Put the two together, and power beyond your imagining is born.
Jadis nodded slowly. "Makes sense, I suppose." He crossed his arms, shifting his weight to his left foor. he stared at the ground, eyes narrowing as he thought and wondered. At least, should the Wings fight now, it was fairly even. Azarael was strong, but so was Emagene, if she still lived. If she didn't, who had she passed on the Wings to? Most likely Arren or Reveka. Arren seemed to be the older sibling, so he was rather likely, and he had used wings to boost himself, back at that one fight...
jadis almost choked on that. AArren was the Hand of Light, the Bearer of White Wings perhaps, and Jadis had led him deep into the Darkness! But Azarael seemed interested in Reveka, more so than Arren, which didn't make much sense.
He was missing something here. he only wished he knew what.
"Are you amused enough?" he asked finally. "I'm ready to go." Heck...he wasn't sure which was worse. Azarael using him, or Adon toying with him.
Adon smiled condescendingly at him, and it really was making Jadis mad. "I suppose. Azarael does seem to believe he could really use you.
" he nodded. "It has been a pleasure to meet you, Jadis Firesoul. I hope we can renew our acquaintance again.
Brander and Angeline came to him, extending their hands. Jadis slowly took them, eying them wonderingly, for they now seemed solid. They rose then, carrying him between them, rising up away from the Heart's realm.
Shadow Jadis glanced back, then dove out of the building through a window, kicking it in so the glass shattered in the building. Unless they wanted to cut their feet, they would have to be careful then. Hissing in pleasure, he ran for the castle.
Dodging notice, he hurried toward the North Tower. Gamaliel was there, waiting
Nigal saw the glass, but it hardly registered. Without any hesitation, he rushed over them, taking as large a stride as he could, and hoping the boots were thick enough. He ran for the door and exited the building, but saw no sign of Jadis. He glanced around, then grimaced. "Great. Where is he?"
OOC- sorry Odd. I'll try and get Ethinine and Arren moving soon.