BY : Dagian
Category: +G through L > Lineage 2
Dragon prints: 13
Disclaimer: I do not own Lineage2, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Blinking her eyes wearily, Seren slowly allowed herself to come to full wakefulness. The first thing she noticed was that she was not where she last remembered being. This was not the sacred sleeping place underneath her beloved village. The patterns on the ceiling were wrong. A voice, soft and low, caught her attention.

"Ah, you have awakened."

"Where am I?" She asked the shadowy person, trying her best to force her eyes to focus properly so she could determine who they were, friend or foe. "Why am I awake? How long have I been asleep?" Her last memories were fuzzy at best, but she could remember that she had been spelled into what was supposed to be an eternal sleep, neither alive nor dead, as punishment.

The shadowy figure stepped closer to her and in the light of a solitary candle she could see that it was a light elven male, dressed in fine robes she'd never seen before. "You have been asleep for many, many years Seren." He paused and seemed to collect himself. She could tell that he was bracing to deliver devastating news. "There has been a, calamity," he shook his head and corrected himself, "no, no, a catastrophe."

Looking apologetically at her he sighed heavily. "We had to abandon the Mother Tree. It, it was not safe anymore. We moved everyone who was spelled into the Forever Sleep here. But being so far removed from our home, the magic has weakened and those under the Sleep have awakened. And the Mother Tree..." He stopped himself from continuing. "You will find out soon enough about that though."

Her brows furrowed in concerned confusion as she struggled briefly to sit upright, swinging her legs over the side of the bed, a simple platform of wood and cotton padding. Nothing extravagant, especially not for one whom High Priest Asterios had deemed a 'blood traitor'. "What of the others? My friends? My clan?"

"Gone. All gone." He replied stoically. "Taken by either age, war...or Shilen herself." This last was spoken with no small amount of venom.

Seren gripped the edges of the bed as her vision became blurred by tears.

"There is one who survived. Your...collaborator." He spat out nastily. "Arianis, the red-headed hierophant. She was secreted away and protected by our dark cousins and given an elixir of longevity to extend her human life-span. She along with some others managed to escape the devastation that befell the dark elven village."

Seren's eyes widened at that. "The dark elf village has been destroyed?" She couldn't keep the fear from her voice. Please don't let him be dead, she prayed silently, tears falling down her cheeks in small rivulets.

He stared down at her scornfully. "So, I see you still harbor feelings for that foul dark archer." He sneered down at her. "After all this time, after being punished with the Forever still carry a flame for him within your heart. How utterly disgraceful. Haven't you shamed yourself enough?" His voice turned into a low growl. "Forget about him!"

"Just tell me, is he alive? Did he survive?" Seren closed her eyes and tried to breathe normally around the lump in her throat. She knew her mistakes, and she wasn't sorry for them. She loved him and she would never, ever, forget him.

"No." Came the cold answer. "He died at the hands of Shilen when their village was destroyed."

A strangled sob broke from her throat. "Nooo..." A torrent of memories flooded her mind. The two of them fighting golems near the Ivory Tower, exploring the enchanted forest, resting outside the forsaken plains. Him laughing at her when she tried, and failed, to enchant her bow of peril far beyond what the dwarves had recommended, subsequently loaning her his old bow.

But the most painful memory by far, was of him holding her close to his chest in a quiet alcove in Goddard. He'd told her that he loved her and she'd confessed her love back. The tears slipped down her cheeks unchecked and unheeded. She'd never feel his arms around her again. She cried harder when she realized she didn't even know where he'd been buried.

Silence fell in the darkened room before he continued. "Seeing as you, your new punishment will be to bear a mark that will forever label you as the blood traitor you are." His hands moved more swiftly than she would have ever thought possible. While his left hand came behind her head to hold her still, his right palm landed in the center of her forehead. Impossibly fast, an incantation fell from his lips and she felt a searing pain in the center of her forehead.

Just as suddenly as the attack began, it was over. He stepped back and regarded her for a moment. "Arianis will be waiting for you outside." He then turned and left. But not without one final parting shot. "Let's see if our dark brethren care as much for you as you do them."

Seren gingerly touched the area he'd placed the spell and cringed as pain lanced through the affected area. After a few moments she stood up shakily. As she made her way to the exit, she noticed a small pitcher and washbowl. Casting a simple spell on the water that caused its surface to become mirror-like, she gazed down. A solemn tear tracked its way down her cheek at the reflection she saw.

In the center of her forehead, seared into her flesh by the spell, was the dark elven crest. Underneath the crest in the common language was the word wench. Following that was the light elven rune that stood for blood traitor. She'd been forever branded as nothing more than a fallen woman.

With a final sob, she closed her eyes and left the room, vowing to never look back. She would find a dark elven emissary and seek to join their ranks. If they would have her, she'd pledge her life to their cause. And more importantly, to his memory. If they would not, she'd join him in the afterlife, by her own hand.

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