The Bladesongs of Boethra, Volume V


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And then although Boethra did not wish to leave the battle upon the sands where her chosen at last clashed with Orkha's own, she saw the blue star in the sky and the look in Khenarthi's eyes and took her sibling's hand.

Then it was she found herself atop the tower. There were magicians there who shouted in Monkey Truth, and it was then that Boethra felt doubt for the first time in eternity. The sorcerer apes spoke lies in a way that made them true, and as she heard the words Boethra saw new runes form in front of her eyes that she could not deny, and there again she felt something akin to fear.

Boethra remembered Akha exiling her to the Many Paths and yet these new words said that Akha was never there, nor was Alkosh, nor Alkhan, nor any Children of Akha, nor any of the lands that he seeded and brought unto his kingdom. And in this chaos Boethra began to wonder if she was the Daughter of Blades at all, or if it had all been one long dream of someone she never knew.

But Boethra was the Warrior, and so she steeled herself and drew her hidden sword. Khenarthi took heart at the sight. She smiled and spread her wings, promising to reach Azurah so that her children might remember the untime to come.

And Boethra calculated the cuts she would need to not only destroy the magiapes, but also moves so precise that she might even undo the words they had said.

However, having traveled the Many Paths of Fate during her exile, Boethra saw the wisdom in going beyond the words to the result of their denial. And through their own new words she knew as lies, she found a tunnel that led to the fate they sought. Boethra leapt into this possibility with blade in hand.

Boethra opened her eyes to many spinning wheels surrounded by fire. Twelve in total they were, but she dodged each with the precision of her practiced art. Beyond she saw warring serpents, and in their conflict she recognized the truth within the lies of the Imga's dance.

One was a flame-feathered serpent, brilliant and pure, with crystal scales and a head like that of a hunting bird, its eyes sharp and clear, its mane an argument against all the Mannish impurity of all the known worlds.

There to meet it was a serpent of the blackest scales, and all the Void seemed to come with it, so much that one would think the feathered could never stand against it, and yet it did. And this serpent's eyes burned red as blood, and its scales moved and shifted with new ideas that were born and died as soon as they appeared. Despite this chaos, its mane was white and gentle, and in it Boethra saw a fleeting chance for peace along the Wheels.

She did not agree with what the magiapes sought, but she saw an opportunity arise from their lies that she could not ignore.

Having no time to think on her choice, nor time to question why she must bear this burden, Boethra of the Infinite Blades set forth in a streak that mortals who remembered the untime would later call the Division of Heaven.

Through fractured firmament she flew, summoning to her all the blades she had named to her side. And just as the beak of the feathered serpent found purchase between black scales, Boethra was there to pierce its bright eye with more than words.

And as her many blades encircled the false-hawk-mouth, Boethra landed upon the head of the shadow snake and touched her palm to its scales. Memories of things past and visions of things yet seen scorched her mind, but more prominent than anything was her love for Lorkhaj and the feeling of his claw upon her cheek.

A dark flame surrounded Boethra, and upon her form appeared ebony mail, and in her free hand a black blade, and upon her head a mask of war, and upon her shoulders a shroud of death. And though Lorkhaj had loved many, some perhaps before her, in that moment Boethra felt his love within and around her, and she knew that it was as true and as great as that he had held for any other spirit of any known world.

Then did the Warrior brandish her blades and raise her head high. And the shadow flame billowed around her and swam along the edges of her being. She looked upon the hawk that was a serpent, and she saw it for what it was and what it brought, and she recited the Will Against Rule.

Then she dashed forward, cutting concepts at strange angles, and soon after the world began to spin again in proper time.

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