Fear is for the weak.
Her father had taught her that. Fear, in the moment of combat -- in the heat of action, the moment before the kill -- would make one weak. Hesitation would stop a blade faster than any plate or magic. If she stopped to be cerebral; if she hesitated on her course of action, then she would be lost. The Light only reinforced this teaching: it, too, required absolute certainty. Eleeria had never felt the sudden chill of her holy magic pulling away from her, and she was not interested in ever seeing it disappear. So, she made herself believe. Every choice, every difficult decision, backed up with mental certainty. She did not act until she was certain of purpose.
She had no doubts about what she had done.
The ensuing battle had been difficult. Lormeus was a sight to behold when holding nothing back -- and Eleeria had to admit her own prowess with a blade had grown since taking up study with Ailos. But even so, they were no match for the dark-winged creatures.
But as she held onto Lormeus’ hand, the shattered sky above them growing larger as they neared it, she stared into his golden eyes and felt, for the first time, absolute fear.
Gods, we’re going to die.
As Lormeus screamed for help from Odyn -- as she slammed all of the fledgling death magic she possessed into the chains binding them -- she could only think of escape, and the safety in the saronite-strewn fields of Icecrown. At least there they wouldn’t be beyond whatever was up in the sky. She would rather impale herself on the rocks below than find out what awaited them in the orange-tinted realm beyond. Then Lairen and Weleria could at least--
No, you can’t think of them. You have to fight.
Eleeria managed to get her lower body free of the chains that bound her, hanging onto Lormeus with all her strength. But it seemed to no avail; Odyn’s help did not come. Perhaps it was her. Perhaps he would not help her best friend in the entire world because of her own moral failings. She was not a Valarjar; she would never be one. The thought that Lormeus was going to actually die because she was with him was more than she could--
The crack of lightning that hit the winged creatures, as well as Lormeus and Eleeria, snapped her thoughts from spiraling. Instead, she tumbled into a physical spiral: she could see the orange-tinted morass beneath them, no -- to the side of them, their bodies tumbling through liminal space as Odyn’s “aid” sent them off trajectory.
This is what Weleria remembers, she thought, as she stared down into what felt like a sea of fear. Holy shit.
I don’t want to die.
The thought hit her forcefully, as Lormeus seemed distracted by something in his own memory, his grip loosening on her forearm. The fight had taken a lot out of him, she could tell -- it had taken a toll on her as well, her magic waning -- no, strangely out of touch in this...wherever this was. Beyond the veil. Her free hand reached out, grabbing onto Lormeus’ shoulder as they fell for what felt like both an eternity and no time at all. Reaching out, wrapping her arms and magic around him with a decided push of the Light.
She could have sworn her hand brushed someone else’s as she reached -- a familiar, callused pair of fingers, the familiar tattoos branching up his thumb -- but it was just Lormeus, and her, and the ground rising beneath them--
His magic joined hers as he came to his senses just in time, strengthening the divine shield around them just before they crashed into the ground.
Eleeria’s arms were wrenched free of her friend as the impact shattered their shield; she could see he was unconscious, and yet she was still flying -- her shoulder snapped with a sickening noise, head snapping back as the collision with solid ground forced her vision upwards.
Vision. She could see. The colors above her normally blind gaze were beautiful; she wanted to reach up to them, but she couldn’t feel her arms. Something in it called to her -- not to the holy magic that wound itself around the pit of her stomach at all times. But rather, to the essence of death that had been instilled into her back in February. Back when she had nearly died, herself, and come back from that experience filled with power she didn’t understand. She realized she had no energy to stop her body from its trajectory, injured and exhausted as her body skidded against the ground, and simply...let it happen, her body falling limp.
I’m sorry Weleria.
At least, I’m going to die somewhere nice.
She felt the crunch of bone in her skull against something solid before the world went dark.