Chapter 18: The Thorn of Hate, the Balm of Love
Dragons are a creature from which many things can be born. Serpents from the tail, warriors from the teeth and countless things from their potent blood. A dragonewt can in some ways be viewed as a larval dragon, though, they are not the young of dragons.
A dragonewt is a being revived with the blood of a dragon. A oncedead given new life, though there is dark talk of dragons breathing life into bodies without spirit or soul. Regardless, making a dragonewt is like throwing a person into a pot and boiling them into a new form.
Some say a new person.
Of the many servants a dragon can create, dragonewts are fortunate in that should their master allow it, they can in the fullness of time, mature into a full dragon.
The sword-maiden, Yovra did not speak, instead she slowly turned in the air, showing her back to Koolah. A hiss expelled from Koolah’s mouth as she saw the wound that Yovra bore.
There were claw marks that had failed to break the skin, but there was a sinister green rash around these marks. Seeing that Yovra was unwilling or unable to speak, Koolah took it upon herself to examine this wound.
Looking with magesight revealed quite a different picture to that of the physical flesh. All beings of with a Form in Kigan have patterns that arise from the interaction of the flow of magic with this Form. Yovra’s patterns were as shards of a mirror, shining bright with reflected light, and coiled and shaped more like a dragon than her Form was. Within her form, beyond these patterns was a small pure mirror with a pink flame within it. A refined heartflame. Not true fire, but the spark of life, creator of motion.
Yovra’s Form was quite alright, but her patterns, there was a torn tattered mess on her back, and in the middle of this mess, was a knot like a weed, trying to feed on her patterns to take root in her Form. Yovra was actually slowly pushing it off of her patterns. It was clear to Koolah that eventually Yovra would eject the intruder from her spirit, but she would be greatly weakened and would likely have to spend quite a lot of time and resources to recover her power.
Examining the knot Koolah determined that it was in line with it’s appearance, a pattern of plant origin, and awash with powers of Vim. She was considering purging it of its aggressiveness, thus allowing Yovra to cultivate a spirit plant in her own patterns. It could only be a good thing to have the sword-maiden owe her for turning a bane into a boon.
Just as she was about to start doing this, she let out a low hiss.
She slapped her hat and red ethereal scales formed a sheet around her.
Yovra let out a gentle nod at Koolah’s cry of fear and disgust.
In Kigan it is sometimes said that there are three kinds of wound. Normal regular wounds, vorpal wounds, that is to say wounds carrying the essence of death, wounding and destruction, that are filled with fatal omens. The final kind, is Chlan.
Chlan means many things, but in particular a chlan wound does not bring mere simple death. A chlan wound is a wound that twists. That breaks.
That corrupts. That makes a being… wrong.
If Koolah had any dislike of Yovra that was now replaced with admiration for being able to remain unsullied by such vileness. She was under no illusions as to the grit of her own character. She rummaged around in her hat. She had something that she could use, but she was hoping to find something else.
Alas, the chlanic is not so easily dealt with.
“You’ll owe me for this. Just answering a few questions won’t be enough. You’ll owe my family. My sisters.” Koolah hissed.
Yovra said nothing.
“Not convinced I see… If I bring it out, you’ll know.”
Koolah pulled out a wooden jar. It was a simple, normal looking jar. It had however a faint humble feel to it.
The spirit plant on Yovra’s patterns twitched, as if sensing something that filled it with fear and loathing. Yovra let out a gasp as the plant struggled.
Looking with at Yovra with truly sour face, Koolah slowly pried the lid of the jar. The laughter of children arose, and the plant shivered in fear. This was not cruel laughter, as children are sometimes wont to have, but a laughter of joy, full of warmth.
As Koolah fully pulled the lid free, more sounds came, the gentle whispers of a mother’s love. The stable voice of a father. Koolah was almost drawn back to when her parents yet lived. She stiffly cleared some tears from her eyes.
“A moment of innocence, pure, untainted by ignorance, not stained by duties unkempt. A moment of true love. Turned to a balm for the greatest ills.”
Koolah for a moment resentfully stared at Yovra, but she could not maintain such bitterness with the balm’s scent reminding her of simpler, untwisted sentiments.
“It was never meant for someone other than my pride but I offer it for your sake and mine. My Sisters and I, we each brewed our sorrows, this was mine, sorrow made into memory of joy. Dare you take the cost of it?”
Yovra shivered as she made the effort to speak.
“This cost is heavy, but as you love your family, I love milord Judge. For his greatness, I dare the cost”
Koolah closed her eyes and let loose a low shuddering breath.
“So be it. Sword-maiden, hold the vile thing tight. It will try to flee from this, and if it succeeded it would be the worst for both of us”
With no ritual, no mystic words, no cast of heartflame’s sparks, Koolah simply started kneading the balm into Yovra’s back.
There was at first a shriek of terror from the knot, quickly silenced by soft murmur of parental and filial love. It struggled mightily and it for a moment seemed like it would tear forth from Yovra’s back.
Yovra was however a servant of a mighty dragon! How could she just allow such a thing to happen?
Its struggles grew ever weaker, and Yovra found her spirit and body filled with the curious warmth of love. A few shining tears fell from Yovra’s eyes.
She did not know why she cried, but the diamond like tears would not stop.
Koolah was surprised when the tears began circling Yovra’s head, she did not stop applying the balm. Only when the chlanic pattern was fully gone would she relax.
Just a bit more than half of the balm was used up, but the knot was gone, purged without even a whimper.
Yovra’s tears gathered together and froze in the form of a small plain mirror which fell into the palms of her hands.
Then, finally, she opened her eyes.