Elaejia (prime)/2020-02-02 - Seething

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: Seething

Author: Elaejia Silithyr Loenthra

Resolved not to waste another breath, Elaejia clenched her jaw and strode out of the villa. Finding her sea star brooch, she turned it with such violence that she broke off one of the spindly brittle arms, which crumbled into dust in her hand.

“Gods damn it!” she hissed, just as the magic blackened her surroundings with a wrenching twist, the oath lost in the dark void between the Shining City and Mist Harbor.

Distantly glad the persistent rain plaguing the isle had abated, she made her way with a angry stride toward the fountain in the northern neighborhood where she had often found blessed solitude. That insufferable creature had managed to get under even Aendir’s skin, to the point that he left his own home.

Her thoughts continued in this vein as she reached her destination on the Boreas Ridge and took up a moody pacing. Eventually the sound of the fountain would work its way into her regard and her blood would cool, and the roaring in her ears would abate. It always worked, in time.

A shrill cry pealed above her, cauterizing her internal tirade in a heartbeat. She was rooted in place as the bearded vulture wheeled down from the heights and lit upon the invar railing on the far side of the mountainside path. It turned its cruel head this way and that, peering at her.

The dam within her broke. She snapped, “Why? I do not want any of your scraps, and especially not today!”

The creature blinked back at her, and began jerking his head back and forth, almost ... playfully. He then turned its back and began preening his feathers.


“You always turn up when you’re least wanted,” she muttered, and resumed her pacing. The vulture clacked its beak in response, in that infuriatingly mocking manner. “What could you know, anyway?” she demanded, and again, softer, “What is it that you know?”

The vulture sidled closer upon the railing to where she stood and ducked his head in her direction several times, inscrutably. She leaned moodily upon the railing just out of his reach, keeping her arms wrapped tightly around herself. “My brother named you Harbinger,” she whispered, closing her eyes for a long moment at the distraction of thinking of Jossarian. Joss... What have you entered into? Why do we see such different things?

She felt a gentle pressure beneath her right arm and her eyes snapped open. In the same instant, that familiar slow-moving molten heat flowed through her from the point of contact with the creature, settling in her stomach and setting her senses alight. Suddenly the colors around her, muted in the evening, took on a bluish radiance, the gentle wafting of the breeze became a roaring in her ears. She hunched her shoulders, clutched at her belly with a soft moan, slid down the railings until she sat crumpled in the vulture’s moonlit shadow.

“You bring this wracking to me,” she panted, “ What are you?”

From the roiling magma in her belly, a tendril slithered upward, searing around her heart, continued upward. It built upon itself, growing thicker, denser, as it crept up the veins in her neck, finally spidering into a webwork cradle around the base of her skull.

From this cradle, a feeling of wry amusement sidled into her thoughts. Elaejia choked out a rasped, “Harbinger…”

Pitying condescension.

She reacted unthinkingly, recoiling and scrambling back from the railing. It can speak to me... After a fashion.


The vulture locked eyes with her a second time, jerking its stained ruby head back and forth. Amused, indulgent.

A feeling, her own, grew within her, finally. Resolve. Taking a deep breath, Elaejia stood slowly, and approached the railing once again. The vulture did not move, simply watched her. She reached toward it with a hand she was distantly surprised to see was not shaking. Her fingers lit on its shoulder and, for an instant, she could see her fingertips sink into the creature’s form, still visible, as if through a pale viridian haze.

A notion flashed across her mind. Aendir... I need your help.