From their vantage point, The Onyx Tower, an edifice nearly 1000 feet tall, seemed small. The light from the few portals that peppered the walls and emanated from apex gave it an ominous appearance. Usually on the darkest of nights, it was impossible to make out the obelisk. Tonight, however, on the eve of the last push of to the take control of the Tower, it was making its presents known. To the encampment, just a few miles from its base, the view was terrifying.
The sentient being with dual minds, who is known to the troops of the army and friends as Endrin Forcene, yet The Dragon’s Heart gem that occupied the slot of his armor changed him into Them. When they spoke aloud, there was a slight echo and harmony as a second voice sounded from deeper in the chest. Yet distinct they were. And within they could have a conversation. Tonight, the ancient dragon’s essence tried to calm the mind of Endrin.
“We should rest. Tomorrow's battle will be easier if our body is rested.”
Within his mind Endrin replied, “You could rest easy, should I pull the gem and revert to our separate selves.”
“You would not dare….” the great wyrm’s essence chided.
With a chuckle, he couldn’t keep to himself and shook their shared vessel slightly, “True enough. Having you in my mind, has been such a comfort over the years, I may lose my mind should you go silent.”
“I am pleased I have been here for you.”
Their conversation stopped for a few moments as Endrin’s mind surveyed the landscape, the ancient one sensed a growing apprehension, but could not get to the source of the half-elf’s distress. A barrier that has gotten more and more difficult to get through, “Yet, there are times you cherish your privacy,” bringing to the warrior’s attention his ever-improving ability to isolate his-self.
“I give you privacy, quite often,” Endrin retorted.
“Difference being, I do not ask for it nor do I withhold my self from you. You choose to be distant. I do not wish to pry into your thoughts, I do feel at this point, you need to share your feelings.”
In his mind, Endrin takes a deep sigh, and just as he is about to begin, the ancient one says, “Not to me….to the world.”
As softly as they can, Endrin begins to whisper into the night, “I have over 6,000 troops; dwarves, elves, humans, halfling…all manner of beings, and several hundreds of dragons….more than 10,000 souls relying on me…on us.
“I can’t help but think of those I have failed; Darrick, Tamara, Gallaryania, the hundreds, thousands that have died because of my quest, because of this war. Tomorrow countless more will die.
“Tamara; she lives, in the tower. She champions the forces of the Lich, she has fallen to evil. Why didn’t I see that, happening? Why couldn’t I stop that from happening? The last major battle, a fortnight ago, she was on the field. She was wielding that blade, black stained with blood…blood of our troops, they used to be her troops as well. I couldn’t see her face, for the helm, but she seemed gleeful at the slaughter
“Then there is Broushk and Meena, they infiltrated almost 2 years ago. We are the only ones who know this, but if Tamara discovers them, their lives will be forfeit, another failure on my heart. My friends, those with whom I had traveled for more than a decade and now fought an extensive war with for another half. Campaign after campaign, they have been lucky enough to return, relatively unharmed. Tomorrow, my brother, Brennon, my love, Enlya, my consul, Colin, my champion, Ashe, my brother’s love, Chealena, and my friend , the Minstrel, I will lead them into that fortress to end this once and for all.”
Once again Endrin hears his companion’s voice in his head, “I wasn’t with you when Darrick fell in the dwarven halls, but from what I have gathered from your dreams, his sacrifice for you…his sister…your brother, those he loved was his choice. The sacrifices of those who have fallen in battle, was again their choice. You did not conscript them, force them to battle, you offered them a freedom from the darkness of the Lich’s reign and his evil dragons’ enforcement of his edicts. Broushk and Meena chose to infiltrate the tower, and have been invaluable as a source of information, but it WAS their choice. All those whom you love, have chosen to follow you, and again they choose to fight.
“As for Tamara, she was corrupted by her jealousy, her anger, her desire. She wanted to be a hero a champion. Now she is, a hero to them, to the evil ones, to the Lich. Her fall is not your doing, nor is it your responsibility. If it is possible, we will try to redeem her, but you cannot let your lingering love and memories for her and her brother, stay your hand when the time comes. Your only duty is to those who choose to follow you into this battle. Lead them to the best of our ability. Fight beside them. Fight for them. We can take the Tower; it is a good plan.
The ancient great wyrm’s essence sharing Endrin’s mind quieted, allowing the young half-elf to take to heart his words. The wyrm felt the barrier between them ease and eventually dissipate entirely. He felt Endrin’s confidence start to build and his brooding subside.
“I know you are right. As you said, we should rest, the hour grows late, and tomorrow will be trying, to say the least,” with that, Endrin pulls himself to his full height, over 8 feet, the magical armor that transformed him to his current appearance, also gave him the ability to spread great leathery golden wings and take to the air. They know they would be to the encampment soon, and the dawn would not seem too far behind, but their cause was worth and righteous, they had done all then could for themselves and their followers. Tomorrow would come….