Fool’s Gamble

My ears twitch as the collection of inebriating bottles shatter against the tile floor of my home. Instinctively my hands rush to cover my mouth as I feel my affliction set upon me in full fury. I cough with such frequency and force that it feels impossible to breath. I fall to my knees, the shards of broken glass tear at my silk trousers and draw blood from my legs. Sweat pours down my body, soaking the thin white shirt I’ve worn all day.  Blood and lung tissue fly from my lips and I gasp – desperate now for air and respite. I fall to my side, and roll along my back furthering scarring my body. Even the illusion that I maintain begins to fracture as my crimson hair scintilates and it falls to it’s natural golden blonde.

You can’t put this off any longer, Mister Dawnpride.” The physician states rather coldly. “The tuberculosis gripping your lungs has begun to spread it’s influence to the rest of your body. From what I’ve ascertained, your heart has sped up by two additional beats per second in order to keep your body going. Marvelous really – though it does explain the bouts of fatigue you mentioned suffering from.” The Red Magister sighed. “Can we do nothing? Is there no way to push this off for another year or two?” Though his voice was calm, his fingers wrestled with the idea. “Medicinal magicks have come  so far and can accomplish only so much.” The mender replied, turning a page in his notebook, plucking the quill from the inkwell nearby and proceeding to scribble furiously into it. “You won’t be able to hide it from your associates much longer, I fear. You’ve maybe four to six months left if you continue to make use of our ‘alternative treatment’.” Anetho reached at his chest, clasping at the object hanging about his neck beneath his shirt. “Moonwell waters.”

The physician nodded. “Yes. -That-. To be frank however, the only reason I can fathom that you haven’t died months ago would be due in part to the reserves of mana you command – I notice however that you no longer have the capacity to adequately mask them.” Anetho nodded in agreement. “Yes, I’ve taken note as well, and the looks I receive both in public and private are often less than cordial. I half-expect an informal hearing -Though that’s the least of my issues, eh?” He chuckled. “It is good you’re of such high spirits despite the morbid news.” The magister shook his head. ” I’m not entirely surprised by the lack of means. I was born of deathly spellcraft and therefor this body can do nothing beyond die. The same might be said of any other individual to a certain extent.” His physician grunted, tossing the notes he’d been writing atop his desk. “You’ve felt the embrace of death before?” Anetho nodded. “A lifetime ago, it seems. That endless expanse of darkness, the lack of sensation, your very sentience slipping away… Only to be drawn back to this mortal plane all at once. Not the most pleasant of experiences. I assure you.”

“Mister Dawnpride, you’re aware of course that we won’t be able to draw you from the ether when this disease takes you. Your end will be permanent, I regret to say.” Anetho inclined his head once again. “This malady is magical in origin; potent sorcery made at the hands of one whom loved her craft. It was meant to fester over time, run it’s course that I shall suffer endlessly. When it consumes me, my own residual mana shall fuel a complex ward meant to last a day’s time which shall repulse all means of magic. Ordinarily such a barrier would strain any body to the point of death. However, in this instance I shan’t think that to be an issue.” He shook his head, laughing lightly. “You’re rather well informed on the matter, I fail to see why you bother to pay my fee.”  His mender removed his glasses and leaned back in his chair now momentarily lost in thought. “You might say I enjoy the conversation – though to answer the point of implied curiousity, I’ve read  what was left of my aggressor’s notes and tomes. She was thorough.” Anetho ran his right hand through his hair as he was so often inclined to, and continued. “Ironic really, that ultimately I would kill myself with all the mana I’ve come to enscorcel in my overzealous pursuit of power. The stronger I grew the closer to impending doom I wandered… She had to have known.” He closed his eyes as a smirk drew along his lips.

“He who seeks revenge shall dig two graves.”

I languish upon the floor and thrash about. I cannot escape this torment that clings to me so. I feel the flows of ley in my body running rampant in response to this threat ripping me asunder from within. “Anetho?” I hear Malathane call out before turning the corner. She see’s me; broken and pathetic. “Oh Gods Anetho… You were told to stay in bed.” She chastises me, now resting both hands over my chest. She mutters some incantation in Pandaren. I feel something massaging my lungs from within and I am released for the moment. “Why do you feel the need to keep playing this game? What more have you to prove?” My eyes flutter shut as I reply in a hoarse voice; “The game is rigged, the dice loaded, and the deck stacked from the outset. But we keep playing anyway in futile hopes of winning some prophesied treasure or paradise. Her reply is lost upon my ears as I fade from consciousness. Darkness takes me now and I am held among my own thoughts and memories.

‘I have yet one card to risk it all upon.’


~ by anethodawnpride on December 28, 2013.

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