I: Jack to the King

Iaurdagnire's picture
[ Please do not place "track" comments here; this will not be updated. ]

Part I | Part II | Part III

"Hmn-hn, you all know the rules. The Spirit governing must come forth to collect the servant upon his death, as are his orders from the beginning.

Iaurdagnire is Spring's investment.
Spring's hand must be forced from hiding so that the cycle can continue, so that Autumn can finally take her place and move life along...

The investment's life must be threatened. He must die.

I warned that dark places must be searched in order to carry out what must be the end. Intellect will say no, you mustn't murder a friend... a brother, a father. However, wisdom will tell you otherwise, and show you that your dear old Dag has been running away from his place in this world long enough. Wisdom will tell you there is, in fact, a balance in what surrounds you.

And that Iaurdagnire's death, is it."

Calm, persistent, strong, with a vision of what kind of a life he wanted, and the will to endure endless trials in his journey of getting it. That is how others saw him - unchallengeable in fighting for something so simple, and honourable in defending with his life the right for others to share in this vision. Dag was steadfast in his belief that there needn't be a reason to live, other than living. So why should he - anyone - heed to anything greater? Nothing is greater than where you are, what you're doing, who you're with in one second to the next. It's all you. And everyone has a place where they can access this sense of power and belonging; being happy in ones own skin. A place where the world stands still, and you're filled with a sense of absolute clarity.

Once in that place, there is a breath you take that signals this passage into a deeply perceptive state of being. Shoulders lax and there is a prickly twinge in your spine as the body relaxes. Sights, smells, sounds, everything is experienced at once and the ability to process it all slows. You are simply there, and the world is there with you.

This is how the giant felt sat at the very summit of Dandelion Hill, with its single namesake stood proudly behind him watching all who pass by and greeting those who climb to see him. Though, there have been very few visitors as of late, his roars in the night keeping all manner of creatures away... except the Corvidae. He didn't mind their raucous cawing above him whenever he would wake. They would bounce from their perch and glide down again to settle as if watching over, waiting.

Their presence was regarded as an omen, and one which Dag had gradually accepted in time. That is all anything takes, time... and once you've lost it, there is no way of getting it back. All the defiant brute did was fight it off, let it linger a little more, and now the ability to remain in a stationary existence would be the very undoing of it all.

Gods and their lackeys are liars.
Great Deceivers.

So be the one to allow me, a servant, rend and split asunder. Be the one to let chaos envelope the world around you, to scoff at my power in contempt while you watch from on high.

Be the mad King who finally gained control in the destruction. Because they deceived you.
They allowed us to take from you, and the world be taken from us in turn.
They are ungrateful. Undeserving of their own creations. You remember, don't you?

"I provide the world what it needs to grow and take away what hinders it.. And they in turn take the gifts I bestow away in the hopes of something better... There is no such thing as contentment; a race of life is never happy. They will always want more."

Together, we are the ones who are the End.

The gentle sound of heavy hooves coaxes the giant back from an almost trance-like state. His eyes are glazed over, and the fog-obscured pinks and dull stormy blues of dawns first light cast harsh shadows over his square face. The monumental antlers of Scar-Giant rake the sky as he turns to see a figure standing directly behind him at the bottom of the hill, and at once he chuckles expectantly and turns away.

"You took your time, didn't you? A part of me always knew."

Dag spoke drearily, almost as if he were still asleep. There is something very untidy about him, like he honestly didn't care for whatever had graced him with its presence. His ears snapped back thinking he'd heard a quiet disgruntled growl, but perhaps he was mistaken in the silence of his friend, there, standing at the bottom of the hill. The high wall of the Ruins casting all but the tips of his antlers in blackness.

"I'm afraid you're too late. For once, dear friend, I have accepted my fate. It is just unfortunate that it is also the fate of others."

There is a distinctive thump of a defiant step out of the dark in reaction to Dag's increasingly flippant remarks. They were both the epitome of forbearance, but it appears one had noticed a gradual weakness in their brethren's resolve.

"Distance is something you and I are masters of. It is testament to our strength that we can maintain it. That, is our instinct. To always be in control. I thought for a while that I had lost control in all this... But the truth is, I never had any to begin with. Until now."
An exasperated sigh scatters the layer of pollen coating the hill, and he stands, taking a breath and giving a side-ways glance to his shadowed companion.
"The pond will dry up first."
Spoken with the driest tone, deliberately thick with condescension. Any shred of honour and dignity the great stag is known for disappeared in that moment, and the equally large bull - still stood calm as the breeze at the bottom of the hill - held in equally high respects, glowered from behind his mask.

The time he had spent tormenting himself over what he must do; what he thought would be in the much loved giant's best interest. Surely he would have been understanding, allowing of what he must do no matter how difficult. Endurance; Iaurdagnire was right. He must endure, for there were very few who could take on the burden of killing their gentle and adored Fortress of the forest. But instead he is met with a creature that is callous and utterly indifferent to the meaning behind his words.

It was heart breaking, to hear such things coming from him.
An unsuspecting sadness.
Iaurdagnire had now given him a greater reason to go through with what must be done. Not because he must in lieu of Velocity's whispers. Not because of some honourable duty from one friend to the other. But because by going back on his way of life, and in abandoning everything righteous and good he had ever stood for, he was turning his back on those who helped him. Those who stood by him, and sought him for safe-guardianship he is now defiling.

The dependable and popularly laconic friend could hold his tongue no longer.

"I do not put a value on virtues until I notice their absence, Iaurdagnire."

Mis's picture

*Shivers* Ohdear ;-;'..Ohgod

Ohdear ;-;'..Ohgod the pictures! And your writing! I'll also re-read it when it's not 2am and the likes, but dang. Absolutely love the last card picture, too. Keeping the tension up nicely I see.
ocean's picture

Hmmm. How curious... Love the

Hmmm. How curious...
Love the art at the bottom and the interesting tone of the piece.
Sighthoundlady's picture

;_; This makes me cry for


This makes me cry for both of them.

Beautiful art and beautiful writing.
Iaurdagnire's picture

The card art was done by

The card art was done by Apeldille, but I didn't want to credit at the top because that fact would have been a spoiler haha. Of course I'll edit it all in when there's nothing left to spoil, and thank her profusely for her character's involvement.


Thanks for the nice comments already (:
Hraeth's picture

I knew it would be Eph. This

I knew it would be Eph.
This makes me sad and excited all at once. The artwork, all of it, is amazing and the writing is exquisite, as always.
Kaoori's picture

I bit my nails. ;_; Oh, Dag,

I bit my nails. ;_;

Oh, Dag, no. And not Eph too.
Pegasicorn's picture

I got a chill when I reached

I got a chill when I reached the card.
Fincayra's picture

What a shocker. I knew Eph

What a shocker. I knew Eph was preparing for something big, but it slipped my mind that it could be this. And now that I think about it, he's the perfect one for the job. But poor Eph, and Dag as well. ;;
I loved this, as I love all your work. The suspense leading up to the last image was just amazing.
Freyja's picture

This was really, really

This was really, really creepy to read. And the card at the end, sdjshk.
Lovely as always though
Hart's picture

This gave me shivers, such a

This gave me shivers, such a heart breaking story...

I wasn't expecting Ephiré's connection, but now a lot of things make sense! I wonder what's happening next......
Apeldille's picture

Hnnng Dag, so utterly awesome

Hnnng Dag, so utterly awesome I don't even

haha I'm so excited I don't know what to write. afksdglpk

parrotsnpineapple's picture



This is also wonderful.
Iaurdagnire's picture

Proper responses on account

Proper responses on account of have a tired before:
Mis - Tension is good and an excuse to split everything up in my laziness x]
ocean - Thanks, I'm not really sure... what exactly the tone is, to be honest. Creepy x raise brow?
Sight - Awh, thank you. Don't cry for Dag, he's being a jerk! Eph pom-poms all round.

Hraeth - So you are... Sadcited? Haha :J thank you.
Kaoori - I can picture melon-Kao "no-no-no-no"ing all over again ;;
Pega - Excellent.
Fin - Isn't he just? I couldn't think of anyone else, there was just something about both their character styles that fit into this scenario quite nicely. Hehe I'm really happy this is a "shocker" for some.
Freyja - Thank you!
Vee - Your avatar is so colourful /distraction
I wonder indeed...
Dille - sjkdfhawjklfhwelf. sdjkf? sdjkt.
Parrots - HAHAHA I LIED.
Seed's picture

This. Totally. Awesome. And,

This. Totally. Awesome. And, as always, well-told and spooky.
...Though I admit it's sometimes slightly hard to follow, I'm making my way through.
Iaurdagnire's picture

Thank you Seed, your writing

Thank you Seed, your writing is way better than mine so that means a lot!
It is awkward to follow, though I think they've all gone that way because his story is a very complicated one (my own fault). But if there's something that really isn't understandable I'm happy to explain it like before. (:
Seed's picture

Well, if you're going to

Well, if you're going to complement me so much, I may have to get to work all the faster...Well, once I feel less threatened by looming papers. Busy, Busy...
I think part of it is also pronoun trouble -- since you don't identify the central 'he' until the end, and everyone in this segment is a 'he,' it made it hard to tell how many people there were, and doing what. I'm having a bit of trouble with this same thing in a story I'm working on -- 6 characters and only 1 boy, so I have to stop at every sentence and make sure that all the "she"'s are implied to be the correct character. It is a pain.

Your art and writing and

Your art and writing and everything I can't sdafklasjdflk
You manage to blow me away every time. Gah. Dagggggg
Keep creating amazing things.
FaunGrae's picture

Dag..... woah. I can't wait

Dag..... woah.

I can't wait to see more...

I love your amazing stories.

ForTwoLifetimes, Moonsoverwater, PandaXiongMao, MissButterflyCaught, FaunGrae, All the same, a friend with many names.
Avatar by Meadow Sig by SightHoundLady
Iaurdagnire's picture

Seed - Ah yes, having to do

Seed - Ah yes, having to do that was difficult. I can't imagine how you're going to avoid that with 6! Good luck with that XD
Shim - Thank you Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim ♥
Faun - Hopefully you shouldn't have to wait long (; ... -kicks self to hurry up-
gglidden's picture

*Curious track of curious*

*Curious track of curious* Jeeze poor Eph and Dag. ;;

That image of Ephire at the bottom gave me the chills. Beautiful work none the less. c:

Ring The Bells That Still Can Ring.
Forget Your Perfect Offering.
There Is A Crack In Everything.
That's How The Light Gets In.

(A part of the lyrics of Leonard Cohen's Song "Anthem")


Iaurdagnire's picture

gglidden - Mhm, it's going to

gglidden - Mhm, it's going to be rough for both of them. The card creeps me out too, Apel' did an amazing job!
Lung - Dayum 8C indeed.

Added a link at the top for the second part.
Munkel's picture

Oh, finally having the time

Oh, finally having the time to read <3 awesome -continues-
Iaurdagnire's picture

Thank you for reading, Munk!

Thank you for reading, Munk! (: