Betrayal of Rilego
Narrate: In the streets of Seobriga, a bustling afternoon becomes eerily quiet. Kasvarina starts to run for a nearby building, followed closely by general Sor Daeron, the matriarch Latika, and a handful of burnt and limping eladrin warriors. The beating of wings echoes above, and and Kasvarina looks up. Her emerald eyes catch the firelight of a city burning around her.
Kasvarina: (whispering, nervous) Not again.
Narrate: A dragon the color of day-old blood, its body larger than an elephant’s, lands on a specially-constructed perch of a spired building nearby. It holds a struggling woman under its claw, pinning her to the roof—you recognize her as Launga, Kasvarina’s eldest daughter.
Kasvarina: Let her go! Damn you, just tell me what you want!
Rilego: (roaring in laughter) Idiota. Your companions have paid me all that I require.
Narrate: Sor’s hand of animated salt grasps Kasvarina by her neck, and he prods a dagger to the small of her back. She freezes, her eyes flicking over to Latika who looks on, dispassionately. The warriors shout in confusion, unsure who to defer to, but Laitka orders them to fall back.
Kasvarina: Both of you… but why??
Sor: We know, Kasvarina.
Narrate: All the color drains from her face.
Latika: To think, it took us just over a century before we found out. A century of allying ourselves with the greatest traitor of our people. You probably thought we’d never discover your secret, did you?
Sor: But now we know. And just for today, I’ll put aside Vekesh’s teachings. Today you suffer. Today you lose everything, just like you took everything from us!
Narrate: Kasvarina howls in fury, throwing Sor off her, though she takes a dagger in the kidney for her trouble. She chants a quick spell of teleportation, only to stumble as the gold-paved streets cause the magic to fail. Out of options, she runs to the door below the dragon’s perch while the injured soldiers scatter.
Latika: Sor, after her. Now, Rilego!
Narrate: Kasvarina is already inside by the time the dragon uses his breath weapon, making the whole structure shudder as radiative heat cracks through brick and sets the air ashimmer. Her eyes wet with grief and anger, you can still see her through the windows, continuing to charge up the stairs. A forcewall springs up in her path as Sor closes the distance between them. She whirls, pulling her blade on her old ally.
Kasvarina: (beside herself in rage) Monster! She was innocent in this!
Narrate: Sword and spells clash together for a full minute in a duel between masters. The fighting only ends when one of Kasvarina’s spells throws a wall of burning debris over her opponent, and she rushes up the rest of the way to the roof. By then, the dragon has taken to wing once more, leaving her daughter upon the blackened clay shingles. A spell protects the matriarch from lingering dragonfire, but when she rolls Launga over, half her body is coal-black, and the other pristine but lifeless. Sor crawls to the roof, bloodied but very much alive, snarling at her in Elvish.
Sor: And so the loss finally touches you. I should’ve known, the moment I saw your daughter lived…
Kasvarina: (coldly) I have felt every loss. Every death… every waking moment I have tried to atone! When I breathe, it is for Elfaivar! But no more.
Narrate: Sor drops into a ready stance as Kasvarina limply lifts her blade.
Sor: It’s no use. I served with you; I know you’ve spent all your good offensive spells. Even with what magic you have left, I’m your better.
Kasvarina: Unlike you, I’ve spent the last century improving.
Narrate: Violent, blue-white electricity crackles along her weapon.
Kasvarina: Lightning Blade!
Narrate: The bolt travels through Sor’s body, plunging him back into the burning debris as countless tributaries of glowing current split the building floor by floor, brick by brick. Dust plumes into the air, and Kasvarina floats downward like a feather, landing lightly upon the ember-strewn wreckage.
Narrate: Mounted on the dragon’s back, Latika dispels Kasvarina’s protections against flame, leaving her twisting in pain and open to the swooping Rilego’s powerful claws. Her bloodied body is thrown into the street, and gargantuan wings tilt in the air to allow the scaly titan another pass. Her blade missing, Kasvarina finds the strength to stand, and stretches out her hand. Rilego roars, teeth bared as he swings low, teeth like greatswords set to shred her to bits, but the instant her palm touches him he stops, ripping up golden cobblestones and breaking his own talons in his haste to cancel out his considerable inertia. Latika is thrown against the back of Rilego’s head, knocking the wind from her. The wyrm’s eyes are wide. Afraid.
Kasvarina: Drop her in the debris and let her burn, then fly far away.
Narrate: The mighty tyrant shrugs, and Latika helplessly tumbles into the mass of billowing smoke and jagged wooden beams. Rilego takes off, and Kasvarina moves wearily, retrieving her blade and then dragging out her fellow matriarch by the ankle. Wordlessly, she drives her sword through the woman’s stomach, then collapses into bitter sobs, deaf and blind to the burning world around her. Just before the memory fades, you see Sor pull himself from the ruin, limping away to live another day.