Title: Of The Deepest Dye (Prologue)
Fandom: Heralds of Valdemar
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Characters: Grove Born Stallion Gwydion, Grove Born Stallion Nero
Disclaimer: Valdemar and concepts belong to Mercedes Lackey; this fic and original characters belong to their author.
Summary: A terrible storm heralds his Birth, the winds howling to the world that he has arrived. A new Grove Born has appeared: one that only shows himself during times of extreme crisis for Valdemar. Dark as pitch and black as night, he is but half of the monarch's one expediency, destined for a life in the shadows along with his Chosen Herald.
OF THE DEEPEST DYE
Prologue: Storm Born
"Turning pages over
Run away to nowhere.
And it's hard to take control
When your enemy's old and afraid of you.
You'll discover that the monster you were running from
Is the monster in you."
-From "Darkness" by Darren Hayes.
The cold wind had been howling for hours now, the rain falling in stinging sheets, lashing against anything or anyone that made the mistake of venturing outside. This weather was unusual for this time of the year—the spring's storm season was long past, having faded into the hot, humid days of summer. The unseasonable rain and thunder were therefore, of course, unplanned for and as a result nearly everything around the Collegium had ground to a halt when the storm had hit.
In Companion's Field most of the Companions had retreated to the warmth and comfort of the stables. The notable exception to this was the Grove Born stallion, Gwydion, who was instead taking cover half-under the canopy of trees that made up the Grove in which he had been Born so many years before. He was there for a reason, waiting—for another immaculate Birth was about to happen.
No one besides Gwydion was aware of this momentous event—but he had known, as soon as the storm had broken overhead, what was about to occur. This Birth was one that happened more than simply rarely. In all the history of Valdemar this kind of a storm had only come upon the country twice—thrice, if you counted the this time.
And Gwydion was pensive, worried, because the other two occasions that it had happened had heralded disaster for Valdemar and all of her people and he could only guess what would befall his country this time.
A particularly loud clap of thunder made the stallion startle slightly—and the sound was followed by a light that began to glow deep within the Grove. It started out softly, quietly and small and warm, familiar to him because it was the same light that had Birthed him in the past. But soon the comforting light became brighter, blinding—
The Voice was deep, masculine and vaguely familiar. He had heard it before, yes, but it had been a long, long time ago.
:I'm here, Nero.:
:Of course. I knew you would be.:
It hadn't been his place to be in the Grove during the other Companion's Birth, but now Gwydion moved from his previous place, ghosting farther into the copse of trees until he reached the center and stopped standing before the newly-Born Companion that was waiting there for him.
Gwydion was large, even for a stallion, but Nero was bigger by at least two hands. Tall and muscular and strong. His eyes were bright sapphire, the same as any other Companion's, but somehow deeper, easier to fall into—or so Gwydion had heard in the past. But there was something vastly different about him compared to the other Companions.
Dark as pitch and like the night.
From nose to tail, Nero was completely, utterly midnight black.
To Be Continued.
I actually have another black "Companion" fic I'm going to work on as well, which actually has the black Companions created and assigned by the Star-Eyed herself. Two versions of the dark Companions yay~ ♥