Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: Exeunt

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 10:33 am:

One particular thought did linger somewhat longer than the rest. How is my brother?


Jaron gazed around Sanctum, pristine in condition, unmarred by the devastation wrought on the world above him. Here was technology beyond anything the outsiders ever comprehended; only a select few knew of its existance and even fewer knew how to use it. Shadow, in the strange form he had assumed, lurked around - watching, waiting - ever so impatiently.

{If I were to free you, though you might die, I have no certainty that you won't go to another world and destroy it. It all comes down to trust, Shadow. By slaying my sister, and my nephew, and millions of others, you've done nothing to earn that trust. I will not - in good conscience - free you.}

"So be it,'hero'," Shadow said. "I'm weary of this place, of this life. All the players, and all the actors, and all the roles that could ever be had - they are done, Jaron. Everybody had their own unique niche, and though most are forgotten, what they contributed cannot be unmade even by my own influence.

"Jake had a role - he caused conflict. Conflict forced people to take sides and think outside of the box. He effected change and when it had gained momentum, his role was done. Elrohir, Cup della Roccaforte di Kher, Gandalf, and numerous others rallied to one side or another and giving life to this world where all before had been mundane. Some of them died. Others went on to bigger and better things.

"In the end - the beginning, rather - Uerel killed Jake. That was his role. His purpose for creation. Sara and Seth, Sage and Aerlin, they hunted my various forms through time, stopping each one as they came to it. Seth and Sara were eventually killed, while Sage and Aerlin left. They are all roles, Jaron. Roles that are played. Everyone was cast for a reason. Even me.

"Even you."

{What is my role, Shadow? You seem to know so well.}

"I have an idea. Why don't you go outside and look?"

{Very well.}

Walking up and through various parts of Sanctum, past rooms sealed shut from centuries of long disuse, under panels that glowed in some places and were dim elsewhere, Jaron proceeded to the one exit he knew of - the entrance through which he had come in what seemed like years before. The faint, pervasive hum was gone here. Dead, as all things are, he thought.

Shadow followed behind, unconcerned. He already knew what to expect; he had been the cause. But Jaron had been cocooned within Sanctum, protected by its powers. The world outside would be unrecognizable to the mute young man.

Jaron stopped at the door, feeling like an idiot. Like much else, this door was voice commanded, and he could not speak. Shadow was a step ahead of him, however.

"Sanctum, open." Shadow heard a swift intake of breath. A thin, blinding horizontal line appeared at the bottom, growing wider as the door lifted, its destination the ceiling above. Before it had climbed too high, Shadow halted its ascent. "Sanctum, stop."

{What now, Shadow. You know I can peer under the door as well as I do.}

"But you won't, because you want to hear what I have to say."

{I have no other choice.}

"Indeed, lad, you do not.

"You need to hear this, for you will hear it from no other. Your father loved your mother, but came too late to understand what was going on. This is my soapbox, so don't interrupt me.

"Elrohir loved Siran Drauka, but believed somewhat falsely that this was because she was Livonya Silone, whom he had first met and later killed. Through later intervention, he reincarnated her as Siran. Siran was everything Elrohir thought he loved about Livonya, and she was. Siran represented an ideal. Elrohir blinded himself with the ideal, and lost track of the real, when it came down to whom he loved.

"Your mother withered and died because she represented an ideal; the mind which had fabricated her no longer could sense that ideal - to keep it empowered. If Elrohir still lived, he would say he loved Siran Drauka and believe it though it be a lie. He loved only Livonya. Neither of their spirits were the same after the fallout in Oor-Tael where he killed her and then committed suicide. He was tortured ever after."

{Is he...with her now? With this...Livonya?}

"Perbe. Mayhaps you'll get a chance to ask him yourself - someday. Sanctum, open." The door finished its rise.

Before them was dull grey color. No landscape, no horizon, no sky - there was only color.

{What is this, Shadow?}

"It is the death of a dream, lad." Behind them, too, was grey. Sanctum was no more. "Such as it is, Phaema lives on within us, and I am still trapped. I do not want this grey death. "How horrible! To vanish, one moment here, the next...nothing at all. If you had a choice, how would you pick your end?"

{I would not pick, but let fate dictate the outcome.}

"Would you, nay - could you, be happy with any possibility?"

{I could not be happy, and I wouldn't want to, Shadow. Do you know what you're asking here? For as long as you can probably remember, you've tried to destroy the world, to find some way to escape from it. You always managed to fail. It's your goal. If I free you without destroying the world, you win. If I destroy the world, I free you, and still you win.

I'm young, Shadow. You've had eternity to contemplate this moment, if nothing else. I'm suddenly meant to have answers that I do not have. This is a burden you cannot understand, at all. You say that freeing you will have no meaning to any but the two of us. You say that selfishly. I would live with the guilt.}

"Who says you must live afterwards, Jaron?"

Heavy doom fell on Jaron then. Self-sacrifice...why hadn't he thought of it before? Yet it made perfect sense. He had nowhere left to go, and Shadow...he had a point. Jaron was avoiding the part of the hero, playing instead the passive observer. Now he had a villain, and oft the reluctant become the acclaimed for the role fate forced upon them. But what was with this talk of heroes? Someone must speak praise of him, and none were left to spread word of his deeds.

{How do you know, or claim to, the thoughts of my father, Shadow? I think that's rather presumptuous.}

"It is not presumption, Jaron. I'm the Heart of the World now, as it was meant to be - after a fashion. I'm whole. I am Phaema, and Phaema is Shadow. As the world dies, so do I. As I die, so does the world."

{And you don't want to be tied to the world's fate, or have the world's fate tied to you.}


Dull grey began to tint his own skin. Doom was coming fast, approaching with a speed he couldn't comprehend. Damn it, Jaron! he told himself. No one lives now but you. The world is pleading with you to end its misery. Shadow is its misery. It wants to live - yes, but life itself is too painful for it to endure.

"Trust yourself, Jaron, if you do not trust me."

{All trust originates in love, Shadow. It is for love of my sister that I do what I must.}


Jaron understood now the act he must perform. It was a small act, within the scope of his knowledge of magic, empowered by the blue bastion he still held - a remnant of a timeline long ago altered, for in this time no bastion stood. Tara had never come to dispurse the powers of the Heart of the World. But blue is the power of the mind. Separate mind from power, and then what?

Shadow and the Heart of the World were nearly inseparable, interwoven and overlayed to the minutest degree. But the blue bastion granted Jaron the power to see those details and unmake them. One after the other. Slowly - as such work requires. So engrossed was he in his work that he did not notice how close he was to the end until he unmade the last strand. Like water removed from a human body, neither the Heart of the World nor Shadow could exist separately. Such was the doom of Phaema.

A pulse shuddered through his body, and darkness descended. Eternal night.


Elrohir's spirit, so long trapped in Phaema due his love of the plane, was freed with its end. The spirit realm welcomed him with open arms.

"Elrohir, you're here!" Coag, called by some the Mighty, greeted his old friend. Behind him, Gandalf and Grublet approached.

"It took you long enough, man - I never thought you'd get here," said Grublet.

"Indeed, others have inquired of me as to your whereabouts, but I could not answer. Still, my heart is glad that you have come," Gandalf shared.

A crystal goblet crashed upon the floor, accompanied by a frenzy of running footsteps. Livonya crushed into Elrohir, hugging him fiercely and smothering him with kisses.

"My love!"

"Shut up!" yelled Cup, and turned back to watching Army of Darkness with Serra and Thrakkiss. Others, a long list of names and faces, all made their way to welcome Elrohir.


Aerlin felt the wave wash over her, cresting high then crashing down to the lowest depths of her spirit. For a thousand years, she had wandered the planes, wondering about the fate of her brother. Now she knew. Phaema was dead, and with it were her powers from home. She had others now, but it left a void in her soul that she had never felt before. No longer could she sense her brother.

"Farewell, Jair."


Seth stretched mightily as he leaned back in his chair. He was almost numb to sensation. The Role Playing Mill was finally ended.

"Well Jake, that was a bit anti-climactic; bringing back Elrohir in the end for that lovey-dovey scene was a bit too hokey for my tastes. I was wondering how you'd manage to get rid of Shadow; what a tangled web that was - pardon the pun! Well, all good things must come to an end."

Another turning point,
A fork stuck the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist,
Directs you where to go.

So make the best of this test,
And don't ask why.
It's not a question,
But a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable,
But in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs
And still frames in your mind.
Hang it on a shelf
In good health and good time.

Tattoo some memories
And dead skin on trial.
For what it's worth,
It was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable,
But in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

-Green Day, Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)

By Traus, formerly Kobold Overlord on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 12:51 am:

Well this may be the last time any of you ever hear from me again, for its off to college in about 2 weeks. Just wanted to say goodbye to everyone and thanks for putting up with me years ago. =)

"Life is not determined by conciousness, but consciousness by life"

-Karl Marx

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