Ch1: What for whose end is whose beginning
Falros’ hand flung high in the air, the dagger in it, encrusted with jewels, streaked with blood. The silver sill glinted off of the crisp morning sunlight. The quality of the blade was without question, made by the finest silversmiths in Stormhome. A gift from a court judge. A gift for duty, even in the face of monstrous, depraved citizens that would destroy the fragile peace that now permeates this land. The same type of citizen that Falros has become. His eyes were filled with hate, his face now streaked with blood, his chest and neck covered in scratches and gouges the sting and blood from each fueling him.
Below him is his beautiful wife of 12 years, Norhana, laid on their bed, her face is lacerated by the same blade that her husband now wields. Her breath is shaky, but her body is very alert. One hand grips her husband’s wrist, as he chokes her, the other grips the shirt that he wears, trying to defend herself.
She has spent years working in the courts to stop people just like this. She was strong willed and opinionated. Norhana could stare down the most heinous of criminals, and they would cower away from her gaze. She stood as a prosecutor in court and often felt taller than her feminine stature afforded her. In her life, such behavior was not permitted. In her life, she could not see evil not going unpunished. In her life she was unstoppable.
Falros’ hand came down quickly. Droplets of blood oozing from the blade spattering the sheets, poised to strike true to her heart. With one swift motion her hand released from the shirt and came to block her husband’s forearm. The strike was not true.
Falros never lived a life of vitality. His parents poured him into studies of business. His body never trained for combat or struggle. By all accounts he was less a man than his wife, whose parents studied her in the arts of combat. She knew in an instant that she would have the upper hand. She knew the things that she loved most about this man were also the things that would save her in this moment. With her hand now gripping the wrist of her husband’s as hard as she could, she would not let him raise it again. She was strong and resilient again, she felt that she could win, anything, everything.
With her grip on his wrist, Falros could not finish his blow, but however, he was determined. He started pushing all his weight onto the arm, with sputtering, he forced the knife closer to her.
Norhana drew her second hand up to his chest, beginning to push him away as her other hand gripped as hard as she could. It was time, she could do it. She had the energy. As she pushed back the knife slowly, inch by inch began to descend. Soon piercing her nightgown, then her flesh. She could feel the blade entering her body.
Shock and terror immediately hit. With it, she dropped her hand from his chest to the bed and flung it as fast as she could across his face. A loud clap was heard as she landed her blow stunning him. His grip faltered, and he let go of the dagger.
With one swoop, she grabbed the dagger by its blade and flung it to the floor with a clattering. The worst is over. Now she just has to…
Within the same instant, Falros’ hands were both wrapped around his wife’s neck. Her shock at the speed was tranquilized by the sudden loss. She knew she didn’t have any more chances. Her strength was waning. Her hands came up to try to lift his grip, but she could not overcome the weight.
Her vision started blurring as darkness overcame her. She could not hear her breath, no gasps, he had cut off all airflow, and her body was responding in kind. In wide eyed bleariness, she saw a wretched smile come over her husband’s lips as if in pure joy, but joy that could not be sated. His crooked smile that morphed into something she had never seen before in him. In his eye, she saw a purple symbol, which she had never seen before. It was something new. It looked like a simple spiral which fell off at the bottom. Her last vision was that of her husband, seeming transformed into what she saw every day at court, monstrous, villainous beings, what she had fought off her entire life.