Something a bit different for this fill because I didn’t get to actually roleplay most of this out and it won’t leave me alone!
Prompt: Tears of fear
Fandom: Original work/D&D setting
Characters: Eldrin Thorne (a chronically-unlucky-but-somehow-still-alive warlock). Assorted others mentioned.
Summary: Eldrin didn’t expect to come out of this alive in the first place, so really the sky falling on him shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The sky is tearing open, Queen Hera is looking at him with pity in her ancient eyes and Eldrin is completely, one hundred percent screwed.
If he’s being honest with himself, he hadn’t really gone into this fight expecting to come out of it alive at the end. To be fair he’s surprised he’s survived this long with how terrible his luck tends to be, he manages to nearly die once or twice a week. If it wasn’t for stubborn friends dragging him out of the (sometimes literal) fire and shoving healing potions in him he would’ve been dead months ago.
Hells, the last time he went up against The Triad he’d lost his damned foot, and that’s just been two of them, not all three plus an army.
He’d done his best, okay? This wasn’t his fault. He’d run out of the juice he needed to cast large scale spells before they even got here (stupid stupid stupid, wasting a spell like that one something that couldn’t even feel it). He’d been stuck with smaller magics, the ones that came as easy as breathing, but that didn’t mean they didn’t pack a punch. When they hit anyway.
So he’d hung back, stayed with Azrael and the squad of archers and hoped that if he kept his distance, if he didn’t charge in like an idiot and try to stab insanely powerful people in the face (again) that maybe, just maybe he’d survive this.
To say things had been going well would be generous, but they’d fought The Triad to a standstill and fixed the massive hole in reality before it could destroy the entire planet (and he wasn’t thinking about that, he was very carefully not thinking about that). They hadn’t been able to stop them from tearing down The Weave though.
The Weave, the barrier of magic that separates this world from the ether, from the void. The Triad has ripped it down, it’s falling.
Queen Hera has raised a shield. He was outside it and there was no way he could make it in time, and she knows, because why else would she be looking at him like that.
Azrael is closer to the shield. She’s faster too, already running for the glimmering wall of force.
Eldrin doesn’t even try. There’s no point.
Time seems to slow to a halt. He sees Azrael make it. He’s glad, in a distant sort of way.
The Weave is falling above him, and it’s like a field of light and like the sky and like magic itself all at once, while at the same time being precisely none of those things. It’s beautiful, terrifying and unimaginable in its scope, the work of the elder gods so far beyond his comprehension that his brain just gives up trying.
It’s going to kill him.
His cheeks are wet, he hadn’t even noticed until now, isn’t that funny? He has time for one desperate sob of terror-
He’s screaming. He must be. But he can’t hear it. He can’t feel it.
He can’t feel anything because he’s too busy feeling everything.
The Weave- it’s magic, it’s the source of magic, and it’s too much. It’s everything.
B̷̡̮̗̖̗̘̠̞̱̪̘̙͓̞̱͇̱̠͈̰͍̣̠̊͐̊͂͊̅͑̒̓̅̄͑̽̐̈́̄̄̏͑̓̈͘̚͠͝ĺ̵͍̭̼̟͖͇̜̥͚͎̗̞͓̪͍̲̹͍̮͒̓͐͊̎͋͗̑̾̽͒̈́̍̉̎̎̓͗̎̒̎̍̉͆̅̍̑̑́̏̾̄̕̚̚̚̕̚͜͝ư̴͎͕̲͚̙̘̮̂̀̓͐͛͛̈͛̔̃̊̑̃͐̄̇̒̇̅̄̿̐̀̓̐̚͝͝ͅn̸̢̧̛͕̞̥̟͇͓͈̬̹̣̗̯̟͇̜͈͌̓̈́͆̅͆̉̋̇͐̔̈́̍͊̌̽͆̌̊̅̀̏̊͑̀͝ͅͅt̵̨̢̼̟̲͕̤̻̤̗̯͙̖̭̠̤̙͔̣̐̒̉́͗̆͒́̀͑͋̈́͊̇̆͒̄͌͛͆̽́̍̋͛̈́̉̓͌͑̐͘̚̕͠͠ͅ ̶̢͔̪͚̦̟͈̭̟̬͇͇͉̘̮̝̝̤̞̰͚̺̅s̴̢̧̨̡̡̗̤̻̤̯̘̰̜͙̳̥͚͚͈͉͈͉̪̜̾̂̐̒͜ͅͅh̵̡̨̢̛̙̹̺͚̖͙͚̼̫̥̫̹̤͈͎̙̞̣́͗̏̉̓͘ͅạ̶̢̧̛̼̼̗̬̳̭̮̪̝̭̫̦̬̝̘̝̊͋͑͆̈̂̎̔̓͂̌͌́͛͌͐̓̆̔̃̒̐͛̿̈́̆̌̐̓̊̕̕͝͝͠r̶̝͚̗͖̓͋͒̍̽̎̎̇͗̋̒̂̄̄͆̈́̽͋̇̅̉̃͆̕͘̚͝p̵̡̨̢̡̨̛̳͕͔͉͍͍̥̩̫̯̫̪͎̰̟̯̟̲̘̣̯̾͛̏̌͂̌̐͂̇͝ͅ ̴̨̝̩̣͚̱͉̝͚̯̪͙̙̰̖̮̗̋̐̇́̀̌̅̏͆̓̂͐̌̌͜͝͝h̴̢̢̡̛̲͎̫̝̮̗̯͉̫̞̖̺͎̹̠̗̝̹̹͎͖̞̘̳̗͆́͒͂̊̊̄̈́͋̈́́͘͜ͅo̶̧̧̧͍̜̲̙̦͔̳͙̰̹̹̣̗͕̼̥̪̤̬̬͖̭̗̩̥̓̆̓́̀̌͑͌̓̊͒͐̌̓̃̽̌̈́͘͜͠͝ͅt̸̨͉͔͔̘̣̲͔̦͖̪̾̓̇̔̀̊̋́̏́̐̀̅̌́͘ ̴̛̛̛̯̯̳͊̊̒͋̀̎͌̈́͐͊̀̌̈̎̐̄̄͒̍̊͠͝͝ç̶̎́̇̆̉́͗̓̂͌̾̔́͋́̏̅͆̓͐͌͒̂̇͐̏͋̍̐͐̓͐̚̕̕͠o̷̙̺͎͙͍̯͈͇̙̫̜̲̼̮̞̬̗͎͗̅̅͋̓̀̆͋̆̀̑̐́̎̇̑̔͛̾̊̓̆̆͘͜͠ľ̴̢̨̖̱͙̰̠̘̗͖̟̺͕̝̇̓̄̄̀͋͛̉̔̓̒̽̃̊̔̀̕͠d̸̜̝̗̂ ̸̢̺̹̥̩͉͉͖̣̥̞͙̜̺̩̜͖̬̀͑̈́̾͗̓̚͜͜ļ̵̛͈̹̺̥͎̟͖̗̟̩̝͇̳͔̳̭̟̹̻̑͛̏̀͗̀̒̀͑̌̎̌͛͌̊͋̀̅̃̄͑̈́͘͜͝ͅo̴̠̹̼̻̻̻͖̞̠̮̞̱̰̞̓͌͋͝ų̶̧̡͎̭̪͍̻̜̝̯͖̫̀̽̔ḑ̵̡̛̹͕͓͍̪̪̥̫̗̮̠͙̬̟͚̜̱̱̘̦̩̼̬̥͉̭͈͓̟̤͉͐̈́͋̀̑͛͋̐̍̿͒̀̃̑̈́̎̌̆͊͆̈̍̄̔̏̎̃̄͒̓̑̕͠͠ͅͅ.̴̠̑̆̈́̑̈͗̏́
It passes, and he’s still breathing.
He doesn’t feel like he should be.
There are bruises- from where he fell. His throat is raw and bleeding- from where he s̶̛̪̫̲̳͍̩̦̺̒̐̓͌͗̅͋̏͊̒̿̄̆̕̕ͅč̶̟͔̋r̸̨̡̡̢̢̻̘̭̼̼̠̫͉̟̒͐̏͆͛̾̏͜͝ȩ̵̧̛̛̱̪͈́̿̀͊͊͜a̶̡̭͕̦͔̓͋͌͐͌̀̐͒̎͑̚̕ͅͅm̶̼̥͉͓͓̋́̎̔͊̓́̾͝͝e̵̢͍̹͍̼̻̫̪͖͕̲͍̺̫͆͒̀͘ͅd̵̰̲̲͍̬͈̼̲̬͍̣̣͔̭̙̝͂͆̇͑͘͜͠.̶̨̢̬̝̹̥̗̺̺̹͍̬̲͔̫̰̬͍̀̎̅̆͒͜ But aside from that-
There’s not a scratch on him. He feels like he’s been shredded.
He takes a moment to breathe. It’s agony, the air itself seems to burn, but no, that’s not right, it’s just him that’s burning. The pain doesn’t fade, not really, but he manages to push it aside for long enough to roll onto his side, to get his arms under him and painfully drag himself up to his hands and knees.
He’s surrounded by corpses, their faces frozen in terror. The archers. Not a single one of them survived. He should probably feel bad about that, but right now he just doesn’t have the energy.
He’s- tired. Exhausted. In a way that cuts deeper than bone, down to the very soul of him.
But he’s breathing, his heart is beating, despite everything he’s still alive. Which means he has to keep moving.
He fumbles for a healing potion, one of the good ones, fighting with the cork before downing the whole thing in one go. A feeling of coolness flows through him, followed by a numbness that doesn’t so much soothe the pain as block it. Either way the sudden lack of pain is jarring, and he’s not ashamed of the shuddering whine that escapes him.
Slowly he brings his good leg under him and clambers to his feet, still not used to the mechanical one enough to trust it to take his weight. He limps towards the wall of magic with shuffling, uneven steps, leaning on his staff for support.
He walks through the barrier. Queen Hera looks just as surprised as he was that he managed to survive, and perhaps he should be mad at her for not trying to save him, but honestly, he can’t find it in him to blame her. There were bigger things to worry about than one unlucky half-elf, the fate of the world and all that.
The Triad are nowhere in sight, but his friends are here. They’re all alive, and mostly unhurt, and Queen Hera is saying something reassuring so hopefully that means the world hasn’t ended just yet. So maybe they haven’t won the day, but they haven’t lost either.
And he should probably be grateful, or relieved, or hell even a little proud for playing some small part in this fight. For being lucky enough to survive it.
But he’s not.
He’s just tired.