***Author Note: I wrote this based off Session 17 of our World of Darkness game which you can view here. Aisha is a character I made when I was 14 years old and play in a few tabletop games for about 6 years.***
She had taken hits before, damning her flesh to scars. Normally, they stunned her but she was never taken down. This time though, the smile on his face as he lifted his sword into the cold air told her that she was going to die. She had died once though, she knew she could take it. Her body would heal, the spirit would mend, and she would arise to her family anew. Her father Storm Crow stood before them, fighting her elder, her mentor, her everything, his black hatred seeping out of his body. Aisha kissed Stephen on the forehead as he laid dying and pushed all of her power into healing him as she watched his flesh stitch together. Mending him took everything out of her and she hoped it was enough to save him from the coming blow.
Aisha glanced over at Razzi and Blitzer, her wolf family, her pack. They were hurt, but weren’t we all? Storm Crow’s pack was fighting our friends and allies while everyone else was frozen in their own minds. The battlefield, lined in snow, was turning red with blood from both the living and the dead. How many more would have to die? How much life will have to be ended? We are already so few, what senseless death.
Two more figures floated above them, and it was so dark that Aisha could only see their smiles as they seemed to be watching the battle with joy. Storm Crow started to float up towards them, green fire spewing out of his sword. Aisha closed her eyes and felt the balefire burn her body. She let out a scream as she drifted down into subconscious and fell into the snow.
The massive columns shot to the sky and the fog floated like smoke on the ground. Aisha awoke on a stone pedestal feeling no pain and knowing she had been here before. She sat up, looking for her avatar Ice, a massive white wolf who provided Aisha with all of her power. The pads of Ice’s paws made soft noises on the floor as she approached and Aisha ran up to hug her.
“I am so sorry Ice but I had to save Stephen.”
The wolf puffed out hot air, “foolish child, you could not save him. There was much more happening there than you know.”
“What do you mean? Is he dead? Ice what is happened?”
“You heard your friends, The Dawn of Kings has arisen. The end of times has started. This is only the beginning. Three of the Kings live which two more still to come. Once all five have arrived, the war will begin.”
Aisha gasped, “What can we do? We have to help!”
“Child, you are walking the line of the living and the dead. You are alone within yourself.”
“I have come back before, with your help!” the tears started to flow from her eyes.
“But I cannot keep bringing you back to life, you need to make the decision to go back.”
“Why would I not go back? My life is there, my friends, my family, my child…”
“Nothing is there anymore,” Ice cut her off, “you have nothing left. Your pack is gone, your Caern is over, the world will end.”
“Razzi and Blitzer?”
“Dead,” Ice stated bluntly.
“The Caern? My parents?”
“In ruins and gone,” she whispered.
“What about my son? What about Kon?”
“Aisha, when you died, his spirt was released. He is finally free and with Gaia. You both can go on with your spiritual lives.”
Aisha began to weep for days, weeks, months. She was not sure when she stopped, time was weird within her own mind. Ice stayed by her side and Aisha curled into her feeling the warmth of her fur. She had nothing left. Maybe she should just let go and go on to the spirit world with her family and friends.
“You need to say goodbye, the spirts demand that you wake up and send your family off.” Aisha nodded in agreement and opened her eyes.
When she awoke she was in a room with Sam, Dante, and Jake, friends and members of a pack she helped tie together. She did not believe that everyone was gone, why was she in her house? Why were these three here with her. Sam stood nearest to her, he had an overwhelming presences and in different times, she would have been completely taken by his attitude and charming appearance, tall and muscular. Plus being a Weredragon made her think of Guan and how he was lost to her long ago. She saw Dante enter the room, his cat-like physique made him graceful, but he was not like the other Werecats she had met in the past. He was bonding to the other shifters, something that did not happen often. Then there is Jake, the Wereraven, perched on her window, his black Raven feathers an omen to something that she cannot quite put her finger on it. “What’s happening?” Aisha questioned.
“Ok so, before you freak out,” Sam began, “I’m really bad at doing this, I’m just going to have to come out with it.”
“How about you let someone that could articulate maybe better…” Aisha quipped.
“Ok look, you are always sassy. Oh, God Dammit listen! Your friends are dead, your family’s dead, everybody’s fucking dead. ” Sam yelled.
“Sam…” Dante interjected nervously.
“Listen, we all got together and we asked your avatar to bring you back out of your little sleepy so you could say goodbye before we buried all your family and all your friends. Alright?” Sam ‘s news and attitude hit her like a ton of bricks. Her chest became tight as she tried to breathe.
“Wow.” Jake whispered no longer the little raven but a man with a solemn look on his face.
“We did that for you. So what you need to do is drop the fucking attitude, get off this bed, and come say goodbye to your goddamn friends.” Sam paused, standing up and heading for the door. “I’m gonna be outside.”
Everyone took a moment while Sam walked out the door. The silence weighed down on Aisha as she remembered her talk with Ice. Remembered her friends, her family, Stephen… It is all quite in her head and she looked at Ice and her eyes filled with deep sadness.
“We don’t have a lot of time Aisha,” Dante started. “I can explain what happened if you need me too.”
“I remember…green fire. ” she whispered.
“Yeah,” Dante paused. “Look umm, do you remember the Dawn of Kings that we were talking to you about?”
“Storm Crow is one of them and he awakened. When he did he hit you, Razzi, Blitzer, and a lot of other people with balefire.” He held up Blitzer’s Grand Klaive, she knew it was his from the shape of the blade and the handle. She was there with I’m when he got it made. “Blitzer is gone, Razzi is gone, members of your family are dead, and you’re walking the line right now. We’ve asked our pack spirit whose interceded on behalf and asked your Avatar to bring you back so that you can say goodbye before you continue your fight and see where your fate takes you.”
“How many are dead total,” she asked in a matter-of-fact manner, seeming to try and hold herself together.
“There are 38 dead total,” Dante replied.
Her spirit, her resolve, her everything crashes. She has tried to be strong. Tried to be the Aisha she always was, but this was it. “Can you take me to their bodies? Is Sam at their bodies? I think I made him mad.”
“Sam’s just really emotional right now. He’s worried about you.” Dante said quietly.
“Yes,” Jake agreed.
“Sam, just, he cares a lot about you and he’s hoping that you pull through this.”
“Can you take me to them?” she asked again.
“Yeah…” Dante said as he heads toward the door.
Aisha stands up and leans on Ice. ‘I have you my Child,’ Ice whispered in her mind. ‘You are allowed to cry you know. You are allowed to break.’ Aisha walks slowly outside of the cabin and looks upon the bodies of her pack and her parents. In that instance, her willpower is gone. Her will to live is gone. All she could see in front of her is death and hatred for the person who did this, her real father.
But now was not the time for rage. It was the time to mourn. Aisha leaned down and cried as she hugged and kissed her parents and friends. She spent a long time thinking of them, wanting to know what to do, how to continue on without them. Razzi and Blitzer were her rock and her shield since forever. They had been with one another through everything. Life, death, birth and rebirth. She debated trying to bring them back to life, but they were too far gone into the black. If she only would have woken up sooner, maybe she could have saved them. ‘Don’t be foolish Child,’ Ice barked, ‘you could not have saved them. You need to know that you cannot save everyone.’
After some time Aisha completed a small ritual for the dead, praying to Gaia and all the spirits that will listen that they are cared for in the afterlife. Flowers are arranged on the bodies with perfect precision. She picked up Razzi’s Klaive, moved it away from the bodies, and stood in the middle of her four loves. Aisha cried hard as she saws the spirits leave the bodies in silver wisps and move on.
She looked over to the others, “where is the gravesite? Where can they go?”
“Yeah uh…” Sam began.
“Take me there.”
“We will.” Sam said with a sad nod.
Aisha looked at each one of the bodies and told them to follow her. She needed to be the one to carry and bury the dead and she must do it alone. The bodies floated smoothly around her as she followed Sam, Dante, and Jake to the gravesite.
The group arrived and there are mounds of graves. Most of the lost have already been buried by their families and packs. Aisha took a deep breath and tried not to think of all the souls and spirits that were passing though the void, and the senseless loss of it all. She moved the bodies in a line: Razzi, Blitzer, her mom, and then dad and paused as she took a deep breath and four graves appeared underneath the floating bodies. Aisha lowered the bodies into their respective graves and willed the dirt to appear on top, sealing in their lives and condemning them to the ground. Flowers began to grow on each grave, a different one on each symbolizing the feelings she could not express with words.
Aisha turned to face the group with tears on her face. She walked over to Ice and laid her body on her back. ‘I need to go lay down Ice.’ she thought. ‘I need some time.’ Wordlessly, without any sounds, Ice began to walk Aisha back to her house. The group followed, walking slowly beside the large, white wolf.
“You got a reason to come back.” Sam spoke solemnly, “so you better get your ass back.”
Aisha closed her eyes and falls deeply into her dream.
“What do I do Ice?” she asked after what seemed like an eternity. She had been mourning the whole time, knowing her body was fine, knowing her spirit was healed, but mentally she was not ready to wake up. She wanted to sleep forever and leave the nasty world that had never been easy.
“You have two choices my child: give up or fight.”
“What will happen if I give up?”
Ice laughed, “you will die and the world will more than likely end. Unless your friends can fix the world.”
“Why is it always up to me and my friends?”
“Because you are the lucky one my child.” Ice said and a smile spread across her fangs.
Aisha let out a small, sardonic laugh and opened her eyes.