Beloved Enemy

Ash'inai Rathenrai stood in the center of the Perishing Plains as the turbulent storm swept overhead. His long dark hair blew in the wind as his deep piercing green eyes stared out into the rugged terrain of his dying land. Even though this place gave him so much pain and forced him to relive so many painful memories he mourned the passing of this land, his home. Nalvaria as the Atari knew it was dying. In his traditional warriors leather armor and customary sword gripped in his left hand, he stood staring out to the horizon where his fated enemy lay. On the mountainous ranges in the near distance stood his kin, his friend, and sadly the one he must face in his quest to destroy Tathaygren, the traitorous god. The god that he had served so faithfuly and the one who so brutally murdered his family…

Risis Rakaiah held her battle staff as she stood at the Peak of Shadowcrest Mountain. It was fated to be here that she must face her love and defend the god who she had served most faithfully. She stood irresolutely with a facemarked with grief. Yet not a single tear ran down her soft cheek. Risis was garbed in the traditional battle gear of someone of the Celestial Order. In front of her she gazed downward to the dying plains below her, there her love and enemy awaited. The cold winds left her had become numb to all around her; confused and unsure of her loyalties, Risis had followed the Orders wishes. Risis' pale blonde hair blew unchecked in the fierce icy winds of the mountains. Her loose green top moved in the wind, revealing her soft curving waist. Her whole body was slender, yet as with the other Atari, her strength held no comparison to her slender ears were left uncovered by her golden locks of hair. they endedin a point, showing who she was, an Atari. Yes she thought, she was an Atari, faithful servants to the only Great God, Tathaygren. Her love and consort, Ash'inai had chosen their heartbroken fate, he alone had forced them to come to this, he alone had rose up against the rest of his race, denied their teachings. He alone and only he had turned against their god. Why though, she thought, why was he alone? Why was he the one exiled? Was he telling the truth? did the order truly fear him as he said? Risis stood in the freezing cold thinking, why would he lie? Why would he do this to them both? Surely he wouldn't, notunless he had a reason, wouldn't he?

Ash'inai gripped his blade as his hair blew in the other direction. His pointed ears showed him, as he was, a traitor to his people. But better to be a traitor than allow the granduer and mightof his family or his entire race be tarnished by the very god they served. Isn't it? The sky answered with a flash ofenergetic thunder.
'I must' he spoke to himself, more trying to convince himself than anything else. 'I will not let these offences against our world be unnoticed!' Ash'inai gripped his blade and ran towards the small mountain range upon which his beloved and enemy lay…

Risis slowly walked towards the base of the mountain, she sensed her beloved approaching, but this time she felt no elation, no happiness, no joy; only sadness. In her right hand she held the battle staff, gift from her teacher and master of her order, Ash'inai. He had taught her to love more than anything had met Ash'inai when he was being treated for wounds; she had taken personal care of him. In return he had taught her to become a powerful mage of many artsand to use her powers for the strength of her people, but now he had betrayed their race, he alone had begun a path which, if left unchecked, would lead to all out war within the Atathiahn Empire, the nation of the Atari. The war would spread to the other races, both those faithful to Tathaygren and those who deny his existence and his teachings.

Thunder cracked, an ominous foreshadowing of what was to come. Ash'inai had began this quest against the traitorous god when he,the one they served, the god who had spilled the sacred blood of his race had brutaly murdered his whole tribe. The Atari were great immortals, chosen by the Tathaygren himself to be superior to the other, lesser, Atari were to be better than the other races in all respects; fromthe powerful but savage Dragons, the elemental Dijinn, wild and untamed, the blasphemous Ankara who believed in a higher god than the traitorous Tathaygren and the wild and dark race of the Dathkrall, the servants of hell and minions of darkness. But now Ash'inai was left without his teachings and his beliefs. If Tathaygren was a traitor then perhaps it was the Atari who were the ones who were becoming a lesser race, if their god had betrayed them, maybe the other races were not wrong or unguided. Perhaps it was the Atari who had become lost, only to lose their dignity, strength, and integrity just as the Dathkrall had fallen from nobility and greatness…

Risis stood at the base of the Shadowcrest Mountain; she could not let this disaster befall upon her great race; if Ash'inai continued, the Atari would become godless, wandering, divided. Her race would be broken. War would ensue and chaos would reign supreme…

Ash'inai stood in front of Risis,looking sorrowfully at her brilliant eyes. 'Risis.'
'Do not say I do not have to do this, Ash'inai, I do. For the sake of my race.'
'As do I,' Ash'inai replied heavily.
'Why?' Her voice becme a plea.
'Tathaygren destroyed my tribe and family, he committed the worst crime one could commit.'
'Why would he do that Ash'inai? It is senseless.'
'Why? Exactly! Why would he murder the sacred and honorable elders of my tribe? Why would he destroy children who were not even of age? Why would he give eighty-six innocent people a meaningless and dishonorable death!'
'Ash'inai, please stop this,' Risis pleaded once more. The storm became more ferocious. Thunder sounded and lightning flashed nearby.
'The Atari must no longer be the servants of a murderer, he is unworthy of our worship. We must take up arms and fight him. I have told Lady-Queen Mirana. She will fight for our race's honor and worth if she must.'
'Ash'inai, you have sowed seeds of civil war, Queen Velaskae will defend the great god.'
'Risis do not say that! There is no way in all of the lands of Atathiah and realms beyond that he is great as greatness incarnate he is no longer. I will see to it that all of the lands of Nalvaria know of his treachery.'
' And I must see to it that you will not,' Risis replied.
'Then we are at an impass,' Ash'inai replied as he secured the grip of his blade…