Malene sighed as she sat as comfortably as she could on Phinn’s tail. And it was not comfortable at all especially with the spiny scales jutting out that pricked her bottom. After leaving the witch’s house, she had insisted that instead of walking to their next destination that the trio should find transportation that was (and dare I quote)
“Befitting a member of royalty who will acquire a dragon and rule the world.”
Blackfeather, ever the gentleman rogue, was off trying to find the carriage of choice for his love, while Phinn the river troll watched over Malene. She glanced up at the huge river creature with a large anchor festooned around his body with chains.
A smell of volatile aromatics, a word here which means reeking of fish and algae permeated from his presence, not helped by the fish draped along his sides, mouths suctioned onto his waist. This caused her to briefly frown and wrinkled her nose, which Phinn either didn’t notice or cared enough to notice.
The lumbering giant held a pipe in his large clawed hands, positioning the stem close to one of the blunt tusks in his mouth. He would puff on that thing, occasionally snorting out a trickle of bubbles while Susie, Malene’s former canary was orbiting around his head snapping at mayflies that investigated the bubbles.
Phinn turned towards Malene and the princess found herself peering deep into Phinn’s crinkled black eyes. Embarrassed, she quickly turned her head away looking down on the ground as she kicked her legs childishly.
“Something wrong, little princess?” Phinn asked Malene between puffs on his pipe.
“No nothing is wrong really it’s just…” the words awkwardly stopped in her mouth as she blushed running a hand through her hair.
“It’s just that I don’t feel any different after I got my powers back from that witch. I’ve tried manifesting it, but nothing happens.”
Malene looked down at the hand-held mask in her hand; a serene smiling facade adorned by fluffy wings. Ever since Malene recovered her magic from the mirror she had willed herself to perform any sort of spell. Anything to give an indication of her new abilities.
Malene had muttered incantations (nonsensical and not based on arcane training), did complicated hand gestures and even holding her breath for several seconds. But nothing magical or ordinary happened (aside from her breaking wind).
“Well, perhaps you haven’t really unlocked your full potential cause your holding back.” Phinn offered.
“Holding back? how could I be holding myself back when I’m trying straining every inch of my being to make magic?”
Malene said as she stood up indignantly and brandished her mask in a flustered manner unbefitting of royalty. She puffed up her cheeks and scrunched up her face at the river troll seated on a log (yes I forgot to mention Phinn was sitting on a log). However, Phinn was distracted by Susie sitting atop his pipe and paid her little attention, leaving Malene to her own frustrations.
With another deep meaningless sigh, Malene decided to practice suitable “royal” gestures she would use when she would address her new subjects from atop the head of her dragon pet. She crossed her legs while outstretching her free hand behind her in a manner that she thought was classy. Then using the hand-held mask she gestured outwards twirling it (in a fairly silly fashion).
In her mind, she could already imagine the scene before her:
A crowd of adoring subjects calling out her name. The looks of sheer jealousy on all of her sister’s faces. Her in a violently purple wedding dress made from the finest silk and fabric across the land, while Blackfeather (in a much more handsome outfit than the dregs he currently wore) would be next to her uttering poems about her unmatched beauty and power. The Stormqueen would kneel at Malene’s shoes utterly defeated by the princesses’ incalculable genius and superior fashion sense. As her personal pet dragon (adorned in the most expensive jewelry would set her down with her fiance and a row of servants would form a living staircase for her dainty feet to walk across down to the ground. Her new palace with her superior design tastes awaited her…
Just as she was about to make up a royal decree within her head-
“Phinneas!, Princess, I’ve found us transportation big enough to hold our river troll friend!”
Blackfeather’s sudden (terribly) French-accented voice startled Malene to such a degree that she almost stumbled clumsily like some drunk street hussy to avoid falling face first. Nevertheless, she still fell over but splayed out her hands just in time to prevent the ground from making contact with her delicate facial features. She uttered an unladylike curse and was almost about to tell Blackfeather off when she noticed a reflection in the mask she was holding in her hand.
“My beautiful flower! are you alright Malena?”
Blackfeather said as he rushed over to kneel by her side extending out his (badly painted splash art) hands to hold her up.
“Yeah I’m fine, good thing I wear gloves so as not to get my hands dirty”
Malene stood up and brushed off some dirt from her skirt and ribbons.
“So where is the carriage I asked for?”
Blackfeather sheepishly gestured towards the dirt trail where an open-topped wagon reined to two horses stood. The wagon looked worn and rickety with a shirtless man wearing an eyepatch riding. Judging by the biceps and the prominent nature of his abdominal muscles, the man clearly never skipped a workout.
Malene could not believe her eyes and sniffed in a miffed manner. She had expected a more of an extravagant carriage may be created from a pumpkin with a footman to help her up the steps. It would then be a comfortable ride all the way to the capital where everything will just work out like in the fairy-tales. But instead, she had to seat her pretty dress in a filthy wagon, with a creepy ruffian (who looked vaguely familiar but fuzzy to recognition).
This was all a little to much.
“This isn’t even remotely like the carriage I specified to you. I’m royalty, not the country harvest Blackfeather!”
“Well, Malena you see since the capital is quite a long ways away and Phinneas gets tired out easily… I had to find transport large enough to hold our large companion.”
Malene looked back to Phinn who had stood up and was now stretching his large arms while yawning and once again sighed deeply.
“All right fine,” she pouted softly, “I will ride the wagon for now only because I don’t want my subjects to get too tired on my dramatic entrance.”
“Let’s get moving then! our epic adventure awaits!”
“Slow down now blokes, no need to rush me, I’m not as young as I used to be”
As Malene skipped to the carriage in a dignified manner performing the occasional twirl that made her so endearing to people (in her mind), her mind could not let go of what she saw in the reflection of her mask. She held the ornamental thing up to her face once more.
There it was again.
In the reflection off its metallic surface was her but darker
The reflection resembled Malene herself but was wore a much darker colored version of her own attire. Its facial features were pale, as pale as the clammy embrace of death. Instead of pupils, all Malene could see instead to her fascination instead of horror was an unyielding whiteness in the eyes as if her reflection was possessed. She blinked rapidly for a few moments frowning as she walked up to the wagon.
The dark reflection of her “self” was gone.
But Malene knew it had been there a moment ago. She peered at her free gloved hand fingers erect like a flower blossom and wondered.
Thank you for reading my first attempt at writing Vainglory lore for the official heroes in the roster. Please support me if you would like to see more of my lore work in the future by commentating down below. It would mean the world for me to hear from you people. And who knows whether Malene would figure out how to use her magical powers
(obviously, she will we all know that)