299 A Canon of Chaos II
Aegin shook his head, "Though I cannot be certain, where I come from, Chaos is all but a myth, scarcely even remembered, let alone spoken of. The Holy Order has ensured its remnants are non-existent. My…this path was one that was introduced to me through unconventional means, and which was thrust upon me unwillingly. I know there is no way back, so I journey to find a way to accept this…darkness".
The Elder raised an eyebrow, "It is not darkness, it is Chaos. Darkness and Shadow is the realm of one of the Gods of Order. Perhaps the Chaos may present as a shadow to you, but it is only presenting as such because it is what you perceive".
Aegin frowned, "The…other like me…he could control shadows, he drew power from them".
Cara shook her head, "Perhaps that is what he views Chaos as. But he is not drawing power from the shadows themselves, but rather, the power of what is unknown that lies within shadow. Chaos is a Spiritual concept after all. It can manifest in an infinite number of forms, all dependant on the wielder and how they perceive chaos".
Aegin thought for a moment.
"The Djinn, Sevis said that they have appeared here before, what can you tell me of them?" asked Aegin.
Cara thought for a moment, "The Djinn's path is that of Envy. While no one is truly certain of the cost the Djinn pay, I believe it has something to do with their wish granting ability. Perhaps the cost of having such an all-powerful ability is the fact that it may only be used on others, never on their own desires".
It seemed plausible, but Aegin was not so convinced.
"What of the other paths?" asked Aegin.
"Well, I know Dragons walk the path of Greed, their cost is similar to your Gluttony, but rather than blood, they hunger more tangible things, riches, territory, power. They have all but faded into myth though, as not one has been seen in many thousands of years. Come believe they flew up to the realm of the gods to join them, but I find that doubtful," Cara stated, "Then there are the Werewolves, who walk the path of Wrath. They are not common here, in fact I have never heard stories of them here, so I do not know much other than they take the form of both wolf and man. Of the remaining three paths, not much is known. They are elusive and tend to keep to themselves. The Succubus follow lust, said to feed on the emotions and desires of their victims. The Kitsune and Nogitsune, better known as the Foxes, walk the path of Sloth. They are sly and clever, but they keep to themselves so nobody truly knows much about them. And the final path, that of Pride, so little is known about it that we do not even know what form it takes. Only that it is the closest path to the God of Chaos himself".
Aegin swallowed. Cara, the Tribes, they knew so much more than he'd thought possible.
"I hope this is not rude of me, but may I know where it was you began your path?" asked Cara, "After all, if you know so little clearly it is not like here".
Aegin shook his head, "No, it is not…my human life ended quite abruptly. I was a slave in the Warrior's Arena for over two years, waiting for a rescue that came too late. In my attempts to escape, I was poisoned by…well, I don't know exactly what it was, only that it was dark and caused death in its victims almost instantly. The only reason I survived longer is before my body absorbed it through my skin. Still, when the rescue did come as we escaped, he insisted that this was the only why I could have survived. That I would have spent an eternity in some kind of darkness otherwise. I don't see how this fate was any different".
Cara thought for a moment before she spoke, "Did you say the Warrior's arena?"
Aegin looked up, "You know of it?"
Cara nodded slowly, "It is on Herguard Island, yes?"
Aegin nodded in confirmation.
"Such a strange place, Herguard, shrouded constantly in mist and treacherous to all but it's owner and subordinates," said Cara, "It sounds almost like the work of a Djinn".
Aegin's eyes widened, "A Djinn?"
Cara nodded, "Such circumstances, kept up so close to the border of a massive continent, with hoards of pirates and pillages and slave-traders. I would wager that only a Djinn's wish-granting power could accomplish such a feat for a long time, especially the extended life of Herguard's Master. The centuries he lived is quite unnatural for a human. But for a human that wishes for it?"
Aegin frowned, "I thought the Djinn only grant one wish per deed done for them".
Cara shook her head, "No, the Djinn grant wishes for a price. Sometimes it is something done for them, but other times the Djinn take something in return. A memory, a life of someone close to you, an item of sentimental value. It depends on the wish".
The prospect made Aegin think. Why was it the Madame had been so intent to escape? Ebony had said that she and the Master had kept wishing. That they'd wished and wished and wished until they'd realised how much they had lost.
"The Djinn…" Aegin asked cautiously, "Where do they store the things they take?"
Cara shrugged, "I do not know, that would be a question for a Djinn".
"Is it…" Aegin hesitated, "Is it possible that because they are the path of Envy, they take the things that they desire for themselves? That they take the things they envy in others?"
Cara thought for a moment, "It is certainly a high possibility, but that does not explain why they would return the favour with a wish. After all, you do not have to return anything to your meals, no?"
Aegin sighed, "No".
Cara frowned, "Perhaps the cost of a path is directly related to the power on possesses. After all, it cannot be easy to maintain enough energy to grant whatever wish one desires".
Aegin nodded. This was a fair possibility. But it also meant that his path, his cost, was far easier than some of the other paths.
Perhaps, despite all he had suffered, he'd gotten off easily by taking this path of Chaos.