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"Answers need no questions. A fool predicts the future; a warrior creates it."

A single cryptic phrase and the voice has abandoned me as well, leaving only my memories to keep me company in this cold world. After struggling with the words for a time, my thoughts begin to drift to another time when my assumptions brought me pain…

"Try and dodge this, Illi!" A crackling orb of electricity leapt from her outstretched hand. At the last second I managed to throw my head backward, the blue-white arcs of energy passing so close I could smell the trail of air ionized in their wake. The finely chiseled features of my face were draped with ebon skin far too dark to properly reflect the anger welling beneath as I straightened to regard my sister. "My name is Illiriel. I'm going to be fifty soon, it's time you called me by my full-"

Pain exploded across my chest, sending me reeling backward several paces in a blind daze as I waited for the convulsions to pass. The sorcery, a rudimentary elemental spell, posed little real threat to me given the arcane resiliency that I, like all drow, possessed. I silently cursed, nonetheless, for allowing myself to be so easily distracted from the duel at hand.

"You will earn the right of your name," my elder sister taunted, splaying the fingers of her outstretched hand so that I might witness the arcs of electricity leaping between them, "when you can force me to say it, little sister."

This time I threw my body fully away from the flash of lightning, skidding several steps to one side before my hurried movement was fully arrested. As soon as the peal of thunder roared into my long, tapering ears, I was glad for my prudence. The spot where I stood a moment earlier was now marked with a star-shaped stain of ash, ample evidence of the raw power behind the bolt of energy.

"Lhradrul!" I cried out in a mixture of surprise and fear that drove the timbre of my voice up several octaves, "Watch it! What are you trying to do, kill me?"

"What kind of drow are you? You whine like a high elf, Illi." A self-satisfied smirk crept across my elder sibling's lavender lips as her palm became suffused with blue-white luminescence once again.

A silent snarl twisted my features. No sparks leapt from her outstretched fingers this time, signaling the weaker of the two sorceries was soon to come. Though it would hurt, I was determined to make her pay for the insult, and began to rush toward her heedlessly with an almost feral growl.

Lhradrul's eyes. I remember the streaks of shadow dancing within the depths of those crimson oculars, warring with the flashes of amusement to consume the light of her eyes. They were the last thing I saw before the searing radiance washed over me, pain blasting across the surface of my skin like waves of liquid fire, scorching through the depths of my mind until only darkness remained…

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