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Part 1 of 5
The soul was lost, was caught, it moved through the water trying to escape.
Where was it? Who was it? The screams of the others trapped in the water filled
its head. The lost one needed to be free from this place. How did she get here?
That's right in life she had used this place, tapped into i's power to learn
and control. Now she was trapped here, below the surface of the oasis never
able to escape. It clung to her to stay alive and strong, the people
around her fueled it to. All suffered in this place of death just as they
suffered in life. This corrupted world assured that even the dead could not
escape from the misery it bestowed.
It felt like ages she was down there, trapped in the terror of nothingness. Then
she felt the terrible god get struck down and exiled from this plane. The wave
of pain it caused to the world soul rippled through all in this afterlife. With
this ripple came a pause in the suffering, one that the lost soul could use. It
collected all of its power, the last that remained of its holy gift stolen from
the gods long ago and focused a few words into existence one simple message
that could save the Children from wandering once again. It sent the message out
using up the last of its power as the pain came back.
It is dying, Ire, the ninth book, Valeck, free us.
Part 2 of 5
It was quiet
under the desert sky, Ire watched the stars blink in and out of existence the remnants
of the moon cracked across the sky.
“Are you still
awake?” Their traveling companion spoke out,
“Yeah, just sky
There was a
steady silence for the next couple minutes, Ire and Lurai just watched the stars
passed. Ire clutched the book closer to his chest, it was important, Lienne had
said so in the dream. Ire had gotten the dream for many nights now, it echoed
through their head fading as each night passed. Ire had been Lienne’s scribe
for almost eight years now through all of their travels and was devastated by
Master Savant and the First Among Us in the span of a week, what’s going to
happen to us?”
The troops returned
from the great battle where the Bone God fell, Jemaine had died after striking
the great beast, only the Sword of Sorrow had been recovered, now dormant. The
plane had now exploded into war, the conclaves were put back into action
utilizing the many defenses The Children had put into place during their time
here. They planned out outlast the others in a defensive war.
had started having the dreams the night after the battle, none of Jemaine’s
former council had listened. They were to concerned with wartimes to listen to
the scribe with strange dreams. So what else was Ire supposed to do? They took the
book from Lienne’s office with the Resoretian number nine on the binding and
made their way into the desert. It was difficult to locate, and translating
from the original Tikrish ,Lienne took her notes in the language of her
ancestors, was difficult but they got it done.
were interesting and frightening, cracks in the world, ancient powers that lay
below. Lienne had been studying what she called “The Split” for months, an
oasis at the center of the desert that led to the World Soul. At the end of the
book was a ritual, “The Valeck Ritual” she called it, a ritual designed to
close this split and cut off the World Soul from its source of power. Ire had
to complete it, that was what Lienne wanted them to do. The unfortunate part
was what the ritual required,
had taken a Godslayer, they reached over to his bag to double check the shield
was still there. It wasn’t easy to take, but he found the perfect moment while
the weapons were being stowed inside the library. Ire knew the council would be
after them, they would be hunted across the desert. It would be worth it though
if they could finish the ritual and save the day. It would all be worth it.
nice to have buildings for once.” Lurai tried to make conversation again, Ire
had found her outside the city. They and the scout had been friends for some
time and while Lurai didn’t understand their full purpose for going into the
desert she was willing to help. Ire refocused on the conversation.
is, I guess I didn’t realize how often we don’t get those.” The Children were rarely
able to stay on a plane long enough to establish buildings. Usually, they just
had tents and pack beasts. “No tents is good, we lost so many books to rain and
walls are nice to, something to keep us safe.”
nice to have a place to fight for, you know. I’ve wandered for my entire life it’s
nice to be somewhere for once. Even if that somewhere is…”
terrifying.” Ire turned over and closed his eyes. They could fix that problem
if this worked, all they had to do was finish the ritual then Nemain would
truly be conquered.
The pair slowly fell asleep, one of them plagued
by the same echoing dream.
day was hot in the desert sun, all of them were. Riixt hated this place, off
course it would end up being the plane they stood on the longest. The dark elf
spy of the late First Among Us made his way through the twisting halls of the
central building of their capital.
shouldn’t have happened; how did this happen. A single scribe made away with
one of our relics?”
guards on duty all fell asleep at the same time, we believe that they were an
unnoticed Savant.” The guard captain responded to the Council member.
don’t have time for this, we’re fighting a war. Get this Savant back and the
Shield as soon as possible!”
of course” the guard hurried away down the hallway, Riixt stopped walking and
looked over the city in front of him. How did this happen? The Children were in
the middle of a war, their most powerful warrior had been slain, and now the
Shield was missing.
“Maybe we should just leave, we
have done it before. Back to the wandering and plane hopping. If something doesn’t
change soon, then we’ll be forced to leave.”
and Lurai made their way across the scorching desert sand. The pair had risen at
the earliest hour possible and continued their journey.
what are we doing here again, you keep on saying “Completing a Ritual” but that’s
getting a little to nonspecific. Why do you need to go to some random oasis in
the middle of the desert?”
complicated, I’m finishing Lienne’s unfinished business. I’m trying to help the
Children.” She turned to them,
what kind of ritual? What kind of business? You’re being so vague, what’s going
wouldn’t get it, It’s complicated.”
reached into their satchel and pulled out the book, “So basically I’ve been
getting a bad dream recently and it told me to look in this book. In it I found
a ritual that Lienne wants me to complete, so I need to be at this oasis to do
it. It’ supposed to close the oasis which will save the day and protect the
what are you talking about?”
really important, look I can prove how important it is.” They reached into the
satchel and pulled out the Shield of Silence. “I took this because it’s needed
in the ritual. That’s how important it is.” Lurai stepped back.
is that real? Why do you have that, we need to return it immediately. You know
what kind of trouble this is going to cause”
never get to finish her sentence, an arrow sunk into her head killing her
instantly. The second arrow missed Ire’s head but found their back piecing through
their robes causing a sharp pain to fly through them. Ire turned to face the assailants,
riders, probably from the city. They rode on top of massive war beasts knocking
arrows for a second volley.
paused, “They sent people from the city to stop me, they don’t get it. They
don’t believe me.” Ire held a hand forward as the riders released their second
volley. Ire had never had powers before but, with the dreams came strange new
abilities. A wall of force materialized in front of the volley deflecting the missiles.
Ire counted, “One, Two, Three, Four, Five riders.” They needed to act
fast the riders were fast approaching. Ire pressed their hand against the sand
and focused the energy in the air into it. In a torrent of glass two of the
riders were torn of their mounts flung into the air. The other three moved out
attempting to flank them from the sides. Ire rose and turned to the two of them
on the left, a mote of flame apparated in their hand, the scribe focused on the
two souls that approached them. “Burn.” With that the two riders
collapsed the arrows they began to knock fell from their bows. The final rider
released a second arrow which missed again, this one found purchase on their leg
causing them to collapse onto the ground. Ire focused on the sand once more pushing
a hand covered in blood into the ground. The rider was grabbed by tendrils of
sand pulled into the dunes below his mount made it to Ire still laying on the
sand. It paused as their magic infiltrated its mind waiting for them to mount.
awoke on the back of a riding scarab sore from the two arrow wounds. “What
happened?” they looked around, nothing but sand, no Lurai. She must have left?
It didn’t matter They needed to get to the Oasis, they needed to finish the ritual…
was bleeding out, they didn’t care. Getting to the oasis is what mattered, a
singular focus in the back of their mind. The wounds would heal, but if they didn’t
finish the ritual the Children would never be at peace. The riding scarab moved
quickly across the desert sands, there was nothing around for miles, nothing
except the split. They were getting closer, Ire could feel it, only a few more
hours and they would be there.
was later that day the Ire pulled the beetle to a halt, they collapsed onto the
ground and slowly stood up bones aching. There it was, the oasis, all they
needed to do was finish the ritual.
oasis glistened in the desert sun; it was silent here. Ire didn’t mind the silence;
it would allow them to better focus on their work. As they approached the edge
of the oasis they saw it, a slumped over body laying in the desert sand next to
the oasis. Ire ran over, horrified at what they saw. Lienne’s body lay mummified
in the heat, her sunbaked corpse smelled of death. They faltered for only a
second at the body before continuing to the edge of the pool. “I’ll finish
what you couldn’t, I’ll do this for you and the Children Lienne.” They pulled
out the book picked up the Master Savant’s staff and began to set up the Valeck
Ritual. Scribing a circle in the sand filling in the details, they pulled the
Shield of Silence out of their bag and placed it at the center of the ritual
circle. They began the chant, drawing the latent magic from the air and into
the ground. The Oasis began to ripple, then the water started to rise pushing
past it’s normal boundaries attempting to pull Ire under the surface. The
circle shone with power keeping the water back. Then the screaming started, the
screams of the people trapped under the surface poured out of the oasis, the
water started to writhe and twist as Ire continued the ritual. The sun’s
strength grew focusing on the oasis reflecting of the Shield of Silence. The
heat of the sun beat down on the water causing it to evaporate away the screams
continued as the water turned to steam the oasis shrunk as the water dissipated.
The plant life around it lit into flame burning away with the oasis that once nourished
it. The Shield of Silence held strong still as the heat from the sun eventually
became unbearable, the last bit of the oasis finally turned to mist as it did Ire
watched as a fountain of spirits erupted from the desert sand pouring into the
sky and eventually fading away their screams dissipating into silence once more.
felt the heat of the sun alleviate and return to its normal form, they looked
down at the their hands and body now burned and scarred all over. They watched
as their finger tips began to crumble to dust. Then their hands, then arms, it
was painless. Ire didn’t feel their chest and legs dissolve to dust, and
finally their head the last thing they heard was their own thoughts “Finished
the ritual, saved the Children.”
more riders would arrive at the bare desert dune, drawn there by the reports of
strange ghosts and mists pouring into the sky. They would recover the shield of
silence, the body of the Master Savant, one of her important journals, but they
wouldn’t find the remains of the scribe who went mad and stole the shield.
soul felt the pain alleviate, heard the screams subside, watched as the rest of
the souls trapped below the waters fled to the afterlife. The soul didn’t leave
though, it had business to finish. Now that the world souls’ source of feeding
was gone it was weakened, it was vulnerable. The soul drew in the power from
the air its mystic power returning. It swam through the water deeper and deeper
towards the place the world soul lived at the bottom. It swam for what felt like
hours, days even, but the soul eventually found its prey, the dying soul of the
plane of Nemain. It was simple for the soul to kill it, in its weakened state
the world soul gave little fight. Absorbing its power was a difficult task. The
soul had never felt so empowered though supplanting the world soul itself. It
felt a connection now, to every part of the plane, every tree, animal, and element.
The soul pulled that connection in attempting to supplant the world soul and
become this plane’s new one. The connection was fading though this was a gambit
that the soul hoped would worked, this was the last chance the Children of