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Ebon Ilnaren
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 674
See this user's pet
Jobs: Schoolteacher, Political Activist
Can Be Found: Stardreamer Manor, RhyDin
48142.12 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes, over the month since he had escaped the Palace (since Azure was murdered, a voice in the back of his awareness reminded him), Ebon felt like a pet in a pillowed cage.

He was grateful for Astenyar's protection, of course, and it was much more comfortable than his hard cot in the Palace slave barracks. The man would tell him stories in the evenings, too, tales of lands beyond the great ocean: the Deep Forest, the faerie glens of Lorin, the sands of the Khasin where the desert dwarves lived; stories of the great cities, ancient Terbann, dark Murian, and Jahava, the City of Wings; and he would speak of his own homeland, Sorcais, the realm of the mages ruled by the Lords Sorcere.

Ebon wasn't sure that he believed any of them, of course. Faerie-kin and dwarves were creatures of forgotten legend, barely remembered by the elders in the rural lands. And magic? Well, he'd seen numerous displays of power from nobles and Knights, but did the man truly expect him to accept great lords calling down lightning or summoning elemental creatures?

So cynical for one so young, Astenyar had told him, though without rancor.

So naive for one so worldly, Ebon had replied in matching tone.

They did get along well, the lad thought as he read--or rather, skimmed over--one of his rescuer's secret trove of books. Though he had learned a smattering of words in his fifteen years, books were not readily available to the Palace slaves. Still, he was an eager learner, and Astenyar encouraged him to study.

So lost within the pages was he that he almost missed the warning glow from the small mirror hanging above the hearth. Dark eyes widened as he stared at it, watching the silvered surface as his host's image appeared within. "Danger, Ebon!" Astenyar's expression was unreadable, but there was certainly an edge of tension in his voice. "Get out of there. Now! They're coming!"
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Ebon Ilnaren
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 674
See this user's pet
Jobs: Schoolteacher, Political Activist
Can Be Found: Stardreamer Manor, RhyDin
48142.12 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As he hurried through the bustling streets, Astenyar’s mind raced back over the past few days. How had the Knights caught on to him? Where did he slip up? More importantly, did his warning get through to young Ebon? He trusted his skill in sorcery, but his strength came from the world around him, drawn through his place of power, and those connections could be disrupted.

“There he goes!” The harsh voice rang through the air, and he risked a glance back to see four Knights round a corner, two blocks behind him. Too close, to him and to his home. He had to gain the lad as much time as possible, and so he raised a hand and spoke a harsh word of command. Lightning leapt from his fingertips, arcing through the air to strike the Kinghts. One of them caught the attack in his face, leaving his skin blackened and his eyes melted, while another went down and did not rise again. The other two, however, climbed to their feet and resumed the chase.

Astenyar ducked down a side alley and came out onto another street, turning back to lead his pursuers further away from his home. He knew his fate was inevitable, that sooner or later the Knights would catch him, but he was determined to gain Ebon as much time as possible to get away.

Furthermore, the mage was not going to go down easily.

A scream of fear cut through the air ahead of him, and the crowd parted to reveal another gang of Knights bearing down on him. “Not that way, then,” he muttered softly, but when he turned to try a different route, he saw the two survivors of his earlier lightning bolt emerge from the alleyway. Despite the danger, despite encroaching death, Astenyar found himself smiling, though it was a grim smile indeed. “So be it.”

Lifting his arms in both directions, the mage uttered a command word that unleashed a volley of glowing darts upon the Knights, projectiles that burst upon contact. Several went down, but there were more beyond them, moving in from all sides now. Astenyar whispered a brief chant.

* * *

In the center of the hovel where Astenyar and Ebon lived, the firepit suddenly sprang to life, an eerie blue-green flame rising from within. Hearing the sound as he gathered his meager possessions, Ebon poked his head out from behind the curtain shielding his cot. He saw the flames, and he knew he was out of time.

* * *

In the distant street, Astenyar had crafted a shield of magic, a blue dome that kept his enemies at bay. It was a stopgap measure at best, and already the shield was weakening as the Knights hurled their minds’ powers against it without relent. Still, it would hold long enough to draw them close, and for him to do what he must.

Finally it was time. He closed his eyes and sent a final, silent message to Ebon. Run, boy! Run! Then he dropped the shielding dome and, as the Knights surged around him, spoke a single word.

A fireball of vivid blue flames erupted in the street, incinerating abandoned market stalls and carts, melting armor and searing flesh until there was little remaining but bone and ashes.

* * *

At that same moment, some distance away, an unassuming little house exploded with the same blue-white flames, reducing it to rubble and blackened ruins. “Was there anyone inside?” asked one of the folk who gathered around, staring in awe.

“If anyone was in there,” replied one of her companions, “they’re dead,”
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