Chapter 22

Page 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11

Khyaroh and Skhuroh had been visible in the sable sky for quite some time on the fourth evening of the MidSummer celebration. The Towers were quiet and the Guardian on duty at the Sanctum of Destruction was Qenthyeffe. Though she had started her shift less than an hour earlier, she felt herself becoming extremely weary. The elf had an increasingly strong urge to surrender to sleep during each passing minute. The Guardian fought against it, trying desperately to stay alert. She repeated the warnings through her mind about Uriel spending an inordinate amount of time at the Sanctum. But the Spell of Slumber was too much for her and she eventually dropped to the floor right where she stood.

At that, a black robed witch came out from the shadows of the doorway. She stepped over the slumped form of Qenthyeffe without giving her a second look. She went directly towards the Rune of Destruction and pulled aside the grey veil. The black robe was momentarily mesmerized by the erratic bursts of lightning that protected the Rune. She broke loose of the hypnotic display and made her preparations without delay.

The casting consisted of several parts and would be lengthy, delicate and demanding. First, the polarity of the barrier that encased the Rune had to be reversed. In theory, this was possible, though she didn't know if it had ever been attempted and what resulted in the event that it had. Upon success, she then had to enter the barrier through the vulnerable spot and remove the Rune of Destruction without coming into contact with the lightning or releasing any of it into the Towers. If she reached that point, the barrier had to be returned back to its normal state.

What accentuated the complexity of the matter was that the barrier was of a high quality, being built by the same ones who had devised the Rites of Trial. Its construction was indicative of the simple genius that characterized the Ahfham. The barrier was self-sustaining, recycling the energy that it "borrowed" from the Rune and was released by the lightning. It was so potent that failure at any point could result in the witch's death.

Previous Page    Next Page