Chapter 25

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As the suns made their appearance on the final day of MidSummer, the Council of the Witches of the Moons was in their Chambers. Save for Lhynette who was in Bhel'Ehzz, they were all present, each looking exceedingly distressed. After Arhyvhynne had been informed of the disappearance of the Rune by her sister, she gathered the other Council members and investigated the Sanctum of Destruction.

They found little in the way of clues or evidence. Qenthyeffe had awakened from her magically induced sleep but was quite confused and disoriented. All she could tell the High Witch and Council members was that earlier in the evening she had felt a strong proclivity to surrender herself to sleep. She had not seen or heard anything.

Xenyssa had been the first to notice the fragments of a badly burned object upon the grey pedestal within the barrier. None of the witches, however, could identify what it had been. There was some conjecture that it might be the Rune itself, but that theory was quickly dismissed. The Rune of Destruction had existed within the barrier for more than a thousand years without incurring any damage.

Eyrmysse initially was the one who realized the barrier, though still active, had somehow been reversed. And by the condition of the Sanctum, they could ascertain that something had gone wrong with the attempt to reverse or penetrate the barrier. The scorched floor, walls and shattered black column led one to believe that a bolt or bolts of lightning had been released from the barrier. But if that were the case, what had happened to them? They were not thought to be something that would naturally dissipate. And the lightning could not have been loose very long because the damage had been relatively minimal for such potent magic. Not to mention that Qenthyeffe had remained uninjured.

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