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Author Topic: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds  (Read 32456 times)
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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #90 on: October 23, 2005, 04:29:22 AM »

Duchess Sera

Sera removed her hand from Tomas's arm, her eyes surveying his form for a moment as she realized that he would break the hearts of many women, but she herself was not concerned as she loved another. Her azure gaze followed the Duke as she watched him leave the room, and she sighed in disappointment as he attempted to shove aside the elder elf. Men such as he did not learn unless there was a strong enough woman willing to teach them, and it seemed as though he would be her responsibility as long as he stayed at her home. She glanced about the room, noting the care that Tomas and the elfess showed for the young girl and decided that they could possibly help her. It was risky for her to reveal such matters to complete strangers, but she was desperate enough to believe that the possible benefits would be worth the risk.

"I believe the matter between Tyithelis and his daughter has been resolved, at least for the present moment. We would all be more comfortable in my private chambers, though the passage that I showed you all earlier is not the most pleasant. I ask that you all please disregard anything you see within it, as the darkness likes to play tricks on our minds."

Her words were clearly intended for the entire party, and her melodious voice carried into the hallway where the majority awaited the outcome of this encounter. She gracefully strode from the room as she held the hem of her silver dress with one delicate hand. She paused for a moment in the doorway, noticing for the first time the altercation between Tyithelis and Gararion. It seemed as though the Duke was not satisfied with leaving peacefully and had attempted to strike the elf. She was not surprised that he would commit such a deed, but his current stance did shock her. Tyithelis leaned against the wall opposite the elf, standing next to the opening of the passage. His arms hung limp at his side, and his eyes were glazed as though a sense of calm pervaded his very essence.

Without sparing another glance for the Duke, her gaze came to rest upon the elf that had managed such a colossal change within the aura of the Duke. Such a feat had to be magical in its origin, and she could not help but marvel at such a powerful mage attending a ball at her humble abode. The awe faded from her blue eyes as she realized that any moments she wasted was time that she could not recover. She was determined to ask these fine strangers for their help, as she knew that fate worked in mysterious ways.

"Duke Tyithelis, I would appreciate it if you accompanied these guests and myself to my private chambers. What we shall discuss there has some significance to the current situation with your daughter."

She did notice Aurelian and another elf standing in the hallway out of the corner of her eye as she walked across the hallway and ducked into the passage, being careful not to mess up the hair that was piled on her fair head. It was not long before she disappeared completely into the darkness of the passage.

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis stumbled back from the elf as his anger began to fade. Normally, only a sojourn within his harem could have such an effect upon him, and he wondered who the elf was to possess such power. He backed away from Gararion, now lacking the will to even throw a second punch, and his back soon slammed against the opposite wall. Instead of walking away, he merely leaned against the wall as he watched the Duchess emerge from the room. He clearly heard the insults of the elfess, but they had no effect upon him as he smiled at anyone that looked upon him. His previous fury seemed to have been replaced with a sense of calm that could not be disturbed by mere insults. He nodded as Sera asked that he accompany her and moved away from the wall to accede to her request. He simply lacked the drive to dispute her, and he was curious as to how such a discussion could relate to his daughter. He walked over to the entrance of the passage and bent over as he examined the darkness within. His mind told him that the Duchess had just entered and should still be visible yet his eyes could not perceive her form in the murky darkness. The color faded from his cheeks as he considered venturing into the passage alone, and he quickly stood up and took a step away from its entrance.

"It would not be proper for me to go first. Surely, such honored guests such as yourselves deserve to precede me within the passage. I will enter last and thus confront anyone that may try to follow."

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ratdragon
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« Reply #91 on: October 23, 2005, 04:57:22 AM »

Ratdragon watched as the Duke attempted to shove Gararion, and tensed himself for a fight, getting ready to use the shattered wine bottle he held as a weapon. To the elf's great dissappointment, the Duke was intercepted, and simply slumped against the wall. Sighing, Ratdragon relaxed his grip on the wine bottle.

This older elf must truly be powerful, to be able to calm such an angry man. Ratdragon watched the as Duchess Sera left through the secret passage. To his surprise, the Duke heeded her, and followed the Duchess to the dark entrance. Ratdragon rolled his eyes as Tyithelis offered to guard the rear. This was obviously because he was cowardly and afraid of the dark. The elf shook his head, and procceeded to go into the passage first, walking into the darkness and wondering about what was so important that they had to go by secret.

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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #92 on: October 24, 2005, 03:55:22 AM »

Tomas watched as the Duchess left the room before his gaze once again came to rest upon Lady Fenyn. She had not spoken in the entire time that he had been within the room, and he hoped that his presence did not offend her. With a few strides of his long legs he walked over to the chair she was sitting in and looked down at her with his devotion for her clearly showing in his hazel eyes. He knelt down in front of her as he had only hours ago in the ballroom and clasped one of her delicate hands within his own.

"Be at peace, Lady Fenyn. Your father will never again speak to you in such a manner. It would disturb me greatly if your beautiful eyes were ever damp with tears."

His gaze shifted for a moment to peer at the elfess that stood behind Fenyn. He appreciated that Emalaya had tended to the girl while he was occupied in defending her honor against the harsh words of the Duke. His travels throughout Santharia had taught him that such kindness was a rarity. He ran a hand through his long dark hair as he considered the proper way to thank her and decided that his fair words would have to suffice.

"Thank you, Emalaya. I appreciate such kindness as you have shown Lady Fenyn this night. Please, allow me to escort her back to the ball once she is ready. You should not tarry if you hope to attend the meeting with the Duchess."

He stood as he scanned the room for another chair and found one standing alongside the near wall. Lifting it with one well muscled arm, he carried it and set it down so that it faced the chair that Fenyn's handsome posterior was occupying. He once again clasped her hands within his own and looked into her eyes as he waited for her to speak, and it was evident that he would not move until she was ready to rejoin the ball that was held in her honor.

Lady Fenyn

Fenyn sat quietly in the chair, not even daring to look up as her father scolded her. She remained silent as the door was slammed open but a small smile crossed her lips as she realized that the intruder was the handsome man she had met earlier. A soft sigh escaped her lips as her father began to shout at Tomas for she could not understand why her father could not ever allow someone else to be correct. He was a proud man that verbally abused the women in his life on several occasions.

She tensed slightly as she felt a hand upon her shoulder but relaxed as she realized that such a delicate hand belonged to a female. Her gaze had been focused upon her father and Tomas so she had not noticed when the elfess entered the room, though she did appreciate that someone was willing to offer her such comfort. She watched as the Duchess entered the room and began to grin broadly as the woman subtly insulted her father. She hoped that she would still be beautiful and graceful once she reached that age, though she doubted that she would ever be able to speak to her father with such courage.

Her grin faded as the Duke stormed out of the room, rudely shoving aside an elf as he did so. His behavior did not surprise her, but she hoped that he would one day be able to overcome the rage that occupied his every thought and deed. She watched nervously as Tomas approached, not sure if it would be proper for her to be near such a handsome man when she was promised to another. Even though she was nervous, she was excited to be able to speak to him once more. A smile lit her beautiful face as he grasped one of her hands with his own and knelt before her, but she sighed in disappointment as he stood and walked away.

Her disappointment quickly faded as he returned with another chair, and she grasped his hands with her own that were delicate from years of living as a noble, not willing to let him leave so easily this time. Her eyes looked into his hazel orbs as she smiled at him, and she completely forgot about the elfess that stood behind her. It seemed as though no amount of sorrow could taint her heart as long as those hazel eyes remained before her, and tears of joy began to trickle down her fair cheeks.

"I am at peace, now that you're here. Forgive me for the tears that stain my cheeks for I cannot help but weep tears of joy at having met you once again. I cannot truly express the emotions that surface within my mind simply because you are near me. I would like to once again attend the ball, but let us tarry here for a few more moments. It would not be proper for me to be seen crying at my own ball."

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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #93 on: October 25, 2005, 07:30:22 AM »

The passage spawned in front of the elf, appearing as a narrow hallway whose murky darkness could not be penetrated by the light of any mere mortal. The stone ceiling seemed to press down upon any who entered, or so some would believe as they ventured beneath it. A certain malice could be sensed emanating from the cold walls, as if they resented anyone that possessed the warmth granted by life. Only one look would convince anyone that this passage was not well maintained as cobwebs stretched along the ceiling and a damp moss grew upon the walls.

Ominous wails could be heard in the distance, though anyone that possessed some sense would convince themselves that it was only the wind. Then again, one could wonder as to what wind could blow within a castle. The hallway ends abruptly as a stone staircase ascends into the darkness above. The staircase spiraled for what must have been at least a dash as it sought the mysterious exit that would lead to the chambers of the Duchess. No evidence remained anyway within the passage that she had ever passed, and it would take faith to ascend the narrow stairs without worrying about falling to one's demise.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 10/24/05 23:35
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ratdragon
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« Reply #94 on: October 25, 2005, 08:44:22 AM »

Ratdragon stared into the darkness of the passage before him, trying to penetrate the oppressing darkness. The walls and ceiling seemed to be pressing in on him, giving him an unusual sensation of claustrophobia. His clothes were still slightly damp from the rain, and this chill passage made him shiver.

The elf no longer desired to go alone down this wretched tunnel, and so leaned against the mossy wall, not far within the passage. Looking nervously back to the entrance, the elf awaited the arrival of the others.

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Gararion
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« Reply #95 on: October 26, 2005, 07:36:22 AM »

Gararion stood relieved that his spell had overcome the will of the Duke. The aging elf watched as the Duchess and Ratdragon began making their way into the passage, almost vanishing from sight as they did. Moving away, back to the storeroom where they had been kept locked up. Entering the damp storeroom, Gararion scanned the floor, his eyes resting upon the broom that he had ‘hurled’ away earlier. Kneeling down, Gararion wrapped his fingers just below the head of the broom. Raising his other hand to the head, he prepared to cast his spell.

       “Seeán’avásh.”

       As the elven word slipped past his lips, the bristles upon the broom began to sway slightly as a breeze began to swirl above the tips of the bristles. As the swirling air picked up intensity, small charges of static began snapping within, creating a light glowing light as the sparks lightning grew. Gararion kept this swirling ‘storm’ held in place for a moment before allowing it to drop closer to the bristles, the charges of power setting a few of the bristles alight. It only took a moment for the broom to be engulfed in a flame, Gararion letting his conjured storm vanish as easily as it had started.

       With torch in hand, Gararion moved back to the passage. Ratdragon still stood within the revealed entrance, waiting for another to enter before him.

       “Stay close, how long this broom will act as our light is unknown,” was all Gararion said as he began his climb up the stairs. Holding the makeshift torch in his right had as if it were a staff, Gararion placed his left hand firmly upon the column that aiding in the support of the steps below. As his ‘staff’ attempted to find the step below him, Gararion was surprised to find that the staff found no step. Tilting the staff slightly, shedding light upon the spot where his staff found nothing revealed that there was a gap between the steps and the wall, large enough for the unlucky to slip through without warning. The stairs themselves were narrow, not more then a fore wide, but the gap dwarfed the narrow steps, being a good two peds wide.

       “Careful of your footing, stay close to the inner wall,” Gararion cautioned, signaling the wall that made consisted of the center column. With that done, Gararion began his ascent into the darkness above, his torch spreading down both directions of the stairs as he traveled, hopefully shedding enough light to keep the others safe, keeping clear of the gap that ran beside their ascent the entire time.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 10/27/05 22:28
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ratdragon
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« Reply #96 on: October 28, 2005, 06:19:22 AM »

Ratdragon was grateful when he saw the elder elf carrying a torch, fashioned from... a broom? It didn't matter to him, just so long as it supplied light.

Heeding Gararion's words, Ratdragon quickly followed, staying as close as possible. As he strode up the stairs, his iron shod boots made echoing "clanks", which reverberated off the walls. Wincing slightly at the sound, the elf carefully stayed to the inner wall, stepping over the gap the mage indicated.

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Emalaya
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« Reply #97 on: November 03, 2005, 02:44:22 PM »

Leaving the young woman in the care of the man Thomas, she gave the girl one last comforting squeeze on the shoulder. He was of a fairly agreeable nature and she approved of his actions toward the Duke to help the Lady. When she saw the pleased expression of the young woman's features, the elfess relaxed and smiled to herself. To be so young and have ausch a strong sense of positive emotions to share with others, nothing could get much better after such. Gradually amking her way from the room, she did not hurry to rejoin the others, though the Duchess had been in much earnest that they follow her. With a quick glance over her shoulder at the young couple, she quietly closed the door as to give them more privacy from passerby's from the ball.

When she rejoined the others, she found the mysterious elf, who overcam the Duke, had lit a broom on fire and was using it as a makeshift torch. Where the fire had come from, she could only guess. From his earlier demonstration, he was not a fire mage from what she could tell, but had more of a stance as a wind mage. Curious about this elf, her mind spun as for reason's for him being here. Yet, she herself was very much out of place in this human environment and could only assume it had something to do with the Duchess and where she was leading them.

At the entrance to the tunnel, the darkness before her was indeed one of a daunting aura. Why the hall was not better maintained was beyond her comprehension for it seemed used well enough in the sense it would need such maintenance. Though, it did have its use in keeping out uninvited guests. No one would used this unless there was a dire need for it and it would soil more gowns and other objects than a dungeon. Despite all, she stepped into the small tunnel and followed closely behind the other occupants, using the lighted broom as her guide for a safe passage and being wary of the Duke behind her. The sound of wailing reached her sensitive ears and caused a dark chill to run down her spine. Wrapping her arms as tightly about her as she could manage, she kept up with the others, following the elf's lead directly as to reach their desired destination in one piece.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #98 on: November 04, 2005, 01:22:22 AM »

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis watched as the three elves entered the passage, and he quickly followed behind, afraid that he would be left alone in the darkness. He ducked his head slightly as he entered, and his gaze immediately sought the forms of the elves. All light from the hallway faded as the entrance ominously closed, seeming to have done so without any intervention from a sentient being. The faint glow of a torch glowed ahead, and shallow gasps escaped his lips as he ran toward it.

He hardly noticed as the floor ended and the stairs began. His every thought was focused upon not being left behind, and he sighed in relief as he saw the elfess only a fore or two ahead of him. The two male elves walked before her with the elder one holding a strange torch as the entire group ascended the stairs. The Duke stumbled as he finally reached the group, and his hand reached toward the shoulder of the elfess as he tried to catch himself.  

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 11/3/05 17:26
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Gararion
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« Reply #99 on: November 08, 2005, 02:36:22 AM »

        Gararion walked in silence, his eyes watching the steps that ascended to their destination, making sure each placement of his feet found solid ground.  He said nothing to those who were behind him, knowing that conversation would only slow them down, though he was aware of people behind him.

        Ratdragon followed close behind him, heeding his warning well.  The sound of his steel boots created a pulsing sound within the stairway, a sound that seemed to echo the passing of time to the mage.  He found that his own steps seemed to have fallen in pace with that of the elf behind him.

        Behind him, Gararion had assumed that that the female elf had entered, the lighter steps of her feet barely noticeable over the sounds that filled the passage.  Her foot steps sounded close behind the elf that was following him, though the mage did not turn to see for himself, knowing that his eyes would need to stay peeled to the ground beneath him, what little of it there was.

        The sounds of another approaching caused Gararion to stop, holding a hand up to inform Ratdragon of his action.  With his feet solidly planted on the steps beneath him, he turned his torso to look behind him.  He could not see was attempting to catch up with them, but he knew it would not bold well.  Gararion looked into Ratdragon’s eyes and spoke.

        “Brace yourself, we may need to aid those behind us.”

        Gararion remained silent, his ear listening for evidence he could not see around the twisting path.  What his ears seeked came soon enough, the sound of a heavy foot slipping from the step beneath him.  The mage only hoped that the elf before him heard the same thing, as he blocked the mages path to offer any form of aid.

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ratdragon
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« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2005, 11:57:22 AM »

Walking in pace with the elf before him, Ratdragon kept his eyes on the ground, making sure not to make any mistakes. Though he trusted the mage in front of him to warn them, it was best to be safe.

He heard light footsteps behind him, which could only belong to the elfess. Heavier footsteps soon followed, and Ratdragon saw Gararion hold up his hand. Stopping immediately, he watched as the older elf turned his gaze to Ratdragon.

Heeding the mage's advice, the golden elf nodded and quickly turned to see the duke trip and grab for Emalaya. Noticing that he was the only one who was in position to help, Ratdragon's hand shot out to grab Emalaya's wrist.

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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #101 on: November 12, 2005, 08:59:22 AM »

Emalaya

Emalaya gasped softly as a hand closed over her shoulder, not expecting anyone to touch her in the darkness of the stairs. Her slight elven frame began to fall back toward what would certainly be her doom as the weight of the Duke pulled her down. The elfess lacked the strength to lift herself and the Duke, and a sigh of relief escaped her lips as the hand of another elf clasped her delicate wrist. She used his strength to right herself as she shrugged off the Duke. A small smile crossed her face as she thanked him for his trouble.

"Thank you, Ratdragon. Males may yet prove to be trustworthy. The Duke has proven yet again that he lacks the manners normally found among those of his race."

Emalaya turned to face the Duke as her fair features twisted into a scowl. Her delicate hand raised in one swift movement as she slapped the Duke for the second time this evening. Only a moment after the first slap, her other hand dealt another slap to his other cheek.

"Duke Tyithelis, it would serve you well if you learned the proper way to treat women. You have no right to touch me in any fashion, and I do not believe that was an accident."

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis rubbed both his cheeks as he tried to soothe them after the double slaps of the elfess. The calm that had affected him earlier seemed to dissipate as his eyes were alight with anger. His cheeks flushed a deep crimson that could only slightly be seen in the light cast by the mage’s torch. Thoughts of putting the elfess in her proper place whirled through his mind, and his knuckles turned white as he held his fists clenched at his side.

“You are the one that does not have the right to touch my royal person! Why am I in this dismal place? What foul magic clouded my thoughts? You! Elf! You are the one that spelled my mind!”

His gaze looked beyond the first two elves to the mage standing with a makeshift torch in his hand. He was not yet through with Emalaya and was now wary of the mage, fearing that he would spell his mind once more. Tyithelis was not known as a gentleman, but he had yet to strike any woman, preferring to intimidate them with words instead. His anger was such that he could not resist the urge to physically lash out at someone, and there was only one elf upon the stairs that he was willing to strike. The Duke stepped around the elfess as he confronted the elf with the violet eyes.

“I do not appreciate your actions here. You have no claim upon the woman, and she is to become my property in the near future. Defend yourself!”

Instead of punching the elf as he had attempted to do earlier with the mage, both his hands raised as he reached toward the throat of Ratdragon. He would choke the very life from the elf until he gasped his last breath. Just as his hands were midway to the elf, a swift gale swept through the stairs, extinguishing the makeshift torch held by the mage and blowing the hair and clothes of everyone standing upon the stairs. Absolute darkness shrouded the stairs, unbroken except by flashes of lightning in the distance. With each flash of light, the Duke’s hands could be seen to come closer to the throat of the elf with his hatred clearly burning in his eyes. His lips were twisted into a sneer, and his expression was one that would easily scare children.  

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ratdragon
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« Reply #102 on: November 12, 2005, 02:01:22 PM »

Ratdragon smiled at the elfess as she thanked him, and watched as she turned to scold and slap the Duke. Watching with amusement as the duke confronted him, the elf shook his head in mock dismay. What was it with humans? This man complained about his actions, though the elf had just been trying to save the elfess.

Suddenly a gust of air made the torch flicker, causing the dismal corridor to become even darker. Slightly disturbed, Ratdragon didn't notice that the Duke had closed his hands around his throat until he felt the pressure. Falling back on the stairs, Ratdragon kicked up into the man's stomach with his iron shod boots, hoping to wind him.

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Gararion
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« Reply #103 on: November 13, 2005, 10:23:22 AM »

        Gararion see the effect of spell fade upon the Dukes face as Emalaya raised her hand and slapped the Duke’s face with meaning.  The mages own head shook sadly, once again seeing the younger generation of his race act so rashly.  Gararion opened his eyes to see the Duke making his way past Emalaya and towards Ratdragon, his arm outstretched seeking the slender throat of the elf.  

As waiting for the outcome, a gale of wind rushed past him with little effect, blowing out his makeshift torch in its midst.  Flashes of lighting provided new light to the darkened stairway, though was replaced with pitch darkness as quickly as the light appeared.  Gararion eyes watched for any sign of how Ratdragon was fairing, catching a glimpse here and there of the Duke’s fingers wrapping about the elf’s throat, memories causing Gararion to ponder upon the scar that lay across his own throat.  Another flash of lightning revealed a swift kick for the gut of the Duke, though the light faded before Gararion tell whether the elf’s foot found its mark.

Gararion turned his head to gaze silently up the stairs where the lightning seemed to originate. Using the flashes of light to set his pace and footing, Gararion continued up the stairs, hoping to discover who it was causing such hassle.  Gararion only hoped who ever it was would have more reason then he showed at the moment.

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Tomás Valentín
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« Reply #104 on: November 14, 2005, 04:46:22 AM »

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis stumbled backwards as the ironshod boots of the elf connected with his midsection. His facial features twisted into an expression of pure agony, and only a low groan escaped his lips. His hands reached for the ankles of the elf, intending to toss him from the stairs, as his left foot twisted against the edge of the stairway. With his arms flailing, he fell backwards into the two ped gap that separated the wall from the stairs. His dying screams could be heard for a few moments before they abruptly ended with a bone crunching thud.

Duchess Sera

The lightning bolts ceased completely as the mage ran up the stairs. By the light of the last bolt, a cloaked figure could be seen with her back to the mage. The Duchess turned as she heard the footsteps of the elf, throwing back her hood to reveal her fair countenance. The torch she held in her right hand cast its light for only a ped around her before once again being swallowed by the darkness that shrouded the stairway. A bright smile crossed her face as she recognized Gararion, knowing him by his reputation as a powerful mage.

"Welcome, Gararion. I have been expecting you and your companions. The quest you embark upon will shake the foundations of the world itself, and I cannot allow you to pass. Your journey has ended before it ever began. Turn back and your lives will be spared. Attempt to pass me and your fates will be most unpleasant."

Sera tossed the torch off the stairs as she finished speaking, its light illuminating the darkness for a moment before it fell from view. Her blue eyes became as frigid as the ice of the north as her form suddenly tripled. Three Duchesses now stood abreast upon the stairs as they blocked the mage from passing, and each one was an exact duplicate of the original. Each one raised her hands at the precise moment as the other two, acting in unison as their hands opened with their palms facing toward the mage. A single lightning bolt emerged from each palm. The stairs were momentarily illuminated as the six bolts of lightning raced toward the mage.

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