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  • Isolated Dreams

    Posted by Grey on 11-11-2002 04:03 PM:
    Isolated Dreams

    A constant stream of water cascaded over his naked body as he continued to lax his body as the water ran over him. He had wandered to this place to be alone, away from everyone and everything that could prove a distraction to his meditation. Water flowed down on him covering his body in its falling waves to travel down the stream into a pond many miles far from his current position.

    It had been midday when he had walked out into the forest to explore its regions and had listened to the sounds of nature as he made his way to this place far from prying eyes and discovered in its depths lay this isolated area where a small waterfall had been made over the centuries. A place to lax the body and send ones mind searching for answers and truths.

    Having stripped down and laying aside his clothing he had swam to the middle of the falls where a rock lay and sat himself upon it folding his legs in an native fashion and allowed the soothing water to fall over him as his mind gave way to private thoughts.

    Once and only once a nagging thought had passed over him and he had opened his eyes seeing what he thought to be the shape or outline of a tower, struggling to see through the water that washed over him he saw there was nothing and thought it nothing more then a trick of light on the water and returned to his meditation.








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    Posted by Grey on 11-19-2002 03:08 PM:

    Having finished his meditation and dressing back into his clothing the man known as Grey could not shake that image of the tower he had saw. The image had been distorted and hard to properly picture, so much of it felt to be of some dream if not vision. The thought disturbed him more then a little, such things as visions he believed for the religious orders that tried to place their beliefs on that of weaker minds.

    This place he knew he would return too, the solitude was perfect and gave him much time to think but already it was getting late in the day and there might be duties awaiting him. It was best to start heading back before he was punished for being away so long without telling anyone where he had gone.


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    Posted by Grey on 11-23-2002 03:59 AM:

    A bird chirped whilst he made his way back towards the path that had lead him so far away. Stopping in his tracks he watched the small creature continue on with its song, such a peaceful if not almost serene image. One that quickly became distorted as the bird screeched out loud with a cry that should not be possible for one so small, its body jumped around on the branch while blood poured forth from its beak. Quivering it lost its footing and fell to the ground in front of Grey.

    Staring down at the creature in bewilderment at the spectacle that played out before him he kneeled down to study its death thoes closer as the bird twisted and turned in agony flipping its wing. Gradually he noted the small birds feathers darkening taking on a blackened image from that of the blue it had. Once more the small bird let loose with a screeching cry as its body shook and died .Holding out his hand, a finger to touch the dead creature it suddenly arched up to look at him and bite him with its beak on his finger. Moving back swiftly Greys expression turned to one of astonishment. Even greater was the bird leaping up to take flight and fly off into the distance letting loose with a third scream.

    Looking down at his finger seeing only a small drop of blood from where the creature had barely pierced his skin Grey began to seek a rationalized reason to these going on when a chirp stirred him from his thoughts. On the branch was the bird once more yet in the same dark color, its eyes appeared to train on him with their glare. Chirping at him the bird flew into the air and circled around him and flew from him before circling and chirping and heading further out before doing the same again and again. Taking a step forward he began to follow.

    Past through thick vegetation and plant life he walked following the curosity that flew before him. Every time he stopped or began to rethink his course the bird appeared to know and flew back at him chirping madly as if to urge him on forward. Past streams and moutain banks he walked on this oddity of an fellowship as he ever been on. But there was something else he knew, as they made their way further from where they had been something dark grew in power and intensity. He could feel its call, its allure as he continued on and noted the ground and animal life lessened as he walked until at last he came to a valley.

    Down into its depths he climbed and saw where they had been plenty of plant life far above down here there was barely any signs of life, where there would be grass there was only barren rock. Some traces of small plant life had began to grow but any as such was weak and often looked mis shaped or contaminated by something sinister. Through the force he knew it was due to the dark side, its energies were strong here, even stronger if he headed on.

    Pressing his luck having realized his little flying guide had vanished Grey rounded a curve that revealed many houses that stood in ruin and abandoned. There had been a town or community here. Now there was nothing more than the call of the wind. Where had the people gone. The call of the dark side made him suspect if not guess many explainations to how these people might have ended up although without solid clues there was nothing but speculation on his part.

    There had to be something to all of this, what had brought him here, what did it all mean. Gazing up at the sun he braced himself as he saw the flickering image of the tower in the distance. Not any tower but the one he had saw while meditating. Not a trick. No this was no simple trick at all. Breaking into a run he ran through the twist and turns of the empty streets knowing there was something out there and through the force or by someones wishes he had been brought here. It was time to find out what.

  • #2
    The apprentice had failed to be in his assigned quarter when she had come for him on the night set for her squires' initial testing. This was an unforeseen cause for annoyance; she did not approve of her squires possessing or developing too independent a spirit of their own. It necessitated finding suitable punitive measures, an undertaking she did not take overly great satisfaction or pleasure in. However, the matter could not be dealt with at that time - that night's business still commanded her attention.

    ***************

    The next day she found her thoughts diverted onto the matter several times, but could not find the time necessary to concentrate on finding a solution. Matters of State demanded she attended to them, not to finding errant squires. Indeed, as the day wore on, she found herself so absorbed in political affairs that she soon forgot about the matter entirely.

    ***************

    In the afternoon, the alarm was raised. She paid no mind to it at first - they had early on learned that the sorcerous spell used to maintain the Valley's concealment did not work on an occasional wild creature or another; the valley still maintained enough of its unwholesome aura to stop them from going too far, and the spell held some rather unhealthy side-effects for them, too.

    Yet this time the tingling alternedness of her senses did not fade away as with the other times. The case of the elusive squire returned to her mind; it would have to be a rather strange coincidence that the concealment web was breached at the same time as Grey playing truant. However improbably it might otherwise be, it was entirely impossible that the bold apprentice would possess the innate power to see through the spell and walk through the concealment web unharmed.

    Therefore she found herself not truly very surprised when she sensed his unique presence in that area as she opened herself up to her powers; he had acted contrary to her expectations so far and it stood to reason that he would continute to go against the usual pattern displayed by her apprentices. But the situation at hand meant she would have to deal with it at once - she could not let him wander around unhindered.

    It rekindled the annoyance she had felt the previous night, and turned it into a fiercer emotion: anger. In effect, he had forced her to act - she did not allow for such an occurence; and that it should be so, made her all the more angry. This was helpful to her, but also meant she was acting more on impulse than deliberation. Grey needed to be stopped at once, and punished severely.

    ***************

    On such an occasion she wished there was a way to simply translocate oneself - alas! such a thing was not possible to even those of greater skill and power than her. But if she could not be there right then in body, this did not mean she could not be there in other ways. The apprentice was young and his skills unhoned, his mind still open to some forms of manipulation. As she was making her way towards the Valley in body, her mind was already turned there.

    Such it was that as Grey was running through the desolate streets, he suddenly found himself facing his Master.

    The location and athmosphere in the Valley was eerie and surreal; Nya counted on this to keep him from questioning the suddenness of her appearance - already having been surprised by the existence of something that had not been there before, she hoped he would not think more about yet another strange occurence.
    And yet she wondered at his ability - would he indeed be deceived for long by the illusion playing nowhere but inside his head? For he only saw what she wanted him to see - and although it was a different kind of illusion, it was yet close enough to the concealment spell he had pierced through. Perhaps he would be fooled entirely, perhaps not - perhaps this would be as adequatea testing of his skills as the one originally designed for him; she would have to see.

    The very realistic illusion in front of Grey raised a hand gesturing him to stop, but if he expected her to speak, he was disappointed - she remained silently standing there, looking at him in a manner that did not bode well for him; the silence grew and added to the already oppressing life-lessness of the ruins they stood in.

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    • #3
      At once he came to a sudden halt as if the air had been knocked out from him, indeed he almost found himself stumbling when his Master had suddenly appeared from the rolling mist that covered the grounds. Quickly he had bowed in respect then kneeled upon one knee with his head lowered in honor of his Master, such was proper conduct although he knew protocol would not prevent him from earning his Masters displeasure should she fault him for being gone.

      The thought was in his mind as his eyes were turned down to the mist that concealed the earth so fully, any moment he expected a verbal bashing if not some sort of physical retribution. The seconds ticked away and none came causing him to grow uneasy, it was tiring to look at the ground with the swirling mist that felt odd on his skin as if it was tainted.

      Not even the least of his worries was a pressure he felt in his mind, a feeling, a sensation that ate at him. It bothered him, his senses yelling at him and his Master still did not speak, at long last he began to look up knowing he might be on the receiving end of her fist or worse for doing so before she spoke.

      What was that buzzing in his mind that screamed at him?

      “Master?”

      Speaking knowing something was amiss he kept his focus on her, his eyes began to ache, his vision blurring, rising his hand to his eyes he rubbed them and blinked. For a moment he thought she was gone yet there she was again.

      What was going on.

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      • #4
        Her apprentice seemed confused by the apparition in front of him. He still believed it was indeed his master standing there, but Nya could feel an urgency settling upon her which suggested that he would not be open for such trickery much longer. Already he was sensing that something was amiss with what he saw and felt.

        But for now, his mind was occupied with wondering what her prolonged silence meant to his immediate future; and she had finally reached the valley.

        It had been months since her last visit. As always, she found the walls of her mind battered by the opressing sense of doom the place seemed to broadcast. Rage, fear, hatred, pain - the emotions of a dying man at his last second of life; but there were older sensations than those. He who had lived here had forced his crazed darkness upon every living thing in the valley for decades, so that even after his death the residue of that darkness could be felt.

        For a brief moment, she wondered if her apprentice could feel it as she could - if he had been drawn to it because of its nature.

        She had intended to go to him, but now her plans were changing. He still had not pierced through her hold on his imagination - perhaps the shroud of darkness surrounding the entire valley was meddling with his mind's clarity as well.

        Following the broad path of black earth where once verdant life had grown, she came to the heart of the valley, the heart of this darkness. There, upon a cragged rock, rested the crumbling ruin of the old - and real - Tower of Tharnax. An outgoing ring of barren land the color of ash surrounded the building where the old man had taken his last stand against Laran and her; they had thought the roiling wave of cold fire he had sent at them was his last resort that had finally drained him of his remaining strength, but that thought had been the mistake that had cost Laran his life.

        The loss of his life had bought her everything and turned their plans into reality.

        Now she stepped over that ashen circle and entered the building through the archway. Inside, nothing had remained of the old man's habitation but a single chair and table. It was there that she sat down and waited.

        ***************

        Grey's Master had remained standing there in front of him, the hostile look in her eyes boding ill for his future. She still had not said anything but regarded him coldly.

        The minutes passed.

        Then finally, as if she had come to a decision how to proceed, she amde a small movement with her hand - and Grey found his hands tied to his back. The binding ties existed only by the power of his own fear - he had expected punishment, and she had provided him with the confirmation of what it was to be. His mind had done the rest, thinking that it had been her power of Darkness that had bound him. He did not struggle.

        She turned, and walked away. And he knew she wanted him to follow, without words.

        They took the same path that Nya had taken minutes earlier. The eerie atmosphere of the place made Grey fall back a good distance, and he stopped entirely when he came to the ring around the old tower. As he watched her enter the building, he found his hands unbound. A little of the opressive sensation on his mind lifted, but not all.

        Inside the building, Nya sat on the chair. She had released her hold on his mind substantially, yet kept a tiny channel of control over it. Before he would begin to doubt that he had truly seen her, she would have to act.

        Her command reached out to Grey who was still hesitating before the building.

        "Come before me, if you have the courage."

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