Spells in the Night
Year : 235
The light flickered in from the window, chasing away the darkness of the alcove, but Duugan kept his head bowed. He wished to pull the cowl of his robes over his head to avoid the temptation to look, but they instead fell loosely about his shoulders. There was little to be gained from openly disrespecting your superiors, and far more to lose. And he had much to lose.
“The Time of Magick is fading.”
Duugan caught himself before he questioned his master, but he needed clarification. The Time of Magick was peaceful, without war, conflict, or unease. Ill-favored beast had not been seen or heard of in over two hundred years, held at bay by the magick the people of Delagraad now harnessed. “It cannot be fading,” thought Duugan, “It has never been stronger.” Composing himself, he sought understanding, “Come again, my Lord?”
“This Time – it is ending.” There was no hesitation in his voice, just a sense of understanding and acknowledgement. “Not in your lifetime, but it will end. I supposed it is as all things must. No Time is perfect, no matter how we try. Fallibility – are you aware of this?”
“I am aware, my Lord.”
“It is the cause of demise, or so we reason. But it cannot be helped.” There was a long pause of reflective silence before the man spoke again. “You have prepared appropriately?”
“That will be for time to judge, my Lord.”
“See that it judges favorably.”
“As you command, my Lord.”
The light faded as night retook the alcove, Duugan’s meeting concluded. Still, he did not move, mulling over what his Lord had said. “Ending? That cannot be. The High Council, they would surely be aware of such things. But…” Duugan shook the thought from his head and rose to his feet, pulling the cowl firmly over his head.
His padded feet barely raised a sound from the stonework as he fled the alcove, quickening to his room. The torches flickered on the walls as he passed, illuminating the tapestries hanging along the wall, tributes to his Lord. These finely woven fabrics adorned the hallways as a testament to his greatness and Duugan would often find himself marveling at them. Whether the deeds depicted within were mythos or real, he did not care; it was the story they told that devoured him, latching on to his imagination. It was likely because of the absence of both faith and questions that the Lord had favored him so with this task. The thought caused Duugan to break into a slight jog.
Closing the wooden door to his room and dropping the latch across the framework, the young man calmed himself. His duty lay before him, an unprecedented responsibility for one of his stature. Slowly his heart beat returned to normalcy and he moved from the door, striding across the room to his desk. He made sure to avoid the symbols and tracings etched upon the floor, their precision necessary for the spell.
Reaching his table, he picked up a few of the pouches strewn about, their small, hand-written labels indicating their contents – everglow, vernalbloom, yggdra bark, tears of the moon, heaven’s call, essence of hope, seedlings of the poppy – among others. Carefully he returned to the etchings upon his stone floor and carefully filled the symbols with the various powders and liquids. He worked slowly, making sure to keep his hand steady. Inaccurate measurements or the incorrect placement could have horrifying results according to his research as the spell was delicate and fickle. He could afford it to be nothing but perfect.
The last of the spell components placed, he returned to his table and removed a stone box. Soft pink and blue runes decorated the exterior, the magick upon the box evident. Duugan spoke a quick disenchantment command and the runes faded from side, leaving an ordinary stone box. As he reached to pry open the box, however, his hands hesitated, his resolve finally wavering over what he had been ordered to do, as doubt began to linger on the fringes of his reason. “No, the Lord, he is right. Doubt cannot gain a foothold in my mind or heart.”
Taking a deep breath, Duugan opened the stone lid and puffs of ice-blue smoke puffed out. Reaching inside, he removed the contents and placed the box back on the table. Striding over to the center of the spell markings, he placed each of the final five components in their appropriated location – small triangular etchings surrounded by collections of bristled fur. Finished, Duugan knelt in the center of the spell and began the incantation.
“An eye for those without, to see beyond their dreams.
The tongue for mutes I give, to speak their mind it seems.
The deaf who cannot hear the wonders of the land.
Will know that magick gave; t’was not the Lordly hand.
The smells will always go; the nose that is aware.
The fingers that once held the touch of virgin hair.”
With the incantation spoken, Duugan reached into a pocket and withdrew a flat, crystalline disc. Holding it gently in his hand, he carefully broke it into five separate pieces. Placing them in each of the triangles, the symbols erupted in a brilliant green flame, erupting up to the ceiling of the room. When the last of the broken shards of crystal had been placed, the spell circle began to glow in an eerie green light. Returning to his kneeling position, Duugan uttered the final words.
“I call on the five to guide.”
The room suddenly became engulfed in a brilliant green flame, a brilliance Duugan never saw; magick, like his Lord, held consequences far greater for disrespect than submission.