3 - The First Mage

3 - The First Mage

A Story by Stories Of Atlas

'The First Mage'

Chapter 1

A lazy roll of thunder made it's way across the sky signalling to the first few heavy drops of rain to begin their descent to the ground. It began with a trickle, before turning to a downpour and soaking the ground beneath. Sheets of lightening occasionally lit the sky miles away, the thunder drowned out by the roar of the rain smashing into the ground.

It was a cold night, frost was beginning to grip the rooftops and a freezing fog was making it's way onto land from the lake, dusting the ground with powder white. The small lakeside community had retreated indoors from the weather, all to used to this seasonal downpour. Only one figure could be seen, making his way slowly down the towns central dirt path. Candle light flickerd in windows, promising warmth and comfort that he hadn't felt for days.

He guided a horse behind him, weighed heavy with packs at it's sides, even the figure was struggling with a large pack strapped to his back.

A crack of lightening lit the sky and the horse stood for a moment, petrified in the light. The small figure turned and placed a loving hand against it's nose in silent calm.

At the end of the street was a large building, the only one that had managed or bothered to light itself externally. The gas lamps flickered violently even from within their glass protectors. From a beam on the second floor was a sign, a sign that warmed the heart of any travellor in this kind of night.


The figure allowed himself a smile and patted the horse softly on it's neck. The mud seemed to be getting thicker underfoot but they both dug in and carried their loads heroically.

A stable boy came out to meet him, buried in a sarwester and a large hat he carried a lamp high above his head and motioned to the figure to meet him. The horse was exchanged wordlessly for a few coins and the stable boy disappeared undercover with his horse leaving the figure to walk across the street, making his way towards the inn.

The heavy oak door swung open, the sound of the rain echoed around the small room. The few occupants all turned to watch the newcomer enter.

The barkeeper was the first to act

"Oi!" he bellowed, slamming a tankard agaist the wooden bar causing a nearby patron to jump in his seat. "We don't serve no Dwarves in ere"

The dwarf took a few more steps in, slamming the door behind him "Shut ya mouth, I ain't no underdweller, look at me skin fa saviours sake"

He took of his hat and let his ginger hair tumble against his shoulders. "You ain't got no problems with an ole exile do ye?"

The barkeeper stood silent for a few moments, looking around the locals nearby who offered him no support.

"I ave me papers if necessary mate" the Dwarf added

"That's not necessary, sorry mate, its just we don't get no Dwarves this far west is all, take a seat I'll bring you over a drink" he said apologetically as he reached for a pump to fill a glass.

"Aye" said the Dwarf.

The bar was just a small room, an old house that had been converted. There was large beams across the roof that marked out where the walls had been. The bar was fairly large for such a small place, six barstools lined it, only one of them occupied. Behind the bar was a small selection of drinks, mainly local brew, made from the villages and small settlements surrounding the lake.

The dwarf dropped his bundle onto a table in the corner and sat, his back warmed by a large fire that provided most of the light for the pub. It crackled softly, providing a background for the low hum of conversation at the bar. As he relaxed into the chair he let out a sigh of happiness.

The barman approached and placed a tankard of ale on the surface of the table, beads of liquid trickled down the side and soaked into the oak of the table and the foam bobbed on the surface tantilisingly.

"Long journey?" the barman said

"Aye, I be on the road for little under a week now" he said as he picked up the tankard and supped at the foam from the top, bringing a sleeve up to wipe the remains from his facial hair.

"This'll make up for the rain though" he said, half to himself as he tipped the tankard back and drank. His eyes closed.

"We don't get many Dwarves up here" replied the barman, his tone searching for more information from his latest customer.

"Aye" was the response.

The inn was quiet, the patrons at the bar were all locals, friends, colleagues who enjoyed each others conversations but had heard all the stories before, little was left to be said amongst them and there was an air of suspicion about the new figure sitting in the corner.

The Dwarf ignored it, and busied himself in his own mind, his thoughts spilling over into his actions as he drummed his fingers impatiently and bounced his leg nervously. He shifted in his seat as he worked his way down the tankard, savouring the taste. Occasionally he would look towards the window hoping to see someone pass by, he kept forgetting the futility of trying to look out through the fogged up window. The rain was still pouring outside, the noise roared on solidly as it bounced on the slate roof and rushed through the guttering.

Time passed in the bar, a few more villigers passed through the doors, each time they did the Dwarf shifted in his seat to better see the person entering. Patrons entered and left and the tankards gathered on the Dwarves table, his Dwarvish constitution being tested along with his patience. His long reed pipe was lit and hung low from his lips, smoke casting a thin veil in the air, the atmosphere closing in.

The barman had passed by a few times, bringing tankards and trying to discover the intention behind the Dwarves appearance. Although leaving none the wiser, happy enough with his coin.

The rain outside slowed to a drizel and the soft roar that echoed and bounced through the room softened to a pleasant hum. A smell of water, of the ocean filled the room beyond the smell of tobacco, ale and people. The bar had emptied apart from one man still propping up the bar, leaning in heavily staring at a half empty tankard pondering his drunken philosophies occasionally murmerring to the barkeep who just smiled and nodded as he cleaned glasses.

The door opened and a figure strode in, instantly making himself at home, his coat and hat were thrown onto the coat stand by the door and left to drip.

"Evening" said the barkeep "What can I get you?"

The stranger ordered nothing, just pushed back his hair from his face and fixed his waistcoat, a tie slung around his neck loosely and weapons hung heavily from a belt. He slowly surveyed the bar area before turning his attention to the Dwarf in the corner, he smiled and walking over.

The Dwarf unclamped the pipe from his lips, set it down on the table and rose to his full height.

"Annulus, It's great to see ye again lad" said the Dwarf happily, unable to stop a broad smile coming to his lips.

"You too G'rak, it's been too long". He took his hand and pulled him close in an embrace before the two sat down.

G'rak picked up his pipe again and put it too his lips puffing out smoke from the corner of his mouth. His large brown eyes set on Annulus.

"Aye, I reckon it's been about five years" G'rak said after some thought "A lot can change in the world after five years, a lot can change in a man"

"That it can" replied Annulus, looking down at the table, at all the empty tankards "We didn't part under the best of circumstances though. I didn't think we'd ever meet again"

"Aye, that be true. Things change though, I understand why you ran. When I found ye I didn't expect to know ya for long, one way or another"

"I was in a pretty bad way huh? I don't remember much of that time" Annulus pondered

"We had some adventures though, eh lad? Remember those thugs that were causing ye trouble? Kept stealing your coins"

Annulus smiled broadly and met G'raks gaze "I've never seen a Dwarf fight before, I've never seen the same look of terror in someones eye either" Annulus laughed at the memory.

"Well what about you lad?" G'rak said, leaning forward and slapping his shoulder hard "I've never seen a Human fight like that before. Ye mus av ad a fair bit of training to learn that"

Annulus smiled a little and looked around the bar, shifting in his seat.

G'rak sensed his unease and sat up in his seat, leaning forward and placing a hand ontop of Annulus' "Have ya remembered anything more about ya past lad?"

Annulus shook his head slowly and leant back in his chair, taking his hands from the table. An awkward silence rose between the two.

"How...how have you been?" Annulus asked weakly, attempting to break the silence.

"Ah well, since the damned underdwellers were rediscovered I'm getting trouble. I don't even look like one of them and I get thrown out of bars alla the time, I have to show me papers to everyone that asks these days"

Annulus smiled a little "You did always hate the underdwellers didn't you"

G'raks face turned dark and he said angrilly "They left mah ancestors out in the cold, they closed the doors on mah family, I don't see why I should harbour any love or nostalgia or anything except hatred, just because we share the same race"

Annulus apologised softly. "I didn't mean to suggest that old friend. Times are hard for all the races, we're all at war with something, all our old friends have become our new threats"

"Just don't talk about it as if ye know what it's like boy. I saved ye and you ran out on us when we needed ye"

The silence between the Dwarf and the Man grew, a greater tension this time filled the air a tension that was more sadness than anger or malice.

"I regret my decision" Annulus said at last "I certainly didn't mean to cause you any further harm"

G'rak sniffed and nodded his head in a silent acceptence of Annulus' words. He picked up a tankard near by and looked inside to see if there was anything left. With a growl he slammed it back down and picked up another, feeling it's weight he put it to his lips and emptied it. Finishing it with a mighty burp he placed it at arms length across the table.

"Listen Annul..." he began

"Don't call me Annulus" he interupted "I dropped that name a long time ago" he looked intensely at G'rak his green eyes flashing in the light of the fire. "I've been Aracel for all of what I can remember, please, call me that"

G'rak laughed "Well I'm glad ye took me advice eh? a new name for a new life? You know ye insisted on being called Annulus when I found ye?

Aracel smiled, enjoying the warmth of the laughter. "Why did you want to meet with me G'rak?"

Chapter 2

The rain had slowed to a light drizzle and the air was fresh and clean with a pleasant smell. G'rak and Aracel left the bar and began walking towards the lake. The landscape was dominated by the presence of a huge tower in a startling state of disrepair. It emerged from the center of the lake and stood thirty stories high. Some floors were completely exposed and it was apparent that the whole building was devoid of life.

"Why did you call me here G'rak" Aracel asked as the pair stood at the side of the lake, their feet sinking in shallow mud

"Do ye know what that tower is lad?" G'rak asked, never taking his eyes from the structure.

"I've heard of it, this is the first time I've seen it though. It's the old tower of magi. Where all the magicians of Atlas gathered. Where all the spells were created and where the laws of the magi were formed"

"Aye that much be true, but it's all ancient history. It is said that all magic was created here and where all magic was destroyed. Little is known of the final ways though. What I do know is.."

"What you know" Aracel interuptted "is that there is an untold wealth within those fallen walls and we're going in to get it"

G'rak looked a little crestfellen

"What you don't know" Aracel continued "is that in the two hundred or so years that this building has lay dormant, an unimaginable amount of theives have entered and left with their pockets full"

G'rak smiled to himself "Well that be just where you're wrong lad. You ain't wrong often but on this occasion you are." G'rak said with a smug look "I doubt more than a dozen people have entered those ruins for fear of magical curses, imagine the stories that go around about this place. Just look at the sky for saviours sake, have you ever seen a purple sky. The locals say there are still strange creatures washing up on the shores of the lake. Gods know what went on in that place, all the experiments the magi commited themselves too. Most thieves turn there back on that place" he smiled triumphantly and slapped Aracel on the back and flashed him a broad smile "We'll be rich lad"

Aracel didn't look convinced but the idea of wealth and riches was appealing "And I suppose you have a plan?"

"Of course I have a plan" G'rak said, beginning to walk away from Aracel towards a small dock "The plans easy" he shouted back "We go in with this empty sack, we come out with this sack full of gold"

Aracel let out a sigh of disbelief and stared across the shimmering lake. The soft tears of rain splashing against it's surface with a delicate emptiness and calm. The tower looked as though it would collapse any moment, it was a testament to the construction at the time or the magic keeping it standing that it had lasted this long.

He pushed his hat tightly to his head and turned to follow G'rak who was shouting at the dockmaster, trying to requisition a small boat.

"Have you ever seen an underdweller with a tan?" Aracel heard him shout at the man. He smiled to himself and shook away the feeling of uncertainty in his mind. He hated magic.

The sun was still fairly high in the sky but had begun it's decent already. G'rak had managed to acquire a boat that looked more at home on the land than on the water.

"We ain't goin out to sea" he argued "it only needs to float for 'bout ten minutes each way"

Aracel shrugged to himself and stood watching the Dwarf struggle to launch the boat.

"You know" he said "I'd be much happier if we sat down and planned this"

"Where's your sense of adventure lad?" G'rak stopped pushing the boat and smiled "You don't think I haven't planned it at all do ye?"

"Well you are still drunk"

G'rak laughed "That's just for confidence lad, my spirit isn't as young as yours. Now throw me my gear and lets get going"

Aracel picked up the large sack by his feet and carried it over to the boat, placing it with a heavy clatter in the rear. With some concerted effort they both managed to push the boat through the mud and into the lake. With a sigh of exhertion they both fell into the boat, covered in mud and sweat, already tired they began laughing.

"This is already a mess" Aracel grinned at G'rak

"Just like ole times eh lad?" G'rak laughed back

The dockmaster came running out of his house shouting towards them. They both craned there necks as they were drifting out into the lake.

"What's he shouting?" G'rak asked Aracel

"He says we've forgotten the buckets"

* * *

On the lake the laughter had stopped as Aracel heaved on the heavy oars his back to the mysterious tower, his eyes locked on the figure before him, his ankles submerged in water. G'rak was bailing water furiously as it assaulted the boat from above and below.

"You couldn't have rented a better boat?" Aracel asked but didn't expect an answer

The pair of thieves made their way slowly across the water. The oars cutting through the lake spreading the pleasant sound of water being tossed across the scene. The rain had stopped falling but the sky remained dark and patchy, the sun peaking through the clouds sending beams of light down to the ground that looked like angels descending from the heavens.

Sweat fell from Aracels brow as he pulled back on the oars, he stopped for a few moments to remove his long brown coat and threw it behind him before taking up the oars once again. G'rak eyed Aracels waistcoat and shirt, the hilts of three weapons poking from his waist.

"You be dressed a little formally for the occasion ain't ya lad?" G'rak asked

"I'm getting used to it" Aracel murmered to himself. He looked at G'raks own weapons belt, the hilt of a dagger emerging from a heavy sheath "Aren't you supposed to have an axe?" he asked the Dwarf

"Don't be so racist lad" G'rak replied with a grin.

Aracel stood up in the boat and took an elegant short sword from his waist and slung it on his back, the gold hilt jutting up from his shoulder and sat back down. The tower was getting closer and closer, the base still stood strong, stabbing into the ground, half way up though there was a huge chunk of wall missing, the damage seemed to be superficial as it was possible to see in at four seperate floors of the building as though the walls were made of glass.

The tower was sat on an island in the middle of the lake, there was a small enclosed garden surrounded by hedges at the far side with a small beach. The jetty was between two large rock formations and was almost completely rotted away.

The boat clattered against it as it drew closer and closer, the sound of wood scraping out here seemed so alien. A rope was thrown onto the shore and Aracel leapt out after it, tying the boat off with G'rak still doing his best to bail out the water that was still filling the boat.

"Nevermind about that now, the water is pretty shallow here we can bail it when we return"

G'rak looked up, he was knelt in the water, exhausted.

"Well it be on your head lad" he stood and threw Aracels coat on shore as well as his own sack of belongings. It landed with a loud metallic, rustling noise at Aracels feet.

"What's in the bag?" Aracel asked

G'rak just grinned "And you were worried that I hadn't planned this caper. In that bag me laddo is everything we could possibly need"

Aracel poked the bag with his foot, it failed to give way "I think" he began "that there is a difference between careful planning and brining everything you own"

As the boat began to bubble and sink lower G'rak unpacked a selection of weapons from his pack. Rooting around until he came across his crossbow and a handful of bolts which he tucked into his belt.
Aracel spent the time inspecting the tower. There was a gravel path overgrown with weeds leading up to a huge oaken door. As he got closer to it he realised that the door had no lock, or infact no handle.

He placed his hands on the wood, the planks felt warm under his palm and they seemed to get hotter the more pressure he put on them. He took a step back and inspected the heavy iron hinges at one side. Aracel pondered to himself, the door looked strong but after two hundred years the wood must be rotten and weak. He stamped his foot a few time to gain his footing, then taking a large step forward he put his full force behind him and booted the door. Aracel flew back through the air, bounced back by some invisible force reflected back against him and his attack. He hit the floor hard and rolled sideways, too dazed to stop himself he came to a halt at G'raks feet.

"Ya might want to be careful of the door boy. It's still magically sealed"

G'rak stepped over him and made his own way forward to the tower

"Curse the saviour, I hate magic" Aracel mumbled to himself as he stood up, wiping the dirt and mud from his clothes.

G'rak had a rope in his hand, a large three pronged hook hanging heavy from one of the ends. He swung it happily as he walked, the arc of the swing increasing as he got closer to the wall, he looked up to the enourmous hole above him, judging the distance, the swing of the hook becoming a full circle, the metal cutting through the air caused the air to hum and vibrate, faster and faster he spun the hook before releasing it, sending it soaring through the air, the rope flying through the sky behind the hook and held securely in G'rak's other hand.

The rope shook and vibrated violently, and it became quickly apparent that it wasn't long enough, the hook was still ascending when the end of the rope was pulled from G'raks hand and began an ascent of it's own.

The Dwarf cursed to himself as he watched in vein. The hook met it's target and arced over the wall landing with a loud clang inside the tower. The rope hung pathetically thirty feet from the ground.

Aracel joined his friend and they both looked up for a few moments.

"I'm really glad you planned this so well G'rak" he said, frustration and embarassment welling up in his voice.

G'rak didn't reply. Aracel walked over to the wall, removing his hat he folded it roughly and tucked it into his belt at the back. Dusting his hands off and wiping the moisture from them on his waistcoat he examined the wall, he ran his hand over it and tested his finger tips on the masonry. Looking up he spotted a poorly fitted brick, the starting point for his climb. He bent down low and sprang upwards, impossibly high, reaching up with his hands he gripped the brick and with a concerted amount of effort he kicked his feet against the wall and steadied himself, hauling himself upwards. With a deep exhalation he looked back towards the ground

"You might want to find you're own starting block G'rak" he shouted to the ground

Chapter 3

The two figures cast a strange silhouette before the setting son. They scrambled and leapt and cursed and argued and slowly ascended the tower, getting closer and closer to the rope.

Aracel reached it first and began to increase the speed of his climb, gribbing the rope, fist over fist, his feet curled around it.

He stopped climbing about half way up, allowing himself to catch his breath. Looking downward he could see G'rak trying his best to reach the rope which was swinging wildly because of Aracels presence on it. He smiled to himself and slowed his breathing and his movement, letting the rope come slowly to a rest.

G'rak reached up and grabbed it with one hand, his vice like Dwarven grip making it possible for him to just let go of the wall at this point, quite safely and haul himself up along the rope.

"Don't slow up for me lad, I've been climbing longer than you can remember" he checked himself and laughed "and seeing as you don't remember most of you're life I'd say most people have"

Aracel allowed himself a little chuckle and looked up once again, there wasn't much more to climb but G'rak caught Aracel quickly and the two climbed the rest of the way as a team.

Upon nearing the top of the rope Aracels keen hearing detected something. He stopped climbing and G'rak reached up grabbing Aracels ankle by mistake

"What ye think ye be doing boy? You can make it over the top here" G'rak said irritated and embarassed by the contact

Aracel looked down quickly and shushed the aging Dwarf into silence.

Edging his way to the top he peaked over the top of the rubble. His eyes scanned the darkness, a room covered in shadows reaching down from enourmous bookshelves all filled with rotting tomes. Even with Aracels trained eyes it took him a few moments to accustom himself with the shadows and he hung on the rope for a few moments staring into the darkest corner of the room. Movement. Something in the corner of his eye caused him to turn his head and for a split second he thought he spotted somebody leaving the room.

He climbed over the edge silently, sliding a knife from his belt as he did. Taking a few paces into the room his feet silently treading over the stone floors. His senses heard nothing but his eyes landed on the floor beneath a door in the corner.
There was a loud clattering noise from behind him, Aracel flipped the knife over in his hand, the blade pinced between thumb and forefinger and he span on his heels ready to throw the deadly weapon at whatever he faced.

"Now now lad, lets not do anything we'd regret eh?" G'rak said softly from the floor. He had slipped as he climbed over the edge and was laying face down in a pile of books.

Aracel glared at his companion angrilly letting the blade slip slowly between his fingers until once again he was holding the hilt. He pressed his back against the bookshelf nearest to him and disappeared into the shadows whilst G'rak picked himself up, careful not to make any more noise. Seeing that Aracel had left him for the time being G'rak spent a while examining the books on the floor. Even though he had Dwarven blood he had never grown accustomed to the dark. He'd never even seen a Dwarven mine and so his eyes were equal to those of an average Human.

"I thought you said this place was empty" Aracels voice came from the shadows.

"I did, this hole is totally empty, who would live in this crap of a mess? G'rak said, looking around him at where he thought Aracel was

An arm appeared over G'raks shoulder causing him to jump out of his skin and lose his breath.

"Over there" Aracel said, guiding the Dwarves gaze to a gap where a bookcase had fallen over. He could just make out the faint outline of a door.

"Yeah?" G'rak muttered indignantly "They have doors in empty houses too ye know"

Aracel sighed "Do they have lights on?"

G'rak looked back to the door once again, their was a faint light emitting through the cracks between the door and the wall.

"For saviours sake" G'rak said quietly, not taking his eyes from the door "I should have known, when you're involved things are never simple"

Aracel glared angrilly at the Dwarf once again "Well perhaps if you'd done the tiniest bit of research into this place then you'd have known that it wasn't deserted"

"Dont be getting angry at me now boy. You didn't have to come along did ye? You could have carried on with your boring life, wandering Atlas"

"First of all, my life is more eventful than you might think second of all, old Dwarf, I'm heading to meet a blacksmith who knows something of my past"

There was silence for a moment. "Oh" G'rak muttered "So you've finally worked out that your blades mean something"

Aracel stood silent before spinning the Dwarf around to face him "What did you say?"

G'rak looked startled "Well it's obvious really lad, have ya ever seen metal like that before, black steel they call it"

"And you're telling me this, now?" Aracels voice felt a hundred times louder than the whisper it was presented as, an intense look deep in his eyes, confusion, anger, disappointment.

The moment was interrupted by the sound of chanting coming from the next room. What sounded like hundreds of voices all speaking as one.

Aracel looked passed the Dwarf, still gripping him tightly by the shoulders.

"Looks like we don't have time for this" Aracel said with an obvious curiosity in his voice.

"I really don't know much else boy just tha......" G'rak began but was interuppted

"We don't have time for this" Aracel released his grip and stepped past G'rak, heading slowly towards the door.

The chanting had a monastic quality to it that seemed to make the air vibrate. There was something incredibly unsettling about hearing it in such a remote, derelict place as the tower though. Aracel stepped quietly past the rotting shelves and fallen volumes towards the door. G'rak followed closely behind him, doing his best to step in Aracels' footsteps. Aracel turned to his friend with his finger against his lips, motioning him to be quiet, he pointed to his own eyes and then to the door. With a dagger held tight in his fist Aracel pushed the door open and slipped through.

The chamber was enourmous and the sound of the chanting bounced off the masonry. Back in the magical age the room must have been a lecture hall as there were rows of pews all facing a stage with a large lectern in the center. The pews were all full of robed figures, enshrouded in darkness, lit only by a few candle stands and gas lights dotted about the room. Aracel and G'rak kept to the shadows by the door, watching the spectacle in front of them.

It was impossible to understand what was being chanted by the mysterious figures, it sounded like a song, or a prayer of some kind the chorus of which became a raspy whisper which got louder and louder with each repeat.

The stage was well lit and there were two large banners either side of the lecturn, hung high from the wall at the reverse. They looked new compared to the rest of the room, bright red with blue ankh symbols emblazened on them, a symbol of incredible importance in the olden days, a symbol of rebirth.

The chanting was building and building in volume, it seemed like it would never stop and became faster and faster, impossibly so. The sound echoed around the room, harmonising with itself almost the sound of voices was deafening and confusing to hear. Aracel could feel his heart begin to race, he crouched lower and took deep breaths. He almost missed the appearance of a mysterious figure stepping onto the stage. He looked incredible, impossibly tall with a majestic blue robe covering the whole of his body, a hood covered his face with darkness, he strode, his arms raised high, greeting the crowd. The singing became more fevered, faster and louder, louder and faster until his hands came down and gripped the lectern signalling the chanting to stop.

"Brothers and sisters" he said his voice level but projected around the room "Sisters and brothers" he repeated. He leaned forward over the lectern that he gripped tightly.

"It's been a few days since we last met like this, a few days that will echo through these halls and cause the entire world to quake.

My friends. My family, the work we are doing here, that each and every one of you are doing here cannot be more important. The time you commit to study, to learning the ways of the Magi have never been more crucial.

Atlas used to be a very different place. Atlas used to be a wonderful place, not split by war between the factions. Not decimated by poverty. Not rotten with religion. Atlas used to be a beautiful place, a place filled with magic and wonder. The natural magi were a true gift, a gift that the modern world could never understand, magic and technology do not go hand in hand, they never will, we, the enlightened, we know this. We know that natural magic disappeared because man embraced technology before the divine enchanter. If Archmage Cyrus, truthteller live on, hadn't lit the first of the magical fires then magic would have died out after the defeat of the Alliance, many, many years ago. If those fires had not been extinguished two hundred years ago then the Magi would still be strong, if those fires had not been extinguished two hundred years ago then magic would still be strong and my friends, my family, my brothers, my sisters if those fires had not been extinguished, we, would be strong"

With this the crowd began to applaud and scream heavily. The speech was given with such passion that Aracel found it hard not to feel the hairs on his neck stand on end.

G'rak tapped Aracels shoulder and brought his head closer "What is this lad?"

Aracel didn't really understand what he was seeing either. The Atlasian history that the cloaked figure was relaying wasn't the same that Aracel had learned. After the war with the alliance it was widely believed that natural magic had disappeared along with the alliance, as the link with the arcane had to be closed. That magical fires had been lit to create an artificial source of magical energy. Magic had been significantly weaker since natural magic had died however and less people were interested in dedicating their lives to it's study. Finally two hundred years ago the high council of nine voted to extinguish the flames in order to move on and find ways of living through technology rather than through magic.

The crowd were still applauding as an aid walked across the stage to whisper something in the leaders ear. A hand was raised and the disciples fell silent as one.

"My dearest friends" he continued "As you know our time is approaching, each day we get stronger because she gets stronger. Each moment the return, our return draws in because she gets stronger. The one true magi, the one who resides above us, our purpose grows stronger, even as I speak. The magic flows through her veins as soon it will flow through ours. Natural magic is back on Atlas my friends, soon we each will feel it's touch, we will become strong and we will forge a new history for Atlas. There is a new saviour. There is the first mage. There is Archmage Sky"

Once again the crowd erupted in an explosion of joy.

"SKY! SKY! SKY! SKY!" They chanted, cheered and clapped as their leader walked off the stage and disappeared into a side room. The disciples began mulling around and slowly filling out of the room in drabs. Aracel and G'rak stepped deeper into the shadows unable to comprehend what they had just heard.

"Did he just say what I thought he said?" G'rak said, unable to look Aracel in the eye

"If he did" Aracel began "Then he has the power to change all of Atlas"

"How can magic have returned though? That died out with the alliance lad, there be no way of opening the rift that they closed"

"I don't know either, this is bad news though G'rak. We have to do something about this" Aracel sat down against the wall thinking

G'rak looked at him in disbelief "What do you mean bad news? Magic would reunite the races. No-one would fight the Dwarves for the mountains fuel, the Elves wouldn't fight each other and the Humans could end their poverty. Magic could end it all boyo"

Aracel slowly shook his head "The problems of Atlas cannot be solved with magic. The council of nine voted on this two hundred years ago, magic was holding us back. We believed that the magical fires would meet the raw power of natural magic, that one day everything would be back to how it was. Technology was developing too slowly and the population grew too big. The races were split because no-one would make the decision, and when the decision was finally made the world shook because of it."

"But that was the magical fires, you heard what he said lad, this is natural magic, it has returned"

"This is one person with natural magic. This is one person who is running a secret cult bent on developing it's power to change Atlas. Magic is to powerful for the wrong people to have, and power is too much for one person to handle. If it gets out, even if it's in the right hands people would forget about technology again and we'll be right back in the dark ages"

G'rak thought about this for a few moments, the room was now empty but they both continued to carried out the conversation in hushed whispers.

"Then what do we do lad?" G'rak asked, already the answer was lurking in the darkest part of his heart

"We have stop this stop this" Aracel whispered looking deep into G'raks eyes "We have to kill Archmage Sky"

Chapter 4

Aracel and G'rak were alone in the lecture hall, the disciples had all left a few moments before.

"We have to find a staircase, that, that leader character mentioned the Archmage was above them"

G'rak nodded and looked about for an exit

"Well lad, I'd wager a pint that the stage is where we oughta be headed" G'rak said

Aracel agreed and the pair silently crossed the room. G'rak had swapped his crossbow for the heavy knife that caught the light as he past by the candles, the crossbow hung tightly across his back, the bolt still loaded.

The stage looked ancient, a relic from when the tower was occupied. Half of it had totally rotted away and it looked as though a lot of wood had been replaced at the front, a pathway of new clean wood that gave someone safe passage to the lectern. Aracel stepped deftly up onto the stage which creaked under his weight.

Either side of the stage were two large curtains, these were off the same material as the banners and were also emblazened by a large blue Ankh symbol in the center.

"This must be the cults symbol" Aracel thought to himself

Behind the curtain was a large door, old and ancient, it was half open and it was obvious that the room beyond it was lit.

Aracel stepped with flat feet, evenly distributing his weight across the wood, making sure not to cause the wood the creak more than was necessary. He reached the door and began to peer through the crack as G'rak began his trek across the stage, arched up on the tips of his toes the noise of creaking wood echoed around the room, bouncing of the cold stone walls.

Aracel span on his heels sharply, glaring at the Dwarf who's face was knitted with focus and concentration. Sensing Aracels green eyes on him he looked up, confusion across his lips before they broke out into a big grin. He shrugged his shoulders as if to say

"I'm tryin me best lad"

The smile fell from his lips when the sound of a door creaking open came from across the room. There was no cover for the Dwarf, he was standing on the stage, totally illuminated by gas and candle lights that surrounded him. He stood still, terrified, unable to move until Aracel grabbed him by the wrist, the knife dropping from G'raks grip as he was yanked across the stage and through the door. Aracel threw G'rak into the wall, putting his finger to his own lips and closed the door behind them, his ear firmly against the wood, listening for any sound at all.

He heard the footsteps of two people, his keen ears could pinpoint their locations and directions almost perfectly, near the stage. The voices he heard were muffled and distant, the thick door keeping much from his keen senses. Aracel offered up a prayer to any God that ever existed that the knife wasn't discovered on the stage, he prayed that it had landed under the lectern or at least out of site as he was certain the figures in the other room were stood almost directly where G'rak had been stood.

Aracel and G'rak stood in silence, completley still for a few moments, Aracel's hand firmly gripped around the hilt of a dagger in his belt. The footsteps stopped. Aracel held his breath and closed his eyes, pushing his ear firmly against the door, his mouth slightly open. The muffled voices stopped. G'rak had his hands firmly over his mouth, making sure not to create any noise at all.

Eventually the footsteps began again, this time becoming more and more distant. Aracel released his breath and shot G'rak another stern look.

"I'm sorry lad" the Dwarf said softly, his eyes downcast

"It's ok G'rak, just be careful from here on in. I don't want to start a fight here"

G'rak nodded. Aracel scanned his eyes over the room for the first time. When he peered in earlier he had acertained the room to be empty but had no idea what he was charging into when he grabbed G'rak. The room was quite small, there was a circular staircase in one corner, a few chairs littered the side of the room, dotted around with a small coffee table.

Aracel rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and walked over to the staircase, craning his neck around to see as far up as he could.

"Well" he said "I guess this is the way we're going"

"Why didn't we just climb up from the outside lad?" G'rak asked, running a hand through his beard.

Aracel turned to face G'rak, a soft smile across his face "We can check for things to steal on the way up this way"

G'rak gave a little chuckle, and straightened his beard "I knew ye was lookin out for me boy"

"Come on you old fool" Aracel joked "lets have a look upstairs"

Aracel led the way, his soft feet padding silently up the steps. G'rak waited at the bottom for a few moments before reaching down and sliding his boots off, leaving them in the corner of the room under a chair. Aracel, having realised he was climbing the stairs alone peered down the stairs to see G'rak jogging up the stairs, his feet slapping the stone stairs with minimal noise.

"What?" G'rak enquired.

Aracel just shook his head and carried on walking up the stairs. At the top there was a long corridor that curved along the side of the tower. The walls held torches and housed solid doors, each was numbered from one upwards.

"This must be a dormitory" Aracel deduced as he devoured the information presented to him.

G'rak had reached the same conclusion silently. "You take odds, I take evens?" he suggested to Aracel who replied with a nod and began to walk to the door marked "one". He felt a hand grabbing him by the hip. He turned to G'rak who held an open hand to him

"Ye might be wanting to lend me a weapon. I'm a good shot with this crossbow but me beard'll be split before I can reload at such close quarters boy"

Aracel smiled and picked one of his black steel blades from his belt. He looked at it for a second, a little loath to share such a precious, personal item. He flipped it over in his hand and placed the hilt in G'raks hand.

"Don't lose it" he said quietly but with enough force to implant it in the Dwarfs clumsy mind

G'rak nodded solemnly and the pair split up to look for clues to the location of the Archmage. The corridor was quiet. Aracel assumed that this area was restricted to the highest members of the cult. Perhaps it was a floor dedicated to the man they had seen on the stage earlier. The rooms appeared to be mostly empty and the sack which hung from G'raks belt remained completely empty of anything valuable.

The rooms contained beds mostly, wardrobes and a small area for study in each room. When the tower was in it's prime it was clear that this is where the new students slept but now it was a home for the rats, which scurried for safety whenever a door creaked open, allowing light to flood in.

After checking his third room Aracel became impatient and decided to check the corridor. He realised they were on the inside of the tower, the curve in the wall was quite severe and the dormitories were all situated along the outside wall. One of the rooms he had already checked had an enourmous hole in it, the same hole in which they had entered the tower.

As he had thought, the corridor was completely empty, although as he turned to return to the fruitless task of checking each room he heard a noise coming from the door marked with a seven. He looked back for G'rak but the Dwarf was nowhere to be seen in the corridor, he was busy looking for valuables in one of the other rooms. Aracel decided to check the room without him.

He put his ear against the wood of the door, there was a metallic scraping noise coming from inside. Metal on metal.

There wasn't a lot he could do, from what he'd learned of the room layouts he would be entering with nowhere to hide, whoever was in there would see him instantly and be able to react. Aracel mulled this over for a while, allowing a few ideas and tactics to formulate, he waited to see if G'rak would re-appear for a few moments before deciding on a final strategy.
Replacing the black steel dagger into his belt he unsheathed his short sword, the blue blade caught the light majestically and the golden hilt shone in his hand. It was impossible not to admire the beauty and craft of the weapon.

He gripped the metal ring door handle and twisted it slowly, making sure that it made no sound. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath he felt his body relax. He savoured the moment, listening to the metal dragging sound from within, pinpointing the position of the sound. He opened his eyes, the green flashed in the lamplight and they were full of menace and violence. He pressed his shoulder to the door and opened it, his sword drawn and hung low, ready to parry or strike any blow that came from inside. Spinning around as he entered the room he crouched low like a panther, his aggressive postion full of menace and ready to leap at any foe that might stand before him.

Instead he was met with a scream.

Aracel, was taken aback for a second, not prepared for this encounter he was unable to react in the correct way. His first instinct was to strike at this figure, his mind was in the wrong place and he lunged forward ready to strike.

The screaming stopped and Aracel managed to stay his blade just in time. Before him, less than a meter from the edge of his blade was a young woman, dressed in rags, bound heavily to the floor. Her mousy blonde hair was a mess of tangles and grease and hung down over her face. She wore a long sleeved dress, or at least what was left of one, tears and dirt ran the full length of the material. She whimpered at the sight of Aracel and pulled back on her chains as far as she could to try and escape but could only move a few feet towards the back wall.

Aracel checked himself, the situation dawning on him, his blade quivered slightly before he withdrew it and replaced it in it's sheath.

He apologised before he knew he had spoken, embarassment covering him. The rest of the room was sparse, there was no bed, no wardrobes, a small window high up on the back wall was the only source of light in the bedroom which had been converted into a make shift prison.

There was a chair in the corner by the door, and apart from a bucket in the opposite corner it was the only furnishing.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you" Aracel said to the girl. She couldn't have been more than a teenager, her eyes still shining bright despite the grime on her face.

She didn't reply.

"Why are you locked up like this? Who are these people?"

She didn't answer again, she remained totally quiet, still full of fear. Aracel fell to one knee and reached out to inspect the padlock, trying to decide whether he could pick the lock with the sparse toolset he had with him.

As soon as he touched the lock the girl reached out with both hands and held his hand, he looked up and their eyes met for a few moments.

"I'm here to help you" he said softly

This time she nodded. Shaking her head up and down violently

Aracel smiled at her, trying to inspire confidence in her. "What's your name?" he asked

She pursed her lips softly and knitted her brow as if trying to remember. Then muttered under her breath a few times before speaking more confidently "Sk...Sky" she finally uttered

Aracel jumped back. This? This was the archmage that the cult was worshipping, this girl has the natural blood of the magi coursing through her veins. He pulled his hands from hers. This girl could destroy all of Atlas' accomplishments. The world had survived and was surviving without magic for two hundred years.

He slowly drew his blade, knowing what he had to do. Tears came to his eyes as he fought all the goodness inside him, swallowed all the mercy down past his heart and tried to focus on the right thing to do.

He lifted the blade above his head

"I'm sorry" he whispered from his choked throat "I'm truly sorry"

Chapter 5

Aracel stood ready for a moment, the sword above his head, his eyes tightly closed, unable to contemplate what he had to do. His face scrunched in anger and shame as his mind span, trying to understand the scenario he had found himself in.

He opened his eyes and looked at the scared girl on the floor, tears in her eyes, silently screaming.The hurt and resentment building up inside him, he swallowed hard and attack. He brought the blade down, the blue edge flashed through the air, coming down with an electrical hissing sound towards the frightened girls throat.

An impact in his back sent him crashing to the floor, the sword hit the concerete and danced into the corner. Aracel crumpled to the floor, a solid weight still wrapped around his back. He brought his elbow around violently striking his assailant over and over until his senses came back to him and the blood stopped pumping through his ears enough for him to be able to hear

"What in hells mouth do ye think ya doin lad? It's just a girl, it's just a girl" G'rak was shouting over and over again, blocking Aracels blows which were coming slower and slower.

"She's the Archmage you idiot, we have to kill her, if magic returns to Atlas god knows what will happen" Aracel shouted back, forgetting where he was for a moment. He managed to scrabble to his feet.

"We have to end this here, now" Aracel said quieter this time

"She's just a girl, what possible harm can she do?" G'rak asked, he had positioned himself in between Sky and Aracel, his hand ready with the dagger.

"She holds natural magic, she has it in her veins, somehow she's linked to the arcane realm. Don't you understand what that means?"

G'rak shook his head "There has to be another way, she's no more than a child"

Aracel continued "If there is a link to the arcane then the alliance could find a way back into existence. There will be suffering unlike anything we've seen on Atlas since the forever war. Far worse than fighting the elves, or skirmishing with the minor races, millions will die, millions, and all because of that girl" Aracel pointed an accusatory finger at Sky who was still stunned by what has happening in front of her

G'rak remained quiet for a few moments, staring angrilly at Aracel

"Of all the arrogant fools I've met lad, you're still by far the worst of em. I didn't raise you to be this stupid, this blind."

"What are you talking about?"

"If this young un has all the power you say she has, then why is she in shackles on the floor? Why does it look like she's not eaten a real meal in days? Why hasnt she magiced herself up some fine robes?" G'rak was speaking in a menacing half whisper, as if scolding a son or daughter.

Aracel contemplated this thought for a while, blood rushing to his face in embarassment. He looked past G'rak, unable to look his friend in the eyes, at the girl in shackles. G'rak, sensing the realisation in Aracel, turned his back on him and knelt down beside Sky. He lowered his voice and smiled at her

"Hi there, my name's G'rak, you must be Sky?" he asked

The girl just nodded softly. Inspecting the chains G'rak pulled on a large padlock which held everything in place. It was solid iron.

Turning back to Aracel G'rak said

"How about you do something productive and pick this lock open"

Aracel, had received his short sword from the corner and replaced it in his belt. "Fine" he said, almost to himself, and started to work on the lock with a set of lockpicks that he took from his waistcoat pocket.

G'rak continued to talk to the girl, trying to get her to give him some details of what was happening here.

"Who locked you up like this?" he said, his voice full of compassion

Sky shook her head, staring at Aracel with eyes full of fear.

"We won't harm you girl" G'rak continued "I promise, we're goin to get ya outta here. Do you have parents?"

Her eyes began to fill with tears

"They're dead, they're dead, they're all dead" she said with tears streaming down her face "Pan came. Pan, he came with some men, they were all in robes. They took me and threw me in a carriage. It was horrible, it was horrible" her voice trailed away

G'rak put a hand softly on her shoulder "It's ok, you're safe now"

"They locked my family in, they locked my family in the house" she fought back the tears as best she could "They locked them in and set fire to the house. They're dead, they're all dead" she burst into tears as the lock sprang open, she was free for the first time in what appeared to be months. Overcome with emotion she buried her face in her hands and sobbed to herself.

Aracel and G'rak watched her for a moment, not sure what to do in this situation but to let her mourn.

Aracel leaned over to G'rak "Look at her arms" he said

Skys sleeves had fallen leaving her forearms bare, all along were scabs and scars, needle holes and track marks from syringes, she was covered in them

G'rak swore under his breath in shock at the sight "What did they do to you girl?"

It took a couple of minutes before Sky could regain control of herself again. The sobbing slowed and she lowered her hands.

"They took my blood" she said finally "they said I was important, that I was magical, that they would look after me. We arrived at the tower in the night time, they told me we wouldn't be here for too long but we've been here ever since."

Aracels ears pricked up and he stepped towards the door to keep a look out. Sky lowered her voice and looked from Aracel to G'rak for a sign that it was safe.

"Never mind him gal, you carry on" G'rak reassured her

"They took my blood, I haven't always been in this room, for a while I was strapped to a table, they'd stick me with needles and take so much blood. I was asleep a lot, I felt like I couldn't breath. They wouldn't stop and I couldn't move. They just kept saying it was for the greater good, for the future, that we would save Atlas together."

G'rak checked behind him at where Aracel was stood looking through the crack in the door. His face locked in concentration

"Can ye walk gal? We may need to make a move in a bit" G'rak said cautiously, noting how frail the girl looked

She smiled at him "Would you like to see what I can do?" she asked

"You mean, what magic you can do?"

"Yeah, put that sack on the floor and I'll show you" she was smiling and G'rak didn't want to say no. Magic hadn't been witnessed for over two hundred years on Atlas.

He did as he was asked and placed the sack on the floor in front of Sky and sat back.

She placed her hands in front of her, her arms outstretched with her palms out. She stretched out her thumbs and touched the tips together. Closing her eyes she seemed to drop instantly into a deep meditation. G'rak didn't know what to look at, he didn't know what to expect to happen but his eyes were locked on her hands. She slowly brought her index fingers together, as they got closer and closer the air became electrified, it felt sharp, crisp, almost painful to breath in. Her mouth worked silently, mumbling incoherent words that G'rak couldn't understand.

Movement. His eyes darted from the hands to the sack on the floor. The edge had started to lift, only slightly, as if caught in a draft, but it was moving. The corner of the sack lifted off the ground, maybe five centemeters in the air. His eyes were locked on it, he couldn't believe what he was witnessing. Then, all of a sudden, it dropped to the floor again and Sky roused from her trance.

"Pretty cool huh?" she said breathlessly

"Pretty cool" Aracel agreed from the doorway. He tried not to look impressed at what he had seen but he, like almost everyone on Atlas, had never witnessed a natural magi at work.

"I mean, that's all I can do, it's obviously not amazing but I might get better" Sky said, with a little apologetic smile.

"It was incredible lass" G'rak said to her. He placed his hand on her shoulder smiled at her warmly.

"I think it would be a good idea for us to leave now" Aracels voice calmly breaking the moment. He turned to Sky "Can you walk?"

"I don't think so" Sky muttered looking down at her thin legs

"I'll carry you lass" G'rak said dropping his crossbow to the floor and handing Aracel his knife back. "You can't weigh much, just hang on tightly"

G'rak knelt down in front of her and she locked her arms around her neck, lifting her up onto his back.

"Lets go" she said

Chapter 6

The corridor was still empty but Aracel could hear the sound of activity coming from somewhere. "Downstairs" he thought to himself, remembering that there must be study halls on the floor beneath them. He beckoned to G'rak to follow him and they both slunk through the corridor, Sky clinging onto G'raks back.

"I hope ye have a plan lad" G'rak whispered

"Of course I have a plan" Aracel lied. Secretly he was heading for the rope, and hoping that it hadn't been discovered and that G'rak and Sky could make it down safely.

At the bottom of the stairs G'rak received his boots from the corner. Once again they stood in that small room, Aracel with his ear pressed against the door and G'rak waiting for the signal to move on. After a few moments silence Aracel opened the door and stepped through with G'rak and Sky close on his heels.

The room was still empty, no-one seemed to be on their guard in the tower, there was no real reason for them too. Aracel had no idea how long they'd been hidden here but it was clear they had remained a secret to all for a very long time. Aracel walked slowly, allowing G'rak time to rest and be careful with his footing as he carried Sky across the stage and then down the center of the room towards the door. Both were so pre-occupied with their own thoughts that they failed to notice that G'raks dagger was nowhere to be seen.

The end of the night was in sight as Aracel stepped into the old library where they had began their long journey. The room still smelt damp and rotten and Aracel allowed himself to relax a little bit, straigtening up he walked casually over to the rope. He could already see the steel hook shining in the evening light. The famed sunset of the lake was in full glory, the sky turned the most amazing purples and greens as the sun lowers and the clouds seem to glow the most incredble yellows and oranges.

"So this is your plan eh lad? G'rak asked, a smirk appearing across his lips. "We climb?"

Aracel was about to answer but was interrupted

"I'm afraid that we'll have to stop you from doing that"

A man, the man, the leader of the cult stepped from the shadows, a sinister smile across his thin lips. He was still dressed in his robe, the hood casting a dark shadow over much of his face. Behind him stood ten guards. Each in deep red robes baring the blue ankh on the chest but more notibly each with a bow with the arrow drawn back and aimed directly at the three intruders.

"And you must be Pan" Aracel said turning around, hiding his shock well

"Ah, I see you've heard of me, I'm afraid I'm at a loss Mr....?" Pan extended a hand as if to accept a handshake but didn't move any closer to Aracel

Aracel remained quiet

"Fair enough, introductions another time maybe, if, that is, there will be another time. It seems you have something that belongs to me, I would like it back"

"The wee lass is comin with us ya monster" G'rak said backing away towards the edge of the room, his back to the opening.

"That is where you are wrong Dwarf" Pan said, never losing the smirk from his lips "The girl is ours, hand her over and I'll let you both leave the way you came in"

Aracel looked at G'rak for a second, contemplating giving in and leaving with his life. The situation seemed impossible. There was noway he could attack, he would be filled with arrows before he could draw a weapon. They couldn't make it to the rope and if they jumped they would surely be dashed against the rocks.

He offered G'rak another look, silently trying to convey his desire to accept the deal. G'rak understood fully and shot him a disgusted look.

"I'm afraid I shall have to rush you, I don't have all evening to discuss this matter" Pan said. The sound of bows being drawn tighter rushed into Aracels ears and he began to back up towards G'rak

Tears were streaming down Skys face and she was talking into G'raks ear, saying the same thing over and over again

"Don't let them get me, please don't let them get me"

The situation was dire, the two adventurers understood fully.

Aracel managed to catch G'raks eye again and he flashed him a wink. G'rak nodded.

Aracel straightened up "Allow me to introduce myself" he said smiling and slowly approaching Pan with his hand outstretched "My name is Aracel and this is my friend G'rak"

Pan took a step back to avoid making contact with him.

"We're here as theives under the allusion that there was nobody here, obviously we were wrong and will now be........" Aracel didn't finish as he crouched down low and in a single movement he sprung himself head first into Pan. There was chaos as the shocked guards released their arrows, narrowly missing their targets. Pan was sent flying into the nearest guards and they all landed in a heap on the floor at the far side of the room. G'rak acted instantly, heading for the rope, spitting in his hands, ready for a quick descent.

Aracel arose from the confusion and turned on his heels, running full steam at the opening in the wall already being chased by three of the guards who had ditched their bows and drawn swords.
"NO G'RAK! JUMP!" he shouted and lunged forward towards the Dwarf.

Aracel thumped into his back, gripping on tightly, trapping Sky between him and G'rak. The force of the impact sent them all careening over the edge. Screaming and shouting and praying that they could clear the rocks and hit the lake. None dared to open their eyes, none more so than Sky, her eyes locked shut, she screamed as loud as her lungs could manage as the three plunged to certain death.

A flash of light filled the sky for a second. A crackling sound, the sound of an explosion reverberating through the air and shook the landscape. The guards reached the edge to witness the burst of light that seemed to emit from the three plummeting figures who were there one second and the next they were gone.

Aracel, G'rak and Sky were still screaming when they appeared seconds later, still clutching each other desperately but on dry land, dry land on the edge of the lake. Aracels eyes opened and he inhaled as though he was taking his first breaths, sucking in air in a long panicked blast. He let go of G'rak and rolled onto his back on the bank. Gripping the ground at his side in shock.The tower was still there at the center of the lake. He could see the hole and the rope and the shadowy figures standing inside.

"We're alive?" Aracel managed to say, rolling over in the mud still fighting to catch his breath. Tears rolled from G'raks eyes, his breath was gone as well and he was scrabbling around on the floor dizzy with confusion.

"We're alive" Sky said, laughing manically with shock "We did it, we're alive"

Aracel turned and looked at the teenager sat in her rags. There was a new sparkle in her eye, something that wasn't there before. She laughed happily with relief and panic, her skin glowed and cast an aura that surrounded her.

Aracel watched her, his eyes wide with fear.

The End

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Nice and vivid.Funny character names =D.Intresting story line

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on February 1, 2010
Last Updated on March 31, 2010
Tags: Steampunk, fantasy, magic, conspiracy, adventure, mystery