An Astral Sojourn
- Page Eleven -
She loved her siblings dearly, and despite the strangeness of the youngest two, Maenthrai was wounded — deeply — by the loss of them. She pressed forward a few more feet, still remaining thousands of feet more from the land that was once her home. Unlike the imaginary threats she faced down while she was a child, the threat she faced at this very moment was a very real and present one. An all-consuming threat that had not only taken the lives of her sibling-twins, but of her father, and all the lives of the people that once dwelled in the land she called home. The barren and shattered land beneath her ghostly versions of feet. That land was now torn asunder in gouts of flame and vortexes of chaotic energy at this very moment.
This was the land that was once called Oerstav Caelii — meaning in High Hoelatha, the Isle of Oracles — a once beautiful volcanic island that was seen as the jewel of the Hoelath Empire. The capital city of this land, the once thriving city of Neshran, was her home. It was the place that her mother's family had lived in for centuries. Each of them had served as an oracle of the Sharr-vhult — those oracles who guided the city and advised the leaders of their people — a long tradition stretching back to the fall of the Morthavi people in antiquity. Maenthrai had followed — at least in some respects — after her mother and become an oracle as well. She was not a member of the same order. She wanted to travel to the lands of the south, to the heart of the Hoelath Empire; the bustling capital of Morrthault City. She was driven to a cosmopolitan life, rather than a life of hermit-like mystics living in a temple for most of their days.
Her mother said it was her father's blood in her that made her seek out the novelty and bustle of the city life. Her father had moved northward to be with her mother when they were young. He was a member of the Filidath — the law-giver — caste. He managed the day-to-day existence of the people in the city of Neshran and ensured those managements were enacted as law. It was her father that raised her and her siblings more than her mother ever did. He was always present at home, while her mother always was away at the Ullthosian Sanctum for elaborate rituals, deep contemplation, and the arduous refinement of her divinatory abilities. Even at this moment, Maenthrai could feel the resentment she had for her mother bubbling up inside of her.
A bolt of reddish energy shot by her, knocking her out of her emotional reveries and blinding her astral senses with its searing heat. The bolt carried through the atmosphere, alighting currents of charged air like blood roaring through the arteries of a human body. Each arc of current set off a boom of thunder as the final segments of energy bled themselves out before reaching the ground below. The energy would likely have killed a mortal person, but in Maenthrai's astral state, it would only have discorporated her astral body and sent her flying back to her body in an instant. She would most likely be stunned for several hours, if not stuck in a coma for several days. Thankfully, despite the very close-call, it didn't bring any harm to her.
She wanted to reach out and enter into the lands below her but the threat down there remained ever vigilant in its wait for her to pass the threshold. Down there was a real thaekkuz revenant who truly would harm her if she stepped to far into that darkness. The threat knew her like only a mother could, and possessed the same uncanny abilities she had, if not moreso. She began to worry if being even this far away, in her astral state, might be enough for that threat to reach out and see her energy. She remembered immediately that she would have to disperse her energies when she finally returned to her body, taking a long route through the high intensity and busy lands of the south and far into the empty expanses of the Hoelath Valisilas grasslands to the east. She mustn't have that dark being that was once her mother following her back to the refuge of the Azhemyra. It had taken her a little more than a decade to find the ruined city of Kalshuyr Azkholl beneath the world's surface, so as to be a safe haven from her mother's depredations.
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