Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Shattered Oracle - II - An Astral Sojourn - Page 13


An Astral Sojourn

- Page Thirteen -

She began to worry that maybe something down there yearned for her essence and aethyric energies. Perhaps it was her deep connection to the area, or some aspect of the violent energies ripping the place apart. Worse yet — her mind began to scrabble and claw at the dark possibilities — it might be the very same monster she feared below that drew her in now. The monster of her mother, given a renewed and unholy set of powers in her undead state. Her mother was always a powerful and talented oracle, some even said she might be the most powerful oracle in the world. Who knew what kind of powers she might have been imbued with that day at the Ullthosian Temple. What powers she might have perfected over the last two decades she spent hunting Maenthrai, Serranos, and the last surviving oracles down.

The panic turned into a sense of full vertigo. Maenthrai had a hard time keeping track of which direction was which. Space around her seemed to flux and twist. She didn't know if she was spinning or curling in upon herself. If the dark tug she kept struggling against was beneath or above her. She had truly made a horrible mistake giving into her emotions, her nostalgia, and her darker impulses. She should never have given into her longing and curiosity. This dreadful place was always meant to be forbidden to her since she left it so long ago.

No matter which direction was towards the hellish islands, she soon felt the last of her strength give way as she began to fall towards it. She threw her ephemeral arms out — more of an instinctual reaction than anything logical — grasping and clawing at the aether of the astral plane around her. There was nothing there for her desperate flails to seize upon. The only solid forms in this echo of the physical world were the forms of will-made-manifest. Her will was stripped of her; upward, downward, sideways, inward, outward, she began to fall.

There was a flash of bright and brilliant light as she fell through the gathering clouds below her. Their misty substance seemed to coalesce out of the very air like a dark hand reaching up to capture her within its grasp. Another flash went off just a fraction of a second later. Three more stole her senses from her in a staccato burst. As she passed through the fingers of the hand-shaped cloud, continuing her fall to the world below, she could see tracks of land whipping by at an incredible pace. Whole provinces, cities, and landmarks were cascading by faster than she could fall. She was moving backward to her origin point. She was being violently summoned right back to her body. The last bursts of ground she could see were the jagged and snow-capped peaks near the Loch of Flames.

She braced herself, putting her half-transparent arms up around her head — another instinctual reaction of no use to an astral form — as she fell to the hard rock below. Flashes of blackness engulfed her sight and then one last, brilliant burst went off. It was a flash of light in a mixture of reds, blues, and rich purples before everything went dark. 

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