As Time Goes On

The team followed behind Dina who was leading them toward the source of the high-pitched sound that only her canine senses could perceive. They walked through the city’s winding streets carefully. Dina was focused on the sound which was obviously causing her stress. She ignored the people in the street so Fern had to occasionally nudge her so she would not run into other people. Mariel’s heart was thudding as she struggled to keep up. Of course, Luther’s legs were shorter but he seemed so nimble. It could be frustrating. She kept going, trying not to get her hopes up. She was failing miserably.

They made their way through the streets and arrived in a less populated part of town. Dina found her way to the door of an abandoned cottage and she started to pull the boards off of it. Dimitri was suddenly at her side with a hand axe, chopping the boards to pieces. Dina smirked and opened the door and slipped in before anybody could say anything Everybody scrambled in after her and Mariel’s heart thudded harder and faster. She was close to being unable to keep her footing her knees were so weak.

In the cottage, there was a scene unlike anything any of them had ever seen. Mariel did not even need to use her detect magic spell. There was stone shrapnel everywhere but it was flickering and fluttering. There were all sorts of debris in a similar state floating in the room. Everybody stopped and stared just inside the door. Mariel slowly walked forward and the objects in the room phased through her. The others subsequently heard their wizard scream louder and longer than they ever had. They rushed forward and there in the very center of the cottage, they saw what Mariel had screamed about. Suspended in the air were two figures. They flickered and blinked but everybody could see that they were elves and there was a certain familial resemblance.

“Those are my parents,” Mariel said, turning toward her friends. “They might be alive. We have to do something!”

“We’re at your disposal,” Luther said. “You’re in charge here. Guide us.”

“Please just do it fast,” Dina said. “The sound is driving me crazy.”

“I have no experience with this sort of magic,” Mariel said. “I can’t think straight.”

“Wait,” Asher said. “I think I have an idea.”

“Really?” Mariel asked. “Please do tell.” She watched the bard with bright, curious eyes. She was shaken but she was hopeful.

“In the search for the perfect sound, I have long searched for new methods,” Asher said. “This includes, of course, infusing my music with magic and vice versa.” The bard could be fond of his own voice and loved an audience. This was the most wrapt he had gotten his friends to be.

“Asher!” Dina shouted. “Stop talking and do it! I’ll be outside. I can’t stand that sound anymore.” She turned to walk out.

Asher caught her arm in his hand. “Not yet,” he said. “I need you, Dina.”

“What are you talking about?” Dina asked.

“You’re the only one who can hear the sound and I need your ears,” Asher said.

Dina clapped her hands over her ears. “You maniac,” she said. “Leave my body parts alone.”

Asher laughed. “No,” he said. “I’ll use a new trick I’ve learned. It’s called a telepathic bond. It won’t hurt.”

“I trust you,” Dina said and took a deep breath. Dimitri stepped up and took hold of her hand to comfort her.

Asher began to hum and then his and Dina’s eyes flashed briefly light blue. Then he and Dina’s thoughts began to blend and suddenly Asher could hear the high pitched tone. It was loud and it was unique.

“You’re right, Dina,” Asher said. “This is painful.” He pulled out his lute and started to pick at the strings. There was a rush of magic as he put everything he was into the instrument and the sound that came from it. Soon nobody but Dina and Asher could hear his plucking. He was obviously trying to find a certain note. He found a counter note and something resonated through the cottage. It was something everybody could feel deep inside. “I’m using counterspell, Mariel. Care to join me?”

Mariel pulled out her magic wand and pointed it at her parents and spoke the words and willed an end to magic. She poured everything she could into the spell, pushing it all at her parents. She saw Asher doing the same thing. She had never attempted anything like this before and she was sure Asher had not either. She felt her very soul falter for a moment and she heard Asher grunt. She closed her eyes and prayed to whatever Gods would listen. There was a powerful wave of anti-magic and then there was an explosion that knocked one wall of the cottage to pieces.

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