Posts Tagged ‘As Time Goes By’

As Time Goes By Pt. 6

February 15, 2020

The city sentinels were quick to arrive on the scene. When a building, even just a cottage, collapses, it is always cause for concern. Following close behind them was the building’s owner who was a sturdy old woman who was definitely freaking out. Many expletives were slipping from her mouth. The sentinels were cautious as the dust had not settled yet. The strongest of the sentinels were closest to the scene, ready to lift and dig through rubble and debris should anybody be trapped inside during the partial collapse.

“Hullo!” the commerce district shift captain called out. “Anybody in there?”

“A few of us,” Luther called out. “Sorry for trespassing.”

“Are you alright?” the astonished captain called back.

“We’ve got some unconscious wounded,” Luther yelled. “We’ve stabilized them but we’d appreciate some help before we get arrested. We’ll come along peacefully.”

The captain looked at a subordinate and pointed toward the nearest temple. The young woman ran off to fetch some clerics. “Agreed,” the captain said. “Holy healers are on their way.”

“Good,” Luther said. “I’m coming out unharmed to parlay.” He walked out of the rubble with his hands up and weaponless.

“What the devils did you do to my haunted cottage?” the landlady yelled at him.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Luther said. “We’ve un-haunted it.”

The woman narrowed her eyes. “Bloody, adventurers.”

Mariel woke up in a bed in the back of a temple dedicated to Asherah. She knew it immediately from the banner on the wall. She blinked in the dim light. She muttered a few words and the lamps burned brighter. As the light expanded, she saw Luther step forward from where he was standing in the corner. His eyes were kind and there was a smile on his face.

“Take it slow, Mariel,” Luther said. “Everything’s fine. You’re safe.”

She was not sure she wanted to ask any questions because, despite his assurances, Mariel was not sure she wanted to hear the answers. “What happened?” she asked, her voice shaking a little.

“You and Asher pushed yourself too hard,” Luther said. “You both passed out mid casting. Dimitri and Fern made sure you two were stable. You and Asher blew up the cottage. Fern and Dina slipped away as wolves just in case things didn’t go well with the authorities. The city sentinels were agreeable enough but Dimitri had to sweet talk a very upset landlady. Apparently, she was using the cottage as a haunted attraction without knowing what exactly was going on. We’re in the clear but I had to drop a lot of gold to smooth things over. I also volunteered Dimitri, Dina, and myself to do the physical labor of repairs for the cottage.”

Mariel gave Luther a stern look. “Luther,” she said and his name resonated almost with a magic of its own. “What about my parents?”

“They’re still recovering but they’re alive,” Luther said. “Apparently, time travel takes a lot out of you. The clerics think that they’ll recover consciousness in the next day or so. You did it. You brought your parents back.”

Mariel laid back for a moment with a big smile. “Remind me to thank Asher,” she said.

“There will be plenty of time for that,” Luther said. “He’s still asleep but we’ve all decided to stick around here until your parents are alright. Oh, and we have a cottage to rebuild.”

“Are you sure?” Mariel asked. “Don’t we have lives to save? Also, I interrupted everybody’s vacation.”

“Stop feeling so guilty about that,” Luther said. “It was obviously worth it. You and Asher can continue your vacations in recovery. As for the rest of us, hanging out and building a cottage is way more relaxing than fighting monsters. I’d say it’s still a vacation.”

Mariel smiled and for a moment thought she might cry. “You guys are the best,” she said softly.

Luther smiled warmly and shrugged. “We need you, Mariel,” he said. “We’re happy to see you happy.”

“And you told me that you were a bad, bad man when we met,” she said. “You’re really just an old softie.”

“Don’t tell anybody,” Luther said. “I’m going to go check on Asher. Rest up and I’m sure you’ll be able to talk to your parents soon.”

Mariel felt her eyes getting heavy and she yawned. “Maybe you’re right,” she said. “I’m just going to take another nap.” She was asleep before Luther made it out the door.

As Time Goes On

February 8, 2020

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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