Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 90,555,321 Issue: 168 | 2nd day of Celebrating, Y6
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Darkness Binding 3: Part One

by nomad2


Five figures stood in a circle at the center of a darkened room. Large stones of obsidian made up the walls and ceiling, while what seemed like nothing but shadow made up the floor. There were no designs on the walls, and the only lighting came from the narrow opening at the center of the ceiling, which focused the moonlight within the circle. Each of the figures wore a dark, brown cloak over their bodies, leaving all but their faces uncovered, which were all painted shadow. In the circle was a male Nimmo, Lenny and Jetsam, as well as a female Krawk and Mynci.

      They stared into the moonlight on the floor, remaining quiet and motionless. While the others remained still, the Lenny softly spoke with a deep, yet projected voice, "Did the rest of you hear that?"

      The Krawk rose her head and softly said, "We cannot allow this. Something has to be done."

      The Jetsam quietly stated, "This will be a disaster if it happens."

      The Nimmo lowered his head and asked, "Shall one of us try to correct it?"

      The Mynci replied, "No, it's too dangerous. We must find one more able. If we try to leave, we will be unable to return."

      The Jetsam looked at the Mynci and protested while still remaining monotone, "We cannot do nothing. This is balance we are talking about. Perhaps a disciple can go."

      The Lenny then said to the him, "No, they are not ready. They know too little about it. We should call upon the one who is already involved in it. It is our only hope."

      The Krawk replied, "Very well, I shall send for a messenger. Once he arrives, we will have not a moment to lose. Preparations must be made quickly."

      The Krawk left through the door to the north, and the others returned to their original body positions and closed their eyes. This time, they were humming softly.

      Meanwhile, on Mystery Island, the sun shined down brightly onto the land. A cool breeze kept the area from becoming too hot, but did not make it very cold at the same time. Clouds lightly scattered the sky, but it was clear enough where there was no chance of rain. The people on the island went about their day joyfully, for it was very beautiful.

      Two familiar faces stood outside the Tiki Tack shop. There was Cray, a red Grarrl with black eyes and a shadow staying over his body, and Yorvick, a blue Draik who was very well-kept. The two discussed whether they had enough money to make their visit worth while.

      "Well, we could probably get a few bottles of colored sand," said Cray.

      Yorvick shook his head, "It's sand. Sand can be gotten at the beach. If anything, we might as well get a toy sail boat."

      Cray replied, "Well we can get those for free over at Tombola. We might as well wait until we get enough to buy something bigger."

      "Well, perhaps we can go get some money from those Myncies over at the volleyball courts," suggested Yorvick while looking in the direction of the nets.

      As the two of them turned around, Cray suddenly shuddered. Afterwards, he didn't take a step, but looked over his shoulder instead. Yorvick looked back as well to see a short, robed Meerca beside the Tiki Tack hut. The Meerca's black robes shrouded his features, but Cray turned back around to approach him anyway.

      Yorvick reached up and put a hand on Cray's shoulder, but Cray kept walking. Yorvick's hand slipped off of Cray and so she followed behind, though it was a short distance. Standing a mere foot away from the Meerca, Cray extended his arm and said, "Good to see you, Livata. I assume this isn't a social call."

      The Meerca, Livata, extended his arm and they shook one another's hand. "No, it's not. It is still good to see you, though. I was sent by the council to request you back."

      The two lowered their arms and Cray asked, "When do they want me back and why?"

      "Now, and for dire reasons," he said, "that is all I was told. Apparently something has them rather spooked."

      Yorvick stepped into the conversation, "What council is that, Cray?"

      He turned to Yorvick and answered, "The same one I had to go to the last time I left. Hopefully this won't take too long."

      Out of great curiosity, Yorvick said, "I'm coming with you this time."

      The Meerca immediately rose up on his tail and narrowed his eyes. "No outsiders are allowed," he protested, "Especially outsiders with strong auras of light."

      Yorvick leaned in closer and demanded, "I will go to see them. It's about time I see the people whose decisions made my life rather difficult."

      The two remained in a staring match until Cray broke their concentration by putting his hand between them. Quietly, he said, "He is coming with me, Livata. The council will not be pleased, but I will handle them. He deserves to come along, anyway."

      The Meerca lowered himself to the ground, but did not look happy with the decision. With a respectful bow to Cray, he left them as he hurried to the north. Cray turned around and began walking back towards his home, and Yorvick followed behind.

      During their walk, Yorvick asked, "What exactly is this council? All I've been able to gather from you is that they're knowledgeable of dark magic, if not masters of it, but that's it. What's the big deal with these guys?"

      Cray continued walking as he answered. "They are the five forms of darkness. Each one represents a different physical form of dark energy within. There is darkness inhabited, darkness twisted, darkness pure, darkness harnessed, and darkness creator. Together, they look after the realm of shadows to make sure everything is at balance between in world and theirs. The fact that they're calling a novice like me in means they're needing every man they can get."

      "I only understood about half of that," responded Yorvick. "You could have just said they're the guardians of darkness. At least, that's what I got out of it."

      Cray sighed, "Well, I suppose that's the shortened version of it. I was just trying to tell you why these people are the ones who are acting as guardians. Their individual experience and power put them where they are now. They all have a long tale associated with their abilities."

      They came upon a house painted a rather dark shadow of gray along the trim. It was a single story without windows on any of the walls. The solid brick walls were rough with little space made between them. The door was the same color as the trim, and wore nothing more than the doorknob.

      Cray opened the door and the two went inside, where it was extremely dark. When the door was closed behind Yorvick, he rose up a hand as it lit up. Yorvick looked to Cray and said to him, "Would it kill you to get some lights? At least a candle would do."

      Cray walked into the first room to the left of the entrance as he answered with a smirk, "I see just fine in the dark. Maybe you should get use to the dark, old friend."

      In the room were walls adorned with markings painted with black paint. They were not in a language known to Yorvick, causing him to shine his light upon them with great curiosity. While he did that, Cray walked to the far wall. Standing up against the wall was a large mirror, but it held no reflection. The glassy surface held only a black void.

      Cray looked back at Yorvick and sighed, "If you really want to meet this council, you will have to come with me through the shadows to get to them. It's faster that we do it this way instead of taking the long way."

      Yorvick looked to Cray with confusion. Out of morbid curiosity, he asked, "What would I expect from the shadows?"

      Cray thought for a moment about how to explain it. Then, he answered, "Time will stand still in your mind. A second will seem like an hour. You will see nothing, but feel a strange tingling. It might be somewhat unsettling for a first timer without training in darkness."

      After taking a gulp, Yorvick replied, "Why not take the long way? I'm sure it'll feel better."

      Cray shook his head in disappointment and said, "This place is in the far north. It's a very small and isolated box canyon near Terror Mountain. The way if very treacherous, which is why people don't know about it or visit it. All that's there is a few shelters and the temple where the council stays. Even if we survive the journey, it'll take a long time, and they wanted me there soon."

      Yorvick took a deep breath and stepped up to the mirror. Cray stepped next to him and put his hand on Yorvick's shoulder. With a push, the two entered the mirror at the same time. A quick chill ran through Yorvick's body as they passed through. The feeling of Cray's hand remained on him, but the rest of his body felt it was floating in cold water. His body has freedom of movement as there was nothing physical to rest on. He tried to look around, but he was blind in that place.

      Suddenly, Yorvick felt as if his entire body was being pulled upward. His breath suddenly left him until there was a bright flash. He felt cold, but mainly on his back. As his sense of balance returned, he realized he was laying on the ground and was in the frozen mountains. His body felt as if it was in pain, and he gasped to replace the breath he had lost.

      Cray looked over him with a hand offered and said, "Come, get up. We're here."

To be continued...

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