I hope your Friday heralds in a chill weekend! Before you get started on today's update, please be sure to read this update by @zakludick or you'll be a little lost.
Stefan appeared as quickly as he had disappeared. Adrian knew from his face that his sister was ready to return. He hopped from the bed and dodged out of his mother’s waiting arms.
“What was quick.” He commented.
The life drinker ignored him, went to the window, and opened it before looking down. The structure was a little different, but he was sure it was the courtyard below them where the mage and his companions were.
He turned to Lucien and said, “That courtyard needs to be cleared within minutes if the spell is to work.”
Lucien looked to Queen Mary, who simply nodded to a soldier close by. The man ran from the room, and within minutes Stephan could see several soldiers clearing the courtyard below them. He assumed they would be able to keep it clear until the mage was ready for them. He then grinned. He had lived many years, but this was the first time he would see those from the other side be returned as alive as when they went in.
“You’re going to want to see this, Mom.” Adrian grabbed Mary’s arm and drag her to the window. “You’re not going to believe how much Magna has grown.”
Those in the room crowded around the window as what appeared to be storm clouds gathered overhead. Lucien watched them and soon a scowl appeared on his face.
“This spell then Adiran?”
Mortis stepped into the circle and seemed to take a deep breath before he started with his full name. While he did so, he looked at Magna, knowing the implications of her knowing his full name.
“I am King Magnus of Drakenspoort, the second-born twin to the King and Queen of these lands. Upon birth, I was named Magnus Swordarm, and I kept it while I flew into battle as well as seated upon the throne. Upon death, I became known as the sacrificed king, it was my job to protect the lives of this land. I am now called Mortis and am oathbound to the future queen of Drakenspoort, from the direct line of my sister and the true heir of the throne of Drakenspoort.”
“I didn’t need a history lesson.” Snapped Adiran, “I know who you are.”
“But she doesn’t.” said Ostia as she indicated to Magna, “This spell requires truth.”
Adiran muttered something under his breath before he indicated it was Ostia’s turn to speak. The wraith hesitated for a moment and looked at the revenant, and he only nodded his head. She sighed and then did as he had.
“I am Magna the First, the first-born twin to the King and Queen of these lands. Upon birth, my right to the throne was stripped and I was made my brother’s keeper. I was named Magna Shieldarm and while my idiot brother flew into battle, I had to protect his skin to ensure a male heir sat on the throne. I was the first to be sacrificed, and it wasn’t enough, I had no name upon death. My brother gave me the name Ostia to honour what was done. It is my job to protect the souls of the people that make their way to this realm.”
“Oh my god.” Groaned Adiran.
“Adiran!” yelled Helga in a panic.
With the two warriors named, the presence of the gods was strong, but the moment Adiran muttered sarcastically, their power became overwhelming. The group was surrounded by red and black mist. Adiran was furiously muttering spell after spell, but nothing seemed to keep the mists from getting closer and closer.
“Magna!” Mortis yelled.
Magna had had her sword drawn, but as she turned to Mortis, he had thrown the sword he had used all this time at her. Magna dropped her blade and caught his. It took her a second to recognise it but recognise it she did. This was her father’s blade. She had been so sure it had been lost in the battle that claimed his life. Mortis must have picked it up during that fight. This was her family sword…no, their family sword.
She looked back at him, and he yelled, “Ostia and I will fight from here, you need to protect your brother while he casts his spells! Go!"
“But your circle…”
“Magna the stake of our country rests on the shoulders of the living, not the dead. Now go!” Mortis broke from his circle and started muttering his own spells.
Magna ran to Adiran’s side and stood between him and the swirling mists. She was hearing mutterings all around her, but there was no one clear voice or words she could understand. She stood with the sword ready and waited. She sensed Helga and Derric close too.
A flash of what appeared to be lightning forked its way to Adiran and Magna blocked it. The sword seemed to absorb the power and shot it straight back. The mists retreated a little but soon it was rolling back toward them.
Derric was already in a smaller version of his dragon form, and he was breathing his fire at the mist, which also seemed to avoid it as best it could. Even Helga’s powerful wingers were keeping it at bay for now.
“Almost there.” Said Adiran as he seemed to pull magic from the very air around him.
A glowing gold bauble appeared before it, and it slowly started to grow as the undead twins used their magic against the mist. It looked like they were going to be swamped at any moment and then Adiran yelled, “Mortis!”
The revenant seemed unable to hear him, but he wasn’t able to stop the spell now. If Mortis didn’t get back into his circle that would be the end of him, but there was nothing more Adiran could do. He yelled the last part of his spell and the golden orb enveloped all of them.
Ostia sprinted to where Mortis was and gripped his shoulder before launching him as far as she could before the golden light blinded her. She hoped that she had made it in time, but she was unsure. The spell was too strong for her to try and do much else than wait for it to pass to see if she was successful.
Did Mortis make it? Or is he left on the wrong side? I guess that's up to Zak to decide.
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts
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