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March 16, 2001

Reaching a Goal

The candle light flickered. Ivy carefully read over the last line of the script. She hadn't slept in days. Her eyes were stinging, and she could barely lift her head. These past days had been hell. After returning the Countess to Dawn, she had decided to return to her studies of advancing in her magic.

A harsh cough shook the Mistress' slight form. She covered her mouth with a soft cloth until it passed. When she pulled it away, she knew what she'd see. Blood. Much the same as she had witnessed from her former love, ages ago it seemed. She sighed. Soon, she hoped it would be done with. He grew better as his skill increased. She had hoped it would be the same for her. Thus far though... it had only gotten worse.

With the words of power just behind her lips, she forced herself up the stairs of the Dark Tower. This would be it. The true test of her studies. All the practice, all the pain... the sheer agony... done with this day. She would finally taste the sweetness of success. She didn't know where Lefty was... or if he still lived in this world, but this was for him. It always had been. From the first spell she ever cast, to this very moment.

Standing in the center of the pentagram, she shouted the words of the spell to the darkening sky. And she waited. Nothing happened. She looked around confused. Even before now, when she had tried this... she could feel her failure. But this time was different. The world was silent, almost frozen. Then she heard it, and felt it. A roar in the ether. It built in her ears and she felt it flooding into her body.

She was filled with elation at having finally succeeded, but her joy was short lived as excrutiating pain ripped through her. She fought with all that she was to control it. For what seemed like an eternity, the ethereal waves tore at her very being, bringing pain where pleasure should have been. And finally it stopped. The Mistress dropped to her knees.

"Now," she breathed the words aloud, yet to herself, "I am... worthy of my place."

She forced herself to her feet and down the stairs. She reached the stone of the Tower. And laid her hand on it. 'You have done well Mistress. Regain our glory. Return the structure I was born to.' The warm voice washed over her mind. Whispering, yet clear as a bell.

The door opened behind her, she turned to see Beldock, astride his Nightmare steed. The world was swimming in front of her eyes. They argued. He was going to smother her ability to use magic, to save her from the "ether sickness" she suffered from. In desperation to prove she would survive, she set her spellbook aflame. He put it out. And put away his private spellbook. He would not blanket her abilities.

Relief flooded her and the sudden release of stresses only weakened her. She weaved unsteadily on her feet. Beldock lifted her from her feet. She felt fever creeping over her, yet she shivered. He set her on her cot and covered her. All the events from the casting of that final spell had been a haze. She closed her eyes, and passed out, into a deep, exhausted sleep. Only one thought rang through her mind... 'I have finally achieved it...'

Posted by Brenstar at March 16, 2001 7:36 PM

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