Five Bastions...Five Powers
Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: Five Bastions...Five Powers
By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 10:32 am:
COAST OF TRAKNOR, WESTERN CONTINENT ***
September 16, 793 - Talismanian Reckoning
Tinkling noise sounding eerily like shattered crystal faded into the background, and all was silent. The First Evil was gone at last, defeated by Elrohir Githain, who lay injured and bleeding on the ground from his trials. He had never in his life remembered feeling the pain that seered its way, both mentally and physically, through him. He had failed his trust to Rhisiart, to bring his beloved Rhiannon back.
Rhiannon! Her body still lay back away from the coast, out of sight of the ships that carried the still floating remnants of the Phaeman Alliance. Struggling, he managed to stand despite his agony. At least he could bring her to the shore, where Rhisiart might retrieve her. It was the best he could do.
It was not far to Rhiannon's body, and the trip was short. He had an unexpected visitor awaiting his arrival. Kneeling over Rhiannon, arranging her body, was another girl. She looked up as he approached, and choked back a muffled cry.
Elrohir fell to his knees. She was so like Siran! Her stomach bulged slightly, indicating her own pregnancy. How did she come to be here?
"You saved us all," she said.
"Would that it had come at less cost, in a happier time of my life rather than despair, my lady."
"There is a price to be paid for anything. Nothing is without cost. Not even love, sir."
"Take her back, for she deserves burial elsewhere."
"I do not think I can go on. I'm so drained."
The girl placed her hands on his shoulders and kissed him on the cheek. Warmth spread throughout him, and life returned to his limbs.
"That will be enough to get you back to the coast carrying her."
"Who are you, my lady."
"My name is Aerlin. I know who you are, Elrohir. Your fate is elsewhere. The First Evil is defeated. Go."
"Thank you Aerlin. Your hospitality will not go unpaid for either. The First Evil is defeated, truly, but I learned something anew. The Dark Heart lives still, and is angry. I felt it as part of the First Evil. I know, somehow, that you can deal with it."
"I will. Let it be part of your worries no longer. Go to your reward."
Elrohir nodded, and Aerlin helped him hoist Rhiannon. Then she watched them leave. History continued on as it had before, and Elrohir died on the ship bearing him back to Dantimos, just after writing the very book, Edair, that she had carried for a time. But now, things might be a bit different.
The sun set on that first day free from the First Evil, there on the Western Continent. Aerlin made camp, and was the only living thing for miles near to the Black Monolith. Despite the conflict that had raged earlier that day, and the malice still hanging in the air, she was at peace with herself. She had met her father in the moment of his greatest triumph, and saddest hour. She had a living memory of him now, though he did not know her as his own daughter.
He recognized you, Aerlin. He saw in you the echo of Siran Drauka. Sage Advisor's thoughts filled her. She had since reasserted herself over him, as it was her body, and not his. He accepted his demotion, but remained a constant presence in her life, and an advisor of unparalleled knowledge.
It was wierd, and had taken her long months to adjust to it. But his skill and knowledge had mingled with her powers, teaching her in seconds what he had taken millenia to learn. Added to that, she was innately in tune with mana, where he had to focus constantly to make it his own. This gave her power far in excess of anything he thought possible. It was a continued fight between them how best to apply that power.
When he had jumped into the portal, he did not know what to expect. They had been ripped apart and blown away, flung together again with intense ferocity, and found themselves as one, stranded in the past. Aerlin was skipping through time as easily as she breathed, and didn't know how to stop it. Even now, she had met her father for the first time, before her own birth. She had accepted his bequest to deal with the Dark Heart. But how, and when?
The Dark Heart was destroyed by Tara, and her power was distributed to the bastions. The Black Monolith yonder is just one of five. Your brother holds the blue. You have been to the Alabaster Monolith, which is the white bastion.
Aerlin remembered touching the Alabaster Monolith, and watching its power spread into her. It had been an uncomfortable experience, wildly disconcerting amongst the threat of the Wraith-kin.
"If we tap into each other bastion..."
We can have enough power to fight Shadow. Ley knows more about the Xidani than I, but it is my firm belief that they are much the same as our bastions are. That they were created to hold the powers of another world, and have since been displaced and hidden here. I still don't know how Fatestop fits into the whole weave of things, however.
"I see." And she did.
The moon was halfway through the night sky when Aerlin stood before the Black Monolith. It was no longer black, covered with a grey sheen which represented the spell that Elrohir had woven about it. Power radiated from it, defying both her experience and Sage Advisor's.
"It was meant to keep the First Evil in. Did my father intend for it to keep all out?"
I don't believe so. The mana signature is completely different from here. Might as well try, Aerlin.
Her hand glowed, bathed in the darkness by moonlight, as it silently flitted through the cold night to caress the grey casing. It passed right through, and a jolt shocked her as she felt the monolith's exterior beneath. Aerlin gasped.
"It's cold!" Snatching her hand back, she could no longer see it, black as it was, allowing no contrast with the night. Even moonlight could not illuminate it.
It was enough, dear. Banish it from your mind. There are two other bastions to touch still, before we hunt down your brother for the last.
"We just have to touch them? What then?"
Touching them imprints an echo of their power on your soul. Normally, a planeswalker can use this power to cast their spells. Such use only requires a small amount of the source's power. What I have in mind is more complex, and I'm still working on it. It may not be successful. But we shall try.
"No one has seperately touched all five bastions since they were created."
And you alone will be privy to the powers of each, on some scale. I can only hope it will be enough. Now, we need to go forward in time. I know you know how.
Raising her hand, a duplicate of the portal shone in the darkness, and she stepped through.
Embedded in rock, surrounded by boiling lava, and protected by fierce demons, the Red Bastion in Loebar was the most difficult one to touch. But she had managed it. She faced little opposition from the demons, who backed away at her approach, aware of the power she was amassing. Ironically, she was unaware of it. She had much of Sage's skills and knowledge, but lacked practical experience that was still locked away in his own portion of her mind.
The Red Bastion burned her skin, but her task was complete, and they fled.
Deep Shadow Forest. They remained in her past, per Sage's advice. Now before them was Xanthos, the embodiment of the green bastion.
"Hello, child. You are familiar to me, and yet descretely different from anything I have met before. Why is this?" he spoke. Xanthos was the most ancient treefolk in Deep Shadow, a rather dubious claim since few ever met one of the treefolk. His age couldn't be verified, and he had only recently acquired the powers of the green bastion from Tara, Genesis of Worlds.
"A grave peril threatens the world, Ancient One." Though it was Aerlin's voice, they were the words of Sage Advisor. "I seek some of your power so that I might fight it more effectively."
"I sense no such peril, lady."
"It is not in this time a threat, yet. I come from the future to the past to acquire the powers necessary, before they are destroyed."
"Are the bastions destroyed in the future?" Xanthos was concerned.
"No, not as yet, or of my own knowledge."
"You are in the past, yet act as though you must hurry. That peril is imminent. How can the future affect the past?"
Aerlin sat down. "A power known as Fatestop can do so. It can reverse the flow of mana. That is all I know. Being in the past gives us the time we need to accomplish out task."
"Us? There is only one of you, unless you mean your unborn child, and I cannot think what aid a fetus can provide."
"Oh. Yes, that's what I meant."
"You lie. There is another in your mind. Your lie is forgiven because I believe you. There is a threat in the future. The Dark Heart lives still; I feel its presence in my mind. It is not here, not yet. But it lives. When you return home, you may find more in peril than you thought."
Aerlin touched Xanthos' tough bark, and felt the power in him well throughout her body.
"Go, young lady, your future awaits you."