There was a jolt.
And Ley Druid felt control return. Then, regretfully, the realization that it was still temporary. He could still feel Shadow's presence, though the Dark Heart seemed to be gone. Shudder. When Shadow was in control, at least Ley knew what was going on. Shadow only controlled his body; the Dark Heart could control his mind. It was very...disconcerting.
He looked around. The floor was charred, and part of the wall seemed to be missing. Must have been a battle. Ley wondered who had been fighting. Maybe he'd destroyed them. Hard to say. The air felt clean, which was odd, because Shadow's army carried a stench with them that rivaled some minotaur dens'. The army...
Ley walked carefully outside through the hole that had been blasted in the wall. Nobody was there. There was no village there, no people, no army, nothing. Kaat'n loomed above him, more like a weeping willow than a castle. It drooped into the Dragonbacks, sighing for its unfortunate lot in life. Ley felt its weariness. So much chaos, so much unhappiness. What sort of world is this, that every bastion of order, every haven of peace is fingered for destruction. So long Kaat'n has stood, resisting the waves of insanity that splash through the world. But even the strongest stone eventually gives its life up to the wind. The wind must be time's agent, ripping about, tearing things up and scattering them so that they can be a part of some new thing that will live only until it too is torn asunder.
He sighed. These thoughts are all nonsense. I must be getting old. Shit, I don't even know how old I am. It seems I hardly even know _who_ I am, anymore. I don't know who anybody is. I think I remember when Shadow was a friend, but I'm not sure how much I can trust my memories. I just wish I knew why he were doing all of this. I wish there were some sort of reason, that it weren't just insanity. But insanity seems to fit the way of things; it's much like the wind: undiscriminating, unmerciful, and unpredictable.
Ley sat down on the floor. He looked at the sword encrusted with the Xidani and the Sixth Stone. He picked it up and held the blade to his throat. Perhaps it would be best to end things now. Destroy this shell of a body, and be done with it. No, but that wouldn't take care of Shadow. He'd just find some other pawn to use. Unless there were no people left to take. Neither prospect was particularly pleasing. WHAT THEN?! WHAT could he do? He feared to take any action, that he might lose control to Shadow at a key moment and only make things worse.
The light of the setting sun cast a yellow sheen across the metal of the sword, and the stones glimmered. There was one path he could take with good conscience. Shadow did exist, and that which exists can be destroyed. The problem was his location. Ley was not sure what would happen if he tried to do this, but try he would. That thought brought on a wave of determination that pushed his doubts back to some other place. He pried the blue stone loose from the sword, wondering if he should use Fatestop as well. But Ley was done with second-guessing himself, so he left the sixth stone in the tip.
Ley sat back, meditated, and began to channel mana for the trip inward.