Vanishing Point

Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: Vanishing Point

By Jaron on Saturday, December 30, 2000 - 02:32 am:

Vanishing Point

October 15, 794 -TR

Joerda woke from her restless slumber, eyes peeking forward at the huddled shape of Jaron sitting cross-legged upon a rock. All around him laid the shattered remnants of the sword. The sight took her breath, and she walked slowly to him. He did not stir at her approach, but remained hunched, staring down before him at his lap. When she drew near, she saw the dagger, foot long and rune-etched, cradled nakedly in his hands.

He had not slept all night, this she knew with but a moment's glance. His eyes were bloodshot, his eyelids sagged limply. Bloodless, pinched lips were expressionless, and every muscle she could see was tensed. Dilated pupils stared sightlessly. Her efforts to rouse him from the strange torpor failed.

In desperation, Joerda pried at his hands, pleading with him to move, to think something, to let her know somehow that he was all right. Jaron remained oblivious to it all. Overhead, the sun blared down on them on an unusually hot day for October, and she feared he would burn. At last, she gave up, and covered his head with his hood, and prepared a meal for herself.

The day waned further, with no response. She knew he was there, trapped somewhere inside, unable to break free from the malady that had struck him. At times, he would move his lips as if to speak, but no sound save breath left him. Day ended and another soon began, Joerda's fear mounting all the time. She ate meagerly of her rations, unsure how long they would last, dreading that it would be gone before he would wake.

More days passed, a week then two. Joerda carried on in his absence, hoping each day would bring change, but never did it come. After the first two nights, she had fashioned a shelter about him from branches to keep the sunlight from burning, and was a comfort of her own when she slept. The last of her food ran out, and she began at last to panic.


October 31, 794 - TR

As mysteriously as the fit had taken him, it relinquished him to life once more. Jaron stood slowly, for his muscles were slowly beginning to work. Pain tore through him and he flinched. Hunger and weariness, for a time forgotten, agonizingly made their presence known.

He noted the clumsy shelter, and marked Joerda's absence. No concern was upon his heart, nor was fear within his mind. She was near; he could prod her mental signature and probe much deeper than he needed. But he did no more than locate her, several yards outside his view at the brook that ran by their campsite. She was bathing, and he chose not to disturb her.

Instead, his attention was drawn to the recent mound of dirt near the rock he had perched upon for so long. Digging lightly with the dagger, he uncovered the shards of his Oor-Taelian sword, their etchings marred and the sword's innate powers lost. He studied them casually, half relieved at what he had done, yet with some sorrow he could not fathom.

As he sat there, Joerda returned half-clothed, crying out his name in joy. Rushing to him, she hugged him tightly and weeped at his stirring. He cringed as the pressure to his weak frame pained him.

"Thank the gods, Jair! I was afraid I would lose you." she said once she had regained her composure. "How do you feel?"

Jaron looked at her face, and the genuine concern he found overwhelmed him. Knowing how she already felt about him, it was not hard to imagine the pain she had to endure watching over his catatonic state and wondering if he would come out of it or not.

{Starving, but I'm betting that some food and water would cure much of my ailment.}

She smiled, and immediately set to cooking him food without a word.

{I don't know what came over me, Joerda. One moment I was fine, the next...} Unconsciously, he began playing with the dagger in his hand. {The next I was somewhere else. There was no light, but also no darkness. I saw circles everywhere, and many lines. And I was very warm.}

{After a while, I realized that below me was our world, because I could pick out some of the places I've been now. I could make no sense of it until the Spirits came.}


{The Spirits of Oor-Tael, they called themselves. I sensed the echoes of many; the voice of my father, my mother, Master Sunset, and others I didn't know.}

Jaron unconsciously transmitted some of his memories to Joerda, allowing her to see the visceral, coruscating essence of the spirits, as well as the vastness of Phaema, and the realm Jaron tried to describe though words failed.

{They came and pled with me, then took something from me by force, I don't even know what it was. I somehow followed them as they came down to the world, and they didn't stop me. We went into the far east where none have travelled before. They worked their powers and turned to me.}

{"The wraithen illness is gone now, young Jaron. It was beyond your powers to defeat, but not beyond ours. You rejected us; we used you anyway. You harbor a power beyond comprehension, so much that even you know nothing of it outside what we have just told you. In time, you shall come to control it, or at least pass it on to others more worthy."}

{"But we are done now. By rejecting us, you have formally ended the House of Oor-Tael. None now remain who can hope to carry on our legacy if not you. Our power is now spent; your life is your own to spend as you choose. "}

{ {What of my sister?} I asked. {She can carry on the House.} "True, she can. But she will not. She never connected with us in the way you did. Our emissary groomed you for the role, and you failed him." {Elrohir?} "Yes. Failed, yet succeeded, for you remain true to yourself and that was his ultimate lesson."}

{With that, they were gone.}


{Yes love, Oor-Tael is lost to the world.}

"What did you just say?"

{Oor-Tael is lost to the world.}

"No, you called me 'love.'"

{A slip of the tongue. A mere slip of the tongue.}

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