Darkness Binding 3: Part Two
Cray and Yorvick were overlooking a small, dark canyon in
a frozen wasteland. The hill they stood on gave them a view of the entire area.
Clouds scattered the sky, which was in a state of night. A dozen tents were scattered
in front of a massive stone structure on the other side of the canyon. The temple
was the size of a large mansion with towering pillars on both sides of what seemed
like a small entrance in comparison. Although the entire region was frozen in
ice, the temple didn't seem to have any ice covering it.
While looking up at the sky, Yorvick asked,
"How long were we traveling? I thought the sun had plenty of time to be out."
Cray grinned and said, "Five minutes. Keep in
mind that we're in the far north. Night lasts much longer and day isn't seen
Yorvick looked down at his arms with curiosity
still on his face and mind. Oddly enough, he didn't feel like he was freezing.
Being a reptile, this frozen climate would logically kill him.
Cray began walking, and Yorvick hurried behind
him. The two kept moving in silence until they were half way to the temple,
which was about three-hundred meters from them now. Knowing the eventual question
might arise, Cray broke the silence with, "This canyon is magically protected
from cold, at least to those in it. It was a simple spell cast when the council
realized their disciples were very uncomfortable."
As they continued to walk, Yorvick said, "Well
that's good to know, but I'm still more curious about the council. Are they
going to be angry that you brought an outsider? I certainly don't know what
they do to people who disobey their rules."
They both stopped as a shadow Kau rushed over
to them. "Hey, what do you think you're doing, Cray," the Kau yelled. "You can't
just bring outsiders here. Are you looking to be banished?"
Yorvick looked over at Cray and said, "I guess
that answers my question."
Cray bowed to the Kau, "I know the laws as well
as you, Shavak. I'll handle the council. Do you know why they wanted me here
Shavak replied, "No, they only told us there
was a problem with the shadows. They seemed quite anxious to get you here to
help. I think I heard the one that called for a messenger mutter something about
an exodus. We're all stumped in the village."
Cray sighed and continued towards the temple.
Yorvick still followed, but he and Shavak exchanged looks of distrust towards
one another. Yorvick didn't expect to be given a welcome by anyone at that point.
It seemed that his best chance for staying safe was to keep close to Cray.
Upon entering the stone archway, Yorvick felt
a sudden chill from the aura emitted by the structure. His powers of light were
unwelcome in this place, and he felt compelled to leave; however, he pressed
on into the dark temple.
They passed many support pillars, all of which
were adorned with the same markings that were in Cray's house. Because the area
was barely lit, the walls and ceiling were not visible to Yorvick. It seemed
like he was in another abyss of shadows.
Ahead of them was a spot of light coming from
a small hole in the ceiling. The moon shined down upon the five members of the
council of shadow. All of them remained still in a state of meditation. At the
same time, they slowly rose their head up once Cray and Yorvick came within
ten feet of them. They all turned to face Cray without any expression on their
The Nimmo calmly and quietly said, "What is
the meaning of this, Cray?"
Cray offered a short bow and answered, "I was
told you wanted me to come. I came here as quickly as I could."
The Krawk, having a small amount of anger in
her voice, said, "We know that, but why is the Draik here? He is not only an
outsider, but his aura is disrupting to the temple."
Yorvick answered, "I am Yorvick, a friend of
Cray. I came with him because I wished to meet the people who have affected
me in a rather painful way. Do not punish Cray, for I'm the one who wanted to
The Mynci narrowed her eyes at Yorvick as she
said, "We will deal with you later." She then looked over to Cray and said,
"We have a problem. Do you remember that shadow who escaped his realm some time
Cray had a pained look on his face as he replied,
"Yes, I remember it well. It's dead, isn't it?"
The Nimmo responded, "It is, but it's affects
echo throughout his home. The first time returned, it told another of this world.
Naturally, the other shadow listened and became interested in coming here. Of
course, it can't just come when it wants."
"Then what are you worried about," asked Cray.
"Did it get stuck here like the last?"
The Jetsam answered, "No, it's still amongst
the shadows, but that's the problem. To leave, it will need the help of its
people. Not many of them have been listening to it, but if they organize and
get enough shadows, they will have an exodus into our world. This will be catastrophic
to us and them, so we can not allow it."
"So the shadows want to leave, so we have to
keep them from coming and possessing a lot of people. How do we do that?"
The Jetsam continued, "It's not the possession
we're so much worried about. If they leave, yes, there will be possession and
many will be hurt. At the same time, too many leaving the shadow plane will
cause it to become unstable and dark energy will become unstable. If that happens,
balance will be thrown off, darkness energy will no longer exist, the shadows
will starve, and the light will then come into this world in overbearing amounts.
It will be apocalyptic."
After a moment of silence, Cray asked, "Why
call for me?"
"You are the only one of us who has ever encountered
these creatures first hand," said the Nimmo. "Knowing how a shadow influenced
by this world thinks, you are the only one at an advantage right now. Our hopes
are best with you."
Yorvick interrupted by asking, "What do you
expect him to do? I know as well as him that these things are selfish and don't
listen to reason."
The Mynci spoke up, "That will be left up to
him. If we knew, we wouldn't have a problem. He must enter the shadow plane
and find the leader. Once he does that, he must figure out a way of stopping
Cray widened his eyes and said, "You expect
me to enter their plane? We have all used wormholes of shadow for travel, but
never has anyone gone to the shadow plane. How will I go there without giving
them a window to leak through, and how am I to get back?"
The Nimmo answered, "You do not have to worry.
We will use this chamber to do that without anything else passing through. We
will also keep an eye on you to watch your progress."
Yorvick asked, "Would you permit me to go with
him? I have spent more time with a shadow creature than him. I could help."
Cray shook his head, "No, Yorvick, you stay
here. There's no point in both of us risking our lives. Also, your light would
attract every shadow to us, and that kind of attention could kill us."
The Jetsam added, "Your power is not attuned
to the shadows. We might not be able to recover you after the matter is taken
care of. You will stay here. You may watch over watch over Cray with us."
Yorvick nodded his head and looked down. He
had a look of discomfort on his face as he held back the urge to raise his voice
Cray rested a hand on Yorvick's shoulder in
comfort as he asked the council, "When do we start?"
The Nimmo said, "Step into the middle of the
circle and we will start immediately. There is no preparation for something
like this, so waiting will only make this harder."
Cray took his hand off Yorvick and walked between
the council members. As he entered the circular area where the moonlight hit
the ground, the darkness under his feet rippled like a pool. He reached the
center and turned around to look at Yorvick. He motioned the word goodbye with
his mouth as the council faced him and bowed their heads. As if the floor vanished,
Cray slowly drifted into the black. He had a calm look on his face the entire
time he sank down, but always looked at Yorvick. When his entire body was gone,
Yorvick quietly muttered, "Goodbye..."
To be continued...