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The pebbles along the path

By Ethereal311

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 1: The Experiment

Chapter 1: The Experiment.

The ritual was going well. Xerath could feel his frail form transcending beyond its material form. He wanted, and needed this, to continue his venture into further arcane understanding. The raw magic was revitalizing his failing body and his face was in awe at the beautiful chaotic sphere of raw energy that was to become his new vessel for all of eternity.

There was a voice calling him. At first, Xerath thought the voice was caused by the souls of the damned that had entered the sphere and were being purified by the sheer magical pressure ridding itself of impurities.


The voice called again. Xerath scanned the room, catching sight of the damned.

It was Tabia. The mage Xerath had always admired for her skill. The girl he had always loved.

"Xerath! Don't do this! I beg of you!" Tabia cried out, barely even audible in the crackling storm.

Xerath's resolve wavered, knowing that if he continued he would never be able to view Tabia through the same eyes. In an instant, the sphere responded with an incredible power spike, reminding Xerath of the concentration he must commit.

One final mistake and it would be all over before Xerath could even react.

There was a way to stop the ritual, but that would involve slowly transferring the energy to another suitable vessel, something that was impossible with what he had now. He had already begun generating the scaffold for the magic to flood his body and be born anew. To stop now would take another couple of hours, and he knew that this amount of energy could not be so naked for that long. The sheer presence alone was wracking his body with seething energy. Being caught in Ground Zero for so long would only speed the death of his current body.

Tabia was screaming at him, eyes flooded with tears. She was pleading with that barely visible silhouette almost obscured by the crackling blue sun before her. She knew that Xerath could not stop the ritual so easily to appease her, but still she continued. She continued pleading with the figure, wanting it to return to the world.

To return to the Academy.

To return to her.

How she wanted to hold the man's hand, how she wanted to feel the rise and fall of his chest as he did with her.

How she wanted to hold on to him for eternity.

Coalesced magic had a peculiar habit of gaining sentience whenever it gained enough power to rid itself of acquiring supplementary energies to keep it going.

And this intelligence told it that the girl was unnecessary.

The crackling storm did not want that. It wanted a vessel.

The cacophonous sound of the magic blurred out most of what Tabia was pleading so only a few scant words made their way through to Xerath, causing his concentration to fail.

The sphere spasmed as Xerath's concentration wained for a mere moment. The spherical storm bashed against the containing field, the impact alone generating a monstrous explosive burst. Tabia, caught in the blast, was scattered like dust, her body slamming into the hard brick wall with a crunch of bone.

The sphere kept its rough shape, desperately vying for its settlement into this mage that had approached it. The Chaos knew what this mage was doing, and it suited it. No being would deprive it of its prize and goal.

It wanted to spread itself across this desert.

It wanted to spread itself across this entire continent.

It wanted to spread itself across all of existence

For it was Chaos, Entropy, Pandemonium or any other word that man could use to describe it.

It cared not.

It had power.

That was all that mattered.

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