Winter Vandelann

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The Land of the Forgotten

"So every spell caster that murdered someone ends up here?" "More or less" Marian replied. Blake repeated to himself once more. Marian had gotten the courage to transform back into her human form and walk beside him respectfully. She still appeared afraid and continued to glance all around her suspiciously.

"Spell caster, warlock, enchantress. . .they have many names they go by."

"I can't use my full magic to protect us until you have control over yours. Your power fuels me." She confessed to him as they walked alongside each other in the gnashing noises of metal that were dulled within the protective field that surrounded them. The orb seemed to be losing it's power slowly, and the light it let off began to dull ever so slightly.

"The extent of my magic, for now, is teleportation. But within the Land of the Forgotten majority of magic is forbidden. . .so I'm not sure if I can do that."

Marian's feet were barefoot and trod among the glass and sharp metal that littered the ground. To Blake's surprise, when he inquired about it, she responded that she was not bothered by the dangers of cutting her feet. He sighed and bent down to scoop her up within his arms and carried the little girl along with him. Blake's footwear was not the best to begin with either, but it was still better than nothing.

"So Tanner has control over this place?" He asked Marian as they rounded yet another pile of shattered mirrors and photographs that lay strewn on top of each other.

"Asmodian." She corrected once more.

"Yes, I suppose you could say that Caster has control. Or that some centuries ago, Aion banned him here for murdering a human. He didn't always look like that, he must have changed his form with a spell."

She frowned. "If Aion had shared his true power with you, you would know a lot more. But instead he's hiding within that necklace and has left you in the dark" she responded. Marian's enchanting yellow eyes stared at his. "I wonder if my magic really is canceled..." She eyed him a little more before staring at his necklace that continued to fade. "I was unable to summon a passageway to bring us back to our realm when we were falling." The protective field flickered a few times before dissipating. The orb lowered to rest against his breast bone quietly.

Without the field, the gnashing of metal being ground up surrounded them. Another scream coiled off into the distance and a mechanical laugh echoed somewhere behind them.

"How many people would you say were banished here?" Blake asked Marian as quietly as he could. The sense of dread suddenly bit into his subconscious and he peered around nervously. Blake squinted his eyes in the distance past a fire pit that lay ahead. At first he thought he had seen nothing- that it had just been his imagination.

And then they came into focus. Multiple darkened figures wandered toward their direction. Some appeared small, while others were massive and seemed to tower far beyond the average human. Marian seemed to hold her breath as she jerked her head back to look at Aion. Her heart pounded heavily against his skin.

"Thousands." A choked whisper crept from her throat. Blake glanced all around him as the darkened figures chambered down from the piles of rubbish and he turned around to turn back the way they had came, but it was useless. They stood behind them too.

A darkened figure moved extremely close to Blake. It held the shape of a woman and slowly circled around them like a wolf eyeing it's prey. Then it lunged forwards to attack, but was immediately blocked by the reactivation of the orb's power. Marian screamed. The orb hummed happily against Aion's chest once more. But Blake didn't know how long the orb could resist outside forces. He himself was unknowingly beginning to become tired... potentially from the orb slowly stealing his energy.

The shadow limped away from the force field. A wicked white smile covered it's old withered face and the creature howled in pain and held it's side where the light had struck it.

"There." Marian whispered pointing to the creature. Multiple white markings lined it's chest.

"Those look like. .. "

"Stab wounds." Marian finished his sentence and glanced toward the shadow curiously. "That's how that spell caster killed that human." Blake observed the shadow creature closer. It's eyes were forced open and they lulled emptily within their sockets. It's mouth was forced into that horrifying smile and long white markings hung about it's lips.

"That crazy bastard. . . she sewed the victim's lips into a smile." Marian whispered as the shadow paced the light field again and let out a horrible scream- that sounded just like a woman being murdered. A shiver ran down Blake's spine and another creature rammed itself up against the barrier. Blake's head shot to the side as though he was being slapped. A pulsing pain pounded against his skull.

"What can we do?" Blake pleaded and his head was whipped to the opposing side as another creature forced itself against the field.

"Remember a spell! Anything!" Marian pleaded and forced herself free from Blake's hands. She pressed her hands together as though attempting to summon a portal, but only empty sparks met her attempts. "Damn!" She cried in frustration.

"They can't touch us Blake!" She commanded him and turned her head back to glare toward him. "We'll be trapped here if we are tainted with the touch of the Damned!"

"I'll try!" Blake closed his eyes as another blow was dealt to the shield. They were surrounded.

"Think . . .think. . .what is something I could say?" He whispered to himself. The panic around him seemed to dull as he closed his eyes in deep thought. Something to get them out of this mess. Tanner had sent them here with the intentions of them never returning. Winter needed him to protect her from him. Winter. . .

He imagined her fingertips running through his hair and on the top of his hand while he lay asleep. His lips moved and trembled with emotions and the desires to protect Winter from that awful person. Winter crying after her parents death. . His vision snapped as a foggy memory of her at a funeral crawled into his mind.

"Winter. . ." He whispered out loud and his eyes opened. They were half lidded but aware of his surroundings. "Aion. . .is that you?" Marian wondered out loud and grabbed onto his leg. She looked up into his eyes questioningly and gasped.

She did see Aion. His proud face set with no emotion. His eyes were metallic and the aura he let off was one of powerful determination. But she also felt Blake's personality. He was hiding in the surroundings, the backdrop, a small glimmer of green hung within his eyes as a reminder that Blake was still alive and present.

It was Aion within Blake's body. Two personalities combined into one to form this mythical spell caster. The human Blake and the Aion that had only known humans from a distance. It was peculiar and she fumbled over the idea herself. Were they two separate people . . . and Blake would cease to exist once Aion regained control? Or was Blake simply an oblivious Aion?

"Marian. . .thank you for waiting for me." Blake's voice crawled out in a slightly deeper tone yet. . . the same. The necklace hummed with intense power and with each creature that dared to charge up to the portal was instantly disintegrated with a blast of light.

A thin black material wound down from around the orb and blanketed Blake's lean body within it's grasp. A magnificent display of yellows poured from the orb and encompassed the shadowy army and the majority of the figures turned about and ran to escape the killing blow.

He sighed a breath of relief and observed his surroundings. Aion kicked his foot against an assembly of broken photographs and observed them when they came into light. "The memories of the 'damned. . .it's been ages since I've been here." He wondered out loud. He held his head up high and glanced at his surroundings once more.
"It is a good thing we are not human or else we would have ended up the same as those creatures the instance we touched the ground." He noted. He glanced back at Marian once more. The small little girl stared at him happily.

"Now that you are back Aion. . .even for the small while. . .will the human you belong to cease to exist?" She wondered quietly. Aion laughed and shook his head at the little constellations idea.

"We are one in the same Marian." And when he smiled Marian's eyes lit up. Aion never used to smile like that. That was the human smile.

"When my powers were sealed I reflected, I was ignorant and I faced people coldly. .. the people I determined dreams and destinies for. I know what to say when I see them now. They are just like us. . .except. . .not immortal. .and bleed much easier." He laughed to himself and shook his head at the thought.

His face soon drew a look of dread. "As predicted, you were correct when it came to my enemies seeking the prime crystal. That girl is definitely in danger if we cannot return to the human world immediately."

He made eye contract with Marian and his lips folded into a flat line. "Can you produce a portal in these magic-canceling conditions?"

She glanced at him knowingly.

Aion nodded his head. "I made it this way so that once someone was to come here they could never leave without my permission." She nodded her head slowly.

"Fortunately, I am immune to it's effects as I am the creator." He sighed and tilted his head. "But the only way to get back is to summon a portal with your magic."

"Then how did Asmodian manage to escape?" She wondered out loud with a tilt of her head.

"That's what I was pondering too. . " Aion agreed and continued to move forwards among the rubbish.

"However he escaped we are going to find out how, and quickly, and rescue Winter Vandelann."

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