by Tyler W Golec,
Tarabel, stood at the bow of the small open sea boat. He felt the unfamiliar sensation of a shiver run through him. He pulled the brown cloak, his followers had found for him, tightly around himself. It was cool and had rained for a week straight. He reached out to his followers and pulled a bit of the power they carried toward himself. It rejuvenated him – slightly.
“My lord Tarabel,” one of the crew of the boat said from behind him. “We have spotted birds to the North East.”
“Birds?” Tarabel asked. “We must be nearing the Frost coast. Steer slightly south till land comes into sight. Then stay parallel with it keeping it on our port and in sight.”
The man turned and quickly walked away. Despite the rain they had a strong wind and were making excellent time.
Tarabel was less at ease now knowing their small fleet was passing close to land. His knowledge of this world was less than he would desire. He knew various groups of tribal people roamed the Frost Coast. He knew little else though.
His prophet had the strongest presence of power of all his followers, as he had held the most of Tarabel’s former strength. He knew he was behind him about to speak. “My lord,” The young scholar said. “May I lend my education to this place? I know a bit about the tribes who live close by.”
“Will they attack us?” Tarabel asked.
“They will likely follow us on their boats. They will want to wait for us to make land fall to set an ambush,” Tarabel’s Prophet explained. “They are also territorial. They won’t infringe on another tribe’s territory unless it’s for a purpose.”
“This cold rain is tiring me,” Tarabel said. “Let’s change it to something more useful.” Applying his will to the world he pulled the warmth from the air around them. Rain drops became thick snowflakes.
Tarabel sagged against the railing of the ship. He was suddenly cold again. Reflexively he drew yet more power from his followers and his prophet. As of yet, they would not be able to sense the loss of power, as they still had so much more beyond what is necessary for life.
Marcy was in the observatory with three other observers. Their four minds were spread across the world. Marcy was watching Tarabel cross his followers through the Frost Coast. Something about the Arch Arae still unsettled Marcy. He was a being from world that had not been connected to this one for millennia. He had spent his last millennia as a puppet of Dissiner as well.
She brought her view south to where Malick was crossing the Bright Wood. He had gained two companions it seemed.
Malick had been on edge since his encounter with the Faery, but hadn’t sensed its return yet. Philip and Thessa walked behind him. Philip had been rather insistent that they should remain in the proximity of Malick until they reached Dalian, the free city on the coast.
They had better food supplies than Malick, so he wasn’t without benefit. They were also people, Malick could break the monotony of the trek with bits of conversation. Philip at least was talkative.
“So, how long have you been a Wicken?” Philip asked.
“I was recruited when I was four,” Malick answered. “It’s hard to remember much.”
“Recruited?” Thessa said. Her comments were rare, but she was clearly always listening.
“Taken from my parents, because I’m sensitive to the Fae.”
“You would be dead if they hadn’t,” Malick said killing that bit of conversation.
“What time of day would reckon it is?” Philip asked after some time.
Looking towards the sun Malick suggested, “Four past noon? If either of you see a good place for camp shout it out.”
Marcy pulled herself away from Malick and his new travel companions. Malick’s revelation of his recruitment into the Wicken Men saddened her in a way. Unwilling to dwell on this melancholy she redirected her attention toward Tarabel. His altering of the rain to snow was allowing them rather quiet passage, she was not certain of how much longer this would hold out.
I tap on her shoulder from the real world brought her back to reality.
“Take a break Marceline,” Her friend and fellow observer told her. “I will observe now.”
Marcy nodded and stepped away from the observer and towards the stairwell down from the place. She was not tired yet though.
Strom watched the back of the Arch-Arae. The Prophet’s mind had felt clearler during their voyage than it had for some time. He saw the weakness in the once all powerful being in front of him. He had even felt Tarabel pull power off himself and the others.
A question had begun to appear in the back of his mind. He wondered if Tarabel was saving them for goodness, or to preserve his own power?
The question would, however, need to wait. For now, they needed each other to survive. Tarabel still had some power and he was using it to protect Strom’s people. The Prophet also understood that he was Tarabel’s strongest source of power.
Strom turned away from his master and walked towards the stern of the ship. The snow Tarabel had created was beautiful. It was thick and dense and made objects at a distance hard to discern. The flakes would end beautifully and lightly on the surface of the dark ocean water. A sudden gold hued light seemed to reflect of the flakes of snow – the seas darkness emphasized – everything slowed.
First a stomach churning static force filled the air. Then a pillar of golden light came crashing from the heavens straight into the bow of the ship. Then light consumed everything.
Tarabel felt shock as tremors of power rippled through his essence. He had almost forgotten what the Spirit’s touch felt like. He was weak with strength, his knees trembling. The boat was now rocking in a suddenly choppy sea.
“Yes!” Tarabel Yelled standing up and spreading out his arms and wings in strength. “Blessed is the Spirit in Heaven!”
He turned seeing his prophet struggling to his feet after being blind by the light. Tarabel walked to him and placed a hand on his prophets forehead. His eyes fill with golden light. When Trabel took his hand from his prophet’s forehead, the three rings of the trinity burned where Tarabel’s palm had been.
“Now you will doubt me no more,” Tarabel gave a power flap with his wings climbing into the air. “Meet me at Azbier. You have all the power you need!”