Chapter One: The Beginning
The Black Adept rewrite Chapter 1
The Black Adept
Chapter 1: The Beginning
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements of this story are the property of their respective owners and they own all rights and responsibilities thereof. Velgarth series belongs to Mercedes R. Lackey and her husband Larry Dixon while Joss Whedon (I think not sure don't really care) owns BTVS the plot and some characters belong to me or were adapted by me for no monetary gain. So suing my broke ass will get you exactly the amount of money in my vaults… Not a damn thing… Have fun with that.
Alex watched quietly as a young brown-haired man walked into the double doors down the hall from the corner he was hiding behind his thoughts turning wistful as he remembered days when he had been as innocent as that young man.
"Wishing you had never left?" His partner asked from just behind him as a chalk pale hand reached up to stroke his equally pale neck.
"No, just missing my lost innocence, it is hard to believe that young man used to be me. The way he acts…" he shook his head slightly glowing silver-white hair falling in front of his ice-blue eyes.
"You never did explain how all this started." His lover prompted gently.
"Hmmm, no, I suppose it was the one subject I never allowed questions on; Even after all this time it was hard to remember what I lost that day." A sad frown briefly crossed his face disappearing as fast as it had come his calm mask falling back into place.
"Could you not have stopped it from happening? You are back after all surely there was something you could have changed to alter events." Daven said quietly his mood not as well hidden as his partners.
"Either of us could have, really, I just didn't want to. There is nothing that I gave up here that I would miss more then I would regret never meeting you; Even if you were a brooding little shit when I found you." Alex replied his mischievous expression hidden from the man behind him as he pretended to study the Sunnydale High School Library doors intently.
Deciding to start the story before the man had a chance to respond the man stepped forward and turned ignoring his former students gaping mouth. "It started for me almost 10 millennia ago, so long that the historians of this time who believe they have made an accurate history of this world have found no evidence of anything interesting that happened, the last legends of it being the ancient stories of long lost Druids. Though it has been nearly 10,000 years for me it all really started yesterday, on Halloween a day our Principal forced my friends and I into 'volunteering' to babysitting some kids as they went door to door trick or treating. I had been planning to go as a soldier using some old military fatigues I found in my basement; when I went back down to the basement before going to meet my friends the day before Halloween I found that the basement had been cleaned out and everything my parents didn't need was thrown out, including the fatigues. I ended up going down to a new costume shop into town, Ethan's Costume Emporium. It took me hours in that store trying to find something I could afford and wouldn't be embarrassed to wear out of the house."
The young brown haired boy had almost fallen into despair, the store would be closing for the last time in an hour and he still hadn't managed to find a costume to wear everything he could see was just some generic junk that he wouldn't wear or couldn't afford in a million years.
Finally his warm brown eyes landed on something that had promise: a long black robe and silver white wig. He quickly grabbed both his mind flashing back to one of his favorite book series: The Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey. It had been the first sci-fi/Fantasy books he had ever read and remained one of his favorites to this day and he was determined to dress up as one of the characters he felt hadn't had enough time in the books, Urtho the Mage of Silence.
(The Next Night) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Knocking on the door in front of him Xander Harris grinned as it opened showing the mother of his blonde friend. "Hey, Mrs. Summers!" He exclaimed happily grinning at her, his mother figure though he would never tell her that to her face.
"Hello, Xander." Joyce said with a smile as she took in his costume, "Who did you dress up as?"
Xander smiled at the curious tone, most people who thought they knew him would have assumed he had just dressed up as a generic wizard or something geeky, but Joyce had always seemed to be able to see him no matter how many masks or walls he threw up in front of her.
"Urtho, He's from a series of books I love though he's not from my favorite book he is one of my favorite characters they call him the Mage of Silence and he's one of the most powerful Mage's in the story. He was so cool he even made living intelligent creatures like the Gryphon's but he died really early in the book."
She responded with a grin as she heard her daughter come stomping down the stairs like a herd of elephants. "That's wonderful Xander, I'm glad you found a costume you really like." Joyce said just before Buffy reached them.
Pulling his mask up as he noticed the blonde he put on a fake smile and said. "Buffy, Duchess of Buffonia, I totally reject spandex!" he exclaimed loudly a silly grin hiding his pain. He noticed Joyce giving him a sad smile from behind her daughter and his grin turned slightly more real as he met her eyes.
"Xander!" the blonde said happily. "Wait till you see Willow!" she excitedly looked back up stairs ignoring his costume assuming he had just grabbed whatever he could afford. Which as she knew from Willow wasn't much. She smiled seeing the red head's shoes at the top of the stairs. "I got her to dress as a," Her face fell in disappointment staring at her best female friend as she came fully into view the costume Buffy had spent hours trying to convince her to wear now covered with a white sheet with the word 'Boo!' across it in those letters costume people believe is somehow creepy like dripping blood. "… Ghost!"
Just barely managing not to laugh in the blonde's face, he knew what had happened of course he had tried it for years before giving up. "Nice 'Boo!' you got there, Wills." He exclaimed happily his voice slightly more strained then it had been with Buffy.
"Xander!" Willow exclaimed happily. "Nice Wizard costume! Were you going for Dumbledore?" She asked excitedly before turning to Buffy and falling into a conversation with her about Angel again not even waiting for an answer.
Xander saw Joyce wince slightly as the girls ignored him and started on their way to the school knowing he would follow them. She mouthed sorry to him as he turned to run and catch up with them as he just shrugged at her. His friends had been growing further and further away from him as time had gone by. It hadn't taken him long to notice and he was wondering when he would just give up on being their friend; It was like he was the only one trying anymore.
It had begun when Buffy first came into their lives slowly at first and just started happening more and more when Willow had started to practice little magic's with the help of Rupert Giles, Buffy's Watcher. The two of them started seeing him as the normal one that needed to be protected and he knew that it wouldn't be long now before they decided to kick him out of the group… for his own safety, of course.
Urtho looked around himself wondering where he was his last memory of the flash of his Ward's as he died after being betrayed by Conn Levas. Feeling something behind him he didn't even turn as with a twitch of his will a physical shield sprang up dome-like between himself and the creature before an egg shaped capture-shield closed over the creature. He finally turned around his mage-sight blazing as he studied the spell that was wrapped around the creature his powerful mind-magic quickly finding two minds in one body.
A twitch of his finger at the creature sent a burst of magic that snapped the spell on the creature and it fell to the ground sobbing in fright now back in the shape of a small boy. Urtho quickly bent down dispelling the prison dome as he called it and wrapping his arms around the boy in comfort as a slight flexing of his will had another dome-like shield surrounding the two of them to keep others away.
He heard a voice that was somehow familiar and filled his hosts mind with sadness shout, "Xander!" and looked up as the girl ran up to him his mage-sight still on from earlier took in the spirit and he shook his head. Trying to break the spell on her would kill the girl something he was reluctant to do, he would have to go find her body or try another way and he figured the fastest way would be to find the mage responsible and kill him or her.
He ignored the girls babbling as he turned his attention inward noting distantly that the girl walked through the physical shield as if it wasn't even there, indeed she didn't seem to be aware of it. Maybe it had something to do with the dead, he shrugged, while he was one of the best at magic he would be the first to admit he was in over his head. :?: he poked at the sleeping presence in his mind that he had identified as the owner of his current body.
:Ngh.: was the sleepy reply as the mind stirred before turning its attention to him. :Where am I? What's going on?: the boy asked trying to look around in what he interpreted as a black void.
:You are trapped in your mind, Little One.: Urtho mind-spoke softly trying to calm the boy down. :My name is Urtho and I seem to be possessing your body can you think of how that would have happened?:
:Urtho?: Xander exclaimed half-scared, half- jumping-in-joy excited. :THE Urtho? The Mage of Silence?"
Urtho gave a bemused mental nod. :That is what my people called me yes, Now do you know what's going on?:
:How should I know? One minute I was escorting some kids around town while they were trick-or-treating the next minute I see a glowing wall flowing at me from the other end of the street turn to run and then… blackness as the wall rushed over me. It had been moving too fast for me to get out of the way.:
:Trick-or-treating?: Urtho asked confusion flavoring his mind-voice his blank eyes not catching the spirit waving her arms about in front of his face.
:It's a custom, every year on Halloween all the kids dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy.: Xander said shrugging so used to the idea it almost didn't occur to him that the mage wouldn't know about it. :Err, sweets I guess you would call them.:
:And you dressed up as me?: Urtho asked patiently.
:Yup, I got the costume at a new shop in town called Ethan's yesterday.: The boy said with a mental nod trying to give the mage any relevant information.
Breaking his concentration the mage turned his Sight on the robe he was wearing and grimaced at the complex lines that seemed to twist the eye and roll the stomach. Slipping back into the link with the boy the Mage gave a mental sigh. :It is the costume that holds the spell.: He told him simply.
Xander merely gave a mental shrug his experiences with the supernatural having already numbed him to surprises. :Figures.: he mind-sent softly before thinking for a moment and sending the directions to the shop to the man's mind.
Startled Urtho sat back on his heels blinking bemusedly at the light of one of the streetlamps wondering how the boy had figured out how to transfer memories through mind-speech… either the boy was powerful and intuitive, lucky, or he was somehow tapping into his own memories on how to use his power. Shaking his head in wonder the ancient mage climbed easily to his feet silently marveling at being able to stand so quickly and painlessly. Never forget he had been old when he died and powerful Great Adept or not achy knees was a normal part of aging even then.
Still ignoring the red headed banshee that was now screaming something about a 'Buffy' interspersed sometimes with the word 'Slayer' not that either of the two meant anything thing to the mage, he turned his attention to the boy and smiled gently into the slightly red eyes. "I need to go find the bad man that caused all this. Would you like to come with me or would you prefer I get you home first?" The man asked the kid calmly drawing on his limited experience with the kids of the Kaled'a'in.
Watching his lip quirking as the now calm kid tried to decide between going home and being safe with his mommy or going on an adventure with the nice old man that could obviously protect him with his cool glowy walls. He was young and saw nothing wrong with magic not knowing that to an adult magic doesn't exist.
"I wanna go home, Mister, Mommy is probably worried." The kid nodded to himself proud of his conclusion before grabbing the man's hand and pulling him in the direction he knew his house was in, watching in awe as the cool glowy wall moved ahead of them knocking more scary creatures away before they had the chance to attack them.
Urtho shrugged slightly watching the red ghost as she darted out of the shield once again somehow without noticing it… maybe the chaos spell on her was dulling her senses? Or preventing her from seeing it on the chance that it caught someone like him who could see magic naturally… but wouldn't that prevent him from seeing the spell too? Maybe it only worked on the host part of the personality or the spells on other and you couldn't see the one on yourself. He shrugged as the red head called out for help and the little boy turned guiding him towards the ghost-girl.
Seeing her hovering around the unconscious form of a young girl in a horrendous maroon dress he rolled his eyes as the little boy obviously pretending to be a hero or knight ran up to the lady and shook her.
She woke up, saw his shield, and fainted all within the space of a second leaving the two males nearby blinking in confusion. "Well that was productive," Urtho helpfully chirped and paused to wonder how much his host's personality was effecting his own emotions though he could feel the boy in the back of his mind mind-voice tinged in a crisp apple feeling of laughter.
"Is she afraid of the glowy wall, mister?" the little kid asked hesitantly, looking up into his eyes.
"Possibly," he said with a proud smile for the smart boy and a shrug for the subject not really caring. The protection of the boy was more important then the fainting Court Lady dress alike. He remembered girls like this from his own Court and wasn't really bothered with what the girl wanted.
"What 'glowy wall'?" Willow asked suddenly staring at the boy wondering if he was seeing things.
"The wall that has been keeping the bad people away from us, duh." The kid said like only a kid talking to what he thinks is a stupid grown up can do.
"Now Jonathon, they aren't bad people they have the same spell on them that you did, and it's not her fault she isn't able to see the shield. Not everybody believes in magic." Urtho said patronizingly, ignoring the spluttering of the girl.
(Later, Outside the Costume Shop) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
After dropping off the boy who he had finally learned was named Jonathon, he had made his way as quickly as he could to where the information his host had given him told him the costume shop was flicking a finger out every few seconds to break the spell on yet another costumed kid though he never stopped walking to comfort the ones he broke out, being more concerned with getting to the shop as quickly as possible and ending this spell.
Arriving outside the front of the shop Urtho looked up and down the street to see if anyone was guarding it. Not seeing anything at first he moved quickly to go into the shop before freezing and looking down the street towards an alley where his mage-sight had crossed over a strange reading like a small red demon surround in pulsing violet light in the shape of a human body.
It wasn't the spell that was on everyone else, he had seen it and broke it now often enough that he could find that one with his eyes closed. Watching the alley curiously waiting for whatever was in there to come out he sent a scathing glance at the two girls that were still following him who he had been told by his host were his friends. He really couldn't see what the boy saw in them/.
Granted the brunette was still under the spell having refused to let him use his magic's on her but as far as he could tell the bossy red head's attitude hadn't been changed by the spell and he was getting more then tired of her trying to order him around. Him who was a powerful Adept class mage and lead and army against an equally powerful mage and this little slip of a girl wanted him to do everything she said assuming that she was smarter then him.
Shaking himself out of his fit of temper her smiled as the aura he was watching seemed to get bored with the boy staring at it and came out into the open, revealing it to be a platinum blonde haired individual with a grin that promised pain to anyone he happened to get under his power for any length of time.
"Spike!" The red head yelled shrilly at the man before looking around for an escape forgetting for the moment that she could move through walls and the vampire wouldn't be able to touch her. "What are you doing out tonight! Giles said the supernatural took the night off."
"Well Red, I was out on a stroll admiring all the wonderful chaos going on around town when I heard this annoying voice yelling about how the Slayer was powerless for the night and I just had to come see and grab me a triple hitter all in one. Gotta admire the work of someone who can cause this amount of chaos and weaken the Slayer all in one go." The blonde said with a vicious grin.
"Hmm, you are right the spell is complex and one that would take a great deal of skill to weave normally but that Mage who did this isn't very good at what he does all things considered." Urtho said calmly his head cocked to the side as he listened to his host relating the information on this creature to him. "So you are one of those Vampires my host has been kind enough to tell me about… don't seem that strong to me. I have created creatures that would take you out with a single bite."
Flushing in anger the vampire took a couple of steps closer before stopping his nose going up like a dog sniffing the air. He sneezed suddenly and looked at the boy a little closer recognizing the look of the boy he had always assumed to be the Slayers pet human. "Looks like Droopy got an upgrade." He said absentmindedly before turning and leaving with a look of barely concealed fear over his shoulder at the boy who was obviously too powerful for him to kill. He really should have listened when Dru told him to avoid her Black Kitten.
Turning back to the shop glad he had managed to catch a glimpse of one of the vampires his host had told him about, he staggered for a second as his powers seemed to swell and then settle he groaned lightly leaning against the front wall wondering what was going on before straightening himself and walking in through the front door ignoring the jingle of the shop bell as he looked around at the few left over costumes before turning on his mage-sight and looking around for the focus of the spell.
His Sight passed over the costumes ignoring the glow of the spell still shining on them though they were unworn and moved further into the shop where he could see the focus behind a curtain to what he assumed was the back of the shop.
Slowly pulling the curtain aside he peeked into the room watching a small oddly dressed man as he paced in front of a statue with glowing green eyes seeming to be waiting for someone. Maybe he did this to catch someone's attention… or ire.
Urtho walked confidently into the room the man was barely a Journeyman and Urtho was more then happy to give the man ire if that was what he was looking for he had been looking forward to the Havens, he was old enough that he wasn't afraid of death any longer and he had been hoping to meet the Shadow Lover who was said to be the most beautiful person you could imagine, male or female depending on preferences.
The slightly graying man looked up in confusion not really recognizing the costume though the silvery hair seemed familiar somehow he figured it was a minor concern as he shrugged to himself. Must be some kind of chaos wizard coming to see what was going on. "Welcome, welcome! Another one of my creations comes to see me have you come to admire the skill of this spell like that last one?"
"Not quite," Urtho said quietly his power flashing out to bind the man in place as he circled slowly around the statue the man had been pacing in front of. "The spell was actually well weaved and quite complex, which would have been admirable except for two things, Mr. Rayne."
"W-w-What two things?" the man asked sweating as the feeling of power in the room started to escalate and Urtho shook his head he hadn't even bothered to tap into the strange node he could feel not far from here and the man already couldn't stand the weight of his power it was truly pathetic what the worlds mages had fallen to.
"One you did not weave the spell you called upon one of your so called Gods to do that for you only contributing the costumes and a bit of power, and two you called upon me on my way to eternal rest and I am really not happy with that." Urtho smiled menacingly. He may have been a genuine nice guy in the war with Ma'ar which of course wasn't hard to be when the man enjoyed Blood Magic so much but even he could admit to being a slight bit more bloodthirsty than was truly healthy for those around him when he was wronged.
Tossing a levinbolt at the cowering man he turned his attention back to the statue the girl in the background screaming something about not killing humans and souls. Truly It mattered not to him if the man had a soul it didn't excuse the man of the deaths he had seen on the way here people he had been too late to save by the time he got to them they were already gone.
Cocking his head at the statue and studying the magic inside of it he could tell the only way to break it without side effects to the innocents was to break the statue. That left him with two options, he could break it by hand and the side effects to his host would be nothing more then had already happened (the awakening of his dormant gifts), or he could break it with magic and the side effects would be slightly more beneficial (the boy would keep his memories and have a way to train those awakened gifts.
With a nod the ancient Adept raised a hand tossing the most powerful Levin bolt he could muster shattering the statue to a million pieces before the world went black and he knew no more.
A/N: Alright done with the first chapter. Tell me what you think of it. I'm not really good at updating but I will do my best to get it out in a reasonable amount of time and telling me if it's good or bad would bring that faster since my main problem is I always find something wrong with everything I write lol. The first part of the chapter will be explained in time so asking about that will make me laugh in your face! :P
The Black Adept
Chapter 2: Changing Circumstances
Disclaimer: Check Chapter 1 however I will make a point to say I went and played with the creative commons license so no suing me :P
(The Next Day)
Xander groaned as he dragged himself slowly out of his lumpy bed eyes blinking sleepily at the strange glowing colors he could see in his unfocused gaze before he stumbled tripping slightly every so often until he made his way down the hall, into the bathroom. Turning on the warm water Xander stripped and stepped under the spray groaning in relief as the water massaged his sore muscles.
He could remember everything that happened the night before from the moment when Urtho had woken him and couldn't figure out what had made him so sore, but whatever it was he was blessing the gods that had invented the warm shower as it relaxed his muscles.
Turning off the shower Xander stepped in from of the mirror for the first time that day nearly fell over backwards looking into the ice-blue eyes that had replaced his own warm brown orbs. Finishing his morning ablutions quickly he stumbled into his clothes for the day and grabbed his backpack before rushing out the door without a word to his parents.
Running down the street as fast as he could the only thought in his mind getting Giles to fix whatever was going on with his eyes. Though he wouldn't mind going through life with the eyes of one of his heroes it would be more then a little uncomfortable to try and explain to his teachers and parents how he went to school one day with brown eyes and came back with blue.
It wasn't even like he could say he got colored contacts as he had tried that once before and he could never get his eyes from as dark as his were naturally to as light as they were now with contacts and though some would be stupid enough to fall for it most wouldn't. Not to mention the whole problem of how he was just now awake enough to notice a glowing dome that looked like it surrounded the whole town along with the other points of light shining in various points under ground.
Running into the front door of the school lights dancing in his eyes Xander clenched his eyes shut running blindly through the halls in an attempt to block out the intense lights that seemed to be everywhere as soon as he passed the front door.
"Giles! You gotta help me!" He called as soon as he entered the library opening his eyes and skidding to stop by the table staring in horror at a point between his feet.
Under him he could see what his new memories identified as a node, one that was strangely tied to a rock somewhere below the library.
As strange as that was, it wasn't what caused him to freeze. The node-energy was tainted. With a normal node it is hard to assign a color to the energy and most generally agree it is white-ish in a way. This node was tinged with pink it was something that Urtho had only seen once, on a node that was just below where some crazy mage in Ma'ars army had summoned several high level demons planning to set them loose on the Kaled'a'in.
Urtho had studied that effect after the Gryphons had finished off the demons and had come to the conclusion that because demons came from a dimension highly saturated with corrupted magic's anytime more then 3 were summoned atop a node it would be tainted until an adept with the right combination of Gifts could be called out to cleanse it.
"Xander!" He heard shouted in his ear and jumped looking up at the older man trying to shake the thoughts out of his head. "Finally!" the older man exclaimed exasperated. "I've been calling you for the last five minutes."
"Sorry, Giles, I got distracted." Xander said shaking his head once more trying to think of how to explain what was going on. His head so full of thoughts he missed as the node below him looked like it started to boil. Finally thinking he had it he turned his attention back to the increasingly impatient older man and gave one of his trademark goofy smiles. "How much has Buffy and Willow told you about what happened last night?"
Pulling his glasses off Giles started to slowly polish them with a cloth he pulled out of his breast pocket look as confused as the stoic Brit ever had as far as the boy knew. "I haven't had a chance to talk to the girls yet today. Why? What happened last night?"
After sitting down at the table next to him Xander explained what had happened as far as he knew inwardly shuddering at the memory of not being able to control his own body. "I woke up this morning and my eyes are blue, I'm remembering most of Urtho's life and though I didn't notice it at first I'm seeing lights that the memories identify and the HellMouth is really starting to freak me out." Xander finished as calmly as he could.
Giles head snapped up at the last point and he stared at Xander worried about what could have happened with the HellMouth the rest of his sentence deemed unimportant in the face of something this important. "What-" he started to ask before stopping at the panicked look on the teen's face.
Xander for his part screamed, "Run Giles!" his eyes glued to the floor of the library in the exact spot where Giles knew the HellMouth was, He started to protest before he saw Xander raise a hand and an invisible force picked him up and threw him bodily out into the hall. The next thing he saw was a pick tinged flash of light and he covered his eyes in pain.
As Xander was telling the story to Giles his eyes glued on the floor not wanting to see his mentors face in case he didn't approve of something that happened the night before and staring at the HellMouth, something seemed to be happening with it but for all he knew it was normal. It was different even to the nodes that Urtho was used to, oh the energy was the same but the feel of it was calmer not something that he associated with node energy.
Watching in mild interest as the energy seemed to be boiling beneath the surface he wondered idly what was going on but wasn't really concerned with it. Not until it boiled over and started heading straight for him. He screamed for Giles to get out and seeing him not moving threw his hand out an instinctive reaction from his memories of Urtho and watched dumbstruck as the Watcher went flying as Xander froze staring at his hand.
Looking down the teen screamed as the energy finally rushed out and engulfed him tearing a scream of pain from his throat. His focus narrowed as he was overwhelmed by the burning pain of the energy around him his last sight the all encompassing blackness of the void as he was carried on by a white hot current of energy every second making his hair and skin paler.
He didn't know how long it lasted, days, months, weeks, or seconds before he passed out his mind retreating from the feeling of a wave of slightly different energy slamming into his body rocking him and suddenly he fell to the ground parts of the energy swirling around him and in him changing him in ways that he would never know.
Xander groaned coming slowly into the land of the living every cell of his body aching as he blinked at the forest that surrounded him recognizing it and dearly wishing he didn't. It was a forest that Urtho had explored when he was young when he had traveled wandering over a good portion of the world. It was also about as far from Sunnydale 1996 as you could get and he had no idea how he had gotten there the last thing he remembered was the strange node boiling over and a flash of pink light and then immense pain and the blackness of the void .
Pulling himself over to a tree and propping himself up against it he leaned back enjoying not having to carry his weight on his aching arms for a moment before taking a closer look and groaning again. This was definitely not good. He was alone in a forest that wasn't supposed to exist with no supplies and as far as his city-bred senses could tell no one around for miles and he could barely support himself let alone move.
Letting out another louder groan the boy thumped his head against the tree behind himself trying to shake loose some thoughts on how to save himself.
"Hey what are you doing? You'll hurt yourself even more if you keep that up." A gruff voice said off to his left causing the teen to jump and stare at the man wondering where he had come from. He was pretty sure the man hadn't been there before. "What are you doing out here alone in the woods." The strangely garbed man asked staring at him. "Mage's don't come out to these parts much."
'Mage?' Xander wondered to himself having not noticed his new features. His mind flashing back to him throwing Giles just before he disappeared he shrugged mentally wondering how much of Urtho he had retained before turning his attention back to the man in front of him. "I'm not sure, Goodman, the last thing I remember is a flash of light and then blackness. I woke up here a quarter mark ago." The boy told the man trying to remember how they had measured time in the books.
The man nodded accepting that, after all, everyone knows Mages are always getting into some weird stuff and causing trouble. He walked up to the boy slowly trying not to frighten him into throwing any magic at him. "Well lets get you to Mother Reader, our herb-witch, see what she can do for ye lad."
Xander nodded his long hair moving in front of his eyes. He pushed it absently behind his ear before he froze hand halfway back to his lap; Quickly grabbing his hair hard enough to hurt he brought it back in front of his face before dropping it and staring off into the forest.
His hair was a very familiar silvery white and longer than it should have been having been not much past his ears the night before and now going well passed his waist.
Xander passively sat in the man's arms his mind refusing to accept what was around him any longer. Sure landing somewhere he remembered from a set of supposedly fictional memories was something so much bigger than the length and color of his hair but just one thing on top of another and he wasn't sure how many more shocks he could take.
Hearing the laughter of children the teen looked up and saw the trees ending in front of him leading to the gentle slope of one side of a large valley a village nestled comfortably in the middle of it not taking up more then a bit of the middle leaving room for expansion over the years to come. After seeing the village and staring a bit Xander sat back in the man's arms his moving around almost knocking him off balance while Xander stared off into space his mind racing over his memories of Urtho's life as well as what he could remember of the books.
A memory flashed in front of his mind's eye and the boy's eyes went wide as he connected the dots:
Under him he could see what his new memories identified as a node, one that was strangely tied to a rock somewhere below the library.
A Heartstone! Why didn't he think of that sooner! Though to be honest his mind wasn't really working all that well at the time it would explain so much about the HellMouth. According to what he remembered from the book Heartstones were tempermental and had a mind of their own developing a personality slowly over the years. This one must have been thousands of years old and the oldest he had ever heard about was the Haven Heartstone which had to have been about 700 years old; it was said to be the most powerful and self-aware of the existing Heartstones.
Xander looked up startled as the man from the forest set him down on a hard wooden table having not noticed when they entered the village his mind racing over the possibilities. How would a Heartstone a supposedly fictional entity have come to be under Sunnydale tainted as it was? Where the hell was he and why? What was the name of the man who carried him out of the forest? Why didn't he eat breakfast that morning and who could he con into giving him something to eat? You know all the important stuff.
"Well, Graff, what are you bringing me this time?" Xander heard a slightly gravelly yet strangely feminine voice say before an older woman with naturally grey hair came into his line of sight. "Ever since you were younger then your own grandson you been bringing me stray's you find out in them woods. Though I must admit that this is the first time you have brought me a Mage let alone one so powerful. And what about you, young Mage, have you brought trouble to my humble home?"
Xander sat up carefully his limbs still tingling with exaustion before giving as much of a bow as he could awkward as it was. "I apologize, Madam, one of my experiments got away with me and I somehow ended up in the woods not far from here. This Goodman, Graff did you say his name was? Was kind enough to carry me here."
The boy was startled to hear a slapping sound and looked up from where he had been studying the paleness of his skin to see the man who had found him clutching the back of his head as the old woman slowly lowered the stick he hadn't seen her holding a second ago.
"Don't even bother to introduce yourself before picking strange people up off the forest floor and carrying them off!" Mother Reader grumbled throwing the man a glare before turning her attention back to the boy on her table.
"Well, well, young one what have you done to yourself?" the old woman asked semi-rhetorically, not really expecting an answer.
"I was researching Portals and nodes madam," the boy responded shocking her speechless Mage's of this ones caliber rarely wasted their time telling one of hers what went wrong with their experiments. "I had heard of a Mage who managed to create a permanent Portal by tying it into a node thereby giving it a power source to draw on. I had just started setting the last pattern of the spell into place to create a working model when some fool barged into my workroom." Xander lied easily mimicking the reactions he would have it was true. It actually had happened to Urtho who had forgotten to lock his workroom. Luckily everything had been shielded so the resulting explosion from his loss of concentration had been contained.
"I do not think there is anything I can do to help you, young Adept, there are no wounds on your body though I doubt you looked like you do now before whatever happened." The herb-witch muttered lowly studying the boy's features. He had the long silvery-white hair all the Adept's she had ever seen had blue-ish white eyes and almost transparent slightly glowing skin.
"No," the boy said lowly looking down at his now long fingered hand. "It is true I doubt I do look the same as I did yesterday... whenever and wherever that happened to be."
The village man shook his head slightly as the old woman nodded knowingly "Mages," he thought, "no matter what age they are they are still the strangest people around."
The Black Adept
Chapter 3: Time Passes and Heartstones
Disclaimer: See chapter one nothing has changed since then… I still don't own either storyline and my vaults are still echoing.
Alex wrote one last word in his latest journal before sitting back in his chair eyes staring blankly around his office. Once he had figured out that he was stuck here he had, with help and encouragement from the townsfolk and Mother Reader, decided to stay in the town of Clear Valley. Every town big or small would kill to get a single powerful Mage to watch over them and Alex after four years of training was able to get his own skills and powers back to what they were on Halloween with a lot of hard work. It was rare for a Great Adept to bother with already established towns preferring to set up a tower somewhere isolated and tinker with their Magic, well the ones not bent on ruling the world or stopping those that were bent on such a thing. Personally Alex didn't really care who ruled outside his Clear Valley and had spent the last six years working on ways to protect the valley it resided in.
Since he had managed to get back to the right level Alex had been delving the depths of his mind for everything he could remember on the nature of nodes and Heartstones when he had exhausted both Urtho's knowledge and everything he could remember from the books that described some part of either he had locked himself in the Tower he built as his Adept test, it looked like a large crystalline spire etched with a stylized Black Dragon. It sparkled with an eldritch light that Alex had told the townspeople that it was just an effect he liked, it was doubtful even Mother Reader knew the whole truth though she probably knew it was more then he said. In truth he had spun as many spells into every crystalline inch of the Tower as he could for as many purposes as he could think of.
His studies of the nodes that made up the large web of magic he could see all around him had shown him some fascinating things about the differences between an Adept of after the Cataclysm and the Great Adepts of this time. Of course a lot of it is the training, but it seems that just as much knowledge as had been lost during the Cataclysm on the intricacies of working magic from what he could tell the work of the Tayledras to tame the magic of the world had bunched it together. Magic today was spread in what looked like a giant web of nodes and ley-lines all connected allowing feats of magic simply not possible without the Web as he had come to call it.
And now, he thought looking silently down at the book in front of him that held all of his collected research into something he was sure would help him keep the ravages of the Cataclysm from affecting the magic of this Valley, I am ready to start. His plan was easy after learning from Urtho's memories how to create creatures he had spent months designing one that would help him in making a working Heartstone. A creature he called a Fairy after the creatures of legends and of course Tinker bell, it would be able to merge with him and keep him grounded during the process so he wouldn't be swept away in the node directly beneth his tower.
Standing silently Alex picked up the thick green leather book and carrying it with him he walked around his solid oak desk to exit the simple door of his office and primary work room. Walking down the silent corridors of his Tower his mind drifted back to when he had been younger and him and Jessie had read the Mage Wars books dreaming of being as powerful as Urtho the two of them had spent hours trying to decide what they would make their Towers look like if they were Mages like Urtho. In truth the Dragon design was Jessie's, it was a way for Xander to honor his fallen friend though the Tower was empty as Alex mostly lived in the top floor the rest he planned to house his library of books he had already started collecting most written by his own hand of his various experiments. The underground part of the tower though had been designed for Workroom's his primary sharing space with his office had the tightest shielding he could weave together and was constantly upgraded as he found better or stronger ways to do things.
The secondary Workroom, the one he was headed to right now, was at the very bottom of his Tower being about twenty feet underground carved out of the same crystal the rest of the Tower was made of, the only way into the room was from a hidden door in the wall behind his large bed and the place he was planning on putting the focus of the Heartstone. Sending out a call through the stone around him as he stepped off the last stair into the Work room he stared around at it. It was a large room easily large enough to fit a football field inside and right in the middle of the room a five foot tall pillar of the hardest stone he could find was capped with a pure diamond that he had burned the impurities out of himself. This was important the magic of this time was tamer than what was described in the books but there was more of it and the slightest impurity could kill him in a fiery explosion that might just start the Cataclysm early.
Hearing a noise the Mage who hadn't aged a day since he started learning magic looked up and grinned and the fairy, a small humanoid that reminded him of Tinker bell with her blonde hair, size and the green dress she was wearing. "Hello, little one," He said letting her land on his shoulder as he smiled at her, "How is your tribe?"
"They are well, Creator." The small fairy said hugging the side of his neck. "Is your project ready?" she asked looking around at the one room in the Tower she had never seen before. Her tribe had moved out of the Tower soon after they had been created wanting to show their Creator that they could take care of themselves and he didn't have to worry about them, but she came into the Tower every chance she got. She knew all the rooms like the back of her hands having explored the place as much as she could with the others playing hide and seek in the many hidden passages, they had free run of the whole tower so long as they didn't damage anything past fixing and stayed out of this room and his other Workrooms when he was busy, for their own safety some of his experiments with node-energy had backfired explosively.
"Yes," he said simply reaching out with his mind to connect with hers and reveling in the feeling of being one with the earth below and all around them,: I am not sure how long this will take, but with your help nothing should go wrong.: He told her mentally sending across what she needed to do before turning to the pillar and calming his mind.
Linking with the diamond he turned his attention to the node below him and reached out to meld with it slowly not wanting to rush even these simple parts. Slowly, sweat beading on his forehead; he pulled with all his strength. This was the hardest part of the process, while people had been touching and using node-energy for years that only involved connecting to it and allowing it to fill you while controlling the flow. Moving a part of the node was something that had long been deemed impossible once some of the Adepts that had tried had burned themselves out, becoming mindless husks or simply burning the Mage-Gift out of their bodies. None lived long after something like that, it was almost impossible for a Mage to live without their Gift, simply because the ability to feel the Magic around them and not feel the rush of channeling it drove most of them to suicide quickly. The closest they had ever come was Permanent Gates where you had to tie the Gate Spell to both the node and the doorway, it was more complicated then that but then what wasn't.
His theory, though it hadn't been proven, was that they had not been able to direct the energy and keep themselves grounded at the same time, causing them to lose control of the flow and drown in the energy burning through their bodies. That is why he had made the Fairies. He worked alone so he did not have other Mages around him to hold him nor did he have a Companion so he created something that could serve the same purpose.
Finally managing to get the energy where he wanted it he tied it to the crystal and started weaving. Hours later he flopped back on the bare floor behind him utterly drained. It was remarkably similar to the process of tying off a Permanent Gate except in that case the channel to power the spell could only hold one spell, the Gate Spell, this one, he thought as he studied it with his senses was more complicated and less at the same time. Permanent Gates were created by grabbing a very small amount of power from the node and weaving it into the Gate Spell tying it to an arch of appropriate size and stopping the spell at just the moment when it would normally reach out for the destination. Stopping that Spell once it got started was sometimes harder to do then to stop an avalanche it took more willpower than many Mages even Great Adepts were capable of, though after this, Xander thought to himself as he rested his eyes while laying on the remarkably comfortable stone ignoring the calls of the irritating little fairy fluttering around him, I will never complain about Gates again the weaving required for a Heartstone was so complicated it wasn't really a surprise that only the Tayledras could do it in the future.
Dragging himself up off the floor he staggered over to the stairs and started to slowly drag himself up them not even bothering to try and climb to his feet just crawling ungracefully up stair after stair, blessing the gods that nobody from the village would see him like this. They all had this vision of him being some super mage and crawling up a set of stairs really would hurt that reputation. Finally making it up the hellish stairs he looked blearily around his room for a second before his silver-blue eyes locked onto his large silk bed and he stumbled over to it before allowing himself the luxury of falling into it unconscious before his head hit the pillow.
In another land far away buried in a mountain scape Great Adept Urtho, called the Mage of Silence, snapped his head to the south causing his subordinates who had been reporting to him about a mission they just came back from to cut off in midword staring at the Mage as his eyes glazed over as his senses boggled at the amount of magic being thrown around just out of reach of his senses.
"M-My Lord?" one of the men stuttered.
"Yes?" the elder mage asked semi-calmly his eyes still glued to where he felt the magic still pulsing frustratingly still seeming to be just out of reach of his senses.
"Is something wrong, my Lord?" the Kaled'a'in Amberdrake asked in his soothing way.
"One of the neutrals is doing something very powerful, but it's too far away for me to sense what they are actually doing." Urtho stated matter-of-factly. "Send for Skandranon."
"My lord?" one of the officers asked somewhat timidly if you asked Urtho's opinion though with the amount of power he could feel being thrown around to the west he really couldn't blame the man he would be gibbering in fear of what could happen if Ma'ar got his hands on whatever or whoever was making such a ripple in the magical field.
"Yes, Captain?" the Adept asked mildly trying to calm the men down with his example.
"Begging your pardon, my Lord, but how can you be sure that it is one of the neutrals? It could be Ma'ar or one of his henchmen!" the man practically exploded at the end his fright not at all calmed by his lord's act.
"Too far away and if Ma'ar had a weapon of this kind of power the war would be over long since." the Adept replied bluntly dropping all pretenses.
A/N: alright I tried to make it better not sure if it is better or just longer lol will try to keep updating it but I dont have a lot of time between work and training so will do what I can. This is what I have so far havent split them into seperate chapters but the rest should be one chapter per update.