Fandom(s): Buffy/Riftwar Novels by Raymond E. Fiest, based on later events in the novels, post Rift War.
Disclaimer: Midkemia, Empire of Tsurani, The Great Ones, etc are all the concept and property of Raymond E. Fiest. Buffy and associated characters belong to Joss Whedon
Author Notes: Yep, it's another Halloween Fic, but with a twist . Per the one challenge, what happened to the person(s) who were worn as costumes? What are their reactions to what happened during Ethan's spell?
Warning: None really. It's pretty much a gen fic for now. Pairings later on, could be just about anything *smirks* Not sure yet.
"Well what's wrong with my husband," Miranda demanded, staring at the healer, her temper fraying rapidly as no explanations had been forth coming since he'd been found collapsed and unconscious several hours earlier.
"I do not have an answer for you m'lady. As best as I can tell, his awareness, possibly his very essence, is elsewhere. Where that is, I can not tell you as I am not a magician. He could be any where at all."
Frowning at that Miranda considered the implications. "Very well, I'll see what I can find out, is there anything I need to worry about?"
"The longer he is separated from his body, the more drain it puts upon it. Too long, without the proper preparation and care and he could die, M'lady. Or be terribly weakened at the best case."
"Thank you then, I will see what I can learn and there are others who may be of help, as well."
Bowing, the healer left, heaving a sigh of relief once he had closed the door behind him.
Slowly turning in a careful circle, Pug watched as various creatures and monsters ran about this odd city that he suddenly found himself in. The last thing he had recalled was feeling dizzy for a moment, just before he had collapsed. Then he'd woken here in this strange place.
Raising his hands up before him he cupped them and spoke a soft phrase conjuring a shield that would protect him from any mundane or mystical harm while he traced the threads of mystic energy he could feel floating through the night.
Sitting down, he closed his eyes and took several slow, calming breaths forcing himself to relax. Examining himself he swore mentally, as he realized he occupied the body of a young man, rather than his own body. Examining the energies that bound his awareness to this strangers body, he slowly traced them back to their source and made careful note of it. He also noted the myriad of threads of mystic energy connected to the statue and the various creatures and monsters he had seen and many others through out this place, running about madly in the night.
Returning his awareness to the body that he temporarily possessed, he gently scanned the memories taking care to not unduly frighten his host. What he found was enough to bring his rage to a full boil though. Withdrawing slightly as he felt his host's awareness surge up, he created a neutral mental landscape for the two of them to converse in.
"Well," Miranda asked, as Tomas frowned in concentration.
"It is akin to the power that the Valhaeru wielded, but it's subtly and greatly different at the same time Miranda. I was able to trace it partially, but it goes far beyond where I can travel to, or reach."
Sighing Miranda swore softly as her instincts were proven right. "So what do we do then?"
"For now, we do the only thing that we can do. We wait," Tomas said simply. "It will not last much past morning at the most. Pug will return to us and be relatively unharmed. I expect he's taking the time to learn as much as he can about wherever he's been drawn or summoned to, so that he can return there and deal with whatever is causing this, if he's not already taking action."
"I can't help it, I don't want to loose him to something like this...it's far too easy for him to pass in to Lims-Kragma's hall once more and then to never return again. She is a possessive Goddess. Twice now he's passed to her domain and returned. I doubt she'll allow it a third time."
"Have faith Miranda, what will be, will be. Pug is not so foolish as that, nor is he without skills of his own."
"Who are you? What is this place?" Spinning around slowly in a circle Xander waited impatiently for answers. "I could swear that I know you somehow, but I can't place you."
"I am Pug, young one. Also known as Milamber, to the Tsurani. As to what this place is, it's a construct of the mind," Pug said with a smile. "You are much like me in your curiosity, as well as possessing gifts that have yet to be fully awakened and trained."
"That's not possible..." Xander said slowly trailing off as he recalled the costume that he'd gotten from Ethan's for Halloween. Remembering how he thought it would be so perfect to go as Milamber the Great One of the Assembly of Magicians. "How..."
"I do not know the details of how exactly this happened. But I have traced the energies that link the two of us together, back to their source. I believe, though I will need to examine the statue in person, that the destruction of it, will end the spell. For now, we are safely guarded by a shield that I have placed about us."
"All right then, that's one worry eliminated. But what will happen once the spell ends?"
Pug shrugged and held up his hands at that. "I do not know for certain. I expect that those who have been 'transformed' will return to as they were. Whether they will remember any of this, I do not know. Nor do I know if you will retain your memories of me, or of the magic that I can wield. Or even if you will be capable of wielding it either."
"So it's all a random game of chance then?"
"The Gods alone know what will happen young one. And they are not sharing what they know with you or I it would seem."
"And if I do retain the memories of what's happened, and the powers that you wield?"
"In either case, I shall find you, though it will take a long time to do so, I expect. If you still retain those memories, than I shall see what can be done to train you, if the ability is awoken or remains."
"Thank you Pug," Xander said softly. "It would be of great help if I do...but I expect you already know that don't you?"
Pug nodded at that. "I hope you will forgive me, for taking the liberty of reading your memories, but I had to be sure of what was going on first."
"I understand, I'd have done the same in your place," Xander offered with a sigh. "So what now? Track down the place in person and deal with the spell?"
"That may be best, it is clear that it will end, but if allowed to run it's course the chaos and destruction will be far greater."
Gathering the energies to himself, Pug focused the spell and with a sudden pop dissapeared from where he was, reappearing moments later in Ethan's costume shop. Staring at the statue, he studied it with the greatest of care, before summoning up a bolt of pure power and throwing it at the statue, causing it to explode into fragments and dust.
"No...." Ethan shouted as the statue of Janus exploded.
"Yes," Xander said his voice low and full of menace. "I think it would be best if you left now Ethan. I may not still be what I dressed as, but I still retain the knowledge and power for the moment."
"And what could you possibly do to me?"
Summoning up a ball of power that shimmered in a multitude of colors Xander smirked. "I expect this would put some rather permanent crinks in your plans Ethan. What do you think?"
Gulping Ethan slowly backed away from the younger man, as he silently cursed this unexpected misfortune. "I believe I'll be leaving after all then."
"Good idea Ethan, and I wouldn't come back to Sunnydale ever again."
Glancing over at the groan, Miranda set aside the book she had been trying to read. The spell she had placed on Pug flashed an alarm moments later as his energies declined before slowly climbing back upwards towards more normal levels.
Speaking a soft phrase, she sent an alarm spell racing for the healer, to alert him that his presence was needed. "Are you all right Pug?"
Slowly stretching and letting out a groan, Pug nodded ever so slightly. "I should be fine then. For the moment, I've got a headache like the dwarven miners are all working at odds in my head."
"The healer should be here momentarily, as should Tomas," Miranda said softly, knowing if his head hurt that much better to speak in soft tones. "What happened to you?"
"A spell, but not one I recognize. It was not intentionally aimed at me, but that's not important for now."
"Indeed, if you will excuse me m'lady, I need to examine him," the healer said as he slipped quietly in. "Lay back Lord Pug, this should not take too terribly long."
Moving with practiced ease, the healer took a seat near the bed and began his slow, methodical examination, making notes mentally as he went along. After several minutes he spoke up at last. "Well, I expect with a few days rest you should feel better. I will have a potion delivered for your headache. I would also remind you, not to exert yourself or use your magic at all for at least a week. Give yourself time to fully recover and you'll be fine."
"That's well," Tomas said as he slipped in to the room on silent feet. "I hope that you will be able to speak with us come morning Pug, as your lady was most worried about you."
"I should be fine, come morning. Then there will be must to speak of. Including planning a visit to the Hall. I hope our old friend will be able to guide us to where I need to go."
Yeah, I may eventually do something more with this one, but not anytime soon. I do hope people enjoy it.