InterludeAnatolia, near the coast; southwest of the Dardanelles and northwest of the Ida Mountains.
Her companion was clutching the scrolls to his chest carefully as they made their way through the ruins of the city. She would rather not have traveled through the place in this way, but they both agreed not to waste their energy for unimportant things.
It had been so long since they had been in their home dimension, neither of them could remember if the journey back would be a strenuous one or not.
It had been the Mages who had named the place for the exchange, oddly. The war was over now however, and the conquering army had departed. All that remained were the unburned or unburied bodies, along with the tools of war and the now-ruins of the once great city.
Even the wizards and witches, the ones who had been responsible for the 10 long years of battle, had fled.
No one would return to this place for months, after word of the destruction of the city finally reached all of those far and wide. There would be no one to follow or observe the exchange - the thing that worried the Mages more than any other about this.
Her companion let out a small sigh, rubbing his hand together, catching her eye as he did so.
It was such a human gesture, one of nervousness. He, much more than her, appeared to be prone to such things. He had even created offspring with a human; with descendents now numbered in the hundreds he had told her.
Lorinites were not immortal, but their lifespan was significantly longer than any other being on Earth at the moment, including their own descendents - the ones who simply called themselves wizards and witches. They were long-lived as well - more than regular humans were at any rate - but not like the two of them.
She and her companion were the last of pure Lorinites known to still remain on Earth, however. Those with no attachments had left once the initial job for which their kind had been sent -
the thought, amended -
- to Earth to do had more or less been completed. Some had been killed in the early battles against the Old Ones, but of those who survived, many had remained to watch and guard. To insure that man could grow and populate under no threat from any of the darker remnants that had remained.
Some, like her companion, had even mated within the humans, creating the new - though weaker - hybrid of their own kind.
The original Mages too had also bred with the humans. (Unlike the Lorinites, Mages were not
as long lived. In fact, those they were meeting with tonight were many generations removed from the ones that had first came to Earth.) So, too, had many of the demons - though in many of these instances, it constituted as more of infection, such as in the case of the vampires.
Unlike her companion however, she did not have any witch or wizard descendents here. Her life, after the wars and the cleansing, had been dedicated to the protection and care of The Key, of which she had helped to create, untold eons ago, before their people had even come to Earth.
It would now be her
legacy - the one link to her that would remain on Earth, after she'd gone.
She had remained till the last, as she was the keeper. The one who guarded over the power that allowed their people to travel between dimensions. It had been used in the wars against the Old Ones, banishing them to other realms and out of this one.
The waves of the sea gently breaking against the rocks was the only sound as the two of them made their way along the shore now. There was a large olive tree up on the bluffs - unburnt and unharmed by the savage sacking and pillaging of the once golden and magnificent city below.
Two figures were waiting by the tree. Human eyes would not have been able to see them in only the dark moonlight, but she could see them both quite clearly. They both appeared to be quite nervous . . . but they had come.
Her companion hitched his breath slightly as he too caught sight of them, and pressed the scrolls even close to his chest.
"Are you sure this is the right thing to do?" he ask quietly.
She understood his apprehension. Most Mages and Lorinites had never gotten along quite well, even though together they had both been called to rid the Earth of its demon scourge.
The magical power of the Mages was much different than that of the Lorinites, Mages having to draw the power to
themselves, not from
themselves, as the Lorinites did. Mostly, Mages drew their power from the Earth itself, but sometimes they took it from whatever was available to them.
Including other creatures.
Sometimes the power a Mage would draw upon would be too dark or too much for them to control, resulting in a darkly powerful Mage that would become a threat not only to others, but most of all themselves.
Sadly, however, she trusted the Mages to protect The Key and use its power more wisely than she did her own peoples decedents. Too many of them had become arrogant, many of them looking down on the humans born without magic; humans they were supposed to protect.
This recent war had been their fault. They had allowed themselves to be worshipped as Gods for centuries by both of the combating armies, and now one of the greatest cities in the world lay in blood ruin because of their arrogance and pettiness.
Not all of their decedents were this way of course. But it was best that The Key remain out of their hands for now. When they had grown, and become much wiser maybe . . . .
She didn't speak, but gave her companion a short, assured nod. Their time was ended here. Only The Key need remain now.
Without noticing, she clutched the dark urn a bit closer to her chest as she approached its contents new guardians.* * * * *Author's Notes:
Short bit, I know, but it is just an interlude (which will
be important later, however).
The next chapter is coming, is about 2/3rds done in fact. I do apologies for the long wait, but it could not be helped as personal family obligations took precedence over everything for a few months. My father's health took a turn for the worse, and he passed away over a month ago. So, needless to say, I didn't have much time to write or update anything.
Things have settled a little now for my mom and I now however, so I'm slowly getting back into the swing of this story. I do hope no one has given up on it, as I do assure you I haven't.
Thank you everyone for your comments and reviews, even months since my last update. Please don't stop them, as they do help keep me motivated.