I was planning for the fight to occur at the end of this chapter but when i got to 22 pages typed into Word I realized it was time to break it up and move the climactic fight into its own section. I had a lot of information to impart and wanted to keep my deions proper. I had an idea of how I was going to tell the story, but once I started to write it, it took a life of it's own as usual. To answer the question from the previous chapters comments Roarke is pronounced with the silent E and sounds like cork. Please enjoy the chapter and leave comments, feedback and questions. If you are really interested in speaking, join the site as it's completely free and you can message me through the sites Private Messaging system. Thank you all again as always and keep reading.
Upon waking the next day, things took on a completely different feel for us. Sindee’s alarm went off at five in the morning because she had a twelve hour shift in the ER today. Hell of a shift for the first day back to work, but she had been out for a couple of weeks and other’s needed to take their vacations. While neither Sindee nor I had any need to work in traditional employment, she enjoyed helping people and I continued as an investment counselor with a smaller client list. The list consisting of my friends and associates, including some mages and other long lived individuals who I had met and worked with both during my initial learning after leaving home and on my five year excursion through time. The morning went quickly in regard to business but drug on because I felt Sindee’s absence the whole day. Spend a couple weeks with someone for most of the day and they become a part of your environment; do the same with someone you love and you will feel their absence when they are gone.
Around noon, after I had finished my investment research and making the changes to my strategies to reflect the market, I went down into the basement to try and figure out how I may be able to fight Lich. I changed a simple pair of loose cotton pants and a cotton T-shirt and set in the center of the node to meditate. I worked on slowing my breathing and centering my mind, releasing the stress I was feeling about the upcoming battle. I wanted to use magick in order to seek knowledge in a way I hadn’t attempted before. I figured that with the way that the node was formed as a knot of the tellurian itself, I may be able to use Correspondence, Time, and Entropy to look into other planes for clues about how to battle and defeat a Lich. The reason I was meditating, trying to clear my mind and focus as much as possible was twofold. First, I was attempting to perform a casting that I had never before attempted and needed a clear mind in order to shape the magick properly. Second, and just as important, when performing any form of magick the most important factor is the intent of the caster so not being focused is as much a danger to yourself as to anyone else around you, and doing said spell with the resources of a node just makes any dangers worse. If that weren’t enough to convince me to take care in how I performed this particular spell, I also had the fact that this node tied into Todash space as well, and I so didn’t want to wind up there again.
I first started shaping the Correspondence portion in my mind to search not only the space that I existed in but in all spaces using the nodes connection through reality. I then began to layer the Time magick into the casting to allow for information from the past, present and futures in all of the realities that may be out there. The final portion of the rote I was building would be Entropy with the intent of bending chance and probability towards finding the information I needed. Once the spell was shaped in my mind I pulled on my connection to magick and bound the spell to the node. After doing so, I allowed a small, continuous flow of energy to pass through me to keep the spell going as long as I could.
I sat and monitored the flow of magick, keeping it steady and my intent focused on the goal I had in mind. I would see flashes of images coming back from the search, quick images that contained no substantive information about my search. I saw a city towering to unimaginable heights and sprawling over hundreds of miles across. I saw vast wastelands pluming with black smoke rising from sickly green flames. I saw dragons flying above modern cities, and a world of oceans where the cities stood beneath the waves. There were images of places were monsters and magick never existed or where science replaced magick entirely. There were places where Vampires ruled and humans were less than cattle. I saw vast citadels where mages trained and ruled entire worlds. I saw a world that contained no mortals and that all of the supernatural races walked openly. I’d seen a world where everything was a peace and creatures from books and imagination walked among the denizens of the worlds. I saw many worlds where wars were fought openly and the four horsemen destroyed all that stood in their paths. I saw so much that my mind couldn’t hold it all for me to relate back.
I have no idea of how long I sat and maintained the spell, searching throughout all time and space for answers that I needed to a question I had no idea how to ask properly, just my intent shaping the form the magick took. I then had an image come to my mind of a man standing in a field, surrounded by symbols both arcane and vampiric. This man stood there watching the rise of the sun over mountains far off in the distance. Several people stepped out of the trees that surround the field, enclosing this man in a circle. There were Mages there that I was able to identify by the signature of their powers, I could see mortals armed with a variety of weapons, and there were shape shifters of many types. There was an army here to take on this man. As the battle began the mages used some of the most vulgar spells I’d even seen or contemplated, the shifters attacked with all of their speed and strength granted by the nature of what they are. The mortals used their weapons with skill and proficiency born of having lived as warriors for a lifetime. All of the skill and power showed by these being was nothing in the face of the man they attacked. He moved like lightning, combining the speed of a vampire and the magick born of a mage. He waltzed through the warriors as though they were lambs for the slaughter using only his claws and teeth to tear and drain them of blood. He used counter-magick against the mages, stopping their spells as they were cast at him, using the powers of the vampires to immolate their bodies while they lived, to force some of them to flee or bow in abject horror. This was a Lich and the horror of what it could do was more disastrous than I had imagined.
The Lich was able to destroy the mages with their own spells by either countering the magick or redirecting to another of the attackers. The shifters while physically strong and capable of tearing most vampires apart fared no better when the mages ability to heal instantly combined with the vampire’s claws and fangs that were as deadly as those of the shifters. Before long the fight was definitely on the side of the Lich as there were few who could stand before the combined powers wielding by such a creature. I continued to watch as the Lich destroyed the rest of those who came to stop him before he moved on from the circle. He left that field and began to wander the world, walking under the sun as freely as anyone could, needing only to rest on occasion after days of travel. The Lich began to gather an army, turning victims into new vampire. Those it turned were just normal vampires with none of the powers of Magick and still needed to avoid the sun and died just the same. It walked across the world, moving from one city to another destroying everyone who opposed its rule. I watched for signs of weakness, way to kill it. There were few who tried to stop this things path of destruction and mayhem, and most who did died quickly.
There were only two who managed to get past the Lich’s defenses and manage to land potentially deadly strikes. The first was some form of shifter that I hadn’t seen or heard of as it shifted not only between the bodies of a man and single animal, but was able to become any creature and even change the form of its human identity. The creature fought through and slaughtered many of the Lich’s vampires and mortal soldiers before fighting the Lich itself. This attacker managed to battle the Lich back, forcing it to defend itself with arms and not just magick and vampiric powers seeming to be immune to either. As the fight continued the attacked drove its sword straight into and through the Lich’s heart and out through the back; black blood flowed in a torrent from around the blade and the Lich seemed to weaken as this viscous fluid drained from its body. The Lich gripped the attacker’s head, squeezed until the bones could be heard cracking within its skull. When it released the grip on the swords blade, the Lich drew its newest victim in and drained the creature’s blood. He went into a horrible rage upon drinking the blood, tearing through all of its own soldiers and vampires that remained before regaining control from the terrible bloodlust it entered.
The second was another hybrid like the Lich, though a Vampire and a werejaguar this time. Her ferocity in combat was close to that of the Lich during the bloodlust. The Lich had started to rebuild the army he had destroyed when it came upon her in the jungles and she destroyed his followers before showing herself in challenge. She was a natural predator and hunted the Lich for days on end. When they finally met in combat the destruction to both of them was brutal, she started by tearing his right arm off at the shoulder. The Lich was able to use both magick and the regenerative powers of the Vampire to instantly regrown the limb and continue the fight. She moved quickly, avoiding standing in place so that more complicated magicks could not be used effectively. While it is possible to use complicated spells instantly, it takes a concentration that eludes most during a brutal close combat. They both tore into each other, digging gouges into flesh that healed almost as quickly as they were delivered. Trees were felled around them as they fought, driving each other into their trunks and through them. They fought hours, going back and forth inflicting injury and healing constantly when she had gained the upper hand. She had pulled sword from one of the fallen soldier and drove it into the Lich’s heart, then released it and leaped on it, grabbing its head to tear it off. The meaty, wet sound of tearing flesh filled the jungle as the sun began to rise. The Lich remained unaffected, most likely protected by the magick he wielded from the day of his creation but the same could not be said for her. She had hunted and stalked for day in the jungle, protected by its dense canopy from the rays of the sun. The destruction their fighting had caused throughout the night left them in a clearing where the light and magick of the sun beat down upon her, causing skin to ignite and burn as she screamed in pain. The Lich shoved her from his body toward the middle of the clearing. He then pulled the sword from his chest and tossed it aside. The wound over the heart sealed as the black ichor seeps down from the injury, the tear it his neck wasn’t healing as quickly and he wandered the jungle for another day before it sealed over, still not fully healed. The Lich was weakened for months after this fight and continued to rebuild the army it had once again lost.
It focused once again on the journey and goal of conquest. As he traveled, fought, destroyed and moved on again there were few challenges left. The bloodlust experienced began to take over and his control of complicated spells began to weaken. While these powers were less controlled, they seemed to become more destructive. Over time the Lich stopped conquering and building an army and as more time passed he fad on and destroyed all of his followers. His mind and control of magick continued to devolve until he became my worst nightmare; he was a Lich who was also a marauder. He had become insane and wielded the powers to alter the world as he perceived it. In the end, his death was brought about by his own insanity. He tapped into the Magick and into the Blood Magick of Vampires, binding the two with the spell he used to protect himself from the sun. In his insanity he sought to destroy what was a danger to his kind and directed every bit of focus and power he had into the heart of the sun. The resulting backlash would have most likely destroyed him if he weren’t a marauder, fortunately and unfortunately the magick worked causing the sun to explode not only with the energy it created, but with all the Primal energy bound into during the formation of the universe. I watch as not only was everything on that world destroyed, but as it collapsed back in upon itself. After the collapse of that universe I saw there was nothing but total darkness, almost like Todash as energy built within that utter stillness where space and time no longer existed; as the energy built to a critical another signature of primal energy crossed into that void and a universe was built anew. I felt a sense of dread at what was done by that Lich followed by a knot of moroseness at the loss of life and possibility of an entire reality being destroyed; then a soaring relief and joy at seeing creation being born from destruction, then the magick stopped flowing and I saw nothing back darkness.
I opened my eyes slowly to the blinding lights of the basement around me. My mouth felt like someone had taken sandpaper to it and my limb felt as though the bones were lead and the muscles no more dense than air. Every joint was locked and my spine straight and sore. My eyes were burning as though I stood through a sandstorm. It took seconds for me to feel the condition of my body once I opened my eyes. It took me longer to notice that while I had entered the basement alone I was surrounded by people. Directly in front of me with a look of fear and concern was Sindee who was flanked by Jaq and Arthur. Jaq looked concerned and evaluating, while Arthur’s expression was almost unreadable. I got a strangely familiar sense from him through my normal awareness and not magick as I could barely feel any connection to my Avatar right now. Marcus was standing with the three of them; his face was in a scowl as he looked at me. The only time I’d ever seen him scowl was when he was training me and I did something that he disapproved of as dangerous, stupid or more often both. While I could hear others talking from behind me across the room, I couldn’t see anyone else. It seemed as though they were allowing only those who could wield and control Magick close to me. I tried to speak and nothing came out. I attempted to unfold my limbs and stand with much the same results a attempting to speak. I couldn’t move any portion of my body and knew that something was seriously wrong. I attempted to tap into Mind magick and speak telepathically and realized that I couldn’t pull any additional energy to or through me even though I could still feel a connection to it. I then reached into the connection with my Avatar and through it to the bond Sindee and I share; focusing my thoughts and directing them to her I sent: I can see you in front of me and hear the others around but I am unable to move or speak.
The look of concern stayed on her features, but the fear seemed to lessen. She turned to Arthur and told him, “I’m not sure how, but Andrew just spoke in my mind without tapping into Magick. He says that he can see and hear us but is unable to move or speak.”
Arthur looked surprised at the revelation of communication between us without magick before was able to school his features. He replied, “I’m not too surprised by his inability to move or speak as he is most likely dehydrated and cramped. Magick and only maintain the body for so long and so well when a Mage fails to make the proper preparations. After sitting there for a week he went well beyond the body’s normal tolerance for water and almost at its normal limit for food.” He turned his gaze to focus directly on Sindee, “Since you’re the doctor, what needs to be done to treat him for severe dehydration and some malnutrition?”
Sindee was quick to reply with a list of materials she would need, writing it down and sending someone to the pharmacy to get the over the counter items. I heard her make a phone call to Natalie, asking her to order and bring supplied from the hospital pharmacy that they could access as doctors. Arthur, Marcus, JD, Roarke and George carried me up to my bedroom and carefully laid me out on the bed, unfolding my joints carefully as not to cause me pain or additional damage. I was more exhausted then I had ever been and was extremely worried that I had been inside of a vision, maintaining a spell for as long as I had. I would need to rethink how to form that particular spell if I were ever to try anything like it again; not that I was planning on doing so any time soon. Not long after they had me situated in the bed I fell asleep. I was in out of consciousness as I felt needles being stuck into me and heard monitors beeping. I was curious as to my they weren’t using Magick or Arthur’s talisman to heal me as they had the other night, but was still unable to move or speak. Every time I opened my eyes I could feel Sindee’s presence at my side and there were other people in the room from time to time as well. It felt like forever before I was able to even move my fingers let alone any other portion of my body and still I was constantly sleeping and waking at random interval.
I didn’t know how much time had passed when I finally work with enough energy to attempt sitting up and talking. I was able to move my arms and tried to leverage myself up with them and sit against the headboard. I got about halfway up when my arms started to give way. Sindee caught me before I fell and aided me in moving my back against the headboard into a sitting position. My mouth still felt as dry as the desert, but my tongue no longer felt like it was made of lead. I turned my head to look at Sindee and smiled; or at least I tried to. My muscles still felt weak so I’m not sure what she actually saw. Whatever she saw in my features, she promptly leaned in and kissed me on the forehead as you do for someone that you care for who is sick or injured. I’m not sure what category I fell in at that time, but guessed it was most likely to be both. I managed to force my mouth to work and said to her, “I love you,” which sounded to me more like I lurr ew. I guess I still needed to recover. Her features lit up with a slight smile so I assumed that at least the attempt at speaking was a good sign.
Sindee yelled from next to me, “He’s awake!!!! Will someone bring me a bottle of water and a straw?”
The commotion following her call was loud as most of the people I knew and considered friends came barreling into the room behind Natalie who was bringing it the water. Sindee took the bottle, placed the straw in it and to my lips, “Drink slowly,” she ordered.
I took a sip and felt better, so I tried to take a much larger sip and started coughing. The pain from the coughing was horrible, and my chest was now covered in the water that I had spit all over myself.
Sindee gave me one of those looks that doctors get when the patient tells them that they were following the advice given and figured it was their body and knew better than the doctor who went to school and studied how things actually work, “I said drink slowly Andrew.”
I counted to ten in my head because she was right and I had no reason to let my frustration at my condition turn into anger or resentment of her care for me. I counted to thirty after that before I tried to take another sip. After about ten minutes I had gotten about half the bottle in me when I said, “Thank you.” It actually sounded like a thank you as well so that was a good sign.
Everyone around me showed at least some sign of relief as tense shoulder, stiff and tight stances and worried looks relaxed into their normal body language and features. So I decided to try and speak again, “How long?” I didn’t get more out because even that winded me some. I was in bad shape and needed more recovery time.
Sindee answered me quickly with, “You were in the basement for a week and have been recovering here in our room for the better part of five days.” She took a breath and gave me a serious, sober expression before continuing, “We were unable to use Magick to bring you out of whatever you were experiencing or to heal. No matter what we did it was countered or just plain fizzled.”
I looked up at Natalie with a questioning look as to her expression of acceptance of such strange concepts. Arthur must have divined the meaning behind my look because he spoke next, “Sindee had brought Natalie here to help her with taking care of you and she unfortunately walked in while we were attempting another healing spell I had worked up. The effects of the spell were visible and not in any way coincidental. While she isn’t a mage or any other form of supernatural, she was awakened when the backlash put me through the wall into the hallway. Fortunately she had a flexible mind and accepted what she saw instead of running the other direction. I think it was her concern for Sindee and for you that gave her the strength, but that’s just a guess.” I turned to look at the wall on the hallway side of the room, “I already fixed it Andrew, once the cat was out of the bag the repairs were easy enough.” I simply nodded at him. Nat looked down at me a smiled, which as a patient I appreciated her bedside manner.
As we sat there reviewing my care over the last few days I thought of something and asked, “Now that I’m awake, I’ll attempt to accelerate my own healing. If it works I am going to need a lot of food, especially proteins.”
Everyone in the room who knew how to wield magick gave a look that spoke volumes and Sindee actually spoke, “You’re in the process of recovering from the after effects of a spell and you think any of us are going to let you try that. Now that you’re awake, we’ll try the healing again,” she said with a tone and look that would accept no argument, so I didn’t argue.
The healing spell they used worked well and quickly, restoring my energy and my body to the state it was in prior, then energy they expended left us all ravenous. I managed to get up, shower and get dressed so we all the mages who were starved and everyone else went to a buffet for dinner. That’s one good thing about Las Vegas, plenty of food available when needed. While we ate and relaxed, replenishing our energy; I explained to everyone else about the meditation and the spell I had cast to seek information about the capabilities and possible weaknesses of a Lich. I told them of everything I saw from the flashes of different worlds to destruction and creation of a new reality. I explained the battles I watched and how the mind of the Lich declined overtime turning the Lich into a being more dangerous than a Marauder or Nephandi. The only thing I could think of as a weakness or a way to kill the Lich was to destroy the head and heart completely and quickly. I told Arthur of the vulgar magicks used by the Lich and Mages who battled it.
Arthur spoke up at the end of my recounting, “While this is obviously a different Lich coming for us, the information you provided should aid us. With any luck the Mage who became our Lich discovered the ritual and accomplished it recently and has not had time to master the Vampiric Abilities or Magick to the level that you and I can perform. Andrew, I haven’t said this before but it is time I do. For the short time that you have been practicing Magick, even adding in the extra five years from your trip through Todash, you are a very accomplished and powerful Mage. More importantly, with the amount of power you wield with your will, you have not let it corrupt you and by that I am impressed and gratified that I have the pleasure of counting you as an ally and even more so that I can count you as a friend.”
I didn’t know what to say to that as Arthur was one of those who I respected above all others save Sindee. When the words came to me they were simple but honest, “It is my pleasure and honor to be counted as such, thank you.” While I could have come up with something more elegant, I felt that the simple and honest words were the better choice.
Arthur grinned at me after a moment before replying, “Now, if we could only find a way to keep you safe from yourself and the interestingly new concepts and approached you take with magick and I’ll be able to keep you in all of those categories.” Everyone around the table chuckled, but afterwards a few of the faces took on seriously contemplative expressions.
I had to laugh as well at the statement, and then looked down at my hands sheepishly before answering the comment, “Well, I would prefer the same. Unfortunately, our situation has demanded more of all of us then I’d prefer.” I lifted my head to scan the table, meeting each of my companions eyes before continuing in a more serious tone, “I’ll promise you all this. I will do everything within my ability to ensure that we all remain safe and healthy in the coming days. In addition, I’ll consult with you before I attempt anything else that could potentially cause any of us harm unless it’s an absolute emergency and in the defense of mine or innocent lives.” For those of you thinking that I have either and death wish or hero complex, let me explain that it’s neither. I am simply aware of what’s out in the real world and know that not only am I one of the few who can stand between the dangers and those threatened by them. More importantly, I know that it is a responsibility that fate, destiny or whatever you wish to call it has decided to bestow upon me.
After the serious discussions were over, we managed to enjoy our meals. Laughter and jokes were told to lighten the mood we initially started the evening with. We all made jokes at each other’s expense, with the majority directed at me; considering the cause for the evening’s festivities I deserved them. I think that between the group of exhausted Mage, Werewolves who’s relief stirred their hunger, and of course the other members of our group who had not worried much about eating while they all watched over me we may have actually cost the casino money on our buffet in the four hours we were there.
After dinner we broke up as a group and headed to our respective homes agreeing to meet at the Existence the next evening to plan what we could for the coming conflict. I was exhausted from both the casting and my recovery and didn’t even try to tap into magick to keep myself going any longer. I wanted to simply allow myself to heal and recover. Sindee drove us back to the house having to wake me so we could go in to bed. Once we were changed for bed I pulled Sindee’s soft warm body towards me, her back pressed against my chest, her left hand entwined with mine as we drifted off to a peaceful nights rest.
The next week went by quickly with plans and preparation for fighting the Lich when the time came. Most of my time was spent at the Existence and at Home fortifying and altering the Wards erected while Arthur did the same. The term Ward is general and has many different aspects and meanings but generally refers to protective or defensive enchantments. Arthur and I had discussed and come to the agreement that our combined magick and wards would be more effective than they would be individually. Sam also applied some form of wards using the Blood Magic of Vampires before we were finished. After Arthur, Sam and I had finished layering our wards into place he called in some favors to have people from the other supernatural communities to aid us with defenses around the edges of both the club and my property. While we wanted the additional defense, neither of us was comfortable with someone who was not in our inner circle casting any form of magic within the sanctity of our homes and personal wards. Even as we made all of the preparations one prevailing thought went through my mind; we don’t even know the capabilities of this Lich. We had just a couple of days until we found out if we lived or died.
On the twenty-seventh of February I decided that with the possible end looming over our head and the focus we had been making was putting everyone on edge that a night off would be in order for everyone. To that effect, I called Arthur and told him that we all should go and spend a night with those special to us. The funny thing is he told me that he was about to call with the same suggestion. He was of the mindset that going into a fight without a fresh reminder of why you’re there is the fasted way to lose hope and die. He told me that he was taking Jaq to a place that was special to him for many reasons, a place he hasn’t taken another living soul. He also said he’d let his people know if I’d take care of telling mine.
I called Marcus and told him that we weren’t meeting that night and to take Kyra out and do something memorable for both of them, lift their spirits from the grim tasks ahead. He told me he had just the right idea for them. Next I called Talia and while speaking with her I heard George in the background speaking as well so I assumed Arthur was talking to him which she confirmed. I went through my contacts and let everyone know that it was a night off. Everyone that I spoke with was relieved to get a little time to not focus on imminent death and danger that I felt better about the idea than I had when I decided on it. I went into our bedroom and grabbed a few items for Sindee and me before placing them in a small duffel bag. While she was at work I had been busy with my plans for the evening. I was dressed in a nice black linen suit with a green silk shirt slightly darker than my eyes. She saw my attire when she walked through the door and gave me a smile so bright it out shined the sun.
“You look rather nice tonight. I take it we’re not having another war council this evening?” She asked.
“Thank you, and no. I decided and Arthur agreed that tonight was for all of us to take the night off, spend time with those we love and remind ourselves why we’re fighting and not just what. You however are also more beautiful every time I see you.” I looked her over in her scrubs and realized just how much my statement was true to me, “You are without a doubt the only woman in the world for me and I’ll love you forever.”
She blushed and her eyes expressed her happiness, “You saw that while I’m in my dull scrubs, wait until you see me in a few minutes when I’m ready for whatever it is you have planned.” With that she turned down the hall and headed for our bedroom.
A couple of minutes past and I heard the shower start while I continues with the rest of the tasks I needed to complete while she got ready. I had completed cooking a nice meal for the two of us a few minutes before she arrived and prepared the plates. While she showered I took the plated out onto the back patio, setting them at the little bistro table she’d picked for out there. I lit the candles on the table and brought out a bottle of wine that would go perfectly with the meal. Something my parents had told all of us kids as we grew up and started relationships was that marriage wasn’t the end of dating and romance, just a better reason for it. In this regard both of my parents continued to take small nights like this for themselves, getting the kids out of the house to our friends or getting one of the older kids to watch the younger ones for the night while they went out. That’s also why my mother insisted that all of us learn how to cook from her; so that she was sure we could treat those we love properly. Thinking about her and my father made me a little sad, but it also helped me to understand them with the knowledge of my feeling for Sindee in my heart.
After I had the table set and the wine breathing, I filled out water glasses. All of my preparations for this evening were done without the aid of Magick as this was a night that was all about our life together, not displays of power. As I had said before it gave me a sense of pride and happiness that I was able to accomplish these things for Sindee. I turned on the gas heaters that were near the table to ensure that while the night was chill at the end of February we would be plenty warm for the meal. My plans for later after dinner were a surprise for Sindee and a respite for both of us.
Just as I finished setting up the back patio I returned into the kitchen and was stopped dead in my tracks by the angelic vision standing before me. Sindee had finished getting ready and was standing in the entrance of the kitchen wearing the dark green dress she had on the night I arrived in Las Vegas. She had let her hair fall naturally to frame her face hanging over her shoulders to flow over down her cast and back. To that she added the platinum and emerald jewelry she’d worn for our wedding and a pair of six inch heals that matched the dress bringing her to just a few inches shy of my height.
I stood there staring at her in awe until my lungs started to burn and a remembered that while I was Mage I still needed to breath. I let out my breath and took another before I could speak. I had some many things I wanted to say but couldn’t get my brain and my tongue to cooperate so all that came out was, “Wow!” Just seeing her standing there had my heart racing faster than it ever had.
She gave me one of her triumphant little smirks, the kind that says she had done exactly what she wanted. Seconds after the smirk turned into a full blown smile that showed even in her eyes, “I’ll take that as approval of my attire for the evening.” She laughed in a low sultry way as she stepped forward to wrap her arms around my neck and draw me in. I tiled my head down and she looked up, pressing her soft full lips to mine. When she broke the kiss I was once again left breathless by the fact that I had this amazing, one of a kind woman in my life. She released my neck before stepping back and speaking, “So what are you going to do with me this evening?” A sly, enticing look of desire crossed her features as she said this.
Upon hearing her question and seeing the expression she gave me I almost ditched my plans for the evening right then and there. However, I pride myself on taking care of those I love and as much as I wanted her more than life itself, I also fest she deserved to be treated right. I took a few breaths to try and calm my pulse before I did anything else. I offered her my arm as I stepped beside her, “Tonight I plan to treat you to a home cooked meal and dessert to start the evening off. After that I have a surprise that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I believe you will.” She placed her arm through my elbow and I led her to the patio table.
Sindee loved the meal. I told her that the dishes were all recipes that my mother had taught me to make when I was younger, telling me to surprise the woman I loved with them one day and that she was the only person I’d ever made these for. Dessert was a scratch made carrot cake that I learned after finding out it was one of Sindee’s favorite treats. When I went inside to bring desert out, I turned on some music for the two of us to dance. All in all the dinner and dancing portion of the evening was a success beyond what I had hoped.
After we danced for a little while I led Sindee back into the house, but not towards our bedroom. I guided her into the basement as it was a sanctum that allowed for the casting of vulgar magick without the backlash. Once we were down there, I turned to Sindee and pulled her into a tight embrace that pressed our bodies together. We each felt the rapid beat of the others pulse. I released my right hand from the embrace as I held just that much tighter with my left; bringing my hand up to caress her left cheek. I lowered my hand to her jaw, tilting her head up and back so that we stared into each other’s eyes as I leaned in to kiss her. While we were sharing the passion and desire for the other in our kiss I invoked a casting that I had hung on a contingency earlier, this was the only magick I intended to use the night as it was the only way I could accomplish what I planned.
When we finally had to break the kiss as we needed to breath, Sindee opened her eyes to find us standing on the beach outside of our house in Hawaii as the sun was beginning to set. “I wanted to bring you back here because this is our place. Since construction was finished no other living soul has set foot here and none will. It is also the place where we started the newest phase of our lives together,” I explained letting the emotion and sincerity enter my voice.
Sindee simply pulled me in tighter against her for a moment before she released me, “wait here for a minute, I’ll be right out.” She stepped away, slipping her shoes off and ran into the beach house quickly returning only moments later after opening the glass wall to the bedroom facing the beach. She walked out carrying one of the comforters from the linen closet.
Once she returned to me; Sindee spread the comforter out on the sand and walked across it to stand before me. She stood on her toes to kiss before stepping back and removing slipping out of her dress to stand naked before me, bathed in the light of sunset. I stripped from my clothing and moved to join her in the middle of the comforter. We spent the rest of the evening and night sharing the passion and desire we had and the pleasure of our bodies. For that brief window in time there was nothing else in the world but the two of us.
We were still lying on the comforter wrapped in the others embrace when the sun rose over us. I had been awake for about ten minutes as sun broke the horizon giving enough light to see by. Sindee’s face was a mask of peace and contentment sleeping there in my arms. I listened to the steady rhythm of her breathing, feeling her heart beat in tune with mine. I focused on her features intending to burn this morning into my memory forever. I knew then and there that I would ensure that we survived what was coming so that we could continue to have memories like this one. She slept there in my arms for another hour before opening her eyes and smiling at me. She stretched her body arching her back with a feline grace that stilled my heart and made me want to stay here with her forever. The problem with that, as tempting as it was, came in the fact that if we didn’t leave here and stop the Lich, the future would be very short indeed. What made me all the more concerned was an old story that I believed was called: An Appointment with Death.
Once we got up I led Sindee into the house so we could shower. After we cleaned up and dressed I went back out the private beach and retrieved our clothes and the blanket to bring them inside. I left the comforter at the beach house and took everything else back to Las Vegas with us by using the same type of Correspondence Magick to return to the basement. We arrived back in Las Vegas around noon and gathered the items we needed to stay with Arthur and everyone else at the Existence for the next couple of nights. Our plan was to present a united front against the Lich instead of being in separate location to be taken on piecemeal. Not the greatest plan, but it was the best of bad options.
Sindee and I headed for the Existence as soon as we gathered our things instead of waiting for the evening. We parked on the upper level of the garage and walked across to the private entrance to the apartments that Arthur and his inner circle lived in. When we entered Arthur’s apartment to meet up with him and Jaq he seemed remarkably relaxed and his eyes held a softer sense that what I was used to seeing in them. I looked over to see Jaq with a smile brighter than any I’d seen before lighting her features. It looked as though their day off had been as good for them as Sindee’s and mine had been for us. After my last instance of missing the blindingly obvious I paid attention to the details as I looked over their relaxed states and happy features when I caught a major detail that while a little surprised I was none the less overjoyed.
I stepped up to Arthur took his hand and pulled him in for a brotherly hug before whispering in his ear, “Congratulations.” I kept my voice low as I spoke it because Jaq hadn’t said anything and as far as I could tell Sindee hadn’t noticed it yet. After releasing Arthur from my embrace I crossed over to Jaq and pulled her into a hug, planted a kiss on her cheek and whispered to her as well, “I know we’ll get through tomorrow and you both will have a long happy future together. Congratulations.” I smiled and whispered again, “How long do you think before Sindee figured it out?”
She smiled and started to reply when Sindee let out an excited gasp and shoved me aside gently but quickly. She pulled Jaq into a tight hug; she had a surprising strength packed into her petite frame. She released Jaq and stepped back holding her hands as she looked at the ring Jacqueline was now wearing. Sindee turned her head to catch Arthur in her glance as well as Jaq, “Congratulations to both of you. Both Andrew and I had hope for the two of you as you seemed mad for each other.”
Jaq spoke up before Arthur, “Thank you Sindee. Please don’t mention it to anyone else yet. We planned to tell everyone in due time but you came earlier than we expected.”
Arthur took up where she left off, “Thank you both for your well wishes.” He turned to me, “Andrew, I have to thank you for the unique role you took in introducing us as if you hadn’t chosen push your limits and do things that not many had before Jaq and I might never have crossed paths.” He turned to Sindee, “Thank you for capturing his heart in such a way that his faithfulness and will allowed him to make the hardest choice a person had been presented with and make his way back to you. You are a singular woman in that regard as I firmly believe that there was no one other than you that could have inspired him in the feats his accomplished to return.” He stepped up next to Jacqueline and pulled her against his side as he slid his left arm over her shoulders, “If it weren’t for everything you have both gone through together I wouldn’t…”
Jacqueline interrupted him with a quick, “we wouldn’t.”
Arthur paused and corrected himself, “Right, we wouldn’t, have the happiness we’ve found with each other.” He turned his head to face her and his features again relaxed from the weight of the world he normally seemed to carry in his eyes.
Everyone started to arrive over the next few hours so we could begin preparing for the confrontation we knew was heading our way. Arthur and Jaq made no announcement of their engagement that evening and I noticed that the rind no longer rested on Jacqueline’s finger. I guessed that they intended to announce it once we survived the fight ahead. While more relaxed at the start of the evening the thought of what we were going to face was wearing on everyone’s nerves. The gathering was relatively quiet considering the revelry that usually occurred when you got enough of us together.
Just after sunset that evening, we all headed down from the apartments to the catwalks above the bar and club. The place was as busy as I’d ever seen it, packed wall to wall with supernatural people of so many varying races from awakened humans all the way to a few Fallen. There were races here that couldn’t identify on sight or even upon viewing their auras through magick. I had never seen some of the races represented there that evening. There were Vampires from many different clans and even some types of Vampires that I had never seen before and many different shifters as well. Among the shape shifters were some things I’d never imagined or thought of, there was an alligator shifter, some form of spider shifter. Being exposed to them this way made me realize that every shifter I had ever seen was in some form a predatory creature, never a purely prey animal. I’d have to look more into that later as it made little sense that a large portion of species wouldn’t be represented in the true nature of reality.
While most of us spread out among the catwalks to view the area below, Arthur walked to his preferred position above the divider between the original bar and the dance club areas. At a signal from Arthur the DJ let the current song he was playing complete and quiet to rein over the building. Once the music stopped and the crowd spotted Arthur leaning against the rail above all eyes were on him. He stood straight and looked over everyone in the building in a slow measuring sweep, “Thank you everyone for coming here as my guest and keeping the peace I have tried to ensure for all of you. Tonight I have to close the Existence early and ask that you all leave for your safety. We will be closed for at least the next couple of days. There is something coming that while I am confident that my friends, allies and I will be able to defeat it, we may not be able to protect those here in the building while engaged in the conflict. I know that this situation is unusual as I have never shut down the club without advanced notice before but we needed to keep our plans hidden as much as possible in order to gain every advantage we could.”
Before he finished speaking there was a mumble running throughout the patrons crowded in the building. As her finished speaking someone shouted to him, “We have been coming here under your protection since you opened this place. I’m willing to stay and help if you’ll have me.”
While I had no idea who was speaking Arthur and his knowledge of every customer who ever walked through his doors did and replied to him, “Donovan, while I appreciate the gesture, you do not understand what it is that we’re going to be facing and I have no wish risk your pack losing its Alpha.”
Not dissuaded by Arthur’s reply, Donovan said, “I thank you for your concern in that regard Arthur and for everything you and yours have done with this place for all of us, my pack, family and the friends I’ve made here.” He took a breath and asked, “Before you attempt to send us away or refuse assistance; what is it you are preparing to fight?”
Arthur hung his head for a moment and took a few breaths to center his mind. He then lifted his head to look across the catwalks at those of gathered, meeting my eyes in question. In my mind instead of spoken aloud he asked: Andrew, it was your vision so I’ll leave the choice to you. Do I reveal what we believe is coming and accept those that volunteer or not?
It was a choice I didn’t want to make. On one hand, my friends and I were planning to risk our lives to stop this thing, but we had all accepted that responsibility as the visions were mine and they supported me. While I believed we were going to succeed, I knew that the chances of all of us making it through alive weren’t likely. The thing about it is that we all made the informed choice to be here and fight. When I had asked, rather begged Sindee to let me get her to a safe location away from the fight it hadn’t gone over well. In truth, it went over like a lead balloon. She told me that we were partners, linked by not just our vows and promises but by the very Magick that we wielded and I better understand that here and now. Hearing the pain in her voice and seeing it in her eyes as she told me that she could no more bear losing me than I her. I tried to get each of those I cared for to stay out of this coming fight including Marcus, Kyra and some of the other werewolves that have become members of my family by living on and guarding the land around my home. None would listen, most told me a variation on the same theme; if I was going to place myself between this coming danger and humanity they would be there to support me. Sometimes, having loyal friends can be a bad thing, for them.
On the other hand, the people gathered together in this club were grown beings with their own powers and abilities. Just as I had learned the hard way with Sindee, I knew that each of them had a right to choose their own fates in this coming conflict. After all, if we failed to stop the Lich here they would have to fight it later. I hated the idea of putting someone else at risk for a choice I made. It’s happened a few times too many already. My choosing to enter Sindee’s life and bring her into mine had almost cost her life when that assassin shot me and could have moved on to her. I risked Marcus’s life when he aided me in my seeking and the werewolves found us; that may have worked out well but could easily have been deadly for us both. It may have been my vision and responsibility, but every being here needed to make their own choice to fight or run. I looked back at Arthur, only seconds having passed as those thoughts raced through my mind. Tell them, it’s their right to choose, I replied mentally.
Arthur looked back to the crowed, “While it hasn’t been confirmed directly; the thing that is coming for us is by all indications a Lich.” The silence that fell over the crowd was smothering as everyone stopped breathing at once. Arthur’s announcement hung in the air like a smothering blanket even to those who had no need for breathe. After allowing his statement to sink in for about thirty seconds he continued, “While none of us has ever faced a Lich before, we are aware of the legends around them. We are operating on a worst case scenario for the powers involved. Guessing that it will wield the powers of an Archmage and an Ancient Vampire with fewer weaknesses than either normally has. I have no right and no desire to risk your lives in this battle.”
Donovan spoke up again as murmurs were spreading through the crowd, “While I understand that you have no desire to risk our lives, you built and opened this Elysium to all of us as a safe harbor. You have protected and aided most of us as we found what we needed here. You do have the right to ask even though you won’t. However, you will either have to physically remove me and any of my allies that wish to stay or just accept the help we offer freely.” He turned to four of the people sanding with him and whispered. The two smaller ones gathered up a group of younger and slighter looking people and headed for one of the exits as the other two who looked like brawlers spread out to speak to some of the others around the room.”
As this was going on another voice rose above the crowd from right below Arthur on the club side of the divider, “Arthur, I for one am staying and aiding you. I have sent the young ones away but have also sent a messenger to the Prince of the City to request any aid from our Warrior’s and our Sherriff that are willing,” stated a voice I recognized. I’d met him only once and the situation ended peaceably enough. As far as I was concerned Alexander Angeletti was a most honorable person.
There were many more declarations of aid over the next few minutes from a lot of the people who had been coming here for years. Most of the more recent clientele made for the exits quickly, but a few of them had stayed to offer aid in whatever way they could. In most cases where a pack or other group were here, they send a portion of them to safety while others who had any kind of useful skills, from combat to healing, remained. Arthur spoke to his security staff, the awakened mortals and supernatural beings both, and told them that they were not required to stay for this fight. It is a testament to the man that not a single member even contemplated leaving him. Arthur had no more luck with the members of his inner circle than I had with mine, meaning none.
While everyone was busy making the arrangements they needed to for family and friends that wouldn’t be here, and we started to sort out the volunteers into groups another surprise guest came through the door. Arthur was sitting at his table in the main bar with a bottle of water, taking a few minutes respite before getting back into the mix. It was just about 9PM meaning we had about three hours before the first came upon us and we wanted to be ready at least an hour before that. He sat with his hands around the bottle, back straight and head down as though in prayer. In through the front door walked a stunningly beautiful woman who I’d never seen in there before. She was short, right around five feet tall with waist length red hair highlighted with streaks of black. She had an ethereal quality that practically screamed that she wasn’t human but what she was I couldn’t tell. Looking at her Aura practically blinded me as it was almost as bright as Arthur’s. She walked right up to his table and took the seat right next to his, leaned over and placed a gentle kiss upon his cheek before sitting back in her chair.
Arthur looked up at her, surprised at her appearance by his side evident in his features, “Ynara, what are you doing here?” he asked in a shocked tone. As I’d never even seen him remotely surprised this was a new experience.
“I’m here to help you with what you are going to be facing,” she replied in a voice that sounded like a choir of angels.
“Ynara, you need to leave. I have put you under my protection for as long as you are in this city and this coming battle is not something that I can guarantee your safety from if you are here,” he was almost pleading as her spoke to her.
“Arthur, you placed me under your protection eight years ago at a time when I had not gained my power and knew nothing of my history let alone all that I know now. You only knew that my mother was a Fallen and that my Father had been an Archmage of great power and legend even though no one could name him. You have saved my life from many people that have tried to draw me back to Los Angeles as well as darker more dangerous places. Since that first time you protected me I have been gaining in power and learning a lot more of my past. I’ve learned that my mother while Fallen was one of the Angels of Creation whose name I will not give as the names of angels and demons have a power of their own. I have gained many of the powers of Angels. Along with those powers I gained the responsibility to use them properly. You were praying for help and aid in the coming fight and I have the ability to provide that aid. I am now removing myself from your protection and placing this sanctuary in mine for the coming battle.” She left no room for argument in the entire statement.
Arthur looked up at her, “I wasn’t actually praying, just hoping for a miracle. Please reconsider your stand on this.”
Ynara simply smiled, “My stand is firm and as you are the man I know you to be, you will accept that and I thank you for it. I have one more thing I’d like to share with you and any who you trust as family.”
Arthur looked up into her face, “Are you sure you wish to share whatever it is with all of those I consider family?”
“Yes Arthur as it pertains to them in a way,” was her reply, while cryptic sounding she also seemed genuine in her statement.
Arthur called many of us over to his table. Sitting around the table filling all the seats was a motley group of individuals. Of course Arthur sat in his normal seat with Ynara on his left and Jaq to his right. To Jaq’s right was Sam followed by George with Talia beside him. JD and Guido took the next two seats after Talia. Elayna and Jarvis took the chairs to Ynara’s left side. Arthur called Sindee and I over and requested we take the last two chairs at the table.
I looked Arthur in the eyes, “This seems to be a gathering of your chosen family and I wouldn’t want to intrude upon it.”
Sindee spoke as I finished, “Andrew is right, we don’t want to intrude but are honored by the offer.”
Arthur simply smiled at both of us and replied, “You two are both more than welcome and I consider you family as much as anyone else here. Because of both of you, Jaq and I have found each other and the happiness we share. You have both put yourselves in the path of danger to protect humanity and have included me and mine among your family as well. Please, sit and share in what Ynara has to tell me and all of you, my chosen family.”
There was nothing else for either of us to say. I pulled out Sindee’s chair and slid it back in as she sat before taking my own next to her.
Ynara looked around the table at all of us there before speaking, “Since you placed me under your protection and my studies began I started looking into my past to learn as much about myself and my capabilities as possible. Among the knowledge I searched for was the identity of my Fallen mother and the name of the Archmage that fathered me. I already mentioned who and what my mother turned out to be. In accepting my powers and using them responsibly when I’ve been called upon I was granted a boon. I was granted the knowledge I sought about my father. As it was said he was a very powerful Archmage which contributed to the power that I can wield. He fought to protect those in danger of being harmed by the Ascension War. His is an example that I have been proud to live up to and will continue to do so. Some time ago he changed his focus from the Ascension War to the protection of not just humanity but of reality itself,” as she was explaining all of this her eyes moved around the table to each of us. She then turned to face Arthur directly, “Some time ago you became something more than a Mage or Archmage. You had met a woman who aided when your own Magick had started to go out of control, changing you and drawing you away from this plane. What you didn’t know until later is that you were fighting your own Ascension.”
Everyone at the table turned to stare at Arthur. He nodded slightly and then spoke up, “At the time, it felt as though it was tearing me apart as I had things that still needed to be accomplished. Once I found out what I gave up I was almost crushed by the knowledge.”
Ynara continued, “Before I continue I must ask your permission Arthur as it will reveal parts of your history that you may have not yet shared.” He simply nodded his permission. “During the time of your depression you had withdrawn some from most of the family seated here with you. You were a man out of time, taken back into a timeframe to fulfill an ancient prophesy before you could return back her on your own. You managed to ensure that the prophecy was fulfilled without the destruction that was foretold within. You were then shortly returned to this timeline on the day you had left it originally. While still suffering emotionally at having given up Ascension for the good of humanity you had gained powers that weren’t those of any Mage or Archmage you’d heard of. You started to use those powers and the advantages they gave you to fight for the people of this time. After one of those fights you were severely injured and none of the Magick or talismans seemed able to aid you. You were dying, slowly and you weren’t fighting it because of the turmoil between your mind, body, spirit and Avatar. Your family watched over you, trying to help while you wasted away in silence. A singular woman, unlike anyone you had ever met walked in to the bar and requested to see you. She entered your room alone and sat at your side. She gave you a choice, to die in peace or to fight for life and she would help you. Thankfully you were and are a Warrior and refused to lay there and die in bed. Once you made the choice, she stripped and joined you in the bed becoming your lover only once. When she left you had never heard from her again. With no name and no trace of her to use magick to find her you were unable to even look. From there you began to build on to the Existence and created the Elysium it is today. What I’m here to tell you in two things. First the woman who healed you was a Fallen in all way but one. She was not a demon cast from heaven; she was an Angel who had chosen to fall and come to your aid as she had been watching over you from your Awakening. The second thing is that after leaving here, the body she had created was fully human and found herself with child. Years passed as we travelled and she hid me away from the Fallen and any others who would try to kill me or use me for their own means. She was finally killed right after sending me to Las Vegas for protection. I came to this city with protection offered by many of the races that share this city. I had found the Existence on a night when I was at one of my lowest points. You welcomed me in and sat with me, letting me talk about what bothered me. You held no judgment and offered compassion to me as a stranger, welcoming me in as you did any who come to you. Not long after you protected me from those who were sent to drag me back to Los Angeles placing me under your personal protection that night while I was still a stranger to you. Since then you had protected me, aided me and even taught me to control the Magick part of my abilities.” Tears rolled down eyes the deep blue of a twilight sky with tiny flashes of red, “You had always treated me with respect and kindness. Sitting before you now with the knowledge I have gained I am proud to call you my father if you’ll have me?”
Nobody spoke, nor did we breathe as we were floored by the revelation of her story. Arthur’s eyes had tears flowing from them as he stood up and pulled the beautiful young woman into his embrace, “Ynara, had I known there would have been nothing to stop me from claiming you as my daughter. Despite, or maybe because of the hardships in your life you were a remarkable girl who has forged herself into a strong, incredible woman. You are of my blood and I only wish that I had thought of that before this day. I didn’t because I had been using magick to maintain myself sterile until I found the woman to spend my life with.” He turned them both to allow him to see Jaq’s face over her shoulder. With a look of silent communication between them, Jaq nodded to Arthur. He continued, “Ynara, as you are my daughter and know all save three of my chosen family I have some very important introductions for you. First I’d like you to meet Andrew and Sindee, while new to my family they are important to me in many ways.”
Ynara smiled at us, “It’s my pleasure to meet you both. Anyone that can earn his respect, trust and love to be included as family must be exceptional people.”
Before Sindee or I could speak to answer her Arthur continued, “The other person I’d like you to meet was introduced to me by Andrew and Sindee.” He reached down and took her hand in his, aiding Jaq in standing up. “Ynara, this fine woman is Jacqueline Dupree and she is my Fiancé,” at this declaration most of the other jaws at the table dropped as another shock was piled onto all the other revelations that evening.
Jaq kissed Arthur on his cheek quickly before turning to Ynara, “I am happy to meet you Ynara, and more than excited that the two of you found each other. In the short time I’ve known Arthur he has shown himself to be one of the most loving and honorable men I’ve ever known. I hope that we’ll be friends and would enjoy it if you would consider me family as well.”
Ynara released the arm that was still holding onto Arthur and pulled Jaq into a tight embrace, “Any woman who could capture Arthur’s heart must be exceptional and we will be friends as well as family.”
While the recent discussion was important and we all wanted to remain at Arthur’s table for the night there was much to do and little time left. While we had been in discussion Marcus and the others had gotten all of our volunteers organized and positioned where they would best be able to support each one of the primary combatants. We spread around the club in small groups, taking shifts to rest with someone from each group always on watch to wake the others when the shit hit the fan. Arthur went up to his apartment and returned just as the clock struck midnight. He was wearing a pair of black denim jeans and a silver silk shirt. He had a shoulder and tactical thigh holster on his right that I could see through his open leather duster. On his right hip above and back from the holster was a scabbard. The hilt matched that of the sword he brought to my home when we created the node. Jaq was standing on the catwalk with him wearing black slacks, a robin’s egg blue blouse with her shoulder holster and a knife sheathed at the belt. Sam was walking the catwalks restlessly wearing shirt, pants, boots, and duster all in black leather. She was her sword across her back and was armed with knives and other blades as well. JD was wearing a set of katana or similar sword across his back looking incongruous with the suit he was wearing. Elayna and Jarvis sat together quietly in the corner, whispering that no one could here. She was wearing a peasant blouse and flowing skirt, not carrying any weapons she most likely was going to be using her teeth and claws. Jarvis was wearing studded leather armor and holding five foot long war maul, both of which appeared to be well maintained originals, not modern reproductions. George and Talia were sitting together on the catwalks on the side of the building with the garage; they would shift and fight with tooth and claw as well as the powers their wielded. Marcus and Kyra were keeping the healers and some of the other volunteers company, he would be using his magick to aid in the fight and defending them to make sure those of us on the front line were kept healed and alive. I tried to get Sindee to join them as her healing gift was unequaled in my experience. Her argument was simple; she was a capable fighter and could keep herself healed so that they could focus on the rest of us. Roarke was up on the catwalks with his sword on his hip, the primium possibly giving us an advantage over the Lich. While Primium is effective against Mages and many forms of magick, vampiric powers operate on other principles so it won’t be once hundred percent capable of rendering his abilities useless. I sat with Sindee in a couple of chair nearest the spot when I felt the focus of the resonance signature when I checked for it in my vision, the first line of defense. She was dressed in jeans, a Kermit-green t-shirt and had several knives sheathed at her waist and wrists. I was wearing a pair of old comfortable blue jeans, a black t-shirt with a decal saying: I’m not trying to be difficult (it comes naturally). I had a few knives on me but mostly planned to use magick in the fight. I had been working on perfecting some of my older rotes as well as creating a few new ones as a surprise for our enemies.
We sat and waited. Our perception of time stretched and slowed as we waited for the end to come, seconds feeling like hours ticking on the clock. The quiet that filled the building grated on most of our nerves and making us weary. It was almost dawn when the main doors were smashed from the hinges as a cool wind flowed into the club behind the crushed doors. Every one of us jumped to our feet, ready to fight what was coming……………