7 Worlds: Explorations – Ep2

Episode 2: The Ruins of Illistria

The Sentients is the collective term given to all the different creatures who possess a sense of self. Humans coined the term in ancient times when the Sentients were imprisoned using the energy of the weapons known as the Twins of Power. The release of these creatures brought its own conflicts, but also great allies. Many of them currently live in their own tribes, and some, like Thistle, roam the worlds in search of friendship and adventure. Thistle is a wisp. These spirit-like creatures do not possess a body. They have an innate knowledge of the worlds passed on between them, though they rarely ever meet. Their magical nature gives them the ability to cast powerful spells and they are often aligned strongly with one of the elements. For Thistle, she is highly attuned to the element of fire. Laurel and Thistle met at some point during Laurel’s adventures. They quickly formed a strong bond of friendship and have traveled together for years. After the disappearance of Laurel’s mother, Thistle promised she would help find her. The travels these two have been on have not been successful in that endeavor, but they’ve learned much of the world.

Other Sentients are known to be unique variations of well known creatures. For example, wolves, who are normally small and tend to keep to themselves, have a Sentient counterpart that formed tribes, is much larger and travel Entralia as well as the other worlds. Lumos has mentioned that some of these wolf tribes travel around the ruins. The group will most likely have to speak with them in order to secure safe passage.

Lumos – “I’ve had some dealings with the wolves in this area. They are very adept at finding things with their keen sense of smell and strong earth magic.”

Thistle – “Isn’t there a tribe that also protects the Twins of Power?”

Lumos – “Yes, the tribe of Argaun is legendary. It is said that the wolf that created that tribe fought alongside the great heroine.”

Laurel – “Can we visit them? Sounds like they would know about artifacts and similar items.”

Lumos -”They live far south of here, near the shrine to the weapons. I have also spoken with them during my previous travels. They tend to be a more secretive bunch. So I was able to gain very little from them. I feel like they would rather be left alone.”

Laurel – “Oh, ok. Well, I hope that the wolves around here are more cooperative.”

Lumos – “I’m sure they will help us.”

Laurel – “You mentioned you’ve been here before.”

Lumos – “Right, I should tell you more about the ruins. Most of this once great city has been partly buried in the earth. The remains of some structures can be seen poking out of the ground here and there. Apparently it was the site of a conflict with earth magic users. It was their magic that buried the city and fractured it. In some accounts the destruction is blamed on a spell gone awry.”

Thistle – “Those ancient times sound brutal, was there only conflict between the worlds?”

Lumos – “There was too much of it. During that time the influence of the elements, and their natural rivalries were taken to extreme levels. Suffice to say, much of the history of the seven worlds involves war. Entralia got the worst of it most times. There was free and easy access to the world portals, before the trials were established.”

Laurel – “The trials? Weren’t those recently disbanded?”

Lumos – “Yes, the councils and rulers of the worlds finally decided that the current peacetime had made the trials more of a burden, especially for merchants and traders who simply wanted to move their wares. Some elements still remain. I have read about contests of strength held in the old arenas. Also, the world of dark magic, Zanathas, holds several contests like that throughout the year.”

Thistle – “Zanathas sounds like an exciting place to visit!”

Laurel – “Hey Thistle, they might have fights between wisps.”

Thistle – “I doubt it, wisps aren’t that common around the worlds and you know that.”

Lumos – “Do you know why Thistle?”

Thistle – “Nope.”

Laurel – “Good luck getting any information out of her. Wisps are like that wolf tribe, very secretive about their life and traditions. Believe me I tried a long time ago.”

Lumos – “I’m sure we will learn something at some point. Regardless, back to discussing the ruins. The original name of the city was Illistria. On a trip I took here years ago one of the wolves found a book that had some of the city’s history written down. Among the information in that book there were details about a weapon.”

Laurel – “The one you mentioned in your lecture, correct? There were few details about it.”

Lumos – “Precisely. It might hold some importance, but unless we find it we won’t know for sure.”

Thistle – “Let’s get searching then. I’ll go first!”

Laurel – “And there she goes, so impulsive.”

Lumos – “She seems to take a little after you.”

Thistle flew off into the distance, while Lumos and Laurel continued to walk into the ruins. A number of broken pillars poked out of the ground. There were also the foundations of what could have been a large structure. While Laurel and Lumos were there, a group of wolves approached them.

Wolf – “You there! Why are you h…? Lumos?”

Lumos – “Cain Silva, wolf lord of the Illistria tribe. How are you old friend?”

Cain Silva – “It is good to see you great sage, I am well. Brothers, you may return to your patrols.”

Lumos – “Good to hear. I believe I sent word through the winds that I would be coming here, did you receive my message?”

Cain Silva – “No, I did not. Spells have been disrupted in this area for some time. We have been trying to hone in on the cause, but we have made no progress yet.”

Lumos – “Ah well, no matter. I want you to meet Laurel, daughter of one of the members of the Entralian Council. She is studying with me to learn more about ancient artifacts and items. Another companion of ours is a wisp, whom you’ve no doubt seen flying around. She is rather aloof at times.”

Thistle – “I heard that!”

Laurel – “It’s a pleasure to meet you Cain Silva.”

Cain Silva – “An honor to meet you as well. I sense great balance within you. How are your skills with the magic of this world?”

Laurel – “I’m not a warrior if that’s what you’re asking.”

Lumos – “We are scholars more than anything.”

Cain Silva – “I see, then I don’t recommend staying here too long. This is often the passage of brigands and the tribe cannot protect you all the time. It would be best if you left altogether.”

Laurel – “We can’t leave empty handed. At least let us investigate the cause of the magical disturbance.”

Cain Silva – “Do as you please, I will keep watch. Be mindful that you should leave by nightfall. The ruins are dangerous.”

Lumos – “We understand, do you have any information that may be of use?”

Cain Silva – “I can tell you this, the spell disruptions only started recently. It is a chaotic energy that has no clear origin, yet it is confined to the ruins. We have tried to find the source, but there isn’t a smell to track and as you know spells do not work effectively.”

Laurel – “We’ll try our best to find the source of this.”

The large wolf left towards one of the nearby hills and sat there, ever watchful of the ruins. Meanwhile Laurel, Lumos and Thistle made their way further into the fallen city. Their investigation began in an area with a cluster of broken structures. The winds here blew in different directions.

Laurel – “I can actually feel the mess of an aura emitted from this place. There’s a lot of leftover wind mana.”

Lumos – “Earth magic was the downfall of this ancient city. It is possible that with the balance thrown off, wind magic would begin to manifest as a way to regain that balance. Oddly such a balance should have been restored a long time ago.”

Thistle – “Can we blast some rocks now?”

Laurel – “We will at some point, but we have to be careful for now. I can use some earth magic to shift the ground, but it will be difficult to maintain the spell with how chaotic the energies are around here.”

Thistle – “I think I can help you with that. There is a meditation spell that uses runes of fire magic, it should stabilize your spell.”

Lumos – “We could be digging around blindly for a while, the winds don’t seem to point anywhere specifically. Perhaps…”

Laurel – “Not to be rude Lumos, but if we stand here and do nothing we will never really find anything.”

Lumos – “Your eagerness in this moment is a boon. Fine then, go on and begin your digging, I shall endeavor to examine your progress as well as analyze the effects.”

The energies of Laurel’s spell shifted slightly while Thistle carved fiery runes in the air itself to stabilize it. Parts of the ground moved to the sides and revealed broken pieces of polished stone. It could have been a pillar or a wall. To Laurel it made little difference, there was still no clear indication of where the chaotic energy was emanating from. Meanwhile Lumos watched over them toiling away at different parts of the ruins. In his observations he noticed that the runes carved by Thistle were all looking towards a specific point.

Lumos – “Hold Laurel, dig no further. Thistle you are a genius!”

Thistle – “I am?”

Laurel – “She is?”

Lumos – “Thistle, fly off and look at the way you instinctively placed the runes.”

Thistle – “Well, it seems they all look towards this point here.”

Laurel – “Wait, why is it the fiery runes are clearly showing a path and not earth or wind magic?”

Lumos – “Earth and wind are opposing elements. They influence each other greatly. The chaos of the winds disrupts earth magic. On the other hand earth and fire share a bond, like old friends. Thistle, I believe you’re getting your wish. Blast away at that point.”

Thistle – “Hehe, yes! Converge!”

All the runes written in the air by Thistle flew into the center point they faced and began blasting away pieces of rocks and earth. Slowly a large stone box began to be revealed. It was protected by a thin but powerful field of wind energy.

Laurel – “Could that be the source of the chaos?”

Lumos – “No, the field itself has weakened. A simple earth magic spell might be able to break through.”

Laurel – “Consider it done!”

Lumos – “Wait Laurel don’t…”

Before Lumos could finish talking Laurel had already levitated a large rock from nearby and launched it towards the box. Upon making contact the rock burst into hundreds of pieces and the field dissipated. On top of the stone box was a half rusted ringblade that seemed to act as a key.

Laurel – “Clearly the artifact must be inside this box.”

Lumos – “There are some carved writings on the lower part of the box, but they’re quite faded.”

Laurel – “I’ll keep this with me just in case and open this up.”

Laurel opened the box. A beam of energy flew off into the sky. She looked bewildered as she stared into the open box. There was nothing else inside.

Laurel – “What was that?”

Thistle – “That was your artifact flying off to who knows where. Maybe you’re just being unlucky with these things.”

Laurel – “What do you think Lumos?”

Lumos – “I think we should have read this little bit here before opening the box. It seems like it is a warning, but the part that could have been a description is illegible.”

Laurel – “Oh, well, at least we aren’t leaving empty handed, even if it’s this old half rusted ringblade.”

Lumos – “Allow me to inspect it.”

The great sage used his magic to keep the weapon aloft. The ringblade is a mystic kind of weapon. It can only be held by using a balance of magical energies that keep it a short distance from the hands. They can fly off and return to the user at will. Lumos’ handling of the weapon showed he had some experience using one.

Lumos – “This rusted part is particularly interesting. The craftsmanship used to create a weapon like this has been lost to the ages. I know that in appearance it doesn’t seem like much, but I believe it is as much an artifact as the Twins of Power.”

Laurel – “Really? This thing looks like it could fall apart at any moment. You know what? I’ll keep it for myself. I don’t think anyone would be interested in a damaged weapon anyway. Maybe I can use it to practice.”

Lumos – “Well, now that the chaotic energies are gone perhaps I can prepare a report for your father and send it away using magic.”

Thistle – “Lumos, I could transport the message if you want. I can fly with little rest and be back before you know it.”

Lumos – “Night is almost upon us. The report can wait. Let’s head back to that village we passed, Jaunr was it?”

Laurel – “Sounds good, I think we earned some rest, right Thistle?”

Thistle – “You and your sleeping cycles, urgh.”

Laurel – “Well pardon me for being human.”

Lumos – “Now, now. I will let Cain Silva know of what transpired, surely he will be curious. Go on ahead.”

While Lumos walked toward Cain Silva, Laurel and Thistle made their way to the area where they started their search.

Cain Silva – “It seems you found something. The chaotic energies have faded.”

Lumos – “Indeed, though I worry we might have unwittingly unleashed something. Whatever it was, I fear we will find out soon.”

Cain Silva – “You are wise and your companions are strong, stronger than they realize actually. That girl has an inner might that I have not sensed in a long time.”

Lumos – “She is impulsive but curious. Her natural abilities have yet to shine brightly. That ringblade we found brought many memories to the time I used to wield one. Perhaps I can teach her a thing or two about those weapons.”

Cain Silva – “Are you sure? She is not an heir to the heroine, is she?”

Lumos – “No, at least not in blood. Despite that, I feel like she is the right person to teach.”

After a few minutes, Laurel, Lumos and Thistle were back together and making their way to Jaunr. With the night upon them, they settled at the inn. Lumos sat at a table writing down his report to Lindrel while Laurel and Thistle sat at the window. Laurel stared at the sky. A few clouds passed by, the stars shined brightly.

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