The slumber fades away again. This time my ethereal body floats in the vicinity of a large castle. The outside is intimidating. Ramparts of blackened stone. Embers floating in the air reveal the devastation of the surroundings. A moat full of lava seems to guard this place from whatever may be brave enough, or foolish enough to venture here. My current state awards me with the ease of flight. My intangibility provides protection from the environment. It also protects the environment from my own intervention, for I am viewing a historical event. Here, in this place, I witness the origin of Achymiarel. The vast lands around the castle are littered with volcanoes and pouring rivers of incandescent magma. A number of scorched trees suggest this was not the case before. Suddenly I am pulled into the castle, to a chamber with a large window to the outside and an opening in the ceiling. A powerful magician draws a rune circle using an enchanted piece of chalk. The intricate lines glitter in the flickering light of the multitude of candles and lamps. Several other mystical items have been placed on display pillars around the central object. This object is nothing more than a small twig, yet it emanates an incredible amount of magic. It may be what remains of a once powerful magical tree. Among the other items a jeweled necklace stands out along with a dragon’s nail, a horn and a scale. There is a scepter set at another altar that looks positioned specifically to channel its power to this magical construct. A low rumble changes the shape of some of the chalk lines. The magician rushes to fix the lines. He seems exhausted and at the same time extremely anxious, as if his very being depends on this to work.
After an hour of tinkering around the magician begins the incantations for this unknown ritual. It looks as if this is some form of infusion. Powerful magical items infused into a suitable receptacle. Surely this would not work though. Such a ritual needs to have an enormous amount of additional stabilizing agents. Items whose magical balance can contain the energies about to be unleashed. From the looks of it, the magician was out of time. Just outside the castle a large battalion of soldiers marched onwards. The moat would hold them for a while, until they could build a suitable bridge. Then there was the winding series of hallways and passages meant to confuse anyone not familiar with the design. Another low rumble moves the grains of sand and dirt. The shape of the chalk changed once more. This time, the magician disregards it. He knows it might be the ritual itself adjusting the chalk. Using Achymiarel’s power I could see an ethereal shape of what was the final result of the constant rumbling. That small twig, brimming with power, was causing the rumbles.
Fiery stones exploded in the air outside the castle. A magical barrier protected it from siege weapons. Meanwhile the soldiers had begun to arrange a series of stones and logs to cross the moat. They were forced to proceed quickly, for the wooden logs would soon burn. Inside the castle, the ritual was making progress. One of the items on the altars floated just above it and turned to dust. This line of dust floated into the twig at the center and started to reshape it. Before my eyes the small, seemingly insignificant twig, became the mighty Achymiarel. When the process was complete a magical shockwave pushed the magician away. He was walking near the large window and was thrown off onto a balcony. This newly created wand vibrated and pulsed. All the magic within was barely contained. The poor magician, hanging on for his life, was able to lift himself back to the room. He approached his creation, held it for a brief moment, and then an arrow pierced his chest. A sudden discharge of magic escaped his body. The archer did not expect such an effect, and was torn as if made of paper. Achymiarel, still on the magician’s shaking hand, could not be controlled. Its power, too intense to wield. Fearing for the end of his life, the magician could do little else. To protect this power from falling into the wrong hands he called down a lightning bolt. Yet, the bolt, instead of destroying him with the wand, supercharged it and caused it to open an interdimensional portal. The magician’s body disappeared and Achymiarel fell into the portal. The castle, strengthened by a multitude of spells and enchantments, began to crumble into a sea of lava due to the magician’s absence. Every volcano in the vicinity erupted. Whatever this army had come to claim was for naught. They would perish along with the magician they sought.
My body started to float away when I noticed the extent of what was happening in this world. In the far distance a gigantic tree stood. Barren of any leaves, of any life within. I surmised that the twig must have come from this tree. A world tree like that one is bound to the very life force of the world. To be in such a state means that the world was in its death throes. Floating further away, high in the sky the evidence spoke for itself. The volcanic wastelands were bordered by ruined kingdoms, dried farmlands and vast deserts. That army had come to claim the power of the last magician they knew of because they thought them responsible for what was happening. In truth, all the magically adept were searching for a solution to their problem. The dying of their world tree might have been a direct result of losing those who were magically attuned. They died out because of the arrogance and above all, the ignorance of their leaders. Achymiarel pulled me into a new dark abyss. A new slumber. What would be shown next?