Seven Worlds – Ep7

Episode 7: Trial of Light

Soldiers of an unknown army patrolled the area where the portal to the Mindscape of Light is located. Under normal circumstances a gatekeeper is stationed here to greet any trial challengers. This gatekeeper was nowhere to be found though.

Marx – “We can move a little closer through these woods. It might not matter if we can’t find the gatekeeper.”

Lorenzo – “Worry about the gatekeeper later, let us move.”

The trio kept track of the soldier’s movements. Each time they got a chance they moved through the woods, inching closer and closer to the entry point. Soon, they reached the edge of the woods, hiding behind some bushes. As they were inspecting the area, they noticed the gatekeeper hiding out near them.

Lidya – “Psst! Hey you! Come over to us.”

The man kept a low profile, nearly crawling to where Lidya, Marx and Lorenzo were sitting. He identified himself as keeper Marsalis.

Marsalis – “Who are you?”

Marx – “I am Marx, this is Lidya and Lorenzo. We’ve come on behalf of the council in Fernal. We need to take the trial and recruit warriors for a coming battle.”

Marsalis – “I see. Do you know these soldiers?”

Marx – “No, we don’t recognize the crest they bear.”

Marsalis – “Neither do I. I sensed their approach while meditating here. Using my magic I hid away in the woods by casting a dense fog. Sadly they used the opportunity to ambush a group of challengers.”

Lorenzo – “They killed them all?”

Marsalis – “Yes. It was horrible to watch, but had I interfered I would have fared the same.”

Lidya – “Where are the trial grounds? We need to get there.”

Marsalis – “To enter the Mindscape I must activate the portal that leads to it.”

Lidya – “Mindscape?”

Marsalis – “Yes, it is a dimension where the light of Entralia is strong. It is there that the trial takes place. The council village as well as the world portal can also be found there.”

Marx – “We have to reach the council.”

Marsalis – “I can open the portal, but it will take time before it is fully active. You see those runes on the floor? They must all be active for the portal to function.”

Marx – “That last patrol left not too long ago. If we hurry we should make it.”

Lorenzo – “Make haste then.”

Keeper Marsalis ran towards the rune circle and positioned himself beside it. He started channeling light magic into each of the runes while drawing them in the air. As he did this Lidya, Lorenzo and Marx waited for the portal to fully form. The wait was tense, at any moment the soldiers would return. A scout saw their attempt at activating the portal and ran at them.

Marx – “I’ll hold him off. As soon as that portal opens you run through!”

Lidya – “Got it!”

Marx engaged the scout. No doubt the clash would draw the attention of the other soldiers. Two fireballs flew at the scout hitting him on the chest, but he was unfazed. The soldier drew his own ax to meet Marx’s. They were both masters of fire magic, so the contest would be decided by their combat skill. Despite the scout’s swiftness he was no match for Marx and fell.

Marx – “You must hurry, the other soldiers are coming!”

Marsalis – “The portal will be open soon. I can buy you more time if need be.”

A few seconds later and the portal was open. Lidya and Lorenzo were quick to enter. From inside they could still see Marx and Marsalis.

Marx – “We can’t allow those soldiers to push through into the Mindscape. Lidya, Lorenzo, get going!”

Lidya – “What?! No! I’m not leaving you behind!”

Marx – “Just go! You know what has to be done, we can meet back here later. Marsalis, close the portal. I’ll help you fight off the soldiers.”

Marsalis – “Understood. Good luck Lidya, Lorenzo!”

The portal closed leaving Lidya and Lorenzo within the Mindscape. As it closed they could see the faint silhouettes of the soldiers closing in. Lidya was frustrated by the separation, but there was nothing she could do.

Lidya – “Damn…”

Lorenzo – “We must push forward. I trust in Marx’s skills, he will be fine.”

Lidya – “I agree, but I don’t like leaving him in such a situation.”

Lorenzo – “The best we can do is to follow his instructions. The faster we are done here, the better.”

Lidya – “Right, let’s get moving then. This place really makes you feel burdened.”

Lidya and Lorenzo have no knowledge of light spells. As they’re exposed to the Mindscape they are challenged to perform tasks using that element. Little by little, their skill with it begins to grow. Lidya in particular was really adept in learning the new magic. They moved rocks, built light bridges and even held platforms in place, as if stopping time itself. Lorenzo had a difficult time keeping up with Lidya. Even then, both had to take extended breaks to restore their magical energies. Finally they reached a point where they could do no more.

Lidya – “Urgh, this is frustrating. My magic is all but drained, I’m tired. Is there no end to this?”

Lorenzo – “We should be near the end, but without further knowledge of light magic, I fear we are stuck.”

Lidya – “What is this thing anyway?”

Lidya was staring at a large glass orb. When trying to walk away from it, the world seemed to move them back, keeping them in this position.

Lidya – “I think I’ll just sit here for a while. We won’t figure it out by trying random stuff.”

Lorenzo – “Agreed.”

Lidya – “You know, anyone without proper training would have been exhausted to death in this place.”

Lorenzo – “Clearly the main challenge of the trial is to be able to measure oneself. Keeping track of our magic and being able to carefully tweak the amount of energy used to cast a spell is a trial in itself.”

The two sat down beside the orb for a short while to think of a solution to the puzzle. Before they could come up with anything concrete, a stranger arrived. The person sent a small light flare into the orb and the enchantment keeping Lidya and Lorenzo stuck was lifted.

Lidya – “Oh hey, thanks!”

Man – “Greetings, who might you be?”

Lidya – “I’m Lidya, and this is Lorenzo. We need to speak with the trial council about urgent matters.”

Peter – “My name is Peter. Surely such a matter would be best informed through communication crystal?”

Lorenzo – “We would not be here if the crystals were intact. Some force destroyed the one in the council of Fernal. Since then we have assumed none are active.”

Peter – “I see. What about those?”

Lidya – “Oh, right, I completely forgot.”

Lorenzo – “Well, these crystals are tied together. They do not have the power to send a message to the larger crystals within the council chambers.”

Lidya – “Speaking of, we could try talking to Marx.”

Lorenzo – “For now, that would not be wise. We do not know their situation and it is best if we wait for them.”

Lidya – “Right. So, Peter, care to join us? We could use the help.”

Peter – “Fine, I accept. You wish to learn more light magic then?”

Lidya – “Yes.”

Lorenzo – “No.”

Lidya – “What? Why not?”

Lorenzo – “This magic does not resonate with me. I just want to finish the trial.”

Peter – “That is understandable, but strange. Don’t you want to reach Jenehrtes?”

Lidya – “Oh, we need to explain that.”

Lorenzo and Lidya explained to Peter what is happening with the world portals and their mission in the Mindscape.

Peter – “Most interesting. This is quite the event. I feel further convinced to help you out. Also, Lidya, since you’re so eager to learn more I will take the time to teach you more light magic spells.”

Lidya – “Great!”

Peter – “I have a good grasp of magical energies, it’ll be easy.”

Lorenzo – “By all means, the rest of the trial should be a breeze with you here.”

Peter – “It has been quite taxing, but I believe we’re almost at the end of it.”

Finally walking away from the puzzle orb they arrived at what seemed like the council village. After they passed the main entry gate, the group noticed the lack of noise. There was no one there.

Peter – “Honestly I thought all the other challengers would be here.”

Lidya – “What do you think happened?”

Peter – “Perhaps they’re still lost trying to clear the puzzles.”

Lorenzo – “Look over there, the council chambers.”

Once inside the chambers the group was greeted by a hooded figure. This lady spoke of how the world was at peace and that their struggle had come to an end. Lidya felt uneasy at the sight of this person. As she observed she noticed a slight shimmer running over this figure. It revealed her to be somewhat transparent, as if not really being there. Before Lidya could warn Lorenzo and Peter the floor disappeared. A vast chasm of unfathomable depth opened up. Peter, in a swift motion cast a spell to create bright white wings on his back. He flew to Lidya and Lorenzo, grabbed their hands and tried to fly up. The weight of both warriors was too much and his enchantment was breaking apart. Knowing that Lidya had the necessary energy to cast the same spell, he explained how to channel the energy to make it happen. In a burst of bright light Lidya found herself flying too. With both Peter and Lidya being able to fly, they saved Lorenzo and landed on a small empty valley not too far from the illusion of the council village.

Lidya – “That was exhilarating and also a bit scary for my liking. I surely didn’t want to end up splattered on the ground.”

Peter – “You didn’t notice? There were others down in the chasm.”

Lorenzo – “I fear I was too focused on falling to my death to notice anything else Peter.”

Lidya – “Ha! I get you Lorenzo. Who were they then?”

Peter – “I’d say it’s possible they were some other challengers. Their minds are probably trapped, much like ours were previously. It appears as an endless chasm, but it truly is just a prison for the mind. Look at the village now.”

Lorenzo – “It has faded. Yet, the chasm is still there.”

Peter – “Yes, it must have been yet another test.”

Lidya – “Urgh, what more do we need to do? This place is getting on my nerves.”

Before Lidya could continue the world moved around them. They were brought to the real council village by magic similar to that of the puzzle orb they had encountered earlier. This time the place was bustling with activity. People could be heard outside the council chambers. Within the chambers a small group of council members greeted the group. They mentioned how they were the first to arrive in a long while. The final challenge of the trial was breaking through the illusion of the false village and being able to save themselves. To their surprise only two had actually been selected as masters of light. Peter and Lidya proved beyond any doubt that they had the skill to continue becoming great warriors of light magic. This also meant that they could earn the first part of the transmutation spell. Councilman Talvos spoke to the group.

Talvos – “We commend you for your bravery. For this you have earned the first part of the great transmutation spell. Although its need has declined over the ages, having it is necessary to partake in the Ribashkan, the trial of balance.”

Lidya – “Wait, first part? How many are there?”

Peter – “Three parts, didn’t your friend explain that?”

Lidya – “He must have forgotten to mention that part.”

Lorenzo – “We do intend to take on the other trials, so it does not seem that much of a problem.”

Lidya – “True.”

Talvos – “Is there anything you wish to discuss before we open the world portal?”

Lidya – “Yeah, about that…”

Lidya explained what happened at the end of the trial of fire and what Marx had found while working with the Entralian council. Talvos said that they had not used the portal recently, so they decided to try, just in case they could recruit a few warriors from Jenehrtes. As expected, the portal did not activate.

Talvos – “I’m afraid you are the only warriors we can spare. Lidya, Peter, you are the only ones to have completed the trial successfully.”

Lidya – “Sorry Lorenzo.”

Lorenzo – “Oh it is quite alright. I do not possess the same connection that you do, Lidya.”

Peter – “I know something we could…”

Before Peter could finish the glow of Lidya’s communication crystal interrupted him. It was Marx.

Marx – “Lidya? Lorenzo? How do you fare in the trial?”

Lidya – “Marx! You’re alright!

Marx – “Yes, Marsalis helped me greatly. We have since moved away from the area and are hiding. Tell me about the trial.”

Lidya – “We finished it already. Plus we got our first recruit.”

Peter – “I’ll be glad to help. We’ve been given the first part of the transmutation spell. Just before you called I was about to say that we can enter the Nightmare Warp from here. Those who wish to take part in the Ribashkan are offered this shortcut, and since you seek to take all the trials, we might as well continue with that.”

Marx – “The trial of darkness is as taxing and difficult as the trial of light. Be careful.”

Lidya – “We’ll be fine.”

Marx – “I will wait for you at the entrance to the trial of darkness, that way we’ll be closer to the next trial. Stay safe!”

The crystal’s light faded away.

Talvos – “We will continue to keep track of things here. At least now we know why our communication crystal was broken and what this supposed deity is up to. Be sure to warn the other councils. I will open a portal to the Nightmare Warp, good luck on the trial!”

Peter – “Thank you, we’ll make the best of this.”

Lorenzo – “Let us hurry onward then.”

A large shadowy sphere formed near them. Once they touched it they were transported to the dimension where dark magic is strongest. There the trial of darkness begins.


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