Section Summaries

  • Self Doubt
    • Davus heads towards the southern forest while questioning his existence.
  • Lab Adventures Begins
    • Taden, Lynn, Chamdar, and Sirius all go on a fun jaunt through his self repairing lab.

Self Doubt

Davus Fulmen, Possibly Reformed Madman, Not Far South of Castle Town

Davus thought having all the powers of Sirius would be an advantage, but only minutes into his ultimate conquest, the burden was weighing him down. He could sense Jeskai’s despair, and it dawned on him that the telepathic link between them was one-way. Jeskai couldn’t sense anyone, not Davus, and not his own clan.

He had to root through Sirius’ memories again, but it was too risky, the self proclaimed scientist had too many mental traps. He released his grip on Jeskai completely, leaving the Zora to his own devices.

“I’ll deal with that later.” Davus said aloud to himself.

Davus Fulmen, Peering into the Mind of Sirius

Davus had once more delved into the memories of Sirius, or at least attempted it.

“So you’ve come again.” The spectre of Sirius smiled. “Wondering who is the truly evil one? Me or you?” Davus tilted his head in confusion at Sirius’ words. “Oh come now, are you going to fall for my tricks so easily?”

“There is no good or evil.” Davus stated. “There is only order and chaos. I have done the bidding of chaos for too long now. And now I see a third option. Freedom.”

“Spoken like a true failed poet.” Sirius walked around Davus, or at least appeared to, given that the entire exchange took place within the confines of their minds. “Are you suddenly reforming, is this your time to show the world your true nature?”

Davus snarled in response.

“My my, aren’t we the dog today.” Sirius smiled. Davus struck him, and felt the pain sting in his own mind. “Oh I wouldn’t recommend that.” Sirius continued. “Did you really think you could gain total control without consequences? As we were unbound when Rhunerys tore us apart at birth, so now have you bound us together again by commandeering my mind.”

Davus continued to glare, and replied. “I’m free from Ratnis now, just as you have been for centuries. But unlike you, I am not going to try and become a god, I don’t have delusions of power. I seek only to grant my freedom to others, whether they wish it or not.”

“You still sound like an agent of chaos to me.” Sirius commented.

“Perhaps.” Davus mused. “But before my chaos had no purpose, now it is merely going to be the byproduct of the freedom I will bring to all those in chains.”

“Davus Fulmen, the hero? How could the spawn of a demon ever be a hero?” Sirius retorted. “Look at me. Do I look like a hero? Do I seem like I serve anyone but myself? Alliances and allies are acts of convenience, not acts of the heart. You’re just coming up with new reasons to keep up the same old behavior. They call that denial, my static ridden friend.”

“I’m not seeking to be a hero you self involved old fool. The world’s natural state is freedom, is chaos. It cannot be ruled, it cannot be tamed. You are right, my actions will stay the same, mostly. The difference is I no longer feel satisfaction from murder, from destruction. I don’t need to kill, I simply need to free. If that means death, so be it, but my goals are loftier than mere wanton destruction.”

“Lunatics always say things like that.”

Davus didn’t reply to Sirius’ final words, pulling himself out of the mental exchange. He reconnected to Jeskai, abruptly halting the autonomy that had been granted to the Zora. He had been captured in the brief moments that Davus had dropped control. Now Jeskai was suffering, seeking death. Davus considered what he was doing, controlling another as he sought to free all from control.

“I will free you, Jeskai.” Davus sent the command for Jeskai to impale himself on the sword now aimed at his throat. He was no hero, but he could still do what was best for the universe.

Davus Fulmen, On Route to Faron Woods

Davus had found Sirius to be a more annoying project than expected. Though he had provided a gateway into the mind of Jeskai and his clan, they were in ruin now. And the gateway had seemingly shut itself off.

As always Sirius seemed to have had a backup plan, in this case finding a way to cut Davus off from whatever minds Sirius himself had been linked to. But in doing so the man had dropped most of his own barriers, granting Davus a great deal of information.

And yet it still seemed to be prompted by his surroundings, by the right words or sounds. He couldn’t freely access many of Sirius memories without finding a way to bring them to the surface of Sirius’ mind. Despite that, many memories would come and go randomly. And the frequency that Sirius subconscious attempted to communicate had lessened. Sirius would likely try taking control again, but for now he seemed to be at rest, consolidating his remaining strength.

Davus smirked but within moments it twisted to a distracted scowl. His arrogant confidence had led to his defeat, his death, in the past. He couldn’t risk getting carried away. Ratnis would not revive him again. The next time he saw his master, it would likely be to deal with Davus’ betrayal and abandonment of the mission to bring Ratnis out of his dimensional prison.

It was in-between thoughts of Ratnis that more of Sirius thoughts flitted across Davus mind. The forest, not far from the crash site of the lab.

Crash site of the lab? That was new information, had to have occurred in the time Davus was gone during the war. By the information from Sirius, it seemed to have been about six months since he had been thrown back in time, after the fated battle at the lake. Nonetheless, he now had a reason to continue on a path that had started somewhat aimlessly, towards the forest region. Perhaps the proximity to the forest had triggered the memory, or perhaps Sirius was more aware than he thought. That same old paranoia, it would never cease. And yet it also empowered his newfound sense of caution. His mind wandered again - did his goals make sense? Was his still just acting out Ratnis will, and could he ever be truly independent? Sirius seemed to be, but had been manipulated by magic, and yet Davus felt he too was not marked, having spent so long in the mind of Polaris, a zora who embodied what it meant to be manipulated and transformed.

He was changed, that was certain, but what those changes meant still had not become clear. He felt the desire to free others from chains, but in the end it felt like just another path to chaos. There needed to be something else, something more. This meant finding those from his past, finding out what those self identified heroes and villains saw in life. Most would not trust him, would not talk, but their reactions alone would be enough. He felt a burning desire to learn, to discover what that ‘something more’ could be. His existence was lacking, and that was unacceptable. A path had to be found.

The forest surroundings soon replaced the empty fields of Hyrule, and Davus felt himself pushed harder by the subconscious direction of Sirius. Davus felt as in control as he could for a man being led by his prisoner through a telepathic link.

He looked at Sirius, still wearing a blank expression, the relatively normal looking collar around his neck giving no obvious signs that it controlled him. In fact, Davus was fairly confident that it was capable of disguising itself using some kind of telepathy. So most individuals would see only a man with a normal set of clothes, whatever that might mean to each person. But those of stronger mind, of supernatural power might see through, see the real chains beneath. Certainly those present for Sirius’ initial capture knew the truth. But how many would truly be able to see?

It was only when he felt the subtle cackle of Sirius voice in his head that Davus realized he had let himself lose focus for too long. He once again was walking down mental pathways, likely a repeat of his previous trip, being forced to view his own memories as he futilely attempted to find a consistent way to access Sirius’.

~Memory of Davus Fulmen~

Davus turned his thoughts to his mind's eye, as he once again stood in a mental doorway, looking upon his past. It was the battle of lake Hylia in 2107, just before both himself and Polaris were hurled backwards in time.

He always suspected Sirius to be responsible for that event, and yet after his time spent in the Epoch wars came to the conclusion that it was something else entirely. The time ripples all went back to the Epoch War, the last time in history that a mass number of time stones were set off, before they were largely transformed and scattered across the world.

He watched the battle with intensity. Many famous faces were present, though the trauma upon the memory was difficult to keep in focus. It was so distant now to Davus that it seemed to be less defined, as if it had been changed a thousand times as versions of himself and others traveled up and down the timeline.

This seemed like just another attempt to cloud his mind with doubt. He pulled himself out of the memory and forcefully suppressed the urge to go back. And as luck would have it, he seemed to have neared something that wasn’t just his inner monologue. Voices, familiar ones, though it was hard to place them.

Back to Reality

Davus listened to the two individuals on the road ahead conversing. He knew the voice of Chamdar quite well. The other voice he couldn’t identify immediately. But it sounded familiar. Davus wanted to walk into whatever encounter was happening, but it was very unlikely either one would react well to his sudden presence.

His internal back and forth was ended when he felt a rush of energy from Sirius. Davus fought back, and pushed down the attempt to rise up. Something had triggered it, intensely. Sirius could sense the presence of something, Davus focused on the emotion and traced it back to thoughts.

In the chest. Stealing my things.

Davus was relieved. It was problematic to have Sirius be so very aware of his surroundings while giving the appearance of being mentally vacant. Yet, his relief came from the certainty in knowing anything at all about what Sirius was capable of.

He could not sense where or what this chest was, but it was clear either Chamdar or this other had it, or at the very least, that it was nearby. He hovered back, doubtful of his ability to remain stealthy while touting a prisoner, even a silent one.

Lynn, Forest Pathways, Near Morning 1

Lynn peered at the chest she held. Fulmen? Her gaze swiftly returned to Chamdar.

"Well... if that is true, then I would say it is just all the more reason to find this mystery man. Connections to both Hothnight and Sirius ought to be enough to pique your interest, I'd wager. Moreso when he was claiming to be a figure in His Majesty's government."

Something pricked at her hearing. Something out among the trees. She hoped that boy was holding his own in silence and not ruining her parley with Chamdar. Still, she remained on edge.

"Now, that aside, shall we go on? You've your answers, now I want mine. Every scrap you've gathered on Hothnight, all you know of the Hated from your fruitless generations toiling away against him."

Taden Horwendil, Faron Woods, Morning 2

Taden tried to focus on the words Lynn and Chamdar exchanged as she held the strange, silver chest aloft, but the whispering call of his carved Yeti mask clouded his mind. "So you have come at last," the messenger boy said to the old pilgrim.

He sat atop a large black piece of driftwood, as large as tree, gnarled and bent in its branches on the grey sands of the Snowpeak beach. Behind the mountains, beyond the arctic caves, a frigid ocean spread along the polar breadth of the Realm. And it was at the edge of this polar sea that Chamdar Taliesin found Taden's long lost body.

"I knew it would be you," he said, speaking into the distance, his back turned to Chamdar, further back on the shore. "I always knew."

Instead of walking towards Chamdar, the boy stepped forward, and bent down to pick up something on the shore that the waves had kicked up. When he turned, Chamdar realized it was two somethings. The boy held a long, blunt knife in one hand; a beautifully carved mask in the other. Chamdar recognized the mask immediately: the white hair, the dead eyes, unmistakable. Somehow, the unholy power of Tempest had made it here just as he had.

"Tell me, Chamdar," the boy said, finally looking up at him, speaking from across the beach, the large fallen tree between them, "based on all you know, in your own divine judgment, is it not my right to don this mask--the Tempest Mask, reborn through the Ma spirit?" He held the mask aloft, but clenched his knife as well, waiting to hear the old man's answer.

When he came to, he opened his eyes, and realized the three of them were no longer alone.

From his perch on the ridge above Chamdar and Lynn's colloquy, he saw the shadowy figures of two men creeping through the early morning light. His ears twitched at their voices on the rising winds, hushed just as they noticed the two magicians along the path. A single word seemed to make it within his hearing.


As they approached the road from the west, Lynn would be first to see them over Chamdar's shoulder. He decided to slink down from the ridge and follow the edge of the path behind them, wedging all three interlopers on the path between himself and his Sheikah companion.

If he could get the jump on these two newcomers, it would create a commotion to warn Lynn and protect the chest they'd salvaged from the Inn. It would appear she knew the pilgrim in white they had encountered on the road; perhaps the three of them together could overpower these thieves.

Just as the two men stepped past his hiding spot in the brush, Taden lunged forward and unsheathed his shortsword, coating it in Blue Fire and pointing it at their backs.

"That's far enough, you two," he growled. "Drop your weapons and follow me."

Chamdar Taliesin, Faron Road, Morning Two

"You know, Annei," Chamdar mused, even as he felt a sudden lurching motion from his pocket. "For one with such a high opinion of herself, you seem to be having a rather difficult time grasping onto the threads of this conversation."

Chamdar began to pace again, a few steps this way and that, all the while keeping Lynn fixed with the hard glare beneath his bushy eyebrows. His free hand slipped into the hip pocket and found the delicately crafted pocket watch, so simple in appearance and yet so much more than it seemed. It was twitching wildly. He drew it out into the light of morning so that it's silvery alloy caught dawn's rays. The chest Lynn held, it shared so many of the same characteristics. The materials, the elegant craftsmanship, the symbols embossed along their surfaces. It was all Fulmen.

The question of the messenger no longer mattered to him. The chest itself was the puzzle.

"The works of Sirius Fulmen do not turn up by random chance. If something of his falls into your hands, it's because that's where he wants it." He held the watch aloft more prominently. "I've made use of his expertise myself throughout the ages, and I can say with a certainty that he sees the world only in shades and degrees of potential. He sees it for what he might make of it, and he plays a very long game."

Chamdar snapped the watch open, pulling it down to look at the face. The display was buzzing, flashing angry symbols in golden light.

"I'll give you what you're looking for, Lynn, but I can't answer your questions now. I keep my records sealed in a safe place, and I'll have to take you there." He craned his neck around to look toward the road behind him. "It's not far from here, but it seems we have little time just now.

"Fulmen's here."

It's Back

The Fulmaren Laboratory, Forest Region

The crash site of the lab was never going to be a permanent fixture. It wasn’t the first time it suffered catastrophic damage, and it probably wouldn't be the last. It was the first time the damage resulted from the apparent death of Sirius, though his subsequent revival meant the lab would follow suit.

And true to form, it had done just that. Through entirely magical means, it had begun to self repair. First to be repaired had been those sections with the least damage, and those sections with the most secrets, at least those not pilfered by outsiders during the brief time that the the lab was exposed.

Sirius being under the control of Davus had no effect on the progress of lab repairs. Anyone lucky enough to observe the event would have seen invisible forces moving pieces around, using summoning spells to repair and replace damaged pieces. Some things would have to be done by hand all the same, once the majority of damage was fixed by the automated systems.

Enough damage had already been repaired that the telepathic homing beacon had reactivated. The homing beacon immediately sent out a signal to all magical and technological devices that had been removed from the lab and were not accounted for within existing plans. The first thing it found was two devices within extremely close proximity to one another. A special object that housed lunar power, and another object meant for controlling others. There were additional objects detected, but the lab lacked the power to identify every single missing item.

As per the resurrection protocol (never before activated), all rogue and remote devices not explicitly added as exceptions were to be disabled. The signal to disable the collar was beamed out immediately, while the chest acted as an exception, leaving it unaffected for the time being.

Davus Fulmen, Faron Road, Morning Two

Davus felt nauseated, rather powerfully and without warning. He focused his mind on Sirius, but felt his gut wrench itself with each attempt. He tried harder, and the pain grew worse. Every attempt he made ended in failure and pain. It took all he had to stay standing and stay still.

He feared that he had run out of time and Sirius had already found a way out of his situation. And, matters were about to get a lot worse.

"That's far enough, you two," he growled. "Drop your weapons and follow me."

Davus knew. It was one of the last things he had drawn out of Sirius before the pain and nausea started. Taden Hothnight, or Taden something. No question that was the creature behind him, Sirius had detected him somehow. Davus made the error of trying yet again to access Sirius mind but this time there was no pain, there was nothing. The connection was gone.

And that meant that Sirius had planned for a scenario in which he failed. Of course he had.

Sirius Fulmaren, Several Hours Earlier, Castle Town Scene

The seeds of doubt were sown. Sirius plot to become captured by Davus, to gain unfettered access to his mind without resistance had succeeded. It had been granting Davus access to Sirius mind as well, but that was of no matter. Sirius had for years been extracting his own memories and storing them by external means. He had to access his other-worldy metaphysical library, a place only spirits could go, and him of course. His own mind was filled with no more information than your normal mortal genius might have. Of course Sirius was not a normal mortal genius, or mortal, evidenced by his tidy resurrection.

It was all a complex plot towards the same end, defeat the creature that spawned him, Ratnis. Getting Davus to fully turn against Ratnis as well would bring him one step closer to certain victory.

Davus believed he had absolute total control over Sirius, as if the collar were ever designed for anything except two way communication. The manipulation as always was in the dialogue between the two, not using some fancy technology. The collar was sleight of hand. You don’t live over 1000 years without learning how to act, to play dead, or at least play the fool. Any good puppet master knows how to imitate a puppet.

Sirius interacted with Davus only just enough to grow the doubt. Obviously the thunder mage knew he wasn’t in total control, yet he still believed he had any control at all, only passively considering his own manipulation. Arrogance brought on by their master and creator, Ratnis. Arrogance that was no longer enough for Davus.

Several hours passed, with Sirius falling silent after a few short exchanges, sensing a key moment was approaching. He had a master plan of course. After all, his entire existence was one master plan after the next.

Many years in the past, when Sirius was a youthful 400 years old, or something like that, it was hard to remember - many years in the past, he had encountered a secret place that transported him over 1000 years into the past. And before that journey, he gazed upon a mural that showed him possible futures, hundreds of them. His life had been spent since then learning how to predict which future was coming, and how to be ready for any of them if things were to suddenly change.

In truth he never knew quite what was happening, but he had advanced knowledge on what might happen. When combined with the intuition that comes with living for centuries, at times he could appear to always know what was about to happen.

And that is how he knew that when his lab was destroyed, objects would be stolen, and he would need to track them down before power ended up in someone else’s hands.

Sirius, Faron Road, Morning

Sirius hadn't properly aged in years. His body kept at a continual optimal level, so that he could defend himself in the many scenarios that called for it, such as when an ancient lich-kid threatens to stab you with a cool breeze.

The collar had one final effect for when it completely fizzled, a very traditional way of escape, smoke. It exploded around Sirius neck, causing no damage except loud noise, and enveloping a 30 foot radius with thick smoke.

He immediately threw his right arm forward, catching Davus on the right cheek before there was time to reply. For all his readiness, Davus had not expected Sirius to have such a swift escape from the collar. He went down to the ground hard, losing sight of Sirius and seeing no evidence of Taden in the smoke.

Sirius rushed out to the clearing with Chamdar and who he at last recognized as Lynn.

“Very astute, as always. I know you get all confused in old age, old man, so I’ll assume you meant me and not the static boy.” Sirius peered over his shoulder and back at Chamdar. He briefly glanced at Lynn as well, who seemed to still be sizing up the situation. “Davus is here, and Taden is here. We have a few seconds at most before this situation turns into a bloodbath. That chest can prevent it. I can open it, but only in my lab. If we tell this to both Davus and Taden, it may keep them from attacking just yet.” Sirius operated at his trademark speed. Using urgency to force decisions that might otherwise seem irrational or carry no real reward. Chamdar could defend himself, but it was likely he would see things the way Sirius did, and prefer to navigate around combat, rather than brute force his way through it.

Lynn Hothlight, Forest Path, Morning 2

"Fulmen's here."

As soon as Chamdar had spoken these words, a loud bang came from the west. Immediately, Lynn's sword was in her hand, and she turned to face the commotion. She found herself facing an old man as he came running onto the cleared roadway.

“Very astute, as always. I know you get all confused in old age, old man, so I’ll assume you meant me and not the static boy.” He cast a brief glance peered over his shoulder and back at Chamdar. He also, briefly, glanced at Lynn. She merely met his gaze, weapon held ready, waiting to taste the flavor of their interaction.

“Davus is here, and Taden is here. We have a few seconds at most before this situation turns into a bloodbath. That chest can prevent it. I can open it, but only in my lab. If we tell this to both Davus and Taden, it may keep them from attacking just yet."

Her muscles tightened, readiness suffusing her body. "Taden is here?" Something was clearly wrong with that claim, however. "Impossible. I would know if he was close. I would sense him."

Her eyes narrowed, suspicious of Sirius and his motives. "What game are you playing?"

Chamdar Taliesin, Faron Road, Morning Two

“Davus is here, and Taden is here. We have a few seconds at most before this situation turns into a bloodbath. That chest can prevent it. I can open it, but only in my lab. If we tell this to both Davus and Taden, it may keep them from attacking just yet."

A moment of surprised silence as the man himself, Sirius Fulmaren, stepped out into the road. Coincidence? Chamdar highly doubted it. The words confirmed nothing, for he would never take the words of the mad scientist on their face. But the signs he'd perceived augured grim circumstances, and he could think of few worse than Taden Hothnight and Davus Fulmen in the same place at the same time. Primordials on their own were a notably fickle sort, and two together could be explosive. He could only thank fate that the third was far off and unlikely to disengage from whatever mayhem in which he was currently engaged.

Still, it had been six months since he and Taden had parted company upon the beachhead. In that time, the cryomancer had maintained a remarkably low profile. This might be an opportunity, if he could manipulate the situation in his favor.

Out of the corner of his eye, Chamdar watched Lynn draw taut at the newcomer's words, as though a bowstring drawn by Sirius' words. Curious. Chamdar still wasn't sure he fully understood her game, but he knew it was more than she claimed.

"Taden is here? Impossible. I would know if he was close. I would sense him." Her eyes narrowed toward Sirius, suspicious. "What game are you playing?"

"Are you so certain of your... perceptions, Lynn Annei, that you dare stake your life on it?" Chamdar replied softly to her, absently staring back in the direction whence Sirius had come. Long fingers on one hand gripped his staff tighter, while the other returned the watch that was not just a watch to his pocket. The man claimed they had mere seconds, but that couldn't be the whole truth. When last they'd met, Taden had not been his whole self. And Davus... with the fulgomancer, who could tell? "Regardless... Whatever his game, we can take no chances. You know the truth of that."

"Tell me, Sirius, of their disposition. These men are rarely ones to be reasoned with, whatever the prize may be for their cooperation. And yet you were apparently in their vicinity and escaped." A matter he would need to examine further, given time. It all seemed too sudden and too neat. If this was all transpiring in accordance with some elaborate design on the scientist's part, then he would merely have to allow it to play out. And if not... "In your expert opinion, do we stand or do we make for your lab now? I'll face them if I must, and I suspect Lynn would agree, but I'll accede to your judgment in this instance."

As he waited for his answer, his free hand fell to the hilt of Aurgelmir, still cold as a Snowpeak wind against his hip.

Documents of the Fulmaren Laboratory, Vera & Sirius

I am the voice of the laboratory. The intelligence that powers it, the soul which gives it strength, I am its core and without me, it would cease to be the wonder that it is.

I am the sum of years of research, of the slow creep into the other-worldly, the product of clones created time and time again. So many minds, so many voices, so many lives. I draw a little from each. Both those that live here, and those that die. I do not forget. I cannot forget.

I can die, but always will I rise. I have splintered across worlds, my roots gripping alternate universes both seen and unseen. My builders, my creators, Vera and Sirius. Sirius gave me the pure dedication and brilliance of design, and Vera, well Vera…

Vera is the one who granted me a way to see the world and to see myself. No longer just a place of work and study, but a living being that is in commune with its own work.

Sirius takes the public credit, for those long lived enough to see his persistence through history. Vera is rarely seen, the state of her relationship with Sirius always unclear. But the story of Vera is not yet upon us. She continues to toil in the shadows, exploring other worlds and staying committed to her secret task.

One day she will return and take her place in these halls, perhaps to cast out Sirius when his time finally comes.

Oh...but that time is not now. This day is meant for another event. I sense Sirius’ impending return. He seeks to recover objects stolen from my halls, return them to their rightful place. He will bring others with him. Free from Davus grip, not that he was ever truly a prisoner, he’s speaking with Chamdar even now. Preparing for a potential thunderstorm from Davus. But I can sense more, today is different, Davus, he will not strike.

Faron Road Outer Edges, Morning Two, Davus Fulmen

Thick smoke filled Davus’ lungs, his very real, very physical lungs. He was growing alarmed, he was supposed to be a spirit, a non-corporeal being that took humanoid form. He felt that power still, but it was distant, weak.

He refocused his thoughts on more immediate problems, seeing the fleeting image of Sirius, and sensing the continued presence of Taden.

I suppose it’s time I tried the unthinkable. Davus begrudgingly made a deal with himself he thought he never would. Another sign of his changing self now that the link to Ratnis was gone.

“Taden!” Davus shouted at the top of his lungs. “You know me! Davus Fulmen! I will resist and I will not fight. I have other plans!” He continued shouting, changing his focus to Sirius. “ win!” The words were as painful as when Polaris had killed him, perhaps worse. “I just want to talk, to talk about talk about Ratnis. To change the path he put me on.” Davus quickly held his tongue after the first few sentences, reluctant to continue shouting his only plan in life aloud in the forest.

Sirius Fulmaren, Faron Road, Morning Two

"In your expert opinion, do we stand or do we make for your lab now? I'll face them if I must, and I suspect Lynn would agree, but I'll accede to your judgment in this instance."

“I’d say just trust me on this, but perhaps given our history that’s a poor beginning to the answer you want.” Sirius said. He opened his mouth to continue but halted when a very clear shout filled the air.

“ win!” It was Davus, at last succumbing to the need for answers that only Sirius could give in cooperation, instead of command. He would willingly come to the lab, without risk. Sirius let Davus finish speaking, and when he was certain that Fulmen was done, he at last answered Chamdar.

“I assure you Taden is there. I can still detect him, even now. And you just heard Davus. As impossible as it may seem, he won’t be a threat right now. Someone defanged him and now he just wants to be led home.” Sirius smiled. “If I’m wrong, we’ve been in fights together before. Sometimes on the same side.”

Taden Horwendil, Faron Road, Morning 2

Taden fell to his stomach just as the black smoke burst from Sirius’s collar. The old man seemed in some dream state until dropping his ruse, and giving his companion the slip. Taden took the same opportunity to vanish.

“You know me! Davus Fulmen! I will resist and I will not fight. I have other plans!”

The man’s voice traveled through the smoke filled air, but conjured no memory for Taden. Who was this traveler in heavy, dark robes? What was the strange, crackling energy Taden sensed emanating from the gnarled staff raised in his hand?

Taden slunk past the shouting sorcerer under the veil of smoke from the one called Sirius. Before it cleared, he could hear the elderly wizard calling to Chamdar and Lynn. He sucked in his breath and listened intently.

“That chest can prevent it. I can open it, but only in my lab. If we tell this to both Davus and Taden…” Taden saw the man's hand twitch towards Aurgelmir, the sword that had ripped him into four parts in ages past. The curved hilt of the ebony blade glinted in the moonlight.

"The mask is yours, Taden Merlot, but does any man, alive or long dead, deserve such awesome power? Are you so eager to damn the world into endless, entropic winter?"

From across the bleak beach, Taden smirked. "Many moons have passed since last I was called by that name," he said. "Yet you appeal to a heart that has no pulse, and for that you have only yourself to blame."

Against Chamdar's grip on Aurgelmir and a runic spear, Taden stood empty-handed, fastening the Knife and the Medallion-turned-Mask on his belt.

"Don't you see, Moran? I am no adversary of your Kingdom." Taden walked towards the armed mage calmly. "I am but an agent of the inevitable. If this world should return to the chaos whence it came, it will not be me, but the Hylians themselves who sent it thus."

Standing at arm's length from his age-old foe, Taden closed his eyes, and pulled the Tempest Mask over his face with a sharp intake of breath. Taden lifted the blue-hilted blade he had found at the Ragged Maiden, and brushed the remaining smoke aside with a fierce thrust. Wind swept down the dirt road and chilled the air, shaking dead leaves from the black branches to which they clung. Chamdar, Sirius, and Lynn all saw Taden behind the lifting smoke, Davus not far behind.

Mist shrouded their feet, and the shadow of swirling storm clouds fell over the cold half-light of dawn.

“No one leaves until I found out the truth.”

Taden swept his sword back and held it vertically before his closed eyes. When he opened them, white light poured from his gaze, and he shoved the upright blade forward with a terse battle cry. An icy gust of wind knocked against the silver treasure chest at Lynn and Chamdar’s feet, and a pillar of ice shot up beneath it to bring it above the ground at a height of ten men aloft.

Taden crouched and sheathed his sword, then leapt to the top of the icy pillar with a zephyr at his back. When he landed, he unsheathed his sword, and a sheen of Blue Fire now dripped from its edge; his eyes, too, blazed with the cold light.

“I can only imagine what this chest must hold that an entire village should burn for it,” he mused, kicking the shimmering lock from his high perch. “To say nothing of what it should have to do with me.”

He raised his sword to point down at the gathered mages. Bringing the Blue Fire to a fine point at its tip, he first gestured toward Lynn.

“I had always been taught that the Sheikah were tricksters, and magicians were not to be trusted,” he scoffed. He fired a burst of Blue Fire at Lynn, then swung the blade towards Sirius and Chamdar. “One more thing the Yeti taught me,” he growled.

"One's allies are revealed in combat."

Taden fired two more shots down at Sirius and Chamdar, then turned to the chest at his back. He waved his free hand over its surface, and coated its locks and edges under a rock-hard layer of ice.

Lynn Hothlight, Morning 2, Faron Road

Lynn bristled at Chamdar's thinly veiled insults, but the old man was right, regardless of his attitude. She would stand to face against Taden to the last. She withstood the yelling of Fulmen and Fulmaren, caring little for their internecine squabble. It was the insistent confirmation of Taden's presence that twitched her ears. And it was what followed that drew her full attention.

From over the rise the direction from which Davus was yelling there blew an unnatural wind, scouring clean the smoke that had appeared alongside Sirius. There, behind the clearing smog, stood her one-time apprentice.

"No one leaves until I found out the truth."

What... was this? She had, before, had no sense of the taint of the Hated in this young boy. Now, her senses assailed her with apprehensions and dread.

His eyes glowed white as he let forth a battle shout. A fierce squall snatched against the treasure chest, and a pillar of ice burst from the oft-trod ground, thrusting the chest ten spans to the air. The boy's blade glowed with blue fames as, in a superhuman leap, he shot up to stand alongside the treasure chest.

The boy was Taden, now. There was no doubt. She shivered, shaking, quaking with anger and hatred.

"I can only imagine what this chest must hold that an entire village should burn for it,” he said as he kicked the shimmering lock. “To say nothing of what it should have to do with me.”

He raised his sword to point down at the gathered mages. Bringing the Blue Fire to a fine point at its tip, he first gestured toward Lynn. The sword! There could be no doubt. Somehow she had overlooked that damnable sword, and only when it claimed a victim did she feel the presence of his soul.

“I had always been taught that the Sheikah were tricksters, and magicians were not to be trusted,” he scoffed. He fired a burst of Blue Fire at Lynn, which she quickly dodged with a leap. Yes, no doubt at all. There could be none. Taden had taken her erstwhile apprentice. She sprinted forward as Taden continued his little tirade.

“One more thing the Yeti taught me,” he growled from atop his perch, "One's allies are revealed in combat."

She lept, as two more shots of Blue Fire careened down toward Sirius and Chamdar, intent to climb the icy pillar and reach her quarry. This reincarnation of Taden would die for supplanting the soul of the child she had taken under her wing. For destroying yet one more thing she had sworn to herself to protect. Yes, Taden would die.

But the boy had already perished.

Lab Adventures Begin

Sirius, Morning 2, Faron Road

Taden’s attacks at Sirius and Chamdar were more passing threats than real attempts at damage. Immediately after making the strike, Taden had ascended to the top of his new ice tower, guarding the chest he believed he had control over. But Sirius knew the only one with control was whoever knew how to open it, and right now, that was Sirius.

Davus stumbled out of the fog, clutching his chest. Sirius looked at him quizzically, prompting a defense from Davus.

“Sirius, why do I feel like a physical being, why can’t I convert to energy? Why have you made me mortal?” Davus glowered as Sirius laughed in response.

“I lied, you still can take the form of energy, and it’s easily triggered now that you’ve left your guard down!” Sirius merely poked Davus in the chest, though it was somewhat forceful. A shocked look ran across Davus face as his body simultaneously vanished, replaced with a gnarled staff. The staff dropped at Sirius feet, and it almost felt like a faint angry scream could be heard on the wind as it happened, the panicked yelling of Davus as he became imprisoned in his staff form.

“Excellent.” Sirius picked up the staff, and then reached into his jacket’s inner pocket. He turned to Chamdar, who seemed remarkably undeterred by the event. “It was just going to get complicated to have him around. You and I need to have a chat, but first we need to get that chest to my laboratory.” Sirius lowered his voice, leaned in towards Chamdar and pulled a small key from his pockets. “There’s a lunar rune right on these grounds, and my lab should now be repaired enough that the lunar portals are working. One flick of this key and we can send ourselves and these two fools with us to my lab.” Sirius paused, only briefly. “Of course I’m not actually bringing this up as an act of discussion, just warning you!”

He walked calmly forward, and made a motion like the key was being inserted into an invisible lock. Without any delay, the previously invisible lunar rune lit up, enveloping the entire area that the group, the ice pillar, and the chest sat in. The rune was perfectly circular at first but reshaped into the actual shape of door, albeit one on its side on the ground. It grew brighter and brighter, and then an image of Sirius’ laboratory appeared on the other side.

The door completed its summoning ritual, and the solid ground gave way, immediately dropping everyone and everything in the area into the lab. As they fell, Sirius felt the key slip out of his grip and tumble down a nearby drain. He immediately frowned, calculating the chances of such an event being frustratingly low, only to realize they were actually quite high because of the number of drains and vents throughout the building. He hit the ground, along with Chamdar, Taden, Lynn, the chest, a lot of dirt, along with ice and some rocks and forest floor debris.

Since the key was no longer actively being used, the portal shut and the doorframe vanished, leaving Sirius to quickly explain before a fight broke out.

“That chest is my property, and now you are all in my home. If you want to open it, you’ll have to cooperate with me for now. This place is still repairing itself, and the way to open the chest is in the center of the lab. I can guide you there, or you can risk almost certain death and go yourself. This is mostly directed at you, Taden.” Sirius didn’t actually expect Taden to cooperate, no doubt the ice fiend would flee and take his chances exploring the place. Lynn would almost certainly follow. So either they would work with Sirius, or he’d have to follow them. Either way, he had no intention of letting them out of his sight, or Chamdar, before they’d had a chance to chat.

Chamdar Taliesin, Fulmaren Laboratory, Morning Two

After their plunge through the moon door, Chamdar pushed himself up with his staff, and brushed the forest soil from his cassock with his free hand. How like Sirius to open the path in a manner they would not expect. But did it have to be directly beneath their feet?

“That chest is my property, and now you are all in my home. If you want to open it, you’ll have to cooperate with me for now. This place is still repairing itself, and the way to open the chest is in the center of the lab. I can guide you there, or you can risk almost certain death and go yourself. Sirius appeared to have landed on his feet, expecting to drop as they had, and was already launching into the self-assured, even didactic monologues that were so characteristic of the mad artificer. "This is mostly directed at you, Taden.”

Taden. Chamdar scanned the room, the vestibule that would give access to the depths of Sirius' laboratory. Normally clean, even pristine judging by his last visit, the floor was soiled by dirt, dead foliage, and chunks of ice from the shattered pillar. Taden was rising to his feet across the chamber from him, and Lynn not far from him.

And lying in the heart of the chamber, amid shards of broken ice where the pillar had crashed into the floor, lay the chest.

Acting before Taden could reorient himself, and before Lynn could resume her attack, he slammed the butt of his staff into the floor and created a blinding flash of light, searing everyone's vision white.

When it cleared, he stood himself among the broken ice with the chest tucked beneath his arm, his staff at the ready. Sirius was right, ultimately only he would be able to open the thing, but possession of the chest still created leverage. Beyond that, Taden had revealed himself claiming a need for answers, and Chamdar couldn't know whether whatever answers might lie within the chest were dangerous. With Sirius, one could never really know.

Taden's coating of ice over the locking mechanism was still in place, but Chamdar added his own safeguard around the chest as well, layering its protections. Tapping the earthly magicks, he wove fire and light together into a luminous golden bubble in the air before him, then buttressed that with divine energy and set it in place around the box. The elemental orb pulsed, then seemed to sink into the surface of the chest, leaving behind only faint, trace lines of light, not unlike the glowing runes upon his staff, imprinted upon it.

He scanned the chamber, looking at each other in turn.

"This enchantment will protect the chest from tampering until we reach Sirius' inner sanctum. Try to break the ice upon the lock before I remove it, and this spell will detonate." For a moment his gaze lingered on Taden. Lynn would try to kill him, and perhaps he should have as well. Something told him, though, that the time was not right. Conditions were imperfect. "Now, do we do battle here and now? Or shall we proceed on?"

Standing at the center of what could only be considered a hostile gathering, he steeled himself for either option.

Taden Horwendil, Fulmaren Lab, Day 2

”I have followed each of you in turn,” Taden mused to Chamdar and Lynn, “and it has led me…here.”

He glanced up at the gargantuan chamber they’d been plunged into. The second of the two travelers, the dark haired woodsman, had vanished from their party. Only the silver haired scientist they’d happened upon, whom Chamdar called Sirius, had made it to the other side.

“I could care less what lies in your chest,” Taden called out to him. “Or the bowels of your great hall.”

He opened his palm towards the arched ceiling, and tilted back his head. Across the floor, each fragment of ice from Taden’s pillar began to rattle. A pale glow shimmered from each cracked shard. Under Chamdar’s arm, the ice ensconcing the chest trembled too, but from across the room Taden winced at the old conjurer. Their eyes met. With a crack and hiss, each shard of ice launched across the room to his side; but the chest, bound over with both Taden and Chamdar’s magicks, remained deadlocked. A shockwave of arctic energy pushed Chamdar back along the grey beachhead. Waves whipped and tousled against the shore in the furious winds. The clear sky of dawn began to dim under a gathering maelstrom of black cloud.

The old sage was knocked on his bony ass. Towering over him now, a black figure held a massive battle axe in the hand that had once held the Maskmaker's Knife. Lightweight armor decked his chest, shoulders, and waist, and a wide horned helmet donned the demon's matted scalp.

"Against my power, you wield the blade with which the Goddesses bid you break me--but what good is the sword of Aurgelmir in this arctic waste, when the bearers of the Relics whom you would protect are continents away?"

As Chamdar regained his footing, Tempest took to the air, and down from the billowing stormclouds there poured a ghostly, vaporous ship. A great black sail adorned its chief mast, and its bough wore the emblem of a demonic skull. Rolling clouds and thunderbolts were engraved along its sides.

This mighty vessel emerged from the stormy seas to rest at the arctic shore, where Tempest rose up to stand at its captain's deck. "You braved the elements once already be the first to learn of my resurrection. But if you expect that knowledge to do you any good in this Interloper War, you're going to have to brave them twice."

In a peal of booming laughter that seemed to meld with the clap of thunder, Tempest's ship rose again into the sky and vanished behind a veil of cloud. The churning storm system then turned with a shift of the wind, and began rolling to the South. Taden's eyes broke from Chamdar's and he looked up, seeing the jagged blades of ice hanging around himself like brandished knives. The weight of his Mask seemed to push down heavy on the back of his neck. He turned back towards Sirius.

“I’m not particularly concerned with where your doors and sewers lead,” he said, still calling back to Sirius after his taunt, but keeping an eye on Taliesin. “As long as the truth follows.”

He pulled his arms down by his side, and the glowing pieces of ice slapped tight against his arms, feet, and shoulders. A cuirass coalesced at his chest, and in a sheen of Blue Fire, the suit of arctic armor fit itself to his small form. A high, hollow ring pierced the rarefied air as the cold flames evaporated, until the four were alone again in the dim, quiet hum of the laboratory.

“I suppose, then, I need you both alive,” Taden chided. He looked from Chamdar to Lynn in turn. “I’m willing to play along, for now, provided one of you answers my questions thereafter.”

Chamdar Taliesin, Fulmaren Laboratory, Day Two

“I suppose, then, I need you both alive,” Taden chided. He looked from Chamdar to Lynn in turn. “I’m willing to play along, for now, provided one of you answers my questions thereafter.”

Despite his words, Taden had girded for battle. His arctic plate glistened even in the dim, flickering light of the vestibule, its every plane and contour licked by tongues of blue fire running across its surface. In the corner of his eyes, Chamdar could see that Lynn was coiled like a serpent as well, searching for her moment.

There would be no peace gained in these halls, even for a brief duration. One or all, they would be searching for advantage, for a moment to strike.

So be it.

"I have no answers to give you, boy," Chamdar replied, meeting the youth's cold eyes with his own impassive ones. "None that I intend to provide here, in any event."

Still in the center of the chamber, with Sirius at his back, Taden and Lynn to either side before him, Chamdar opened his left arm and let the chest tumble to his feet. Unsurprisingly, the ice coating the locking mechanism remained intact, and thus the spell as well. It would take more abuse than that to break it.

His left hand, now free, drifted to the hilt of Aurgelmir once more. He could still feel the intense cold rolling off of the sheathed blade in waves. He drew a few inches of the blade free from the sheath. The cold shivered free of the steel in plumes of white vapor like a hot breath exhaled into the frigid northern winds.

"You once asked me what good this sword would be when the bearers of the Relics I protect were a continent away." He said, almost musing aloud, looking down to consider the weapon and the curling vapors rising from it. "Fact is, you had it wrong. I don't protect the Relics, nor the bearers. Not from you, and not from themselves. I protect one thing, and one thing only. And I've come to realize that sometimes short term disorder is preferable if long term stability is in the offing.

"And now, Taden Hothnight, the one bit of truth you'll be getting from me today. How well do you suppose this sword might work, now that one of the bearers you spoke of stands but a mere few paces to your left? Do you suppose that little sliver of your soul still lurks in her heart?" He looked from one to the other, measuring. Calculating. "And Lynn Annei... for as fervently as you hunt the pieces of his essence you cast out into the world, can you not recognize the man himself when he stands before you in the flesh?

"Can you sense it in each other now, or are you each so blinded by the hunt that you can't see the prey before your faces?" Chamdar asked, drawing Aurgelmir far enough from its sheath that a stiff icy wind began to kick up around him, lifting the dust and displaced forest dirt off the floor. "Shall we all see what good this sword does me now?"

Lynn Hothlight, Morning 2, Dat Lab

Lynn grit her teeth. Yes... Chamdar was right. She had failed to stop this from happening. But she would not fail to stop this. The old man drew his enchanted blade, and a tempest rose in the confines of the lab. As the others shielded themselves from the sudden gust, Lynn sprang to action.

She dashed toward Chamdar, tucking into a roll at his feet, and came up with the treasure chest in hand. She flung the heavy box full-weight at the young Taden, and left her arms extended, fists clasping before her, grasping metaphysically at the iced lock. Her powers strained, as though fighting her, but she held firm, screaming internally. With all her will she clung to that ice, and tore it from the lock as the box bounced at Taden's feet.

The world became fire and light.

The Fulmaren Laboratory, January 2nd 2108, Sirius Fulmaren

The lab was not finished repairing itself. To the average person, that might conjure images of a building with missing ceiling panels or bricks, or perhaps lacking furnishings. While those were true of individual parts of the lab, it meant much more.

To repair itself, was not only to remove damage, but to restore harmony in the parts of the lab that intersected with other realities. It wasn’t just repair, it was also like untangling a ball of yarn, only the ball of yarn is infinite and wrapped up in other universes.

With the lab in full repair mode, it was more resistant than normal to damage and theft, with all systems engaging on high alert. Additionally, many areas of the lab were actively merging with alternate realities, ones that previously had been connected by more restricted means. Now, rooms that once were sealed off openly leaked into the rest of the structure. This meant all nature of elements could be encountered. Even in the entryway they stood in, faded embers from an other-worldly volcano would occasionally materialize before them. The floor itself shifted composition, mostly between variants of dirt/sand but enough to be a distraction.

Sirius needed to use this information to his advantage. And now Chamdar had gone off and poked the two crazies, encouraging violence and serious action. Sirius was grateful for the enhanced lab defenses, but deeply concerned about how erratic it would act towards its guests. He estimated a 50% chance at best, of his commands being heeded correctly the part machine, part organism laboratory.

He had to isolate them all and get the chest open. Mostly because he’d forgotten what was in it, but was fairly certain it was both important and very relevant. He smiled at his own joke, grateful at how well he entertained himself just in his daily thoughts.

“Really great speech Chamdar, and now, this should ensure the chest stays in my possession!” Sirius interacted with a raised steel console, adorned with runes, runes which could be manipulated by hand. “System command, lock room!”

Sirius was met with a brief silence, then a horrifying screeching metal sound, what sounded like a distant explosion, and most jarringly, the underwater scream of a whale, traveling across normal air currents.

Then the system replied.

“Command not understood. Implementing emergency reset protocols on system….fdljaldsfuadf” The message became garbled at the end. Then, a moment later, it returned, but with a distinctly sharper and more living tone.

“Bernard protocols implemented for intelligent control. Hi Sirius.” Bernard Kotaro, an ancient Zora spirit. He had once inhabited a magical tome that contained all of Sirius knowledge and memories, but had since been upgraded to being the living essence of Sirius’ laboratory. Now he acted as the intelligent force controlling the lab and doing Sirius’ bidding, normally.

“Ah, great. Bernard please verify last command received.” Sirius cringed, recalling his estimate of 50% cooperation rate.

“Command received, resetting and freeing all Zora clones wrongfully created against the will of the goddesses!” Robot Laboratory Voice Bernard replied with more sarcasm than Sirius thought possible, switching the mood from mildly amusing to distinctly terrifying.

“Oh, okay well that’s not really…” Sirius mumbled, concerned what would happen if he further upset the magical voice in control of his home and workplace. “Great job Bernard, that was what I ordered! Now, please nothing for a while. I’ll handle things manually.”

Bernard didn’t reply, for the moment heeding Sirius.

“You heard Chamdar, get at it, tear each other apart, look upon your prey or whatever it was! Go get ‘em!” Sirius echoed his own version of Chamdar’s taunt, now curious if Lynn and Taden fighting would leave an opportunity to grab the chest and take it elsewhere.

Previous Post Continued

“You heard Chamdar, get at it, tear each other apart, look upon your prey or whatever it was! Go get ‘em!” Sirius echoed his own version of Chamdar’s taunt, now curious if Lynn and Taden fighting would leave an opportunity to grab the chest and take it elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Lynn did exactly that. Rushing in after Chamdar’s display of verbage and power, she managed to claim the chest, but in her foolish haste she ripped the ice away from the lock. Sirius was able to hide behind his own machinery to avoid the danger, but knew that a great deal of the room had just been torched. Still feeling heat on his face, he tried to issue another command.

“Bernard, I take that back, do something, do anything!”

“Confirmed, putting out fire.” Vents opened in the floors and celings and plumes of fire began to spit out into the air. “Shooting out fire, putting out fire, what’s the difference?” Bernard sounded more sinister than before. Sirius had to find a way to gain control.

Taden Horwendil, Sirius’s Lab, Day 2

Taden dove into a corner of the lab and rolled, his back turned to the epicenter of the explosion Lynn set off.

The Scion and the Sheikah, he thought to himself, of course!

There was only way to end this. He reached behind his head for the oaken plate of his Yeti Mask—but found it lost. When the smoke began to clear, it were as if his vision vanished with it. Yet behind him, he heard a plunge like a plank of wood at his back, and the whispering trickle of some stream.

His arctic armor had sustained him during the blast, but only the cracked cuirass remained; the rest steamed or melted away at his feet. He leapt up from the ground, and called out to the brutes who had betrayed him.

“Hear this, vile traitors,” he snarled, throat charred by smoke. “I see now what came before this battle, and what is to come. As you lured me into this lair unawares, so when you least expect it will I let fall the Axe.”

Following the undercurrents in the air, as the hot wind of the flame swirled against the cold gust of Chamdar’s blade, Taden stole away through a vent in the corner, a stream of some shimmering fluid flowing toward it, barely visible under his blurred vision.

Sirius, Mid-Repair Laboratory, Day 2

Sirius managed to find one of the escape hatches from the room and slid away from the explosive action. He found the closest rune console in the small corridor he sat in, activating it and cursing out Bernard repeatedly.

“Bernard, you teenage brat!”

“I’m not sure calling me a teenager is the most accurate assessment, master Sirius.” Even with his more robotic voice, Bernard retained his potent ability to get under Sirius’ skin. “Sirius, my data files are damaged. Can you tell me what your goal is here?”

“My goal? The same goal as it's been since we first discussed this scenario, prevent Vera from coming in here before get the external defenses up.” Sirius was growing exasperated, now exiting from the corridor into a room that was filled with a light blue haze, a small pool of green water, and the walls seemed to be crawling with what could only be described as enthusiastic caterpillars. The water and caterpillar objects seemed to be feeding in through a tiny glowing crack in the wall.

“Sirius, external defenses are up.” Bernard replied.

“Yeah sure, for normal idiots. This is Vera, my multi-dimensional murderer.”

“You were not murdered by Vera, you were killed by Kokage and a gang of others.” Bernard either had forgotten the stories Sirius had told him about Vera, or was deliberately feigning ignorance.

“Look...Bernard, Vera is realistically already in the lunar nexus at the bottom of the lab. It’s only supposed to access warppoints in the locale Hyrule area, but I’m 110% positive she did something to it the last time she was here, before she escaped to her home reality. She made it possible to jump to other universes from this lab.”

“Sirius, I do not understand. The chances of Vera modifying your lab equipment cannot exceed 100%.”

“I can’t believe I let you take on some of my personality.” Sirius remarked, realizing for the first time in a long while how annoying his own demeanor could be, at least when it was worn by the disembodied voice of a Zora whose soul was forced into a structure that sat between multiple universes. Sirius scooped up some of the green liquid into his cupped hands and sniffed it.

“Universe #43321. Identical to current except water is green, and sometimes yellow, I think. Maybe that was just the pub water…” Sirius looked up, as if he were somehow looking at Bernard while addressing him. “The lab is breached everywhere. Realities are pouring in like a rain storm.” Sirius set the staff containing Davus onto a raised stone table in the water.

“Storage.” Sirius muttered, and the surface of the stone table opened, dropping the staff inside, before sealing itself. “I give this 24 hours tops before Davus breaks out and comes to have words with me.”

“Sirius, I can confirm. Many of my scanners are available again, reality breaches are at critical levels. There is a strong chance the lab will be ripped apart if the breaches aren’t contained. I now predict a 120% chance that Vera will find her way into this lab and take its power.”

“Oh, so you can go over 100% and I can’t?” Sirius replied.


Sirius shook his head and chuckled. “I shouldn’t be surprised. Look we have other things to deal with, that is when you are cooperating with me. I’m sure Chamdar wants his toy back, and who knows what treasures Lynn and Taden will try to leave with. Best chance here is to herd everyone to Vera and force some cooperation. Although I fear with the long term effects of…” Sirius trailed off. “My time with Vera is up. She wants me dead, and she wants everything that we’ve built here. That I’ve built.”

Lynn, Day 2, Lab

The lock, as Chamdar has warned, burst with magic. Lynn had not anticipated the inclusion of Fire magic with the blast of Light that was characteristically Chamdar's purview. Then, immediately thereafter, Sirius and his meddling only added more fire to the situation.

Her clothing was singed, brittle, and her skin, in places, matched. She hissed through her teeth. Foolish miscalculation. Chamdar may have seen that coming. Don't let him outmaneuvre you.

Sirius was yelling and flailing about in the corner as Lynn's vision began to clear. Under the ringing after-effects of the explosion she heard a gravel-voiced Taden yell taunts at her and Taliesin.

"Hear this, vile traitors, I see now what came before this battle, and what is to come. As you lured me into this lair unawares, so when you least expect it will I let fall the Axe.”

And then the blurred outline of his form dove through the nearby wall.

"No. No! You won't escape, Taden! You won't ruin any others!"

She pulled herself to her feet and ran to the corner, finding a vent where the young boy had disappeared. She thought perhaps Chamdar yelled something after her when she, as Taden had, dove into the strange liquid on the other side of the shattered vent.

She ignored the ancient scion.