Fallowfell; Second Semester Chapter – 44

The Pawns

 

 
“Come on in”, Hermann says in a belated response to Elena’s insistent knocking. “The weather is quite dreary, isn’t it”, he asks as she removes her outer clothes. “Tell me about it”, she retorts before continuing,”and don’t even get me started on this supposed thaw that the weatherman is talking about.”

 

 
Hermann chuckles at the quip and strolls into the kitchen. He pulls out a particular pastry for Elena. She admires it; flan, she thinks it’s called. “I really shouldn’t…”, she mumbles. “In my long life Elena, I have come to the conclusion that the things one should never do is exactly the things one should do”, Hermann philosophizes.

 

 

 
She seats herself in one of the chairs Rune specifically picked out. “That sounds very… Oscar Wilde of you”, she mutters, staring at the flan. Her iron-discipline crumbles and she grabs some it with a spoon, provided with a certain glee by Hermann. “I never met the man, but I am told he was something else. Atleast one member of the Council offered to make him immortal”, Hermann tangents, watching her eat.

 

 
“So”, crunch,”why”,crunch,”didn’t”,crunch,”he”, crunch,”accept”, crunch,” the”, crunch,”offer?”

 

 
Hermann shrugs. “Immortality… or agelessness is merely a way to prolong life and avoid death. Wilde knew this from the beginning, I think, and so he refused. But you didn’t come here to hear an old man ramble…” Hermann says, ending his sentence in a open way.

 

 
“No, you’re right”, Elena states. She swallows. “Rune… Rune, he… he has been keeping secrets from you. From us, really.”

 

 
One of Hermann’s eyebrow go up. He rolls one of his shoulders before settling. “Remember Tam Linn’s attack?” The flash-vision is so powerful that it hits her even without the aid of her magic. Rune lies on the grass of a meadow.

 

 

 

Hermann clutches him, but no matter how he entreats, Rune won’t wake up. Hermann’s skin starts to slouch off, individual flakes disintegrating before they reach the ground. His grin curls upwards in a imitation of a real one. His eyes–
— Elena’s vision blankets. She frowns and attempts to remember his eyes. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t envision them. Her magic, she notes, must be protecting her against that very sight.

 

 

 

 
“…. I remember”, Hermann says in a curt manner that betrays nothing of what he must be feeling. “It gets worse” Elena says, reciting what Rune told her in secret confidence, a part of her wondering if this is such a good idea.

 

 

 

 

“When Tam Linn looked at Rune and reached that place he calls the Summer Isles, he gave Rune an ultimatum. Control or death. And so Rune enlisted Erim Yazar and Merith to help him train. The first time they attempted to train, in the freaking Hangar of all places, Sara Eksjö a normal girl not in the know from our class interrupted. Erim used his shamanistic magic on her, but that coupled with some of the drugs Merith gave her caused an adverse reaction. So they then told Perenelle, who used some of Rune’s blood to fix her. But that in turn led to a bond between the two of them, a telepathic one-way where Sara can read Rune’s mind.”

 

 

 

 
Hermann breathes, slowly, air sucked in through his nose, then expelled through a mouth that is closed with enough force that his area around his lips has turned white. “I see”, he reiterates in a cold voice that sends chills down Elena’s spine. She doesn’t need magic to tell that he is mad; his body-language is entirely closed off, which has only happened when he is beyond furious.

 

 

 
Abruptly, his countenancy turns normal, tranquil even. “Don’t do anything just yet. Please?” Elena asks. Hermann ignores her words. “I needed to know this.” He stands in that same abruptive manner. “Go.”

 

 

 

***

 

 
“Thank you”, Tam Linn says, ending the call. He glances down on the notes he has written.

 

 

Tiresias
Greek
Woman
Lived approximately three-thousand years ago
Was/is? a friend of Nidar Greyscale
Known diviner. One of the rare few who could see the future.
Fate unknown.

 

 

 
Now what is the logic behind her machinations– that book on necromancy, Elena Havenius’ revival and Esaia Eldridge’s escape from death? Know how your prey thinks, Linn muses, and you will soon be able build any trap. The future he decides, they must play some roles in the future, roles which fullfill some of her plans.

 

 

 
Tam Linn freezes. What if… what if by giving Helena Gravsten that primer on necromancy and thus setting in motion the events of the previous Bonfire Ball…. would that mean that his arrival here in Fallowfell is planned? That there is something she has planned for him?

 

 

 
The notion of it causes him to feel something he hasn’t felt in a very long time. An emotion that clouds judgement, seeping into the cracks of a confidence that is like a wall. Fear. He is feeling actual fear.

 

 
Yowl scratches his hand, drawing blood. His automatic defense triggers, and the injury vanishes in light in less than a heartbeat. She meows at him. “You’re right”, he mutters. “Not even the members of the Council can control fate. There’s is no magic for that. This Tiresias is an adept in chess with the benefit of future-sight, but she will find me a hard opponent to manipulate”, he declares.

 

 

 

***

 

 
Esaia Eldridge tries it again. Gravity surges into a single point. Stones, snow, logs and even moisture coalesces into a ball. He releases his magic and screams. “Dammit!”

 

 
On his next attempt, he funnels the gravity of Earth like a sieve, stretching upwards. The result is visually arresting, with the same materials streaming up in a column, but it’s not the result he desires.

 

 
“Alright”, he says to himself.

 

 
He channels the magic he has, all of it, in a single burst, his eye locked on a point three metres up in the air. The effort leaves him winded, and he knows that were he to look in a mirror right now, his eyes would be bloodshot. Nothing. All of it was for noth- he pauses.

 

 

 
A sphere of darkness, darker than the night itself expands from the point his eyes were looking at. He watches as first a stick, then snow and rocks enters the sphere. A noise, like that of a vacuum-cleaner fills the air. The sphere implodes suddenlt and air rushes in to fill the void.

 

 

 
“I did it”, he cries to the empty night. “I managed to make a black hole. Or perhaps, sphere then. But I did it!”

Fallowfell; Second Semester Chapter - 43
Fallowfell; Second Semester Chapter - 45
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Good morning. Or perhaps it is good evening, depending upon your location perpendicular to Greenwhich. My name is Sebastian. I like to write, run, and occassionally grab a beer. Not at the same time though.

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