The Struggles of Gadria,: Chapters of Descent *TEASER!*
Velais dropped his bag next to the bed that was placed in the corner and then took a moment to look at the room in earnest. The walls were smooth mortared stone and the floor was some kind of dark wood. The bed where he had placed his bag was at the far end of the room, and adjacent to it was a washbasin and stool directly below a window that faced out over the valley floor. He walked across the room to look out into the valley. The sun was setting and the shadows stretched long over the canyon rim in the distance, shrouding the valley in darkness. Velais snapped his fingers and the lantern hanging from the ceiling ignited.
He winced as he felt the sting of the cut on his cheek. Pressing an armored finger to it, he remembered how close he had come to destruction such a short time ago. He could steel feel the dull throbbing of the bruising that was sure to cover a sizable part of his body beneath his armor.
I will have to remove my armor if I have any hope of treating them. He thought with dismay. The last time he had removed his armor was many years ago. It had become like a second skin; letting the natural caresses of air and water pass unhindered, yet thwarting everything but the strongest attacks. He walked to the end of the bed and sat heavily, feeling the bed's frame creak under the weight of his fully armored body. He stared at the floor for a while, conjuring up the correct form of incantation needed to remove the wards that connected his armor to him. He had only used them twice since he had received his armor, and then only in the most dire or important situations. His health was at risk now, which served as a good condition. So he began removing each piece of armor one by one and placing them ceremoniously on the bed next to him in perfect order. Once he was fully disrobed, he felt hollow, like he had removed a part of his soul.
Then he turned his attention to his bag.
I have been carrying quite a bit of dead weight since the grimoire was nullified.
Inside the bag were his meager possessions. And outside, strapped to the side was the sheath of his beautiful sword, Ignus Mare. He placed the sword and sheath carefully next to his armor. The blue of both sword and armor glinted brightly in the lantern light like dancing lunaflies. He rummaged through his bag and removed the Grimoire. There was a deep seated sorrow in him as he ran his hand over the white-leather bound tome. He fingered the dull gold clasp that held the book closed and released it. There was a chink as the clasp released. The leather strip ripped immediately afterward and the strap with the clasp clambered to the wood floor, broken. Velais flinched as if someone had swung at him. The tome had been a part of him for countless years. To see it in such sorry shape broke his spirit more than he would ever care to admit.
He thumbed through the now blank pages. Where great spells of concentration and energy flow once swirled and wrote with a unique purpose. When the binding magic had been broken, all the energy had exploded out of the tome with violent intent. Now all that was left was an empty book bound in white sea-drake leather. Still an impressive sight, to be sure, but nothing close to its former glory. He held the tome out in one outstretched hand. Looking over its every surface. With his free hand, he conjured a flame. The deep blue of his magic fire flickered and sputtered. A tear rolled down his cheek. There was still inert magics inside the tome; broken weavings of the Raiyeen who had forged it. He could not let anyone know the secret of his this tome has forged. For if any other race knew, they would use the knowledge for dastardly purposes, that Velais knew. He placed the flame underneath the book, far enough away that it would not catch initially. And then he remembered.
His Raiyeen teacher, Ves-Tilis, gifting it to him with such a sense of accomplished pride. The council of elders looking on in admiration of his feats of honor and bravery. Then he remembered Ves-Tilis falling in battle, and how he had grasped his friend's hand as he slipped from this world. His eyes still as happy as the day he had given Velais the Grimoire. He pulled the flame away, and looked over the book. Then he opened to the first page and placed the tome on his lap. He withdrew a quill and a pot of ink from his bag, and he began to write.
In memory of Ves-Tilis, councilman and honored friend. The Grimoire of Concentrated Energies.
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