A Disturbance in the Weave

The Mother stood on the massive dock in front of the harbour absorbing the seaside ambience, the creaks and groans from the ships, the flapping of the flaxen sails, the cawing of gulls and gannets, and the splashes and lapping of waves against the damp wood under her feet. She smelled the salty tang of the air, and felt the warm sun on her face, burning away the early morning mist hovering over the bay.

“Your Reverence, they're ready to take on passengers now," one of her escorts called to her.

“Thank you, I’ll just be a moment.” The Mother took in one last slightly shaky breath. This would be one of the longest times away from Sunder she’d had in sometime. But the interfaith summit was important and could help foster tolerance and peace between the many opposing religions of Aeran – if even only a little bit, it would be well worth the effort.

“I am ready,” she said to her guard who approached. He gently took her by the arm to lead her aboard. Despite her blindness, she was more than capable of getting around on her own, but a moving gangplank and rocking ship was treacherous enough that she needed assistance boarding the sailing vessel. As he helped her, her foot slipped and she stumbled as she felt a momentary, but violent disruption in the Weave.


Sunder pushed open the doors to the Church of The Fair Lady, and was met by one of the sisters.

“Where is The Mother?” Sunder asked, immediately sensing her absence.

“We sent a message through magical means, did you not receive it?” the sister asked.

“I found myself in a very strange place and the magic there was odd,” he said. “It likely didn’t make it to me due to the interference.”

“The Mother also left you a note,” she informed their knight.

“Show me,” he said, and she went and fetched it for him.

Sunder broke the wax from the note and read the words, only a small frustrated grunt that echoed out of the iron helmet he wore gave any idea of his troubled mood. It was unusual for the Mother to take such a long journey, let alone one that took her beyond Varland. He had never heard of anything like this summit before. It stank of trickery and manipulation.

“Thank you,” he told the sister, putting the note in one of his pouches.

Quickly leaving, Sunder knew he needed to cover as much ground as fast as possible, and mentally plotted a course that would take him to Karavoss in the shortest amount of time.

Orla started upright in her chair, nearly spilling her drink as her all too sensitive mystical senses were overwhelmed by the powerful tremors running through the threads of the Weave. The unseen magical energy seemed to explode across her faerie sight like sheet lightning. Wincing, she braced her small hands against the table, her panicked eyes sweeping around the tavern, almost envying all the people that were carrying on blissfully unaware of the larger reality in which they lived.

“You felt it too?” Severos said, having jumped to his feet. “The disturbance in the Weave?”

“Yes,” Orla managed to reply, but her voice was hardly audible. “A disturbance of incredible magnitude... but who could wield such mighty magicks and draw upon that much power?”

“I have never sensed anything of the like,” the young mage whispered.

“Kelmoran?” Reise said, looking between them. “It has to be him, right?”

Orla nodded, knowing that Kelmoran was the most likely suspect. He had been the greatest of all modern magical users and singularly more powerful than Count Soldor or Enanth Stormcrow or any of the major wizards she could think of from the old Two Kingdoms.

“It could also be Ceriden Malkaan,” Severos speculated. “From what I witnessed of his spellcraft, he might be nigh as powerful as Kelmoran, but I fear you are correct, Horo. We may have just felt the Lich breaking free from the Mortith. If so, it’s all my fault…”

“Too right,” Reise agreed, not mincing words. “You really blew it, Severos. And because of you a lot of people are going to die. I hope you can live with that.”

“What we felt may be unrelated to Kelmoran,” Orla reminded him.

“Big coincidence if it's not.” Reise steepled his fingers in front of his lips. “This would be so much easier to investigate if I could feel these things like you guys can,” he said, knowing he had no idea how they felt what they felt or exactly what they felt for that matter. “So what do we do now?”

“If Kelmoran has been released back into the material world,” Orla said flatly, “there is very little we can do...”

“Well, in that case, I hope 'ol Skull Face doesn't hold a grudge over what happened in Warfall,” Reise said, taking a drink of his ale, and watching Severos over the rim of the foamy mug. “Maybe you were right about finding some of your former teachers. Orla and you are no amateurs, but I guess we could use a master wizard right about now.”

“If anyone survived the College's destruction it would be Grandmaster Stormcrow,” Severos said confidently, sitting back down in his chair. “He is a very powerful wizard, but even he is not the equal to Kelmoran. Master Pending was an expert in divination—a kind of guest lecturer – and was not there when the school was destroyed. I think he lives in Varland somewhere. We can seek him out. We could also try finding Ceriden Malkaan...”

“No, not Ceriden!” Reise said, almost spitting out his ale at the obscene suggestion. “I spent decades tracking that bastard. I have no interest getting on his trail again. He gives me the creeps and he's just crazy. If we found him I doubt he'd even help us.”

“He seemed quite reasonable when I spoke with him on the way to House Blackwood,” Orla said, shuddering a little at the memory.

“Reasonable? Ceriden is a screwed up, self-serving narcissist, with no care for anybody he hurts, no care for anything but his own gratification!” Reise exploded vehemently and Orla could feel the traumatic emotions that lingered and churned within her old friend. She reached out and took his hand and held it comfortingly in hers, psionically seeing fleeting glimpses in her mind of his long and desperate search for her after her abduction by the dangerous necromancer. Reise's eyes rested for a moment on Orla's concerned face, tender with compassion. He took a calming breath, slowly regaining his sanguine composure. “Ceriden can never be relied on or trusted, okay? We need someone who shares our goals, someone who will have our backs.”

“That person is The Wise One,” Severos stated most definitely. “Grandmaster Stormcrow.”

Orla nodded. “Enanth is a good man, and as a mage, he has few peers. In fact, he was known as the finest wizard in all of Dalen. But how to find him?”

“Yeah, again, we can’t,” Reise said. “We should just stick to trying to track down Draken like we were gonna do before you guys felt this disturbance. If Draken isn’t the one who stupidly let Kelmoran out of the book, he can lead us to Shade, who can lead us to who did...”


Jynieth sat hunched over in a corner of her prison cell, knees pushed up against her shoulders, and staring at the dirt floor. The weight of the blessed metal collar that fit just so on her neck that it never ‘cut’ her, dug into the skin if she turned her neck too far and when she ate or drank. The Sarnian High Church members that put this horrific device on her were truly depraved. Even a devil such as herself was not so cruel. This was not about a lesson, or a punishment for a wrong deed done. This was for their twisted enjoyment plain and simple.

A guard sat, a blessed silver sword on his side, she might not have powers like Aldous but she could feel his eyes one her. It made her sick. Jynieth wasn’t disgusted by the eyes of men or women falling on her now and again when walking the world of mortals. But this was something different. He, and the other guards reveled in her pain, and humiliation.

A second guard came to replace the first, as they were chatting they both turned to look at the cell door. Like they’d heard something coming, but Jynieth felt it too. A crushing wave, a riptide of someone awesomely pulling the Weave asunder and bringing two plains near enough to reach across the threshold. The moment she sensed it, she knew who had done it and why.

“They are coming…” she said, looking up between strands of lavender hair fallen in her face, “and when they do, nothing will be able to stand against them. Not even an army of your Church Knights, tens of hundreds strong...”

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