|The Fire's Reflection
Author: lotus coin PM
With humanity on the verge of extinction, it is up to two sorceresses to find a spell that would destroy the undead armies. However, history can be cruel, especially with a powerful lich pulling the strings.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 6 - Words: 10,138 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 05-23-12 - Published: 04-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3011518
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Fire's Reflection
Chapter 4: Descending into the Earth
Leading into the gaping bowels of the earth was a vast cavern so deep, no one had ever entered it and came out. Like a wound from a sword, it was deep and wide. The ground around the hole was barren and devoid of life, coated in rust red sand and the rock itself was made of layers deep within, writing a history book eons in the making.
With a loud clap, Asteria and Bona Dea reappeared outside of the edge of this gaping hole.
Dizzy from the teleportation, Bona Dea nearly fell into the hole as she swayed off balance. "Whoa," she said as she got a glance at the hole's depths, "is this the Tecta Ravine?"
"I'm quite certain, although I still don't know what we're suppose to do here."
"The instructions for the spell say that we need to go to the bottom of this ravine to capture..." Bona Dea opened the scroll, reading the final item off the bottom, "the spirit of the earth."
"What the heck does that mean, and why do we need this...spirit thing?"
"The scroll doesn't say what it is, but I think we'll figure it out when we see it. As for why we need it, it's simply for extra power. Did you really think that we could just cast a spell as powerful and rare as this as easily as we could with any ordinary spell?"
Bona Dea groaned irritably. "Well, we can't which is why we need to go down there. Can you teleport us to the bottom?"
"I could, but I have no idea what the geography is like down there," replied Asteria, nonchalant toward Bona Dea's annoyance. "One wrong miscalculation and we could wind up trapped in a rock. I say the safest way down there is to jump."
"Great, you first."
"Very funny. What I meant was I can use my air magic to gently lower us down."
"But how long will that take?"
"I don't know. It all depends on how deep it is."
"Fine, I guess I better figure it out then." Bona Dea stamped the ground with her feet. For over a minute, she just stood there, stomping in an even rhythm.
"What're you doing?" asked Asteria.
"I'm using my earth magic to determine how deep the hole is."
"It's called seismic sense. Now, be quiet so I can concentrate." Bona Dea stamped the ground again, sending more vibrations into the ground. Augmented with her magic, she could sense every contour of the bottomless depths...or at least she could as far as she could go. "Oh this isn't good."
"I can only sense as deep as a mile, but this ravine goes even deeper than that. It could take us all day to reach the bottom."
Asteria stood on the edge of the ravine along side Bona Dea, looking down in dismay. "Well, I have no other way of getting down there, so unless you can build us a flight of stairs, I'm out of ideas."
Bona Dea sighed. "Fine, so how do we float down there?"
"Just stand where you are and look down."
Bona Dea did as she was told, hunched over the bottomless ravine like she was going to spit over the side. "Okay, so what do I do now?"
"The best way to fly is to first," without warning, Asteria shoved Bona Dea off the side, plummeting with her, "LEARN HOW TO FAAAAAAALLLLL..."
The world seemed to slow around Bona Dea as she plummeted into the inky blackness. She was waving her arms in a mockery of flight in a desperate attempt to save herself from hitting the ground. With a hard jolt, her fall came to an abrupt drop in speed, and she found herself gently floating down into the cave.
Asteria was floating beside her, laughing with glee. "Oh, you should have seen the look on your face."
"ASTERIA, I'LL KILL YOU FOR THAT!" Bona Dea was reaching for Asteria's neck with both hands, but Asteria was a hair's width out of reach.
Asteria put up her hands defensively. "Okay, I'm sorry. I'm only able to cast the Feather Fall spell while falling, and I thought it would be better if you just didn't know, otherwise, you would have resisted."
Holding back her retaliation, Bona Dea only floated there quietly. She quickly faded from view as the light dimed in the depths. Asteria conjured a glowing sphere, illuminating the surrounding rock as they continued their descent. For a while, they floated down into the cavernous world. With nothing to do and little to say, the two could only wait. With each new layer of stone they passed, the monotony of the ravine wore on their minds.
After what seemed to be over an hour, Asteria decided to pass the time by breaking out her singing voice.
"Oh Sir Halfwit was a great big man.
He ate pig's turds he mistook for flan.
He stole from the poor and gave to the rich.
He swooned a whore and was assaulted by the bitch.
He tried burning a village in the freezing rain.
The weather was Sir Halfwit's bane."
Asteria's singing voice echoed loudly along the stonewalls. "Come on, Bonehead. Sing along."
Bona Dea held her fingers in her ears. "I'm not going to sing such a juvenile song."
"Oh come on, Sir Halfwit was my favorite song when I was a kid. I would sing it all the time in-between classes."
"Well, stop it already. You're giving me a headache."
"But what else am I to do? I'm bored!" Asteria wiped away some of the sweat from her brow. "Not to mention hot. Who turned up the stove down here?"
"The earth gets hotter the deeper you go." Bona Dea waved her fingers and water was conjured from the tips, which she drank like a child sucking her fingers.
"Hey, what's that?" asked Asteria.
Bona Dea turned around and saw what appeared to be skeletons buried in the rock. "They're fossils, the bones of extinct creatures."
The skeletons were certainly unlike the animals Asteria were familiar with. Each creature was giant in size and unearthly in its nature. There were numerous saurian-shaped creatures with long ape like arms that stuck out as if they were threatening to burst forth and grab the two women floating down within their reach. There were other creatures who seemed to have horns jutting from their heads as well as others with wings and or clubs. Despite all of the various shapes and sizes, there was one attribute they all had: huge and serrated teeth.
"I don't like this," said Asteria, eyeing the skeletons. "Where there's skeletons, there's probably necromancy at work."
Bona Dea laughed "Of course not. They've been dead for too long and we're so deep underground that I doubt—" Bona Dea was abruptly interrupted by a loud cracking noise that echoed off the walls.
Paranoid, Asteria flung her head in every which way as she looked for the source of the sound. "What was that?"
There was another crack of stone, even louder than the first.
"It's just some loose rock,' explained Bona Dea. "You're over—"
The rock wall beside Bona Dea exploded in a cloud of dust as something large forced its way through. Unable to maneuver, she could only magically repel the rocks, but from out of the dust cloud, she could see a bony hand heading toward her.
Bona Dea let out a terrified shriek as the hand clapped close mere inches from her face with a loud clack. Once the dust cleared, her eyes were as wide as saucers as she saw the bones prying free from the rock. The skeleton's jaws snapped at the air and somehow let out a terrible shriek despite its lack of lungs. The entire cavern began to loudly echo as more bones forced its way free. Dust and rocks flew into the air as more skeletal arms reached out toward the two sorceresses as if they were desperate for food to fill their long-gone stomachs.
"This can't be happening!" shouted Bona Dea.
"Well, don't just stand there admiring them. Fight back!" Asteria summoned fireballs from the tips of her fingers, but the fire harmlessly passed through the gaps in monsters' bones.
The monsters ripped themselves free of their rocky prison, surrounding their prey from all sides. They approached the women, unfazed by the fires that graced their bony bodies.
"Why is my fire not working?"
"Rock doesn't burn," scolded Bona Dea, her arms flailing as she built up another spell.
"But I thought they were made of bones."
"They're fossilized. You need to use some earth magic."
Indignantly, Asteria crossed her arms. "Sorry, but that's your area of expertise."
"Then use hotter flames." Bona Dea let out a cry of pain as a skeletal hand managed to grab her by the waist, the sharp claws digging into her flesh. It didn't maintain its hold for long as Bona Dea's spell forced it back into the rocks.
A winged creature flew down toward Bona Dea, flying despite its lack of muscle or feathers.
"Burn, you extinct bastards!" Asteria shot a pillar of blue flame at the creature. The intense heat reduced the monster to burnt ash, crumble down the ravine...heading toward Asteria. She let out a swear word as she used an air spell to blow the monster aside. It clattered loudly as it struck the cavern wall and plummeted down.
"There's too many of them for me to repel," said Bona Dea as she used another spell to force a skeleton away.
The skeletons were emerging from all directions, including above and below. Just when it seemed like the monsters were going to catch them, Bona Dea thought she heard a splash. The falling bird monster had landed into water or so it seemed. Although the water was too deep down to see and possibly too far away, it gave her an idea, nonetheless.
"Asteria, you need to cancel your Feather Fall spell."
There was a flash of blue light as Asteria shot down another monster. "Are you crazy. We'll be killed."
"There's water below us. If we fall on it, I can use my magic to cushion the fall."
"All right, but if we don't make it, what's left of me is kicking your ass all the way to heaven."
With the spell canceled, the two abruptly plummeted as if the strings they were hanging from were cut. Asteria's light orb followed them as they fell into the inky blackness. Down they went, falling into the recesses of the earth. Although more skeletons tried to reach them, they were too fast to be easily caught.
Bona Dea was rapidly weaving her spells, the first to cushion their landing on the water, the second to protect their equipment. She finished her second spell not a moment too soon as they hit the water. Although her spell protected them from injury, it did not protect them from the heat. The two nearly let out cries of alarm as they felt themselves smothered in the burning heat of the water.
Bona Dea let out a cry of pain and shock as her head broke the surface of the water. "Aaahhh, hot, hot!" She tried to weave another incantation to cool down the water, but before she had a chance, shadows appeared overhead. She looked up and to her shock, she could see numerous skeletons falling down the cavern after them. Once the skeletons hit the water, Bona Dea and Asteria were forced back into the searing depths, the skeletons clasping their hands on their prey as they forced them down.
The two women tried not to scream in pain as they came crashing into the floor of the underground river. Although the water was not hot enough to kill them immediately, being forced to the bottom by giants placing their weight upon them to keep them submerged was surely able to do the trick.
The two mages fought and struggled to break free, blinded by the water, and their lungs burning for air.