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In the Branches that Blow in the Breeze

Discussion in 'Haunted Forest' started by Aurelie, May 6, 2017.

  1. Aurelie

    Aurelie Tradition Bound
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    Eri came across this grove just by chance. She probably would have kept on her way through the forests for a while longer if it had not been for the peculiar discrepancies in the size of the trees. In her mind, it just looked too planned out. Even now when she stood there it made no sense. However, at least here, there was enough of a gap in the canopy to see the sky. So heavy had the coverage of the leaves been, it almost made little difference whether the trickling light that breached its cover was sunlight or moonlight. Now the Sheikah woman could clearly see that the moon was hanging high in the sky.

    That has to be a day now at least. I set out from Forest Haven after leaving my horse with the Kokiri...

    It was imperative in her mind to keep some semblance of a trail of events and locations while travelling into the depths of the woods like she was. Even if it seemed like a pointless endeavour. Eri knew well enough that the very structure of the forest seemed to change on a whim. Hence why she needed to try and keep some control over her knowledge of the time that elapsed around her. She knew how to provide for herself in the wilderness to an extent, but to keep oneself exposed to the wilderness for longer than they had to was foolish in her opinion. Eri had set out here with a purpose. And she felt that she had reached this purpose. Something specific about the energies of this place called out to her. That and she needed rest or a safe vantage point. Stalchildren surely were not far off starting to wander the woods.

    The young woman pulled the dark coloured cloth up around her nose, it obscured most of her visage. She reached into the small rucksack that laid cast down at her feet and procured a mask that was ornamented in the old fashioned Shiekah way. She tied this across her face, the entirety of her face blanked out by this protective ornament. Though, unfortunately for her, this was purely a cosmetic piece of protective armour. The design on the mask offered no mystical properties as of yet. Perhaps one day she would find a way to imbue it with such. However, today was not that day. She closed up the bag and slid it back onto her back.

    She quickly made her way to one of the older, and sturdier looking trees in the grove and scaled it. She kept climbing until she reached a thick branch. It seemed as if it would be able to support her weight. At least she hoped it did. It hid her quite well from the forest floor while giving her better visibility than she was expecting. It did hit her that she was feeling rather worn out. She had been walking close to non-stop since leaving Forest Haven. After all, she knew what she was searching for, and it felt like she had found it. It seemed doubtful it would leave anytime soon.

    "Perhaps just a short nap..."
    She whispered to herself as sleep quickly took a hold of the young ghost hunter.
     
  2. Aurelie

    Aurelie Tradition Bound
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    As her mind drifted into the realm of dreams, she fitfully tossed and turned from her vantage point. Somehow she managed to avoid plummeting from her precarious position. Which honestly was quite lucky for the woman, such a fall could have really damaged her. The cause of this relative unrest was not immediately comprehensible to Eri in her unconscious state. It could have been any number of things. Maybe her socks were a little damp? Or there was something, most likely her brother, that caused her to be so perturbed in her restful state up there in that branch. She fancied herself quite a still sleeper, almost as dead as a door nail. However, all in the Nakani household knew her as about as fitful as any of the monsters she hunted. She always had been.

    However, there was something about this place that emphasised this restlessness. There was a memory that lingered deep underneath the earth that left an odious impression that became more noticeable the longer she was here. It was something that quickly plagued the dream that she had. In her dream, she saw the reflection of this place as it had been during the war. At least that is what it seemed to be. She thought she saw some Kokiri children running through free-spiritedly like they were playing tag. Though this was quickly replaced with the very same children running back in the opposite direction with a look of abject horror on their faces. Two large Wolfos leashed to two equally imposing Stalfos came charging through.

    Eri's eyes flew open before anything else happened, her throat feeling constricted from fear. Small, shallow breaths heaved themselves from her lungs in rapid succession as she readjusted to the reality of her situation. What had she just witnessed?!
    Her eyebrows furrowed from beneath the mask, reflecting the concern she had over this strange emotion that had overtaken her. She spoke to herself in a hushed tone: "That can't have been real...no, it must have just been my imagination running wild."

    Indeed it was. She may have had magical abilities, but that kind of insight eluded her in this point of her life. She was not the famed Princess Zelda after all, no matter how secretly she wished she was. The Goddesses did not speak to her through prophetic dreams or the likes. She felt that to even think that for a second was folly, and would only lead to hubris. The truth was, she was right. Indeed, the dream was just her imagination running rampant. Merely an attempt to rationalise the ominous feeling that seemed to skirt around the edges of the perceptible reality of the forest. It was a futile endeavour frankly. The forest was above all that. Eri found herself wondering if it had always been like that?

    However, such thoughts would have to wait. She was not here to philosophise. Although the line of questioning had grounded her back in a much more familiar and comfortable position of detached curiousity for all that surrounded her. From somewhere beneath her she noticed a dim flickering.

    "Ehhhh HEEHEHEHEHE heeehhh" came a malevolent cackle from the location of this dim light. It appeared to be circling the outer perimeter of the grove, a few yards away. Perhaps this was the cause of her fitfulness? Had some deep seated survival mechanism in her mind had been telling her not to fall asleep? This had to be what she was looking for. She rose from her horizontal position into a squat, sliding her rucksack onto her back and readied herself for a stealthy attack - should the situation demand it from her.
     
  3. Aurelie

    Aurelie Tradition Bound
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    She constricted the muscles in her thighs and calves as tightly as they would allow. She would need them to serve her well should she need to spring down from the tree onto the ground underneath her. Eri anticipated this being a necessary course of action as the ominous whooshing sound drew closer the tree she was currently on top of. The light that she had seen before became much brighter. Yes, it appeared that it was a Poe's lantern. That more than adequately explained the odd and sudden appearance of it. Though it did surprise her that she had awoken only when it drew so near. Her grandfather said that he could usually tell when a Poe was present within 100 yards. Perhaps that meant she needed to train herself harder.

    However, that was a thought for another time. Her main priority was to empty her mind of any extraneous thoughts and solely focus on the task at hand. The Poe drew in closer, just realistically outside of her landing radius. She went to spring down as it vanished with its malevolent cackle and a dramatic twirl. A sigh of frustration escaped the young woman's lips.

    "I can wait for you then. I have nothing but time, spirit."


    Hours trickled by as she relaxed her stance. This was something she could keep track of because she could see the first pale rays of daybreak forming. The Poe did not reappear. How frustrating it was to be so close, yet so far from what one's goal was. So she decided to climb down the tree and look around the grove for any indications of why it hadn't. A cursory glance revealed nothing. So she began to look closely around the base of all the trees, even going to the lengths of bending down and scratching through the top layer of soil. Just in case there was something buried in the trees. Nothing revealed itself to her through this method. So she walked to the very centre of the grassy grove and collapsed down into a sprawled out position out of a mixture of exhaustion and irritation. Perhaps she should have just sprung into action while she had the chance. It was then when her head made contact with the ground that an uncomfortable sensation hit her in the back of the head. Lifting herself up, Eri inspected the ground to see that there was a raised hill where her head had been. It was barely noticeable from her vantage point, or when she was looking around the base of the trees.

    Pulling herself onto her knees, she leant forward and began to frantically dig. The thing she had hit her head on was a small chest with a very rusted and flimsy looking padlock. One that Eri was sure she could break if she tried hard. Which seemed to be a good idea. So she produced her dagger, slid the tip into the lock and banged hard at the hilt of the dagger with her palm. The lock shattered from underneath the pressure. The young woman felt a small stirring of excitement as she went to open the chest. Perhaps some wonderful trinket would be here!

    She threw open the lid and was immediately disappointed to see that the chest contained nothing. Though, focusing in on it closer, she felt a strange aura emanating from it. Something like the energies from a Poe. Eri thought to herself for a moment, unsure of the best course of action. Should she take it with her? No. What use would she have for a completely rusted through and grimy small chest like this? None whatsoever. It would just weigh her down. However, the energy she felt from it warranted investigation. Investigation she did not feel that she would be able to fully conduct within this grove at this point of time. She would need to do some reading. As a precautionary measure, she rifled through her rucksack and produced a piece of bright red parchment. She kept a small quill and pot of ink with her for just such an occasion. Dipping the quill into the ink, Eri scrawled a quick warding charm onto the rectangular charm and placed it in the chest before closing it once again. This time, rather than burying it where it had been, she hid it twelve paces from the tree she had been hiding in. The young woman made a mental note of where she placed it and left. There was nothing more she felt that was doable in this circumstance. Waiting for the Poe to reappear during the day was as useless as trying to understand why Taevin abandoned the family.
     
  4. True to Aurelie’s word, nearly a day had passed since the duo had set out into the woods to pursue the malevolent spirit. She had agreed to the sheikah’s suggestion to alternate runic symbols along with mere horizontal scratches in their wake. The scratches were subtle enough that Rawiya felt she would certainly get lost on the return trip if she had only them to rely upon, and no Aurelie to guide her. But they did allow the witch to place her runes much further apart than she otherwise would have, perhaps shaking off the pursuit of a being which may have otherwise taken an interest in the magical trail. Rawiya’s runes were simple enough—a spirit sigil in the form of a few angular scratches upon a tree. They left enough scent of magic to be picked up upon by a spellcaster who was looking for them without lighting up in the forest like a beacon.

    It had been necessary to set up camp during the journey, so that each of the women could at least get a few hours of rest while the other kept watch. A hollow in the earth that went back several feet had served as a suitable enough shelter, providing enough shelter on three sides to keep the fire from being too noticeable whilst not being as dangerous as delving into a legitimate cave. Rawiya was used to sleeping on rough earth, curling up in her sleeping roll with her tome laying beside her, arm resting atop it. She didn’t think it likely that Aurelie would abandon her on her watch, but the sheikah had already navigated the forest alone before. To have Irfan watching the watcher had been a small comfort, then.

    She may be aware of some my nature, at least to an extent, the tome silently wrote upon itself when it was Rawiya’s own turn to be on watch. She stood at the entrance of the hollow, leaning against the wall and reading by the firelight. It couldn’t be helped. Stickybeaks should be told off for sticking their beaks where they shouldn’t be. Rawiya silently penned her replies into the tome as well, and spent the remainder of her watch devising incantations to use against the poe they were tracking. Incorporeal beings were not so common a foe to her, and flinging earth at a ghost seemed like it would be an ineffectual strategy.

    Back in the present, Rawiya turned to Aurelie. The gerudo was still covered by her grey cloak, which had efficiently muted the colours of her garb. “Are we close to the clearing? The trees seem to be thinning a bit. I’ll defer to you on how to proceed, dear.”
     
  5. Aurelie

    Aurelie Tradition Bound
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    It had taken a touch longer than a day. Though Eri mostly felt that the added bit of time was due in most part to the added adjustments to travelling with another. Had it just been her she was sure she might have made it here quickly. Though, they did stop for the night. A luxury Eri hadn't allowed herself. The added sleep probably would have done her better in retrospect. It had also appeared that her earlier plan worked quite well - the scratches that she had made were so faint even she struggled to see them in the dim forest. If she, the creator of these markings, had a hard time finding them: this Gerudo whom most likely did not know where to look would be utterly lost. Or at least she hoped. Her apprehension had not completely waned, even though Rawiya was certainly amicable company. Eri personally had not said much during their travel, but Rawiya had entertained her well enough, and her sigil work was rather impressive. The Sheikahn woman could feel them from quite the distance when she familiarised herself with the energies they gave off.

    Though they had stopped to rest, Eri couldn't fully bring herself to fall asleep for quite a while when the Gerudo took her turn to watch. There was no reason to cause her any reason to feel threatened, as the forest - and Rawiya - were both very still. She decided that it must have been because she was afraid of embarrassing herself in her sleep: after all, it did cross her mind that perhaps she was not the quiet dreamer she thought herself to be. But that was not relevant to her mission. So she tried to not think about such things. When she pushed it from her mind, she found it easier to rest. Little did she know that the concerns about being talked about were indeed happening.

    It was hard to tell at first, but suddenly the trees around them thinned out drastically, and in the distance, she could hear a stream running. She was sure they were very close now. So much so, her pace increased drastically to get to the grove. So impatient was she, that she nearly tore off without responding to Rawiya. When the recognition of social decorum hit her a moment later, she felt rather embarrassed, and slowed down to a halt and faced the woman.

    "Yes, it's just up ahead, maybe a fraction to the north-west of where we currently are. I'm sure of it. You may even be able to feel some of the magic that surrounds the place..."

    She was certain she could. The Poe still must have been here. Though she was excited to finally dispatch of this monster, she knew that it had more than likely recovered its strength...and she still had the Gerudo witch and that spell book to worry about. Eri knew she would have to prepare herself.
     
  6. The sheikah had picked up the pace, the gerudo struggling to keep up without tripping over the hem of her travelling cloak. She lagged several meters behind Aurelie, the distance growing gradually until the sheikah seemed to remember her partner and came to a stop, turning to stop and allow her to catch up. Rawiya was breathing a little more heavily from the sudden burst of physical exertion, and taking a moment to calm her heartbeat before responding. “To the northwest then,” she repeated. Her compass directions were all manner of disoriented from the winding paths they had taken through the woods, but she nodded nonetheless—sensing the magical energies of the area would likely help orient her towards their quarry, whether she knew which way northwest was or not.

    Rawiya closed her eyes a moment to focus on her internal magical energies, before repeating the incantation she had last used at Aurelie’s homestay, with a few added words for good measure: “Goddess of Secrets, alight mine eyes that I may witness the abstruse; abet my ears that I may hearken to whispers of ethereal tongues.” The words were spoken in a hushed tone, a chant in the old gerudo tongue. When the woman’s eyes opened, they had taken on a silver hue rather than their natural amber. The sudden influx of information to process was blinding for a moment, like waking up with dilated pupils and pulling back the curtains to be bombarded by the harsh sunlight. Anywhere else, the witch would have lit herself up like a beacon, but the forest’s magic provided adequate cover to make her spell unnoticeable—or such was her hope.

    Aurelie was correct, though there was no reason to doubt her in the first place. Rawiya was suddenly attuned to the plethora of magical energies which danced amidst the trees, some benign and others less so. None of the dark auras which surrounded feral Stalfolk, at least, which was a blessing in itself. Though, if Rawiya had been in a state of mind to put more thought into it, she would actually have preferred dealing with bonewalkers to a spirit—Stalfos could be struck with sand and stone, bones broken and ground to dust. Such was not the case with an incorporeal poe.

    A particular presence revealed itself to her, in the direction she presumed could only be northwest. Something small in area but concentrated, and… muffled, a soiled rag stuffed down its throat. A faint presence, certainly, and masked by the forest’s natural energies, true, but it was noticeable to a discerning mind. “The chest,” Rawiya spoke softly, looking to Aurelie. “Whatever ward you used has held, Aurelie dear, though if boxes could speak, I imagine this one would be quite irate.” She looked in the direction of the clearing, wondering if the sheikah could be convinced to lead the way. There were lingering hints of the great Poe in the air, though whether or not it was still present wasn’t something she could determine from where they stood.

    “The stage is yours, darling,” she said with a hollow smile, swallowing a nervous lump which was forming in her throat. “I’m quite content to pass up the leading role.” Fingers flipped through the tome as she recalled the incantations she and Irfan had prepared earlier. Whether or not they would be of any real assistance would soon be discovered.
     
  7. Aurelie

    Aurelie Tradition Bound
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    It really had not come as much of a shock to her that they were indeed headed in exactly the direction that was required to reach the grove. While the woods themselves were labyrinthine at the best of times, she held the notion that the woods would always yield to those who had conviction in their movements. Whether that had any actual basis in the reality of the mystical nature of the woods was highly debatable. It was just as likely that the navigational aids she had left had been the main reason for them traveling so quickly. As she gazed at the small circle of trees that just loomed a few feet away, a certain level of adrenaline began to surge through her sternum. This pulsing energy caused a familiar warmth in not only her core but also her limbs as it circulated through her. It was a comforting ritual that came from both the fear of the unknown, but the mundane. After all, this was her job for most of her life. Even something objectively as filled with adventure and morbid intrigue was bound to lose its luster after some time.

    At any rate, unlike back in her home, she heard her witchy companion's hushed chant. Though she understood none of the words, it instilled her with a certain amount of confidence that at least Rawiya would make herself useful during the fight without prompting from her. This was often the concern that Eri had to work with others: having to tell them when to be of assistance. She was also aware that in situations like that it easily became her way - or no way at all. So the witch's initiative was noted in a positive light. If it weren't for the mysterious book, perhaps she could have questioned whether she had been jumping at shadows. Though she was not actively scanning for magic at the moment, Eri was sure Rawiya's uttered incantation was fielding for signs of their tarry.

    Not long after that, Rawiya commented on the ward Eri had previously left. Eri turned her head to look behind at the witch, her calves and thighs beginning to tense and relax in a prelude to any acrobatic foot work that may be required. With the faintest hint of a smirk comparable to that of a cat with the cream she responded, "I have not had any reason to doubt the efficacy of my wards as of yet. Its anger would not be totally unjustified."

    Despite the slight hint of egotism that her words may have provided, it did make the Sheikahn nervous that Rawiya could see the chest and her ward so easily. So much for her effort in trying to obfuscate it from anyone other than herself. She supposed such things could not be helped though. It would just require some more lateral thinking on her part to make sure her objective was completed. "Though, it means little if the Poe is not connected with it. We will still have to exercise caution."

    Rawiya's offer of the 'stage' as she referred to it came with a smile that almost seemed uncharacteristic of the otherwise very jovial woman she had come to know a little bit about. Eri found herself confused by the Gerudo's sudden apparent loss of bravado. Was she, in fact, nervous about this? She had mentioned not being as familiar with the realms of the spiritual...yet, the book she carried reeked of that kind of spiritual energy. It was an odd dissonance that Eri could not understand at the present moment. Perhaps it was a good thing though. After all, she was not sure she wanted this woman close to the Poe's spirit after they defeated it. This might have boded well for Eri. And so she decided to make it clear in no uncertain terms through her following statement that while Rawiya may have felt outside of her comfort zone: she herself was very much in her element.

    "And I would have it no other way then, Rawiya. Come, let us prepare ourselves." Her eyes lingering for just a moment longer than she meant them to at the Gerudo's eyes as she slid her protective mask up from its resting place on her neck. Perhaps the intensity of that had been much stronger than she expected it to. But then again, this was very grim work. Not the time for lightheartedness. Eri began to walk closer to the outcrop of trees.

    As she slid through the spacing in the trees, a heady presence became noticeable. Yes, she was sure the Poe had remained here. Perhaps it was indeed anchored to this place. She was still not entirely sure. Quietly she murmured her own incantation, granting her insight into the veil between that of the spiritual and the mortal, while she unsheathed her dagger, and drew forth an ornately decorated warding scroll. She thought to herself darkly, 'This time you won't escape'. Yes, even she could feel herself being unnecessarily intense. The intensity she felt from herself nearly matched that of the dark presence that permeated the entire grove. She would have to ease up on the whole stoic and creepy Sheikahn thing lest Rawiya decide that perhaps Eri were the true monster to deal with.

    However what still remained unclear to her was how to recall the spirit. From what she had seen so far, it was a rather mercurial spirit, that was perhaps even flippant. Surely the ghost of someone that had felt slighted and betrayed often in life. Perhaps enchained to something, someone, in life. For whatever the ghost's reason was: it harbored a vast amount of animosity in order to grow so strong. Yes, the Sheikahn ghost hunter was sure that would explain why it traveled so extensively for a Poe. Perhaps the key to summoning it would lie in goading it into action? Or perhaps being goaded by it itself. After all, it had known exactly the right moment to vanish to maximise the amount of rage that Eri felt last time. Two could play it that game.

    "Rawiya, do you sense anything? I'm not feeling anything. No energy at all. Where has it gone?" The intensity in her voice stayed perhaps, but Eri was sure that the Gerudo would be able to tell what she was doing. After all, this woman was a story-teller and performer? And was this not almost exactly the kind of plan that would be hatched by a cunning protagonist in such a story that she might write?
     
  8. The confidence Aurelie seemed to have in her ward seemed to be well-earned in Rawiya’s opinion. It had certainly held well against whatever force was present in the mysterious chest. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the gerudo had to echo the sheikah’s subtle smirk with a warm grin of her own—Aurelie did not seem to be a woman who bore her emotions very easily, and each example the witch could pry loose felt like a minor victory in the greater game of which she was perhaps the only real player. “It may not be connected,” she agreed, “but we would be remiss to ignore the possibility. Proceeding with caution would be wise, indeed.”

    The time had come to steel herself. Revealing her anxiety had been a bit of a slip up—a faltering in the jovial mask she most often wore—but she could not afford to give in to that anxiety now. The encounter with the Ghost of the Nameless Witch in the desert had left her wary of the power such spirits possessed, but in comparison to her, this poe was but a sheep being compared to a dragon. Perhaps. At any rate, convincing herself of such was enough to inspire herself with a moderate return of the bravado that had escaped her. There was a task to accomplish, after all, and it was that which should take the forefront of her thoughts.

    The tome she carried was spiritual in nature, true, but it was also bound to her by an ancient magic which even she was not wholly understanding of. In the years she had carried Irfan, it had never brought ill against her. The master-servant relationship was not something that she felt was prudent to discuss, much less reveal, to the sheikah in this particular moment. But that was comforting, as opposed to doing battle with a spirit unbound to any known master or artifact of control. It was her unfamiliarity with combatting this latter sort of being which was the source of her anxiety, though now was hardly the time to discuss it in any case.

    Aurelie’s eyes lingered with an intensity that stirred the witch, though now was hardly the time to dwell on that either. The mask came on and Rawiya nodded affirmation before the other woman walked closer to the outcrop of trees. There was no more need for the cloak which limited her movement: she allowed the grey cover to fall to the ground, revealing the more colourful motley assortment underneath. In a more jovial mood, she may have noted herself as a thematic foil to her sheikahn partner. As it was, she was more focussed on the task at hand for the moment.

    She held herself from smirking at the woman’s next words. Was that the game she was trying to play? Her active arcane vision and hearing was indicating a vague presence in the vicinity that was possibly the spirit in question, though its precise location was difficult to get any sort of read on. “I sense nothing powerful in the vicinity,” she said, feigning a frown as she looked around, eyes darting from tree to tree ostensibly to search for some clue of the spirit. “Naught else but your ward, I fear. Perhaps it was so powerful a spell, the spirit tucked in its tail and fled in fright.” Oh, clever Aurelie—that was doing it. A flare of congealed anger rippled through the trees, enough so to cause leaves to shiver on their twigs as they would in the wind. It seemed almost laughable that such a plan could even be dreamt of working in reality, but perhaps a poe was not the most clever of creatures. Weren’t poes supposed to be ethereal projections of negative emotions, after all? Hatred often blinded even the most rational of people to the obvious. Still, it occurred to her that making such a creature even more angry could have disastrous consequences for them as well…

    A shadow darted between two trees, drawing the glowing silver orbs in the gerudo’s head towards it with a flicker. Their quarry. Silently, Rawiya attempted to focus the attention of her partner in that direction with a motion of her eyes and faintest jerk of her head. Already, incantations were forming, just on the tip of her tongue.
     
  9. The exact events of what took place in the grove would be known only to Rawiya and Aurelie. Perhaps the storyteller would tell someone the tale someday, in all its detail, though for once she doubted she would be able to do it justice with her words. It was one thing to tell stories about the glorious feats and accomplishments of others, but when a storyteller found herself taking part in such a dire encounter, she would find herself focussing far more on the moment at hand than the telling of it afterwards. As such, Rawiya barely recalled the encounter with the great poe, only that is was a gruelling affair which taxed her magical reserves heavily. Her Spirit magic formed the brunt of her attacks against it, Earth being rather ineffective against the incorporeal being. Had it not been for Aurelie, she doubted she would have been able to defeat it at all. Though, if asked to explain exactly how the sheikah had contributed, Rawiya again would have had difficulty recounting the tale: she had been far more focussed on herself.

    With the spirit dispatched, all that remained was the blackish-purple orb which was its soul, cast amid a cloud of smoky spiritual wisps. Rawiya knew she would have to act quickly, for it was doubtless that Aurelie would intend to banish the poe’s soul rather than allow the witch to keep it for her own devices. She stepped forward towards the orb, the Gerudo incantation she had prepared for this moment falling from her lips: “Gods of Earth, erect your mighty walls around us to provide us shelter from those who would do us harm.”

    The magic needed for such an spell was intense, and Rawiya found herself buckling to her knees in exhaustion as the energy left her, a three stone slabs rising out of the ground and forming a pyramid of rock around herself and the soul. Whatever Aurelie’s talents, Rawiya doubted the sheikah would so easily be able to cut through stone. Assisted by her arcane vision in the darkness, Rawiya opened the tome she held and recited: “Resplendent Irfan, ancient book of knowledge. Take unto yourself this offering of an eidolon’s remains and be restored to that which you once were!” A growl, low and guttural like that of a great beast’s filled the hollow stone pyramid and Rawiya shuddered on her knees as the sphere seemed to shatter into dust before her, that dust drifting into the open pages of the book as if by an unseen wind.

    It was done.

    But there remained the issue of escape—she did not think she would so easily be able to leave Aurelie after taking to poe soul for herself. Mistress, the words appeared on the page of the book, the text glowing in the dark under the effects of her still-active arcane vision. You have little energy remaining, but the soul of the dark spirit is fresh. I can bestow you with enough of its energy to make your escape and return to the haven. When the stone barrier drops, you must run. Do not look back, for even a moment.

    She accepted the tome’s offer, for it had never failed her before. With the revitalization of her limbs came a numbing of her awareness. Her stone barriers fell, and she ran. As Irfan has bid her, she did not look back. It was a pity, for she had liked Aurelie. And now it was doubtful they would ever meet again...

    Upon returning to the Forest Haven, Rawiya hastily gathered her effects and mounted her horse. Out in the wilderness of Hyrule Field, she would find a shallow cave in which to collapse in exhaustion for nearly twenty-four hours. Upon awakening, she would set up a crude camp and remain there to recuperate for another three days...
     

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