23/366 – Azariah

continued from 22/366 – The Other Place

“How did you get out of the coffin?” Master Scaine asked.

“It’s not a coffin,” Morn said, “It’s a door.”

“A door?” Celeste asked.

“Yeah, a door to the Other Place. At least that’s what they called it,” Morn said, turning to look at the door blocking the path back to the lift.

“What who called it?” Master Scaine asked.

“Azariah,” Morn replied, “they told me that I had to come to meet them because I broke a lock or something.”

“Did they tell you how to get out of here?” Jaque said, his voice thick with sarcasm.

“Yes, actually,” Morn said, looking up at the door. “Will you open, please?”

A grinding noise echoed through the room as the door slid its way back open, revealing the dimly lit corridor once more. Jaque and Morn’s mother stepped through, followed closely by Master Scaine, Morn, and Celeste.

“Seriously?” Jaque said, turning back to look at the opening.

“Let me tell you what happened,” Morn said.

Everyone stayed quiet for the few minutes that it took him to describe everything as best as his memory would let him.

“So, Azariah built all this?” Master Scaine said.

“I think so, but it seemed weird. They kept talking like there was a lock on the door before and somehow I broke the lock,” Morn said.

“Is Azariah a wizard?” Jaque asked.

“I don’t actually know how to tell. I know they used magic. Azariah kept pulling things from thin air, and I’m assuming that’s how I was sent back here,” Morn replied.

“Wizards can’t resurrect,” Master Scaine said. “There are a few magical types that could bring someone back from the dead, but that would be a powerful cleric or something else entirely.”

“What are you thinking, mom?” Morn asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied, her eyes unfocusing as she stopped walking. “I’m just worried about all this.”

“Why?” Morn asked, taking her hand. “You’re here with me now. That’s all that matters.”

“Magic isn’t free, Morn. It never has been,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“What do you mean?” Morn asked.

“For some spells, there are heavy prices to pay, very expensive jewels and gold. The cost isn’t always worth the investment,” she replied.

“What are you talking about? You don’t know magic, mom,” Morn said.

“She’s actually right, Morn,” Jaque said. “I’ve seen some of the wizards’ theories at the school. They talk a lot about the cost of magic. The basic ones they are trying to teach us only require a bit of string, a rock, or fleece for example. But the bigger the effect, the more items, or more expensive the item becomes.”

“You know magic, Mom?” Morn said, dumbfounded.

Morn watched his mother nod slowly. “It was a long time ago, but I used to practice a little bit. It was before you were born,” she said.

“I didn’t know you were a wizard,” Morn said. “Dad never talked about it.”

“I wasn’t a wizard, Morn. I didn’t get magic from studying or anything like that. I loved to read, but wizard theories are tedious and boring,” she said. “My magic came from inside me.”

Master Scaine took a step back, “are you saying you’re a sorcerer?”

Morn’s mother nodded again. “I didn’t actually get sick. I wasn’t channeling my power the way I should have been. It was building inside me and slowly leaking out. I didn’t want to hurt anyone accidentally, so I took a walk out of town. I tried to find someplace secluded to unleash it, but I didn’t find a place in time. I’m so sorry, Morn.”

“You can’t stay here,” Master Scaine said. “I know you are a good person, but sorcerous powers are dangerous and unpredictable. How did you hide it for so long?”

“Let’s get back up top,” she said, “I’ll answer your questions there, but for the moment, I don’t want to be down here anymore.”

Morn followed Master Scaine and his mother with Celeste at his side while Jaque remained in the lead. He noticed that the pleasant conversation that he had seen between the monk and his mother had entirely stopped. Master Scaine was noticeably further from her than they had been on the platform previously. He could feel an electric charge in his body as though things were going to get very bad very soon, and when they reached the lift, he found that his feeling was right.

“I think that you should stay down here while I escort the children to the top of the lift. I’ll send it back down for you after,” Master Scaine said.

“I had to leave my son twice now,” she replied, “I’m not leaving him a third time. I’m not dangerous right now. I can feel when things build-up, and I haven’t felt anything remotely close to magic in my body since I came back.”

“How can you promise that?” Master Scaine asked. “I can’t let you put them at risk without proof.”

“I think we are all old enough to decide for ourselves, Master Scaine,” Celeste said. “If you’re that worried about being on the lift with her, you all can go, and I’ll stay here with her.”

“I’ll stay too,” Morn said.

“I can’t give you any more proof than this,” Morn’s mother said, extending her hand with her palm up. “I have nothing left in me, see. Nothing is happening. I can’t feel anything.”

“Maybe dying changed her,” Celeste said.

“It wouldn’t be the most absurd theory,” Jaque said. “You said your power came from within you. Do you remember exactly how your magic worked before?”

“Yes,” she replied, “and through it all, I still don’t feel it. I don’t feel connected to anything remotely like it. I swear it on my life.”

“Am I the only one worried,” Master Scaine asked.

Morn, Celeste, and Jaque all nodded.

With a heavy sigh, Master Scaine beckoned all of them onto the lift before he pulled the lever, and it began its slow rise to the top.

“Why didn’t Dad tell me?” Morn asked.

“I never told your father,” she said. “It was the one secret I had to keep. To keep me safe, but most of all, to keep you safe.”

“Why me?” Morn asked.

“I get my power from within me, Morn. Just like my father did, and his father, and his mother, all the way back to the first of our line. It’s through the blood, not books that the power comes,” she said. “Have you noticed anything different lately?”

“No,” Morn shook his head. “I can’t think of anything out of the usual.”

Morn’s mother nodded. “That’s a good thing,” she said. “I may have been the end of the line, but we’ll see.”

“You mean, I could be like you?” Morn asked.

“There are ways of finding out,” she said, reaching for his hand. He reached out and clasped it. “We’ll find out together.”

continued 24/366 – Azariah (Cont.)

 

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