Flash from the Past

Hildes 13, 5681---It took little effort to subdue and capture the Dark Magician, a man named Vit Kumoz. He was old, alone, and stranded in a desert. Now that he stood surrounded by fifteen members of the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar, there was no chance of him escaping or causing trouble during the interrogation before the Prince. “I do not know what you are talking about,” he told the woman from the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar who appeared to be asking most of the questions. She had told him she was the Supreme Mistress Iifelaroi’Hun “I was not involved in the destruction of Eranithon.”

Prince Nomolo was furious by the rejection of the accusation. “Surely you were in that land at some point in your past,” he said. “Tell me what you know of Eranithon, and I will hasten your end.”

Vit Kumoz glared toward Tora’Sor. Her face was familiar, but when he glimpsed her from a distance almost eight months before he did not recognize her as a member of the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar. He should have killed her and the pirates accompanying her back when he had a chance. “I left Eranithon prior to its destruction at the whim of my brothers,” he admitted. He turned his head to look toward the Prince. “My purpose was on the seas, not the land.”

The Supreme Mistress frowned sarcastically. “Then tell us, fiend, why we found you on land?”

“Is there something wrong with seeking land to escape a sinking ship?” the Dark Magician asked her in return, looking at her defiantly. “Any man would do the same in that situation.”

Prince Nomolo lifted his hand from his throne. “Tell us of the sinking of your ship. Was it one of the wrecks half-buried by the shifting desert sands? How long ago was this?”

“Twenty ships lie ruined on this patch of coast,” Vit Kumoz answered. “Five of the ships belonged to the Queen of the Sea, and the other fifteen to Prince Derkolo.”

The Supreme Mistress’ eyes widened. “So it was you! How did you escape from that battle? All the enemy ships were destroyed.”

Vit Kumoz chuckled. “Despite your many powers, you are weak and limited. Do not presume I will give up my secrets easily.”

While the Supreme Mistress conferred with several others, Vit Kumoz glanced back at Tora’Sor, wondering if she had sensed his presence during her last visit to this place. Perhaps she had and decided to return with reinforcements. Either way, he could sense something that left her different from the others. “I have a proposal for you,” he said loudly. The whispered discussions ceased as everyone looked at him. He pointed to Tora’Sor. “Tell me what she is doing here, and I will tell you how I survived all this time in the desert.”

“You will do no such thing,” the Supreme Mistress hissed.

“Quite the contrary,” Rarla’Nun said, pushing her way into the circle. “I think he just confirmed our suspicions that Dark Magicians can be as stone to withstand the ravages of time. Tora’Sor has never seen this man, but he has seen her. I think we all know his secret, if not the way he does it, but I must wonder if there might be others like him still hiding among the wrecks.”

Vit Kumoz grinned. He could easily exploit the old woman’s statements to antagonize his interrogators. “Go ask each stone its name. Perhaps one will answer.”

The Supreme Mistress stepped forward, and slapped the side of his face. “I’ll hear no such foolishness from you. There was only one Dark Magician with the Queen of the Sea. I thought him dead, but you still live.”

“It baffles the mind, doesn’t it?” Vit Kumoz spat out defiantly. “I expect you wish to complete the task you thought finished long ago.”

“Enough bickering,” Prince Nomolo said. “Vit Kumoz, you are a Dark Magician, spawn of the Dark Lunari, enemy to all lands beneath the sun. Whether you comply or not, you will be executed before dawn. Now tell us what we wish to know.”

“Certain death is hardly incentive to cooperate,” Vit Kumoz said loudly. He glanced at Tora’Sor again. “However, I am still willing to exchange certain information if you would tell me how a woman from the Underground came to infiltrate your ranks.”

Aside from those directly tasked with guarding Vit Kumoz, all eyes turned to Tora’Sor.

“Is it true?” someone asked.

“I knew that rescue Josloy wrote about sounded too easy,” another said.

Prince Nomolo stood up, and looked down at Tora’Sor. “Is this true?”

Tora’Sor appeared frightened with everyone looking at her, wondering if she was a spy of the enemy. “I spent almost three years captive in their land,” she answered. “That does not make me one of them.” Vit Kumoz found this revelation quite interesting.

“And yet you admitted previously that you went to them willingly,” someone accused.

“Silence!” the Supreme Mistress shouted at everyone else. She looked at Tora’Sor. “I know you keep many secrets even from us. How much of what you say is a lie?”

“The story Josloy wrote is true,” Tora’Sor restated. “I entered the Underground with the goal of eventually rescuing Purishi’Kan, a former member of the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar. Unfortunately, a power in that land makes all who enter unable to leave. It was two years later that the Lunari provided Josloy and his companions the means to infiltrate that land, and rescue me. Purishi’Kan could not be rescued.”

“The Lunari gave you a way to leave?” Vit Kumoz wondered loudly, a concerned look spreading across his face.

“They did,” Tora’Sor, answered.

Despair filled Vit Kumoz. If the Lunari were involved, he could do nothing to protect his land. “Then we are all doomed,” he cried. “Death conspires to swallow my land.”

He clenched his fists above his head, and looked up. A small tear formed in the corner of an eye. He gathered his strength with one last breath, and let loose his power.

Within seconds, all that remained of Vit Kumoz was a pile of smoldering embers and ash.

For a moment, no one said anything, but then everyone slowly looked at Tora’Sor. “Seize her!” the Supreme Mistress shouted. “Tora’Sor, the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar disavows itself of you and your illegitimate past.”