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Caer Chan Carega #8

Author: 
Stariovarius
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
436

Caer Chan Carega

Chloddio and Lysja wedged themselves together at the front of the tunnel, their heads resting against the rough block of stone that blocked their path. Each gathered breath for a moment, breathing deep the stale air to drag what energy they could from the air, then pressed their hands against the rock and sent their senses deep, searching for pressure points, areas that took the stress from above and could not be mined through. Chloddio found several, scattered throughout the rock, and one that would be right in the way of a path through to the miners trapped on the other side. Tapping Lysja on the shoulder, Chloddio withdrew his senses from the rock. “I take it you felt that, the stress along the direct path.”

Even in the darkness of the tunnel head, Chloddio could feel Lysja's dejected slump. “I see it, and that may ruin my idea. I had counted on us being able to go straight through the rock, right into the clear on the other side. But this? This'll be as bad as making the water flow up hill with the bellows and mine carts. We just won't do it in time.”

Chloddio turned as well as he could, looking down his body at the two stonemages behind him. “Do either of you have a suggestion? Did you sense anything different, or are we just lost in a pit, and unable to rescue the other miners?” Each of the two looked at the other, and finally Locar spoke “We'll have to curve the tunnel around the pressure point, but I'm still willing to try it. You're good enough”, nodding at Chloddio, “that you aren't going to drop the rock on us, and if all I have to risk is being exhausted, its an easy choice.” Chloddio turned to the other mage. “And you?”. He looked at Locar, then up at Chloddio “Can't back out, can I? Might as well start.”

“Everyone gather up as close together as possible. The less area that I have to worry about, the less strain it will be on all of us. Push up tight now.” Chloddio and Lysja reached back, grabbing the two stonemages behind them, and pulling Locar and his companion as close as possible, as they grabbed Chloddio and Lysja's feet, dragging themselves up until the stonemages's heads butted into Chloddio and Lysja's stomachs.

With the four wedged together so tightly, air was growing thin and rank, a bitter scent that bit at their lungs and made them gasp with shallow breath. Chloddio spoke, in what would be the last they heard for an era. “Everyone hold tight, and focus.” Each mage grabbed the other as best they could in the confines of the tunnel, all except Chloddio, who pressed his hands against the stone, his eyes closed and ears shut, his mind bent on the rough rock beneath his hands, gathering himself. Drawing the magical energy from the other three, and from within himself, Chloddio pushed it outwards, into the rock that surrounded them, and shallowly into the rock in front of him, willing, begging, pleading, forcing that it twist and move, altering its shape to fit his wishes. Pushing forward with his hands, extending them into the rock face, he kept the rock a finger's breadth away, forcing it to draw back into itself, creating a shallow half sphere of stone, retreating slowly from his hands as he fed force into the stone.

This forcing of stone was the hardest of any task a stonemage undertook, and was why the tunnel had been dug with picks and shovels, and only when reaching the solid face had Chloddio considered magical burrowing. Stone possessed inertia, an inertia built in aeons of immobility, and even freshly fallen rock remembered that inertia, holding on to it as the trait of all stone. Now, that stone resisted the push of Chloddio's hand and will with every ton of earth stacked above and around him.

 

Caer Chan Carega #8 © Stratovarius

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