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Caer Chan Carega #9

Author: 
Stariovarius
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
437

Caer Chan Carega

Chloddio stretched forward, his arms at their full extent forward, fingertips just brushing the stone underneath them, forcing it farther and farther away, until it had passed beyond the reach of his arms. Turning his focus from the ground ahead of his hands to the ground beneath the stonemages's bodies, Chloddio pulled with his mind, and the stone beneath them rippled forward, pushing the mages into the gap created when Chloddio pushed the stone forward. Pressing out again, the engineer's hands worked across the rock face, pushing the stone back as Chloddio concentrated, sweat beading his forehead and running into his eye, the sting of salt ignored in the single-minded burrowing.

After that first push into the rock, and the sharp resistance of the stone, the digging settled down into a pattern of Chloddio pushing out into the rock, drawing the magical energy from all four of the mages to smooth away the stone until it was far enough out of the reach of his hands that he could no longer affect it, and then the great lurch forward as the stone rose up beneath them to shove forward into the newly opened space. This was the most treacherous moment of each cycle, for losing contact with a person would mean the loss of the mage's magical energy, and reforging the bonds and channels of power would take more time, and more effort, than could be spent. Each push forward was a great lurch that tumbled the stonemages, nearly ramming them into the front end of the tunnel, for Chloddio could not spare the energy to control the rock smoothly and gently, instead using the short, sharp lunges because they took the least amount of energy. Even so, each shove that tumbled the mages forward drained, and like a man who switched between sprinting and a long distance pace on a frequent basis, Chloddio began to tire, and each section beyond the first four covered in the initial rush came more slowly, the earth he shaped becoming more jagged, the stone became more laggardly moving away from his hands, and the lurches didn't push the team as close to the front wall as they had.

After the tenth, Chloddio paused and sent out his senses through the rock, searching for the distance left through the great slab that had cut the tunnel in half. He was now far enough into the rock to find that the tunnel appeared clear on the other side, and that this section of roof must have dropped down in one piece, cutting the tunnel, with the rubble being stone pulled from above the slab as the bottom support was cut from under it. He was now lying next to the pillar of stress and pressure in the stone, the one that had forced them to detour. The last four of the sections carved via magic had curved around that point, and the curving, twisting nature of the tunnel over those sections had sapped the last of his energy, his senses out amongst the rocks, but no longer drawing energy from the other mages, nor pushing forward into the rock. Instead, all four lay collapsed against the walls of the tunnel, still packed together, but only from exhaustion, not from any need to channel strength between one another. Shortly Locar began backing out of the tunnel, for the air had grown dead and stale with the heavy breathing of the men, and heads became light, causing all four to retreat towards the more open confines at the mouth of their tunnel.

 

Caer Chan Carega #9 © Stratovarius

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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