Short, Easy-to-Read Story

Jeff was hurrying impatiently through the entrance of the cave. It had been a good day, he couldnt wait to get back home and pry into the secrets of his newly discovered prize. first though, was essential task of recharging his crystals. He had left it far too late already, three of them were already fully drained, and the other two had barely anything left in them. Jeff didnt worry too much though, no one else knew about this place, it was his own secret place of power. He knew he should alert the society to the existence of this previously unknown source, and he wouldnt much mind the hefty reward money such find warranted. He probably would do so eventually, but right now he was enjoying the freedom to recharge his own crystals as and when he pleased, and without paying the societies exorbitant rates.

As he was mulling over when would be the right time to reveal his secret he glanced at the wall, and saw something that made him hesitate, where one of his wards of hiding should have been, there was only an indistinct smudge. as he leaned forward to inspect it, he heard the thwip of an arrow passing where his head had been only moments before. Reacting mostly on instinct he spun around, crouching and reaching his mind towards the blue crystal on his belt. Tapping it he threw up a barrier between him and the source of the arrow, almost instantly another arrow shattered against his hazy blue shield. Jeff had just enough time to see two indistinct figures through his barrier, hurriedly trying to reload a pair of crossbows, before he felt his blue gem die, and saw his barrier fizzle into nothingness.

Instantly he was on his feet, running deeper into the cave. He prayed to Gods he knew werent listening that he would make it in time. another arrow clattered against the floor of a cave just as he reached a rope hanging from the ceiling, he grasped it with both hands and pulled it with all his might. Behind him he heard the crash of a huge stone block falling from a recess in the ceiling, sealing off the passageway.

leaning against the block Jeff let out a sigh of relief, and then swore. He remembered himself and looked around nervously, it was never a good idea to use emotionally charged words this near to a place of power, sighing again he kicked the wall instead. He had been so stupid, the easy access to his own source had made him complacent. He could guess what had happened, him failing to turn up regularly for charging at the society had been noticed by someone, and they had probably guessed why he was so self-sufficient all of a sudden. Whoever it was had probably sent those two thugs to take him out while he was drained, so that they could claim the reward money for the find themselves.

Jeff laid his hand on the block and smiled, at least he wasnt stupid enough not to have a few tricks up his... he frowned, then laid his ear against the block and gasped, there was the unmistakable vibration of a destructive blast being used against the other side. So, Jeff thought, whichever society member guessed my secret is also here, and using a ferocious amount of power, of course they are very close to a place of power, so they probably wouldnt mind. Considering the thickness of the block Jeff calculated it would take about 5 minutes for them to blast through, he wondered briefly if there was enough time to charge his own gems, then realised that was impossible, to do the ceremony power in an hour would be quick, and if he rushed on any of the wards of protection, direction, or containment, it could lead to him being laminated thinly over the walls.

Briefly glancing at the now visibly vibrating block, Jeff hurried further down into the cave, shortly reaching the archway that signified the start of the cavernous place of power. As he stepped through he felt raw magic crackle across his skin, making his hair stand on end. He ignored it having felt it many times before, and hurried across the cavern to the other archway directly opposite. the cave on this side was much shorter, leading to an opening in the face of a sheer cliff, Jeff new there was no way either up or down, he had made sure of that, but he felt he owed it to himself to check again. Sure enough the cliff was still sheer, and the drop was still mighty. Jeff swore again, and felt the air crackle behind him, but he didnt care too much at that point.

He wandered back into the cavern, took his satchel off, opened it up and looked inside. It was then he remembered the thing that up until recently had being making him feel so happy. There, in his satchel, was a huge black crystal, 100 times bigger than the coloured crystals on his belt. He hadnt tried tapping it yet, not knowing what affects power stored in a crystal such as this would have, but in these circumstances... He tentatively reached out with his hand and touched the crystal, then he reached out with his mind


Jeff felt a huge blast of power throw him backwards, he landed and skidded a good few feet along the smooth floor. He lay there for a few seconds before he sat up and said aloud okay, not that then. he shook his head trying to clear himself of the image he had seen when his mind had the brushed the black crystal, he had thought it looked like a face, contorted in horrific anger, but that was impossible, crystals just stored power...

The low rumbling sound of the destructive blast shook Jeff out of his reverie, he sighed again, it looked like there was no escape. at least he could make sure that they didnt get his gear, a mages gear was very valuable, especially his power crystals. he went back to the cliff face entrance, took off the belt in which he kept his crystals and placed it in the satchel. He reached out to touch the Brown crystal, the only one that had any power remaining. he used a small amount of power to strengthen the leather of the satchel, and he channelled the rest into his arms, enhancing their strength. He drew his arms back, and, not aiming for anything in particular, gave a mighty throw. His eyes followed it, and just before he lost sight of it he saw it was going to land somewhere in the vicinity of small hamlet on the planes down below. Well, he thought, at least if I do actually survive this, I have somewhere I can start looking if I want to get my stuff back.

Jeff returned back to the main cavern, enjoying the feeling of magic washing over him. The noise the destructive blast was quite loud now, he guessed there was about a minute before they were through. He stretched his mind out, feeling it being buffeted by the rough currents of raw magic. There was a reason it have been given the nickname Demonswroth by the more superstitious members of the society. Harnessing magic without the focusing of crystals was incredibly dangerous, damaging the wielder more often than the target, but he was damned if he was going to go down without a fight.

Jeff walked to the centre of the cavern, stood facing the archway, and waited.
Uploaded 01/07/2012
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