Alright everyone, the wait is over! As the title suggests, this is a continuation of Power of the Gods by fondycheesehead. Please read that before you read this, otherwise you may be a little lost. Also, as was stated in fondycheesehead's auther's note, this whole idea was conceived before HKT was released, so if there are discrepencies, that's why, and please let me know so that I can try to fix them.
And here it is, what you've been waiting so patiently for..........
Karigan sat in front of her little fire with the rabbit she had snared roasting on a spit, her gaze lost in the dancing beauty of the red flames. She poked at it with her stick, sending sparks up into the night sky, twinkling on the breeze. Her mind wondered through the tomb she had left behind six days ago. After a few days recovering with her family, she set out to return home--the Blood Stone safely buried in her saddlebags. Blood stone, she thought again, marveling at the name of it, and how fitting it was.
The fire before her started sputtering, as if it didn't want to burn anymore. Karigan tried to stir the fire back to life with her stick, but it didn't help at all. Darkness engulfed the flames and squeezed around her, condensing to fill her eyes, nose, ears, until she thought she would suffocate. I will have you Galadheon. Nothing will stop me. Not your Lil Ambriode, not your pathetic rider magic. You are mine. She couldn't breath. She struggled to fight him, to hold him off. Could she move to retrieve the Blood Stone? Would it help? She struggled for awareness, for freedom. She fought to close her mind to his presence, to shut him out and dispel him.
Suddenly, she was back on castle grounds, walking with the king in the moonlight, his Weapon following behind. They walked towards the forested wilds, dark with shadow, just as they had the night before Karigan left. They sat on the rock, side by side. Zachary leaned forward, but only just brushed her lips with his before a black arrow whizzed through the air, plunging into his chest. Karigan gasped, unable to comprehend what was happening before her. F'ryan Cobblebay was killed with identical arrows. So was Joy Overway. Alton was injured by one. Karigan screamed in rage as she quickly moved to catch him before he fell to the grassy earth beneath them, blood oozing from his chest.
And suddenly, she knew it wasn't real. Zachary was still alive. No black arrow had been fired at him. Karigan was not even on the castle grounds.
She felt herself roll over on the forest floor, pushing herself up with all the strength she had, her arms shaking with the effort. "You'll have to do better, Alessandros. Your petty games don't work on me anymore."
Suddenly, she was violently pushed over by some outer force, making her roll a few feet down the slight incline. She shakily pushed herself up again. The leaves continued to rustle in a breeze that did not touch the trees or the undergrowth of the forest. Her arms revolted against her will, forcing her down to the ground as she slipped from the waking world, dark whispers echoing through the forest.
The evicted consciousness of Alessandros del Mornhavon drifted on the currents of the Sacoridian air as morning took its hold on the land. He seethed, rolled and bubbled, rising into the high atmosphere where even birds failed to venture; rising high above the clouds, drifting with whatever current took him, only to fall back down, startlingly fast, towards the ground below.
The landscape changed greatly in between his glimpses of it. He saw river deltas; rolling plains; thick, impenetrable forest; snowcapped mountains. He drifted over cities and settlements, shepherds with their sheepfolds, everyday life for everyday Sacoridians without a care in the world. He reveled in the thought of how their ancestors would cower in fear when in his presence. He would show these people that fear again. He would have his revenge.
He flew high again, only to fall into a city market, bursting with activity. The wind carried him around lady's skirts, under carriages and carts, over rooftops, and around chimneys, most with smoke rising, smelling of sausage, fresh bread, and savory breakfast. He was carried toward the castle, its heavy stone turrets rising ominously above the bustling landscape. It was more of a bare stone keep than its more modern, more lavish counterparts in wealthier provinces. Its heavy stone walls built to protect and fortify in times of war, not to house the aristocracy. The wind carried him through a narrow arrow slit into the north tower. Now he drifted in directions of his own choosing, following the corridor, then a liveried servant as he wondered where the wind and taken him.
Evan's footsteps echoed through the corridor. He hurriedly strode through the corridors to the kitchen. He was late again. His master would not be happy. Evan picked up his pace, all but running when no one was in sight. He hurried down the stairs, almost stumbling a few times, before he finally reached the lower level, where some of the lower servants dwelt. He walked purposefully past closed doors, their residents, he knew, were all about the fortress performing their chores by now.
He finally arrived at the kitchen, out of breath. The Head Cook turned when she heard him enter. "Late again," she said, shaking her wooden spoon at him. "One of these days the master will be done with you after he skins you alive if you keep up with this. You know how he is."
"I know, Izzy. I'm sorry." The servant quickly grasped the tray that was already prepared, and began checking to make sure everything was still warm.
"Don't apologize to me," Izabelle replied, "Apologize to the master, and hope he keeps you. You're lucky it's not his father you're bringing breakfast to, you'd've been flogged for sure by now, and then dismissed without a 'whither to' or 'why for'…"
The cook continued to ramble as Evan thanked her and hastily left. Now to make it all the way back up the stairs to the master's rooms in the south wing of the keep, he thought to himself, holding the heavily laden tray with both his hands, while trying not to spill anything in his haste.
Finally, he balanced the tray on one hand while knocking on the tall oak door. He heard nothing through the thick wood while he waited for a near eternity before he heard a faint invitation to enter from the other side.
He worked the latch, trying to keep the tray balanced with his other hand, then pushed one of the doors open enough so that he could slip through.
He tried to cover his surprise when he turned to find his master not alone on the oversized luxurious bed. "Oh, my lord, I did not realize you would be having company this morning," he said, trying to sound as natural as he could.
The young man on the bed, a woman's bare arm draped across him, didn't respond for a few moments, making Evan shift in nervousness. "You're late," he said finally.
"Yes, my lord, I am so sorry. I slept rather poorly last night and missed the morning call—"
"I don't want your excuses!" the man cut him off sharply and Evan quickly closed his mouth to the words that had yet to spill out. "Just leave the tray and get out."
"Yes, my lord," Evan said, moving forward to place the tray gingerly on the small table. Evan bowed, and then turned to leave the room, almost falling over himself in relief at still being alive with a job.
"You're lucky I'm not my father!" the man called to Evan's retreating form.
Evan only bowed his head in quiet acquiescence, and continued to leave, closing the door firmly behind him with a sigh of relief. "My lord," he said to the walls, "The whole province is lucky you are not your father."
"My Lord, you really shouldn't tease him like that," Emily said, her raven black hair brushing against his skin as she moved.
"Why not?" he asked, "I am his master, the Lord Governor."
"Because, Lord Governor," she said, "He's already afraid of you.
"Hmmm, really?" he asked, just before he covered her mouth with his, preventing her from replying. After roughly exploring the confines of her mouth he pulled away, leaving her breathless. "You should get dressed," he said, rising from the bed and wrapping a robe about himself. "You still have work to do." He sat at the table and started spreading jam on his toast.
"I always have work to do," came the pouty reply.
"All the more reason to get dressed."
Emily looked at Timas, who now showed no interest whatsoever in her, and took the dismissal with hardened eyes. "Of course, my lord," she said, wrapping the sheet around her and, giving a bow he didn't even notice, left the room to return to her own room in the lower levels.
Timas began spooning eggs and sausage into his mouth, ravenous after the morning's excursions.
Suddenly, he felt a chill creep up his spine jerking him to alertness as he swiftly looked around to see who had stolen into his chambers unbidden. A sneaking presence wound its way through his brain and left him still. It whispered seductively to the darkness of his mind.
Timas…I can give you power and glory greater then that of your wildest dreams. I can help you exact revenge on the peasant girl who dared embarrass you in front of people who are beneath you.
Timas' mood darkened at the mere mention of events at Selium. He would never forgive that G'ladheon girl for what she did. The voice continued with triumph, Yes, join with me. Taste my power and we will conquer this world and the next. "I'm listening…"