From the Spire
05
June, 2001
From the Spire

Tor’Ellian Tear’Evendrael Tahl’Mearis leaned against the battlement of black stone to peruse the island thousands of feet below. The wind howled and screamed across the rooftop of the Black Spire, but it gained no purchase on the man. His short black hair sat perfectly styled and unruffled upon his head, and the black cloak edged with violet roses that hung on his shoulders was still.
“Two centuries…” he muttered into the wind, “two centuries to set right what that whelp tore down.”
He could see the outlines of the encampments below him, the five armies billeting in the massive longhouses on the bluffs. The Circle of Waygates, was still in ruins, but clearly demarked. The slave pens up close to the base of the tower appeared as tiny little brown squares, and even the fields of grain and livestock bore a certain precision when viewed from above.

Order. Precision. Perfection.

It had taken the few artificers who had survived the Mengst child’s deadly fire nearly ten years to forge a new ring in which his spirit could reside. Tahl’Mearis, known to most as Spirit, worked with those few artificers for nearly two decades further to construct a tiny Waygate to CS-732. And for over a century and a half he worked alone to bring in new slaves and breeding stock, recruit new priests, steal away with livestock and seed, and find warriors of skill and renown who could be turned to the cause.
After two centuries of painstakingly slow work, Tablenhelm was still in shambles, but the population had reached a point where it was growing exponentially without the need for further costly visits through the gate.
Little more than a decade had passed in CS-732 while nearly six generations of the Lady’s new followers had lived and died in Tablenhelm. The brat and his father still traipsed about the countryside with their little band of rabble. Self-important Britannians still bickered and politicked as they did. The only thing of note is some being named Minax had walked straight across the land, forcing nearly all of the populace into a mirror image of their world, created or discovered through some manner of magic. It was a feat that would warrant a bit of study, but it was largely unimportant. The warlocks and tamers had finally come to the level in which they could call forth the living shadows, and dozens of the tiny agents had been sent through the gate to collect the information necessary to carry out the next step in Spirit’s dark plan.
With a sigh he turned and took the steps down, passed through the guardroom and into Her chambers. These rooms had once been furnished lavishly, with servants bowing and scraping everywhere, the walls lined with Terath’Ambul willing to give their lives in defense of their charge. The walls were barren now, the halls silent. The room that contained the Throne was barren save for its lone occupant. She sat there in her slumber, oblivious to the world around Her, head lolled to the side. Spirit took a moment to straighten Her naked form in the stone chair in an attempt to make Her look a touch more regal. When he had found Her in Her throne nearly two centuries previous, he had noticed that there was something drastically different about Her. She felt…changed somehow, though he could not put a name to the changes. Certainly not the same Kishara he had known before his untimely exile at the hands of that godforsaken General and his merry misfits.
Still though, he felt Her everywhere he went, he saw Her when he closed his eyes, and he heard Her voice in his ears at night when the demons come. Some things never change – the Lady still owned his soul absolutely.

But his soul wasn’t the only one She kept a death-grip on.
Lord Spirit smiled at the thought.

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