• The Abbeys thick wooden doors groaned in agony as they were pushed open. The weathered and rusty hinges grinding together from the movement. A shaft of moonlight cut into the murky air of the abandoned chapel. The moonlight was pierced by a long shadow that belonged to the robed figure that intruded upon these grounds and disturbed the still air of the abbeys ruins.

    Darkness shrouded this man as he hesitantly entered, the sound of his walking staff shattering the still night air in rhythmic thumps. Though once the site of untold evils the abbey was still on holy ground and Terahn usually avoided such places.
    “But it is a necessary discomfort…” He thought to himself as he stopped at the crumbling marble altar.
    The robed figure reached out and laid a hand of the consecrated stone, waiting for the searing pain that would confirm his suspicions, suspicions that his informant was wrong again and that his time had been once again wasted. But nothing happened.
    The young man felt excitement well up within him but he quickly suppressed it. “Fool! Such feelings will cloud your judgment! Now think.”
    Calmly he raised his staff and a ring of blue energy emanated from it marking any traps, hexes or spells laid out for any unwanted guests. A doorway leading to the monastery glowed red indicating a barrier spell had been cast upon it.
    “This is too easy...”
    Placing his staff against the barrier he cast another spell to allow him to pass it. The barrier shattered and the magi walked in.

    As Terahn entered he heard a voice echoing from inside,
    “n-no… no one can get in. it’s i-impossible, he said no one would ever get through the barrier…”
    “A girl...” thought Terahn as he moved closer to the source of the voice.
    The person kept talking as if there was someone else, but no other voice could be heard. When he was near enough he made no more effort to conceal himself and the gentle tapping of his staff on the floor continued.
    The young girl looked up fearfully when she heard the tapping getting closer. Danielle turned to her friend pleadingly. She had a lot of friends, all of which only she could see. The ghost shrugged and pointed to an old wardrobe while looking intently on the doorway from the hall. She nodded and hid inside just as a dark robed man turned the corner.
    Terahn glanced around the room and eventually fixed his gaze on a pile of rubble next to a dusty wardrobe. The room had caved in some time ago, the moon shone brightly into the room and part of the wall collapsed offering a view of the mountains in which the abbey was nestled. A red shimmer slipped across all the open areas of the room. The mage stepped closer to the broken stone to investigate when he heard someone sneeze inside the wardrobe. Danielle clapped a hand over her mouth and watched through a slit in the door as the man turned and her friend advanced.
    Terahn reached put to open the wardrobe when something grabbed him and threw him back against a cracked pillar.
    “Ardèo adurgèo!”
    The spell flew from the mages hand and hit the spirit dead on, causing it to burst into brilliant blue flames.
    “Now I know were you are… Ossis catèia-”
    “Stop it!” Danielle jumped out of the wardrobe in front of the spell.
    Terahn ceased his chanting quickly to avoid hitting her.
    “Stop it! Don’t hurt Dusk!” She screamed trying to put out the flames.
    Sighing Terahn swept his hand and extinguished the blaze. He watched as the girl knelt down beside a chunk of marble and tried to comfort whatever was there.

    “Why are you here?” Danielle demanded.
    “Tell me first,” Terahn replied calmly.
    Danielle looked to the now scorched wardrobe then to the floor.
    “I’m being kept here because I can see people… dead people.”
    This caught the young man’s interest, he had been told by his late master once that somewhere in Solaria was an artifact that would allow the user to see the dead as they walk the mortal plane. He was also told that any building the artifact was in would be abandoned by the gods because of its power.
    “That would explain the dead altar.”
    Terahn looked into the girls soft grey eyes and saw that she had nothing but her power and the white silk dress she wore.
    “So she is the artifact...”
    “Tell me girl, would you like to travel with me? I am seeking someone very important to me and I think you could help me search for him.”

    Danielle looked up shocked,
    “Me? How can I help?”
    “You’re the only one who can see him.”
    Danielle thought for a second
    “Well… he does seem like a nice person, and he did break the barrier on the door…”
    “Alright, I’ll help.”
    Terahn didn’t expect her to be so willing but he remembered that she had been locked up all alone with only the dead for company for so long.
    “Thank you. I am Terahn, Mage of the Rathma Priesthood.”
    “Danielle, the grave-keepers daughter.”
    Terahn began to unpack and organize his various arcane objects as Danielle watched with interest in her soft eyes.
    Terahn built a fire out of some broken table legs and laid out his blanket,
    “You should get some rest, we leave at dawn.”
    The mage said soothingly, his voice was softer and gentler now. Danielle sat huddled in a tattered tablecloth and dozed off near the fire with Terahn looking on.

    The next morning Danielle woke up to find Terahn putting out the dwindling campfire as the sun slowly rose over the broken walls casting long shadows across the floor.
    “Good morning Terahn.”
    The boy said nothing; he just picked up his things and began to leave. Danielle realized she would be left behind so she got up and ran after him. This is how it continued every day and night for the next two months as they traveled and searched. Eventually they came to understand each other, Danielle asked less questions of the mage, knowing he would only answer if it was important. Terahn on the other hand, noticed he became more attached to the girl, once he even jumped in front on an attacking draconian to protect her.
    “I only saved you because I still need your powers girl…”
    That was the only excuse he gave as Danielle bandaged his wound and remained silent.

    Eventually they came to an old citadel high in the northern mountains. At the main gate laid a pile of Aven bones, further in the found the skeletons of hundreds of draconians and demons.
    “Who would do this?” Asked Danielle staying close to her companion.
    “My parents and my uncle…” Was the only reply Terahn gave as he felt the living magic swirling around and exalting him.
    “He is here, the ultimate power of darkness, Draken.”
    He moved deeper into the fortress and up into the main tower. On the first floor of the first tower was a huge room with arrows scattered everywhere and a single large draconian skeleton on the floor. In the second tower further up, they found another atrium but this one was scorched everywhere and the remnants of a sealing circle was etched into the floor.
    “This is where my uncle destroyed the demon high lord Shade.”
    Finally they came to the top of the final tower, there was no ceiling and the wind blew among the ruined columns.
    “T-T-Terahn…” Danielle pointed in horror at the centre of the room were a large Zweihander stood embedded in the granite floor.
    “What is it Danielle… what do you see?”
    The girl stammered and collapsed. The blade shook and flew into the air and spun until it pointed at the two.
    “Draken I presume?”
    The replay sent a deathly chill down the boy’s spine as the ghost of the arch mage spoke to his mind.
    “Welcome boy… I will enjoy killing the son of the man who felled me.”
    “That will not happen; I have been waiting for this for a long time.”
    The voice laughed evilly and began the attack.
    Terahn dodged the initial strike but was caught by a follow up swing and thrown across the room. As he staggered to get up, the blade lunged at him, Terahn barely managed to sidestep and counter with a fireball spell as the blade smashed through the wall and came around for another pass.
    “I need to contain his soul in a living body… but where?”
    It was then he saw the unconscious figure of Danielle nearby. He then realized how much he truly cared for her.
    “Can I really kill her in order to gain his power? But if I just banish the dark one I’ll lose my chance forever, not to mention the process could kill me…”
    Terahn avoided another attack and quickly made up his mind, he brought his hands together and began to chant.
    “Caeco oris abitus malus, ablegatio abeo phrixus!”
    The blast caught the evil spirit and cast a pillar of light into the sky.
    Danielle awoke an hour later, and saw Terahn lying near a shattered sword.
    “Terahn, no!” she ran to him and sat him up against her.
    The boy woke up and slowly managed to keep himself up.
    “What happened Terahn?”
    Looking to the broken blade he sighed
    “He wasn’t the one I was looking for…”
    Danielle smiled and nodded, she knew he was lying but said nothing. She helped him stand and together they left the tower and its ancient evil, behind forever.