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Lowenna and the secrets of light and darkness, Chapter 26

Lowenna is alone, and the hunter is coming for her. What is the sorce of Darcarial's power

Chapter 26 Praise the Elf God Dalelana.

Rique was trying to keep her eyes out for any other traps as she lead the group of five.  She couldn't help thinking what had happened was her fault they had lost Lowenna, and then Azmil so soon after.  She had convinced everyone to come here.  She was so sure this was the right course of action, but now, she was starting to doubt it.  She didn't know how far or where the crystal was, and the cost, just getting this far, had been too high.
"What was that thing?" Talia asked, her grandfather, catching Rique’s ear.
"It was a Demon-god sporn.  A child of the dark god Erbrus.”  Callan replied.  Rique could feel his eyes burning into her.  "Did you know Mavon?"
Rique slowed waited for Callan and Talia to catch up.  "Lowenna had visions of monsters in tunnels like these, but she never mentioned Erbus's Tide, or anything close to that creature.
"Why didn't you tell us?  We had a right to know something like that was down here." Callan snapped at her.
"You didn't believe in dream-state or the hidden Crystal of Hymdale, so what was the point of telling you about things that might or might not be down here?"  Rique replied, angry. 
“Of course, I believe in the divine realms the Angelous and the Demon-gods!” Callan shouted back, “I just didn't trust or believe in all the legions and stories.  I also didn't trust the Lowenna or her powers," he paused for a moment, "Maybe, just maybe that was a mistake."

Rique nodded to Callan before telling everyone about the lion that chased Lowenna in the dream, "And there was something else that attacked her, a tall, grey man with fangs.  I thought it might be Erbrus's plight, but Lowenna didn't know if that was here, or when it would happen."  Callan just nodded, but Talia looked frightened.
"Well if the Tide was here and it should be out to sea somewhere, it's possible Darcariel has been gathering the Children of Erbrus to guard her power," Callan replied, after the pause.  Rique did not like the sound of that.  If Darcariel was powerful enough to control the children of Erbrus, what hope did anyone have?
"Most people use dragons," Grilk added, proving he was listening before the party started moving again.  Grilk sniffed the air every few moments trying to catch a scent other than the stink the fire was giving out. 
The group stopped when they got to a large octagonal room with eight doorways.  "Anyone knows which way the Lowenna would go?"  Callan asked, hoping someone other than Azmil had been told.
"Me no know," Grilk replied.
"Haven't a clue," Rique added.  She looked down each dark passage, in turn.  Unfortunately, they all seemed the same.
"Should we split up?" Talia suggested, but Callan shocks his head.

Rique looked down the first passage again, "I'll check it out.  I can see in the dark and have enhanced reflexes.  Grilk stared at her.  He didn't think much of Rique’s idea, but Callan nodded in agreement.  Rique took one step, then looked up and retreated back to the room.
"What wrong?" Grilk asked. Rique was now looking in all the rooms above and behind the entrances.
"It's this way," she said pointing down the fourth path.
"How do you know?"  Callan asked.  
"There are elvish symbols above the doors similar to the ones we saw earlier.  This one has the symbol of nature, which the elves see as a symbol of life.  The others have symbols for death, fire, or evil.
Callan and Talia stood there in silence, but Grilk grunted in approval and started down the passage.
"The elves built this place, and Hymdale was built on top..." Suddenly Rique had a moment of clarity.
"What is wrong now?" Callan asked.
"Dalenar!  The Angelous Dalenar." Rique said
"What about her?" Callan asked sounding confused.
"In Elvish, Hym means roughly deity, so Hymdale in elvish means Deity Dale, or possibly Deity Dalenar.  Hymdale must have been named after her, one of her gifts was the Elven magic." Rique explained, but Callan and Talia still looked confused.  "When you see an elf you automatic trust them, even feel an attraction."
"Yes..." Callan replied, still sounding confused, but Talia suddenly knew what Rique was talking about.
"What if that magic was increased so that you fell in love at a glance?  Stronger than any love potion, the magic of Dalenar."
Are you saying that's what Darcariel has got her hands on?  The power of an Angelous!"  Callan replied now understanding.
"The crystal we are looking for is Dalenar's gift to the elves, the crystal which is the source of their power.   The Elven symbols will lead us to it."  Rique said sounding sure.  "We can do this we can save everyone."
"You’re talking about destroying an Angelous crystal.  Is that even possible?" Callan replied.
"We might not have to destroy it.  Maybe we can block it somehow, or refocus the magic so Darcariel can't access it," Rique said thoughtfully.  Even she wasn’t so sure now she was thinking about what she was saying.
Everyone was quiet for a moment until Talia, strode off after Grilk.  "Darcariel isn’t going to stop unless we do something about it.  I’m sure we will be able to halt the magic or destroy the crystal once we find it."
As if on cue Grilk came back, into the room, "You come stop evil queen, save Wenna or stay, talk and do nothing."  
Talia stood by Grilk looking at her grandfather with a determined look on her face.  "We can still save Jibranz.  I’m going with Grilk."
"You two are right," Rique added.  She took the lead as they made their way through the dark passages, hopefully heading towards their goal.

Lowenna was running down another passage.  The ground was slick, but Lowenna was as fast and moving as quietly as she could.  It was after her, the monster that had haunted her dreams.  If it caught her, she knew she would die.  Was it her destiny, to die down here, in these tunnels?
The first vision she remembered having was playing over and over in her mind.  "There will be a doorway soon," she whispered to her crystal, "with Mr. Valery and Vlad's inn on the other side."  
She knew this wasn't true, but that’s how her first vision had gone.  If anything she was more worried about meeting the tall, grey man with fangs.  Either way, she had to face a monster.  In her dreams, she had died, down here, in the dark, scared and alone.
There was a roar from behind her.  It was close.  Lowenna saw an opening and charged through it.   She swung her hand back grabbing a metal ring, which was embedded in the wall.  There was no monster or Mr. Valery, or even another passageway, but a sheer drop.  Lowenna had only just grabbed a ring in time and was now pulling herself back up into through the opening she had just run through.  
"Stupid dreamscape," she whispered under her breath, still trying to be quiet.  "There was no drop in my visions." 
It had taken a moment before fear started creeping into her again.  She had felt this kind of fear before.  It was magical.  She had to keep her wits about her, or the creature would catch and kill her.  Was it the monster that now perused her causing this fear?  
In the vision, she had just been afraid and just had to get away.  Here and now, everything was fighting in Lowenna’s mind.  The image of Darcariel, the fear, Herathh, and the woman in white, who was trying to help her.
She stood still, breathing slowly.  She had to keep going.  Suddenly there was a loud thud above her, followed by a growl.  As she looked up, she saw a hole in the ceiling and two eyes staring back at her.  
Erbus's Hunter opened its mouth, and blue fire shot at Lowenna. She dived to the side, barely avoiding the flames.  She started to run again, turning a corner and heading down a flight of steps.  Hoping the creature wouldn't be able to follow her, but knew it was only a matter of time before it found her again.
 

 

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