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In the chill glow up the soft october sunset, Diana leaped down her back porch steps in search of her brother. Bounding across the yard she grabbed at the lantern that was hanging from the barn door. Putting her hood up, to protect her ears from the cool wind, she locked the gate and strode out into the wilderness. It had only been a few days since Mordecai's disappearance, but the the small town of Kynesgrove seemed to buzzing with rumors about him. “I heard he ran away to join that bandit group, always a troublemaker that one.” or “Wouldn’t this have something to do with his awful magic skills? More than likely he’s really gone and done away with himself this time.” However, Diana knew better. She knew her brother better than anyone, regardless of how strange he was, or how no one could respect him and his aspirations. Her shoes now crumpled their first leaf of the journey as she had reached the border of her simple farm town and the line of the gnarled and evil trees that marked the edge of the Falkreath forest. Diana had heard her fair share of ghost stories and spooky tales about this forest, but those were always to try and scare the kids, she was almost a grown woman, and simply not afraid of any such beasts that could lay in wait of a passerby. Hiking up her dress, she stepped over a few branches before making it to a beaten path used by old logging sleds. The sun had dropped quickly, making the air a bit more chilly, but the trees surrounding her blocked the howling wind that seemed to pursue her in the fields. She had been her before, but never alone. The last time was with Mordecai, he had wanted to show her something special he was working on. He led her to a hastily-built shack, and inside was a narrow, but endlessly deep hole. She knew that he hadn’t dug this, there was no way his arm could reach. He began explaining about how he never felt more powerful than when he beside this hole, and his magical capabilities must be amplified because of something he assumes was underground. Diana continues to march down the path towards her brothers silly shack. Interrupted only by the sporadic leaf rustle, the howling wind far above makes the only noise. She small break in the trees where her brothers hut once stood. There was no sign that anyone had ever been there. It seemed nature and magic itself was trying to convince Diana that her brother had never existed there in the first place. Impossible, she thought as she searched the small area for a clue. She put her lantern down on the cool earth, and her hands began sifting through leaves. All at once the palm of her left hand fell through the earth, jamming her fingers against the walls of an endless hole, she had found what she was looking for. Peeling her hand away from the cool darkness that engulfed the inside of that narrow chasm, she uncovers the leaves from the forest floor. She did feel it, that sort of aura her brother was talking about. It was getting dark and the wind whipped over head and sent a few last leaves tumbling down. “Hey!” a voice called out at her, not particularly friendly. Her mind raced. She hadn't told anyone where she was going, so if she landed herself in trouble she would have to face it alone. “HEY YOU!” the voice boomed. It didn’t sound like a man, but not really a woman either. It was really quite peculiar, this scolding tone didn’t really even seem to come from any direction. This was really strange.
“Hello?” Diana called out to the wilderness.
“Finally, I was beginning to think you’d never speak.” this time, the voice was much more casual.
“Well… I did. Who are you?” Diana called out nervously.
“You’ll recognize me when you see me, Diana. I could use your help”
At this Diana jumped. How did this thing know her name? She was starting to feel way out of her league on this one. She didn’t expect to be out this long, and maybe this was too dangerous of a task for her to comprehend. What does some strange bodiless voice need my help for?
All of the sudden the earth caved in around her, not naturally with roots from trees prying up out of the ground, or great stones unburying themselves only to fall into the pit, but instead like a giant invisible cookie butter was smashed into the ground by god, and then pushed farther and farther into the center of the earth. It must have been a few minutes before this strange magic elevator stopped moving. There was clearly no way back up without the use of this magic again. She steadied herself on the now unmoving earth before calling out to the voice again.
“What’s ne-” she cut herself off when she discovered the answer to her question.
A large stone archway uncovered an elaborate, well lit hallway only 20 meters or so in length before opening up into a great cavern with a solitary beam of light illuminating a pedestal. Obviously this was the path she was supposed to take. She took a step over a rock and ducked under a branch before she welcomed herself into the subterranean hallway.
Surprisingly, it was quite warm inside, whatever magic existed in this cave had to be a pure, because no evil could come from such beauty. The stone underneath her feet welcomed her every step with a cheerful “pat”. The candles lit on the walls danced and smiled. Diana simply could contain herself, she ran the last few steps into the cavern and was completely awestruck at the beauty that existed. Surrounding the steps that led to the pedestal were delicate willows sending their slacking branches into the bluest waters you can imagine, luminous rays of powerful magic shot beams around the room and reflected on the cascades of water that tumbled from the top of the cavern into the waters below. Huge moss covered stones were carved into perfect spheres by some pre-existing sorcerers. The stone tile of which she stood upon quickly transitioned into lush green grass, the kind of grass that your feet welcome the touch of in the summer. This was the place her brother was talking about, this was the power that he could feel from above ground. It was simply astounding. In that moment, the only thing Diana could do was marvel at the magnificence of her surroundings, she had hardly noticed that the candles that had greeted her so warmly in the hallway, were being put out one by one, or that the magic earth elevator had already begun its ascent back to surface level. The water stopped falling from the top of the cavern, and it was at this abrupt sound, that Diana broke out of her trance. She climbed atop the stairs and stared knowingly at a book atop the illuminated pedestal. It was her brother’s once empty spell tome, now every page filled out.




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