A Sorik Tale Pt.3 — What World is This? (Post #85)

The column of ice shattered and the five of them charged through, yelling, with Sorik at the forefront of their near single file line. Wrapped in the fiery glow of the arcane shields, they barreled through all manner of spears, shields, and limbs and the tumult raised a chaos of bodies. Sorik could hear somebody barking orders, but the sounds of the spears clashing against their wards and everybody shouting muffled the officer’s message.

Soon Sorik was the first to break free of the chaos, having run over more than one poor individual merely doing his job. He started up the narrow and steep flight of stairs, still retaining the initial momentum of his advance. When he got to the landing up to the next set, he turned right to continue his ascent, but not before stealing a glance back at what the chaos before him.

Through the storm of raised spears and collapsing, confused and surprised soldiers, he happened to make eye contact with Senture, who was staring at him as she held a finger raised, pointing at him and commanding her men with words the disarray ate up. There was something about her eyes that told him that to her, he was still a prisoner. His possession was merely in the process of exchanging hands.

He kept running up the steps. Apparently there were no friends to be made here until he knew exactly what was going on. Perhaps he could find that girl from the ship, but there was little hope of that. Having fallen unconscious on the boat and woken up in a cell, he wasn’t even sure how long he had been imprisoned. Still, it was something. But first, he had to get out of here.

When he had climbed up the last few stairs, he had entered another hallway, this one properly lit with torches and widely spaced enough for even two men on horseback to walk comfortably through. Where in the world was he?

Turning, he saw two of Senture’s men climbing the stairs just behind him, still wrapped in his arcane shields. Sorik conjured his magic. He was thankful for their help in his escape, but Senture had not given any real reason to trust her, either. Knowing a lot didn’t mean you were friendly, especially if that knowledge came with power. He had already learned that lesson.

Having noticed something was amiss, he looked up at Sorik. When he realized he was about to use a spell, his alarm grew significantly and he tried to reach the hall before he finished. He was too late. In one wave of motion Sorik shot a blast of fire down the narrow passageway. The force of it launched the man off his feet, searing the magical ward off and sending him flying backward into the two unsuspecting men behind him.

Without pausing to inspect the damage, Sorik gestured his hands again and summoned an arcane barrier in the threshold, a purple haze of magic similar to the wards obscuring vision between him and the stairway. It would take a considerable amount of energy to break, but nonetheless he had to keep moving. Three spells in quick succession had drained his energy quite a bit, but if he lingered he would be thrown back into a cell, or worse.

Not knowing how to get out, or even where he was, exactly (except perhaps the fact that he was probably in the nation of Kitsuya, hundreds of miles away from his home), he simply picked a direction. Moving through the hallways had made him all the more confused as to what this structure was for. He couldn’t think of many buildings that would have reason to have holding cells, much less prisons, but there didn’t seem to be many people here in any case. He ran past the occasional soldier, and obviously running suspiciously away from something, they tried to stop him, but with his ward still on their weapons would clash uselessly against the magic haze, followed shortly by them toppling to the ground when Sorik barreled through them.

Eventually, the corridor came to a dead end. With two doorways on either side of him, he picked the left, and the door slammed open into a huge room filled with dozens of previously sleeping soldiers. Previously being the operative word, having heard the door burst open. Sorik started to back out into the hall, but heard commotion back the way he had come. He got the sense that this was less a prison and more a garrison. That would explain all of the soldiers, at least, and the cells.

Which left the question of where to go. The soldiers he had just woken up were grabbing their weapons to face this strange, unknown person, with men ordering to surrender, but it seemed that he was being followed, too, though whether it was Senture and her men or not was impossible to tell. He probably had enough stamina to cast one more spell, but he would have to make it count.

But then something caught his eye. In the barracks, on the other side of the room, was a window. It was dark outside, but it clearly was outside. He had nearly made it out after all. He ran into the room containing an entire platoon of soldiers.

Sorik held in a breath as he prepared one more spell. Under the clash of more steel, the ward began to fade when several soldiers began to attack him simultaneously. One particular spear that was swept in front of him cut through the haze entirely like a sword through a steady water flow. With that, the ward failed. This was it.

Sorik cast a wave of ice out around his entire body. His intent was that he would freeze the soldiers’ legs to the ground and be able to maneuver his way out, but the result was that the entire room was completely coated in a sheet of ice. Every man in the barracks was frozen completely. Verik’s blood, Sorik thought. He had never seen such a display of power. Except for perhaps the column of fire he brought down from the sky on the boat. What in the world is going on?

Sorik left the room, finally breathing in fresh air. He stumbled onto the grass growing in front of the garrison. He looked out over the sea, though which sea it was exactly was hard to gather. In the dead of night, especially, there was still no conclusive answer to what world he had woken up in.

He looked up to the sky, and to his horror was met with an unfamiliar tear through the heavens themselves. It was as though the Archons themselves had disapproved of the state of affairs, and had cut open a hole with which to watch more carefully.

It was there, in the grass, that Sorik passed out from another sudden wave of fatigue.

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