Rhea's tale is the story of Rhea as she follows along with the player driven story in Kyvalore! Each story quest that is given to adventurers gives a choice that their characters must choose. These choices work like votes, causing whatever was chosen most, to be the end result of that chapter of the story. Rhea reacts to each story quest following the end result cast this way.
Kyvalore's story rests within your hands.
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Check out legacy quests, which allow you to play through the previous story quests after the 'voting period' has ended.
“Rhea... Rhea have you heard?”
Rhea lifted her head slowly from her lectern where papers and ink bottles lay in an awkward pile. Sleep still clung to her eyes and she blinked hard looking for the source of the intrusion.
Athalie was peaking into her room, a curious look on her face and she rolled her eyes. Before pushing the door farther open and walking in, with a yellow and gray bird clinging to her back, and a small green and pink gribble trotting at her feet.
“Heard what?” Rhea yawned, stretching her wings so wide it hit the bottles of dried herbs and strange collections hanging from the edges of her ceiling. She glanced at her room... It hadn't been this messy since she was a child, but the spell she had cast really set her feeling drained so she didn't have the energy to take care of organizing all her new discoveries.
The voxibell before her sat down and shook her head. “You sure you're alright dear? I dont think it's wise for you to plan to head out again, not until you've gotten more rest. I told you it's fine that you stay with me a while.” She looked down at her gribble, as it was slowly making its way over to where Pikk, Rhea's gribble, was sleeping.
“The crew seems to appreciate the extra company, so don't go feeling like you're a burden still, okay?” Athalie looked at Rhea, and only concern and care written on her face.
“I know. I know. But I just... I've got this feeling. You know? Like something's out there. There's too many things to discover and find and I can't just sit here!” Rhea slumped to the ground dramatically. And folded her wings around her body. “I just wont fly or use mana for a bit so I don't over do it again. Promise.”
Athalie sighed, and her mana sigil formed above her head, she turned and a small ray of light echoed down the hallway, and in floated a small note with a broken wax seal on it's edge.
“Modeous sent this. It's definitely something interesting to find if you wanted to take a look.”
Rhea jumped up immediately as the note floated towards her.
“To Athalie & Rhea,
A strange rumor has been spreading around Lanris over the last few days, and strangely enough the same rumor has been in other cities across Kyvalore. Something about a cloaked figure, who offers travelers a deal. But when asked, no one seems to remember who this traveler was, how to find them, or what they looked like. I'm unsure what to make of it just yet, but I have a few of my students investigating the issue as an assignment.
If you could, please keep an eye out for this traveler, or any other rumors about them. If my theory is correct, this should have started occurring 2 days ago. Somehow... in every city. If you find anything interesting, please write. I'd like to look further into this matter, but at the present I cannot leave the rest of my students.
P.S. Thank you for the cookies you sent last week. The cookies that were not eaten by my aierbis before they arrived were delightful.”
Rhea held it in front of her in her paws and a huge grin spread across her face. Adventure! She had something to hunt for!
And before Athalie could finish saying 'be safe' Rhea had grabbed Pikk and placed them in her satchel and headed out the door.
Athalie glanced at the letter from Modeous that had now been abandoned on the floor where Rhea once stood and an unwelcome cold chill went down her spine.
Just who or what was this stranger?
The sun shined bright upon the port town of Ardglass, the wind gently blowing in from the sea bringing with it the fresh scent of salt and seaweed wafting through the cobblestone streets. Rhea took a big sniff as she flapped her wings a few more times to gain some altitude, eyes darting back and forth across the city. In her excitement for adventure her recent promise to Athalie to not push herself had already been forgotten, and Pikk was grumbling their disapproval from within her flapping satchel.
“Oh hush now” Rhea said to her gribble. “Modeous said they were in every city, so this stranger's gotta be here, right? Finding them can't take that long!”
It took that long.
The sky was glowing a burning orange and pink as the sun began to hide itself beyond the horizon. Rhea had long taken from the sky, and now was almost dragging herself through a maze of streets and side alleys, her conviction on finding this stranger not letting her give up now. The sky turned dark fast, Rhea had never quite gotten used to how fast it did this time of year. The only sounds now were the shuttering of windows and the distance clacking of carts returning to their holds for the evening. That, and Pikk's snoring, which was a comforting sound. She rounded a corner, and jumped back a second later than she normally would have, were she full of energy. The shadows made it seem like something was there for a moment, a quick pass of the light. She chided herself on her slow reactions, and continued forward, stopping suddenly after a few steps. No, something was there.
A figure, lithe but bulky, tall yet short. Four legs stretching out of a dark cloak, a hood with... no... without a face. They had a faint aura around them, simmering like they were giving off intense heat, but the air was only colder in their presence. It was clear, but it was dark and oily. They were a contradiction, a mystery, and exactly who Rhea was looking for.
Rhea's ears perked up, eyes alit with new energy she didn't possess a moment ago.
“Found you!” She exclaimed, jumping forward to get a closer look at the being. “Who are you? Who are you really?”
She leaped, paw outstretched to try and catch the stranger by surprise, but as she closed, they disappeared. She turned, confused, and now they were behind her. Still far away, still awash in whatever obscuring aura that was hiding any sense of detail around them. They were darker still than even the disappearing light, no glowing mana sigil betraying use of magic. Rhea's temper began to flare uncharacteristically, the weight behind her eyes growing fast as her continued exertion caught up to her much quicker than she hoped.
“Just what are you?” she snarled, her forehead lighting up the alley as her own mana sigil lit up. The light had no grip on the stranger, still as dark an mysterious as before. As she began to will her magic to the fore, she saw the stranger was no longer there. Disappeared in the span of an eye blink.
Rhea snarled again as her frustration continued to rise, and looked around again, expecting the stranger to be behind her yet again. This time, they were not. After a few moments, she took a big breath, and calmed her magic down, the glowing rune fading into nothing.
“Well that was something, wasn't it, Pikk?” She said wearily, what brainpower she had left after the long day churning with ideas and thoughts about what had just happened. She turned to begin the trek back to Athalie's.
She cried out from surprise as her head hit something hard and cold. A small token, like a large coin, floated in front of her, gently spinning. It was old, rusted and oxidized. Even in the faded light the edges of unrecognizable runes could be seen circling it's edge on both sides. Stood behind the coin was the stranger, a few feet back.
Before Rhea could say anything it gestured at the coin with a paw, the fur along it's arm both long and short, color blended perfectly with the alleyway around it. Rhea paused for a few moments, her tired brain processing this. Whoever this was was not a regular Kyvalorian, with unknown intentions and abilities unmatched by anyone she knew. Would she just take whatever it was they were offering? Could she? But if she didn't, she felt like she'd never get to the bottom of this mystery. It was clear this stranger could only be found when they wanted to be found. After some tense mental back and forth, she snatched the token out of the air. Feeling it's rough edges in her paw, she put it in a side pocket of her satchel, so that the now wide eyed Pikk wouldn't play with it.
“Ok, now wha-” she began to ask the stranger. But they were already gone.
Days passed, and Rhea had almost started to think she may have imagined part of that night, that she really had pushed herself past her breaking point after not taking enough rest. That was, until she was at the market, perusing some breads and meats. She gathered up her order, and brought it to the merchant at the end of the stall, someone she hadn't seen there before.
“This'll be all!” she said, setting it all down to be counted and weighed.
“This and passage, then?” the merchant said in a gruff voice. “To the Isle.” he elaborated to her quizzical look.
“I don't need-” she began.
“The Grave Isle.” He interrupted. “Other side of the mountains from here. That coin is the only thing I accept for travel there. That's the only reason to have that coin.”
Rhea was even more confused now. What coin? What did he mean? Then the realization hit, a cold shiver that, in hindsight, had always been there since that night. She pulled the rusted token out of the same pouch she put it in. He had no reason to know it was there, she had almost forgotten it was there. And yet here he was, paw outstretched to accept it with the same indifference as accepting any other payment dozens of times in a day.
“What is Grave Isle?” she asked, still holding the coin.
“An island to the southeast, on the other side of the mountains. It's a long journey by boat, the waves get rough once we can't follow the shore anymore. We leave tomorrow, before dawn.”
Her common sense screamed at her not to go, to take some time and consider her course of action. Her curiosity and sense of adventure handed the token over to the merchant. The deal was struck. She had to know.
"The sand was rough and sharp against her paws, resembling caltrops more than grains.
“Thanks for the -“ Rhea began to say, before seeing that the rowboat that took her here was already making it’s way back out to the parent ship, where it would sit and await her return.
“24 hours before I head back to shore, with or without cha” she was warned by the captain. Not the most reassuring send off.
Taking her first few steps into land, she could see why. No, she could feel why. This place had an aura to it, baked into it’s foundation. It was anger, it was dread, it wanted to hurt. Rhea took a gulp of trepidation and could feel Pik scooting around in her side bag, shrinking himself down as he surely felt the same aura. The shoreline was littered with all kinds of detritus from the sea. Logs, seaweed, shells, and remains of cargo of all kinds. Broken crates spilled their long rotted and dried husks, mingling with broken pottery and scraps of rope.
Even the wildlife didn’t want her here. Multiple times on her short walk into the mainland she was accosted by small, four pincer-ed creatures. They wore the detritus of the beach as shells, snapping at her with angry piercing eyes and grumbling strings of what she thought was warnings. Stepping up the eroded beach into the grasslands beyond, it wasn’t any better. The tall grasses were tough and razor sharp, the trunks of the trees were ringed with thorns, and she had to defend herself multiple times from these crab-like creatures as they fell upon her from the treetops, using the hard casings of fruit as both their shell and their method of attack.
“Gah! What am I even looking for?!” Rhea yelled out to no one in particular. The hateful aura of the isle had long gotten underneath her skin, only exacerbated by all the cuts and bruises she had received thus far. Pik was no worse for wear though, at least physically. This thought comforted Rhea, but only a little. She could still feel something, hidden in that aura. Something that called out for her attention. So she pressed on, and not happy about it.
After another hour or so of tripping over bones of unidentifiable creatures and climbing over rocks that also seemed to have thorns, because of course, she found what she didn’t know she was looking for.
In a rocky clearing, a circle of trees stood, all bent inward as if they were whispering to each other, canopy’s intertwining to cover the area in intermingled shadows. In the center of this clearing was it’s own circle, of rough irregular stones. 30 feet across, the rectangular stones stood tall for the most part, a good few of them broken and worn down with time. It has stood here for a long time.
In the center of this circle was a stone, cut and sanded completely flat on one of it’s sides, buried straight up and down in the rock, small piles of stones built around it in three circles. Upon this flat face was carved runes, in a language Rhea had seen a few times before. On the coin weighing down her pocket, or the parchment found in the streets a few moon crossings ago, the ancient language that held the very secrets of kyvalore that she and many of her peers were trying so desperately to decipher. The stone face was covered in this script, all available space taken up by it ordered neatly in rows, clearly a message of some kind.
What lied at the stone’s center however, shook Rhea to her core. She saw it last, almost as if it hid itself from her until there was absolutely nothing left she could possibly look at. A figure seemed to float above the smooth stone. It was made of shadows. The shadows of the trees, the shadows of the sun, the shadows of the rocks, the shadows of the soul. It was constantly shifting, constantly flowing. It was everything, it was nothing. It was a voxibell for a moment of a second, before twisting and turning, making the form of an avilli a few seconds later. In between these seconds it was everything. After these seconds it was everything else. The only constant of this shifting form was it’s cold white eyes, Round orbs of the purest light and malice, regarding Rhea at the edge of the clearing.
She felt it then, reaching out to her and Pikk, through her mana. It did not speak, but it was trying to, Rhea could feel the words in the undercurrent of the mana that was brushing up against her own, like the shadow of a fish in the current of a river. It pulled at her, tugged at her magic, but not in a malicious way. In opposition to the intense feeling of dread that filled her, it almost felt gentle. It was guiding her closer, it wanted her in, it wanted her to touch the stone it resided over. Could she? Could she go against every screaming instinct inside of her to get to safety and away from this island? But how could she not? Get so close to this mystery and actually discover what is going on, and just leave?
I hope this letter finds you in fair weather and jolly spirits. An interesting commotion has arrived and I hope to ask for your assistance for one additional task, loathe as I am to inquire so. I do hope our working relationship is well enough to allow your cooperation, for it is quite urgent. The next few lines had scratch marks and blocks around some of the words, as if it was revised as he was writing it. Either he hadn't wanted to write out a new letter, or had written many already. I was investigating a new avenue of research out in the forests of the Letan Ruins, east of Lanris, you see. A dive into the connection between the World Spirit and the mana of living beings, quite fascinati. In tow I carried that strange artifact you brought to me. I sensed something lingering within, and have been here and there trying to find anything that may stoke it's nascent mana into exposing its secrets. While investigating the forestI was atta
I was attacked by a creature of amazing strength and ferocity. I was overpowered, and had to retreat by using the lunch as bait to lure it away. It resides in the forest still, and I need you to hunt it. It will hurt people if it isn't stopped. Please come to Lanris at your earliest convenience to setout for the ruins, I can send a carriage your way immediately. Come prepared.
And when you go, please try not to hurt the poor boy, would you?
Rhea's footsteps were soft in the tall grass, silent amidst the chirping and rattling of insects that called the Letan Ruins home. Southeast of Vitrun by a decent margin, the sand of that desert had become green grass and dense trees again. It shrouded the remnants of what used to be an impressive city, in a history long since past. Rhea's breathing was sharp, kept in check but tense all the same. Her eyes darted from one moonlit tree to another, hunting. An old friend had reached out for help, and Rhea was never one to turn such an invitation down, despite the risks.
The letter that had brought her here hung heavy in her side satchel, despite it's almost literal weightlessness. Modeus was delving into the depths of study, again, depths maybe he shouldn't be. And this time it cost him. May cost more than just his lunch, if the letter is to be believed. And if the letter is to be believed, then there is some hidden truth to be found with Modeus and his research. Now was not the time for such thoughts, however, for something was loose within these ruins. Something fierce, and dangerous.
Rhea continued softly, slowly, letting the night fill her senses. Letting the silence fill her with dread, as the insects had stopped their chirping. A quick croak came from the trees to her right, a double tap of sound from a gribble. From Pikk. He found something. Rhea made long jumps into the treeline, using her air magic to soften her fall and minimize noise while making her way to her friend.
Pikk had nestled in a knot hole and was keeping an eye out into a clearing, and made another round of quick croaks before Rhea made her way to him. She saw the firelight before the little gribble, so knew why she was being summoned. A late night convoy was braving the main road between Vitrun and Ardglass, trying to hurry a shipment along through the dead of night for one of many possible reasons. Rhea cursed at the sound they were making, from the rattling of their wheels on the dirt to the singing coming from the back of a covered wagon.
Pikk jumped from the tree onto Rhea's back with a thunk, and started scrabbling his way back into his homey little pouch on Rhea's side. Before he could make his way safely inside, a roar shattered what little silence remained. A huge creature launched itself from the forest leaves and branches ripping from it’s surroundings, uncomfortably close to where Rhea was crouched even now. It landed in the path in front of the caravan, claws gouging tears into the dirt and sending loose rock flying the other direction. In the faint firelight you could only see various shades of brown fur and blank, white eyes. A long tail flicked agitated in the dark, and the faint outline of wings seemingly too small to be useful to a beast of such size puffed out to stop it's jump. It reminded Rhea too much of an avilli, just so much larger and dangerous.
The beast sniffed the air as the caravan came to a screeching halt, one of the rear carriages nearly tipping over in their haste. Screams went up from the group of merchants, and Rhea's hope she may have backup from a mage or warrior in the group was squashed as none emerged to face the threat. It roared again, crouching down as if to charge. Were it to do so, it would barrel right through the lives and livelihoods of those rolling down the path.
Thinking quickly, Rhea concentrated on a medium sized boulder on the far side of the path, her sigil glowing bright in the dark, underneath it at an angle. With a cry of strain and effort, she launched the boulder in an arc, crashing it down between the beast and it's prey. The beast jumped back, a grunt of fear overtaking it's seeming ruthlessness as it dodged out of the way.
“Try not to hurt the poor boy, would you?” Modeus' words from the letter echoed in her head. The creature turned and noticed her in the treeline, weaving back into the treeline beside it as it switched from the caravan to her. Rhea jumped backwards, mana sigil glowing again as she gave herself an extra push with the wind, sending her above the treeline for a few precious moments as the creature came barreling through, cracking one tree clean through at the trunk and causing it to fall over, and splintering the side of a second. It grabbed a clawful of ground beneath it and hurled it at Rhea, dirt rocks and wood knocking her off balance and blinding Rhea for a few precious moments. It used these moments well, and it was all Rhea could do to send herself blasting sideways through the air, dodging a claw swipe by a hair, catching the strap of her pouches instead of her side. It tore through the leather like paper, sending Pikk and her supplies flying behind her.
“No!” She cried out, angry now. She jumped behind the creature, so it faced away from her friend, who was hopefully ok.
“Begone!” she yelled at the thing. She sent a concentrated lance of wind straight into it's face, like blowing onto the face of a Delgu to get it to stop begging for food except much more punishing. She leaped backwards as it tried coming after her, sending lance after lance into it, hurting it but hopefully only enough to get it to stand down. This repeated a few more times until Rhea was were she wanted to be. After one more lance she pushed her magic again, yelling out from the strain as she whipped her winds up around the tree the creature had knocked down earlier. She launched it, hitting the creature hard in the chest and knocking it down. Feeling her reserves wearing thin, she brought her attention to the second tree, hanging on by a thread. She pushed with all her might, and the sharp whirlwind brought the second tree crashing down upon the beast.
Still it was not enough to fully stop, for it was still thrashing wildly, trying to escape the weight placed upon it. It's cries were not rage, however, but filled with fear again. Rhea jumped on top of the shifting logs, so it stared down into it's white eyed face.
“STOP THIS! LEAVE AND DO NOT RETURN!” Rhea shouted, with the last of her energy. The creature again roared in panic, frantic movements finally enough to free it from it's prison, sending Rhea flying as well. She fell hard onto the earth, not having the power to soften her landing any more. When she was able to rise again, the creature had ran, away from the roads or the towns, deeper into the woods around Letan and towards the distant shoreline. For now, Rhea would have to be content with that. Scratched and scraped, she pulled herself up and limped her way over to where Pikk had fallen, along with the scattering contents of her bags. He was breathing heavier than usual, and was bleeding slightly, but would live.
“Lets go clean you up, shall we?” Rhea asked through ragged breaths trying to hide her fear for her friend, as she scooped him up and began searching for her medicine pouch in the trees.
Rhea blinked hard and came to a stop as soon as she made eye contact with the clearing. She took a small wincing gasp, breath caught in her throat like a tied knot. She stood amongst the ruins, a heavy feeling of foreboding in her chest. This was where it had happened. It wasn't visibly as lifeless as the Grave Isles, but it held the same deep twisting mana tunes that gave her unease to be near. This was where Modeous requested her help once before to take care of the werebeast putting her, and Pikk’s, life in danger. Here she stood once again, another call to the greater good, to discover more unearthed history of the world.
The knot in her throat stayed, but she finally managed to breath and take a step forward. She left the cover of the trees and made her way to the base of a stone stairwell, a winding path of dirty stone up to what must have been a modestly grand structure at one point. The remains of great pillars rose at her side before age and wear blunted them, and a large shattered archway waited to greet her at the top.
Making her way slowly through the archway almost felt like passing through a different domain entirely. The farther into the old ruin, the more the weight of mana around her reached out, the air heavy with twisted tendrils grasping and tainted; a curse that had found a friend.
There among the rubble shuffled Modeous, so deep into writing notes and digging through ink stained papers that he didn't even notice Rhea’s nervous approach.
“Professor?” She spoke as she gently knocked on a stone, not wanting to startle him out of his focus.
“Good good! You made it safe I see!” Modeus said joyously without even looking up and completely unaware of Rhea’s struggle to be there. He was pacing, manic almost, like there was something he couldn’t hold in. “I told you there were too many details to explain, so I shall show you!”
Rhea opened her mouth to speak, but Modeous continued on blinded by his excitement of the discovery of the unknown, rambling as he grabbed papers and pens, a book wrapped in royal blue stained leather, and the skull; the one she was gifted from a strange shadow from what felt like so long ago on the Grave Isles.
Modeous’s ramblings stopped and he made a quick nod to Rhea and began to concentrate, paw placed firmly on the old skull.
Suddenly light shone forth as his mana sigil burst into life. Light streaked from the sigil to broken glass, creating fractals and all sorts of colors danced around what was left of the ruined chamber. She would have admired the beauty of it if the circumstances were different, but the mana now had somehow become even heavier, so thick in the air you could almost choke.
The light blared brighter, becoming harder and harder to look at till the chamber and more was consumed.
At some point she had closed her eyes, but she couldn't recall when and for how long, but when she opened her eyes once more, Modeous stood before her. Tall, slender… wrong. It wore Modeous’s clothes, but instead of the dark furred four-legged voxibell, stood a figure on two hind legs, mostly furless. His front paws reached out, manabone now extruding from digits in small but long pointed numbs. Few features remained of the teacher she knew.
“Achievement!” Modeus exclaimed, as he fumbled with his pen as if to take notes on the spot. “I was able to do it! By searching the mana inside of the skull, and prying through the history of the object like a lost tome I forced it to remember! I took it’s memory and attuned myself to it, and found our long lost history! What you see here before me is a much older species that walked the surface of Kyvalore!”
He turned around. Placing the skull down gently onto a stack of tomes. It's eye sockets were dark and empty, but thankfully devoid of the bright, white malice Rhea had expected to see in a moment of panic.
“What I hold here in what is no longer paws but hands, is the same kind of skull I have now, inside my body. A connection to what was, what used to be! The potential is incredible, this breakthrough cannot be understated! I want to share this with you my studious subject, I want to share this with the world! What wonders we could make, what advancements in history we could uncover, seeing everything in a different light, experiencing life as a whole ancient civilization did! How might we contextualize the ruins of Old Kyvalore by using the bodies of the souls who inhabited it!”
“Please, let me teach you the rites, the proper method to make this primordial magic your own, so that you too can increase your abilities, your possibilities, and your future! Let me share with you this ancient world!”
His voice began to quiver slightly, his speech faster. Manic, almost, in his excitement and need to share the skull's mana. Rhea knew of Kyvalore’s ruinous history, at least what little of it was known. The humanity that took magic and used it to curse the land and lead to its total destruction. The humanity who’s ruins they now inhabit, who’s monsters roam the lands. The humanity, now standing right in front of you, holding an ancient skull. A voice whispered to Rhea, a unique but strangely familiar mana tied to it,.”If you do this, you cannot undo what has been done. There are other ways to gain knowledge.” The soft presence dissipated, and the weight of the Ruin's aura came crashing down upon her once more.
Her gut feeling was just as foreboding as it had always been, but her conviction remained just as strong. History was being discovered and being made at this very moment, and Rhea was determined to be a part of it.
“Do it.” she said, her voice loud as she tried to stay confident in her path. “Teach me how.”
His hands guided her paws to the skull, and he taught her of mana attunement.
She moved her mana, her sigil blared into life and focused her energy, just as Modeus instructed. Rhea pushed herself into the ancient aura of the skull and dug through it’s sea of mana. It sucked like quicksand pulling her ever deeper, then pushed back like a magical barrier trying to stop the intrusion, but Rhea was not to be deterred, and dug deeper. Suddenly, like a door flying open in a gale, the mana of the skull rushed into her own, drowning her in its power.
She wanted to scream, her body twisted and pulsed, her flesh and blood and bone reshaping like quicksilver into a shape it's never known nor was meant to know. The mana filled her utterly, teaching her very soul what she should now look like, without mercy. It was over in an instant, though it felt much longer than that. Rhea was panting hard, and fell to one knee, her eyes closed hard as she processed the pain that she went through to get here and then opened them again. She looked at her paws… no... her hands, as Modeous called them. She was still wearing her clothes and gear. Pikk was thankfully unaffected by the transformation, still in her pouch afraid to emerge before, but now he tried to climb out and check on his friend. She loosened the pouch for Pikk to hop out, then stood up, turning over her arms and looking at her tanned, hairless skin. She gave her wings a little stretch as the breeze began to pick up, feathers and hair twisting in the wind and…
“Ouch!” Rhea exclaimed as she pulled her arm closer to her body. Was this form weak to water somehow? She rubbed her arm gently where the rain had hit her and backed into a farther corner of the ruins, still getting used to the way her body moved. It was heavy, like something more than the body itself weighed her down, and she distinctly felt a slight disconnect from her own mana that she was so used to.
She stared at Modeous, his hands already full of books and bottles of ink, eyes alight with so much wonder. She had so many questions, and he was ready to answer as many as he could.
“So how di-” Rhea stopped and jumped away mid sentence, a loose brick from the already broken ceiling crumbled down, barely missing her as rain billowed through the open gap, each drop burning more than the last. What rain didn't spatter against her skin hit the stone and dirt earth, leaving indents like falling knives. She pushed herself into another covered section of the room and watched with horror as it wasnt her flesh that was weak to rain, but the rain held some otherworldly strength to it.
Lighting flashed through the open windows and holes of the ruin and the rain fell even harder. Each raindrop left a gouge in the floor as if the stone slabs were made of nothing more than clay.
The lightning struck again, and the sky filled with an unnatural orange hue. It flashed again, again, thrice more before they could manage to compose themselves. Both Modeus and Rhea looked at each other, Rhea worried and scared, Modeous curious but concerned. The wind howled, barreling more shredding rain through the openings, closer to their cover. Another stone fell from above, right behind Modeus, its smashed surface more akin to bleached coral than stone from the downpour.
“I think it's time we made our exit!” Modeus yelled. Rhea nodded her agreement, and together they ran from the splintering chamber. Modeous filled his arms with all the books he could muster from his ruin research site and the old skull of course; while Rhea grabbed Pikk and shoved him deep into her satchel for safety.
“Sorry Pikk,” She muttered while tightening the flap of the satchel closed in hope of keeping the little gribble as safe as she could.
They exited the chamber to a sky of red, orange and purple bursts. Dark clouds surrounded them and wind pushed and pulled in all directions.
“This way!” Modeous yelled, barely able to be heard over the ceaseless storm.
The wind was pushing into them now, stealing their breaths, just as it stole the very life of the forest outside. What was once a dark green tranquil scene when Rhea arrived was now blighted from lances of angry lightning and rain that burned like acid. The trees were dead and dying, leaves suddenly brown where they could be seen; the rain ate away at them just as it did the stone, the trees and the grass. Everything in front of them was dead, devoid of mana, and what still stood was actively being torn apart by the wind, ripped from the earth like tearing fabric. Somehow the wind bellowed even harder.
Jagged chunks of tree trunks and bark circled above them, now carried by a tornado that was forming amidst the storm and all too close in the forest. Rhea was resisting not only the wind with her newfound center of balance, but withstanding the pull of her mana into the magical maelstrom. It was hungry not just for the destruction of the land but the destruction of magic itself, trying to pull Rhea's very essence from her.
“Come on!” Modeus screamed, pointing with an outstretched hand to their left, where this unnatural tornado had obviously started. The ground was barren, brown and lifeless, anything that stood even fractionally tall was gone without a trace.
“It's heading south, so we should move north!”
Rhea nodded and began to run, faster than she had ever ran before. She kept her head low, instinctively flinching whenever something flew too close around her in its orbit. As she ran, she clutched her satchel close as Pikk trembled inside. The sound of the wind was overwhelming, it's all she could do to focus on her sprint to hopeful safety. As she ran, small patches of dead grass and rock found her bare feet and ankles. They sliced at her, gouged at her with razor sharp blades and surfaces melted away to form thorns.
She did not have time to think about the cause of the storm, only to get away and hope with all her might that her friends, her family, and her home would be safe.