Component 12 - Temple Antics

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Component 12: TEMPLE ANTICS


"Where in the frozen abyss am I?" Buster grumbled after making a choice at another fork in his path.

The Belltower dwarf had been lost for some time, and grumbling all the while. Finally coming to a stop, Buster kneeled down to catch his bearings.

"Been wandering bout for an hour now at least!" Buster grumbled yet again.

And that he had. Not because he was entirely lost, but because every time he came to an intersecting path, he had stopped and knelt down to pray. Buster's obsessive need to ask for help from Sheeva was quickly becoming his downfall.

This time Buster entered a large chamber. Not unlike the others, this room covered in ice—the walls, floors, and ceiling. However, there was a significant difference. In the center of the room stood a pillar of crystal.

"What be this?" Buster whispered.

As he had done for the hundredth time, Buster stroked his beard, wiping away the forming ice crystals. He wondered if should pray for the meaning of the crystal pillar. Sheeva would surely answer his question now, he had to be getting close. But then again, Buster knew he hadn't killed the Orcs from the outer caves. If they had entered the temple, they could be right on his heels.

A paranoid itching came to Buster's chin. He scratched it and turned back, looking over his shoulder. Behind him was only the path from which he had come. Nothing stirred, save the water droplets dripping down the walls. And that was something the dwarf worried about. Why would the ice be melting? Combined with the absence of Sheeva's presence from his every day life, he knew it could not be a good thing.

"Oh Sister Buckles." Buster whispered, "I wish ye had come with me. At least you would know what to do."

Summoning up courage, Buster marched toward the crystal pillar and placed his palm right on the surface. It was cool to the touch, but not nearly as cold as ice.

"What are ye?" Buster asked, running his hand along the smooth surface and circling the object.

As Buster stared into the crystal pillar, voices began to enter his mind. At first they were but a few whispers, which Buster ignored as if they were his own thoughts. But when they began to swirl, and grow louder and stronger, the strong willed dwarf began to waver.

"Where has she gone?" One voice echoed.

"She has escaped." Another shouted, again echoing.

"We must find the Ice Goddess." A third voice said.

But then the newest voice, a fourth, dark sounding one, came from the shadows of what felt like the deep recesses of his mind.

"She can not tell of our plans!" The authoritative voice roared, "If the others find out, everything will be ruined."

"Wait..." one of the previous voices whispered, "I feel her presence."

"Where?"

"She's left our realm. She has gone to the world of Anhsook."

"Wounded—she won't get far." The dark voice said, and then began to laugh—a laugh that tore through Buster's consciousness and filled him with the deepest of fears.

The dwarf ripped his hand from the pillar and stared in a mixture of horror and confusion.

"What was that?" Buster whispered, "Surely they couldn't mean me Sheeva..."

Buster's mind wasn't sure this was the case, but in his heart he knew—he knew Sheeva was the one they spoke of—and if that were so, then she was wounded—possibly even dying. No, that was ridiculous, gods couldn't die, right? Especially not his Sheeva.

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