Chapter Fifteen: Noodles helps, in a manner of speaking.
“Let me get this straight again” Ivak began. “The castle is here”
“Yes, it is here” Fatho claimed, waving around at the castle-free surroundings.
Ivak looked around, he sighed.
“The castle isn’t here” he said.
“Yes, it isn’t” Fatho said dejectedly.
He sat down, grabbing his head, cradling it.
“This kind of hurts, I’m trying to find a way but I can’t” He said.
All at once, Fatho went crosseyed, then he keeled over.
“Oh my! Is he all right Claroosa?” Ivak said, taken aback.
Before Claroosa could check a gurgling snoring emitted from Fatho.
“I think he’ll be fine milord, it seems the castle really is here and not here” She said.
“I suppose we should have expected something like this from a castle made by the Sorcerer of Spaces”
Ivak tugged on his beard, trying to think of what his next move should be.
“I am sorry milord that I cannot be of more help with this, I know little of the ways of magic” Claroosa apologized.
Ivak waved dismissively
“That is quite alright Claroosa, I’ve no great knowledge myself… ah, of course, Aunty Yagma gave me a mirror that I could use to communicate with her, surely she will know of some way that we can gain access to the castle!”
“How convenient milord!”
The mirror was quickly taken from where it had been packed away, Ivak held it before himself. It was not acting like a normal mirror, indeed to one who did not know what it was, it did not look like a mirror at all as it reflected nothing.
“Yagmalral, Yagmalral, Yagmalral”
So did Ivak speak her name three times, and the mirror crackled with life so suddenly that Ivak nearly dropped it. Then, an image of Yagmalral appeared on the mirror. She was not wearing one of her furs, instead she wore a scaly blue robe with a black feathered collar, her steely eyes burned brightly.
“You’re having a bit of trouble finding the castle aren’t you?” She said, cutting Ivak off before he could speak.
“Y-yes, but how do you know what we are doing?” Ivak asked.
“Oh, I have ways of knowing things, now, I can help you, but I’ll need to use your body as a conduit for my will, so I could try forcing my will through the mirror but it would be a lot easier and far less painfully if you consent to it, it’ll be pretty easy since we are blood relations”
“Yes of cor…”
The mirror crumbled to ashes and Ivak’s body went rigid. His eyes lost their blue irises and instead the whole of his eyes spilled forth steely light.
Ivak looked towards Claroosa.
“Well, let us begin then, Mjorn” Yagmalral said, through Ivak.
Yagma then began rifling through their packs. Claroosa took the time to rouse Fatho.
Who, upon seeing Ivak with steely light spilling from his eyes, screamed.
“HE’S POSSESSED! QUICK WE NEED TO KILL IT BEFORE IT KILLS THE PAIR OF US!”
Yagma hiss irritably at being so disturbed. She pointed one of Ivak’s finger’s at Fatho and cloth formed out of the flow of magic and wrapped itself around Fatho’s mouth.
“I’m the head mage of House Vulk, tainted thief, not some Awarthian spirit”
Claroosa wisely kept her peace, not wanting to draw Yagma’s ire.
Yagmalral finished her search by taking out three paintings. One was of the ice wheel spirit they had encountered, one was of the painting of fire that had been changed by the presence of Awarth. The last was a painting of a fuchsia house serpent.
“Oh, I was wondering what happened to that serpent, I wonder when he found the time to paint it?” Claroosa said.
Ivak’s eyes flickered back to his natural blue.
“Ahhh, Yagmalral what are you going to do to Noodles?”
Ivak’s eyes emitted steel light once more.
“Gah, don’t do that to me boy, don’t fight me, You have no idea how painful that was, now don’t worry about your pet it’ll be fine, in fact it will be arguably better off!” Yagmalral proclaimed.
She looked over the painting once more.
“Yes, this will be perfect”
She pointed one of Ivak’s fingers at the paintings, and she began in a breathless stream to speak of portals an openings.
The paintings floated upwards. Yagma held out Ivak’s other hand, and clenched his fist, as if crushing something. The fuchsia house serpent’s painting was crushed, splintered and the subject of the painting came out, sheathed in steely glow.
“All magic has a cost, all has cost and to give up something hard won, and a gift received by quirk of awarth is fitting” Yagma pronounced.
The serpent began to grow in size, it formed a circle, biting its own tail.
Fatho, who had managed to claw the gag on his mouth away remarked on this.
“Isn’t a serpent biting its own tail a chlanic symbol” He said uneasily.
Yagma shot him a venomous look, but Claroosa took it upon herself to avoid Fatho being turned into something.
“Usually yes, but it can just be related to portals, and travel. It is rare for it to be that way though”
Fatho was not at all happy about Yagma’s presence, the feeling however was probably mutual.
The serpent gently spun through the air, picking up more and more speed, getting larger and larger until. The steel light that showed Yagma’s influence through Ivak began flickering, it seemed she was having a bit of difficulty.
The other two pictures were orbiting the gateserpent. Yagmalral clapped Ivak’s hands together and the gateserpent was engulfed in a blazing flame of cold. Yagma grasped something with Ivak, and pulled.
The coldflame settled on the fuchsia serpent’s body, forming a thick mane behind its head that trailed behind like a second tail.
Yagmalral hissed some more words for effect and pushed at the flows of magic, shunting her own mana through Ivak’s body. There was a tearing sound, and inside of the circle that the gateserpent formed, a portal seemed to open, beyond Fatho and Claroosa caught a glimpse of an obsidian castle.
“It is done” Yagma announced. “Ivak, this serpent will let you go through many barriers, and enter many sealed spaces, you need only command it to do so when you are near such a thing. It will take the form of a ring when you wish, now goodbye and take care”
Ivak’s eyes returned to normal. They waited a bit for him to get his bearing back, then they went through into the space that the Sorcerer of Spaces, Ceilron Shail had separated out from Awarth for the obsidian castle.
The first thing that caught their eyes was not the castle or the stone garden, but the massive kyrou-sphinx barring their way.