Chapter 21: Waters of a Burdened Heart
Of the six prime elements, heart is often considered the most potent, but then considering that in one sense potency is an aspect of heart, this isn’t surprising. The name of the element comes from what the element is named after, heartflame, the spark of life. It is by the heartflame that most beings generate magic, and thus can move and act. Many believe that if something does not have heartflame, it is without soul. An unliving being, no different from a rock.
The element of heart is connected to both hearts metaphorical and physical as well as heartflame. By the power of heart a hero can keep fighting till he turns to dust, and even then, the spirit might rage on. By the power of heart someone’s corrupt emotions can distort their form and mind, beginning their transformation into a walking wound, a blight to all. If a being loses heart, it will surely die.
Ivak’s race, the aehi, the heart elves are beings heavily connected to heart.
There is records of aehi who held such a strong connection to heart that they could delve into the hearts of others, and thus hold power over others. Though, the ability is either non-existent myth or so rare that it may as well be. Not all aehi bear a heartcrest, let alone power over the hearts of others.
Now, as mythical as the aehi’s mastery of heart is, there is the question; what would happen if a being so strongly aligned with heart would try to interfere with the heart of another while inside the heart of another being?
Ivak was in darkness, he could not see anything.
-Master, this is your last chance to go back, once the retrieval system is activated, this one cannot bring you back nor aid you-
Ivak shook his head.
“I’ve made my mind up, I’m going to get her back for them”
-Very well master, you shall enter the remnants of her trial-
Then Ivak fell. He yelled in surprise and flailed about. He fell so fast and far that he feared what would happen when he came to the end of his fall, if there was indeed an end. Ivak hit water, he felt something binding him, restricting trying to drag him down. Ivak resisted and found his opposition surprisingly weak, he broke the surface of the water.
Ivak found himself waist deep in black waters, his surroundings were filled with darkness, but he could clearly see the water before him. He wished he could not, for the waves formed clutching pleading hands, they pulled against Ivak, trying to drag him beneath the waters. The crash of the waves was a wail, cries for help. Ivak was a bit confused that the water only came up to his waist, it had seemed much deeper when he had been beneath it.
He forced his way through the clinging waves, the voices entreating him to save them, he knew that these voices were not of real beings.
As he waded through the water, he began to despair of his task, the waters seemed endless. He then noticed, just as he despaired, the waters rose up to his chest and made to pull him down. Ivak however burst free with a fury.
“I’ll not be consumed by a mere illusion!” he roared.
With that he rushed through the waters, they receded to his ankles, trying vainly to trip him up, but while the waters were low around him, they were far deeper the further they got from him.
Eventually, after Ivak had long since lost track of time, he spotted something bobbing amid some distant waves, he wasted no time it getting over to whatever it was.
Whatever in this case was the body of Quil. The waves seemed peaceful around her still form, they did not cry out for help. Ivak moved to pick the pixie up, but the waves seemed to always drift her away when he got close.
This happened a few times, before Ivak dove towards her and managed to get a hand on her, but the water forcefully clung to her. Ivak got a good look at her as he tried to pry her from the watery grasp. She was still breathing, but her eyes were dull and lifeless.
There was many things that could cause such a state, and Ivak had read of a few of them, but in the situation he was in, and what she had probably gone through, Ivak suspected she was losing her heart. He finally managed to pull her away.
The water grew wild and furious, Ivak lifted Quil high above the waves as they clawed and clashed against his body, trying to get the pixie back.
Ivak realised that he did not know how to get back. He wasn’t sure it would be good to go back, what with the state the pixie was in. He remembered old stories of his people, of powers they had over the heart. Not knowing what else to do, Ivak called upon his heart-crest, the sigil in his eye flashing. He didn’t know what to do, but he focused on the small life between his hands, ignoring the crying waves.
The waves tore at Ivak, sensing his despair, Quil fell from his hands, and Ivak found himself being dragged beneath the waves, their voices calling him to save them, there was a nasty accusatory bent to them. Ivak did not however give up. His eye shone and he looked into Quil’s empty eyes.
“I WANT TO HELP YOU, LET ME IN!” Ivak cried.
Perhaps Ivak imagined it, but it seemed like she stirred a bit.
The water however was having none of this, it pulled them both under. Ivak’s head filled with the pleading of the water, but Ivak knew there was only one person other than himself. That there was only one that needed saved.
He had to get into her heart, if he could do that he was sure he could rouse her, he felt it in his blood. Ivak’s eyes remained fixed on Quil. Ivak transformed into a turquoise beam and shot into her, he didn’t know what he had done, he just felt drawn in. He dove into her heart.
The waters vanished and all that was left was Quil floating in darkness, a turquoise glow around her.
When Ivak opened his eyes, he found himself in a grey world. He was inside a house, but he was the size of a mouse, perhaps a bit larger. He could hear a the sobbing of a small girl. Ivak didn’t feel well qualified to wipe the tears away from a pixie girl’s eyes, but in that moment, he felt quite like one of the heroes from some of the books he had read.
“I just hope I don’t make things worse, though things are already pretty critical” Ivak didn’t want to be caught inside a dying heart or worse a twisted one.