From the Author
The magien finally lifted his head, face twisted in fury, and to Clisantha's utter horror, he looked precisely at her consciousness. Shock propelled her back out of the hjuy. She could feel her distant body breathing hard as thoughts crowded her. How could he know she was there? The books had said that a consciousness must touch a Giftborn for them to realize its presence but this Elementyth seemed to... to sense her. Other magiens had not detected her consciousness before, even the Thaide--the most powerful magiens in all the Realms. What had gone wrong?
She rose into the air eager to get home and study her father's old books but an odd sensation stopped her. Something had changed, the feeling becoming stronger, more intense, and as it touched her mind, she knew what it was.
Who are you? the Elementyth's voice roared in her mind.
The moment his mind touched hers, she no longer had control. A pain shot through her as the memory of Brisryn stepping from foot to foot surfaced. She drew energy to repel him and lurched away, breaking the link, but he darted forwards, re-emerging instantly. She tried to keep her thoughts blank, but numerous images arose; her old living quarters, her mother's sleeping room when she had been alive, a busy night at the Glass Hearth tavern, the bustling city on a restday afternoon, Orna in her rest day robes... and the pain, an aching pain embraced her, throbbing deeper the more she resisted. Desperate, she steadied her mind and pulled more energy than she had ever risked using to wrench away from the Elementyth and sped up into the sky.
Terror washed through her as he pursued. Her infringement on the Elementyth's privacy warranted punishment, but that did not concern her as much as his contempt for Sovereign Law. The Elementyth had worrying secrets--she had over-heard him talking of plans about killing Thaide. What would he do to her if he discovered her identity?
They sped through the city under the rolling clouds, weaving past citizens, carriages and penetrating buildings. He steadily gained on her, drawing energy from his nearby body while the strain on Clisantha to maintain her escape increased. She needed to get away. Turning a corner, the Glass Hearth tavern appeared in front of her and she had a sudden idea. She held the image of the Journey Grounds in her mind and focused, pulling herself towards the image. In half a moment, it appeared in front of her.
Halting, she cast around for the Elementyth. She had traveled far from her body and her senses were almost completely subdued. Her sight had diminished and she could hear nothing, but the feeling of the magien's consciousness had disappeared. Relieved, she drifted over the Journey Grounds for a few moments before mind jumping to several other places in the city to be sure the magien no longer followed.
Finally, focusing on the memory of her relaxed body, she returned home and floated back into herself. She released her consciousness back into her body but when her senses came back, she could not have been prepared for the many disjointed sensations that gripped her. Multiple carriages seemed to run over her head, and her body trembled as a plethora of emotions slammed into her, from fear to anger to contempt. Unable to bear it she cried out, releasing emotional tension and frustration, then vomited on her lamb's wool rug.
Head pounding, she stood up, and stumbled away from the chair intending to pour fruit water, but her joints and limbs were tight and weak, tingling with pain as they moved. She gripped the table. Pain rose in her body like waves, overwhelming her and she resisted the urge to cry out again. At that moment someone knocked on the door. Composing herself, she made her way over to open it. Della.
"Are you alright, Clisantha dear?" Della asked. Her green eyes were still filled with tears and she hunched over, a blanket over her shoulders. "I thought I heard--"
"I'm fine, Della," Clisantha said, working hard to smile without showing a trace of pain. "I heard it too. Perhaps it came from the Iyogreth's. Their children can be noisy." Her voice trembled as she spoke the last word.
"Yes... yes, I suppose..." Della looked over at another house on the road. "Alright, dear, just thought I would check..."
Clisantha closed the door and hurried to the kitchen. She poured and drank sweet water as if it would abate her pain, but she barely tasted it. Her mind was burning into all senses, rendering them useless. Staggering towards a soft-seat, she collapsed onto the floor and into darkness.