The Hunter’s Quest #steampunk

You know what time it is right? Time for another installment of the Black Medallion story. If you are new, you can catch up to where we are now with the links below. They are listed in story order (this is installment fourteen for those keeping track).

Section 1
The Black Medallion
Section 2
Through the Night Fog
Section 3
Shaper Magic
Prisoner of the Mouse Trap
Power Games
The Hunter’s Quest

The Hunter’s Quest

Tisdan fell to the ground, his chest heaving as he fought to catch his breath. He rolled to his back and turned to look at Jillian. “Set another one.”

“You can’t keep pushing like this,” she said. “We’ll have to move again at this rate.” Her gaze had fallen back to the crystal in her hand as she searched herself for the strength to set up another trap.

They had been working like this for some time, moving from place to place to skirt around the searchers. All the while Tisdan fought through shaper magic in order to better understand the power that now filled him. The two were not the same, not for how they had found so far. Shaper magic could be called on at will. Jillian needed only the crystals in order to command the aether. Without them she lacked focus for her will.

the hunter's quest

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His magic confounded everything she had learned growing up. It came from the subconscious. At first he had felt impulses, a guiding force to lead him where the magic would go. But as he continued to use it, something changed. It had become a reactive force within him that allowed him to create without thought. The magic was a part of him buried deep within his psyche. And she couldn’t feel him.

Shaper magic left an imprint in the aether. The crystals carried a signature that other shapers could feel. The pulse of their crystals connected them through the aether. She knew when the searchers had found their locations, and Tisdan could shift them through the aether to a new cubby hole.

She pinned him in a wall of aether. Something she had used before. The force closed in tight around him and left him little space to move. Tisdan had been through exercises similar to this long ago, a lifetime ago, with Jak. Physical confines were not much different than being confined with aether. No difference at all with the tools to cut through either.

He closed his eyes as the force began to crush down on him. His thoughts settled on a single pin point of light, a piercing thought to focus his energy into a small section of the wall. After a moment energy flowed through him and a thin stream of power pushed back against the wall. As the energy scrambled it suddenly reformed and changed direction around him. He had just enough time to swing his body around and gain his feet. The power of the force that slammed into the ground where he had been left a dent in the dirt.

He rolled with it to stand. A glance her direction and she had relaxed her concentration to catch her breath. “Break?” He said. “We can afford a few minutes here.”

Her nod, spoke volumes of how much work they had done. Her energy had been pushed further than she had ever thought possible. She opened her mouth to speak but found her voice had left her for the moment. Instead she rocked back on her heels and set the crystal down in front of her.

Tisdan scanned the small room they had holed up in. Part of a larger defunct factory they had a few neighbors in other parts of the building. They kept to themselves and the others had done the same. They weren’t part of the group and didn’t want to become any more visible than they were.

His mind hadn’t stopped racing. Even with the push to learn his limits a part of him still thought ahead to where they would go next. She spoke the truth when she said they would have to move soon. Things hadn’t changed for him, he had to keep moving.

“I think it’s time,” Jillian said. “We can’t sit around all day wasting daylight.” She picked up the crystal and took a deep breath. She released it in a slow exhale.

As a reflex he dropped into a crouch and opened his thoughts to the aether. And felt something else. The air around them had changed. Noises in the distance didn’t account for the others they shared the space with. He couldn’t place what it was but something different had entered their space. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as a chill raced down his spine.

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