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 Into the Land of Immortals - Cp 10

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Cp 10   January 5th 2009, 7:54 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Ten

Part 1

Giluchex actually found himself enjoying the travel with Dathol. The holy man did not constantly speak on religion. He not only knew about each world along the path of travel, but could speak on matters concerning Davelda. Giluchex found out quick that Dathol considered Terish and Straekin very good friends. While direct attacks upon either member of the couple would be strongly defended, discussion of policies either had instituted would be politely advanced. That fit Giluchex's personality, and he found the travel to be entertaining.

The period spent riding did seem long, but Giluchex really did not mind. There were no hotels or even villages along the route. Nothing to coax him from his seat on the horse. He merely considered each passing landmark as a step closer to the comforts of home.

The night out did bother Giluchex, but he kept his emotions to himself. To say the food had been cooked would be to highly overrate the act of sticking it near a flame. The meals and bed provided at Merkinnist had been of excellent quality, and he knew the food and furnishings in his apartment back at in his home were according to his desires. He thus worked to hopefully gain enough sustenance and rest to survive the final hours of travel.

Having no other entertainment, he watched as Dathol went through a few rituals as he prepared the meal. He did not force his companion to take part, but Giluchex felt slightly embarrassed not having anything else to focus upon. Deciding to at least try to be interested, he went ahead and spoke a question as the holy man walked around the campfire determining where he was going to set his bedroll.

"How do you know?" When Dathol turned to him with a questioning expression, Giluchex asked again. "How do you know the proper direction?"

"Oh, Terish made this little object for me." The holy man opened his hand to show a small crystal sphere. "He could tell me before. Watch him, Ferrigote, and even Straekin as they move their hands. They are relating the travel in a way that simulates actual coordinates. Terish, of course, taught Straekin. Terish and Ferrigote told me where they learned it, but, as with many things in the omniverse the names are obscure with histories that have been lost to time. Anyway, Terish made this device to help me as he studied some aspects of the omniverse before he went insane."

"Is the proper direction that important to you?"

"It is a requirement of my religious order. It isn't anything that has any serious consequences, but I would feel bad if I did not at least make the effort."

Giluchex grumbled what he felt was a fault with the words and actions of the holy man. "Why don't you ask Sanver?"

"It is a sign of my faith that I concern myself with such a detail. Asking my God turns the act into just that, an act."

Hoping that now that he was alone with the man that the charade would drop, Giluchex blurted out, "But it is just an act."

"I don't have to prove myself to you. I hope that you sleep well."

Giluchex felt confident from earlier discussions that he had not hurt the feelings of the holy man, although did not have any assurance. The conversation did stop. Giluchex found himself attempting a method of explaining himself, but stayed silent worrying that further words would only harden any resentment to the previous statement. A couple of kind acts helped him believe that Dathol also sought ways to better present his beliefs. Not really wanting to hear such words, Giluchex stayed silent. Whether feelings had been hurt or simply no method of restating words emerged, the two men stayed quiet until they drifted off to sleep.

Talk returned as the pair prepared to eat breakfast the next morning. Giluchex cheerfully spoke on topics that had nothing to do with religion. Dathol appeared to have no complaints about the choice of conversation, and travel resumed with all signs of the miles passing easily.

Giluchex went quiet as he noticed the land around him suddenly lacking any noise. A tightening came to his chest as if coming around something to which he had an allergy. He wanted to speak, but found himself unable to form any words. He actually felt afraid that he might offend someone or something should he say anything. A history of being a dominant figure did cause a desire to declare himself, although a strong sense of being in an unknown land that had unknown people kept him silent.

The horse displayed no unusual actions, but continued to follow the animal ridden by Dathol. Some strange sensations of fear caused Giluchex to want to signal his horse to run, but the same inner terror kept his elbows locked to his sides and his hands pushing into his belly. As he took in rapid shallow breaths, he wondered if the effect was due to some strange weather pattern on this strange world. Hoping that the feelings would pass, Giluchex could only sit in the saddle and ride towards what some sub-conscious awareness screamed would be a horrible doom.

As he stiffly sat on the horse as it ambled toward a large boulder that he remembered being identified on his journey to Merkinnist, Giluchex opened his mouth gasping for air as he saw Dathol dismount. A strong desire to get home for some reason froze Giluchex in place instead of spurring himself into action. Only by forcing himself to remember his military training enabled him to finally get a signal to pass properly along nerves. Falling scared him as a leg passed over the back of the horse. A scream locked in his throat as hands grasped at the edge of the saddle. Frantically Giluchex fought to assure that the foot not having to pass over the horse freed itself from the special stirrup bought to hold him in the saddle should he fall asleep. With his foot free, he fell to the ground glad to be safe, although really worried about the reason the holy man had stopped the progress to a place of known safety.

He did not want to see what sat in a hollowed out place in the rock. No desire within him sought a glimpse of a certain figure. Only because he had to look around due to the pain of how his form hit the ground did he catch the image of a being of horrid skin and fire. The eyes of Giluchex shot wide, his mouth dropped open, and no more movement occurred.

Tears filled his eyes as Dathol took steps toward the deity while looking around as if more interested in the surrounding flora. Giluchex wished that the holy man would move in front of him and block the view of the terrible figure. He however found himself paralyzed only able to watch and listen as Dathol spoke to the one seated in the rock.

"Terdeskollit, strange to find you sitting around."

The vibrant crackling voice of the creature seemed loud as it said, "I moved this rock and hollowed out this place to sit. Terish is coming, and I find it comfortable to wait here for him."

"Oh, and why would Terish come here?"

"This is along one of his routes."

"Yes, if he is in certain places. I thought he was elsewhere."

"He is coming."

"Okay, Terdeskollit. If you don't mind, I will wait as well. Terish is my friend."

Giluchex could not return the smile that Dathol directed at him. The expression of horror stayed fixed on Giluchex's face as his eyes continued to stare at the one sitting in the rock. A solid sensation of the creature being larger than he appeared and seeing more than where his eyes were looking caused Giluchex not to want to move closer, or display any fear by moving back. The grumbling horrible voice reinforced the malevolence that Giluchex did not want focused upon him, so he stayed as unmoving as stone while desiring to be ignored.

"Dathol, you were one that defied me. You avoided my final challenge."

"I am not the best fighter, Terdeskollit, and the person you stole the soul from was not a fighter at all. That final rush would have forced a response from my God, and could have killed Phillip. I believe that I made the best decision."

Giluchex wanted to scream as he felt the words from the holy man to condemn him, and no relief came even though only normal grinding tones came from the deity. "And yet Terish's act to challenge me would have saved you as well."

"Yes, I was surprised. I was also surprised that his act was not defiance."

"You are correct. It was a confrontation, but not truly defiant. I am waiting to find out his attitude at this time."

"How long do we have to wait?"

Giluchex felt that to have been a stupid question. The time had already passed any limit of safety. Waiting for one's doom instead of acting to remove it was not wise. Giluchex had served in the military, and learned how to avoid confrontations that would otherwise require serious responses. He had spent time as a teacher, and learned how to direct students to putting their energy into useful endeavors. Giluchex had not liked growing old, so had jumped at the chance to gain immortality. A fear of the process being temporary had him go to back to leading a military operation to gain control over the benefit of never aging. Only in that conflict had he given the orders to unleash horrors upon others, but even then he had warned his opponents. Those that stayed he felt deserved to be doomed, so Dathol agreeing to remain caused Giluchex to lose hope in living any longer.

The wrenching tones of the one sitting in the rock declared, "The nearby breech between worlds is being opened now. He should be here presently."

[Received a message that the text was too long - so it continues below.]

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PostSubject: Part 1B   January 5th 2009, 7:55 am

[The rest of the first installment.]

Giluchex could not turn his neck to look as the sound of hooves became louder. He wanted to remove his gaze from the terrible being, but any thought of commanding his body became ripped from his mind before it could be sent. A desire that his appendages would somehow be able to flee on their own did settle into him, although no movement occurred just as no sound came from his throat. Giluchex wanted to cry with despair as some psychic glue somehow permeating the air kept his body frozen in place.

The voice of Terish came from somewhere behind Giluchex, "Dathol, glad to see you. I wasn't expecting you here."

The holy man's face still had a pleasant expression as he turned to reply, "I haven't been here long, Terish. Glad to see you as well. I was taking Giluchex home. What brings you here?"

"If you remember, Thaunya picked up Kethal on this world. I was bringing him home."

Giluchex wanted to cry hearing the word 'home.' He stayed in place feeling sorry for not being able to die on Davelda. He had fought for that world, had taught the youth of that world, then fought again to hopefully make the world better. He thought himself foolish for ever having left his home. The light tones of Terish caused Giluchex to detest him more, as he had no true home, so no sense of the dignity of the word. While Dathol did respond to Terish, his speech had the tones of attempting to put some decency in the conversation.

"It is strange how our separate paths managed to come together."

"No, I don't believe it was strange at all." Terish's voice increased in volume as it said, "Terdeskollit, I hope that you are doing well."

"I have a need, Terish. I waited for you to ask you to perform a quest for me. You do that sort of thing, I believe."

Giluchex really did not like Terish, but felt a desire to scream to the man to refuse the request. The being sitting in the rock was powerful and horrid, and helping him would only further corruption. Giluchex however found himself unable to close his mouth or swallow, much less speak as he heard Terish reply.

"I was sent from your world, Terdeskollit, with the command to learn. I thus have traveled far to discover secrets that would help me in my eventual meeting with you. At first I traveled anywhere, as there was very little that I knew. I then focused my travels, although continued to help those that asked as I have learned that friendship was a commodity that could not be found in the hoard of any monster. What do you need done, Terdeskollit?"

"The path that you took to my world was through a breech upon a world where you said that the gods slept. I know that the realm is alive, but none watch over it. Even the divine realm is habited, but those that have authority are absent. I can move through the divine realm, but have no presence there as my essence cannot be invited."

"I know the world, Terdeskollit. I had heard about it, but it was due to the urging of Dathol that I first went to it. It was an adventure that we often discuss."

"That is why I revealed myself to Dathol. I felt that he would be a useful companion for you."

Giluchex inwardly cried with despair as the holy man made no move to speak, but simply looked to Terish for his response. "The divine realms are not however places that we frequent. Me, because I am unable. Dathol, because he would simply rather not."

"You are able, Terish. You moved into the divine realm of my universe to confront me. There are none to enforce the rules in the universe we have mentioned, so you could move into that divine realm as well. You also have gifts that I do not have."

"Oh, and what gifts are those?"

"You have friends."

Giluchex felt a need to scream out that he was no friend of Terish. Statements relating a history of antagonistic policies wanted to be voiced by Giluchex. His words however stayed frozen in his mind as he already considered himself condemned. His body stayed in place simply waiting for Terish to say the things that would have him doomed as well.

"Those words from you tend to make me mad, Terdeskollit."

"I cannot obtain what I desire, because I am what I am. I cannot converse with those of the divine realm of that universe, because I am not an invited presence. I may move, because no one is present to refuse my presence, but that does not mean that I can interact. You are not as I am, Terish. You may move and interact where I cannot. The same uninvolvement of certain parties will work to your advantage. You thus can get what I require, and suffer no hardship for the mission."

"I have my own opinion of what you are saying, but I am still intrigued. If for no other reason than simply spending time chatting with you, Terdeskollit, I will listen to your request."

"Water from the source of the divine spring of life."

Dathol still stood within Giluchex's field of vision, so could be seen to spin back towards the deity as he asked, "Why would you need that? You are a God. Life is yours to create. Fill your own divine realm with such waters."

"I have been challenged to create a world filled with creatures that I cannot destroy with a whim. Such is against my nature. I thus seek that essence that will command some compassion from me. Maybe if I infuse something from other sources; such I sense in Terish and find strong in his children."

"If it will help you, Terdeskollit, we will attempt this mission."

The voice of Terish softly asked, "Dathol?"

"You and I have awakened the sleeping gods, Terish. I believe that we can do it again, and gain permissions that Terdeskollit lacks. This mission should not be dangerous."

"Well, it is a plan." The voice of Terish again strengthened as it said, "Okay, Terdeskollit, we will look into this request for you. Even if we make the journey, however, something from you will be necessary. We need a cup. Some divine container that can hold what you request. It will need to be something we can carry with us safely and hold the liquid without spilling. If we fail due to incompetence, don't expect me to feel bad if it isn't my fault."

The deity asked, "Will you proceed along the same path as last time?"

Dathol answered, "We have to, Terdeskollit. That path is required if one is to approach the resting place of the sleeping gods."

"Then you will again pass the breech to my world. The cup will be presented to you there."

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PostSubject: Part 2   January 10th 2009, 7:53 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Ten

Part 2

Giluchex wanted to scream as the terrible being stepped down from his seat, because it coming closer made him feel that his doom approached. The creature of horrid skin and fire however disappeared without making any act of destruction, although Giluchex felt no relief. He had seen that for which he could not explain, and felt no connection with reality.

His body jerked as arms wrapped around him, and a female voice that he considered lost exclaimed, "Giluchex, speak to me. Terish, help me with Giluchex."

Giluchex found the form of Terish coming into view not to relieve his fear, and his asking for advice did not provide hope. "Dathol, did Terdeskollit do anything to Giluchex?"

"No, but he has no source of mediation. He had to face the revelation alone."

Terish knelt before Giluchex to look him in the eyes as he said, "Well, it is still survivable. Giluchex. Giluchex, come on; you know who I am. You cannot go silent on me, Giluchex. If you go silent, I might be allowed to take up residence in Castle Davelda."

The voice of Straekin said, "You came because you wanted to learn, Giluchex. Well, don't let the evidence take you to the grave."

"That won't happen," her husband said while continuing to smile. "You are an immortal, Giluchex. All that will happen is that you will get put into an institution where you will have to live under the authority of the council, which Straek will dominate without your presence."

It really irritated Giluchex that Terish would cut short people's names. The man rushed around seeming to have no respect for others even as he supposedly helped them. The fear that held Giluchex in place eased as the terror of the creature that he had seen became replaced by the horror of giving any authority to Terish.

Giluchex found an old strength return to him, and he managed to turn his head to look at his empress. Her head was against a shoulder as her arms wrapped around his form. He felt a desire to hug her back, but was satisfied to at least hear himself speak.

"That was a most terrifying creature."

The face of the lady lifted to show that she was crying as she planted a kiss on a cheek. "Yes, Giluchex, that was a cruel vicious being. We will take you back to Davelda. You will be safe."

Terish stood to say, "Celatia, you will stay in Davelda as well."

"I will not. It is my place to carry you, Terish. I went with you through the world of Terdeskollit. Whatever this place is, it cannot be as bad."

"I did not like you being there, either. It is outside your calling to walk with me through danger. Your world has faced its destruction. It is your place to warn others of the reality of certain doom, not to face it all over again."

"I did not fight in that war, Terish. Only by traveling with you can I come to know any substance of what you and Raedell experienced."

"You are not a fighter."

"And you are not someone who should walk." The centaur moved toward Terish glaring at the man as she added, "Not because you cannot, but because it is my duty to carry you."

Terish sent a hand up in frustration, then turned to say, "Kethal, you are home. Have a good life."

Giluchex could not understand the man. While he spoke long, none of the words had any resemblance to the language of Davelda. All Giluchex could do was watch the faces of those around him, although their displeasure did not enable him to make a personal impression of the speech. He simply waited to hear the responses from those he could understand.

Terish spun back to his wife to say, "Gee, I hate to say this, but Giluchex seems to be the only rational one among us."

The man suddenly figured out that Kethal had been stating his reasoning for not going home. Giluchex still sensed remnants of the paralyzing terror that had overcome him, but also felt his mind filing the experience down as another learning situation. He had overcome a number of fears to rise in rank in the military, and brought the steps he had learned to succeed in the face of adversity to the forefront of his mind. Striving to sound as one with conviction, he moved an arm around his empress as he spoke.

"I am going as well."

Straekin breathed out the word, "No," as her husband said, "You could not even handle looking at Terdeskollit."

"I came to learn. Teach me how."

It was Dathol that replied, "You did not see us perform a ritual or use a device, Giluchex. Standing before the divine is not something you learn, but something you find the courage to perform."

"Are you saying that I was weak?"

"Yes."

Terish said, "Dathol is not telling you the full story, Giluchex, but it really is not something that we can just tell you. It is one of those things that you discover for yourself, then realize that everyone was telling you all along."

Giluchex did not like those words, as they sounded like some phrase from a religious tract or a book of stories for children. He looked to his empress for some rational response. In seeing the lovely damsel with such long hair, he again had to recognize her power. She had been able to face the malevolent creature that sat on a rock. Terish had not commanded her to stay at home. He had been married to her for about a decade, and had spent time with her for decades before that, so probably knew that she would defy him just as the others did. While Giluchex pleasurably imagined watching his empress stand up to Terish, the historic fact was that she would have obeyed. Straekin regularly challenged those of the council, but had always submissively turned to Terish for advice and a resolution of problems. She had gone to his land and became the mother of his children. If he had told her to go home, she would have accepted his command in spite of the defiance by all others. Wanting to gain that much respect from the lady only reinforced the decision that Giluchex had made.

He tried to stand, but found himself needing the help of the lady to manage it. The act helped his mind to again start functioning in what he felt was a rational manner. Giluchex however could not prevent a resurgence of the recent terrifying experience to cause his body to shake, which he tried to cover by shooting his form erect. A more historic fear went through him as he felt Straekin have to move her arm upon his person. He looked down to see a pleasant glare. He sensed that she still worried about him, although relieved that he again felt able to stand on his own.

Giluchex again studied at the attractive female form. An expression of wonder crossed his face in realizing that when he had needed Straekin's aid she had been strong enough to provide it. He remembered seeing the videos, those of the enemy at that time, and accepting that stunningly beautiful lady as a good propaganda image. As the war progressed toward his defeat, he had never considered her the true source of the power that opposed him. Straekin had however been one of those at the table to accept the conditions of surrender. She had then been the one proposed to rule the new world of immortals. Giluchex had at the time considered her authority to quickly dissolve by those who truly knew how to control others, but centuries later she still dominated. Even at the moments of her successes, he had never considered her physically strong. Giluchex now looked to the lady understanding that there was more to her than simply beauty.

Terish also appeared young. He did not have the age of Straekin, either in actual years or in physical maturity, but was a much better match for the lady than Giluchex. Even with all the restoration of the immortality process, he knew that in dating the lady that a separation of years would be noticeable. He however wanted to be worthy of standing with his empress. The fact that Terish was considered worthy and that Straekin did accept his authority really grated on Giluchex. He moved next to his empress determined to prove himself her equal, even as he wondered to what extremes his conviction would take him.

"If I start this adventure with you, will I be able to return should I change my mind?"

Terish replied, "We can pause as we move through worlds to help you see certain landmarks. The horse can help you open most portals, but we will point out little details with others. When we are at the lake, that is the final decision. If you go down with us, you are committed." Terish added with strength in his voice to assure that someone heard him, "No mounts go into the lake."

Celatia said in return, "You cannot deny me, Terish, and I am your mount."

"I will let you see what is required, Celatia. We can discuss it again then."

Straekin said, "Giluchex, I wish that you would not go."

"Empress, I wish that you had not married Terish. My desire did not stop you, and your desire will not stop me. You sent Venicht to us to challenge us to find our own answers. Okay, I am taking you up on your challenge."

The lady turned to her husband to ask, "Terish, how much danger are we in?"

"None, except for some difficult travel, disturbing some deities that would probably desire to be left alone, and facing challenges that will probably be worse than what Terdeskollit can devise."

"How can anything be worse than that?"

"Because they won't be malicious. They will friendly, lovely, and something that we will truly desire. We will be entering the land of where I believe all of us truly want to be. The longing to stay will be overwhelming."

Dathol countered, "Well, it isn't necessarily that nice of a place, but you will need to stay aware if you expect to return."

Giluchex again noticed that while Straekin moved as an equal with Terish, she looked to his advice. That had Giluchex ponder who had advised the lady during her centuries of ruling before Terish came into her life. For a novice at life and politics, she had ruled effectively from the start. Giluchex knew those that did provide advice to the lady, but that was because he was in that group. He had even tracked who came and went from her apartment in order to assure that his time in her presence equaled, if not surpassed, all other factions in the government. She still manipulated him and all others in a clear signal to the people that she was the supreme ruler of the land. Straekin had however allowed Terish to have power over her, and he continually gave her reasons to accept his authority.

Giluchex tried to work his own influence as he said, "Well, let us not make camp here. Can we move off a ways?"

Terish nodded at the suggestion, then replied as he seemed to look around, "I believe that we all need a night of rest. There should be a Cricket House somewhere around here." Giluchex noticed that Straekin and Dathol stayed quiet as they watched Terish move his head. "Okay, there we are. It will take a couple more hours of travel."

As if responding to some command by her husband, Straekin turned to say, "Mount up, Giluchex. You will now be allowed to see one of the amenities of travel through the omniverse."

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Cp 10   January 10th 2009, 9:45 am

This ends of a nice note, that leaves open the door for continuing the story.

Nice spot to end the chapter.
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PostSubject: Reply   January 10th 2009, 2:07 pm

Thanks. I have been working on the section. The chapter did go on to the first Cricket House, but I did make the break here after a serious editing session. Glad to know that I did something right. Next chapter in a few days (Thursday).

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Cp 10   January 11th 2009, 12:54 am

You have done nothing wrong so far.

I just happen to like the cliffhanger you have at this point. Makes for a desire to want to know what happens next.
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