Choose your Adventure Story
You awake suddenly and completely, coming to full consciousness in the space between heartbeats, certain that someone was calling your name.
Moving to a sitting position you look around the room curiously. You appear to be alone, and judging by the feeble lighting the night has not yet given way to the dawn. Your tiny room, barely large enough to fit your bed, a desk and a chair remains exactly as you had left it before going to bed. Silence reigns over the small building that has served as your home for the past three years.
What then, you wonder, has awoken you?
Under normal circumstances, you would sleep through the night – the dreamless sleep of one drained by exhaustion, both physical and mental. Even as you form this thought, the aches of the previous day’s training make themselves felt in your sore muscles.
Glancing over at your desk, you can see that the ancient tome you had been studying before bedtime still lies open. The mysteries of the tome call to you, beguiling you to re-light the lantern on the desk and continue unraveling their wisdom – words of power far older than the kingdom itself. Knowledge waiting to be claimed by those with a deep mind and a strong body. The secrets, of the Old Arts.
Not that you were supposed to be studying from this book in particular. There were dozens of books concerning the Old Arts in the Master’s collection – many of which were available for your perusal. This work, however, had been forbidden to you – its knowledge had been judged to be too advanced, too dangerous, for one of your current abilities.
“All things, in their time,” you mutter to yourself with a slight smile. It is a familiar litany of the Master’s, oft-repeated by her other disciples as well.
Your plan had been to return the tome to the Master’s study while Naema, the Primus, attended to the Master’s morning rituals. As the Master’s Secundus, it was your duty to see to the various Minorus under the Master’s tutelage. However, you had reasoned before stealing the book from the library, that you would be able to return it before you would be missed from your morning duties.
A feeling of unease gnaws at your insides as you sit in bed staring at the ancient book. Perhaps returning it now would be best…
You hadn’t even gained much knowledge from your forbidden perusal. Much of the subject matter was far too advanced for you. It was possible that Naema herself, even with all her talent and her raw ambition, was not yet ready for studies of this nature.
Whilst reading the text, several times you had found yourself feeling as though your soul was being drawn from your body to merge with the world around you, becoming one with the aged stones of the building, the flickering flame in the lantern, the sturdy polished wood of the furniture, even the very air moving in and out of your nostrils. The feeling had not exactly been unpleasant, but it had definitely been unnerving…
Was that, then, what had awakened you?
You shake your head, trying – and almost succeding – to banish thoughts of your soul drifting free of your body forever.
What to do, what to do…?
> Ignore the feeling and go back to sleep. [ Chapter 8 ]
> Return the book to the library now. [ Chapter 9 ]