The Principle Pieces - Part III

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   Nystul opened his eyes and found he was in his chamber. Slowly he sat up, fighting the stiffness that still coursed through his body.

"Rest, my friend", Dupre smiled.

"What has did I get here?” Nystul asked, still in a daze.

"We found you, possibly just in time old friend", came a voice, as Geoffrey leaned forward to offered the weary mage some warm ale.

"Aye. Nystul, I had a horrible dream that harm was to come to you. We came to seek you out, but you had already gone. We followed you into the woods and saw your Facet Gate wink out just as we reached the clearing. Geoffrey ran back to town to fetch a Moonstone so that we could follow. By the time we arrived you were on your knees with, well, what appeared to be some sort of wraith hovering over you. Geoffrey approached to attack it and it simply knocked him back,” Dupre recounted.

"Aye, no magic words! Nothing, I was simply pushed back onto the ground. Then Dupre set upon it. For some reason I did not like him very much at all. It let out a sound I wish to never hear again…and then vanished.” Geoffrey added, his voice quieting to a whisper.

Dupre looked concerned, "Aye, I do not understand it myself, but the 'thing' seemed to have a distaste for me."

Geoffrey laughed, "Perhaps it caught scent of your breath, milord."

Dupre grinned and looked to Nystul.

"What was it, Nystul?", Dupre asked.

"Not what, but who." Nystul said sipping the ale.

"That was a person?” Geoffrey inquired, perfectly amazed.

"Yes, it was Revlo. The one who builds his cult of worshiping "Shadowlords", in growing numbers every day,” Nystul sighed, "I thought them mere phantoms of this man’s mind, but now I am not so certain. He could move like a breeze, faster than I could blink. He spoke in ’voices’ and his touch paralyzed me and seemed to tap my very life. He is in touch with something that is evil unlike I have ever known."

"Why did you head off by yourself?” Geoffrey asked.

"I simply needed to retrieve two books from the Lycaeum. I thought it would be an easy jaunt,” Nystul replied, carefully lying back down.

"Well, you tell us which books and we will retrieve them for you. In the meantime you need to rest.” Dupre said gently.

"Aye, rest I will", Nystul wrote on a scroll, "Bring these two books to me. I should be able to divine the items needed to create a new Bell from them."

Nystul slept.

"Dupre, this worries me. Nystul is the most powerful mage I know. Yet this Revlo was able to bring him to his knees with hardly a touch."

"Aye Geoffrey. Yet I wonder why it fled at seeing me?"

"Again friend, I think it must be your breath.” Geoffrey smiled.

"Mayhap friend", Dupre chuckled, "Now lets us go get these books"

"Aye", Geoffrey agreed - and they were off.

From the Britannia News Network - The Journal of Ultima Online, February 9th, 2001.