Chapter 12

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Trying to escape the onslaught, Uriel withdrew deeper within himself. But the images would not relent. He was too weak, not up to the task before him. He wanted it all to stop, to be far away from this world. There was nothing for him here any longer. The pang of loss tore at his heart. Was it better to have loved and lost? NO! Never! He would gladly welcome the mercy of death were it offered.

So intense was Uriel's despair that he was unaware of the change that occurred. The Dark Ones had dwindled into the darkness and the darkness had transformed to a bright sky. Atop a mountain, the blind eyes of the ancient one reflected the pain etched deep in Uriel's heart.

As Uriel gradually became aware of the change, the old man spoke to him. "As I share your grief, Uriel, so do I rejoice that Khyrhyelle has returned home. She has accomplished that which she was sent to do. Know that the HIERARCHY holds her in THEIR loving embrace. She is safe Uriel. She is beyond the grasp of the Dark Ones." With that, clouds began to converge. Then, amidst the clouds, Uriel saw Khyrhyelle wrapped in brilliance and felt THEIR presence ever so briefly. As the experience faded, he could barely make out the words of the Dweller, "Beware Thaum's daughter."


Uriel awoke to darkness. An agonizing moment escaped before he realized he was in his own room. He sat up in bed and, hoping it had all been the proverbial bad dream (but knowing it wasn't), decided to find the answer. He stood, walked to the door and opened it. Ghemella stood just outside. That was as much an answer as he needed, but decided to ask anyway. "I wasn't dreaming, was I?"

Ghemella shook her head. "How do you feel?"

"I don't know. Empty. Drained." Uriel sighed. "Ghemella, I…"

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