Chapter 14

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Arhyvhynne increased her concentration and awareness and pushed out. There! Her mind felt something on the very fringes of her senses. She stood up and moved quickly in its direction though she could not tell what it was. The closer she came, the stronger the sensation grew, but the white robe still could not determine its source. Finally she reached an impasse. She focused her mind and felt an invisible barrier in front of her with the source of her sensations somewhere just beyond the barrier. She gingerly put her hand up to it and waited for a shock but none came. The barrier was as solid as a wall, just invisible.

The young witch ran down the length of the barrier, searching for an entrance or a way around but could not find either. However, as she moved up and down the barrier her sensations remained constant, neither growing stronger nor weaker. Confused, Arhyvhynne sat herself down in front of the barrier. It was obvious to her that she had to get through it. How was the question. She was an adequate spellcaster but she figured that none of the spells she knew would be powerful enough to destroy the barrier. Still, she had to try. It might only be a well-crafted illusion.

Arhyvhynne stood and moved back some paces from the barrier. She chose a spell that would cast a magical lightning bolt, thinking that the bolt, unlike a fireball, might be able to at least crack the barrier. Arhyvhynne spoke the Words and cast the bolt. The effect, or rather the lack of one, was disheartening. There was no crack, no damage, no sparks from contact, nothing. It was as if the barrier simply absorbed the bolt without any adverse effects. Thinking the barrier might have incurred some unseen damage, Arhyvhynne checked it with her hands but found it to be sound.

A great deal of time passed. Arhyvhynne sat down, paced, cursed those who subjected her to the Trials ("I told you I was not ready for this!" she yelled) and cried, all to no avail. She employed meditation over and over, seeking inner guidance but did not particularly care for the conclusions she drew. She had gotten this far only by using her mind scanning abilities. The next step would be to use that same power to break the barrier. Easier said than done, the white robe told herself. If the truth be known, the proposition frightened the young witch. Naturally Arhyvhynne was afraid of failing and being forced to await death in the gloomy, perpetual fog. But she was also afraid of succeeding, of having such power and control over her mind that she could actually destroy something, or worse still, someone with it.

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