Chapter 21

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Uriel's first attempt was to summon darkness. It took him days to secretly scrounge up the ingredients needed to perform the spell. During that time, his apprehension built. He questioned whether he should perform the ritual at all; wondered what would happen should he fail. But something, something that was now a part of him, compelled him to continue. He made his first attempt one night (early morning, really) in his room. As Uriel began the casting, he felt the growing tension and the expending of energy as he had when he performed the renascencies. But when he willed the darkness into being, he experienced unparalleled exhilaration. And though afterwards he was left feeling defiled and disgusted with himself, Uriel recalled the exhilaration that power brought him and focused instead on that.

Subsequent attempts on similar elementary spells brought similar results and Uriel ached to test himself with more difficult and powerful spells. He knew that the successful casting of a more powerful spell would mean a greater feeling of elation and, like a drug, Uriel had begun to crave that feeling. But he was afraid. And the more his fear mounted, so did his need to study more of The Black Lodge.

It had been two weeks before MidSummer and the Towers had begun to empty out for the month long optional vacation. Many of the witches travelled to various parts of Khaballe to visit with their families. Others simply wished a change of locale and atmosphere. Of the Council, Arhyvhynne was staying at the Towers as was Wyxotte. Lhynette had left for Bhel'Ehzz and Xenyssa had not yet decided on her plans. Dhynelle and Qelharre were both leaving, but only for a week or so and not until after MidSummer. Eyrmysse had decided to get away but she wasn't sure when.

With the majority of the Towers vacated, Uriel became less cautious with his actions. He began to visit the library earlier each evening. Thus it happened that Eyrmysse walked in on him a week before MidSummer. He was panicked when the black robe entered the library and came over to the table where he was sitting. Combating an equal mix of fear and guilt, Uriel wasn't quite sure what to expect from her. The black robe, her smile in place, leaned forward slightly to expose a little more cleavage. But then, in a very unpretentious manner, she encouraged Uriel to continue his studies and offered her assistance should he require it. After which she went about her business and left the library shortly thereafter.

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