Chapter 22

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Khyaroh and Skhuroh had been visible in the sable sky for quite some time on the fourth evening of the MidSummer celebration. The Towers were quiet and the Guardian on duty at the Sanctum of Destruction was Qenthyeffe. Though she had started her shift less than an hour earlier, she felt herself becoming extremely weary. The elf had an increasingly strong urge to surrender to sleep during each passing minute. The Guardian fought against it, trying desperately to stay alert. She repeated the warnings through her mind about Uriel spending an inordinate amount of time at the Sanctum. But the Spell of Slumber was too much for her and she eventually dropped to the floor right where she stood.

At the appointed time, the black robe telepathically contacted her collaborator. While she had devised the plan to gain access to the Rune and developed the spells necessary to perform the casting, she would be in need of assistance in maintaining her energy and transporting her upon completion. Also, he was her only hope of deliverance should she encounter any difficulties along the way.

The black robe felt a mental touch and then a spectral image of Satarsmyt appeared followed by the steady flow of energy surging through her body. Drawing from her augmented energy, she built a visualization of the barrier, only inverted, then strove to make the mental picture a reality. Even with the benefit of the sustenance she received from the goat-man, the process took the better part of half an hour. Though the process was not difficult per se, it required a great amount of repetition and concentration. She was tired and bathed in sweat but she had successfully reversed the polarity of the barrier and it still appeared to be sound.

With the initial part of the casting completed, the witch required a break. Not only was her energy level largely depleted, but Qenthyeffe had begun to stir and the black robe had to prolong the Spell of Slumber. The whole procedure was taking longer than she originally thought it would.

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