“Hasn’t anyone ever taught you to knock?” Apoc could hear the distinct northern accent from the Elf. She was striking. One of the most beautiful Elves he’d ever seen. Her hair was long and black, and her skin was smooth and alabaster. Her eyes were a deep gold. She wore light armor on top of a silk blend. She looked as regal as any Elf he knew. Sitting behind her desk she was going over a message. She looked up and saw that it wasn’t who she thought and she reached for her sword.
“Stop. That’s not something you want to do.”
She froze as Apoc walked toward the desk and sat in the chair facing her. By the terrified look in her eyes he knew that she knew who he was. She moved back to her original position and kept her unblinking eyes on him.
“It’s impossible for you to be here. This place is blind to our people, there is no way you should have found it.” Her voice trembled with equal parts terror and disbelief.
“Well I did. I had a feeling that something was here but I had no idea that there was an Elf behind this.” Apoc leaned forward and grabbed an apple from her desk. The chair creaked as he leaned back, crossed his leg over a knee and took a bite from the apple. “And to tether an Immortal, that is no simple feat. Something that is way beyond your abilities.”
“You have no idea the work I am doing here. It’s to… I shouldn’t even be talking to you, I should…” Before she could finish her sentence Apoc allowed a large amount of energy to leak through from his limitless source. She began to sweat and shake under the pressure of it.
“You’re going to tell me everything. Don’t spare a detail.”
“Mask…” She reached for a crystal on the desk but before she could Apoc snatched it up with his fist and inspected it.
“Wow, now I know you didn’t make this. Only the greatest Elven Spellcasters can weave such an intrinsic death hook. You’re too young to be this skilled. It loops into the targets essence wrapping it around their power so that even if they tried to use their magic to disarm it, it would either bind tighter or kill them, depending on what the user decides. The only counter would be to catch the hook before it gets in, and even then the hook has a counter counter measure that releases more hooks depending on the amount of effort put into the counter. The trick is to use just the right amount of energy to cancel it out. Too much and it releases more hooks, not enough and it snags you. This is something that I can barely do, and even then it would take a very long time.”
Through her shaking voice she replied. “I thought you were just a warrior. My reports said as much.”
“While I prefer to fight with blade and fist doesn’t mean that I don’t know a thing or two about magic.”
“It’s not going to matter,” her voice shook more violently under the weight, “No matter what you do you can’t stop what’s coming.”
“Ril, what’s coming?”
“I can’t, if I tell you, he’ll make me suffer.” She began to cry.
He reached over and touched her hand. If it wasn’t for the strange force effecting his magic he would have probed her from his seat, but he knew he wanted to get a better read. He could feel that she had the same kind of death hook in her that she attached to Mask. There was something else that was there that he couldn’t figure out.
“What did they do to you?”
He drew his energy back in so she could talk but it seemed like she was still shaking under oppressive force.
“He’s coming.” her voice was one of utter terror.
Before she could speak she began to convulse. He grabbed her arm and reached into her with his own force. The death hook was pulling at her essence trying to rip her apart. With hooks of his own he latched on to her life force and kept it from being ripped from her body. It was a race against an unseen force and time. He had to unlatch the death hooks before her body gave up. He wove a counter spell and wrapped it around the hook. It slowed but not much.
He was doing too many things at once but he had no choice. If he were to focus on one aspect of the spell he would lose the battle. He sensed the force trying to reach for the strands of Mask’s hook but he cut that off with ease. Severing the connection from the source was the easiest part. In that tenth of a second distraction the death hook in Ril yanked and tore the soul from her body and sending it into the void in which no life could venture. She was gone and there was nothing that he could have done.
He cursed under his breath as he sat back.