By EM Malachi
The druid caught her friend before the mage fell into a thorn bush. Jaana knew these forests well and had chosen suitable boots for the hike. Mariah wore shoes popular on the streets of Moonglow, and the mage seemed more distracted than usual. The short journey had taken twice as long as planned.
The wisp hung in the air like a sad rain cloud. The normally brilliant light was a dull grey, and the other parts of Xorinia nearby seemed to avoid the defective wisp. “What’s wrong with it?” Jaana asked.
Mariah caught her breath and studied the creature. “If I had to guess, it’s been separated from the whole for too long. Even with magic, some injuries cannot be repaired.”
“But I got help to deactivate one of the generators affecting them. The rest of the wisps seem fine.”
“And some wisps have attacked people without provocation. There may be subtle differences between Xorinian wisps that we can’t see.”
“Can you do anything to help this one? It looks like it’s dying.”
“I could try to mend the connection to the larger whole, but it will be difficult. I’ll need an hour just to prepare.”
“Are you sure you want to attempt something so involved? You look tired.”
Mariah had already removed her spellbook from her bag. “We have to do something.”
While Mariah set up for the ritual, Jaana consulted with the other wisps in the area. They were very upset about something called “sharp ethereal waves.” Had the Xorinite wisps been able to leave Sosaria, there would have been a mass flight back to their home dimension.
When Mariah had finished drawing an ornate ritual circle around the wisp, the mage started chanting, “Ort Lor In Grav Vas Wis.” She began to glow, and a pattern of sparkles appeared around the wisp. The creature’s own inner light began to intensify and blink in tandem with the sparkles.
Then the wind shifted, and everything stopped. The energy in the air exploded, throwing Mariah across the clearing. Every wisp gave a scream, like glass breaking. Jaana ran over to help her friend. “Are you all right?”
Mariah sat up, visibly shaken. “No. My magic, my connection to mana, is gone.” She looked over at the wisp. It shuddered slightly, and its lights went out completely.