"And in that Deep, Dark Place..."
With the sound of a backwards explosion, the portal into the shadow geyser collapsed behind Evu and Tryn. They were abruptly enveloped in a thick, whirling darkness filled with vile shapes, sounds, and smells.
Evu stumbled blindly through the nightmarish landscape. He heard Tryn scream as dark hands seized her, vanishing he knew not where. Grotesque creatures circled about him, cackling, gibbering, howling. Gravity seemed to change direction. The darkness swirled about, tugging at his clothes, his hair, his ankles. Evu was utterly lost.
More than that, he was trapped. They had wanted him in here.
Suddenly, the screams and winds quieted, and all grew calm. "Welcome, Evu," said a melodious, compelling voice. "Welcome to our new home."
Evu shook his head to clear it. He saw two shadowy figures ahead of him in the darkness. "I know you," Evu said. "I do... I think. Hmmm..."
The melodious voice laughed. "Perhaps these will help," it said, as a palmful of black jellybeans fell into Evu's eager hands.
"I am Hrada," said the second shadow as Evu munched timidly. "This is Warrada. We're here to help."
Evu looked at the two Magi. "I remember you," he said, "you lived in--"
"Naroom," said the two of them together. They stepped closer to Evu.
"Life is much better here," said Warrada, whispering into Evu's ear.
"Life in Naroom filled you with power, I know," said Hrada. "Power that felt sooo goood. But the Core has even more power, Evu," he added, curling his outstretched hand into a fist. "So much more, you have no idea."
Warrada leaned even closer to Evu, so close that her lips almost touched his ear. Evu gave a little whimper, half in fear, half in anticipation. "You're growing old, Evu," she crooned. "Wouldn't you love to feel raw power surging through your body once more?"
"But the geyser, it ruins everything," protested Evu weakly. "I won't be part of it!"
Hrada laughed. "Fire says the same thing of water, Evu. The geyser isn't destroying anything, it's just changing the way things are." At this, a chaos plith and a dark furok stalked out of the blackness to stand beside him.
Warrada draped her long arms around Evu's shoulders. "Have some more jellybeans," she whispered. "They help you think."
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