apathetic alteration

The Shield of Rumion, it shall grant you protection from the Trepions. Do not let your guard down and use it wisely.
— King Wurmin

Oh, Wurmin, how you would wail if you could could see your son now, Neni'taca thought, lazy and naive in a single body. Neni'taca looked up from the engraving in the stone pedestal and let the shield come into view. It shimmered like water and was shaped in the form of a half sphere, encapsulating everything of the old city.

Not wanting to draw attention Neni'taca started walking, following the flow of the crowd towards the shield and one of the gates in the old wall. As they passed through the shield a shiver went down Nani'tacas' spine, but as predicted their shadow did not get expelled into the crowd, instead it took shelter in the rune-laden crystal in the pouch on their belt. That did not stop Neni'taca from feeling naked and exposed as the old wall and gate started to fill the view.

The gate guards chatted happily with each other, not paying particular attention to the crowd as it went in and out of the old city and Neni'taca passed without anybody causing a row. Shortly thereafter Neni'taca turned off the main street leading to the palace and instead entered a small side alley. After a few minutes walk along the narrow path, in the shadow of the tall buildings belonging to the merchants, Neni'taca arrived at their goal. A man sized obelisk situated in a niche between two buildings.

Neni'taca looked up and down the street, but nobody could be seen, so they leaned down and pulled up a hinged panel from the ground next to the obelisk, revealing a hole and a ladder leading downwards. After one last look around Neni'taca crawled down and closed the panel after themselves.

How things have changed, Neni'taca thought, not many decades ago every obelisk would have been guarded by the cities fines soldiers and now it's just guarded by the every-mans ignorance and desire to not get sick and hurt. A foot found solid ground in the darkness, causing dust to swirl up. Not that it could be seen, the darkness was absolute, but that did not stop Neni'taca from continuing onward, down the narrow stone corridor they found themselves in.

After a few minutes Neni'taca found their path blocked off by a smooth metal door with no handle, only a spherical indentation at head-hight. Leaning in, Neni'taca started muttering the phrase that had taken so many years to research: drot ju aklop portro atiri Once the phrase was finished, a click could be heard through the door then it swung open, making no noise as if recently oiled to perfection. As it did Neni'taca and the dusty corridor became washed in a bright yellow light coming from the room beyond the door.

After blinking a few times to adapt to the new illumination Neni'taca stepped in, finding themselves at the top of a staircase spiralling downwards through the insides of a obelisk. The staircase did not touch the white marble walls, which were covered in intensely glowing chiselled runes.

What a masterpiece you created, Wurmin, Neni'taca thought as they descended down the stairs, even walking through it I still find it astonishing that you managed to divide the definitions by creating a fifth obelisk in that palace of yours to bind them. The marble floor came into view and they started looking around for the beginning of the runic text, wori air nol, while pulling out a hammer and chisel.

Once found, Neni'taca carefully started chiselling away the marble in between the runes, making the script read, wori air nol to. instead. After an hour the new runes were in place, but were not glowing. Neni'taca packed up and headed up the stairs, closing the door behind them by saying the entry phrase again, and then spoke a different one. cherr aport de aklop.

Immediately Neni'taca could feel their shadow coming out of the crystal and merging with their body again. My old friend, Neni'taca though, it's time to kill a king.



Articles under apathetic alteration


Comments

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2 Feb, 2020 14:52

Interesting story! Have you written anything else about the things that appear in the story? It would be interesting to have links to read more to gain some context!

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2 Feb, 2020 18:48

There is more! Those parts of the story were written earlier, so the magic changes a little as I get a better feel for it. Normally you can find the links under the article/dictionary and above the ko-fi link, but here the category table of contents is as well, for your convenience.