“No!” Morganna roared, lashing out at the door with Lady Nightshade’s psionic powers. “It cannot be true. It cannot! If it is… then it is a rule… and they cannot touch me! Never again!”
Again and again, the psionically generated blades of force slammed into the fey-metal Vault. Sparks flew into the green sky. The Vault had been proofed against weapons by Troll engineering and against spells by wizardly magic. But the power Tatiana Farnsworth had been born with was neither.
There was a scream of metal grinding against metal and a rough, four foot triangle of fey-metal sheered off of the seal and plummeted into the room below. It scrapped and clanged down stone stairs before coming to rest.
The final clatter of the shorn piece of metal shook Morganna out of her rage. Though she breathed in ragged gasps from exertion, her unearthly calm returned. Chortling madly under her breath, she jumped down the hole and descended the stairs.
The green light of the sky filtered through dust raised by the violent opening of the space. Ten wide stairs led down into a shallow room. Beyond the piece of fallen metal stood a mahogany chest, upon which stood a full sized mannequin.
The dummy was garbed in a forest green cloak embellished with silver filigree. A toque of two teak dragons with a thumb sized ruby clamped in their jaws rested on its neck. A simple gold ring had been placed on the middle finger of its left hand. That same hand held a crystal sphere the size of a man’s fist. The right hand held an intricately carved staff of ebony, topped with a lion’s paw embedded with a flawless, dome cut emerald.
Smiling in the dim, Morganna remained haunted by the words Hyrilius had asked her to say by proxy; the same words another wizard had once used to cow her.
This too shall pass.
“No.” she said aloud, her fingers closing around the staff. Her eyes flared with yellow light, “It shall not.”
To Be Continued…