The slurking emptiness of the portal spiraled in confounding directions, blackness folding upon darkness, disorientating and robbing him of every sense. Silence filled his hearing, emptiness touched his hands, and piercing blackness robbed his sight as he forced himself to step through the numbing cold nothingness. Three steps, Gairynzvl had told him; three steps and he would be through the portal, but in the darkness where he lost all perception, including that of his own body, he could not be sure how many steps he had taken and the slowly turning abyss offered no perspective. Wholly uncertain, Evondair took another step.
The scrunch of gravel beneath his boots reoriented his senses as he took a final step and found himself standing on a dusty, barren track of greyish gravel surrounded by jagged outcroppings of bare rock. A fetid stench hung upon the thin air and leaching downward from a colourless sky, sooty rain in the form of a heavy mist shrouded everything. As the remaining Liberators crossed into the Uunglarda, Evondair moved away from the portal and gazed around curiously; yet even as he sought to familiarize himself with the empty wasteland stretching away before him in both directions and ignore the malodorous stench that made him snort in disgust more than once, he reached out through his exceptional gift of discernment.
The action was instinctual; a means of understanding his surroundings and those within it, but opening his mind to the darkness of the Uunglarda was not only an ill-conceived idea, but a thoroughly dangerous endeavor and he instantly regretted it. With the force of a rushing tide, desperate loneliness and unremitting anguish poured into his being, overwhelming him so completely that he raised his hands to cover his eyes and doubled over with physical pain. Memories as scathing as a lashing torment serrated through his thoughts; sadistic brutality and remorseless cruelty that drew a profound groan from behind his clenched teeth before the irrepressible tears of more souls than he could number pressed into him like a thousand blades.
He did not say a word, in truth he could not, but as the waves of despair and suffering sought to drag him into the colourless shadows and ensnare him, he fought to withdraw his discernment from the darkness even as it grasped and clawed at his mind like a ravaging monster. He could have screamed; he could have cried bitter tears; he could have cursed repeatedly in fluent Dlalth as the comprehension of the dark language of the Reviled filled his mind as clearly as his own did, but he did none of these things. As the deluge of misery wrenched at his mind and heart and the dejectedness of the lost Fey of the Light tore at his sanity, he centered his thoughts on the only thing in all of existence that was capable of defeating the darkness. Filling his mind’s eye with an image of bright, clear, sparkling Light, he focused his attention on the wails and screams shattering his thoughts and answered their cries for mercy with the strongest weapon at his disposal.
Unspoken, yet heard as clearly as thunder rolling across the scorched heavens, the compassionate love that filled his entire spirit reached outward benevolently, silencing the calamitous uproar as a breathless pause stretched across the gloom.
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