Inhale… stale, dusty, moist. Blink… Pitch black. Try to move… Pinned.
Jhaer flexed his awareness. The disturbed earth overhead shifted with a groan, threatening to settle into the pocket that entombed him. Jhaer touched the unstable rubble with his magic, calming it.
Alone in the dark silence. The foul air, stale with use, choked him.
Reaching with his magic, Jhaer ignored the useless senses of his body. The earth… his element… embraced him. Merging with it, his will taking form, the ground became as yielding as liquid. The bed of rock beneath him rose as the arch of dirt above receded. Higher and higher. Faster as the surface drew nearer. Until, at last, Jhaer rolled onto the open ground beneath a sky full of stars. Not the façade that had been cast overhead for so many centuries, but the real night sky.
Deep breaths of the fresh air cleared his lungs. Exhausted in body and in magic, Jhaer rested on the bed of earth miles above what used to be the courtyard of the Seelie palace. Slowly, Jhaer rose to his knees. What his eyes beheld wrenched his heart. Where the Mounds once formed great hills above the majestic home of the Sidhe now lay only an enormous crater. A few bits of magic still flickered. The ground rumbled now and then as large chunks fell into their final resting places far below. His home, the home of all Sidhe… gone. Destroyed. He’d warned them of this and the end had indeed come. It had come crashing down hard.
And for what? The Seelie’s insatiable lust for power? His body numb. His heart, his very soul, defeated. Jhaer surveyed the crater around him and found what he expected. No one. No survivors. If not for his mastery over the element of earth, he too would be buried in this mass grave. Turning from the devastating sight, he limped away.
Part 4/16 of "Aftershock" coming on 12/6/11!