Jhaer grit his teeth as he plunged into the crossing paths of magic. Didn’t make a difference, though. A scream ripped from him as the magic tore through his element and into his unprotected body. The ley lines, the very arteries of the planet, penetrated his flesh, his mind, and his magic. Unlike anything he’d ever experienced, the massive power boost expanded his consciousness until it shredded his endurance. The earth. His element. The total of the entire planet. All of it. Alive inside him. Around him. Part of him. Saturating him. His essence and the planet, becoming one in totality.
His eyes opened to all that the earth knew. All its secrets. All its history. All its potential. All its violence.
And all of it wholly within him for this frozen moment of time.
Strands of magic laced around Jhaer, binding him. Penetrating him. Lancing into the very heart of his existence.
Like the wildly chaotic force of a landslide, the ley lines tumbled Jhaer and knocked him free of their path, tossing him through the intervening layers of soil. He burst from the ground and rolled onto the grass. Claiming deep a lungful of air, he struggled to process all he’d experienced.
The Mounds, created by and bound to the magic of Danu, a Seelie, had never felt like this. The magic of the Mounds had been pure fey, recycling and renewing like the flow of rain from the sky, to the river, and through mist back into storm clouds. And yet flavored with Danu’s essences. Tainted by her Seelie nature. Now he drank in magic of the ley lines, flowing through his element of earth, like the purest of waters. This magic was not filtered through any fey before him. This was pure in the wildest sense. Uncorrupted. Making him beholden unto none for his access to it. No wonder the exiles thrived. They were free as no Unseelie of the Mounds had known freedom.
Jhaer, head of the Unseelie Elite, may have been the man who sank into the earth. But the man who rose from it was Donovan. Dark chieftain. The one who would gather the scattered Sidhe and unite them. Not just for mutual protection. He’d create for the Sidhe, and the lesser fey loyal to them, a new beginning. One here on the surface. He’d teach the earthborns what it meant to be Sidhe and Unseelie.
Part 9/16 of "Aftershock" coming on 12/23/11!