I looked over at the pile of gear to make sure that her conduit was sitting over there. I still didn’t know the consequences of trying to use the powers of an Apostate with those of the Keys. Once I had confirmed that she did not have it I turned to Undir with the dagger.
Then I stabbed her. I made sure to avoid and critical places but it was a deep wound. As the blade sunk into her I called upon the Key of Swords. I gathered the power inside of me and then, well the best explanation was that I channeled it through the dagger. I pushed it into her and I could hear her scream in pain. The dagger sunk deeper into her and I pushed with it and the power.
As it reached the hilt in a messy way I pushed the remaining power into it and then I released my grasp on it leaving the power in the dagger. I let go with my hands and stepped back. Undir was shuttering, partially from the pain but there was something else there too, I could feel the power coursing from the blade into her.
“Grab it.” I told her. She must have been in immense pain from the wound but she must have been able to hear me because she reached up with her hands and grabbed the blade. She pulled it out slowly and it was dripping with her blood.
The wound was dangerous and the blood began to stream everywhere. I opened myself to the Key of Water and used it to hold back her blood so that she wouldn’t die of blood loss. Controlling blood was tricky with the Key but it was able to do something simple like prevent someone from losing blood.
Undir used her other hand to clutch at the wound while raising the dagger to eye level. She looked at the blade and I could feel the Key of Swords flowing through her. It wasn’t dissipating like I had feared that it would. Then she said wonderingly, “I can feel it, this strange power, very different from that of an Apostate.” She then grimaced, “But dear dead gods does this hurt. Did you really have to push it in so far.”
“Probably, it feels like you are successfully held onto the Key. Mainly I’m just glad that stabbing you was useful. It would have been awful if I did all that and stabbed you only to have it fail.”
“I would have never let you live that down.” She grimaced, “Probably won’t let you live it down anyways. Are you the reason that my blood isn’t pouring everywhere.”
I nodded, “Sure, it is the Key of Water that belonged to Quell. I’m mainly just preventing it from leaving your body. You will still want to bandage it up and have it properly taken care of.”
“Your still a jerk for stabbing me.” Then she did a painful looking smile, “Are you ready for round two. I might be able to beat you if we fought again.”
I shook my head, “Not with that wound you wouldn’t. If I had to concentrate on fighting you I wouldn’t be able to hold your blood in and doing strenuous exercise with that wound is not recommended.”
The Slayer looked over us and commented, “He’s right, as much as you should get revenge on the bastard that stabbed you I recommend that you wait until you recover. You wouldn’t want to join me in dead any earlier then you have to.”
Undir nodded, “Sure, and considering how much pain I’m in I could really do with I nice ale or something. Probably a nap too.” She hobbled over toward her pile of stuff that we had placed to one side and then began picking things up.
I realized what was happening too late and called out, “No wait.” Just after she picked up the conduit of Tistral. It began to smoke and Undir screamed. I had been worried that would happen if a Key user tried to access a Conduit. She was still holding onto the Key of Swords too. I rushed to her side and caught her before she collapsed to the ground. I didn’t want to release the Key of Water while Undir was in this state but I had to do something.
I gritted my teeth and pulled the conduit from her hands. It was literally painful to touch and it felt like it burned my hand as I held it. I could feel the power inside it trying to attack me. Somehow it was also accepting me as an Apostate so I could feel it interfering with me Key. It was intense I and it felt hard to move. I wanted to toss it away but I couldn’t seem to control my body.
All I could managed was commanding the Key of Water. I pulled a thin strand of blood from Undir and focused it into a razor sharp edge. The necklace then shattered into a multitude of pieces. Trying not to let go of the Key of Water I pulled the power out of Tistral’s conduit. It was horrible, worse then it had been with Quell. I almost lost control several times because I had trouble holding both the Key of Water and Tistral’s power at the same time. Finally I managed to gain control over the storming power.
Once I finally held it I was able to relax. I could feel Undir’s pained gaze on me and I reached out shakily toward her. “This power is more rightfully yours. You try and old it.” I touched her skin and let the all the built of power of Tistral flow out of me and into her. I could feel the Keys leave me one by one I as I released them. Finally I was just left holding what remained of Tistral’s personality and I disposed of that with the Key of the Ferryman.
I was still holding the Key of Water and somehow it felt light and easy to carry after all that had happened. I could feel the Keys inside Undir and I could also feel them still outside of my reach. Those new Keys made from the power of Tistral the Ravenborn were there along with the rest of them
“We need to go back quickly.” I said.
She was still reeling from all the power that was inside her but she muttered, “Why what’s wrong?”
“The Key of…” I paused to figure out a name for it, “Of Concealment, part of Tistral’s power, when I broke apart the power I understood. The ward that you set up back at the base, it has unfortunately been unraveled and will have to be remade anew with the Key of Concealment. If the others don’t realize it.”
The Slayer tisked, “Don’t worry. I’m on it. They will know what happened and I’ll make sure none of them leave or enter the base until you two can get back to repair it.” And then she vanished, disappearing into a puff of fog and mist.
“Sometimes she is just a little too convenient. However we still need to get out of here. That definitely wasn’t subtle and you were screaming a fair bit before that so if anybody is around they will probably be checking out this place.” I lifted her up and helped her walk out of the woods.
Once we had gone a little ways we stopped and I helped her bandage her wounds with part of my coat. It wasn’t the best solution but it would prevent us from being suspicious when entering the town.
“Can you use the Key of Concealment? If we could enter the city without attracting any attention what would be useful. I can try if you are not able to but it you may be more familiar with it then me.” I said.
She nodded, “I think I can, although now that it had become a Key I’m not certain if it will function the same way.”
I went along with her and held both the Key of Water and the Key of Concealment. I could feel her using the Key as we entered the city. I could feel the cloak that she had cast over us. It was complicated and while it wouldn’t prevent us from being seen it would make it so that nobody would think that we were unusual. The construct felt understandable to me while I held the Key but I could see that she had much more practice at this sort of stuff then me.
Nobody gave us a second look as we walked through the capitol and one of us was obviously very wounded. We reached the bass and stood a fair bit outside it. I reached out toward the Key of the Ferryman and held it along with the other two Keys. While I was doing that I noticed that it was easier then it had been before to hold more then one Key at a time.
“Slayer, are you there.” I called out for her.
There was nothing visible but I heard her voice say, “Yes, I’m here. Itinal and Drarak are in the base and they know of what happened. I don’t think the place is currently being watched but you might want to be careful.”
“We are currently concealed but somebody still might notice if we enter the building.”
Undir shook her head, “We should be fine, people might notice but nobody will think twice about it.”
I nodded and we approached the building. I pushed open the door for Undir and we entered. Drarak was sitting in the meeting room when we arrived and he helped me set Undir down on the chair. “Are you alright Undir?” He asked, “Did everything work out.”
She shook her head, still in pain, “Damn knife wound feels ten types of painful. But it worked, Nick managed to show me how to use the Key of Swords. Unfortunately it reacted badly the Tistral and Nick needed to liberate those powers too. In better news it seems that he managed to show me how to use those too, and this time without having to stab me.”
“As much as I would like to talk about what happened. We should probably get the ward over this place functioning again. Do you need my help setting it up?”
She nodded, “While I could do it myself the first time I did it it took me all day. I would be much faster if I had another person helping me.”
I help a little hold on the Key of Water to keep her from bleeding to death and then grasped the Key of Concealment. “I’ll try to follow your lead if you want to explain.”
She nodded and began to work the concealing magic. I kept up as best as I could, reinforcing the things she did and lending my strength to her. It was a complicated working with layers of protection which not only conceal the place from detection but also prevents it from being detected from the outside by others with the same sort of power.
After several hours of working we finally managed to complete it. The last part was tying it down so that it would remain long after we had finished. By my estimation it would only need repair every few months and even then would retain most of its potency for most of a year.
After we were done I laid back in the chair and relaxed, “That was educational. I don’t think I’ve done anything that complicated before. Breaking apart a gods power is hard and requires immense concentration but it doesn’t have that kind of delicate touch.
I considered how the power had been used, that complicated lasting power what had been created. The Key was well tuned for making lasting enchantments but I could probably apply the same principles to other Keys, at least in theory.