“Are you sure you want to make your Zeah so present?” Elezar asked him. “It will only make it easier for Métius to take it from you after all of this.”
“You assume that I will lose this fight,” Zarrek snarled, “but my fire is stronger than you realize. It is by my power that I shall destroy this monster!”
The wraith shrieked, angered by the prince’s surety, and flew past him. Even as the ragged edged of his robes went by, it left a cold in its wake not unlike the depths of the abyss. Zarrek shivered briefly, then redoubled his flames. He watched the wraith circle the shadowy edges of the room, hoping for a patterns in its movements. After a few moments, he left his left hand take the weight of his sword and held out his right palm. A ball of light gathered in it, swirls of red and blue and orange, and he went on watching the monster.
Then, at last: “Fireball!” He launched the sphere, something nearly as large as his chest, just ahead of the wraith. The creature flew straight into it, screaming as the heat seeped into it. Zarrek grinned to himself.
“Daddy!” the young boy called from his cage, grasping at the bars.
“It will be defeated soon, son,” Elezar called back. “Just try to stay away from it.”
The child whimpered, but Zarrek let Elezar be the one to worry about that. The wraith was furious that he had been able to hurt it so badly, and was now flying in spirals up into the heights of the room.
“Just how big is this chamber?” Elezar asked.
“Big enough for that thing.. and Métius,” Zarrek muttered.
They had no time to make a conversation of it. The wraith sped back down, and flew over Zarrek’s body. For a moment, he felt trapped, surrounded back the black other-worldliness of it. Once it had passed over him, he shivered. Elezar could see that the fire that had surrounded him was dimmer now, and it took the prince a few moments to steady himself and restore the light and heat of his flames.
“What is that thing made of?” Zarrek asked, trying to hide the trembling is his voice.
“It’s from deep with the Abyss,” Elezar told him. “It’s not mortal, and not entirely material. A wraith is not easy to defeat, Zarrek, but neither is it impossible. It did not seem to like that fireball at all.”
“Good,” Zarrek grinned, though his teeth chattered.
He remembered the one time he had shared his fire magic, not with a dark priest of Métius, but with a sorceress. She had given it back to him with a little more than what she had taken, and he felt at last that he would be able to put it to good use. Of the four deities that guarded Lorata, Zarrek used the power of two, and because of Métius he could not use the power of Kearr without it causing him terrible pain– not unless he wanted to train a sorcerer, but he knew that it was too late for that.
The celestial goddess, though… there was no reason that he could not join Aamh’s power with his Zeah. It had been such an amazing feeling, the first time he had felt Aamh’s power. He focused his body on that spark. Though his breathing grew labored, he pulled up from the depths of his being the essence of the stars. They burned like fire, and he intended the send that energy into the wraith’s body.
“That glow…” Elezar breathed as he watched Zarrek’s body swell with power. “There is something there besides Zeah…”
Zarrek watched as the wraith circled around Sallah’s cage, and then wove back and forth between hers and her child’s, reveling in their fearful screams. He shouted at it, taunting it until at last it left them and glided along a different wall. By then, his flames had streaks of silver among the red and orange, and his sword burned brightly.
When the right moment came, he did not hesitate. Zarrek swung his sword, and upwards slash, sending a line of sparking fire rushing toward the wraith. It hit the monster, eliciting from it another terrifying scream, and also scattering light across the room. He realized too late just how much he had exerted himself, and could not stop his body from descending to its knees. His vision went blurry, and his mind faded into a fog.