deadly summoning

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium


a lesson about making assumptions when using magic.

Submitted: May 17, 2018

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Submitted: May 17, 2018

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The storm raged outside the Zone of Stillness Auriel had erected.  After triple-checking her handiwork thus far, she nodded.  Carefully stepping between the lines of chalk dust she'd used to create the summoning circle, she made her way to the area that protected the summoner.


She took in her surroundings once again then looked up at the moon.  Right, perfect.  It looked as if it would be totally dark within the next minute.


Firmly nodding her head, she began the Ritual of Lesser Summoning.  It was surprisingly short, but then, the intent of the ritual was nothing more than to summon the spirit of the weakest of the lesser imps.


Once the incantation was finished, there was no flash of light or any such dramatic effect.  In fact, if she'd blinked, she'd have missed the arrival of...whatever it was.


It didn't look like any of the drawings of imps she'd seen in the grimoires at school.  Actually it looked like a middle aged man...no woman...no, well, something.  Regardless of its sex, or lack thereof, there was one thing Auriel was entirely sure of and that was that this being was totally ignoring her.


It was looking all around and muttering, "OK.  Let's see.  10 seconds till the new moon.  Unhallowed ground where the worst of the sinners were buried.  Venus occulted by the moon so as to entirely negate its holy power.  Yep."


Finally turning its attention to Auriel, it casually drawled, "You did well kid.  You followed the instructions exactly.  So, how many bullies were you planning to give nightmares if you'd actually managed to summon an imp instead of me."


"Wha..wha....what are you talking about.  I followed the instructions exactly.  I know I did!  I even triple-checked everything."


"That's right kid.  You did follow the instructions exactly.  Exactly as I'd planned that is."


It stroked its chin.  "What you didn't do was check with one of your instructors to see if the drawing you copied would actually do what the grimoire said it would."


Pointing to a glyph near the center of the circle, it continued, "You see this symbol here.  From where you sit, it represents the weakest imp in hell.  And so it does...from where YOU are.  However, in a summoning circle, you have to draw the glyph so that it faces the center of the circle.


"Sooooo, from where I stand, you've drawn the glyph representing the King of Hell."


It bowed to Auriel.  "Thus, here I am, not at your service."


"Wha...wha...what?"


"Geez kid, would you stop interrupting me.  I wasn't done yet."


Auriel nodded, not knowing what else to do.


"That's good, now stay quiet and I'll educate you, not that you're going to survive long enough to use what I'll tell you.  At least not in this life. Making stupid assumptions like you did is what's gonna get you dead."


It grinned evilly at her; not that it ever grinned in any other way.  "You see this radial line here in the third segment.  If you want to summon a spirit, it should be parallel to the corresponding line in the fourth segment.  The way it's drawn here, connecting the two, it means that you intend to actually summon the being itself.


"Oh, and by the way, Zones of Stillness tend to collapse when you don't keep your attention on them.  If that happens, well, you can get something like this."


As it spoke, a gust of wind blew away all of the dust forming the summoning circle, leaving only the bare ground of the graveyard.  "That's why I always have the grimoires I plant say to use chalk dust.  If you'd etched the circle in stone, I'd be stuck inside till you released me to return to Hell."


Auriel sputtered, "Why did you do that?  With the circle gone, you can't return to Hell.  You'll be stuck here, and you'll only survive a day, maybe three at most."


"True kid, if I didn't have a power source to keep me here.  And, gee, how about that?  There's a nice, young mage right in front of me.  Foolish and untrained, but full of power.  It should be more than enough to keep me going until I'm ready to destroy the Temples of the Moon.  Once I do that, this world will be mine, just like all the others where I've tricked someone like you.


It was interrupted by Auriel extending her arm and shouting, "BANISHMENT!"  


A beam of light flew toward her target, but all it did was warp around its body.  


"Ah.  Not bad kid.  It might have even blown away a superior imp."


Auriel had fallen on her backside and was slowly scooting away.


"That's not going to do you any more good than your spell did.  Even if you chopped my body into pieces, you'd accomplish nothing. I'd regenerate my body within minutes.


The only way to kill me would be to chop off my head, with a Holy Sword mind you, and then burn both it and my body with the spell Holy Flame of the Moon."


It nodded. "Oh yeah, one other thing.  It has to be done under the full moon."
Looking up it added, "Too bad kid.  It's totally dark."


Auriel stood and brushed herself off.  "Yeah, it SEEMS that way, doesn't it."
"Huh?"


"Dispell Illusion!"


The light of the full moon poured down through the skylight of the cathedral, onto the magic circle etched into the stone beneath the King of Hell.


"Binding Flare!"


Shackles of light flew out of the symbols at the cardinal points of the circle and wrapped around the demon's limbs.


"Wha..wha...what?!"


"To quote a certain being, 'Would you stop interrupting me?'"


Throwing off the hooded cloak that had covered her body, Auriel pulled out her sword and leapt forward, completely severing the head of the demon in a single blow.


"Holy Flame of the MOON!"


Flames of moonlight poured down through the skylight and utterly incinerated the demon's body, not even leaving a tiny fleck of ash.


Auriel sheathed her sword and murmured, "You were right.  Making assumptions can get you killed."


She shrugged.  It was time to move on to her next assignment.  There was always a world, somewhere, that needed the services of a paladin.


© Copyright 2018 Charlotte Braun. All rights reserved.

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