SECTION 4         CHAPTER 1 - Challenge of the Sea
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October 29th, 2008, Earth time.

Soleil didn't open her eyes right off. She loved Vryce's hidden cabin atop 
his mountain. The simple yet graceful loft is designed to catch the warm 
morning sunshine and hold it like magic, filling its occupants with such 
warmth and happiness that one wonders if there was indeed some magic 
behind it.

She purred and stretched, not yet willing to let go of yesterday's 
momentous victory, or last night's festivities, she thought impishly. 
Still not opening her eyes, she smiled, and the world was filled with a 
wave of love and happiness, a gift she gives every morning. 

Soleil knew that she was human, for now, and so she still did not open her 
eyes. She was feeling like a pre-teen not wanting to face the world yet, 
there is just so much magic that the humans feel when waking up. The 
morning blesses them with waves of joy and slow thinking awakenings, 
slowly preparing them for the force of reality. She loved it. She felt the 
sunshine hitting her form but did not feel what most feel, not even close, 
for she was a spirit of the suns, and more than that, she thought as she 
grinned. The sunshine felt from Soleil what humans feel from the sunshine. 

She smiled again and put too much into it. The whole world suddenly felt 
brighter, she knew, and probably more than the normal amount of 
conceptions, kisses, hugs, and simple joy crashed across the land, and 
would rebound around for an hour or so she figured as she toned down her 
connection to the sun.

She smiled again, and nearly laughed out loud, which while mindlinked to 
the sun as she was while laying in bed like this may have affected the 
world too much. She had her secrets, and her smile quickly became one of 
her beautiful smiles that few knew, the smile that says 'I know a secret'.

She readied herself and opened her mind to Vryce, the reason her spirit 
walked on this planet.

Soleil opened her eyes with a start and the sunshine faded to a dark storm 
within moments.

Marious appeared, summoned more like it, and let out, "Soleil? My lady 
what is it?" He saw it in her eyes and tried to summon Vryce.

Soleil shook her head and confirmed his fear, "He is not here Marious. 
Vryce is not on Medievia."

The next few minutes went by without a word said and for both Marious and 
Soleil they felt like an eternity.

Marious turned around as Soleil prepared for the morning. She could have 
done so magically but Soleil loved to embrace the little things of life, 
and the joy of selecting clothes and the feeling of getting dressed was 
something that may always feel new to her. Today she felt no joy in it but 
went through the motions as if trying to wake up from a dream.

Thunder echoed across the land as lightning peppered the mountain like 
drum beats from a god from above.

Marious suddenly said, "Wait! I had a dream last night. It was back in the 
day on this very spot, lots of thunder!"

Soleil brightened and smiled. "Yes Marious. Marious? I also had that dream 
but I was not here then was I? Vryce, Shalafi, Raster, and that bunch went 
down to see if the Spirit of Medievia was still alive. They were gone many 
years and shortly after returning he built this cabin right on top of the 
spot they entered the catacombs. I often have that dream here but last 
night, last night..."

Soleil smiled again and the clouds were burned off instantly by the sun as 
she said, "Vryce is not on Medievia. Vryce is inside of Medievia!"

They both said the same word at the same instant, "Jakob!"

Marious did his best to not fake his smile and said, "I am sure he is 
fine."

Soleil smiled and laughed as she replied, "He is fine Marious. So now we 
find out."

"Find out my lady?", Marious asked.

She looked into Marious's eyes and nearly spoke, she nearly told Marious 
the secret that only she knew! She wanted to, she knew, but she must not, 
instead she fumbled a reply, "We will find out if Vryce can live without 
me!"

Marious looked at her curiously and before thinking let out, "You will 
miss him too, right?"

Soleil nodded saying, "Not as much as he will miss me Marious, not nearly 
as much."

His face hardened a moment as he looked deeper into her eyes, and then 
softened again as he saw what he always knew, Soleil was somehow more than 
meets the eye, and her love for Vryce is not something that is up for 
debate. Then he saw a smile, as if she knew a secret.

Soleil walked over to Vryce's side of the bed and picked up the necklace 
she made for him from the original frae. She slowly lifted the moon shaped 
rock to her lips and sealed its fate with her gentle kiss. She settled it 
around her neck as she said, "The last thing I said to Vryce was 'I wonder 
what will happen next?'" 

"Those are some dangerous words to say out loud on this world." she heard 
Marious say with humor as she stood in front of Vryce's mirror. She 
adjusted her priceless necklace with one hand as she concealed her actions 
with her other hand. "I have found that Medievia has a way of answering 
such things in dramatic ways.", Marious said as she placed her other hand 
onto the journal Vryce left on his stand. The powers she used at that 
moment were truly incredible, enough to split a planet, but Marious felt 
not one whisper of it. She nearly fainted, but it was done.

Marious asked, "Soleil, what do you think will happen next?"

"We wait for Vryce to contact us.", She said as she turned with the Vryce 
journal in her hand. "Nothing yet.", she said as she made a fuss of trying 
to find any new entries.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One week later, thousands of miles below the surface of Medievia, Vryce 
continues to make entry after entry into his journal.

7:30am

I appear to be stuck deep below Medievia in a cavern made of some material 
I have never seen before. I have been imprisoned here nearly a week.

8:00am

The area is fluid and ever changing, yet smart enough to stop my every 
attempt to find a way out. I can press against a wall and when I want it 
to give way, it disappears before my eyes. It is as if I can walk forward 
and the wall does not simply vanish, it appears perfectly worn with age 
and dust, just slightly different and a few feet further away. It is as if 
by walking forward I changed this part of Medievia eons ago, all for my 
benefit now. 

This is a dangerous power that I must understand before proceeding much 
further.

8:30am

The other oddity to report is the feedback I see. When I stare at any one 
wall long enough, I start to see an ever changing view of Medievia through 
different times.

1:00pm

I have run every safe experiment I can think of. The cavern is made of a 
mixture of rock, fae, and rae, and also infused with souls. It is 
apparently some sort of time nexus. I have been sitting here for an hour 
thinking it all through. I do not feel like a prisoner. I am meant to be 
here and have been placed here by a friendly force. That is my gut 
reaction. I am going to go try something incredibly stupid and dangerous, 
one way or another I will learn something I need to know in a few minutes.

1:01pm

I AM BACK! Soleil, I miss you so much! There are many moments in one's 
life when you need to glance at something, some result, that will surely 
change the course of your life. I just experienced such a moment. I was 
nearly too afraid to look! I need to calm down. I just looked down at my 
footprints and at the dust around the area, and quickly confirmed that for 
this reality, I have just left. I have been gone for nearly nine years, 
stuck in a twisted puzzle of reality mirrored with possibility! I simply 
do not know of another way to explain it! Calm Vryce, calm...

I will surely not try that again. 

I touched the wall and attempted to will it and the nexus back in time for 
one day. My soul became part of the wall! 

I just experienced this day 3,227 times, except from the viewpoint of the 
wall, every day feeling Vryce touch me and willing me to go back in time. 

Humans learn pretty fast, even an ant learns new things daily, it took 
myself as the wall nearly a decade of practice to learn the meaning of the 
concept of NO. All I had to do was decide not to grant Vryce's request 
just once.

The next time someone asks me what the most difficult thing I ever had to 
do was, the answer is going to be giving a section of cavern wall the 
gumption to make a decision of it's own. I do not know though. It is as if 
I learned something important from this, but what that is is being hidden 
from me.

1:30pm

The question I keep asking is, how did I get here? I went to sleep in 
Soleil's arms and woke up here last week, real time anyway. I know I am 
deep below the Catacombs because I can sense them above. I can also feel 
Soleil above and the faint spirit of Medievia all around me. Soleil must 
be terribly worried. I can also use my magic to feel the spin of the 
planet and the direction of Medievia's sun and moon. I am surely deep 
beneath the surface of Medievia.

2:00pm

There is something Jakob told me once that keeps resonating in my mind, it 
was just three sentences, Jakob said, "Vryce you must learn to control 
Medievia from the inside out. Think in planetary terms, think from the 
planets' perspective. You must not interfere with the war of the planets, 
as we previously discussed, but there is much that will be required of 
you, a great sacrifice." I believe Jakob had something to do with my 
arrival here. If that is true I am sure he will speak to me soon.     

7:00pm

I must find a way to communicate with every one on the surface that I am 
ok. I need to find out why my journal entries are not getting out. 

7:15pm:

Jakob spoke to me just now! It was a short message, "It is time."

8:00pm

I am the most powerful arch mage when it comes to souls, blood, and 
possibly magic. I am surrounded by a nearly infinite supply of rae magic, 
fae magic, and the walls themselves are infused with pure unattached 
souls. The problem is the Blood Sea spell, as it is preventing me from 
ever seeing a drop of blood here, and my blood will not work. I need just 
one drop of blood to cast a duplicate spell on my journal so writing here 
will appear on the journal on my desk thousands of miles above me on the 
surface of the planet. One drop of anyone else's blood. That is the only 
way to make a spell powerful enough to get through this nexus. This 
journal should be working now but it has surely failed me.

I need help. I need someone to contact me. Is that someone you? Who will 
it be? Who will contact me?

Days later...

8:00am

I have spent two weeks stuck in this subterranean realm driving myself 
crazy. That includes nine years of endless boredom as the spirit of a 
cavern wall experiencing the same day over and over. I am beginning to 
think the nine years was easier to swallow.

Why is no one answering my call for help? 

Why is it that my dreams are empty? All I do is sleep and yet I have no 
dreams.

11:00am

All seems lost. It occurs to me that I could be stuck down here for a 
thousand years if Jakob wishes. The problem there is that I know Jakob, 
and to him a thousand years is barely worth mentioning. Mix that with his 
talk of my 'great sacrifice' and you can see why my current situation is 
starting to hit me. I have been through a lot, but, this is serious!

12:00pm

OK. I admit it, I was getting depressed. It was an hour. That is all. I am 
over it. 

There is nothing that can get me down. 

1:00pm

I think that there is nothing that can get me down.

3:00pm

Jakob once told me, "Write down my words. Write down your words. Write the 
down the right words and we can save the spirits of Medievia, Earth, and 
untold inhabited planets. Write down the wrong words and all is lost for 
every one."

Here I am writing down words in a journal that I doubt anyone will read.

This journal is supposed to be available for anyone to read. It was a 
powerful spell I cast when I started the Vryce journal back in the day. It 
should be working! When I mentally write to my journal, the words appear 
to anyone who wishes to read it. My journal spell should work if I was 
anywhere, anytime, anyway, anyhow, regardless of anything, period.

3:30pm

I keep writing and wonder why. If this journal is being read then surely 
someone must have tried to contact me. I keep waiting and yet my dreams of 
being contacted go unanswered. Surely someone must be dreaming about me 
somewhere, any mental connection is enough for me to use. The dream world 
is so much more than humans realize.

8:00pm

It is oddly comforting writing in my journal not knowing if it is being 
read.

I asked Jakob, "How will I know which of our words will save us?"

Jakob's answers tend to be either cryptic, poetic, or just plain 
gibberish. This one strikes me as all three.

Jakob replied with a godly bolt of lighting split into my head with two 
pounding words, "THE TRUTH."

10:00pm

I wonder how the "Vryce is probably....." game is going now?! Part of me 
thinks the world must be falling apart without me and the other part of me 
thinks that no one knows I am gone.

10:30pm

I miss Soleil. I can do without. I have found that I can easily sacrifice 
anything, if it will help Medievia. I have sacrificed almost everything 
already, but I could never easily sacrifice time with Soleil. Is this what 
Jakob spoke of? My great sacrifice is time away from Soleil?

11:00pm

How can things go bad so fast? Marious figured out the mystery of the fae 
clams and solved our frae and stae problem. The dragons were told that 
they would control an island called a dragonspire so they can raise a new 
generation of honorable and powerful dragons, without fear of them turning 
evil. Soleil was snuggled into my chest as we drifted off to sleep high 
atop Mount Vryce in my hidden cabin. The last words she spoke to me was, 
"I wonder what will happen next?"

11:59pm

Why do I keep dreaming of rain?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile on the surface of the planet Soleil was speaking to a large 
group of children. She sat in the center, circled by dozens of students as 
usual, but lately dragons have become a part of her classes. They 
encircled the circle of kids and gave the whole scene a fantasy setting 
that one could only find on Medievia.

Today things were not going according to her prepared lesson plan. The 
kids and the dragons were acting like kids always act on a rainy school 
day.

A very pretty little girl named Someni continued with the distractions 
from learning about the other Earth languages. She asked, "But you said 
you are not causing all of this rain? My daddy said it is because you miss 
Vryce. He said not to be worried but I can tell he is."

Soleil winced internally. Could she make the rain stop? No, she has tried 
for weeks. Whatever is happening on this planet, it has nothing to do with 
the sun and the normal ways of natural weather systems.  She said with a 
smile, "Someni we do not yet know why it keeps raining, but we will." 

The sound of the torrential downpour hitting the city's weather shield 
made the class difficult. Soleil looked around at all of the faces and at 
the dragons. It seemed like everyone expected her to save the day yet all 
she could do was provide some sort of normalcy for the children.

Soleil spoke again to Someni, but in French, "Est-ce que tu penses que 
Vryce puisse nous sauver?"

The child did not hesitate with the perfect response in Soleil's favorite 
language, "Mais comment peut-il le faire quand il est coincé au centre de 
Medievia?"

Soleil choked off a stifle. Perhaps she has allowed this to go on too 
long. She could barely stand it herself, but Vryce must learn.

The gathering sat up a little straighter as Soleil stood and walked to the 
center. She used her teacher voice, which no rain storm could silence and 
said, "Vryce is stuck in the center of the planet. I say, so what? Where 
is this doubt from? This is Vryce we are speaking of!"

Soleil made a decision.

At that moment the sun did break through and the clouds parted, but just 
over the area around the City of Medievia did she have any affect at all. 

Soleil glowed and the crowd cheered. The sun distracted the children from 
her other action as they begun to sing a children's song they created 
about her last year. 

She was not positive that this would work, her original spell to block 
Vryce's journal and his dreams was one of the most powerful uses of her 
talents she has ever attempted. She had no way of knowing that it would be 
raining so much when it came time to cancel the spell.

The children sang, she smiled at them and allowed their love for her to 
give her what she needed, the power of motherhood. 

Suddenly she went to clap her hands high over her head and put all of the 
love a mother can have for her children into the formation of a thought, 
the thought touching the sunshine, the sun touching Soleil, the love for 
Vryce took shape .... it took root into her mind ..... Vryce ..... 
Medievia ..... Vryce .... Sacrifice ..... 

The image of Vryce smiling at her suddenly hit her like a ton of bricks.

She woke up to a crowd of children hovering over her. She had fainted!

"I am ok!", she said a bit too quickly as she stood up and tried to laugh 
it off. "I think your song just overwhelmed me!" she said as she was 
hugged by as many kids as who could push through. 

She did not break the spell, she was nearly certain of it. What has she 
done? What has she DONE!

Hours later she preparing again. High atop his mountain she broke through 
the rain storm and the sun appeared for her again. "What have I done?", 
she said aloud to no one.

Jakob spoke to her just one time, and even as a dream he was powerful 
enough to change her life. 

He said, "Daughter of the sun, you will one day meet a mortal spirit, his 
name is Vryce. He does not know where he came from and you must never 
speak of what I am about to say." 

Soleil looked around the mountain, still not quite ready to try again and 
she thought to the end of her dream conversation with Jakob and after he 
shared the secret with her. "You must shield him from every mortal 
distraction. You must help him complete his task Soleil. Vryce must 
sacrifice everything to learn what he is."

Soleil fell in love with Vryce right off and Jakob never mentioned that 
this would happen. Now she has doomed Vryce to an eternity stuck in a 
cavern in the middle of a planet! "What have I done!!", she yelled at the 
sun.

"The only way he can sacrifice what is needed is if he is alone," Jakob 
said.

Soleil smiled as she recalled first meeting Vryce, from the start he spoke 
of being on a 'Mission from God'. But not God, he said that it was a 
crusade against religion, that every spirit of the universe was at stake, 
and that the mission was being led by a tortoise the size of a mountain 
range and older than the galaxy. 

Yes, Vryce was no ordinary man. She loved him right off.

It was not until weeks later that he mentioned that the name of this giant 
turtle ruler of Vryce was Jakob. Soleil laughed out loud as she recalls 
nearly fainting then as well.

It was time.

She was not ready.

She had to start soon but she was afraid.

Jakob's words were still crystal clear in her memory, "Vryce must be shut 
off from every thought and from every spirit until he can learn what he 
is. He will not know the secret I told you but he will learn what he can 
become."

She was not sure how to start, so she procrastinated a few more moments.

"Soleil, spirit of the sun, Vryce is more powerful than you can imagine 
and only the power a spirit like you can wield could shut him off so 
completely. His mind must be free of any distraction, even his dreams must 
be empty."

She recalled him singing to her as they danced, words from Earth, words 
from his favorite Earth music.

Soleil started her spell and sang out loud towards the sun.

"I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
Far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Well, every moment spent with you
Is a moment I treasure"

Soleil dreamed of Vryce and of the spirit of his madness that so perfectly 
countered her purity.

"I don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
'Cause I'd miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing
'Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing"

Soleil held the priceless necklace around her neck and danced around as if 
holding Vryce himself. She sang louder and the mountaintop became frozen 
in time.

"Lying close to you
Feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together
And I just wanna stay with you
In this moment forever, forever and ever"

Soleil smiled so bright that it would later be said even the monsters of 
Medievia hugged each other.

"I don't wanna miss one smile
I don't wanna miss one kiss
Well, I just wanna be with you
Right here with you, just like this
I just wanna hold you close
Feel your heart so close to mine
And stay here in this moment
For all the rest of time"

She went to clap her hands high over her head, focusing on breaking her 
spell, shattering it to pieces, she would .... she could .... she had to 
....

Soleil did not faint at that moment. She did not know why but she slowly 
sat and then laid down on the grass and fell asleep...if only in her mind, 
frozen in time, her hands about to clap...

"You need a hand Soleil?" She was dreaming, deep in the catacombs, and the 
Spririt of Medievia was laying down dead on a cold slab of marble, yet 
speaking to her mind. "He must be alone Soleil. He must sacrifice 
everything to find out what he is made of."

Suddenly she was atop a landscape made of a tortoise shell in the dream 
and she heard Jakob say, "It is time."

Her hands CLAPPED together and in the spirit world the planet was split 
asunder. The spirit of every consciousness on the planet became suddenly 
and remarkably aware of a dream, a dream of Vryce alone down in the center 
of the world, working for them, working for us all.

She hoped Jakob was happy. The great sacrifice has begun.

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Down deep below the world the lonely Vryce continued to make entry after 
entry into his journal.

2:00am, on the Day of Valor

It is hard to believe that no one has communicated with me as of yet. 
Perhaps some have tried and I was not listening at the time. Anyone can 
talk to me from anywhere in the world. What is taking so long? 

All someone has to do is fall asleep and have a dream and dream of me. Any 
contact at all, any link from my spirit to theirs on the surface is enough 
for me to use my magic and learn how to telepath out of here. I know 
dreams can get through. Soleil knows dreams can get through. Marious 
knows, everyone knows!

I wonder what Jakob dreams about?

I suppose I will go back to sleep.

4:06pm, on the Day of Valor

I HAVE BEEN CONTACTED!

Finally!

Qiurmus from The Legion of Legends clan and Carney of The Seventh Circle 
clan figured out how to speak to me through dreams! 

Qiurmus and Carney have saved the day!

We can communicate in this way. I need to figure out a way for them to get 
a drop of blood to me. That is all I need to start. Time to get to work! I 
was told that the islands are sinking all over the world and that it has 
been raining non-stop since my departure, yet no one knows why. The people 
are in a panic that the whole mainland will fall below sea level!

And yet, I am so happy! This place is not so bad. Soleil dreams of me now 
and I feel like something momentous is about to happen to me. The sun, the 
moon, Medievia, Jakob, something is happening to me, to my spirit.

I know what to do, for now. I will require the help of some heroes so we 
can start to drain some of the Blood Sea! One drop of blood will do me so 
that I can telepath out of here but a few square miles of blood will allow 
me to own this situation, and control this powerful nexus in ways I bet 
even Jakob could not foresee.

8:00pm

It seems I can now feel everyone again! I can telepath! People can read my 
journal! I am even having dreams again! 

Why am I so happy? I am never THIS happy. The world above is ending as it 
fills with water and I am bursting with joy?

There was something about being so shut out these past few weeks. I feel 
like I am more now. I feel like I can, I don't know, feel more like 
myself? Maybe it is this place. The magic here has astounding powers and I 
have never been so close to so many souls. This whole nexus is made from 
magic and souls yes, but somehow also magic and souls throughout time. You 
could say that it is made from pure God, pure ability and will, pure 
potential and yet completely blank of any touch of chaos or order. Time 
without substance is the same as substance without time. Nothing is 
nothing but yet here is nothing with infinite potential!

When I control this stuff I may have more power than the Spirit of the 
World ever had. Time for blood!

8:30pm

I did it. I dreamed to many lair dragons trying to break ones will and 
make it believe it had to move its lair. Vortar the powerful ruby dragon 
was easy enough to trick. He has moved his lair to a spot at the center of 
the Great Blood Sea. Now I just need some immortal heroes to defeat him, 
when his magic fails and his lair fractures apart I will use my power to 
suck down to my location enough blood to make Jakob's dreams turn red.

To be continued soon, after heroes defeat Vortar.....?

Section 5

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