“The junction of the Geas and running water is a powerful place, meant to cleanse mind and body so you will be prepared to face power without submitting to the panic that drives unexpectant souls to the Edge of the Abyss. However, be forewarned, inside the waterfall you will face your own mind, and you must master the First Mountain, fear. You must also be sure of who you are, for the force of the water will drag anything that doesn’t belong along with it and plunge it into darkness, if you are not master of yourself the geas will take your soul and drag you away.’
Luna, however, seemed to take no notice of her surroundings as she stared without really looking at the waterfall now in front of her. She knew that as soon as she stepped into the water the real battle for her mind, body, magic and soul would begin. Taking that shadow into herself had been the only way to keep it from killing her, or worst, enslaving her. She didn’t want to do it but she was forced to by those stupid boy hunters who didn’t know what they were meddling with. She distantly noticed Valac biting into her leg. She hoped the snake would be strong enough to keep it’s word if things went wrong. And things seemed to be going wrong very quickly. Enough mind chatter, she thought to herself, she knew she didn’t have much time yet she had to still her mind before entering the waterfall. Squaring her shoulders, she took a deep breath and tried to really look at the waterfall instead of at the mirage of gory scenes playing in her mind. She kept drawing deep slow breaths until her heart rhythm slowed along with her breath, and she sought awareness of all her body parts. She had to be sure to know what was hers before the battle began. Struggling to keep her breathing even she sought connection to Valac, as she felt his reassuring pressure against her leg. Valac’s consciousness slithered up and around the edges of her thoughts, tangling himself in her consciousness, becoming one with her own awareness, and yet separate, an anchor to all things made of stone. His familiar presence felt different, stronger than any other time before. Luna took comfort in the strength of rock, the smell of wet rock around her, the quiet perseverance of the rocks lining the pool and the resilience of the rocks supporting the roof around the courtyard. With this Luna was satisfied that the connection was complete, so she moved on to seek awareness of the dzhik. Through her dzhik she felt the connection to the wild magic that was also a part of her, forever lurking around the corners of perception, a surge of power leaped at her as if trying to fry away the edges of her mind. The surge was immediately contained and subdued by the snakelike bracelets around her arms. Now came the hard part, she had to acknowledge the shadow as part of her consciousness as she would go in the water with him in her; she knew that if she didn’t recognize it the water would wash him away along with her mind as he was irrevocably tangled in her thoughts now. And so, she sought awareness of the darkness in her, finally letting loose all thoughts of destruction. She reveled in thoughts of battle lust, the intense concentration required for battling and slaying, the satisfaction of cutting through flesh with her knives. Yes, even the satisfaction of seeing blood gush from wounds she inflicted. The power she could have if she would form an alliance with dark creatures. It was oddly exciting, thinking of herself as creator of fear, seeking gore for the lure of gore. And of course, then came lust so wild and dark surging at the prospect of gore, and bringing with it a promise of fulfillment, of satisfaction. She caught a glimpse of what she could have: power in darkness, power in blood, power in lust. Luna didn’t know anymore which of these thoughts were hers initially and which were being planted by the shadow. And yet, she acknowledged all of them as part of herself now. With that acceptance she felt an even stronger connection to energy, all the magic the shadow could channel was now hers too, darker than she had ever known before. The dzhik thrashed wildly as they slithered up and down her arms in imitation of Valac, attempting to control so much raw power. The assault on her senses was intense, she could now feel the full force of the demon coercing her to give in to his alluring promises. Yet, Luna knew if she gave in she would be his slave forever inside her own body. ‘I will die before I become a slave’ she thought to herself, or maybe she said it out loud, she couldn’t tell. So it was that with the dzhik still thrashing wildly and Valac tightening his grip on her leg she stepped into the waterfall.