By Duchess 22 Comments
"Immortality comes at a price. A price I'm willing to pay."
Years of careful study and research that no being with mystic knowledge inferior to her own would have been able to attain had led her to the first step in her divination. A single temple, whose creation dated back to the origins of magic itself, sat secluded in an unexplored section of a Tibetan mountain range. Even if a mortal was foolish enough to journey through the savage winds and relentless snow that had assailed the temple for millenniums, its powerful mystic wards would repel even an arcane practitioner of basic knowledge. It had taken an extensive amount of time reading into the most obscure of journals and scrolls to unveil the history of 上升 (Ascension).
In the earliest years of magic, a small cult of mystics believed all divine energy, regardless of what higher power one believed in, was channeled on the same plane of energy. This plane of power was accessible only to those divine beings, whose control over the arcane arts was far beyond the control of mortal beings. However this small group of sorcerers believed that this energy should be accessible by those mortals who showed the skill and ambition to transcend the mortal limitations of magic. Thus they set out to find the locations on Earth where these divine entities' mystic presence had remained most potent, building shrines with ancient spells designed to channel the divine energy into the mortal plane.
The first temple built, resting in Tibet, was designed to be one's first step in obtaining immortality. Named 上升, translating to "Ascension", its mystic walls proved most difficult to penetrate. Once allowed into the sanctum, the divine energy left behind by the entity that once marked the location would slowly drain its visitor of all the mystic energy they held. However, just as slowly, their power would be replaced by an energy to replicate to the gods' own. This energy held no mortal emotion, no compassion, no humanity. Only the power and knowledge needed to ascend to immortality.
Claire Swanepoel had spent the last several months hidden in an arctic hibernation inside Ascension. Upon arriving at the arcane grounds, the mystic mistress entered a deep, impenetrable meditation atop the temple's highest tower. For months wind tore at her unrestrained hair through her tower's window and made attempts to rip the thin white cloth than covered her smooth skin. Her meditation had allowed the process of draining and replenishing her mystic energy to go unnoticed; her conscious pushed back into the recesses of her mind.
After months of this detachment from awareness, perched high atop the Siberian mountains, two eyelids flew open to reveal a pair of ice blue eyes. The rest of her body remained unwavering, only her eyes moving to confirm her surrounding's had not changed since entering her coma. The eyes seemed simultaneously emptier and fuller since their closing months ago: full of knowledge and insight while empty of emotion or empathy. Slowly strands of her long blonde hair began to rise above her, along with the dirt and rocks on the floor of the decaying temple, as if gravity itself had been turned off. The crumbling walls around her began to disintegrate, exposing the Enchantress to the full force of the howling winds. Floating above the temple and mountain's themselves her eyes began glowing an ominous white as the chaotic thrashing of winds and destruction of the temple continued on.
Suddenly, as if turned off by a switch, the air ceased movement while the sanctum's foundation no longer received a psychic demolishing, leaving the mountain top with an uneasy stillness. Her hair cascading back around her shoulders the sorceress eyes returned to their icy hue. She was changed. She could feel the power running through her veins, the knowledge of the divine coursing through her conscience. Her first step on the path to immortality had been completed.