The door swung open, light spilling in on a room which had only darkness for many years. The three forms stood in the doorway for a moment; each hesitating for different reasons.
“We were right,” said Syris dryly. “We always are.”
Stefan nudged Zipporah out of the way as he anxiously stepped into the room. His footsteps stirred up a vast amount of dust, and Syris smiled. “And do you really think it is here?” he asked. Then he motioned for the half-elf to bring the light. Zipporah handed him the lantern and Stefan started to inspect the old workshop. There were three tables each with different tools spread across them.
“Oh yes, Stefan. Everything we need is right here,” Zipporah stated with a deadly cold tone. “It won’t be long now.”
With that, Syris closed his eyes and clenched his fists; drawing them to his side. Then he quickly thrust them outward, pulling his right arm slightly back in to his chest. All of the dust from the room seemed to explode for a moment, filling the room. Then it flowed like water into a ready mold, collecting at Stefan’s feet. The dust had formed a magical rune that locked the man in place. Stefan’s face ran the gamut of emotion. Shock. Anger. Denial. RAGE.
“You think you can contain me, fool?” the man snapped as he lunged at Syris. However, the dust barrier kept him anchored in place.
“Obviously,” was all Syris had to say.
“Dust cannot hold me! How long do you think you can hold against my power, weakest of elementals? I am the scourge of a thousand lands. I am the prince of damnation. Tormentor of a thousand souls.” Stefan was ranting in his ire. “I am…”
“…Talking too much.” Syris quipped.
“You are called Raum, the crow demon, and today your reign on Delphia ends,” Zipporah proclaimed as she methodically started pulling items from her bag. “Now leave the host.”
“Insolent hag” Stefan spat. “You think this trap is clever? You think you can kill me? You cannot stop me. You are a child playing with an asp, and you will be bitten. Pride brought you to your death in this chamber. Even now your dust running dog grows weary.”
“He is fine,” stated Zipporah, which drew an approving nod from Syris. She didn’t doubt his abilities at all. Syris had proven himself a true friend. He knew how much this meant to her, and he would not fail her. So Zipporah continued to set up. Parchment. Sword. Amulet. Her patience had run out. “Leave the host, demon!”
“You will have to kill…” Stefan screamed. It started as a scream of angry defiance, but changed quickly to a painful wail. The man looked down to see a hole in his chest. Zipporah stared down her arm, where she had just unleashed a bolt of lightning on Stefan. Her hand started to shake.
“Greater good, Zip,” said Syris confidently. Unable to physically go to her or he risked losing control of his symbol; he had to aid her with mere words.
“Greater good, Sy,” repeated Zipporah.
It took only a few heartbeats for the demon, Raum, to be cast out of the newly dead body. Syris braced himself. Zipporah readied the scroll. Raum exploded out of the hole in Stefan’s chest, screaming as he rose. Dark feathers covered the foul creature, and his eyes looked like two portals to the abyss. A sharp white bill contrasted the rest of the demon. Raum took a moment to survey his surroundings. He saw Zipporah, and glanced down at the parchment she held in her slender hand. Then he locked eyes with Syris, who met and returned the deep glare. Slowly the demon lowered his gaze, and took stock of the dust symbol which kept him from ripping the two of them to shreds.
Raum burst into action. He became a tornado of black feathers and a flashing white bill. The demon ripped at the floor so violently and quickly that it was obvious he was frightened. Syris strained to keep the dust symbol intact. Zipporah had to act fast. She read the magical words from the scroll, and a blue dome of energy appeared above Raum. In a matter of seconds, the demon lay still. Syris dropped to his knees, exhausted. Zipporah took the amulet and placed it around Raum’s neck. Then she drove the sword into his chest. The demon’s essence was drawn into the amulet. Only hundreds of black feathers remained.
Syris searched the room and grabbed anything he saw that was valuable. Zipporah patted him on the back, silently applauding his actions. She considered leaving the amulet in the room, which had obviously been undisturbed for many years. However, she could not bring herself to put it down. She decided to hang on to it for a while; just until she found a better place to put it. Zipporah closed the door to the old workshop. It was time to stalk the next demon.