The Mystic finished chanting, throat sore from the Old Tongue, and sat away from the Gate. He sat on his shins, feet tucked beneath his body, and rocked slowly to the faint strains of the planar wind. He could hear it through the portal, now that it was active, faint seductive whispers that slid and slithered between the Fragments of Aeth.
For a time, there were only whispers. Then there was light.
The span of the Gate shimmered first, then rippled. Motes of light began to dance across its ancient frame, tarried and brightened in its gravings and runes, then skittered over the gaps between its weathered stones to coalesce across the undulating, diaphanous barrier that separated Aethos and the Void.
An image appeared: a figure, robed and hooded, holding a staff half again its height. Pale, lambent light clung to the figure like a viscid film as it stepped through the Gate and onto the Mystic’s Fragment.
The Mystic stood, bowed. The figure stopped and bowed in return.
“It has been long since I was summoned,” the figure said. The voice was a woman’s, old, at once warm and commanding.
“Too long, Lumere” the Mystic replied.
“So, you have found heroes,” the Lumere said flatly, “and they have brought you Objects of Lux. Surely, Keeper, you have told them that the Lux is not for them. That it will not hold in mortal hands.”
The Mystic shook his head. “No, Lumere. Not heroes. Not this time.” His voice, though hoarse from the summoning, brightened with a spark of excitement. “The Avatars of Light have returned.”
“Then it is true?”
The Lumere looked back at the Gate. It was dark now. Silent. “I have heard the rumors whispered through the Gates,” she said softly. “I admit that I had discounted them.”
“An avatar may hold the Lux,” the Mystic said. “It will not fade in the hands of its own.”
The Lumere nodded. She turned back to face the Gate’s Keeper. “And there is sufficient Lux in the Solux to carve a rune. Is that why you have summoned me?”
The Mystic smiled and motioned toward a welcoming light a short distance away, his home on this Fragment. “It is,” he said eagerly. “Come, they are waiting.”