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In The Heat Of The Night (Terra's Adept Test)


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Terra shuffled down the Hallways towards her room. Taviata was supposedly the harshest teacher in the Fortress, and Terra had been with her since before noon. Every muscle, bone, and tendon ached like she had been beaten with an iron rod, and she had been doing nothing but channelling! She wearily reached out to open her door when it swung open itself, revealing her good friend, Arcon, now a full Dreadlord. Terra blinked a few times out of surprise.


“Umm, hello Arcon. What exactly are you doing in my room?” Arcon smirked. “Well, Terra, I’m here to deliver some news, be it good or bad. It’s time to take your test. Follow me.” Terra’s mouth opened just a tad and she suppressed a moan. Why now? She wasn’t in any shape to do anything, let alone take the test for Adept, whatever it consisted of. She wasn’t alert enough to pass it, even if it was a written test…which she very highly doubted it was.


The path was long to wherever she was being led. They went lower in the Fortress than she had ever been, far past the Travelling rooms. The floors were caked in dust and the few doors there were didn’t look like they had ever been opened. The occasion torch mounted on the stone walls was the only light, until Arcon made a globe of light to illuminate the way. The way wasn’t long since right before her was a large, gilded door that appeared to be made of stone. Awe once again filled the eyes of the poor, exhausted girl.


“Every dreadlord alive,” Arcon began, “has gone through this door at some point, and now it’s your turn, Terra Cyrene. But be cautious, as not all who go through come out.” He nodded solemnly and the door swung open, appearing as a dark pit leading nowhere. Terra took a deep breath and stepped in.


Shadows lurked in the corners. Every corner. Looking up, it was wall as high as she could see until all there was was black. Was it real, or a trick of the Power? This…maze of sorts was unusual to say the least. It seemed endless and boring, and oh was she tired. Terra leaned against a wall an slumped down to her knees. Maybe she could sneak a nap before continuing on. Yes, that seemed grand! She rested her arms across her knees and then buried her forehead in her arms and drifted into sleep.




Terra felt something tickling her face and it woke her from her slumber. Looking around, she suddenly burst into panic. There was sand everywhere, leaking in from the walls. And she was nearly buried! Her legs were completely trapped and her arms were just covered. Had she slept longer, she would have been buried alive. She hurriedly reached out and seized the Source, feeling the sweetness of saidar. It filled her as much as she could hold and then wove Air around her, pushing outward. The sand blew out from around her and she was free. But not for long. The sand was coming in faster now and it was filling in around her. She stood up and kept pushing the sand away with Earth and Air, with traces of Water to make it stick to itself. And still the sand came faster. She couldn’t just keep doing this. There would soon be too much to move. She had to make it stop. Drawing herself full of saidar, she wove fire around herself and pushed out and down, focusing it on the sand. She kept it blasting as long as she could, heat searing on all sides. When she couldn’t hold it any longer, she let go of the Source and slumped to the floor. She ached more and felt as if she had carried a mountain on her back. Breathing heavily Terra looked up and around. Glass. She did it! She stopped the sand flow and the mound of sand was coated in a layer of rough glass.


Terra blinked in shock. She hadn’t really expected t be able to do it. Stepping as delicately as possible, she climbed over the mountain of glass and continued on down the long, winding passageways. So this is what the ‘test’ is. Survival training. She hoped she could channel enough to survive.


Terra had no clue how long she had been in here. She had no way to tell and she was sure her estimation would be painfully off. But however long it had been, it sure felt like an Age. The hallways just kept going and going with no end. There weren’t even dead ends, it just went on. She contemplated another nap, but hesitated seeing as the last tim she tried that, she had nearly been buried alive. Gotta keep moving.


She suddenly gave a squeak of shock and nearly fell over in panic. Something cold and wet went down her neck!  Looking down, relief flooded her. It was just water. Very cold water, but nevertheless, harmless water. There were a few drops here and there and more was coming down. They were trying to phase her with rain? A flood maybe. But she was a Tairen! She was used to water and floods. She just smiled and kept walking.


The rain slowly got heavier, but it wasn’t much beyond a spring storm in any given country. She just kept going. Suddenly, her feet were above her and she was flat on the hard floor. With a grimace, she tried sitting up and had a rather difficult time and once she looked at the floor, she knew exactly why. The floor was covered in sheer ice. Crystal clear and everywhere. She felt her clothes and hair and they were stiff. Frozen. The temperature had been going down ever so slowly that she hadn’t noticed. Tricky, this maze was. Now that she knew it was cold, she began to shiver uncontrollably and found ice all over her and the rain still came, freezing as it landed. She tried to embrace the Source, but it was very hard to remain calm and surrender to it when she knew she was quickly turning into an icicle. She had to take very rigid control of herself and her emotions. Focus Terra… ice kept falling. Stalagmites formed on the floor and smaller icicles began to fall from the sky. She was calm….


Saidar filled her with it’s sweet warmth and she quickly wove fire into the air, raising the temperature to that of a Tairen summer. The ice melted, the rain became rain once again, and she thawed enough to move. She took off running, away from the rain. A few corners later, she was in dry territory once again, though she was dripping wet. A quick weave fixed that and she suddenly stood in a puddle. She let out a sigh as she leaned against the wall, then went deeper into this maze.


Terra turned a corner and suddenly, there was a door. A big door much like the one she came in! It was at the end of this rather long passageway. In her excitement, she dashed down the hallway, not thinking of more traps. Halfway down, a wall of fire appeared and began to move towards her at an alarming speed. She quickly wove water and cut through the wall and it winked out. That’s all they’ve got? Ha! As soon as that thought finished, another wall of fire appeared where the other one disappeared. She wove water at it again and once again it winked out. But once again, another wall popped up as well as a second one behind her. She pushed out with a burst of air and they winked out, only to re-appear again, coming at her even faster than before.


She started to panic. She couldn’t keep doing this! She had to make it to that door! She began to run toward the flames. With a sweeping motion of her arm, she cut a hole big enough for her to run through with water and air, then dashed past. More flames popped up in front of her and she repeated it with each one, with the fire behind her growing more as it gained on her. She ran faster, as fast as her little legs would take her. She was ten feet from the door when the giant wall of fire behind her was just too close and she had another wall in front threatening to sandwich her. She crouched down and wove a dome of air over her. The two walls collided right over her and she pushed out with all her might, extinguishing them both.


She ran the home stretch and threw the door open and fell to her knees as she came through. She was exhausted beyond belief. Arcon was standing right in front of where she landed and he looked down smiling. “Well Terra, it seems you made it out alive. Somehow, I’m not surprised. You now hold the rank of Adept.” Terra just look at him with a blank look. “Oh…ok. I’m going back to bed then. Good night, Arcon.” She stood up and slowly wandered back to her room and collapsed into her bed. Adept Terra Cyrene.


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