It had taken him years to find the perfect spot. In hindsight, it was obvious that the Vale of Kaira was it. Not only was it a place of prayer, but it had also been visited by thousands of believers for centuries. Mages had also come to draw upon the Vale's natural energy for their rituals since before the creation of writing. The place was ancient.

He should have thought of the Vale immediately, years ago. However he had foolishly deemed the place too full of tourists to do the job, too popular for his purposes.

The Vale was a powerful place, full of natural magic that had accumulated over the centuries. It was also the only official praying site dedicated to Kaira, the first member of the Holy Trinity. People came here to use the ambient magic for difficult incantations, or they came to pray. Then, of course, there was the third reason why people came.

The Vale was beautiful.

There were tree-covered hills everywhere, with a long, winding river at the bottom, containing a large variety of colourful fish. The place was untouched by civilization. Just to arrive there and breathe the air was enough to convince anyone of the purity of the place. Its beauty was enough to attract just about anyone.

Today, it was the first day of the Spell of Bhanschrakh, a day of celebration.

The years were divided into three spells, periods that were each represented by a divinity. The last spell was the hottest, and it's divinity was Bhanschrakh, the most powerful god of all. A few hours ago, the third spell had started. To celebrate its beginning, everyone was at the capitol, days of travel from here.

For this man, it was the perfect opportunity. The Vale was close to empty of people at the moment because of how early it was, and because everyone was away to celebrate. There was no one in the vicinity of his location. He would be able to perform his incantation without anyone stopping him.

His backpack contained only a few ingredients; he was counting on the strength of the area's magic to pull him through. He alone didn't have the power to successfully make it out without trouble, but with the magic of this area... He would be successful, there was no boubt of that.

There were seven feet between him and the remains of a large stone column. For now, it would serve as his altar.

He placed a small candle in the centre, but left it unlit. Then, he retrieved the herbs.

"Nakh han kon tchak mli uto prazo kren-to!" he chanted, his hands clenching on the fabric of his sweater.

He waited, but nothing changed. His hopes were diminishing with every passing second, until finally, the small candle on the stone stump lit by itself.

Feeling an enormous amount of pride, he used the flame to burn the herbs, along with the rare purple flower that came all the way from the Southern hemisphere.

He could feel it now, the buzzing under his skin and all around him. It was growing stronger.

It was done. Now all he had to do was wait. It had taken him such a long time to prepare for this, he couldn't even begin to imagine his imminent success. He would be awarded a title, courtesy of the Emperor himself. His name would go down in history books as the first to have found and performed the illusive ritual. The one which allowed access to the Otherworlds.

Until now, it had been only a myth. But he, Azaar Zpatre, had proved all those scholars wrong. Those who had once mocked him would soon regret their insults, and beg for his leniency.

The Tra-crath-Ka spell would award him power and more.

The portal between worlds was opening, shining bright red from whatever was on the other side.

He approached, feeling a sense a awe at his own talent. He reached out a hand to touch the glow of his creation and…

...

...

… a gigantic clawed arm came out and sliced him in two.