“Dar Tania,” I ask her. In my mind, it’s a confident request though, in the halls of the Temple, it sounds like a whisper. Though we appear to be the same age, she is the one I can never seem to keep my composure around. It is always so tense with us. I feel her eyes take in my general state of undress and I feel rather than hear her deep sigh.
“Ana.” My skin crawls with goosebumps when she says it. I long for the happy sound of my name dancing along her lips.
“I know, I know. I heard you were here and came running. I’ve so much to tell you!”
Dar embraces me and for a moment, our more recent history is forgotten as the fire of Tiamat sweeps us out of the flow of Time and away from the stains of that River’s murderous flow. From the River, we see only Truth and I am free, and I exult in it. So too, does Dar. She is Flame and Love and she will burn forever. I am Ash and Lust and I will burn until there is nothing left to cinder.
The phantasms of our recent pasts flow in the streams of Time around us. Dar’s is poignant and touched still by Sean’s death a century before and their daughter’s, Seline’s. I do not even bother to glance at my own. It no doubt shows countless lovers coming with high hopes and leaving with crushed spirits. I seek out my own Sean to rival the love my goddess Dar held for that one… and they are all lacking.
Without looking, I point to my future and say, “I seek counsel, great priestess. Has the God Emperor any records of possession magic?”
Dar’s eyes flash and covet her hair and lips of fire. Around us, the maelstrom of time swirls and I fall into a reverie wondering when my vision of a fiery doom will come to pass. It haunts my every future. “He has none,” Dar answers. “Alerius shunned it. The Eldar Dragons considered it a form of what we would call rape. To force another to do one’s bidding, leaving them helpless, or worse by slaying their spirit and taking their body. The Patriarchs claimed several books in their long studies…”
“And Bomoki?” I blurt it out, not meaning to but I cannot help myself.
“Thankfully, no. He never knew nor had aptitude for such magic. Like granting wishes, spells that murder civilizations, and higher order magics, the Patriarchs consider Possession not fit for normal mortals.” Dar looked at me quizzically and then cast her eyes upstream looking for a cause of this question.
In spite of myself, I blush… and vow to never blush again. “I took a mage lover and he spoke of an Asmodic priestess named Joviel, an eldar human who specialized in this magic to the degree he said he might call it ‘body-casting’ or taking possession of body parts. It piqued my curiosity.”
“And you came back here for this?”
She sounds disappointed in me and the River begins pulling at me… Time in this timeless place intrudes as I struggle to hold it back. Her disappointment is stronger than my faith in Tiamat, or myself, and I fall through the River back into the real world. I am alone in the Temple. The three stone obelisks rise up over me. The dome is nearly completed. I really should come back here more often, but no. This is Dar Tania’s Temple to Tiamat. Mine, like my Sean, must be bigger and better. I am Ash and Lust. I will be there to see the Flame’s End.
I love you, my Dar Tania.