Caught-up in the euphoric effect of the Tsannic spell, Bujilli hovered only a few inches off of the floor. Only now did he notice the grotesque undulations of the severed tentacles of the Muck Raker as they crawled and slid and wrapped themselves around the dead. A particularly large segment was fastening itself to the place where the Rhinocerenary once had a head, before the Zurian Princess lashed out in a fit of insane pique.
Bujilli shook his head in an attempt to clear it. He felt like his blood was smoldering, about to burst into flames at any moment. It was exhilarating, intoxicating, frightening. The spell, this Malign and Particular Suspension of Natural Law was too powerful, too subtle, too specialized...or was it? Bujilli rolled his shoulders, stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles. Maybe it was more a matter of putting the spell to good use. He reached across and made a gripping gesture--the translucent portcullis groaned, wobbled then ripped free. It took less than a minute to reshape the thing into a barricade of formidable pointy-bits and to firmly set it into the floor blocking off the way the Phorain had taken the Princess. Should she ever try to return, it was not going to be so easy for her. With a twist Bujilli made the sharp edges of the barricade extend across as many levels and strata of reality as he could visualize or perceive--and under the influence of the Tsannic spell this was a considerable number. He looked up at the Thing That Watches--
Reflexes honed in deep, dark places saved Bujilli from a lashing, slashing limb that reared from the blood-soaked muck like a blind serpent. He watched the hideous thing waver for a second then vaporized it before it could recover. Bujilli used the spell to vaporize all the bits and pieces of the Muck Raker within range. He caused the muck to dry-out and blow away as well. He raised his hands in order to--
There was blood on his hand.
More was dribbling from his nose. He could taste it.
The spell was taking a toll.
He dropped his hands and looked at the huge bulky form of the Thing That Watches squatting solemnly, silently in the center of the room. Bujilli considered attempting to release it, or at least trying to communicate with it, but it was not worth his life. He dropped his gaze then he dropped the spell. He could smell the distinct aroma of his own singed fur. He fell to his knees. At least the floor was clean. Mostly.
Bujilli vomited. He shivered and shook. Blood spattered the floor. There among the dead and beneath the alien gaze of the Thing That Watches, Bujilli suffered the after-effects of the Tsannic spell. He knew that he was fortunate not to have incurred a worse outcome. It had been a dangerous gambit. A foolish waste of a precious page now burned-up and forever removed from one of his Little Brown Journals...but he was alive.
The seizure ran its course. Bujilli pulled out a rag and used it to staunch the bleeding from his nose. His ears stopped ringing. Eventually.
Bujilli stood up. There, across from him, from deep within the darkness obscuring the passage from which the Muck Raker entered this room there was a fetid cloud of yellowish pollen. No. Not pollen. Spores.
Muck Rakers were fungal beasts. The spell had not gotten rid of all of the creature. Some vestige of it still persisted. The spores were its way of spreading itself now that the severed pieces could not infiltrate and integrate with the dead bodies scattered across the cold stone floor.
Bujilli looked up at the Thing That Watches once more. What secrets this strange entity must know. It could teach him much, tell him secrets no one else knew--he was sure of it. Gold, iridium, platinum--cold metal was far from the best or most significant treasure to be recovered from a place like this. Value didn't always come in coin-sized units. This was a stupendous treasure, potentially. Bujilli was loathe to leave it behind without at least attempting to communicate with it, to make some sort of connection, to ascertain just what it was and what it might be capable of--
'Do Not Leave Me In This Place'
He started to shake his head, but the movement re-started his nose-bleed. He looked more intently at the stolid mass of the Thing That Watches. It had not changed in the slightest--though Bujilli could feel the pressure of its attention upon him.
'I Will Serve You'
Bujilli looked down at the floor. The Scimitar. Princess Janildra's ancestral scimitar was communicating with him. He snorted involuntarily, bringing forth a gob of half-congealed blood. Here he was wondering how to make contact with the Thing That Watches and another entity, a spirit bound into a sword, was trying to reach him.
He walked over to the elegant, wickedly curved hyper-folded blade. It held a sinister green radiance just at the very threshold of normal vision. There was strong sorcery caught-up inside this weapon. It held power.
'Yes. Wield Me. Together--'
"Silence." Bujilli croaked. His throat was raw. There was blood in his teeth. His own blood.
He was caught between an untrustworthy magical scimitar and an enigmatic entity he had no way to wake-up or break loose...not without spending a good deal of time researching his options or experimenting with the spells he knew or had on-hand. But there was no time for such things. He would have to make a choice here. The cloud of spores was slowly rolling into the room. It would only be a short while before the foamy crust would start to form across the bodies of the fallen.
But what should he do?