Deep in the depths of the mountain, Nyx convulsed with spider venom coursing through his veins. Zyx scrambled and shook his brother to no avail. As Zyx screeched and screamed, holding his brother, he could feel the venom. It turned Zyx’s stomach and caused his muscles to ache. Nyx’s eyes closed and his mouth foamed when he coughed, a putrid stench spewing from his belly. Zyx began to sob, “No! Brother! Brother! Brother! No die!” He drew his brother into his lap and wrapped his arms around him as he rocked back and forth. Tears fell from his face and with his arms clasped across his brother’s chest he felt his heart slowing. Zyx closed his own eyes in absolute despair.
Zyx could feel the venom moving deeper into his brother’s body. He knew it would not be much longer before it had over taken his small form. He focused on the venom and felt as if he could differentiate it from the blood in his brother’s body. Zyx imagined it leaving Nyx’s blood. In his mind, he pictured the venom flowing against the blood stream towards its origin, the puncture holes in his brother’s chest. The mystical whelp felt the poison moving away from Nyx’s organs and out of his tissues, but it turned his stomach and his head began to heat.
The venom was sucked from Nyx’s body and spiritually into his brother’s causing Zyx to flush and feel hot as his vision blurred and he struggled to maintain his focus. Zyx continued to rock back and forth with his brother in his arms but his head was foggy and eyes could not focus. The physical effects only strengthen his spiritual resolve however and he clung tighter with his mind to his brother’s spirit ever willing the poison from him.
Nyx’s color improved from a very pale green to his darker normal shade and his heart rate improved from nearly nothing to its normal rate. Soon his limbs too no longer shook and instead his hands clinched as if ready for a fight. At last he coughed and his eyes flung open. He struggled free from his brother and flailed about wildly for a moment fending off imagined attackers. Nyx soon realized none were there and he looked first to the cave spider, frozen in layers of frost, then to his brother who lay on his back, shaking.
Nyx dashed to him and shook him, not unlike Zyx did to him minutes earlier. He too shouted to his brother and Zyx heard his call and it settled his spirit though he could not respond. Nyx searched the room for anything useful and could not find anything to help the situation except the totem Zyx used to subdue their attacker. He grabbed it and placed it in his brother’s hands. Zyx gripped it and clung to it as though he were clinging to life. It helped Zyx to focus his spirit and a clarity of thought emerged from the fog of venom.
In reality, Zyx was merely in a trance though his body seemed in dire condition. This state was still very unfamiliar to him however and continued to perplex the young whelp. Zyx saw his body and his brothers from outside himself. He watched as his brother tried to lay his body in a more comfortable position and sat over him looking for signs of worsening or improving condition. Zyx saw the concern on his brother’s face and wanted to soothe him.
“I ok brother,” Zyx whispered in his mind. Nyx looked about and then back to his brother, sensing that he heard something but could not make it out. Nor did he see his brother’s mouth move.
“I ok. No worry,” Zyx whispered again. This time Nyx was sure he heard something and equally sure his brother had not spoken. He had enough experience with his brother’s ability to trust that it was real though, so he exhaled and say back.
Zyx, still very unsure about what he could do and how, spent a moment to consider what happened. Already he learned that he could heal others, though he wasn’t sure if it was the founder of the Trickyfoots, Rozukg, who gave him the power or himself. He was casting a frost spell with the help of Nakbor’s totem. Now, he drew poison from his brother. When he performed these things with his spirit it did seem to drain him spiritually and physically, however. He even felt the effects of the poison as he drew it from his brother’s veins. Zyx understood then, that the spiritual connection he could make, also connected them in a deeper way. He could share in the effects of their pain or fear, but he felt it. He wondered what else he could do.
Zyx understood too, for the first time, the nature of his trance. In such a state, he could move around as though he were in physical form, but without physical limitations. He could fly, in a sense, in him mind. He moved from over his own body and that of his brother to the spider he froze with the totem. He felt the creature’s life force still strong beneath the ice and knew it was still alive. He wanted to delve deeper into the spirit of the spider but he could not figure out how. Part of his suspected that he could speak to the beast, but he didn’t know the language. He called to the spider, “Spider! Hear me!” There was no reply. “Spider! I speak you!” Nothing. Zyx gave up and looked about the room further. There was little of interested except that the spider had the remains of former prey in the deep crevice from which he attacked. Goblin corpses. Three of them.
Zyx projected his spirit further and explored the paths around them. He did not get far however before he felt a tug on his spirit as though he were tied to his own body and could not venture further. Besides, he suddenly felt very sleepy. His spiritual walk drained him of his energy and he thought that he would surely fall into a deep sleep if he did not wake promptly. He crawled back to his body and then opened his eyes.
Nyx was still seated next to his brother and squeaked, “Zyx! You live!”
“Yes brother, you too,” Zyx whispered. “Spider live too,” he added. Nyx turned eyes squinted at the spider encased in frost. He looked very closely, not sure whether to believe his brother. Mere inches from the face and fangs of the spider, its eyes blinked. Nyx squawked and then, drawing his dagger high, began to thrust down onto the creature’s head, breaking first through the ice, then the beast’s face. In a moment, Nyx had plunged his dagger through the spider’s brain and slain it. Hardly stopping, Nyx continued in a fury and flurry of blows until covered in goop from the beast. Nyx at last sat back, plopping next to Zyx, breathing deeply and heavily. Each smiled. They were a dangerous team.