Tarone stared at the sun that now slowly sank into the horizon. Soon, very soon, he thought. The sun was just beginning to turn a hazy red to Tarone, but he knew why. Phase one of his plan was just starting. In less than a week the world would be over. He would soon return to the lake to get his staff - the magical creation he had made over two thousand years ago. The woman that had put it there had had no idea that he would ever find it; much less that he would still be alive at this time. Then Tarone would conjure himself to another world to rule it as he may. The orb he'd had could be remade once he arrived at the other world. The orb was a magic enhancement, but he had broken it when he had faked his banishment. The six women he didn't need. They only wore rings whose magical properties were nothing compared to the orb. It would be a shame to lose them though - but like the orb they could be remade. There had been seven, but he had killed one of them recently. That had been his only attempt to recover any of the rings. The ring that she had worn hadn't been with her though. Tarone did not know where it was and had given up rather quickly.
Serphony walked out of the doorway and looked at Tarone. The woman was his fiancee, and she was wondering what he was doing outside. He had mentioned many times that something very important was coming up soon, but he hadn't said what it was, or exactly when it would occur.
Tarone looked at Serphony, the woman standing just outside the doorway, and smiled at her. Her long black hair was just one of her beautiful features. She had a very smooth face, and dimples only added to her appeal. He would take her to the other world with him, for she was the only good thing left in this world. She did not know much about his past, because if she did, she wouldn't be here. All she knew was that he was a powerful magician, and that he would live forever. Tomorrow Tarone would get the staff. The sun was now halfway hidden by the horizon. He was getting tired, but he tried to hide it; Serphony noticed though.
"Come in, you're tired. You said yourself that you have a rough day tomorrow." Serphony looked tired too, but Tarone could tell that she would be going to bed soon. He suddenly felt potent magic being worked nearby. He was going to have to investigate this.
"Sleep will have to wait, Serphony. I have to see about something." Tarone opened a portal as she walked into the house. He had been able to make portals ever since he had made the spell, but it wasn't supposed to be controllable. They were supposed to go only where you were needed the most, and the need had to be dire. He had spent many years practicing with the spell, and now could control exactly where he wanted to go. Tarone had actually made two spells, but the second one had gotten lost in an old castle. He jumped into the portal, and Serphony watched through the window. I wish I knew why he left so often, she thought. Perhaps I should follow him this time.
Tarone arrived at the path again. Nothing appeared out of order, but he could still feel the faint power of it vibrating through the air. He sat down next to it, putting his hands out and over it, closing his eyes. He was going to find whoever had created this and discover its purpose.
It didn't take him long at all to find the link between the path and the woman, though it became obvious that she was now quite some distance away from it. He set to work, threading through the magic itself to discover the actual thread that would lead back to the path's owner.
Serphony stepped out through the portal, already invisible to both magical detection and the human eye. Even her teleportation had been masked, the whole spell wrapped back on itself. She stood back away from him, holding the almost seven foot long metallic staff against her body as she watched Tarone. Then she stared past him, and saw the path, and she almost gasped as she recognized its owner. Watching the path for a second, recognizing the familiar pattern to it, she could sense where it went almost instantly. She noted everything, and then walked back through another portal to the house, leaving him.
Nearly twenty minutes later, he discovered where it went. The woman was in Choel, or near to it. It wasn't nearly as helpful as helpful as he wished though. He only knew where she was. As soon as he left the path, he'd be blind again. He couldn't affix any sort of trace onto the spell, because it wasn't active. Sighing, he stood again, turning and creating another doorway in front of him, its destination his home.
Tarone arrived back home inside his house, only to find that Serphony had already fallen asleep. She had had a hard day also. He quickly crawled into bed beside her and realized for the first time how long the day had really been. Relaxation caused him to fall quickly asleep. But it wasn't a deep sleep, for he still had to be alert to any sudden magic that could be conjured. The sun just now fell below the horizon.