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and shooting stars rained from the sky.

Chapter 2

Mages arrived steadily now, as the sun set. Elric stood before the tents on the mak. As always, he stood not only in this place but in many places; he saw not just one thing but many things. All around him, the planet lived and breathed. Magma circulated; volcanoes exhaled; water nourished; life grew. He had given himself to Soom, sunk his bones deep into this planet. As it lived, he lived.

His place of power was just a few hundred feet away, below the great circle of standing stones. A part of him was always there, within that silent chamber of rock, within Soom itself, connected to it, giving it living spirit. The connection arose from a large section of the chrysalis with which he had long ago trained. It sat at the heart of his sanctum, and over the years it had grown, sending threads deep underground. It was a part of his extended body, as was the planet. Intertwined with a variety of other devices, it formed his place of power, allowing him not only spiritual union with his home, but increased abilities and powers.

Within the datasystems of the place, he held his knowledge of the planet, its history, evolution, and development. Through the place, he coordinated the many devices that he had developed and deployed over the years, devices that controlled the planet's weather, that directed the course of rivers, that diffused the force of earthquakes, that sensed changes in the universe about him and helped further his scientific studies.

From the place, he accessed the faster-than-light relay in orbit about Soom, a part of the vast network of relays mages had established around their homes and other locations that drew their attention, allowing them to communicate with one another across vast distances.
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