Antania cautiously walked over to the high-backed, padded leather chair in which Illaden sat carrying an etched crystal glass full of bourbon, her slippered feet making nary a sound upon the floor. For several days he had been sitting there, unmoving and unresponsive, save for the movement of his bony fingers against the runes contained in his tome. As silently as possible, she set the glass on the table beside his chair, her expression downcast and her bottom lip quivering as he still made no acknowledgement of her presence.
"Does he even know I am here?" she thought to herself as she stood behind the table, keeping vigil to see if he would break himself away from his tome to partake of his favourite drink. She waited for hours, her dejected gaze fixated on that glass of bourbon. Tangnak attempted in vain to gently pull her away from the table; she would not leave until Illaden touched that glass. She needed him to do it; she needed to see him interact with the world around him once more so that she would know he was not lost to her.
As night fell, Tangnak lit candles in the homestead and still Antania stood waiting. The voidwalker pitied his mistress, his friend and floated over to her, placing a shadowy hand upon her shoulder in comfort. Antania closed her eyes, biting her lip to suppress a whimper that begged to be released from the depths of her throat. "He truly has forgotten me; lost in his tome!" she thought as she defeatedly turned from the table to head towards bed. As she took her first couple of steps, she heard "At last! I've got it!" come from the chair. She whipped around immediately, her eyes wide in a mixture of disbelief and jubliation.
"Be.. Beloved?" she uttered timidly, despite the joy welling up inside of her. "Yes, my dear. Come, come!" said Illaden, setting the tome next to him on the seat of the chair as he patted his lap. Without a moment's hesitation, she took those few steps and slithered into his lap gleefully, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him with as much enthusiasm as if it had been the first time she had been allowed the privelege. "My love, I have missed you so! I thought you were gone from me," she cried between kisses. He cradled her skeletal face between his bony hands and returned every kiss she bestowed upon him, then drew her head to his shoulder and began to soothingly caress her hair. "I am sorry for becoming so wrapped up in this tome," he said, "but it was important that I learn the spell perfectly before I try it. I will make it up to you, yes?" She was taken aback by his words; unused to Illaden apologising for anything. She said not a word; she merely nodded and purred softly, losing herself in the happiness of being in his embrace and the softness of his touch.
They sat the entire night on that chair, nestled up against one another. When dawn broke, Illaden said, "My dear, let me show you the spell. It is like nothing you've ever seen before." Antania nodded, clapping her tiny hands together excitedly and rose from his lap, smoothing the voluminous skirts of her dress. Illaden took one of her hands in his and led her to the stables. "We must ride a distance to find the perfect place for a demonstration." "Very well, Beloved," replied Antania with a smile, "I do not mind riding with you." Illaden helped her up onto her skeletal steed before mounting his own, then the two rode off, Antania following her husband.
All day they rode, until they reached Shadowfang Keep. Illaden dismounted and offered Antania his hand, assisting her down. They entered, Illaden leading her into the keep's courtyard. "Yes. This is perfect! Hold onto me as I cast the spell, my dear, I would not want you to be harmed." She stood behind him, entwining her arms around what once was his waist and stood on tiptoe, waiting anxiously to see what would transpire.
Illaden reached into a pocket in his robe and pulled out a small phial and a black diamond. He placed the black diamond in his adamantite hand and gripped it tightly, crushing it. He then uncorked the phial with his teeth and poured a few drops of the clear liquid into the powdered diamond before replacing the cork. "Child's tears, my dear," he explained. He placed the phial in his pocket again and mixed the contents in his adamantite hand with a claw, then began to draw Demonic runes in the air in front of him, the mixture flowing from his claw into the air to form the runes. With a cackle, he blew on them, causing them to dissipate. As they did, they began to circle him, creating a black wall of shadow which then blasted outwards in all directions with an audible 'BOOM!' As the shadow hit the worgs and servants of Arugal, they immediately fell dead; the ghosts disappeared, leaving only ectoplasm behind.
Antania's mouth hung agape at the sight. Illaden was right; she truly had never witnessed anything like it before in her existence. He stood there laughing maniacally, shouting, "Look, my dear! Look what I have done!" She could not speak; the words simply refused to formulate in her mind and come forth as sound. What reply was there to this spell? Finally, once she had regained some semblance of composure, she managed to say, "I shall never forget it, my love. This display of your power shall be etched onto my memory for all eternity." He smiled at her in earnest, then planted a kiss upon her lips. "None can harm us, my dear. Not now, not ever. You need never worry anymore."