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Slivered light...passing inward...hm!...one world dies...hm! The Fireling! To save her world...she'll end ours!

The Power of the Dark Crystal #2 is the second issue of The Power of the Dark Crystal. It is included in The Power of the Dark Crystal Vol. 1.

Summary[]

While Thurma's arrival creates chaos at the Crystal Castle, Aughra tries to get a glimpse of what the future may hold for the Fireling and Kensho, and discovers a familiar darkness on the horizon: Skeksis![1]

Plot[]

The Crystalline Eminence brands Thurma a heretic and she warns him not to shout at her. He continues to accuse her of heresy and orders the guards to seize her, to which she angrily flares up in response. He offers the blessings of the Crystal to anyone who seizes Thurma. The acolyte from the gate enters to ask if he can shut it due to the cold. The Lord Commander orders him to seize Thurma, with the Eminence reasoning that another scar will be of small consequence. He politely offers his hand to her and she introduces herself to him. He reveals that his name is Kensho and the two engage in a firefast, which the Gelfling call a dreamfast. The Eminence calls it devilry, declaring that a dreamfast is a sacred bond between Gelflings. Kensho's hand burns from touching Thurma and Kira orders that he be helped. She carries Fizzgig as she and Jen summon a stairway and descend from their thrones.

Jen demands that the Eminence explain what has been happening since they last awoke. He attempts to assure them that it is nothing, but Fizzgig angrily barks at him before being calmed by Kira. The Lord Commander backs up the Eminence by telling that there is not concern, that the Crystal needs more offerings, thelands are bounteous and the clans flourish. Kensho states that this is untrue and the Lord Commander chides him for addressing the Great Elders of Thra. He is then silenced by Fizzgig's angry barks and Kira's order that he let Kensho speak. The Eminence tells that Kensho is a troublemaker who questions everything and neglects the rituals, but Jen and Kira insist on hearing him speak. Kensho tells them that the land is failing, with the oil growing cold, the roots becoming brittle and the animals disappearing. Pilgrims comes to the Castle of the Crystal every day with sickness and starvation and while the clans do their best to honor the old ways, it is as if Thra itself is sick. Jen and Kira demand answers from the Eminence, who orders that the Sceptre of the Bats be brought to him.

Using the Crystal Bats, the Eminence shows a bright and bounteous country in which the Forest Clan are busy with the Buir Nut harvest, the brindlisks catch judflies in the shallows, the lunarkin prepare for the great migration and the Podlings gather songweeds for the Nebrie dairies. This is merely an illusion, as the Bats fly over a grey and barren countryside. He recommends that Kensho be disciplined and Thurma angrily protests. The Lord Commander threatens her with more water if she will not be silent. Jen orders that Thurma and Kensho be treated with leniency as Aughra enters the Crystal Chamber. Jen and Kira ask her why she never told them of the Firelings and she replies that perhaps she did and they were not listening or that they all forgot. She gives Thurma some stone shoes to prevent her from burning the ground when she walks. Aughra tells Jen and Kira that she is uncertain whether the Firelings will die without a shard of the Crystal and orders Thurma to come with her so that she may find the answers. Thurma insists that Kensho come with her and the Lord Commander forbids it, but Aughra overrules him and allows it.

Aughra brings Thurma and Kensho to her observatory and tends to Kensho's wounded hand. Thurma asks Kensho how he got his scars and he explains that his clan was afflicted by the blight, which destroyed the crops and killed the herds. A deformity called the shadow-fingers began to grow from their skin. The Elders attempted to heal them by burning off the fruits, but Kensho was the only survivor if this treatment. They traveled to the Castle but were told that their offerings were not enough. Kensho offered his services to the Enimence, who allows his clan to be healed by the light of the Crystal. He was ordered to get to work work straight away without saying farewell to his loved ones.

Aughra tells Kensho that his scars are part of his identity, hence the Crystal will not heal them. He replies that it will not heal his hand either as he has no offering. Aughra replies that the Crystal shines on everyone, both bad and good. She then orders Thurma to tell her everything she knows. Thurma recalls her childhood, hearing the plasmii singing in the flarefall and chasing the schekta fry as they steamed in the lava basins. However, the lava has turned to rock, the schekta are frozen and grey and the plasmii scream instead of singing. Knowing that they mother-sun was growing cold and dark and their world was dying, the Ember Queens gave Thurma, the youngest of their clan, the last of their vitality to aid her in her quest and help her survive on the cold surface world. Unfortunately, the water that the Royal Guard threw on her has dimmed her flame and time is running out. She quietly communicates her intentions to Aughra as she does not want Kensho to know them. Kensho shows them that his hand has healed and Aughra begins stargazing to search for a new prophecy.

Thurma demands to know how long Aughra will take and Kensho informs her that there is not way of knowing, as she once spent half a year trying to think in color. Thurma is impatient and Kensho promises to help her by teaching her more about the Crystal, as his mother taught him that good things will happen when you help good people. She asks if he ever regrets coming to the Castle, since he is valued so little despite his servitude, and he replies that his clan was in danger and like her there is nothing he would not do to save the ones he loves.

Kensho takes Thurma to a room filled with relics from when the Skeksis ruled. Among them are the chair that they used to drain Gelflings and Podlings of their essence, the swords they wielded in the Trial by Stone and the Scepter of Office that they used to command the Garthim. The Eminence and the Lord Commander enter, with the former stating that the daily offerings are made to prevent the return of the Skeksis. Kensho states that he does not believe the offerings to be vital to achieve this and the Eminence accuses him of heresy. The Lord Commander states that they have had enough of his insubordination and attempts to humiliate them before the Great Elders and have reassigned him to the catacombs to shovel tumbleoth dung for the next tree years. Thurma tells him not to let them push him around, as they only care abbout the riches they receive and not about what is right. The Eminence asks Kensho if he will defy the stewards of the Crystal and allow an outsider to corrupt and Kensho weakly leaves the room. This proves to be the final straw for Thurma, who burns through the wall and makes her way to the Crystal Chamber.

As Aughra watches the stars, she discovers a new prophecy:

When feeble shines what once was bright,
And secret spheres succumb to night,
If inward passes slivered light,
One world dies, another made right.

Aughra interprets this to mean that in order to save her world, Thurma will end theirs. Meanwhile, Thurma enters the Crystal Chamber and shatters the Crystal with a rock, the shock of which wakes Jen and Kira. A second Great Division occurs, causing the reappearance of the UrRu and the Skeksis.

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