Fandom: Abhorsen Trilogy
Characters: Sabriel, Chlorr, Lirael
Word Count: 527
Summary: Sabriel learns that no one is invincible.
Humility was not something that came easily to Sabriel. More powerful by far than any other Charter Mage in her magic class, top of most other subjects and Abhorsen to boot, she was used to achieving anything she set out to do.
She had fought Mordauts and Hands, necromancers and Free Magic creatures. Newly created, strong Mordicants were banished with a practised ring of the bells; ancient, dangerously unravelled spells caused her no problem at all. Sabriel often had to remind herself that she was not invincible.
She would not forget again. She had been overconfident; Chlorr had almost won because Sabriel had underestimated her knowledge of Free Magic. A sword wrought of Free Magic and fire had almost decapitated her, and only Sabriel’s speedy ringing of Astarael had distracted Chlorr long enough for Sabriel to dodge the blade.
At least a battle in Death served to let the Greater Dead know that they would be unwise to mess with her, Sabriel thought. The more she ventured into Death, the more Greater Dead she sent beyond the Ninth Gate, the less they tried to attack her. Any trip into the deeper reaches of Death was dangerous – even the First Precinct could be dangerous if you didn’t know what you were doing – so anything that lessened the danger suited Sabriel just fine.
As with most necromancers, Chlorr appeared more terrible than she ever could in Life. Death seemed to twist the powers of necromancers into something that appeared truly frightening. Or maybe necromancers could harness the power of Death in a way that Abhorsen’s couldn’t and make themselves appear that way. Sabriel refused to believe that their spirits truly looked like that. Too many of them had snivelled and begged and pleaded with her for her to be terrified so easily.
No matter how old or powerful Chlorr was, Death was the province of the Abhorsens and Chlorr found herself marching towards the Sixth Gate. Bound by Saraneth and silenced by Dyrim, there was no way she would be able to free herself from Kibeth’s tune before reaching her final destination. Tired, injured and not wishing to linger longer than necessary in Death, Sabriel started her journey back towards Life.
As the years passed, Sabriel learnt to accept that intimate knowledge of the Book of the Dead did not guarantee victory. After the Destroyer was defeated, she began instructing Lirael on how to be an Abhorsen – an opportunity she wished she herself had had. One of the first things they did was to hunt down Chlorr, before she could gather up Hedge’s Dead and make an army out of them.
They defeated Chlorr, of course – not even she could stand against two Abhorsens and win, even with the bound Destroyer’s support – and this time Sabriel insisted that they follow her all the way to the Ninth Gate.
“Why did we do that? I mean, she was bound by Saraneth,” Lirael said, looking at her feet. Sabriel sighed. One day, Lirael would get over her inferiority complex, just as she herself had overcome arrogance.
“Number one lesson of being an Abhorsen,” Sabriel said. “Nothing you do is invincible.