The moss on the stones that formed the island was springy and very slippery. Mirko tried shuffling towards the edge to look at the water and gauge its depth but with each movement threatening to throw him off balance and into the water, he gave up quickly and sat down. The moss was comfortable, though a little damp, but this was nothing he wasn't used to. Druids didn't avoid discomfort when it was part of nature's way. The air around him was still and quiet, no birdsong, no insect rattle, not even the occasional plop of a fish breaking the water's surface. Morwen's presence seemed to have disappeared as well, but when he concentrated, looking for it, he realised that he was utterly enveloped in it and that he couldn't readily sense it because there was nothing else around him to compare it to.
He pulled Mecta's scroll out of his pack and unrolled it cautiously. The first page was instructions on how to use it: where to stand in the grove, what time of day would work best, and notes on what to expect during the recital. He glanced through them, seeing nothing unusual, and laid that page aside. The second page was where the details of the rite began.
Even after the first paragraph he was feeling uneasy. The amount of power that the spell seemed to be conjuring with surprised him. He knew a little of the theory of rites of consecration, and he was aware that the core idea was to create a small sacred space and invite the entity you were dedicating it to in. When they accepted, you extended the space to cover the whole of the area of dedication and asked the entity to accept it. Their acceptance is what made the place holy; their energies suffusing it is what made it special. This rite though laid down firm boundaries at the start, and then sought out power to fill the space created. He read further, pausing now and then to rub his eyes or his forehead as the pressure inside built. Reading the spell created a mindset for casting it, and for this spell that seemed to be interfering with him understanding it.
When he laid the scroll down the next time he'd nearly finished it and his head was starting to feel befogged. The rite seemed intended to destroy something first, and then use the vacuum created by the destruction to suck something else in. The last sections he'd read then warded the space, locking inside whatever had been caught. The spell had the feeling of a trap of some kind, something intended to clear a space and pin something down.
Why would Mecta write this down? Mirko stared off into the silent, motionless trees of the grove and tried to think clearly. His head seemed cloudy, as though he had a bad cold, and he felt slightly distanced from reality. What had the inner council said to him about this? Oh yes -- "the grove has been left untended too long, and Morwen does not deserve this dishonour." What dishonour? Thinking her name sent a tremble through the fuzziness in his head, and a thought suddenly slipped in to the forefront of his mind: this spell is making me forget.
He laid the scroll down carefully on the moss and stood up. He closed his eyes and, pushing aside a trepidation that he might be being too bold, extended his senses out to the grove, seeking out both shapes. They came into view clearly and easily, and he linked to the outer green sphere. The inner orange snub octahedron pulsed, and then threw out tendrils that wrapped around him, seeking a linkage like the one with the sphere. He tensed, terrified, and fought an inner battle to try and accept this. For a few seconds that felt like an hour he stamped down on his reflexes, and let the orange shape make its connection. Finally relaxing, he allowed them both to energise him, and then with what felt like a mental muscle flex he drenched himself in their energies. He felt something snap, though he saw nothing change around him, and when he dropped his connection and opened his eyes again the fuzziness in his head had vanished.
They knew, he thought, now certain. They knew that the hobgoblins had been here, and this spell intends to destroy their presence and then lock Morwen into the grove. And it wipes the memory of the person casting the spell too. Why would they do that? Why should it matter if the spellcaster knows what they've done? And why are they worried about the hobgoblins? Too many questions, and not enough answers. He did now know that reading that scroll in this grove would surely result in his death as Morwen did not seem inclined to turn the hobgoblins away from her. So what should he do instead?
The memory of the orange snub-octahedron reaching out to his, joining with him like the green sphere, surfaced in his mind again, and he thought to wonder, for a second, if perhaps he wasn't being pushed down a path by someone else. Then the linkage to join the two shapes together took form, and he realised that he could harmonise the two magics co-existing in the grove and let them supplement each other.
If, of course, he could work out how to manipulate the orange energies that the hobgoblins used. But that thought only came after he'd already closed his eyes and extended his senses, taking a grip on both shapes.