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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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GM for this game: t_catt11
Players for this game: Raven, Bromern Sal, Eol Fefalas, Reralae, breebles
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    Messages in The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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Bromern Sal
A Shadow
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4193 Posts




Only the battle-trained have an eye for the whole of the field. 

"To lead from the front is to generate the love of your troops," Captain Ollifpher's words echo in the warrior-priest's mind. "To lead from the back wins you a near god-like view of the battlefield. You have to decide which will win you the day."

In the heart of the Temple of Death, Garn had easily shrugged off Gib's command to hold and the cleric of Therassor can only blame his own weakness in faith. He doesn't have much time to contemplate that situation, however, as he carries out his original plan and lines up his crossbow sights with his hated enemy.

The shot is tricky. Aranwen, in her golden beauty, is dancing in and out of his line bringing and end to one foe after another as she moves closer to the target. He has to time it perfectly... to press the lever too early will lead to disaster. To press it too late... Therassor, Righteous Commander, guide my hand. With a click and a jerk, the bolt is released. Already swinging the crossbow to his back, his heart leaps into his throat as the bladesinger begins to shift into the path of the missile. Despite his doubt, Gib's prayer is answered and the Sylvari's hair is trimmed by the passing bolt. Shield slipping along his arm, the cleric watches with satisfaction as his shot impales the wicked priestess in the shoulder.

And then they are upon him, smashing into his shield as he snatches his sword from between his knees. Grunting with the impact, Moreno finds himself in the thick of melee while he presses forward to provide his Kazari friend with assistance. Cutting a cultist down, Gib's wide moss-colored eyes seek his target, noting that Ch'dau is taking a beating while giving the same to Garn. Drawing in a sharp breath, the sweat and blood covered warrior-priest continues his slow progress forward only to be met by a new wave of the enemy. Struggling against the press, Moreno is surrounded, but then aid from servants of the death god swell. Blocking a slash against the face of his shield, he turns aside a thrust just as another cultist's blade pierces his lower right abdomen sending fiery white heat lancing through his chest and into his hip. A large cultist forces himself to Gib's side, and the two of them lay about fiercely, keeping Davena's minions at bay, even driving them back. 

Free of the smothering enemy rush, Moreno uses his shield to push a zombie aside and take the knee of a cultist out with a long cut of his blade. Frantically seeking his companions, he witnesses Davena attempt to slash Aranwen's throat only to be bowled over by Ch'dau and his breath catches painfully in his lungs. There's no time to cry out, not that it would do any good. Anger and grief fueling his adrenaline, the priest lunges forward into two cultists. Using his shield as a wall, he drives the first into the second momentarily entangling their limbs. Using the shield as a fulcrum he rolls to the left, bringing his blade around in a wide three-hundred and sixty-degree swing that ends by decapitating the second cultist and severing the spine of the first. Carrying through with the momentum, Gib runs towards his fallen friend, leaving the two cultists' bodies to fall behind him, a fresh spray of arterial blood providing the right side of his face with crimson war paint. 

A screaming male in black robes rushes Gib from the front—Kith is moving to give the Kazari aid—Moreno drops low, catching the cultist on his shield and driving his blade through the man's gut as he allows the forward motion of the enemy to help him carrying his dying body over the top of him, rolling him from his shield and extracting his longsword in the process. Cedric is close to Aranwen, Ch'dau, and Kith—Kith, who is now driving her blade into Ch'dau's stomach, not Davena!

An enraged and confused bellow erupts from the warrior-priest's throat, raw and throaty. Desperate to reach his wounded companions, his training kicks in. Cedric is in a better position to provide Aranwen and Ch'dau with aid. If I can kill Davena, Kith can be freed of the magic controlling her. Instinctively, Gib knows that he cannot muster the strength to call upon Therassor for another hold. He has one chance. He must reach Davena and kill her.

When he entered this battle, Moreno Enderedre had resigned himself to death, even singing the Funeral Dirge of Therassor. Now, victory requires him to live long enough to end the life of his rival, what victory may still be grasped from this carnage. His press turns into a calculated run; survey the remaining field, choose a path of least resistance, and MOVE!

"Cedric!" he yells. "See to Aranwen and Ch'dau!"

Kithran is speaking to Davena, helping her rise, a smirk on her face. "Kithran!" he calls raggedly to his friend as he continues his charge. "Kill her! Kill Davena and you'll be free!"

(OOC: OK... so, there's three possibilities here as I see it, so I'm writing three possible "nexts".)

(OOC: If Gib makes it to Kith and Davena without dying...)

Rushing in on the pair, Moreno positions himself so that Kith is shield-side. (OOC: if Kithran hasn't responded positively to his call...) Not wishing to do more than remove his friend from the equation, the warrior-priest attempts to knock her aside with his warworn shield while driving his blade through Davena's chest.

(OOC: If Gib is blocked from reaching them but still alive...)

"They are escaping!" Moreno calls out, hoping to draw the aid of their benefactor, Garrack and perhaps gain more time to free Kithran from Davena's hold. (OOC: If possible without drawing additional attacks, he'll also cast Command on Kith.)

Then, to Kithran, Gib calls upon the divine power of Therassor to compel her, "Stop! In the name of Therassor the Battle Lord!"

(OOC: If Gib reaches Kith and Davena but Kith won't give him the opening he needs and a shield bash won't remove her from the equation...)

His original plan to deal as little damage to the little scout as possible removed from him by her strategic maneuvering, Gib draws up with his shield in front of him, narrowed, calculating eyes barely above the upper rim, sword held back ready to thrust. "This isn't you, Kithran," he states in desperation. "You've killed your friends. Ch'dau, Aranwen... we've been languishing in the prisons of this one—" he tilts his helmeted head towards Davena, "—this past while, seeking every opportunity to free ourselves and come to your aid. Now, I need yours. 

"Therassor has given you the opportunity. Take it, Little Sister. Send her to her maker!"



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 08:20:36.
Edited on 2019-12-05 at 08:47:28 by Bromern Sal

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
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Karma: 462/28
8482 Posts


Blood for... Kithran?

With the Kazari’s roar still reverberating from the temple’s walls, the chanting of the cultists is ended, giving way to panic and confusion. The temple floor, then, is awash in chaotic tides of dark-robed figures fleeing, falling, or fighting for their chosen faction. Ch’dau is indiscriminate as he wades into the tumult of battle, carving a bloody swath through the throng, sending both the living and undead to their deserved damnations regardless of their allegiances. The Silver Cat is already spattered with the blood of the fallen as, upon the dais, Garn tears back his hood and draws his blade in answer to the Kazari’s challenge.

Yes, t’mbili, Ch’dau snarled as the big warrior stepped from the dais and the crowd seemed to part to facilitate the fight to come, bring me your blood!

And then Garn is on him, the warrior’s skill on full display as he and Ch’dau, at last, cross blades. The man was a much more capable fighter than the kazari had imagined he would be, though, and was quick to open several wounds in the cat-man’s furry hide. Ch’dau didn’t allow himself to feel them, though. Instead, he seemed to almost relish in the fact that his own blood now darkened his fur… seemed to ask for more as he continued to press the warrior’s practiced bladework and test his defenses. Then, as Garn’s blade raised for what would have surely been a grievous blow, Ch’dau found his opening. The human’s sword sliced through the air, whistling for the kazari’s neck, and Ch’dau stepped into its arc, punching the hilt of one falcata into the man’s forearm to deflect the blow and, simultaneously, driving the second falcata through the big man’s chest.

“Smile at me now, k’tomba t’mbili,” the Silver Cat snarled as the blade exploded from Garn’s back. The dead man blinked once as the feral feline face pressed closer to his own and the blooded maw growled, once more; “Smile at me now!” Garn did not smile; he simply crumpled to the floor as the kazari ripped his blade from his guts and waded away into the tide of cultists and zombies that surged around them.

It had taken only a second to spot Aranwen through the fracas. The bladesinger had made her way to Davena and very well may have been about to end the witch but, even as Ch’dau cut his path toward her, the Dhurgenite’s dark magics came into play. Aranwen was staggered and stunned, her borrowed sword ineffectual in a helpless hand. Davena, though, despite her own injuries, had found the strength to lift her own blade, prepared to slash the thing across the Sylvari’s throat…

No!!! Ch’dau launched himself furiously over those that remained between himself and the high priestess.

…Just as Davena’s blade began its sweep, the Kazari plowed into her, knocking her from her feet and depositing her on the dais a few feet away.

Standing between Aranwen and Davena, the Cat – now far more red than silver – chuffed and, then, roared in fury and bloodlust. It ends, now, he raged, a feral grin spreading across his feline features as he strode toward the prone form of the blonde witch, YOU end now! He raised his blades, prepared to take the slitch’s head from her shoulders, and then they fell… along with the rest of the world.

The sounds of battle dimmed and disappeared. A vision of his home jungles, in all their perfection, filled his vision for an instant and a soft, chuffing moan escaped him as his eyes fell to the sword that issued from his gut. “Huh,” he rumbled, his gaze tracing along the familiar blade, to its ornate hilt and the even more familiar hand that held it. As his eyes lifted, the vision of Capasha faded away and he was left blinking in confusion into Kithran’s obsidian gaze. “Kibibi?”

At the other end of the sword, a playful grin touches Kithran’s lips and, at the sight of it, Ch’dau nearly smiles, himself… It is good to see you, again, Little Kitten… He was unsure that he spoke the words aloud as he was trying to hear whatever she was saying but her words, too, were lost to the bewilderment that had laid claim to his mind and the pain that threatened to sunder his heart… Everything will be alright, now.

The sword was torn free of his stomach, then, and he slumped to his knees. As he did, Kith swiped the dagger she had given him long ago from its sheath. “I believe this is mine,” her voice warbles in her ears as she flips the blade in her hand, “thank you…”

Ch’dau blinked again, his lids heavy and almost unable to open, then nodded faintly. “It is… alright, kibibi,” he sighed, strength and sight fading almost as quickly as she, “Samuel… is… here…” The floor rose to meet him, then, and he saw no more.



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 10:18:34.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


flashback: the break

It has been three excruciating days since Kith first arrived in this place. Or has it been four?

Ever since the stabbing of the hateful Hagan, things have settled into a more or less "normal" routine - normal for a plane of misery, that is.

For the most part, Kithran has been kept alone in her room. She has been given the blessed freedom to move around the room as she sees fit, but there is precious little to do. From time to time, a younger acolyte might come in to bring food or empty the chamber pot, but they never say a word or even make eye contact. Only Davena communicates with Kith.

Davena is swift to punish for the slightest infraction - real or imagined, and can be particularly jealous of proximity to the door. Touching it is absolutely forbidden, and Davena has been exceedingly clear on that point.

The priestess is fond of her blister stick - and is very creative in its application - though she also uses her knife liberally. She has taught Kithran why the expression "salt in the wound" exists (thought literal application of said substance), has shown how tender the nail beds of fingers and toes can be.

And yet, Davena never grows truly angry. If Kithran disappoints her, Davena always wears a weary, pained, sorrowful expression when she punishes. She is always kind and gentle and caring after the wounds are healed, makes it a point to embrace Kithran, to stroke her hair, to whisper encouragements.

On this afternoon, a young man dressed in priestly garments lets himself inside of the room. He pushes a blondish lock out of his face and grins maliciously. "Yer friends 're dead, ya know tha, right? Ah 'eard it meself, 'ow they was eatin' by tha ghouls."

Kithran looked up from her legs sprawled before her. All things considered, caning was not such a terrible punishment, though it still amazed her how quickly she could go from never wanting to walk again, to her legs feeling perfect and pain-free. The ghost of the pains, the ghosts of the places her mind went to during the worst of it, they were what were truly beginning to get to her.

The punishments were of course horrific, and she would sooner slit her throat than have to endure that blistering once more, but any perception of movement against Davena’s will only brought her wrath--and that included moving to kill herself. If there was any grace, it was that she knew Davena needed her, and so the punishments had to end, and with the end came the indescribable relief of the healing, as well as the lovely priestess’ coddling while her mind found its way back to her.

What never went away were those ghosts. Only one thing had kept them at bay in the three or four or dozen or so days she had been in this place, and that was the hope she had for her friends and family. She had given up on the gods, and even Rrowl, but there was no doubt in her mind that the others remained.

And so, when that little worm slithered into her room to taunt her with his verbal poison, Kithran smiled sweetly back at him and stood, walking his way, “Oh? Is that so?” And she strikes out at his jaw.

Kith's swing takes the young man completely off guard. Her fist connects with a satisfying wet thud, and he flails as he falls backwards, crashing into the table en route to the floor. "Ya little BITCH," he hisses, one hand on his jaw.

For a moment, it looks as if he will lunge at the rogue, but the expression on his face suggests that something makes him think better of the idea. The corner of his mouth opposite the one struck turns up in a smirk. "That's aw right," he spits as he regains his feet and backs toward the door.

Kithran stalks him as though prowling her prey, her glare pressing the daggers she missed so dearly into his face, but she stops a safe distance from the door as he skitters through.

"I 'ave somethin' you'll love, ya will."

The priest retreats, leaving Kith alone with a smashed table. She looks back at it and shakes her head. The priestess would not be happy when she saw the mess. Her mind wanted to flee just thinking about it.

**********************

The respite doesn't last long, as he is back within ten minutes or so. He carries a long bundle wrapped in rags. Gleefully, he holds it up and Kith steps away from trying to sort out the rubble of the table to see what the worm has.

"Don't believe me, do ya?" he jeers. "I saw the spellbook o' tha little one. Soaked in blood, it was. But this - they say tha' syl bitch screamed as tha ghouls ate 'er innards. 'Parrantly, syls canna be paralyzed by tha ghoul bite. Rest 'a yer friends went quietly, they say, but tha' bitch died screamin' an' cursin'."

Kithran takes another threatening step toward him, her hands clenching again, “Shut the f*** up. If your dick monsters killed a screaming bitch, they did not kill Aranwen.” She reaches behind her to grip the back of one of the chairs and grins, “Keep talking though, you sniveling little s***. I will already be punished for your inability to take a hit, I might as well double-up while we’re here.”

Smirking, the young priest slips the rags away.

The blade is chipped and covered in dried gore. The handle has a fair amount of dried blood on it - ghouls don't bleed, so that came from a living being. But Kithran would know that ornate work, the filigree on the blade, the intricate carvings anywhere. This is no common sword. This is a work of deadly art. This is a Bladesinger's blade, the sort that can never touch the ground, can never be abandoned or dishonored.

This is Aranwen's sword.

Kithran’s hand falls loosely to her side, and like the tension in her shoulders, the vitriol in her face melts away. She takes another step forward, this time though it is not to stalk her prey, but so that she can see better, so that she can prove her eyes wrong.

“No,” she says in a voice so soft it doesn't sound like her own. She takes another step and reaches out, but the acolyte gleefully steps away from her, “No, let me see. That’s . . . that’s not Aranwen’s sword. You’re lying to me,” her voice begins to raise as each glimpse of the blade, of the handle, of every part of the beautiful weapon screams Ara’s name back at her, “You and Davena are trying to mess with my mind again! I don’t believe you! Let me see the sword!” And the thief lunges at the man, grasping with all she has for the Bladesinger’s blade.

The events of the next few moments are a blur. Kithran's wild grab is of the blade itself, which slices her palm wide open. Heedless of the pain (perhaps a positive side effect of the hours spent with Davena), the rogue refuses to let go, grabs, pulls, wrestles with the young priest. The two end up in a pile upon the ground, struggling for advantage.

Naturally, the door opens, and Davena's frigid tone calls an instant halt to the scrum. "What is the meaning of this?" she demands.

Kithran pulls herself away, blade held defiantly, blood pouring from her palm. The young priest bears a couple of small cuts of his own, though the majority of the blood on him - and there is a lot of it - has come from Kithran.

"She attacked me!" he brays indignantly as he scrambles to his feet. "Twice!"

The priestess' icy blue eyes fix him. "And you came to taunt her, did you not?"

He pales, seems to shrink into himself. "Yes, Mistress."

Davena's mouth forms into a thin line. "I will deal with you momentarily, acolyte." Her gaze turns to Kith.

"You are a mess, dear one. You are bleeding, and the state of this room is shameful." She pauses for a moment, speaking very evenly. "Kithran, what exactly do you intend to do with that sword?" she asks.

Kith’s grip, slick with blood, tightens around the beautiful hilt of Aranwen’s sword, and her breathing is ragged as her gaze flits from acolyte to priestess. Finally, her black eyes settle on Davena, and the priestess can see clearly they’re no longer filled with anger, but with desperation, “Did you kill my family?”

Davena's eyes are somehow kind, even knowing the depth of pain that she can inflict. "Kithran," she speaks softly, holding her hands up in a non-threatening gesture, "your friends died fighting the dead, as you knew that they would. I told you shortly after you first woke here that they would not survive. You know this."

She shakes her head. "I did not kill them; I was here with you, helping prepare you for the great gift you are to receive. I am sorry for your pain, darling, I truly am - but this is how it had to be. You understand this."

She glances sidewise at the acolyte. "This was not the way that you were to learn of their deaths, however. There was no need to take glee in your pain, no need to make it worse than it had to be."

The priestess opens her arms. "Come to me, Kithran. Let me help you bear the pain, as I have helped you so far."

Kithran screams and falls into a crouch, her hands on either side of her head. She screams in pain and sorrow, and a pure hopelessness she had never felt before. She notices Davena take a comforting step toward her and she jumps back up, holding the sword out at her.

“You know what I meant!” she growls at the priestess, her anger returned, “You control these things, you could have stopped them! You could have done, something! Now I’m alone agai--” She chokes on the lump in her throat she was trying to suppress, and takes a step toward the woman, “Everything I had is gone because of you!” And with all of the swiftness and pain she had left, she strikes out at Davena.

Full of anguish, she swings the blade wildly at the priestess. The swing is clumsy; the sword is much longer, much heavier than the daggers that the rogue is accustomed to fighting with. However, the act takes Davena by surprise, and the swing opens a long, bloody gash along the priestess' forearm.

Eyes flashing with anger, Davena calls upon D'hurgen, commanding Kithran to "HALT". The young woman feels the god's power flow into her body, compelling her to obey... but so angry and hurt and upset is she, that Kith is able to resist the influence, and she swings again.

This time, Davena is ready, and she calmly avoids the wild strike. Again, she calls upon her dark god, commanding the rogue to stop - and this time, Kithran is unable to resist the power.

When Kith freezes under the god's compulsion, Davena chants again, this time placing a stronger enchantment upon the young woman. The blonde woman's face is pinched, her lips tight, her eyes hard.

"Dear, dear child," she speaks carefully, "you are hurting, and angry, and frustrated. I understand all of this. You believe that I do not grasp how you feel... but my own mother was killed by the church when I was but a girl. I know the feeling of aloneness that you feel. I know the rage and the pain, I truly do."

She shakes her head. "You ask why I 'did nothing' to save your friends. You act as if there was some other possible outcome. You forget the situation, darling. YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE. You, and you alone, will bear the Devourer's anchor. Everything else - even my own life - is secondary to this. Unless your friends had chosen to leave this place and never return, I could not intercede in their fate."

Her tone softens a bit. "I was... fond of your Bladesinger. Aranwen was a remarkable woman; her fate brings me sorrow. But think of her, think of your friends. They died good deaths, fighting for what they believed. What more can anyone hope for? Save perhaps the young priest, do you honestly think that any of your friends would pick any other end to their lives? I met them. I broke bread with them. None of them would choose death in a sickbed after years of enfeeblement and age! They would wish you to celebrate their lives, not mourn their deaths!"

The voice is tinged with sorrow. "I have tried to be patient with you, dear one. I have tried to open your eyes to the wonder that is this gift. I have tried to help you, to hold you up, to comfort you. Your spirit is so very admirable; your strength is commendable, truly."

There is iron in that melodious voice now. "But if you will not learn, if you continue to refuse the gift... my Lord's will is not changed. The anchor will still be brought forth. I had hoped to save you the pain, to save your mind, your self. If you insist on having your entire self shattered so that naught but your shell remains to carry that seed... so be it."

So be it, Kithran thought as emotion wracked her immobile body, she had wanted to be given the gift of oblivion from this task the priestess wanted of her from the beginning. With the others gone, without little Midge, sweet Cedric, steady Gib; without Ch’dau and Aranwen out in the world waiting for her . . . she would rather forget the world existed. All it offered her now was the promise of unimaginable pain and torture. She didn’t want to think about it anymore. She didn’t want to be alone again. She didn’t want anymore ghosts haunting her. She wanted to be gone from herself forever. So be it.

Davena’s eyes cut to the skulking acolyte. "Strip her," she commands. The young man complies quickly, fearfully - unlike Hagan, his eyes and fingers do not linger; he rushes through the task and immediately retreats.

"Now, darling," Davena speaks, her voice heavy with sorrow, as she stands before Kithran's naked form, "I must truly punish you." The priestess reaches into her robes and produces the gray device she has used before. "I am so sorry,"she speaks before pressing the cold stone into Kithran's jaw.

The pain from before, of the burning needles being torn through her flesh, is somehow dramatically intensified. The skin on Kithran's face blisters, bursts open as Davena slowly traces the device down.

The briefest moment's respite is felt as the device is lifted away, only to be touched back to her collarbone. Traced slowly down, over the breast, onto the ribs, then the belly, laying skin and flesh wide open as it goes. Somewhere to the side, the acolyte retches at the sight of the rogue being split open like an overcooked sausage.

The wand is withdrawn, then driven into an open wound. It melts the very flesh as the priestess slowly rotates it, sinking it deeper and deeper into Kithran's abdomen while the paralyzed rogue screams and screams inside of her mind.

Her mind tries to escape, Ch’dau in a cage in Adedre’s manor, it searches every corner, Aranwen’s song ringing in her ears as she falls out of a window, every growing crack, it searches for a way out. It’s screaming at her, Ch’dau launching her into the air as they practice battle moves in the forest, crying, wailing, pleading for her to let it go, waking up from a nap in Ara’s lap, her golden eyes laughing at the embarrassed half-Syl. She wants to let it go, she almost has, Ch’dau and Ara fighting by her side, protecting her.

The pain goes away somewhat as Davena chants over the wounds, causing them to heal... only to come back as she begins the torture anew. One leg is slowly opened from her heel to her buttocks and up to her back, then the other. In between rounds of torture, Davena strokes Kithran's hair, coos softly about pain, and death, and how it cannot come for Kith yet no matter how much she might wish for it. How the only path for happiness is through obedience and acceptance. The rogue is somehow kept awake, conscious, feeling every awful touch, feeling pain that lay beyond even the wildest nightmares rooted in her recent experiences.

At some point, the paralysis goes away, and Kithran falls to the ground, the last shreds of her sanity reaching out to Davena through her sobs of pain, “Priestess,” she forces the air out with each ragged, unbearable breath, “kill me! Stab me! End this!” She looks shakily down at her mutilated body and screams, “Please!”

Yet the priestess does not grant the requests, instead blistering and melting away every inch of flesh on Kithran's body, even damaging inside of it, only to heal the wounds before starting anew in a different location.


And it goes on and on and on and on.



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 11:35:21.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


flashback: the fall

Three more days have passed since the incident with the acolyte and the sword. Since that time, the punishments have been far less regular, and far milder. Davena's attitude seems to have shifted since that time; she seems kinder, more relaxed.

The night before, the priestess had promised a boon for Kithran if the latter behaved herself. It is now morning; an acolyte has come to empty the chamber pot and place food on the repaired table.

Presently, Davena herself makes an entrance into Kithran's room. She gives a soft smile. "And how did you sleep, dear one?" she asks. "Have you behaved yourself?"

Kithran swallows her mouthful of breakfast and wipes her face as she turns to Davena and nods, "I slept well, thank you. Did you, Priestess?" Her grin widens, her growing excitement unabashedly spreading across her face, "And yes, I've been *very* well behaved."

Davena smiles broadly at the proclamation. "I am glad to hear that, dear one. And yes, thank you - I slept well, indeed."

The ghost of a frown crosses the beautiful face for a moment, and the tone lowers a bit. "Now, Kithran, I want you to understand - 'Priestess' is an acceptable term, certainly. And in private, you may use my name. But when we are with others, the preferred term is 'Mistress'. Do you understand?"

The thief nods, a grin still plain on her face, "Yes, Davena, thank you for the correction."

The smile returns to Davena's face. "Good. Now, since you have been such a good girl, I have brought you a gift. Come here to me, please."

Kithran jumps up from her seat and eagerly makes her way to the sweet priestess. Up until this point, she had not been able to behave well enough to deserve a gift. Punishments, absolutely, but she had learned so much from those already that they were in their own way a gift. There was also all of the comfort that came with the punishments. Davena was so gentle with her afterward, healing her, holding her, speaking sweetly to her--it felt so nice after her lessons. If that was all the priestess had to offer by way of a gift, it was already more than she deserved.

The priestess produces a bundle of cloth, then unwraps it - it is Aranwen's sword, sheathed in a new scabbard, with a new belt. The sword has been cleaned and meticulously polished. "This is for you," Davena explains. "Now that you have come to understand and embrace your place, I think that you deserve a reward - the first of many, to be sure. This is for you to keep, to wear as you like."

The half-Syl's eyes widen at the beautiful gift. She hardly deserved Davena's attentions, so to be honored with an item like this. . . it was beyond gracious. "The Bladesinger's sword, Davena? Are you sure?"

The priestess nods at her and Kith's grin returns, "Thank you! I'll take very good care of it."

A crooked grin tugs at the corner of Davena's mouth. "Well, Darling... come here, let me buckle it on you."

Kithran takes the few steps forward and holds her arms out for the priestess to put it on her. Davena briefly wraps her arms around the rogue's waist to put the belt on her and Kith instinctually leans into her, enjoying the contact and her pleasant scent among the light essence of putrescence that never seems to leave this place. She thinks again of the sweet, caressing comforts the priestess provides after her lessons and hopes Davena will linger in this close proximity with her for just a while longer. Unfortunately the priestess works swiftly, and catches Kith staring at her as she smiles and steps away.

Encouraged, Kithran draws the sword. If Davena showed any hesitation at the act it was lost of the rogue, as she remained in awe of the blade. Sure there were some imperfections here and there, many she assumed a Bladesinger would not be able to tolerate, but it was beautiful. Kithran stepped away from Davena and took a few swings of her own. It was slightly uncomfortable in the hands of one so used to smaller blades, but it nearly sang through the air on its own. It was truly a remarkable gift from the priestess, one she would care for meticulously in order to show her how much it meant to her.


**********************

It is evening of the same day. Kithran is seated across the small table from Davena. The two of them share a meal and company; Kithran cannot be certain, but this seems like it may be some of the finest food she has eaten in perhaps forever. Certainly since before arriving at Crandel those days or weeks or months ago. A young woman - barely a teen, by the looks of her - serves as an attendant, refilling glasses and such.

The conversation is light, with Davena sharing a story of a one-eared dog, of all things. The beautiful priestess smiles often, her eyes dancing with humor as she tells the tale.

The conversation comes to a jarring halt as Kithran, unthinking, answers the priestess by the use of the latter's name. Davena's face grows cold and hard, then the note of sadness creeps into her expression.

"Darling," she addresses Kithran, "we have spoken of this matter, have we not? It is very important that you use the proper terms of respect."

The priestess glances at the young acolyte/maid. "Leave us," Davena requests cooly.

The ashen faced young woman nods and races to comply. "Of course, Mistress!" She is gone within moments, closing the door behind her.

Sorrowfully, Davena stands. "You have made great strides, dear one. I will be the first to admit that. But we cannot allow even a mustard seed of rebellion or disrespect to fester away. These impurities must be purged from you. Do you understand?"

Kithran nods and stands to await her punishment, "Yes, Mistress."

The priestess nods. "Very well. Strip and lean over the bed. I believe that a small caning should be sufficient to purge a small offense like this. There is no need to truly hurt you."

The rogue quickly and obediently does as requested, both in order to appease her mistress, as well as to avoid any further lessons. A simple caning was nothing compared to what this lovely, deadly woman was capable of.

For a Davena punishment, this was mild indeed. Very little blood was drawn, though the stinging welts on Kithran's legs and buttocks would have been enough to bring many a strong man to tears. As always, the priestess gives her healing touch, soothing the pain away as she coos softly to Kithran, speaking of obedience and the gifts of such, complementing the young women on her strength and resilience.

Kith sat up gingerly, despite how nice it felt whenever the priestess healed her. She wearily leaned forward to rest her forehead against Davena's stomach while the powerful woman took the time to give her praise and stroke her hair. It was nice. Kithran couldn't remember the last time someone had taken so much time with her, shown her so much patience, given her so many chances. Anyone who had ever come close had either been lost, left, or given up on her. Davena was all she had left now, and she was determined to keep her.

The thief moved her head back slightly so she could tilt it up toward the priestess, a grin curling the lips beneath her dark eyes, "Davena, thank you for solidifying this lesson for me. I will do better in the future."

The priestess smiles softly.  "You are welcome, dear one.  I believe that you will, indeed."

"Oh, a moment, please," she asks as she feels the priestess begin to move away. Davena pauses for her and Kithran too takes a moment, uselessly trying to calm her nerves before she continues. She looks back up at her, "I would like to show you my gratitude, if that is all right?"

Davena arches an eyebrow as a grin tugs at the corner of her mouth.  "Yes..." she replies.  "that would be all right.  What did you have in mind?"

Her roguish smile grows slightly and Kithran stands up before her. If Davena had been unsure of her intentions before, her own beautiful smile suggested that was no longer the case, as Kithran slowly raises a finger to the side of the priestess's face. Touching on Kith's part had been strictly forbidden up until now, but Davena made no move or indication now that it would be unwarranted, instead keeping her eyes unwaveringly on the rogue's as Kithran traced the scar on the priestess' cheek that ran from her eye to the corner of her mouth.

Kith's finger lingered there a moment as she drew in closer, "Are you sure, Mistress?"

Davena's smile is wide and genuine, her voice husky.  "Very sure, darling," she replies.

Kithran kisses her tentatively, though at the feel of Davena's hands on her back she turns, pushing the priestess back onto the bed, and happily follows her down.



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 16:18:17.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


flashback: the ritual


It is late evening, and Kithran finds herself naked and panting, lounging in Davena's bed. The spark that Kith kindled by making that first move quickly grew into a serious flame, and after only a few days, the former prisoner has found herself relocated from her "guest accommodations" to sharing the High Priestess' personal suite, where she has lived for the past two weeks.

Certainly, there is the odd punishment still, but these have been almost entirely of the very minor variety. Kithran has displayed such a willing attitude that the priestess has found little in need of correction.

In addition, the rogue is no longer viewed as a prisoner. She is free to wander the compound as she sees fit, free to take communal meals (or take them alone with Davena). She wears a standard issue simple dark dress, though Aranwen's sword is always worn on her belt as a symbol of Davena's favor. Indeed, most of the church treat Kithran with respect and deference; all in all, the life is relatively pleasant.

Davena's quarters are hardly lavish, but the furniture is sturdy and comfortable, and the bed - which she openly shares with the priestess - is both large and remarkably soft. All in all, Kithran finds that she now leads a fairly pleasant life.

The beautiful blonde priestess, in a similar state of flushed nakedness, grins her crooked grin. As she has done for the last few nights, Davena removes the pendant from around her own neck, then holds the stone just below Kithran's navel. Each day, the stone has grown warmer, glowed brighter; tonight, it shines like the largest star in a perfectly dark night. A look of joy touches Davena's eyes as her smile spreads.

"Darling," she speaks in a breathy voice, her tone full of emotion, "your time has arrived. You are fertile again."

Kithran smiles wide at the excitement in Davena's voice, "Oh? It very nearly slipped my mind," she chuckled, "I will admit that even after all of our talk on this, I am still a bit . . . nervous. Is that okay?"

Davena nods. "Of course, darling... of course. This is a momentous occasion... if you were not nervous, I would doubt your fitness."

She takes a breath. "It is time to prepare for the Ritual, dear one. Your destiny is at hand; you will receive the gift." Tenderly, the priestess stokes Kithran's hair and face. "I will be here with you for the entire journey."

Kith turns her face into Davena's hand and kisses her palm, "That makes me feel better. When will we begin?"

Davena smiles. "It will be best to do so right away; this gives your body the greatest chance to accept the gift during this cycle. It was one thing to put it off for a month in order for you to learn to accept your role, but I see no reason to dally further. If you are amenable, we should perform the Ritual tonight. Are you ready?"

The rogue bit her lip but nodded, "I am ready, Mistress."

The priestess draws Kithran in for a protective embrace. "I am certain that you have doubts or fears still." Releasing the young woman, Davena continues.

"You may wonder why I am so certain that you are, in fact, the chosen one." She pauses for a moment. "Have you ever heard of hybrid vigor?"

"I am fairly certain we may have just finished some hybrid vigor." Kithran's grin returns faintly through her hesitation. She would do anything for this woman. That Kith would see this ritual through to the end, she had no doubt. It was just those ghouls. She had tried and tried, but the fear they instilled in her, she just could not shake.

The blonde woman chuckles before continuing. "Quite. It is a term normally associated with plants or livestock, but it applies to people, as well. The idea is that, more often than not, hybrid offspring possess resilience not found in either parent species."

Her finger softly traces the point of Kithran's ear. "You, darling, are both human and Sylvari."

She frowns. "Humans seem to all too often burn out when trying to carry or nurse one of the Dark Lord's offspring. And Sylvari have such a deep connection to life that they cannot carry such a babe to term; their bodies reject the death aspect of the child." She pauses thoughtfully. "One night, after prayer, it occurred to me that a hybrid would be the ideal solution. I met you, saw how incredibly strong you were, consulted an oracle... and there was my answer." She smiles fondly.

"I suppose then that I have one thing to be grateful to my mother for," she pushed away the thought of the first one to leave her and smiled sweetly back at her beautiful priestess, "She put me in your way."

"That she did," Davena replies. The priestess rises and begins to dress. "I have preparation to do. I will fetch the ceremonial vestments for you; I trust that you will not pour out the chalice or strike me this time?" Her tone is firm, but her mouth wears that endearing, crooked grin.

Kithran groans and rolls onto her back, scrunching her face up at the memory before looking back up at the priestess sheepishly, "I shall try my very best to control myself this time."

"I appreciate your efforts," Davena replies the grin never leaving her face. She then frowns slightly. "Your part is rather simple. I will cast certain enchantments upon you to help aid in the process. When the time comes, you will simply lie back with your hips elevated to help facilitate the process, and accept the undead father of your unborn child."

Kith's face scrunched again, "Is there really no better way to phrase that?"

The priestess sees the look on Kithran's face, hears her tone, and takes the younger woman's hand in her own. "I understand that this part seems frightening, but I swear to you - the creature will not harm you. I understand that the idea is... unpleasant, that the creature will seek to sate its own desires alone. But truly, my dear... is that so much worse than men you have surely endured in the past, yourself?" Her face holds a bit of dark humor.

Kithran grins at the thought, "It was often the other way around, Davena," she tugs lightly at the hand holding hers, playfully trying to pull her back down to her, "I have since changed my ways. If you've forgotten already I'd be happy to remind you."

The priestess smiles widely. "You are incorrigible! Normally, the ghoul would bite or scratch to inflict paralysis long enough for the Ritual to be completed. I don't think that will be necessary in your case, do you? Besides, I was thinking..." she pauses meaningfully, allowing her hands to stray across Kithran's body, "my mother often taught prospective mothers that impregnation was easier if the women were fully aroused... and that if the woman achieved climax after the consummation, that the chance of pregnancy increased again. And these were the case, perhaps it would help you to focus on subjects besides the sire, yes?"

The darkness that had washed over her face as Davena spoke of the ghouls and their paralyzation quickly gave way to a very enthusiastic nod, "I think that would help quite a bit. Did you have any subjects in mind?"

Davena's smile grows even wider, if such is possible. "Indeed, dear one... I have an idea or two..."


**********************


Kithran stands in the main temple itself, dressed in the ceremonial white gown she first found herself in upon waking in this place; the only change is that she wears the fine sword at her hip. She has been bathed, her hair washed and brushed out, and sweet perfume has been applied to her skin. She has drank deeply of the silver chalice; the liquid was cool, sweet, and spicy... not at all unpleasant. The effects are rather intoxicating, in many ways like a fine wine; the rogue feels very relaxed, very at peace, with a slightly odd sensation of being disconnected from her body - yet at times, intensely aware of it. In particular, Kith can feel the warmth throughout her body; Davena made good on her offer of arousal, kissing and teasing and touching and bringing the young woman to a fever pitch just before leading her into the temple.

The room is filled with dark-robed figures, most on the lower ground, standing side by side, facing the dais. There are ghouls present, but they remain behind the ranks of the living. The attendees chant slowly, quietly, in unison.

Kith finds herself brought up upon the dais, led beyond the black stone altar itself. She cannot help but notice the large, strange device here; it is some sort of container fashioned of a crystalline material, with the device of a grinning skull carved skillfully into it. The skull itself is inlaid with silver, with large green gems set into the eye sockets. She is bade to kneel facing the device; soon, she is joined by two others also dressed in white vestments, who kneel on either side of it, facing Kithran.

One is a red-haired, milky-skinned young human woman of perhaps eighteen years of age. She wears a serene expression on her freckled face, meets Kithran's gaze and smiles warmly.

The figure next to her is a dark-haired, tanned man with a few flecks of gray in his hair and beard. He, on the other hand, appears to be completely terrified; his wide eyes dart this way and that, and his breathing comes in shallow pants.

Davena steps to the center of the dais and raises her arms, and the chanting falls to a whisper. "It is a momentous occasion," she speaks clearly, her voice projecting throughout the temple, "when we, the followers of death, have the chance to create life - a life that will allow our Dark Lord entrance into this mortal realm." Murmurs run around the room.

She gestures to Kithran. "Behold, the vessel that will bring our Dark Lord's anchor into this world!" All eyes turn to the rogue, but hers stay on the priestess.

"Of course," she continues, "such creation requires a price to be paid - in blood, both willing and unwilling. In the end, all life is devoured, these lives in particular will bring power to the vessel, will make her strong enough to bear the gift."

Davena draws her broad bladed knife, and another priest steps to her side, a wooden bowl in his hands. She steps toward the two kneeling sacrifices, and asks aloud, "are you prepared to go into that dark night?"

The young woman smiles widely. "Yes, Mistress! I am ready!" she replies, tilting her head back to expose her neck. Davena nods, steps forward, slices the young woman's throat open. Blood spurts from the grievous wound as the light goes out in the girl's eyes while the acolyte collects her lifeblood into his bowl.

Kithran's eyes go wide as the kneeling man screams, but a word from Davena silences him - though the terror in his eyes is plain for anyone to see. The rogue's gut betrays her in its instinct to speak out for the older man, but that happiness in Davena's eyes . . . she could not risk extinguishing that again. She averts her gaze and steels her gut against the sound of his pleas instead.

The acolyte allows the young woman's body to slump to the ground while he takes the bowl to the container, then pours the blood in. As he does so, the skull's gem eyes glow intensely green.

The process is repeated with the kneeling man, though Davena must expose his throat by grabbing his hair and pulling his head back. His eyes plead for mercy, but the pleas are ignored, and soon, his own lifeblood is filling the bowl. This time, when the blood is poured into the skull container, the gemstone eyes somehow glow a disturbing deep purple.

The crowd resumes chanting, with Davena leading it. The very air seems to grow thick and heavy.

Soon the priestess moves to Kithran's side, and takes her by the hand. "It is time," she whispers. "Be not afraid, darling - I am here with you."

Kithran is led to an odd piece of furniture that resembles a curved couch of sorts. Davena helps her to recline upon it; doing so raises her hips higher than her head.

The priestess moves to the skull container, thrusts her hand inside the mouth; when she draws it out, her fingers are coated with a dark, nearly black substance. She returns to Kithran; at a gesture, another priestess helps to hitch Kithran's skirts up beyond her waist. Davena kneels, draws several sigils on Kithran's belly with the blackish paste, then chants anew.

She looks up, makes eye contact with Kith, then nods before she stands. Kithran can see a ghoul following a priest up upon the dais and to her side. Kithran is unable to keep her breathing even as the thing approaches her, and despite her insatiable need to appease Davena, she wants to flee.

The priestess then takes her hand. "Look at me, darling," she whispers and Kithran does, and it helps immensely, "I am here with you."

It takes all she has not to glance back at the creature softly giggling beside her, but Kithran bites her lip as she looks up into Davena's sweet face. Despite her fear, the priestess brings her comfort, as she always had, through all of her pain and confusion and suffering. This would be no different. Davena would be here for her, comfort her, encourage her. The thought warms her, in spite of the cold she felt, and Kithran gently squeezes her hand, whispering, "I love you, Davena."

A look of surprise crosses the beautiful face of the priestess, but in an instant, it is replaced by a broad smile.  "I love you, too, darling," Davena responds.

And the ritual continues.



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:31:27.

Raven
Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 74/3
1103 Posts


In this moment

How Cedric ended up on the altar platform, he wasn’t exactly sure. All he knew was that Aranwen was in dire need of his help. Casting a quick glance back at the chaotic fray going on all around the temple, the priest shook his head in disbelief. He could almost see the trail of bodies the bladesinger had left in her wake, but he knew he was imagining it. His inexperienced mind would’ve had a hard time telling apart a sword cut from one made by the ghouls’ claws. But it was clear the sylvari had been fighting her way through the waves of enemies before she had reached the dais and the blonde witch with equally blazing eyes.  And she’d paid for her success in her own blood. Aranwen was not in a good shape, although clearly not ready to give in just yet.

Cedric’s call died in his throat as he watched Aranwen launch herself into another spin of her blade-dance. The young man’s mouth remained open and his shout turned into a cry of horror when something that looked like a sphere of impenetrable blackness or concentration of life-absorbing death appeared in midair between the two women. Desperate to warn the sylvari or to throw himself in the malicious power’s way, Cedric was unable to act before the bolt of darkness struck Aranwen in the middle of her chest. He couldn’t tell if the cry he heard came from her mouth or his own, but before he was able to even consider what the consequences could be, the cleric of Solanis found himself at his leader’s side and summoning the Radiant Father’s shining healing powers. As so many times before, the chanting of the prayer and administering the magical cure ate all of the lad’s concentration. 

Healing the woman, he missed the incredibly skilled and difficult shot Gib managed pull off from across the hall. He also missed the bolt strike Davena’s shoulder and the cry of agony escaping the evil priestess’ lips. What he didn’t miss was the deadly beauty of Aranwen’s steps and swirls as she easily dodged Davena’s attempt to strike her with a silvery dagger. The shining blade in the priestess’ hand looked nothing like the snake-shaped dagger from Cedric’s nightmare, but seeing it brought the dream back to him for a blink of an eye. The hall, the chanting, the altar… they’d all been almost exactly what he had seen in his delirious state. All but the would-be sacrificial victim were a match. Kithran was not lying on a cold stone altar, but was, or in fact had been, in a strange position in a strangely shaped seat or sorts. Cedric hadn’t had much time to think about Kith before now and he could only wonder about the curved piece of furniture and its purpose. 

Kith had a sword in her hand and she was approaching Davena too. While the young man’s eyes had been on the rogue, Aranwen had managed to get a strike through Davena’s defences. Both women were in a very bad shape, but with Kith soon joining the fight, Cedric knew Aranwen would win. He wanted to cheer his friends on when he heard Davena’s voice quickly recite a prayer of her own to her evil god. The bladesinger's attack stopped as the evil magic took hold of her body and the tide of the combat took a full turn in a heartbeat. Frantically Cedric pushed himself up and charged towards Davena. But he was too far and so was Kith. Neither of them would be able to reach Ara in time… He could see the silvery dagger launch up into the air and come down very quickly. He could see it strike the base of Aranwen’s neck and be buried hilt-deep into her body. And yet it didn’t. What he thought he was silvery ball of fur hit the evil priestess instead pushing her clear away from the sylvari. 

“Ch’dau!” This time the voice was clearly his own. A happy shiver ran through Cedric’s body and he raised his hands up in the air in a childish sign for victory. We did it! ...was all he could think as a wide grin appeared on his face. There was no way Davena would be able to fend off attacks from all three of them… or four, if one counted Cedric too.  But his joy was premature… Once more the lad’s mouth was left hanging wide open when he witnessed Kithran drive her sword, Aranwen’s old blade, effortlessly deep into Ch’dau’s back and then all the way through him. The shock was so overpowering that there was nothing he could do for a few heartbeats. 

Cedric just stood there, a few yards away,

watching…

not comprehending…

not screaming…

not even breathing…

“Whyyy?” With tear-filled eyes, Cedric managed to find a hing of strength within to force himself to move. He could have struck Kith in the back of her head or on her weapon arm with his staff to stop her from making further attacks. He could have moved swiftly to Davena and delivered the final, killing blow to end this all. But neither course of action came to Cedric’s mind as he rushed to the fallen Kazari. Not a single thought spared for his own safety, Cedric knelt beside the powerful, furry warrior and  began praying to Solanis once more…



Posted on 2019-12-07 at 16:08:06.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


it's the end of the world as we know it...

How had it all gone so wrong?

The companions had come to this place of horror to end the threat of the death cult.  Two of the party were literally channels of the power of righteous gods.  Two of them were skilled, powerful warriors.  The enemy had taken their friend captive, but fate had intervened, given them a chance to free her from the clutches of evil.  Surely, righteousness would prevail, especially in the face of discord between factions of the evil.

Yet here they stood, bloodied and battered, struggling desperately just to survive.  And their friend, their very family, casually wiped the blood of her betrayal off of her blade as she helped the leader of all the evil to safety. 

Ever true to his vows to life and to his own nature, Cedric passed on the chance to deal a killing blow to Davena, instead rushing to Ch'dau's side.  The mighty kazari lay in a huge pool of his own lifeblood, his eyes open and fixed, his form utterly motionless.  Despair squeezed the priest's heart with an icy grip as Cedric knelt in his friend's blood, praying desperately to Solanis for the boon of healing from the god of light and life.  The utter stillness of the furry form indicated that Cedric was too late, even as the young man placed his hands on the warrior's side, praying desperately as he had never prayed before.  Cedric knew that he could channel the power of his god to knit back torn flesh, to mend broken bones... but if life itself had fled, there was nothing he could do.

Then, he saw it - two shallow, rapid breaths.  Fish breathing, he had once heard it called.  The final, shallow gasps made by the dying, once the soul had come to peace with the end of life, but the body had not yet realized that fact. 

Cedric didn't know if the healing would matter, but he had to try.

The wound beneath the young priest's fingers responded to the god's influence and closed, the bleeding stopped.  For several long moments, Ch'dau lay perfectly still. 

And then, the furry chest began a rhythmic rise and fall.  Cedric looked to the face, and Ch'dau's eyes were closed.  The big warrior was unconscious... but alive.


*****************************************


The drama on the dais does not interrupt the fighting, which rages on all across the temple.  Davena's removal from the fight seems to turn the tides, and Garrack's followers begin to win the day.  The death priest has assembled a group of his most loyal followers and is pressing the dais. 

"Davena!" he cries as they advance.  "Your time has arrived!"

Kithran has helped the blonde priestess to her feet, but the older woman is having difficulty moving quickly.  One of Garrack's acolytes rushes in, only to be run through by the rogue. 

The cultist wizard shakes free of his hold, chants, and a curved wall of dark energy springs forth between them and the rest of the temple. 

"Mistress," he implores, "this will hold them for a few moments, but I have little more I can do to prevent their advance.  We must flee!"

The priestess nods, a thoughtful look on her face.  "Above all else, Ledon, I must ensure that the Vessel is safe.  She glances at Kithran, then to the crystalline container standing between the two bodies on the ground.  She then looks back to the mage.

"The two of us will flee," Davena explains in a tone that brooks no discussion.  "You will shatter the soul repository."

A look of terror passes across the mage's features, but a serene mask slips into place as he replies.  "It will be my honor, Mistress."


*****************************************


Gib slays the last of the cultists preventing his path, reaches his companions.  Aranwen slowly shakes off the funk.  Ch'dau still lies on the ground, with Cedric by his side. 

The cultists loyal to Garrack pound upon the wall of energy.  At first, it seems pointless to do so, but visible cracks begin to form, and they redouble their efforts.

The spell fails, the energy wall falls away to reveal the black-robed mage, staff in hand.  Kithran and Devena are nowhere to be seen, though a door stands open in the wall behind the mage. 

The mage swings his staff with all of his might at the crystalline container; as he does, Garrack screams "Noooooo!"

A crack sounds out as the stave strikes the skull on the repository.  A bolt of purplish energy flashes along the staff, into the wizard; in moments, his flesh literally melts from his body, with him somehow scraeming long after the physical ability to do so should have been ended.

The ground begins to shake, the altar splits in half as if struck by an unseen axe.  Huge pieces of the ceiling, of solid rock, begin to fall as keening, howling wails erupt from the broken repository... followed by dark shades of human forms that streak in all directions.  Everywhere they go, bodies fall to the ground.

In the chaos of death and destruction, the world comes to an end.

 

 

 

 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 11:24:31.
Edited on 2019-12-10 at 11:44:26 by t_catt11

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


...and I feel fine

22nd Pfier (Merday), 453 E.R.
Gates of the village of Crandel


"Tha's tha, then," Captain Malk stated flatly.  "Gods protec' us,"  The captain made a sign to ward off evil as as spoke, "and ye as well.  Wilf 'ere 'as some provisions fer yer trip; Mort winnae 'ear of takin' a single falchon fer tha lot.  Safe travels to ya."

The "monkey" Ch'dau had placed in command of the remnants of the town guard had done an altogether fine job overseeing improvements in the defenses of Crandel, and appeared to have grown to fit the role of Captain just fine.  They had apparently beaten back another incursion of undead while the party was underground, but in the weeks since, the roads had cleared.

As had the sky; the accursed mist was gone.  The sun was shining (quite brightly in late summer, as a matter of fact), the birds were singing.  All seemed well with the world.

Indeed, it all seemed like it could have been a bad dream, had the companions not lived it together.

Some might have considered Ch'dau lucky, as the big kazari had missed the collapse of the temple in his unconscious state.  Any hope of pursuing Davena had died when the ceiling collapse blocked the door she had escaped through... and then, things got truly bad. 

The shades released from the shattered repository had run amuck through the temple, slaying the living and undead alike in an utterly indiscriminate manner, with their touch melting the very flesh away while the victim died in agony.  The horrible wailing as they did so was the stuff to stand out in nightmares about that nightmare place; it is quite possible that no one would ever have been able to forget them.  By Shinara's fortune (or perhaps Solanis' favor, or Therassor's grace, or simple dumb luck), the shades ignored the party altogether, seemingly intent on - or content with - killing every cultist in the cave.

Of course, the earthquake itself had been terrifying enough; as the shades killed, the temple shook itself apart.  Some were spared death from the shades only to be crushed by tons of rock and stone.

Again, it was as if the party were held in the palm of a benevolent hand; no stone struck them, though they fell all around.  In the end, all exits to the temple had been blocked, the entire place had been plunged into utter darkness.  It took the better part of two weeks to dig fully out, though at least the clerics were able to obtain sustenance from their deities for the party while the work went on. 

Eventually, they emerged to the sunlight, but no trace of Davena or Kithran was to be found. 

One surviving cultist had almost gleefully told the tale during the digging, explaining the plan to bring the dark god into the world through the abomination of a baby created by a melding of life and death.  If Kithran had indeed conceived that night, the risk to the very world was very real... and very grave, indeed. 

It was unclear how many cultists died that night, or how many might have escaped; save the one survivor happy to tell his tale, the party encountered no other living (or undead) from the cave.

Unless, of course, some had escaped to Crandel and resumed normal lives.


********************************************


Kithran lounged, naked, in the afterglow of the special connection she shared with Davena while the dying sunlight filtered through the curtains.  The soft bed and fine sheets were just part of the perfection of this day.  The beautiful blonde woman, full healed from her injuries received that fateful night, smiled tenderly at her younger partner. 

Davena smiled, slipped her necklace off, and placed it onto Kithran's belly. Her crooked grin stretched into a wide smile as her eyes danced with delight.  Enthusiastically, she kissed Kithran in celebration.

The stone glowed a vibrant gold.





THE END



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 14:19:09.
Edited on 2019-12-10 at 14:26:13 by t_catt11

   
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