My thoughts were strange. No longer flashes of still images or perfect retelling of memories. They were a void, my feet are planted on nothingness. Yet I felt the pulses of earth, is this Gaea? I look up to see a lone star and as it shined, I knew it was Artemestia. The rays from the star collided with the pulsing of the earth, and they begin to take translucent shapes of figures. The pulses quicken in frequency until they are so rapid that the void beneath my feet is still. Standing all around me were spirits of people and beings I have once known. Eyes closed in soft ethereal light, I let out a single breath and all at once the spirits begin to whisper. I was unable to concentrate on a single voice, no spirit moved and my feet felt glued to this voided floor space. I tried to take a step but it was as though the floor moved with my movements. That was when I was able to denote a spirits whisper “Oranssi…only with permission, Oranssi”
I awake in the Rose shell Inn. It was night, late night, 2am I figure. I open my room door and to my surprise and joy the cauldron I had commissioned from Kenten had arrived! I leave the inn and head straight to the wall. I am greeted by the guard, while the other slept. I lift a finger to my lips for silence. I pay him his allowance and leave the city. The Bamboo Sea was silent, and I passed through it easily. I headed on a direct course to the way-station and the shrine of Gaea. My pacing was trance like, quick but unnerving, as if I was not in my body, yet I had control of its actions. I arrived at the shrine just as dusk broke. I have no idea how. But here I was, the camp was untouched. The shrine of Gaea felt more alive, not like a beacon, but like a home. I then understood I was a channel between Gaea and Artemestia to converse with each other. I light a cube on incense and mediated.
My mediation was interrupted, for my body began to feel the strain of the distance traveled, and from the added weight of the cauldron. I retired to the yurt. I awoke hours later to the sound of footprints and lively murmurs. I exited the yurt to find Kodu, Brightwood, Naligor, Odiri, Adi and a new face, a youngling holding close to Kodu. I introduce myself to the youngling, she goes by Syd, as Kodu takes it upon himself to attempt to scold me. He maybe a monk, but he would not understand the connection to the veil.
I ask “Where are you adventures off to?”
Adi explains that he wished to examine the dwarven ruins once more.
“I will join you.” I said. However, we wouldn’t be able to make it at that time day, and so we stayed one more rotation. In the morning I prepared everyone a delicious meal of omelets.
Everyone seems to enjoy my cooking, honestly it is one of the few things I can happily remember, in all parts of my past, although slightly tainted, Alga…
I snap back to the cauldron when I hear Naligor exclaim in a fury that the animals we have encountered have not been spoken with just killed. Bless him, but I was not able to get a word in on the argument. Once breakfast was concluded we made our way to the ruins. Adi expressed interest in exploring the troll hatch we had found, and with much debate among us who fought the troll. Naligor, Adi and Kodu lead the charge, I whispered a blessing in hopes I would never have to use it.
We see a light and headed toward it and enter a new chamber, two hob goblins sat there conversing. Brightwood listens and turns himself into a Hobgoblin and approaches them speaking goblin. He leads one of the goblins in our direction where we were ready for him. Brightwood lights him up with an array of flames, as Syd sneaks up on the Hob and jabs at the hobgoblin. Naligor attacks, knocking it prone to the ground. It flails and dies. That is when Brightwood relays to us he has a plan. He takes a handful of ashes and covers himself and morphs into the fallen goblin, he then cries out apparently for the other goblin. The other goblin emerges and Brightwood says “we have been betrayed, by Blood Splattered Snow Tiger!”
My eyes widen and heart drops when Brightwood says this, the scene of war was started. The blood of innocents will be spilled, and he the diplomat fanning the flames, creating the chaos, allowing life to slip away and be treated like it were nothing. Him with a smirked smile, I couldn’t contain my emotions anymore.
I growl at Brightwood, “Brightwood your human is showing.” Feeling furry of rage building, memory flashes screams piercing every fiber of my body. I quickly cast calm emotions on myself, to suppress the memories and to focus on assisting the group.
Brightwood and Adi find a series of scrolls, detailing the Fangs of Skotos. Evil in a true form loyal to the Fallen Stars, and in turn the Goblin queen. While not being assassins a body count surrounds their being. The conversation then goes on a tangent about elemental weapons and the faith of Aion.
We continue south, according to Odiri, into a growing mist. We begin to hear footsteps not of our own, but that of the undead, hollow and heavy. That is when we see a wight and wraith. Odiri, the first to attack launches a silver arrow at the wraith. It in turn lunges on Odiri and stabs her with a ghostly blade, piercing right thru her leaving darkness in the wound. Odiri with her strong soul is able to repeal the darkness. I grab my blanket and cast daylight on it. As I cast, I toss the blanket and cry out,“shield your eyes!” The wraith and wight scream out angrily. The wight then charges Brightwood and stabs him with the same ghostly stab Odiri was afflicted with. However, Brightwood with his spirit was able to repel the darkness. Adi then conjures and summons a magical silver sword and bestows it to Syd, who then sneak attacks the wight and intelligently hides under the sunlight blanket. Odiri, not to be out done also attacks with another silver arrow striking the wraith and Naligor delivers the final blow. I prayed that the darkness not take Brightwood and Odiri. Kodu grappled the wight down yet was unable to stop its cries for help, “Master the lair has been invaded!”
A skull with red flame orb eyes and green fire floats into the cavern. Adi and Syd both finish off the wight and it crumbled to ash all over Kodu. We then turn our attention to the skull. Odiri, now flustered, launches an arrow and chips a lone tooth on the creature. Xiao attacks and Naligor launches his moon beam at the skull. Adi informs the group that this creature can cast spells, I in turn cast silence, focusing it on the creature’s left flame orb eye. Knowing that it couldn’t speak it fled from the chamber and launched a wall of fire at the group, engulfing us. Brightwood tells me to prep holy water as he launches one of his thunder spells only chipping another tooth. Kodu took this opportunity to grab hold of the skull and return it to the silence, flailing mercilessly Syd shanked the skull as it cracked into several pieces, I used the water in my water skin casting bless on the water, as it drenched the skull pieces. Adi assured us that if these steps weren’t taken it would revive. As this happens Syd and Kodu were called back to the wall, as their keys glowed I was able to heal them barely. I hope not much trouble would find them on return.
After a quick recovery of health we continue exploring and come across a Chimera. We were not prepared for this, especially another creature with flames. We may have been tired, but we were not ready to give it the advantage. While Odiri shot her pistol in a hail of thorns, Adi encased the chimera in webs. Naligor sees the webs and transforms into a spider. I use my guiding bolt to not only damage it but to allow it to be weakened for the next attack.
When Odiri sees Naligor as a spider she screams in chaos, I snap at her, “Suck it up buttercup, and focus!” No solider should be distracted from an enemy. That is when the Chimera used its heads to attack, lashing out flames and setting Brightwood to fall. I go to his aid and Adi uses pyrotechnics to blind the chimera, I pray and bring Brightwood to his feet “ On your feet Solider and move!”
Brightwood doesn’t move, instead he channels his rage and launches fire from his finger tips, blasting all three of the chimera’s heads. As a final strike Naligor jumps down on the Chimera sinking his fangs deep, causing the Chimera to drop and die.
I tell the group with a creature in this much unnatural state and size I must perform the burning ritual, and I would need to fully concentrate to allow the chimeras soul to pass over safely. Brightwood informs me that this large creature is hollow, it has no more soul. A single tear crawls down my face, for the former souls cannot be blessed. They were subjects of extreme agony and pain. The treasures were collected and argued over and we all were brought back to Shore Blossom.