We knew where the Church had gone and we knew where Lady Sipran was. We had no choice.
“Thank you Branighan, but we must go after them and stop whatever their plan is. We must ensure that the Lady is safe.”
The half-angel said: “Very well, seeing that my warnings have been unheeded and you have refused seven times, I am now free of the burden. But, let me put a glammer on you all…”
“One that would trick the Arcane Sight? “ I suggested
We all agreed to it, and the spell was barely noticeable – and way beyond my ken. We left the library and found ourselves outside looking down the stairs and across the city of Stone Crest – a place so magical that I thought it was just a library, but no.
The clouds thick and heavy were gathering around the city, and the sky was a purple hue almost like sunset. And the pungent odour of blood hung in the dust filled air.
Magic, I thought to myself, tends to carry a similar scent.
We travelled through the city, and although it is filled with fantastic creatures and “many of strange ilk” it is not unlike other cities. I didn’t see any wizards flying through the sky or what have you… and we arrived at the Beaming Sensor without issue.
It is a massive building, and definitely “upper class” – to us anyway. I guess a hotel is just fancy name for an inn…
We entered the building and Donhullan spoke for the group, asking a servant if we could speak with Lady Sipran. We were shown to a loungeroom with a coal-fuelled fire place and comfortable chairs. We sat for a moment in silence.
Lady Sipran’s Daughter, Varnia – the one who was scarred in the attack on Vrim – came to us and behind her a large Shield Golem – a statement that she is not to be trifled with.
Again, Don spoke and Felghanis interrupted. I took a step back letting them do the talking as I was not been heard and I found it very disrespectful interrupting another speaker – especially when dealing with royalty.
Sigh… I am soo tired, I thought to myself.
Varnia did not believe our tale, and soon Lady Sipran herself came forward and spoke. She was a magnificent, regal woman, even though she was old. Very old – perhaps the age of the Grandmother Seer Woman.
She had a dream like that of ours. A dream though that she saw an empty throne, a throne where once Davinus sat – Davinus, Kento’s liege and also the god of the church of St Fergus!
It also came out that the church had the last of the books. The third one. And we must go after them. Davinus used to rule from the Iron Tower and the Black tower is another ‘focus’ – a focus for what? The bell? Both were built by Davinus… and someone… wishes to become a god. The Saint? Jonas?
We had headed back to the library to answer those questions and then left for the main gates and the Aremensi Trade Guild. In the market, Anier was able to trade the staff that Felghanis so tersely discarded – and restored his arm to working again, he even claimed it was stronger than before. Silently I hoped that it did not wear off.
Hoped, not prayed. I have no one to pray to anymore.
Another surprise in a world of surprise. Behind the counter of the Trade guild was none other than Captain Vilamoy of the Demon Boat itself. Turned out that Fenris is his cousin! Hydraxis the elemental Lord of Water perhaps is in control. Vilamoy had to sell the Deep Crystal to at least get this position within the guild.
We spoke at length and then traded the knowledge of the Hand and a potential mine for passage through the rift. Still both Felghanis and I had to expend magical energies – the Captain had estimated it would ‘cost’ a third circle spell per person travelling through the rift.
As we got out the gates, we could see the storm building and the clouds moving in circles, much like the painting we had noticed in the Hotel.
“Now” he shouted and we stepped into the vortex – we felt like our bodies were been pulled and prodded and pushed about. Noticed memories and again heard the captains voice “Do not look at them…”
I could feel dark energy rising from Felghanis and the “faces” of memories long forgotten seemed to be drawn to him like moths to the flame…
And then everything turned silent and still, I could not see them – my friends or the captain… and I could feel myself thinking of the church, Prestritrio and then Jonas… how I was betrayed and taken advantage of. Physical torture would have been far kinder than the loss of faith I feel now.
I can see Jonas, with his men – other men. That’s the iron tower. There he has the book. Fenris is there too, he kills a man and almost strikes Jonas but in that brief moment he was no longer there.
The Vision fades away and then…
I see Jonas again, praying at the church in Vrim. Malervictus appears, almost as if he was summoned. Jonas send Thirdia to the weapon shop.
And then he speaks with Goron. He told Goron to go to the room, and ransack it and leave the rapier that Felghanis had left behind, he was to leave it under my bed.
Jonas has set it all up. All this was planned. Perhaps, just perhaps he is the one that wants to take the throne of Davinus. By the gods, is there no end to the corruption – the evil in the church?
Another vision. Jonas and his group at the foot of the path towards the Sipran tower. There he pulls out a flask – the others stand back, way back. Malervictus tried to intervene or discourage it, but it was of no use.
Jonas through the flask against a rock, cracking it and releasing the Sword Demon. Another word and the Demon turned towards the tower.
Another scene. Jonas tearing the jail doors apart and releasing Goron and then only to push him through the portal where the Demon had just gone. Moments later they stepped through and with a word or a spell the Demon was dismissed, and Gorons bloodied body lay in a heap on the stone floor.
They are evil.. all of them. The church must be stopped, I must stop them all…
Suddenly the clouds vanished and biting cold tore at our bodies. The rift had torn off the Elemental Endurance spell I had cast the day before and we were left to face the bitter cold.
They are here!
They had the third book and were trying to use it, but we were seen and Thiridia attacked. Jonas called her off as the necromancer, Felghanis claimed sanctuary.
“My uncle wishes to overthrow Davinus” he called out.
“The bells are within the towers…”
Suddenly Jonas casts a spell and I called up my new globe of invulnerability only to see and feel the Divine rage of Flame strike burn through it like paper and melt my hair and flesh away from my body. For a brief, brief moment I thought I could see my own bones as I fell into the melted snow.
Darkness and Silence – my punishment for misplaced faith. To die here, so near the end and yet so far from it… In the distance a wolf howls…and I feel the urge to answer…
Lights, bitter burning taste of curing potion. We awake back in the Guild.
“Never imagined I would meet you again like this…” The captain said.
The changes in the rift and the time we moved, we had returned – rescued by the lizardlike guards at the gate – before we even left…