Captain Villeroy does not remember meeting us, and no surprise. We had used the Rift Weave to travel back through time, to about 2 hours or so. Now we were still stuck in that time, and the captain spoke of something called Paradox – I guess it is like the world trying to correct itself and we are stuck in the middle of it.
After much discussion, the Captain thought it safest for us to be outside of the city and outside of the Rift Weave and we agreed. He used a scroll that he called Body outside of Body to make a duplicate of himself – the “duplicate” him would meet the future us’s and make the plans. Quite a powerful scroll really – very very powerful indeed.
We left through the rift once more and it was much more pleasant if you will. No visions, no thought of doom although my heart still felt like it was beating in my throat and the cold of the High Plains bit through our clothing and burnt our flesh. We quickly found / dug a place to hide with perfect view of the rift and the silhouetted city within.
It was not long before we witnessed our own defeat at the hands of the Scours. After that a beast of Ice formed up and attacked them – I immediately thought it was Fenris’s doing as he is powered/controlled by Hydraxis – Lord of Water. But then we did not see him.
The captain used more of the Guild’s resources and pulled out a wand of Endure Elements – enough to protect us all.
“Captain, “ I said, as we watched the Scours flee to the west – away from the towers I thought, and towards Dwarf Town and perhaps the Soucanne.
“Where was the Boat headed that we were on?”
“The Vatican City” he replied, “It is where I take all the cargo. Every six weeks or so”
I sighed again. “Can one never trust the church’s lies again?” It was not a question I expected to be answered.
I closed my eyes, blocked out the wind and cold and emptied my mind as the Old Codger had taught me. Free your mind, and find your inner well he used to say.
We returned back into the City after we marked the scorched-battle ground that should have been our death.
The Captain was eager to find out what deal he had made with our other selves and quickly returned to the Guild. We headed back to the library after booking rooms at the Wagnerite’s Lodge – a more affordable looking inn than the Beaming Sensor, with a very kind and friendly halfling proprietor.
Don and Kellor stayed to rest up as both were exhausted and still wounded from the battle.
At the Library we found Branighan and Felghanis began to speak with him in a round about way…
Paths, There are always paths, some we choose, and some paths choose us – Branighan spoke in a riddle-like way. But his words rang a bell within me.
“Was my Path chosen by Codger? Chosen by his brother? Were they chosen instead by the Seer Woman? Were we Chosen by Fate itself?”
Words and knowledge came out of our meeting. Davinus was a faded Ascendent and only one entry in the church’s cannon spoke of him – “He will come bathed in light and with the power of my word, the word of Davinus”
Felghanis spoke of the Bell and his Uncle’s intentions and Branighan took deep interest in this, casting a message spell of some kind and “speaking” or acknowledging one that was not with us. Anier thought it a bit odd, and a bit unnerving too – like eyes of the heavens were now upon us all.
We left the Library, and there, as we closed the doors and stepped onto the stone-steps, was a bright light. Within it I could barely make out the form of a tall and beautiful woman, her face so benevolent and yet her gaze so penetrating I could feel the hate I had in side writhe and wriggle like worms in the dark earth, trying to escape from the drying and deadly sun.
She was an Angel, she was Branighans Mother.
Within brief moments we realised she was of the host of Araytor – the god of defence and truth and she bade us to take her to the bell. We did so, gathering Kellor and Don as we walked. Before that however, Branighan warned his mother that she could not be seen like this as others will try steal her wings.
“Steal her wings? Who would try do such a horrid thing?” I stated – the thought of taking the wings of an angel was absurd.
We joined hands and Branighan asked to stay. I touched the warm yet soft hands of the angel, and in an instant we were somewhere else.
As if floating in a sea of silver, but walking at the same time. Above us a host of Angels sang a tale – a long tale filled with hope and goodness – in answer, Branighan’s Mother said: “I serve in a different way”
We shifted again and we could see the Iron tower.
We followed her to the tower and down to the basement where the dog had been buried and apparently still was. She told us to wait and we heard the lightning trap trigger and then, in another instance she appeared before us – holding the Bell of Thulumon!
“What of the key?” I asked, recalling something about a key in the passages we had read.
“That is something else, I must take this back”
She was gone, yet again.
It dawned on us that we were alone with no food and for that moment all my faith all my belief in something more good and greater than myself left me – my knees weakened, my heart grew cold, and the colours faded from the world, just a bit.
And then, she was back and above us in the clouds and heavens we could hear the sound of something breaking, been destroyed.
“I am sorry I left you here like that… but let me take you to wherever you wish to go” she offered.
“The Black Tower” I suggested
“I am sorry to tell you this, but that place is surrounded in Orcs and Blak.”
My face paled some more. “We cannot risk that, and if that is the truth then the Scours won’t head there either”
“Stone Crest” Felghanis said. “I still wish to burry Gorron and prepare some more research in the library.”
Again, we were whisked away and found ourselves outside of the Lodge.
“You have done myself and my lord Araytor a great service, and to this I am able to reward you all. I will return in the morning, and you may tell me what you feel is suitable – something that will help you defend the people and reveal the truth.”
She was gone, again. A small glimmer of hope remained in my heart, a small drop of silver in what would otherwise be a dark-red sea filled with loathing and hate for all things related to the church or perhaps to any church.
We all looked upon each other, and Felghanis’s expression was easily read. “I have beaten you, Uncle.”