Lyrax sighed. "We're all aware this entire argument is chasing it's own tail, right?"
"Lady Faithe" Alex tried to put her question delicately. "What is your worth to them, compaired to the worth of Gentyl?"
Lyrax put his face into his hand. "We've been over that."
"My worth is little except to Meshqa. Well, he paid 30,000 gold for me so it's not small worth, but comparatively. The worth is in Meshqa. He will offer more for his freedom if he knows he has me."
Lyrax held up his hand. "Stop right there. Faithe, look at me real quick.
Faithe says: Sir?
"Eye contact, count to ten. Please." Lyrax turned into a mirror image of Faithe. Lyrax opened his mouth and fished out a lock pick. "We don't give them Faithe."
Faithe blinked and then laughed bitterly. "And how long will you be able to pleasure Meshqa? He has very...specific tastes."
"Plan a location the Modas wouldn't see an ambush in. then plan an ambush and take Meshqa back, with me hopefully," Lyrax said, easily.
Faithe patted his hand. She hated deceiving him. "Believe me, you do not want to entertain Meshqa and he will insist on that at first glance."
She leaned over and whispered in Ragefang's ear. "Remember, no action on settlements. Make sure Lanuss notes everyone who is here."
"Thank you, friends. I have arrangements to make."
It was done. They would soon know who could be trusted. Or at least some of whom. There was most likely more than one viper in the nest. Cowards who hid behind closed doors while they fed information to the horde. The seeds had been planted. If there were betrayers they would believe there was a rift between Ocheliad and Pia and they would believe the nonsense about her going back into slavery for that wretch. She shuddered at the very thought. And the thirteen "towns." Unfortunately, Ragefang had her grocery list and now she had to remember what thirteen things she needed to buy. She also needed to take a bath. Just thinking about Meshqa made her skin crawl. She only hoped she hadn't been too dramatic and overplayed her hand.
She sat up and looked around, her back and shoulder stiff from sleeping on the stone floor. Her other shoulder was still sore from slamming against the warded window. She reached inside her armor and rubbed it.
Tink licked his whiskers. He had been hunting. As an offering he had brought her a large, black rat, eyes fixed in death staring at her in accusation. It reminded her to check the wound on her wrist from the rat bite. She unwound the wrapping. The skin stuck to it and pulled free. Just as well as the infection was plain. She squeezed most of the blood and puss out then gritted her teeth and jerked the trip of skin loose. Her fingers were slippery and she didn't succeed the first time, so she grasped it between the rag and finished jerking it loose.
"Ouch." Some paladin you are. Flinching at a little strip of skin. What will happen if the madman decides to flay you like he did those farmers? He probably wouldn't. Abominus most likely wanted her in one piece for the wedding, but Trex could easily tell Abominus she escaped if he got his blood lust up and needed some entertainment.
Focus. Think about something else.
Tink nudged the dead rat closer to her. "Umm, thanks Tink. I'm not hungry, you eat it." That was a lie. She was famished. How long before the rats started looking good?
She pulled the packet of letters out again. Fix him in your mind. Make sure you can never forget him no matter what they do. Burn his words on your heart. Remember his touch, his smell, the way he looks at you.
The sun was lower now, but there was still time to read. Maybe all of them. She untied the ribbon again and picked the top one from the pile.
The report from the wall. She raised it to her nose and inhaled deeply. She could smell the camphor and whiskey on it. Whether it had been used on him or his horse or both she had never asked. She should have. She closed her eyes. Many a night she had rubbed camphor into his sore muscles after a particularly grueling battle or training session. She could feel her thumbs working into the muscles, releasing and relaxing them. Invariable they both wound up smelling of camphor and usually whiskey as he shared his glass with her.
Four days in defense of Tol Barad, the rain ceaseless. A ragged, banshee wind all the night. Such weather is damn unwelcome for a Commander. I have often marked that idleness is the arch anathema of fighting men, but I would put a relentless rain not far behind. At the very least, they are occupied in the slog of daily operation, most of our energy given to engineering of some kind. The earth seems ready to sink beneath our feet and the chases and gutter-ways in this place are ill considered. Whiskey and action keep the spirit of my motley company, and we are short on neither. Light bless the peerless distillers of Thelsamar. My dear old destrier, Regulus, has suffered the winters of Alterac and the scarp and crag of the Blasted Lands with all grace, but here he is quick to quarrel. I feed him like an officer and give him better quarter than my own, with little improvement to his humor. Only whiskey and camphor will answer, and that is short-lived.
I am reminded, painfully, that he is very old and should be retired to Nagrand, but I remain convinced his heart still burns to break the tauren schiltrons, and he is never shy in his purpose.
Barring traveller's misfortune, or the summons of Lady Death, I will return to Stormwind by week's end. My mind is on the playhouses and the smell of the baker's avenue in the morning.
He loved music, loved the playhouses and adored the smell of freshly baked bread. Would that she had ever learned to cook so she could make him fresh bread every day. He assured her he could care less if she sewed, cooked or cleaned. He had a cook and could hire a housekeeper if he needed. He loved the fire in her eyes when she fought. "The fire, m'dear. That is what I love about you."
He contented with strolling down baker's row and stopping one shop or another to buy her a pastry, laughing because she had a hard time making a decision. "Buy them all, we will work it off you," he chided, unconcerned if she gained a pound. It just meant extra time in the pits or the training yards.
All in all, an excellent Stag and Maggot Party, which was Phase 320, "Drink Until Someone Explodes or a Gnome Dies". The gnome, however, hadn't died. That Plugger was a resilient little thing, reflected Abominus. And, through his alcohol induced maggot-vision, Mistress Nagarma wasn't half-bad herself. A bit of the Draenai in her. Maybe, he could add Mira to his growing stable.
Back in the Grim Maw Clan's Fortress, a few more lines appeared on the Flowchart, to the worry and consternation of Rodriguez, who was now wearing Excorcism Robes and leading Maggot Priests in chanting, attempting to banish whatever it was that was happening.
After passing through the gates to Blackrock Mountain, waving at the wary drakes who kept their distance from the him, Abominus peered to the wst, looking at the imposing edifice that was the Altar of Storms. Soon, tomorrow, he would be wed.
Already, his agents had secured a resupply of alcohol after the pirate incident. The Undermarket fairly seethed with activity over the wedding, and scalpers were selling tickets.
It was Phase 350 of the Flow Chart. The chart kept on growing, without his imput it seems. Shrugging, he called for Binky, his purple proto-drake, and flew for Grom'gol. It was time to visit the Undercity for Phase 322, "Fresh Mushroom Bathing and Fungal Essence Pomades" with his friends.
My Lady Gentyl,
Rose late, snow on the ground, about two fingers deep. I dreamt of sea chowder--go figure. I'm some thirty leagues from the sea and now I can't get my mind from chowder. I would like to travel soon with some other purpose than war. The privations, more of late, trouble me. You have mentioned a fondness for the evening hour, the parting day. This we have in common. I write you now near the border of Winterspring, in a strange roseate twilight, a color I have not found anywhere ..anywhere else. If I could paint, I am certain I would go mad trying to imitate the edges of day; the blush of dawn, the dreamy dusk.
I must tell you, my dear friend, you have a poetic sympathy, and your letters are the light of my recent days. They are most welcome. I will be stationed here for a time, that I might answer the alarms of Kalimdor more swiftly. Monday, to the ruins of Southshore by eventide, in hope to find a creditable sea chowder, a biscuit untenanted by weevils, and good wine.
I confess I'm torn between hoping to see you there, and not. I fear you're reservation on our errand that night might be well founded, and I would hate to see my Lady in such a circumstance.
I pray I do not overstep my bounds, but there would be no stain to your good name should you decide to forego.
The shadow of a drake passing in front of the window quickened her heart. Had someone found her? She jumped up and peered out the window. It was Trex. Her knees weakened in disappointment and she clutched at the sill. Don't let him know you are afraid. Buck up. No one can take your honor, only you can give it away.
She whispered her oath. "Be faithful and courageous in the face of your enemies. Be brave and loyal so that the gods may love thee. Speak with truth and honor always, and do no wrong. Safeguard the helpless and serve those beneath you. That is your oath." Then she whispered a small, prayer. "Light give me strength. Do not let me betray my oath."
Trex dissolved the wards and let her walk outside. He said something in orcish and smiled.
"We can pay more than Abominus can," she blurted out.
He chuckled. "I highly doubt that. But we haven't even started with pleasantries. How are you this evening?"
"Ready to go home." She looked at the orange tabby cat that purred and rubbed against his leg. "You still have the cat."
"Of course. She is my best friend. A very good kitten."
She decided to try a different tack. "If Dree finds out you have me, he will kill me and then you get nothing. Do you not think he will try to kill me? I'm the one who hunted down his hearts. Pia destroyed his plans."
"Dree knows. Of course. He is not all powerful, not matter what you think. He's angry, have no doubt. However, he will not cross me."
"He will go to Aziel. Even you cannot deny Aziel."
He shrugged and smiled again. "Aziel is all for the exchange."
"And why is Aziel for the exchange? Has it crossed anyone's mind I am married?"
"He has his reasons." He waved a hand as if shooing off pesky gnat. "Oh, your husband. That has no significance. I'll kill the commander soon enough. Probably that next time he's in port. I also owe that puppy of yours some anguish. It took me some time to recover from that blow."
Gentyl grimaced in anger, her fists clenching and yet fear had also laid an icy hand on her heart. "If Abominus has me there is no need to harm the commander."
"Certainly there is. It may be my wedding gift to him, since technically he's buying you and you aren't a gift. Yes...he will die. I am sorry."
"I think you may be surprised, sir. The Commander is no weakling."
He chuckled again, highly amused. "But, mi'lady! Do you honestly think it would be even something close to a fair fight? You should see the preparations Lord Abominus is making. It will be quite the little gathering."
"Why would a forsaken even want to marry? This is insane."
He paused as if trying to figure out how to phrase it. "He has his...enjoyments."
She gagged, not wanting to think what those enjoyments were. Abominus used to be a harmless joke. No longer. "This is an abomination. There have to be dozen of forsaken women who want to marry him."
"Perhaps this is an abomination. However, it will be fun...well, for us. And, I would wager there are many more than dozens who would love to wed the Maggot Lord, however, he wants you."
"Surely you don't think you can get away with this!"
"I already have, my dearest."
"I will kill him. At the very first opportunity."
"Actually, if everything goes as planned. You will happily enjoy his company."
"Not in this lifetime."
"My heart. I am quite wealthy."
"I'm being quite sincere. Taking me will only raise the ire of the alliance."
He patted her as if she finally understood something. "That. Precisely, that. Is the point."
"There are some who may wish me dead, but there are more who don't. I won't go willingly to this farce of a wedding."
"Then you will go unwillingly. See how easy that is?" He peered around as if searching for something. "By the by...where is your famous Kod when you need him most? Or that new hound you have? Where is he?"
"They will find you soon enough."
"I have no fear of Kod."
She was the one smiling this time. "You should."
"I have met him on the field. Nothing unique."
"I will not go at all. You don't seem to understand. I am not marrying Abominus."
"No, heartsong, you don't understand. How are you going to stop it?"
"Even if you did force this somehow, the alliance would not allow me to live."
"That is really not a problem."
She sighed. "I would say let him marry a corpse but he would probably enjoy that."
"If they can't get to Abominus after so many years, what makes you think they could get to his loving, pregnant wife that he adores and worships?"
She stumbled backwards. "Pregnant? Gods don't be disgusting."
Tyrexus looked amused. "Oh...sorry didn't I mention that earlier? Yes, Dr. Wolfe has found a way. That's his present to Abominus. A son."
She smirked. "I've been married for months and I am not pregnant, does that tell you anything? Your plan needs to change. You need a new incubator."
"That doesn't matter. You certainly can incubate....something."
"You're bring disgusting," she spat. "That isn't possible."
"Dr, Wolfe seems to believe he can grow something inside of you. I didn't get the details, but knowing the Maggot Lord, it may not be a person he wishes for his heir apparent. Enough of the pillow talk. Is there anything I can bring you to make you more comfortable?" He rummaged around in his saddle bag and pulled out some packets. "Forgive me, I sometimes forget that humans need food and water."
"Laced with what poison?"
"If I wanted you dead, my love, I'd Simply kill you, or not feed you."
"You could well be feeding me something not meant to kill."
He knelt down to pet Tink again. "I ask again. Is there anything I can get you?"
He rolled his eyes at her. "Something I would realistically get for you?"
"A knife. This food seems kind of tough."
"Perhaps you should work on tearing it with your teeth. I understand Lord Abominus has some very tough skin."
"You're just trying to make me ill now."
"Abominus himself will kill me when I kill his maggots. I have no fear."
He smiled widely. "Now you're starting to understand. He plans on making you more....appealing to him."
"...and turn me forsaken. That's not possible."
"You keep saying that. How certain are you?"
"I am. He may have my rotting body, but he won't have me."
"Perhaps you should think some on it."
"I'd rather not, thank you."
"Alright, my beloved peach. If there isn't anything you need and are just going to tell me how I don't know what I speak of, I'll take my leave."
"Be well, Lady Gentyl. I'm off to see if any ships are in port."
"The Commander will send you to your final grave."
"I have no worry of him." He turned to usher her back in the tower and then stopped. "Actually, while I'm here. There was a family I met once. Do you know about them? A father, mother and daughter, here in Westfall."
"Aye, we buried them. I assumed it was you. Your sadistic signs were everywhere."
He squinted his eyes. "The mother and father?"
"All of them."
"The little girl did not survive. I surely would have adopted her had she done so."
"A shame." He looked very grim as if something troubled him. "I thought she would survive."
"Your work is very thorough."
"Well, perhaps I was a little too angry to do so fine a work as I was attempting. I'll try again with their neighbors. I'm in a better frame of mind today."
She blanched, remembering quite well that horrific scene. "You have me. Leave the innocents alone."
"Of course I do." He waved a hand. "Oh, dearest. No one is innocent. Except perhaps cats. They might be, I'm not sure."
"These families have done nothing to you. We still have Meshqa."
"Meshqa means less than nothing anymore. The time for using him to bargain with is past."
"And yet oddly enough we had another offer just last week."
"I'm sure from someone of no consequence."
"His empire is of value to the horde and he, for his other faults, is a financial genius."
He started pacing and then turned to face her. "Out of curiosity, when you say that your people will pay more. What were you speaking of?"
"Noooo...hmmmm. I was thinking more of a trade."
"Not including the goblin. You can have him."
"What kind of trade?"
*seems deep in thought* Hmmm this might just work. I could tell Abominus that he took too long and you escaped. Yes, perfectly feasible.
"In exchange for what."
"I was thinking one of your people." the smile was back. "It could be any of a few. Your choice."
"Such as?" She had no intention of dealing with him regarding her people, but she didn't want to dismiss him out of hand and risk his ire on the Westfall farmers.
"I liked the little shaman that I played with on the isle. She would be acceptable. Or perhaps, the Commander, However I don't see you giving him up." He thought a bit more. "The puppy that smashed my chest with that hammer. I could certainly find him entertaining. Or, perhaps the young one I heard whisper about. Faithe? She sounded like she could be fun. Cray. He has fumbled around on the battlefield enough. Perhaps you should retire him to my estate. Any of those would do."
"Why would you be interested in Faithe? She was just a concubine. What use would you have for her."
"What say you? I just heard whispers from a fellow who knew a fellow." He smiled most slyly.
"What use would you have for her?" she repeated.
The lich's eyes bore into hers. "In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'll tell you. My vice is the pain of others. I would enjoy her immensely."
She blanched. "There is not a single member of Pia I would trade for my life."
He narrowed his eyes. "That may be true. However, I wonder if any of them would trade themselves for you. If given the offer."
"I'm sure some have already offered, but that isn't the question. They have my final orders and they will carry them out."
"No, it wasn't the question. However, I wonder if after I stopped over in Westfall for a few moments, if I put out the offer if they'd disobey your orders for a trade."
With his withered hand, he stroked her cheek. "Perhaps, we shall test that. I'm sure you are loved and missed. Yes, perhaps we shall put it too the test."
"Tell Abominus I escaped and keep me. You may think I'm weak, but I could provide some entertainment. I would certainly last longer than some poor, malnourished farmer."
"But there are many farmers. No, I couldn't hide you forever. Chose one of the ones I asked for and I will not make it awful. Choose one or I'll take them all. One by one."
"No you won't"
"You will die, rotter," she growled.
"Hmmm, who should I take first. Who would be easiest? Any advice? The girl? She's young and not battle trained. The puppy? He's probably outside of his mind without his master. The Shaman? She was easy to get to the first time. The Commander? He will be unprepared. Does he even know his wife will be having another honeymoon? The girl, I think."
"She would be of no use to you. Meshqa weakened her. She would die quickly."
"Hmm, really? Cray? Not very strong if I remember correctly. Perhaps his eyes would make a good addition to my collection. And, of course she would die quickly. However, with a few of them, I could spread my time and make her last. So. All, or just one. Your choice."
"I will not exchange anyone for my life."
"It's not about that anymore. Now, I want to see who you would give up to save the greater number. An experiment, if you will."
"You would let them all die?"
"If you want them you'll have to hunt them. I won't give them up."
He nodded. "Good for you, mi'lady. I had hoped you would hold out. However, I still think I may make them an offer. If one of them gives themselves up, I'll free you. Do you still believe they'll follow your standing orders?"
"Yes." She acted more certain than she felt. Would they also carry out her other orders? Of all things her fear of being forsaken was the worst.
He bowed low. "We shall see. Would you care to wager?"
She laughed bitterly. "And what do I have to wager? My life?"
"I have it!" She watched him continue to pace excitedly. "Oh this will truly give me joy. If you win, I will not hunt them."
She was almost afraid to ask. "And if I don't?"
His eyes almost danced with glee. "If I win, I will bring the one that gave themselves up here. Will cut out part of their liver and you will eat it with me. Share a meal, per say. Not enough to kill them, just enough to cause you sickness in your heart everytime you look at them. Then both of you will be free to go."
"I won't do that."
"But I thought you were sure of your orders being followed? Not so sure anymore when you might have to do something you don't look forward too?"
"If you dine with me."
"Your word," It seemed stupid asking for a madman's word, but it's all she had.
"Of course, my love."
"And your excuse to Abominus?"
He shrugged. "He took too long and you escaped. I'll blast in the doors and such, make it look like a whole army came and got you."
"I agree. Let me verify, will you continue to hunt down your list if I agree?"
"Either way my people go free, including my husband."
"Yes. And only a partial liver will be taken."
"Oh, just one more little thing. You know you have to take your medicine."
"And you know I won't."
He sighed. "Why do you always make things so difficult? You know I'm going to win." Without a sound he froze her in a block of ice, all but her mouth and nose area. He forced the flask between her clenched teeth and then shut off her breathing. "Now, drink it down like a good girl."
The potion burned and choked in her mouth. She tried to keep from swallowing, but at last could refuse no longer. For all her brave words about dying, her mind and body fought to survive. She gagged as it burned it's way down to her stomach.
Tyrexus removed his hand. "Much better. Now let's get you thawed out."
"Bastard" she gasped as she knelt on the grass, her stomach roiling.
((This was remarkable roleplay. I don't usually like overly dramatic role play, but Trex was utterly amazing to play mental chess with. thanks to all who have participated and particularly Abominus for coming up with this idea and Trex, for so much fun mental jousting with. He always kept me off my guard. More to come.))
Faithe looked around the town hall at the expectant faces. "If, Light forbids, she is ever killed and raised forsaken, we are to kill her. She does not wish to live as a forsaken. Plus, she realizes she could be a danger to the alliance were she turned."
Kaik stiffened, reached for his sword and then recognized Delver, and let him pass into the room, followed by Gudvine who snorted, hobbled in and leaned on his staff, completely exhausted.
Delver raised his hand. "Ahh... She left a hole in that order."
"And what is that?"
"If she were killed!" Delver exclaimed. "We's just got te rescue her first!
Faithe blinked. "Indeed."
He nodded at Kaik who smiled at him. "I knew ye needed a dorf here!"
"For once you make some sense dwarf," Broodin huffed.
"And just how do you propose to do that?" Vendross snapped. "Do we even know where she is?"
Faithe looked around the room. "But regardless of how it might happen, if she is forsaken we may have to administer the final mercy to her."
Magdelyn bowed her head. "May the Light carry her soul swiftly into it's warm embrace."
"Better us than strangers," Izmalia mumbled.
Broodin huffed. "That may be, but her wishes and intent are clear, we must not rest until she is found, what happens then, will happen then."
"Listen to yourselves!" Vendross yelled. "Have you all written her off already?"
Everyone turned to looked at Vendross who was screaming in fury.
"Ven, no one has written her off, but we must be prepared for any possibilities, to do less would be a crime to her cause."
Faithe simply nodded.
"We need to be discussin' the findin', not the endin'!" Delver said.
Kaik stared at the dwarf. "I can't believe I'm agreeing with Delver."
Gudvine spoke up. "I actually have some leads in that."
Delver cheered and raised a mug. "Listen te the night erf. Not sure what a lead is, but hope et's good."
Magdelyn looked up to the other woman "Has Gentyl explained what will happen to the Order should she fall? If such a possibility that she should fall exist?"
All attention shifted immediately back to Faithe and she knew she had to soothe their fears. "That actually is addressed in the orders as her second topic.
"There is a strong, system of leadership set up. While you think Sepha is the sole leader, actually important decisions are made through deliberations of the officers who are all valuable and skilled in leadership. They were chosen for their positions based on some skill that is necessary to quality leadership not friendship or longevity. We also consider what the members want as much as we can while maintaining the intent of the order.
"Pia is in good shape, so you have no need to fear. Pia will not deviate from the foundations. We will not change into something else. Please rest assured, Pia is a very strong order and is in good hands.
"You just attended a knighting ceremony. You know what Pia is. It will remain the same as the order Bishop LeMaye began so many years ago.
"Be faithful and courageous in the face of your enemies. Be brave and loyal so that the gods may love thee. Speak with truth and honor, and do no wrong. Safeguard the helpless and serve those beneath you. That is your oath.
"Those oaths you took will never change."
Magdelyn looked to the back of the room where Vendross fumed in fury. " I know that it is difficult to think that the end of our dearest Knight might even be a possibility, I believe it important to know what we should do in the event she falls. Seeking the Sepha now would only cause a far greater heartache and shake the very foundations of this Order. Let us continue to listen to what the Sepha has left for us."
Vendross looked disgusted. "So you propose we WAIT? While they do Elune-knows-what?"
Magdelyn turned to Faithe and nodded "I'm sorry for interrupting."
Faihe frowned at Vendross. "She proposed we wait, while I share Sepha's final orders, which I believe are important for you to know."
Vendross shook his head, the fury still evident, but sat down.
"The udder night erf, he said he had leads!" Delver said and pointed at Gudvine.
"Let me finish reading these orders and then we are moving on to plans of operation, " Faithe said. "Third. She has left orders no one is to exchange for her life."
*a wave of maggots burst forth from Abominus in a frothing tide of ravenous hunger, unleashed upon two innocent furbolgs passing the time around a campfire deep in Ashenvale __ Phase 405 "Devour Wookiees"*
This would work, he was sure, and Gentyl would be pleased, eventually, anyway.
"Gotta admit, it's better than flying." He told her, a pat on her great neck.
Shortly, he had reached the Grim maw Holdings, and began to walk forward. IT wasn't so much his AAMS tabard he expected to protect him. It was the fact he was currently being followed by a Ironspine Devilsaur Matriarch, glaring at everyone from fifteen feet in the air. "Abominus!" He called. "I have an early wedding present for you!"
"Let him through, yesss. We wantsss our pressssssiesss, yesss."
Gleefully, Abominus skittered down the stairs, past the growing mounds of goods, alcohol, presents, corpse piles, and bombs. The gates creaked open to allow Bralox to enter, guards at the ready, crossbows and ballistae trained on the lizard.
Sadly, he will not be bringing his intended, Gentyl, who rejected his marriage ceremony by disgracefully jumping on the back of a gnomish rocket as it streaked through the crowds to escape, and remonstrated with him later at the Blue Recluse. For some reason, she has also rejected becoming Forsaken!
Coming away with her liver (again) as well as a large portion of Imperon's intestinal organs (which he gifted the jejunem to Ardam in a convivial after fight drink at the Blue Recluse), Abominus is determined to share his libations! Come one, come all! Special MAggot Brew will be made available as well, courtesy of his Maggots of Insane Fermentaion and Random Distillery.
((Gentyl, the dialogue between Gen and Tyrexus is brilliantly written-out, and you can really feel the animosity between the two characters just reading through. Brilliant work!))
(And Abom...@every post you've written in this thread...I still can't stop laughing. xD))
I haven't enjoyed rp as much as this in a long time. Dealing with Tyrexus was truly like playing mental chess. He's a fascinating character and this was very rare, high quality role play for me. All credit to Abominus for the fun and Tyrexus for the drama and everyone who helped make this so much fun.))
Almost immediately upon waking up in the Recluse, she heard a call through her hearthstone. It was Gudvine, the druid. Although Sara did not know him well, she listened to what he was saying.
"Are there any priests or paladins available? I am in need of assistance."
Sara answered. "I am not busy at the moment, perhaps I could help?"
Gudvine voiced his thanks over the stone and asked her to meet him in the catacombs beneath the Cathedral. She felt a little apprehension at that. Someone she barely knew was asking her to go deep beneath the earth, and wouldn't tell her why. On second thought, he was a member of the Presidium...surely he would do her no harm. Even though her thoughts strayed to the moment where Devanaeux threatened the Sepha, she grabbed her axe and headed off toward the Cathedral.
Sara found the druid sitting on the steps waiting for her. As he looked up at her, she noticed that he had great antlers growing from his head: a powerful druid. She saluted him, as was her custom. Gudvine rose slowly and asked her to follow him. Together, they walked into the Cathedral and down the steep steps into the Catacombs. They did not speak, so as not to disturb the long dead. The place was covered in cobwebs and scraps of wood, which Sara brushed from her face and kicked with her feet. Finally, they arrived at the bottom. Gudvine turned on his heel to face her, worry written on his Elven face. He had a glowing vial in his hand, which he grasped tightly.
He looked at her. "This is the water we retrieved from the Well of Eternity. It still has not been purified. It needs the touch of the Light to finish the process."
Sara hesitated. Though a paladin she may be, she could not wield the Light as well as any priestess or a paladin taught in the arts of healing. But she had volunteered. So she stepped up to him and took the vial carefully in her hands. She looked at it for a moment and watched as its eerie green glow pulsated within the vial. She tried to remember how to bring forth the Light, and gasped suddenly as it rushed into her.
Prayers began forming in her mouth, though they had seemed long forgotten. She closed her eyes and began to whisper them, directing the ebb and flow of her words toward the vial. First, she began with a cleansing prayer. She could feel the vial begin to vibrate in her hands. After the cleansing prayers were finished, the vial seemed to calm a bit, but Sara did not let it rest. She began another prayer, the most powerful one she knew. Beams of Light cascaded around her, filling both her and the vial. As she swayed with the rhythm of her prayer, she could feel the glass of the vial reverberating with the power of the Light.
Sara opened her eyes to look at the vial. Instead of an eerie green glow, the water inside now shone pure white. She smiled to herself, proud that she had remember such prayers after so long a time. She heard Gudvine clear his throat. She looked up at him, handing back the vial carefully.
"I hope I did what was needed." She said, soothed by the power that had just run through her.
Gudvine looked at the vial for a moment and then sighed. "I hope so too. We will need a vial from the Sunwell as well. Then, and only then can we test this cure. Thank you, paladin."
He bowed to her, and she returned it. She said her goodbyes, leaving him at the bottom of the Catacombs. As she climbed the steps to return to the surface, she thought about the upcoming journey to the Sunwell with trepidation.
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