Gia makes her way back to Bornheim, passing through the remains of the Reavers camp. While there she runs into Tazeed at the main pavilion and stops to speak with him. The Jinn discusses the book that Gia had taken from the tower. In a roundabout way, that the original master of the tower used a wish for himself. He had Tazeed pull Charles from the tower so the Master of Tminir Tower could make a deal with him. Korlin did not like the result of the deal as he did not understand the ramifications of his actions.
As he accompanies Gia to the city he tells her that while a whistle binds him to this realm until three wishes are used a similar device holds Charles upon this world. It must be within the bounds of the Rakarian Valley and most likely within the city as the demon would not want it far from him. He knows that it is in the shape of a mask, but nothing else.
Briz and the Lady
Brizanthimus tries to escape and runs into Lady Hapsteng who is struggling through the small corridor in a formal dress. She orders him to stop and he turns around and lets loose with a verbal tirade. He wants someone to lead the people of this city to safety – something she cares less about than her own power. She yells back that she could have stopped the storm if he had not broke her circle.
Briz tries to make a run for it, but Lady Hapsteng calls to Hugo. The Angel of Battle appears and blocks his escape. While Briz tries to escape this predicament Hugo laughs and turns into the shape of Sir Fredrick. Worried that Hugo, Fredrick, and Charles are the same person puts the speed of fear into Briz who scampers past Lady Hapsteng. Lady Hapsteng gives chase but is to slow to catch the minstrel. The last thing Briz hears is Hugo telling Lady Hapsteng she is of no further use and her screaming.
Damning himself Briz turns back and charges into the room, slamming into Hugo and pushing him away from Lady Hapsteng. Filled with his own magic, and amplified by the Incar, Briz slams his magic into Hugo trying to unmake him. It is not powerful to harm him, but it does catapult his body through the wall and out into the city. He picks up the injured and sobbing Lady Hapsteng to her servants and dumps her on the ground. Briz pockets a broken shard of a mirror he sees with an image of Gia on it.
A fire diminished burns bright
Xarth, Belenus fight back the Reavers led by Dae. She has the Bloodstaff, but it seems greatly diminished. They fight through the Reavers with Xarth leading the charge. Dae prepares to strike down all those around her and fill herself with their souls, but Xarth is at the right place at the right time. He throws himself forward, accepting the multiple spears that pierce his body to grapple Dae.
With his lifeblood flowing out he willingly sacrifices his life against the power of Danshi. That one heroic act tears the staff away from Dae and sends it spiraling into the flow of time – never to be seen until the Eye of the Magi returns.
With my blood I bring an end to the legacy of the ReaversLast words of Xarth
Bel steps up to a staggered Dae and knocks her unconscious. He looks skyward as dozens of flames flicker in the sky. Hundreds of Ifrit descend from the heavens upon a staircase of fire. He stands in awe as One-Eye appears and the Ifrit drape Xarth’s body across his back. The Nightmare leads the procession as the Ifrit return the body of their Champion to the Realm of Fire.
When the last Ifrit leaves this realm the fires whip into a tornado and then dissipate leaving behind a glass fountain upon which rests an eternal flame. This marker is where their champion died. The blood rain stops immediately – only to be replaced by the gathering storm. Danshi’s power has been vanquished from this land, but the wrath of Karash descends in his full wrath.
Gia and Tazeed eventually reach Bornheim, but Tazeed is forced to turn around in the face of Karash’s wrath. He tells her that he is not on good terms with the Storm Lord and it would be best if he didn’t antagonize him more this evening. Gia continue in towards the secret passage she knows about to the castle grounds. The path is treacherous as the rain has made the ground slick with mud. She falls and tumbles down a side passage, landing hard on her right side. To make matters worse a rat the size of a large dog attacks her.
Nigel, who had been secretly following Jiron hears Gia fighting for her life and breaks off from his hunt. Without even breaking stride he slips by the rat, slices its throat, and continues on into the darkness. His blood is boiling for revenge and he will have Jiron’s head before dawn breaks – to the infernal with the city.
Briz runs towards Lady Hapsteng’s private residence. He finds the building heavily damaged and guarded by a impossibly large man. Running towards trouble and also fleeing the mountain Briz barrels through the front door. The front staircase is too heavy damaged to use. Just when hope was lost and the mountain pushes through the remains of the front door Nigel and Gia come into the foyer from a hidden door on the second floor.
Jiron had concealed himself on the second floor and breaks cover to fire two arrows at Nigel, piercing his leg. Gia grabs a guard’s crossbow and fires a return shot to give Nigel cover. This only causes Nigel to slip to the side thus allowing Jiron past him. Jiron slams into Gia and carries them both down to the first floor – Jiron using Gia to absorb the fall. Briz running from the mountain throws up some illusions at Jiron to give Nigel a chance to drop from above and pin one of his shoulders with a dagger.
Jiron grab Nigel and hurls his through a window and into the courtyard. He ignores Briz’s illusions and puts down Gia with a solid punch to her head before stepping through the window to deal with Nigel. Although propelled by confidence Jiron has taken many wounds in the battle and the blood loss is taking its toll. The influence of Danshi has diminished and with it his unstoppable strength. He is still dangerous, but Nigel throws away all hope of survival and hurls himself at his nemesis. In the end it is Nigel that rises from the blood-soaked mud.
Briz is not to be shone up and changes from illusions to open the gates holding back his control. Wild surges of magic charged by Incar not only tear apart the house, but drive supporting pillars into the maul-swinging mountain. The guard is both strong and resilient, but Briz simply drops the entire house on him. Buried and done.
Briz finds a guard that recognizes him and tells him of the plot to kill the Lord Marshall. The guard runs to the safe room where the Lord is waiting out the storm with a servant. When they arrive nobody is in the room. The guard leaves to inform his commander, allowing Briz to search for what happened. He finds a secret door, but cuts his hand on a poisoned trap. Fighting off the dizziness he goes down the small and steep steps.
In the darkness Briz comes across Lupin, a priest of Karash, leading a small group of priests. They had come to ensure the Lord Marshall’s safety as their Dawnwatcher just spoke a prophesy that without the light the dark would destroy all. The Lord Marshall has another title as Lord of Light as the formal head of the Temple of Light in the city. Briz believes the Lord Marshall was taken to the city, but wishes Lupin well in his own search.
Gia wakes up and slowly makes her way through the city. She can hear the anguish of the spirits as the wrath of a god rains down on the city, flooding its streets and destroying its buildings. She follows the strongest of these spirits to the source of the worst fighting.
Nigel overhears the guards saying that the Blood Priestess has been captured and will be executed shortly. Nigel runs with everything he has left to rescue Dae from herself.
Cathedral of Light
Belenus is recovering in the cathedral when he hears a crash. He runs towards the back rooms where he finds Hugo has crashed through the roof. The impact and falling debris has killed the three priests attending to Ælfric. He demands the wannabe-king get up and fight for his right to rule. Belenus argues that Ælfric is in no condition to fight. As they argue Charles shows up outside of the holy ground and demands Hugo hurry.
Hugo scoops us Ælfric saying something about the blood of a king needed and flies off. His holy sword rejects Hugo and falls from his grasp, nearly skewering Bel. Bel picks up the sword and launches himself at Charles. Briz, who saw Hugo fly off with the young king, rushes into the temple and find Bel and Charles fighting. Charles is at a severe disadvantage on holy ground and when Briz joins the fight he chooses to leave rather than face defeat. He taunts them about meeting again at the Place of Permanence as foretold.
The Place of Permanence
Gia sees Charles enter the door at the base of the astronomical clock in the square. The door is guarded by four men. She tries to get past them, but they throw her to the ground and stab her. She staggers off looking for the others. Along the way she encounters several groups of elves. They are braving the weather to set up some large magical barrier or something. She overhears one of them discuss how large the explosion will be in order to kill the demon. Thousands will be sacrificed for the spell, including many of their own. It is all for the greater good.
Nigel goes to the cathedral to see Dae. His sister is guarded by five priests constantly chanting. They tell Nigel that only the Hōchwarden could save his sister, but he was killed. Nigel is willing to do anything to save his sister. The head priest says if he is willing and returns when the first dawn rays touch the Cathedral then they can transfer the darkness from her to him. Her sin will be his burden to carry for the rest of his life.
Belenus uses the holy sword as a divining rod to find Hugo. Him and Briz are joined by Gia who tells them about the elves. It leads him to the clock tower. Once there Gia, cloaked by Briz’s illusions, convince the guards to let them pass. Belanus kills the guards as they pass so they will not hamper them later. No mercy for those colluding with a demon.
Tiny URL for this post: