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 Recap Online Session 21.07.2018

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Slynt
GM of Awesomeness
Slynt

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PostSubject: Recap Online Session 21.07.2018   Sun 22 Jul 2018, 12:30

(Though Tylendel is not yet aware of neither time nor date, for the sake of peace and order in the galaxy, the time and date is Silver’s Day, the 3rd of Winterheart, in the year 1344 by Imperial Reckoning.)

Tylendel, exhausted, lapsed into a sleep while Bohumíl and the soldiers lining the walls of the nave watched. A while later, he came to, feeling weak and disoriented..and noticed how everything around him seemed to be blurred and vague, as if he was seeing through water, as if the two men standing over him - Bohumíl and Haralamb Horvath - were ghosts, ethereal and distant yet nearby. Confused, he tried to speak to them, and he heard them speak, but the sound was distorted so it was impossible to recognize their words. It was as if Tylendel had woken up in a spirit world, or was trapped between the material world and the intangible.

Then, a cultist walked in through the main door, straight past the soldier on guard, a man belonging to Count Roben Sandath’s White Wolves. Unlike the vague and filmy surroundings, this man to Tylendel’s eyes was a clear and crisp sight. The face within the hood was scarred, skin the hue of rot, and with him came the reek of the grave. He walked across the Camrey tombs set in the nave’s floor toward Tylendel.

“Who are you?” Tylendel asked.
“Call me what you like,” the cultist replied, his voice betraying his eagerness to kill - as did the curved dagger he drew from a scabbard lost in the folds of his robes.
“Ugly, then,” Tylendel said.

As the cultist approached, Haralamb and Bohumíl began lifting Tylendel to his knees, seemingly unaware of the man coming toward them; their touch felt almost insubstantial, ghost hands grabbing Tylendel’s shoulder and lower arms. Getting up, Tylendel raised Creeping God’s Bane and slid into a defensive stance as the cultist raised his dagger for an overhand attack. At that, the cultist slowed down, a fatal mistake as it allowed Tylendel to change his stance and charge. With one fell strike, Tylendel swung the ancient blacksteel sword high, then slammed it down, slicing through the cultist’s collarbone and further down, cleaving the man in two until the blade hit one of the benches behind, lodging there, wooden splinters and blood spraying in all directions before the cultist’s flesh dissolved into ashes, leaving a tattered, bloodied robe and the dagger falling to the floor. At that moment, the world inverted, and the nave, the soldiers, and his two guards became clear again.

Stunned and confused, Haralamb and Bohumíl inquired as to what had happened.  Then, Tylendel asked Bohumíl to join him. Together they walked up the stairs of the temple toward the infirmary. On the way, Bohumíl wondered whether the Imlias had been undermining his father by trying to remove his children, or whether they were doing this for their own power. Something about it didn’t seem to make sense to Bohumíl. Tylendel told him that Samew Imlia was doing it to increase his power. Upstairs, they found guards outside two chambers set aside for the two comatose men - Eld and Haskent. In Eld’s room, Tylendel cuts two pieces from his cloak. He then cuts Eld’s finger - Eld does not even twitch, and collects the blood in one of the pieces.

“I think he is helping the Prophet,” he told Bohumíl.
“But my lord,” Bohumíl said - not for the first time this day - “You could have asked me.”
The former heir of the Highlord’s Seat wondered if there would be a difference between his blood and Eld’s, Eld being a bastard and Bohumíl being trueborn - but Tylendel told him that the blood - the blood of Parafor - descended from male to male; another lesson in humility for Bohumíl, whose mind still seemed to be trapped in the feudal mindset.
“I’m going to,” Tylendel replied, and so Bohumíl pulled out a knife, made a clean cut across his palm, and the second piece of cloth from the cloak was soaked in Camrey blood.
“Come,” Tylendel said, “Let’s kill a god.”
“Can you forgive me if I hesitate?” Bohumíl replied.
They walked back down to the nave.
“Find Syr Gylian Urunmyst and tell him to fill the nave with more soldiers,” Tylendel told Bohumíl as they descended. “I’m going to meditate again.”
“You’re not just going to hold a sermon for them, are you?” Bohumíl quipped nervously.
“The time for sermons is over..Unless you insist,” Tylendel responded, dryly.
“No,” Bohumíl said. “I think I agree with you.”

Back in the nave, Tylendel grabbed the fresh Everspring vegetables and wine that had been procured for him while Syr Gylian’s Wardens began filing into the nave, setting up circles around the center of the great hall where Tylendel was seated. Syr Gylian himself led them, telling Tylendel that he wasn’t going to stand idly by, placing himself among the protectors.

Concentrating, Tylendel focused on the Dying Keep, the ancient shell of a castle atop a floating island, somewhere in the Between. He had been there once before… so the chances of reaching his destination without detours were slim. Yet, by luck or the will of the Lost God Found, he opened his eyes to see the battered gates of the Dying Keep’s outer wall yawn open. Stunted brush, moss-covered rocks and trees around him, he found himself on the floating island. The air was gloomy, either dawn or dusk, and a wind whipped across the wobbling chunk of rock and roots, lifting his cloak.

He walked inside, through a courtyard overgrown with thorny bushes, weeds, and orange nettles growing in fat clusters along the walls. The main entrance doors stood open as well, revealing the rubble inside. The keep was more damaged now, most likely the result of the hail of rocks that had assaulted him upon fleeing the Dying Keep the last time he was here. Inside, he could make out foundations of walls, half-crumbled walls, great piles of broken stone, scattered bricks, the bones of countless birds, half-rotten timberwork that once had made up the ceiling of this floor. Tylendel cleared a circle of rubble and debris, and laid down the two bloodied cloth pieces, then placed the mirror he had stolen from the Crow-king to the side. Using his willpower, he managed to repair the damage done to Artan’s helmet, the thing mending as he watched, focusing his strength of intention into it.  Then, he focused his mind on changing his armor into blacksteel, which he also managed.
“I like this place,” Tylendel muttered.

Looking into the mirror, he asked to see the provincial capital. After a moment, the darkness of the mirror began roiling like clouds, then revealed the grand city…as it once was: the North Ward crowded with people - the Great Round teeming with haggling merchants, city guards and people from all walks of life - men manning the outer walls and the inner walls separating the districts, the old Camrey pennants, green and yellow, fluttering from towers, the stone griffin atop the main gate unbroken…
“No,” Tylendel said, dismissing the image as a tear rolled down his cheek. He asked the mirror once more, careful to word the question to show him the city at this point in time, and from farther above.

Now, the mirror revealed darkness - the ‘Nocternity of Parafor’ as Count Ales Malion had named it during a meeting in the North Ward Town Council’s hall - but at its distant edges, there was a band of glowing light. Willing the mirror to show the city from even an even higher vantage point, Tylendel eventually saw the extent of the darkness shrouding Barosía; and to the northeast, the great mountain chain of the Remheck stretching into the wilderness of Amburiath, its second arm running east, separating the Sea of Dust from the dreary Black Lakes. To the far west, he saw the rolling hills and marshlands of the Heidenmark, and to the northwest, distant glittering provinces of whose identity he could not be sure.  Focusing on the blackness below, Tylendel’s consciousness brushed against another’s - there was an instant of great shock and blinding light followed by a sense, an emanation, of complete and utter hatred devoid of empathy. And Tylendel knew, somehow, at which point below the dark shroud, the Creeping God himself was moving…
“I’m going to hurt you,” Tylendel snarled at the mirror.

He prepared a complex spell, so intricate it took him more than an hour to complete. Using his sorcerous powers, he brought into being a massive sphere - a diameter of 130 feet - of moonstone, on the other side of the mirror, suspended in the heavens above the province. As the sphere massed into the size Tylendel could manage, Tylendel judged where he wanted it to go, and with a muttered "This is for Renata", he sent it speeding forward ‘with the speed of a shooting star’ hurling toward the world. He could not see the results of his incredible display of power, though - the rock, the moonstone meteorite, plunged through the darkness and was gone.

(For later reference: The moonstone did hit, creating a crater 1269 feet deep and a little more than a mile wide.)

Turning away from the mirror, Tylendel picked up the two pieces of red cloak, and called out, facing his back to the entrance and the courtyard beyond.
“Blood calls to blood! Home calls to heart! I summon you, Parafor. Body and soul. Now!”

At first, silence. The rustle of bushes and grasses in the courtyard. The wind moaning through the holes and puckered walls of the keep. Then, welling up from the shadows of broken masonry, cracked tiles and debris, a deluge of spiders. More and more, coming up to crawl over the rubble, heading toward Tylendel’s circle. Small spiders, large spiders. Hairy spiders, glossy spiders. The scuttle of a thousand, then ten thousand, a hundred thousand tiny legs, some long and spindly, others short and fat. Some descending on gossamer threads. Spiders crawling upon spiders, a frenzied charge…that stops at the outer edge of Tylendel’s circle.
The dusk outside flees as light rapidly begins to build, passing quickly through daylight into something brighter, more fell. Through cracks and holes in the keep’s walls, light filters into the ruined chambers in shafts at different angles, and where it hits, wood begins to smoke, blacken and then burn. Slowly, stone begins to melt. The spider swarm disperses where the light hits them; some do not make it, their bodies exploding, their carapaces popping open, spurting fluids that melt immediately.

Kobian Camrey’s words from the parlay at Saint Elmek’s Chapel north of the city come to Tylendel’s mind…
“When I pulled off the helmet, half his face stuck to the inside, and yet he found the strength...by the will of the Lost God, found or not... to scold me for having lead him on a ... less pious crusade. Something pulled him back down into the deep, and I sat there, on my knees, hot winds burning my face, not realizing just how hot my face would burn a few moments later. Dark? No...the Creeping God is brighter than the sun..”

Flames engulfed the remains of the ceilings, stone dripped along walls and crumbled columns. Tylendel moved so he faced the entrance, then focused on creating a transparent shield of blacksteel to slide before his eyes, for protection against the infernal light. He noticed a shadow appearing as if someone is walking around the keep - as Tylendel noticed when he finished his spell and saw that the angles of the shafts of light had changed, were changing with the movement outside.

Then, the voice of a young man spoke.
“You are quite impatient, manchild.”
Tylendel didn’t reply to this.
“I, on the other hand, know how to bide my time.”
At this, Tylendel replied. “Once a coward, always a coward. Why don’t you face me…god?”
“I do not think you would like it.”
“Probably not,” Tylendel said. “You really did let this place go, though. What do you think of your former home?”
A pause before the reply came. “You are strange, even for a manchild. I do not understand your question.”
“You lived here, before you came to Eras, didn’t you?”
“Almost. Not here, this is ancient Candath… The Crow-king has spoken of you.”
“He’s quite vexed, isn’t he?”
“He wanted to make you his apprentice.”
“I wanted him to believe that, to gain some time.”
“So impatient and always in need of time. Don’t you see how patience allows old plans to come to fruition?”
“But with time…I can love…”
The voice asked, “What do you love?”
Tylendel replied, “My people, my land. The spirit of the Empire. The memory of my wife. My friends. My brother. My comrades. I love my home… All of this, you have destroyed.”
“Now, that might be slightly unfair,” the voice said.
“I care not,” Tylendel snapped.
“I know.”
Tylendel continued, “Your creatures destroyed everything I have loved.”
Calmly, the voice responded, “When all is darkness, there will be no grief.”
Tylendel, eyes shielded by his sorcery dimming the light, said, “When all is darkness, there will be no hope of seeing the light. No love, no warmth from the sun—”
“I assume you can see me through the holes in this worthless building.”
“Your light is blinding, Day.”
“Yes…light.”

As they talked, Tylendel noticed slithering, worm-like vines appear through the cracks between the floor’s tiles, stretching and reaching toward the pieces of cloth in his circle.

“Why?” Tylendel asked. “Why destroy us? I’ve been thinking, is it just…malice?”
“Malice? No,” the voice replied, “Necessity? Yes.”
“Why don’t you face Ruís yourself? Why use us?”
“Use you? Again, I do not understand your question. Such is the gap between us. You, a manchild…able to..traverse… I am sure that by now you know the God of Night is hard to find.”
“Some people believe I carry his soul. Why not come and find out?” Tylendel asked. “Coward.”
The light flashed with intensity a short moment, as if reacting to Tylendel’s words.
“Manchild, you have already accused me of cowardice.”
“You’re still not here, proving my assumption true.”
“I thought you’d know what my…visage…would do to your flesh.”
“Your minions have taken everything from me. If you take my flesh, so be it. If you kill me here, you win.”
A short pause before the voice spoke again. “My minions? Do you believe I chose them?”
“They chose you. You have the power to stop them.”
“Manchild,” the voice said calmly, “It’s all part of the plan.”
“Was being summoned here part of the plan as well?”
“No, you constantly surprise me with your drive. I have been entertained. Mostly.”
“And now that you’re back here, what will you do? Will those who scared you away come for you again?”
“That is the third time you call my courage into question.”
“You’re still not coming…”

The shafts of light shifted again; its source having almost made the round.

“Courage is for the impatient. Like you, manchild.”
“No,” Tylendel said. “Courage is to face what you fear. You’re still not here.”
“So you fear me?”
Tylendel paused, then said, “I fear death.”
“As do all thinking, living beings.”
Seeing the worm-like vines having reached the scraps of cloth, Tylendel drew Creeping God’s Bane across their slithering forms, cutting them in half. “I am the Empire’s last, best hope for survival. I fear that those I love will die.”
“You defend a throne of lies.”
“I don’t defend a throne,” Tylendel spat, “I defend the people. The spirit of the Empire.”
Tylendel moved the ancient sword out of sight, behind his back, sensing that the owner of the voice - the Creeping God, who else could it be - was close to the entrance. Fierce, merciless light swelled.
“Are you sure about this?” Parafor asked. “I am afraid your protections will not be enough.”
“What happens, happens,” Tylendel said. He looked at the mirror, a blinding white, perfectly even square amidst the jagged, chaotic rubble.
“Then, manchild,” Parafor said, “This is the end.”
The Creeping God’s shadow hit one of the unhinged, burning and smoking doors. Its fingers looked like writhing spider legs.
"Come face me if you think you're tough enough," Tylendel snarls through clenched teeth.
“Manchild, this has nothing to do with toughness. All you are doing, is asking for an end to your life.”
Tylendel said, “Can you get back to Eras? If you can’t…I’m willing to die for it.”
“You think I came on your behest? How would you know this?”
Confused, Tylendel replied, “I don’t.”
“It is a fortunate thing, then - for you. That we’re here, and not there. This death will only teach you the art of dying. Tell me, one thing, please, before you depart. How did you learn the secret of the tombs of light?"
Confused again, Tylendel said, "I had a... skilled teacher."
"Who?"
"You might meet her someday."
" Her ..?"
Tylendel pulled  Creeping God’s Bane back in front of himself. "You fear Gaffon's blade, dont't you?"
"Ah, the black blade. So.. it is the Meddler who so pushes you onward on your path."
"Don't forget his sisters," Tylendel added.
"Ah, the bitches of Ilk. For a manchild, you are quite knowledgeable about things long gone from memory."
"Again, I had a skilled teacher."
"I suppose there is no use in me asking one more time who that teacher was. Was it Gaffon? Or are you making up things, to get more of that… precious time of yours…"
"Why would I do that, that sounds counter-intuitive."
"Manchild, I am only stalling to give you the time to reconsider. Call it... mercy."
Tylendel broke out laughing. "I felt your hatred when I touched your mind. You don't know what mercy is. It's just a word you heard someone say. You haven't felt an ounce of mercy in your existence, coward! You don't dare meet me. A god is afraid of young Greyoak."
Tylendel began to sing, the words ridiculing the Creeping God.

"As someone who prides himself on his patience, I must admit that your presence begins to vex me. But I shall reward your impatience now. Behold."

A figure, bright as the sun, its body seemingly made of the surface of a star, stepped before the entrance. The light was so blinding, the presence so intense that Tylendel felt his blood begin to boil, his flesh cooking inside the ensorcelled armor...and he began to sharpen his willpower - willing himself to subsume Parafor's essence, to draw away his life force to heal and rejuvenate himself, to steal the god's power; to divide the Creeping God’s life force from his spirit and so steal that life force and kill the spirit.
The dying keep melting around them, they faced each other. In the intense radiation of light, Tylendel noticed something dangling from Parafor’s right arm, but couldn’t make out what it was. Then his emanation of pure, infernal light began to waver, to blink, and Tylendel started to walk slowly towards the god.
"Truly, you are special. Such command of the mysteries of the old—”
Parafor's light fluctuated more rapidly, like a torch in gusts of wind.
"Yes," Parafor concluded, "You are a mystery."

Parafor disappeared as coolness rushed through Tylendel's body. In the doorway, a swarm of fireflies in the doorway scattered, as if they were the last vestiges of Parafor’s presence hurrying after him.

Tylendel looked down at his hand; the leather glove was gone, burned away; his chain mail had begun melting, rings fusing, but now it hardened again, malforming the armor. He willed himself to heal the angry burn wounds on his hands his injuries. It was like seeing his hands getting burned in reverse, in slow motion, red flesh regaining its natural color, skin regrowing, pain fading.

Staggering toward the mirror, Tylendel saw that it was unbroken, unscathed, as if it had never been in the midst of this conflagration. Stone stopped dripping, leaving walls and pillars clumped and strangely deformed.

Looking at the shiny black surface, Tylendel saw… a face.

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Slynt
GM of Awesomeness
Slynt

Posts : 6072

PostSubject: Re: Recap Online Session 21.07.2018   Sun 29 Jul 2018, 11:39

Thanks for the edit, m'lord Greyoak.
I shalt copy this reviseth edition into mine notes.
And then proceed to await our next meeting,
in darkness and retreating cold.
It shalt be sooner, rather than later.

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Recap Online Session 21.07.2018
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