Death’s Guests

Ja’Deir extraneated at his surroundings as his Psi-Sword hummed to existence. The slender weapon illuminated more than his fist, it seemed that he’d somehow been in a fog since entering Haven, and only just now saw the world in the green glow of the semi-transparent, ethereal rapier. A second buzzed to life in his other hand, and he looked at the enemies of CrIsis, surrounding them.

There was murder in his eyes.

The Psi-mage leapt at the closest beast, and rent him in twain, psionic energies cauterizing the pieces as they tumbled to the ground in disarray. Though he hadn’t noticed the sound of battle, he noted its sudden absence. “Surrender now, and attack us no more” a slightly faltering voice said from CrIsis’ ranks, and the enemy dropped their weapons, partly due to shock. In Palladium men and monsters were supposed to give and take blows like a dance with death. Such sudden and extreme endings shouldn’t happen.

But they did, when you go up against the demigods of Palladium. Those few beings which are fortunate enough to live long enough to become more than mere mortal.

And Ja’Deir had done just so. As a 14th tier Mind-Mage, he was the most powerful psionic mage of his own age – before the turn of his fourth decade, he was still a mere child in most races’ estimations.

While the self-supposed politicians of CrIsis negotiated the terms of surrender – that of an immediate retreat and cessation of hostilities against us – Ja’Deir watched to make sure the beaten didn’t try to pick up arms again. Their horrified expressions, and sheepish glances in his direction told him they wouldn’t.

As CrIsis continued on its way through the forests of the Disputed Lands, Ja’Deir reflected on his years of service to the Gods and CrIsis. He served his term – in his own estimation – and was nearing the end of service. Ja’Deir felt that the end of this leg of the Gods’ Quest would be the end of it for him. He was no longer needed, as CrIsis will find more fodder for the charnal. It was time for him to find his homeland, and take his Wife and Newborn, and train the Ashada. With the help of Vesuvia, he can complete the dimensional teleportation of his people to a land where they will never suffer at the hands of others.

Herald Rainier, the ranger guide roped in to the immortal ranks of CrIsis’ temporary assistants, led them fearlessly into the dark depths of the Disputed Lands, toward the broken mountains. He asked Ja’Deir to watch the treetops, and scout ahead. That was no problem for the rodentine humanoid.

Every morning, Ja’Deir would watch Herald trek off alone to gather food, and then would climb to the highest branch of the nearest oak, to do precariously balanced Mudras and Mantras, glorifying the Gods. As it always did, ever since the horrors on Mount Y, his mind halted when he passed ”Kai.” Such a vicious Mantra, such destruction that could have been visited not only on the rotten Haladriel, but also upon CrIsis! Ja’Deir had almost joined the ranks of ReSet, and become their most valued member – destroying all of the members of CrIsis in a single, masterful stroke.

Even more reason to leave CrIsis. He was no longer an asset to their ranks.

They made it to the mountains without major issue. From time to time the ground would shake and all would lose their footing, but no one was lost to the mountain’s treacherous shale slopes. Passing the ominous cabin at the apex of the mountain, CrIsis made their careful way into a hidden valley, peopled by simple farmers and craftsmen. Flashes of Xarys passed Ja’Deir’s memory, which set his fur on end. Was this some sort of dream, some hallucination, set against him?

As they walked the country roads, past fields and farms, Ja’Deir extended his magical and aural senses. He’d recently learned how to read the intentions of someone’s heart by the shade and pulse of their aura. Not just Supernatural Evil, but mortal evil as well. All those he saw seemed to be normal mortals, happy and innocent and good – or if not good, simply selfish as to the desires of mens hearts.

Despite these feelings – which Ja’Deir realized he hadn’t shared with CrIsis later – All of CrIsis seemed to be on edge. The town – Yggdrasil – was led by an evil beast of a man, who laughed away all of the claims of a Millennium Tree or a Necromancer. Feeling set against a wall, CrIsis moved onward.

Indaris prayed for a vision, and was rewarded with a vague warning of impending doom, should we fail to save the Tree. CrIsis decided to return to the town and kill the Mayor, the Festering Heart of the peaceful town – Better to dispatch of the threat than to set it at your back and walk away, they thought.

CrIsis concocted a plan to infiltrate the village, and assassinate the Mayor, in the form of a tri-pronged attack formation with a distraction from Xerx’ses. They descended on the Manor House of the Mayor’s, Ja’Deir coming through the Meeting Room’s window and lying in wait for him under his desk, the rest of the group entered at the main entrance, save for the Death Knight No-Name, who entered from the back and checked out the basement. Apparently it was too far away for Ja’Deir’s sixth sense to trigger, but the death knight encountered the monstrous mayor in his hidden basement, and dealt a death blow, hitting the Necromancer’s heart with a silvery dagger.

Instead of a gush of blood, a sneer came from the Enemy. The two combatants looked at the crucifix to the side of the room, whereupon hung the guide, Herald, blood gushing from an open gash in his chest… The death blow killed the ally, not the enemy. And now the Necromancer had No-Name in his clutches.

>>Journal excerpt in the 4th year of CrIsis, written by Ja’Deir, Ashada Mind Mage, disciple of Apis.<< >>
>>Picture Credit: Yumekishi11 at Photobucket.com

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