Friends Gained and Lost

Love gained, Love lost.

Entry #42

These last few days have been tough and emotional. I do not feel ready to record this. But if not now then when?

On the 16th of Corg we were still traveling down the river. We encountered hundreds of barbarians amassed on the banks. CrIsis readied weapons. It was tense. Then I noticed the legendary Jidian Kulder hidden among their ranks! Why did he not call out to us? Was this a test of our wit, skill, and patience? CrIsis was ready to strike. I immediately motioned a sign of peace. I raised my bow with both hands visibly up over my head. Then I lowered it to the deck and stood back up with open hands.

This was to show those assembled I meant no harm. I quickly pointed out Jidian to the rest of CrIsis so they could stand down as well. They did not see him. But Xerx’ses trusted me and convinced them to believe me. Once they stood down the moment became a lot less tense. The fair Nimaya especially made quite a show of following Xerx’ses advice. The barbarian tribesmen became a lot less hostile following that.

Xerx’ses kept looking at me and The Nameless Man during this day. I do not know why. I may never know why.

 

The barbarians are called the Jorruth. That night they held a grand celebration. Things between me and Nimaya were still tense despite my apology from days prior. Xerx’ses convinced me to stay longer than I planned. I saw the newly divine Father Indaris talk with Nimaya. I don’t know what he said to her. But later she sought me out and apologized monumentally. “I know this can’t be all resolved at once but I will keep trying.” That was part of what she said to me.

I am not one to hold a grudge. And she is beautiful. Perhaps I did not give Grignak enough credit for pulling us together initially. We re-kindled what what we started back in Ursushome village. By the end of the night the two of us were laughing again. We were loving again. I have the stripes to prove it. The next day Nimaya led us the rest of the way to the sea. She then promised me she would wait with the Jorruth tribe until I returned.

Malkin came through with The Nameless Man’s request. This underwater or… ‘submersible’ boat would work to take us to Terosh. It was sculpted to look like a giant steel fish. We named it The Guppy. Before we left underway Xerx’ses disappeared but returned with gifts from Wesvon. Each of us received a magic scroll to change our shape into fish men and to breath under the water. Without these gifts which Xerx’ses arranged we would not have been successful. They proved very useful when we needed to enter the domed city of Terosh.

There were some fights as we traveled. By the blessing of the Gods we were victorious. There was one however where I did not anticipate the threat properly. Attacks were made upon the minds of my friends. I placed up a mental block around us all to try and protect them but I was too late. It was Xerx’ses who noticed and pointed it out to me. Grignak was acting erratically. So I did something I regret.

I entered Grignak’s thoughts. I do not regret this action because of the very lurid and vivid thoughts I found within. I do not regret this action because of the mental attack I suffered which proved his mind had been tampered with. I regret this action because I violated his trust. This makes his distrust of me valid despite his altered state. Will he even ever trust me again? Xerx’ses understood my reluctance to do this. But at the same time this is something Xerx’ses would not have hesitated to do if he were able.

I crossed that line. Maybe Xerx’ses did act upon others too much without their consent. But perhaps my way of always asking permission is too timid. Perhaps I can help to honor his sacrifice by learning this lesson. After all… even though I could not help Grignak at that time I did learn his mind was definitely altered. Now, like The Nameless Man taught me, I could watch him and learn what was different. Only then could I properly help him. Grignak may never trust me again after this. But if I can make him better then I will do what I must. That is what Xerx’ses has taught me.

The Sovereignty of Terosh is as majestic to behold as it was terrifying to contemplate. We could see a massive city on an island of crystal and stone. We could barely make out fish men and orcs and other beings among the splendor. This majestic and mythical structure was enclosed in a dome harder than Shadow Steel. It cast a blue hue upon everything within. This dome seemed impossibly to be like a telekinetic force field but on a scale unlike anything I’ve ever seen or even conceived. What sort of power was Terosh wielding in order to maintain a structure like this?

More than three-quarters of the dome was underwater. The small bit above the ocean was connected to the mainland by a bridge. We could make out Elementals on the shore and in the water. There may have been other Elementals we luckily neither saw nor encountered. With the aid of The Guppy and Wesvon’s gifts we were able to enter the dome.

We spent several hours carefully navigating the corridors. Father Indaris Isis‘ Seeker used new magic and insight to guide us safely. We also received help from others in this place who were disenchanted with Terosh’s true message. For he was a scion of Utu Himself! His followers were unwittingly part of a death cult for the God Utu. Many wanted out but few had the courage to do more than hope. They all deserved our help and a second chance.

Wesvon’s spells ended as we arrived at the center of Terosh’s power. Here in this mausoleum was a portal to the realm of the Death God. Several priests were present to defend this place. Then Terosh appeared. The battle we came here to fight began. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. This is a statement that is said about war. It was true here too. Without warning Grignak turned on me and attacked! He claimed I was an imposter and tried to fight me. Small comfort that this finally revealed the sort of mental effect he was under.

The chaos of the battle continued unabated. Grignak tried to break my neck. He could have done that so easily. As I struggled to prevent that I tried not to rip him in half telekinetically. I could have done that so easily. I thought in these moments that he and I could never work together again. For health or ill our relationship was dead. The battle of CrIsis against Terosh finally ended with Terosh’s death by The Nameless Man’s blade, The Vindicator. But the structure around us now threatened to collapse.

This would be like Haven all over again. Except here the catastrophe would not be caused by the vengeance of a spiteful God. It would be due to our own actions. Our battle caused too much damage to this unusual structure. Also all the Elements kept in a delicate balance by Terosh’s will ran out of control upon his death. What happened next

 


Entry #43

Xerx’ses is dead. I just need to come out and say it. The Demigod of Oaths died to save us. Not just to save CrIsis but to save all of the misled and deceived among the followers of Terosh. Xerx’ses told me not to give up on Grignak. He then somehow convinced Grignak to help and work together with us all to escape. I can remember his final moments with perfect recollection. The memory returns fresh to my mind. The pain is unabated. This is what happened.

Xerx’ses handed me the Right Index Finger of Osiris with a teleport scroll wrapped around it. He grabbed my hands. “Little Fox I’m proof that even the Gods aren’t perfect. My dear friend please forgive my ignorance and trespasses against you and No Name. Take this, and it can send all of you and the Guppy to Nimaya.” Xerx’ses said that to me.

Then Xerx’ses’ eyes begin to glow. Wisps of golden arcane power drifted lazily away from them. “Our struggle affects a thousand worlds. It’s bigger than all of us, but let this act remind you that I have never forgotten to try and save everyone.” Xerx’ses said that as he let go of me. He took a few steps back. “Remember the Jorruth, I trusted you and followed your lead. Speak up more my friend.” That was the last thing he said to me.

He began to glow like a small sun. He rose up high in the inner chamber. The whole place began to quake and tremble. The dome was collapsing. The Northern Sea threatened to come rusing in and destroy all within. Beams of light shot out from his outstretched arms. The light covered everything in a golden aura. He spoke in an otherworldly voice for the first time. “I cannot hold this forever! Everyone of you must flee or die this is your only chance at freedom and survival!” Those words of salvation and sacrifice were his last.

We fled the collapsing structure. Scores of Terosh’s followers fled with us. By Xerx’ses grace we were able to reach the safety outside of the doomed structure. We carried those who could not walk. From inside The Guppy we watched as the dome and city imploded, then exploded. We watched the end of the Sovereignty of Terosh. We watched the end of Xerx’ses Goldenhorn – Oathkeeper, Arcanist, Holy Paladin of Osiris, Demigod, Leader of the Tri-Arcanum Guild Weavers, Member of CrIsis, and my friend.


Note: These are excerpts from Silent Dream’s journal. They were written in Elven sometime after the 21st of Corg (exact date unknown), in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

 


Image Credits:
God of War Wiki
dreamstime
Disney
AZ_Rune Art

 

4 Responses to “Friends Gained and Lost

  • Wow, what a tribute! You captured the feelings at the end expertly!
    I especially love the early line, “I do not know why. I may never know why.” Really well done.

    • Not gonna lie, this brought tears to my eyes. Hopefully in death he he had made peace with everyone.

      – So Torrun, yeah…
      LOL

  • I’m going to try and put a little bit of Xerx’ses in Dream’s future actions. He lives on in the lives that he helped to shape. That is the best way Dream has to honor and remember him.

  • Great telling of all that went on. Good to see AZ_RUNE’s words repeated here. better words really couldn’t be said.

    Ah, the perils of CrIsis trying to get along with each other while trying to save the world, it’s a wonder we get anything done.

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