Old Ones. Why’d it Have to be Old Ones?

Entry #26

Great Osiris appeared to us on the morning of His festival! As we said prayers at the dawn Osiris revealed Himself to us. He looked mostly whole except for having a ghostly skull, ghostly left eye, ghostly kidney, ghostly left hand, ghostly let arm, and ghostly right index finger. He spoke to us in a quiet voice. This is what he said.

    “Blessed be the chosen ones. My body is almost complete. Remember your quest. Visit the tree of life after defeating this evil. And then go to meet your allies in the North and defeat the other hated Necromancer. May all the blessings of the pantheon be upon you.”

Great Osisis vanished. He left us with a great blessing. We all felt uplifted and stonger than we ever have before. It was as if we had been resting for months. We knew this blessing would only last one day. We resolved to make it count.

Scouts from the Wolven army made contact with us shortly thereafter. They had received a letter Ursus sent them. They agreed to make a distraction for us so we could enter the fortified city of Yggdrasil safely. Xerx’ses used magic to disguise us as undead. We then slipped into the city undetected.

We made it as far as Steve‘s manor. The guards there attacked us and we fought back. The Nameless Man raced passed the guards to enter the building and find Steve. I did not want him to go alone so I followed him to help. Heebo arrived fortuitously and joined us as well. We only encountered minor resistance until we arrived in the bottom-most level. There we saw Steve surrounded by close to a dozen protectors! Curiously only a few of them were undead.

Strange things in jars sat upon shelves all along the walls of the room. Steve and his protectors stood within the safe confines of an active magic circle that took up most of the floor. But worse of all were the helpless people he had lining the back of the room. Each barely alive person was strapped to a wooden X frame.

The Nameless Man and Heebo ran in to attack. They were met by Steve’s protectors. I tried to use my powers to clear a path for the Nameless Man to reach Steve. The magic circle interfered greatly with my powers. This fight only lasted about 5 or 6 seconds and I was largely ineffective for most of it. All I was able to do was grab two of Steve’s protectors with Telekinetic Force and throw them from the circle into the shelves. Jars of liquid broke upon them. Neither got back up.

Steve did not fight. He chanted a strange incantation while the fighting happened around him. That was when Azomir spoke to me. “He is preparing a great evil. You must stop him!” That is what he said to me. “We must help the Nameless Man to do exactly that. How long do we have?” That is what I asked Azomir. This is what he said in reply. “Within seconds to save No Name, within a minute to save the others.” I thanked Azomir later. But in this moment there was no time for such pleasantries.

I yelled for the Nameless Man to get out of there. That something bad was going to happen. So much was happening around me. I tried one last time to make a distraction for the Nameless Man. I tossed as many jars as I could with my telekinesis and threw them into the circle. But its magic stopped them completely. I saw The Walrus also arrive to help. I watched Heebo get overwhelmed and killed. Then I saw The Nameless Man act.

Steve’s foul incantation reached its climax. His defenders parted to give him a clear path to the Nameless Man. But they instead gave the Nameless Man a clear path to Steve. He lunged forward with Vindicator. The scythe cleaved into the Necromancer. As Vindicator sent his soul to Khonsu Steve pointed a clay jar towards The Nameless Man. “If I go, you go!” That was what Steve said. A beam-like substance was fired from Steve’s hands and hit The Nameless Man. I saw the Man’s soul pulled from his body and dragged towards the clay jar.

I saw what happened next. But I don’t actually know what really happened. Steve’s body was already falling lifeless to the floor. I saw The Nameless Man pull Vindicator back to him with the last of his strength. The blade passed into his soul as it was still departing his body. “Strike three, you’re out.” The Nameless Man said that. Then his soul disappeared. The clay jar shattered. The Nameless Man and Steve’s bodies both fell limp and lifeless to the floor.

The ordeal is over. The Wraith is dead.

Everything shook violently. The undead disappeared. The crosses disintegrated into ash. The freed survivors levitated up off the ground. So did The Nameless Man, Heebo, The Walrus, and I. We were wisked to the rubble of the ground floor. The entire building had collapsed. Around us were Indaris and Grignak. Ursus and Xerx’ses were outside. We were all witness to what happened next.

One of the dead bodies strewn around us rose up into the air. It morphed and twisted until it took on the visage of a terrible being! This was the Old One once known as Netosa. This is what it said to us.

    You will fail! All of you shall fail! You do not know what true power is! I will return and you shall be remembered – you will be the first to suffer the most!

Netosa disappeared before anyone could properly react. His visage was terrifying. Before we could even process anything that had happened both Indaris and Xerx’ses felt their piece of Osiris tugging them strongly out towards the forest. Xerx’ses just started walking. He did not say anything to anyone. He couldn’t. People were coming out of their homes. Survivors. Former victims now tasting freedom from fear for the first time in a long time. How could Xerx’ses say anything to them? What could he say to them? We are but servants of the Gods. This mission is bigger than one town. It is bigger than this.

I did not think that at the time. Father Indaris seemed to agree with me. He was prepared to perform an exorcism upon the town to purge it of any lingering undead. But Grignak I believe remembered the words of Osiris just that morning. He picked the priest up to carry him out. I had just watched Heebo and The Nameless Man die. None of the rest of CrIsis seemed to have even noticed! I yelled out to grab their attention. “The Nameless Man is Dead! Heebo is dead!” Then The Nameless Man sat up and looked around. He was not dead. He is not dead!

How? Why? I still have these questions but later when I asked him The Nameless Man couldn’t find words to speak. He fell silent and sad. I respected his privacy on this matter. He may tell me someday. He may not.

There was no miraculous recovery for Heebo. I used what remained of my power to rekindle life within him and heal his wounds. This drained me more than I expected. The rest of CrIsis was eager to leave. I wanted to spend at least a little time trying to help these people. I could not see that we had helped so much already. Surely we could do more! The others would not stay. We had to leave. But maybe Heebo and The Walrus would stay in our stead, and help out? We asked them and they agreed. Then the others left to catch up to Xerx’ses. I could not leave those two much of a gift to help them. Some food rations was all I had time to provide before I had to leave.

The survivors that levitated out of Steve’s sanctum with us stared at us in silent confusion as we left. The people coming out of their homes did the same. Unlike Xerx’ses I looked at them. I had seen many of their living auras on the way in. I was disappointed that we needed to leave. I had forgotten that the God’s ways were to enable people to help themselves. Not do it for them. As we are the instruments of the Gods our lingering presence there would undermine the way of the Gods. We have freed these people. Now they must take that freedom and make of it what they will.

When we left the city we encountered a contingent of mercenaries from Llorn and a force of Wolfen Empire soldiers. I am so glad to see them working together! Tinor led them. He wished to talk with us. Ursus stopped to try and talk but the others in CrIsis pulled him away. He promised to write Tinor. The general scowled at the thought. He quickly pulled aside a Wolfen soldier. The soldier was told to come with us so Ursus could tell him directly what needed to be said.

Entry #27

I am embarrassed by what happened next. I had to convince myself to open this book back up and write about it. What would my friend Moli think if I refused to write about something just because it embarrassed me? I must come to terms with this.

This was shortly after we left Yggdrasil. CrIsis, Twiggyleaf, and the Wolfen soldier were all walking through the forest. We were following the forceful guidance of the pieces of Osiris. I started to relax my powers from the earlier battle. It was then that I was overcome by terror. My mind wandered back to the sight of the Old One. But that alone was not what terrified me. A random yet powerfully frightening memory from two and a half months ago suddenly associated itself to the waving appendages of Netosa.

I lost all control and fled screaming into the woods. Grignak stayed true to Osiris’ command and completely ignored the situation. The Nameless Man tried to help arm me against whatever terror I was facing. He managed to get the rune dagger Jecetri into my hands. Xerx’ses kept walking as well but cast a few spells at me which I was somehow able to resist. Only Ursus and Indaris gave chase.

Somehow I eluded the two of them. When I finally came to my senses I prayed to Great Apis. “Great Goddess. Is it finally over?” That was what I asked her in my prayer. A male voice responded to me. Not Apis. He said “It is over.” I met with Ursus and Indaris. I was very embarrassed. I still am very embarrassed. Will I be able to control myself the next time I see something similar? I do not know.

Entry #28

Today we continued to travel through the wilderness. The pieces of Osiris continue to guide our way. The Nameless Man saw I was troubled still by the events of yesterday. He suggested I climb a tree with him to clear my mind. I did not think it would be successful but I relented. Together we climbed Twiggyleaf. We sat together within its branches. I tried to imagine what made this relaxing.

“At least they won’t get to me up here.” I said that to The Nameless Man. We talked about what happened yesterday. I told him what terrified me so. He seemed to understand. “I will stand between you and danger.” The Nameless Man said that to me. As we sat in that tree was also when I asked him about his “death” yesterday. This was when he went sad. “I………..I…..” That was all he could say. I apologized for prying and dropped the subject.

No one else talked with me today. No one else talked much at all. I suspect yesterday’s events with Steve and Yggdrasil weigh heavily upon us all.

Entry #29

Today an amazing thing happened. Azomir shared a story of sorrow from his past with me. I was touched and honored by this. Azomir has never shared so much to me before. “I am honored you would share that with me, Azomir. Thank you.” I told this to him. “I am so sorry.” I also expressed my sorrow to him for his story.

“You helped me be redeemed by killing Steve.” Azomir said this to me. But I think he also said it to everyone else too? My friends in CrIsis started trying to respond to each other as if they heard Azomir but thought someone next to them had spoken. I did not get to ask them about this. I did not get to ask Azomir more about the significance of his story. For we have discovered we are underneath a great tree canopy. We think the great Tree of Life is close!

We have made camp for tonight. I wonder if I will get letters from Cherkanan someday? Perhaps I misjudged our relationship. Perhaps we are just two people who shared a brief connection. I will not think that just yet. I hope she is well. I hope too that everyone in my tribe is well. I am still amazed they wrote to me so nicely. I wonder if CrIsis will have a chance to visit them with me someday?

I am feeling a lot better. I think being under this canopy of leaves has affected my mood somehow. Is this a thing a legendary tree can do? I wish I could talk with Xerx’ses. I think he knows some things about this tree. He could probably tell me. I am sure we will move past this soon.

I received a letter from Moli today. I will sit in meditation and think about how to respond.

Note: These are excerpts from Silent Dream’s journal. They were written in Elven from the 1st through the 3rd of Corg, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

Image Credits:
Forest Sunrise: George & Rhonda Ostertag
The Scream: Wikipedia
Fox Climbing a Tree: pixdaus.com

9 Responses to “Old Ones. Why’d it Have to be Old Ones?

  • Dream and the Man seem that they are becoming good friends. Maybe the Man sees hope in what the world could be through dream.

    • Dream’s getting a lot of hard doses of reality. It’ll be interesting to see if this quest refines him or breaks him. The Nameless Man’s friendship may become a rock for him in the trying times ahead.

  • I find it interesting that Dream feels he can’t talk to Xerx’ses. Xerx’ses feels weird when his friends treat him as though his partial divinity has estranged him from the world.

    • Dream’s feeling that he can’t talk to Xerx’ses stems mostly from his embarassment over his panic/ fear attack and his selfishness in Yggdrasil. That feeling applies to most of CrIsis, not just Xerx’ses. He should move past it next game – assuming nothing new happens to re-trigger it.

    • I think Xerx’ses pushes people away without realizing it. It’s not really the being a diety.

  • Great to see his emotion and feelings pour into the log, wears his heart on his sleeve. Love seeing insight into what drives him and his hesitance.

  • Love how Dream is trying to see the Gods way, while still holding his values. He completely exemplifies Apis.

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