I am a servant of Isis, of the Light, leading their chosen on a quest of greatest urgency. The Gods have been most clear about what is at stake. That time is of the essence. That great sacrifices have been made to protect us from the minions of the Dark, and worse.
Have I not, myself, overheard many Great Battles through the magic of the Shimring? Did I not hear for myself the words of Apis, as she encouraged us with words of great strength to make haste in pursuit of our ultimate goal?
Then why did I allow myself to be distracted from the Task My Lady of Many Names appointed to me the instant temptation raised its ugly head?
Who am I to be pursuing vengeance when My Lord Osiris lies in pieces upon the face of this world?
I grew up knowing about Kaash. As a lad, I listened to the stories about how few people who went in came back out, and how those who did escape were never the same again. Felt the the thrill of imagination while listening with my friends as the local bard told about warring bands of vampires roving the streets at night. I knew about the casual depravity of their common citizens slaking their unholy lusts on the young and innocent.
I knew all this, yet I didn’t hesitate to lead the group needlessly into harm’s way, in vainglorious pursuit of the One Who Wronged Me.
Not even my new-found fear of the undead, fruit of my cursing at the hands of Anubis, deterred me from entering a city I knew to be full of vampires, zombies, and other horrors.
To make things worse, I underestimated depravity of Kaash. I did not consider the foolishness of bringing an apparent child into this city, did not foresee the excessive interest Gavin’s presence would generate in our party.
The fight brought me back to my senses, and I attempted to convince the group that we were in over our heads, but I couldn’t convince them of the severity of the situation. They insisted that we continue down this path that I so foolishly set us upon.
Against my re-established better judgement, I agreed to press on.
Into the dragon’s mouth.
Into what I was beginning to think was a trap.
When we encountered a man who almost happily accepted money to direct us towards “The Priest Reeves’ house,” after an day full of people running away from us as soon as Reeves’ name was mentioned, I was convinced I had fallen into a trap intended for me and whomever was foolish enough to accompany me into it.
By the Grace of the Gods, and with the assistance of Tyvernos’ magical abilities we made our way unseen (or, more likely, ignored and allowed to pass at the behest of the one we sought) to the Church of Anubis where our quarry lived just as the sun began to set.
Walking into a Dark trap, in a Dark city, at night. They couldn’t have stacked the deck against us any more thoroughly if they had tried.
The new guy pushed his way to the front and tried the door. It opened easily to the pressure of his hand.
This was not just a trap: it was an insult to our intelligence.
Crouching in Tyvernos’ invisibility spell and painfully aware of the oncoming darkness, I realized there was nothing more we could do there today. I would convince everyone to leave with me, immediately, even if I had to promise to return in the morning.
Beyond anything else, I felt, it would be beyond folly to remain in that city after dark.
Suddenly, He appeared at the doorway and began to bandy words with those of our group he could see.
A rushing filled my ears as my vision narrowed to where I could see nothing but him. I heard my parents’ cries of anguish, felt Rivatha’s voice calling out in great, tearing screams, shrieking my name then fading away into hoarseness.
With a mighty shout, I leapt at my foe and swung my axe with every fiber of my being, intent upon his destruction. To my fury, my blow was met by an invisible barrier of some kind, and I shouted my frustration to the sky.
His eyes met mine, and he began to speak, but the only thing I was aware of was the memory of the searing heat I felt as his blade entered my body, over and over again, all those years ago, as he drew with exquisite delicacy and precision the scars I bore for so many years. The scars that tied me to the Dark in ways I could never have fathomed.
The words “My Lady Isis,” escaped my lips, and I knew.
Blessed Light flooded my mind, and everything became clear.
It was not my folly, my selfishness, my desire for vengeance that brought us here. It was The Gods. They brought us here in Their Infinite wisdom, in furtherance of Their designs. We were part of a greater offensive in the War against Dark.
I have been called upon to wield “The Fist of Thoth, and the Fury of Isis,” to chastise the Evil, rebuke the Dark, and punish the wicked. I heard words I didn’t understand, heard myself exclaim, “I accept!” and felt strength and warmth flood my every fiber. I must not forget to pray tonight.
The next thing I knew, we were all flying back to Rivendyne as the sun crept slowly below the horizon.
Overkill tells me that I agreed to dual Reeves one on one.
In the morning.
Here in Rivendyne, of all places.
My Lords and Ladies of Light,
Humbly I bow before you, and do apologize for my laxness in my obeisance. I am laid bare before Thee All, covered in shame because of my inattentiveness to the Shimring, that great gift which Thou gavest me that I may more easliy glean knowledge and inspiration from Thee All.
I do hereby promise to increase my piety, to daily pay especial attention to Thy Gift to me, that I may increase my receptiveness to Thy Will.
I am humbled that I have been called upon to act as an instrument in thy hands. To be allowed to strike down this hated foe and confound Anubis in furtherance of Thy great War against the Dark.
I humbly ask for Thy assistance in the upcoming. I am nothing without Thy Favor, and without Thee I am desolate and will be laid waste.
I offer myself up to Thee All, to be Thy vessel in the chastisement of Evil, and the rebuking of Anubis.
I have been Cursed by the Dark, but I stand Proudly in the Light.
Posted and prayed by Cava on 16 Corg, Dominion 341.
Picture by Jeff Dahl