12 Grekar, Time – Unknown
Dear Father Phillip-
I know you are worried about me, I am worried about myself.
The Darkness that resides in this place , in this Jungle of rotting dreams and tangled hopes, is slowly seeping into me. The evil that is here though I fear is already part of me, only my faith in the Lady of the Light brings me to think that we will make it through this stinking place.
We have come across bandage wrapped figures of evil, their laughter as I tried to turn them turned my stomach to lead, but amazingly CrIsis barely even noticed me failing and started tearing their bandages of, to let in the purifying light, well lightning anyway. You might have heard of Jidian Kulder, apparently he helps out Crisis every now and again. He is a true hero, he stepped to the left slightly so he had a small letterbox view of the mummy between Xerx’ses legs and let fly truly with an arrow, this arrow zipped between Xerx’ses legs, then just over the top of Overkill’s head and smashed into the Mummy, almost obliterating it, and when I looked up again he had already fired another arrow at yet another target off in the darkness and was preparing a third arrow. I was mesmerized, I would really hate to be on the receiving end of what he dishes out. Then Overkill steps in and one of his great blades smashed into the leg of the mummy, and the half stumbled, but Overkill’s blow with his other sword was already swinging around the other way and slashed fully across its chest, the mummy staggered back and then the burning sword of Ja’Deir’s mind punched through its chest, as it staggered another mummy lurched out of the darkness and Xerx’ses let out a mighty roar and charged it, the ground shook as he thundered by, head down, breathe snorting out in anger and he actually smashed into it, but the body of the mummy was made of sterner stuff, I fully expected it to shatter but is bounced off the side wall and ended up near Overkill. Overkill was still swinging his swords at the first mummy when the fist of the mummy whistled through the air at his head, he moved slightly to the side and the mummies punch cracked the wall, not to be deterred the one behind him tried to grab him which he easily avoided but the second wound up and just smashed him to the ground with a double overhand blow. I heard Overkill’s shoulder and ribs break and blood burst from his mouth and he dropped like he had been hammered into the floor. Then Otto, our amazing wonder idontthinkisreallyjustadoganymore leaped over Overkill as more arrows from Jidian flew over him up the tunnel and I heard more hard impacts. Otto then growled low, twisted, grabbed a mouthful of bandage and ran, and the mummy unwound right in front of us, while it was obviously incredibly strong Otto must of outweighed it as it on stumbled and spun until Jadier put his scintillating scimitar through the neck of the monster, and with a savage twist almost ripped its head off. While this was happening Asher and I dragged Xerx’ses back into an alcove and I quickly checked him. Overkill was dead again. Impotent rage filled me, and banished it, knowing it wasn’t going to help with what I was going to do next. I grabbed his hand and whispered just in case this didn’t work.
One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness
One last blade, forged in defiance of hate
If your life is given in service to the Light
your death shall not be in vain.
Asher, was also doing something and whispered something about being protected and I nodded as I removed my candle from my pack, I imagined it lit as I visualized Isis in my thoughts and prayed.
For Isis and for duty,
For past and for future,
For the world and the Light,
No brother falls forgotten.
While I was doing this the other crowded into the alcove, and tears came to my eyes as both Tyvernos and Jadeir tried to revive Overkill, not fully realizing his spirit had been released from the broken shell that had protected him. As we were still well and truly in enemy territory I was still whispering my prayer
Holy Isis, Holy Osiris;
We give you thanks
That your Love, Beauty and Truth
Are manifest with Power and Peace
throughout all spheres,
within all beings,
and we accept your Blessing now,
in Mind and Heart.
I reached out with my hand, placed it on his chest and willed the light of Isis to restore his body and his soul, in my grief I stuttered and sputtered but still against the odds a gentle warming glow banished the darkness briefly and flowed into Overkill. His shoulder bones cracked and popped as they moved back into place, his ribs, which were staved in moved back into their normal position, and then with a great snorting of breath Overkill breathed in then out, then in then out.
Overkill was back, I placed my hand on his shoulder and prayed again, this time for his wellbeing.
Holy Goddess Isis, Mother of all beings, come to our hearts.
Grant us, Thy children, Love and Joy, Wisdom and Abundance.
We offer Thee our loving care for all who are born of Thee.
And slowly all his wounds healed.
Asher, still alert suddenly told us to be quiet and held up his hand, footsteps, and many of them were coming, I gathered together my things and got ready for a fight, but Asher whispered, if we are quiet and don’t move they won’t see us, so we all hunkered down and got ready to fight, and sure enough some more of those loathsome Tezcat went by, with some Humans on cages and what seemed to be a Vampire controlling them, and this wasn’t a sparkly get your teen angst on Vampire, this one radiated malevolence, and would sooner eat you then say Hi. As it went by it glanced into the alcove and my heart stopped, this was a very bad place to try and fight our way out of, and well Kobolds aren’t exactly paragons of virtue, but it only shook its head and continued. Asher’s magic had tricked a Vampire and that’s no mean feat.
After the last one went by we immediately started arguing about what to do, with most of us wanting to let them by so we could sneak in, or stopping them because the humans in the cages were obvious sacrifices and that would make the Tezcat Necromancer more powerful, as the gods had set our course, and if we couldn’t save our loved ones then saving these fellows was in the same vein, but all I could think was what if it was my family in there, we were going to let them die in a terrible way, and let their spirit energy bolster the enemy. This meant to me that the evil of this place was starting to get to everyone, and twist their thoughts and intentions, as even Xerx’ses thought it was a better idea for us to rest. We needed to leave this place sooner rather than later. Xerx’ses was always the fighter for justice, even those that didn’t deserve it, and if any deserve justice rather than vengeance it is those poor captives. I don’t know what to do, my instincts say to stop it from happening for it is evil, and all it takes for evil to take root is for good men to ignore it, and Crisis is good people, yet we are commanded to turn the other eye by the gods themselves, and that’s another cause of confusion, so many have lost their life to the darkness whilst trying to find the parts of Lord Osiris, Lady Isis seems to thinks that it OK for us to lose our loved ones in the pursuit of returning hers, I know its more then that but that’s what my heart tells me and it causes more confusion and anger. Overkill lost his daughter and will likely lose his wife to the cause of returning of Osiris’s parts yet seems to be immured to the sadness that even I feel at his loss. What is the right path, is there a right path, is this the slow darkening of Crisis to fully represent the Church of Light and Dark, rather than just the light. Its a scary thought, are the gods focused on good, or balance.
We rested, except myself, I continued healing everyone and once their wounds had been taken care of I just stared off into the darkness where the captives went, the thoughts passing through my mind precluded sleep, what if one was Nalla, or my sister or mother, what would my friends say if one of them was their mother or sister and I let them go to their grisly deaths. And Yet I still managed to close my eyes and rest during this time, knowing full well what was going on somewhere near.
Ill-fatedly for the captives the Necromancer must have started his murders early, because the Kobold woke everyone with a poke, Xerx’ses groaned and moaned just like Overkill, but they both perked right up when the ground shook again. Using their native senses the dwarf and kobold deduced that whatever it was going to be coming to a head sooner or later, and a Banshee’s wail split the air, we all froze in brief indecision but Tyvernos showed his powers by giving everybody flight again, and we decided to go Invisible as well. I picked up a rock and put it in my pocket so the others could figure out where we were, and Xerx’ses set out a chain as well. The 5 minutes were crazy as hell, flying through the dark over Tezcats and Vampires, twisting and turning with Xerx’ses sticking those he could with his ever favourite carpet of sticky spell. We suddenly broke free into a large cavern with an unhealthy smell that I couldn’t quite figure out as we soared over a small underground lake towards some figures at the other side, and then I found what the smell was as the spell keeping us aloft ended and we tumbled into
A whole lake of it, I tried to wipe it off but I was standing knee deep in blood, it was in my hair and in my gear. Jadeir brought me back to reality quickly when his circumfulgent cutlass buzzed into life and lit up the area. We quickly regrouped and started casting our defensive spells. When I incanted fleet feet the world slooweed doowwwnnn and sped back up again slightly and I looked around, this was going to be nasty, a some vamps and Tezcats doing some sort of ritual to help boost the Necromancer and his friends. My eyes narrowed in on him, he had nasty things attached to his clothes in various places, and was holding dead things claws like fetishes that would slay us when we came near. We blurred into action, Overkill whipped forward and met a solid invisible wall that threw him back roughly back, and none of the others attacks seemed to penetrate this invisible curtain of power, and as the chant of the Tezcats picked up in intensity the ground shook some more, this was so not good. If we didn’t penetrate the shield soon we were going to be like fish in a barrel, I thought back to what you had taught me.
“If your path seems impossible, and it has been blocked by forces of dark magic, you can request aid from Our Lady Isis, just imagine your intent and pray as hard as you can, and if you are lucky she will answer with godlike power that will be nothing like you have ever felt, and you will know what to do”
I prayed and I prayed hard, how many more times could Overkill die before his soul refused to return to its broken shell, that will not happen . . . again . . .today.
Abruptly music wended its way through my head, and I could almost hear Isis whispering to me. I opened my eyes again and yes, right there in front of me was a curtain of magic that if I . . .
I waved my hand forward and across, and the barrier disappeared with it, Jadeir reacted quickly and launched himself forward at the Necromancer. The worried look on the Necromancers face disappeared as he cloaked himself in darkness and the Jadeir screamed, as bilious green energy arced up through him from the circle on the ground that he had just scrambled up on from out of the blood. Xerx’ses roared and pushed forward and mystical words fell from his mouth like a bell tolling someone’s death, and the Vampire that he pointed at buckled at the knees and gently sunk to the ground. Jidian’s arrows started exploding amongst the enemy and Xerx’ses pointed at another Vampire, and this one crumpled in on itself like paper crashed in a giant hand. Then Overkill launched himself over the circle, the sickly emerald green energies arced up and through him but he threw off the effects and plunged into the darkness, scything his swords in deadly arcs. I worked my way up the left as Xerx’ses pointed at another creature of blood and death, and it too dropped to the ground as Xerx’ses magic crushed the life from it. This beat its arms and legs on the ground spasmodically and they lay still. I swung Oathbringer at the head of the foul creature in front of me, and it easily avoided my blows, the second try was much better as I slashed it wickedly across the arm, it ignored the wound and punched out at me, luckily the fleet feet was still on me as I twisted out of the way, its claws dug furrows in the stone wall I was standing near, this wasn’t working, I wasn’t a fighter like Overkill, nor did I have great strength or deadly precision, or a glowing magical sword from a galaxy far, far away. What did I have, I smiled reached around behind me and drew the Three Sisters, I swung them around my head thrice and flung them up into the air and cried out
Hail Isis, glorious Goddess,
as the sun, warm and strong
to put me in the mind of perceiving You,
Isis, glorious Goddess
Who rises behind me like a flame of gold
and brings the fire of purification to those whom warship evil
and fire burnt down my arm, I almost dropped Oathbringer, I looked around and none of the enemy were looking at me and then Oathbringer screamed in the vaults of my mind.
“DO NOT USE ANY OTHER WEAPON BUT I.”
I looked down in disbelief, I was in the middle of a battle against the forces of darkness, and this powerful weapon from ages past blasts me with power because I used another weapon to do something she/he/it couldn’t do, and did more damage to me then anything else we had met. Powerful yes, but apparently I didn’t meet its standards, and I swore at the damned thing and dropped it into the blood. If it was going to zap me in the middle of a battle it could damn well stay at home.
By the time I looked around I saw ivory and white fire play around the feet of all the Vampires and engulf them, and their screams faded off into the distance and were gone. I noticed I could still hear the music and thought to myself I wonder, and I reached out towards the inky black that surrounded Overkill and the Necromancer and pushed and the darkness just faded, and standing over the body of Overkill, pulling those dark claws out of the heinous ruin that was left of Overkill’s chest was the Necromancer.
The Necromancer gestured something stone in his hand off towards where Xerx’ses was and a powerful glowing giant fist slammed into the party, I managed to avoid it just thanks to my enhanced speed but other weren’t as lucky. I concentrated my thoughts and thought to myself.
If I was Isis, would I want the chance to take a part of Osiris back out of the hands of one of those enemy that had his them from me, I looked at Overkill and vengeance burnt in my heart, Isis’s precense would burn this foul being from existence. I thought of all that I had heard of Ma’ip as the others fought, and a glowing shining portal opened up behind the Necromancer, now all I had to do was rush the bastard and push him through the portal and Isis herself could judge him. I smiled some more and looked at the others, and they were all looking at me shocked, the power flowing though me was amazing, I felt as if I could do anything, and
If Isis wanted to punish this creature she has the power to do it herself, who am I, a lowly priest to guess or second guess her wishes. She wanted us to solve this problem, not her. I concentrated again and the portal closed. I wished I had had the faith to walk through and find out
When my eyes focused again the Necromancer decided that I was a threat, that was fine by me as Xerx’ses magic staff of Osiris smashed into his body and he doubled over like he had been gut stabbed, and as he stood Xerx’ses rended him limb from limb, as blood gurgled up from his lungs and burst from his mouth he called out my Lord of the Yin , you promised me, you promised meeeeeeee.
And he died, someone did the required deed and separated his head from his shoulders. I rushed over to Overkill.
All the ribs on his left hand side were shattered, I could see part of his lungs, blood had pooled out across the floor from where he fell and drop by drop joined the other sacrifices blood in the lake. I knew I had pushed my luck with my Lady and the help I had called upon so far.
I put my hand on his shoulder again, tears falling from my face. I whispered come back to us brother, you are needed.
I concentrated and started praying.
Most holy and everlasting, blessed Lady, Redeemer and perpetual comfort of us all, who by your bounty and grace nourish all the world, cherish our lives, and bestow the consoling smiles of a Mother with great affection upon our trials and tribulations. As a loving Mother you take no rest. There is no day or night, not so much as a moment, that is not filled by your mercy succoring all men and women. On land as well as at sea, you are She who chases away all storms and dangers from our lives by your right hand. Likewise you restrain the fatal dispositions, appease the great tempests of fortune and keep back the course of the stars. The gods supernal do honour you. The gods of the earth hold you in reverence. You rotate the globe. You give light to the Sun. You govern the world in time and space. You tread down the powers of Hades. By you the seasons return, the Planets rejoice, the Elements serve. At your command the winds do blow, the clouds do gather, the seeds prosper, and the fruits prevail. The birds of the air, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fish of the sea, do tremble at your majesty. O but my spirit is not able to give you sufficient praise, nor have I the means to offer you acceptable sacrifice. My voice has no power to utter what I think of you. Not if I had a thousand mouths and so many tongues, not in an eternal flow of unwearied declaration could I affirm it. Howbeit, poor as I am, I shall do as a good religious person, and according to my estate, I shall always keep a remembrance of your countenance deep within my breast, and there in the secret depths of my souls shall I keep divinity forever guarded.
I opened my eyes with hope and looked at Overkill, nothing, the wounds in his chest still glistened wetly and I said to him like he was still alive standing there.
We are Crisis
the Sons and daughters of the Dawn.
Whilst we draw breath, we stand.
Whilst we stand, we fight.
Whilst we fight, darkness shall not prevail.
Nothing shall bar us from our duty.
The others were all looking at me with hope, and I shook my head, Overkill had tested fate and finally lost, I covered him with his cloak and I stood up, there were prisoners who hadn’t been sacrificed who needed my help.
As I stood, Overkill made a noise, it was wet gurgly sound but it was definitely words. I leaned closer and he tried again, this time it was clearer, I moved his cloak aside, his wounds were healed, is lungs were inside his body.
Overkill tried a third time
Did I get the bastard
I laughed with relief, that was definitely Overkill allright. I concentrated on healing again and as I felt the Grace of Isis leave me and wash over Overkill I watched the wounds slowly heal, and his hands twitched and started reaching for his weapons.
We had won, we had the Right Hand of Osiris.
But at what cost.
Written on the 12th of Grekar, the day that seemingly never ends, by Indaris Excellar
Lake of blood picture by Laney Luna
Aztec Sacrifice by
Louis Hissinks Crazy World
Overkills stunt double from