Ja’Deir watched the last few weeks’ events again in his mind. He sat on his pallet with crossed legs, with his wrists resting on his knees, palms facing upward, third fingers and thumbs touching. He didn’t hum or speak or intone anything as he did it – such things usually were necessary for middling psionic talents, not for an advanced mind mage like himself.
First, came the Terror, the beast that terrorized entire populations. Ja’Deir tried time and again to knock the beast out, though he knew Indaris would have not stopped for a second to kill it, and Xerx’ses would have been close behind. If he had been able to knock the dragon out, though, maybe the Mysterious Figure would have survived. He hadn’t had a chance to speak with the figure, or to bond with his mind, but even so, Ja’Deir couldn’t help but think that he was a new godsent member of CrIsis. In the end, we made a deal with the treacherous beast, and made him covenant with us to not return before the end of a millennium. Had it not been for the expert craftsmanship of “The Alchemist” and the powers combined of the four who were free to attack the dragon, Ja’Deir is certain that CrIsis would have fallen as a whole for the first time in half a decade.
Asher and the Nameless man dead, Ja’Deir practiced his mudras and mantras to clear his heart of anguish. It took Xerx’ses calling for him several times to finally break him out of his concentration. He stopped in the middle of his fourth “To” and realized that there was a new member of CrIsis! And a unique one at that! Ja’Deir asked the minute member if a Mind Bond would be okay. She accepted, and I was launched into a nauseating blurr of images, scents, sounds, and emotions. It was as if he were looking simultaneously into the sun, at a starry night’s sky, into the rotting hollow of a tree trunk, and the deep watery abyss of the ocean, all while twisting out of control gliding through the air. The Mind Bond had ended, but Ja’Deir didn’t open his eyes for another few minutes, trying to orient himself again to the still ground.
“Thank you, dear Lady Fae. Your strengths and cultural differences will be accepted warmly into CrIsis.“ he said after opening his eyes.
Second, he received a letter from the Great Malkin as they started off. It told of the horrible Zealotry, and their destruction of one of the great Seed Libraries. Such a loss of information! It filled his soul with rage, and Ja’Deir burned to the core with indignation. How dare they! Why would they destroy knowledge? Why would they prevent others’ journey to enlightenment? It baffled Ja’Deir. Malkin pleaded with Ja’Deir to find the other Seed Libraries, and rescue them.
But how could he, while on a mission from the heavens?
Third, and a few days later, CrIsis arrived at Osiris’ Obelisk. The entire trip was eclipsed by a single exchange. That with the God, The Great One, the one CrIsis is bound to save.
Enough of him has been restored that he is now corporeal enough to manifest himself to true believers in his realm!
Osiris spoke to each member of CrIsis in turn, asking of them what they desired. Ja’Deir’s voice came out in a hoarse whisper when looked upon by Him. “I have nothing to ask…” Osiris looked at him warmly, and said, with a knowing grin, “Your family is safe, and all is well. Let your heart be at ease.” A single tear streaked his furry face as he signed “Zen” and uttered the mantra. To everyone’s surprise Osiris validated Ja’Deir’s faith and prayer by signing “Pyo” to the squirrel. Xerx’ses muttered a shocked “woah!” under his breath, unable to maintain his reverence.
Ja’Deir’s conflicted thoughts broiled within him. He needed to stop unintended consequences from hurting the innocent. The ‘Terror’s of the world should not be spurred by CrIsis, and when they are, they should be put out… but should that take precedence over CrIsis’ mission? The knowledge of the ages should be made to last for eternity, but should Ja’Deir lose focus on Osiris’ word? Should he forsake the Gods’ paths to trod on those he deems more worthy?
Never in his life had he been at such a crossroads, and it had started to affect his physical form. For normal mortal men conflicts of conscience can cause insomnia, indigestion, and fevers. When a Mind Mage’s psyche is at odds with itself, the toll it takes on his surroundings and his body is an order of magnitude worse. He had had nightmares, plague-like sores, utter numbness, and headaches so severe that caused blood to issue from his eyes, nose, and ears.
This was not a simple situation, and it did not have a simple solution. The solution may be summed up in one flippant sentence, but the difficulty and nuance of the decision and ramifications of it are boundless.
May Zen Take Me, May Sha Rebuke Me, I shall follow the Gods.
For three days and three nights Ja’Deir warred within himself, his conscience giving literal life to his worries, and their battle raging within him. At dawn of the fourth day, he finally rose from his bed, and performed his Mudras and Mantras. At the end, he uttered those Thirteen Words. He has never uttered them since, and wrote them once. Their power over his soul is such that he cares not to think of them again. But he shall follow their iron bound contract, signed with the full utterance of his Xarysian Rosarie, ended with the final Mudra, Zen, the Hidden One, the goal, and the purpose.
Ja’Deir will not forsake CrIsis in the path it takes.
Ja’Deir will try to guide CrIsis to follow its original goal: Rebuild Osiris.
Ja’Deir will search for knowledge, and give knowledge freely.
Ja’Deir will honor and support the allies that the Gods give to him, and attempt to aid them in every way that he can, so long as it does not deter him or CrIsis from their original goal.
Ja’Deir will return with power and knowledge to his home, and save them from the impending War they face, along with the rest of the Lands of the Damned.
Ja’Deir will NEVER LOSE his Happiness to Anything.
>>Excerpt from his journal in the 4th year of CrIsis, written by Ja’Deir, Ashada Mind Mage, disciple of Apis.<<
>>Picture credits in order:Grzegorz Rutkowski; Christinne Blakker; and Diablo Wikia.