This is the first of many action logs to be submitted by me. I am not very good at elaboration, so you will get the truth, plain and simple – as far as is prudent for me to do so, as member of the group CrIsis (such a ridiculous, yet fitting, name of a group). I will write code names for sensitive people and places. Those loyal to Crisis will know the truth, and those that don’t will never know.
Such is the story of my Conversation with his holiness, Lord Ra.
I spent a day in Vauntie’s (Auntie Ev’s) bar, on the Isles of Anakin (Y-Oda). I had been trying to catch up to CrIsis to assist in their destruction of another Necromancer. This would be the third that I can recall off the top of my head that they would fight. Through a reference to Book 10 of CrIsis’ journeys, I proved my identity as a CrIsis supporter. He told me I’d missed them again. I thanked him and left. On my way back to my hotel room, the world tilted and dimmed.
My vision returned and I was standing on solid ground again – in the sitting room of a giant’s manor. The furnishings and architecture smacked of paintings favored by those worshipers of Taut and Ra. The silence in the room was broken only by the clink of my armor and the crackle of a fire in a far off room.
I checked the set of “City” weapons that I had on me when I left my inn room – Blood of Osiris worn in its leather scabbard, the silver throwing daggers, Life and Death on their thigh sheaths, a couple of Eyes of Horus secreted under my breastplate, my falchion in another scabbard on the hip opposite Blood of Osiris – all good. As I finally started to investigate the room in earnest – though only a few seconds had passed since my arrival – I heard a giant’s footsteps coming down the hallway into the room. Blocked by a giant armchair as I was I couldn’t see the approacher. I decided that whoever it was, I was their guest, and as such I should show proper etiquette. I imbued myself with the Tongues spell in preparation.
“Welcome, Mack!” the estranged-grandfatherly voice of Ra boomed at me. I saw his face peek rise over the chair as the reverberations died out. I dropped to one knee, bare hands slapping the ground. “Hail Ra.” I stammered. If it were anything but a god, I would chide my sloppiness. Should not one hand have dropped to Blood, while the other rose to my heart? But it was Ra Himself. “Be at ease, soldier.’’ Ra said, a touch of humor to his voice. I rose to an Orcish Centurion’s Military Attention Stance, feet shoulder width apart, hands clasped behind my back, inches from my scabbards.
Seeing my stance, Ra rumbled in approval, “It is good, you are needed to be a soldier. The one I hoped to take over the group was taken by the enemy, and you are now going to be replacing one that feels he is too weak to be in CrIsis. There is no place for ones that do not stay and fulfill their commitments.” His tone suggested that more places than just CrIsis had no room for those like him. “Are you willing to give our life, soul, and belongings to CrIsis and the Quest?”
I drew Blood of Osiris, and drew him along my forearm. I drew him light enough not to do permanent damage, but his edge painted a thin line of ruby blood anyway. It didn’t hurt, but any appearance of blood inspires a thrill of panic in even those that deal in death. “By the truth of blood, I will not retreat until the quest is complete.”
“Good!” Ra said. “That is the devotion that we require of those in CrIsis. Do not fail me, Magnus.” As if someone cut my puppet strings, I nearly collapsed under the power that washed over me from the half of my True Name he said. I would not fail him, not ever.
“Here, take this book and read. It will bring you current, as I believe you’ve read all but the latest, unpublished work of CrIsis, yes?” He said, handing over a gold-bound book with the torch of Isis emblazoned in light on its front. I read it, and saw the places that I just barely missed meeting up with CrIsis – New Crests, Haven… And the journey to the Tree. They were fighting the Necromancer as Ra and I spoke! As I read, I also saw the capitulation and secession made, the compromises and political moves attempted, and a scripture quote came to mind. In the last book of Ra, it spoke of this. “verse 15 – 16: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth, and thou shalt be cast from my presence forever, amen.”
I realized I quoted it aloud, and suddenly felt foolish. A soldier never spoke out of turn, or so brashly, especially to quote a superior’s words back at him. Who was I to pronounce judgement on CrIsis, especially in front of Ra himself, using his own words? Luckily, though, the Lord Ra overlooked my outburst.
‘’We need you to be hot. You need to be fierce. You are to lead them against the enemy, and if you are not committed, you will perish. The Priest has become complacent, and relies on the Minotaur too much. The Minotaur is a good servant, but he has not the intelligence the position requires, and he is too often led astray by his emotions… “ His eyes focused on the near distance, and he turned contemplative. “… and that Rune Weapon and Ring that he carries…” He stopped talking for a subjective eternity, which made me itch to shift my weight nervously, but custom kept me still. “Please, do not take the leadership, but assume it by the power of your good works and qualities. Do not be silent, but interject your words and thoughts when appropriate. Too often members of CrIsis sit silently and out of frustration Xerx’ses chooses a path. You will NOT be silent. Is this clear?’’
“Yes, my Lord. I will be the Mouthpiece of the Gods for the Group. I will speak up, and I will be Leader.’’
‘’Do you know that being the Land Leader will put you sometimes at odds with the Captain? You know nothing of sailing, or leading a ship. He is the captain. Do not question his leadership on water. He may be uncomfortable giving up the reigns he’s been handed by Indaris. He has become accustomed to the Priest capitulating. Do not embarrass Xerx’ses. He does not deserve it. Speak with him Privately.’’
“I will do so, at my first opportunity.’’
‘’You know the makeup is different from when you were with them, right?”
“I have followed their progression, yes.’’
’’Do realize that Raulf has been lost. He can not be saved. This is the one benefit for the quitting Ashada – We are able to have the militarily minded back in CrIsis. You know what war is, and what is required of soldiers and leaders. Know that Palladium is in fact at war. As you wouldn’t of your brothers-at-arms, do not question CrIsis. They have all been chosen by the Gods, and when you question their worthiness, you question our competence at calling our champions. You would not insult us so, would you?’’
My blood heated at the question. Such an insult would cause him to forsake his weapons and surrender himself to the Gods’ mercy. “No, of course not, Lord.’’
‘’Please, guide this rudderless ship. There is competition for pieces now. Because of leaderlessness, they have let slip clues and areas to those aligned with power to find two of the pieces, and he is on his way to the Nimro Kingdom now.’’
My heated blood froze in my veins. “This is harrowing news indeed. That is Terosh, then?’’
“It is, news of Terosh and The Blessing doesn’t apply to the Agreement, only to ReSet’s location. However, I will no longer give hints, for you should be able to lead them and acquire information. They have not solved the riddle of the Kidney, either.’’
‘’Are they headed down the right path?”
“Knowledge of the Seba is secondary – those pieces already known to CrIsis are vulnerable. Know this! Terosh has an army, and you are only 6. You will not defeat the army. You cannot succeed rushing headlong into the depths of darkness when a path of Light is forsaken. I have seen into the future, and have seen a vision. Terosh has fashioned evil boats from the corpses of sea creatures, and they are sailing now to Nimiro. You must retrieve that piece before he arrives, or he will become far more powerful than you could imagine.’’
“I will do your will with vigor.’’
“I encourage this to be shared with CrIsis, tell them of our encouragement, our pleasure, and our displeasure. You should be on your way. Fare well. As you go, know that CrIsis made a grave error. If they had placed a piece at the tree, the tree would have assisted in weakening the army.’’
‘’How was CrIsis to know this previous to attacking?” I asked, and immediately felt the need to bow my face to the carpet and grovel for his forgiveness for being so brash.
“The agreement has handicapped us gravely, however the addition of a third party has made things clearer. The Priest shouldn’t have given up asking for guidance, he has not sought it in a long time.’’ Ra seemed to set his stance, in preparation for something, and looked directly into my eyes, so every word would be remembered. “ReSet will not trouble you till you try to take the piece.’’ Beads of sweat – yes, the God of the True Sun, started to sweat – broke out on his brow, though no expression touched his face. “They feel they have accomplished their goal in preventing Osiris’ Rebir-haah.’’ He huffed out a breath over the last word. “Each member of CrIsis that dies strengthens their defenses – CrIsis will face each dead member in their attack – so be prudent! Death is nothing to be laughed aa – AHHHH -t.’’ The God ROARED in pain. “I have said too much, go!’’
As my vision of the room dissolved, I saw him writhing in pain. Our God gave us this information at great personal expense. I set off for the Millenium Tree like an arrow from a bow.
[Magnus Fieri, Monster Hunter. Year 4 of CrIsis.]
>>Picture Credit: Mauricio Herrera.