Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: worse fates than death...
Ch'dau roars his challenge as the party strides into the temple. The chanting of the crowd falls apart, giving way to confusion and panic as Garn casts the hood back from his face and draws his blade in preparation for the big Kazari's charge.
The beautiful blonde woman looks confused for the slightest moment, then her expression hardens. "Garrack! You are behind this treachery!" she cries. "I will see you flayed alive! Faithful ones, to me!"
The brown haired priest follows the party into the temple. "Indeed!" he shouts in return. "No more of us will die for your whims! You will meet our Master this night!"
Even as the party moves in, the dark robed worshippers divide more or less into two obvious factions at either end of the room, though some simply flee altogether.
The next few minutes are absolute chaos. Cultists fight one another, fight the party. The undead initially ignore the companions thanks to the spell... but the moment that the heroes act aggressively, that protection falls. Fortunately, the dead are only a partial impediment as priests from each faction struggle for control. The undead attack the cultists, the party... even each other. Terror fills the room, terror inflicted from the gods themselves, and even more mortals flee the fight.
Garn proves to be an incredibly capable foe. He shrugs off the divine influence of Therassor and meets Ch'dau's charge easily. The man is wiry, but unexpectedly strong - and truth be told, the Kazari is able to quickly ascertain that the human warrior possesses skill greater than his own; Garn is able to open several serious wounds on Ch'dau as the two share the steps of the dance of death. However, the Silver Cat's immense strength proves to be a boon that helps to level the field, and even though he is bloodied and wounded, the Kazari is able to bash aside the human's guard, step in, and thrust a falcata deep enough that it nigh explodes out through the man's spine.
Aranwen finds her path to Davena to be far less direct; the blonde woman's followers appear not only willing, but eager to lay down their lives for their Mistress. The Bladesinger is beset upon by staves, by knives, by undead, by summoned snakes and insects; she lays about in deadly, elegant fury, meeting all foes with swiftness and steel. Just as she is about to take the final steps to the priestess, Davena calls forth a blast of the darkest energy anyone in the party has ever witnessed. Blackness is not a term that suits this abomination; it is as if a hole has formed in reality, drawing all of the light nearby into the grave and beyond.
The bolt strikes Aranwen full in the chest, dropping her to a knee from the shock to her system. But then, Cedric is there, the young man laying a hand upon her shoulder, and the Bladesinger can feel the warmth of the sun itself flow into her body, giving her the strength to regain her feet.
Gib's own results are mixed. His hold spell is unsuccessful, and his crossbow shot is incredibly difficult, what with the sheer number of figures milling about. A prayer, though - answered perhaps by the Honored General, or perhaps aided by the death priest's invocation of the goddess of Luck - and the bolt is flung forth, hissing less than an inch from Aranwen's ear to bury itself deep into Davena's shoulder. Even were Moreno inclined to continue to provide missile support, that option is quickly taken as the press of bodies meets him, and he is forced to melee.
The fight rages on. Ch'dau struggles through cultists and undead, desperate to make it to Aranwen, to Davena. The Bladesiger herself is there, finally reaches the priestess, cuts her deeply. A black robed man chants, stretches his fingers out, bolts of energy fly forth, slamming into the sylvari's body.
Moreno is surrounded, but then has aid from servants of the death god. He is wounded himself, yet a large cultist forces himself to Gib's side, and the two of them lay about fiercely, keeping Davena's minions at bay, driving them back.
Kithran, in a daze, gains her feet. The entire scene is too surreal for her to fully process. A fight is raging all around her, though no one threatens the rogue directly. Somehow, a blade has appeared in her grip. She stares curiously at the handle.
Davena chants; Aranwen is stunned, dizzied, disoriented. The bladesong dies on her lips, her steps grow clumsy, disjointed. The priestess steps forward, her silver knife gleaming strangely in the greenish light as she slashes at the Bladesinger's throat. Just before the flesh is opened to spill Aranwen's lifeblood onto the dais, a ball of fur and blood and fury blasts into the side of the priestess, throwing the blonde woman off of her feet and onto the ground several paces back from the force of the blow.
Ch'dau stands between them, chuffing, then roars in fury and bloodlust. His blades are coated with blood and gore, as is his body. Much of it belongs to the servants of D'hurgen - of both the living and dead varieties - but far too much of it is his own.
But Davena is down, sorely wounded herself. The blonde woman struggles to reach her feet. Her wizard nearly finishes a spell, but freezes in mid utterance at Therassor holds him still.
The Silver Cat of Coria grins ferally as he steps towards the struggling woman, falcata held high. The time has come to end her reign of terror, to end all of this. The gods can see to his wounds after he sees to this task.
The thrust is deep and true. All of the screaming and struggling and fighting... all of the world seems to come to a stop as the kazari's gaze focuses on the blade.
The blade sticking out of his own guts.
The blade that ends in the familiar, ornate handle of a Bladesinger's sword. The handle that is held in a young woman's familiar hand.
Ch'dau's gaze shifts from the deadly wound to the face of his kibibi. The features that have haunted his dreams ever since her capture... they look so familiar, yet so alien. Her expression is blank, disinterested. It is as if a stranger had casually run him through.
The Silver Cat of Coria slumps to his knees, then to the ground, in a growing pool of blood as Kithran pulls Aranwen's blade free, then runs to help Davena to her feet.
Posted on 2019-12-04 at 18:02:01.
Edited on 2019-12-04 at 18:10:23 by t_catt11