Chapter Eighty-Nine

February 23, 2013

 

9th of Storemonth

 

            As we enter the next room, we are confronted with the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen along with three strange creatures.  They are similar to a centaur, but the front legs are clawed and the tail is like that of a tiger rather than a horse.  One of them is about the size of a horse, while the other two are closer to the size of small ponies.  Behind them, along a wall, we see Brannick’s body laid out on a stone bier.  A woman who can only be Laurana stands nearby surrounded by an odd cylinder of light, along with several other people nearby in the same condition.

            The beautiful woman is dressed in form-fitting plate and speaks, “Who is this who has invaded my domain?”

            Sir Connor steps forward, “The good, the righteous, the ones who are going to kill you.”

            Briggette says, “Oh, Connor, you’re so to the point.”  But then, she suddenly looks very off-kilter, freaked out even; however, I can’t tell what’s bothering her.  I do notice that Sir Connor’s black armor has gotten even darker black, almost as if it is sucking up the light that surrounds it.

            “What do you want?” the woman asks us.

            “Well,” Briggette begins, “I would like my paladin there, and my chapeau, and anyone else who doesn’t belong here.”

            “They do belong.  I took them.  They’re mine by right of conquest,” she says.

            Briggette counters, “Then allow me to conquest them back!”

            The two banter back and forth a bit longer before a faint chime is heard.  She indicates that those she protects are now safely away from the area, and she gives us 20 seconds to make peace with our god.  At this threat, I fire at her, striking hard with my first blow.  Boian charges in just as she casts, laying sheets of flame shooting toward us across the floor.  Two of the creatures come toward us, but we make quick work of them, and continue to charge toward the woman.  Silas casts toward the light tube holding Laurana, but does not break the spell.  After a few more well-placed blows, we are left standing as the victors.

            I secure the doors while the others worry about the survivors.  Silas clumbs up on top of Brannick and begins to cast.  “We will take his body back for burial,” he says, “I am afraid my job will not be done.”

            “What?!” Briggette exclaims.

            Silas explains that Brannick’s soul is neither in the afterlife nor here in his body.  He says it might be in a jewel somewhere, and swears he will find it.  He steps over to Laruana and begins to cast.  It takes nearly 45 minutes to drop the cylinder of light.  Once it falls, she collapses, but Sir Stefan is there to catch her.  We hastily assemble, and Silas transports us back to the army.