Phantasmagoria - Chapter 18

Author: Steve


Chells tumbles to the earth.  The brown leaves below him quickly become soaked by the blood gushing from his abdomen.  “My Lady,” he croaks.  “Save me.  Please.”

Inhuman eyes watch from the edge of the clearing, hidden by their fey magics. They perch unseen about the holy ground of the Chained Lady.  This trio of watchers have seen this human before.  He is an oddity among the mass of mankind that live below but there are many others to who do not fit the typical mold of their species.  That is what makes humans so different from the people of the White Lady.  They share so few similarities to one another.  A Satyr is much like every other Satyr, Leshies all pretty mush rush through the world the same way.  Booka are Booka, as irritating as that is.  Yet these men are not alike.  This one here thrives on death where as his brother and one of his closest friends exist to serve life.  Still they watch, hoping to understand what drives this strange man.

 The hunter snorts as he picks up a foul scent from the air.  His wound is tainted.  There is a corruption lurking within his blood.  He has not long to live.

 The assayer exclaims That explains why one who contains much healing mysticism is unable to close the wound.

 The prophet holds up her hand. Wait.  His call is being answered.  She who dwells beside us comes.

 From the leave blanketed soil black chains unfurl.  Ever so gentle they entwined themselves about the fallen form.  Soon there was not an inch of the man in sight.  The chains writhe and wriggle pushing the soil back.  Deeper and deeper the chains dig bearing the man beneath the earth.  The assayer reads the waves of power churning about the earthen womb the man had been drawn into.  Mostly it is healing magic but there was much light mixed into to push back the corruption born from a darker realm.

 The moon wanes from full and still the fey wait.  The prophet and the assayer cry out when they felt the flames of some terrible conflict erupt through the land.  The hunter feels the presence of a bane and it dark designs.  They long to know more but that is not their task.  This cycle they are to watch over the Peace of Melcynda.  Someone will summon them if they are needed or inform them of what had transpired in due time.

 On the night that half the moon lies in shadow the watchers finally witness the fate of the wounded child of man.  He arises from the ground without his flesh.  It seemed that the Chained Lady could not save him until the assayer claims He is not dead.  His body lives still and continues to heal.

 “Look how easily he bears the shroud of the fleshless.  This one has known what it is like to walk the lands of spirits. the hunter observes.

 Yes.  She tells him the wound he bears will take longer to mend but he is strong enough now to leave his flesh with Her.  She says that since he has long ago grown comfortable without his mortal shell that She would have him go forth.  Much harm had been done and She charges him to see what of it he might heal.” says the prophet.

The man passes below them unaware of their presence.  The hunter tracks his journey back the holme their kind calls FallenStar.  They quietly discuss among themselves what the conflagration might have meant but they have no way of knowing for sure.  It may be that the one who was senseless through the event may learn of it before those who very duty is to watch.

Chells floats into the tavern and sees his friends.  They look weary and somewhat battered.

“Chells!  Where have you been?” Thomas shouts.  Kelloran and Stone begin to rise but the ethereal believer waves them back down.

“I was attacked a couple weeks ago.  I made it to Melcynda’s Peace and She has been tending me ever since.  I’m still not sure what got me but the wound was full of abysmal energy so I couldn’t heal it.  So finally my Goddess declared me fit enough to leave my body with Her and She said I should find you all.  She sounded worried.  So what happened?  Why does everything smell like smoke and ashes?”

The three look at each other, each trying to decide where to begin to explain the to days of wildfire and turmoil just past.