Post date: Jun 02, 2010 4:32:31 PM

Undecitina 17, 1000 PC

Our heroes depart the wizard's tower and return to Tangleton.  There they find that T'Krosh is safe and hear that Ozimius saved him from falling into The Crater.  They also find that Ozimius has locked himself in his room and is blaming himself for Isildul's fate, Imhiakaam's power and Saje's decline.

The group finally convinces Ozimius to let them in and they discover he is in a dire state.  Wintersky, prompted by Miqulius' comments, determines that Ozimius is suffering from some type of insanity and needs healing.  She, however, has exhausted her capabilities for this earlier in the day.  Dale offers to perform the ritual and Ozimius eventually concedes.

When Dale touches the Sajenese completing the ritual, a force radiates from Ozimius knocking everyone to the floor.  Wintersky notices while monitoring Ozimius' spirit that another spirit is expelled during the healing.  Ozimius collapses in a seizure that quickly subsides and he is initially disoriented.

When Ozimius' faculties return, he proposes a plan to be rid of Imhiakaam once and for all.  Luanes is uncomfortable with the plan and Celesta is weary of Ozimius and his sudden change in attitude, despite the healing.  The group escorts Ozimius down to get him some food as he seems not to have eaten for quite some time.

While discussing possibilities of what to do next over the meal, Celesta cannot wait to return to the Floating Tower, despite Ozimius' caution that Imhiakaam will be ready and awaiting the wizardess' return to Isildul.  Concerned for Celesta' safety, Luanes wishes to follow her to the tower immediately, but Wintersky scries the arch-magess in the tower and determines she is safe with the arch-lich.

Isildul uses the connection with the crystal ball to inform the group that Imhiakaam is wrecking havoc in Troll's Bridge at which point Luanes becomes determined to travel there immediately to help the city's folk.

The group debates whether to charge of in their fatigued state and risk death or rest and recuperate the night before traveling to Troll's Bridge.  All but Luanes wish to regain their strength before undertaking the challenge and it is not until Visaria the Beneficent herself intervenes to convince the paladin that more will be saved by following her friends advice than charging into the fray unprepared.

Umbor Trollstomper grunts, "Well, come along now. I do not want to run into any giants just standing around here."

Nyza: Are the giants any bother while we are gone for the weeks?

Umbor Trollstomper: Could hear them now and again, but they have been keeping their distance. Though I think there getting the gumption up to cause us trouble.

Legeand: Why would they want to come into town now?

Umbor Trollstomper: The winter ended pretty harshly. They might be hungry.

Nyza (to Sparta): That's no good. We really need to have a chat with the giants sometime. Maybe we can work out a deal with them.

Luanes: Excellent idea.

Sparta: Aye, or we may need to setup an alarm. If the giants become a bother while we're away, we'll need to get back here quickly.

Celesta: They have been missing me flying around keeping them at bay.

Nyza: At bay? How do you do that?

Celesta: Your favorite method...fire.

Sparta: Celesta! Are you trying to start a forest fire?

Legeand: Death from above, a useful tactic.

Sparta: We moved out here to protect the woods, not burn them down.

Nyza looks a bit annoyed.

Celesta: Fireballs do not set things aflame. The blast is too fast.

Nyza: A useful tactic for killing them, but you may have soured any chance of diplomacy with them.

Legeand: She has, but not us.

Celesta frowns, "Tell them I am from the tower. Isildul reins them in periodically."

Celesta: You will want to talk to the orcs as well.

Sparta: Orcs? You can cook them.

Umbor Trollstomper: I agree.

Sparta: They're not to likely to want to live in peace.

Luanes: Talk to an orc? You will have a better chance talking to a rock.

Nyza: Agreed...but the idea of our city is for everyone to be welcome, yes? It is worth a try, me thinks. Even if it is folly.

The group walks into the hamlet and there stands T'Krosh.

Nyza: T'Krosh!

T'Krosh: Kobolds do alright.

T'Krosh looks a little annoyed.

Sparta: Yes, everyone is welcome, as long as they are willing to live in peace with the other residents of the forest.

Legeand: Had a nice trip, T'krosh?

Sparta: T'krosh!

Nyza: You are supposed to be smashed into tiny pieces on rocks.

T'Krosh: Not really. Ozi caught me.

Sparta: Ozi! Is he here too?

Sparta looks around for his old friend.

Umbor Trollstomper: Stewing in his room. Won't come out.

T'Krosh nods.

Nyza: Good to see you are both safe. We are all very worried, yes?

T'Krosh: He must have been in the school when we came back. He was very close.

Nyza: Huh. Me wonder what for. He does not study magic much.

T'Krosh: He was all geared up and his eyes were that funny black.

Sparta: That doesn't sound good.

Celesta: Ebony eyes, maybe? Was he hunting?

Luanes shakes her head, a disappointed expression on her face.

Nyza: Let us ask him.

Celesta: Yes, let us.

Luanes sighs but follows.

The group files into the inn and up to Ozimius' isolated room.

Sparta knocks on Ozimius' door.

Sparta: Ozi? We're home!

Ozimius (mumbling): Go away. I am not fit company for you, Sparta.

Sparta: What are you talking about, Ozi? Of course you are. You're our friend.

Legeand: If you don't come out and talk, We will break in and talk.

Ozimius (mumbling): Cannot even by trusted by my friends that understand me.

Luanes (whispers): I do not think that is wise.

Sparta: Ozi, of course we trust you.

Sparta: You've saved my skin more times than I can count.

Ozimius (mumbling): No. I am lost. Let me be. Everything is my fault.

Sparta: Now, quit sulking in there and come down for some dinner. I'm sure there's nothing wrong that some warm soup and good friends can't cure.

Luanes: Let us help you.

Oliveryn thinks to himself wondering why Ozi is acting so strangely.

Ozimius (mumbling): I am beyond help. Isildul is my fault. Imhiakaam is my fault. Saje's weakness is my fault.

Luanes: No one is beyond help.

Sparta: Fault? The only fault here is that we left you alone in Walton.

Miqulius Khan appears out of the shadows behind the group.

Miqulius Khan: He still babbling about everything being his fault?

Celesta: What about Isildul and Imhiakaam is your fault, Ozi?

Ozimius (yelling): I am sorry, Celesta!

Celesta (whispering): What is he sorry about?

Miqulius Khan (whispering): He insists he brought Isildul and Imhiakaam together.

Dale: How could he have done that? He hates Imhiakaam and barely knew Isildul?

Nyza: Ozi is sorry for something? Are we sure it is him in there?

Miqulius Khan: It is just what I have been hearing. He just keeps talking to those damn skulls. He needs help.

Luanes: Open the door for us, then.

You hear the scraping of armored boots shuffle toward the door, stop, move away, move closer, then finally the key turns in the door.

Ozimius (mumbling): It is open.

Sparta opens the door.

Sparta leads the group into Ozi's room.

Sparta: Ozi?

The room is dark and Ozimius stands in the middle of it with his back to the door, shoulders hunched and head lowered.

Miqulius Khan: My lord, you really should let us try to help you.

Ozimius tenses.

Oliveryn looks at Ozimius, seeing if he even recognizes the man that is not acting like Ozimius.

Wintersky: I think that Ozi requires healing like a Heal spell. I think part of his mind is broken.

Celesta: Ozi, what do you mean by everything being your fault. We were all back in the past. You alone could not have caused everything in the last millennium to be as it is. If anybody is to blame it would be Aifos.

Dale: I have such a spell ready.

Ozimius (mumbling): Imhiakaam took Isildul because of these.

Ozimius points to the skulls.

Dale: Ozi, would you allow me to help you?

Wintersky: You would need to touch him.

Luanes: What are those?

Dale moves closer to Ozimius.

Miqulius Khan: Oh, those are his trophies. He talks to them constantly. He has been for months.

Wintersky moves in next to Dale.

Sparta: You've collected a few more.

Nyza (quietly to Dale): Be careful. His...illness might make him violent.

Ozimius points to one desicated Sajenese skull, "That was the last leader of Clan Sphinx."

Ozimius: I killed him just after Luanes' resurrection.

Luanes: Why?

Wintersky: Ozi, to help you Dale will have to touch you.

T'Krosh: And, I will help.

Dale: Please Ozi, this won't hurt. I promise.

Ozimius turns around suddenly, looking horrible.

Dale stifles a gasp.

Wintersky: Oh, my! Ozi, what has happen to you?

Ozimius: You may try, but do not hold out a hope.

Dale begins to chant, summoning power from earth and forest surrounding the hamlet.

T'Krosh advances cautiously alongside Dale.

Nyza: You are always Nyza's friend, Ozi. We do not hurt you, now or ever.

Dale: As the power gathers, she begins to dance around Ozimius, slowly at first then gaining speed.

Dale: When the magic peaks, she lays hands upon Ozimius to complete the Heal spell.

Wintersky watches Ozimius' spirit.

The instant Dale's hand touches Ozimius, a force radiates from the Sajenese knocking everyone to the floor. Ozimius also collapses and thrashes in a seizure.

Legeand grunts picking himself off the floor, "Healing? What kind of healing does that?"

Ozimius: Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Sparta crawls to Ozi trying to restrain him to keep him from hurting himself.

Luanes scrambles to get up, most likely thwapping a couple people with her wings.

Wintersky: He was possessed.

Dale looks around.

Wintersky: Another Spirit just exploded out of his body.

Dale: Possessed? By what?

Nyza: Someone we know?

Luanes hurries over to Ozimius attempting to help hold him down.

Wintersky: An ancient kind of demon!

Ozimius slowly begins to settle.

Sparta: Ozi, you'll be OK now.

Sparta: We'll make this right.

Nyza: Well, where does it go?! Wintersky, we had better follow.

Nyza: Can't have an ancient demon roaming our town!

Wintersky: Wintersky begins to chant walking a circle around Ozimius.

Wintersky: The demon is splattered all over the room. You just cannot see it.

Dale looks amazed.

Wintersky casts Magic Circle Against Evil.

Celesta slowly gets back to her feet after watching Ozimius' fit in terror.

Dale: I, I destroyed an ancient demon?

Nyza: Um...well done Dale!

Legeand: Easiest kill we have done yet.

Luanes continues to hold Ozimius.

Oliveryn nods, wondering if it is too good to be true.

T'Krosh: I wonder how long that was inside of him.

Luanes whispers a prayer.

T'Krosh: Since before we have known him? It would not shock me.

Luanes casts Protection From Evil on herself and then on Ozimius.

Sparta: No, Ozi wasn't possessed when we met him. Were you?

Ozimius gasps, "What happened? Where am I?"

Wintersky: I agree. He was demon ridden as long as I have known him. I just didn't know.

Legeand: It would explain the wings.

Sparta: You're in Tangleton.

Sparta: We're back in our own time.

Sparta: Do you remember anything?

Wintersky: His aura is slightly different now.

Luanes: Different how?

Ozimius: Tangleton? Our own time? I was escaping Redemption when I last felt...right.

Wintersky: Not quite as tainted now, still very evil but different.

Sparta: Redemption? We haven't been there in months.

Sparta: Are you strong enough to stand? To walk?

Nyza: Nyza think he means the elf-village that precede Redemption.

Ozimius: I can hardly lift a finger.

Sparta: I think we should go down to the dining room and get you some soup.

Luanes focuses her attention on Ozimus, concentrating, detecting evil.

Nyza: Lucky you, you are in the right place to recuperate, but like Sparta says, not in this stuffy room.

Sparta: Here, you can lean on me.

Luanes sees that Ozimius is still quite evil.

Wintersky: Ozi, can you part with your trophies?

Ozimius: Get me out of this armor, maybe?

Sparta: Yes, that's a good idea.

Ozimius: Trophies?

Wintersky nods at the skulls.

Luanes begins to assist him in removing his armor.

Luanes still looks troubled.

Ozimius: Hmmm. Not just yet. I have an idea.

Legeand also helps assist with Ozimius' armor.

Wintersky: What is your idea?

Sparta smiles.

Ozimius: We need to get rid of Imhiakaam, but she thinks I am still under her thumb.

Celesta: I need to get to Isildul.

Ozimius: Wait, Celesta. Imhiakaam is waiting for you.

Luanes: Once Ozimius is out of his armor, she detects evil on him again and he is still evil.

Wintersky: Have you sired a child with her?

Sparta: We should all go together, but you need your strength back first.

Luanes looks at Wintersky, shaking her head slightly.

Ozimius raises his eyebrows in sudden realization, "Oh, no. Yes. Balis is Imhiakaam."

Wintersky raises an eybrow at Luanes.

Ozimius: Balis could not be of Clan Sphinx. I destroyed them over a thousand years ago.

Legeand: You've been busy.

Ozimius: How did Aris find the ring? It should have been destroyed.

Wintersky: Perhaps reforged.

Dale moves over to Nyza.

Relieved of his armor, Ozimius slowly gets to his feet with the help of his friends.

Dale: Nyza, do you know the spell nondetection?

Ozimius: You know, I never paid the mage. He probably kept it.

Nyza: Me can wish for its effect if it is an emergency, Dale.

Dale: I am just thinking of Ozi.

Nyza: Oli's house has anti-scrying wards?

Nyza: We teleport him there.

Dale: If Imhiakaam discovers he has recovered, she may prepare for us.

Luanes: No more teleporting.

Celesta smirks.

Nyza: When has teleporting ever not worked except for that one time!

Wintersky: If he just disappears, she will know something is up.

Miqulius Khan: We do need to get back into Troll's Bridge, master.

Dale: Will she know when we have returned from the past?

Wintersky: Ozi, what do you need the skulls for?

Ozimius: No, no. Wait. I will "give into" her. Play her and get her to expose herself now that I am on her side.

Nyza: Nyza slinks over to Wintersky, little puffs of smoke rising from the stone floor as she goes. She whispers something to the Teton.

Nyza whispers to Wintersky asking her to leave the egg in Tangleton before they go anywhere. She'll call Bektul to take care of it until she gets back.

Luanes tightens her lips in disapproval.

Ozimius: The skulls were part of the condition. She will expect it and she uses them to communicate with me.

Wintersky quitely replies, "As you wish, Nyza."

Nyza: Thank you, Wintersky. It means more than you...no, Nyza is sure you know how much it means.

Wintersky smiles at Nyza.

Ozimius smiles, "We can finish cleaning them all if it will help."

Dale: That might be a good idea.

Dale sniffs.

Dale: I'm sure the innkeeper will appreciate it.

Ozimius: You know, I am really hungry. Halfling hungry, one might say.

Sparta laughs.

Sparta: That sounds more like it!

Sparta: Time for that soup.

Ozimius: At least.

Luanes still seems troubled.

Miqulius Khan steps up to help Ozimius, "I will help him down stairs if you do not mind."

Wintersky: Luanes?

Wintersky: What troubles you?

Celesta: Wintersky, Luane, hang back a moment, please.

Luanes nods to Celesta.

Wintersky stops.

T'Krosh assists Ozimius down the stairs while Nyza runs off to find one of her kobold followers.

Sparta leads Miqulius and Ozi down to the dining room.

Sparta: Innkeeper? We need some dinner here.

Wintersky turns to Celesta.

Sparta: And, our friend Ozi is as hungry as a halfling who hasn't eaten in a thousand years!

Celesta: Oli, can you stay a moment?

Oliveryn nods and stays back, sending Eregard on to the dining room.

The others head down stairs as Celesta, Luanes, Wintersky and Oliveryn wait in Ozimius' room.

Celesta: Oli, we have always known Ozi in his...gloomy state. Was he like he is now at some time in the past...when you first met him?

Oliveryn thinks for a second, pondering back to when he first met Ozimius.

Oliveryn: I would not say he was always gloomy, but he was not always the most trusting of others either.

Oliveryn: I would say he always carried a chip on his shoulder, but I have noticed that he seemed to be increasingly falling off the proverbial "deep end."

Luanes: He is still very evil.

Wintersky: Exceedingly!

Celesta: I started out the same way. I might still be seen that way.

Luanes: It is possible that this is simply a ruse.

Celesta: It is possible.

Oliveryn: Evil he might be, but I still believe there was or still is a man in there that I once knew.

Luanes: Celesta, he is evil to the core. I checked twice.

Wintersky: Or, it is possible that it is a chance to change.

Celesta: Let us consider it an opportunity, but be aware that it might bite us later.

Celesta shrugs.

Wintersky: It is always a risk.

Celesta: Let us try to be as civil with him as possible for now and Visaria help us whatever happens.

Oliveryn nods agreeing.

Wintersky: I will be kind to Ozi.

Celesta looks to Luanes.

Wintersky pats Luanes on the shoulder in passing, "I must find Nyza."

Wintersky looks for Bektul.

Nyza is easily found by Wintersky. She is chatting with Bektul, her ranger follower.

Wintersky: Bektul, will you care for Nyza's egg as if it were your own?

Bektul: That is an unusual request, but yes. All of Nyza's followers will protect it with their lives.

Nyza: This is an unusual circumstance.

Nyza points to her own flaming face.

Wintersky: Removes the egg from the haversack and wrappings. She looks at it closely, gently stroking the surface.

Bektul: A nursery is already in the works. We will complete it shortly. The Mae'krix is not the only one in need of it.

Nyza giggles.

Nyza: Excellent! More are expecting?

Bektul: Oh, yes. We shall have several hatchlings before you know it.

Wintersky: I suppose the proper kolold good-bye would be a firm thump...but I just can not do that to you, Blaze. She gives the egg a kiss and hands it over its new caretaker.

Bektul takes the egg and nods to Nyza and Wintersky before entering the cave.

Wintersky: You are sure they will take good care of it, Nyza?

Wintersky: It seems so fragile not protected within a mother's body.

Nyza: Absolutely. Hatchlings always receive the best attention. My kind are numerous for good reason.

Nyza: Besides, it would not be good for Bektul's future if he mistreated her.

Nyza manages to make this sound both innocent and menacing at the same time.

Wintersky: Wistfully, Wintersky walks back to the inn.

Nyza: We should check on Ozi. In some ways, his exorcism is like a new birth for him too.

Celesta broods over her meal, wanting to return to the tower and share her news with Isildul.

Wintersky: His choice maybe freer, but I think it took only small nudges along his path to get him where he is.

Wintersky: Seeing the others eating, Wintersky joins the group.

Sparta: How's the soup, Ozi? Good for the soul isn't it?

Ozimius nods, "Yes, it is good to have a clear head again."

Luanes eats minimally.

Ozimius: I will need all my strength to be able to pull the wool over that devil's eyes, but I learned a lot about how she operates. I am just realizing it now.

Wintersky: Luanes, can you cast Circle of Protection over Ozi?

Wintersky: Mine will last a while yet but he is ripe for possession.

Ozimius pulls Imhiakaam's Gift from his belt, twirls it and then sticks the dagger in the table, "This is the key right here."

Luanes: I have already cast Protection from Evil on him.

Celesta (whispering): He is scaring me.

Wintersky: We need to keep him protected for a time.

Celesta (whispering): I feel like he is a child playing with tindersticks.

Wintersky: That dagger may be part of the problem.

Luanes: I have no more protective spells, unfortunately.

Luanes: I will not have any more until my morning prayers.

Legeand idly eats, keeping an eye on Ozimius and listening to the gabble of voices from the group.

Wintersky: I will have more tomorrow. This one will last another couple hours; that is it.

Luanes: Mine only lasts fifteen minutes.

Luanes: I will pray for that blessing tomorrow.

Celesta stands up, "I cannot wait any longer. I cannot!"

Celesta teleports.

Nyza: That was sudden.

Ozimius: Oh, damn that wizard! Why could she not wait?

Nyza: She must have gone to Isildul. Should we follow? Is she okay on her own?

Dale: I'm almost out of spells.

Wintersky: Ozi mentioned a trap.

Dale: Are we strong enough to face Imhiakam?

Ozimius: I hope Isildul is paying attention. If Imhiakaam intercepts her, there will be trouble. My plan will be spoiled.

Luanes: Is Celesta in danger?

Wintersky: Me too. My spells are few.

Nyza realizes that Celesta used a Greater Teleport. As long as there is not some kind of anti-teleport magic around the tower, she should be able to get to Isildul without facing Imhiakaam.

Nyza: Me do not see how she could get intercepted. Celesta use a greater teleport, so she goes right where she wants to. No uncertainty.

Sparta: Perhaps we should finish our dinner and turn in, the sooner to follow her.

Nyza: Yep, agreed. Certainly we should follow if she does not return by the morrow.

Oliveryn ponders that the tower has a lot of strange magic, like many wizards' towers. If Imhiakaam has access to some of these wards, she could cause a lot of trouble.

Luanes: Is she in danger?

Wintersky pulls out the crystal ball and tries to scry Celesta.

Ozimius: I would say yes.

Luanes: What danger?

Oliveryn: If Imhiakaam has access to the tower and its wards, she could cause some major problems and trouble.

Oliveryn looks concerned.

Ozimius: Imhiakaam is Isildul's consort. She could easily get between Celesta and Isildul in a number of devious ways.

Luanes stands up.

Luanes: Then, I am going now.

Nyza: We are with you, of course. Low on spells or not.

Nyza: Right everyone?

Wintersky: Wait let us see what we are getting into if we can.

Sparta: Of course.

Luanes waits for Wintersky.

The crystal ball's cloudy surface slowly parts showing an image of Celesta standing before Isildul. They appear to be speaking and there is no sign of Imhiakaam.

Luanes: How long can you maintain this?

Wintersky: There appears to be no immediate danger.

Wintersky: As long as I concentrate.

A cracked, dry voice eminates from the crystal ball.

Isildul: Worry not. Imhiakaam's threat is not within this tower. Take care to avoid her depredations beyond it, however.

Nyza and Oliveryn realize this is a Message spell coming through the crystal ball.

Nyza replies to the message, "Do you know where she is now, so we can avoid her, of course."

Isildul: Rampaging through Troll's Bridge.

Nyza: Rampaging?!

Luanes: What do you mean, rampaging?

Isildul: Wrecking havoc, burning, pillaging, plundering...not her physically, of course. Those she controls.

Luanes: We must take action!

Oliveryn looks pale, thinking of his mother and his...city.

The crystal ball's image fades.

Luanes: We must go now!

Wintersky: I will go.

Ozimius: How? We have no means to get there until tomorrow, from what I gather.

Luanes: We have means.

Legeand: Unless some random God wishes to give us a favor and even then we need to rest.

Luanes calls for Gaelitae.

Wintersky: We must think, I do not want to kill those she controls.

Luanes: My sword will not kill anyone.

Wintersky: We need to fight her or protect Troll's Bridge from her mind control.

Nyza: Nyza can get us there today if we are okay with risking a journey through the shadow plane. And, it is not too dangerous.

Nyza: This sounds like your department, Ms. Sky...warding possession and such.

Wintersky: It does, but the spells I have left are not very useful in such cases.

Ozimius: I do not think we shall be successful in defeating Imhiakaam if we are not at full strength. She can take control of us or summon help. We need more preparation.

Luanes glares at Ozimus.

Luanes: No, I will not sit idly while lives are being taken.

Dale: I can take myself, Sparta and our animals by more conventional means, though it may take a little longer to get there.

The sending stone in Nyza's pouch quivers as the discussion continues.

Wintersky: The town folk will have no such inhibition about us.

Nyza: Wintersky, could you get that?

Wintersky: Oh, right. She pulls out the sending stone from Nyza's haversack.

Celesta: Hello, Nyza?

Nyza leans over to the stone.

Nyza: Mask? You are okay?

Nyza: We are about to travel to Troll's Bridge to fight the she-witch.

Celesta: A bit shaken. There is a ward over the city. I just tried to teleport in and it bounced me back over The Crater.

Nyza: Related to that shield in the sky you think?

Celesta: No, that one is different. I am flying over the forest and can see both. They are separate. However, I can see fires throughout Troll's Bridge.

Nyza: Now I want to go even more! Dispel the barrier or something.

Sparta: Do you think Imhiakaam sent that shooting start at us?

Dale: No, that will let in whatever the townspeople are trying to keep out.

Celesta: No, I am pretty certain the meteor was Gresham.

Dale: Oh great, we've pissed off the Wizard-King of Genesee?

Celesta: Have to go. There are devils rising out of the forest around Troll's Bridge. Heading back to the tower.

Nyza looks nervously to Sparta.

Sparta: I don't know, should we go to the tower to intercept the devils?

Legeand: Well...I think we need time to prepare then.

Sparta: Or, to the city to try to rescue anybody left behind?

Nyza: Nyza is worried for Tangleton if devils are "rising out of the forest." How is that wood-wall you animate?

Wintersky: I agree with Legeand. We need to take the time to get to full strength. We cannot help anyone if we are killed right away.

Dale: The trees will stop most solid beasts, but flying devils can easily get over the top.

Nyza: In that case, let us go tomorrow. Gives us time to prepare spells and also time to boost our little hamlet's defenses.

Luanes stares at everyone with an open mouth.

Ozimius: I do not think you want to be flying a pegasus over the forest just now, Luanes.

Legeand: We can do better fully rested then rushing head long into battle.

Wintersky: Luanes, we are not cowards. I care for those people as you do.

Luanes: I cannot sleep knowing there are people in need. I am sorry.

Sparta: There are people in need here too.

Sparta: We are not far from The Crater, for all we know Imhiakaam means to attack Tangleton.

Wintersky: We are not immortal, all powerful, divine. There are always people in need. We do what we can for as many as we can. Pray upon it a few moments.

Luanes hears a soft melodious humming as from an angel.

Nyza: Suppose you arrive unprepared and immediately have your mind stolen by Imhiakaam's magic. You would risk turning your sword on the very people you want to help?

Luanes: I am not affected by such magicks.

Luanes turns her head to the side, as if hearing something.

Wintersky: But we are.

Wintersky: Would you fight us because we were not prepared.

Luanes: Do you know what you are asking of me?

Sparta: My first loyalties are to Tangleton and Rebelton. I must defend them before going to the aid of others.

Wintersky: You cannot do this alone. I will go with you, but I think it is folly.

A voice speaks calmingly to Luanes, "The apex of the Age of Chaos is upon us. Your chaos must be channeled to thart this anarchy over time, Lady Elf."

Luanes again turns her head to the side, as if listening to something.

Legeand: You have to remember people have already suffered. Even if a few more do, would you risk your own death walking into something unprepared?

Luanes looks upward, an anguished expression upon her face.

Sparta notices the light in the room increases almost imperceptibly; detected only by Sparta's sharp senses.

Wintersky: I ask you to be strong, so we can do the most good.

Luanes: Must I stand by while innocents are slaughtered?

Luanes does not seem to be speaking to anyone at the table.

Sparta: I think Luanes, is being visited by her father.

Wintersky: Luanes, we will fight to our utmost ability.

The voice says to Luanes, "You cannot save those for whose time has come, nor any if does yours."

Luanes lowers her head, her shoulders slumping and her wings drooping.

Sparta sees that the area gets brighter still, though ever so slightly.

Luanes (whispers-in-a-quiet-voice): Very well.

Nyza takes the sending stone for a moment.

Nyza: Celesta, are you still there?

Wintersky: You have decided? What will it be?

Ozimius: The light in the room has become obviously brighter.

Luanes (quietly): I will wait.

Luanes turns her back, her head remaining lowered.

Wintersky: We will grieve the fallen innocents together.

Sparta: It was a difficult choice, but your father means well.

Luanes without turning, nods her head.

Nyza puts the stone down, disappointed.

A faint glowing humanoid image appears before Luanes.

Ozimius cringes and blinks his eyes.

Luanes looks at the image.

Wintersky: I want to go too, but I know I must stay for the moment.

The image coallesces into the familiar view of the Goddess of Philanthropy.

Visaria the Beneficent: Be calm, my child, my champion.

Luanes widens her eyes, falling to her knees.

Luanes: My queen!

Dale bows.

Dale: Lady Visaria, it is good to see you again.

T'Krosh averts his eyes.

Luanes looks up at her goddess.

Visaria the Beneficent: Grave times are upon us and you must steel yourself for the worst of it to come.

Wintersky looks at Visaria, tears running down her face.

Sparta smiles to see the Goddess in her rightful state.

Luanes stares up at Visaria, fresh tears stain on her cheeks.

Oliveryn checks on Eregard's reaction to seeing Visaria.

Eregard stands staring in awe at the image of the goddess.

Visaria the Beneficent: The full brunt of this Age has been unleased and you must be strong if you are to deal with its awesome force.

Luanes: As you command, My Lady.

Visaria the Beneficent: Gather about you all the support you can. Only this way can you succeed in helping the greatest numbers to survive.

Visaria the Beneficent smiles and slowly fades from view.

Luanes basks in her fading light.

Visaria the Beneficent