A Cleansing Experience pt11

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The good news:

The good news is that you saved the ship, chased off the bad guy, and were able to set it on its course back to the city. With your wounds asevere as they are, it's difficvult going to do so, but eventually, the ship is nearing the city. Enough that it's under the protection of Bryn Myridorn's airship fleet and army, and at that point, it's safe to say you can transport yourself back to the temple. It's been half a day.

Reappearing in the temple, where you have been waited for rather breathlessly, shows you in such a state that there is immeddiate alarm. Stirling's arm is off, aft4er all, and Durrankar is missing an eye.

No one feels very good.

Durrankar doesn't have two eyes....no he doesn't feel very good. However, he's surprisingly stoic about it. Probably because he's stopped the bleeding on his own, and it's scabbed over, but not scarred. This is a good thing....at least for him.

Stirling is able to mend himself enough to keep from bleeding out but its hard to miss that his right arm ends below the elbow, a spare empty titanfist carried in his other hand. Not the first time he has lost a limb but... he is still in a mood, dour, introspective.

Sophia was waiting rather impatiently at the Temple, and there's a mixture of relief and concern on her face as she looks at the returning group, "By Althea, what happened?" Because while it was reported as a success... well, there's successes and 'successes'.

Durrankar says, "We had faced a demon called the 'Eviscerator'. It cut off Stirling's arm, and cut out my eye." He says calmly..."

Astaren glances to Durrankar, and then to Stirling, then back to Durrankar thoughtfully. "Stirling, your first." walking over to the man chanting words as his hands start to glow a faint blur, then as he reaches out he taps the stub where Stirlings arm was. Allowing the powerful healing magics to flow in. "Duarrnkar, I will get your eye after evening prayers." smiling to the man and then looking around, "Unless there is a high priest who can assist with a second regeneration?"

GAME: Astaren casts Regenerate. Caster Level: 16 DC: 22

Kravar seems subdued for most of the ride. He donned an enchanted vest that let him aid airmen with certain types of critical injuries but not unfortunately the party members who have been maimed. Once they are back in the temple he tries to fill in Sophia. "Some new type of demon that I have never seen before," Kravar elaborates. "Tauric, with two blades and vicious orbs that circled it, and cut us -through- our armor..." he watches for signs of recognition."

"Thank you, Astaren." Durrankar says.

Stirling shakes his head at Astaren and steps "Get his eye, I will take care of myself. No point returning what failed to me." he says with a grimace. "Would have felt better if we had caught it."

Durrankar says, "Caught it nothing. I wanted it dead."

"Good gods," replies one of the priests. "Come, over here. Sit down. Let us look at you..."

NMeedless to say, those of you missing bits are being immediqately seen to.

In the meantime, the airship is no doubt in the process of landing.

Astaren waggles a finger at Stirling, "You just want another prosethic don't you? We got plent of mending to go around here." then glances over to Kravar, "Not unheard of, just very very rare in this realm. They are elite creatures. Still we should get back to the temple and see if we were actually successful, of if were well, deceived."

Stirling raises his one eyebrow at Astaren "It will be stronger, I am not out to replace limbs whenever but when something needs fixing its always better to improve. Perhaps something adamantine." he sets about finding a strap to hang his extra titanfist to his belt before he nods and continues to the temple.

Durrankar walks his way to the temple as well....even as his eye grows back.

Astaren smiles to Stirling, "Thats fine, doesn't bother. If this was some pride because I failed crap, me and you were going to have words." grinning as he taps his chin thoughtfully, "Off we go."

In the meantime, one of clerics is called in, a senior one, who has approached Durrankar with an offer of healing magic. For the proper donation, of course, to the temple's coffers later.

Fix it first, you see, gfiven the needs of the moment.

Durrankar doesn't argue, of course. He's given offerings to the gods of good before....mostly the gods of nature though.

Sophia grimaces at the mention of the demon, "Well, it does seem aptly named. But I'm glad you were able to succeed." She glances around at the group, relaxing just a bit now that they're back.

Stirling shakes his head at Astaren "I am dissapointed I didn't destroy the demon, would have gladly forged his body into a new arm. However I lay this one at the foot of Asumet and the last one who cost me my eye and leg got his soul consigned to the void. I will do my best to make it happen again."

"Good," is the qanswer from one of the clerics to Sophia. Durrankar's eye is restored to him, and not a moment too soon. A group of battered, badly injured air-ship sailors are being walked in, carrying another chest not unlike the last one.

"Very good," says an elderly woman, "they're all here."

"It is time. We will soon be beyond the reach of Asumit and his minions. The chamber is prepared."

You're being, then, shown down deeper into the temple, down flights of stairs beneath it.

Durrankar blinks a couple of times and rolls his eyes about quite a bit. "That was scary." he says as he tromps his way deeper into the temple.

Stirling up with his missing arm as if to rub his chin but catches himself and simpyl looks down at the stump with a grimace before continuing. "Well this aught to be good, likely a suprise or two left."

Astaren follows along, keeping queit and thoughtful.

Sophia glances over at Astaren, then tilts her head at Stirling, "Well, the real surprise would be that everything goes smoothly at this point."

Down you go, finally, reaching what must be a ritual chamber of some kind. It's easily large enough to fit a few dozen people comfortably and sitting in its center, surrounded by magical wards, are three chests.

Each one is open.

Each one carries a shard within it. Shards of the orb of Asumit. It seems they broke it and seperated it into each chest.

You weren't decoys. You were all carrying a /piece/.

The last chest is set down by the sailors and opened as well, to reveal the fional shard.

"We will now cleanse it and restore it to its previous state -- a weapon to be used against the Demon Binder. In this, we will call down the essence of the True Law and bring it to bear. We will never suffer another outbreak of the Daemon Wars."

Durrankar raises his eyeridges at that proclamation. "uh.....are you SURE I should be here then?"

Stirling eyes the chests and then looks at all the people in the room, keeping a careful look out for anything that seems unusual or not quite right. His hand at his side and ready to pull out whatever contraption he needs to deal with an issue.

Astaren looks a bit uncomfertable himself, "I have always leaned a bit more towards the chaotic side myself." stepping back a bit, "So carry on, I should be fine, just watching."

Astaren is also completely not surprised each had a shard in it

Sophia arches a brow, but doesn't really say anything at this point, instead keeping a wary eye out for any possible surprises.

"Why would you need to leave? You're here for a reason. Now, if you'll give us a moment, we'll be calling in some help..."

Several of the priests present are summoning assistance.

Of the Angelic kind.

Planar binding spells do take some time, but soon, the room is suffused with brilliance and blinding white glowing powerful Celestials.

Tall, powerful humanoids with great wings flank the orbs, hammers in hand, as they are called and soon they are joined by one that somehow fits, but only to kneel. It's voice is like thunder, a deep rumble that doesn't terrify but instead warms.

A smile as it lays its great hand over the shards, sheltering them.

A solar. A Solar has been called.

All will be well, perhaps. All around you, the ritual room seems to fade away, be replaced by a great field of green and brilliant clouds. A glimpse of the Dome of Heaven, perhaps, where the sun warms and there is no pain or impurity -- only justice and peace.

Durrankar's tail flicks back and forth.....he's not very comfortable in this place. Mostly because it's a place of law....

Stirling closes his real eye, basking as much as he can in the feel of the place while the artifice red eye continues to glow, taking everything around them in. While he intellectually know theres could be problems still... it just seems so unlikely after the summons. So... beyond his abilities and its a comforting moment of peace.

Astaren glances around and smiles to himself, "Been meaning to visit this plane sometime." Then lays down on the grass glances up to the sky, then closes his eyes and promptly starts to take a nap.

Sophia takes a deep breath, then sighs and actually seems to /relax/ for the first time in... well, quite possibly years, as she looks around the room and how it has transformed into a teasing glimpse of the Realm Above.

Kravar looks about in wonder. "Are we - are we still in the temple...?" He looks back behind them, then listens to ithers in the party, seemingly even more confused. "Or are we truly in their realm." He gestures with his most respectful motion at the Solar.

The sailors who were still present are in a sapce of awe. There can be no other words for it. Pure awe.

"No. You are within the Dome of Heaven now. It is here that the orb may be cleansed and its truth revealed. To make what was once broken whole again."

The great angelic being grasps the shards of the orb together, bringing them into its massive hands and closing its great fists around them. It compresses for a moment. Something... /weighty/ is happening. Monumentous. You can /feel/ it, even though you may not know what.

"BEHOLD," rumbles the grand, six winged Solar, it's very being radiating an impossible majesty, "THE SHARD OF ANIMUS."

What you're seeing can be described. It is a piece of divinity, the essence of the Fallen God of Magic itself. A piece of it, anyway.A perfect, crystal sphere with an impossibly scntillating light within it that can not be described properly, but it will be something that is never forgotten, eituher.

"Asumit had nearly claimed this for himself, the demon binder using it to fuel great power for himself as he sought others, as did many nations and peoples, but the Shards of Animus are not easily found. Hidden from the eyes of Taara and her servantse, they must be, or in the hadns of mortals powerful enough to withstand her agents. Mortals like those in Alexandria, or Asumit, unfortunately. The demon binder plays his own game, seeking an end to the concept of Godhood itself. Just as Taara's games seek to bring ruin to all in the pursuit of power, so too does his nihilism reflect growing corruption in our world. WHen a God dies, the repercussions are unknowable and vast, yet we sense something -- a glimmer within the weave of time that all may not be lost and that justice can be found. You will know more soon. The path of heroes will be open to all who pursue justice."

Durrankar takes a deep breath. "Far be it for mortals to know the machinations of the divine. We can only guess." He does lower his head to the Solar. "And Asumit should not attain godhood. it would be the doom of us all."

Kravar watches with wide eyes. Some of what's being done - okay, most, most of what's being done - is outside his realm of expertise. Quite possibly all of it.

Sophia nods slightly in agreement with Durrankar, not saying anything in this place out of respect, it seems. She does pass Kravar a curious look, before flickering her eyes back towards the Solar.

Stirling lets a tear roll down his cheek, only having one proper tear duct left. "We try, we sacrifice and try." he says with his voice breaking up a bit. "...thank you for the hope."

Astaren sits up after his nap, stares at the orb for a while. His expression turning thoughtful, then slowly he stands up and stretches as he keeps quiet. "Justice..." sighing as he shakes his head, "A debate, that this is neither the time or place for philisophical differences. My duest respects." Offering a bow to the Solar. Then glancing back to the orb, "There is work to be done."

Thyrson lifts his chin, and watches this all unfold, forgetting, for just a moment, the pains that bend him over. His eyes go wide as he listens and nods. "And more to be done."

"Oh, you have /no/ idea," says one of the sailors.

Immediately, something has changed. There's something... /wrong/ with him.

"I must say I appreciated the lift to the Dome of Heaven. I'd never have been permitted entrance on my own. And you can't stop me because you'll be too busy fighting /them/."

A snap of his fingers and the Solar suddenly doubles over in pain. Oh no.