World 1141, Designation “Meridocia”
Sheltering Arms Inn
Eylen woke up to her wards shrilling alerts as well as smoke and screams. She dissolved her wards and coughed from the smoke was drifting under the door. Tefgir and Kameran were yelling in the hallway while fire magic was being cast at them.
She took a quick look out the window after she sat up. The burning building across the street cast a red glow on Eylen's face. She got out of bed then she dressed as quickly as she could. There was no doubt in her mind that the enemy that was attacking her group was the same one that burned down the town of Ceslia.
The door blew open with a slam while a bitterly cold blast of air covered her body.
“Sorry about that,” Fraenk said while looking down the hall for more enemies.
“We are going to lose our deposit,” Eylen joked.
“No, the innkeeper and most of his staff are dead. Use cold or divine magic against cult members,” Fraenk replied.
Eylen walked up to Fraenk and followed him downstairs. The building was filled with frozen bodies. A white fog hung around the corpses. Scorch marks covered the walls. Tefgir and Kameran waited for them downstairs.
“We need to find horses. The tomb is too far away to walk to,” Tefgir suggested while looking through the window at the burning buildings across the street.
Fraenk led the way out of the inn. The town was not that big and they could see that it was all except for the inn on fire.
“Unless we are willing to summon phoenix horses, we better start walking,” Kameran suggested.
Tefgir gave her a nasty look.
“Maybe we can steal the cult's horses?” Fraenk suggested.
Eylen sensed Fraenk was casting a horse locator spell.
“They are that way and there are enough for all of us. Hopefully everyone knows how to ride,” Fraenk said and pointed to the north.
“I don't know how to ride! Horses scare me!” Kameran said with fear.
Tefgir gave her a disdainful look.
“You can ride with me,”Eylen offered.
When they got to the horses, cultists were ready to defend them. Fraenk blocked a fireburst and fired a shard of ice at one cultist. It got him right in the eye then it froze his head solid. The poor cultist's head fell off of his neck and shattered when it hit the ground. The other cultist was torn in half by a large sharp chunk of ice summoned by Tefgir. Eylen was ready but the fight was over before she could do anything.
“Do you know where the tomb is?” Tefgir asked.
“Yes, its in the Desardo family plot. The richer relatives pay for the upkeep of the family cemetery plots. We went there a few times,” Fraenk said with a sad tone to his voice.
The group mounted three of the cultist's horses and set the rest free. Eylen and Kameran shared a horse.
“Please do not squeeze so hard, I need to breathe,” Eylen gasped when Kameran started to hold on to her waist too tight.
“Sorry,” Kameran said as she relaxed her grip around Eylen's waist.
As the horses climbed up into the hill country, Eylen could see that the town was still burning below her.
World 1141, Designation “Meridocia”
St Francis of the Peaceful Repose Cemetery
The sign over the black metal gates said “Saint Francis of the Peaceful Repose Cemetery,” but Eylen doubted that anything slept peacefully here. The burnt bodies on poles did not seem to be conducive to peace.
The team rode the horses slowly through the gates.
“How are we going to do this?” Kameran asked.
Tefgir and Fraenk exchanged glances.
“Who do we go after first, the demon or Regina?” Eylen asked.
“We go for Regina first. The demon draws power from her. Without her, he will be weaker,” Fraenk said with certainty.
“The Law angel will not let us interfere with her,” Eylen replied.
“I cannot help you there. Most of my magic is Law based. It will be effective against a demon's vessel but not a Law Angel,” Tefgir looked down as he explained.
“Its not a good idea to let you fight the cult by yourself,” Fraenk said with concern.
“Lets be logical about this, you have to fight Regina and the Law Angel. You will have Eylen who has access to a chaosspawn and Kameran. My power will not affect the Law Angel. It will be very difficult to fight Regina, Apyeron and the Law Angel at the same time. If we split up, I can keep the demon busy while you deal with your threats,” Tefgir explained when he looked up.
“Logic be damned! If we stay together, we can protect each other,” Fraenk said with passion.
“No, I will not do that,” Tefgir said.
“Tefgir makes sense, who knows what sort of strategies the Law Angel and the demon could work out together? I wish you well, Tefgir,” Eylen said.
Tefgir gave Eylen a bow and rode off to the eastern part of the cemetery.
Fraenk looked at her with an angry look on his face.
“We are wasting time! Lets save Regina and maybe we can be done in time to help Tefgir,” Eylen suggested.
Fraenk gave her another nasty look and rode west to the Desardo area. Eylen followed.
“The dead are angry here. I think I can get them to help us,” Kameran said.
“Good, we could use all the help we can get,” Eylen replied.
It did not take long before the team reached Regina's tomb. A large group of cultists wearing yellow and red were waiting for them. At the center of the group, a man dressed in maroon and gold waited.
“Burn them in sorrowful flames for the Master!” He exhorted his followers.
Fire and infernal blasts of magic headed their way.
Fraenk blocked attacks and summoned an ice storm that covered the area in ice and smashed tombstones.
“Now! Spirits! Get the ones that hurt you!” Kameran said with an eldritch green glow in her eyes.
Eylen wondered what damage spirits could do until she saw some of the charred corpses on metal poles raise their heads and jump down to the ground. Then they ran in a slow hunched over manner toward the cultists.
Fraenk got off of his horse and tied it to a fence. Eylen followed his example. In the distance there was an explosion. I hope Tefgir is still giving the demon vessel hell.
A small group of summoned doglike demonlings sprinted towards them. Eylen summoned black spikes of sharp stone underneath them. With a gesture, she made the sharp spikes rise. The demonlings were impaled and howled in pain while they bled black ichor that burned and sizzled.
A blast of frigid air froze and shattered the creatures ending their agony.
When Eylen and Fraenk approached the tomb, they could see that the reanimated corpses were proving to be more of a threat to the cultists. The corpses would grab at the cultists and tear chunks of scorched flesh off of them. A lot of the magical attacks stopped coming as the cultists fought the undead.
Eylen summoned a frozen lance and threw it at a cultist. The enemy froze solid when the spear of ice entered her body. A flailing undead shattered the enemy to pieces.
The leader made a Sign of Flame and all of the undead threw back their heads and howled with pain as their souls were viciously torn from their burn covered bodies and placed in the Sign.
“The Sign of Burning Hatred binds the dead to me now! I, Emilio Renaty, will burn you with your own tricks!” Emilio said while spittle flew from his lips.
He gestured imperiously. A thin flaming apparition came out of the sign. It slowly approached the group while each of its steps seared the ground beneath it.
“I have this,” Kameran stated.
She started shrieking in a voice that cut like razors while a sign of greenish black started to form in front of her.
Eylen cast a spear of ice at the approaching flaming spirit but the spear turned to steam and did not strike its target. Fraenk cast some divine spells at the oncoming creature but they just slowed it down.
A greenish black beam shot out of the sign and hit the creature. Its color began to shift between red orange and black. Eylen prepared a few more ice spells to strike at the remaining cultists. She figured if she could kill some of them, the leader will have less support. Fraenk prepared his spells too.
The apparition turned black then it sunk into the ground. Eylen and Fraenk unleashed their spells while Kameran's sign fired a beam against the Burning Hatred sign. There was so much magical energy in the area, Eylen could not sense what was going on. A wave of infernal magic came back at them.
She cringed as a storm of spells flew at her and tried to tear the flesh from her bones. Eylen managed to generate a shield in time. Damn, this is nasty. Time slowed down as she focused on keeping the slashing and tearing hooks away. The shield shrank and Eylen could feel things bumping into it. I have to keep that shield up! The pressure against her shield increased then it faded.
Eylen kept the shield up just in case.
Emilio only had two cultists left. Fear crossed his face but he started another spell. The remaining cultists cast spells for protection. The sign of Burning Hatred exploded with a blackish red flash, throwing the cultists and their master a few feet away.
Eylen fired off some spells at the fallen enemies while Fraenk and Kameran also attacked. Somehow Emilio managed to stagger upright. His cultists did not get up.
The cult leader's maroon and gold robes were in burnt tatters but he was still alive. In some places, flabby pale skin was visible. Emilio gave the group a rude gesture before summoning more power. His eyes started to glow red when there was a loud explosion in the distance.
Everyone was distracted for a few seconds. Fraenk recovered first, he sent several flame and holy spell blasts against Emilio Renaty who did not recover fast enough. When the spells were finished with him, there was just a large smear of blood on the ground.
Kameran sensed that a flaming doorway opened to the Burning Hells and something grabbed Emilio Renaty's screaming and protesting soul. Once he was pulled inside, the gateway closed.
“Emilio Renaty is no more!” Kameran crowed.
A small smile covered Fraenk's face. “Good, now the hard work begins.”
He walked up to the tomb. It was a plain square gray tomb. Other than the name and date of the occupant's birth and death, there was little decoration.
Fraenk slid down to his knees.
Kameran started to move toward the tomb but Eylen held her back.
She gave Eylen a questioning look and Eylen just said, “No.”
A familiar pale face with dark smoke like hair flowed out of the tomb in front of Fraenk.
“What are they saying?” Kameran asked.
“Eylen replied, ”No.”
Then Aya kissed Fraenk for a moment. She floated back and two wispy hands grasped the blue Law crystal that stuck out of her forehead. The crystal shattered with a pure tone.
Everyone held their ears as a scream pushed them down to the ground. Eylen noticed that there was an element of triumph in it.
Another tone sounded in the distance, it felt like a warning. Dread filled Eylen's heart. I am going to fight a law angel? How do I do that? Her fear was mirrored in Kameran's and Fraenk's eyes. They moved closer to Eylen.
“Things are going to get more interesting. Tefgir is being controlled by the Law Angel. Somehow, you must break the control spell on Tefgir without killing him. He is the only one that can get you to your objective. I am quite sure you can deal with this,” I'xazula purred.
Elylen grimaced. “How am I supposed to do that?”
I'xazula did not reply.
“Guys, Tefgir is not himself and we have to beat him without killing him. If we kill him, the mission is over,” Eylen said while she looked to the east. She could feel something was approaching them.
Fraenk shook his head. “And how are we supposed to do that?”
“I will protect you from the Law magic while you find a way to separate him from the Law Angel that is controlling him. Kameran, please help Fraenk,” Eylen said while preparing spells.
Kameran grimaced. “How am I supposed to do that, I just know Necromancy.”
Eylen could not answer, the sight of Tefgir approaching grabbed all of her attention.
He did not walk like a normal person, the controlled man strode toward them in measured mechanical strides. A halo of white runes circled his head. Tefgir's eyes told the real story, he was a prisoner in his own body. His panicked pleading eyes tore at Eylen's heart to spare him.
When Tefgir arrived, he said,”I am Hzk'iok of the Fourth Circinate, Comply or face termination.”
“Tefgir, if you are in there, fight for your freedom!” Fraenk urged.
Hzk'iok did not wait long for compliance, it fired off several white stunning blasts.
Eylen managed to block them in time. The law controlled man focused his attacks on her. At first, they were low level spells designed to knock out or stun. Eylen knew that after a while the enemy would move on to more dangerous spells.
That did not take too long, hooked and sharp green crystals floated around Eylen. They tried to cut and stab her but she managed to summon a chaotic shield to block their attacks. Eylen wondered how long the enemy would keep trying to take her out before moving on to Fraenk and Kameran.
Fraenk tried to disconnect Tefgir from the law angel but his spells failed. Kameran had turned away from the battle and was doing some sort of magic. Eylen could not spare the attention to find out what she was doing. Keeping the law angel from destroying everyone had her full focus.
Blunt red spells bashed at her shield. Unlike the sharp edged stuff, these spells were harder to defend against. Eylen felt something warm and wet drip down her forehead. She reached up and touched the substance. A quick look showed it was blood. Dismay filled her heart. Too many hits like that and I will be dead or worse, she thought. With a sigh, Eylen decided to go on the offensive even if Tefgir might end up dying.
A quick flurry of red and black chaos bursts blew Tefgir off of his feet. The blasts made him fly back and smash several tombstones. Hzk'iok had his puppet regain its footing.
Eylen was ready with more spells to smash Tefgir's legs when a small blonde ghost girl ran up to him.
“Daddy! Daddy! Pleeese!” The ghost girl screamed.
Eylen delayed launching her spells so she could see what would happen.
The glowing runes around Tefgir's head started blinking.
“No, Ashphodelia?” Tefgir said with surprise and longing. The runes started fading.
Ashphodelia began to fade. When she was gone, the controlling runes disappeared.
Tefgir sunk to his knees and lowered his head. Eylen could hear him cry.
He spent a few minutes before he raised his head. A look of pure hatred was aimed at Kameran. Tefgir got up then strode angrily toward her. Eylen and Fraenk would have moved closer to Kameran but she waved them off.
“Tefgir. The mission, we have work to do,” Eylen stated.
She managed not to flinch when Tefgir's hatred filled gaze hit her like a blowtorch.
“Bitch! You desecrated my daughter,” Tefgir breathed.
“If we fail, your daughter won't have a place to rest.” Kameran said quietly.
Tefgir glared at Kameran, then looked away.
“Leave me alone until I make the portal to our destination,” Tefgir said in a voice of cold ashes and dust.
Eylen wanted to say something to alleviate Tefgir's pain but she knew that her tongue was too clumsy. Maybe later?
For a few minutes, everyone just looked around awkwardly until the white portal appeared.
Without a word, Tefgir stepped through.
Then everyone else followed quietly.
Funereal World 8
Landing Lounge 640
Eylen looked around the landing lounge. It was just a beige colored room with dark brown chairs. Brown and beige doors were to Eylen's left, right and front. There was a holosign that displayed the words, “Funereal World 8.” This was her first time on a world dedicated to the remains of Org heroes and researchers.
Necromancy was a reality and no one wanted to have Org heroes turned against them, so these worlds had very heavy security. In fact, most Org agents did not even know such worlds existed. There were rumors but they were pretty vague.
Gray and gold armored Guards with raised weapons came into the room, everyone raised their hands. Eylen figured that mages in security alcoves were also scanning them too. Tefgir pulled out his datapad. One guard took it and stuck the pad into a larger device. A light on the security device shone green. The guard pointed at the door.
“Follow the path outlined on your datapad. Deviations will be punished.” The guard said. All of the guards left the room.
“Please put me on the ground,” I'xazula requested.
Eylen reached around her neck and barely caught the heavy necklace before it hit the ground. Tefgir watched with barely hidden distaste as Eylen placed the necklace on the ground.
I'xazula appeared but she looked different. Now she wore a black robe with an obsidian screen covering the hood.
“I will dress this way to show respect for the honored dead,” I'xazula said.
The group walked through the plain halls. While they walked, Eylen hoped that this time they would get info about the broken ward. She was getting tired of bouncing around from world to world. Then again Eylen felt that maybe her hope would be dashed and there would be another complication. All she could do was to keep going forward. In a few hours or less, Eylen would know for sure. Deep down she was expecting anything but finally getting to the mission goal.