The End of Eternity: LoF Session XLVII
The days and nights blended together and dragged onward as the old arcanum professor was returned to his burned sanctum and began working on the scroll of Kakishon in earnest. With 2 weeks passed, Rayhan’s transcribed Asiriani magical ruins lay scrawled over the vellum and papyrus scented library room within the magical college. His meticulousness rewarded cracked the cryphered gateway into the demi-plane, and for his efforts all within the lay lined circle will travel to Kakishon, theoretically. Unfortunately his age and his obligations to the magical college and Katepesh left him in disappointment as the weight of reality left him unable to accompany the entourage of Kelmarane. His only request, to bring his companion and friend Abenishi, the cursed wizard turned Bird of Paradise, to the uncharted world through the slice of the Maelstrom.
Ceremonially, Rayhan tightened his fingers around the damaged scroll and book to reveal its path. Unravelling the scroll and placing it to the pedestal in the center of the room, he began the incantation with resplendent wonder, trepidation, and curiosity. The candle and lamplight flickered and dimmed as one by one the ancient Asiriani symbols illuminated and pulsed, filling themselves with a powerful and supernatural life. The glyphs grew in intensity, prismatic lattice and lotus-like colors pulled off the ground like paper sheets taken by a violent wind. Boring amidst the tiny tempest the scroll opened itself to blackness, a rip sharply and stackly was created in the center of the beige and burnt scroll renting the map across the floor and the glyphs therein with a glowing golden light streamed frantic and alive.
A torrent and typhoon pulled the Kelmarane Heroes downward into a free fall. An archipelago emerged as they fell and break neck speeds toward the isled seascape; deserts, forests, tundras, volcanoes were painted on a live canvas like a golden cyclone floats the participants for what feels like days. Suddenly, a red hued tornado flew upward past the falling party. The red-skinned troop militaristically chanting toward the single guilded Outsider, “Javoul! Javoul! Javoul!” The cometing Ifrit called outward into the heavens and through the now open gateway, “The Avenging Sword Javoul the Magnificent has returned!” Unable to be stopped, the rush of people passed upward as the continued descent into a beautiful dominion was marred by the gravity and unexpected regret; something dangerous had been let loose. The typhoon strands of light started to warp and wink out of vision… unforgivingly the party was cast like rain from the skies crashing into the crystal and tropical waters.
A miniature ship hovering in the center of a bottle bred smoke beneath its hull. The quick wispy smoke drew outward from the bottle’s neck and filled the surface of the crystal blue oceans and colour of a growing reef teaming with life. The small glass bottle within Ce-tan’s ornate sashes was retrieved with quick thought and uncorked. The Boat of Ling in full majesty floated effortlessly like marbles on glass receding the wisps of smoke back into the ephemeral woods of the vessel. Looking toward the green shoreline, Ce-tan estimated the shoreline miles away and realizing the heights of frustration utters incredulity, “Why the hell am I wet? Damn this place already. Wait, what is that?”
Gazing in the crystal waters above the coral and rock massive eels shieked and rushed outward from their homes in the cracks and crevices of fluid darkness. Being swifty bitten Ce-tan quickly mutters an incantation and with haste streams out of the water in flight as far as allowed with such a retreat. Zahir swiftly followed. But with the retreat to the skies, the patterns of the living reef were made visible to them. The floor a mere body length deep would be impairing and disadvantageous against such an animal so accustomed to an environ.
Bracing against the coral bottom, Khatovar acted as the eel lept out of the water toward the genie and sorceror. The honed skill of follower of Irori catapulted himself effortlessly and came down upon the encroaching sea serpent with hands clenched tightly together and ferociously as if a dragon had bitten straight into the snake-like creatures whole body. The eel shuttled violently into the depths.
Realizing that the entourage was scattered and between water and reefs, the ocean rippled. The coral from underneath broke and fell away like splinters from a grinding stone. The eels, long and thick with scale and sediment, ripped from the coral reef floor taking with them a gigantic body hidden beneath. The eels were connected at the trunk of the monstrous creature lurking from the depth. Eleven heads, one body, a concert of choral roars. The talons, as sharp and grotesque as a culling executioner’s sword. It’s tail, as winding forever and animated thick and stalwart. Its heads, the eleven set of eyes peered everywhere inspecting the quarry which had eluded its first strike, now above water repealing the refractory image of large serpents which might be quickly evaded with dark hollow and frenzying blood-soaked eyes and gnashing carnivorous grimace. The hydra danced madly with primal force atop the weakening reef.
It was a welcome to all things spontaneous. A predatory and austere reminder amid the placid and beautiful backdrop. This is Kakishon. This is survival of the fittest and the magical retreat of the bored and dangerous.
The guardian genie Zahir with a whip of air beneath his mercurial feet careens to the armorclad weighted Zahkmed. The reaching of his arm to lift the battle-worn priest from the water whilst projecting the magics from the ring bestowed by his new and capricious master wrenched the concentrated bead of fire from its sanctum unto the gigantic beast, enveloping it with fire otherworldly and damaging the monster throughout. Zahkmed with kindness healed any wounds suffered with a quick prayer and was elevated from the waters into the skies by his new compatriot.
Faharid swam furiously in the tumultuous tides against the swirl and flows of the thrashing monster. His sword in hand as a guide did not parry the oncoming start of a voracious head which broke through the unsured footing and floating adherent devotee of the Sun Goddess with shear weight and force. The remainder of the heads found their marks, collapsing their bent and toothy maws upon flesh.
The hydra whipped and snarled and crashed upon its surroundings tromping closer to the boat. Ce-tan, not far enough from the whirlind of destruction in flight, was mortally wound and fell from the sky like a feather atop the boat, lifeless and pouring a life’s blood and soulbound energies into the wood. Zahir with duty propelled himself and the healer toward his master’s body, Zhakmed knowing instantly the immediate resuscitation magics required. The boat too was ripped and bit and shattered as an unknown source of sustainance as the beast had never came across such a large and unyielding structure.
Jumping again from the reef and now splintered woods, Khatovar closed in on his assailant and with the force of 20 Orision elephants crushed his fist into the belly of the beast. The shock and gravity which had permeated the Gnoll-ish alchemist a year prior, less the visible arc of furious lightning, was pushed through the beast skipping its behemoth heart and shaking the giant to its core enough to cause it to reel in nothing but agony. A now reawoken and fixed Ce-tan eye flew open and instinctively flew toward an unbroken port hole.
The rage and otherworldly glimpse of the afterlife fell like portraits and play behind the screen of his eyes. The placid waves came as a roiling hell, with sound and fury alike. The ache of blood still trickling from grievous wounds made pecariously whole again by companion benefactor. His ire bubbled from beyond the grave and made stately in his resurrection… that hell… that fire unquelled and unchecked made flush his already red-tinged cheeks and brow and hateful protruding veins. A tempest rushed onward, extending his hand in imperious vice-like hands; clawed in apparitive gesture Ce-tan let loose the doors of revenant and furious fire the likes of which has never been seen. From the beaded line a fateful fire, insidious to sight, bloomed and enveloped the hydrous beast with flame licked and lapping swallowing every inch of unguarded scaled and natural flesh. The creature screamed and roared in the additional melt and scorch, unable to move normally. But the flames held… The fire lingered like an unforgiving and just reaction as if Sarenrae herself judged this monster as she had a people and city of crimes against morality; this too burned with an astro-apocalyptic intent with the spiteful look of Ce-tan’s countenance bearing down.
The flames held… Zahir adding his master’s own creation of flame with more wreathing fire. In a swirl like a serpentine dragon, the fire bled through the ring and pounced around the creature’s charred and flaking body with a morbid passion and deadly desire.
The flames held… And with his lasting breath between the vortices of fire, and the gaping flesh made available as the scales pulled and cracked and curled backwards, a flashing ring of steeled air flew across the breast of the beast. As Zayifid had wielded before, the sword of the South Wind drew the air around it, feeding the flame and borrowed itself deeply into the belly of the hydra. With a gnarled and spittled yell Farahid pushed with all his strength the sword, dragging further and further outward of the hydra’sbody until the rush of inhuman organ and blood filled the waters and pooled solemnly around the hungry and slain creature.
Unsatisfied, Ce-tan floated above the lain giant. And without remorse, incinerated it to a husk of remains and scorched bone, eyes filled with contempt, spittle shaking from an incredulous lip; he spat on it and floated backward to the deck of the scarthed elegiac boat reapplying the enchanted breeze he is so fond of and cleaning himself of the awkward transgression.
The hydra’s den though compromised with awful debris revealed a party of three long deceased Gnolls that have long since passed, primitive looking within the confines of the underwater grotto, decorated with nothing else than shells and unremarkable stones knotted in dispersing fur.
The Boat of Ling boasted a singular throne aft-ward. A silver circlet with a purple gemstone lay on the ornate chair of the boat atop a silkened pillow. Sitting in its comforts, Ce-tan adorns the circlet as a king being reminded the boat sails on the mental capabilties of its captain through dreams, as there is no helm. Immediately, the sorcerrous savant fell asleep. And as if he could sense the remaining passenger, less himself, he felt as the boat would as it hovered compliantly above the placid and now ruddy waters. Unsettled, he shook himself awake from the awkward dream and instead passed the enchantment onto Faharid to “steer” in his stead, piloting the boat and dreaming of Nex’s Palace.
The waters continued crystal and the lands were verdant as ever as the boat “sailed” onward a sprint away from the coastline. Over the landscapes minarets like marbled spires pierced the green with white and yellow-ed alabaster color. As the boat continued, a dock jutted from the entrance of a Palace of Brass with a conjoined and beautifully adorned beach of white sand.
As the journeymen disembarked, Ce-tan once more removed the bottle from his ornate and auspicious raiment. Calling forth the mists from unknown sources of the hull, the boat dissipated into the thick cloud and funneled gently back into its portable home.
The Palace of Brass stood ornate with marble and precious stones, open and airy the columns were not unlike a restive bathhouse and hall of revelry. Large and expansive, a slab of beautifully carved stone extended like a welcoming hand wreathed in food and drink. The splayed feast assaulted the senses with delicious exotic and adventurous tastes and delicacies of Golarion and some not. Nexian magic surely radiated throughout and though food and drink was brought beyond the area of the palace, it held fast and stayed as it was conjured. The columns we lined with beautiful and comforting beds of silken threads and intense color, hammocks adorned for leisure appeared as though thought created them from a hearts desire . The brass and marble walls stood convincingly as their Master would’ve liked, to entertain all manner of guest in any fashion.
After walking for a while to take in the surroundings and enchanted house of the creator, the emissaries of Kelmarane find themselves back to the palace. From the halls, the beach is seen with a creature dragging itself from the clear and blue waters. A sheen mirroring the rays of a sun seen in the distance, a whirring noise accompanying its strides, it stops as it closes to the palace but does not crawl inside. As the wanderers gather closer the metallic sea turtle whirs and spurs in subtle mechanical noise, bowing its head in greeting. Nodding, it rolls over as if presenting itself to scrupulous eyes.
Etched in the plate shelled belly of the constructed turtle, a message clung cleanly in the dead language Asirani. To paraphrase the word of Nex, to hunters in need of challenges to take down the Golden Ram and sound its horn to bring about the ship to the Golden Palace. It is a test of skill and not of raw power.
However, etched again in different hand as if someone had added addendum, “Give the egg to the boat man and he will bring you directly to us.” As the words are spoke aloud, the turtle righted itself by turning over and undulated back toward the sea leaving behind an egg of brass.
The world “we” created, the “imprisoner” is gone now… with those of us at rest, tomorrow the hunt begins.