The End of Eternity: LoF Session LV
Dillex Ma’had laid lazily and imperial, strewn on the gilded throne. The emerald and purpled hues of the Major Domo shimmered as she nodded her head in terse agreement. With a pointed motion, she reached out her hand and crooked a single finger creating a beckoning motion with indolent unadorned authority. The compatriot stepped forward and stood servile, prepared for her every bidding. A young-yeared man leisurely stood at attention, hunched with insecurities and troubles that produced the wrinkles and ridges in his face adding unknown years. His complexion light skinned as if even the kiss of the Everlight’s sun had missed him and caused a heavy contrast juxtaposed to his dark hair. Though the stark contrast was blatantly apparent it was not garish.
To the contrary, it highlighted his every feature as he was supernaturally attractive cloaked in a starlite blue and adorned with rugged travel items that had seen years of wear. Though thinnly with an awesome presence, the khadim – slave, stood devoutly in front of the Major Domo.
With a snap of her fingers, and with pointed question steeped in brevity, the Major Domo ordered the khadim’s knowledge regarding the wizard known as Andrathi. As the thinnly man, the khadim, shifted his weight from one foot to another as a recollection of Jhavul resurfaced to his mind. Instantaneous and traumatic he recalled the moments leading to and how Andrathi was killed. Skeptical of the newcomers’ mission, he listened as the party of Kelmarane wished to wander to the isle of ice, Ileskirin, the wizard’s place of “rest”. Resolute in their going Faharid, Khatovar, Ce-tan, and Zhakmed denied belief from the storyteller, their conviction to leave the sorted and beautifully crafted world of Kakishon hanging languidly in the air and their ideal steps mingled with the palpable eagerness of freedom for the emerald-violet eyes of his master. Anticipatory, Dillex Ma’had eyed the group with a dry hope, ready to adventure and be released from the confine of the giftedly cursed demi-plane. The thinnly man gripped the linens of his half-robe tightly. Ordered to accompany the rest with an entourage of attendants, Kalifeed, the supernal beautied khadim of the Major Domo joined.
The wispen faluca unfurled its ethereal translucent sails with Dillex and her doppleganger assistants towing silks and perfumed lavish boxes aboard watching as Khalifeed took in the crystal sea eyes wide and absorbing. The vessel sailed forth on winds unbound as its passengers took their time to relax aboard. Looking upward from the seas and the shorescapes, the aurora viridi clung awkwardly in a center of the cerulean skies and loomed shifting like an unstabled mirage. It stretched and expanded across the azure air exposing a dark and churning vortex of infinite depth, without light. The suspicions of the scar were confirmed as the erudite Kalifeed believed as well the gravity and magnitude of its bearing was the tearing of planes to the Maelstrom.
The silvered glittering of ice and snow twinkled in the afternoon sun’s artificial light. The isle Ileskirin emerged from the sea’s horizon, its icen cliffs jutted, cragged, and speared reaching high into the clouds of snow within the heavens. The Brass Boatman slowed the ship as it advanced into the gulfs and shoreline. As if by rote memory, the guide kept the ship on course with caution. The long inlet was lain with stratified ice and dotted sparse with odd color and shape for several miles as it pierced between glacier and mountain carving a path to the next hostel. As the dock outstretched to accommodate all manner of vessel, the hostel was stalwart against the elements as if unphased by the increasingly inclement weather. The wind whipped in an icy below zero freeze. All members disembarked, the boat flowed back into the bottle. As the party entered from the snow strewn dock the simple gold, brass, and alabaster hostel had a flash of movement from within its pillared and open air motif; a black cat stirred. On seeing newcomers, the cat’s eyes widened and pupils dilated, furiously it dashed away. As if by reading the creature’s mind through its body, Khatovar was quick to chase his familiar quarry, running expediently after it into the distance heedless of dangers. The cat’s fluid speed and muscular grace pushed the feline up and over embankments and through the powdered snow, feet pounding on the frozen earth at the rate of its frightened heart. Though fast, the dark cat was not fleet enough. Khatovar quickly closed the gap with a speed and efficient movement that wasted no time, that wasted no energy. The feline was swiftly and utterly outmatched by size and speed and gait, being run down in a matter of mere moments.
Khatovar’s grip was tender yet firm. He held the cat by the scruff of the neck while it writhed and clawed and flailed trying to bring itself free. Within its struggle, Khatovar held the tiny being aloft and partially outstretched, raised it and turned it to his face to meet it eye to eye. The black cat struggled and continued to claw but relented. As if smelling something familiar, the cat began relaxing, staring back into the Suli’s dark eyes and purred. Gingerly, and as if knowing the cat would abide the massive Suli placed it atop his shoulder, cradled between his own skin and the lionware headed pauldron. He walked back with the cat in tow and believing it to be Andrathi reincarnate. On his return, the group stared incredulously at the heedless member and his new companion. After a fashion, though Khatovar believed the cat to be Andrathi, the rest persuaded him otherwise describing the animal as Andrathi’s familiar, a being bolostered by the dead mages magics. Khatovar gripped the cat by the scruff of the neck again from his shoulder and placed the cat down to the marbled floors of the hostel. Immediately the cat circled the front of the tall warrior and curiously bit the silvered and brass bracers that Tempest had transformed into as the Suli bent with an arm held low. Though unsuccessful it had obviously attempted to remove Tempest from Khatovar’s arm. The relative giant brushed the cat away with a wave of his hand.
Dillex, the doppelgangers, Kalifeed, and those of Kelmarane camped in the hostel, as night passed and all fell asleep, Khatovar remained awake and vigilant. The warrior patrolled and watched the newest animal companion in earnest, a hope to plumb its depths for answers. The cat shddered and twitched, its back arched and hackles bristled in defensive for survival. It darted back and forth between and behind the tall man, stepping into and out of his shadow without warning, erratically breathing and heaving itself away from the horizon. Khatovar startled and unsure of what to do watched as the animal, unable to communicate, panicked.
As morning approached, the rays of dawnlight crested over the twinkling white blanketed ground and snowy air. The black-coated cat stopped its panicked and frantic movements in front of his new protector. Its eyes widened as it had when it had first laid eyes on the newcomers, fearfully. Looking at Khatovar with terrified eyes, slick dark coated companion bristled and without time to breathe started a wailing hiss, and collapsed. In the sun’s rays, the snow came down hard and added an additional blanket to the silence. Khatovar hunched down somber. Knowingly and unknowingly he picked up his new found friend, body limp and breathless, speaking softly as if he could coax it awake. His head hung low in the dawn as the curled cat laid still in the cup of his hands.
One by one, they woke. Each ate and drank for the oncoming excursion. Kalifeed paused as he took in the view of the glittering mountain in snow blustered weather and snowy scapes. His speech called to attention his front row seat to Andrathi’s death, how the Wishcrafter murdered the wizard before his eyes and left him to the destruction of an ice mephit village, whereabouts guided by his enslaved decent from the interconnected caves to the base of the mountain. Khatovar looked unknowingly at the tiny black animal as he finished his preparations and gently placed it curled and cradled in the cusp of his pauldron and his neck. As by resolute and commanded effort, Kalifeed eyed the Suli and set off with his regalia and guided those of Kelmarane toward the bleak wizard’s grave.
The ice flowed and dammed and a thundering sound ripped the air. As each traveler bred from Kelmarane continued up the jagged path, Kalifeed’s eyes widened with and unborn sense of foreboding as he cast a means for everyone to walk on air. The group following the slave’s lead ran higher up a steep climbing path of air and situated themselves behind boulders and outcroppings. An ice rift cracked and ripped apart a piece of the mountain face. The alpine glacier sloughed chunks of crag and splintered pieces of rocky ice with explosive force; ice erupting from the highland walls. The oncoming stampede careened through the ice without losing momentum. White and mirror sheened scales attached to the multiple heads of mammoth hydras herded forth and rampaged and stamped snow and rock-hard ice alike, being prodded and spurred to speeds faster than they would otherwise had gone. Flying behind and in between them, shrouded in white and blue translucent gossamer skin, native mephitis pushed the wintry hydras faster with spears to their hind quarters. As they passed without notice of the group secretly in the recesses in the alcoves of the terrain, the last mephit to exit the cavernous and destructive herding path was shackled to the tunnel mouth. Ce-tan’s smile grew from a thin lined frame to smirk. Surprised and frightened, the small native screamed out over the din of the stampede. It’s compatriots looked back to find one of their own being accosted and chained malevolently to the tunnel, instantly grew icen bearded masks looking hellacious and ready for battle.
Ce-tan looked back towardFaharid with an incredulous look as the swordsman shot him his own look of forewarning. The red-skinned sorcerer shrugged with impunity, “You wanted a mephit, well here’s your mephit.” One of the herding mephits stepped forward from their duty of shepherding, yelling in an antiquated an azurean Aquan tounge, pointing his spear calling out at the red-skinned Ce-tan. Its tone threatening and fearful all at once; the hydras turned from their straight course back toward the direction that they came.
A paper thin multicolored translucent wall sprung to life traveling over icy outcroppings and tamped terrain barring the herd from interrupting the pseudo-interrogation. Kalifeed looked worried as the stampede crashed into the wall which stopped their advance. The hisses and roars cried out over the top of the wall as Khatovar called out to the lone mephit affording a rescue attempt for its kin with casual discourse, “I wish to have you as our guide.” The red-skinned Ifriti-blooded man’s ears piqued as the words of his companion were opportunistically taken advantage. The words clarified and warped and misshapen as Ce-tan blew a honey-tongued kiss into the air as a multi-layered voice hummed through the air and persuaded the little being to take his kin’s stead to become our sherpa through the mountain. The icen bearded mask fell apart piece by piece as the rescuer nodded. Agreeing with the warrior in the old Aquan tongue, it reassured its friend they would return safely and became the hostage as their friend shackles were dispersed like flower petals in a breeze. The once shackled mephit fled with an uncourageous speed and the group fell in line through the stampeded dark and empty cavern driven forward by their newest guide.
Closer and closer to the heart of Andrathi’s tomb the ice mephit trembled anxiously. The tremors were fierce and when prompted to discuss the fear within its eyes it spoke in flustered speech, “It’s almost night time.” “What happens at night?” The mephits stared gravely back into the distance of the caves, “It comes… The Homebreaker”. Kalifeed was brought to remember the heinous scenes like a trauma replaying from repressed memory. Jhavul’s retinue came into the glacier with unladen and unbridled imperious power. In ritual and spiteful act, the Ifrit summoned a brutal and primordial fire elemental. The elemental thing born of rancor wrought destruction and conflict as it broke the cavernous dugout homes of the Ice Mephits and left Andrathi to watch the slaughter. The heartless and depraved Ifrit let the wizard watch the senselessness while he contemptuously spat on a rock. The rock laid smoothly curved and slightly flat with chains drawing the mage’s limbs away from his body, into a splayed and helpless position. Jhavul left Andrathi chained and defenseless ready to be tortured and killed for last. Unable to be abated, the Ifrit’s ire was wicked, odious; WIshcraft born of spite and malice to loop the wizard and primitive town of rebirth and death and destruction for eternity; from sun-down to sun-up.
The cold pathway continued inward with new and decayed flowers. More petals laid motionless and melancholy as they had been tossed in a loose ring; a remembrance and memorial to the native mephits’ fallen families. “We’re not supposed to go further”, the small mephit shrieked as if displeased and hardened by sadness. Ce-tan smirked unequivocally and knowingly, “but we still require guidance.” The mephits face plummeted abysmal and unresistant.
As night’s thick net trawled upon the skies, ice flew from shelf to shelf as the cave plateau overlooked the wonders of the wishcraft below. The granules of the town reversed their flow of time, imploding and rearranging in various forms making beautiful tribal carved caverns and figures. A mosaic of tribal beauty stood tall with grandoise relief on the surrounding walls in adorned and intricate craftsmanship. In the center of the tribal commune, a black rock rested, smooth as ice, the large slab of heated rock seen in the visions and dreams of the bearer of the ancient entity Tempest. The compartments reformed and snow mephits themselves began reshaping to their prior stature before their obliteration. The limp body of Andrathi’s cat carried on the shoulder of Khatovar stirred and startled awake. In recognition of where it was, it panicked and dug its claws into the flesh of the tall man and lept to a greater height on an ice shelf. Below Andrathi reformed slowly. Splayed on the center deific slab with accompanied scream as his insides assembled and twisted the hollow shell of what was a powerful man reformed; his soul forever trapped in endless torment.
Flying down on feet of a zephyr, Kalifeed moved to unshackle the wizard only to find the man unsettled and broken. His eyes bespoke pain and insanity as each death was just a continuation of his most recent time of death. The chains of force wreathed their victim’s arms and legs shackling him wordless and horrified. Tried as he had, Kalifeed could not undo the chains through force or sorcery. A bright redness gleamed through the silvery floor below appearing to get closer and closer to the surface. Khatovar for all his might, lept from the plateaued shelf above and came cometing downward. With a heavy blow that had so shaken the stone-scaled whale days ago, he set down his worth upon the chain to free its captive. The sound ground and snapped and cored a thundering noise echoing around the chamber whole. The force of the blow, though would have sent the whale rocketing toward the waters deep did not wreck the chains. The gleamed shackles remained smooth and unphased to the shock and grand power, but beneath them – the splintered and dusting rivulets came course of the smooth rock slab and were left broken and hanging. The chains invulnerable, the rock mutable. Faharid lept down and awaited the primordial monster to arise from the depths with readied anticipation.
It erupted. The whole of the reddened floor melted and vaporized as a colossal oddly shaped hand emerged from the ice floor dragging up another lava-flow appendage. The molten mass drew its bulk in an unhurried and languid pace ready to destroy what had been recast and rebuilt time and time again. The heat desiccated and stifled the air to miasmic clouds of sulfur and watered ash. As it reared from its created pit, the bubbling and primal reddened flows contoured eyes and gaped mouth outlined by fractured roiling lines across its arms and its vastness. The feral ferocity sounded a roared-hiss accepting all to an eternity of misery.
Faharid stepped forward, blade slick and oiled, slashing violently and forcefully. The slashes rent the torso of the climbing colossal monster, removing chunks of plated cooled minerals from its outer recesses. The injuries burst forth as if undammed and spurted across the ground and nearby areas, touching the swordman in gentle spray but harming him with grievous burns. Khatovar flung himself headlong toward the creature, rolling over the occupied slab, and calling upon vast amounts of clear and cold air to wreathe and roll upon him. The gelid bittering fists pummeled the body of the thing, through the tough exterior and forcibly reaching the molten fire-strewn soft of the primal. It roared and hissed with mineral flow reforming around the wounds as the lava burst forth covering the almost bear man with a spray of vicious heat and blistering pain. The colossus reared in a weighted lethargy jutting its columned appendages and swiped across the plane with a leaden hell, burning combatants and vaporizing the environs with spilt fluid. None close were missed, the prone wizard out of reach and onlooking. The swordsman and pugilist wavered as cracked and scalded fleshy irritated baubles of melted skin distracted them.
The ice snapped into existence through thin bluish line from Ce-tan and Zahir. The cold cracked like a lightning bolt striking a lone tree amid the grassland, severing chunks and slabs of the primal body. The hulking mass of the colossus stumbled and fell forward propping itself on still sturdy pillar-like arms and spewed forth sluggish red-hot magma to pool and cover the cold floors. The air stifled and choked on a chaotic and jilted balance of dry-humid density. The colossus reeled backward with arms outreached from behind and readied itself as it to bring them down to bear a semi-fluid haymaker.
Its defenses removed; its mindlessness, downfall. The creature exposed the core of itself and in turn left the opening of its fluid hearts too bare. Ce-tan and Zahir’s reprieve was enough. Khatovar, centered as on the plains of the Ketapeshi desserts drew in the massive corona of created cold pulled from the air and surrounds and coalesced the element in lapping wreaths of fluidity upon himself with greater fervor. His fist pounded and knocked and pummeled and broke through the primordial barrier of the mindless Homebreaker as the strikes drove deeper, one, and deeper, two, and deeper, three into seven relentless and violent strikes. Each hitting the previous mark as if a life pounded the foundational pillar to a temple for the gods. The unearthly freezing set forth from beneath the lava flowed life of the magma beast bled solid and sordid. The remainder of its fluid life poured in pools down and around from the depths of its coming and spurted and sprayed on its remorseless and seared assailant behind darkening red orificed features. The Battlemaster of Kelmarane blistered angry and still as the thing withdrew lifelessly. Khatovar felt a hand on his shoulder and felt his wounds knit and repair as Zhakmed stared down the hole. The quiet was disturbed by friendly footfalls and the hiss of boiling water. Over shoulder, Andrathi remained broken and silently screaming in mouthed words of unbelief and 400 years of tortured insanity.