<=Previous | Contents | Next=>
Ignus appeared in a shadowed hall. He looked around, not knowing where he was, but sensing his surroundings. He spoke out loud of what he had found.
*"Great power isss here."* A spectral, barbed form had glided forward as Ignus stared about himself.
I HAVE NEED OF YOU. THERE ARE CREATURES THAT MUST DIE. Somehow, Ignus knew those the figure had mentioned included the master he respected/hated. Ignus followed the spectral figure as it moved away, his laughter echoing about him.
Morte looked around. There was no sign of the chief, or of anyone else. From his previous trip to the fortress, Morte knew it was impossible to find the chief on his own. He would have to wait for the chief, or someone, to find him. In the meantime, his best defense would be to play dead. Morte had a lot of experience being almost dead, and he thought he could give a convincing performance.
"Shadows." Dak'kon identified the forms about himself. One, more barbed and less a hole in the light than the others, addressed him.
AH, THE GITHZERAI. I REMEMBER HIM WELL SUBMIT.
"I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated."
YOU CANNOT HOPE TO DEFEAT ME.
"I have been here before. This time I shall never leave."
SO BE IT. The speaker moved off, but the other shadows flowed inward, until it seemed as though the darkness itself had moved to cover Dak'kon from view.
"Its so cold here," Annah muttered to herself as she walked down the dimly lit passageway. The shock of finding herself alone in this place had thrown her normal skills into hiding. She did not notice the barbed shape until she nearly ran into it.
AH... THE FIENDLING GIRL. WHERE IS THE ONE WHO BROUGHT YOU HERE?
"In a place where *yeh'll* never find 'im. If yeh think to be taking him, yeh'll be needing ta get through me, first."
YOUR WORDS HAVE PASSION'S STRENGTH. AND PRECIOUS LITTLE REASON.
"If it gives me the strength ta gut yeh, I donnae care!"
CURIOUS... YOUR REASON FOR FOLLOWING HIM HERE IS BECOMING CLEAR -
"Enough of yer chatterin'! If it's a *fight* yeh want, then c-!"
COULD IT BE THAT YOU SOMEHOW PERCEIVE YOURSELF AS *SPECIAL* IN HIS EYES?
"If - if yeh're gonna try an' get *past* me then go on n' do it! I..."
FIENDLING, I HAVE WATCHED THE ONE YOU FOLLOW ACROSS MANY LIFETIMES. I KNOW HIS HEART, AND I KNOW THERE HAVE BEEN COUNTLESS OTHERS WHO HAVE FELT PASSION FOR HIM. OF THEM ALL, YOU ARE CERTAINLY THE *LEAST.* YOU ARE A *THING,* BASTARDIZED BY YOUR PARENTS AND THE PLANES...
"*Shut* yer bone-box, yeh hear me?! Shut y-"
ANSWER ME THIS, AND YOU WILL KNOW SILENCE, CHILD. DOES THE ONE YOU FOLLOW *MATTER* TO YOU?
"He matters more ta me, than mae life."
Annah attacked the shadowy figure, but alone, she was no match for the magic that was called forth.
"It is difficult to separate shadow from the darkness here." Fall-From-Grace stared about herself. "This is not a place meant for the living."
AH, THE TANAR'RI. The voice came from behind her. She whirled, to confront the spectral presence in its barbed armor.
"So. You are the spider that lies in the center of it all. I have many questions that you could answer. Your goals in this matter have not been entirely clear."
MY GOALS ARE NOT FOR YOU TO KNOW, FALLEN TANAR'RI. MY INDULGENCE IS ALL THAT KEEPS YOUR BLACK HEART BEATING IN YOUR CHEST. YOU MAY LEAVE WITH YOUR LIFE NOW, IF YOU WILL.
"My heart is neither black nor do I fear for my life. My companions, my friends, are here in your fortress. I shall not leave until we are rejoined and the man we follow has resolved this matter to a satisfactory conclusion."
THERE IS *NO* SATISFACTORY CONCLUSION TO THIS FOOL'S ERRAND. YOU WILL LEAVE THIS PLACE, AND YOU SHALL LEAVE YOUR UNDYING COMPANION HERE. FEAR NOT FOR HIS LIFE. THE ONLY PRICE HE SHALL PAY IS THE LOSS OF MEMORY.
"As gracious as your offer is, I must refuse your offer to abandon my friends. As for the 'small' price he will pay at your hands, it is the equivalent of death to him. I have traveled with this man for some time, and there are many things I do not wish him to forget."
*HE WILL FORGET.* IT IS HIS *FATE* TO REMAIN IGNORANT. HE WILL FORGET YOU, TANAR'RI, JUST AS HE HAS FORGOTTEN ALL WHO HAVE WALKED THE PATH OF MISERY WITH HIM. HE EXISTS TO DIE, FORGET, AND DIE AGAIN. HE IS *NOTHING.*
"That is *your* judgment. The fact remains that I do not wish him to forget me, nor all that he has struggled for to reach this place. He has suffered much, and I find my sympathies lie with him rather than the arrogant creature that postures before me and fights as a *coward* fights, preferring to kill from a distance where his opponent cannot reach him."
"You shall torment him no more."
TANAR'RI... PERHAPS YOU DOUBT MY POWERS HERE, IN THIS PLACE. A DEMONSTRATION MAY SILENCE YOUR DOUBT.
"You have done enough harm. Prepare yourself."
YOU ARE NOTHING. I CAN FORGE PLANES WITH MY POWER. I CAN UNMAKE YOU.
Magical energies played about the two figures, as they sought one another's destruction. Long moments passed before one figure slumped to the ground; the standing figure, a barbed shadow, moved off.
"Processing. Plane: Negative Material. Location: Fortress of Regrets." Nordom exchanged clicks with his crossbows, reassuring them; or perhaps they were reassuring him. A barbed, ethereal form glided out of the darkness.
AH, THE ROGUE CONSTRUCT.
"Sense of closure imminent."
YOU HAVE OVERSTEPPED YOURSELF. SUBMIT.
"You wish harm upon one who has aided Nordom at cost to his selves. Nordom will attempt to stop you. Prospect of success: slight." A bolt of magical energy impacted Nordom, directed from the figure he was facing.
THE BODY IS A SHELL. INTENSE PRESSURE MAY FRACTURE IT. SHALL I CONTINUE?
"You intend to harm him. Nordom will stop you." Several
more bolts of energy hit Nordom, knocking the Modron down. Nordom
did not stir; not even his crossbows made a sound.
<=Previous | Contents | Next=>