Osanna. Part 2. (Osanna’s Journal Part 28)

Osanna finishes polishing her shield and places it on the stand that also bears her armor and helmet.  As she admires her reflection in the armor, she is content that the last two hours’ worth of toil was more than sufficient.  “I have to be the standard, after all.”   She pauses to look at the shrine to Sarenrae in her room and asks aloud, “How do I spend a normal day, Mother?  I fear that I’ve forgotten how.”  As she considers the events for the remainder of her day, she pauses to look at the trophies about her room that tell a story of their own.  A rune giant’s tusk, a gigantic white dragon’s fang, a huge stone giant’s war horn, a lock of nymph’s hair, and a repaired statue of an angel.  Lastly, with a smile, she stops to admire an old bell on her desk from what feels like the distant past, but isn’t.  “I should polish this old thing…no.  It would lose some of its character, I think.”  She opens the shutters in her room and is barraged with the late morning sun and a cool, but not uncomfortable breeze.  She closes her eyes, smiles, and takes in a long slow breath.  “You’re right, Mother.  I’ve taken this for granted for far too long.” 

A short while later, Osanna is seated on the front steps of Sarenrae’s temple with her book of illustrations and set of charcoal pencils.  The most recent drawing is of Osanna conversing fondly with a radiantly beautiful well-dressed Qadiran woman of a greater height than herself with the sun shining down upon the Underbridge district.  “It doesn’t do you justice, Mother.”  She smiles, turns to the next page, and begins to draw with what skill she has.  She pauses intermittently to wave at passersby that greet her or to throw a ball back to children playing.  As she draws, she has what she considers to be a rare in gift in the form of peace, quiet, and time for reflection.

I recall now the surge of emotions that I felt when I set that first foot down off of the caravan in Sandpoint.  Relief, excitement, determination, anxiety, hope, and curiosity.  It was my first posting as a woman and a paladin in this faraway, exotic land known as Varisia, and I was as completely different from the people there as could be imagined.  Or so I thought.  It’s true, I looked tremendously different than the mixed folk that I discovered there, and I had accepted that initially they’d be afraid of me.  And they were, at least some of them. 

The Swallowtail Festival was, in hindsight, the best thing that could have happened.  They all had a chance to sit with me, eat with me, dance with me, and see me for who I am past the horns and the violet skin of my birth.  It turned out that we weren’t so different after all.  I feel like I was so young back then, before I met them.  Them

Osanna frowns, erases a few lines, blows the refuse off of the paper, and continues to draw.

If I would have asked Sarenrae as a girl who would save the world from the Rough Beast or some other horrors, divine or otherwise, I would have never, ever guessed that she would have told me what would come to pass without laughing mirthfully.  I can almost hear her voice with a giggle as she was gently pushing me off of the caravan.  “It will be wonderful, child.  You’ll see.  You’re going to meet the most wonderful people here.  But you won’t be traveling with them.  The five you’ll be with are..well…fixer-uppers.  Make sure to get enough sleep and don’t kill the butterflies!  Desna hates that!  Ta!

The journey and its ending is a tale fit for the grandest of bards, for certain.  What I’ve seen, what I’ve done, where I’ve gone…all of it.  The people of Varisia can finally flourish and live in peace, and all of my fixer-uppers, jagged edges and all, were worth fixing.  Though none of us will ever be the same again, we’re all better off than we were.  Bill has his father and his peace and quiet, Xander has his mother sans curse, Samael is soon to embark on a great pilgrimage to the land of my birth with me in tow in order be free of Asmodeus’ shackles.  Naru, my strange friend, is off and about in the wilds caring for orphans and founding a druid’s circle.  At least, that’s what I think she called it.  Even though I’ll never fully understand all of her gifts and mysticism, I still enjoy hearing her stories.  Glenn…he’s human again, true, but he’s far from whole.  The demons and daemons of his past still hound him, and only time will tell if he’ll heal from the ordeal.  I do not know what will happen to us all down the road, or whether or not we’ll stay close, but I plan to check in on them whether they like it or not.  Cluck cluck.

Me, you ask?  I feel as though one chapter in my life’s book has ended and another has begun.  Here I am again feeling relief, excitement, determination, anxiety, hope, and curiosity.  I have work to do.  I look at the Underbridge District and I smile.  The Sczarni cockroaches will soon attempt to scatter to their dark holes when I shed light upon them, only to discover that they’ll have no holes to hide in.  I’ll cleanse this place, build it, mold it, improve upon it, and make it my home.  Make it so that all who live here and come here will have a sense of pride for what they’re a part of.  And perhaps, here and there, I’ll have more frequent moments in time much like this one when I can live, relax, and enjoy those around me and the fruits of my labor.  Perhaps I’ll even find love some day with a man worthy of it.

Osanna finishes her drawing and holds it up to inspect her work.  It is a likeness of her dearest friends and comrades-in- arms walking along the road between Sandpoint and Magnimar together, laughing with each other and not thinking about the next horrors awaiting them.  Except for Samael and Bill.  Those two always look grumpy.  As she closes her book, she’s caught completely off guard by a snowball hitting her in the shoulder followed by the sudden laughter of a small group of boys and girls that frequent the alleys of Underbridge.  With her telltale narrowed eyes and half smirk, she goes to battle again versus worthy adversaries.

What Ifs. Osanna’s Journal Part 27.

Osanna places her journal across her knees that night as she curls up in the corner and watches her companions take what rest that they may.  She opens the book to the next blank page, and takes a few moments to shut her eyes and clear her mind before she begins scrolling her thoughts onto it in the right-to-left script of her native Kellid tongue.

They say that hindsight always provides the greatest clarity.   I’ve been thinking quite a lot of the events of late, along with the conversations that Glenn and I have had….and of the choices I’ve made.  I’ve long since lamented, to a point, the choice that I made to take the Oath of Chastity when I swore my Paladin’s Oath to Sarenrae those years ago.  When I was a girl, a young man of the faith and I took a risky gamble to take the first few steps along the road to romance and perhaps even young love together.  We gambled…he lost.  Perhaps we both did, as I later learned from my demon mother than she had orchestrated the entire event.  How?  I know not, and I’ve also entertained the possibility that she lied to me altogether in an attempt to unsettle me. 

Regardless, I’ve made my choices and here I am.  Here we are.  I’ve been watching them all very closely these last few months, and I let my mind wander sometimes about the “what ifs” when we have down time in between being saviors or “heroes of prophecy.”  What if, I wonder, I was not bound by my oath and was able to have a lover as I saw fit?  Would he be one of these brave folk that bleed alongside me? 

Bill’s transformation from selfish, angry introvert into kind, thoughtful introvert has impressed me greatly.  I thought that his incident at the church was him lashing out at me in anger over the pain he felt at the loss of his brother, or perhaps at his frustration at the rigid code by which I choose to live my life.  As it turns out, he was angry at the thought of the loss of his father and projected his anger at me due to my sister’s involvement.  Since then, I’ve seen him display forgiveness both towards me and his father’s own ignorance and use Alaznist’s flower relic to break curses on several others.  There’s a good heart inside him, which I greatly admire, but I fear that his ultimately simple desires to read and overindulge will lead to a waste of his great talents.

Xander, while a man of good intentions, is not governed completely by his own free will.  I see in him a dangerous fragility.  Admiration and love for one’s parents is a quality that we should all strive for, but not to one’s detriment.  His fear of the loss of his mother has allowed his clearly evil and controlling father’s spirit to guide and dictate his path and betimes his actions.  He thinks that a new suit of armor with Desna’s designs will provide him with some clarity or absolve him of the horrible scars that Zutha left on his soul, but he doesn’t realize that even the mightiest armor can bend or break with the correct amount of pressure at the right weak point.  He’s far from being out of danger.  Until the day comes that he’s finally able to cast aside his fears and the need to feed off of his father’s power, I can only see him as a potential liability no matter how much he aides us in the fights to come.

Samael.  If one were to hear us talk, one would think that he would be an ideal suitor for me.  He’s rather tall, very strong, handsome, and has no lack of will or determination.  Apart from that, I’m saddened to finally have to admit to myself that he is truly lost.  I had hoped, for a time, that all of the good that we were doing and my subtle (perhaps not so subtle) influence would grant him a greater insight to the error of his past choices and that he would cast aside the need for the pentagram and its total domination of his mind and future choices.  Alas, I see now that all he craves his power and will pay any price to achieve it for whatever purpose happens to be convenient to him at the time.  I can now only pray that one day he will look at himself in the mirror and realize that he hates what he sees.  I will not hold my breath in the interim.

Glenn is my hopeless romantic and a true hero to a fault.  He’s told me that he loves me more than once now, and like the fool that I am, I reacted poorly to him…or at least more poorly than he had hoped for.   Perhaps if I were to find myself free of the Oath I could see him attempting to show me how to love a man, for there truly must be a difference between loving one and simply caring for one.  I think.  At any rate, he still loves another, and it troubles me that the source of his greatest strength is simultaneously the source of his greatest weakness.  I’ve spoken to him on more than one occasion about his foolhardy need to play the hero and it almost cost him his life when we fought against the decapus vampire.  I grow increasingly frustrated with him, as I don’t care to continue to repeat myself to him.  Does he not consider the pain that he could cause me…us…should he meet an untimely end?  I never told him how much it tore me apart when the Warren/Dullahan rended his insides with that ranseur.  The damned fool got in between it and I.  I never want him to die or be caused pain again on my behalf.  Ever. 

I’m laughing to myself as I ponder this next thought, but I suppose I could swear them all off and entertain Naru as a possibility.  Being a tiefling, she understands my predicament better than most anyone ever will.  She’s good-hearted, kind, and possesses strength with the propensity for violence when necessary just as I do.  I even like her dinosaur.  Of course, the constant disappearing/reappearing act would cause me to be resentful and lonely often enough, and the frequent insistence that she bathed would likely be off putting to her.  I pray that she never sees this, lest she take offense.  She’s a good friend.

Could it be that my own standards are too high, or that I expect too much of others?  I honestly don’t know. Give me giants…dragons…demons…beasts of otherworldly nature.  Love?  It frightens me.  Enough now.  I need to focus.  There’s no time for girlish whimsy.  Samael made a deal with that sack of wine devil that we would kill the old blue wyrm in order to attain both of their sihedron rings.  I suspect that the Gelugon will attempt treachery after the fight with the dragon so that he doesn’t have to share its hoard with us.  Just as well, as I plan to butcher him so that I don’t have to share its hoard with him.  Karzoug knows that we’re coming for him, and soon, we will have the means to bypass his ruinous magical pulses.  I’m going to put his head on a pike where the sun can shine upon it, and then this whole awful business will finally be at its end.  Peace.  Peace at last.

Sarscha. Osanna’s Journal Part 26.

Howdy folks.  This one is more dark/graphic than my usual posts.  If you’re sensitive about sexual violence at all, then it may not be for you.  Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it.  Please remember that this is a work of fiction.

-Derrick

 

Osanna slowly opens the large double doors to Sarenrae’s temple just as Magnimar’s bell chimes for the second time that morning while half carrying, half cradling the very inebriated Glenn in her left arm so that she can quietly close the doors behind her.  Glenn drunkenly smiles at her and plays with her long, fiery red hair. 

“Hehe, you shee?  You can be quiet when you want to.”

She smiles at him and sets him down on his feet while keeping an arm around his shoulders to steady him.

“Yes.  And you can walk in a straight line when you’re not well in your cups.  Easy.  One foot in front of the other.”

“Thaz not fair at all.  You have more practice walkin’ straight than me.  Mmm…you schmell like flowers, ale, and…schword oil.”

“Warrior woman.  Remember?”

“I neber forgot.  Yooou had your blue dress tailored.  It’s amazing.”

She smiles at him and her tail swishes back and forth happily.

“Thank you, sir.  Genuine compliments are always well received.  Speaking of things being well received, here is your room.  Come on.  Let’s get you into bed before you fall over.”

“Bed.  Yes.  Ids big enough for two, you know.”

She cocks an eyebrow at him as she helps him out of his boots, and then sets a large bowl, a pitcher of water, and an alchemist’s kindness on his end table.

“Big enough for two Glenn-sized people I’d imagine.  But not, I’m sure, for Glenn and a woman as large as I am.”

Glenn turns as red as a poisoned apple, lies down, and huffs.  She grins like a wolf at him.

“Samael wash lookin’ at you like you were a steak tonight.  I almost punched him.”

“I imagine that he looks at quite a few people like they’re steaks these days.  Pay it no mind.  You won’t remember come morning, anyway.  Good night, Mr. Midori.  And…use the bowl if you need to.  I’m not above making Rhett or Jasmeen clean up a mess, but I’d just as soon you didn’t make the mess in the first place.”

Glenn begins snoring loudly.  Osanna shakes her head, snickers, turns Glenn’s head to the side and places the large, wooden bowl beside his bed.  She kisses his forehead and takes her leave.  Quietly as she can, she walks toe-to-heel to Sarenrae’s altar.

“Good night, Evenlight.  Might I ask one thing of you before I sleep?  Make my life less complicated?”

She walks slowly to her larger bed chamber toward the rear of the large church, opens and shuts the door, locks it, lights a few scented candles and sighs.  She methodically takes the ribbons and flowers out of her hair and sets them aside, hangs Kindness in its scabbard off of her large mirror, hangs her halo beside it, takes her dress and undergarments off, then pauses to look at herself for a moment.  She runs her hands along her well-muscled shoulders and arms, under her ample breasts, down her hourglass figure past her hips and she turns sideways to look from a different angle.

“Large?”

She then flexes her buttocks and legs to see the well-earned striated muscles moving beneath her violet skin.

“Hmm.  Maybe you’re right, Glenn.  Running about in all of that metal has paid off.  Perhaps you weren’t being an ass.  This time.”

She smiles and hums lowly to herself as she fills her large tub with water and places several large rocks from constantly burning fireplace into the bottom of the tub.  She brushes the length of her hair while the water warms.

“Definitely not lavender this time.  Hmm…this one.  Essence of the Green Rose.  That elf woman knows her smells for certain.”

Osanna sprinkes some of the salts into the now hot and steaming water, then slowly lowers her naked form into the water to her jaw line with her long hair draped behind her and out of the tub.

She thinks, “This is the closest thing that I’ll get to making love,” but doesn’t mouth the words.  She simply soaks there in the hot water and shuts her eyes and at some point falls asleep completely relaxed. 

The candles flicker.

The temperature rises slightly in the room.

As if sweating, black viscous liquid slowly begins to trickle out of her skin.   First from her forehead, then from the rest of her body at an ever increasing speed until the tub is filled with it.  Simultaneously, Osanna’s horns shrink to nothingness.  Her hair turns from bright fiery red to the pitch black of midnight.  Her skin from light violet to the beautiful olive-colored skin of her father’s people.  Her yellow eyes, to a calming coffee-colored brown.  She sighs a deep sigh and her breathing slows.

But she doesn’t rouse from her slumber.  Not one bit.

The viscous liquid begins to slowly and silently pour itself out of the side of the tub onto the floor into an ever increasing pool on the floor.  As the last drop slithers its way down the side of tub and into the pool, it begins to rise…straighten…coalesce…and at last takes shape.

Sarscha slowly pads over to the mirror to mockingly mimic Osanna’s previous assessment of herself and then smiles a grin from the stuff of nightmares.  She glances over at the tub and sneers.  She looks much like Osanna does typically, and yet is a horrid mockery of her beauty.  Her horns are much longer.  Her bright red hair is much shorter and her head is completely shaved on one side.  Her violet skin is covered in a great many scars, some from enemies, some self-inflicted.  Her finger and toe nails are quite long, claw-like, in order to rend skin or gouge eyes.  She has small wings protruding from her back, the webbing a conglomeration of leathery violet/black skin and veins.  Her teeth are filed down in order to tear chunks of flesh from her victim’s faces or perhaps their ears.  Lastly, more worrisome, Rovagug’s beast-like spider is tattooed onto her chest, its legs running across her breasts, ribs, and neck.

“You’re nothing like me.  Human.  Weak.  Soft.  You venerate some weak, sniveling whore because you’re too much of a cow-hearted twat to embrace your birthright and tread the world beneath your booted feet, cleaving the weak and hearing their women’s lamentations.  The gore from your hewn enemies sickens you, turns your stomach.  It is their blood that you ought to bathe in, not this frilly elven shite.  You have the body of a goddess and you fuck no one and nothing.  Men and women ought to be play things for as long as you like them, then cleaved and left bloody on the ground….diversions.”

She has a wicked thought and grins.

“Perhaps, that’s your problem.  You need a good fuck and from someone that knows how.  What’s that?  Please?  Now?  Why, I thought you’d never ask!  I’m flattered.”

Sarscha removes Osanna’s bed sheets, slowly lifts Osanna’s arms out of the tub, and binds her hands with the sheets, the sheets being bound to her bed and armor cabinet.

“I should apologize for doing this when you’re half drunk and exhausted….but I won’t.  You’ll thank me later.  Trust me.”

Sarscha slowly lowers herself back into the steaming water, and places her knees between Osanna’s.  She then “lovingly” places a blindfold over Osanna’s eyes and leans so very close so as to whisper into her left ear, their breasts rubbing together as she moves her torso back and forth.  Osanna sighs in her sleep as Sarscha whispers to her.

“This is going to hurt you.  Really, really bad.  In so many ways.”

In one forceful thrust, Sarscha shoves her tail into Osanna as far as she can manage.  Osanna simultaneously wakes and screams out as she had when she was slain by the Warren-turned-Dullahan’s ranseur.  Sarscha quickly covers Osanna’s mouth with one hand, while holding her pelvis down with the other, grinning all the while.

“Shhh shh shhhhh.  We don’t want to wake the others.  Yet.”  Thrust.  “It was so very considerate to make the walls from stone and that you picked the room clear at the back of this shithole.”  Thrust. 

Osanna thrashes and screams, yanking with all of her might against her bonds and trying to gain some kind of leverage against her assailant, her rapist, herself.  The water is getting bloody.

“It’s so much more fulfilling when they put up a fight isn’t it?  Thrust.  Yes…and your would be hero is passed out cold in his own vomit by now.  Glorious.  Thrust.  Timing truly is everything.  Ohhh there there, you’re crying.  Thrust.  It must be everything you’d ever hoped it would be.  It’s true that no one knows you better than you.”  Thrust.

Sarscha begins licking the tears flowing down Osanna’s face with a forked tongue.

“Mmmm your tears are so deliciously sweet.  Such sorrow spliced with pleasure.  Our coat of arms.”  Thrust.

Osanna’s body is suddenly wracked with orgasmic spasms as all of her muscles tighten up simultaneously.  The wooden furniture the sheets are bound to begin to creak and crack.  She hears this as she comes to her senses.

“Mmm….yes.  I can only imagine how many years that was in the making.  Don’t worry.  The hot water will mask the pain a bit and help your muscles loosen up again for when I come back.  Which room was Glenn’s again?  About 15 yards down on the left, isn’t it?  Oh stop fretting.  He won’t last long.  He’s madly in love with us and hasn’t had the…pleasure…that we can offer him.  I’ll be back soon.  Don’t go anywhere.  I know you need more.”

At the mention of Glenn’s name and the vision of his pending ravaging, Osanna gives a mighty heave with her right arm.  The bed’s leg snaps as she connects with Sarscha’s left temple with the force of a giant.  Sarscha’s eyes roll back in her head from the force of the blow and she slumps backwards in the tub.  Osanna quickly removes the blindfold and unties the knots from around her wrists. 

“I’ve had enough of your mouth.”

In a fit of rage, she spins Sarscha around.  Then, grabbing her by the horns, she shoves her half open mouth downward with all of her might smashing teeth from their sockets and cracking facial bones in the process, blood beginning to spout forth.  As she exits the tub, she lays on hands in order to stem the flow of blood from within her and heal her soft tissues.  Then, she throws open her bedroom door and drags the mostly unconscious and bloody Sarscha from the tub, both of them naked as the gods made them,  into the main temple area by her tail.

“You violated the sanctity of my body, my mind, and her temple.  Then you threatened to do the same to my friend.”

Sarscha laughs, blood dripping from her shattered mouth on the floor.

“You wanted it.  You needed it.  And you took off the halo.  You’re welcome!  Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it!”

Osanna kicks Sarscha in the face hard enough to knock her onto her back some feet away at the base of Sarenrae’s altar.

“Any last words??”

“You can’t get rid of me altogether.  No matter what you do.  No matter how much you pray or how much gold you spend.  I am you.  You are me.”

Sarscha spits a large wad of blood and saliva onto Sarenrae’s statue.

“I am definitely not you.  You penetrated me and set my insides on fire.  Allow me to repay you in kind.”

Osanna reaches down and grabs Sarscha by her head and digs her thumbs entirely into her eyesockets.  As Sarscha screams in agony, Osanna lifts her up off of the ground by her head and hurls her onto Sarenrae’s outreached scimitar, the blade running directly through her pelvis.

“It hurts?!”

Osanna then grabs a flask of oil meant for one of the church’s many braziers and douses Sarscha’s blind, bloody, and writhing body.  With a quick hand movement, she flicks a fiery coal onto Sarscha.  The demon-turned-conflagration’s screams fill the halls of the church with agony and fury.  The body slowly burns away from the sword, black viscous liquid pooling at the base of the statue.  Before Osanna can react, the large pool lurches forward like a tendril and envelopes her.  Like stabs from 1,000 needles, it burrows its way back into her skin.  After she blacks out from the pain, she becomes whole again, the abyssal otherworldly beauty that her eyes have seen in the mirror for her entire life.  Sometime later, Glenn stumbles from his room seeking the privy and slips in a puddle of water. 

“Huh?  There’s no way that we have a leak in a brand new church.”

Glenn follows the water trail to the main temple grounds to find Osanna in the fetal position, absolutely naked, and quite unconscious.  The air is filled with the smell of burned flesh and sulfur.

“What?  Osanna??  What in Sarenrae’s curvaceous ass happened to you??  What was in that scotch?!  Osanna!  You’re…oh.  OH.  Uhh..wow…uhh…”

Glenn quickly runs to Osanna’s room to retrieve a blanket large enough to cover her and sees the bloody carnage within.

“Oh no.  Oh no what happened?  I’m not drunk enough for this!”

Glenn promptly returns to cover Osanna lovingly in a blanket and begins to shake Osanna by the shoulders.

“Osanna!!  Osanna wake up!!”

“Osanna!  Wake up!”

“Hnng hmm?  What Glenn?  It’s too early for last watch.”

“There’s a RUNE GIANT outside!  Get up!!”

“There’s…what??”

Osanna swiftly sits up throws the blanket off of her fully sweaty, but fully armored form and stands to survey her surroundings to find Xander awake and Glenn looking at her frantically.  The others continue to slumber within Naru’s circle of toadstools.  She pats herself down and finds that she’s neither in pain nor without clothes. Quite the contrary.

“Osanna??   Are you alright?…”

“Hmm?  Yes.  Yes.  Glenn wake the others.  Start with Samael so that he can get his armor on.  Get ready for bear.”

Humble Pie. Osanna’s Journal Part 25.

For those of you that are unaware, Osanna has been trying to summon any faithful brethren available from the four corners of Varisia for the last several months of game time.  While she was off cleansing The Runeforge with her compatriots, two clerics answered the call from a faraway city.  As you can imagine, her standards are high….

-Derrick

Ular pours Osanna  a glass of crystal clear water from an ornate decanter and hands it to his mentor after helping her out of her armor and sequestering the haul of wealth and magical goods from the dragon’s hoard and Runeforge for temporary safekeeping.

“It’s good to see you back in one piece, Osanna.  Thank you for having the consideration of returning prior to me finding sleep for the night.  You look terrible.”

She hugs Ular.

“It’s good to be seen.  I probably smell worse than I look.  The cleaning magic they use on me never gets all of the gore and filth off.  Glenn had to pick bits out of my hair.  I’ll never get used to that.  What have I missed?”

“Thankfully not much.  The faithful have been coming and going as they need or want.  I help who I can.  When things are slow here I help the local constabulary when they need the trash taken out.  I need to keep my edge, after all.”

“You do serve as quite the deterrent.    You’re probably directly responsible for the uneventful quiet we’ve had here in Underbridge recently. Thank you.”

“Mm.  Oh.  This will be to your liking.  Two travelers arrived asking after you.  They’re from Kaer Maga.”

“Oh?  They must be quite desperate if they traveled all that way to find me.  Did they tell you what they were about?”

“They’re not desperate.” He produces the letter that she wrote some months ago and hands it to Osanna.  “They’re here at your request.  It seems like your rallying cry has been answered.  Two young ones.  Humans.  One male, one female.   Rhett Willowdane and Jasmeen Fallenore.  Clerics of Sarenrae, so they said.   They requested an audience with a ‘Paladin Commander Redbreeze.’  I can’t say as I know her.  Her head wouldn’t fit through the front double doors.”

A melodious laughter erupts from Osanna’s lips.

“That’s what you can get me for my birthday then, Ular.  A properly fitting helmet.  She pauses for a moment.  What do they know about me?”

“Your station.  Your name.  As you’re rather unique around these parts, I trust that they’ve gathered what you look like and a bit about your reputation.”

“Hmm.  Did they say when they would return?”

“I told the kids that you’d be back when you were back, but that they can check back daily if they’d like.  Why do you ask?”

She smiles. “I need to see what these two are made of.  Do you think that that magic shop down the way is still open at this hour?”

“The one run by that ass wizard?  Sorry.  The one run by that esteemed scriber of scrolls and brewer of potions with the abrasive personality?  Nah, he’s probably closed by now, but my gold says that he’d open the door for you.”

“Good.  Time to size those two up.  Go get your rest my friend.  I’ll be quiet when I return so as to not wake you.”

“Mm.  See you tomorrow.”

The next day, a bit before noon, the two young clerics enter when the sun’s light is shining all throughout the church of Sarenrae in Magnimar.  It is completely devoid of people at the moment save for a meek young girl dressed in plain garb that is a hair above 5’ tall with strawberry blonde hair and a homely face that is diligently mopping the floor that doesn’t seem to notice them enter.  The two newcomers look around the church for a sign of Ular, but to no avail.

“I don’t think that he’s here, Rhett.”

“Well we haven’t knocked on all of the doors, yet.  Maybe he’s sleeping on the job since it’s not busy?”

“That would be a bit rude to knock on every single door in the church, don’t you think?  And it couldn’t possibly be that he’s out and about?  It’s a large city.”

“You’re right, of course.  He’s probably…doing…whatever it is that barbarians do…in a city.”

“Shoanti, Rhett.  They’re called Shoanti.”

“Yes, yes. Forgive me.  You spent more time travelling than I did, remember?

“Jealous?”

“No.  I like sleeping in beds.  Besides, I got to spend more time in the hospital ward than you.  I’d wager that there are few people even here that can repair an artery or reduce a shoulder as well as I can.”

“A shining example to us all, I’m sure.  Wait. Weren’t you the one that gave the herbal remedy for…what is it you men call it?…Lack of stamina?…to a woman with a throat infection?”

“Oh come on, Jasmeen.  I was an acolyte and the storeroom was dark.”

“It’s a shame that I have to deflate your ego at times, isn’t it?”

“Stay on task.  Remember why we’re here.”

“I haven’t forgotten.  Hmm.  Maybe this girl can help us.”

“I’m surprised that she hasn’t already.  Perhaps The Commander doesn’t emphasize manners or hospitality to the acolytes.”

“You may want to be careful about the conclusions you jump to, dear man.  Though…you may not be far off.”

The two clerics approach the young woman with her back turned to him as she mops.

“Excuse me.  Young miss.”

He waits, then his companion speaks.

“Pardon me?  Madam?”

When the girl does not respond, she reaches out shake the girl’s shoulder. The girl is startled, jumps, and knocks the mop bucket over drenching their leggings and footwear in dirty mop water.

“By Her light, you’re clumsy!  Our inn room is clear across Magnimar and we’re going to have to walk all the way back in wet socks now.”

“Calm down, Rhett.  Can’t you see that she looks horrified?”

“Good.  She should be.  What’s your name, girl?”

The girl does not respond, and instead looks meekly at his face as though staring.

“Miss, he asked you your name.  Will you not share it with us?

The girl does not acknowledge Jasmeen until she touches the girl on her shoulder again.

“You needn’t be bashful with us.  You aren’t in any trouble.  My friend here is just road weary.  Right, Rhett?”

Again the girl does not respond.

“Now you’re just being rude.  Won’t you please tell us who you are?  Where is Ular?  Where is Commander Redbreeze?”

The girl stares at Jasmeen’s face intently and squints her eyes.

“Ah.  I think that she’s completely deaf, Jasmeen.  That explains a lot.”

Jasmeen then yells at the girl at the top of her lungs.

“CAN YOU TELL US WHO YOU ARE?? WE’RE LOOKING FOR ULAR GREYSKORNE!”

“By Sarenrae’s fiery hair, woman!  Did you not hear me?  She’s deaf.  You yelling at her isn’t going to make her hear you any better!  Let me fetch some paper and a quill from my pack here…”

At this point the young lady’s facial expression changes from alarmed and intimidated to the deep scowl of anger and disappointment.  And then, much to the surprise of the two young clerics, she speaks in a rather foul tone.

“Don’t bother with the paper.  I find you both wanting.  If I combine the two of you I have one good cleric!”

The young clerics are dumbfounded and mute both from the initial shock of the supposedly deaf girl speaking and of seeing the girl transform into the very muscular and very angry Osanna Redbreeze.

“But..we…”

“We’re terribly sorry, Lady Commander!”

“We had no idea!”

“OF COURSE YOU HAD NO IDEA!  That was the point of this test!   You both failed.  I find you both wanting.”

The two clerics look at each other and then look at the ground in shame.

“Pick.  Your.  Heads.  Up.  You will not find humility or strength of character on the ground.”

They lift their heads as ordered and look their commander in the eye.

“Good.  That’s the beginning.  You cannot execute Her will if you have none of your own. “

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You two have a lot of growing to do, and a lot of poor behaviors that need to be corrected.  And I will correct them.  These people deserve better.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Are you still committed to being here to serve?  To help me clean up this city?  To heal these people?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“We’ll see, because there are evils and horrors here, human and otherwise, and these people will look to you for strength and guidance in my absence. “

“Yes ma’am.  You’re…leaving, Commander?  Did you not only just arrive?”

“You’re astute, Rhett, and that will serve you well.  I will be here in residence for the next three weeks thereabouts until I depart again.  You will go to your inn room, wet feet and all, retrieve your belongings and return here where you will establish residence.  In the morning, you will meet Sarenrae’s faithful and begin getting to truly know them.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“From this point forward, I want you both to remember that everything that you say and do reflects directly upon Sarenrae and upon myself.  I know a great many people in this city.  If you act the fool, I will know of it and you’ll deal with me.  You should know that my sense of humor for such things is absent.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“And before you go…”

Osanna picks the mop up with her tail and throws it to Jasmeen.

“You two finish cleaning this floor up.  All of it.”

The browbeaten clerics look at each other and respond in unison.

”Yes ma’am.”

Big Sister. Osanna’s Journal Part 24.

Osanna quietly walks toe-to-heel along the hallways of Sarenrae’s church despite her mildly decreased dexterity from the previous evening’s libations until she reaches the door of the familiar chamber that houses her older sister, Yservielle.  She quietly opens the door to find her sister sound asleep on her side, her skin hair a vibrant red much like Osanna’s, but with blue skin and curved horns.  She watches her sister sleep for a few moments, smiles contently, and moves to shut the door.

“You know, some might say that it’s off putting for one to creep into another’s room while they’re sleeping.”

Yservielle opens her eyes and cocks and eyebrow at OsannaOsanna, admittedly surprised, giggles.

“I had to make sure that you were alright.  You’ve been through quite the ordeal.”

“To make sure that I was alright, or to make sure that I hadn’t fled this sunlit mansion that you’ve built?”

“The truth?  Both.”

Yservielle sits up on the edge of the bed and rubs her eyes.

“I thought you’d say that.  I would have been alright if you’d lied about part of it, though.”

“Perhaps, but I wouldn’t have been.  Lies…we can’t begin this way.”

“Why not?  I’ve lied to you before.  I most likely will again.”

“I’m sure.  That troubles me, but after all, I can’t control you or make you choose your path.  All that I can ask is that if you choose to lie to me, make certain that you’re doing it for good reasons.  Most of all, please don’t do it here. “

“Ahh yes.  Honesty.  She giggles.  What are the odds that I’ll catch on fire if I tell lies here?  That’d be quite the spectacle.  When do you give your morning service? About the 7th bell chime? Maybe I’ll sit smack dab in the front row and tell the whole crowd that I’ve never murdered anyone to get to my sister so that I could murder her too!”

Osanna glares at her sternly for a few moments before she sits down next to her sister.

“Where are your manners, sister?  Shouldn’t you have asked if you could sit next to me?”

“I could ask you the same question.  Why do you insult me and the tenets of Sarenrae’s faith that you know that I hold most dear?”

“Because it was funny.  And…I wanted to see what you’d do…what you’d say.  Truthfully, I expected a right hook.  Your pet hell knight told me what happens when you punch things.  Even ghosts have glass jaws, it seems.”

“Shadows and wraiths do.  I can’t speak for ghosts.  About ghosts and hell knights.  You have, indeed, committed some grave offenses.  I..we..found the remains of the two Sarenites that ventured below originally.  You staked one of them to a wall, Yservielle.  You’ve committed murder, multiple murders, and I want it to be crystal clear to you that neither I, nor the hell knights tolerate that…”

“So that’s what all this is then,?!  You let me out of not one, but two dark holes only to bring me back here to execute me?!  Will you at least have the courage to do the deed yourself?!”

Osanna holds up her hand to end her sister’s tirade.

“And now I’ll finish my sentence.  Neither I, my bretheren, nor the hell knights tolerate that.  And yes, the punishment for such crimes is death.  But you will not be executed.  You will not see the inside of a prison cell, and you will not stand trial in front of myself or the Order of the Nail.  You have, as of this very moment, a clean slate.”

“Oh?  Is that so?  I somehow doubt that that Thrune fellow is going to let this go quietly into the night.”

“He doesn’t have a say in the matter.”

Yservielle eyes her younger sister for a long while in quiet.

“Is this hypocrisy rearing its ugly head?  If I were anyone else you’d make certain that I was short a head.  From what I gather you’ve done that many times.  But me?  Why am I the exception?”

“Because I believe that sometimes it’s acceptable to break the law for the right reasons.”

“And what reasons are those?”

Osanna counts the reasons on her fingers.

“You’re my sister.  You were neglected and left for dead in a tomb full of horrors for 10 years.  You were told by a monster that your only way out was to murder an innocent that may or may not ever find you.  You consorted with otherworldly entities in order to keep yourself alive and She only knows what that did to your mind.   After 10 years of solitude and evading fiends, you’re accosted by interlopers for unknown reasons.”

Yservielle ponders Osanna’s words for a long while before responding.

“You make a compelling case.  And all this just to help me?  You risk quite a bit by placing me on this high horse.  How do you know that you can trust me?  I’ve tried to kill you.  Twice.  And you’re going to make those clerics cast a Heal spell on me because you think that I’m bat shit crazy!  Don’t deny it.”

“Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.  The trust part comes later.”

“Arrrgh.  Hand me that bucket. I’m going to vomit.”

Osanna smiles and kisses her sister on the forehead.

“Go back to sleep.  You’ll need your rest.  We’re going to the marketplace after we visit Iomedae’s church.  Let’s see what some shopping therapy does for your soul.”

Osanna stands up and makes to leave.

“And what if all of this is for not.  If I fall off of the high horse and I’m the monster that your friends say that I am.  What will you do then?”

“Defiance is a powerful motivator.  I’ve had people calling me a monster my whole life and I’ve had the fortitude to prove them wrong.  I think that you do, too.  Get some sleep.”

The Entourage of Blood. Osanna’s Journal Part 23.

I thought, for a change, that I would write a bit about her father’s side of the family and give you a bit of insight about where and who she came from.  And, perhaps, where she gets some of her personality from.  You hear mainly from her father and uncle, but also a bit from her eldest brother.  I’ve italicized the words in Arabic in order to simulate the Kellid language in the Pathfinder world.  Enjoy.

 -Derrick

 

The entourage of blood-covered men and women enter through the flaps of the palatial tent situated on the highest dune overlooking the site of the evening’s carnage.  The servants scurry about helping the Khalif, his sons, and his closest advisors out of their gore-encrusted armor and set out bowls of warm water mixed with lemon and clean linen cloth.  “Thank you.  Leave us.”  The servants bow reverently, and then take their leave as instructed.  The entourage takes seats about the large, ornate table inlaid with a standard of a gold and sapphire angelic ankh set upon a larger background of platinum crossed sabers.  The Khalif cleans himself and his scimitar in silence to his satisfaction, and then finally sits upon a large well-cushioned chair. He sighs heavily.

“Father, why do you wear that troubled face?  Five and forty worshippers of the blasphemous rough beast have we slain today!  And we saved many men, women, and halfling slaves from a fate of shackles.  They would have been put into cages until they would have been spitted and roasted.”  He throws many blood-caked unholy symbols of Rovagug onto the standard set into the middle of the table.  “In victories past, I have seen my father smile and light the bonfire himself for the victory dances.  But not this night?”

“No, Bashir, not this night.  It is true that we have done Her work and Qadira’s work this night, and I again am reminded of how bountiful of a gift you all are to me.”  The room smiles and his sons and generals raise glasses to him in praise.  “But tonight, I find myself weary and with much to reflect upon.  Take your leave to celebrate and prepare the dead for transport back to the capital for their final rites and journey.  Bashir, select a warrior that is worthy and bid him or her to light the bonfire in my name.  Celebrate Sarenrae, victory for Qadira, and each other.”

They all collectively rise, bow, and exit the tent to leave the Khalif alone with his thoughts.  For a while, he thumbs through the pages of dispatches left for him and finds a letter sent to him by his only daughter, Osanna.  He smiles and chuckles to himself as he reads the letter, then rolls it up and stashes it away.

“Of course you would find trouble, Jawhara.”

“Ah.  You have heard from your estranged daughter, then?  What tidings from the west?”

“Mas’ud.  I didn’t hear you come in, brother.  How is it you always seem to know what I’m about?  And why didn’t you announce yourself?”

“I’m your brother.  Do I need a reason to annoy you?  Besides that, you didn’t appointment me as your High Vizier because of my lack of deductive reasoning skills.”

“I did so because I am Khalif, and I appoint who I wish….and because you’re a skilled wizard.  Why are you here?  I recall you wanting to stay behind when we left for this place.  Did you leave immediately after our departure from the capitol?”

“Do you think that I would risk saddle sores and fleas, brother?  No.  I am a wizard.  I do not tolerate discomfort for any reason.  I came here to congratulate you and your dervishes on your sound victory today.”

The Khalif waits.

“And because I thought that you might like a report on your bastard’s most current goings on, as you requested.”

“I recall telling you to use her name when you refer to her, Mas’ud.  Do so.  I do not care to hear you using that label to remind me of my error.  And I remind you that my actions were the error, not her existence.”

Mas’ud bows.  “As you will, Khalif.  Your wayward Ameerah and her menagerie gallivanted off into the northernmost mountains of Varisia, far away from this Magnimar where she’s built her shining church to the Dawnflower in the city’s cesspool.”

“Cesspool, hmm?  You always did have a flair for the dramatic.”

“I used the word correctly, brother.  The scrying shows me much.  Vagrants, orphans, criminals, filth.  Your daughter built Her temple in that place.  By the gods, she’s one of the Dawnflower’s shining servants and she has the blood of our long and esteemed lineage within her.  And she does this?  She mocks our family.”

The Khalif laughs.

“She mocks you brother, for certain, for none other is as egregiously angered by her decisions.  Tell me, brother, did it ever occur to you that I had her sent away on a pilgrimage so that she wouldn’t grow up to be like you?”

Mas’ud’s face hardens a bit, and he falls silent.

“Now, High Vizier, tell me of what I truly wish to hear.  Exploits.  Nuances.  Quirks.  These…people…that she travels with.  What of the goblin?”

“It isn’t a goblin, Khalif, and I’ve not seen it for a short time now.  Another has joined her coterie in its place.  Some short Varisian that dresses in their odd fashion. He seems to be quite taken with her.  The rest of them seem to be as they always are…though, she’s grown increasingly hostile towards that fat lump of a wizard that follows along with them.”

“It’s hard to imagine a man not being taken with her.  She’s unique.  Wars have been started for less.  Keep an eye on the wizard and this newcomer.  If something is off, I trust that your scrutiny will sort it out.  What of the other tiefling?”

“The druid?  She’s unpredictable, but they seem to be in good spirits with one another.  The other woman has a velociraptor that runs about with her.  The lizard is quite taken with our Ameerah.  It’s quite the spectacle to watch her feed the beast.”

“Our?”

“She is…an anomaly, true, and I don’t approve of some of her choices. But she is my blood as well, and you would do well not confuse my criticism for a lack of compassion.”

“I am happy to hear you say it out loud.  Where are they now?  You spoke of mountains?”

“Northern Varisia.  I saw them fight an old white dragon at a circle of statues.  I know nothing of their significance, but they disappeared shortly afterwards.”

“And…she was with them?”

“Yes.  She put an arrow through the beast’s skull.  I’m curious.  Did you teach her how to shoot a bow?”

“HA!” 

The Khalif raps his hand soundly on his chair’s armHe then composes himself and clears his throat.

“No.  You know well that I’ve never been gifted with the bow.  Perhaps they taught her at the temple during her training.”

“Mmm.  Well…there’s my report, as it were.  I’ll take my leave and let you rest.”

“Mas’ud.  Thank you for your visit.  Continue to scry.  If she doesn’t reappear soon, then I’ll need you to figure out where she is and return her.”

“Yes of course, brother. What of the others?”

“The others too, if you can. She would be wroth with us if we did otherwise.”

“Even the Asmodean?”

“I am happy to let him meet his end, but I would bid you to query her prior to making that choice.  There may be more going on in that rag-tag band than we realize.”

“As you say, Khalif.”

Limitations. Osanna’s Journal Part 22.

Osanna sits with her back up against the large shrine to Sarenrae inside of Magnimar’s church prior the arrival of her companions to teleport them to the ominous Ring of Seven Stones in the far northern reaches of Varisia.  She takes a moment clear her head before producing her journal, pulling her knees into her chest, and laying the book upon them to write.

The last three weeks have been largely restful and joyous.  Life here in the Underbridge district has been going on quite unabated since Her church was erected, and I can see subtle shifts in the people that live here.  There’s more foot traffic.  More shopkeepers opening their doors and barking to the passersby in order to sell their wares.  The streets are looking cleaner.  People are beginning to tidy up and take more pride in the areas around their homes and businesses.  Children are playing in the streets.  Tempers are flaring less.  Smiles are more abundant.   I know that there are many factors playing in to these shifts, to include reduced Sczarni activity after taking the head off of that snake that was harassing Glenn, but I’m grateful for them all the same.

3 weeks ago the lot of us celebrated Glenn’s transformation and the end of a very dark chapter in our story.  It was the first time that I can say that we were all able to truly relax and enjoy each other’s company.  For years I’ve been concerned about what effects alcohol would have on my…personality…and I made the choice to take a risk.  It was the most fun that I’ve ever had.  We laughed, danced, joked, and pranked.  It was truly some of the worst dancing that I’ve ever seen, and as pretty as I’ve ever seen Samael.  I’m sure that I’ll catch hell for the braids, but it was worth it.  Everything was.

I spoke to Samael about, well, him.  It went as well as I expected it to.  It hit me some time ago that that mask that he wears has more than one purpose.  It is a symbol of his order and station, true, but it also serves to cover up the man that he truly is.  I’m on to him now.  Prior conversations we’ve had, his comments to me, and the way he genuinely cares for the orphans clearly indicates that there is a benevolent soul underneath all of that black armor and the pentagram, and I sense that there is at least some part of him that yearns to be the man that he wants to be versus the man that others have made him be.  He’s as stubborn as they get, but every goal worth achieving is worth working for.  I will continue to try to add sunshine and water to his heart to see if it will grow from the two-sizes-too-small that is has been since he was a boy. 

For twenty days I was happy and I knew joy.  Today, the twenty first day was horrid.  As I was sharing morning prayers with Her faithful, Bill destroyed the serene scene in a fit of selfish rage.  The large Billtroll pinned me to the ground, threatened me, and frightened every other living soul in the church before egressing.  He did this to me even after offering me a colored stone during Crystalhue as a peace offering!  Praise Sarenrae for granting me with a sense of serenity at that moment, for the people needed to know that there was no imminent danger and that all was well.  Sarenrae and Glenn may have been the only 2 forces in the world that would have been able to keep my anger in check after such an outrageous assault on my person and the sanctity of Her house.  Thank you Mother for your guidance and for my dear friend.

I almost lost it.  Almost.  I’ve lived with my anger all of my life and it has never come so close to the surface as it did this morning.  I saw the looks on their faces when they came to get me.  I know what they saw, for I’ve seen her in the mirror many times over the years.  There’s a part of me that’s glad that they did, for now they can fully appreciate the at times colossal efforts that I take to keep my demonic lineage from getting the better of me.  I was truly prepared to cut Bill to shreds a pair of hours ago, and the only thing that saved him from that fate was a son’s love for his father….and the fact that my sister is in league with Mr. Voon.  The situation is volatile at best.  My sister is not in full possession of her faculties and her mind has truly been twisted by my sick mother’s machinations.   As for Mr. Voon, there is no excuse for him whatsoever.  He’s a weak-minded fool that allowed himself to be manipulated in order to satisfy his own murderous desires.  He’s shown his true colors, as has his son.  They’re both, at best, two-faced and foolish.  I don’t know if anything can ever be right between the two of us after this.  I fear that I have finally reached the limits of my patience and mercy.

Ah.  And there they are, the backstabber included.  Off we go again into dangers of unknown magnitude without the fortitude offered by mutual trust.  I don’t know what will happen in that place.  We may all be changed when we make it back.  If we make it back.

Daybreak. Osanna’s Journal Part 21.

Good morning, my friends!  Ular and I are both overjoyed to see you all back here this morning after such an eventful grand opening!  There’s laughter from the attendees.  Now to business.  Ordinarily, I would talk with you all about the goings on in your lives and have an educational piece to discuss with you so that you might consider her teachings for the betterment of yourselves and your families, but today needs to be an exception. 

You all deserve nothing less than the truth and transparency.  The day before yesterday, during the opening ceremony, a man was positioned just there (Osanna points to the high rafters near a corner of the ceiling) with the intent of murdering or injuring as many of you as he could.  (Alarmed mumbles are heard for a moment from the parishioners before Osanna continues)  He was a hired assassin, and he’s been at work here in Magnimar for some time.  I also know that he was in the employ of a darker man that has been plaguing the dockside for some time now.

Friends, yesterday my compatriots and I raided a warehouse on the docks that belonged to this man that was employing the assassin.  The warehouse is now clear, the ruffians are either dead or in the custody of the Hell Knights, and the apparent mastermind behind all of this is dead.  (The crowd cheers!)   I’m not finished.  Now, I want you all to pay attention to what I’m about to tell you, because it concerns your safety.

The assassin is still alive, and it is highly likely that the slain man that hired him was in league with the local arm of the Sczarni crime syndicate.  If the archer is wise, he will have fled Magnimar for good.  If he is not wise, then he’s slept his last peaceful night.  This situation has the potential to get worse before it gets better.  (More whispers and grumbles from the crowd) 

Your first reaction might be to hide in your homes, or to avoid this very building, Her house, that was built for you.  I would counsel against this.  Instead, I advise defiance.  The last church of Sarenrae that stood on this very ground was abandoned some fifty years ago because the clerics were murdered by cowards, and the good people that came here to congregate were frightened away.  That bit of history will not repeat itself. 

So, to all of you, I say walk your city.  Come here to pray and organize.  Draw strength from one another and grant succor to those in need.  Live life to its fullest as you would, for the sun has risen.  Soon, these cockroaches will find that they will not have shadows to crawl and hide in.  As for me, they know now the caliber of their enemy, and they will not find me easy prey.  Now please, I’d be honored if you’d join me in our first prayer together.  (And together they pray)

It comes! Through thy divine grace, O Great and Glorious Sarenrae, The sun of righteous fire rises with healing in its wings! The glory of the Dawnflower shines upon us. More precious than gold, your shining splendor. Sweeter than honey, your radiant forgiveness. Oh dispeller of darkness, shining one, radiant and effulgent goddess of mercy, You banish choking night and the blindness of our ignorance. The Dawn brings new light. Sarenrae be praised.

Bloodlines. Osanna’s Journal Part 20

Hello folks.  For Osanna’s 20th journal post, I felt it that it was time for an unexpected and unwelcome visit considering the catastrophic amount of awful events that have just happened and are about to happen in the game.  It seems fitting that she’d show up here and now.  I hope that you enjoy.

-Derrick

 

 

Osanna smiles as she finishes writing in her journal in her comfortable room at the Drunken Duck.  She shuts the book, smiles as she reflects upon what was written and upon the success of rescuing her little friend from a place most foul.  She then enjoys a hot bath and sits in front of the mirror to brush her long hair, naked as the day she was born.  After a few brush strokes, her arms slowly halt to a complete stop as does the rest of her body, her gaze locked straight ahead at the mirror.  Behind her materializes, slowly, the being of her nightmares.  She speaks to her daughter in the Abyssal tongue.

Hello child.  My dearest girl.  My how you’ve grown!  My how you’ve broken the mold! 

The succubus takes the brush from Osanna’s hands and continues to brush the length of her hair, slowly and intently. 

You’re bigger than I thought you would be.  And taller.  Well-muscled with a delicious figure.  What the men must be doing to you in their thoughts must be completely unspeakable.  Or, perhaps, what you’re doing to them in your own thoughts?  Hmm.  Considering your father’s build I’d have thought you’d be lither like his two piss ant boys. 

The monster bends down and whispers in Osanna’s ear before continuing to brush.

It seems that you have more of me in you than him.  How exquisitely glorious. 

Osanna’s eyes turn completely black, her nails grow, and black veins become prominent through her lavender skin as her mother continues to taunt her.

Ahh…there you are.  I must say that I am truly impressed at your control, sweet child!  You’ve made it all your life without rending, flaying, or breaking those that have continually mocked you or made endless efforts to test you.  How you didn’t rip the face off of that lying shit posing as a wizard is completely beyond me!  The exception is that pretty young man back at the church in Qadira.  In your quietest of thoughts since that day you’ve likely wondered what truly happened in that room between the two of you.  I can tell you, of course.  She whispers and smiles.  I was there, afterall.

Osanna begins to perspire and her eyelids twitch as she struggles futilely to regain control of her body.

Oh!  I understand that you freed your sister from that hole beneath your church!?  And neither of you managed to kill one another?  A contingency that I did not anticipate considering your natures, I must admit.  You two never fail to entertain me, I’ll give you that.  Don’t fret, girl.  You’ll see her again soon.  Family reunions are always memorable occasions, no?   Do give her my love, won’t you?

The demon drapes Osanna’s hair down her back and across her shoulders.

I must say that I’m rather disappointed at the company you keep.  Truly, you managed to find every wounded animal in Sandpoint and take them under your wing.  What is it they call you behind your back?  Mother Hen?  The monster laughs.  I can’t imagine you with feathers, though I suppose that I can understand why you’ve done it….empty nest and all.  And the Asmodean??!  If I had made a bet of 100 souls back in the Abyss on the fact that you would never do such a ridiculous thing, I would have lost completely.  I’ve had to listen to endless laughter every time I’ve jaunted back home.  I’m disappointed in you.  Though…he is handsome and strong.  Perhaps you have a use for him, after all?  Hmm?  Now, I really should let you get your rest.  She smiles and shows nothing but pointed and filed down teeth.  To say that you have an eventful day ahead of you is quite the understatement.  I fear that your pet frog has gotten you into a pile of devil shit that’s taller than your horns.  Oh!  And you might want to get rid of the rest of that lavender bath salt that you were using.  Another bath and paralysis will be the least of your worries.

Osanna’s fingers and arm muscles begin to twitch and her teeth grow longer and more pointed. 

We’re going to have to watch that temper of yours…

Her mother smiles and kisses Osanna on the cheek before she teleports away.

Coffee. Osanna’s Journal Part 19.

Howdy folks.  I thought that I’d change it up a little bit for her this time around.  Usually her journal entries are on the serious side, and have quite a bit to do with her duty and her faith; the backbone of what she is.  For the sake of variety, I thought I’d add a more personal touch and remind everyone that she’s a person, too.  Hope it’s enjoyable.

-Derrick

 

Osanna enjoys a rare opportunity to converse with Ameiko over breakfast in the pre-dawn hours before traveling to the shrine of Sarenrae , and then heading to Abaddon to save Ko’s soul on yet another damned fool idealistic crusade.

“You’re not eating your food, Osanna.  You’ve declared war on it.  If you keep hacking at the ham you’ll saw right through the plate, and not even you get to carve your initials inside a heart on my bar.  What is it?”

She sets her silverware down politely, and chuckles while she wipes her face.

“I’m hungry!  Running about in all of this metal gives me quite the appetite.  And your food is clearly the standard by which I compare all other food.”

Ameiko smiles and cocks an eyebrow at her redheaded friend.

“Am I laying it on too thick?  I’m sorry.  I’ll work on it.  In reality, I’m trying to focus on too many things and it’s getting to me.  Do you know where we’re going today?”

“I heard Samael talking to that beautiful man at the corner table yesterday evening.  I heard enough.  If it were anyone other than the lot of you I’d say that you were all completely insane.  But yes, that’s enough to put anyone in a serious mood.”

“You don’t want that one, Ameiko.  Trust me.  Bad news doesn’t begin to describe him.  Anyway, our pending extra planar travel is only a small part of what’s on my mind.  We’ll go, we’ll conquer, and we’ll return.  Ko’s soul will be freed, we’ll resurrect him, and he’ll be sitting in his halfling-sized chair right over there once again.”

“Ok so…you’re telling me that potentially being torn apart by divs and daemons doesn’t bother you at all?  This sounds serious.”

“It doesn’t.  I’ve been dead.  I know what’s going to happen now.  No matter what happens to me, I know that She’s waiting for me on the other side and that I’ve lived a fulfilling life.”

“Ok ok.  Enough religion for the morning.  Spit it out.”

“I feel as though I’m going to Abaddon with Varisia’s worst seven-year-olds.  I feel like I should be wearing an apron and whacking them with a broom when I’m with them.  Don’t gawk at me, now.  Think about it.”

Osanna holds up one finger at a time as she describes her compatriots.

“Little boy number one is a destructive, power-hungry sadist that loves nothing more than pulling the legs and wings off of insects and bullying the other children.   Little boy number two is the good-hearted, yet socially-stunted chubby shut-in that wants to play with his books and not play with the others.  Little boy number three is the one that gets in to everything that mother tells him not to get in to, and ends up constantly getting himself and the other children hurt, burned, cut, or otherwise injured.  My wayward little girl is grouchy, and desires to make mud castles and play with the lizards and puppies outside instead of play with her siblings.  Then, of course, there’s the last little boy.  Precious though he is, he’s been the smallest one his entire life and has to stand up to the bigger ones over and over again to the point where he doesn’t know when not to….and gets himself killed because of it.”

“That’s…harsh.  I don’t think that I’ve ever hear you say anything like that.  Honest!…But harsh.”

“This is a good point in time to remind you that paladins aren’t required to be nice.  I just am, by nature.”

Osanna flashes her sunshine-like smile that makes Ameiko laugh.

“Oh.  And let me not forget the little boy from across the street.  He has a potty mouth, he’s very inappropriate, he lies, he’s ignorant, and he tracks mud across your carpet.  But you let him keep coming over, because the rest of the dysfunctional children play better together when he’s here and you can keep a better eye on him when he’s around.”

“Ah, you’re talking about the elven newcomer.  I’d say you’re spot on with that one.  I know a sleazy con when I see one.  We know our own.” 

It’s Ameiko’s turn to flash a charming smile.

“Touché, but you’re not sleazy.  He’s half drow, too.  Factor that into your calculations.”

“Are we judging based off of appearance, Osanna?”

“Hardly.  I told him as much.  I doubt that he believed me, though.  Why would he?  It must be my long dishonest streak….or because I turned him down.  I doubt that he’s used to that.”

Ameiko nearly chokes on the coffee that she’s drinking.

“Stop it.   Hmm.  The sun’s coming up.  I need to finish obliterating this breakfast so that I can get on about my business.  May I please have a cup of that coffee?  Preferably from the batch that doesn’t have your sinuses in it.”