This was supposed to take place before our last gaming session, I just didn’t get a chance to finish and post it then, between being out of state and then being sick.

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I awoke suddenly, sensing something was – well, not exactly wrong, but different. Even before my eyes snapped open, I could tell I wasn’t in Runeforge anymore, or at least not in the Halls of Wrath. The warmth of the everburning ceiling was gone, as was the perpetual smell of blood. I blinked once, and thought for half a moment that I was falling; an endless sea of stars against a vast grey skyscape, swirling with mist, greeted my vision. But it took only a heartbeat for me to recognize my surroundings. I had been here before, more than once.

I pulled myself to my feel quickly, wondering if I was dead. But if so, how? The Hall should have been secure. Runeforge was all but empty aside from the Hall of Greed, and Bill and Sir Thrune were both on watch. Then I realized there were no other souls here – this may be the Astral Plane, but it was not the Boneyard where the Lady of Graves gave final judgment to those who had passed.

“After everything you’ve been through to get to where you are, you didn’t think it was going to end now, did you?”

I glanced over my shoulder at the voice; I would have reached for my sword, but I knew better at this point. A humanoid figure appeared some distance in front of me, its features shadowy and obscured by the mists. I would have thought it the same entity that I had met the times I had been here before, but after a moment, I realized I recognized its voice.

“Sir Warren?” I asked quietly as the figure stepped out of the shadows. Continue reading

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.”