All The Warm Lives, part 6: Judgment Day

Most of Osanna’s dialog in this part was written by Derrick.

***

Zelia sat nervously among the gallery of the courtroom of the Pediment Building, where the Justice Court was preparing to meet regarding Glenn’s sentencing. She had never actually been inside this room before; she had been to the Pediment Building over a few minor infractions over the years, but none of them had ever warranted her going before the Justices.

The room itself looked more like a small arena than a courtroom. The chamber was circular and bowl-shaped. Zelia was currently seated among a row of other spectators in one of the rows of tiered benches that ran along the length of the wall of the room; the one in front of her was set a bit lower, and the one behind her a bit higher, so as to allow everyone a better look at what was happening in the center of the chamber. At the back of the room at ground level stood a pair of double doors that lead to the rest of the building, where other people were currently filing in and making their way up the rows of benches to find seats in the gallery around Zelia. At the opposite end of the floor of the chamber stood a long bench atop a raised dais, with thirteen individual chairs behind it, all currently empty. In the center of the room stood a second, smaller platform, large enough for a single person to stand upon but devoid of any furnishings.

Stop fidgeting,” Carmine said, glancing at her sister. “Just be glad you’re not the one on trial.”

What would I be on trial for?” Zelia demanded, giving her sister a sideways look with a frown.

I have no idea,” Carmine replied with a shrug, “but I don’t doubt there’s something.”

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All The Warm Lives, part 5: Cupcakes

I screwed up Gaetana’s rank in the last section — Lictors are actually the leaders of a Hellknight order.  Paralictors fall beneath them (with a Mistress or Master of Blades (Maidrayne Vox’s rank) being the second in command below the Lictor and above a Paralictor) and Maralictors are beneath Paralictors.  I’m not going to go back and fix the previous chapter, but from here on out Gaetana will correctly be addressed as Maralictor.

* * *

A knock sounded on the door that lead to the conference room where Maidrayne Vox was currently in conversation with Darean Halst inside the Bastion of the Nail. “Lady Vox?” came Maralictor Gaetana’s voice from the hallway. “Lady Redbreeze to see you again, ma’am.”

Yes, send her in,” Vox replied, setting aside the paperwork that she and Halst were looking over together. The door opened, and Maralictor Gaetana stepped aside to admit the Sarenite paladin.

Lady Vox…Paralictor Halst,” Osanna greeted both of the Hellknight commanders as Gaetana closed the door behind her once she was inside the room.

Yes, good afternoon, Lady Redbreeze,” Halst addressed her with a nod. “Lady Vox told me you had come to call.”

We were just going over the final details of the prisoner’s transfer,” Vox added. “I trust you are done visiting with him?”

I am,” Osanna confirmed. Vox could tell there was a hint of uneasiness to the tiefling’s voice as she continued. “That’s actually what I wanted to speak with you about before I left, if I may trouble you for a moment of your time.”

We are expected at the Pediment Building,” Halst commented abruptly.

A moment, then,” Vox declared, holding up a hand to Halst before he could continued. “Speak, then, Lady Redbreeze.”

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All The Warm Lives, part 4: Heart Of An Elephant

Rated R because Sarscha.
Special thanks to Derrick for writing some of Sarscha’s dialog in this part.

Ah, Inquisitor Thrune. I heard you apprehended a fugitive last night, one we’ve been trying to find for quite some time for one of the members of the Council of Ushers. Excellent work.”

Samael paused as he was making his way through the corridors of the Bastion of the Nail shortly after dawn just outside the doorway to the office of Darean Halst. The door was open, and the paralictor to the Order of the Nail was seated at his desk inside, a stack of paperwork piled neatly in front of him. Samael turned to address him. “Thank you, sir.”

I’m sure the Mistress of Blades will be most pleased with this news when she arrives tomorrow,” Halst continued, studying a sheaf of parchment that he lifted from the top of the stack in front of him.

Lady Vox?” Samael asked, raising an eyebrow. “I didn’t realize she was paying the Bastion a visit.”

Yes, she is quite interested in the going ons here in Magnimar, as you may well know,” Halst droned on, glancing up at Samael finally, “and the Gallahad family often pries her for information on this vagabond’s whereabouts at any given opportunity. I’m sure she will be glad to put this business behind her.”

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Xander’s Journal- Epilogue

Xander’s Journal lies on the table in the Library, next to it is a scroll and a pouch with several thousand coins worth of gems, including a very large diamond.  Leaning against the pouch is a note, with Bill, Osanna, Samael, Naru, and Glenn’s names across the top.  “To whichever of you finds this, please read it carefully.  I had to take a journey to address some personal questions, but I hope to be done soon.   Once again I must ask a favor of one of you.  In case it is Glenn reading this, there should be enough in the bag to get someone to use that scroll, if the others aren’t available.  I don’t know if I will be seeing you once it is cast, since that is the whole point of this trip.  Either way, I want you all to know that it was a pleasure getting to know you, and travelling with you.  In case I don’t come back from this, I will always call you friends.  I will remain in the small chamber off the entry corridor.  That should be more than sufficient.”

 

This is it.

I should be happy, relieved, or something.  I know I should, but I can’t help but feel kind of lost.

Mother is cured, Father is physically alive again, and Varisia is safe from Karzoug, at least.    From what I hear, they are going to Kyonin, where Father will notify his family that he is alive, then move somewhere to start over.  After all these years, the love is still there.

I’ve spent the last several months in the Library, trying to get the Librarian to assist me with taking the actual dangerous books here and separating them from the inane.  Like Zutha’s journal.  That never needs to have eyes set on it again, by anyone.  I think I might have gotten through to the thing, now that I have changed my argument from “Dangerous” to a more codified “Potency Level” system of sorting.

We did it, all of us lived through it, sort of.   I died.  With all the trials and tribulations we went through, for months and months, that actually shocked me.

I mean, I know enough about magic, arcane and divine, to understand that we have the power to cheat death.  Osanna and Glenn died, and we brought them back.  Hathus died, and he didn’t want to come back.

When I died, though, I didn’t get a choice.  I was dead, I was in the Boneyard, and the next thing I know I was laying on the ground with Samael looking at me.

I think about that a lot actually.  It’s like I was robbed of something important.  I never got a chance to decide to go or stay.  I don’t know what I would have picked, and that bothers me.  Mother and Father are alive and healthy, but I know Osanna and Bill would have taken care of that either way, they gave me their words weeks ago.

The things I have done in the Library are more a way of killing time and busy-work than anything meaningful.

Everything I have done since coming back is… nothing really.  I started out with these grand plans, but when it comes down to it, I had no reference point for actually deciding what to do after something like this.  Now, I don’t even know if  I should be doing anything.

Desna… I believe she guided my steps, rambling and erratic as they were, to this path.  But, even knowing that, I don’t know where I stand now.  I’m here, but I don’t know if I should be.  Actually, I wish I’d had more time in the Boneyard.  Some time to think about things, to reflect.

I’m trying to listen for her, trying to understand the next steps, but I don’t hear anything.  I can’t make it out anymore.

I have to know.  And there’s really only one way to do that, really.  I just don’t see any way around it.

I won’t know for sure until I stand there, in the Boneyard again, what my answer really is.     

All The Warm Lives, part 3: Apprehension

Rated R because Sarscha.

Osanna woke early the next morning, before the first rays of the Dawnflower had graced the sky. Laying on her side, she shifted slightly in her bed, sensing a presence behind her. She sat up, slowly and silently, and glanced over her shoulder; Glenn was fast asleep on the opposite side of the bed, laying on the edge of the mattress, his back toward her.

The tiefling turned slowly so that she was facing him, watching him for several moments. He looked peaceful and content for the moment, sleeping quietly, although she knew he would not be once he woke. Her heart ached painfully, knowing there was little she could do to comfort him during this painful time – worse, that she had probably inadvertently added to his suffering with her misplaced words the night before.

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