35th of Goodmonth 383ONT, 4:13pm, Temple of the Northern Wind, Northern Evermoors, Argyle.
Curtis looked at his companions before turning back to the Air Worshipers before him. “So you can see,” Curtis continued “We are not enemies, we need not battle, not until our respective Goddesses have met and decided our fates” Z’meer, the head of the temple nodded at the wisdom of the little faun.
“So be it Curtis Tomas, you and your companions will be allowed to continue your search of the North Wind, unmolested by out guild; but you will stop again at this temple once your mission has been completed, that we might speak further of how our peoples can live in peace” Z’meer said. Curtis bowed to the cleric, nudging Maul to do the same; he reluctantly did. Goodbyes were said and within an hour they found themselves leaving the temple.
“I think that worked out well” Curtis said grinning as they left the temple
“I still think you should have killed their Assassin where he stood” Maul grumbled, but offered a friendly nudge of his elbow to show he was kidding
“Pshhh, just because someone bests you in a fight doesn’t mean you have to kill them” Curtis laughed
“He didn’t best me, he snuck up on me!” Maul said defensively
“Curtis…. Curtis… Pray For Help… Pray Curtis” the voice drifted at the fringe of the faun’s ability to hear. Curtis stopped in his tracks causing Leven to bump into him as he cocked his head to listen for more… nothing came. Maul picked up on the change in tension, his weapons came to hand as he began to scan the area for ambush… silence passed for a moment.
“There is a problem… I have to go help right now… do you trust me?” he asked looked at each of his five companions. They smiled and nodded, their trust in the Cleric of the Night Wind was absolute. “I know not what I will face… but my body will be defenceless while I am gone… I will need your protection” the group quickly moved back to back, ready for battle. Curtis watched as Osswack held his staff defensively, Maul pulled out his axe, Soaz her tiny sword and Leven… he picked up a rock. The five took a few deep breaths preparing themselves as Curtis caste his spell… then his soul shifted planes
Time: Unknown: Great Tree of the Goddess of the Night Wind, Throne Room
Curtis appeared in the centre of the Throne Room of the Goddess of the Night Wind. A roil of vapour appeared around him as the relatively warm air from his surroundings met with the cold uncomfortable stale air of the throne room. The place stank of stale wine and discarded food. He slowly took in his surroundings, trying to fathom what this place was, or why it looked so. The colour was all but gone, there was a looming sense of death in the air and a tension that caused his skin to crawl. Curtis at last saw Aruik crumpled on the floor by the throne… he raced over to her taking three great steps before skidding to a halt. Tucked behind the throne purring in low tones was a raptor. Its eyes were hungry, and it appeared that Curtis was approaching its planed meal. He raised his hands calmly as he took another step towards the raptor.
“ARK ARK” came the cry of another raptor to his left… he’d not seen that one. The first raptor stepped out from behind the throne as the two began to close the distance on him.
“Easy fella’s… easy” Curtis said in low tones, trying to calm the beasts
“ARRRK” one cried out showing its claws and preparing to leap, on instinct Curtis pulled his Holy Symbol out and displayed it to the charging raptors
“I AM CURTIS TOMAS, 1ST AMONG HER SERVENTS, YOU WILL BE CALM!” his voice thundered as his holy symbol shone with a powerful white light. The feral hungry look dissipated from the raptors eyes as they came to a stop, one of them allowed its tongue to roll out to the side giving it a goofy almost friendly look. Seeing his rebuke had worked, he did not want to push his luck on how long it would last “BE GONE FROM HERE, I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOU BEASTS!” he said in his commanding voice. The raptors seemed sad to be sent away, but nodded to him, looked to each other and then ran off through the door at the southern end of the room. Seeing them leave, the faun took a moment to scan the room for more enemies before running to Aruik. He knelt beside her and held the beautiful angel in his arms. “Ordinal?… Aruik? Are you all right” he asked gently. She was cold to the touch, her skin had turned grey, the luster and colour form her eyes had drained into an inky black. He held her close trying to warm her. He could feel her, like a siphon pulling heat, warmth… faith from his body, he allowed it and slowly her eyes opened.
“Curtis… what are you doing here?” she asked weakly. He smiled at her
“You sent for me, I came?” he smiled back. Even in her weakened state she was able to roll her eyes.
“You were to bring the Goddess, this plane needs her” she said
“Oh” he said, “well, I am here now… let’s get you up and figure out how we might contact her” he said standing and offering her a hand. Shakily she rose to her feet putting an arm over his shoulder.
“A new visitor? How quaint” a voice projected from the far side of the room. There stood Lord Talib. He took a few steps forward before posing his next question “and who do we have here, a little faun is it? A friend from the green realm?” he asked the questions in a mock cutesy tone, but his eyes ran up and down over Curtis carefully weighing, appraising and assessing him.
“Curtis, go home… right now! Get help” Ariuk said in an urgent whisper to him. Curtis looked from Aruik over to Talib
“Is he the one causing all this trouble” he asked, turning to face Talib and pulling out his little mace “he doesn’t look all that tough” Curtis said a little louder and taking a step towards Talib. “I am Curtis Tomee…” he words were cut off in a gasp as Talib pointed a finger at him, twelve black daggers shot forth each perfectly targeting Curtis’s neck. Luckily Curtis was not in fact here, and the daggers passed through him slamming into the wall some twenty feet behind him.
“Ah… I see” Talib said taking another few steps forward… “you are not here; you are on Argyle… a simple priest or cleric communing with your deity. How… amusing” he said, waving his hands in a complicated series of movements, yet nothing appeared to happen.
35th of Goodmonth 383ONT, 4:16pm, Just outside the Temple of the Northern Wind, Northern Evermoors, Argyle.
Maul looked back at Leven who leaned over the sleeping Curtis, Osswack scratched his head before speaking
“We are sure he’s not just napping and pranking us… this would be a very good prank” there was a pause among the group as they thought about it, it would not be totally out of character for Curtis to try such a thing. Maul shook his head
“I don’t think so… he had that look of worry… I don’t think he knows how to make that look on purpose” the wild elf replied
The bushes to the left shuddered, the foliage all around began to move, they all stood ready ears cocked for more clues. It was Leven who heard the murmurs and groans first and let out a terrible curse
“BRAINS…. BRAINS” the moaning and shuffling grew louder.
“GODS BE DAMNED” Maul cussed as he quickly gathered branches littered on either side of the path and went about building a fire “The one time our cleric is indisposed is the time that the dead choose to attack us” he didn’t bother with a traditional build instead opting to rummage through Curtis’s pack and pull the lantern oil out. He poured it over the branches and worked with his flint and steel as he heard the dead monsters mover closer.
“We could run for the temple… they would shield us I am sure” Osswack offered as he himself cast a spell of blessing on his staff. Maul shook his head as the twigs lit ablaze.
“We can’t move him until he wakes… he knew there would be trouble…we hold here until he gets up” Maul said, gathers a few more branches and starting a second fire at the other side of the group. “Stay between the fires… kill anything that comes within arm’s reach of Curtis… understood?” there wasn’t time for an answer, the first zombie broke through the underbrush and attacked.
Time: Unknown: Great Tree of the Goddess of the Night Wind, Throne Room
“So you’re the God Talib huh?” Curtis said eyeballing the deity some twenty feet from him “Can’t say that I am impressed” the Faun sneered, trying his best to throw out some verbal sword play
“A fact that I am sure will cause me to loose countless nights of sleep” Lord Talib responded in a bored tone, what do you want little Faun? Clearly your Goddess has abandoned this realm, so there is little sense you hanging around, bringing down the collective IQ”
“The Lady of the Night Wind has not abandoned this realm! She loves this realm and each of her followers” Curtis rebuked
“Yes… I am sure that is the bedtime stories that are shared on Argyle” the God’s voice dripped with contempt “You’re faith may bolster this room, the Ordinal even for a short time… but it will not last… you are mortal my friend and your spell will soon come to an end… one way or the other and then things will begin to decay and rot once more”
“YOU’RE DOING THIS… IT’S YOU!” Curtis accused stamping two steps toward the God “STOP IT!”
“I assure you, my angry little Faun Friend that I am not actively ‘doing’ anything… I will also warn you that astral or not, if one of your grubby little fingers tries to touch me, I will unmake you” the words were not said in rage, or as bluster… it was said calmly and stated as a fact, one that Curtis believed to his very core. Curtis took a step back… then fell to his knees, he didn’t know what else to do… so he prayed.
“Oh Great Goddess, hear my prayers… Please come to your throne… we are in danger”