34th of Goodmonth 383ONT, Champions Fist, Voyage Home from Lunar Mission 9:12am, Bow Deck.
Boulder Josiah Alden looked over the chalk lines for the circle one last time assuring he had drawn it correctly. He had never caste this spell before; the fact remained that this was not a spell that The Great Granite usually offered him; but considering their circumstances on this one occasion the mighty Aryzull had seen it in his heart to allow him to cure this crew of the evils that haunted them. He scattered the crushed jade around the perimeter and nodded to the Captain who had assembled the entire crew.
“We have all come a long way, and walked a difficult road” The Captain said in a loud booming voice “It’s time to remove some of the burdens we have all been carrying for too long… every crew member and passenger will walk through the circle… That is an order.” The Captain said turning and nodding back to Josiah. He took his que and finished the final casting causing the chalk, jade and other components to coalesce into a single glowing line that wrapped in on itself to create a cheery circle. He stood on the far side of the circle looking at Deborah, Hugh, Nathan and Douglas; the first of the crew set to go, he equipped a smile on his face and warmly invited them forward. Douglas entered the circle first; the crew let out a collective gasp of shock as they saw the haunt, a fair-sized creature, comprised of darkness and malice was pulled from Douglas and expelled into nothingness. The ships guard staggered as the creature was pulled from him; he looked surprised and confused as he stood in the circle. Josiah knew what to do, he again reached forward, taking the guards hand and gently guided him to the other side of the circle, clasping in him on the back and eliciting a cheer from the group.
The Powder Monkey, Deborah, seemed nervous, she had seen the ugly creature pulled from Douglas, and didn’t want something like that to come from her. Josiah’s heart melted as he saw the older rigger Hugh take a knee beside the girl and look at her at eye level.
“We’ll go it together girl… together or nots at all… what do ya say, will ya take a stroll with yer old pal Hugh?” he asked offering both his hands to her. She looked at him and jumped forward throwing her hands around him in a giant hug. The two shared their moment before Hugh stood, taking her little hand in his large grubby one and they walked forward. They both again shuddered as they entered the circle, the haunts ripped from them and exorcized. Deborah began to sob, but Hugh picked her up and kept walking forward. “Worst of it’s past darling… we’re almost done” he whispered as he walked her through the rest of the circle and brought her over to Josiah who met them both with an embrace of warmth and congratulations.
So it continued, each member of the crew stepping into the circle, each having a haunt expelled, some larger than others, but none were lacking as they worked through the process. They were two thirds of the way through the crew when Josiah saw the little Goblin Guard Captain step up, it was his turn. He had a grim look on his face, one of unwilling obligation, but ever comprised of duty he dared not defy his Captain. The Goblin stepped into the circle, he began to scream immediately as he tried to push forward, but the haunt within was tenacious, it would not give up easily… Josiah, on instinct reached forward and placed his hand on the circle, offering extra magic to bolster it… the goblin tried to push forward again but Josiah could see, his magic wouldn’t be enough. To his left he saw a delicate hand reach out. Hikari placed her hand on the edge of the circle bolstering its power with her own spells. Josiah could hear the delicate tones of Valeria singing out encouragement as she lovingly placed a hand on both Hikari’s and his own shoulders offering her strength and heart to them. The crew seeing their Goblin friend again try to stagger forward quickly caught on. Mandy and Taaj held hands and put them on the circle pouring love and compassion in. Miriel and Aurelia knelt at the far side funneling their own powers forward. Maddax had tears streaming down his face and sweat on his brow as he tried again to move into the circle and expel his haunt.
“You got this Maddax, we’re here for you!” Flit called to him offering support
“Simul” he whispered, using the elven word for “together” The two pushed forward, through the bolstered circle. The Haunt was huge, larger by twice then the hulking Flit as it ripped from the poor goblin. Maddax screamed in anguish as it left him and fell to his knees sobbing. Thalion wrapped him in a hug and held him there, whispering words in elven that were lost to Josiah and the assembled crowd. The Boulder watched in awe as not a member of the crew mocked the goblin or turned away in disgust at the display before them. Instead this was a family, that banded ever tighter together to face the hardship that they would overcome, all or none. He reached to his own eyes and was not entirely surprised that he was crying. Even at Chistles Point, in the temples of the Great Beneath he’d never felt love or comradery like this before; it took away his words. He looked up at Valeria and Hikari, the former still singing softly.
“I… I’ve never…” he stammered trying to find the words for what he was feeling. Hikari offered him a gentle smile and a clasp on the back
“welcome home Boulder Josiah, welcome to the family” she said. His throat was too tight for words, he merely nodded and looked back to the Captain helping the Goblin Knight to his feet and helping him through the circle to the adeliades and cheers of joy from the crew. Things were different now… Josiah didn’t know how, but something monumental had just changed in his life, he knew on his death bed he would look back to this moment and know it was when he had begun to walk a different path… and he was glad for it.