Adventure Date: January 8, 2009
Last Updated: January 8, 2009
(These events occur Immediately following the defeat of Bareris)
The air still crackled from the magical energies that were unleashed during the pitched battle. The Seekers of Faerun wearily glanced at each other and their surroundings to ascertain whether or not other threats lurked in the shadows of the audience chamber.
Neon stalked forward and emphatically thrust his blade into Bareris' broken form. All of the Seekers averted their eyes to give Neon a modicum of privacy as he savoured the death of Aleena's murderer. A myriad of emotions washed across his face, but in the end, he walked away with a look of resigned satisfaction, quiet tears streaking his face once again.
For a moment, both Okul and Risca watched their stealthy friend and then Okul continued to help Risca out of his remaining equipment to allow the dwarf to recover from the devastating effects of the Rays of Enfeeblement, which had sapped his mighty strength. As each piece of equipment dropped from his body, Risca noticeably straightened up. As the last piece of equipment touched the stone hewn floor, Risca shared a chuckle with Okul as he joked that Okul was "lucky" he had allowed him the glory of grappling Bareris to the ground as it was just a matter of time before Risca himself would have accomplished the task.
Off to the side, Kilzadi admired his recently acquired sword all the more as he realized that he held one of Bareris's prized possessions in his hands. With that thought, Kilzadi turned an experienced and eager eye to Bareris' body and his equipment. The rich red robes and accoutrements of the mad wizard seemed to mesmerize the sorcerer.
A smile tugged at the corners of Swan's full lips as she surveyed her companions in the aftermath of the battle and then, she noted Gideon quietly standing a bit off to the side. Silently, she crept up behind him and gently hugged him and whispered, "Thank goodness we were able to survive that magical monstrosity and that that madman is dead."
Gideon halfheartedly returned the hug - muttering a few congratulatory words in response - his comely companion not noticing a strange look of what seemed to be disappointment on the cleric's face.
And indeed Gideon was disappointed that he would not have an opportunity to interrogate Bareris regarding his accusations against he and poor Aleena. Gideon winced at the memory of Aleena's fate and the ordeal that Swan and he had just survived. Gideon resolved to himself that he would search every corner and nook of this madman's complex to find his answers, but first, as he had done countless times following Aleena's death, he closed his eyes and prayed for guidance from all mighty Kossuth - to gain any insight he could into the motives of the rogue red wizard.
Each time previously, his quiet contemplation was answered by silence - a fact that was not disconcerting to Gideon, for what god answers every plea of his or her acolytes - but he found these moments of introspection soothing and in some ways revealing.
However, on this occasion, a deep baritone voice addressed Gideon. As he turned to see whether or not any of the other Seekers had taken note of the voice, he realized that the room had become unnaturally quiet and that the other Seekers would only be silent witnesses to his communion with Kossuth as all of his companions were frozen in place - as if instantaneously transformed into perfect granite statues.
The voice solemnly intoned "Gideon - my child of the flame - your path will veer from that of an acolyte so that you may attain the skills and knowledge necessary to be my chosen agent upon this plane. You have already begun the journey to a higher state and it will be fraught by difficulty and pain - expect to be tested, but as you rise to the challenge, you will prove your worth and earn your place amongst the chosen."
The voice paused and in that moment, Gideon understood.
"I re-forged you during your stay at the Righteous Vengeance Monastery and now it is time to take full advantage of the gifts - that to which you refer to as embers - that I have granted you so that you may help to vanquish this tide of darkness. Others similarly blessed by their deities may seek you out - worry not, you will know them when you meet them. Perhaps they will join you and your companions on your journey and perhaps not, but remember that even a single flame will defeat absolute darkness. Be wary of false allies wearing masks of friendship. The agents of darkness are many and varied."
Abruptly Okul and Risca's guffaws echoed in the room and Gideon yearningly looked about the chamber, irrationally hoping to catch a glimpse of the divine speaker.
To the surprise of all, Gideon abruptly fell to his knees and extended his arms to the heavens, proclaiming "With Fire comes Purity ", his eyes brimming with tears.
Swan leaned over to excitedly whisper to a befuddled Neon, "Gideon has finally gotten in touch with himself! This is so fulfilling - I helped him you know and I could help you if you like!" Swan continued to happily gaze at the prostrate Gideon in spite of Neon's skeptical stare.