Shattered Moon

You can never forget the way to Unmandin

Padme’s ship floated through the gates of Unmandin. Although she could not see much, the city was blinding her senses. She could only feel the presence of the Widow Weaver who stayed close and comforted her before declaring that she needs to go for a hunt and left the ship.

The spider-demon came back carrying cocoon inside which, Padme recognized, was a senseless but live body of Pol. “I found your hearth”, explained the Widow Weaver.

Shortly the ship reached a place that appeared not so blinding to the new Padme’s senses. It looked like a square in center of which there was standing a column burning in white pattern-like flames.

The Widow Weaver went there, inviting Padme to follow. The former deva felt herself wading knee deep in the moonsilver. The pair approached the burning column, the Widow Weaver stopped and cut what Padme perceived as her palm, making the yong demon cringe from the shared pain. Drops of blood started falling, mixing with the moonsilver and absorbed by the white flames.

Suddenly a voice pierced the space: “Welcome back my creation who perceived me”. The voice was all powerful, coming from everywhere, piercing the patterns of Padme, it made her loose the consciousness. She regained her senses submerged, feeling the cold moonsilver filling her nostrils and mouth. She stood up coughing and sooner than she managed to cough her breath, she felt a metal thing hitting her head. Padme turened back, and there the Lord of Time was standing. Not in a shape of a doll, but as a full fledged human. He was holding a rusty sword in one hand and a silver thread that lead to Padmes waist in another.

“It is time to fulfill your promises, oh One Who Kills Ones Who She Loves”, told he giving demon the sword. Padme looked back, and noticed that the Widow weaver seemed to be frozen in time. “Hurry, my powers are limited, I cannot keep it like this forever”.

Padme took the sword, the thought about what she is asked to do terrified her – she must kill the most beautiful thing. A gentle nod on the silver thread tied around her waist hurried her, she swung and stabbed. Blood squirted and mixed with moonsilver. But the wound was not a kill. “Finish your promise”, commanded the Lord of Time. But Padme had other plans. She reversed the blade and stabbed it deep in to her belly. Time started to flow again and with it flowed the rage of the wounded Widow Weaver.

She grabbed Padme, who was starting to loose her consciousness, raised her in to air and slammed against the flaming column. “I do not know what are you doing, but thank you for sparing me from letting your blood to feed the Mad One”. Hissed the now angry but still beautiful voice. “What are you doing!?” she heard, while her body was becoming limp. “Now you blood will feed the Mad One”, hissed the voice. “You can still do it”, shouted the Lord of Time.

In her clouded consciousness Padme started to realize who are her friends here. But her wounded body was failing her, and only with a help of the Lord of Time she managed to pull the sword out and stab in to the face of the Widow Weaver. Then her body went numb and cold, all become darkness.

“Padme, open your eyes”, a soft voice sounded. She listened and found that she can see again, and that she was on a bed in Aturn’s ship. Next to the bed a ivory-white man with silver eyes was standing. A lamentations filled the room, and Padme managed to see Pol lying on the ground and Rakshavyadha sitting in a corner, before the white stranger had hidden everything behind a shroud of darkness and silence.

“Thank you for waking me up”, he told. “Let me show you my gratitude gratitude”.

“Can we first help Pol and Rakshavyadha?” asked Padme.

“I can not turn the events back, and Pol’s mind is destroyed by Widow Weaver’s poison, but I can give him peace if that would please you”.

And so they did. With a touch of his finger on sailor-mage\s forehead the ivory man made him forget his suffering. Pol woke up with no memory of magic, Mad Lands or devas, he was a simple sailor again, serving on a ship of the Red Prince Aturn. The ship docked next to a fantastic garden, where what seemed to be an illusion of the prince told Pol that he is awarded with a shore-leave for his good service. A bit confused but happy sailor left the ship and was greeted by people from the garden who brought forward flowers, drinks and berries.

Next was Rakshaviadha, who unlike mortal Pol was able to keep his mind thanks to his shimmer nature and also his familiarity with madness. The waking up was not easy, he had to travel through the deadly forest, fire and finally the mirror labyrinth. Many times he was almost lost, but then was guided by the sound of a hunting horn. Which was actually a seashell that Mad-One gave to Padme to help her friend.

Finally Rakshavyadha reached the center of the labyrinth, it was only empty space, with his master – One Who Does Not Exist standing in the middle. “Now, do you understand the meaning of the riddle?” told the master. “The process is what important” answered Rakshavyadha. “Yes, and I am sorry that to understand this you needed to destroy it”. Then he turned in to Padme blowing a sea-shell and the Rakshavyadha woke up.

Mad one not here, before Rakshavyadha woke up he left to visit a dark tower, rising to the sky, with only windows at the very top, but that did not matter, Padme had so much to tell her partner. And Rakshavyadha was really relieved when the white man was back and Padme stopped talking for a minute. “Greetings, the one who tried to bring the seed of my enemy to my city”, told the ivory stranger. “I must meet a visitors that come to my city, please excuse me, but please feel like home here”, and he simply vanished.

  • * *

Bastyn sat at the edge between Wildland and Madlands and started chanting. He chanted until he went into a trance, but instead of his own warren he found himself in the same place he was, except it was overlaid with with silver patterns, strong towards the east, where the walls of Unmandin raised, almost invisible to the west, where Wildlands were setting its roots. Wildone was watching him from above. And so Bastyn stood and went to the gates of Unmandin, and the gates opened, and Wildlands entered the streets of the city.

For a moment Bastyn felt like he was left alone, and then a humanlike figure, made out of silver threads of unseen complexity, radiating all the colors approached him. “Welcome, oh fruit of the one who betrayed me”, spoke Mad-One. “You brought my brother to my city, but I do not hold this against you”. He turned tovard where Wild One was seen towering above the city and went there, growing with each step, and losing his human shape. Finaly, two giant were standing in front of each other, motionless, their patterns complementing one another. Bastyn went deeper into a city, where he finally stumbled upon a ship with Padme and Rakshavyadha.

The reunion was not so warm. The decades in Wildlands, where only one to have a conversation with wash he himself, left a mark on Bastyn. He accused devas of making a mess of this world and the world of his ancestors. And then demanded to leave the city before the two demigods will destroy everything. Rakshavyadga saw a wisdom in this, but Padme disagreed, and told that she came here to save the world, and will not leave untill she will know how.

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Found again and given away

Finally the imperial army arrived at the steps of the Hearth of the Island. There was a short rest before the last battle, and meanwhile Devaturn tried to bind Zalyanitha in slave-chains, to keep her from disappearing. Demon was not excited about this idea and made quite a scene in the middle of the camp, that gave some lough to the soldiers but worried mages, who still had fresh memories of fire demon rebelling a few days ago.

Finally Ghaona interrupted the quarrel when Devaturn was ready to put his whip in to work. She reminded him that Zalyanitha will be needed next day, so it is not a good idea to maim her right now. Former deva was shut in to a tent with two trusted guards to keep an eye on her.

Next morning only the sounds from the outside betrayed to Zalyanitha that the battle started. Unexpectedly there was a sound of soldiers marching next to the tent, and then a voice of Achnat was heard, he was explaining to someone that he had orders to come here, then a short scream of a dying man and then the lieutenant himself burst in to a tent, shooting the soldier guarding Zalyanitha. He was expecting to find Devaturn here and kill him, alas the mage was not inside the tent. Zalyanitha and Achnat quickly hided the evidence of the crime and later claimed that this was an attack on the camp made with the help of the Moon Island’s magic. After that the demon had a chance to observe the rest of the battle. Small army was firing from the steps of the city, while the imperial army marched closer and cannons were bombarding the city. Unexpectedly ground burst and a white marbe body with numerous heads and hundreds of arms emerged from the underground – One Who Gives the Meaning to Moonsilver joined the battle, but even he was not able to win against the disciplined imperial troops who quickly adapted to the tactics of powerful but outnumbered demon. The battle was won when finally a cannonball hit One’s Who Gives the Meaning to Moonsilver head.

After the battle Devaturn returned and found his demon running free, the ruse to blame the death of Zalyanitha’s guards to the schemes of the Moon Island’s sorcery did not seemed to convince the mage, but there was no time to make an investigation, Ghatona was arranging an expedition to the city.

The glyph sorceress and her henchmen mages, Devaturn and about fifty of his soldiers and Zalyanitha where supposed to go, but then Achnat joined as an volunteer with a small group of his soldiers. Which again, seemed to spark an suspicion in Devaturn.

After a half day of climbing the half abandoned pyramid-city with a few small clashes with the scattered local soldiers, Zalyanitha led the group to the top step of the pyramid, to the entrance leading to the chamber of the One Who Gives the Meaning to Moonsilver. The entrance was lightly guarded, but the skirmish did not took long and shortly the party was inside, leaving dead bodies of the defenders behind.

The corridor, as Zalyanitha promised, lead to the hall where the armors, that once became a prison for Padme, where kept. Here they meet a bold and old members of the secret caste who directly served the main demon of the island. They cursed the name of Zalyanitha when she introduced herself, but did nothing to stop the party.

Instead they where stopped by a wall separating armor-hall from the demon’s chambers. It was quickly decided to use a gunpowder to blow the wall, and right the Zalyanitha felt the gentle push towards the exit from Achnat. Demon got a clue and quickly went outside together with most of the soldiers and Ghatona. A shoot sounded and then explosion. When Zalyanitha and the glyph sorceress went back, they found wounded unconscious and killed soldiers among the dust and debris. Zalyanitha found a senseless but mostly unharmed Achnat.

For Gatona the explosion and causalities mattered not. She went directly to the wall where now was a hole big enough to enter. She allowed Zalyanitha to enter first and then followed. One’s Who Gives the Meaning to Moonsilver was there, battered after the battle and bitter. He recognized Zalyanitha, who confronted him by reminding that despite him stealing the ring from her, he obviously failed to resurrect the loom, and to save the slowly dying Moonisland. Angry the ruler of the island agreed to return the ring, but threatened to sink the whole island together with the army and even it’s own citizens if invaders will not leave the island. He dropped the ring at the feet of Zalyanitha, bent and twisted, it felt lifeless to the touch of the demon. She went back, where Ghatona was waiting silently, with her hand held out. Zalyanitha gave her the ring without a word, and in silence the glyph mage left.

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The storm is coming

Pandemonium in the Imperial camp finally settled down, meanwhile Zalyanitha was getting ready to enact some justice upon her master. Her plan was interrupted first by Warina and then by Ahnat. Warina came to thank Zalyanitha for bringing her to the doctor after rage burst by her master. The student and demon spend some time speaking, despite the cruelty shown by Devaturn, Warina seemed to hold no anger on him, explaining that this is a part of a training that young mage should suffer to temper her mind for the future dealings with demons. She also told a story of Devaturns grandmother mother that was raped by deva by the name of Padme, which caused her to be exiled from the tribe, captured and sold to slavery. Devaturn vas born to her daughter, noticed for his intellect by the imperial mages bought and educated to become a sorcerer and imperial officer. This, Warina explained, was the reason for the anger ad violence towards the Zalyanitha, although Warina herself did not believed that Zalianitha was a deva. Former deva, understood that she will not find an ally in this girl.

When later in evening Zalyanitha told about her plan to castrate Devaturn to Ahnat he beged her to change her mind, as this only would end in more suffering for the demon. To convince her he finally promised to help her to kill Devaturn, when an opportunity arises and become her new master. After Zalyanitha agreed, he finaly calmed down and spend the rest of night telling a story that he read in a forbidden book about an utopia of Moon Island.

At the down, when Zalyanitha was going back she had a vision of ghostly shadows passing the fabric of Ghatona’s tent. Shortly after curses bursted from the inside and then Ghatona emerged from the tent with a head in her hands.

It seemed that a silver eyed slave-assassin had entered the camp under the cover of darkness and could probably sow chaos by killing some officers if only he would not pick a wrong target.

In the morning the Imperial camp was orderly but nervous. Soldiers were getting ready to make a final march towards the Hearth of the Island.

  • * *

Meanwhile in the Islands of the Marble Virgins Padme met Widow Weawer and that was the most beautiful experience she had.

“You are responsible for ones that save you” told the demon and have a thread binding Rakshavyadha to Padme.

Next morning they left the island towards Unmandin. Ten days they traveled, and each night Widow Weaver and Padme spent talking. For Padme those conversations not only told about the failed plan of the Council of Five but also was intoxicating as a drug, the presence of the Widow Weaver made a strong effect on a demon.

Finally the ship reached the walls of Unmandin.

“Those who had entered Unmandin once, will newer forget the way” uttered Weaver, and the gates opened, it seemed as if blinding light shined through the slit so powerful that it managed to blind Padme’s blind eyes.

  • * *

For few seasons Bastyn wandered the western shore of the Silver river, looking for an island where World Roots once grew, watching how the animals and plants were crossing the river in a mass migration to the Mad lands, seldom glancing at the Wild-one looming over the forest, seemingly watching him and sometimes making a gesture as if inviting the immortal to cross in to Madlands.

Finally, Bastyn reconciled with the idea that he will not be able to find what he is looking for and heeding the call of Wild-one crossed the river, Wild-one followed.

After a short voyage the immortal reached the edge of a forest that now expanded over the Madlands. Dead threes were rising from the moonsilver swamp, white bones of various animals sticking out, and beyond this the white walls of Unmandin were rising to the sky.

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Finally

The campaign against Moon Islanders was taking another turn, when soldiers on Devaturn’s side began showing up to the sky. Zalyanitha immediately recognized what it was. It was flying pyramids. Soon enough the rain of silver rays began piercing soldiers creating chaos and disorder. What is more Devaturn himself seemed to finish his ritual and was stepping in the pyre. But to everyone surprise he quickly jumped out of it screaming in pain. The fire birds were rising from the pyre but they did not attack the enemies of the Empire. They rather chose to kill the side of the master who summoned them. Zalyanitha was fast enough to find the shield in the center of all the chaos just fast enough to cover herself from the ray of fire from one of the fire birds. As Zalyanitha was moving out of the dangerous area covering herself with now hot shield from upcoming fire rays. She saw Ghatona emerging from her tent having a severed head in her arms. She was about to shout what is going on here. It looked that the chaos began to settle down but the battle was almost lost.

Meanwhile Bastyn was living in the tribe of people of wild lands. One of the times there was a festival of the hunt where the tribals did a very very successful hunt. Bastyn saw all the mood raised from the people up to the point where he spotted a very beautiful fur of the fox. To his sadness he realized that this was the very same fox that was his only sort of companion several season ago. This was the last drop on Bastyn ’s goblet of patients. He decided to leave the tribe.

In the island of virgins Rakshavyada was haggling with the Widow Weaver. She offered him freedom from his master. Rakshavyada asked if his companion Padme would be released too. Widow Weaver promised that since they are all connected only the stamina of deva can survive the cure she is having in mind so Paul will be the only one who will get the end worse than death while he and Padme will be touched by madness. The hunter agreed and felt the sharp pain where the Weaver bit.

Padme had been cheerfully woken by the woman assigned to watch over her. She prepared some food and bath for deva. And all the time she was so cheerful that she will be blessed soon. At first Padme was suspicious on food and without a reason as soon as she tried some of it she felt very dizzy and lost her consciousness. When she woke up she no longer could see through her eyes but rather feel the threads of everything. And everything was connected to one bright spot that was extremely beautiful. Padme was led to the entrance of the Weaver. And saw that it is coming out along with weaved figure that looked very very familiar. It was none other but Rakshavyada . He was different he was absolutely not himself and just moved blinded by madness. Rakshavyada previously was touched by madness yet now he is was completely lost.

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Flight back to the spirder web

The Master of the Hollow agreed to accompany Bastyntyn out, so they went together – all that time the bird talked to Bastyn about the old times, especially about the hollow of his Mother. Bastyn enjoyed the opportunity to talk and he just talked. In the process he got lots of information about his Mother, devas and the world his ancestry is from – how creatures lived between the roots of the great tree who gave them immortality and death and how they sacrificed their dreams to the trees. Also how devas fucked everything up.
After Bastyn separated from Owl – he found some tribe that he domesticated to himself and lived for quite a long time, transforming his names from “One who came in autumn” to “good hunter” to “the One who lives too long”. Sadly, he failed to civilize the tribe.

-X-

Zalyanitha found new friend in Akhnat Fire Thorn, he is from the Purple Lands like Gatona and he’s 86 year old, so his life must be prolonged by miraculous fruits of emperors tree. He told Zalyanitha about mage uprising after devas passed the lands and looks like he’s a little bit grateful Zalyanitha, because this was the opportunity for his house to rise and they chose the right side.
Zalyanitha was questioned by generals about the Moon Island – looks like invasion is going to happen. The night before gruesome rituals were held and Valnal transformed into flock of firebirds in the process (he stepped into the sacrificial fires where the victims were burned alive) – he flew to torch the Mirror port. The advantage in numbers is on the Zalyanithas captors side, but the islanders have pattern stags for mounts and light arrows, so they are not helpless. At some point Zalyanithas master gets arrow into the heart, but she drags him to safety – he unnaturally arises after all healed, looks like he has some tricks hidden in his body.
More human sacrifice is held, but step after step Devaturns side gets exhausted a little bit and not so lucky – the pressure from the islanders is constant and Zalyanithas side loses troops constantly.

-X-

Padme and Rakshavyada land on the shore and are met with lots of people and choir. The mood is cheerful, so they do not react when they are separated – Padme was led to “woman” side Rakshavyada to the other. Only after Padme gets locked in the room she understands her error. While Padme gets dressed and pampered (also provided with blood in form of the dull men) Rakshavyada gets into trouble – he is led to the cave of the Weaver. The cave is full of cocooned bodies and the stone is rolled behind him to block the way out. The cave is like the net of the wolf spider – with floor descending into web lined funnel – Rakshavyada bites of the flame of the candle he had and jumps into it.

Brave hunter hits his head on the way down and after getting back to his senses beautiful feminine voice
“I greet you ”/wikis/rakshavyada" class=“wiki-page-link”>Rakshavyada, I was waiting for you along time. Who could guess that the fly who broke out the net will come back’.

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... and on

Zalyanitha continues to serve Javraturn while having a lot of pressure from Gatona. It was a question who was the real master. Though the routine changed when shipbuilding had been finished and everyone important gathered. It was a time to move on. The statue that is the vessel of the essence of Mahormimat has been put on the flagship to guide all the fleet through the sea. During the voyage Zalyanitha had been summoned to one of the war meetings. Since she had visited the Moonisland she was interrogated on the war power of them. What sort of defenses they have. She shared her knowledge as much as she had been asked but no more. During the travel Zalyanitha found a new friend among the crew. His name was Ahrat the minor nobleman who’s fear of Zalyanitha was weaker then his interest.

Somewhere in the different end of the world Bastyn was witnessing emerging enormous owl from the hollow of the enormous tree. Fox encouraged Bastyn to talk with her. And he tried. At first the only response from the owl was to repeat the last line Bastyn said. But eventually he understood that owl repeats lines only when the topic is either not interesting or not known. The owl apparently knew Bastyn ’s mother. It feels a lot respect towards Bastyn ’s mother.

The last but not least part of this used to be awesome group Rakshavyada and Padme continues their voyage from the other side of the gates. The sea was swallowed by thick fog that would everyone get lost easily but not they. The magic of the skull still worked strongly guiding the ship though oblivion. Once again Pol has appeared. He was mysterious and poetic as always while delivering the warning “From this point on you are alone here, good luck, heroes.”

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Move on

Zalyanitha accepts to become the judge of the port, but not all verdict’s are passable by Javraturn. Deva clings to her’s legal paradigm and it seems that the deva’s judgements improves the psychological climate in the port. Master was very pleased with results. During this period she finds out that deva could mark the guilty man by touch or fire arrows which seeks condemned target and distance or obstacles is not the hindrance. In the lasts days of the mega ship construction new key persons of empire shows in the port. Gatona is one them… Zalyanitha does not obey to Gatona’s demands to slaughter innocent slaves and this decision enrages Javraturn. The master scourges deva and adds… „Obey or we both will die in very painful way“. It took up to three years to build current armada and the armies starts to pack stuff…

Padme and Rakshavyada. Devas gathering the crew for the new ship, but the lack of the human blood is not good for health of Padme. So, deva of caring awards her self with young slave. The journey to the great gates starts. During the trip the swarm demon appears on the ship’s deck. He tries to find more information about the shimmers in this ship, but „clown play“ tricks the demon to move further from this mad ship. It took some time to reach The Great Gate. The construction of the gates is at vast scales and beyond any human craftsmanship. It’s definitely build by devas. Padme and Rakshavyada detrain the ship and goes to find the way to open the gates. It seams that the place is abandoned for several centuries and there are no man to help them with the gates. Except few human incestoids… It’s very easy to make manipulations with them for some food and drinks. None of them holds the knowledge how to open that gates, but deva’s managed to get to the control room and break the mechanisms in order to open the gates…

It took several seasons to pass when Bastyn and Fox had reached the place where forest is so dense that sun light does not pass through the branches. The fox announce that they had reached the destination. After a few hours Bastyn’s eyes adopts to the murk and he sees the enormous tree before his him with wide hollow inside it. It seams that the rapacious bird is living here…

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New arrangements

Padme and Rakshavyada are making travel arrangements. Their mind is on a quest to come in a possession of a ship. Padme is given a brooch by a Warund and was instucted to show it in the house of Violen and she would be provided with assistance. On the way Padme is looking for animals to satisfy her thirst.

Warund talks to Rakshavyada and Padme about the world without devas and the prosperous future. He also insists that devas are in debt to shimmers and they should prodive their services. Rakshavyada is discusted by those arguments. Then, he vanishes.
The people of the town are singing and chatting to Rakshavyada. Padme is teaching them games. On the way to the tavern Padme attacks a hound. Devas were warned not to eat tavern food, so Padme packes it and leaves. The town has some occult sculptures – one of them pictures an elk with a sun in its antlers. In the town hall they find Zalyanitha’s bow.

Finally they arrive at the house of Violen and Padme shows her brooch. A girl welcomes them, offers some wine, and gives guidelines for their voyage. They were offered food and a bath. Padme aches for blood. She ventures into the harbour and agrees to buy the ship on a very reasonable price (the girl helps to set the agreement). The crew is also available for hire.

x-x-x

Mahormimat does not remember being on the Moongate after they split up. Zalyanitha goes into the tent and meets his master. The master offer her a deal – to be a judge and to serve him. He also promises to bring justice to thieves in Moon Island. After shot negotiations they come to agreement. Zalyanitha feels piercing pain in her chest and sees a arrow in it. She finds herself in a new body – middle aged short-haired woman. The body feels tortured and Zalyanitha gradually starts feeling pain. Javraturn’s apprentice tends to the woulds and comforts her.

After some sleep Zalyanihta is intoduced to the city of Mahorninvela and her position of judge. Javraturn asks her about Moon Island and wants to know where Padme is. Zalyanitha shortly briefs him on her adventures and situation in Moon Island. The city is building a large fleet and preparations for a conquest of Moon Island are rapidly progressing. In the meantime, Zalyanitha complies with justice to establish a reputation.

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Doe-maiden and the Hunter god

Bastyn was preoccupied with beekeeping, so he passed his time peacefully until his fox came back wounded. The right side of fox face was scratched with talons of unknown beast – Bastyn tried to bandage it, but fox went away, passing around all the traps he devised for her. After some time fox brought her cubs to Bastyn cave – the cubs were likely half artifact beasts themselves – with streaks of silver fur and bigger than usual foxes.

-X-

Padme and Rakshavyada gets to “Silver Anchor” tavern and tries passively to scout for some help. Actually Padme gets noticed by local nobleman (?) Warund. exDeva bluffs that she’s a poet from Iron islands and is sent by her kin on a Grand tour with her iron bodyguard Rakshavyada to bring stories and information about the outside world. Warund muses and toasts for the unspoken secrets (looks like he did not buy her bullshit).
Man invites devas to his villa for night stay and promises to help with the ship in the morning. They pass though the city where devas see sculptures of local gods, hunter and the doe maiden – later Warund tells their story that hunter is gifted with the blood of the female goddess witch is water in exchange of his protection. Padme thinks to herself that she must be careful not to bleed, as it is known that her blood now is water-like, it would bring some amount of huge trouble to them. After Padme spends some quality time with Warund and is scolded by presence of Pol in the morning on their behavior that draws attention also reminded of nature of her human body.
Later on the same morning Padme and Rakshavyada meets possible buyers of their ship: Ryanoki, Klays and Efernal – the last one is fair skinned and apparently from city or Vorl, because his choice of jewelry. After some awkward bullshiting sells it to Klays (one of three – woman).

After this Warund brings them to see the means of transportation that they should take for their trip to the other side peninsula. Padme declares that she want some traditional drink of her islands – ox milk mixed with blood. Later she gets it. But she needs to tell specifically what place this drink is native… so she admit that it was from Teus Ver, she is given beautiful ornament for herself and is toasted “For the truths never spoken clearly”. Blood tastes as shit, but at least she is not frowning it up.
In the morning devas leave the dog sled like transport.

-X-

Bastyn is hoarding narcotics and scheduling the dosages. He is confronted by the voice – that by taking the venom of the bees he’s giving his own body away to Him and killing the speaker. Fox is speaking with him – she says that he is rushing to the Twilight of the Wizard with his poison intake. Bastyn says that he must go out of it (wildlands), fox opposes that there is no way out and if he waits until her cubs are grown, she will take him to the master of the Hollow. But he must wait a year or so.

-X-

Zalyanitha is in no better place, she is chased by whispers. If she stops and tries to sleep it feels like someone is standing around her and whispering – it brings great fear to her – all is left in her head are words “killer, punishment, thief”.

Mahormimator sees how Zalyanitha is dragged into the void by black tentacles. He gets her and takes away, but she is somewhat lost in her mind, only whispering “Thieves, punishment, slaughter”. Deva sees silver thread and goes holding into that with Zalyanitha on his arms, Mahormimat also tries to bring Zalyanithas sane mind back by reciting devan poetry that is known to both of them and may resonate with her being. After Zalyanitha manages to her back to herself they talk – Mahormimat says the he was sent by Devraturn (child of the steppe) from the lower realm to get her, also that 90 years passed from the time they left.

Devas climb the hill and see yurt and steppe behind it – so they go to the yrt and see a man almost of devan proportions and Zalyanitha thinks she knows his face…

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The journey

Bastyn was struggling continuously on the land of the wild. The one and only consistant thing in his life was the fox-like creature that visited him from time to time. There was no way to calculate the time how much he spent in this land of chaos. Little by little Bastyn ‘s appearance turned similar to Rakshavyada ’s. His experience sharing the consciousness of deva of the hunt was more then helpful for him to survive. There was not entirely complete chaos in the land. There was seasons, pretty in much in order all 6 of them. Bastyn tried to hunt some food by digging the hole and with success, only he entrapped his only companion – fox-like creature. He did not dear to eat it. He rather helped it to climb out. Naturally he got no thank from the creature. It just ran away in the jungle. Later in his journeys he found some bee’s nest. Like a real professional he extracted some poison for drugging himself to reach such state of the mind to reach his warren. Unfortunately he had not reached warren. Only dreamless sleep. Bastyn woke up just to find out that he is frozen and covered in snow. Not even able to move.

Padme suddenly was saved. She was pulled to the ship that looked like Aturn’s and soon the savior appeared. That was none other but Pol. He greeted Padme the demon and asked for help to save the world. The only thing she has to do is to make a contract with him. Padme could not cope with the fact that she is in a place of demon and refused. She would rather return to her torment than serve to mortal. And so she jumped through the window back to the silver sea, back to the glyph fiends.

Rakshavyada suddenly was saved. From the cold oblivion where he could comunicate only through pain he got the glimpse of light and warmth. Little by little he was drawn to the light and finally he could move. The only thought imprinted through pain to his head was the mantra from the dreamless sleep: “What is – is. What is not – is not. When what is not meets that is oblivion wakes up so it devours being. When oblivion devours the being remains nothing”. The one who dragged Rakshavyada to light and warmth was none other but Pol. He asked former deva to help him to save the world and persuade Padme to join the cause. Rakshavyada could only say his mantra but agreed to the contract. Former deva was allowed to enjoy the comfort of warmth and light while Pol summoned again Padme. Rakshavyada successfully persuaded Padme to take the contract as the only way of existence, as the only way to be able to change something. By the contract Pol promised to release both devas to roam free in the world if they fulfill the only task – to bring one person from the island of thousand virgins. They will be provided with new bodies to be able to walk on physical world and for now they can finally rest. Former devas rested. Finally no longer in torment.

First one to wake in physical world was Rakshavyada. He woke up in heat, in very pleasant heat after eternity of absolute freeze. He open his eyes to see enormous pyre. Pol approached by the safe distance smoking a pipe. The smoke from the pipe formed patterns giving the idea that it must be an artifact. Rakshavyada also spotted that Pol’s beard is also tangled in patterns that prolonged his life. He promised after the task would be done Rakshavyada will get more comfortable body for now he asked him to rest. Then former deva realized that his body is metal. Pol asked Rakshavyada to follow him. As they went former deva noticed many dead bodies. Pol as soon as realized that Rakshavyada noticed that explained that he wanted no witnesses. They went to the furnace and then Pol asked Rakshavyada to rest. Rakshavyada did as he was told.

Padme woke up in the cage. Pol approached her and explained all the details how she with Rakshavyada should travel and reach the island. They had to move quickly and draw as little attention as it is possible. He would drag senseless Rakshavyada ‘s body next to the cage. He said that Padme can find the key out of the cage in the cage itself and they will find modified Aturn’s ship on the shore. There will be an artifact that would allow them to sail the ship without a crew. They will need to go to nearest harbor where they have to sell the ship and walk by dry land to the next harbor where they have to buy a new ship and sail to the island. Rakshavyada woke up. Pol then explained that he took some precociousness for insurance and revealed his body. There was part of the body missed where you could see two hearts beating. “If you think to betray me, remember that your lives are in my hand”. And then he disappeared. Padme with no difficulty found a key and freed herself. They boarded ship. They had found all the things needed for the travel and even some weapons. Weapons were a bit alien to them. They looked like little cannons. At one of the rooms Padme found some drugged girls. So they began their journey.

During the journey they found out other limits of their bodies. Padme as many years ago had to drink blood for food. That’s where those girls came handy. First she tried to resist, tried to feed from herself just to realize that she has water for the blood. She felt in despair and was constantly crying. Then finally she persuaded girls to give away their blood voluntarily in exchange of freedom. Rakshavyada was a little bit easier to adapt. He tried some food to find that it is useless. It was always too cold for him until he finally he found that nothing else keeps him alive but the fiery coals. So he sat through the journey in his chambers next to furnace fearing to get any closer to water which could kill fire of his life. And after a long time they finally reached the harbor. Just before they boarded the ship ghost of Pol appeared and offered another help. He summoned the illusion of the crew so they won’t look suspicious. And that is how they reached the shore. And as promised released the girls.

Next time Bastyn woke it was spring and he finally could move. Not too far from his resting place he saw the fox creature. It was looking somewhere above him. Bastyn raised his eyes to notice a huge figure of some creature that embodied the wildness itself. It had constantly shifting wines and trees for the arms and legs. It had huge green eyes that were looking at Bastyn. And then it moved away. Bastyn followed the green eye monster which wasn’t easy as it’s steps took distance that needed some time to overcome. Finally he reached the lake with island in it. When he swam to the island he found a huge bee hive. Bees where alerted by Bastyn ’s presence and began to act aggressively so Bastyn had to run away from them back to main land where he dug a hole to stay for some time.

Zalyanitha was chasing her child through all the hills. Finally she found a place where a drop of water and a small piece of food was left. As she was very hungry she ate it. And then Chandrakridalu immediately came to her. “You ate my food, you killed me!”. Zalyanitha tried to explain that she was hungry as well and he used to feed from her but Chandrakridalu did not want hear anything. He blamed her and little by little faded away. Only blaming whispers left. Mother who killed her child from greed. Son killer. Mother who took the last bite of the food from her child.

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