Shattered Moon

Return of Zalyanitha

While Bastyn and Rakshavyada are unconscious (still travelling in the silverspace), Padme and her fleet wonders around the heart of moonisland. Deva have decided to look at the ruins of the tower near the capital city. Over the years the building has deteriorated even more. Few camps of refugees have hided in the ruins and it took a while to soothe the folks not to run. Deva told them that she promised to the lord of island to save as much refugees as she could. It seems that these arguments helped to convince people not to run. Padme had organized food. Padme had gave the orders to her army to collect all valuables of camp to the ship and help to transfer folks to the ship as temporal shelter for them. The senseless army does not bothered to distinguish stuff from flesh… And the procedure was not very pleasant for the folks. Among the refugees was one brave enough woman to talk with Padme eye to the eye. Her name was Omisha. She questioned deva about the current situation: what is she, about the army and devas… Padme does not wanted to reveal more details. And most of the answers resulted in one more enigma.

Meanwhile. Bastyn and Rakshavyada are on the track to sorcerer’s warren. The great hunter have tried to remember his own warren, but it seems that such place does not exists any more. The main rule is still valid in such place and you could bend the silverspace to your will to build the new ways to the reality – Bastyn have suggested deva and it worked like a charm. The immortal man returned to his warren to go back to the reality, but the silver thread clone have invited him cross him to reach the reality, but the black fog has stopped Bastyn from the suicide. The sorcerer returned to the living place…

At last the majority of group is the same spot again. The sense of reality in Bastyn’s mind is till so weak and he decided to take some raw meet to gather his senses back. In the process the immortal man told the Zalyanitha was saved from the nothingness and transported to the Unmandin. The strange moonsilver drops started to gather on the shipboard. The mass of drops grew up to the shape of the man. The shape introduced himself as a Balhurn – one of the generals of the Red empire. Rakshavyada have noticed that general’s features are in common with Saturn or Aturn. The conversation was not pleasant – full of threats and demands. It ended in the declaration of war between devas and the red empire. During conversation Bastyn have remembered the pattern of the moosliver droplets in order to find the demon in the silver space. Padme, Rakshavyada and Bastyn have started to prepare for the future battles. They started to scavenge the city for the food, water and things useful in the battle until the night have fall on the island. The great hunter settled in the safe place to make some meditation, Padme returned to her room to take a rest and Bastyn started to observe Omisha’s actions.

The black star have fallen from the sky and Rakshavyada was the only one person aware of that. He quickly left his safe place and he ran toward the fallen star. He captured the obsidian black stone from the crater center. The material was cold and slick. Deva once more attached the stone to his third eye, and once more he felt how relaxed his body and his conciseness was transported near the black star. The snake reflexes and sharp mind have helped deva to pass throw the glyph monsters to the place of her mother. The conversation has begun…

The Madone and Zalyanitha are walking in the streets of Undmandin and talking until the elder gently declares that he need some rest and make some preparation before fall of Unmandin. The elder presents his last gift to the deva: the weapon, the armor, the army’s banner, the general, the steed and the army. The deva of justice gladly take every gift. Zalyanitha have bonded the raven demon in her service with the price of 49 eyes per week. Then everything was settled, the deva says goodbyes to The Madone and have left the Unmandin…

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Reunion at last

Bastyn and Rakshavyada went into the siverspace, meanwhile Padme tried to pursue p[pattern deer, but in the process only knew of the bounds of devouring ash infected area. So she went nearer the city, where stumbled upon One who gives sense to the Moonsilver – he clings to the side of the ship. After some chit-chat Padme says that she’ll try to gather who is left after the raid on the island and save them – sadly the same way as with deer, she found out that city is covered with devouring dust too.

After some work Bastyn found Rakshavyada in the silver labyrinth and frees him of parasite patterns clinging to deva. After some time and passing through number of portals, they see silhouette of a human-being sprawled on a green field. Bastyn recognized Zalyanitha in that form. As they see how the green hills crumble and black tentacles from beyond reach for Zalyanitha, they grab her and drag away towards the towers of the Unmandin.

Zalyanitha tries to gain her consciousness as they drag her, she feels something familiar near her and step by step comes back into the awareness of herself. Firs she calls for Mahormimat… they reach Unmandin and she sees gigantic shape with birds flying around his head – as Zalyanitha inquires her saviors say that this is The Wild One, the being turns his head to Zalyanitha. Party enters the gates and as soon as they do it – being of impossible radiance lands before them (event through closed eyes she sees his light). The being embraced Zalyanitha and after Rakshavyada and Bastyn opened their eyes, they saw only sparks dancing in the air and embers where Zalyanitha stood..

They being rejoices that Zalyanitha is already here, she feels how her patterns entwine with his and feels his joy – he is so familiar in some way. He expresses his regrets that Zalyanitha only now got to the Unmandin and he cannot gift her with the Throne of the Unmandin. She asks why Chandridalu chose her and what was his role – in turn Shining Being answers that she must see herself. They walk trough vibrant city an hears that someone is pleading for a judge in some situation that must be solved asap.
Zalyanitha listens to the situation with missing gold grains and solves it not into judgment that may be right, but more into restoring the equilibrium in this situation. After passing the judgment she feels free fall and finds herself on the side of moonsilver pool and sees sphynx like creature munching on something. The sphynx turns to her and she sees on the lion head – face of Chandridalu. He says that form now the hunt is his main occupation (maybe influence of the Wild One) and if she fears him, he can take off the face (and he does it, holding his face like a mask in his paw, and in place of his face – only hollow full of stars). Thay talk about the judgement she recently made that Silver circle must be given back to her and she must punish one who broke the balance of the world, she must bring back Silver circle to the Unmandin – she’ll get the army, her natural state, and the means to do so, for now he asks her to come along and enjoy what is left of the city – after he’ll say something that will not be very pleasant…

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Fight for Zalyanitha

The bringing back young girl to senses does not helped so much, but Rakshavyadha managed to investigate the situation on the island by making conversation with imprisoned moonisland locals. Deva had received the information that the great army had defeat the moonisland main military forces and the enemy had claimed the heart of island. Any attempt to find out about „The Ring“ had failed due the locals limited knowledge. The great commander had ordered do not attack these local group and leave them be. So, they gathered they belongings as quick as possible and attracted to the sea. Bastyn had been traped in the sense that current surroundings are lacking the grace of silverspace and patterns beauty, but the commotion around the ship kicked him out of the thoughts. It seams that Rakshavyadha is deploying the troops and will be ready to start the march to the capital city in few more hours. The march started… The great commander does not wanted to wait for the troops and flew in his pyramid ship quickly as possible. The bad feeling chased Rakshavyadha all the way.
*
Unbearable pain piercing the Zalyanitha body on every move, breath… The affliction took away her identity and left her to suffer forever until she runed in the young woman. The woman grabbed deva’s hand and had started to drag her to other direction. The stone tower appeared on the horisont and it gave the new strength to Zalyanitha. Both woman’s gave the last strengths to reach the safe place. Many candles creates the quite good source of light. There are many written documents all around the place in any format: books, scrolls, sticks… The young woman presents her self as Varina. Varina… After a few moments deva remembers her name. Varina announce her that she could help her to get the new body and life for very small price, but deva should hurry to make the decision. It does not took very long time to make the agreement. Varina had thrust the arrow to the heart of the deva… Instanlty deva had waked up in the some kind of the body. Apparently not the woman’s flesh. It took a while to senses come back. The body has been well established in the metal cage, the eyes are covered with a cloth.

- Welcome back – the woman’s voice is not reconizable by Zalyanitha. – As I told you, no one gets away so easily from me, especially from me…

Gatona? Yes, it was Gatona – the grand mage and enemy of the deva in her past life. Gatona has introduced deva about her love experience and how it ended miserably and why she choose to be tough as stone.

- When the deva’s bane worms reach you heart you and starts to eat your pattern you will know the the real pain.
- Do it now! At least I will not hear you voice again – deva starts to yells at a mage.
- I don’t think that your courage will save you, but I appreciate that.

Zalyanitha feels the cold kiss of death.
*

In the fall of the night the pyramid ship reach the entrance of the capital city. The city is dark, but the lots of campfires spreads around the city perimeter. No more hesitation, no more cover, just go to the fray and do more damage as possible – that’s the short term plan before we start to rescue the Zalyanitha. Pyramid ship and ranged fighters is quite good tool to make this plan to work. The fight begins. It’s quite easy to destroy enemy troops by ramming them and shooting. Bastyn announce to Rakshavyadha that the mage quarters should be destroyed before the enemy mages could manage to summon demons or glyph monsters to attack the ship. The ship settled the course to the mage barracks and rammed it with full strength. The pyramid barb scattered the tents, bodies, mage artefacts with ease. They also ended the Zalannytha’s torture by destroying her current body. The enemy troops started to run from the battle. Padme had noticed the strange activity in the destroyed mage camp – it seams that some kind of enormous butterfly started to mold. She informed about that formation to Rakshavyadha and Bastyn. Rakshavyadha gathered all strengths to shout his „pain voice“, but failed and there was no time for defensive maneuvers. The glyph monster hit the ship and destroyed the engines. The pyramid started to fall. Rakshavyadha and Padme managed to take some cover and avoid majority of falling derbis. Bastyn was no so lucky. He landed to the ground and broke spine, legs, and hands… After a few moments the glyph monster started to mold again. Rakshavyadha shouted at him once more and it affected the monster. The majority of the glyph particles started to fall down in the large enough radius. The damaged butterfly started to chase the great hunter. It was a small time frame to take actions to Padme. Bastyn screamed in pain and Padme was able to find him in all that mess. The glyph cloud started to fall. Padme with all her strength houled the Bastyn body and at the last moment they found the underpass. Meanwhile, Rakshavyadha lost his fight with monster, but was allowed to leave the battle field…

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Love and sacrifice

The mad phantastic fleet was leaving Madlans, and meanwhile Bastyn was wandering between his body and Silverspace, where Mad-One was talking with him. The immortal wanted to recreate himself in pattern, to which Mad-One explained that it is only possible if Bastyn himself would be destroyed. But, instead he offered another gift, something that Bastyn will like – a silver bean. “It will help you to know the Silverspace, but be carefull, it will not ask you of anything except of being used, but be carefull, as soon as you will forget that he is not you, he will become you”.

As soon as merchant took the bean it let it’s silver threads into his palm and when Bastyn suddenly regained consciousness, on a deck of a upside down pyramid-like flying ship, he found a beautifull silver pattern that reminded of a bean and an embryo inscribed on his palm.

As soon as he could, the immortal vent into his warren, where he again discovered a silver bean in his palm, after experimenting a bit, he put it on the pile of gold and it started growing, the sprout becoming more and more human-like, and soon he was facing an exact copy of himself. Not only it looked alike, it felt like it was an extension of Bastyn.

And with this feeling the Silverspace opened to Bastyn. He knew any direction, he could find any demon and any place. He went back to Unmandin – a place that was half in physical realm and half in Silverspace. Here he meet Mad-One and talked about a possibility of finding what his Creator – the World Roots was looking for. Mad one had no good news, he explained that immortal could go to the very edges of Silverspace, but that means going where Nothingness and Nightmares reigns. And merchant finally decided against it.

Next he decided to give Zalyanitha a visit.

  • * *

Zalyanitha was not doing well. Guarded in her tent, she was waiting for a trial. A group of mages come, they undressed her and checked like a valuable property. Ghatona also was there, but she was not interested much in the process. Only when everyone left, she stopped, and told that she regrets that such a nice body that Achnat has will be wasted when there are so many ways to use it for a pleasure. “Are you afraid?” she asked deva. “No”, was the response. “I see”, and Zalyanitha vas left alone, to wait for a next morning when the trial should commence.

To her surprise, when she fell asleep, she meet Bastyn. After surprise was gone, she told him what was happening with her, and Bastyn quickly explained that they are coming to her rescue with a help of Mad-one. He did not knew how quick it will be, but he assuret that it will be quick enough.

  • * *

Next morning the trial started. When Zalyanitha joined, Achnat was already sentenced, his custody was to bi given to Ghatona, where she would administer him a death sentence. Next order to be resolved was what to do with Zalyanitha, who was held as a valuable demon. So there were many contenders to take her custody. The argument was finally broken by Ghatona. “Fools!” she exclaimed, “You do not see what is standing before you, you are fooled by her looks, but this is an old demon, who corrupted a noble to kill her master and who, after many years bought a revenge upon those of her own kind, I had been listening to the conversation between her and the grand demon of this island. No one could tame her, and so she must be destroyed.”

At that moment Zalyanitha saw her only chance, she pulled out the broken arrow holding her pattern pinned to the body, and with her last breath, trusted it into a heart of surprised Achnat. “You, bich” hissed Ghatona.

“You never knew what low is” uttered Zalyanitha and felt down out of her death body into the Silver Labyrinth, before the cold hands of Ghatona managed to reach her throat.

  • * *

The fleet had reached the Moon Island. Without stopping the piramid-ship continued it’s journey through the land, leaving a furrow of broken moonbone behind, vhere the edge of the pyramid was touching the ground.

Shortly the party spotted a group of locals scattered around two flying pyramids, one of which seemed to be crashed. Before the people managed to run away from the scary ship and the armies that followed it, Rakshavyadha ordered his soldiers to bring him someone for the questioning. The order was executed, but not before the silver-clad monster-warriors killed several people who tried to resist. But he got a young girl who was in shock from the terror, and after few questions without answer decided to bring her to Bastyn and Padme. Out of the three, Padme was most successful and finally she managed to bring the prisoner back to some senses.

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Setting out for a quest

Rakshavyada and Padme are playing with Mad One. The process is very educational.

x-x-x

Bastyn is reading until he falls asleep. He is offered a deal of peace and tranquility and the solution to all the problems. Two gifts are offered to him, temporary ones. Bastyn does not rush to decision. The Mad One is asking him to follow and tries to demotivate him: “why are you reading? You will forget everything”. He is complaining that his idiotic savant brother was not clear enough to make sense and give Bastyn an explanation. Bastyn is trying to find out as much as he can about the Tree.

x-x-x

Padme wakes up after a good sleep. She sees a figure of a man geeting up: thick beard, Rakshavyada’s face, but the skin looks peeled off in fragments. Padme feels strong pain as Rakshavyada tries to communicate with her. Mad One tries to convince them to forget their attachment to human shape. Padme conceals her third eye.

They arrive at a fort which is heavily decorated in queer shapes and ornaments. They find a lof of weaponry inside. The Mad One is upset that the sight is not as beautiful as once have been: the time has left its marks. He gives gifts to devas – Raskhavyada picks a sword. They are leading an army into the battle. A few familiar shapes appear: a satyr, a shape with lots of candles, huge raven and a bull.

Padme asks how to find Zalyanitha. The Mad One says that she is not in Silver Space, therefore she must be serving a wizard in the realm of men.

x-x-x

Bastyn keeps reading and sees Rakshavyada and Padme. They ask him to join the Zalyanitha’s search party. Bastyn speaks of the end of the world and they argue about existance for a while. Then Bastyn gets up and Mad One is offering him gifts again. They are given a boat which should take them to Unmandin harbour. He mentions that mysterious identity of Zalyanithas baby should be found.

x-x-x

As Zalyanitha approaches Achnat the soldiers point their weapons at her. She lifts her hands up to indicate that she means no harm. The guards of Devaturn blame her for seducing Achnat to perform the murder of her master.

She enters a wagon and they are brought to the camp. She discusses the possible outcomes of this situation with Achnat, but he seems determined to confess and take his punishment with dignity. Zalyanitha is having hard time to coming up with a defence strategy that could set them free. They are both locked up in a cell until the trial next morning.

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Patternplay

While party was arguing about leaving, Mad and Wild One were towering above the city, but suddenly Mad One backed down, shifted to an transparent form, and like a liquid felt onto the city. That convinced party to pack and leave, at least for now, but no one had an idea how to handle the ship. So finally they decided to use a boat.

As they started to row, everyone realised that now there were four persons instead of four in the boat. Mad one was standing at the front, no one knew how and when he appeared there.

He explained that Wild One now has access to his city, and that his gift of hospitality now needs to be shared. But he still was able to provide with other gifts if devas so desire. He made the boat to go to a park of fountains, spraying not only moonsilver but honey, perfumes and maybe blood.

Here Mad one explained that he can reweave the patterns of devas. Bastyn asked if he can do this to his demon, but the ruler of the city explained that this would be a bad idea. So the immortal left, and devas started playing with patterns, more and more feeling as children, safe and careless, adding and removing from their patterns, carefully at first but with more and more courage while the play was going on.

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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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