Shattered Moon

Wine dream

Bastyn questioned Cheruhashin about the Council of Five and the devan fraction that separated from forces f Mad and Wild ones during the war to be neutral and create something independent. As companion noted – they probably failed, because were not heard or seen no more. Also Bastyn asks about the hole in the sky and the end of the world, but Cheruhashin only shrugged and laughed, that Bastyn must not worry, because he’s mortal after all – after this they argued a little on the matter.
Cheruhashin also asked Zalyanitha for what they are traveling to Unmandin, because he thinks it’s pointless and after she said to find the way to save the world, he only rolled his eyes and laughed. there was some wine and talks, so devas, Bastyn and their companion had a good time. Except Padmeme she, didn’t drink.


Someone from the crew shouted that the coast is in sight and ship stopped. Zalyanitha noticed white moonbone towers and stairs towards them. Cheruhashin declared, that he’ll stay at the ship for now. Rakshavyada too wanted to stay, but knowing alternative to stay with chatty companion decided to com with everyone at the end.

All the walls were covered in patterns and barreliefs of beasts and persons in submissive poses. Party ascend the stairs with difficulty, finding more and more tales of torture of rebels and so on. Patterns continue till they reach the gate – here they come into one figure sitting on the throne that holds silver disk (this disk Zalyanitha reminds of her own). Zalyanitha is searching for the rules to get into that throne, while other three decide to come back to the ship.

After some time thinking Zalyanitha pushes the gate and it opens, letting out the red light.

Here everybody wake up at the ship. The wine was wild…


After confronting Cheruhashin he says, that this was consented by them and they may regard it as a warning what could become of their journey. Only Padme is a little lost on the subject (she did not drink), but she asks Bastyn to fill in for her.

Actually everyone can see the towers, but the are not getting nearer as they travel… Cheruhashin begins to sing about the mother that is hoping for the son to come back, about the son who have to kill his mother, girl who wants to be loved by everyone but cannot love herself and the last seed of the Tree of Life and that they all are lost in the silver labyrinth… doing so he transforms into that melody and with the last notes of his song dissolved into the thin air.

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New member on board

After some time spent with sailors Bastyn realizes that nothing sane is left in the minds of the comrades, only broken bodies still live some how. They made up various names for them self which are connected to the desert. The Mad One is the only god is left for them to pry. So, immortal merchant has more obstacles to calm his troubled minds, but he made a promise to protect them from this insane realm. At least, the madmans could talk in devani.

One sailor was caught drinking blood from the boat fuel supply and this action did not made Zalyanitha more blissful. He warned the poor man for his actions. The other actions of this kind will sentence the person to leave the ship for all time. Deva had noticed that sailor was not afraid of her (or any deva) any more. After this event Zalyanitha had made private conversation with Bastyn about behaviour of the madmans. The magician confirmed that people are very, very odd from the start of the journey. No one is safe in this ship if they don’t find the way how to fed them and no one knows how they are connected to this land. Immortal merchant is certain that they survived in this harsh conditions with someone help and the survival price could be landed on the shoulders of the crew. Bastyn will try to fed them on his blood. Deva made an advice that perhaps some shimmers could sort out he problem of hunger.

Bastyn had presented his decision about feeding issues to Beb. He will made a timetable on the blood supply to the sailors, but they must to stay calm until they reach the Unmandin. To bind the shimmer to them could help them to forget about the hunger, but Beb left his cabin without a question. That night and some others Beb did not feel very well after usage of blood and moon-silver mix.

Next day morning Padme had been awakened by sound of the many bells. Over time the sound became more clear and stronger and after few more hours the crew reached the riverbed with many small waterfalls and one big enough to make so much sound that shut down any conversations between crew members. This landscape does not made any troubles to the vessel. The ship swam only in the direction of course known to him only. Moving away from great waterfall enabled conversations between ship members. The island appeared in the front of the moving direction. This island was not a simple one, but covered with strange mist. The mist made of the floating patterns. Two persons stands in the meadow and mows the flowers, grass or something like that. Hay just not drops down, but floating away from island. It seams that the ship will hit the mist in full scale. All crew on the deck gathered to they cabins for safety reasons. When ship left the mist they came back to check. The left board was covered of various colours, even some textures of the wood was changed to skin, but nothing to be eaten.

In a middle to tight sleep Bastyn was awaken by feel that someone have an eye on him. Immortal merchant could count seven eyes in the darkness. He understands clear enough that sailors is looking for him and he cannot stand such madness any more and he goes back to the deck to purify his minds. Before reaching the location he feels the penetrating pain in his back, legs and all the boy and the chant begins… Padme know the very well of consequences of this ritual. She knows that the safest place right know is to sit tight in her cabin and don’t come out for a while.

Zalyanitha wants to know more details on the progress of the journey, but vessel does not know exactly how much time left until they reach the Unmandin, but he is certain that he wants to „fly“ with devas until the end of the world.

The madmans announce to Bastyn that Beb left ship this night. They babbled about some misteriuos lady that took care of him. Merchant searched the ship, but did not find the corpse of the Beb. Zalyanitha was informed about this disappearance and deva stared her own investigation. She does not find any evidence of struggling or something like that and it seams that Beb left the ship by his own. Deva returned to the deck and checked one side of the ship… No evidence to… Closer inspection on the reflection of the moon-silver stream. The pretty face of the women appired in front of her and disapiered, the other image was of the Chandrakridalu… Deva lifted her body from the side of the ship and saw the same woman from the water in front of her. The woman was dressed in the white mantle. The face and eyes does not show any trouble in her life. She presents herself as living beaing of the river. She announce that Beb is know at her palace. Zalanytha reveals that she travels to the Unmandin. The river lady remembers this city very well, she even remembers the great times of this city, but Mad One destroyed it, but even now there are good places in it. She also warns Zalyanitha that her journey to the city could be overhelmed by crew members. She alone could travel more faster, but road is dangerous enough. She always could stay in her palace. The river lady tried to convince her by entering in her private space and murming in her ear about travelling alone. Zalyanitha persisted this try and lady perished from the ship.

The vessel stops in the center of split of the river. The shimmer does not know which path should be taken. It knows that both of them will lead them to the Undmandin. During the decision period the strange beast approached the boat. He introduced himself as Charuh. Bastyn remembered song about this beast, but nothing more detailed only that such beast exists in the legends. The furry beast was very impressed by the knowledge of the human, but it was more insinuate to Zalyanitha nor his fair reaction. The horny beast could help the ship to go back to the journey in the exchange that they take him too. Zalyanitha presented him rules of the ship and creature accepted the terms. He directed the Zalanytha to take the shortest way to Unmandin. The mood began to lighten when new crew member joined the ship. Charuh with his music or dances does not pestered anyone.

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Flow of time

Padme and Rakshavyada stands in Padme warren and ponders what to do. Suddenly Padme hears the voices – she geos that way to find the dolls from the theatre she saw performance for her wedding present. Padme sees the silver thread and is encouraged to pull it by the voice – so she does and theatre doll pops out. Deva greets the doll and the doll cheer and laugh – “little baby Queen – always in trouble”. After some chat and some negotiation Padme exchanges promise of future favor (but it was negotiated that it would not be to kill her friends) with the Master of Time and Life (as he is the doll master) to travel 10 years into the future with all her friends to get the things over with the contract. Padme pulls the string again and it snaps – she ties it around her wrist as a reminder of her binding. Rakshavyada sees nothing of the dolls, he only sees as Padme pulls the string twice and wraps it around her arm.
Rakshavyada goes out to the “real world” and reports to Zalyanitha that maybe Padme is in trouble again.

Outside of warren Padme wanders in search of the way out she was promised and finds silver string leading out of the city. So she takes a hint – and calls everyone to gather around and hold on to her. As Padme wraps the string around her and pulls – times begins to fly by and speed up. Padme is devastated to see that they actually are in that current of time, not just speed by it – so human companions age and some of them die… devas and mage remain the same. After this only immortal Zalyanitha, with all the time of the World on her hands, bitch for loosing 10 years. Padme seeing how the time was not merciful with the humans and especially Vestur – cries her heart out…
Company prepares to leave… accidentally Padme finds the ship, that was promised as “the bonus” to her too. So devas and Bastyn round up all the stuff and people left and heed to the Gates of Unmandin. Padme knowing the weight of her choices volunteer to feed the ship as long as she can.

At some point of the journey the wild white horses are seen running free… humans are amazed and devas are nostalgic…

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Padme's dream

While Padme was humming cheerfully catching tune about the will. Sailors desperately tried to make some food from something mixed with blood. Zalyanitha immediately ran to check hidden scrolls. She managed to find actual place, however it was covered bu rubble. After some physical work she managed to dig them out. Most of the scrolls were pretty in a good shape.
Rakshavyada mentally noted the direction that performer went but remained next to the fountain for a while. Actually up until Bastyn came by and started to pick something out of his furs. That was more than Rakshavyada would describe as siting in tranquility. So he just politely with no etiquette intended asked if Bastyn found what he wanted and went out to direction of performer. He could follow the tracks in ashes, though the further he tracked the more faded they looked up to the point they were nowhere to see.
Bastyn has been approached by Vestur and been once again begged to desert this place at least to search for food. Bastyn promised to leave this place, they just need to prepare for the journey. Immortal put all fungus from Rakshavyada ‘s furs into the pocket and began to organize the making of wagon out of rubble for mainly scrolls Zalyanitha had saved.
Little by little came another day. Everyone gathered prepared for the long trip. Out of nowhere visir came and asked Padme do not leave the city at least to keep her dignity. She once again refused.
First was Rakshavyada to leave through gates of the city. Just behind him Padme as she tried to step out throuh gates to everyone’s surprise she just end up stepping in. The confussion made Rakshavyada to turn back. Bastyn announced the delay of the group. And painted puzzle-pattern, Bastyn was just sure that whatever keeps Padme bounded in the city it is in her warren. Rakshavyada was asked to accompany her.
Two devas were walking in ruins of the city. Everything looked just like in the real world but one tower that seemed to be not touched by attack. The ruins of the city formed some kind of labyrinth. Rakshavyada suggested Padme to find the pattern and follow it. As Padme seperated in search of thread of the pattern she heard the noise in one of the nearly collapsed buildings. She immediately shouted for Rakshavyada. From the collapsed building emerged the dark figure. Both devas took more then instant to realize that this is none other but Bastyn. His whole skin seemed to emit some kind of vile black smoke. After all the non-necessary introductions they proceed in searching the patterns. Bastyn seemed to use some more potent drugs to dive into warren as he saw patterns with less difficullty. Luckly no one asked where Bastyn got his drugs.
All of them three searched everywhere even got in the tower full of the sarcophaguses. Other floors were full of tables for dissecting humans and other horrific devices that raised all those mysterious stories of evil of devas back to Bastyn memory. Out of the highest point of the tower they all could see far. Only Bastyn could see how tower is a pattern that is in the pattern of the city. The city pattern itself was inside of some kind of bigger picture, bigger than one’s sane mind could cope.
As none of the three could find anything that could release Padme, they decided to try to rewrite the contract she has with the city. And there could be helpful only one person in the world – the wise, the just, the beautiful deva Zalyanitha.

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The one who has the will - sets the rules

After hiding all the books Zalyanitha, dodging all the danger, runs to the fountain. Deva sees passing by silhouettes of the beast men so she hides in the alley

Bastyn and Rakshavyada – walk to the palace to find Padme, here deva of the hunt kicks down the door to find Vestur covered in debris and some other men from the crew.

The battle rages on, through the thundering and sound of horns party hears the roar of the wild beast and it is getting near. Devas call for Padme but she is unreachable
Meanwhile Padme walks to the exit of the palace and meets, accidentally, her suitor the beatsman. He calls out to Padme saying that now she’ll change her mind and be his, but deva does not agree, so beats drops his sword and tries to grab Padme, but manages only to pluck some of the luscious hair, but after that he somehow manages to grab deva and knock her to the ground. Padme laughs, while someone attack beastman from the behind and using the change deva of caring drives in her sword into the belly of the bull. Suitor roars in pain or in anger and then Padme sees the attacker. But she’s too busy – she uses the moment again and pushes sword deeper into the belly of her attacker. The beats gets strong blow from the other attacker and falls onto devas sword and skewers his neck on it. This suitor is finished for good…
- So, you came back, my dear husband, – Padme calls out to the man behind bulls back.
- You’re my kill, – he says, and pulls out his sword from beast back.
Padme wriggles out from beneath the dead body and grabs nearby candelabra – she is going to defend herself no matter what.

Rakshavyada and Bastyn finally are at the same room as Padme ant the others. Here after watching the scene Bastyn suddenly realizes that one of the sailors must not be here, he was dead at the caravan. So he points this out.
Zalyanitha is hiding in the cellar. The man with the spear in his chest stumbles into it. She sits quietly, but after the man some beastman comes into the room… so Zalyanitha takes care of it and now she has a broken spear to defend herself – deva continues her journey to the palace

-X-

Suddenly the suspicious sailor moves away from the group, shouts “it’s enough’ and pulls of his face, revealing only the other face under it… he is the same as 5the second ”/wikis/padme" class=“wiki-page-link”>Padmes suitor, but his face changes moving through the memories of the deva. He declares that now he is the king, cuts off the head of the beastman and declares that trough the balcony holding “his trophy”.
Padme leaves on the pretense that she needs to clean herself. Near the fountain she talks to her companions and decides that the second suitor must die too – so she asks for the kill from Rakshavyada, promising him a forge and mayhap the matrimony. Rakshavyada likes the forges a lot, so he goes and kills the man after what cuts his head and gives it to Padme as a wedding present.

-X-

In the morning, party approximates the damage of the city – actually, there is no city at all. Near the fountain the same caravan as did the other spectacle conducts puppet play – it’s a grotesque of the recent events. The queen-puppet smack all her suitors on the head and declares that she is leaving. Here governor of the city loses his grip and starts to shout that this is unacceptable. The doll sings “the one who has the will – sets the rules” and in between singing explains what the will of the wise one is. So Padme goes to her own conclusions and declares “tomorrow you, my kingdom, and I leave” ignoring the objections of the governor. She hums softly “After hiding all the books ”/wikis/zalyanitha" class=“wiki-page-link”>Zalyanitha, dodging all the danger, runs to the fountain. Deva sees passing by silhouettes of the beast men so she hides in the alley

Bastyn and Rakshavyada – walk to the palace to find Padme, here deva of the hunt kicks down the door to find Vestur covered in debris and some other men from the crew.

The battle rages on, through the thundering and sound of horns party hears the roar of the wild beast and it is getting near. Devas call for Padme but she is unreachable
Meanwhile Padme walks to the exit of the palace and meets, accidentally, her suitor the beatsman. He calls out to Padme saying that now she’ll change her mind and be his, but deva does not agree, so beats drops his sword and tries to grab Padme, but manages only to pluck some of the luscious hair, but after that he somehow manages to grab deva and knock her to the ground. Padme laughs, while someone attack beastman from the behind and using the change deva of caring drives in her sword into the belly of the bull. Suitor roars in pain or in anger and then Padme sees the attacker. But she’s too busy – she uses the moment again and pushes sword deeper into the belly of her attacker. The beats gets strong blow from the other attacker and falls onto devas sword and skewers his neck on it. This suitor is finished for good…
- So, you came back, my dear husband, – Padme calls out to the man behind bulls back.
- You’re my kill, – he says, and pulls out his sword from beast back.
Padme wriggles out from beneath the dead body and grabs nearby candelabra – she is going to defend herself no matter what.

Rakshavyada and Bastyn finally are at the same room as Padme ant the others. Here after watching the scene Bastyn suddenly realizes that one of the sailors must not be here, he was dead at the caravan. So he points this out.

-X-

Zalyanitha is hiding in the cellar. The man with the spear in his chest stumbles into it. She sits quietly, but after the man some beastman comes into the room… so Zalyanitha takes care of it and now she has a broken spear to defend herself – deva continues her journey to the palace

-X-

Suddenly the suspicious sailor moves away from the group, shouts “it’s enough’ and pulls of his face, revealing only the other face under it… he is the same as 5the second ”/wikis/padme" class=“wiki-page-link”>Padmes suitor, but his face changes moving through the memories of the deva. He declares that now he is the king, cuts off the head of the beastman and declares that trough the balcony holding “his trophy”.
Padme leaves on the pretense that she needs to clean herself. Near the fountain she talks to her companions and decides that the second suitor must die too – so she asks for the kill from Rakshavyada, promising him a forge and mayhap the matrimony. Rakshavyada likes the forges a lot, so he goes and kills the man after what cuts his head and gives it to Padme as a wedding present.

-X-

In the morning, party approximates the damage of the city – actually, there is no city at all. Near the fountain the same caravan as did the other spectacle conducts puppet play – it’s a grotesque of the recent events. The queen-puppet smack all her suitors on the head and declares that she is leaving. Here governor of the city loses his grip and starts to shout that this is unacceptable. The doll sings “the one who has the will – sets the rules” and in between singing explains what the will of the wise one is. So Padme goes to her own conclusions and declares “tomorrow you, my kingdom, and I leave” ignoring the objections of the governor. She hums softly ""the one who has the will – sets the rules"…

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The threat of destruction

Zalyanitha, Bastyn and Rakshavyada witness two caravans leaving the city in a hurry. One sight catches Zalyanitha’s eye: the person with appearance of Enya pulled off his face like it was a mask and revealed a mirror mask underneath.

x-x-x

Padme and her chosen one entered her bedchambers. Padme started undressing but her husband stopped her: “We won’t be needing that”. He took off his mask and Padme recognised Saturn. He was armed and was prepared for an attack. Luckily, Padme dodged it and stomped the ground with intention to stupefy him. The floor broke and she went down. Saturn’s impersonator escaped and all Padme could do was complain about weak constructions of the pallace to her vizier who hurried in after he heard the crash noise.

x-x-x

Bastyn, Zalyanitha and Rakshavyada entered the grand hall. They tended to some refreshments and talked to some guests to find out what was going on. It turned out that Padmes decision for a suitor was scandalous and the siege of the city is inevitable. Afterwards Zalyanitha talked to the grand vizier and expressed her wish to help. She inquired if there was time for re-selecting the suitor upon circumstances that Padmes current suitor would die. He affirmed Zalyanitha that there might be hope for that but he does not wish to get involved.

Zalyanitha went to talk to Padme. They exchanged pleasantries and reproaches. Zalyanitha said that Padme was not responsible in her decisions and Padme reproached that Zalyanitha should have cancelled Padmes contract to become a queen. Padme informed her that her last suitor had turned out to be Saturn.

Afterwards Padme decided to go for a walk in her domain while it was still intact. The war-horns could be heard and it was becoming clear that time is running out.

Zalyanitha asked Rakshavyada for help to locate Saturn and went to the library together with Bastyn in hope to preserve some manuscripts from being destroyed upon the siege. Saturn was nowhere to be found so Rakshavyada helped them to gather scripts and scrolls and hide them. They had just finished burrying them when the war-horn was heard on the city gate.

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Who am I?

Black shadow enters the balcony before Padme takes a blood bath. This secret movement was not ignored by deva. She went towards balcony, but it seams that shadow was fast enough to fall-back to the streets. Besides the governor comes in with servants escort and necessary tools to prepare the proper bath. Padme requests that everyone left her alone until she wash ups. Deva plunges into the bloodstream with happiness. The warm blood calms her and restores the vitality. After few minutes of silence the several thralls comes in to the apartments with luxurious cloths, fancy head wears, adornments and mirror masks. They cloths deva in ceremonial liveries. The trumpets sounds in the city once more…

Meanwhile in the library. The immortal merchant finds out that council of five were the generals of the Wild One and Mad One. Three of them served to the Wild One and rest were pledged allegiance to the Mad One. The willingness and volition are the main keys to ensure the distance and direction to the target location, but you must not to forget that the realm has her own purpose. Make peace with land and you will be ready for journey… Zalyanitha ascertains the travel requirements in the memoirs of deva. Zalyanitha enjoying reading in the library until the commotion starts in the hall. It seams that Rakshavyada is very angry on the mirror masked librarian, because the man destroyed the manuscript about creatures which covers they faces with mirror masks. The commotion overturns to struggle when the greate hunter does not answer to the question – Who am I? This masked man cast out of Zalyanitha’s patience. This disrespect must not be tolerated. After a few moments the offender was arrested by devas. The immortal merchant recalls that Zalyanitha is the head of law. The crew attracts towards the city prison.

You are nothing – just sand in the desert, man without a soul… Are the answers to every question Who am I? Immortal merchant feels the soft touch in the middle of the process. He quickly turns his shoulder and face the man in shape of Verstur. – What your name stranger? – My, my… name is Vestur. Bastyn relaxes and invites the scholar to come with him. The man waves his hand to other sailors and joins the group.

- We need to be in one place, because this strange place is very dangerous for mortals.
- In this city is more safer when in the desert – Bastyn responds slowly.
- Why did not you run away when had a chance? – Vestur asks the merchant.
- I had made a promise not to leave ship’s crew, but it seams that you all easily forgot that.
- We had no choice… – scholar touches merchant’s shoulder to make him calm down.
- Do you? – teachers face distorts of pain. – Next time the sacrifice would be yours. Don’t forget it.

Finally the crew enters the prison.

Zalyanitha starts the interrogation of the librarian. After question session the deva could not find any specific information what do these mirrored person wants from devas or why they target them. More drastic methods comes in the hands of deva. Burning flesh and screams drives Vestur and sailors crazy. So, they decided to leave the prison cell and wait outside the prison. Bastyn joins them too. He wants to make some investigation how mad realm affects mortals. It seams that blood and water are the only source of food. More and more scream fills the prison cell. Few more tortures and the thing can’t even focus his mind any more. Rakshavyada has an idea how to interogate this thing, but he needs to retrieve the mask. He runs to bring it from the library. Bastyn offers his assistance, but deva thinks that he will be safe. The grate hunter returns to the hall, but he announce that someone is following him. He grabs the mask and returns to the street. Rakshavyada tries to surprise the tracker, but it seems that he is retired from his spot. Deva returs to the prison. Deva dons the mask and turns around to the thing.

- You don’t have personality, you is the memory without context like sand in the desert, you need to forget deva’s memories and return to your convoy…. These words had affected thing… It started to change his physical form to the his original one with his own minds and explanations how they could be affected by strong memories of others, especially deva’s or long living ones.

Rakshavyada gives the mask to Zalyanitha.

- It’s time to return the memories of Chandrakridalu to your self.

The process begins from the start.

- You not my son. Just a memory from the past nothing more…. The trumpets sounds reach all the corners of the city.

Meanwhile in the throne hall. Padme enters the hall. Many townfolks and quests gathered in the hall to witness the caronation ceremony. Awkward, but many faces are familiar to the deva. The shadow man is the hall too, next to the entrance to lodging. The governor holds the crown of the city. He politely shows where she must to stand. Solemn music began to play when Padme stands to the carnation position. The governor makes short convivial speech and puts the crown on the head of the deva. Padme refuses to wear the mask. Many applauses rippled through the hall. The shadow man leaves the place after carnation ceremony. The trumpets sounds echoes in the hall and all around the city. The guests salutes the queen.

- Queen, it’s time you to choose the first mate.

The first one was the head of beasts convoy, but Padme refused his offer with nausea. The creature threatened the queen and Padme accepted this ultimatum. The second one was the head of the masked… Deva was not impressed too and she announced that the shadow man is her choice.

- Please, bring him to me.
- Yes, my queen. The sadness covers the governors face.

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The Coronation

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Chandrakridalu’s attitude towards Rakshavyada was clearly very negative. He was demonstrating extreme annoyance of merely presence of the hunter. Unfortunately that was completely ignored by either Zalyanitha and Rakshavyada himself. Deva of the hunt pointed: “this one is persistent”. Zalyanitha suggested to head on the palace of Padme to meet the rest of the gang. As they entered the crown hall one could see everything outstanding up to the tiniest details and then there was Bastyn. The immortal was sitting in the corner completely naked as he emerged from the Roots of the World. Surprisingly that was kind of natural appearance to see Bastyn for both Zalyanitha and Rakshavyada. The guards were also not paying attention. After greeting devas Bastyn seemed to realize his awkward outfit in such a place. He tore down one of the curtains to cover himself up lifting up the absurd of the situation. Luckily again no one paid to Bastyn any attention because at the moment Zalyanitha firmly tried to go through the door where she saw Padme had gone through last. Guards tried to stop her though merely mortal are no match to devas strength. As more guards were about to aid the poor one standing in Zalyanitha ‘s way and escalating the situation even more, doors opened widely and the vizier came through with inquiry to know what is all the fuss here. Zalyanitha demanded to see Padme that instance though vizier’s eyes were all on torn curtains and Bastyn trying to dodge the glance. Vizier summoned servants to bring some clothes and kindly asked deva’s to wait in waiting-room along with other guests. While Zalyanitha and Rakshavyada had no quarrels with that, dressed up Bastyn refused to go in crowded area and stayed in crown room under watchful eyes of guards.
Zalyanitha, Rakshavyada and Chandrakridalu were once again alone in crowded room. The child immediately took another strategy to dominate all the attention of Zalyanitha. Meanwhile Rakshavyada took his time to look along the crowd if he sees more familiar faces from his past. There were some faces that looked somehow familiar ergo Rakshavyada couldn’t recall where he had met them before.
“Excuse me, I think I was had to find you” – there was a plum man in front of the hunter, he wore one of those somehow familiar faces.
“Who are you?” – asked Rakshavyada
“I thought you’d knew who am I”
This situation was a dejavu for deva. He once again took his way of misleading. And explained that the person is none other than Mahormimat and he was aiming to do mischievous things with him and his friends. The man took it all as a real thing. Then bells began to chime and doors to the crown room opened. The crowd poured through the door Zalyanitha, Rakshavyada, Chandrakridalu and “Mahormimat” went along. Rakshavyada now recalled that the man actually looks like Danal, the merchant that found him and other devas in sarcophagus. All the crowed divided into two groups leaving the path from door to the thrones. The queen appeared as well. She looked stunning with new saris and jewelries. Padme took a seat in the throne and then the first caravan came in. The one with lights and mirrors. They came all blinking and presented her a huge chest of masks as a token of respect in honor of the new queen. Vizier was quite pleased to receive such present as there was a ball of masks was planned later this evening.
Second caravan was of people that were moving very strangely and unnatural. Even the voice of the caravan master sounded mechanical. They had no present for queen but they promised to build a theater in the honor of the queen. Vizier first wanted to show his dissatisfaction on such present but he immediately was hushed by Padme. The third caravan was the one Rakshavyada came to city with. First everyone could smell it then saw all the fantastical colossal creatures. They presented Padme with a huge bowl of blood. Then Vizier invited guests to take masks from the chest brought by first caravan and prepare for the feast. Danal-Mahormimat suddenly went straight to the throne staring absentmindedly to Padme. At first guards wanted to stop him but Padme ordered to let him through. He introduced himself as Mahormimat and stated that he needed to see her but he was not sure why. Padme explained that Rakshavyada is a big joker and in fact “Mahormimat” is not Mahormimat because he is human and his name is Danal. That somehow triggered extreme happiness to him. That guards had to lead him from the crowd. Under strict order of Padme no harm had to be made to him. Zalyanitha asked Chandrakridalu to bring some masks just to have some quick words with Rakshavyada. They managed to agree to talk a bit with Padme till Chandrakridalu got back with masks: mask of the queen for Zalyanitha, mask of the knight for himself and mask of the joker for Rakshavyada.
Devas approached the throne to have a chat with Padme. Chandrakridalu was asked to wait, which was a bit hurting for the boy. Zalyanitha explained Padme her suspicions how to end her reign. Rakshavyada sahred his concerns on mirror masked people. And Padme looked very worn and annoyed. Devas decided not to disturb her any more. She ordered vizier that her friends had full access everywhere they want.

Meanwhile Bastyn was sitting alone in the crowded crown room when he heard a familiar voice “have you seen my husband”. Woman took off her mirror mask and indeed it was his wife. Bastyn stopped her from hugging him and asked to get them both a mask. While Bastyn ’s wife was away he went to the other end of the hall. Then he was founded there as well. He then asked his “wife” to bring some drinks and then while she was away again he took some other mask and was about to head to another corner, but then he spotted Zalyanitha, Rakshavyada and some child leaving the throne room. He decided to follow them as there is never boring when you tag along with those. Devas on their way was greeted by some person with mirror mask and they decided to go after him. Bastyn continued to follow. Very soon he was spotted and only then he realized that he is still in his mask. Immediately when he took of the mask and recognized as Bastyn the tension disappeared. Rakshavyada explained that they are going to the library to seek some closures on some puzzling questions. They all entered a tower. From inside it was full of scrolls and books. Rakshavyada started to search anything about history of the land and some clues on mirror-masked people. Zalyanitha searched for some answers on mystery of Unmandin. Bastyn pretended to help Rakshavyada but in fact was searching some information about his origins and The Roots of the World. Rakshavyada found a book about the rules of the magic and why shimmers are free in Mad lands. And that all rules are written on the gates of Unmandin. The book was interesting for Zalyanitha as well. They shared their findings and went searching for more details.

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Hail Padme, hail the queen

Enormous size gates of city starts to open slowly, but Padme is ready to leave this place. Deva set eyes on the convoy of lipless slavers mounted on strange beasts. The leader is even stranger with his second skin robe covered in patterns. The scarecrows had binged cages with slaves inside. The slaves of ship crew… The last cage contained of suspended and skinned human body. The bad feeling priced deva’s mind that this body could be of her fellow – Bastyn. Padme turned back to the city. She founded the city’s governor in the same spot where he was left a few moments ago. Padme announced him that he must ask the scarecrows about the price of all slaves, but the price was too high for deva, but lord of the city could afford such luxury. So, she had chosen to save paupers from suffering. She promised to ministry the city for ten years from now.

Meanwhile. Rakshavyada finally came out of the sand labyrinths. The great city sprang before his eyes. Such kind of city should not offend even deva’s standards. Majestic sound of the trumpet starts hums through dunes. The great hunter notes the caravan not far from him. Deva had decided imperceptibly to join them. Nobody had been bothered that Rakshavyada joined them. Actually, mongrels of various animals had travelled to the city. They were not usual hybrids, but mixtures of human and bull, bird and so on. It seems that big monoceros was the leader of the caravan.

Zalyanitha recovered from the water shortage. Deva continued the journey to the Unmandin. This time she left the bloodless Guntur’s body in the dunes. She finds the city after a few hours of walking in the sun and sand, but decided to move on. Few more hours of walking, but city did not wanish from her eyes. The strange movement starts in her spot after the sound of trumpets. She looks around and remains surprised that she is in the middle of the convoy. She touches one of the wagon to make sure that she don’t see the mirage. Sunny bunny jumps on her face from mirror mask of familiar person. One more look and the person is vanished, but deva attracted towards the city.

The queen of the city is accompanied to throne room. She asks for food and beverages and requests the audience with the slavers, but no need to complete this request, because the slaver leader comes personally to greet the mistress and deliver gifts to her. She insists that the skin has to be delivered too to complete the whole package.

- Governor, you need to find Zalyanitha.
- Yes, my queen.

Zalyanitha enters the city and in the blink of the eye the two servants presents to the deva of justice. Although they did not convinced deva that lady of the city had summoned her to her presence, but she does not resisted to them. After a few moments she was escorted to the city throne room. She saw the slaves and one skinned body before entering the throne room.

Padme greets her dear friend. She describes to Zalyanitha that she had take the place of city lord for ten years in order save the sailors from the ship, but scarecrows binged the gift to her. So, she thinks that one part of deal is violates an agreement. Zalyanitha started to debate about city laws with the governor. Deva of justince could not understand how with out proper coronation rite could be city lord assigned to his task, but governor announced that this deal was completed without errors. Such law is written on the gates of the Unmandin. During the conversation the Bastyn‘s body and his skin was departed to the throne room. Padme ordered to leave the room to everyone. She started to lay out skin paces on lifless Bastyn’s body since she had perceived the pain in her fingers.
She is well aware of what kind of pain. She pulled out of his body and ordered servant to complete her task. Black shadows erupted from skinned body and had winded around servant. After a few moments later two bodies lay down on the ground. Shadow covered all Bastyn’s flesh. The blackness converted to the fresh skin on immortals body. Bastyn regained his consciousness. Scream of the merchant rocked all the hall.

- It’s enough, it’s enough, please… Let me be….

After a few moments merchant saw the volts of the hall. The suspicious voices of Padme and Zalyanitha reached his ears. He explained that he had sacrificed part of his body to Yapvdanyasa in order to keep his last resorts of sanity. He also want’s to find the way to die and completely destroy his body and not became the abomination. The governor interrupted the scene and announced that Padme must be prepared to the ceremony of the coronation. So, she left the throne room. Zalanytha decided go to the city and try to find the way how to help Padme. Bastyn was left alone. He started to familiarize with his new skin.

Rakshavyada entered to the city with the strange convoy. He had walked arount the city till the moment he run into a woman in mirror mask. She greeted deva and said that he could help her to remember. The voice of the woman was quiet familiar to deva. So, he decided to folow her to the safe spot. There he found himself in luxury apartments with a woman. The woman unmaksed her face. Rakshavyada saw the face of the Adi. The woman was approching to deva with one single question „Who am I?“. The great hunter described to her that she was a shimmer in the past. „Maybe the taste of blood could help you to remember who you are.“ The woman accepted deva’s offer and had been beat to the death by the curse of the Wild one. Deva secretly withdrew from the apartment and from the hotel – back to the „safe“ streets.

Zalyanitha had started her investigation from the fountain. She found out that many town dwellers come here to gain fresh water from the pool. The ornaments around the basin are simple enough – no complex patterns or fancy art. If she could stop the the water from the source maybe the town comes back to lethargy and Padme will be free once more. Thinking about this idea she attacked to city. She met Chandrakridalu – the young and bewildered boy with one goal to find his mother. She not immediately admitted that her is his mother. The youngster became very very glad about it, but that happiness was spoiled by the Rakshavyada. The great hunter announced Zalyanitha could not trust this cheat and not tell anything about real Chandrakridalu. It just a play of Mad one. Zalanytha described situation about Padme and sailors a.k.a. slaves of the scarecrows. The youngster started to make a little mess in the street.

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Lost in the lands of the Wise One

Bastyn is passing in and out of consciousness, hoping that his body will finally gives up and he will be saved from the inhuman pain of torture in the seclusion of his warren. But his immortal body does suffer a lot before this happens. And so the poor merchant witnesses how his skin is skillfully torn off in front of his terrified ship-crew. One crew member is then picked up by the slave-drivers and forced to dress it. Through the red mist Bastyn sees how the skin wearer the takes a knife and starts methodically, with a doctor;s precision to torture him.

Finally, exhausted, immortal body falls numb, and Bastyn finds himself in his warren. It seems unussually empty, only a black mist whirling on the ground. Suddenly somebody whispers in to his ear:

“Give up. Bastyn, it is enough”.

The merchant recognizes his black tentacled demom.

“Give up, stay in the silver labyrinths, newer return to the waking world”, whispers the voice.

“But what will happen to my body?”

“I will take a good care of it, I waited for it for so long, I deserve it”.

“But what will happen to me?”

“You? You will forever stay in the silver labyrinth, lost, but safe from your enemies and from your so called friends. Why would you want to return there? Humans hunt you, Devas torture you, there is nothing for you but pain.”

“No”, answers the Immortal.

“Fine… fine… then I want half of your body and I will help you.”

“What does that mean for me?”

“Well, what you touch will be mine, and how you will be seen will be mine also. Accept this offer, you will not have any other choice.”

“Let it be so.”

“Let it be so”, repeats the demon and wraps Bastyn in to a sheet of darkness.

  • * *

Zalyanitha drenches her thirst by drinking from the flask that The Blue-Eyed-Deva-Creature gave her and then realizes that it is not a water she is drinking, but blood. Soon she discovers the source of her refreshment – Guntur lies on the ground with his throat slit, gushing the last drops of his lifehood.

“There are only two things that can quench a thirst in the madlands”, the Blue Eyed one speaks, “Moonsilver and Blood, and who would drink the Moonsilver when it’s so plenty and blood is so scarce?”

Zalyanitha ignores her ad tries to rescue Guntur, but his life is leaving him fast, and all that Deva can do is to comfort him and to say the last goodbyes. Finally she lies down the limp body and asks:

“Who is the one wants to see me?”

“But the Mad one, of course.”

Silently Zalyanitha gathers her belongings and sets of to the white towers dotting the horizon in the east, passing the city that she sees in front of her.

  • * *

Rakshavyadha finds himself travelling alone through a red labyrinth that seemed to be gnawed by the winds in to a sandstone. It seemed that it does not have beginning nor the end, just endless corridors winding, looping intersecting and dividing. Even the tireless body of hunter Deva was starting to feel exhausted, and the endless wandering without a knowledge if one is progressing or just walking in circles, was not helping his mood either.

But unexpectedly the tunnel had abruptly ended, opening in to a colossal crater. Its bottom, far down was hidden in to a blackness, blackness that moved. Rakshavyadha could she as a huge, serpent-like body had risen from it, stretched dark winds and plunged back in to the abyss. And then deva realized that his own pattern is separating from his own body, lagging behind in the air for some time after he moves, and just after while, lazily repeating the movement of it’s host.

“This is what you help to bring to this world”, the familiar voice sounds from behind.

Rakshavyadha turns around and sees the veiled figure blocking his retreat.

“That’s what you say, and this is what the Mad One tells you”, retorts Hunter.

“Perhaps, but this is what I believe, I do also believe that you carry something form the Wild One.”

“I do, but this I will bring to the Mad One, it does not concern you”, replies Rakshavyadha scaning the situayion for the possibilities of attack and defence and noticing that Blue Eyed one is hiding her left hand behind her back.

“In that case, Your death will be a my apology for the master, for leaving him”, in an failed attempt of surprise she jumps at the Rakshavyadha with a dagger blade shimering in her hand.

The blade misses her mark and devas clinch in to a deadlock.

“For killing You, I will be forgiven”, manages to shout the assailant, before the iron grip of Rakshavyadha’s left hand seizes her face.

Short but desperate struggle ceases with a whet crush, when the scull in the metal grip shatters. Deva tosses the lifeless body in to the crater, where it slides and rolls down until a dark, serpent-like spawn of abyss swallows it and disappears in to a blackness.

Rakshavyadha turns around and walks in to a sandstone tunnel, which quickly leads him to a peacefully looking valley with a suspiciously normal looking city peacefully situated at the bottom of it. Deva puts the trophy dagger between the plaits of his furs and walks towards the city.

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