Shattered Moon

On Emperor, Devi, Nothingness and the End if it all

As the army was closing to the hearth of the Red Empire, Devas started noticing that the ships and the soldiers become slower. Sometimes it appeared that the silver soldier were falling asleep.

“The Mad One is falling asleep, my master”, explained the crow-lieutenant to Zalyanitha, “this army is a part of him, and as time goes by it gets weaker and weaker”.

When asked about a remedy he explained that only blood can keep the master of Unmandin awake. A rivers of mortal blood, but much less if the blood belongs to someone whose nature is written in silver patterns.

And with some luck they managed to find two stag-like beasts in an abandoned zoo of an imperial noble who fled from an incoming army. The One Who Flaps With Night, took a responsibility to bring the sacrifice to the Mad One, and after a few days the army suddenly became fresh again.


Meanwhile Bastyn was engaged in something that mixed embracement of his human nature in hopes to keep the rest of his sanity that was slipping away and hunting for any source of information about glyph magic in hope to get some kind of advantage in the upcoming battle. The result was a drunk and babbling immortal staggering on the deck.

One of those days he was woken up from his drunken sleep by a soft woman voice: “Bastyn, Bastyn, I have something for you”. There was a green eyed woman standing in his room. Was she one of the soldiers? Bastyn was too drunk and drugged to understand, but not drunk enough to not perceive her beauty and the fact that she was standing here totally naked. The stranger leaned over him and the immortal embraced the moment. There was no interlude. Was it pleasurable? Bastyn could not remember as he passed out.

When he woke up, he was lying in a fancy bed with silken linen. The room was luxurious but not of Unmandin design, the ornaments rather reminded the Red Empire. Bastyn stood up, covered his nakedness with a bed-sheet, broke a leg from a chair to get some kind of weapon and went to explore the place. A door leading out of the room was open and led him to a corridor. After a short stroll he found another door that led him to a balcony, and here in front of his eyes was lying Sy-Dyx, the capital of the Red Empire. And the balcony, he was standing in was high on the inner wall, surrounding the Imperial palace and the garden with the Apple Tree.


Finally the towers of Sy-Dyx, the capital of the Red Empire, were spotted. The day of the battle had dawned. Despite the mages and magical beasts and even Immortals of the Emperror who fought even after they limbs and heads were chopped, the battle was won the same day, without laying a siege. The defence seemed to be sporadic and unorganized. Rakshavyadha took the streets, Zalyanitha took the sky, and only Padme, who tried to break through the North gate was shot by a madman with a bullet made out of a substance that seemed to be the black dust polluting moonsilver.

Meanhwile two other devas broke through the inner walls, Rakshavyadha was first to cross the gardens, chopping everyone who he meet there, which appeared to be mainly unarmed but immortal, scarcely dressed people with a lot of piercings and body modifications.

After crossing the gardens, Rakshavyadha had opened the palace gates, and here an orgy of music, food, drugs and half naked bodies meet him. It seemed that the imperial nobility had gathered here, but it was completely oblivious to what is happening outside the palace walls.

Suddenly a man spoke, and everyone stood quiet: “Behold, the old age had ended, a new one has dawned, and it was brought by new gods, here”, he pointed to Rakshavyadha, “stands one of them, one who will choose who will live and who will die”. And as soon as he finished, Rakshavyadha ordered his troops to kill everyone inside.


All of this was happening as Bastyn was watching from the balcony until he was interrupted by quite ordinary looking man in red clothing.

“I was looking for you for so long”, spoke the man whom Bastin newer meet in person, but he could recognize it anyway.

“I wanted to study you bone by bone, to know your secrets, to find your creator. But that does not matter now, I have found the answer I was looking for, do you know how?”, Bastyn kept silent. And the Red Emperor continued.

“I had tamed the Nothingness and it allowed me to reach the lost dreams of our people with my roots. And yes, we both share the same ancestors that once lived on Ramalat. But I don’t feel any kindred feelings towards you. I find you to be a mankurt – flesh and blood of our people inhabited by an illusion of a human, not even real human.

“Nevertheless, you had done your duty, you gifted me a descendant who, although will be one fourth of a human blood, he will carry my legacy out of this world. And for this I will gift you a freedom, not because it is most precious but because it costs nothing.”

As he was saying this, a green eyed woman joined them. She leaned at the shoulder of the Emperor. “Let’s go father” she told ignoring Bastyn and they left and just few moment before Zalyanitha riding her flying bull ascended in front of the balcony.

There was no lost lowe between those two so after a short acknowledgement that both are all right Zalyanitha returned to the battle and lovering Bastyn in the Imperial gardens on the way. And here she saw a green shimmering coming from behind the huge cristal some covering the central part of the palace. It was not hard to understand that here was the source of the power of the Emperor – the apple tree that could gift an immortality.

Deva of justice took quickly found the last flying ship, and ordered it to ram the dome. But as soon as the glass shattered, from between the green cover of the apple leaves came a black thing, made out of blinding darkness and roaring with a deafening silence. The flying soldiers that were close to the dome instantly turned to dust, and then the monster swallowed the ship whole. Zalyanitha turned her artefact-bull around and ordered it to descent as fast as possible and the dark beast did not show any intention to chase her.

Deva made a low trip through the gardens and reached a gate leading inside the palace. Here the result of Rashavyadhas work meet her – torn off limbs that still moved, heads that still silently moved lips. There was Rakshavyadha himself, covered in blood. Zalyanitha told him about Padme, and the hunter went to find her body. Meanwhile the deva of justice ordered her army to start gathering the fragments of immortals and feed them to the beast of nothingness through the hole in the crystal dome.

Rakshavyadha meantime found remains of Padme’s soldiers lying on the street. Padmes body was nowhere to be found. And at the same time Zalyanitha meet the Emperor. He welcomed her from a balcony in the hall and was instantly shoot by the arrow through his hearth. He grabbed the shaft leaned on the railings of the balcony, coughed and felt down.

Zalyanitha walked to him and raised his body from the ground, Emperors tongue was hanging out and then he asked:

“Well, was it convincing?”

“No, answered Deva and dragged him out of the palace, took her bull and flied towards the broken dome, holding Emperor by the leg. Although the ruler of the red empire did not seemed to be afraid, he was clearly annoyed by this situation. And his attempts to engage in diplomacy ended in Zalyanitha dropping him down into the green of the apple tree hiding the blackness of the beast of nothingness. And as he disappeared she noticed that a huge, reptile-like creature descended from the hills in the west and was coming towards the city, she wondered for a while what is this beast and what he is doing here but finally decided that there are more pressing matters to attend.


Bastyn, Rakshavyadha and Zalyanitha meet at the palace gates. They cross now almost empty halls and find an entrance to the central dome, where the Apple Tree grows. Shards of broken crystal dome lie everywhere, but the party is much more drawn to the sound of hammering. The sound, they quickly find out, is coming from the emperor who is nailing Padme to the trunk of the tree. There was no sign of any damage on his body from being dropped from above by Zalyanitha. The black serpentine coils above their heads convinced party to act carefully, so instead of fighting they had chosen to talk. And the Red Emperor explained, that he made a deal with the Herald of Nothingness, a deal that would open a gate to another world. For this to happen the Silver Ring and a body of deva with a womb was needed, here Rakshavyadha admitted that he is also a part of this deal. One deva with a woman’s body needed to carry a ring inside her and this would make two rings out of one but would kill deva in the process. One of the rings would be given to the Apple Tree who knew how to open a gate with it, another should be delivered to the Mad One, who would make a weapon that could kill the Mother of Nightmares.

Padme, who meanwhile was removed from the three and the bullet made out of the black dust was removed from her body. When she woke up and was informed about what is happening, she volunteered to take the mission of giving birth to the two rings on herself.


The Red Emperor organized the ritual, and the deva felt into a strange waren. She found herself in a fancy bed in a beautiful room, there was a wind blowing through the open door to the balcony. Everything indicated that this is the Moongate.

She walked to the balcony, and there she found a young man, covered in masterfully made pattern tattoos. His eyes were confused. And as he saw Padme he asked:

“Who are you?”
“I am a Deva.”
“Is your name Zalyanitha? I remember Zalyanitha, she was keeping me safe”

Padme tried to explain what is happening but this seemed to scare the young man. Trying to avoid further confusing him Padme hugged him, and that seemed to work.

“I will protect you now.”
“Of course, now I remember, I need to hide inside you.”

And with those words he pushed Padme on the bed and dropped on top of her, and Padme just closed her eyes and thought about the Empire. It all finished quickly and they both fell asleep.

When Padme woke up from the feeling in lying in something cold. She looked and saw that the man was no more and instead bed was filled with a puddle of moonsilver. She stood up, walked to the balcony and jumped.


Sy-Dyx sunk into a chaos. There were slave rebellion, a dragon rampaging through the streets, riots and fire. But that never crossed the inner gates of the city, where now devas and their army resided. Zalyanitha, feeling adventurous went out and killed the dragon and send his blood, with a help of her lieutenant-crow to the Mad One.

Padme meanwhile was given a room and taken care by the green-eyed daughter of the emperor. The One Who Flaps With Night returned in five days and asked about the ring and was enraged by the fact that Devi were not on their way to Unmandin but instead agreed to cooperate with the Herald of Nothingness. He explained that they are used and that the ring must travel to Unmandin as quickly as possible if anyone still hopes to save the world. He quickly convinced Zalyanitha that their deal with the Herald was a mistake and she went to Padme.

As soon as she and the lieutenant entered the room, the crow jumped on Padme, who from the wounds and after ritual felt very week and tried to rip the ring out of Deva’s body with his beak. Padme tried to fight back, and almost managed to crush the One Who Flaps With Night but finally her weakness took over and she lost a consciousness. Zalyanitha at that time dealt with the emperor’s daughter, who tried to protect Padme. Deva simply pushed her out of the window. After that she cut the ring out of Padme’s body.

“Give it to me.” Demanded the crow. And as soon as Zalyanitha fulfilled the demand, he flew out of the window without saying anything else.


“What have you done!” sreamed the Red Emperor when he learned what happened. Zalyanitha, now not so sure if what she did was a right thing, explained that the ring now belonged to the Mad One. The emperor was speechless, the process of making second ring was broken, his daughter lost his child after falling out of the window, the ring was gone… The rest of the party was also a bit confused.

Finally they had reached an agreement, Emperor would let them to use the ancient and very expensive system of transportation that could instantly transport people in a glass capsule between two portals of moonsilver.

It was decided that Padme will stay, there was barely enough place to squeeze three persons an a bull, a feat that would be impossible for mortals, but even Devas were suffocating and almost boiling when the capsule was welded shut. Then it was dropped into a pool of moonsilver and next second emerged in a courtyard of a wooden manor somewhere in the Valley of Green Shadows. A few locals rushed to meet what they thought to be imperial envoys but Rakshavyadha broke the glass all three jumped on the bull and flew away leaving everyone confused.


They flew as fast as possible, hoping to outran the crow. Bastyn acted as a guide because “once one had found a way to Unmandin he will always be able to return”. And in two days flight they saw the white towers of the Mad City.

Mad one was waiting for them in the street. With the One who Flaps with Night on his shoulder, holding the ring in his hands. No one had any idea how to get the ring back, so no one even asked, but instead explained to the master of the city what was happening and why the empire needed the ring.

“I see, now I see!” proclaimed the Mad One when they finished explaining and started laughing, and the city laughed with him.

When he finally stopped laughing he came to each one, shaked hand and hugged, and when he finally hugged Zalyanitha he whispered:

“Sorry”

Deva felt a pain in her abdomen and saw blood dripping down her legs. There was no ring in the hands of the Mad One. Now with two rings there will be two weapons, one to close the gate, another to take Unmandin back from the Wild One. Zalyaitha tried to dissagree, then protest and then to argue but all in vain, the Mad One felt like he was dealt a winning card.

“This will be an ultimate triumph of justice and you will fulfill it, now please, enjoy my city the best you can”, he ended the argument.

Rakshavyadha then asked if it would be possible to bring Padme to Unmandin, to what the Mad One agreed and then left the party in an awkward silence. Shortly Zalyanitha left to think about what happened and Rakshavyadha and the immortal decided to go and find the Wild One, desperately hoping that maybe he can offer some kind of help.

After some time spent aimlessly wandering through the streets they finally found what they were looking for: the Wild One was towering over the city, reaching the sky, he seemed to be looking at the immortal and deva but stayed oblivious to any attempt to communicate.

Finally the two decided that Rakshavyadha could get into the Silverspace and tried to speak with the Mad One’s brother there. At first seemed that this method would also be useless, but then Rakshavyadha realized that instead of speaking he can weave silver strings of the Wild One. That appeared to be risky act, because as soon as the hunter touched the strings they tried to engfull him, wind him and swallow him into enormous pattern of the godlike being. Only the enormous will effort helped to prevent that from happening and allowed Rakshavyadha to weave a warning about Mad One’s plans into the patterns of the Wild One.

When he felt out of the silverspace into the strange reality of Unmandin he saw the Wild One turning around and walking away. Had he understood the message? How he will act on in? Will be there any gratitude? Those questions were left unanswered.


The One who Flaps with Night was one who was ordered to fetch Padme, and he was obviously not happy to see her again, the sentiment was mutual and the Deva meet him by throwing pillows. But after the lieutenant explained that he is here to bring her to her friends she agreed to listen.

“You will need to jump through the window”, deva did as told, hoping that someone will katch her in the fall, but that never happened, was that a small revenge by the demon?

She woke up in Unmandin where she meet Rakshavyadha and Bastyn.


At that time, Zalyanitha remembered the rule of Unmandin: “The one who has the will commands the rules” and was trying to apply this as best as she could by rejecting the pact she made olad time ago with the One who Plays with the Moon. She was chanting inverted ritual that she made while long time ago she half knowingly accepted him inside her. She chanted and chanted until she fell asleep from exhaustion. And when she woke up she realized that she is holding the ring in her hands. The Mad one was standing nearby. Without a word he extended his arm, and also without saying anything Zalyanitha took the ring from him.


From nowhere the creator of Unmandin appeared next to Rakshavyadha. The ring was in his hand. And he asked if Rakshavyadha would be able to kill the Mother of Nightmares. It seemed that he was not completely trusting Rakshavyadha, but at that point everyone understood that there was nothing to gain by cheating the Mad One. Finally the child of the Last Dreamer agreed that Rakshavyadha will be the one to do it and told him to wait for him to weave the ring into a weapon.

Rakshavyadha asked to allow him to say goodbye to his friends and then where he can find a nice place to wait, and the Mad One brought him to the rest of the party and then offered him the Gardens as the best place to wait.

After short goodbyes Zalyanitha, Bastyn and Padme left the city, and Rakshavyadha went to the Gardens. The gardens seemed to be abandoned and forgotten, wind chasing dead leaves, broken fountains, and no one around except Pol who seemed to be oblivious to the world around him but completely happy in this state. The hunter sighed and went into a meditation from which he was woken up by the mad one holding a thing reminding of a silver dagger weaved out of an intricate pattern of silver strings. They both went to the black tower and climbed up the stairs that seemed to never end. Eventually there were only stairs spiraling up through the blackness of the space towards the dark rock orbiting the shattered moon.

Eventually the Mad One stopped.

“I can will not follow you any further, I must go back and see the city I created for those that I love die”, told him and went back.

And Rakshavyadha continued his journey up until the stars went dark and he found himself in a dark and cold place. Suddenly he heard a hissing sound and realized to be standing inside the cocoon protecting the sarcophagus with the Last Dreamer First Traveller. The glass door shut the coccoon from the vacuum and from the horde of beast from nothingness pushing against the glass. The lights went on and he saw her crying.

“Thank you for fulfilling my wish, Rakshavyadha, and sorry, sorry for I asked you to do this, because I only did that to not die alone, sorry for what you will need to to and sorry for you will need to die to do this. This could be made by anyone else, but I just wanted it to be you”.

“I do not mind” answered the deva and raised the dagger.

“Wait. We still have time, we can still have one last conversation, there are so many stories that I can tell you.”

And so they spoke, and she told about her world and about the wondrous worlds she visited and Rakshavyadha listened, for how long it was hard to say, but eventually he stood up and finished the conversation with a trust of a dagger.


Zalyanitha, Bastyna and Padme were travelling westwards, away from the Mad City, towards the Wild Lands. Finally they reached the Silver River and the bridge grown out of branches and wines, connecting the two lands. They crossed it and started walking down the stream. And they walked and walked… and they were reminded that there is no end to the Wild Lands, and so they stayed, and seasons were changing, and they lost the count of years. Bastyn knew better, but Devas tried to civilize the land, to teach local humans some culture, but it was in vain, the Wild Lands were stronger and instead of changing the land everyone felt to be changing by the land.

One morning they woke up, walked to the riverbank and instead of the river they saw a gaping abyss. It was time to leave. And so they went deeper and deeper into the Wildlands and the Nothingness chased them and against seasons changed and it was hard to track how long they travelled, outrunning the abyss but newer able to lose it. And finally they just gave up. Bastyn harvested some wild bee’s poison and they stopped and waited for the nothingness to catch up and it did. And each of them drank the poison, and even Bastyn’s demon did not tried to prevent this.

Thi did not needed to wait long for the effect to kick in. The two dewas felt separated from their body vessels and saw their own patterns being dragged down into abyss. Meanwhile Bastyn simply died, the poison had dissolved the persona that was Bastyn and instead Kursikan, the one who was hidden deep in the immortal body woke up, confused and scared not knowing where he is. He also did not felt when Padme had reached out from the dying Silverspace and embraced him with his patterns and then they all felt down into the Nothingness.

And so it ended, everything was swallowed by nothingness – devas, immortals, Mad and Wild Lands. The story of the Immortal who died to Discover true self, the Deva of Justice who fought for something that he considered to belong to her but gave it away when she found it’s true meaning, the Deva of Hunt who sacrificed himself to kill his creator to give the world a precious little extra time, and only Nothingness had witnessed this deed, and the Deva of Kindness who asked for a gift of wisdom but chose newer to use it, they all disappeared. The world itself and the remnants of the moongate, and with them the story of the mortals who lived in this world, and the history of Devas who came to this world and the history of the Dreamer who created the Moongate they all were gone as if newer existed, and the endless universe almost haven’t noticed this.

Almost, as the story about Padme, Bastyn, Rakshavyadha and Zalyanitha somehow slipped through cracks of nothingness and had reached some other dream in a distant world and there this story was told.

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The end of Moon Island

And so again devas’ separated once more in this magnificent campaign through the Moon Island. While Rakshavyada gathers all but Zalyanitha on gathering all remaining forces presented by Mad One for him and Padme, Zalyanitha took different direction with her flying army in turning all the remains of red army to her followers. The turning actually was not of the giving a choice it was rather join or die. However joining was made by shining brightly figure of deva on impressive flying bull with the booming voice of Zalyanitha. No surprise there was quite a lot of people that took or at least pretended to take the word of truth from the deva of justice. Meanwhile the rest of the party flew to gather their forces. In their way they saw light of the fires that based on the master’s of the island word refugees should be camping there. As they approached there they spot the many-hands living statue of the master of Moon Island. It delivered heart breaking speech to not afraid of this flying ship with deva’s and they have to carry culture and science of this land. Rakshavyada organized some kind of guards of honor to let them board the ship. Then they flew to the shores of the island where they found the ships from the Mad Lands. Rakshavyada asked Haros to summon a demon to deliver a message to their forces to return to the place they were waiting with ships while they gathered provisions.
During all this last travel over the island Bastyn was drawing some kind of the painting which weirdness had raised the jealousy for Rakshavyada of being mad. It was a picture of the tree with entangled ring guarded by the snake. When Rakshavyada was talking on the content and meaning of the painting Bastyn suddenly felt a terrible pain in the hand. The skin of the hand just peeled of and he found the black bean in it. As he looked into it the bean formed the eye and it opened. It was quite scary and he immediately showed that to Rakshavyada. As Rakshavyada took the bean he felt this familiar cold from it but it was not painful. The bean suddenly spoke to Rakshavyada: “we are waiting for you”. Rakshavyada took the bean into some empty bottle and hid it somewhere between his other stuff. He explained others that this is glyph-creature.
While Padme, Rakshavyada and Bastyn were waiting for returning army of the Mad Land, Zalyanitha reached the silver harbor. As with the land people she tried to turn as many ships as she managed to her as a new ruler. As soon as she got all the ships that were in docks she flew around the sea to recruit those who got crew enough to try to escape. There was a lot more success with ships than with land troops. And so Zalyanitha had the pretty big fleet under her rule. But then the earthquake started. The time to get out the island was already out and the island began to sink. Unfortunately Zalyanitha could not save all of the ships so she decided to save at least the one that had the statue of Mahormimat. She tried also to save as many as she could that were trapped in the land.
After this unique view of seeing the whole island disappearing into the bottom of the sea both parties rejoined and with this huge fleet of various ships they began the journey to main land and form there to the heart of the red empire. It took quite of the time till they reached the shore of the main land. None other than purple harbor. There again Zalyanitha began to turn people under the religion of deva of the justice. The newly found captain from there was with a lot of help. During their voyage to the harbor however the fleet had to surrender some of the slower ships. Some other ships of the mercenaries that were not from those parts were also released of their task to serve and were allowed to return home. Nonetheless the fleet still looked pretty magnificent. After finishing the revolution in purple harbor and gathering all the provisions for the campaign they have left not really waiting for left out ships. Since requirements for the supplies needed to reach the capital of Red Empire was more than the city could provide there had to be promise left that there will be a ship with golden statue of Mahormimat that would help to all of the people not to starve.
And so the sail to empire began. On every harbor they visit Bastyn was extensively seeking bodily pleasures. He was constantly drunk high or seeking the company of women. Zalyanitha was spreading her religion. And both other devas left were just bidding their time until they have reached the mouth of the river that goes through the capital of Empire. Soon they will the great battle will start.

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The twilight is comming

Blood-spawn tentacles constricts the ship more and more. The loud crunch ripples through ship structure. It seams that few more grips and the vehicle will fall to the ground. Bastyn, Rakshavyada and Padme is fighting the the blood-spawn on the shipboard. The great hunter is trapped by several small tentacles and he does not have any chance to move – only hide all vital body places. Padme runs to help Rakshavyada to escape from monster clutches. She swings with her blade and cuts off one of the holding tentacle. Bastyn throws flammable liquid to the blood-spawn. The bottle shatters on the impact with the ground and flames instantly covers the tentacle and quickly destroying it. These few casualties does not stops this enormous creature… Few more tentacles joins to shred Rakshavyada to the small pieces. Zalyanitha and the Protector of the Moonisland joins to the battle. Protector with few arms grabs one tentacle severs it from the ships hull. With the remaining hands he grabs the Padme.

- You fool. Fulfil your pledge. I gathered the refuges on the shores of the island. You have the last day do gather them and leave this island before it collapse – with these words Protector swings deva from the ship.

On this commotion Rakshavyada manages to escape from the tentacles. The great hunter sprints to boradside of the ship and jumps out together with Bastyn. They reaches the terra without any damage.

Zalyanitha catch the flying Padme. Also she gives several quick orders to flying solders to collect the reaming infantries and refuges.

The Protector leaves the ship too.

The ships moans again…

Zalyanitha gives the flying archers to hit the oil barrels on the ship to spread the fires in the boat. It took several minutes to take whole ship aflame. While flames will purifies the shipboard the crew are setting up the plan how to proceed the war, save the remaining refugees and recover the ship. The Crow returns to the Zalyanitha and reports that remaining red empire army is retreating to the harbor. They have few numbers and will not be the big threat to deva’s forces. Zalyanitha decides to pursuit the enemy, while reminding crew members will go to gather the moonisland refuges. Zalyanitha orders to the flying solders return the infantries and refuges to the ship… Zalyanitha and Bastyn are the last party members to return to the ship, but the shadow person appiers in front of them. He introduce himself as Haros. This name is known to Zalyanitha. He is the mage from Vorl. He and his crew are willing to join the devas army and avenge the Red Empire. Zalyanith agree on this collaboration if he will tell where to find Gatona and the Chandridalu. The mage agrees on the terms, but he will need time to do that. During conversation Bastyn elucidates that glyph monster eated whole mage camp during the battle, they lost the big ship in that battle. It is a big chance that we lost Chandridalu too. The inexplicable furry took Zalyanitha.

- How could you…

Bastyn decided to help deva once more. He will try to find Chandridalu in the silver space after he will find the safe spot in the ship. The part of Chandridalu’s pattern could help to track him in the silver-thread maze. The immortal man asked Padme for help if he will not be able to return from the silverspace. The journey begins…

Bastyn jumps to the warren once more. It took few minutes to ascertain the presence of the Chandridalu in the silverspace. The direction was to go to the centre of black vortex. The same vortex which consumes whole patterns. The immortal man assembled all his mental force to take the path around the crease of the glyph and patters – in the place where patters stretch in the long lines before it entwine to glyphs. In the eye of the whirlpool three figures interwoven in the tight tangle: Chandridalu, The Apple Tree and The Great Glyph Dragon.

- I could help you Chandridalu. Just reach my hand…

The black snake head turns to Bastyn. The maw gapes in the enormous arc. Inside you could see countless eated worlds… It hits immortal man, but he is lucky enough to escape from it. The demon patters starts to fade in his eyes. Somehow the sorcerer manages to fix the damaged pattern, but he suffers greatly. It seams that demon lost his legs. He returned to his warren, to his safe place… Twilight is cumming… Both shimmers bounded to his flesh starts to fight for his body, but clear voice of Padme awakens Bastyn from his dream.

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Bloody attack

Zalyanitha finally reunited with others. As other devas she was also changed and gifted by Mad-One, but she had been soon identified as Zalyanitha. The group soon realized that the only person missing was none other but Rakshavyada himself. Meanwhile Rakshavyada woke up after meeting his mother in the field. He slowly went towards the ships. When suddenly he saw a flash of light. That was none other but Zalyanitha ’s new power that she got from Mad-One. Rakshavyada then realized to which of the ship he needs to go. While he went to the ship rain started. Soon Rakshavyada saw that the rain is sticky and it has some strange red color. It was rain of blood. He reached the ship with where the rest of the group was. After introduction with Zalyanitha they made plans what to do next. The plan was to release the rest of the Moon-Islanders somewhere safe and then head off to the heart of the Red Empire to retake silver ring. Suddenly there was a scream from Padme ’s room. Rakshavyada ran to check what happened and then a figure materialized from the puddle of blood. Rakshavyada attacked it but while did not a lot of damage but it was enough to save Padme. Then Rakshavyada asked Padme to cover her ears and used his voice of pain neutralizing the bloody figure. Others were also attacked by those bloody figures. Rakshavyada summoned guards and ordered to attack invaders. Padme suddenly realized that these figures may had attacked moon-islanders as well so the group hurried to their room and save them from these monsters. After the battle was finished the group saw that the blood from the rain formed some kind of net covering their ship. While guards followed Rakshavyada ’s command to attack them, their effort was quite futile. The blood net began slowly crush the ship. Rakshavyada used his voice of pain to get rid of this nuisance but unfortunately it was not enough. The ship had fallen.

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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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