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jaistlyn

Nightmare Descends [Furthest Point 2:1]

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-Epilogue (Shadows Amidst Impermeable Darkness)-

Gormaric and Eri:

It took the ebon knight little time to find Shadowfang through the connection he held with the dark blade, once he was free of his prison of mind and body. How the sword had maintained a will of its own in even the illusory realm, he was far too tired and drained to question. His armor was refastened to the best of his ability, and he once again adorned that thick blue cape that he had been gifted in the wake of Remissio's demise. Perhaps the memories of that renegade paladin were a liability in this land, and had already proven to be capable of forming a tangible danger. But... they meant something. The key to answers, the meaning of the actions of that strange creature among the Spires. Or at the very least, a clue.
This, and more, the so-called Bane of Yh'mi pondered as he made his way out of the caves.

His stolid wyvern Eri was not far behind him, bearing some equipment that had been too much for the adventurers to carry but that they couldn't bear to leave behind. Not an excessive amount, of course, and the elephant Surus could bear a good load more by sheer virtue of size and strength, even weakened- but enough to contribute, certainly. There was nothing that had been taken from her, anyways, aside from the strength and stamina that had been drained from all present there. She would endeavor to recover that strength as soon as possible. The blackest depths, the hottest depths, amidst the very center of an all-cleansing light... wherever her master desired to go, Eri would bear Gormaric there, and protect him with all her strength with tooth, claw, and wing. It was for this purpose that the Shadow King had given her form.
A singular driving purpose. The bad end of freedom was too many choices to ever find one fulfilling path.


Affairs were soon back in order at the Aligorian contingent's camp. However, assuredly an oddity in the eyes of the Order of the White Hand, the forces of the Kingdom all withdrew to their camp not too long after the Furthest Point had been claimed. This seemed to have been in response to a missive that had arrived from a messenger bearing the colors of the Shadow King. Something was coming, Neque had shared. Something big and potentially world shattering. All personnel returned to the Aligorian camp, and kept close to the golem Anywhere, through which Neque would act to preserve his people if all was it bad as it seemed it might be.

The ebon knight and his wyvern hoped it was a false alarm, and operations in the darkness of Yh'mi could resume as they were. But if everything were truly about to be turned upside down, then it was best to follow the command of their king and hope they would be seen safely through it all. And here he had thought that the greatest threat was within Yh'mi itself. What a cruel irony it would be if an external force overtook both them and the tainted land, then, wouldn't it?

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Frederick:

The commander of the Subversors was alone. Amelia and Gilliam had been found lifeless in the caves, back to back. Most likely awoken by their "deaths" and subsequently overwhelmed by their enemies in reality, before the others had awakened to finish the battle. Then, Bors and Oswin... two hauntingly empty eggs stood where they likely would have been, and no trace of them within the caverns. So, that power in the illusory realm had to have been real, since their sacrifice had been. Frederick did not feel it coursing through him now- but somewhere deep inside, a trace of it could be briefly felt. It existed. He would reclaim it one day, in the memory of his men. And then he would bring it fully to bear, ripping and tearing the twisted land that had claimed their lives.
Uru-inlaid armor and shield. Their familiar weight returned. The equipment of his subordinates... painstakingly stacked into a pile, their weapons set atop it as a memorial. Frederick was the last to leave the caverns, for he had spent a while sitting before the pile, staring in silence. Meditating, saying his goodbyes, some other third thing? Whatever the case, he made his peace before he made his departure from those damned caverns.


Alone in his tent with a bottle of whiskey. At the least, Frederick's tent flap was open to the center of the camp, where Gormaric and Anywhere stood while the Aligorian forces either stood and watched in anticipation or rushed around to complete pressing tasks. Maybe his power would re-awaken in whatever was to come. He smiled at the thought.
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Ilene:

She had expended great power in helping to deal the finishing blow to the queen. It was all she could do to don her light armor and mask-helm, and retrieve her beloved curved blade. Then, she hitched a ride with the archer crew atop Surus, as her feet could hardly carry her. She slept like a log, to chuckles of amusement from the archer crew.


Ilene was not present at the Aligorian camp. Indeed, merely a day after the Aligorians had returned from the Furthest Point, a note was found in her tent: She had set off on her own, bound for the Shadow King's side. Gormaric had been visibly confused upon hearing of this, but then ultimately shrugged and sent a well-wish her way on the wind. Hopefully the Shadow Guard commander could outspeed Neque's prophesied calamity to reach his side. She had earned that much through her actions.

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Surus and Crew:

The elephant could no longer fly. This revelation had been accompanied by a large thump that had echoed throughout the cavern, and some sad trumpeting. Captain Jeorge and his crew had managed to calm Surus down and get him on his way nonetheless. The elephant helped to carry companions and equipment alike as the expeditionary force to the Point made their exodus from the caverns.

The elephant had returned to the camp with only the archer Norne atop his back. When questioned, she stated that the rest of the crew had followed the enigmatic 3-13, after he had tried to split off into his own to make an unexplained trek deeper into Yh'mi. They had sent her back with Surus to make sure their choice was known, as well as keeping her and the elephant from succumbing to any dark fate they could possibly meet. But... something told Norne that bunch would be alright, no matter what was to come. Surus lightly trumpeted in agreement, as if reading her thoughts.

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