Paul Vilbig as Shaden “Leech” Liixe
Derek Romano as Cade “Blindsight” Haarkoth
Greg Mann as Khulvos Hooftorn
Michael Graziano as Daegys Sahii
Christine Scott as T’Saira Behntrilo
We returned to the squatter’s apartment building in “Scarytown” after collecting ourselves and narrowly squeezing past the roving bands of Legion patrol groups. News of the murder of an Arcadaemon and the destruction of the Soothsayer’s Tower had spread quickly, and there was a mighty reward promised to the first Legion soldier to bring in the culprits responsible for this “heinous disruption.” If any action of ours led to a disruption the fiends controlling this city considered “heinous,” I felt like that was a sign of a job well done…
Down With The Sickness
As we ascended the narrow stairs leading up to the apartment, our rendezvous point with Laurence and the others, Amducias was overcome with a terrible bout of nausea. As he stumbled to his knees on the stairs, retching and heaving in pain, we noticed that his band mates (besides Colin, of course) did not seem surprised. Concerned, yes, but not surprised. Apparently, Amducias had been suffering from some sort of an illness for long enough that his friends were already quite adjusted to this routine.
- Upon entering the apartment, Amducias went to lay down in a darker corner of the space, still shaking and shivering with cold sweats. I am oathbound to offer aid to the sick, but his rhythm guitarist, Valgus Flare, insisted that they could handle it. Daegys was concerned that whatever Amducias had might be contagious, but according to Colin, as he was just explained, Amducias had been suffering from this illness since he was quite young. That was why he gravitated toward music. Even musicians who die young can live forever in their music.
- The moment I had the opportunity to do so, I took Cade aside and began to give him a basic instruction in reading. Cade was bright, but easily distracted. This was hardly an ideal environment for such studies. I began to ponder the idea of instructing him in the Inner Sanctum, but I was unsure if I could accomplish that. Reading was very much a visual experience, and one does not use one’s eyes in the Inner Sanctum. Come to think of it, I have never read anything while within the Sanctum. Laurence did. He read the note in Crossel’s Sanctum: the note that explained the power of the Soul Mirror. Perhaps, then, there was hope for my idea to teach Cade from within my Inner Sanctum.
- The Soothsayer began to come to, and Cackle said something truly peculiar to Borgamat (peculiar even for Cackle’s standards). He said, “She smells buggy. Like, bugs.” Borgamat shook his head, unable to make heads or tails of Cackle’s message, but the closer the Soothsayer came to awakening, the more agitated, and animated, Cackle became. His ears twitched, and he yipped and whined in equal measure. Leech took a good, long look at the Soothsayer, seeing her eyes as they fluttered open and, for a split second, seemed to be windows into a dark space full of black bodied insects.
- T’Saira noticed Leech’s physical reaction to seeing the Soothsayer’s true self within her eyes for a brief moment. She backed away and patted Cackle comfortingly on the head. Leech warned Borgamat to stand away from her, but he instead moved in closer to her. He said, “I cower in fear of no one and nothing.” Leech plainly asked what manner of creature she was, as he saw through her illusions. Cade said from across the room that she was a walking pile of bugs, just like she was when they found her in the tower. Due to Cade’s unique gifts and awakened True Vision, he had never seen the illusion, the beautiful woman, but always the truth, a bony frame surrounded by skittering, swarming black insects.
- She admitted to being a Lamia, which more than one of us understood to be a dreadful thing to be in the same room with, even in Infernia. However, she seemed civil, and upon approaching me, she thanked me for the part I played in saving her life in the Soothsayer’s Tower. As she moved across the floor, her feet swayed as if she was walking, but she seemed to glide along, her feet never really leaving the floor. Borgamat told her that we sought her out on behalf of the Sylvres. She nodded knowingly, saying that she foretold his coming, and she knew he was in the city. I became skeptical of the woman, largely due to her nature as a Lamia, so I began to ask her a few testing questions to see whether or not she was really capable of telling the future, or whether her prophecies and predictions were a charlatan’s act.
- Without a bit of prodding from us, she began to give a detailed description of “The Sylvres.” However, the man she was describing was not Elosian. As she detailed a human with dark brown hair and gray-green eyes, wearing rough hide armor and brandishing a sword of flames, we all realized that she was describing Laurence. We wondered silently… was Laurence the Sylvres? I noticed that despite this revelation, T’Saira seemed relatively unaffected as compared to the rest of us. What did she know that we didn’t, I wondered. She said that this city would soon burn, and when asked when this would happen, she said the Sylvres precedes the Inferno. Daegys asked what role the Sylvres would play, and whether he fails to save the city. The Soothsayer replied: “It is the Sylvres that encourages the fall of this city. He welcomes the flames.”
- The Soothsayer asked whether we were planning to attend the banquet using the fallen Arcadaemon’s invitation. Through innuendo, I ensured that none of my allies tipped her off too much as to the details, but I said we were considering it. She looked to Borgamat and said that when we attend, he will go, and he will die. She felt that changing this course of events would render her previous predictions meaningless. She begged Borgamat not to go to the banquet. According to her prophecy, it was Borgamat’s death at the party that was the catalyst of Glyph’s destruction. If Borgamat goes to the banquet, he will die, and his death will lead the Sylvres to let the city burn.
- I struggled to come to terms with the Soothsayer’s prophecies, and her assertion that it was Laurence, and not Elosian, that was the true Sylvres. I was skeptical, but in truth, deep within, I knew that the skepticism was akin to a child clinging to a soft blanket for comfort. Somehow, I knew that she spoke true, about Laurence, about the Banquet, and about the fate of this city. Somehow, in fact, it seemed like we all knew it was true. She revealed that the Arcadaemon was there attempting to get her to provide details on the Sylvres. She knew that we would come, so she stalled him as much as possible. She did not, however, predict that Borgamat would crash through her ceiling and take the floor out from under her. Borgamat joked that people in glass houses should probably move to a safer house, because things like that were bound to happen sooner or later.
- Borgamat decided then and there not to go with us to the banquet. Upon reading the invitation, we realized that the language left the invitees intentionally vague, likely as to avoid incriminating anyone should the invitation be found. It seemed that whoever was holding this gala fete was a member of the Legion of Asmous, but wanted the majority of the Legion to be unaware of the gathering. It seemed that these invitations went out to people of like-mind with the banquet’s host, perhaps people whose ideas ran contrary to the general policies of the Legion of Asmous.
- Just as we began to decide upon how to proceed (I began to come up with ideas for a false identity to portray at the banquet), the Soothsayer revealed that a Legion task force was coming. They would be through the apartment door in 40 seconds. Many of us would die. Daegys said that he thought she claimed the Arcadaemon meant her no harm, and she nodded. They were coming to rescue her from us. They believed that the Arcadaemon was killed during an attempt to kidnap her. Borgamat said that the only solution was for him to take the Soothsayer and hide her. She said that without finding her there in the apartment with us, the Legion has no reason to believe that we are the culprits. There is still bloodshed, but no deaths on our team, as they will fail to call in reinforcements.
Borgamat took the Soothsayer in his arms and flew out the window in a flash, telling us “good luck” as he swept by in a barely-visible black streak. Cackle, nervous that the “buggy-girl” was going to double-cross Borgamat, blinked out of the room, swearing to keep an eye on her. We all attempted to act casual when the Legion soldiers, a group of eight Legion Devils, burst down the door. I noted that they did so precisely when the Soothsayer said they would. One of the soldiers in the hall asked the leader if he should order backup, probably because they were outnumbered by the occupants of this apartment (though Amducias was unconscious). The leader shook his head, saying he didn’t see the Soothsayer here. We thought perhaps she would have been wrong about there being bloodshed, but the eagle-eyed leader of these Legion Devils noticed that we were all acting a bit too casual. When he asked us a simple leading question, we all stammered out consistent answers, but too fast and all at once, as if it was rehearsed. The funny thing was, it wasn’t. We were all just equally terrible actors. How we planned to fool a hall full of banqueters was beyond me…
Just A Quick Slaughter Before Bedtime
As the Soothsayer predicted, there was indeed some bloodshed. The Legion devils took the initiative and began to ransack the apartment, tossing aggressive attacks toward us seemingly at random. Valgus looked to see if there were any more of the soldiers in the hall, and when he realized there was no backup coming, he closed the door and barricaded it. Daegys smirked to the leader of this squad. “Now, are we trapped in here with you, or are you trapped in here with us? Which, you think?”
- With few exceptions, these soldiers fell quickly to our assault. They were not expecting us to put up as much of a fight as we did. Honestly, after the night we had, I was surprised that we had it in us. However, within less than three minutes, every one of the Legion Devils was dead on the floor, with Daegys and T’Saira suffering only minor injuries.
- Amducias woke during the battle, but by the time he was about to join in the fight, it was over. He clapped and said he has the best groupies ever. I have no idea what this man is saying half the time, or why the sounds he makes on his guitar appeal so to the others in the party. That is not music. It is noise, like a child would make if given access to such an instrument. Amducias said that he knew someone who knew someone who would buy the bodies from us, no questions asked. I was so glad for that last stipulation. As Valgus and Colin arranged for the sale, we rummaged through the fallen soldiers’ remains, taking emblems of the Legion from their bodies, which should prove handy when we went to the banquet.
- We realized that it had been nearly two days since any of us had any sleep, and the wear was taking a tremendous toll upon us. Amducias and his band offered to take shifts keeping watch while we all got a solid eight hours of sleep. Daegys seemed relieved at the prospect, since he felt as if he had nothing left to give on the battlefield. Indeed, I was more physically exhausted than I had been in years. Rather than opting to meditate in lieu of sleep, which was my normal routine for over a decade now, I found the least uncomfortable space in the apartment, laid down on the floor, and had the first true sleep I have had in many years.
While we were dealing with the Legion squad, Borgamat found a secluded rooftop to hide away with the Soothsayer. He insisted that she explain to him why it was that his presence at the party would lead to his death. The Soothsayer explained that the energies coursing from the Sylvres were potent and alien to this world. Borgamat knew that she was speaking of Divinity, the magical energy provided by faith and wielded by gods and angels. This energy had a dubious effect on her ability to see the future. It was like looking through an ice-covered window, able to see the basic shapes and colors, but none of the finer details…
“So, how do you expect me to believe your claims,” Borgamat asked, exasperated. Malicious, his Soulforged Dire Raven, detached from his back and flew up into the air, scanning the streets for any sign of enemies nearby. “I came to Infernia to help… the Sylvres. Sitting this banquet our doesn’t seem much like helping to me.”
“I know only this,” the Soothsayer began. If she noticed Borgamat’s near-slip of Laurence’s name, Borgamat could not tell from the expression on her face. Then again, her expression was an illusion, and her face was actually a writhing, animate pile of insects. “I know that it is due to your death at the party that the Sylvres decides to let this city burn.”
“Well, at least nobody has to die, then,” Borgamat said. “At the banquet, I mean.”
The Soothsayer’s silence spoke volumes.
“Someone does die,” Borgamat guessed. “Since I’m not going, one of the others will die in my stead. Am I right?”
“Perhaps the living armor should consider a career in fortune telling.”
“This isn’t f#(&ing funny,” Borgamat said, moving closer to her and gripping the hilt of his scythe. “I am an instrument of Death. Not the concept. The being. So don’t f#(& with me.”
“Fine,” unmoved, the Soothsayer breathed a deep breath and nodded. “Indeed, someone does die in your stead, but that death changes everything. Because it is not you, the Sylvres will try to save this city.”
“But who, then? One of my team?”
“Yes,” the Soothsayer replied, staring out across the macabre blue-tinted skyline of Glyph. “One of the people in that apartment will die tonight.”
To Read The Next Chapter of Wyrmshadow Adventures: War is Hell, Click Here!
To Read The Previous Chapter of Wyrmshadow Adventures: War is Hell, Click Here!
Chapter 1: The Dreamers in… Hellbound
Chapter 2: The Dreamers in… Life In The Cauldron
Chapter 3: The Dreamers in… The Waking Nightmare
Chapter 4: The Dreamers
Chapter 5: The Dreamers in… Escaping The Cauldron
Chapter 6: The Dreamers in… Wrath of the Beholder
Chapter 7: The Dreamers in… Hounds of Hell
Chapter 8: The Dreamers in… Hideous Laughter
Chapter 9: The Dreamers in… The Tomb of Caenus Graymane
Chapter 10: The Dreamers in… Allure of the Wispwaters
Chapter 11: The Dreamers in… Goodbye, Impy
Chapter 12: The Dreamers in… Sole Survivor
Chapter 13: The Dreamers in… The Iron Fist
Chapter 14: The Dreamers in… Battle at the Ancient Wall
Chapter 15: The Dreamers in… The Long, Hard Road
Chapter 16: The Dreamers in… Hunted
Chapter 17: The Dreamers in… On Fields of Ancient Dead
Chapter 18: The Dreamers in… The Woods of Woe
Chapter 19: The Dreamers in… Divine Intervention
Chapter 20: The Dreamers in… The Standing Stones
Chapter 21: The Dreamers in… Cherished Memories
Chapter 22: The Dreamers in… Hero of the Night Sword
Chapter 23: The Dreamers in… Well of Slivered Souls
Chapter 24: The Dreamers in… Dreams of a Lost World
Chapter 25: The Dreamers in… What Might Have Been (Part 1 of 2)
Chapter 26: The Dreamers in… What Might Have Been (Part 2 of 2)
Chapter 27: The Dreamers in… Shimekiri Sankatte (Part 1 of 2)
Chapter 28: The Dreamers in… Shimekiri Sankatte (Part 2 of 2)
Chapter 29: The Dreamers in… A Long Black Day
Chapter 30: The Dreamers in… No Justice In Hell
Chapter 31: The Dreamers in… The Soothsayer’s Tower
Chapter 32: The Dreamers in… Harrowing Revelations
Chapter 33: The Dreamers in… Tonight We Dine In Hell