The Witch Hunter and the Hound went to get the Witch Hunter’s elvish plate mail before venturing into the dark. Part way to the inn, as they passed Malkrin’s shop, two things happened like a double-strike of the hammer on the hot anvil: the pouring, pounding downward pressure of the rain ended with a sudden and total finality. Moments later, there was a crash and a sigh from within the jewelry shop…the trap door had opened. The hurried on with renewed purpose.
In the shattered sunlight echoing under the ruins of Cern’s tower, Illyria and Alain waited as an uncomfortable pair. Eventually, Alain turned his attention to the hip bone with its psychotropic light effects and light burning sensation. Alain’s eyes burned with a distant light, and he held the sawed-off hipbone up and away from him, as if seeing it for the first time. His voice was deep and came from a long way off.
WHO HAS DONE THIS THING TO ME?
Illyria smiled, alive with cunning. “Oh, I think I know who did it… his name is Malkrin.” The eyes of the Dismembered God turned to her.
WHAT IS HIS TRUE NAME?
His words came aloud and as booming thoughts. Illyria didn’t know. But cleverness ran on, if not wisdom, “He is one of the few other Elves in the City that I have seen. He is probably in the Chapel of the Light.” The god scanned the unseen skies. He reached up with his own hip bone.
There was a burn of light that ran like an unwelcome cleansing through them both, burning them with sudden power.
Up above them, returning swiftly, the Witch and the Hound stopped as a power ran through the clouds above, and a massive bolt of lightning fell in the vicinity of the Chapel of the Light, and the city wall. Boulders flew through the air in the distance, lit photostrobically by remnants of the lightning. They redoubled their speed.
They made their way into the corridor, the room seeming to frighten and hurt the Hound now. As the Hound seemed almost to barely wriggle through the doorway, down in the dark of the Corridor, the doorway itself seemed to yank bankward, becoming the merest square of light.
They proceeded South East, toward the center of town and the Chapel of Light (now ruined unbeknownst to them). A pale voiced followed them, “Where are you going… going… going…?”
Some distance down, near what must be the center of Fahran’s Outpost, they found something new… another cross-passage, but this one round and strange and full of resistance. Realizing it must be the other Ley Line, they made their way swiftly along it, feeling that time was of the essence – which surely, it always is.
An interminable way down the corridor, with the sound and feeling of pursuit behind them, they reached the stench of death they had been following. A round room with a much larger room beyond lie in their path.
The first realization was that the strange un-sound they had been following resolved itself. It was the sound of human agony. The second was that this room was an abbotoir disposal. Bloody body parts lay strewn in heaps, oozing rot and blood.
Unsurprisingly, the large heap at the side of the room moved of its own accord, standing up in a broken, many-armed array of gore. “Welcome!” said an old head from atop the thing’s bulk.
In the middle of the battle, Illyria cut the thing’s head right off. But it was prepared. Elaine’s head slotted into place. “Oh, no, Alain, please save me!” it cried, viciously.
Eventually, the Hound burrowed its way into the things guts and succeeded in ripping it apart.
Joining the battle after that was, unfortunately, Lt. Arissa, of the Army, now, clearly, a Witch. With unholy strength, she knocked Alain across the room, nearly killing him, and advanced on the Witch Hunter. Minions, tortured and blinded and branded, and serving her, came after, armed and armored from the Army’s supplies.
Alain slipped the bonds of his mortal body. He took over Liuetenant Arissa, and stopped her servants. In their confusion, the group quickly surrounded and murdered them all. The Lieutenant was allowed a moment of lucidity so that she could enjoy her death.
They freed Wren and a few other townsfolk, and wounded Army men. They were dazed and confused and terrified.
There was still the end of the world to stop.
They marched on.
Back at the conjunction of the Ley Lines, they stopped dead in their tracks, seeing Alain Varcrest in the conjunction in front of them, looking healthy and unwithered in a clean Fahran’s Outpost surcoat.
There were undoubtedly a large number of takes (more than double).
“You have killed all but one of them now,” well-Alain told them. “The last, the wielder of the Light, I have sent lost and confused far from here.”
“What do you want?” withered-Alain asked what must have been the Grey Walker.
“I want what I have wanted since we met at the moment of my birth. I want what I have wanted since you showed me the way, and I followed. I want to become Alain Varcrest, as you have.”
The heavy thrum of silence closed in around them.
Well-Alain reached out one strong, calloused right hand. “I want to protect Fahran’s Outpost, and stand watch lest Akba rise again. I want to stay here,” and there was un undeniable madness in his eyes, “I want to stay here with you. Forever.”