Borders Drawn in Blood

The Distraction

From various viewpoints

Well we did it! We managed to successfully sneak into the inner wall of the City of Usurpers. We did have a bit of a scare as Dominic all but collapsed on the way to the inner wall. I think he was having some flashbacks of a vision and I try my best to calm him. He says he has been here before and I tell him he has been in a vision. This is the place that you saw yourself fighting hoards of the plagued people as you were retreating. The vision was frightening but I urge him and let him know we are here with him.

We manage to ditch our escorts into the town and start to explore on our own. Just before we leave the group we see a General, mounted on a horse, directing the troops as they return. He is giving them all their next orders. We discover a bit later that this is General Azzo VIII of Este his Lord Gelph. He seems formidable on his own. Hopefully we won’t need to face him and the Cardinal at the same time.

We end up at a tavern and start working the crowd for information. We find out the Cardinal seems to have gotten a promotion. He is now calling himself Pope Catalus VI and is openly using the Corvo name. We also find that he is living in the Cathedral. Well, the old cathedral, as the “Pope” has commissioned a new one that is promising to be spectacular. if your into worshiping devils and the like

We work the crowd for some time and that is all we come up with. We also determine that there is no place for us to stay the night. If we are to take on the Cardinal tomorrow we will need to rest and recover our abilities. and no I am NOT calling that vile man the Pope I “convince” a nice couple to put us up for the night in their very tiny apartment. The night is uneventful but we do find out a few things. First that the Cardinal actually holds Mass himself and second that he is giving communion in the name of the Blinding Light of the Morning Dawn. I think for a bit and come to realize that this is Lucifer the most powerful and beautiful of all the Arc Angels. We decide to attend Mass the next day.

We enter the cathedral without incident and I listen in horror as Corvo distorts and changes the Mass to serve the Blinding Light of the Morning Dawn. The masses do not know and believe he is simply speaking Our Lord’s words. Just as I am seething with anger at his perverse words Dominic suddenly gets up and walks out of the cathedral. For a moment I thought he was as disturbed as I was, but then I recognized that glazed look on his face and realized he was having another vision. crap I quickly follow and when I think the chance of being seen is minimal, I intrude on his vision once more.

It is the same woman that was in the vision at the monastery. She is telling Dominic he must wait, that he is not ready. She says there are too many. Dominic speaks to her but it is not his voice coming from him.

Dominic awakens from the trance and does not seem to remember any of the vision he just had. The others have caught up with is and I let them know what I saw. Dominic always remembers his visions and this voice that spoke was not his and it was one that I did not recognize.

We all discuss the various possibilities and eventually decide to continue on with the plan. We find a side door and enter “unseen” into the cathedral. We are halfway across when Dominic is attacked out of nowhere. He screams and has a nasty bite on his face. I shudder and realize it is the assassin. I sing to the heavens for courage for my companions. Attacks miss the invisible foe until suddenly, Nizar finds him with his blade. A lucky shot? No, it seems Nizar is able to see him. The Cardinal’s bodyguard appears and Ettore, Fredrich and Dominic go after him. Nizar continues to fight the assassin alone since he is the only one able to see him. I am not sure where Artigli has gotten too and I hope he is okay. The attacks against the bodyguard continue and the Cardinal makes his appearance. I am not sure how he is attacking but eventually he turns into those inky bird spots again and begins to draw the blood out of the fallen assassin.

Nizar finishes off the assassin and turns his attention to the Cardinal. The others had already finished off the bodyguard so it is just the Cardinal now. He casts some twisted magic on Artigli and he falls to the floor writhing in pain. He has that awful hand print on his face from where the Cardinal touched him. Everyone else begins to attack the Cardinal and he eventually turns into the inky, blood sucking darkness with the bid like form.. After several missed attacks Nizar prays to Allah and eventually the Cardinal is whole again. The assault on the Cardinal continues. Ettore lays into him with all his might landing many blows until suddenly the Cardinal explodes. The explosion cracks the vile of Fire Sand and Nizar quickly grabs the flask and tosses it in the far corner just before it explodes. The pillars and walls begin to crack and the cathedral catches fire. Artigli takes even more damage and Dominic gets a glazed look and then suddenly charges into the room behind the evil doors that were also cracked by the force of the explosion. Fredrich, Ettore, and Nizar follow. Dominic enters and I move to check on Artigli. I concentrate on Dominic’s thoughts and he is blinded by the light coming from the room. His eyes are being blinded by the intensity of it and he falls to his knees.

Suddenly he is in shadow. His eyes open and in front of him appears to be a wall of fire but is a massive winged creature wreathed in flame with a flaming great sword in one hand and a shield in the other. He stands near 12 feet tall and he is wearing exquisite silver armor covered in such minute etchings they appear as if the are lace. On his head is a 5 pointed crown with sapphires adorning each point. As he looks around him the column of light fills the room and there are black clouds swirling about the light. The creature charges it.

I check on Artigli and he is in bad shape. He is bleeding from his eyes and ears and he has boils all over. I heal him quickly to assure he doesn’t die and then I move to where I can see into the light filled room. I see Fredrich and Ettore kneeling just inside the doorway with black shadows licking around them. Nizar is there but he is farther in on the steps near where Dominic is fighting….what? Wait how is Dominic fighting? I take a moment to concentrate on his thoughts again and he thinks he is simply kneeing in the room like the others. Okay this is really strange. After a few seconds of trying to understand I decide that I am wasting time and that I need to help my friends. Standing here isn’t helping anyone. So I step into the room to try and get Ettore out.

Blackness:

I am suddenly alone in the church. Everything is quiet and peaceful. I see none of the damage from a few moments ago. more trickery I hear a voice asking me “Why did you leave me?, How could you leave me?”. It takes a moment but I realize it is the boy we left in Ghibeline’s camp. I tell him we thought we were protecting him and that I was sorry for any harm that came to him. The he says the oddest thing “My loyal servant you have done everything I’ve asked of you.” WHAT THE HELL? I ask the creature to reveal himself and I maneuver to where I can see him. The waif is there and dressed in rags. I ask him to reveal his true identity but I get nowhere. He tells me I must make a decision or I will lose everything and everyone. That all will be lost, my home, my family, and my friends. I tell him I want no part of anything he has to offer and for him to return me to my friends. He of course does not and continues to press me to take my rightful place by his side. He then begins his mind games. This is an area I am very familiar with. I have spent the better part of 5 years in and out of people’s minds. I have manipulated many who would have turned us in, killed us or who I simply needed help from. While it may not be right it is something I have a lot of experience with. The waif then shows me Morrosini and Ghibeline’s armies wiping out the Adolometto faction. He later shows me the fighting in the streets of Venice and the plague collectors trying to restore some sort of order. After every viewing he asks again for my decision and it remains the same. Return me to my friends. My faith lies with them. There strength has gotten me this far and I will not abandon them now. he always seems to laugh at everything I say as if it is a child’s whimsy and my concerns are trivial. He presses on and shows me Ettore as I have never seen him. He is absolutely eviscerating people left and right and his hands are now seemingly made of fire. Suddenly Ettore drops his daggers and kneels down to pray. The Cardinal with a beautiful woman at his side moves up to Ettore and touches him. He collapses dead and a shadow form leaves his body just as it did Lord Gelph’s in the monastery. Then Nizar comes charging out and lands a blow on the woman. They both grab Nizar by the shoulders, his blades disintegrate and a black shadow comes out from inside him and he is dead. I then see them headed toward Fredrich who has somehow managed to maneuver a gondola away from the fighting on the land and into the middle of war being waged at sea. They become shadowy from the waist down and being to fly across the water towards Fredrich. Fredrich looses an arrow and takes the woman down and then the same with the Cardinal. He then moves the gondola to where their bodies have formed an oily slick on the water and reached out to touch it. As he did 2 shadows came out and went into Fredrich!!

The waif asked again what my choice was and I again told him. I will stand by my friends. So his last trip took me to the battlefield where we were surrounded by Mastino, Messini, Ghibeline and many others. My friends formed a protective circle around me. The waif had filled my mind with access to incredible powers. These were terrible, unimaginable powers. I knew that with a mere thought I could make the army pay. I could show them what their treachery meant and I could wipe them all out with a single thought. The power was unending. As I was taking this all in the waif was in my ear telling me to show my enemies my power. Show them what I can do to them.

My mind was racing but to me the power was not an incentive. Instead it was terrifying. I was so completely terrified by it that I knew in that moment that no one should ever have power like this and if the Cardinal did possess it I would fight to my last breath to stop him. I refused the waif’s urging and stood there as my friends fell one by one until my hero, Dominic, was the last to fall beside me and then it was my turn.

I awoke next to Fredrich and Ettore and Dominic still seemed to be fighting.

Comments

It does make sense that Victoria knew it was a trick all along, this kind of thing is her specialty, manipulation and illusion. Fredrich on the other hand, is a fish out of water lol.

The Distraction
 

Well said, Alex.
Wow, to “see” the event from Viktoria’s eyes was interesting. Seeing us kneeling in the doorway … was very very good, Cheryl. Sorry it took so long for me to read it! =\

The Distraction
 

I am glad things are settling down for you and you have some time to relax a little. I know it was really long but I wanted to include everything I could remember.

The Distraction
Maerdran Goldenglade

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