Faisal is grimly satisfied to see Scarlet retreating down the temple stairs as Nicholas’ body slumps to the bloody stone floor. The dark-skinned warrior can make out Beppo’s muttered curse as the barbarian chief’s blade rises again, descending suddenly to catch the young man at the base of his neck, biting deeply into collarbone and chest. A flash of terrible pain ends with blackness once again…
The sky is dark and filled with roiling green-red mist that blocks all sight. Faisal feels chilled to the bone, far worse than any winter day in the barbarian lands. With the cold comes a deep and abiding fear, a feeling the young man has become most unaccustomed to in the past year. Specks float through the mist, dense enough to restrict vision, leaving tiny red spatters on the warrior’s robe.
The dim light appears in the clouds, its light barely able to pierce the darkness. Only the faintest feeling of warmth reaches the young man, doing little to drive back the mists and curb the fear. The once familiar form of The Goddess is barely perceptible within the roiling clouds.
The words form in Faisal’s mind, faint and nebulous like a feather drifting through the clouds.
The corruption grows and consumes, gaining power with each small victory, sapping the warmth and purity of even this realm. Anger, jealousy and lust all vie to tear apart Our Family, to throw the world into chaos and darkness.
The mists darken, and the dim light begins to disappear as the voice fades even further. Faisal feels the sensation of being pulled somewhere, an insistent and steady summons. Thunder sounds in the distance, harsh and jarring.
Many Brothers and Sisters stand fast against the Shadows, but others embrace the Darkness and work to bring It strength. You must see the truth and seek out help if you are to succeed in your Task…
The heavens begin to shake as the roar of the thunder reaches nearly unbearable levels. The dim light fades away, leaving the young man alone in the darkness with his fear.
A final thunderclap shakes the holy warrior to his very soul as his corporal body gasps and sits bolt upright in bed. Brother Morric lays a gentle hand on the young man’s shoulder and eases him back onto the sheets.
“Peace, Faisal. You are back among the living. Again.”