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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Purifying Fire - Chapter 5



It's time to go back to Kephalai.


The Purifying Fire - Chapter 5

The cover up for Chandra to leave isn't just for show. There is a real mission, one that Mother Luti was hesitant to send Chandra on, but with three assassination attempts since her incident with the ouphes, maybe the mission isn't too dangerous after all. She wants her to travel back to Kephalai, to the Sanctum of Stars, and search for the scroll once more.

She may not remember much about the scroll, thanks to the mind mage, but the monks now believe that the crucial missing information is on its decorative border. What it contains exactly, they're not sure, it could be a map, hidden text, or the spell itself, but whatever is on it, they'll never know unless she goes back for it. If ti's still there.

(Whatever it is, no doubt it's going to be the key to stopping Walbert.)

Mother Luti tries to impress upon her that Chandra needs to be careful. For her to not be overconfident.

"I think it would be-" But Luti's comment ended on a shocked gasp as the rosemary plant lifted itself from the soil and attacked them.

Chandra amputates one of its limbs with a blast of fire as the strange plant with fangs attacks. The thing curls up into a ball and reforms into a wolf shape, while still being clearly made of leaves. Mother Luti throws her own fireball but the creature just shrugs it off, and so Chandra doubles her efforts and releases an even stronger blast. The creature curls up and changes into a spider-like creature. And that is something Chandra won't stand for. No fire this time, Chandra releases a stream a lava and the plant creature is no more.

(Spiders? How will this tie into the end? Is the Purifying Fire in its hidden caves guarded by some white aligned spiders?... or... Jace uses that against her.)

Mother Luti says itwas a woodland shapeshifter, and says that maybe it's best she get ready to leave for her mission soon.


...Later...

It's time to go, and the plan isn't much of a plan. Chandra talked to Brother Sergil earlier, to see if could tell her what to look for exactly, but he couldn't offer up more more insight than she already knew. When she went to Brannon to let him know that she'll be gone for a while, he's a bit shocked and disappointed that she'd just run from a few oufes . She explains her new assignment to him and tells him that someone has to stay behind and guard the temple. There's already been a fourth attack and there will likely be more.

He's sorry his missed seeing the shapeshifter. He would have loved to see what it was like. The prospect of being there when the next attack happens is quite appealing and his protests are mollified. Brannon decides he's okay with staying behind... but he gets to go along next time.

Chandra goes to her room and prepares to leave.

Of course, in an emergency, she could planeswalk without as much preparation, but it was dangerous. Also pretty nauseating. The first time had been like that. She hadn’t known what was happening, and the disorientation had been like some horrific combination of being poisoned, beaten, dropped down a well, and scalded. With no idea what was happening or where she was going, she’d thought she was dying. Indeed, she nearly had died. It was just luck, survival instinct, and some innate, previously unrecognized talent that had led her through the Blind Eternities to find the relative safety of another plane.

She breathes in and out and calms herself down. Then a familiar heat enters her body and just like that she enters the Blind Eternities. She travels through it as if swimming through invisible lava. She'd been to Kepahlai before, so finding it again is easier this time. She gets close and then flings herself toward the plane and enters back into reality by crashing in a stone wall.

Chandra's in familiar territory and heads towards the center of the city for the Sanctum. She passes by a familiar statue that was collateral damage the last time she was here and grins. Although the screeching overhead makes her flinch, but she looks up to see just a few birds. Last time she was here a couple of gargoyles took hold of her, and that's some she'd like to avoid. In fact, she needs to keep a look out for any guards that might recognize her. The residents of the city are shorter than her, have a fairer complexion, and don't have her red hair. She steals a cloak to keep from sticking out so much, limps her way on in through the Sanctum doors.

The Sanctum of Stars was a sort of combined museum and treasury in the heart of the city. It was a repository of such rich, diverse, and rare objects that its renown extended beyond the plane.

She takes her time, looking at one display after another, slowly making her way to the place where the scroll as on display the last time she was here. There it is! The scroll. The distinctive scorch mark is unmistakable, but it's rolled up. There's no way she can just take a look and make a copy for the monks. She's got to steal it one more time.

She was still gazing at it, trying to think of a plan, when two pairs of strong hands seized her from behind - one assailant for each arm - and a deep, booming voice said, "Chandra Nalaar, by the authority vested in me, I arrest you for crimes against the Prelate, the Sanctum of Stars, and the people of Kephalai!"

* * *


Brannon, The Innocent

I said it last time, but Brannon is just so wide-eyed innocent. It's such a strange contrast to have the irresponsible Chandra looking after someone else. His complete and utter innocence makes me wonder if something bad is going to happen to him later on. Maybe he'll get his wish and finally witness one of these attacks, but he won't be able to do what Chandra can and people will die while he's quite helpless to do anything. Then he'll go and try to get some revenge on his own and that will lead to worse things.

Or maybe not. The tone of this book is so light-hearted that I'm not quite sure if something that tragic would actually happen.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, it gets dark real fast.

    Yep. Dark. Definitely going to get dark.

    ReplyDelete