(edited from local chat in-world and taken from Discord)
Slowly Rayven’s eyes open as he wakes feeling weak and exhausted but very much alive… he notices that he has been cleaned and his wounds are dressed… touching his stomach he gets a feeling of relief when all he feels is the normal pain one would feel from a sword wound and not the fire that has been trying to envelope him completely.
Looking around he sees the house in which he grew up still full of memory of the happy childhood he had “I made it home” he whispers as memories of the battle that raged inside his head against himself.
“What was happening to me?” he asked himself as he recounts all the events in his mind of the past… how long was it..? he can no longer remember the length of time that has passed, only the memory of what he saw in the eastern valley… that he remembers with fierce clarity as if it were branded into his mind… and the screaming… he could still hear the screaming as people were taken from their homes and, changed…?
“The queen. I must tell the queen. I must warn her of the approaching darkness.” he starts to say as his words were caught in a very dry mouth… he was thirsty.
Lil came in the evening to check up on Rayven “Hello there Rayven…. well, it seems you slept all night straight…, let me give you something to drink…” stands up to get some water “.. oh by the way. The Queen knows you are back, I sent my raven with word.” helps Rayven up, and offers him a jug with fresh water…
“here.. sip up. We got you healed, I’ve seen those symptoms before, however the wounds… I’ve never seen anything like that before, … the green in them was not on them, was coming from within… Thanks the gods they are healing….”
Rayven takes the jug and sips from it thankfully as the powerful thirst that was worse than he originally thought was quenched “How long was I out? I don’t remember even getting back.”
“It’s been a full day, you came back yesterday morning. it is almost midday.” She looks at the window, “I’d say it’s even later than that… I have written to the Queen, like I said, but as soon as you get stronger, you might want to make a full report and send word… things are getting weirder by the day here. Kirito and Marilina noticed strange formations under the water,…. 2 or 3 of our druids have already had visions, panic is definitely raising around Centauria, and I… well just been carrying on with my tasks the Queen has commanded… just in case. And I am glad she did, otherwise I don’t know if I could’ve healed you at all.”
Lil sighs “Your eyes… looked just like those dark creatures years ago…”
Rayven struggles to sit upright wincing in pain that reminds him that hew is still cut “Unfortunately I can only intensify that panic. A great darkness is spreading, and it is coming here.”
Lil widens eyes as she hears… “Darkness? .. you mean “THE” darkness??” She eyes Rayven’s wounds, and readjusts the bandage on your stomach as she listens
“That I can’t be sure of as the great was was before I was born, but a definite darkness to be sure.”
LiL Cinnamon sighs deeply… “Well, all I can say is that… there’s things that look just like in the past… signs….”
Queen Julala knocks frantically on the door knock knock
LiL stands up and goes to the door….
Rayven Firebrand chokes slightly trying to speak loudly
“Is Rayven here? is he ok?” asks the Queen
“Come in” Rayven tries his best to shout
“He is, come in please, still beat and cut but safe and healing” says Lil
“Rayven! Goodness” the Queen gasps “I got a message from Lil, how are you?”
Rayven tries to get to his feet but fails… “Your majesty.”
Julala Demina looks him up and down
“Do not stand up Rayven” Lil rolls her eyes “Men!”
“Please, stay seated…” the Queen gestures “Tell me Rayven…..tell me….what happened…what did this to you?”
LiL sits back and listens, as she readjusts Rayven’s bandages…
“Well I am still alive thanks to Cinnamon” he notices the jewel around his neck “I am guessing this is Cinnamon’s work”
“Mother’s” smiles Lil “A bit of mine, but that’s my Mother’s…. thanks gods I kept it”
The Queen looks to Lil, “Good job Cinnamon…I’m glad you were here to help”
“Milady I improvised, and put the.. um… potion in it… did a great deal of work”
Julala looks at the amulet around Rayven’s neck with interest
Rayven removes the necklace and gives it back to Cinnamon as he takes another drink and gives his report…
LiL takes the amulet “Thanks Ray“, she puts the amulet around her neck, and closes her eyes as she listens…..
“My queen, I am afraid I have nothing but ill to report. A darkness is spreading. Caused by dark mages. They are going from town to town and taking it’s residents. Turning them as you will. But I do not believe the are truly the ones behind it all. They seemed like acolytes to something or someone worse.”
Julala looks at Cinnamon….with a knowing look in her eye, LiL looks back at the Queen and nods silently….
Rayven continues “They are spreading like locusts leaving one sickness and decay in their wake“.
The Queen interrupts “How many gangs did you see Rayven? and how close to here? How much time do we have?” “Days” replies Ryaven
“Milady if I may….” Lil raises her hand politely “I think … I know it will be accepting that there IS a darkness out there… but I believe we should start putting hands on the task we discussed…”
The Queen agrees…..it is clear the darkness is coming.
” …. for good or for bad… I have tested the “potion” on Rayven and it worked…it’s all a matter of writing the last details down… and one more thing, I need the druid Kumi to … replicate these amulets…but we need to be ready”
“Indeed” replies the Queen “this time we will be ready”
“Can she use magic for the cauldrons? Perhaps if we can get as many people as possible to collect the required ingredients….maybe….Kumi could prepare a special cauldron or magic pool of some sort to replicate the amulet when the required ingredients are put in, she is skilled at these things”
“That would be great, I am almost sure we can find everything in the realms”
Rayven asks “Considering what I learned in school about the great war, do you think it is that? Do you think it is this Virtollia I read about?”
“I’ve seen that yellow in the eyes before” Lil replies “…and the stench… it’s unmistakable”
“I’m not sure Rayven” says the Queen “It could be remnants from the great war, creatures that perhaps we missed and they have spread their wretched disease”
“Maybe she survived…..” suggests Lil “M’lady… we never knew what happened to her… whether she fell back and hid, or died… Gunnar went to look many years ago and they never saw a body”
“Yes….maybe she did….it was always a risk….always a consideration….that she still lives. Either way….our priority has to be to prepare the invertitia into amulets…..and to forge as many weapons as we can. I shall call an emergency meeting and I shall send the message to our dear people….I know it will break their hearts…but I also know…they are strong….we are all stronger than we were before….we know what to do this time. I was working with George earlier putting together a message to our good people but I needed to hear from Rayven the depth of the situation. Now I am clear what needs to be done.”
Lil nods and hands a blue vial to Rayven…. “Here, have some more… what I gave you was Invertitia. Drink it today and please rest, we need you in one piece“.
The Queen turns to Rayven, “Rayven…you must take rest and get yourself strong too….we’re going to need all the strong we can get“. Julala puts a hand on Rayven’s shoulder ….”You have done well brave Ranger….I gave you a difficult task…and it very nearly cost you your life…..we are all so grateful for your courage in bringing us this news. And Lil…..thank you for your skill and power in making sure we get to say thank you to Rayven in person….for saving his life and his soul”
LiL nods and bows, “It is my honor, Milady”
Rayven clears his throat and gently pounds his fist across his chest… “It was my honor to serve, my queen.”
Julala Demina smiles at the Ranger…”You are a good Centaur, Sir….and a valued member of my realm”
Rayven mumbles to himself amidst the planning questioning why couldn’t they take him… “Why was their attempts a failure until I was cut with one of their cursed blades? What makes me so strong to resist them. What am I?”
“Everyone responds differently Rayven….some are turned quickly, others over time, some afflicted with hallucinations…others just turned to pain and anguish in a moment”
Rayven feels the bandages around his stomach… “But how man need to be pierced with a cursed blade?”
Lil ponders “It is still a mystery to me, those green wounds…. they seem to me almost that they were.. defending themselves”
“You think the darkness has changed Lil?” asks the Queen
“I am not too sure…. we don’t know much about Rayven’s race either… To be honest I am surprised he was not completely taken. I’ve seen people completely gone with a pinch of a needle”
“It’s possible…either as a new variant or because it has been fashioned with renewed vigour….we won’t know until we get some time to study it….but that will have to come later. Take samples Lil – Return them to you lab and see what you find”
“That is a good idea” LiL takes out a small vial from her pouch, lifts one of Rayven’s bandages and takes a piece of scab
Julala screws up her face a bit as Rayven winces from his scab being picked at
As soon as Lil puts it in the vial, closes the vial nice and tight and puts it away… “ugh… stench”
“A little warning, next time, yeah?” winces Rayven. LiL giggles “Weren’t you all strong and stuff? There there….” She adjusts the bandage gently.
“I must go…..I have a message to prepare…..” Says the Queen “Rayven….get well…inform Lil of any unusual symptoms and get yourself well…we’re going to need you” She turns to leave Rayven in Lil’s capable hands.
LiL heads out too… “I must find the Druid… I might come and check on you before tonight, Ray”
Rayven gently pounds his fist across his chest
“Try to eat something, you need all your strength back”
Queen Julala looks back and pauses…”I thank you again….you are very important to me….both of you”
LiL bows politely, “See you soon Ray, Milady…” and heads out the door