Solace

The Cistern Crisis: Death

Able Truesense dies...but for how long?

The water is cold. It wraps around you – a selfish lover with cold hands taking her pleasure with no regard to your own wonder. It’s a silly fantasy. The underground stream that once fed a well is simply the runoff from the peaks of the Blue Cascades. Never seeing the light of the sun or the warmth of the day, the water keeps its cold nature.

The imp smirks at you. The nausea is back. He taunts you with clues. He’s a devil. Devils always play by the rules. They are predictable – fully evil, but predictable. “Sure, I’m lesser in the hierarchy, but dying in your world is nothing to me!” He gestures at you rudely – a movement that few would recognize, but you certainly do. Then he disappears.

The water pulls you down and you see the ruins of the old temple. It’s fouled by years of being underwater. Amphibious creatures make their home in the crumbling stone walls, while the old sacrificial victims float nearby. The centuries should have dissolved their flesh but the evil rituals that have bound them keep them from eternal release.

A pus-covered insect crawls towards you. As you watch, the pus and excrement starts to wash away to reveal a thin, segmented creature with two legs and four arms. “Hello Truesense!” The words seem to ring in your head. The insect creature has no mouth and besides, it sounds like the Imp again. “You drink wine with my masters and feed them with your endless nattering about anything and everything. It’s no wonder you are dead.”

The swift current of the Water drags you under and back. Swirling past the time Felisia’s eyes fused over blue and she shunned you as “elf”, roiling back more quickly than you can record, the Water thrusts you onto the shores of the lake. The people gather to take boats to the grand structure on the island – Fey (both Elven and Eladrin at the same time), Humans and Dwarves. They all chat happily about the growth and prosperity to come. Yet, you see a malign visage in every tenth person.

Death comes for you. Your grandmother smiles at you. “Eirdi Sertholaes, my fey child. So much awaits you. You are the capable truthfinder. Surrender now with that or choose to reveal that which is hidden.” Malevolent waves of death surge out from the vision. Hundreds of the dead glare at you. Life was stolen from them. And from you. You can give power to those seeking to control death, seeking to bring death, seeking to stave off death.

You are dead. You join the Eight. It is easy. It is wondrous. But before you surrender who you are to the elemental and philosophical truths of the world, you feel the cool Air on your bare scalp. You Love the warmth of the Fiery sun upon it. Time has not returned your hair; Chance has not revealed the temporary hairpiece. Water does not wash away that truth; Earth does not bury it. Death calls for you, but the spirits give you time for others to give you an opportunity to stay Able Truesense for just a bit longer. But the spirits do not wait forever.

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roj

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