In Riveroak City

Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: In Riveroak City

By Cassandra dRiveroak on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 04:07 pm:

June 2nd, 795 TR

A crowd is gathered in the city square, just before the once-great Temple of Gaea. The church has been desecrated in the months since the abduction of House d'Riveroak: its walls are charred, its windows smashed, and the great silver tree hanging above the main entrance has been sundard, with the bottom half now partially obstructing the archway.

Thirteen figures in robes as black as night emerge from the archway, and the crowd cheers at their arrival. The cleric at the head of the group raises his arms, causing the people to fall silent, and then pulls back his robe... reveal a face that is hardened, scarred and tired but unmistakably that of Midhir Deepshadow.

In a clear, resonating voice, Midhir begins to call out to the crowd. "Gaea has turned her back on us! She abandoned us during the Black Monolith War, she took New Avalon's rightful rulers from us, and she allowed a great darkness to sweep our land! She does nothing to prevent the storms and disasters that has killed so many of our friends, lovers and relatives! My friends, Gaea has broken her covenant with the people of New Avalon - and possibly all of Phaema as well!"

The crowd hisses almost as one. Several voices shout "DOWN WITH GAEA!" But everyone is soon silent again, their attention focused entirely on Midhir.

"But now Hecate has come, and agreed to rule and protect us from her throne in Eastergate! Hecate will not betray us! Hecate will not break the covenant! We have a new master, a better master, who will see us through this time of darkness and rise to rule all of Phaema!"

Now the crowd shouts in unison - "ALL HAIL HECATE!"

"Yes! Yes, my friends - all hail Hecate! For our new god-queen's power knows no end as her mercy knows no end! With her help, we shall spread the truth to all the far corners of this world, bring the misguided few who yet follow Gaea into the light and finally put an end to those who will not repent! Soon our priests and acolytes march forth to save all of Dantimos - and from there we shall preserve and protect all the lands known unto us and all those we have yet to discover! FOR THE GLORY OF HECATE!"

"FOR THE GLORY OF HECATE!" the crowd responds.

From a distance, a lone armored figure watches in sorrow and disbelief.

"Rhisiart," Cassandra whispers, "this is all wrong. Isn't there anything we can do?"

Not on our own, child. But if you will allow me to do something you'll find very uncomfortable...

"That again?" The fighter sighs. "Is there any other way?"

We could seek help from the other strongholds of Dantimos. By then, however, it will likely be too late.

"All right. Do it."

A fierce golden glow surrounds the sword that holds Rhisiart's essence, growing in intensity and size until it seems to consume Cassandra as well. Then, with a flash of light, the glow subsides...but the fighter's eyes still sparkle with golden light. As the crowd continues to shout praises to their new goddess, she marches forth, a determined look on her face. Finally she stands on steps of the building behind the crowd, directly opposite Midhir and the other clerics of Hecate.

"HOUSE RIVEROAK IS NOT DEAD!" she shouts at the top of her lungs, her voice charged with mystic energies. "GAEA HAS NOT BETRAYED YOU! CEASE YOUR BLASPHEMY!"

Almost as one creature, the crowd turns to face the lone fighter. Midhir shouts some words in a forgotten language, and makes mystic passes with his hands, and then the eyes of everyone present flash red briefly.


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