Ix Tab hovered over the  tome, never averting her gaze from its cryptic contents.

She read aloud, her words echoing through the empty dungeon.

“And as the task begins, the two moons of Sosaria will glow a terrible blood-red,
a sight as ungodly as the black-arts, as unworldly as the abyss.
This shall come to represent the bloodshed that will wash over the land and its inhabitants.
In the coming days, the two shall unleash those who have watched over The Guardian.
The power of the artifact, which shall be invigorated by forsaken souls,
will grant them a dark theurgy to lead over the Daemons of old.
With this will come great suffering, as the Dark Queen comes to power.
Only one of prophetic purpose can sway this grim history, at the forfeiture of his life.”
“And when her reign begins, it cannot end.
Forever will Sosaria cower before the red glow of the tainted moons.
Forever will its people crawl before the Daemons and their Goddess.
Forever will become a hopeless eternity. An unending torment.”

She closed the massive tome of Kaltivel and turned her attention toward Relvinian. Across the room, his fleshless finger followed a line of text as he studied a book on daemonic summoning.

“It is time,” Ix Tab hissed. Relvinian’s face contorted into a grin, revealing a yellow tongue surrounded by decayed teeth.

His loose, decrepit flesh matched the gray of his robe. He reached into one of his pockets, hesitated, then withdrew an empty hand. “Once we’ve achieved the summoning, what assurance do I have that you won’t simply go against your word?”

Ix walked toward him. “Don’t you trust me, master magician? No one can rule without council.”

Relvinian had little choice, whether he trusted her or not. He reached into his robe and retrieved the fragment of the Great Red Gem. He rubbed it between his fingers once more before setting it on the podium in front of Ix Tab.

She reached for it immediately, as if he would change his mind. She walked to the corner of the room where a faint red glow emanated from beneath a heavy cloth. She cast aside the cloth to reveal the conversion crystal. The energy of the dead coursed through it giving it life, like blood through veins. The gem fragment began to shake in her hand, anticipating its fate.

She placed the fragment next to the conversion crystal. It adhered itself immediately and began to glow a brilliant red. Ix Tab smiled. A black fog began to grow inside the conversion crystal, swirling and spinning as it grew in size. A hand formed from the fog, pressing against the crystal as if looking to escape. Ix observed, mesmerized by the process.

In a flash of light, the hand burst from the crystal, oozing red matter all over the floor. It grasped aimlessly in the air until it found what it sought–the gem fragment. Ix held her clawed hand before her eyes as the room filled with a fiery light. Relvinian looked on through empty sockets, unfazed. Black smoke rose from the hand as if the gem seared its flesh. It pulled the gem inward, withdrawing into the conversion crystal.

The hand slowly began to transform into a face. Fingers changed to teeth–the wrist into a jaw. The face inside the crystal stretched its mouth impossibly wide and let out a piercing wail. The red ooze that littered the floor danced, snaking its way up from the ground and back inside of the crystal,  into the waiting mouth. The red eyes faded. The face withered into nothingness as the crystal became whole again. The fusion was complete.

Ix placed her arm around Relvinian.

“It begins.”

++++++++++++++++

Owain felt a pang of wrong pierce through his mind like a blow to the head. He stood up, staggering for a moment. He walked down the steps of Despise and out the front of the cavern. His heart fell as he looked skyward. The moons emanated an eldritch red glow across everything he set eyes on. The snow on the mountains took on the red hue of bloodshed.

“It comes to this,”  he said. “A final stand against a daemon queen and a mad magician, against the end of all things.”

Owain summons all who will fight to decide their fate —

When: Saturday, February 5th, 7 p.m. EST.

Where: The EM Hall in Britain, Trammel

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