Episode 15: The Storm
The Mindscape, a harsh and taxing dimension. Its colorless environment is meant to disorient and confuse. It is here that a large battle has ensued. The army of Jenehrtes is facing off against the warriors of chaos led by Mikayla. The priestess was aware that they were outnumbered and began to sound the retreat. Her tactic had proven successful in previous incursions, but today they met with an unexpected problem. Laurel, Lumos and Thistle were blocking their escape route.
Mikayla – “You again! Don’t meddle in things you cannot deal with! The artifact is gone already and by now Garan should have the Zanathas artifact.”
Laurel – “I don’t care, you won’t escape again.”
Lumos had cast a large barrier that stopped the warriors from proceeding. Mikayla took it upon herself to face off against Laurel. Trailing their backline closely, the army of Jenehrtes approached. In order to give Mikayla the space she needed the warriors of chaos engaged the army. The intensity of the battle could be seen all around the area. Flares and beams of light flew around in every which way. Meanwhile Laurel readied her ringblade. Dark magic overflowed around Mikayla. Bolts of darkness shuffled around, at random intervals they would shoot towards Laurel who was forced to block with the ringblade. Mikayla also launched explosive orbs of energy, pushing Laurel back. In retaliation, Laurel used her ringblade to intercept the spells and break them apart before reaching her. The dark energy continued to pour out into the environment. Rumbling could be heard and felt across the dimension, its instability growing as the battle continued. Laurel continued to slowly close the gap between her and Mikayla. Thinking her foe had no other defense Laurel launched her ringblade towards Mikayla. Using the energy she had gathered Mikayla created a blade of shadows and deflected the ringblade.
Mikayla – “You’re bold, but you don’t have what it takes. Give up!”
A new wave of dark energy burst forth pushing against Laurel’s rindblade. Laurel held the weapon in front of her to project a magic shield, but little by little it began to crack. “I need more power”, she thought. Then, in a quick moment a voice said to her, “It isn’t power you lack, it’s the courage to take a step forward and go against the will of those who would do the world harm. You have these artifacts, use them!”. With the magic shield nearly faded Laurel recalled the great power of the cold flames that she could conjure and used them to spread around Mikayla’s feet. In response the priestess of chaos had to jump away and hover using her magic. Next Laurel made her boots lighten with the Emerald of Winds. A quick run at Mikayla caught her off guard, the very wind that Laurel carried with her knocked the priestess down.
Mikayla – “Chaos consume you!”
With those words a storm of dark energy surrounded them, but by this moment Laurel had let go of her fear.
Laurel – “The balance within me is not what it was when I faced Gerthran before. It is much greater and I will prove it to you!”
Laurel held her ringblade above her raised right hand. With her left hand she charged light energy. This energy then started to move to the ringblade and spin opposite of the energy that Mikayla was releasing. Then, when there was enough energy, Laurel sent the ringblade flying at the priestess who tried, in vain, to contain the blow. She screamed in pain, her robes were torn away revealing an armor that deflected the ringblade. Mikayla felt victorious but was unaware of the damage she had incurred. The storm of dark magic that she had been conjuring was dissipating. Her own tether to dark magic had been disabled. The realization made Mikayla lose her breath. Her vision blurred as Laurel neared. For the first time in years the priestess was afraid.
Mikayla – “Well then… I suppose you will kill me now.”
Laurel – “I think I will let the soldiers of Jenehrtes deal with with you.”
Standing in front of Mikayla, Laurel chanted and cast a spell that caused chains of light to burst from the ground and hold the priestess of chaos down. Her very spirit was tethered to that place and until the spell was released she would not be able to move.
With their leader defeated the warriors of chaos lost their will to fight. Many of them were taken prisoner. Lumos and Thistle helped to fight those who continued with their violence. When the battle had ended a woman approached Laurel.
Woman – “Well done. Thank you for your aid in this endeavor. I am Mariella, Queen of Jenehrtes.”
Laurel – “Oh, goodness, uhh, hi.”
Lumos – “My Queen, I am Lumos, this here is Thistle and she is Laurel.”
Mariella – “The great sage, it is an honor. Your reputation precedes you. Again, thank you for aiding us.”
Lumos – “Indeed, but I am afraid we are here for more than platitudes.”
Mariella – “Yes, I have been informed of your little collection. Young lady you carry more than just big burdens with those artifacts in hand. Such power can be dangerous, unless your balance is perfected.”
Laurel – “I’ve been working on that.”
Mariella – “I am sure you will have no trouble with the artifact I will give you. Come, join me at Lirivan.”
Thistle – “Ohh, we’re going to the capital! This is going to be interesting.”
The Queen had access to very powerful light magic spells. One of which could easily warp the Mindscape and grant access to any destination on Jenehrtes. She easily created a portal to reach the capital.
Once the group arrived at the city, they quickly made their way to the castle. Glass, crystals and gems adorned many of the castle walls. Strands of light energy flowed through the gems, taking their color and continuing on their way. The marble city of Lirivan was quite the impressive sight. Thistle was particularly impressed. The architecture here was ordered, highly geometric and precise. Inside the castle Mariella addressed Laurel, Lumos and Thistle.
Mariella – “Your presence at the battle within the Mindscape helped us earn victory. Those who would sully our world of light with their chaos will be punished. Lady laurel, you have more than earned this, the Necklace of Lightgate.”
Laurel – “Thank you Queen Mariella.”
The necklace flew towards Laurel of its own accord, it placed itself around her neck letting out a bright flash as it did so.
Mariella – “You are someone special, Laurel. The artifacts you hold bind themselves to you, in a way of their own mysterious will.”
Lumos – “Do you know why this is?”
Mairella – “It should become more clear as you gain the final artifact.”
Thistle – “Final? How can you be sure the next one will be the last?”
Laurel – “I think I know what she means, the next artifact is in Zanathas. All we have collected so far are the joint artifacts of the worlds.”
Mariella – “Indeed, as Queen of Jenehrtes I possess ancestral knowledge that I can access. Although it is not always reliable, due to the nature of our spirits, it can provide great insight.”
Lumos – “The spirits…, would that explain the troubles Jenehrtes has had in changing the rule to a council?”
Mariella – “Correct, but such a matter is now unimportant. You should continue to Zanathas.”
Laurel – “Thank you once again Queen Mariella.”
Lumos – “We should hurry to the Warp.”
Mariella – “There is an area of Jenehrtes that can provide a portal to the Nightmare Warp. It is close to the world portal, go to it.”
Thistle – “Got it!”
Laurel, Lumos and Thistle bid their farewells to Queen Mariella of Jenehrtes and left the castle. On their way to the world portal Lumos recounted how Mariella was renowned for her calm and level headed demeanor. The ancestral knowledge is a source of great power as it gives the rulers of Jenehrtes a litany of spells unknown to many. Mikayla will not have an easy time as a prisoner here.
When they reached their destination a soldier directed them to where they needed to be in order to access the Nightmare Warp. The Warp is a dimension that mirrors the Mindscape and is filled with dark magic. Within it the world portal to Zanathas can be found. It is in this world that Laurel should be able to acquire the final artifact, as revealed by the mural in Rallion and confirmed by the Queen of Jenehrtes.