Quest for the Silver Cleric Chapter 24. In the realm of the Void
The creatures that were coming toward us reminded me of a kid’s attempt to make people out of clay. Other than each having a box-like head with a single eye, none of them looked exactly alike, and all of them were misshapen in one way or another.
Despite that, they moved remarkably quickly, and by the smashing of the landscape around them I could tell they were incredibly strong as well.
Olwe took out his bow, and shot at the creatures, but his first shot bounced off its tough skin. He shot again, and hit it in the eye, which made it pause for a moment, but it took the arrow out, and continued toward us.
Olorin muttered a spell, and a ball of fire streaked toward the creatures, hitting the one closest to us. The flames spread to several others, but they didn't even seem to notice, and just kept coming.
“They’re too strong. Run!” I shouted, and most of us turned and followed me, but Delrack didn't. He said, “I will slow them down!” and taking his axe in both hands he strode toward the creatures.
One reached for him, and he swung the axe at its arm, only to have it bounce off, leaving him shaking. Then the creature picked him up, and literally threw him away, but fortunately in our direction. Aeneas and Tesmi ran back, picked the wounded dwarf up, and we ran away as fast as we could.
Up ahead of us the ground got rockier, and there were large depressions that were almost caves. I led us over a hill, jumped down, and we scrambled under an overhanging rock. We huddled together, trying to catch our breaths as quietly as we could, waiting to see if the creatures would notice where we went.
I could hear it come right to the edge of the cliff above us, and tried to hold my breath waiting for doom to strike.
After a few tense moments, however, I heard it move away, and I let go and sighed.
Aerina was tending Delrack, and I whispered, “How is he?”
“Already healing. My healing prayer helped, but Dwarves, obviously, are tough customers.”
“Glad to know that. We need some strategy here, because the rest of us wouldn't been as lucky if they had gotten a hand on us. I think I’m going to pray.”
“Good idea.” Aerina said.
I closed my eyes, and took a few breaths to help me get into the state where I could hear the voice of God. I wasn't sure if it was just because I was currently on a world where magic worked or not, but ever since I took over from the Silver Cleric I had felt a closeness with the Divine I had not experienced before. I was swimming in a sea of love, and finally had to pull out, feeling not only recharged but almost over charged.
I opened my eyes, and immediately realized what was missing.
It was Aerina.
She was gone.
I cried out, and the rest the group started shouting.
After a few moments of confusion, I was able to get the others to follow me, and we left the safety of where we were, and went out into the sunshine. We scrambled up a hill, and then I saw Aerina striding and the creatures were nearly upon her.
Her back was to me, and she was too far away for me to hear her voice, but somehow I suddenly realized what she was doing.
She was doing the same thing the original Silver Cleric had done to stop the Dead.
And it was going to cost her her life.
I shouted, but she either didn't hear me or was too intent on her task to stop.
She started glowing, and very soon I couldn't even look at her because she shone so brightly.
A moment later the light was gone, and so were the creatures.
I ran toward her, and got there just in time to catch her as she collapsed.
“Oh.... Aerina ... “ I wept.
“Its... okay .. Lady,” she gasped. “I .. .I go to your God. I can see heaven and its beauti....”
And then she died.
I held her and wept for a long time, and Aeneas came up to put his hands on my shoulders.
Finally, when I ran out of tears, I set her carefully down, and got up.
“That’s it. She’s the last one killed for me. I’m taking out the Void. Now,” I growled.
“If that is your wish, I can assist you now,” a voice said, and I turned, and saw the Oldest of Dragons.
“Can you help me?”
“I can,” The dragon said, and transformed into a human woman. She then touched Aerina’s body, which then vanished.”
“What did you do with her?” I demanded.
“I sent her remains to her home among the Sea People. They were give her a proper funereal, you can be assured of that.”
“Fine,” I sniffed. “ Now, you said you could help us now?”
“Yes. Your friends in the land of the Giants are doing quite well. They are not only keeping Titianic busy, but they have attracted the full attention of the Void itself.
If we act swiftly, I can take you to the place where it keeps the artifact that allows it access to my world. Destroy that, and it will be over.”
“Then lets go!”
“Its not that simple. No one but you, Lady Danica, can enter the area. I must take your friends back to my world.”
“Why is that?’
“They would be destroyed if they were still on this plane when the artifact is destroyed.”
“And what happens to me?”
“You will be sent to your own world once more. And you will never see my world again.”
I looked at her, and then at my husband Aeneas. I realized what this meant, that we would be parted, probably forever. Could I make such a sacrifice?
“I understand its not an easy choice, but we don’t have long for you to make it,” the dragon said sadly. “What will you choose?”
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