Guilds and Motleys, Aislings and Mundanes: Temuair is interlocked

The Priest, the Succubus, and the Warrior

((A story of innocence lost, in Estara's opinion))
by Marlanda

Perhaps not the most fitting title… But a fitting one. As a rogue, I marvel at the ingenuity that the others classes at times demonstrate. This story especially caught my interest. I am not one for close combat with creatures, preferring to use my invisibility and traps to take care of them. Told to me by the brothers Soth and Trinity Askosa, this is indeed a tale that bears to be told again and again. It is not just a story of Aisling conquest over dark creatures, but a story of Aislings fighting with each other. It is also a story of a girl who lost her faith in her heroes, and about the young Aislings who lost their lives. Bravery is an uncommon thing in our world, sadly enough, and most truly brave acts are buried within even a short amount of time. *sighs* Perhaps I'll be able to do this story justice. If even one Aisling learns something from it, it will have been worth it.

One dark night, within the Ceannlaidir Temple, two Aislings were arguing. There is nothing really unusual with this kind of behavior, but close examination would find that perhaps the Aislings involved enjoyed the argument. Soth, a Ceannlaidir priest, was arguing with Imajica, a warrior. Not even Soth remembers why, other than to stop and smile and state "It was funny". Soth received a frantic call from a friend at Pravat cave. Seems that the Sgrios summoners had decided to sow chaos in Pravat with a few Succubi they had called forth. No big deal, Soth tells me. At the time this occurred, summonings were a dime a dozen, occurring frequently. Little did either Aisling know what they were in for, as Imajica checked her equipment and Soth grabbed reds from the Piet bank. Immediately they were running for Pravat cave, intent on battling the evil creatures that were right inside the entrance. The scene Soth describes was truly horrible. "There were deathpiles everywhere… Little sets of second circle armors lying in piles of gold and red potions… Higher insight Aislings meeting Sgrios all around us… three Succubi in all, being healed by Samael, Sammul, and Ginger… . Aislings being cursed, pramhed, and thrown by Taliesin and another monk… Sgrios followers everywhere laughing and declaring one more down, two- hundred more to go… It was an atrocity, even to Ceannlaidir."

In such a scene as this, most Aislings would have turned and run. According to Soth, that was not an option as far as Imajica was concerned. "She got angry… First time I had ever seen that. I mean, I had always considered her weak by the standards of Ceannlaidir followers… She grew silent for a moment, I guess calling her motley, Aingeal Aire… When she turned to look at me, it was the first time I had ever had the inclination to believe she was actually a warrior. There was not just a spark in her eyes… It was a verifiable blaze. I decided to test her resolve by casting armor spells on her. Before I was even finished chanting for the first spell, she was in the fray…". Now, a Succubus by itself is not so difficult for two Aislings to dispatch, given the skills that this warrior and priest possessed. Unfortunately, the Succubus they began to engage was being healed by Samael, a priest with divine heal. This priest also used to be an old friend of Imajica's, and Soth his subordinate in the hierarchy of the Ceannlaidir fellowship. Not only were they to fight a Succubus, they were to fight a Succubus being healed and blessed by one of the most powerful priests of the realm.

"I never expected Imaj to come out of that in one piece. Could you imagine explaining to your brother that his wife died? And explaining how? Trinity is not a violent man; he's a monk… A tree hugger. He'd kill me first, and then go after whomever was responsible." Soth fought hard to keep Imajica alive, giving her all the hydele deum potions he had, and exhausting his faith healing her. Other Aislings were meeting their deaths around them, and Imajica's motley members had come, but most were simply too low an insight to help. "Yeah, Paladine and Allita came… but they were trying to put Samael to sleep and defend themselves. Sgrios warriors were trying to paralyze them… I'll never believe any Sgrios follower to be nothing more than a coward after that day. Ginger, that wench… she came to assist Samael. Now, not only were we up against a ninety- ninth insight priest and a Succubus, but the most evil wench that walked the land".

The battle between Imajica and the Succubus went on, and Soth knew he had met his limit. Imajica had run out of hydele, and Allita and Paladine were exhausting their mana trying to help keep her alive as well as prevent Samael and Ginger from blessing and healing the Succubus. Soth, knowing he was no longer going to be able to help Imajica, ran home to get Trinity. "What else is there to do? You've got all these priests trying to heal and curse, I was almost useless. Besides, Trinity had hydele potions, and that's what she needed. I was out of reds… heh, a priest out of reds. Imagine that. I ousted him out of his studies, and sent him packing to Pravat. I had not seen him move that quickly since Imaj tangled with a servitor in Astrid, during the eulogy." Trinity Askosa, at the time a Draco form monk, ran for Pravat.

The battle was still going on in Pravat, and it was down to one Succubus. Imajica had been pinned between the mundane and a tree. "When I got there, she was still swinging… I had never seen my wife cry before… Samael was promising to kill her and anyone else that tried to kill his pet. I knew Samael, but only through her. I knew she held him in the highest esteem. She looked absolutely crushed. I thought Soth was kidding, that it was some sort of sick joke. It wasn't, obviously." Trinity fought his way through the crowd to get close enough to Imajica to give her hydele potions. Twila and Drakkarim were both fighting the Succubus as well, trying to keep its back to her so she could do the most damage. Samael and Ginger continued to heal and bless the Succubus, cursing all Aislings who engaged it.

Paladine and Allita were still frantically trying to heal all the Aislings fighting, and put Samael to sleep. "It was absolutely mad… and I had no idea when it would all end. Guards were there banishing Samael and Ginger, but it was a neutral territory, so that had no effect. Exile would not have worked either. I had never seen anything more hopeless in my life. There were deathpiles everywhere, high insight Aislings had died in what was supposed to be a simple fight.". Trinity, Twila, and Drakkarim managed to get the Succubus to move, letting Imajica out of the corner she had been backed into. More priests arrived, and managed to help engage Ginger and Samael in a battle of spells. "Yeah, I remember Yohko being there… All of a sudden, the Succubus started taking damage. We were able to kill that beast finally… And Paladine tells me Imaj had been fighting it for a full day. No warrior had ever fought with any creature that long. I had heard Samael talking, but ignored him… I was more concerned in killing the creature and making sure my wife was all right. As soon as the creature fell before us, she kind of crumpled. Lying there unconscious on top of that thing. Ginger cursed her one more time, so I cast beag nochd on her. Ginger, ever the coward, ran."

The creature had finally been killed, but it was a hollow victory for Imajica and Trinity. Trinity watched Aislings young and old come to claim their deathpiles. So many deaths occurred at Pravat that he wondered how many would actually remember the Aislings who fought there. Imajica woke up finally, in the arms of her husband. Family and members of Aingeal Aire surrounded them. Many of them had met Sgrios as well. "I never want to see that again… I never want to see the utter loss in my wife's eyes as she cried because she could not save any of the kids who were trying to recover their things… It's crazy, but she broke one bramble during the fight and cracked another… The expenses of fixing her equipment were unreal… . And she was more worried about the kids, and Soth. She had forgotten that Soth had come to get me… . And there was Samael, gloating over the mess he had made. It made me sick, sick that Aislings were capable of such atrocities."

A few more Sgrios followers showed up to summon, but they were pupas and gargoyles. Easily dispatched by the Aislings present, those creatures were sent as quickly to their creator as they had arrived in our realm. Trinity and LeGalle, his blood brother, picked Imajica up and carried her to Mileth. Xilan was calling for the trail of Samael, asking that all memories and Aisling accounts be set forth before him so he could determine what had happened, and Samael's punishment if found guilty. "I had no idea that Samael was a guard at the time… I thought guards took oath to protect Aislings, not kill them off for entertainment… And Ginger a respected citizen as well… This totally crushed my belief in the political system. I knew then that none of us were safe… . I had talked Imajica out of switching citizenship to Rucesion… I knew then that when she did that, I wouldn't talk her out of it again."

Xilan conducted the trial in the Lore classroom at the Mileth College. The mundanes had yet to fix the courthouse, so they had no other choice. Surrounded by guards and witnesses, Imajica, Trinity and LeGalle watched the proceedings. Samael refused to plead guilty, claiming that he had mistakenly healed the Succubus. "Many members of Aire were there… Sarc had died in the battle. Why he was not in a group I'll never know… All I know is that Samael stood there and lied to Xilan… And then became totally unreasonable… Justice had to be served; there were no two ways about it… That so- called Aisling was responsible for more murders in that one instance than even MaX." Imajica, still being held up by Trinity and LeGalle, was called upon to testify. I could never get her to tell me about the battle at Pravat, she always looked away and muttered to go ask Trinity about it. But she did speak of the trial one day, under the influence of some strong brandy. "I was weaker than I had ever been before, Marla… and instead of being in bed like I should have been, here I was trying to put into words what I saw and felt… Here was this Aisling that I had respected my entire life, and he had promised to kill me… He killed children and laughed about it… One of those kids could have been you or Gavria, Marla… Or even Soth… I could not let him get away without paying some price… I stood and faced Sam, looking for the friend I used to have, and it was gone. I was looking into the eyes of someone else I didn't know. I told the gathering of Aislings that I had respected Samael… I told them he had promised to kill me…. I told them what he did. What they did next was their choice."

Trinity seems to be proud of Imajica, but at the same time, he seems to be angry that she spoke at all. "You know Imaj, Marla… She always looks you square in the eye when she speaks to you… One of my favorite things about her is the fact that she has no fear of telling the truth… . That night, she didn't stand like an Aisling with any dignity. She was broken… . But she did what had to be done. Anyone in his or her right mind would know that. I just worried what it all would cost her in the end. Whether or not this one thing would scar her for life." Xilan, as acting judge of Mileth, decreed that Samael would be exiled from Mileth for his crimes. The witnesses and list of Aislings killed were woefully incomplete, but Xilan did his best to render a fair judgment. Upon asking Soth about the judgment passed, he replied: " It disgusted me to see Samael act like a petty Sgrios summoner. He shamed the name of Ceannlaidir and deserved to be tossed to his true master, Sgrios. Let him rot with that which he adores."

I cannot say whether I agree with Soth about the judgment. I am far too young to have an opinion, and only heard this story second hand. I don't know that Imajica was permanently scarred by the events, but I do know that she still runs when a summons has been sighted. Trinity manages to keep up with her, and her mother and father are never far behind. It saddens me that this ever occurred in the realm I live in, but it no longer surprises me. I just pray that Imajica and Trinity are blessed by their God, and others. To see normally happy Aislings fall serious and even cry pains me, as we are the light of Temuair. We are the flame that burns bright in mundanes' eyes, bringing them hope and joy. When an Aisling turns to murdering their own, they not only hurt other Aislings, they hurt the mundanes who work hard to care for us, and the Gods who bless us with so much. What a loss it must be to see someone whom you respected turn to evil actions. Even more so of a loss to see stories of bravery and determination disappear into time. Although Trinity and Soth could not remember all the names of those present during this one battle, they must be deeply respected by their own friends and family. I know I have a deep amount of respect for the Aislings I know that were at Pravat. Even more importantly, I carry a deep amount of respect for younger Aislings. They are our future, and without them, our world would fall into entropy.

~ Marlanda

(( Estara's opinion: I wasn't there, so I can make no judgment on the truth of this tale, but I do publish it here, because no matter if this happened just as it is written, or not - these things DO happen. It serves well to reflect on how we deal with our world, no matter what the actual reason for it. Action out of boredom destroys the precious spark that used to flame, and it does not stop at the disillusion of the bored person. As they say: this is our world too, and our children's. Please keep that in mind, when you lose your spark for whatever reason. Just my two gold coins, as always ))

Abel Tavern Tales


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