Impure As Snow - Part Two
The group of Faenor return to the tainted storm, to deal with the mourning ice elementals... one way or another.
Freyvidr set out to meet others at the shrine of Garwen. The farmer was kitted for war with a sort of chill around him that replaced the warmth. He nodded to the others that came to even try their religious seeking. "The goal is simple. We look for a purification ritual worthy of Garwen to cleans the land. I expect it will come with a loss on the part of those who enact it, if not all of us."
Freyvidr set out to meet others at the shrine of Garwen. The farmer was kitted for war with a sort of chill around him that replaced the warmth. He nodded to the others that came to even try their religious seeking. "The goal is simple. We look for a purification ritual worthy of Garwen to cleans the land. I expect it will come with a loss on the part of those who enact it, if not all of us." (repose)
Alethia walks in slowly, giving Freyvidr a look that's even colder than her normal withdrawn neutrality. She glances around the shrine, taking a moment to study the visage of the goddess. "I do not fancy losing one of my eyes, as Gaius the Bright did."
Alethia says, "But something must be done. I told the Watcher I would -try- to cleanse the elementals, somehow."
"If an eye is all that's lost, I would consider it a boon," Kenyon remarks, solemn.
"Gaius the Bright was the perhaps the most powerful mage to have ever walked Ithir," says Frey dryly. "What costs him an eye will likely be much more for others trying the same."
Alethia says, "Gaius was also immortal. We are not."
"I am not much of a researcher. Nor do I know much of magic." Turgon says to the others, "But given my future plans, I don't mind losing an eye or both if it means helping the Faenor people with this problem." He settles himself on a nearby bench.
"Everything comes with a price," Ellyn murmurs from one side though her attention seems half lost as she gazes at the mural of the Goddess beyond. She gives a soft shake of her head and drags her attention to those gathered.
"What we look for is not a simple spell, but a religious rite as well," comments the Ingith. He looks to Kenyon. "As such, you are our best hope of finding it, Lord Priest."
Alethia glances at Turgon and frowns, chewing on her lip for a few seconds.
"Baridon's rites and Garwen's are not the same, but we can perhaps hope," Kenyon states. "We should likely head inside, and bid our entrance to the library then, in any case."
Everyone wanting to help research can roll Intellect + Theology, at difficulty 30.
Alethia checked intellect + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Freyvidr checked intellect + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Ellyn checked intellect + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 21 lower.
Nodding to Kenyon, Alethia moves into the library and sets about skimming the books and scrolls, whatever's inside. She seems lost in thought, welcoming the chance to do something.
Kenyon checked intellect + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
The group set out to do their research, pouring through the priesthood records. They find all sorts of stories about Gaius and the storm, but the story varies, some far more fantastical and strange than other versions. All of them are able to collect things, handing them off to Alethia to pour though, and finally she does happen to find old, old records which seems to note a storm similar to the one they have faced themselves. A storm filled with corruption and madness.
It seems there is, in fact, some truth to the legend--Gaius the Bright is mentioned as having purified the storm, and thus the minds and land the corruption had infected. The records they find unfortunately focus less on the specific ritual used by Gaius to purify the storm, and more on his sacrifice, and his faith in Garwen. That, it seems, is what was most important to cleansing the storm. It waxes on about how Garwen was appeased by Gaius because of the great weight of the sacrifice he gave. Gaius devoted himself to seeing what was unseen, to searching for hidden evils. His eyes were important to him, and it was for that very reason that Garwen accepted his sacrifice and through her grace helped him purify the storm.
So the group gets the sense that they do not necessarily have to cut out their eyeballs. But, perhaps Garwen would listen if they braved the storm again and were willing to sacrifice something of great worth to them, while praying for her aid. But, how you interpret what is of worth is likely variable, and a very personal decision. Perhaps it could be something physically a part of you, perhaps not.
Ellyn might as well have been choosing scrolls at random for the help she gives. A random scroll on birds slipped into the mix along with diagrams of their flight feathers. She seems to stare at it for some time before glancing towards Alethia.
As she flips through various books and parchment scraps, Alethia becomes more and more withdrawn, her expression dark and a little hard to read. But she pauses as her fingers touch on something and she murmurs, "Faith is all I'm seeing. Faith in Garwen. And sacrifice."
Freyvidr had lost himself in the stories, seeming to pour over them so slowly as he took in every detail with furrowed brow.
"Ah, so that is why this Gaius the Bright lost his eye then?" Turgon asks Alethia, glancing over at her. "Faith in Garwen should be plentiful here in the Faenor. At least I have faith in her."
For the mention of faith in Garwen, Ellyn's expression turns dark. One hand grips the scroll before her and nearly crumples it. As the paper starts to crackle she quickly places it on the table nearby. "Faith is a two way street," she says softly and settles down into a chair as well to take a slow breath.
"I have -faith- in Garwen. Just not in her compassion," Alethia murmurs again, clicking her fingernails on the table once or twice. She glances at Ellyn briefly and her eyebrows squiggle together.
Alethia says, "She is apparently one of the strongest holdouts against us being on this continent at all."
"Faith is lacking, and likely so is purity itself," murmurs the dour Ingith. Frey shakes his head. "But it will have to be done, one way or another."
Alethia answers Turgon slowly, though her gaze lingers on Ellyn and then Frey. "Yes, the eye was dear to Gaius'... purpose, his drive. He valued his sight in a way that was not merely material."
Alethia says, "I'm afraid that if we go to attempt the same ritual, we may find ourselves losing something dear to our own sense of... mmh, self."
"So she is opinionated, so are many people." Turgon murmurs with a shrug, "Either way she -is- the Goddess of Purity, so even if a few of you don't like it, we have to suck it up to do what needs to be doing." He glances over to Alethia, "What other choice is there though?"
"Perhaps, but that does not mean she does not also wish what is best for us," Kenyon intones towards Alethia, about Garwen's hold out. "If you are worried, you do not have to participate in the ritual," he adds.
Turgon points and nods in agreement with what Kenyon just said.
Alethia hesitates, and glances at Ellyn.
Alethia says, "I will do what I can to deal with this storm."
"Faith and happiness with a God or Goddess are not mutually exclusive. I'm allowed to have my fights with her as I would anyone I care for," Ellyn comments quietly and folds her hands. "As to what I have that is dear to sacrifice that is an entirely different question."
"Only those houses sworn to defend the lands of ice must do as they must, as the oath sworn by the leaders of three houses bind them to do so. Which I would not suggest breaking, given Lord Priest Kenyon's presence," comments the man as he frowns further, flipping through pages.
Alethia says, "We could also return to the mountain top in the Eye and try to blast the elementals apart with magic. That would defend the land in a different way. But-- it does not seem to be what the Watcher wants."
"I would think the Watcher, already mourning, would not care for that action, no," Kenyon agrees in regards to blasting the elementals away.
Ellyn lifts a hand to rub at her cheek, "I think the greatest thing I could give up is my pride right now and start talking to Garwen again. Which is no easy task to swallow."
Alethia says, "Should we go out into the storm then, and... and try to reach Her?"
Turgon nods as he stands, "Sure, we might as well give this a try. I don't want to leave this... foulness behind." For a moment he seems somber, but then straightens and nods once more.
Ellyn nods to Turgon though it's difficult to read the expression in her gaze as she slowly stands as well. "Indeed," she offers far more softly this time.
The group gathers their things and once again starts the hike southward. Everything is as it was last time, though they cannot help but wonder if the storm has grown larger, engulfing even more of the mountains in the distance. That feeling of dread returns the closer they get, perhaps even worse than last time, now that they know what memories await them. But they have no issue returning, back to the edge of the storm, which looms ahead as a wall of dark clouds. The cold wind is whipping around them wildly.
Out in the snow, Alethia moves a little slower than usual, as if she's starting to feel the dread press down on her more and more. She turns aside a few times, gaze flickering at things that aren't there.
Unlike the last time, the abjurationist did not try to put up a shield to withstand the onslaught. This was a mission of purity and penance. So Frey stepped forward into the maelstrom to feel the assault.
One might think Ellyn is quietly talking to herself as they make the journey out into the bitter cold once more where the summer's heat has long fled. She tromps through the snow, breaking the surface and struggling in the deeper drifts until she hits a rocky hill beneath one. Her whispered words slowly begin to die off as they near the storm.
Alethia checked composure + fortitude at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Freyvidr checked composure + fortitude at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.
Kenyon checked willpower + fortitude at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Turgon checked composure + fortitude at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.
Ellyn checked composure + fortitude at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.
Alethia drifts closer to Ellyn as she tries to shield her face from the stinging, black snow, trying to meet Ellyn's eyes. She says something but it's lost to everyone else in the wind.
They at least know it's coming this time. They steel themselves for the onslaught of haunting memories and grief, visions of their mistakes, regrets, and lost loved ones flitting through their mind, threatening to drive them mad. Most of them manage--except Turgon and Ellyn, who can feel that darkness wiggling into them, corrupting them. A tinge of madness colored by their anger and grief.
Freyvidr wields Crocus.
Kenyon's will is buffeted by the assault, but the Templar remains stout. Gritting his teeth, and pushing onwards, but keeping an eye on his fellows, to see how they're doing as well.
As they take their first steps into the storm, and so far, nothing happens. Nothing comes to meet them. Those who focus and recognize the corruption can still feel the source coming from the mountain top--which they thankfully know a short cut to.
Ellyn kicks a snowball by accident and nearly trips as her head turns to meet Alethia's gaze. She rights herself before taking down Alethia with her and murmurs softly beneath the howl of wind that whistles in her ears. Battered by black snow as she tries to blink through it and likely the effects of the storm not helping.
The younger Reid pulls up a snow mask and a hood, some gold flyaways of hair escaping to whip around in the dark storm. She's also bracing herself. Talking to Ellyn maybe as a distraction from the magical corruption trying to batter at them ceaselessly.
Freyvidr seemed to be taking all of this in stride. A miserable, miserable stride. Something seems to be ocupying his thoughts, like everyone is. Though he doesn't make his way for the dampened route. The abjurationist is trying to climb from the outside.
As Turgon enters the onslaught, he steels himself for the grief and other memories that the corruption likes to bring up. He manages a couple of steps into the storm before his mental defenses crumble and he feels the grief and regret flood through him. He ends up falling to his knees and calling out, "GLANOR!" There's a good amount of grief in that cry and the old warrior starts pawing through the blackened snows as if looking for something.
Alethia checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.
Alethia turns around and frowns, crouching down quickly back where Turgon has fallen to his knees. She touches the warrior on the shoulder, her husky voice loud to beat the wind, "Turgon! Focus!"
"Control yourself! You are stronger than this," Kenyon echoes to the fellow warrior, "You can move beyond this."
Ellyn rocks unsteadily as Alethia whisks from her side towards Thorin, more to brace against the wind before taking a few tromping hasty steps backwards. A push of the wind helping as she comes up along Turgon's outer side. "It's not buried there," she calls against the wind and moves to grab him beneath one shoulder.
Freyvidr had muttered something to himself, but the steeled abjurationist seemed hell bent on not stopping as he went further up to try to weather the storm.
Turgon starts to turn towards Alethia when he hears her voice, but then he sees something in the black snow. His eyes widen and he lets out another cry, waving away the other voices that seem to be nearing him. "Idril, your doll, why is it here?" He stares down at the ground for a good minute before reaching down to pick up the doll that only he can see. When his fingers touch it, the doll disappears and he shakes his head. "THEY WASTED AWAY YOU FUCKER." As he yells the words out, he feels his vision go red and he slowly stands to his feet before glancing around. "Who put my daughters doll out here?" As if expecting one of the Faenor to have a sensible answer.
Freyvidr checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.
Freyvidr checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Alethia backs away a few inches, startled and uneasy, but she keeps her hand on Turgon's shoulder. Her amber eyes fix on his face and she says slowly, loud to even be heard in the snow: "You're seeing things, Turgon. It's the magic, playing tricks on you. Your daughter is safe with Brundir. It's over."
Frey continues on--disappearing from view of the others, swallowed up by the storm.
Elyn mutters something about elves going off in the snow and tromps off angrily after Freydivr.
Alethia checked command + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.
Kenyon checked command + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
Ellyn checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.
"It is a dream, Turgon," Kenyon bids, urgently. "It's not -real-. They seek to use your grief -against- you."
Ellyn is able to follow Frey's footprints and catch up to him. She also can tell that he's headded strait towards uneven, dangerous ground that he perhaps hadn't noticed, with the storm being so thick.
Something in Alethia's and Kenyon's words shakes Turgon out of his trance or whatever it is and he blinks at them and then looks up the path. "Go, they are moving off." He says to the other two elves. "I will follow." His expression is pained, his skin paler than normal and he looks as if he wishes to sick up then and there. Steadying himself, he turns towards where Ellyn is moving ahead and begins to follow. "This storm must be stopped."
Alethia looks worried, glancing at Kenyon quickly before she turns and follows after Ellyn (And Frey).
There's a kick of black snow as Ellyn skates forward once she catches up to Freyvidr and sees the dangerous path he's on. She fights against the snow as one gloved hand rises up to snatch at the back of his hood. "Freyvidr! I know you're angry but this isn't the way. Literally!" she shouts over the rage of the storm and Frey's thoughts.
Kenyon looks back to Alethia, but then once more to Turgon. As the man starts to move, Kenyon does as well, murmuring a quick prayer to Baridon, Garwen, and Glanor as he does.
"I saw you falter," says Freyvidr evenly. "The madness has touched you. Garwen is going to ask us for purity. How can those who fall to it be considered pure? We cannot take the easy road, and we cannot fall," he reasons. He holds his crystal at the ready as she touches him, though, and the little flicker of flame curls around his hand. "I have no idea how deep it is rooted, but you will do well to not touch me again unless I assume it is the beginnings of the madness that drove the kinslayings in the First Kingdom."
Alethia comes up behind Ellyn, basically just in time to hear this. Her voice is sharper, defensive, "What's going on? Freyvidr? There's a crevasse that way."
The flicker of flame can brighten as much as it wants, Ellyn's grip at least remains until Freyvidr pauses even if to shout at her through the snow before she lets go. "I can only move a mountain so far before even I stagger, your walking towards an uneven path so stop!"
Alethia checked perception + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.
Alethia can in fact see it as well.
Alethia points. Because she totally can see it. A crevasse!
Breathing heavily as he struggles to move forward, Turgon finally reaches the cluster of other elves and glances around. "Why have we stopped? We should continue, the longer we stay here, the worse it will be for us, High Lord."
With the two pointing it out the crevasse hidden under a snow bank, the others can also see it as well.
Freyvidr gave a dark look before shaking his head. "We do need to move on," he agrees with a look to Kenyon, then Alethia. "Be careful."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alethia before departing.
Ellyn and Alethia manages to alter the group's course towards a... slightly safer path up the mountain. But it's going to be a long, hard, brutal climb. Everyone (Except Frey) Stamina or Strength + Athletics at difficulty 25.
Turgon checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.
Alethia checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.
Ellyn checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.
Kenyon checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Alethia looks between Frey and Ellyn one last time before pushing on through the storm, trudging along in silence as she breathes in the frigid air.
Kenyon tries to keep up and along, but... It seems perhaps his footing isn't the best, distracted maybe....
It takes hours. The group are exhausted and half frozen by the time they even get close to the top of the mountain. For the most part (for moving things along's sake), the group manages to get to their destination in one piece, with scrapes and bruises and some frost bite for their trouble. The only major incidents come to be when the group have to climb up an icy wall, which results in Kenyon and Frey both falling at certain points. But eventually, with the help of the others, the group makes their way to the top of the mountain.
20 inflicted and Freyvidr is unharmed.
20 inflicted and Kenyon is unharmed.
But you know, armor is a thing, so they're not seriously injured.
It's still uneven going for Ellyn as she moves further along with the party. She hits a few more unseen rocks along the way but manages to struggle over them, just barely. She shivers even dip within her layers of leather and fur but doesn't voice anything against it with her hood drawn up.
Alethia lags a little behind as the entire group climbs carefully and arduously up the icy sheer wall. She's struggling and panting a little by the time she finally hauls herself up to rest on a ledge.
The group wades through the deep black snow, struggling through the last of the raging storm to reach the mountain peak. Again they feel their bodies growing numb from the severe cold, their hearts too. Each step is a struggle of strength and will, but they soon make it to the top.
And as before, the storm parts like a veil, the walls of the storm rising up overwhelmingly high. Opening up into the eye of the storm, centered around a circle of dark icy figures--the elementals, still in their vigil around the grave marker. Their bodies with hairline fractures, darkness swirling around through the ice, their bodies corrupted by their grief.
They all let out cries of anguish as they notice the group, pushing themselves from their resting places, shaking black snow off of their shoulders as they turn to them--one calling out in angry celestial, the normally song-like language sounding warbled and eerie.
Hatharal says in Celestial, "You were warned not to come here! If death is your wish, SO BE IT."
The elementals are moving towards the group with obvious violent intent. Everyone gets one post to react with what they are doing.
Her eyes widening at the advance, and still winded and battered from the punishing climb up the mountain, Alethia snaps something off a chain from around her neck and moves forward, a little ahead of everyone else. She shouts out in Celestial, desperate and ragged sounding: "Stop! Please. We only want to make this right!"
Alethia wields Dark Storm Gem.
Turgon puts a hand to his head at the sound of anguish coming from the elementals, it almost causes him to drop to his knees. Gritting his teeth, he takes a step to stand in front of Ellyn since she is the present High Lord. Drawing his sword, he takes a defensive stance in front of her.
Turgon wields Anguirel, a silverum sword.
Kenyon wields A Keir Arming Sword.
Freyvidr kept himself apart, stumbling, but accepting the little bits of pain along the way. He'd already come armed, but he makes no move to go forward. He looks... tired. Distant.
Kenyon, seeing them begin to move with hostility, draws his blade, standing in front of Frey and Alethia, as Turgon guards the High Lord.
Ellyn staggers to a stop within the snow as the storm rises up around them and before them stand the angry Celestials. She said she would drop her pride and that she does as she offers up a prayer to Garwen for some other path forward even as Turgon moves before her.
Alethia checked command + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 18 lower.
Ellyn checked command + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 20 lower.
Turgon checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 15, rolling 65 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(4) + brawl(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(4) + brawl(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(4) + brawl(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
Kenyon checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.
65 inflicted and Freyvidr is harmed for minor damage.
The elementals don't seem to pay any attention to Alethia as she makes her plea, rushing forward with thick hands of ice--but as Turgon and Kenyon step up, they both bring up their swords to parry and block the blows from hitting the women--and themselves. But the largest one, the one who spoke, turns to Frey with rage, bringing both fists to bare down upon him, as the elf doesn't even try to move away. The sharp ice pierces through some of his armor, bring blood forth.
Meanwhile, Ellyn starts to pray, calling upon Garwen... but for now, the storm around them remains black.
Freyvidr says in Celestial, "Death was the last thing I wished. I had laid down my arms. We were refugees escaping our own losses, and in our ignorance, we came into your lands. If you left signs, if you spoke to us, we did not understand. And that understanding is a loss in and of itself. Your people came to eradicate ours. We will not fall. We come with pure intent, because this imbalance has given us impurity. Grief is not the end. It changes you, but it does not need to make you impure. You had purpose once. To kill. (pause) This does not need to be your purpose now. Like me, you can choose to be something else."
The song of Celestial words that come from the man unmoving are a slow dirge that builds in the soft melancholy of the sounds of battle all around. The song falters for a moment as he is struck, but he continues again louder now. The frozen portions of skin only serve to highlight his intent as he rises again, still not making any moves but weathering blows.
Turgon blocks the blows of the oncoming ice elementals and his face becomes determined. There's not much he can do for Freyvidr at the moment, but he tries to attract the attention of both of the ice elementals onto him as he cries and swings his sword at them. Not attacks meant to do any damage, simply feints made in the hopes of pulling the elementals away from Ellyn so he can maybe help Kenyon protect Freyvidr.
Freyvidr checked willpower + teaching at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.
Alethia freezes as ice shrieks and clashes against steel over her head, and she covers herself instinctively. When she sees blood she cringes and reaches a hand out, and a white maelstrom of ice streaks out around her, flying toward the nearest Elemental.
The Templar's sword moving in a flurry to parry the blows, redirecting more than than blocking them, Kenyon using his footwork as best he can. A bit of a curse as he sees Freyvidr take the blow.
Turgon checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.
Alethia checked intellect + evocation at difficulty 25, rolling 10 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(4) + brawl(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked strength(4) + brawl(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
It seems Ellyn's prayer didn't work, only halfway from her lips before the clash of swords before her. She ducks from the little sprays of ice that chip off around her before rather persistently offering her voice to the heavens again considering Turgon has managed to keep one at bay.
Ellyn checked command + theology at difficulty 30, rolling 17 lower.
Kenyon checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.
Alethia shoots out her magic, making ice father up along the second largest elemental's feet--making them stick in place. They don't look too pleased, struggling to free themselves. The other two, smaller elementals continue battering at Kenyon and Turgon, who expertly parry their blows aside. Meanwhile, the fifth looms down at Frey, fists clenched and held ready to bring down again, but stilling for a moment to speak.
Hatharal says in Celestial, "What purpose do I have, but to mourn? My creator is gone. We have no one to serve, no one to guide us. We have NO ONE."
The snow continues to remain black around them.
Alethia looks white as a sheet, as if she didn't actually expect that to work. She pants softly and turns, eyes blazing the color of lanterns, and sets her sights on the effigy. Her grip tightens around the flawed black gem and she takes a shallow breath, freezing air punching out in another torrent of ice as she goes for the elemental attacking Kenyon. She gasps to Ellyn, "Don't give up."
Alethia checked intellect + evocation at difficulty 25, rolling 70 higher. Alethia rolled a critical!
Freyvidr says in Celestial, "Nothing can undo what was done. There is no one to turn to. You must decide for yourself what you wish. There is no beloved leader, so wise and great, who knows what to do. There is no one who can truly understand the pain you feel. In the end, all you can have is yourselves. You can only make the choices you would make. You can't listen to the orders of other. (pause) I offer you my hand in peace. I once used this to make war. It is up to you if you will take it and begin the path to purity and your new life. No one can choose this for you. Only you can."
The song continues so sadly, but there's a familiarity to them. A shared moment. And then there's a flare of magic at the pause as ice is summoned to encase his own hand and, well, shatter the thing off his body, dropping the crystal in that same palm.
Freyvidr drops Crocus.
Turgon glances around, even as he parries another attack from an elemental... these elementals were slow and their motions were easily countered. Ellyn seems to be praying, Freyvidr is... distracting the big elemental and maybe having an effect? He didn't know, he had no idea what this strange language meant, they could be exchanging recipes for all he knew. Licking his lips, he takes in a breath and turns to Ellyn and shouts, "TO THE SOUTHWEST OF KHELGAR. TAKE THe FAENOR TO THE SOUTHWEST OF KHELGAR." Then he steels himself and prays, his voice low. "Garwen, if you want a sacrifice... take my life. My life for the purifying of this corrupt storm. I cannot abide this storm to remain, it is wrong and impure. Cleanse it, and you may have my life."
Freyvidr checked willpower + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 2 lower.
Ellyn might knows she's not getting anywhere with her prayers, that come out in murmured huffs as if she might still be trying to catch her breath from the climb. She pauses a moment as she sees some of the elementals cemented into place. The temptation to reach for her bow is paramount though she seems to give her efforts one more try despite the pained look on her face for Turgon's words.
Turgon checked command + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Freyvidr checked willpower + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Ellyn checked command + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
Alethia releases a wave of sleet and ice that could rival the power of the storm its self. For a second, the black cloud walls around them buckle and shiver at the blast before reforming--and the other two elementals are... nearly frozen solid. Which, considering they are made from ice, likely won't hurt them thankfully. But they are securely frozen in place--still angry and trying to thrash away, but locked still. The only one able to move is the one looming over Frey, who glowers down at him as he speaks. There is clear hesitation in the elemental's posture, but it shakes its head and lifts its hand again... then...
And then, there's white. Blinding, burning white. It rips through Alethia, Ellyn, and Turgon painfully as they feel the corruption forced from them, white-hot and relentless. It takes a moment for the group to come to their senses afterwards, seconds ticking by as their vision slowly returns. They find themselves laying on the ground, shaken. But things are... quiet. The air is still, and above them light from the sun shines down, not a cloud in the sky--just an expanse of endless blue. The snow around them is no longer black.
They've never seen snow so pure white.
Alethia shrieks as light explodes, and the noise is swallowed up into a ringing, blinding silence that eventually fades as she and the others come to their senses. Her hand twitches in the snow and she grabs her black gem slowly, sitting up with a groan to look at the pristine white snow.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alethia before departing.
The four ice elementals stand, looking somewhat bewildered as they look around. Their bodies are solid and clear, reflecting sunlight all around them. They turn towards the grave marker, all looking sort of... lost.
Frey's hand is gone. The stump no longer bleeds, instead looking as if it'd been seared off by something very, very hot, leaving strange scars at the end of his wrist.
Turgon, meanwhile, lays motionless in the snow.
The next thing Ellyn sees is the sky though it seems to wobble in the slant of the sun overhead as she lies on snow and ice. A hand lifts to shield the rays as she grimaces, struggling to sit up. In the confusion it takes a moment, and a fair number of blinks, to realize what Frey had done only for her gaze to land on Turgon. It is there her breath leaves her at the pair of sights before her.
Freyvidr had briefly taken his breath before slowly righting himself. There's a poke of the end of his arm before looking to the fallen Turgon. The guild member slowly made his way towards him with a settled reservation.
Kenyon's blade stills, the attacks slowing, and backs away a step, looking to Freyvidr, then the fallen warrior. The Priest bows his head, and says a silent prayer, making the signs of Glanor, Garwen, and Brundir.
The elementals look towards Turgon's body, then around at the others. There's some sorrow in their icy features, but some regret. The largest one who Frey had been speaking to moments before speaks again, in clearer Celestial now, mournful and low.
Hatharal says in Celestial, "I... am sorry. Our pain... we could not see through it."
Freyvidr began his song, less mournful than it had been before. As he reached down to compose the body, it was slow going. No. Not the body. To honor the fallen Turgon. He looked back to them, starting again in a stronger, clear voice.
Freyvidr says in Celestial, "That is the way of pain. It takes much to move past it. (Pause) This man sacrificed himself in the sake of purity and righteousness. If you seek a purpose, there is no greater one. Follow his example."
The Celestial listens to Frey sollemnly, then looks down to Turgon's body. It nods slowly before speaking.
Hatharal says in Celestial, "We will mourn him, too. But with honor, instead of regret. Thank you."
Freyvidr looks to the others who yet live. "They will trouble us no more. Turgon's sacrifice... it has saved our lands. It must not be forgotten," he says in that solemn tone.
Ellyn rises as well, with some effort though she moves towards the fallen body of Turgon as well to help where she can. She seems at a loss for words as she looks between him and Freyvidr with a pained expression. "Thank you Freyvidr. I..." her words draw off as she looks at his hand. She words soft, "I'm sorry," is all she can manage.
The elementals look to each other, then towards the gravemarker, bearing the image of the Ice Sage. They all move closer to it, touching it for a moment in silence. Then they turn, moving down the mountain and away from their place of mourning--and the group of Faenor.
The abjurationist waits for the procession to move on. "Honor him." He looks at the mountaintop before looking back down to the fallen. Frey frowns. "Perhaps build a shrine or a settlement for the knights in his name. Make certain the Faenor remember him each time they head this way."
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