Minds and Magic Pt 2

JP Thaen Ender & I

“Hail, Lord of Lust. You have answered our prayers.” a man in nothing but a cloak said. “But your grace, we have yet to perform the ritual.” the man stated.

“How many times do I have to tell you not to sacrifice virgins?” Aldous asked sternly.

“My lord, are you testing us?” the man questioned as more people stepped from the shadows.

“No, not a test. I asked nicely before, now I am telling you; let the girl go.” Aldous commanded.

The cultists stared in confusion and mounting fear as Gelt straightened himself. Blood dripped onto the ground, a wheeze escaping his mask as he held his side to staunch the flow of faintly glowing blood. The girl crawled away from the center of the congregation, eyes wide as grasps were slipped from. The beheld sight of not only their lord but another that radiated power freely and with a frightful gaze. Even the girl suddenly froze in fear of the main guests.

”I must speak with thee,” The Crimson One spoke quietly to The Scarlet King. ”Alone.”

Aldous leaned over. “Give me just one second.” Aldous turned back to his congregation. “Everyone just sit here quietly while my quest and I speak. I will be with all of you in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Don’t move, don't do ANYTHING.”

Aldous helped Gelt over to a site of the room away from the cultist. “Okay, that’ll keep them busy for a few minutes.” Aldous looked at Gelt. “Do you need me to get someone to heal that?” he asked. “I’ve got some clerics that can patch you up if you need.”

Gelt barely managed to lean against his staff, the golden aura faintly trailing down his side. The tip of the staff faintly glowed the same as the hint behind the crimson, Gelt shaking his head slightly in answer. ”I possess facilities that are far more potent and ready… you need not waste divineness upon me. It is what we hath faced together that we must decide. This realm is still being reforged by my works… I do not see success if Aeran cannot be united. Therefore, we must rely on those with the strength to stand against this imminent threat. You possess this quality. It lays swathed in hubris and apathy, your strength and your hindrance. Yet, one potent.”

Gelt straightened a bit, grip tight upon his staff. ”I wish to barter with you the ultimate fate of Aeran.”

“Are you trying to make a deal with a devil?” Aldous asked, sarcastically “I don’t usually make deals with near immortals. It’s hard to collect. So your offer of this ‘ultimate fate’ of Aeran. What is it you mean by this?” Aldous asked him. “It’s not that I don’t understand the gravity of the situation we faced back there, trust me I got it figured out. That was a shitshow, but it’s gonna take fighting somewhere I can cut loose to do any real damage.”

”The deal would be worthy of your time. I do not give words lightly. You would know that such utterings carry Power, Aldous.” He spoke with an imperial voice, focus directed to the Scarlet King. ”In return for the powers of the Abyss locked away in the Nine Hells, I shall grant thee a more permanent holding upon this world. I shall raise great monoliths to thou’s Names, a great Weave shall be enspelled with them. Ensnared between them? The denizens of both planes! No longer shall you be confined to summoning, no more resolved to banishment. To which, Dalen is yours. I know of Draken and his rising potential. I was the one to push him into his rise, the one that broke the chains that bound him… it seems fitting that Dalen fall further to Sin. With the powers open to the world and the forces of Hell fully brought henceforth… We may yet stand a chance.”

While Gelt spoke his offer Aldous’ eyes shimmered gold. The light from them fixating on Gelt. But when he’d finished, they flickered back to his normal eyes. “No deal.” Aldous said, “Your offer neither is one I personally could grant, nor does it interest me.” Aldous said, a tinge of grief that it wasn’t something better offered to him. “Power like that isn’t something I can give. My power is vast but I can not grant something locked away. As for the second part. I do not wish to be a king, I do not wish to rule, I do not wish to command vast armies, and banishment is not a fear for me.”

Gelt thought long and hard about this. Flashes of the past returned to him, the infamous words echoing in his head as before. “Quit your pondering, mage.”

Aldous stepped away, shoving open the door to the cellar standing a black silhouette against the white hot sunshine. “Come on wizard, we have an empire to burn.”

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