The path ahead

JP with Bandorchu and Winteroak

"No, I don't believe so. There is much that is hidden to me now after millennia of my powers waning. I was a victim of my own jealousy and intolerance. And they played on that." He turned to look away as if burden with heavy regret.

Alexis could feel that display affect her against her will. Of course she had no way to know if he was just lying. He was a god for crying out loud, and she was a hapless mortal. But a part of her undeniably believed him.

“The Brotherhood wants to free her, too. And they probably actually know how to do it. Why not let them have it? Could be the outcome anyway, if I try to go after them. Don’t know how I could get past a whole cult, especially the one holding the shaft.”

… but she was considering to try, wasn’t she? Damn it all.

"I would see the chains broken again and Ziarae restored too." He started slowly hoping she would understand. "But our way could spare thousands of lives. If the Brotherhood has their own way, her vengance will be terrible on those that wronged her." He paused. "Myself and my own people included."

Alexis pulled some wayward strands of hair out of her face, a somewhat jittery gesture.

“…If - and that is a big if - if that can be somehow done. Free her without her razing everything in her frankly understandable fury. What does that mean for the people holding magik? Both the wild one and the divine? What… would that mean for Islana?”

"It is impossible to hold back the Ether completely. It would be like trying to stop a river from flowing. You can dam it, change its course even, but water will find a way." He hoped the analogy made sense. "Magik will always exist in the world. Once long ago it existed in great numbers on your land too. Before your own Gods curbed it and purged it from the land, before it could get out of control." He explained the role the Inquisition had played in Helias despite the means used.

"Her return will not strip everyone of magik if that is what you are asking." He said. "As for your friend, I confess that she is beyond my sight. She is shrouded from my visions. Like every Prophetess has ever been."

Alexis looked ahead without really seeing, deep in thought. In the end she just shook her head at herself, resigned.

~I must have completely lost my marbles.~

Yet, she knew her decision was made, despite its obvious foolishness.

“… this is absolutely going to blow up in your face. Hope you are aware.”

"It is a price I will pay willingly." He told her honestly. "It is never to late to make amends." There came a pause and he turned to the forge, picking up a hammer and returning to his work.

"I will guide your steps as much as I can. When the Ichor of Solitude is restored, you will find the One who is destined to wield it."

The mercenary gave an exasperated chuckle, sensing the dismissal.

“You’re a whole lot more optimistic about that than I am, that’s for damn sure.” Alexis did not see it but the god grinned at her words. Such a peculiar human. He liked her already.

The dull ringing of metal started to echo through the cave again. A great gust of wind stoked the flames of the mighty forge and her vision started to fill with smoke once again, her mind reverberating with the sound of pounding. Alexis Greyriver blinked and was back among her friends as if she had never left...

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