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Rathgith strode into the town of Rivendell and stood before the statue that now housed the daemon Nostur’yl. He examined it closely for any sign of the spell weakening. A small crowd gathered around the mage asking him questions that he put off until he could have a seat inside the Hungry Halfling tavern.
Once inside the cozy tavern, Rathgith began answering the many questions about the spell he had used and how long it might last for, all of which he was unsure of. When the questions seemed finished the mage clapped his hands together and looked at those gathered around him saying, “I came here for another reason. I believe I have uncovered a spell of value.”
The mage went on to explain what he knew of the Oracle who had been slain by Nostur’yl and how he believed he might be able to restore her back to life. The only problem he faced was identifying the exact location where the Oracle had died at the hands of the daemon’s minions. The answer was not one that seemed to please him; Wind.
“If I go there, the guards will cut me down,” he explained. Yet after a moment’s thought he went on, “Unless… Is there anyone who could possibly have enchantments as powerful as that of the guards?”
The answer came from Cesspool, a brave warrior who had stood diligently against Nostur’yl time and again in protection of the obsidian posts. “I think I know who might have the power ye speak of Rathgith. Lady Liane.”
At that moment the known allies of Nostur’yl arrived and entered the tavern; the Cult of Infernal Necromancy lead by Smogg Azalin. Rathgith turned in his chair and regarded his one-time protector, now enemy. The Cultists did not waste any time on pleasantries, instead demanding that the mage raise the post of obsidian from the ocean floor.
“I will not do it. And you owe me,” the mage explained, referring to the bargain struck when Rathgith first left the dungeon of ice to meet Nostur’yl, “You and all your guild.”
Smogg again demanded the spell be turned over as promised, only to have Rathgith reply with a wide grin and humor in his voice, “I did. Nostur’yl has it, retrieve it from him.”
“Very well. You did your part,” the leader of the Cult begrudgingly said, “What favor do you want then?”
“You will not hinder me or my goals for the next two days.”
Smogg Azalin agreed to the favor after a slight bit of argument on his part. Perhaps agreeing a little too quickly for Rathgith’s liking, but as the Cultists departed the tavern he forced any thought of them from his mind and turned his attention back to the matter at hand and those gathered around him.
“Perhaps someone should seek out Liane. Does she not roost in Destard?”
A few worried looks passed over some gathered, but for the whole the group who had helped fight Nostur’yl in the past agreed this to be the best course of action. Preparations were made and the adventurers set out in search of the ancient wyrm, leaving Rathgith to stay behind in the safety of the tavern.
Once inside Destard it took little time to locate the wyrm. A small confrontation erupted when they did however, as a few of the party entered into the area Liane had set aside for preparing her dinner. The intrusion into that area cost two members their lives at the hands of the ancient wyrm, but once that matter was taken care of Liane became her pleasant self.
It took some persuading on the part of the group, but they were eventually able to convince the Lady Liane to return to Rivendell and assist Rathgith in entering Wind. The wyrm agreed not for the reasons provided, but rather out of curiosity more than anything, as she had never actually been able to meet the Oracle in person during the trial of Aleph Aeirs.
Returned to Rivendell, Rathgith spoke with the ancient wyrm of his predicament in regards to gaining entry into the city of Wind undetected by the guards. Liane, now skilled in the art of illusional magics, was able to enchant the mage so that he could remain undetected. And so the party left for Wind.
Those able to enter into the city of Wind, escorted by the ancient wyrm, arrived at the location where the body of the Oracle had fallen. Rathgith used his energies to probe the area and find the exact location of her essence and ordered everyone to stand back.
The area seemed to hum with magic as the mage closed his eyes in concentration. He remained transfixed for a few moments as the energy built around him, then his eyes shot open and he began an incantation. The words of power used were not unfamiliar to the practitioners of magic gathered; it was only the combination that was unlike those they were used to.
Rathgith stopped his spell casting and stood completely still, an odd look upon his face. The look turned to one of confusion a moment later as a column of flame shot up through his body, followed quickly by many more. As the last of the flames resided, Rathgith stood transformed. Washed of all his pigmentation, he stood bare as when he entered the world. Instead of the look of confusion, he now bore a look of peace as he raised his arms toward the skies that could not be seen within the city.
His hands again lowered to his sides as a new wave of fire columns sprung from the ground beneath him, washing over his form. These too receded, leaving Rathgith again transformed. The body was Rathgith’s, as was a portion of the mind, but there before the small crowd stood the Oracle reborn into the body of the slave mage.
Looking up to those around, in a voice far more calm and soothing than that of Rathgith, the Oracle simply said, “Hail again, friends.”
Rejoice was shared by those gathered and the group began their questions on what had occurred. The Oracle gave a few answers explaining that Rathgith was still present with the Oracle and had willingly offered his body as a vehicle. More questions came, only to be cut short on answers.
From within the building that housed the healers of Wind, Smogg Azalin and the Cult of Infernal Necromancy began an attack on the newly reincarnated Oracle. Despite Rathgith’s overwhelming desire to fight back, the will of the Oracle took hold and he fled with words of recall; leaving the Cult and those who had helped restore him behind.
The group of seeming heroes returned to Rivendell and walked past the statue of Nostur’yl. The statue that remained quiet on the outside, but which had awoken someplace deep inside. The power of the Oracle entering the land again had sent a scream through the mind of the daemon lord, a scream equaled to the one in his mind when he first realized he had been trapped as stone. As the daemon lord calmed himself, a presence touched his thoughts for an instant, a very powerful and evil presence echoing a single phrase in his mind, “It seems we are imprisoned together daemon.”
Published: October 2000Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.