April 9, 2000
"Wow," thought Kelethin, "this place is huge." He stood outside the immense cathedral of Xezadha, a church devoted to a religion that had all but died out in Medievia. He had heard they were accepting new worshippers, yet, all who had gone to the cathedral were never heard from again. One such person was his friend Thalen Doomsbane. He had told Kelethin he was going to the cathedral, to see what this new religion offered. It had been three months since that time, and Kelethin was more than a little worried.
Looking back at the city of Medievia to his east, he stepped inside the huge doors of the cathedral. Kelethin couldn't help gaping in awe of the entrance to this behemoth of a church. There were tapestries of a rainbow of hues, with great battles depicted upon them. All the battles seemed to have the same ending, a huge woman with wings standing over the corpses of the valiant and the foolish. He saw two men lounging by the doors, seeming to be half asleep, or in a deep trance. He started walking further into the cathedral, and the mens' eyes popped open.
"Greetings sir, welcome to the Cathedral of Xezadha, where your dreams may come true," they said to him. "If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask us."
Kelethin stood still for a second, seemingly considering something. Then, he started chanting words of magic for the spell of sanctuary. "Vas Sanct Grav, " he intoned, and a shimmering white field appeared around him. He prayed again, and this time a pure white light appeared around his body, which seemed to shed the darkness away from him. He prayed a few more verses, and the image of a raven appeared and went into his body. Spiritual armor also surrounded him. The men had assumed their trance-like state again, and had not sensed the cleric invoking his holy powers.
Harnessing the cleanliness of his soul, he forced it upon the soul of one of the evil men. The man cried out in a shriek of pure anguish, and stumbled to his knees from the pain. Kelethin then brought his mighty club, the Soulcrusher, down upon the man's head. The man fell to his face, and didn't rise again. The other man's eyes snapped open, and he brushed his fingers against Kelethin's unprotected face. Kelethin felt a burning pain upon his face, and backed away from the man. The man came towards him, chanting phrases Kelethin knew to be a spell but one he had never heard. Kelethin ran at the man, preparing to bring his club down upon his head, when a cloak of darkness surrounded his vision.
Kelethin circled around, trying to locate his enemy. Having no luck with trying this, he then chanted the words "Vas Por Ylem" and struck the floor with his club. The ground started trembling in a circle spreading from Kelethin. The man tripped, stumbled, and screamed in sheer terror as the ground opened up beneath him. His scream was cut off as the ground sealed itself. Kelethin chanted a few words, and his vision was quickly restored. He started carefully walking in the aisle between the pews, hoping the sounds of battle would not draw attention to him.
He came upon an immense group of worshippers, who were walking towards the entrance to the church. One noticed the blood upon Kelethin's robes, and screamed, "There is the infidel who attacked the greeters. Charge my brothers and sisters!" With that, a heated and obviously unfair battle was underway. Kelethin was surrounded and fending off attacks from all quarters.
Even though the group was unarmed, they had the advantage of numbers, and it began to tell. In a last ditch effort; Kelethin chanted the phrase to the most powerful spell he knew. Instantly, Kelethin felt drained of all magic energy he possessed. In that instant, the ground around him erupted in huge pillars of flame. The worshippers were engulfed, and screaming, were incinerated in a heartbeat. Kelethin collapsed to the ground in exhaustion, and fell asleep. He awoke a few minutes later, feeling refreshed.
He stood, and continued walking up the row of pews to the altar. He saw a few people there, resting to heal their wounds or recharge their spiritual energy. One of the other people there stood up, and walked over to Kelethin.
"Hello, I am Ardonious, who might you be?" Kelethin could tell by the man's dress he was a mage, and a moderately powerful one at that, probably about as strong as him.
"I am Kelethin, of the Dark Lords of Sith. I am looking for my friend, he goes by the name Thalen Doomsbane, perhaps you have seen him?"
"Ahh, I wish I had, I too am looking for...someone. Perhaps we can help each other. Let's work together here, 'tis a fearsome place, this cathedral. I have been down to the very depths, and by the looks of you, you need all the help you can get."
"Aye, I shall work with you, lead the way." The mage stood up, pulled Kelethin to his feet, and unlocked a loose tile by the altar. Turning back to Kelethin, he nodded towards the hole, and hopped down. Kelethin looked around for a second, and then hopped down the hole after Ardonious. Kelethin landed on his feet, next to Ardonious. He appeared to be in a hidden room of some sort. Over in the corner, he saw a treasure chest, and walked towards it. "Don't bother with it," said Ardonious, "Nothing is ever in there, in all the time I have been to this cathedral. Come, follow me, time is of the essence for your friend." Ardonious went off down the only hall, to the south. Kelethin followed him after only a moment's hesitation. In the next room, there was a man, dressed in what looked to be priest's robes standing by a huge oak table. There seemed to be a breeze of some sort blowing through the room when Kelethin walked in.
"Listen to me and have your salvation guaranteed by the mighty god Xezadha," said the priest.
"Pay no attention to him," Ardonious whispered to Kelethin, "He is but a pawn, come, quickly, let's destroy him so he cannot alert his dark master." Kelethin hurriedly uttered a few holy phrases, and a glimmering shield of pure light settled on himself and Ardonious, who surrounded himself with a bluish, almost electric shield. A similar shield as the other two surrounded the priest, but his was infinitely black, instead of a pure white. Ardonious turned towards the priest and muttered the words, "An Ort." The field around the priest shimmered once more and faded. "Now!" shouted Ardonious.
Kelethin again invoked the purity of his soul, and forced it into the priest's mind and body. Ardonious was also busy, projecting hundreds of shards of ice towards the priest. Against this combined assault, the priest knew he did not stand a chance, but he stood fast.
"Master," he shrieked, "I have failed you, promise me a place in your holy kingdom." He then succumbed to the two spell casters' powerful magicks.
"Come, let us make haste, our presence will not be unknown for long," Ardonious said to Kelethin. He quickly led Kelethin down a hall and opened a door.
"Ugh, bats, I hate bats," Kelethin thought as he approached a shadowy stairway. On the ceiling hung hundreds of bats, their eyes twinkling in the dim torchlight. Ardonious proceeded to walk down the stairs, and Kelethin quickly followed him. He walked down for a minute or so, and emerged from the ceiling of some sort of strange laboratory. He noticed a shimmering in the air, and quickly intoned a spell to see things that appeared to not be there. A strange man appeared in his sight. He was about four feet tall, bent over, and looked like a wizened old man with weird robes. He glanced towards Kelethin, and rudely said, "Bah, go away, it can wait until tomorrow."
Ardonious pointed towards the old man, and a spray of green acid shot from his fingertips directly into the old man's chest. The man screeched in agony as the corrosive acid started dissolving his torso. Without delay, Kelethin touched him, and the man's flesh dissolved, along with the rest of his body.
Ardonious opened a door, and proceeded to walk out of the room. Kelethin walked behind him, trying to stay close to the surprisingly fleet of foot mage. They ran through a tomb that was infested with rats, saw a few priestesses that paid them little heed, and proceeded to the sacrificial pit.
There, Kelethin saw a shape hanging from some chains. He cast a spell of levitation on himself and levitated to the shape. He gasped in horror as he saw the mutilated body of his friend Thalen. There were cuts and gashes all over his body, and he looked as if he had been vomiting blood. He was motionless, and for a second, appeared to be dead. Kelethin put his hand to Thalen's throat, and felt a slight heartbeat. "He's alive!!" Kelethin thought. Quickly, he cast a spell of healing and felt Thalen's pulse grow stronger. Kelethin then uncorked his water skin, and let a few drops spill down the thief's throat. Thalen sat up, looking as fresh as a week old rose.
"Ooohhh," he groaned as he slowly sat up. He then saw the face of his friend. "Kelethin, what are you doing here?" he demanded, with a strange fear in his voice.
"Saving you, what's it look like," replied Kelethin.
"Quickly, we have to flee from this place friend, it is home to many demonic and twisted evils. Quickly, untangle me and let us leave." Kelethin started untangling his friend's body from the chains, and, in a few minutes, he and Thalen floated back down to the floor. Suddenly, Kelethin sensed something not quite right. He looked into the shadows of the room, and saw a strange glowing.
"What in the name of Sith?" said Kelethin as the strange light came closer. It was about the same size and shape as the mage Ardonious had been. It even looked humanoid. The strange light sped in front of the two adventures, and within it materialized the form of a giant woman. She was extremely beautiful, with long hair as black as the coal from the mines of Medievia, and eyes as blue as the waters of Crystal Lake. Kelethin started towards her, wanting to prostrate himself in front of this physical manifestation of beauty itself.
"No, don't!!" The panicked voice of Thalen broke the strange trance. "She is the demon Xezadha, do not approach her, she shall surely slay you for doing so." The demon focused her eyes upon the bodies of the two companions.
"Fools, you thought you could desecrate my church, destroy my priests and worshippers, and than walk away," said the demon. "I appeared to you thinking you would know who I was. To let you get this far was my plan, and now, I shall have two souls for the price of one! You shall know the wrath of Xezadha!" The demon shrieked these final words, and as she did, Kelethin's flesh began to disintegrate in a searing light.
Behind him, Kelethin heard Thalen rush towards the demon and shouted to him, "Quickly, flee and get behind the demon." Thalen quietly sneaked past the enraged Xezadha. Kelethin, on the other hand, was sustaining massive wounds. He cast a spell of healing upon himself to mend his massive battle wounds, and then forced his spirit upon the epitome of evil that was Xezadha. He continued to heal himself, and when he had time, magically attack the mighty demon for what seemed like hours, until feeling his magical energies almost completely drained, he fled the room. A few seconds later, he heard a mighty death cry. He ran back into the room to see Thalen polishing his dagger to remove the mighty demon's blood from the blade.
"Ahh, my thanks friend," said Kelethin. He and Thalen sprawled on the ground, exhausted from the ordeal. Kelethin looked up, and thought he saw a fluttering in the shadows. "Nah," he thought, "It's just your mind, and you' re overtaxed." He stood up, and Thalen followed suit. "I think we should get out of here Thalen, eh?"
"Yeah, lets gaaaaa," Thalen moaned. His body then fell to the ground, a dagger between his shoulder blades. Kelethin saw that same flickering in the shadows again, and quickly chanted a few words. He disappeared in a bright flash of light.