Just after Jekhar, Soren, and I had reached the top of the cliff, it started pouring. Now, I’ve been outside in some pretty nasty rainstorms before, but there was something about this rain that just sapped the strength right out of me. Soren also seemed affected by the rain but for some reason, the rain just seemed to roll right off Jekhar. Soren looked up at the sky, shrugged, and started toward the ruins where Taro and Tsura had gone. I hurried to follow and Jekhar brought up the rear of our sad, wet little group.
It took us well over an hour to finally reach the ruins. When we entered the ruins, we could hear several people moving around in what looked to be a long chapel. As we walked into the chapel, I was surprised to not see Taro and Tsura, but Taro and the large priest from the airship. Even more shocking was the fact that the priest was up and walking around. It seems his leg had been healed as mysteriously as Taro’s wounds had been.
As he saw us, Taro called us over and introduced us to the priest. It turns out the reason Raphael had not spoken before was because he had no tongue. The thought of someone cutting out another person’s tongue would normally have sickened me, but with everything that had happened in the last two days, it didn’t really seem that strange any more.
Taro and the priest showed us what they had found around the chapel. At the front of the chapel was a towering triangular pillar that reached through the roof and up to a tower of some sort. Strange dials with letters and numbers adorned each side of the triangle. From the paths through the dust on the floor, it was fairly clear that there was some way to cause the pillar to open.
Off one side of the chapel was a small room, complete with creepy statues of things that looked almost human. Several of the statues looked to have been recently knocked over and shattered. In the center of the room hung an odd charm of some sort that seemed to be dripping. I didn’t pay close attention to it, there was something off about the room and I got out of there as quick as I could.
Off the other side of the chapel was a hallway that led right off the cliff into the sea. Before it led off the cliff, there was a room with a giant mosaic in the center of the room. The mosaic seemed to be a clue of some sort to how to open the pillar in the chapel. Always up for puzzle solving, I sat down and looked over the mosaic to try to make sense of it. Unable to make heads or tails of it, I was about to walk out when Soren walked in, took one glance at the mosaic and pointed out that 3 pieces of it corresponded to 3 of the statues in the other room.
We turned the dials to the names from the diagram and with a shudder the pillar opened revealing a stairway. As the group began walking up the stairway, I followed Raphael, feeling slightly safer now that my protector had returned.
The first thing I saw at the top of the stairs was the large metal coffin. It was identical to the ones that had been on the shipwrecked ship. I shuddered slightly as I saw the coffin was open and empty. A clanking of metal pulled my attention toward the ceiling and the hundreds of rusty hooks on chains hanging from it.
Taro pointed to the door on the far side of the room and told us there would be a little girl on the other side of the door; he had seen it in a dream. At the mention of a little girl, I looked over at Soren and Jekhar. They both looked surprised and Jekhar explained to the rest of the group about the girl we had heard talk to us on the ship.
With more confidence than I felt, I opened the door. Sure enough, inside the room stood what looked to be a little girl. It’s about time you got here, she said as we walked in. I’ve been waiting for you. Why didn’t you come sooner? A barrage of questions followed, coming from both her and from our group. Her name was Seline Luna and she had been in the coffin we found, bound there by the Knights of Tol Roko. Galael, who was now masquerading as the marquis, had released her only to trap her in this room and steal whatever power she had using The Flaros.
At one point during the questions, she reached out and touched me. With a shock I realized that I then knew the entire contents of the scroll regarding The Flaros and could understand the language it was written in. Eventually it became clear that something was keeping her from telling us who exactly Galael was working for, but it was clear that Galael was responsible for the terror that the village had been dealing with for the last few years.
When Taro asked her how we could defeat Galael, the nightmare, she asked for his katana. She sliced her hand and spread the blood along the blade. She said the blood coated blade would allow us to kill his corporeal form.
Selina begged us to retrieve The Flaros from Galael and return it to her so that she could release herself from the trap Galael had placed her in. We agreed that we needed to get The Flaros back from her, but none of us actually trusted that she was as benevolent as she portrayed herself.
We bid her adieu and left to return to town. After arriving in town, we went to the cemetery to see if Catherine would help us with the Marquis. Surprisingly, she immediately agreed to help us, as long as we would work to release the Marquis’ hold on the village. When we agreed, she said the first thing we needed to do was dig up Father Scott’s body.
At that point, I was especially glad that Soren and Raphael were around as I had no desire to dig up any body. In his coffin, they found a partially burned paper that detailed the Father’s suspicions of the Marquis and how the Father felt he was responsible for everything that had been happening to the island.
Catherine said we would be able to find the head of the guard, Zolt, at the inn with Miram. I couldn’t stand to think of what he might be doing to that poor woman. As we got close to the inn, 2 of his guards attempted to stop us from entering, but a quick glance at the resolve on our faces stopped them in their tracks. A slap rang out from inside the inn and we burst through the door to find Zolt grabbing Miram’s arm after apparently having been slapped by her.
Taro closed with Zolt and the two traded blows back and forth. Soren appeared from the shadows under one of the tables and joined the fight against Zolt. Their combined attacks quickly overwhelmed him. Raphael spun and punched through the wall next to the door, almost decapitating one of the guards with a single blow. The other guard, seeing what had just happened, turned and ran off into the night. Seeing Zolt fall, Miram started yelling at him and kicking him. Almost without thinking, I mentally reached out and went to remove her anger and help calm her. It felt like my head exploded as the warnings of Professor Greggory came flooding back to me. Always focus, never perform mental acts while distracted.
Although I had done nothing to calm her, Miram suddenly stopped kicking the now-dead Zolt. She grabbed her belly and collapsed to the floor with a scream of pain. Catherine and Jekhar hurriedly carried her upstairs to deliver her baby. I collapsed in a chair by the fire, head still throbbing. Taro, Soren, and Raphael worked to barricade the front doors and windows.
A short hour later, the Marquis’ carriage could be heard arriving outside the inn. He called in to us and offered to make this easy on us. We not-so-politely declined. The barricaded doors suddenly blew off their hinges and the Marquis walked up to the inn, 3 guards following close behind him.
As he walked up, wolves larger than Taro’s horses moved out of the forest toward the inn. Out of nowhere, several lions attacked the giant wolves and drove them back into the woods.
Remembering my professor’s warnings, I focused on one of the guards, finding the fear living deep inside him. I grabbed that fear and expanded it until it overwhelmed all his other feelings. He turned and ran toward the forest. The Marquis’ gaze snapped toward me and he smiled slightly. Then Taro, Soren, and Raphael closed on him and the fight began in earnest.
When Taro drew his katana, the Marquis stared at the blood on the blade. Where did you get that? Turning to his men, he shouted Burn this inn down! With naught more than a grim smile, Taro attacked. The ensuing chaos between the Marquis, Taro, Soren, and Raphael of them was unlike anything I had ever seen. In the time it took me to determine that the Marquis was mentally creating a massive effect of fear, Taro had sliced off his arm and stepped in for the final blow…