By the Dark of the Moon
[Note: This appeared in the 8th DFC, dated Aug,
26th. 1992, titled:BY THE DARK OF THE MOON by Kyshra Sorrowfell.]
It was but two hours after nightfall when I sensed an urgent
mindsend from the young Psycian, Angelica. With the frantic messages, she told me of how
the rogue Muatana-Al Nemisis had murdered her without provocation, and stole everything
she owned. When her familiar, a tiny sparrow, landed near her in confusion over her
mistress' dying agonies, Nemisis grabbed the little thing and wrung the life from it. She
asked if I could contact my noble brother Altasren. She hoped that he would champion her.
I urgently invoked my runes, calling up the spell that would
allow me to return Angelica's plea. The amber aura enveloped me and I sent a message to
her. Unfortunately, I knew that my dear brother was busy, preparing the next Chronicle
issue, and I didn't know when I would be able to contact him. I told Angelica of this.
I could feel the pain leak through her mindsend as she acknowledged my reply. She told me of how, when Nemisis had knocked her down with the ferocity of his assault, she begged him to spare her life. Over and over she pleaded, but with a malignant smirk he drained her lifeforce, then finished her.
With his battles against Rubert for my sake known well in the
Spur, I believe Altasren has become known as a champion of the persecuted. I thought of
what he would do in this situation, and promised to help her in any way I could.
Preparing myself for the confrontation with the miscreant, I
visited the Guild and renewed my runes. I then returned into Spur in hopes of finding
Angelica. Looking up at the sky, I could see the lunar eclipse - an obvious omen, but for
good or ill I did not know. I passed through an oddly empty Town Square, finally finding
her along the south road. She was surrounded by a small group of friends, who all listened
intently to her woeful tale.
I knew all three; Karela, Thoan and Maldevorium, who all
sought to comfort her. I joined them in promising to help seek justice. My heart was heavy
in my breast though. Was I up to this challenge? Was I capable of fulfilling my promise,
against a notorious Muatana feral? Doubts nagged at me.
Suddenly, the object of our dark council strode out of the
night towards us... a look of supreme arrogance on his features. He ignored us, as he
stalked southward. Unsure of what to do, none of us drew steel; he passed us into the
Those with me knew the habits of Nemisis well. They suggested
that we hide in the shadows. For Nemisis - like many of his foul type - has been known to
pass by and then suddenly return, in hopes of catching his victims unawares. Angelica
remained standing in the street, a torch in hand, ready to confront her assailant. I was
quite impressed by her bravery.
Nemisis did return, stepping into the light of Angelica's
torch. A bone chilling snarl sounded from the shadows as Karela leapt at him. Thoan and
Maldevorium engaged him as well in attempt to put a halt to his murderous rampage. I
invoked a spell at him, but there was a flaw in my casting, and the spell fell in on
Nemisis faced us with a silent grin, dropping into a defensive fighting posture. Most of the attacks were dodged, and those that hit did little damage. The rogue let two sleep spells fly at Karela. The lady Khat resisted the first one but fell to the second. Fortunately, she awakened and scrambled away before Nemisis could lay a hand on her.
I invoked a second spell at Nemisis as Thoan and Maldevorium
pressed their own attacks. Karela picked herself up and and slashed at Nemisis again. He
then fled north; none of us followed. He returned quickly, obviously having fled to avoid
the effects of my spell. The Muatana-Al turned his gaze upon me ...
Nemisis gazed into my eyes twice, trying to subvert my will
to him. Both times I resisted, the memory of my love giving me strength. I think he
assumed my enchantment a sleep spell, for he returned far too soon. The thick, crystalline
strands of my Spider's Web entrapped Nemisis, binding him helplessly. Karela, Maldevorium
and Thoan renewed their attacks and quickly dispatched him.
Pride swelled within my breast, I leaned back my head and let
out a long dark laugh. We had done it! We embraced and congratulated each other. I invoked
an amber aura and announced our victory to everyone in Spur. We split his equipment among
ourselves, and returned any items he stole to the rightful owners.
It was some time later when I began to think about what I had
done. I had sought the death of another being... and after killing him, taken pleasure in
it. Did I do right? If we would have let him continue to kill, would that have been right?
I didn't know the answers to the doubts that plagued me. I spent the night in the arms of
my beloved, as he sought to comfort me.