Once More Into the Breach

Getting there isn't fun at all. In fact, it's incredibly dangerous.

“Let’s do the Time Warp again…”
-Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Time Warp”

Manriki evoked a great magic, offering the spirits of those who fell a second chance at life if they would devote their new lives to serving The Invincible. Some of them heeded the call, and asked Manriki for directions. He told them to seek out the temples in Cardinnia. The survivors of the battle gathered in the ship’s bar, where Desirra was sleeping off an epic hangover. Eilonwy cast neutralize poison on her as Manriki cast _ mass heal_ or something. A few spells later, Manriki went to take care of Luvanar.

Aria watched.

Manriki just followed his instincts, moving his hands through strange passes, drawing out this… darkness that seemed to stain the very air from Luvanar’s body and pulling it into himself, to his apparent discomfort. Manriki’s skin turned translucent, and he began acting strangely. Nevertheless, he completed the resurrection, and Luvanar sat up, thankful to be among the living once more. He teleported to Dogar and brought him back to the ship while Manriki went to inquire after Eilonwy.

She was feeling sick, but in a strange way that she couldn’t really describe- it felt like small hearts of corruption were embedded under her skin, and she could feel them pumping counterpoint to her own pulse. The two of them tried various healing spells on her, and cured her somewhat, but not completely. The two of them came to the end of their repertoire of healing magic, and decided to think on it a little more.

Then the party reconvened and Luvanar explained that he had realized that the party was running back and forth trying to put out fires without apprehending the arsonist, so to speak, and the only way to find the heart of the problem was to go to where the problem was coming from- the end or nearly the end of the fading timestream. He had the beginnings of a spell that could take the ship along with its crew safely into the timestream (as repeated uses of wish were likely to lose their efficacy), but it would take some help in the casting. Someone, possibly Dogar asked if they needed to bring the ship, and it was explained that Caden would be leaving them, anyway. Luvanar realized that not having to transport the ship would take a lot of the math out of casting, but he would need a few days to recalculate it.

So the resurrected crew flew along to Valdar, where Caden bid them goodbye. Aria asked a few insensitive questions about this parting, and Caden eventually ignored her and left. Luvanar shut himself in the inn room, Manriki went to a temple of Hieroneous and prayed for guidance, Eilonwy went looking for pie (giving in to her fey nature), and Dogar went out on the town with Desirra as the two of them indulged their mental disorders, pulling a 12+-hour drink and gamble-a-thon that Manriki and Eilonwy wandered into around hour 15 or so.

Finally, the last bit of math was completed and Luvanar transported the party into the timestream. The usual feelings of connection and supra-awareness washed over the group, except for Desirra, for whom this was an entirely new experience. Nevertheless, she fit right into the eave of Luvanar’s magic, and the party began to move their conveyance, a silvery bubble through the time stream-

Until the shimmering curtains of sand parted for the briefest of instants to the right of the bubble, and the group caught a glimpse of an emaciated woman carrying a scythe over her shoulder. The very sight of this entity, who Manriki and Luvanar realized was probably the Abstract of Death, drained the party’s health by degrees, and killed Bleddyn outright. Before anyone could react, Death was obscured by another wave of golden sand, and to the far back left of the bubble, another gap opened up, revealing the Abstract of War. War’s presence caused the group to believe themselves in the midst of a great conflict- with each other. Manriki began casting a spell ot bolster his allies. Aria recorded the goings-on. Dogar charged over to Eilonwy in his “dance of death,” and he cut her down before she could cry out. Desirra pounced on Luvanar, nearly finishing him, but the wizard erected a wall of stone between him and his assailant just in time for Manriki’s spell to go off, revealing the malign influence for what it was.

Manriki brought EIlonwy back to life, and through the judicious use of healing spells, the party managed to avoid Death’s embrace. Death’s presence lingered on for awhile yet, however, and continued to drain the vitality from the group, but Manriki and Eilonwy were able to stave off the ill effects through the judicious application of healing magic.

A shadowy presence hovered by Aria, who spent the first leg of the journey retching, but no one really noticed. Once the magic powering that leg of the journey ran out, a hooded female figure was shunted from the silvery bubble, grasping at the party as she fell away along an errant current of the timestream.

The party had traveled just under a year forward in time, though they had spent no time of their own doing so. A few more healing spells went around and they tried again. The subsequent trips were not as immediately dire, though Eilonwy was attacked by a swarm of vermin shortly after the chattering of a Monkey filled the bubble. She also became violently, terrifyingly ill a few moments later, vomiting bloody sputum and convulsing.

The bout of sickness passed almost as quickly as it came, but the kiloren girl was much the worse for wear. Finally, the party emerged from the timestream 29 months, 2 weeks and 4 days further than when they had began.

And the timestream continued to stretch out before them, shrinking as it went, but with no end in sight, as the mocking laughter of the Abstracts echoed through the dark void of the Plane of Time.



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