34: Plans against Feathers
A small band of Bhulls Purifiers walked through the cobblestone laid streets of Cormanworth. A quad, a group of four, each with their own set of skills used to hunt demons and other creatures that went bump in the night. The Purifiers groups usually had two spell casters, one a priest for healing and an arcana caster for other offensive spells. The last two are often warrior or rogue types. Each Purifier also cross-trained in other abilities; each also had some minor priest magic, all could heal or purge the mind of otherly world influences when needed.
Lincoln G’nisleh walked in the forefront of his group. He wore his usual battle attire under the brown robes of hardened leathers with several enchanted daggers, each with different abilities for different situations.
His other companions following each similarly dressed. You would still be hard-pressed to determine what each was carrying under their brown robes.
Lincoln followed the shadows that crisscrossed the street. Looking up, he watched the silver-haired Demon Lord Ka’Azalin flying in the streets above. The demoness’s red leathery wings rippled with the wind while weaving in and around the tower spires above being chased by her fool thrall Chareime. This saddened him, for the loss of such a divine champion to the will of a foul demon. Soon this imbalance in the world would be corrected.
Crossing into the main plaza, he found himself directly across from the Temple of Toluene. He felt people of the city did not worry about this evil Demon Lord walking their streets. The merchants still went about their daily business and routines as if nothing had happened. The goddess has not provoked the population yet, other than cause a disruption in the rain cycle. His troop pushed on past the merchant stalls and other vendors selling their wares, each yelling about how their prices are the best in town.
Lincoln arriving at his destination, the four square Temple of Toluene. Walking up to the largest of the square buildings, they then waited, known that Father Termine would be here shortly to inquire about why Lincoln came to visit.
Father Termine came out with a proper guard as well. He dressed in his Sunfire robe and carried his yellow crystal staff with authority. Both men did a quick bow to each other. “Well, is it not Father G’nisleh what can bring you to my humble Temple?”
“Father Termine, we should speak in private.”
Termine gesturing his arm in a direction, “Agreed. This way.”
The two men proceeded into the main temple. The walls were decorated with many elegantly drawn paintings. The prominent symbols of the faith, the winged sword displayed prominently throughout the halls and corridors. Both Termine and G’nisleh entered into a modest conference room, filled with bright colors and a wide stained glass window.
Both took a seat across from each other. Father Termine broke the silence. “Now then, we are here to discuss her, yes?“. Both men knew one golden rule. When speaking about gods, never speak the name aloud; this can gain their attention. This is why prayers are so powerful when a god listens and then responds.
Lincoln folded his hands together, “Yes. My Purifiers are nearly ready to act on removing her from our city and hopefully our lives. You are the best hope for Charmeine; he is a valued warrior against demons and undead. He has fallen under the sway of the Demon Lord.”
“Yes, her power of him is unquestionable. We are planning to rescue him from her as well.”
“Good, we need to remove the Demon Lords support. The dark goddess has never used a large group of followers to support her; in this case, she has remained true to her nature. She often summons large hordes of monsters to do her bidding. If we fail, Cormanworth will be invaded by a surge of creatures. The loss of life will be high.”
Termine stroked his braided beard, nodding in agreement. “We need to have a plan; what do you have in mind?“. He reached over to a side table and poured himself a glass of water, “Want one? Just water.”
Lincoln nodded, “So, this is part of my plan I can discuss with you. The fewer who know the details, the more likely we will succeed.”
The two trailed off, plotting the demise of the dark goddess.
Andrea swooped down; she carried a spare wooden training staff she snagged from Oliver’s workshop. Her aim was off as the wooden stick missed Charmeine by inches. He raised his altitude a bit, twisted, and planted the training spear he was using directly into her side. The same place he had hit her before. The blow knocked Andrea back; she changed direction and soared around a building, cursing.
Charmeine laughed, “Hatchling! Got you again.” all he heard was cursing, trailing off in the distance. He scanned the skies, looking for where she would reappear. “Going invisible again? That will not help you too much.” He reached down onto his belt pack and pulled out a set of flight goggles. Quickly faceting the straps to fit his head, he glanced around. The goggles enchantment allowed him to find creatures using concealing magic by viewing the concealing magic in an outline. Had she not used this trick before, he would have been caught by surprise. He looked around, and then he did the one thing he did not want to, he looked into the sun-sphere. He rolled out of the way, tucking his wings down, and dived to the side. Andrea had indeed turned invisible and then, as an added precaution, had claimed and dived at him coming from the angle of the sun in hopes to blind him. Had he not used the goggles, he would have been walloped by her staff. “Nice try, Hatchling! Your tricks won’t work on me again, woman!”
Charmeine slapped her butt as she overshot him with the end of his practice spear. He heard her curse with frustration again.
Andrea canceled her spell, with Charmeine chasing her down to the main plaza. She nearly crashed into a merchant stall flying a little too low. The surprised merchant screamed out in surprise at the sudden intrusion.
Andrea landed near the plaza’s inner wall, with Charmeine right behind her. She spun around as Charmeine grabbed her by the waist and pushed her into the wall. He heard in his head as Andrea pushed a thought into his head, Kiss me. He did, and both enjoyed each other's taste on their lips.
Andrea grinned as she hugged his muscle laid end body. “I still have a lot to work to do. You keep kicking my ass in the air.”
“Yes, Hatchling, you have a long way to go.” He knew what was coming next, after morning practice, was playtime of another more primal nature and her mid-day snack.
Andrea took his hand, “What do you want for lunch today? Want me to cook? Maybe we can get Oliver to cook again.”
Charmeine looked back at the plaza, “The Rusty Nail, the best place in town.” He retracted his wings back into his body, and Andrea did the same.
“Let’s go then; I am in the mood for wine, a salad, and a taste sweet feathery desert.” Both headed back to the little outside pub for lunch, holding each other's hands.
Oliver looked down at the scrying bowl; he really began to hate himself, hate Charmeine. He started imaging horrible things to do to someone who was a rather good guy. The training that Heather had done to him, the skills that he acquired. The ones he kept locked up in the back of his mind. Oliver took a step back and canceled the spell again. How many times this week had he resulted in using magic to spy on Andrea. These feelings are driving him crazy.