This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos Part 45 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
Adiran strode forward, Helga walked with him. She finally seemed at peace with her surroundings as she did so. This was a subtle thing, but it reminded of something.
Perhaps it is time.
He put his palms together and focussed his magical energy, he closed his eyes and opened his palms keeping the tips of his fingers together.
His mind's eye now surveyed the land around him. He could see each member of the party, but he did not yet want to focus on their life-forces and conditions just yet.
Instead, he scanned the immediate area and a greater range all around them. It only took moments. Very few living or other beings were still nearby. There were the signs of two or three retreating Gallopods and he caught the sight of something the size of a dog scuttling away on ten chitinous legs.
It was possible that their clash had chased away most things of most sizes and power. The amount of magical energy the mutant, the revenant, the mages and the shapeshifter had unleashed could challenge certain inhuman beings of great power.
Thus, most beings scattered away from the areas as though one of their masters or elder beings were nearby. Aidran had no doubt that if one of them arrived, they would all be doomed. But they did not usually venture into this shallow place.
Despite this, it was time to leave this cursed existence where they had gotten stuck in a trial phase. He was fairly sure that they has still kept their alignment neutral between the two masters who converged on this place.
Except for himself of course.
And he hoped that Magna was still in the neutral condition where the two of Them were concerned.
"They are not the only two, you know." Helga said in his ear.
"I don't know how you manage to do that." Adiran said. It was not the first time. He had checked and scanned her for magical energies and had always found none. "But here those two are all that matters. We are lucky enough to have gotten stuck on the plane where the two of them are equally powerful and thus neither very powerful... by comparison."
"Are we able to leave yet?" She asked him.
Adiran did not open his eyes and instead cast his focus on her. "You are clear... Derric is clear. Gorox and Noxus can pass, though the signs do not show much for Gorox. The two of them will need to go the other way... Mortis... Mortis is clear. Remarkable. His convictions are now clear and his belief... Magna has done much to set him at ease about himself."
"What about you?"
"I was never on trail." Adiran said stiffly. "It was not my choosing."
"Was Magna not on trial either? She seems to be aligned to..."
"No! She is NOT aligned!" Adiran snapped at the harpy. "There is a chance that she can still be without that damned stain... yes she has had dreams but dreams can be amorphous and the many can still each add its own part to the dream. There is the primordial that seeks to keep the balance."
Helga was silent at that. She decided that offering a counterargument would just set the mage off in a terrible mood. They could not afford this to happen. instead she checked the bindings on her wing splints while the mage had his eyes closed.
Almost naturally, without being told to do so, the party converged to the pair. Maybe because Helga was injured, they did not know that she was healthier than they. She just could not fly. At first it had terrified the harpy, but she knew now more about what it is to feel human. This time will pass. Her wing shall heal.
Magna rode on the back of Derric. Helga could not decide what it was that the shapeshifter was anymore, perhaps not any one creature at the moment. His lupine body and catlike face was joined by a pair of small wings. She did not feel envy at this.
The shapeshifter had not yet flown, but he used the wings on his back to make a sort of cradle for the girl. She had passed out once more.
Behind them Gorox was supported by the one-armed woman and Mortis on the other side. That the two initiates accepted help from the undead man was a marvel.
When they finally set the bleeding warrior down before Adiran the muscled warrior grunted and looked up at Mortis. "You are a warrior of honor. We did not understand. It seems that not all of the undying are of the same kin."
Mortis gave a slight bow of his head. "The only kin that I have are the children... the children of Drakenspoort."
Adiran opened his eyes then. "I will open a portal now for the two Initiates. You need to return to the mortal realm."
"Will you not be going back as well?" Noxos asked, her eyes wide.
"We did not come here for a Trial." Adiran said ruefully. "That was accidental. We were passing through and because of your Trial, this realm reconciled our presences into one experience."
"I see." The younger mage said. "Where do you go now then?"
"Rather not ask." Adiran said. "Also, perhaps do not tell them of myself and Mortis. You two will need to paraphrase the truth. Turst me, there have been other survivors in the Temples that came back with less than the four. Uaually, initiates do not need to deal with Gallopods."
"You know a lot about our Order." Gorox said.
"I am old, I have seen things, I have been places." Adiran hesitated. "Just don't say my name. Not for another ten years. It might make your lives difficult there."
Without a further word he opened a portal.
"Fare well brave Initiates of the Kai."
The muscled man stood and he and the woman disappeared into shimmering light.
:"Now for our turn." Adiran said. The portal was a bit larger to accommodate their shape shifter. Helga lead the party through, Adiran would be the last. Derric carried Magna through. Mortis followed and Adiran was the last through the portal.
They left nothing behind but an area marred by destruction and combat. A splash of blood and a severed arm.
The scuttling creature returned when they were gone and found the arm. It began to feast.
When they stepped through the portal Adiran knew that they were in the right place but that something was very wrong.
Mortis was right in his face, his helm removed and his face twisted in anguish.
"Where is Magna?"
Aditan looked quickly for Derric, the shapeshifter had turned into a boy, though he looked more like Magna's age now. There were other details of his body that did not make sense but for the moment he could not think of it.
Magna was not with him.
A quick glance verified that Helga was there. The girl had passed through the portal but had not appeared with them.
Adiran growled and re-opened a portal and fell backwards through it. Just like that he was gone.
"What in the Hells is going on?!" Mortis bellowed. Neither of the Blood were here now and they were in a strange place.
I guess the curve balls keep coming @lex-zaiya!
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