This was it!
Nyrissa was in front of us.
With a blade made of flame held up to the throat of an older man that bore a striking resemblance to Learion. Lywin Tannister, it was confirmed as Learion called out for his father and was answered promptly by the blind old man.
A glowing wall was in front of us, but a large portion of the group had teleported into the room averting their eyes so that the nymph wouldn’t blind them with her gaze, so they had no idea it was there.
Thankfully one of the many spells to go off in a strangely pregnant moment of time dissipated the wall and I was able to summon the power and wrath of Iomedae and direct it towards Nyrissa.
The area was a simple, small room, barely big enough for the whole group and Nyrissa and her charmed companion, but I stepped up anyway, trying to guide those that couldn’t see through voice alone. It went badly…
Io summoned the blessings of Iomedae again and again, while Khan zapped the woman with a powerful ray that made her scream in pain. Imajica focused on protection primarily for the first few moments of the battle.
Throughout the fight, weirdly, Nyrissa kept narrating her thoughts and actions, and looked both confused and frustrated as she did so…maybe a quirky side effect of the Thousand Breaths crashing in our realm?
She was proving all by impossible to harm with melee weapons. Her magical defences were formidable and it took something special to breach them. Or something of equal magical power.
While those who fought with weapons struggled vainly on, those with magic in their arsenal were proving slightly more effective, and so the Nymph was systematically removing them from the fight as she could.
First, our king.
He’s not a minotaur.
I swear, I heard Imajica laugh as he heard the now very familiar verbal components of that particular spell. It appears he’s started a craze of sorts.
Next, she tried to blanket dispel all our godly protections, but Io kept maintaining most of them.
Lastly, she aimed the same deadly ray at our arch-mage, intent of ending his now blind existence. I threw myself in the path of the spell, and as it hit my chest, I felt the world go dark and cold. A single warm hand reached through the fog of death and rested upon by breast, power thrumming through the palm, healing me of some of those most grievous of wounds.
Amazed at the power of my God once again, I renewed my devotion to her and stepped forth to smite her most foul enemy.
Imajica had a moment of magical genius…and madness. Somehow, he removed ALL magic from the room, except for Briar. While this made a significant difference to us, it almost crippled Nyrissa.
A few lusty blows from Learion, some well placed stabs from Rafe and some pummeling from Oret ended her miserable and tortured existence.
The castle secure, the enemy vanquished, the kingdom safe again, we returned home.
A large patch of land, nearly a mile across was the remaining site of where the final bloom, a massive invasion force, ably held off by our well trained armies, appeared. It’s unclear whether the land would ever be fertile again.
Imajica has retreated from the kingdom somewhat and resides in the very castle Nyrissa called home. It appears that the mage tower in Shrike City occasionally has a visitor, but for all we know, Imajica is nose deep in books, as is his first love. Evindra had also disappeared from Shrike City. It appears that she also turned up in the same Castle of Knives that Imajica now calls home.
And I, Roche Brightheart have had a more than interesting time. my son Io Brightheart has finally announced what the world knew, that he loved Andromeda Niska and they will be married..if he ever finds the courage to ask (although it looks as though Andromeda will probably tire and ask him first at this rate).
Throughout the years, we have uncovered some great dangers. Two of the greatest are the greatsword of Armag the Twice-Born, a minor artifact capable of turning the wielder into Armag himself, born again, and Briar, the bastard sword born of the nymph Nyrissa’s ability to love. A fully fledged, and sentient artifact.
Both of these require destruction, as in the wrong hands, they could both wreak havoc. Many spells, much research and copious amounts of gold will go into finding out how to destroy them utterly (along with the body of Nyrissa, so she may never rise again).
I have commissioned a Holy Avenger Long Sword to be made as my ceremonial blade of office as a replacement.
And I have also realised that Iomedae has a plan for me as well. Ashularae and I have begun a courtship. It has been an experience…suffice to say, it is proving to be the greatest adventure of them all.