Chapter 4.4: Prophecy of the Dead
With the sun rising—gosh, have I really been up this long? —the Celebration-of-the-Celestial-Alignmentturned-Illuden-Marcana-emergency-meeting draws to a close. The attending Illuden and Marcana, tired of passive-aggressively staring at each other (some more aggressive than others), shuffle out into the morning sun.
It's been a while since you caught a glimpse of Alice or Robert. You wonder what they were up to or where this mysterious meeting chamber was. You find a comfy chair and sit with Chester until the group comes out.
You are pretty much the only one left in the building by the time you see Edwin, Gemini, Alice, and Robert. Chester nudges you with his nose to alert you that the four of them are approaching and you try not to look super exhausted. Their faces convey a neutral expression, but you can't help but notice that Edwin and Gemini are trying to walk as far apart as possible without looking too obvious. I guess a couple of hours can only solve some problems.
The quartet came to a stop in front of you.
"After consulting ancient texts—" Gemini starts.
"—And with more concrete evidence found and presented—" Edwin butts in, interrupting. Gemini takes a deep breath before continuing, trying to quell a sustained rage.
"We believe your accusations have merit. Specifically, there is an ancient prophecy that speaks of a… Necromancer."
"A Necromancer?" you question.
"One who deals with death. One who brings back what should never be brought back."
"The prophecy states that the Necromancer will be the end to all Marcana and Illuden," Edwin states gravely.
"Perhaps the end to all life on this celestial plane," Gemini concludes. It's now time for Edwin to exhale over Gemini's actions.
"So how do we stop them?" You ask.
"The text states that only three things together can stop the Necromancer," Alice speaks, her voice hoarser from the last time you spoke. "First, the medallion of truth. Second, an ancient spell lost to time. Third…" She trails off.
"Third is the Bearer of the Mark of Merlin," Robert picks up.
"Me?" You sputter out. Robert nods.
"The prophecy mentions the Bearer of the Mark of Merlin as the only one who can destroy the Necromancer. The Marcana and Illuden families trust you. It has to be you and we know you can do it," Alice says.
"The medallion of truth," Gemini starts to speak, without any care towards Alice and Robert, "was torn atwain by the Ancients and given to the leaders of the Marcana and Illuden, for eternal safeguarding. As the current keepers of the medallion pieces, we bestow our halves to you, so you can complete this mission." Edwin and Gemini in turn take off necklaces hanging around their necks and hand them to you. You gaze upon two brilliant pieces of gemstone hanging around golden chains, each half looking cracked in symmetrical ways. You carefully put them over your head and look towards the group.
"And we believe you, in your travels, have uncovered clues towards the Spell of Illumination, the ancient spell described in our historical tomes," Edwin states, "So all you need to do is find and confront this threat, and you will truly be a hero to us all."
You nod at Gemini and Edwin, trying not to be overwhelmed by everything. You see Alice grimacing, ill at ease.
"We trust you to bring down the Necromancer, Bearer of the Mark," Gemini sports a serene smile, "I shall be off to commune with the spirits."
"…And I need to prepare our people for the worst-case scenario," Edwin says, rolling his eyes at Gemini, "Good luck."
Edwin and Gemini take their leave. Only yourself, Alice, Robert, and Chester remain.
"Well I think that went well!" Robert says, breaking the tension.
"I don't know… something feels… wrong."
"Alice, come on! We got a win, lighten up!"
"I… you're right, Robert. I should be happy. I should be… relieved." Alice continues to stare intensely at you. It makes you feel… awkward, to say the least.
"That's a start," Robert says, laughing. "So, all we need to do is figure out this spell and track down the Necromancer! Then bing bang boom, world saved." He picks up Chester and starts dancing around with the rabbit.
"Yeah, something like that," you reply.
"I'll start talking with some Marcana who specialize in aura sensing and see if I can get an idea where this ‘mancer might be."
"And I," Alice says, keeping up with the conversation though her voice seems a million miles away, "I will do some more research into the prophecy."
"Sounds good. Go team!" Robert cheers as he vanishes away, the wind carrying him off to another destination, and Chester plops back on the ground. Alice still stares at you, perplexed.
"You should get going," Alice mutters out. "There are some interesting characters to the North that might know more about the Spell of Illumination." You open your mouth and then promptly close it. You think better about asking Alice what has her so off-kilter.
You simply nod at her and head off again into the world.