Scouting the Light
Taken together, the vast amount of magical and innate power brought to bear is more than enough to let Seshmet obtain a perfect view of the red light and its source. Whether that is something he will have wanted to achieve once he sees what is there, well. That’s another question.
His vantage point gives him a view across the broken landscape of Daer Akmir. The geography has not changed a great deal; there is still enough of it that he can clearly see that this is the land he has spent so many hundreds of years traveling. But it is broken. Deep rents in the earth, fires across the land; it reminds him of the Shadow War, the way the land itself seemed to burn at the most ferocious points of that terrible conflict.
What may be surprising is that the settlements seem to be in better condition; they are fortified more heavily, manned by the stoic guards of the Atonement Office, there is a ready and continual force to preserve the lives of the Royal Basin. The land outside those walls, though, has paid a heavy price. Evidence of that devastation and sacrifice is scarred into the land for miles in all directions.
But his primary focus was the red light. And the first thing he has to ask himself is which one he wants to inspect.
From his suddenly increased vantage it becomes immediately obvious that there are many more of these points; three within a day’s travel, and more on the distant horizon. Focusing his will and the iron clarity of Ourus, he peers down at the nearest one – and what he sees chills him to the core.
Seshmet has fought the servants of the Bloodstone Eye on countless occasions. What he sees here is similar, but on so much grander a scale. A man-sized altar of arcana stone sits at the heart of the column of light, and though he cannot guess at the precise meaning of the symbols carved upon its frame, he feels a cold certainty as to their unholy purpose.
At the head of the altar there stands a lone woman. She is dressed in simple, functional vestments, much like a village priest may have worn in a world which makes sense. At her throat, she wears a steel necklace with the red pyramid symbol at its centre. An older man approaches, and he takes a ceremonial blade from the altar. Seshmet cannot hear her words, but he can read her lips. She seems calm and composed, as does the man before her.
“You offer yourself freely, to complete the most sacred pact between The Saviour and his people?”
There is no need for more elaborate words. Like all the truest religious rites it is simple. He cuts his hand, sets the knife back in its place, and touches his bloody palm to the stone.
So much life has bled into the stone that this does not even cause the light which streams from it to falter. His outline merely breaks up as he is consumed by it – and in a few moments, there is no evidence that he ever existed.
And then the next in line steps up to take his place.
A line of dozens more await.
Around the altar itself there are support facilities; a dirigible dock at its rear, a simple barracks which presumably houses the priest(s) and her support staff, a watchtower with an Atonement Office guard, and a wall to enclose it all.
To Seshmet’s experienced eye, it looks like a standardised formation; the kind of place that the builders likely produce en masse.
Examining the Box and Dagger
Serbasel’s sight is the most relevant here, and his insight serves him well. He has seen and carried many holy relics in his time. He knows them when he holds them, and he has seen the power of Notelexus in many intimate ways in the past.
So long as it remains occluded in darkness, it is impenetrable to all sights and will not be discovered by any means; it is as though it ceases to exist, until someone who knows it is within that darkened space grasps it, or it is touched by the light again.
And it is a Heaven.
There are no mortal souls within it, but he remembers the sensation when he had helped the Primus of the Faiths to carry the essence of the Gods from the collapsing Heavens, and there is a similar weight to the power contained within the box. They are lesser than the Gods had been then, there is no doubt about that; these are weaker essences, but they are present. One, in particular, stands out to him. As he looks into the box with his divine sight, another sight within looks out at him, and sees him. He can feel Her judgement, and he knows that She does not find him wanting.
There are four presences within the box in total.
The dagger is of similar potency. Once, he had examined the Words of Raquillion, which were imbued with Notelexus’ divinity. This weapon is also a Word; a concept of that deity made manifest into the world. It is Death, and – used in the manner sanctioned by the God, for the purposes which that God laid forth – it is difficult to imagine a purer expression of Divine power.
An Uneventful Night
These revelations obtained, the group are free to settle down in their concealed camp and rest until the dawn comes once more. Others pass them in the night; Wayne can tell that some are trained military men, some scouts. Xorphia even feels a Sourceror of some power… but they remain concealed, and when the morning comes, they are free to continue their journey.
|Inspect the Power of a God||Interact||5|
|Continue the Journey Overland Ignoring the Altar||Movement||4+2 per person.|
|Assault the Altar||Challenge||??? – A good plan will help.|
|Place a Power in the Box||Interact||0|