The Jade Empress

EVENTS NEWS #407
Date: 12/02/2012 at 04:45
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Jade Empress

For many months, Shallam mourned its lost Gods, clinging to a sadly
diminished Te'serra. Only Lorielan, the Enlightened, remained to them,
but She had left many years ago for the Crystal Realm and none had heard
from Her since. While Her Order in Shallam raised new shrines and sought
desperately to wield what shreds of power She had left them, they knew
they badly needed the presence of the departed Elder Goddess.

Hope at last arrived in the form of a pale woman in traveller's garb,
whom the Samadhi remembered as a messenger and servant of Lorielan. They
quickly beseeched her to aid them in contacting the Enlightened One,
though Caliph Halos stood back, suspicious. "The Crystal Realm is a
veritable fortress," the woman reminded them, "and so it will not be
easy." Nonetheless, they were determined.

Together with the pale woman, whose name the Caliph still struggled to
recall, Greys, Halos, Zenui, Yen, Silas, and Lys journeyed to the
Siorraidh, where they gathered beneath the great dome. Sir Zenui
produced from the depths of the temple the Jade Sceptre, a gift to the
Goddess from the Kx'khrah and a powerful link to the Crystal Realm
itself.

Naming Caliph Halos as the speaker with a small smile upon her face, the
pale woman instructed the group to make an offering of truth to Lady
Lorielan. Each of them in turn whispered one true thing into the air,
followed by calling Her name. The woman's offering bothered the Caliph
yet further: why use the phrase "until I am permitted to die?" But there
was no time to raise the objection, as each member of the company
completed the invocation.

At last, Halos made his offering and called Her name three times. The
Sceptre in his hands reveberated strongly in the air, and the name
echoed in the silence. Soon, the echo was joined by more, until the
Lady's many names clamored in a great cacophony, and the Sceptre
shattered.

A pillar of jade flame soared into the sky, setting the clouds ablaze,
and a portal opened to the glittering Crystal Realm beyond. The Samadhi
gathered close, great smiles on their face, while around them the names
died away, the last to fade into silence a whispered "Jade Empress."

Then, Her voice cold and infinitely austere, Lorielan said, "No."

She turned and vanished, the portal sealing behind Her, and Her
followers stared in mute shock as Her Order dissolved, its purpose
served.

The pale woman cackled, casting off her disguise to reveal her true
form: a coldly beautiful woman in black robes. Zenui was the first to
recognise her for who she was: "Lysithea," he growled, eyes narrow.

The eldest of Lorielan's human servants laughed, taunting the Samadhi
for believing the Jade Empress's great ruse and trusting that She would
save them when all of the efforts of the Gods had come to naught, and
then she departed for parts unknown.

Behind her, a chill wind blew from the Vashnars, and the Citadel grew
dark and lifeless, abandoned by the last of its Gods. Shallam stood
alone.




Penned by My hand on the 25th of Valnuary, in the year 612 AF.