Rhiallis: The Mysterious Butt-Punch

      Today’s snippet, titled “The Mysterious Butt-Punch”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s Pathfinder Campaign.
      This chapter seems to come out of no where, in a lot of ways. I experiment with my recap RPs, trying to find interesting ways of rehashing the events with out making every single installment “the party travelled to X, they killed Y, they drank beer, then they travelled to Z”, the way some fantasy novels (well, some novels, period) tend to go. In this chapter, the party had survived a terrible encounter only to be utterly slaughtered (or so it seemed) by the next… well, read on to find out how Rhiallis fared in that mess…
      Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      Breathless, her heart pounding in her chest, Rhiallis plucked at the knot around her waist. Mira had unfastened hers in a heartbeat, Korael too. The others were chuckling in relief as they removed the rope that kept them all bound together.
      “It really did feel like something punched me in the butt,” Korael said, winding the rope around her palm and elbow. “Now I know exactly what Celeste meant.”
      “Too soon,” Celeste said. “Too soon.”
      Rhiallis gave her a sympathetic look. She had recovered remarkably well, considering just hours ago, all life had departed her body. Celeste’s gaunt face would haunt her dreams for some time, she knew. Still, the fact that she was standing here now, ready to fight, spoke volumes for her fortitude. Celeste was not Graves, to be sure, but she was a fierce, doughty warrior just the same and their party would not be the same without her.
      “Do you hear that? There’s something…”
      Someone shushed Aimsley and seven sets of ears strained to listen. Beyond the door, Rhiallis could hear nothing, but she drew Radiance from its sheath in anticipation of an ambush.
      “Through this door,” Mira said, nodding. “I don’t see any traps.”
      The doors opened.
      Everything went dark.
      Down and down and down, into a spiraling, endless abyss she fell.
      Images whirled up from the depths of nothingness, searing her mind’s eye as they grew to intense, painful brightness and then faded in a heartbeat.
      Sadie’s tear-stained cheeks as they embraced and Rhiallis apologize for having smote her while she was possessed. Aimsley’s surprisingly wicked smile as they plotted to use her dimension-hopping spell in the event that they encountered the Tiefling mage again. James’ eyes closing as they leaned in to kiss her. Mira’s tight hugs and eternal grin. Mytra laughing as Isaac tried to snuffle out a treat from her sack. Kumiko cleaning her blade. Graves’ eyes, bright with fury. Korael warming her bow string on a chilly morning. Niro honing his blade. Jensen’s indigant snort. Sardones eating a sandwich of oatmeal and salted fish. Idril and Lucien and Koto and Mickey and Alisandra and Redd and all those they fought with trying to escape the ruins beneath Kenabres.
      She saw Ema and Seraphina. She saw the Widow Trememine and she saw little Norman Weisbine hopping around after she had saved his grandfather’s life. She fell further and further down the rabbit hole. Faces she had not seen in decades and whose names she could hardly recall. Her mother, her father, the children of the village murdered that fateful day before her twelfth birthday.
      And Viggo.
      His eyes burned the brightest; his memory hurt the most.
      As the darkness wove around her, tighter and tighter until she could not breathe, could not think, Rhiallis knew that her mortal life was over and that only the Hells awaited. She floated in the middle of oblivion, as if on a midnight sea.
      She blinked.
      She was floating, yes, but above a murky pit of lurid green slime. Radiance was in its sheath at her side, she could feel the power resting against her thigh. In the space of an instant, perhaps two, Rhiallis pulled herself to the edge of the pit and surveyed the scene.
      A million things were happening at once and she was overcome with a sense of both despair and hope.
      Korael’s voice rang out from the depths of a pit to the left. Mira fought tooth and nail against a shadowy beast to the right. Celeste was on her back, swinging the Demonbane blade with skill and fury. Niro leapt over her head, throwing himself into the pit and Aimsley slung a spell at him, trying to prevent him from falling into the slime. Sadie had a dead look in her shining eyes that could only mean one thing – she had been dispossessed of her body again.
      Seizing Radiance and ripping it from its scabbard, Rhiallis screamed a battlecry and waded into the fray.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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