1 – “They will be fine, The Lady will protect the temple”. Would that that had been true. The consecrated temple was infiltrated, The Lady’s influence denied, and the priests struck down… how was this not anticipated? It was not my duty to protect the temple from within; I am the spear-point, and yet… I clearly have not yet taken these enemies and the threat they pose seriously enough. The truth is as clear as the beak on my face: they have desecrated my temple and are here because of my actions, and those of my allies. With battles fought through a sell-sword army, assaults upon our local reputation, and the hunt of the living within these walls… We are at war.
I entered the temple to Pharasma; my workplace and refuge on most days. My allies had separated already and were within the other temples in the district, likely facing parallels to whatever I was about to encounter. As I walked through the crowded undead shambling in the outer assemblage, I realized just how furious I could get. I had gone so long since the last display of my anger, keeping it carefully bottled up… that was before I became who I now am. I had been in the building only the day before but it was surreal now in the difference, transformed into a nightmarish mockery of its subtle splendour: undead patrolling the halls of a temple to the goddess of the dead; my fellow priests and believers slaughtered mercilessly, likely while tending to the bodies. Several looked to have been butchered suddenly from behind, others died in the true horror of being eaten alive by the revival of those they sought to inter. All were dead.
I strode up the stairs toward the dais and beheld the desecrated altar, and The Worm standing near it; he did not hear my approach. I was trembling with anticipation as I stood behind my enemy at the defiled place of my worship, unable to hear my goddess but deafened by the pounding blood in my ears. I saw nothing within him to explain the next step he wanted to take… he only awaited me. I studied him for almost too long, but the blades found my hands easily enough. I needed to not be trembling at the least… it had been too long since I had practiced, and the shot of adrenaline coupled with my fury was enough to possibly weaken my opening strike. His unholy symbol hung from a chain around his wrist, and his head would turn this way and that as he eagerly sought what would ultimately be his death. Necromancers… he so desired to spread death, and I was finally calmed by the opportunity to introduce him to it first; to see if he appreciated its subtleties in spite of his unrefined palate.
I cleared the temple of the necromancers’ filth alone, to the last corpse, and yet I take no pride in the achievement. I should have retreated after burying Gin Kiba in The Worm’s aorta, but something took me immediately after and I just kept swinging at the horde… I may have been screaming; my throat’s hoarseness says so, at least. All pretences of control or grace left, and my blades became scythes through wheat; I sought only to bathe them in the blood of these fallen innocents. I could not save them; I could only cleanse them. I recall drawing a line on the floor in the blood dripping from the blade even as the horde pressed in, their arms raising again. I would focus on the arms of the ones crossing the line first, then the heads behind that row; I used the advancing horde against itself and slaughtered them all, receiving cover from the armless row as my blade darted over their shoulders and into any faces I saw behind, before repeating the process. I tremble even at the memory, and the more terrible memory of its lethal efficiency: one hundred twenty dead.
The only successes were that the pathetic fool orchestrating this leg of the attack has been destroyed, and that the temple shall now be restored. Still, the faith is likely dealt a mortal wound in this city; the clergy are slaughtered to a man, and nothing remains but the books and teachings. Thankfully they had not yet burned the temple, if they had intended to. I placed obols upon the corpses of the priests and the faithful, setting them aside in repose; I can do nothing else for the time being. Using The Lady’s gift for my servitude I spoke to one, and he confirmed my suspicions. I told him to rest within The Lady’s protective arms; I would ensure the temple’s security, and manage the funerary affairs of his body; of everyone’s bodies.
I may still need use of my blades before the use of the shovel, though. I found myself wondering about the disposition of other allies in this city while I tended to the fallen priests: Hollin and Savram are thankfully fine, having taken up residence within the guild headquarters yesterday, but who else is safe? We are continually forced to run around, being reactive instead of proactive, and so cannot see to our own in this crisis. I know that Chartreux showed up yesterday at the headquarters as well, and we found Bleck in the street… I shall need the numbers from Artanis so we may arrange Jak and the others’ efforts toward protecting our own. Tomoe, for instance, will need to be collected and escorted (rolled?) to the headquarters… The “active” team must remain active, but the others can get to the rest, city guards and stupid plans notwithstanding. We are stronger together, so it’s time to collect those who claim loyalty to the guild still within the pyramid’s walls and defend ourselves. With the ambush upon Bleck we need to assume they are targeting us first.
I mounted the necromancer’s head on a spike outside of the temple; I will add the others, and continue until the statement is complete: “you have failed, and you have made a grave miscalculation”. There will likely be more blood spilled this day, and now that we are finally joined in battle, I fear some of it may be our own (especially since the harrow was… not positive). I do not know if these bastards are aware of the metaphorical folly of kicking open a hornet’s nest, but I will still show them. I am not a priest… and sadly, we are joined in a holy war now, with only myself as the remaining representative of Pharasma’s faith in this city… but I will devote myself to providing a resounding answer to this insult. My brothers and sisters are with The Lady now, and if I couldn’t save them, I will at least stake my last breath on avenging them.