Serala — Memories And Mysteries
????, Fire Season, Season/Movement Week
Fire Season/Movement Week/Freezeday
At the Elmali/Yelmalian temple in Boldhome
Serala settled herself outside the temple at dusk, where the horses run when their companions are inside performing their devotions. For meditating, Serala feels more comfortable under the skydome, watching them. Their movement, their fluidity, the sound and feel of their hooves on the earth. Just letting the sense of the wind and the sky give her some space and peace.
Time passes. It’s evening, and then getting towards dawn. She’s slept a bit, and the horses have been happy enough, and then… suddenly, there’s a weird effect when she blinks. Everything goes oddly red. The horses vanish, and the city… seems to be on fire. That wasn’t there a minute ago. Not all that flame. At all.
City on fire. Not good. More to the point, where are the horses? Serala comes to her feet, but doesn’t rush off anywhere. Where is there to rush to? Something’s not right, maybe cities randomly burst into flame, but horses don’t just vanish. She purses her lips and whistles, the sound that will always bring Pag to her if he’s in earshot. 1Sky Rune: Pass.
For a few moments, it occurs to her that she is in the right armour. Her sword is the right shape. It’s curved like a scimitar. The cries and flames as the city of Boldhome is taken and looted are entirely justified. Those who resist the love of the Lunar Empire will die – and then everyone can share.
That’s… when her essential personality breaks through. She’s dressed as a Lunar. There was a weird-coloured flash and things changed.
Serala’s lip curls. Dressed… as a Lunar. This is incorrect on so many levels. “For the love of… Elmal! Yelmalio! What is going on here!?” Is that a prayer? It appears to be as close as Serala is going to get to it. She spins on her heel and stalks into the temple proper, turning to glare towards the altar for a moment. “Cleansing. I do not call this outfit cleansing.”
As she walks, she sees a couple of bodies. Horses, people. There was fighting here. The personality of the Lunar keeps trying to make itself felt. The Temple room is full of people in the wrong damned uniform, and a few very frightened-looking initiates, who nevertheless are Yelmalian, and so are attempting to argue with the invaders.
Horses. She closes her eyes, pulling in the focus on the horses. Anyone who kills horses has no place here. Her blue eyes are cold before she opens them again, stepping to take a few hairs from the tail of a fallen mount, pale, similar to Pag. And she wraps the strands around her wrist, a talisman to hold onto as she fights to maintain her proper place in the world. “Get out!” she yells at the Lunars. Well, she’s apparently wearing their uniform, and there’s chaos, who knows… they may just listen. “Get out of this temple. Right. Now.”
They look at her. There’s a salute. “Yes Sanra-Eel!” And out they file, at high speed. One slows to bow, but only in motion. He doesn’t stop.
Eel? Eel? Serala feels bile rise, before she chokes it back down. This isn’t happening. And yet it is. She looks over her shoulder to the initiates. “After I leave, barricade the door. Anyone else tries to come in, tell them Sanra Eel’s command is that this place should remain inviolate.” She allows her lip to curl slightly, not at all put on, distaste at the situation helping her hang onto herself. “Tell them they’ll answer to me otherwise.” And with that, she steps out into the street, mind racing. This isn’t right. She’s not strong on Lunar history, should she know when this is? Past? Future, even? She needs answers, she needs a historian. A library. But no.. if this is happening now there’s no information already written. “Little help here would be nice. I am not the right person for this.” she grumbles to her God as she pauses to take in the situation outside. 2Sky Rune: Pass.
Fire. Purity. Enquiry. All information is with her, and the personality she has refused to let conquer her tells her, obediently, that this is the 1602 invasion of Boldhome, and the munificent Lunar Empire is victorious. All will be peaceful. All rich and magnificent under the loving rule of Ignifer.
She shakes her head, rejecting the outcome. The Lunar Empire will never be victorious while even one person stands against it. And she will always stand against it. Kallyr will rise.. the dragon will rise. She will not play the part that brings this heroquest to a successful outcome. Which might be a shame, if someone wants this to complete successfully… but that’s Serala’s standpoint. So if the invasion is to fail, what does she need to do. Who does she need to kill. Possibly herself, but that might be a step too far, too early. She pauses again, trying to make sense of the chaos around her, trying to establish where the commanders might be.
As she walks, Boldhome fades, but the redness stays. This is some other form of vision now. Something else. No longer Sanra-Eel, but… it is hard to keep any understanding of who or what she is, let alone remember to walk. And then a far more recent memory returns to her, one stolen from her by the Lunars and their foul magic.
She was reporting to Eril. He was dry, competent, in control. He did not like D’Val’s handwriting, but nevertheless read the note carefully, several times, and listened to Serala’s report.
In short, she remembers the battle that the Lune’s insanity took from her, giving her amnesia.
She has to admit Eril has the timing well.3Battle: Success He’s also personally impressive – the High Sword of Humakt rather should be. His laconic, “Try not to die,” is a good instruction. He trusts her on his left, a shield for him, and they seldom have to cut anyone down. To be honest, he could probably have done this alone, but if he wants a messenger with him, he brings a messenger – and there is blood on her blade, and on Pag’s hooves. And then to the left there is a Lune rising, the horrid red thing that she recognises and remembers. It could be going anywhere, doing anything.
Eril has almost stopped focusing on the battle. He is entirely bent on getting to the red-headed leader of the Lunar army.
Serala’s jaw tenses, temptation to turn on the Lune rising high. However.. Eril probably doesn’t need her. But she’s at his side. Watching his back. And he’s monofocused. So although she wants to simply ride down the thing, she keeps her place, acting as Eril’s bodyguard should anything, anyone, try to break through and take him down. 4Scan: Success
He has broken through the outer ring of defences when the red flash approaches Serala. In from the left, whirling and changing, a red glow that forms and re-forms and seeks to pull her in.
Serala hisses, turning in her saddle, lifting her broadsword. No idea if bronze will do anything against the monstrosity, but unwilling to go down without a fight. Shield in one hand, sword in the other, controlling Pag with her body alone, keeping close to Eril, even while she slashes out at the approaching horror.
It engulfs her as she slices. Some part of her mind remembers the same red flash earlier, and knows this for a memory. The rest of her panics, but this time she gets to watch her own wild flight, her horse saving her where nothing else could. She hears the cries of victory and the sound of an army turning in rout, as she watches herself be taken off the field.
And she remembers his expression. Eril’s face was not made for hatred. Too … emotional. But his focus on his task was clinical. His focus on her? On the red-head? That was personal.
She doesn’t understand, her automatic steps slowing to a halt, a frown creasing her features, looking down at her hand as though expecting to see a sword there still. Her legs are suddenly shaky and she takes a step, leaning back against the nearest solid object, trying to sort through. Eril and the Lunar leader.. that sort of emotion doesn’t come without history. What is the history.. is it important? What has just happened tonight? Fingers touch her temples lightly, tapping, almost as though trying to settle the restored memories into their proper place. “Tonight is just weird.” she notes to herself, taking solace in understatement.
She is back, outside the Temple of Yelmalio, surrounded by horses. Safe, and unharmed.