A Restless Night (Dancing Moon of 453)

Ayli stirred in her sleep. The Lich’s screams were still in her ears, heard both from the “gray world” and while frantically trying to heal to keep her friends and herself alive. Seeing Sir Gladash, solo, valiantly trying to rip more bones off of its body before joining her in the gray world gave her renewed courage and determination to help in the fight against this... this enemy.

Suddenly, a worrying thought slithered into her mind. What did her benevolent friend Dame Shuab say? They had found infused pure crystals at various Creed camps previously? Right. She herself, when wandering the eastern forests with the Royal Guard Amere, also came across camps that had infused pure crystals, nestled between decaying logs next to slowly dwindling fires. Well, today, they had found that pile of fifty orange crystals on that terrible beast’s body...

Maybe it wasn’t planning to wreak havoc in Lerilin. Maybe it was in the middle of infusing more pure crystals for whatever nefarious purposes they’ve been using— or meaning to use them for. Perhaps that’s what they’ve been using to build those enormous structures. Or how they’ve been keeping control of all of these hordes of undead and wild creatures. Or maybe those crystals are another method of activating those surreptitious portals that her friends can’t seem to find anything about...

Lady Cassandra and Dame Shuab, the fearless witches of the Mirith Vanguard, are still inspecting the infused pure purple crystal that was recovered from the massive troll fort maze. Ayli turned over in the cot she ended up in that night in Marali, believing in her friends, but also remembering stories of towns and even cities being taken over by villainous forces throughout the ages in Oberin.

She should tell those closest to her her thoughts and see what they think. She was determined to help in any way she possibly could, to prevent something like what happened in those stories, or worse, from happening again. Slapping a fly that was buzzing around against her face and wiping it on the thin, worn sheets she had covered herself in, she left her hand there, and eventually the muscles relaxed, her hand slowly slipped off, and she dozed back off to sleep...

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