Mad Paradise
13 Candlemass, 6105 RTR (5 Mar 2001) Envoy is caught up by the madness of Blakat.
(Envoy) (A Dream of Seven Sisters) (Spheres of Magic) (Ur)

Envoy finds herself in bizarre surroundings, as it appears that Blakat (dressed as the Queen of Hearts) and her Yodhblakat (as the "Cards") rush about through Paradise, causing much mayhem. Envoy herself is more than a little unstable, as she behaves in erratic ways. She encounters the "Red Queen", who babbles apparent nonsense, and then a Bishop and two Knights. The Bishop orders the Knights to attack Envoy, and Envoy defends herself by holding up the Red Queen between herself and one of the Knights. The Red Queen is impaled by a sword and falls to the ground, and the Knight flees when he cannot extract his sword, and several of the "Card-Women" are coming. The other tries to stand his ground, but is cut down by the Card-Women.

Envoy moves on, and encounters the White Queen. She finally realizes that this isn't a dream. Rather, her perceptions are being clouded by the mad influence of Blakat. At this realization, she is able to make better sense of her surroundings. The White Queen is, in fact, High Priestess Gariazadze, and she unleashes a spell upon Envoy that oppresses her with feelings of hopelessness and despair. Envoy, for a fleeting moment, is able to think clearly, and realizes what has actually transpired – The Red Queen was actually Kyrieta, and when she used Kyrieta as a body shield, the bat died, taking a sword wound from one of the temple guards.

Envoy is overcome with anguish at this, but she holds onto the hope that Wynona has been rescued, as she believes she saw a Yodhrephath in the temple. Clinging to this, she denies that Wynona is dead – The High Priestess pulls out a dagger, but seems reluctant to attack Envoy while she's protesting … waiting for Envoy to be overcome by grief and despair (and thus be defenseless) before attempting to kill her. Nonetheless, Envoy doesn't go down as easily as planned, so Gariazadze attacks. Envoy, in desperation, calls upon Blakat, and is granted Blakat's mad rage … and supernatural strength … with which she smashes Gariazadze's face, defeating the High Priestess.

Giving in to this rage brings Envoy to the bring of being overpowered by Blakat's will, and she resists the urge to complete the journey – Rather than taking a trophy from Gariazadze, as the madness would compel, she deliberately heads the other direction, outside the temple, and into the bitter cold and snow.

Envoy stumbles and staggers her way blindly through the snow, falling down a slope and smashing into a wall. The Yodhblakat flee the temple, laden with loot, though one of them is felled by an arrow during her retreat. Envoy goes to the fallen Yodhblakat and relieves her of her boots, gloves and some furs, to protect herself from the cold, then flees before the temple guards can find her.

Envoy then tries to blend in with a crowd of gawkers gathered on the pilgrims' road, where she meets Gehma (a Yodhsunala), and Gusty – an air mage she met several years ago while at the Pool of Zahirinee. Gusty leads Envoy away from the temple, down the mountain, aiming to take her to the Guild Hall and relative safety.


GMed by Greywolf

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