Around her swirled a mist that was both white and every color of the rainbow. Carsomyr’s song, now so full of hope and joy, lifted her to her feet. She didn’t know if she stood on her own feet, or if it was just an artifact of the song itself, that she was in some dream or trance, but she did not care. A broad smile graced her lips and she called out to the mists, “Carsomyr! Who are you? Why do you call to me?”
At her call, a nebulous form began to take shape within the mist. As it moved closer, Aleria could see the figure of a tall man form and coalesce from the swirling vapor. As facial features formed, she saw that a kindly smile rested on its lips and its eyes glowed with an intense, otherworldly white light. Those two glowing orbs focused on the countenance of the young knight, studying her face intently. As it grew closer, the ethereal face broke into a broad grin.
Bowing at the waist, the figure answered, its voice not words but a melody that her heart translated, “I am servant of the great god Tyr, much like you, young Aleria. And I call because I have been kept too long from my duties and responsibilities, bound here in this den of evil for many long years. Once you slew the fiend that kept me bound, I sensed that another servant of my Lord was near. And so I called, hoping beyond hope that my long years of imprisonment would be over.”
The misty figure moved closer, anticipation and hope writ large on its face. “And you answered,” it sang happily. “You answered.”
Aleria smiled back at the kindly face and nodded. “I did. Your song was so beautiful and so lonely. I could not leave you, I had to come.”
The kindly face smiled broadly, “I am glad that you came, Aleria, Knight of Tyr. It has been so long since I have had purpose, so long since I had been wielded in the battle our Lord fights against the forces of darkness.”
The figure knelt before her, dropping those glowing eyes and sang, the music both hopeful and formal, “Will you Aleria, Knight of Tyr, take up, Carsomyr, servant of Tyr, flame of justice, as your blade as you walk the Path of Light?”
Aleria looked down at the bent head, realization sinking in. Voice betraying her shock, she replied, “You.. you are a holy blade? Steel infused with some of the light of Lord Tyr?”
The figure’s head did not look up. “I am, Lady Aleria. I bear a small part of Lord Tyr’s will and strength, bound into my steel. I exist to aid Lord Tyr’s mortal servants struggle against darkness and injustice as they walk the Path. Will you take me up?”
Taking a half step backwards, Aleria stared down at the kneeling form. Here before her was a thing of myth and legend. A Holy Avenger, a blade for the greatest heroes, a weapon of the truly virtuous. Right here, right before her. She yearned to reach out, to take up it up, to make it hers.
But she could not. She was no hero, no pillar of virtue like those she had read about. She was the bastard child of the dead god of murder, entirely unworthy.
Heart heavy, she replied, “I will not lie. I wish with all my heart I could take you up, but I am far from worthy of wielding such a weapon as yourself.”
Never looking up, the misty figure sang, “Your humility serves you well, Aleria, Knight of Tyr. If your heart believes you unworthy, let me say, take me up and with my aid, prove your worth before Tyr and all others.”
“It is not humility, good Carsomyr,” replied Aleria. “If I was a normal woman, I would still be unworthy. But I am not. I am the spawn of a dark god, one of the Children of the dead Bhaal. I am tainted and sorely unfit to wield such a powerful instrument of Lord Tyr.”
The answering melody shifted in tone, the trills of hope now joined by the tenor thrum of understanding. “Aleria,” Carsomyr sang, “Your parentage makes you doubly worthy. You, Aleria, Knight of Tyr, walk the Path that most fall from without the burdens you carry. You have fought the dark impulses of your soul and you have strived to defend justice and protect the weak. Many normal people could not live up to such standards without the taint you carry inside you and you do. Do you think that such an opportunity would be offered by the Lord Tyr if you were not worthy?”
“Take my hand,” the misty figure extended out its right hand up towards Aleria. “Take my hand Aleria, Knight of Tyr. You are worthy and there is much work for us to do.”
Aleria hesitated, looking down at the proffered hand. She wanted to believe Carsomyr was right, that she was worthy enough in the eyes of Lord Tyr to take up such a weapon. Images filled her head of the good she could do, the evil she could battle with this blade in her hands. Such a blade would be a powerful ally in her struggle to rescue Imoen and in her battle with the mad mage Irenicus, but still her heart rebelled still. Clenching her fists at her side, she answered, “Carsomyr, would that I could believe you, but my heart tells me I am not worthy of such honor. What if the taint proves to be too strong, what if overwhelms me? I could not have such a weapon as you turned to the path of darkness.”
Again the melody sung by the figure changed, peppered with light tones sounding almost like laughter. “Ah, Aleria, Knight of Tyr, your concern is touching but misplaced. My power cannot be turned to evil, for I serve only those who serve justice and good. My Lord Tyr has given me the power to reject those who no longer walk the Path, to bar them my use. And, Aleria, Knight of Tyr, I may be able to assist you in more than just a strong blade against evil. I may be able assist in the battle against the taint that is your sire’s foul gift.”
“An ally against the taint? How?” Aleria asked hurriedly. Regaining her composure, she further asked, “Do you have some power over the taint? Over the essence of Bhaal?”
The figure’s song sounded heavily within the bass register, regret ringing in Aleria’s ears. “No, Aleria, Knight of Tyr, I have no power over the essence of your foul sire. I wish that Tyr had granted me such power, but it is not within me.”
“Then how can you help me, if you have no power over it yourself?”
“By lending my will to yours, Aleria, Knight of Tyr. With my strength, you may be better able to control the taint, bind it tight and silence it. It cannot be banished, but together, you may be able to render it impotent. To make the Path easier for you to walk.”
Aleria took a step forward, lines of indecision grooved into her brow. “How.. how would that work? It is a part of me, something I’ve had since I was little, known of since my father died.”
“By confronting it. Together. Will you have me, Aleria, Knight of Tyr? Will you let me help you on the Path?”
Taking a deep breath, Aleria looked down at the misty figure. Letting the breath out, she reached forward towards the proffered hand. With a confidence she did not feel, she said, “To honor the Lord Tyr and for your help to fight my tainted blood, I accept.”
“Then clasp my hand, Lady Aleria.”
She closed her right hand around the figure’s and as she did, the swirl of the mists and the beat of the music surged. Now she was surrounded by more colors than she ever dreamt of as the mist and music swirled about her. Her hair flew about, carried on waves of sound and color as the swirl grew to a tempest. Amidst the kaleidoscope of color and sound, the misty figure of Carsomyr smiled brightly, eyes aglow with that strange light.
There was no fear, despite the growing power of the music and color, pulling her with a force that threatened to sweep her away. She was calm, secure in the knowledge that no harm would come from Carsomyr. Looking at those glowing eyes, she shouted out over the swelling music, “What is going on?”
Carsomyr beamed at her and sang back, “My apologies, my Lady. It is just my excitement, my joy in knowing that my imprisonment is over and that once more I shall do the work of Lord Tyr!”
Aleria smiled back, the thin scar on her cheek crinkling in delight. Laughing, she replied, “I see. You have been lonely, haven’t you?”
“Indeed my Lady, it has been many long years since I have been able to sing. I hope that you do not mind.”
Green eyes alight with mirth, she laughed, “Not at all, Carsomyr! Sing on!”
Once more, the song swallowed the young knight, but this time it was different. Instead of a song of greeting and longing, this one was one of unalloyed joy.
A Meeting of Like Minds Ch 2
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