The cultists were all around me.
My spinning attacks were not enough to keep them away, my flank exposed. It would have been different, had I had an ally beside me. But Aedon had hung back, despite his words…
Dying was far less painful than fighting. The burning sensations all went numb, warm. The harsh lighting of flickering torches blocked by moving bodies was replaced by a serene, austere glow all around. Cavernous walls gave way to an endless field of neutral nothingness.
In no time, or so it seemed, I could see forms in the distance. But if it was no time, then why did so many thoughts go through my mind? Solving the world’s problems would have been simple in the time I spent thinking, yet I concentrated on my own.
My erstwhile father, my unfortunate friends, the ragtag assortment I found myself with now. What fate would await them?
I could feel no pity for my father, no matter his Fate. For my friends, few though they have been, I wished good things. For those around me when I died, only one stood out as accomplished: the janitor. At least he had shown capability, though not of body.
But before me, I watched the scene unfold before me, listening to the debate, though I seemed much too far away to hear.
Two women, untold power oozing from their very essence. They talked of my soul as one would an apple fallen from a tree. The Grey One asked on what grounds the Silver One would claim the right to it.
“Long has he depended on Luck in his life, his fortunes landing him on his feet. All but this last time, when Luck brought him here.” Her eyes flashed with wild excitement, as though she treasured each word.
The Grey One, showing no emotion, responded. “He openly claims worship of the Hand of Fate, my realm. Do you deny this?”
“Those are only the words of a mortal, Lady of Graves. While his understanding of what guides him is shallow, his devotion to it is unquestioned. He stands as a product of pure Luck. I request that his soul come to rest amongst the Eternal Dream.”
The Grey One revealed an hourglass hidden in her left hand, its sand falling rapidly down. “His Fate is not yet determined, for there is time yet for his return to life. But your claim is true. So, should his light extinguish for eternity on the Prime, his soul is yours, Starsong.”
I could see that he was an orc. Warrior to the core, and certainly not a pacifist.
“Do you wish to return to your body, human? The cost will be part of your weakness, to be replaced with Orcish Power. Decide quickly, for I will not waste time with you.”