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Through the Light

Gorham came awake with a shock, breathing in deep and rolling to his knees. He looked around for his companions, and his beloved sister, but he wasn’t in that castle anymore. He was just underwater, fighting for his life against a creature, but this looked nothing like where he was. He was kneeling in high grass and the rolling hills stretched as far as he could see, with a bright sun hanging over head. This can’t be good, he thought as he got to his feet on shaking legs. He knew where he might be. But really didn’t want to think about that right now. He looked over his body for some of the scars that the horrific beast must’ve left and found narry a scratch. The cleric of life closed his eyes and let a breath out that he only held on instinct…he no longer needed to breathe if he were dead.

Thinking back, it was a pretty good conclusion that he lost that fight and his friends couldn’t save him. Gorham walked casually through the grass, eventually coming upon a sleek road made of polished marble. This resembled the fabled lands of Creto, where all of his worshipers came to when they pass on to the other side. Most other religions sent their followers to the realm of the dead then sent underlings to fetch them, but not Creto. The Five Faced God handled his own people, supposedly having a deal with Jandath the God of Death. Of course he thought that was only a myth, until now that is. Gorham walked the road for what seemed like days, or seconds—it didn’t really matter anymore—and finally realized that he wasn’t calling out at all anymore. As if thinking of his disorder  was a trigger, he felt that inevitable twitch and barked loudly, “Poop Noodles!” Clasping his hands over his mouth as his voice echoed loudly, he smiled for the first time since waking up here. Gorham smiled because it was familiar, and it reminded him of his life with his sister D’Mentia. It seems that even death couldn’t stop his constant verbal ticks.

“Hello fellow traveler, how may I escort you?”

“Ah! Piss me and call me Sally!” Gorham jumped at the sound of another voice behind him, spinning around and raising his hands to defend himself. He peaked through his hands and saw a robed figure standing patiently in front of him.”Sorry, and you are?”

“I am just a guide, I have no memory of a name,” The figure said lazily

“Oh…well, then I’ll just call you Gui. So where would you be escorting me too Gui?” Gorham was feeling increasingly worried about where he would be walking to, which was why he was taking his time.

“I am to escort you on one of Five paths you are destined to travel down. At the end of that path you will stand before His light and see the glory that was Creto. He will then find a place for you amongst the threshold and you will know peace.”

“Like the sound of your voice do you Gui?” Gorham said, trying not to be nervous. He had seen the wizard Salen use sarcasm to pacify people in their travels, so thought he would try it. Didn’t feel like it fit him though.”Sorry, new to being dead.”

“Quite all right, now which one of Creto’s paths did you follow in life?

“Life?” Gorham answered nervously, not knowing exactly what the man wanted to know.

“Yes, your life. Which path?”

“No…Life;  my path was Life.” D’Mentia would’ve laughed at how stupid this guy was.

The man called Gui sighed and shook his head, then waved his hand at the road and split it into five. Closing his eyes he held his arms out until they pointed own the far right path.”Let us walk together brother Gorham.”

They walked together for another day, or year, and then stepped off the road and through an archway that was at least one-hundred feet in diameter. On the other side, Gorham found himself on a floating disc that at first hovered, then started flying slowly across the high grass that continued to lead off in every direction as far as he could see. There was no trace of the road anymore. Well that is not unsettling at all, he thought, as they drifted through this glorious realm. They soon could see enormous columns that circled a stone throne floating high in the sky. The disc rose slowly in the air and Gorham felt like he was going to faint. Sitting in the throne was a massive man, dressed in what could only be the finest plate armor.

*          *          *

Creto sat upon his throne and watched his servant approach with a furrowed brow.”Why have you come alone, servant? I have not summoned thee?” The God was rarely annoyed, but this seemed odd, even to his standards. Were his fellow Gods up to something again?

“I know not what you mean my Lord.” The servant dropped to his knees and placed his forehead upon the stone.”I only perform my duty as guide.”

“You think me a fool?” Creto stood and the entire realm tilted a little.”You have no one here to guide!”

“Poop Noodles!”

“Kalix! By all of my Five Faces, I swear I will end you if this is your doing,” Creto swore at the Goddess of mischief, thinking it one of her tricks. He heard the voice but still couldn’t See anything. This bothered him mainly because he could see, well, All of Creation.

“No, my name is Gorham. Should I be on my knees, or maybe with my head on the stone, like Gui?”

“He is a Key, Creto, you can’t see him because he has no body. The soul is invisible to all of the Gods.” A voice said as a man stepped out of a column and waved his hand, sending the servant away, back down the many paths. The man was old and carried a staff with tiny branches, seven to be exact.

Creto was both stunned and horrified all at the same time. He would rather host another meeting of the Gods then be here right now.”Gellar,” Creto said, not knowing what to do. Should he stand defiant? Should he bow? This was one of the Creators; the True Gods. Even more powerful than the Gods.

No, just stand there. I’m here for this man, not you, Geller said to the Gods mind directly…

“Ereb? Are you dead too?” Gorham asked the old man, “and where are your birds?”

Creto stared at the sound of the voice that he could not see. The being that was sometimes called Ereb the Wise, or even Bahamut to most of what could be lumped together as humanity, was indeed older than even that. He was one of the True Gods that created the First Men. He was Gellar, God of Knowledge and Teaching. It was He that first thought of allowing the first men to find the ancient Words of Power that led to the ritual making them Gods. It was He that convinced his fellow Gods that their children would use this power responsibly. It was He that was ultimately responsible for the abomination that was Tiamat.

“No child I am not dead.”

“I just have to say, it is really weird seeing you talking to thin air Lord,” Creto said, sitting back down, knowing that he was only a by stander now; something he hadn’t been in millennia.”This is the Key that will defeat my Half Sister?” he remembered the day that she had sacrificed his five brothers to gain more power over them all, failing hideously. Her image now reflected that horror, and her power.

Gellar turned his old eyes towards Creto and smiled coldly.”Your beloved subjects talk to ‘thin air’ every day, while giving supplications, and it doesn’t concern you in the slightest. Now sit and be good, or I’ll snip.” He turned towards Gorham and smiled, more warmly this time.”While I can’t stop you all from dying, I can help you here and there. As we speak, your sister is trying to read a powerful scroll to bring you back. Sadly, she won’t be able to cast it and save you. However, I can help her do that,” he said, closing his eyes.

Even Creto heard her words as she tried, so desperately, to bring his soul back. As the God listened, he felt Gellar’s power filter into her words, effortlessly, and bolster her power. The God of Five faces sat back in awe, shrug and smiled. It wasn’t every day that he got to see the True Gods work.

*          *          *

Gorham was at a loss for everything, never mind words. This was all just too much for any soul to process. He looked to his God on the throne and saw him shrug and smile, like the wizard Salen usually gave whenever he would go on about most things. He would try and remember this, and start a religion based upon this powerful being that could so treat the Five faced God with impunity.

I don’t think I will allow that little one, we remain above all of that, only I am interested in interfering, mainly because I think I feel guilt, though I should be beyond that.

 The voice in his head was burning the path ways of memory as he spoke, and soon Gorham remembered naught except he should be holding his breath.

*          *          *

Creto saw a fleeting image of a man before the soul departed and knew it was done. He just hoped Gellar would take his leave as well; the powerful being made him feel uncomfortable. He would remember that man’s voice though, and when it asked for power, well he would have it; especially if he was fighting his half sister.

“Yes I am leaving, and no you won’t treat him any differently; leave that to me. If you interfere, it will make him, and the others a beacon.” Gellar, or Ereb, shrunk his staff into a small stick and stuck it in his robe, then started sprouting platinum wings. Impossibly huge platinum wings.”Now, be good, I’m off to make sure a certain frozen treat is where it should be.”

Creto, the Five faced God lowered his head slightly, a response that he thought would be a good balance, “Wouldn’t dream of disappointing you,” But he was talking to no one. He sighed and turned his eye upon the world once more. He should go back to bed while he still could.

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