G2A Many GEOs
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Chapter 5

Magus_Anon Jun 27th, 2018 1,251 Never
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  1.     The, what you assumed to be, head priestess approached you, flanked by two additional priests. You back peddled until you bumped into the fountain, nearly tripping over the basin.
  2.  
  3.     “Uhh… listen, I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t want to hurt any of you, but like hell I’m gonna be sacrificed or something. Got it?” you said.
  4.  
  5.     The head priestess didn’t even hesitate at your bluff. It’s not like you could even hurt them. You were still skin and bones from your extended stay in the jungle, and all the cuts, sunburns and dehydration rendered you helpless. As the priestess neared you, something incredible happened.
  6.  
  7.     Her hands seem to glow, manifesting as an amber halo that surrounded her hands. Your eyes widened, and your mouth hung open. What the hell WAS that?! Some kind of fancy hidden led lights? She gestured to you, raising her right hand up and pointing her palm towards you. Suddenly, your hands shot up without your command, wrists pressing together. It was as if you had been bound by an invisible rope. The involuntary motion of your arms causes you to yelp and thrash. With all your might, you tug downwards in a futile attempt to free your arms. Looking up, you can see your hands enveloped in the same halo that surrounded the priestess’s hands.
  8.  
  9.     Magic. Not some slight-of-hand or clever misdirection, real, authentic magic. The revelation hits you like a truck. This is magic. That means that this IS NOT earth. You really DID die. This really IS the afterlife. These really ARE elves. Each realization begat another. The gravity of the situation was enough to bring you to your knees.
  10.  
  11.     {There, that’s a good human. Continue to obey and I will see that your end is swift.}
  12.  
  13.     You didn’t even register her words. You were dead. You would never see anyone you knew and loved again. They would never see YOU again. Your parents… your family… your friends… Tears welled in your eyes as you imagined their faces at your funeral. Their lives would now be forever burdened by your passing. What a weight to be placed upon them. Tears welled in your eyes as you think about how you never even had the chance to say goodbye to your parents. That you loved them.
  14.  
  15.     The priestesses moved past you towards a large stone bench behind the fountain. The magical binds on your hands pulled you along behind her, forcing you to stagger after her. If this was the afterlife, what would happen if you died again? Could you die again? You were not keen of finding out. The priestess took a position behind the stone slab and continued to drag you towards her. Planting your feet, your desperately tried to pull away from the, what you assume to be, magic dragging you towards your captor.
  16.  
  17.     With a frustrated huff, the head priestess barks an order to the acolytes, who manifest similar halos of light around their hands. Your legs are dragged out from under you, and with a cry, you are lifted into the air. Hovering a few inches off the ground, the women levitate you onto the stone slab. One priestess hovers over your face, and another stands at your feet. The head priestess is at your side, raising her hands up to whatever deity or deities she answers to. With a flourish, the priestesses move their hands in an elaborate pattern, causing your limbs to shoot out to the corners of the slab. Spread eagle, you could only panic and pant from exhaustion and fear as the head priestess began to rant in her alien language.
  18.  
  19. {Oh Chief God, who has watched over us for eons past, merciful mistress of all life, benevolent mother to all that is good and holy, we bring a demon into your temple. Upon your alter lies a man rife with blight and sin. We beg of thee, suffer not this abomination. By your wish, we will smite this foul creature, and cleanse this sacred place of his presence. Lend us your righteous might! In your name, I CAST OUT THIS DEMON!}
  20.  
  21.     A blinding light erupts from her hands. You turn your head and let out a scream as what must be some sort of death ray washes over you. But your fiery demise never comes. Instead, it feels like a warm breeze running over you. You keep your eyes shut and your mouth clenched until the feeling subsides, and tentatively crack one eye to see if you still had a torso.
  22.  
  23.     The priestess above you, at your head is looking down at you with a surprised look on her face. Lifting your chin, you can see that the priestess at your feet has a similar expression of disbelief. The head priestess on the other hand, she looks pissed. Her teeth are bared in contempt, and her eyes are wide and wild with anger. With a wave of her hands, you began to choke.
  24.  
  25. {What trickery is this?! Damn you! What manner of foul sorcery have you conjured to resist the judgement of the Chief God?!} said the high priestess.
  26.  
  27. {Milady! Cease this violence! Perhaps… he is not tainted? We have forgone the examination at your order, but this man seems to be free of corruption!} said a priestess near your head
  28.     The head priestesses angry shouting was cut short by an apparent objection by the priestess at your feet. Your throat was released and your head dropped painfully back onto the stone alter. She approached her subordinate who shrunk at her advance.
  29.  
  30. {He came from amazon territory, through miles of jungle, and managed to make his way here. How could that have happened hmm? How did he end up in the jungle in the first place? He HAS to be an incubus. There is no other explanation.} said the head priestess.
  31.  
  32. The other priestess straightened herself. {He may just be lost! Look at him! Pale skin, blue eyes, strange clothes, an unknown language, we have never seen a human such as him! He may hail from a land unknown to us, but that alone is not enough to condemn him!}
  33.  
  34.     What the fuck was going on. The elves were having some sort of argument, but you couldn’t tell things were going in your favor or not. They may just be debating which sauce to marinate you in. Your mouth waters in spite of your predicament. You hoped that they would hurry up and get this over with so you could be dead or fed before you wasted away. You shifted a bit trying to find a more comfortable position on the slab. The elf at your head looked away from the fight the other two were having as you twisted in your luminous bonds. She didn’t look so frightening, just curious. You stared back at her. Her head cocked to either side as she examined your face, gently rolling your head a bit to either side with a wave of her hand. A bit of dirt breaking loose from your filthy face elicited a sneeze from you, causing all three elves to jump.
  35.  
  36.     The head priestess stamped her foot in frustration. {Enough! We will ask the Chief God for her guidance, and then I will kill him myself! Is this satisfactory to you, Monara?} said the high priestess.
  37.  
  38. {Yes, Milady…} said the priestess lowering her head.
  39.  
  40.     The head priestess snapped her fingers and you could feel yourself lifted from the stone alter. The group moved towards the basin of water where the head priestess waited. Reaching into a fold of her dress, she produced an ornate knife. The hilt was gold from what you could tell, and in the shape of an angle, with the cross guard being formed by the wings. The blade was about eight inches long, and broad, made for slashing and not stabbing. At the sight of it, you began to thrash and struggle once more. They really were going to kill you.
  41.  
  42.     {Ufufu… looks like your demon knows that his time is short Monara. Hold him well, I would HATE to slit his wrists.} said the head priestess.
  43.  
  44.     As you approached the basin, your left arm shot out to hover over the water. You did your best to move your head about in your invisible restraints, desperate for anything that could prevent your untimely demise at the hands of what appeared to be an elven cult in the afterlife. You lock eyes with the elf who had apparently objected to your treatment, but she quickly looks away to avoid your gaze. The head priestess takes your hand and holds the knife to your palm.
  45.  
  46. {Now let us see what evil you really house…} muttered the head priestess.
  47.  
  48.     Drawing the knife across your palm, a thin stream of blood spurts out of your hand and into the basin. You scream as you feel the knife cut deep into your hand, opening it from index finger to pinky. The head priestess releases your hand, which instantly flies back to its position above your head. You grit your teeth as the contact with the air sends waves of pain down your arm. The warm blood from your palm oozes down your arm, drying along your wrist and on your side.
  49.  
  50. {Make sure that the beast’s blood doesn’t stain the floor, it would never come out.} said the head priestess. She was clearly enjoying your suffering.
  51.  
  52.     Bending over the basin, the head priestess began to murmur an incantation while moving her hands in circles over the water. Taking a pinch of what looked like incense from a hidden pouch, she sprinkled the powder into the bowl. The water began to ripple as if a stone had been dropped into it, and a faint glow began to appear. The light became brighter and brighter, a white light tinted with a very faint blue, like moonlight on a lake. A chorus of gasps sounded from the elves. Even you forgot your pain as you watched the spectacle unfold. This place really was magic.
  53.  
  54.  
  55. {N…no. That cannot be… there must be something wrong! Even we have more taint than this!} said the high priestess
  56.  
  57. {It is as I suspected Milady! This human is not natural! He is otherworldly there is no doubt, but the Chief God has rendered her judgement that he is pure! More pure than us! Perhaps the Gods themselves sent him to us as a savior!} said the elf on your left.
  58.  
  59. {IMPOSSIBLE!! I WILL TOLERATE THIS DECEIVER NO LONGER!} screamed the high priestess.
  60.  
  61.     With a screech she lunged at you with the ceremonial knife. Just before the weapon entered your chest, it halted in mid-air, surrounded by the glow that bound your limbs. You felt your left arm drop as the elf on your left moved her hands to focus on the your attacker. The high priestess glared at her with clenched teeth, and with another cry turned the knife towards her. The other priests dropped your limbs, causing you to fall unceremoniously in a heap at the foot of the basin. The high priestess was suspended in a similar manner to yourself by the other priests, who were now shouting incoherently at each other. Half of them were levitating the high priestess, and the other were restraining the elf who had saved you in a similar manner. Both sides were shouting at each other, though some appeared angry while others were just trying to resolve the conflict. The guards who were protecting the entrance hurried over to the scrum and drew their batons. More guards poured in through the entrance and the fight was broken apart. The priests were herded into two groups, the majority with the head priestess and the rest surrounding the kindly good elf.
  62.  
  63. {YOU ARE DAMNED MONARA!! DAMNED! I’LL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR THIS HERESY!} shouted the high priestess.
  64.  
  65.     You were more or less forgotten in the chaos. Apparently angry mages took priority over a starved sacrifice. It wasn’t until you let out a moan that one of the guards took notice of you and hauled you up by your tattered collar. You tried to stand but only stumbled and staggered forwards towards the stone slab. The guard merely pushed you towards it, and you collapsed against it in a heap. The church doors opened again and the leader of the elves appeared in all her glory, flanked by two elite guards.
  66.  
  67. {WHAT IN THE NAME OF OUR LADY IS GOING ON IN HERE?!} said the queen, princess, elf pope, or whatever she was.
  68.  
  69. All eyes in the church swiveled to avoid her piercing gaze. All except the high priestess.
  70.  
  71.     {Lies, Milady! Deceit! Treachery! Subterfuge! Heresy! This VERMIN disgraces the name of the Chief God by hiding from Her judgment! I asked Her for the power to destroy him, and she did not answer. I asked her to show those who doubted his evil what darkness lay within his soul! Look to the basin! None are so untouched by the corruption! He subverts the will of the very heavens to accomplish his insidious tasks!} said the high priestess. She looked like she was ready to blow a blood vessel. Not surprising, since she did just try to kill you.
  72.  
  73.     The queen stared at her for a moment before striding over to the bowl. Even in your disheveled state you were awestruck by the grace she moved with. It was as if her she weighed nothing, each footfall making no noise, and leaving no footprint. A phantom moving through the world, leaving all she passed untouched and pristine. The basin still glowed faintly, though it was far from the blinding incandescence it had been when the high priestess had first added the incense.
  74.  
  75. The queen stared at the basin for what felt like an eternity. Her eyes flitted up, and you made eye contact with her as you lay panting at the foot of the alter. Her expression was unreadable. She turned towards the high priestess, and then to the elf who had saved you.
  76.  
  77. {Monara, you have been silent about this matter. Though from what I have heard, it was you who had the passion to save this human’s life and defy your superiors. What say you?} said the queen.
  78.  
  79.     The priestess gulped and moved to the front of the throng. {Milady, we asked the Chief God to render judgement upon him, and it was! She has deemed him pure, who are we to question the will of the heavens? I witnessed the rituals with my own eyes and saw no indication of trickery, and Lady Salvica preformed the rites without error. This man may be a human, but he is untainted!} said the furtive holy woman.
  80.  
  81. The elf queen stared pensively at the young priestess, before turning back to the basin. Reaching out a hand, she swirled the water, causing the glow to become brighter for a few seconds.
  82.  
  83. {Hmm… your protests ring hollow Salvica. I have known you long enough to know that you would not have made an error in such an important ritual. If the Chief God has deemed him worthy, then it is not our place to question. The only thing tainted here is your perception of humanity. Do not let your hate rule you.} said the queen.
  84.  
  85.     The high priestess looked like she was about to burst. Her face was crimson, and her teeth were grating back and forth. Shutting her eyes and taking a deep breath, she unclenched her fists and let out a sigh. The color drained from her face and she took a deep bow.
  86. {Yes, Milady.} said the head priestess
  87.  
  88. The queen grinned.
  89.  
  90. {Very good. Is there anyone else who would like to challenge this ruling?} She looked around. The church was silent. {So be it. This man is not to be harmed from now on. He will be our guest until he is fit to leave, and then he will be sent off. Humans may be a lesser species, but that does not mean that they are undeserving of mercy. As elves, it is our duty to look after the lesser races.} said the queen. {For now, he will reside in one of the vacant rooms near the apothecary. Guards will accompany him at all times to ensure that he does not betray our hospitality. Now then, guards, you are dismissed.}
  91.  
  92.     The horde of guards began to funnel out the door, and the small group of priests followed soon after. The queen strode around the basin to where you lay, sitting up against the sacrificial slab.
  93.  
  94. {Come, human. My pride as an elf cannot stand to see a guest in such a pitiful state.} she said presenting an immaculate hand to you.
  95. You tentatively reach up and gingerly take it. She lifts you effortlessly to your feet, steadying you as you stagger.
  96.  
  97. {Guards, could you assist him to his quarters? And make sure to bring him something to eat. I doubt Arsofina has fed him more than table scraps over these last few days.} said the queen.
  98.  
  99.     Two guards rushed over to assist you, taking an arm a piece, and began escorting (carrying) you to your next destination. Where could they be taking you now? Another torture chamber? A mass grave? A hot tub? The fear of what was to come grasped your mind as you were dragged through the main square of the tiny town. Once again, the crowd gawked at your passing, though now they only whispered as you were dragged past. The guards appeared to be taking you towards a small tree, this one engraved with a faceless angel holding a strip of cloth. A strange smell wafted out from the doorway, it smelled like mushrooms, berries and a bit of alcohol all mixed together. A thin breezeway connected the tree to a two-story wooden building that stretched farther than most of the other buildings. The guards moved past the entrance of the fragrant building, taking you into the bland building instead.
  100.  
  101.     Inside smelled of blood and wounds. Oh God. Was this some sort of jail? Passing by one of the rooms, you could see and elf sprawled out on a bed, sleeping peacefully. Not a jail. The rooms were decently sized, and the ones you could see into looked well furnished and lit. Curious luminescent spheres protruded form the walls, providing light by means unknown. An elf in a dark grey cloak that concealed her entire body stepped out from a room at the end of the hall near the stairs, and gently closed the door behind her. Turning towards you and your entourage, she let out a gasp of excitement and shuffles over to you.
  102.  
  103. {Ahh! Yes! The anomaly! Good, good!} The strange elf reached out and grasped either side of your head, tilting it back and forth as she examined you. You let out a whimper as she toutched the bruise on the back of your head.
  104.  
  105. {Mmm… yes, he is strange indeed. I have prepared a room for him at the end of the hall. At lady Irin’s request, food and water has already been delivered to his quarters. After he eats, I will see to it that he bathes and receives some clothing. Hmm… I wonder what fibers these are made out of?} said the elf as she picked at the remains of your shirt.
  106.  
  107.     The cloaked elf made you uncomfortable. Not just because she was friends with the people who had tried to kill you twice in the same day, she had a more predatory aura. The other elves looked at you with hate, she looked at you with an unabashed curiosity that sent chills down your spine. You attempt to twist away, but the guards hold you steady.
  108.  
  109. {Ahh, no matter. I’m getting ahead of myself. Take him away, I will see to its needs after he eats.} said the cloaked elf.
  110.  
  111. The guards lurched forwards, dragging you to the doorway of the room at the far end of the hall. They unceremoniously released your arms and gave you a gentle shove through the door, closing it behind you. Turning, you hear the sound of wood against wood from the other side of the door. You give the doorknob, which appears to be a knot of wood a twist, but it doesn’t budge. You were locked in.
  112.  
  113.     Panic begins to set in, but the smell of food brings you back to your senses. On the small table lay a platter piled high with all sorts of fruits, meats and vegetables. Beside it sat a pitcher of water. The sight of a substantial meal is enough to make you leap, and you trip over your own feet as you lunge towards the feast.
  114.  
  115.     It takes you only fifteen minutes to fill your belly. Whether that was from your stomach atrophy or the rate at which you ate, you didn’t really care. The pitcher of water was almost empty as well. With a sigh, you recline back in the chair and close your eyes. So much had happened since you had arrived here. What should you do now? It seems that the, (well, they must be elves right?) the “elves” had decided that you were not so bad after all. They were also the only source of food and water you knew of. It would be certain death to run, and they could certainly just retrieve you if they chose to.
  116.  
  117.     But the hate you felt from the crowd was not something that you could overlook either. The way some of them stared at you, the way they whispered or jeered at you as you passed… Was it really safe to stay here? One of these elves had already tried to stab you. It was a gamble, stay here and risk being murdered, or leave and attempt to find human civilization.
  118.  
  119.     If there were humans. You open your eyes and stare out the window. A lattice of vines allowed light in, but you already knew that defenestration was out of the question. Were there any other humans in this strange land? It was obvious that you were a novelty to the elves. Was that because humans were rare, or because you were the ONLY human in this alien land. You sighed and shuffled over to the bed. It seemed wrong to ruin such a pristine piece of furniture with the filth you had accrued, so you just settle for laying down on the quilt. What was this place anyways? The longer you stayed here, the less it felt like any sort of afterlife. To exciting for purgatory, to painful to be heaven, but not torturous enough to be hell. Were you even dead? If magic did exist in this world, perhaps the answer to your sudden arrival could be less divine in nature than you had suspected.
  120.  
  121. As you lay on the bed trying to wrap your head around this predicament, you don’t even feel yourself falling asleep.
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