Chapter 48: Tihr’s ambition

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This time Tihr’s avatar appeared outside the domain of another one of the gods, Mystra. Mystra was the goddess of magic and a long time ally of Tihr, belonging to the same Pantheon and alignment. She was not aware of the plan that Tihr had put into motion long ago, but she was a staunch ally who he could put to good use when necessary. This was of course with the assumption that she was kept in the dark about his true plans.

It may seem strange that a god of Justice, such as Tihr, would go to such lengths to obtain power but this should not come as a surprise. The gods themselves were once mortals that ascended, and the only thing that truly mattered to them was power. With power, everything else would naturally fall into place. Even amongst allies, there were no eternal friends and they were in fact all competitors with the same goal.

The barrier that separated Mystra’s domain from the empty void outside was hazy but one could vaguely make out a beautiful and rich world within. Temples and vast luxurious structures as well as the glow of magic was present everywhere. This was Mystra’s home and the center of her power. Most gods possessed such domains which were filled with worshippers they had rewarded with eternal life. They were designed and could be fully altered based on the will of the god whose domain it belonged to.

These domains would usually fully take on the personality and laws of which their god belonged to. There were very few exceptions to this and even the Devil Sovereigns had their own domains which fully represented the laws for which their power originated from. Their domains were a plane belonging to this God Nexus and were known as the nine hells. Each level of hell was ruled by a Devil Sovereign and each level was uniquely influenced by the laws of its sovereign.

Moksha was a god that was an exception because he had no worshippers and his domain was just a vast and empty space. He could alter its appearance, but with no living beings to occupy his domain there was no point in altering it. Moksha did have servants, but these were lifeless constructs which helped him manage the cycle of reincarnation. It wasn’t necessary to have structures or even land within his domain and so he kept it as a vast but empty void.

Once again, Tihr had sent out a pulse of his power as a greeting in order to inform Mystra of his presence. This was a greeting to show there was no ill intent, otherwise if he attempted to force his way into her domain he would have to fight against her defenses. Mystra was also involved currently in the interstellar planar war with her main body and had also left an avatar within her domain to oversee it. Because their main bodies were on separate battlefronts it was easier for their avatars to meet than their main bodies at the current time.

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“Tihr, why have you come?” A beautiful and gentle voice asked suddenly.

“Can’t I be here just to visit an ally and friend?”

Mystra’s charming and lovely laugh was her reply.

“You never come to visit unless you need something.”

“Haha, you know me well. Won’t you invite me in?”

“Enter.”

“There is something I need your help with, a minor matter really. One of my cathedrals was destroyed…”


On the border of the Imperium and the Federation is a great and vast lake which has been contested between the two nations for hundreds of years. The lake and its surrounding areas held a wealth of resources and diversity of life. Many hamlets, fishing villages and small docks littered its shores.

On most days, the lake basked in the warmth of the sun and offered its life giving waters to a myriad of creatures. However, on this day, the sun was clouded over and a deep shrouding mist floated just above its surface. It made it impossible to see further than just a few feet but there was also a strange calm.

BOOM!

The lake erupted, water gushing up into the air as something collided with the surface of the lake at speeds beyond sound.

Through the fog, the sound of crackling electricity and flashing lights quickly approached. A man floated above the surface of the lake with coiling lightning wriggling around his body. He pointed his hand at the location where the collision with the lake had happened and lightning struck instantly at that exact spot.

“Is she dead?”

Before the man had even finished his sentence, a flash from his right sped out of the lake towards him.

“Damn, die already!”

Electricity coiled around the man floating above the surface of the lake and created a barrier that protected him. The flash was from the glint of blades imbued with powerful magic and the woman he had been hunting struck against his lightning barrier but was pushed back.

“It won’t be that easy to kill me.”

Lightning lashed out from the man’s body and sparks flew all around the area sending pulses across the lake. Whip like arcs of lightning struck out attempting to lash the shrouded woman, but her speed allowed her to dodge the lightning attacks that had been seeking her life. She constantly blinked in an out of visibility and eventually appeared outside the range of the man’s whip like lightning arcs.

“Your reputation is much deserved Lightning Emperor Eneran. It seems the rumors of you reaching the peak of Legendary status and touching upon the realm of a Demigod are not far from the truth.” Said the shrouded woman in a hoarse and calm voice despite the fierce battle she was engaged in.

The man laughed and replied humbly, “I have only just reached the peak. I am still a long way from becoming a Demigod, Mystra willing. I am far more surprised by you. A Legendary Night Fury, there is only one that I know of who is a member of the Church of Murder. You must be Melisana. I didn’t realize the Church of Murder had sent a Legendary being of such power to this continent. It seems there is much more at stake in this conflict than I thought. Were you also responsible for the assassinations in Andor’s Edge and the chaos caused in the aftermath of that?”

The woman didn’t respond, she only quietly observed looking for a chance to escape. A battle here was not what she wanted and would only hinder what she came to do. However, she could feel the power of her adversary and knew he wouldn’t let her go so easily.

“Even if you don’t respond, it’s not as if I can’t figure out a thing or two. The bodies of the assassins were eventually discovered by the authorities of the city and even though their bodies had strangely become withered corpses, it wasn’t difficult to discern that they were assassins belonging to the Church of Murder. If they’re the reason you have attempted to infiltrate the Federation, you might as well as leave. Even if I can’t kill you, I can certainly keep you from taking a step further.”

“Hmph, and what does that have to do with you? You are just one of Mystra’s lackeys. Why are you getting involved in the matters between the Imperium and the Federation? Does Mystra even have a presence in the Federation? As far as I know, you are a long way from home. This matter does not concern you.”

“Tihr and Mystra are allies, so why do you find it so strange that I would be here? The Cathedral of Tihr was recently destroyed and I have come to seek answers. The Legendary beings of the Church of Tihr are currently busy with other matters and so I have come to offer a bit of help in their time of need. Answer my question and I will let you go in peace.”

The woman didn’t want to become embroiled in a fight here and since she had already heard what she needed to know, she decided to acquiesce to his request if it wasn’t burdensome, “Fine, ask me your question.”

“Are you responsible for the destruction of the Cathedral in Andor’s Edge?”

“No.”

“Fine, then do you know who is responsible?”

“I don’t know. It’s part of the reason I am here.”

“Are you certain it had nothing to do with you?”

The woman didn’t reply immediately. The destruction of the Cathedral had nothing to do with her Church. It had never been the objective of the Church of Murder to come into conflict with Tihr directly. They had only been hoping to profit from the chaos of war and expand their influence on the continent. War and death was always good business for the Church of Murder and even if the alignment of the gods they served was on opposing ends, they were still part of the same pantheon.

There were rules and certain agreements between the gods which could not be easily broken and certain things which were off limits. The destruction of a Cathedral could certainly lead to serious consequences and all out war between the churches. It wasn’t as if things like this had never happened before, but it wasn’t the current will of Cyric, the god of murder and lies.

However, for some reason a young man’s image suddenly popped up in her mind.

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“I don’t know if this will help you, but there is someone who might be able to provide the answers you seek. Assuming that person is still alive, I was also hoping to find some answers from him.”

“Oh, is that so? Then perhaps we have a common goal.”

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