I had imagined the five of us using magic and cold steel to drive Ovedisca from our world. It was going to be our task, our achievement. Instead, we four survivors are pawns in a struggle between two gods.
Ovedisca walks into the temple in the form of my dead(?) sister Jallia. That’s what shocks me into remembering who I am. I’m not Mrokitar. But Mrokitar has possession of my body. I can do nothing but watch. So far as I can tell, all of my companions are just as helpless. I don’t even know if they still exist as separate persons anymore.
Ovedisca comes most of the way forward, until he’s only a few feet from Honorable Alencar, Katrina, and Mia. In my sister’s voice, he hails Mrokitar. “Ho, there! What is this you are doing, Mrokitar?”
Mrokitar uses my voice. “You have once again begun traveling between worlds without my permission, Ovedisca. This will cease.”
Ovedisca is mocking. “Or else?”
Mrokitar doesn’t bother to answer. Instead she draws my magical Etralstan sword. We step off Honorable Strunstur, come around the altar, and step down to the chamber floor.
Ovedisca raises his hand. “No further, Mrokitar.”
Mrokitar laughs, and launches her attack. But not the way Ovedisca might have expected.
Mia, under Mrokitar’s absolute control, unleashes a magical attack on Ovedisca that is frightening in its intensity. Sarton told me months ago that Mia could kill us all, and the magic she unleashed could do just that. It destroys the wall of the temple behind Ovedisca. I can even see it blow up the top of a mountain miles away.
Ovedisca isn’t even scratched. He steps forward, grabs Mia by the throat, and breaks her neck.
And then he falls back as Katrina attacks. A living weapon now, she advances on him, cutting and slicing any part of his body she touches.
Ovedisca falls back again and again, snarling, screaming. And then he strikes back. He blows a hole in Katrina’s left side. But Katrina isn’t properly human anymore; losing part of her body does not stop her. She keeps advancing, and Ovedisca loses a hand to her. But it comes back almost immediately, as he strikes another blow that takes her head off. She lunges at him, and catches him by the foot. He loses half a leg, falls back, and strikes again.
There’s less and less of Katrina left. But each time she touches Ovedisca, her steel body, all edges and points, cuts his body. He seems to take longer to recover each time. It looks like the contest is whether she can damage him enough before he destroys her.
Ovedisca is being forced back. He’s halfway to the door. But by now all that’s left of Katrina are one leg and both arms, which still pursue Ovedisca. Bellowing with rage, Ovedisca gathers his strength, and obliterates Katrina’s remaining body parts. Katrina is gone, completely. She has failed.
As, I guess, she was meant to. For Mrokitar has been moving my body around the inside perimeter of the temple, until I am behind Ovedisca. As Ovesdisca catches his breath from destroying Katrina, Mrokitar and I run his body through with my magical Etralstan sword.
The sword flares as it enters Ovedisca’s body. The magic from it begins spreading through his body, attacking Ovedisca, expelling him from this world. Ovedisca turns and faces us. But he can’t see us, so consumed by agony is he.
And then Ovedisca is gone. The sword becomes just a sword. The body is just that of my sister Jallia. She sees me, manages to speak my name, and then falls to the floor, dead.
Mrokitar has what she wants. She is gone. All the eyes in the temple are closed once again. I fall to the floor, and cry on my sister’s corpse.