By Deverian Valandil
Epilogue - A Coda in Grey
One Month Later
“Captain!” shouted the junior officer as he burst into Atamir's office without knocking as usual.
Atamir slammed his wardrobe shut and whirled on the guard, “What in the hells do you want?!”
“Uh, sir, that elven cleric of Tyr sent another message asking about the whereabouts of someone named ‘Krevis'. How should I respond?”
“Bah, tell her the same thing as usual: Krevis vanished after the day of the summit attacks, and is still at large somewhere.” The Captain waved a hand and growled, “Dismissed, and don't come back about this matter again!”
The young man saluted and quickly left, eager to be away from the hotheaded guard captain.
Atamir's cheek twitched. The elf woman would grow suspicious soon, but he would be long gone by the time she figured out the truth behind what happened.
The Captain opened his wardrobe once more and stared at the single piece of clothing within. It was a lone suit of leather armour that he had stitched together himself from several different coloured patches of fabric. It was the sheer chaos of the patchwork design that the malicious spirit within him enjoyed so much.
“Yes,” Atamir said to himself, “Soon the hunt shall begin anew.”
* * *
Verskul opened his eyes, but found that his vision was blurred. Wait… he opened his eyes? The wizard came to attention and gasped as he realized that he had eyelids. Staggering to his feet, he quickly found that he seemed to be back in his original body; flesh, skin, and all.
“How is this possible…” he stopped as he tried to look around. It was extremely hot here, wherever ‘here' was, and the old wizard could smell smoke and charred flesh burning nearby. Rubbing his eyes, Verskul wondered how he could have possibly been restored to his old body. Unless…
Verskul blinked as his vision cleared, then his eyes widened in horror. He was standing in a dimly lit underground cavern, perched atop a small red island in the middle of a lake of bubbling lava. Stumbling backward, he gazed up at the stalactites lining the ceiling like teeth in a predator's maw.
“The Nine Hells…” he whispered, “I've been banished to the Nine Hells and imprisoned in my weak, frail body?!”
“ Yes, ” uttered a booming, gravelly voice behind him.
The wizard stiffened for a moment and his eyes shifted to the side. Moving quickly, he then spun around and raised his hands, shouting the syllable for a magic missile. The spell instantly fizzled and left his hands in a puff of smoke.
“ Nice try, ‘wizard'. ”
Verskul found himself staring up at a five-metre tall, black-scaled baatezu devil carrying a huge, bloody sickle.
“ We've been expecting you, ” growled the monster, “ You sought eternal existence in life? You'll have to settle for eternal existence in death. This will not be a pleasant experience for you… ”
Verskul cried out in fear for the first time as he looked around for a way to escape. Down in the lava, several familiar faces bubbled up to the surface, each screaming his name in pain. Treysen, Ayva, the Shield Knights and others… but Lorelei and Krevis were strangely absent.
“ No, Verskul, ” cackled the baatezu as it loomed closer, holding its sickle high, “ You shall not leave this place. You are to remain here for a very, very long time. ”
“This isn't right…” said Verskul as he stood paralyzed in fear.
This isn't right.
This isn't right.
This isn't right…
* * *
In one of the many small buildings in the city graveyard, Derrick was staring quietly at a grey stone coffin, uncertain where he should begin.
“Hello, Syra,” he said meekly to the tomb of his lost wife. He sent a doubtful glance over to the exit of his family crypt, where Bryn was standing just outside of earshot. His son simply gave a slight nod.
He turned back to the coffin, “I'm sorry that this will probably be both the first and last time that I come to visit you.” Derrick closed his eyes and lowered his head, “For years I've been afraid. Afraid to face my past, afraid to face the consequences of my actions, afraid to face you.
“But not long ago, I learned something. Time really is just an illusion; in the end, everyone does have to face their past and answer for the things they've done before. I never understood that before. Not when I lost you, not even when I lost so many others around me.” He briefly thought of his sister Jena and all those who had died as a result of his actions. Even Lorelei and Myrk brought to mind tinges of regret. Heck, even that bastard Orwin.
“But even after all that I've been through, have I made peace with myself? Have I truly found absolution for the wrongs in my past?”
He waited in silence, but Syra could give him no answer.
“You're right. There can't really be any resolution to those questions. All I can do is ask your forgiveness for the things I have caused, and hope you can find it in your heart.” He kissed his hand and touched it to the grey coffin lid, “Goodbye, Syra. I'll see you again some day, in one world or another.”
With that said, Derrick pulled his cloak back on around his shoulders and slowly walked with his cane toward the exit of the crypt. The man paused for a moment as he stepped outside and looked down at his son.
“It's time to go. I think I'm ready to move on.”
* * *
True to her word, cleric Selena Shademoor oversaw the destruction of Verskul's phylactery one month after the events of the fateful day. One year later, she would be promoted and named a full Priestess of Tyr for her faithful deeds. To this day, she continues to perform her divination and healing services in Tyr's name.
* * *
With the destruction of both his phylactery and magical essence, Verskul 's spirit was banished to an afterlife in the many layers of the Nine Hells. He never escaped this bleak realm, and remained there to suffer for eternity.
* * *
Unconcerned about Chancellor Thinder's death, the ambassadors from Waterdeep, Athkatla, and Tethyr , approved and managed the formation of an elite navy to use for their own profitable purposes along the Sword Coast . Three years later, the first ship from this oceanic force finally set sail.
* * *
Although there were no witnesses or direct evidence to connect Dace with any of the murders he had committed on the fateful day, he was quickly charged and tried on several previous crimes that he had done in the past, ranging from kidnappings to assassinations.
Much of the case against him was carried out due to the efforts of Selena Shademoor and covert information supplied by an unnamed source. Dace was eventually declared guilty on all counts of his crimes, and was sentenced to serve three consecutive life terms at Lancam's Isle prison, just off the coast of Baldur 's Gate.
He never fulfilled his entire sentence.
* * *
A few months after the death of his former friend Krevis, Captain Durin Atamir quietly resigned from his position in the Baldur's Gate city guard under claims of ‘conflicting interests'. He vanished from the city without a trace mere days after his resignation, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
* * *
With the death of guild leader Orwin, the disappearance of guild lieutenant Rassa, and the absence of guild lieutenant Tomar on the fateful day, the head position of their near-destroyed Shadow Thief guildhouse was left vacant. The guild's Shadowmasters in Athkatla subsequently promoted Cerdan , the only available lieutenant, and named him the new leader of the local guildhouse. He operated his guildhouse admirably for the next few years.
* * *
After the explosion atop the city clock tower, Derrick Curaten 's leg was left too severely damaged to be fully healed, leaving him crippled for the remainder of his life. With this injury, his days of adventuring and action were now brought to an irrevocable, and perhaps liberating, conclusion. He soon closed his Baldur's Gate pawnshop following the events of the fateful day.
Shortly after, both he and his son Bryn moved away from the city and traveled north to the city of Waterdeep , far away from the influence of the Shadow Thief guild and most other official thieves' guilds. For the remainder of his lifetime, Derrick never returned to Baldur's Gate.
With his son now safe and the liche Verskul forever destroyed, Derrick knew that his story had finally come to a close.
* * *
Despite the best efforts of Selena Shademoor's testimony to her superiors, the Church of Tyr refused to acknowledge that the city had been saved by a lowly ex-thief. Because the public knowledge of the events on the fateful day was left shrouded, very few people would come to know of Derrick Curaten. And those who did know would just as quickly forget his name as they returned once more to the routine proceedings of their lives.
Like so many other heroes and villains, both Derrick and Verskul would fade away in time, soon to be left as nothing more than footnotes in the grander history of the city.
However, the events set in motion by Verskul on this fateful day could not be undone. With the liche's death, shadowed eyes were now focused on Baldur's Gate. Already, the gears of an entirely new threat were beginning to turn. For others, this story was only just the beginning.
The content of Upon this Fateful Day is the property and copyright of Deverien Valandil, and are not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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