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a Lucy is born in Geb
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She giggles and beams.

“I considered it! But if they had talked to anyone in the den, they might’ve aborted mission, and then they’d still have the barrels. This way? We do.”

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"How did you even know they were cultists? I know they had different order emblems, which would be odd if they were actually his subordinate crusaders, but I didn't see that until they were already leaving."

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“They were going to burn books!”

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Seelah doesn't lie, so she's just... not going to mention that there are probably some crusaders who would do that. Fewer to their own books, yes, but still some. She'll focus on untying and ungagging the prisoners.

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Once free, said prisoners are very effusive in their praise.

"Thank you so much for the rescue, I was sure we were done for there."

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“You’re welcome. Are you okay? Who are you? —Besides, obviously, the real crusaders.”

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"I'm Klaem, temporary commander of the order of the flaming lance, and most of these people are my fellows. The elf isn't one of us, but he had the bad luck to get caught up in things when we did; apparently he goes by the storyteller."

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She turns to him, grinning. “Storyteller! Hello, we were looking for you. I’d rather have met under better circumstances, but hey, we’re all still not dead!”

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“Such things are always better than the alternative. I do not think I have seen you before, though; why were you looking for me?”

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“Well, Irabeth was hoping you had some insight into what the demons had done to the Wardstone.”

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The storyteller's face is grim.

"A very nasty situation, on all counts. The demons attacked it with a particularly terrible abyssal poison, and it's been weakening ever since. As things stand now, I expect they can get within a few feet of the stone without being harmed, and it won't be long before it's fully destroyed."

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That's bad. 

"Do you know of any way to fix it? I assume Neutralize Poison isn't going to do it." 

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"Nothing certain to work, and many of the ideas I do have are rather impractical. A miracle could solve it, almost certainly, but in terms of lesser measures not much short of the intervention of a godling would suffice at this point - not unless whoever did it could be persuaded to help. A sufficiently powerful outsider with an appropriate idiom to counteract the abyss might suffice, like an Angel or Archon or Aeon, or striking at the taint directly with a stronger abyssal poison that subsumes it? Perhaps an archmage who specializes in magic items could come up with another method, but knowing that doesn't let me determine what they would say."

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"...So...if I found an angel's sword, and the last fragmentary remains of an Aeon's spirit..." and had a knife made of Demon Lord blood...

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"I do not think that would be enough on its own, and even if it were stronger than I imagine, an ordinary soul would burn out trying to channel it. It might suffice to buy a measure of time, though."

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Well she's not an ordinary soul but she can't exactly say that!!! 

"Is there something that could boost one or both of them until they were enough? --And do you think it would be important for the same person to have both, I was hoping to offload the Aeon-spirit-fragment sooner rather than later, I don't think I'm a suitable host in the long term and I don't want to kill it if that can be avoided." 

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"There are some I have met who might have been able to manage it by supplying the strength themself, but... legendary heroes all, with a spark of the essence of myths and legends to call their own, and few among even them would suffice without another source of power to draw upon. Even a demon lord's power would suffice, but Deskari is long since gone and hardly a willing ally besides. As for whether it would matter if they are in different people... I am not certain. I do not think this has ever been tested."

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Ohhhh she wants to chase that down further but it would raise so many questions if she did. 

 

"I found this in the square, near where Deskari killed Terendelev," she says, holding out the purple stone dagger. Hopefully that's enough of an explanation for why she would think it was significant. "It seems to be magical in some way, though I haven't sussed out how, yet." 

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The storyteller reaches for the dagger with trembling hands. When he touches it, he stops, as though electrified, and is silent for a long moment. When he speaks, his voice is somewhat raspier than before, but still easily understandable.

"I can't imagine how this could have been there, but yes, in the hands of the right person I believe that this would suffice."

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Whew. 

"Oh, good. ...Do you...have any idea what it is?" 

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"A small fragment of Deskari's abyssal power, ripped straight from his very being and somehow solidified. He will heal the injury in time, I expect, but for at least a short while he will be slightly less than he once was."

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You can just take away the power of a demon lord? ...Was that something the Aeon did, since Luzai said she saw them in the same place? If so, they might be doubly lucky that it decided to fight Deskari, and she murmurs a quick prayer for its fate even though she knows it won't pass on to judgment.

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"--This doesn't register as Evil, does it?" Luzai asks Seelah. She thinks it probably shouldn't, but it can't hurt to check. 

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"Not that I can sense. I'm not really sure that a rock can be evil, it's not like they can make decisions."

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"Well, yeah, but demon lords can, and if it's a little piece of Deskari, it seemed worth checking? I'm pretty sure I've heard of magic items that had registerable alignments, and, like, I'm not sure if those are real or not but I don't want to assume they aren't without a better source." 

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