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|The Light of Truth|
“Light is both beautiful and sharp. Glaring and excoriating, it strips bare all, 'till only the truth, however painful, remains.
Skills[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
It's not all about the Wrath - It's easy to focus on the thing that hurts your enemies, but Hyperion's Light is a support weapon first and foremost. Focus on your allies, not on your enemy.
This kind of stripping is something to be proud of - The ability to remove negative effects before they can harm your allies is incredibly important. It can completely mitigate the advantages of many dragons, if used at the right time.
As usual, timing matters - Remember, you can't strip what isn't there, so let your enemy cast first, then immediately strip the effect they cast. They hate that.
Lore[edit | edit source]
The city dedicated to the Lady of Balance maintains not a rigid order, as is often expected, but rather a give-and-take between forces. For every temple of Astaroth, there is a bastion of Hyperion and for every guild of commerce, a society of thieves and murderers to prey upon it. The order that is the Lady's bailiwick comes not from rigid imposition, but from the subtle byplay between extremes and the myriad shades of gray between black and white. It is the inevitable course of things that maintains order, not the torrent of droplets flowing past.
It's no surprise then that the fair city attracts its share of oddities. The Pilgrim was one such. No one knew precisely from whence she hailed, but to me - Locke, the finest bail hound in the Rookery District - the Pilgrim's white robes and silver staff marked her as a desert tribeswoman, likely a priestess. She climbed the stairs of the coffee house slowly, the silver cap at the end of her staff ringing as she tapped it against each step, seeming to my eye to float above the boisterous noise of the raucous dragon traders below. It's what I liked about the Rookery. Most traders were plainsmen, and so coffee to them was a luxury of the city. They naturally gathered here to conduct their business and swap stories. It was these stories that I had come to hear. Each was a whispered secret, a shocking implication I could use to make my coin. You'd be surprised what one hears in a coffee house, when one listens.
Of course, as she came up those stairs, most of the noise stopped. It wasn't so much the way she looked - in that hooded robe there wasn't much to see - as it was the way she moved. Even taking each step slowly and evenly as she was, she seemed to hover, her feet never touching the floor.
The firelight from the torches pooled around her, as if suddenly knowing real light for the first time, the flames could not help but dedicate themselves to it, ashamed of their own inadequate flickering imitation. Her age was impossible to tell, barely enough of her face was revealed for but a single eye, beneath her hood. Oh, but what an eye I tell you. It was green, clear as emerald and twice as sharp. Appraising like, you understand? It cut into you, found the thing you didn't want it to know and dug it right out to judge. I couldn't even speak under that gaze. Just stare, dumbfounded.
"You are Locke." She said. Her voice was quiet and yet it seemed to ring quietly with each rising note of her speech. The accent was definitely eastern, from the big continent, though I couldn't say where.
"I am, mistress."
"I'm lead to believe that you are a bail hound."
I nodded, licking my lips and wishing I'd the coin for a coffee of my own. I didn't know what she wanted, but I doubted very much she'd paid bond for someone who went to ground in the city.
"I need to find someone." She approached and sat before I could rise but halfway from my chair. The robes were feathered, I noticed, with what looked like thread of silver brocade along the shoulders showing angels in flight. Hyperion's minions. Definitely a priestess.
"I'm more surprised than not. I thought Hyperion forgives all mi'lady." I'd meant it as a way to break the ice, I swear to the Lady, but the moment she turned that eye on me I knew I'd overstepped my place. Saw exactly how foolish I was, I did.
"Find me a man from the west, Locke."
I scoffed before I replied, "Exactly how far west? That's a bit vague, mi'lady."
"You'll know him when you see him, Locke. West. Where the light dies."
She leaned on her staff and stood.
"And when you do. I'll pay triple your standard fee."
I nodded, standing myself.
"Well bargained, mistress. A man from the west it is."
She nodded, turning away from the table and stepping to the staircase once more. She paused before leaving and said one last thing to me, over her shoulder.
"Don't be a fool Locke. This is not a man you want to fight. He is for me. Just find him."
I watched her as she walked down the stairs and out of the coffee house and I'll be damned if it ever occurred to me to ask how I'd find her when I'd got her man. Somehow, I knew she'd find me. I'm glad she did, for that matter. I'd not be here to tell the story if she hadn't. Her "man" was nothing of the sort, I'd come to learn, but I'm jumping ahead.
That day I didn't even know where to start. Nor did I the next. But, true to my word, I looked. I asked around for a man from the west, looking every bit the madman as I did it. By the third day, I was convinced I'd never find the man, if he even existed, but that's when things went odd, right? I'd made my way out of the Rookery by then, leaving its dragon roosts behind and heading down to the docks to speak to the porters there. If anyone, I reckoned, knew where I'd find a "man of the west" it had to be them and I was right, wasn't I? I was talking to Crowfoot (crushed his hand hauling nets, the poor bastard) at the Dancing Dolphin. Telling him the story of the Pilgrim and her queer job. It was a rousing rendition too, I assure you! Full of details about the woman's shape and the rose upon her cheeks. So good was the telling of it that I'd drawn a bit of a crowd. Or so I'd thought.
No sooner did I get to the telling of the bit about the man of the west when the biggest of them leans in to the table and barks, "Aye lads. I told you it was the one. Looking for Mr. Weft, isn't he?" The room fell silent then at the name. Mr. Weft. My "man of the west" had a name. Unfortunately, he had himself a bit of a following, too. Worse, they knew how to fight. Even worse? They were a lot better at it than I.
When I came to, aside the ache in the head, I found myself the owner of a new set of iron clasps, locking my hands tightly behind me and chaining them to my legs, hobbling me. I can't say I also owned the keys, but I hadn't gotten that far yet. I was still wondering two important things. The first, why am I alive? And the second, why am I in chains? I should have asked, how is this going to get worse? But much like the keys I was just getting to wishing I had, I hadn't yet worked out how that was to be the course of this little adventure. But it was, I assure you. I felt the poison next. I staggered and everything went double even as I struggled to stand. My eyes dimmed, light bleeding away round the edges. By the time Mr. Weft made his appearance, I was as blind as a cave scorpion. Hells, it was probably cave scorpion poison, I realized.
Weft's voice was strange, sibilant, like maybe he was missing teeth, "You're not the one I was expecting, lad."
There was a hiss before I could answer and then I felt a searing line of pain across my chest, followed by a rush of cold. I'd been cut and the cut was bleeding. Even blind, I could tell it was bad.
"So," Weft went on, cool as a winter's breeze, "That has me thinking. Why did she send you?"
Again the bastard cut at me, this time on my back. He didn't give a damn if I answered, I realized. I wasn't getting out of this alive.
"You know what I think?" I bit back a scream as he hacked at me again.
"I think she set you up. How's that for a lady of the light?" The bastard was right. It was obvious now. I was the bait.
"You're right," I said, grinning through the pain, "but the question you forgot to ask is an important one you bastard."
He laughed as he slashed me again, impressed by my false bravado. But I'd worked it out. It wasn't bravado, just the self-evident truth.
"The question you ought to be asking is, why are you not ready for the obvious ambush?"
I couldn't have timed it better, I tell you! The next thing I heard was a crash of glass breaking somewhere behind me. Then everything got warm. The darkness clouding my eyes seemed to disappear, replaced with warm light. My cuts didn't heal, but they stopped bleeding and my energy returned as the poison seemed to boil away. Weft screamed and as my vision cleared I saw him for the first time. All nine feet of him. He was a demon, red scaled and winged. A servant of Astaroth. He'd been raking me with his claws the whole time he was asking pointless questions with that forked tongue of his.
There was a cracking ring of silver on steel behind me and the clasps fell away, leaving me free, and holding three feet of iron chain in one hand. I'd have waded in and smacked that red skinned devil with it too, if the Pilgrim's words hadn't suddenly come to mind. I decided I'd listen. I wasn't going to play the fool... twice. I stepped back and let the lady do her work.
If "Lady" is what you call a minion of Hyperion. As she strode forward her "robes" unfolded into wings and I saw her for what she really was for the first time. The staff held high, she leapt up on flapping wings to strike at the demon again and again. I was occupied myself with Weft's cultists, mind, so I didn't see much, but every time I thought his men had the best of me, that staff of hers would glow again and I'd feel better and somehow... I think she got more powerful. Light was everywhere and every time the demon Weft slashed or threw fire, that light seemed to reach out and burn the monster until finally, with a burst of fire and ash, the demon was gone, destroyed.
"Locke." She spoke as the last the Weft's men fell to my chain. I turned to regard the creature with a scowl.
She held the staff out to me.
I shook my head, "I want no part of your war. Next time you want my help, you start with the truth." I spit the last, the wounds of my torture still fiery and painful. With nary a word, I turned and walked away. That was that. Another broken job in the city of betrayal, but you know what?
May the Gray Queen strike me from the board if I lie, she called out to me as I left. Do you know what she said?
"You can't hide from the light of truth, Locke. You've seen it now and it's marked you."
She was right, too. I haven't had a sane case, since. I'm not even a bail hound any longer! They're calling me a detector now; say I know how to see the monsters, light and dark. The fools don't understand that that's all there is! They only see the gray created in the meeting of darkness of light.
Bladebiter • Chillblade • Chronosphere • Cruel Barb • Death's Reach • Eir's Glory • Elder's Branch • Fracture Barrel • Gorefist • Hallowed Lantern • Hammer of Sul • Hyperion's Light • Phoenix Familiar • Rainmaker • Rising Soul • Rodar's Scepter • Skyburst • Slingsharp • Sparrowthorn • Sphere of Wudeng • Stormcaller • The Aegis • The Harvester • The Scintallion • Titan's Call • Truth's Charge • Ulfberht • Unity Mark • Vengeance • Veritas Scriptura • Voidstar • Waybinder