The Keystone

Temptation of Saar

All Saar feels is pain, burning, and torment. In the back of his mind he hears, “pray to Bahamut”… and he tries to, but the pain is too intense for him to form coherent thoughts, as the world mercifully goes black.

He awakens naked, shackled on a stone alter of sorts. Around him he can see nothing except a pale yet harsh light shining from above, brightening only a small circle around the alter. He breaths fire to see and notices a figure standing just outside the light. The figure, wrapped in a thin silk robe steps into the light. Anwen? She tells him that she loves him and that she missed him. She asks if he can trust her? He responds he has always trusted her. Anwen then asks what he would do to bring Io back. He tells her that he would do anything!

Good.

Anwen explains she has always wished only to help him achieve this goal of his and had spent many hours praying to Bahamut to know how. After years of nothing, she finally got a response, but not from the god she thought it was. She was guided by her goddess and instructed in ways that she could finally help bring to pass this dream. She had kept up the ruse that she was a paladin of Bahamut, but she knew that soon her beloved would be sure to see through that so she’d had to leave. While in the wilds she had grown closer to her goddess, increasing in knowledge and power. Then, to test her disciple, her goddess had asked her to bring balance to the world since Io is the balance between good and evil, light and darkness. A balance had to be restored and her faith tested. She was asked to kill Clan Tempest, a clan known for strictly following Bahamut.

Saar whispered Tiamat’s name under his breath as he realized the name of her goddess. Yes, Anwen served Tiamat, and it was she who unleashed the Rat-men on the clan that destroyed it, but she protected Saar and made sure that he’d been able to escape. Saar was almost crying as he begged to know how she could let him take the fall, to be dishonored for not protecting their clan. Her heart was in her throat as she admitted that she’d wanted to run to him, to protect him, but the Master Mahan had instructed her not to. She asked Saar whether his time after that had drawn him closer or farther from his god? Saar realized that in humility he had grown closer to Bahamut. Anwen admitted that this was how it was supposed to be.

She then told him that recently she had acquired a book from the House of Laban which explained a ritual for restoring Io to power. It described that a true follower of Bahamut and a true follower of Tiamat must become one on the night of the full moon when it falls on the spring equinox. She further explained that tonight they were both standing under the light of the full moon and it was indeed the spring equinox, so they had very little time for their bodies to join as one. Saar stared in shocked horror as he realized what she was asking. He told her that he’d always wanted to couple with her, but not like this… dishonorably. He stated that there must be another way. She asked if he’d found another way yet? No, well the full moon wouldn’t fall on the spring equinox for another 500 years, so there was no time to waste. Saar still didn’t want to copulate with her like this. Anwen admitted that she’d feared his honor would keep him from doing what he needed. She dropped her robe and climbed atop him naked. She leaned down and whispered that he should relax and try to enjoy this.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement and shouted a warning as a huge broadsword flashed in the moonlight. It descended through Anwen’s back and she twisted to the side at the last moment, allowing the sword to only pierce Saar’s lung instead of his heart like it had hers. “We had a deal,” she rasped as life fled her eyes. The only response was evil laughter from the Elf holding the sword. With her last breath, she told Saar that she loved him and that she’d done all of this… for… him.

Saar’s world came crashing down again. After believing that Anwen had been dead all of these years, and that he was to blame for the death of his clan, he’d finally learned the truth, only to realize that it was more shocking than he could ever have imagined! How could Bahamut let this happen? He’d been so faithful, enduring all of this with a light heart, and his house of cards came tumbling down. Cursing Bahamut and Tiamat’s names. Cursing the elf and even Anwen, despite his grief for her, he calls on the primal forces that flowed around him. His anger causing earthquakes and lighting to radiate from him as he roars in ultimate suffering for his tragic loss. Blue ripples across his golden scales as his skin turns to stone, protecting his pierced body and broken heart. The stony scales shatter the broadsword dumping it and Anwen’s dead body to the side of the altar as Saar gather’s his anger and lunges at the Elf, just barely missing as he moves nimbly out of the way. There is a commotion off to the side of the room, but the Dragonborn only has eyes for the Elf, who draws out a huge double-bladed axe. Finding his sword and shield nearby, Saar grabs them and lunges for the elf, lighting and thunder still rumbling around him, echoing his anger, pain, and grief.

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