Apocalypse V: Guardian Nexus and Raven

Apocalypse IV: Chapters 7 & 8.5

Though Raven’s body was inert on the physical plane, his spirit was active in the Overworld. He found himself in the Land of Illusions, roaming aimlessly through a mirror world of Caldora that was vacant and lifeless, the sky clouded with dust from the flaking earth. Suddenly, the form of a beautiful midnight-haired woman clad in diaphanous scarlet appeared before him. She introduced herself as the Guardian Nexus, and informed him that it was not yet his time to die, and that he should go back to his body. Raven told her that he needed to reach the Land of Truth, because he had many questions needing answers, and all things were revealed in there. Nexus said this was impossible, for only the dead are allowed into the Land of Truth – and he was not dead. But Raven stubbornly insisted that the fate of an entire nation depended on him learning the answers, and begged for her to comply with his request.

Nexus only smirked and crossed her arms over her ample bosom. Her master, Aeli Neicla, had sent her here to stop a living soul from entering the Land of Truth, and she had never seen anyone so eager to die. She licked her nightshade-tainted lips and moved towards the half-elf. She coiled her body around him and purred softly into his ear that she would take him to the Land of Truth if he would agree to pleasure her first. A powerful entity she was – worshipped by rebel Maraudean women as the avenger who kills men by draining their lifeforce through seduction. But Raven had a love for Aurora deep and pure, and used it to resist the goddess’ advances. Frustrated, Nexus disappeared in a puff of hot air.

She appeared before Aeli Neicla a nervous wreck, angry and confused as to how a mere mortal could defy her. Indeed, he was the first man to do so, though she had effortlessly slain countless. Neicla told her to calm down and go meditate on the matter. She agreed, and went off to spend some time in solitude. All things were known in the Land of Truth, so she asked to be shown in formation about Raven’s relationship with Aurora. When she delved into this connection, she felt a force more powerful than any she had ever experienced, a force that branched out into a beautiful web of light that knit the universe together, and this new energy engulfed her completely, flooding her with a profound sense of harmony and love.

         So overwhelmed was she that she immediately returned to Raven and told him that he had shown himself worthy of entering the Land of Truth. Nexus breathed him into her body as green mist, and took him to a radiant Overworld jungle. She released him on the forest floor and herself returned to Aeli Neicla, ashamed and baffled at what she had just done. But Neicla smiled and explained that she had passed his test, the test of compassion, and that she no longer served under him but was an independent being capable of making decisions on her own.

Apocalypse VI: Chapter 8.5

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Revised: 12 May 2010 07:47:48 -0400 .