Strange Aeons

Stepping through the Veil

The Deathly Rose

Deathly rose whose wilting is grace,
Leave marks of blood with each thorn embraced.

I remember Her.  The roses that fill my vision, the words that play over and over again in my head… they are Her.  And I can remember her gathering place just outside Cheliax, where we would gather among Her roses; it's the same place we would take the gnomes and halflings.

Flower blooming as the drum beats,
A ruby red, yet so discreet…

Murderer, that's what I am.  The revenant's existence and motivation confirms it.  I killed this man and he has risen from the grave to seek revenge upon me.  If not for the invisibility I believe he would have succeeded, though it was important to me to get him away from the others.  "Over here" I tried to shout, though it came out as a raspy, dust-ridden whisper.  It turned to find me and knew the instant it passed me.  But in a few moments, it was destroyed, another nightmare from my old life come to haunt me.

An urgent remark then was said,
So the ruby rose turned scarlet instead…

My companions thought the Wailing House might provide us some information, or at least clues, regarding the goings-on in the town.  Any place with "wailing" in the name is exactly the kind of place I seek to avoid.  Its very name indicates the lack of quiet we will find there, and noise brings punishment.  Sometimes it brings death.

Am I a thorn?  A petal?  The stem?
Surely my sounds will not condemn.

Our great welcome, upon noticing the unnatural darkness in the area, was a haunted tree, or enchanted tree… I don't know.  It attacked us.  It hit like you would expect something of that size to hit – very hard.  Even trees, however, can be flanked, and Wynzo positioned himself perfectly as I attacked and Argo burned it to the ground.

Piercing, slashing, maybe the thorn?
Even roses take time to mourn.

The entrance room should have been the sign.  Ghostly faces moved through the room, shouting and screaming as if death had not already found them.  Or maybe because it had and the afterlife is the only safe place to scream?

Velvety smooth, maybe the petal?
Chances are slim to show your mettle.

While I explored upstairs in the mostly ruined second floor, I suddenly heard some fighting from down below.  I hopped down and helped the others dispatch some zombies that were ravaged by nature.  The sweet smell of roses should come from death, not the stench these things gave off.

The stem, the base, from which a rose blooms,
Held like a blade, will only spell doom.

Together, upstairs, we found an enchanted, magical dagger.  First it found us by attacking on its own, with no one wielding it, not even a ghost so far as we could tell.  It glowed a disturbing green color until we destroyed whatever was enchanting it.  The others found it was a magical dagger that could deliver a magical poison, so I kept it when no one asked for it.

Not one but all – it's what I prayed,
I am the rose; I am Her blade.

In the next room we found a ghost of some kind, whose hits felt like having my physical strength, my mind, and my soul all sapped from me at once.  The first hit signaled the danger to me, but if it could hit me the others were done for, so I stayed in hopes it would fall to my blades or Drago's bomb.  And then I saw Her in a field of flowers, watching a single rose wilt until the last petal hit the ground.

Deathly rose whose wilting is grace,
Now comes repose, now ends the chase.

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