The reaction was immediate.
Iricah watched the creature which had once been her brother, froth and foam at the mouth. A flood of blood-tinged matter splattered around the passageway walls and floor as the beast gagged and vomited the foul liquid. His face was pure shock, as he choked on the syrum. His claws reached for his neck and then he threw them out, reaching for the adversary that had caused him such agony. He swung at her with his claws, raking her back and sent her flying off in the air.
She was bashed against the tunnel, falling over herself like a rag doll thrown by a child.
Iricah saw lights twinkling in front of her eyes. Through them, the thing that had now killed Thrak, the so-called Lord of Chaos, was changing. First, he was smaller, shorter, his presence and stature had diminished. He sunk to his knees, his claws still clutching at his throat, head tilted back. A cry erupted from his throat like air being let out slowly from a wineskin when squeezed of it’s last drops.
And suddenly, for the first time in all of her memory, since she stood in her suite in the Cillandrial Grand Hall and listened to his excited goodbye all those years ago, Iricah heard her brother’s voice–her real brother’s voice. It was clotted and choked and strained and it was the cry of the suffering, but it was his!
Iricah saw in the dim light that Frank, now getting to his feet, held his mace out before him. He approached the figure cautiously. Again, her sinking sensation returned holding her in place, glued to her spot, unbreathing, unblinking. She was an observer, nothing more. The glowing orb at the end of Frank’s weapon was the only light save his demon red eyes. And just like that, the mace’s light extinguished itself. The chamber was plunged into darkness.
Iricah had been adventuring for as long as she could remember. To her, it was research, but that never sounded very fun at the local inns and taverns her companions needed to stay between “researches”. So, from an early part of her “adventuring career”, Iricah began to call it something else. She called it “adventuring” as if nearly being killed time and time again was fun.
In all that time, as they all knew, she was often the first to read the signs in runes and in tomes. Yet, because of her human eyes, she was always the last to see. Dark tunnels, ancient chasms buried deep, hidden away from the sun, shadowy jungles under giant fronded palms. She would ask Thrak, what’s that? Zy’an, what do you see?
The chamber was silent, as she knew that those around her could see then, she waited to speak. She wasn’t sure if she could talk now anyway. Her self-imposed paralysis began to dissipate in her extremities and she reached into the satchel she called her basics bag, the magic of finding things in miraculous speed now gone—she rummaged around for her flint and tinderbox and brought them out. She knelt on the ground over the kit. The physical part of her was returned now.
Years past, so it seemed. Eventually, and with great focus of her shaking hands and mind, she lit a small flame, and the bright light lit the unholy space around her. Frank was huddled over Thrak’s lifeless body, and Zy’an stood pointing his bow inches from a crimson robed wearing figure. The figure knelt quietly, covered in the large robes and it’s matted blood soaked hair. It was far too small now for the robes, and it took Iricah a moment to register the realization in her mind that whatever wore the robes now had been the beast that had worn them just seconds ago.
But most importantly of all, the figure wearing the robes was her brother. Just that.
He twisted his neck around to look at her, and when he opened his wide and red streaked yet very human eyes, she rushed at him, throwing her arms around him, pushing Zy’an’s bow aside.