Arista had quite the struggle moving from Bloodloch to Enorian, a totally different lifestyle. On top of that she struggled to find herself. As she made the final push to ascend, she couldn't. Thus she turned to @Dhar
(Be forewarned he is being all grumpy face likely because I am posting this.) However you will see the struggle she had with passing this task.
A bit of details, there was a massacre in Jaru, long back, she was sent to Jaru to speak with one of the old knights. Her task? Well you will read that below!
Arista slowly steps into view, her gaze seeking, falling short on the knight. Scaling up the hulking figure before she blinks. "Greetings." She greets stepping a bit further into view, yet positioning herself to block the southern entrance, not that she's much a blockage.
A weary, retired knight turns his stare away from the southern village. For now. "Hmm?" he noises down at the comparatively small woman, curious.
Arista makes no movements toward the taller knight, instead she tilts her head curiously upward brows knitting slightly. "I said greetings," The words still pleasant enough. "Is there something I can help you with, perhaps a name so I don't sound so...stiff in speaking." She motions to herself. "I am Arista." She introduces herself as if trying to get a feel for the taller man.
A weary, retired knight grunted. He lifted a hand to thump against his chest. "I am Talor," he says, finally looking away from the woman to stare back at Jaru. "Be careful. I don't have patience for disturbances right now."
Arista shakes her head slightly. "What is it you're looking for Talor?" The question comes easily as she gives a sharp whistle, calling her mount once more to her side. "You are undead...I know the life, likely better than I care to admit." She pats the horse on its muzzle. "You're tired, I can feel that," easy enough the words come as she climbs onto the large beast still blocking the southern path.
A weary, retired knight says, "I am looking for answers. You're not going to give them to me."
A weary, retired knight snarls viciously.
A weary, retired knight says, "Piss off."
Arista doesn't seem phased by the reaction. "What answers, being vague and assuming I cannot help, isn't going to get you answers Talor." She murmurs her voice remaining level. "You wish me to speak like you?" She raises a brow. "Then you stand down, speak. What harm can come from words?" She grips the reigns a bit tighter easing the stomping horse.
A weary, retired knight grumbled, unconvinced. "You got a death wish, runt? Why are you even here?"
Crossing her arms with mild irritability. "Now I am not calling you an oversized meat head. Don't call me a runt." Arista bares her teeth slightly. "I was asked to come here." She states simply. Her gaze fiery as she crosses her arms. "Kill me, I will come back, I will keep coming back, because I am strong enough to know, to feel. I once questioned myself, questioned everything I did." She eases the horse one pace forward. "No violence is needed Talor, let me try to help. Talk to me..." She whispers the last part softly almost encouraging.
A weary, retired knight hardly responds favorably to the aggression, and only grows more resolute in disregarding you. He shrugs, and turns his gaze back to Jaru. "You have no business with me."
Arista sighs softly positioning her horse to block the southern entrance with its massive frame, almost comically large compared to the small Atavian woman. Once in place she dismounts, walking toward the taller male. "You are wrong. If anything, I have plenty of business with you." She braces now, as she is in arms reach of the knight. "I once sat in a place, where I murdered a young man, I stole his life to make him undead, to make him like I was." She starts. "I was once called Arista Nebre'seir." She reveals the secret once held tight, the prior shame no longer there as she glances to the male. "You know of them?" She asks, she makes no movement to fight, instead she stows her mace and reaches out hesitantly. "Talor, you've every chance of change, to let go of the weight of what the past has dictated to you." She motions to the south. "I know you fought here. I know you killed the innocent."
A weary, retired knight glares down at you now. Finally, something to give him reason to care. "How do you know of that? Who sent you?" he tries to interrogate.
Arista shakes her head. "I have answered all of your questions, Talor, now would be fair to answer mine." Her head tilts slightly as she regards the knight with an assessing gaze. "I know more than I let on to." She murmurs. "I know that there were several." She motions again to the south. "I know that Friar Belmort was murdered within those walls..." She raises one finger. "My question is why are you here Talor?"
Simply, with a grunt, a weary, retired knight says, "He wasn't."
Arista grins slightly. "Mm.no, but what of Roan?" she asks knowing full well to take a complete step back. The name seeming to surprise her briefly as she recalls it.
A weary, retired knight glares down at you. "You got lots of unicorns to say that I don't care about,"
he spits. "You're nobody, got no business questioning me. Got no reason to spill my guts to some stranger runt."
The weary man reaches a long arm out, quite firmly flicking you in the temple with an armored finger, leaving you stunned and letting you know just how through with this he is.
[Source]: Affliction: STUN
[Source]: Cured: PRONE (1.949s)
Arista tilts her head. "But you should care, he was the one that ordered that massacre wasn't he? To find himself a body to complete his return?" She pauses and stands wiping her mouth which has drawn blood. "If you want to know who sent me my Lord did, if you want to know why, because I believe that everyone deserves another chance." She spits a bit of blood onto the ground. "If you want to call me a fool do so, but even you...Even you can be saved from this. Let Him bear your burdens..." She murmurs softly.
A weary, retired knight's old eyes widen now. "..Dhar sent you?" he asks, skeptical. He seemed tochange his tune now, slowly withdrawing the hand that was just used to assault you.
Nodding slowly as she picks herself off of the ground, dusting her skirts. "He did." Arista confirms, there is no sense of a lie within the words, motioning to a heavy length of anaxagorite chain a moment. "I am one of His...My name as I said is Arista." She lowers her weighted down hand the grip never faltering on her chain. "Why do you stop? You were to hit me again, why does mention of Him stop you?" She takes another step forward.
A weary, retired knight says, "I prayed to the Lord after it was done. After I'd spent decades in
service to the Carnifex, drawing upon souls and twisting fates to my own purposes. The guilt weighed heavy on me in my old age. I prayed, begged for Him to do something to make it right in my head. And then.. there were letters in white mist."
A weary, retired knight says, "'I WILL', they said. I'd been waiting for His judgement ever since. I
didn't expect a .. well.. /you/.. to be the one to deliver it."
Arista crosses her arms clearly looking very cross at the assessment, almost
offended. "What pray tell is that supposed to mean?" She asks her gaze lingering on the knight. "He works when the time is right."
A weary, retired knight shrugged his massive shoulders. "I killed many here, it's true. I'd probably do it again, to be honest. Roan was a charismatic and fierce man, and I don't have the strongest of wills. The temptation of power on top of that just made it inevitable."
A weary, retired knight says, "So what is it, huh? What has He decided my punishment to be?"
Arista shakes her head. "Judgement is not always a punishment Talor. Do you seek to change? To be better than this? Than what you are?" She asks softly. "Sometimes the right path, is not the easiest, but it is more worthwhile." She steps closer still. "Sit." She points to where the knight stands. "Your will is not to do with anything, you have a strong will, and your conscious will reflect that. Those with the weak minds, they are the ones who do not feel after."
A weary, retired knight is reluctant to sit. But does, eventually. "Just told you that I'd do it
again. You deaf? And yeah, I'll do whatever to make it right with Dhar. Just tell me what's been
decided, stop messing with me."
Arista glances skyward almost hoping for some idea. Her gaze soon drifting back to the knight. "I am not deaf...I seek to give you a second chance..." Her voice remains soft. "To make it right with Him, I ask you to cure, rid yourself of undeath, come to the side of the living, and help those who seek a change to find it."
Simply, a weary, retired knight says, "Nope."
You say, "Why?"
A weary, retired knight says, "I'm fine as I am. I don't want to die. I don't care about what's
natural or right."
A weary, retired knight says, "You giving me some kind of ultimatum? Cure or I'm unicorns out of luck?"
You say, "You understand...there is to be an end? You will still die, you will still face judgement
undead or living."
A weary, retired knight snorts dismissively. "Yeah. Right. Undeath ends when the Earthen Lord does. I don't see Him up and going away any time soon," he says, rolling his eyes. "So is that what it is, then? Cure to make what I did right?"
You say, "The undead are a blight upon the lands, a mistake by Lord Dhar, one that He seeks to right. You may not care, but should you wish to make it right with Him. Cure, you said you would do whatever to make it right to Him...This would make it right."
A weary, retired knight says, "Tell me flat out, runt. You're saying I cure or get shafted?"
A weary, retired knight says, "That if I cure, everything I do, everything wrong about me goes away and is forgiven?"
A weary, retired knight raises an eyebrow at you.
Arista sighs softly. "I cannot make you forget, it won't go away from your mind, but it is a start." She offers one hand out to the knight. "It is a very good start. We all make mistakes Talor...It is learning from them. He has never made me feel lesser a person for what I was." She quirks a small smile. "I think you can do it. I have faith that you could be something amazing, should you put your mind to it. Allow us to help you, to help take the burden from you."
A weary, retired knight seemed amused by this as you appeared serious. Was he really going to get off this easy? He looked at you as if you were pulling his leg. "Alright," he allowed, somewhat disbelieving. "I cure, and I'm forgiven by the Lord. My debt is paid in its entirety."
You say, "And you can ensure you will not return to undeath?"
A weary, retired knight glowers a bit with this. "You didn't say anything about that."
You say, "That should have been rather obvious Talor...."
You say, "One cannot simply cure a moment and then be done with it. I cannot force you to cure
either, you have to want it for yourself, you have to want to be better."
You say, "Is it worth carrying the guilt?"
A weary, retired knight says, "Undeath didn't cause me to do what I did."
You say, "No, but it is a contributing factor. Tell me Talor what is it you fear? Why do you fear
death? The end?"
A weary, retired knight grumbles at length. He lets out a few groans as he rises up to his feet.
"Look, lady. Just cure me and be done with it, if that's what's been decided. I'll live with it -
Arista sighs softly. "Your word Talor."
A weary, retired knight says, "If it's the Lord's punishment, and I'm trying to be forgiven, why
would I break it?"
A weary, retired knight says, "Whatever it takes to clear my conscience."
Arista narrows her eyes slightly, confused. "This is not a punishment Talor...It is a second chance at life. It is an opportunity to make right your future by learning from your past."
A weary, retired knight grumbles a bit, looking back at Jaru. "I don't know what you expect, lady. I don't want to be cured. Do you expect me to break down and want to change my life because you feel that's how it should go?" he asks, turning back to her. "World ain't like that. I ain't like that. I don't wanna cure, I'd do what I did again if I had to, but if this is what I gotta do to be in the Lord's good graces, I'll do it."
Pointedly, a weary, retired knight says, "That's punishment."
A weary, retired knight says, "One I'm willing to endure. So, make it happen, or ask for another one of His better at making decisions."
Arista pushes her lips together a moment "Very well. You do not seek to cure, you do not seek change. Your chance has been offered, and refused." Her hand shifts to her mace, almost hesitating. "You will face your judgement now."
A weary, retired knight says, "Well.. if that's His punishment, I guess taking a beating is easier
than being cured. Go on, then, send me to the earth so I can come back and live my life clearly."
A weary, retired knight willingly takes a knee, accepting this verdict.
A weary, retired knight says, "..well. I guess living wouldn't be accurate. You know what I meant."
Arista clenches her jaw clearly conflicted at this point. closing her eyes the mace drops from her hand. Almost seeking guidance from something "No...What is right is not always what is easy. Follow me."
A weary, retired knight stays kneeled, ready to return to the earth. He lets out a frustrated groan with the hesitation, and rises. "Are you going to make up your mind, or what?"
A weary, retired knight begins to follow you.
You kneel and clutch a heavy length of anaxagorite chain, focusing on returning to the temple. The chain glows with a faint white light.
Arista lowers her hand letting the chain rest at her side. "You will be judged, and deemed upon your transgressions by His judges. that does not always mean you will return Talor." She murmurs. "I wish that you could see that this - living, isn't bad..." She shakes her head. "You wish a second chance or not?"
A weary, retired knight says, "You need to quit with the 'chance' stuff, lady. I'm not seeking anything like that. I'm seeking for to make things even between me and your God."
A weary, retired knight says, "And.. I dunno what you're talking about. I'm undead. His judges have no sway over me, like this. I don't see the mirror, much less His halls."
You say, "To make things right with Him, you will cure, you will face His judges where they will
determine your fate."
A weary, retired knight says, "..So you want to cure me, and kill me, and see what happens? You know, not everyone gets sent back from the mirror. Right? And if I see His judges, I'm gone for good."
A weary, retired knight says, "Judges don't see people in the Halls and send them back up, as far as I'm aware. If Varian lets you past the mirror, you're a goner."
You say, "I did not say I was going to kill you Talor."
A weary, retired knight says, "..So how am I gonna see these 'judges'?"
You say, "All will face judgement, even the undead...even if they feel they will not."
Comprehension flashes across a weary, retired knight's face.
A weary, retired knight says, "You want me to cure and see what they have to say when I die. I get it now.."
A weary, retired knight gives a pained sigh.
Resigned, a weary, retired knight says, "Fine."
You have emoted: Arista straightens and lifts her hand once more raising her chain level to the
The knight stands before you, ready to receive your verdict. You lift the chain and level it at him
- and just then, it glows a flaring bright white, gifted the power of Renewal by the Underking. A
power which lashes out and consumes the knight in a surge of energy. When it is cleared, you are left drained, and he is left alive once more.
A weary, retired knight pants for breath, wheezing, unused to the sensation.
You have emoted: Arista lowers her hand weakly. Her gaze shifting to the knight. "It takes time to get used to the need to breathe..." She murmurs her understanding, almost sympathetic to the knight. "It gets easier..."
Straining, a weary, retired knight says, "F-fa.. fu.."
You are transported by the power of the Divine.
Mural of Renewal (59672) - the Temple of the Underking (Unmapped)
A small, anaxagorite plaque has been set upon the wall beneath the mural. Painted upon this huge wall is a mural of Lady Lleis. The air feels lifeless in the presence of Dhar, the Underking.
You see a single exit leading out.
You have emoted: Arista looks mildly shaken as she rubs her eyes. Glancing to Dhar, she straightens and tries looking less wary than she feels. "My Lord..." She murmurs out the words.
Dhar, the Underking says, "You demonstrated an impressive understanding in this matter, Arista."
Arista looks mildly ashamed a moment. "I almost gave into what was easier, but..I knew that would solve nothing..." She shakes her head. "If I had killed him, his debts would not have been repaid, he would still be undead..." She glances at the chain. "I did what I knew was best to do..."
Dhar looks down upon you through the impenetrable veil of His dark hood. "You acknowledged that for one to truly be judged for what they have done, they must be of the Cycle. They must meet the sum of their decisions in My Halls."
Dhar, the Underking says, "Still.."
Dhar, the Underking says, "You must know that while there were wrong decisions in that situation, that was not the only judgement I would have accepted."
Arista glances up blinking a moment before nodding. "What else would You have had me do, Lord? I admit...I was struggled...I have never been in that situation before..." She sighs softly. "I am sure that knight would love having my head right about now."
Dhar, the Underking says, "I do not wish to discuss theoreticals. Your decision was well-informed and acceptable."
Dhar, the Underking says, "Are you prepared to transform? It will be painful."
Arista glances to her hands then to Dhar and nods once. "I believe I am..." She confirms, her voice seeming to waver slightly before steeling herself once more. "I cannot be anymore ready than I am now." She offers more firmly.
Dhar lowers His ghostly hand to your head. His touch is painfully ice cold. The chill only
intensifies as His power courses through your body, sapping you of heat and chilling you to the bone. That cold becomes a tingling comfort for a moment, just before a wracking pain consumes you as your very essence sparks and triggers a cataclysmic change to your being. You are left drained and limp before the Underking when He is finished, an Azudim.
The world is plagued by hushed whispers that pierce into the world of the living. Incessant ghostly chattering gradually grows louder to speak the name of Arista in unison as she is gifted the form of an Azudim by Dhar, the Underking.
Arista forces herself to her hands and knees, as the pain subsides, her gaze slowly moving from the floor to Dhar. "I didn't know I was going to...." She trails off, the words strained with effort as she wills herself to her feet.
Dhar brings His ghostly hand back to His side. "You did well, Arista. Continue to serve Me as you do
With that, the massive Underking vanishes entirely from sight, leaving you alone with the lingering chill still coursing through your veins.