Apparently I didn’t need any oxygen since I was deadish, and guess who else didn’t need to breathe: Kithri. She was there as well, laying in a child’s bed covered in a pink and white quilt. I don’t think it was something she would’ve liked, but it was obviously something Tim liked as there were two more on a shelf over the bed.
There were many items in that pocket closet and some of the glowed. I appreciated the light, even though I didn’t have true eyes when I was a ghost. I did still have my link to the divine, however and while Kithri was not four strides from where they had lain my body, the touch of her power was wafer thin. But, it was there. I was cut off from Semaunzilla (may she smite the elves. You know those are the same jerks who created those razor faced leeches, right?) It was strange not to feel her green power of vitality and growth, but it did settle something that had been bugging me. When I learned to channel Kithri’s power that first day, when I was learning to mend things with power, I had been using the green magic as well. It just wasn’t the dominant force. Now that I was cut off from the rest of the world here in this sideways closet, I had a feel for the pure power of Kithri. Divine energy is fascinating. I think I’ll write a book about that someday, after I save the world and all. It deserves research and further study. Maybe when all this is over, I’ll apply for a grant at the University of Skyfell. That should prove interesting.
None of the other dead had spirits around them, so I figured they were all the way dead, which was sad. They had been captives here for a good long time, by the look of them. The bugbear especially looked very thin, and his fur showed a lot of bare patches, likely from stress. The other dead consisted of the single dwarf, three hobs and two gnomes. I didn’t recognize the insignia on the hobs, so I’m not sure what legion they hailed from. If I was alive, I’d take their sigils back to my hobs to see about honoring them. But, no physical form, no sigils. It was a matter of matter.
The dead would keep, what I needed was answers. I floated over to Kithri half afraid to look at her. Lilith had cut off her hand and sure enough the stump was grown over, perfectly healed, but without the actual hand in place. Despite the missing appendage, I was interested to see that there was a spirit hand where the physical was missing — a shadow extension that refused to accept the loss of the corporal. I don’t know why, but I reached out and took her ghost hand with my ghost hand and the most amazing thing happened.
She sat up.
Well, her spirit rose from her physical form and she blinked like she’d been in a long slumber.
“Hello, Merric,” she said, glancing around. “Where are we?”
I was shocked into silence for the first bit, but not being shy or afraid of the sound of my own voice, I started rambling about everything that had happened since she collapsed.
“So you’re dead?” she asked, a very great sadness covering her not unlike that quilt that adorned her body. “I’m sorry about that.”
What do you say to one of your deities in that situation? I shrugged and told her that things had a funny way of working out and asked her what she had been looking for in my mind.
“Oh, that,” she said. “End of the world stuff, you know. Not sure it matters if you’re dead, because then the curse will be fulfilled and we will all cease to exist.” She covered her face, stricken. “It’s all my fault.”
“I’m only mostly dead,” I assured her. “I think something in your armor is keeping me from crossing over.”
She uncovered her face and looked at my body. “What exactly did you do to that armor?” she asked, distracted by my missing right arm. Well, only the part below the elbow was missing, but you get the picture.
“That demonic vine, blighted elves, corrupt yellow flowers and The Green Lady.”
She nodded as if all that made sense. “And you’ve been using the divine of Semaunzilla?” (I’ll add, may she forgive Kithri’s lack of attribution here, since Kithri didn’t have the same relationship I did).
“Interesting. Perhaps we have a way out of this mess after all.”
I loved it when someone else came up with a plan.
“And you tapped into The Green Lady’s power as well?”
I nodded again. “How can you tell?”
She smiled at me. “It changes you. I can feel the others in your spirit. You have taken something from both of them, just as you have taken some things from me.”
“I didn’t want to take anything,” I assured her. “I am a conduit of your power. Yours and theirs.”
Her eyes twinkled. “Before I ascended I didn’t get it either,” she said. “But Yolanda thought it best to give me a chance to right some wrongs, and when she deified me, I absorbed a bit of her. They can’t do that too often, you know.”
I thought about the implications of what she was telling me. “So you mean, I have absorbed part of you, and by extension, part of Yolanda?”
“And your lizard god, and that green cow.”
That was suddenly very rude, but I didn’t question her.
“Your Green Lady thought she could stop the demon plant from infesting this world by taking it into herself. She’s an idiot.”
Well, there you go. Down to name calling.
“So what do we do?” I asked.
She took my ghostly hand and led me over to a pair of chairs, one of which had held Tim for the last couple of days. Once we were seated, she took both my hands in hers (yes I had both hands in my ghostly form) and squeezed them.
“Tell me what you saw under that tower first,” she said sweetly. “Then I can tell you just how badly you screwed up.”