The Ascendant

It was late afternoon when Lyra finally made it to the small town of Brodestill, and everyone in the town was still fucking. From what she could see from her approach, the town square was a mess of dust and humanoid figures rolling around, entirely consumed by their bodily needs.

"The question is, are you too late or too early?" Klaus said from behind her, amusement evident in his voice.

Lyra whirled around to glare at her antagoniser, eyes poring over the canine features for the sign of mirth that she had heard in his voice, but as always the slightly alien features proved to be illegible to her. Doing her best to ignore him, she rifled through one of her waist pouches for the ticket that had led her here.

Ok, she thought as she pored over the document, the mayor of Brodestill issued this, I should probably find him first.

As if reading her mind, Klaus pointed to a location outside of the town hall, "If you are looking for the mayor, I think he might be busy".

Following the Tanuki's finger Lyra quickly spotted who she could only assume must be the mayor, his garb marking him as someone of office. Indeed; He was quite busy, involved intimately in the dirt outside of the town hall with a buxom woman and a young man. She sighed at realising she didn't have a point of contact and wrestled her harpbow off of her back.

"So, what's your plan here?" Klaus sneered at her.

"Whatever this is, it's been growing in force over the last few days," Lyra muttered as she strung the small harp section built into the side of her bow. "The original ticket only spoke of the occasional townsperson suddenly being drawn into these acts, and the fact that no one seemed to remember what had happened indicates that there is probably magic involved."

Having finished stringing her instrument, she hesitantly plucked a couple of the lower strings. As if replying to her, an almost imperceptibly deep echo emanated from the direction of the town square. Frowning, Lyra began to play a repeating melody, its high pitched notes causing the Tanuki to clap his hands to his ears.

It happened almost immediately, a resulting flash illuminating the square briefly before Lyra could make out a pale pink circular aura, rising from the ground around the square. No wait, she frowned as she began to make out more, that aura was not all it revealed. A paler strip of energy seemed to be running from the town square, flowing like a river to the south.

"This is… troubling," Lyra mumbled.

"The only thing I find troubling here is your musical inaptitude, you almost deafened me there." Klaus grumbled in return, nursing his ears.

Lyra, frustrated, spun around to address the Tanuki who had been following her for two days now. "Why are you even here?! You disappeared for a week and I thought I was rid of you for good!"

"Why my dear, there are other adventurers who need me as a wise cracking sidekick now and again. What, did you think yourself special?"

"I don't even have a sidekick! You just turned up at the guild a month ago and started following me around, cracking jokes at my expense. And when I asked you why the hell you were following me you just smiled as if it was one big joke."

Klaus stared at her, meeting her eyes for what felt like an eternity, before slowly breaking into a grin as if it was one big joke.

Lyra turned away from him, clenching her fists, doing her best not to rise to his obvious provocation.

What I really need is more information, she thought to herself, looking around to see if there was anything standing out.

Not seeing anything immediately, she began to pace around the edge of the town, eager to find some kind of clue. Lyra took extra care to not get too close to the aura she could still make out, fearing that the magic would claim her if she got too close to it. After doing a lap of the village and not noticing anything she decided her best bet might be to peer into the houses on the outside ring, perhaps someone was hiding in one of them, fearing for their safety.

It wasn't long before she discovered someone cowering inside a house, watching the scene through a closed window and obviously terrified of being drawn into it himself. He was a pureblood human, not a rarity in the rural areas but certainly considered outlandish enough to have attention drawn to it if he had been in one of the larger cities. In fact, as a city dweller the only pureblood Lyra knew in any real sense was Bao, who would have been here with her investigating if there wasn't another similar incident happening somewhere on the other side of the woods.

Just thinking about Bao made her wish the rest of her team was here with her, surely Bonne could do something about dispelling whatever this magical aura was. And even if she couldn't, Bao's determination would help see her through the complications of this particular situation. Lyra despised trying to think through complex problems, usually she would turn to one of the others to get an idea on what to do next. She hoped they were doing ok at the town they had investigated, but she was going to have to tackle this herself.

Not wanting to scare the poor townsperson half to death Lyra cleared her throat loudly and tried to look as unimposing as possible. The cowering man gave a small start and turned to stare at her, eyes wide at the sight he beheld. Lyra stood there uncomfortably, she could only imagine what he was thinking. While purebloods were not uncommon in these rural towns, it was frowned on for any couple at such extreme ends of the spectrum as her parents. Her hooves and curved horns often meant that people misidentified her as some kind of demon spawn, while the more common identifiers of her lineage such as the coffee coloured traditional splotches tended to be more hidden beneath clothes. This, on top of the fact that she stood towering over most other people she encountered, meant that people tended to miss the other tell tale signs such as the long ears.

The silence between them was becoming increasingly awkward.

"Umm… I'm... here to help?" she offered.

"Oh! Of course, Well...", he stammered anxiously, looking away to break the awkward stare, "you must be one of the group the mayor mentioned sending out for right?"

Lyra nodded, "the rest of my group is a couple of days ride out, but I might be able to handle this… What can you tell me about thi-".

"-They just started doing this!" the man bluttered out.

"Sorry… what? Slow down, can you tell me when this all started?"

The villager took a deep breath to calm himself down, before starting again. "It started a couple of days ago, Fin the blacksmith and one of the girls from the tavern just started tearing each other's clothes off in the town square. The mayor tried to separate them but they just threw him to the side and kept going at it. Eventually Fin's two apprentices had to pull them apart and drag Fin out of sight. Once they got him out of the town square they both seemed to calm down, but when we asked Fin about what he had been doing he didn't remember anything about the incident.

"Then the next day it happened again, but this time with more people. One of them was a nun from the Alexian monastery who comes through a couple of times a week to teach the children. I'm pretty sure they are meant to be celibate right? It was worse as well, even when we separated them they didn't stop trying to get to each other.

"But this morning was the worst, every time someone tried to stop them, they just… joined in. The mayor literally was one step outside of the town hall when he fell under whatever spell is going on here! Do you know how we can stop this?"

Lyra sat there thoughtful for a while, trying to figure out what was going on. "Whatever it is, it sounds like it's… getting more powerful?"

"Oh! And I heard from my cousin who lives like an hour or two to the west. He said that there was something weirdly similar happening in his village. I mean, the same as the first day anyway. I haven't heard from him since yesterday morning."

Lyra found this to be deeply troubling. Something this large would be way above the paygrade of this particular ticket, but more importantly she was beginning to feel nervous about being here by herself.

"Looks like you are out of your depth Bessie," said her ever present antagonist.

Of course Klaus is here too, she thought, but somehow that feels worse than being alone. Ignoring his taunts she pulled out a map from one of her pouches and placed it in front of the villager.

"Could you show me where your cousin's village is? I would like to check it out to make sure it's the same situation."

It was getting late when they arrived at the second village, only to see a very familiar sight in front of them.

"So… is seeing the exact same thing again helpful or did you just want to perve some more?"

"Shut up, I need to concentrate," Lyra restrung her harpbow before repeating her performance. Just as before, a strong pink circular aura surrounded the centre of this village with a fainter, almost beating thread travelling South-East out of the village. "That's strange, it seems the line is…"

Lyra knelt down, putting her bow carefully on the ground next to her, before using her dagger to dig a shallow ditch. Taking her waterskin from her belt, she half-filled the depression.

"What the hell are you doing?" the Tanuki man asked quizzically.

"I just need a reflection," she replied, half mumbling under her breath. With the task done she picked up her harpbow and played a short, melodious composition which sounded more at home in a tavern. A song reminiscent of friends meeting up, of family and happiness. Within seconds the small puddle began to ripple, the ripple growing larger and larger until a face appeared within.

The first thing visible, as is often the case with Bao, is those sharp, pointy teeth. Lyra had a lot of fond memories of those teeth framed in a smile, but today there was no smile, Bao looked at her from the water with her face locked into a scowl.

"What is it?" Bao snapped, her voice framed by a strange echo, a byproduct of using water for this particular spell.

"I checked out the village, everyone was still involved in that whole orgy situat-"

"Yeah, I know the orgy situation. Bonne knows it a bit more intimately than me though."

"W… what?"

"You know how she is, we arrived at the village and saw a bunch of people who were suffering from pretty bad de-hydration. So... of course she rushed to help."

"Oh.. so, she's in the thick of it?"

The viewpoint in the water shifted, showing the orgy scene in progress. In the middle of the throng, towering over most of the other participants, a bovine cleric seemed to be almost at home, the centre of attention.

"Huh, you know, she looks so happy, it's a shame we have to solve this problem," Lyra commented.

Bao's scowl softened a little at this, "Yeah, sometimes it's nice when shit is just… easy…"

Lyra shook her head, as if to clear distracting thoughts, "Oh! There was something weird when I tried to trace the magic. Something like a flow to the magic? It seemed to be traveling vaguely south from the village centres."

Bao looked thoughtful for a moment before replying, "I think Bonne said something similar before she ran in, the magic seemed to be flowing north. Is there something in between us that's funneling this?"

"I'll check it out tonight, I think I'm going to have to set up camp here. Any… any chance of you two meeting up with me to see what this is together?"

Bao looked back at Lyra's expression, hesitant to dash the hope that was evident. "I don't think I can do anything about pulling Bonne out of this. If I try to approach I'm afraid I'm going to get caught up in it too. I hate the idea of us fixing this and her waking up dazed and confused.

"Honestly this job feels like it's way too much trouble to be worth it. If it wasn't for Bonne being caught up in it I would suggest we ditch it and move onto something else, but I guess we have to fix it now."

Lyra attempted to hide her disappointment at this, "Ok, I'll try to figure it out on my own."

"Hey, chin up, you still got that Tanuki man right? Surely he'll help out?"

Lyra grimaced at this, "the only way he would help is if it made me look like more of an idiot." Obvious bitterness tinged her voice, causing Bao to wince.

"Yeah ok, fair. Just be careful with him, you know what Tanuki can be like."

"Don't worry, I'm ready in case he tries anything. I'll set up camp in the woods and try to get some sleep, I'll fix this in the morning."

"Stay safe."

It was getting close to midnight when Lyra finally finished setting up her camp. She sat in front of a roaring fire nursing a mug of tea, feeling more alone than she had in a long time. This was made especially painful by the company sitting next to her on the log. The set up had been uneventful, but now they were both sitting in silence, and even though she had avoided meeting his eyes Lyra could feel Klaus leering at her.

"You know, you could easily be mistaken for being beautiful in the right firelight," he finally said, breaking the quiet.

Not wanting to reply, she shifted uneasily on her seat. Ignoring her obvious uncomfortableness, he slid closer to her slowly, the distance between them getting unbearably small. Her whole body tensed, and when she felt a hot breath on her neck she reacted, reaching into one of her pouches and throwing the dust within into his face with one quick motion.

Breathing the dust involuntarily and feeling it catch in his throat, Klaus coughed violently, the sound deep and raspy.

"What… what the fuck was that?" he wheezed between gasps for air.

"Back the hell off, I don't want you touching me like that" She was standing, having taken his coughing fit as a chance to put some distance between them.

He laughed at this, the sound rough as sandpaper. "You stupid girl, is that what you thought this was?"

"You have been leering at me for weeks, making comments about my 'childbearing hips'. I'm not interested in fucking assholes and I'm sure as hell not interested in you. Spread your seed elsewhere you god damn creep."

Klaus stayed silent at this for a moment before asking, "so, you didn't answer my question, what did you just throw on my face?"

"It's something I bought at the markets before we left town, some kind of powdered mushroom. The Old man told me it would destroy a man's drive the second he breathed it in. I didn't know if you would try something, but it's always better to be prepared for the worst."

Klaus looked at the ground, avoiding her look.

"You really thought I would stoop low enough to take you without permission…?"

She gave no reply for a while, averting her eyes and staring into the fire. They stayed like that for awhile, the only noise the crackling of the fire.

Not knowing how to answer his question, but feeling like she was still justified in her actions Lyra simply replied, "I'm going to get some sleep. Night Klaus."

And with that she left him, climbed into her sleeping roll and spent a restlessness night worrying about the day ahead.

When she awoke, it didn't look like he had moved all night. He sat on the log with his head resting in his hands, eyes fixed on the almost extinguished embers of the fire, the dull red glow almost indistinguishable in the morning light. Eager to get ready for the day she began to pack.

"You got it wrong last night," Klaus said quietly, catching her off guard.

"What... sorry?"

"I'm not interested in you like that... You have no idea why I'm following you around, do you?"

Lyra stopped packing and sat next to him as he spoke.

"My race, the Tanuki, we have a huge focus on lineage, we believe that you are not dead till the mark you leave on the world fades. Children are the most powerful way to leave this mark because as long as the family line survives you have a very real mark on the world. A mark with your name printed alongside it.

"But that's not the only way. Some focus on creation, building cities, creating art. As long as they are appreciated they continue to have an effect on the world. Their stories, their songs, they are kept alive for generations to come.

Lyra waited for him to finish quietly, before nodding. "Ok, I think I understand, but why are you telling me this?"

"I'm infertile."

They sat in there next to each other for a while, replies such as, "I'm sorry", coming to Lyra's mind but feeling wholly inadequate considering the personal nature of Klaus' confession.

"So you see I can't do that whole, spreading my seed thing, and I spent years depressed about this, I wasn't sure how to make my mark, it made me feel like a lesser person. For a while I studied medicine, thinking maybe I could go down a path of supporting people, but you know what? I'm lazy. Supporting people enough to be remembered is difficult enough as it is. I bet you could remember the last king of any nearby kingdom, but do you remember the physician that cared for them during their twilight years? Of course you don't, no one does.

"You know what's easier to be remembered for? Being an asshole. As long as I follow people who will have stories told about them, and antagonise them like this, people will remember me."

He stood up, taking a dramatic stance, "My quips and mocking tone will live on well past the day I die, and each moment is so memorable that I could probably get away with following a couple of you so called 'heroes' around."

Sitting back down next to Lyra, he met her eyes, "Basically, I wanted you to know that I might be an asshole, but I'm not a monster."

Lyra looked him in the eyes, seeing the pain of this admission clearly. She swallowed and said, "I'm sorr-"

"Ok, that's enough of this sincere talk, let's get back to watching you fail miserably! First up, I just wanted to point out that you have powder on you that ruins anyone's mood and you didn't use it on the poor town folk who are stuck in an endless orgy. Did that just slip your mind?"

Lyra looked at him, this sudden change of mood taking her by surprise and feeling a little ashamed that this had not even entered her train of thought. "Umm-"

"Um? That's all you got? Gosh you are ditzy sometimes. Ok, let's move onto something a bit easier, do you have a plan on where to go next?" He smirked at her, happy to be on top again.

Eager to change the topic to one she felt in control of, Lyra pulled out a rolled up map from her belt and laid it in front of them.

"Ok, the towns that seem to have been overtaken by magic are scattered around this area," she was using rocks to mark the locations as she spoke. "So, do you notice anything?"

Klaus squatted next to the map, squinting at the markers. "I guess they are in a rough circle?"

As if in response, Lyra pulled out her bowharp and played a couple of quick, sharp, observant, notes. Small blue lines began to glow softly over the map, converging and splitting at various spots.

"Klaus, do you know what the lines of making are?"

He shrugged in reply, his knowledge not being focussed on magical theory.

"Ok, you know how when it rains all the excess water tends to flow into creeks, then rivers and then lakes? Imagine that to an extent but with magic. These blue lines you can see are essentially the creeks of the magic world."

"So, they are the path of least resistance?"

"Yeah, exactly. They are well worn paths that magic can travel along easily. Back when we had magic overflowing from every nook and cranny mages used these in order to funnel magic into one spot. With those concentrated flows of magic they could craft huge spells containing more power than they could naturally hold. Now, have a look where all these villages are sitting."

Klaus took a closer look and could instantly see what Lyra was insinuating, there was a network of lines passing through the marked villages, terminating in a central point.

"So what's at the centre there? Some kind of mage tower?" Klaus asked.

"Maybe during the high period, but now it's just an old gravesite under the hill. Last I heard it's just filled with old bones, nothing really interesting," Lyra replied.

"So some kind of barrow, what do you expect there?"

"I'm not sure, but I'm going to plan for the worst," and with this they began to pack their camp in earnest.

The barrow was so inconspicuous that they entirely missed it on their first pass, it wasn't until they doubled back that they noticed the small, grassy, hill. Wordlessly, they looked at each other and nodded, splitting up and walking around it in opposite directions. Lyra quickly found the entrance on her side, a small tunnel cut into the ground, smelling of damp earth, the reflective shine of small puddles evident on the way down.

She waited a moment for Klaus, trying to be patient, but when he didn't show she began to circle the mound looking for him. She found him on the far side, leaning on a tree with his hat over his eyes to shade him from the midday sun.

"Umm… Klaus?" she said quietly, trying not to alert whatever sat waiting in the barrow.

Without moving his hat to meet her gaze he simply replied with a bored, "Yes?"

"I thought we were... " she drooped slight, "You're not going to help me are you."

A sly smile spread from just under the brim of his hat. "I don't know what gave you the impression I would."

Sighing, Lyra walked back to the entrance of the barrow, wincing slightly at the sharp taps that emitted every time one of her hooves struck a stone. Standing outside the entrance again, she peered inside, filled with trepidation. She wished she could use her magic to improve her low light vision but the element of surprise was too important. So, with stealth being the main focus, she slowly moved down the tunnel entrance before stopping just inside, letting her eyes slowly adjust.

The first thing she noticed as she waited were the noises, the squelches and wet slaps of flesh reminding her of the time Bonne and Bao hunted the Gelatinous cube that once plagued the sewers of Morden. It wasn't till moments later that she realised what she was hearing.

There were bodies around the outside of the room, bodies that were wrapped around each other in coitus that must have lasted days, their movement was repetitive and passionless as if they were moving out of necessity rather than with direction. The faces she could make out were wracked with pain, skin sunken in, flesh pale and clammy, dehydration evident in their soft, rasping breaths.

On the ground were lines, softly glowing with some kind of eldritch power, the writhing bodies at focal points around it. Lyra's knowledge of ritual magic quickly identified the spell that was being cast here. These lines were feeding the passion into a central point, and the resultant magical focus was being used to reach out to the surrounding villages.

In the centre and impossible to miss was a male figure, the one behind all this. He stood in the centre, greedily drinking up the power that was being funnelled to him. There was a much stronger glow surrounding him, making him look as if he was being lit from behind by a pale pink spotlight; fueled by the magic that was being created in the nearby villages.

And the most disturbing thing was it was already quite a lot brighter than it had been when she first entered the room.

Is he trying to reach accession? At the rate this glow is increasing I think I only have-

But her thoughts were interrupted by an explosion, as the man and the markings detonated into a pink mist throwing Lyra from her feet. For a full second, all was still, as the particles from the explosion slowly settled. Even the bodies around the circle ground to a near halt, the absence of sound making the tomb feel ominous and somehow darker. But without fanfare, the room began, slowly, to light up again.

It started almost imperceptibly, the faint glow which once only lit the spell and the caster seemed to have settled on every single surface in the barrow, and with it the movement began again. Lyra stood frozen, not sure of what to do, fearing that she was already too late as she watched the scene unfold.

As the tomb's visibility reached the point of dim firelight, it happened. Something began to rise from the dirt in the centre, something cold and dark, drinking in the light that filled the room. At first it just looked like a slab of mineral, taller than it was wide, and with it the creatures encircling it began to gyrate faster, their movements reaching a frenzy. As it continued to rise it hit Lyra, she knew what she was looking at. It was the obsidian throne of a newborn god; a god of abuse and sex.

So she moved.

Lyra rushed towards the throne, pulling out her close combat weapon of choice. This rapier was a gift from an elder faerun mage who had promised her that it could take on even the greatest of challenges; a reward for delivering a cure to leaf blight. The blade sung as she drew it from its sheath, its blue tinged edge etched in the pink glow of the room, a manifestation of song made solid.

The mage never said anything about being able to kill the divine, she thought to herself, but I guess there's only one way to find out.

As she sprinted towards the throne the newly formed god finally made himself known, and he was…


He was lust incarnate.

Was he this… good looking before? I don't think I got a good look at him, her mind was wandering. I just… need to…

Her steps began to falter, his smile was all she could see, his lips curling up to display his canines in a predatory fashion. Gritting her teeth against the effects of his presence she tried to let her momentum carry her through.

Her blade hit him directly on his bare breast, but slid to one side as if she had struck metal, causing her to lose her balance and fall to one knee. He reached down and cruely grabbed her by the chin, forcing her to look up at him, and she finally had a chance to drink him in.

Her eyes slowly travelled up his body, he was wreathed in black cloth, a loop of it crossing his chest diagonally leaving one side open, leading down to loose black breeches with bare calves and feet. He stood relaxed, but his muscles looked almost tense, as if he was a cat ready to pounce. His right pectoral was bare above the black cloth, it's definition hinting at what lay under the cloth, making her want to reach out and place her hand on his firm body. His hair was short, black and spotless, the kind of hair that doesn't need to be styled in anyway, perfect from the moment he wakes up. His face… his face made her burn with desire, but also fear, the edges sharp and cruel, his eyes black and bottomless. One corner of his mouth was curled up in a smirk that made her ache for his touch, but also panic at the thought of disappointing him. She breathed in deeply, the smell of his sweat hitting her, overwhelming her senses and leaving her limp in his grasp.

You will be the first decoration on my new throne, his voice burned itself into her mind, destroying all other thoughts as he grabbed her left arm and began to drag her to the throne.

At the throne's base, on the outside edges of each leg, sat pairs of manacles made of the same dark material as the rest of it. Even though she felt her mind melting away, a part of Lyra rebelled at what was happening here. She began to move her arm, the movement feeling heavy, as if she were swimming through treacle, managing to bring the rapier up to his calf. Tensing her muscles and summoning what little force she could muster, she sliced at him.

The lesser god paused, glancing down at his calf before looking her dead in the face. In one motion he pulled her off her feet and into the air, causing her to dangle bonelessly.

Stupid bitch, his voice blasted at her mind causing her to reel. The slap came as a surprise, hitting her across the face with such force that she flew across the tomb, crumpling into a pile of bodies around the edge. And with that, she was lost.

Joining in the orgy was just easier, and as she let go she could no longer feel the broken jaw she had just been given. It was just bodies, flesh, grinding against each other.

And that was all she knew, for a time.

In that mindless orgy, she was nothing, she was no one, she was just another body. Moment of lucidity came and went, the feeling of pressure on her most intimate places, sudden pain from tender spots being bitten.

This lasted for both no time, and all time, before she was awoken rudely, something catching in her throat. She breathed deeply, feeling as though it was the first breath she had taken in an eternity, before breaking into a coughing fit. Blinking as she turned her head almost sleepily she saw the cause of this, Klaus stood in the doorway with her bag of mushroom dust.

He must have seen the thought return to her eyes, as he acted fast. With one hand he quickly grabbed some parchment from his own bag and dumped the powder into it, wrapping it tightly.

"His leg!" Klaus cried out.

Lyra's eyes, almost languishing in a feeling that reminded her of those first moments of consciousness after a long night's sleep, traced their way to the god's calf. At the spot where she had tried to slice at him there was a slash of raw pink energy, pulsing softly and bleeding light out of the god's body.

I… I can hurt him, she thought triumphantly before turning back to look at Klaus who, with an almost lazy underarm, pitched the wrapped mushroom powder towards the centre of the room.

She reached behind to grab her harpbow before realising she was naked. Shit, how long was I out for, she panicked as she looked for her equipment.Thankfully it had been discarded just behind her, still within reach. With half a step she had the bow in her hands and was standing tall again. Strumming a single discordant chord, her magic snaked through the room and struck the parchment directly, shattering it, causing the powder to spread throughout the room in an instant resulting in a cacophony of coughing from the humanoids.

The god faltered where he stood, the pink glow that surrounded him dimming from the sudden lack of power for him to draw from. He looked down at his hands in shock, watching the colour drain from them. When he looked up to address this sudden threat to his power it was already too late.

Lyra was two steps away, the rapier braced against her shoulder, running at full force.

The rapier struck true this time, piercing just above his heart. There was a moment of resistance as it caught on his flesh, but once through, it slid into him with ease. She didn't know if this was because of the force, her aim, or his sudden loss of power, but she didn't care. With a cry of anguish his body erupted, spewing pink light throughout the chamber, with his form destroyed in the accession that empowered him, there was nothing left. The room went dark again.

As her vision returned, Lyra noticed the others rising from the ground as if from a stupor, whilst Klaus leant against the wall near the doorway with a shit eating grin on his face.

"You know, I totally saved you there."

"Shut up Klaus," she snapped, too weary to give him anything more.

"I wonder what the bards will call this one? The tale of Klaus and his stupid bovine sidekick? How Klaus proved himself the true hero?" he mused as Lyra moved around the room, offering what little food and water she had to those just freed from their trance.

It was hours later, after seeing to the victims of this new god's power that Lyra began her weary trek south to see how Bonne and Bao were doing, with Klaus as always, in tow.

"Klaus…" she queried, breaking through the sound of her trudging.


"Why did you come and save me? You have been such an asshole, I don't understand why you came in and risked your life."

"It's simple Bessie, if you had died, who would have been there to carry memories of me after I had gone? Who would have sung songs about someone who just watched a god kill an adventurer?

Who would have remembered me?"

Lyra nodded, "I'm just glad you turned up when you did, there was something intoxicating in him that I just couldn't shake."

"Also, why didn't you try to use that powder on the ritual before you charged in like an idiot?" he chided.

"You mean the powder that you obviously lifted from me last night?"

"I mean, you didn't even try to reach for it, you just dived straight into combat with him."

"Wait... you were fucking watching from the start? What the fuck were you doing you asshole? You could have helped me out so much sooner!"

He grinned at her, "but then I wouldn't have gotten to watch you roll around like an animal in the dust for an hour! I need to have my fun too."

With this constant bickering the two walked off into the sunset, eager to find Lyra's friends and return home.