Way of the Wicked
33 - The Center of the Labyrinth
Chapter 32: The Center of the Labyrinth
After we rested on the jetty for a few moments, Dunn led us into the large wooden structure. A cat beast, as Raiju warned us about, leapt from the shadows with a roar. The creature posed little problem although it was quite speedy and managed to tear a chunk out of Grumblejack before we slew it.
We then headed into the Labyrinth hoping to find the entrance to the Cathedral of Aroden Made Manifest. We instead encountered a riddle spewing mote of light. It tooks us several days and a vision juice inspired Zikomo to determine the answer but eventually we moved forward.
Not long after this a group of dogs with the ability to teleport from one place to the next attacked us. It was not a particularly tough fight although the leader of the hounds appeared near little Tylus and nearly killed the brave lad. It did serious damage to Dunn as well but eventually we sent it to its doom.
After that the maze opened again and we found a beautiful glade where four horses of such splendor grazed that I was all but awestruck. Again I am reminded of the damage I have done to this world, the creatures of beauty that I have destroyed. In this case we simply walked around the horses and avoided further bloodshed.
Next came another riddle and once again a dose of Vision Juice was required to solve it. Then we arrived at the center of the labyrinth and encountered the noble Master of Serenity and the all-seeing Oracle Sambeth.
The Master of Serenity greeted us with kindness and his words echo in my ears to this day. He told us that there are always choice, that at even this late date we might turn back. I considered his words and came close to renouncing Asmodeus right then and there but Dunn moved forward with his blade drawn. The fight was joined. The Master of Serenity was a foe like none other and moved with the grace of the gods. A single blow was enough to send any opponent to the ground unconscious and the gentle Oracle spent her time healing damage to the Master on the few occasions our attacks managed to find his serene form.
As we fought it became clear that Oracle already knew our fate and her own and that the Serene Master fought not from anger, violence, or even hope of victory, but simply because it was his chosen destiny in life. He was in charge of his own fate. Even though he is dead all these years I envy him in this. He was a man of own making and his end was his own to choose. The fight was only won when Tylus managed to drag down the Oracle and we were able to surround the Master of Serenity and do enough damage to put him to the ground.
I watched the Master of Serenity during the fight and the only time he showed pain was when he was hitting an opponent. He never grimaced and his eyes were calm although he moved with such speed it seems that I must be imagining it all these years later. I am responsible for the death of such a man. I can rationalize that the course of my life was set by others, that I had no choice once I saw the torturous murderers that were my brother Inquisitors, but the words of the Master of Serenity haunt me to this day. There are always choices.