Arah was tragically beautiful yet also a land of desolate dreams. Lead by Myra, the former Ministry Guard, the small group finally had reached the Gates of the city. Beatrix had suffered a handful of panic attacks, Penelope always keeping an eye out for the next threat, and Cervato had stood in awe of finally reaching the land that so long ago she had tried to visit with one of her oldest friends, Deronjur.
After meeting the mysterious woman, Dahlia, that would serve as their guide, the group entered the land of the dead. As they journeyed deeper into the heart of the ruined city, they were subjected to many terrible trials. There were phantoms of Saromire that Cervato encountered. Each begged for her to finish the task of saving his soul. What felt most painful of all was hearing the agonized wails from her beloved, as if he was being tortured. Ghosts of the past clouded her vision as she turned every corner, threatening to consumer her body and soul. The others were none the wiser, as the Commander's mind continued to patronize her at every step of their journey.
Yet, they had finally reached their destination after suffering through the perilous tasks together. Overlooking the city from on high, an altar beset in the center, Myra indicated they had accomplished their goal. Saromire's voice filled their ears, thanking them as the twin golden swords that Cervato and Beatrix had carried were placed within the stone and the artifacts that had not been destroyed by the blades were scattered around them.
Cervato was in awe as she watched the swords lift themselves into the air. They struck against one another, leaving her entranced in the intimate ritual. Flickers of battles she had participated with the golden sword at her side flitted across her mind, before suddenly the swords had formed that sword of legend. The Lancastir Legacy. The relic of the past Saromire had wished to bring to fruition years ago was finally whole, floating above the altar.
Once more, Saromire's voice echoed all around them. "You all made this much easier than I expected...You may have him."
From a void that suddenly appeared behind the altar, the sound of armor brushing against itself foreshadowed the figure clad in tenebrous platemail. A darkness lingered around him, yet his entire form was shielded from their sight. In an instant, he had stolen the newly formed blade before any of them could have intervened.
"Remember me, dear Cervato?" The hauntingly familiar voice directed itself at the Commander. It took a moment to place it, before she realized that this voice had threatened Saromire and the Lancastir family time and time again in years past. This man was responsible for Beatrix's trauma. Varick Cromwell's duty. Luna Lancastir's suffering. Hadn't Joan and Cervato stopped this nonsense when they killed the one responsible for kidnapping Luna and trapping them within their lair? Hadn't he been ended by their hands? She had been deceived, she realized, as her blood ran cold. By instinct alone, the woman's berserker magics ignited the flames that enveloped her hands as she launched herself towards the obscure figure.
"Pause time...pause time...pause time..." The voice mocked her as the world around the precipice suddenly grew still, trapped within the man's powerful time magic. The rain had ceased to fall, her companions each were in various states of preparation for battle yet took not one breath, and soon the woman realized that she was indeed alone against this enemy.
"You are so blinded by your love for the man that you'd believe anything was him." The cruel words murmured as the figure examined the powerful new sword within their grasp near the altar. Referring to Saromire in such a cold demeanor. However, her own thoughts churning to defend her reasons were halted upon his statement.
Was that really true?
That after everything she had gone through to bring Saromire's soul rest and peace, that she had merely been a pawn in this man's sick and twisted game?
The gold and red braided chains of the necklace she wore beneath her breastplate felt as if they were choking her. The weight of the realization that Collyn's death, as Joan had voiced and feared, had been for naught. That she had been a complete and utter fool.
Nothing would bring Saromire back.
How foolish was she to still cling to this ideal?
"Was it all a lie? A fabrication? Everything?" Cervato's voice whispered weakly in reply.
"For nothing?" He insinuated where she was going with her words. Yet his focus was not upon her, but the blade he now possessed. The blade was then lifted swiftly into the air before he slashed towards her, attacking outright.
Despair. Pain. Betrayal. Each emotion hit her hard to the point she felt as if she should give up.
That question that each and every person had asked her when she had decided to take this journey filled her thoughts. Here she found resolve.
I love him. I love that he always had faith in us. That endless impossible hope.
Cervato sent a shockwave after her enemy as her fist slammed into the monument's stone beneath their feet. Yet, even this was evaded, as the man levitated into the air, using the power of the sword to manipulate her with it's power to distort the space around them. She could see Saromire. She could hear him. He was sobbing. In pain. Suffering again.
A halo of fire surrounded the woman, before it slammed into the ground after it had encircled her greaves as the force was strong enough to launch Cervato into the air towards her enemy. Outstretched, her hand collided with the man's visor, and then her fingertips started to crush it's metal frame. Their bodies collided with the ground as she had caught the figure off guard by her reaction. Venom laced his voice as he hissed with rage, "You are so persistent...I hate people like you..." His voice slowed as he realized that Cervato had made a grave mistake that worked in his favor.
Pain. It exploded from her core, as his blade pierced directly beneath Cervato's sternum and punctured entirely through her body, exiting between her shoulderblades. Collapsed atop of the man's sword, she grimaced before releasing a pained groan. The woman's limbs felt so heavy, as she intended to move but found she could not. Shock was already settled into her frame, and she realized her body had started to tremble outside of her control. Tears quickly followed as the pain only increased tenfold, pulsing in every nerve as it coincided with every beat of her heart, flooding her senses and threatening to send her into oblivion. Blood slowly began to dribble onto onto her enemy from the fatal wound as the man fixed his grasp and ensured the blade would not move. He was enjoying this, and before she could protest she suddenly began to cough, choking on the metallic taste that filled her mouth and spilled over her lips.
Cervato was dying.
The woman's vision had begun to dim as even the excruciating pain now had numbed her senses. A stunning bright light illuminated behind her form as she heard the man's words, astonished.
"It was you...I searched for so long, and it was you..."
Memories. So many memories. Reflected in shards of broken glass rained upon the fractured plane. As they struck the desert floor, they shattered entirely. Scorched trees and earth occasionally breaking apart the dim space that she had seen before in dreams and nightmares. Looking above, fire was raining down from the sky, like falling stars, yet burning up in the atmosphere.
This was her own personal hell. Body still heavy, Cervato turned her empty gaze upon the shards that were falling close near her nude form, unable to wince as they disappeared once they struck the cold ground.
Penelope's pained expression, as she finally delivered her confession to Cervato.
Mercer's fingertips brushing against her own as he stood behind bars within the dungeons of Divinity's Reach.
Zen's bright smile as he looked up at her from his high chair and the way his laugh warmed her heart.
Kurai's wanderlust, looking out upon the Accord's camp, as she realized he would never be confined to one place.
Hannah's astute stare across the table deep within the Durmand Priory, as Cervato informed her of the sword's history.
Joan's tears, as she sat before Cervato within the Commander's office after learning of Collyn's death.
Drake's embrace, after agreeing to help her once he learned of Cervato's personal journey to Orr.
Myra's expression after giving Cervato the antique music box that had helped her with her own troubles.
Meli's eager smile, encouraging her as she reminded Cervato that there were people who loved her.
Kihrae's laughter, as she finally bested Cervato in a sword duel.
Atreyu's piercing gaze, before breaking down into tears before her.
Arvanna's forgiveness, and the Red Iris bloom that was left upon her kitchen table.
Atlas's refusal to accept and acknowledge the truth before walking out of her life.
Otis's methodical knowledge and lessons often imparted upon her despite never using the advice.
Solveig's forlorn expression, as she held a journal within her lap, writing the words that Cervato had left with her.
Valiant's words, as they got into another mostly one-sided argument, Cervato's fault more than likely.
Madison's giggling after saying a witty remark in regards to the sword she possessed.
Mandel's relentless teasing regarding her mannerisms as he wore a pained expression.
Luna's wedding, and realizing that she had never seen the woman truly smile on her own since then.
Beatrix's tears as she held Cervato within Orr, judging her outfit, following the ordeal of Collyn's suicide.
Ti'lay's temper, as Cervato made a remark regarding her true name, Lyrel, and realizing that her friend had changed so much in just a few short years.
Deronjur's golden eyes that blamed her for everything, as he carved his dagger directly into her chest, and still unable to hate him.
As the last shard shattered near her feet, cold tears fell from her cheeks to stain the sand. It felt so lonely in this wasteland. There was nothing that could be done.
A cloaked figure, taller than a norn, then appeared before her, face concealed by a hood. It was like trying to find the bottom of the abyss, as she looked up towards the entity. A decayed claw like hand extended towards her, and she knew that her time had come to an end. This was it. The woman closed her eyes, prepared, and waited.
However, the hand never came upon her. In her confusion, she opened her gaze to instead find that she was not alone.
Enveloped in a golden aura, his form stood before her, eyes closed, wearing the same golden platemail the day he perished in Godslost Swamp. Though he could not see her, she imagined that if he had, he'd probably be wearing that stupid gleaming smile on his face.
A strand of his aura snaked forward to connect to her fragile form in the wasteland and a sudden warmth began to fill her form, until she felt she was about to burst with magic. It was taking hold inside of her, drowning her in it's power, as she struggled to stand.
Beyond him, she saw others who had perished. Collyn. Rhett. Delilah. Artemis. So many others that were lost to the land of the living.
Then, the magic overflowed from her, as she suddenly lost herself in the catalyst of power bestowed upon her.
Heat that quickly faded to smoke. The air choked her when inhaled for that first breath.
The altar beneath her was destroyed as smoke was dissipating into the air all around her. Coughing hard, she struggled to understand what exactly had happened. The armored figure was gone. The sword that had punctured her form along with him, and the wound miraculously healed, merely a scar left in it's place. Dazed, she looked around, before Pen's voice screamed her name and she witnessed a familiar sword cut deep into her friend's body, protecting her from the strike.
Pen had saved her. Myra was magically frozen in place. Beatrix and Dahlia had also just recovered from the presumed chronomancer's dastard work before he made his escape with the sword.
Saromire was reborn.
Cervato was still alive.
Yet her soul yearned for death more than ever.
For she had defied fate a second time.
The Mists were calling, and she wished to join them.
Spoiler: Musical EpilogueShow