This is a "what if" story involving how Tylissa might be brought back to life since unfortunately being killed in Blades of Kriegmar, since it's likely to happen at least sooner or later. If events unfold properly, I might be able to use it later as a post, at least the discussion bit, with some tweaks. Anyway, enjoy this. It was good to get out there, as it's been bubbling around in my mind for a few weeks now. ______________ The energy spear blew through the elven sorceress' chest and out her back, dissipating on the stone behind her and washing it with blood and insides. She looked down in horror and agony, then back up to her friends. Then everything faded to black and she fell over backwards like a tree, landing with a wet "splat", the last thing she heard in life. From a dozen feet above, her soul had risen up, ready to go to Guildmarian afterlife using the link forged there when she had teleported to Kriegmar in the first place. She heard a scream. Looking back, she watched the scene unfold. Madelyn tried to heal her, but nothing was happening. Then she cried. It pulled at Tylissa's heartstrings. "Even after the way I was to these people... they do care for me. Gods, I really was terrible in life, wasn't I..." She heard Jaira speaking to Linara, degrading Tylissa. It boiled her blood when she told Linara that "her friend would really be proud of her now", sarcastically. Then she chokeslammed Linara to the floor, knocking her out. Tylissa wanted so much to just charbroil Jaira right there, and she tried for all she could... but she had absolutely no power left as just a soul. So all she could do was watch as her friends were assaulted, beaten, picked apart and knocked out one by one, then carried off. Even her body was carried away. Tylissa was seething, angry, but she couldn't do anything about it. She milled around the empty corridor, not wanting to leave her friends... but she had no choice. There was nothing left for her here. With a resigned sigh, she looked up and spread her arms, and the castle ceiling gave way to a gleaming portal, at least in her form of existence. She began to float upward to it, passing through it. She entered a darkened room. The only illumination were the two guildmarks on a wall, a flame and a snowflake, casting out brilliant illumination when gazed on, yet only dimly lighting the room. Tylissa walked around, inspecting the room. It was large, and empty, even her light footsteps on the floor echoing. A figure began to descent from the ceiling, dressed in familiar purple robes, hooded so her face could not be seen. Tylissa looked at the figure in awe. "Guildmaster... Aurielle..." she said breathlessly, then bowed deeply, kneeling and touching her forehead to the floor. "I am not worthy to be visited by you." "Tylissa Audrin. You may rise, and speak to me as an equal." The voice was ethereal and echoed through the room slightly. Tylissa was stunned, rising up. "An... an equal? I deserve no such accommodation." Aurielle chuckled. "Don't you? Do you not recognize the Robe of the Chosen? Perhaps yours no longer resembles such..." as she gestured to Tylissa's body. Tylissa looked down and saw her tattered robe, now more a rag than anything, barely hanging on to her. The hole through her body blown open by Jaira's dark energies. There was no pain. She reached a hand through the hole. It was surreal. Then she looked back to Aurielle. The purple robe, the marks on both hands... Aurielle smiled under her hood. "Do you not see the meaning yet of such markings, my child?" Tylissa looked back to herself and her palms, then Aurielle again. "No... me? No... I couldn't possibly be..." "Yes." Aurielle said. "You were intended to be the next Guildmaster. Guildmaster Tylissa." Tylissa was stunned for the second time into silence. She finally spoke after long moments. "You can't be serious. I was... what? That's..." "It is true." said Aurielle. "But things did not go that way. You were intended to unite the warring guilds into one again, to bring about another thousand years of peace. Instead, you developed ambitions outside of what was ordained. You developed a lust for power. It consumed you. You developed a hard heart, condemning your kin to executions that you oversaw... or carried out yourself. And finally, you phaseshifted off the plane itself. Extremely unbecoming of a Guildmaster." "Was I not supposed to run?" asked Tylissa, the awe being replaced by minor annoyance. If Aurielle wanted equal grounds... "The guild leaders wanted my death. I had no choice but to flee. And nobody ever told me I was supposed to be a Guildmaster." "You were meant to find out at maturity.. 150 years of age." "Tylissa looked down at the hole in her body. "Yeah, well, I guess I didn't make it there, did I? But then I ended up meeting these people..." she gestured to the wall behind the two as it continued playing out the scene. Her friends were in the torture chambers, terrible things being visited unto them. "... and round ears or not, they accepted me, even after the terrible, stupid things I did and said. I realized that "hey, these people are tolerating me even though I'm being an ealix's ass" and I stopped, and then I accepted them. And now..." the scene shifted again. The girls were in the middle of a large fight against the warlord Jaira. "... I was really turning the corner there." Aurielle seemed unimpressed. "You accept foreign folk into your life? You accept these round-eared..." Aurielle had no word for their race. "... intolerable mutants as your own?" "They are Humans. And round ears or not, they have been MUCH more tolerant than any Guildmarian I've seen, what with the killing of those born without pointy ears, or the killing of any Pira. I guess the title of Guildmaster I never knew I had was what kept me from being killed," she said, looking up at the figure that towered over her, like every other living Guildmarian did. Aurielle narrowed her eyes unseen at Tylissa. "You will not speak in such a-" "I'll speak how I like!" she said, getting more agitated. "You gave me rights as an equal, Aurielle," she said, pointedly not using the honourific of Guildmaster, jabbing her finger in her direction. "These people don't kill unless they need to. And frankly, they are the only ones who've ever given an ealix's ass about me, aside from of course my parents. They don't count though, they're meant to love their children. And now you're sitting here trying to tell me that these people are nothing." Aurielle remained silent. Tylissa looked back to the wall. The scene before them changed again. Madelyn was making a potent potion out of the life fruit that had grown from Linara's life essence. Tylissa's body was placed on the bed of her rented room in Zentil, and her friends had gathered around, looking sullen. Madelyn had been crying again. Alchana for the most part looked unphased, but then she was always about business. Tylissa never could discern what she was thinking at any given time. Rhiannon and Arisa were pensive, wondering if this could work at all. Linara was sullen, sad for the loss of her friend. "Look!" she said, pointing to the wall. "You see that, Guildmaster? They're crying. They're making a potion out of a life recovering material. They want me back. They miss me..." her voice dropped low. ".... and... I miss them. They are trying to bring me back, and I want to GO back." Aurielle watched, silent through Tylissa's outburst. She nodded her head. "These people mean that much to you?" she asked, her tone softening. "I gave my life for them, to keep that warlord from executing all of them. Yes, they mean that much to me." Aurielle grew contemplative. Tylissa knew she had to keep up the pressure. "I know I've done a lot of things in life I'm not proud of, Guildmaster. But I feel like... like I belong with these people. I was led to Kriegmar for a reason. And being able to help these people, and call them friends... you know that the few friends I did make in my earlier years, I drifted from. My past is an open book to you. I may have blown it here, but on that world, I'm doing a lot of good things. I care for these people. Especially Linara. I... would never have survived my initial arrival without my magic if not for her. I care so very much for her..." Aurielle sighed, not of exasperation but of verbal defeat. She knew everything Tylissa was saying was true. In an instant she had seen both of their instances of being captured by the barbarian warlord Bakk. How Tylissa took a beating to save her from it. How Tylissa had gone from resenting Linara's companionship, to barely tolerating it, then to appreciating it, and then to welcoming it. She could even see the Tylissa's deepening feelings for Linara. "You and that human have been... excuse me. You and... Linara... have been through a lot together in your short stay on that world." Tylissa looked Aurielle dead in the face, even though she couldn't see it. "And I want to go through a lot more. There's so much more good I need to do there. This is not my time. It can't end on that bed, in that little room, the potion failing to work. It just can't." Madelyn prepared the mixture, pouring it into a glass vial. She rubbed Tylissa's shoulder, and said something, even though they could not hear the scene. Then she propped up Tylissa's body, which had gone a horrible, sickly, ashen gray, and began to pour the vial down her throat, slowly. "They want me back. They... they like me. And I like them. I ask you... please return me." Aurielle nodded. "Very well then. Your work on Kriegmar is unfinished. You shall be returned to that moment in time. You will remember nothing of this discussion. This is not your time, Tylissa." Tylissa smiled. "Not to say I can't ever return and be the Guildmaster you intended me to be. But clearly I have not grown enough yet for that role." Aurielle smiled under her hood. "That admission means you have grown that little bit more, my child. It was a rough start... but I believe you will find your way." Aurielle gestured, creating a purple portal in the middle of the room. "Go now. Your friends await you. I would not keep them waiting." Tylissa grinned broadly, and knelt before Aurielle, bowing her head to the floor again. "Thank you, Guildmaster." "Just Aurielle. You are after all, going to be an equal one day." Tylissa rose. "One day. But not today." Tylissa bowed her head to Aurielle. Taking a deep breath, she walked through the portal. She began a long, long fall from the heavens. Madelyn finished pouring the mixture down Tylissa's throat. Linara and Madelyn gently laid Tylissa's body back on the bed. "What do we do now?" asked Linara, wiping a tear. "We wait," said Madelyn. "It will either work... or it won't." "We'll either get her back," Linara said, "Or we'll have lost-" "Linara." The voice was tinged sharp, but filled with concern as well. It was Alchana. "Don't say it. Just trust that it will work. We need positive energy here right now." "Right." Linara said. "Positive thoughts. Come on, Tylissa..." They waited, the minutes seeming to stretch into hours. Tylissa continued her descent, falling, falling. Clouds rushing by until she passed through them, Kriegmar a small dot in her vision and getting larger, and larger. Soon, she could make out tiny details. Buildings. A village. She knew where she was headed, as she'd seen on the scrying wall. Soon the market inn was discernible. She began to slow, as she descended to the market inn, then passed through the ceiling into the room everyone was gathered. She settled slowly, and then became a ball of energy, plunging back into her body's chest. As soon as that happened, things began happening, very slowly. Unnoticeable at first, to the point they thought it may not have worked. Madelyn had buried her head tearfully in her arms on Tylissa's body, and was the first to notice when she looked up. "Wh.... what?" she said. Everyone turned to look. The hole was repairing itself. Flesh mending itself, vitals regrowing. The process was long, but each girl was riveted to it as the damage was undone. Finally, after an hour, her body was whole again, but still a gray pallor. But then colour started to slowly return to her body as blood began to course through her once more. Madelyn gasped, unable to speak through the pure joy she felt seeing this unfold, lest she start crying again. Finally, Tylissa's colour returned, and she looked like she were sleeping heavily. Then her chest began to rise and fall again, breath returning to her. Then Tylissa took a deep breath and sighed, her eyes fluttering open. "mmrmrhgmgg..." she groaned drowsily. "Wh... what happened...?" she sat up, holding her head. "Thank the Goddess, you're back!" Madelyn cried out, grabbing Tylissa in a huge hug. "GAH!" she cried out at being grabbed like that. "Maddie, I'm a lot smaller than you! That hurts..." But she didn't do much to try to pry Madelyn off. Her last memory was of the events in the corridor, and she knew Madelyn would be emotional, so she allowed the tight hug. It went on and on, to the point that Alchana had to make a remark. With a small grin, she said "Save some for the rest of us there, Madelyn." Madelyn pulled back, her cheeks reddening. "I, uh... of course... heh..." Tylissa stood, stretching out her muscles which had gone unused for a while. Her destroyed robe barely hung off her, showing off more of her body than it ever intended to, but modesty was not something to worry about, given how they'd seen her already. In turn she hugged Arisa and Rhiannon, thanking them for their bravery and friendship. She got to Alchana. Knowing Alchana's business-like demeanour, she offered a handshake instead. Alchana looked off to the side for a moment, annoyed, then back to her. "Really, Tylissa? Come on." But just before Tylissa could be offended by it, Alchana spread her arms. "Come here, would ya." Tylissa grinned and hugged her. "Thanks for everything. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate it," she said. Then she got to Linara. "Linara... my dearest friend. Since I got here, you've been here for me, and I'm happy I can return the favour." She gave Linara a big hug. "And one more thing," she said, releasing the hug and now pointing at her. "Don't you ever let anyone tell you who I am and am not proud of. I AM proud to be considered your friend and I AM proud to consider you mine. And that goes for all of you." She stretched again, looking at the clock. It was only 8 PM. "Well," she said. "I don't know about you guys, but I for one need to hit up the clothier for a new outfit... and then what say we head to the tavern for a celebratory round? Drinks with good friends. Celebrating life... and second chances at it." They all agreed and headed out the door, spirits riding high for the first time since the whole ordeal began.