A glowing red claw emerges from your paw as you concentrate on the raised blade. Though she’s unsuccessful in throwing off her attacker, Nilana does manage to keep the kobold focused on trying to simply hang on rather than striking her, buying you the time you need. So concentrated on trying to steady itself, the kobold doesn’t seem to notice what’s happening to its weapon until its hand begins to smoke and it lets out an anguished cry of pain as the blade drops to the floor. While the initial kobold she had pinned managed to slip away, Nilana wastes no time with her unwelcome rider and slices her claws deep across the kobold’s throat.
<My thanks.> The kobold grips its spurting neck, going limp within seconds as the life slowly bleeds out of it. Sylvaia is still dealing with her own kobolds, dodging the knife of one while swatting away the small club of the other. Seeing an opening, you leap along the prep counter(knocking over some shanks of meat and plates in the process) before diving atop the knife wielder and pinning him down under your paw.
You extended your claw to maintain your grip on the kobold, incidentally also applying an intense amount of fire magic on the pinned beast. What that means for the kobold is what’s probably a painful death; the way it grows warm underneath you and thrashes is a good indication of that. Soon smoke starts to rise as the kobold is boiled within its own scales. A hole surrounded by ash remains when you pull your paw away as the creature finally expires.
So shocked by its compatriots death Sylvaia’s other combatant barely sees his own coming as her paw slams into the kobold and drives its head against the nearby metal cabinet, hard. Judging by the way it goes limp and the long streak of blood it leaves as it slowly falls, he’s done for. There’s only one kobold left now, and judging by the way it looks nervously at the three lionesses glaring at him, he’s in no mood to take you all on. It trips and nearly falls flat on its face as it scrambles toward a door in the back.
This room appears to be a closet for various cleaning supplies judging from the harsh smell of bleach and the sight of mops and buckets, though it’s the swirling black portal that sits square in the middle of it that stands out a bit more to you. The kobold beats a hasty retreat through this stormy portal and shows no sign of coming back. Acting on an unknown instinct you unsheathe a glowing white claw and draw an ankh-like shape in the air in front of you. A similar shape appears over the portal when you finish, the dark energy being drawn into the cross shaped thing of light like dirt into a vacuum.
<Our work here is done for now. Let us return to the Plane.> The ankh grows as the three of you approach it, making itself large enough for the three of you to pass through with ease. You hear the police enter and shouting warnings to the unknown attackers, the portal closing behind you just as an officer checks the closet.
Given everything else that’s happened, returning to the Plane feels almost anti-climatic as it feels as though you’re doing little more than passing through a doorway. A doorway made of light and summoned by magic, yes, but a doorway none the less. The other lionesses greet you all upon your return, inquiring about what happened. Nilana assures them that everything went fine, and that you’ve passed the test as expected.
<Yes, the test.> Nilana seems to read your confused expression as a question about what kind of test you just passed. <We know you’re not of this world, and that you have many questions. They will be answered in time, but for now we must explain our purpose for bringing you here.>
She explains that she and her fellow lionesses have been seeking a new leader, one to guide them in their fight to maintain the balance between worlds and realities. After a long period of observation, they decided on you to be the one who guides them. They used their own abilities to guide you try the virtual reality program that bought you here, though the choices you made for species and gender were entirely of your own accord and served as acknowledgment to them that they made the right choice in choosing you. All that remained was to test your abilities and put you into the field so you could understand what’s at stake.
<There are many worlds, many realities in which the balance must be maintained. That is the duty of our pride, and every pride needs a leader. This may seem overwhelming, but fear not, for now we shall help you achieve your true potential.>
As Nilana speaks, the other lionesses all move in a circle around you. Their voices fill your head with strange magical words, any initial fear being washed away quickly as you feel their respects, their bonds growing for you with each word. You feel your mind, your might, your very spirit growing and changing. This is your destiny, your purpose, and it would be selfish and foolish to resist.
Written by LunaMoonstone on 02 April 2018