TITLE: The Buried Realm
While following Venture on a quest, Yonder has resisted premonitions from a goddess calling him to be her champion.
Yonder didn't pause to think. He leaped between the Soldier and Astak, and felt the freezing bite of the green metal smash his left collarbone into splinters. Through the blur of the pain, he watched as the Soldier tried to free his weapon. Yonder smiled and reached up to touch the black armor. It was instantly flooded with light and spasmed as though it had been struck by lightning, then collapsed to the grey sand.
Yonder lay on his back, feeling the terrible pain in his neck, head and chest and grinned openly.
“Just hold on, Yonder!” a far away voice was calling. He opened his eyes and saw Venture's pale green face hovering above him. Tears streaked his cheeks. Spelldor and Astak hovered not far behind, looking equally stricken. “He's near cut in half, lad,” Astak's voice echoed. “Let him have his glory.”
Yonder didn't know what he meant by that, and was rapidly losing interest anyway. It was with Venture that he most wanted to connect. Just once, before it was over. He tried to say something to comfort him, to thank him, but the words wouldn't come any longer. The faces became indistinct, and then faded away. The voices around him merged into one steady hum. And then sank. Quieted. Ended.
Far off in the distance, a grey and silent road met a crossroads. And there, at the horizon of perception, a tall figure of surpassing beauty and loveliness. And laughter like the tinkling of bells.