As I stared at the bladeling lying unconscious on the bunk in front of me, everything suddenly began to unravel before my eyes. This was not the Monastery of the Sun, these were not servants of Pelor. While the brand I had received was, yes, still very, very real, the excommunication I had faced was likely as false as the demon I had knocked over the head.
Rage boiled within me as I stood over the imposter. “Blasphemer…” I growled between clenched teeth, struggling to contain the scream of anger building within me. This demon would not wake again to witness Pelor’s wrath poured out upon him. Justice was served.
I removed the fiend’s armor and found it to be a decent fit, if not appealing. No matter, I told myself, it would do until I could find out what had transpired and perhaps discover the fate of my comrades. They were not in the prison with me, so perhaps they were being held elsewhere in this dark facsimile of the monastery. I had to get to relative safety in order to recover fully without the use of my divine powers, and would need to act swiftly; the guards would be back soon to banish me and would not be pleased to see their dead brother had taken my place. I also felt that I should free their other prisoner – he was likely as innocent as I had been and may have somehow been responsible for the key that I found.
All thoughts of aiding him were banished from my mind when he rushed the bars with a hiss. Another bladeling. So, I thought. His encouraging words were all part of the illusion as well. False and evil. With grim satisfaction I unlocked the cell and readied my new weapon, welcoming my charging, snarling foe. Unarmored and without a weapon himself, I dispatched him immediately.
With both corpses returned to their bunks, a disguise that would buy me but precious few moments, I slipped quietly out into the corridor. The monastery was still a very close match to the actual home of my order, but now that the illusion had faded somewhat, the place was ugly and twisted with evil. The bright halls had now grown dank and dark, tainted by the foul touch of the demons. I reached the exit to the courtyard, resolving to return and take my vengeance upon these creatures for their unholy impersonation.
Pausing at the thought of what other dangers might lurk beyond the walls of the false monastery, I decided to make a final attempt at using the abilities to heal bestowed upon me by the Shining One. I closed my eyes and prayed for restoration, that I might have a better chance at returning for retribution.
I was healed.
Pelor’s light shone within me and I was renewed. A stark contrast to when I attempted to use his power within the cell. Such must have been the strength of the illusion; powerful enough that I doubted my connection to the divine.
“This changes everything…” I said to the empty corridor, tensing my body in anticipation. With the divine powers at my disposal I would not flee the monastery, oh no. These demons would see just what the true power of Pelor was capable of. I resolved to bring righteous retribution to this evil place – at any cost.
As a sign of his approval of my course of action, Pelor brought to me the first of many who would fall before his wrath that night. Bishop Garious, or the thing that was supposed to be Garious, rounded the corner at that very moment. His twisted, warped form no longer hidden with the illusion stopped abruptly as he recognized me even beneath the helm I wore. “Guards!” he cried as he stepped back. “To me! The apostate has escaped!”
“Enough of your lies, demon!” I bellowed as I charged him. “I know what you are! Here you will meet your end, for Pelor!!”