“Praise to our Lord Bahamut,” I said.”Verily,” a single chorus rang out from the pews in front of me.The day was bright and quiet. While chaos might reign in the outer world, the Platinum Sanctum was one of peace and belonging. I am but a humble cleric and pastor of the Platinum Dragon, and this was what I do for living.What I did for a living was best left to the imagination. While I recite the words I’ve always recited, I shuddered at the wanton violence I partook in, even if they were against demons. Thankfully, the Platinum Dragon forgave my sins and I have since pledged my service to the Platinum Dragon.I felt it. A dark rift opening.I glanced up from my books. Most remained deep in prayer, heads bowed, but several had cracked their eyes open, alarmed at the infernal presence. In the sacred sanctum, no less.I heard it swimming in my mind. “Formo, help me.”A demonic, hellish voice faded into my consciousness. It was faint, but the words repeated, and it only grew louder. It was an accursed, wretched sound, the ramblings of the downtrodden. It was the speech of a friend.I shouted: “Disciples of the Lord Bahamut! Leave the Sanctum at once! An infernal presence is tearing open a doorway into our realm!”I looked to the clerics to the left and front of me, urging them towards the rapidly panicking crowd. They took their cues instantaneously, rushing from their platforms and herding the followers towards the entrances.Meredith rushed to my side first, her steely words barely belying the fear in her throat.”Brother Formo, do you require aid?””No, Sister Meredith. Take these people away from here at once and shut the doors behind you. I will handle this myself,” I urged.She nodded and stepped off the dais, urgently guiding people towards the exit doors. There was now a visible cthonic energy flowing right in front of me, shaping itself into a doorway.I steeled myself. I recognised the voice, but I know not whether she had changed.The giant doors to the sanctum yawned at being budged from its rest, slowly coming together. They closed with a resounding thump.Right on cue, the air rushed towards the doorway in front of me. I readied myself, hands gripped tightly on the rostrum in front of me. The pages of the sacred book flipped rapidly in front of me, but a magical force held it tightly to the surface. Dusky tendrils emanated from the doorway and out stepped a foot wreathed in hellfire.It was followed by the rest of the demon Alytryx. As her full form stepped into the sanctum, the portal clamped up and disappeared.Alytryx did not look good. Her humanoid body was covered in wounds, ichor pouring out onto the carpet. Her left horn was broken and jagged, looking like it was roughly broken off.I rushed quickly to her side. As I raised my hand to her wounds, hesitation clouded my mind. I was unsure if I could recall the old magics that I dabbled in. I looked up, to the Mark of the Platinum Dragon, hanging mightily above me now as I looked up at it, fearfully recalling my old ways.”Formo, no. You are part of the light now,” Alyxtryx’s voice reached my ears this time. “But I need your help, old friend.”I looked down at her. Her usual crimson red visage was frighteningly pallid. I could feel life seeping out of her, slowly but surely.I couldn’t. I couldn’t let her die. Bahamut would understand.I closed my eyes, ignoring Alyxtryx’s words. I remembered the old days, dark energy spilling from my core, escaping down my arms, and channeled into my hands.Alyxtryx coughed. I opened my eyes again and saw her regaining some colour. Her wounds closed slightly and the blood stopped pouring, but she was in need of more healing than from a rusty demon hunter.Her eyes refocused on me. She smiled. I then felt a painful slap across my face.”What in the… I just saved you!” I cried.”You did, right after I told you not to do so,” Alyxtryx said as she sat up, coughing lightly. “Thank you, but that was stupid. My life meant nothing compared to what is to come.”I sighed. She was stubborn as always. Demon she might be, but I trusted her with my life. I scanned the room around me, making sure that nobody was around to see this conversation between a cleric and a demon.”Are you listening?” Her voice rang out again, bringing me back into her world.I couldn’t help but smile. “Just like the old days. Getting an earful from you again.””I would love to have a proper reunion, but we don’t have time. I need you.””What’s going on? To think that you would step into this domain! By yourself, no less.””I needed an urgent escape. I thought of you while I was dying, old friend. Because you have put me near death more times than anyone else,” she said snidely.I winced and made a face, but my heart was filled with joy.”Don’t smile just yet, Formo. A threat is coming. Remember our old adventuring party?””How could I forget?””You will wish you did, don’t worry. Apparently, all the demons we killed have called upon a darker force.””A bigger demon? Tiamat?””No. And you wish. He’s like you. Human. He has the power of a god on his side, however, or he would never have bested me.”My face darkened. “Any idea who he worshipped?””No, but I thought a devout like you might know. Can you help me?”My mind was screaming no. But I could feel my blood pumping, the thrill of the hunt once again flooding my veins.”I couldn’t say no,” the words left my mouth.”Alright. Thanks for saving me then, but I was honestly fine. I could have done it myself given some time.””Sure, sure. Now could you scoot out of here for a while? I have some excuses to make.”r/dexdrafts