Written by Nate The Great
Laughter filled the halls as Belgarde skipped back to the room where they had laid Soveliss’ body to rest. It was perhaps the first time ever that this prison had heard the sounds of true joy. A brilliant smile split his face as he reached the eladrin’s body. “Zoon mon ami, zoon we zhall have you back with ze living,” he spoke to his friend.
As the others set about securing the room for a much needed rest, Belgarde buried his head in the ancient tome. While the others rested Belgarde continued to read. His concentration unwavering, Belgarde never even noticed his companions taking their turns at the nightly watch.
Finally, around the time his companions were beginning to rise from their slumber, Belgarde looked up from the tome. Eyes showing the strain of an entire night of research Belgarde spoke, “Ze Belgarde knowz what iz to be done. We are to be taking heem to ze forezt clearing, zat will be ze bezt place for ze Belgarde to perform ze ritual.”
Belgarde instructed his companions to assist him in carrying Soveliss to the room that resembled a forest glade. Night had come and it was dark in the room, illusory stars apearing in the false sky. They laid the body near the center of the chamber and Belgarde asked his companions to go and find any wood they could. As they trickled back and forth into the room, piling up broken tables and chairs, Belgarde could be seen making a thick paste from the residuum that had been found in the dragon’s horde. He stripped the body of Soveliss and began to paint arcane patterns upon it, swirling and curving to cover most of the body. Once finished, he did the same to himself, his ruddy skin gleaning with the silver of the paste.
“It iz time,” Belgarde said, “Light ze fire and zen leave me to ze work zat muzt be done.” His companions heeding his commands, the bonfire was lit and then they made their exit, closing the doors behind them. Belgarde positioned his friend’s body within the light of the fire and took a deep breath.
The ritual began slowly, at first it appeared as if Belgarde was simply shifting his weight from foot to foot. After long minutes a humming could be heard, followed by a very slow shuffling of his feet. Around and around the fire the tiefling went, a very deliberate movement. Ever so slightly his movement sped up, and transformed into something more akin to a dance.
Belgarde began to stamp his feet as his slow dance took him around the fire, beating out a primal rhythm on the earth. The fire seemed to respond to the drumming, moving in time with each step. Ever so slowly the fire grew in size. Sweat could be seen coating the tiefling, but it did not cause the paint to smear. Music began to drift eerily into the room from an unknown source. The simple strumming of a lute at first, but soon other instruments joined in, the music becoming more complex as the dance continued.
Belgarde’s movements began to speed up, staying in time with the phantom sounds. Leaps and twirls joined his repertoire of movements. His humming changed into song of a language long forgotten. The singing was primal, filled with the essence of flames. Looking upon the scene, Belgarde appeared true to his nature, a devil dancing among flames.
Belgarde could be seen panting as he danced and sang, but the ritual was upon him in full force now, he could not stop it even if he wished to. The music heated up to a frenzy of overpowering melodies and dissonant notes. Belgarde sang in a voice much louder than his own, powered by the energies of the spell.
After a final pass around the fire, Belgarde danced his way to Soveliss. With a final primal scream, he dropped to his knees and slammed a hand into the chest of his friends body. The musics came to a crashing finale and the fire suddenly flared up and blinked out of existance. Soveliss sat up with a gasp.
“Ah, mon ami, it iz good to zee you among ze living again.”