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January 2013 Release Fiction

Deep in the catacombs below her fortress, Hoshino Kei sat, lost in thought. How could they have failed me so badly? she muttered to herself, Was it so hard to destroy one little Guardian Spirit?

She rose and floated across the chamber, scattering the scraps of armor that were all that remained of the failed warlords as she passed. At least in small part, the Lost Sisters have reawakened... The Book is lost to me, for the time being. There is no time to mass the forces needed to retake it now, not with this new dilemma... Her pacing continued for some time before her Seneschal floated through the wall and bowed deeply.

Mistress, I have the Nanjou report on the researchers that you requested, he said, without looking up from the floor.

Hoshino Kei sighed, stopping her pacing. Very well, what have they learned?

The researchers delving into the lore of the Lost Sisters seem to be focused upon saving those who tied themselves to your resurrection. They are focusing the majority of their efforts on means to either slow or shatter the draw the Book places upon them and feeds to you. Those who have not already turned have been forestalled from doing so by their rituals.

Yes, yes, we already know this. What else is there? she added, mildly annoyed with the report thus far. She began pacing again while she thought and listened.

With the recovery of fragments of the Lost Sisters themselves, the researchers believe they may be able to use those same rituals to unbind you from your ties to the Book of Eibhil.

Hoshino Kei stopped dead in her tracks. Unbind... Me? She thought about that for a full minute before continuing. Im not sure that could even be possible. With the temporary loss of the Book, the majority of its power resides within me. All Asheron has really accomplished by binding the Book away was to make it inaccessible to others. Even with an avatar of the Deru holding it, its only a matter of time before the Book is free again, even if I never move to free it.

They seem confident that it could be possible, if the Sisters themselves intervene.

Well then, it seems theyve defined what needs to be done next then. Theyll need to get close to me to even have a chance of performing a ritual that could affect me... She thought quietly for a moment before continuing, Tell the Daimyo to position themselves to protect the Wards. They were built to keep interlopers out of the lower sections of the keep, and theyll be doubly important now.

As you wish, Mistress. Anything else? said the Seneschal with a bow.

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