The Daughter of the Unread Pages gasps as the heart tendril jerks her into the air, quickly constricting around her rib cage. She lashes out with a telekinetic strike, severing the grasping appendage. She drops to the ground, looking up to see more of the tendrils unwinding from the knot above, all connecting back to a descending hungry maw.
Encore of the Final Silence leaps to his feet, bounding across the pool of blue nourishment fluid and racing around the curved interior surface of the heart. Several tendrils chase after him as he runs, nipping at his heels. Encore kicks off the wall, flipping through the air and landing on the nearest tendril. At unnatural speed, he approaches the screaming mouth of the heart’s guardian, but he does not move fast enough. Snagged around the waist, the Scourge is lifted up and entangled in the monster’s grip, his breath rapidly squeezed out of his and flesh violently torn away. The pain awakens the Monster lurking inside him, and he vows that Retribution Will Follow.
Job spies several more tendrils waving through the air, homing in on him. They move almost too fast to follow and the fallen priest knows he stands no chance of escape…at least, as he is now. It is the nature of Cecelyne to be stronger than her lessers, and Job knows the secrets of the Miracle Gift Mastery through which this is possible. Through an arcane act of will and Essence, Job rewrites his existence and suddenly knows the precise moment and direction to leap in order to evade the coming attack. He dives just out of reach, then lashes out with a slash of silver sand, cutting the tendril and causing it to momentarily withdraw.
The Daughter stands her ground, staring dispassionately at the creature defending Brezozi’s heart. The air around her wavers violently from a barrage of telekinetic strikes, each drawing another splash of the guardian’s blood. It’s shrieking screams and cacophonous roars fill the chamber, audible even to Henley and Hammer.
Encore grips the tentacle holding him and rips it apart. He launches himself airborne with a powerful swing on the torn limb, his demonic hair wrapping around his fist in anticipation of the killing blow. He falls like an executioner’s axe on the creature’s body. The savage blow explodes the thing. Gore cascades out of the wound on the combatants below. Encore’s rage is not yet satisfied, and he pulls the dead beast down to the ground where he mindlessly obliterates what remains.
As the Daughter and Job mop up, Henley and Hammer finally arrive in the heart to see what is going on. Henley’s self esteem is bolstered to know that it was in fact dangerous in the heart, and he managed to avoid getting caught up in the situation. The warlocks finish their examination of the chamber and the Daughter arrives at a frustrating conclusion: this is not a hearthroom. Brezozi is no manse; an ancient behemoth from beneath the waves perhaps, but no manse. Hammer grunts, “Are we done with this stupid thing then?” The Daughter gives a distracted nod, so the Slayer brings his weapon crashing down through Brezozi’s heart. An unsettling rumble overtakes the behemoth’s body and the coven decides it is time to leave. The Daughter sends out a stomach bottle bug to stop the flow of fluid into the chamber and open up an escape route. As soon as it is possible to scramble out, Encore soars off toward the mouth to alert the two agatae that were left there. As he launches out of Brezozi’s open maw, Encore sees the green acid sea below him. He lands safely on the stone beach, but Brezozi is quickly receding from the shore, trying to flee those that do it harm. The agatae both zip between it’s teeth, down toward their mistress. As they arrive, the Daughter and Job mount one, and Job and Hammer get on the other. As rivulets of acid spill over the rapidly descending fangs, the agatae are spurred forward. With only seconds to spare, the coven emerges above the acid sea, several hundred yards from shore. Brezozi sinks beneath the waves and disappears.