The Astral Avenger

PART ONE:THE MURDER MYSTERY

Protector Nobu cautiously left the safe confines of the House of Purity where he, his charge Oracle Emica and their infant daughter, Fusae had taken up residence. On his descent down the hill, he used his extra-sensory abilities to scope out the surrounding areas ensuring no external threats to the safety of his charges were nearby. Nobu was pleased to get only a few subtle hints of the extensive security detail the Oracle had present at the house, a clear indication of the detail’s potent abilities. His main agenda of the day was meeting up with Generals Syrinia and Kelar of the newly instituted Peace Keeping Corps, an organization aimed at repairing the damaged relationship between the witch folk and fair-folk of the former Dark World (Timeline A-20).

The generals had requested an urgent meeting with the Oracle herself but Nobu had instead insisted that they met up with him first as Emica had her hands full caring for their daughter. The Generals had then sent him a detailed brief of their meeting’s agenda who had granted them an audience with him to discuss the pertinent matters arising. Nobu did not wish to venture too far away from home but feared having the meeting with the Generals at the House of Purity would bother Emica unnecessarily and so he had opted to meet up with them at the newly erected Peace Keeper Corps building.

“My lord, thank you for meeting up with us on such short notice. The matter at hand is critical which is why we reached out to you and her holiness, the Oracle, in the hopes that you may aid us in this investigation,”

“Your brief was highly concerning but considering we have so little to go on, I felt that it was prudent that we critically assessed it first before directly involving Oracle Emica. There’s also the matter that these mysterious deaths you have been investigating escaped the notice of the Oracle in the first place meaning whatever the cause may be, it is not a threat to the well-being of the Magical Realm,”

“My lord, the fact that her holiness had not received premonitions of the mysterious deaths of these former warlords, slave owners and Monarch’s Hand officers is even more cause for concern. It appears that the perpetuators are well aware of the Oracle’s visions’ limitations and have somehow uncovered a way of murdering their victims without being detected. This clearly indicates that the perpetuators are powerful and therefore should not be taken lightly,” Syrinia countered. Nobu considered the General’s assessment and nodded in agreement.

“Have we found any more leads in relation to these deaths?”

“I’m afraid not, my lord. As of now, we can only clearly ascertain a clear pattern of the victims chosen. The perpetuators have claimed 20 victims so far. All victims succumbed to a similar fate and displayed similar patterns before their demise. All victims complained of having nightmares and night terrors at least one week prior to their demise. All victims similarly were extremely fatigue and some registered having random fainting spells. The victims were also found to have been hysterical, paranoid and had severe auditory hallucinations before passing away. Finally, as highlighted in our brief, the victims all died in their sleep,”

“Witnesses to 3 murders all alluded to the fact that the victims seemed to be having nightmares prior to their demise so it is safe to assume that the perpetuators are somehow murdering their victims in their sleep. We have ensured that we have secured as many former Monarch’s Hand, slave owners and warlords’ information as possible to prevent similar deaths. We have also been collaborating with former War Generals such as General Ryna Reinhardt in building a database of possible suspects with the ability to murder victims in their sleep like our perps,”

Nobu nodded as he went over the information over again with the Generals.

“Sir, it is important to note that despite our best efforts and even with the assistance of our affiliates such as the DoD from Timeline D-3, we are no closer to understanding how these perps are carrying out the murders and somehow escaping the notice of the Oracle. For this reason, we are humbly requesting a meeting with her ladyship and her keen involvement. It is possible that some of the case details may aid in her holiness’ premonitions,” General Kelar concluded.

“I shall convey these sentiments to her ladyship for consideration,” Nobu offered after a long, contemplative silence.

“Thank you, my lord,” General Syrinia stated with a bow with Kelar following suite. Nobu nodded and left for his home where he found Oracle Emica resting on an armchair after having put their daughter to sleep.

“I hope she wasn’t too much trouble,” Nobu stated apologetically.

Emica smiled as she shook her head. “Not at all. I sense you have some bad news to share,” she stated.

“I’m afraid so, my love. Though it is not my desire to trouble you during this time, I am afraid I have no choice but to relay the news to you,” Nobu stated before recounting all facts about the case. Emica keenly listened until her Protector had fully caught her up to speed.

“Emica, my love, now that you are fully aware of the facts of these mysterious murders, could there be something else we have missed? Have you had any premonitions that could be related to these murders?”

Emica shook her head. “Granted, I have been using my clairvoyance to monitor any threats to Fusae’s safety and well-being so perhaps I need time to be a bit more objective and cast a wider net to my visions, so to speak,”

“Please, take all the time you need, Emica,”

Emica smiled and stood up, immediately going into the Meditation room. She took a spiritual cleansing bath by burning the sacred herbs and oils and loading up the room with potent magical crystals before beginning her Meditation. She meditated for several hours on end, monitoring the Magical and Mortal Realm as best she could but could not find any leads. Several days later, the Peace Keeping Corps reported an additional 10 murders with no further leads on the perps or their means of murder. Emica went as far as contacting other Seers in the other Planes of Existence such as the Queen-Sage of Atlantica and the Prince of Wintria in case the perps were using the veil between the Planes to hide from her gifts but had been unsuccessful. All possible suspects in the mysterious murders were all cleared of all charges and even monitoring them yielded no further leads.

The DoD of D-3 begun monitoring the dream-scapes of several victims prior to their demise but their results contradicted the only theory the Generals had- the victims were not dying in their sleep as had been assumed. The DoD’s monitoring of the victims did reveal another pattern that the victims shared. They experienced lucid nightmares prior to their inexplicable demise. The images derived from the analysis of lucid nightmares varied from person to person based on a magnified, specific fear the victims had in their waking life. However, even though agents were able to manifest in the dreams of the victims prior to their demise, they were unable to find the victims until it was far too late. The agents were also unable to detect the hostile perps responsible for the lucid nightmares and subsequent deaths of the victims.

The DoD helped bring in Spiritual Specialists to aid in the investigation. The Curse-Breakers were the first experts to assess murder sites and victim information to help determine whether the mysterious murders were caused by lethal curses either current or long-running curses in the victims’ family history. The Curse-Breakers were able to determine that the victims had not succumbed to any curses and so they left the rest of the Specialists including Shamans and the Mystai to help get to the bottom of the cases.

The Mystai and Shamans present were able to detect subtle energies lingering at each murder site that suggested the involvement of Spiritual attacks. The Shamans were especially convinced that the subtle mystic energies left behind were strongly tied to the Astral Plane and that the victims all succumbed to subtle but powerful astral attacks. Their conclusion was backed up by strong evidence that tied the symptoms displayed by the victims prior to their demise (such as extreme fatigue, hysteria, paranoia and vivid hallucinations) to the way they died (lucid nightmares that victims were unable to wake up from) which suggested that the nightmares were merely a conduit to the perps attacking the victims in the Astral Plane.

Although Oracle Emica was conversant with the Astral Plane and had experience navigating and even projecting to the Plane in a previous incarnation, she was weary of traveling to the Plane because the past incarnation of Emica that had been able to expertly navigate through the Astral Plane and manipulate its mystic energies, Oracle Bethany Broker, had chosen the way of the raven (the path of darkness). Although Emica was easily able to spiritually connect with any past incarnation of her choosing, connecting with Bethany was a great risk considering past incarnations had been known to overpower and posses more recent Oracles and turn them turn into their dark desires. Should Bethany overpower Emica completely, there was no telling how long latter would be possessed and the damage the dark Oracle could inflict while in Emica’s body could be catastrophic especially considering how hard Emica had been working towards a peaceful resolution to the dark history of the Timeline.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Shall the Oracle Emica bite the bullet and spiritually connect with her past dark incarnation? Shall the perpetuators of the mysterious murders ever be caught or their true motives ascertained? Stay tuned to find out!

Links to the next part in the series are listed below. Enjoy!

The Astral Avenger 2

The Astral Avenger: Part 3

The Astral Avenger: Part 4

4 thoughts on “The Astral Avenger

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