To Fly on Metal Wings

The Gunmage's Return
Naked, ordained, and armed only with Miranda, Ephraim Jacob Riley proves his power survives

A record of E. Jacob Riley.

Awoken before dawn by Shaan monks and told to bring Miranda but nothing else. When Riley agreed, a number of lesser acolytes moved into his room and began to collect his belongings.

Brought to an old, unused room within the monastery where Abbot Shoukou, Kyou Songen, and another elder monk await. The unnamed monk holds a large flat bowl. Songen asked Riley to remove his clothing; a fairly odd request, but Riley acquiesced. Shoukou then tells Riley that the time has come, and that the Shaan have been watching and testing him all these years. They begin to draw arcane symbols and glyphs about his body with the golden contents of the bowl. When they have finished, Shoukou hands Miranda back to Riley, who takes the pistol and examines his hands. He remembers this image from a dream long ago. A small hidden door is opened, and Riley crawls through.

He stumbles through dark and rocky tunnels and caverns, compelled to keep going no matter what. Some have water, trickles and streams like those of the monastery’s water source. He collects numerous cuts and bruises, but these do not stall him nor dissuade his journey. At last he comes to a large cavern lined by green crystals. They illuminate upon his entrance, casting light upon an alter covered in white cloth. A small mechanical gargoyle leaps off and attacks Riley with claws and lightning. The struggle was brief and one-sided; Riley’s magic, both spark and flame, have fully returned.

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