Hitchhiker's Guide to the Planes
“Master, you must go to them!” shouted the herald through the maelstrom of confusion.
“Not yet, Marcival. Not yet.” I could not blame him for the panic in his eyes. He’d already taken a bolt in the side that had him out of the fight. He could not walk, but he could see the devastation on the field.
What had started as a cold and shining army of gleaming plate and pristine white banners only an hour before had devolved into chaos.
Men littered the ground. My men.
At least a third of my Holy Knot lay dead or dying. Those who fought on no longer gleamed, but smoked and glistened with gore and char, fighting a hopeless battle against foes so mighty and gruesome that they’d send men screaming in madness or terror.
But not my men.
We’d suspected the enemy harbored this evil. There’d been signs. But never could we have prepared for such a brutal onslaught by so many of these foul creatures. Right after we’d engaged them, their unholy shaman had opened the fiery gate that spewed forth dozens of the reddened, glowing creatures from a hellscape beyond description. As they poured from the gate, Aamiyah, the Deva we’d been aiding these past months uttered a string of curses I’d never expect to hear come from the mouth of a celestial being, and launched into the fray.
For months, we’d tracked this foul band that called demons to their bidding. Always hidden, their shaman stayed in the shadows, always out of harm’s way. But this time we’d outfoxed him, and his gate was not unseen. Aamiyah was able to target him directly, and because of the subterfuge we’d created, was able to surprise the engaged cleric as he issued his spawn forth. Bolts of pure energy left Aamiyah’s fingers and their caster went down, sucked inward into his own gate which exploded into non-existence. I lost sight of Aamiyah, but believe he was obliterated in the explosion that accompanied his attack.
The fiery demons rushed among the men, dozens of them, far too many to take out without our celestial guide… and friend. Everyone must have known it, but they kept on fighting. Fighting, and dying.
“Master, Please!” Marcival begged again.
We locked eyes and arms in salute. “Marcival, when we meet in the Halls of Radiance, you must tell me how well we all died!” And with that I rose at last, running into the fight that would surely be my last, but with one additional gambit that might at least bring a smile to the face of Aamiyah when we met in the afterlife.
I’d prepared them for just such an eventuality, but it humbled me and filled me with pride to see it carried out so well. I ran into the melee, Daylight radiating from the mace above my head. As they saw me, my knights broke off, disengaging from their tired and bloody fights, having injured our foes, hopefully enough.
As they saw me race to the center of the field, ablaze, the demonspawn could not resist and rushed me, leaving my men to nearly encircle the field. It is then that I stopped, raised my mace and shouted the tones I’d been taught. Aamiyah and I had worried that there would be need to face down this evil after he’d closed the gate or gone through it. And so he had taught me the Divine Word, passed from his plane to my ear.
As I pronounced the syllables, the echoes and reverberations of the sounds grew, accompanied by what sounded like music. Some of the men laughed, as did I, at its beauty, but the demons did not laugh.
In waves, they fell. The sound, so pure and light to our ears assaulted them like a hammer blow. They clutched taloned hands at ears and eyes. They screamed their awful guttural shrieks to block out the sound. Some dropped stunned. Still others winked out of existence altogether, sent back to the fiery plane whence they came.
The last pure note of music lingered and died. And where there’d been chaos and ringing steel there was but a moment of silent stillness. What had been a force of more than two score demon beasts was reduced to fewer than ten standing, while others rolled in the muck in writhing agony.
The silence lasted only seconds, though. The men, the proud Retributors with whom I’d trained and bled and fought, attacked again. Reinvigorated, doubly so, by the celestial spell, they fell upon the beasts who had little fortitude left within them. They fought back viciously, but the tide had turned."
from The Recollections of Ahnsable Whitewing, 8th Grand Retributor, The Halls of Sacred Vengeance
Excerpt from the Sacred Book of Channeled Energies of the Bhalla partial folio found 1267
The very voice of the Bhalla may be brought forth as a weapon against those who usurp Her blessings or whose intrusion into the affairs of Her followers may cause Her glorious works harm. Only the most righteous and experienced of Her followers may speak the Divine words to bring Her might and fury to Her foes.
Though it brings comfort to Her followers, the Divine voice of the Bhalla, Her name be praised among the gods, can deafen, blind, incapacitate or even kill those who are not Worthy or Righteous in their endeavors. When the Divine words are spoken, the Bhalla’s energy flows from planes beyond mere mortal understanding to sweep Her enemies before you.
Foul fiends, pestilent elemental creatures, even upright fey creatures or celestial beings can also be judged by the voice of the Bhalla, and if found wanting, banished to the foul or fey places whence they came.
The Divine Word is spoken aloud to call forth the wrath of the Bhalla upon the pestilent and the unclean. It may be spoken with great ceremony or at great haste, whilst otherwise engaged in fighting Her foes, or as the fight itself.
The syllables of the Divine Word are passed to those who speak Her power directly from the Bhalla or through Her intermediaries, those Celestial beings who serve Her and deliver Her grace unto her growing and ordered flock.
Spell Effects and Appearance
Lo, shall the Celestial chorus and chimes of Her beatific musical Divinity join in upon speaking the Divine word of the Bhalla. The word itself is pureness and light, a celestial manifestation on the mortal plane of the Bhalla Herself which calls to the soul of all followers and orders their minds like the domain beneath Her kind and loving control.
Yet woe be unto Her foes, who hearing Her terrible, joyous voice, shall quake in Her presence. The very air ripples outward from Her champion to engulf those for ten paces in every direction in the Bhalla’s loving and terrible embrace. All are judged and those found wanting are punished in accordance with the Bhalla’s plan. Those of higher purpose and who hold to their esteem can resist Her punishment. Many who hear of the Bhalla’s great voice shall remain forever deaf having heard the voice of the goddess. Some weaker willed or damaged foes will also lose their sight in the presence of Her magnificence. Fewer, the more injured, also become enfeebled and enraptured by Her voice, unable to focus on anything but its miraculous vibration. And for others, the Divine voice of the Bhalla destroys the flesh, or banishes the soul.
Use wisely this force for good, this Divine blessing of the goddess, for She provides great power to those in Her favor, and punishes the pestilent mightily with her Divine Word.