Before Max regains consciousness however, there is a flash and Casimir disappears.
On his knees, he rises slowly and looks around confused.
One minute he was flying towards the Gulag, the next he was... Elsewhere.
The place looked different, it wasn't Earth was it? ... The place felt different... Older. Less grounded by the laws that governed the Universe.
That... and he didn't feel the leylines anymore.
"Where in the hel-"
He gets a strong feeling of vertigo, and the ground underneath his feet falls away. A split second later, he drops to his knees in front of Arnvusiil.
But this time, he isn't alone.
Standing to his left is the Queen of Autumn, and next to her is the Stone Elemental...
And to his right stands Du-Sinharsihl. Tongue out, mouth twisted into a grin.
After several moments of startled silence, Casimir bows his head and says, "við hittumst aftur, ég vona að þessu sinni, á vingjarnleiki kjörum."
Arnvusiil raises his eyebrow in surprise and chuckles. "You took my advice did you? Good... But in this instance, youngling, unnecessary. My kin cannot speak as I." He shrugged his shoulders, "or at least the ones that speak."
The Queen of Autumn and Du-Sinharsihl, nodded. The Stone Elemental just grunted.
Unable to contain himself, Casimir looks up. "Why is it you've taken an interest in me?"
They all looked at him for some time before the Fae finally spoke. "Dear one, you've not realized it yet?" Her voice was soft, but resonated with ancient wisdom and power.
"What the Father said about you was true, in part, you are free to mold your own fate. Something no one has been gifted with in millennia." She smiled. "But you specifically, Casimir, have within you the potential to transcend that of your own mortality... You have the potential to become like us."
Her statement gives him pause.
The potential to transcend mortality? He'd touched on the theory of prolonging his own life, had even asked Father Jacob about the means to do so.
This was so much more, wasn't it? But how would something like this be possible? The ability to create the Old Gods had died with the ones before the War...
"How would something like that even be possible."
Arnvusiil regarded him with amusement. "Think back to your fight earlier, youngling. What happened?"
He'd fought with the Daemon of course. He'd managed to beat it, as well... But before it had died...
"Du-Sinharsihl threw up his blood in my mouth..." The comment made the Daemon titter.
"More than just blood, youngling.. It was the ichor of an Old God." Arnvusiil grumbled. "The seeds have been planted. Already they start to grow."
The Ancient Warrior looked curiously past Casimir for a moment. Before returning his attention to him. But what traces of amusement there had been in his gaze were gone. Replaced by a strange, unsettling twinkle.
"That blade on your back. Where did you get it?" As the others heard it, he could see the understanding dawn in their eyes, levity was replaced by solemn gazes. Except for the Fae, she seemed to be suppressing a smile.
Clearing his throat he looked up at Arnvusiil. "After my friends and I bested the three of you." He glanced at the Daemon, the Fae and the Elemental. "There was a fourth... A swordsman who wielded a scythe, and this sword..."
"What of him? How did you come by the blade." It came out quiet, but the force behind it was enough to give Casimir pause.
"I uh... We fought him... Between the four of us we were able to weaken him." Casimir replied, somewhat distantly. "When I dropped the sword I took it, and shoved it through what I guess... was his heart... I kept the blade."
"Sonur tík..." Arnvusiil replied quietly.
Son of a bitch. ... That could be either good or bad, depending. Casimir tensed, and got ready to fight. But heard the Fae speak in his mind.
"Be at peace, Casimir. The Swordsman was the stronger of us, not far behind myself... But he was corrupt. Twisted. He long since strayed from the path of the Old Gods. You did us all a service, you and your friends." She smiled softly at him.
Arnvusiil stepped forward, towering over Casimir, and placed a hand on his forehead. Easily covering his entire head with one ancient palm.
"You and those bound you... By Oath, and Blood, I am indebted you." He said slowly. "When the time comes, I will show myself to them, and offer them a gift, should they wish to take it."
With that he stepped back. "The sword you carry, it is known to us as Tenebrous." He frowned. "It is incredibly powerful, but be cautious. While not evil like its master, it enjoys the shedding of blood..."
He looked at him with approval. "But you are stronger of will than he ever was, and so we leave it to you. Bear it well."
Looking to the other Old Gods assembled, Arnvusiil returned his attention to Casimir. "We shall return you now, having said our peace. Remember our words. Send your bondmates our thanks..."
Without giving him time to reply, Casimir gets another feeling of of vertigo, only to land hard, on his knees, back with the others.