With the materials finally gathered, and all possible preparations made the ritual begins.
Removing her robes in a ceremony of purification, the Priestess Zul’Anna Cray steps into the circle of flames, chanting and intoning as she makes her way to the center where she reverently removes a large agitated bat from its cage.
The time passes and the ritual proceeds. Zul’Anna continues the ritual chants and motions, intoning the aid of the gods, giving herself ever further into an ecstatic haze, yet all the while calming the large bat wrapped in her arms.
Without warning Zul’Anna quietly slits the throat of the becalmed beast in her arms, its blood, a deep red in the flame light, silently fills the stone bowl placed before her.
Moving with a fluid reverence she sets the bat aside and lifts the stone bowl above her head. Flashing in the flame light, the blood flows over her body, glistening dark and wet. Suddenly everything becomes still and silent, the chanting has stopped and her body rigid. A faint glow emanates from her eyes and the symbols of the gods, hanging from her neck.
“Before us lies many a path.
Paths both great and small.
A choice weighs heavy before us:
Shall we walk in the the footsteps of an Emperor;
Fly to the heights of resurrection;
Float upon the waves of redemption;
Or Alight upon the embers of the burning eye;
To save the world what path must we first seek?"
The flames vanishes and the faint glow disappears, all except the rune of Freya.
Before her in the earthen floor, a faintly glowing crown begins to coalesce. As it takes shape it rises into the air for all to see.
Zul’anna reaches out with both hands, cradling the cool metal in her fingers. Made of platinum, she finds it a nearly exact replica of the Emperor’s crown. As the glow fades, it highlights Freya’s mark upon the temple.