Dragging the dead weight up to the stairs took Redan quite some time.
Lith was waiting for them and took care of the unconscious body with one hand.
They brought Meru back to his apartments to avoid getting interrupted.
Lith splashed the high priest with cold water since healing magic was off the table.
The cleric\'s eyes were foggy, but after a few seconds, he understood what was happening.
You are worse than I thought, Redan.
You sided with an enemy of Kaduria! He said watching at Lith\'s foreign clothes and tanned skin typical of the men of the south.
I\'m not an enemy.
I apologize for the kidnapping, but I have my reasons. Lith avoided exposing the Dark Star\'s façade.
After all, the man was a cleric.
It would be more likely for him to put his faith into a sacred object rather than a stranger.
I don\'t care about your reasons.
Kill me, torture, whatever.
I don\'t care.
I\'m not here to hurt you, but to help you. Lith lied through his teeth.
I\'m a mage too.
I studied the High Lord\'s projects before coming here, hoping to fix it, but there are still too many unknown details.
Why should I believe you He looked at Lith with eyes full of suspicion, yet inwardly praying he was telling the truth.
Hope was a rare commodity.
First of all, I still have my powers. Lith chanted a simple spell, materializing a sphere of light.
Redan told me you can\'t fix it by yourself because magic has disappeared.
Also, do you know why there is a barrier around Kaduria
Meru stared at the sphere in awe.
He had almost forgotten about the beauty of magic.
He shook his head while his mind was invaded by the memories of all the great spells he had mastered, of the feats he had performed.
Because as soon as the black rain stops, the High Lord explodes.
It\'s impossible! The cleric couldn\'t believe his own ears.
That\'s not all. Lith played it by ear At first everyone mourned Kaduria\'s fall, but after a few years, the artifact started to rebuild itself.
We were afraid the explosion would happen again, so we sealed the area.
Sadly, we were right.
Meru\'s mind was spinning.
Lith\'s words were feeding him a series of dots of half truths letting him fill the blanks.
This explains everything. The cleric held his head between his hands in despair.
I always believed we were somehow stuck during the summer of the year 10562, the day when we activated the High Lord for the first time.
Yet it never made sense.
Such a powerful barrier would require a lot of planning.
You are not stuck in time.
In the outside world is the fall season of 11086.
After every explosion, The High Lord rebuilds itself, Kaduria and then it explodes again.
It took us centuries to decipher your language.
Is that the reason why you strangers never talked to us before Meru asked, receiving a nod in reply.
Why you butchered out people What did we do to you to deserve such an inhuman treatment The high cleric was now filled with outrage.
Lith might not be an enemy, but someone had to pay for the suffering of all the Kadurians.
Are you kidding me Lith yelled.
He pretended to be even more outraged.
Do you have any idea how many people die every time the High Lord explodes if the barrier collapses Thousands! The reason you get butchered is that for some unknown reason, it weakens the explosion.
While you get back to life, our dead don\'t!
Meru became pale as a ghost.
He had lived his whole life feeling responsible for the fate of Kaduria and now dozens of thousands of alleged deaths weighed on his conscience.
What do you need to know
We think the reason why the High Lord creates the black rain is because it mistakes the Kadurians for its enemies.
How did you teach it to distinguish friends from foes Lith asked.
We gave it sentience by infusing the mana crystal with the lives of the most devoted believers of the High Sun.
They knew the holy book by heart and they loved our country.
Their faith made them the perfect tool for our endeavor.
\'I think the process failed.\' Solus chimed in.
\'I heard the Black Star\'s mind and it wasn\'t a chorus of voices.
It was one cold, inhuman personality.
Their method gave it intelligence but no conscience nor sense of self.\'
Since it keeps killing you over and over, I\'d say something went wrong. Lith said.
Is there some way to influence its behavior before it activates
Its brain unit is shielded from external influences.
We thought it was perfect.
Please, tell me at least there is some kind of failsafe.
Otherwise it will explode forever.
Our people\'s lives are at stake!
You don\'t understand! The High Lord was supposed to be perfect.
A testament to the High Sun power.
A failsafe would have meant a lack of faith. Meru said, unable to hold back his tears anymore.
Maybe there\'s still hope. A sudden clarity flashed through the old man\'s eyes.
Ruka, our youngest member, expressed several times similar concerns.
I didn\'t listen to him, but maybe some of the others were wiser than me!
What do you mean Lith asked, following the high cleric that was almost running through the corridors towards the living quarters of another cleric.
The High Lord isn\'t something I did all by myself.
The eight of us worked together for years.
If you were a Forgemaster, you\'d know that by splitting the runes among several layers, you could hide a castle in a project of that magnitude.
\'All those papers were just one eight of the blueprints\' Lith and Solus thought as one.
Meru gathered the seven clerics and exposed to them everything Lith had told him.
There is a failsafe. Ruka admitted, while three other clerics nodded with a guilty look on their faces.
It would unravel all of our work and destroy the High Lord.
Why you didn\'t say it earlier Was your pride worth so much suffering One of the other clerics blurted out in outrage.
Because it would have only made us feel worse, exposing our lack of faith.
The failsafe requires magic and none of us can even light a candle without a flintstone.
Now things are different.
We can finally escape from this nightmare.
Everyone looked at Lith like a savior.
The four clerics that had conspired together brought their own blueprints, showing him how to avoid the High Lord detection and where to strike to destroy it once and for all.
Meanwhile, Lith could only hope Solus would remember at least part of the rest of the blueprints.
The light phase was about to end.
He had no time to copy so many pages and once the Black Star learned about the clerics\' treachery, he doubted it would recreate their bodies anymore.