One Last Choice

A hiss brings him up short before he can walk more than 20 steps, and his eyes fall upon the smallest of Chanicut’s servants, though perhaps the most deadly. A snake clings to a decorative scroll carved in the great door. Found only among the cliffs of the Abyss, its venom holds dread for those with his gifts, causing uncontrollable shifting before final death. Yet Pi has never bitten one who didn't deserve it.

The Hall shifts around him. The manor had decided where the Lord needed to be, and the Abyssal snake drops to the floor before the Lord as doors close and others reform. His end was coming, and the Manor presents Pi as a last choice. None really knew what happened to those that Lord Serpent consumed, but it was probably unpleasant. What would happen once he lay in the Lord's belly? Would each cell be broken down to a meal, experiencing death a million times till even madness lay beyond his grasp?

A choice of death. Now that was a thought that brought a faint smile to his lips once more. Only now, when he wore Death like a cloak, were true choices finally his to ponder. He was his own man now. Oh, so Amberite now.

He stares at the snake with no expression, pondering the option with dispassion. Fear, anger, pain, and sadness — all emotions were now at a distant remove. He looks at the snake that tasted the air with a forked tongue and offered him a simple death, and calmly weighs the now with the future. Which death was preferred? By Abyssal snake, by unknown Abyssal forces or creatures, or in the bottom of the Lord Serpent's belly?

Only one thing remained certain: death given here through Pi’s bite would be a surety. That death would forever close the final door that led to his unknown future. Perhaps it was a fool's hope, but the only hope he still held relied on hanging above the Abyss and chancing his fate. Only that had any possibility of continued life rather than death. Sacrificing himself here would be no less a stain against him than fleeing altogether.

So instead, he summons the door to the way which would bring him to the chambers of the Priests of Chanicut. "Thank you, Pi," he tells the snake as the walls move around him again, taking away the that last choice. "You must find other prey this Turn."

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Purification: Preparing for Death

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