Si was wondering exactly which deities he'd pissed off in some incarnation or other. First up, he'd died. Which he'd previosuly figured was the end of things. But he comes to a form of consciousness to discover a zombie in a top hat explaining to him that things hadn't ended, for him at least.
Eventually, he finds a bunch of like-minded dead types and moves on elsewhere, and tries to make a living (if that's even the right word) in his new world. And then one day, as he's making his way, suddenly everything goes to hell in a handbasket- suddenly he can see dozens of new enfants, and before he can even react to that, there's this wind like a hurricane only nasty, and he's lucky to find shelter before he gets torn apart like several of the other poor buggers he sees out the windows.
He doesn't know what would have happened to this place without the fact that a legion patrol had had to shelter here too- they've fought off six spectre incursions since they all got here, but several are showing signs of damage, and there'd already been one of the defenders who's descended into a Harrowing. And he can see the Spectres massing outside again for another attempt. How long would this go on for? How many more attacks could they stand off? It was growing harder to ignore that voice within him, the voice of his Shadow, urging him to just give up, since it was so pointless...
And then he saw him, through the storm outside. Despite the fact that every wraith he'd seen try and brave the storm had been torn apart, either by the winds or the spectres that clustered in the air, there was someone out there.
Now he looked at him, he was odd. And this was coming from someone who was used to seeing people who tied objects of value to their dangling intestines.
Whoever it was, he was wearing robes of a white so bright it almost glowed in a silver light. Added to that, he seemed to have a bizarrely darkened skin, and, a more notable point, what looked like four wings coming from his back, all folded in repose.
As he approached, he seemed to be struggling against the storm, yet where other wraiths had been torn asunder, he appaeared to, at most, take some wounds that almost immediately healed. Of course, Si wasn;t the only entity to notice this, and the spectres that had been massing for attack now headed towards this newcomer. Si moaned involuntarily as he waited to see this person torn apart like the others, yet stopped in shock.
As the spectres approached him, the figure appeared to start shining with a golden light that seemed to pierce even the darkness of the Shadowlands, and spread out around him. As the charging spectres touched it, most of them recoiled in something like terror and turned to flee. Two were braver or more powerful than the others, and continued on with malice etched on their features. The figure raised a hand, and pointed at the first as it approached. In a voice heard even over the screams of the storm, he said simply, "Begone!", and the spectre, manifestly against its will, turned and fled. The second rushed to attack, yet its claws seemed to inflict no noticeable harm, and then the figure for the first time reacted with something that might be called haste. With a strike right out of one of those silly martial arts films they showed in various places from time to time, the figure appeared to punch right through the chest of the spectre. And to Si's surprise, the spectre looked briefly agonized before fading to nothingness.
The figure approached the entrance to the building they'd holed up in, and, despite the fact he could see occasional wounds opening up as the winds buffeted him, paused and spoke, "May I come in?".
After a brief discussion, those within agreed, and the figure stepped inside. Despite his somewhat fearsome appearance, Si felt comforted by his presence, and it seemed almost as if his Shadow had retreated in fear- certainly it was far quieter than it had ever been.
"I am of the Shemsu-heru. I have, to my shame, neglected my responsibilities to the Lands of the Dead here, but I now offer my aid and succor, if you will accept it, and my protection upon this place."
One of the legionnairies looked like he wanted to argue, but having seen what had been done to the spectres outside the rest of us shouted him down and agreed. At that, the figured gestured at the most injured of us, and said a word that no-one seemed to recognise, and we watched as our companion's Corpus seemed to knit itself together, until there was no sign he had ever been injured. This Shemsu-heru laid his hand on another who was wounded, and the same thing happened. Then, without a word, he stepped back out into the storm and paced around the building we were in, despite the obvious harm it was doing him, chanting as he went. After he had gone a full circle, he walked inside and knelt, praying in some language we didn't know- the only word we recognised was "Ra", as it cropped up frequently. He remained like this for maybe half an hour, then stopped and bowed, to something we couldn't see. And suddenly, the winds outside that had been ever-present, seemed dimninished as they approached the building. Whilst they were obviously still as bad as ever, it looked like they were no longer eating into the walls as they had been.
The figure climbed to his feet, looking more tired than he had been.
"Under normal circumstances, that would hold for a month or so. I do not know if it will last that long now. But I will return, and I ask only this of you. Do not give up hope- despair is the ally of Oblivion, and its servants would have you believe there is no-one who cares for your existence. This is not true. This storm, like the others before it, shall pass, and there will be need for those to rebuild in the aftermath. I cannot remain, but I will return again before this protection expires. There are others who also need my help, and I go to seek them now. Rest here, and know that you will not be abandoned."
Normally, that speech would have seemed trite or cliched, but the sincerity overlaying everything he said seemed to make it more than that. And so, as the figure stepped out again to face the storms, Si plucked up the courage to ask a question of this Shemsu-heru; "Who are you?"
"My name is Mark", replied the figure, and then strode out again into the Maelstrom.