Forrest Cameranesi: Geek of all Trades

(3x23) Rising of the Darklight: Part 2, Episode 2

Back at the headquarters of the Church in Esplanadia, Murdock has word sent for Elvish advisors on the matter of dealing with warlocks and vampires. An Elvish ambassador soon arrives, and is very surprised at what he sees when he is shown the captives. He tells Murdock that the Orcish bodyguard is none other than his father, whom the ambassador witnessed in Orcish form a generation ago when Murdock was conceived. It follows from there that if the witch is this Orc's daughter, then she must be Murdock's half-sister. The ambassador is taken to the witch's cell next, only to find, to everyone's surprise, that she has killed herself with magic while unattended. While most are perplexed by this, Murdock has a realization: if she is his half-sister, perhaps she is not a warlock after all, half Vampire and half Orc; perhaps her father was Human when she was conceived, still under the Vampire Queen's thrall but not yet turned by her embrace, which would make her a being like himself, with their unique form of immortality. By becoming an immaterial ghost, she could escape her imprisonment, and when her body decayed she could become corporeal again, but now free.

Expecting her to mount a rescue of their father when this occurs, Murdock asks the Elvish ambassador to send for his adopted father, the Elf King, to come with the Gem of Ice, to turn his father Human again and break the Vampire Queen's trance on him. When this is done, the Church leaders are stunned to realize that the entranced Orc they had held captive was in fact none other than their lost leader: Murdock's father is the Church father who set off into the wilds looking for Vampires to make peace with the Elves, and he set off into the wilderness not out of vengeance as the Elves assumed but to continue that mission again. His father restored, Murdock orders his half-sister's body burned, making her corporeal again immediately. As expected, she soon returns, alone under cover of darkness, attempting a rescue surreptitiously. But of course she is expected, and her once-again-Human father, now free of the Vampire Queen's spell, tells her he will not escape with her, but instead pleads with her to stay, to help them to understand why she and the vampires are doing all of this. She claims it is a movement for Orcish independence, with the goal of toppling the aggressive, domineering Human empires and returning the tranquil peace under which Orcs once lived.

Murdock, who has been secretly observing the whole conversation, chimes in at last to say that the Church, which has thrust him into a leadership position, is nominally against Orcish slavery, and preaches the equality of all species under the Eldest; while Chalmany, who she has been helping, are exactly the domineering slave empire she claims to hate. She protests that of course the plan was for the Orcish slave army to overthrow the Chalman leaders after the East had been conquered and then to free the Orcs of the West with their might. But Murdock and their father plead with her to try backing the force that's explicitly for equality; and though it will be a hard sell to the humans, the Church's teachings technically say that even Vampires are equal under the Eldest, so maybe, with her help, peace with the Vampires could be established as well. She reluctantly agrees to consider it, and to arrange a meeting with the Vampire Queen in due time.

Realizing through all of these ordeals that the dreams he has long had really are the memories of his past life as Thomas, Murdock begins to suspect that perhaps this half-sister of his, named Annabelle in this life, may have been the other being of their kind he remembers from his dreams of his past life, the one called "the Pseudo-Witch" but known to him as Sue, or Xiu. He pleads with her to undergo the Church's dream analysis, and though she is reluctant and the Church themselves are skeptical about this implausible coincidence Murdock hypothesizes, they are all surprised to discover that she is in fact Sue after all. Murdock speculates that perhaps, as they in their other lives they were the only ones wary enough to avoid the corruption of the Gems, in their unlives they were equally reluctant to reincarnate into corrupt lives, and both of them held out until new beings of their uncorrupted form were conceived, making this implausible coincidence no coincidence at all.

Next: Rising of the Darklight: Part 2, Episode 3