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Episode #23

WARNING! Eris' Wrath!

Synopsis written by Tim Miller

With the object of their quest now in Eris' hands, Lina and her friends face off with Eris and Rezo. Lina demands that Eris return the tablet to them, but Eris points out that the tablet was originally Rezo's, and says that it should go back to its original owner. Lina sort of concedes that point, but is this Rezo really the proper owner of the tablet? - and she launches a Burst Rondo attack. The tablet is incredibly powerful, and Eris uses it to deflect Lina's magical assault - but she doesn't expect Zelgadis' attack, and he leaps past her, swinging his sword at Rezo.

Rezo's headband is cut in half, and flutters to the ground. "You've added some jewelry since we last met," Zelgadis notes, "... COPY REZO!" And indeed, one of the copy-control gems which the Vrumuguns all had is embedded in the forehead of this Rezo. With this information now solidly in hand, Lina goes ahead with putting together the pieces of the mystery: Eris created the horde of Vrumuguns (if you can call such placid sorcerers a "horde") while honing her copy magic, and made Copy Rezo as well.

They attack Eris and Rezo en masse, but Eris uses the magic of the tablet to repel their attack - but every time Eris invokes that power, Sylphiel senses a strong reaction from Flagoon, the holy tree of Sairaag. While fighting, Eris explains that the tablet was made to fight Shabranigdu; how are Lina and her allies supposed to fight back against magic like that? Eris goes on to explain her own history with Rezo: she was his most devoted follower, travelling with him as he performed his miracles, and studied white magic with him in this very laboratory ... and also witnessed his despair as none of the spells he cast restored his sight. Eris was left behind when Rezo departed in search of the Philosopher's Stone ... and then learned of his death at Lina's hands.

As Rezo's last living follower, Eris believes it is her duty to carry out his revenge against those who killed him. That's why she created the Copy Rezo, and why she needed the Sword of Light to open the seal above the laboratory - and why she is now wielding the tablet which embodies Rezo's legacy. But Sylphiel knows that the tablet's power will release a terrible disaster, and she pleads with Eris not to use it. Lina takes flight with a Levitation spell, trying to intercept Eris (who is already airborne), but the Copy Rezo hurls his staff at her like a spear; the staff is blasted aside by one of Zelgadis' spell bolts, and he challenges Rezo himself, saying "Your fight is with me!"

Zelgadis and Rezo begin fighting; Rezo's surprisingly good with his staff for a "blind" man, and Zelgadis is hard-pressed to defend himself. As they fight, Rezo asks if he was expecting to fight someone with the power of the original Rezo, and remarks, "There's no rule that states that a copy cannot surpass the original." Sure enough, Rezo seems to have a definite advantage; he and Zelgadis lock weapons, staff against sword, and Zelgadis isn't able to attack while he's holding up his defense.

While Zelgadis and Rezo are battling, Eris begins an incantation: the spell to resurrect the demon beast Zanaffar - the same Zanaffar which destroyed ancient Sairaag, a being of such infinite evil that its evil continued to exist as a miasma, even after Zanaffar was killed by the Swordsman of Light. Zanaffar is so powerful, Lina knows, that the demon beast might even be a match for Shabranigdo in power - but Eris is planning to release that power now! Lina and her allies have to prevent the completion of Eris' spell: the tablet is being pulled towards a niche in the wall, and when it makes contact ... that's it.

Lina takes to the air again, and Eris flings one of her control gems at Lina's forehead - but Lina's headband is special; Eris' magic won't work through it. Undaunted, Eris flings another jewel, and Lina dodges easily ... but Eris wasn't aiming at Lina. She was aiming at Gourry, whom Sylphiel is bringing up behind Lina.

Eris is brought back to the ground a moment later as Lina casts a stunning Mono Bolt, and the spunky redhead stands over her a moment later. However, Eris' smirk doesn't go unnoticed, and as Lina is asking why Eris looks so smug, Gourry walks up and smites Lina upside the head. Lina looks up and asks why Gourry did that. His response: "Must ... kill ... Lina" - and then he draws his sword and comes after her, totally ignoring Sylphiel's attempts to stop him.

This skirmish distracts Zelgadis, and Rezo grabs his throat, starting a continuous electrical attack which Zelgadis can't resist. But fortunately for Zelgadis, Amelia comes to his rescue, casting a Diem Wing which forces Rezo to release Zelgadis. Rezo gets away, but Zel and Amelia have to assist Lina instead of going after him. As Lina is struggling to hold Gourry at bay, Zelgadis asks Sylphiel for a Flare Arrow - and dissuades Amelia from casting the spell instead. Sylphiel casts the spell ... and comes up with a Flare Dart, much smaller than Amelia's Flare Arrow would have been. Zelgadis comments, "This will do perfectly," and flicks the dart at Gourry's forehead.

It goes off, covering Gourry's face with soot ... but the control jewel which Eris implanted shatters, freeing Gourry from her control. Gourry has absolutely NO memories of what was just going on, and Lina starts beating him up over his ignorance ...

... but in the distraction, they've lost their last chance to stop Eris' spell. The tablet fits perfectly into the niche in the wall, and energy starts streaming up and down the wall from it; the ceiling far above is disintegrated as an immense magic circle, etched into the floor of the laboratory, begins to power up - destroying everything on the floor in the process, and forcing Lina and the others to take to the air once more.

There's nothing they can do now but watch as the magic circle starts to emit a collossal pillar of energy, with Copy Rezo floating in the center. Zanaffar's power starts to fill him, and Eris starts to laugh triumphantly with the knowledge that Rezo's vengeance will finally be carried out - but a beam of energy pierces her heart ... coming from Rezo's hand. "I'm afraid you misunderstand all of this," he tells her calmly.

Eris plummets to the ground, her life fading, and Copy Rezo walks towards her as Lina and the others continue to watch in shocked silence. The control gem glows, and separates from Rezo's forehead as he expels it by his own power. "Rezo's vengeance will be carried out," Copy Rezo states to the dying Eris as he crushes the gem. "However, it will be on my terms."

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