The Council sat unmoving as Jacques burst dramatically through the ceiling of the Sky, grappling with the vampiric soul-sprite. His powerful arms could barely hold the gnashing mouth from his face, and he had no way to reach the bell at his belt.
If only it were the solstice! Jacques thought. Any appendage, no matter how parasitic, would be of aid to me. But it was still deep autumn, if the spectators' faces were anything to judge by.
"I bring dire news!" strained the mariner. "It would be in your interest to help me!"
The watchers did nothing, and Jacques knew there was only one thing he could do. He opened his mouth as wide as it could go, then wider still, feeling his cheeks tear and his jaw unhinge. But still it opened until his mandible hung at ninety degrees, and his bloody face was split to his ears. The soul-sprite slowed, perhaps sensing the inevitability of its fate, and Jacques began to keen. The fiery blue glow of his opponent began to flare with terror, as from Jacques came a terrible being. As it came free, it took hold of the sprite, and began to tear at it with its teeth.
Ignoring the battle, Jacques strode to the tallest of the Council. The being gazed impassively as Jacques took the scroll from his beard.
"I bear a message from the God-slave of the Wreaked. It is merely this. 'Have faith'. My task completed, I will take my leave."
Jacques stepped through an archway of fire that opened before him, leaving his long dead half-sister to finish her battle in the court of the Unmortals.