What follows is E’kai’s personal journal which was originally started as a recap of the previous play session (we were only playing once a month), but then transitioned into a way for me to expand her character.
The first three hours on the path to the portal was clear and uneventful, filled with the paladin whining about everything from the gate of his horse, to the way his armor fits this morning. I tried riding ahead slightly but that put me next to the Rogue and his..her..IT’S additions. After we stopped for the midday meal, I reorganized the riding order, placing the Paladin and Rogue to the rear, the Wizard and Sorceress in the middle and took the Ranger with me to the front.
The last three hours from there to the portal, things were much quieter.
We saw the portal long before we arrived, a great stone arch rising out of what once looked like it had been a fertile farmer’s field. We turned off the road and picked our way through the rubble surrounding the arch. Upon closer inspection, the arch seemed to actually continue down into the ground, before exiting on the far side to create a great oval. The portal itself swirled, crackling with potent energy. Leaving the horses tied to a fallen tree’s stump, we explored, walking around the arch to determine if it was safe to pass through it – after all the old man only told me we should journey to it, and after the vials, I was taking no chances. IMMERAL proving that PALADINS have no brains in their hulking bodies, stupidly reached out a hand and was immediately sucked through. Shrugging at each other, CORRINA the ROGUE and E_EE the WIZARD stepped through. Once we were certain the portal was not closing behind them, I and the others passed through, to find IMMERAL the PALADIN picking himself up off his face on the ground.
~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~
What this place is or once was, I know not. The earth beneath our feet is dry and cracked, as though it has not seen rain or moisture of any kind in many seasons. It cracks and powders between our feet as we move across it. In the far distance, we can see strange buildings, worn from time’s cruel passage but clearly helped along in their decay by some dramatic battle, long ago. Curiouser and curiouser…
We started towards the closest building, but not ten steps from the portal shadows rose from the ground, translucent and dark though the weapons they carried were no ghostly implements. We soon discovered they took damage like any other enemy.
Bad news for them, good for us.
They proved not difficult to dispatch and there was little left of them when we were done, though the fight had moved us much closer to the structure, which was now clearly visible. CORRINA the ROGUE, unhappy with the lack of spoils found on the shadownmen, immediately pushed his way in the door without even checking for traps. You know, eventually that is just going to get him killed and I am going to have to scrap hafling guts off my armor. That will just be inconvenient. We followed him in and found ourselves in a tomb.
Inside, our gazes flitted from the walls to the room’s contents and back again, not sure what to take in first. Five, large, stone cut, sarcophagus form a circle around a jar or vase or whatever it was that held some sort of sword. CORRINA, opportunistic as ever, moved to the closest sarcophagi and attempted to open it. Moving away from the others and further into the tomb, I found myself drawn to the painting on the back wall, wanting to inspect it better. Each side wall held two additional paintings, a sarcophagus centered in front of them. Arriving at the painting at the back of the room, I discovered it was a depiction of a Chrome half-dragon Warrior, wearing beautifully detailed armor, arm raised and mouth opened in speech, a roaring crowd listening eagerly in anticipation of the next words.
I turned to speak and found CORRINA passed out over the sarcophagus she’d been attempting to open, and CALLISTA the SORCERESS and E_EE in the process of falling to the ground beside two others. Rolling my eyes skyward, I moved to check on them, brushing against a sarcophagus as I did so. Before I could move more than a few steps, my vision swam and my feet faltered, and the floor rushed up to meet my face…ow…
…I stand at the top of the steps of the capital building of the largest city in the world, looking out at hundreds of thousands of warriors and citizens from all the races.
“My people, ALL my people! We are at a pivotal point in history! We stand together and we will fight the coming incursion from the wastelands beyond the veil, and we will WIN! No force in all the realms can overcome us with our combined might. In our ancestor’s name and for our children futures, take arms! Who is with me?!”
I call out to the crowds. Cheers and bellows of confirmation echo through the city, bouncing off the walls. My heart warms as I realize that I have successfully reunited all the peoples of the world in a common goal, something that hasn’t been done in millennium…
Oooow…Groaning, I rolled over and pushed myself up into a sitting position. What a rush.
I cracked my eyes open and moved to stand up, when I paused and blinked. Looking down, my eyes widened. I now wear the armor from the dream…vision…prophesy…whatever it was. WHAT is going on?
The Elder and I are going to have serious words when I next see him…
Looking around me, I see the others in various stages of recovery. IMMERAL kneels by CALLISTA the SORCERESS, E_EE the WIZARD sits in the middle of the room, turning the sword from the urn over and over in his hands, and ELDAAR the RANGER is pulling a seemingly unending supply of arrows from his new Quiver. It seems we have all gained something, and though I choose not to share much of my…vision, I at least admit to something, unlike E_EE the WIZARD who claims not to remember anything, or CORRINA the ROGUE who flat out lies about having a dream at all.
For the sake of future reference (for I do not think we are doing with these dreams/visions/whatever, I will record a description of the other paintings:
ELF RANGER peeking through a forest from atop a huge tower.
HUMANOID ROGUE on the bow of an air ship.
HUMANOID WIZARD facing a vortex, lightning shooting from and toward him.
HUMANOID QUEEN, standing atop a cliff-side, shooting white light from her hand.
HUMANOID KING with a liquid shadow cloak, fighting, clawing his way through a bunch of squishy blobs of teeth and claws.
Oh yes, the Elder and I are going to have words…
Our journey back to the portal was uneventful, and after a moments concern of the portal not returning us to where we’d first left, we stepped through the portal and found ourselves in the late afternoon sun in the middle of a farmer’s field. The roads remained clear all the way back to Winterhaven, and we while we made good time, the Elder’s tent was dark as it had been when I checked this morning. Frustrated and eager to try again in the morning, we all retired.