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.
When I entered the tent that night, Wrinkle stood at a bench, covered with gears, springs and other metal bits. Books were spread open everywhere, physiology of several species visible, some I recognized, some I did not. I waited for several moments, but he continued to work, ignoring me, or perhaps oblivious to my entrance.
“Elder Wrinkle, you are a hard individual to locate.”
Startled, he dropped the metal thing he’d been working on, and a spring went shooting across the table and bounced across the floor to my feet. I bent down to pick it up and placed it back on the bench beside him. “Am I? Oh, you’re still here, excellent!”
“I’m not the one who’s tent keeps loosing it’s door, although on that subject, where do I get one of those?”
“A planet of snow and ice. I like this one better, less death.”
I smiled indulgently at him, then dropped the journal on the desk. To business. “This was an interesting gift.”
“I thought so. Did you find it interesting?” Wrinkle asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Truthfully? No. I’ve taken to summarizing our journeys, but I can’t see anything useful that will come of it.”
‘Perhaps not for you, but others might learn from it.”
“Oh yes, the insipid ramblings of bumbling idiots, very educational.”
“Long lived or long journeys, both need to be recorded. They serve as examples and help to those that come after…and maybe a bit of vanity.”
“Well, we Dragonborn are a long lived bunch, but I cannot believe that notes describing the chase of some idiot who messed with magic beyond his comprehension could be all that interesting – or useful?”
“No, but what he’s chasing might be. There is only one story, the story of All. Everything plays a part, but all those parts must join together before the overall can be seen or even begun to be understood. The calf is born, is raised to cow, is milked by a farmer, who sells his milk to the inn, who bottles it and sells it to the lord, who drinks it and becomes ill…did anyone know that calf could change the entire life of a city?”
“Apparently LORD PADRIG does.
“Yes, I heard.”
“Had he explained earlier I could have eased several hours of pain.”
“Indeed, the smallest event can change the course of history.” He flickered. I frowned.
“Do you need to…recharge or something? Gain energy?”
“This is the last time I’ll speak to you.”
“Speak is an interesting word, you don’t exactly satisfy curiosity.”
“I don’t give answers, I lead you to where you’re most needed.”
“How can we possibly be needed to clear an old keep, to lose an idiot Paladin only to gain a half-witted Elemental who doesn’t know what a horse is?”
“Do you know what is at the bottom of the keep?”
I snorted. “Do you?”
‘There is a Gate, you need to close it.”
“Ah, gates again. And exactly how are we supposed to do that?”
“How can she possibly help?”
“She is from my world.”
I raised an eyebrow. “She is. And would that be from that before or more recently?”
“And how can she possibly help?”
“She closes Gates.”
“Well that’s handy. Any other magical tricks I should know about?”
“No idea. She was taken to the labs before I could learn more. They were trying to use her to close a portal there. Unfortunately, they discovered she gets stuck on the other side.”
“And how exactly could you know that if you’ve been here for a millennium?”
“Time is relative -”
“Oh not that stupidity again!”
“The Universe and Time itself do not care what you think of it. I’ve been here for such a very long time, waiting for something to pop out.”
“We’re fucked, how are we supposed sort our shit, you-”
“You think you have it bad? I haven’t seen my daughter in seven thousand years. Her spaceship flew away and hasn’t been seen since, in this time or any other.”
I straightened up under his verbal assault, momentarily chastened. “I apologize Elder, I lost my temper.”
He peered at me for a moment, then his gaze sharpened and he gestured at my armor. “My power suit quit working after 700 years. But I could probably repair yours.”
“What are you talking about, it’s just a set of armor – nice, old, but still just metal.”
He continued to peer at it, moving closer and walking around me. “It looks like your neural interface isn’t working right, and your powercells have been depleted over the years, or perhaps in battle, either way I can’t fix those with what I have, but I can fix part of it.”
“The what, the what and the what?”
“Never mind, just turn around.”
I complied and could feel him pulling at the armor after a moment. “What exactly are you doing?”
“Fixing, this might hurt.”
Suddenly it felt like all the muscles in my neck twinged at once, followed by an unsettling feeling, as though ants were crawling up under my neck scales. I pulled my head away from him in reflex and he bopped me. “Stand still!”
“So…why can’t you fix yours exactly?”
“This world was once covered with Volcanoes.”
“Oh.” How had I forgotten?
He tugged and pushed and prodded for a few more moments, the creepy-crawly feeling spread out across my body. It took all my restraint to not go dancing away, throwing off bits of armor as I went. Finally, he was finished and after a last surge of the horribly uncomfortable feeling, my body stilled. No more ants.
“There, best I can do at the moment. It will take some time, and some serious energy, but your suit will awaken the mental concepts of ‘loadout,’ of how to be two things at once. A hybrid.”
“Wait, what?” I must have been more tired than I’d previously thought: as he settled the last piece of armor on my back again, I yawned, cracking my jaw. What had the old fool been trying to say to me?
“Never mind. Sleep. You’ll begin to understand in the next day or so.” I yawned again, took the journal he offered to me and bowed, then left him. I trudged back upstairs to my room and barely remembered to lock the door once I was inside. I tossed the journal on to the table by the bed and crashed heavily on to the bed. Cleaning my armor of undead bits would have to wait until the morning, I was just…to…tir……