Horizon Adventures

Something that was taken, must be given
Year 2450.11

Scene 1: In Shyvern’s lab, on the Horizon
    Cyana Shyvern sits at his desk. He rests in his chair rubbing the hair on his chin. Before him a pen scratches across a scroll of parchment. It lifts from the parchment surface, dips itself in a black ink well and resumes writing his musings. Gregory rests below the desk, contently purring.

    Above deck the roar of a retro-rocket and the smell of burnt hydrazine signal the Defiant’s return. Onboard, Iestor palms the controls to complete docking. Sumiko, Mook, Drydar, and Minozkui sit; strapped into their seats. As they dock, they collectively take a sign of relief. In general, they all trust their new shipwright and his abilities; however, the speed and acrobatics with which he pilots the Defiant still scares them.

    As the defiant docks, a series of loud alarms ring out across Shyverns lab. His quill scratches a long streak across the surface of the scroll as if it were the needle of a record player being kicked. Gregory starts out from under the desk, running away from the noise in the direction of the sub-basement of the lab.

    Shyven shouts ‘Silentium!’ and a hush falls across the lab. Under the effects of a silence spell he mouths “what fresh hell is this?” as he begins to fade away, and pyrefly point lights float up from where he was sitting toward the main deck. His ethereal form materializes before the returning crew-mates just as they step onto the deck.

    “Hello and welcome!” Shyvern exclaims cheerfully. “Is it done? Is the geas-holder dead?” Mook nods, and for a moment Sumiko can’t help but flash a sardonic smile at the memory of their recent activities. Drydar speaks up, “It is-and we got loot!” Shyvern looks at them and says “yes, we need to speak about that. Please come down to my lab before Ciz serves up dinner.”

Scene 2: In Shyvern’s lab, on the Horizon, later that day
    The team assembles in the lab, bringing their recovered items. They lay out their treasures taken from the Tower of Woe. There is a pile of wands and another of scrolls. The stolen technological maps lay unfurled. The evil items sit alone at the end of the table, including a whispering demon stone, angle tears, and a pair of ear-rings. They radiate the unlight of Nuitari himself.

    Shyvern looks over the items. Before he can speak, Drydar says “Whats going on? Is this some kind of tariff? You got what you wanted, that’s our stuff!” Shyvern rolls his eye. “No child, I care not to rob you of the value of your items; however, there is something in this horde that is dangerous.” Shyvern responds Drydar. He speaks up again “may I hold these for the night to investigate?” The group collectively nods, and heads out the door toward the direction of the galley.

Scene 3: The galley of the Horizon, breakfast time
    It is a lovely morning. The high altitude ensures the ambient temperature is cool. Golden light pours through the galley’s mica windows. All crew, finally, being regathered together has caused Ciz to execute a masterpiece brunch. Meats, Pastries, Eggs and many other dishes are laid out before the crew. As the team eats Shyvern speaks to the group.

    Shyvern stands and says “the earrings you retrieved have to be disposed of. They are a legacy artifact known as the Rhapsody of Pain.” He continues, “they were created long ago by Nuitari himself as a wedding present for one of his first brides. The power they contain is only able to be controlled by a woman of a strong will and a balanced heart.” Drydar frowns at the idea of giving them away.

    Shyvern stares at Drydar, scolding him “there are some items, the brass tea-pot, the monkey paw, the mirari, these earrings, that cannot be held by most mortals. The can drive people to do terrible things. We have to give these to someone who can handle their influence.”

Gurek speaks up “I know of such a woman…”

Edyr'Mith Rises
Year 2450.10

Scene 1: Atop Edyr’Mith
(The mountain that contained the Drow Mine).
    A nude, morbidly obese woman sits on a boulder. Her arms are crossed and she scows. Beside her stands a beautiful androgynous individual wearing revealing robes, with golden eyes. “Sister, isn’t it grand?” the man-woman asks the obese figure on the rock.

    The scowling figure responds, “I don’t like it. I don’t like it all. I’ve never liked your deal with the sky elves.” She looks to her brother-sister and points her finger in his-her direction. “If you weren’t my twin I would figure out a way for the harpies to take you!” she threatens. “Despair, sister, you take your work too seriously!” the figure with the gold eyes responds, his-her arms extended offering a hug.

    Despair eyes her brother-sister for a moment, then shrugs and accepts the embrace. “Desire, I suppose I can acquiesce. The aftermath of your inspirations often keep me sated. I’ll continue to let you take tokens from my influence.” Desire kisses his twin on the forehead. Desire starts a monologue: “Sister, there will always be Despair and always be Desire: we are two sides of the same coin. When the mortals have experienced ecstasy; then lose it all, are they not the more lush for your heartbreak? And, when a downtrodden soul leaves your realm to return to love and lust, I promise you they are intoxicating.”

    The fat woman shifts her weight and frowns at her brother-sister. As is her nervous habit, Despair uses a knife to make cuts on her leg. They heal moments later, but she clearly relishes the sensation. She responds to Desire “If I am too serious about my work: then you are a pervert! You enjoy the mortals entirely too much.”

    From behind them a voice perkily chirps up “Are you two quite finished? I’ve heard this argument since the multiverse was young!” The two figures look to see a woman with light skin, dark hair, wearing a tank top and an ankh necklace. Desire speaks up, moving to embrace the figure, saying as he-she moves, “Death! older sister, its been a while.” Death hugs her brother-sister, putting up with the mild groping that he-she tends to do.

    Despair speaks to the two, saying “I think your spheres of influence in this chapter of the verse are too great. Its always lovers torn achieving this, or near immortals doing that.” Death cuts her off before she can finish “what about all the sad pact spirits that seem to be everywhere on this world, or the almost constant threat of some kind of apocalypse?”

    Death and Despair start a staring contest, as if a lightning bolt issues between their eyes they challenge each other’s resolve. “Sisters, Sisters! Stop!” Desire says while pushing them apart. Trying to prevent a fight Desire starts to lecture them both “We all have a greater influence here than the other verses. Don’t fight, just enjoy it. Let it happen, it may hurt a bit sometimes, but its well worth it.”

    Death stops her brother-sister, who is clearly imagining something different from what they are talking about “Despair is right, you are a pervert. So help me if you say ‘spit on it’ your going to end up as a different point of view, very quickly.”

    Desire conjures a cigarette and takes a deep drag. He-she is clearly enjoying the vision that just distracted him-herself. He-she blows a smoke ring, in the shape of a heart, toward Death. He-she asks “well, is your part done?” Death responds “Yes” as hundreds of ghostly silvanesti elves in miner’s gear, drow and destrons appear.

    “Don’t bring them here! Ghosts skieve me out!” Desire howls wholely clenching his-her arms close to his upper body. Despair rolls her eyes, and scolds “quit being a sissy!” Death shakes her head and raises her hand to her temple in frustration.
She looks her brother-sister squarely in the eye, and says “you know good an well these aren’t ghosts.” Desire, feigning ignorance, while still avoiding touching any of the ghostly crowd that has appeared around them, says “What are they again? I forget so easily.”

    Annoyed, Despair takes her dagger and stabs out her left eye. The aqueous humor dribbles down her check. Dagger still in the socket, she glances to her brother-sister and calls him a “twit.”

    Death tells her brother-sister, for the hundredth time; “I have already taken each of these individuals, these forms were never alive, they are the memories of the land. They are the aether footprints of those who lived and died here” she pauses for a moment, then starts back in a harsher tone “if it wasn’t for them, there would be no salvation for the land, so none of your sky islands.”

    Not really listening, Desire gawks at the form of a muscular, well built miner. Sizing him from toe to head, he-she focuses on all the ‘good’ details, until he gets to the miner’s head, which is fully smashed in. Desire frowns. At the same time, Despair also stares at the same ghostly miner, taken by the beauty of his head trauma.

    Death throws her hands up in the air. Exasperated she scolds both of her younger siblings: “You two are impossible. As different as you are, you two really are entirely too similar!” Death takes a breath, and counts to ten in her head. “Anyway, I have to be off. Your elf is en-route to get the ball rolling. This one is going to be pretty: the mountain wants to have a family to protect. The memories are plotting a castle, and a lot more! I’ll see you two later!” Death says and with the sound of great flapping wings, both she and the ghostly forms fade to nothing.

    Desire bows, and blows a kiss to Despair. He-she says “I’m off too. There is a wonderful orgy in Palanthas I want to go encourage” and fades away in a burst of obscene shadows. Despair raises her hand to ‘catch the kiss’ and tosses it to the ground. She speaks aloud to herself, “Let Desire have fun while it lasts. When Achroma finishes his plans, this entire world will be mine.” she pauses, “that stupid priest fancying himself as a king has made this world… interesting. I wonder what spells he is going to pray for today.” With the sounds of pain, and the gnashing of teeth, Desire fades away.

Scene 2: Climbing Edyr’Mith

    Atherion struggles to climb the steep ledge of the mountain before him. He laughs to himself at the absurdity of his current situation. He was born the spare, not the heir. His older brother, Magrathidal, had been groomed to lead the family. As a youth, Atherion was sent off to Solamnia to learn the code of the knights. Returning home, he discovered that a clash between the houses had thrown his family out of their former status.

    Beyond the change in station, his family was in danger. His father was dead; however, his mother, brother and sisters were still alive: but only for the moment. The challenging noble houses were not above murder to advance their goals, and without the family’s traditional resources, they were left defenseless.

    Atherion jumps from one ledge to another, and braces himself against the stone wall. His tight grip causes the soft stone to flake apart. Glimmers of mithral sand catch the light as they float to the ground, far below. He curses under his breath. Mithral seems to have become the fulcrum of his life.

    Atherion and his fellow crew mates barely survived an adventure into the mithral mine under the mountain. By luck, during the mine adventure he and his team rescued a silvanesti high officer, ‘Rivalel en’Rugosa.’ A magnificent and powerful woman, Rivalel was also one of Atherion’s childhood friends. Her family was one of the few houses to still favor Atherion’s.

    Rivalel, grateful for being saved, called in a long standing family favor owed them by Kaganest’s Parliment of Trees. The Parliament fast-tracked an asylum request, and granted keepership of a new island to Atherion, given his tale of the atrocities of Edyr’Mith being true.

    Atherion wasn’t even quite sure what ‘keepership’ was. From his schooling he knew it was how the sky islands were formed from the mainland, but the rest always came across as ‘caster stuff.’ His only casting ability was throwing rocks into a river. He had heard from the knights that becoming a keeper was akin to selling ones soul. He honestly didn’t care, his family was his life. He would do anything to protect them, including his brother.

    Atherion pulls himself up to another ledge. The muscles of his arms burn at the strain. “Why the hell do I have to do it like this?” he curses to himself. The missive from the Parliament had been very clear: he was to raise a location of which great pain had happened, and must ascend it alone and without gear. He curses again “how is me doing this proving myself to this mound of dirt?”

    Atherion raises himself above the stable ledge, and lays out to rest. He looks up to the sky, and imagines he sees one of Kaganesti’s islands. Weeks ago, he sent his family with his crew mates to begin their exile. He received a sending from Shyvern that all was well, with both the ship and his family situation. If the ghost was back, then he was hopeful that things really could work out.

    Still resting, his mind drifts back to the morning. Over the last few weeks, he had been in several meetings with the Speaker: the leader of his people, and heir of the most noble house. This morning’s meeting had brought his current situation to a head. He was only an under-noble now, but his dealings with Azidel in the past gave him the status of being a full emissary of Ice Razor, a station he used to its full leverage.

    The noble house that held, and abandoned the mythrial mine under Edyr’Mith was one of the many that plotted against his family. Their declaration of abandonment stated the mine was empty. The hive incursion proved that not only was the mine not empty, it was flush with the valuable metal. The truth was that the miners hit a layer of adamant ore, and demanded reasonable pay to drill through it. The holding house didn’t want to play the living wage, and instead closed the mine.

    During his first meetings with the Speaker, Atherion challenged the noble’s claim on the land. Neither that, nor the following meetings went well. The other noble family had an army of eleven lawcrafters who fought back on every point. The Speaker, unable to take sides, one day, privately asked Atherion his full plan, and final goal. The Speaker was moved by Atherion’s intentions.

    That morning, the Speaker gave Atherion permission to execute his plan. The team had saved Silvanost from an alien invasion; and the Speaker decided to repay the debt in full. He declared the mountain and the mine were the equal property of the Horizon crew; however, Atherion had to take the property quickly, never mention the Speaker’s involvement, and never return to Silvanost, or for that matter any Silvanesti providence.

    Atherion focuses himself. He makes a final push and with his mind still and steady, he makes it to the summit of the mountain. He spends a moment admiring the view, before he realizes that this is the official ‘low point’ the view will ever have.

    The instructions of the Parliament had been very straight forward: be honest about land in pain, survive mounting its highest point, and break the locket. He snapped the metal chain that suspended a cameo of an earth and air elemental in an embrace. The cameo was the only physical object sent to him by the Parliament
He places the cameo on the ground, picks up a large rock and crushes it.

    Upon being destroyed, the cameo’s center releases a radiant pulse of pure white light. A single point, no larger than the head of a pin, emerges from the broken necklace. It burns as bright as the sun, and drifts up above Atherion. The single point of light stops its ascent then begins to expand horizontally. A disc of light, miles wide, forms over Edyr’Mith.

    Unbeknownst to Atherion, the disc is a portal to the para-elemental plane of dust. One of the many overlay elemental planes created by the endless known as Desire. Multicolored dust tinkles down from the disc, as the individual specks touch both him and the ground; a brilliance of light issues forth.

    Looking up into the disc, Atherion sees two forms. The living individuals represented in the locket. Around him appears the count of an army worth of ghostly figures. As the dust touches the figures, they fade into a mist that sinks down into the ground. The elementals above Atherion say only this; “Good luck, and go in grace.” Upon saying this, Atherion feels the ground below him shake and the entire mountain of Edyr’Mith begins to raise into the sky.

    Atherion, still glowing luminous in a wash of light; feels a connection to the mountain and the ghostly figures who vanished. He and Edyr’Mith are one. The summit he stands on begins to smooth, and as he walks down the peak a road forms beneath his feet. He continues to walk, as if he has known this path forever. He reaches what would be the center of gravity of the mountain, and watches as a castle forms from the stone of the mountain surface.

He walks into the home earned by both him and his team and thinks to himself “call me spare now.”

Horizon - The Living Air Ship
Year 2450.9

Scene 1: On the Horizon
    Their mission completed, most of the crew returns to the Horizon. For the moment, missing are Atherion, Shyvern. Wocani still rests in stasis. The crew continues to grow, now consisting of Sumiko, Mook, Gurek, Syntessa, Minozuki, Drydar, Modron 138, Iestor and Oso, Limona, Ciz, Dulgier, Amut, Gregory, and acting captain Crasher.

    The first day upon returning to the ship was spent in a fury of activity—Mook and 138 hurriedly refined all the group’s collective mithril resources into etherium. During this same time Iestor, the ship’s new resident shipwright, begins assessing the damage and undeveloped components of the ship. His new etherium enhanced vision allows him to scan through walls as if viewing x-rays, trace immaterial mana flows, and a myriad of other tasks that would have normally taken him weeks before.

    Iestor speaks aloud to himself “for the abilities I have been given, perhaps it was well worth all my trials.” His new mechanical hands have the ability to form almost any tool he needs as a ship wright. Each time he completes a task with them, he again feels grateful for the second chance he has been given and vows to himself to repay the strangers’ kindness tenfold.

    Iestor instructs Gurek to remove stowed items from areas of the ship that are actually intended to be mechanically functional—primarily the empty engine room. The more Iestor works, the better his understanding of the Horizon’s situation becomes. The missing components would indicate that the Horizon-seed was taken from the mother tree significantly before being mature. His enhanced vision picks up some unusual spells woven into the ships fabric, not unlike the ones he had been researching on the mainland before being taken by the King Priest.

    He tallies the missing, underdeveloped, and undeveloped ship components. Skyshaper drive—missing, Elemental Resistance Attenuation System—missing, Attitude Systems—missing, Universal Translation System—only functioning in response to Sylvan, Coordinate Positioning System—insufficiently functional… his list spans multiple pages. Iestor was told that the mission to locate a shipwright was inspired due to lightning damage. Iestor goes to his war zeppelin, the Defiant, and retrieves the components necessary to construct a Regeneration Relay Pump system. He spends most of the night installing it, before collapsing asleep in him room.

    The next morning, Iestor, Gurek, 138, Mook, and Minozuki meet in the engine room with the mass of eterium obtained and refined by the team. Minozuki channels positive energy, and the etherium itself expodes—scattering across the entire room itself and forming a host of magical equipment. One such item being an etherium Skyshaper Drive. Moments after the drive itself forms, everyone on the ship has a downward pull in their stomachs as the Horizon lifts into to the sky.

    The first few days on the Horizon are not easy. The ship is not aware, and even if it were: it is not equipped for being airborne. Strong winds buffet the ship threatening to capsize it many times. After the third time of their belongings being thrown at a forty five degree pitch, the crew gives up trying to restore their rooms to any kind of order. With a good amount of luck, the winds blow them back and forth over the Bay of Balifor: far to the north east of Carinthia: the elven state of lycanthropes who hold no compassion for the crew.

    Iestor works as if madman. His drive is is dual: being a native of the Kaganesti island of Jades’ Revenge, a land who believes debts are paid in service instead of coin, he feels a great debt to those who restored him from disability. The other part of his drive is that he is on a ship that is a legend to him: Horizon il’Kagan., known to the Kaganesti as ‘The Prodigal’. The trace magics left behind when Horizon was taken were the inspiration of his own defensive weaponization research. He thinks to himself, “I have never prepred this many contingent spells before, the triggering will not be easy” as sweat drips from his brow. He has laid dozens of technomancy and druidic spells, all waiting on the moment for the Horizon to rouse to awareness.

Scene 2: On the Horizon, a week after
    Although primarily dormant, Horizon seems to be responding to the new situation. Its wooden surfaces become darker, and smoother. In course of a single week, a new era of vibrancy and health seems to have begun.

    Seeing the positive results, acting captain Crasher calls a meeting with all casters on the ship. Early in the afternoon, they all gather in the captain’s quarters. Gold light shines through the cabin’s mica windows. Overwhelming sensations of home and hearth embolden the assembled crew. Minozuki, Syntessa, Iestor, Ciz, Mook, Drydar, and 138 sit at the captian’s table, with Crasher at the head seat.

    “Hello my fellows, and welcome.” Crasher says to those seated before him. “I want to congratulate on a job well done, but it is not fully completed.” Crasher continues, “we owe a lot to Shyvern and need to bring him back to fully restore the ship.” Crasher makes a motion with his hand, and a large pile of scrolls appear on the table." He speaks up again “I have no idea what the spook did, and we are relying on you to use these scrolls he left behind to get him back.”

    The casters spend most of the day deciphering the scrolls. Drydar speaks up, while rubbing his temples “what is wrong with Shyvern’s brain, anyone know why this has to be so complicated?” His question hangs in the air. Syntessa responds “stop complaining, this is master level spellcraft, you would be wise to learn from it.” Mook speaks up, “both of you stop. We have a lot to do and not much time.”

    Mook points to a scroll that has an astrological drawing of the three moons. “This isn’t a single spell, it is a system of them.” Mook says, then continues, “apparently it must be done when at least one of the moons is full.” 138, sitting on Mook’s shoulder hops down to the table conjures an illusion of an orrery of Krynn and its moons. 138 points, and with his heavy mechanus accented common says “so this must happen in three days or we miss the chance for another twenty five.”

    Ciz chimes in, “well mates, do we have the system understood?”
Minozkui responds, “not fully, but at least we have the divisions assigned to the right people.” Syntessa takes out a hip flask, takes a sip then hands it to Drydar. Afterword she says, “Okay. Nuitari is full in three days. Dark magic will be apex, so I will take point on the arcane component of the system. Drydar, you need to be my backup.” Ciz chimes in next, “I’ll do the setup, conjure the seal, and form the link. I will keep it as stable as possible.”

    Iestor waves his etherium hand and and transmogrifies 138’s illusion into that of the ship. Red flashing marks pulse in numerous points of the ship. Iestor’s many oculus each seem to focus on different points of the image. After a moment of thought, he speaks, saying “I’m going to need help. Horizon’s maturation process and, Wocani, and Shyvern’s link is quite complex. Each of the loci need to trigger in exactly the right order. Mook, 138 can you help me focus the cascade?” The two mechanical beings both nod in response. “I guess that leaves me” Minozuki says. He places his hand to the holy symbols on his chest. “Mishakal and Shinare willing, I will fulfill my part.”

Scene 2: On the Horizon, three days later near midnight
    The crew has prepared for the completion of this arc of their story. Above deck Syntessa, Drydar, Ciz, and Minozkui stand at the cardinal points of a magic circle. The non-casters of the crew: Crasher, Dulgier, Amut, Limona, Sumiko, and Oso sit at the table in the captain’s quarters.

    Nuitari, the black moon shines its unlight down from the heavens. The dark moon, only visible to Syntessa and Drydar, seems to peer down as if watching.
    Below deck, Iestor, Mook, and 138 stand before a complicated etherium control panel in the engine room. It sits dark and dormant; however, all hope that it will not do so long.

    Ciz speaks, “Okay lads, on the count of three.” He then goes to his knees and places his hands on the glowing lines of the circle. The other casters nod, and prepare their hand signs. They speak in unison, “One, Two, Three…”

    At the same time, the four begin their verbal components. Minozuki chants: “You who crosses between sky and earth, gently flowing water, holy wind which blows across the land, gather in my hand and give me power.

    Ciz, focusing his soul into his words says “Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night! Dantalion, Star Emperor, who shines like gold upon the Sea of Chaos. I call upon thee and swear myself to thee. Let let the way be torn asunder by the power you and I posses!

    Syntessa, while making a rapid set of hand signs chants: “Source of all souls, which dwells in the eternal and infinite! Everlasting flame of blue and black! Let the power hidden in my soul be called forth here and now from the infinite!

Drydar, speaking in the sing-song voice of a bard chants: “Stars which pass through heaven’s night, heed the ancient covenant with the earth. I pledge my life so that he may be called forth!

    As the spells weave and begin to resolve the control panels before Mook, Iestor and 138 come to life. The hands of the three race across the controls, triggering the contingent spells; as they do so, the wood of the ship begins to groan and creak. Elsewhere on the ship, explosions of growth begin to restructure the Horizon.
    In the magic circle, directly before the casters, a ripple in reality begins. With a flash of red light a ten foot tall humanoid in crimson and gold robes appears. His head is a massive conglomeration of dozens of human faces: male and female, young and old. A gold crown as big around as a barrel rests on the brow of his enormous cranium. Dantalion carries a great tome under one arm and begins to speak with the voices of his many faces. “We have come,” the giant says.

    At the spirit’s appearance tracers of magical light, and pyreflies radiate from the circle. The wood surfaces of the ship begin to glow. Those in the captain’s quarters hear noise in the seed pod in which Wocani has rested.

    One of the faces that compose Dantalion’s head begins to emerge from the phalanx. As it leaves the mass, its ectoplamic form asserts a humanoid shape, gaining a transparent body. The casters present recognize Shyvern, as he drops to the deck. Dantalion opens the great book, revealing pages of shining stars and fades away into nothingness.

    Shyvern rises to his feat, and Wocani emerges from his static state. Iestor hits the final touchstone on the controls to trigger his last spell: at which the Horizon lights up the sky as it radiates golden light. Horizon transmutes into the form is should have always had, a true air-ship. Four new decks form, wings erupt from its sides, masts and sails designed for airborn travel appear. A chorus of tree spirits appear all along the railings of the deck.

    Everyone on the ship feels a powerful psychic intrusion. Communicating more with emotion and intent instead of words, the Horizon speaks for the first time. In its own way, it says to all “Thank you…”

The next few months pass in a quiet calm… The crew, save Atherion, reunited, enjoy the company of their family of choice. Everyone adapts to the new challenges of being airborn, and enjoy the new wonders of the mature Horizon.

Scene 3: Dinner time in the galley of the Horizon
    Shyvern finishes a large swig of his ale, and begins a conversation he would rather not start. “All, I am glad you have enjoyed some downtime; however, the world waits for no one” he says. He takes another swig of his ale, and speaks again. “While I was gone I was merged with the cursed souls of my ancestors. We drifted in a dark place with other spirits.” He shutters for a moment at the maddening memory of existing nowhere, and internally vows to complete his quest to lift his family’s curse.

    “While there, we encountered the remains of a most ancient and powerful spirit. She lived before the world was fully formed, before the gods handed down divine and arcane magics.” He pauses, then starts again “before modern magic existed, she laid down an unimaginably pure and powerful system. It harnesses the life and power of the universe itself. if mastered it could truly be a power capable of challenging the gods themselves.”

    “We refer to stored mystic energy as mana. The ‘mana’ we use is a diminutive of her system, which uses a power she called. Mana” he states, as the non-casters give him a quizzical look. “Her Mana is the stored and cached power of all information of the universe itself” he states, again confusing the non-casters.

    “Her spirit was fully insane, but ecstatic with joy. For the first time in a millennium, a mortal had tapped into her power. I saw a vision of a man bringing down ruin on the world. In the center of a great cataclysm: I saw the King Priest of Istar wielding Mana’s power, bringing damnation and doom to all on Krynn.” Shyvern says.

    “I for one enjoy having a world to live on, and believe we have to stop him.” Shyvern pauses, takes a breath and then says “to do so, I will need my body back.” Shyvern looks at Sumiko and says “I abandoned my body long ago after the King Priest’s minions placed control spells upon it. Sumiko, I would like for you to lead an assassination mission to kill my geasholder…”

    Shyvern conjures and illusion of a tower: a dual tower existing both in the material plane, and the plane of shadow. He tells the team of the Seropaedean guard, the King Priest’s elite force of magic users and witch hunters. He tells them that getting to the tower will not be easy, either using the material or shadow entrances.

    The team’s next mission is set: infiltrate the ‘Tower of Woe’ and assassinate first lieutenant Cronius Malter, Master of Control Magics…

The Legacy Awakening
Year 2450.8

Scene 1: In the Abandoned Drow City.

    The team pushed through the mushroom forest, and the gates of the city. They had a knee jerk reaction to use the ‘mansion key’ that 183 had given them; however, they had pushed on. Doing so they were able to find an abandoned house in the city to rest in.

    The house itself is a few backstreets away from the main city street. It is the last home in a row of townhouses, its side buttressed against the cavern wall. Inside appears to be the house of an old woman. On the tables there are doilies made of fine spider’s silk. The walls are dotted with animated pictures of a large family of drow, ranging from children to elderly adults. The home is big enough to comfortably house a many-generational family; however, it appears that the only rooms that have been used are one bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.

    Even these rooms have been neglected for quite a while. There is a layer of dust covering everything, and spider webbing in many parts of the home. As the team begins to rest they are startled a few times by hayalopterous spiders that have made the residence the home.

    The city is empty… although the team is properly defensive and on guard, the night passes without hostile event. It is not; however, a night that passes without noticeable events.

    During this day something special had happened. The team of Mook, Sumiko, Minazuki, Gurek, Drydar, Atherion, and Syntessa have been traveling together for a while, but typically acting like individual adventurers that happen to be heading in the same direction at the same time. As they have become closer to each other, they have worked better together, but today they overcame insurmountable odds by becoming a cohesive unit. They used each other’s skills, and even weaknesses to exploit the battles laid before them. Gurek’s heroic saving of Mook was sufficiently noble that the God of the mountain dwarves, Rerox, took note and cracked a smile at his child’s bravery.

    They took the first step in their true destiny, becoming the group that would walk a world saving path. Destiny makes no promises, the future flows as if a river, carving unexpected meanders through time; but, with this step taken: the lid of Pandora’s box closes slightly.

    Something more tangible also changed: the magic weapons they carry awoke. The legacy weapons, all created to protect Krynn can be used anyone who matches their general goals. However, their true powers are only unleashed when they are given the chance to do great things.

    Each of the team members have been carrying their weapons for a while. Unknown to them, they have been being watched. Each weapon observing their emotions and behavior, adapting to the very footprint of their wielder’s spirit pressure and soul. Each one shaped by in part by their original intent to defend against Abraxus, in part by the souls of their prior wields, and finally by their current owners: who have proven themselves worth.

This night, each teammate is visited by a vision:

Scene 2:
    As Mook rests, his mind drifts. He finds himself back in his home of Ice Razor. He blinks, this isn’t Ice Razor… the features are correct: but everything is metal. The buildings and landscape melt into a flat plane of the metal. His mind’s eye focus, and he realizes that the metal looks the same as the etherium they have been dealing with. He looks down at his blue ice body. Glowing in his chest, and flowing in the internal tubes that circulate his hemolymph: matching etherium glows.
    Movement in the distance causes him to look up. At the limit of his vision he can see thirteen individuals. As twelve fade away, one approaches. It is a massive dragon. The largest living dragon that he had ever seen is the elder dragon Tyrannus: this dragon dwarfs her an ocean dwarfs a sea.
    As it approaches, it begins to snow. He knows he should be afraid, but he isn’t. Somehow the chill it gives off comforts his spirit. He looks again and realizes it isn’t made of the same etherium as everything else: it looks like him, made of blue ice with etherium only glowing in its veins.
    He is convinced he should run away, but his dream form walks forward. The great dragon and he approach each other. As he gets closer, climbing through the snow that has quickly fallen, he recognizes the dragon as a type of warforged.
    He pauses, in his peripheral vision he notices movement. Suddenly he and the great mechanical dragon are surrounded. He only hazily recognizes a few members of the closing armies: a great gold dragon, Abraxus? A host of Hive destrons.
But the others, so many others: he searches his memory for what they are. He feels he should know, but doesn’t.
    As they close, the great mechanical dragon begins to fall to pieces. He restarts his walk forward. As the components fall from they dragon, they form armies of warforged that flee to combat the closing enemies.
    He moves faster and faster toward the disintegrating dragon. In the distance, the dragon’s warforged children collide with the invading enemies. Sounds of war surround him. As he finally reaches his target, the sound stops. He looks around, and the enemies are all not but bodies on the ground.
    He reaches his mark, in the rubble of the great dragon, he sees that the dragon is not dead. It is smaller, barely larger than he is. The aura of cold it gives off is intense, and lovely. Drifts of ice crystals radiate from it forming self repeating patterns.
    Upon closing, the dragon speaks: “I am reborn with you. Awoken, the more I give you: the richer I am for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Mook is awoken to a hayalopterous spider trying to crawl under his armored shell.

Scene 3:
    Sumiko settles to an uneasy sleep. She tries to hover in the twilight range of consciousness where she can still be observant of her surroundings and rest; however, quickly falls into a dream realm. At first she floats in a void realm: blackness both inside and out. Then she feels cold.
    Sumiko’s awareness asserts itself, and the world around her becomes clear. She shivers, reflexively, as her body tries to achieve thermal equilibrium. She lay in a hammock outside, wearing aught but the minimal clothing considered to maintain the Ran-Eli’s definition of decency. The sweet smell of persimmon fruit on the wind tell her it is late fall.
    Shivering, she looks around. “This is my father’s keep” she says aloud. She looks at her arms, and sees no tattoos: only lily white skin, shining under the light of the red moon. Her force of will begins to stir as a cold wind rips through the thin cloth she wears. She lifts the cloth at her breast, and those tattoos are equally gone. She shivers, uncontrollably, again as her stomach growls in hunger.
    Her will focused: realization hits her, this is not real. This is a memory. Sumiko tells herself “this night was when I was eight. I was with my father at a clan meeting and gave my opinion without first being asked. The tribe patriarchs commanded my father that I not eat for three days, and sleep outside so that I ‘learn my place.’”
    Part of her training had been at lucid dreaming. It was taught so that dream attackers would be able to be combated. She focuses to gain control of the dream, but the grasp slips through her fingers like sand. The memory continues. The red light of the moon Lunitari shines down on her. She begins to fell warm, the wind seems to flow, deflected, around her. She speaks aloud: “I don’t remember this.” She feels a skip in her heartbeat as locked away memory begins to flood.
    At first a woman in hooded magi robes stands beside her. She blinks, no its a woman in the clothing of a tea-house maiden. The woman helps Sumiko from the hammock she lay in. The woman’s hair is blue-black like a raven’s wing. Her eyes lambent with the same red light as Luntari above. “Child, walk with me” the woman says.
    As they walk more memories begin to flow. They walk through a torrent of the past. Sumiko steps past herself, training with her grandmother. Then they begin to walk through the memories of someone else. The cold wind returns, as does the fragrant smell of fruit on the trees. In the same spot where she was being punished, she sees another poor freezing girl. Then someone else, a young boy. He looks as if he could be her brother. The girl is too cold and hungry to move, and appears to be approaching hypothermia. She hears him say “this isn’t right” as he lifts the girl from the hammock and carries her off to warmth and safety.
    More memories flow. She sees the girl training with the boy. Their martial style matches her own, and tattoos occasionally flash from under their robes as they move. “Its Li-Peng” Sumiko says to herself. Next she sees the girl, now middle aged training with other girls. Then those girls, now women training with other crops of young girls. This process repeats itself over and over: until she sees her grandmother in training as a child, then her grandmother training Sumiko herself.
    All fades to black. She sees the boy approaching her, with each step he ages. With each step she sees flashes of his life: fighting for his sister, fighting for balance, fighting each moment to make right what ought be.
    By the time he reaches her, he is dead. His arms are skeletal, yet somehow radiating hope and power. He says to her, “I am reborn with you. Awoken, the more I give you: the richer I am for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Sumiko is woken to a crescendo of noise coming from the castle. The goings on there are approaching their goal, soon.

Scene 4:
    Minozuki rests fitfully on an uncomfortable settee. Its old, dry devoré velvet covering scratching against his skin. As he drifts to sleep he thinks, “this place smells like old woman and spiders.”
    An image forms in Minazuki’s mind’s eye. First in dim grey scale, then fading into focus and color. He sees Ky’thyr’s lumbering form walking off. His blood boils as he sees the flesh of his master draped over the treant’s back. He runs to catch Ky’thyr, but no mater how fast he goes the treant seems to match his speed and stay in front of him.
    He rushes through the forest, it is clearly the temperate rainforest that was his home as a youth. His emotions are mixed, his desire to catch his enemy and the pleasant and kind times he enjoyed as an apprentice somehow blur into a melancholy slush in his chest.
    Traversing a clearing in the forest, he sees a shadow cross over him. “What in the hells?” he exclaims aloud. The source of the shadow is a house falling from the sky. It lands squarely crushing his enemy. More buildings crash down around him. Minazuki jumps quickly to escape a road falling down from the sky directly above him. The urban storm continues around him, slowly consuming the entire forest.
    Minazuki feels an odd sensation in his stomach. As if something is pulling him. No wait, something is pulling him! He hovers slightly off the ground as some unseen force causes him accelerate faster and faster down the road. He zooms down a main street as the unending plane of a city whiz past him.
    He notices a tremor propagate across the city’s surface. Then at the edge of his vision he sees the city begin to curl up, arcing gracefully into the sky until it completely encloses above him. The buildings at the top of the tube appear to be a full mile above him. The road begins to pitch up slightly. At his speed he is able to feel the centripetal force pull at him.
    It only takes him a few moments to realize that buildings are repeating themselves, as if by moving forward he is looping back on himself. He sees a figure in the distance. His trip comes to a step, halting directly in front of the imposing woman who stands before him.
    She stands ten feet tall. Her skin is lily white, her hair pure auburn. She is beautiful, but her eyes are disconcerting: they appear as if they are mirrored orbs. They reflect Minozuki’s dream form back to himself. He then notices her robes. At first simply black, he realizes they have red, amber, and blue notes flickering through them as if the contain an inner fire.
    She turns and walks away, Minozuki feels compelled to follow. They walk to a water fountain. She waves her hand, and the surface of the pool begins to shimmer with color and light. “Young traveler, observe with me” the woman says in a commanding, yet comforting voice.
    The image that forms on the surface of the water is a reflection somewhere else. A great battle rages. A monstrous gold dragon takes a fly by and ravages an entire battalion of soldiers. Then he sees something else, a cleric wearing his twin holy symbols. The vision pans, he sees other such clerics.
    On the dragon’s next pass they simultaneously cast: and a pentacle of white light forms across the entire city. The dragon is trapped by the rays of light. Each of the cleric speaks a final work, and clap their hands together in unison. The pentacle implodes, taking the horrible beast with it. With a last pan of the vision, he sees the leader of the clerics, and at his side he carries the very same weapon that has found its way into Minozuki’s hands. Looking at his weapon through the reflection he notices that the same light it radiates, is also radiated by the grand woman standing beside him. Minozuki starts to ask her “are you…” but is is cut off.
    The woman interrupts him, “I am reborn with you. Awoken, the more I give you: the richer I am for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Minozuki awakes to the front door of the house opening and closing. Startled at first he reaches for his weapon, which somehow feels warm to the touch, and braces to fight. He realizes its only his other team members exchanging guard shifts. In the distance he can hear noise coming from the castle. He goes to the window an looks out. What he sees shocks him, he stands dumb struck with his mouth open.

Scene 5:
    It is late. Gurek sits at the kitchen table of the house. After looking through the cupboards he realized that drow and dwarves cooking shares many of the same spices. He also finds some wine stashed in a cabinet corner. He would prefer beer, but at least it is a wine flavored to a dwarf’s pallet. “This will be the first proper meal I’ve had since I last saw Helga” he says aloud.
    He takes out some the roast mushrooms he had collected in the forest. He adds the spices to them, and munches happily. He downs the bottle of wine quickly. It is not so much that he enjoys being a lush, but the battle earlier that day almost killed him. The team had used a series of cure utilities to restore his health; however, even after being cured there is always a lingering pain from that much abuse. The wine pleasantly numbs him, and lulls him into a deep sleep. He snores sleeping upright at the kitchen table, his plate clean.
    He rouses into a dream. He is in an underground city. He takes a second look around, the architecture is clearly dwarven. He decides to explore the streets. The city is bustling, but no one seems to take notice of them. There is a tremor and the entire city shakes, then another tremor, and another.
    He hears a series of great crashes, and the sound of masonry being rendered into rubble. Rising from the ground are clusters of black tentacles. “Wait!” he says to himself as he begins to run toward one of the writhing clusters. This thing, whatever it is looks just like… the beast that had set him on his path so long ago. As he attempts to draw near, the cluster lashes around and brings a building down on top of him. For a few moments, all he sees is blackness and feels not but void.
    After that, the blackness lifts as some dreamscape individual pulls a blanket off him. He rests in a bunk, one of many, many crammed into a ship. The wood of the ship is ebony and he recognizes instantly that it isn’t Horizon. He climbs up to the main deck. The sky is overcast and it is snowing. He can see ice bergs floating in the water.
    Being on deck, he realizes that the ship is massive. As large as the Istari battleship he had seen the last time they left Ice Razor. With the allocation of bunks below, at least four hundred individuals could be crammed in. He approaches a woman standing at the port railing. She lovely, her beard flowing and golden. Naturally golden hair is very, very, uncommon among mountain dwarves. For a moment, he thinks that she could be related to his love, Helga. “Afternoon miss” Gurek says to her. “Afternoon to you as well” she responds, she continues, “look there, right on the edge of the horizon. Its land! We have finally arrived.”
“Arrived where?” Gurek asks. She looks at him a bit confused, and responds “where do you think: to exile, to safety. The beast destroyed our mountain, and killed most of us. The land here is cold and harsh; but, we are a tough folk, we will become one with this place, just as we were once one with the mountain.” She turns fully to face him, and as she does he sees the same weapon that he carries: strapped to her side.
    Events begin to flow quickly around him. The dwarves on the ships move as if blurs. She ship docks. He gets off the ship, walking along with the other blurs of dwarven kind. As he gets to the beach, he thinks: “this coast looks familiar.” He hears noises coming from the boat, and can see it being disassembled and carried up the hill. Staying out of the way of the chaotic parade, he continues up the hill.
    At the top, he is startled. He sees the village of EastHook being constructed before his very eyes. Time continues to skip forward in bursts and fits. It would seem that many years have passed. The mountain dwarves that he arrived with appear to be changing. Everyone he sees is picking up additional height, and mass, their skin lightens, and their eyes become bluer. The hair of many turn to cool shades; light gold, whites, turquoise, and cyan.
    He then sees something terrible. A great golden dragon flies high in the sky. The dragon fear covers him as if oil. It holds something out in its hand, then the sky is torn asunder. Hordes of demonic entities descend, attacking everyone and everything. The dwarves fight, and many die. There is however one handsome glacier dwarf that is different. “He wields my weapon!” Gurek says aloud. He watches as the dwarf, leading a small group of dwarven elite, turns the tide and repels the assaulting horde from the village.
    Everything freezes as if time were halted. The heroic dwarf becomes the only moving thing as he walks toward Gurek. As he approaches, his features distort slightly. The dwarf’s appearance becomes a mix of both glacier, and mountain dwarf, with an androgyny that hints at transcendent being.
    In the waking world, when Helga originally handed him his weapon: she had taken a strange bow. The dreamscape dwarf does the same bow, and then extends his hand to shake in friendship. Gurek takes his hand, and shakes as if greeting a long lost friend. The dwarf stares Gurek directly in the eyes, then gives him a dwarven military style salute. He then says “I am reborn with you. Awoken, the more I give you: the richer I am for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Gurek wakes to a loud crash and a painful thud. He lay on the floor of the kitchen, having fallen out of the chair. His brain still tipsy with the wine, he decides that the floor is a good enough place to sleep, and drifts back off to a restful oblivion.

Scene 6:
    Nestled out of view, Syntessa stood outside the townhome the team had taken refuge in. Other than the noise coming from the castle, the town was eerily quiet, especially considering the ferocity of their adventures in the proceeding days. The town itself caused a great feeling of nostalgia in Syntessa’s core. The architecture was very, very foreign as compared to Ice Razor. Being underground was stifling, the homes were crowded together, and there were no entrances on upper floors for fliers; however, the drow city was not unlike Ice Razor. High density housing, full of life and families just trying to make it in a world that didn’t understand them.
    She was tired. Her fiendish heritage usually protected her from the need for much sleep; however, her human blood was occasionally weak. It was particularly weak when she was exhausted, and bored. Still standing, she rests against a wall. Unwillingly, as if drawn by some force, above and beyond her human side, she drifts lightly into twilight sleep.
    Syntessa hears a noise down the street. She slinks further into the shadows, and draws her arms. Hugging the occluding darkness, she heads down the street to investigate. As she walks forward, she searches her mind. Something wrong is happening, but her spellcraft knowledge gives no clues. As she walks forth, slowly, the buildings become further apart, and much higher. She realizes its the same architecture as Ice Razor, but the buildings are stone.
    The air becomes thicker and more noxious. During her short journey, somehow, the cavern ceiling expands up into an open sky. It is an angry red sky with dark clouds. Black hellfire lightning jumps among the clouds, sending down moments of cold in the rapidly increasing heat.
    Up ahead she sees artisans working. They appear to be glaziers, blowing glass in a structure with only a simple roof and no walls. She sneaks closer. She can see human men toiling. They take their puffers, loaded with molten glass in and out of an intensely bright glory hole. Some true masters quickly construct delicate works of art.
    She sees a rather handsome, if somewhat familiar, human man that looks to be in his early twenties. He trips as he carries a tray of the artisans’ work. He falls, and there is a great crash of some metal tray and the distinct sound of glass shattering. A muscular devil walks into view. As the man tries to stand up the fiend kicks him squarely in the chest, sending him into the air, then rolling across the stones outside the hut.
    The devil walks over to the man, laid out on the stones. He draws and raises a sword as he says “human worm, that was the last mistake you will ever make, your life is forfeit!” Before the devil can bring down his sword, a female voice shouts. “Wait! do not waste the worm’s life” as she walks forward. Syntessa recognizes her as an orthon devil, but the most beautiful and humanoid one she has ever seen.
    The she-devil speaks again: “What good is this worm’s worthless blood spilled here, when it can be spilled for sport in the pit!” The larger male devil smiles then he reaches down, picks up the bloodied young man, and throws him to her. She takes to the air, headed toward the City of Dis. As if in some fugue state, Syntessa’s awareness takes alight with them, Syntessa almost unaware that she ought have her body as she files along side the two.
    “Your a fool” the she-devil says quietly, “but a damn lucky one” she changes her grasp on him from that of a captive, to that of a lover. In their aerial embrace, they kiss as she flies faster, and turns away from the City. “Your my fool, and tonight is the night. We shall be off” she finally says.
    They land in a hellish wilderness. Syntessa now sees through the she-devils eyes. Something dire and wild immediately begins to charge the she-devil and her human love. She draws her sword, as she says aloud: “I draw my fathers sword, and denounce his name. By this blade we shall be free!” as she pounces into the beast. Syntessa realizes that the weapon in her dreamhost’s hand is the same that she carries now.
    Syntessa’s vision becomes hazy and time begins to blur as in those moments before a dream ends. She catches glimpses of the lovers fighting, tooth and nail for each other, across many a wilderness then finally a frozen plane. They reach the form of the great archdevil, Levistus, frozen in a block of ice. A monstrous blade sticking out of the ice, plunged through his heart. They prostrate themselves at the base of Levistus’ icy prison. Syntessa hears some prayers about true love, and hope as she becomes bored and begins to drift closer to awareness.
    Syntessa looks back one last time. She sees a bright light flash as a portal opens at the base of Levistus’ prison. A young, yet also familiar, harpy steps through and ushers the couple through the portal. Almost awake, she feels a pair of hands on her shoulders. She turns. An old man, and old woman stand behind her.
    As they speak, their mouths move in unison. As chorus, they say: “We are reborn with you. Awoken, the more we give you: the richer we are for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Syntessa snaps to full awareness. Annoyed at herself for her dereliction of guard duty, she resumes her stealthy patrol. Before fully distancing herself from the dream and focusing on her work, she does think: “what an odd dream. I must be homesick, otherwise why would they all be on my mind.”

Scene 7:
    Battered from the last few days assault, Atherion rests in a room on the second floor of the town home that appears to be that of a little girl. The walls are lined with dolls and stuffed animals. To him most are creepy enough to scare a child; however, in their own way even the creepy ones have a charm to them. They look homemade, and clearly show signs that the person who made them loved the child enough to play careful attention of their construction.
    The room caused a great feeling of melancholy in him. Either of his sisters would have enjoyed staying in the room when they were little. Between the toys and the nice view from a round window, it is ideal for a little girl. He lay on the bed, that is a bit too small for him, his boots hang over the edge. He looks out the window toward the bizarre festival happening at the castle. He rolls to his back to get his weight off his sore sword arm and drifts off to sleep.
    In his sleeping state, he walks through a field of green. Off in the distance, he sees two figures. One, a Solamnic knight; the other a man with lily white skin, black hair, wearing black robes that looks as if they are threaded from starlight. The knight stands proud in his shining armor. The dark dark robed man reaches under the cloth at his arm and pulls out an elven curved blade, which Atherion immediatly recognizes as the one he carries now. He hands it to the knight, who begins to walk off and fade into nothing.
    Atherion searches his dream hazed memory for a moment. He has carried the sword for about six months, and somehow seems to forget that he hasn’t always owned it. From the beginning it has felt natural, as if a part of him. He remembers that he had picked up in the frozen wastes of the Ice Reach tundra. Some snow orcs had killed a knight, his frozen body still clutching the sword.
    The dream state scene reconfigures itself. Instead of standing in a calming field of green, he stands in a twisted cemetery. As if he never moved; he sees the dark robed man standing before him. Then he sees two elves walk toward the robed man. They are elves of old, standing significantly taller than modern elves. As if dominoes falling, he recognizes features of the approaching elves. One wears the traditional garment of the Silvanesti leader, the Speaker of the Stars. The other wears the robes of the Qualanesti Speaker of the Sun. He then realizes they are identical twins, his stomach sinks: they must be Essex and Avix. Instinctively, he bows. Essex, the greatest ruler of the Silvanesti. Avix, the progenitor of the Qualanesti.
    For all their legendary power and goodness, these two were the reason the even nation originally fractured. In the end they had killed each other. They are both bloodied, and honestly look to be in some state beyond life. As they approach the man, they hold out a broken sword; his sword, broken. The hilt is snapped from the blade itself. The man takes the two pieces and vanishes.
    They two elven brothers take notice of Atherion, and begin to approach him. As they walk to him, their bodies blur and combine. By the Time EssexAvix stands before him, they are in the form of a fifteen foot tall elf with two heads. Before they begin to speak, they take a polite bow to Atherion, and then stare at him intensely.
    They finally speak, and tell him:“We are reborn with you. Awoken, the more we give you: the richer we are for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.” After this, they hold up their hands, and spheres of light appear. They begin to swirl around becoming brighter and brightener until they flash as if a super nova.
    Atherion wakes up with a start, sitting up in bed sweatting and shivering. “What in the hells?” he says aloud. Too shaken to sleep more, he hops out of the bed and proceeds to walk downstairs.

Scene 8:
Drydar lays in the master bedroom on the first floor of the house. He was convinced that after his role in the last fight he deserved it. Whether or not that be true, he did at the least call ‘first dibs.’ The bedroom itself, is somewhat small. Artifacts of an elderly woman line the dresser, and the appropriate clothing of a woman of advanced age fills the closet.
Whomever had lived here was clearly of modest means, but worked hard to stretch their coin.
    When Drydar got to the bed, it was covered in dust and cobwebs. He tore off the comforter, only to find more spider webbing above the sheet. After finally stripping the bed down to its stuffing, he finally was in the clear to rest away from the relics of arachnid kind. He lay on his side, using one wing under him as a sheet, and the other over him as his covers. From a distance, one would think there was a feathered cocoon on top of a wasted mattress.
    He feel asleep quickly. Whatever those crystals had been had really bothered him. They tore into Drydar’s memories, searching for pain, for anguish. The experience left his subconscious a jumbled mess of broken thoughts. As he sleep, Drydar fell into a deep vision.
    He flies in a desert, soaring as if a raptor or vulture. The sun beats down on him, and he searches for an oasis or at least some shade. In the distance he some trees, and what looks to be a small but clear water pond. It takes him some time to get to the oasis, and a few times on the airborne trip his eyes catch a metallic glint.
    Taking a last flyby circle; he sees that beside the waters of the pool, fully exposed to the sun, there is a huge cage. He lands at the opposite end of the pool, and jumps in. The cool water refreshes him. He takes deep gulps, before feeling odd at drinking his own bathwater.
    Refreshed, his curiosity get the best of him and the swims to the side of the pool where the cage rest. Past the waters edge, on the scorching, sand lay desiccated humanoid bones and the remaining tatters of some foreign noble’s wear. He looks up toward the cage. It is a lustrous metal, and crafted very well. His admiration stops when he sees that there is someone inside. Not thinking, he rushes to the cage door and pulls out an old, rusted and pitted scimitar that was used to latch the door. He glances at it for a moment, thinking “that looks kinda familiar.”
    Inside the cage, laying on the hot sand is an emaciated woman. She has the skin tone of one of the people of the sand, those that live in the desert north of the divide that begins the land of the southern tribe. He drops the scimitar to the ground, lifting and cradling her. At the contact, somehow life begins to return to her. Her emaciation vacates, as her form fills out. She cries out in pain for a moment, as the wings of a golden eagle erupt from her back. Suddenly they are falling from the sky. For a moment the body of the man outside falls with them, then falls out of view.
    “I, like you am young” she says, continuing; “I have only had one master, before; whom I could not save. He was heartless, and made me wish I was never commissioned.” As they fall, the woman picks up more and more of Drydar’s racial features, blurring with her own.
    His fingers lace with that of the strange woman. She looks to him and says “I have lost that which I once protected.” She pauses, and says “I will now protect you.” She speaks one last time, saying “I am reborn with you. Awoken, the more I give you: the richer I am for it. As above, is below. As before, so comes. As one we shall challenge the hostile future.”
    Drydar rouses as a spider crawls across his face. He swats at it and ends up banging himself in the nose. Fully awake, he strolls down to the kitchen to scavenge some food, nearly tripping of the dwarf that lay strewn across the floor. “Odd-balls” he says aloud. He thinks to himself “if it weren’t for me, and my awesomeness, this team would never survive.”

In the Hive Mine
Year 2450.7

Scene 1: The team has just defeated a huge mechanical monster…

The team has collected the spoils of the fight. They have taken a large pile of the

heads of modified drow, portions of modified drider and part of the modified beholder.
Scavenging the bodies is eerie; although they are clearly dead—the mechanical parts
seem to still have lives of their own.

They also raid the remaining molten mithril seeping from the smelting furnace,

pouring the incandescent metal into a portable hole. The more avarice members of
the party both reload more ore into the furnace, and horde the raw ore itself.

On the ledge above, a small, mechanical form watches them. He is impressed at

offensive capabilities, but surprised at their foolishness. He doesn’t understand
why they don’t seem to understand the depth of mortal danger they are in.
He had tried to warn them before they entered the caverns. He had even assumed
the voice of the collective to do so…

‘You can judge the character of men by who their enemies are’—the individual

says to himself. They are greedier then he would like, but he needs help to
combat the activities of the Hive.

His mechanical brain is attuned to probe into the collective mind of the Hive without

danger. He has an overwhelming sense of dread as he registers a Hive call to arms.
Details of the capabilities of the intruders, visual recordings of the fight—captured
from those who died, and the specific location and medical status of the team are
issued out from the hive. The information flows in the waves of consciousness,
as if someone threw a rock into a pond.

As the ripples cross the surface of the consciousness, war equipped Hive members

are roused into action. Mostly drow and drider, the stupid creatures who invited
the Hive to Krynn. Also, dominated and modified Silvanesti elves, Ankeg, Banalith,
Draconains begin to stir.

He feels a sinking sensation in his consumption processor as he perceives a slight tremor

in the ground at the awakening of multiple Ruin Elementals and a host of true
Destron Hive members brought from Mechanus to Krynn to prepare for the invasion.
They all begin to close in on the location of the fight.

“Primus help me,” the small mechanical being says aloud. He drops his cloaking shield

and walks over to the edge of the scaffolding above the mithril ore pile. Using his real
voice he broadcasts a message to the individuals below, “You are in grave danger.”
He recalls the intruder alarm to the front of his consciousness and rebroadcasts it.
He sends a last message, “if you value your individuality you must follow me now.”

The team takes a moment to process the visual images that are broadcast to them.

Sumiko is the first to look up and notice the little machine man standing at the edge of
the scaffolding. He is motioning with his hand to come.

Moments later, a loud, mechanical roar is echos from the distance. Also, the crashing of

rolling stone closing in—as if an avalanche of destruction rushes forth.

Mook looks toward Atherion and shurgs. Atherion responds, “what have we got to lose?”

Drydar butts in: “Our lives, our lives are what we have to lose!” Drydar takes alight, flying toward the mechanical being. The rest of the team follows suit, both climbing the scaffolding
and flying.

The small mechanical being begins to run down the cave. After about 30 feet he gains enough speed to take off as he flaps his diminutive wings. Back in the distance a loud

crash can be heard as the scaffolding is ripped down.

The entire group moves at full speed for a few minutes. Right, left, left, right, right, left, etc:

they run down a convoluted path through winding tunnels. A the end of the last tunnel the
small mechanical form runs directly through what is apparently an illusionary wall.

The team follows through the wall and is confronted with a strange sight: the floor, walls, and ceiling are all made of mithral. The furniture is also made of some sort of metal.

Somewhat reminiscent of a mage’s lab, the room is dotted with odd curiosities; however,
instead of having books and potions—everything is mechanical in nature.

The team, panting, collects themselves and takes in the site. Before them stands a 2ft tall, somewhat humanoid mechanical creature. He shines brightly, seemingly build from copper and gold.

“I am modron 138,” the little form tells the team. "The walls in here are shielded, so

you can be at ease," he then tells them. He finishes with “I was assigned here by Primus himself. He tasked me to monitor the Hive—which you have apparently stepped into.
If you with to not be joined, you will have to assist me.”

Shyvern's Sacrifice
Year 2450.6

Scene 1: Horizon, above deck.

    Dulgier sits atop Horizon’s mast. The sickly tilt of the mast makes it difficult to keep his balance. He is assigned to keep watch—looking for Carinthian patrols. He scans the distance with a spyglass.

    Seeing no threats he relaxes and takes a break. In the distance he sees a large collection of sea-birds flying. “There must be a colony. I wish I could get closer,” he says aloud. Dulgier loves birds and for an amateur, is quite a well versed ornithologist.

    When he was captured by the draconians he had been camped out watching a flock of sand-pipers skirry in the surf. He focuses through the spyglass. He says to himself “that one is a tropicbird, that one a murre, those—white term.”

    Then he sees something dark flying. Again, he speaks aloud, “Ahh… a frigatebird. This should be interesting.” The frigate flies in fast, too fast. They are masters of out outmaneuvering other birds to steal their food—this one doesn’t try to guile its target. It opens its large break and simply swallows three terns flying before it.

    “What the hell?” the blinking says aloud. The large bird arcs and turns to the ship. He uses the spyglass to focus in on the bird. It is clearly a frigate , but it is too big. It has bony protrusions sticking out along its wings and descending down its spine. It has some kind of harness strapped across its chest with a satchel on its back.

    Dulgier stows his spyglass and blinks to the deck of the ship, and takes a seat in the targeting chair of the ballista. He tells one of the ship spirits to go get Shyvern as he takes aim. He really doesn’t want to hurt the animal; however, after all they have been through recently—he isn’t taking any chances.

    The targeting scope on the ballista is much stronger than his pocket spyglass—which missed one critical detail: from the bird’s massive neck dangles a necklace made from a white dragon scale.

    Shyvern floats up though the deck next to his student. “Dulgier, you summoned? Report please,” he asks the young blinkling. Dulgier responds “sensei, it would seem that we have an emissary from Ice Razor.”

    He hops out of the targeting seat, not wanting to offend their guest. It takes another few minutes for the bird to glide to the ship. It lands on the deck railing. Sitting upright the bird is close to eleven feet tall. It takes a respectful bow, partially inflating its bright red gular pouch.

    The bird uses its beak to unlatch the harness from its chest and lowers it to the deck. Dulgier, and and Shyvern hear the animal speak telepathically: “I am Limona. Azidel and I are familiar. She personally asked I bring these items to you.” Limona ruffles its feathers, then continues. “Azidel asked I stay to help as long as needed.”

    Straining to keep his aloof composure: Shyvern lifts the satchel from the deck. Rummaging through its contents his continence lifts brightly. “Splendid!” he says aloud, then “Limona, excuse me; but I must take this below. If you need anything, just ask.” He begins to flicker out and phase below deck.

    Duliger and Limona are left on deck. Limona, happy to be off wing takes a moment to preen herself. Duliger thinks, “where are we going to setup quarters for this one?”

Scene 2: Horizon, in Shyvern’s Lab.

    Shyvern pours a large amount of quicksliver into a boiling cauldron. The cauldron off gasses a column of cinnabar hued smoke. The vapor physically makes his eyes water and his stomach turn. He next pours in a large graduated cylinder worth of aconitum oil.

    The ruddy smoke billowing from the cauldron turns black, and the noxious vapors become toxic. Gregory, unable take anymore, bursts out the lab door bounding up the stairs. Shyvern follows, coughing and vomiting the entire way.

    He closes the door behind him, trying to regain his composure. “Oy! You trying to kill us proper?—What in the hells are you doing down there?” Shyvern hears from above.

    “Blademaster Ciz, be calm. The smell will dissipate shortly.” Shyvern shots back to the galley above. Ciz walks into view, his muscular frame blocks the light that shines from above. “I take it that bird brought what’cha needed?” Ciz asks.

    “It did indeed!” Shyvern responds back. “Good chef, if you fancy prepare a feast tonight. I shall be going away for a while.” Ciz responds: “You want me to cook a feast for 7, no 8—we got a bloody sea bird!—on this notice?”

    Ciz cools off for a moment. “Fine, I’ll start cooking. But the crew is getting sick of fish and I want something to butcher—you better summon someth’in tasty!” Ciz then shouts to the deck: “Hey pup! Your gonna get your wish—you get to go that island. You might not like your chore through!”

Scene 3: Horizon, in the mess

    That night, the meal was amazing. Ciz spent the day butchering, and preparing a full gamut of foods to please each of the pallets of the crew and guests. Suckling celestial bore, sunchokes, ramps, power stone brittle, young piffling chicks, and much more…

    Everyone is in a light, if guarded mood. They are all enjoying the feast but the only one who seems confident that something positive about to occur is Shyvern.

    “So doc, why the feast. No exactly like times is easy is they?” Ciz asks Shyvern. “No Ciz, things are not going to be easy. But, Horizon will survive” Shyvern responds.

    Limona uses his beak to flip a piffling up into the air and chomps it down. He telepathically broadcasts to those around here “this is a dangerous thing spell to attempt, what makes you think you will survive?”

    To this, Shyvern responds “My full name is Cyana Shyvern il’Dantalion.” He continues, “this sacrifice costs to cast this spell concern me little.”

    The only people sitting around the table who recognize the surname are Crasher and Ciz. Ciz sighs. He sides a large tankard of ale over toward Shyvern. Ciz raises his tankard in a toast, “to the cursed!”

    Shyvern takes the ale. At his touch it becomes ethereal. He enjoys a long draught. He has a peculiar thought: “all the years on the Horizon, all the crews… in the ship’s darkest hour, this is the first time I have real friends. I wish Sumiko was here to say goodbye.”

    Crasher speaks up, “I thought your kind were a legend.” Shyvern responds playfully, “and I thought blinkings were a product of bestiality!” Crasher frowns and Duliger pulls his wool cap down over his face. "Crasher, I jest. Tonight is supposed to be a time of merriment. Lets enjoy this last night together, "Shyvern tells the blinking nobleman warrior.

    Amut is often confused by adults. He sits at the table with a blank stare. “Sensi, what are you talking about?” he asks. Doing his best impersonation of a paladin, Shyvern straightens back his shoulders, puffs out his chest and says: “The light of the star emperor is in me. His blood runs through my veins, and I am one of his princes.” After saying this, Ciz and Shyvern catch each other’s eyes and burst into laughter.

    Amut’s blank stare deepens as he tries to figure out what the adults are talking about. He takes a bite of the power stone brittle and beings to munch. “Little one, it’s a long story. Leave it at long ago my family was stuck down. I can’t be freed from the challenges of life unless I accept damnation or do the impossible,” Shyvern says.

    The rest of the meal goes light fully. Afterward Crasher helps Wocani up to his cabin. “Crasher, you should know what Shvyern intends is dangerous. It may prove a valid stall tactic, but he will be gone” Wocani continues “I will be in stasis, as will Horizon.”

    “I’ll do what’ever you need Captain.” Crasher responds. “In my absence would like you to take the role of captain.” Wocani tells the blinking, who is currently supporting most of his weight as they wall up to the captains quarters. “Captain, I don’t know what to say.” Crasher tells him, a little unsure of the request.

    “Crasher, you of any of the crew are the most experienced in seafaring maters.” Wocani says, continuing, “the ship must have a capable captain. I’ve seen the way you care for Dulgier, I trust you can treat Horizon with the same affection.”

    “Okay, I’ll do it Cap.” Crasher tells Wocani. Crasher gets Wocani to the Captain’s quarters. Instead of laying in the bed, Wocani takes rest in a what can only be described as a coffin in the other corner of the room.‘Captain, I’m not sure I can help you into this thing." Crasher tells Wocani. “No, Crasher you are now Captain.” Wocani says, his breathing labored. “Please, help me in and close the lid. I’d rather not waterlog and rot while I slumber.” Crasher helps him in, and closes the lid of the ‘coffin’—a giant seed pod.

    Near midnight, Shyvern bid everyone leave the ship. Limona takes aloft, flying large graceful circles in a great radius from the ship. Dulgier, Amut, Gregory, acting Captain Crasher, and Ciz pile into a long boat and pull off some distance from the ship.

    On board, Shyvern drifts to the center of the main deck. He makes some quick arcane hand signs, then quickly downs a pint of the potion he has been brewing from the delivered ingredients.

    Within moments he starts to become sick, and blackness takes him. The poison hits home, and the spell shreds his soul. Only a single sliver, no wider than the point of a needle is left for himself. In an explosion of green energy Horizon is encompassed in brilliant light. The full force of Shyvern’s soul and life experience transfer to the ailing ship.

    Those sitting in the longboat have a frightful experience. Ciz cries out in pain—the release of soul pressure hits him like a tsunami. Even the others, not trained to sense spirit pressure have a few moments where they can barely take a breath and see nothing but green static.

    As the green light fades, the ship itself appears to be healed. The large scar across its bow is gone. The mast stands straight; however, it now has the stillness of a morgue. Wocani slumbers, Shyvern is ‘gone’, as are the familiar tree spirits.

    The crew returns to the ship. Ciz sends the away mission team that things are okay for the moment… They try to start preparations to deal with the new normal that has been forced upon them.

    That night, as Crasher falls asleep, he thinks to himself: “I hope they can get to Kaganesti soon…”

In the Lycan's Den
Year 2450.5

Scene 1: In the woods of Carinthia—outside the city of Anjou

  The crew of the Horizon work through the night, trying to find enough Wolf’s Bane/Monk’s Hood/Aconitum to fulfill their needs. Their minds are full of frantic thoughts—What just happened? What do we do? The night passes slowly, and frightfully. The distant winds occasionally carry the howl of a wolf, but they are left to work alone.

  About an hour before dawn while the sky is still black, they load Drydar up with the 18lbs of flowers, leaves, and stems of the desperately needed plant they had collected. He takes alight and begins to fly at full speed back to the Horizon, docked in the harbor. He quickly realizes that for his type of wings flying at night is difficult. Without the sun to warm the ground there are no warm up-drafts on which to glide. He has trouble staying aloft as he must flap his wings the entire way. More than once he almost crashes into the ground as painful spasms wrack his body.

Scene 2: The Horizon’s Deck

  Exhausted and drenched in sweat he eventually makes it to the ship. Fine muscle control taxed beyond use: he crashes into the deck of the ship with a resounding ‘thump!’ Within moments, Crasher and Dulgier, both wearning only bed clothes, blink in to flank him with their swords drawn. The two quickly relax as their recognize their friend. “What the fuck!” Dulgier curses at Drydar. Crasher chastises the piled lump of limbs and feathers that lay before him: “Drydar, have you been drinking again? We have been
over this before; you have a problem…” Dulgier cuts of his uncle’s patronization: “We thought we were under attack. I was having a good dream! You are such an ass.”

  His breathing labored, Drydar tries to respond, “Attacked… got to… get… away… need.. Shyern. need… to.. get ship… outta… here.” Crasher leans in and takes a whiff of Drydar’s breath. Not detecting any alcohol, his soldier’s resolve returns. “Dulgier, go down and get the spook.” Crasher commands his nephew. He continues, “after put your armor on, then go get Ciz. You know how much he likes to be woken up.” Still wearing only his pajamas he blinks to the dock and unhooks the anchorage, then blinks to the mast to start preparing the sails.

  In pain, but fully aware, the Horizon senses the familiar disembarking procedure and rouses a chorus of ship spirits to help the process. Having been taught discipline by Sumiko the little spirits work quickly. The blinking and spirits maintain a record pace and within 15 minutes the Horizon begins to push back from the dock.

Scene 3: Below Deck

  Dulgier blinks below deck, just before the door to Shyvern’s lab. A strong chemical odor wafts from the crack under the door. He bangs on the door, “sensei Shyvern?” he shouts and continues, “We’ve got a situation on deck.” The door clicks and swings open. Gregory appears from behind the door and gives the young blinking a sleepy, quizzical look. Dulgier shouts into the room “with all due respect. this matter requires urgency!”

  Dulgier jumps as he hears a voice behind him saying “Then why are you still standing there?” He turns and sees Shyvern directly behind him. As quickly as he sees him, Shyvern begins to disappear. From where he stood tracers of light begin to drift upward through the deck.

  Dulgier blinks to the cabin he shares with Amut. “Get up!” he shots at the small golem resting on an adamant dias. “What?” Amut asks. There is a slight hum as his internal power stones begin to pump the power needed to raise into full awareness. “I don’t have time to explain, go to the deck!” Dulgier tells him while hastily stripping out of his pajamas and quickly pulling on his shirt, pants, and lacing on his leather armor.

  Still lacing the last loop on his chest armor, he blinks in front of Ciz’s door. He bangs loudly on the door. “Ciz, get up!” he shouts. There is a loud ‘thonk!’ as something impacts the back of the door. “Bugger off, the kitchen is closed!” The blinkling shouts back “It’s important, something is wrong with Drydar. I think we are in danger,”

  The door opens. Ciz stands 6’5 with a large muscular frame. He has a shock of red hair kept in a pony tail. His red hair and beard contrast vibrantly with his eyes—solid white, containing neither pupil nor iris. Wearing only sleeping trousers he glares down at blinkling.

  Dulgier’s tail droops as he catches Ciz’s eyes. They remind him of the solid, featureless eyes of a shark. Something about the tall man triggers a sensation of menace inside the little blinkling. Ciz is often cranky but is equally very friendly and amiable; however, Ciz still scares Dulgier.

  Ciz opens the door more. A ‘thunk’ can be heard as he pulls something out of the back of hit. Stepping past the bulkhead Dulgier can see that Ciz carries a large butcher’s cleaver. “Aye pup, let’s go,” Ciz says as he begins to walk past him.

Dulgier thinks to himself “did he really just throw that thing at me?”

  Shyvern is the first to make it up to Drydar. “You’re a mess aren’t you?” he asks rhetorically, observing his panting. With a quick hand sign he casts a restorative spell and Drydar’s breath becomes more normal. He can feel his overtaxed muscles begin to relax.

  Finally able to speak without gasping, Drydar begins to rant: “They are werewolves! They are all god’damn werewolves! Why did you send us for that stuff? They think we are criminals and murders!” He continues,
“the others are going to run, or something. They have to do something, it looks like we killed a family in cold blood.”

  With another quick set of hand signs and a few arcane words Shyvern levels his eyes at Drydar. A small, but useful, spell resolves. When Shyvern detects neither deception nor intoxication from Drydar the sensation of a heavy weight forms in Shyvern’s stomach.

  “This is most unfortunate” Shyvern says. He pauses, then continues, “it would seem that the gods have a really warped sense of humor.” Standing, Drydar mimics the ‘duh’ look he saw the little girl give him in the cafe.

  “Drydar, I requested the components for two individual spells.” He pauses to take a breath. He thinks for a moment of how to explain arcane concepts to a non-caster. He speaks, “One of the spells is to stall the decay of the ship. The other is to help heal it.”

Confused for a moment, Drydar asks “heal it?—I thought you said that is out of your hands?”

  “I can’t help the ship heal itself… but I can give it some new life.” Shyvern responds. Drydar’s look of confusion deepens. Becoming exasperated “I know a, forbidden, way to transfer life. The ritual involves poisoning someone to the point of near termination. In that state, parts of the soul can be sliced off and shared with others. It is a dark way to… prolong life.” Shyvern tries to explain.

  Drydar still has no clue about what Shyvern is talking about. He is grateful for a moment’s pause when Gregory, Amut, Ciz, and Dulgier come up the stairs from below deck. The ship now leaving the harbor, Crasher also blinks down to join them.

  The entire cast assembled, Shyern decides to tell the whole truth: “Horizon is like my son. Wocani, my grandson. For better or worse, I raised them both. It is my fault that their lives have turned out the way they have. If I perform the ritual on myself, I could give them a chance at life. I don’t want an existence where I cause them any more pain.”

At saying this, everyone looks confused…

  Deciding it easier to show his hand than try to dictate an explanation, Shyvern does something he hasn’t in years. From his ethereal vantage, he takes a deep breath. He forces himself to become more tangible; more visible; more ‘real.’

  The crew is used to only seeing bits and pieces of Shyvern’s ethereal form… Now, standing before them now is another tall muscular male.He wears open kimono style robes, and his left eye socket is empty. However, this form does not last long. With a grimace of pain he starts his transformation. Everyone can hear bones crunching as his body’s silhouette recontours. Hair grows all over him, his hands turn to claws and his face elongates into a muzzle.

  "Like I said, I sent you for those components to poison myself,” the clearly lycanthropic Shyvern growls, “If I can transfer my spiritual pressure into Horizon, then it has a chance. For that I must push myself close to oblivion, this
this is why I need those components.”

All is not well...
Year 2450.4

Scene 1: On the Horizon

To save the crew from the blue dragon, Wocani cast a wild teleport spell to get as far away as possible from their location.
Geographically this is, almost, literally the case. The ship is now 12 time zones to the east, and 30 degrees longitude to the north.

After mourning the death of Zaga, life has returned to more or less ‘normal.’

  Two of the soul gem’s recovered from the caverns were ‘full.’ Breaking them open yielded two individuals: A cleric (Ron’s new
character), and a rather macho chef (of questionable non-human/elf/ogre/etc. heritage) taken from the tavern of a town (Ciz). Crasher, Dulgier, and
Ciz all decide; at least for the moment; to take up roles as crew.

  With them Being able to teleport, Crasher and Dulgier quickly become deft deck hands. Amut, in his new golem form, applies his
fishing skills daily bringing in many nice quality fishes. With his mechanical strength finds he is able to catch large enough
fish (huge Tuna, Swordfish, etc.) that a single fish is enough to feed the entire crew for over a day. The crew welcomes the
meat that breaks the typical vegan offerings that the ship can provide itself.

  Ciz takes over the galley, cooking very nice meals for the crew. Taking advantage of the ships ability to grow almost
any plant requested the galley’s become quite complex and delicious. Roasted, fried, baked fish, stews, etc., all perfectly seasoned.

  Amut, and Dulgier are of school age. The more educated of the crew members take daily turns instructing them. Shyvern seems
quite happy at the opportunity, and with the distraction he generally cranky mood to the crew improves.

  As nice as the couple weeks of down time have been, all is not well. Wocani has spent the most of the time in bed in his cabin. He has
tried to hide his condition from the crew; however, after the dragon’s damage to the ship he has had viscous flu like symptoms
that have gotten worse and worse. He can’t rest enough to cast spells, his breathing is becoming more and more labored.
His psychic connection to the Horizon literally killing him.

  [Living ships are particularly vulnerable to burning attacks. It cuts off their ability to circulate the xylem (nutrients)
and floem (water). Although appearing almost healed at first, the burn scar across the ship re-blackens and yellows as it starts to water log
and rot. The repaired mast begins to sag as the lack of vital fluids causes it to wilt and wither…]

Eventually Wocani speaks up and asks for help…

  Shyvern and Mook give up on their treatments, they call a crew meeting in the mess. Wocani attends, his eyes deeply
yellowed as if jaundiced. Shyvern speaks up “fellow crew, we have to do something to save our ship.” He continues “the standard
medical treatments are not working. Living ships are not typically continually exposed to salt-water, it is counter indicative for
the herbs and potions we have been using. He finishes his monologue: “we are going to have to go to shore for higher level spell
components; that will stall for a while. I seem to still be a pariah—none of my former Kanganesti contacts will respond to me…
We are going to need to hire a living shipwright if the Horizon is to survive.”

  Shyvern rolls out a map of the northern hemisphere of Ansalon. He points to a point off the coast of the south east area of the elven nation of
Silvanesti. “We are here,” he says. Continuing, “it would seem that we are closest to the state of Carinthia.” “Atherion, you
are Silvanesti, do you know what we can expect?” he asks.

Escaping Renveshalhiarisv
Year 2450.2

Scene 1
Deck of the Horizon
  “Get on board you ninnys!” Shyvern yells to the team as they row up to Horizon. An enlarged Mook rows as quickly as possible, struggling against the sargasum (seaweed) clogging the water’s surface. The longboat contains the crew: Atherion, Drydar, Gurek, Jorlum, Mook, Sumiko. The longboat also contains the blinkling noble-swordsman Crasher, and his unconscious nephew, Dulgier. Zaga, the team’s beloved war mage is not present.
His life extinguished by Renveshalhiarisv—the blue dragon.

  The same dragon that was launching itself from a high cavern on the volcanic peak of the island the team just invaded. Renveshalhiarisv quickly gains altitude, then dives on the party. With a fly by tail-swipe the team is toppled into the water. On a second pass, with a deft grab of her large claw, Renveshalhiarisv grasps into the floating pile of the team and picks up Drydar and Sumiko. Like an eagle grabbing a fish she begins to climb back into the sky.

  “Damnit!” Shyvern curses. He drifts, moving quickly across the surface of the Horizon’s deck as if he were running. He makes it to the stairs and ascends to the ballista. He focuses for a moment, then smacks his hand upon a target painted onto the weapon while exclaiming “Verum Percute!” (True Strike).

  “Fire you idiot!” he shouts at the cross eyed tree spirit sitting at the ballista’s controls. Startled, the spirit pulls back on the launching mechanism and a large spear shoots into the air. At first the spear is flying the wrong direction, but then the spear grows a pair of magical wings and arcs back toward the dragon.

  The missile hits true, striking the dragon in the arm carrying the two team-mates. Howling in pain the dragon shots lightning across the bow of the Horizon—leaving a 25ft wide burn scar from port to starboard. All the spirits caught in the blast are eradicated and Wocani doubles over in pain. His spiritual bond to the Horizon causing him to feel its pain.

  Plummeting, Drydar unfurls his wings and catches Sumiko’s hands. They glide safely to the deck of the ship. A few moments later the remaining team-mates finish climbing up a rope ladder extended from the deck’s stern down to the sargasum raft. Crasher overshoots a teleport blink and lands with some force into the deck with his nephew over his shoulder.

  Another lightning blast shoots down from the dragon. A moment before impact, Shyvern makes quick motion and yells “Vis scutum!”—a wall of force appears above the ship, deflecting the blast. The wall prevents the hit; however, with the force of the lightning blast it was at its limit. The wall shatters and dissipates.

  “She can sling that blast faster than I can put barriers up. We are out classed, do something!” Shyvern yells down-deck, while preparing his next defensive spell. “Where is Zaga?” Wocani asks. Sumiko and Mook both lower their eyes to avoid his glance. Gurek speaks up, “he’s dead.” Wocani, saddened by his crew-mate’s death, turns quickly and sprints to the Horizon’s helm.

  As he moves, he leaves a trail of green mana. His personal power insufficient: as he reaches the helm, he taps into the Horizon’s internal mana store. Below deck, a quintet of power-stones begin to glow. Green mana energy traces out across the ship’s surfaces.

  He reaches the helm wheel and speaks the verbal component of a spell, “Per abstractionem a plantis, quantum fieri potest, ut hinc!” (Transport via Plants: as far away from here as possible!) He takes the wheel, and spins it wildly.

  On a fly by, Renveshalhiarisv takes a swipe at the Horizon. The large central mast is knocked over, it crashes across the port of the ship. Wocani again feels the pain. He barely maintains his and by sheer force of will he forces the spell resolve. In the instant afterwards he blacks out, falling into painless unconsciousness he wonders, “Where did I send us?”

  Above, Renveshalhiarisv sees a bright flash of green light, and her quarry disappears. Angered she inhales deeply, taking in the scent of those that harmed her. She banks, arcing back to the entrance of her lair…

Scene 2
Bay of Balifor, 1/4mi from shore of the north eastern coast of Silvanesti, a large sargassum raft floats on the calm waters of the bay…
  The calm of the waters is shattered by a pulse of green light: a vessel with a broken mast appears from the aether—scattering the frigate birds and gulls who had been hunting in the raft. The Horizon, safely teleported, far from the reach of Renveshalhiarisv, floats in the cool waters. The air has a crisp chill: it is fall in the northern hemisphere.

[Montage sequence of getting things back to normal ensues…]

  One night in the ship’s galley the team finally takes time to sort through the spoils taken from the island. Shyvern, often unconcerned with the petty treasures brought back to the ship, focuses in on the half-consumed soul gem. Lifting it, he commands “speak young one, you are with friends.”

As if trying to hide, the spirit of a small fisher boy appears in the corner…

Scene 3
Bay of Bailfor, just off the coast from the North Point Lighthouse:
  “Damn it, why did we come to Silvanesti?” Atherion curses. “Shut up warrior, we don’t care about your petty personal problems.” Shyvern scolds. The entire group stands inside Shyvern’s workspace/library. Wocani, Crasher, the now healed Dulgier, and the apparition of the little boy, Amut, also are present.

  Amut’s half drained soul gem sits on Shyvern’s desk. Sumiko, over the last couple weeks becoming friends with Shyvern uses his first name: “Cyana, what have you found out?”

  Shyvern responds “I have spoken to a great auntie. She tends to know about matters like this.” He cracks a dry smile at the vague humour in his last sentence. He continues “Amut, is well, stuck. His body is dead but there is not enough
remaining spiritual pressure for him to cross over. He won the 001 lottery—at the moment the only remaining place for him is the Outer Darkness.”

  “Can anything be done?” Mook asks. “Spirit pressure is formed by life experience.” Shyvern tells the group while looking in Mook’s direction. “I have made a spare ‘body’ for him, if he wants to use it,” Shyvern says; then turning to Amut’s ghostly
form, “well?” The little apparition, speaks up saying, “I guess I have nothing to lose.”

  Gregory, the gargoyle, pushes forward a dolly. On the dolly is a golem, roughly the size of a little boy. The golem’s body is made, mostly, from intertwined vines and wood. The golem is the same color as the Horizon’s hull. Woven into the vines are small,
worn power stones. They glow dimly with an internal power. Also scattered in the structure of the body are small adamantine mechanical components.

  Shyvern looks directly at Amut’s spirit and says “I have to warn you: this is a one way trip. Once your gem is installed you will be the golem.” Amut takes a quick look at Mook, feeling a little comforted at seeing another constructed body. Amut nods, and drifts near the golem body. Shyvern takes Amut’s soul gem and forces it into the main power stone in the golem’s chest. The two crystals merge and Amut’s ghost vanishes.

  The little golem awakens: Amut is instantly excited to again have a body. He springs from the dolly and
proceeds to dance in joy. The team is amused by his playful antics.

  Everyone’s spirits are lifted at the ‘birth’ of a new crew-mate, except for Wocani. He scowls, and in druidic says, “Shyvern, I find you morally reprehensible. I know what golem manual you used to make that thing.” Also in druidic, Shyvern responds “What? We are helping him, perhaps we can help us.”

  Storming out the door, Wocani says over his shoulder in common: “Old ghost, you are walking a very, very thin line.” He proceeds up to the deck, and then on to his cabin. His thoughts weight heavy on his mind…

At World's End...
In an alternate far future and Year 2173

  Through the history of Krynn (the world) most scholars think they have a firm grip on the cosmology of the local multiverse. There are the inner planes—the elemental sources of magic. There are the endless planes—the physical hearts of power of the fundamental forces of the universe. There are the three transitive planes: astral, shadow, and ethrael—the siblings of the material that overlap all daily life.

  The other understood part of the multiversal cosmology is more mundane: the physical moonsand planets of the solar system, the galaxy the solar system lay in; and the othercountless galaxies in this chapter of the multiverse.

  Then of course there are the other, less understood, remote chapters of the verse… countlessother planes. Clearly important and vibrant; but so far away they are almost unreachable. Only the occasional wafts of power and influence of remote deities (such as Wee-Jas) travel the impossible distance.

  Unknown to most, there is something special about Krynn’s place in the multiverse: it is the first chapter. Unlike the other physical verses; Krynn’s verse has one very well defined boundary beyond which there is only void… Nothing that has existed, exists, or ever will exists (in any understandable sense) is beyond this event horizon.

  The ‘Outer Darkness’ bridges the Astral Plane with the unfathomable expanse that lies beyond the multiverse. It is the shallows between ‘that which is’ and ‘that which is not.’ It exists as a desert under a distorted night sky. Its landscape is dotted with the scattered ruins of places torn from time. Its lack of atmosphere creates a power vacuum effect.

Over the ages its dark solace has been home to many things; primarily those with no other place to go…

The Outer Darkness, in the far future:
  There sits a twisted copy of a place known to many on Krynn: ‘The Inn of the Last Home.’—a tavern that takes up the upper levels of a large tree. In grease pen, Its sign has been crudely scribbled over with a new name: ‘Inn at the End.’

  With what scraps of magic remain, a pocket of atmosphere is being maintained. Inside the inn a smallcollection of individuals are gathered around a few tables that have been pulled together. This scene could seem common for the beginning of any adventure story; however, there is one terrible difference. This group consists of the last living individuals—anywhere in the verse.

  A medium sized shadow dragon sits in a chair, maintaining a bipedal posture that has clearly been practiced over many years. He picks up his glass of wine and takes a sip. Its liquid coolness does nothing to chill the disdain boiling in his guts. His name is Miff. He was born an anthromorphic bat who used his drudic powers to live out his epic life as a dragon. He beings “So where do we start?”

  “How about we start with this is all YOUR GODDAMN FALUT!” a tiny voice shouts. Beside Miff, a howler sits upright on his haunches. It is bridled with a saddle in which sits a chip monk. He wears fine nobles clothes. He points across the table to a shacked man in robes. He continues to rant, “you self-centred, arrogant, piece of trash. YOU RUINED IT, YOUR RUINED EVERYTHING!” With this the chip-monk bursts into tears. His name is Upid. He had been born a half-celestial gnome. He was cursed into his current rodent form by a former friend and teammate—the man chained across the table.

The chained man snorts in a display of arrogant disrespect…

  A third individual speaks up. He asks the group “can’t we just kill him?” This man has dark hair, black eyes, and lily white skin. An undying youth seems to radiate from him. Cracking a sardonic smile he continues, “at this point does it really matter? Everything has gone to shit. At least we can cleave some revenge from his worthless bones.”
  This man is named Luster. He was one of the original members of this team who tried to save the world. A true anti-hero, his intentions where never noble; however, somehow his twisted desires were often steered into serving the greater good.

  Unlike the other three former epic teammates who radiate no power—his inner well of power shines with a dark light. He radiates otherworldly energy, emitting pluses like a dying sun. He begins to delicately trace the sharp edges of the great-axe sitting on the table in front of him. His arousal is visible as he fantasises about the sensations of the axe tearing into the chained man’s flesh.

  The chained man rolls his eyes. His name is Fujid. Unarguably, he had been the most powerful mortal mage to ever walk the face of Krynn. Magius, Fistanddantalus, Raistlin, and even Achroma—the most powerful men in history, stood as apprentices before his mastery. Convinced of his superiority, even now at the end of all time, he was unrepentant for his actions.

  He had been a good man but arrogant and overly macho. His downfall began the day the team defeated the demon price Demogorgan. In their day: dead, soul-less children were all that were being born—this was a harbinger for the end of days. The team had made an epic journey to fight a terrible dragon who had been consuming the souls
of the unborn.

  The fight took place in a crystal garden, part of the ‘bastion of unborn souls’ on the positive energy plane. After the dragon was defeated, a great (possessed) demon was freed. In his lust to single handedly defeat the demon, he literally was infected by a ‘snake in the garden.’

  Ophidian, the entity the orange light—the soul of the first being to ever continue eating past its fill, the focus of all avarice in the verse; seized the moment of the demon’s death to possess Fujid. Flowing from the dying demon into its new human host—Ophidian warped his mind. It took Fujid’s already avaricious nature and amplified it. Shortly after, Fujid began his path of Judas: He cursed Upid into his current (chip-monk) form, then
sealed the rest of the team in the bastion before fleeing back to the material world.

  The team had been fighting against Ragnorak—the natural death and rebirth of the world. Their original goal was to either help restore the world’s balance to prevent the need for the rebirth, or at the very least help its custodian, Hel, prevent dark forces from remaking the next world in their own image.

  Attempting to achieve more than godhood; Fujid used his powers to consume the arcane energies of Ragnorak itself… For a moment, he was a diety; however, he miscalculated. But when the moment of death and rebirth came everything went
wrong. Without the needed power, the phoenix’s ashes spoiled and Krynn’s chapter of the verse passed into Death’s tender

  With the death of the arcane sources of power, Fujid’s magic also expired. At the shock of losing so much, even Ophidian faded away to nothingness. The other team mates survived in the bastion, shielded by the flames of the burning unborn souls…

This mismatched group become the last living mortals of the verse…
The only two other living beings remaining in the verse also sit at the tables with them.

  Ardra, the blue light entity, the embodiment of hope rests perched on the top of a chair. She appears as a many headed bird—the first creature ever to hope. In her life she was almost killed in a flood that seemed destined to drown her. Holding true in the belief of hope elevated her current form. Unlike the other emotional entities,
she still lives, thus so does hope itself.

  Sitting cross legged in a char, playing with her glass of wine sits a beautiful woman. Cheerful as always, Death of the endless waits patiently, listening to the conversation of the former friends…

  Years pass in the inn. Time and ennui take their slow toll on everyone, and one by one Fujid, Upid, and Miff are taken into Death’s caring embrace.

  The last 3 beings in the verse—each unable to die without some external cause continue their wait. Countless games of chess, solitaire, and staring competitions pass among Luster, Ardra, and Death.

  One day Luster complains to Death, “Ugh, I’m so bored.” “Well,” she responds, “this place is pretty much done, I’m ready to put up the chairs, mop the floor, and lock the doors. You ready to go?” Luster thinks for a moment, then responds,
“Nah, I’m not there yet. Maybe not ever.”

  Death, having become close with him thinks of a way to cheer him up. She goes up to the room that she had claimed as her own, and retrieves a large book. She brings it back down and puts it on the table. “This was my brother’s book. His name was Destiny, I had to take him when, ‘it,’ happened.” she says, saddened for a moment at the loss of her elder brother.

  “Its got the history of well, everything. Nobody except for Destiny was ever supposed to see it, but I don’t really think that matters now.” She says as she pushes it toward him. Ardra flies over to his shoulder and asks “Would you read to me?”

  A long time passes. (Who knows—eons?) Luster and Ardra read together. Stories of life, love, all stories of everything that happened to everyone. Luster learns many things, but even this source of entertainment eventually becomes tedious. One day, flipping to the end, he notices a curious effect…

  Looking at the book’s very last page, he sees that each action he takes is transcribed, magically, onto the page itself. Holding the book at different angles—just to see if he could read sideways and upside down, he accidentally tears the page.
In that moment, the words describing his past action that tore from the page (rotating the book) undid themselves—the book reappeared upright in his hands.

  A moment afterword; however, the recoil of such magic hit and charred his entire arm to a cinder. Unlike previous damage, this did not begin to heal as his undead state would normally initiate. Being a caster, in that moment he hatched a plan:
if the book can undo things that just happened—it must be able to do more.

Ardra’s blue light brightening—corresponding to his renewing hope he starts a different track of research—What can he do?

  Another set of Eon’s pass, but Death, Ardra, and Luster come up with a plan. In their research, they discover that magic can cause time travel; however, they learn that the only way to actually change the past is to send individual(s) through
time who are neither Human, Irda, Ogre, nor Elven. The larger the number of individuals sent—the larger the change that can be effected.

  On night, Luster finds what he has been searching for. A single string of text:
“In the year 4310 of the age of mortals, Palin Majare; leader of the high tower of sorcery of Ishtar casts a spell. It stops a draconian attack on Ergoth by banishing the entire draconian race to oblivion.”

A little time passes as Luster prepares his courage…

  “Are you sure you want to do this?” Death asks. She continues, “Couldn’t it make things worse?” Luster looks at her at flatly asks: “How could it get any worse?”

  “You’ve avoided me for a millennia. You know I’m going to have to take you if you try. Even if this doesn’t work,” she responds a little saddened at the idea of her role actually being done—and there being nothing left alive. Even death doesn’t know what
‘lay beyond’ for her.

  He shrugs. Ardra flies from his shoulder over to her customary perch on the back of a broken chair. She is anxious, but ever hopeful. Luster takes a quill pen, make long ago from his friend’s howler. With a quick motion he strikes out a single word—and writes a
change into Destiny’s book…

The new string reads:
  “In the year 2173, of the age of mortals, Palin Majare; leader of the high tower of sorcery of Ishtar casts a spell. It stops a draconian attack on Ergoth by banishing the entire draconian race to THE PAST.”

  The mystic backlash causes Luster bursts into flames, Death catching him softly in her arms as he falls. Ardra begins to glow brighter, and brighter, and brighter yet. With the love of a mother, and tears in her eyes, Death strokes his cheek. “Love, you did well…”

  In an explosion of pure hope—Ardra explodes, flooding blue light across the tiny remaining spec of the verse. As the light expands, so does the remaining verse, as it does time rewinds. Destiny’s book resets to the new effected time.

Not unlike an actual Ragnorak, the fire of the phoenix is rekindled and the world is given another chance.

Ishtar, year 2173.
  On a clear, cold winter night, and alter boy hides with a group of other people he successfully has hidden in a crypt below the main temple hall. The boy, Achroma, braces himself against the screams he hears coming from above. For no reason, a race of evil dragon men has attacked his city. He swears out loud: “Paladine, protect us. I swear to you that I will carry your message forward, and with your grace will NEVER let something like this happen again.”

Righteous hate for these evil beings begins to grow in his soul…


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