Horizon Adventures

The Legacy Awakening

Year 2450.8

Scene 1: In the Abandoned Drow City.
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    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:

Mook:
Scene 2:
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    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.

Sumiko:
Scene 3:
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    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.

Minazuki:
Scene 4:
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    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.

Gurek:
Scene 5:
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    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.

Syntessa:
Scene 6:
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    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.”

Atherion:
Scene 7:
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    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.

Drydar:
Scene 8:
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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.”

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