(authors note: will contain spoilers)
Memory sphere 1
So the next day--the day after the clouds parted and the night sky was full in view I awoke to two things. A beautiful shining blue sky thus confirming it wasn't a fanciful dream I had and the entire city in an uproar.
As promised to myself after I had some breakfast I went to the Cabinet of Curiosities to look for any reference of the Warrior of Darkness. A bunch of it was mythos and only a few had credible references. The one thing the records seemed to agree on was that this person, be it man or woman, would be responsible for restoring the night sky and liberating this world from the shackles of the oppressive sin eaters and their leaders called Light Wardens. Further research from those topics seem to be restricted so I contented myself (for now) with what I have learned.
Going about my gathering work that afternoon yielded some success as a vein of true gold ore was located. Careful not to overtap it, we surveyed carefully. I was sentry for part of it and with a few others protected the main prospector force. Swapping positions during a rest period, I too took aim at the vein of metal and managed to coax out a few useful onzes.
When we returned, one of the Facet leaders in charge of the gathering force, and I believe her name was Qeshi-Rae, pulled me aside and asked if I had heard of a...well, it was a very strange sounding beast so I don't rightly remember it. Anyway she kept going on and on about it. Then without warning she took off to the amaro launch. One of the assistants bade me to stop her from going outside and return to the horatorium. After a lengthy discussion, she made a decision.
Qeshi-Rae has given me the charge to go find fossils in Ahm Araeng. This is the desert territory I had mentioned earlier. She told me to pack plenty of extra water and go out to investigate several of the large skeletal remains in search for some trace evidence of the beast. At this point I was wondering what I had gotten myself dragged into.
By the end of the day, I found enough strange fragments of bone and claw to take back to present to Oeshi-Rae. She was in conference with another researcher who claims to have seen a large shadow fly overhead some time back but when he looked up the beast that caused the shadow was nowhere in sight. He seemed just as curious as Oeshi-Rae was over what I found. They told me that they'd contact me after additional investigation was concluded. Wearily, I went to bed.
THe next day, there were rumors of an envoy from Eulmore and a pitched battle at an abandoned fortress in the central lands of the region. Over someone they called 'the oracle of light'. Strange term. It was said they avoided capture and made for Il Mheg.
Some adventurers gathered at the local bar to discuss these rumors as well as how local hunts were progressing. There seemed to be a hot topic of something called 'cardinal virtues'. This piqued my interest. Wanting to hear more, I approached the one called Cerrig. He was a archer and was going to Amh Araeng to track his quarry who had killed his last companion--the virtue called Phronesis.
I thought it would be good to know better some of the foes of the land, so I joined up with him. We traveled to Mord Suud, the main settlement. He told me he had made an bio-machine of sorts to gauge the range of one of the more deadly attacks his quarry can make; a tear in physical space that would drag anyone too close into it. He needed some components fashioned from local monsters (why escapes me) and bade me to kill a few of the large reptiles in the area. Once doing so, I returned with the tendons of those beasts (ew) and he used them for some of the moving mechanics in the legs. Word had spread that this virtue was sighted over the next crest so we went out to watch the location.
Sure enough, a very strange figure wandered aimlessly in our direction. We kept our heads down not wanting to draw his attention. ...Is that a mage staff? Yes, most assuredly it is. With a wave of its staff it opened such a rift. Looking at it wordlessly, he remained motionless for a few minutes then wandered off not bothering to close it. We waited another good minute or so before sending out the, for lack of a better term, wind-up doll to close its distance.
For awhile nothing happened. It took a step closer. Nothing. Another. Nothing. Another. Then it was pulled in. We marked where it was and stood a pace back to study it.
Taking a swig of water, I looked at it. Seemed very similar to a voidal gate I've dealt with once in awhile back during my Amber Investigator days. Then much to my surprise I heard a voice coming from the rift. An intelligible one; sounded young and scared. I relayed what I had heard and my partner was very surprised. "If someone is alive, what can we do to bring him back?" The voice told me that while it could hear me it couldn't see or sense aether.
Then the thought struck me. Marshaling my power, I formed a beam of aether and sent it into the rift. Strangely, it didn't try to suck it--or me--into itself. I felt a tug against it as something latched on. After a minute, a young boy fell from it and the rift closed. We rushed to him and gave some water. He blinked at us and wondered who and where he was. "Memory loss, it looks like," said Serrig. "Let's get him out of the heat. Perhaps a cooler environment will do him some good."
We brought him back to town where he informed us that his name was Taynor. A few other memories came back but none immediately helpful to us. While I kept a watch on the boy, Serrig asked around to see if anyone knew of a missing boy and the possibility of his separation from parents after an attack by the cardinal. Word came back from the carers that a mage of some great talent was missing his son. We went to their camp as quickly as we could but found that another boy was confirmed reunited with him, then passed on.
We thought that a bit of time with the young fellow might bring further memories back and we asked for more details about said attack. Not many were forthcoming. Then there was a scuffle between the boys and the one we rescued ran off out of the camp. The one remaining was shedding some tears. Tears of regret I could guess as he described in brief what was said. "Maybe you're turning into a sin eater!" was the main accusation made and the youngster was clearly upset with himself in saying such harsh words. Serrig and I split up to look for him.
I was lucky, or perhaps unlucky, to run across him--being attacked by sin eaters. What are they? Well, on first reflection they are monsters of various description. I've heard stories that they shape themselves to deadly predators and that seemed apt as the ones attacking were scorpion-like. Second is that all but the color white was drained from their skin or carapace. Also they were rumored hard to kill. I put the last to the test and surprisingly they were easy to dispatch. Or at least these ones were.
We brought Taynor to trade apologies and they became friends. Sadly, said said he was going to move to the Crystarium with an uncle. He wished us luck and left. It was after this departure that Taynor revealed some new memories with us. Apparently he and Phronesis and he were students before the Flood. Fragments of memories were still jumbled up and I was told that once more information was present I'd be contacted.
Two days pass and I find myself on the border of Il Mheg. Several crew members were nervous; a report of an Eulmoran attack force had reached us a bell after our arrival. This was considered a minor problem. The greater one was that of the natives. Some had been reported to wander this far away from their land. Not wanting to get really separated, the foreman told us to work in pairs and always withing eyeshot of each other. My partner and I traveled a bit further to survey for new lumber supplies. Perhaps a bit too far.
There was a sudden fog obscuring vision. But it couldn't really be classed as a fog for I felt the workings of a spell behind it. Passively I began to create a counter-spell then I felt two small presences about me, chanting for me to play games. not really knowing was going on but having been somewhat warned as to what was expected, I offered to play Triple Triad with them. They said it was boring and wanted to play something else. It was at this point a--uh, I don't remember what this world's equivalent is, but from home they're called viera--young viera stepped through the mist and admonished the two pixies to remove the enchantment. Inwardly I sighed in relief. I also briefly looked around and found myself in an unfamiliar pasture.
The viera, identifying herself as Chloe, offered me guest rights and tea at her cottage. Not wanting to cause offense especially for a potential friend, I accepted. Her cottage was small and quaint, but well lived in and had definite personality. We chatted for awhile then the conversation took an odd turn.
She asked me from whence I came.
I didn't know how to properly explain, but in short I said I was from another world. She looked disbelievingly at me but got an unusual headache. On reflex I reached out to her and saw a memory as my aether briefly mingled with hers--one that belonged to another friend back on my world gifting a motorcycle to Zac. How was that possible? She claimed to having no recollection of coming here or that of her life prior, so this left me with a puzzle. My tomephone beeped, informing me to return to base camp, and so I left.
Much to think about, indeed. Can other forms of world travel be possible? If so, what would it take to do? What costs would need to be paid? I made a note to look at my free company records to see what happened in my absence.