Chapter 2b

Volume I – Phoenix Rising

Chapter 2: Trials 6051 Winter, Maryen 14 – Melyen 16 (Rolemaster)

Journey into The White Wood

Remembering the words of the Seer, Luarto Shang, you ponder what he has in store for you.

You must first prove to me that you are the ones that I seek. There is a device from ancient times, from the very Lords of Essence that once ruled this world…. It still exists, and I hope it functions, for it will provide you with a vital advantage as well as enable you to truly understand who you are.

It will release your memories – your racial memories or your past lives, I care not what you call them. In doing so, you will not only be better able to survive your forthcoming ordeals, but you will also have access to much of your past abilities –therefore you will be able to mature your skills much quicker.

If you are not the ones then at best you’ll gain some mental strength, but no past lives will surface.

What did he mean? What racial memories? Your curiousity is finally assuaged when the Seer Luarto Shang finally returns.

Excellent – you have done well to assist those in Shyrac. Perhaps you are the ones? Well, there is only one way to know for sure. "

The Seer Luarto Shang asks that you seek an ancient device for him that resides in the Ruins of Old, near to what is known as The White Wood, which he asks you to investigate.

"I have located the Ruins of Olad – they are near to the White Wood in Uj. Tales tell that the Ruins are deserted as no animals travel there for some power emanates that drives them away. I think the power comes from the Lord’s devices that still function there.

Deep within an ancient complex – a laboratory or some observation post – lies technology that you cannot fathom, and yet it may be exactly what you require to understand your selves and your fates more correctly.

This device will open your minds to the past, but can also open your minds to each other if you so wish. When two people undergo the treatment together, their minds are linked – telepathically. So some basic empathy and telepathy is established. If you use this to your advantage you will have a means to communicate with each other – a trait that will serve you well in the forthcoming encounters with the Unlife.

Here is a device you will need to enter the ancient complex. It is hidden behind walls of obscurity that cannot be penetrated accidentally. Simply trigger this in the midst of the ruins and you will be able to enter the complex.

Finally, at about dusk after many hours of travel, your group comes over a rise and sees the sprawl of grey stone before them, and just beyond it, the eerie bleached trees of the White Wood. A dark haze seems to hang over the wood, while the ruins are as clear and bare as a skeleton picked clean in the desert.

As you approach the Obelisk in the Ruins of Olad, your recently met companion, Drulle, suddenly rushes headlong into the White Wood and disappears – seemingly mad and screaming “They’re after me, they’re inside my head! I have to hide!”.

Could the Obelisk have affected him or is the calling of the Woods too strong for him to resist. An inscription on the ruins provide the only clue.

Out of a place between the Worlds,
Through the Darkness blinding white
Say the Words, and know the path.
Terror walks the Black Road tonight.

Ageless gods will never tire.
Darkling touch steals breath away
Water, Earth, Air and Fire
Agoth walks the Black Road today.
The Sun is gone; night takes gold.
Wind of ice, boiling rain.
Twisting space and endless time.
Death walks the Black Road again.

Now the Door stands open.
The way is lit by demon glow
Fire, blood, and blinding smoke
Walk the Black Road… now.

Inscription – Ruins of Olad and The White Wood archway

This strange, haunted place is a vast forest made up entirely of grotesque, gnarled trees of bleached-white wood. If one passes under the eaves of this barren place, it seems suddenly cooler, and a mist hangs over the bleached trees so that it always seems darkly overcast—even though it is bright daylight. Through the maze of pale trunks one can see nothing but dull grey soil and moss, and gnarled branches.

A legend is told of an evil sorcerer and his singing daughter at the heart of the forest; that is only part of the tale. For the White Wood is a place on the threshold between the Worlds.

Fighting past creatures – maybe demons – of old, you eventually find and follow the Black Road, which leads to a monstrous trilithon (three stones arranged as two uprights and a third laid across the top of the first two, forming a gateway) twenty feet tall and as wide as the road. It emanates raw power. You can feel waves of energy washing over you.

The stone is a smooth sickening pinkish-white. The road actually passes between the uprights
and continues straight on. Drulle is curled up in the fetal position a few feet from the Portal. His hands are bloody, and he is trembling, and still mumbling the verse from the Olad Obelisk. He has written the last stanza of the verse in his own blood. Blood is also smeared all across the sides of the portal way. It is a lurid bright red, wet and sticky, and showing no sign of drying…

Now the Door stands open.
The way is lit by demon glow
Fire, blood, and blinding smoke
Walk the Black Road… now.

Drulle clutches something to his chest – an item wrapped in his own cloak, and bloodied from his grasping, trembling hands. Could this be the device that the Seer has asked you to seek? With this device, the Seer should be able to help you recover your memories – dreams of past lives and events may become reality… however, you need to find a way out of the madness that is the White Wood….

Working through the words, you realise that you need to set fire to the blood on the portal, allowing the smoke to form a pathway home. Doing this quickly, you grab Drulle and pull him through, before any of the nightmarish creatures can pursue you.

Your experiences in the realm that lies at the heart of The White Wood have shocked you more than you can tell. Though unbelievable, you must have travelled out from some hidden ancient refuge, through magic or technology that you cannot fathom, in search or rescue of your recently found companion – Drulle.

Yet that was not the end of your awakening, as you survived through the trials of a strange and twisted landscape – were it not shared, you individually would have thought it a dream. However, the endless Black Road, the creatures or beings of immense strangeness or alien nature and the feeling you were no longer in the very world that you had been in, minutes before.

From ancient sites of technology and wonders, as hard to understand as the void to other dimensions or even demonic realms, of lands of wonder and danger, you have survived. Such trials have changed you, not just by expanding your experiences, but by showing you that the lands of Kulthea – the farms, the plains and even the great cities – are nothing compared to what lies beyond.

Were you not survivors of such a tale, you would view yourselves as mad or deluded. Yet how can you not trust your own senses and experiences? Other planes of existence exist. Demons or creatures of such vile proportions or alien nature exist. Ancient sites of beings, long dead for many millennia, lie hidden. All exist on Kulthea. Your view of your world can never be the same – from here on, you must accept that there is more to the world, to your lives, and your futures than you could have believed, ever before.

From here on, your perceptions of this world are different. You have grown during these trials, awakened partially from some dream state, but have to understand your full role in what lies ahead. Only time will tell…..

As you step through the archway, from the realm or dimension that was The White Wood, the Seer seems genuinely surprised to see you. His initial expression, of shock or anger, fades quickly as he realises that you have not only survived your adventure in the ancient complex but have come through an even greater adventure.

He steps towards Ravena, the first of you to step forth out of the very air as if to check that she is real and not some apparition. His gaze draws over you all, stopping perhaps on Lerandur for a moment longer. “You have returned. By the gods you have returned. Amazing! Perhaps……”, he says hesitantly.”Tell me”, he demands, “did you find any evidence of the ancient Lords? Have you anything that can help us in our quest against the Unlife? Quickly, show me what you have found. I must see it – now!

His gaze lingers on you all – intently.

Line separator blueParty information status button

CharacterLevelRaceClassPlayer
Wan Hung Lo2Laan (Man)MonkNick
Ravena2Talath (Myri)PaladinBrent
K’undee2KinsaMagentDavid
Lerandur2Iylar Linaer (elf)MagicianMike
Drulle2Talath (Myri)BarbarianChris
Special NPC Encountered Race Status Notes
Luarto Shang Human Seer Ally

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Chapter 2b

Return of the Long Night Rimllar