Return of the Long Night
Volume I – Phoenix Rising
|Chapter 3: Visions||6051 Winter, Maryen 17 (HARP – RoleMaster converted characters)|
Dazed, confused and unsure who you are, your vision swims back into focus as you still stand within the Village of Shyrac. The Seer, Luarto Shang, stares at you, his eyes hungry with desire, seeking to steal answers from your soul on what just happened.
It is obvious that for him, time has hardly moved as you remember the scene as it just was, yet you cannot forget the visions that just swam through your consciousness.
A deadly fight, bodies strewn as if discarded like rag-dolls, their organs and blood tossed under a red glowing sky. The undead – no Unlife – unstoppable in their hunger and destructiveness, yet not as deadly as that priest, the bearer of such evil who led them. How anyone living (though perhaps living may not be the real truth) even walk with such maliciousness, let alone command it, is unfathomable.
How you survived is even more of a mystery, for were it not for other memories, or thoughts, from places even more afar – escaping a jail cell, or fighting in forest glades – you would surely have all fallen. Yet succeed you did (though you were incapable of entering the vault that you protected).
Yet that was not as strange as the scene that you saw, observed as if you were there, despite the sheer impossibility of that having been the case. You know, instinctively, that the scene was real, the vision should you a final confrontation from over hundreds of millennia, or ages past. A scene of such power, and so alien to all your understanding, that you cannot imagine what it truly meant.
The final words, however, still echo through your mind… and it is these words, you are sure, that the Seer is eager to tear from your memory.
“My Eyes protect us all…”
Time starts to flow normally, and your memories revert back to this reality – who you are, your adventure in The White Wood and the “tests” of the Seer to see if you are “key to the very survival of this world”.
The device that he said would “release your memories – your racial memories or your past lives” is slowly fading away, and the silence becomes unbearable.
“What did you see? Did you experience anything?, he demands impatiently. “Tell me all that you saw and felt !”
Before you can consider the demand, words start to tumble from your mouths. Almost without thought, you start to all speak, interrupting each other, with snippets of what you now remember.
“A giant vault – some crown, had to be protected, but they died…. so much death”
“We escaped, but it killed us – just ripped us apart.”
“Cannot be, but we were there – the very beginning, well actually the end…. First Era…. cannot be, but….”
“Some Priest…. can’t remember what, but he commanded them – the undead, no not undead, but worse – much worse !!”
“Some guys – god-like – on a horse… just rode in, and….”
“A comet… up above… strange feeling… almost…”
“His Eyes must protect us all….”
“STOP”, yelled the Seer. “You are the ones, the foretelling was true. Worlds of past, present and future have all combined.”
Almost maniacally, he crushes the device in his hand, as if crushing an autumn leaf. All the risks taken to get this item from the Black Road, almost losing your companion Drulle (oh so many different names now float in your mind for him and for yourselves), to have it so carelessly discarded.
“This cannot be – immortality or not, you cannot be allowed to meddle !!”
His eyes burn red – a colour you now fear throughout your core – as his hands start to move and waves of energy wash over you. You can feel your life being torn asunder, and as you struggle you know that you have no means to stop the inevitable.
“I will destroy you – not just your bodies but your immortal souls”, he cries, “so that nothing can stop me. I will open the way, I will bring in the dark, all will fall.”
He trembles, and his body starts to change form; he seems taller, much taller, and much younger. Yet your vision is beginning to blur and you can barely distinguish his features. The last clear image you see is of his eyes – strange eyes, violet in colour….
“The Rift will open – all life will fall. I have half blinded the guardian – nothing will stop me now, no one can stand in my way with you all wiped from all existence – past and future.”
Your final thoughts are confused – your memories are a jumble, yet as life is slowly extinguished, you wonder why he is taking so long to kill you. How hard could it be of someone with such power? Immortality…. how could such exist?
Scenes even stranger – of crafts that sail through the stars, of moons and beings of immense glory… were they real, could they exist, could they save you? “The Long Night has returned and our fight for survival has yet to begin.”, said one of these gods, but what did he mean?
With your last breath of life, you cannot see the struggle that happens in your presence. Cannot see the Seer stumble, cannot see someone reach over each of your corpses, cannot see it gather you into its embrace.
You stand as spirits, or perhaps ghosts, yet you know who you are – who you were… all of you, and more now stand in the presence of a strange being – six-fingered, the same violet coloured eyes as the Seer, yet softer, gentler, almost sad staring at you.
“You do not know me, and I cannot sustain you long in this form, but there is something I must show you before you rejoin your journey”, he says in a very comforting voice. “Life here is fleeting and I have taken you from HIS presence at the last moment of existence, so that he cannot know who you will become. He will be looking for you, so you must beware and act swiftly.”
He points at a large sphere, an orb of glass with shifting colours and mist within. “I do not know where or when we will next meet, but you must remember.”. As he goes silent, the Orb brightens slightly and sounds drift up from it.
“I cannot see what The Ilarsiri is viewing, as their magic is too powerful to break through to see them, but there is enough to allow us to eavesdrop. This conversation will reveal much, for now is the time for your souls to know what your destiny holds for you.”
And listen you do – to a Dialogue of Four Voices, that talks of insanity, of worlds and life ending, of all time being destroyed. A conversation that cannot be, yet cannot be ignored.
“Now your souls will shift, and normally you would drift apart, but I will bring you to one place, so that there is time for you to act. This bond will last whenever the need arises, so that you are not world’s apart, but do not tarry for he is already acting.”, the strange figure states, frantically.
“Follow the Navigator – he will take you to where you need to start. Do not question who you are, that will come to you when the need arises, but remember what you have experienced.”
Suddenly you appear, those who you knew from voyages long past, and others who you do not immediately recognise, yet you know that their souls are familiar to you. In fact, you are not who you were – you are different beings, but with the memories of so many past lives.
A tear in the fabric of reality startles you, but this is not a rift letting evil at you, but a small portal opens as a strangely dressed man steps forward. “I am here to take you to Saralis – the land of blue awaits you, and my employer demands your immediate attention. Step through and let the journey commence….”, he says.
Without considering why, or why not, you obey the Navigator and step into the portal to start the next chapter of your legacy….
|Special NPC Encountered||Race||Status||Notes|
|Luarto Shang||Human Seer||Enemy||Slays party|
Next Chapter 4: Grave Events – Journey into Saralis