Lore Drop of the Gods

We travel for a long time, or a short time, or no time. I really don’t understand. We walked and we walked through a beautiful, raw, and beautiful land. Duskward and Springward, according to our new friend. Toward the Temple of the Clever Prince. Nat is eager to get back to her body, finish off the nightmare monster, and finish the ritual to cleanse Old Town. But first, we have to get to the temple.

The group gets into a strange discussion with our guide about time and intention and distance and the past or future. I’m not entirely sure, I wasn’t listening. I was enjoying the quiet of the forest. No heartbeat, no terrifying throb of a world about to rip at the seams. Just solid nature. Just believe in where we’re going, and we’ll get there, I say.

Then the land changes. Darker skies, fungus and mossy plants. Alok has turned bluer in tone. He says it’s time to set up camp, and we dont’ argue. Dalish sets up our normal protections, dome, sanctum, dog and all. We decide to set up watches because it’s weird here, even though we’re safe inside the magic. And, I still think we would have been.

Nat and I are on second watch, the light doesn’t change here, so it’s hard to tell the difference. We notice the moss rippling. Then a long claw pokes up through it. Around ten strange figures claw their way out of the ground. They have five strange long arms, tipped with a pointy claw. They mill about, confused by a strangeness in their path.

Nat looks into their minds, and find sadness and fear. Digging deeper, she can only sense the question, where? They’re poking at the edge of the magics now, so we wake up the rest of the group. Which, honestly, I think might have been a mistake in retrospect, maybe they just would have gone away.

Everyone armors up, and then Nat and Klyce go out of the dome to speak to them. The creatures scream at the sight of them, like everything here has done. Except these don’t run, they immediately attack. Two grab up Klyce, and stabbing all of their arms through him, clutching him between them in the creepiest scene I’ve seen in this strange realm. I rush out and Thunderstep him away with me, tossing a tiny bit of my magic into him to get his bleeding to stop at least. Naturally, he runs right bak into the fray.

The others also come out of the dome, except Dalish, who is trying to keep the spells up. I pull up a Storm Sphere and spend the rest of the fight trying to zap these creatures off my friends. It takes a while, and Gerhardt has to save Klyce again, but we manage to put the creatures down. We then head back inside and finish our rest in peace.

We head on in the not-actually-morning, with Nat and Dalish interrogating Alok about the monsters. He doesn’t know anything about those, but promises that we have been able to avoid the things he does know about in this area. Eventually, we head out of the fungal forrest into a wheatfield, with the sunsetting on the far horizon. Above us, we can see the floating temple from our dreams.

We organize a few flying spells and polymorphs, then fly up to the entrance stairs. There are really creepy, melting statues on either side of the double doors. Alok says they are the guardians of the temple and will destroy everything if they sense a threat. Right, remember to control your thoughts everyone. I just want to go home. We head up, and Klyce gets a weird melty glob tossed at him, but they do no harm and we are able to enter.

The foyer has sweeping pillars and flying butresses, and the hint of chanting from somewhere far off. Two figures step out and give bows to us. They are faceless, but humanoid, and have strange growths out of their shoulders.

“We greet you, Breakers. What business in the temple of the uncrowned king?”

Alok prompts me to ask for an audience with the prophets, and so I do. They ask us to wait here for some time. And their emphasis is so strange on the word time, that I stare after them for a few minutes. Then the group goes off onto another esoteric discussion, and I tune out again. We’re gods, guys, why can’t you just let it go. We need to go home and save the Bones, why does anything else matter?

The figures return and say we have been granted audience, so we follow them through the temple. There are libraries and great halls, and a strange room full of fae gathered around a rather massive tree-looking individual who is unmoving. They take us to a set of double doors that has a red glow leaking through and bid us enter. We open the doors and enter, the glow gets brighter and brighter. Then a flash. Then Darkness.

We are in an open hall, with black roiling clouds beyond, and the setting sun is still visible, as well. A many-armed, and horned figure bows to us from the far end of the hall as we approach. He bids us welcome, again, as the Breakers, but does admit we aren’t actually the gods, though we carry their power. Dalish explains that we died and woke up in this place, and we came here seeking a way home. He says it may be possible for ones such as us.

Someone asks how the war started between our peoples. He says he was there, and the war was inevitable, but then decides to start from the beginning. This is the best I can retell his story, it was a lot to take in:

There is a spectrum from Perfect Frozen Order all the way to Utter Chaos. Our two worlds are linked, circling mirrors in the center of this spectrum. The Human world on the Order side, and this Fae world on the Chaos side. The human world has rules, like gravity, climate, time, and movement. The Fae world is far looser with those concepts.

In the long past, travel between the worlds was easy and frequent. And this caused significant friction between our two peoples, when chaos and order mixed. This friction lead to conflict and death. Starvation and dehydration are ridiculous rules to the chaotic fae creatures. How could humans blame them for eating whatever they could find?

So, there was war. But it was easy and good at first. But, restrictions breed creativity. Humans grew clever and began to master their world and its rules. They learned to use iron to hurt the fae, and to harness magic from the Fae world. The balance of power shifted until it was even. This was still a fun challenge, but then the Breakers came.

The Breakers were the gods of the world of order, the Human world. They gathered power their, followers, entire tribes and nations. They lead armies into the Fae world. They burned villages to the ground.

Someone interupted here, to ask if they were really gods, probably Remy, but maybe Dalish, I wasn’t really paying attention. The prophet asked: What’s the difference between a god ad a being with immense power? And then continued his story.

They came to the Fae world, and tried to learn the rules among the chaotic realm. But they couldn’t, they didn’t understand the chaos. It didn’t play by the rules they knew. So, they made their own rules. They seduced the Clever Prince. He was fascinated by the Human world. He fell in love with one. (The Green Witch by our stories.) At the end of the wedding, the Breakers killed Balor, the King of the Fae world. (The evil eye of a god we defeated.) Then, before the Prince could be crowned in his stead, they imprisoned him in a place outside of reality. Then, they locked the Fae world away. They have cursed the fae to live here, as they are, forever.

The Breakers did not like the uncertain and confusing time of the Fae world. They changed it so that time no longer flowed in its normal path. They took away their freedom to change. We toss out a few questions at this point. It’s confusing, because we saw beings of all ages in the village. He explains that while we are here, in the Fae world, no time is passing back in the Human world. He shows us a window into our world, nothing is moving. He says generations that have been born since that time were different than the ones before, but it is difficult to explain how.

Alok asks about the monsters we ran across. He says he hasn’t seen one of them in eons. They were weapons of war, created by the Breakers. They are known as the Sorrowful Ones. Nat asks about the oncoming darkness, but the Prophet suggests she try looking into the future here. She will find it impossible. He is not a Prophet in the future sense of seeing anymore.

Nat asks if peace between our peoples might be possible, but he repeats that it is inevitable. We are too different. What if we could return the Prince to you? He would give anything for that. Nat asks about the place beyond reality, what if it leaked into reality? He says it would do less damage here than in our world. What about time? Would you want time back. Yes, he would, but he has no idea how we could do that.

We ask if there is some way to get back through that window he opened, but he says not in any way he knows, but he can look deeper with a gift of blood. Dalish immediately steps forward, and the prophet creates a pool of darkness and whispers. As Dalish’s blood drips in, we can see the cave. All of our bodies are still there, with the monster standing over us, and Nat’s form surrounded by a black smoke. The prophet asks the dark whispers how we could return there. The vision focuses in on Remy’s eye, which is still twitching, and looks up at the pool, which then catches fire.

We explain about Balor and Remy’s eye, much to his shock and dismay. He suggests that we could make a connection to that from Balor’s burial mound perhaps. It is further duskward, Alok could show us the way. It might be possible, somehow, for us to travel on that thread of connection, back to our world.

A few more questions before we go. The big silent, unmoving tree, is their judge. He meets out justice, but is unable to function right now. Do the beings here age? Yes and No. We ask if people have been going missing and he acknowledges they have. We explain the mana machines, regretfully, and our attempts to stop them. He wishes we would leave, and never return, so we head out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s