(There are discrepencies and some bits were removed because it was easier than remembering where in the story it went. It has most everything important that happened though.)
Our trek through the desert has rewarded us with a giant temple growing from the ground, water, and the gift of food through the slain ants. We packed our rations in preparation to follow one of the astralades we discovered. Seloma has gifted me with one of them. Surely this will become useful in my future endevers, possibly in a rouse to send the thing along it’s way to find the treasure I promised it.
Following the guidance of the magic, we found yet another hatch in the desert. We entered it, and the sound of silence was maddening. I felt afraid, the shadows moving around us as we walked down further and further into it. The walls echoed back to us our very own breath. I held mine in an attempt to find peace from the echos against the walls. Everything began to spin, and all went dark. I don’t remember anything after this point, until I was awoken by the sound and rumbling of the temple. When I came to, me and the group were at the top of another raised temple, greeted by starlight. Just as the temple before it, there was a room. Knowing this would be my chance to get a great treasure, I sprinted ahead of the group and attempted to kick open the stone door before they could stop me.
…That didn’t pan out so well.
After goop opened the door, we found inside 4 more astralades, all pointing to the same directions as the ones we had. We also found another item similar to the ring. Shaped more like a bowl, and Seloma failing to activate it, I took it from her and cut my hand, dripping a few drops of blood into it and then attempted to activate it. Hell, might as well, right?
But then, in an instant, all of my past flashed before my eyes. From my early years first being born, to now with the group. I’ve lost a lot of weight since I started this journey into the desert.
I hand it back to Selmoa, sharing my discoveries. She was hesitant to try it again. But was more than happy to give me another astralade. At the very least, this’ll bring me some degree of amusement later.
Setting forth, we head off to another temple. Much like before, we walked down the halls and reached the center. But instead of being greeted with a crystal, ready to be set in place, all we found were broken shards of it. The group felt like it had lost direction it seemed. I decided I’d fix it.
The pieces were attracted to each other, and floated freely. Cutting my hand again, I used my blood in an attempt to piece it back together, using it as a binding agent. Might as well see if this also uses blood magic.
A piece was missing. A goddamn piece was missing. Taking this chance to see what might happen if I activate it with the blood bowl again, my mind had a great history played before me. I saw the crystal, sitting in the temple for ages and ages. Nothing changing with it. Until one day, a cloaked man attempted to steal it. But as he tried, he was shot with an arrow, dropping it. It shattered. Here, as if my mind was split, I watched the crystal lay there broken, as the man he grabbed a piece of the gem and fled. He made it to the sands before his heart failed him and he died, spilling his blood on the sands. The piece sat there and was swallowed over time into the depths of the desert. My mind was split, watching, until I watched in the temple as we arrived, and I repaired and used the blood bowl on it.
Snapping to, not more than a second had passed as this happened. I look to Seloma, the only other person who had any sort of magical capabilities and told her excitedly what happened, and where we need to go. I also came to the conslusion that the blood bowl was in fact a pensive of sorts. Leaving the temple, taking a piece of the crystal with us, we went out into the deserts to find the missing piece. After 2 days of journey, we were lost. Unable to find where we were, disorientated by the endless dunes and the second flashes of the crystals history using the pensive. At this point, I took the crystal and activated it, and from around me I could hear this humming, coming strongly in a general direction. Listening closer, I heard a similar hum, but quiet and muffled. We followed the sound until it was coming from beneath us. The crystal tugged at the ground, as the sands lifted and the missing fragment of the crystal pulled up and reunited with it’s brother. With the pieces in hand, we set back to the temple, went to the bottom, finished repairing the crystal and set it in place. The temple rose just as the others, but when we went inside the room, we found no other item besides the astralades.
Sitting there, I decided to take the ring and the pensive and use them together. I watched as the temples were raised by a race of unknown origin. They used magic of a kind I’ve never seen before, errecting these elaborate structures. I then watched as this race and humans met at a giant temple with a huge ring upon it, the center filled with slate. The ring was used in activating the ring, where demons started pouring forth. The race that build these temples simply disappeared and the temples slowly sunk into the sands. There, inside the first temple, the ring sat. I shared my findings with the group.
Distraught, we left the temple to go to the final one, in hopes any last item was still there. Saloma then had a brilliant idea, and tried to read the history of the sands. Apparently, she sucks at using it, because she fell back in a daze and didn’t come to for like an hour. Maybe she forgot the blood? I don’t know. But when she came to, she tried again, but carefully selecting just one sand from the desert. She told us of the same city I had seen grow and fall, about the race, and how everything was held in place by magic and then went away as the magic disappeared. This is when, recalling on the history of times long gone, we realized the beings we saw were the Sinthari.
With these discussions, we set forth yet again, gathering water from the temple’s abundant supply.
Reaching the last, we were greeted in much the same way and traveled down to the bottom, and set the crystal into place. The temple rose. But, so did something else. The constant hum of the entire desert went away as we looked into the distance and saw a giant ring. The temple from my visions.
Checking the room atop here, we found a jar full of a weird powder. Taking some of it and placing it into the pensive, Seloma told us how the Sinthari would take this powder and drink it and go into a trance that lasted hours, even days long. This could be promising to give to the thing.
Before we left, we discussed the notion of writing the symbol that appeared when Seloma had the ring upon it, to see if it would summon something. I told them we should just use the demon sigil we had from before, and see if we can kick it with him for a while and maybe ask him if he can curse the thing while we’re at it. Nobody liked that idea.
We set out for the temple. After 9 days of journeying, we reached it. Yet, nowhere were there stairs that could be climbed. Only giant stones with writing on them. Without skipping a beat, I used the pensive on it, and discovered how the Sinthari would raise and lower these stones to get from one place to another. Yet, after this vision, I felt a familiarity with raising the block. I attempted to raise it, and with some adjustment, I spent the next hour practicing raising and lowering it. I stopped and looked at my hands.
A sheet of blood coated them. The sand has pools of blood where my hands hovered as I used the stone. I then looked at my body, and I was covered in lacerations. This magic is of something else.
Seloma healed me with her spells, and she too practiced. After a short while, we went up to investigate the ring, using the stone to lead us there. Slate. A flat piece of slate sat before us. I told them that we should put the demon’s sigil here, yet again. But they didn’t listen. I attempted to activate it by taking the ring we have. But all that happened was a new sigil appeared on the ring. Curious, we handed it off to Goop and Raiju, to whom were both presented a new sigil.
Taking a moment to discuss it, we decided to write Seloma’s sigil on this giant slate ring. Once we finished, Seloma fell weak. She grew ashen and couldn’t bring herself to stand. Bringing ourselves down, we sat there, not knowing what to do. She eventually feinted laid there without any strength.
It was in this moment, Goop decided to make a drink using the powder and gave it to Seloma. Color returned to her face, and she sat up in a trance, much as she described the Sinthari. Leaving her with the horse and the thing, we got onto the block and brought ourselves up to the temple’s ring. We watched as the slate sunk back and before us a swamp appeared. Uncertain of what this meant, I took some of the mud from inside and placed it into the pensive before entering. For a short time, this place has existed, with the swamps changing from being calm to being more wild. This mud wasn’t more than a few decades old, if that.
Inside, we looked about, uncertain of what we’d find. The entrance we took to here was no longer behind us.
We were trapped.
We saw water in the lagoon ripple in a direction. We were uneasy about moving forward and seeing what it was. I swore I saw a dark shape move in the trees, but I couldn’t feel certain that there was anything. Still, we drew our weapons and continued forward. We followed the river along until we came across a waterfall and a cliff. We climbed down, and reached the bottom. Checking to see if there was anything behind the waterfall, we found a cave and entered. Before us was a pond, with a white, almost glowing fish swimming in circles in it. I figured it’d probably taste good, so I dove into the water. The fish swam out of the pool and out into the river, and while I was giving chase, I was bitten by a pure black shark. Fuuuuck that hurt. Ignoring it, we chased after the white fish, and followed it until it went off the edge of another cliff. Looking over, we saw the fish change shape into a dolphin.
What kind of place is this.
As we went to follow it along the edge of the cliff, a black bore charged out at us. Raiju attempted to jump over the bore. She fucked that up pretty badly and ended up being thrown off the edge of the cliff, with the bore following. She climbed back up as soon as she could, and in the distance we saw a black orca splashing in the distance. Continuing along the edge of the cliff, we watched as the dolphin drove itself ashore and beached itself, only to morph into a deer and run off into the distance. We followed it, and found ourselves in a town. It felt vaguely familiar, but only some parts of it. We found a church, which the others seemed to recognize. We entered the church and looked around. It was broken and in shambles. The others made their way to a locked room, and upon breaking it down they discovered it was filled with weapons. They found weapons they were familiar with, but nothing in there was something I had ever owned. We began to hear the sound of people talking, as if they were near by. Looking around nervously, we didn’t see anyone. Yet out of the corners of my eye, I swore I saw gray silhouettes moving. Here, Goop saw a white shape move across a window. Without hesitation, he jumped through and chased after it, with me and Raiju following. I caught a glimpse of a black rat scurrying into a gutter nearby, but ignored it as we pressed on until we reached a tavern. When we entered, we could hear music playing, but there was noone to be found. I was parched. More than ready for a drink at this point. To avoid stirring anything nearby, I attempted to stealthily grab a drink from over the counter, only for a hand to thrust forth and stab the table next to my hand. Disgruntled, a barkeep said “What do you think you’re doing?”
I fell silent, unsure of what to say at the time. On an impulse, I asked for a drink. Which I got.
Looking around, the previously empty tavern was filled with people, many of them the sea faring type. We noticed Scruffy sitting at a table, and excitedly asked him to go on an adventure. He agreed, and called up Seloma. Seloma approached wearing pirate clothing, which fit hilariously on her, almost like a child’s costume. But then suddenly, everything went still and faded away, the tavern aging suddenly, and my drink vanishing from my hand. I didn’t even get a sip.
She turned to us, crying, saying how it was our fault Scruffy died. How we only lead to and cause destruction. Her body then fell to ash, with the tavern all around making noises as if it was about to fall. I reached into the pile of ash that used to be Seloma, taking a handful, and ran outside. The tavern collapsed behind us, with barely enough time for us to escape. Taking a small portion of the ash and dropping it into the pensive, I activated it and watched Seloma’s life, from when she was younger, to when she found a group of companions, some of them still here, others who had died. And I watched as they lead a campaign of terror across the land. Getting kicked out of provinces, using a demon to destroy a town, helping the Lady Nyra take over the town. Shamelessly and spitefully doing evil, without caring of the outcome.
And I thought I had low morals. I’ll want some explaining about why the fuck the thing is so special I’m not allowed to harm it.
Goop began looking around, trying to find something familiar, eventually stumbling across a manor, the manor of the lady that captured an entire town. We attempted to enter the maner when guards materialized and told us to state why we’re there. We told them we were simply here to see the Lady. They stepped aside, we entered the manor, and the guards disappeared as we did this. There, the lady sat atop the staircase, whispering. Talking to someone it seemed. Figuring she might lunge at us, I attempt to sneak along the side to get a better look, see who she was talking to. But it was like she kept her back to me. Like she knew I was there. But the others didn’t seem to notice a change at all. Goop walked up to her, and walked around her, as if he couldn’t make out anything about her. Was this just an illusion?
Then, out of nowhere, she turns to Goop and screams, lashing out an attack. Goop then swung at her, using the full might of his arms, greatly harming her. I fired a shot while Raiju fired her bow. The Lady stumbled and fell down the staircase. Dead.
What does this mean for her controlling the town?
We examined the place further and found a map. It listed places I had seen Seloma travel to when I saw her life through the pensive. We copied the map as well as took it, to ensure that it too wouldn’t dematerialize just like my drink. I’ll miss you, my untasted buddy.
Leaving, we saw Seloma standing at the gate. We walked up to her and talked to her. She was crying. She was upset. She talked about how all we ever do is harm people. How we haven’t ever solved anything without hurting people. I didn’t get why she cared, because it got the job done. I mean, it just meant they’re sloppy at their jobs, but they still did complete the job.
Goop mentioned how they had once delivered a feather pretty damn well. She asked us to show her, as she then transformed into a while eagle and flew off into the distance. Following her, we found the tower where the group had gotten the feather before, from their accounts. Arriving to the top, a gray man appeared. Goop, immediately infuriated, attempted to attack the man. Suddenly, the one became three, and I watched as Goop swung and missed one, swung and missed another, and narrowly hit him. I took a shot, but it lead to nothing. Raiju was attacking thin air. Don’t know what the hell she was doing.
Suddenly, as if hit by a sudden clarity, Raiju looked in a single direction, and the gray man was shocked. We took this time to attack and put as many hits as we could into the gray man, but all of us were fighting in different areas. If there was ever an illusionist that deserved a swift kick to the balls, it was this one. With a few more blows, we defeated the illusion. White berries fell to us. Goop and Raiju ate them without hesitation. I inspected them a bit closer before I poisoned myself. They didn’t seem to be like any poisonous berry I had seen before, so what the hell, bottoms up right?
Feeling rejuvenated as my wounds healed, we followed the white eagle. Climbing down the tower, we took off into the direction of the forest it flew into. Going through, feeling uncertain, we caught a glimpse of a white rabbi. We chased after it, deeper and deeper into the woods. We had lost it, but then we heard this scream. Like the sound of a rabbit being hurt.
Charging into that direction, we look and we see a white rat encased at the top of a web pilar. Goop runs up to chop down the pillar, only for a giant spider to jump down at him. Sinking it’s fangs into Goop, he rolled away from the spider and the battle commenced. With spells being shot from the rat, help from a pack of wolves, and the unexpected appearance of Al, we tackled this monster. Every time we took two of it’s legs, it changed form. It went from a spider, to an ant, to a panther, and finally to a black silhouette of Seloma. We struck it down, and with that done, the rat escaped and fled into the forest. We followed it until there was a clearing with Seloma sitting, cooking food. She casually says “Hey, what’s up guys?”
Pretty goddamn disgruntled, we were all hesitant to trust this to actually be her. But with a bit of talking, she said something about how there’s always another chance, and that things can get better, and that things are going to be okay now. Whatever she was on about. It was here, the doorway emerged again, and we went though, and found Seloma awake, and for some reason, smiling widely and peacefully.
Maybe we cleared out some darkness within her? Who knows. All I know is that these guys have seriously got to choose better partners and not let people blow up and burn an entire city block to the ground. Like, talk about a sloppy way of getting a job done.