It’s not every day that you are confronted by your own mortality
Spade swirled his drink in his glass as he thought about what they had just experienced. Kayne had sent Aitlas and Ace on some sort of secret mission, so Spade had plenty of alone time to do some serious processing.
The visions are just one possible future. One of many. They only show what might happen if we continue on the path that we are on.
The vision started the same way as the previous one. Aitlas gave the Mirrorshine Sword to Ovik and he cast his arcane ritual with Majid as the focus.
The visions serve only as a premonition or as a warning. We must take their lessons to heart, but we mustn’t be blinded by them.
Our vision blurred and everone woke in an encampment. It was clearly a military set-up. Every soldier with their own bedroll. Sleeping in rows close to each other. Uniforms neatly placed near the edge of each sleeping spot. However the uniforms were those of the Skyrifles. They were old and ragged, covered with spots of faded blood.
The Skyrifles aren’t a military. They don’t go out to distant lands and fight wars. Had they truly been driven out of Himmin? Had they left by choice or were they forced to leave?
Inspection of the camp confirmed the suspicions. These were Skyrifles that had taken up a role more akin to soldiers. And they were no longer in Himmin. The camp had been set-up in the middle of the ruin of a small town. Most were just humble homes that had been long abandoned. The houses had been thoroughly wrecked, through a combination of earthquakes and overgrown roots. One ruin stood out as it was an old tower that had seemingly been converted to another purposes. A nearby worn sign was heavily faded, read ’The Broken Tower Inn’. Surrounding the ruins was a dense forest. The building style, the type of trees and the climate, suggested that we were to the West of Himmin.
The Arcarost Valley, so named after a ruined city hidden in the mountains. Supposedly nothing of interest exists within the valley, just a small colony of hill dwarfs and an even smaller village. Though there were some rumours of wizards trying to revive the old city. Had the wizards caused this devastation on this tiny community?
A giant tree could be seen in the distance. This tree towered over the landscape. It was almost as big as a mountain. Spade had no idea that a tree could become so large, it seemed almost unreal. He certainly wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes.
Does that tree already exist in our own time? Surely, it would take many thousands of years before it could even reach half of the size. But then a tee like that would have been noticed. Even if it was far to the West, there are plenty of skyships that go in that direction. There did not seem to be any stories about a giant tree. Given how much sailors like to embellish that seemed hard to believe.
When everyone met up with Majid, he looked the same as when we entered the ritual. But Majid was the commander of this camp. He had woken up separately in a larger tent, with a broader bed, books and maps. He was clearly in charge and had been leading this group of Skyrifles across different locations in the world. He was able to confirm that we were indeed in the Arcarost Valley.
It was curious that this time we kept our armour and weapons. Our appearance always remains the same amongst each other, yet those that are part of the vision react to us as though we are different people. The magic that powers the vision remains a mystery. However there must surly be some kind of rules that drive them? It seems most likely that the visions are meant to guide the wielders of the Mirrorshine sword, so it may adapt itself to present that which is most suitable. Perhaps it is influenced by the target or by the one casting the ritual?
Majid took the lead on prying the Skyrifles on guard for more information. As usual, he wasn’t very subtle about it but he was able to get results. In this way, we learned that the Skyrifles here were hunting down Rabo, the blue dragonborn that lived in the Reverie. They had been chasing Rabo for three years for a large betrayal that Rabo had committed. No more information could be gleaned from the guards as they became suspicious of Majid.
Majid has a direct style that works well for many circumstances. He is very capaable in tracking down the truth. It is no surprise then that it seemed as if he may have been placed in charge of the Skyrifles, at least those from Himmin. It is definitely a step-up from prior leaders.
The Skyrifles called out to Elloris, an elven ranger with a wolf companion, about Majid’s strange behavior. Her wolf didn’t seem to like the Skyrifles themselves too much, but it was quite friendly with Majid. Apparently Ace and Spade’s Agency helped her find something important nearly twenty-eight years ago, and she remained a loyal ally to Majid after all that time.
Elloris was somewhat of a mystery as interactions with her were limited. It is also the first time that there was a prominent character from the future that was currently unknown. Is the path already set that she will need help?
Elloris seemed very close to Majid. From the contents of Majid’s tent and her care for Majid, much can be surmised about their future relationship.
While Majid was forced to rest by Elloris, the other Skyrifles became more forthcoming with information as Ace got them to muse about their past and used a bit of magic to extract more. The fragments of information they shared painted a very dire picture. The current Himmin, some twenty-eight years in the future, had become a tyrannical society. Many of its inhabitants have been consigned to hard labor camps. Giants in grey and black uniforms whip poor people into submission. All under the iron fist of Kayne, who had taken over the city.
Kayne as the brutal dictator of Himmin is a hard picture to imagine at this moment. But is it really so unexpected? He has always been very impulsive, often putting his own needs and desires above others. Not to mention his callous disregard for the laws that don’t match his expectations. However he does have a soft side, he will go out of the way to take care of animals or those that are less fortunate. But perhaps these are just the signs of a heavy heart? And one day, he may be overcome by guilt, jealousy, or a true desire to right a wrong in his eyes. One wrong choice can set a man down a very dark path and Kayne may not realise how close he is to the edge.
The other Skyrifles knew that Commander Majid felt guilty about what happened in Himmin and that this was the reason that they were out there. Apparently Kayne went down his dark path and Spade wasn’t around to prevent this from happening. This was because Rabo had betrayed everyone and killed Spade.
It is as if someone walks over the grave you didn’t know you had. A deep chill to learn that you are dead and the world, with everyone you care for, has fallen to pieces.
After Majid had ‘recovered’ from his forced rest, Elloris and the group went into the forest to track a set of footprints that they believed belonged to Rabo. The tracks first led out, deep into the woods. But then they double back and led right back to the camp. We returned to the Skyrifle encampment to find it under attack by lizardmen under the command of Rabo.
This led to a final confrontation between Majid and Rabo. Despite Zebulor being eaten by a giant lizard (which was promptly banished with Zebulor inside), Majid captured Rabo. They had a quick interaction where Rabo revealed that he had killed Spade in vengeance because the group had killed the devil that he worshipped.
Rabo seemed much more coherent than when he was at the Reverie. Back then, he seemed more like a fool cursed with delusion. But this Rabo was very much in control and showed no signs of being feeble minded. Was it all just an act when he stole the eye? Does something happen to him in the next decades? Does his faux effigy hide true devil worship? This calls for closer investigation.
After this the vision ended and all were returned to Himmin, to the present.