Originally posted on Crossroads of Dereth Tales Forum, April 2000
The final part in the “creation” story for my Asheron’s Call character, Rhyssa Fireheart.
Playing this character, and writing stories like this one (several of which I can no longer find, sadly), are a few of the reasons why I ended up “becoming” Rhyssa Fireheart, and why that name is now the one that I use regularly in other games and on message boards. Rereading the story now, over 2 years later, I have to restrain myself from doing some touch up editing. I see so much that I could have written differently, or better, but this is how I wrote it originally, sappy sentimentality and all.
Her second trip went no better than had her first attempt to flee with Steele. At least this time, she and Setanta had come across a deserted town, and she ran to the lifestone nearby to tie to it. The two of them had tried to reach the heartland, where she could contact a friend to summon a portal for her from there. As before, she had almost reached her goal when the Darkone intervened, and dashed her fragile hopes to the ground once again.
The sunlight glinting off of blue facets brought her out of her daze. She slumped against the side of the lifestone, weak and tired beyond belief. She was a failure. She couldn’t even manage to join her lord on her own because she was so weak.
The mage sat on the ground, not even caring about the monsters that surrounded the area she was in. Despair washed over her, and she considered giving up, but then the memory of her lord’s voice washed over her, the way he said her name, how he smiled at her, and she felt better again. Almost as if the thought summoned him, she heard his voice in her mind, asking if she was safe still.
Rhyssa told him what had happened, but that she was at least no longer in the confines of the castle. She was as safe as possible in this land. He told her to wait a bit before trying again, he would see if he could reach her somehow. She agreed to remain where she was, until she had word from him. The short conversation made her feel better, and determined to not have to be rescued once more. She sat up straighter, and began to consider her options.
But first, she would rest for a short while, and let some of the weakness go away. She spent time mindspeaking and chatting with other friends, especially Colonel Coward, whom she knew from her days in Stonehold. His teasing helped to raise her spirits, and she felt like she could try to kill some of the monsters infesting this area.
The tactics taught to her so long ago by Grimwell came easily to mind, and she teased the shreths out of their hiding places with some skill, managing to kill a few of them. The banderlings were another matter. They infested the area in so many numbers that it proved impossible to fight them in this manner, and she died twice more. But she persevered, refusing to give in despair again, and continued to regain her powers.
By the time that Alfonso contacted her later in the day, she felt up to agreeing to try another run to safety again. She gave him directions to where she was and said she would be waiting for them. Soon, Alfonso and one of his vassals, Lex Talionis, arrived at her location. They had decided to leave the castle also, and look for a new home for themselves. The three friends talked for a while, waiting only for Chyeld, Alfonso’s other vassal to arrive.
The four made plans, and with the assistance of Alfonso’s greater magics, they began the run to a new home. Running through a nearby portal to Holtburg, they arrived and immediately ran to the next portal on their path. All four reached the other side safely, and began the long run to their refuge. Fate and the Darkone seemed to conspire to keep her from reaching the place her lord had told her of. Swarms of monsters infested the plains the desperate adventurers ran over, and once again she fell to the sharp hooves of a shreth. This time however, she had friends who called her to come back, and she knew the way, so without hesitation, she cast what protective magics she knew, and began to run.
The Light of the One finally smiled upon her, and she was reunited with her companions. They continued onward and soon, a low building appeared in the distance. A peddler lived within, and he gladly allowed the four to take a well-needed break in his courtyard.
Chyeld, however, decided that instead of resting, she would try to help the peddler out by killing a few monsters that laired close by. The fierce warrior woman quickly made short work of the foul creatures, and after a break, declared herself ready to finish the journey.
The peddler knew of the sanctuary they were seeking, and gladly gave them more accurate directions. They gave him thanks and set out to continue their run. Soon, a pillar appeared on a hilltop. This was the sign her lord told her to look for, and with a joyful cry, the four ran up the hill and into the portal there.
Materializing in a dark room, they were met by a voice of welcome from another Dragon. She quickly introduced her three companions, and they were welcomed as friends as well. The four were shown where the lifestone was located, and after setting their souls to it, began to explore this new place.
She had reached safety, whatever that meant in this dark land, and would wait for her lord here. She would hunt the surrounding area, until it was time to move again somewhere else. All homes were temporary now, but as long as she had her Lord and her brothers and sisters in the Circle, she would forever have a place to go to.
Her only true home was where her heart was, and that would forever be with Steele and the Circle of the eternal Dragon.