Originally posted on Crossroads of Dereth Tales Forum, March 2000
Part 2 of the “creation” story for my Asheron’s Call character, Rhyssa Fireheart.
The portal seemed to last forever, but eventually she found herself staring at one of the twirling blue lifestones. Looking around, she didn’t recognize anything; this dry, desert land certainly wasn’t her lovely mountain home in Stonehold. She found a sign pointing off into the distance, “Samsur.” She had returned to Dereth, but far, far to the south of her home. She slumped to the ground in despair, almost sobbing from the thought of the task ahead of her. A noise off to her right made her jump up in alarm, grabbing for her wand.
She shook herself, muttering about fools who deserved to be killed, and headed out towards the city, using caution every step of the way. She reached a point where she could see into the town, but decided to go hunting drudges and shreths instead, to build her strength and power back up. She felt so… diminished somehow, not nearly as strong as she had been previously. Moving north from the town, she soon found monsters to fight, and the words of power came easily to her lips. Drudges fell easily to her warmagics, but she did not come away without injury herself.
She desperately tried saying the words to one of the healing spells she remembered, and was amazed to feel the power surge through her, healing the injuries. In astonishment, she repeated the spell, and once again felt the warmth of healing wash over her. Taking a break near midday, she looked over the bag of components she was carrying, and recognized most of the items she had, but not all. Remembering conversations around the inn back in Stonehold, she tried to combine several of her components in new ways, and was rewarded with the knowledge of a new type of spell imprinting itself in her mind. The return trip through the portal had obviously affected her mage powers in a profound way. She would have to study this further.
During the day, she kept herself busy killing monsters, and gaining her powers back, but at night, the loneliness washed over her. The links to her guildmates, and more importantly to her lord, remained broken. She had no way of knowing where they were or how any of them were doing. This only strengthened her resolve to find and rejoin her guild, as soon as possible.
She continued to hunt the area around the town of Samsur, and met few people there, most quite nice to her. She even introduced herself to Firehawk, a member of the Circle of Arms, the guild allied with her own. Everything seemed to be going well, until the morning when someone tried to drain away her life force while she was speaking to the town archmage. Running in fear, and trying to save her life, she cried out with her mind, hoping against hope that someone, anyone would hear her and respond.
To her amazement, her dear friend Zen Kail answered her, asking what was wrong. She quickly explained, and Zen told her to stay hidden, he would come check out the town and meet her. Soon, she heard his voice, telling her that Samsur was safe and to meet him near the mage. After a joyful greeting, she finished her shopping and then, with Zen’s cheerful assistance, began the long run to a place she knew of, somewhere she could work on regaining her strength and powers in relative peace. The tower she knew of was surrounded by armoredillos, sandstone golems and skeletons, but the young archmage knew how to fight these foul creatures now, and would have no trouble defeating these minions of the Darkone.
Zen Kail left her at the tower to work on her skills, but he promised to be near if she needed him again. And he also promised to let the other Dragons know of her return, especially her lord, Steele. She began to get to work almost immediately, striving to regain lost knowledge as quickly as possible. While at the tower, she met an old friend, and made a new one.
The young mage, Shotorius, was also trying to become strong at this place, and they exchanged notes and formulas to help each other out. There was also another at the tower, an older mage named Costanza, who did not talk to the two young mages at all, but went about his business in silence. They, for their part, simply left him alone and continued to fight monsters together.
After a day at the tower, Rhyssa was startled to receive a mind message from another Dragon named Kyushu. He asked where she was, and after giving him directions, he said he would come to meet her at the tower to help her fight golems, so that she could grow even faster in power. Rhyssa sat on the steps of her tower in amazement, surprised that anyone, even a guildmate, would take time just to come help her. She was truly blessed by being a Dragon.
Soon, Kyushu arrived, and the two of them headed out to a spot where golems used to appear regularly. The golems had moved, but that didn’t prevent the two warriors from finding and attacking any that were found. The mage tended to forget that her powers weren’t as strong as previously, and had an unfortunate habit of letting golems step on her, with disastrous results. Kyushu spent most of his time simply trying to keep her healed, but it became overwhelming at times. Fortunately, the run back from the lifestone wasn’t very far, and she continued to fight with a vengeance.
Eventually, they decided to return to the tower for the evening, and the mage thanked her brother for all his assistance and bid him goodnight. She wanted to continue fighting and moved up to the ledge of the tower to attack more beasts.
Soon, the mage Costanza joined her on the ledge, saying nothing as usual. She had moved inside after a bit, to continue studying a particularly hard spell when the green-gold aura of a spell surrounded her. Then, suddenly, she felt the bite of acid in her side. She heard Costanza finish uttering the magical words again and turned just as the killing stream of acid hit her in the chest. Running back inside from the lifestone, she saw the mage jump off the ledge and run, stumbling, away from the tower.
Rubbing at the aching spot on her chest, she decided that perhaps it was time to go to town, and do some shopping. The run to town was rather easy this time, testimony perhaps to her knowledge of the area, but when she arrived, there were strangers there, several of them members of known evil guilds. She swung to the south of town, hoping to sneak in that way but saw another of the enemy there. Thinking hard, she ran back to the tower, hardly noticing the monsters trying to attack her. This area was no longer safe for her, and the attack by Costanza only confirmed this.
The mage tried to contact any of her guildmates who were available, and succeeded in reaching her dear friend Legolas Bazelkin. He told her that one of the High Dragons was around, and perhaps he could help her out. Nervously, she contacted Le Cardinal, and he agreed to portal her to a spot many of the dragons knew of. So running through the nearby portal, and contacting her servant to do the same, she arrived in an out of the way place to await Le Cardinal’s arrival.
While consulting with her servant, she heard the deep voice of the High Dragon in her mind, asking where she was. After reintroducing herself, he opened the portal for her to move yet again to a new home.
-To be continued-