As you approach the table the eery glow of the stop even more eerilyglows. the glow bubbles soundlessly and pours up out of the star and flows out over the table and onto the floor.
The glow take aon vague shapes around the table until finally the vague shapes becoe more defined. Glowing, obviously made of an ether made visible by the arcane nature of the table’s star inset. The benches around the table take on the appearance of double exposure, silvery polished shimmer of full sized chairs, returned to their former state. Meticulously carved wood and silken tapestry – showing the heraldry of a dozen different houses.
[most of these contain elements which incorporate a four-pointed star along with some geographical feature]
A solder sits at one chair – the same location where you found the skeleton.
Around Alfred there forms another glow – exuding from his sword, then stepping “out” of Alfred comes a tall man with an official, almost regal, bearing. He too is dressed in military garb.
Notably, he carries the unblemished sword, with the starred hilt. The seated solder spots his approach, immediately stands, snaps to attention, and salutes.
At ease, Rittiger. We are beyond the obligations of rank now, I think.
Sorry sir, it is a habit borne of a lifetime of service.
No one has shown your unwavering devotion to our endeavour, save perhaps for Tanys himself. I am sorry it has ended like this.
Have faith General. All is not lost. There is yet hope.
Our days are now at an end. We are one hundred and forty days in this bunker, thirty with no food. If any were to come, they would have come by now. You heard the roar of destruction as we closed the hatch behind us. You felt the earth move beneath our feet. We may well be the only five alive within 30 miles of Lim."
But beyond Lim, our allies in Kingsland
- but now… there are many months of hard struggle ahead. I despair at the future if Heddahar succeeds in his campaign.
Are well occupied by Heddahar’s forces. Our mission here at LIm was to turn the tide -
Someone may yet come. They will seek Tanys, they will want answers, they will seek guidance from their general. They will believe you will offer them hope and direction.
You are right, Kerfel. Let us use our last hours to scribe a letter. For any of the Way who have lost the way.
“it is with great regret that I write this letter, for we have failed. But it is also with great hope for if you read this, you have survived and there is yet a chance that we can yet wrest some measure of victory from the rubble of defeat.
“I cannot guess at how many weeks or months or even years will have passed before you will read my words, or who or what may yet remain of our cause.
“Heddahar’s evil cannot remain unchecked. If he is not opposed it will mean the end of Kingsland as we know it: Its people will be massacred and enslaved; generations of humans will know little or nothing of our great endeavor, save perhaps that it brought about the fall of our civilization and proved that the gods cannot be challenged.
“Arin prophesied there would come a time of darkness when our cause would be all but forgotten. That is why he led his people from the ancient forests to seek the undiscovered country that he glimpsed in his visions, where he believes our greatest and only hope awaits.
“That you are reading my words may mean that he foresaw the truth. If that is indeed the case then your mission is clear: Rally our people together and survive until Arin’s return; seek Cord at the Earthkind Sanctuary – he will know what has transpired since our failure and will guide you. He knew there was a possibility that we would fail here and has laid a path to recovery. Heed his advice.
“Although the Sanctuary remains hidden, it is not impossible to find if your spirit is aligned with the Way of Earthkind. Make your way in the direction of Legion’s Finger and open your mind to the spirits of the Land. May your path be graced with good fortune.”
With those final words, the ghosts fade and disperse into a nebula of floating glows and flashes that coalesce into what looks like a great land mass bordered on its south side by the sea and at the north by a range of mountains. Just beyond the mountains juts a peak of immense size and height. In the southeast, at the mouth of a great river, there is a tiny pulsating four-pointed star. The map area zooms in until the four pointed star is at the centre of the map. There is a small city nearby, built up around the shores of a bay to the west. The map continues to zoom until a tower perhaps 100 feet tall fills the field of vision, and then continues through the tower walls to the star chamber beneath, where you now stand.
WHAT WAS THE MISSION
to disrupt the ritual of the three sisters – by ending their lives – and thus bring to a close the dark contract that gives Heddahar and his giants their unearthly strength and power.
WHY DID IT FAIL
we did not account for their defenses. the gnomen with their uncanny strength maybe we should have foreseen, but how could we suspect they would take wing and fly? and the dark mists – obscuring the barrier of blades and blood – who could withstand? let alone overcome.
WHO IS TANYS
Tanys is our Champion. The essence of earthkind. The light ahead, guiding us along the Earthkind path.