Summer -- North Bakker
Children Hearing Voices
Within and around Iglavik and Narrowdep, an increase in lunatic children is reported. Numerous children claim a Voice spoke to them, when they were near the portal stone light beam. Adults are skeptical about these stories. Healers, priests, philosophers, and exorcists have begun to gather within these two regions, proclaiming causes and attempting cures.
Over the last two years Iglavik had accepted the light column as a mundane local landmark. Perhaps pets behaved bizarrely. Perhaps commanders knew not to march beasts past the stones. Perhaps local wildlife avoided a square mile around the light beam. But otherwise life went on as normal.
So it was just another day in Iglavik when a young boy ran away from his mommy and daddy to climb a peak of the Snaketooth Mountains. He wasn't paying a lot of attention to the fact he chose the peak bearing eight portal stones assembled within a circle shooting a beam of light into the sky. That is until the buzzing got louder. But by then he was committed to the climb. He soon reached the summit and cast his gaze upon that below. Tired from his long hike, he sat down to rest his legs and enjoy a snack.
"Hey, little boy, come here," whispered a Voice.
Jumping to his feet in surprise, the boy failed to see anyone around, "Where are you?" he shouted.
"Come to the light," was the response.
The boy's eyes widened unconsciously as he clambered towards the light beam, getting within arm's reach. He remembered when the portal stones were first set there had been many town notices, and a couple stern lectures from his parents, about avoiding anything to do with it. But that had been two years ago. Little care regarding the column of light seemed to exist now. Besides, his parents were mean. What did they know about portal stones anyway? They were only coopers. Why he had heard an adventurer passing through town explain that you could use a portal stone to...
"Gellin Kye, you have been chosen for a quest," the Voice loudly interrupted the boy's thoughts, addressing him by name.
The boy was excited, "A quest? Really?!? What for?!"
"Where for," the Voice replied matter of factly. Continuing, "You are to travel to each capital. At each capital and along the journey to each capital, tell the tale of what happens here today. When in Corali Forest, warn them of grave danger for messing with that they do not understand.
Seek out those fond of cold. Gather those with the spirit of a fox. Find those who excel at sprinting. I want those of an innocent, loner, direct temperament.
Summon adventurer, knight, lord, duke, and royal alike. Let adventurers bring their most prized unique item, knights donate the best ware of their estate, lords present the most esteemed export of their region, dukes gift the pride and glory of their duchy, and rulers offer the most excellent of their realm. Let all sacrifice that most valued to the Pyre of Plenty!"
The Voice deepened, "It is paramount that more and superior sacrifices are brought here than are brought to Narrowdep. Should the Pyre of Plenty be superior to the Bonfire of Bounty, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps I will be able to bless those in Iglavik."
"What type of blessing?" Gellin inquired.
The Voice ignored his question, "Hey, thanks for not running away screaming when I spoke like all the other boys and girls did before you. But now, Go!"
The air was getting chilly. Still mad at his parents, and excited for adventure promised by a voice from a light beam, six-year-old Gellin set off down the mountain and out across the Colonies upon his journey.
Life had acclimated to the light beam within Narrowdep in a short time. Why hadn't there been such a light beam within Iglavik for over two years with no strange occurrences besides abnormal animal behavior the closer one got to the column of light? So it was not unusual that a young girl was gathering water from a well at an oasis, about thirty feet from the portal stones.
It was unusual that a Voice spoke from the light column, "pssst, come here".
The little girl was given such a fright she spilled the water she'd just collected. After not seeing anyone around, she felt both reassured and yet scared of what may lurk out of sight. With a timid, terrified voice, she meekly called out, "Hello?"
"Yes. You. Come here, little girl," came the response.
Sensing the voice's direction more clearly now, she gingerly approached the column of light. It hadn't ever been discussed, but she'd always had the impression she was to avoid it as much as possible.
Her guilt mounting, she stopped about ten feet from the portal, then retreated a few more feet and stood around awkwardly, when the Voice spoke again, "What's your name?"
"Henri," the little girl peeped up.
There was a long pause.
"Is your brother Sue?" the Voice finally spoke, when the little girl impatiently prepared to leave.
"No, I don't have any brothers, at least not...", she skeptically answered.
The Voice interrupted, "Nevermind that. Anyway, what's your clan? Your people? Your surname?"
"I am of the Tandaros, desert-dwellers as long as family memory holds," she stated with defiant pride, hands upon her hips.
"Well, pleased to meet you Henri Tandaros of Narrowdep. I have chosen you for a very important mission," the Voice paused for effect before continuing, "You are to travel to each capital. At each capital and along the journey to each capital, spread word of this moment. When in Frundi, warn them of grave danger for messing with that they do not understand.
Seek out those fond of heat. Gather those with the spirit of a snake. Find those who excel at marathons. I want those of a cautious, communal, polite temperament.
Summon adventurer, knight, lord, duke, and royal alike. Let adventurers bring their most prized unique item, knights donate the best ware of their estate, lords present the most esteemed export of their region, dukes gift the pride and glory of their duchy, and rulers offer the most excellent of their realm. Let all sacrifice that most valued to the Bonfire of Bounty!"
The Voice deepened, "It is paramount that more and superior sacrifices are brought here than are brought to Iglavik. Should the Bonfire of Bounty be superior to the Pyre of Plenty, maybe, maybe, maybe I will be able to bless those in Narrowdep."
"Who are you?!?" Henri interjected incredulously.
"Go," the Voice commanded.
Try as she might to get the column of light to reply to her, it spoke no more, and she soon began to feel a bit silly shouting at the light beam to say something. Returning to the oasis, she fetched herself a drink, being parched from all that desert dialogue. As she drank the cool water, she thought upon what had just occurred.
It didn't take long for her to conclude that she was not crazy and that she, at a whole seven years of age, was going on an adventure across the Colonies regardless of what her parents had to say. Actually, probably better not to tell them about any of this until she got back from her adventure. Still, she had been spent to gather water for the household. She may be plotting to run away on an adventure once her parents were asleep, but she had always been taught to finish her chores, and finish them before leaving she would.
Summer -- Dark Citadel
Rumours spread throughout the Dark Citadel of a seven-year-old girl named Henri Tandaros telling a tale of a Voice speaking to her from the Portal within Narrowdep. You first hear reports of her gathering a large audience at a divebar within South Bakker. When reports claim she is within the Dark Citadel's walls, the rumours become more detailed.
She claims to be looking for those fond of heat, of the spirit of the snake, who excel at marathons, and are of cautious, communal, polite temperament. None are excluded as she seeks all from adventurer to ruler. All are to bring the best of what they own from their personal property, estate, region, duchy, or realm. It is to be sacrificed to the Bonfire of Bounty. She emphasizes the importance of bringing more and superior sacrifices to the Bonfire of Bounty in Narrowdep, with a potential blessing if the Bonfire of Narrowdep surpasses the Pyre of Iglavik.
She spends some time in the Dark Citadel meeting with all from adventurers to the Shadow Tyrant before moving onto South Bakker to continue spreading the word.
Rumours spread throughout the Dark Citadel of a six-year-old boy named Gellin Kye telling a tale of a Voice speaking to him from the Portal within Iglavik. You first hear reports of him gathering a large audience at a watering hole within South Bakker. When reports claim he is within the Dark Citadel's walls, the rumours become more detailed.
He claims to be looking for those fond of cold, of the spirit of the fox, who excel at sprinting, and are of innocent, loner, direct temperament. None are excluded as he seeks all from adventurer to ruler. All are to bring the best of what they own from their personal property, estate, region, duchy, or realm. It is to be sacrificed to the Pyre of Plenty. He emphasizes the importance of bringing more and superior sacrifices to the Pyre of Plenty in Iglavik, with a potential blessing if the Pyre of Iglavik surpasses the Bonfire of Narrowdep.
He spends some time in the Dark Citadel meeting with all from adventurers to the Shadow Tyrant before moving onto South Bakker to continue spreading the word.
Summer -- Dark Citadel
Seven Days Remain - Team Iglavik or Team Narrowdep?
Across the Colonies two Voices speak, so close in sequence to one another that it sounds like one voice echoing, "Seven days remain to sacrifice the Best that you own in," the last word is garbled.
Some claim they heard 'Iglavik' while others claim they heard 'Narrowdep'. Furious debate upon what was said arises.