Crimson stains and clumps of gore on everything. The scent of fresh blood littered the battlefield, thankfully most of it belonging to the enemy. Travance's Heroes were bred for this activity, this efficient systematic killing, or else the scene would be a very different one. This is what they do, and no other force was born to fair so well against a sea of crushing chaos. Thousands of chaos warriors, now living and dead littered the pastures for as far as the eye could see. They numbered too many to have snuck into the proper, and so the theory that they were sent through a portal seemed likely enough. Near one far end of the field, two large fire elementals clashed with the chaos warriors, their origin and story unknown. A few of the heroes breached the front lines invisible, bringing back vital intel to Travance’s battle line. Keavy scratched at her hair, dislodging an annoying chunk of enemy flesh that had been hanging on for far too long. Finally, the calls of victory were heard, as the last of the chaos warriors were stabbed to death on the ground… there was no need for prisoners.
The heroes gathered around Elawyn, who had been showing them the way using one of the seals they had to open Jonathan Travance’s Temporal Tomb. The Baroness held the other in hand as they waited breathlessly for the ethereal keyholes to align. As the right moment struck, they pushed the seals forward, unlocking the invisible tomb. With a noise that sounded like metal wind chimes, the seals settled and then fell to the floor, revealing the way in; a maze of mystical brush, that twisted and cleared itself for the heroes to advance. Through a brief winding pass they traveled, and finally all filled into a large open glade. At its center, on a rock slab, a middle aged man, covered in sheets and moss and cobwebs laid perfectly still. The few who could recognize him knew the man as Jonathan Travance.
As they walked into the glade, one mans ire rose in his throat and boiled. That man was Royce Mardux, the brother of the man that Jonathan Travance killed while rescuing the Kings Daughter so many years ago. “Really Travance?!” He screamed. “You chose to rest at same spot that you murdered my Brother?!” Royce saw only red. Royce had lived the last many years in poverty and normalcy but was once a powerful sorcerer and had never lost his edge - like instinct, or perhaps even the spirit of his dead twin taking control, he invoked for time to stop. Master Haroldson of the Mages guild tried to prevent this time distortion, and would have, if not for the ancient blood of the true kings that flowed through Royce’s veins. Royce pulled out his sword and stormed towards the slumbering Travance. Lord Erdrick Brightstar, wielding the legendary Pentir blade Absolus had the power to ignore the distortions of time, and so he put himself between Royce and Jonathan. Royce cast spell, after spell, after spell on Erdrick, and put behind them so much magical fury, that when time would resume, Travance's most epic hero would crumple to the ground. Royce's sword was now set to strike his brothers murderer, yet just before his blade hit home, he threw it to the ground and sunk himself into despair. What stayed Royce's hand? Was it a change of heart? Was it Travance himself? Or did Erdrick end up giving him the opportunity he needed to unload the brunt of his surging rage just seconds before encountering his target? The answer would not be clear, and everyone immediately crowded the scene.
A sea of heroes now surrounded the motionless Jonathan Travance. They stared, examined and tried to talk to him, all to no avail, but after a few moments they all felt an intrusion stealing from them, their will to speak or move, and then they heard the voice that had not been heard for over a decade. Jonathan Travance spoke to them in their minds.
“I have kept myself in stasis for one hundred and twelve days… during that time the world has experienced fifteen long turbulent years. Now is the time for me to re-enter the world, yet the poison that courses through my veins still works to destroy my mind. I need your help. Somewhere in my past lies buried the secrets to this venom, secrets that will help you to find a cure. To unearth this knowledge I will bring you into my memories. You will experience the perspective of one of the original settlers of this land. You will have the opportunity to explore my re-creation of the past. Hopefully then you will return with the knowledge to cure me.”
With the words having been spoken, all the heroes of Travance collapsed to the ground unconscious…
* * * * *
Broken shards are everywhere, above you, below you, floating through the air, hundreds of thousands, an uncountable number. In some of them you see your fractured reflection, occasionally flashes by something else completely, like an image from your past. Then some change to images you don’t recognize, perhaps scenes from someone else’s past. The shards grow dark and begin to merge together, forming the ground beneath you and the sky above. They begin to take on forms that resemble trees, animals, buildings, other people. The forms fill with color and depth and you can smell them and hear them. They become reality. You’re not sure if you recognize your body, or your voice or your thoughts. The body you are in has its own thoughts, its own actions, its own dreams and motivations. Your consciousness appears to be a passenger on this journey, a bystander, a witness.
You wonder if you will have any control at all. You wonder if you can you push your conciousness to the forfront of this body that you inhabit. With very little time, and with the stakes so high, you decide to find out…