Confluence of Spheres

Fish Fry
Silver lined storm clouds

As we are standing on the porch I notice we are not alone in this scary swamp. Several fishy looking armed figures start appearing. They look smelly. I ask Mister Bird if he’s seen them too because I don’t want to be accused of being hysterical. He really seems out of it though so I turn back to alert Mister Mopan—who is really the embodiment of a whirlwind in a stout mustachioed dwarf—and he is through the door, at the ready for a brawl. This raises the attention of Mister Dwalin. He seems a bit more interested in learning more about these would be assailants and there’s not much I can tell him about their numbers or protective gear. The dark shady light in this terrain did not reveal much to my eyes. As the two of us make our way out the door and on to the porch, chanting begins. My hands get slick. I start to make out the words.  THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT DOING UNSPEAKABLE THINGS AND FEEDING US TO SOMEONE.

I am going to be sick. But that has to wait because there’s an earthquake! I try to latch on to Mister Dwalin to steady myself but we all take a tumble into the muck. I’m thrown flat on my back and as my eyes pop back up to the front of my head, I watch as THE HUT WALKS WAY. WHAT IS HAPPENING—HOUSES ARE THROWING US OFF AND WALKING AND WE ARE GOING TO BE FISH FOOD! I try to get a good look at what’s happening but it looks like we are going to be surrounded if we do not get up and out of this stuff. The fish people are moving faster in this gunk than we are. I’m struggling to rise and I hear a snap and a plop. One of the fishmen falls to his demise. It looks like Mister Mopan has very scarily and easily snapped his neck. He looks pleased. Chauntea help me my comrades are maniacs! But what can I do? There are too many shadowy figures in the distance and most of my training was helping crops grow in Delimbryan. I can’t move anyway. I can’t move? I CAN’T MOVE.


I look over to my right and Mister Dwalin is also stone still. WHAT IS HAPPENING? Bodies are moving and I hope none of these fishmen see me as a threat. Or as food. I try to break free. It works? I shouldn’t be in this mix. I make my way around the fighting. What do I do? How can I help?



I pray to Chauntea. I pray to Silvanus. I pray to anyone who will hear my meek voice and I call upon a storm cloud to strike down lightning to my aid.

AND OH MY GODS I JUST FRIED TWO FISH GUYS RIGHT IN FRONT OF MISTER MOPAN—I don’t want to kill anyone! All of my teachings so far have been to help things grow! But they don’t take a fall. They just smell a little crispy and I try to make my way toward Mister Bird as our two dwarf comrades are battling it out but everything is moving fast. There’s fishmen everywhere, either dead on the ground or assaulting us. Theres something happening above. My storm cloud shouldn’t be this powerful. There’s more rumbling in the sky and the air becomes more static, my hair is rising. I’m not doing this—this isn’t right. The thunder roars in my ears. I know what’s going to happen.
Lightning strikes down and everything is illuminated and I’m blinded by the starkest white light. The sick smell of singed hair fills my nose as everything starts to fade to black and I’m falling.

I’m standing in a wheat field-a beautiful sea of gold. A sudden breeze rises and the sheaves of wheat shift in undulating waves. It’s close to harvest. I close my eyes and I can hear the sound of the sea with my feet firmly planted in this field. This wheat field is familiar; comforting. I raise my hands to touch the beards of the grain. It brushes the palms of my hands and I scratch my palms from the tickles. I hear my name being called and I open my eyes and look towards the sound. In the distance I can see Ma and Pa Blossom standing out front of the Honey Hollow.


Smoke is rising from Pa’s pipe. It’s probably his favorite mint tobacco. He’s got his arm around Ma’s waist. She raises her arm up to wave. I wave back and she calls to me again. Speeding around the hill, Briar and Juniper come running from the back. He’s obviously done something to start a chase and I laugh. Juniper is on a mission to catch him and Briar is…

The wind is knocked out of my lungs and I’m struck down to the ground like the weight of the world is pressing down. Everything feels like I am dying. All the nerves in my body are screaming. The pain is excruciating. I need air! With all my will power, I try to look up to see an assailant but the sun is in my eyes. I raise my arm to shade my face and I’m on alert. What just happened? I raise myself up from the dirt. Dirt? No, leaves. I try to catch my breath and inhale deeply. The scent is refreshing and clean and woody. I hear my name being called again. This time it’s a man’s voice. I recognize it; I haven’t heard this voice in a long while. Am I dreaming? The pain has subsided and I take a look at my surroundings. I’m in a wood now. The crunch underneath my feet tell me it’s beginning of fall. The light is shining through the boughs of the trees and dapples the forest floor. I know these trees. It’s the Ardeep.


I hear his voice call my name again but the sun shining through the boughs makes it difficult to see where he’s calling from. As I make my way by the oaks and the beeches, I reach out and briefly pass my hands over their familiar bark. There’s a clearing ahead. Everything in it bathes in the warmth and light of the sun. Garrett is bent over in it. He looks like he is inspecting the growth of some flowers. He looks up towards me and stands up to his full height. He’s as tall as a redwood. His beard looks like it could use a good combing because as far away from him as I am, I can see that nature has left him some parting gifts in his beard. He’s smiling and he motions toward me.


I start running. My vision starts to blur as tears start streaming down my face. I blink them away and the trails they leave make my face feel cold as I run. Just as I am about to reach the space where the sun illuminates my Garrett, his wrinkled old face turns to laughter as he sees me coming. I fling myself to his open ar—and I’m thrown down like the force of a thousand Dwarven hammers have struck me and my body is strewn across the forest floor and leaves are flung aside as I hit the ground. It’s the same pain as before. My body is on fire. I’m gasping for air. I can’t breathe!

My vision starts to blur and I try to focus. No. No. NOOO. The light fades; I can’t see! I’m so tired. I just want to sleep now. I succumb to the darkness and float into nothingness.

How This Whole Thing Started
Curious Caravan Creatures

It all started with a hammer. Well, that’s not quite right. It all started with a caravan. A bunch of people so soft they needed not only horses to carry them, but wagons to sleep in and mules to carry what they refused to. People each relying on so many others for what they should be able to provide themselves. Things as simple as protection and navigation. People who couldn’t even feed themselves without someone nearby who’s only skill was the feeding of others. Teamsters who couldn’t cook, cooks who couldn’t drive, fighters who could do neither. As if by putting more and more useless people into a group, the people might stop being so useless. It’s madness, really.

And yet as helpless as these creatures were, they seemed to know what they were doing and why. Not as individuals, mind you. Every man jack of them was as lost as a blind bitch on a boat. But somehow, despite it’s stark-staring pointlessness, the caravan had purpose; direction. And all those miserable folk, well, they didn’t seem to notice how miserable they were. They seemed . . . well, they seemed to belong.

A night's rest
Not so restful...

My lungs burn…why am I running? I can’t breathe! How long? The light on the horizon, it’s just out of my reach.

“You must extinguish the light, the shadow must play its part…” Why am I saying this?
“You must extinguish the light, the shadow must play its part…” I need air!
“You must extinguish the light, the shadow must play its part…” I must extinguish the light!!!
“You must extinguish the light, the shadow must play its part…” Is that a person…me? On the horizon?
“You must extinguish the light, the shadow must play its part…” I’m going to die! I can’t breathe!

Just when I thought it was over…I found myself where I should be.

Air in my lungs…weapon in hand…Blood?
Crimson dripped onto the body at my feet…me again? No. It’s not me…it’s…the light;
The light I must extinguish.

For Shar.
I awake abruptly, gasping for breath.

“Everything alright?” Apparently Illiana is a light sleeper.

Although, sleeping in a room full of dangerous, powerful, and absurd people doesn’t make it any easier to rest.

“I…” I start, but I’m not even sure how to respond.

“You’re dreaming too?” She’d been having nightmares lately. Though, with her power, they’re more likely visions.

“Yes, but it’s different…I’m…learning.” I can’t reveal any details, it’s forbidden.

She gives me a confused look.

“It’s nothing, you should try to sleep. We’re going through that portal,” I don’t want to draw this out any further.

Cestii wouldn’t be pleased with my attachment. “Darkness is all that will remain. Abandon all else.”

“I just need some air,” I step out into the night. It’s cold. Humidity doesn’t lend itself well to the north.

I need to write my letter. As always, I write in encrypted infernal; without magical means, no one but Cestii could read this.

Letter to Cestii of the Monastery in the Vale

“I’ve been studying and I’ve discovered something. The Dark Lady has blessed me.
I will serve well. The darkness is revealing itself to me.

Only hate will endure.


I must get this delivered…

With my ability…perhaps? Perhaps another day.
I suppose I shouldn’t let these fools kill themselves…or bring harm to Illiana.

Window into the soulless black void
Now serving up Cheery Blossom Pie

This is bad. This is bad. This is so bad! We’ve made our way up the stairs and all the Misters Mopan, Bird and Dwalin are messing about with the window. You know, the scary window that looks out into the BLACKEST VOID! I’m hovering by the bed post and poor Mister Bird is still in shock from losing a hand I just know it and he’s got the window open and has stuck his hand in there.


Welp, we’re all going to die- this Mage’s house is full of too much dangerous magic and now we have a man sticking the stump of his arm where his hand should have started, into a window that looks into nothing. What does that do? Well it releases a dangerous black liquid that sticks you to the floor and now these curious kittens probably will lose one of their nine lives BECAUSE THE BLACK MASS IS CRAWLING ALL OVER THE FLOOR THAT IS EMANATING FROM THE OPEN WINDOW AND UP THEIR STUCK BODIES AND I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!! Mister Bird raises his hammer high in the air but I don’t know why because I’m not sure what use this hammer is going to do if he doesn’t swing it and really what use is it against a moving black puddle?!

I climb up the bed post that I’m clinging to, but the stuff is getting closer to the bed and me. I should just run. I should just run out the door, down the hallway, out of this house and go back home to my warm hobbit hole where Ma and Pa Blossom are cooking up my favorite 12 course meal and Juniper and Briar are setting the table and arguing about the proper way to cultivate the fields and there’s absolutely nothing I can do without engulfing myself in this goo to help us. This evil is getting closer and closer and I just want to be home in the familiar farmland of Delimbyran…

…aaaaand now it’s sucked us into another plane of existence where those of us with short stature cannot breathe. We’ve landed in some sort of mucky marsh. And it’s eerily quiet. ABSOLUTELY quiet. It seems like twilight. The trees scare me. The only sound we hear is the sound of our own splashing and sucking mud squishing. Mister Mopan can barely see above water yet he helps me up on his shoulders so that I might live through drowning.

There is something in the distance and it looks like an evil witch’s hut that’s come straight out of the tales they tell you as a young hobbit so you’ll eat all your vegetables and we are doomed. An evil witch is going to bake us into a pie. Cheery Blossom Pie. Gods, I know it would win a ribbon. What am I thinking? HOW WILL WE GET OUT OF HERE? I can’t help but despair and I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t cried like this in ten years and I only wish Garrett would save me again.

I cast my daylight spell on my hat hoping that it will shed some light on the situation but it doesn’t seem to help. Mister Bird is behaving strangely and shushes us. There’s so much quiet here it would fill the world to the brim and spill over. There’s too much quiet. We should have just slept through the night after I’d bandaged him from the round room fiasco. He probably needs rest. We must get out of this muck. Misters Dwalin and Mopan can hardly keep their heads above this marshness. I’m moved along with a purpose as Mister Mopan makes his way through towards this evil hut.

As we make our way up to the landing, Mister Bird is having a very difficult time removing himself from the mire. I think he’s mentally and physically ill. He’s screaming at the top of his lungs and his eyes are popping out of his head. Mister Mopan lassos him with some rope and Mister Dwalin and I help to try to pull him out. For whatever reason, this is more difficult than it should be and Mister Bird seems to be in agonizing pain. We struggle for what seems like hours and finally he’s freed. We get into the hut and find an elf tied to a chair. Mister Dwalin interrogates him. I don’t think Mister Dwalin trusts very many people, because this poor elf is obviously in dire straits and here against his will as well.


Lest We Forget Those We Left Behind
A Remembrance

Eulogy for Page: A Rope of Sand

Page, a good friend and a great warrior. When first we met at the Drunken Gull Tavern a true and grand friendship was born. Though you were a bit strange I accepted your admiration and kindness without hesitation. Many of my rat friends share the same fondness that I have for you and you for I. I will always cherish the memories we made like that time you took out those guards with that sick ass hammer and that other time. Which reminds me of an amusing anecdote, when Mopan hired us to break his finger foods…I mean cook out of prison, you turned to me and said “This prison is heavily fortified with the toughest guards and the strongest bars. All I have is my hammer, we need your wit, your charm, and your devastating good looks to see us through this harrowing deed.” And of course I said yes, how could I turn such a close, beloved, and desperate friend away. But things did not go so smoothly and that is no ones fault….except for that drunken hobo….REVENGE….From HELL’S HEART I will stabbeth THEE……….where was I? Oh right..Vengeance….Beware Drunken Hobo for I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers, in this case sisters. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you, but moving on.

Oh gods I beseech you and your wisdoms, you took her, as you took so many bright flowering young adventurers at Balder’s Gate, on the Sword Coast, at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young adventurers gave their lives. And so would Page. Page, who loved bowling people over with her hammer. And so, in accordance with what I think your dying wishes might well have been I scatter these, uh they wouldn’t release her body for cremation so I, uh had to make do….I scatter these, representative, ashes to the great sea and call out to all the gods I implore you: give her… give her a break.Ashes to ashes Dust to Dust There goes a Tiefling you really could trust

And now a closing poem

Oh Page, Page!
So full of rage, rage!
Why have you gone, gone?

In the Drunken Gull
over flagons full
(Mopan’s Butler knocks out Willow and tosses him into a potato sack)

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