The Wounded Land
Some time ago, and I am not certain when exactly, I discovered that dreams are timeless.
I was working on schemas, technomagick formulas, and assembling various clockwork components (at least in this dream), when a familiar voice intruded.
"My mother truely cares for me, I am so eager to see the world."
Frankie smiled to herself as she finished an algorithm. Yes, she was getting the hang of clockwork optimization nicely. If only she could learn the many technomagicks awaiting her attention... but here, she could master other aspects of her craft.
"Mother, you are in danger. Wake up"
She frowned and looked up from her work. Such interruptions were unwelcome, and she had just began to diagram the initial layout of a clockwork's heart. She sighed to herself.
A face that welcomed shadows emerged from the dreamscape. "Wake up..."
Frankie's eyes opened to witness a small human man wearing a red cap (was that blood?) take a large scythe across stone.
She noticed her other companians already joining the fray, and frantically went through the emergency startup on her X-Bow.
A few short moments later, and covered with Swampjaw's gory remains, the little men were put down. Janarl mentioned they were "red caps." Frankie thought to herself, "if this is what it is like over on this side of the wall, I can't wait to leave" Realizing the threat was over, they tried to recover what rest remained.
The next day came upon them with a sun trying to make an attempt at shining through an overcast sky. Frankie had woken up just after dawn, and after getting the breakfast going, put the finished touchs on her tick talk necklace.
Noticing T'Self across the way, she greeted him in Tick Talk, "good morning gear buddy." T'Self appeared taken aback, and appeared to be quite pleased with her fluency. Frankie smiled and silently thanked Calibre and her uncle.
"We need to talk about upgrading you as well T'Self". Never hurt to add icing the cake as her mom liked to say.
As everyone got up, we soon decided to go to the aid of Janarl's people, who were "reseeded" to this side of the wall. Frankie didn't like the fact that it was a forced relocation, but didn't know how to fix it. Instead she reminded Janarl of her promise to aid him.
The companians set out, and travelled after another night's rest. Frankie realized that Talum was still in need of a rescue, but breathed a sigh of relief that another magical creature would not be sent after them to punish any tardiness.
As they came close to where Janarl's village is, T'Self began to act strangely. Arek suggested that the ley lines be examined, and Frankie decided to volunteer. No use having the party's leader and healer put at risk.
Arek assured Frankie that he would watch over her, and she focused her mind to see the ley lines. The first thing she noticed was that the land itself was weaker her. The ley lines were greatly reduced in comparison to those outside the wall. Then a blast of energy came down the ley lines again, and I threw up my arms in an attempt to shield myself. We quickly decided to investigate the source. T'Self and I quickly figured out the best path and our group soon arrived at an abandoned building and the sounds of battle.
We saw a man fighting off strange monsters, speaking in a strange language. The rest of us joined in, and I almost had an oversized mantis bug attack me! We prevailed, and discovered that the man was from another world entirely, and called our world the "Prime." He also related a prophecy that described our present circumstance.
The man seemed to dwell a lot on laws, and came along with us, easily accepting Arek as his leader. I almost felt sorry for this man, he did not know what he was getting into.
We soon got back on the path to the village, and came across another battle. This time the fight was one sided: a giant construct was alternating between squishing and collecting weird half-beasts. We set up ourselves and soon joined in.
Unfortunately, the construct was quite powerful, and handily splattered our latest addition to our motley band before being taken down. The battle also flushed out a member of the local rebellion, who we quickly incapacitated.
After the dust settled (and I salvaged the construct), Thalazaar charmed the revolutionary while I read his mind. Between the two of us we soon discovered the plans that the revolutionary and his unit had for Janarl's village.
Later that day we setup our own ambush to save Janarl's village on this unit, but unfortunately the unit's commander escaped.
The next day we parted ways with Janarl, and instead of being sad I made him a friendship gift instead. This was beginning to be a great habit. I didn't like feeling down anymore than I had too.
The gift was a representation of his bird, but it wasn't as sickly and could fly (if the operating directions were followed). I made sure to include a maintenance script as well so his gift wouldn't break.