As the adventures into the mysteries of the past, the wilderness, and the self go deeper and deeper, the very fabrics of reality seem to tug and bend. Each of the heroes can’t help but reflect on the way the world once seemed. Each day was a snail’s pace at self improvement as they strode toward their own docile decomposition. Now, they progress in leaps in bounds, existing at a plane and pace outside that of those stuck in the mundane, and indeed who they were not a year ago.
_Boaz once trod through trees and grass, observing signs before him to reach a quarry. He would once spend a half of his da in search of food and respite, sometimes still finding none. Now he strides through seeming existence itself, seeing beyond the veil of vision. He once saw magic as a force of vile efforts incarnate. Now he strolls through this world, each sense enhanced by the arcane blessings mastered.
Guthug, once encumbered by alcoholism, displaying the feral strength of a rotting pelt, now breaths, roars and experiences with the beasts around him, yet greater. He is transcending the burdens of pain, and pacing, each thing imbibed as a new and exhilarating fuel, even his once hollow dreams now fuel him.
Sol’cas once spent decades in isolated meditation, study, and even drug induced explorations to reach a sliver of connection and understanding with the parallel and its denizens; hoping to pull that power to himself. Now, each night is spent engulfed in that realm. What arcane writings used to take months of contemplation are now digested in an instant. At times it feels he is in perfect flux with both worlds.
All the while, they advance symbiotically, strengthening the interdependency and comradery of the three.
“Supplies were gathered. Breakfast was had. A Shimmel was employed.”
The journey took nearly two days of travel. Yet, a flux and flow of movement from the party while ahead of the pack left them with a feeling of anxious impatience and excess vitality. Guthug was confident that the distance could be closed in a half day’s trek if unencumbered by large groups or carts. This seemed an outrageous claim, but the party did not doubt it.
Things had changed at the riverside keep. One notable development was the appearance of packs of ‘drakes’, genetic experiments from the 3rd Imperial era, who now roam the forests and streams surrounding the keep. They are calm, and seeming docile, though brandish the strength, size, numbers, and sharpness to pose a significant threat should their demeanor change.
Sol’cas recalled that these creatures were designed as servile guards and attack creatures that fell off in their use early into Glatnia’s reign. He also remembered that they lacked the ability to reproduce. Those encountered at the riverside show none of the typical signs of aging that mark a dragonblood as ancient. So, it must be concluded that these creatures have avoided aging or are indeed freshly produced.
The drakes were pointed out to the party by Galbin, the female goblin with the ice cold demeanor. In the interim of the party’s absence, she must have wrested control from the previous pack leader, as she now brandishes his gnarled gobble blade and commands the goblins around her and he is nowhere to be seen. While still tepid, she seemed to have come to her own. The keep flourishes by goblin standards with her in control.
Without much wait, the party crossed the somewhat repaired bridge to reach the locked off ruin they had left behind before, confident they could reach its inner sanctum. And so they did. With a slosh of sitting water, they were able to descend into the marbled dominion of what they later discover to be a laboratory and abode of the legendary Glat’nos, famed mage and and father to the 4th and final ruler of the empire.
The inner sanctum consisted of a single chamber. The chamber was still powered and felt lived in despite having been derelict for centuries. Among the research and contraptions in the chamber, there was a tome revealing the origins of parallis to be the aged and compacted remains of dragonkind. The very location of the domicile was centered on a dragon graveyard of sorts called the Bone Delta. In addition there was a marbled golem of runecast design, a ‘gate’ manual, as well as several notes and memorabilia of the late Glat’nos.
Now the party with their new found treasures prepare for a long night around the Bone Delta researching the notes and scoping out the landscape. The gate manual’s revelations give them much to discuss and consider.
And still there is more beyond the gates to discuss. Galbin has requested gobble permissions into the town. She sees safety and prosperity coming from the town and hopes to bring that to hers. Further, with an entourage of drakes, Boaz was able to find what must be the outward flow of the stream visible from Glat’nos chamber. It is rather small and would require some effort to traverse.