The next morning, after a strong cup of mead to get rid of the headache from that dream, I decide to go to the Seeker library to see if I can dig up any information about incidences where these rips in the continuum might have been encountered before. That, and I still can’t understand why a Kobold? Is he an important figure I’ve just never heard of? It’s worth a shot to check the books just in case.
In the meantime, it seems that Vedis and Ef Utan have managed to stir up some business. We are to meet someone named Torgan Betts at the Drunken Neogi for a job come six bells. At least it’s something to do… my research hasn’t turned up much, other than some characters named Elminster and Merlind who have supposedly dealt with other dimensions of time and space. I highly doubt our Kobold was one ofthem. This just makes me doubt things even more. I mean seriously… a Kobold?!?
The group rejoins for lunch and then we make our way very carefully around the edge of Shu Town to reach a dump of a bar full of opium smoke and smelling of stale beer and rancid meat. Thank goodness I ate light today. We make our way to the back of the bar to meet a gangly human male with slicked back hair and a goatee guarded by the second Giff I’ve ever seen in my life. I wonder if he’s ever met Wilhomina Uft?
I shake myself out of my reverie and focus on the instructions Betts is laying out. Take the sealed metal box and deliver it unopened to someone in Greyspace, and the Giff is coming along to make sure you do it. Got it.
As we leave the bar to make arrangements with the ship, I nudge Ef Utan and mutter “You realize this is a trap, right?”
“Of course… but what else do we have to do today?” he replies. “Let’s go get the priest so she knows what we’re getting into.”
As we near the Temple of Celestian I hear the frustrated tones of our holy friend before I manage to pick her out in the middle of a swarm of young neophytes vying for her attention. I chuckle as I remember what I put the priests through when I was young, and out of sympathy I make excuses to the temple and pull her out of the throng to join us.
“Thank the Gods… I thought I was never going to get some peace!” Lenata sighs as she straightens her robes.
“I guess the temples haven’t learned how to turn teenage angst yet, eh?” I joke.
“If someone does, I’m sure they’ll be put on the fast track to sainthood,” Lenata replies with a sigh and a roll of her eyes.
The party heads towards the Great Market in order to stock up on supplies before the trip, but something seems off. It seems like we keep seeing the same people over and over again somehow. Vedis recognizes someone and starts up a conversation with him, and seconds later we encounter him again with no memory of what happened previously. Could this be one of those rips in time the Kobold talked about? After some debate about the nature of it all, we finally decide to just run and see what happens. Fortunately we seemed to break out of the loop, and were able to make our way back to the ship.
We gather our new Giff passenger, one Dorum Larbo, with his metal box and soon take off for Great Space via the Sphere Arcane. While making small talk with Larbo, however, I see something strange. For just the briefest moment, he turns into a bloody ravaging beast of a Giff and then back to his calm, uniformed self. This is not good… could we be encountering another rip where the alternate realities are converging? Just in case, I go to my room and with some chalk write a message on the wall in hieroglyphs that only I should be able to read or write. “We were paid 4200 upfront in Fire Diamonds.” Chances are if we slip into an alternate reality my other self will have written something, but it would be different.
We just reach the edge of Braalspace for Lenata to open up a sphere portal when suddenly a portal forms on its own and keeps growing and growing… until it explodes in the backwash of the largest flying fish-city that I’ve ever seen. Hell… it’s the only flying fish-city that I’ve ever seen.
“By Celestian… it’s the Spelljammer!” Lenata exclaims as she regains control of the Fool’s Errand and quickly turns the ship around to follow it.
I grab hold of something and do my best to help Vedis up off the floor. In doing so, I can’t help but notice that our tattoos have not reacted in any way to the sudden appearance of the Spelljammer. Curious.
We follow the Spelljammer the best we can as it leaves Braalspace when suddenly a ball of colored mist shoots from the tail of the ship to form what looks like an asteroid with a heavily developed city on it. Okay…wait a minute… this is getting a bit much. Veddis wonders what the hell her homeland is doing here all of a sudden, and we all quickly come to the conclusion that we probably never left that dream where we met the ominous Kobold.
While not an answer to the strange things that have been going on lately, it’s definitely a start. Well, we might as well check it out, right? If this dream is trying to tell us something, there’s a good chance that whatever it is is going to be on what we’ve been looking for all this time…even if it’s just a dream of it.
We come to a thankfully soft landing and step out onto the Spelljammer to discover things are much too quiet for our tastes. Out of curiosity, Vedis projects her empathic abilities and quickly falls to her knees clutching her head as she’s overwhelmed with feelings of curiosity, psionic energy, and the urge to travel.
My nose twitches as I detect the scent of flowers in the air. Odd… not something you would expect around here.
We make our way into a stone turret tower and through dusty rooms and shifting hallways till we find a library equipped with a full wet bar and a rather suspicious looking figure with a handlebar mustache, pale skin, tousled hair… and crystals floating around his head.
Sapphira stops short and crosses her arms as she mutters coldly, “Father… how nice to see you.”
This should be good.
After seeing Sapphira’s heated reaction to what her father did to her room on Sigil and then seeing her rather stoic response to him now, I can see that Sapphira believes this to be nothing more than a projection and not the real thing. If he was real, I’m sure the library would be on fire by now. The projection does its best to irritate us all… but soon as I goad him into leaving the room with us, he disappears in a puff of smoke.
We move on to another hallway, this one with multiple doors. To test a theory, each one of us opens a door at the same time. I don’t know about the others… but as soon as I opened my door and saw what was behind it, I quickly slammed it shut. If I ever see Amenhemti, that bastard of an Osiran priest again, he will witness firsthand just how strong I have become. We will see just who will be the slave… and who will be the master.
I take a deep breath and let it out before I open the door again, and this time I see myself in the skullcap and robes of a priest of Ptah… before it disappears in a puff of smoke. While these doors are a curiosity, I am more interested in what I can become in reality. Why waste time dreaming of the what-ifs… when one could be taking actions to determine what will be?
We take a look into Ef Utan’s doorway to find him talking to a projection of his father. As some of us step through the door our surroundings seem to change, to become that of what was once his home. I know this is not the case, however… and as we step back through the door we find ourselves back in the hallway.
Meanwhile, as the rest of us discuss theories and trying to use our tattoos together, Vedis makes the best of her doorway and flirts with what I assume is a projection of her boyfriend from home. I flinch inwardly as I hear the giggles and whispers and try to focus on the plan at hand, instead of my past.
Romantic encounters were hardly something I had to deal with back in Gheldaneth. Whenever one of the humans showed interest in me, it always ended up because I would make a unique addition to their collection of concubines or slaves. But what do you expect from a race so full of themselves?
I’m always looking for the next adventure, but I think one of the real reasons I left home was because I knew there had to be something more to this life. I saw so many grand and wondrous races looked down upon because they were the wrong race in the wrong place… but what if I went to them in their own homelands to see them in their glory? The Elves of Spiralspace proved to me that they are more than the concubines of Mulhorand… and I will prove to Mulhorand that Catfolk are much more than just slaves.
I try to shake the melancholy that threatens to overcome me in this dream… but it is hard when every time you turn a corner you are confronted with your past. As we try and make our way back to the ship, I see other visions of my childhood when the kind ones of the Temple of Bast taught me how to read. I close my eyes and shake my head as I repeat my mantra in my head: The past is behind me… the future is for me to discover!
I catch up with the others who have stopped in the next room to witness a strange tall and gaunt man with straggly black hair and pale skin. Vedis bows reverently to him and asks him if we are dreaming, when he waves his fingers and everything changes around us till we’re standing on a rock in space. I look around and see Ef Utan and Lenata disappear in a puff of green smoke, and when I turn back it is if he’s staring into our souls. I see younger and older versions of myself flash before my eyes until he snaps his fingers and they all disappear.
“Beware false visions,” he warns…
…and then I wake up.