“Ok… so what about the Dream Stone?” Vedis asks a few days later as we finally start our journey back to Braal. “I think we should take it to the realm of Dreams… I mean, that’s what it’s made from, right?”
“Sounds like a good as an idea as any,” I reply. “Besides, I don’t want to take my chances getting stuck in the flow and having that thing blow up. I’ll go get the special sails!”
I head down below decks as Hatuk and his crew start removing the current sails, and Ef Utan hails the bridge over the pipes and lets Lenata know of her next destination.
Thankfully with our now experienced crew the change doesn’t take very long… and with the proper recitation of a few special words, we find ourselves in the swirling mists of the realm of Dreams.
“Woaaah…. that’s some good stuff!” Melchior mutters from his reclining seat on a pile of ropes on deck.
“I told you we’d show you some great things,” I chuckle.
“Allright then… let’s get this over with,” Ef Utan mutters as he walks to the edge of the deck and hurls the small crystal pyramid into the mists… where it rapidly expands until with a small POP it disappears.
The sound of clapping rings out behind us as we all turn to find the hazy image of Tain, that over-the-top Reigar with a love of interdimensional closets, and a mysterious woman with a large floppy hat and a feather in it. I’m about to ask who she is when I hear Vedis gasp and whisper behind me.
“The Queen of Thistles!”
Ah… this is the woman in Vedis’ vision that holds those gladitorial games in the realm of Dreams!
“That’s my team!” Tain says in glee as he elbows the woman in the side. “You owe me three planets, now!”
That… that bastard! This was all for a BET?!?
Before I can let loose my anger, however, the hazy image of the two fades into nothing yet again.
“Well that’s just bloody fantastic,” I growl as I slap my hands to my sides and walk off. “I’m going to be below decks. If anybody needs me, they can wait till the noises stop coming from my room.”
A few days later Dassam and I finally decide to take a breather from showing just how much we missed each other, and I walk up on deck to find the familiar swirling skies of the Ethereal Plane. “What’s up?” I ask Vedis as I join her on the bow of the ship with Melchior smoking his pipe nearby.
“We’re heading back to the Sapphire Mage in hopes that he can properly dispose of the Witchlight Marauder Key,” she explains. “Considering his access to the demiplane of Time, he should be able to make sure that nobody can get their hands on it.”
“Sounds good to me… nobody should have access to that kind of destructive power, no matter what they say they’re going to do with it.” I clap Melchior on the shoulder and smile. “Hey, maybe we’ll get lucky and Murlynd will stop by again!”
His eyes bulge and he rears forward in a series of coughs, nearly causing him to drop his pipe. “Easy Mel… don’t forget to breathe,” I chuckle as I sit down with him to share the pipe. “So tell me… what happened to you back with the zombies, anyway?”
“Craziest thing,” he manages to say finally. “You know how theatre stages usually have an underneath for all the prop people and such?” I nod and exhale slowly, the swirls of smoke joining the other patterns in the ethereal. “I got grabbed by one of those zombies and pulled underground to find that the whole blasted realm was just one big stage! It was like a whole bunch of extras waiting for their turn in the spotlight down there. Thank Murlynd I was able to make my way through that mess and get back above again to rejoin you all.”
“You have my sympathies and my apologies that we weren’t able to find you, Melchior,” I reply as I hand him the pipe. “Have I ever told you about the time when I got seperated from the group? Floating alone in the flow isn’t fun, I can tell you…”
What I can only assume is a few days later (hard to tell in the Ethereal) we return once again to the tower of the Sapphire Mage, who is more then willing to send the key back to the beginning of time itself. When Melchior asks about Murlynd, however, he shakes his head sadly. “I’m sorry, noble one… but Murlynd doesn’t usually tell me ahead of time when he’s going to walk through my doors; he just shows up when he needs me.”
“Gods… never around when you need them, are they?” I chuckle as I wrap my arm around Melchior’s shoulders and do my best to console him. “If it makes you feel any better, I’m still willing to listen to what you have to do to get one of those shiny star badges…”
“Well, what now?” Vedis asks as we return to the ship.
“I don’t know about you all… but I’ve got a certain Reigar in mind that needs to answer a few questions,” Ef Utan says grimly.
“Refuge it is, then…” Lenata says with a nod as she takes her familiar seat at the helm and we’re travelling once again… but this time staying in the Ethereal Plane in order to make the trip go (hopefully) quicker.
Luckilly for the Reigar, we found him at one of the fancier bars around town instead of having to go to his place… and after a few drinks (on his tab of course) I’ve calmed my anger down a bit. “Look, all I’m saying is… if you’re going to make a bet on my life, you could at least cut me in on a percentage next time!”
The Reigar chuckles. “Duly noted… duly noted. I can’t thank you all enough for coming through like that… I needed that planet for my new party house!”
Ef Utan rolls his eyes and Vedis stomps his foot under the table. “So.. who exactly was that other Reigar we saw?”
“Ah… that was Rakshen… more the fool him, thinking he could win a bet against me. Where is your lovely angelic companion by the way.. the one with the white hair?”
“She went to speak with the EIN and let them know that the key was ‘lost’ to everyone involved,” answers Vedis. “I think she’s also asking about the engineer they loaned us… she fit so well with the crew, it would be a shame to lose her.”
“I think she’s looking for you-know-who,” I joke.
“Well we all can’t be as fortunate as you to have our loved ones on board,” Vedis replies with a snort. Dassam squeezes my hand under the table as I try to hide my blush by taking a long gulp of beer.
Once we’ve had our fill of drinks and finally unwinded, we head back to the docks to find Violetta talking with Lenata by the gangplank.
“Thank you again for all of your help,” she says as she shakes each of our hands. When she comes to me she pulls the deck of Harrowing cards from her pouch and puts them in my hand with a grin and a wink. “Be careful with these, now.”
“Why don’t you come with us on our travels?” offers Lenata. “Your skills would be incredibly useful, and we’d love to hear your stories.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I’ve got my own family of freaks I need to watch over,” she jokes as she waves a hand over her shoulder and walks away. “Besides… you’ve got your own stories to write!”