A Crimson Shore 33.1 The Sage’s Soothing Words by Spencer, The Man, The Cleric, The LEGEND!!!

Finally, a late dinner arrived for them. This one was reserved only for Four. The Four, thought Frank. He scoffed at the absurdity and yet the perfect reality of it all.  On the nameless ship of Lord Genoran, the cleric, and the one time student of the great sage Tiresias himself, prepared to tell the others what he now knew as complete as any faith he’d ever known.
Smells of something warm came from the galley kitchen. Only Thrak seemed not to be excited about the idea of a warm meal. For he liked his food the same way he enjoyed his adversaries: Cold.
Frank: lifting a cup of ale “Friends, I’ve arranged this meal with the four of us, just us as I’m never too sure who to trust. Many times in the past, my trust has been misplaced, and it has led to betrayal, beatings, and abandonment. So when I say that I trust you with this information, I do not take that lightly.”
 Servant brought in food.
Frank: “I’ve made special requests for each of your meals, each should be well pleasing to you. For you, Thrak, I know how much you like finger sandwiches. This one is larger than any you’ve had, I’m sure, taken from one of the Fire Giants. Careful, it’s a bit spicy.”
Thrak changed his look of displeasure to one of complete amazement. His tongue hung limply to the side of his jaw. “Thanksssssss,” is all he could reply.
Frank continued: “This information I give you comes from the clues I’ve seen, and the information I received from my former Master, though it seemed at times he admired me. The reason for that confused me for he was powerful indeed.  Nor could I ever figure out why, until recently.” Frank paused to sip his drink. Than continued while the others waited patiently.  “We all know that the darkness, the great darkness, is coming, and will cover all the lands. There is no preventing this. The creatures of Ket will take advantage of this event, which they call their ‘harvest’. There is no stopping this, it will cover any and all lands. But my friends, there is a way to escape. A saving path as it were away from the darkness. But how does one escape a darkness that covers all? Well, THAT is the question. But the answer is not where we will go.”
“We’ve seen the statues of the heroes of old, they escaped the darkness before, and we will follow in their footsteps and escape it once more. But there’s more to it than that. The likeness of the old heroes, there’s an uncanny resemblance, a familiarity that you can’t explain. I feel it, and I know you do as well. For it may seem that we ourselves look a bit like the old heroes, but that is not the case. Rather, (pauses) the statues look like US!!! Yes, we follow in the footsteps of the heroes, not to repeat their actions, but to take those actions for the first time. Like Fritz said, those statues are us and what we do is most important, more so than any fate!”
Thrak dropped his food, “But if we are statues, and statues are us, then we”… as he did so, his head dress  began to glow.
“THRAK!” shouted everyone simultaneously. Frank pulled out another plate, “Thrak, spicy pinky toe for dessert!” Before the great beast could complete his thought, Thrak’s attention was immediately distracted. Iricah breathed out a sigh of relief. Zy’an released his grip on the under side of the table.
Frank continued “My first major clue was when we disappeared on First Isle, and went through the portal. You recall, there in the Chamber of Heroes. When we came through it was instantly ten years later. But although the way was sealed off after we went through, it is possible to travel in the other direction!”
Zyan quickly interrupts “Wait a moment, so you’re telling us, to escape the darkness, is to avoid it, by moving to before it happened?”
Frank answered “Thousands of years before it happened. This is how we save ourselves, our fellow people on this world. And while it doesn’t seem worthwhile, Zyan, there are those who deserve saving.”
Iricah asked “But how do we do it?”
Frank answered “We have the power, we are the power. Our tools? The arks. There are seven arks, and seven gods will be needed to power the arks to save us all. This is the legend we all have seen. We know there is truth to it despite what others tell us.  I know now, these are decoys. Impostors. Sages with soothing words. It is time to trust in something worth of that trust friends. It is time to trust in ourselves. Our own goodness. This is what my mentor taught me.  It is all clear now!”
Thrak paused “But we are four, there are seven arkzz, that number is not right. We will need…”
“THRAK!! Just eat!” shouted Iricah and Zy’an at the same time.
Frank answered anyway, “Yes Thrak, but there were seven of us. Some may yet turn to good, some may turn to evil. You see, in order to power the ark to save  others, it will take the ultimate sacrifice. Some are not up to the challenge. Three of us in this adventure were not up to the challenge, and won’t again. They kept the power to themselves to survive. You see, there will always be a power of evil in this world, the powers of Greed, Lust, and of Wrath. In the very end, we will all have that choice to make. But together, we can rely on one another. We can change the story. We are the choice. We just have to make the right one.”
Iricah, taking rapid notes, gulped. Looking up at Frank, she asked. “So how long do we have? When does this happen Frank? My notes say…”
Frank looked at her and answered. “Soon. Very soon, but I’m not sure as to the exact month, or even season. I need your help for that Iricah. Zy’an I need you to tell me what we are fighting. Thrak, I need you to, blast it Thrak just eat! The darkening itself is caused by the Three.
Three Betrayers, Three moons. Remember your model Iricah? Remember what we found? Once they align, then the Darkness comes. The patterns and pictures of the three circles show us that. It’s not just a picture of mythology, it’s a study of the stars, or rather the moons. But first thing’s first, we have a mission to do.” Turning to the group as a whole, “One of our own needs help. Yes, Iricah needs our help. Her brother is being held by Wrath. And he needs our rescue.”
“Ircah, your family is my family, our family. Let’s save your brother.”
Taking a drink, red skinned and crimson eyed, Frank saluted them all. “Let’s destroy Wrath herself and show her the true heroes are not dead, and never will be!”

Bolvist: “Far Realm? Under siege? What have you learned?”

Taryn: “Great Mother of Glory! There could be only one reason the goddess has sent so many of her troops there. These are the unhosted lizardfolk, sahuagin, elves, barbarians and other tribes. There will be no one watching on the other end. Cillandar will be lost in a night.” He eyes Bolvist, who matches his gaze with the half-orciest frown ever.

Bolvist: “I told you the king is a fool, Taryn. She will infiltrate the city. The capitol will fall, the Flame will be extingguished.”

“Good!” Mesilla, “Wait. Wrath herself will invade? That makes no sense.”

Taryn: “Since when do you make sense, Witch? No, I do not mean Wrath. Wrath, like Clothos, is preparing for the darkening to come once more. She cares only about her power. She cares only about her immortality. No, I am talking about the other one.  I am talking about her corrupted, and twisted servant.  Hasai.  She too has amassed an army.  The forces there at Far Realm, will be outnumbered. We left only a small band of Ata’auhn fighters. Did she stay?”

Roscoe: “Of course, she stayed. Those are her people. She will not leave them.”

What is the Sasser Circle?

There should have been more slaves seen. Where are they all?  Hundreds of thousands of slaves have been taken. The circle must be a massive collection of these souls.

Who are the inner guardians? Some of Sasser forces have an independent will. They are only infrequently seen. Only at night. There is a hierarchy to the slaves. We have found them as though ranked. Its as if they are ranked inversely. The weakest become darkrobed servants. The more powerful become like dogs. To what end we know not. Only the nightwalkers retain what we would refer to as conscious thought. Your brother, Iricah, will undoubtedly be among these.

“You could perhaps…perhaps…create a diversion. Wrath is a hive mind, and as such, like a hive, resources are thrust at a sizable enemy, creating an undefended position elsewhere. Wrath has also over extended herself, attacking Far Realm.”


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