Jordania

Day 2 --Back to Forestwatch

On our way back, at the same place where we had previously seen something strange darting through the forest, we get the same feeling of being watched and see the same creature darting through the trees. This time, however, a small ball is thrown and hits the ground near our feet and smoke begins to pour up off the ground. As I fall helplessly into slumber, I can see that the only person this smoke is not affecting is Rusty. When I come to a short while later, I’m lying near a campfire. The rest of my party is there as well, all slowly waking up. I can see Rusty standing a bit off to the side, near a small hut, seemingly speaking to an old man in robes. At least, I think he’s an old man. He’s got straggly white hair and he’s short. Really short. The scene registers and I come awake suddenly. Where am I? What happened to us? Who’s the old guy and why is Rusty talking to him like they’re old friends?! Almost as if he’s been reading my mind, the guy looks over and I can literally see his face light up with excitement. “Ohhhhhooo! Finally, you guys are waking up! Now we can get down to business!” “What business?” I ask. “Who are you?” “That is not important” he says. He walks toward the edge of the clearing, near the trees. “Well, how did we get here? You certainly didn’t carry us!” He turns back and shrugs, a crooked smile splayed at the corner of his mouth. He glances quickly at Rusty then turns his attention back to the forest. Rustbucket actually appears to have a slightly apologetic look on his face, but offers no explanation. The old man makes an odd sound and a bunch of monkey looking things come out of the trees and land on Rusty, covering him. From what we can see, it almost looks like they’re licking him. But that would be ridiculous, right? I don’t know when, but suddenly, the old guy is sitting by us at the fire. I didn’t even see him move. I’m barely listening to him because I’m still trying to discern what the monkeys are doing to Rusty. I hear talk of lost memories and how it must be strong magic indeed that doesn’t allow us to remember. He asks us to join hands. As we do, a sort of darkness falls over my vision and I start to feel light-headed. In my mind, I see us, our group, sitting around a fire. We’re all laughing like we’re old friends. I should be more specific, though, it’s us, but it’s not us. The faces are different, but there’s no question this really is our group. The scene changes and now we’re all standing around a table, a parchment is laid out on top and though I can’t really see what it is, something inside me knows they’re battle plans. It’s replaced by another vision, of us marching toward a castle, then it flashes to a battle; Aramil charges in, his battle cry resounding loudly. Another flash and we can see Deathadder impaling a foe with his sword; FLASH and Salvath is shooting fireballs, smiting the enemy as they attack, FLASH, Rauli appears out of nowhere and stabs an enemy in the back, then disappears once again into the shadows. The next flash carries with it a feeling of dread and I see myself wounded, Darlah standing over me, healing me. Several more flashes come, each one more devastating than the last, the obvious direction being of our defeat and death in this battle. The last flash is an image of Rusty running through a hole in the castle wall; except, as in all the other flashes, the people we know to be us, don’t look anything like us. The flashes stop and it takes just a moment to get re-oriented to where we are. An iron figure approaches the circle. This is the same iron figure we saw in that last vision, but we know it’s Rusty. Our incredulousness, our questions, offer no answers. The old man simply says we are not ready, that we will get our answers soon. Though we had just woken not too long ago from our ‘smoke-induced’ stupor, we were suddenly very tired. The old man invited us to use his campfire for the evening. When we wake in the morning, the old man, the campfire and the hut are all gone. There isn’t even any indication it was ever there. Our refugees from the caves, forgotten the night before, are sleeping near us as well. They don’t know anything about what happened that night, they never saw the old man or even the fire. We’re so confused about what happened, none of us even noticed the orc had gone missing. We didn’t realize it until after we got back to town. I don’t think we’re overly concerned, afterall, he had seemed like a decent guy. I just hope we didn’t make a mistake in releasing him.

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