So it was that on the morning of the 22nd day of Readying, in the year 593 CY on Oerth’s continent of the Flanaess, the company of six went forth to reclaim a piece of the mysterious artifact that they knew only as “the device.”
As they left Guldenberg, Tegric caught a glimpse of Marya as she stood in the doorway of her father’s mansion, watching the group leave the village. There was a sadness in her eyes, and Tegric took note of a dark cast that fell over the visage of his companion Paedrik.
They journeyed east, seeking to avoid the troubled town of Hardby in their pursuit of whoever, or whatever, had the fragment of the device. The day was still young when the companions were attacked by a group of bandits hiding in a stand of trees. Tegric and his group fought against their attackers and overcame them easily. It was in this small grove that they travellers came across the corpse of a man long dead. They surmised by the clothes that adorned the body and a leather satchel that the man had been a messenger of some sort. Further inspection revealed that the satchel contained two scroll cases. Opening these cases, they found two parchments covered in a runic script that no one in the group could decipher. This done, they decided to press on.
As the day drew on and dusk began to fall, the group found themselves in the foothills of the Abbor-Alz. They began to discuss the possibility of resting for the night before something unusual caught their eyes: distant bolts of lightning that seemed to arc up from the ground to lance at the sky. They spurred their horses on, and when they crested the next rise they saw a dark-stoned tower before them at the top of the next hill. It seemed to stand somewhat crookedly, and its foundations looked as if the structure had been ripped from some other place and moved to the location in which it now rested. Four tall spires stood around it, and as they watched, several lightning bolts shot up from the tips of these spires in the direction of the tower’s top.
Consulting the orb he carried that was a part of the mysterious device, the mage Anton determined that the fragment they sought was indeed within the tower. Tegric decided they should waste no more time, and the group moved to enter the tower. The group ascended the switchback staircase to the double doors of the tower, and the kender Demil began to pick the lock, all the while deftly avoiding setting off the trap he saw within the lock.
As the kender worked, there was a sudden flash of brightness accompanied by a scream. When their eyes cleared, all were shocked to see that Paedrik had seemingly vanished from the stairs. His brother Shaan and the cleric Kerin went to find him, and discovered to their horror that he lay at the base of the steps, his body smoking. Shaan wept while the cleric worked frantically to heal the fallen warrior. Tegric offered to turn the group back for the sake of saving Paedrik’s life, but Shaan insisted that Tegric, Anton, and Demil go on while he and Kerin took care of Paedrik.
Demil opened the lock on the massive double doors, and he led the way as Anton and Tegric followed. They made their way through the tower’s first level, finding opulent furnishings, including a well-appointed dining room in which a marble statue of a beautiful woman holding a sword aloft figured prominently. This first level was lit by a diffused illumination that reminded them of torchlight, save that it did not flicker. They could not find the source of this light.
They climbed a stair to the next level, which was in darkness. Lighting a torch, they saw that this level seemed to be a dwelling place for servants, judging by its poor furnishings. After a cursory search of the rooms on the level, they proceeded up the next staircase. This led to a locked door, along the edges of which could be seen a flickering blue light. The kender picked the lock, and they opened the door to encounter a bloody tableau. An older man, most likely a wizard and the master of the tower, lay sprawled face down across a summoning circle inscribed on the floor in some white substance. He lay in a pool of his own blood.
Anton warned against touching the body or breaking the circle, fearing some foul magic. The group searched the room, which seemed to serve as a bedchamber and study for the wizard. The fragment was nowhere to be found. They inspected a strange door in the wall opposite the stairs they had used to gain access to the chamber, and found that beyond this other door was a dark shaft that stretched both down into darkness and up toward the top of the tower. When Tegric thrust his torch into the shaft in order to see better, he felt the torch become almost weightless. Letting go of the torch, it floated up and out of sight.
Seeing this, Demil eagerly shoved his way into the shaft, and to his sheer delight found that he was floating as well. Anton and Tegric slowly followed his lead, and all three ascended gently to a small enclosure with a door opposite the terminus of the shaft. They made themselves ready, and opened the door.
They found themselves in what looked to be the wizard’s workroom. A table strewn with glass and metal instruments, parchment, and other oddments stood to one side of the room, and on the other stood a strange stone arch and a pedestal on which rested a large tome. Standing in the chamber near the arch were three tall figures in hooded cloaks. These figures seemed strangely gaunt and quick of movement. They turned to the newcomers, and one demanded in a harsh, hissing voice that the group explain what they were doing in the tower. Then the same voice threatened Tegric and his companions with violence.
Tegric made an attempt to talk to the beings, but the cloaked figures leapt to attack. Tegric threw one of his shortswords at the one who had spoken, only to see his blade brushed aside in the air by some invisible force. Soon the companions were overwhelmed, with Demil and Anton stunned. Tegric was forced to put down his blades. At this time one of the beings found the orb that Anton carried, and the leader commanded this one (calling him Drakka) and the other to reach into their cloaks…to reveal that each had a fragment of the device! The leader reassembled the device, which began to glow with a golden light. Then the three beings pulled back their hoods to reveal long yellow-skinned faces with sunken cheeks and large eyes. They all had long black hair pulled back into ponytails.
Then the leader began to talk of Tegric and his friends of being among the “worldbound.” He also said that he could sense that Demil and Tegric had “vibrations” that were “dissonant” to Oerth, and claimed that he would set things aright. With that, the leader raised the device over his head, crying out that he once again held a great power, and the golden light eneveloped Tegric and Demil. They tried to escape the light, but they both saw themselves coming apart in small flakes, and then darkness descended over both…
Some time later, Demil felt a cool breeze waft over him, and he opened his eyes to see that he lay on a dirt road, autumn-colored leaves on a tree above him. A group of wide-eyed kender children were staring at him. As he stood up, the children swarmed around him, asking him to appear from nowhere again and digging through his pouches. He swatted them away, and then realized that he was once again on Krynn, on the very road he had set out on from Kendermore before the blue light had taken him to Oerth. Demil shrugged, smiled at the memories of his adventure (of which he retained every detail), and turned to walk down the road once again…
Somewhere else, Tegric felt warm sunshine on his face, and the crashing of waves. He opened his eyes and sat up to see that he was on a low stretch of cliff that looked down upon a beach of white sand. Beyond that was a vast ocean. The air was warm and the trees and grass a verdant green. He turned to look behind him, and he saw bodies, long beams of wood, crates, and numerous other items scattered across the beach. He tried to remember how he arrived at this place, but could not. He knew who he was, but could not truly recall where he came from or what had happened to him. He knew there were things of importance that he should know, but he could not put names to places or faces that crossed his mind. Shaking his head, he stood slowly, and considered his next move…