One after another the heroes slid down the chute into the temple.  To whom this place was dedicated had long since been forgotten, and instead became the lair of a villainous beholder.  The room had torches lining the walls, and the wind rushing down the tunnel into the chamber blew up against the metallic chimes hanging from the ceiling, creating an eerie and uncomfortable melody that echoes throughout.  The torches were dimming, having been left unkempt it seemed. Whoever had lived here was no longer tending to it.

Led by the plucky adventurous hunter, Hudson, the heroes krept into the chamber, hoping to get a glimpse of where their prey had been hiding.  Skeletal bodies littered the floor, coated in a thin sheet of dust that was kicked up with each step.

“There in the dark! I think I see something!” He shouted back to the party.  He reached into his pouch and pulled a small orb. He tossed the mystical object into the darkness where it smacked onto the ground, adhering to its position and immediately ignited in a soft purple light.  There, revealed by the adventurer’s device, was the creature they had sought after! Except, the beholder was slain. Tooth and claw marks covered the aberrant beast’s body, as if some horrid animal had taken the kill from them.

Bewildered, Hudson inched forward, closer and closer until he started to notice something strange.

“I think…” he stumbled on his words and looked back at his party, “I think… something is moving inside?”

The heroes called to him not to go further, but the mystery and curiosity drove him further.  He unsheathed his sword and held it at the ready. He drew close enough to the body to touch it.  With his sword in hand, he prodded at the corpse, puncturing its flesh.

Regret washed over his whole body when the creature erupted into hundreds of tiny beholders that swarmed around him like a tornado.  In a brilliant flash of blue energy blazing all around him, he was gone.

And following his death, the children of the beholder turned their gazes to the heroes of Travance, still trapped within the temple.

* * * * * * * * *

An Elven paladin and human sorcerer were sitting in the room of a manor, pouring over documents and maps discussing visions and plans and wishes.  The uncertainty was clouding the room and frustrations were growing while they struggled to work out a plan to deal with their predicament. In the midst of his sentence, the paladin fell silent and to the floor, long enough for the sorcerer to get to him and call to the guards outside for aid.  It wasn’t long before the elf had come to, but now with a desperation in his voice.

“You must go now!” The paladin composed himself, “He has completed the doorway and marches his army!  Muster the town and close the Gates!”

The sorcerer had heard the paladins visions before and knew what was coming to pass.  There was no time to waste, and so he left the paladin and jumped through a portal into Travance.

The heroes had just retrieved the Temporal Powercore from the Beholder’s lair and were charging the power of the Gates of Passage.  The heroes rallied to make a daring assault with only the moment’s notice to destroy the Gates of Passage in Althawine that had just been completed.  Duke Balliol could not be permitted to march his army anywhere beyond his own borders.

The dialed the location and powered up the Gate only to hear an unusual voice call out.

Althawine gate is closed and locked down. Althawine gate is closed and locked down. Althawine gate is closed and locked down…. Initiating MasterGate protocol. MasterGate protocol initiated. Activating Mastergate Override…. … … Althawine gate is now open and available. Althawine gate is now open and available…

The doorway opened and the heroes rushed through immediately met by a standing battalion of the Duke’s forces.  The heroes hammered against them while others quickly set out to preparing a series of bombs. The attack was so fast and so skilled, the enemy didn’t even have a chance to call for reinforcements before Travance was already calling for their retreat.

The Battalion commander gave chase toward the gate but the doorway had closed before he could reach it.  He called out for his soldiers to re-rally and continue the preparations, until he turned to his left and saw what the real goal was all too late.

Without a chance to call for a retreat, the Althawine Gates of Passage exploded into a brilliant display of rocketing stone, metal, and fire.

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Akira: "Who goes?!"

Reply from the dark: "Who goes?!"

Akira: "I asked first!"

Reply from the dark: "Too bad!"