Blinding, then calm.
The tranquil forest glade our newest companions found themselves within was peaceful… that was until they saw each other.
Tal’iel retreated to the nearby treeline, bow raised and ready. Kara and Toorin looked about perplexed, while Cragwyn raged, his primal gladiatorial reflexes taking over. Sunwalker used his spellcasting ability to transform to a gecko and seek shelter in the nearby grass.
The 5 strangers stared at each other, ready to strike.
A beautiful melody played out across the glade, a figure, previously hidden, appeared by a nearby stream washing her hair of purest moss and leaves. Her skin rough like bark, but with a smile a smooth a silk.
“Come, my children,” said the mysterious women, standing up for the babbling brook. “Take a seat. We have much to discuss.”
With a wave of her hand, five large toadstool appeared in a semi-circle around her.
Tal’iel, Kara and Toorin approached first, Cragwyn staying clear of Tal’iel , who moments before had notched an arrow towards his large Firbolg form and the strange woman who happened appeared out of nowhere. This left Sunwalker the last toadstool in which to his gecko form sat happily upon.
The group asked the woman her name.
“I have many names,” claimed the woman. “But you might know me best as… Mother Nature.”
Dubious looks filtered about the group.
“Let me tell you a story children and then it will make sense why I brought you all here….”
And so the woman began her tale.
“Long ago, in an age before existence, there were two sisters.
A sister of Creation and a sister of Destruction.
The sister of Creation loved to make and craft worlds, which slowly became universes. She found joy in the love of Creation. But the other sister could not create… she tried and tried but everything she made fell to ruin. All her worlds melted into chaos. She could only Destroy.
For a time, the sister of Creation was happy enough, creating worlds and universes. However, she wanted to see her creations thrive and live on their own, and so the sister of Creation created for herself, somebody to help her bring motion to her inventions.
And she called him – Time.
Now, Time was happy to help bring the sister’s creations to life. With the addition of time, her creations came to life in new and wondrous ways. They planned, they built, they rose, they fell, they moved with the waves of time, like a leaf in the ocean of the multi-verse.
He jumped from world to world, animating the previously static worlds and created the seasons.
Together the two of them were a dynamic team and they fell madly in love…
But the other sister simply looked on and saw her sister’s newest creation and grew jealous.
She wanted a partner to love.
But all she could do is create a twisted beats, who did not love her, but betrayed her.
And increasingly vengeful, the sister of Destruction choose to turn her back on love.
Turn her back on her former sister and forge a family of her own.
She created three companions:
A sister of Pestilence.
A brother of War.
A brother of Famine and finally resigned herself to a deathly existence of sorrow and revenge.
She began to cast her influence and that of her new brethren across the multiple universes of her Creative sister.
However, anything she could Destroy, her sister merely fixed with a wave of her hand.
The only way to end her sister’s creations was to destroy her sister.
The four siblings, newly named Apostles of Destruction, launched themselves at the sister of Creations sanctuary… but when the opportunity came, the sister of Destruction found that even with all her wrath she could not struck her sister down.
She left her sister and headed back out into the multi-verses searching for her sister’s greatest creation and one that if destroyed would bring they rest of them to crash to a cataclysmic halt….
And so, the aeons of searching and hunting for Time began.
The Apostles chased.
As long as Time moved, the universes moved with him.
Were the Apostles able to trap and stop Time, the universes of the creative sister would feel it’s effects…
And that is where the story end.”
Mother Nature turns to the group.
“Your worlds have felt the effects. The Apostles have found and trapped Father Time somewhere in the infinite number of worlds. Unable to move, time as a construct is failing. Your world’s have come under it’s terrifying effect.”
“But why didn’t we stop?” asked Kara.
“That I cannot say,” replied Mother Nature. “Time and it’s power is under his control. If the infliction has not affected you then it must be because he had chose you. He sent his familiar and informed me that he would be sending some that might break the Apostles wicked plan.”
“His familiar?” said Tal’iel.
“Yes, why don’t I introduce you.”
A faint whistle echoes about the companions and above them an enormous silhouette of a bird tears across the sky. Sunwalker’s gecko form darts beneath the shelter of his toadstool, though with each circle, the shadow shrinks, until it eventually lands upon Mother Nature’s outstretched arm.
A small wood owl.
“This…” said Mother Nature, “…is Era.”
“Hiya!” said the owl in a cheery tone.
“Era was sent by Father Time so that the destruction of the Multi-verse might be averted.”
Mother Nature continues to speak, telling the collection of strangers that if all the worlds were to grind to a halt and time completely stop, then the concept of time would collapse.
The group look to each other wearily.
“However, since the Apostles began their vile crusade, Father Time came up with a contingency plan just in case such an occurrence should happen.”
Mother Nature tells the group that Father Time has hidden among various worlds, a series of clues; Time Clues, that lead to a rather special artefact, known as the Chronos Key.
With this key, an individual would be able to travel to the heart of the cosmos and manually CONTINUE the clock, bringing previously frozen worlds back to normality.
Restarting our heroes home worlds.
“Era here, is Father Time’s familiar. They will be able to track the Time Clues and follow the trail through time and space. Era is a pan-dimensional being, able to transport you instantaneously across the vast distances of multiple universes and planes of reality.”
“Sure, I can! I’m super happy to help,” said Era chirping cheerfully.
And so, the quest was laid out before them.
Travel the multi-verse, seek the Time Clues and retrieve the Chronos Key. Once in their possession, travel to the centre of the cosmos and restart the Eternity Engine.
“Be wary, my brave hearted heroes. For the influence of the Apostles corrupts many worlds. Some of the world you encounter might be tainted by their pollution. They too are on the hunt for the Chronos Key and with it completing their apocalyptic plans.”
Mother Nature explains that on some worlds, they might encounter strange phenomena that is caused by their evil influence. Here, the group should be wary of what she calls “Seeds of Destruction” and if possible they should try to destroy them to remove the Apostles influence with the multi-verses.
With everything placed on the line, the adventurers realise that should they wish to save the world, then it would ultimately fall across their shoulders.
“Take care, my children,” said Mother Nature. “Every day, more and more world grind to a stop. If the last world should cease, then our time as n existence will falter and crumble.”
With a wave of her hand, Mother Nature bestowed her blessing on the group before Era’s trans-dimensional power plucked our heroes up and – POP! – they vanished to worlds unknown, the only force able to prevent the end of everything that is, will be and ever was.
To be Continued….