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20 THAUMONT 1,005 A.C. – DYMRAK FOREST, KARAMEIKOS
Francisco looks in my eyes, quietly, and, in a strange way, he reminds me of my master.
Allstorn words overlap the cleric ones.
“Please Sha, sit down here. We must talk.”
Not again, please. Not again the dark despair for his death. Not now, please.
“Sha? Is it all right?” Francisco voice is distant and unusually cold. I nod, hiding my real emotions.
“You said that the flying machine can carry us all faster and I think you’ll honor your words.”
“Yes. We must go to the gnomes and…“
“This is a problem. We must reach a place in the heart of the forest. It’s Immeral birthplace, the Lake of the Lost Dreams. He needs to talk to his master and we go with him. Would you come with us? Do you want to stay here?”
“I’ll come with you. You helped me with the basilisk and the nagpa, I have a debt.” My resolute voice astonishes them but Francisco smiles, satisfied.
“Prepare yourselves, we’ll depart tomorrow.”
The sun shyly peeks out from the horizon: behind the inn at the border of the forest, it’s the perfect time and place to do my exercise.
The cool air tickles my fur and I take a big breath, beginning my usual workout: my thoughts are totally clear and empty, all my senses are focused on accomplishing harmoniously the martial sequences but, in a deep recess of my mind, I can feel a strange sensation, an unknown apprehension and I have no idea from where it springs.
Maybe all things happened till now are testing my nerves too much; I rethink about De’Ath and his obsessive desire to take back the little tabi. Why? Why that tiny creature is so important to his master Heydrech?
I extract two basilisk scales, watching their opaque shades.
“Sha! Did you already wake up?” Francisco’s sharp voice distract me from my thoughts.
“Good morning. I was practicing my exercises. How are you?”
“Battered but I’m still flesh and bones, not stone: this is the most important thing, isn’t it?” He smiles at me. “I came here to pray but it seems that you’ve already claimed this place-“
“No, no, Francisco. I finished. Stay here, I’ll go.” I interrupt him hurriedly, returning to the inn and waiting for the others.
After the breakfast we start our journey to the Lake of the Lost Dreams on two boats along Rugalov River.
During the trip I have the time to observe the heterogeneous group and to think about what happened until now.
De’Ath is involved in Allstorn death, probably he’s the one who killed him and I’m pretty sure he thought he killed me too. He recognized me and he’s so proud of what he did.
I’ll have my revenge on you and I’ll complete the mission Allstorn began.
We reach the island in the centre of the Lake in the evening.
Elarik talks: “Hurry up! We must see the Seer as soon as possible!” He’s very anxious and his agitation upsets me a lot.
The island is none other than an enormous sanctuary where a man of indefinable age receives us: “This is Zirchev sanctuary. Welcome you all. It seems that you have a problem.” He talks quietly, pointing at the petrified Immeral and Azulenia. “Follow me, I have the solution.”
He shows us the path and proceeds to talk: “I have predicted your coming here some time ago and I know you have a lot of question, especially my pupil, Immeral.”
“You’re right but first we must help your disciple and Azulenia.” Says Francisco with calm voice.
After some minutes we arrive to a water spring: the man takes a cup of water and sheds it on the two petrified ones: slowly the curse is dissolved.
Elarik takes care of Azulenia while Immeral looks around himself: “Home again.” the elf whispers, his voice broken by emotions. “Master, I have a lot of things to tell you.”
The Seer nods, serious, and Immeral starts to talk: “The Fire Opal Eye choose me. I had some vision about it but they were confused and fragmented.” The elf interrupts himself to take a breath and the Seer talks: “All Seers know the story of the Opal Eyes and now you’ll know it too.”
We all gather around the two wise man, curious.
“Many centuries ago, in an unspecified year, two twin shooting stars fell upon Mystara. At that time there was a Kingdom, called the Kingdom of Nithia, and its Prince Traldar, with his court astronomer, interpreted the two falling stars as a good omen for his own children birth. However with the omen came a warning: the birth of the two children, Meketre the boy and Isisalam the girl, would generate fratricidal struggles for the control of the Barony of Traldar. Prince Traldar decided to recover the pieces of the two stars: the charred remains of two ferrous cluster, one meter long with a great mass, were brought to the Prince. After weeks, the court magicians opened these metal casing, revealing their content: in the centre a big eye made of metal and wires and its core, colored in blue, had an enormous energy. The core’s metal was put in special containers, because it was like quicksilver. The wizards made a lot of experiments and they discovered unusual properties of the metal and, most important thing, the two eyes possessed strong divination and enchanting charms. After these discoveries the Prince commanded to create two gems with the cores and called them “Eyes of Traldar”, as gifts for his children. The gems had great powers divided but, together, their power was greater.” The Seer stops his story, looking at us, especially to his pupil.
“After years, thanks to his father and the best teachers in the Kingdom, Meketre became a sorcerer-warrior while his sister, Isisalam, dedicated her life to the veneration of the Immortal Pflarr: when Traldar judged his own children ready he gave them his great gift, the two Eyes. Isisalam received the Fire Opal Eye, the power of the divination was in her hands; Meketre obtained the bewitching powers of the Black Opal Eye. The Prince gave them these incredible powers with a condition: he requested them to colonize new lands in his name, with the secret desire that his children would understand how to collaborate using the Eyes, to leave, then, the colonized land to one child and the motherland to the other. But things didn’t go as hoped by the Prince: Isisalam discovered the valley of Hutaaka and its baffling inhabitants, devoted to the Immortal Pflarr; she joined them, spending every day of her life devoting to the jackal headed immortal. Meketre, her brother, conquered and took under his own control the lands in the south of the Altan Tepes Mountains, starting his new life in the lands watered by Volaga and Rugalov rivers, today we call that place Karameikos, and his reign was long, marked out by prosperity and peace. The brothers never returned to Nithia. After Meketre’s death, a mausoleum was built near the headwaters of the river Volaga and his most valuable fortune was found in his treasure: the Black Opal Eye.”
The wise man ends his tale with profound voice, waiting for questions.
“I’ve already seen this story, through the visions.”
“Do you know what it means, Immeral? The Fire Opal Eye choose you as new Seer and protector of Traldar.”
Immeral teeters for a second but he looks in his master eyes with new resolution: “I’m ready for this.”
The old Seer smiles: “I knew it. Now, to demonstrate that you’re worthy for this role I’ll give you an assignment: find the Black Opal Eye and rejoin it with its twin.” He watches us: “I can clearly see that Immeral’s destiny is tied with yours and I know you’ll help him in this strenuous task.”
Before I could say anything he points his eyes into mine and says: “You too, rakasta. Your thirst for justice will be satisfied if you stay with them.”
I nod, embarrassed.
“The previous Seer took the Black Opal Eye with him and brought it in the Elvish village called Kota-Hutan, in the Vyalia county, next to the Western border of the Thyatis Empire.
“We’ll go there as soon as possible but we have to investigate about a strange passage in the basilisk’s cave before. I felt a strange power there, do you know anything about it?” Francisco asks to the Seer who shakes his head: “I have no idea of what it could be, I’m sorry.”
After a short discussion between Immeral and the Seer we depart from the island and the Seer words echo in my mind.
Your thirst for justice will be satisfied.
I’ll avenge you, master.
Wait for me De’Ath, I’m coming for you.