The five members of CrIsis exited the cave where they spent their last three days. It was time to leave their Adraodan friends so they could continue in their quest. The bright morning sun greeted them with searing heat as they walked outside to see a Kankoran, dressed for winter weather, walking towards them.
He introduced himself as Silent Dream and talked to them with a sense of awe. He directed his words to Grignak, having made the assumption that the one with the most scars was the most experienced and therefore the leader of the group. When Grignak learned this he laughed mightily and informed the diminutive Kankoran that Xerx’ses was their leader. This confused Silent Dream since to him, Xerx’ses was but a pup with no scars and thus had no indication of experience. He said as much out loud which garnered more laughter. Moving on, Silent Dream explained that Ra sent him to them to deliver a warning:
CrIsis was gathering attention from many other beings, not just those of the dark. There were gods of evil as well as other beings who felt that mortals should not reach for, nor attain, certain levels of power. Their journey would no longer be just about the rebuilding Osiris, for their power as a group has garnered the attention of those beings. There would be very trying times ahead as gods and their minions begin to attack CrIsis directly. This would happen very soon.
Silent Dream gave this message to CrIsis and further explained he had been directed to join them. He showed the Eternal Torch Ring he now wore, which they proved was real by bathing it in the light of the Silver Torch of Isis. Xerx’ses was confused by the message – hadn’t they steered clear of the southern gods? What other gods could Ra be referring to?
In answer Silent Dream related some information he picked up in the 16 true books and 44 true scrolls of CrIsis he had been directed to read prior to joining with them. In them were some hints that Utu, the god of the dead, was upset at the power which The Man with No Name had acquired and was brandishing. To further explain, the Man with No Name requested they move somewhere private to discuss. Xerx’ses said good-bye to his new wife and the group walked away to find a secluded location.
They had only just reached their destination when Grignak observed quick hidden movement all around them; slight flashes of hair and dog-like snouts were all he could make out in the quick movement. He warned CrIsis. They began to prepare for an ambush but Xerx’ses instead activated his teleport amulet and brought all of CrIsis to the special chamber in Sekti-Abtu where the amulet was attuned to deposit them. The two guards in the room came to attention when the group arrived. One of the guards quickly left the room to pass the word that CrIsis had returned.
The chamber had been modified since their last visit, and was now large enough to comfortably accommodate the height of all the members. Feeling the area was private enough, The Man with No Name whispered something to Xerx’ses. The Minotaur’s eyes grew wide and he loudly replied, "WHAT? MACK IS ALIVE?"
The other guard was asked to wait outside so CrIsis could discuss this news amongst themselves. Once he complied the questions poured out. The Man with No Name calmly informed the group that he learned a powerful spell from that scroll they helped him rescue from Wo’Elfenbrut. With nothing more than a bone or cherished memento of the deceased it was possible to bring them back to life. No longer were they restricted to the condition of the body or the length of time since departing. He further explained that he used this spell on Mack, who then was spirited away by the gods to help elsewhere.
The possibilities this spell opened up for the group became almost overwhelming to consider. Suddenly deceased comrades could be rescued from death and brought back to the living. A knock at the door interrupted the elated deliberation and Ursus, still in his bear form, sauntered over to open the door. Or more accurately, to remove the door from its frame despite its recent reinforcement. Standing in the doorway was Forenque Dnng, who went from smiling to frowning in an instant as he observed the bear’s wanton display of strength.
After exacting a promise that CrIsis would no longer allow Ursus to open that door in the future, pleasantries at the surprise visit were exchanged. He noted Silent Dream among the group and remarked that U’Selekma had only just recently announced that CrIsis would have him as new member. Silent Dream said it was an honor to meet everyone, and Forenque replied dourly that the honor was all his.
CrIsis turned down all the Acamarch’s suggestions of aid. They did not want rooms as they didn’t intend to stay long – just until Xerx’ses could recharge his spent magic. They did ask him to check if a teleport amulet was available for The Man with No Name, and if he would request one for Silent Dream as well. Thrilled to be their errand boy, Forenque left them to their solitude. Ursus roughly placed the door back in place and CrIsis now turned it’s attention to the new member in their midst, Silent Dream.
They all had questions for Silent Dream. Where was he from? Which god or gods did he worship? Does he like to eat wild pig? Would he like to hear about the wonders of Khonsu? What is his true name? Is there anything he would like to accomplish before he leaves the mortal world? Are there any sins in his past?
The whirlwind of questions culminated in a general chat session and a more even, back and forth conversation ensued while Xerx’ses slept. After four or so hours the conversation winded down and everyone milled about, preparing for their eventual departure. Xerx’ses awoke refreshed as Forenque returned. He had the amulet for The Man with No Name and informed them it would be two days before one for Silent Dream was ready. Would they wait?
No, they decided they would depart and pick it up next time they came by. They said their goodbyes and Xerx’ses teleported them all to the deck of the docked ship, Rogtilda, in Bletherad Bay. Unlike the lukewarm reception they received from Forenque, the crew of the Rogtilda was truly excited to be re-united with CrIsis!
In no time they were celebrating and catching up. The crew of the Rogtilda informed CrIsis of the battle they recently fought; the Battle of Bletherad Bay. They also let crisis know the Duke of Llorn’s public apology, and that Mistress Vesuvia was in town and wanted to meet with them as soon as possible.
Having read about Roggan and hearing from the crew that he hadn’t talked in some time, Silent Dream reached out mentally to see if he could sense a presence. To his surprise his probing woke him up, but Roggan asked for a few more hours before he could talk. He was still too sleepy. Silent Dream let him be but passed on his comments to the rest of CrIsis.
Silent Dream spoke to Xerx’ses. He was still amazed that the Minotaur was the leader of CrIsis despite having no scars to mark his experience. Xerx’ses pointed out his clone, Kom’Var, to Silent Dream and noted all the scars and burn marks. He told the Kankoran that those were his scars, before he became immortal. Incredulously Silent Dream asked why he would relinquish those stripes? Xerx’ses just matter-of-factually stated that he didn’t know it would happen when he became immortal.
Once Roggan woke up he talked and re-united with CrIsis, taking time to talk with everyone in turn. His time to pass on was coming soon and everyone knew it. The Man with No Name asked if there was anything on the ship which Roggan considered a cherished memento? Roggan didn’t have any singular item which met that criteria. Xerx’ses asked if there was somewhere Roggan would want to be when his time came, and Roggan told them how much he missed his homeland of Timiro and would love to go back there. CrIsis agreed, and Roggan went back to sleep for the time being.
The Man with No Name was still trying to work out how he could use Athanasia to save Roggan. But it was pointed out to him that Roggan’s passing was natural, due to his age. The matter was dropped, but not entirely settled.
Xerx’ses asked Jershon when they could set sail for Timiro. Jershon informed CrIsis there were no supplies! CrIsis had been gone for so long that all the money left behind had slowly been used up in day-to-day expenses. There were only enough supplies on board for a couple more days at best. He said they would need Wolfen coin to purchase supplies here, which Silent Dream was able to produce. It wasn’t much but it would purchase about a month’s worth of supplies – enough to get the ship to Timiro.
While the crew re-stocked and re-supplied the ship Jershon took CrIsis into town to meet with Mistress Vesuvia. Suddenly Silent Dream felt imminent danger was approaching! He warned the others and they prepared to face an unknown enemy. In mere moments that enemy finally revealed itself – several Ratlings, the Archfiend Ratel, and a massive rat-like being later identified as the god Kirgi!
A fierce melee broke out. Ratel once again overestimated his abilities and his form was destroyed this time. He vowed vengeance as his essence was dragged back to Dyval to reform. One by one the Ratlings fell and eventually it was Jershon and all of CrIsis versus the god Kirgi. Their combined onslaught against the lone god was more than he was prepared for. He fled the battle, disappearing from right in front of them. In his leaving he left words lingering in the air, like the hiss of escaping steam. “You have not heard the last of me…!”
The sudden silence that fell upon the area gave rise to a revelation: CrIsis just fought a god, and won!
This was what Ra foretold. They collected themselves proudly and continued quickly to Vesuvia’s. Her residence was large – possibly the second largest building on the island, dwarfed only by the Library itself. Inside the house was mostly empty. It was sparsely furnished with tumultuous, colorful rugs spread around, covering the entire floor. She bounced over as they entered, elated that Jershon finally brought CrIsis to her.
It took some effort to keep her focused on the conversation and get her to finally reveal the information which she needed to deliver in person to CrIsis. It was the information from the Alarassa book which they hadn’t been able to get previously. The book was called “” and it contained the key words It, And, Alone, Not.
They said their thank-yous and good-byes, then headed back to Rogtilda. A couple CrIsis members split off and headed to Auntie Ev’s for some drink and relaxation. While there Indaris filled seventeen ten-gallon barrels with water and turned it into very high-quality wine for the party. He provided it to Auntie Ev free of charge, letting him sell it for half-price and still make money. For CrIsis though, the wine was free.
After a night of drinking and partying The Man with No Name finally made his way back to the ship, intending to pass out in his bed. He opened the door to his cabin to find Eyes already there in his bed. She was dressed in a skimpy, sexy outfit which she had purchased and held on to for just this occasion. “I’ve been waiting for you,” she said to him with a sly smile.
The Man with No Name recoiled. He shouted at her, “NOT LIKE THIS!” and drove her out of his cabin. She sourly complied and once the door was firmly shut behind her she smiled quietly to herself. “Not like this,” he had said to her. That meant there was a way. She just had to find it.