I don’t think that words can describe the feelings I had when I first stepped foot into Thule- Amazement, Excitement, Overwhelming? Maybe all of those, but perhaps none of them. The sheer size of it, the crowded streets, the hustle and bustle, it was almost too much to bear. The first day was a blur – red armbands supported the guild, you needed your own land in the city to have a guild, Patya can get you room and board anywhere, Corbin always spits, Weehawk didn’t know what cities were, Darude and Leeloo handle new experiences by wandering, and a prince needed adventurers to take him through the forest. Prince Rorik was looking for adventurers. A prince? We needed money, princes have money, it seemed perfect, and it was open to anyone, guild affiliated or not. It was too good to be true, but I was in a daze, so I went to present the posting to the group.
Entering the tavern I saw my companions had made themselves at home. Patya was dancing, keeping the patron’s eyes affixed to her and their jaws planted firmly on the floor. Her hips swayed to the tune of Weehawks flute, and Darude sat in the back heckling as always. Though it seemed that his game was affected by the urban setting that he was noticeably unaccustomed to. His crude remarks fell to the patron’s ears as more of a guide-map for their ravenous eyes. Never-the-less I caught them during a break in the set to present my finding. After a small discussion we agreed, and the next day we were off to meet the prince. Leeloo was giddy with delusions of romance and grandeur, as any fifteen-year-old girl would.
I would learn that a bit of investigation on the client should be used when deciding if a job was worth taking. It seemed that the good prince had quite a reputation. With no prospects to the throne, he sought to make his name by unlocking the mysteries of the Echani ruins that dotted the landscape. These ruins were thought to be haunted, and haunted they were. We all set out, Corbin, Darude, Leeloo, Patya, Weehawk, Rorik, his bodyguard Galad, and myself. Leeloo was swooning over the prince who went on and on about the ruins, much to Patya’s dismay, Darude was ruining Leeloo’s attempts for the prince, and Galad and I talked of other things. Weehawk was… he was… well I forget what he was doing, but I believe he was riding Corbin, most likely talking of pixie things. It was not far from the ruins when we had the dream.
A cloaked figure, an ominous forest, its unnatural movement, the pitch black face with a seemingly impossible grin, I can still feel it as though it just happened. Unlike other dreams, this one just would not fade. We would find out this was a dream shared by many, many others, and it was only a prelude for the horrors to come.
The ruins were interesting. The architecture stood proudly against the cruel mistress of time. Inside a cathedral to a long forgotten god, Leeloo channeled ancient spirits. She spoke a name, one I would soon forget, but not for long, Sinri. Lying within a sealed room under the cathedral stood an archway. With nothing around it, a single door begged to be opened. This door acted as a gate to another dimension. Foolishly Rorik, Galad, and I entered. The place was truly bizarre, and the snake-like inhabitants had us take part in a ritual. All three of us were allowed to ask three questions, and they would divine each answer. What I asked I will take to my grave, and many of the other’s questions would remain a mystery as well. The prince learned that all the treasures we had found were cursed and after we left that plane, we began to discard our loot. I wish Patya had not taken this prophesy so lightly, and kept her kleptomania at bay.
Night was soon to be upon us. Feeling that the spirits came at that time, we made haste for the city’s exit. However, my horse panicked and I was thrown from it, landing within a shadow cast from a building. The shadows leapt upon me, trying to drag me into their nebulous void. I knew this was not yet my time. Mustering my strength I pulled free. That’s when I saw it. Truly magnificent did it extend out from Darude’s hand. Back and forth it swung, its writhing mass of arachnids were almost hypnotic in their glory. The spectacular whip lashed out at the shadows, however disaster struck. Into the shadows the brave and bold spiders went, but as the whip came back they were nowhere to be found. Tragically, the heroic spiders were lost forever to swim within the eternal blackness that was the shadows. A lone tear falling from Darude’s cheek mourned them, and was their last friend before their journey into nothingness.
We eventually made it back to Thule. Though the prince no longer wanted anything to do with us, we managed to gain our first big break within the city. We were rewarded a guild hall, and the rights to formally be recognized as a guild. We were called Sandstorm