A blinding flash fills the sky and I hiss as my braids reach up to block the light as I blink to get my sight back. My breath catches as I look up to see that above me is now filled with wonderous pricks of light that dot the night sky like jewels. Is this the Prime Material? I had heard stories… My reverie is soon interrupted by screams and cries for help, however, as the girl Constance and Khal lost their grip on the island and fell over the edge.
“Do you think we can get my rope to them?” asks Wayland.
“Let’s see what we can do,” I reply as I pull my crossbow from my belt and attach the rope to one of my bolts. “Should I hope I get it near him?” I mutter to myself as I take aim with the crossbow. “Nah… can’t risk it.”
The shot rings out with a twang and launches towards the hapless duo as the rope unfurls through Wayland’s hands. I cup my ear and listen intently for the tell-tale scream from the Githyanki as my bolt pierces his leg. “Got him! I think you can start pulling them up now, Wayland.”
“A bit extreme, don’t you think?” asks Solon as Hodey looks over the edge and grins.
“We only had one shot, didn’t we? Besides, I always thought clerics knew how to heal themselves,” I reply with a shrug as Wayland pulls the irritated Khal and grateful Constance back onto the island.
Hodey manipulates the controls on the device a few more times, until his choice of the Plane of Fire leaves much to be desired.
I swat at the devious Kobold with my braid. “Just because you and I are resistant doesn’t mean we need to singe the rest,” I mutter as the Kobold laughs and quickly shift us to Bitopia, the afterlife of the Gnomes. It was the first peaceful and utterly boring plane I could think of from my discussions with Omen.
“Oh thank the Light,” groans Solon as he sits down tiredly. “Do you think we could make camp for a bit before we do that again?”
Hodey promptly sits down and starts pulling devices and tools from his backpack as the others pull out bedrolls and make camp for the next few hours. I entertain myself by investigating more of the runes on the main platform, and discover that it’s some very old magic… done by dragons, perhaps? My palms begin to itch at the thought of such magic and technology combined together… and what I could do with such devices if I ever returned to Ribcage.
I walk back to the camp and grin as I replay the image of teleporting my enemies into the Plane of Ooze in my mind, only to walk in on a conversation.
“So where do we go now?” Constance asks. “I’m looking for my people, Solon is looking for his family, Wayland here is-”
“Looking for a good time!”
“-yes. So where do we go from here, do you think?”
“There’s always Sigil,” I suggest. “If we can find a plane with the proper entrance, we can get to anywhere from there.”
“Maybe I can get back to my troop!” exclaims Hodey as he flops onto his bedroll with a new odd device in hand.
“Assuming the odds are against us and we can’t find this place?” asks Constance.
“Well… there’s always the Prime Material, considering where you and the elf look like you’re from,” I reply. “You know… that place with the pretty sky and dangerous edges,” I chuckle.
“And how are we supposed to get down from there safely?” she asks.
“I made something just for that!” Hodey speaks up cheerfully. “It’s my Calamus Abatement Injector and it will help you land safely!”
“That’s all right, pipsqueak,” answers Wayland, who I’ve since found out is called a Giff. “I’ll take my chances with waiving down a ship.”
“A ship?” I ask. “I don’t know if we’re going to be anywhere near a sea.”
Wayland and Constance chuckle to themselves. “No… a ship that flies through the sky… like the one we had on the Astral Plane,” she replies.
“Oh… you mean the one that crashed?” I ask wryly. “Allright then, when we’re done with camp we’ll go back to the Prime and see what we can find.”
Once we make it back to that beautiful sky, Constance fills me in on the existence of ships that fly through the air currents like waves in the ocean called… what was it… Jammers, I believe. I can’t help but be envious of that kind of freedom, and quickly find myself wanting to be off this rock and up there instead. I mutter a quick incantation and with a flick of my thumb and forefinger a flare is sent up into the air in the hopes of attracting a passing ship.
Minutes pass like hours, until finally Solon points out into the distance at a moving speck of light. “There, I see a ship heading this way!”
I can hear Khal muttering at the news behind me. He’s probably worried about more of those Gith Pirates, or the monks, or… whoever else is chasing him that he hasn’t told us about. I figure whoever it is they’ve got to be better than here… because really, what’s the point of seeing the Universe if you can only do it from one spot?
“Are you guys sure we should leave this platform for just anybody to use?” Constance asks worriedly.
“You could always take the keys with you,” I shrug.
“Yes! Let’s take some of the stones for safe-keeping and give them to…” she looks around at the group of motley magic users doubtfully and finally sets her sights on the large Giff, “…Waylond! He can carry them!”
“No problem at all,” answers Waylond with a tip of his cowboy hat as Hodekin runs off to grab the stones from the control panels.
In the meantime, the ship has drawn close enough to begin pulling alongside the platform to reveal to everyone’s amusement (though I’m not sure about Solon.. you know… Elves and all…) that the deck is full of Gully Dwarves.
“Morons!” squawks Omen as he lands on my shoulder. Okay… maybe amusement was too strong a word.
“Hey, people!” yells one of the dwarves as a group of them stumbles over each other to lower the gang plank.
Constance sighs and then puts on a smile as she walks up to them to barter for transportation. I can’t quite make out what she said, but I assume it had something to do with alcohol when the dwarf shouts in glee, “They’ve got booze!”
I chuckle to myself at the sick humor of the gods and reach up to snap Omen’s beak shut with my fingers before he retorts again. “Enough from the peanut gallery,” I whisper. “Be nice for now.”
It doesn’t take long before we’re all onboard and Waylond has the dwarven crew singing bawdy tunes in a drunken warble. I find a seat on a crate and do my best to tune it out by occupying myself with my cards. The Wheel of Fortune has held true so far… I wonder what else could be in store?
“By the Light, this is all so unbelievable!” exclaims Solon as he peers out one of the windows into the depths of space. “I knew my quest to find my home might lead to this someday, but I never imagined…”
Constance smiles at Solon’s words as she joins the group. “Now that we’re back in space again, what would you like to do Waylond?”
The large Giff leans back on a pile of passed out Gully Dwarves and stretches out his long legs and large feet. “It’s been a dream of mine for a while to find the perfect pair of boots.”
Constance grins and turns to Hodekin to ask him next, but quickly blushes when he replies with crude humping gestures. I hide my chuckle with a cough and pretend to shuffle my cards.
“Okay… we all know what Hodekin is looking for then,” continues Constance before turning to me. “Katya… what about you?”
“Oh, I got what I wanted out of this already,” I answer wryly. “I left home in one piece and managed to get as far away as possible. What do you plan to do?”
“I’m almost afraid to say just in case of the ghosts,” she replies nervously.
“Do tell, oh haunted one.”
“Well… I’ve been plagued by the spirits always doing things around me. Nothing outright evil or anything… just annoying. I have to wonder if it might have something to do with my heritage, so I’ve been wanting to find my family to ask them. And… that’s where you come in.”
“Me? I’m just a poor old fortune teller.”
“But you do read the cards, right? I was hoping maybe you could read them for me… maybe provide a little guidance, you know? Or maybe you could tell us more about the different planes. You said you talk to spirits about them, right?”
“Yeeessss…” I draw out, “but I can only talk to them through Omen, there.” I gesture to the crow perched on a pile of crates who ruffles his feathers proudly.
“Looks like a snack to me!” cackles Hodekin. I’m about to let him know just what he can do with that idea when Omen swoops into the air with a loud “CAW!” and dive bombs towards the offending Kobold… leaving a white streak of leftovers from his breakfast down the back of his head.
Waylond’s eyes get big for a moment before he lets out a loud bellowing laugh. “Now you look like a Kobold!”
“Leave Hodey alone,” I chuckle as Omen swoops back up to his perch on the pile of crates. “Besides… he knows that if he ever ate you, I’d string him up with my braids and get you back myself.” I look over to the kobold who has managed to clean himself off with one of his devices and give him my best evil stare.
“So anyway… yes… a reading. I will do my best, Constance… but I can’t guarantee anything clear cut, you understand.” I hand her the cards to shuffle, and after a few moments begin to lay out the cards on the crate in a cross formation. Just as I thought… so unclear. There’s just too much going on right now… but the poor girl needs to hear something.
“Have you ever thought about trying to talk to the spirits?” I suggest. “Perhaps they’re just trying to get your attention, and would like to help you if you gave them what they desired. When I’ve dealt with spirits and summonings in the past, that usually ends up being the case.” Constance looks at me with a hopeful, yet doubtful expression. “I mean, they haven’t actually caused you any physical or mental pain, right? Maybe they are like children, and just want to be recognized.”
“Well… okay… I never really thought about it that way,” Constance replies before walking away. “Thank you for reading, Katya.”
“Ooo…. evil spirits!” mutters one of the Gully Dwarves worriedly… and a plan begins to hatch that might just get me that ship sooner than expected.