A Rising Tide
“The seer is ancient beyond even my understanding, more of a relic than the trinkets she collects, but despite everything that passed between us, I can’t deny that her learning has served her well. She claimed once that he was born in another age, and such connections to the old ways and the gods allow her to commune with the fates and discern the future. She seems at least to have convinced my prince. He cares so very much about what his clergymen and seers tell him, for whatever they are worth.” – Oron Ritham
The tattoos burned all over her with unfettered fire. Her eyes and mouth shone as brightly as a forge’s heart, limned with gold and projecting a fierce orange light, which poured forth into the room as she spoke. The air simmered with heat, and wavered around her. ‘I am Balitra’ Her breath was cinders and ash, her voice the rasp of hot coals stirred through a fire. “speak, and be spoken to”
“Such is the burden of limited minds; they see only what the universe allows them. The elemental pattern is too vast for their comprehension, its beauty too blinding for their eyes. That was why she had dreamed as she had dreamed, why I have come to this place of soft angles and brief lives. The pattern grows layered here – moments from the past, present and future crossed back and forth over one another at a single point, requiring action.”
“I do not doubt the elves’ ability to slay their foe. But the foe you face is not the one that you see. Even now the beasts clamor to war, to serve their master. But this master is not one who walks among them, but a greater threat – one they wish to drag from the aether into your young world. Not yet fully formed, this plane is in conflict, and the forces that shape it have yet to resolve their struggles. My opponents are many, and they think me weak, but it is not so, for now I have you.”
“The dreams and wants of lesser beings concern me very little”
Hobgoblins are, at this moment, constructing something within the temple they occupy. There will be a portal of dread power, once their rites are complete, and from that rift will flow a new power, and ancient sentience they serve before their own interests. A power that they will carry to the crown of the world in an attempt to flood your realm, and drown its people in a rising tide of destruction. It is my intention to prevent this from coming to pass, and I have ovserved this moment from a great many angles and moments in time. My foe is crafty, and has prepared well to prevent my interventions – but he did not account for all possibilities, and as such, I have an opportunity now to reset the balance and restore your world to balance. And you are the key.
The elves who call themselves princes will be swayed to conflict, this is your doing and is already underway. When that conflict arrives, it falls to you to sunder the portal and undo the magic that binds it. This will come at a price, but it is one that must be paid if you are to stem the tide that rises. Your place will be not upon the field of battle, but in what you have known as the library. It is there that fate shall be undone, and the trappings of their plan shall crumble in flames. Sever the source of their witchery and see my will complete – I command it.
“‘Not… not me. Not alone. It’s– its mind, it was so vast, like nothing I have ever witnessed… its mind is a sun, and we but orbit it,’ the seer said, in a whisper. ‘I saw horrors and beauties undreamt of even in the visions of the future, and moments… like fragments of crystal, holding flickering images of places I did not recognize. Its mind is as clockwork, built not of mortal matter but something else… it has played out this very moment a thousand times across a thousand years, honing it, pruning away those possibilities which displease it.”