Sherdi: The Sleeping Sands

The Fall of the Dordan Clemency Brigade

The hot valley sun glitters off of Ajil’s majestic golden scales as he rears up and breathes an enormous gout of searing flame onto an empty expanse of flat sand. What remains when he has finished is a large sheet of thick glass. The dragon picks you up one at a time and places the four of you in the center of the glass.

“Try not to move.”

Taking a single delicately outstretched claw, he begins slowly etching a sprawling arcane design into the surface with great precision. Each sigil, circle, and line he carves lets out a grating, high-pitched whine from the glass, which starts to glow with a blue light as each element is completed.

After several minutes, Ajil lifts his claw from the glass and steps back from the circle. His nostrils flare open wide as he takes a deep breath and then releases it as another gout of flame; you instinctively wince and raise your arms protectively, but feel only warm and fuzzy where you might expect excruciating pain and burning flesh.

You open your eyes, and where once was a towering gold wyrm is Ajil’s more familiar eladrin form. You see a flash of his short and ragged blonde hair and a broad grin as he begins to wrap his indigo blue turban. You then notice that your armor and weapons are gone, replaced with ornately carved, gold-embellished equivalents.

As you calm your trembling hands, Ajil unsheathes his schimitar and begins carving a few last major sigils along the outside of the ritual circle. Once he finishes carving the last broad symbol into the glass with a shrill screech, he sheathes his blade and looks up at the four of you standing rather resplendently as your golden armor glitters in the sunlight.

“Try not to die.”

For a moment, nothing seems to happen. The eladrin just stares at you, and though his face is once again covered, you’re sure you see him grinning again.

The lines beneath you, gently glowing and humming with arcane power, flare up brightly and then go completely dark. Looking down, you see a small crack in the glass from underneath you. The crack begins crawling across the span of the circle, then all at once shatters completely. You begin falling quite swiftly into an inky abyss. Looking up, you see a quickly shrinking circle of sunlight and an eladrin-shaped silhouette waving at you.

Looking down, you see a small mote of pale-blue light which is quickly growing larger and enveloping you.

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