Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Episode 1: The Persistence of Memory

With a loud splash he surfaced to see green flames outlined against a vermillion sky. Some sort of boat had capsized and was on fire, and he had a feeling that this was not the worst of it. He turned to see other heads coming up for air, gasping and sputtering in the cold black water. A quick scan of his surroundings told him that he was in a river at the bottom of a ravine with four, five, six other people, and he had no idea how he'd gotten there.

There seemed to be others - at least five - and the wide-eyed looks of terror and confusion told him that the all were probably in the same boat - the one that was currently on fire. An alarm bell was ringing somewhere nearby. Two winged creatures were wheeling around and beginning to bear down on them, flying down the ravine with increasing speed. They appeared to be small, spiky demons - ugly leathery wing sprouting from their backs and curious silver rods in their hands....

And the rods were beginning to glow at one end.

Everyone started to scramble - splash - swim. The winged creatures descended and fired electric blue spheres at the group, while some of the swimmers reached land and produced swords from their robes and attempted to fend off the creatures. One of the attackers was struck out of the sky, while the other peeled off for another attack run.

It was then that a figure appeared high on the bluff overlooking the river. She was standing in what looked like a natural balcony, looking down on the action below. On of the swimmers turned to her, and with a beatific look on his face, slowly ambled into the water in an apparent effort to reach her. Another of the robed figures tried to stop him, and the two of them slipped beneath the water's surface.

Meanwhile, two other swimmers had managed to direct the group towards a hole in the ravine's wall, and with some effort all were dragged to safety. The second demonic figure crashed in an effort to stop their escape, and was immediately dispatched.

The sound of troops clamoring on the far bank had everyone hastily entering the passageway that led from the river, and soon a strange discovery was made. A blue door, with the words "Domus Dulcis Domus" inscribed on a sign in needlepoint, sat in a nook in the passageway. With the sounds of pursuit getting louder, all six soaked figures piled through the door...

...and found themselves in a twilit forest. A small cube projected a beam of light up at the door. One of the moistened travelers picked up the cube, and the door disappeared. It was then that a campfire could be seen in a clearing below, and two figures were seen tending it. Upon being approached, one figure - a goateed man by the name of Count Fundus - asked the travelers to hand over a painting they were carrying. One of them did so and handed him a small portrait of a decrepit old man.

The well-dressed man then asked them pointedly if anyone could remember who he (or they) were. None could. He smirked triumphantly to himself and declared "Well, that will save me a number of magical arrows then." He turned on his heel and along with his servant, headed down a path away from the clearing. One of the party made to follow him down the path, and as he did so heard the Count say with a smile, "Just kidding." A volley of arrows passed over the head of the pursuer and into one of the party who had picked up a chest of gold left behind by the Count as payment for the painting. As the man expired, his body changed form and reverted to the size and shape of a dwarf. A dead dwarf.

With a hearty chuckle, the Count, his servant and his hidden bowman walked down the path and off into the night.

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