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COMPONENT 18: ETHER OF DREAMS
The Forge looked around, and to his dismay he knew not where he was. It looked somewhat like the ice cavern he’d previously been in; in fact there was a dead dragon lying not too far away, and but his friends were not around. A voice had just called out to him, but again, he had no idea where it came from.
“Where am I?” Angon asked the ether. The shadows all seemed to shift about, and the light glared like the sun; everything blurred and warped; even the floor beneath his feet.
“Angon, you never knew me.” The woman spoke again. “I was a friend of your… creator.”
“You know who created me?” Angon cried, turning and looking in each direction. “Where are you? Come out!”
“I cannot.” She said. “For they are watching, but their scrying does not allow them to hear into the Ether. Such walls of existence confused certain spells.”
“Oh.” Angon said, feeling a sadness within him. He wanted to see this woman, for she sounded so beautiful.
“What can you tell me?” Angon asked. “What was my creator’s name?”
“Azteron Zirnoff.” She spoke softly. “But that matters not at this point in time.”
“Then why have you brought me to this… place?” Angon asked, staring at the dead dragon, wondering why it crossed the barrier but his friends did not.
“This place is called the Ether of Dreams.” The whimsical voice said. “It is a place that exists in between worlds, but yet all creatures come here, save those who can not dream.”
“I see.” Angon said. “But I do not sleep, so why am I here?”
“For a moment, you tapped a portion of your potential.” Silvia said. “And there are those that would seek to destroy you for it.”
“Why?” Angon asked. “What did I do to them?”
“It is not what you did, but what you will do.”
“My purpose!” Angon cried. “Tell me what it is!”
“It is not my place, I’m afraid.” Silvia said, and the words disheartened Angon.
The Forge hung his head, and collapsed into a sitting position.
“Fret not.” She said. “For my words will save your life, and those of your friends as well.”
Angon’s head perked up and he looked towards the shadowy cavern ceiling.
“Stay away from those that call themselves the Blood Tomb.” Silvia warned. “They seek to destroy you. And if they do, all of Anhsook Del Iris will be lost.”
“I am that important?” Angon whispered. “Then my purpose must be great! I will be a hero?”
Silvia stayed silent for a moment, but then skirted the subject. “All I can say, is avoid them. If you see one then run; run far and fast, and don’t stop no matter what.”
“How will I know what they look like?” He asked.
“You will see them with red glowing skin.” Silvia responded.
“I can’t run my whole life.” Angon shook his head.
Silvia said, “You are not prepared to face them; not until your mind is properly forged.”
“Your words are like a puzzle.” Angon said.
“It is time to awaken.” Silvia said. “Open your eyes, and travel with your companions, they will lead you where you need to go.”
“But I don’t want to go!” Angon said. “Please, I need to know more.”
“I am sorry.” Silvia said. “For now, you must go.”
The shadowy world around the Forge began to brighten, and then everything grew bright.
The unfortunate Orc minion of Gonzeelda, opened his own eyes then. He looked around and found himself in a dark chamber, with a single beam of light shining down upon him. His hands were bound together with chains that suspended him from the ceiling. His feet did not touch the ground. Somewhere inside the chamber he could hear the drip drop of water, and smell a strong stench of mold.
“Ugh…” Budge groaned, his throat sore. His nose was running, and his eyes burned. He felt as if he had come down with a cold; which wasn’t a farfetched idea, even for the Orc. He had been in a block of ice the last he remembered.
“Anyone there?” Budge whispered, trying to twist in his chains and look around.
As far as he could tell, he was alone. His mistress and brother had abandoned him to his fate. A light sob came from his throat as he considered this. He had never been alone a day in his life. He was born at the same time as Weiggs, and they had always spent every moment together. Even when the mistress had chosen Weiggs over himself, Weiggs had begged her to bring along Budge as well. They were truly inseparable, or so he thought.
“Mistress!” He moaned. “Weiggs! Please come for me!”
“Oh that will not be happening, I am sure.” Came the raspy whisper of Lord Reischerr, the Lich.
“Who dere?” Budge cried, fear flowing through his being.
“Oh come now, you should know who it is.” Reischerr whispered, gliding up behind Budge and putting his rotting lips the Orc’s ear.
“Mommy?” Budge whimpered.
Reischerr lifted his hand to smack the idiotic creature. But he wanted to torture him mentally. Orcs did not respond well attacks on the mind, but they could persevere through the greatest of pains.