Rufus was unaware as usual. “What do you mean you don’t have the heart of the past? I thought you had it with you?”…”No” Koranos replied, “Silvermist has it, it’s with him in that Soul Shard”. “Well we won’t be going back anytime soon then; through there may be something else we can do to find the answers we seek”. Rufus produced a map, “Can you walk us here Koranos?” Rufus asked, jabbing a finger onto the map. “Easily”, Koranos replied. Aurora, Rufus, and Koranos locked arms as Koranos began speaking to Lethe.
There was a snap, then a cloud of mist. Suddenly the three appeared in the middle of a storm. They were surrounded by woods in all directions, save for the cottage to the north. Rufus pulled back his hood as the three walked up to the cottage. The rain was making them all damp. Aurora stood in the back shivering in the cold, with a long cloth-wrapped sword in her arms.
Rufus tried the door, knock, knock…The three waited. “Is he even home? Wouldn’t he have left by now?” Koranos asked. “He’s is a Concordant Council member, he’s got to be around here somewhere”, Rufus seemed flustered.
The Door barely opened. “Who’re you?” craned a voice from behind the dark cottage. Rufus straightened, “Rufus of the Concordant Council, Koranos, and Aurora stand at your door sir, and we are in dire need of your help”. The door shut. Rufus turned to Koranos and shrugged. “Maybe he’s not in the neighborly mood?” mumbled Aurora. This was not the trip she had imagined it would be.
The three could hear many different locks being turned inside the door. With a final thud of wood hitting the floor, the door opened. Inside the light of a hearth could be seen. The man turned towards a large chair by the fire and made his way back. He removed his wool hat to take a small bow. Pieces of armor could be seen on the walls along with ornate weapons.
“Come in, have a seat” the man said as he made his way to the chair. There was an odd aura about the man. It was as if he had seen too much. “Connor Jeremiah Brickstone, I trust your hermitage has suited you well”… Rufus paused, “I can appreciate the need to withdraw in these dark times”.
“What do you need Council member?” Jeremiah asked as he turned to Rufus. “Do we need to judge another Caravan member?”… “No, No”, replied Rufus, “We simply want you to -open the way- so to speak”.
“You want to just read through the history of Memora as if it were a living book? You expect her to simply wake up and let you pry her depths?” Jeremiah’s voice was toneless. Rufus caught his meaning. “I understand there are risks to this sort of thing, but we just need to know when the information we are after might be found. We need this before we cause a torrent of potential paradox”.
“Paradox?” Jeremiah raised an eyebrow. “You mean you intend to actually travel back in time?” Jeremiah stood in rising wonder.
Koranos stood from the fireplace, where he was attempting to dry himself, and said “Well yes, except there’s no map for this sort of thing, which is why we’re hoping you could help”.
Jeremiah nodded and walked to the center of the room. He closed his eyes slowly and steadied his breath. Mr.Brickstone’s hands began to glow and the symbol of gavel illuminated above his head for a moment briefly. “I am very good at bringing justice with the aid of Memora’s memory, I need to have a point of conflict to focus on”…
“The betrayal of Lazarus, and the crafting of the 9th gate!” Rufus exclaimed with excitement. Jeremiah’s eyes opened in the middle of his concentration, not comprehending what he had heard.
Around the three of them the room began to shift, glowing patterns made their way in and out of the cottage. The armaments on the walls shook as if a storm beat upon them. The three witnessed a great glow emanating from the hearth, where a large portal could be seen. As the scene unfolded a spectacle of carnage waged about them. Elderkin with glowing white mouths and eerily bright eyes savagely attacked what appeared to be ancient walkers attempting to access the gate. There was a brightly robed man before the gate, with light pouring from his eyes; laughing maniacally he threw illuminant beams that turned walkers to dust.
Aurora, Koranos, and Rufus ducked for cover behind the bookcase, chair, and table respectively. From the door a voice could be heard, loud and barbaric, A Chillsworn charged the man wielding a large blue and purple glowing blade. Aurora immediately recognized it as the Time-Blade, Eternus. At first it seemed that the Chillsworn was charging directly at the illuminant figure before the gate. Mist coalesced beside him, and a dark figure with a shield and sword stood to brace the attack. The dark figure’s eyes widened as it realized the assailant’s weapon and their identity. The scene seemed to slow unnaturally while the dark figure of mist moved the illuminant man from the gate. It was as if they were dilating time itself, through the use of a rift. There was a loud thunderous crash and a blast of light. Smoke and chaos filled the cottage as the scene ended.
Koranos coughed and cleared his throat “I’m certain that was someone of the De’Guy line wielding the blade, and that most certainly was Xenos as Lazarus”. Rufus replied “No doubt, if we visit that point of time, which we most certainly will, it will open the way for Xenos to interfere, but we must if we are to learn about the blade and his weakness. We must be able to study the gate as it was tainted and intended”.
“No More!” Jeremiah called from his side of the room, “these recalls do not normally cause this kind of reaction, which is why I had to end the theater. There was something in that moment that was trying to break through to our time, and I could not allow it”.
The three travelers stood and looked at each-other, “Well don’t just stand there, we need to figure this out!” Aurora yelled at the three of them. Rufus stroked his beard and Koranos scratched his head. Jeremiah looked to his fallen armaments on the walls.
“I believe Memora has shown you the clue you need, take your time and ponder it, in the meantime warm yourself by this fire and have some ale”. Jeremiah needed a drink himself. He was also concerned that being alone after the events that transpired would be unwise.
“We’ll take you up on that kind offer” replied Rufus, “I wouldn’t want to waste good hospitality.
The three sat in contemplation until the following morning. Fully dry, and with a good breakfast the three made preparations and plans. Koranos, Rufus, and Aurora gathered outside the cottage for another trip through the Fugue back to Hope’s Fount.