We stepped through the gate today.
Honestly, I shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. It was ridiculous that I was pressed into joining the Dragon Guard. Those idiotic, backward villagers … but I suppose there’s no changing it now. I’m already committed. What’s done is done.
Anyway, right before we walked into the unknown, there was a grand ceremony held at Evothil. The king said some fancy words, and took the time to give each and every one of us a gift – we each received some sort of magical item in the hopes that it would help us face whatever was on the other side of the Black Gate. Mine was a pan flute. Of course, there were whispers that it was all a waste giving us those things. After all, most people believe that joining the Dragon Guard is akin to a death sentence. But the sentiment was nice. It actually seemed as though the king genuinely regretted having to send us there. But again, it’s a little late for regrets.
The gate itself was massive. As I stared up at it, I thought of the tales from generations past of scores of dragons pouring through to attack our world. It must have been a terrifying sight to see.
Much like the terror we all felt after walking through it. Some people have said there is nothing beyond the gate, merely empty blackness. Others say it must be where the dragons keep their nest. Still others say it leads to some fantastic thing that is beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.
They would all be incorrect.
What we found when we walked through the gate was a battlefield. Above us, a war was raging between hordes of mighty dragons and some strange creatures that resembled angels (I was later told they are demigods). They were flying through the air, spewing fire or lightning, shooting arrows, slashing at each other with swords and claws. Below us, there was a round area that seemed to drop abruptly into nothingness. Scattered near the edge were various smaller portals, similar the the Gate we had just walked through. All around us were the fallen; carcasses of various races tangled in the bones of dragons, all in various states of decay.
Within only a few moments, most of those who stepped through the gates died in the crossfire of the battle above. Those who were quicker (or farther from the front of the group) managed to dodge the flames just in time. I ducked behind a pillar. But as we managed to escape one dragon’s attack, another appeared before us. This one wasn’t fully grown, but it was still massive; a great bronze beast that could command lightning. I attempted to fire a few arrows at it, but most missed and the ones that did hit didn’t seem to affect it greatly.
Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one attacking. Several others had chosen to fight it along with me: a Githzerai who could transform into a bear, a Shadar’Kai wielding a sword and axe, a Deva mage, and a Drow assassin. With all of us working together to fight the dragon, after what seemed like hours we finally managed to fell the beast. I was also able to grab a few of its scales as well as the satchel of a fallen warrior before a demigod appeared before us.
“Hail guardians,” she called out to us. “I have altered the portals to go where you are needed. Go swiftly. Find the broken wizard.” She pointed to the far end of the battlefield before another dragon slammed into her and she rejoined the fray in the sky.
Heeding her advice to go swiftly, as well as trying to escape the chaos overhead, we all rushed to get through the gate. On the other side was something almost as shocking as my first trip through a portal – it was a human settlement. The closer we drew to the town walls, the more sure I was that this place was the mythical Woodford. Back in Lauaria, there were many legends of an entire town that mysteriously disappeared 300 years ago. Apparently, it had reappeared here, in another dimension on the other side of a portal. The guards at the gate were friendly to us and confirmed that it was indeed the mysteriously absent Woodford, and pointed us to the tower where the wizard resided.
Remembering that the demigod had directed us to find the broken wizard, my companions and I decided to go there first. It had clearly aged in the centuries since Woodford disappeared, but it still seemed as if it could stand for many centuries more. Inside we met the wizard the demigod spoke of. His name is Arthur, and he was the cause of Woodford’s mysterious disappearance. Apparently, an army of orcs had been threatening the town, and rather than trying to manage the ensuing bloodbath he merely decided to move the town out of the way. In that vein, he charged us with a quest; Arthur cares greatly for the town that he now protects, and wishes us to find a new location to place Woodford so that when he dies, the town will be in a more stable dimension. We agreed to search for a suitable location during our travels, and he gave me a ritual scroll that will allow us to return to Woodford at any time once we have found such a place.
After our meeting with the wizards, my companions and I finally took a moment to get to know one another. I mentioned that seeing as how we would be working together for the foreseeable future (rather than merely grouped together as we run for our lives), we should at least know each other’s names. The Githzerai is named Izeya, the Shadar’Kai is called Aveira, the Deva is known as Malygos, and the Drow assassin is Nox. I introduced myself as Dolos, a human male. Apparently, the rest of them found my race rather dull (heh).
Once introductions were finished, we decided to split up, looking for local shops, taverns, and what have you before heading out on the next step of our journey. Right now, I am sitting in a pub, sipping on some ale with Izeya as I record the day’s events. I don’t know if I can trust any of these people yet (especially considering how likely it is that they will react to my secret in much the same way as the villagers who put me here in the first place). Although I can say that my time with them, however short it may be, should certainly be interesting. In fact, I —