Looking at the others you feel a sense of belonging. Each is very well known to you proven time and again in circumstances you can’t recall.
Impressions, perhaps memories of this same group sitting in an open hall flow through like the breeze that kept things cool. A breeze that bought smells of small flowers and snow.
The tall, lean human man has a long mane of black hair and dull, gray eyes. Though he looks unimpressive, something tells you not to mess with him.
A memory: “So fierce, so driven…” words spoken quietly with a smile. Cool air, paper screens with simple patterns, a sense of peace. The same place sometime later and words, “Remember, Diligence and Perseverance”.
Golden scales seem to almost shimmer in the bright light as the tall, broad shouldered dragon-like individual moves about looking this way and that. His likewise golden eyes take in everything around him. Straight-backed and proud is his stance, powerful are his strides. He wears an armor of self-confidence about him… but his movements do not appear to be arrogant.
Standing just short of seven feet he is an imposing sight, and yet handsome in his own, strangely exotic way. An easy smile finds its way to the dragonborn’s face as he looks around, a little unsure of his surroundings, yet you can sense a feeling of companionship and safety in his presence; this is a friend who would challenge the armies of Hell to save his comrades.
In a world where no one has seen your like, your companions never judged you for being different.
At 4’ and 140 lbs, this dwarf is pretty much a runt in the eyes of other dwarves. His two distinguishing features are a scar running from his right temple to his chin (if he had a cleft, it would end less than an inch under it), with the blade making the furrow skipping over his eye. The other is his hair & beard are composed of 3 tones of brown (red, brown, & black), that are set in streaks through out. These are set in several braids, shot through both his mane & beard, each with all three colors.
Even standing among his large companions something in the dwarfs bearing makes him seam of a size.
The hulking orc stood amongst the others. Her powerful hands flexed as she surveyed the others. A thick black mane flowed down to the middle of her back; it appeared to have been well-kempt. Able to look the dragon-man and the dog-man in the eyes, hers yellow and darting from face to face. All she could think of was confusion; why could she not recall who these people were? Who was she anyways? She shook her head as if to dislodge these pervading thoughts.
Looking at your companions you realise that while you know this person as well as a brother or sister you cannot… sum them up… give them a title… you cannot recall their name and at first it seams of little consequence.
Yet as details of your surroundings become clearer some things become more familiar. Sun, Water, Wind, Sand… these things have names and with each name comes knowledge. Knowledge of places, people, events.
Knowledge comes of a mountain sanctuary, cool where the estuary is warm. Teacher sat towards the back of a room, a beautiful spacious room. The walls were simple panels, simple yet beautiful, they framed the view of the valley below.
More memories, more knowledge becomes apparent to you. Some tricks of the mind, ways to use your hands, ways of walking, attitudes of anger and compassion, and names of things. But for your self, your friends, or your teacher, there are no names that fit. In the absence you find another.
“Dukan” the name sounded strange, but there was something familiar about it. The human decided to use it for now.
The Dwarf looks at the others, “call me….Torivar…” he says.
The others started reciting their names hesitantly, and she couldn’t recall hers. A moment of panic assaulted her, followed by calmness. Why did it matter if she didn’t know her name? Why be burdened by the name someone else had given you, instead able to take one of your own? “I am Helja.”
As the others spoke reluctantly names, the Dragonborn struggled to think of his. It seemed others may have made up their own, or even remembered their old names. He could not remember his… This group would need to have something to call him, so he searched his mind for anything… What came to him echoed from his mind to his tongue. “You may call me Salis.”
Looking at your companions you can see and feel the influence of your teacher. It seams just a moment ago that teacher brought you together at the end of a long year. A year of shared experiences, and obstacles overcome, though what exactly they were… ?
Memories of cool air and an open room with painted panels. Recollections of words spoken, a pinnacle of teaching, a final lesson, a goodbye.
From the tangle of memories and emotions the story of your teacher takes shape.
Your teacher brought you together, along with many others in the mountains of Northern Cyre. Born into a noble family of Cyre your teacher had been at different times, a general, politician ,a scholar, and most recently a priest. Rather than being a jack of all trades each step had been a natural progression for your teacher, the continuation of the same work.
Eventually your teacher had made his way into the mountains and many people followed him. Together they turned a ruined fort into a mountain refuge. Cyre at that time was caught in a a war called the last war and your teachers refuge was situated at a strategically important mountain pass in one of the most fought over locations in all of Khorvaire. The war had raged for 98 years by this stage and the land and people of Northern Cyre were ravaged by the unending conflict. Into this chaos the teachers refuge became an island of peace.
Thanks to the presence of your teacher the mountain pass became a place that armies bent on destruction avoided and where those seeking refuge would gather. Due to the nature of the place not many could stay but many came for a week or a month. You were all some of those that found more than peace in the refuge, you found a teacher. For a year or more you stayed upon the mountain, tending to those than came, to each other and to your teacher.
For each of you brought a past to the mountain. Differences were set aside, troubles were set aside, some secrets were shared and others waited at the foot of the mountain. To each of you teacher gave his time and from that alone you learned more than the sum of your lives to that point. To say this was true, and it was, may seam to make light of your lives to that point yet each of you was a paragon in a time of trouble. For some of you were leaders of men, shining beacons in a world beset by war, others were feared by the same token, some carried secrets too terrible to share, and all were driven to the mountain by too many cares.
To find yourself here in an estuary, sun climbing slowly into an already sweltering sky, tide tugging at your legs, is bewildering. As your attention once more returns to your surroundings, you feel more than ever the presence of your teacher. It is obvious in your companions, it is clear in the way you stand, it is present in your heart.
You all remember days spent in contemplation and service yet there comes a point when details grow scarce and then nothing, then this.
You each represent something of your teacher. You each choose a role and together you aspired to make a difference in this time of trouble. Your teacher gave you many things, he showed a way of living that was lost in a world at war. Most importantly, he showed each of you how to be exactly who you are and to be much much more.
The sun imperceptibly moves higher, the mists are now well gone and its starting to get hot. The fabric of your clothes stiffen as they begin to dry. The tide continues its relentless advance inland.
When it arrives the change is abrupt; the world filled with light, an absence of noise, the estuaries waters explode upward, and you see your companions as thin silhouettes through the haze. Into this void creeps colours and shapes and chaos. As immediate as the the disturbances arrival its gone as quick.
Your senses return as drops of water and sand rain down around you.
Something has changed with the estuary. Where before it was a quite and still morning with the tide coming in, the sun is now high above and the tide flows strongly to the distant sea.
Movement draws your attention, thousands of crabs moving away from you in every direction. They crawl out of holes and from the fast moving water to form a black shining mass moving away like a ripple in a pond. Fish churn the waterways in every direction, all rushing to get away from…
Crawling from the water and burrowing up towards you from the mud and sand comes an explanation. Strangely deformed aberrations, obviously once crabs, now their shells are covered in faintly glowing patterns and they shake and quiver as if a current was running through them. A couple, the larger, have a single giant claw paired to a puny one. The others a smaller though still quite monstrous, they have a strange tube pointing from their shell. These last begin to dig themselves into the estuary mud while the large claws advance towards you.
Dukan reacts quickly, sending a silvery bold of force (Magic Missile) at one of the large crabs.
Salis draws out the massive sword from where it resides on his back and strides forward, he glares at the monstrosity crawling towards him, and pointing his blade towards the creature he challenges it to ignore him.
The halfling woman has even more of a struggle to get out of the waves, given her smaller size, so she remains quiet while the others make introductions. Once she has caught her breath, she says with quiet authority, “Talya. My name is Talya.”
As the words leave her mouth, however, the giant crab creatures emerge from the sand. She looks them over quickly, to see if she can identify them by their appearance. Before she takes any offensive action, she decides to give a blessing to her nearby allies, in the name of her god Balinor.
Talya spends a moment considering the creatures, and her eyes widen. ”’Ware the smaller ones! I think they might spit poison through those tubes, even once they’re buried. That is, if they’re anything like the creatures I’ve read about. They’re so large, though…”
She takes a second look. “Maybe it’s the mark on their shells. If you squint, it looks almost like a dragonmark gone wrong. Someone has… changed them, somehow.”
Her affinity for nature and the wild leads her to have pity on the beasts, twisted and transformed as they are, and she holds tight to the emblem around her neck as she whispers a blessing to speed them to a more peaceful rest.
His feet planted fimly in the sand, Torivar surveys the scene. He strides twards the large crabs, drawing his Axe from it’s resting place on his back. “Your prayer for death has been answered, wee beasties”, he says with a slightly mad gleem in his eyes.