The four stood looking around in the twilight. The sandstorm was gone, but they were still at the scene. The zombies tore at the bodies on the ground, rending flesh from bone. The horseman rode into the camp skewering victims that fled before him. Tents were ripped down by the skeleton footmen as they mindlessly marched northward.

Darkness had fallen around them. They could still see themselves on the ground. When they looked at each other, they were translucent, incorporeal beings. A sudden urge rushed over them, compelling them to move northward. Their ride was waiting on them there. The ride to the Great Portal. They saw other translucent beings – former soldiers they had fought beside-making the same journey toward the north.

In the blink of an eye, they were at the walls of Sanctuary. A wagon was waiting at the gate. The driver looked at them and nodded.

“Climb aboard.”

The other soldiers were filling up the back. Morgana then saw it. The Light.

She grabbed Flynt’s shoulder as he was preparing to climb aboard the wagon.

“Look,” she said. A great pillar of light stretched up into the darkness. It seemed to go on forever, and almost appeared to reach the dim stars in the greyish darkness.

Flynt squinted. “What is it, lass?’

“I have no idea. Do you two see it too?” she asked looking at Morgan and Slustar.

The bear man grunted. “More magic. Perhaps a beacon to lead us to an awaiting hell.”

Morgan shook his head. “No, I don’t feel dread when looking at it. It doesn’t scare me.”

Morgan turned to one of the soldiers sitting in the wagon. “Do you see that too?”

The soldier looked at him blankly. “See what?” he asked absently as he looked around.

The Driver yelled, “On or off! I’ve got a schedule to keep! I would warn you about wandering aimlessly if you don’t climb aboard, but Sanctuary is one of my busiest stops, especially as off late. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again!”

The four souls looked at each other. The compulsion that had almost dominated them before was gone.

“We’re staying,” Morgan said simply after a moment.

“It’s your eternity,” the Driver responded and cracked the reins. His gaunt horses began to lean into the harness, and the wagon began to roll.

“Let’s go to the light,” Morgana said.

In an instant all four of them stood on an empty street of Sanctuary. A door leading into an old apartment building was before them. The light radiated up from the top of the building. Stustar tried to open the door, but his great paw failed to raise the latch on the door and passed through the wood. He growl lowly to himself. Flynt shoved the bear man aside and walked through the door. The others looked at each other and followed him.

Up the stairs they walked. The light got brighter as they reached the third floor. It appeared to radiate from under the door to apartment number 27. Once again they looked at each other and walked through this door into an old, rundown apartment.

The light appeared to radiate from a young man sitting in an old rocking chair, a blanket draped over his knees. Morgan gasped out loud. Sitting next to the young man on an old reclining sofa, Merick smiled at the quartet.

The young man smiled also. “My apologies for not standing up. My energy wanes greatly the closer I get to the Prime Material plane. I’m sorry that we are meeting under these circumstances. Vecna is smarter than I gave him credit for, but I wasn’t called the Old Wolf for nothing. My name is Vashanka. Please gather around. We have much to discuss.”

Merick stood and hugged Morgan.

“Hello, Big Brother.”


The Lost Lands KentonHorsley