Leomourn opened his eyes. “Another fucking forest?” Delgen and the sisters opened their eyes too, they were in a lush dark forest.
They got up and felt good, all the cuts and bruises that they had sustained in the battle were healed and they were not fatigued.
“Is this the Feywild?” Delgen looked Amarella in the eyes as she helped him to his feet.
“It feels different.” She said as she dusted of the dwarf.
“There’s a path.” Leomourn said as he followed it
“Wait—” Delgen said, but Leomourn was already far ahead and climbing a slight hill in the forest heading to a copse at the end of the path.
Darella quickly followed and ascended into the treetops and watched. She say three figures at the top of the hill, surrounding what looked like a well. They were all in dark robes.
The moment Leomourn entered copse he slowly reverted into his canine form involuntarily. There was a dumb smile on his face as it took on more lupine traits. He fell on all fours and sprouted an icy tail. It wagged.
“Do not fear us. We will not harm you.” Said the middle figure, as she bent down to pet Leomourn who had charged up the hill barking and wagging his tail frantically.
Darella descended and followed her sister and the dwarf into the clearing. Moonlight filled the copse though it was not seen in the sky. The three figures pulled back their veils. The center figure was a beautiful pregnant woman, her long curled tresses fell down her abundant breasts like golden moonlight. At one side of here was the bent and crooked form of an old wizened crone. She leaned upon a gnarled staff, and played with what looked like spidersilk in her other hand, which was invisible save the random reflections of moonlight. Opposite the crone stood a fair maiden, whose beauty was unmatched in both the mortal realm and the realm of gods. The maiden’s thin robe left very little to the imagination, her curves pressed hard against the fabric.
They stood before the sisters and were privileged to see and hear much, learning cosmic truths that would make even the most stoic and cloistered philosopher shout with joy. There were many questions to be answered, and unfortunately the answers were often more perplexing than the questions themselves.
The Maiden spoke to them first, telling them how it was the sisters who spun and wove the threads of fate, the thin silky thread. These threads represent and in fact are the fates of every single individual, from the most powerful god to the merest mortal. The sisters were the ones who took the threads of fate and wove the fortunes of individuals together. By their skill the threads were woven into beautiful patterns, bringing order and form and eventually the fate of all was woven into the vast and complex fabric of existence itself. For unnumbered ages these three maintained the ever expanding threads in a coherent and singular existence. However, she admitted that she and her sisters were not the creators of the threads — they came from an even higher power to which the sisters were not entirely sure of — and that while they could manipulate and direct the threads en masse, they could not control them individually. For the weaving is a very precise art, each person’s “pattern” affects the patterns of those around them. The threads are not only fate but reality itself, so the pattern of one affects those around it in the cosmic quilt. Thus, fate and free will paradoxically co-exist, each checking and balancing the other on the cosmic scales. When the hubris of individuals, from the lowly arch-mage to the mighty gods themselves, upset the weaved patterns of fate and threaten to rend the literal fabric of existence apart it was the sisters who labored to repair and reweave the threads of fate return peace and stability.
The Matron spoke next, telling of the creation of time magic by the gods, which allowed the deities to change fate. It was only a matter of time until the secret of chronomagic would spread and the ensuing cosmic chaos from the growing temporal distortions would literally unravel the fabric of existence. The sisters knew it would be impossible to eliminate chronomagic, and now much of their attention is spent keeping the constant time travel from tearing apart existence itself with paradoxes. Eventually the Zeithoppers formed, unknowingly helping the sisters stabilize reality by regulating chronomanipulation throughout the planes. However, despite the actions of all, their work was on the verge of collapse. That was why the heroes were there now, the sisters had severed their connections to their fate. This had cut them off from much of their former power and skills but it would give them a chance to stay hidden from forces that were hunting them.
“You have failed. We are giving you a second chance.” The crone said.
“Failed?” Amarella asked.
“Every thing that has happened to you was weaved by our hands. We brought you to every location, every person…every foe. We took you to the places you needed to be, but some how every time you managed to fail the mission. We are going to send you back to try again.” The mother said.
“What were we supposed to do and where?” Amarella asked, kind of hurt. After all their loss and efforts. All that pain…just to be told they failed.
“There is something going on that is bigger than you, bigger than your gods. Bigger than us. You will learn it all soon enough.” The three sisters said and opened their arms, inviting an embrace.
They all approached the sisters, half-aware and held tightly on to the sisters. An overwhelming sense of peace and serenity filled them, a warm glowing that was the feeling of deep love rose from deep within all the warriors. They wept as they all held the sisters of fate, and they slowly were absorbed into the dark fabric of their robes, the soft flesh of the norns had a slight warmth that could be felt through the robes. They smelled of nightskies and autumn evenings, they pressed theirselves against the heroes and engulfed them.
Delgen, Leomourn, Darella, and Amarella were falling in pure darkness. Tears drying on their cheeks, and faint smiles still marked their faces. They were falling fast but for an eternity.
Then they hit something solid, the dull but overwhelming pain of landing on hard ground woke them from their stupor. They sat up tiredly and looked at each other.
“Darella! Your arm!”