Chapter Five

“If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”

“So who were they? Who are you and where are you taking us?” Leomourn asked as they rode through time, their hair blowing in the time-winds.

“Multitudinous are the factions that work towards the ruination of existence.” A voice of the dragons said deeply.

“Okay…” Leomourn said.

“There is always a bigger maul.” Another draconic voice echoed in their heads.

“Those forces who work against you in your time are but pawns in a bigger system. Though their actions influenced and ensured events that are much more grand and austere than any of their paltry machinations, to transpire.” Said another voice.

“Okay…” Leomourn said.

“We are taking you to the Aerie, that land that once was. Rand El In.”

“Rand El In?” Delgen mumbled.

“The Stoneborn knows of the Aerie.” A dragon said and looked at Delgen and narrowed his eyes slightly.

“What are you doing?” Delgen asked, as the dragon he touched the side of the dwarf’s head, with the back of a sharp talon. His speech began to slur, and his eyes gently rolled to the back of his head which was nodding as his neck grew limp. They had seen Delgen like this before…after his third puncheon of dwarven deep-ale.

There was a new voice that slowly became heard. It was a voice unlike any they had ever heard. This voice carried the weight of an ancient entity older even than earth and stone. The voice was deep like the low groaning earth under a volcano, but comforting like the damp caress of a morning ground. It was like hearing the very earth wake up and speak for the first time in a millennium. The voice spoke with a timbre only that of a parent or creator would bare.

“Pious one, I have kept vigil here in Erackinor and have seen your trials and have bared witness to your unending faith and perseverance. I say that not once have I aided you thus far; all fortune and luck is yours to claim, as well as your misfortunes. You have merited the title of Hammer of Moradin. In bearing this honour you shall be granted favour and reverence. You shall shine with the light of my forge. I fear that with rank comes onus, and now I charge you to repay a debt of mine. Long ago someone devoted his life to the protection of others and was selfless in all acts. He followed his father’s footsteps evenly, followed him into the Interplanar Guard. He swiftly climbed the ranks and became a guard under my rule. He became Sentinel of my Soul Forges in Solania, where I temper the spirits of my people and their weapons. He protected the unborn souls of my children, your brothers. For this I owe him. I owe Salvatore.”

“Who’s talking?! Is that you?” Leomourn asked confused, pointing at a dragon. He looked around frantically, perplexed. The voice continued.

“A powerful spell is needed to bring back such a being as Salvatore. I know of an artifact that will grant magicks strong enough to bring back a celestial. You must travel to Rand El In, the land of the dragons. There you will find Bahamut’s Cuirass, an armour made from the scales of Bahamut. Bahamut and I are of the same realm and are in harmony. Rand El In is a long dead continent, so therefore you must use alternate means of travel. Take heed, ways were different in those times and the people of Rand El In were not all welcoming to the non-scaled races. I bless you, Hammer.”

The baritone resonance faded and there was only the time sea and it’s chaotic silence pressing in.

“Get out of my memories! That was private!” Delgen bellowed.

“Oh, that was a memory? Who’s voice was that?” Leomourn asked.

“Moradin.” Darella said to Leomourn, Delgen had flown further ahead and did not speak for a while. Leomourn shrugged, still confused, not knowing who Moradin was.

“The Hecates weave an intricate story of irony and satire, if not blatant sardonic malevolence” Laughed a dragon.

“What?” Leomourn asked.

“It is humorous to me that your current heading, determined by events and advice independent of our situation lead you to the precise location to which we were going to send you for our quandry.” A dragon said.

“Convenient.” Delgen said. [in to the camera]

The dragons dove deeper into the time sea and burst through onto the prime realm. Time splashed around them causing a dissonance and warp as the time sea closed above and round them. The heroes clumsily dismounted, their thighs failing them after what could have been a day’s ride or a century’s ride considering the route. Leomourn stumbled and looked about when he regained his footing, stepping on to the land of Rand El In.

“Doesn’t look old.” Leomourn sniffed.

“What did you expect?” Amarella asked. Before Leomourn could respond a dragon spoke.

“Listen closely, for we can not stay much longer.”

Chapter Five

The Flame of Time gabrielegandrake