No Man’s Sky Adventures

Three switches was all it took to relinquish control of my faithful ship, the Crystal Song, to the station’s auto-docking system. Once again, I flipped them, the motions burned into my brain from what seemed like years of piloting. The ship and station seemed to spin as they negotiated a common horizon. I focused on slowing my breathing and keeping my muscles relaxed. If it happened again, it was likely to hurt just as bad as the last several times. Unfortunately, the Anomaly, as it was commonly known, was the only place in this universe or any other where I could exchange the salvaged tech I’d dug up for blueprints. And I REALLY wanted those blueprints.

The outside doors opened, and the Crystal Song was through. Incomprehensible machinery moved, switched, and rotated around the ship as I slowly drifted forward, toward the inner doors. Maybe this time would be different. I’d gotten in once since this had started happening, but I didn’t have anything to trade. Of course, now that my hold was full to the brim, as they say, I couldn’t get in. And each attempt was more painful than the last.

The inner doors cracked open, spilling out warm, intense white light. This was it. Moment of truth. The doors slid all the way open, and the Song’s instrument panel faded to the light filling my vision. So close! Just one more second, and I’d be through…

The warm white changed to a cold, harsh blue. Every nerve ending lit up in pain. It felt like being torn apart and being pulled away, like every atom in me screaming away from ever other, but I was still alive enough to feel it. Then all I could hear was my own screaming voice, and my body was rebuilding itself inside my base on Akrodne X. It took only a moment, and then the pain was gone as if it had never been.

I was breathing so hard that my faceplate was fogging up. How many times was that? Five? Six? I haven’t tried it again since. The Anomaly hovers there, hanging in space next to the system’s station, taunting me. But I’m not risking it again. Not for a long while.

[AD&D – Dualiar] Part 7

This is the seventh and final part from a story I was writing a long, long time ago. It’s unfinished… I hate leaving things unfinished, even this from all those years ago. Oh, well. *SHRUG*

The material contains reference to copyrighted material owned by TSR and now Wizards of the Coast. Disclaimer, blah, blah, blah.

“Where to start, where to start. More appropriately, I suppose, is where to continue. Heh. Well, I guess we should continue from the beginning. Usually the best place. Let’s see, basically, there’s this Reality, which some call the Near, and all others, which some call the Far. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Now, this reality, as all do, contains an infinite number of Planes of Existence. What’s a Plane of Existence? Well, some call them Dimensions, some call them Planes, we can think of them as different universes, each of which have their own rules, their own laws, and are so varied and unlike each other that it’s impossible to even begin to describe them. Anyway, Creation is a Plane of Existence. This Plane, as many others in this reality do, began as a void, a vacuum. Then someone from the Far (another reality) named Cerin Falder, with his immense power, created what we now know as Creation. He created one system of two suns and two planets. One which is Holdrox, and the other which is Sentrolf. On Sentrolf, Cerin mimicked a world from this own reality, but on Holdrox, he decided to be creative. Hey! Wake up, there! This little bit of history is important! Anyway, on Holdrox, he created many things, races, continents, and the like. After hundreds of years of happiness and prosperity, evil creatures began appearing everywhere both on Holdrox and on Sentrolf. Puzzled, Cerin decided to investigate. After many years, he discovered that the source of these evil creatures was Creation itself. What? You still don’t understand? Hmph. I might as well be trying to explain the complexities of a Magic Missile spell to a rock.”

-Gortex Silenthands, Sage of the Far

*****

Now that the battle was over, the party didn’t see any reason to stay together. Even Illent Des felt that they could accomplish no more together. Illent began the journey for more adventure with a wrenching headache. Questions plagued him. The whole battle became a blurred memory to him. None of the faces were clear, none of the names could be remembered. Finally, after an eternity of throbbing pain, Illent reached a small town, at the edge of a dark and gloomy forest. The headache seemed to get stronger with every step, so Illent headed to the tavern. Stumbling in the door, he was hardly aware of his surroundings. The stares from the patrons and from the serving wenches were invisible to him. He paid for his room and guzzled an ale, stumbled to his room, and crashed headlong on his cot. Sleep came slowly, not discerning itself from waking. Even the throbbing headache followed him into his dreams. Nightmares of hideous monsters, swords, insane parodies of his friends, and the body of that absent-minded elf, Cerin. He was there, in a room with the body. The stench was overpowering. It wasn’t just a stench of death, but of pure evil. He looked around the room but could find nothing. Looking down at the body again, there was something different, something wrong. The eyes were open. Dead, fiery eyes stared back at Illent Des, with a why, sarcastic smile. The body got up, groping for Illent. A scream tore through him, and he awoke. Drenched in sweat, he no longer craved sleep. Deciding to rise and get another ale, he turned to get up out of his cot.

“It’s about time you woke up.”

[AD&D – Dualiar] Part 6

This is part six from a story I was writing a long, long time ago.

The material contains reference to copyrighted material owned by TSR and now Wizards of the Coast. Disclaimer, blah, blah, blah.

Thus ended the First Battle. I know you’ve got questions that you’re itching to ask…”What do all these different groups of people have to do with each other?” “What is Darrowilk?”, “Who’s the Keeper of Darrowilk?”, “Who is Cerin?”, “Who is Creature?”, “What are those black amulets?”, and many, many more.

So far, this disjointed story has probably made little sense. The following chapters will hopefully clear things up and add a little more personality to each of the characters. Bear with me, for this is a complicated and twisted story that I tell.

[AD&D – Dualiar] Part 5

This is part five from a story I was writing a long, long time ago.

The material contains reference to copyrighted material owned by TSR and now Wizards of the Coast. Disclaimer, blah, blah, blah.

“We’ve been called.” Eight strange people, each with a black onyx amulet around his neck, walked silently out of a cave, looking across a vast desert. They began to walk, not sleeping, not eating, and not drinking. After a week of fast walking, they reached the edge of the desert, and the beginning of an ocean.

The one that had spoken raised his hand, and a sunken, rotted ship rose to the surface of the water. Another wave of the hand, and the rotted, twisted wood began to mend itself. The group floated into the air and boarded a hundred-year-old vessel.

*****

“Attack!!” The call rang from the walls of the cavern. No one, including Flard Snet, knew where it came from. Steel began to ring on steel in front of Flard. The people on his side, most of them not recognizable to him, had begun to attack the hoard of monsters that lay at the far side of the cavern. Screams and roars of pain and anguish tore at Flard’s ears. Finally, he could take it no longer. He shifted his form into six icy darts, and raced towards one of the monsters.

It was a gruesome thing. Saliva dripping from long fangs, and horns bursting out of almost every part of its body. He pierced the monster’s flesh, then melted away, only to appear again where he had stood. He smiled in grim satisfaction as the monster staggered, then fell. He turned his attention to a newly cast wall of fire in the center of the cavern. When he looked back at where the body should have been, it was gone.

The monsters’ numbers were rapidly diminishing. Many were turning in fear, though there was nowhere to run. Now that the monsters were vanquished, Flard had time to look at his surroundings. He guessed that there were about twenty five heroes. At the beginning, he had guessed that there were about twice as many monsters than heroes. Now, the figures were opposite. A last scream tore from the last monster’s chest and ripped through the air. Silence followed, and the heroes were almost afraid to breathe. A sigh was let loose, and the heroes relaxed.

A cruel laugh filled the room, rebounding off of the walls. Flard Snet’s heart turned as cold as the ice he had become at the cruel laugh. Inky black clouds of mist rose from the floor and slowly coalesced into solid forms. Grinning monsters, spitting, and drooling, advanced on the weary heroes. Again and again, sword clashed with claw. Soon a monster dropped to the floor, never to rise again. Another, and yet another, followed. ‘Truly,’ Flard thought, ‘I am fighting with the mightiest of heroes.’ As he thought this, he caught a glimpse of a grinning Klvar Elf. The smile seemed to be more one of satisfaction than one of happiness.

Dark, evil blood flowed freely through a ditch created by Nym Zoland while a wall of searing flame scorched three wailing undead warriors. The heroes were beginning to tire, and the monsters seemed to sense this. Taking the upper hand, they pushed forward, pressing the front line of warriors. Most of the warriors were wounded, some seriously, others lightly. Fear crept into Flard’s heart, making it cold and heavy. Losing all feeling, he realized, was the only way that he could win. He numbed himself to his own heart, and changed into a huge panther. Bearing his sharp fangs, he leaped into the fray to help the warriors.

*****

The previously grinning Klvar Elf frowned, not liking the unusual strength of the monsters. ‘As usual,’ Cerin thought, ‘Creature has cheated.’ Although he hated to do this, Cerin thought it necessary to help the heroes. With a softly hummed song, five yellow-orange arrows slammed into the chests of five different monsters, instantly killing them. With a sigh of resignation, Cerin teleported back to his home. Not in the heavens, but in a tower inside a huge, floating, crystal sphere.

*****

A huge, monstrous, scaly form was no longer grinning. He had cheated, bringing his creatures back to life, and infusing them with new strength. His counterpart, though, had taken him completely by surprise. Not only had he observed the battle, but he had interceded, which was against the agreement.

Sitting in his throne room, he hissed and opened the compartment which held the Crystal Weapons. Seeing the shifting hypnotic colors always soothed him.

“Hmm, since Cerin has decided to break the rules and run, that leaves no one to stop me.” With a malicious grin to the rotting ogre mage corpse embedded in the wall, he summoned his minions. In a flash of darkness, Collossus, Archangel, Death, Anger, and Pain, his most trusted demons, appeared before him. “Go to the First Battle, and make it the Last.” Nodding in unison, they disappeared. The name of the battle, the First Battle, had been used by his counterpart. It implied that there would be others, but Creature doubted that. His demons would eradicate the puny heroes that Cerin had gathered, and then Cerin himself.

“Master.” The icy voice of a powerful undead wizard, a lich, whispered, carefully bringing him out of his visions of conquest. “Time Reaver is at the First Battle, O Powerful One.” The lich always knew just what to say, unlike the late ogre mage.

“Excellent, excellent.” Creature’s plan was right on schedule.

*****

Snow followed them. As soon as they had boarded the ship, it had begun to snow. Even when it was much too warm, the snow followed them. At first, it was only an annoyance. After a while, the group on the hundred-year-old vessel began to fear what the snow would signify. They used the powers that they had taken from Creation’s measly inhabitants to try and stop the snow, but these powers only seemed to worsen the problem, as if the souls of the powers’ previous masters still controlled them. At last, they had to resort to their native powers. These powers were evil, born and thriving in darkness. The snow finally succumbed and ceased to fall. An hour later, however, the snow resumed its steady fall. Why should the most powerful mortals in Creation fear snow? The snow showed the mortals who was really in control on Creation. This, and only this, could bring fear to these mortals.

*****

The battle being over, wounded heroes, coming from planes and realities beyond the reach of imagination, rested together. The number of wounded was large, but they would soon be healed. Surprisingly, only five bodies lay broken and lifeless.

Phil Mystecia-
Elf
8th Level Wizard
Originated in Prime Plane of Existence
Owned Earthshaker
Member of the Crusaders

Stein Tylon-
Half-Elf
7th Level Cleric
Originated in Prime Plane of Existence
Member of the Crusaders

Flard Snet-
Dwarf
8th Level Inanimate
Originated in Creation
Member of the Heroes of Creation

Silver Clash-
Human
4th Level Fighter
Originated in Prime Plane of Existence
Member of the Spelljammers

Caer Tolink-
Artigent Drow Elf
11th Level Animate
Originated in Creation
Member of the Heroes of the Wave

A rumbling sound vibrated through the demolished stone room, bringing the warriors back to their senses. They all feared that they wouldn’t live through another battle, but for some reason did not fear what was about to happen. On the other side of the room, where the monsters had appeared and reappeared, an elf, a Klvar Elf, appeared. He was dressed in orange-yellow robes, and had long yellow hair. He spoke with a voice that reverberated throughout the room.

“You, my heroes, come from all realms and all worlds. You have aided me in my quest, and have defeated the Creature’s minions. You all have questions and they shall be answered. But first, this battle shall be recorded in the Tome of Knowledge. All of your names shall go down in history. Your dead shall also be honored as the Casualties of the First Battle. I shall meet with each group of you individually and answer any reasonable questions that you may have.” With this, he was gone. A door appeared in a wall of the room, which opened. Each hero walked through the door, finding himself in a crystal sphere, looking out on his or her own plane.

*****

The crystal sphere was near. They all felt it, though it was a long way from being visible. It was a slow sickening of the stomach, a sense of doom, a prophecy of their destruction. They knew it only to be a false feeling, one to drive them away, yet it troubled them much as the snow had. Through the powers of the inhabitants of this plane, they had gained a sixth sense of goings on here. Their hundred-year-old vessel creaked and groaned, straining under the increasing wind. They could also feel another presence, one that they were familiar with. They felt evil, growing and pulsing, throughout the sphere that they now could see. The evil was still trapped outside this plane, but they could feel it nonetheless. Another boat was anchored here, seemingly waiting for them. They sneered, knowing the uselessness of these puny creatures. Gathering their power, they headed toward the doomed ship.

*****

“All hands on deck! All hands on deck! Battle stations!” The call resounded through the ship. The Heroes of the Wave realized that the dark ship wanted a battle, and by Cerin, they were going to give it one. Even though their leaders were in an unknown hell (who knows what went on inside that damned crystal sphere), they would defend their position to the last man. “Battle stations! Lyntar, you command the cannons! Where’s the mages? Where’s those damned mages?”

“They’re in the map room, sir. They seem to have some kind of plan. They didn’t want to tell you about it, fearing that you’d stop them.” Lyntar, the first mate, seemed to doubt his own resolve, but held strong.

“Very well. Let’s give these bastards all that we’ve got!”

From the first pass of the battle, the Heroes of the Wave knew that they were doomed. These sailors had more power than anyone had imagined a mortal could have. Then again, no one knew that they were mortal. Their ship was crippled, listing to one side and then another. The ships were now passing for a fifth time, and it looked like the dark ship was planning to finish off the Heroes of the Wave.

“Get ready for another pass!! I want EVERY cannon shot, along with EVERY arrow killing a man! Understood?”

A resounding “Aye!” was heard. With a brisk nod, the Captain prepared to die.
*****

An observer of this battle would have doubted his own sanity. He would have seen a ship beginning to sink, then growing magical glowing swans’ wings and taking off into the air. He then would have seen everything, from chairs and globes, to pieces of the ship, thrown down at the other ship, crashing through deck and hull. As the dark ship sank, he would have seen six black rays shoot from the ship and envelop the flying vessel. By the time that the magic was finished, the ship, the crew, and even the magical wings were gone, apparently vanished into nothing. The winning vessel would have seemed to glow with a black aura, mending itself, and ceasing to sink. The ship continued on to the crystal sphere. There was, in fact, one observer. Not observing from outside, but inside the sphere. His heart ached at the necessary loss of the valiant heroes. He knew that they were in a better place.

*****

Trident the Orange walked out through the hole in the wall of the crystal sphere. He was met by the shivaks, but met with another in his long string of surprises. His Spelljammer was gone. He could feel it still there, but he could not see it. He wondered what kind of invisibility spell could cover a spelljamming ship the size of a city. He stepped on the longboat with a new kind of respect. Respect for Creation, respect for his friends, new and old, and respect for himself. Cerin had confided to him (but to no one else, or so he had said) that he was not a god, but a descendant of a god. He was immortal, and had created this entire plane. He had thanked Trident for his help and said that his destiny with Creation was not yet finished. Trident didn’t know if he believed the words of Cerin, but decided not to contradict him openly. Just then, he saw the reason for his ship disguising itself. There was another ship, not the one that had been here previously, but a darker ship, one that radiated evil from the very planks that it was built from. Trident smiled, knowing that he was not seen by them, and thinking of a few things that he would like to do to that ship.

*****

The remaining Heroes of the Wave mourned the loss of their companions, but left the sphere with newfound confidence and power. They realized that their part in this vast play was not yet over. Made up of foreigners and of natives, they resolved to help Cerin in the times to come, for he warned them of a coming of darkness and of change. He opened one of the many doors of his sphere, and they were gone.

*****

Cerin felt privileged and honored to be in the presence of these three illustrious people. Zestra and Omareth Freth were good friends of a god of the Prime Plane, Zardon Silenthands. Ladnia Falder was a descendant of his own father, Cyndre. Cyndre was a god of another reality, a god of Magic. The group had come together before this, fighting for good in a war on the Prime Plane of Existence. He was particularly taken with Ladnia, for her experience in war and in magic had seemed to enhance her beauty. None of the people gathered here were native to this reality, not even Cerin himself. He wished them well, and told them which door went to the Prime Plane. Ladnia seemed to have an idea, yet she was afraid to ask.

“Go on, Ladnia.”

“I wish to stay with you, Cerin. I feel that you will need me, and I you.” He nodded, beaming from ear to ear. They talked for a long time, each of their own experiences, and of gained things and lost things. By the time that they began to notice things other than each other, Zestra and Omareth were gone.

*****

Heroes of Creation. What was all this fuss about a name? Illent Des was tired, as always, and wondered why everyone was making a big deal about receiving a name from Cerin. The group had only helped to defeat these demons, and nothing more. They were still extremely weak and needed more training, more time, before they would be ready to face anything important. He was polishing his sword and his armor when Nym Zoland walked up to him.

“What is troubling you, Illent? You seem more troubled than ever, yet we have just vanquished a group of demons. We have done the impossible. Should you not be happy and celebrate with us?” Illent looked into Nym’s face, and saw true concern, not just curiosity.

“Do you truly want to know, Cleric? I will tell you then. We HELPED to vanquish demons. We BARELY survived. There is more battle ahead. We must be ready. Now is not the time for celebration, now is the time for preparation.”

“You truly believe that, don˛t you, Fighter. ‘Tis true that we only helped, yet were it not for us, the group would not have succeeded. You may accuse me of an ego, yet I know it to be true. How many people get to fight for and with the god they worship? How many people get to change history? How much more fighting do you need to satisfy your incurable hunger for bloodshed?”

“I DO NOT CRAVE BATTLE! I despise it, yet we must be prepared for it. I will not celebrate tonight, Cleric, though I will thank whatever forces aided us in our battle, for we were not alone.”

[AD&D – Dualiar] Part 4

This is part four from a story I was writing a long, long time ago.

The material contains reference to copyrighted material owned by TSR and now Wizards of the Coast. Disclaimer, blah, blah, blah.

“Why? How? How could this happen?” A voice was tense, panicky.

“The Smalljammer that had been altered by the Star Dwarf has returned.” The second voice was soothing, contemplative.

“But, but no portals in the crystal sphere have opened in Creation in centuries.” The first voice was gaining control.

“You are correct.” The second voice was flat.

“Then how…” A new panic edged the first voice.

“A new method of travel has surfaced. Spelljamming ships that originated on, or were altered on, Creation can access tunnels that link the different planes together. That Smalljammer has been traveling between the Prime Plane of Existence and Creation.” The second voice gained no emotion.

“How do you know this?” Curiosity had dispersed the panic in the first voice.

“The Smalljammer is in communication with me. It…ungh! Noooo!” Anguish rocked the second voice’s scream.

“What’s wrong?” The familiar panic had returned.

“Nooo! The Father! Gone! Nooo!” Anger, hate, anguish, and a deep sadness filled the second voice.

“Calm down! Tell me what’s wrong.” A new sound, the sound of taking control, entered the first voice.

“The Father! The Fa–I’m ok. Like I had said, the Smalljammer was in communication with me. It’s anguish was so complete that I had to fight it off. The Spelljammer has been destroyed. This Smalljammer was the one that heard the cry of the dying ship. It shall now begin to grow. Here.” Total flatness had returned to the second voice.

“Here? By Cerin, is anything predictable anymore? Anything could happen with the magic of the Star Dwarf influencing the growing ship.” Panic, mixed with rationality flowed through the first voice.

“The First Battle draws near.” The simple statement brought a touch of apprehension to the second voice.

“No! That can’t be. It’s too early. Wait, what’s happening in the Far?” The first voice was finally learning to calm itself down.

“The Keeper of Darrowilk seeks to destroy Cerin’s Crystal Sphere. The two planes of Creation draw near to each other.” Total flatness returned.

“So our original conclusion was correct. At least partially.” A hint of relief showed itself in the first voice.

“Yes. At least partially.” The flatness in the second voice seemed eternal.

*****

Trident gazed at the rising Enimyd, as he now knew Telrin’s ship to be called. “Ah, well.” He had known that their meeting would have had to be concluded soon. The reason, though, sent shivers up his spine. His ship, the mighty Spelljammer itself, was diving towards the planet below at an alarming rate. From the bridge, positioned at one of the “eyes” of the giant red manta ray, he could see the wisps of clouds streaming away from the huge ship.

The Spelljammer had completely severed its contact with him. From what Trident had read, along with what his ship, his partner, had told him, he knew that only one Spelljammer could exist at any one time. He also knew that the last Spelljammer had been destroyed by a swarm of Neogi ships. Neogi were loathsome, spider-like creatures with snake-like heads and necks. Their only goals were to kill and to enslave.

Now, a great burden had been lain on Trident’s shoulders. He was the Captain of the greatest ship that traveled the known (and, apparently, the unknown) spheres, the Spelljammer. But this was all different. First of all, no spelljamming vessel had ever talked mentally to its captain. Not even a ship as great as this was. His ship, however, had.

Spelljammers were also supposed to be a light purple color, with a white “underbelly.” His was a flame-like red hue, dimming to a soft orange underneath.

And lastly, Spelljammers could not land on either land or water. Yet his was spiraling down to the surface of this Creation, seemingly not knowing the rules that governed its own existence.

A continent passed below, its speed nauseating, yet exhilarating. Mountains, a forest, huge plains, and a desert. Light from the sun reflected off the sand so brightly that he had to look away, or risk losing his vision. When Trident dared to look back, there was only water stretching out below him. Vertigo seized him, dropping him to his knees, robes clasped in his hands. Somehow, he knew that these were the effects of the Spelljammer’s and the planet’s gravity centers melding together. Trident shoved his head between his knees, bracing himself for impact.

*****

The giant manta ray dropped from view as the Enimyd rose into wildspace. Gossip around the ship was that Telrin was going to try something new and exciting with his spelljamming ship. Being an Inanimate, Flard Snet didn’t understand all of the mumbo-jumbo about “becoming one with a living ship and “new dimensions of travel.” Why couldn’t they just use a teleport spell or a portal? All of these new ideas got on his nerves. Most of the old ways were much better than the new. Ah, well. As time wore on, he knew that he would have to confront the future, or die trying to live in the past.

Looking at the stars always used to calm Flard down. He had had many reasons to be upset. As a Dwarf, being any kind of a wizard was only now being realized as being as noble as the strongest warrior. He had fought many times to push his point, verbally, and sometimes physically. It was usually after these fights were that he’d climb up to his favorite ledge and gaze at the stars, trying to discern a pattern in their random dusting across the sky. Now, from up above the clouds, or any air to speak of, he could see the stars as clearly as if they were new. It all seemed wrong, somehow, that they didn’t sparkle or gleam as they had used to.

As Flard pondered, a tunnel of crackling blue energy filled his view of the stars. It raced toward him, giving him a sickening sense of vertigo. Then all was dark.

*****

Trident finally dared to peek at his surroundings. ‘I must be dead,’ Trident thought, ‘there was no impact.’ He was in the bridge of the Spelljammer. Everything looked normal. The sound, it was the sound that was different. The silence of wildspace was gone, replaced by the sound of small waves breaking on the fire-red hull of the great ship. Trident turned around, amazed at the sight that lay just outside the “eye” window. Directly ahead was what looked like a giant crystal ball, filled with a dark mist, that was floating halfway out of the water. A gaping, yet perfect, circular hole lay in the side of the sphere, with a wooden longboat bobbing on the waves next to it. The only way that he could survey everything was to go above decks.

What Trident saw took away his breath, both on and off the “back” of the giant manta ray. Towers, buildings, and pre-constructed homes for the ship’s future populations had been demolished, leaving scattered debris everywhere. Already, though, the shivaks, minions of the Spelljammer, were repairing the damage. He shook his head, trying to figure out the nuances of the faceless creatures.

Shifting his view, he concentrated on the water. To his astonishment, he saw an anchored ship, about a tenth of a mile out from the floating sphere. He correctly guessed that he and Silver weren’t alone in their quest. “We need a boat to get to shore, big enough to carry me and Silver. Oh, and could you summon him to the deck, he’ll be glad to know that we’ve landed, wherever the hell we are.”

‘Uh, yes, yes, sir.’ The thoughts rang in his mind like his own, but with a strange hollowness in the mental voice itself. It was detached, preoccupied.

A tap on the shoulder brought Trident out of his daze. He looked over his shoulder and saw, to his immense surprise, five shivaks carrying a longboat. The longboat was made of the same material that his ship was. “Will the surprises never stop?”

As the longboat was lowered into the water, he decided that they would not, at least as long as he was alive. Lowering himself into the boat, he wondered how the Spelljammer was afloat, being such an immense ship. He soon received his answer.

“Holy—” The Spelljammer was hovering about two feet above the actual surface of the water. A fiery red mist seemed to be holding the Spelljammer. No, the surprises would never stop. “Ah, well. Only way to go is forward.” Two shivaks entered the boat and paddled it to the misty, floating, giant crystal ball.