This issue begins with Foxilion Cardluck running for his life. He has the fabled Timepiece of Dragons hoisted over his head and is being pursued through caverns by a highly diverse group of goblinoid creatures.
Luckily for him, the rest of the Realms' Master crew is waiting for him at the mouth of the cave. The crew makes quick work of Foxy’s pursuers-- at least until reinforcements show up.
Deciding discretion is the greater part of valor, the Realm’s Master crew beats a quick retreat out of the cave and into the daylight. Knowing the goblin races never venture into daylight the crew figures they are pretty safe.
Then comes the solar eclipse.
Nevertheless, the crew makes it to the Realm’s Master. Casting off, they figure they will be safe once they
make the jump to light speed use the Astrolabe of Nimbral to teleport away.
Unfortunately, the astrolabe fails to teleport them anywhere. Even worse, the goblins apparently really want their timepiece back and are boarding the ship. Captain Omen put Foxilion to work fixing the astrolabe and heads topside.
Arriving on deck, Captain Omen sees that the situation is a bit grim. Nothing that a little magic can’t solve though, so he decides to summon a water elemental. This proves to be a mistake though, as his spell causes elemental forces to go completely awry.
The elemental maelstrom is proving dangerous to both friend and foe, so Vartan tries to cast a Control Weather spell to take control of the situation. This effort merely causes him to collapse to the ground, clutching his head and repeating “Get Back” over and over.
With magic apparently going berserk, Captain Omen suddenly realizes that Foxilion is still trying to activate the artifact in ship’s hold.
Racing below, Captain Omen arrives just a moment too late. Having located the loose gemstone, Foxilion pulls the lever and the ship teleports away.
The story picks up two days later when Vartan awakens. The ship has ended up deep at sea rather than its intended location. Although only two days have passed, Captain Omen estimates they have lost a month of time. Magic is unreliable and the sea is eerily becalmed.
While discussing their next move, the crew is unexpectedly attacked by a flock of one-eyed birds.
Vartan manages to dispatch them with a miscast, but still dangerous, Spiritual Hammer. Immediately after the incident, the Realm’s Master begins to move of its own accord.
The ship brings them to Rauthym, an island of shipbuilders. The crew finds the town deserted, with not even a single ship left in the harbor. The crew wanders through the ruined village, and eventually comes across a crazed old man with one glowing eye and one black as pitch.
The old man recounts his story to the crew. How the grandmother of all storms came through destroying their fleet and leaving them stranded. When it ended, a large stone came down from the heavens, leaving a large crater in the middle of town.
Everyone in town kept their distance, except for a traveling elven bard. She was drawn to it and found something glowing at the bottom of the crater. Whatever the object was, it changed her. Half the town was dead in a moment, with the rest transformed into one-eyed wretches like the old man.
At this point the crew crew decides to investigate the town square, promising the old man they will return for him soon. As they leave, the old man realizes that they must have come on a ship; A ship he can use to escape!
As he runs towards the dock he is suddenly disintegrated.
When the crew arrives at the center of town, it looks like something out of a horror movie. The elven bard is ordering her one-eyed servants to burn the dead in the fire pit that now sits where the crater once was. She also demands that they bring her holy relics from the Temple of Selune to be melted down.
Agrivar, in full paladin mode, tells the elf that her reign of terror is over. This does not end well for him, as he narrowly avoids being blasted to atoms by a wave of her hand.
Vartan is more freaked out by the fact that he recognizes her voice. As she pours her own essence into him, she tells him to “speak her name.”
The name is Enoreth. Vartan has just met his god for the second time.
- As always, Jeff Grubb and Rags Morales do great work.
- While I am not a fan of this entire arc, I thought this was a strong start.
- With the “space slug” in the TSR Worlds Annual and the “malfunctioning hyperdrive” here, I am starting to wonder if the references are intentional.
- The image of the becalmed sea is a very striking one. I also enjoyed that Rags made Selune (with her trailing “tears”) look different from our own moon.
- The empty town and the old man are genuinely creepy.