The companions headed down from Solace to Qualinesti to ask the elves if they could hitch a ride on their Griffins to Icereach for the next crystal knight spirit. As they walked they found it getting darker and watched the fog roll in, thicker and thicker. Soon, even if they looked behind them, they wouldn't be able to see where they came from just moments ago. It had become abnormaly dark for this time of day, and as they looked up, though the sky was clear, they couldn't see a star, or the light from either Solinari or Lunitari.
Soon it became too dark to see, and Tunglith lit a small ball of fire in the palm of her hand to help light the way, and what they saw left them paralyzed with fear. The trees looked like living groves of horror, the soul of each trapped in torment, blood dripping down their trunks.
The companions felt a strong wind and moved to shield their eyes as the dirt from the forest floor whiped around them. A large silver dragon landed right in front of them, and transformed back into Sara, who some of the companions recognized from the trials. Seeing her, face in hands, sobbing, Sonrah ran over to check on her. But no sooner did he reach out to touch her, that she dissapeared into nothingness.
Confused, the companions looked around desperately, trying to understand what was going on, when they heard a blood curdling scream, like a small animal being tortured, and turned to see Boris, horrified and pointing at the bleeding trees. They watched as Boris, too, disappeared just as quickly as he appeared.
Suddenly, animals started pouring out of the forest, fleeing for terror and falling upon the companions. The animals themselves misshapen and hideous.
Out rode a legion of elven warriors, no eyes in their hollow sockets. The companions attacks and as each of them lay a fatal blow on the warriors, they disappeared only to reappear in the exact place again almost instantly.
An elven warrior charged forward and impaled Faeveraux into a tree, his blood entwining with the blood seeping from the tree. Jason Corillian ran to his side, but was unable to lift him, too weak. Levi ran to their aid, and as he did so, Jason also disappeared.
After picking Fae up, Levi starts a conversation with someone that none of the other companions can see.
"I accept this" Levi said calmly "with the understanding that the future can be changed"
The companions watch as Levi changes form. Wearing full plate mail of ancient design that looks freshly burnt. A long purple cloak hangs heavily on his shoulders, draped behind him almost to his knees. A sword black with the blood of countless victims hangs sheathed on his hip.
Only two flaming dots red as blood, shine from the eye slits on the helm. His voice seems an echo from the depth of a bottomless cavern. An aura of freezing unearthly cold around him, the demeanor so terrifying that even Scrounger, a kender, whos race dont feel fear, is scared.
The companions stand agape, watching Levi as he says:
"I have information to impart and my time is limited. We must make our way through this forest to the Tower of the Sun. We must walk the way of death, for every hideous creature ever conceived in the twisted, tortured dreams of mortals will arise to stop us. We need to make our way to the tower to take the dragon orb. But know this – we're walking a dream. The Elven King's nightmare. And our own nightmares as well. Visions of the future can arise to help us, or hinder. Remember, that though our bodies are awake, our minds sleep. Death exists only in our minds, unless we believe otherwise"
"Why can't we wake up?" – "Cause the Kings belief in the dream is too strong, and yours too weak. When you are firmly convinced, beyond doubt, that this is a dream, you will return to reality."
"Then why don't you wake up" – "Maybe i choose not to"
'"I don't understand" – "You will, or you will die, in which case, it wont matter."
Tunglith and <Fairies name>, Fiddlebum, Scrounger and Hyeat, still very disturbed by Levi's sudden change, were not quick to accept his word as truth.
Tunglith put forward that they should try and reach the dragonorb before Levi did, and it was a race against each other.
A barrier surrounded Levi, Sonrah and Faeveraux, protecting them from the Elven Warriors and the evil forrest. Tunglith and the others were not as fortunate. The roots grew over the feet and stopped them in their tracks, and the Elven Warriors circled in for the slaughter. When Aricyra, the Tiefling that Tunglith and Scrounger recognized as a friend of Sara's, dropped down in front of them and let out a scream, that made every Warrior draw back away. She turned around to them, looked them dead in the eye and said "DO NOT TRUST HER" and with that she also disappeared.
Tunglith watched as Levi and the others walked casually ever closer to the tower holding the dragonorb. The group started after them when suddenly the entire group realize they are already inside the tower, right in front of the portal to the Abyss. Lying in a lavish bed, next to the portal is the Elven King, asleep with his arms around the dragon orb. A green mist from the dragonorb spills out forming the shape of a green dragon, whispering into the Elven Kings ear, and glaring at the companions.
Suddenly Sonrah attacks Scrounger, and Scrounger attacks back, both sides enraged and seeing only the intent of the other side as an evil that must be stopped. Hyeat Meyan shakes out of it and looks around to see a 5 headed dragon forcing its way out of the portal.
"Visions of the future?" Hyeat remembers as the light coming from the portal seemed to blind the room.
Suddenly Faeveraux screamed in pain, his eyes had been torn out of their sockets.
Fiddlebum looked down to see a gem in his chest, and as he goes to touch it, he noticed that his hand, and the rest of his body, was giant.
Sonrah's mum came up to him and told him it's all his fault that his dad is dead. Sonrah, instantly emotionally distraught, tried to down his tears with the drink now in his hand. As he swallowed the ale from his golden mug, his throat closed over and he was unable to breath. He dropped the mug and clutched at his throat.
Haet Meyan eyes start glowing and she becomes a red skinned demon. As she sees each of the other companions turn their backs on her, she tries to reason with them, but no matter which way they were facing it is still facing away.
Her cheery disposition replaced with anger and distrust, Tunglith, moving purposely and directly, picks Scrounger up by the throat and yells "I KNOW you've been conspiring against me!!", she pulls him to her ear and whispers "die" as she slowly pushes her new sword into his stomach, holding him until he stops wriggling in her hands, and dropping his lifeless body to the floor.
"We need to wake up!!" Hyeat Meyan yells to the others. Levi just grins. Fiddlebum tried hitting himself in the chest with his giant fist, while Faeveraux realized that with his memory, either reality could be the dream. Meanwhile they watched in terror as Takhisis edged her monstrous dragon form further and further out of the portal. Hyeat Meyan tried magically screaming directly into the Elven Kings ear, but he didn't even flinch, and Takhisis crawled further and futher out. Tunglith, devastated with what she had done to Scrounger in her future premonition, stands up, and demands, to no one in particular, "There is no way, NO way, this can be real."
Suddenly, its just her in the room with the Elven King, still sleeping, holding the Dragonorb, and while Tunglith is getting her bearings, Scrounger runs up from behind her, takes the DragonOrb from the Elven King's arms and throws it against the wall as hard as he could, smashing it to pieces.
The others all find themselves in this same room with Tunglith, Scrounger, and the King who was now slowly becoming conscious. Once he saw Levi, who had reverted back to his old self in both looks and personality, he screamed for him to get away. Completely petrified, he saw Scrounger and asked "But you're dead?" and looks at Fae "And you! I stabbed you to a tree I am so sorry! I thought I was protecting Qualinesti oh what have I done?" The colour draining from his face as the life slowly left his body.
The Kings daughter Lauralanthalasa ran to his side. She knelt next to his bed, one hand on his, and the other on his cheek as she watched him slip away. The companions, overwhelmed with exhaustion and emotion, all looked on solemnly and lowered their heads in respect and reverence, all except Hyeat Meyan who took Scrounger aside.
"What the hell did you do? You just smashed the most valuable artifact in the known realms!? Do you have any idea what you've done!?" Scrounger's face started to drop and as he started to explain himself Levi spoke over the top of them to subtly suggest this is not the time for an argument. They explained their situation to Laurana, who, although overcome with grief, was still elegant, loving, and giving, as was her nature. She offered the companions shelter for the night, and agreed to call the Griffins for them in the morning after she had made arrangements for her father.
~"we all must sleep, our eyes are burning. But how can we? How will we ever sleep again?"~