Location: High Seas, ???
After contending with the ghost ship for a second time, the party had just begun to relax, with Katya modifying and upgrading their equipment (and Aofie discovering what exactly her sword is), and the occasional bit of witty banter being tossed about, it all seemed peaceful. However, as is the norm, it was not to last. Upon reaching the far eastern seas, a storm began to brew, quickly escalating until a near-hurricane was threatening to tear the ship to pieces. Euphie retreated to Katya’s laboratory to assist him in keeping his chemicals from setting the ship on fire, and Tesla went belowdecks to keep Kaliska and Discord under control while Aofie kept control on deck, Yorrick and Harken assisting to keep the ship from falling apart. As the storm worsened, Aofie, Yorrick, and Harken saw three immense magical auras, larger and stronger than any they’d ever seen, approach from different directions; one cloud of deep purple, moving like a stormcloud, protruding in bolts and strikes, one of sheer black, moving in gusts and gales like a windstorm, and the last one a dark, mottled green, looking like a gangrenous cloud of miasma.
The three auras clashed above and around the ship, magnifying the effects of the storm until the ship began to come to pieces around them. Just as the storm reached a terrible climax, Mortimer (the ship’s mage) ran on deck with a scroll in hand, shouting the word “Sanctuary!”, which was the last thing any of the party heard before the world went black. As darkness covered their vision, they could hear a female voice, ancient and powerful, sounding more like a crackling fire or a cry of victory than an ordinary voice, yet its words were conveyed completely clearly.
“You must not die here.”
Aofie was the first to awaken from the darkness, finding herself lying on hot sand. Her companions all lay around her, and a figure approached. His purple skin revealed him to be a Samsaran, and he introduced himself as Zelasa, explaining how he found the group on the Western coast of the desert, on a cliffside no less than seventy feet from the surface of the ocean. Baffled as to how they got here, they followed Zelasa to a Samsaran city, as he explained that the Lynari desert was a place of great importance for the Samsaran people, who believed that it was the final destination for them before they broke their cycle of reincarnation and moved on from the world. The city and its people were nomadic, as is necessary in a desert, but Zelasa knew where the city currently was. Upon reaching it, Zelasa left them to return to his mercantile trade, leaving the party to seek the guidance of the city’s elder.
And elder she was. A Samsaran who was on her 12th lifetime, Narista was one of the oldest creatures that the party had ever encountered. She informed them she had been told of their coming by what she called “the Primal Forces”, eight elements that she claimed governed and even composed the world, and that apparently had told Narista where the party should go next. A bit overwhelmed by some OTHER mysterious force telling them what to do, the party decided that they needed some time to think this over. Narista agreed, and told them that they need only call upon her when they were ready, and she would show them the path of their destiny.
After some deliberation, the party agreed to let Narista lead them towards their destiny, and went with her into the desert (obtaining some much-needed healing equipment on the way, given their lack of a healer). Narista stayed silent on the journey to…wherever they were going, speaking only to stop the party when she detected something in the sand. One pitched battle against ludicrously large scorpions later (and one nearly dead Sylph), Narista found the spot, and conjured an immense crystal pillar from the sand, directing the party to meditate around it with her. Apparently, the spirits would judge them here, and if they were worthy, they would find their way to where they were meant to be. The party gathered around the circle, closed their eyes, and gave themselves over to the spirits.