Our ultimate goal is to find another rift like the one we lost, but getting to places where we could get one… almost requires we already had it. The start of our journey? Earth. A planet so distant even the most powerful mages from Azeroth would find impossible to connect to via ordinary arcane magic. We do however have one… ally, so to speak, that could get past those limitation. The Keeper Melektas, on the nearby Eosphere. It took some… creative license at describing recent events to get the depressed constructs to use his Titanic gateway to shoot across millions of light years and multiple galaxies, but he finally agreed. We were shot all the way to a distant, strange planet.
We didn’t land where we expected, although I shouldn’t blame Melektas for missing by several miles. With a distance that large to cover, a mistake of that order is already incredibly small. I shudder to think we could have landed in the middle of an ocean… Well, our current situation wasn’t stellar either. We were just… in the mountains. Somewhere. We were still in Armenia, as we’d soon learn, but not close to the Tomb of Hyperion my uncle found in the Caucasus. Hyperion was one of the few people in the universe who could get us in contact with Gaia, the world-soul of this Earth, and she could get us to the universe the rift came from.
We were a little lost at first, and ended up finding a small pastoral village, with a church at its center. Even though we had already disguised ourselves as local humans, they were still wary of us. As my uncle told me, there is a significant religious divide on this planet. There are, by his account, two major religions: Christianity and Islam. When he was there, a crusade was called, calling for all Christians to attack the Muslims in the region of Jerusalem to reconquer what they considered the Holy Land. But as we learned from these villagers, within Christianity there was more division. They were part of an “Apostolic Church”, while the Crusaders down south were part of the “Catholic Church”. The appearance we ended up with – dark-skinned and dark-haired – reminded them of the Muslims, so they were particularly distrustful of us. Until they saw our magic. That was when they, well, told us to leave. Less politely.
Thankfully, outside the village Satiah managed to find a trail that could lead us to the Tomb of Hyperion, so we followed her magic. As we were wandering there, another fair-skinned human found us, apparently having heard about us in the village. His name is William de Beaumont from a place called Leicester in a distant kingdom of England. When he heard of our magic, he wanted to meet us. There he told us the most interesting story.
Apparently when Christian children are baptized, it places an “indelible mark” upon their soul, forever marking them for that nameless Christian God. Because of that, this god decides where they go after death, and takes all their anima, entirely preventing most of Earth’s souls from going into the Shadowlands. Instead, depending on whether they actually obeyed him, he sends into a Heaven, where they forever worship him and give him more anima, or a Hell, where they burn for all eternity. William wants this mark gone, and although we don’t have the magic to remove it, perhaps someone on Azeroth will, so I offered for him to join us.
Not long after, we finally reached the Tomb Verroak found. The remains of the stone constructs they fought were still there, but Hyperion – the Keeper that helped them to get to Azeroth – was not. Upon further inspection, the place was completely abandoned and untouched since the moment Verroak, Karnak and Yu Gwai first left it. However, Satiah believed she could reconnect us to the arcane dimension Hyperion left for. I don’t know where I’d be without her… Still in the mountains, probably.
Finally, a gateway was opened and we stepped through… but what we found there wasn’t good. Othrys, Hyperion’s realm, was in ruins. Marks of a battle littered the landscape. However, what was even worse was that we finally found Hyperion. Dead. Something or someone came here and burned him and his wife Theia to crisp. Without them, we do not even have a way back to Azeroth, let alone a way to the other universes. But that’s not even the worst part.
Soon after our arrival, something else arrived. Humanoid, winged creatures of the Light William called “angels” – servants of the nameless god. And they were not happy to see us. In fact, they were the ones who killed Hyperion. Apparently, this “one true god” really hates competition. They were led by a commander calling himself Gabriel and once he sounded a horn on his neck, calling it “the Horn of Truth”, our disguises were blown away, and all our spells were silenced. Suddenly without magic and under assault by otherworldly invaders, we were cornered and with few options to escape.
While William and Yu Gwai were fighting off the angels via more conventional means, Satiah was quickly looking through my uncle’s journals and noted his observations of the stars. With those, she believed she could make a portal to the place where he saw them and help us escape this dimension. As we were fighting for our lives, she was blindly casting a portal to an unknown land. But there we had it… an escape. Although the angels raged at seeing us go, we were saved.
For a time. When we came out in some fortress in the mountains, we were immediately surrounded by dark-skinned men with swords and hidden blades mounted to their wrists. It didn’t take long to realize where we were. It was Masyaf, the fortress of the Assassin Order.