Kia chooses to share her vision with the rest of the group.
She says, "I know that one of these is true, and the other is false, but I don’t know which one is which…
You walk down a marble-lined grand hall, the opulence and wealth of a nation on display all around you. Marble columns, easily 4’ across sit behind tables adorned with a unique floral arrangements, each one representing a noble house of Tesra. The columns stretch up overhead where pearlescent chiffon is draped from one to the next, held in place with hooks shaped like golden leaves. Between each column is a Tesran lancer standing still as a statue, their uniforms spotless, each breastplate buffed and shined, each pleat of cloth laid perfectly in place. Behind the guards is a throng of lesser nobles quietly jostling each other to see you and the people you’re with as you walk down the Grand Hall.
Your eyes are drawn to the far end of the chamber, where you can see Nilson VonCrosia standing before a beautifully constructed wooden table. As you approach, you realize those walking with you are not your regular companions, and that you are looking at the world through eyes that are not your own. You stop, and rap a metal-shod staff upon the ground twice before speaking. “Milord VonCrosia, it is my duty and honor to present his eminence, the Lord of Mankind, the Hand of Fate, the Keeper of Truth, Emperor Beyond the Mountains, Hadrach, the Everking.” You bow deeply and step away to your left, rising only when you have repositioned yourself to watch the proceedings. Your heart swells with pride as you see the Everking’s entourage part, and he steps forward before VonCrosia. To the Everking’s right stands Lantern, his man-at-arms, proudly bearing the Rage and the Hope of Hadrach. The weapon and shield are polished to a high shine, the bright spring sunlight reflecting off their surfaces.
The Everking’s countenance is that of a walking corpse, dressed in slowly decaying royal clothes, a shredded cape, and bony fingers poking out of cracked, withered skin. Dark earth is packed in the seams and corners of the Everking’s clothes, ground into the cracked fingernails. Two red points of light in empty eye sockets glance at you for a moment as he walks past you. Your chest swells with pride that he would include you with a glance at such an important moment in history. The rictus grin on his skeletal face seems to smile even more widely before he returns his full attention to back to the Grand Duke.
The Everking steps up to VonCrosia, taking his measure of the man before he bows to the Grand Duke of the Tesran Republic. VonCrosia bows graciously in return.
A deep breath fills the Everking’s chest, and he begins to speak. “I have come to sue for peace, your Grace, and turn over to you all that remains of my forces.”
Blood and gore drips from your stringy hair as you kneel on the ground, exhaustion weighing down your limbs as you stare at the darkly-spattered wet flagstone at your feet. To your right, the final twitches of the abomination’s death-throes rattle its thick, spidery legs against the ground. It takes another moment for you to catch your breath, but finally you stand and look around.
The domed ceiling arching over you is still obscured in dark mist, its frescoes still only visible as vaguely disturbing, indistinct blobs. The battle that just finished did little damage to the structure as a whole. Bodies are scattered about in the gore, and you can see your comrades moving about in the shadows, checking bodies for signs of life, delivering death blows to the surviving monstrosities. Looking back at the largest of the creatures, you see that it wears a golden crown with platinum filigree, and set in the center is a large gem, the size of a human fist, polished smooth. You recognize it as the last, missing gem of the Horn of Hadrach. Pulling the blood-spattered crown off of the creature’s head, you lift it up in the air in triumph.