Redemption War

Intermezzo: Red Horizon

A terrible vision is shared by the members of the Treldor Historic Society...

While traveling, the members share a sudden waking vision. The incident lasts but a heart beat…

You are running as fast as you can. It is close to midnight, yet the sky is a deep red hue. Raging fires below color the clouds of smoke above. There is no moon and the stars are hidden. The air feels electric and carries a smell of blood and hot steel.

You are in an unfamiliar city, on an unknown street in what looks like a wealthy district. The cobblestone is clean and well kept, the stores and workshops around you have artfully decorated façades and would normally sell quality goods, but tonight they are closed. Some are boarded up, but most are not. There was almost no warning.

Fear is in the eyes of the strangers all around you. They look at you with terror on their faces and you feel a tinge of guilt. Some glance nervously towards the sky. Commoners scurry from shelter to shelter, trying to stay out of the street. So many have died. So many more will before the dawn.

Then — a booming resonance from below. The ground shakes roughly once, then again. Cracks and booms echo through the streets, screams mixing with the sound, then a cascade of crashes as a nearby tower collapses. You watch more innocent commoners die, crushed under falling rocks and tumbling walls.

The ground seems to heave, as if breathing. For a moment everything stops, only an uneasy silence lingers.

Then the city Itself lets out a long, sad groan.

Everything explodes around you. Earth, rock, buildings, cobblestone, animals and people are shot up around you, as you yourself are flung four or five stories into the air.

Time slows down as you look down, through the dust, debris and body parts. Through the stinging dust and smoke, you see a gaping hole in the street, larger than the two stone houses that used to be where the hole is. A large, clawed hand on either side of the hole appears, as something impossibly huge prepares to climb out from below.

Time speeds up again, as gravity pulls you back towards the ground. All air is knocked from your lungs as you land, seeing white spots as you struggle to breathe. Somehow, you have survived the fall, and you pull yourself up, staggering through the unrecognizable landscape of ruin and rubble. Around you, blocks of rock and pieces of timber rain down, landing in loud cracks and pops, close enough to shoot splinters in your face.

Above you somewhere, a swooshing sound cuts through the mayhem, as a shadow passes above. Beyond a few rows of destroyed buildings it disappears from sight. Then a beastly roar and a bright yellow glow of hot fire. The roar is answered by another voice. So close, its source sounds only inches away. So loud, you feel your ears pop and bleed, and the words forming are the only thing you hear.

“I AM FREE!”

Your field of vision narrows then, and the white spots grow to fill everything until white turns black, and conscience slips away…

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