The wriggling vines of the man-eating vegetables recede back into the jungle as a gigantic winged shadow swoops overhead, momentarily blocking the rain before ascending back into the billowing storm clouds. Night’s approach is masked by the storm, and you reach a small cave at the base of the island’s impossibly steep peaks just as the jungle is plunged into an even deeper darkness. As you begin to dry off your soaked clothes, you feel the presence of something unnatural in the cave. Twin pinpoints of light at the back wall. Slowly, these lights take shape, revealing themselves as the eyes of an impossibly large, pitch-black dragon looming high above you. The small cave has transformed into a massive cavern, leaving you at the feet of the gigantic winged lizard. Before you can compose yourselves, the dragon speaks.
Ironic it is that you have come seeking my help when it is I who seeks yours, Small Things. The people of the Midglass know me as Mistknell, the Dragon of night. Those who listen to my whispers shield this world from the harsh rays of its own sun, and they have done so since the Sideless war. You know not of such things. You are of the other realm? Indeed I know of this place, and if you want to secure your return to your world, I request assistance in securing mine.
This world’s sun is dying. Ages ago, the Overglass controlled it, using it to coerce the people below. In the war, control over the sun was divide into eight aspects representing the true nature of the world. The Deep Prophecies foretold of a time when the sun would no longer shed its light unless a life-granting ritual were performed with all of the aspects present. As you may have surmised, I would ask that you acquire these aspects and bring them to me, Small Things. The task is treacherous, as those your contemporaries would name “Gods” are unaware of the Deep Prophecies and bid their worshipers protect the aspects from the Overglassers. However, if you complete this task, I can grant whatever you may wish. Wealth here, a return to there…
The Dragon opens its jaws, its jagged diamond teeth revealed as it lets out a small chuckle
I could even stop the decay that already ravages your bodies. The Overglassers did not wish that you flourish, Small Things. Despite being Paragons of your kind, endowed with youthful and healthy bodies, the Overglasser’s work is unraveling. In a few years, you’ll be naught but lepers and cripples at the hands of their shoddy workmanship. I can make you whole again, or return you to the simple forms you recall so fondly. Discuss this, and other trifles with my Shadebearers atop the peaks. They will reveal the wisdom of the Deep Prophecies to you, should you accept this task.
The pinpricks of light slowly fade away as the whispering Dragon disappears into the darkness. Your torch flickers back to life as though nothing had happened, and the cavern has returned to its original size and shape, save for the wide staircase that ascends up into the peak’s interior.