Chapter 24: A God's Dream
The snow was falling hard in Everfrost, it was evening, as the sky became dark. The tundra floor was cold, wet and the light reflecting from the waning Sun made it look blue. You could see the Sun just above the peaks of the snowy mountains, fading into another day. Snow leopards, polar bears, ice golbins and even mammoths wandered the open tundra... A lost gnome was seen, walking through the cold snowy winds, wearing nothing but a purple cloth wrapped around his waist. The cold didn't bother him as much, as he was not of this world...
He stepped up to a temple, where the Tome of Dreams was placed. The book bound of purple leather and silver latches and decorations all over it. The temple was made of white stone, tall pillars on one side hold a small stone roof, to cover the gnome from the snow. He picked up the tome and opened it, reading through it's magical words. He began to chant in an ancient language, adding pages into the book, flipping through it, while he began to cry. His eyes flashed pink and blue, changing over and over again. The book began to glow, as magical energy came from within it, shooting him in the face, his hair brushed back. "Hey!" Someone yells, as the book closes instantly. "What are you doing there?" They ask. The gnome drops the book, then runs off, vanishing into a thick snow storm. A barbarian comes to the temple and picks up the Tome of Dreams. "What was he doing with this?" He said to himself. The barbarian was quite big, dressed in furs and a red kilt. His cool brown hair dangled around both his shoulders to his chest, tied in braids. He carried a wooden spear as well. "Some kind of tome it seems... I will hold on to this then." Said the barbarian, walking away and back into the frozen abyss of Everfrost...
Justyen and Steviad entered Everfrost Peaks through the tunnel that led back into Blackburrow. They were on their final mission to find the Tome of Dreams. The snow didn't bother Justyen at all, as he simply loved the cold. Steviad on the other hand, was feeling a little down and frostbitten. He shivered as he walked out onto the snowy ground and held his arms around himself to warm up. "It's too cold here..." He grumbled. Justyen frowned and flew behind him, putting his arms around him some more to warm him up. "Oh honey, I will warm you up." Justyen said, kissing Steviad's cheek. Steviad shivered one last time, then felt a nice warmth go through him, like he was just kissed by a sun god. "Thank you my love." Steviad said, holding onto Justyen's arms, as they continue to hover through Everfrost's frozen tundra.
Through the white walls of the snowy peaks, the adventurers come up towards an opening that leads into the flat tundra area to the east of the glaciers. A barbarian guards the way from here to control who goes in and out of the peaks, he didn't take notice of them and they went through. A bunny suddenly darts out from behind a tree, stopping Justyen and Steviad in their track. Lairon, the iron armored beast growls at it, sending it leaping up on Justyen's shoulder. "Well, hello there bunny." Justyen said. The frightened bunny cowers in fear, snuggling up against Justyen's face for protection. "Lairon, don't." Steviad said, putting out a hand to calm him down. Lairon slumps on the ground and pouts. Steviad turns to the bunny and scratches at it's chin. "That's a nice Bunny." He said. The bunny's ears twitch as Steviad pets it's face, it started to calm down now. "You're so good with animals my love." Justyen said, smiling and being tickled by the bunny's whiskers. "Yes, I love them so much, don't like seeing them scared or hurt or anything." Steviad said, crouching down at Lairon now, giving him a pat on it's iron head. "It's alright Lairon, it just startled you." He said, giving a comforting smile. Lairon smiled back, feeling better now...
As Steviad got up, they were approached by a barbarian. It was the barbarian from the temple that had run into the gnome. "What are you doing up here?" He asked, in a barbaric stern tone. Justyen was slightly frightened by his sudden appearance, as if he came right out of the snow. He leaned towards Steviad a bit, feeling protected.
"I'm sorry, are we trespassing here?" Steviad asked, holding onto Justyen's hand.
"No, but I don't see many fairies up north." The barbarian said, looking down at their grasped hands.
"Are you two together?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. Justyen looked angry as he said that with that expression on his face.
"Yes, is that a problem?" Justyen said back, shaking a bit.
"It is not the traditional way here..." The barbarian said, looking disappointed. What Justyen said next, made him feel differently... He let go of Steviad and approached him directly.
"Traditional? What, so you don't believe in love? It's a connection you have with someone special that makes you feel loved, and complete. Why does gender have to be a factor to you people? We're happy, and not hurting anyone at all, so you tell me again what traditional is, you are the ones that harm others saying things like that. It's about heart, not 'traditions'..."
The barbarian just stood there for a moment, with a blank look on his face. Something inside of him was being realized. As he looked into Justyen's eyes, he could feel the intense light, and loving feel that all creatures should carry in the heart.
"I'm terribly sorry... you're right, I can see it now... There is nothing wrong with the heart, as you say." He smiled and teared up a little. "My name is Wardaan."
"It's alright." Justyen said, smiling brightly. "I'm Justyen, and this is Steviad, and Lairon."
"Oh bless..." Steviad said, relieved. "And this is bunny!" Steviad shouted, pointing at Bunny on Justyen's shoulder. They all laughed.
"So, what brings you to the north fae folk? Going on an adventure?" Wardaan asked, the tone in his voice a lot lighter.
"We're seeking the Tome of Dreams, to help destroy a dark dome, which Steviad's body is trapped." Justyen said, poking at Steviad's chest.
"Yes, I would very much appreciate my body returning to myself." Steviad said, laughing.
Wardaan pondered for a moment, then took out the tome he had tucked away in his fur armor. "Is this the tome you seek?" He asked. "Yes, that's it!" Justyen yelled. "I saw a gnome with it near a temple in the tundra.. do you know him?" Wardaan asked. Justyen thought to himself for a moment. He remembered vague visions of seeing a strange gnome in his travels, following him since he found the Angel Feather in Steamfont. But, he didn't know who he was at all, or what he wanted or where he came from...
"I've seen that gnome before... following us..." Justyen said, wondering.
"Do you know him my love?" Steviad asked.
"No, I don't... but, he's here in Everfrost you said?"
"Yes, he disappeared into the thick snow... Do you want to look for him?" Wardaan asked, handing Steviad the tome.
"Well, now that we have the final tome, we can cast the spell, then look for the gnome after." Justyen stated.
"Very well, what must we do?"
Steviad opens the tome, as Justyen takes out his Angel Feather, letting it fly out of his hand, cutting it. Blood drips into the Tome of Dreams, as the signal of the feather is released into the sky. The others from around Norrath, Ruvarin and Denena, see the lit signal from the feather and open their tomes... Justyen reads the incantation of the tome, written by the mysterious gnome...
"The light shines into our hearts, guided by the God's dream, to give us a life of love, and happiness. As the darkness takes away the light, so to we shall open our hearts against the corrupt and heartless. As death takes away our bodies, the spirits and souls within will continue to live in our hearts, of our friends, family and loves. Our dreams open us to new adventures and wonder, that take us to places we want to go. They take us to the one thing that makes us happy, and no evil or heartless will take that away. I will follow you to the end, against the lonely path, where I see your shadows and sorrows. The light I bring you, destroy this darkness now!"
Bright lights exit all of the tomes, releasing beams of light into the sky, coming together to form a prism of light within the sky. Colors of the rainbow melt into each other, creating a portal into the dark dimension. They rip open a rift in the sky, as the darkness of the dome can be seen within. The Void Beast's lair is there, on top of that dark mountain, with the beast inside, howling from the depths of this realm. Minions of the undead can be seen in the rift, gathering for an attack to this world. Glowing talons of the creatures reach around the rift door, as the undead crawl out of the dark dimension. Their skin glowing with a tainted light, each one with large deadly talons ready to strike. It was going to be a fight to save Steviad's body from the dome.
"They're coming!" Wardaan shouts, readying his spear in attack formation.
The battle began, the undead were upon them striking with their glowing talons. Justyen kept Bunny safe on his shoulder as he shot blasts of cold from a distance, slowing them down. Lairon was head butting them, and slashing them in half and blocking with the mounted Pendril's sword and shield. Steviad stayed behind Lairon, casting shallow breath on them, making the undead gasp for air, then fall to the ground. Wardaan was a shaman, he was very aggressive with his spear, cutting and jabbing at the undead as they approached him. He cast an infectious cloud spell, blinding the undead in a thick fog of disease and decay...
"Get back!" Wardaan yelled at them to back away from the infectious cloud.
Justyen, Steviad and Lairon moved away from the cloud and watched as the disease cloud spread among the undead, making them fall one by one. As the cloud cleared, the bodies of the undead littered the tundra floor. The rift in the sky was still open, yet no other undead came loose through the door...
"You've done well..." A voice is heard from behind them.
It was the gnome from before, dressed in frozen leaves. He walked towards them, as the leaves formed into a yellow robe, fit for a druid.
"Who are you?" Justyen asked.
"I am Stephstin..." He stated... The gnome from the dream dimension, created from the love of Justyen and Steviad, here to guide them on the final part of their journey... to the Wakening Lands!