A Tale of the Fragment Worlds

Copyright Marc Gilbert, 2000

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

Interlude 1 - The Watchers

"Master!"

"Yes, Ashmagroth?"

"A gate has opened!"

"Where?"

"It's the same ancient world that pushed back our invasion many ages ago. The magic was very strong on that world, and the inhabitants lived in very large magical cities bounded by a network of portals."

"Ahh, I recall that one. A very long time, indeed. Our losses were high; we were nearly doomed. We had launched all of our armies on that world because our own homeworld was on the verge of returning to the Void. But the mages were very well organized and were resisting strongly. We gained some terrain by invading one of their portals they used for travel; what they didn’t know was that their portals also opened into our world. When they discovered this fact, they began the destruction of these portals and we didn’t have enough back up from our forces still awaiting passage through the gates to continue the assault.

"When we saw that we couldn’t win the fight against those great Etherrazz mages, and that our homeworld couldn’t take us back for long before its destruction in the Void, we searched for another solution. In one of their portals, I made the discovery that it led to yet another world. I decided to gather all of our forces at this particular portal and prevent it from being destroyed by the mages. When the remainder of our forces had gathered there, we all passed through the gate. The portal led us to a world, this world, without any vast organization and we had no difficulty in invading and conquering it. I know nothing of what happened to our brethren on our ancient homeworld. They may have found another place, like us, or they may have all perished, absorbed by the Void.

"I hate these Etherrazz mages along with everything else in existence, but them I despise more than anything else for having weakened our numbers and challenged our supremacy."

"But Master, we have long ago recovered from that defeat and we're more powerful than ever before. We should strike back now and have our revenge against them! We should enslave their souls! They’re weak now, and surrounded by the chaos that devastated their world."

"Not too fast, Ashmagroth. We’ve already made the mistake of underestimating them, and we’ll not repeat that error again. Last time our world was nearing extinction, so we were too pressed for time to prepare a good offensive; we had no choice but to attack them quickly.

Now, the situation is different. We’re not the ones in an emergency, they are. Also, I expect this world to be able to sustain us for still a millennium or so before it enters its critical phase and returns to the Void."

"So, we should send the Infiltrators to prepare the terrain for our returning?"

"Yes, we should do so, Ashmagroth. Our Vengeance-Lord will be pleased. Summon the Infiltrators; we’ll prepare our plan and give them their mission. The once-mighty Mages of Etherrazz will learn proper humility this time, when the Demons rule!"

Editor's Note

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