The problem with being adrift meant that the only way home was through The Nexus. And since I didn’t know where the Nexus was in this Shift I couldn’t exactly head towards it even though that’s what I told Alex. I don’t know why he came after me. I’m not sure that I’m glad he did. I’m happy I get to meet him in person, to touch his skin, see his bright blue eyes for real — maybe even kiss his lips.
My body shuddered with the thought of so many more things I’d like to do with him. Things I had fantasized about but never really let myself think about outside of my nightly dreams.
I wondered often how he talked to me as an Echo and now he found me even in the desolation of this Shift. He made the connection but how? We’d never been on the same physical plane — a bond like that — an anchor required touch.
I did my best not to freak out as a gust of sand blew through the area. Upon my arrival to this godforsaken sand bowl my suit had changed into something more appropriate for the region. The sand colored outfit, the sweat collector and rebreather all worked like they would with their own designs here. And it covered me from head to toe, but I could still feel the sand shifting in my boots.
But I had no choice but to slog forward through the shifting sands towards the glint of light on the Horizon. The settlement wasn’t friendly, but they weren’t completely hostile either. I’d been to a similar Shift before — the settlement had been ravaged by Oni — the green hulking creature we’d brought back home. It ran off in the opposite direction of the village which meant it wasn’t home to the Oni — one thankful gift from this godforsaken place.
It felt like hours trudging through the land with very little on my person when I drifted from Arcadis this was going to be a very long adventure.
But first I needed to meet up with Alex. And the men who’d brought him here. Why they brought a novice was beyond me — why they came at all was another mystery.
Nyx chittered in this plane in my chest and I pressed my hand to the release valve and with a soft whooshing sound Nyx formed above my head in all his fiery glory. “Hey bud.” I said in a soft voice.
His chirps translated in my head. “Danger ahead.”
That was more than enough to get my head out of my thoughts and I pulled against the fiery plane inside and wreathed myself in fire. I didn’t have much else to go on, but it never failed me.
I took a deep breathe and centered myself before heading into the danger Nyx perceived.
It wasn’t long before the growl of a very large beast echoed through the sand dunes. I tried to increase my pace but there was only so much faster one could run in sand and I was already feeling the ache in my chest and lungs — not to mention the grit in the air that felt like it scratched at my nasal passages and throat with each breathe. The rebreather wasn’t much help against granular sand here. I’d have to make an adjustment if we intended to stay at all.
I crested a sand dune and the glinting I’d seen before reflected back as a giant metallic wall guarding a cistern of caverns in the cliffside behind it. And just outside the gates fighting several men from the outpost was a huge Tyrannosaurs Rex. There was a faint green halo around it but I didn’t look hard enough to determine its shift. It wasn’t going home — it was going to die, creatures like this rarely saw home again, and it was sad, but it was also the reality of vicious creatures attacking the locals.
I drew my blaster and took aim, but I was still a bit too far to make the shot. I flung myself down the dune towards the creature my blaster trained on the eye of the beast in hopes that when I was in range it would be a death shot. Nyx guided me from behind with his own laser focus through the scope of my blaster. His flame would guide my eye even if no one else saw the beam that now targeted the giant beast.
The blast strikes true with the help of Nyx but it only makes the T-Rex look my direction and turn tail to run. Better to run and live another day than deal with these aggravating people. I watched as more men poured out of the gates and perused the beast. I ran through the sand towards the men now helping the main attacker to his feet. He looked hurt but not beaten but he nor the other men continued after the beast.
The big burly man in dark leathers looked at me as I approached. I pulled the face coverings away and gave him a bright smile. I was thankful the glow from Nyx’s feather was hidden by the thick leathers of the outfit. One less thing to worry about. “Thank you stranger,” my ring translator interpreted without a flaw.
I nodded. “Not a problem. Why’s they go after it?”
They looked at the ring then at my face and the suspicions began. “Sorry, I’m not from around here.”
“That’s obvious”. One of the other men said.
Before anything else could happen I heard my name called in the distance. I turned to look and saw three figures walking our way. One being helped along the way by the other. At least we found each other.
Nox Luxignis is a Mystical Warrior who Bears the Phoenix Feather and Drifts from Shift #0
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Abilities: premonition, sense magic, hedge magic, manifest phoenix, shroud of flame, drift, determine shift
Weapons: unarmed (caestus) 2 – eased, unarmed (caestus) 4, blaster 4 long range
Q: Is Nox near the Nexus?
(1d20+0: +0 = 4)
Q: Is he close to some settlement?
(1d20+0: +0 = 16)
Q: Does he encounter something along the way to the settlement?
(1d20+0: +0 = 10)
GM Intrusion: A T-Rex manifests at the village gates (Nox +1, XP Pool +1)
L7 T-Rex, 50 health, 10 damage, L5 speed defense
L5 Warrior , 25 health, 8 damage, 2 armor (with 3 guards: 3 assets)
Manifest Nyx & Shroud of Flame
Int: 4 → 2 + 1d6+1 Recovery (action) 1d6:  = 5 → 8
Initiative: T: 16, W: 14, N: 2 -1 → 1
T: 35 health W: 15 health
T (21-3) → W (10) miss
W (15) → T (16) hit W: 5 health
N (15) → T (14+2): Nyx asset hit damage 4+2 T: 29 health
T runs away fresh team follows to attack