John play: Hero for hire


THERENDOR 9 -1485 Pre Galifar time

Play hears things but keeps still. He regained conscience only a few minutes ago. His captures knocked him out before taking him too far. He figures they want things to be quiet and where they are taking him to also remain a secret. Not hard to do. He knows much of Sharn but this is not HIS Sharn. This Sharn will be destroyed and later rebuilt with high towers.

Calli has been gagged. Like most gnomes, she is a know it all. Unlike most gnomes, she doesn’t listen when she should.

“The building is secured sir.”

“Good. Let’s see what this rebel has on him.”

A few footsteps come to Play. He doesn’t want his stuff taken (no knowing when he will see Cue next!) and from what he has gathered, these people will not like what his leather armor hides- an Aberrant dragonmark!

“We also need to understand the female’s intensions. She has a mark of Sivis on her. Why is she helping the Aberrant?”

Play opens his eyes, His magical artifact ( a Mask of detection and sight) is covering his eyes but has been hustled. He can only see a little bit through the eye slits.

Two guards are checking over his Club and Bow. Both are magical and given to him by the Dark Lanterns to sneak into the Mournlands to investigate the reports of a lone warforged massing an army there. Argh. There won’t be warforged here at this time. His club works on constructs and doors. A third person steps over. His bright blue robe with gold trim suggests he works for House Cannith. He wants to see each item individually. He is an artificer no doubt.

Time to leave.

The Cannith agent speaks. “This club is over sized and balanced in a strange way. The studs are adamantine I believe. Expensive and not overly common. Magic. Strong. It deals special damage. Bane spells are here. I think I will keep this.”

Keep talking thinks Play as he looks as best as he can at the room’s layout.

“Bow has magic and ….ugh…. compound. Set for great strength. Magic. Not as strong as the club but still worthy. I will keep this also.”

Play hears a muffle and some thrashing about. Calli is setting herself up for a thumping.

“SIR!” one of the guards calls out. Play feels the guard tug at his leg straps where he keeps his newest toys- the handled small clubs Cue called Tonfas.

“The choice weapon of Tenfur. Then you ARE with the Aberrants.” Accuses the Cannith agent.

Enough is enough figures Play. Play has been working on the rope on his arms for a while in secret. Clearly these guys could learn some lessons from the halfling crime group that will appear in Sharn in a little over 2000 years from now. “Getting frisky? I don’t go that way.” Play calls out as he punches straight up three quick times collapsing the man’s throat. The other guard begins to pull on his sword when the Dark Lantern uses the dying guard’s body as a shield. He pulls and holds him over his body then curls up his legs and kicks out throwing the body into the guard.

The Cannith agent reaches for his wand of holding but Calli was able to hum a simple song to loosen her binding and now calls out. The sonic attack easily takes out the Cannith agent.

“Nice job…” begins Play in frustration.

“I know.” Says Calli with a smile.

“You just alerted everyone nearby that we are trying to escape.”

“Oh….oh yeah. Sorry.” Says the Sivis Bard as she wiggles out of the ropes.

As Play checks the door she picks up the dropped wand of Holding. She uses it on the guard struggling to free himself from the dead guard.

“Time to go and find Glyder.” Declares Play as he yanks open the door.

She frowns. “I don’t like your tone or you John Play.” She sputters.

He slams the door shut. “Not that way!” As he hurries over to the table to get his club and bow, yelling and shouting can be heard in the hallway.

He moves to the wall to a covered window. He rips the curtain down and sees Sharn across the Dagger River. Given room to run, he might be able to clear the rocks below but doubts he can and certainly the Sivis girl can’t.

Across the room Play’s heightened senses draw his attention quickly. A black robed human leaps through the stone wall when phasing. He easily and gracefully tumbles into a defensive attack stance….holding Tonfas.



The door is kicked open and Play fires an arrow while whispering “Soft”. The arrows flies across the room, strikes the first man and sends him back into the others with painful and confused grunts.

“I cannot carry both of you through the wall.” States the mysterious monk.

No need says Play as he taps his club on the instep of his boot. He swings hard at the stone wall and it cracks. He swings again and a few stones break free. “One more lady and mystery man….” And with that he takes down a large section of wall.

“I do not understand.” States the monk as he eyes the recovering guards through the door.


“What?” she answers understanding she will not like whatever Play has to offer.

“Can you swim? Never mind.” He grabs her and cradles her as he runs full speed as the new exit overlooking the deep river.

The monk looks at the now empty hole. A faint smile creases his face and he runs and leaps out the door even as the first guards begin to enter the room.

Play opens his body to capture as much air resistance as he can. Near the water he pulls the cursing gnome to him and brings his knees up as he lands in the water. The monk lands within ten feet of him, making only a quiet splash in the water.

The three surface. Calli curses and swats at Play in anger. Pushing off of him she begins to swim to shore- Play grabs her leg and pulls her back. “This way.” He motions to the city away from the expected rain of arrows.

“You have done this jump before?” asks the monk.

“You could say that.”

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THERENDOR 9 -1485 Pre Galifar time

Play, Calli and the Monk named Tenfur are waiting in a darkened room along with another five warriors and magic users.

Some of these guards seem unhappy with Calli. Guess they don’t like talkative and nosey gnomes either.

“Where are we? Where is Glyder? What is going on? Why are we being kept- again?” and on and on she rambles.

Play pulls off his mask and carefully puts it away in a pouch on his belt. “I see we use the same weapon. I just got mine. How long have you had your clubs?”

The monk looks at him. He is clearly gaging and judging him. Play is used to it and merely smiles to ease tension. “Long enough.”

“Would you like to show me a few moves? Why the handles? Is that to grip it to use as a buckler of sorts?”

There is a click at the door and a woman wielding a short sword steps in. She is wearing a bandana mask similar to Play’s but green and black. She steps in and to the side. Glyder appears and rushes forward to Calli. His motion is stopped as he finds himself lifted into the air. Play notes one of the guards has a red glowing dragonmark on his outstretched arm.

“Release the gnome Glarkahn. He means no harm and can go nowhere.” Says a deep voice of authority from the deeper shadows of the hallway. A tall man dressed in light armor wielding a staff steps in.

“I am Halas. Lord Halas Tarkanan.”

Play remembers his history. This guy leveled the city. Mental note: Don’t piss him off. Glyder lightly drops to the floor and rushes over to Calli. “This is Calli and that is John Play, the young man I spoke of.”

“I understand neither of you are from here. Maybe in time you will tell me. But in the meantime, I wish to overlook the obvious and thank each of you for intervening on the twin’s behalf. Thankyou.” And the man gives a courteous short bow of respect.

“Lord- the female….” Begins a guard.

“I am aware of her family. I do not fear her. As you should not.” He gives a look that cannot be ignored or discounted. It is a clear warning and message.

“I have also been told you are unique and well qualified. May we see it?”

“….see it?” wonders Play in honest confusion.

“Your mark.”

Play looks at Glyder. What has he told the madman he wonders. Play takes a moment to undo his leather tunic and belts before pulling them off. His aberrant mark covers much of his arm.

“Interesting. I have never seen that pattern before. What do you do with it?” Tarkanan asks as he steps up to look at it closer.

Looking at Glyder again with a stern frown. “I’m still learning. Sometimes I think it either makes me stronger or increases my reflexes.”

“Interesting. And you only learned of it recently yet were born with it?”

“Glyder…. After this we need to talk……” he turns back to Lord Tarkanan. “Yes. It was magically hidden from me and any detection from magic.”

With a pleased look of surprise on his face he merely replies “Interesting. How?”

“Does it really matter?” Play is becoming impatient with him and his questions.

“Yes. Your fellow traveler told us you would cooperate with us.”

“oh reeeeeeeeally….. so nice us you Glyder.”

“So cooperate or I will no longer overlook the presence of a Sivis dragonmark within my compound.”

“I’m sorry Glyder. I can’t have him harm or worse Calli.” Calli sees something in the time traveler’s eyes that she didn’t see before. Concern…. Desperation…. Love?

“Very well. An agent of Dolurrh can to me and killed me. He said what he needed to say and brought me back to life. This when I discovered this mark on me. At birth, to hide my true origins, a spell was caste onto me and when I died…. So did the spell.”

“Insanity!” the aberrant lord cries out. Either you are truly an incredible person or a liar. Which is it and think hard before you answer.”

Without any hesitation- “I am an incredible person and yes- I was trained to lie if need be. May I leave now?”

Redness flushes on the Lord’s face as his anger grows. He raises his outstretched arm towards the gnomes. “Very well… you believe you may trifle with me….”

“John! You brought this onto yourself!” and to everyone’s surprise and Play’s horror, a time ripple begins to open up and it engulfs the gnomes. “I will return for you… eventually.” And they are gone.

“Dip me in crap and feed me to an Otyugh…. I believe he just did that to me.”

Play looks up to Lord Halas Tarkanan and smiles innocently and nervously. “Wanna talk some more?”


THERENDOR 12 -1485 Pre Galifar time

“I never expected the gnome to do that” thinks Play within his cell. He was placed here after the two gnomes did a time jump. Here being a cell in some short tower. He says short since it is less than twenty levels up. The rebuilt Sharn obviously was built to be much taller than now.

His equipment was taken away and told to rethink my lies. I guess it is my being an aberrant is all that is keeping me alive. He looks at his arm and wonders- am I an Aberrant or am I freak result of magical experimentation done indirectly by my mother.

Does it matter?

Thinking about the history of Sharn, it appears the city is not completely within Tarkanan’s control. So it will be several years before the city’s destruction at his hands. Joy for me.

The door is stone and melded shut. Without his club of devastation he cannot escape. The room is 15 X 15 and with a ceiling that disappears into the darkness. With his mask he could have once seen the ceiling and looked for secret means out but not anymore.

Still, he is certain he is being watched and listened to. History books say Tarkanan was an impressive military leader whom disappeared for a week. When he came back he was much more powerful and focused on the survival of the Aberrants. There was also talk that even after his death, he would rise again to aid the Aberrants at a point of need. Citadel reports suggested there is an increase in Aberrant births.

Aberrant births. They were created from the mixing of parents with different dragonmarks. Are the families getting too cozy? The houses feared the aberrant also. Some say due to power, others control.

Control over what?

Not all of the houses were discovered yet. Don’t ask me which ones. Obviously Cannith was up and bout already. Mom- your ancestors suck. Play smirks at that. He may grumble and play the pity me trip but he is a doer…. Not a crier. He stands up and picks the one torch he has for light within the room.

The stones of the wall are well fitted. But they are old. Goblin in creation? It takes him a long time to walk around the edges while inspecting the wall for any weak spots including damaged mortar. He finds one. It appears someone else was held here and used a rock or the such to pound at the edges.

Then he hears movement near to where he sat before and wanders back there as he was only stretching his legs.

It is the woman that was with Tarkanan. Carla.

“Hello. Is it raining out? Is the sun shining? I miss the sun.” says Play to distract her from wondering what he was doing.


“Sooooooo…. What does your mark do?” Play asks with as much charm as he can muster without seeing her much. He directs the question through a 6 inch square hole that has two metal bars melded into the stonework.

“Nothing good.” She answers. She steps before the small window now. Play sees her green eyes fully now. “Is it true, you increase your strength and reflexes?”

“I guess.”

“You guess? You do not know?”

“Not really. Depending at how you figure it, I either learned of my mark last month or not for another 1600 years.” He shuts up realizing he didn’t want anyone to know he was a time traveler.

“You are a strange one.”

“One of a kind.” Play says as light hearted as he can. (DM NOTE: 32 on his Seduction roll, her a 16 on her Sense Motive counter roll)

“As an Aberrant… how long will I be kept here?” asks Play.

“Until Halas has decided what to do with you.”

“And what is he thinking?”

“You are a wildcard.”

“Hmmmm…. I’ve been told that before. What do YOU think?”

“That perhaps it was a mistake to come here. I should go Mr. Play. I have been here too long.”

“No! Wait I meant no…..harm. Dammit.” And John Play turns and slides down the wall in minor defeat. It’s been a while since he was kept successfully within a cell. But Karrnathi prisons are not the typical kind. One cell he was held in during the war had undead that slept within the walls and came out whenever the held prisoner did something to escape. Really annoying as a rookie Breland agent. I wasn’t even a true Lantern then.


THERENDOR 13 -1485 Pre Galifar time

Play awakens surrounded by floating dust and the crackles of small fires and shifting stone. “What….. where am I?”

It is nighttime and he has awoken within flaming and smoking ruins…. Of Sharn? He has all of his equipment as he begins to climb out of the crater he awoke within. At the top of the hole he sees the truth. Flames. Smoke. Ruin. Dust. Fumes. The ruins of Sharn during the War of the Mark.

“Damn you Tarkanan…. Damn you.”

After a moment to collect himself, the Dark Lantern begins to search for survivors. “Why Glyder- WHY? Why drop me off here at this time? I’m no time traveler. I just want to go home to MY Sharn. I want to look for my mother and ask her a half- of a million questions. Why?!?”

Something begins to bother him. He feels a presence but sees nothing. He hears a murmur and goes to it. It is Carla. She looks more dead than alive. A wall has collapsed onto her. He tries to free her but cannot. He removes a healing potion and gives it to her but she doesn’t recover. Another murmur and a groan. He finds the bodies of the twins. Dead. Next to them the monk. Several limbs are grossly bent and twisted behind him. Shattered bones. Another healing potion and another failure.

“Is this something akin to the Mournlands?” he asks out loud to anyone that will answer. He continues to look around and finds more bodies. Most people he has meant with Aberrant marks. Some people he has recently met that are “normal”.

Everywhere he looks it is ruins and destruction. Frustrated and angered by his inability to do anything he screams out his pain.

And awakens.

His breathing is rapid and harsh. The nightmare already beginning to disappear from his memory. It was about the oncoming destruction of the city of Sharn. And there was someone there….watching.

Something tells him that someone is still watching. He quickly sits up and stares at the small window. A chunky man quickly steps away from view. Gone.

“I am really getting to hate this.” He grumbles.

Later that day (night?) Play is visited again.

“Should I be honored?” He says without any respect or feeling beyond pure sarcasm.

“You interest me. The research done on you suggests there is much more to you than an immature man-child blessed with power. I would like to speak more of it with you- but not here.” Answers Lord Tarkanan. A simple dimensional door appears. Uncertain to go or not, Play hesitates. He looks around his cell and decides more and better opportunities to escape will present themselves outside of here. He stands up and walks to the magical portal like a cat looking for attention without admitting it.

He is not blind folded or chained. He is actually offered his armor again but none of his equipment or weapons. They travel several floors up before coming to a man with several marked people within it. One person is the one that was watching him while he dreamed.

“Baron ir’Gastspur tells me you believe yourself to be a time traveler. Is this true? Are you from another time?” Lord Tarkanan asks pointblank.

“Mind reader or dream walker?” asks Play.

“My power is to discover and untangle secrets. It worked well in government and as well as war time.”

“So it is war time?” questions Play looking around. Carla, Tenfur, Halas and two others are here with the Baron.

“You seem to expect as much. Will there be a war of great destruction?” asks Tarkanan.

Play eyes each person. Obviously, these people are organized and good at this. Why fight it. “I am from the future. There is a period of great destruction within Sharn but I couldn’t tell you when exactly. That is Glyder’s power. HE is the time traveler. I was just a passenger…. An unimportant one it appears.” Play tries to gage everyone’s expressions. Most are stone cold and hard to read.

“To the gnomes you may be unimportant I see skills within you. Training. Training we could use. What do you say John Play?”


EYRE 17 -1484 Pre Galifar time

It has been many months since Glyder abandoned John Play in the distant past. At first Play was angry with Glyder and the situation. Then he began to accept it. Then he decided to learn more about Tarkanan. Maybe he could learn how to stop the events that will happen within a short time.

One good thing has happened in this time- he is getting training using the clubs. No- not clubs- Tonfas. Fancy name for clubs but that’s okay.

Several new “family” members have joined them. They have brought bad news. Breggor’s forces from Wroat are digging in for the long battle for the city.

John Play has come to be friends with Mason, a dwarf with the power of Flesh to Stone by touch and also speaks often with Carla. If Halas has issues with this, he has not implied it….. yet.

Now we join Play as he surveys the city from a high point, a mere few hundred feet up.

“Home sick Traveler?”

“Perhaps. How does it go Mason? Stone any rats today?”

“Yeah. The two legged kind.” Says the dark skinned tattooed dwarf. “They tried to enter through tunnels in the NE this time.” The dwarf smirks in personal amusement waiting for a comment. None follows. He frowns and looks down at the ground. “Heavy thoughts?”

“You know this will not end poorly.”


Mason waits patiently for Play to continue. “Details are sparse. Halas is defeated but the city is destroyed. According to Glyder…. It has already happened. I cannot stop it. But I want to.”

“You have a good heart boy. You have a sarcastic tongue but a good heart and a smart head. You’ll figure it out.”

Mason leaves after a few minutes of friendly conversation leaving Play to watch over his city. Play is staring at where is home as a child was. His gaze then follows a bat and he stops and looks at where the Citadel will be. He knows what should be done…… but it is complicated.

As if reading that thought, Carla eases up from the buildings below and stands quietly next to the Dark Lantern. “Halas has gone below again. Mason is away……”

Play turns and smiles while looking deep into her eyes. “Alone again then….” And they embrace and kiss.


NYMM 27 -1484 Pre Galifar time

Play remains quiet in the shadows. He is not sure who is hunting whom. Breggor’s assassin is well skilled and has already killed several of Halas’ people. Waiting….. waiting….. comon.

The assassin then comes into the darkened hallway. He is dragging a leg and bleeding. Vallos, an aberrant marked halfling with powers over magically created blades died but got in a few good shots first.

Play leaps out with his two Tonfas before him. He wants to pin the assassin down and ask questions first. The assassin was playing him however. The illusion breaks up as Play passes through it and off balance, strikes the wall- hard. Then he feels a blade at his throat. Role reversal.

“Ah….. Now that you have come out to meet me lets talk…..” Suggests Play hoping to throw the assassin’s concentration.

“Cute. Heard you had a mouth.” The assassin says a quick word of magical nature and Play feels his limbs stiffen up. Hold Spell.

Similar words are spoken nearby and the spell is countered by Carla. Play drops out of the grasp of the assassin and rolls free. The assassin turns to strike the cleric of healing and the sun (whom has a mark involving disease) but finds she is not alone. Mason reaches out and as he touches the assassin he activates his aberrant power. The assassin turns into stone. Mason pulls a large maul free from his pack and destroys the statue.

“That’s the third assassin this month. Breggor’s tactics are changing. He is hoping to attack us from within using stealth and magic instead of infantry and siege tactics.”

“Yes. Halas feared he might.” Adds Carla with a cold voice.

As Mason searches for more assassins, Carla moves next to Play. “Are you okay?”


Looking to the dwarf she looks into Play’s eyes. “Halas wants to meet with you this afternoon.”

“Okay.” Play says with a smile.

“I fear he suspects…. You and I.” She says with some concern.

“We’ll cross that bridge IF we reach it.” He gives her an affectionate tap on her cheek with his gloved hand and a wink.

That afternoon, Play goes to the leader of the Aberrant Dragonmarks- Halas Tarkanan. He knocks and waits for acknowledgement to enter.

He enters the room and sees the man with a drink in one hand and an open book in the other. “Welcome John. Wine?”

“More of an ale kinda guy. But Thank you.” Play quickly scans the leader and the area around him. He told Carla not to worry but as a trained Dark lantern agent and being from the future, he knows what Halas is capable of.

“I am sure you wonder why I have asked you to come here…. Alone.” He places his wine glass down and places a leather book marker into the tome before setting it down. He looks at Play with thought then smirks. “Fear not, I am not unhappy with you. Quite the opposite in truth. Please if no wine will you at least sit? I have something to show you. Two somethings in truth.”

Play sits and wonders.

“You may have heard, Gilla, has returned from his mission to the far east. His mission was a success. But before I enlighten you about it, is there anything else to speak of about the future?”

There it is. Play knew he would not let it go. He wants to know what Play knows.

“Nothing I have not told you before.” He lies.

“Have you ever heard of the Rod of Ju’ kaar?”


“It was rumored to enhance dragonmark powers.”

“So a magical rod. Okay.” Replies Play with some fear. He knows what Halas will do but found it hard to believe. His powers over the earth are nowhere powerful enough level a city as legends have suggested.

“Gilla found it and has brought it me. Would you like to see it?”

Play sits upright. This is it. How he levels the city in one night! “Sure. You have my curiosity.”

Halas reaches behind a chair and produces an oiled cloth wrapped item. Carefully, like a ritual, he unwraps the Rod. Play can’t help but be amazed. It is a single piece of a Siberys Dragon Shard with collars of platinum and gold wrapped onto it. It and Halas’ mark gently glow as he touches it. Play can feel its power. It makes his own mark tingle. Not good.

“Truly magnificent isn’t it?” Halas says with awe and wonder in his hushed voice.

Play doesn’t want to ask or know but must- “What will you do with it?”

The aberrant Dragonmarked leader stops and stares at Play for a moment. “Defend us of course. Is there something else I could do? Should do?” He waits for an answer but only gets a shrug of the shoulders from the time displaced Lantern.

“I wish to show you one more thing. Something I discovered months ago below us. Perhaps you know what it is.”

It takes 30 plus minutes to work down to the area. Halas holds the Rod. The gentle light from it and his mark gives almost enough light to see their way down. He pauses at a corner- “Please enlighten me if you can….. Do you know what this is?” He motions for Play to step around the corner.

Play does so and shortly enters a huge… colossal space. Illuminated by burning oils Halas has set up, Play sees a floating piece of rock about fifty feet around. It defies gravity. He is dumbfounded by what it is then a thought crosses his mind.

This city…. Isn’t Sharn. It doesn’t have the high towers or amazing traits of Sharn. It lacks…. The Manifest Zone to Syrania.

“oh crap.”


BARRAKAS 20 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“Really John. THIS again?” grumbles Carla d’Vadalis.

“YES. This again. Halas is a danger- a danger to all of us. He is a walking meteor swarm waiting to happen. That I have seen that damned artifact AND the manifest zone I am afraid the fuse has been lit. It’s just a matter of time.” John Play grumbles in a mix of frustration and true fear.

“Fuse?” asks Mason, an aberrant marked dwarf that can turn flesh to stone at a mere touch.

“A fast burning string that connects to Non-magical burst of destructive energy. I think it was discovered in Sarlona. You are attempting to change the subject Mason.”

The three would be heroes, all aberrant dragon marked with John Play also being a time traveler (against his will) are scouting an area with reports of activity. The true dragonmark families of Eberron have declared war on the Tarkanan family, the aberrant dragonmarks. Aberrant dragonmarks appear sometimes for no reason but generally from mixed blood. True dragonmarks are set by race and family that give a specific magical ability. Examples include healing, protection, stealth and even the ability to better locate missing things. Aberrant marks never have a power found within the 12 (13) families. In the case of these three there is Mason’s power of flesh to stone; Carla that summon incredible amounts of vermin and Play whom can augment his reflexes or strength. Halas Tarkanan, the being of incredible power seems to control the magma and earth of the earth itself.

For the past few years, the aberrant and true dragonmarks have been warring against each other. Halas has taken over the city of Shaarat (Sharn) and finds himself surrounded by the military forces of Breggor and his descendants and the twelve Dragonmarked houses that wish to destroy the aberrant forces once and for all.

“Sarlona?” asks the dwarf with a playful smile.

“Now I understand why Viorr hates me sometimes…… As I was saying. He WILL bring great ruin to this city. With the things he has shown me in the few months I have little doubt he can do it now.”

The three of them enter the abandoned remains of a very large tavern. Mason immediately locates the bar and looks for a favorite drink he has not had in weeks. The siege is making it difficult to get fresh supplies of mead.

They enter a small courtyard and sit down to further discuss the possible ways that Sharn (Shaarat) will be destroyed. As they begin to talk the three of them stop in mid conversation. Play motions to be quiet and that he heard it also. Something is breaking into the tavern from the street.

Even as more sounds of destructive entry occur Play prepares for the oncoming attack by arming himself with his Tonfas and checking the area for possible exits, defensive areas. Carla focuses and says there are three sources of entrance. Mason holds up a finger to suggest one more moment as he begins to drain the large mug. Play and Vadalis look at each other than the dwarf and share a whimsical smile as they look back to the entrances of the courtyard. BAAAAARRRRRP! “Okay…. Game on.” And the dwarf wipes his mouth and beard free of foam and spilt mead.

The sounds of entrance and knocking over of tables and chairs can be heard. “I hope they don’t damage the bar itself.” Says the dwarf. Play looks carefully through a window and spots the cause- “Cannith Automations!” He smirks as he replaces his Tonfas with his Demolition Club. Carla calls onto a spell to quicken her reflexes and speed. Mason takes a few practice swings with his short swords and flexes his shoulders and legs.

Suddenly the automations knock down two doors. “Hammerers!” calls out Carla. “Bottleneck them!” calls out Play as he moves to a doorway. He gets in one minor swing as the automation clears the door. These Cannith built automations could be considered a predecessor to the modern warforged. They stand about five feet tall. One arm has a powerful pincer used to hold or cut items and the other arm wields a solid metal drum that can kill a normal man in one swing. It appears Cannith has sent in a very large search and destroy party made of the creations. Carla places a few arrows into softer joints that barely slows one. Mason charges but does little as he just reaches the closest automation.

The Hammerers push forward and a stray strike through the wall catches Play. Mason is also struck and the walls themselves are shaking as the trapped automations begin to make their own doorways into the courtyard. A few automations go down but not enough.

Play avoids one attack just to turn directly into another (crit- confirmed- 20X2) and Mason takes another serious strike. Carla drops another Hammerer but sees where this is going. “I’ll provide cover- move back!” Mason destroys one more then nods in agreement.

Even as they try to move away the automations press their attacks. Both Play and Mason take more hits as they are moving away. Carla drops another Hammerer but fears what comes next. Once in the hallway she will lose her line of sight and advantage of attacking at range. Mason’s shorter legs give him less room to move and he is overwhelmed in the middle of the courtyard.

He dodges several attacks using a statue for cover. Play rushes from the safety of the exiting doorway to save the dwarf. He is stopped as a rush of warforged cut him off from Mason. Mason is overwhelmed and taken down in a bloody assault. “Mason!” calls out Carla whom drops another automation even as it moves in for the kill. Play pushes his way to the fallen dwarf.

The Hammerers swing at Play whom dodges all of the attacks. Then Play tries to move Mason and is struck. Carla drops one and damages another. During the brutal chaos none of them notice a lone cloaked figure enter through an opening made by an automation.

The Hammerers strike at the new target also. Play continues to try to protect Mason by becoming a human shield. Carla drops another automation as she dares to take a moment to look at the body of Mason whom lies motionless a mere ten feet away.

Finally the last of the Cannith creations are destroyed. Play spots the new comer and hopes it was not the commander of this squad. Carla tends to Mason whom is near death (-8).

“Thankyou sir- but who are you?”

“Daine. You may know my uncle- Halas Tarkanan.”


BARRAKAS 20 -1484 Pre Galifar time

Daine and Halas give each other a solid arm shake and pat on the back. Daine was in Metrol looking for support from the aberrant forces there. House Cannith destroyed most of them with aid from Tharashk and Ghallanda.

Daine is a fighter from House Deneith. It is not clear how his bloodline became mixed but he has an aberrant dragonmark that places a person into a Temporal Stasis.

Baron ir’Gastspur has joined the five of them. He looks gravely at Play and Mason whom show obvious signs of combat. Even with Carla’s healing potions they are a purple skinned bruise leaking blood. It’s not pretty.

“Have you made contact?” asks Halas of the dream observer.

“Yes Lord Tarkanan. Based on what I saw- they are building up a final attack within the week. Cannith, Tharashk, Ghallanda, and Jorasco have representation.”

Halas waits a moment. “And? You hold back something.”

“The dreamer I made contact with was an aid for the Cannith artificer leading the forces. The Cannith man is an artificer of great power and repetition. It is Hextor d’Cannith.”

Carla sucks in her breath with gritted death. Mason looks to the floor and out bloodied saliva.

“Daine?” asks Halas.

“He is a sick man… I use the word man loosely. He is a fiend that enjoys pain of others. He was rumored to be experimenting on a new type of war golem. If he had any success many will die.”

Play wanders if this is how he will die….. in the destruction / rebirth of a city he has come to love. “Damned gnome.”


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“Are you sure there are hunters here?” quietly asks Play as he creeps down the dark alley. Mason, Carla and he have been sent out to the now un-used dock area by Halas. Daine has been spying on House activities and there are reports of Cannith and Deneith setting up outposts at the edge of the thick forest to the north.

The only light is from a few partial moons and the ring of Siberys. The docks are abandoned. This neglect is beginning to show as some of the ships that remain are listing as they have taken on some water. Currently, the three of them are midway up the cliffs overlooking these ships. The polies and rope lines remain that once carried tons of equipment and supplies daily. It is quiet except for an occasional animal, bird or insect.

“We’re near Garland’s Tavern.” Hints the dwarf. This tavern once carried a wide variety of alcohols, including from the Mror Holds.

“Let us finish this section first.” Suggests Carla d’Vadias. Play smiles and nods approval.

Finding themselves at the doorway to an old dock masters building they look around. The building is in near ruins. It was abandoned long before Halas Tarkanan decided to make his last stand here. Play sweeps his Tonfas slowly to remove the thick webs that are here. Dozens of small non-threatening spiders scurry away. With the wens moved, he looks through a broken window to survey the docks once more.

He is concerned about the news of the Dragonmarked houses taking a stand. Especially Cannith. The tinkering and fabricating guild also are the masters of magical applications. He can’t help but first to think of Zinter and his warforged experimentations. Then his mother. How could she be a House member and not know about it. But then again, how did he not know about his Aberrant mark? She magically hid it from his father and the world. Does Voirr know about it? That would explain his irrational dislike to him.

Carla suddenly stiffens up and motions for everyone to be still and quiet. She points out another window. There is a soft light coming their way.

Play notes a thick moving fog rising towards his window. In a hushed call he points as it flows into the room. “Brace yourselves- they are blocking our view to outside.” Whispers Mason harshly. They turn to the door and prepare for an attack. That is why they miss the fact the fog was a Cannith assassin in gaseous form. He solidifies and releases a prepared spell. Play turns but it is already too late. Suddenly everything is extremely funny. He coughs out the first laugh then finds himself unable to do much but laugh.

Carla spins around and releases two arrows into the mage. The force of the arrows drive him through the broken window. He falls dozens of feet before landing on a water drainage pipe. He doesn’t move. With his death, Play reduces to a few giggles then a broken up- “I hate that spell”

Mason can still see the lights about thirty feet away and prepares for the mages arrival. Suddenly the door shatters into the room.

“Oh for the love of Ollandra WHAT is that?!?” exclaims Play as the intruder charges in. It is a construct with a skeletal face and swinging morning stars for hands. It has an hunchback and the entire creation is bloodstained. It attempts to slam into Mason whom ducks and tumbles to the side. Rotted boards splinter and shatter as it hits the wall. The entire structure shakes from the impact.

Recovered from the laughing spell, Play steps up and attacks the construct. His attacks are many as he uses his magical Tonkas on it. Most of the hits skid off the bloodied armor. One hits causing a deep dent to occur on its chest plate. Blood splatters onto the three of them from the impact.

“Whoever built this is a SICK bastard!” screams out Play. Carla steps back and fires at the construct. Two arrows plant themselves into the hunchback of the golem. A hidden mage releases an acid attack on Carla through a window. He misses her. Mason attacks with his short sword. He little damage to the necromantic golem.

Unseen by the three Tarkanans, an artificer carefully weaves magic around a staff that has a clawed skeletal hand on the top. Missiles of raw magical energy fire from the staff and strike Mason easily even though the Golem in in the way. Play dodges the first swing of the golem but walks directly into the second swing. (crit and confirmed).

Play rattles the golem with several blows low and Carla places more arrows into its upper body. Blood is streaming from everywhere. The magical assassins are waiting for orders as they can not enter the building. Hextor d’Cannith smiles an evil grin and waits. The golem strikes mason twice rattling him.

Unseen by any of them, a second Blood golem is moving up to enter the battle.

Play goes into a flurry of blows with his Tonfas but can not keep a good hit. Carla has a similar effect. Blood does gush from many of its punctures and deeper dents though. It seems to strengthen and move quicker again. “Did this damned thing just regenerate?!? On Blood no less?!?” shouts Play in fear and amazement.

“We need to get out of here- NOW!” shouts Carla.

Mason tries to hit it for the others to move away but fails. Suddenly the golem pauses then there is a whirring sound from its mid-section. The three of them look at each other and wonder what is about to happen now. Suddenly the upper half of the golem begins to spin around. The flails built into its arms strike the walls and a support beam. Mason barely dodges the whirlwind attack. Play and Carla move back wondering how to get close enough to do any harm to the regenerating construct. That’s when Play feels the quiver in the floor.

“uh-oh…… Hang on!” He calls out.

Play drives hard into the golem. Audible cracking can be heard and new gushes of blood appear. Carla fires away and strikes a feeding tube. The construct wavers and Mason gets in good hit as it stops then collapses. Loud creaks leads to cracks. “Hang on! The building can’t take this kind of damage.” Calls out Play.

Then the second Blood Golem enters the building and there is a very loud snap as a strut under the ruined building snaps. Suddenly a third of the building breaks apart and they know there is no where to go but down.

As it gives, Play can hear Hextor’s laughter. Then he slides to the back as the building begins to collapse and fall down the Cliffside to the docks below.


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

The heavy broken and very bloody golem crashes first as it strikes the cliff wall just above the drain where the mage assassin was still lying dead. Play turns and spins landing on his feet and tries to slow himself down. Mason falls and slams into the dead body below and bounces off the drain. Carla tumbles and falls with loud grunts and calls of pain.

The golem strikes below as it crashes onto a roof of a shanty below. Carla tumbles out of view to the docks. Mason finally catches hold of something and stops his fall. Play has stopped and climbed onto the sewer drain pipe. He can not see Carla but sees that Mason is only a short ten feet below the pipe. Pieces of the abandoned building are scattered on the steep bank and below into the darkness of the docks below.

Mason slowly crawls up to the pipe. “Where is Carla?” Play curses in fear and frustration. Mason can only grunt and breath heavily as he climbs into the mouth of the pipe. There is drawn above as they can hear the mages above. He doesn’t hear everything clearly but appear they are sending in Deneith for them and everyone else into the city- Now.

Though he hopes she is alive, Play raises his voice at Mason but it is meant for the mages above. “Dead?!? How can she be dead? We need to get away now- The sewers?!? Really? Very well!” mason gives him a strange and confused look until he realizes that this is keep the mages from going after Carla and to concentrate on them as they hide within the mazes of the sewer.

They go deeper into the sewer and it begins to branch out. They stop for a moment. Play places his hand on his belt of holding- “Potion?”


Above on the outer edge of the besieged city- Zorlock d’Deneith has been drilling his men, The Blood Hunters. These men and women have been trained in the tracking down and killing of aberrant marked people. They are good at it and enjoy it. Zorlock especially whom has a deep hatred of the “mutations”
An owl flies over head and circles. He looks up and snorts. The owl comes down to land. It is a large and strong bird. No doubt bred and trained by House Vadalis. Zorlock takes a small tube from it’s leg and reads a magical command word printed on it. The House Sivis created magical scroll enlarges and unfolds before him. He reads it and gives an evil and sadistic smile.

It is time.


One hour later- Tarkanan sentries see large groups of movement. They are attacking!


Play and Mason are moving through the sewer slowly. “We need to go back for her.” Hisses Mason. He is frustrated and angry by the situation he finds himself in.

“Have some faith in her abilities.” Replies John Play. Mentally he hopes she is alright also. Play raises his hand. “Someone is here with us” whispers Play. The two of them sink back into the shadows. They have no lights, Play’s mask magically gives him the same dark vision Mason has naturally. They place a large open area between themselves and the pipe they used to enter the sewers. If using lights, the source will be easy to spot this way. And as such, they see a white and soft grey illumination entering the sewer.

“Deneith” mumbles Mason.

“Yup. Follow my lead.” Whispers Play.

The soldiers silently creep forward. They use hand signals to communicate. They barely make a sound as they move deeper into the drainage pipe. In the beginning, Play and Mason made no attempts at concealment. Their trail is easy to follow. The foot prints of dirty water and sledge show they went deeper- two persons. Large human and a very wide dwarven print. The female did not come in the sewers. They pass on word through simple hand motions. In the very back a large armored and cloaked figure also dressed in the customary Deneith red colors stands at the edge. Using the magical connection between a Cannith mage and this leader, the mages now know to search the docks for a body of the woman.

They move in slowly. The men are spaced out to avoid the worse of many area effect spells and to cover exits if need be. They are not making things easy for the two renegade aberrants. But Play tends to make chaos out of order. Mason, with no torch but purposely making some sound walks around the next corner hugging the wall. Everyone, though they cannot see him, tenses and focuses on him. At this point, Play, having used his spider climb potion, drops onto the leader with a surprise attack and clubs him hard.

Game on.

Play, concentrating on the strike slips on sewer sludge as he lands. Even strike unaware, the Deneith leader is quick to react and begins to strike Play. Mason, against his wants, uses his bow and strikes the lead soldier with two arrows. Play unleashes his recent training with the Tonfas and pummels the leader until he is down in a flurry of blows. The soldiers quickly split into two groups. Four rush into the sewer to reach and engage the dwarf and four turn and attack Play whom uses the defeated body of their leader to ward off the earliest of blows. Then he drops the body and introduces his magical Tonfas to the trained men. He drops two of them before they understand what they are dealing with. Mason fires off three more arrows. Only one doesn’t skid off into the sludge. He drops what he considers a stupid weapon and switches to his swords knowing the men will soon be onto them. The men are slow however as the one man with a torch has several arrows in his leg.

Both Mason and Play have dark vision and the soldiers do not. The battle is short from here.


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“My Lord! My Lord!” We are under attack from all sides!” Screams out a panicked elf with an aberrant mark on his left cheek.

“Calm yourself Caerun- What is happening?” asks Halas d’Tarkanan, The Earthshaker.

“House Cannith and Deneith are striking the docks and from the air. Elven assassins are striking from the north. We cannot defend many of these areas as people are very sick. They believe the water has been tainted- possibly by the halflings.”

“The docks? Carla is there.”

Another messenger appears. “Hextor d’Cannith has released new monstrous constructs onto the city. Several groups are down already.”

“The dock area….?” Asks Halas.

“Two of the constructs attacked Carla’s group. A building fell off the cliffs and……”

“Well?” Demands Halas as a tremor seems to sweep around the stone around them.

“She was last seen falling down the cliff. We could not spend much time looking for her in fear of the Cannith forces-“ He stops in mid sentence as the leader of the Tarkanan House stiffens and he sneers in anger. His eyes flare red and his Siberys mark grows warm. “Enough of this! Begone!”

There is a powerful magical explosion as three Aberrants face a small Cannith force protected by a few Deneith soldiers. Many are thrown to the ground. The Deneith soldiers are first to rise and look for survivors.

“The reports spoke of one gnome.” Reports one soldier.

“Yes. It was clear. Two elves and a gnome. All had influence over temperatures.”

“Then why do we have three gnomes?”

The soldiers come closer to look at the find. One gnome wears dirty and damaged leather armor. The other two, a male with dreadlocks and a female with a House Sivis dragonmark and scrolls and paperwork carried within pouches and straps.

“We will receive recommendations for freeing a House Sivis prisoner. Bring the others, their fate will be decided by the commander.”

Halas knows what needs to be done. He saw it when Carla betrayed his love and sought the arms of the time traveler. He can not defeat Cannith and the others like this. But with the artifact….. with the artifact he make a statement to houses and take as many of the house members with him as he can. And if Play dies….. so be it.


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“It’s crawling with soldiers!” Exclaims the dwarf.

“If fear this is the day.” Says Play with his head down. “The day the city is destroyed by one man.”

The two of them have been trying to reach Halas’ location for the past hour. It has not been easy. They have encountered several patrols. Most are Deneith non-marked members but some were Cannith and there was even one group of elves.

The dwarf stops running. Play slows then stops. “What is it?”

The dwarf looks hard at Play. “Rumor has it there is more you know about this time than you let on.”

Play waits for any further questions then begins to move forward again. “Halas…. He is going to destroy the city and everyone within it.”

They enter the inner sanctum of Halas and Play tries to open the secret door that leads out to the catacombs below. It has recently been locked and the stone warped. “Really?!?”

Calli d’Sivis awakens to find men dressed in the colors of Deneith carrying her and either dragging or prodding other persons including Glyder Freetime. “When…. When are we? She first asks. The soldier looks down at her in pity.

“The gnome is coming to…. and very disorientated.” He stops to let her down. “She doesn’t even know the time of day.” The other soldiers stop. One kicks a prisoner harshly behind his knees. “What did you do to her you aberrant dog?” The elf, with a bloodied nose and mouth only wishes she still had a use of her heating power over metal left. She would enjoy watching the Deneith soldier dance as the chainmail near his crotch was set to a very high temperature.

Calli’s head clears and she remembers. They in 1021 and jumped in time again. This is the time of the War of the Mark. Maybe this is when they left John Play here accidently twenty years ago. (time travel can be so confusing  )

She clears her throat and thinks of a spell to use. It’s time for her and Glyder to get Play.

Once more Halas d’Tarkanan finds himself in the large underground chamber with the mysterious floating rock. He has often wondered what was within it. His power over earth and stone says there is something within but is uncertain at what it is.

He circles it a few times then goes back to a large throne – like chair he had brought down to sit and study it further. On the chair is a rod covered in cloth. The artifact that greatly empowers a dragonmark- aberrant or “true”.

“I can feel the earth’s pulse just below here. There is power within this rock and below. With this artifact, I will also become a great power and show that the Tarkanan family is not to be trifled with. Cannith, Deneith…. Or Play.” His eyes flicker in red light and his Siberys mark begins to pulse. Soon the rod and marks pulse in unison.


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

Play takes a practice swing with his magical great club. The destruction shard within the handle should take the door down. Mason is not so certain. A thunderous crack resounds as he strikes the stone secret door. A second and third strike results in deep cracks.

“Did you hear that?” asks Calli as she helps Glyder up a set of stairs.

“Follow the sound. Anything that loud has to be John.”

The fifth strike tumbles the stone warped door. Play shakes and flexes his hands and arms. “Dwarves first…..” he says in jest and in a hurry. Mason frowns at the implication but hurries through with his two short swords drawn.

Red lightning crackles under the ground from the rod and Halas. The ground nearest the floating giant boulder is swelling. “Rise! Rise and show the houses who has the true power.” The Aberrant mark glows and seems to twitch on his skin. It pulses and at times seems to grow. If he is in pain, he does not show it. The chamber is becoming incredible hot. Again, it seems to not bother him.

“STOP!” Comes a shout from the entrance to the chamber. Halas turns with burning eyes. His teeth are grinding in anger.

“You! I should have known you would survive the House purge.” Growls Halas.

Mason stands beside Play in total awe and fear. What is this place and what is Halas doing?

“Put the rod down Halas. Please put it down. You have no idea what you are about to cause. It will destroy the city.” Plays pleads.

“Knees. Get on your knees. Bow before pure power. Bow before me!” He demands.

Play can’t help but to think this is not him. He must be possessed. Most likely this rod he found and uses to strengthen his aberrant mark over the earth. Play drops to one knee. “Please- you don’t have to do this. It doesn’t have to end this way. We can escape. Begin again.”

Halas listens but holds the rod still.

“Think of Carla…..”

“YOU TOOK HER FROM ME!” He snarls and energy ripples out and causes the Dark Lantern and Stone worker pain. “First her heart then her life! That alone means you must die time traveler!” More energy that is incredibly hot ripples out and slams into the two of them. Blood bursts from the nose, mouth and ears of the dwarf. Play clutches his head as the blood boils within his body causing incredible pain. The dwarf drops as if dead and Play can only scream.

Valis d’Phiarlan pauses over the now dead body of the aberrant marked woman. There is great power here. The kind he has not felt except when facing Dragons or the Daelkyr. The elven assassin and spy pinches a blue pearl earing. In elven he whispers- “Pull back. Something is wrong here. Do not alert Cannith or the others.” A vow long ago made against an evil constructor of golems with interest in things dark will come true tonight. Hextor will die along with his creations.

“Can you feel it? The pulsing of Eberron?” Asks Halas as the earth begins to crack and steam rises then an eerie red glow. “With the power this artifact is giving me I can control even Khyber’s power!”

“You’re losing it.” Spits out Play. He tastes blood in his mouth. He looks to Mason whom doesn’t move. He may be dead. “Now you have killed Mason. YOU. You killed a fellow aberrant marked brother.”

“Do not try to trick me. I have the power here- not you.” He declares. “All it will take is one more strike on this rock and will see what lies within. It has power. I can feel it. Combined with the rod and I will become unstoppable.”

He looks at Play and smiles. He slowly reaches back. The energy seems to draw into the rod- ready to be unleashed. He swings and there is an explosion of energy.

“This looks like his work.” Says Calli as she inspects the destroyed stone work door.

“We have to hurry. The time is near. Halas d’Tarkanan is about to destroy this city and give birth to what will become Sharn.” Says Glyder with a weak voice. The gnome is a pacifist. This running around dodging or fighting BOTH true blooded and Aberrant marked panicked people is hard on him. “We need to go down to the manifest zone.”

The dust clears. Halas was knocked to one knee but remains active. A twisted and insane smile remains on his face until he looks to what is before him. The rock was but a shell. Within it is a somewhat round Adamantine globe. It floats in the air still.

Play rolls over. Dust shifts over Mason’s face. He is alive but very weak. He looks at Halas and the new object before him. He suspects what is within the ball of strong metal.

“I suspect that with the blood of Khyber I can melt that metal to reveal what is inside!” exclaims the now power crazed leader of the Tarkanan family.

Halas reaches with his rod and the rubble shifts and burns away as molten material begins to rise like a snake.

“I never imagined he would have this much power.” Says Play to no one but himself. He feels totally powerless.

“Hurry! The power of Halas is building and I can feel the next jump coming.” Says the time traveler. Glyder and Calli try to hurry down stairs built by the goblinoid nation thousands of years ago. As gnomes, they must jump or hop more than run down. They have nearly tripped several times.

The stairs and walls suddenly tremble. “What was that?!? Calls out Calli.

“Halas is beginning to use the rod. He is about to open a portal that was encased within magical adamantine by dragons thousands of years ago. If he cracks it open- Shaarat the city will be destroyed. Combined with what he is doing to the lava flows below……” it is understood what he means- they will all die.

The heat is incredible as they near the bottom of the stairs. Red eerie light forces it way through the darkness of the underground. As they reach it they see Play and a dwarf. The dwarf lies still as Play seems to be in agony. Carefully the two gnomes peer out of the exit and see a dark robed man holding a rod. He is encased within a sphere of crackling red energy. A limb of pure unnaturally hot lava reaches up and probes a dark metal large globe that floats above the cracked ground.

“John.” Hisses Glyder. “John!”

Either he doesn’t hear him or he is too caught up in the moment.

“PLAY!” declares Calli with a magical voice that reaches Play’s hurting mind.

“Glyder! You Bastard! You left me here years ago. During the height of the damned War of the Mark!”

“Yes I know and I am deeply sorry. But we must go now.” And he reaches out with a shaky hand.

“But Halas is about to destroy everything!”

“Time can be tweaked but not changed. This needs to happen so that Sharn may be born. With the birth of Sharn comes the birth of Breland. Without Breland, the world would be a darker place.”

Play turns to him to either question his logic or his sanity but the gnome touches him while holding Calli’s hand.

The three of them disappear into time.


BARRAKAS 21 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“NO!” Screams out the frustrated aberrant leader. He watches as two unfamiliar gnomes, one a Sivis member, reaches into the room and touches a defeated John Play. In a pulse of energy and small disturbance in the dust the three of them disappear.

“I don’t know how yet- but I will have my revenge.” And he turns to his work and concentrates on the metal globe again.

Ripples appear on the surface as he begins to melt the adamantine cocoon. He doesn’t even see it but debris is beginning to shift, not from tremors but from a shift in gravity. He begins to rise as drops of molten metal fall off and drip. The drips are frozen in the air and begins to cool into pellets.

“Need more power…..” Halas concentrates and his dragonmark begins to pulse with new life. At times it seems to lift from his skin. “….more…. power…..”

“Halas…. What are you doing?!? You will destroy us all!” calls a familiar voice behind him. Without turning to look he addresses the new occupant.

“Carla….. come to see your love? He has abandoned you.”

“I came to warn you about the attacks. This is not the way. Please…. Stop it.” Carla d’Vadalis pleads.

“I am about to discover what is within this…. Stone…. Metal prison.” He says through gritted teeth.

“Play was right- you are mad.” She begins to advance into the room. Halas looks at her and sees what a mess she is. One arm seems broken. She is covered in blood, sludge and pieces of debris. One eye is swollen shut. She is missing a tooth. Her hair is matted down with blood. If it was from the fall, the Houses or both Halas no longer cares.

“PLAY!” He screams and the energy pulses wildly causing the metal to bubble and lose its shape even quicker. He gives her one more look and energy shoots out and slams into her. Wounds reopen and blood flows from dozens of places. “He did this! He took you from me. The Houses took my children but he took you.” The molten globe begins to turn slowly. Unseen by him, the ground glows and begins to puddle also. Lava’s glow shines from below. Just in check. Barely.

“That…. Damned …. Artifact….. it is driving you mad…….” Mumbles Carla as she tries to stand up right. Her boots smolder as she takes a shaky step forward. “It is …. Consuming your mind…..”

He floats freely into the air along with debris. Carla’s last step puts her into the air slowly floating towards him just before her collapsed. Mason’s body rises and begins to turn to the right….. as does everything within the chamber.

“It is power absolute! I will rule ALL the houses! Our brothers and sisters will know freedom!” He declares. I will have the power! You will return to me….”

“NO!” she says so sharply that he looks a bit stunned despite the power flowing about him as a maelstrom begins of energy, stone, metal, lava and a lone dwarf. “I was never yours! I loved you but not like that. You were my father. As your daughter I must ask you to stop before you destroy everything.” Memories of Play’s descriptions of the end of the city and war come to her mind. This is the moment.

She suddenly reaches out with her good arm and grasps the rod also. “You are like a mad dog Halas. You need to be topped…. Need to be put down. I love you……” and she calls onto her power. Vermin appears from the entrance, flaming vermin appear from cracks in the walls and floor. They are air born also- caught in the pull of the storm.

“You think you can take my power?” Halas becomes incensed with anger. “Do you have the will?”

“And then some.”

Everything seems to happen in slow motion. Energy flares as the power of the rod magnifies each of their powers. Lava begins to erupt from the shattered floor. Insects, natural and unnatural, appear. The globe trembles as the thinned walls begin to give. Halas reaches out with his free arm. He tries to push her away but scores of insects grasp and bite it. Their venom is like fire within his blood.

“AAAAARRRGH! How dare you use your mark against a fellow Tarkanan…. Against me!” Furious beyond reason…. He now reaches into his body to fully activate his mark.

Everything goes white…. The sound so loud it cannot be heard. Then it goes grey. Unnoticed by him, Mason had floated and spun near to him. The dwarf reaches out and touches Halas…. Releasing his own aberrant dragon mark. Halas is being turned to stone.

BARRAKAS 25 -1484 Pre Galifar time

“Report.” Demands Sult d’Deneith.

“Our men- all six divisions are dead or missing. The three sergeants are missing. Cannith is like wise devastated. Hextor and Fearloss are missing. All the mages are gone. We never even found an elven body so it is unclear what has happened to the Phiarlan family. A few of the Vadalis aquatic group members were found but severely burned from the blast of super heated gases.”

“Halas…. And his people?”

“We found a few bodies on the docks and outer most areas but they were all dead, either from the explosion or from our forces.”

“And the land….?”

“We do not have the arcane or planar skills to say sir.”

“Very well. You are dismissed.” The Deneith Commander looks from the safe distance across the Dagger River. Before is a dusty leveled city. A “U” shaped blast zone from deep in the ground has dug out most of the city of Shaarat. Instead of falling back to the ground…. The debris floats in the air above the ruins. Some larger pieces seem to be hundreds and in two cases thousands of feet up. “May the Six have mercy on our souls…..”

Eyre 20, 954

The Cannith miners have been working long today. Using magic and constructs designed to tunnel they are preparing to build a secret base under Sharn. They break into a pocket of stone half filled with lose stone, rock and debris.

“What by the Maker is this?” Declares the worker.

“Shaavat ruins” answers a co-worker nonchalantly. Seeing the confusion on the digger’s control master, he explains himself. “Word has it that when Halas Tarkanan ,” both of them turn and spit onto the earth, “destroyed the city in one final act of terrorism, some buildings withstood the blast. The forse of the blast filled these foundations with debris instead of it floating into the air to creat the islands above us.”

His co-worker looks at him uncertainly. It sounds so outrageous it may be true. They begin to dig out the foundation until the digger hits something very hard.

“Now what?” Grumbles the worker. They dig by hand to clear the debris and stop in wonder. A stone hand is sticking out of the dirt. It is grasping a rod with many stones on it. Also grasping the rod is a mutated hand, perhaps a celeste or gauntlet.

“Better get the boss.”

Dravago 7, 954

Disney d’Kundarak hurries along to keep with his teacher. He is uncertain why they were sent over night to Sharn. He preferred to travel by rail. Perhaps the war has shifted once more.

Whatever they are here for, it must be important. Suzzan d’Cannith is leading them. She is a top artificer and historian for the family whom has often answered to the Twelve. Word has it, The Twelve was the ones to call for the dwarven House of wards to come immediately.

They enter a cleared pit of lose debris. In the center is a draped cloth covering something about seven feet tall. The house leaders are speaking in quiet tones that Disney cannot make out.

The cloth is removed. “This is the petrified body of Halas. He holds a rod he presumably had used to destroy the Houses that surrounded him and the city.” The Cannith historian offers. “We are uncertain of the strange hand that also grasps the rod. It seems strangely insect like.

“So much for the rumors he caused the destruction of Cyre. What do you want of me? To free him from the stone?” grumbles the dwarf.

“By the Six- NO!” she exclaims. “He would destroy Sharn or another city.” She is visibly shaken by the thought. “We need him protected at all costs just to avoid that.”

The dwarf waits impatiently.

“Your family will be in charge of him and get him at Dreadhold.”


Wroat, Breland- Barrakas 10, 999

The homeless man sits quietly in the alley avoiding the late afternoon rain. A stray cat purrs as he pats it, stroking its back and ruffling its ears and neck. He used to own three cats when he worked for the merchant house. He is slowly becoming lost in nostalgia when there is a ripple in the air and a small pop followed by grunts and angry voices.

The cat springs away and hisses from the end of the alley. The homeless man looks at his lost new friend then turns to the cause. Two gnomes lie on the body of a man dressed in black leather and wearing a face mask. He is coughing badly. He demands the gnomes to get off of him and he rolls over. He spits out blood and looks like he is dying.

The gnomes confirm it.

“He needs a healer. Jorasco would be best.” Says the female gnome.

“Lets first find out when and where we are. I have another potion you can give him while I scout around.” The male gnome with dreadlocks smiles. He gives the female a potion and a soft gentle kiss on the cheek before disappearing down the other end of the alley. She grumbles something about hoping a “Play” will appreciate this as she cradles his head and carefully feeds him the potion. It is then she spots the witness. “oh- hello.”

“Where did you come from?” he stampers as he sits more upright against the wall of the alley. He is ready to bolt much like his cat friend.

“Sharn. Where are we?”

The man is reluctant to speak but then sees her House Sivis Dragonmark. “Wroat ma’am. We are in Wroat.”

“And when?”

The man now looks at her like she is crazed. He scrambles onto his feet and flees the alley.

“There are better ways.” Offers Glyder as he walks up behind her. She turns and sees he has bought a newspaper. “Summer of 999. Based on the shop signs I would guess Wroat. How is our patient?”

“I hate you guys” mumbles Play

Calli pushes his head off of her lap and it thuds on the dirt creating a grunt and moan. “sadly…. He will live.”


Sharn, Breland- Barrakas 11, 999

“It seems like just yesterday Sharn was destroyed.” Says Play as the boat reaches the docks of Sharn.

“Correction- The birth of Sharn. It was Shaavat that was destroyed.” Calli is quick to correct.

Play rolls his rolls and shakes his head in defeat. “So why are we here this time. And I do mean ‘time’.”

“I’m not sure. Not every time jump has a special meaning. Or at least one I am aware of.”

“Great. Now what happens if I bump into myself? Does the entire universe as we know it self destruct? Do we merge into one nasty looking glob of awesomeness?”

“Headaches.” Answers Calli looking at Glyder.

“Meaning….?” Begins Play.

“We traveled through time for twenty years before we ended up back in Shaavat to pick you up. In that time I met myself. I drank and drank heavily.”

“So you changed time?”

“No. I vaguely remember it. It was in 996. It unsettled me so much I got smashed and lost something to a less than handsome gnome named Quiver. Now that brings back memories.” She lets it quietly end as she thinks about her life. It is hard to believe what she has done to set time on its correct route. She hopes their son will do well in Zilargo about 3600 years in the past. To think, her child was the very first Dragonmarked in the world…..

An hour passes as they slowly wander through the city enjoying a nice day with no one hunting them down or trying to capture and study their powers. “I hope I didn’t change the locks….” Offers Play as he enters the tower where he lives. As he enters the lift, a man selling bread notes his arrival. Soon the Citadel will know John Play is back home. He has been missing for a long time and presumed dead.

Play gets off the lift with the two gnomes at the top floor for apartments. The upper floors are owned by House Jorasco and used for treating Breland’s war veterans. Not all wounds can be healed with a touch or potion.

The door opens and Play smiles. He is home. It is obvious he has not been home in a long time however. Fruit has rotted to a hard wrinkled prune. Light dust has settled on some items while the clean spell kept others free of settlements.

“Make yourselves comfy.”

Sharn, Breland- Barrakas 14, 999

After several days of rest and more healing potions Play feels much better. His ears no longer ring and when he sneezes it is not bloody. The thought of it saddens him. Mason, Carla….. even Halas…. Such a waste. Play looks at body. The bruises are mostly gone. The aberrant mark remains.

Mother…… she is alive and he still wants to find her even after all of these years in Shaavat. Life has not been easy for him. Sometimes he wonders why he doesn’t have a bed upstairs with men whom have lost their minds or worse- identity through their service with the Breland military.

Looking about he spots something on the shelf he had forgotten about. A personal note for Kim Elderich’s daughter.

“I’m going out for some air.” Play says as he walks by the two gnomes. Calli is reading a book from his personal library. She was surprised how educated he is…. Or at least pretends to be. Glyder was either snoozing or meditating. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

Play takes a skycoach to the tower where the Elderich family have a small mansion. He hopes she is in. He has not seen Dura is years (literally) and wanders what she is up to. He always thought she had that same mischievous mindset her grandfather has. There are no servants. The gardens in the front gate look neglected. But he spots someone in the window. Someone taller than a dwarf.

Sliding a Tonfa to his hand he goes to the door. He knocks and the door is answered shortly. Play is not prepared for what he sees. The door is answered by a human woman that is over six feet tall and very strong looking. Her square jaw suggests Eldeen heritage. “Is Dura ir’Elderich in?”

“and you are?” Demands the woman.

Play spots a strange looking warforged behind her. Gems are embedded in his shoulders and arms. “Play, John Play. A family friend.”


Sharn, Breland- Barrakas 15, 999

“I love Sharn and its protectors. Don’t get me wrong but I do love them.” Says John Play as he collects some meats, cheese and bread from the dinner table.

“But….” Asks Calli.

“But…. Whatever do you mean?” Play sniffs a spread she made for their lunch.

Glyder quickly makes his sandwich and ducks out of this conversation.

“You are the most insufferable sarcastic ass I have ever known. That is what. Just say it- we are being watched by the government. I have seen them also.” Grumbles Calli as she puts extra meat on her bread.

“I do live in a government owned tower. Its expected.”

“Not when the guards have tripled since we arrived and there to be a lot of need for flowers and other sale items by unusually fit and alert salespeople.

“John- It doesn’t take a time traveler to know you have a strange on-off relationship with the Lanterns. Maybe you should report in. Settle it.” Says Glyder whom quickly stuffs some bread into his mouth so that he cannot possibly add anything to his statement if asked.

“I don’t know…..”

“What is there to know?”

“So you suggest I march into the Citadel, go to the head of Sharn operations, and when he asks what I have been up to say “Fighting large black lizardfolk and spent several years in the War….. War of the Mark that is.”

Calli looks down to her feet. “Yeah….. sounds crazy…. Even for you.”

“Besides- would you want the Lanterns to know about Glyder’s gifts with time travel?”

“OKAY! You have made your point.” She spits out abruptly. The reporter in her wants to do something still.

“That said….. there is someone in the Lanterns I want to talk to. But I have to do it alone.”


“He rarely leaves the Citadel. He is their primary equipment guy. His name is Cue. Awesome half-orc artificer with a talent for potions.”

The gnomes agree to wait outside as Play goes to visit his friend. An hour passes before Play comes back. He is now carrying a bag that appears very full and heavy.

“Good visit?” asks Glyder.

“Very.” Says Play while shifting the weight of the pack on his shoulder. “The Lanterns of aware I’m back and that involves two Gnomes. Calli has been identified. You have not. It’s great to be home.”

“Is that all you spoke of?” asks Glyder in some surprise.

“No. Seems there is an increase of undead activity in the sewer. Lucian is investigating it.”

“Not your problem” suggests Calli.

“One of them is a vampire that resembles a woman I killed. She is asking about me by name.” Says Play frowning. “So it is my problem.”

Sharn, Breland- Barrakas 16, 999

John has just placed all of his assorted potions into his set hiding places after restocking his travel bag. He thinks long and hard about finding his mother and how is it Whitesnake yet survives. He gets up and goes to toss the empty bag onto his bed when he notes a weight within the bag. Turning it around and over he tries to find the weight. It is something within a secret pocket inside the bag near the bottom. Before he can further investigate he hears Glyder call out from the living room.

He grabs his travel bag and weapons. Glyder said this could happen. He has little control over the time jumps. When it is time he can feel it. So Play had to be ready to travel at a moments notice. He runs out into the room and Glyder and Calli are there holding hands. Glyder reaches out to him- “It’s time.”


Eldeen- thousands of years ago-

Explosions of raw magical energy erupt within the dense forest. Creatures of all sizes hiss and snarl at the attack from above the trees. A dark shadow is seen swooping over again and another bombardment of energy.

“It is clearing a point to land !” calls out a creature with snakes on its face. Others begin to scatter into the forest as the dragon forces burnt trees to collapse.

The huge red dragon flaps its wings causing the Bearded Devils to scamper or tumble into the woods. It reaches out with a strong and powerful talon and speaks one word in a strong language and sheets of ice burst between trees cutting off the escape route for the infernal creatures. The dragon then chomps down on a fleeing devil and chews it up before spitting it out onto two other trapped devils. “This war needs to end little imps.” Declares the dragon in draconic.

“By the Six! What have you landed us in Glyder!” curses Play.

“The war between the fiends and dragons it appears.”

Play glares at him. “You need to control that power of yours…. And fast. We have no way of fighting this battle.”

“Sometimes I appear somewhere just to observe so that I can understand things better at a jump not yet made.”

Calli curses now as flaming earth blasts over their heads. “Play may be right this time. We can’t stay here.”

The three of them crawl to their left trying to avoid detection and being caught in the battle. The ground trembles as the huge red dragon lands once more with a few devils under its weight. As scaly snake bearded devils charge from the shadows the dragon flaps its wings stopping their charge. A few come from behind the dragon. Its great tail whips about like an annoyed house cat and sweeps them away painfully.

There are several toppled trees creating a barricade. The three time displaced adventurers go there for protection and concealment. Play leaps onto the fallen tree and as he begins to step off notices they are not the first to come here. Three Bearded Devils are also taking cover here.

The surprised fiends exclaim in their harsh language something Play cannot understand. The two gnomes cannot vault over the tree trunks so they go wide away from the sounds of death and destruction. Three deadly looking halberds are leveled at Play and one creature continues to speak / snarl at him.

Play has not realized that they have never seen a human before thus he could be a threat- a new draconic weapon to use against them. “Point those elsewhere!” declares Play as he quickly thinks of a few ways to attack if necessary. They snarl in unison and poke in his general direction. “Fine.” Declares Play. Even as Glyder (whom speaks the fiendish language) calls to Play to not move, he attacks. The three halberds rise to intercept the Dark Lantern but he weaves through them and solidly strikes a fiend with his magical Tonfa (crit!). The gnomes are stunned. They hoped not to fight within a demon vs dragons war.

Spitting black blood and a once sharp tooth out, the leader motions to attack. Play dodges all but one blow. It burns as it embeds itself into a thigh. In response Play targets the noisiest of the fiends in hopes it is a leader barking orders and takes him down with two more strikes that hit as his other swings are blocked by the halberd. Glyder tries in to calm the fiends down using their language but it is too late. Calli pulls a predetermined scroll out of her vest and prepares to use it. Calli reads her scroll and a wind and snow seem to swirl up behind her and she reaches out and a blast of ice aimed to the side of the battle comes from her hand that is outstretched. The ground crackles from the cold and the bearded devil screams then falls – frozen inside and out.

The remaining wounded fiend sees this an knows- he backs up defensively then sprints into the dark woods.

Play lets it go to complain. “I had that demon!”

“Correction- it was a devil and just out of curiosity- do those two cuts burn?” grumbles Calli right back at him.

“Ah… yeah and bleeding really good. ….and a fiend is a fiend.” Plays attempts a feeble defense of his lack of knowledge of the creatures.

“Okay- what is done is done. We have this shelter, lets use it. Calli if you could….” And he motions to Play whom has received not one but two infernal wounds. The weapons are designed to rip up flesh so they bleed constantly and have a hint of infernal magic to make them resistant to healing.

Shortly they are still recovering and Gylder is recalling everything he can from his past visits to this time and research they are startled. The sound of combat comes closer and a burst of fire goes over their heads and shelter.



Eldeen- thousands of years ago-

The ground shudders as something lands close to their fallen tree shelter. It snorts and small flames roll out over the shelter once more. In draconic it snarls out- “what do I smell? This is no fiend….” Play barely understands the dragon and Calli is clueless. Glyder whispers to Play and Calli-

“This is a time where we don’t exist. There are dragons and fiends and only these two.”

“”Huh?!? Nooooo way. You can travel thousands of years?!?” exclaims Play in common.

A sudden explosion of bark and wood chips erupt as the dragon’s tail slams down onto the tree. It lifts it up and peers down like a survivalist looking for unknown food.

“What manner of fiend are these?!?” The dragon declares as it easily tosses aside the tree. “I sense magics on you…. And…..”

The dragon turns away quickly and circles around in a semi-circle. It is fiercely alert and obviously prepared for an attack… from the surrounding woods.

“If something startles it- can’t be good for us-“ Comments Play as he looks to the woods also. He spots several tall slender fiends with long horns and swords charging them. Their hooved feet lit the dry grass on fire as they rush forward. (think Brimolaks but stronger before de-evolution from dragon-fiend war) Another fiend teleports in from the opposite side and together they strike the dragon. As the dragon snarls and growls in pain it grasps its necklace of a blue swirled orb and mentally commands it.

“Uh-oh- time to leave guys.” Says Calli as she looks up and sees swirling dark clouds that glow from the inside as lightning grows within it. A sudden wind burst twists and uplifts smaller trees. One demon tumbles with the debris. Play grabs a root and hangs on but the two gnomes are blown away without a word or a scream.

The remaining fiends attack savagely, especially the teleporter whom stands on the dragons shoulders. Seeing the storm is coming too late to protect it, the dragon attempts to flee. This opportunity is all that was needed for the fiends to finish it off. A pain and angry howl comes from the dragon as it collapses. The winds begin to calm.

The leader stares at Play but speaks to his soldiers- “Gather any magics it has on it. Especially that orb.”

It more hopes than walks as it moves closer to Play. “What manner of draconic creation are you?”

Play, not knowing the language, shrugs and in common says- “How do you do?”

It holds the great sword up and glares at Play.


Something is forcibly entering Play’s mind and tearing into his memories.

Spitting a smoking spark to the ground, the leader nods his head. “Curious….. very curious.”

Play is dizzy from the incursion into his mind. All he can take from the encounter is the name- Dire Tongue.


Eldeen- thousands of years ago-

The three time travelers are under armed guards and placed in a sot filled pit. Though bruised and battered, the gnomes survived the wind burst and were easily taken by the fiends once the dragon and its ushered in storm died.

Neither Calli nor Play can speak fiendish Play suspects Glyder can. He notes how Glyder concentrates on the activity above- listening in on their conversations.

“Well?” asks Play. “What is going on?”

“They don’t know what to make of us. We are unlike anything they have seen before. Some feel we need to be destroyed immediately while others want to dissect us…. While alive. The one that took us in wants to know more about us first.”

“I don’t suppose you feel the need to get us of here back to our time yet?”

“No. I don’t see us doing much but observing with this jump.”

Calli remains quiet as stares at Play in quiet unhappiness.

“So- what is keeping us from running away?”

“Hundreds – if not thousands- of demons that know this area and time you idiot. For being so smart you talk a lot of garbage.” Snarls Calli.

Play looks at the gnomes. Calli especially. “You don’t like me do you?”

“Why should I?!? You are self-centered, irrational, impulsive and at times rude.”

“You left out my better qualities.” He says with a heart lighting smile. (lost under his mask)

“Quiet! Something is happening.” Declares Glyder. A rope made of course hair is thrown down into the pit. One by one they climb up and find themselves surrounded by what Glyder believes are the ancestors of the Vrock. Instead of feathered wings, they are batlike and the head is shaped differently.

They are brought to a tent made of recently fallen trees and brush. Several fiends stand watch at the opening. Inside, it is bare except for a torn and threaded rug, several large pillows, a tray of raw meats and some fruits on the edge of a table. On the table is a large map with several tomes. Reading these are Dire Tongue and a large snake-like woman, the ancient ancestor of a Marilith possibly.

Dire Tongue motions to sit and have food. The raw meat cannot be identified (though they are happy it cannot be human) and the fruit is aged and beginning to rot. If by age, neglect or the fiend’s very presence is not clear. Having not sat yet, Dire Tongue, in the fiendish language, requests it. Glyder nods to sit down.

“I am uncertain if you understand my position strangers. My people believe you either very dangerous or below our need to recognize. Food is a common thought with the toad men. I am more curious about what you are and how you came to be here.”

Glyder gives a quick recount of what was said to Play and Calli.

Glyder clears his throat and tries to respond. The language of the fiends is difficult for him to use. “We come far away and are lost. We wish you no harm.”

“Wish me no harm….. we have heard these very words before…. Centuries ago when the dragons first came to us as we reached the surface and began to settle.”

Glyder translates. Play listens but is checking out the weapons of everyone here and possible exits. Calli watches and listens as a Sivis gnome would.

“I believe the first dragon to venture to here was known as Drasslacktear. It was a very large dragon that was more heavily armored than his brothers- the chromatic and metallic. We called him an Iron Dragon based on the look and color of it and some of the metal allots we had long ago mastered under Eberron’s surface. But I degress…..”

With a nod, the reptilian creature slithers away leaving them alone. Glyder translates as much as he can while they wait for it to exit completely.

“The subject on hand is you. Do you understand this?”

Again Glyder speaks again. “We have no contracts with the dragons or your …. Peoples. We are looking merely to get home once more.”

“Home. Where do you call home?”

“That is complicated.”

“Oh? Enlighten me.” Declares the fiend as it pours something red into a cup.

As Glyder fumbles with his words carefully, Play decides to try something. He is wearing his psionically powered gloves. Mentally he reaches out to his hand… then his fingers to learn. Dark swirls of color move about within his mind. Images begin. He sees the two fiends talking there. He sees they are arguing and point outside of the tent. The language breaks up some but not completely. Play hears words of threats, dragons and magic. He hears of slaughter and freedom. Then he loses it as Glyder demands his attention.

“John! Stop. You are disrespecting him doing whatever you are doing.”


“The sword. It knows what you are trying to do. I not a bloody mage and I can see it is a powerful artifact. He asked me what you were trying to learn using your gloves.”

“What has…. How…. How to communicate better.” Play says quickly moving his hands away from the pillows and onto his lap.

“Keep in mind- Magic is the weapon of the dragon. Psionics are the growing power of the fiends. Don’t use either.”

Suddenly the fiend is alarmed. His large bastard sword begins to glow. “Dragons!”

“oh crap” says Glyder.

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