This world is not ours.

For thousands of years, we have walked the surface ignorant to this fact. Civilizations have risen and fallen. Entire peoples have come and gone. New lands discovered and claimed.

We look up and say the Gods watch from above. We look down and know that great Evils wait for a way to rise up. But all the while, we rest in between, on our home. Our world. Safe from the madness of the worlds above and below.

Yet we delude ourselves.

More than half of our world is cut off by a wall of unyielding magic. This Great Wall, rising from the very bottom of the seas to the top of the sky, has existed far longer than any of the mightiest civilizations. None have seen the other side. All that have seen it have wondered what lies on the other side.

But we know what lies beyond.

We have studied it from afar for six hundred years. All the while, we were being studied. Studied until one day, They came to us.

The world is not ours. They have been here since the beginning. They are why the Gods stay in their skies. They are why the Evils cower below. They own this world, and all the Planes know this…save for those of us here.

But ignorance and arrogance must always end.

They came to us for a reason. They saw our potential.

And so we do as They have instructed. We prepare. For the Time is coming. Soon, They will return for the rest of the world. Soon, They shall reclaim it all.

 

 

Pel closed the book and looked up at the night sky to clear her head. That was the first time the words within the book had not read like some kind of jumbled code. Instead, it was the ramblings of madmen, followed by pages upon pages of odd runes and then nothing for over half of the book.

It would all be different when she opened it again, of course.

The four of them had been traveling north for the past five days, hopefully nearing some kind of village soon. Each time they stopped to rest, Pel opened the book again, hoping to find some clue to what was hidden within. Now it had told her something. In many ways, nothing she had just read was terribly new.

It was, however, disturbing enough. As maddening as the words were, she knew that far more dangerous things must be hidden behind whatever spells protected the tome. Those ancient creatures would not be so afraid of it otherwise. And yet they still had not come for it.

Pel’s eyes scanned the grassy landscape around them as the others slept. A few nocturnal birds flew above the patches of trees in the distance. There were hints of movement off to the east, too. Probably some small predator out hunting. Nothing out of the ordinary. And likely nothing to worry about, though she made a note to keep an eye that direction.

But from far away, something else was watching. And it was patient.