2- Eyes to the Sea
The leaders of the Wayfarers Brotherhood -- Morden Rasp, Nedaria Debeian, and Tondal Di'Xevar -- stood together in the East Commonlands tunnel, looking over the heads of jolly Wayfarers Brotherhood initiates to where Calliav sat quietly in a darkened corner with his back to the commotion. For days, Calliav had been fiddling with a stockpile of mystical gems and stones that brotherhood members were turning up. For the past few hours he had been arranging the gems and stones in runic patterns all about him and mumbling incantations like none had ever heard.
"Calliav sure 'as been quiet of late, ain't 'e? I wonder what's goin' on in that wild mind of 'is, hm?" Morden said as he glanced from Calliav to his closest friends who stood facing him.
"He is greatly troubled Morden, but he's also doing his best to find us answers...even though we already know some answers he seeks," Nedaria's eyes turned to the floor as she uttered the words.
"Now Nedaria, chin up, eh? The time will come for us to tell Calliav more about ourselves, but for now we must focus on these tales and visions of peril that 'e keeps spoutin', hm?" Morden suggested as he rested his scarred right hand on Nedaria's gently sloping shoulder.
"Morden, my logic tells me that Calliav must be going mad again. That side of my mind just can't fathom that we are in any great danger," Tondal paused a moment before he caught Morden with the intensity of glowing violet eyes. "But, I confess, my heart tells me that all he says is true. It also tells me that Calliav and this unseen foe he speaks of are what brought us together in the first place."
"Aye Tondal. I know ye are a big believer in fate. I won't dismiss what ye say, but I think we're best of friends because we have like hearts, not because of grand design...but then, perhaps I'm more salty than I ought to be, eh? I been thinkin' there's a brambly path ahead of us, me friends, but I 'ave no doubts that we'll find our way if we stay true to each other, hm?" Morden grinned in his usual optimistic fashion.
It was then that a blinding flash of blue light filled the tunnel. A shockwave of magic followed it and blew everyone off their feet. In an instant, Morden, Nedaria, and Tondal found themselves tangled together on the tunnel floor next to a wall.
In the aftermath, an eerie quiet saturated the tunnel. Soon after, groans echoed throughout the caverns as everyone gathered their wits and stood up, all eyes reflecting confusion and concern.
Suddenly an agonized cry broke the stillness. It was a familiar voice.
Morden was on his feet and moving before anyone could discern the source of the pained wailing. He was running toward a faint glow at the back of the tunnel. It was Calliav.
As Morden approached, his jaw dropped in surprise and horror. An eerie light pulsed out of Calliav's skin as he lay writhing on the tunnel floor.
"NEDARIA! Get over here please, NOW!" Morden yelled. It was seconds before Nedaria forced her way through the growing crowd of onlookers.
Nedaria stopped still when she saw him.
"I've never seen anything like this Morden. Ever," she said, as she started to kneel next to Calliav, afraid to touch him.
Calliav shuddered and choked out some words.
"What is it sprite? Are ye alright? Ye look a darned mess mage," Morden said, trying to lessen the biting mood of fear in all of them.
"I've seen... ahh... our... path. You... mu... must... build... great... sh... ship... bigger... biggest... all of Nor... Norrath must... make a journey," Calliav curled up and coughed. The magical light from his flesh began to ebb some.
"A ship? What is this? We've already got the Thorn of the White Rose, me friend. Why would I need another?"
"Trust in...me. I have seen what we... must... do. We are making... a... journey... as one... west... one purpose... all must come together. Please... we must... be... quick... doom... death..." Calliav's voice trailed off and his eyes rolled back. His body went still.
Nedaria forgot her reservations and bent over Calliav, resting her hand on his forehead trying to read or sense what happened to him. As she focused her mind, her eyes shut so tightly that deep wrinkles carved into her weathered face. Tondal pushed his way to where Nedaria and Morden stood, his eyes settling on them both, flickering with worry.
Nedaria's voice was muddled and trembling as she spoke from under her robe's hood, still crouched next to Calliav.
"He's gone. He's drawn within his mind, I believe. I can't reach him and I doubt anyone can. I must say, I do not know what to make of this at all, except one thing Morden," she stood up and faced Morden and Tondal. "We must do as he asked."
"I won't question ye Nedaria. Not now. I've not seen anything like this meself," Morden stated firmly. Tondal nodded as he rubbed his aching shoulder that had slammed into the tunnel wall with the blast of magic.
Just hours after Morden put his adventurers to task, Wayfarers Brotherhood scouts returned to him with a perfect location to build a ship. Morden had made it clear that the Wayfarers Brotherhood wouldn't be building just any ship, but one as big and as beautiful as any of Norrath's cities.
Not fully understanding the purpose of his new ship, Morden felt he should spare no expense. He put out a call for the best and brightest of Norrath's engineers and shipwrights to be ready.