2- The Rainkeeper

Karana sat quietly contemplating the recent turn of events. His head and his heart had been tormented for some time, mulling over the possibilities that lay before him. He had largely avoided directly affecting the destinies of mortals in the past. Even the influence of Bertoxxulous on his namesake plains on Norrath did not draw any action from the Rainkeeper. This is somehow different though. The influence of the pantheon has already reached far beyond any bounds they reached in the past. But of course, the birth of a new demi-god would have that effect. Karana could feel the inevitable tugging at his being toward intervention. But the Rainkeeper does nothing out of reflex or rage. This problem must be meditated upon before any sort of action could be taken, and time was something he had plenty of for the moment.

Karana called out to his faithful servant Askr. Askr had been Karana?s companion ever since he washed up on the shores of Larquin in the Plane of Storms. It was rare that a mortal would survive any sort of terrestrial storm that was strong enough to open a rift to the realm of the Rainkeeper. Rarer still that he would retain his mind and body so well as Askr had. He remembered little of his existence on Norrath, but knew the name of the Rainkeeper and had served him well over the last hundred years. Karana handed Askr a great medallion. He hated to distance himself from Askr this way, but there was no other way to achieve the state of deep meditation that he would need to see the ramifications of his decision. Without a word Karana raised his staff into the air and summoned down a great lightning bolt. The Rainkeeper disappeared in a blinding flash, leaving only Askr standing silently at the base of the towers of the Bastion of Thunder.

Askr stood there for a moment quietly and looked down at the medallion in his hand. ?There can be no good to come of this,? he whispered. He then turned to look up at the raging winds surrounding the Bastion. They already seemed to swirl faster, unbridled by the presence of the Rainkeeper.

Karana entered his study quietly and sat down on a large oak chair. His meditations had not gone well thus far. The rifts to the mortal realm that had been created settled heavily on his conscious, clouding his clairvoyance and darkening his insight. The future was entirely unclear to him for the first time. He found it unsettling. He stood and walked over to the shallow pool in the center of his study and felt the stiff breeze and cool rain that blew in from the open ceiling. He sat down in the quiet water and drifted slowly into a fitful trance. His mind drifted at first slowly across the dark clouds that hid the future from him, but gradually picked up speed as his senses grew accustomed to navigating the darkness. He drifted through the clouds now at a blinding pace. Visions of the past raced by, partially hidden by the darkness of the clouds, mixing endlessly with portraits of the infinite futures that might exist. He could feel himself losing some of his control on the path he was taking. He tried to slow his descent into the darkest parts of his mind but found himself hurtling ever faster into the infinite darkness. He looked down, trying to focus on something, anything discernable from the chaotic swirl of his memory. Finally one thing began to coalesce from the swirling storm around him. First the outline of a single pair of eyes, then a nose, then a great white beard solidified before him. The enormous face began to laugh as Karana?s consciousness started to understand the vision below him. Just as recognition met with consciousness the great face flew up and consumed the screaming essence of Karana?s mind, leaving nothing but the jaded, sneering face of Agnarr behind?