A gnome awakes aboard a long boat. Looking around she sees only 3 of her crew-mates unconscious against the sides of the vessel. Groggily she moves to each checking and waking them. Their slurred speech and blind movements tell her that they are in about the same shape as she. Quickly though the fog lifts leaving only a dull thud of pain in each of their bodies and heads. Something is wrong though. More then just the missing crew, more then the hole in her head that refuses to explain how she got here or were the rest of crew is. There is another thudding in her chest, deep in her bones pulling her to the horizon. With no sense of direction in the mid-day sun, it is as good an indication as any on were to head. With desperate purpose they row…
A bear looks up from the stream of a local creek. His eyes scanning the horizon. It has been 6 months of walking and loping. Still it is there. The need to move. The drive to continue. The memories of his cave long behind him. He looks down to the Vercen eyes reflecting back at him. He stands in his now human form stretching and looking around. Wary of the sky above. Something is there.
The Crow catches the change and eyes the man bemusedly. He lands beside down on the ground near him and eyes him. A mysterious exchange of words of looks take place with the laughing crow taking flight once more.
A rustle of leaves and a slight breeze through the canopy is all that is seen of this moving leopard. A shadow on its way to the finish of a life quest. The joy of the swinging fills this small frame as it lands on a limb and looks around. A large crow descending from the canopy. Again the exchange happens and the crow takes off.
It isn’t till the next day that together the crow, the leopard, and the bear face each other. The pull of some unseen force driving them to each other. The leopard a small creature of the jungle far from his home. The Crow a trickster of mortals, revered and feared. The bear who walks with in nature not beside it. Each held something that caught the others eye. The sword, hot and unquenchable. The Winged blade thrown only to return. Finally the minds eye were all is revealed. Still though they knew their journey incomplete and so in their own way and silent they walk.
It was on this journey that the bear and the leopard faced the end of the world as they knew it. Though the bear wise in his ways knew it was but another land vast and deep. The leopard could not comprehend this. For him his jungle was alive, this world but a barren wasteland, but the ocean before him that spread out so abruptly from the cliff they found themselves on was the end. It was the land beyond. While they stood there in awe and fear, the trickster was to ply his art once more and with a leap off the cliff he was in the air over the end of the world.
The next thing to happen was somewhat unremarkable but equally strange in that he crow returned with fish from this land. A giant thing that was dropped at the feat of the bear and leopard as token of wisdom that life does indeed know no boundaries. While they themselves dealt with this knowledge the crow was at work.
Over the bay here the crow did fly. His form massive in nature with wings spanning 17 feet. His circled and below in the bay he noticed the people. It was in this bay that the city of Freeport lay. A convergence of Ralden, Vercen, and Mordrake land that met at the edge of the bay. There a free city with its own laws was erected. Even the secrets of fishing stolen from the orcs was being tested here for its own benefit. On the docks something caught the crows attention though.
It was here at the city of Freeport that the pulsing lead the beleaguered ship and the small gnome who was at the moment captaining it. Her three comrades working hard at the sail and ores to get them into the dock. Safe and secure she began to collect her crew and try to figure out what happened. Each of the men had the same story and could remember nothing. They had set out under Jarl Vorgtan to find the island of Dragons Teeth. The island that was rumored to be an ancient ruin full of vast riches and artifacts left by the God’s themselves. The next thing they knew she was waking them.
Her mind clear, though still in pain she could not understand how they managed to get to Freeport let alone everything else. She started to assess the damage on the boat and a commotion caught her attention. In the sky was a giant Raven. The symbol of Odin himself and it was plucking fish out the bay and dropping it on the decks of the two fishing vessels that Freeport had managed to cobble together after Jarl Marglan had returned from a campaign against the orcs with a captive eventually willing to share some of the secrets of the sea hunt. If that was not strange enough it eventually took an interest in her. The thudding in her chest growing as her proximity to the raven grew. She swore it was looking right at her as it past. Apparently so did a few others.
Three Odinist priests stood at the end of the gangplank once the raven had flown off to the bluff east of the city. Looking at her as if Odin had come down and kissed her himself. A dark feeling grew in the back of her mind as the crowd around the boat grew a little. One of the acolytes was order to the fishing boats and reluctantly left, but the look on what had to be the head priest was sure to be trouble. There is one thing an escaped gnome doesn’t need in Freeport is attention.
Having eaten and gathered their dignity a little more the Bear and leopard decided to pay the town a visit, and started their journey down. The town was about another hour down the coast. The raven having joined them again walked beside them with a quirky grin across his face. The concepts of boats and people going on the ocean was the subject of the talk between all three. More chatter then they had to date expended energy on.
It wasn’t long before that trouble found the gnome. No more then 30 minutes past staring down the Odinist priest resulted in the noticing of a contingent of Mordrakes making their way down the docks. There was what looked like a weaselly little noble between nothing less then two full knights in glistening steel full plate armor. Following them was a small group of men-at-arms. The crew looked out and sighed looking at the gnome words were exchanged and weapons were readied.
High on the hill this did not escape the notice of a certain Raven who had a certain gnome on his mind. The passing of her in that ship confirmed that it was indeed the gnome whom he was feeling that pull too. Like these other two up here she was important somehow. His eyes on the docks he noticed the glint of armor and the small group heading out. His experience and knowledge lead him to only one conclusion and his hands were moving in the summoning of arcane energies before he dived off to the water shape shifting arcane storm clouds following in his wake. It would not do to point someone out and not make an example of those who tried to steal her.
The noble approached the ship the Priests there looking warily at him and blocking his way. “Out of my way” was the threat and the Odinist knowing what was next met those word with his own. Though his rang out with power and a great wind struck the Mordrake group blowing away the Men-At-Arms but unfortunately not the knights or the noble. The Knights moved in and the one Acolyte found the path to his god quickly at the end of the Knights warhammer. Just then the Raven struck. Plucking the noble from the docks. His blade flying and trying to free himself in vane as the symbol of Odin carried him off to a rocky grave in the ocean. Left with the two knights the Priest was out matched quickly, but replaced just as quickly with Ralden steel moving to defend their comrade.
Seeing the Raven take off with such urgency and power both leopard and bear charged to the town. The leopard all most invisible to the gaurds who saw not but a small child in costume. The bear was detained though frustrated he assured the gaurds they would not cause trouble and in the city he went.
It was at this point that one knight found himself wrapped in Ralden flesh and nocked off the dock into the sea. The cold water quickly filling his steel frame and lungs as he plunged to the ground. The remaining knight squaring off against the last Ralden blockade to the gnome. All but the gnome was oblivious to the Freeport gaurds walking up behind the knight. A hefty mallet in his hand which connected soundly to the knights head. Like a sack of potatoes he fell and the Ralden steal was sheathed in gratitude.
It was at this point that the Raven landed on the mast of the ship. The wounded Odinist priest despite blood and pain was soon at its base in suplication. With a curious eye and a bent wing the gnome was offered the Raven’s back. Through the air they went to land in a clearing outside the town.
Having just got to the boat the leopard and bear cursed the Raven and with an eruption of power they took to the air on their feet. Running as if on ground they all chased after the raven. The Odinist Priest staring dumbfoundedly after them. It was in the Clearing that the ring was revealed to all on the gnomes finger. Each piece of the puzzle present as they all reveal the meteoric origins of their items. Though together the pulse to go west was still with in each now. West were an island awaited.