The Whispering Hills
Your adventure begins … in the floating sky castle of Zargon the Mad! You’ve stormed the Inviolate Fortress and cleaved your way through his Inexorable Legion. Haggard, wounded and exhausted, your spells and potions depleted, Kevon strikes the final blow to cast Zargon himself into his Ineffable Pit of Doom. As Zargon’s maniacal cry of “I shall return!” echoes off the black marble walls and fades into the void, the floor beneath your feet suddenly lurches. The powerful magic holding the stronghold aloft has been broken, and the entire castle pitches violently as it begins to plummet down toward the Starlight Sea. As you clamber for handholds on the tilting flagstones, your stomachs turn with the sudden feeling of weightlessness and the panic of certain death. Myassa loses her grip and slides screaming toward the lip of the Pit; at the last moment, Sora grabs hold of her with a grunt and pulls her back from the brink. There is only one escape – Zargon’s teleportation circle! Scrambling and clawing desperately, you fall into a pile within the circle of runes, and Yllastine recites the command words you’ve heard Zargon utter. You have no idea where the circle may take you, but in a few moments, anywhere will be preferable to here. The wind shrieks all around you as you glance out the chamber window and see the glassy surface of the ocean rising fast, too quickly ….
A flash of multicolored lights fill your vision, and your freefall ends abruptly as each of you lands with a thud on snowy, frozen ground. The shock of icy air after the balmy tropical heat of the Starlight Sea coast steals the breath from your lungs. After a few ragged gasps, each of you brush the fresh fallen snow from your eyes and collect your bearings. You find yourselves on a wintry forest ridge overlooking a low valley. A deer, startled by your sudden appearance, flees headlong into the woods to the west, kicking up clouds of pure white powder with each bounding step. Behind you, craggy mountain peaks tower into the swirling iron gray sky.
It’s not long before you each begin to wonder if you’ve cheated death after all. The extreme cold and the harsh winds of these foreboding hills begin sap the last of your strength; without winter clothing or spells to shield yourself, the fiery pain in your fingers turns to dull numbness until you can barely strike a tinder. You collapse one by one, an endless sleep threatening to take you, when you see a lone figure named Greybird striding through the trees …