Flotsam

Prelude

“It is the space between everything.
It is the road that goes everywhere.
It is where you are when you aren’t anywhere else.”

Are the first words your newly awakened mind hears as you rouse yourself back to existence. The second thoughts that would fill your consciousness would be that you have been robbed of time, memory, and possessions. For this place you now find yourselves is an enigma, and those you share it with nearly as strange and unfamiliar.

All recollection of how you arrived here has been stripped from your minds, the wound left in the wake of your memories theft both gaping and raw. You remember performing whatever last actions you still recall, drinking a beer, going to rest at the end of a day, speaking with a friend. Then your next thoughts were in this place, stripped to rags and bereft of belongings.

Six of you fill the belly of this great scarred vessel, it’s mass shifting upon invisible silver seas, astral winds buffeting its sturdy stone frame. You find yourself manacled by forces both mundane and arcane, formidable iron chains holding you to grey stone seats. Thick worn stone rods piercing the sides of the ship held motionless in front of your chest. A torc of wrought iron covered in indecipherable runes tightly clutching your throat, lancing you with agony should your courage betray your caution and you attempt any magic.

Through small holes in the grey stone hull of the ship you can make out an unending space of silver light, and the occasional whirlpool of multihued color. Through these holes you can also make out vast prismatic wings sprouting from the sides of the ship.

A wizened old man, bent and decrepit huddles in a corner of the craft. Not chained to seats like you but to the side starboard side of the ship. The man mutters madly to himself and once more repeats the same three lines, his mantra.

“It is the space between everything.
It is the road that goes everywhere.
It is where you are when you aren’t anywhere else.”

If questioned for information he continues to incoherently mumble that mantra, and various other phrases that are meaningless without context. “Silver sea”, “it’s coming”, “ring in the sky”, are just what you’re able to understand.

((If you have a proficiency bonus for Arcana or Religion please message me.))

It is not long before you meet your captors. Gaunt and sallow creatures, skin pulled taut over bone. Cruelly they beat you with but the slightest provocation. Your job, you’re instructed in broken Common, is to push the rods before you back and forth horizontally. This in turn you see causes the great wings outside of the ship to flap, propelling the ship faster through that boundless silver sky.

Your captors all defer with great fear to an entity cloaked fully in black cloth, a mask of metal covering it’s face. It never speaks nor does it even acknowledge your existence, yet the creatures speak to it regularly.

And so you push and pull those rods, until the repetition of doing so becomes almost a mantra of it’s own. One could say that this was performed for days, or weeks, or even months. How ever as you soon learn, time does not seem to exist here in this place. For you never have need of food, or drink. Neither do you notice of any growth of your hair or fingernails. In fact, any natural metric for the passing of time is thwarted by this place.

However, rest is still required as you find the act of pushing that rod to be exhausting, more so mentally than physically strangely enough. And it is through your rests that you mark your own personal passage of “time”.

It is after your 20th or perhaps 30th such rest when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan.

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