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Journey to Sonoma:The Strange Gate

Sapsar walked through the hilly countryside that was her home on the island of Ocllo. With Jett helping her family, winterhart out exploring the new lands, and Tiana secluded away somewhere, she decided to walk a bit and think. The knighting had been a great experience. Hearing again the oath of a knight of KEF gave Sapsar a feeling that she was not done, as she had thought after the guild here in Britania was established and flourishing. Restless she had not payed attention to where she was heading and all of a sudden a light before her flashed, like that flash from a shield when the sun glinted off it just right. Cautiously she went through the thicket ready to defend herself if the need be. the light glinted again and she cleared the next rise and to her wonderment it was not an enemy but sometype of moongate. Though the gate was neither red or blue but brite as the sun reflecting through a cut piece of clear gem. Not even hesitating she approached the gate and saw no one hiding around it. Smiling to herself she took a deep breath and stepped through.....

On the other side she came out into a quiet city, one she recognized yet knew it was different. Moonglow the city of Honesty. The city she knew was full of people hustling and bustling around, the city guards patroling the banks and the counsel of honesty which she was apart could usually be seen conversing with the local populace....but this was not the same, it was quiet, the streets were clean and clear. "Hmmm," she thought as she investigated further by entring the counsel's chambers. The chambers were empty, no tables, no library, no board posting the latest bounties on the heads of murders and theives. "This is strange indeed." Knowing that Moonglow held the Lycenium where all knowledge in the lands was contain she quickly entered the maze and teleported there. There she found mages and scholars quietly doing research and approached one.

"Excuse me sir, I was wondering if you could help me with something that is quite puzzling indeed," knowing that scholars love puzzles she knew they would jump at helping her.

"Oh yes what is it," he replied, as he quickly signaled the nearest collegue to listen in.

Sapsar related all that had happened to her with as much detail as she could.

"ah," replied Greagory, "this is not the land you were in before entering the gate in fact Master Neary has been working on a spell to create a gate just like the one you described."

"Not the land I was in?" Sapsar asked perplexed at the casual answer. "This is exactly like the land I was in but everything seems different somehow."

Smiling with that smile scholars use when about to extol the simplest things to the hard headed student, Greagory replied, "Have you never read the history of this land about the fight with mondain that shaddered the crystal into shards where the worlds were exact copies of each other?"

"yes, but I thought travel between them was impossible. Infact I had thought the history was like the tales a parent tells his child at bedtime," she admitted.

"No Mylady you are standing upon one of those other shards of that same crystal it is known by some as Sonoma."

"But how will I return to the world I came from?"

"Master leary might have found a way and you my dear lady probibly were the first to enter his gate. He is away from us at the moment but, was supposed to be back in a few days. You are welcomed to stay in the quarters we have set up for visitors if you'd like until he returns."

Sapsar thanked him and decided to explore this world a bit longer.

It was very strange wandering around in a land the same yet different from that which she had came from. She met many of the citizens and traveled through to different towns. She spent a day looking over the guild rosters held in the library. On one of her days excursions on the island she met a bard named Isha and a mage named Polgara who invited her in their home and asked about where she came from and was especially interested in the Knights of KEF.

After five days she returned to the lycenium and finally spoke to Master leary who had indeed cast a spell that opened the gate which she had gone through. He was excited to say the least and began telling her about how the spell twisted the fabric of the shard to creat the gate. Sapsar a mage in her own right was fascinated by his theory. After what might have seemed like hours to others, though minutes to the two mages, Sapsar took her leave with a new spell and a renewed sense of purpose.

Isha extended her home to Sapsar and any other knights that wanted to visit and tearfully said goodbye hoping their new friend would return one day.

Sapsar entered the gate exhausted after casting such a grand spell. She got home and imediately penned a missive to aluric and sent it to him with urgency. The lady fair who had been staying at the house entered just as she finished, with Sir kelvar and Sir Ruddack in tow.

"There ye are sis I was wondering where ye had been off to."

"Sis you would not believe what happened to me.........."

Fair could see that something both exciting and strange had happened to Sapsar. She looked exhausted but had a glow about her that just radiated.

"Sapsar, please sit by the fire and catch your breath. Do tell us what happened to yee."

Fair sits and listens as Sapsar recounts her adventure to a new land.

"So the tale of other lands is true. My what a glorious day this is Sis! I would ask that yee teach me this spell or show me the gate so that I to may go and visit this land with yee. I'll start gathering some supplies in the morn and we can make the necessary other preparations to travel to this new place."

Fair is so excited she is just bubbling with energy. She starts going through her pack taking note of the contents. She then heads toward her trunk to look for a few more things she would need for the journey.

Stopping in mid stride across the room, she turns and looks at Sir Kelvar and Sir Ruddack. "What do yee think M'lords? Will yee be coming on this adventure?"

It had been a profitable and quite enjoyable day. I had provided escort to Fair along with Kelvar. We had driven the orcs we came across before us like so many quail. Now as we arrived at Sap's house where M'Lady Fair was staying, I was about to leave when Sap appears, she had been gone some time and Fair was glad to see her. The two of them began talking excitedly and wandered away a bit as they talked. It seemed Sapsar had found a portal and gone adventuring to a land not unlike this one. A risky thing and dangerous this type of travel was at best. As they talked my alarm grew, they were planning to return the next day? Madness!! (I thought ) but knowing these two women well I knew better than to utter those words aloud ... heh Concern gripped me and as they talked I saw I would be powerless to sway their minds. But what to do, I could not allow these two to make such an excursion without a strong sword arm at their side. I had in fact sworn at my knighting to M'Lady Fair that my arms would always be there at her call. I would without a moments hesitation do the same for M'Lord Hammer, Trigg and Silver or many others of my brothers and sisters. As she approached I listened well and her words made my decision.

I will go and advise my man Woody as he will remain. I would let it be known my ties here are very strong and I am torn at this decision., aye, I will need return often ... I will not cast aside those brothers and sisters that I know here. But I do this gladly and with the true spirit of adventure. The Flame burns pure in this heart ... a Vagabond again I guess..seems to be my destiny..

...is to help those in need.

Ruddack AU'Banon
KEF Knight of the Sword
The Vagabond Knight

The tale I have just heard is a strange one indeed. Another land? Like this one, but different? How can that be? This is either a hoax or ale is the true teller of this tale. But Lady Sapsar has never lied nor fibbed to me before. Come to think of it, I've never seen her partake of strong drinks.

A similar, but different land. This does sound interesting.The Ladies seem eager to go to this place. Sir Ruddack is going along to protect them, although I know him to enjoy an adventure as much, or even more, than the younger lads.

I, myself, am curious now. I have been throughout the land, (this land), and seen many sights. Could there be another land beyond this one? If so, I would certainly like to see it. Is there another me there? I should hope not. I've been told before that one of me is enough. But to see new places would be exciting!

Now I am feeling that old adventuring spirit within me come alive again. "I will come along" I exclaimed. "With Sir Ruddack looking after you Ladies, who will look after Sir Ruddack?" I mused.

After the punch to my chest by Sir Ruddack, to let me know he is capable of handling himself, I picked myself up off of the floor I added, "Sir Ruddack's back. Who will watch your back?". He smiled and said, "Sorry, I thought I saw a spider on your tunic." With that, everyone started laughing.

I asked, "When would we leave? How long would we be gone?" Sapsar replied, "We leave soon. It is an adventure. It will take as long as it takes.". I think to myself, how I wish I could understand the way these mage types think.

"Ok. I will come along.", I said. "I would enjoy seeing a new land. Since I carry my world on my back, I am ready."

Fair Star chuckles as she continues her packing, Ruddack departs to take care of some quick business and Sapsar stands by the door with a smile on her face that a titan couldn't remove. I start to sharpen my blade in anticipation of the unknown.

Sapsar finished getting everything she thought she would need for the journey and returned to the house where the others were waiting. She left a note to Winterhart to take care of the house and stating she would return occasionally to make sure everything was okay and to visit her brothers and sisters. Just as she was about to walk out the door, a messanger came with aluric's reply. Not sure she wanted to read the missive, but knowing she must before she left, she slowly broke the central office seal. A big smile crossed her face. She passed the scroll to Fair and the others to read and picked up her bags again.

"I guess thats it," she said locking the door and placing the key in her pack. "Are you sure you want to take on this adventure?"

The others all nodded and were eager to leave.

The spell for the gate was time consuming, but she had figured a way to anchor it so that a small spell would open and close it on both sides allowing for all of them to travel between the different shards without much trouble. "I hope this works, I will go through and come back to see if it does, if not Ruddack and fair can cast the spell to open the gate again."

She walked into the gate and arrived in the town of moonglow waited a few minutes and cast the spell she had worked out and the gate opened again and she stepped back through. "yes!"

Instead of an excited reply when she came back through, the others were in a conversation with someone....who is...."Gandy!"

"Hi bro what are you doing here?"

"I was exploring and happened upon all of you. I hear your off to another world thats like this one, though I should say that sounds rather odd. Would that I could join you? I have all I carried in this land with me, if so I am ready to go."

"Well bro you are welcomed to join us though I am not sure what effects the gate will have when we cross over, we may be as we were the first time we traveled to this land."

"bah! Though I hate feeling like a new pup I am quite used to it by now, lead on dear lady."

We entered the gate and spent some hours with the banker before we headed off to Isha's House to see if she would be interested in selling it. She laughed at the suggestion and turned the house over to the knights with a smile and said, "You are all a welcomed addition to our land and if you don't mind me taking a small place up in your new abode the house is yours as a gift. No don't bother arguing with me, Polgara has spoken about nothing since you left except how you would bring this land something it needs. She even left for a few days to study with Freiderick cause she wanted to open a gate to your world again and beg you to come and stay. So, what I would ask in return for the house would be that you somehow make a place for her in your guild that she may help you all."

"That we can do," Sapsar said, noting she was a very good inscriber and just what they would need. Turning to Ruddack who was being pinched by Fair and looking very uncomfortable, "I think that can be a good exchange don't you bro?"

"Oh, one other thing," Isha said with a smirk before Ruddack could reply, "If I were you I'd keep the house clean around Polgara, she has a tendancy to use a little flicker of lightening in the right spot when you don't."

"oh brother!" was all that Ruddack said and turned to pick up the bags he had dropped on the floor. "Are you sure we can't give you something else in exchange?"

"Ruddack!"

"Okay Fair, its just with Sap's frying pan and polgara's lightening I am going to have to live in a full suit of armor!"

Kelvar and Gandy both stood by the door very quietly, looking as if they wanted to say something, but decided they would let rud handle it, after all he is the one carrying the stash of ale.

Sapsar said, "Well I feel like a youngin again guess we better start with getting everything in order. Why does this always entail Paperwork!"

Laughing they all got settled and started to set about a schedule for training, exploring, and the dreaded paperwork. Fair and Sapsar let the guys hash out the training while they sat together figuring which one was going to follow them to the shops to carry all the packages back.

Pyrite Stonefist pulled out a dirty old rag and mopped his sweaty brow. "Bah! Ah'm too old ta be gallivanting cross the realms like dis. Where'd ye say we're headed to Antonio?"

"It's another world very similar to the one you know here," Antonio replied. "Several KEF have decided to explore this new world and start a KEF outpost. I talked with Kelvar and he asked me to join them. Osprey has been off exploring other worlds, and now it's my turn. But I can't do it without you old friend, that's why I asked ye to come along."

"Yeah right! Ya just want me ta be mining 'n smithing, chopping 'n fletching for ye all day long same as I hafta do for Osprey here. What's in it fir me?"

Antonio still had no answer for this question. He babbled out what he could, "Well… uh… it's a chance to explore… uh I mean you can see new things and uh…"

"Forget it! Ah know ye don't have a good answer, but dat don't mean ah plan ta let ye go alone." Pyrite grumbled under his breath and mumbled, "Ye got a hankerin' fir adventure, but ye'd prolly go off'n get yourself killed on yir own. Need someone watching ye're back and no ones stronger than 'ol Pyrite, no sir. Ya know ah used ta adventure too when ah was your age?"

Antonio laughed and shook his head, "Yeah I know Pyrite. You've only told me about 1000 times…"

Not listening Pyrite continues, "Ah killed a thousand ettin wit me warhammer when you were just a glimmer in your mother's eye." Antonio cast a dark glare Pyrite's way and the old man caught himself, "Oh sorry 'bout that, ah know you don't like talking about dat… too bad ya don't know who she is, or was."

Antonio sighed silently and continued on. "We're almost there. Kelvar told me how to open the gate, I just hope it works."

Pyrite scratches his beard and thinks, "Ah thought Osprey was da mage 'round here? Ah seen ya cast plenty 'o healin spells, but I reckon I ain't seen ya cast anyting as complex as dis. Ya sure you can pull dis off boy? Ah'm gonna be awful ticked if'n yur magic turns me inta a hornytoad or sumpin."

"Relax, I'm a fine caster in my own right, Osprey has taught me well." Antonio gulps and says a quick prayer to Tyr hoping he's right. When they finally reach the spot, Antonio pulls out the small piece of parchment given him by Kelvar. On it are Sapsar's instructions for opening the portal between the parallel worlds. He reads them over and then folds the paper back up and puts it in his pouch. He pauses for a moment to concentrate, then casts the spell.

The golden gate opens before them and Antonio takes a brief look at Pyrite for confirmation before taking a deep breath and stepping through. As the two enter, the colors of the gate flicker briefly… something seems wrong. Inside both men feel as if they are being torn apart, and put back together. The gate is sapping their strength, pulling at their life strings, stretching them and then smashing them back together… but eventually they emerge from the void. Antonio falls to the ground on his hands and knees and gasps for air, he looks around him and sees Pyrite at his side. Though he and Pyrite both seem very weak like a part of them was left behind, everything else appears to be the same as when he left, did the gate even work?

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