Mar 2 2001 12:19PM
Amidst piles of books, faintly scented by mildew and strange concoctions, Gilforn sat confounded by his lack of success. Idly spinning a mandrake root, he stood looking at the empty space where a facet gate had been. At first he thought he had finally done it. He could see Felucca within the dim purple glow of the gate. He flipped over an hourglass and waited. Right on time it closed and all that was left was nothingness. Offering a sigh and a curse to the Virtues, he turned and began his research anew. He would create a permanent facet gate or else waste away trying.
Gilforn was the foremost authority on Gate travel and teleportation spells in the land. He had written many works including "The Definitive Gate" and "Gate Travel and the Modern World". He was most notably known for his achievement with local teleporters. The Moonglow town teleporters and the similar ones found in J'helom had baffled most modern mages for some time. Gilforn was able to find out how they were crafted and duplicated them. You can see some of his handiwork in the mage shop in Moonglow. The ill-conceived design of that building required some teleporters to ease the flow of shoppers. Also many other congested areas around the realm had called upon Gilforn to implement similar local teleporters to make the common man’s travels a bit easier.
Still, even with that accomplished, the discovery of facets and the accompanying facet gates fascinated Gilforn. It was a fairly simple thing to open a gate and step through to the apothecary down the road, but to be able to step through a gate to another world? The only other instance of this was the now almost fabled Siege Perilous gate that brought the stranger to Sosaria to defeat Mondain. Gilforn had petitioned Nystul endlessly for the books regarding that gate’s creation. Finally Nystul came to see Gilforn personally, to assure him that any record of the methods employed to create that gate was not to be found. Gilforn had publicly stated he believed Nystul to not be telling the whole truth of that matter. However, the facets gates were truly real and required no skill in magic to employ - only a single 'moonstone'. The stone, once placed on the ground, simply buries itself and a facet gate is created to the exact location on the opposite facet. These moonstones began to appear once Minax had arrived in Britannia. It would seem she came from her own facet and her entry into our facet some how spawned the creation of these objects. The horrid-smelling little headless creatures seem to collect these moonstones as some sort of status symbol, or so it has been speculated.
Gilforn had been studying the old texts on the creation of the local Moongates. They were permanent; their destination shifting with the phases of the twin moons that orbited Sosaria. He had tried every conceivable combination of Moongate magicks and Moonstones he could muster and still he could not open a permanent gate. In fact he had injured himself in one attempt in which the gate opened and exploded in a burst of energy.
He began to open his texts again when he realized the lateness of the hour. Instead of continuing his studies, he headed to bed for a much needed rest. He quickly succumbed to sleep and began to dream.
A clear night with a crisp wind blew across Gilforn's face. It was the Moonglow town center. The stars shone brightly only to be outshone by the twin full moons. A wisp appeared and seemingly beckoned Gilforn forward. He followed. South through the metal gates down the road to the Moongate he followed the glowing Wisp. Then, quite suddenly, it was gone. The gate was somehow different looking. It pulsed with a different glow. One unlike any he had seen before. Almost unnoticed, darkness crept in all around and a chorus of voices spoke.
"you have worked hard friend. your efforts will not be in vain. look upon the gate and see..."
The wind whipped harder as Gilforn starred into the swirling gate.
"Who are you and why do you disrupt my dreams with this strange vision?"
"we are wise. we seek to help."
"see what you have not seen. find what you seek. we offer it freely."
This stirred Gilforn from his gaze. Being ever the cynic, he responded, "Nothing is free. With what cost does this knowledge come, spirit?"
"no cost to you, friend. no cost to you at all. look upon the gate and learn."
His eyes slowly returned their gaze to the strange gate swirling before him. Familiar symbols in bizarre combinations spun and twisted in before his eyes.
"It is so clear. It is so simple. It is wonderful."
"we are glad. now step through the gate"
Gilforn stepped forward and entered the gate.
He awoke violently. Shaking and covered in sweat, it took him several moments to compose himself. It was still dark, in the dead of the night. He was dreaming...a wisp..a gate...the gate! He leapt from his bed and hurried to his lab.
His mind was ablaze with symbols and arcane words of magic. Hastily he grabbed at spell components from every corner of the room. A mild sort of madness had taken over. As he finished compiling his spell components he began to chant words he had never heard before, in a meter that was almost poetic.
"init kal vas gres
trak sek-de ter-mer..
re in ew tu-tim in-ten
re grav beh
At first nothing happened. Then in a flash the spell components burst into a spike of energy illuminating the room, and the moonstone he had placed in the center of the other components sank into the ground. Half-blinded from the flash, Gilforn watched as a swirling gate appeared from the ground. It had the same strangeness about as the gate in his dream. He turned the hourglass.
Slowly he peered into the gate. He could not see what was beyond it. He waited. The sand dropped bit by bit at an almost maddeningly slow pace. He paced, always glancing back at the hourglass. Finally the time had come for the gate to close. He stood bewildered. It was still open! He paced frantically, waiting. Could it be? Another hour passed and the gate still remained. It would seem that this gate was indeed going to remain. Now came the true test. What happened upon walking through it? The other side could not be seen. This gate was murky. He paced some more. It was almost dawn. Should he wait and inform the Council of his discovery? He almost gave in to that thought, but his desire to know if it really worked drove him to step through gate.
There was no sensation. It was like any other gate he had ever taken in his lifetime. He appeared on the other side. He felt fine, but something was terribly wrong. This was not Felucca.
He stood next to a ruined stone structure. At first he did not notice, but then it became very obvious. An ankh! Amidst the rubble was a large standing ankh. In front of it, buried under some debris, rested, to his unbelieving eyes, a Virtue Sigil. The scales: the Sigil of Justice. This was the Shrine of Justice? This looked nothing like the Shrine of Justice he knew. This was amazing. He was overcome with excitement. Briefly, he realized that his gate might not remain forever. He turned and looked into the gate. He looked all around. He longed to explore but realized this was something he should report directly to the Council of Mages. With a tinge of regret he walked back through the gate and was back in his lab. The gate remained. It was near dawn as he gathered himself and headed off to awaken Anon and speak of his grand discovery.
In the blackest part of the Void, three figures grinned darkly. It had begun.