The Shattered Lantern Part 2 of 3
The Story So Far:
It began without warning. Sudden. Deadly. Wasting both body and mind.
Overnight, every village, every nomad clan, every forest warren seemed to be affected. The shamans and the healers fought the disease, but to no avail. Nearly all who developed symptoms were dead in six days, and the few survivors were debilitated even weeks after the heart of their struggle. The bodies of the dead piled up—you have seen hundreds of them lying by the sides of the great forest paths or in the shadow of desert oases. The normal disease pattern seems subverted—whole families have been wiped out, while others lost only their oldest or middle members, and a very lucky few seem spared altogether. The usual deathbed confessions—disturbing the dead, violating animals, prostitutes—are missing, and none of your elders or leaders have any answers.
But there is one who claims to know the truth.
You know him by many names and many legends, and most would have disputed his very existence until stepped out of the darkness on a dark summer night. Stone colored flesh and a small box with a light in it are his hallmarks. He speaks your tongue with the ease of a native speaker, and some whisper that he speaks all tongues. His dialogue with your leaders (or you, if no leaders remain above you) is simple: he alone knows how a few peoples might be shielded from the great dying, and he will lead one from your village to the truth on midsummer’s eve. But he said little more as he stepped back into the darkness.
It’s a fool’s errand, of course, but what choice do you have? Some among you will believe he’s a liar, leading you away to your doom and damning your people with it. Some will believe he is possessed of the truth. It matters little. The one thing that unites you is that you don’t have any other choice. You agree, and at the appointed time, you’re lead to a cave in a hidden valley, and gathered around the glow of the small box of light. It is there you first meet your companions. You are together, united by a grim purpose. The Lightbringer begins to speak…
See also: Part 1. Part 3 (not yet).