Story written by Marcus Rating (Cironian)
You knew that the world was ending right now before your eyes, and there was nothing you could do about it anymore. Lord British was dead and the Guardians demon legions were swarming all through the once proud city of Britain. Bodies were lying all around the streets, thieves next to nobles and the former castle guards.
That body which you used to call your own is still bleeding at your slightly transparent feet but it is obviously too late for any kind of medical treatment. Your spells have allowed you to take two of those red abnormities with you, but when the Shadowlord Astaroth approached you, you knew that your last minute has come. You stood paralysed as his dark finger stretched out to your chest and when it touched you, you had left your body even before it hit the ground. You notice that some of those who are falling to the assault of the demons don't even leave a spirit behind anymore; it seems like after his death the magic that Lord British gave to his citizens to survive past their own death is beginning to fade.
Having wandered through the bloody streets for some time you see that there is still some light spilling through the windows of one of the nearby houses. You glance up to the sign above the door and note the symbol of the virtues, the ankh, painted onto it. Even though you ghostly state denies all colors of the world reach you, somehow you still recognize the golden color of the symbol. After thinking for only a moment you reach for the doorknob, only to see your hand go right through it. Oh, I forgot..., you smile to yourself, these words being only a whisper in the storm of the fighting to those still standing locked in combat with the demonic hordes.
Despite your current disembodied state you take a deep breath and then step right through the closed door.
Inside the building you can make out a few people in grey robes, sitting around a candle like it could protect them from the Guardians assault outside. One of the people seems to note your presense and turns around: Ah, another lost soul that has found the way here. With the forces of chaos drawing into this realm, my healing powers are fading from minute to minute, but I might try to give you a new body if you assist me. The healer is beginning to make arcane gestures and you feel a wave of restoring energy rush through your astral body. With the rest of your powers you finally succeed to become physical again.
This is it, the healer says, my powers are now completely gone. You place your weak body among the others and listen to the screams outside, although those are becoming less and less by now.
You know that this new life will certainly only last for a couple of minutes, as the magic forces which bind this world together are beginning to fail, with obvious consequences: Lightnings are striking down from the sky by the dozen, giant earthquakes are threatening to tear the land apart and you can almost feel the pure evil power of the Guardian condensing in the air, converting this world to - what? You remember hearing one of the court mages whisper with his dying breath that the Guardian would use conquered worlds to create the Shadowlords. If that is true, then this world is really lost.
You glance out through the window and see one of the black moongates open with more demons stepping out of it. A thought crosses your mind: There can be no place worse than this one, so it might be worth the try. You tell the others that you intend to go through one of those gates to survive the end of this world and most of them agree to try it. You walk over to the door and silently unlock it and open it just so much that you can get a look at a part of the road outside. What you see is terrible. Sweet Dreams Inn is already completely burned down and the ground seems to be painted with blood.
Now!, you scream as you see another of the black gates open just a few steps away from the door. You hit the door open and start to run, but just a second before you would have reached the gate a demon steps out of it, looking down at you in a quite angry way. You signal the other to run into the gate while you divert the creature, even though you have no idea on how to do that. As it rushes toward you, you notice one of Lord Britishs personal castle guards lying on the ground here. Still in his hand you see one of the famous order shields, magically treated by the King himself. You reach for it and with all your strength hold it in front of you as the demon brings his fist down on you.
The shield is shattered in two under the might of the blow, but by that the magic still inherent in it is released in a brilliant flash of light; not enough to kill the demon, but enough to render it helpless for a moment and you do not need any more time to run between its legs and towards the black gate. Knowing that this world could die any second now you jump through the gate...
You find yourself flying through some sort of dark tunnel; at the end of which you see another world. But you can't say that world appears much better to you than the one you just left, because it looks like the homeland of the demons. Thousands of them are waiting at the exit of the gate and it seems like they have already taken care of those that entered the gate before you. You look back over your shoulder at the place you came from and at the same moment that world ends. Suddendly the gate, having lost one of its exits vanishes, leaving you suspended in the Ethereal Void.
You see millions of stars all around you, except that those are no stars but worlds; just like the one you were born and lived in until this day, and another one of them is now serving the Guardian...
You awaken. You are lying on a perfectly ordinary bed in an absolutely normal room of an inn. You rise to your feet and look out of the window to see the wonderful town of Britain, still quite unharmed as if that which you remember never happened. You get dressed and walk down the stairs of the inn. The first thing you notice is the lack of people that are usually shoving past each other here. On the street you see that this phenomenon is not limited to the inn, but seems to be present all around Britain. You spin around as you notice a movement in the corner of your eye. Your eyes widen as you see Lord Blackthorne himself standing there as if the Guardians attack on Britannia never happened.
I guess thou hast questions on your mind, your hear him,like why thou art here when your memories tell thee that everything must be quite different. The reason for that is that thou art no longer in the world that thou knowest - nor one even like it. As thou possibly knowest, there are thousands of copies of the land called Britannia existing in the shards of Mondains foul gem of immortality. Now, for some reason when the worlds were split from each other, this special world was created without any inhabitants. Now, as the creature calling himself the Guardian conquered other worlds like yours, some people always entered one of the black moongates in the moment of destruction and thus ending up here. Thou mightest call this world the Lost Splinter. Well, I would really like to discuss this matter further with thee, but I am due for a game of chess with Lord British.
He lives?, you exclaim. Well, in fact the two of us ended up here when we were fleeing from the world that later became the Shadowlord Nosfentor. His face turns sad: How fitting to run away from that world which became the embodiment of cowardice... But now I must hasten to the castle. Feel free to take a look around this world. There are not many people here, but at least the ecology yield more than enough food and resources for us few.
As you watch the Lord disappear down the street you start to think. At least you would be safe from the Guardian here - for now. You start to walk through an unusually empty Britain; there is so much to learn about this world, so you might as well start right now.
To be continued...