Dec 18, 2014

Into the Adyton

Into the Adyton Renaria
by J.L. Wilson


A small memento, a universal power...

It’s the year 2126, post-World War V. Leda, age seventeen, bounds through the lush forested region of the Desintor Foothills as a regal, bow-wielding, High-Elf Scout. That is, when she’s logged into her favorite MMO game: Renaria.

One crisp fall afternoon, an unseasonal storm fractures the sky of Trinton, New Texas with splinters of emerald lightning and otherworldly songs. Oddly, no one sees the storm except her brother and their guild mate Travis.

She brushes off the event as a fluke, but she can’t seem to get the song out of her mind. Suddenly, a new quest appears in her game directing her to the blue sand dunes of the Sinare Desert to meet Caleb, a legendary Elf Diviner.

Now she has a choice: Ignore the quest and turn off the game, or dive in and risk everything for a shot at an adventure.

Galley’s Goblets … Mind Your Business.
A fireplace blazed with blue flame on the opposing wall next to the bard.
    “Where’d he go?” Menaia asked.
    “Not sure,” Leda answered as her eyes jumped from the round tables to each of the walls. “Look, there’s a couple of stairs there.” She pointed to a sunken area of the tavern next to the fireplace.
   Strumming from the bard’s lute filled the air.
   They snuck forwards, trying to avoid the burly, tan-skinned, Sorien barkeep. Leda watched him out the corner of her right eye. Bending over, his head nearly grazed the glass mugs that hung low while he scrubbed the bar top with a brown stained cloth. A board creaked below her foot.
   She stopped breathing.
   His brown eyes traveled from the bar top to the girls and met her gaze. He smirked and kept scrubbing. His deep voice resumed humming the bard’s song.
   Leda peeked down the two steps. They led to a cozy, rectangular room holding a single long table, with four chairs on both sides. Shadows danced on the brown, clay wall from two heavy torches that rested in unassuming iron sconces.
   An empty glass sat on the table before the figure in the far corner. His face was turned towards his intertwined hands. Yellow light from the candle reflected on the part of his face Leda could see: the scruff of his reddish brown and gray beard.
   “Let’s sit at this far end here,” Menaia whispered as she descended the two steps.
    As they pulled the wooden chairs back from the table, they heard a voice issue from the man’s direction. “Leda, Menaia, please join me here.”
    Leda watched as he unfolded his hands.
    He held them out, palms up, beckoning the girls to the chairs across from him.
    Menaia looked at Leda who nodded and rolled her eyes to say, well we’ve come this far.
    Leda placed her hand on the hilt of one of her daggers. Prepared to bolt at a moment’s notice, the girls sat down across from him.
    “Who are you?” she asked.
    He pulled his hood down.