Holly entered the portal. Her identity was ripped away, torn off like a storm-tossed sheet. In the miasmic spin of unending awareness, she realized who she was and what she’d done, and she fully understood she’d volunteered for it.
She mentally stood on that knife edge of knowledge, unsure of what to do, unsure of where to go. All she wanted was for everything to go back to how it had been. She wanted simpler times, simpler decisions.
She didn’t want to be so GODDAMN RESPONSIBLE!
[This is yours—your birthright!] Wodec shouted. [Enjoy it to the fullest!]
The barbarians were drenched in a sea of colors. Marvelous hues roiled past them, winding and twisting like alien sea-creatures. When one of the coils touched their thought-forms, a surge of contentment would rush through them. It was happening to their mounts as well—typically, the battle-trained raptors assessed anything and everything with a predatory mien, but now, their slit-eyed gazes were wide with wonder.
[Enjoy it!] the High Mage shouted. He no longer appeared as an older, seasoned warrior; he was young and strong, in the prime of his life. His thought-form changed and morphed, growing wings and talons, shells and pincers.
Krul’Dar was blown away. As Chief Chronicler, he knew more about the arcane than his war-groomed counterparts, but this was beyond his wildest dreams. He’d never, ever imagined that it could be this fantastic, this incredible, this—
And then Wodec was yelling, [You will soon fulfill your True-borne callings! You were made for this! DESIGNED for it!] Forty-four thought-forms, born and bred to maim and destroy, roared with joy.
A second later they were charging through suburban San Francisco, stabbing the shit out of Dissona’s demon-spawn.