As soon as Holly entered the portal, her identity was ripped away, torn off her psyche like a storm-tossed sheet. In the miasmic spin of unending awareness, she didn’t just realize who she was and what she’d done, she fully understood that she’d volunteered for every bit of it. She mentally stood on that knife edge of knowledge, unsure of what to do, unsure of where to go. All she wanted was to have everything revert to how it used to be. 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 entered the portal and were drenched in a sea of dissolving colors. Marvelous hues roiled past them, winding and twisting like alien sea-creatures. When one of the sentient coils made contact with their disembodied thought-forms, a surge of soul-deep contentment would rush through them. It was happening to their mounts as well—typically, the war-trained velociraptors assessed anything and everything with a predatory gaze, but their slit-eyed gazes had widened 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, pulsing with vitality. His thought-form changed and blurred, 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 he heard Wodec yelling, [You’re about to fulfill your True-crafted callings! You were made for this! DESIGNED for it!]
Forty-four warrior thought-forms, born and bred to main and destroy, roared as one with bloodthirsty joy.
A second later they were astride their mounts, charging through the San Francisco suburbs, stabbing the shit out of Dissona’s demon-spawn.