Lunar Calendar Date: Unknown, Lunar Bag World, Bag Zone
Thaden shifted uncomfortably back and forth, meditation eluded him and he was restless. He watched Aury prowl back and forth pacing without knowing why. He watched the Goddess attempt to connect to the mortal lands, watched at the Schooner and Thorbil raised glasses to the lost Maddax. Watched Tardi poke through the broken Atomaton’s as her master cuddled with the Bard Valeria. Flit and Thalion whispered back and forth, first about plans when they emerged and then about plans when they returned to the ship, and Argyle; but quickly the weight of the situation brought them back to murmured yes’s and no’s and killed any real conversation from developing. Thaden wiped his eyes, it pained him to admit it, attachments were frowned upon; but he would miss the loyal goblin. If any in the group reminded him of a Guard Mouse it was Maddex. Such a senseless death, so much of it; if only he had been more vigilant… why had he gone into the bag first? A coward’s path he had taken, one he knew would haunt him and forever sit among his failures. He shook the thought away from his mind, and cleared the damp fur under his eyes… it would not due to distress the others; if they were not aware of their fate they soon would be; best they rest however they could in these moments of peace before reality dawned its ugly maw once more.
Thaden closed his eyes and tried to project his mind out into the bag wastes, tried to feel, to see, anything really. If he could at least find another bag zone, that would be hope, a chance or a direction, as it stood there was very little here. The vampire was late, very late. For something that should have been only a few minutes now more than three hours had passed. Even accounting for some kind of time delay between the two locations, too much time had passed. It was very likely the Vampire was dead, and that this bag was lost in some crevice or maybe thrown down that pit doomed to fall for eternity… either way, every hour that ticked confirmed that they’re was a very low chance of the bag being opened again. Flit and the Goddess required neither food nor water nor rest… that was good, Thaden himself would not need much to be able to carry on forward, but when he looked to the others, the child Tar-Di, the dwarves or Hakari and her lover, his heart broke… would they die of thirst out in the bag wastes? He shook the thoughts away once more… he had to focus, the answer is and always would be in the weave… he merely had to use it to find another bag zone, if they could make it to different zones then magical food and drink could sustain them and perhaps they could find another way out.
The small cask of ale spilled onto the ground, the precious commodity soaked quickly into the dusty sand below and was forever gone to them. His face went to his paw as he shook his head slowly, that could have been useful… but alas. Thaden took a deep calming breath and cleared his thoughts, he pushed out the Dwarf’s attempt to seduce the Goddess, pushed out Tar-Di’s complaints about boredom… pushed out everything and caste his memory back to the teachings of Meagre, their had to be away for him to see a path, for his minds eye to show him what to do next.
“It is not possible noble Thaden” the voice said as a ghostly image of a Guard Mouse appeared before him. Thaden was surprised to say the least, he shifted his weight to kneel before her
“Master… how are you?… I thought… are you not on the Champions Thrust?” Thaden stammered. The Ghost Mouse placed a very real feeling hand on his shoulder and urged him to stand as a peer.
“I was, but now have become one with the weave… Shepard attacked and sank the Ship, I was forced to join the weave or, or meet my end there” she said bowing her head to him
“The Thrust has sunk? What of the crew? Shepard attacked you? What about…”
“Hush now Thaden, Let us not dwell on what we cannot change, you are here now; and must keep your thoughts on the task at hand, it is more vital than ever that you succeed here” she said to him
“It is too late Master…” his head dropped looking down “We have failed here, and I cannot find a way out, I have tried… but I am no Master… you, you were my last hope for our people, for Argyle, and Shepard has taken it… has”
“No… none of that now…” she said soothingly “You are no mere Knight, and this is something that should have been done long ago… I will correct it now” she drew forth her spectral blade and ushered for Thaden of Rootwallow to take a knee, he did, noting that Aury, Thalion and Flit had noticed the spectral ghost and had moved a respectful distance closer to watch what was happening. “Guard Mouse Thaden please recite the code of Ashla and the Mark of a Guard for me” Thaden swallowed but did as he was told
“There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Weave.” He finished the words with a clarity in his voice
“So there is, It is the opinion of the Council of Masters of the Guard that you are a Guard Mouse Brave and True, that your experience has been trial enough and that you have shown yourself to carry with you the Shield of Ashla in all things. The Rank of Master Guard Mouse I now bestow upon you.” She touched the flat of her blade to each of his shoulders slowly “Arise Master Guard Mouse Thaden of Rootwallow, May the Guard Prevail!” she ended
“May the Guard Prevail” he echoed back to her. His head was a flurry, he had not thought it possible toe ver attain the rank of master, not truly, there were no anointed Masters left, and yet he had been anointed.
“My time here grows short Master Thaden, so please heed my warning” She continued “In just under two days the bag will open, and you will all be tested as you never have before; be ready. But do not mistake the quiet of this location as safety, something comes through the mists, and it will be here before the bag is opened… that is all I can offer… there is much to do and I am pulled many ways”
“Master,” Thaden burst in as she began to fade away “Don’t go… I have so many questions? Can A big be trained truly in the ways of the Guard? What of the nature of Bogna and Bendu? Are Clove and Tander ok? Has Arbor Portum Fallen? How can we hope to defeat Shepard? Does he have a Weakness”
“Master Thaden… Questions are the very nature of the weave, unravelling them is your job as a Master, Bogna and Bendu are not evil in themselves, merely a path that can easily lead one there… like all treacherous roads the rewards for those who make it can be great… but most who attempt loose all….” As she said the last word she faded to nothing leaving them alone once more in the Bag Zone.