The Return

There was a low tone, trembling and rising in volume steadily as the chamber began to fill with a shimmering blue light, growing and coalescing into a humanoid shape. The attendants shielded their eyes. When the light faded, a tall man stood on the pedestal. He smiled, and breathed deeply.

“Master, it…it worked! You’ve returned!” said one of the attendants. He bowed low, his purple robes trailing across the floor. The two others looked at one another with a mixture of confusion and excitement. The man descended from the pedestal.

“Indeed, it’s good to be home. You’ve done well,” he said. “What year is it?”

The kneeling attendant stood. “Three hundred ninety six. Fourth era.”

The man frowned. “Seems a little early, no?” He crossed to one of the chamber’s walls and picked a book from off its shelf, flicking through it idly.

“The signs have been observed, Master. It is all as you said…”

The man looked up from his book and regarded the acolyte with a confused expression. “Really?”

“Yes. The cards have been drawn, the gate has been opened, and the first Seal has already been broken. Just as you wrote.”

The man raised his eyebrows and nodded once. “Huh. Fourth era? You’re sure?”

The acolytes nodded.

He scratched an eyebrow. “Well that is ahead of schedule. No calendar change?”

“None, master.”

The man snapped the book shut with a clap, setting it back on the bookcase. “Very well then.” He strode off toward the chamber’s door, then turned to face the trio in the chamber.

“Chop chop, then. Lots to be done.”

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