Here's the intro that I gave to the players for the Zarem Runedar campaign I am running.
The noonday sun suddenly becomes blindingly bright.
You squint your eyes trying to adjust to the unusual brightness, as even the light reflecting off the surrounding buildings and streets stings your senses. The lower market in Dragon’s Reach starts buzzing with the sounds of people speaking with annoying excitement. “darn adventures, they probably did this!” exclaims the breadmaker. “The faithful of Sarenrae will fix it!” yells a passerby.
As your eyes become adjusted to the brightness you look skywards and the sun is larger and brighter than you’ve ever seen it before. At least double in size and growing. Growing very rapidly, the sun then seems to fragment, almost splitting in half with a blinding white core. It’s hard to make out at first, but eventually it looks like parts of it are growing faster than others.
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As the sun continues to expand in the sky, pieces of it seems to start shooting off, some trailing ahead of the other, drawing lines across the blue as they precede larger pieces that seem to be following their slower cousins.
Only a minute has passed as complete silence engulfs the marketplace. The brightness dims considerably to an almost twilight hue as the pieces of the sun fade in intensity as they move farther away from each other. The sky deepens to a midnight blue, providing a stark contrast to what is happening far above. Several of the brighter leading lights seem to accelerate from a leisurely pace to a blinding speed as they streak through the sky, disappearing beyond the horizon.
Then, slowly the sun seems to brighten again, first a small point at the center of the dim husk that was the sun, rapidly becoming larger and larger. It quickly starts expanding to the size of the sun, then continues increasing in size, as if the sun was growing once again. Disturbingly however, the sky is still a dark midnight blue, with streaks radiating out from the sun, as if it was sending off thousands of shooting stars.
The sun seems to break into several suns which streak past the horizon at dizzying speeds. The main source from where they sprang continues to grow and grow.
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“TO ME!” a commanding voice shouts. All eyes turn to see an ancient dwarf in stone grey and gold robes yelling from atop a shop table near the center of the market. “EVERYONE GET AS CLOSE TO ME AS YOU CAN!”
He raises a staff to the heavens and a shimmering barrier is called into existence between the crowd and the sky as bits of flame seem to rain down. The sun once again explodes into numerous pieces, most of which streak across the sky at breathtaking speeds. But not all pass beyond the horizon, one is close enough that you can feel the burning heat, even through the shield, and it strikes beyond the town walls and impacts with the neighboring sea.
You are plunged into darkness, or at least it seems like darkness for a moment after the intense light is extinguished. Once your eyes adjust again, you still see streamers of light fall from the midnight blue sky, and where the sun once was is a dull husk surrounded by glowing strands, and haloed by shooting stars spreading out in all directions.
Then the wind picks up and starts buffeting you with stinging droplets of water. You turn your attention to the sea and are shocked to find yourself staring at an advancing wall of water, hundreds of feet high, racing towards the city, seeming to grow in size as it approaches.
People start to run by you, gathering around the ancient dwarf who is speaking some weird language in a low tone. But what’s the point of moving when the entire city and surrounding farmland will soon be wiped off the face of the world by the advancing wall of water? It seems as high as a mountain now, and continues to loom larger as it gets closer.
You close your eyes and wait for your death as the deafening roar preceding your doom nearly knocks you from your feet. The ground lifts from beneath you, but it’s not what you expect. Instead of the water hitting you like a catapult stone, you feel dropped into it. And it’s not the cold, salty water of the sea, but a fairly warm refreshing feeling; like jumping into a pond on a hot summer day.
You open your eyes and start to swim, amazed and overjoyed at not being dead. Or maybe you are and have gone to a watery hell. You’re not sure yet. But as you start to recover and break for the surface, a lamppost from the city sinks past you, one of those with an everburning light. Tied to it is a young man, noble judging by his clothes. It looks like he tied himself to the post to avoid being swept away by the tidal wave, as if that would have helped. As he sinks lower and lower you see his panicked face and his struggle with the knots. But then a shadow appears from out of the depth, and a large fish like creature bites him in half.
With renewed effort you break the surface and are startled to be breathing in cold fresh air, devoid of the smell of the city. As you try to make your way to the crowd of people gathered on land not thirty feet away, the land seems to spread out towards you, providing a solid stone shelf which you swim to and pull yourself upon.
Gasping in breath you roll onto your back and look to the sky. At first you think it is night and the full moon is really strange looking. But then you realize you are staring at the sun. The air here is harder to breath and doesn’t seem as thick. And it’s fairly cold. Strangely the water felt warmer than the air.
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