The Children of the Basin and Mystery of the Janderi
As the early morning sun rose over the mountains, so too did the Wheel of the Goloths rise into the sky, shooting bolts of energy which tore open temporal rifts across the firmament. For a few moments, half-seen images of possible futures, including a disturbing future for a Guardian of the Dark Forest, and events of the long past flitted across the surface before a rift opened and squadron after squadron of Dominator poured out into the sky. Directed by Rusacha, the Time Dame of the Weft, the dominators swiftly made for the villages of Basin in order to carry out their cryptic primary objective.
As the panicked cries of villagers soon made apparent, the dominators had one goal and one goal only: the abduction of every child in every village. Heeding the calls for help, citizens from every organization marched out to do battle with the eldritch menace. Along the highways, across the village greens, and, in some cases, house by house and room by room the combat raged, and slowly the dominators were fought back. No sign, however, could be seen of the missing children.
No sign, that is, until Dame Rusacha ordered all squadrons to fall back to the extraction point in order to aid in the processing of the kidnapped. Once every surviving dominator began swiftly moving in the direction of Bondero Bay, it did not take long for their base of operations, the remote island of Vesucia, to be discovered. There the battle was rejoined with hundreds of dominators engaging the embattled warriors, who now not only had to worry about defeating their foes, but also defending the children. Before long, the combined efforts of the mortals succeeded in vanquishing the dominators, and Dame Rusacha was forced to call a retreat, her mission incomplete.
With the threat of the Dominators gone, all that remained was to return the kidnapped children to their respective homes. Though some went willingly, others did not appear to realize the full extent of what had just happened to them and were quite reluctant to leave, viewing the whole encounter as quite exciting! Before long, however, all of the children were returned to their respective villages and life resumed as normal, yet the burning question of why the dominators went to so much trouble to kidnap youths remained unanswered.
Less than a day after the dominators fled, Father Ratanele of Saint Gathlyn’s Orphanage for the Dispossessed undertook the long journey to Hallifax. Touched by the concern that the Archmage Phoebus Windwhisper had demonstrated for his institution during the attack, the Father hoped to get her assistance in a seemingly related matter: the presence of a catatonic krokani girl that had been found listlessly wandering just after the abductees were returned home. With Unicron n’Lochli in tow, the two made their way back to the orphanage to lend what aid they could.
Through their combined efforts, and the herbal administrations of Ankia Novikei, the young girl was cured and revealed to be Raisa Janderi, a descendent of an old Celestian Great House fallen on hard times. Phoebus and Unicron graciously volunteered to lead the child to her family’s farm in the Grey Moors where she lived with her siblings and grandfather. It was there that the two learned that it was not dominators that had so afflicted Raisa, but the trauma of losing her beloved mother who had just died of an unknown illness. To help bring peace and closure to the children, the selfless Hallifaxians set out to unlock the Janderi Mausoleum, the traditional burial ground of the family that was sealed by a particularly stubborn enchantment.
Braving guardian spirits, greedy octogenarians of questionable morals, and a particularly absent-minded krokani mystic, Phoebus and Unicron eventually succeeded in unsealing the mausoleum, which laid to rest the spirit of a krokani woman and revealed a dark, troubling secret of the Janderi line…
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