Something stirred within the Soulstream.

The drifting essence paused, curious about the strange pull it suddenly felt. In order to sate what could be labeled as curiosity, the misty essence began to follow the pull down. A few times, it paused and was torn between continuing and going back, but after a few minutes of idleness, the essence continued down along the path of the pulling energies. On some level, it knew that it was leaving the Soulstream entirely, and that the pull was toward Telara.

Energies swirled into a whirlpool-like vortex toward the end of the path, and they pulled the essence down harshly, making it impossible to go any way but forward. Rather than be forced into it, the essence hurried along through the vortex without much additional help from the energies that created it. The outer edges of the vortex seemed to solidify, and suddenly the essence found itself floating free again…yet somehow confined.

Something akin to confusion settled over the hovering tendrils of soul essence, which only grew as powerful blue waves of energy began to seep into that which confined it. This power twisted and grew, bent and contracted, forming a small, thin Kelari that glowed brightly. The essence decided that it looked much like a fence with a great deal of raw current running through it that had been shaped into a little replica of a boy.

The fence-like lines remained as more and more bright blue power flooded the space within it. The essence felt itself get pulled down into that energy, which sparked confusion and a little bit of fear. It had never seen anything like this, and had no idea what was happening.

Before the essence had much time to contemplate about this, the raw Source began to harden, taking on a brief stone-like quality before it began to turn into bone. While the essence could not exactly scream yet, it did what could be considered a memory of screaming while the bones formed; blue power transformed into sinew and began to wrap itself around the bone, followed by the formation of internal organs. Each part seemed to start as pure Sourcestone, then shift into whatever part of the body was being made at that moment. The entire process was confining him, but he didn't have time to try and escape as the brain and heart finished forming, and anchored the soul to the body. The pain continued, and now that he had bone, muscle, and nerves, he let out a pitiful scream as the flesh began to cover it all. The most disturbing thing was that he felt his hair actually grow, rapidly and painfully, but felt all the same.

A cool wave washed over him as the raw Source settled into being a body, splashing along his feet and lower legs before continuing up. The water had an anesthetic touch to it, and he could feel the pain begin to lessen as that which confined him filled with it. By the time the Source had settled, the water had completely immersed the new body, and was quickly receding. The body would have fallen over if it was not tethered securely, as the soul hadn't quite remembered how to make the joints and muscles work properly yet.

The tank slowly opened, and he felt a rush of warm air as the walls sank down into place, leaving just a platform with a partial short wall in the back. An Eth and two Kelari were approaching the platform, people that weren't recognizable, which caused the alarms in the newly formed head to go off; like a frightened animal, the newly resurrected Ascendant cowered against the back wall, staring up at the three people that stepped onto the platform.

At first, their voices were distorted, loud and disconcerting; it only frightened him more, and it took a few minutes for his ears to adjust enough to make out what was being said. They were telling him that everything was alright, that he was among allies, and that the body would sort itself out in time. His fear lightened and became laced with confusion, his ears flattening backwards slightly as they perked up a great deal, eyes widening a bit more, with his emotions swirling in his violet eyes.

They handed him a fresh robe, but it was much too large and hung awkwardly on his slight frame, and it was the best that could be done as it was the smallest robe they had. The taller Kelari kept referring to the boy as she, and no one bothered to correct him, certainly not the boy himself; the larger Kelari man intimidated him.

He learned that he was in a place known as the Life Factory, in what remained of a place called Terminus, and Regulos was about to devour the world and all the souls upon it. Of course, learning of this did nothing for his nerves, and the silent boy looked quite distressed as they handed him a shoddy staff and gave him instructions on the basics of souls and being an Ascendant, then told him how to get out of the Life Factory and into the heat of the battle outside.

The boy disliked most of these things, aside from having a staff again.

There was a shimmering ward over the door. He paused as he entered the last room, staring absently for a few moments before dropping his eyes. They came to rest on a rather odd looking book, and the boy looked around to see if anyone dropped it. No one had, so the boy took it with him, as he hoped that he'd be able to read at some point.

As the ward faded away, allowing him to leave the Life Factory, he found himself facing some of his worst nightmares, all at once. The skies were drowned in the black and purple energies of the plan of death, and below them most of the buildings and landscapes were in ruins. Undead freed themselves from the ground, from the rubble, and those they killed rose up shortly after their death. People were screaming for help, their cries cut off by a sickening gurgle and bone crunching thud.

For a long moment, he cowered against the wall, gaping at the horrendous and bleak world, caught completely off guard by how frightening this moment in Telara was. He could barely remember any Telara, but he thought the skies had never been quite this dark before, even during the worse storms. Memories of nightmarish fiends amid rows of books and the great ossuary flooded his mind, his violet eyes become defocused as the imagery sharpened. He wasn't sure what it was he was seeing, but it was terrifying none the less, and likely was related to this nightmare that was reality.

Other freshly resurrected Ascendants moved through the ward and out into the battlements, none of them even noticing the boy against the wall. The boy watched them, noting the differences between the other Ascended beings and himself; many of them were obviously fighters, with strong muscles while others were wiry and likely rogues. He noticed the clerics were almost as fierce looking as the warriors were, many with some sort of spiritual fire burning in their eyes.

It was the mages he paid attention to the most, as he was also a mage. They were all taller, and older, and proportioned properly for their age. Most of them had natural auras of power about them, or were followed by impressive pets from the elemental planes or the plane of Death; all of them carried themselves with confidence, and those who had been confident in life were even more so on Ascendancy.

He wondered exactly why they had brought him back. He couldn't remember being anyone of importance, or as confident as the other Ascended he watched, and he certainly wasn't a good combatant; he had vague memory of having very unstable magic, and often failing to cast the spells he had been taught. He felt very useless at the moment, and more so after Dacia's speech about combative magics; in the end, a strange Bahmi rogue ended up helping him make it through Terminus to the great Fail Safe atop the last remaining mountains of Telara. The rogue and another mage along with a cleric defeated Alsbeth, only to be faced with Regulos himself.

There was an exotic looking woman shouting for them to just go while a rather harried technician got the portal open. His temporary companions rushed through, while he gave Regulos a much wider birth, terrified. The exotic woman shouted up at Regulos, distracting him as the others vanished from sight, and then she began a wizard's duel with the Dragon; the last thing the boy saw before vanishing was the woman's eyes, the light sparking brightly then fading as her soul fled her body, consumed by Regulos.

Travelling through time and space is an odd thing, almost as odd as the journey back from the Soulstream, but in a different fashion. Around the boy, the world warped and swirled into a vortex that was suddenly sucked away into a shifting tunnel of energy, snatches of voices floating through the air as he passed by the points in time that were solidly fixed in the timelines. Suddenly, the energies shifted, and all the light they provided flared so brightly, the boy's eyes were overwhelmed and shut down.

And so, our story begins…