Rift: Travels Through Telara Part 11 - Sanctum

Join Guardian scribe, Padraic, and his trusty, yet slow-witted lackey Bran, as they travel the length and breadth of Telara documenting the people, places, history, and folklore of the world. Before it’s all gone.

Travels Through Telara

The Story So Far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

By Padraic

Greetings to you, dear reader. Today you find both myself and Bran in jubilant moods. After weeks of travel, weeks of sleeping rough on damp ground, hiding from the plan-etouched, forced to endure each other's company, we are finally arriving at the capital city of Sanctum! It has been a long journey through the forests of Silverwood. A long journey, but a rewarding one. We have met many interesting people on our treks, some of whom will indeed make it into the pages of this very journal.

Today, though, I will be discussing the city of Sanctum itself. You see, it is not simply a city, a place where the Guardians decided to set up camp. It is a symbol, a gift from the gods themselves. After the Guardian heroes finally defeated Regulos at the Battle of the Shade, the alliance made their way back to the city of Port Scion. Here they planned to take stock, to plan the coming war against the creatures spilling through the Rifts that were no opening up everywhere.

But while traveling through Silverwood, the dwarf King Borrin Gammult became more and more troubled. When Prince Zareph asked what was wrong, he responded that he was having visions, that every time he closed his eyes he saw a majestic city sitting atop a lone island. This city was built around a magnificent basilica, and the people of Telara came to lend their support to the battle against the Blood Storm.

These visions grew more and more intense until the poor dwarf couldn’t close his eyes but for the images playing out in his head. Then one day, as their company moved toward the borders of Silverwood there was a mighty shaking of the earth. The Guardians did not know what was happening. Some thought it an earthquake. Other thought that the Shade had come back to attack them once again.

Neither was true. There was a massive roar from the ocean to their right. The guardians ran to the shore just in time to witness a massive island surge up out of the sea, water-falls streaming from the rocks and crags as the island rose up into the daylight.

Borrin stood stunned. Because there before him was the very island he had been seeing in his visions. Minus the basilica and the city itself, of course.

So while Cyril and the others moved on to Port Scion, Borrin and his followers stayed behind to construct the city that had been revealed to him, the future home of the Ascended and their followers.

Rift Sanctum

Sanctum from afar

The first thing that comes into view as Bran and I approach is the mighty basilica. As we crest the rise we see the mighty dome edge up over the horizon. More and more of its magnificence is revealed as we draw closer, until finally we stand on the bridge leading to the mighty Sanctum.

“I wonder if there are any parties,” muses Bran.

I frown at him. “You stand before a modern marvel, boy. A city revealed by the gods to a master architect, built to house the heroes who would fight for our freedom.”

“I know.  And after all that work they probably needed to party. I know I would.”

“Bran, sometimes, you… astound me. Really.”

Bran smiled. “Thanks!”

I opened my mouth to explain it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but decided against it. I wasn’t going to let him ruin the moment for me. Instead, I crossed the mighty bridge connecting the mainland to the island and stopped in the plaza before the mighty basilica that was known as the Sanctum of the Vigil. The plaza itself is called Tavril’s Square, named after Tavril of the Vigil. Adventurers and citizens milled around the vast plaza, some newly arrived, some returning with news of their quests. Gleaming statues dominated the court, stunning interpretations of historic moments.

I cross the square and enter the cool interior of the Sanctum itself. As soon as I step inside it is as if a refreshing balm has been applied to my entire body. I feel refreshed, cleansed, invigorated. My steps lighten as I walk around the hall and enter the inner Sanctum. It is full of Ascended, some teaching, some receiving visitors. All busy with their own small part in the war. Dominating the inner Sanctum is what is called the Covenant of the Guardians. This is a massive ward of graven sourcestone that will protect Sanctum

Rift Sanctum

Inside Sanctum

I ask for directions to Cyril Kalmar, for I know this is where he leads our efforts to retake Telara. I find him in what is called the Holy Seat, a raised dais where a throne sits empty. With him are Shyla Starheath and Borrin Gamult.

I bow before them.

“Forgive me,” says Cyril. “But I can’t help thinking I’ve seen you before somewhere.”

I am flattered. It has been over twenty years of his time since we spoke. “I talked to you many years ago,” I reply. “I am a scribe.”

“I remember you as well,” said Borrin. “So you made it, eh? Odd. You don’t look like you’ve aged. And your companion here looks exactly the same. The slack-jawed, vacant stare. The ragged clothes. The unkempt hair. How is this possible?”

I explain our accidental trip through the portal.

“You are lucky to survive that,” says Cyril.  “I was under the impression only an Ascended could travel through the portal. Perhaps you are more important than we thought.”

I smile deprecatingly. “I think not. I am but a humble scribe.”

“There is nothing humble about being a scribe, good sir. It is an honorable vocation.”

“I thank you, my lady.”

“And now will you continue on your path?” asks Cyril. “To document the people of Telara?”

“I will my Lord. I wanted to see Sanctum for myself though. To see what we are fighting for and to record its history in my book.”

“Then good luck to you. And to your… companion. Actually, is he all right in the head?”

I turn to look at Bran. He is staring at Shyla with a look of hopeless adoration on his face. His mouth is hanging open. I reach across, embarrassed, and tap the bottom of his jaw. His mouth closes with an audible click.

Honestly, I can’t take him anywhere.

The Story So Far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

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