The party awakens in a barren chamber and steps into a featureless world.
They awaken, first Hardy, then Balcazar and Orryn, each alone and cold in in white limestone rooms. In each space, a large slab as big as a sarcophagus supports their bodies. Above their heads, embedded in the flat ceilings, are circular brass medallions, flush with the finished stone.
Their heads split with pain. They cannot recall where they are, where they've come from, or who they are. Any attempt to move past their current reality into the past brings new waves of nausea. Hardy tries and regrets his decision.
In each room, a single exiting hallway leads to a of central nexus. Slowly, as they rise and begin to trust their bodies and space around them, they move out of the rooms, into the central space, and into each other. In the axis of the room is a deep, perfectly cut hole, a deep shaft unprotected by a fence or gate. Above it, on the ceiling, a wide cone with splayed fingers heading to each room.
Hands go to hilts but everyone is reluctant to draw. There's a mutual familiarity to everyone's face even though they can't find a name or a story to attach. The three pool awkwardly into a group and together they explore the space. There are five hallways. They pick the first unvisited room.
On the slab is a large Dragonborn (Wacha) in thick armor, face up, arms at his side. They approach and check his pulse. He's alive and uninjured but unconscious. Balcazar, bends and pulls him on his wide shoulders.
Balcazar sets Wacha down outside the central well. The party is unsure of how to escape. There are five rooms. Each room is enclosed. There is no exit, at least nothing obvious.
They look down the shaft. It's too deep to see to its bottom. The party drops a lighted torch and it falls for a second or two before stopping. The light flickers. At least there's a bottom but it's a long drop. It will take several tied ropes and some courage. Orryn, a Gnome, elects to go. He's the lightest and the most agile. Balcazar holds the rope at the top and braces his body to prevent being drawn over the edge.
It's a hundred yards to the bottom, but there is no cave or space below. The smooth walls simply terminate, like the sheath for a some gigantic, tree-sized weapon. In the center of the floor is a perfectly spherical, cylindrical pyramid that matches the one above a hundred yards above.
Orryn steps onto the bottom floor. It's hot, parts of it are scorched dark. He reaches out to touch the cone and trace the symbols on its surface and quickly withdraws his hand. It radiates heat.
There are a couple of loose, green rocks on the ground. Orryn grabs them. They tingle. He tugs the rope to be brought up. There is nothing else to see.
The party glanced into the fifth encircling chamber, but no one was on the slab. It was empty. Having exhausted all other spaces, however, they walk in.
As they walk down the hallway to the room, Hardy notes the space does seem brighter. The dead air has more life. As they all enter the space, they see why. Once side wall has been completely blown outwards. Through the hole, empty sky.
To Hardy, the violence and precision of the hole feels like the execution of arcane energy. He explores the space further. On a few of the rocks are small pools of blue fluid. Hardy can't identify them.
But, there's a way out. Through the hole is sky. Orryn leads. The rest follow. Balcazar crawls along with Wacha's body by his side.
Days 0 - 4
The hole emerges onto a hill of jagged, black-purple rock-glass. Below the party is infinite grassland. Above infinite sky. They merge into a featureless horizon. There are no signs of activity. Just the soft sways of the wind and grass. The party takes a tentative step forward and stumble as crumpled rock cascades down.
They start walking, down the hill and into the grass. Orryn picks a direction. They will head North.
Progress is slow. Balcazar and the party have to attend to and carry Wacha. Orryn has to glean enough seeds and debris from the grass and ground to feed the party. Wacha is stirring, but consciousness has yet to break through.
They camp, wake up, walk again. A day passes, then a second. There are still no signs of activity. They have moved far beyond their jagged little hill.
Balcazar goes for a long walk and leaves Hardy and Orryn with the body of Wacha. While in thought, Balcazar notices a nearly imperceptible twig of smoke on the horizon. It's thin but it's there, breaking up the perfect infinite symmetry of their horizon. He wanders back to Orryn and Hardy to point it out, but neither can't see it.
But it's something, an element on a formless horizon. Balcazar points the group in its direction and they change path. They trudge on.
Balcazar first hears the rumble. Orryn first spots the dust on the horizon. Both grow louder and larger. It's a huge herd of elk. It feels like it's a half-kilometer wide. They are moving towards the party at a run. The party, turns left and jogs out of the way.
It takes fifteen minutes for the animals to thunder by. As the tail approaches, Orryn notches a arrow to strike down a elk for food, but he pauses before he can release it. Behind the elk are a small group of hunting cockatrices.
The party is stationary. They look like easier prey. The cockatrices attack. The party fights them off but unfortunately Balcazar is bit. He fights on, but his body begins to stiffen, then abruptly harden into stone. He falls over, petrified.
Hardy and Orryn are horrified. There are now two immobile bodies, Wacha and Balcazar, both Dragonborn. They won't be able to carry them. Do they stay or move on? There's no guidance from the empty land. They sit to think.
They have no choice but to stop for the evening. They're still adrift but at least they have food from the dead carcases. Hardy is able to extract petrifying poison from their beak glands to apply to an arrow or weapon (DC 11 CON vs. Petrification). From working with the poison, he knows Balcazar's petrification is temporary, but it will take up to a full day for him to recover.
They setup camp for the night and await the new day.