Until now I’d only believed the portals to be a myth; tales that the gossiping old women and drunkards would use to explain away events they wished to simply ignore. I can see now how right they truly were.
Although perhaps it would serve me well to explain why I have heard of the idea before. I’d encountered some band of sellswords before appearing in Osterra. They’d been hired by the local magistrate to dispatch certain local terrors that are better left unsaid. Due to my apprenticeship paying….nothing… I had taken work as a barmaid. That work was honest enough pay, though my patrons were far from that.
Lo and behold, one night as I was rounding out my shift three mercenaries found themselves properly acquainted with more than a few bottles at the far end of my bar. By all means, they were fair patrons, a little rowdy but nothing I couldn’t handle.
One told me of the portals, how they’d gone from land to land seeking work and contracts. The other two dove into seemingly outlandish stories of lands that couldn’t possibly exist. I didn’t believe them. They had to have been drunk. Right? That was how I understood it at least. I thought nothing of it when they eventually left town, countless others had before them. Yet after their departure, the rumor mill began to turn again.
You learn to ignore the whispers and the gossip when it is all that you hear day in and day out. A missing cat here, vanishing beggars there. It all blends together. Cats run away or vanish into the night of their own accord. Beggars move on to new towns. Nothing otherworldly there.
Which would explain why I never changed my route home.
My route through the back alleys and the tunnels, all familiar in sound and feel from the nightly walk home. In one moment, my hands trailed over the rain-slicked stones of the buildings. And in the next, I found myself in this strange land all on my own.
I am confused, and I am lost. Yet this feels right.
I should have listened to the stories closer, Paid more attention. Perhaps I would have been prepared for what I was so unceremoniously tossed into. Do I regret this? Not terribly so. As strange as it may seem, I believe I can re-establish my studies here. There seems to be so much knowledge shared between these people. I hope to get to know them and learn from them even more so in the coming days.
Already, I have seen things far greater than any back home could imagine. And a surge of magic courses through me that feels unlike any I’ve felt before. If only my war wand hadn’t been damaged in the tumble. Those ever-important charges are lost to me now.
What I am almost certain of in all of this chaos, however, is that I do believe I have found my purpose.