Bastion Vice, blood pumping and adrenaline still coursing through his body, spun about when he heard footsteps coming from down the corridor. Kos, their field leader, Came through the doorway and alerted the team of a group that had followed him. Bastion, though, wasn’t listening. Not to Kos, anyway. A voice was calling out to him, beckoning him. Neither male nor female, and most certainly not connected to any visible being, the voice echoed around in Bastion’s ears, “Executioner… Executioner.. come to me, Executioner… follow my voice… Executioner… Executioner… ” and so the titanic Dragonborn listened and followed, leaving behind his allies without a word to them.
Rushing through the underground hallways, Bastion payed no attention to his surroundings, wanting only to find the source of the voice in his head. It felt familiar, the voice, but he could not place how or from where he could have first heard it. As Bastion sprinted through the labyrinthine tower, the voice grew stronger and louder, calling out to him with more and more urgency, “Executioner! Executioner! Come to me, Executioner! You are almost there, Executioner!” And finally Bastion came to a solid oak door, reinforced with thick iron plates and bars. The voice was almost at a fever pitch, and Bastion, close to succumbing to the wild rage within him, let loose with a mighty roar and, with a surge of incredible strength, rushed the door, bursting through the ancient portal in all the might and splendor that a Dragonborn Barbarian could muster.
“EXECUTIONER!” Bellowed the voice a final time as Bastion broke into the room.
And what a room it was- The now-broken door led to a massive natural cavern at least a hundred feet wide and five times as long with a ceiling so tall it disappeared into shadows and darkness. Some time ago someone or something had erected stone pillars that could dwarf even the largest of giants, on which were engraved some of the oldest and most intricate carvings Bastion had ever laid eyes on. Equally distant from each other and the walls, the pillars were placed maybe every fifty feet leading into the room. Upon closer and heavy investigation, one with enough time on their hands would realize that not a single inch of any of the pillars held the same carving. The floor was home to an equally intricate carving, but this one entirely Draconic, rather than the mix of seemingly random etchings on the pillars. One knowledgeable of Draconic lore, or any descendant from a dragon would recognize the floor to be telling the entire history of dragons, beginning with Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber.
Despite all this, Bastion paid no mind to it. He was intently focused on the only object in the room. At the far end of the massive cavern was a small, blue, swirling cloud. Occasionally lightning would flash and arc around it, plumes of flame akin to a solar flare would spew forth, and a rushing wind would gush forth, pushing the cloud into a different direction. Bastion moved towards this shifting, swirling, chaotic cloud as if in a trance. One foot after another, eyes fixed upon the target, everything else forgotten. In seemingly no time at all, bastion was standing less than arm’s reach from the cloud which was about the same size as he. Incoherent whispering was faint, but still audible above the endless roar of the blue cloud. The air around it crackled with energy to chaotic to be contained by whatever or wherever it originated from.
Then the voice returned, “Executioner, see your fate. Know your destiny- step into the cloud if you dare. No harm will come to you, but know that you will be marked forever by my symbol if you take my offer.” And with that Bastion stepped forth, no hesitation, no fear.