The Return of Forcas Forneus
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For three days the wizard had endured the hot desert sun. The people of Faerûn had always argued whether it was the divine manifestation of Lathander, the soul of the dead god Amaunator, the Bedine At'ar or the Mulhorandi Horus-Re, or even something stranger still, but all generally agreed: in this place, the Anauroch, the sun was as likely to kill you as any monster… and Forcas Forneus had weathered it for three days without rest. Sometimes he rode astride his great dragon, and some of the time he walked, always delirious and bewildered. It was likely he was suffering heatstroke, but he didn’t notice, with black lotus poison still coursing through his veins from his encounter with the Silver Company.

On the fourth day of travel, the skymage had given up, and muttered his final curses before face planting into the coarse desert sands. His dragon bore him a few miles beyond that place, but he too eventually grew tired and simply accepted his fate, and so two threats to the peace and stability of Faerûn were to die together in the desert—or, at least, it would have been.

The god Bane had heard Forcas’ prayers, and had agreed to grant his final request—his life, a life of bondage and servitude, in exchange for the power to take revenge on the Silver Company and a chance to strike at them once more. It was but a few moments later when a caravan of Bedine nomads noticed the shape of a blue dragon, and—believing it defeated—approached cautiously to gather the spoils. They were overcome with fear when it proved still alive, but they shifted focus to the nearby human and quickly secreted him away with them for his own safety.

Forcas was out for another five days before he finally awoke from his deep slumber. He had overcome his fever, and his wounds were healing and the black lotus had finally run its course. Remembering the desert sun, he was alarmed and confused to find himself indoors. An old woman dressed in the traditional garb of a Bedine nomad entered, and was equally alarmed to find her guest had awakened. Forcas did not fear her, though he was uncertain why the Bedine, who rarely built permanent structures, had constructed this place of wood and stone. The woman tried to explain something to the skymage, but her language was unfamiliar to him, though it had derived from the Netherese tongue and Forcas could pick out a few cognates. The old woman simply left a bland, lukewarm soup, and then departed.

Forcas instead followed the old woman, trying to grasp the situation, his infernal bargain with Bane still fresh on his mind. His life had been preserved, and the chance for revenge would soon manifest. The skymage struggled to piece together a plan to enact his ultimate goal, but in his weakened state he couldn’t hold onto a coherent thought for more than a moment…

The old woman finally entered a large room that slanted downward at a harsh grade, with large stone bookshelves having spilled their contents over the floor during some great cataclysm. “What is this place?” Forcas asked. The woman did not reply, but the skymage knelt down to retrieve one of the fallen books. It was bound in iron and leather, and a thick layer of dust had accumulated on its cover. Opening the book, he found a series of genealogical records and what appeared to be a tax ledger, all penned ages ago and written in Netherese. Excitement welled, and Forcas quickly moved to some of the other shelves, and found other tomes from a similar era. He found histories and bestiaries, religious texts, manuals on architecture and engineering, and the greatest find of all—a stack of arcane writings and experimental data from a bygone age of spellcraft. This Bedine tribe had at its hands a fully-stocked Netherese library!

No, it was clear, the Bedine had not built this place… they had stumbled upon the remnants of an ancient floating city—and with it the instrument of Forcas Forneus’ revenge against the folk of the Silver Marches had been found—the Silver Company would soon tremble at his coming!

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