"I can't believe we're doing this..."
"What are you afraid of? You're attuned to a Lifestone, aren't ya?" Answered the old grizzled soldier as he looked over his companion in the dimly lit cavern. He wasn't terribly impressed by what he saw. Young, covered head to toe in polished, expensive armor, bristling with weapons, and seeming weak all the same. The soldier figured he must be a Marketplace Rat, who gained most of his life experience recruiting new arrivals and learning vicariously off of the tales of their adventures. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to bring him into the heart of the Iron Blade's newly walled excavation site...
"Well, um... Yeah, I am." said the younger adventurer after a long pause.
"Then we'll be fine. At worst, you'll get your pretty armor scuffed, learn a lesson in pain-management, and maybe have to come back and collect some items and coin from what you leave behind when the Lifestone grabs ya." The soldier casually tossed in the details just in case the younger man had never died in Dereth before. Seemed to him it was more polite to offer information casually and not insult him by asking if he'd ever even lifted one of his pretty weapons in a real fight.
"I don't *like* dying if I can help it." spat back in an angry tone. The soldier figured the youngin' chose to be insulted anyways. 'Ah well, can't win them all', he mused to himself.
"Well, the Emissary said this was important, and Asheron doesn't send out an Emissary lightly. We'll just look for the disturbances Asheron wanted investigated, and be done with it."
"This Asheron may think it's important, but important to who?" The younger man's voice was getting louder as he spoke. A moment later, their conversation was cut off by the sound of gears and clanking metal.
"Well, so much for subtlety." said the soldier, hefting his axe. "Time for things to get interesting."
As the Iron Blade Gear Knight rounded the corner of the cavern, the world erupted into violence. The soldier had to admit to himself, though we whined a lot, the youngin knew how to swing a sword. Maybe this wouldn't go as bad as it could've.
The pair felled the Gear Knight, as well as the handful of others that had joined in. The sounds of combat echoing along the cavern walls had brought the Gear Knights' allies into the fray before the first Gear Knight fell. As the youngest of the pair began looking them over for any useful bits of loot, the old soldier said, "That was strange. I've fought a good many of these Gear Knights before, but I've never seen them act like this crew..."
The next thing they knew, several small holes into Portalspace appeared around them. One of the holes stretched, revealing itself to be a Virindi Rift, but with a strange blue mask where the usual reflective, oily white mask rested. The rest of the holes seemed to pour out large Virindi, with the same eerie blue masks. The pair of adventurer's froze for a moment as a pressure built up in their minds and a tinny voice echoed, "You have invaded our home. Prepare to die.