My expectation of portal travel was definitely not what I experienced. Consciousness drifted between fully aware and completely lost. In those fleeting moments where I was awake I saw as soldiers hauled Garalith away and placed him inside a vault of some kind. Meanwhile I hobbled back into consciousness as I was thrown in a cell. I suspected it was somewhere in the capital city of Alfarand. A single barred window was the only access to the outside. There was no access to magic here. The Alfarand army had somehow found a way to cut the flow of magic in some places. I suspected they didn’t have full control of this. My reasoning was that in the moments I lost consciousness there was actually a drain of my own lifeforce. Surely they wanted me alive. It’s possible that lingering in those areas might have killed me eventually. What little I could see outside showed a crumbling and dilapidated city. Much like in Argumand the city looked empty. The sounds of people interacting were far.
I waited for some kind of interaction with the military for days. No one came, except for the soldier delivering the meals. At least I was treated humanely. Then, one day I received a message from a stranger. She sounded young and told me that I would be freed if I agreed to help them with a plan to stop the war. Naturally I agreed, I wanted to see no more bloodshed. In the following days I was briefed by the stranger on what their plan was. Few patrols actually passed by the prison, except when delivering food. The story of the war between Argumand and Alfarand goes back hundreds of years. The two worlds are said to be twins, created under similar circumstances. While Argumand received many guardians, Alfarand received one. That guardian’s power was respected, but also feared by many in Argumand. Back then a council led the cities of Argumand. It was those people that decided the Alfarand guardian was too big of a threat. Their fear led to the beginning of the war. The final goal of the council was to seal away the guardian. Many of the guardians in Argumand protested this decision, but nothing could be done. In a short time relations between the two worlds crumbled and a bitter hatred took over. The council was successful in sealing away the guardian. With their victory the remaining kingdoms of Alfarand swore to take revenge. Knowing that the people of Alfarand would attack the council destabilized the portals that connected the two worlds so that they would only be active for short periods over many years. Enough time passed for the people of Alfarand to deem their guardian completely lost, something that the resistance knows to be false. A gigantic statue of a dragon lies at the entrance to the Alfarand castle. That statue is the guardian itself, paralyzed in stone. All that needs to be done is to find a way to reawaken it.
The whole ordeal of the guardians and the worlds was devastating to hear. I understood now the reason why both worlds seemed to be decaying. Both worlds need their respective guardians to keep the magical energies flowing. What is worse, if either Alfarand or Argumand lose their magical stability both worlds suffer. It now falls to me and this resistance movement to try and restore the Alfarand guardian. I could only think of one option, trying to free Garalith. Our execution would be done in a few days. Alara, the woman who I had been talking with, informed me. She promised that she would do everything in her power to help us escape. All I could do now was wait and prepare.