“It is all entwined. We believe we can write fate, but truly, we are sleeping slaves, unlike you -- changeling.“ The Wheel of Fortune
1540, an Alchemist by the name of Klaus -- the former Castellan Engineer of the Empire -- prepared a ritual. He drew salt rings around his person, writing curious signs between them, forming a network with these arcane sigils, a typical rite to hop to other worlds. He was driven, intent on using this as a means to get closer to finishing his great work. He carefully drew the markings, staring behind his respirator; he always wore the thing, fearing he would traverse to a world with harmful air, among other things.
As he wrote, thoughts raced through his mind, questioning the laws of the world, and wondering what world he will end up in this time. He recalled that he was trapped in a world, gothic in nature. It was filled with the supernatural being heavy in that place -- vampiric things, demonic cults, lycanthropes, occultists - both by magic and creature -- he found his way out, breaking the seal that stopped him from leaving. While a nightmarish thought, he enjoyed visiting that place from time to time, actually enjoying it there, though he was excited for a new adventure -- a new place to record. Once he completed the network, he cited the rites, and with his tools and pack of provisions, the fellow vanished, with charred wood in his wake.
Traversing planes was always strange, it felt like one was being shot forward and even though it was an instant, he could feel the vapor rise from his person; the force causing him to enter a three-point landing as he found himself in a new world.
The dunes whipped harshly at his goggles; he could hardly see in the thick of the sandstorm, and the sand around him flowed like a sea - an aggressive sea. He gurgled as he dropped to his knees while trying to stand, clutching his heart. He knew the situation he was in. When one shunts too often, there is a high chance they feel the recoil of “Shunter’s Sickness”, a duration where the traversal of planes is not kind to the body, and causes some issues due to the sheer stress of hoping; in this instance, it was being quite cruel. He had to get out of this storm, he could not take the elixir he fashioned to help combat the sickness. He looked around frantically, as he trudged through the sands, the dunes whipping his person.
He kept clutching his breast, using his other hand to help keep the biting sands from hitting his goggles. He found some semblance of a structure, or atleast one he could make out. He felt like he was going to vomit, and his heart kept aching. The fellow moved with what haste he could offer, and eventually found himself at the structure; a closed door of some ruin-- looking like an old watch tower of some kind -- he opened the door with what force he can muster, and slipped in through the slit he made.
It was a dark place, though oddly well kept. The fellow ignited a light with his alchemical compound, dropping it on the ground to let the rods light spring out. Gasping, he fell down, he felt like his heart was about to explode; his shaking hand pulled a flask from his pack, and undid his respirator, letting it fall. Klaus quickly took the elixir, already feeling it take effect - his heart calmed, and the sick feeling he had in his stomach faded.
He was panting and gasping, clutching his heart as the effect faded. He was stable again. Spitting, he’d put on his respirator again, corking and stowing his elixir away. The fellow could now examine the room around him; truly, his first brief observation was right -- it was way too neat for something abandoned, as though someone was vacating this place. But what were they doing away from here? The planeswalker thought. He kept a hand on his side as he moved up, noting the stairs. He could see strange markings on the ground, as he got to a higher view. Planar markings, things he’s seen before in other worlds; though he also noticed strange ripples along the walls as he ascended to the next floor, it was as though whatever was in the watchtower knew he was here.
He came to the next floor; it was far well cared for than the one below -- what was an armory was covered with an array of weapons, tulwars, swordstaffs, composite bows, the likes; which was understandable, save for the fact they were all there and in pristine condition and that there was a table for two in front of him, with an orb in the center, an orb that seemed to swell with an image of the cosmos. He came closer, only to move back; though the orb would not let him.
He heard the sound of snapping fingers behind him, and before he could pull the hand-launcher from its holster on his side and turn around, the orb reacted violently - it expelled this dark fog with blue clumps, covering his person - he couldn’t even yelp or shoot. He saw nothing for a short while, the infinite black of the great expanse.
Then, it all showed itself; he saw lights and the cosmos around him, and looking below was some kind of nebula formation, though the floor felt like glass.
“And so fate answers.” He heard the deep and gravelly voice from ahead of him, which caused Klaus to look up; seeing a figure, perhaps 2 meters in height and burly in shape. Its sculpted bare arms were of a caramel color, with darker leathery scales around the massive bicep and forearms, and broad shoulders peaked out of a purple and green vest. It wore baggy trousers that were stopped by long, curved boots; though its face was the strangest thing he saw; the thing had four eyes, staring at him from behind a mask, with the upper portion shadowed slightly by its turban.
“I’m here for you, but I am not here to kill you -- Planeswalker.” The figure quickly followed, which relaxed Klaus, somewhat.
“... may I ask who you are.” The figure moved a hand to his side, which caused to grip his weapon tighter; though he’d relax as the presumed man drew a card, a tarot by the looks of it. He’d flick it to Klaus, who caught and turned it over to reveal “The Wheel of Fortune”.
“I go by many names, much like you, changeling. You can call me The Wheel of Fortune” Klaus tensed up.
“You know what I am?”
“I am aware. I like to keep tabs on so called ‘Shunters’. I’ve seen your work, and I must say I am impressed. We are always looking for people like you, those that can bend fate.”
“I’m confused. Bend fate? And who is this we?” The Wheel of Fortune signed, muttering something as he came closer, towering over Klaus.
“There is a notion that we are all bound by fate; meant to follow the cycle. Men, women; they must follow the song and step of the world, for that is the cosmic way. The organization I represent -- one can say we work closely with it; we give people the means to bend their fates. We do… jobs on the cosmic level.”
“What do you mean? The wyrd may exist, but we have the ability to write our own destiny. We don’t need to follow a cycle.” This caused The Wheel to chuckle, revealing four more muscular arms that patted his stomach.
“I like your idea, but in reality -- it is all entwined. We believe we can write fate, but truly, we are sleeping slaves, unlike you -- changeling. You are able to hop worlds, create new branches in destiny, and without a device. We have reason to believe that once one is able to transcend their plane, they are unbound by their cycle, and can write their own path in fate.” Klaus took a while to register this, nodding in response as he kept listening.
“My fate has had you show up here, this small chance, in an infinite sea! The organization would like to invite you to join its ranks. We’ve seen your work, and your curiosity, I’ve seen you enter Val’Garis and other planes. You’ll do well.“
“You want me to be a contractor with your organization? I… er, it does sound like I’ll be able to see more worlds, but please -- I have a wife at home, who I love more than anything, a son too. I can’t just… leave them.”
“Planeswalker. Believe me, my fifth eye tells me that it would be better for them if you kept at your goal. It is… much safer that way. Besides, if things manage to work out, I’m sure you can still visit and be with them. We don’t ask you to stay on our plane all the time, and you can take whatever contracts you choose, and they are all… high paying. You’ll be well compensated.”
“Surely there’s... “ Klaus tilted his head, eying the scape around them, and then looking to the many eyed titan.
“I don’t need to sign my soul, do I? Is there a catch?” This caused the figure to reel back and guffaw, eyes spinning.
“[They] were right about you, how skeptical. No, there is nothing like that from us, though I will debrief you and give you your first job, should you accept our… invitation.” Klaus contemplated this, looking away for a moment, as he thought about his wife and child, and the wonders this job could do for them, the compensation could give them a good life, a life away from the world he so despised.
“I accept.” The planeswalker said with a sense of finality.
“I will join your Guild.”
“Then it is so.” The Wheel responded, offering a hand to Klaus, to which the man accepted.