Taking a deep breath, Sarah finally turned back toward the door. “Goodbye, Kay.”
“See you later, Sarah.”
She touched the door again, and the image of her bedroom lit up in her brain. Then she threw open the portal and stepped through. Everything seemed foggy for a moment as she slid between the two worlds. She heard a voice in her ear – the old man who had been watching her from somewhere inside Castle Greystone.
“This isn’t an adventure that you get right the first time,” he whispered. “You’ve gained much experience, but there’s still more to learn. You’ll find your way back here, and you’ll change this world again.”
Then the voice disappeared. So did everything else.
Heroes always leave a mark on the world, big or small. Sarah’s trip through Greystone Valley may have been a brief one, but many of those whom she met were changed remarkably. One year after Sarah left the valley to go home, here are some of the marks she left behind.
The doors to Castle Greystone, long sealed shut, were left open as Sarah returned to her home world. That means that Greystone Valley isn’t quite as isolated as it once was. People who once found themselves trapped in the valley can potentially escape through the many doors to other worlds within the castle. At the same time, creatures from other worlds also have an easier time in finding their way into the valley.
Baelan’s army consisted of both humans and beast-men. Humans have the luxury of being able to claim they were never a part of Baelan’s army, but beast-men have the disadvantage of looking very different. Few people in the valley trusted them as it is, but now many actively discriminate against them, whether they served Baelan directly or not. As a result, the beast-men have moved toward the fringes of the valley and are not welcomed in most human communities. The one place they can be found with some frequency is near Castle Greystone, which has become a holy site for them of sorts, since a gigantic statue of their former leader Aries appeared there at the same time the door was opened. (Almost nobody knows that this statue is Aries himself, who was turned to stone by the keeper of the castle.)
Grimjaw the Dragon
Using technicalities in the pact formed between the dragons and the Wizard of Greystone Valley, Grimjaw made a deal with Baelan that put Sarah’s life at risk. As punishment for this, he was exiled by Adlin, the leader of the dragons. Forbidden from returning to the underground caverns where the dragons hide, Grimjaw now lurks in parts unknown.
Kay, Dax, and Keeley
Shortly after watching Sarah return home, Kay reunited with his other traveling companions, Dax and Keeley. The three unsung heroes are very much the same as they were a year ago. True, Kay has learned to control his spells (sometimes), Dax has learned how to smile (well, not really), and Keeley has grown larger (a whole inch!), but they are otherwise unchanged. The companions have taken to traveling across the valley in search of adventure. And maybe, just maybe, they will one day be reunited with the heroine who brought them together in the first place.