What would it be like to find yourself in a different world from the one in which you were born? Read on and see what Janus Roland has to say when he finds himself in just such a situation.
There was nothing for me to relate to when I found myself in the world of Ave. One moment Derek, Kent and I were drifting along an extended lake on a boat in thick mists, and soon after we found ourselves in another world entirely.
It really happened just like that. From entering mists during the night, to having the mists part to reveal broad daylight coming from a sun that isn’t your own.
Looking up into a sky that is a completely different color than any sky you have ever seen , and then looking back and seeing a horizon that was not there before, is sobering, to say the least. There wasn’t one sign of the world we came from, anywhere we looked. Not a power line, a building, a cell phone tower, sign of a road … nothing at all. A completely different geography. It was just a big, vast wilderness, with a huge forest sprawled out just ahead of us.
What can anyone do in such a moment? I suppose you just have to react, or you are going to be overwhelmed. That’s not entirely unlike a dream, in that you respond to the circumstances and surroundings, no matter how strange they might be, and even if it’s a nightmare. Any of us that dream do it on a regular basis. In a sense, we participate in another world as if we were a part of it. We deal with all kinds of environments and even creatures sometimes. In dreams I’ve walked under water, I’ve flown high through the upper skies, and I’ve seen things that didn’t exist in my waking world … and in the moments I experienced them they were real to me.
Whether it is a dream or something real, the mind is incredible in how it can make adjustments. It is either that, or go crazy. I think Kent almost did cross that line, as he had been alone in Ave just before Derek and I rejoined him. I’m glad I didn’t go through a moment of fear like that, thinking I was by myself in another world.
Experiencing the phenomenon with two friends gave me a little more strength to face the enormity of it all. We eventually ran into a few others from our world, Mershad, Erika, Logan, and Antonio. Sharing this experience together certainly aided our ability to deal with the harsh reality of being in a new world that we had no warning or preparation for.
Looking back on it, I suppose being so numb emotionally kind of helped as well. At the time that all of this happened, I was going through a deep period of grief after losing my father unexpectedly. When you are going through something that painful, there is a gray haze hovering over about everything. It saps you of motivation, and is a kind of deep depression, in a way. I’m still dealing with that sorrow, but the things we’ve faced in this new world have kept my mind distracted for some periods of time, even if the emptiness is still always there inside of me. Only one thing will make the emptiness go away, and that one thing seems an impossibility to me now.
Now I find myself cramped in the dank hull of an Avanoran ship, a captive, along with a few of my new companions. It seems so much has happened since we found ourselves in this world. There wasn’t much time to acclimate, as we were taken in by a group of tribal warriors not long after coming into this world.
The bodies of the warriors were painted red and black, and they had a very hard look about them. We had several arrows trained upon us, and there was no doubt in my mind that if they had thought us enemies we would have been killed. We found out later that they were a war party shadowing a massive army gathering on their borders, so I am surprised they even gave us the benefit of the doubt. I am certainly glad they did.
Thankfully, we had been given the gemstone pendants that helped us with speaking languages and understanding them, or I do not even want to begin to think how hard it would have been to deal with the things of this world. The one they call the Wanderer was our benefactor, though what he is doing I can’t say. It is clear that the tribal people had a tremendous respect for him, and that he was regarded as a friend to them.
Whatever he was, he could not have stopped the devastating attack on the village we had been taken to. I can still remember rushing out of the village as large stones crushed the dwellings all around us, and all of the cries that filled the night. Looking up and seeing these huge, dark winged shapes in the night sky was so surreal. I can remember the aftermath, with all of the death and sorrow. My own wounds from grief are still raw, so it was especially difficult to see the agony of the survivors who had lost loved ones.
I’ll never forget seeing a little girl cradling the broken body of her dog that had died in the attack. Moments like that make me feel so helpless, and it brought a deep pain to my heart to see her crying. I felt so drained when I left the ruined village, my legs felt like they were made of lead as I walked back down the slope of the hill the village sat atop.
Only a powerful dream I had shortly thereafter helped me to regain a sense of my bearings. I have had such dreams from time to time, and I can say they can bolster you sometimes.
I can’t say this world is any more brutal than the one I left. The wars in my own world are just as devastating to families that suffer them. It doesn’t matter if it is a big flying beast or a high-tech drone or fighter jet, the shock and grief of losing a loved one in such destructive violence is just as horrific.
It was out of this tragedy and the looming invasion of the tribal lands that it was decided by our Onan hosts like Ayenwatha and Deganawida that we would be taken to an island, with the intention of keeping us safe from those who had attacked the village. On the island were the people known as Midragardans, who are everything I envisioned when I read about Vikings in my own world. Only the Vikings of my world could not take to the skies upon big flying wolves, which are what their Fenraren steeds are like.
Yet even the island wasn’t safe, as it was attacked very soon after our arrival by Avanorans by sea, and a non-human race called Trogens who came upon their own kind of flying steeds. The Trogens are incredibly strong. They have faces like pit-bulls … that’s the best way I can describe them … and one might have killed me were it not for the intervention of a big dog from the Midragardan settlement. I don’t know what motivated that dog to intervene, but stranger things have happened to me and I’m not about to question my good fortune in that moment.
We did not get away, but we lived. I was separated from my friends Derek and Kent, and do not know their fates. I hope they found a way to escape, and there’s a chance they did, as I think they would be with me now if they had been caught. I am with Erika, Antonio, and Logan in the Avanoran ship, and I have no idea where we are sailing to.
At least I am not alone. Erika brings some light into my world. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I like her more, the more I get to know her. She is the strength of our group right now. Logan just broods, and Antonio is full of fear about our situation, but both of them are my companions. I know Erika has her own fears, but she keeps up a confident appearance that I know is for our benefit. I just don’t know how long any of us can remain confident in this dark musty hold of a ship.
We will have to see how everything plays out. To be honest, I don’t even know if I will live to see tomorrow. We are not in control of our destiny, that’s for certain. Others are deciding our fates. Right now, it is just a matter of surviving from one day to the next
I don’t know if we will ever find our way back to our world, and I don’t even know if I will ever see Derek and Kent again. I can’t dwell too much on those fears. I just have to keep moving forward as best as I can. At the end of the day, the only way I can guarantee that I will find no answers is if I come to a stop, and I definitely don’t intend to do that, no matter how horrible I am feeling inside.