This is the story of a mouse.
INT. UNDERGROUND COMPLEX
It is an evacuation, or it would be if there were any hope of anyone actually getting out alive. There are horrible noises and explosions and stuff. People run from place to place, shouting orders. Scientists try to gather up their research, and sometimes get eaten by their research. Bits of ceiling fall down, and rooms collapse, are sealed off, or fill with bright light. It is terribly annoying.
Our frame is lower, beneath the mayhem, closer to the floor, where feet hurry by and forgotten objects roll dejectedly through the chaos. A MOUSE runs through the lot of it, fleeing the impending doom, with other mice heading in the same direction. One is crushed right before its eyes, and the others, too, are lost, one after the other, leaving only our mouse remaining.
The mayhem dies down, with only a few folks still fleeing. The mouse follows the scent of fresh air, darting through a couple of doors before they close, then finally approaches the bright light (light 1) of apparent freedom.
It's a dead end. The mouse finds itself in a large room with a pedestal (control panel) at one end and a bit of a dias in the center. There are two men, but as soon as we register them, there is a horrible light (light 2). The mouse darts for cover behind the dias. When it emerges, the men are dead, blasted to bones. The door is shut. There is only the dias, so it jumps onto it and sniffs around.
INT. TRANSFER CHAMBER
There is another flash of light (light 1) and the mouse suddenly finds itself in another chamber like the one it just left, but different, with different walls and different architecture and really different everything aside from also being a room with a dias in the middle of it. This one also has three elves in it - RADEK (a scientist), the GRAVEDIGGER (a horned behemoth), and RHU (a kind of scrawny guy in a robe).
The mouse tries to flee, but Rhu steps into the doorway to try to block its passage.
Hey, mousie, mousie.
The Gravedigger makes mousie noises.
The mouse stops and looks really confused and frightened. And hungry.
The Gravedigger pulls out a sandwich and offers some to the mouse.
(still making mousie noises)
Here, poor little mousie. Have some lunch.
The mouse comes eagerly to the sandwich and nibbles enthusiastically, and the Gravedigger picks it up and strokes it.
(feeding the mouse)
So, Radek. Try for a duck this time.
Oh. So where did he come from?
(pointing above the dias)
Up there, I think.
(giving Rhu an irritated look)
I can't say.
What is it, Mr Mousie?
The Gravedigger holds the mouse up to his ear and pretends to listen intently. The mouse doesn't care. It's happy. These people seem friendly.
The voices continue in the background, talking about portals.
There's another flash of light accompanying them, then another. Then a final flash obliterates everything, and then everything goes dark and quiet.
INT. UNDERGROUND LAB
There are four tanks, some tables with stuff, six elves doing stuff (Rhu, Radek, and the Gravedigger are now joined by AMADI, GREIBEL, and DAWN), and a sphinx.
The mouse is now a MOUSEFORGED, a giant robot-golem. Radek is leaning over it with a concerned look on his face, with the Gravedigger, Amadi, Greibel, and Dawn nearby.
I'm... hrm. I'm not sure why it isn't moving.
The Gravedigger pokes the mouseforged.
The mouseforged freaks out and tries to get up and run away, knocking Radek over. It tries to hide under a table, but knocks the table over. It can't quite even walk at this point, trying to be a mouse in a warforged body.
INT. ARTIFICER SHOP
Sysca enters, towing the mouseforged behind her. The place is full of tools and magical things and various weird odds and ends for sale. Half a golem is in a bin with a sticker on it saying 'SPECIAL'. Sysca eyes it suspiciously before pushing to the counter.
Hello? Anyone here?
Sysca notices a bell on the counter and dings it, then dings it a few more times. Finally there's some noise in back and a voice responds.
(from the back of the shop)
Coming! Hold on!
Sysca waits patiently, then looks at the mouseforged. The mouseforged looks back and smiles, then they both go back to staring off in their own respective directions. Sysca looks at the mouseforged again and they repeat this a few more times before Jenna finally bustles back into the shop proper.
Jenna is also apparently a vampire, and looks very tired.
Sorry about that. We had a shipment of data cards and I was sorting them out... well, nevermind that. What can I do for you?
Did you fall asleep?
There's a bit of a pause while Jenna leans on the counter and waits for Sysca to get to the point, and Sysca tries to figure out HOW to get to the point.
Sysca looks at the mouseforged again. The mouseforged smiles at her again.
(gesturing to the mouseforged)
So, um... Mr. Mousie here...
I want him to talk. All he ever says is 'squeak'.
There is another pause.
Then how do you know it's supposed to be able to talk?
Looks like he is. I mean... he's like a golem, isn't he? Golems talk. Some golems.
Well, that would depend on the soul.
Golems are basically just bodies with souls tied to them.
(she heads around the counter to get a better look)
They can be artificial souls created specifically for the occasion, or souls from... other things that have been bound, either willingly or otherwise. It's the soul that determines the intelligence and personality of the thing.
The mouseforged backs away from her, and Jenna glares at it sternly.
(pointing to where the mouseforged is standing)
It stays and she looks it over, poking it a bit, yadda yadda.
Sysca watches interestedly, though the entire thing isn't actually that interesting.
It is a golem, though not one like any I've ever seen before. It's like half android, half animated armour; only the basic governing principle is the same.
(she sighs and looks back to Sysca)
You want it to talk, right?
Well, that's the problem, isn't it. You need a better soul for that; what it's got isn't even really a soul at all, just the memory of one. A mouse that was already dead, but whose space in the universe had not yet been taken.
You'll need to get a new one.
A new soul?
And not just any soul, unless you don't mind writing over the personality it's got now.
You'll want blank one, then, and I don't know how you get one of those. It's the sort things are born with, the sort that comes into the world all innocent and precious before going ALL HORRIBLY WRONG.
Jenna ominously emphasises that last bit.
So if I find you a blank soul, you'll fix my Mousie.
Right, well it's not that easy!
Let me worry about easy, mmkay?
You'll need a stone.
Jenna drops a soulstone into Sysca's hand. It's about the size of a ping pong ball, but colourful and shiny and slightly translucent.
Sysca turns to leave, but Jenna stops her.
INT. TEMPLE OF SOMETHING OR OTHER
It's a temple. There's a pair of priests, DERRICK and GERALD arguing in the corner. Sysca goes up to them, but doesn't really want to interrupt. The mouseforged meanwhile stops in the middle of the floor and stares at the ceiling.
The priests stop arguing, one starts to reply, and then they just sort of stare at Sysca.
(suddenly he notices the mouseforged, and then looks Sysca over)
Gerald, she's got the...
You! You're the one of the prophecy! It's happening, even now...
Agh! For the last time, I don't CARE what your prophecy says! Will you please stop bugging me about that?
But don't you see? This is it!
Sysca glares at him. The mouseforged smiles at them.
Then what... what are you doing here?
I'd like to know about souls.
What about souls?
Where do they come from?
They are our gift from the gods.
Yes, yes, but where do they come from?
That is not for mortals to ask, for the gods...
Look, I need a soul. Where do I get one?
Oh! Is this about the prophecy? You need a soul for...
Sysca, you do realise this is just the proof we've been waiting for. Before, the signs were only you, but now you have the effigy, and you seek to rebuild it. Do not run from your destiny.
You know what? Screw you.
INT. Some shop or something.
Sysca encounters a stray Rahah. They proceed to do Mrs. Bitters impressions at each other, horrible growling grimaces accompanied by strange rattling chittering noises.
The mouseforged wisely stays back.
A SHOPKEEP enters and tries to get between them, as it looks like the preamble to an all-out battle.
(moving toward them)
Girls, girls, calm down.
As one, they both focus their threatening gestures/expressions at the shopkeep, and he starts looking very afraid and backs away.
Um, that is... er...
Sysca and Rahah drop their impressions and finally properly look at each other.
I'm Sysca. That's Mr. Mousie.
The mouseforged waves.
I'm a mouse, man.
You don't look like one.
The mouseforged smiles pleasantly.
Okay. Why were you...
She gestures vaguely.
Because you were... whatever you were doing?
Which was... right. That.
There will be an elf born of uncertain heritage, with silvery horns and the mark of the divine upon her. Accompanied by an effigy unknown to the realms, she will recover the lost unknown and break down the barrier before the first of the triumvirate, hailing the beginning of the end.