"Homecoming" is a Season 5 thread written on March 28, 2015.
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Greg Ericson: After a long week of walking through the wilderness, Greg and his demon companion Nala were finally nearing Perch Hall. “Finally things are starting to look familiar.” He said as he gazed at the nearby plants and trees. “I’m gonna be so glad to be back home. I missed Warren and the others a ton.” He said with a smile. However as soon as he broke the treeline his smile faltered and changed to a look of shock and despair. Perch Hall was no longer where it once stood. What was once a large fortress was now a large pile of rubble sitting in a crater.
The Warden: Nothing but wordless astonishment pulsed from the Warden.
No… she said weakly. Horrific scenarios flashed through her mind and she struggled to quell them. Had they been too late for Ragnarok? Greg…I…
Greg Ericson: Greg ignored her as he sped towards the ruin, saying under his breath, “No no no no no no no.” Once he reached the crater he stared at the crater for a moment and then fell on his hands and knees as tears stung his eyes.
The Warden: I’m…I’m sure it is not what it seems…
But she couldn’t come up for any other excuse as to why the previously massive structure was now blown to nothing more than stones. She started to stretch her mind out, looking for signs of life, still stunned by the scene before them.
Don’t give up hope…yet…they must be out there…
Greg Ericson: Greg breath shook his, breathing heavy tears streaming down his face. He didn’t know how this happened, or why but he was sure that they were dead. The camp was now a giant hole in the ground. Who could have survived that. Greg laid down on his stomach, with his head laid on his arm. He slammed the ground with his fist and asked quietly “Why?”
The Warden: No. There. There was something. Greg…wait…
She pulled his mind with her as she extended her senses out towards a group of bright minds in the distance, and her soul thrummed with excitement as she recognized some of them.
Greg! They moved! They found a new camp! They’re alive!
Greg Ericson: Greg’s breath caught in his throat, they were alive? He got up quickly and wiped his tears. “Tell me where to go.” He said seriously.
The Warden: This way, quickly. She coalesced in front of him, tugging him in the direction of the other rebels. Their numbers have dwindled but I believe the main body of them is still alive and well.
Greg Ericson: Without even waiting he ran through Nala’s form towards where the rebels, and he would not stop until he reached the new camp.
The Warden: She rapidly spread out among the rebels, lightly brushing their minds and identifying each of them.Haddock, Dark-eyes, the Pooka…Treepelt…the scout, the Night Rider—
Greg, there, on the edge of camp, she’s here.
Grey Bergman: Grey was about to enter the medic tent to check on the injured again. It had been a week, and surprisingly, people had been doing better. Hunter and Maya truly were miracle workers. Before she could even touch the tent flap, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye. She looked and saw a figure running toward them.
“Who’s there?” she shouted to the figure as her fingers hovered above her sword.If it’s Orskaf again, I’m going to…As the figure grew closer, her eyes widened, and she gasped covering her mouth with her hands. No…it couldn’t be…
Greg Ericson: Greg finally made it to the camp and the first person he should see was Grey. He was unbelievably elated. He charged towards her and picked her up and swung her around. He placed her on the ground and immediately wrapped her in a bear hug. “I-I’m s-so glad your safe big sister.” He whispered, his voice shaking yet again, tears welling up in his eyes. “I-I saw Perch Hall and I-I-I-” He couldn’t finish. It was too hard for him, so instead he just buried his head in her shoulder.
Grey Bergman: “I know…I know…” she said as she sobbed. Her whole body was shaking, and tears ran down her face as she buried it in Greg’s shoulder, “but it’s okay. We’re okay. Oh my gods…y-you came back…you came back, you Thor-damned idiot. I can’t believe you’re here. I was so worried about you, you Odin-Thor-Hel-damned idiot of a baby brother!” She continued to sob and hiccup not caring who was watching. Her adoptive little brother was finally home…safe and sound!
Greg Ericson: Greg cried for a few more minutes, tears streaking his face in silence beyond the odd sob or hiccup. “I’m sorry.” He whispered. “I’m sorry I had to go to the North. I’m sorry I made you guys worry. I’m sorry the camp was destroyed. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to do anything. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Grey Bergman: “Shh…don’t…don’t apologize,” she said still burying her face in the teen’s shoulder. “It’s not your fault. Akkey told us what happened. There was no way you could’ve said ‘no.’ I’m just sorry that I couldn’t stop her from sending you away. If I had known that’s what she was going to do, I would’ve—”
Greg Ericson: Greg interrupted her. “Oh my Gods, Akkey. Is she Okay? Who survived? What even happened?” He asked quickly.
Grey Bergman: Grey sighed and wiped the tears away from her face. “It happened just as we got back from the pit,” she began. “Orskaf and his men showed up and started taunting Haddock. He showed us that he had Kiri, and” tears came to her eyes again remembering her friend’s corpse lying in the field, “he-he killed her. Orskaf killed Kiri right in front of us. That was when that witch that we were meeting about showed up. It destroyed the entire camp. We…lost a third of the rebellion, Greg, and Akkey was truly a hero. She saved me, Haddock, and Stonegit when we were trapped in the fortress,” unbeknownst to her, Greg caught full view of the scars on her arms, “and she saved Warren and Tree from drowning in a flood. Thankfully, she’s okay too.”
Greg Ericson: “Oh Gods.” Greg said hearing the number they lost. All those lives,extinguished. All those friends, lost. His stomach churned, "I think I’m going to be sick.“ He said as he stumbled backwards in an attempt to sit down.
Grey Bergman“Hey, hey,” she said helping him to sit down, “it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s horrible, I know, but we’re getting along okay. We’re making camp here at the dungeon, and we’ve been doing pretty good. If anything, I’m actually glad you weren’t there. You didn’t get hurt like me and Warren did,” she gestured to her arms, “You were safe, which is good.”
Greg Ericson: "I could have helped.” Greg said, his head in his hands. “I could have saved people. My health be damned, what about them!” He yelled removing his hands then quickly replacing one and rubbing his face with it. “More people would be alive now if I had been able to help.” He said quietly.
Grey Bergman: Grey gently took his hands away and placed a hand under his chin so that they were looking at each other. “Greg, you’re only one person,” she said. “It wouldn’t have mattered. Orskaf completely pulled out the rug from under us, and we barely made it out. It was just a huge mess, that no one could’ve stopped. I told Haddock the same thing I’m going to tell you. The only thing we can do know is to keep moving forward and honor those we lost by kicking Orskaf’s butt at Ragnorak.”
Greg Ericson: Greg sighed. “Rationally I know that. But I just can’t help but feeling I could have helped in some way.” He paused to rub his eyes with one of his hands. “Bloody Hel I need to lie down.”
Grey Bergman: “Well, you could do that,” she said, “or you can go see a certain girlfriend of yours.” She shrugged. “Whichever you decide.”
Greg Ericson: “Warren.” He said bolting up. “Is she okay? You said she’s alive but is she okay?”
Grey Bergman: “She’s okay,” Grey said placing a hand on Greg’s shoulder. “She had a few broken ribs, but a healer and I fixed her right up. Come on,” she said standing up and bringing Greg with her, “let’s go see her. She really missed you.”
Greg Ericson: “Gods I missed her too.” He said quietly. “Alright lead the way Lady Grey”
Grey Bergman: “As you wish, Greg,” she said. “Follow me.”