"Greetings, Jack." Tarthiun's back was to the entranceway. "Please sit down. We have much to talk about. Thank you for escorting our friend, Draephas."
Draephas bowed his head in acknowledgment but remained standing. Jack walked over to something resembling a chair and took a seat. He started to sweat in anticipation of seeing Tarthiun. Don't turn away...focus on his eyes. The Shaman spun around and faced Jack.
You look surprised," Tarthiun said with a warm smile. "You expected me to be a bit more evil?" He was in fact a kind and gentle looking sorcerer.
"Yes...I pictured you very differently," Jack admitted sheepishly
"The creature you saw was Mephran, but somehow you attached my name to him. It is no wonder he made such an impression; he orchestrated your murder and put a terrible curse on your life energy."
Jack was staggered. "My murder? I..."
"Allow me to explain." Tarthiun clasped his hands behind him and began to pace.
"You may be Jack on Earth now, but here on Aeddonea you were the immortal Vigilant for time beyond measure. That is, until Mephran and his henchman, Segriath, conspired against you. Jack, you are the eternal gatekeeper of the sole portal connecting our dimension to yours."
A puzzled look overtook Jack's countenance. "Okay...wait. If I am supposedly this Vigilant, then how was I killed? In my world immortal means you live forever."
"The word is the same here," Tarthiun replied. "Normally, when a living thing dies, its life energy returns to the source, called Origin. There it waits until it is tasked to inhabit a new physical form. I believe you would call that reincarnation."
Jack nodded. "Not everyone buys that theory where I come from. I always did, though"
"Well," Tarthiun continued. "I can assure you it is true. When an everlasting being perishes, its life energy travels to Origin but is instantaneously sent back. This is a completely natural occurrence and you have expired countless times. However, Mephran used an ancient talisman to cast a spell. The hex masked your life energy, making it unrecognizable. Origin then put it in a human newborn. That was you. It almost destroyed Mephran to do this and the amulet shattered in the process, so have no fear of it happening again."
"Why would Mephran go through so much trouble to get rid of me?" Jack asked.
"Because you were the only one who could foil his plan. Aeddonea is dying from abuse and Mephran intends to invade Earth using the portal. He and his army of mutants, the Horde, will make your planet their new home and your kind will suffer horribly. It is written that our world is meant to die. Yours will survive if humans continue their efforts to reverse the damage they have inflicted. A portal was never supposed to exist but somehow it opened on its own. Eons ago, when it was learned that it couldn't be closed, you were made gatekeeper by the higher powers of Xebolis."
Jack took some time to absorb all that he had heard. Finally, he spoke. "So what do we do now, Tarthiun?"
"We recover Vigilant's body and restore you to your rightful role in the universe."
"So...I'm never going back home, am I?" Jack knew the answer.
"We will speak more on the journey," Tarthiun said. "We must leave at once."