the horizon stretches as far as the eye can see, the ground a mirrored reflection of the starry sky above. alone at a table a cloaked figure sits, the chair across from them empty. however, the loneliness seems to only give them solace, as the figure holds their chin thoughtfully in their hand as they delicately but decisively pick up a pawn on a chessboard and move it forward.
the game has begun.
a hand presses on the top of a digital chess clock before spinning the board around to the other side, mulling over the next move against themselves. this game would bring in pieces from across universes. they would have to plan accordingly.
it would be the only way to have any fun at all.
the figure, known to most simply as the chessmaster, looks at you with a piercing, unsettling dark gaze. they smile enigmatically, perhaps a bit wickedly, and begin to speak:
"you have been chosen to take part in a game. this is no ordinary game, and i have but only one rule: you must pay an entry fee. you must either sacrifice the memories you hold dear or the powers you hold within. mind or body?"
the chessmaster moves a piece on their board nonchalantly, not at all perturbed by the gravitas of the decision they forced upon you. "it is a difficult choice, i know. take your time. we have all eternity here... and if you do not choose, then here in purgatory is where you will stay. only once you have chosen what you will sacrifice will i allow you entry onto my chess board."
the chessmaster turned the board around and moved another piece. "you can earn whatever you have lost, of course. i am not so cruel as to keep what you have so generously given up. to do that though... you will have to play."
a truly malevolent grin spread across their lips. "i hope you enjoy yourselves."