Day Three – A Strange Land
Left Stormreach, filthy town. Road wasn’t tidy either. Like it that way. Loose dirt for a track, boots on soil. Comfortable. Grounded.
Elf joined us. Aenath. Idiot. He’ll be dead within the week. If he hasn’t fled back to Stormreach, the coward. Gnome might stick around longer. Might not hold in battle, but she’s got the wits enough to avoid one. Kessia, Kess. Gnomish name, short, soft. Suits her.
Reached a river after a few hours walk. Earlier than expected. Maps must be wrong. Heard no great tales of the cartographers of Xen’Drik. Must be careful, a false map can lead even an experienced traveller astray. River too wide to cross. Followed it inland, hoping for a bridge or crossing. Found nothing before dark. Set up camp a short walk from the river bed. Trees, huge. Taller than I ever saw. Strange land.
Difficult to write by camp fire light. Flickers. Can’t read what you’ve written. Food is bad. Dry, tasteless. Just enough to keep you moving. Need to get used to it, can’t expect luxuries on the road. Company could be better though. Dumb elf near killed himself trying to climb these giant trees. Second time, he cast a spell. Flew right up through the canopy. Fool should’ve thought of that the first time. Didn’t help much. When he came back down he swore the mountains were on the wrong side. Like they’d moved. Wonder if he’s drunk or just stupid. Perhaps both.
Day Four? – The Light of Dol Arrah
Yesterday, I wasn’t sure I was on the right path. Coming to Xen’Drik, could’ve been a mistake. Know now. No mistake. Right path. The Sun showed me that.
Soon after writing last entry, heard a sound. Groans, the Undead. Knew it had to be dealt with. Agents of Dol Arrah could not allow such filth. More groans. More Undead. A horde. Hundreds of them. Surrounded us. Don’t know where they came from. The night was dark. We had only the light of the campfire and of the elf’s magic. Abandoned by the Sun, I thought, she’d retired for the day.
Started with two shots. Three kills. Bullets don’t stop for crowds. Gnome’s army put to use. A handful of little soldiers. Took out a few of the shamblers between them. Elf put down one or two. Strange dance of blades. Style I’d never seen before.
Dragon pistol, cone of fire. Double-pistol, two quick shots. Two more guns, one for each hand. All put to use. Still not enough. Too many of them. All around, no space to move. Needed to clear some space, but could not do it alone. Turned to the Mother Sun, and she answered my prayer.
Blinding light. In a blink, fifty lay dead around where I stood. Properly dead, never to rise again. The Sun’s cleansing light. But she brought something I didn’t expect. Day. The light shone through the forest’s canopy. Sunlight. Risen from her slumber to help in our fight.
The battle turned. We found our strength in the Sun’s light. The gnome killed dozens with fire. The elf used magic. And me with my guns and the light of Dol Arrah. We slew the creatures. All of them. We stood in a field of the twice-dead. Corpses of corpses. Put to rest by the light. I took my shovel and began to dig.
A rift. Shimmering vision. Came rushing towards us. It was on us in a second. When it hit, everything went dark. Night again. A boy stood before me. A young, naive child. Smiling. A stupid boy. The boy I once was. The vision before me was a vision of days past. Before it all. Before… The Last War changed many lives.
After a short time, the Sun returned, the vision faded. It left something. A memory. Khorvaire. Home. Family. And friends. A gnome and an elf. The company I travel with, now appear in my past. And another memory. Of the night’s battle. The last of the Undead. One shot, a soul released through fire. The face blown away. The clothes remained. A dusty cloak, dark leather. Looked like mine. Can’t be sure, double-corpses gone, absorbed by the rift.
One of Kess’ pets is gone too. Says she has an inkling as to where it might be. Followed her, found her metal companion. Also found a new sight. Haunting landscape. A cut through the land. On our side, rich forests, tall trees. Opposite, only ice, as far as vision takes us. Can’t be natural, evil magic at work here. We’ll find out soon.
This land is cruel and strange. I long to be away, but there is much more cleansing to do. I fear I’ll be here for a long time. Perhaps until I am no more. I pray the Light of Dol Arrah will keep me strong.