It has been such a long week. But the games are officially over. The dragonlords triumphed! Torag said we “stacked the podium” and at first I didn’t understand why we had to assemble it but Clio explained that it meant that each spot was filled with one of our people. Sometimes I really feel gòrach1. In my defense I think sometimes these mortals make up phrases just to mess with me a bit. I know you used to. It’s okay tha gaol agam ort fhathast2.
Anyway, Torag took 3rd, Shadow 2nd and Actaeon 1st. I found it poetic that Torag who is a minotaur proved his abilities in the face of a lot of prejudice, Shadow who is a resident of Ellandyr but was somehow forgotten will hardly be forgotten now, and Actaeon started out the games with a battle and a challenge to those in power finished them with the same amount of strength. Rendu also did wonderfully. I tried to tell him that but it only came out as telling him he was good at standing, because I really expected him to be on one of the podiums. I know why he wasn’t though, the numbers were stacked against him. He was working on things so he couldn’t join in every event, and the events that he did join he often would help the other three gain points. I admire him even more for that. I’ve had a glimpse of his competitiveness and anyone can see how he plays to the crowd. It couldn’t have been easy for him to relinquish some of that spotlight.
Clio, Leef and I all got to join in as well. Those two are so formidable as coaches! They are such strong casters and they made amazing plans with the champions they worked with. I really learned a lot from them. Bidh iad a’ toirt orm an-còmhnaidh a bhith ag iarraidh leasachadh3. But the three of us also got to compete in the relay. I was so nervous. I was on a team with Clio, Actaeon, and Rendu and Kano (another competitor and the one who hit or rather hit on Clio.) He’s um… very charming. It’s a bit disarming. I felt a bit guilty thinking that. I’m not sure why. But I almost felt like I was betraying someone. Maybe it’s because of Le– nevermind.
Leef was on the team with Shadow and Torag. Everyone did fantastic! It was all a bit of a blur to be honest. I had to race in the water against Torag. And even though I was pretty confident in the form I took, I couldn’t help but be nervous because some of the other competitors looked less than savory. (I learned that phrase from Leef, I like it. Probably because I’ve been cooking so much. It means they look like they aren’t up to much good.) But everything went fine. I caught the ox’s eye before we started and I think he felt the same.
It was all – I’m not sure how to put this. Enlightening? I’m not competitive and the only running I ever did was away from danger really. But fighting alongside this group has taught me so many things. Tha an àm ri teachd na àite airson gaisgeachd4. If I have learned anything from the others it’s that. I’ve also learned that everyone has pain in their past but it’s how they move forward from that pain that matters. Is that what you have been trying to tell me all these years. It makes me think of when I first started casting with fire and how much it hurt when I burned myself. You would always give me the ingredients to treat my wounds but said I needed to apply my own balm to the past. I think I resented you a little for those lessons but now I am grateful. Tapadh leat athair5.
Then we all went home and had a large party with some of the other competitors and a few prominent people.
I performed my first big sacrifice by myself as well. While I am confident in the ceremonies and all that this was the first time to conduct one like this to Eos myself. Leef made me a beautiful ceremonial dress. I shall try to draw you a picture, and I made sure to put my hair up like you said so that it wouldn’t catch fire. It’s the first time in a long time I truly felt like I knew what I was doing. The ewe and I got to know each other pretty well throughout this past week. I found she loved the taste of clover, Rendu’s music, and anytime our group was laughing it eased her heart. My heart hurts so much when I think of her now. But that’s the point isn’t it? To know that as she relinquished her life that she would be remembered and valued, as Eos remembers and values each of her children. I will never forget that moment. Even though she was happy and heard the ruckus of the party and everything, in those final moments I felt her fear and anxiety as well. Others may not understand why I would cry over a sheep, but I made sure she knew there would be heartfelt tears on her behalf. Leef, Clio, and Rendu were there. I don’t think they understood everything (although Clio would more than most) but their support meant the world to me.
In the spirit of bravery I tried Shadow’s cooking………….. It was — interesting? We made fish together last week, but I admit I didn’t have much. I just wanted to do something with him to grow closer to him. But this time he cooked for everyone without me. I thought the most offensive thing about it would be the large portion of fish on my plate. But I refused to let its life go to waste so I ate as much as I could. The only reason I stopped was because Shadow’s pallet is much different compared to mine. He likes spicy things. REALLY SPICY. Thankfully Ilharg does as well because he finished the other half of my meal. It was made with such genuine enjoyment though I couldn’t say no to his offering. And I have to say how he plated everything was really pretty. Like we were at a fancy restaurant or something. It gives me an idea for a gift for him.
We have a lot of tasks to take care of now that the games are over. I promise you I will do my best to stay safe and help others. I miss you.
gaol agus gràdh,
Druidic 1: stupid
Druidic 2: I still love you
Druidic 3: They always make me want to improve.
Druidic 4: The future is a place for bravery.
Druidic 5: Thank you father.