Part 2: Oracle

7 to Burning Sun, Voelis

Maybe I am a hero after all! But my companions know too much about me now. I can’t keep this a secret any longer.

The entrance of the temple was guarded by some fire fiends, but we took care of them. Inside the temple were some soldiers with what Actaeon said were the markings of Amalj’aa. He said they weren’t supposed to be there. They tried to fight us, but Clio and Actaeon made short work of them. The acolytes of the temple were thrilled, but said that the Oracle was gone.

We had spared one of the soldiers and tied him up. I changed my Mask to look like one of them, trying to get some information. My companions saw me do this and became concerned. I tried to play it off as a neat trick of magic, shifting into each of them as a sort of amusement. Only when I shifted into Clio that I noticed most of her right ear is missing. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. I was so ashamed of myself. Clio never talked about her ear, and here I was, showing this to her like a fool.

I shifted back to the soldier’s form as quick as I could. The captured soldier said that the Oracle was in the basement of the temple with Helaka, a sea hag. Briar tried to get into the basement, but some enchanted swords attacked her. She, Clio, Shadow, and Actaeon fought them off. A mimic in the shape of a large door blocked our path, too, but it wasn’t much of a fight. Actaeon knocked it off its hinges pretty fast and led us downstairs. He knew the temple very well and could take us anywhere.

The basement was a large cave-like room with a stream. A blanket came to life (like the enchanted swords, I guess). It tried to suffocate Briar. I cast a spell of fire but I’m afraid I hurt Briar instead of the blanket. Actaeon and Shadow ripped it off of her and Clio shredded it with a psionic blade that she can create.

The sea hag was around the corner. She had a water creature that was restraining a woman in golden clothing: the Oracle. We fought bravely, I can truly say. Actaeon and Shadow were gravely injured but they’ll be okay. The sea hag, Helaka, was killed and the water creature ran away. The Oracle was very kind and thanked us for saving her.

She told us the whole prophecy.

“You warriors who stand here gathered will be tested. The Fates have revealed three great tasks that must be accomplished before you are ready to sail into the three seas and face the Titans.

“You must shape the silver fires of the lost forge in order to craft the tools that you will need. You must claim the mighty weapons wielded against the Titans by the first Dragonlord. And you must drink deep from the bottomless dragon horn, for it will reveal a vision that I cannot see.

“But woe unto thee, for I have seen the end of all things. My father’s anger cannot be quelled, and his sister schemes even now. Your quest may yet fail and, if it should, the sky will rain black fire, and the doom of the Emerald Isles will come.”

The Oracle’s Prophecy

That’s a lot to take in, but the Oracle is fully convinced that we are the heroes and that we were called here to do great things. You always talked about wanting to help people. Maybe this is how I can do it. I’ll be a hero. For you.

The temple was safe now. I excused myself to go outside. The sun was setting and I had some things to take care of. I lit the incense and spread out your prayer rug. I think I have the Sacrament of Sunset memorized by now, but I kept the verse next to me just in case.

I think the Morninglord is pleased with me. I can feel his presence, as strong as I could in Ylisse, despite not being there anymore. The other gods, the Five, can have many followers here, but my heart belongs to the Morninglord. Mother brought her prayer scrolls when we got on the ship, and I’m glad I thought to stow them in my pack. They’re a little water-stained now, but I can read enough of them to make my vow. The warmth of the Morninglord was over me as I watched the sun disappear over the horizon.

Briar and Clio found me out there as I was finishing the vow. They told me that I should be out here alone, and they’re definitely right, but I have not felt this good in a long time. After defeating a group of soldiers and a sea hag, I feel like I could take on anything! Briar and Clio sort of just laughed nervously before seeing me go back to the temple. One of the acolytes let me sleep in his room for the night. I have a good feeling about tomorrow.

6 to Burning Sun, Voelis

Darling, something extraordinary happened. So much happened today, but I need to go in order. I was right. It’s a good day today.

The Oracle surprised us by announcing that Dia was going to be coming with us on our journey. We had to fulfill the three labors before we could become heroes. Dia seemed to know a lot about these. The first labor, lighting the silver forge, was going to be a difficult one. No one seems to know where this forge is, but Dia knows a dwarf clan in Altea that should know something of it. The second labor is to drink from a dragonhorn, and that horn happens to be in Altea already. The third labor is to acquire the weapons of the original Dragonlord in Telamok, a necropolis. That just happens to be beyond Altea.

All our roads are leading us to Altea, so that’s where we will go. Dia is coming with us to chronicle our journey and deeds. I’ll be honest, though. We’re not happy to have her along. During the fights to save the Oracle yesterday, she stayed back and wrote what happened. She doesn’t seem to have any magic or weapons of any kind. I can only do so much healing magic at a time. I know this sounds callous, but what if I have to save her from the brink of death and I run out of magical power? It happened before when you-

The Oracle spoke to each of us, talking about our individual destinies. I didn’t understand all of it, so I had to write it down here before I’d forget. The Oracle said that Actaeon’s personal belongings are in Telamok. A lich in Telamok has knowledge about a curse on Briar. Clio seems to be cursed or doomed somehow, too, as the Oracle’s sister, Demetria, is supposed to have information for her. Demetria also has in her possession an heirloom of Shadow’s. And my path home to Ylissee is somehow tied to a treasure of the Dragonlords that I need to find.

It’s all very mysterious, but I am feeling good about this.
An acolyte of the temple, Proteus, charged us to be heroes of the Emerald Isles. He said the people need us to be beacons of light against the darkness, to not seek fame, and to be subtle in helping the land. He gave us a Dragonlord coin, telling us it would be passage into the necropolis.

And almost as soon as we had left the temple, Dia told us to ignore this. She told hs that we should become famous! We should do good deeds and raise the spirits of people, but we should allow them to sing our praises and write stories about us. The more people we draw to our side, the better chance we have against Amalj’aa.

Dia then suggested we make an oath of fellowship with each other. Oaths here are sacred bonds between people, both mortal and fey, to draw on the power of the gods and make ourselves stronger. Clio was reluctant at first, but Briar said something to her in their language and Clio eventually agreed.

Dia told us to take each other by the hand and repeat the words of the oath. But the first part was to say your name. Your real name. If I didn’t say my real name, the oath would not be binding. I was anxious and didn’t know what to do.

Briar saw me panicking and asked me if I was alright. I had to come clean. I couldn’t wear your Mask any longer. Not around them. I shifted into my true form.

I hate myself. I hate how I look. I’m so ugly. You were the only one to look at me with love, to see me for what- who I am. Mother came around, of course, but it was always you. You were the first and only one who loved me for me. My companions, the heroes of prophecy, would hate me. Just as everyone did in Ylisse.

I told them that my name is Flee, and I’m a changeling.

I was most afraid of Shadow. We had been traveling together as friends for almost three weeks now, and I had been lying to him. When he saw my figure, female and not male, with pale gray skin, white eyes, and wispy pink hair, he… He didn’t shy away. He didn’t try to hurt me. He just… smiled. He put his arms around me and hugged me. He told me that it didn’t matter what I looked like. He loved my company. He loved our conversations. He was still my friend.

Actaeon, to his credit, didn’t say anything. He’s usually so gruff. He just clapped me on the shoulder. Not angry, like the others did back when you and I were young. Actaeon, the giant of a man, covered entirely in armor, clapped me on the back gently.

Briar and Clio both nodded and told me that they preferred this form to Heath’s Mask anyway. Maybe because there was another woman in the party? Or something else. I’m not sure. Briar was next to me when we held hands, ready to make the oath. She squeezed my hand and gave me a quick smile. Clio didn’t say anything else, but I’m going to still try. I’m going to be her friend, too.

I am Flee, and I swear upon my life and my honor that I will uphold the oath of fellowship with the warriors who stand at my side.

Oath of Friendship

We began our journey to Altea. The Oracle had sent ahead of us another hero. He had gone to Altea two weeks ago and that we should meet with him as soon as we could. As we traveled, Dia spoke to me. She told me that she was wondering when I’d finally reveal my true form to the group. I guess she and the Oracle already knew about the real me. Dia suggested I stay in my true form around my allies because it would help us all connect to each other.

I’m looking forward to this journey. A few weeks ago, I was sure I would be stowing away on a ship back to Ylisse. But here I am, with a group of people who accept me for what I am, on my way to do heroic deeds and save a strange land.

But, Heath, how I wish you were here.