Part 49: Departure

8 to Verdant Sun, Inalis, 60 days remaining

My mind is a fog today, Heath. A tremendous amount of things happened all at once. I regret this mind fog. My notes for today’s events are a little stilted but I will do my best. I told myself when we started this adventure that I was writing my notes to you. Yet, I cannot help wonder who will actually read this once everything is done. I’ve written a lot of very personal things in here. My struggles with suicide and drinking, bad memories of Sel Mara and the abuse we suffered because of that wicked man, my feelings for Clio, and so much more. I thought that perhaps Dia could use this record to write something important someday but I don’t see that happening. The truth is, I’m still not certain we have the means to fight the titans or forge a new oath of peace. I’m just a Dawnbringer from a faraway country.

Actually, is that even true? Am I truly a Dawnbringer? I made my oath. But I never got my tattoos. And my oath was not sealed by a Dawnmaster. I didn’t really think about that. Plus, my ceremonial robes were stolen. Maybe I’m not very good at this, haha!

We woke up tremendously early, earlier than even I was used to and before the sun had even risen. Sa’kull woke up with me and helped me pack my belongings. We met the others in the courtyard. The group was bleary-eyed but ready to go. Shadow locked up the Starfall Estate and we bade it a fond, silent farewell. The building looks somber without a lit hearth or the sound of Ilharg’s laughter or Shadow and Briar arguing about spiciness. Clio and Briar did such a wonderful job beautifying the courtyard and I will miss hanging out my window chatting with them late into the night before the three of us finally fell asleep. I suspect we will not see Rendu’s morning beauty routine anytime soon, nor will I fall asleep listening to the quiet rhythm of Rendu’s music, Torag’s drums, or the sound of Actaeon sharpening his spears and pacing sleeplessly in his room on the Gjallerhorn.

Ellandyr was calm and serene as we found ourselves at the docks. A crew of one hundred fine people had volunteered to row the ship on our journey, and we met with each of them as they loaded cargo and supplies aboard the Gjallarhorn. And the ship itself was so different than the last time I had seen it! Everything seems to have been restored to what glory it once had centuries ago. The wood is polished and brightened, painted parts of the ship have been retouched, and new red sails hang from the main mast.

To no one’s surprise, King Acastus was here to meet us. He said something snarky and easily forgotten before flying up on Uriangr and disappearing. Queen Aminatou entrusted us with the lives of the one hundred. She also gifted us some animals for sacrifice, additional armaments, and various potions that will offer us some protection.

Some more people were going to join us on this voyage than our group. Dia, dressed very finely, came aboard and was announced to be the goddess Palladia, much to the surprise of our crew and onlookers. Vaevictus also joined us and brought only ale with him for luggage. I suspect he and Torag may have plenty of awkward conversations as we go on this journey. The Oracle surprised us by volunteering to come with us as well. In addition to that, the satyr Lorius decided to come with us too. He presented some flowers to Briar and made her blush. And finally an air nymph with an injured ear like Clio’s came and presented himself to Clio with an oath of service. His name is Ilos.

Oh! And Malikos snuck aboard the ship, obviously with our consent.

The Queen also brought us the Antikythera, telling us that Acastus had gifted it to the League of Storms a while back without her consent. The Antikythera can attune to the constellations in the night sky and lead us to the different islands of the Cerulean Gulf. The Forgotten Sea is closed to us right now, though, because the device is missing a specific tuning gear. This gear should be somewhere on the League of Storm’s island, the Isle of Yonder, along with my mother.

After a quick toast to Kiora, we set sail! Within an hour, we were out on the open sea again, though this time the ship moved where we told it to go and not of its own volition. Dia spoke with the crew about our plans and informed them that the ghost of Estor Arkelander is still haunting the Gjallarhorn. We figured it would be best if we just leave him alone for now.

We decided that it would be a good idea to decide what everyones’ roles will be on the Gjallarhorn. Though Rendu wasn’t super thrilled to be making an oath to the Gjallarhorn to captain it, he was voted to be our captain, with Shadow as his first mate. Actaeon will be the helmsman, which means he directs the ship and steers us where we need to go. This made the most sense since he started familiarizing himself with the Antikythera immediately. Torag and Pholon will work together to man the ballistas. Ilharg was voted to be the boson and maintain the ship’s equipment and repairs. Briar is a great cook, so we voted that she now takes on that role permanently. Clio will be in charge of our equipment and supplies as quartermaster. And I will be the ship’s surgeon. I’ve had extensive training in medical things – my knowledge of stitching applies to skin as well as cloth, and I know an abundance of healing and restorative spells now. Corinna will continue to take care of some animals in the cargo hold. Karador will stay with Rendu and Pholon, and Sa’kull will obviously stay with me.

I guess I will be sleeping in the library on the ship. That’s neat! I might not get much sleep here. Between having a vast amount of books available to me to peruse, and having a child wanting toys to play with, I might not get much of anything done here. Clio said she will be in from time to time. I’m going to try to help her find some useful books here.

Let’s see, what else happened? The Lady of Coins is a stowaway, having decided that the Heroes of Prophesy were more likely to help her take Talus back rather than the minotaur army she wanted to build. Ilos taught Actaeon how to use the Antikythera. We learned about some of the islands and plan on going to them to see if we can find anything that might help us.

We decided to have a meeting amongst the heroes before we got too far on our journey to the Isle of Yonder. The missions are as follows: find the missing piece of the Antikythera, find Actaeon’s stolen armor, and find my mother. Clio also wants to search their library and pilfer some books. The group made a decision that it would be good for me to not go to the library lest my restlessness to reunite with Mother cause me to be foolish. Frankly, I have to agree. If I see Chondrus here, I might kill him on the spot. I will do my best to maintain my composure during all of this, but it is wise to have someone who can ground me and help me keep a level head. That will be Briar! I’ll go with Briar, Rendu, and Actaeon to Gaius’s quarters. The other team going to the library and Chondrus’s room (we fear he may have the gear instead of Gaius) will consist of Clio, Shadow, and Torag since they’re the sneakiest of us. Once we’re done finding the Antikythera gear, we find Actaeon’s armor, and we finish our research at the library (and hopefully after we leave Chondrus dead in our wake), we will free my mother and the other prisoners.

Our plan is to use Rendu’s harp and conjure a fog under the cover of night and sail for the north side of the Isle of Yonder where the watch is lessened. We will have to climb the cliffs and avoid being seen at the top. Shadow has some spells that will make their party harder to track. Briar will do the same for ours. A lot of the rest of the talk was on different structures that we’ll find, places where guards and gygans will be stationed, and some harpies.

I am suddenly very anxious, Heath. We’ve done some very brave things in our time as the Heroes of Prophesy. We’ve also done some very seriously foolish things. Our lives are constantly in danger. But this quest… This seems so much more difficult. Maybe because I have a more personal stake in it now. Not that I didn’t before! But Mother is there. I have to find her.

I’m going to do something stupid. Or very brave. Or both. I don’t know what it will be just yet. Or maybe I won’t do it at all. I don’t know.