Part 70: Silly

11 to Wakening Sun, Inalis, 46 days remaining

I’m not drunk. I’m not! I swear! I’m a little tipsy, Heath, but I’m not drunk. Ha! But it’s okay, we’re having fun on this ship. I’ve just enough sobriety in me to write this before I go to sleep for the night. The others, though, I’m not so sure. Clio and Briar might the the most sober of the group, except for Actaeon. He just spent his time with Malkarion.

So what happened today? Well, I already wrote earlier this morning about Queen Xoti joining the crew. The crew was very polite and professional around her, and she was warmly welcomed aboard the Gjallarhorn. In order to protect her, I cast a divination spell to make sure the Lady of Coins had not sneaked aboard. Thankfully she hadn’t. If she had, I would have set the entire world ablaze to stop her. Betrayal at this point in the Oath of Peace, especially when so many lives depend on us, is not something to take lightly. But she’s not here, and Xoti and all of us are better for it.

We began discussing where to go next, and we settled on the Island of the Fates. Shadow had a vision last night wherein he heard a voice or voices directing him there. Clio is aware that the Book of the Dead is somewhere on that island and we need to learn its contents if we are to better prepare ourselves for war. Our plan is to go there, talk about things with the Fates (I’m not sure what, but we’ll figure that part out), and then leave the island.

After planning, we set sail and Shadow suggested we have a little party because of our recent successes. I mean, he’s right, isn’t he? We rescued the true Queen of the Amazons! An entire nation in Khar’shan’s pocket was freed! That’s worthy of a celebration and a few glasses of fine wine. Hmmm, I think I would have preferred wine. That’s what Clio prefers to drink, and I wanted to hang out with her and Briar. Torag thought otherwise, and had me create ale with my magical jug. To his credit, Torag knew the crew would prefer ale anyway, so I guess that’s fine.

Rendu, Shadow, Torag, and I all started playing some festive music for a time before Azorius’s Keledone appeared in the sky, bringing new gifts from the Mithral Forge, as well as a new friend. A marble golem named Theophilus – whom we all call Theo – was sent by Azorius to assist us with some things. I guess Azorius is awakening marble golems to protect Ellandyr when the Oath of Peace ends, and Theo is his first. He is incredibly strong and wields a bow that intimated Shadow a little bit.

Oh, funny thing! Shadow and I have taken to calling each other Father and Child/Son/Daughter now. We both feel that way about the other, and our lives are so much better with each other. I never knew my true parents, and Mother and Shadow have always been so kind and caring. Anyway, Rendu made a silly comment about it: “Oh, is this a new thing? You’re Leef’s father now?” and Shadow went off on him. It was terribly funny!

He’s like a son to me, Rendu! What do you know?”

I’m afraid we all couldn’t stop laughing. Shadow had apparently been drinking more than the rest of us, taking long draughts of his ale between songs, and we hadn’t realized it. But it’s just as well, I love Shadow, and I love calling him Father. Rendu seemed very pleased, too. But I guess this inducts me into the ever-growing family: Torag and Rendu are actual cousins. Rendu and Shadow both speak the angelic celestial language, so Shadow believes (rightly? I don’t know) that he and Rendu must be distant relations. And Shadow is my Father now. So what does that make me to Rendu and Torag? Let’s see…

I suppose I could cast a divination spell later. “Dear Kiora, sorry to bother you, but am I related to Rendu and Torag?” and Kiora responds, “I’m sorry, kid, there are many other more important questions to ask. You know that right?” and I just smile and nod.

Oh, right! Keledone brought some goodies and Rendu received some new gauntlets. They look a little oversized for him, but he says they’ll make him super strong. Since he wasn’t using them now, I took his flame gauntlets and gave the storm gauntlet to Clio. Now we look really cool.

Shadow, the ale seeping further and further into his bloodstream, decided to put a challenge on Theo. He asked him if his oversized great bow was any good. Theo decided to showcase his skills and he fired an enormous arrow into the ocean. He had tied a rope to it so as to not lose the ammunition, and when he pulled the arrow up, it was attached to the largest fish I had ever seen. Everyone but Briar was impressed. She only said, “Oh gods, I have to cook that, don’t I?” While Theo was processing his enormous fish, Shadow decided to do the same, not wanting to be upstaged by the new guy. He managed to fish out a shark, but needed help pulling it in. Briar just about lost it when she saw it.

The festivities cooled down as the day went on, and I’m a little tipsy now. I re-summoned Leo and apologized for getting him killed again, but he just laughed it off and remade his oath to assist me as long as he could. Clio spent some time in the library for a bit until she went with Briar to help with brewing some new potions. Rendu continued to play music to an amused crew and an increasingly inebriated Shadow. Torag passed out sometime at noon and we just didn’t move him. Actaeon and Malkarion made plans to take Bront, our Jancan friend from Talys, to the Mithral Forge to be reunited with his son and start working the forge with him and Azorius. We were fine with this as Theo would be good to protect us while Actaeon did this task. It’s good to have additional help in the forge. There’s much work to be done still.

But I’m tired now, and I’ve a lot of work to do tomorrow. I need to keep working on that magical essence. I’ve some ideas of what we can do with it once it is created.

10 to Wakening Sun, Inalis, 45 days remaining

I do believe my work with the magical essence is progressing just fine, but it’s quite messy. It’s a divine essence, so the smell of vanilla and sage is normal, but the texture is something else entirely. I’ve read and re-read the scriptures from the temple a hundred times, and I’m positive I’m doing it correctly.

Making the essence is like a delicious bread, but imagine the recipe takes five or six days to complete. The first day, the ingredients were mixed with magic, and it made like a little portable sunrise. It was quite lovely, like a small ball of energy that felt very warm. The second day was just focusing magic into it while stirring the pot extremely slowly. I nearly fell asleep doing it. Now here’s the tricky part: we spent a lot of time on Talys that night and day, and I didn’t get to check on the essence until just this morning. It grew. It’s kind of viscous and slimy, and it’s about as big as my head. Leo poked his head into the medical cabin to check on me, and he claims this is normal. I am not so sure. It’s incredibly sticky and I can’t seem to get it off my shoes.

While I was fighting with it, Clio and Briar came in to talk. Clio got spooked by a strange book that seems to appear near her and write cryptic messages to her. It’s off putting to say the least, so I tried to divine its origin. Unfortunately, what Kiora taught me about it was not helpful even slightly. The book comes from a place called the Endless Archive, and even Dia and Versi didn’t know what that was. Briar suggested we try writing back in the book, and to our shock, words appeared on the page.

The writer introduced themselves as Sokrates and was the servant of someone in the Endless Archive. This master of Sokrates wished to meet with us, and we could find them on the Island of the Fates. The Archive has the Book of the Dead, something we’re actually seeking, so this kind of works for us. But it begs the question: is Sokrates one of the Fates, the fiendish hags we’re-

Never mind, Clio informs me that this is not the case. The Fates have names and Sokrates is not one of them.

Well, it’s late again. We’ve had some silliness on the ship again today. Shadow and his rabbit friend Yannis are topside training again, and I keep hearing Torag breaking the punching bags in the training room. He then comes to my room to ask me to fix it, then goes right back to obliterating it.

9 to Wakening Sun, Inalis, 44 days remaining

Tomorrow, Actaeon and Malkarion depart from us for a time. They’re on their way to the Forge to deliver Bront to Azorius and Steros, and we’re on our way to do battle with the fates. Or talk to the fates. Or negotiate, or befriend, or run away from the Fates. Honestly, none of us are really sure what’s going to happen.

Oh! Briar put a bit of magic into her dragon egg, and it very suddenly hatched! Her dragon, Zirconis, is incredibly cute. He’s a curious one with a very proper manner of speaking. And, surprisingly, he’s vegetarian like Briar. How interesting! Gods, I hope there’s a dragon egg out there for me! I’m looking forward to meeting a dragon companion, if I have one. I’m not sure what fate (or the Fates?) have in store for me.

The Island of the Fates is bleak. We’ve just arrived and dropped our anchor, and we already feel the melancholy from it. What little vegetation grows here is wilted and weak, and a dark somberness seems to infest the air. Everything is monotonously gray. Theo, using some magical glasses given to him by Azorius, was able to see some specific features. There’s a singular beach for us to row our boats to, and a stone pillar in the center of the island. There are tunnel entrances all around it.

That seems to be our destination. We’re settling our todos right now and getting ready to land tomorrow morning. Wish us luck, Heath. This island might be a strange one.