Part 83: Heart

2 to Wakening Sun, Inalis, 37 days remain

Ah, crud! I almost dozed off for a bit there. We all got pretty tired. I blinked and suddenly Briar was there patching me up again. I started to repair my burnt clothes when Father began doing that grisly thing he has to do: cut up Gishath and find out what we can send to Azorius to help create armaments. It’s gruesome and I don’t like to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I have to. Now that we’ve learned how to extract magical essences from creatures, it’s become a thing that Briar and I have to do. We got started on it right away.

So Briar and I found some divine essences from the Avatars here. Shadow removed hearts, skin, bones, teeth, ugh. The others helped, and I was tasked with casting spells to clean their gross hands when they were done. Clio needs some pieces of the hide so she can use the loom on the Isle of the Fates. The Is- Wait. Should we start calling that Clio’s Island now? I mean, she’s the de facto leader of the Fates. She’s a piece of Eos, so that makes sense to me.

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself! I’ll come back to that later.

At one point, Father took out the heart of Gishath. Someone wondered what sort of powers one would get by eating it, and I had a silly idea. I asked Briar on the sly to turn me into a dinosaur when I pretended to bite the heart. And it was amazing! I was this fearsome beast with sharp fangs and claws and everyone was afraid of me for a moment. Oh, to be so menacing and terrorizing! What a rush! Though I had this weird sensation at one point. I think Shadow got scared of me and tripped me somehow. I remember being on my back for a lot of the time until Briar and Zirconis took pity on me and started feeding me raw flesh from the Avatars.

Wait, that’s not right. Huh…

Anyway, I kind of lost my mind as a monstrous dinosaur. I was much more focused on eating and roaring, and I didn’t even know that Actaeon had summoned a Keledone to take our requests back to Gishath. We learned a neat thing, too. Gishath was able to trade some of the parts – the hearts specifically – for gold. We now have the money we need to craft Clio’s cloak at the Isle of the Clio Fates. That’s good news! The only thing we still need in order to make it for her is the blood of a Gorgon, whatever that is. I might say a prayer to Kiora at some point and ask her.

I’m guessing the rest of the party was getting upset over me being in dinosaur form so Briar dropped the spell and I became me again. It’s weird, I have a craving for salad now – Zirconis has been kind enough to offer some of his rations to me. I wonder if that’s a side effect from apparently eating meat from the Avatars. The thought of that makes me a little sick! Maybe Clio and Briar have a good idea, this vegetarian diet thing they do. I don’t think I can stomach a steak now, not after being a carnivorous dinosaur.

Clio and I helped Briar prepare the Avatars for sacrifice as the others finished with their work and the Keledone flew away. Gishath was sacrificed to Eos herself while the smaller Avatars went to Kiora. Gidgiddonihah approached us afterwards and told us that the island accepted our offer. He told us to follow him, and he led us through the mountains towards the center of the island. As we progressed, we noticed that the mountains were not mountains at all towards the heart of the island. Rather, these were more hands of U’atu the Hundred-Handed. We took great caution to steer clear of them as best as we could.

The Heart Tree itself is magnificent. It is bright and golden, rising high above our heads. The leaves shine in a beautiful canopy above us, and the world around us seems to almost stop. Through the boughs and branches, I could see countless stars and clouds high above. Eos was here, and everything felt so serene. I couldn’t help myself! I stretched out my hand to touch the bark of the tree, and I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth emanate from it. My mind raced as it gained clarity. I was worthy. Worthy somehow, whatever that meant, and Eos heard me ask the only thing I could think of: “Where can we find a Gorgon so my friend can protect herself from the Lady of Dreams?” And in an instant, I knew: the Island of the Exiles. That’s where we get the final ingredient to protect her.

I didn’t realize that the rest of the group had done as I had. They touched the tree as well and gained knowledge from it. The roots of the Heart Tree extend to the entirety of the Emerald Isles, and while Eos is no longer here, she knows all that happens here. It’s a wondrous experience.

I got quite distracted with my own thoughts, not realizing that Rendu was very suddenly surrounded. We thought we were in for another fight, but that was not the case. Rather, a long serpent-like creature covered in feathers, came to us and elected Rendu as its new herald. The creature, a Coatl according to Gid, was the last of its kind. It gave to Rendu one of its feathers and a gift: Rendu can summon the Coatl in battle, and it will come to his aid. That’s marvelous!

Something odd happened, and Clio had to explain it in great detail to us. When she placed her hand on the tree, she saw a flash of moonlight and a vision of her own birth here. A single pod on the tree opened and bore Clio. A feathered scaled man, Gidgiddonihah, wrapped her in a leave and reverently took her from the spot, away from the reaches of the Lady of Dreams. After that, she met a personage not unlike her own self, though it was robed in starlight.

Her starry form introduced herself and was quite pleased that Clio finally managed to return to her Heart Tree. With her friends, though, Clio was able to make it, despite everything that Khar’shan had put against her. The starry Clio asked our Clio if she knew who she was, and then explained that when Eos gave her life to form the islands, a shard of her own essence found its way into Clio. Clio is not a reincarnation of Eos or anything, but the spirit of Eos lives on inside of Clio. And with that, Clio bears the responsibility to bridge the world of the mortals and the fey together, even after the Titans are gone.

The starry Clio also told her that it was time that we, the Heroes of Prophesy, drop that moniker. No, we are the Dragonlords, the true Dragonlords, the Knights of Xavian. They are we, and we are chosen by the gods, marked with the pierced dragon. We are heirs to that authority, divinely granted, and we should exercise that authority before the war commences.

For us, Clio appeared to vanish. When she returned, she told us all this. The Heart Tree then gave forth three new fruits: new armaments for us to use against the Titans. These were some new boots, a new staff for Briar, and a beautiful new shield.

With that, Gidgiddonihah bade us farewell and gave us his blessing. Once we slay Khar’shan, Gid will finally be free and his spirit will pass on. Kano has decided to join us from here on out, and we’re quite glad to have him. Father is already talking about teaching him to fish. I feel like we need a little party on the ship tonight, so I’m going to have Torag help me make up some brews with my alchemy jug!

Oh, I think Father wants to go hunting before we leave. I think I’ll join him on that excursion.


A TURTLE!!!

Briar turned me into a turtle, not a dinosaur!

I knew something was off!