Part 84: Hunt

2 to Wakening Sun, Inalis, 37 days remaining

We spent a good deal of time resting at the Mother Tree of Eos, binding our wounds, fixing our torn clothes (good thing I can magically do this!), and cleaning ourselves up.  Next, we got into a short discussion about the eternal fruits we saw growing everywhere. They have healing properties. That is to say, when I ate one, I felt overwhelmingly happy! And it made some of my minor cuts and scars disappear! How neat is that? It’s not unlike a potion, though I must say the taste is so much better. Over-the-counter potions are quite bitter. And while I think hers taste so much more pleasant, I haven’t the heart to tell Briar that a little sugar might help the aftertaste of hers quite a lot. But anyway, the debate was whether it was okay or not to take some of these fruits with us. Gid had already left us, so we just kinda… I don’t know… We started gathering fruits. We all felt it was okay considering Clio gathered an armful. She’s part-Eos so if she says it’s cool, it’s probably cool.

Father wanted to go hunting and I was eager to spend some time with him. I took a few fruits and we headed off while the others kept gathering fruits. Torag wants to make some liquor and now we have something to look forward to when we get back! Briar asked me to stay in contact. More on that later…

Evidently we misunderstood what Briar had described and what Clio had seen when Briar initially scouted the island yesterday. Clio described a flying dinosaur, which we thought meant exactly that. What she meant to say was that the flying dinosaur was a Dreaming Sun’s Avatar! You know, the legendary avatar that no one has ever seen before? Yeah, that’s what we were hunting. Only when we saw the beast did I finally get that.

The Dreaming Sun’s Avatar was, as I wrote is a flying celestial creature with long claws and sharp fangs. We found its tracks up high in the trees. When I say tracks, I mostly just mean claw marks. When this bird lands in a tree, it lands hard and violently. We tried to be sneaky, Father climbing and myself flying with my magic boots. The whole time I was thinking, “Wow this is so much fun! I’ve never really gone hunting with Shadow before!”

Not fun, Heath! Not fun! You get dirty, you scratch yourself on tree branches, you have to be all quiet and sneaky all the time, ugh! Oh, and the big flying avatar trying to eat me wasn’t fun either. Yep, that happened. We saw it ahead of us, and we snuck as close as we could. Father even cast a spell to help us hide, but the Dreaming Sun’s Avatar saw right through it. It disappeared, vanished into thin air!

Aaaaaaaaand promptly reappeared, charging at us at its full flight speed. Father muttered, “Aw crud! If I say run, we run. Got it?”

Is that a normal thing to say on a hunt? I guess so. We both thought we were in a little over our heads here. Father tried firing a few arrows at the avatar, but it’s feathers were shining in the light of the sunset, making it difficult for us to see. I cast a golden blessing on us from the new Eos tree staff just as the avatar did a fly by, slashing wildly at us. 

Good news! We got a little blessing from the Eos tree when we made our sacrifices, and that blessing shielded Father pretty well! 

We started making our way towards the Gjallarhorn as fast as we could, still debating internally whether we could fight this thing. I managed to blast it with ice from the storm gauntlet, hoping that the ice would slow it down. Oh, no, that absolutely did not work… The avatar shrieked as it circled back at us. 

Shadow fired and managed to hit the avatar, throwing it off its trajectory – unfortunately that meant it’s jaws were aiming for me this time! I put up a shield spell and hurt it pretty bad, enough that it vanished once more. “Aw crud!” we both said, and we continued racing away. 

I think when the avatar reappeared and charged again, we finally started thinking that this could work. We might pull this off! Because this time, Shadow’s shots met their mark and I hit it with a blast of starlight energy. It rushed at us a final time, but I threw a bright blast of fire at it, and it fell dead to the ground below us.

YES! OH, WHO’S THE MAN? Or woman, or whoever? I AM! YES YES YES!

After a quick celebration and multiple high-fives, Father started doing that nasty carving thing here like before and gathered some feathers and some hide from this creature. I have all of Briar’s notes on sacrifices memorized, so I did the rites, sacrificing the avatar to Kiora. I think that went okay, right? Maybe I’ll get back to that later. 

As the avatar burned, we saw its essence in the midst of the fire. Shadow and I quickly put on some protective magic and dove into the fire to grab it, both of us burning our clothes slightly in the process. Nothing a little magic and tailoring can’t fix, though, and we got a divine essence for our troubles! A few more high-fives later and we both felt good about the sacrifice. We started making our way back.

While walking, I thought that we could have a celebration on the ship. First off, who got that kill? I did! Wooooooooo! Second, Father and I took on a sun’s avatar by ourselves! I mean, I figured we were getting stronger anyway, but this is huge! If Shadow and I are this strong already, how strong must we be as a group? I don’t know if we’re quite at the level to take on the Titans yet, but we’re getting there. Of that much I am certain.

To celebrate our success, I prepared a quick show for the group once we got back to the Gjallarhorn. I told Father I would carry the feathers from the Dreaming Sun’s Avatar. What I didn’t tell him was this:

We got back to the ship just as the sun was fully down, almost three or four hours later than we had anticipated. The rest of the group was quite cross with us, but it’s okay, Heath. I fixed it! I slapped a feathered headdress on Father and proclaimed, “Behold the Alpha of the Dragonlords!” The ire of the others broke and they just chuckled. At least they did until Shadow admitted it was I who slew the avatar. So I snatched the headdress and flew up high into the sky, proclaiming, “‘Tis I, Flee of Ylisse, the true Alpha and the one who slew the infamous Dreaming Sun’s Avatar!” Pink and purple sparks flew down upon the ship so all could see my splendor!

That joke was silly, I know. But with the upcoming war being as dire as it is, a little jesting was in order. We broke out the wine and soon began to row away from the Golden Heart.

I guess my lack of messaging Briar while we were hunting really got to the rest of my family here. Malikos and Rendu were about to send out a search party, and everyone was imagining something awful had happened to us. Clio thought something shiny distracted me and I got eaten by something fearsome. Briar assumed Shadow died defending me somehow and I was left hanging in some jungle vines. Someone thought a giant plant ate me.

Why the hell are all these awful things happening to me in their imaginations? I’m the Alpha! I’m unstoppable, hahahahaha! 

Clio evidently scried on us, trying to see where we were at, but by the time she scried, Father and I were almost back on the beach at that point. I feel bad that we took so long that they were panicking about our whereabouts. Maybe panic isn’t the right word for it. Briar was just mostly happy we were safe. Torag, on the other hand, didn’t even meet us when we got back. He and Dromoka were brewing alcoholic beverages downstairs. This mean two things. One, we are going to have something very yummy to drink! And two, he doesn’t know I’m the Alpha now!

Oh, I almost forgot. Shadow and I might be cursed now. That’s new! Apparently Briar does not agree with Father and I that we did the sacrifice correctly. We jumped into the fire to save the essence, we disturbed the sacrifice in the process, we left it burning, we didn’t do something specific with the ashes. I didn’t really get it all. So Kiora might either ignore the sacrifice entirely, or she’s going to punish us somehow. Ah, that’s too bad. In the future, we promised to leave all the sacrifices to Briar. I’ll ask Kiora’s forgiveness before I go to sleep tonight. 

Day of Wakening Sun, Goloris, 36 days remaining

Sorry I forgot to write yesterday. We got into a big discussion about making essences. Clio decided to teach a class on it and I got volunteered to assist since I finished my essence a few days ago. Clio’s a really good teacher, but even she recognized the problem almost immediately. While my essence took a weird goopy shape when I started on it, hers is entirely invisible! She kind of floats up in the air a little bit while working on it, but the essence simply isn’t there. Hmmm, not quite. I can feel the power of the essence. It’s there, just not something we can see. How interesting!

Everyone started making their own essence and Clio and I just kind of coached them, reminding them to trust the process and let their magic flow into the essence slowly and to not rush it. Rendu’s essence looks like a black sphere with gold dust in it. Briar’s looks like a bundle of vines. Shadow’s is a ball of lightning energy. Kano is making one that looks like a lump of dirt. Torag, surprisingly, got the hang of this essence thing immediately. It’s sick how effortless he makes it. Must be a monk thing. His looks like a blade of psionic energy, not too dissimilar from the blades Clio can conjure. Actaeon has no magical abilities so he just make a necklace out of shells and dried foods. It’s beautiful, too.

We talked about our plans while everyone was working and the boat the sailing. Kano gave some details about seeing the ships of the League of Storms sail away from the Isle of Yonder. He counted just over two dozen large ships, a few empyreans (the children of the Titans), and a large bird going with them. 

We counted our allies: the Dragonborn of Sleepy Drake, the Amazons of Talys, the Flamescars of Fire Island, and the armies of Ellandyr and Altea. Our forces are big and we will soon start gathering them to defend Ellandyr.

But we also had the thought. The Titans have fought against us countless times and we’ve gone to battle against them. Their Oath of Peace is between the Five Immortals and their cities. While Dia and Aminatou and the others can’t openly fight against the Titans lest they break their oath, we are under no such restriction. Here’s our current plan.

  1. Sail to Shell Island and slay the dragon that vexes the people there. This should get us some new allies.
  2. Sail to the Isle of the Dragon and slay Jadaferlas. That will be a true testament to our power. Plus Jadaferlas has Torag’s mom there as a petrified statue and we all think Torag will be in a much better mood if his mom is saved. 
  3. Go to the Maw of Havarl and jump in. Well, Briar will jump in. She needs to break her curse and the Lotus Witch suggested that as the means to do so. Actaeon and Zirconis will go with her, and I’ll have to use some magic to protect Actaeon so he doesn’t burn up in the volcano. Yikes, what a thought!
  4. Visit the Isle of Time. There’s a dragon egg there – mine or Clio’s! – and I have to find the Book of Life. Something in that book is going to help us protect the Emerald Isles. Not sure what, yet, but we have to try.
  5. Sail to the Island of the Exiles. One of Palladia’s instruments is here and we mean to recover it.
  6. Accept Helios’s invitation to visit his island. There’s another dragon egg there, as well as the final instrument of Palladia. I hope Helios doesn’t mind us showing up unannounced. I ought to message him beforehand so he isn’t surprised.
  7. Travel to Ukaizo, Amalj’aa’s tower, and fulfill the prophecy. In other words, we aim to slay Amalj’aa there.
  8. Sail into the Nether Sea finally and rain hell upon the Lady of Death. Khar’shan will be destroyed and the whole world will be so much happier without her. 

Funny thing, Actaeon mentioned that he wants to look into ascension to godhood and replace Khar’shan. Interesting thought, if a little scary. But Actaeon is a good man. I think he’d be a good god of death. 

Would I ascend to godhood? I’m not certain I would want that. What a silly thought, little Changeling Flee becoming a god? My first act as a god would be to find Sel Mara and smite his smug, stupid face. But what kind of god would I be? Hmm… I’d probably be the god of THE ALPHA WHICH IS WHO I AM.

11 to Burning Sun, Goloris, 34 days remaining

We’ve only thirty four days remaining until the Oath of Peace ends. We’re cutting it close, but we’re going to make it! The Gjallarhorn just dropped anchor off the southern coast of Shell Island. It’s a funny thing how we got here. There were signs! Signs posted on rocks jutting out of the water that said things like, “Welcome to Shell Island” and “This way, please” and “Not that way. There are rocks over there.” Each sign had a little smiley face drawn on it, too, which was remarkable.

Naturally, Father didn’t trust the signs and thought something was afoot. The others debated on how to sail forward. Should we listen to the signs, or ignore them? While they all discussed this, I threw some coins and did a quick prayer to Kiora. We’re cool now, by the way, me and Kiora. Anyway the divination spell told me that things were okay. I mean, I trust Kiora anyway. The others were still nervous about it.

They were especially nervous when we moored the ship nearly a mile off shore because the signs told us there were too many rocks. We rowed ashore and found a large but aged tortle waving lazily at us. His name is Mudgraw and he hails from the little gathering spot, Ahoyhoy, which was where we landed. Mudgraw was pleased we didn’t crash on the rocks and explained the signs are there to guide visitors. Even though Shell Island rarely receives visitors, the tortles here are very keen to make sure they stay safe. 

I’ll write more in a moment. Right now, Mudgraw is leading us further in towards Ahoyhoy, and he mentioned the people here have a dragon problem.