Through a Cat’s Eyes – 6.1

Summer Growing, Shader’s Day 9, Year of the Lion number 427; July 28, 1738 Agathon

I’m actually writing this midday, rather than in the evening. We traveled hard and made it to Blisskettle in three days. We spent no time foraging or hunting because we stayed on the road, moving, as late into the evening as possible, then started early the next morning. We’re all tired, but Lena rewarded us with a few hours rest during the day in this new town before the scheduled performance.

We already know the tavern will be crowded. As fast as we’ve been traveling, it seems news about us has managed to go faster.

I wanted to take this opportunity to write about Kreon Bospero. The morning we left he turned his ankle, rendering him unable to walk or ride for a few days. After wrapping his leg tightly with some spare bolts of cotton cloth, he rode in one of the wagons. We had time to talk.

Far to the west, on the continent of Waralica, there are many cultures. There are humans, elves, dwarfs, dragonborn, orcs, goblins, giants, and many, many others. Kreon grew up in the town of Anchorstag, Ebatta, on the far west coast of Waralica. When the dragonborn wars broke out, he was conscripted into the local militia and trained. He did well in his training, but by no stretch was he the best of the men.

Upon completion of his training, the king sent a regiment on a peaceful mission into Aorxoth, one of the dragonborn countries that was at war. Their mission was to cross through to the human-ruled city-state of Blue Shrine, on the south shore of Lake Clawbottom, and shore up their defenses. Travel through Aorxoth was difficult – a few men were lost to fatigue, but most made it to their destination.

They spent two years in this cosmopolitan metropolis, populated by every variety of humanoids imaginable. It was nearing the end of his first enlistment term when news came of the massacre Surdithei. Only a few weeks march from Blue Shrine, his regiment was dispatched to the Kroerykord city. However, in Xylia, after leaving Blue Shrine, their regiment was attacked by an army of chromatic dragonborn aided by orcs and goblins. The Ebattan men were routed. Kreon was one of the few survivors that made it back to Blue Shrine. Wounded himself, he also carried a wounded comrade over his shoulders.

Word then came that the remnants of the 17th regiment should return to Ebatta, but the roads through Aorxoth were overrun and safe travel was impossible. Blue Shrine, the city, was relatively safe, but its lands had been destroyed. Life there would become difficult as supplies were running thin.

Then came the witch, Cithara. Kreon described this woman as one of the most beautiful half elves he’d ever seen. Despite her youthful beauty, it is said that she is older than the Queen of the Elves. She came to Blue Shrine to find heroes who would swear to protect her as she tried to settle the dragonborn war. She claimed her mission was peaceful, but there were many who said that it was her that caused the war in the first place.

Standing in the town square, she called out for men at arms to come to her aid. Then she played a song on her lute. At that moment, Kreon felt he had to join her. That day, he formally submitted his resignation and became part of Cithara’s personal guard. As did most of the others in his regiment, along with many others in Blue Shrine.

They trained together for a few weeks then traveled east, along the same route the 17th had taken. But this time, they made it safely to Surdithei. The city was in ruins. Smoke could be seen miles away as it rose and merged with the clouds. They went to the north end of the city and found the remains of the battlefield. The ground here was blackened and burned. The charred bones of fallen soldiers, mostly dragonborn, littered the landscape, and the stench of death permeated to the core. Kreon says he still remembers the odor even today, all these years later.

There was nothing that could be done. The battle was long over, and, in Cithara’s words, “Vigila has made her harvest once again.”

From there, they traveled northeast to Alzidyl. This small community of metallic dragonborn was barely surviving. Several families were preparing to travel east, through the deserts, to new lands. Perhaps they could resettle in Avensaria, Antarrow, or Aimach. It would be a year-long journey for them.

While visiting the temple of Mishakal, Kreon met a young dragonborn family with a newborn baby. “I don’t want my son to grow up in these war-torn lands,” she told him. “I want him to know peace and feel the love of the goddess.” The priestess said that the baby was too young to travel. The desert was too harsh. Kreon wanted to offer help, but was unable to speak up. The priestess saw the conflict in his heart and touched him. Suddenly, Kreon no longer felt compelled to follow Cithara. “You were charmed by the witch, young man. You are now free, but you must leave these parts before the witch learns of this.” “Where should I go?” Kreon asked. “Tomorrow a caravan leaves for Avensaria. Go with them as a guard for them. Stay here tonight in the temple. You will be safe.”

The next day, Kreon joined the small group of dragonborn refugees and took the year-long journey through the Diamondtorch Wastelands and the Vipersand Desert. He told me of many strange things he saw during the voyage – giant men standing twenty to thirty feet tall, great birds the size of whales, and even a frozen lake in the middle of the desert. Eventually, they arrived in Hiltmar. Kreon continued his journey east and a month later arrived in the city-state of Linne. At the time, Linne was ruled by a fair lord aided by a powerful witch who, when she spoke, she spoke in riddles.

When it was learned that Kreon had just arrived from the west, he was invited to come and report to the lord. He was offered dinner and a tidy sum of gold. Kreon agreed to the meeting and met the lord and the white-haired witch. She stayed silent the entire time, listening as the lord questioned Kreon. As they finished, the woman, who was named Propheta, said only this: “By your sword, the paradox shall live.”

To this day, Kreon has no idea what this means. Anyway, from Linne, he booked passage to Portville, Rausula, across the Raubian sea. The ship followed the coastline southeast past Norrod, all the way to Sunrise Point in Aimach, before heading east.

In Portville, three years ago, he met Lena and joined her service, and has been with her group ever since.

 

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