Autumn Harvest, Preserver’s Day 4, Year of the Lion number 427; November 2, 1738 Agathon
It had been over two days. I resolved to put together a party and take the other longboat to shore to see what was going on. We’d heard nothing from anyone and, frankly, we were getting restless.
We were in the process of outfitting the boat and I had already selected the men who would go with me along with the highest ranking crewman to take watch, when I heard a voice in my head.
“Kabize, it’s okay. Your men are returning within the hour.” It was a feminine voice. I looked around and saw no one. Even through the spyglass I could see no movement on the distant shore. As strange as it would seem, I heeded the voice. We halted our preparation. Forty-five minutes later, I saw movement at the dock. Six people climbed into the longboat and rowed to the ship. Xyrlina was not with them, but there were two strangers – a young man and a young woman. They were both dressed in loose-fitting clothing and the man was shirtless. Everything seemed ordinary except his eyes were as black as coal and her eyes were golden.
Mak introduced them as Garrus and Vina. While Captain Silverkeep led Garrus on a tour of the ship, Vina came to me and asked that we find a private place. I led her to my cabin and closed the door. When it was closed and latched, she said in a very quiet voice, “It has been a long time since I’ve seen anyone of your kind.” I started to protest – she didn’t look to be much older than a human teenager. “No – I am not what I appear to be. I know the Tabaxi aren’t in the habit of keeping history. For a long time, my father and I were your protectors.”
“I don’t understand.”
She sighed. “Unfortunately, I am restricted from giving you the details, though I would very much like to share them with you. Yet, your arrival here was foretold. You carry a dragon card, do you not?” I showed her the card. “Yes. There are many others. One day, all the dragons will be freed, but it will come at a time of war. Many of the dragons will unite to fight terrible evils, and it will all culminate in the ending of the great darkness that has condemned this world for thousands of years.”
“How do you know this?”
“I cannot say. I must not say, because if I reveal too much, things will not come to pass as they should. However, you, of all people, will play a pivotal role in the events to come. Your journey – your quest – is more important than… No. I’ve said too much already.”
I sat down on the bunk. I felt my tail twitching uncontrollably. My mind was racing. “This is all too much. I’m nobody important. I’m just a wanderer who can dance.”
When Vina spoke again, I heard her words, but her mouth did not move. “Kabize, you are much more than that, and you know it.” I realized that hers was the voice I had heard earlier. Now she spoke aloud. “For now, I have a simple task for you. Not quite two hundred and fifty years ago, a king brought his army to Scone in search of treasure. His entire army was killed and his fleet destroyed. Other than the stories told by bards, only two things remain. First is the shell of his flagship you see on the shore by the dock. The second is a letter he wrote while he was imprisoned here.” She handed me a rolled parchment. “I need you to give this to the witch, Propheta, who lives in the library of Norrod.”
I accepted the parchment. “May I read it?”
Vina unlatched the door. “That’s entirely up to you. Garrus and I must return to our home. Perhaps we will see one another again, and if we do, I should be able to reveal my true nature.” She stepped out leaving me alone in my cabin.
My curiosity was too great; I unrolled the parchment and read it. I copied it here in my journal.
Today I write my last words as I look backward through my life of noble servitude. Before I die, there is a message I dare not offer. Death cannot come too soon, for it is my will. But he that understands my final ramblings I’ll never know who. I am under the spell of a great beast. This monster, for five years, had me trapped. But only before my incarceration was I truly free.
I am not permitted to speak of my time in that cavern. Yet the desire to share runs deep. I’m old enough now that I don’t care what my curse is. I cannot speak my secret, but perhaps I can write them on these walls. But as I do, the words vanish when I’m finished. Do they still exist in the great beyond?
Alas, my friend visits me from the temple. He worries that my eternal soul will go to the dark place below. We pray together, kneeling on the floor. The sun casts only a single ray into the chamber we’re in. Soon thereafter he departs through the door. He says, “Perhaps peace you will eventually find.”
I open my window and look out upon the Raubian. I ask myself, what was I thinking of? Was my own greed at my center? Yet, my desires were so close, so near. I regret my journey to this cursed island. What has my life come to? Where will my soul ultimately go?
What could be so important about these ramblings? I’ve re-read this several times and I still do not understand. However, once again, I’ve heard the name, “Propheta.” And now I must meet her, as I must give her this letter. Already I have many questions to ask her, but from what I’ve heard about her, any answers she gives will only lead to more riddles.
Previous: Through a Cat’s Eyes – 10.3