What is Necessary

… we made like we were Protaran assassins…

Much has happened since I last wrote in this book.

First, came the catastrophe. The world has been split into pieces… though not physically. I do not completely understand, but it has been split. Saoirse, Kylar, and I have to help fix it – continuing mission from the gods.

I could hardly have asked for a more fortuitous circumstance. Not only is it in my best interest to prevent any plan that is capable of frustrating gods, but I will gain the favor of many of those gods in the process. Surely I’ll upset some, but any good alliance must have an enemy – the trick is to make sure to be on the stronger side of the conflict.

We found the device in Imblum. It was guarded by some very strange creatures. We were, unfortunately, unable to reach an understanding and we were forced to kill most of them – possibly all of them. I don’t recall being very thorough, but the fire may have killed any we missed.

Illikur, however, was more complicated. I have had an adjustable saddle made for Mathghamhain, and collected someone’s outstanding debt as payment for the saddle. I discovered that I am even stronger than I realized in Imblum. A single blow to a battle-hardened woman sent her to the floor, and this was with my bare fist.

Emboldened by my newly recognized strength, I resorted to violence as a distraction tactic more than once. I have boxed an armed guard while pretending to be drunk, and I have detonated an explosive in a stable to use stampeding horses as a diversion. However, most pertinently, I have killed someone – quite accidentally. Then helped kill several others quite intentionally.

By my hand the count of Imblum is dead, and with Saoirse’ help each of his personal guards as well. My intent was to cause a wound serious enough to inspire a retreat, but I underestimated the strength of my bow’s pull, and the arrow sank through his arm and into his chest.

We successfully destroyed the device, completing our divine mission, but in order to divert attention away from several possible scapegoats we made like we were Protaran assassins, and claimed credit for the kills as such. A war may come as a result, but a war was imminent anyways. And if my divine parent is correct, such a war may improve many lives in Protara. Certainly an acceptable outcome, if things really turn out that way.

For now, though, we need to beat word of this killing to Qad so that we can seek the next device in peace – then make our way out of Ka’Quania before anyone can hunt us down.

Awakened

Nothing shall stop me.

The average life span of a far-runner is about thirty years, not considering deaths by murder, plague, and untimely accident. Most people of my ilk spend the first sixth of this time growing to full size, learning the ways of the world, and finding their place in it. When I was five years old, however, I looked to be two or three years old. Beyond this, and quite luckily, I did not stop growing at five, but have continued to grow bit by bit until recently. I am now perhaps ten, with a few months additional. This is an extremely slow growth pattern, and were I not so busy scraping and scrounging for food and shelter the whole time I may have taken more pointed note of this fact.

Never-the-less, all mystery is now dispelled for me regarding my past. I am not a stunted and scrawny waif – at least no more so than the average, under-nourished, street-born thug. And I am not an orphan – not in the traditional sense. I am born of legends, and I shall rise to heights quite literally divine.

I am a scion.

As a matter of personal safety I wont disclose my parentage in case it may provide a point of weakness to an investigating enemy, but I have met my direct progenitor and have been… awakened. I know there is another term for this process (apotheosis) but awakening seems much more fitting. Under the potion of a druid I slept, I dreamed, and when I awoke the world was different – I was different. I am stronger, I feel heartier, my senses of balance and resolve seem more refined. And what is most shocking is that topics I had studied lightly in the past seem clarified to me now.

I had studied Bestwik now and then since beginning to tame Mathghamhain, and what before was a muddled dribbling of vocabulary has become a clear stream of linguistic understanding. It is, perhaps, the most uncanny sensation I have experienced to this day.

I do not generally indulge much in the way of emotional reflections, but when encountering a wholly knew experience like this, perhaps it’s not so frivolous. I feel… acute. I feel… powerful. I feel… correct.

I once read the works of a poet who had spent his early years a street orphan, only to discover that he was born of a wealthy family and was entitled to their riches and their privileges. He described the experience as calling into question his perceptions of himself, creating faults in the bedrocks of his self understanding.

I suffer from no such self-doubt. In fact, I consider it beneficial to have been left to fend for myself. I have learned lessons about the world which some people will live their entire lives without learning. There is no more effective educator than the brutal and unfettered realities of life.

I am prepared to do what is necessary to attain godhood. Nothing shall stop me.

Two Scars

What an embarrassment.

Met a scion called Grog. Sky dancer, drunkard. Helped us investigate our findings further, until we went to investigate a house we suspected had been used by the enemy. Grog stayed behind. Big mistake.

In the house were more signs of dismembered bodies. More stench. And in the basement, some sort of composite creature. Two arms, two legs, shaped more or less like a human – same size too. We approached with caution, but it quickly became violent.

I don’t remember the battle very well. I have a line on my forehead where my fur has fallen out and I have developed a scar. Seersha tells me the blow that felled me forced the edge of my buckler into my forehead. What an embarrassment.

Never the less, I now know that Seersha and Kylar can be trusted to attend to me on death’s doorstep. In particular I understand Seersha only barely escaped, but still came back for the two of us – and even secured the services of a druid to aid in our healing. Though I was grateful for the aid, I don’t think I can imagine a more disorienting experience than awakening to find a tree literally planted in my own chest.

The tree has also left a scar on my chest, but in turn sped my return to consciousness. Now I must suffer the weeks it will likely take to heal the rest of my wounds. Hopefully we will be able to favor a tactical defense in our future encounters with the enemy.

Investigations and Purchases

A single day in both Vathmathur Vaka and Imblum.

I have not been so fortunate as to gain armor without needing to spend money, however with the sale of the ka’quanian assassin’s armor and rifle, as damaged as they were, allowed us to make some purchases, including a suit of kyevlar for myself – perhaps the best armor that money can buy short of a full suit of plates.

But I am ahead of myself. I have once again witnessed the power of gods. Acting on a tip from the Varthmathur we lay in waiting for our prey along the road near Varthmathur Vaka. But what arrived was an illusion – or so seemed. It was bound for the tower, and lacking the ability to stop it, we simply accompanied it to the base of the tower. It then flew (rather than jumping and climbing) up the tower, just after which some sort of barrier began to expand out from the tower.

I pushed through the barrier, though it required notable inner strength to do it. The others followed, and we witnessed a flash of light from the top of the tower, followed by a limp body falling to the ground, followed by the Varthmathur leaping down next to it. He informed us that the body was a construction of some sort, made of flesh, and not an illusion. He informed us of the possible true identity of our query, and the Varthmathur’s own doubts about that identity, then instructed us to travel to its last known location and look for clues. As a matter of practicality, he swept us there by magic – taking our hands and transporting us nearly two hundred miles in an instant.

Such travel aches the mind a bit. A cool day becomes a hot one, the moist air becomes dry, and soft grasses become hard stone with a thin layer of ash. When I inhaled I was in Varthmathur Vaka, and when I exhaled I was in Imblum. If ever there is a way for a mortal to harness this power, I will find it. The power to move such distances, the power to fool your enemies very senses, and the strength to kill in a single stroke. What would not be worth these things?

We made some preliminary investigations before deciding to liquidate our wealth and make a few purchases. This is when I obtained the armor. It is so light and flexible – it is like a second skin. Now I look forward to replacing this pathetic machete with a proper blade.

When we resumed our investigations we eventually discovered what seems to have been our query’s place of residence while in the city. It has been neither revelatory nor settling. Reeking embalming tools, the remains of journals mostly destroyed, and one journal filled with writing so ancient we will require a god or a scion to read it. But success is success, and all the more rewarding when on behalf of gods.

Now we await instructions or other contact while we rest. Hopefully the smells will improve with the next step in our task. Also, it seems Seersha is a talent with a flute. I would not have expected it.

Teamwork

Seersha and Kylar are proving competent, at least so far…

I am not unaccustomed to working in a team. Most of my work to date has required cooperation with other mercenaries, or even civilians. In the past week my traveling partners and I have been in two combat situations. The first occurred when seeking shelter from a heavy rain. The cave we entered contained the long-abandoned remains of a human – a ka’quanian assassin or sorts from the first war according to Kylar. Mathghamhain was unsettled by the place, and my nose told me that something lived here. We entered cautiously, and discovered a serpent hiding in a crevice in the deepest point of the cave. I attempted to fool it into exposing itself so I could kill it, but it proved both more violent and more difficult to kill than I expected.

Luckily no one was hurt – a fact that I am impressed with considering the number of times it struck at us. Perhaps these companions actually are worth the weapons they wield. The snake itself was odd. Fangs and venom like a viper, but the body of a constrictor. Very odd, and very resilient.

The second combat was on the road. Just after rising for the day we noticed signs that someone had passed very near our camp the night before. We suspected bandits and traveled off (but parallel to) the road. We eventually heard the sounds of people on the road and Seersha and Kylar went to investigate. They seem skilled (or at least confident) in the art of stealth. Useful.

Within a few moments of them leaving my side I heard the sounds of combat and came running. I emerged on the scene in time to see Seersha and Kylar doing battle with a pair of armored skydancers. We defeated one of them through repeated disarmament and general intimidation. However the other one was persistent and vicious. I made several attempts to simply break his spear, but embarrassingly my attempts failed. His companion even tried to talk him into surrendering, and he refused. He was killed. There was an opportunity to capture him instead, but it’s probably better that we didn’t. His attitude was extremely violent and unreasonable. He would have presented a constant threat. And two prisoners to three captors is a terrible ratio. Safety on the open road is at a premium, especially when already tracking someone down. We agreed to deliver the one who surrendered to the litornans. They have an open bounty on bandits and the three of us are more than capable of keeping him fed on the road without wasting any of our own food or money.

Regardless of the situation of our captive, it seems Kylar and Seersha are proving themselves competent – at least in combat and hunting. I am disappointed that the armor of neither bandit fits me, but two reliable allies are a sufficient replacement for armor in the short-term. Gods willing the next idiot who makes the mistake of attacking us will be a far runner.

A Step Up

Why prove yourself to mortals when you can prove yourself to the gods instead?

I have attended the centennial celebration of the world. As a result of meeting several individuals on the journey to El Helai I have thrice offered my services to gods or their servants, and on all three occasions been at least somewhat or tentatively successful in my efforts.

The first occasion regarded a number of orphans selling stones intended to appear as believable counterfeits of religious items. I was hired to bring their ringleader to a number of guards in the employ of King Dominus. I was paid a sufficient wage for such a simple task, but was forced to receive voucher from the traveler who afforded me the opportunity of introduction to Dominus’ party. This old-soul, called Whisper, argued that the orphans’ ringleader and protector should not be detained and offered in exchange a voucher of my fair execution of my duties. The result is not preferable considering my reputation was referenced at the time of my hiring, but it is an amenable compromise, especially considering that I was greatly outnumbered by possible resistors at the time of conflict.

The second occasion regarded the construction of a set piece for a play. The play was to be put on for the purpose of pleasing the gods in attendance, and as such peaked my interest as a means for opening conversation and appearing before the gods. As it happens, it was much more convenient for these purposes than I could have predicted. The opportunity arose as a result of the involvement of a human I met named Saytos. Saytos is a rather enthusiastic and sociable city guard, and was also involved in resolving the situation with the orphans. Somehow Saytos had become involved in attempting to build this set piece, the original materials for which were prevented from arriving in the city as expected. The construction was done quite hastily, and when the device was used during the play it produced an energy which caused the gods to evacuate the theater – and seems to have exploded.

The third occasion was as a result of the second. As a result of the explosion of the device I and two others were asked to help track down an individual believed to be responsible for the explosion. The two I travel with are called Kylar (human) and Seersha (elf). Both are well armed and have experience with tracking and survival in the wild. Hopefully they are competent, but only time will tell.