How do I begin to chronicle this journey? The Scholars and Shaan call the year 892 in the Era of Small Gods, but I no longer find this descriptive enough. Instead, this entry marks the 20th day of my Reunion with Llewellyn, Diggel, and Georgie, and the beginning of the next phase of our lives. Though Felrun and Russ (or rather, Raphael, so Llewellyn tells me) no longer accompany us their influence remains. Whispers of the winged-elf still survive in the annals of the Scholars, though I never made the connection until now, and his legacy for both elf and man endures. Russ battled bravely until the end, and though I’ve been told his tainted soul shall find no rest the survival of the others is a testament to his skill and courage. They are missed.
Though I may have outlived Llewellyn, I have certainly not outgrown him. His practicality mixed with equal parts humanity reminds me why he led us those tortuous months. There is, though, a crack I do not remember, a fissure forming in his heart. I do not know if it arises from his pain of loss or from his fear of change. Perhaps it is simply my imagination or memory mixed with idle fantasy. His new powers are great, but alien, and meeting him again reminds me of how different I have become. Gods around us, I was so impetuous! To think I could rescue Becky alone, or that it was my duty to do so in such a reckless manner – what foolishness. I have grown, it is true, but have I simply grown into a new manner of fool?
Diggel is as I remember him to be, but without the Elf to banter with he seems at a loss for words. Still, he is a survivor, and I’ve noticed his ears and eyes darting about constantly, learning what must be learned to live in this new world. He never seemed particularly close to any of us, but without others to turn to, what shall his choice become? Distance or friendship? I like to imagine that he misses Felrun as much as I do.
In the wake of Loki’s death Georgina has fallen the hardest, and not without cause, for I think she believed our mortal well-being her responsibility. But despite the death of her God the power within her grows – we all can sense the change. Her quiet confidence is growing daily, and her alien nature becoming more smooth and natural, at least until she unleashes the talents she possesses. I stand in awe of her potential, for it is clear that she has received part of the gift as well. If nothing else, let my longevity aid me in defending the Lady, whatever her path may be. I cannot risk being any more open, but my suspicions are all but confirmed, and I suspect the Abbot intended this all along.
Sir Johannes von Sonnen of the Knighthood has joined us for the time being, despite insisting that we are devils, or demons, or somesuch. He has made his desire to “redeem” us well known, and as amusing as his antics may be, they may grow tiresome. Regardless, I appreciate his behemoth on my side of conflict. I begin to wonder, but my remembrance of the passages are vague and ill-defined. All I can safely say is – please no. If there is a will or plan behind it all, please, reconsider. He is mad.
Lastly, there is Serran. An odd fellow, claims to be a courier for the Guild. There’s little reason to doubt his work, but his abilities as a warrior are far beyond the normal bounds of a letter carrier. He can vanish, perhaps even shift into another existence, from which he strikes with deadly precision. His manner is stiff and not altogether genuine to my tastes, but I don’t believe he is attempting any elaborate deception. Still, his quick inclusion into our band has seemed altogether convenient and unexplained. Though I imagine it makes more sense considering his employer.
Speaking of the devil, he still lives, and what’s more, he’s one of Them, to be sure. He all but confirmed it in front of the others, but when asked directly, he answered me. It is strange, though, that a man of his power, longevity, and foresight claims to have not had a hand in either my return or my companions’. He answered many questions, and surprisingly even paid us a vast sum for the final delivery of the Dreamshard he originally hired us to obtain. “Hazard Pay”, he called it. He claims also to know the Lady of Gears, but insists she does not want to be named openly. Llewellyn and the others seem to have an inkling, but it seems strange to me that they would know much of the Small Gods – perhaps someone they met after my departure?
He answered my questions about Becky. She lived, rescued by him and the other powerful players who boarded that accursed Wraith ship. He claims that she led a strong life, toppling an empire and accomplishing much, but in the end, she was mortal. Perhaps I may find her tomb, if the years have not weathered it beyond recognition. I’ve apologies to make, and one last drink to share with my dear Captain Becky.
Only a few more things of note this trip to Satyeva – we’ve aided the Eagle Clan in apprehending egg-thieves who were selling the young to be eaten by the populace. Unwitting infanticide, the mere thought repulses me, and it was good to be out of doors after that blasted Ant Clan poison kept me bedside. We are now Egg Guardians & Friends of the Birds of Satyeva – merely words, really, but as Llewellyn said, Word have Power. They do, indeed, but rather than think of the power I will remember the favor – I want no title I haven’t earned. I lived at Omoeia for 5 years after Sher’ah’s death before they accepted me as a resident, and another 2 before asking me to study their ways. It took nearly 20 years of my presence for the monks to consider calling me a guard, never mind “Guardian”.
As for our new paths… Diggel wants to see the ruins of Dalover, to the East. I suspect he needs closure he can see with his eyes and feel with his hands. D’Caeli told us that there is an excavation underway, and they may have use of us while we are there. Llewellyn mentioned traveling to the City of Gears to find Sapphire, whom he claims still functions. I’ve doubts, but Llewellyn’s sense of the Resonance is more refined than my own. Georgina has mentioned buying a house, though I will urge her to travel with us for safety. The Shaan may know of her, but I’ll feel better if she keeps moving, at least until she knows this new Aetheria.
It’s been a long day, but now my days are filled not with contemplation, but with purpose again. The Shaan taught me much – enough to recognize when I’ve meet Two in so many weeks. I should have realized it sooner. We call him the Manipulator. Perhaps it is not flattering, but I for one would call him nothing else.
They walk among us, known and unknown, hidden and revealed; only through faith and enlightenment may we know their intentions, and through this, our purpose. – Third Recitation of the Shaan Acolytes