Collected below are the journals of Vindral Melchius. Not all are included for not all are needed to tell his remarkable story. The journals collected here chronicle his humble beginnings and the journey into who he eventually became. But it is not his story alone. He shared it with others, as you shall soon see. Let these journals be a lesson to you, dear reader, for that is what Vindral would have wanted most of all.
4th 1st, 3241
This day marked the first day of spring, usually a happy occasion for Allieua. Unfortunately, it was also the biggest tragedy I’ve ever known. It began simply enough, with the festival. I helped my mother and her friends get set up for the festival. I even got some of Lisben’s marvelous food for my trouble, not once but twice! I can almost taste them.
The festival went well. I introduced Than and Lisben who seemed to get along well. Rilla tried to get me to go to the Jewel and dance with her. She’s very nice, pretty too, but much as I try I’m not a skilled dancer.
When I spoke to Speaker Varathora, he urged me to be one of the volunteers for the First Fire. I hadn’t put a lot of thought into it before, but I knew I was ready and I spoke to Leader Tharilos to sign up.
There were two other volunteers. One was Jadenhar Eytherettln, an elf, skilled with a scimitar. He has served on the guard before and is a respectable fighter, but I will get to that. The other was Dazen Sorastraphel, a renowned singer. I had heard of him before from Lisben. I don’t think it was anything good, but I don’t recall what she said. My experience with him so far is that he is a good man, with good intentions.
My mom was of course against the idea of me being involved in the ceremony. She said it was too dangerous. Her words didn’t seem ominous at the time. But the danger turned out to be everywhere, not just where I went.
We met at dusk in the triangle and set off to the north. Jadenhar led us most of the way, though we had to backtrack at one point. This was the first time the three of us ever spoke and we got to know each other, if only a little.
When we finally approached the special tree, something was very wrong. We could smell smoke on the air. When it came into our vision, we found it to be on fire. As we went closer to investigate, things got even worse. Dragonmen jumped out from hiding and attacked us. They had spears and one of them even breathed fire.
It seemed there were too many and we initially decided to run away but they overwhelmed us. Dazen didn’t seem one for fighting and neither Jadenhar nor I had ever killed a man, even a dragonman. Still we fought. I tried to focus on those attacking Dazen while Jadenhar focused on the leader. Once the leader fell, the others fled, leaving us with a charred husk of a tree and no way to bring a good omen back to town.
I took a piece of the tree as evidence of what happened and we talked about what could be done. Dazen had heard stories from sailors that another tree of the same species lived in the ruins to the north. Being that I’ve wanted to visit those ruins for some time I had no objection to the idea. We went north.
Along the way we chanced to run into Fweri. She was able to heal our wounds, but with magic, not simple remedies or poultices. I was astounded at the time, but what happened since dwarfed that event.
She warned us to be careful and we were off. It didn’t take long for us to reach the ruins. They were quite unusual to say the least. I hope to have more time with them. They were not safe in the least, with entire sections lost to time or the sea. A large courtyard stood open with many ancient statues, most of them encrusted in various gems. Surely this was a castle for some noble person at some point.
But we weren’t there for gems. We found a fifty foot wall blocking our path to the tree. With none of us experienced climbers we were stuck. The wall had ancient runes on it and after a time we were able to puzzle out what some of them meant. They all seemed to have something to do with water, but the full script was not clear to us. Jadenhar put a bit of water on the wall and my second experience with magic began. A door was outlined with light. A bit more water made the outline stronger. But we were still unable to get through. It seemed we were stuck. Until, on a whim, I said Allieua and our way became clear.
We found the tree and with many swings of Dazen’s ax, we were able to recover a branch.
Just then, the sky started falling. I guess it would be more accurate to say stars were falling out of the sky. We took a meager amount of cover within the ruins, but still were struck by debris. The event didn’t last too long, but we were all still hurt, especially Dazen.
And where one particularly large star fell, there was a crater. And within the crater, there was a man. He was naked, with gems embedded in his head, but he was alive, and unharmed by his journey. I, perhaps foolishly, aimed my sword and him and demanded answers for what was happening.
He was unable to speak our languages, though I was able to speak one of us, Old Pryma. I guess for him that would just be Pryma. It seems my studies are good for something. The man didn’t remember anything, or at least not much. But some of his memories came back to him bit by bit.
I gave him my cloak to cover himself and he decided that a suitable name to call him was Arius.
What happened next was probably the most significant event of my life. There was a door, unseen before the star shower. Jadenhar went in while we were talking to Arius. Within he descended to a circle in the middle of the room. Light, or magic I suppose, sparkled throughout the room and became more and more wild as Jadenhar got closer to the circle. We could hear some kind of chanting or singing. Jadenhar seemed hesitant to enter the circle but I wanted to know what would happen so I urged him to go in.
Jadenhar suddenly found himself covered in new armor. The leathers were deep greens and browns, studded with wood, a curious choice. Over his heart was a green gem. It was wondrous.
The rest of us joined him on the circle and the room’s magic repeated, but each of us got a different gift (I see no other appropriate word). Dazen received a book, bound in very dark leather with silver accents and a blue crystal at the center. It appeared to have stars twinkling on the cover and I’m not sure the twinkling was my imagination.
I received a sword. It was some manner of rapier, though unlike any I’ve seen or could even make. The blade was split down the center and jagged. There’s no way an ordinary blade of such make would last through a single strike so it must have been forged with powerful magic. The hilt was adorned with a gem of dark blue. It’s magnificent. And its name was revealed to me as well: Daemon’s Death. I didn’t speak its name. Neither did the others, so I don’t know if their gifts also have names.
Even Arius received a gift. His was a silver staff, the metal somehow dyed violet. The tip was made up of two small amethysts and very large violet-covered diamond. This staff proved quite useful as every time Arius spoke we understood him.
As we left the room, it closed its way to us once again. What was the purpose of this shrine? Is something expected of us? We do not know.
The others seemed frustrated with the communication barrier with Arius. I asked to hold his staff and suddenly everybody understood when I spoke Old Pryma. Then we all held the staff and found all of us understanding all languages we spoke. It’s an awkward way to carry on a conversation, but it works.
It was around this time I began worrying of home. If the sky was bombarded us here, would it not also have hit the town? A quick observation confirmed our suspicions. We took the branch as intended. We hoped it could still provide some hope, but we were also worried about our friends and families.
Not long after setting out, Jadenhar heard a noise to the west. The low rumbling turned out to be a massive wave. We moved inland to avoid the worst of it, but our worries were just increased for the town.
[to be continued]