It is a dream that will haunt me forever…the final battle that led to the recapture of Calimba, and I dreamt it again the day after I’d returned to my city of Haven, having participated in the Feast of Thanksgiving with my HighLord and the other luminaries of the Realm.

The scene in my head had been recreated to perfection…every nuance and detail accounted for.

The heat of the midday sun as we prepared for the final charge.

Breaching the mighty gates of the city.

Fighting block to block to clear the last of the resistance out of the town’s central district, until all of the combatants had fled to the Great Hall in the center of town, itself walled off and fortified.

The siege engines were brought forth to prepare for another push, but it proved to be unnecessary.

The retreat was a ruse, and the wily General attacked on our exposed flank, destroying two of the five siege engines we’d brought forward before we could respond.

His men were incensed, and fought like demons. Whether this was out of fear of the thing that led them (at some point..I know not when, the General had let his spell fall away, so that all could see him as he truly was), or because they actually were demon possessed, or some other reason besides these, I cannot say. All I know with certainty is that each of his men fought like three of ours, and they inflicted terrible losses on us before we slew the last of their number and finally surrounded the great fiend himself.

Velociryx had lent me several members of Ba….of a group that’s not supposed to exist, and nearly all of my peers were present for the final battle.

Ren nearly died fighting the creature, and only Kleo’s lightning reflexes pulled him away from the deadly flash of the blade in time, though to his credit, the sturdy human did inflict a terrible gash to the creature’s side.

I tried repeatedly to close with him and do him harm, but my attacks were nigh on useless, I am shamed to say.

Velociryx managed to get in a small grazing wound to the beast’s left shoulder, but was rewarded by a gash to the side of his head that nearly took his left ear off. After that, he was held back by four of his Footmen, and unable to materially participate further, though he screamed and lunged at the beast in his rage.

Finally, it was a member of that nonexistent company who slipped in and knocked the beast to the ground. Darmon, as he was called by his peers. No last name, and I know not where he hailed from, but I have seldom seen a more wicked display of swordsmanship than I saw on display there. He was magnificent in his maroon cloak, fighting Centrum Style, with a blade flashing in each hand and no shield….he feinted left, then rolled beneath the creature’s legs, which were spread wide in a seasoned warrior’s crouch.

Quicker than thought (and it surely must have been planned before hand, or by way of some strange telepathy), he gained his feet, pierced the General with both blades at kidney level, then freed his hands and grappled with the undead thing, pinning the creature’s arms and kicking at the backs of his knees such that he buckled.

Machete was there with his war axe, which had been sheathed in silver for this fight by our finest smiths, and ended the monster with one final blow, taking his head from his shoulders, and missing Darmon, who stood just behind him, by no more than the width of a human hair.

It was the kind of masterstroke they write songs about, and I was in awe of them both.

With that one blow, the battle came to an end, but I confess that it did not hearten me any.

The sun, which had been hot to the point of being oppressive before, now seemed to hold no warmth, and a heaviness stole into my limbs…in truth, into every fiber of my being.

I turned a slow circle and surveyed the damage…the blood and mud and pile of corpses, heaped together in what had once been…what? A market district?

Probably. At least, as near as I could tell from what little remained here.

Gods, the damage! Calimba would recover, of course. I had vowed to make it so, and it was a promise I fully intended to keep, but it would be quite some time in the doing.

There was no quick or easy way to see it done, even accounting for our near unlimited resources, and it pained me on that day, as it has pained me since.

I awoke well after the sun, feeling groggy and un-rested, as I often did when I had the nightmare. Still, there was much to be done, and Ren, Kleo, Machete and I were to be at the forefront of the festivities today.

First, we were expecting a new arrival today…a dwarf called Bezi, who I knew nothing about, but that the Court was all abuzz with excitement about his arrival.

Then there was the negotiation with our northern neighbor over the fate of the City of Argenia, which Velociryx wanted to add to his holdings, and was currently in negotiations to secure rights to it (he had me leading that effort…since I had proved myself utterly inept at swordplay, I was assigned negotiation duties), then of course, there was my upcoming “experiment.”

My attempt to see if it was even possible to leave this cursed island.

I had my doubts, but I was determined to find out once and for all.


That word that seems to have been following me since my arrival here.

I am no closer now to finding out what it means than I was when I first heard it, and it mocks me. It taunts me.

Long term, nothing is more important than finding out what it means.


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