Dorak - Mixed Blessings
Dear Brother Calen,
Iz did her reading for Lydia, and it was a masterful reading. While I know that there’s nothing quite in the faith of the Great Church to explain her callings, other than possibly some esoteric connection to Zheenkeef, I hope you think more kindly of her for her aid.
Iz warned that Lydia took a journey, not necessarily of her own volition, and indeed, it was not. In fact, I came to find Lydia, a woman of 22 years and a student in Venchenzia at a school for the sword, in my wanderings.
As you can guess from the age, it was that cursed lamp, and it sent her back, to before the loss of her family, but also to a foreign land with no prospects to make it to her family or warn them of the coming doom.
Worse, she was raped and her family sword stolen from her. She retrieved it in a long game of vengeance, the sort usually crafted by an older person stuck in a prison with naught else to focus on, and that she succeeded in avenging herself upon her attackers may have further cursed her.
Whatever combination of events lead to it ultimately, her character is stuck, in some of the same way that I have been stuck previously, into a mood of vengeance, though she feels there is nothing else. She has spilled innocent blood, and does not languish in guilt over it. That her acts did not condemn her to the loss of a gift or worse is remarkable. As it is, she is branded until a gift is lost as a thief.
Her patron, the closest to the kindness we showed her, is not a kind man. He sees her as high quality clay from which he can make a beautiful statue, a masterpiece. However, you don’t need to be a dwarf to know that the statue would be cold and inhuman.
If we are to help her, we are supposed to challenge her. I do not see myself as the one who could challenge her correctly, for I have walked too close to the path of madness she stands upon to call her from it. In some ways, I wonder if Chyrsos could call forth a spirit of the House of Trevor to allow it to speak to Lydia, and – if that were possible – whether that would help or not.
Speaking of spirits, there is good news – Ulises, whom I feared was lost forever, was summoned and tethered to Kumori by Kumori’s prayer to the merciful Bosatsu for aid, and was brought back to this world through the servant of Tinel, Neophyte Ignatius. It was an odd Ceremony of Life, for first Ulises tried to inhabit Kumori’s form, and Kumori then expelled him, leading him to wander to a shrine. That was yesterday. Today, Ulises and three others – including a girl who does not appreciate the gifts of the Maker – were brought back by Neophyte Ignatius.
Thinking of the problem of Lydia, Iz’s readings did speak of love, and I don’t know much of Ulises’ finer qualities, but he has a good heart. Perhaps he is the outsider factor that will save Lydia from a fruitless search for vengeance that will not make her happy, and the best I can do is to introduce him to her.
I fear pondering this too much for we have little time to act. The High King has given us use of a ship for a month to sail to Io and meet the oracle, and we must hurry to not hinder Chrysos’s chance to have her curse removed.
Oh, I hope that you pray for His High Majesty, more fervently perhaps than previously, for he does seem wise and pious if not something of a political creature. I suspect he wants me dead less than almost anyone else I’ve met since you’ve left, except for my current companions and the Wise Brother Stocky.
Speaking of using our time effectively, I must scribe a variety of notes to a variety of recipients while I have good communication with the civilized world.