Ember's journal entry, half a ten-day in Highmoor
Myrtul 10th, 154 AE
Life in Highmoor has not been as I had expected. I will do my best to catalog the events that have happened in the time I have been here, but I am not fully confident that I truly understand all that has transpired.
Upon entering the city, I was introduced to Byron’s replacement, a good-hearted disciple named Alecar Bishop. He means well, but he is no Byron.
The Halls of Justice in Highmoor is beyond description. It is grand in a way that I cannot articulate, putting to shame the humble walls of the temple in Fallcrest. For all its opulence, however, the Halls of Justice is a frightening place, as evidence by what happened my very first day there.
Bishop Irwin was assassinated in his own chambers. Imagine that, a Bishop murdered in his own church! Who ever heard of such a thing!?
Alecar was given the task of discovering the identity of the murderer, and as he was my acting steward during my stay in Highmoor, I was given clearance to assist him. It was during our investigations that I was introduced to a strange cat-man named Solaren. Though we have much in common with a tragedy-strewn history, I do not like him. Where I have made great progress in controlling the anger and sorrow, he seems too apt to revel in it. Still, I cannot fault his results even if his methods are less than pleasing, as he gave us all the leads we needed to find the horrible men responsible for Bishop Irwin’s death.
It was at Solaren’s suggestion that I tried alcohol for the first time. “Dwarven Dreg,” I believe it was called, and after 3 drinks, I was the sickest I remember ever having been, but the physical ailment was nothing compared to what my clouded mind let loose…
While I was suffering the effects of that vile drink, Alecar and Solaren were negotiating with a lead on the identity of the man who ordered the assassination when I felt a familiar heat begin to rise.
It was Ember.
I grabbed my head and rocked back and forth, trying to summon the meditative calm Byron had taught me, but the stress of the headache and the queasiness in my stomach made it too hard to focus, and she burned her way past the defenses I had put in place to contain her. She spoke through me, threatening to burn down the shop, wishing to dance amidst the ashes and lick at the flames as they devoured all they touched.
I managed to play it off as an intimidation to my compatriots, but the truth of the matter is that I nearly lost control.
Needless to say, that night I did not rest well. I dreamt of the brass palace again, over looking a great plain of fire. Geysers of steam spewed forth into the charcoal-colored sky, and though the very air felt like a furnace in my lungs, breathing in deep felt so right, so natural.
Then flaming faces. Always flaming faces.
I awoke in a daze, my mind muddled by the exhaustion of the last several hours, as though I had been in Highmoor for nearly 24 hours, I had not slept on account of the importance of finding those responsible for Bishop Irwin’s death. In my confusion, I fell back on old habits, and went to Byron’s bed to lay with him as I always did when I had bad dreams…
...only Byron is not here.
I found myself in bed with Alecar, who seemed very displeased to find me there. I apologized profusely, and went back to my chambers, though no sleep was afforded me.
That morning, strung out and fearful that Ember might still be lurking beneath the surface, I journeyed to the temples forge, hoping to expel some of my frustration into my art. Alecar was present, but we managed to enjoy the other’s company without making it too awkward; at least, I hope it was not too awkward for him.
Now, as I write this, I am studying with an honored member of the high council, one Areon D’voir. As part of a distraction so that Solaren can infiltrate the mastermind to this whole tragedy’s chamber and find incriminating evidence, I am studying to become a servant so I might accompany Areon to a grand gala being held for the nobility of the city. I am taking to the task well enough, but I have to say that for having only spent five days in the city, so far, I feel I have seen more than even Byron could have expected…
...I hope he is well. I miss him, and the worst part is…
...Ember does, too.