Liberty Journal 9
9 Flocktime, 595 CY
Sorry I haven’t written. I didn’t forget about you, I swear. But after a week making indiscreet inquiries with Mom around Diamond Lake, and no luck at drawing out your killer (we Grace girls have never been good at subtle, especially with Mom helping me out), we decided that leaving town on business was the best thing we could do.
We’re escorting Allustan to Blackwall Keep, where he wants to check in with Marzena, a friend from his adventuring days. Apparently, they were very close! It shouldn’t have weirded me out so much. Allustan has feelings, I know; I just never imagined him having… urges back in his day. It’s a lot like picturing our parents doing it. Not recommended.
Allustan also said something about a falling out with their master, who I’ve never heard him mention before. He made it clear to Xan that it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about… Maybe Marzena will tell us more about it, or I’ll ask around about it next time I’m in the Free City.
And he said that my skills might outshine his own soon. I thought he was playing the proud teacher, but what if it’s true? I’m still trying to figure out who I am, and beyond that, there’s the bigger question of who I will be. I feel like the answer is up to me (and my blood) for the first time – and to be honest, all that freedom scares me a little.
Drake apologized to me – to us – for missing your funeral, and he promised to help me burn your killers to ashes. I still can’t know, won’t pretend to know, what’s in his head or his heart any more… but I know that, whatever he’s done, or will do, it’s out of love for you, the same as me. And I –hope- believe that he’ll do whatever he has to do to keep me safe; I feel like his promise to Father is all he has left, which means I’m all he has left.
We’re camped at an old farmhouse called Shank’s Rest, and we should arrive at Blackwall tomorrow afternoon. Please, let me get some sleep…
10 Flocktime, 595 CY
We arrived at Blackwall Keep to find it besieged by lizardfolk. Allustan teleported back to Diamond Lake for the garrison, leaving us to break the siege. We won by facing them in small groups, until what was left of them fled into the swamp. When we found out that the lizardfolk had previously dragged a handful of soldiers, and Marzena, into the swamp, we started tracking the war party.
I hate the swamp. I’m also not thrilled that Sam stayed to help out at the fort. But you play the hand you’re dealt.
We caught up with the raiding party and managed to keep one alive. Allustan insisted that I learn Draconic – it might not have the appeal for me that Elven does, but it’s still one of magic’s most important languages – so Drake and I were able to talk to it. It didn’t want to lead us to their lair, of course, but I won it over with the promise of a fiery fate, worse than death.
Something very odd happened here in the swamp today. I threatened to torture a living, intelligent creature. It worked. I enjoyed it. And it didn’t occur to me until now, while I’m sitting down to write, that I really shouldn’t have.
I keep telling myself that we don’t have time for anything else. The lizardfolk might have taken their hostages as sacrifices, or as food. Every moment we waste searching for their lair is a moment too many.
But I don’t think any of that will help me sleep tonight.
All my love,