I returned last night from a royal dinner and ball held
at the palace of this city. The once ruler of this city, called Royal
Kalef, gave us a gift for saving his life. Let me recall the events
that led my friends and me to have this wonderful experience...
night, after we exposed and removed the witch, we took the six
survivors and the four bodies of the ones that perished to my
temple. Today, we make the bodies presentable so relatives can identify
and take them for proper burial. Before the work begins, I watch
closely the prayer an elder recites. I have seen it before a few times
and I think I can try it on my friends now. I'm sure they will like
it. Soon relatives arrive and the scene is moving and intense. I
manage to strike an in depth conversation about the paths of
enlightenment with one woman. I know in my heart that she will return.
the late morning I see two familiar faces approach me: Trevor and
Brute. I am so excited to see them for I have this new orison that I
must perform. But it must wait.
Trevor asks me to go with him to a royal dinner!
eyes light up. Trevor might be making true to his quest of
courtship. How does he know royalty? Why keep it a secret. But, Brute
adds, in a matter of fact tone, that a messenger came and invited all
of us. So I am to attend a royal dinner.
It is my turn to show
them the new orison, especially Trevor. I am so excited. I know I can
do it, even if it is the first time I try. I get them close to me, so
they receive the greatest effect. I draw the symbol of the Light on the
floor of a little room using chalk. I chant the phrase. The image
glows a light blue briefly, and a feeling of energy fills me with
knowledge, skill and harmony. I feel light as if taken off my
feet. But I sense that Trevor and Brute are not as enthusiastic as
me. The warning I know about this orison, is that true followers of the
Light receive a stronger effect. This confirms it. I understand
Brute, but Trevor, is not a true believer, I am so disappointed. But...
ask. I plead. He says yes! I told him what would be expected: to
attend regular services, donate vast sums of coins, and assemble for
prayers at odd hours of the day. The look on his face was so funny! Of
course, he would not be expected to do all of that! Oh, I give him a
hug and lift both feet from the ground having him hold me. "Thank you,"
I whisper. This is better than anything else in the world!
turn to Brute. I try. He turns out to be a bigger challenge and I tell
him he will in due time. He thinks he can give no as an answer. But
not today! Today is a fantastic day, a royal dinner and Trevor to be a
follower of the Light.
When the bliss wears away, I find myself
with them walking towards the inn, and more specifically, the part
inside known as the Tankard, our meeting place. Before we get there, we
see a gathering of onlookers watching another scene where Ohm Uri has
defended himself from a rival druid clan, according to Trevor. And he
must have done it well, for a member from the rival clan, can I write
defected, and now Ohm Uri has a new student.
Once inside the
Tankard, the injured Kull is about. Kull was beyond death's door last
night during the fight with the witch. Before we eat, I say a blessing
and thanks, for we survived this last battle. The Light shines upon the
food we eat and it strengthens us.
Trevor escorts me back to my
temple so I can get ready. I wash my clothes and myself. Others have
said I have a glow about me today, and one caught me humming a
melody. I'm just so happy. I tell elders about this once royal ruler
and that I am to attend a dinner at his residence. They tell me of his
history. He gave up power to nobles and merchants that in turn formed a
ruling council to handle the day to day mediocrities. However, he
retained his wealth. My elders approve of me going and to represent for
With their blessing, I turn my focus to getting
ready. I wet my long hair and braid it. Not all the girls at the
priory could grow their hair as long as I could. But it can be a burden
and it takes time to work it. I wear my fancy blue dress and make a
wreath of flowers for a head band. After my hair dries, I undo the
braids, leaving nice long curls. A divinely radiant Priestess of the
Light is my new look, fine to mingle among the royalties of the city of
I take a taxi to the inn, and see Veronica ready to
enter. I stop to talk and ask if Brute is treating her well. I told
her she was lucky to have him, and to be fair, honest and faithful. I
also invite her to the temple service and to bring Brute, too. Ohm Uri
is there with Brute, however, Kull will stay resting for this night. We
wait for Trevor to make his grand entrance. What a sight when I see
him. My mind wonders if he will sweep me off to a magical place
tonight. Will he demand an answer? What else does he have planned for
Soon, a carriage stops out side the inn, and a driver
beckons us to enter. The carriage is much fancier than any others that I
have been in, and the ride much smoother. The seating area is fully
enclosed and has a small light source illuminating us as we ride. We
talk about what we expect tonight. I see Brute has his bow, hand
weapons and armor, and Ohm Uri is always ready. A feeling of concern
crosses my mind. Being so caught up in the royal dinner and getting
ready, did we let our guard down? I turn to Trevor and ask if he has
the ring. He says he does. We pass Broderick's mansion, the cemetery,
the town hall and go into a part of town that I know little
about. Trevor extends his arm to me when we exit the carriage and I am
at his side, for the evening.
We have our introduction to the
former ruler himself, Kalef, and he states that he is grateful we saved
his life and that the witch would have killed him next, if we didn't
stop her. Then late in the evening, after the shows end and the guests
leave, Kalef wants to talk to us alone.
He again states his
gratitude and gives us all fifty thousand coins. Gold coins. What
could I do with that much? I normally would have declined a large
amount, but I cannot speak this time. I cannot even form a coherent
sentence. That is a lot of gold. I'll figure something out later. In
addition, he delivers in a single swipe of his hand, three papers, each
being the deeds to the three homes that Broderick's father owned, to
us. I remember the conversation between Trevor and me when I found out
that he did not go to get the deed months ago, but instead stayed in the
house and discovered the secret rooms.
Kalef, then, intends to
enchant us with wonderment of a strange place. He talks of a great
desert with a lost city named Antough in the center. I interrupt, my
interruption almost planned by him, for I confirm his claim of this
city. I also add that a war was fought and the city was destroyed and
the land around it, for a thousand miles in a near perfect circle. He
is impressed with my history. I pull Trevor's arm more, to keep me
close. Kalef continues, stating an iron codex is in the city and he
petitions us to get it for him. Again, almost planned, I lean forward
and inquire why he cannot get it himself. But he has. Tried and
failed. And sent others but none have returned. He says that we are
different. We have a special way to travel. Too much for me, I break
fully from his spell, and ask, "How do you know this? I know of no way
to travel like this."
Then he introduces the strange woman that
I saw before, her name is Oracle. She tells us "...that one of you
knows the way, for he has already traveled into the desert." I
think. The mansion. The secret room with the mirrors. The four
different mirrors. I look over at Trevor!
That did it. I curse
under my breath. I let my guard down with him. I am hanging onto him
all night. I now take my arm away from him. Why does he do this? And
then not tell me. I find out that Brute knew, too. I curse again. Why
do they mess around with witchcraft for it can be cursed and possible
dire consequences follow?
Composing myself and controlling my
disappointment, I state that we must discuss this and decide if we will
do this. My next thought: is the gift of gold an advance payment? I do
not like being played by anyone. Kalef seemed to read my mind and said
the gold is still a gift.
On the return trip, we decide to
leave the chests with Kull in the inn. I am cold to Trevor and
Brute. I take a taxi back to my temple, alone, except with a fist full
of coins. Trevor, why must you keep things from me? And Brute,
too! Such an enchanting evening, a wonderful day, and then this weight
of rock drops. Sleep is difficult at best. I finally drift of to
I wake and record my entry. The only dream I can remember is: feeding the poor and starving of this city for a long time.
...I have much work to do today.