It has been some time since last I wrote in these pages. It seemed a foreign concept to channel my thoughts into the quill, to scrawl them in this journal, to enshrine moments of living within its frame. I feared that I had forgotten how to cope with what, and who I am, and where I have been… and where I haven’t. The things I have seen, and done, and been part of… I had not thought to imagine. I have spoken with the gods. I have sailed the Sea once more. I have been made to contend with memories I did not know I held so tightly, unraveled and twisted before my eyes. If this were to be a record, if I were to catalogue the events that have transpired from the previous entry to now, I would scarcely know where to begin. But that was never the purpose of this. I never intended to leave a record of my passing.
Aboard the ship, in the Sea, I felt alive. Alive like I had not been in years, alive with purpose and desire and hope. I closed my eyes and felt the Sea wash over me, as we slipped from the noose of Saukliff and plunged into the world beyond. I had been told that I was god-touched, by a member of the Karakatorum. Chosen by one of the gods as the vessel through which their will might be carried out… that will being the salvation of all that there is. The weight of that had only begun to settle upon me when we made it into the Sea, and for a time, I did not feel its burden.
Slowly, though, it crept over me… the unease of knowing that I should be somewhere that I am not, fighting in a war that all are obligated to take part in. My brethren, my people… the Githyanki go to war against these zealots of the Becoming God, the Warforged who seek the end of all. Through their designs and goals, they would destroy all that exists to create anew a different world, one that they deem better than this. Not only the Githyanki move to stop them, but all the gods are taking part, insomuch as they must, spending only what resources they have to in order to prevent their own destruction. The gods choose few to fight their battles… the Githyanki mobilize as a united people, one voice rising above the din, to speak to this Becoming God, the one who would drink the Sea… and they say… “No. We deny you.” and I should be there, adding my voice to the roar.
Or so I thought. I was fighting my own war within myself, a private struggle of what to do, where my loyalties lie. Should I leave, and return home to Tu’narath, to take up my sword in defense of my people? Should I stay with these people I have been with, to see what may come of this “god-touched” foolishness? It would be my brother who would show me the truth, in the end, but that comes later. For the duration of our trip from Saukliff to Sova Nico, I wrestled with doubt and warred with unease, and I could find no purchase with which to take hold… I could not find my way out of the dark.
In Sova Nico, I found my answer in the form of an Illithid, one of the accursed mindflayers who enslaved my people so long ago… and the poor judgement he showed in dredging up memories I had kept closely guarded. I had not thought to look to an Illithid for my salvation, but I appreciate the irony in his foolish choice freeing me from my torment… and I savor his death, even now. Kristian Del’Acante, the human warrior I travel with, wielding a blade containing a silver shard forged from the lattice of the heavens themselves, a blade such as the one Gith shattered our shackles with and freed our minds… took the head of the Illithid from his shoulders in a single cut. Like Gith, he stood over the broken corpse of one who would seek to bend others to his will, and I stood with him. In triumph. My brother.
My brother. Ar’zalek. For that is what the mindflayer showed me, a memory of my brother as I saw him last. Dying. But it was wrong. It sought to confuse me, to assail my guilt over how Ar’zalek’s story ended… but it did not know him, nor could it understand what it means to be Githyanki. What it meant to my brother. He did not lay the blame of his death at my feet, nor any other. He accepted it with courage, and honor, and he watched our ship cut through the waves as we sailed from him, leaving him to die, and he was content. I know that to be true, in my heart and in my soul, I know it.
The Illithid, through Ar’zalek, told me that I “was not Githyanki”. It claimed I could not decide what I was, or who I was. There was truth in that. A truth I could not hear until it came in the form of my brother’s voice, a truth I could not see until I saw it in his eyes… I am Githyanki. And I will fulfill my duty as all Githyanki must.
I will stop this Becoming God. He Who Drinks the Sea will die of thirst or on the end of my blade. The Sea was formed from the shattered lattice of heaven, and it must be so for it has been thus since before Gith was lost to us. The Warforged are wrong, but I will not hate them for it. In their holy book, I learned of what The Thirst is, and what they hope to achieve. I understand. And I resist. This cannot come to pass. Will not.
I have realized that I am where I belong, for now. With those I am supposed to be with. I am amongst brothers, sister, family. I am aboard a ship, a member of the crew of those who would do their duty, as I will. And I am at peace.