I am writing this from a small room in the town of Outreach. I am sitting on the floor, my back against the door, and when I close my eyes, I am adrift. I have long felt that I would never reach the Sea again, nor see the home in which I was born, nor watch the fires swirling and dancing in the Elemental Chaos, the way I used to when I was younger. The sights I have seen would be regarded as wonders by the people of Saukliff, and of this town of Outreach, so I feel I should be grateful for the life I have lived, thus far.
But it is difficult.
The past few days in particular have proven especially trying, as Silas took ill following the battle. It seems the scorpion-demon that attacked both Silas and myself did far more damage to him, than to me. I suppose it is the nature of the Githyanki constitution to resist such devilish toxins as that creature must have pumped into us, because Silas did not fare as well as I. Then again, the Genasi Vyuna did… something, to me, as the battle was ending. She saved my life, of that I am sure… but now I wonder if she did not save me twice-over, by counteracting the poison from that creature. I… I do not enjoy this feeling, of being indebted to someone.
A part of me wishes she failed to aid me, and that I died. It would have been a release. I know I will never leave this accursed island any other way but through death, but still… still I am grateful to her. A brush with death helps one to realize they aren’t ready to go, just yet. I am still fighting.
Regardless, the point is that the journey from where the fight with Barbael took place, to this town of Outreach, was one of the most harrowing I think I’ve experienced. There have been many chases in my life, in the life of any Githyanki, but usually we are not the ones fleeing. In this case, a Gibberling horde came howling from the dunes behind us, and then from the sides and all around us, baying like ravenous wolves at the scent of blood. I don’t know if it was the battle that drew them in, or the carnage of so many fresh bodies left in our wake, or if they were perhaps somehow sent by Barbael himself, before his death. It scarcely matters, though, as they were hot on our trail.
The next several hours are hazy, to me. We were all pushed past the point of exhaustion. The dwarves were down to just a few, with one wagon intact, which we had to load Silas into as he was feverish and couldn’t ride. He was slipping in and out of consciousness as best I could tell, on death’s doorstep. He would be dead if it were not for Vyuna… so I suppose we have that in common, now. She ran alongside the wagon for miles… she did not ride, but ran alongside it, her hand clasped against Silas’ forehead, her concentration unbroken, the healing power of her goddess flowing through her and keeping Silas alive, but just barely. I have long paid homage to my Queen, Vlaakith CLVIII, but I cannot deny the strength of Sehanine after that day, nor the courage of her disciple.
Kristian and Myron acquitted themselves as well, helping to guide the wagon through the dunes and keeping the Gibberlings at bay. I did what I could to throw off the tracks and misguide some of the horde, but there were too many for that to completely work. At one point I saw the wagon slip as it descended a sand dune, the wheels jerking suddenly, and Silas began sliding out, unconscious. I am not sure how, but I reached him in time to break his fall, and shoved him back into the wagon. Without missing a beat, Vyuna was back at it, his life secure in her hands.
Myron was the only member of our party who was attacked by one of the creatures. It came at him from the side, tackling him down a sand dune, gnashing its teeth and trying to bite him. I saved his life in a suitably spectacular manner, delivering a flying kick to the beast’s face, launching it off of him and decapitating it after our brief tumble down the dune. I saw the look on Myron’s face as he sat back up; pure, unadulterated awe. Or perhaps not. At this point, the Deva is so full of himself that I cannot help but to mock him, even in the pages of this private journal.
We arrived in Outreach without a moment to spare, and acquired the medicine to save Silas’ life. I imagine he will be rather grateful when he awakes, but he has not yet. We rented rooms in the Inn, which is where I am now… and as for why I am awake, well…
Kristian, apparently, has trouble sleeping alone. He feigned some sad excuse for knocking on my door in the middle of the night, but I could tell he was just unable to relax, by himself. I told him that we are safe here, and to go back to his room, and we would talk in the morning. He reached out and took my hand, mumbling something about his magical coin that knocked on my door or some such nonsense… and then there was … something. A vision, but not one that I alone saw… Kris saw it too. The silver shard, being offered up by a golden-bronze dwarf of the Karakatorum. I asked Kris after if he knew what it was, or if he had seen it before, but he had no answers for me. I don’t know what it means, yet… but I don’t care for a human being given a vision of one of the sacred Githyanki relics.
Regardless, it is still many hours from dawn, and I need to sleep. We are heading to the mines, to bring the dwarves to their destination. After their pitiful showing throughout the journey, I had dismissed the dwarves as cowards, but Siga and her band show some small courage in continuing their quest, in spite of the horrific losses they suffered. Their mine is only a short ways beyond where the man Kristian is hunting is said to be, so we may as well see them there.
What’s the worst that could happen, after all? We’ve already been attacked by a hydra and a devil on this trip. Supposedly there’s a dragon somewhere in those hills. I guess we’ll be seeing him sooner or later. As I write that, intending sarcasm, I have this sinking feeling that it will be proven true all too soon. Oh well. A good death may await us all, yet.