All of the dwarves are dead, except Siga. I did not expect to feel anything about that, but I do. I feel… almost proud of them, in a way. They died doing what they were said they were unable to do, what they claimed they did not know how to do, what seemed impossible to them; they died fighting. I helped Siga build a cairn for Borin, in a small corner of one of the caverns. His body will be interred there until some new beast makes its home here, and dislodges the stones. Hopefully that will not be for some time, as he deserves the rest he was given.
Borin died fighting against the Warforged, and their Duergar minions, who had slain the dragon and were stealing its treasure. When we came upon them, I don’t think any of us properly took stock of the situation. As I said… they had slain the dragon, the creature we had been fleeing and hiding from. Yet we charged into the room, blades flashing in the air, ready to fight and die as one. The battle was brutal, even for one this group partakes in. They’ve all been bloody affairs where one or more of us almost die, but this time, it looked especially grim.
I am honestly not sure how we survived. What I remember is chasing after the Warforged mage who was using some dark magic to take hold of a person’s mind, and then I lost consciousness. When I came to, it was in Vyuna’s arms, her hand caressing my brow, the cooling feel of it against my skin. Again. And again, and again, and again, it seems. I am starting to have trouble remembering what it is like to wake in any other way.
The Warforged had come in on an airship, but were not going out the same way. Their leader seemed to be one called She Sings the Last Song. She was brave, if Warforged can be that. I don’t know how much they feel, or think, really. I do know that she spoke with pride, and issued a challenge that we were unable to refuse. She spoke again of the Becoming God, and He Who Drinks the Sea. I still don’t know what any of that means, but it seems the Becoming God wanted something within this hoard the dragon had amassed. She nearly slew all of us, and died well. That is starting to become the best any could hope for, when they stand against this group.
Speaking of this group… after the battle, Siga informed us that she means to continue on, into the mines. The purpose of her expedition will be fulfilled, or she will die trying to fulfill it. In all likelihood, she will die regardless, but I could not leave her here alone. The others were quite willing to leave, surprisingly. Silas especially was excited to abandon Siga, to climb aboard the airship and sail away into the clouds. Not once, from the moment he awoke in a cave surrounded by the bodies of kobolds, until he lay his head down that night in the den of a recently deceased dragon, did he ask what had happened while he lie comatose.
He did not ask how we moved his body from the ground to the wagon, nor how we transported him under siege from Gibberlings to Outreach. Nor did he care to hear about how we barely escaped with our lives when the dragon came. He didn’t ask any questions about Kristian’s sword, which was his entire purpose for being here. He asked nothing, just simply awoke with a smile and continued on with his life; no gratitude for those who died to bring him here, no word of thanks, nothing. Just a glib remark about how the party will probably force him to help Siga, even though he doesn’t want to.
In the end, I forced the group to stay and aid Siga, out of shaming them for their cowardice, or appealing to their sense of honor, I cannot say. I find it startling, and almost absurd that I, the vicious, marauding Githyanki, am the one who counsels to the group that we must help those who need our help. It boggles the mind how one would arrive at this point. I can’t tell if I’m right or they are, but Siga would surely die if we left. There was a great risk they would all die regardless, back when they had a wagon and 20+ dwarves in their caravan. Now this group would opt to leave one dwarf alone, in a kobold-infested cavern, to finish her expedition alone? I name that for what it is. Cowardice. They wanted to flee when the chance was there. These people have no regard for honor, or loyalty. They would be shocked to hear about Githyanki honor, to hear tales of how brave Githyanki Knights are. They look at me and see the demonic pirates of the Elemental Chaos, come spewing forth into their lives to steal their treasures and kill their women.
Bah. Perhaps I am being too harsh. These people that I travel with are different, I know. But still… this was not a good moment for them. They were weak, and I refused to let them live that way. Vyuna would have regretted leaving Siga, I know it. Kristian as well. Myron seemed curious enough to be swayed for either course of action, but I doubt that one even sees morality the same way we do, after being alive for so many centuries. I have persuaded them to stay. We will see if I have doomed us all, soon enough.
I spoke with Vyuna tonight, after my watch. She told me about her life before joining with this group, before leaving her home. How she was chosen by Sehanine, and shunned by her people for years, as the Genasi worship the Primordials, not the “false gods” of human races. It was a sad tale. Children should not grow up alone, told that they are different from others. Githyanki children live together; they train together, learn to fight and think as one, taught that Githyanki belong together no matter what. It is funny, in a way. Vyuna was told her whole life that she was different, apart from other Genasi, and now she truly is alone amongst strangers, other races. I was taught the opposite, and yet I am in the same place she is. Alone amongst strangers. I cannot help but feel there is some connection here.
She talked of Anyen and Anyan, the sister islands the Genasi are from. I learned that Water Genasi, or Watersouls as they are properly called, actually live underwater amongst homes built into coral reefs. It sounds … beautiful, actually. I meant to tell her of Tu’narath, but I didn’t. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but… she has a way of drawing words from me, words that I did not intend to share. I told her… of my brother. Of Ar’zalek. I had never spoken of it to anyone since it happened. The other races regard it as a great shame to ‘abandon’ your brother, but it is the Githyanki way. Recovery of the swords, above all else. It was an honor for Ar’zalek to give up his life so that we might pursue the blade. It… it was an honor to leave him.
I cannot remember the last time I had sat down and honestly talked with someone. As equals. I surprised myself at times, with how genuinely interested I was in hearing her speak. This young, innocent creature who had never left her home before beginning this journey, and I sit in rapt attention of her, watching her lips move as she speaks longingly of home, and of her goddess. Even now, as I write this, I can see her sitting still, playing with her turtle as she keeps watch.
I am, as I often seem to be these days, very much uncertain of myself; of what I am doing, who I am, and what I want.