Prophesied

Graeme's Quest

Graeme thought long how to go about obtaining the remaining items from the Silver Flame. He had two choices: go barging into the main compound and taking it by force, or drawing them out to him. He chose to utilize his connections to get the flame to move the items for him. And to lead them directly into his grasp.

Graeme contacted Johnny Talltale and asked to cash in a favor. Could he and his connects send words towards the Silver Flame hierarchy. He asked him to spread rumors of a force approaching the Argentum seeking the items for nefarious purposes. The rumor began among the templars and friars. They heard noise rising from the city deeps of a warforged intending to march on Flamekeep demanding the items, possibly by force if necessary. Slowly the rumors snowballed and morphed from a single warforged into the entirety of the warforged from the city depths rising against the Argentum.

Word came down from High Cardinal Krozen to Nystrum Shadar to move the remaining items along a caravan. Graeme asked Johnny to keep track of changes occurring with the flame. Due to the various groups Johnny is involved with, he heard of this caravan and its intended target – a hidden Silver Flame enclave in the mountains of The Starpeaks.

Graeme was ecstatic. This was a perfect turn of events. Their route was long and bound to be arduous. Somehow, Johnny even had knowledge of which carriage of the caravan carried the items. Graeme made haste and took off to Askelios. He arrived within a few days with his companion Johnny. They made camp outside the village near the base of the mountains. Graeme instructed johnny to remain hidden and he would message him when he should begin his approach to his location. From here on out, the only way this could work was if he was truly part of the Prophesied.

It took far longer for them to close in on The Starpeaks than Graeme expected, however he finally saw them arriving in the distance. He began preparing for the heist. He estimated it would take them 4 days travel to reach the enclave and 3 days travel to where he hid. He sat in deep contemplation and slowly a string of words form in his mind “It is time. My position is 7 miles due east, one due north. Climb into the fog and find my signal.” His position was high up in the peaks ahead of the enclave near the upper limit the fog line. The way to the enclave required the caravan to pass through the fog line into the peaks themselves, and Graeme used this to his advantage.

As the envoy entered the fog, Graeme caught sight of the carriage. Nondescript with an open and flat bed, he could make out the layout. A trunk laid near the front seat, with 2 guards facing the rear and one seated next to the driver. Johnny cast a spell and Graeme was invisible to a mundane eye. Graeme activated his dragonmark, and felt his energy level rise. He became almost unable to stand still, ready to dash away at a moments notice. He managed to maintain his concentration enough to imagine in his mind the carriage and where he wanted to be. He only had one shot to teleport into an empty spot within the caravan. Once cast, he’d have to rest before being able to cast again and he knew he wouldn’t get a chance on any other day. Miscalculate by an inch and the whole mission would be a failure. His brothers captured by the Lord of Blades would be as good as dead. He studied the caravan’s path and whispered a prayer to the SIlver Flame. He mouthed an incantation and immediately appeared in the carriage directly in front of the trunk facing it. He quickly grabbed the trunk as the monks turned around, hearing creaking of the wood. In the blink of an eye, he activated his dragonmark once again, this time with a different effect. He began to be surrounded by a silvery mist, the same color as the surrounding fog, disappearing within it. The guards yelled out, and the caravan stopped. It was too late as Graeme had teleported 30 feet into the fog, moving twice as fast as humanly possible, to where Johnny laid in wait. He hopped onto his means of escape, both quickly running down the mountain. The silver flame tried in vain searching the fog, unable to find who or what stole from the Argentum.

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Thinking in the clouds

Why did I jump? A strange question to ask when hurding down head first through the clouds. Bu​t​ then again ​I am the p​oster child for impulsiveness. Leaping without looking and acting first ​then​ asking questions later. Case in point. But truthfully there was little time to think. The roller coaster of emotions would have sent even Amros into a frenzy. It was his tone of voice when delivering the message that was the first indication that something was off. The slow, defeated tone was no way to tell your closest brother that you found their long lost father. So I waited for the impending second part of the announcement only to find out it was really an obituary. So I jumped out of reaction. I didn’t realize how high up the airship was
​ at the time and my feather fall activated quite quickly​. So there was no time to digest ​the recent news that my natural father was alive, at least alive up until just moments ago. So what is this feeling that grabbed me and tossed me over the side of the ship? I thought it would be the same feeling I had when Xagyg died. But its not. When comparing the two I can see that this new feeling didnt have the deep sense of loss, sadness that couldnt be described. It was overwhelming. This feeling seems born out of anger more than sadness. The more I think about it the angrier I get. The thought that the University sent my father on the same mission we are on was aggravating. The fact that they used me to blackmail him into this suicide mission was beyond infuriating. It was like hot magma coursing through my veins. They needed to pay for they did to both of us. Reperations needed to be paid. Revenge. That is this new feeling he had. I thought I felt it before but never this clearly. Never this pure. We could have been retrieving the item together, father and son, hand in hand fighting to keep each other alive. But I will never have the chance now, thanks to that dirty lying university claiming I was with them and he was doing everything he could to save me. My father was trying to find me. He was looking for me and now he’s dead.
The last bit of clouds finally part and I see the top of the fortress. I see my brothers, dots from this high up but I can recognize them no matter. And then the unmistakable shape of a red dragon. A slender ridged neck with large beating wings and a long tail whipping in the air. All in bright red with dark undertones. Amros always taught us that eye catching coloration like that was a warning sign in the wild, beware all who dare attack. And there by his terrifying talons was a sprawled remains of my father.
I no longer have control of my own body. My mind has lost consciousness. All I can sense is my heart beating at an incredible pace. Feeding my lungs with mana. Filling them frozen flame. And the last thought I have before I release everything in my chest, is “Die, murderer of my father! Die, you fiery thief!”

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Stone hard truths

Amros positioned himself so that the corpse was to his left and can be studied easily while the large slab of stone was directly before him. His color palette contained not an ounce of paint. Instead, a handful of smoking pipes were placed in the wells, their aromas flowing out in serpentine smoke intertwining and fading into the recesses of the room. Behind Amros, Jerji was plucking away at his lute a slow somber tune. Traditionally, when you ask Jerji to play you something you offer either the piece to play or the mood to set. This time, Amros simply asked if he can help him. To which Jerji responded by simply getting up and selecting two instruments to carry with him. He then just followed Amros into the makeshift morgue and chose a comfortable place to play. Amros picked up one of the pipes and inhaled softly but very deeply. He always felt this mix of hash that allowed him to concentrate more, the main ingredient was a weed he found the gardeners removing outside the church. The first phase needed focus more than anything else so it was an obvious choice. In battle, incantations are fast and deliberate with instantaneous results. However now, when the need is to stretch the duration of the spell and resolve it in minute detail, how you cast the spell is imperative. With the final words to the spell consummating with Jerji playing the final note to his opening piece, it was done. The sides of the rock wobbled for just a moment then went back. Holding his concentration, Amros began to work on the base of the stone. The stone was softer than any clay a sculptor would use and he manipulated with graceful hands as he saw fit. He first fashioned the general shape of a foot on the outsides of the stone. Picking up a different pipe this time he began to analyze the details in the strange creature’s clawed feet. He set the pipe down and and began to mimic everything he saw onto the stone. Jerji’s second piece flowed beautifully but somehow never left the lower registers of sound, it was deep and carried you with through a journey into the caverns of your mind. Soon, Amros had begun working up the leg and then the thigh. Looking once again at the dead body, Amros couldn’t believe this was the father of perhaps his closest brother. The only proof he could find was the scaling on its body. On occasion when Sheyba used his breathe weapon or when the light hit just right, you could catch a glimpse of it faintly outlined across his body but only if you were paying attention and for brief moments. Turning back to the stone he continued his work.
The loud thuds coming from the stairs in quick succession gave all the indication needed to who was coming and with that Amros exhaled out a sigh and braced for Sheyba to come barreling through the door which he did, loudly.
“You are here! I have been looking everywhere for you. Of course I should have checked here first.” Sheyba screamed “every time I think I got you figured out, you do something that confuses me to no end. What is your problem?”
“What do you mean?” Was the response in a cold tone. Despite Sheybas disruptive entrance, Amros and Jerji both continued as if nothing happened. The dismissive attitude clearly sending Sheyba further into aggravation.
" Don’t play dumb with me. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I see how you have treated Xagyg ever since he was brought back to us. Like he doesn’t exist to you. Ignoring him whenever you can. Can’t you just be happy that you got your brother back? Does your beliefs always have to be so backwards that you can’t accept the luxuries that we have at our disposal, that we can bring back something we thought we lost forever?"
By now Amros had completed up to the waist. He chose to dress him exactly as he last saw him, with a simple cloth to cover himself, and not what could have been appropriate for a headmaster of a great university. “It is against everything the circle of life teaches us. In the wild, death is constantly looming around the corner. Predator or prey, death is always a possible outcome. It is necessary otherwise the cycle is not completed and if you always cheat death, then the world will fall apart.”
“Then if you feel so strongly about this FRIEND, then explain to me why would you of all people go to the church and ask them to resurrect my dead father? Then when you were denied you simply walk right back out the door without a fight?”
Amros did not give an answer. He simply continued shaping the mid section and then slowly went around to begin working on the back and the spines going along the middle. Because the brunt of the dragons attack came from behind the dragonborn, Amros had to take artistic liberties in its design based on he could see from the end of his tail.
DONT YOU DARE IGNORE ME! I SAID ANSWER MMmmeee….. Wait. What in Khyber are you doing?”
With a swift swipe down Jerji struck the last chords of his song. The song ended with a much higher pace and erratically. He relaxed the muscles in his arms and set the lute down in front of him.
“I’m making his tombstone.” The dead silence left by Amros statement was suffocating. “These last few days have been very difficult on me Sheyba”
“On you?!” Sheyba responded cynically “it wasn’t your father that died.”
“No it wasn’t. But it’s what your father meant to me that has weighed heavily on my soul.” Jerji bends down and picks up his flute. Pressing his lips against the mouthpiece he begins act two of his concert. “Sheyba, do you ever contemplate the notions of fate and destiny? Choice and free will? Are the mutually exclusive are entirely intertwined? Are they cruel or are they a mercy?”
Sheyba stood there completely motionless and silent. Arms folded at his chest, he was a statue analyzing every word and every movement Amros was making while Amros studied every still detail on the body beside him. He now began shaping the arms.
“As the children chosen to save the world, we had been given a great honor. The ones who will heal the world is what we have been told countless times. A title the king of any land would envy. But it came with a great burden. And an even greater price. Look at us. Thirteen children lost. We don’t know our past and don’t know our future. Is our path leading to salvation or is it leading to annihilation? Will we ever truly know who we are? This is the price we pay. A lifetime of questions. But we paid the price long before we were given the choice to follow this path. Fate had chosen for us long before we chose our destiny, if there was a choice in it at all. Until this day we are being told what do to and where to go. We were never given an even playing field to follow the path that we want. We either follow the path shown us or forsake everything that was taken away from us.” When Amros stepped away he found he made the arms bent one on top of the other at the figures chest. The left arm bent slightly higher than the right, like he is carrying something. Nodding his head Amros continued.
“But that all changed when I saw your father. In your father I saw a strand of hope in a time I had almost given up. I saw a chance to get back a fraction of what we lost. I saw the chance that we can find out our past. It was the greatest relief I have experienced in ages. With it we can forge on stronger empowered. We can finally say that we were given the choice to live a normal life or carry on as we were but at least it was of true free will. Your father’s life meant everything to me.” When Amros put his hands down from a moment, he looked at what he had done. He had lost sight of what he was doing and trailed off in thought. It wasn’t until just now that he realized what he had placed cradled in the arms of the dragonborn. It was a human baby. Cuddled softly in the scaly chest of the stone creature. The baby a frock of hair and two braids going down its temple. It was sheyba as an infant, and he was smiling. All that was left was the head now and it had to be perfect. That meant it couldn’t have the lifeless expression displayed on the corpse as it was. No, it had to have life, it had to have feeling, a feeling that fit its purpose, a feeling the moment it was depicting. So he looked around and found what he was looking for. He picked the small mirror up and propped it near the creatures head. Close enough so that he could meld his own expression onto the face of the dragon. He then went on top of the stool he brought and then went back to work.
“And then it was all burnt away. Gorgalan came and incinerated everything in a mere breathe. I
​just stood there and watched as your dreams were charred to ash. ​I utterly failed you. I watched as the dragon prophecy stripped you of any hope of being with your father. There will never be a choice for you.” The neck was sculpted at a sharp bend and so that the head would be looking down at the child’s face. “That oppressive reality overwhelmed me, it crushed my spirit. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to redeem my sin. I had to find a way to bring back your father. I would betray my heart to save my mind. I would ask the council to resurrect your father. When Xagyg died he did it with knowledge that he was risking his life and under his own free will. Your father was blackmailed into throwing away his life away. His only fault was that he wanted to finally see his son.” The lips were emotionless until the very edge of the mouth, there it turned downwards into a slight frown. A father’s job is to be strong in the face of adversity. However, no father is immune to the sadness they feel due to their children’s struggles. “But then the council denied my request. They said I shouldn’t push my luck. Considering the events that transpired during Xagyg’s resurrection, they chose to overlook us overstepping their authority and going straight to the Speaker of the Flame but it clearly left a sore spot in their hearts. And if we were to overstep our bounds again serious consequences would follow. So I was kindly escorted out of the hall. Defeated in more ways than I thought possible. So this statue is my final chance at atonement.” Amros bent over and gently lifted the eyelids, revealing large gray hued eyes split into two hemispheres by a slit instead of the round iris seen in the eyes of most races. “For days I wondered about fate. Was it a sadistic torturer? Living right outside the Morgrave University and not knowing you could have gone to visit ​your father
at any time. Bringing you ​closer in distance as his time on Eberron was coming closer to an end. Until the two converged and dwindled to nothing. I wish you could have heard his last words, or seen his eyes as he spoke your name.” The eyebrows were arched and the eyelids followed a similar angle and covered a small part at the of the eye. It gave a sense of wonderment. Pondering on the future of a son and the life he will live. “I wish I could have switched my place with you then or transfer my memory of him to you. Or is it that fate was merciful? Did it save you the agony of finding your father only to watch him die. Saved you the pain of losing your father a second time. The greatest pain is felt when you are given the brief glimpse of hope and happiness, when you feel like you are floating in the clouds, only to feel the noose go taught around your neck and send you crashing into the mud without a warning. At least your decent wasn’t that high to begin with.” After finishing the snout Amros felt there was something missing. Then he dragged two fingers from the corner of the right eye down his face. A single tear was the final touch. “I don’t envy you Sheyba. You are the sacrificial lamb that has given your brothers hope of
​ salvation while chaining them to the path they have been following all along. I hope you will one day forgive me.”
The only response that came was the creaking of the door as Sheyba walked out. Amros didn’t know when Jerji stopped playing his flute. This whole experience was ethereal and exhausting. Jerji made his way to Amros side as the two gave the tombstone one last appreciative look.
“It’s perfect” Jerji reassuringly concluded as he went to his pocket and handed Amros his handkerchief.
Amros took it and wiped away a tear that followed the same path that he just placed on the statue “Thanks”.
“So, should I come back tomorrow when you make a smaller one for Sheyba?”
Amros let out a muffled laugh. “You know, they say that musicians use song to move the hearts of people. Jerji, you look into the hearts of people and see how they move then sing to it.”
“I know” and with a smile he started walking towards the door. But just before leaving the room he stopped. Turning his head slightly he said “if you truly feel that we were never given a fair choice on this path, then maybe Xagyg’s death was not that different from the one that man next to you was given. Maybe Xagyg died for the same reason. I hope that thought helps heal your heart.”
The door shut behind Jerji closed shut with a heavy thud. His knees could no longer carry him and gave. Crumbling to the floor Amros cried silently.

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Randall's Shame

Disgust and envy, two tyrants constantly at war over territory of Randall’s heart. Of the thirteen brothers, only three had no magical aptitude whatsoever; Enso, Xagyg, and Randall. Oblivious to the very notion that magic even existed, Enso trained his body day and night to be his greatest weapon. He never even went to a single lesson Arresh gave about magic or any test to see if he was capable of using magic in the first place. He cared nothing of its art, only in the perfection of his mind and body. On the contrary, Xagyg swore he was the greatest magic user that ever existed in all of of its application and had no need to train on something he already mastered. When implored to show the rest of his brothers an example of his prowess, he responded by saying he didn’t want to disgrace his skills by showing it to such lower beings and that such a display would put all their lives in danger. What scared everyone the most was that he seemed to honestly believe it. Randall on the other hand, went to every lesson Arresh taught on arcana, trained in all the different forms of magic, read up on every technique to bring out even the smallest amount of talent to the surface. But to his utter dismay, after months of practice he could not cast spells that novices are taught on their first day. His brothers did what all young boys do and continually ridiculed him about it. They told him to stand far away from the them when they practiced so it wouldn’t rub off on them too. The jokes only fueled him to try harder but to everyone’s shock there was truth to their humiliating words. He was in fact having a negative affect on the spellcasters around him. Jokes became arguments, and soon arguments became constant fights, fights became all out brawls. But you can’t out bully the bully so Randall usually ended up winning the fights and stayed despite the unspoken embargo against him. It was only when Arresh himself kindly suggested individual lessons between him and Randall did he relent and stopped joining the others in the lessons. In fact, he stopped going to any lessons at all. Arresh may have used soft words but what it meant to Randall was razor sharp. Arresh now also believed there was no hope for Randall in pursuing magic and his very presence was detrimental to all those around him in the continuing their education in arcana. He never felt a pain like the one he felt on that day. Any injury he received in battle paled in comparison. It was like everything he tried to do to impress Arresh was stepped on. He would now never be able to compete with and prove he was better his rival, Rhaegar, who never failed at anything he attempted. With no reason to stay at the mansion in his mind, he packed his things and ran away. The volcanoes surrounding the mountain was the only thing Randall ever experienced outside the estate and it’s immediate grounds so it was the only option to run to. A week and a half passed with no sight of Arresh or any of his brothers. Surviving on the few things he learned about nature, he discovered that physical dominance was an indispensable boon and did well on his own in the harsh environment. He didn’t know if his family was happy he left or if he was just that good at disappearing. He would think to himself how much easier this would be if Amros was with him. How much better the meals would be if Ichino was the one preparing them. How even the the worst day could be made better with the help of Jerji and his songs. How alone he felt right now. But he would always repress those thoughts and blame them for shutting him out and forcing him to leave.
Until one day Graeme briskly walks in on his camp while Randall was roasting a lizard for his meal. He didn’t think Graeme would have been the one to find him. He probably was told by Arresh how to get here or commissioned Xagyg to find Randall for him, but Xagyg was nowhere to be seen. Graeme always seemed to find a way to get the job done, always planning, always finding an answer.
Seeing anyone after being in solitude for so long was a relief that could not be described. His thoughts had grown very dark in the past few days, and he’s not sure what would have become of him had he been left to his own machinations. However, Graeme didn’t need to know that.
“What do you want.” Randall spit out barely raising his sight from cooking his meal.
Graeme raised one eyebrow and focused his glare straight at Randall as he always does when he feels like he will be expending more time than necessary on a project. “Why did you leave?”

“What do you care? Why don’t you go back to your loser brothers and leave me alone. I’m finally happy that I don’t have to see your ugly faces then you show up here and ruin everything.”

It was as if the entire volcano fell silent, holding it’s breath in hopes not to miss even a single sound of what was to happen next. On Graeme’s face was the look of deep speculation and thought. Like playing a game of chess on a board only visible to himself. Randall on the other hand made every effort not to pay him any attention, as if his intrusion had already gone too long. Then with a sigh Graeme finally relaxed his body and shot Randall a look that he will remember for the rest of his life. It was the frown a hunter has when he is standing above his kill that has not yet died. The expression you have when you are about to end the life of the greatest buck you have ever seen, one that should have roamed the forest ruling in grandeur, but instead fell victim to your desire to own it within the confines of your trophy room. And so you draw the knife and have this expression on your face for the tragic ceremony of a momentous victory.”

“I care because you are ruining my plans. I needed you to take care of something for me. But then you decided to just get up and leave. I thought you would be back in a day or two but this is ridiculous. Now, if you’re done pouting, get your things together and let’s get back before you waste anymore of my time.”

Randall was caught off guard. Graeme never spoke this way. The tone was all wrong, Graeme wasn’t the kind of person to look down on his pawns. The pieces didn’t matter as long as he achieved his goal. Puzzled, Randall asked himself if Graeme treated even his emotions as pieces to manipulate?
“I should smash your face in for the way your talking to me”

“I had a plan for that in case you tried to”

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”

“And I planned on not getting punched at all, especially not from you”

Randall cracked a smile and let out muffled laugh “and what are your amazingly important plans that couldn’t wait until I got back?” he said as he began to brush the dirt off his clothes and stand.

A smirk crept onto Graeme’s face, “those losers back home are a bunch of puppets. They wouldn’t be able to lift a finger without Arresh pulling their strings. They need someone to tell them where to go and how to think. And when Arresh isn’t around Yohan will be the light showing the path and I will be the hand that holds the reins driving the carriage. What we need is a whip to gently persuade them from getting out of hand and staying in line.”

Randall bellowed out a hearty laugh. “ You know you suck at acting mean.” His laughter only got louder when he saw how disappointed Graeme was for being called out on it. “How about you let me handle the tough guy routine from now on while you get some acting lessons from Sheyba. Unless he thinks you’re a lost cause.” he continued

“I’m realizing now more than ever that I’m not good at a lot of things. But I’m not going to let anyone or any limitations stop me from doing what Arresh raised us to do.”

It took a second but Randall finally collected himself and started packing his few things “That’s nice. Now whose face am I smashing in?”

“I’ll tell you when the time is right. For now stay by my side and and wait for my command” he said as he he turned and began walking away from the camp, Randall in tow slightly behind him. “I am weak, I need you. I need you to be my fists, to be my sword, and strike down any in our way. You possess a special skill I can use to our advantage. You will bring down any magi who are too high for us to reach. With you I will fulfill the prophecy.”
And since that day, Randall was always by Graeme’s side waiting for his orders. He would heal the world with his sword and defeat any mage who stood in their way.

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Randall consoles Sheyba's grief
Each in their own way

It wasn’t hard for Randall find where sheyba was: simply look where all the priests with the tattered and freshly singed gowns were running away from and head in that direction. The crash of furniture and deafening roars only removed any doubt to the obvious.

Growing up, Randall had gotten into enough fights with Sheyba that he’s learned his tendencies. He gives into his rage and attacks randomly and with no restraint. On this day, he is as angry as he has ever seen him. Sheyba hates losing things, and moments ago all the brothers heard they had lost their brother in battle while retrieving a magical item for the Church of the Silver Flame. Immediately, Graeme knew how Sheyba would react and told Randall to handle it. Over the years, Randall has gotten ever more efficient at combating casters of all kinds. Then again Sheyba is no ordinary mage.

When Randall knew he was coming upon Sheyba’s location, he huddled behind his shield, lowered his shoulder, and began to pick up speed. By the time he reached sheyba, he was already in full sprint. A stream of blue fire erupted in his direction. The geyser of arcane energy slammed hard against the large metal shield, dispersing radially in all directions. With his body safely positioned behind the shield, Randall barreled forward unhindered. Using Sheyba’s breath weapon as a beacon, Randall could continue rushing forward without poking his head from over his shield. Even though he was wearing his signature onyx helm, he knew it would do little in the form of protection in the face of this type of attack. It didn’t take long for Randall’s shield to make contact with its target. Thick steel met soft flesh and the the arcane volcano immediately came to an end. You could hear the wind’s fast exodus from Sheyba’s lungs as the impact sent him off his feet. His flight backwards came to a crashing halt when his body bounced off the wall behind him. His body went limp and landed on the ornate carpet the way a hunting dog drops a pheasant in front of its master.

Randall let his shield fall to the ground, tearing apart the silver filigree carpet where it landed. The priests demanded that everyone wear soft leather slippers when walking these halls to preserve the value of the rich carpet. When they see the damage done to both the carpet and the wall tapestry, they will be beside themselves in anger. The thought of it carved a large devilish grin across Randall’s face. The coarse gasping for air coming from his beaten up brother returned him to the situation at hand. "Why worry about dessert when dinner is on the table,” he thought to himself.

He could see Sheyba attempting to string words together in between short sharp breaths. Randall immediately tensed as he realized sheyba may be trying to verbalize an incantation for a spell. Quickly turning his head, he could see he was already a good distance away from his shield on the floor behind him. If Sheyba really was casting a spell, he would most likely not reach his shield in time. He snapped his head back at Sheyba, took two steps towards him and lunged with all his might. The distance he covered was immense as he braced himself for impact. He caught a little bit of Sheyba’s shoulder as he landed to his immediate right. Randall’s left arm snaked around Sheyba’s own as his powerful legs locked onto Sheyba’s right arm. With his right hand he grabbed the back of Sheyba’s head and pulled. With Sheyba crucified on the floor this way, Randall was safe from getting hit by Sheyba’s breath attack and preventing him from casting a spell.
It was only then that he could finally see Sheyba’s face. It was like all the water in his body was pouring from his eyes. The only part of his face not drenched in tears was his mouth, there icicles formed where tears met his frost magic. Turning his ears towards that icicle beard, Randall could now hear the whispers coming from Sheyba’s mouth.
“I’ll …. I’ll kill ….. them .. all… they kil… killed him….”

It’s true. Xagyg is dead. Randall hated hearing those words. That’s why he was happy to be given this task. Something that would take his focus away from the reality of losing his brother. A reality that was being whispered into his ears piecemeal and there was nothing he could do about it in the position he was in.
Trying to block out the emotions bottled up inside him, he began to lose focus. Sheyba used the momentary opening to whip his head to Randall so they were almost face to face. Sheyba opened his mouth wide, almost too wide for human standards. Wide enough that you thought you could see his soul through the depths of his gaping maw. And it was from there that a blue flame sparked to life. And it quickly grew, and grew, until that flame was born violently into the world.
Any swordsman that has earned a few scars in combat will tell you that your body reacts to an attack long before your mind has fully understood what was happening. Randall was hardly out of his daze before he had already jerked his head back and twisted his body. Avoiding the attack by a mere few inches, his onyx helm was not as lucky and was blown off his scalp, clanking to the floor a few feet away.
Never had Randall been so close to Sheyba’s flame before. His eyes were seeing a fiery inferno but his skin was feeling an icy blizzard. It was beautiful. It was terrifying. Like lightning, instantly creating a paradoxical battle of serenity and terror in a man’s heart. And just like lightning, it was gone before either side could be declared the victor. But it wasn’t thunder that replaced the light display; it was the pain filled shriek emitted from Sheyba’s lungs. Randall jumped to his feet alarmed. He never heard Sheyba do that before and didn’t know if he should brace himself for an attack or run to his brother’s help.
Doubled over himself, Sheyba was grabbing his left shoulder frantically. Randall realized what had happened. While maneuvering away from the breath attack, Randall’s death grip on Sheyba’s arm popped it clean out of its socket when his body twisted. An all too familiar feeling in Randall’s chest was beginning to well up and almost come flooding out, but that was quickly repressed and buried in depths of anger. He gave Sheyba a vicious boot to his ribs, “You see what happens! Look what you made me do! Next time know how squishy you really are and cower when you see me, then things like this won’t happen”
Everyone knew Randall was his cruelest after he already hurt you and won, always making a show of his victory. In reality, it was a diversion to hide the concerned look on his face that disappeared before it ever materialized. Concern that Randall would never admit to himself, let alone anyone else. It didn’t take long for the brothers to learn to quit a fight long before their fate was sealed.

“Why are you doing this, Sheyba? Don’t you know Graeme and Yohan are going to fix this?”
An attempt to respond resulted in heavy coughing and gasping for air. All he could do was scowl and shake his head in disapproval.
“You think these selfish punks are gonna do us any favors huh?”
A small nod was returned in agreement.
“I don’t care what you think about these idiots. I told you Graeme and Yohan went to get Xagyg back. And if you don’t trust those two I’m gonna have to beat some more sense into that stupid dragon wannabe skull of yours.”
Randall extended his arm for Sheyba to grab.“I’ll make a deal with you. If by some twist of the prophecy they don’t get Xagyg back, you and I will both tear and burn this church down, brick by brick, until the only thing left is a silver hole in the ground.”
Reluctantly, Sheyba grabbed Randall with his right hand and was hoisted onto his shoulder.
Randall started to look around. “Now let’s find one of those monks you almost killed and make them heal you back to normal or I’ll bash his head in.”

View
The memories still sit fresh

This airship is something else. I keep asking to control it but nobody is willing. “Only dragonmarks can” they said. Well, I’m sure my abilities are more than adequate, my skills with my hands are second to none. At any rate, this airship ride has gotten so boring that I’m thinking about other fights we’ve had over the past few years. That hill giant fight was something else. Andel was saying something about the dragon shell – or nut dragon shells or maybe dragon nutshells – at any rate, we had to get these things for the silver flame. I almost forgot that we were the prophesied meant to save the world and not a courier service. When that giant crested the hill it was like staring at a moving building. When the second one showed, WHOA. It took nearly everything we had to get them to their knees. I – like a good thief – hid in the shadows and just pelted them with arrows. My fantastic accuracy landed me a bullet right in that big idiot’s eye. I was a little far, but I’m pretty sure i saw the tip poke out the back of it’s head. The other guys (aka Rhaegar) took care of the other one. What a fight. I may not be the strongest, but I can definitely hold my own. Especially that one time against the bird-folk…

View
Signs in the smoky clouds

The soft shuffle of leather soles against the city’s gloomy dank back alleys could faintly be heard. Amros made every effort never to disturb nature and he took this notion to the extremes of not even interrupting the sound of nature. At this time of night, the last few hours before daybreak, the noise of city eventually surrenders to the silence and Amros can almost forget he is surrounded by the farce that is the advancement of civilization. Racing to build tall skyscrapers when true enlightenment is found in the simple tranquility of nature where you can achieve a medetative state of discipline and introspection. And simple tranquility has been ever harder to achieve.

The divination spell was tugging him in the direction of that which he seeked. But after so many previous excursions he could almost follow the tell tale signs like he used to track animal game in the woods. He turned the corner at the base of one of Sharn’s many monumental towers and found what he was looking for. There huddled around the fire built of refuse was the inhabitants of the Cogs, Sharn’s slums in the lower city. Amros made no effort to hide his presence and walked towards the four men. well, at least three he thought for sure were men. The Elf second from the left immediately noticed and shot him an untrusting glare. It was clear from his poorly hidden attire he was most likely from house Phiarlan and recently relocated to this part of the city, not likely by choice. Amros didn’t give it much thought other than he probably lost the favor of a high ranking member of the house and therefore lost everything. The houses and the melodrama that occurs within their walls was of little interest to Amros, although House Sivis did catch his attention from time to time. To the right of the scowling elf was an elderly human, the wear and tear of a long life in the lower levels of Sharn clearly shown on his body and the speed of his reaction. The old man gave Amros a comforting smile and put his arm on the Elf to ease his nerves. “I know why yer here… I have seen ya before by Khyber’s Gate” the old man motioned to a hunched over figure to his immediate left. That’s the one that Amros couldn’t figure out from the decrepit hair and worn face if it was a male or a female. “If you have any more stories to tell I won’t mind sharing” the old man said as the hunchback handed him a felt bag. “I can fill that weird pipe of yers and we can burn til Tha hags come home”. Amros never turned down a warm welcome like this, especially one in which herbal supplements were being offered. However the fact that this man not only recognized him but knew certain details of him meant that Amros had become heedless in his movements and that he needed to reduce his exploration of flora and fauna in the city of towers. Amros pulled his pipe from his leather sack and smiled “it would be my pleasure. Good company is hard to find and I am lucky to have found such a gathering of honorable men, err uhmmm…. people” Amros tried to cover his confusion over the gender of the hunchback. The Elf raised his eyebrow again trying to read between the lines of Amros opening remarks. Another unfortunate symptom when being a member of house. “Sir take my words as the truth. I have nothing but the highest regard for those of simple lifestyles who enjoy the natural gifts of this world.” Amros took a handful of nightveil from the old man began distributing it within the many chambers of his pipe. He made the pipe himself from a rare wood. The long multi-chambered design was also his own invention. In addition to allowing for more of the plant to be smoked inside and more space to be decorated on the outside, he swore it allowed him to get better pulls for a longer amount of time. “Many of my friends find it hard to understand when a disciplined spiritual man like myself turns to these gifts for enlightenment. It takes strict self awareness to know when you have achieved a higher state of clarity instead of just burning your mind into delirium.”
He thought to himself that any venture with no self control leads to chaos and Sheybe immediately came to mind.
“What’s the matter? " asked the old man.
“I’m sorry?” Replied Amros
“You suddenly got all sad and droopy” the old man took a tinder from the Fire and put it just above Amros pipe. “Here this will living yer spirits”
“Thanks” Amros took the tinder and began lighting his pipe with a few puffs.
“So where are your friends now nature boy?” Asked the elf.
“I used the terms loosely perhaps, my travelling companions had left me trapped in a sewer hole and the only aid I received was them dropping even more undiscernable refuse on top of my head”
A shrill voice spoke out “how did you get out?” It came from the hunchback and it caught Amros of guard. It also gave him no further insight to the creature was.
But he quickly continued “I climbed the wall and transformed into a snake and slithered out” very Matter of factly.
The old man and the confusing one broke into a joyful laughter while the Elf barked “so that stench IS coming from you!” Covering his mouth and. Ose from breathing any further of the aroma. This too was a clear sign that he only recently became a member of the slums. Down here the stagnant air always smelled and it’s folks stopped caring where or whom the smell came from long ago.
“So I take it yer friends ain’t yer friends any longer” the old man asked after recovering from his bout of laughter.
“It’s hard to say.” Amros paused seeming to choose his next words perhaps more for himself than the present audience. “We may all be walking along parallel paths more so than friends at this point. There’s just been too much to deal with and not enough tying us back together”
“The only question is what would you do for them” the voice was deep and verberated in the ears long after the hooded figure finished his statement. Amros hadn’t given the man much attention when he arrived due to his quiet demeanor. Now he can see he should have taken a better look at him. He was almost his height despite a slouch and his shoulders were at an angle that mislead his true stature. The cloaked figure’s head now faced Amros, only the bottom half of face revealed from the cover of his hood. That was enough for Amros to recognize the jaw line and teeth belong to someone with a certain degree of orcish ancestry. He stared right back and flatly replied “Anything. I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR MY brothers. I, however, am not so sure they feel the same. We have grown far apart and now I am practically the age of his father.”
“It pleases me to know you still consider him your brother. It matters little the state you found him in, all that matters is the bond between all of you. Or have the years made you forgotten?”
The orcish creature hadn’t moved but it felt to Amros that he was being talked down to and only Arresh had ever spoken to him like this. It took a lot of effort not to lose his temper. The alternating use of singular and plural was not lost on Amros nor was the fact that he never mentioned the fact that he and his brothers lost contact. This man was either incredibly intuitive or he also knew much more about Amros than he was comfortable with.
A long pause followed with only the sounds of lungs exhaling and twigs snapping to fill the night.
After long deliberation decided it was time for answers. “My name is Amros son of Arresh. May I be honored by yours?” Giving his real name was a calculated risk. Either this person is so good at reading people he would have discerned the lie or he already knew it.
“What’s it to you?”
“You seem to be far wiser than myself. Also, I am sick and tired of proving myself. If it’s not some pompous dragon, it’s the Silver Flame, if not them then it’s someone else.” He emphasized the last part making it clear so the descendent of orcs knew he was referring to him. “My brothers and I are not pawns in this game. We have a mission and we will fulfill it.”
“It seems to me, my lost friend, it’s not being dropped into ditches that has you seeking herbal remedies for the chaos overtaking your mind but the fact that you don’t know in whose hands your fate lies.”
“And how do I put it into my own hands?”
“Well that’s simple. Just use your hands.”
“You mean to take actions into my own hands? It’s not that simple. Like you said we are lost boys reaching for any bit of information that is coming our way with no way of validating these so called truths given to us. Each of us gets pulled into different directions. The word destiny becomes confounded when your a collective.”
“Nothing will become clear as long as you are blindly being dragged by your hand.”
“So now I have to open my eyes to see?” Amros whipped out sarcastically.
“I never said you had your eyes closed. But considering your puppeteers have a birds eye view, perhaps you should try seeing it from their vantage point. I can tell you from experience it will help you far more than one of your induced mind trips.”
Amros gave the man a hard squint and eyed him up and down “What did you say your name was again?”
“You can call me Merick” He then crouched down and spread his arms wide to his sides as if to leap into the air.
Amros jumped to the side if this dragon was about to transform in the middle of the alley the rest of them were about crushed into the walls.
As the orc jumped into the air, instead of growing larger he disappeared into his cloak and a purple hued raven flew out of the collar. the cloak collapsed to the ground where he once stood while the raven soared high. It perched itself on a ledge and turned its head so one eye stared directly at Amros. It cawed twice before continuing it’s ascent.
His excursions to these parts of the city alone have come to an end thought Amros. He would have to stay back on the ship from now on. Likely keeping watch since he was not sure what the results of his actions that night would produce. But he so hated the hasheesh the sailors at the dock used. He then turned to the old man who was now rummaging through the cloak and trying it on to see if it fit. It clearly didn’t but he kept it on anyway. “Hey old man, do you have any more?”
“I think I’m done sharing for one night” He replied with a frown as the hunchback stepped away slowly.
“Then how about I play you for it?” Amros pulled out a bag of dice with different numbers of sides out of his side pocket. He recently learned the gambling game from the locals and quickly mastered until no one on the dock would play with him anymore.
The old man gave a large smile that showed what was left of his blackened teeth “and what do you have to offer?”
Amros pulled out a small pouch and gave it a bounce. It rang with the sound of rattling coins. He then turned his attention to the elf. “What about you?”
He shrugged "why not like my luck can get any worse " He pulls out his snuff tin and adds it to the ante.

View
What is going on?

What the hell is going on? Why is everyone acting like this is normal? This is very much not normal. Nothing is normal anymore. Well, nothing has been normal but this is even more not normal than things normally are.

Let me start at the beginning. Well, the beginning that began with me.

I stayed on the ship for the past few days. Wasn’t feeling so hot, didn’t want to do adventuring, wanted some time to myself. I got to thinking about everything going on, what’s been happening, who we’ve been working with. Thought about Kenneth and his joining us. He’s alright. I can get behind him and his dislike of the Silver Flame. I’m not a fan of any of those mumbo-jumbo groups. There is no good or evil, just people and monsters and you have to stop the monster by any means necessary. Anyway, he’s alright in my book, I can get behind him.

SO the guys come back, tell me about this guy and a concert we gotta go to, and I’m down. His name is Johnny Talltale. A silver flamer and Kenneth isn’t too fond of him, but I get along well enough with Andel so I’ll see what he’s about.

Plus, I gotta get off this damn ship, I’m going crazy. Thank god we’ve been away from the rest of these guys, I nearly forgot how annoying they were. Now they got even more annoying. “We’ve been gone for ten years!” “Waaaah, feel bad for me please.” “We’ve been searching for you, the least you can do is care.” Just let me get out.

Party time. Concerts, good times, free flowing drinks and smokes. Great times coming. This huge city requires some maneuvering to get around. Since Sheyba isn’t with us, we get to spend freely. 30 silver (relax Sheyba, its okay we’ll make it back) and we’re on our way to the concert. Made a pit stop for some nobley clothes (I stay looking clean and dapper and SPENDING PLATINUM SHEYBA) and finally we get to Karravah Concert hall. Side note: dwarves are stingy. I don’t plan on staying dressed like this, why can I not rent these clothes. Really dumb decision on the dwarves part.

Anyway, concert time. Pretty relaxed atmosphere. I got a head rush from the strange smells and smoke flowing around. I enjoyed it, I need to find out where they get this stuff from. I could definitely use it today. He dedicates a song to us about how the world is changing and how we have to be prepared or something. Typically cryptic nonsense. Just come out and tell us, is it that difficult? Anyway, concert ends and we go to see him.

Two beasts block the door, Andel gets us in. We meet this guy and I get drinks for the Lord Commander Iyan ir’Talan. He seems a bit drunk but no problem in getting a drunk drunker, no? He challenges Rhaegar to fight one of his men. Rhaegar, i love you but you gotta get a hold of yourself. This was stinking of a trap the whole time man! We can’t be doing this all the time.

Rhae gets tossed into a pit and of course it is against a warforged. It had to be a warforged. Fists only, no weapons. I get a good view and some bets going. As soon as the warforged comes out, the bets go in his favor. Get a good view, keeping my eyes on the fight, kenneth is in rhaegars corner, and andel is sitting talking to Johnny and Councillor Thurik Davandi. Always the talker that guy. Notice the soldiers getting antsy when the warforged isn’t getting hits off. I start getting a little worried and after he misses for something like the fifth time all hell breaks loose. People coming at us left and right, a good old fist brawl breaks out. I leap, tumble, jump over people. Knocking people out left and right. Rhaegar and Kenneth get a few good blows in as does andel. After it all ends, we get our gold (why bet against us people?) and finally get to talking with Johnny.

AGAIN WITH THE CRYPTIC NONSENSE. STOP THIS ALREADY. Things out of our hands, we have to go with the flow, yadda yadda yadda. Andel can figure that nonsense out, him and his Silver brothers. He does tell us to go to Morgrave and use a token he gave the guys earlier. Finally some straight talk.

Head to Morgrave in the morning, and this is where my world is flipped. We get in and see a gigantic mural of Arresh. ARRESH. HIS PAINTING IS ON THE WALL. WHAT IS GOING ON. I seem to be the only one taken aback by this. I stop people left and right. Why is he on the wall. What is going on. He is apparently the first headmaster of this school. IT WAS FOUNDED OVER 200 YEARS AGO. THAT BRINGS UP MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS. professors refuse to talk to me. Andel is acting like this isn’t a big deal. Rhaegar is disinterested. Kenneth is acting like I’ve lost my mind. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING. I am still completely lost and have no clue what is happening and Andel takes us to meet some lady. I think her name is kaelys or something? I honestly do not remember anything clearly from seeing Arresh’s mural. It was all a huge fog.

We meet her, she wants us to go on a quest. Screw your quest lady. You think I’m in any mindset to take a quest. I don’t want your quest. To top of it, we are doing it for free because “we want this”. No. I want compensation. If i want to be savior of the world, I need platinum to buy the things that can let me save the world. The only person with answers is the current headmaster. Did I mention hes ARRESH’S SON. HIS SON. OUR BROTHER. He’s too busy for us though. Even worse, she says if we do this task we may POSSIBLY speak with him. He’s very busy you see. Yea, well so are we. So am I. Maybe I should take your stupid magical stone or whatever it is and use it to my own ends. Lets see how he likes his precious school when its sitting in flames. I shouldn’t say that but I’m frustrated and angry and upset and flabbergasted, and LOST. They said arresh disappeared from here. HE DISAPPEARED FROM US TOO. i bet hes still alive. Hes alive and he lied to us. Everything is a lie. Whatever happens from here on out, the only person I can trust is myself. Unless, of course I find out what happened to Arresh.

I am going to do this quest, get your stupid trinket and see what this headmaster is about. i need to go to the undercity, get in some fights, get weird, and get clear this fog.

View
Reflecting with Arresh
The answers are within

Sheyba sat in the crow’s nest staring at the stars. He took a deep breath and held it. In his chest, he could feel the mana being morphed and filling his lungs with the frosty chill of his breath attack. This time, he only converted a minute amount since he was not planning on releasing his attack on anyone, as he usually does. He learned to control it so that all he exhaled was a sapphire cloud of arcana that could do little more than send a chill down a man’s back. He began doing this exercise because he enjoyed looking at the shapes the cloud formed when he let it go in any direction it desired. He discovered that the patterns usually were a reflection of his emotions. Sometimes it was a a wavy stream when he was calm. When he was angry, it moved in violent bursts. This time it moved in every which way and at varying speeds. It was confusing to look at which was exactly how Sheyba felt; lost and confused. He always thought that when he would meet with his brothers again everything would work out. Things would just fall into place and he would be happy again. Truth be told he was more than just happy to see his brothers. He was ecstatic. But that feeling quickly changed to feelings of alienation when they questioned his actions and why he stayed behind instead of obeying his fathers wishes and fulfilling the prophecy. He felt attacked on the very decision he was most proud of.
It was not too long ago that he had to convince the few brothers he was with at the time to stay despite their desire to leave immediately. Now with a new found backing for their initial decision, they joined in on the belligerent accusations. Sheyba could not even bring himself to speak to his closest childhood friend Amros at all, in fear of hearing his disappointment in Sheyba’s actions. Since their fallout that began over an arguement of conflicting philosophies, Sheyba has always wanted to show Amros the folly of his ways through the results of his actions. But now he wasn’t so sure he did the right thing after all. The prophecy had been the only thing that they all were working towards. Up until last week, nothing else mattered. So even when Amros was feeling the affects of a possibly fatal disease, Sheyba stayed a good distance away, sitting in a corner comforting Rusty.
Arresh used to be the one who guided all the orphans on what to do. But for the past year they have been on their own, not sure where to go or what to do unless it was foretold in the Prophecy or Yohan had a vision about it. For his long lost brothers, it has been thirteen years
they were left wandering the world lost and in search of both their brothers and clues to the prophecy. Sheyba could not imagine how hard it must have been on them if he already felt this way after just one year. If only he could speak to Arresh he could find out what he was supposed to do, he thought to himself. All of the sudden, a thought arose in Sheyba’s mind. He could speak to Arresh! Of course, why had he not thought of it before?
He immediately vaulted over the side of the crow’s nest head first in the direction clear of planks, ropes, and sails. Being on a ship was completely foreign to Sheyba and it would have been impossible for him to navigate his way up to the crow’s nest at all had it not been for his ability to cast a levitation spell on himself. So the easiest way back down was the free fall he was attempting towards the deck of the ship. Sheyba loved the rush of wind past his face sending his large silver braids flowing behind him but before he knew it, his decent was already decelerating. His natural born abilities protect him from falling from such great heights. Sheyba rarely missed a chance to use this talent despite the knowledge that it had its limits. When his feet landed softly onto the ground, he took off to his room in search of clothes befitting the part. He quickly dressed and hurried down to the cargo bay. There, leaning against a wooden column, was a huge mirror with an engraved design all around the frame. Due to its size the crew could not help but crack the frame while loading it onto the ship. No one wanted to buy a damaged product especially one of this size. It couldn’t fit in any of the rooms so no one on the ship wanted it either. Naturally, Sheyba immediately lay claim to the item and now his mark is found glowing at the top of the frame. An arcane symbol of his ownership over it.
He stood with his back to the mirror. It would be harder to believe his own lie if he saw the transformation happening. His hands danced to a song he spoke in a language foreign to most as heverbalized the incantation and made the necessary gestures to cast the spell. In his mind, he focused hard on the image of his father Arresh with great attention to any details he could remember. When he was satisfied with the image he conjured, he opened his eyes and turned around. There, standing before his eyes washis father Arresh, the most important figure in Sheyba’s life. He had seen him everyday for his first 17 years and then he suddenly disappeared without a trace for a whole year. But now, Sheyba was looking right at him. He could see his deep set eyes with their large dark pupils that drew you in. He could see the wiry long white hair of his eyebrows and his beard that nearly reached his waist. He could see the strong jaw and high cheekbones that emphasized his hollow cheeks. He recognized the wrinkles on his brow just below the six dots on his bald head. Arresh was exactly as how he remembered him.
He was actually looking at his own reflection. The spell he cast transformed him so that he looked like the image of his father according to his memory. It’s a spell that alters the user’s appearance to look different or as a disguise. He has used it many times before, usually to get into places he shouldn’t by fooling others into thinking he was someone else. This is the first time he is using it to fool himself. Now using the mirror in front of him, Sheyba could see his father again. He knew he wasn’t real but he didn’t care, the emotions and feelings he felt were real enough for him. So powerful was the event of seeing his father again that he started to feel faint and he could began losing concentration on his spell. Snapping back took effort, but he was not willing to drop character. Being an actor for many years, he developed a certain level of pride in his thespian skills and he mastered imitating his father above any other character in his repertoire. He made the face his father always made when he was about to give the children a lesson

“Hello Sheyba. How can I be of help my son?” Spoke the man in the mirror.

“Father, I miss you. Why did you disappear like that?” Sheyba responded to himself while averting his half shut eyes from the image in front of him. To see Arresh’s mouth move during his part of the conversation would shatter the illusion he created for himself. “After you left we went out to fulfill the prophecy just like you asked. But once we left the estate we were separated. Some of us were sent into the future but then some of us were teleported far away and then sent back in time to throw a child off a flying vessel. But they couldn’t, so a big weird thing turned them to dust and then they met with Voldrangor, I really hate that guy he made fun of you, he sent them to us because we were sent to the future and were fighting in ”/wikis/stormreach" class=“wiki-page-link”> stormreach to protect Jonas and the people because I thought we should but then we were all about to die but then our brothers saved us but Enso did die but we saved him and now we have to go kill a warforged because we found the baby that was thrown off the side of the flying ship. And now I don’t know what to do because everybody is mad at me"

“I see this is weighing heavy on your heart my son. The prophecy can at times take us in directions we don’t understand.”

“But it doesnt make sense. Why were only some of us sent to one place and not all of us if we all ended up meeting again anyway?”

“The prophecy must be fulfilled. Do you question the wisdom of the prophecy?”

“No I would never question what you taught me father, but all we are getting is riddles from dragons who we don’t even know. Why do they know so much of the prophecy? Why are Arenal Elves also interested in the prophecy too? I always thought we were prophesied children who will heal the world. If that’s the case how are all these people involved too?”

“The Prophecy is greater than any one man. If you fulfill your role in the Prophecy the world will be healed.”

“What does it mean to fulfill the Prophecy? Its so confusing! All our lives you told us how important fulfilling the prophecy was but I don’t know how to do that. Does it mean to do what you know is wrong even if it brings you closer to what you think the Prophecy takes you?”

“These decisions are for you to make. My role in the Prophecy was to raise you children so that you can fulfill the Prophecy. Now it is your turn to do your part. Why do you think what you did was wrong?”

“Because my brothers are mad at me for not obeying your wishes to follow the Prohecy and go to Sharn immediately. Instead, I did what I thought I had to do and save the people of Stormreach. I couldn’t let them all die that would be horrible! But all my brothers think I am a traitor for disappointing you.
If we are all the prophesied children why are we disagreeing? How can we fulfill the Prophecy if we can’t agree on what to do?”

“Must you all agree for the Prophecy to be fulfilled?”

“I don’t know. Do we?”

“Have you wondered if maybe you separating from your brothers may in fact have been a sign? An indication that your brothers may take a different direction and yet still you all reach the same place at the end? That your differences are in fact what makes you stronger and is the reason you can overcome any obstacle?”

“Well yeah but I wasn’t sure until you said it just now. It makes more sense when you say it. But how do I know when I am doing the right thing and not just what I want to do? What do I do now? I don’t know if I want to be a part of this mission for revenge to appease this angry person, even if he is the thirteenth child.”

“You must decide your own fate and thus decide the fate of the world. I raised you all and I know you will do what is right in the end. Fear not for your brothers and yourself are all on a journey and will learn many things about yourselves that you didn’t know.”

“Ok im glad you said that because Andel is going all “The voices in my head are taliking to me” cuckoo and Xagyg is acting weird, weirder than usual weird, and you know how Rhaegar is good at everything? Turns out hes really good at killing things, I mean like he keeps killing things…"

“I know…”

There was an awkward pause in Sheyba’s conversation with himself. There was one more question that he absolutely needed to ask, but terrified to hear the answer that he knew deep in his heart.

“So… will we ever see you again?”

“I do not know my son. I am a servant to the prophecy and it’s will. If it chooses I can be with you tomorrow. But if my mission is complete and it chooses to keep me away hidden within its grasp then I can not refuse.”

More confusion. More unanswered questions. Sheyba could feel the void in his chest returning. He realized he hadn’t felt it at all for the entire duration of the play he was putting on for himself. The illusion that he will get answers to his questions relieved him of the stress that came crashing down on him these past few days. And now it came back once he knew he couldnt keep this up for much longer and he wallowed there with his head drooping onto his chest. Suddenly, Arresh’s voice spoke up again.

“My son look at me.”

Sheyba’s head snapped back up like a mouse trap.

“No matter where I am and how far I am from you, you will always be my son and I will always love you. If you need me I am always here for you.”

With that Arresh raised his left hand and stretched it to Sheyba as Sheyba raised his right arm to meet his. The palms met halfway. The glass was cold, especially in the chill temperatures of the gallows. Was that really Arresh that spoke with him right now? Did his desire to speak to Arresh go so strong that it linked them together? Or did he overact as he sometimes does and was echoing what it was that he wanted to hear? Sometimes in his plays he did improv lines even before he could think about it but this felt too real. Did he talk to his father? Did he finally touch his hand once again? It was a hurricane going on in Sheyba’s mind and it finally took its toll on his body. He crashed to the ground but his right hand was frozen onto the pane of the glass. What little control he had left over the spell was shattered. He looked at the mirror once more but it wasnt the serene visage of his father anymore. Now, he saw red bloodshot eyes and tear soaked cheeks on a worn out face. There was no one left on the boat to see or hear him in this pathetic state but he wouldn’t have cared anymore. He lay there trying to think but he couldnt anymore. Tomorrow morning he would have to make a decision

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Letter to Jonas
as transcribed by Sir Elton John

My dear friend Jonas Wylkes,

1378196426071.jpgWe sail for Sharn and bid you and your beautiful city of Stormreach farewell for now. You both will forever be in my heart and under my sworn protection. I pray for your safety from the hands of evil like those that had put the lives of its people in danger and the Sahuagin . Many people have blood on their hands including myself. I have seen people die before and my father tried to prepare us for death and specifically those that came by our own hands. But nothing would prepare me for what Rhybrin brought me to. Ranks upon ranks of lives were thrown away that evening. I wanted to run out there and do everying I could to stop them, to save them from losing something so special as their own life. Something that can never be given it or taken away, it can only be lost. We were looking for you so that you could stop this but when we found you, you were cowering in the corner of your house hoping for everything to go away. You are a kind-hearted man but I’m sad to say you are weak. Being weak is not your fault but to hide away because of it is. Rhaegar never backs down from a fight. Twice when the challenge presented itself that night he stepped up and met it head on fighting both fronts with him and Stormreach caught in the middle. Despite his confident persona I know he understands the truth. That he enters every fight not knowing the outcome. He fights for his reasons. He fights to learn about himself and who he can be. He fights knowing it can be his last. When he fought that monstrous Sahuagin and the life was being choked out of his lungs, he broke free against all odds and delivered the final blow with his own hands leaving a charred aftermath as a message. But when the roles were switched and the ghastly hand of warforged once named Cleaver left him for dead I wanted to take up the same mantle. Rhaegar is a far superior fighter to myself and his fall only meant mine was eminent as well. I was weak like you were but I chose to fight back and be greater than I really was to stop the ridiculous bloodshed. The warforged leader had the hand of death raised and coming for my heart. Previously, I swore I would not die until I saw my brothers once more and to see them then at that moment was like the perfect end to a tragic play that was my life. But I would fight against it until my final breath. I attacked with everything I had but the hand of death crept closer and closer until it was one step away from its destination. With all else failing my final hope was physical force which was in fact no hope at all. I took my spear and thrust it at death itself. The tip of the blade lodged itself into his hand and stopped it short. I pushed on and hand began to come apart geometrically. I hit a weak spot in his armor. An impossible hit. And as my spear head was passing through his arm and I could feel how difficult it was to pierce that magically enhanced skin of his. I saw the magic being released from that horrid arm of his. I saw what appeared to be wands embedded in his forarms. I knew any other day I was not going to win this fight. I knew if my brothers were not there I would not win this fight. I knew that if the impossible was truly impossible, his hand would already be around my neck. But it was that day, my brothers were there, and the impossible happened. The destined hand of death was pushed aside and for those moments I was no longer weak. But I will become stronger. I will become tougher. I have to be more powerful if I am going to protect peoples lives. You have to be stronger. You have to be tougher. You have to become more powerful. The people of Stormreach need you. I understand that you have lost your position as a stormlord. That is sad but perhaps a chance for a new beginning is in order. You are a good person my friend and with the friends that are there to help you like Rhybrin and your beautiful woman by your side you can be greater than what you are now. There may come a day when I will meet you again. I hope we both will be proud of the person standing before us.

-Sheyba son of Arresh, Citizen of Stormreach

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