Aramis Entry 15
[March 14th, continued]
I was right; Azal is infatuated with Talgen. She didn’t want to tell me, but I’m sure she feels better now that she’s told someone. I’ve encouraged her to pursue her feelings; denying herself does no one any good, and after everything she’s been through, she deserves an opportunity for happiness.
[March 15th, 103 CY]
Slept poorly. I had too much on my mind to reach a deep sleep, but I was still plagued by fevered images of wicked trees and bloodthirsty plants. They would have been slain by Celeine’s green thumbs, had she been there…
Azal seems in better spirits today; confession is good for the soul. We’re also growing accustomed to Bhavik, and he to us. My hope for success in our quest is renewed in such excellent company.
We found another dragon statue, with empty, glowing eye sockets and a red circular tile before it. Our inspection of the statue was interrupted by a pair of wraiths, but we dispatched them with sound tactics and conviction.
Azal found a treasure cache behind the statue, including vials of alchemist’s fire, like those she’d misplaced before. I teased her about hiding them there, and found comfort in her predictable reply – and that made me smile.
How long has it been since I’ve done that? I certainly can’t remember smiling in all the time we’ve spent down here. Let this be a sign that fate favors our mission, and not of impending madness on my part.
Unable to figure out what to do with the statue, we pressed on, coming to a locked door which Azal couldn’t open. This frustrated her, but she held her temper; perhaps she’s turned a page inside.
The next door led to a cavern full of goblins and twig blights, who took a nasty bite out of us before they fell. We would have fared much worse if not for Bhavik’s sound tactics. I think Azal and I will both be content to let him call the shots in battles to come.
Azal unlocked a door on the north wall, which led into a study. We found a trapped book that burned me when Bhavik opened it, and a quarterstaff that practically sings in my hands. I can tell that it’ll increase the power of my healing words. Praise the Queen for spinning my fate in this manner!
I’m sure we’re close to the Twilight Grove. I know that we’ll face Belak soon, and that the encounter will end in someone’s death. If it’s mine, please tell everyone what’s happened here.
Tell my family that I love them. They may never understand why I’ve done what I’ve done with my life, and I won’t ask them to. Tell them I did what I was fated to do, and what I thought was right; that should be enough for them, or for anyone else.
Send word to Father Sloane that I’ve fallen, and see if you get a reaction out of him. I’m not one for wagering, but I still bet you’ll get a tear out of the old man.
Tell Madame Hucrele that I’m sorry I’ve failed her. She’s always been good to me – and so have her children – and she deserves better than this. I did the best I could,
but as I heard Brother Perceval tell his cousin once, “Fate doesn’t smile on the same dog’s ass every day.”
Bury me on the hill under the tree, beside my Celeine. We’ve been apart for far too long.
It’s time. Here we go.
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