Aramis Entry 23
[21 March, 103 CY continued]
Something has changed. I have always been close to death – and fallen in battle more than once – but I’ve now been… touched by the Queen.
I may be getting ahead of myself.
The southern door was little more than a mud plug, but it only gave way when Bhavik and I both applied our strength to it. The cave beyond had a low ceiling and pools of black water, but we had no chance to explore it before the lizardfolk attacked. There were four this time, striking from the shadows with poisoned weapons.
(These savage tactics made me think of Owen – how he would have hated this skullduggery! I hope he’s well…)
Once we secured our position, we began to explore the surrounding area. One cave was home to the eggs and immature lizardfolk, who did not attack us… I regret that we’ve left them with no one to protect them, but the adults gave us no chance for parley. I keep telling myself that we don’t speak Draconic – that they’re savages, not even capable of diplomacy – but the words ring false in my ears. I find more comfort, as always, in the knowledge that fate wills what it will.
We found another chamber with three large lizards (used as mounts by the lizardfolk) chained to the wall. As they posed no threat, we returned to the first cave to rest…. but the lizardfolk ambushed us again there. The chieftain and a mystic were among their numbers; they fought like lions, knowing this would surely be the tribe’s last stand.
We defended ourselves as best we could, but I couldn’t avoid being drawn into the melee, and I fell under their blows. I returned to consciousness at the Mountain Door, relieved to see that my companions had won in spite of my failure.
My prayers fail me more and more… is my Queen punishing me for allowing Bhavik to disturb the skeletons? Am I somehow punishing myself for losing sight of what’s right? Or, most likely, are my thoughts of her keeping me from concentrating on what’s really important?
Perhaps. Sharwyn is important, of course, but I’m not doing her, or her brother, any good with this floundering. I need to regain my focus, and soon…
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