Pelli-Kefaro: The Empty Throne

Remembrance 1

I keep seeing visions.

I keep hearing a voice.

I know who it belongs to, but I don’t know the name.

Both show up usually at night, or when my mind is at its most vulnerable, and they tell me what to do.

I was just woken up. One moment I’m standing before the Astral Sea, and the next I’m standing in a ruined temple. Then the voice tells me to run, and take everyone with me.

The people, the five standing before me. I know them, but I’ve never met them before.

They look different from how I remember them.

Why is this happening? Madisan says she’ll tell me tomorrow. I’m debating if I should ask when she started showing crow’s feet.

That’s probably a bad idea.

-M

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Journal of a Sardinian Hermit I
A Return from the Wild

Kreskwen has been pestering me as of late. Disturbing me in the middle of my meditations, and interrupting me during my searches in the archives. She wishes me to start journaling my thoughts and actions during my stay.

“In such a short time you’ve become a legendary member of this monastery! All the younglings dream to be as great a fighter or just an ounce as wise as you!”

I doubt this is her real reason for bothering me so. But still, if it will afford me a bit more peace, I can take some time to record what has transpired since my return.

A Return from the Wilds

My passage through the bustling town on the way up to the monastery I used to call home was… different. The town was practically the same as I remembered it, busy with people in the market, each preoccupied with their errands. This was my closest interaction with other intelligent beings in several years. Before i decided to return, the most interaction I received was in watching fishing vessels pass by my little island. Mind you, flagging one of those boats down was not easy. Apparently, around the same time i took up residence on that small stretch of land, certain fisherman started spreading tales of a phantom haunting that wretched strip of sand. “Wretched” being their word to describe my home, not mine.
But anyway, I passed through the sturdy gates at the entrance and was even more pleasantly surprised to see that even less here had changed. A group of fellow monks were training in the center of the complex, and i found Master Balthazar teaching someone on how to manifest the breath, with little success mind you. Our reunion was warm, and as we walked he filled me in on the happenings since i departed and described my return as well timed. A trio of emissaries from the continent were set to arrive shortly, and a competition with the neighboring Peridoma monastery was scheduled that evening. Little did I know this would start of a dark path, with a depth that I could not fathom.

So much happened that night, where to begin… I suppose with the ambassadors. The ambassadors are three elves from the Elanto Realm: Elowen, Darunia, and Glogar. High, Wood, and drow elves respectively. As for the reason of their visit, i could not get a straight answer from Balthazar, merely that things were “changing”. But that was not even the most disturbing news that evening. Grabezou announced that his monastery was raided by outsiders, then pillaged and burned. And he, and the students that came with him for the festivities the only remaining survivors of the monastery. All of this happening shortly after his own favored pupil nearly hitting me with the full force of his breath attack… Something is wrong about all of this. I’ve never trusted Grabrezu, and I get the feeling he is wary of me as well. The way he responds to any sort of conversation we have is feels full of jealousy. Ever since i had that strange vision years ago…

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Aelin's Journal: First Entry
573 EOMag, Third Day of Antetenan

I have found myself thinking about those events a decade ago quite often as of late. They haunt my dreams, both asleep and waking.

I had merely laid to rest within the security of the manor, and when I next opened my eyes, what I saw was not the familiar surroundings of my home, but of a place entirely foreign and impossible. I had no clue what was going on. How would I? A child of sixteen, taken from her home in the middle of the night, without so much as a clue. To make matters worse, my young sister, Lynette, had been taken as well. I was afraid. I was confused. I was angry. We were not the only ones taken, the large room that we found ourselves in was lined with beds, all filled by people equally as confused as us.

Before we even got a chance to catch our bearings from our half-asleep state, we found ourselves being herded by a group of peculiar gnomes speaking nonsense about a god-king’s degree. Where we found ourselves next was even more impossible than the last.

A city that seemed to glow in the colors of gold and gems, unlike anything I had ever seen before and surely not of our lands. A plaza lay before us, and with it the crowd of stolen people grew exponentially, some were terrified, but others seemed enthralled by the scene before us. That is when we met Magus. He seemed younger than I, but he had his wits about him and seemed to be trying to make sense of what was happening. When I mentioned what I had overheard the gnomes saying about the “god-king”, it seemed to set off some memory but before I could get an answer from him, he was nearly swept away by a stampeding crowd. Through my own reflexes, I somehow was able to grasp him and remove him from the flow of bodies before he was lost to us.

He explained that the city seemed to be that of the ancient God-King Mandoregnas, Ulcanthias. The city had been lost nearly five centuries prior, when the God-King vanished.

It was then that the worst part, the part that haunts me the most occurred. The God-King himself stood before us with his twelve Magisters in attendance. I still can make little sense of what happened there that day, but when I awoke again I had returned home, as did Lynette, although in much worse shape emotionally than I.

That night was when I decided I needed to become stronger, to defend my family and people.

I had nearly forgotten a lot of what happened that night, sporadic memories and dreams would occasionally plague me. Lynette never mentioned it after that, so whether she had truly forgotten or merely buried it like I, is lost to me.

Last month however, it all came back to haunt me in full force. Lynette had been ransomed by low lives while she had been outside the manor. We managed to track them down, but to my utter surprise, when we arrived she had been freed safe and sound. By Magus no less.

I did not recognize him at first, the boy that not ten years prior had seemed younger than I, now stood before me grizzled and older by decades. Were it not for that distinctive scar and his sense of familiarity, I would not have known who he was.

And so here we are. Tomorrow we depart for the Dragon’s Maw. Magus had contacted us requesting a favor in exchange for his deeds last month and I am honor bound to comply, though I would likely have gone regardless. I would be leaving alone if I had the choice, but Lynette insists on going as well to clear her own debt in the matter, and there was no swaying her decision. Even father could not forbid her to do something once she was set on it, and it was everything I could to convince him that I would be sufficient protection and not to send half the city guard along with us. I do not know what Magus has in store for us, only that we need to meet him at the Drake’s Tooth tavern. I only hope that whatever he needs will not place Lynette in danger.

As of this writing it is late, and we depart early. For now I will put these thoughts aside and attempt to rest.

Aelin Rowe,
First Daughter of Viscount Rowe of Acnecia

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