Leif's Journal14

The Ties that Bind Us

Leif sat upon the roof of the tower of Ogmios at the center of Wessex and looked out toward the northern pass.

As refugees from Kag Dorthun toiled to build shelter for themselves, just beyond the walls, winter’s siege slowly continued.

The night sky was cold and clear and revealed a rare view of the starlit sky between storms.

Leif stared up at the moon. He heard a light tap, like a whisper on the tower. He turned as if to address someone behind him.

He spoke quietly in Elvish, “I sometimes wonder teacher, would it have been better if I had not been born at all?”

Immeral, who was unaccustomed to such candor, sat next to his former student.

He calmly replied, “It is unwise to indulge in the despair of your mortal half. The gods grant all life with purpose. Few are born to be great heroes while so many more live merely to fall like crops during the harvest.”

“I’ve always thought I was born to be cast out. To have no place among the Tawar’hanni or these men and Dwarves of the Marches. To live and fight and die out there, in the wild lands. Perhaps guiding others through the grace of Gaan so they might survive the reaping,” said Leif.

“Is that not what you have done?” Immeral said as he gestured toward the refugees, “How many of them owe their lives to your arrows and blades?”

Leif lifted up the Magistrate’s chain and seal of Kag Dorthun.

“They owe me their allegiance as well. This symbol was bestowed upon me by the Laird Emora Raan. The man accused of assassinating King Brightaxe — political justification for the Dwarf invasion of their lands and the ascension of Rheagar Stonespeaker to the throne of the Citadel.”

Immeral huffed, “And now you believe you are honor-bound to protect these… people?”

Leif clutched the chain in his hand. “I must see them through this time of suffering or fall with them, when the harvest comes,” he said.

“And what of your duty as heir of the Galanodel?” asked Immeral.

“How can I now begin to understand what is expected of me? You would know of the path set before me by my grandfather. The path burned into my spirit by the fires of Vestanfold. I am bound to both worlds — of my father and mother — with no vision to guide me,” replied Leif.

Leif paused for a moment and then continued.

“Except for one. In the catacombs beneath Kag Dorthun, where the air was filled with a fine powdered form of the Godhood flower, the dust overwhelmed me. I had a vision of my mother. She called to me from a prison of emerald crystal. If this vision is true, she may still be alive,” he said to Immeral with a look of concern.

Immeral responded, “It is said the Godhood grants sight beyond sight…”

“If she is alive, what fiendish power holds her captive?” asked Leif.

“I know only that the line of Galanodel must be protected,” Immeral replied.

“Soon I must depart to find and destroy that winged beast in the North. But if I am cut down by goblin blades or dragon’s breath, you Dagor Tur, my teacher, who has served the Galanodel with honor, you must search for her!”

“Find her and return her safely to the Tawar’hanni! Free her from the torment of her captors! Please…”

Leif’s voice shook and trailed off as he closed his eyes and pictured his mother’s outstretched hand on the translucent walls of the emerald. Her silver diadem appeared muted in the dull light passing through the crystalline cage.

“If only there was enough time. If only I had asked my grandfather. Surely he would have known what this vision means,” said Leif.

“You speak of Erevan of the Galanodel as if he is dead,” said Immeral.

“Do you mean the Tawar’hanni have the power to speak with the spirits of those who have returned to the forest?” Leif asked.

“Perhaps. I am a warrior, not a sage,” replied Immeral, “You should consult Isqua about this when you return… home.”

“If I return…”

Leif's Journal14

Tales of Gandamyr AnimuX