It’s been a while since I annotated my thoughts like this; I gave it up once, after I realised how futile it was to write meaningless thoughts on the mundanity of life around me. A part of me wonders if it’s foolish to do so now -Is finding the truth even possible? We are small fish in a world of sharks and fishermen, and our only virtue is being insignificant enough that for the most part, nobody cares. Yet Felnuvek’s ‘blessing’ will soon force us to leave Summerset; we cannot long hide what Tik is going through, and the local authorities have proved their powerlessness to stop our real enemies – and we know enough good people here that I would not wish to put them at risk. Vulivkren is after us; and I am not at all confident he would not level the town to destroy us, if necessary.
We lay our plans and take our precautions, but are we really strong enough, cunning enough to escape our fate? Perhaps we simply choose to believe we can ever be agents of our own destiny, even though we know that it is not our efforts that determine when we rise high in triumph, or fall into the abyss. Fate is a hunter; and however large we feel and however small the world seems, we are always its prey. Sometimes it lets us forget that; toys with us, taunts us, gives us the illusion of hope. Like a cat with a mouse before the final killing bite.
Too many events are in progress; some are dire, some merely could be. The hunter is closing in.
Tiktaalik. Sometimes I look at his ever more draconic form and I’m glad for him; pure of heart and good and brave, if any deserve to ascend and make their mark on the world, surely it would be him. Yet other times I see the pain it causes him; look at his twisted hands and feel so sad to think he may never ride Mo again; never swing a sword; on some level, always be held apart from us by his form and his power, however much we would not wish it. Other times I look in his eyes and see the mysterious Fire there, arrogant, domineering, violent and angry – just a flicker, just for a moment. That flicker terrifies me; is it merely strange new instincts arising to match his form, or is he becoming something terrible, losing his purity and innocence right before our eyes? That would be a calamity; and so I am in my books, pacing, worrying, researching, for it must not happen, and I will not let it. He gained the Helm by bravely trying to save me and then Dras from Felnuvek’s wrath, without fear for himself; and if this is my fault, if my weakness had a hand in doing this to him, then I must prevent it. The debt must be repaid – and I think, I hope, that it is possible. There are always ways.
Lapir. He knows something. His master, Lord Kelgon, created a device called the Hammer of Vivacity, with which he could forge and reforge Quintessence – the soul, the silvah, call it what we will. Yet, when I ask about it – originally pertaining to Tik’s condition – Lapir becomes instantly catatonic, and when he awakens he remembers nothing of the question. He’s been given this information, buried somewhere in his little clockwork head; and it’s blocked, so nobody can use it; it damages him to even think about it, and I dare not ask more without some way of tinkering with the magic and the mechanisms, or the information may simply be lost forever.
If Kelgon truly is long dead; perhaps he saved his sister by putting her into a clockwork form, perhaps he attempted to reforge his soul into a dragon form, but ended up a scaleless mutant with a pathological hate for the lower world after the Revolt… speculation. But potential connections worry me. So very few have ever delved into the secrets of the soul; what are the odds that we should be connected to two of them, entirely by coincidence?
Sonen. What are the odds we should meet the man who carried Lapir’s remains, and an Iron Sword, right outside the ruins of Skyfire, hours after the massacre? What odds he should know Rodan, who – the more I think – the more I’m sure worked with Vulivkren. Perhaps Rodan was tricked; perhaps this ritual he attempted was a trap to ensure he couldn’t reveal Vulivkren’s secrets. Or maybe Vulivkren did it to him, against his will. The book is the key; it must contain answers, and we cannot risk its destruction.
Sonen, did you have a part in all this? Did you know, is that why you helped us and showed us pity, even though you’ve made it plain you care little for us beyond that?
Marcus. He was so surprised that Lapir was working again, so disdainful of us, so eager to push us away and not be involved with us. At first.
Yet at every turn he has been involved, mostly by his own choices; through Sonen; by hiring us for the dig team; by saving us from Vulivkren. What are the odds of it? He knows more than he’s telling. He seemed surprised that after reading his journal we might still want to help; what secret have we missed, what throwaway comment or unfinished sentence might be the key? We must ask him; he would not have given us his journal if he truly wished to conceal it – so, it is something he WANTS us to know, but FEARS our reaction to.
What if he once worked with Vulivkren? He got angry when I told him Vulivkren mentioned soldiers, a war… I could see that suddenly, Marcus realised something, and knew he’d been tricked, lied to.
That mage. The mage who captured Rodan and sent his friends to steal Felnuvek’s hoard. Who is he? What is his purpose? He knows something, he knows a great deal, and he’s against us. What does he know, and how can we find out what he knows? Can that Eagle of Aliz’ tell us anything?
Vulivkren. He’s come to kill us – no, to kill me, specifically. Blamed me for the deaths at Skyfire. Was it a taunt to try and divide us at the critical moment, or to make me give up and allow myself to die in the hope the last of the Clan might be spared? Loose end. War. Perfect soldiers. Failed experiment. Inconvenient. Yet surely it’s more than that; why would he attack so directly if he did not consider it serious? Was I just incidental, was it perhaps Tik’s helm that he was after? Or Sonen, maybe? One of the others, some forgotten secret in their past that caught his attention? I do not think him foolhardy enough to reveal his key purpose, yet I also doubt he is the manner of person to lay idle taunts. He had purpose, every word; yet what was the meaning we’re not seeing?
I will commit this page to the flames in the morning. Knowledge is power. Secrets are weapons; the Clan needs to take care of its arsenal.
Io preserve us.