Liberty Journal 2

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[This letter , also addressed to Constance Grace, was left in Liberty’s room above the bakery.]

14 Planting, 595 CY

Dear Connie,

I know you never tire of hearing it, but you were right and I was wrong. This is going to be my chance to leave Diamond Lake, and I’ve got to take it. I’m still not ready to tell you about it, because I still haven’t figured out how to convince you to come with me. But I might also be leaving in a hurry, so I’m writing another letter for you, just in case.

I’ll leave it here in my room above the bakery, where I came to clean up after we left the Whispering Cairn. We’ve got something to look into here in town, and Xan’s already got us trying to keep a low profile… wandering around covered in blood just doesn’t help. I shouldn’t care what these people think of me if I’m leaving, but if we do get into any trouble with the bastards who run this town, I won’t let it fall on you. (I’m also not going into details here for the same reason.)

I’m seeing this place with different eyes now. I’ve never thought of the bakery as home, not really. But I can’t think of home as home anymore, either. It still pisses me off that we had to sell the house, but Boss Smenk wouldn’t pay for the burial, and with Father owing so much to the company store, what else could we do? It’s not like any of us were using it any more.

Would things have been different if I’d found my fire before apprenticing with Zojan? I can’t be sure, but it was the only play I had at the time. After Father died, I was too young to provide the miners with booze or sex, too young to become an entertainer at the Emporium, WAY too young to leave Diamond Lake. I was never comfortable living off your, um, largesse. And I’ll never have the arms or the back to be a miner. Zojan and I got along well enough, even if he was damn near old enough to be our grandfather’s grandfather…

But, by the time I did find my fire, Allustan had already returned to Diamond Lake. I wasn’t about to insult him by trying to learn for free – Father taught us both better than that – so my apprenticeship with Zojan became less about learning a trade, and more about paying for my real education.

Zojan didn’t have any heirs when he died – at least not locally, and the Red Death ravaged his family here – so the old man actually left the bakery to me, and the responsibility of running it took over my life. No, more than that – I LET it take over my life. And by the time I finished with Allustan, it was no different from a cage.

I tell myself that I’m feeding my community, that it’s an honest living, that it’s the work ethic that Father taught us. But you know what? I can CALL FIRE UP FROM NOTHING. I’m an adventurer! My friends are adventurers. We found treasures, including a magic ring that they let me keep. Even if the Whispering Cairn is the only tomb in the area with anything worth taking, there are tombs and ruins all over the Flanaess. There’s places to see, people to meet, secrets to learn. I know you were right; I can’t stay any longer.

All that’s left is the when.

I don’t know what the others want to do, not yet. But my mind’s made up. Part of me wants to run away to the Free City with Tirra’s band. Maybe she’ll be there at the Feral Dog tonight… I’ll figure something out.

I need to wrap this up so I can meet up with the others. I hope to talk to you soon.

All my love,

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Liberty Journal 2

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