Liberty Journal 16

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26 Flocktime, 595 CY

Dear Connie,

Today, we found a lair in the sewers under the Cold Forge smithy in the Artisan’s Quarter. Shrieking fungus warned the resident dark elves of our presence, but we still killed them, even after the priestess’s confusion spell broke Xan’s mind for a while. I kept her morningstar; it seems easy enough to use, and I can store a spell in it to unleash on something I hit with it. Eat spontaneous immolation, Ebon Triad!

We faced some bizarre creatures which we learned were called “octopins,” and a marble statue of a brain that confused Xan again before Mom smashed it. Xan felt guilty, responsible for what the spell made him do… more than anything, it shows how he’s come to care about us. I doubt we would have seen a reaction like that back in the Whispering Cairn.

Deeper in the lair, we encountered Zyrxog, an aberration which taunted us in our very minds. His chamber had a pool of green liquid, and a tall column covered with glowing green runes. Zyrxog and his octopin guardians proved resistant, or downright immune, to my spells. Mom soon fell, and the creature nearly convinced Drake to leave the lair.

The tide turned once I realized that the column was protecting them from fire. I changed to different magics, and we lured the octopins out of Zyrxog’s sanctum, where we finished them off. Moving back into the cavern, I got Mom back on his feet and we slew the mastermind, thanks to Xan’s incredible acrobatics.

I claimed Zyrxog’s metal rod. It looks red-hot, but is cool to the touch; I’m sure it can enhance my powers. He had all manners of other treasures, which we divvied up among ourselves, or set aside to sell… but one item, an unholy dagger, bothered me. As it’s only useful to evil beings, it can only be used for evil deeds… the gold we’ll get for it doesn’t make me feel better about selling it. In the end, there’s no point in arguing with Xan. Father always said to choose my battle carefully, and I just don’t have it in me to change Xan’s mind. Not about this, surely.

As before, every answer raises more questions. Someone named Loris Raknian hired Zyrxog to kill us – and bought something called the Apostolic Scrolls from him. I feel like I’ve heard Raknian’s name before, but I can’t remember where… I’m hoping that Eligos, or somebody, can tell us more.

For now, though, I need to sleep. Will write again when I can.

All my love,
Libby

27 Flocktime, 595 CY

I knew I’d seen his name before! Loris Raknian is the Director of the Champion’s Games!

Eligos says that the Apostolic Scrolls are another source relating the prophecy of the Age of Worms. That links Raknian to our enemies, which gives me some idea why he wants us dead… but I know we can’t just go after a man that important and powerful. In order to get close, to get the proof we need to pin him to the wall, we are participating in the Champion’s Games!

One of Eligos’s friends is making the arrangements. Xan isn’t interested in celebrity, of course (though it didn’t take much talk of prizes to twist his arm), but I might be. I can show the Free City what I can really do – and I can show Ilya, too.

I just wish I could show you, Connie.

It seems like, the further away I get from the girl I used to be, the more I miss you… does that make any sense? I’m not sure if it does.

But if I’ve learned anything, it’s this: when I stop making sense, I need to stop writing.

All my love,
Libby


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Liberty Journal 16

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