From Atop the Summit, I Vow To Those I Could Not Save…

Hakon is gone.

I knew it would happen someday. A violent man usually meets a violent end, but should not have been like that.

Vulnerable, alone, ambushed not by men but monsters in the bunks we sleep in.

Sigi slit the throat of one of the vampire spawn. The other tried to charge at me but Sigi held it at bay.

I invoked stone spear after stone spear at the thing. Each laced with hatred and fury at the beast that feasted upon my friend. Eventually one hit the beast in the heart and it went limp.

But it was far too late. Hakon was barely alive. Paler than I’ver ever seen him. He only had enough time to gasp his last words to Brother Erasmus.

I slammed a wall with my fist. Tears welling up. Fury roiling. Despair grasping at mind.

I didn’t have time though. I had a mountain to conquer. Miva could see it painted on my face. She handed me a small bottle. I knew what is was. It wasn’t an ordinary brew. Something to cope with the suffering.

I chugged the thing. It tasted awful, but I barely noticed. I left the bunk and went through the tavern. I must have terrified the Eparch as she nearly drew her sword upon me. Clearly the death of a friend casted a darkness over me. I suppose it was a natural reaction, as in that moment I was a good man preparing to war with demons. I had a mountain to climb.

The archmage tasked us with a mystery. A complex ritual of magic that required skilled use of both incantation and hand signs to channel great arcane power. He provided us the material for the circle and instructions. Java and Sygrun constructed the sigil. I volunteered to perform the ritual.

When the circle was ready. I took a deep breath. I had the steps clearly in mind, the incantion on my tongue, and my hands flowed from sign to sign with a grace I didn’t know I had. An twisted thing appeared, incomphrensible shape and arcane light. The archmage asked it questions I had no understanding of. Then when he finished he gestured to me to ask my questions.

I had none… I had climbed the mountain to save my friend from his curse. I failed. Why was I here? Facing this arcane thing?

Then it tried to pry into my head. Tried to surface old fears. I grit my teeth and barked a snippy question to halt its advances into my mind, binding it with the circle. Eventually Java suggested a question and I asked it. I got an answer I didn’t understand. I sure hope Sygrun remembers what that thing said.

We no longer had questions. We really should have thought harder before we started the mystery. I starting to channel energy to dismiss this thing and end the ritual, but I was weary from it’s psychic assault. I had to beg Sygrun to enter the circle and lend me just another ounce of strength. She did, and the beast vanished into the evening air.

The Archmage was impressed with me despite me berating myself for my recklessness. “You’ve become very adept despite your short tenure as a wizard”

He remarked at Java knowing the boundaries of her ability and lightly scolded Sygrun for not being brave enough to enter the circle with me. He made it clear that together we three mages can do much more together than we ever could alone. We had reached the summit and impressed its owner.

If only Hakon could see me now. I wonder what he’d say? I think he’d be proud of me.

I think he is proud of me. I’m am a talented mage.

I am one of the best mages in Runeheim.

I vow to all those I could not save,

The Night Malefic will run when the good man goes to war

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