The days were short and cold, with the winds clutching hard on us as we departed that dark place. We had been changed by the experience, that much was certain. Wounds, welts, and other abrasions littered our bodies and glistened against the white landscape around. But there were scars that ran deeper, and now I could see them all.
Hansur brought me this power, but I do not know what cost I will yet pay for this gift. I’ve found myself getting annoyed with the other members of the TIP, but who am I to say I’d be any different with the inconsolable decisions that Dorian Keene has been making? Keeping prisoners? We should have left them with their Black Bell brethren. They were hardy enough; let them drag their tails to Ban Uldud and their keepers! J is brainwashed by the slave driver’s tomfoolery too - they’re slowing us down and we risk getting caught by the mercenaries that I am sure are very curious about the condition of the blue geode.
In our travels back I considered what might have been had I turned the tables and seized the innate power within the dragon. I felt it - pulsing, immense, and purely evil. If I might use power like that to strike down my foes, it might advance my goals. This could be a good thing. No. I must not waver from my oath. And I must follow these people - they were my family, after all.
Giacomo has seemed to have something sinister awaken inside him. He has worn a mask to hide his nature, I have known this for some time, but now malice leaks out like a cracked vase. It whips around him and lashes out at the two Black Bell mercenaries, and I am concerned that he will kill them. J would certainly not approve of that, and she is powerful enough to cause some serious harm to anyone whose actions conflict with her own. She chitters as a scorpion and gazes deeply into the world around her, but I can’t help but think that she has lost her way too. She may yet lose what she truly values amidst these other lost souls.
We sit at the fire and I polish my anchor, taking care to make sure it will cut sharp and true. I feel cold and alone in the wilderness, but wild foes may lurk around and I must be prepared. I catch my own gaze in the blade - what!? What is this? My hair? What has happened to it? I brushed it aside - had snow gotten into it? No. It has changed colour. Was this Hansur’s doing? The others at the campfire looked at me as I scrambled for meaning. I put them off the scent and blamed the mercenaries. That will appease them for a while.
They were sending messages to their treacherous comrades, the dogs! Not surprising, but we don’t have much course for action. Dorian dug us into this hole, and now he had to get us out. I jousted with him to annoy him; deserved more than that, but this was not the time for pettiness. We needed to act.
We took to the skies with J and Giacomo guiding the way, making haste to Malkara. Platoons of Black Bell soldiers encircled us, but we were able to conceal ourselves well enough. Never keep a slave, Dorian Keene. They are not worth the trouble.