Tenth Month of 1,266
- K’brin and I delved into the visions of the other antiquity stones in the niches. In one, I heard a clear voice ring out and saw Sorka, with bright green eyes and red hair braided up. She had an intensity about her that shone through her lean frame. She was wearing studded leather armor bearing a greenrider’s insignia, scarred by at least one major battle. She gave a speech, clearly in the time leading up to the journey to Pern.
“Each time a dragonrider follows sacred ideals, breaks the silence of conformity, or defends the commoners, he becomes a tiny spark of hope. In time, all our sparks will light a fire — a fire that burns down the walls that divide us and hold us captive. We have been asleep too long. It’s time to wake up and see the truth. Maybe we can’t save ourselves, but we can save our children and our children’s children for all the years to come. It’s time to start a new chapter in the Book of Inez. We’re going to her world, and we’re going to make it better than this one.”
- Findmar found something metallic, that was revealed to be a man’s ornate vambrace, engraved with scrollwork and fighting dragons. Etched on the inside was a poem called “Set Free” by Sean of Carenath
There is a lesson on the mountain
Whispered by the winds as they blow
A secret of the truth of leaving
All the tradition that you know
At the beginning it seems simple
Take to the skies, fly far and fast
But there is nothing quite as painful
As relinquishing your own past
A grim truth is found in the silence
Of an empty den, cold and stark
That a gentle man and dragon left
When they escaped into the dark
Yet from their sacrifice we kindle
A strength of will and wing to find
Beyond the void that took them from us
A world where peace is met in kind
- There were other Antiquity Stones, left from visiting Talents, as well as trinkets left by other visitors. Not having anything on my person that was ideal to leave in one of the empty niches, but still wanting to leave something of myself behind, I popped off one of the buttons from my torn shirt and left it in one of the niches. Part of me would always remain on Varlada.
- The rest of the Wing was brought in to see the Tomb and learn about Inez and her journey to our world.
- After lingering as long as we dared, we made to leave the Tomb. The boulders that blocked the entrance from prying eyes were rolled back into place by our dragons. We planned to travel to Thusdo after reuniting with the rest of the Wing.
- On our way back, ‘Zana’s dragon wouldn’t staying in formation. She said her dragon didn’t want to be close to the “blooded” ones. It made me wonder how Selenath and the other two would be treated by other dragons on Pern once we returned. I was hopeful that the short memory span of dragons would help, but there was also the issue of their skiutes and stained fangs to consider.
- K’brin told Findmar that the “First Song of Pern” should only be for the Oracles’ eyes. There were simply too many clues in it.
- The group that went to seek out Novendal had been successful. They managed to get much news and information out of him and returned late at night. They worked to relocate as many of the Resistance as they could, as access to dragons wasn’t easy to come by.
- All together once more, we arrived at Thusdo and updated Garaam on the success of our mission on all fronts.
- I went straight to the healers to get treated. I barely felt the stitches after getting numbed up. The dragons that had seen combat were treated by the dragonhealers for the minor injuries they sustained. Garaam wanted to debrief the three of us later about the combat. I compiled a report while the memories were still vividly fresh in my mind.
- That night, I got thoroughly drunk with V’dos and T’grim, for we shared a unique brotherhood. Our dragons had seen combat and killed others of their kind. Though the memories for them would fade, we three would remember for the rest of our days.
- L’nos told me that he and K’brin went to a meeting with Kriang, who introduced them to Architect Semock. Semock would be building the guest quarters for visitors from Pern and wanted their input on what requirements they might have.
- We made plans to leave the next day.
- I learned that dragons who were wounded in combat are more aggressive and that before treating them, they are fed meat that has been laced with a drug to knock them out. That way, the dragonhealers can stitch them up without risking their lives and the dragons wake up mended.
- At dinner that night, Jianya visited with the Wing. She offered to look into the sun for a glimpse at our futures, using our scrolls from the Garden of Wisdom. V’dos was the first to accept her offer, and the rest of us were curious enough to try as well. In this world, which defied what I thought was logical and true for so many Turns, I could believe that Jianya could do what she said.
- To me, she said, “You will be forced to face fear, but if you don’t run, fear will be afraid of you.” To K’brin, she said, “Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds.”
- V’dos, T’grim, and I met with our combat trainers to go over the battle and how it could have gone better, as well as what we did right. It was hard to discuss the combat in the detail we did. It forced me to relieve the encounter rather than avoid thinking about it, but I managed to get through it.
- Before the sun was up, we prepared to leave. It was finally time to return to Pern. I was ready to return home.
- L’nos and ‘Mala approached K’brin and revealed that ‘Mala wanted to stay at Thusdo. She said she could help train the Chingfa, keep learning the language, teach them more of ours, and see that they kept to their word. She wasn’t sure that Jenrith could make it back to Pern, this close to the window closing.
- B’dir offered her his fighting knife, noting that his was better than the one she had.
- T’grim quickly – too quickly – spoke up, saying he would like permission to stay as well. No Pernese should be alone in this place. V’dos also announced he would like to stay. K’brin was clearly torn about breaking up the Wing like this, but could see the logic in ‘Mala’s words. He put T’grim in charge of the three staying behind. L’nos revealed that they’d approached him ot discuss staying behind the night before.
- I admit, the thought of staying crossed my mind, and Selenath picked up on my musings, asking why we had to leave this place. She had found a talent for combat here that I hadn’t thought her capable of. I had to remind her that we had a duty to return home, and that we had fought hard to return the ingredients for the Elixir of Two Moons so that Pern could have more dragons.
- Kriang offered K’brin some of his people to take back with us, perhaps Dusadi of green Tyth, since we were leaving some of ours behind. Because Daena was against bringing back any more people from Varlada, along with other concerns, K’brin managed to Harper his refusal, saying that he wanted to wait until the next visit, when the window to jump between wasn’t so short.