Away from the Battle
Ser Jarrad-

I write this to ensure you get an accurate accounting of what has transpired, that we leave nothing of import out in our retelling.

Chiefly, you must know that we did not quit the battle of our own wills. As we fought, everything around us - including you yourself - ground to a halt. The Giants stopped, the fires froze, even the night wind ceased to blow.

From the shadows, an elaborately dressed figure appeared, dramatically shrouded in an evening cloak. I’ll confess, at first I believed it to be Queen Marianas, simply based on the aristocratic air they held about them. She complained that the monsters we faced “might injure him” and the creatures eroded away, as if caught in a sandstorm. She clasped her hands together, complaining of the “rustic” scenery, and when she drew them apart, we were transported.

We found ourselves, we soon learned, in Halvor - towering above Seaside itself. And the strange figure, the one who brought us here, was revealed to be none other than Padhraig’s childhood friend, Lynette.

When Zolos did away with the lesser gods, the power had to flow somewhere, and some of it (Darkheart’s, specifically) found its way into Lynette. And, now having the power to affect things more directly, she wanted to offer her help to Padhraig. Naturally, however, her assistance would not come without a cost - she demanded that he give over his affection for Magret, and agree to marry her. Her husband, the brother of Padhraig’s heart, would be easily “dealt with” in her fiendish scenario, and naturally their old friend would step in to comfort the widow. She spoke with venom in her voice when she asserted that “some would say that he was the man she should have ended up with in the first place.” A strong enough bite that without meaning to, I took a step back, pulling Cabhan with me.

She had barely made her “offer” when Yvor noted another in the chamber - The Fool himself appeared in order to weigh in on the choice before Padhraig. He wanted to make it clear (as if it wasn’t) that his decision would have far reaching consequences for all.

He had barely started explaining this when there was a knock on the door (was there a door there before, a part of me wondered), and Queen Marianas herself (you cannot possibly be surprised by HER interference) flowed into the room.

But Padhraig, bless him, knows his heart and found the courage to say so. In no uncertain terms he refused Lynette, and before she could rebut The Fool paused the flow of time.

He warned us to ready ourselves, and warned us (again) that our course would leave us forever changed. He was more specific than some others have been - he told us that if we continue on our path we would soon leave our mortality behind. When I asked, however, he could not tell us how such a thing would feel (and expressed his regret at being able to answer my question properly.)

Satisfied that there were no more questions, The Fool allowed time to continue. Lynette snarled “Live with your choice, then!” and we were plummeting towards a cliff.

In the distance, there was a roar, and a Red Dragon came winging in at us. Unsatisfied that we did not know precisely where “it” (the “it” being, naturally, the Orb of Sanguine Dominion) was, and only that it had been stolen, threatened a declaration of war if it was not returned or provably destroyed by the Dragon Council.

As we recovered from the shock, and Jokulla waited to transform back into her human form, I heard a voice - Lynette/Darkheart offering a deal, expressing regret that I had stopped being so self-serving, that I had faced my inner demons, lamenting that my sister had been too weak. I weathered it until she grew impatient with merely trading words, and tried to exert her power to influence me directly. I don’t know what she felt, but there was a moment of dread cold near my wedding ring, and then her whispering was gone.

Kaela brought us to Treetown, and Padhraig dashed off to speak with Magret. I know little of what they spoke of, other than that by the time we caught up to him they had pledged their engagement to each other (and congratulations to the happy couple, I say!).

Magret invited us to stay the night in the temple, and we readily agreed. I told the others of the voice I had heard, and expressed that I was not keen to hear it again.

The wind blew ferociously, angrily around the complex walls, until the priestess herself issued a terse “That is enough,” perhaps cementing her claim against her would-be rival.

By the time the sun rose again, Padhraig’s Grandmother had caught up to us once more, and she did confirm that the citadel on the lake on your island, Ser Jarrad, is (as suspected) hers.

We were readying to return, hoping that we had not left you and your people in too precarious a position, when Magret issued another Prophecy:

"Beware the Tomb of Light! They have plundered the sepulcher, and the Light shines anew from an uncaring source."

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