To the Lake
We were politely (but firmly) encouraged not to tarry. Ser Jarrad would need to make his report, the Maester told us, and though he understood we were perhaps wearied we should make as much haste as we could. After ensuring that his people were healed and headed to their rest, we decided that we ourselves could set out in short order. Avalos went before us to secure passage across the lake, and we were given direction to trade horses in at whatever settlements we passed through, the better to make the best time possible.

And so, Ser Jarrad fresh from battle, and the rest of us returned from our whirlwind journey around the seas, we began.

The first town was Venora’s Stand, and it was there we found beds in The Wee Wolf Inn. A lively place, with a trio of musicians, and a variety of conversations to overhear. There was talk, of course, of the strange floating citadel, but also of ghostly bandits. A woman asked us for news of the road, and told us in exchange of a mysterious spear. It was driven into the stump of a great tree - a tree that had never existed before just a few days ago, and in the middle of the road, no less. There were gawkers, and those who would prey on gawkers, and all manner of folk had attempted to pull the spear free with no success.

We reached it before sundown, and the crowd was exactly as Ciorsa had described. The stump was carved with runes of strength and destruction, and the spear was driven in about half of its length. Ser Jarrad took grasp of the spear, and was released a long moment later. He named it “Worldpiercer” and said that it was the weapon of the Lord of Battle, used before the Gods were cast out of the Arch.

Kayla added quietly that if anyone besides the Lord of Battle took it up, they would be limiting their days left to walk the earth.

It was enough for me. I backed away. The others could do as they liked, but I wanted to be as far away from the thing as possible. Jokulla asked me why I was so bothered by it, and I couldn’t put it into words, but, I just felt horribly uncomfortable. Perhaps it was a way to resist my own curiosity about it. Perhaps it was seeing another reminder that the Arch was crumbling, that our time was short, and that we had taken on the burdens of saving all of everything. Perhaps it was simply the voice of Taeyna in the back of my head, making wry comments that we absolutely COULD put the spear into the bag of sorrows, if we were prepared to take something else out.

Regardless, I was happy to wait at the edge of earshot, and was happier still when we remounted and travelled a few hours to make a camp. (I flatly refused to camp near the spear, as someone suggested.)

In the night, Cabhan and I saw strange lights across the sky, speeding two each other, bursting together, and finally revealing incredibly distant, titanic figures struggling together. It was unbelievable, and it was a relief when he confirmed that he saw the same thing.

The next day saw us speaking with a misplaced group of walking trees. They knew of Yvor, though - world of his dealings with Greenroot had spread, apparently. They had been transported here, from the other side of the world - a place called Bellamir, near equally distant travelling either west or east. We suggested that they might find at least a temporary haven where we had started our journey on the island, and Kaela sent a warning thought to the Maester warning him of the incoming guests.

Our final stop was Orrin’s Shire, the village on the shore of the lake. As it came into sight, it was impossible to miss the battle to its north. Four flying figures battled a horrific-looking figure. Padhraig identified as a Nalfeshnee - a powerful demon.

Without thought, we charged into the fray. Whoever the mysterious humanoids were could be sorted out later. For now the enemy of an enemy was a friend, and the demon was surely the worst of any amount of local evils.

They told us they were Kosan Knights, from a floating city known as Kosa. They had been cast from the world hundreds of generations ago, and had just recently returned, the city reappearing in its old home, some 6,000 miles away.

It was enough to make my head spin, as they gathered up their fallen friend and departed, but we have enough troubles of our own, too many to borrow theirs as well.

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