So, brief update. Sorry about not getting chapter 7 out to you this week. I really don’t have much of an excuse. I ran out of time, sure, but that’s mostly my doing. Anyways, that is coming, worry not. In the meantime, take this instead.
Chronicles of Koeleth Extra Chapter
Ender of Worlds: The Saving of A Man
Prologue: Letter from a Friend
Tom slumped into the chair in his study; it had been a long while since he had last been home, and his work was not yet done. Rummaging through his travel pack, he pulled out an ancient tome. It was written in Ekoalem, just like so many others in his possession, and it contained details on hundreds of weapons. Not your common, everyday weapon, however. The fragile pages of this encyclopedia held knowledge about several legendary weapons. Tom had been using this tome to see out these weapons and secure them. He did not yet know what he was going to do with these artifacts, but for the time being he was storing them in the cellar of his home, having taken the necessary measures to secure it from thieves. Tom thumbed through the pages, looking for a very particular weapon, a shield shrouded in mystery and myth. He hoped to acquire some solid truth from this tome.
“Let’s see….the Shield of Crestfall, the Freeguard, the Wall of the South…hmmm… Ah! Here it is! The Sealer’s Friend! Hmm, it says it belonged to August Magebane. It belonged to the first sealer, huh? Well, I like where this is going. Now, August, tell me your story.”
Tom got up from his chair and searched through the books of legends and lore until he hit upon one about sealers. Gently pulling the book from its resting place, Tom carried it to his desk, all the while scanning the musty document. When he got to his desk, he froze. Not because of some earth-shattering secret in the tome, but because of what was waiting for him on his desk. There, sitting upon his desk, was a letter. An elongated box leaned up against his desk. He had not heard anyone enter the room, and even if someone had, there was no way they could have gotten in and out in so little time, even with magic. Needless to say, this unnerved Tom. Cautiously, Tom picked up the letter and broke the wax seal.
It has been quite some time, hasn’t it, kid? Bet you’re wondering how I got this to you. Well, turns out changing a tattoo here and there can unlock new abilities and lock up old ones. Long distance teleportation is an option now, at the cost of invisibility. Bet you never expected to hear from me again. Well, you’re not entirely wrong. This will be our last communication. The last letter I ever send.
My previous letter went to Aphrodite. I hope with all my heart that she can forgive me. Alas, I doubt she will. It has been decades since she last saw me, and I don’t even have the gall to say goodbye to her in person. I am honestly shocked that she had not abandoned me long ago. Please, if you ever find yourself out in Ikkeld, check on her. I realize it is far to the north of Koeleth, but I know you have a love of travel. Do it discreetly if you can. They are wary of outsiders and if you visit her openly, they will know who sent you. You don’t want that kind of trouble. But I’ve said everything to Aphrodite that I should have said long ago, so let us move on from this dismal topic.
So, the Wasserdrachen, huh? Impressive. I thought you had abandoned guild life for good. Though I suppose this is different. It is not so much a business as it is a family, is it? Yes, that would be important to you. Always so sentimental. Never lose that. It makes you who you are. You are, of course, the patriarch of this family, so do your utmost to guide it down the right path. I appreciate the name of the guild, too. You never lose touch with your heritage, do you? Live up to it.
I also heard you were on a quest to collect weapons of legend. Starting a museum? A gallery, perhaps? Or locking them away in a vault, perhaps? No matter. I am impressed by your diligence and love of weaponry. Well, I happened upon a particularly imposing weapon during my recent travels. I think you will be impressed. Along with it are a couple other things of interest, though for very different reasons.
At this point in the letter, Tom paused to open the box. Inside he found a curious spear, decorated in ancient patterns. It was the Spear of Atoriti, an ancient and powerful object given to the emperor of Orgalav upon entering office. Tom would have to study it later, for there were other things to be found in this container. Tom pulled out an old dagger. Despite its age it was well taken care of, clearly bearing a water lily insignia branded on the blade.
Does that dagger look familiar? It should. You gave it to me a couple days before I left the Adventurers’ Guild. To this day, I don’t know how you knew I was leaving, but you had your father craft that dagger for me as a farewell gift. If it looks unused, that is because it is. Do not be insulted, it is not because I doubt the skill of the smith. No, quite the opposite. When my previous blade finally wore down, I replaced it with a Lily Forge sword. No, that dagger is unused because I valued it so highly. I was sincerely touched by the gift. However, I am approaching the end of my time in this world, and I want to make sure that those things which are important to me do not end up in the hands of bandits and grave robbers. So I sent them to the people who they should go to.
The box also contained a ragged orange cloak wrapped around several smaller items: a couple of ornate rings in a pouch and some medals.
I sent you two of my rings and all of my medals from the guild. I sent you the rings because of their importance. There may come a day when you find yourself facing off against a powerful mage and you cannot compete with their magic. The sapphire ring dampens magic. The emerald ring magnifies your own. Do not sell them. I would advise not using them unless you must. Train your skill with them before you do. They are unwieldy in untrained hands. I gave you my medals because you deserve them. Your greatest feats happened after you left the guild. Thus, you never received the official honors you deserved. I need them no longer, so they are yours, a thank you from me to you for doing what no one else will. You received my cloak merely because I had no other means of wrapping them. Use it how you will.
I bet you’re wondering exactly why I am doing all this. My time is drawing near. I will meet with death soon. There is a storm coming, and I will have to unleash the full might of my power. In a way, the prophecy I’ve fought so hard to avoid will soon happen anyways. Just not in the way it was supposed to. I suppose I am sending you this to settle any lingering regrets I have in this world. Leaving the guild is the last one. I know you never held it against me. You understood. I wasn’t abandoning you. I was fleeing from my own fate, trying to keep those I cared about safe. Nevertheless, it proved to be the catalyst that hastened your own inevitable departure from the guild. I have tried to make it up a few times since. It was not luck that saved you from death on certain occasions, but my own hand. I pray that makes up for whatever harm my departure caused. Now, with my apologies out of the way, I bid you adieu. My life shall end very soon. May yours continue far beyond today. Farewell.
Your friend and brother in arms,
Tom dropped the letter, shocked and devastated by this revelation. His friend and former mentor was headed to his doom. He knew this day would come, but he never expected to hear about it like this. It was numbing. He looked down at the letter on the floor, picking it up and rereading it to confirm it in his mind. Then he saw one final note.
PS: Some final advice. Always be a hero. Never run.