Um… right, this is Olis. I only know a few letters but Khiron has shown me this recording thing. It remembers what I say and reads it back to me. So even if I don’t know my letters, I can note things down. Which is good, because my memory is fuzzy.
One minute I was standing on a patrol boat in the river Iowa or Idaho or one of those ‘I’ places. The next, I’m in a forest clearing. The trees are wrong, the colors are wrong, the smells are all wrong. On top of which Dwight is missing, there’s a new guy named Carter, Ser Marcel is still Arden, and they are all wearing these ridiculous silver clothing and helmets. Thorne, being his usual self, just winks at me and tells me not to worry. I stifle the urge to choke him.
From what I gather, we found a ship, a ship that sails between the worlds. Which is good as it might bring us back to where we started. However, the ship had a problem so Thorne ‘fixed’ it by putting the mind of his mistress ELIS into the ship. And, surprise, that’s how we ended up here.
Where is here? Here is another world. There are men and there are beastmen which are called Kooj. There is also a tree thing, like a wood golem but alive. There was talking on the radio so we went towards where the men were under attack by the Kooj. We turned the tide of battle and the Kooj fled. This Carter fellow seems to now his way around a fight but reminds me too much of the idiot nobles back home. Best to keep an eye on him. The wary but grateful men invited us back to their citadel called Oathfire Keep.
This is what I learned there. This world is called Damaina. The sun is called Hamadryad. It was part of a greater empire, the Empire of the Phoenix throne. There was a rebellion and this world took sides with the rebels, or were the rebels, I’m not too sure about that. The rebellion ended in the Rain of Fire when this world was cut off from the empire. That was centuries ago. Somewhere up above Damaina is our ship. Carter says it’s called the HMS Venture. Up there is also a cross shaped gate that is locked. We need to unlock the gate to be able to travel between the stars. But if the gate is hanging in the heavens, why can’t we just go around it? I’m not sure, I’m missing something. Anyway, through the gate is a sun called Caliban. I don’t understand why we need to travel between the stars instead of traveling between worlds like we did when we arrived, but the others seem to think that is the best way out of here. So we are searching for the key, which we might already have. But the twist is, just having the key is not enough. We need to know how to use the key.
Thorne and Carter seems to think knowledge lies with the Basilica of Saint Timon. It’s a week’s travel to that place. Our ship cannot come down. It is building something to come down to get us but it will take a week. So we might as well start hoofing it. Well, that is the plan but who knows with Thorne around.
The people here follow the Church of the Celestial Sun. Gabriel’s miracles have certainly impressed the people. Thorne calls it space Thesme and raves about saintly apparitions he can see. Well, what did he think Gabriel was doing when he was invoking his miracles? I don’t get it. Not my problem.
There is also a test that their priests did. I was wary but it did not hurt. They were joyous when they learned the outcome. I did not really understand about this ‘genetic compatibility test’ but it became clear when a lady came to by bed chambers last night. Her name was Tamara, dark of hair and tan of skin. She wished me to sire her a child. I told her I did not want to stay but she assured me that she only wanted the child. Well then, it has been a long time so… I kind of embarrassed myself the first time. I made up for it with the second. On the third, she bit me on the shoulder to keep herself from crying out too loud. I could have kept on but she begged off. I guess I might have shown my disappointment. She left and returned with another girl. Her name was Lizbeth and she was fairer than Tamara and had lips like strawberries. Tamara said her cycle might be close enough, whatever that meant. So twice more me and the little sergeant soldiered on. We all fell asleep in the warmth of each other’s company. Oh, and something a little strange. I could have sworn the Spear was brighter last night. The green glow was noticeable even through the sheath.
So that’s how it went. It’s now dawn. The women are still asleep. My bones ache and my muscles ache but today is a good day.