Talia, p. 71

*written in a steady determined hand*

A day has passed, two… I traveled east, searching again, but found I was alone. They seem to have recovered from that night, though the smiles seem strained or non-existent on some patrons. Even with the soot washed up, a stain still remains. I left to work…

And found another waiting for me, just to the south, as they did the first time. But I saw him this time, pacing, as if expecting me earlier. I kept to the shadows, kept my distance… and found the bow in my hand, arrow already loosed. Part of me thrilled at the hunt, another screaming to flee. The figure bursting through the trees decided it. I ran, back towards the farms, fur and fangs barreling down behind me. He was no match for the two of us, though I felt guilty endangering the other. A smaller was waiting outside Mardo’s. Warned of their presence, he never even saw the blade that took his foul life. There is still much work to do, at least three more wait to the south, but I dare not approach them alone. Once I am done here, I will return to the city, to the illusion of safety that we all hold so dear. Perhaps it is time to call a Hunt again.

Talia, p. 70

*Several pages have been torn out, some stuffed awkwardly in the back of the journal. This is the next page still intact in the original binding.*

*Written in hastily scrawled writing by an obviously shaking hand.*

Where is Shara! We were out at the Inn when this all started. The fire seemed to come from everywhere at once. I know we escaped, I remember that much… and I remember the very land coming alive with magic. Fire and ice, it all assaulted us, others tossed around by unseen hands… and the dragon.. oh gods… the dragon seemed so real.

We did make it to safety, and others brought me back to Arabel. Shara chose to stay, to help clean up. It was then that the sky itself began to protest. Alive with blue-fire, it streaked and rippled over our heads through the night, seeming to go beyond the horizon. Ciara and Draken offered to take me back out East, but Shara was gone when I arrived. I had no sense of her, and the lights continued overhead. Nowhere felt safe. We returned to the city, and a few were gathered in the market. Most though had chosen to shelter inside. That is where Farshid and I spoke, upstairs, by the fire… the only place I felt a little peace. And the lights stopped. Out the window we could see stars, and it seemed ‘right’ for just that moment.

I don’t know what happened then… darkness… I remember darkness, and screams all around me… suddenly I was outside, calling for help, many rushed past and I followed upstairs. As I opened the door, I felt the darkness on my skin… thick, like tar… it pressed against me, stopping me.. and then it was gone. A dozen were in the room, some armored, a few dead… and in the center, a man with horns. I thought… I thought I knew him, but they said he was the summoner of those… …things… He fled and shouts followed. A strong arm guided me from the crowd and out into the night. The cool air on my skin, I could finally breathe. And then it came again… the darkness, the thick pressing… I ran, until I felt I was free, closing my eyes and pressing my hands to my ears to block the screams, the sounds of battle. I cowered there until it was over. Farshid found me and led me here, to the Traveller… I haven’t slept yet… that refuses to come. Where is she…