For the week after the great Battle for Eyrie, the monks looked at us with awe. The prophecy had made them complacent, and they assumed it said more than it did: the state of the monastery shocked them. They had truly expected us, I think, to just wave our hands around and vanish the whole army. They were not prepared for death and destruction. On the other hand, we are very well acquainted with death and desctruction, and I, at least, am still surprised we pulled it off at all.

Despite the destruction and general mess, they do not blame us and sailed right in to start putting things to right again. The Roostmaster seems completely oblivious and I don't think he even realizes there was a battle. He's kind of irate about the mess, which he blames the monks for, and keeps scolding them to clean it up, which they're doing anyway. The Flagmaster's attitude has changed towards us, though. I don't think he really quite believed in the prophecy, and he seemed a little suspicious of us, if not quite hostile. That's changed -- he's very friendly and welcoming to us now. He's also been very busy, sending letters to Tylean suppliers, dwarven builders, and various posts for new guards.

For a week, we argued about where to spend the winter. I pushed for Mortensholm. Nice big town, probably a quiet winter, and there's a Biancan monastery there. But I got over-ruled and we're staying here in Eyrie for the winter. José hinted at what the rest of us thought but didn't say out loud: we're not sure we can trust Carmella with her rock. Frankly, the fewer people she's around, the better.


I am not happy about this Doom Stone I carry. On one hand, it makes enough light so I don't have to burn candles at night to sleep to keep away the nightmares. On the other, it gives me new nightmares. Actually, they're rather pleasant dreams, in which I use the thing to make all kinds of things better. But when I'm awake, I know the reality.

There are benefits to spending the winter here. Even though it's not my order, still spending this much time in a monastery is beneficial. Their rigid schedule makes it easy for me to get back into my own schedule. Prayers, meditations, physical exercise: they all have their place again. But I'm also left with a bit too much time to brood.

Apparently, Miara has been unable to convince her cousin that he needs to learn to speak our language. I would think she could just command him to do it, but for some reason I can't understand, won't. Anyway, José expressed an interest in learning their language, and Miara has set up daily languages lessons. Goldrim, Son, one of the monks here, and I have joined in. It gives me something to do, and it's interesting. One thing's clear: they think differently that we do. It wasn't that hard to learn Old Worlder, knowing Bretonian. And if I wanted to learn Tylean, or Estalian, there's a lot that's similar and it wouldn't be all that hard. Nipponese, though, has absolutely nothing in common at all. I have also learned that Hy's name is actually Kyoskay, which I could never quite pick out in their conversations before. When Miara and Kyoskay start talking with each other, they completely lose me. They talk too fast.


We had the whole winter to discuss our next destination: Karak-Ostohar. Goldrim repeated the verse from the pillar in the dwarven shrine:

Karak-Ostohar has lost its way.
Help them find their way again.
If you do, you will know what to do.

Goldrim told us some stories of the dwarves. Once they had a great empire of underground mines and cities all up and down the World's End mountains. Gradually, they decayed and were scattered. Now there are few dwarven cities left, and they're only sad shadows of their former selves. Most of the dwarves have moved here; these mountains are comparatively safer. Considering they are overrun with beast-men, bandits, and orcs, I wonder what we're heading into. Dwarves like to go back to various old dwarven holds, rediscovering them. There are lots of legends of lost treasure they follow. Goldrim said he doesn't remember hearing of Karak-Ostohar, but there's no reason to believe it doesn't exist. And Karak is certainly a common beginning of a dwarven city name. If it weren't for the fact that the monks have a map that shows Karak-Ostohar, I would wonder if we were chasing a ghost.

I couldn't persuade the monks to let me see the original map, so one of the monks had to copy it himself and then I copied his copy. I continually sent him back to the library to compare my copy with the original, and I have hopes that my map is accurate.


Goldrim had two visions while we wintered in Eyrie. One of them was the same vision he had in front of the dwarven shrine: the dragon statue in the alcove. He now believes the statue is in Karak-Ostohar. Miara believes him completely, although she also believed him when he was certain the statue was in the dwarven shrine. I could see some doubt in Kyoskay's eyes, though he didn't say anything. At least anything I could understand: he muttered something towards Miara, who either didn't hear him or did an admirable job of pretending she didn't hear him.

His other vision was new. He saw Sean pouring the fiery, liquid contents of his magic box out, intentionally, like he's pouring it into some container that allows it to spread out, like a wide, shallow bowl. It spreads out and continues to flame. That was a lot clearer than most of his visions, and I kind of wonder about it.


As the weather warmed up, we pushed aside the winter doldrums and started to plan the long journey ahead of us. We tossed around a few routes, but decided to walk from here to Kreuzhofen, gather what provisions we could, and then walk along the foothills to the mountains where Karak-Ostohar should be -- the north side, near the Black Fire Pass. Ashe and Kyoskay are both skilled at hunting, and I am well-acqainted with edible plants and herbs, so we will mostly live off the land as we travel.

We set off in early spring. It was still cold at Eyrie, but by the time we reached the main pass through Wintersteeth, we could tell it really was spring.

There, we met Sean again, travelling to find us in the company of a youth the druidess sent to help him. Bark is still young, about 5'10" and rather thin. I don't think he's grown into his latest growth spurt yet. He wears really primitive clothes, and keeps himself almost completely covered up. Although the weather is warming up, he still wears gloves at all times, even while eating. His clothes are coarsely patched-together leather, and he carries sticks at his belt and a knife. Long pants, long sleeves, his head covered with a hood, gloves. And a very thick, high beard. I could almost hear Jason whispering suspiciously in my head. He's not one of the beastmen that Jason hated so, but there is certainly something odd about him.

We shared our news quickly, and Sean was saddened to hear of Jason's death. He said he would write a song to commemorate his heroic stand at the stairs. Bark said he would continue travelling with Sean, and he said he's also skilled at living off the land and can help.

And so, we begin our long journey to collect rocks that should have never been created.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~