Eilandra’s gifts have possibly already saved our lives. The Pauper’s Thighbone and Barca’s armor certainly have greatly increased our effectiveness. In our most recent battle with the terrible horse-impersonating demons, I was able to cast TWO spells within six seconds because of the rod. And multiple times was I able to reach my companions with spells that I had not prepared with that range. Simply amazing. And Barca has truly become a weapon of battle personified. Were it not for him, Riva would most definitely be dead, and it’s likely Locke would be as well. I believe I could have escaped, but I don’t know if I could continue after such an outcome.
For the wave is building in our quest to close the Worldwound. Calamitous events are occurring more frequently; the dangers we face growing in potency rapidly; and the focus on us as the main hope of the 5th Crusade becoming ever more apparent. For the Heroes of Kenebres are dead or turned to the side of chaos and evil! All save poor, broken Tirq. He MUST rise to the occasion, overcome his grief and guilt, and rejoin the battle with fervor and faith. Our enemies (real or potential) now include Minagho, Jerribeth, Areelu Vorlesh, Staunton Vhane, and Xanthir Vang, as well as, I fear, Atepna, Arn, and Tatsu! Such an array of different abilities and personalities. How can the four or five of us face all those threats?
I used to think that I needed to acquire as much arcane power as possible to have a chance. And while increasing my abilities is necessary, I have come to realize that seeing it through that lens only could lead to my downfall and that of my companions — and the world! From what I have gathered, Daeven and Atepna shared similar sentiment and look what has happened to them. Would I be a danger to my companions if given the chance for items such as this incredible rod — even with the best of intentions? Riva, for example, had NOTHING but the best intentions when she made the deal with Jerribeth, and I have great fear that that pact could one day doom her and the rest of us. We MUST free her from that potential danger.
All of us must act as moral checks and balances on each other, ever vigilant for signs of moral decay and rot. We are poised to return to Drezen where our actions and example as the new heroes of the crusade could literally determine the fate of millions of souls. We must not fail them, and that starts with not failing each other, no matter the temptation. And it has become clear to me that I am not willing to die before expressing the depth of my feelings for Keeya to her. In my dream visit, father gently teased me about it, but he is right. If I have the courage to face demons — and I do! — I have the power to tell her I love her, no matter her reaction. Perhaps that is all the power I need to survive and accomplish my mission. Perhaps that is the fantasy of a child. Either way, it is a trial I intend to accomplish.