Hunter in the Dark I

–th of Handspan, 11–

I write these words carefully.

Quill in my right hand, nib pressing against my left hand’s fingertips. I don’t know why it concerns me to write these sentences evenly, as I will never read them – and I have no plans to share these words with another soul.

From what my new companions tell me, it has been over ten years since my sight was taken from me. I was an old man even before my time in Dra’Lusair, many lives  and turns of the road — but in my favorite I was a scholar.  I find comfort in the scratch of the ink on the page. The words slide through my mind, then disappear into the dark.

The only candle I have left is my imagination and my memory –and oh, how they flicker.

Maybe after all the years in the dark it is a comfort to put my words somewhere, instead of them endlessly whirling around  in my tiny teardrop cell. Or perhaps because there has been little opportunity for conversation since my … release? Deliverance?

My new companions are an interesting group. A master swordsman, a cultured riflewoman, a cowardly wizard, a reckless gladiator, a driven soldier, and their leader, Simon. A paradox — he seems the most carefree and feckless of them all, but each of them follows him without question. He is a man who laughs first and often, but I can hear a familiar sound in his voice. The breaking sound.

And of course, my closest shadow — the Tyr-Elf exile. Stone is cruel, and the stone elves of Iax proved it on her flesh in the stagnant dark of their underground city. As the only one who can speak her people’s brutal tongue, she has taken on the duty of shepherding the old blind man, she is never far if I require anything. She speaks little of her imprisonment, or the source of her people’s disgust for her — I would not dream to pry further.Nyver is the name she uses, the Tyr-Elf word translated simply as “exile”, but more fluently as “Die Under The Sun”.

Ah — my new companions have completed their preparations, and we make haste for the edge of the Stone Elves’ caverns. To the surface, then across the savannah to where Simon has hidden his ship, that will bear us all across the sea.

Across the sea, to find the scent of my quarry.

You should have killed me, Rime. I know you could have found a way. I swear you will regret the elegance of my destruction.

[From the journals of Linus, last Falcon of the Hunt. Found after his death.]

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