... A profound thing has happened. But I am alive, and that’s what matters.
The king has asked us to do some work, but don’t worry [....] The new member of our party is named Mellisandra. She is hardy and a good fighter, and yelled wonderfully ridiculous taunts at our foes. I will have to wait and see if I trust her. How could someone live with Lady Lionstone for so long and not notice anything was wrong? Still, I’m hardly good at spotting magic myself.
Only a few days ago we encountered the worst creature yet. It was a monstrous eight-headed thing—my party members called it a hydra. One day I will draw it on a scroll for you [...] along with the dragon and the owlbear. We have heard it was created in the strange lands they call up here “the scar.”
We were woefully ill-prepared for this hydra monster. The sorceress and the cleric figured out that the only way to kill it was to chop off its heads and then cauterize the wounds – if you did not do this, they assured us, the heads would grow back! Luckily we did not witness any re-growths as we were able to cauterize the wounds in time. But it was terribly difficult to approach, with the heads snapping this way and that. To make things worse, our party failed to make a cohesive battle plan – instead we panicked and attacked as individuals. This was our mortal failure. Burtrun, the Ranger, ran at it first, and was struck down by its eight heads. He was in danger of bleeding to death, so I ran as quick as I could to pour a potion of healing into his mouth, and that is the last thing I remember. It must have mauled me. There was a great pain in my side – and my whole world turned to red and then to black.
Then it was so strange—I saw my companions fighting and falling from some great distance, like figures through the wrong end of a spyglass. I seemed to be drifting farther and farther away from them, even though I wanted to go back and help –it was as though I was caught in the current of a river I couldn’t swim against. I remember other things –it seemed that the tunnels under Fialus had become the caverns [...] and I saw your face, lit by a candle, as though you had gone to the caverns to be alone. Do you do so, still? And I saw the faces of people who are dead, the old king, and his son[...].
The current carried me far, but eventually I felt something dragging at me, like a rope had caught me and was pulling against the current. It was terribly uncomfortable, and very very cold. It lasted forever. Then there was light, and pain and heaviness again.
I opened my eyes to see a bearded cleric looking down at me. At first I did not know where I was. Then I saw my companions, and the cleric told me I had been dead, and that only the power of the Gloriana could have restored me. But I wonder if my god had a part to play too. Have I offended my him by living again?
I am weak now, and when the others come near I am caught between snapping at them and wanting to burst into tears and hug them. Who knew I could feel both betrayal and thankfulness at the same time? Who knew I counted upon them so much? Mostly I curse my own stupidity for not knowing my own weakness, and going where the danger was too great. It was my own fault, and I will never be so stupid again.
There are things I should tell you, but right now I am tired. My heart beating in my chest feels very fragile and I am afraid to trust the solidity of the world again. In the eyes of gods it must seem so thin, just dust…
The Lightbringer is powerful; this I have come to accept. I am amazed that I, dedicated to my god as I am, could be summoned by the powers of Gloriana. Maybe the gods don’t hold war the way we mortals do, because it seemed to me that my god was there too, in the temple, just before I opened my eyes.
...don’t worry about me. In the morning, I will practice my sword work, and that will strengthen me a little every day. If I had your way with words, I’d reassure you [...]