Out of the Flames

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This book can be collected by Defiants and Guardians.

Looted in Atia in Ember Isle at /setwaypoint 13380 4230 – On a table in a room inside the building.

Book Text

These pages have been lost from the journal of Anthousa Mona.

I’ve lost. We could have fought a civil war. We could have fought against the Plane of Fire. But fighting them both at the same time is too much to expect from anyone, even the Kelari.
Still, those two words burn, eating away at me: I’ve lost. I’ve never lost. I do not lose.
And yet here I am: I’ve lost. We’ve lost. I don’t know if I can bear it.

Page 2

Though my father has been gone for years, I can still remember the sound of his voice as we recited my lessons at night. Details of all the ceremonies to the spirits, history, poetry, scientific theory… everything was impressed in my brain through rote memorization and determination. His determination, truthfully, not mine, but in time those two things were no longer distinguishable. His will became my own. I would succeed above everyone else. I would be High Priestess. The greatest High Priestess.

He didn’t live to see it happen, but here I am: High Priestess. For a long time, many even claimed I was the greatest. But now, as we prepare to abandon Ember Isle and all we have built, I’m sure they’ve changed their minds about that.

At least he didn’t live to see me fall.

Page 3

I watched the shore as long as I could. Once the island was finally out of sight, I made myself stop looking back. Even as we pulled away from the docks, I kept imagining some great idea might come to me and we could go back, but it didn’t. All of the lessons, all of the rituals, all of the years of history and the lessons I thought I’d learned from them – none of it amounted to anything in the face of such overwhelming odds.

As I ruminated, I felt a hand grasp mine. Surprised, I looked over to see a familiar face looking at me with a soft smile. One of my youngest acolytes stood there. For a long time, we stood in silence. Finally, she said, “You did everything you could, High Priestess.”

“Did I?” I asked bitterly.

“You did,” she said, “and everyone on these boats is alive and safe thanks to you. Thank you.”

I couldn’t bring myself to say anything else after that. Tears muddled my vision and I knew that if I said anything, they might spill.

Page 4

I can’t find Jace anywhere, and no one can tell me that they saw him board another boat. I specifically told him that he should board the Sooty Tern. Why didn’t he listen? Foolish boy! He’s resolved to do the opposite of everything that I say.

…Who am I fooling? This is my fault. I should have taken his hand and dragged him straight up the gangplank if necessary. I was too busy seeing to everyone else to see to him. If anything’s happened to him… I won’t assume that yet. Most likely, we’ll get to the shores of Tyr, and he’ll climb off one of the other boats looking like he’s the cleverest Kelari who ever lived.

But maybe he won’t. And I’ll have to bear responsibility.

Page 5

We’ve landed. We lost three boats, but the rest made it. The locals aren’t exactly celebrating our arrival, but they haven’t slaughtered us either. We’ve set up a refuge on the shore for now, but I’ve arranged a meeting with Asha Catari of the Deflants and hopefully that will lead to more permanent quarters. Everything is going as well as I could have hoped, I suppose. People have been coming up to me, thanking me, and I’ve accepted it with a smile, as is my duty. But the smile is a mask. I feel hollow behind it.

Jace is gone. If he boarded one of the boats, it was one we lost. The captains of the surviving ships have all confirmed he was not aboard their vessels. The most I can hope is that he was left behind and that he somehow survives; a foolish hope, and I can’t afford to entertain it anymore than I can afford to grieve. I must be mother to all the Kelari right now. I can’t stop to mourn one.

Page 6

I miss my son.

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