The Great Conflict, and the world, has ended. Magic is forbidden so that the world can heal. I believe it’s stolen your memories, too. Which is why you and I are keeping this journal. You, reading this tomorrow, and me, writing this today.
Remember this if you can: your name is Carth. You are a warrior, aged boy. You are in the service to the Warlord’s clan in his mission to restore order to the Realm. Ask daily for your payments. For an index of items, places, people and locations, refer to the scrolls next to this one.
* * *
I have a fun surprise for you, Carth: you know how to ride a horse.
I know this because you tried to flee your commanding officer as you woke up this morning.
Your commanding officer was a gigantic man with fingers as wide across as your palm and a belt stuffed with swords that looks like small knives pinned against his massive frame.
Unless I’m just being hyperbolic (Not that you’d know).
And here he was in your tent. How were you to know this man was in service to the same Warlord as you? All you knew when you woke was that there was a behemoth standing over you, and when you maneuvered around him and outside the tent there were dozens of armed warriors milling about. You hadn’t read my account, so you didn’t know who they were.
Which means you did what any sane man would do in such a predicament (after every ounce of courage had trickled down your leg): you swung up into a horses saddle and booted it in the ribs.
The commander sent men after you. But without reading my account you had no idea you were on the same side. You steered with your thighs on instinct, jerking on the reins every now and again. Your thighs burn red and raw, don’t they? That’s your proof that I speak truly.
The scratches all up and down your shins, though–not to mention bruises on your wrists–that’s proof that you were caught. The riders chasing you managed to out maneuver your escape route as you came to a river that was hot and steaming and bubbling. They warned you it had seeped up excess magic leftover from the Great Conflict. If you jumped in you would be boiled alive.
Well, you could feel the heat plainly in the ropes of perspiration drooling down your face and back. Cornered, you gave yourself up. You were caught.
If it were not for Aos and Desmon stepping in upon your return, you would have been executed.
“We caught him deserting,” one warrior told your commanding officer, “Tried turn cross the river, back there.”
Aos stepped in, “He can’t remember much. He’s simple, really. Why else would he try to escape along the river’s route?”
Your commanding officer raised an eyebrow, eyes expressionless.
“You doubt me?” Aos asked. “He’s simple. Watch.” She turned to you and spoke slowly, thumbing back to the big man with gray eyes like two chips of dirty ice. That’s called an commander, Carth. Repeat after me: com-man-der.” she sounded out for you.
“Com-man…der?” you echoed, genuinely confused. You had no idea who she was at the time.
The giant nodded his assent, and the warriors released you. Aos crouched and picked your chin up so that you were staring at her. “Don’t forget to write that down.”
But you will.
It’s what you do best.
Special thanks to my patron on Patreon, Alicia Cameron