Findalaran’s Journal: Return to Terra

   I am eager to be away from this place. The realization chills me to my core, but it is truth. Tarros — once pure and beautiful — is naught but a solitary prison now. It can never feel like home again. There is too much sorrow and pain in the memories now, and I need deliver the sad news to those awaiting my return. Ninety-nine souls. We are so few — too few — but we will uphold our duty to the end.

◊ ◊ ◊

   The songs of Tarros grow stronger and so too my strength returns. I will leave soon, this time knowing I will never return. I will visit once more the places where Tarros sings. I will kneel and offer my own song in farewell to this planet that was my home. I will take to the stars and return to Terra to join what remains of the Sprytath.

◊ ◊ ◊

   The relief of my return to Terra was short-lived. Aliss had been watching for me and knew something was wrong when she saw I returned alone. All too soon after my arrival I had to tell the others of what happened on Tarros. Their grief is overwhelming, their fury formidable. Now is a time for mourning, but we will need to act soon.

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   As expected, the calls for vengeance have been strong. The desire resonates in my own heart as well. The Alfath must pay for what they have done. More importantly, they must be stopped from trying to recreate their kingdom here. If only it were that easy! We remain unknown to them, but they still greatly outnumber us.

   Bringing them to justice is further complicated by the humans. The Alfath now live among them, pretending to be human as well. At the same time they secretly play at being the monsters of the human legends – the child snatchers, the mysterious lights, the blood drinkers — all to feed their magics. I do not know how to answer this challenge, and yet I must lead my people in rising to meet it.

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   The grief and anger are too much to bear. Leadership is too heavy a burden. At the time when I need it most, my faith wanes.

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   Aliss came to me in concern and compassion. I poured out my despair before her, and in her embrace I found comfort and peace. She stayed the night with me and I will never forget the blissful content of waking with her in my arms. So, too, I awoke with a new clarity of purpose. I am ready once more to lead my people.

◊ ◊ ◊

   We will learn from the Alfath and best them at their own game. We will integrate with the humans to better foil the Alfath’s schemes. Whereas the Alfath take on the role of monsters to the humans, we shall be their guardians. Our vengeance — our justice — upon the Alfath will be to deny them the dominion they desire over Terra.

◊ ◊ ◊

   Our efforts to blend in with the humans have been largely successful. They call us friends and neighbors, but this familiarity presents new challenges. We’ve learned that our lifespans are several times that of the humans. While they age and return to Terra, we remain vital and strong. We move often to mask our unchanging appearance.

   That has not kept some of my people from finding happiness with the humans, though, and quite a few have taken human mates. This is a good thing for while it means we endure the grief of losing our bonded, it also means we have children to carry on our songs. Though the Sprytath will fade, our song and purpose will continue through our children. They will become the guardians of the future.

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   Aliss is with child. I find the thought of being a father far more daunting than the thought of being a king.

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