I made sure to check Emberclaw’s body. I found his journal in his satchel, as well as a few bags nearby with all of his personal effects.
What did you find?
He went to all of that to kill one person. Only one person.
He created that dragon, to aim it at and subsequently kill, just one man.
I don’t know, he never mentioned his name. What concerns me though is this…
Who could possibly scare Emberclaw such that he felt forced to take the measures that he did?
Srin wandered out of the infirmary. The surgeons had put Vash’s arm back together, but the rest of the soldiers were still in intensive care.
Alai was in the bunk next to her, his arm stretched across the gap between their beds.
The human child was there as well, his eyes wide as the charr surgeons kept him under close watch. Juno was by his side, carefully inquiring of him everything he knew.
The child’s name was Samuel.
He was nine.
What do we become now?
Srin knew it in his heart; they had changed. He saw it in their eyes, in how they used the word “we.” He saw it in how Shadowsoul…no… in how Ayroh looked at them now.
They had become something.
But what had they become?
Srin turned his eyes towards the early morning sky, and stared.
He was there, standing among them for the first time since.
His white scarf now hung around his shoulders, his blind eyes bare before the world.
Tall, he stood. Unflinching.
Gone was the cub who had wavered in the forest.
Gone was the gladium who had wandered in the blizzard.
Gone was the legionnaire that dove into the depths of the world alone.
Instead, in their place, was this.
The whispers were that he was no longer truly a necromancer, nor an elementalist, but something else entirely. When he moved, the world twisted around him. When he spoke, his voice dug into the depths of their hearts.
Some had called him the shaman of some new, dark art, but even that was insufficient, and we all knew it.
When Ayroh opened his mouth to speak, it was as though his words crossed an infinite expanse to find us and call us towards him, drawing us into the dark and the terrifying realms where he dwelt, alone, a watchman upon the walls of our world.
In his vigil, he stood endlessly. His every dream was of dragons. His every motion betrayed his heart and what had taken root there, in the deepest of deeps.
He had ceased to be a being.
Ayroh had, instead, become something altogether different, altogether separate.
He became a force, a constant.
Realizing that he could no more change his fate than he could’ve saved himself, he chose instead to become fate itself.
May the Spirits have mercy on us all.
I saw once.
There was a time when I did, but I do no longer.
This story began with my loss and ends, again, with my loss.
In the middle, I have known nothing but pain – I have harvested nothing but sorrow upon sorrow.
But I refuse to accept that. I refuse to accept what fate has dealt. I will take this world and make it new.
And anything who tells me that I cannot, any man or charr, tribune or king, dragon or god, who dares tell me the shape of my life, I will overcome.
On this day, I have seen the birth of something, the instrument by which this may be done. We do not ask for favor, only for indifference. Only the right to choose our own future and, from that, to build anew.
We will become a foundation upon which this can be built.
We will become a fortress against which no being shall triumph.
We will become an idea that cannot be overcome.
We are Foundation.
My name is Ayroh Kaenes, and this was my story.
Now, it is yours.
It is ours.