by Grant Smuts

‘Lord Kridelus,’ Benera handed another letter to the commander. ‘We found this on the road to Duringard.’

‘On the road?’ Kridelus asked, raising an eyebrow.

‘Well not exactly. My local contacts have been asking around for any documents or letters by this mysterious ‘Q’. One of the local information brokers had it in his possession, but clearly didn’t seem to stake much worth on it.Which is to say that he charged far too much for us to take it off his hands.’

‘I loathe working with the thieves’ guild,’ Kridelus said, his lips forming a thin line.  ‘Still, anything useful?’

Benera shook her head. ‘Nothing clearer than the first letter, I’m afraid. A lot of cryptic mess. But there might be a code within. I’ll get our scribes on it.’ The commander nodded at this, reading through the letter, shaking his head all the while.

‘Why does he leave these letters behind? Does he not wish to hold onto them, for some reason? Or is he luring us? This feels too convenient,’ he said.

He shook his head, then read through the letter again.

Landred Vhael

Perhaps this will find you on your journey. It’s best not to ask how I know how to find you. You need only know that I will guide you to the truth.

Your blood awaits you across the Shining Sea. Come home, Landred Vhael. Come home.

Walk then unseeing like children with hands outstretched down to the valleys where the old wars were fought. Where we find an arena of weeping gods across a graveyard of spears and shattered shields.
A demon gazes across the world, from a high and hidden place, silent and brooding, black determination in an icy gaze.

Salvation and destruction! Across the irrevocable distance of the void, the dreams of men have reached out to the slumbering ones, nestling in the darkness beyond the light of far flung worlds.

Glittering white-gold is the gift, a star frozen in ice.

They were the promise I would keep, and I will bend the night into an aria of sweet eternity, while we are draped across the countenance of a supine god, smiling in sleep beneath the endlessly upward spiralling incense of relentless hopes warmed by a soul euthanizing itself to be reborn to gentler dreams.

Perhaps you feel this way too. Perhaps you’ve always known that you never belonged, as I did.
Come then, we’ll seek fire and death together, and when we rise from the ashes, the world will be made new.