The wait is almost over. Tomorrow is the day I will finally leave Amberfall and embark on a journey I’ve been waiting for ever since I saw my first map of the Wester Vale in father’s study as a child. A chance to fulfil my dream of seeing the world, not through the journals of my predecessors or in the paintings of Goldhallow Hall but with my own eyes. I have been commissioned by the Baron of Amberfall and by the edict of King Dagon to travel the realms and chronicle my findings. Every decade or so only a select few scholars are chosen from all over Ayrlaston to journey both within and beyond our borders into the other realms, to discover the state of the world and its people. I am tasked with reporting on the current state of our neighbours, noting any potential new trade opportunities and recording even the slightest possibility of new threats to our kingdom, among other things. If I’m fortunate, perhaps I’ll even find something new, something no one has ever seen before. There’s no greater triumph for a scholar. The excitement is almost unbearable.
We’ll be stopping by the Aeon Citadel before departing. My sister, Isabelle, has been granted permission by the Arch Magisters to accompany our party and so will be joining my expedition. At least until we arrive in Frosthaven. Apparently she has some business to attend to with the Alchemy Guild and so it makes sense for us to travel together. It’s been six months or so since we last saw one another although it is difficult to ignore the tales of her achievements flooding the streets of the city since I left, not that I would. From the taverns of the Old Quarter all the way up to the nobility of Cherry Lane, it seems the entire city of Amberfall has been talking about her triumphs. Being a mage was always her true calling and she has undoubtedly flourished since we last met. Belle wasn’t too thrilled with the Council of Magister’s decision to end my stay at the Citadel and they’ve kept her busy ever since. It will be good to reconnect after all this time. I have missed her. There were few I could call friend whilst I was there, her company certainly made my work a little easier to tolerate.
I’ll admit it, I’m a little nervous. Our first trek takes through the mountain path of Blind Man’s Road and I pray to Maellor that the weather holds well. Only a fool would ignore the stories of highwaymen preying on travellers caught in the roaming fogs these valleys are known for. I won’t be alone though. I’ll have a small group accompanying me for the journey and lest I forget that the famous pyromancer, Isabelle Emberheart, will be by my side the whole time. I almost dare there to be some rogue or robber foolish enough to try anything with her magicks protecting us.
I am to make my final preparations before the evening ends and I’ll certainly be taking full advantage of my soft pillow tonight for I shan’t know comfort like this again for only the gods know how long. I’m almost tempted to take it with me. Almost. There’ll be room enough for my journals, quills, ink pots and such but I’ve had to remind myself often that there will be no luxury on this journey. Well, I may take a bottle or two of the Dark Scarlet vintage from the wine cellar. I’m no ogre after all and it would be nice to celebrate small milestones as we go.
Mother has been avoiding me for the last couple of days. I don’t blame her though. Every time she’s looked my way recently I can see the tears welling up in her eyes knowing full well I’ll be away for some time. I am travelling to every corner of Ayl’gard permitted by sense and reason so I ask you, what decent mother wouldn’t have a hard time saying goodbye to their child for what may be a good couple of years on the road? ‘An Emberheart’s place is in Amberfall at the service of House Orelia, it has been that way for centuries’ she would often tell us as children. Not this Emberheart mother. I feel the call of the road and have yearned to see distant lands in a way that no dusty old book or ink stained scroll will ever satisfy. I haven’t inherited the gift of our bloodline like my dear sister and I have no intention of becoming the next steward to that House that lords over us every day. This is why I joined the Citadel in the first place. To follow my path and become a scholar so esteemed that my journals might inspire those who feel the same way I do long after my bones have become dust in the ground. I will make it my priority to wake early and say a proper farewell.
As for father, I have nothing to say to him.