Yesterday was very stormy so we had to stay at Perduva Wek an extra day and night. We also had to beach the ship high enough that the waves couldn’t lift and drop it on the rocks. This feat required all of us to work together, including the three permanent residents of the island. Fortunately, we did not lose much of our shipment of vala flowers, and no animals escaped.
Today, with calm weather once again, sailing was easy, although the water is still very choppy, partly because of the rocks beneath the water and partly because of yesterday’s foul weather. We still reached Perduva Yerah without incident. It was there that Pelmarco introduced us to Jefrin, an elderly man who fought against the Dark Magicians as a soldier in one of the armies of the third Great King Derkolo.
Other than Pelmarco, Jefrin was the first person we’ve met who’d had a face to face encounter with one of the Dark Magicians in battle. The man was fortunate to survive, although his condition was startling at best. Tales of the Dark Magicians always include them shooting fire from their hands, and Jefrin was a living witness to the carnage that results from such uncontrolled power. He was disfigured and missing several limbs. His skin was scarred and blotchy. It was a struggle for him even to talk.
We listened solemnly as Jefrin recounted tales of his younger days as a soldier. He was a dashing young man, eager for adventure, and seeking to prove himself in battle before returning to marry the young woman he loved. This, it seems, is how many tragic stories begin. Jefrin survived, but his life ended in the fires of that battle long ago. He will never return home.
Pelmarco explained that Jefrin was the last of these forgotten soldiers. The others had passed away over the years, forgotten by their king and the friends and families they had back home. After his retirement, Pelmarco made a point of visiting these soldiers as often as possible, and suggested they were worthy of greater honor than even some of the Red Exemplars. Coming from a Red Exemplar, that means a lot.