I had hoped to purchase more parchment about a week ago, but Captain Kiiyu refused to dock in any cities short of our primary destination, and I still refuse to ask Kellon for parchment. As a result, we are now in Atalan, and I have enough content to fill several pages.
The past two days were the most harrowing I’ve had in the past year or more. When a pirate ship sails into the waters around Tanarad on a course direct to Atalan, it attracts a lot of attention. It’s a wonder the royal navy didn’t try to sink us on sight, the usual outcome when pirates encounter the navy. We accomplished this by having the Sisterhood operatives demonstrate their abilities while the naval vessels were still off in the distance. Still, we did get a naval escort to the city, and disembarked under heavy guard. While everyone from my expedition is free to move around the city as we please, I think the pirates are being held captive while someone ascertains if they’re known to have committed any crimes. I expect they’ll be free soon.
Alkaar and mention of the Kingdom of Saval is probably the greatest surprise we brought back with us. To learn of an entire kingdom cut off from the rest of the world for thousands of years probably leaves more questions than answers at this point. As for Alkaar, Prince Nomolo ordered the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar to mend his arm. It seems they have some type of ointment capable of improving the healing of nasty wounds. However, since it’s been seven months since his arm was injured, I doubt he’ll ever be able to regain full use of that arm.
I haven’t seen much of Tora’Sor and Niahla’Sen since we left the ship. Their business with the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar keeps them occupied, and I heard a rumor that Tora’Sor earned a reprimand for not returning to Atalan immediately upon her release from captivity. She’s also in trouble for telling me the information about the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar’s involvement in the origin of the Dark Magicians. I sincerely hope things work out for her since she was such a great asset to my expedition. I didn’t hear anything about Niahla’Sen earning any reprimands.
Boktoseethet’s desire to become a soldier is coming to fruition. He begins formal training next week, so he gets to spend the next three days exploring Atalan with his father. From what I heard, Prince Nomolo took a personal interest in Boktoseethet after learning about his training over the past year. The young man has more experience fighting against exotic adversaries than most other soldiers. Boktoseethet doesn’t know it, but if he does well in his formal training, Prince Nomolo will probably provide him with a choice position in the army. I expect he will succeed.
Hibimage is undecided about his future. He might decide to stay in Atalan as an advisor on Etnyben, or he might depart on a ship to Perduva in search of his first love, Niahla’Sen’s mother. Since his failed expedition long ago never yielded results, Hibimage returns to obscurity. Not even Great King Derkias, who was in his early teens at the time, knew anything about Hibimage’s expedition, although that is probably because no one ever officially sponsored it. Hibimage told me he wouldn’t be welcome in Atalan if the Sisterhood of Jadela’Mar had their way---something to do with corrupting a former member of theirs---but I think he was joking.
Kellon disappeared almost as soon as we reached the docks. His office with the Council of Adaptive Writing and Publishing is somewhere in the city, so I’ve no doubt he’s back working on his story of the journey. I wonder if it’s as hard for him returning to this clean city as it was traveling halfway across the wilderness of Etnyben by himself to catch up with my expedition.
I inquired about several others who traveled with me at times, namely Rar and Krista’Mil. It’s been three years since they passed through Atalan, and I learned they departed to visit Krista’Mil’s homeland. They have orders to return to Atalan before going back to Etnyben, but considering the time it takes to travel across the sea and back, no one knows for certain when they’ll return. I had hoped to see them again, but it’s nice to know everything worked out for them. I heard a few tales about Rar’s antics during his time in Atalan, but those are something best reserved for casual conversation, not my journal.
This leaves Dawn and me. Our day involved lengthy talks and feasts with Prince Nomolo and Princess Hudena’Sor. Yes, they married last year! It seems the scandals caused by my journals weakened the Great King’s health, so Prince Nomolo now conducts most of the business of the kingdom. However, Great King Derkias still reigns, and told the two he’d like to see his grandchildren before he died. The Great King might get his wish later this year.
During today’s talks, Prince Nomolo focused on a single theme. He wished to know the strategic uses of the various places I visited, with a focus on how to eventually battle and defeat the Dark Magicians. In my opinion, one only needs to carry that white flower close to the fortress of the Dark Magicians. However, doing so poses innumerable challenges one must first overcome. I can say with confidence that Prince Nomolo will be the Great King during whose reign the Dark Magicians are defeated. If anyone can put together a successful battle plan, he can do it.
Princess Hudena’Sor was interested more in the social and cultural intrigues of Etnyben. She wanted to know how the distant towns interacted, the types of food people ate, and the histories of the places we visited. She found it most interesting that almost everyone we encountered, even pirates, were generally friendly, cooperative, and willing to assist in whatever way possible. I expect she will be very beneficial in bringing together everyone needed to implement whatever plan Prince Nomolo devises.
From here, I plan to return with Dawn to my home in Bagda as soon as Prince Nomolo marries us, a small service in return for everything I did in Etnyben. Princess Hudena’Sor also plans to compensate my service. My journals are to be published and made publicly available. In return, I receive riches beyond anything I’ve ever imagined. Dawn and I get to live comfortably, but I expect someday I’ll find myself on another expedition to somewhere I’ve never been before.
Thus concludes my expedition and fourth journal. Prince Nomolo and Princess Hudena’Sor, I wish you both success in your endeavors, and thank you for supporting my expedition.