Agemo arrived not long after I had finished my previous entry. He was an odd thing to look at, for his face carried the weight of many years and his muscles were packed with popping veins, as if he had just exerted his body to the fullest after a long period of inactivity. He did not look tired from his climb, yet his arms and legs were scratched up (I was immediately thankful for my armor’s protection against the rough rocks) and his white beard was roughly shorn as if by a dulling knife. He wore rough woolen pants and no shirt, and his face was stern and hawk-like. His eyes were a deep and seemed to be all pupil; as if it were a great void that swallowed everything up. Amongst the lines on his face were the edges of a frown, but there was no trace of a smile amongst them.
He registered my presence in his house with surprise and luckily enough for me he did not seem all that angry at my entry. At first neither of us spoke, I choking up at the sight of him and he too busy depositing the massive bag filled with slabs of meat and other, more glittery objects, in his storage room in the back. He took two pieces of meat and started cooking them in the hearth and my feet, before turning to regard me with his dark eyes.
His voice was strong and timeless, age not touching the resonance. It was a voice that, by its tone and resonance alone, seemed endlessly wise, someone a person should listen to. “I have not had a visitor for a long while,” he said to me, “and it is never without a purpose. What brings you to my home, traveler?”
I swallowed my awe at his mere presence and responded in as level a voice as I could, aided by the gravity of my purpose in being there. “It is an honor to meet you, Sage Agemo. I am of the order of the Knights of the True Order.” Agemo nodded to me, as if this was little news to him. This confused me a little, as I had abandoned my emblazoned tunic under the rockslide. Nevertheless, I continued without pause. “Xabre’s sacred texts, The Line of the Future, which predicted the entirety of the future told of a massive calamity that will occur within the next decade. We realize that the text was burned to cinders and we have to rely on that which was copied over and even then it is complicated by the unforeseen appearance of Jasthok, but the priests are convinced this event will come to pass.”
Agemo nodded again, his face unreadable but his dark eyes telling me that he had known all of this. He spoke again, “Indeed, your god was wise. His only rival is perhaps Thesseus, yet the scholar-god lacks the rigidity that allowed Xabre cut down the tree of possible futures and pinpoint the line of the future. However, your god figured in only the powers of Creation, not that of Destruction.”
I interrupted him, courage spawned by some source deep within me, and though I now look back and regret the breach of courtesy I could not suppress my curiosity. “What do you mean?”
Agemo did not seem insulted, or at least his face continued to remain stone-still. “The Destroyer lurks in the darkness, but his power is restless and desires to continue to destroy. During that war between the gods, some of his power broke away and fed upon the dying souls, forming the madgod Jasthok. Jasthok is a wildcard, but his presence will only heighten the coming calamity.”
I fell back, my hope that the whole event was averted by the appearance of Jasthok extinguished. I returned quickly, however, for I will not let my duty fall lightly. “Is there anything that may avert the calamity? Or do you know the source of the calamity that shall occur? My order wishes to preserve as many lives as possible and keep the peace, what must we do to accomplish this?”
The sage shook his head, for the first time his eyes seemed to show a little emotion; pain. Though it was a flash and I could have just imagined it. “I know the answers to your questions, and I will impart a couple of other bits of information whose importance I believe is paramount.” He paused as if he were preparing himself. “It will come, and no efforts, divine or otherwise, will stop it. The terror will be started from a source none expect; the scattered remnants of the people who lost their world. The only lives that shall be spared the pain of this war will lie within these drifting peaks, for the coming war will cause a flood of blood, mortal and divine. Some gods will fall, inevitably, to the power of the exiled ones as they fight even each other. However, the great god of humans shall return in all of his splendor, and I forsee a return of your True Order, either as it was in the old or new and young. There will be much strife, but only in strife are heroes born; and heroes much come for mortals to survive.” The words spewed out of him as if it was a river of wisdom, and I was swept away in the flood.
As I considered his words, he offered me a piece of meat to fill my belly. Afterwards, I rose and thanked him for his meal, determined to return home as soon as possible. He warned me that it would be deadly dangerous for me to travel in the exhausted condition I am in, but I decided that too much rode on me to sit around and wait. I pause now, at the edge of his floating isle, only to record the words of Agemo word-for-word so that I do not forget or mix up their meanings with assumptions of my own. I must admit, however, that I am also attempting to catch my breath in the airless altitude.
- M, Knight of True Order