Friday afternoon arrived and finally the ships were set to sail. The week had been busy for the people of Travance, all lending a hand to repair the damage to the ships caused by Captain Vallo and his men. They had found explosives rigged to the rudders, sails with holes in them, and the rigging rope cut in various locations. All of this had kept them on the island almost a week longer than they had wanted. Now the final heroes were on board and the weather was in their favor so the crew of the Leviathan set off with the Arowana and Lagena following quickly behind.

Somewhere in the hold of the Leviathan sat a small lizard-kin. Skree was surrounded by those she had just met and only been with for a week. She did not speak much on the journey home, but she was obviously thankful for those around her. Every so often one could feel the sadness from her, Amanthyre was the only home she had ever known, and Grenn was the only friend she had ever cared for, and both she was now leaving behind. She would have died long ago when she was young, but instead she was given a second chance. Now she would experience the wonder of the outside world, and she decided that she would take the memory of her friend with her, so that some how and in some way, they could experience it together.  Surrounded by her new friends, she did hold hope that her future would be exciting and she was eager to see what wonders it would bring her.  

Below, in the brig sat Captain Vallo. He was chained to both the wall and the floor, awaiting fate. Above him the sound of merriment carried down and grated on his nerves for he knew he almost had that whole island to himself. They got in his way and now he knew he would suffer for his mistake, perhaps...

The waters were more turbulent than their trip here had been and so they were forced to divert and take a different path home, to sail through the straits that ran between all the islands. Despite the difficulties, the spirits of the people were riding high from the strong ray of hope that shined upon them on the Amanthyre, and so with determination they headed home! 

*     *     *     *     *

As happy she was to see the good people of this world with her own eyes, she welcomed their leave as well, for she did not want them to see her this way. It had taken all of her energy to appear as she did.

After a while Fiona swung her legs off the bedside and attempted to stand. It was difficult at first and it took many attempts before she felt confident in committing to the act. She had to remind herself that her body was very old, despite still looking young; and also that it had been motionless and inactive for countless centuries. When she was little, Haramon would always tell her she was a quick learner and so these memories of praise from her guardian helped her much over the next many days as her body remembered how to move and walk. Next she would need to exercise her powers.

The people of Travance would need to sail back to their homes and journey into the deep dark to retrieve the Obelisk. She knew that this would take them some time and she was confident that once that was done, enough of her strength and power would have returned to visit them and lend them the aid that they had asked for.

Her heart was enflamed with love and overpowering with pride for all the good people of Travance. They had kept her torch lit for all of this time, refusing to let it be extinguished by the sands of time. Her return could only be attributed to their strength and unwavering conviction in the light. It was truly she who owed them, more than they can possibly imagine.

So generous and benevolent was her love, that even in the worst of times she felt sadness and pity for the forces of darkness and wished with all her heart that some day they could see the light. Her great strength came from a wellspring of goodness in all its aspects. The strength in goodness is that it could see the tiny glimmer of light suppressed in every dark being and the weakness of evil is that it cannot.

The threat that they now faced knows no alignment. The power of the Null does not discriminate between the forces of good and evil and so forces all over the world stand side by side to fight for its very existence. She was determined to do her part to help those people who so faithfully kept her alive all this time. She knew that this time would be a large turning point in the world’s life. It would require love and hope, blood and sacrifice, and ultimately some very, very hard decisions...  

Fiona Awake



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