I was going through my notes for Ashborne and stumbled across something special–the scribbled notes of an old man. They are special because they tell the tale that wasn’t told. A tale of doubt and anguish. A tale of grief.
And a tale of survival.
You may cry. You may cheer. In the end, I ask only that you remember Jakob. Remember his tale and the lives of those he saved. For it is Jakob who ultimately changes the course of history for Sarond.
Over the course of the next few months, I will be uploading these scribbled notes here. In the meantime, an introduction is in order.
Excerpt from Ashborne: The First Chronicle
She scrubbed her hand on her robes. Time to end this charade.
“I’m afraid there is little more I can do,” she said to the man shadowing her. “Despite our best effort, whatever poison runs through them does not respond to our magic, and the number of wounded increase daily. We’re simply stretched too thin.” Riatha stepped around a sleeping woman who lay with a small child snuggled close to her bosom. Mud and vomit coated their ragged clothes. Raw wounds the size of small oysters on the mother’s neck rose and fell as if breathing with a life of their own. “I know they need us, Brother, but I must rest,” Riatha said.
Jakob Borchain, one of the Cardinal Priests of the Temple of Seven Sisters, nodded and led her calmly to the exit. Once outside the main hall, he paused. “Twice we have weathered this outbreak together here in Aramas. I was but a child, but I remember you all those years ago. You glided through these same halls, your silver gown shimmering in the wan light. I thought you were an angel, answering our prayers – answering my own desperate pleas.” Jakob flashed her a tired smile. “A boy’s fantasies.”
Riatha was shocked. The priest had a remarkable memory for a human. “That’s right,” she said. “How many years ago was that? Fifty?”
“Almost seventy,” he corrected. “Now, as in those days, the lack of angels is noticeable. Some of my brethren disagree, but I contend it is periods of darkness that shape our lives. Both my parents died in that outbreak and by divine providence I was led here, to the Temple of the Seven Sisters. I have never left.” He shrugged and Riatha got the impression he was trying to convince himself all over again that he accepted his fate.
“I am content with my lot in life,” he continued, “but my heart bleeds for those experiencing the same fate. This disease leaves too many orphans in its wake, and I fear the situation will only continue to worsen. As you have noticed, the plague spreads, while we who toil to offer relief become fewer. This vicious cycle will have disastrous results. All we can do is continue to beseech the Sisters for mercy. Perhaps soon, they will hear our cries. Our people will be healed and our city will thrive once more.”