77th day of Harvest, Eastern Sea

It didn’t rain after all. The wind picked up during the night, though, and blew so hard that the ship started groaning. I thought the captain would like the abundance of wind; I was somewhat confused when he sent sailors stumbling around the shuddering ship’s deck and scrambling up the rigging with the task of taking the sails halfway up. But the measures seemed to soothe the lamentations of the ship.

Cedric trains every day. He spars with Beren when he can, strategizes with anyone nearby, writes letters, reads scrolls or maps. Today I sparred with him. I’ve never been that confident with a sword on firm ground, and fighting on the deck of a swaying ship made balance even more challenging. But I must practice! Even though swordplay will be little use against dragons, there are sure to be lurkers and Sharaglin to drive out.

Much will be different in the four kingdoms. How many of the people that chose to stay have survived? Have the Sharaglin occupied our forts and cities, or have they ignored them? Looted them? I cannot say I look forward to seeing the destruction and death we brought upon our homes and kinsmen by abandoning everything in our exodus. Perhaps only a few people remained, but certainly some did.

The crimson sunset in the west looked like blood-tinted flames, and tendrils of the sunset colors crept from cloud to cloud in the evening sky until all the horizon for miles to either side of the sun seemed ablaze. But Cedric had a different mind: “Ah, lad, see that? It’s absolutely glorious. The golden glow of hope wreathes the kingdoms,” he said.

Well, two can play at hoping. The Maker has brought me this far in what some would call a fool’s errand. An orphan king. Perhaps some would even call me a gypsy king. I’ve managed to save my people, thanks to Cedric and the Ridire de Gaelac, but running was likely much easier than purging the kingdoms will be.