[This entry is the 87th in this particular diary. It is only within the last three months that the entries have been written in Aklo rather than Common]
I cannot sleep and the hairs on my arms have stood up on end since we set foot in these forests. Be it for excitement or nervousness I cannot be sure, likely a bit of both. As we embarked this afternoon I carried with me a lump in the pit of my stomach, a feeling which at the time I believed to be uncertainty that this was my fated path. Now I am sure more than ever that this is where I need to be. I should explain:
It happened again just as it did last night, the night before The Calling. Even in the meager single hour of sleep I had just earlier, I had the same dream that has been recurring for some months now. There is no light, no noise. It has hard to discern where I am, and then suddenly a beam of light (perhaps sunlight? It does not matter) shines brightly, revealing a crude path within a forest (I have come to the conclusion that it is much unlike this one) the shadowed silhouettes of ancient and grand willows surrounding me and out a great distance from me a shadow even more grand than these trees, though I cannot tell what it is. The path seems to lead toward it and I am overwhelmed with the urge to follow it. These dreams, while puzzling, have never given me discomfort. In fact, they feel… right? Be it premonition or symbolism of my path toward my destiny, I do not know, but I like to think it doesn’t matter. And this very night, finally a breakthrough! One that has settled my stomach but quickened my heart. Tonight for the first time in this dream… I took a single step forward toward the shadow in the distance. It can only mean that this is where I am meant to be. Before tonight I was so sure the increase in the recurrence of this dream was because I would surely be chosen today at The Calling. For whatever reason, it seems fate requires this adventure first. And then after… a more secure ticket into the Academy. I shall not question it.
Even without this dream or this impromptu adventure the day has been quite trying for me. I awoke to the day I have been waiting for nearly my entire life only for the world to seemingly turn upside down. A guard sent on a mission of importance in this forest returned spewing spiders from his mouth, spiders which spread onto people in line and at the tables for The Calling. Never have I nor my parents seen anything like this in Embrille! While I and others were able to finally gain control of the situation, it was not without loss of life. Whatever this evil may be, I cannot allow for this or worse to happen again to my hometown, or gods forbid, to my parents.
And so here I find myself on an actual adventure to find what has caused this and rid the world of it. It’s all rather surreal, truthfully. I had imagined I’d either be on my way to the Academy or weeping in my pillow after being rejected. Admittedly I think I may like this scenario better than those two, yes, even over immediate acceptance into the Academy.
I am accompanied by the unlikeliest of people, but then isn’t that how all adventures begin? There’s the Dwarf who quite literally chopped the cursed man in half. Morbid as it was, the brave action made me gain an immediate respect for the peculiar man. I feel safer knowing he is here. He seems to have made an immediate bond with another man I have never seen in town. He is well spoken, enjoys joking… but I find his questions to feel often times more like prying. Still he is a man of great knowledge, I am eager to be the one asking him questions, for I have so many. There is a man here who I could have sworn casually tossed an arrow into the fray in town rather than shoot it, but he deems himself an archer. I can only hope he actually is, otherwise I am not yet sure what he brings to the group.
Then the Cleric…I dislike this elf. Actually I believe she is only half of one. I cannot judge, I hardly know what I am, but this is not my reason for my distaste in her. I had always imagined Clerics to always hold themselves with a measure of grace and selflessness, for this is how those I have seen in town act. This woman, however, seems keen on self preservation. Regardless, I know better than to make an enemy out of someone who could give me life.
But it is not the Cleric I worry about. This other woman and her…companion… I stop short of calling this companion elven for something about her does not sit well with me. The woman herself wields magic I am unfamiliar with even in study. What’s more, I get the feeling she is hiding something from us deliberately. I cannot deny that her abilities and those of this “Hanna” are strong, especially at such a young age, which makes me all the more worrisome. For her I have almost as many questions as for the well spoken man. I hope getting to know her will dispell my worries, for I find her abilities fascinating and am eager to learn more.
Percival has awoken and is eager to commune. Despite my lack of sleep I welcome this. I cannot wait to tell him of my dream and I have not gotten the chance to hear what he thinks of these people. I will no doubt have much to write about in the coming days.