It has been so long since I have had to write anything down. I should have started this when I left my homeland, instead of here in this city of tears. I will write what I remember, as best that I can, in case this is all that ever returns to my home.
You all know of the trip to Balic so I will spare you the trials I faced reaching there; the months spent wandering north across the endless dunes to the edge of the Sea of Silt. I crossed it through the tunnels at the Smuggler’s Rest, onto Balic. There I served years in Legionary service, learning the discipline of war from the humans & giants there. They looked down on me constantly, their egos too weak to see past my pointed ears & tall thin frame.
But I won the trust of my direct superiors & those serving with me through control of situations & by acting in the best interest of the group. Eventually I was voted to the rank of Praetor. I noticed a shift then, in the way I was treated. Hushed tones were used more frequently. I felt less comfortable then but it felt right to be able to serve as an honest arbiter during disputes.
Eventually Kalak’s minions came to Balic & demanded tribute to their slave horde. I volunteered to spare my friends in the service. I knew I could stand the trip & the hardship one would face better than they would. I should have realized the integrity of the Balic system of government was not universal to the rest of the sands of Athas.
The trip from Balic to Tyr was nothing but long, hot & arduous. We were given so little water, & no chance to — evenly briefly — escape the throng. I hid my ice, barely making any per day, & then only allowing it to melt inside my water skin or under my tongue.
I spent most of my time herding the weaker slaves. One of the Templars took notice of my help, & despite my diminutive status as a Praetor, he offered me service under him. Cautiously I accepted.
He returned the basic items of our house, my cloak of office & clothing & presented me with a Master’s Whip to punish the slaves. I used it sparingly but with great effect, relying on the stronger slaves to help keep the weaker ones in line & punishing those to cruel for the responsibility. It’s fine craftsmanship allowed for powerful displays that ended if dramatic but not destructive pain. I hope.
I begged him, my Templar, to retrieve the confiscated badges of our house from the treasure to be presented to Kalak. Eventually he saw their importance to me & offered to indenture me further to him once we reached Tyr if he were able to secure their safety. I accepted. I hope it was the right choice but I could not bear their falling into the possession of that Tyrant-lord.
We travelled north. & north. Through Glamis & Ledo. Then to Thamo. To Altaruk, then Skonz. Then to Tyr. & into the city of tears.