Kodal left dinner with burden in his heart, and pork hog in his stomach.

Burden of responsibility, battles ahead, and of hurt feet; Oh the hurt feet was something he would enjoy. But he knew it would be the least of his problems.

Kodal was upstairs in his private quarters, scouring what little he could find to fill his rucksack; be it clothing, blankets, or even lantern oil. He felt no time was to be wasted and chose to spend possible sleeping hours with preparation.

Through this, he couldn’t help but drift off out of focus, and gaze around his bedroom. It was very spacious, and heavily decorated with red and gold drapery, falling graciously from the marble walls. The large fireplace lay lit, with several bier gold figures and relics on its mantelpiece.

Above the fireplace was the same ancient painted portrait of the first goddess Ehs, her long red hair cascading down her armoured shoulders. She wore elegant royal attire, and wielded her gold and jewel encrusted sceptre.

She was accompanied by one of the fabled descendants of the divinities. This one was a rather bulky fellow, his body heavy with deformities of earth, mud and rock. His hands mimicked that of octopi, three tentacles on each hand behaving like fingers. Trunk legs were the only thing keeping his hulking figure upright. And the thing that was most compelling was his faceless head. As if fire was painted over his chin, they were waved, forming a full beard. The only thing that resembled mortality was his eyes, and even they weren’t human. They were yellow as the sun, and burnt just as brightly.

Even though the painting was across the room, he could still read the title. His had seen it so many times; it was imprinted into his memory anyway. On the golden plaque, it read ‘Our mothers and protectors, forever in our hearts’

Kodal chuckled a little at this. He knew from personal experience that it is so easy for people to forget. To forget deeds that was done for the greater good of all. But it is just a painting, it alone cannot spark life back into a dying society.

‘It’s hard to believe that these two are my kin.’ Kodal thought to himself. His eyes then laid on the satchel given to him this noon. It had an aura surrounding it that he could not explain. It felt almost warm in his gaze.

A knock on the door broke Kodal of his routine. "Enter." He ordered.

"Tis me, M’lord." Spoke a winded Hisma. It was clear that those stairs would be the death of him.

Kodal welcomed his loyal friend with a warm smile, but it grew serious when he saw Hisma’s face, painted with guilt.

"M’lord," Hisma heaved a sigh "I have to tell you a matter of great importance."

Kodal gave him a nod of acknowledgment "Go ahead, I’m all ears."

"It involves your fathers diary...and how it came into my possession."

The End

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