Petros sat on the ground, his watch close to ending. He was happy. The last two days had been a whirlwind of dire magics, strange lands, and dark prophecies. It was invigorating.
Ariyra came to relieve him of his watch. Ariyra was direct and competent. They compared quite favorably to the occasional aloof druid he had met back on the isles.
His mind turned to each of his companions . Reynard’s enthusiasm was infectious. He was reckless and earnest and quite likable. Besides, the way he had effortlessly disarmed Thia and stolen her sword was quite impressive. The fox had skill.
Vindis, well, Vindis was arrogant, intelligent, controlled, passionate. Vindis shared little of himself, yet he demanded answers from the people he met. He was prideful, but not too arrogant to turn down help when Petros visited his flower shop. Petros found himself liking the man, despite his secrets, despite his arrogance, and despite the dangers Vindis might present.
And what of Vindis’ companion? Sabiya? She was an unknown. She might also be dangerous. He had barely been able to follow her movements during the trial of stealth. She had an almost unnatural grace and was clearly skilled with a blade. He resolved to keep an eye on her. He was normally quite good at finding hidden things, but he knew that if she decided to stab him in the back he’d be lucky to escape alive.
Still he was content. He fell asleep with a smile on his face. As he slept, he dreamed.
He was on the boat from Tragodia. He was finishing up the ritual of departure, asking Dolora’s mercy for the voyage ahead. The sea was calm, a slightly darker shade of pink than normal. The sky was an extra beautiful yellow today, and the ocean breeze smelled wonderfully of rabbits.
In his room, he smiled at his shield. He had always liked the whirlpool symbol of Dolora. His eyes followed the bloody swirls to the crimson center as they’d done a thousand times before. He took out his scythe and tapped it absentmindedly against the floor. Wielding a weapon was a skill that had not come easily to him, and he worked hard to maintain it. As he swung the scythe in swift, practiced motions, he thought of home.
Petros glided through the pink waters of his homeland. He caught up to Agapios, splashed him, briefly traced a hand over the muscles of his arm. Petros took a deep breath and dived. He went further, further, further down. The water parted for him – it was as easy as falling from the sky. His lungs ached for air. He felt as if he would burst, and still he dived. He dived until all was dark.
Petros woke refreshed. He eyed his shield, propped up next to his armor. His eyes traced the blue, green, and white swirls of the symbol of Dolora as they had a thousand times before. He thought he could smell the sea, and a brief image of the crystal blue waters of home flitted through his mind. With a laugh, he took out his rations and got ready for the new day.