I have not yet left for Bastok. Since the events in Giddeus, I can not bring myself to leave Windurst until I set things right with Kegnia. Unfortunately, I have not seen him since that fateful day. I suspect he left Windy to get away from the thing that I have become.
I've spent the last several weeks running various errands for the citizens of Windurst in the hopes that Kegnia would return and I could somehow show him I still had some goodness inside me. Truth be told, I actually found Windurst somewhat calming. Even as frustrating as the meandering walkways could be at times, I learned to listen to the gentle lapping of the water, the rustling of the leaves, and the joyful sounds of the Tarutaru. While it still took copious amounts of the local drink to help me sleep at night, my days were filled with a peace I had not felt in a long time.
Perhaps it had something to do with the mundane tasks I was being asked to do. Some food for the Rhinostery researchers here, a certain special stone for the stew pot there, and various other tasks much the same in nature. It was a nice change of pace compared to facing constant danger in the wild, but I knew I would tire of it eventually.
It was during one of these errands (I was gathering Crawler Calculus in Saurtabaruta) when I happened upon an unlikely pair of Humes. One, a talkative fellow and the older of the two, had the strangest accent I had ever heard. He kept saying "Bloody this" and "Bloody that" on nearly every subject known to man. And I had thought Rangers were the quiet type. Perhaps this was the norm for where he hailed from.
The other was barely more then a boy, yet I could see in his eyes that tragedy had befallen him at an early age and he had grown up quickly. I could tell he had already lived a lifetime while others his age were barely leaving the nest. It was evident that his profession of choice was a Bard from the harp and flute slung across his back. That's why his quiet demeanor struck me as very odd. He rarely said much and when he did, it was only to inject something of importance or interest into the conversation. Not your typical Bard.
Yes, Jafar and Arcrin made an unlikely pair of friends. But I found myself taking a liking to the two. We spent the rest of the afternoon together and I was grateful for their company. While I may have been surrounded by people during my time spent in Windurst, I felt very alone. The few friends I did have either were busy with their own affairs or actively trying to stay away from me. I felt my spirits lift being around the two humes. Having some companionship and friendly conversation was a nice change of pace.
The day was coming to a close, so we headed back to Windy for a meal and a drink. We spent the evening telling each other tall tales of our adventures. I talked about some my more joyful times rather then the most recent events. By the time we bid each other good night, I could tell deep friendships were beginning to develop and that I would see the two of them again. That is assuming I would live long enough to find a way to bring my hate under control.
The next day, as luck would have it, I came upon Kensu at the Auction House. We said our pleasantries to one another and then he turned more somber. He mentioned that Kegnia had told him what happened in Giddeus and asked if I had visited Gumbah yet. I explained that I had not yet returned to Bastok and that my shame of the events in Giddeus have kept me here, waiting for Kegnia to return so that I might have a chance to talk to him.
Kensu said that Kegnia had journeyed to Windurst with him but was still very much shaken about what had happened. He went on to state that Kegnia would likely not want to talk right now and that I should make haste for Bastok if there was any chance to salvage the relationship. I told Kensu that I would go to Bastok as soon as I completed one final task for the School of Magic in Windurst. Unfortunately, it would involve a risky foray into the Inner Horutoto Ruins.
I explained that there was a gate that needed all three of us mages in order to pass. Kensu said he knew where I spoke of and agreed that it would be very dangerous for me. Reluctantly he decided to help and said that he would convince Kegnia to join us but that I was to leave immediately for Bastok as soon as I fulfilled this obligation.
I was thrilled that we would be adventuring together again but took Kensu's advice to heart. As soon as this task was complete I would set out for Bastok. After making final preparations, I met the two Taru's outside the city gates.
Kegnia was very aloof and I didn't blame him for it. Kensu had little to say as well and I'm sure he felt caught in the middle of this uneasiness. Needless to say, it was a quiet journey to the ruins.
Once we arrived at the entrance to the ruins Kensu handed out some orders to me. He said "Stick together, do not engage any fiends, and for the love of the Star Sybil keep things under control!" I nodded my head in agreement as I knew exactly what he meant.
Traveling through the underground ruins was not very difficult. With these two experienced Taru by my side we made it to the "Mages Gate" in little time. We each took a spot according to our arcana affiliation. Kensu on white, Kegnia on red, and myself on black. I could feel rather then hear the sound emanating from the door before us and suddenly each of the three arcana colors sprang from the symbols at our feet and shot towards the door. There they merged and unlocked the magical seal that allowed the door to open and permit us passage to the deeper warrens of the ruins.
A few hundred paces past the gate and we ran smack into our prey, Wendigos. These fey creatures were powerful magicked bones and I could almost smell the stench of death upon them.
Once again Kensu told me to hold back as he and Kegnia would dispatch them until we found what we were looking for. I complied, yet I could feel the dark energy all around and my hate began to boil within me.
Kensu and Kegnia had been battling the undead for the better part of an hour and I had been struggling to maintain control the whole time. At that very moment the Tarus let out a joyous "Hurray!" as they had found what we were after. As Kensu turned toward me I was barely able to mutter a strained "Help!"ť before the darkness began to overtake me.
As my control was slipping and the blackness was enveloping me, I saw Kensu rear back with his staff and swing towards me with all his might. The darkness overtook me and I all sense of reason was gone. The only thing that existed for me now was my hate and the only reason it allowed me to exist was to feed it. I didnâ€™t know what happened in the next few moments and moreover, I didn't care. My hate had been unleashed, hate for my brother, hate for the hand destiny had dealt me, and hate for myself. I was exploding and anything in my path would be obliterated.
It was only later, as I was lying in the grass outside the ruins that I learned Kensu's staff had landed squarely on my forehead and brought me to my knees. This had given him just enough time to finish casting a powerful Banish spell before the darkness had erupted out of my being. This had saved their lives and probably mine as well. I was indebted to them again.
As I looked around, I could not find Kegnia and I was sorrowful once more. He had left as soon as we were outside in order to get away from me. I feared I might never see him again.
Kensu said little to me as he escorted me back to Windurst. We completed the errand and then he began casting a teleport spell. We arrived at the Sire of Dem in the Konschtat Highlands. He turned to me a said, "Go to Bastok and talk to Gumbah now. If you do not, we will never speak again." Then he disappeared through a warp hole as fast as we had come.
My heart was heavy as I began my trek to Bastok. These two Taru had befriended me and stood beside me for so long. I can't believe that I had become such a monster. To think that I had lost all control and nearly killed us all with no regard for their fate much less my own. What had I become and what was to become of me? I truly hoped that this Gumbah would provide me some answers.