This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Amon laughed out loud at that accusation. “A Scion? I doubt the Scions would want much to do with the likes of me. Or, if they did, it probably wouldn’t be wholesome for me.”
The bard grinned widely and motioned with a sweep of his arms.
“You discount Mor Dhona too soon and too easily, my dear. It holds a wealth of ancient magic, secrets to the minds of modern man… but directly connected to ones such as you and I. Did those in Gridania never speak to you of the Tower that slumbers among the crystals there? It wouldn’t surprise me if they did not.”
Amon’s mask hid the sly side-glance.
“Even though ‘tis a place linked to your blood by birth.”
“Who hasn’t heard of the stories of the evil creatures of the crystal tower, Amon?” Scylla recounted as she kicked some of the shaded piles of snow. “The civilization of the Allag… and how they were so terrible, that they blotted themselves out from the pages of history.”
Scylla threw her traveling coat over her shoulders as the wind grew brisk along the ascending trail. She was shivering, but not all together from the cold.
“The Allagans were monsters.” The girl opened her palms as if reading an invisible script. “The tales say that the Warrior of Light explored the halls, and only found monsters and rabid beasts… nothing of treasure… or any living intelligible creatures.”
The girl shook her head.
“Besides, the tales say that the Warrior of Light sealed the tower away for all time.”
Amon was stricken wordless, uncertain how to direct the conversation after such a turn. If that’s truly what she believed, the information she’d been fed, continuing to share the truth would only turn her away.
“Mmm… is that truly what they say of Allag? Is that what you believe without looking for the answers yourself?”
He sighed softly.
“The stories are but one-sided, my dear. Surely, not all Allagans were monsters. There had to be citizens… innocents… just like any Empire would hold,” Amon spoke somberly, spreading his hands conversationally. “Perhaps there was corruption, but perhaps there was more than what history wants you to believe. It couldn’t have been all bad. And if harnessed properly, the relics left behind could be a boon rather than a threat.”
The Elezen tossed out a line of thoughts, shrugging off snow that desired to nestle in the crook of his hat.
Troubled thoughts started to brew in Scylla’s mind.
What is he trying to say? The tales say that every last one of them were corrupted by evil. Worse than any beastman nation.
Allagans were fairy-tale creatures of a lost time. Many frustrated parents would tell stories to naughty children of the ghosts of the Crystal Tower that would wander about.
Does he believe that he is one of them? The tales said that they stood like exaggeratedly tall ogres… with multiple heads and great fangs and teeth.
She walked quietly, eyes furrowed, trying to reason to herself why this Amon, this bard used such defensive words about a long-lost mythical nation.
He’s tall, and his table manners can be a bit off, but he’s not one of them.
She pulled her coat tightly around her chest as the snow started to lightly float from the clouded sky.
It’s not possible!
A pit formed in her stomach. The same pit that moved her to start on this senseless journey in the first place.
I keep telling myself that this isn’t true… That he’s completely insane!
She took a quick glance to the rolled-up map at her side. Fallgoard Float was less than a day’s journey away, and a caravan could have her home to the Conjurer’s Glade in Gridania a day more than that. The broken-down bard could surely not stop her from turning around and doing the sensical thing.
Why am I doing this? What is compelling me to follow something so crazy?
Yet, she continued to another foot forward, as if compelled by an enchantment that she could not quite understand. Even the most powerful wave of homesickness could not stop her journey onward.
But what if…
The question slipped from her mouth so suddenly, that she could not believe that she asked it.
“Amon, do you believe that you are an Allagan?”