The elf’s words were cold, but familiar. “This isn’t for you.” I know that I should I have held my tongue. It’s an elf afterall. Still, I couldn’t help myself and snapped back a hasty, “What is there for me then?” His silence was deafening. It was all I’ve ever been met with whenever that question had escaped my lips.
He’s right, the curse will be broken with Telk, It’s not safe to write here, but I have a plan. I knew it was beyond stupid to let myself feel anything beyond partnership for the sake of work. Caring for people almost always means that they will leave, or abandon me. Yet in the face of being told that he was Bertolin’s familiar, he just leaned into me and said he knew that I would find a way to do it, and end all of this. Then he tried to extract a promise that I would do what needed to be done, as if it didn’t matter that it could mean his death.
When I told him of the conversation with the elf, he announced that I belonged where ever he did, as if he could just change Ambria with his very word. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we have a place that we can go unmasked, where we are free to be changelings without fear that someone will hurl insults or treat us no better than property.
The most curious thing was the fact that the elf almost seemed relieved that Glennis had broken the crystal. It makes me want to find another, and take the crystal with us… perhaps we could find what happened here after all, damn anyone who says it isn’t for me to know.
If I wasn’t good enough to stay with the elves when I was born, then they no longer get to dictate what it is that is for me. I’m not human enough to be treated like one, and I’m not elven enough to be one of them, so I’ll be comfortably neither and live by neither rules. I’ll live by my own, and right now the only thing that matters is breaking that curse so that Telk isn’t Bertolin’s slave, so that he isn’t anyone’s slave.
Something I should keep track of here, just so it’s said. I feel my own corruption growing. Telk sees it because he’s warned me not to use magic, but there’s one way I can promise he’ll live, and that’s magic, so there’s very little he can say to stop me. If he dies it won’t matter to him what happens to me anyway. And really, maybe that’s what happens to all changelings. Magic has a price, we are creatures of magic. Maybe in the end, we’re all bound to become abominations.
The only thing I know for certain is that if we are going to test our theory, we need to do it before we go into the dark. Magic has a way of going wrong there, and weighing heavier penalties on it’s use.
(There are several words written at the bottom in badly written Symbar, it is a loose replica of the words that had been on the headstone they’d found in the tunnel. “It’s always darkest before dawn.”)