Lynch’s Journal #146
I feel as empty as Randle Dundragon and Braun’s caskets. Even the calm, rhythmic pattern of Amara’s chest as she slept did not ease my mind. After everything myself and the others have discovered, my love is the one thing that should bring me peace but does not.
As we eat breakfast she is all smiles. I am forced to lie and offer one in return. It is no different than the lies I have told upon my return. It is proof that the harsh lesson is true. It is one that is quickly becoming natural to myself like pulling a blade from my sheath.
Sometimes lies are needed to keep the peace and protect those we care about.
I am relieved at the knock on the door. Not sensing any danger due to the musical beat of it, I call out for the unexpected guest to enter.
Princess Frost waltz in, inhaling the aroma of sausage and eggs before greeting Amara with a hug. They rapidly chatter like chipmunks over the garments the dress designer had given her for the celebration last night. As they do, my love motions for her to sit, offering some of our breakfast which she delightfully does before the sentence is finish.
It is obvious that something is amiss. Lithia would never come to my home for any reason. The sorceress would relay any information once you came to her despite its importance.
Leaning forward on the table, I stare into my hot coffee and ask what is wrong. Having gain no manners since her marriage into royalty, she speaks with a mouth full of breakfast to tell me it is too important for anyone else to hear.
Now that strikes me odd.
Amara looks at me with concern as my eyes dart to her. Just like yesterday upon my return, the face furrows knowing I must leave. I can only be grateful that she understands and accepts why. With that I motion for Lithia to speak, informing my friends that whatever informations she has that my love can be trusted.
The eyes of the princess narrow, a look that is all too common when she is fed up with Amon when he does not listen. She repeats herself, this time a bit more forcefully. With a deep sigh, I push myself from the table to get my armor and gear.
The sorceress makes no move to finish breakfast as silence fills my home.
Moments later Lithia is back to her chipper self much like she was when knocking on the door. Nothing seems amiss, she offers no dire news. Realizing my friend is waiting for me to speak first, a game she enjoys playing, I question why she needed me.
A huge smile spreads across her face. Without missing a beat, she pulls a small, wooden box from the folds of her robe. The grin tells me all I need to know. As I take it she continues on the to the Last Tavern on the Left, motioning for me to make haste so we can return to Mirabar.
Fear, worse than I have ever known, keeps me frozen in place. My eyes dare not look away from the small box. With all my strength and courage I cannot bring myself to open it.
Running to catch up to Lithia, I furiously ask her why she is doing this. Why is she giving me this wedding ring? Tripping over my words as they vomit out of my mouth, I repeat myself not once, not twice, but three times. I have never asked Amara for her hand in marriage.
Princess Frost does not even look at me as we continue to walk to the tavern to meet up with her husband, Balasar and Vax. She maintains the smile on her face during my ranting. After repeating the questions of why, Lithia finally answer.
When Amara gave her the dress with no charge due to their friendship, she asked my love what she wanted.
The answer was for me to ask for her hand in marriage.
My eyes grow wide at the revelation. There is no doubt about the love between us. I would willing die for Amara. After this divine war ends, my plans were to give up my life of the blade and justice to settle in Red Larch with her. I had even dare to believe I would buy a ring myself. Now I am faced with the fact that she, too, wants this.
Then why am I so scared of Lithia’s gift?
At the Last Tavern I pay no attention to the planning between my four allies as I ponder the possibility of what Prince Frost has laid before me. I find myself sliding my hand into my pouch to remove the ring and roll it across my fingers. Its delicate touch terrifies me to my core but yet the reason as to why does not come to me.
With whatever plan being agreed upon, we head for our horses to ride North. Before doing so I stop by the Growing Blossom to give my goodbyes to Amara. In her eyes I see the worry and it hurts me. Answering it with a sigh of regret, my love kisses me one last time to reassure me she knows I will return.
But I cannot help but feel that is not the case. This war between The Raven Queen, Orcus and Vecna is far beyond battling Novak and The Restless Hand. These entities could do more than lay siege to Icewall, with ease they could destroy such a fortified castle. I fear worse will befall us if we are to do battle with them.
This is why I cannot give her the ring. I cannot uphold vows to my love at this time, maybe not ever. My guts tells me that my end will come during this war. It is something I willingly except. What I cannot except is a promise of marriage knowing that I feel my death approaching.
That is why I hide the ring where Amara will never find it and brand myself a coward.