I was here.
It was a grand hall, one filled with dusty red carpets and a glassy roof. Even in dismay it was beautiful. The stone walls had collapsed in some spots and the glass was cracked, letting in the chill from the snowy surroundings. Plants sprouted from between the cracks in the floors and mingled with ice and snow. The blues and purples of the early morning sky cast themselves into the building. Even though it was freezing, there was a warmth cast around this place, as if it held many memories and the laughter of men even to this day. A burnt out oil lamp above spoke of long nights and cool days.
I spotted several misty figures out of the corners of my eyes but by the time I turned to see them, they had vanished. It left me to wonder if they were really there. I assumed that it may have been ghosts and powered my wand just in case of an attack. I didn’t feel threatened at all by them but I kept my guard up.
Behind me was a door where the walls had caved in on it, leaving no escape that I could see. I wouldn’t dare climb the rubble lest it be unstable and fall on me. I could see why they began using portal stones to get here. I held the one in my hand tightly and the residue heat from it warmed my hand. I was finally here. My body and mind felt numb with all the thoughts pouring through my head. Excitement filled me to the brim and at the same time I felt dread for what was ahead of me. I shook my head and tried to clear my mind of such thoughts. Instead, I kept my attention on the room around me.
The right of me housed a pair of chests. I eagerly ran to them, the dusty gold shimmering under the light refracted from the icy glass above. I ran my hand across before attempting to open it. It was locked. Of course it was locked. Seemingly, many others had once tried to break in as well. Broken lock picks littered the ground around them and broken knife tips had fallen on every side. The chest must have been impossible to break open. Above the keyhole was engraved “Xunlai”. I stood back up and faced to the only way left to go.
The room I was currently in was mostly empty, save from the occasional animal moving through the hall. I followed the worn and dusty red carpet and It lead me to a beautiful room. This room, too, was in a state of decay but it was artistically so. Ivy hung from the walls and grass grew from the floor in between any crack that it could. In the center was a large pool of water filled with cattails, algae, and a single lily pad.
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring finding in this room was what the stages lining the walls bore. Statues of pets and weapons mounted on racks stood upon a few of these stages. Some had been completely destroyed, others still stood, but just barely. What interested me the most was a statue of my former self and the plaques beside it.
She seemed so different from me. Her eyes were serious and her stance was confident. This different me was beautiful. I stared into the larger than life statue which had stood so solid for centuries and envied the strength. Her hair was pulled up just as I had worn mine before the beginning of this journey and skin as pale as my own. She was adorned in the fine armor that I was eventually found with, though it had become unusable.
The plaques next to her told me who she was and I knew that it couldn’t be me.
–Alucardalina Claire: Grandmaster Tyrian Cartographer. Aided in the mapping of Tyria as of 1075 AE.
Canthan Master Cartographer. Added insightful ideas in aid of mapping Cantha.
Elonian Pathfinder. Traveler of Elona who gave tips to cartographers in aid of mapping Elona.
Ally of the Kurzicks
Protector of Tyria. Helped to defend Tyria in a time of crisis.–
It had my name on it, my very name. I looked into the pool of water at my face and back to the determined stone face of the statue. We were the same and yet so different. Tears rolled from my eyes as I realized that my memories were not going to come back from this experience. I could only stare into this room and see who I used to be. And yet, part of me was relieved. I didn’t want to change into something else even if I envied it. I dropped to my knees and continued to stare at the accomplishments of the past me. Whispers echoed around me and It was hard to make out what they were saying. In case these ghosts were planning an attack, I stood up and readied myself for battle once more.
I turned as the whispers moved about the room, trying to follow them or at least make the words out. Some were soft, others were practically screams.
“-the sanitarium is south-west from here.”
“We need to use…. It’ll stop him from getting any clo….”
What were they going on about?
“You can find her in Wizard’s…”
“Rin has fallen!”
They continued and I could only make a few out.
“I didn’t leave! You have to believe me!”
“Where am I? What happened?”
“I’m on an adventure of sorts…”
“Please! Please make it stop!”
The voices were garbled and too soft to make out who they were. I was positive that they were disembodied and could not harm me, though. I let my wand rest and walked around, inspecting each stage as I listened to the whispers. Upon making it to the weapons, I picked up a wand and tried to power it up. Nothing happened. After so long, it was probably too old to work. I touched each and every weapon that didn’t sit underneath rubble, trying to find some sort of connection through them. The only one that seemed to work was a staff, taller than me and decorated with crystallized fire. Gold rings decorated the black handle and it warmed up in my palm. Something about it just seemed right in my hands. I latched it carefully to my backpack and continued inspecting the room.
In the midst of the other statues, I found the fallen ruins of a stone stalker cat. It was the very same as the one I had found in my dream. She had to have died a long time ago and know that made me feel even more upset. There was definitely a feeling of attachment that had survived the amnesia. I pet the remains of the statue gently and choked back more tears. How many more people did I outlive that I cared about?
“I didn’t mean to!”
“I can fix it.”
“No, please! Spare me!”
The whispers were ringing through my ears, steadily growing louder and louder. I tried to block them out but they wouldn’t cease.
“You’re going to be alright, just… just hang in there.”
“Why couldn’t it have been me?”
“I wasn’t supposed to live through this. I don’t think I will.”
The voices kept ringing through my ears. I couldn’t get rid of it and they only grew louder until I couldn’t take it anymore. There was pain in the voices, a pain I couldn’t tolerate. My entire body shook as this sense of familiarity continued to rush over me. I closed my hand around the stone and tried to concentrate on getting out. As I let the feeling spread through me again and felt myself submerging, I heard but one last whisper.
“I can show you the way.”
It only stood out because I could actually tell who had said it. It was, in fact, my own voice.
I fell to the floor of the asuras’ building, visibly shaking. I felt large hands picking me up and at first I thought it had to have been Ragnvaldr, but for once it was Angel who had made it to me first. She carried me to a chair, still covered in cinders, and sat me down.
Her voice was calm and different, “It’s a lot to take in at first, isn’t it?”
I thrust the stone into her hand, “Please, go back and see it! Tell me you can hear the voices!”
“I’ve already heard them. My voice. It started out as a whisper.” Angel put the rock onto a table and sat down beside me.
Ragnvaldr made his way to me as well, his face full of concern. He placed his hand on my shoulder and sat on the other side of me. Tobih joined as well and helped me out of my coat. From there, he began using his magic to heal the cut on my arm from earlier. I had forgotten about it; he must have been really worried. Their caring faces helped to calm me a little.
“We won’t know what you saw there, only you can tell us. The room only reacts to the person who traveled there.” Angel stared into my eyes, digging into my very soul with her own. “You don’t look any different, shaken up as usual, but not different… You haven’t got your memories back.”
I shook my head, “The person was completely different from me… She was successful, an adventurer. It couldn’t have been me.”
“I agree that you’re pretty much a failure,” She nodded, “But that was definitely you.”
“What now?” Ragnvaldr asked from behind me. Honestly, I had no clue where to go now that I had found out who I was. It was possible that I would never get my memories back.