[Excerpt from the personal Journal of Py Lethius] ... February 19th The sea is a place between the living and the dead. I've heard sailors speak of this, and they have the right of it. Not even the grim company of the few passengers and crew of this cursed ship is enough to make me feel more than a ghost, a wisp of smoke that is no man and nothing at all until I reach home. The candle that affords me the light to write these words flickers precariously, mirroring the grasp I hold on the experiences of my journey. As we draw closer to whatever life lies before me, these flicker and fade. Shadows of men I fought beside who fell, red images of war flaring and then falling into darkness. I must set down these words to make sense of the past year, make real my goal, make it believable in this endless sea. Perhaps it is to find purchase for my own existence, or to find validation for deserting my post, I know not. One thing for certain, I see not the future, not as surely as I once did. I was fey in that land, I see it now. I became as a wanderer in the wilds, seeking always what was missing, but I had forgotten what I was supposed to be looking for. I thought I had found it in the men of the north of that distant land, locked in endless battle with the hordes of evil, the brigands and raiders, and wicked wizards with dire beasts at their beckon. Theirs was a worthy struggle, though there was surely no end to it. Day in and day out, we fought, victory coming at times, though never with certainty. I found some kinship among the fighting men, for I fought alongside good men. Some were driven by strange spirits, but none were ones I recognized. Over the months, a hollow in my chest grew and the need to fill it drove me seeking further, stranger lands with customs and ways that resembled nothing I knew, and nothing did I find there. I became as the ghost I feel I am now, fighting and wandering alone. That time seemed interminable, but then something did happen. One day, just as once happened long ago, a dream came to me. I shall attempt to write it, though surely no words of men could compare it to the memory I still hold. A snowbound valley cradled by mountains, bathed in purple and grey and blue, the shadows of night growing. The dream-flight of the low flying eagle's eyes bring me before a tall tower. Its banners hang limp and no fires light it's hall. Desolate, discarded and forgotten. Upon the steps stands a woman, cloaked in black and her head hanging in despond. A broken piece of a crumbling battlement lies at her feet. She is speaking words I cannot hear. Coming closer, I see her face, a face I know. Tears stream down her face, but her eyes are steady... she raises her eyes and looks through me... the light in her eyes strikes through my hollow chest like an arrow of pure fire, fills my mind like a memory of glory days, of love. The light wracks me as a lightning strike, burns me and chills me, and then I hear the word she speaks. The lady in black speaks a single word into my soul, "Mithras". I try to cry out, reach out to take her hand, but the tower and valley slip from me as a stone dropped from a high bridge.. or was it I who was falling? The Knight's journey is the journey within, towards the self. I had sent men off on quests to find this very thing. I, who once held the secret, had lost it, had forgotten it somehow. There was no place I could go now except home, for Mithras was not in that far land. I had once put myself on the god's path, to be moved by his hand where he willed me go, and I would do the same again. Whether it was arrogance or folly, I had lost the path, but I would find it again. What I shall find when I arrive is not known to me, but I know now it is where he leads me.