Age of Awakening

Grippli Preservation Project - Entry Six

Entry Six

It’s ready. After weeks of preparation, the habitat is complete. Days of collecting samples of flora and fauna finally over. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to trap enough giant insects for a project this size? I opted for the nasty things to die in the cold, but my assistant insists they’re necessary to their ecosystem.

The first wave of Grippli have arrived. Thanks to our confederate, this former chief of theirs, we are well on our way to a sustainable breeding population. I’m still not sure exactly how Saria managed to trap them all within the span of a single night, but either way they seem oblivious to their new home.

Saria was able to make contact today, a bit too early if you ask me. The soft-hearted girl thought the poor creatures were in peril when faced with a dragonfly the size of a horse. The goal of this project is not to coddle the Grippli, but to elevate them! If they are ever to grow as a people, they’ll need to muster the courage to stand up against bigger foes than just some giant pest. At least she was met with kindness instead of poisoned spears.

I’ll continue to monitor their progress as we seek out more of their kin. Our time is running short, though. It grows colder by the day and the remaining Grippli won’t survive the coming weeks. My people may have doomed their existence, but at least I can give them a chance to live on…

Signed,
Vamir Neleththor
Grippli Preservation Project Curator

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Diary of Jhain

He knew he was dreaming. It was the same dream he had been having for the past few months. It was based on a favorite memory Jhain had. Just he and the master, training one on one. The training hall warmly illuminated by the morning sun, tinting everything with yellow rays.
It was silent, save for their movements on the floor and the shuffling of clothing. Master Ader had perfect form, moving with grace and power. Jhain followed along as he had done a thousand times before. He knew it was a dream, but it made him happy.

“I’m proud of you, Jhain.” Ader stopped mid form. “You’ve grown much stronger since I saw you last!” Jhain froze. This wasn’t right. That isn’t how the dream goes. “Master….?”
Ader laughed at Jhain’s confusion. He stopped performing and faced Jhain instead. “Show me just how much!” Confused and excited, Jhain bowed and took a defensive stance. Ader wasted no time with his assault, coming at Jhain with the ferocity of a man in his prime. Moving inside Jhain’s guard, Ader grappled with Jhain and threw him with ease over his hip. Landing with a hard thud, Jhain laid on the floor too confused to get up. Ader laughed and offered him a helping hand. “Looks like I’ve still got it!” Ader chuckled standing over Jhain. I see you’re wearing my wraps! How do you like them?" Jhain had never seen his master so healthy and cheerful before. Jhain reached for Master Ader’s hand and was shocked to see they were both wearing the same wraps. “I don’t understand…” Began Jhain.
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions. We don’t have much time today, however. Yes, I am dead.” A smile crossed his masters face as he saw Jhain look even more puzzled.
“We can continue your training here! I’ll teach you something tomorrow that should help us train together more often!” Jhain stood “Wait!” His master bowed to him the training hall grew bright with light until everything was drowned out by it.
Jhain sat up and looked at the training wraps on his hands. He had been too tired to take them off from the previous night of training. He removed them carefully and set them aside, sighing heavily. He dressed and washed his face, trying to make sense of the dream. He pushed the thoughts away as best he could. There were things he had to do today.

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Diary of Jhain
Part 2

Jhain extinguished the candle in his room and fell into the hammock that served as his bed. It had been a quiet day, something to be thankful for with how ‘adventurous’ life had been recently. Making sure the wraps were tight on his hands, he settled in unsure what would happen.

Sleep came quickly and with it, dreams. Jhain was in the stone gazebo, looking out over the ‘Clear Pond of Splashing Carp’ that was just outside the temple grounds. It was as beautiful as he remembered. The waterfall filled his ears and nostrils with memories. He closed his eyes; a smile crossing his lips as he felt something he hasn’t in a long time. Peace.

“You made it!” Startled, Jhain opened his eyes to see his master standing on the water with his hands clasped behind his back. “Part of me wondered if you’d make it back!”

There was a pregnant pause as Jhain took in the situation. “Is that truly you, Master? You’re dead…”

Ader laughed and waved a hand. “Death is but a door! I’ll teach you about that someday…but how about something simple today?”

Jhain stood dumbfounded. He took a couple cautious steps forward and paused. He had seen enough in his travels to know this could be an illusion or trick of some sort. His gut told him it was real. Tears welling up in his eyes, Jhain ran into the pond, fish darting away as he splashed his way to his master. Jhain wrapped his arms around his master’s legs as emotion took over. All the suffering and grieving he hadn’t been able to process gushed out at once. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there…” Allowing himself to sink into the water, Ader smiled like a parent watching their child cry.

“IwantedsomuchtotellyouabouteverythingthathashappenedtomeImetsomereallycoolpeopleandfoughtsomestrangecreaturesandundeadanddemonsandtherewadevenFurgasonetimeandthenthewholethingwithDi’ahandIblastedaslugcreatureintoanotherdimensionandmushroomsthatmadeusseestuff.” Jhain couldn’t decide where to start through all the emotion. After several minutes of crying, he was able to get ahold of himself. With puffy eyes he looked at his master. “I’m glad to see you too, Jhain.”

They sat on the edge of the gazebo with their feet in the water and Master Ader filled Jhain in on how he died. “After I ordered everyone to evacuate, I drew the attackers into the Middlestar Courtyard.” Ader licked his lips and grimaced as he relived the memory and shook his head. “So much senseless destruction…Di’ah and two of her associates followed me to the courtyard. I didn’t hear any more fighting, so I assumed this was all that remained of their fighting force.” Ader straightened himself and continued. “Di’ah went on for a bit about the power she had achieved before the other two attacked me.” There was a pause in the story. Jhain sat quietly, focused on his master’s words. “Their energy felt…dark. Chaotic. Chaos and destruction have their place. Balance in all things, you know the texts.” Ader dismissively waved a hand. “Yet this was unlike anything I had felt before. Chaos for the sake of chaos, Jhain. They weren’t after knowledge or any of the treasures of the temple…just wanton destruction. I was able to kill the two fairly easily. Di’ah finally decided to get serious and I underestimated her new powers.” Master’s lips turned to a thin line as he relived his defeat with a sigh. “But! She also underestimated me! I may be old, but I still have tricks up my sleeve. Her pride was so great, she told me her exact plans, as I was no longer a threat. I attached my spirit to the handwraps you have now.” A coy smile crept onto his lips.
“And now we are here!” Ader clapped a hand onto Jhain’s back. “Tell me how you defeated her!”

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