I spun at the voice from behind me.

“Who’s there?” I cried into the jungle darkness.

I am here. You hold me in your satchel.

“Who- what-“ I scrambled through my satchel. Wands, mana gems, rations, bandages, Lakka’s ashes. Lakka’s ashes.

“You – it can’t be-“ I stared at the ashes, feeling sweat trickle along my neck in the jungle heat. I reached down gently, grasped the case, pulled it out of the bag. It thrummed with energy.

Oh, it can. The magic of Rukhmar transcends death, child. Especially when there is… Unfinished business.

The case thrummed harder, hotter. I set it down on the floor.

“I- I don’t understand…”

In time.

The case shone and light beamed out, bouncing off the trees, their tainted leaves being burnt away. The light cast shadows over me, until I could see the figure form within it – thin, tall, proud. As the light faded away, she was left there – Lakka.

I scrambled back, falling onto my hands and feet.

“You’re supposed to be dead! I saw you die!” I hissed.

And I am. I can no more effect this plane now than the High Sage could.

“Then why? Why are you here?”

That is for us to find out. You were at the council with the emissaries. The arakkoa have a new god. Asghar dares not speak its name. The Conclave have plans, child. Plans for the Legion, and this world. Plans neither you or I factor into.

“Plans? But we all have plans.”

Make no mistake. You are involved now, more involved than you know. The future of this world is far from decided. The future of my people even less so. I could not see how blind Sethe made me – how blind he has made my people, how blind the gods of Arak have made all arakkoa.

The future is coming. It is fast and bright and beautiful. It is dark and clutching and terrifying. It is everything and nothing. It must be shaped. And as I am beyond help, it must be you to do so.

The arakkoa sat down in front of me. Unlike before, the fel taint was gone from her wings, the maddened red eyes now clear and bronze, any sign of the curse absent.

Let me tell you of my people.


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