They say that time puts memory to rest,
that its final gift is the loss of loss.
I wish I could agree.
A thousand years have passed since we discovered the gateway, and still its memory consumes my days. I dwell on our expedition, on Orchidna and her binding to the watcher’s throne.
I remember choking down bile as we left her screaming, begging us not to go. One by one, we promised to return with magic that would set her free. Then we stepped through the gate, and in moments we were separated, lost, and alone.
Time whirled in eddies around us, and centuries passed in the span of mortal breaths. When at last we found our way back, we carried new abilities that were frightening in their vastness. Some had been given the might of heroes; others had been transformed into gods.
We came back with grievances, too – the fruit of rivalries and jealousies left to fester for hundreds of years. So we loved and we hated. We started wars and spilled blood, drawing on powers we could barely understand.
We were like children set loose with primal magic, and innocents suffered for each of our blunders. Gene fared the worst. Once our leader in arms, he became Kyrios, the god of death who spread destruction throughout our world.
Though nine of us opposed him, some with powers equal to his own, we couldn’t save the old continent. We couldn’t save Orchidna. And we couldn’t save gentle Nui, who paid with her life to spare our people.
Now the future is uncertain. Mortal alliances prepare for battles ahead, and some of us plan to aid them. While others linger in the legends, in blissful memories where time can stand still, I like to imagine new heroes will be born. Heroes who will rewrite our mistakes, find those we left behind, and steer us to a brighter age.