Your protege still lives, Priam. Please pardon my tardiness in providing you with tidings. I recently realized to my surprise that it had been more than two years since I last sent a missive your way. Time at the academy can sometime seem like a dream when we are toiling in our studies without the benefit of a sun regulating our lives. However, this is more than an simply an impression, I suspect. The academy itself feels like it operates along its own timeline irrespective of the world surrounding it.
We long concluded our passage in Wahdi, which ultimately was brief but intense and impactful. The intervention of our group, known under the name of «the Howling Kings» (althought you might hear us being known under a less tasteful nickname, I assure you this is due to the slandering tongues of some jealous, less successful adventurers) saved the city from being overrun by the undead of its necropolis. So central was the group’s role in the crisis’ resolution that the grateful citizen of the city graced one of their public square with a monument depicting my person. I promise I will share with you the tales of our exploits in greater details when we meet face-to-face.
I now write to you from Arazi where my companions and I are the behest of our mentors to fulfill another of their errands. I can hardly contain my anticipation at testing my mettle against the colossal lizards that roam the island, said to be amongst the most dangerous creatures in all Lyria.
We are now two members short since I penned my previous letter. Much to Nasah’s chagrin, Rhialla chose the life of a renegade, forsaking everything to cast her lot with some extra dimensional warlock. Eydan suffered an even worst fate, falling victim to the capricious and sometimes lethal manner in which the academy professors provide education to their pupils. His death was a reminder to us all of the precariousness of our station. To the common man outside we might be giants but at the academy we are naught.
Luckily the rest of my peers have fared better.
With Eydan’s passing, Rhea became the most accomplished caster of the group. Rhea as picked up this mantle with aplomb and worked hard into supplementing her arsenal with evocation magic. She is no longer the liability in combat she used to be. Now it is quite the opposite, to be exact. While she is incontestably our senior in the academy’s pecking order, she has not sought to lead the group, which maintains a collegial structure mirroring the relationship our mentors have with each other despite the differences in stature of their respective office.
I encouraged Nasah in following the path of the arcane archer and he was quite receptive of my counsel. I am happy to report the elf is blooming into a superb archer. Sadly, he lacks the killer instinct that would make him truly exceptional. He is clearly more at ease hitting targets on the practice range rather than his enemies on the battlefield. Poor Nasah, sometimes the sheppard must kill the wolf to save the flock!
I recently learned that Orphée is of Samsaran stock. I wonder if those of her race all share her particular outlook on life, pairing the serenity of a monk and the curiosity of a child. Orphée successfully petitioned in taking Eydan’s vacancy under Master Therin Skalag. While I can applaud the wisdom in abandoning the teachings of the lesser school of enchantment in favor of the school of Evocation, I sincerely hope she has not signed her death warrant from one of Master’s Skarlag failed «experiment».
Mavrikos has so far failed to live up to the promises I had seen in him when we had first spared. As I predicted, his insistence in using a lucerne hammer despite his scrawny physique has proved ill advised. Verily, if stubbornness was a virtue, the man would be the holiest of all! Mavrikos has the physical attribute to be a warrior of renown provided that he practiced a style that catered to his strength, favoring agility over brawn. Despite the man being of a different faith, as such I wish him no ill will. If he swallowed his pride and asked my for assistance, I would endeavor to make him my equal in combat and do so gladly.
I have to confess I have a bit soured on Samir‘s antics. His odd and sometimes crude demeanor reflects badly on his the rest of us and to some extant, the academy itself. However, if putting up with his shenanigans is the price to pay to keep my neck firmly on my shoulders, then it is a price I have no problem paying. Having faced many danger with the man I can honestly say he is without a doubt the most resourceful member of the group. His quick, out-of-the box thinking saved our skins more than once. Samir always keeps his cool in combat and, after an early brush with a trapped sarcophagus, has rarely, if ever, put himself in a precarious situation since. (He does have a knack at attracting trouble outside of combat however…) I had wrote him off as a mad genius, but I learned since that he has more ambition than the dissolute rogue image he projects. Maybe there’s a method – and a reason – to his ‘madness’…
As for myself, I am satisfied with the strides I have been making in my studies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the path of warrior was threaded by relatively few amongst those gifted in the arcane. Consequently, fewer spells have been devised to further such pursuits. I am not merely content to simply ape the great masters of old and took it upon myself to leave a mark in my own right. I use every set-back as a inspiration to devise new spells to provide for contingencies. Let it be known that Hasdrubal Thesh will not fall victim to the same perils twice!
As our magical ability grows, so is our standing within the Academy. The leash has loosen somewhat and we are now offered a certain autonomy in taking our assignments. I was given a chance to return to Sekunta and I hope you will forgive me, but I passed on the opportunity. Truth be told, I considered it premature to do so. While I am confident I could now run roughshod on Sekunta regional gladiatorial circuit and make a good account of myself in the capital’s Colosseum, know that I am will not satisfy myself in merely being good or even great.
I shall walk home a hero and leave a legend.