So much had happened since the last time I seen my friends. It felt like we’d been apart longer than a month. It was the most terrifying thing to me as I saw Jigston in the distance. I was scared that my friends wouldn’t be pleased to see me, worse that they wouldn’t be there and didn’t want to be. I know I had hurt Kiira and Jig, but I didn’t know the depth of that hurt or if I could make it right once again.
I entered the town. Kiira and I spied each other at the same moment, or so it felt. I ran to her and embraced her. I didn’t care if she didn’t want a hug; I just knew that I was desperately glad to see her again. I apologized and she graciously forgave me. I was relieved. I started to tell her about Brian and Mhairie and their shop. She brought me to the inn where Jig was waiting. He embraced me fiercely and I felt such relief and joy in that embrace (mixed with a little pain). I had missed him. I looked at both of their faces and realized that I missed them both. I asked if he was upset at me still and if he could forgive me. He said that he forgave me and that we were still friends, of course. I felt like a small child as I beamed with joy. My fear was for naught. The pain I had inflicted on them seemed to be forgiven and we were right again.
We sat at a table and I shared what had happened to me since I left. I shared about Illidia and the people I had resurrected and buried. I told them about what I had found out about Thadeus. I told them about Aemon and his help. I told them about the things I had found out in Allister about the ethereal plane. I told them about Lux and Covington. I talked and told them all about what happened. Then they told me about establishing Sabwa. They talked of Dahlia Malloy and Diego Mastiff, friends of theirs.
I retired to bed early, making sure that I was fully rested since I had traveled so hard. I lay out the altar as I always did, spent my time with Ashleigh, then went to bed. The next morning we set out to find the Phoenix Tree, Jericho and Logan. Jig had heard that his clan was traveling in The Grasslands. He knew of a man in the tribe who could talk with the spirits on the ethereal plane. So we were off.
We arrived at the Central Outpost where we met a woman named Autumn. She was in charge of the place. She answered our questions and told us about The Grasslands and the different tribes that lived there. That evening I played strip poker with the men in the barracks. I flirted and enjoyed myself. I started out winning, but quickly lost my handle on the game. It came down to my shirt or my skirt. Jig, however, stepped in and, much to my shame, won a toss of the dice so that I didn’t have to strip down. Part of me wanted to, just to push myself to do it, to see if I could. The other part of me didn’t want to. I don’t know why I did it. But it was exhilarating.
The next day we left for the Western Outpost. Along the way we encountered an old “friend” of Jig’s by the name of Arklet Horhagen. Supposedly Jig had killed him once. I desperately didn’t want trouble, especially with a pregnant Kiira who had already lost her breakfast due to the baby. We were to see the council. However, we found ourselves tied to stakes for three days. Kiira passed out and I feared for her and the baby’s life. Luckily, on the third day, Serc, Jig’s father, and the Clan of Dragons came to our rescue. We made safety and Jig went back to fight the enemy. I gave Kiira the flask that Micah had given us. It healed her and saved her and the baby’s life. Kiira and I tried to help heal the injured at the camp of the Clan of Dragons.
Some time later, Jig returned in his father’s arms. They thought him dead, but he wasn’t. Kiira healed him. He had killed Arklet Horhagen, which made him the leader of the Clan of Dragons. He accepted and this meant that we would have to say goodbye. But as I listened to his speech, I was moved and knew that he would be a good leader. I understand why he did what he did, but it didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. This man I had learned to love, to hold dear to my heart, to call friend, was going to leave. My world was changing.