I am a traitor now and see no way out.
If I start at the beginning--how they turned me--perhaps I can see something I missed?
No. There is no escape. What good can writing it do?
You gave me this folio when you taught me to write. All these years later, it still smells of you--lavender and ash of the forge. All I have left of you.
Write me notes, you said when you gave it. Share your thoughts--tear the leaves, send the pages. To show I'm thinking of you. But I never did. Hands too grubby to touch parchment.
How I wish I'd done as you said. How I wish I could now.
The same dream. Your hair in the forge-light, our son's weight on my shoulders. All of us free. You turn to me and whisper--it is a dream. I answer--Yes, I know.
And then wake. Alone.
Even awake my life is a dream--a lie. My treachery will not buy your freedom. It only buys time. But every moment you live, that he lives... if treachery is the cost, I will pay it.
Every week the device calls me in secret to a new dig. We work like men with whips to our backs--as though it was left to us to upturn the soil of the entire earth and time has run low. Scrabbling to find the carcasses of ancient demons. It's the weapons they want, must be. What misery am I helping birth into this land?
I drink with Erend and Ersa, but not even the sweetest brew can wash the taste of guilt from my mouth. Every day my silence betrays them. The villains watch though the device. I keep expecting Ersa to stick a blade through my throat, but fire and spit, she does not suspect me. A better liar than I thought myself, must be.
We heard explosions and distant screams from the village. I thought the savages might blame us, turn on us. I almost wished for it. But their Matriarchs ordered us gone. We fled to the border with an escort of braves, crossed at Daytower.
Now I am called to a dig in the Rockwreath. They promise another glimpse of you, of our son. How I hope to see you both.