The Crucible and the Way Home Document in Cairne | World Anvil

The Crucible and the Way Home

While enduring her self imposed exile following the trial of Mauve Einstrauham, a chance meeting with a group of Volrishtad led by Sybell Vithmokai set into motion a chain of events that nearly claims the life of Airtam, and inadvertently leads her home to a much changed situation thanks to her stalwart nature and persevering spirit.          
11th of Cortus, 160 PR     I have been hiding in the Blighted Lands between the Commune and the village of Gillelle for well over a month now, carefully avoiding any obvious paths that Nonpareil Geraldine Fulton might have expected me to take and staying constantly on the move. The days have been long and hard, and I find myself yearning for the comfort of my own bed. I can barely remember what it feels like to be truly safe and at ease, and I can only imagine what my staff and students would think about this, a woman my age roughing it like some pulp novel desolation strider. Despite my hardships, I have not been able to bring the flask that contains Kael's ashes to his home. I know so little about that place, as they were very unwilling and slow to share details of it. I know it is in the north and is a place called Sasha’s Folly, named for the priestess that once represented their faith to Volri and helped to spearhead the conspiracy that brought about the Blight. How the world has surely shifted in the years since that day. I have found a strange comfort in keeping his flask close and speaking to him as though he were still here, but as I sit alone by my campfire, I can't help but feel a deep sense of sadness and isolation weighing heavily on my heart.   Fortune, however, it seems, has finally smiled upon me. A small group of Volrishad stumbled upon my camp today just as dusk was settling across the sky, led by a captivating young woman named Sybell. Her beauty and grace left me awestruck as she moved through the shadows with an effortless elegance, wisps of trailing shade twisting and turning around her lithe figure as though alive, constantly shifting and changing to suit her every movement like a shimmering gown made of twilight. I was relieved to meet more of the Volrishtad, a people whom I have grown to admire and respect, and even more thankful for the company after all this time hiding in solitude. As with Kael’s people, they were equally as kind and polite, making great effort not to intrude or offend, and Sybell spoke with such eloquence and poise that, had the situation been different, I might have mistaken her for some kind of royalty.   Over a meal shared by the fire, I told Sybell the story of what brought me here and the tragic events that led to the deaths of Kael and his friends. I detailed my efforts to stay a step ahead of the Bureau, hiding from my own people who I had thought held me in high regard. She listened intently and offered to take the ashes from me, explaining that while she may be of the Strochti, their people's customs in death are universal throughout all the families, and that she understood all too well what it was to be misunderstood by her own people. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the thought of finally laying my dear friend to rest, and gratefully accepted her offer. She took the flask and nestled it with the shadows that wreathed her with a smile that seemed to hang on me as she did, and for a moment, I was lost there, gazing into those eyes like obsidian. They thanked me for sharing my fire, and though I offered them a place with me for the night for the sake of safety, Sybell only laughed in a lilting, soft manner and shook her head. She told me not to worry, that they were not in any danger. I found this odd, but did not question it and instead thanked her once more and watched them drift silently into the deepening dark of night.   Now freed of my burden, I have decided to travel to the small town of Hearde, to rest and work on my device, which I have decided to name the Kaelic Repulsor in honor of my fallen friend. Though my journey is far from over, the weight of my sorrow seems slightly lighter with the knowledge that Kael's memory will be honored by those who understand the true value of life.


Aside from her meeting with Sybell, these entries document the days before and during the siege of Hearde by the victims of the Breathless Plague, and Airtam's nearly fatal attempts to do her part in defending the people there against the onslaught.

Document Structure

Publication Status

As part of the leaked Morenthall publications following her death, these writings are generally easy to find.

Historical Details

Public Reaction

The release of this document pushed the memory of Airtam into something of a legend, elevating her story and leading to her becoming an icon for the Empire, a figure to look up to and aspire to be like. Following this release a fresh wave of intellectualism and philosophical change swept through the Becht Empire.
Leaked Original
Vellum / Skin
Authoring Date
3rd through the 12th of Senectus, 160 PR


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