Dreams of a Fallen Crown:Characters:Eino Suutari

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The Personal Journal of Eino Suutari, Exerpted.

Entry - 'Bridges to Nowhere'

They call the place 'The Chasm of Seven Sighs', but they really should call it 'The Chasm of Seven Thousand Rickety Bridges To Nowhere'. Supposedly the local god is mad about his bridges, with the emphasis on MAD. After dueling the Wild Hunt in the Chasm tonight, I'd certainly agree that someone or something there isn't flying with a full gasbag.

Fox's intuition was dead on target about the Hunt intercepting their quarry at the Chasm, and his whirlwind got us there with typically impeccable timing. There was already a thunderstorm raging (I love it when Heaven plays along with style), and our erstwhile brother was just dropping a bridge full of Realm troopers into the drink. Poor fools never had a chance, really, but the Fire Aspect with them wasn't so easily disposed of. Fox took the opportunity to slip across the chasm and introduce himself to a Dragonblood who had no idea he was firing the last arrows of his life, and as ever he managed to do it entirely under the collective nose of a full Talon of Realm soldiers. Meanwhile I took a leap out to land myself between Fire and his supporting troops, and give him two barrel's worth of my regards.

Fire launched himself at our as-yet-unnamed falling brother, and the look on his face was priceless when my fire took him in the side. Our brother displayed some deft footwork and made his way onto another bridge, just in time to be charged by an onrushing Water Aspect in full display. She joined battle with a furious martial arts assault, but he managed to parry or soften every blow as his Anima erupted like a beacon. Yes, he was definitely one of us, if the gigantic golden figure of a robed and hooded Judge was any indication. Water didn't have much time to admire her doom displayed above her before our brother cut her down with his dire lance and sent her plummeting into the abyss. She was far from alone down there, what with the corpses of at least 50 troopers and her archer compatriot having preceded her.

As Water was being summarily dealt with, Fire decided to return to my bridge and have a word about my flamewands, just the two of us plus a good score of his troops. Very cozy. I explained how the bridge rush hadn't worked out so well the last time they tried it, then cut the ropes and sent another platoon of soldiers on the long fall. It was about this time that Fire, bereft of a bridge to stand on and realizing that he was the only surviving Dragonblood among a thoroughly routed assault force, decided to execute the better part of Valor. He screamed grave threats of vengeance and took off like an exploding air boat, leaving his troops to flee into the darkness.

All in all, a good night's work.

Turns out our brother is named Oath-Graven Diamond, and he's every bit as cheery as the name implies. Looks like there's quite a story behind him too... he wears the armor of an officer in the army of one of the Realm's noble houses, and judging by his looks and bearing I'd say that if he isn't one of their noble sons I'll eat my floppy hat.

Which brings me to my point in putting all of this to paper. I can't stop thinking of how mouth-foaming zealous the Hunt was in trying to bring Diamond down. He isn't some outsider, some animal in their sight... he's one of their own. One of their highborn. And they were giving absolutely no quarter. It really says something about this Immaculate Order that runs the place, and how tight their grip is on the minds of their people. It's really rather unsettling, knowing what we know, Fox and Diamond and I... feeling what we feel, and seeing just how ingrained this Anathema garbage is in the hearts and minds of the Realm. It's wrong... it's all so very wrong. Much as I hate the Guild, theirs is a pretty petty variety of evil in the face of the Immaculate Order. These people KILLED us, in ages past. I remember it, as my dream journal attests. And the Realm is an entire empire wholeheartedly devoted to eradicating every attempt to return the world to righteous order. Every fiber of my being is telling me that my vendetta against the Guild is just a warmup to the REAL battle to come. We're going to have to learn everything we can about how we were once usurped at the height of our power, to have any chance at all. And we're going to have to find a way to weaken the grip of the Immaculate Order on the Realm itself.

Who knew being a god was so much trouble?