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The Ronan Scrolls Sneak Peek

 

A Note on the Text

The adventures of Ronan the Traveler first circulated around the reign of the 390th High Priest of the Western Network after the Mortal Wars, about the time that High Priest Isra Mona of the West had been deceased for three centuries. 

Ronan’s many accounts were copied and distributed in secret for decades. False, incomplete copies abound. I, and many others, have given our lives to protect and expand his truths. 

Now, at the sunset of my life, after dedicating myself to the cause of a magic I did not hold myself, I resign these writings to a place of ultimate safety and trust that they will be protected until the world is ready for the truth again. Here is Ronan’s true story. 

Signed, 

Martorius

 

Chapter 1

3rd day, 4th week, 1st month of spring Durston, Northern Network 

They burned my brother on a stake.

For this reason, my grief and questions have driven me to study his “mental condition,” starting in the Northern Network. I feel I must scour Alkarra from top to bottom in my search to understand his life and deci sions. My questions cannot be ignored—I feel restless in my heart and soul. He died from this strange ailment—or rather, because of it. His confine ment was wrong. He was not crazy. Something was different, yes. But not harmful. Not dangerous. 

Something gave him sight. I will figure it out in his name. This seems the best place to start. 

Father disapproves. “It is a wild search,” he said with a heavy brow. “Rodan was afflicted with madness.” 

“I don’t believe that,” I said. “You are an accomplished apothecary, respected through the entirety of the Western Network. You would have seen the signs.” 

At this, his eyes drooped, as if they ached. Perhaps I could have been softer, but I don’t see how. Truth isn’t soft. Perhaps my departure makes him feel like he’s lost another son. He hasn’t been well since Rodan’s violent

death. He needs the solace that only comes with time. I can see it burning in his eyes, and this yearning for silence is something I understand. Besides, we can hardly meet each other’s eyes these days. 

Perhaps he knows my awful truth. 

“I cannot forbid you, Ronan.” He passed a weary hand over his face. “You have always made your own decisions—though usually in a labora tory or a library.” 

To that, I had no rebuttal. His concern is well founded: I am naive in the ways of the world. I have never slept under the stars or hunted for my own food or traveled on my own, despite being twenty-four years old and only a scholar

Still, I go. I must. Redemption isn’t free. 

With me, I have brought four empty scrolls bound with leather. They curl snugly into a container also wrapped in leather—this ensures they’ll be safe in any weather. The container was Rodan’s. Two scrolls, the hearti est, will be for my observations; the other two for my scholarly notes, cita tions, data, and blessed, beautiful, irrefutable facts. These are the things we need the most. It’s likely that years will pass before I find the answers I seek. 

Was Rodan, my twin, mad? Or did he truly see the future? Here are the facts on which I base my expedition: 

  1. My twin brother, Rodan, was burned on a star-shaped stake because he claimed to see the future. 
  2. His death is my fault.