The passage north was neither safe, cheap, or straightfoward, but it had come to be the expected way with those that I followed. Years later, I had to marvel at how those intrepid folk had managed such a trek back in those troubled times. The UTO had just taken control back then, and their rigorous upkeep of documents and attention to detail would have made it near impossible to make such movements as those, but it seems they were creative, as always. Taking a passage by sea, through lawless islands and into the north was impressive, but even moreso was the journey farther, into lands untouched by us southron folk. I had heard rumors of a place called the Crescent Moon Monastery, but as with most rumors and lore, I’d expected it to be more metaphor than truth in a literal way. And again, I was made to look the fool. How they had managed to make it here, bereft of help, of true knowledge of the place, boggles the mind. The people there were very much of kindred spirits to me, which aided my passage through. They understood duty, and what things must be done. History must be kept.
I traveled farther north, with probably much more care than they’d managed if I knew the ways of the indomitable Robert, the passionate Piper, and the stalwart Eddard. They would have plowed through whatever came between them and their goal, while eagerly exploring every relic of the past that they managed to come upon. It was my luck to run into one that traveled with them earlier on in my adventures, a mercenary by the name of Archer. He’d, by chance of luck, been along with them for this trip, and it was truly something, the tale he told. He spoke of ruined castles, of bits of a great man’s past helping lead them on their way, and the fateful run in with the indigenous peoples that lived here. Cragomen. They were… honestly, they were a pleasure to interact with. As before with the keepers of the Monastery, they understood duty like few others. Our two duties did not meet well, of course, but the conversations I had with their leader were long and fruitful, and I spent many days in their hospitality as they tested me through words and actions. I was able to offered them many of my salves and poultices, and taught them how to make many, while they offered me knowledge of their own in equal measure. They told me of the meeting between their leader, and my friends (I do hope that I may still call them that. It has been so long, and so much has happened, but perhaps some bonds never sever). It was a tense moment, the pair of wills meeting. Robert, apparently, headstrong as always, bulled through with the day with aid from Piper, explain in no uncertain terms that they required passage through. That they’d had visions of things that had not yet come to pass that needed to, and to make it happen, they must needs go north. Perhaps the Cragomen could see that Robert was not the sort to be turned down from this without simply forcing his way through. That Piper would simply slip past. That Eddard would have doggedly never given up. They could never have hoped to contain the three without violence. Or perhaps they felt that fate had a hand here. Archer spoke of them admitting to the strange circumstances, the vision and symbols of the trio giving the small people pause, and eventually winning out the day.
From there, information is scarce. Archer would not budge on some things, like what had happened northern of those borders. Through travel, and north did I go after finally getting the grudging agreement of those indigenous folk, I was able to see much of it with my own eyes. I have spent much of my time thinking on what I can offer to the world on this. The threats from the Cragomen give me little pause, my health does not matter so much to me as to forget my path. But, some things are best kept secret, though. I will not speak of it. I shall instead touch upon the fact that those three, and their companions, were tested each. Their uneasy alliance, troubled by all that had come to pass, was once more forged to steel there, as many are when danger is all around and trust is required highest among all things. They fought, bravely. They were the heroes we needed them to be, even though such things are always so unfair to ask of anyone. But they stood and took that on for all of us. They lifted themselves to the occasion, and in the end, took the world into their capable hands.