Flynn Flashwood had done it. By the Gods, he’d actually done it. From Zoa to Brandobia, the youngest of the Flashwoods had traveled halfway across the world, survived the dead and the dragons, and done what no Bastard of Mercy had ever done. He had taken the map, he had used the map, and he had discovered the fabled treasure promised to his people by B’sar Ebonflowerwood himself. He thought of cousin Fel’dwyn’s smug boasts, and uncle Saeren Fogchildwood, who always sneered when Flynn defended his family branch’s honor. He thought of them and laughed.
“Dearest family member,” Flynn scratched into the cave wall, above the deflated body of the recently slain Beholder. "I am Flynn Flashwood, and if that name sounds familiar, you’re probably here because of Mercy’s map. Well, Flynn was here first. He came, he saw, and he spent it all. Give my regards to the rest of the family, and from the bottom of my heart… fuck you.
B’sar Ebonflowerwood’s ballsiest descendant."
Once he got back to civilization, Flynn planned to arrange to send the map back home. Maybe none of them would ever try and do what he had done, but he hoped they would. The joke was too delicious to waste.
So that was that. Flynn Flashwood had stolen a map, joined a military company, became an accidental folk hero, met an unlikely band of warriors, had completed his life’s goal. And he was barely a man grown! What else was there to do? Flynn did not know, but the possibilities excited him. Though his companions were sometimes petty, and more than a little combative, they were fire-forged allies and he just knew in his bones that destiny had more in store for them. In the name of history, he had to see what they’d all do next. Someone had to be there to record their exploits, compose great songs of their deeds, and maybe spend a little of the gold they’d surely make.
On the boat back to Cosdal, Flynn sat quietly below decks, lute in hand, as he picked out a simple melody. He was composing The Liar’s Island, a tale of five adventurers who sought treasure in a frozen isle of illusions. The song would have great battles, conflicts between friends, and end in rousing victory. Through the night, Flynn sang of Brand the giant killer, a man of God who fought with both book and blade. He sang of Odom, the savage half-orc with a gentle heart. He sang of Astrid, a powerful mage who kissed death and danced with dark secrets. He sang of Diogenes, the stern and stoic druid. And he sang of their final companion, who shielded them from evil and lifted their spirits when things looked dark. He sang of Verene.
They would be the five who brought a new legend to the Kingdoms of Kalamar. Brand, Odom, Astrid, Diogenes, and Verene.
“Forgive me, Verene.”