Lore: The Exodus of the Pan

From The Remnant 2 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Where do I begin? It has been my life’s pursuit to bring ink to paper, and yet I am at a loss.

Facts. I’ll begin with the facts. And that means I must begin with the plague.

Kolket was on the throne, his enemies in their graves. Coin, drink, and good times were available to all his subjects.

Then one day, rumors begin to circulate of Pan falling sick in the outskirts of Ang-Forehn. Overnight, shops and guilds in major settlements begin to shutter. Before we know it, everyone knows someone who knows someone who died. There are whispers that this blood is all paid to Fate—the price of Kolket’s many wars—the bill due for his victorious body count.

Weeks later we all know death. We all know one who is the last of his line. We are the lucky ones, they say, but there’s no end in sight. The world is poison to us now. And that’s when Kolket tells us of the ships.

No one who has sailed beyond the horizon has returned from the Dark Sea. Fools call it the edge of the world—a concept that seems ridiculous, for would not all the water rush off the edge of the table? But for all we know they’re right.

Yet we cannot stay here.

At last, I know what it is I am writing. A chronicle of the last voyage of the Pan.

There was no one to wave to on the shore, but for one Pan’s tear-drenched wife. Already the boils were appearing on her, so there was no chance of her joining. She wept and gnashed and kissed the air, and not four bodies away from me her spouse ran with salt-tears nearly sufficient to float the vessel.

It was not an auspicious departure.

I made straight for the dining deck, thinking to beat the crowd, only to learn how average my reasoning—the entire crowd had the same thought.

We eat shoulder to shoulder at long benches. The first day’s meal was serviceable, even flavorful. How long can such a luxury last?

Forgive the holiday in my diligence. The last nine days have been a blur of adjustment—learning the service schedule, learning to serve, learning how to go from served to servant and back as the days turn. Learning to sleep cheek-by-jowl, for there is no privacy in the rest hold. No one thought to bring curtains?

Most nights I find myself on deck. An extra blanket so far keeps the chill off, and I drift to sleep looking for the stars I know the fog forbids me to see.

I never thought I’d long to see a stone, some clay, a bit of sand, but now I would trade my beloved second blanket for a glimpse. All around is grey-black water, and the midnight fog for whose sun-strangling effect this sea is named. The noonday light is barely twilight, and the nights are dark as the tombs of those we left on home’s shores.

The ones who have tombs. At times I think of those who had not yet succumbed by our departure. Of the woman who wept for her beloved on the piers. Does she lie uncovered beneath the indifferent sun, as mercilessly bright on her clouded eyes as it is dim upon ours? Or did the last Pan see herself to the tomb, and pull the stone shut with her final breath?

What is the point of persisting in this word—juggling when each day is the same? When this voyage through grey purgatory has become one long, endless day?

Perhaps the dead are the lucky ones.

Worse yet, perhaps we ourselves died, and this is what comes next for those aboard these vessels. The thought chills me in a way no second nor third blanket could forbid.

It is hard to believe how much time has passed. When I look at the early leaves in this volume, it is harder still to believe that the Pan who wrote those words ever made peace with this voyage.

We have all gotten used to eating the fruits of the ocean—strange fish, seaweeds, and crustacea which we might have called delicacies back home, are now breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some enterprising young soul has even figured how to make a pudding of sorts, by torturing the seaweed with the right heats and maggiks.

I am digressing. The point I wish to make is that I cannot say if we will ever reach our destination. I commit this sentiment to paper now, but the thought first struck me some three hundred moons ago. I simply never had the courage to set it down. In fact, it was the one thing that made me consider flinging myself from the deck, or even out the great lock, like our few unfortunate criminals.

But no more. This is a life, of sorts. For life is other Pan. Here on the sea, we are together. On home’s shores we were being torn apart.

It is all.

And who knows? At tomorrow’s daybreak… I may spot land.