I can see it! The massive arch of the Traveler’s Gate, tall as a mountain and as pale grey as the Children ourselves. I knew that we were close. I pay super close attention every year and even though Xen’Drik changes it’s face every day too, I still knew it. The trick is to not use the ruins as landmarks but the Drow. The Sulatar tribes always settle near the Traveler’s Gate and we passed through one of their encampments three days ago.
It is my name day and this youngling is SO EXCITED! TLEX is so excited. I love using my name! TLEX. TLEX. TLEX! I will miss also being Che and Fie, or Jin and Nix and Zuul and all my friends. But I am fourteen now and the sharing of names and faces, the sharing of our Mothers and Fathers, is for the younglings. As soon as I complete my pilgrimage of passage, I can add a mask of my very own to my family. I can hardly wait!
Because I am an adult now, I am starting a diary of everything I see. I want to remember everything so that I can the the Traveler all about my adventures if I meet them on the Path. I so love hearing the Traveler’s stories. I’m sure that the Traveler must want stories to listen to as well. I will make sure to get really great ones.
And they’ll be nice stories too. Not like the mean, scary stories that the older kids tell us about younglings get gobbled up by the Gate and disappearing. They are stupid and can’t scare me because I asked the Mothers and they said that I would be just fine. They said that even when people did disappear, they usually just pop up in somewhere in one of the Five Nations. They find the path back to the clan or start a new family of their own. The Mothers tell us that this to is part of our pilgrimage as the Children, part of the Traveler’s Gift. They tell us to remember the teachings of the Crossroads no matter what happens: The Path, Life, Death, the Traveler.
Some of the other younglings are getting frightened. I sing them the song that my birthmother sings to me whenever I get scared. I have to be brave for them. If I am brave then I can give them my face. That way they can be brave too. Yes. I think that is the type of person Tlex will be. We are about to pass through the Gate. This will be my one and only diary entry as a youngling. It is so BIG!
(P.S. I heard that the Traveler gives people gifts! Don’t tell anyone, Diary, but I have a secret prayer. I want to go with the Traveler to all of their amazing journeys just like in the stories. Even just for a little while. That would be the best Gift of all. I promise to be super good company and not get in their way at all.)
[ Roughly scrawled on the back amidst thousands of tally marks ]I am Lost.
Where are you? I am so alone.
Help Me. PLEASE