Episodes Twenty-Eight through Thirty
Special bound collection of all three episodes! Edited and annotated by Handerwym, Jak’s own faithful Terris steward!
I begin this week’s letter as I awake to a mighty headache.
Truly, dear readers, this pain was incredible—and the effect was a din inside my mind not unlike that of a hundred rifles firing. I groaned and rolled to my knees in the darkened chamber; my face had been resting upon cold rock. My vision shook and took time to recover.
What had happened to me? I remembered my contest with the koloss challenger—a brute sized like a steamrail engine, with strength to match. I had defeated him with a bullet through the eye, had I not? Had I not in so doing maintained the loyalty of the entire koloss clan?
I climbed to my feet and felt gingerly at the back of my head. There, I found dried blood. Fear not, for the wound was not terrible. Surely I had weathered far worse. This was not nearly as bad as when I had found myself sinking in the ocean, my arms bound, my feet tied to a metal bust of the Survivor as I sank.
The arid air and whistling sound of the wind through broken rock indicated I was still in the Roughs, which was good. These lands of adventure and danger are my natural habitat, and I thrive upon the challenge they provide. If I were to spend too long in the safe and mundane environment of milky Elendel, I fear I would wilt away.
My enclosure was a natural cavern of some sort, with rough stone walls and drooping stalactites on the ceiling. The cavern was shallow, however, and I found that it ended only a few feet back from my initial position. I would not be escaping in that direction, then.
Cautious of potential gunfire, I edged to the front of the cavern and looked out. As I had guessed from the slight chill to the air, I was elevated. My cavern was on the wall of a small canyon, and the mouth opened only to a steep drop onto a group of rounded rocks far below.
Across from me, atop the ridge on the other side of the canyon, a group of blue figures watched my cavern. The hulking koloss were older ones, their skin stretched and broken, their bodies tattooed and draped with leather created from the skin of the men they had slain and eaten.
“Why have you stranded me here, dread beasts?” I shouted at them, my voice echoing in the canyon. “And what have you done with the fair Elizandra Dramali? If you have harmed one hair upon her ever-beauteous scalp, you shall know the fury of an Allomancer enraged!”
The savages offered me no reply. They sat around their smoldering fire, and did not even turn my direction.
Perhaps my situation was not as ideal as I had decided upon my first assessment. The canyon wall outside my cavern was as slick as glass and was as steep as the price of whiskey at Marlie’s waystop. I surely could not survive an attempt to climb down, not dizzy as I was from the wound.
But neither could I simply wait. Miss Dramali, my dear Elizandra, might surely be in danger. Curse that woman and her headstrong ways; she should have remained at camp as instructed. I had no idea what might have happened to her, nor to faithful Handerwym. The koloss would not dare harm him, because of their vow to the Terris people, but surely he feared for my safety.
I gave little thought to how I had reached this dire location. I needed metal. My system was clean of it; I had burned the last to steady my hands and eyes as I took the perfect shot at the koloss challenger to my throne. Unfortunately, my captors had stolen Glint—brutes though they are, the koloss are wise enough to take the guns from a man, particularly after seeing my skill with my trusty sidearm. They had also taken my vials of metal. Perhaps they wanted to see if those contained whiskey. Some Roughs Allomancers do store their metals in such solutions, but I have always abstained from the process. The mind of a gentleman adventurer needs to retain clarity at all times.
Surely the hidden pouch of tin in the heel of my boot would serve me. By misfortune, however, the heel’s hidden compartment seemed to have been knocked open during my initial scuffle with the koloss champion. I had lost the pouch! I made a note to myself to speak with Ranette about her heel contraption and its tendency to open unexpectedly.
Disaster! An Allomancer without metal. I was left with only my own wits as a tool. Those—though of no small measure—might not be enough. Who knew what kind of trouble the fair Elizandra might be in at this point?
- ^Editor’s note: Indeed, this was the outcome of Jak’s brave—perhaps foolhardy—plan. See episode twenty-six. At this point, Jak had been “king” of the koloss for three episodes, and had survived the latest of challenges to his authority, getting closer to the secrets they held regarding the Survivor’s Treasure.
- ^See “Allomancer Jak and the Mask of Ages,” episode fourteen. There, however, Jak writes that it was a bust of the Lord Mistborn. One wonders if Jak ever stops to read his accounts after their publication. Fortunately for me, he does not seem to.
- ^One might wonder why Jak felt he needed to escape, as he had not discovered if he was imprisoned, and had not yet tried walking out through the front of the cavern. If you have this concern, might I remind you of the last eighteen times Jak awoke with a headache at the beginning of an episode? Each time, he had been captured in some fashion.
- ^Jak is completely, blissfully unaware of modern scholarship regarding the koloss, which indicates that they rarely (if ever) use actual human skin for their trophies. Indeed, accounts of them eating humans are greatly exaggerated.
- ^I was actually asleep. It had been a very long day. I’m sure I’d have worried about him if it had crossed my mind to do so. The bed the koloss provided, however, was surprisingly comfortable.
- ^See episode twenty-five for our discovery of their vow not to harm the Terris, and their explanation for the respect they have paid me during our adventures. It is a matter which I have regarded with some interest.
- ^Didn’t he just mention the whiskey he often drinks at the waystop? Perhaps the dens of thieves do not count as a place where a clear mind is required.