Chapter 3

Warlocks debate.

Hunters gossip.

Titans share mission-critical information.

Warlocks deliberate over whether Albios's first life came before or after his resurrection in Light. Did he have five lives, or six? Was he Awoken, bringing his total to seven? Was he Exo, with an uncountable tally before his rebirth in Light? What was the role of his Ghost in his lives and deaths? Of the Ahamkara he dealt with? These are the questions heard in hushed voices in the Tower's study halls, and louder on its practice fields.

The Hunters talk over the relics of his lives. Where is his lantern now? On blessed Io, with his memorial? Sunk in a Venusian swamp? Secured in a treasure cache? At least six Hunters have come forward with claims to the lantern's location. None have been authenticated by Albios's surviving acquaintances.

The Titans honor his loss as any other diminishment in Light. But to those who still remember the Great Hunt, his lives are a warning. Did Albios make an unwary bargain? Was his Light eaten by a wish-dragon? Is that Ahamkara still alive, hunting for Lightbearers? These are questions Albios and his Ghost are no longer able to answer.

Those who wear the sign of the lantern bear it in honor of a Warlock whose lives touched the Light. And as an unfading reminder of the vigilance still required of them.