Until now I’d only believed the portals to be a myth; tales that the gossiping old women and drunkards would use to explain away events they wished to simply ignore. I can see now how right they truly were. Although perhaps it would serve me well to explain why I have heard of the idea before. I’d encountered the Black Sky Company before appearing in Osterra. They’d been hired by the local magistrate to dispatch certain local terrors that are better left unsaid. Due to my apprenticeship paying….nothing… I had taken work as a barmaid. Lo and behold, three Black Sky members found themselves properly acquainted with more than a few bottles during my shift. By all means they were fair patrons, a little rowdy but nothing I couldn’t handle. Artorias had told me of the portals, how they’d gone from land to land seeking work and contracts. The other two dove into seemingly outlandish stories of lands that couldn’t possibly exist. I didn’t believe them. They had to have been drunk. Right? That was how I understood it at least. I thought nothing of it when they eventually left town, countless others had before them. Yet after their departure, the rumor mill began to turn again. You learn to ignore the whispers and the gossip when it is all that you hear day in and day out. A missing cat here, vanishing beggars there. It all blends together. Cat’s run away or get hit by carts. Beggars move on to new towns. Nothing otherworldly there. Which would explain why I never changed my route home. For that route is what took me through the back streets. That route brought me to the tunnel I’ve traversed for years. That route brought me here. I am confused, and I am lost. Yet this feels right. I should have listened to the stories closer, paid more attention. For then I would have been prepared for what I was so unceremoniously tossed into. Do I regret this? Not terribly so. As strange as it may seem, I believe I can re-establish my studies here. There seems to be so much knowledge shared between these people. I hope to get to know them and learn from them even more so in the coming days. What I am almost certain of in all of this chaos, however, is that I do believe I have found my purpose.