A Light in the Dark

History Will Repeat if it's Not Taken to Heart
They refused my mother, and now they refuse me

It is good to have the memories of my family and Sslith’lac quiet. I know it’s only temporary, thank you Ylena.

I awaken to breakfast in bed. Phearon is trying to woo me, how sweet. We head out, looking to spar, but ran into Jern. An idea has been kicking around: the abandoned city. It’s elven, it’s beautiful and I’m certain a mage with the right skills would be able to learn a forgotten history. I want to make it an outpost. I have an eye on a building to make mine… I will need a safe place to perform higher level rituals. One that is synched to my lineage, since Mother’s is out of my reach I must make my own.

I ask Jern if he thinks Dwarves would use it, fix it and perhaps live there for a spell. Phaeron agrees that there’s merit. Jern made a comment that I took wrong; I thought he was insulting the Elven craftsmanship. I reminded him that I’m half elven.

So we went to talk to the lady elder, and she wouldn’t even consider it. No outsiders near their village. The forest is theirs.

I pointed out several facts:

  • Pyrico hatched down there. His followers are very likely to be enroute to pay homage to the God of Fire.
  • Both Nameless and Warmonger have been amongst them. For my people, that would be a clear sign that stuff will need to change. Apparently not to these people.
  • The Kabal know of the elven island. They clearly won their first fight, and the elves are not yet ready to fight. Having reinforcements close by is a good thing.
  • The Kabal have already wiped out most of the free people in the time of their slumber. Pretty much, the Kabal have won, and we’re refusing to go down quietly.
  • The city is not directly under the island. So those that end up in residence would not be trespassing onto the island.
  • After they refused my mother’s gentle suggestion to ally, they lost their God AND had to flee into stasis.

Pretty much, she and perhaps the council are going to doom their people.. I wasted time and energy. And I’m angry. Great, I really know how to wreck things further. But Jern is right. Perhaps we should just take the town they forgot about, seal the tunnels that lead to the island and to the Abyss with the elves.

Though I will say, yes! I did garner eyes to the forest. Pyrico is FIRE not air. Fire is VISIBLE. It is a force. And I ensured that it was covered by my signature. Which as the Efreet pointed out that’s not a good thing. But I choose to bite my tongue.

Phaeron gets us out of there. No doubt he’s hoping Lheare will be able to win them over. I mutter under my breath a desire to see things burn, but I refrained from it. Good thing Daniel was sleeping or whatever he does before the noon. I quietly pack up my things and ensure everyone is ready to head out. I want to get to killing Kabal and strengthening us. We perhaps should run sparring drills… We need to learn how to compliment our strengths.

We are seen off the island by a quiet yet polite elf. The ship is a ship… Too close to the water, but I keep to myself. I could have flown over, but the elf wouldn’t like that. And I am certainly not wanting to be in my natural form around them.

Travel through the forest was easy. Too easy. Pyrico had indeed vanquished all the traps and beasties unnatural. And game is plentiful. We get something daily, the remains salted to use as rations when we hit the plains. It’s rather nice.

Each night I teach Stromic to those interested. Then help Jern as he needs to learn my Mother’s tongue. Then I sit and learn from Sslith’lac. I need to mellow my anger. He’s a monk and begins teaching me centering techniques.

Looks like we will be on the plains tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the start of our battle to get to the Maelstrom and this place called Ironhold.

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Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt. 19
In which we learn Elves are racist

Ran into Ameira and Phaeron in the wee hours. She asked me about the city, specifically if I thought Dwarves would be able to fix it up. Explained that with the construction methods used, and the current state of it, it’d probably be easier to take it apart and rebuild than to try and fortify what ‘s down there. Not an elf thing, just that if I was able to see room for improvement as someone with no architectural experience, maybe there’s something to that.

It sounds as if they want to set up down there, a base of operations. There are worse places for it, and it’s in a fairly defensible location. As far as we know, it belonged to the surface elves or their kin, so a discussion with the elders is in order before we start making any kind of concrete plans.

Naturally, discussion didn’t go so well. Elves were too stuck up their own asses to look at things from an external point of view.

Guess we’ll just have to undermine them, and take the city for our own regardless.

Gathered everyone up, said our goodbyes, and got ferried back across the lake. Plan from here on is to head towards the Resistance camp, which is underneath this magical maelstrom thing I keep hearing about.

5 days 1 week of largely uneventful travel finally saw us exit the forest. At least it’s assumed. Everything is still foggy as shit, but we seem to be walking on grass now rather than tree roots. That’s a step in the right direction.

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We Party and We Work and Party Again and Repeat
It's Raining Elves! NAMELESS!!!!

It was nice, really nice, to awaken next to the man I love. It’s not a revery. It’s reality.

Phaeron brought me breakfast. We talked quietly.

There will be no way we can keep this between the two of us, especially with many of our traveling companions plotting to bring us together. And a matronly goddess granting me peace and calm, even if it’s only temporary.

Everyone heads out to work with the elves reclaiming their homes. I stayed in and studied the scrolls in my keeping. One has a new signature, no idea who the writer is yet. Another was written by my father. If Toza has my father I’m in more danger than I thought…. he almost killed my mother when she was pregnant with my brother and I. He had been claimed by Kayshna. Mother had pleaded with the gods to bring him back… is he gone again?

Or, he’s dead and this is booty the wizard took. Not likely. Father was just as much a survivor as mother.

I study the other scrolls learning what I can. The priest scroll gave me a headache again. Grrr!

I drink some nectar and then head out to find the halfling. He did cast sanctuary… he’s a priest. Finding him proved an interesting challenge. But find him I did. I told him about the scroll and how to study for the caster’s signature. As well as tracking. Seems scrolls are not tracked. This is good news. He gets the scroll, I get a name, Biggles. I give him a name, he doesn’t seem to fancy the name I picked for myself, so I tell him to just call me Ameira. He goes back to observing elves and I translate the interesting bits of conversation. Then I head off to look for Sslith’lac.

We help the elves while he explains how his monestary worked. The meditation while in motion. He still believes that I’m honourable. How? I do not know. It is a calming time. I think he wants me to return to how I was. An impossible task.

Then we are to get cleaned up and ready for a party.

The group talks before dispersing to join the revelry. We discuss how long we are staying for. I want to leave in 3 days as the planars are on the move and I don’t want to bring trouble to the elves. They actually agree. We need to pick where to face not only them, but the Kabal that will follow. The Planars can track me, possibly by the tattoo. I wish Fyraiia would tell me if it’s magical or not.

Then we debate about whether or not to avoid or engage the Kabal patrols between us and this place called Ironhold. Lovely name. I’m reminded that not all the members are willing members. Yes, the taint. I remind Osozo that my mother was obsessed with figuring out how to break the hold. But for now, they are our enemies and will seek to kill and capture us. I’m more of a lets kill them and limit their army size now type of gal…. that and the loot, supplies and battle.

We don’t come to a set plan. But it’s off to party.

Shadow follows an interesting battle dancing tradition. It’s different from mine, but there are some similarities. Then the girl issues a challenge. Mayhap we can find a common ground? I accept it, in a flourish of course. We fight in dance form, our respective blades in hand. She has nifty techniques, still raw, yet fully formed, but great potential. I wish Mariah is still alive and free, she could teach this one much.

We come to an end, and I move to dance with the flames, while she drinks 4 or 5 glasses of elven wine. Childish youth. Perhaps even innocent? Tonight I intend to remain sober. I head to the pyre and dance after ensuring Shadow will drink nectar and eat foods. Then everyone disappears!

I growl, weapon out. I move quickly to find Shadow. She’s beyond drunk. Then I look for Fyraiia, after leaving Asra with Shadow. She too is drunk. I bring the mage to the young one. I can hear Jern. Then I hear the laughter of the mad god.

Nameless!

He plays a game, but I do not relent. I tell him, yes, tell a god, bring back the elves. Healthy, alive, uninjured, and with memories intact. He drops them from the sky. I tell him to bring them down gently. Amazingly he slows down the fall of the screaming elves. And he doesn’t try to undo what Ylena did. Though he did grunt and moan about me ruining his fun.

It takes a bit before the elves resume their party. But I’m not feeling like dancing.

So then it’s off to bed with me, though Phaeron intercepts me and we head to his cabin.

I know Phaeron wants children. I do too, but not now. Now is too risky, too dangerous. Doesn’t he see the dangers? Apparently not, for he reminds me that I’m safe. I’m not.

If the Planars get me, the bastard will use me as he did before, if I’m lucky. Without a child to be used against me to keep me in line, I will be free to plot escape, revenge, and resistance. With a child… he may kill it, sell it or hold it hostage.

If the Kabal get me… experiments are certain to follow. Or tainting…. or banishment. The Kabal were after my brother and me when we were infants. Then again after the period of repeat ended. Now they have my brothers and sister. Almost the complete set… maybe my father. Also my mother? Dear gods….. that’s a terrifying thought. Mother was on her way to becoming a full fledged Magus. And father.. he’s very powerful in his own right.

Phaeron doesn’t seem to want to talk, and that stings.

I slinked back to my cabin, let him sleep in his bed.

Up early, studying the wands. Then practicing my dance. Once the sun gets up, I’m looking to break my fast then I help the elves alongside Sslith’lac. I find Psyren behind me and taking my wrist. It is time. She is going to tattoo me, her own design and pick of location on my flesh, and of course her choice of ability. It gives me time to think. I need to figure out how to discuss stuff with Phaeron. But that’s not going to be easy. We don’t discuss the sky raining elves.

And it’s again a night of dancing, drinking, and fun. Except again I intend to stay sober. We are to leave tomorrow.

To Ironhold. Convince Lheare to allow me to assault mines and slave farms. Figure out where Lheare spied the relic linked to Oceania. Figure out the holy sites for Oceania and Merlay. Yes. I will be busy. Now, who aside from Jern will travel with me?

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Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt. 18
In which Elves learn how to fly.

At some point in the evening I saw Ameira and Phaeron take off together. They seem to be reconciling, and it’s been made pretty clear that she doesn’t need me trying to keep him away from her.

More imbibing and festivity, and I set off for my bed.

Woke up in the middle of the night, straddled by Psyren. She refuted the idea that she perhaps missed her bed.

I wasn’t able to convince her I was too drunk.
Morning came quicker than anticipated, Broke fast and went out to assist the elves in getting back to their lives as well as I could.

As the day went on, we got the group together to discuss our next steps. It’s agreed that we need to make our way towards the Resistance’s camp, The method of doing so, however, was up for debate. Specifically, whether or not we should employ subterfuge or slaughter when crossing paths with any of our caballic aggressors. Sounds like we’ll be aiming towards the latter, to my chagrin.

We carry on into the night, within which imbibing continues. And drumming. I’m finding new beats for a number of traditional dwarven songs.

Hours pass, and suddenly all the Elves of the town disappear. This comes as somewhat of a surprise. I start looking around for my friends and finally run into them. The elves are all there and slowly descending to the ground.

Look for answers. Not going to find any, because it was Nameless’ doing. Shadow appears beside me, welllllll liquidated. Talking about saving the elven race, riding a dinosaur, other drunken misadventures. Puts her arm around me and proceeds to immediately pass out into my own. I suspect this was her first time imbibing. Carry her off to an empty bed in one of the cabins, and leave her preparations for the morning.

The rest of the night passed rather uneventfully, as did the following day. Helped out some more around the village, and then continued studying the runes and rituals that I need to learn for the next set of rituals.

Final night of festivities. Good times.

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Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt. 17
In which Elves are gonna Elf.

Get back down and into the city. Do a quick check around, make sure everyone’s doing alright. Throgg called down from one of the ledges, wanting to know the way up. Pointed him to the surface. Probably getting claustrophobic or something. Orcs.

As everyone is basically awake at this point. We opt to get going up to the surface. We gather and get going. Advice presented as to avoid anything that could be misinterpreted as aggressive, as these elves are not fond of outsiders.

These elves, in a village, on an island, in a lake, in the middle of a forest, don’t like outsiders. And I thought I’d heard everything.

We breach the surface, and eventually meet up with a set of elven scouts. Ameira takes the lead, as she begins talking to them in whatever version of the elven tongue this is.

They want us disarmed. Ameira asked to speak to a specific elder. I want to know when we’re getting them back. They don’t provide a guarantee that we will, which I disagree with through her.

Fortunately, Princess Floofy Pants no more wants to be taken than I want to be without protection. I explain the situation, and she opts to turn into a teddy bear. It’s not quite the kind of toy my daughter was fond of, but I can work with it.

We find Throgg and Phaeron in a cage. Their freedom is negotiated, and shortly after we’re called into the Elder’s quarters, Throgg and Ameira at each other’s throats the entire way.

Blah blah Elfy blah blah Pyrico blah Warmonger blah blah blah. Whole lotta words I don’t know.

Drama involving Throgg and his mumblings. Seems to be getting calmed down. Ameira has apparently been charged with teaching Throgg the language. We’re gonna need to get a second translator in there to ensure she doesn’t just teach him how to get himself in trouble.

We’re sent out towards a set of cabins. Get cleaned up down at the lake. Shine and polish my equipment. Get my beard and hair all braided up.

Warmonger shows up behind Throgg as Ameira and I were headed towards the party. Couldn’t keep the grin off my face in expectation of bloodslaughter. Unfortunately he was just there to chat, and find out what the deal with the ugly human worshipper of his was. He wants Throgg to make friends with Ameira.

I start to wander off, when Psyren catches me. She needs my help apparently. Wants to see Ameira and Phaeron relaxing, and intends to deal with the latter. Not sure I’ll be able to convince her to set the weight off her shoulders for a night, but I may as well try. Grab a bottle and go after her.

Throgg catches up as I’m on my way. Apparently Warmonger had similar goals, as he’s been asked to extend a fig leaf to her with more wine. Warmonger’s trying to make peace. Gods are confusing.

The two of us find her up in a tree, and somehow manage to get her down for a chat. Throgg seems to have calmed down from wanting her dead for the moment, is now supposed to challenge her to a test of skill instead?

I suggest a drinking contest, as we have the wine there. Everyone else starts showing up.

Ameira makes it clear she has no interest in such a contest, and goes off to dance around a nearby firepit. I join after her with Throgg following along shortly.

Dancing, drinking, drumming, dining.

Throgg and Warmonger talk some about needing to find a goddess named Doll or Oceana. Both maybe. Not the goddess of water, in case her name didn’t make that obvious.

Got sniffed by Warmonger. Says I’ve been making waves. Making waves by helping raise Pyrico. Apparently I caused Oceana to disappear by arriving here? And also She’s the one who brought me? I’m not taking any blame on this, as I never asked to come here. Any problems I’m causing are the responsibility of whoever decided I wasn’t allowed to live out my own life.

We also discuss how there was war building before I left, and how shit south shortly after my departure. Power hungry mages and kingslayers. Figures, only humans could fuck up the world this badly in a mere 30 years.

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Phelmyr Elves, the Ultimate Xenophobes
It's By a God's Command I Drink

I fly back to the top of the tower to find the orc heading towards the pyre.

Oh Hells no!

I land quickly and move to block him.

You have your own God! Leave the leavings of mine alone!

He shows no respect. Typical orc. I’m pulling out my scimitar to force issue when empty handed he loses interest. I still want his blood, but pull back my bloodlust. I really do not like him. At the start of our journey here he pushed for me to act in good faith and yet he proves his race trait overrules any pretenses of civility. Now I search through the hot embers for a leaving from my God. Pyrico left nothing. But then, aside from egg shells, I expected nothing.

I turn my attention now to finding my clothing and belongings and set about to getting dressed. I see him departing, he talks to Jern in the distance. Then heads off. Great. The orc is off to try and raid what’s left. Well, to the elven arrows with him.

Phaeron lands beside me and asks about him. I tell him what I think and leave it to him. He flies off. I walk down to arouse the others and break camp. I shift my form to appear more elven, taking on much of my mother’s colouration and braid my hair in accordance to her culture, blending some of what she learned from the culture above us. I’m surprised to find the others awake, and quickly update them on what went down.

The dread of what I need to do creeps upon me…. my mother failed to do what I must succeed at.

I fall into step with Fyraiia and speak quietly about perhaps removing the brands upon myself and my friends. She is angered by the mark, but agrees to keep it quiet. I will be under her studious eye yet again. I know not how I feel about this. I quickly take lead.

We get out on the surface, and it’s lovely though still grey overcast, the sun is still muted. I get my bearings and proceed to head for the village. I allow some of my scars to appear that would be visible with my dress on. I don’t believe anyone notices the souvenirs that are left when one is whipped. Good. I don’t want to talk about it. The elves are polite enough to not mention them. Eventually a patrol finds us, not like we weren’t hiding.

Stand and declare yourself! Is yelled from a point to my left. I turn my head, here it goes. Thank you Mother for teaching me what you knew about these shy elves.

I am Ishnaferya, daughter of Vryntaea and Dizmot of the Rû. We desire to talk to your Council of Elders for the benefit of both our people. We do not mean any harm.

Let them wonder at my name, as I blended it from my mother’s tongue and theirs. They gave her her name in their ancient dialect. Father, well, he’s human. We shan’t hold his name against him.

They talk quickly and quietly amongst themselves then question me about Psyren. I look back to her and smile. Xenophobes they be.

We were slaves together. We escaped together, she is with me, as is the giant and the lizardman.

What lizardman?

The one behind you, perhaps not the best response but it got them nervous. I switched to our shared language. Sslith’lac, please come stand beside me.

It was a few moments and he finally arrived. His appearance made them very nervous. Questions that I didn’t feel like answering were being asked. I fought the instinct to withdraw, and instead drew up a name that Mother was fond of. Even though she said no very strongly, the woman was my way in.

I desire to speak to Elder Elsperyn.

They seemed surprised that I knew the name of council member. They again talked quietly before a decision was made. We were to unarm ourselves, entrust our weapons to them. I pointed out that my lizard friend was a victim of a mad wizard and the blades were grafted into his being. They decided that he would be bound. I argued, but it was a they do it or we don’t go.

I explained what was going on, Jern asked when would we get our weapons back, which I translate back. It would be Elsperyn’s decision. I agreed to that and Sslith’lac took the choice regarding being bound away from me. He held up his hands. I didn’t like it. I had to bite my tongue.

We handed off our weapons. When it came to Pyrico’s Talon, I pulled it out of the tattoo, watching them for their reaction. I spun it around my hand and laid the blade across my palm, Treat this with respect. I tell the one I have been talking to. He reaches out to take it with his bare hand. Another moves swiftly and takes his wrist. This new comer clearly recognised the blade and took off his cloak and offered it to me to lay across. He then reverently covered the scimitar. I felt better by this.

We then were escorted in. Signs of overgrowth was everywhere in the village. But it’s still beautiful. These elves live in trees. My mother’s people live in the desert and heat scorched mountains. She thought this village was beautiful too. Pity my companions cannot see it as it was then.

We go through the center of town and I stop. Phaeron and the orc are in a cage. Like Sslith’lac’s bindings it is enchanted. I request for Phaeron’s release, willing to leave the orc there, but both Phaeron and the escort counter with both. I lose the negotiation and I am responsible for the orc. Just banish me now. The brute knows no respect or even how to pretend to have it.

We are taken to the Council Hut. The doors are opened and she stands within. I give a show of respect, silent request to enter and acknowledge that it is her place we enter. I approach her and stop a distance from her as appropriate in my culture. Then the talks begin.

Mother tried to get the elves’ aid before and lost her temper with their stubborn refusal to accept that the outside was targeting them. They were targeted, now awakened…. how much did they know happened? We begin with a bit of word dancing. This isn’t my strongest ability, why doesn’t Phaeron take over? Wait, maybe he doesn’t know the language. The orc begins to get bored, endangering this, and he doesn’t seem to care that I’m doing this not for myself but for the very resistance that he’s apart of. I just give up. I’m defeated when her attention is turned upon him. I don’t bother to hide it, as what is the point?

Knowledge is offered. Elf power will require a formal meeting. I’m surprised. This is acceptable. I inform her that if the Resistance requires more, their leader may send a delegation. Let them figure terms out. Even though I failed the door is opened. But I’m to be punished. I’m to teach the orc this dialect of Elven. It disgusts me. I inform him and he’s smug all over again. I truly despise him.

I ask when shall we depart? We are actually permitted to stay awhile. Sslith’lac’s bonds are removed and we are invited to a party to celebrate the revival of Pyrico and the awakening of the elves. We have three cabins assigned to us, when I inquire about freshening up. I ask her about my mother, if she’s been through since the first time. The easy answer is yes, as to how long ago, that’s more complicated.

We are escorted to the cabins, but first I turn for the shoreline. I’m so filthy I’ll stain the tub if there is one. Several follow me to rinse off in the brackish waters. I swim further out after using sand to scrub off the grime. The water is cool but it feels good. I slowly swim back to shore after a few minutes. The Sea Queen doesn’t want me right now.

I get partially dressed and head back to the cabins. I see the orc departing in bed sheets and request that his bag get returned to him. It probably holds his weapons but I care not. He would still find me a challenge to slay unarmed. I then request clothing for us to better attend the festival.

There’s apologies for there won’t be any clothing for the bigger members of my group nor the dwarves. I can only state that I understand. After all we arrived without advanced warning. I went inside and rewarmed the bath tub of water and added in some of the oils and salts that smelled similar to what Gronx added to the water back on the Fire Plane. It was great soaking in the heated water.

I awoke to Psyren’s fingers playing with my hair. The water was chilled and she was willing to warm me up. I wasn’t feeling it, but I had been ignoring her for a good portion of our journey, so I settled for a massage, and returned the favour. Together we got ready. She helped me with my hair. I shall have to cut some of it when I finally get to grounding. I haven’t been what my tribe needs.. but Psyren reminds me to be happy. The festival is celebrating what we had done. I let her think she cheered me up as she left.

Festival…. a gathering of people. Strangers. Too many people.

The dress I chose was scarlet with gold shimmer in a nice cut that left my back and arms bare. My legs were hidden from view, it was odd. And there were leather sandals nicer than what I took. They fit well enough. Will I be able to keep this as mother had kept the dress that was delivered to her? I do hope so. With gold jewellery it would be very fetching in normal circumstances.

I headed out towards the party. Too many people. Gah! I need my mind set right! I need to forget the past. No. That’s dangerous… I need to reconcile my past and try and put myself back together. But… crowd. And that voice!

I turn towards it and spy Warmonger talking to orc. Hmmmm, this could be interesting. Or not. There’s something about challenging the bitch. I’m guessing that’s me. I move on, unlike some I don’t want to trode where a God and his follower talk unless they are both enemies.

Hey you!

I keep walking.

Hey Doll!

Okay, now I turn and question the God who is wearing a body that is short and covered in weapons. Doll? I ask.

Toots. His response and I sigh. What, I respond.

He wants to have me do my thing that I did for Firebutt. His name for Pyrico. I see where the orc gets it. He wants me to bring back a Goddess he calls Doll. Wait, didn’t he just call me doll? He’s great with names, it seems. She’s missing, about a month, which coincide to when Jern and I arrived. He sniffs Jern and blames him for her disappearance.I defend Jern as a Goddess, even a minor one, would be aware of the dangers of taking someone who in turn starts to cause ripples.

Finally, something that I’m not to blame for. But that doesn’t help me explain 7 missing years….

I twice had tried to turn away and walk away when he got distracted with his paladin. But Warmonger demanded my attention. And my presence. I finally turned to him and told him defiantly as I do not worship him I do not come when he demands. Now be nice.

I’m rather surprised he didn’t back hand me. But somehow it feels right. Why and how?

He gives me leave to see to my grounding, to relax and to drink. To sort my memories in my head. But damnit I know not this Goddess and he expects me to work with the orc.

Lovely. Everything now goes back to the orc.

I turn. The party has lost all appeal. I seek the tallest tree that will give me a view of where my parents stayed.

Lets remain focused on the good here. Not Pronkar slaughtering elves, stealing my mother. Not Christopher treating mother’s stab wound from the black unicorn’s horn. No, I want to watch the replay of my parents finally confessing that they love each other. Trust me, it was obvious that they cared deeply for each other long before then, but neither was certain of the other given that they had been enemies at the start.

This is wear Dizmot proposed marrying her. And where mother, in her typical fashion, decided to do something hasty. This time it was soul bonding with Dizmot and giving him her true name. I smile, I like her true name, it’s beautiful. My grandfather gave it to her. He had plans, clearly.

I’m high up, when Jern and orc call to me to come down and drink.

Jern is with him? It may be safe for me.

I fly down then switch back to my half elven form to land. I can hear the primal drum beat. It sings to my blood…. I must remain in control.

The orc is under orders to make me a friend and to share his knowledge of Doll, otherwise known as Oceania and who was gifted a piece of his essence to assend. Interesting. A lover or a friend? She’s bonded to him now in either case. Her task is to heal Warmonger. Wow. She has her work cut out for her. I muse she must be a water Goddess. Nope, a war nature Goddess. Ok, what?

She’s a healer, so she must have been a priestess or a shaman when she was human.

Nature… so perhaps a follower of Merlay or Ylena when she was mortal. Or a hermit…. no. War doesn’t belong to a hermit. Nor to a nature Goddess. Perhaps corrupted by Warmonger given he gave her his essence…?

I’m apparently not supposed to be working on this riddle. Here, drink from this open bottle. Yeah, like I’ll drink from the same bottle that the orc drinks from. Nevermind that he’s an orc, but he’s immune to poison, though it seems Warmonger is allowing him to get drunk. He offers me a sealed bottle, that I open and sip from. He wants me to drink more, and I decline. I do not want to be drunk. He tries challenging me to a drinking contest, to which I decline. I have not consumed alcohol for almost two years and I have zero interest in being in his mercy.

I used to drink before… but it takes affect on me far too quickly now. I place the cork on the bottle and slip it into my pouch. Elven wine will be difficult to get a hold of now…. I plan on taking a few more. Havaan only drank elven wine. If we come across his feralness it may be what saves us.

I’m escorted to the heart of the party by a pyre. I play with it, causing shapes to appear in it and to burn bright and tall as the elves dance around it. I drink a little when Psyren offers me a drink. Phaeron joins us and the orc is encouraging him to drink. Jern also offers me some wine. I sip to be polite then join the elves in dance. They do not seem offended by my joining, but they do not welcome it.

I’m an outsider. Ironically, in more ways than one.

I spun out and hear Warmonger talking about a fight that could have only happened if he had been mortal too. Interesting. Perhaps he and this Oceania had been friends back then.

I move to sit near him. He pushes a bottle of wine towards me. Drink. It’s safe to relax.

Yeah? Because you’re here?

Pretty much.

I thank him again for interfering with the unicorn. He shrugs. Or if you were using me as bait, thanks for being quick enough to let me escape. Hehe snorts. I’m studying him, even though I know I won’t remember what I see like last time. I ask him a bit more about Oceania, he reminds me that I’m to relax. Gah, I haven’t been able to relax for years on me own…. literally since Strom fell. Hence grounding and meditating are difficult.

I had heard the orc asking for the location of a priestess of Oceania before I sat down, and Warmonger told him to search for one himself. So now my turn. I inquire as to being pointed in the direction of something holy to Oceania. Perhaps from when she was human. Armour, weapon, that sort of thing. I need a direct link when I’m doing the summoning. He tells me to talk to Lheare.

So, I now cannot skip out on reuniting with this woman it seems. He tells me to drink more, I do so. I can feel it taking effect and it’s making it harder to think straight. He is uncouth. Rude even. But he is approachable and oddly, I’m not threatened by him. Odd.

Perhaps he likes it when I am defiant? I recall using that tone again, but I cannot remember why.

I get up and stumble into Phaeron. I half stiffen and apologise, and half fall into him. I miss his scent. He chuckles and helps me to stand up better, but he’s also been drinking. I can see the orc trying to land himself an elven woman… there’s not enough wine for that.

Phaeron helps me back to my cabin. We talk along the way. We stumble and wind up sitting for a little bit. I remember snagging a jar of sweet nectar.

Then I wake up in a bed with a man in it. There’s a wing over me, and I’m red. I push away, and calm down when I see I’m still half dressed. My head hurts from the too much wine and not enough nectar. He stirs and we drink some of the juice. We talk about the past. We actually make jokes!

But we are both half drunk and half hungover, so we fall back into revery. I wake again, he’s petting my head and playing with my horns. Two can now play this game and without mercy I play in line with his horns’ bases. We talk more. Why are we in my bed?

He still loves me. I still love him. It seems we have a base to work upon, but I warn him it’ll take time til we are back where we were. He’s nonplussed by this. I’m worth the wait, I melt on his chest listening to his heart and his fingers find the spot that makes me super tired I fall asleep. I protest and he tells me it’ll be fine.

I’m on the sand of the arena. I can hear the crowd cheering and shouting. There’s a male planar on me, but I manage to get him on his back. We are more wrestling than fighting now. He throws sand into my eyes. I grab his throat and extend my claws. Without hesitation I try to rip it open…. and my eyes open to Phaeron gasping for air, and his hands upon mine trying to get them off. I get out of bed. I don’t make eye contact and my form shifts, not to my present guise, nor to Ameira, but to the one called Phyluvia. I don’t make eye contact as I apologise. I shouldn’t sleep. He wraps his arms about me. He tries to calm me down. I smell blood, I know this scent and I search him. I tell him to drink a potion. He’s bleeding a fair bit…

It’s still night. I can hear the drums. We talk about what I dreamt. What happened. I show him the scars I got for not waiting for the crowd to decide. It was an early fight. I was tossed in without weapon, armour or even clothing. I hadn’t wanted to fight. It was the start of living angry, and I wanted to live as living meant I could work towards escaping. I tell him about the brand upon my neck, the tattoo upon my leg. He wants to know more, and I supply the basic details. Much of what I say angers him, so I don’t give precise details. He doesn’t need to know. I go to switch topics when there’s a quiet knock upon the door. I switch faces, going to Ameira. Who’s there I challenge. No response. I creep towards the door.

If you’re Gronx, scratch once. There’s one scratch, which allows me to relax, then a second that causes me confusion then caution as my heckles rise. I hear Phaeron shifting about. I creep the door open a crack. The cabin is still.

There’s the scent familiar, the contained heat, red skin, fire dancing. A damn Efreet! I leap back and Phaeron charges as the door opens to reveal his form. Phaeron is frozen in midstep. I lunge for the Efreet, but my scimitar isn’t on me. Bloody Abyssal gnats! The elves still have it. At the same time he adjusts his monocle.

It’s that Efreet!

I stop my movement and glare at him. Unfreeze him, and get in here.

I don’t know what time of night it is. The party is still going on. But I don’t want anyone else to see him. Phaeron closes the door, but his body language clearly states he doesn’t like this Efreet, putting it lightly. He’s not an enemy, yet.

The Efreet responds, I hope to be a friend eventually. I respond not, I just grab a robe and put it on, then hand Phaeron his tunic. Modesty becomes you, the Efreet comments. I spin to level a glare and ask what he means by that. Phaeron sits and tries to pull me down to sit. I refuse and continue to stand. He’s apparently glad to see me adjusting well to my freedom. He hopes that I’m finding happiness now. It’s not malicious, how odd from one of his kind.

I reply with how can I be happy with my family missing; Gods banished or dead or something; and more enemies than years I have lived? He’s taken aback by this, and continues to talk in his calm demeanor. He’s reaffirming he means me no harm.

He came to give an update on the information I asked for. He also inquires as to Phaeron being the lover he’s heard about. I tell him none of his business and put myself between them. He dabbles in information. Lheare isn’t the only one watching us. I ask him what I’m to call him.

He smiles, Fliergen. He then asks what to call me.

Ameira. I’m going by that right now. I’ll let you know when it changes.

He agrees, then goes on to discuss the information.

  • Xystus’ advisor is a Devil. Type unknown. I inquire about true name for it,or information that can lead me to it. I figure it’ll be years before I can face it.
  • My sister was my sister, until Kayshna took over. She was a passive observer until then. So she heard my plan to bring back Pyrico, and she knows about Fliergen. Kayshna is the general of Xycas, damnit she’s been promoted. She does still work with her sister, this seems to be one of those circumstances.I think Kayshna sprung the trap too soon, or had to due to the Rite I was going to initiate. Lorelei has her soul again. But I know of a ritual to summon her soul. Two in fact. Father called Mother’s soul from the Weave…
  • He doesn’t know precisely where my brothers are. He assumes in their capitals. He does know who has them though:
    - Narm has Orous
    - Narhveer has Baelok
    - Toza has Rajiin, my worst fear a reality. The Father has his son! A son he didn’t know he had.
    My head swirls but I refuse to sink. I shake off Phaeron’s hand of support. I cannot show my weakness. It’s bad that Baelok is with Narhveer, but… a wizard savant in the hands of that Archmage…

I change focus. When is the bastard going to try again.
The latest we should leave is seven days…. I think I’ll aim for 3 or 4 days. I need to talk to the Elder about the underground city. Is it possible for the dwarves to use it? I need to talk to Jern about this idea. And Phaeron too.

Fliergen gives me heck for not hiding my signature. What was I thinking?

I hid my cohorts from their sights. But the Kabal and the Efreet are not looking for them, they are hunting for me.

I knew the Planars were, but why the Kabal. Aside from the fact I successfully brought back Pyrico. That may be why. I sigh. He makes it plainly clear if I want to remain free, I’m to learn how to hide my signature. Both in ritual and common encounters. I tell him I do not know how. He’s confident that I’ll figure it out. Gee thanks on not giving me pointers.

I admit that I need to raise up a Goddess in addition to Merlay. I would need his help in ensuring that the rituals are right. He agree to review my rituals. I thank him.

He asks if there’s anything else.

Actually, yes. I give him the names of everyone in my tribe that might be alive. I first start with the children, they’ll be about my age. Give or take. Then their parents. Blood brothers and blood sisters to my mother.

He agrees to look into them.

And he leaves. I now drop to my knees, wrapping my arms around myself now starting to process what has been going on. How can I find happiness like the Efreet wants me to when my family is suffering? Guilt. Rage. Sorrow. It mixes together for a mess of emotions and Phaeron is there trying to calm me down, telling me it’s ok,it’s going to be ok. Come back to bed and revery. I need to see this mess through, but he’s insistent.

I am tired still. I crawl back into bed. But I can’t revery. Too many thoughts. Too much emotions. I wait for Phaeron to fall into revery, then carefully slip out. I don’t bother putting my sandals on, I just keep the robe on.

I snuck out, and moved quickly away from all noise and light. I flew once I felt safe, having to take the robe off first. Modesty, my foot. There’s no shame in nudity.

I found a quiet clearing and set to work, drawing sigils for the Gods I needed.

  • Pyrico as my patron, as my family’s primary God
  • Ylena, Merlay isn’t awake and my sister has a few times spoken of feeling a drawing to the Earth Mother
  • Quillar, Orous dedicated himself to the wanderer of air
  • Siella, she is the gentle Arcane Goddess Rajiin honoured
  • Nameless, both Rajiin and I honour him
  • Druumbos, Baelok dedicated himself to lightning for how hard and fast it struck
    Of these Gods, I know that I’m gambling on three being inactive.

I offer each a gift then call to them, asking for their ear. I explain myself, my weakness, my guilt, my worry. I do not shy away from the worse of myself, and I openly dedicate myself to bringing back the Gods of my family. And others that need to be brought back. I apologise to Ylena as I hadn’t heard of her, and ask for forgiveness if I am wrong about her being Merlay’s daughter. I ask her to give comfort to my sister stuck in a soul gem no doubt, the perfect Hell for her. To assure her that I’m working towards getting her back into her body.

I talk to each of the Gods, asking them to reassure my brothers. I am back. I may be flawed and broken, but I will not stop til death and banishment take me to free them. Send them my love.

I hear a woman’s voice and turn to find her. A quick glance shows that Ylena’s gift is taken. I talk some, about my weaknesses, about family, she had once been human, and like Oceania ascended. Lheare had eyes on what I need years ago. To get Merlay back I need Oceania. Interesting… Ylena goes as far to suggest that she may be a better fit for me than Merlay, since we’re also not so distant. I’m intrigued and say such, looking forward when I finally create my sacred space dedicated to the Elements and Magic Gods. She actually approaches me and touches my head! A cool calmness comes over me, the chaos in my mind settles. I look to her with gratitude and surprise. It will last a few days, she tells me. I thank her, a few days of mental peace is a blessing.

Next, I talk to Quillar but he’s silent. Then I draw the symbol for air, in case someone in his court is around. Nameless’ voice tells me to summon Warmonger as he’s full of hot air. A distant I heard that is caught by my ears. I talk to Nameless, trying to make sense of what he says regarding Rajiin. His words make me fear for my little brother. I doubt he’s whole or sane given Nameless’ words. I ask for Nameless’ permission to set him as he was before he absorbed the dark goddess that tortured my mother. I think in a way I got it. But the song he sang about stuff and things being done to Rajiin echo in my head as he departs to take care of business elsewhere.

I talk to the Arcane Goddess who’s only response was a light glow upon the symbol I drew. Was it her? Or Nameless being cruel?

Either way, I turn to Pyrico to send my words to Orous and Rajiin. There’s warmth, and I thank him honestly for his help.

Then there’s Druumbos, the dark God of storms. I talk to him, but there’s no response. I signed, then drew Warmonger’s symbol. It actually draws him away from the party and we get to talking frankly. He wants to know why I called him to pass a message to Baelok. I point out that when Baelok is free he’s one Hell of a warrior. There’s some verbal push and pull and finally Warmonger agrees to send a message of his liking to Baelok. There’s a pause, when I ask him about it, he says God Stuff, I wouldn’t understand. I’m curious but I don’t press. After a few moments he states the message is delivered. In his way. I thank him, and he again reminds me to bring back Oceania. I agree to get it done. I still believe it’s going to be the last act I do before the orc does the Kabal’s work and take me out of play.

My task done, I thank the Gods for their attention and wipe away the traces of the communication. I pick up Druumbos’ gift as it wasn’t claimed. Then I head quickly and quietly back, feeling a lot better, even though Nameless tried to undo what Ylena did. The sky tells me I have several hours until dawn. Wow. This has been a rough night.

There are quiet snores in the cabin and I sneak into my room. I clean and warm my feet before slipping in beside Phaeron. He snuggles up and asks if I was gone. I tell him I needed air. He accepts this and bids me to rest well. I find revery very easily, and I recall the last birthday celebration we had as a family together.

View
Fire Rain Down Upon The Forest
The First Quest is Complete

I awaken to something moving pass me.

I sat up slowly and watched as Daniel left the group, speaking something odd to something that flittered above and in front of him. Ah his bat. He walks further away, I look to Asra and mentally ask her to remain in case we found trouble. Send help. She chittered and slinked to where the others are. I got up and followed.

He moved quietly along, then turned down the side tunnel that Psyren and I went down before I went to revery. He continued to move along and I heard movement. I kneeled down and looked for scat and foot prints. There was some. Trouble is here.

I pulled out my scimitar and began to close the distance when suddenly a light spell was used.

Damnit! There goes my dark vision. It actually stung.

As a carrion crawler comes out to attack Daniel, I get attacked by a rust monster. It’s actually kind of cute…. but I put my scimitar away and proceed to punch it. I don’t have much in the way of metal on me, so it must be confused. I keep an eye on Daniel. He has stated repeatedly he’s squishy…

I have to finish the beastie quickly as I see Daniel’s limbs slow in their movement. I try burning it but the scales don’t catch. I kick then punched it again, the head caves in around my fist. I move to assist him but he manages to kill it himself. Good.

Daniel. You alright? I ask. He seems surprised that I’m there. I told him it’s not safe for him to wander. Then I notice Clarence, he’s somehow found us. Then I hear Jern. There’s a rust monster on Clarence, then a carrion crawler behind him, but the beastie fled. Jern is also in a fight. I elect to help Jern while Daniel went for Clarence. Clarence has fallen over. Not my concern, as I hear Daniel call him meat shield. He’ll keep the human alive.

I flew to assist Jern, but he needs it not as he beats down the crawler. I turn to look at Daniel as Jern starts that way. He’s falling over!

Oh Hells no! I fly pass Jern, and slice through the crawler’s face, dropping it. I land upon Clarence, kneeling upon his chest, I ask where he’s been. I contemplate running my blade along his throat, but it would be good to fight him. I’m putting my blade away as Jern intercedes on his behalf. I agree with his council and turn to study Daniel.

Poor Catling. I search my pouch for a cure to the paralysis. I have 4 such vials. I carefully pour one down Daniel’s throat. I don’t want to drown him. The potion takes affect and he’s able to talk. Words are spoken and I almost smack the bat that flew out of his cloak. I apologise to Daniel when he says it’s his familiar. He oddly says it’s okay and that he’ll burn or cut Jeff. Very odd. I help him to stand, watching him for after affects.

I look back to Clarence. Daniel vouches for him…. doesn’t mean much. Jern then vouches for him. That means more. We can’t leave him. We must take him back. Jern takes his feet, I take his arms. We pack him back and place him well within our camp.

Osozo makes inquiries and I repeat what I know, and leave it at that. I trust Jern to watch Clarence and take action if necessary. I look at the egg. I pet it gently. I ask Jern and Gronx who’s turn it is to carry the egg. Jern says it’s his, but Gronx smiles and takes it. I return the smile. The fight has cleared my sight and hearing. This is good.

We break camp and begin to hasten to travel. I’m leading the way. No problem, no sights, no smells of blood. It’s good to be in darkness. I do not hesitate to take paths.

I have him. He’s bleeding. He’s barely lucid. And damn he’s heavy. I’m dragging him with me, we have to get away. I’m running. Running as fast as I can. The tunnels are so dark. I can’t see, my magic so weak from the blood loss, but I managed to cast light when we left. But outside the light I see nothing.

He’s after me!

I shift Chang to better hold him. I stumble, I roll. Something has me! I can’t see it, but I feel it. I try and break free. I try to cast magic missile, but my blood is too weak. Nothing happens and then I’m stabbed. I scream in pain, I fight it off, and I move to grab Chang and get out of here. I pull and drag him up into standing, then I pull him to start stumbling forward with me. I will not leave him to be tortured to death by that beast!

I crash into something. I roll with it, Chang gets tossed and I again get him to his feet. There’s nothing there. I get moving again. Then something cuts deep into my back and I fall forward. I smell blood. My blood. The beast approaches and kicks Chang hard, I hear his ribs break. He comes to me and grabs me by my hair…. the fangs. The fangs lead to red drenched darkness.

My hair is over my face. I’m not moving. There’s voices. My arms dangle and there is something hard pressing into my stomach. Something has my legs.

Someone is carrying me! I stiffen as old fears rise, and something no someone is dropped then gasping for air. I try to get myself dislodged and I’m brought about to face the Brokki who holds me by my arms. I struggle to get down, get away, break free. I bring my feet up and try to kick myself away from him. But he holds tight and brings me in to a crushing embrace.

No no no his voice is quiet, but the arms are strong. I can’t flex my way out. I can’t squirm. His neck is exposed.

I shift my teeth. I bite deep and try to tear a chunk. I’m not going back!

I’m dropping. But he’s hold me. There’s a pause them a gruff curse… then darkness as air leaves my lungs and pain sparks my head.

The floor is hard, dusty. My back and arms hurt. My head aches. I try and keep still, try and see through the pain. A warmth glows through me. Gronx? No it’s too general. Not a spell then, likely a potion. There’s quiet. Who gave me a potion? My memories are still. I rub my head. Why does it hurt? I get up slowly and look around. I’m in an ancient building, made of crystalline stone, carved with vines, leaves and birds. Beautiful. It’s empty save for a shape sat about seven feet from me. My head whips back and I straighten, ignoring the ache and pains I feel. I look at the being. It’s a man, but before I can bolt I realise he’s Phearon. But I don’t relax.

What have I done? My memories are still but jumbled. He asks me how I feel, I tell him I’m fine. He saw my pain though and insists I drink another potion. After arguing he wins.

We talk, for a long while. He tells me what happened, what I did. I sigh.

I’m segregated then. They’ve decided to be done with me then. The thought stung, but it made sense. I was still unruly and impulsive, not to mention that I have a slippery hold on reality.

He seemed taken back and told me he brought me here to talk to me. Selfish reason he admits. He’s keeping his features friendly. They eyes when I meet them are sad, confused, hopeful and caring.

Talking was hard. Part of me wanted to talk, another part wanted to run. I forced myself to talk. I tried to tell him about where I have been. What happened, but it angered him. I decided to stop talking, clearly the wrong topic. I asked him instead how was he alive. He crept closer when I gave him a slight nod. I missed him very much, but I kept to myself. I couldn’t touch him… I could lose it. I found out how it was he is alive. His mother probably had placed a magic item on him and got a group of people to unbury him. They stayed low in Strom while my siblings and I fled. Malek is stuck in beast form and feral. Havaan is on a war path to slaughter anyone he crosses. Great. The last of the Triple Threat have gone mad.

He tells me more about where we’re going to go after Pyrico hatches. It’s underground. Great. I have to endure more time under the earth. Perhaps by the time we get to the dwarf strongholds I’ll be over my dislike. Maybe though unlikely. Give me something to fight and I can do it.

I ask him why he doesn’t hate me. After all, I abandoned him. He flatly refuses to admit that I did or have done anything that would cause him to hate me. He still calls me Prae-kor. I almost melt. I tell him about being gone for 2 years, instead of the 9 that has passed. He suggests theories which scare me. I don’t want to dwell on them. Talking comes easier, but his touch….. I understand that he’s trying to get me to relax like he used to, but…. not like that. It’s too much. He lets go of my head, but continues to pet me gently. That even proves hard to allow and he stops. I can feel the frustration and the anger, not at me but at something beyond me. He wants to hunt down and kill the ones who did this to me.

I tell him about how Gronx decided to force his friendship on me by not forcing himself. He protected me as best as he could given his rank and privileges. I tell him about how Sslith’lac became a friend, how Psyren forced me to accept her company. He asked me if she and I were lovers, I told him I made that choice as it was safe. It was always men who were interested in hurting me, from free men to fellow gladiators. I mention the kind guard, the one who knew the truth of our secret. I mention the elven healer who I convinced to cheat. The wizard who warded the cell…. There are others amongst the gladiators, I realise who watched my back when Gronx was too injured to leave bed.

I turn to my plans regarding my time upon the Prime. After Pyrico’s hatching, figure out the means to awaken the elves then try and make allies of them. As Lheare originally wanted me for my ritual use, she may like having allies who do different form of ritual magic. I may travel to this place that they want us to go, or I may not as my honour exists not. I explain to him that I need to center and ground and that it may take days. I had told Jern that I will go through the mines to liberate the slaves there as well as seek information up in Merlay, heck any of the missing gods. He guessed that I intend to bring back more gods to which I agreed. He laughs, I didn’t change much then, aiming to work on goals too big to succeed, yet finding a way to do so.

But I have a limited time until I’m taken away. He has much to say on this. He doesn’t understand the threat fully…. I push pass it and explain the ritual and the locks my maternal grandfather placed upon the memories. It seems I can’t fully access rituals that are above my ability. Drynarlyn had very protective tendencies towards family it seems. So I think suicide by ritual will be nigh impossible unless it’s interrupted. But the rituals I do have access to will allow me to form a tribe….

At a point he remarks about being denied seeing me in my natural form. I’m hesitant. Does he really know what he’s asking? It takes me many heartbeats to get up. I turn my back to him and take my clothing off. I then shift, in this form, I cannot hide the scars. I lay bear the tale of what happened to me, from the floggings I received, to the blows that almost killed me, from blows that almost took my arm, to the tattoos I never asked for. I turn slowly to show him all. I tell him about how I got some scars. But again his face is clouded by anger, so I face quiet, his eyes scouring my body.

He’s quiet. Uncomfortably quiet. Finally, I pick up my dress and slip it back on as I return to my Ameira face, disappearing most of the scars. He finally spoke, you are still beautiful. I don’t meet his eyes. I don’t see the beauty in my marred flesh. It’s worse than flaws, the marks are reminders of what hell I’ve been through. I say nothing. There are no words.

Have you spoken to Fyraiia about removing the brand? I shake my head. I don’t know how I’ll react to magic being used upon me. Instead I tell him I’m not comfortable around Toza’s former apprentice.

There is much that we have to talk over, but it’ll take time. Again, my nemesis raises its head.

There’s a knock upon the door and it swings open. Jern pokes his head in, and he asks if there’s something I want to talk to him about. His eyes are upon Phearon, and he walks in.

He’s assessing the situation, and conversation is difficult again. We stumble as we move through the motions of conversing. Eventually it turns to what I saw that caused me to run.

The memory was my mother’s. She had Chang who was seriously hurt, he could have healed himself but mother was too weak to give up the amount of blood needed I’m sure. She had taken Chang and fled. Not for the first or last time, to get away from the one tormenting her: Pronkar. I now know fully why mother was always worried when he was around. All he did was drain her to near death, put a potion in her and do it again to torture Chang. I tell them that she was mostly unconscious through the town, so there is quiet here. Up on the surface there are mostly happy memories, except the Kabal had been waging war with the elves. I try to tell them about the shadow hounds,but Jern stops me to ask about when mother was here. He seems surprised.

Phearon is surprised that I still am fond of Pronkar. The vampire never did me harm, he instead saved my brother and I when we were infants and they tried to steal us. He guarded us, I think because mother guarded his nephew, after saving him from pirates who had enslaved him.

Jern speaks about what happened to him. Did he almost die before getting here? Explosions and white flashes sound ominous. Before we can discuss this further I hear the sound of moving armour.

The rest of the group finally arrives. I’m silent and fall in behind them looking at the buildings. Beautiful, what would have driven the elves underground? When? How many eons ago did the event happen?

I move towards the tallest building which is in the center. Jern agreed it was a good position to take being in the center and having a full view. A question was raised as to which tunnel lead to the elven village. I pointed it out.

There’s a fountain, it’s dried up. The flower beds are dead. Pity. I wish I could peak at what it used to look like. Maybe when my magic is stronger I can call upon the past’s echoes… perhaps the dwarves we rescue will like being here? I’ll have to talk to Jern, and the elves.

Watches are set up and I move to a different floor from the group, but find some members up with me. I set a low burning fire to keep the egg warm and slip into the magic flow to commune with the egg to learn the next step. It’s more feelings and fleeting images, but I believe it’s to be at the top of the very tower we are in. I see the plan and slowly find my senses…. and Daniel is seated beside me, watching intently.

Hello, I say to him. His curiosity seems to be killing him as he gets talking. First apologising for stabbing me, he offers a dagger to stab him back, which I decline. I’m not sure the game he’s trying to play at. He then goes on about ritual work, and learning how to do it. I ask him what’s in it for me.

That stops him right there. He’s interested in the magic up in Gronx. Course he is. He acts like prey at times, making me wonder what cruelties have been visited upon him. He talks and I hold a hand up. I remind him that he betrayed me to people we knew not. Trust needs to be earned and there is none between us. Not the type to convince me to take him as a student. It’s part and parcel to my culture, my people, and my family. Would he respect the tradition? Or use it to burn a forest down?

I’ll allow him to figure things out, then Princess Floofypants makes hers and Jern’s presence known. We talk a bit, then Clarence is brought down by her mental voice. Jern teases him about going insane, and I bring him up to date on the sentient warhammer. I begin thinking about how to build the pyre, and the airflow here. There is oddly a breeze, so, again what was this place used for? A refuge?

I come back to the present as Clarence congratulates me. I ask him for what and he approves of the lack of murder and avoiding the archmage. I’m taken back. This is the man I bit, the human that I wanted to cut the throat of…. I’m not sure of what to say. So I say nothing.

I tell those who are awake of what’s needed. And they jump up, ready to go get ancient doors and hot burning minerals for the next step of the ritual. They are excited. Even Psyren who doesn’t approve of ritual work as it can be fatal. Again, I am surprised. Clarence, after asking about what type of cult this is even goes to help and Gronx is taking the egg up to the top. Perhaps we can get this done without waking the others or setting off the orc’s warning rod. I head up and begin to draw the runes and circles upon the roof. They are similar to what I wrote to summon the egg, but are more focused on focusing the flow of energy, charging and purifying it. I saw some of them while in commune. I can feel the air flow here, this is good. The others bring the wood, Jern takes my lead with the mineral powder, and he has found himself a makeshift drum. I shall have to secure him a true drum at some point.

He beats a pattern, I take lead. And the others join in as the mood takes them. We dance and move, setting into a trance and the energy grows. I feel the precise point to ignite the pyre which ignites the runes and circles. Fire flows around us, and then propels itself out and back in when it hits the outer wall. I stop to watch as the egg breaks open and a small phoenix comes out with a screech. The great firebird grows rapidly and flies straight above us to sound his call again. I don’t realise that I’m on my knees til I move to follow my patron out. He swoops for the tunnel that leads for the elf village. I get up and leap off the building and become aware of two important facts: a) I’m naked, I don’t know when that happened, and b) I’m in my natural form. I fly swiftly, keeping up to his tail feathers. We hit surface quickly and I land on a tall tree’s branch. Pyrico again sounds his challenge above the forest and the flow of magic that comes is to guard and protect, then to destroy. Fire falls from the sky, from his wings and body, not burning the trees but destroying that which doesn’t belong. Puffs of smoke rise up in countless places.

An angry scream catches my attention and I turn to where the gods were fighting. Trees are moving, light is being shot and rage gives birth to defiance before the evil flees. Between Warmonger and Pyrico, I doubt that the foul one had a chance.

I turn again to see trees turning green, blossoms blooming, and Pyrico flying to wear I stand. I move to bow my head, but he’s already bowing to me! My patron acknowledged me! I want to laugh, I want to leap, I instead drop to a knee and place a hand upon my heart. It is great to see him again.

With a final call, he turns and flies away, I watch until he’s out of sight. I don’t chase after him this time. Instead I leap off the branch and fly towards the village, when I hear noise. I land on a new branch and spy upon moving elves. They are out of stasis! I want to take a form that resembles my mother and speak to some, but I’m naked.

I believe that they have certain celebrations where nudity is ok, but first meeting is not one. I instead fly back to the tunnel, being careful to not be seen and fly back to everyone. I’m happy! I’m excited! My first quest is successful! Pyrico is back! There is hope. I may survive this.

I almost crash into Clarence and veer up and barrel roll above them. I swoop and twist in the air, and Jern calls to me. I fly down and above him and talk quickly. He begroans not being able to witness and I smile. I call some fire to me and replay all that I witnessed for those gathered. Jern curses his short legs.

I fly up and off, telling him I need to get redressed and back into my human guise. I need to gather the shell fragments. They will be useful.

Today is the start of something. We did the first step!

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Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt. 16
In which we finally actualize intention.

Wake up suddenly from something bouncing off my face. Ameira’s ferret is there dancing around my head. Take a look around and see that no one else is here. Not sure why I was left here, wherever the others went, but that mystery can be left for later. Confirm as best I can with the gesturing of a little weasel that I’m to follow.

Charge through the tunnels as I’m lead, before I start hearing the sounds of combat.

Find my allies at arms against a Rust Monster. Quickly buckle up my cloak, and wrap Princess Floofy Pants up in one of my spare shirts as I charge in.

I run past Clarence, who is apparently here now. Suddenly something strikes at me from behind. We’ve been snuck up upon and flanked by a set of corpse collectors. Been a while since I’ve seen one of those. Crush the one by me to the floor, and charge after Clarence, who had already succumbed to their paralytic bullshit.

Ameira flies in quick-like and ends the second one. She drops down onto Clarence’s chest and threatens his life. I tease him a bit and remind her that it’s hard to question that which cannot answer.

Jeff; Daniel’s Bat that is distinctly not a Crow, but is distinctly an ass; makes an ass of himself.

Pick up Clarence in a fireman’s carry and bring him back to camp.

He wakes up, we try to explain what’s been going on. After some brief exposition, he goes around and introduces himself.

Food is passed out by Jorn. He refuses not to honorific Ameira, despite her complaints. The food’s pretty damn tasty at least.

We pack up and head on our way. Gronx packing the egg as he is wont to do.

As Clarence lost his armour against the rust monster, we have him try on the glamored breastplate. It fits.

As we continue through the tunnels, Ameira suddenly takes off ahead of us, followed quickly with Daniel. None of the rest of us have a chance to catch up.

Suddenly we hear Ameira screech. I charge down the tunnel in that direction. Another scream. Hear shouts of fighting, casting, and general arguing.

By the time we get to where they fighting, they’d already taken off. Continue the pursuit. Eventually catch up to where Daniel is sitting on the ground panting and bleeding, and Ameira is on the ground. Psyren has apparently whipped her unconscious.

Psyren indicates that Ameira’s memories were catching up with her. Hallucinations or some such. Clarence carries the two and we move on.

The day progresses and eventually we decide it’s time to find a place to rest. I recall that at the previous fork, the opposite path seemed to lead into a cave. Might be worth checking out.

We get back, I head in, and yeah, I think I was right. The cave opens to a cliff face, with stairs leading down to a huge stone city. Quick recconaissance indicates the city is clear. We head down, Ameira unconscious in Phearon’s arms. I call for everyone to reconvene in the center, and go after them.

We all reconvene, figure out where everyone’s going to sleep, set up watches that can keep an eye on all the exits/entrances. A bit of time to settle and discuss indicates that this was once an elf city. Abandoned for ages. No travel in/out for many decades. Still.

Wake up to Princess trying to wake me up. Apparently Daniel called me slow while I was sleeping. Pfft. Oh well.

Come downstairs and out into the decided common area. Call out Daniel for equating himself with the Orc. Princess begins harassing Clarence out of his own sleep. Take the piss a bit when he comes down complaining of voices telling him to kill. We gather the supplies we need from the city and the flammables we need from the walls and doors.

Ritual begins while everyone else sleeps. Ameira indicates that it should take Much less time. Get the rythym going.

Few hours pass, she sets her rapier down by the egg, and shit explodes. Flames everywhere, and Pyrico erupts from his egg. He begins growing, and immediately books it off towards the one path that leads out. It’s not the kind of sight you can describe properly, nor is it the kind that can ever dull in memory.

Before I have the time to properly unpack what just happened, Ameira takes flight and charges after our God reborn. I pick up Clarence, who was all fucked up from the ritual, let out a call that we’re on the move, and chase after.

Before I even get out of the tunnel, we’re met again by Ameira. Everything is done, and Pyrico has left. FUCK. I wanted to see that shit. Fortunately she was able to replicate it in miniature with the flames. Witnessing what he did through the flames only enflames my irritation at having not gotten to see it with my own eyes. It’s not often I curse my stature.

We head back down towards the city. Ameira is clearly ecstatic. I comment on it jokingly. Of course she’s gonna be. Her one true god is awake, and is cleansing his forest. I express my pleasure at having been a part of it. It finally feels like we’ve actually got a chance at fixing whatever happened to this world, and our path is laid out ahead of us. Ally ourselves with the Elves. Find and release my kin from their prisons. Determine and ritualize Malaar’s magical hot spots. Continue.

Our efforts are paying off.

It feels good.

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Inconsistencies

I awaken to Jeff smacking my face with his wings. Prattling on about me needing to see something. I’m half asleep, I follow. The caves are dark, too dark. I clench the dagger harder and start complaining at Jeff.
I’m too tired to realize we’ve walked further than 20 feet from the original point. That’s the range of Jeff’s abilities.
“Looking for something shiny” he says.
I’m too tired to realize that he can’t tell if something’s shiny in the dark.
Too many thoughts, they’re all too loud. I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU JEFF!

light up my dagger. Attacked. Strike back.. no make yourself harder to hit Dar’jhir. Always defend first.
It’s still striking. Blur. Still striking. I promise to mutilate Jeff for this. Burn it. It’s slippery. If it was controllable I’d enjoy owning some of these. My bodies a little stiff. Magic missile. Dodge this you fucking worm.

I hear noise. It’s Clarence. He’s useful. Convenient.
“Daniel” I cringe at my slave name. Ameira approaches, general concern?
No she’s a threat to us. There’s a lot of noise but they all agree that she’s a threat. She has too many people willing to serve her. Untouchable. No we’ve seen it, the chinks. They’re there. Just need to exploit them.

Clarence goes down. Damn I like his protection. Go to aid. I go down. Jeff help.
……im so mutilating you.
Apparently Jeff has developed an attitude. Should probably find out why. No he’s the familiar. He obeys.
I’m helped up by ameira. The threat.
Clarence is carried back. I enjoy having him back. He’s something familiar in this hell hole. This CAGE. No, no cage.

I sift through the imprints. Each one has a different tone. They’re become more frequent. More extreme. This is worrisome and troublesome.

We continue. So many thoughts. Too many.
The threat bolts for it. NO! No no no no no. We need her to get out of here! I’m told to chase. I do. God is this tiring. But I will not be left in this fucking hole! Tackle. Barely hanging on.
Try to snap her out of it, stab with The dagger. OH GOOD GOD! Oh this heavenly scent, every hair standing up as a wicked smile crosses my face. Blood. Oh it’s been so long since it’s gotten personal. A spell usually works. Mmm mmm. I hold back a laugh somehow. I make false apologize as I stab again. Oh fuck mmm shivers through every part of my body. NO!!!! We need her. I pull myself back to reality. Try a headbutt. Doesn’t work. She gets away. I chase. We collide. Chase. She’s whipped. I sit on ameira.
I sift through my thoughts as I wait. We can’t kill her but we might remove her from our little game. Attack her psyche, destroy her mind.
Others arrive. We continue.

I am dropped while sleeping. Can’t breath can’t breath can’t breath oh good god. Clarence is bit. Karma.
Go into town. I nap. Confront ameira about mental state. Splendid she’s vulnerable. Easy target now. Need to eliminate before I recreate the world.

New world. Which one of us decided this……… who knows, regardless we all seem to be on board. Shocking.

I ask mindless questions. Ritual magic. She’s able to do it. Seems useful. I ask to learn. Asked what she gets in return. Loaded question she knows I have nothing. Pull some crap about not having a backup. Denied. Trust is needed. Learn gronx’s symbols are ritual. Needed. The threat is now an asset. It’s worth that risk.

I’ll have to let the inconsistencies continue like before.

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The Adventures of Princess Floofy Pants and Sidekick! Part II
Why Won't You LOVE ME????

Princess’ Log
Sillydate: Anyr 3, 6A 13

More bitching happens. No one asks me my benevolent opinion. Feel slighted. They don’t understand my magnificousness.

Get moving again. Still some complaining and arguing.

Ugly Dead Things attack! Band together to fight! Everyone except me……. :(

Had enough. Bitch at Sidekick! Complain about Younger, Sexier model. Damned trollop!

Sidekick seems angry! I needed food, afterall! Why’d he leave something so yummy so close if it wasn’t for me? It’s not like the cloak is gone…….

Scowley, Horny, Winged guy arrives! Sidekick could take him…….

…….with my help.

……………..only with my help.

We’re off! Travel travel. Such hard work!

And we stop for darker dark time.

Crazy Devil Lady wants to study me! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Voice my displeasure. She gets sassy with me. I think she’s trying to move in on Sidekick.

Displeased.

Get through to Sidekick. Make him understand how Special I am. How important my food was.

Princess’ Log
Sillydate: 6A Anyr 4, 13

More travelling. No fighty-fights. No chance to see if Sidekick truly saw error of his ways.

Get to a spooky cave. Looks spooky. Not sure I want to go in….

We go in! It’s an Adventure!!!!

Travel according to Scary Devil Lady’s directions, until she doesn’t know the way. Sidekick takes over.

Good Sidekick!

Stop for the night. Talk more. BOOOOOOOOOOO-riiiiiiiiiiing……..

Scary Devil Lady is scared. Huh… New Name!

Scared-y Devil Lady goes to talk to Dark and Brooding. Talk for a while. Then talks to Hussy Lady. Then talks to Big-O Man.

Boring stuff. Bleh.

Sleep time. Maybe Fighty-Fight tomorrow!

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