A Journal Entry

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A Journal Entry

Postby Lilira » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:55 pm

(Excerpt from a journal)

So much has occurred, yet I cannot weave a tale of it, for if some heard of it they would think ill of me due to their own misconceptions and their love for jumping to conclusions. I worry even about putting the words of all that has occurred here in my journal, in case my belongings should leave my possession somehow. This not being a tale read for others, I can ramble, writing my emotions down merely as a means to keep from going mad. And so I wait. I wait for a message to return to me. I watch every shadow nervously, waiting to see if what jumps out is friend or foe. When I see friends, I bury deep my paranoia so as not to concern them, but I know that someone is there, watching always. Once it has acted on my behalf, but what if that should change? Is it someone seeking to protect me, or fool me into a sense of false security? Whose orders does the shadow follow?

When I wander the roads, I use a scroll I have come across in my travels to summon a creature of the planes to stand invisibly by my side. It is not willing, and I do feel for it, but I feel the need for something at my back to stand between myself and danger if need be. Any time I leave the city, which is frequently in this time of waiting, I find myself searching the trees, eyes trying to pierce the gloom of shadows cast in the forest surrounding the road to the north, watching for that tell-tale sign of movement to indicate my shadow is following. Of course I never see it, unless it wishes me to; merely the occasional soft footfall, the figure disappearing when I turn around.

That is all my wandering mind can formulate to put on paper right now. I’m certain I may have more maunders to pen at a later time, but for now I will save myself the ink and parchment and finish for the night.
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Postby Lilira » Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:04 am

Chronologically, this happens after Lorsalian's latest A Turning of the Seasons and The Morning After, and Spreading the Word, though Lilira just barely got to writing this out in her journal. Its late, forgive the wandering words. - Lil

Once more I find myself unable to speak of my current situation with anyone. I am uncertain, after the events that have recently taken place on the island, what exactly Lorsalian thinks of me. He shows no signs of despising me, though many of the people I have met are capable of disguising their true feelings. The first time he’d seen me was at a meeting with the so-called Missionary during the war; the very same meeting where Teflor and Ayra all unbeknownst to me decided to attack the priest. That however is water under the bridge, and a tale that has been told.

Needless to say, such a meeting did not show me in my best light, as everyone thought me to be a traitor to the cause. Those were such confusing times. I am uncertain as to why I invited him to my audience with the queen. Perhaps because somehow I feel he has the same interests as I do. Even before Nilan and Dlavizz mentioned to me the possibility of the elves damaging the lands further by trying to repair the island, the part of me that wasn’t cringing away from my selfish reasons for helping the elves was wondering if what I was doing was wise. I just handed over those stones like a docile little girl, relief drowning the suspicion I should have felt. I was so damned pleased that maybe I had done something that would earn me some kind of recognition in my great grandmother’s eyes, some how made her proud that it was HER great grandchild who had done what others hadn’t.

But no. I had received thanks from the queen via Tanyl, handed over the stones docilely and considered myself done. Just like the arch-typical bard, I found an audience and spoke of what had occurred to two who had listened to me babble before. I did it in an effort to let Nilan know that the elves were actually seeking to close themselves off further from the world. He is so paranoid that the Queen is constantly conniving to find ways to destroy Dobluth Kyor. It is my opinion that she has enough other things to worry about, but being himself, he won’t listen to me. I honestly meant no malice in the passing on of this information and never dreamed it would come back to haunt me later in the form of an irate high mage wielding an elven scimitar.

It seems he took my words to the High Priest of Vhaeraun, who requested to see me. The remembrance of my meeting with him is still chilling, and I don’t understand why. Meeting the man he was perfectly courteous, and never said a cruel thing, but I got the feeling as he kissed my hand in farewell that his manners were a velvet glove over a taloned hand, poised to strike at anything he did not like. I know not what he would have done had I refused him.

In all my dealings with Nilan, I had only raised his ire once, and seen what he could be capable of. Oddly enough, aside from that one instance, I have no particular fear of him. Nilan is a weapon. The blade itself is sharp and the perfect tool for its job, but as long as the edge is respected, it will not cut unless the wielder bids it to. He is fanatically loyal to his god and his people, and hates grey elves with a passion for their perceived slight against the drow. Once that is understood, the man is understood. It wasn’t until I met with Dlavizz I understood why drow are universally feared.

I had serious misgivings after I heard the task Dlavizz had for me. He wanted me to carry a message to the “Blessed Isle”. Thinking back now, I have to ask myself if I was as easily manipulated as it seems, or did he really mean his offer? Was he trying to distract or was he sincere. Nilan assured me that it was necessary, but I have no proof. I hope Nilan wouldn’t deliberately mislead me, but if he didn’t that makes him as much of a pawn as I am in this game between the grey elves and the surface drow. All this stems from my ever-constant need to “help”. One day either I will wake myself from my fanciful dreams of everyone living in peace, or they will get me killed. I sincerely hope it will be the first, though I am doubtful.

There are times I believe Sotana is right. I do need a keeper. Unfortunately for me, no one has stepped up to offer themselves for the job, and with my innate talent for getting into scrapes it would be best if I continued to wander my road alone. At least then I won’t get anyone else involved.

On a final note for this entry, I have not seen my shadows in a few days. Perhaps word has gotten to them of the delivery of the message, and they have been told to return to their home. I certainly hope so, as it is difficult to maintain any pretense of neutrality and a wish to help when one is being followed around by drow warriors that step out of the shadows to kill anything attacking me. I have been walking around with a permanent itch between my shoulder-blades, part of me praying the target hasn’t changed…
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Postby Lilira » Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:15 am

Still in chronological order with the other entries.

I have a few precious moments to myself in between all the errands I am running and planning for the Championship that the three of us are working on. I decided to take this time to write some more of what happened to me on the isle. Though it is a tale will never be told to the public, at least not by me, the tale itself should be preserved for posterity, even if it is not for my own.

I received a missive from the isle that my request for the audience (one the good Geomancer had graciously consented to carry for me) had been approved. I met Lorsalian on the docks in Waterdeep and together we boarded the Silver Lady to sail to the Moonshaes where we would step through the gate to transport us to Leuthilspar. There was a time in my younger days the path was ever difficult to find, but my feet were now familiar with the way, though Lorsalian led us there. Lorsalian had looked in askance at my battle attire, and I grinned, promising to change at the inn. My clothes for this audience had been selected carefully, and I had no wish to appear at the palace in dusty, travel-stained garments. After that audience, I will never wear them again.

After I ducked quickly into the inn and changed, a page arrived to escort us into the palace. We followed the hallway, each step echoing in my head like a knell. I ran the lines of the song I had prepared through my head in an effort to calm myself. As a rule I don’t write songs. I don’t have the talent, but this one seemed to write itself up to a certain point, and though I had worked feverishly to finish it before going, it was not complete. It would serve as an introduction. I will attach it to this entry, as I am certain I will never perform it again. The queen did not have a reputation for killing the messenger as far as I had been able to determine, but I still had a feeling she would not look kindly upon me for bringing it.

Once more, I asked myself if it was wise to bring Lorsalian on this journey. He was completely unknowing and I wondered if this ended badly, would she include him in her wrath? About that time we reached the doors and entered the Throne Room of Amlaruil, Queen of Tel'Quessir.

After our initial greetings, I politely begged the indulgence of the bard playing her melodious song, and unwisely began my own. I felt the War Wizard’s gaze bore into me as I sang, watching the Queen closely for her reaction. She had an amused look while I performed. When I ended my song, she actually compared my appearance to Deshana, much to my surprise. Not by name of course, but I had heard enough about her tribulations with the court that I was more than capable of figuring that out. I was not there in any kind of supplication, though it certainly ended that way. Even now, my hands shake and my breath shortens in memory of the remainder of that audience. I passed on the message that Dlavizz had bid me to give, and found myself under fire for how he knew of their plans. The queen summoned her blade, and stood questioning me.

Like a hare caught in a bush, I froze, trembling though fighting to control it. Each sentence I uttered only seemed to enflame their ire, and finally I sat silent, wringing my hands nervously, waiting for the death blow. Lorsalian tried logic, but after a few attempts he too was rendered silent, though I am unsure if it is because he was certain of my guilt and agreed with them, or he was simply too shocked to continue his arguments. Instead, my defense came from an unexpected quarter.

The bard herself.

She reminded the court of that painful time of my life. I wondered how in the world she knew so much of me, when I had only seen her once previously. I am still curious in that regard to be honest, though certain it is another question that will never be answered. I am eternally grateful to her however. Her words, and the opinion of Baludeorrogauna, my partner and protector in the battles leading to the final battle with the Vile One, appeared to sway the Queen, though her anger was still fierce. The bard had studied me, weighing my intentions perhaps, and spoke of educating me. To be honest, my brain was still gibbering over the term treason spoken by the Queen. I forced myself to pay attention to the dance of words between Tanyl, the Queen and the bard. Her anger still fierce, she raised her blade (one that looked vaguely familiar to me, though I am still not certain why…) and bade me to return to the dark elves with the message their help was not wanted. With that, light flared from the blade, growing too bright to see and I found myself kneeling in the clearing to the northeast of Waterdeep where the elfgate from Leuthilspar would normally transport me. Lorsalian appeared as soon as my eyes cleared. I tried to stand, but plopped ignominiously into a huddled heap, shaking uncontrollably. I vaguely remember Lorsalian cursing and muttering something about intensifying their resolve to act, before a dark shape hid the sun and a dragon landed in the clearing. To my embarrassment, I screeched and hysterically tried to scramble away, tripping over those damned skirts.

Then everything fell into place. This was a silver dragon… the bard had silver hair and silver nails, and her eyes had glowed mysteriously on occasion. They were one and the same. This explained how she knew Baludeorrogauna. Before heading off to deliver the Queen’s reply, she gave warning to me to stay away from the drow, reminding me that I was not exiled… Yet.

I have done many foolish things in my life, in an effort to “help”. I understand that discord among the different people of our world is a constant thing, however there are a few shining examples who remind me daily that not every person of every race is what is to be expected. In my own wish to see the world become a better place, I am unwilling to look at one race and see them all as all good, or all evil. It is the choices of each individual that makes them who they are. Before meeting Dlavizz, I had only really met one truly evil person, and I unthinkingly provoked him, and will bear those scars to remind me daily until I pass from this world. The High Priest is a different sort of evil. In my one meeting with him, he wore a pleasant mask I am certain, in an effort to make himself amenable to me

I ask myself now, even as I know the answer. Why oh why did I tell Nilan and Deshana what happened on the isle? Deshana had been there for the audience, and I had wished to tell her how it ended, but I certainly could have chosen a better time and place. I spoke because I was in the company of ones I consider friends. The relief of finally completing the task placed upon me by my great-grandmother was so much that I babbled like a brook. It had been a grand adventure and I was so eager to share it, that I had no thought as to the consequences.

As for what I am sure will be a chilly reception if I ever find myself returning to the isle, I don’t mind. I am curious though. The tales speak of it taking a god or gods to repair the damage done to the magic that was called forth to create the isle. There were multiple high mages involved. Only one remains. How does she expect to do it alone?

It seems to me that to think it can be done by one where several failed is a folly greater than the one I committed. Are Nilan and Dlavizz right? If the magic goes askew, will the elven court simply recall their people, and allow the rest of the world to slowly rot? Would the gods allow this? Even Lorsalian seemed concerned by this possibility, though he only hinted at it. Should I continue as I always have, unconcerned for retribution that may be piled upon my head if I but try to help for the greater good overall?

I have more questions than answers, and once the Championship has passed, I will begin poking around again to see if I can learn anything. Perhaps an answer will come to me.

On a piece of parchment folded and slipped in between the pages of the bard’s journal is the following, clearly unfinished song:

The Shadow and the Song

One evening by the fireside, she sang a song of power
The flames threw dancing symbols round, into the witching hour
One shadow, the singer noticed, seemed much darker than the rest
And she wondered if he'd come to put her patience to the test

'Twas only one day previous he'd raised her rare-seen ire
By saying with her distant elven cousins she'd conspire
His suspicions did confound her, with a growl she'd asked him why
She'd wish for the destruction of his home under the sky.

Once she was done she laid her precious lyre in its box
Then carried it up the stairs into her room and turned the locks
Behind the form who'd shadowed her into the darkened room
Who lit a candle for the bard to chase the heavy gloom.

"I need your help," was spoken by that form of ebony
"The High Priest of my master, would you consent to see?
I've shared all that was told me of what the elves have planned
The magic they would summon to save their blessed land."

The singer stared in startlement at this abrupt request
then answered "Yes of course" she'd see the priest at his behest.
Though where to meet, she queried for one thing she knew was true
She was not welcome to their home, a battle would ensue.

The Shadow took his leave at once, the matters to arrange
The Singer paced, unsettled greatly by this new exchange
She wondered briefly what it was the priestly drow could want
A solitary meeting with him was enough to daunt.

Soon a message was received of where and when to meet
The way-house was a central place known to be discreet
The Shadow was there waiting when he answered at her knock
She hadn't been there long when through the door a figure stalked

The Shadow knew the man at once, his identity concealed
“This is the one I spoke of bard,” the Shadow did reveal.
The bard relaxed a fraction, and in greeting she did bow,
Though cautious still for she was in the presence of two drow.
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Postby Deshana » Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:47 am

Deshana watched the bard relating details she herself had strongly refused to tell her mate. Nilan was a meddler. He'd poke his nose into anything, and damned if it mattered at all if he was entirely unsuited for the task. The druid watched the bard, and wondered if this too, closer to treason then her path... but perhaps the queen had learned a little tolerance in her punishments.... Lilira needed watching... and there was another battle with her lifemate in the offing.

She hoped he'd remember his promise not to tell anything to that slimy priest of his.
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Postby Lilira » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:58 pm

Oh gods.

I’ve released a tempest. I don’t know when it will strike or who, but Sotana left, seemingly in a pleasant mood, but her eyes were blank. She only does that when she wants to keep her thoughts concealed.

It is interesting the changes the years have wrought on the child I met in Waterdeep. She always kept to the edges. Once I was old enough to journey on my own, I left Waterdeep and didn’t think of her until circumstances drew us together again, much later. I know not what her life was like between the times we’d seen one another, but I was faced later with a woman who wore a mantle of maturity I myself envied. She was so composed, and utterly independent, which was something I’ve attempted, but have never been able to manage. I find myself alone most of the time, but lack of company does not make for independence.

Fate brought her to me when things were at their most confusing. I clutched at her offer of friendship like a drowning person for a rope, and am blessed by having a sister I could choose. With that comes responsibility. I watched her sacrifice herself to destroy a layer of the Vile One’s host, and part of me died with her. Only vows I had sworn to aid in His destruction had kept me from breaking at that moment. I rejoiced when she was returned to life, but part of me knows I would not be able to bear it if I had to watch a similar occurrence. So... I kept my dealings with the drow quiet from her. She would have felt honor-bound to accompany me and once she gets something into her head, I have found it impossible to dissuade her. If it had gone only slightly worse, I would never be able to forgive myself. Already I carry the weight of trouble I have caused for Lorsalian.

She had angrily shot out questions, demanding the answers with a look. To keep her from going off like a half cocked crossbow, I explained. She was furious. I tried to make her promise not to do something rash. She reminded me she stood aside once when I asked, and will carry that burden always. (Never mind that I had brought the anger of the assassin on my own head without her help, no matter what I say, she refuses to be absolved of what she sees as her lack.) Nothing I do will dissuade her, and I only hope she will not do anything foolish. I explained, I pleaded, I scolded, and cajoled to no avail. She nicked the answers she wanted right out of me, and came to her own conclusions.

I reminded her I was a woman grown, and perfectly able to make decisions for myself. I had chosen to act as a messenger. She told me they had no right to ask it of me when they knew the consequences. I returned that it was my own stupidity in how it was presented that angered the elven court; she changed the subject, her eyes taking on that blank look that makes me nervous. We spoke shortly of the championship we are undertaking, and I tried to steer the conversation back to the previous subject. She hugged me, told me my part was done (patting me on the head so to speak) and with a word she vanished, leaving me cursing a stream of words to make a sailor blush.

I only hope there are enough pieces left to pick up of whomever she unleashes her temper upon to put back together.
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Postby sotana » Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:39 am

Dear Reader: Lilira doesn’t understand. And when I face her, I find I lack the words to help her understand. My entire childhood was spent being trained to stand aside from the normal course of mortal events, observing, learning how best to act in order to maintain the balance. In so many ways I was ill-prepared to deal with the real world when I left my sheltered existence with the druids of Waterdeep yet I traveled for several years before being forced to confront one gaping hole in my education. And so, in an effort to make my thoughts clear, I recount an old tale and a journal entry.


Every now and again during my adventuring, I have temporarily put aside my solitude and joined caravans or other small groups for a short time when our paths have coincided. During one such rare occurrence, I journeyed with a farmer and his family fleeing trouble they were reluctant to reveal to a stranger like myself. I quickly grew attached to their only child, Larime, an overly serious six-year-old with flaxen hair and a limp she had carried since birth. Mayhap I was drawn to her sober personality, shaped by the obvious physical limitations I myself had experienced only too recently. Whatever the reason, I found myself spending more and more time in her company as we made our way through the Moonsea region, instead of holding myself aloof from my traveling companions as had always been my wont in the past.

One night after the farmer’s wife and daughter had retired for the evening, the farmer sought me out by our smoldering campfire to explain that he was being pursued by creditors he had foolishly thought to evade when he found himself without the funds to meet their demands. In low, desperate tones he begged a small loan of me that he might pay off his debt and finally stop running as he was sure to be caught before much longer. I was unwilling to meet his request in spite of my strong affection for the child, seeing the confrontation between his family and their creditors as needed to restore the natural balance disturbed by his own rash actions. The amount owed was minimal and could be worked off through indentured servitude quickly enough as the person he had named as his creditor was surely a reasonable man. Looking back, I now realize that the poor farmer must have been truly desperate to approach me since the life I lead has little use for money and thus I do not carry more than necessary to meet my few, immediate needs.

I slept fitfully that night, troubled by the wild look on the farmer’s face as he had continued to plead for my help long after I had explained the reasons for my refusal, adamant in his belief that the payment extracted for his debt would be far greater than the money owed. Early the next morning, I finally left my restless bed and fled into the surrounding forest with my few belongings, seeking the solace of the animals, the reassurance of the balance we all must serve in one way or another. Several days passed in blessed peace but, as the days crept on I found myself listening for the sound of childish tones voicing a quiet comment. Giving in to my own unfamiliar loneliness, I reluctantly assumed my human form and began tracking their progress, prepared to rejoin the small family for at least a few more days .

8th Day of the Month of Mithrian (the Wanting)
I could smell death before I entered the campsite, familiar with its unforgettable stench from my dreams. Part of me recoiled, reluctant to once again face my nightmares made real even as I hurried, my stumbling feet tripping blindly over roots and forest debris in my urgency. Oh gods, please not the child! Then I was in the clearing they had chosen as their latest stopping point, panting as my eyes darted wildly about, taking in the chaos of supplies strewn across the ground, blood soaking into the trampled dirt, and two broken bodies sprawled limply, outstretched hands pathetically touching. I was aware of relief in spite of the shock. Thank the gods, only two and both full-grown humans! And then I saw it. A small, lifeless hand barely visible beneath the corpse of the father who had covered her, trying to shield his daughter from the inevitable. Scrambling through the ruins of their campsite, I rolled the limp form aside, then slowly reached with one shaking hand to gently touch Larime’s cold cheek. Her image blurred and I felt a wet warmth trickle down my cheek as I pressed my knuckles hard against my teeth to keep from crying out. Oh gods, not the child!! Then the grief was swamped by an unexpected wave of anger. There must be payment extracted for the acts committed tonight. I could feel the rage moving just underneath the surface of my skin, pounding behind my eyes and building in my throat like a scream. I welcomed it, fed it with my own remorse and guilt even as I began to chant the words that would open the moonwell I needed. Some tiny, detached portion of my mind noted the power crackling around my hands as they clasped in prayer to my god, the aura that was almost visible to even the untrained eye and hummed through my bones, setting my teeth on edge.

And then I was through the moonwell, standing before the eight men I sought who had clambered hastily to their feet to confront the intruder and now stared in blank surprise at the woman in their midst. I spoke only two words, my voice unrecognizable in its harsh, low tones. “For Larime,” I rasped, flinging my arms wide and releasing the storm that burned through my veins. The winds answered my call first, forming whistling cyclones that sent the men reeling, battering them mercilessly against each other and whipping greedily at their clothing as they tried vainly to gather themselves together in defense. I called down hail next, great chunks of ice that scattered the men, shattering bones and crushing skulls. After the ice came fire, beautiful gouts of flame that fell from the heavens and lit up the night, catching those last few who had finally given up all hope of defense and foolishly sought refuge in flight. I could hear nothing beyond the noise of my own power as it screamed in my ears, begging to be released....and so I continued, channeling the energy that surged through me, orchestrating the passions of nature to fulfill my own ends until finally, my veins ran dry. As the forces I had commanded fell still, I looked dispassionately upon the scene of destruction I had created. All were dead. The price had been paid.

I caught my own reflection in the wide, terrified eyes of a few of them before they died...a cold, merciless figure of vengeance, frighteningly inhuman in her wrath. But this has been my bitter lesson as well as theirs...I have learned there is a price I must pay for caring about others. Now it only remains for me to decide whether or not the price is too high to be endured.
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Postby Lilira » Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:50 pm

I have been so busy with preparations for the challenge that I have not had the time to pen my thoughts to organize them. I have been spending a large amount of time at the tree where the dryads used to reside, in the company of the poor unfortunate squire who is still waiting for his comrades to return. No matter what I say or how I try to comfort him, he is stubbornly resistant to my attempts to calm him down, and frankly I’ve become so accustomed to his sighs and pacing that it is quite possible to tune him out.

Adriorn Darkcloak was the first to approach me and enter his team, taking up the challenge Ashiwi tossed out, followed later by several more. As for myself, I would classify our first weekend as an unparallel success! Sure, we had a few wrinkles that required ironing out, but on the whole I think it went well. Back to events I have a need to take down before the glow of success drives them from my head.

While I sat at the tree reading the history of Amberyl and awaiting entrants, Nilan stepped out of the shadows asking me quietly if I would mind helping him once more. In light of the warning I have received from the dragon, it perhaps is not the wisest thing, but I said I would. I feel as though I failed them miserably at the elven court, and that failure has not been sitting well. What he requested was very simple. Find out what it was the people of Bloodstone Camp needed as possible trade items. I was able to rattle off several ideas immediately, even before wandering up there again.

I had been once, just long enough to poke around to satisfy my curiosity, and had noticed some things that were missing, such as luxuries, basic things such as metal, and perhaps more exotic foods. The camp was very primitive, though I supposed it would have to suffice until the city was rebuilt. I asked Sotana to accept registration for a while and headed north, pausing in a handy camping area and changing my clothes. In an effort to look as common as possible, I placed all my objects of value in the bottom of a common backpack, and pulled out an old viol I’d had forever. Twisting my hair into a knot and covering it with a scarf, and tucking my scarred ears just under the edge of it took care of some of my more readily recognizable features. I darkened my eyebrows with a hint of ash from the firepit, and wandered my way up the mountain path to Bloodstone Camp.

I was tired by the time I reached the top, for I had decided I would use the guise of a simple minstrel, not a bard, so I did not use my music to aid my steps. As I stumbled into the camp, tired, dirty, and aching, some of the guards warned me to not cause trouble. I bit back the retort that I was too tired to do anything but look for a meal and something to drink. Meek and modest was the way to avoid standing out overly much. I was directed to the long house where I found the tavern. I asked if the bartender would mind me playing for a bit, and he shrugged in response.

I played songs I hadn’t performed in years. Jaunty little country dances, a few happy ballads, working to keep the music bright and uplifting. When my legs stopped aching, I carefully packed away my viol, and began investigating the various stalls. I stopped and chatted for a bit with Gynter, carefully attempting to direct the conversation without being too obvious. It soon became clear to me that the very basic supplies of the camp were available. I chuckle as I pen this, remembering the man bemoaning the primitive conditions of his temporary kitchen. He will not be able to prepare his once sumptuous menu items until the city is rebuilt. We chatted for a bit longer and I played him a tune. It was nice to see someone enjoy the music for the music, and not the power it might contain. It had been so long since I’d just played for the joy of playing. By the time I was one chorus in, his foot was tapping. I finished with a flourish and bowed to his applause. After poking around a little more, I stayed with the conclusions I had reached before ever going up to the camp.

The guards seemed well-armed, so there had been enough weapons and armor salvaged and re-forged, though one of the merchants had complained of a shortage of metal. In my mind it made sense that the people who would be protecting the camp needed the metal more. The clothing belonging to the people who lived in the camp was well mended and clean, but worn. They seemed to have some of their precious belongings. Indeed many of the women who wandered around the camp still wore their wedding rings. In my eye it seemed these people would welcome luxuries, cloth, food they could not prepare, and metal for additional weapons and tools.

I heard a rumor in my wanderings. Even now I suppress my shudders, as it involves the undead who have reputedly been helping to build the roads. It seems that zombies are ill-suited to clearing rubble. My revulsion of undead has kept me from learning about such matters. Perhaps I should find someone who knows about the art of creating them and ask them why that would be pertinent. Perhaps I can try and locate the Carcophans and ask Lintral why someone would use undead, and learn about the different kinds.

Why wouldn’t living people who can think for themselves be more suited to that task? Would Ashstone accept outside aid to help them with the rebuilding?

It was a few days after I returned, and had confirmed my suggestions that Nilan showed up, bleeding from a vicious wound, in Viperstongue where I had wandered to visit the old bard there. Once more I had donned my garments of a minstrel, taking the precaution to cover my face to keep people from wondering at my business here. I was perched on the edge of the stage, talking to the bard, when the sound of deadly voices carried to me. Nilan was standing there in conversation with two more drow, though they carried themselves differently, and their accents were odd. I slipped past them as best as I could, and headed for the gambling room, and it was there Nilan, limping and short of breath, found me. The place was full, so I led him out of the area and we snuck into the village close by that had been overrun by ogres. We found an empty house where I bandaged him up as best I could, and handed him one of my precious healing flasks.

Then he told me what had occurred. He had been to Ashstone and met with the mysterious Lady. Somehow he had offended her, and she told him to leave, setting the ghost of a drider on him. He is convinced that she WAS the ghost, but I am not sure. Not unless she is a… I shudder even to think of it. I just don’t know enough about undead to be sure. I left him and returned to the living quarters in the tree we have taken over as our office for the length of the games to continue my work preparing for the games.
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Postby Lilira » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:18 pm

This entry takes place after The Search for Knowledge.

Some of my concerns have been laid to rest.

I have wandered through Bloodstone Camp, singing to entertain, talking with the people who live there, and generally poking around. I hadn’t seen a hair of this “Lady” people speak of, but if what Lintral told me holds true, she was probably busy controlling her minions.

I thought I saw a familiar shadow one evening as I passed the tents to head to the inn for the night, but when I looked again, it was gone. I must be jumpy, though I have no reason to be.

I did explore the areas surrounding the camp some. I found a dark wood teaming with animals, including some unfriendly wolves. They were beautiful creatures, but dangerous. After wandering around lost for a bit, I found my way out of the woods, past a ruined hall and back out to the main trail. I have found where the portal once stood, its magic gone for the most part. Every once in a while on the trail, an echo of the destruction blasts me with heat leaving me struggling to breathe and causing my heart to race with panic. Then it goes away as suddenly as it arrived, leaving me gasping.

Then finally success!

I had been out in the woods, exploring some more, and after fighting off some of the wolves, returned to the camp. I heard raised voices in the guard post where the Captain has his office. I peeked in and saw Sotana standing there, in the corner of the room. I rushed in to talk to her and noticed the Captain being dressed down by a woman. I immediately stifled what I was going to say, and the two of us watched the exchange, as the woman continued her harangue about the bandits on the paths. By the way the captain deferred to her, I realized this must be the “Lady,” though Sotana’s confusion was apparent on her face. By the time the mysterious woman left, Sotana was questioning me quietly. The Captain of the guard suggested I chase after the woman since I had been asking around.

I must lay my quill to the side now and complete this tale later, when I have the time to devote to telling it in full and in greatest detail, instead of merely jotting it in my journal.
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Postby Lilira » Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:55 pm

This Journal Entry takes place after the A Search for Knowledge post dated Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:16 pm.

It has been long since last I scribbled in this book containing my thoughts. Since that day, I have learned things about someone I thought I had known, as much as any know them. As I usually do when I am in need of quiet to let my thoughts sort themselves, I found an area of nature that is quiet. I have taken ill much to Sotana’s chagrin when she came upon me sitting, shivering, and sneezing while I sat in the midst of a field normally covered in flowers, but now wrapped in Auril’s blanket of snow. After a severe scolding, and a flask of tea containing mysterious herbs I have no hope of identifying, I went back to the warmth of The Three Kegs in nearby Baulder’s Gate, and it is here I sit sneezing and scribbling my thoughts down once more.

After leaving what is to be called Ashstone (I have lately discovered), Sotana and I traveled to Baulder’s Gate to see if Mistress Alyo had received my inquiry. Ironically enough, we tripped over the messenger who had been commissioned to carry word to me of Alyo’s response. What can I say except a bard and a druid travel swiftly upon the wings of song? I have decided to tuck the message within the pages of this book, for who knows, one day a descendent of my own may read the note that was the beginning of something wonderful. Only time, work and platinum will show.

We took tea with the colorful woman whose shop I have greatly admired since the day the doors opened. At first Mistress Alyo was hesitant about my idea to open a silk shop in Ashstone, until I explained that it would not be a matter of her packing up and moving, but a matter of opening a second shop. I described the encampment to her, explaining the lack of luxuries and color the survivors of the destruction of Bloodstone were living with. I passed on the requirements the Lady had given us, telling her I would be happy to perform the work required on her behalf. Once again Sotana expressed an interest in aiding me with this endeavor. Priorities however. Mistress Alyo has a need of new items to freshen up her shop, so Sotana and I are to look for suppliers to bring items needed to Alyo so the new merchandise may be finished.

We sat and visited with her some, feeling each other out, and we learned a little of her past. Apparently her life before her shop was as a mistress to a man named Sevul, a silk merchant.

Sotana’s expression upon learning this was priceless, and while I don’t speak of such things, I am a citizen of Waterdeep, and “ladies of the night” (Alyo thought the phrase quaint) are prolific in the southern regions of the city, as well as prevalent here in Baulder’s Gate. The only difference between a bard and a prostitute is what of ourselves we sell. I sell my song and tales, a prostitute sells her body. If it weren’t for a smattering of talent and a hunger for knowledge, who knows but I might have had a similar fate.

During the time leading up to the final battle with the Vile One, when the Missionary was about preaching to convert people to the following of Auzorm’tvorl, many in Baulder’s Gate went to listen. Some of them thought his words had merit. Having been on the receiving end of his charisma, I know the attraction.

(That was a time I try not to remember, or bring up. There are some things that happened I have not even shared with Sotana, nor will I ever. The deaths of the innocent soldiers of Baulder’s Gate who tried to take the Missionary into custody is a dark spot in my heart I fear shall never go away, no matter what I do in an attempt to atone for it. It matters not that my actions helped lead to the death of the Missionary later.)

Alyo spoke of a lean bully who had joined with the “Flamefists” as she called them. Her description of Cirath was perfect; “black hair kept short, grey eyes like tombstones, and a scar crossed the middle of his face”, though Sotana didn’t catch the reference until she noticed my pale face grow even paler and my whisper of his name. I carry a faint mirror of that scar across my own face; a slender, more elegant version of the one Nilan gave to the Calimshite assassin. The news that Cirath had killed “her Sevul” was not shocking to me, though the fact he did it at the command of the Missionary was. We told her of the Missionary’s death, and it seemed to please her.

We chattered on some more, as ladies with a similar interest tend to do, cheering up the conversation with the prospect of more merchandise to spend money on, and the joy of attending the birth of something new, whether it is a person or an idea. Sotana started fidgeting, a sure sign it was time for us to take our leave and exit the city in favor of the wilds, so we took our leave, looking forward to doing some shopping.


It was soon after, in the common room of the Blade and Stars Inn, I learned of the news that sent me foolishly scurrying for the snow-covered flowery field near Baulder’s Gate, where I sat shivering and wet until I caught this chill. With one cold hand wrapped around a thick ceramic tea-filled mug and the other scratching in this journal, I finish these words for now. When I am done recovering from my foolishness, I will venture out once more to look for suppliers for Alyo, then return to Ashstone to offer my aid in the rebuilding on the behalf of a shop whose treasures bring me joy.

Tucked in-between the pages of the journal is the following note:

Dear Bardess Lilira,

How intriguing! Do stop in to chat, and bring tea.


Sorry this took so long, the whole family (and now me *pitiful cough and sniff*) has been sick. Thank you Auril and Sotana for the fun with Alyo, and I truly wish I'd had the time to post the whole conversation, it was lovely!!-Lil
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Postby Lilira » Thu May 04, 2006 7:53 pm

It has been far too long since I penned in this, my journal, and I have not even the excuse of time. For the last several months, I have spent my time wandering in search of silk and suppliers for Alyo before I can place my feet on the path to what is now being called Ashstone to discharge the duty I gave my word to perform. That leaves a lot of time waiting, and I merely chose not to use it wisely.

At some point in my travels, I had received word from Nilan asking me to meet with him and Lorsalian. I found it an odd request, for I had thought the ranger and assassin on speaking terms without me, but I agreed and attended. The comedy of events leading up to the meeting still brings a blush to my cheeks, and even as I pen this I’m chuckling ruefully. Why anyone would believe a man would stray from his lovely and strong wife to warm my bed is beyond me. After rescuing Nilan, I had led him through the daylight to Jenna’s where we met with Lorsalian. That conversation was interesting, though confusing to say the least! There seemed to be some concern that one of the weapons used in the battle against the Vile One was out and about in pieces and an acquaintance of Lorsalian’s, a ranger I had only met once or twice by the name of Adriorn, possessed one of the pieces. Apparently the Lady of Ashstone was somehow involved. The two men were also curious about the blade and spirit who had blessed me with their presence for the battle.

I have spoken of Lenehezha to only a few people, unable to convey how it felt to be merged for the final battle with a true heroine. Not only had she fought in the first battle, but fulfilled her vow and returned to fight once more. Her movements had been a dance, and I doubt I will ever be able to mimic such confidence in battle again. Speaking of comrades, I hope wherever he is, Baludeorrogauna fares well.

During that meeting, I felt the chill of the grave caress my shoulder, sending shivers to travel my spine and a whispered message was delivered. I shudder now in remembrance. It seemed Lintral needed to speak with me.

Sensing the tension level between the ranger and the assassin to be nearly non-existent, I was about to take my leave when Lahgen barged into the proceedings. Jenna, the wonderful woman who seems to understand the need for privacy when adventurers meet, had allowed us the use of her private chamber for our discussions. At Lahgen’s entry, I was forced to continue the role I had placed upon myself, and rapidly slid over next to the assassin, blushing like a village maiden on market day. It did not escape my notice that Lorsalian very quickly took his leave with Lahgen directly on his heels. I told Nilan I had to go and left him to find his way wherever next he planned to go. With the aid of my song, I arrived at the ruins south of Waterdeep rather quickly to find Lintral speaking with, of all people, Lahgen.

Here in my journal I am permitted bluntness. I do not trust that man. He has changed far more than in appearance since the final battle against the Vile One, and not for the better. He has no compunction stating openly and with pride that he now serves the Mistress of Pain and I cannot be comfortable with that. Ironic isn’t it that I would say such when I count among my friends and occasional comrades a drow assassin that serves Vhaeraun, a necromancer, an enchantress who worships Sharess and a warrior of Shar. The difference is they have never hidden who they are. Certainly there are times they have made me uncomfortable, but they are true to themselves. He has changed allegiances far too often. I wonder at times about the concerns my great grandmother had about the company I keep, but then I remind myself at those times that those people have, in their way, been a better family to me when needed than those whose blood I share. Poor Sotana may never understand why I would, and have, been willing to rush to their aid if ever asked.

I greeted Lintral with a little more reserve than usual due to the presence of the bard. The last thing I needed was even more rumors to fly. Lahgen smirked knowingly at me, and I merely arched an eyebrow turning my gaze to Lintral, waiting for him to finish his questions for Lahgen. Oddly enough, when he turned his attention to me, he asked almost the same questions that Nilan and Lorsalian had for me. His reasoning was different. It seems the Lady of Ashstone had placed upon him the task of researching the weapons and spirits from the final battle. He was far more thorough in his questioning. I answered as best as I could until he’d finished. After we all parted ways, I decided to head to Ard’nir to check on the status of my house.

My house. I have purchased a lovely two story house, only the gods know why as I have no family to share it with, that had stood empty for quite some time. Even now I look back on the day I moved in as one of the best moments of my life. The neighbors had stared out their windows with wide eyes as the wagon I’d borrowed trundled up to the house. A couple of dwarves and a tall barbarian clambered out and started unloading the items I had procured from all over and stored while waiting for repairs to be made. With their strength, the wagon was empty in no time and I stood in the doorway to my new house. Closing my eyes I can still feel that glow of satisfaction. I did not realize until that moment how much I had missed having a place to come back to. After selling Mother’s apartment in Waterdeep all those years ago, I had lived wherever my pack hit the chair. Having a place of my own to return to, even if it stands empty for months at a time as my feet set me to wandering, is a feeling to treasure.

And now, I will pause for a time, else I will write on and on about my house, which looking around I can see for myself.

Sorry, old stuff. Trying to get caught up to date. *grin*
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Postby Lilira » Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:32 pm

Much has happened to keep me away from my written musings. A “sister” of Mistress Alyo, Tetera the seamstress in Baulder’s Gate, has finally figured out a way to line the valises I talked Meliant into selling in Waterdeep. Apparently he shared his pattern, as I have managed to locate them made in black as well. Mistress Tetera, when provided with the proper implements, does a lovely job of lining the valises, wonderfully protecting objects placed within.

I met once more with the Lady of Ashstone to inquire as to my task for the city (one day perhaps I’ll find out if she has another name), and she asked who I intended to have run the silk shop. To be honest I had not seriously thought of it, presuming Mistress Alyo would be the one to make that choice. The Lady set me the task of locating stone, red and white; a simple enough task, and one I have accomplished. The difficulty lies with finding someone to quarry it, and possibly clearing the area of giants who have taken it over.

I sent a message to Alyo about shopkeepers and received a reply asking to meet at her shop. It was there she told me about three of her “sisters” who she thought would best suit the shop, as well as the conditions the city would be under until things normalized. Ebara, Dehena and Nildran were all very wonderful ladies who made an excellent team. My one regret is that I have to split them up. I told Alyo I would inform the Lady of the other “sisters” in Baulder’s Gate who would be seeking employment as shopkeepers. To be honest, I’d prefer to meet with those who may wish to hire them to ensure there is no intent to take advantage of them. Whatever their current occupation is, they would be leaving Baulder’s Gate to begin a new life. Some would say my words sound like the preaching of a paladin, but I felt guilty as I told Alyo which of the three I wanted trained for my own shop. These ladies are, in a way, depending on me.

An interesting aside… I received a message from Adriorn Darkcloak, a human ranger I’ve met only a couple of times previously. He asked that I meet with him, Nilan and a few others. I had other obligations and was unable to attend, but I did invite him to my home on one of my meanderings through to ensure the place isn’t falling down around my ears or dustier than the Calimshan desert. He commented on my appearance (gods how I grow tired of hearing how tired I look) and got straight to the point. He and the others had an interesting visit and raised some speculations I will not note here in case by some rare chance someone manages to get hold of this journal and actually find it interesting enough to read.

The dreams. The thrice cursed dreams have returned. They span the time from my first trip to Leuthilspar to my last visit there, and every horror in between. All ancient history, or at least things from the past I think I have laid to rest only to have them return to haunt me when I feel an unease building about the future. They have appeared before, usually prior to something occurring to add to them. They will not let me be, so I avoid slumber for as long as I can.

I spoke with Lorsalian about the ladies. We shall see what his decision is, if he chooses to make one. I have received a message from him requesting my aid, and I have consented for certainly he above many others has a boon owed to him by myself. I go to meet him on the morrow. For now I will lay my quill to the side and cease my ramblings. I have a bag to pack, gear to double check and a house to close up.

Shortcut to catch up... way behind again. *laugh*
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Postby Lilira » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:58 am

Damn it, I did it again. Why is it every time I think I might be able to relax around someone, become comfortable in their presence, I do something to muck it up?

At Lorsalian’s request I met him, Adriorn and the halfling trouble-maker Smirn, and we investigated the rumored haunting of the quarry outside of Ardn’ir. Soon we discovered it was one of the “sleeper” dragons, and she’s due to lay a clutch of eggs at any time. To complicate matters, a paladin of Torm was apparently dispatched by his temple to kill her, though why a deity of Torm’s reputation would want a metallic dragon slain, I still don’t understand. Still... I have never claimed to understand deities, or the devotion they receive. Echoes back to my childhood where Father chose his god over his Beloved and child. Zealots and fanatics seem to be the trouble makers in the world. Everything is done in the name of a god, not because it is right or wrong. Protecting the dragon is right; I still feel it in my bones. We are trying to find a safe harbor for her… a lair where her children may grow safely, especially in the light of possible retribution from the Tormites.

Even as I write this, my stomach clenches with dread, for one of Lorsalian’s suggestions for a safe lair was Evermeet.

I have kept the vow I gave myself, refusing to return to the Isle since we were so abruptly transported away. Oddly enough, even as I told Lorsalian I would not, could not, accompany him to the Isle, the dragon mentioned she had heard something of my troubles there. Lovely. My idiocies and indiscretions are gossip among the dragons. Whereas Baludeorrogauna’s faint praise prompted the Queen’s Bard to speak on my behalf, it is still embarrassing that the tale has spread farther than I thought. I had not even considered the dragons as a source of storytelling regardless of the Silver Bard.

I am on the Realm’s Master returning from the Moonshaes. It took everything I had within me to step off the Silver Lady onto the dock there. I went there only because in some part of me I remembered there being a settlement of knights and priests, so I thought to investigate. I was mistaken. The Village of New Haven is actually a settlement of followers of Tyr, not Torm.

With every step, I kept expecting something to jump out of the trees at me for it was on the Moonshaes the lackey of my grandmother found me to pass on the message that began my troubles. The two are too close. As usual, I am in turmoil. Half of me is screaming to help the dragon and damn the consequences from stepping foot on the Isle again, while the other half is cowering at the possibility I might meet Her again even in passing.

Once again I have killed one who was doing his duty. I aided in the slaying of one who was doing what his deity directed him to do. We did all we could to dissuade him from speaking rationally to threats. In the end I helped to defend the brass dragon; one of the ones who helped save our world as well as free the god who wants her dead and in the process of doing so, killed a holy knight. THEN, before I could stem the flow of words, I opened my mouth and stupidly muttered the fact that resurrections can’t occur without a body. Lorsalian gasped and everyone fell silent for a moment. I felt the looks of censure from Adriorn and the brass dragon. In my attempts to be practical, I alienated those around me, and once more felt myself withdraw into that snow covered shell that seems the safest place to reside. I was reminded again that trust is a fragile thing, and so easy to break when I simply forget who it is I am dealing with. I am accustomed to those whose feet walk the grey paths my own tread in my efforts to do what is right.

The docks of Waterdeep are within sight, and it is time to end my rambling scribbles. I wonder if I should go home or try and find Lorsalian, if he’ll even speak to me…
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Postby Lilira » Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:29 pm

As usual, it has been some time since last I penned in this journal. After my impetuous message to Lorsalian, I have been wracking my brain to come up with miners to complete the task set upon me by Lady Ashstone. I have found a place to mine from, but could not think of miners who would be relatively close. Returning home on one of my wanderings to Baulder’s Gate, I passed a group of gnomes carrying heavy packs of mining equipment. After I completed my normal routine of tidying the house, it occurred to me that these gnomes may just be what I was looking for.

The gnomes were quite fun to speak with once I became accustomed to their quick speech. I shared some of the honeybread I carry with me to ease my sweet tooth when I am running short on halfling cookies (I must remember to go get some more,) and invited them back to my home, opening my hospitality to them. After bathing and eating, we settled in to talk. It is not often I am given the opportunity to act as hostess as the few people I know wander frequently, rarely stopping by. I enjoy the sound of voices in the house and I very much wish I could do it more often. After chatting for a bit, with the odd child stopping by to see the song-lady with the cookies (I do really need to get some more), the party of gnomes agreed to follow me to the quarry, and away I led.

I cloaked us all in invisibility, and slipped us past the annoyances of the path, gnolls being particularly obnoxious, before heading out to an area of sandstone and marble. I warned them to be as quiet as possible as we passed some giants who sat with dull expressions staring at the countryside. We passed ruins, the remains of siege engines, and depressions filled with water before stopping at the entrance to an old quarry, now filled with stagnant water.

The leader of the group fiddled with a few items from her kit, and jumped into the water doing who knows what, before surfacing with the news that the quarry could be drained and become a viable source for the stone I require. After safely escorting them past the giants, and plying them with more sweets, we parted ways as they headed back to their supervisor with the information. I am even now awaiting a response to see what it will cost to reopen the quarry and begin delivery of the stone Lady Ashstone requires. If the supervisor is amenable, something will have to be done with the giants. I just hope they are bright enough to negotiate with.
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Postby Lilira » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:11 am

One finds the oddest things when performing tasks of housekeeping. In the events surrounding my disastrous trip to the isle, I had put this completely out of my mind. Odd though that the first contact I have ever had from my father should be so easily forgotten. I suppose perhaps I had other things on my mind… calming a raging druid was only one.

My magical bag, imbued with the wonderful properties to lighten my load, was beginning to feel heavy and it was time to clean it out. I dumped everything within into a pile before me, hand gingerly picking through the detritus of things I have collected in my travels; the wondrous tinkers bag containing the silk-lined valises that carry my silks for travel, old weapons, my instrument box, odd bits of armor or clothing, and my travel rations.

My hand closed around a cylinder under some loose parchment. As I withdrew it into the sunlight filtering through the large windows, the shock of recognition had my hand shaking. The object was a scrimshaw scroll case, beautifully decorated with images depicting the wind gathered about the symbol of Shaundakul.

Opening the case I gently slipped out the crinkled parchment, remembering the day I had balled it up and thrown it across my inn room with a sob, before retrieving it and returning it to the case. A few days later my feet took me to the south, where Nilan found me and asked me to meet with his High Priest.

Reading it once more, so many emotions stirred within me and again I fought the urge to give into tears. Over a year has passed, yet I have received nothing else. Anger, heart-break, laughter wreathed with hysteria, all fight to be released as I pen these words.

Even now I toy with the locket that had been enclosed with the letter, stroking the lock of ebony hair cleverly contained within and looking at the tiny oil painting showing my mother smiling up at the man I have seen only once as our eyes met before he stepped into a moonwell and vanished before my eyes.

I suppose this is what has kept me from getting too close to anyone. Oddly enough, there has been no trace of the elven warrior Cimimaen since I left the isle the last time. That alone gives me pause to wonder if perhaps the reason I have heard nothing else, was due to them somehow finding out the events that occurred in that closed audience.

It amazes me how much his absence still hurts after all this time.

(Tucked between the pages and written in elven.)
My Dearest Daughter Lilira, My Sweet Lili

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits. There are so many things I long to tell you but in truth I do not know where to begin. I know of your mothers passing, I felt it far in the north and wished I could have come to comfort you during this painful time. Your mother was very dear to me and with her passing I truly was lost. I never questioned my faith and willingly took all the endeavors asked of me knowing tomorrow I would be able to see her. Tomorrow became next week and next week became next year and now . . . I shall never see her again.

One day I will ask for your forgiveness but not now, not until we can see each other and spend time getting to know one another. Know this for now, you are in my thoughts always and soon I will find you. There is no where in the realms I will not look but try to make it near a warm fire, the north is so very cold this time of year.

I have heard of your recent visits to grandmother and the Queen Amlauril. I had hoped to surprise you but then thought the better of that. It has been a very long time since I was in Court and I think a surprise visit was out of the question. I asked Cimimaen to join you in my stead but now I see that was not a wise choice. He can be a little “hot-tempered” and the past always seems to catch up to us. Suffice to say, Cimimaen is at your disposal. I would trust him with my life. I hope grandmother was not too harsh, despite her many years of life, I have never felt that her wisdom benefited from her many experiences. She can be a formidable woman and I am proud of how you stood your ground. It is unfortunate that her request took you to the Chamber. I am sure you can handle yourself and no doubt you have very capable friends.

My life on Leuthilspar was unbearable and perhaps that is one reason I left it so long ago and so rarely return. Be mindful that is one reason, since you met grandmother . . . well I shant continue that thought.

I have enclosed this locket, within you will find a lock of your mother’s hair and an engraving of the two of us just before your birth. Now open the locket and close your eyes, concentrate and think of a happy time, when your mother and you were together. Everything will be explained then.

With all my love, your father, Jorinthal Autumnstorm

(seal of House Il’Rohandril of Evermeet)

Whoops.. I TOTALLY forgot this eons ago, so I'm doing a quick grab at the personal thread to toss it back in the tapestry. - Lil
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Postby Lilira » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:03 am

The gods are laughing at me.

Even now, as I am curled up in the corner of my old friend’s lounge where I hope to stay the night in peace and quiet before returning home, I stare dully at the blood speckled pile of gear lying where I had stripped it off before washing the trail dust and blood off of me. I still feel filthy, but it is a filth that stubbornly refuses to wash off.

Oh gods, another one. When will it end? How long before we become the hunted?


I’d had business in Bryn Shandar, the need to restock some potions I have found useful as well as the occasional trinkets that caught my eye. Returning back towards the south, I paused in Mithril Hall for a hot meal and tavern gossip. It was there I saw a notice posted on the trade boards that a caravan needed guards as it made its way south. Planning on heading that direction myself, I decided to offer my services.

As I sat in the Black Anvil sipping some dwarven ale to pass the time, a silent and withdrawn Lorsalian (who had entered and taken a seat shortly after my arrival) was sitting beside me, when I saw a familiar face enter. It was Roqn, my dwarven merchant friend I had met during my exile in Baulder’s Gate. For years I have placed him in charge of selling many of the trinkets collected in my adventures, for a small fee of course. In that time he has helped me make the small fortune I am using to start the shop in Ashstone.

Roqn came over and took a seat, the three of us sitting and listening to the bard sing in companionable silence until the time came to make our way to the Trade Center. It was there we met with an exquisitely dressed dwarf, one Thurl Goldbiter by name, who hired us to escort a caravan of goods to Waterdeep. Another dwarf wandered in, his voice was familiar, as was his behavior, but I could not place it at the time.

Apparently the winter has been harsh in the north, and the pack predators and the like were made bolder by the privations they had suffered. Our blades were needed to fend them off. After agreeing to his terms, we traveled to the doors guarding Mithril Hall and up the carved steps to the trail above where a dwarf stood patiently, a wreath of smoke around his head from a handsome pipe, with a train of donkeys. After identifying ourselves to him, I asked Lorsalian to scout ahead while the rest of us stayed with the animals and their keeper, Bhym Wispwaft. The two dwarves tucked themselves into obscurity. Bhym was concerned about my being the only visible protection he had about him, and wasn’t sure how well just himself and “the wee lassie” would fare. I tried to reassure him that the others weren’t far, but my words did nothing to assuage his concerns.

As Thurl’s words had warned, we met with several wolf packs on our way south to the Luskan Ferry. Lorsalian and the odd little dwarf scouted back and forth, dispatching most of the wolves before they reached the pack train, however enough got through to dye the blades of my glaives crimson. I relaxed slightly once we reached the ferry and got all the animals on board. Lorsalian it seemed, having reached the ferry far ahead of us, had crossed on its previous run. I sang an old lullaby during the crossing in an effort to calm the beasts before we continued. It was during the crossing I noticed the beard on the small dwarf had slipped, revealing the impish expression of a halfling I was familiar with. It seemed Smirn had chosen to disguise himself for some unknown reason, so I went along with his choice, resolved to keep an eye on my belongings.

We docked on the other side and off-loaded the beasts, stepping around a pile of orc corpses that Lorsalian had apparently dispatched while waiting for the rest of us. We continued our journey south, the ranger rejoining the group to tell us there were more orcs close by, and sure enough, in the woods around Neverwinter a larger raiding party than I had ever seen along the road attacked. The donkeys decided they’d had enough of the banging and clanging of combat and scattered to the four winds.

After dealing with the orcs, the ranger and halfling ducked into the woods to find the missing donkeys. I found myself reluctant to leave the dwarf alone to join in the hunt. After all, if more orcs showed up, he’d be on his own, and what is a caravan without its master? Roqn, probably remembering my habit of remaining well provisioned at all times, asked if I had any apples with me to tempt the donkeys into following. I rummaged through my bag, until Bhym chuckled and pulled out some balls of molasses and grain, giving one to each of us. The three of us separated and I soon located Lorsalian with four of the beasts huddled together, including the lead animal.

In my attempts to soothe the lead animal, hoping that perhaps the others would follow their leader, I gained the affections of one of the other little brown donkeys before the gray graciously consented to follow. That left two little fellows who were stand-offish no matter what I offered, having divided the one ball of oats I’d had between the two others. I offered apples, which they turned their noses up at. Lorsalian wandered off to look for more, and Roqn entered the small clearing just as I had resolved to return with the two, and persuaded the remainder to follow with him.

I led the donkeys to the road and followed it to where Bhym and Lorsalian stood conversing with a party of travelers. Wordlessly, I handed over the lead ropes to the dwarf and examined the curious group which consisted of a gnome wearing the robes of a mage, a human in armor, an elf carrying a lyre and a robed dwarf. The human stood out from his companions. He had an aura about him that reminded me painfully of a battle in the desert with one of his ilk in the not too distant past. It seemed they wished to stop the cargo from reaching its final destination, which from what little I caught of the conversation seemed to be Ashstone.

Mystic mumbling was coming from the gnome, and I watched as the shape of the dwarf he touched became blurred. It seemed there would be no way to sway these folk to let us pass, but since when had paladins become highwaymen? Now that it is over, I ask if it would not have been better to allow the caravan to pass and petition Lord Piergeron with regards to its contents and destination. He is of like mind to these “shieldbrothers” in his relentless faith and pursuit of all that is good. Of course, at the time, my mind was too busy reeling at fate once more placing a paladin before me whose righteous arrogance once more stood in my path.

Lorsalian was attempting to question him, Bhym was attempting to question him, both trying to persuade the group to let us pass. Roqn added a few questions of his own, and as my question left my lips, Roqn took the decision from all of our hands. For the second time in a short span of days, a holy knight lay dead at my feet.

I am ashamed to say I gaped. I froze, completely unable to help Roqn as the paladin’s comrades attacked. I stood over the body, staring at the small stream of blood trickling from its mouth. I had seen death before, it was not something new to me, I had ended lives with my own blades. But the tangled guilt in my mind over the death of the Tormite mixed with the death of this “shieldbrother”.

A distant part of me heard Roqn yelling at me to get to singing, but it was the murmured chanting of the gnome as he prepared to cast a spell to slay us all that dragged my instincts to the forefront, shoving that pale, horrified part of me to the side, and pulling me into combat. Automatically the words of the healing song taught to me by my old teacher poured from my lips soothing the wounds of those around me. Lorsalian, who had walked away with a curse for Roqn, returned when he saw I had entered combat with the mage and came to my assistance.

Sooner than I could take in, they all laid dead at our feet. That part of me still screaming within threatened to overwhelm me, but with several deep breaths and fierce concentration while Roqn looted the corpses, I managed to shove it into a corner of my mind to deal with later. Three of the donkeys were still missing, and I remembered Smirn mentioning to me just prior to the combat that one was tied up next to the Luskan Ferry. I passed this on to Bhym, who quickly backtracked to fetch the beast, Roqn in tow. Lorsalian stopped when he saw my pale face and wide eyes. Impulsively, I must guess since he’d never done it before, he hugged me then stepped back looking searchingly into my face. I waved him away, muttering something about Bhym needing to be guarded in case there were more orcs about.

Bhym returned, without the donkeys, and there seemed to be a scuffle about missing packs with Bhym accusing Smirn of having them, and the halfling (once more in his dwarven guise) protested his innocence as usual. While the others sorted it out, I watched the road to the south, and found myself humming “Kobei’s Song” absently under my breath. That time allowed me the chance to compose myself, and turn to the others when the ruckus had died down to find Bhym giving packs to the other three. We began our trek once more, Lorsalian pausing beside me to hand me a single sheet of parchment, indicating the corner. I glanced at it long enough to notice it was in his handwriting, before folding it and placing it in my belt pouch. I had a very tenuous hold on my composure and it was only my given word that had me finishing this trek.

The rest of our journey was without interruption until we reached the gates of Waterdeep three hours before dawn. Smirn let us in with the excuse that he “knew the gate keeper”, and we escorted Bhym the remainder of the way to the Waterdeep Trade Center. I walked away once I was certain the dwarf had all he needed. Lorsalian made as if to follow me, but I slipped through the crowds that bustled industriously as citizens made their way to their places of business.


So here I sit, staring at the pages I have just filled with my tale of our journey. I have to wonder when I will no longer be able to deal with this life, and hang up my blades to adorn the wall of a house that echoes even when I am there. Even so, it calls. Home.
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Postby Lilira » Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:03 pm

It has been forever it seems since last I attempted to find my father. After receiving his letter, well to say I was disheartened would be an understatement. He has known this whole time where I was, yet made no attempt to meet with me. Certainly his message seemed heartfelt, but once again I cannot fight that feeling of unworthiness I had thought gone after all this time.

I know now why it is Roqn came south. He had a message for me, from Him. Hearing the story behind Jorinthal's disappearance causes so many mixed feelings, and I have no idea how to sort them out.

It seems he and Cimimaen were in the south, aiding the dwarves in the Kneecappers Fort against the drow that reside nearby. During a particularly vicious skirmish, Jorinthal and Cimimaen were taken. From what Roqn told me, the two spent ten months in Dobluth Kyor before somehow escaping with a few other slaves and making their way to safety. Somehow during his time there, he heard murmurings of me. What they were about, I do not know. Yes, I did a favor for the High Priest there. I rarely go to Mir, it has become more unwelcoming as time passes, and I try to stay away. The shadows there move, and I can never tell if it is a drow listening in on my conversations with Nilan, one of the odd beasts that wander freely, or merely my over-active imagination.

But as usual, my words wander off the true path of my writings. I have not read the missive Roqn carries, as he claims it carries an enchantment to drag me to Jorinthal no matter my will in the matter. He is working on a way to get around the enchantment. The knowledge of that attempt has fanned a spark of anger buried deep within me, and made greater by Roqn's claim that my actions in aiding drow in any way has hurt the man who sired me.

How dare he presume to judge me? After eighty years, he would dare�
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Postby Lilira » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:35 am

Gods. So much has happened since my last entry, yet the time has been filled with periods of nothingness as well. After our journey playing escort for Bhym, and my discussion with Roqn, I received a missive out of the blue from a man by the name of Tyldun Sandragon with regards to our misadventures to the north. Fortune favored me while I pondered my response in the appearance of Lorsalian. I asked him to come with me to the meeting, and curious, he agreed.

We met Tyldun in an apartment in Waterdeep, and soon he made it clear he had somehow heard of our run-in with the “Shieldbrothersâ€
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Postby Lilira » Mon May 21, 2007 7:47 pm

place holder.. I'm behind
~\o--Lilira Shadowlyre--o/~

You group-say 'my chars will carry the component on them if I can.'
Inama group-says 'hopefully they'll have some sort of volume discounts on ress items for people like you'
You group-say 'oh? Ya think? *giggle*'
Inama group-says 'they could at least implement frequent dier miles'

Suzalize group-says 'oh, eya's over weight i bet'
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Postby Lilira » Mon May 21, 2007 7:51 pm

Still behind.

Posting the next part because its complicated, then I'll back track some.
~\o--Lilira Shadowlyre--o/~

You group-say 'my chars will carry the component on them if I can.'
Inama group-says 'hopefully they'll have some sort of volume discounts on ress items for people like you'
You group-say 'oh? Ya think? *giggle*'
Inama group-says 'they could at least implement frequent dier miles'

Suzalize group-says 'oh, eya's over weight i bet'
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Postby Lilira » Mon May 21, 2007 7:54 pm

It was supposed to be simple. But then they all start out that way.

Word of the continuation of Bhym’s caravan came to my ears and I decided to join him on another leg, if for no other reason than fatalistic curiosity as to what could possibly go wrong next. Between the paladin’s band of the first journey, the numerous trolls and rescue attempt of the second, I hoped to be prepared. Little did I expect that the worst problem would come from within.

I arrived at the appointed location in Baulder’s Gate to find some unfamiliar faces. Oddly, one I did recognize was a barbarian I met several years ago, Vigis by name. With him stood a strange elf, who I learned later was a druid. I had just arrived fresh from the road, still wrapped in the cloak of invisibility I commonly summon about me to avoid nuisances when traveling on my own. Upon my arrival, the insults began flying ranging from comments about cowardice to questions and jests about parentage. A dwarf joined us, one I later learned was named Kramel, a rather unwashed fellow even for a dwarf. Soon another barbarian, Mufar, joined the group forming. Weary of the jeers, I pulled out my lyre, moving to the far side of the intersection out of the way of traffic and began playing, ignoring the continued banter of the others.

Reliable as the sunrise, Lorsalian arrived, wandering over to where I sat strumming a soft tune to pass the time. The last three arrivals were a gnome (Netosonel), a half-elven minstrel no-one knew and the human priest Tyldun. I was in an off mood, partly melancholy, partly just tired. I have been wearing my armor far too much of late, and have not had the time to visit my house in a bit of time. I suppose part of it was the fact that I was and still am very unsettled by the near troll and duergar invasion of my home. My heart calls me there, but my feet continue to drag me to poke my nose into problems I hear about. Once again my bad habits distract me, and I digress.

Soon Bhym arrived, his pie-bald horse and a string of desert horses in tow. As we discussed the job, Vigis continuing to toss in barbs directed at the “half-breedsâ€
Last edited by Lilira on Tue May 22, 2007 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lilira » Mon May 21, 2007 8:09 pm

Posts: 1438
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Postby Lilira » Tue May 22, 2007 3:15 am

I have heard it said that poison is a woman's weapon. The person saying it of course intimating that women are sneaky, conniving and afraid of confrontation. Obviously they have not met some of the sword-ladies I know, Sotana when the inferno of her fury is burning brightly, or even the small sparks of my own rarely seen temper.

In this case however, they would be correct. Both in the one who sent it and the mode of deliverance. Lady Ashstone asked for volunteers among an assembled group of adventurers to deliver a growth mixture of spores and fertilizer to the caves housing A'Quarthus Velg'Larn in an effort to weaken the drow and give the Kneecappers a slight advantage... or rather remove the natural advantage the drow have due to the incredible speed with their blades.

As the Lady was speaking I saw doubt briefly flicker over Lorsalian's face as well as that of the other ranger present. For a moment, I paused. Then I remembered what Roqn had told me of the time my father had spent with those drow before being sent south. I verified that the spores would not kill, thought briefly and reluctantly of Nilan's response to my actions, then accepted the task. It would bring me trouble later. I remember his reaction to our delivering the weapons to the Kneecappers, and knew this storm would only be worse than the one I weathered last time. If the drow who had preached to me previously of family, clan and kin could not understand, then it may be time for a parting of the ways for his condemning my actions would be hypocrisy.

Rereading those words makes me wonder if perhaps my steps are falling too closely to the path my mother trod before my birth. Somewhere there are humans I am related to, as well as another line of elven heritage. Perhaps I should take some time to trace them to see what kind of people they are.

Lorsalian pulled me to the side, telling me he would perform the task to aid me. No, I would not drag another into the murky depths of my odd need for vengeance, unless he wished to go for himself. I had seen the reluctance. I knew this was something that would go against his nature, and I have enough on my trencher battling my own constant inner struggles. I do not wish to add the guilt of someone else's conscience to it. I told him it was personal, and when he would have asked for an explanation, I brushed off his request with the assurance I would tell him later, reminding him of his own tenuous alliance with the drow servant of Vhaeraun.

Two others, both excited at the prospect of having a personal favor owed to them by the ruler of a new city, followed me as I grew impatient with the moral grumblings and veiled insults being hurled by one of the others who had shown up. Accepting the burlap bag from her ladyship, I was glad to be ill and unable to smell anything. From the expressions of those around me, the scent was none too pleasant.

Leading the way, we left the longhall, passing several soldiers who made faces. Tired of the reaction, I paused long enough to place the burlap bag within another to muffle the scent some before continuing south with the druidess Saelyan and shaman Faval, both of whom had consented to accompany me.

My song carried us swiftly to the turning point in the road east of Waterdeep, and there we paused to await dawn and the opening of the city gates in order to take a slightly more swift path south. Lorsalian caught up with us, his attitude a study of indecision. Perhaps the two with me did not recognize it, but I find myself reading his moods more easily the more we travel together. Again I reminded him of the possible recriminations this task could result in, and the ranger reluctantly backed away, expression slipping into disproving lines at my stepping back from our friendship.

I will say it here, in case it never comes up later. Lorsalian, I am sorry. The part of me that knows of the shadowed purpose behind this task accepted from a mistress of dark sorceries, could not stand back and allow that shadow to smudge you on my behalf when I knew how torn you really were. It was only the second time I have ever seen such indecision cross your face with regards to actions I did or planned to perform, and I pushed you away so you could live with yourself.

As soon as we stepped off of the southern ferry, we were set upon by a large group of lizardmen. While I danced with my blades in a rare show of combat with their leader, it is amazing how wonderful it felt to be in the thick of things again, the others decimated his followers with the powers of spirit and nature, some falling to the elements, and some without a scratch but shrieking loudly.

A short distance to the south we found a family huddled into the shadows of the trees. The fragrance wafting from the burlap bag I carried captured their attention as the man of the family told their tale. Apparently they cobbled an existence in the shelter of the woods. They had a home, but no income and no food other than what they gathered from the bounty of the forest. The lizardmen had raided their home and stolen every article of food that could be carried off. The man began with hints, suggestions, turning to a request for the bag of growth mixture I carried. His reasoning being that mushrooms could be grown in their cellar, no one the wiser. I hated to tell them no, but it was for their own good. What I was doing was bad enough, but I would not allow the cargo I carried to harm innocents. I am surprised my tongue did not turn black with the lies I told regarding the package.

I withdrew a mushroom I had found not too long ago, and the druidess with me for some reason carried a small bundle of excrement. We offered them as something to start with. I though I had seen movement in the trees, so my attention wandered momentarily and the boy grabbed the bundle of growth mixture from my hands and bolted, his family right behind. The others and I chased them down and even though my stomach churned almost to the point of being ill, we bullied them into searching for the child. Just as I had thought to offer them coin to travel to a place where they might find work, the boy was located and the father threatened him with the possibility that we three would find their home and destroy it. The sickness in my stomach I had felt turned to the burn of anger. We'd made a small effort to aid them and this was how we were to be repaid? It seems my reputation would be more tarnished than I though to begin with. My stomach still churns in memory of their frightened faces staring at me.

Finally, we reached the large opening in the cave housing both outposts. Our journey had shown me Faval's innate honor, and I did not feel he would be able to deal with the drow. I tried to caution him against entering the caves, knowing his honor would not allow him to back away from combat with its denizens, but my words went unheeded. As we entered and grew close to the hidden entrance to A'Quarthas Vegl'Larn, one of the drow scouts that watches the entrance attacked. While we still held to our hopes for stealth, it was imperative he die and die he did.

As we approached the cave wall, I was startled to find it open. Looking through, one of the guards normally positioned between the outpost doors was outside. He saw me immediately and shouted something about another half-elf. Something was wrong. With another soft warning to Faval to back away, I caught Saelyan's eye and we stepped forward.

Reflecting on that day I know where and how mistakes were made, and I will take full responsibility as leader of the little group. We had been told to merely scatter the mixture in the caves where the scent would be covered by the past deaths and decay there. That we would not be required to have contact with the drow. My pitiful excuse, muttered only to myself, is that it seemed almost too easy. Drow are a race accustomed to hatred and survival. I have heard some tales about life in their cities far below in the Underdark, and they are innately vigilant against the machinations of others. It was my thought that their food supply would be grown within the complex somewhere, away from the possibility of the dwarves contaminating their food. That one thought tainted the whole of what was next to come as Saelyan and I stood for what seemed like hours trying to bluff our way into the compound to speak with their quartermaster after we were hailed. At one point while we spoke, one of the drow caught sight of Faval watching over us from afar, and the two pursued him, forcing the barbarian to retreat into the sunlight outside the cave.

Saelyan and I held our blades, holding to the illusion of our interest in trade. I laughed scornfully at the accusations when they returned. One thing that sticks out to me about the trip... I mentioned Dlavizz, High Priest of Vhaeraun and they laughed at me. “We worship the Masked Lord, but we do not worship that Priest.” Apparently my assumption that A'Quarthus Veglarn was an extension of Dobluth Kyor was quite incorrect.

Drow are just odd. I wonder if there is a way for me to study them without ending up enslaved or dead. Perhaps if I learned how to deal with them on their level... A thought to contemplate later when I haven't insulted a settlement of them.

Finally we ended up having to settle for selling the mixture to them as they called our bluff. After accepting their coin, Saelyan backed out and made for the dwarven side of the caverns, pausing to look for Faval. Unable to locate him, I searched out the secret passage and we fought our way past the ice walls to the doors. After attempting to talk our way past the guards, I scribbled a note and gave it to them to pass on before we left.

As we left the yawning cave behind us, we found Faval further up the path, and the druidess summoned a portal to carry us to Waterdeep.

Now I ask myself, what in the nine hells do I do now? Run to Ashstone to warn the lady? How long before Nilan pokes his nose in? How to explain my reasons to Lorsalian?
Last edited by Lilira on Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lilira » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:24 am

Somehow it happened far more swiftly than I had thought it would. Nilan heard of our little failed expedition, almost before I had a chance to report it myself. Yes, I will admit I have my fears of admitting that failure to Lady Ashstone. She has never given me a reason to be afraid of her, but I have witnessed for myself hints of ruthlessness. Then I remind myself that anyone is capable of such, even myself as evidenced by my anger with the duergar who had encouraged trolls to invade so close to my home.

As I dithered in the mountains on the way to Ashstone so wrapped up in my own concerns that I failed to pay attention to my surroundings, a shadow slipped behind me and before I could react, tangled fingers in my hair, jerking my head painfully backwards. The hum of an enchanted, living blade caressed my throat, its edge pressed just shy of separating my flesh and the whisper accompanying it sending a chill down my spine. It had been so long since I had been touched by an assassin, I had forgotten the fear. The Hand of Vhaeraun had found me.

The whispered instructions bade me find a place where we could talk before the sun rose. So easily falling into the patterns of years ago when Cirath had stalked me, I complied, leading the drow into the lava tubes that dotted the hillsides. Within is an altar used by the Tvorlites to sacrifice the victims of the flesh layer for the construction of the golem we destroyed in what seems like forever ago. I did not know of this when I led the drow there. A small part of me was merely attempting a twisted sense of amusement in supplying Nilan a place to stretch me out to kill me if he decided to do so.

Upon reaching our destination, I found myself hurled into the wall before being peppered with questions and recriminations. The collision with the stone knocked me back into the present, and it was in that moment a calm part of me realized Nilan had already lost this confrontation. Words I had long since forgotten returned, whispered in the menacing voice of the Calimshite assassin. “To inspire true fear, one must prove that they are willing to do anything to earn it.” Nilan would not kill me, and I had an edge. I would not tell him anything I did not wish him to know, and he would not do anything to force it out of me. I had heard stories all my life of the long memories and viciousness of the drow and had yet to witness it. While my fears concerning Nilan were allayed, the drow in A'Quarthas Veglarn are a different breed.

About the time I had confirmed everything that was or generally would be open information or easy for the drow to learn of himself, a skeleton shambled into the cavern. Nilan stiffened, his anger refreshed at the sight of the figure dressed in the tattered remains of a drow raider. Lintral entered shortly after to find the drow glaring and myself staring at him with a mixture of shock and relief. Apparently while under duress I had led Nilan to an area the necromancer normally frequents as a part of his self-appointed guardianship of places of death connected to the war with Auzorm'tvorl. I felt a hysterical urge to laugh as Lintral managed to goad Nilan into storming off within ten minutes of his arrival.

Awkwardness settled over me like a wool blanket after Nilan left. Lintral was doing something... I could feel the cool caress of his magic around me. Lights flickered and the orb he held up glowed momentarily. When he was done, haltingly I began speaking in response in answer to his absent curiosity. He bothered with questions the assassin hadn't, though I still did not impart the reason behind my actions. The necromancer didn't care. His interest was in the Hand's allegation that the poison I was to deliver would turn the denizens of the drow outpost into undead. Naturally he was fascinated with the idea, though skeptical that such a thing would exist. While we conversed, Nilan slipped back in, stepping out of the invisibility one of his items accorded him.

We three conversed further, with Lintral piercing many of Nilan's charges with the icy blade of logic. Most of them words I had said once before. Nilan was no more inclined to listen than before, trusting the words of his contact over my own even when presented by a third party. After what seemed like hours, Teej entered the cavern to find me sitting on the far side of the altar away from the men, head pounding and ready to scream. She looked at me with concern, noting the marks on my face from my initial entry into the chamber. The warrior asked me if all was well, and I waved it off with false levity, hugging her and murmuring that Lintral would be able to explain later if she wished it. She nodded and squeezed the breath out of me before turning to her husband who led the way, the couple departing and leaving Nilan and I studying each other.

I refused to tell him why. I would not drop Jorinthal into the middle of this, though vengeance on his behalf was the driving force behind my actions. My father and I have come to an accord... tentative though it may be, and I will give the assassin no targets to chase other than myself.

Our friendship is shattered. Destroyed like all the layers of Auzorm'tvorl, and scattered to the winds.

After leaving that chamber, I wandered the mountains thinking and reflecting. A tenday passed and I had stopped over to stay in an old hostel, the enchantments against violence still holding. Whispered words left the shadows, asking me to stay as Nilan revealed himself once more. It seems his investigation into the matter had proven my words true, though he still pressed for my reasons, the Lady's purpose and generally repeating his questions. I would not give answers I did not know. If nothing else, he confirmed what I suspected. I had failed. Completely.

As I left that hostel and the drow I had once called friend behind... I asked myself how I would tell the Lady. As my feet traced the path to Ashstone, I resolved myself to leave a message with my contact if she was not available. I would not leave there without alerting her somehow, of my failure. Then after tying a few loose ends, it would be time to disappear.
Last edited by Lilira on Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lilira » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:20 am


One place I have enjoyed since its purchase. I may not be there often, but it is somewhere to go to when I am done.

I had decided against selling it. Instead I closed it up as though I were leaving on my normal wanderings and would alert the local militia that I will be gone for a time. Oddly enough it was just what I was going to do when a guard recognized me and told me that trustworthy adventurers were needed at the manor. Deciding I would stop by, if for no other reason than to use it as an excuse to inform Lord Hyndarr himself of my impending absence, I was startled to meet Lorsalian at the fountain. Father arrived as well. How... awkward.

The man who was the reason behind the mess I am in meeting the man I encouraged to avoid it. No, I have not told Jorinthal. For the same reason I have not told Nilan my reason for proceeding. Thankfully Lorsalian didn't say anything.

But the assistance Lord Hyndarr's guard captain needed from us frankly drove every thought of my own problems out of my head for a moment. We arrived, were allowed entrance and proceeded to Lord Hyndarr's suite where we were ushered into his bed chamber. Odd. Then we were told he was asleep. I hummed an old lullaby, truly I did not even realize it until the captain gave me a strange look. Speaking in quiet tones, the captain told us what had occurred. It seems his youthening potion had not been diluted properly, and upon his drinking it, Lord Hyndarr had been reduced to an infant! The poor man still retained all of the mental capacities of his former self. We were tasked to find a necromancer who had not been corrupted by his art, and have him returned to his proper age. Easier heard than performed!

While we all stood flabbergasted, a stirring came from behind the curtains on the bed, and the guard captain went over and lifted the baby from the bed, presenting the miniature lord to us after changing his diaper. My stomach clenched at the sight of the beautiful child. Most of the yearnings I had long ago locked away broke free to swamp me with longing, and my arms reached out for the small bundle who consented and nestled in to chew on the strap securing my armor. Inhaling the scent of baby, I just stood there, half listening before trying to discourage him from chewing on my armor. The guard captain handed me a small baby soother which turned grey as I accepted it and Lord Hyndarr accepted the substitution. We had to sneak him out. Pulling out one of the spare leather backpacks from my magic bag, I asked the baby if he would mind riding in the pack while I cradled him in case I needed my hands free. His little expression turned uncertain, but I pulled out some of my shawls to pad and line the pack with, and he gave a shaky nod. After adjusting the straps so he was cradled against my stomach, we received the rest of our instructions as well as a small amount of supplies, and left the manor with my cloak pulled securely around us.

Once we were free of Arnd'ir and its surroundings, we tried to decide where to begin. Baulder's Gate has a school of necromancy, transferred there after the destruction of Bloodstone, so we decided to begin there. My movements had rocked the baby to sleep, only to be woken suddenly as a troll attacked. I scrambled out of the way, leaving Lorsalian and Jorinthal to deal with the creature, aiding them with song, but keeping the child out of harm. For a such a small package, he certainly had a large set of lungs which let every creature within the area know his displeasure as I tried to soothe. Finally, combat complete, I spoke to the child relying on his retained intelligence and reminded him that we did not need every troll in the hills to know we were there. He quieted and we continued, my song speeding our journey and lulling him back to sleep.

Upon reaching the city, we made straight for the library. Interrupting a librarian, we questioned him closely, using the excuse of my 'motherhood' to seek the services of a necromancer. Inwardly I shuddered as the lies rolled off my tongue. I have no wish to ever feel the brush of rejuvenating magic but the story served as the identity of the life entrusted to us was a secret to be maintained. Jorinthal became the boy's grandfather. By default made Lorsalian the father, though I laugh now at the scoldings he received because of it. Their eyes were close in color which made the story plausible. After a quick consultation with Ragefast, the grumpy head of the library, we attempted to gain entrance or get the attention of the instructor within the school of necromancy, but the guardian barred our entrance. Apparently we got louder than we thought as one of the scholars upstairs hollered for us to be quiet. After conversation with him, he suggested we speak with Khelben in Waterdeep.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. When last I spoke with the wizard of Waterdeep, I was being glowered at by others who had also gathered for information. One of those now stood beside me in a similar search with a similar intent, though far different position.

I wonder what happened to the lock of hair Lahgen stole from me at that meeting...

After Lorsalian and I introduced ourselves, me fighting back a blush after my rude comment to the guard, as heroes of the 'War'. Our identities were confirmed and we introduced Jorinthal. Once again Baludeorrogauna's name served me well.

I wonder how the great one is doing? Some day I would love the chance to see him again even if it is only long enough to thank him for speaking well of me. Where ever you are, I hope all is well.

After gaining entrance into Khelben's study, the miniature lord in my arms made it known that the wonderful odor from his bum was in need of removal. Jorinthal took him from me, and changed him, muttering that it had been about ninety years since he had last performed that duty.

I bit back a retort as according to Mother, he had left her before knowing she was even pregnant and had never returned. After my entire life of not knowing him, I keep things to myself to avoid conflict, unwilling to strain the young relationship we have. I wonder how he will feel when I simply vanish? It is my intent only to tell two of my plans...

Catching Jorinthal's silent query, Khelben indicated he should simply dispose of the package through the shimmering portal. Through it sailed and from the wizard we learned that there was such a necromancer as who we sought. He was on his way to Ashstone to serve as an instructor. Oh how I inwardly cringed. I did not want to travel within a day's journey of there for now. Gods there are times I am such a coward.

Shortly after this revelation, the smelly bundle of cloth sailed back through the portal bearing scorch marks and it was suggested we leave before the invoker academy on the other side decided to send a fireball through behind it. Taking the baby back from Jorinthal I tucked him away into the makeshift baby pack and slipped down the stairs, followed by the two rangers.

Off we went, out the eastern gates, my song speeding our steps until a fretful murmuring caught my attention. I stopped and pulled the baby out who was making sucking sounds, and starting to fuss. I pulled out the makeshift bottle and examined it. It was empty. After pausing at the farmhouse to the north of the Turning Point for milk (more scoldings for Lorsalian bringing giggles to my lips), we continued on, rushing towards Ashstone. I fell silent as we reached the camp, eager for us to be off as soon as possible and not wanting to take the chance that my voice would be heard through the canvas walls of the tent city. After speaking with one of the guards, it was determined the guild instructor had not arrived yet, and we retraced our steps finally bumping into the... elf. Yes. It was an elven necromancer.

After we told the story behind the child and convinced Master Weruecarelis to restore him, I handed Lord Hyndarr over and turned away so I do not know what occurred other than the soft chanting that took place behind me. After the elf's voice fell silent, I heard the sound of cloth sliding over skin and returned my my attention to the men.

After accepting our expressions of gratitude, Master Weruecarelis continued on his way after giving Lord Hyndarr a caution against vanity. I used some magic to create a barrel of water for his Lordship to clean himself with. Jorinthal held up a cloak to give him privacy muttering, “My daughter doesn't need to see your rulership,” and causing me to gasp with shock and turn bright red. Lord Hyndarr's response of “At that age, it had nothing to do with rulership,” had me wishing the ground would open up at that moment and swallow me. This was the man who ruled my adopted home and I could now honestly say I had changed his diaper... I wonder if I can use it to talk him out of my taxes.

Before he left, Lord Hyndarr expressed his appreciation for our aid, vowing to find an appropriate method of repayment. I hope it is something the others can find value in, as I will not be there to accept it... but there is one thing that rings in my mind and tugs at my heart. He took a moment before disappearing to whisper into my ear that I would make a good mother. Yes, I blushed yet again.

So now that is over. I slipped Lorsalian a scrollcase containing a note and ticket to the Wavedancer before wandering to the docks of Waterdeep, with a pause to change into less conspicuous garb. I made it to the previously named vessel just in time, and now I wait for him.

This book containing my misadventures is now full, my last sentence cramped on the final page. Who knows what the next years will bring me as I leave the mainland to loose myself in travel to far shores?

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