A new journal...

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Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

A new journal...

Postby Lilira » Sun May 25, 2008 6:24 pm

Back to my old habits. I insist upon keeping a journal, for posterity I claim, though it appears as though it will not be my own children who will profit. But I will stop there. It is far to easily to slip into might have beens and mourning the past... almost like slipping into an ancient pair of boots. Comfortable to the foot, but thread-bare at the seams and falling apart. Still, I insist on it, yet keep forgetting to actually sit down to do it, so instead I find myself perched in a quiet place near Ashstone, scribbling to catch up.

Since my return, I have began my wanderings. I thought I would be satisfied with staying home for a time, but no. These days if I have any wish to reacquaint myself with old comrades, it falls upon me to hunt them down because the concept of stopping by for tea is foreign to most of them. Two I was seeking, I saw briefly, but it was not a time to speak for we were surrounded by others. I promised Lintral a song, one I will deliver if I can ever track him down. I also have a question for the necromancer... one almost to embarrassing to ask. If his reply is in the negative, I know not if I will be relieved or saddened. Sotana is also as evasive. I think she knows I wish to question her with regards to the conflict she had with the drow in my absence, and wishes to avoid an argument.

I found it interesting that even though I was gone for a year, I managed to receive blame from the drow for Sotana's actions. Perhaps I should take the blame for it. Shoulder it and scream to the world that though the truth is I am innocent of it, it is my fault my 'sister' tracked him down. Even now I feel the urge to roll my eyes. I think not.

I very much enjoyed the party I held north of Waterdeep. So many faces that are dear but rarely seen. Teej, Sotana, and Ashiwi, just to name a few... Some who came were barely known, or new acquaintances. We had fun conversing, singing, telling stories not to mention eating and drinking. A bright evening in the shadows many of us live in.

I have been to Ashstone. There has been progress made! The gate is open and a small portion of the city is available for the public to travel. I have seen several merchants wander within. The chef... Gynter, has his gorgeous silken pavilion finished and a lovely server sells his delicacies. Amusingly enough, twice now I have been with Nilan present and he practically drools over her. There is a mosaic to be built. Tarps cover the road called Dragon's Ride. I am looking forward to the finished product.

Oh... I heard Jenna was having some problems. The guards Lorsalian, I and a few others had tested for her had vanished. We, along with Nilan and Ewiril, investigated and discovered that Lady Ignisa had them and was holding them for a special copy of a book. It wasn't a spellbook, or history... but Haskeline's most recent, "Adrift On the Wings of Heaven" or some such title, part... well more than I could really care about. I was more interested in the guards. Ignisa is a very... interesting person. As long as I could avoid joining her 'pets' I think it could be interesting getting to know her, though I do not exactly see myself being the best of friends with the wife of the head of the Banite church in Zhentil Keep.

Unfortunately, as we were heading back south after tracking down Elura up in Ice Crag, I was called away unexpectedly. It was surreal... Ameneth's mother, seeking a part of Ameneth that is not in existence. That was a painful meeting.

I met back up with Lorsalian and the others in Waterdeep, only to find out the miscreant who had stolen the book was the same rogue we had turned down for the position with Jenna's guards. We paid the outrageous ransom and got the book back. I was unable to return with the others to complete the mission, but Lorsalian said the lovebirds were freed and returned safely to Jenna. I hope they got their cookies.

Another adventure of interest. Lady Ashstone was in need of a stable master to care for the animals that enter the city. Lorsalian and I both thought of Nezev, so the two of us along with Bogroc, Lanot, and Nilan managed to track her down, bumping into a necromancer named Lasin on the way. Though it was fascinating to learn that Nezev is actually a female.... centaur! For some reason I had always assumed Nezev was male, and apparently Lor always thought she was human. She told us her son that was previously in Bloodstone was sick in mind from what had occurred, and still had not healed. But she did promise there would be a stable master for Ashstone.

Now it comes to the most recent. I ran into an old... acquaintance. Zhoanest, the Geomancer. I was sitting at the fountain in Ashstone, it is quite a sight to behold, and he wandered in. To say I was surprised of course would be an understatement. We chatted for a bit, and he told me about a great injury done to the area of Ashstone, formerly Bloodstone, back before the conflicts with Auzorm'tvorl, before Orcus' destruction. Before Toril took the Geomancer and made him Hers, when Zhoanest's grandparents were young. As he is or was elven, you can only imagine how long ago that was. I know not even how long She has sustained him, for he no longer eats, and only drinks water.

A great wounding took place in that area, injuring Her (the land, Toril) so badly She has not looked that way since. There are no volcanoes in the area, but there are lava tubes. I heard of a moat of lava the demons of Bloodstone lived in, yet Zhoanest told me... there are no volcanoes. The land was torn, the lava its blood. Once the injury scabbed over, it left the land stable enough to build over, but it still pains Her. Orcus's release and razing of Bloodstone was a mere scrape over Her surface. The lava is still there, just underneath the surface and keeping the area warm.

He told me the following story while we sat there in the midst of what is being rebuilt.

"At one time, a simple rock lay upon a path," he began, dropping an old, moss-covered rock. "An ant happened along, in its search for food, and it encountered the rock. For an hour, it traveled around the barrier, and continued on its search to provide for its kin.

A day after, a wolf happened along the same path. The wolf saw the rock, and paused to sniff it, in case it were food. It continued along, going its way.

Some time later, a stubborn donkey was led by a tireless merchant, along the same path. The stone lodged in the donkey's left hind hoof. The hoof hurt, as you might imagine, but it took a while for the donkey's discomfort to be recognized as more than simple stubbornness. The stone was finally discovered, and pried free, although the donkey was quite shy about stepping firmly with that foot for days after."

He picked up the rock he had previously dropped, tossing it into the air and catching it. "An insurmountable obstacle, a morsel, an insignificant mote, a sharp pain and hard memory, and all in just one small stone. We stand upon an ancient battleground. We stand upon a more recent devastation. We stand, upon a modern city. I am an ant, granted permission to hear Her tales. And at times, it is difficult to look at the insurmountable, and recognize the mote."

Because he asked, I told him what I knew of Bloodstone's destruction, which admittedly isn't much. I was however able to describe what the city looked like in the years of aftermath before the cleansing began. The smell, the feel of ash beneath your feet, uncertain whether it was stone, cinders or bodies you walked upon. The hopelessness of the ruins and the people who scraped out an existence there. He seemed pleased at the information to take back to Her.

Perhaps I should seek out others who might have knowledge of this original wounding. It seems Toril is willing to turn her gaze in that direction again, perhaps learning what caused the initial wound that had her turn away would help in the healing. Also... I have never had much faith in Nilan's comments about other portals beneath Ashstone. That disbelief is something I keep in the privacy of my journal, though to be honest, since our... dispute, I am less inclined to tiptoe around him, or even care what he thinks of me. I did mention those portals, and Zhoanest suggested that perhaps I should speak to the elves of his former homeland. I am uncertain if I should be the one to do so... How well do the Queen and Lord Erlan communicate? Elves have long memories... Well I can take the cowardly way out and hand this to Lorsalian to investigate, or I can shoulder the responsibility and ask for myself.

It has just occurred to me. What of the very first battle? The first where Leneheza and her 'brethren' were borne by the dragons the first time. Could that have had something to do with this great wounding? Idle speculation on my part. Nothing that should be included in any questions I may find myself asking unless of course information I obtain points in that direction. But perhaps... elves live long lives, but they are not the only beings that are so blessed... and maybe... just maybe... I would get to see Baludeorrogauna again.

No Lilira, dragons have better things to do than answer the annoying questions of bards, and those who meddle in the affairs of them usually end up extra crispy.

It is still something to think on...
Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Re: A new journal...

Postby Lilira » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:38 am

I dreamed. It has been years since I had the nightmares. Boiling blood, shrieking metal, the crash of shattering glass. Pain. Not physical, but emotional as I watched comrades fall. Gods, the demons and devils raining terror and death around the huge construct. It was as though I was there again. I felt the claws rending my armor and flesh which was rapidly mended under the influence of magic. The screams of agony as bodies fell against the uncaring stone. Battle cries, smoke, ozone, the agony of spells turned back into our teeth and my throat raw from the constant song that flowed forth.

I woke with tangled blankets and breaths sobbing in my lungs, safe in my comfortable chamber with the air of my open window caressing my sweat soaked skin. What had brought it all back? Then I knew. The muchly desired meeting I had been hoping for since transporting victorious from that mountain, had transpired while I wandered in the Greycloak Hills. I was desperately glad to see him, and exhilarated by the wind streaming my hair out behind me as we flew together once more. I was crying when my feet touched the ground again, so timid before the great presence that has saved my life not merely against the many foes we battled as our band raced to the mountain, but once again with mere words that were repeated by a bard to a Queen which stayed her wrathful hand.

Then wonder of wonders, that great glimmering and ageless creature asked me, a mere mortal who babbled like a youthful child when confronted with his glory, for a favor. Oh gods… I hope what service I provided was sufficient. I have the full intent of keeping a close gaze upon the Keep of Ash and Stone, most especially after I deliver my precious charges safely there. But now to gather them. I have journeyed to Baulder’s Gate, but have not been able to bring myself to visit the orphanage. It will look odd, a single female asking for so many children. Even with my reputation, people will wonder if I have gone bad and would offer them as slaves.

Slaves. Something that is foul to me, yet after my extensive travels, I understand that it is something that will never end. Always, in every civilization, there will be one who is lesser. Inferior. While they may not wear chains, those who work on the bottom of the rungs of the ladder are little more than slaves, kept poor while the rich get richer. There will never be an end to slavery, just a change so it seems more acceptable. I will not support it, but neither will I spit defiantly in its face. It is merely something that exists.

My precious charges will not be slaves. I am unworthy to be a mother, my travels would make life with me far too unstable, but I will protect them as best as I am able, provide for them to ensure they live good lives, learn good trades, and grow up to be good people. Far too many people will not understand that. They will only see my delivery of children to the hands of a necromancer. But are not the seeds of a city’s future sown by the hands of its youth? If the following generation is nurtured, can it not affect the direction of growth? Far too many who strive against what is being built only see its Mistress, failing to note the common folk. The women who weep because of their lost loved ones and the men who work hard to aid in the building, the families who provide shops and other services. It is far to simple to create monsters out of an entire race, city population or country.

Seeing the individual and allowing them to fly or fall by their own actions is of far more import to me.

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