Ghosts of Illidia

Kiira- Illidia

We found Illidia!! The place that the ghost was talking about. When we arrived, however, the city was oddly silent and we soon discovered that it had been abandoned some time in the past. A thick layer of dust covered everything now. We entered the tavern to spend the night; with Jig and Brian breaking into the available alcohol in the room. I amused myself experimenting with the piano in the corner of the room. This endeavor was cut short, however, when I heard the grating discordant tones ringing from it. Sighing, I seated myself in the corner and pulled out Jericho’s book to study a bit more. Thinking of him only made the pain of separation more intense. I fingered the necklace he had given me thoughtfully and started writing some more poems in the book he had given me. The necklace began to glow, which startled me. The more I thought of Jericho, the more intense the glow. I dropped the necklace in surprise and went back to my poems. A little later, I decided to see for myself if it was going to do anything more odd than glowing. Thinking as hard as I could of Jericho, I got the necklace to glow fiercely. That’s all it did, however. Relieved, I tucked it back under my shirt and continued writing in the book Jericho had given me. A little later, I slipped the book back into my bag and settled down for the night.

A calm night it was not to be, however. We were awoken by strange figures making their way down the stairs. Startled, we watched as they left the tavern and made their way to the streets. They didn’t seem threatening, however. In fact, everything felt pretty calm. Alanna, Brian and I stayed inside for a few moments but eventually Alanna and I both made our way out into the street and watched as a figure in the opposite building, stood on a balcony and made some sort of speech. He seemed to be casting something and after a few moments, the ghostly figures gathered below began to float. Eventually, all of the figures disappeared. Our group went back into the tavern and rested for the night.

The next day, we went to investigate the general store across the street. To make it short, we found a halfling by the name of Reggie Haffwhey, who joined our party headed to the capital. We also found a hidden room, replete with symbols of the gods. There were also odd markings on one of the floors, and in the hidden room. Alanna, Ashleigh, and I could make little of it, but we closed it off when we were done. Maybe we will learn more later. I know only a few spells, nowhere near Alanna and I don’t have the religious knowledge that Ashleigh has, so I wasn’t much help. We finished up, Alanna trying to keep the city as much like we had found it as possible, and left to make our way again towards the capital.

Reggie seems nice enough, and he didn’t even seem to mind my looks, which was very nice. He accepted us so readily, in fact, that I didn’t even notice the fact that he hadn’t said anything until later. I was so lucky to have found such a group and I was grateful that they accepted me as I was. If only Jericho had been here, I would have been the happiest I’ve ever been; perfectly content. Sighing, my thoughts drifted towards Jericho once more as we walked towards the city. As night fell, we decided to make camp. Jig and I went hunting and, on a stroke of luck, managed to find and fell a large bear. Dragging it back to camp, I skinned it carefully and cut up some of the meat. It should last us awhile, which makes me happy. The night went by with no interruptions, and we kept on towards the capital.

Towards the end of the next day, we found another city. Sighing, I cast a spell to disguise my features and prepared to head into the city with the others. Reggie, however, proved himself extremely useful here. He had a kit with various makeups and such in it and managed to lighten my skin and color my hair. He told me I looked like a Fire Elf. I had never heard of these, but didn’t doubt that they would be better received than a Drow look-alike. I thanked him for the disguise, a smile crossing my face. It would be so nice to walk into the city, unafraid of an anti-magic field or of the spell wearing off. We camped for the night, ready to make our way into the city the next day. I was actually excited. I would be able to, most likely, walk around the city freely!! I slept, again dreaming of Jericho, and waited for the morning.

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Kiira - Covington Part I

Well, the journey into Covington was eventful, to say the least. I entered the city the next morning under the guise of being a Fire Elf and made my way to a few stores to resupply myself with some needed provisions for the road. I then headed into the bookstore section and picked up a few books that I thought Jericho would enjoy. I found A History of Fiendish Appearances, the companion book to his History of Celestial Appearances. As attuned as he is to the dichotomy of things, I felt he would enjoy perusing the History of Fiendish Appearances. I also picked up a book entitled Oddities of Celestia. I shall have to read them on the way so I can talk to him about them when we are reunited again. I then made my way back to the Lazy Daisy, the inn our party was to meet at, to see if they needed a hand with the evening’s entertainment. The party had split up and were going their separate ways for the day. When I arrived back at the inn, I noticed the dancer Dahlia from one of the other inns I had been in. She, along with another bard, were providing some entertainment. Needing to get rooms for the night before I got wrapped up in performing and lost track of myself, I headed for the barkeep. To my surprise, however, there was another Fire Elf (this time an actual one) arguing with him about something. I hurriedly turned the other way to try and avoid being seen by the other Fire Elf and kept an ear out to find out when they stopped arguing. After a few moments, they were still arguing so I headed over to the other part of the inn to see if I could get a word in with Dahlia in between songs. I sat in a chair by the stage and waited for the song to be over. However, I noticed after a few moments that they weren’t doing individual songs but playing one song right into the next. They were quite good and had accumulated a good amount of tips so far. As I debated with myself whether to try and get Dahlia’s attention or not, the Fire Elf I had seen earlier stormed over to the stage and grabbed Dahlia by the arm. He dragged her out into the street, muttering something about an “agreed upon price” and “finding somewhere else”. Startled, I jumped up after them almost without thinking, with half a mind to offer them money to make up for whatever had not been payed, just to have a chance to play in a city again, with someone I knew to be quite adept at dancing. I called out “Wait” a few times but they seemed not to hear me. Trying to hurry a little faster, I finally called “Dahlia!” and that got their attention. The Fire Elf turned around, quicker than I thought possible and demanded to know how I knew her name and what my name was, as well as my parent’s names and the name of the city I came from. I took an instinctive step backwards at his barrage of questions and managed to tell him that I had heard him saying Dahlia’s name as I was leaving and that my name was Kiira. I asked him why the other things were important and he replied that Fire Elves were very rare. Not being an actual Fire Elf and a little afraid to give any definitive answers, I managed to neatly step around his question by telling him that it wasn’t really important. I pulled out my lute, a little nervously, and said “I’m a bard, actually, and I saw Dahlia dancing in the inn.” He simply said “Alright you can come” and quickly started walking again. Surprised by his quick words, yet not wanting to miss a performance opportunity with someone I knew, I worked to keep up with their pace.

Eventually, we came to a bar…something about an Inferno. Diego (the Fire Elf, I later learned) went into the bar to set something up. Dahlia and I talked for awhile. It was nice to see someone familiar, if only a little, again. It turns out that she had been traveling with Diego pretty much her entire life and that he managed her performances. He appeared a little cold and controlling for me but Dahlia said he wasn’t so bad when you got to know him. She was a little confused, as I had looked like a normal elf the last time she saw me. I told her that I had cast a spell to make it so, as it was easier traveling in and out of cities that way. Partial truth, I HAD cast the spell for just this reason, though it was to cover a Drow facade, not a Fire Elf’s. She reminded me a lot of Jericho as she told me that I should be proud of being a Fire Elf and that you should be true to yourself. We talked for awhile longer and eventually Diego came out again, saying that we were going to play at this bar. He told me that I would get a 10% share of the profits. I held back a chuckle at such a ridiculously low number. I didn’t make an issue of it, however. I hadn’t come back to the city to make money; I had come for the thrill of playing for an audience again and the pleasure of other artists’ companies. So I simply said “Alright” and followed them into the bar. Dahlia danced and I accompanied her in song for about a half an hour; pure pleasure. Dahlia turned towards me, her smile quickly turning into an “oh” of surprise. I then noticed, in quick, surreal succession, that I was sweating quite a lot and that my makeup would not hold out if wet. Shocked for a moment, I stood stock still, inwardly cursing. A quicksilver rush of adrenaline as I gathered my strength to run for it. Time froze and, almost in slow motion, I saw Dahlia put the smile back on her face and dance towards me. A little confused, I went with her movements and she managed to shield my face as I cast a quick spell to disguise my appearance and pull the hood of my cloak up, just in case. She whispered “we need to talk” into my ear and we stepped off the stage while she went out and talked to someone. A few moments later she came back and we went into the storage pantry of the inn. To my immense surprise, she didn’t even seem fazed when we went in and I told her that I looked like a drow when my makeup wasn’t on. She pulled out a makeup kit (with a lot of dark colors, actually) and proceeded to fix my makeup to its previous status, even applying some sort of powder that she said would make it last a lot longer. She reminded me again of Jericho and Sabwa as well as she told me that you shouldn’t judge someone solely on the color of their skin. I chuckled inwardly a little, thinking to myself that I was really grateful to have had the adventuring party I traveled with. I had met more people amenable to my drow appearance with them than I had met in years and years of traveling by myself. Dahlia finished up the makeup and we made our way back onto the stage, playing long into the night.

Awhile after that, I made my way back to the Lazy Daisy, the inn we were to be staying at that night. I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to have gotten the rooms and I grimaced to myself. I got so caught up in my playing that I had forgotten! I inwardly berated myself; THIS is why I had tried to obtain the room keys earlier. I noticed Ashleigh sitting in the corner with a pot of tea and a couple of cups and I made my way over to him and asked if we had gotten rooms, while I apologized for not performing that action. He said it wasn’t a big deal and handed me a room key. “Have you seen Alanna” I asked, meaning to apologize for forgetting myself and not meeting her here. He said that he had, but that she had left awhile ago with some guy. Startled, I looked up at him and said “she hasn’t been back?” He replied in the negative. “That’s not like her at all!” Now getting a little worried, I made my way back into the city to see if I could find her. The night passed with no such luck, however. Exhausted, I made my way back to the inn to find Ashleigh still sitting at the bar. I told him that I hadn’t found her but that I needed to sleep and would look again when I awoke. I then made my way upstairs and passed out for the night (or what was left of it).

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Kiira - Covington Part II

The next day I awoke, closer to the afternoon than the morning, to the sound of Jig Sawyer pounding on the inn door. I opened it a crack and asked him what he wanted, a little groggily. “Kiira!!” he shouted “why you not wake! Almost time Tournament!” I looked at him for a moment, shook my head, and opened the door for him to come in. “Have you seen Alanna?” I inquired. He said he hadn’t and proceeded to go knocking on the rest of the doors in the inn. I tried to stop him but sometimes, there is no stopping the Jig. I sighed and went back into my room while he did his rounds. He eventually returned, saying he hadn’t found her. I asked him if he had seen Reggie and he said he was downstairs. I asked Jig to go grab him for me. He brought up Reggie and his newfound wife, still making out. I sighed and glared at Jig a few moments. I told Reggie that I was sorry to interrupt but could I borrow his makeup kit for a few minutes. Interestingly, he vehemently refused to let me even touch it. However, he did manage to fix my makeup so that I once again looked like a Fire Elf, which is what I had wanted to do anyway, and I headed downstairs to try and find Alanna again, growing more and more concerned. Making the rounds looking for her, I eventually found my way to the Dragon’s Milk Bar, where I found a very drunk and apologetic Brian. Sighing again, I sat by him and tried to make him feel a little better, though I don’t think it worked. A little while after that, Jig made it inside with the news he had found Alanna. I asked him if she was alright and he gave me a Jig answer, saying something about saving her and her yelling and hurt. Alarmed, I told Jig to stay by Brian while strode quickly and purposefully towards the inn, fires blazing in my eyes at the thought of someone hurting what had become a dear friend, the vulnerable Alanna. She was not equipped to defend herself adequately and if someone had done something to her against her will, they were going to pay back what they had given out; with interest attached. I found her door torn off its frame. A chill ran down my spine and I quickly made my way into the room by wriggling under the door. As soon as I entered, I drew my shortsword and turned to find her attacker. To my chagrin, however, I found that Jig had gotten the story quite wrong. Alanna was fine and was taking care of someone laid out on the bed, quite unhurt herself. She explained that Jig had broken down the door when there had been nothing wrong. Sighing, I apologized for not meeting her last night and made my back out of the room and back to the Dragon’s Milk Bar. I had Jig carry Brian, who had passed out by now, back to the Lazy Daisy and into a room across the hall from Alanna’s old room. Both Brian and the other man lay in the room. The man turned out to be Marcus, the bard who I had seen performing with Dahlia the previous night. He got up for a quick moment but quickly went back to sleep. The others left, things to do for the day. Worried that my makeup would come off again if I overly exerted myself, I resolved to stay in the room to let Brian know what was going on when he woke up and to prepare some songs for later that night. Marcus woke up later and left, asking me to let Alanna know that he would see her later and that he was sorry for not being able to see her today. I managed to write a new song, this one inspired by poor Brian and his story of losing so many of those he held dear. I was just finishing with it as he awoke, towards evening. He asked me if I had ever lost anyone and I started talking to him when Alanna walked back in. She walked over to him and leaned close by his face and I took that as my cue to leave the room. It was alright, though, an idea had struck while I had been writing my new song. I made my way to a costume store and purchased my own makeup. I couldn’t use Reggie’s forever and it would be nice to be able to walk into a city without worrying about a spell. I wondered that I hadn’t thought of it before! I even found some powder like the kind Dahlia had, to make the makeup stay longer. Please with my purchase, I then made my way to the Alchemist shop and set up the purchase of a blue ichor that I needed as a reagent to undo my curse. It had a hefty price tag, almost 1,000 gold, but the material was needed and so I set up the purchase of a vial. It wouldn’t be ready for a few days though, so I finished up that business and made my way back to the bars of the city. I walked into the Dragon’s Milk first, resolving to try and set up some entertainment for the night and to ply my skills. When I walked in, however, I discovered that there was a Battle of the Bards competition going on. Elated to be by so many fellow artists, I quickly signed up and sat through several performances, just soaking up the atmosphere that had been denied me so long and smiling. Soon it was my turn. I was actually very well received, even getting asked for an encore, and was invited back the next night for the continuation of the competition. I acquiesced but let the other performers finish up their parts before I performed again. Four people total made it to the next round for tomorrow night. There was a lyricist and a gnome who were both very good and we joined together to provide the entertainment for the night. It was so good to be able to play, especially with others, again. Time flew faster than I realized and I started noticing the others tiring. I finished up the song we were on and declared us done for the night. I made my way back to the Lazy Daisy and Ashley let me use his room (Reggie and his new wife had made mine uninhabitable after I had left that morning)and I went to sleep.

The next day was another one of simply enjoying the city. I put on my makeup in the morning again and wandered the city, just taking in the sights and the sounds of the people and the atmosphere. I worked on writing a new song for the upcoming competition. I had to bring at least two original works and I wanted to make sure that they were the best they could be. I managed to write one I was pretty satisfied with. It was more upbeat than the two I had previously written but not overly so. Jig invited me, during the course of the day, to see his battle as well, which would occur that evening before the bardic competition. I think I might go, just to see how Jig fares. Other than that, the ensuing day was a pretty uneventful one. I wandered the city and made my way back to the Lazy Daisy around dinnertime. Ashleigh informed me that Alanna regrettably couldn’t make it for dinner; which was fine by me since I hadn’t actually known that there was an invitation to dinner in the first place. She was spending the evening with Marcus, apparently. I was happy for her. I hope she finds something akin to the love I feel for Jericho in him. He seemed a nice guy from what I saw of him. I went upstairs to check on my makeup before dinner. To my surprise, however, I found a very bored-looking Marcus sitting outside Alanna’s door. I asked him what he was doing here and apparently he didn’t even know where Alanna was or that she was spending the evening with him. I sent him down to Ashleigh, who would know where to look if anyone would, and proceeded to the room I was using. I fixed up my makeup and went back downstairs to enjoy dinner with Ashleigh and Jig.

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Reflections

This is another poem that I managed to write in Jericho’s book. It is entitled “Reflections” :

  • Reflections
  • Harmony. Dissonance.
  • Darkness…Light
  • Sound & Silence
  • Death yet Life.
  • Colossal dragon
  • Or tiny nixie…
  • Does water quench the flames or
  • Do flames burn water to nothing?
  • Sword bleeds truth
  • Or is it lies?
  • Blended to gray
  • It’s hard to tell
  • Where one begins… where one ends…
  • Is the Celestial pure and good and right
  • Without the Abyss to counter it?
  • One being, torn in twain?
  • Or perfected in dichotomy?
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EPic MOunts

WOW! I do so good in town! So we get into new town for “quick” break. It had been so long since a city, so I go to new female place. It nice and clean, better then some. I go in and small man say I cannot come in. I say pay he say no, i say I pay want woman, he say go away to streets. I look sad and abut to go inn, when I see god man, Ashleigh. I wave him down and ask for help. I want good night, so I pay good, but smal man not want me in, and I no attack people, like Grimm say. Ashleigh seem happy to see me and he happy when I hug him when he say yes he help. He go inside with my money. He come out and I happy to hear go to roof. I go up and lots of woman for me.. almost…9? mayb 12? I no know, but i do know that they for me. ELves, dwarfs, human, we all get along great. 2 men watching on corners, i think they weird. And then Alanna join in! Or i think. She half naked with boobs almost out. She say she no want it, I no really care as i busy with dwarves, they ridding me like a hat is ridden on someones face, and I had many before. I no know if Alanna be happy if I do her after tired. She leave and I get lots more! Finally I get off roof after sleep and sign up for fight! Tourna….tiurney…turn….Big fight with prize! I get to fight people and be nice bout it like Grimm say. After sign up I go and fin friends! My friends all over, they are getting lost, one even captured! I go find Kiira, she sleeping, but it after noon. She need wake up and get food. I go find her and see lots of friends in there rooms. I even find a naked dwarf who say he seen her, but then he really not after I come in. I saw him later, he no like me in fights, but he hapy to fight :) Anyways, I find Kiira and she tell me Alana not in room with her. I ask around in more rooms. I no find and worry, so I go downstairs after Kiira ask me to get Regie. He with wife and no want to move, so I bring them upstairs to keep love together. Regie put makeup on Kiira and I get smart idea. Alanna missing so I ask Regie to put her face on my chest. I can fidn easier If i ask poepl with picture. I then go knock on doors, showing picture. I then hear Alanna Moaning in pain! She in a room that locked. I try and try but locked! I get worried and I think for second about what to do. She moan in pain again and I kick door few times. IT go flying and hit someone, markeus, he go flying. I go to attack him, as he have Alanna! She say she ok, And i have to leave. I leave and I go to ready for battle. I beat up dwarf, naked man with wrestle. HE not very happy when I say hinaked dwarf, I thought it funny, but he hit me with axe…. So i crush him. Then I go find place to heal, Kord so no heal without lots of gold, Kord people no need healing. I think he dumb. IF we no need healing, why we have clerics? I get heal from Ashleigh in park of olidammara. I fight large person later. He throw rocks at me and I set up new lucky charm of skull and torch! He keep hitting me with stone and throw me off when wrestleing, but I beat him in end. I almost ready to collapse, but I win. Now I wrestle a wrestler! He comming up in finale! I in finale, so I good fight… he look good though. Maybe I win or lose, but I will do best. The real lucky part be allana face on my chest. She always be there!...ooo and sexy smile… no one resist sexy smel of me.

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Love Autopsy

I don’t know how I feel about Marcus. I really like him and he makes me feel like no one else does. But then I’m with Ashleigh and my insides go all mushy and I feel more alive than I ever have before. I feel so confused, I don’t know what to do, what to think. I wish I had some clarity. All of this has taught me to find some confidence in myself. I’m going to start wearing more form fitting robes and talk to Lux about being a druid. I think that perhaps I am finding my purpose in life, my calling. I would like to try and find out.

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Strong Man smell gooooooood

I DO IT! I win fight match, tourney. I think i loose, I fight small man with knuckle of brass. He fight hard, I fight hard. His punches magic, he keep hitting me. We fight and fight. Punches, wrestles, throws, it all happen! After long time in fight I start tired. I feel weaker but must push on. I keep fighting, he not seem as tired, but i not tell well as he on back. I smash him on wall over and over. He not let me get break. He hold on tight and I fight back strong. FInally we both headbut and both fall to ground. I able to get up, and punch him on ground. He stop moving and I hold him on ground to count of ref. He get up at last second and dazed. I feel tired and woozy. HE look woozy. I kicki his face in. He go flying back into wall. He stop moving. I no wait for count and find he dead! I fly to Kord temple. NOt really fly, that Alanna. I go to mean temple person and show him person. I want him healed. He say no can help now, but leave here. He look stunned and sad. I remember someone saying you need lots of gold to bring someone home from dead. I go back to arena and claim prize. I say prize go to Kord. They say I ask for prize first. I ask for a large sum and they look at me weird. I wait for monies. They say Kord get no taxes and large donation this year. I guess that good, but then they say they bring clerics together and save opponent. I so happy! Me and Alanna go around town for short bit to bard challenge! Good music all around make Jig happier he kill someone, but little. Kiira start music and she good. She sing a song about drow elf male and other songs. Last song make me dance witheveryone. THey all like me now, even though half orc. I so happy! I go to woman home! I go and have large party on roof. I think I hit people on street at times with self stuff, but it ok, they join us! I wake up after orgy and go to inn see Ashleigh! He resting at table. He tell me go to his room and nap. I go to room and decide that I win tourney and my charm need to be cleaned. I bathe for first time in long time. IT feel nice and hot. Scrub self and sore so careful. As I finish water turn color of man pants when they see me mad. I let out water and girls come in! I cover and sit so we talk before nap. WE talk about old city, don’t remember name, but old city with wine. Then I realize we no see cellar of wine! Cellar of wine must have realy good wine! Also something about that city creepy to me, maybe it the cow that moo….hmmmm. I want see cellar! but no one else want to. I try a little more, but may have to mark on map and come back…..wait how I mark on map? I pay someone?

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Kiira - Covington Part III

Dinner was finished and it was time to go and see Jig fight. We made our way down to the arena, amidst a throng of people. Ashleigh stayed down by the ring to be closer to Jig and I found a seat in the mid-section of the arena, closer to the exit. Alanna and Marcus soon joined me. It was nice to see Alanna again, it felt like it had been awhile. We made some small talk and soon it was time for the fight. Jig was facing a dwarf and the fight was not an easy one. There were many times when I wasn’t sure who was going to win but Jig eventually made it out on top. Arena fighting can be brutal, however. Jig’s opponent actually ended up passing away at the end of the fight. Jig looked stunned. I went down with Alanna to try and see how Jig was doing but by the time we got down there he had run out of the arena. Alanna decided to go check up on him and I made my way to the Dragon’s Milk for the Battle of the Bards.

Fighting through the crowd of people turned out to be more difficult than I had first anticipated. After much longer than it should have taken, I finally found my way to the bar. The lyricist was performing and I waited for him to finish. After that they called out my name; apparently I had missed the first call while I had been fighting the crowds. Nevertheless, I tried not to let it bother me as I smoothed out my clothes and put a smile on my face. When I made it to the stage, however, I noticed that Jig and Alanna had come to see me perform as well. I smiled a little wider. I went to play but everything just got drowned out by the incredible noise of the crowds. Jig called for everyone to be quiet, which was very helpful and I began to play. The first song I performed was one I had composed yesterday; an upbeat melody to get the crowd excited. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and I stepped back down to let the gnome from yesterday have his turn. He amazed the crowd – he was extremely deft at switching between instruments and he won that round; well-deservedly. The next song I switched to a slightly more mellow, emotional key. I played Jericho’s song and the crowd seemed to enjoy it, which made me happy. I won that round and the next, which made me the overall champion of Battle of the Bards! I was amazed that I had managed to win after being so long out of practice playing for an audience but it made me really happy inside. I received a medal that said I had won the Covington Battle of the Bards and I stayed in the inn most of the night, playing for everyone and enjoying a glass of wine or two.

It started getting later and I decided to head back to the Lazy Daisy to get some rest. I was in an extremely upbeat move and I walked back with a smile on my face. All of a sudden, though, I heard someone sobbing as if their heart would break. My smile fell and I looked around, trying to find which direction the sound had come from. Tonight was a celebration for this town; a happy night. I didn’t want anyone to be hurt or sad. And if someone had gotten hurt I wanted to see if I could help. I finally found the sound, it was coming from a side alley. I walked over to see a woman, sitting crouched on the balls of her feet. Afraid that something terrible had happened to her, I moved closer as quickly as I could without startling the poor woman. I crouched in the same manner as she, facing her, and as I stretched out my hand to comfort her I noticed with a start that the woman was Dahlia. I asked her what had happened and she looked up, startled, and quickly covered her face with her hands even more than they had already been. She told me that someone, most likely three someones, had taken her manager, Diego away after a business deal gone bad. I tried as best I could to comfort her and at least she wasn’t physically hurt. I asked her where they had gone but she didn’t remember; she had been dancing up on stage and didn’t notice him gone until later. She seemed to recover herself a little at this point and made a quick move to cover her face back up with her veil. I caught a glimpse of white underneath her veil before she got it back up. I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable around me; she was so kind and had helped me so much back at the Demon’s Inferno. I reminded her that she told me you should be proud to be yourself and I told her that whatever was under the mask she wore didn’t matter to me. She didn’t want to say anything about it, though, and kept her veil on. I sighed and resolved to find out what had happened to Diego, if I could, for Dahlia’s sake. I asked her if she wanted to stay with me since someone had seemingly kidnapped Diego but she insisted on going back to her own room, though she said she appreciated the offer. Not wanting her to walk alone this late at night, especially if people were after Diego and might be after her as well, I walked her back to her room at the inn across town. She thanked me for my help and I left, back to the Maiden’s Mustache, which is the bar I had found her crying outside of. I went to try and find out what had happened to Diego but the bar was already closed by the time I made it back and I could get nothing out of the people who were still up and about. Sighing, I made my way back to the inn Dahlia was staying at and managed to procure a room for the next couple of nights. I wanted to be close by in case anything happened. I went to sleep and resolved to find out what I could about Diego the next day.

The next morning I awoke and went downstairs to find some breakfast, letting Dahlia finish up sleeping. I heard whispering on the other side of the door. I hurriedly knocked, trying to see what was going on and if she was okay. She opened the door and seemed surprised to see me. I asked her if she had slept alright and was about to inform her of my plans to find Diego when she told me that he had already made it back last night. Surprised that he had managed to make it back, I asked her if he needed healing or if she needed any help or anything. She declined the offer but thanked me for it. Uncomfortably at a loss as to what to do or say next, I wished her a safe journey and told her that I hoped to see her again one day. I left them to their devices and made my way back to the Lazy Daisy, where I ran into Alanna. We ran some errands about town; she got a new dress and I managed to procure the blue ichor for the spell to remove my curse. We wandered around a bit more but eventually made our way back to the Lazy Daisy to find Ashleigh sitting at the bar. We went upstairs to Jig just getting out of the bathtub. He wrapped a towel around himself and we talked about when we wanted to leave. It seemed that Brian, who we hadn’t seen in a couple of days, was probably not going with us to the capital. Reggie seemed too wrapped up in his wife to want to come, which was alright with me. I enjoyed our small party and we decided to play it by ear as to when we would leave. Jig wanted to talk to his dwarven opponent, who had just been resurrected, and Alanna still needed to talk to Marcus. We decided to reconvene a bit later, at breakfast the next day, and we made our separate ways back out into the town.

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While Taking Watch

Tonight as I take watch, I reflect upon the past week and realize what a crazy turn my life has taken in many ways. As my eyes fall upon Ashleigh’s sleeping form, I allow myself to open up to my feelings for the first time in a long time. Here, in the quiet of the wood, I feel my soul at peace and my mind begins to gain clarity. I realize that in the hustle and bustle of the city, I both lost and found myself.

I find my mind drifting to Brian and wonder where he is and if he’s okay. I will miss his company. I hope he finds a way to heal his heart. I also hope that we will see him again one day. I consider him a friend and will never forget him, even if our paths do not end up crossing once again.

My mind drifts to Marcus and I think about how nice it was in his arms, how sweet it was to kiss him, how my heart had never known such joy as I found in his arms. But then I thought of all the misunderstandings we had in such a short time and Ashleigh’s words come back to me, turning me cold. “I believe he has a substance abuse problem.” I believe Ashleigh, even though my heart desperately wishes it wasn’t true. Some part of me wishes I’d stayed and helped him, while the other part of me feels that it was for the best. I care for him, perhaps I always will. As these thoughts fill my mind, a peace suddenly comes over me and I know that this is for the best. For now, it is time to let Marcus go. I will go back and see him, I don’t know when, but I will. He was the first person I gave my heart to, even if he didn’t take it. Because of him, I gained a new confidence in myself, in who I am. I realized that I am attractive. I must be if one such as Marcus liked me. I definitely felt his attraction. He taught me also to guard my heart and I plan to. I don’t want to hurt like this again.

Marcus’s accusations come to me as I focus on Ashleigh, watching the slow rise and fall of his chest. I do have feelings for Ashleigh, but what those feelings are yet I don’t know. I can’t sort them out or make much sense of them. He is a good friend, a person who truly understands me. He is both watchful and protective. I feel safe with him. I remember what he said about his eye and feel a happiness fill me that he cares enough to watch over me and make sure that I’m safe and well. My gaze falls upon his lips and I allow my mind to imagine what it would be like to kiss him, how he would taste, how it would feel…

No! I cannot allow myself to think these thoughts. I cannot! Haven’t I learned my lesson? Haven’t I learned to guard my heart? Didn’t I learn anything from Marcus? Ashleigh doesn’t feel that way about me and thoughts such as these are dangerous. It will only end in heartache for me and the loss of a good friend. I advert my gaze to a tree, forcing myself not to look at Ashleigh. You foolish, foolish girl.

I close my eyes and feel the light breeze as it blows on my face and through my hair, the firelight flickering through my eyelids. I feel the earth beneath me. I hear the leaves as they rustle in the trees. Peace. Beauty. The earth is alive. The earth is asleep. The earth is awake. The earth is part of me. I am part of the earth. This is what matters. This is what is true. This is what is real.

I open my eyes to the sky and see the stars. I am Alanna, sorceress and druid. I feel my soul stirring and realize that everything else doesn’t matter. I am going to focus on becoming a druid, on learning the druidic ways and discovering who and what is truly at the core of me. I will guard my heart against all save nature. I will help Kiira, my good and dear friend, to find the reagents to get rid of the curse. I will find who I truly am at the core of who I am.

And I will not fall in love with Ashleigh Cavanaugh.

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Leaving Covington

It was drawing near to the end of our time in Covington. Since I had taken care of all the necessities in the city, I spent the day quite leisurely, wandering and taking in the sights of the city. I spent a lot of time thinking about Dahlia and my experiences with her. I felt a connection with her for some reason, though it seemed odd to me. I hadn’t known her overly long. Maybe it was her sweet kindness. Maybe it was the way she was afraid to reveal her face; it reminded me of myself only a little while back. While I really wanted to discover more about her, I resolved that day not to actively seek this knowledge. As much as I wanted to know who she really was, it was her prerogative. It was enough for me that she had a kind heart. The outside appearance, as I had learned the hard way, mattered little compared to what someone’s heart and soul contained. I wrote a song in her honor; maybe one day she will hear it in her travels if our paths do not cross again.

A little later, I ran into Jig. Tired of walking alone, we made our way to a magic shop, where Jig had a couple of things identified. I spent the rest of the day with him and we wound up back at the Lazy Daisy and Jig, Alanna, Ashleigh and I ended up eating dinner together. We were interrupted, however, by a pretty half-elf who wanted Jig to have sex with her. Since he could barely walk from his escapades of the last couple of days, Alanna and I both tried to politely tell him that it probably wasn’t a good idea. Things went awry, however, and Jig ended up grabbing all three of us and trying to take us upstairs. Luckily, Alanna managed to convince him he had an “invisible” STD when she cast an invisibility spell on him. He quickly dropped us and ran into the room and locked the door. Alanna went to her room to study her books that her druid friend had given her. I made my way back downstairs and, after the half-elf had fallen asleep, bored by Ashleigh’s discussion of arcane versus divine magic, had a conversation with him at Alanna’s request. She wanted to know what he thought of her and I did my best to try and find out, though Ashleigh was pretty evasive and didn’t give me a straight answer.

The next day, we met at breakfast and decided to continue on our way to the capital, with Reggie joining up with us at some later time. Brian had left and I don’t believe we shall see him again. We made a short stop at the tailor to pick up Alanna’s cloak that had been getting embroidered to match her dress and a stop at the library to find what I could on Fire Elves. I figured if I was going to disguise myself as one, I figured I better know what I was trying to be. I couldn’t find much but it was at least more than I had known before. We then made our way, at last, out of the city and spent our first night back out on the road. I was actually relieved to be back with our group, out of the city. My trance that evening was a very happy and relaxed one.

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