Ghosts of Illidia

Begin

Life is weird thing. I wake up one day and with tribe, next I kill leader of tribe and on way into forest finding own path. My life is short compared to most I know. Elf live long time, many time longer then me. Human even live longer than me, I no live long time. In time of life I supposed to learn about everything I can. Spirits are supposed to make easier for me to learn. I leave following woman spirit into forest to find way. I spend a long time thinking, wondering what she really want of me. THen I find Kiira. She so nice but Drow. I see her as more as good friend if she tel truth of not drow. I assume she my journey of spirits. Kord must sent her to me so I can find own path. My friends and I all go help Kiira and meet Ashleigh and Alana. We all friends but I keep back, I hold sel fback trying not to be in light. I do what I think most do, I sleep with woman and I find own path as I feel urge to do this. If urge is in me i should do it…I thought. After so long with my friends I see so many wonderful things in there lives. Kirra have drow real love, have baby comming. Alana and Ashleigh have each other, although love weird with them. Sometime hate other time kiss… weird. I see so much with everyone yet my journey has stayed on flat ground. I walk following my friends, not really have anything else to do, I assume I find something one day, but I see nothing in store. I pray to Kord all time. I wonder what he want me to do. Kord is man I told is god of strength and power….yet he now want me to help him? I join him i thought in church. I pray and beat his cleric, offer his cleric life to him ( although accident) but he give back. IT weird, I thought cleric always want to be with deity, not leave them. So many thought go through mind lately, maybe I hit puberty. more hair growing back, maybe voice change soon Hargh HARGH HAHA! No Jig hit puberty long ago…I think. So Now I have choices. I no want to just follow friends, I want to help more than with just muscle. I am Jig.

I help everyone with fighting, but it seem like everyone else no need help with life from man who only strong of arm. I tell Alana otherday she no treat me like bag of meat, I real and live. I have feeling. She come around. I see her treat me niceley and she show me what it like to have someone listen. It weird also, I see Kiira and Alana always together laughing and being talky about Ashleigh. Ashliegh want to be Deity and now Those two join as followers. He help them even though he probably only demi deity now. My deity has so many follower, all strong, but when all looked at, I have no power from Kord. He just thing in sky…what if he not there? Ashliegh always there, always willing to talk…I angry at Kord. If he not there then I angry at nothing. “I must decide my path on own” is what I always think, yet I have no path on own. I with friends and demi deity friend. I decide what I do. I look around and see people weaker than me, but they stronger in others way. Muscle not everything but it help. Now I make decision…tonight is the night of beggining of life.

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Cured

I am me again! It’s been so long, I hardly believed it possible anymore. Over fifty years of walking around in drow skin and the curse was finally lifted! After the first two less-than-successful attempts to remove the curse by Ashleigh I was very hesitant to try again. Ashleigh convinced me, though. He said he had been going about it the wrong way and was certain that if he tried one more time, he could get it right. And so he did. I feel like a new elf…each step is invigorating, each sight breathtaking. I feel as if I’m seeing the world with new eyes; a new soul. I felt more regenerated and at peace than I have since before the attack on Lythiiri. I am more grateful than I can say to Ashleigh. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay him. For he didn’t just remove the curse; he took it upon himself so that I could be whole once more. While I felt very guilty at first, he said he had known that this would happen and had done it anyway. He had chosen this path and he seemed happy with it. I felt so confident in him; could follow him wherever he needed to go to achieve his path. I feel so connected to Ashleigh, Alanna, and Jig. I haven’t been this comfortable with a group of people since I left Corindan. While I love Jericho, the help and trust I’ve received from my small group of friends is unparalleled. I want to help them finish their tasks. Want to see Jig find his path in life, even want to see Ashleigh find his place as a deity. He is more selfless and deity-like than I think even he realizes. I look forward to sharing the journey with all of my companions.

It makes me kind of nervous being around Marius. When I told him I was pregnant it was very awkward; even more so when he questioned whether it was even Jericho’s at all. I know that he is Jericho’s father figure and that they have to be close after him rescuing Jericho and living in the same town for so many years, after him pretty much raising Jericho. Maybe he feels as if I’m imposing; as if I’ll take his son away from him. I don’t really know how to talk to him about it…I just feel awkward. Maybe he thinks I’m not good enough for him, that I don’t really love him – can’t really love him that deeply after only a couple of weeks and a couple months of message spells. Marius is nice enough to me, talks to me when I talk to him, but he definitely doesn’t go out of his way to do so…I don’t know, I just get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. I don’t really know how to make it any better, though. If I talk to him, it is still just talk and the facts remain of me only knowing Jericho a short time and him not really knowing me all that well. Sigh I hope it turns out alright.

Anyway, after the curse was removed Collin helped all of us and Marius to walk in the shadows until we arrived just outside of The Thickett. There was a full moon for the first time since I was bitten by the werewolf and I didn’t feel any effect beyond a little nausea and a cold sweat. I feel better knowing for sure that I don’t have to worry about that particular disease; don’t have to worry about dealing with something like that when I just now got my curse removed. I did have a strange dream, though. I was back in Lythiiri during the drow attack and saw all of the fallen. Then they all seemed to rise up out of their bodies; what I assumed were their souls, both elf and drow alike. That was the part that got me…I don’t remember much of it beyond that.

When we got to the The Thickett we disguised Marius as Ashleigh’s brother and headed into the wood elf area. We went through a town and picked up some food for when we found Grimm again. Marius put it in his magical room to be safe. He hasn’t been in a city for awhile. It was a little funny to see how excited he got over buying fresh fruits and vegetables.

Well, we finally made it to the Great Lift and found ourselves above the canopy. From what we could tell, Grimm is by a waterfall, which is some days travel; almost to the opposite edge of The Thickett. For now, we walk and we wait.

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I believe

When Ashleigh woke up after the second attempt to remove the curse, he seemed anxious and ready to try again. I told him about what had happened to Kiira and what had happened to him. He told me that he was approaching it from the wrong direction. He knew he could get it right this time. It was obvious there was no stopping him and besides, this was not my affair. This was Kiira’s. I told him to talk to her about it and he went out to find her. She decided to think on it a bit and went for a walk. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I was hoping her decision would be. I couldn’t imagine being in that situation. My concern was only for the baby, to ensure that it didn’t come out with problems because of this. But thus far the baby has been fine. I voiced my concerns to Kiira although I tried not to sway her either way.

When Kiira walked away, Ashleigh told me that he knew it would work this time and that he needed me to not be there. I tried to quiet my heart and agreed. I figured it would probably be best if I wasn’t there distracting him. Maybe that was the reason why it didn’t work the other times. Looking back, I was giving myself far too much credit.

To distract myself from thinking of Ashleigh, I went in search of Jig. I’ve been trying to make sure that I talk to him and I’m trying to develop more of a relationship with him. Also, I thought of something the previous night- perhaps Jig could teach me to hunt for my own food so that I didn’t have to rely on other people to do it for me. I am a druid now, I should know how to do it. Jig is a really good teacher. I caught a rabbit and I was so proud… until I needed to kill it. That part was the worst and I actually threw up a bit in my mouth. Nevertheless, I was still pleased with both myself and Jig. Me teach him read and write. Him teach me to hunt. Me think that fair trade.

When Jig and I returned to the camp, Ashleigh and Kiira were waiting there. Kiira had decided to have Ashleigh try one last time. Ashleigh seemed confident that this time it would work. He asked Jig and I to go with Marius and Collin through the back of the tent where Marius had set up a spell. The spell made a hidden room like a hut on the beach where we would gather and “pray” to Ashleigh as we did before. Collin wanted no part in it, but sat and watched.

As I was going into the tent, Ashleigh stopped me and told me that he needed me to believe in him, not worship him. Then, out of nowhere, he kissed me. It was amazing and I wanted so much to just kiss him back and I did for a moment until my head screamed no and I pulled away. I said, “I can’t…” but couldn’t finish my thought because he was kissing me again. This time I tried to strengthen my resolve. I would not would not would not be the reason he did not achieve all that he wanted to achieve. So I broke away once again and turned my back. He told me that he couldn’t do anything without me. And I told him that I would believe in him, I would continue to believe in him, I was his follower. But then he said that he needed to know love. A god must help his followers, he said, by understanding what it is they are in need of. He said he needed to know love if he was to understand them and he asked me to show him. I felt my heart flow over with love, warmth, happiness, and joy. I kissed him and in that kiss I put all my love and emotion and all of my belief. When the kiss ended he reminded me to believe and I promised I would. I then went into the hut, trying to hide the goofy grin on my face, but knowing I couldn’t. I then told Marius and Jig how to believe.

A little while later, Kiira came in, but I hardly recognized her. She was who she once was, but not as I had known her. I had always known her as Kiira the drow elf elf drow as Jig says. I was not prepared for the elven beauty that stood before me when she entered. Even in my baggy robes, she was still beautiful. I’ve always thought elves were beautiful, but she was glowing. She looked happy and radiant. I know part of that was because she was back to her old self and part of it was because of the new life inside her. Then she told me that Ashleigh had taken on the skin coloring of a drow. Somehow, that did not surprise me in the least and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. I went out to see him, wondering how he was. I made myself walk slowly even though my feet wanted to run to him and fling myself in his arms. He was folding up the altar and looking rather pleased with himself. I was so proud of him and so happy for him. How handsome he looked with the dark skin. It made his eyes stand out more, especially the cross. I asked him why he took on the dark skin and he explained that the curse needed to go somewhere. He had taken the burden upon himself. I felt a fierce pride in him and myself for believing in him. He had achieved it. He was officially a god in his own right and I honestly couldn’t have been happier. Part of me is timid to love one so great and part of me is proud because I believed in him before this was achieved.

That night by the fire, I tried not to keep glancing at him. I tried to act nonchalant. I don’t know if I succeeded.

That night I had a dream. In the dream were all the druids I had seen before, my mother, my father, Marius, Marcus, Brian and a few others whom I had lost. It had this sepia overtone to everything and the people seemed peaceful, but not quite there inside their heads. There were people in the vestments I had seen before in Illidia, Covington and Ragnarose. It was set in Ragnarose. At the end of the dream, there was the lightening storm that came in from all directions to the center of the town. It was so strange. Then I woke up to Jig screaming. I tried to calm him down and get him to tell me his dream. It was obvious he wasn’t going to calm down. I went to get Kiira so she could sing him a song to calm him to sleep. We were to leave for The Thickett soon and we needed to make sure we were well rested. Jig, however, would not be calmed. He wanted to save those people in his dream who had turned into monsters. He had an Illidiaesque dream, although his was definitely a nightmare whereas mine wasn’t. I wonder what it means… We managed to convince Jig to continue with us to go save Grimm and that once the people of Sabwa were saved, we would help him. I plan to keep this promise. I really am trying with him. I really truly am.

So we traversed the shadow plane. It was interesting and tiring. The first day Kiira stumbled a bit and I thought we were going to be lost, but it was fine. The next day I stumbled a bit and was lost from the shadow plane, as were Marius, Conor and Ashleigh who were behind me (Conor was in Ashleigh’s bag). I tried to find them. Marius sent a message spell and through flares we found each other. We kept searching for Ashleigh but to no avail. Finally, Marius convinced me to set up camp. I took the first watch. To my surprise and joy, Conor came trotting up to the camp. Unfortunately he had Ashleigh’s bag. I hoped he would find us and that he was okay. I had joked to Marius before he went to bed that if a god can’t take care of himself, how could he take care of his followers. I reminded myself of this and continued with my watch, petting and loving on Conor. Finally, Marius relieved me of my shift and I went to sleep.

The next morning Marius woke me up and put his finger to his lips directing my attention to the fire where Ashleigh lay sleeping. I felt my whole chest untense and I smiled. I went to go get something to eat for breakfast but the skills Jig had taught me were failing me and I could only find some berries which I deemed nonpoisonous. I returned to the camp and Ashleigh appeared in a good mood for he teased me about catching a rabbit. Later on, he spotted one and I tried to catch it for quite some time, finally catching it only to let it go because we weren’t going to eat it right now. Ashleigh didn’t understand, but I don’t think things should be killed unless you’re going to use it now. That’s just my opinion though. What do I know?

After quite a bit of searching, we finally found the other three of the group and camped for the night. I took first watch with Ashleigh and we talked for a bit, mostly about nothing, but it was good to just talk with him. That night when we went to sleep, I lay my bedroll next to his as I had done before. It felt right and I slept peacefully.

The next day we traveled until we came to The Thickett where The Great Lift was. Marius disguised himself as a brother of Ashleigh and we entered the city, traveling to the lift. Marius got some food for Grimm and put it in the hidden hut we had prayed in. Then we traveled on the lift. When we got to the top, the view took my breath away. It was so beautiful. I could see all the way to the capital! I could see the trees and all across the expanse of country. It was so incredibly amazing. I felt moved beyond words. It was incredible.

And now we’re off to save Grimm in this world I am so unfamiliar with. But I have my friends and that’s what matters. We will save the rest of Sabwa somehow and we’ll do it together. I believe.

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Letting Him Go

I didn’t intend to say anything. I didn’t intend to make myself vulnerable again. I broke my own resolve. I fell in love with Ashleigh Cavanaugh and I’m falling more still every day. I knew that Kiira needed for me to come clean and tell him about the altar so that the curse could be removed. Besides, it had been awkward between us since he returned. So I confessed it to him, alone in the woods as Kiira went back to get the altar from my bag. I told him about how we had believed in him, about how his necklace had risen and how I had seen him wink at me in a vision. Then he shared about how the shadow poisoning had gone away and he wasn’t quite sure how. I know it’s because we believed. He’s achieving his goal. He’s becoming a god. I feel strange saying this, but I’m proud of him. I think he is a remarkable and amazing man, one that I admire greatly. And yes, love. I admitted it to him. I showed him the tattoo on my shoulder, my symbol to myself of him so I would always have a part of him with me. But our paths are not the same. He needs solitude. He cannot be a god and have a relationship with me, and I understand that, although the understanding breaks my heart. And then I realized that I loved him enough to let him go. It would have to be enough to believe in him. Because I do. I believe in him unlike I’ve ever believed in anything before. And I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone. And because of this, I knew I needed to let him go. I told him that it was okay. It would be enough for me to believe in him. And it was then that my world spun- quite literally. Ashleigh grabbed me and he kissed me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do anything except kiss him back. It was the most amazing, beautiful kiss. He ended the kiss abruptly and I saw him wrestle with himself. But before I could say or do anything, he kissed me again, ending that abruptly as well. Then he turned and Kiira was standing there. She looked abashed and awkward, like she wasn’t quite sure what to do. Ashleigh was the most flustered I’ve ever seen him and he walked away. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe still. I tried to wrap my mind around it. I tried to understand the gravity of what just happened. But all I could do was remember what he tasted like, what it felt like to kiss him. If I hadn’t kissed him, it would have been okay. I would never have known what it was like. But now I do. And somehow, I still need to find the strength to let him go.

And so I wrestled with myself for a while. I spoke of it to Marius and to Jig. Jig is not as unintelligent as we may think. I need to give him more of a chance. He truly has a good core inside of him that I have taken for granted. I have taken all of him for granted. I need to take the advice I once spoke to Brian and look to the person inside of Jig. I know I’ll be amazed at the depth I find there.

... I’m getting off track.

Ashleigh needs to achieve his goal. I know he’s wrestling with himself right now, trying to figure out what to do, what he wants. And as much as it pains me to say this, he must continue on his path. I won’t let him choose to be with me instead of continuing on his path to godhood. I have to love him enough to let him go. And if he won’t let me go, then maybe I’ll need to leave because I won’t be the reason that he falters. I love him and believe in him too much to let him do that. I couldn’t live with myself if that happened.

And yet, I will always treasure that kiss and that look on his face, that moment when he wrestled with himself. The joy it brought to me to know that he did love me, even a little bit, was enough to make me happy for the rest of days whatever may come. For just a moment, I was loved by Ashleigh Cavanaugh. And because of that love, I have to let him go, even if that means that I must leave.

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ALl better

So we do so much. We go to abyss to find plant to help Marius get no n sick. He get better and we all wait to figure out who we get next. I say Grimm but everyone want to argue about it. I see father with new friend shadowmancer, collin. We go to south and see Serc. He good and tribe finally leaving mountains to see new areas. Good time too as Heather is on move and we not strong enough alone to control her tribe of hawk. We loose many men to them. GOod thing is Narg is there. He not friend but he not enemy. He may be able to help us pass through un damaged. Micah in mountains and we must find him as he in jail. THen me and Alana finally fight in voice. We talk about how I not just piece of meat she can shwo shinies too and ask to make food. I not cook I am friend. We argue long time, but finnally we see eye to eye. As long as we keep tlaking things be good. I understand more woods now and can even read letters in books. I htink I gettign smarter but stilll hard to write my own name. One day maybe but not yet. What we do who we save? Kirra now hlaf drow/half elf at night and half elf half drow at day. Ashliegh try to save her with speel but he turn into drow too! Now he ok and no longer drow but she still only half self. She must feel bad, but I half self and I ok so maybe she be better now.

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All Wrong!

It’s wrong! All wrong. I wanted to be the one to tell Jericho about the pregnancy! I wanted to share that special moment and see the look of joy on his face as I shared the news. Me! It was an opportunity that will not come again and a large part of me regrets letting my companions talk me into telling him the news over a message spell. Such news is very intimate and I wanted him to be the one to know first, besides me. If only I had found out before Alanna and managed to disguise it somehow until we got to Jericho. I feel this moment, this part of my life has been snatched from under me, just as the curse of the drow in Lythiiri has snatched the past fifty-seven years of my life away. It is not fair to either of us. But if the ritual to undo the curse had gone more wrong I would have regretted him not knowing as well. I am torn – so torn. Maybe I shouldn’t even have told him; shouldn’t have told Marius either, for that matter. I just don’t know anymore. I feel so alone. I wish Jericho was here. I want to feel his arms around me and be able to look into his face. I miss the days when life was simpler. All that mattered was the forest and learning a few new songs. Talking to Niamh; walking the forests and thinking. Removing the curse went wrong as well. Ashleigh turned into a human with drow skin, white hair and one red eye on the first attempt while I remained the same. I debated with myself whether to try again. But Ashleigh seemed so sure of being able to do it if we tried again. And neither of us had gotten hurt the last attempt; just looked different. I shouldn’t have risked it. The results were worse than the first attempt. Ashleigh went back to normal, which was the only good thing. When all was said and done, after the second attempt, I looked like a strange mix of colors. White-haired elf by day and black-haired drow by night. I hate it; hate the mixing. It is one thing to be fully drow and know how to disguise myself; what to do. I know how to manage that – have been doing it for many years now. I could handle looking like my original self again…a little strange, yes, but I would be fine. If I even looked completely elf by day and completely drow by night (or vice versa) I could adapt and learn to live with that. I would know how to respond; react. Now I’m stuck in the middle; my whole body is twisted and wrong. Colors where they should not be…like some strange enigmatic monstrosity. I feel even more separated than before. I feel like my very world is pulling apart at the seams. At least if I looked fully like a drow I would know where I stood; what to do. But I just want to be normal again. To be normal. Yet I cannot risk the baby or any more of the party in the endeavor. It’s wrong. I hate having to put them on the line to sate a need to look like myself again. It shouldn’t matter as much as the lives of my friends. I hate it. Hate it & Hate it. If I could find a way on my own, I would. But I tried that and it didn’t help; didn’t work. Now at least there is a chance of finding a solution. I cried more than I have in a long time over these past few nights; though I tried to do it out of the sight of the others. I found a tree near the camp and sobbed for a long time. I thought of leaving; foregoing all the pain and the decisions that come with being part of a group and striking out on my own again. But that would not be fair to them; nor to Jericho. Would not help regain the residents of Sabwa scattered and lost. But I wanted to escape; to run and not have to worry. Maybe if I sit by this tree long enough I will just melt into it; become one with it and no one will ever find me; no one will ever know. When I thought my tears had run dry and there was nothing left in me I cried again. I hate the indecision; the feeling that so many people’s lives and feelings hinge on decisions that I have to help make. Is it because I prayed to another god? Is that why I feel so lost; so unsure? Maybe it was a bad idea. Maybe my whole life has been one bad idea. I feel like no one understands. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, to feel this way. I feel scattered; pieces of a whole that have been torn beyond recognition and then thrown to the hurricane winds of life. Even my lute holds no solace for me. I pick it up just to set it back down again, lifeless and mute. I wish Jericho was here. I wish the werewolf hadn’t bitten me. It was dumb—so foolish to run up to it. My heart breaks for the child who might be affected for my actions; my heart breaks at the thought of the baby having to learn to live with something like that when I cannot help; cannot give comfort or guidance on the subject. Maybe it will be alright. Like Marius said, if the mother is not infected, the baby is usually not either. I don’t think I’m infected, which is a good thing. I’ve had three different people pronounce me alright. There is that in this mess of problems anyway. And at least Marius is safe for the moment and everyone is alive for the moment. If I could, I would go with Marius and find Jericho right now; worry about the others later. As much as my heart yearns to do just that, I know that that is not what either of them would want. Others; his friends and now mine are in more danger than he and it would be a mistake to not try and do all we could for them first. But I regret not being able to make that journey right now. If it hadn’t been for Jericho, I would regret having ever stepped out of Corindan in the first place. I just want to find a large rowan and stay by it forever; weep and watch the foolish world slip away until there is nothing left. I was immature; unlearned, unprepared to set out as a bard on my own. Being a worldly, traveled bard is foolish; I should have been content to stay at home and play songs for the villagers; stayed in the forest. I reached too far; sought too much. Choices cannot be unmade, though, and I must learn to live with what I have done. I do love Jericho, more than I could probably ever manage to write into word or song. If for nothing else, I’m glad of all this, that it led me to him. I want him here; want to see him. Talking just isn’t the same. I find myself unable to stop the flood of tears and the ache in my heart that just keeps returning, no matter how hard I push it from me and try to keep it at bay.

*Deep breath

I must continue. I must learn to live with myself and with my actions and learn not to regret every decision I have made. I am strong and I will move on with my life, as I moved on when the curse hit me and I wandered the forests for so many years. Jericho loves me; I love him. My friends are alive and have a good chance of being rescued. We have a way to travel fast. The curse is not a life-or-death issue. We will do our best to make everything back to normal as we journey. If it is meant to happen, we will remove the curse. If it is not; I will learn to live with that as well; even if it means looking as I do now my whole life. Everything will be alright. I will be alright. I will live and I will sing and love and I will be happy. My inner essence is the same. I am still Kiira. And I am not afraid.

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Venturing to the Abyss

The last few days have been an experience that I would not care to repeat anytime soon. After discussing things among ourselves some more we ended up sending Jig and Collin to retrieve Marius and Ashleigh. They would then all return to a point a little ways from the abyss, where Alanna and I would meet them. From there, Collin would stay with the incapacitated Marius. Meanwhile, the rest of us would head to The Abyss to retrieve the flower needed to cure the shadow poison hurting Marius. And that is what we did, in short. The Abyss, however, was not a pleasant place to be. The flower was on the second tier, which meant a day-long climb into the Abyss, with various undead things streaming out. We managed to defeat the things we came in contact with, which was good. We made it down and harvested the flower. We had to spend the night next to The Abyss, however, as we didn’t want to risk climbing again in the dark, with who knows what creatures flying or crawling towards us. After much toil, and a couple of fights, we managed to climb back out of The Abyss the next day. I’m grateful that Jig was with us. If it hadn’t been for his expert climbing skills, we would have fallen to our deaths many times over. We managed to get the flower, with no casualties to our immediate party, and make our way back to Marius, where Alanna proceeded to administer the flower. Only time will tell how effective it will be. For now, we wait.

One good thing that happened on the journey was that a hawk, whom I named Whisper, found her way to me. She has been traveling with me since a little bit before we split from the druids. I find I really enjoy her company and I’m glad that she seems to have befriended me and is content to stay with me on our journey. Even in the deeper part of the Abyss, collecting the flowers, she stayed close to my side. I’m glad she’s here.

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Rescuing Marius

It has been a whirlwind of preparations. The shadowmancer and Ashleigh left early in the morning to travel towards Marius. With nine hours to kill before the shadowmancer, Collin Querry would get anywhere near Marius. Jig went to pick up his gauntlets and I accompanied him. I spent the remaining hours playing at a bar, trying to earn some money for the many costly spells that we had used lately. Jig went with me. Finally, it was time. I woke up Alanna and all three of us made our way to the gentleman who had been casting message spells for us. We sent a message to Marius, telling him to send a signal in order for Collin and Ashleigh to find him easier. The spellcaster winced as Marius screamed the words of a spell. Worried, Alanna and I both jumped behind the counter to make sure that he was alright. Luckily, he was, though Alanna became very distraught by the scream. I was worried too, though I held my countenance a little better for now. The spellcaster brought out a music box to make her feel better. I was astonished as he opened it up and the beginning strains of “Jericho’s Song” drifted out. We eventually decided to wait until the next day to hear what news Collin would bring before we sent out another spell. Alanna suggested making an Altar of Ashleigh to try and bring him strength and to make sure he was as safe as possible. Trying to make her feel better, I agreed to the plan and all three of us commissioned the cloth for the altar and gathered the materials needed to “bless” it. Alanna asked me to pray to Ashleigh to try and strengthen him. Playing along, I figured it couldn’t hurt to make the attempt.

What followed next is something very strange. In the beginning, praying to Ashleigh felt very awkward. As we fell into a rhythm, however, and began speaking about things that concerned us instead of actually praising Ashleigh, it began to get a lot easier. Soon it felt peaceful; natural. I looked up a moment and saw Ashleigh’s symbol floating! I was stunned and tried to get the others to look in time but the interruption caused the symbol to fall back onto the altar. Intrigued, I began to pray, not just because it couldn’t hurt, but because I really meant it. The symbol eventually began to float again and Alanna and I prayed for as long as we were able.

In bed that night, I found it hard to sleep. I had followed Corellon Larethian my entire life; almost reflexively. I found the teachings of the other elves and my own belief in my god challenged. I had prayed to Corellon many times, more fervently than I even had today. Why had I never felt such a response; never felt as connected and part of something as I had tonight, praying to someone who thought he was a god. I had laughed at Ashleigh when he first described what he was doing. Perhaps I had been foolish; too hasty. Perhaps there was more to Ashleigh’s quest to become a god than I had realized. I felt unsettled, deep inside. I had some serious thinking to do in the next little while.

Collin returned the next day, with good and bad news. The good news was that both Marius and Ashleigh still lived and were no longer on the Shadow Plane. Marius, however, had been poisoned by the shadow plane. Ashleigh was watching over him and protecting him now but he needed a flower that grew only near the Abyss. We would have to retrieve the flower and make our way to them both if he was ever to be cured. We finished up our business in Allister and Alanna set up passage with her druid friends to the Abyss in a caravan that left the very next day. At least Marius was alive and had a protector. We could only hope that we would be able to retrieve the flower and return to them in time to cure Marius.

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LAte night

SO…wow Big large ...halfling. He big but not big enough so I done with him. SO now we talk about Grimm. He lost in forest! Maybe I help him find way I miss him. He make me think. HE stronger than me, he fly, he strong with hammer, but he smart with words, still gruff but strong with words.. I wonder why he able…. Maybe one day I ….writing hard I speak now…{Orcish Translation}” AH yes, very well it is about time I could speak freely. So much has happened since I have seen my good chum Grimm. He is a strong man in heart and muscle, yet he has a subtle way about him. He can throw a human very far, yet he is not far from my memory. He seems to have an aura of power around him that I lack and I want to be able to stand beside him and really feel like an equal, not just someone who happened to wrestle with him once. A man is measured in so many ways. Strength, honor, courage, ability to protect the ones he loves. I won the tournament in Covington, yet this is not the strength I speak of. A fight in a tournament is not a fight that really matters. Now I have seen him fight his heart out. He has all those things, do I? He has taught me a lot and now he needs help. He is lost and I want to help him…Soon my good friend I will stand by you as Sabwa 2 is created, but until that day I will do what I can to learn from everyone around me. Just like Grimm, I will be tall of character and might. I will protect my ways.”

Hmm now I think about food. I like food. I wonder what to do when I become red bird…or even avatar of Kord….

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Getting Ready

We decided to spend the money for one more message spell before we made our way back to the Turtle Crawl Inn that we were staying at. We attempted to contact Grimm to see if he was safe and if he was with Micah. We found out that he was lost in a forest somewhere but was not with Micah. We made our way back to the inn but Ashleigh was gone. We decided to spend the day there until he got back. I played for a little while to try and earn a little extra money. When we finally got everyone together again, we told Ashleigh what was going on. We all decided that Marius would be the one in the most danger. Ashleigh suggested finding a shadowmancer, who would have a better idea of what we were dealing with, trying to get onto the shadow plane. During the next couple of days, we found a shadowmancer who would be willing to try and retrieve Marius and we also found out that Micah was alive, but trapped in a magical prison somewhere in the mountains. We set most everything up to attempt a retrieval and plan on attempting to execute the retrieval sometime tomorrow. I hope everything will turn out alright. Everyone at Sabwa became a friend in the time we spent there and I worry for all of them; scattered and lost. It will be difficult trying to retrieve and find all who were lost, though at least everyone is still alive for the time being. One thing at a time. Once Marius is rescued and taken care of, we will set out to find the others. I fear for Micah’s safety; who knows who or what has taken him prisoner. I believe that he is probably in the most danger after Marius.

In other news, Ashleigh found out that my pregnancy shouldn’t affect the removal of the curse, which is good. Unfortunately, no one is quite sure if or how the werewolf bite will affect it. I think I will wait until after the next full moon, just to be sure. After that, maybe I will risk a remove curse spell. For now, the curse isn’t really a problem. Marius and the others’ safety should be ensured first and foremost. The other can be dealt with later; maybe even after the baby is born, just to be on the safe side.

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