Ghosts of Illidia

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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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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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- 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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Spirits

All time I away I think about my people. I sent to do my spirit journey and always taught to listen to self…yet ever since Grimm I feel like I hear spirits more. Spirits sometimes wrong, but Grimm say I must decide for self what I think Spirits mean. And maybemore spirits in my head than 1? If I listen to spirits and listen top self about spirits is that what spirit journey about? I feel rage inside me and a strength I cannot feel, yet I know it there. Not just muscle strength, but sort of ….. strength of heart. I feel for friends, feel pain of others, yet when I hurt something makes mefeel better if it for someone, not just to do it. I think I figure out that strength only good if used rightly…I think. Still don’t know. Grimm say It bad to punch someone who cannot fight back….maybe I need to watch people more before fight…it help me fight them…or it help me figure out not to fight. What I just say..? not fight? WOuld my elders approve? Is spirits tricking me? I will find out about the feeling of power and heart in me…I just wish I smart sometime to understand what that mean

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Shadowlight

I do not want to waste Jericho’s book. I know that it meant a lot to him and I only hope that I can do the remaining pages justice, trying to live up to the poetry that he has written. My pen is more used to writing song than poem but perhaps I will be able to do both with this book. My first entry is entitled “Shadowlight”.

  • “Shadowlight”
  • Evil! My mind calls;
  • Warns my wild heart.
  • Midnight shadow-skin caused this
  • And shadowed skin cannot
  • Be undone; cannot
  • Be Good…not in the least.
  • My treacherous heart -
  • It disagrees;
  • Speaks of maybes,
  • Of things unseen.
  • Nervously, my hands
  • Stow kindling, just in case.
  • Mingled in shadowlight
  • Sweet candle-lit caress.
  • Your skin touches mine:
  • Ignites; white fires
  • Burn, consuming, and, in their light
  • I can no longer tell you from I.
  • Black skin or white?
  • Is it truly important,
  • When the heart is alight:
  • Burning still; deeper,
  • Stronger than foreseen…
  • Longer and purer; racing eternity.
  • And I am whole, in shadowlight.
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Goodbyes

Last night’s battle was hectic but I am glad that it is finished. Unfortunately the city of Sabwa seems to no longer be a safe, anonymous haven for its residents. A red-tailed hawk came into our camp, looked around and flew away. As much as I didn’t want to harm an animal of the forest that I was not going to be eating, I feared for the city and its residents more and so, I shot it down. Jig and I followed as best we could to the place where we had seen it fall. We ended up finding the trail of spiraling blood down the trees where the hawk had apparently fallen. My arrow, however, looked like it had been pulled out of the bird and we found a pair of footprints by where the bird had fallen. I fear that someone or, perhaps, many someones now know where Sabwa is and the defenses it bears. With Micah weakened and Logan so sick that he’s on the brink of death, the city will be hard-pressed to properly defend against another attack, especially if there are more people attacking than last time. Jericho put forth the idea to relocate Sabwa to a new location. After some discussion, this plan was accepted. Jig, Alanna, Ashleigh, Brian, and I were to finish our journey to the capital while the rest stayed behind and moved the city. Fat is fickle. When I left my family in Corindan to travel and see some of the world, I never expected to be gone this long. I, in the deepest part of my self, fear that this goodbye will be longer than expected as well. The world can be cruel and things happen while traveling. I know that everyone in the village is well-able to defend themselves when they are healthy, yet I fear for the people of the village, Jericho most especially, trying to find a new place to live. What if they have a run-in on the way. I don’t know what I would do if Jericho came to harm. The same may happen to me along the way. Most cities are not as receptive as this one and I’ve been close to death before, trying to escape cities that feared my visage. What if one of the times we need to enter a city, I am discovered and run just a little too slow. All it takes is one time. It hurts go, not knowing where he is or where he will be; if he will be safe. When I got here, I never expected to be leaving my heart in the care of another as I departed. I never thought that I would grow so attached in so short a time. Night started falling and I walked around the city, trying to come to terms with what was happening and to find peace in my heart about it. I needed to talk to Jericho but hadn’t the heart to initiate the conversation. I was happy when he had said he would come with us, to have him near. Now I hesitated. Had he changed his mind about me? Were the feelings that I held for him not reciprocated; was this way of trying to break the tie without overly hurting my feelings? I just didn’t know…and if this WAS the case, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know. So I continued pacing the city, thinking; maybe over-thinking. Wanting him to come and find me yet fearing the moment that he did. He finally did come and find me, a rope in his hand. I was nervous when he asked me if I was up for some unique sleeping arrangements for the night, but I agreed that I would try. I watched, a little nervously I will admit, while he attempted to throw a rope up into the trees. I chuckled a little as the rope didn’t want to stay up. Finally, he got it to stick and he then asked me to climb up the rope. Looking at him a little oddly, I ask him what he wants me to do when I get up there and he simply asks “Do you trust me?”. Nodding, I climb the rope to nowhere and wait at the top. I call down “Now where?” and he tells me to keep climbing. I put my hands a little above where the rope ends but don’t feel anything. Confused, I’m about to call back down to Jericho when my arm smack against something solid as I try and lower it. I climb up into the hidden treehouse and gasp in astonishment at the breathtaking tropical vista displayed before me. Jericho joins me and it is finally time to talk. A little hurt that he has opted not to join us. It is for him that I undertake this quest to rid myself of the kinslayer’s curse. If it were up to me, I would be content to remain here, as I am. My visage means less to me than being able to stay near to the one I hold dear. But it is very important to him, and so is important to me as well. I will go. But I wonder why it is that he doesn’t wish to come as well anymore. I wonder if he fears for my safety as I fear for his. If he cares as deeply as I have come to. My fears are quickly allayed, however, as he tells me he wishes to stay to protect his friends, in their weakened condition. I can understand that and I respect and admire him all the more for his loyalty to his friends and his wish to protect them. He has, after all, only known me a scant two weeks and has known most of them for years upon years. I try to blink back the tears welling behind my eyes at the impending parting. Not wanting our last night together to end in questions, I decide to be frank with him. I do wish something more than these two weeks we’ve shared together. A taste of his company; his thoughts and his little looks, has not sated me, only left me aching for more. I fervently pray that he wished to see me again as well. I breath a sigh of relief and nervously laugh as he jokingly inquires if I am proposing to him. Now that I know that he wants to see me again as well, I take the moment to pull out the Stardancer family signet ring, a small figure twirling amid a jumble of stars. It is not worth much in gold, but it has been passed down in my family for many generations and holds great emotional value to me. I press the ring into his palm and whisper “to remember me, while I am gone,” as I lightly set my hand over his palm and close his fingers over the ring. “I will come back to find it again,” I say wryly, a playful smile crossing my face. Jericho returned the favor, gifting me with an exquisite necklace of two angels embracing, one ebony, one ivory. He had two necklaces, one the exact mirror image of the other. He gave me one and kept the other. He also gave me the book of poetry that he had been writing, with a few pages left blank at the end, to finish filling out. He also gives me his short sword, against my protestations, to protect myself should I need to. Feeling much better now that everything was out in the open, I smiled at Jericho. The rest of the night was not one either of us would soon forget. I awake earlier than him and spend awhile just gazing at his peaceful form as he sleeps. I think I could stay this way for eternity, tracing his graceful features. I single tear rolls down my face as I think of the the imminent morning and the partings it will hold. It is time. I did not want to say it aloud until I was sure beyond a shadow of a doubt. I move carefully towards Jericho and gently reach out my hand to brush back a stray hair that has fallen across his face during the night. A small, contented smile finds its way to my lips as he stirs. I wait, lightly running my finger across the side of his face and through his hair until his eyes open fully. He smiles at me and I whisper softly “It’s almost time to go.” I look squarely into his deep eyes and take a deep breath. “I just want you to know that I have never said this to anyone not part of my family before and I do not take its uttering lightly; I wanted to be absolutely certain before I said anything”. He looks at me expectantly, as lovingly patient as he has always been. I take a deep, steadying breath. “I love you Jericho Caillte. More than I have ever loved anyone; more than I thought I could ever love someone.” A small tear trickles down my cheek, unheeded. “I’m sorry if it’s too sudden or too forward for you, but I wanted you to know before we part ways this morning. If anything happens, I will be at peace knowing that you know this, even if you do not ever feel the same way towards me. No one knows what the future may hold and it would haunt me the rest of my days if something happened to one of us and I had not told you.” I smiles and hold his gaze a few more seconds, loath to break the silence; dreading what will shortly come to pass.

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Kiira 3

One problem solved only to have more present themselves. I was still debating whether I should stay or go when someone stumbled into the city. It turned out to be Micah, Logan’s brother, and he was very badly wounded. The following hours consisted of frenzied preparation to set up defenses around the city. For if Micah had turned up like this, there was more than likely going to be someone or something following not too close behind. Alanna and Marius set to doing what they could for Micah while the rest of us either scouted the perimeter or set up various defenses and alarms around the perimeter of Sabwa. Alanna actually knew a lot more than I expected her to about poisons and such and was a tremendous help in finding out what would and wouldn’t help Micah. In the midst of it all, Jericho made it known that he would accompany me to undo the curse place upon me once the present threat was dealt with. I felt relieved- I hadn’t wanted to ask him to do it but wanted him there more than I can tell you. So, evening fell and most of us went to sleep or trance early to be prepared should anything come that night. Jericho held first watch, a set of pots close at hand to raise the alarm should anything happen. Sure enough, that night a group of nine or so attacked the peaceful village. We defended as best we could and, luckily, no one on our side was killed outright. The intruders were vanquished, all dead except one that Alanna left to question. But the victory had come at a price. Most of the houses were burned, some worse than others. Marius’ house bore the brunt of it, sadly, and a lot of his books were burned. Jericho managed to save a few out of his own house and Alanna and him grabbed some from Marius’ house as well. Logan was badly injured, with the same thing that had sicked Micah so. They both are in Logan’s house and everyone is doing what they can to make sure they pull through. I think Alanna took the battle of the city quite hard. I’m not sure that she’s actually ever seen someone die in battle. It is one thing to kill a creature in your own or someone else’s defense. It is quite another to see a living, sentient being fall; to see the light of life leave their eyes, never to return, and to know it was you and your comrades who brought about this fact. It can never be taken back. That final stroke silences a life and it cannot be undone. I confess that the battle saddens me as well. I feel it is one thing to battle evil for the defense of the good. There are some who die and, by their death, make the world a better place for their leaving. This, unfortunately, was not the case with these men. Their village, we learned from the prisoner, had been attacked by a Lycan some years ago. While it was not just, it was understandable that they hunted Micah. In their minds it was the only thing to do. They did not wish to have their village and families harmed or even killed when it could be prevented by this death. It is the way of many humans, to silence the threat first and ask questions later. Their short life seems to make them overly hasty about many things. But they are not evil; they only wished to defend themselves. I see our newfound friends in Sabwa and I am happy that they are all okay. Yet the unfortunate deaths of these others makes my heart ache when I relive the memories of the battle for Sabwa. Perhaps I was too hasty to simply jump in and fight, without even trying to talk to them. If I had at least tried that, there might not be eight dead bodies scattered around the city. Maybe they wouldn’t have listened. But maybe they would have. Death is final. My instinct was to protect the people I call friends and that was the only thought in my mind as I let arrow after arrow fly into the intruder’s ranks. I regret that I will now never know what may have happened if I had been thinking a little more clearly. At least, ultimately, they all did get buried and one survived. But the night will always hold unanswered questions in my mind. One of the attackers, Brian O’Kelly by name, was not killed on the battlefield. We currently have him bound, though he is being given food, healing, and shelter. Alanna spoke to him and I think that they are both a little more comfortable with each other now. He might be traveling with us to the capital city as well. We do not want him to return home quite yet. If we bring him with us to the capital it will at least give the others in Sabwa a chance to relocate if they deem such an action necessary. Maybe our company will grown on the young man and he will see that we are not as bad as we might seem on first glance. Time will tell. On the good side, however, Micah did wake up and looks as if he will recover. Logan, however, is still struggling to overcome his wounds. I wish there was more that we could do but it is a battle he must mostly face on his own. I played a little music to make them more comfortable and Alanna and Jericho took turns keeping his forehead as cool as possible to try and quell the rising fever in his veins. As long as his fever breaks, I think he’ll be alright. But we shan’t know that until a little later. All we can do is to hope and pray that he pulls through.

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Spirits failure?

I attack and things die. I punch hard and things die. I grab things and things die. I strong. but I not strong to punch bad man who not bad? A man attack usand wekilll his group. We attack them for attacking our new friends. We kill them all but this man. We attacked him and he attacked us. Now he tied up….and i strike him….I shouldnot have. I felt the rush of the spirits as I reached out to punch him. I thought it ok to punch enemy. But then I looked bad at for doing so. I try hard to think to talk to man, but he say things that make me mad. Grimm no like way I handle it. Grimm make me feel like I less than goo in eyes. I must figure out honor of self. Spirits always right? Attack everything that bad quickly? Grimm I trust, he show me things about strength. But the way he look at me after punch this man… make me wonder if attacking is always best choice. Must pray on this

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Kiira 2

What to say? The last few days have been both an enormous challenge and rewarding beyond what I believed possible. It began when we first arrived in the village of Sabwa. I found myself face to face with the very heart of my recent troubles and found myself the better for it. I had been blinded by the hatred burning within me. When i first laid eyes on Jericho Caillte my first instinct was to draw my weapons and strike. I probably would have if I had been the first in the town and not Ashleigh and Alanna. It would have been a grave mistake. Our stay in Sabwabegan, after our first night there, with an introduction to the four inhabitants of the city: Marius, Grimm DarkHammer, Logan Foxx, and Jericho Caillte. Each has a very interesting reason for being in Sabwa and all have tasted the bitterness of being outcasts, in varying degrees, during their lives. I knew that feeling, if only a little, from my present predicament and I felt for each of them. Jericho, though, I wasn’t sure what I felt about him. No one in the village seemed evil or even hostile. I knew that to sate my conscious, I would have to learn more about him; learn what a drow was doing here. I learned that he was actually a half-elf/half-drow, not really belonging to either race and abandoned to the “kindness” of the humans until Marius adopted him. I didn’t know what to make of him. He kind of reminded me of myself. He wasn’t truly a drow in his heart. Maybe it was his analytical nature or his penchant for being able to see past the obvious to the deeper layers beneath. I started to spend some time analyzing myself. Was the hatred that I felt right? Was it right to label someone only for the color of his skin? Maybe I had been seeking vengeance when I should have been reconciling with my inner self. Each person should be evaluated and seen on the merits of him or herself. Jericho was his own person, regardless of what he looked like, and I began to see past the color of his skin and to truly like the person underneath. This new realization sparked a series of thoughts in my mind and I determined to try and get to know Jericho as much as I could before we had to leave. I managed to go over and talk to him a few times and he lent me a couple of his books; a history of celestial encounters and a book of poetry. The history book was a little dry, but some of the stories were interesting. The poetry book I liked; it actually reminded me a lot of the history book in that a lot of the poetry required one to think and mull over it before the meaning became apparent. Even after multiple readings, I seemed to discover new little tidbits in each section. The third night we were in Sabwa Jig, Grimm, and Logan decided to have a drinking party at Logan’s house. Alanna was gone for the day and Marius’ house was boarded up. I decided to see if I could spend the night at Jericho’s instead. It would be a good time to get to know him better. We talked, unaware of the passing of time, until we saw the sun rising. At the end of the night, he kissed my hand and it was the sweetest thing that I have ever felt. I tranced, smiling as I had not smiled in a good number of years. Though it was awkward at first, we grew together and I realized a day or two later that I truly loved him. Startling revelation: I had never truly loved, not like this. I could visualize spending my life with him. I wanted to share these intense feelings but wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. I had never loved like this before. I had concentrated on my music to the point of excluding much else and then, when that was taken from me, I had concentrated on removing the curse and on learning to fight the drow. I couldn’t quite explain the longing deep within that I felt. I eventually talked it over with Alanna, she being the instigator of the conversation, and decided to subtly put my feelings into song. If the feelings weren’t reciprocated, it could be brushed off as just another song. If they were, then that opened things up a little and would let him know what my feelings were on the subject. I spent the day composing the new song, as well as setting one of his poems to music. That night, I played a set of songs for him on my lute, and waited, stomach knotted tighter than it had ever been. After a contemplative silence that seemed centuries in my mind, I broke the silence by calling his name softly. He looks up at me, in that unique way that he has, and says that he had noticed a lot of parallels in my song between he and I. I laugh a little nervously and raise my eyebrows at him. A very awkward silence ensues and I try to break it by suggesting some tea. He goes to make it and I let him go gather his thoughts in the process. He returns, and as we sip our tea I comment on his fighting skills, which he had been practicing earlier in the day. He had gotten a bloody lip from Ashleigh’s mace and I heal it to try and make him feel better. The spell, however, doesn’t work like it should for some reason and his lip is still a little swollen. The silence is a little awkward again and he goes to take care of the tea cups. Cursing my abysmal lack of skill in communicating smoothly in matters of the heart and praying to the gods that I had not given the wrong impression of my feelings, I run after him to the kitchen area. I gently reach my hand out towards the teacup he is rinsing in the sink, brushing his fingers in the process. The cup falls out of his hand, unnoticed, and he turns towards me and our lips meet, igniting the passion that we had both been unsure of a few moments before. After that night, I had no doubts as to where his true feelings lay. The connection and the experience was deeper than any I’ve ever felt. Ever the gentleman, he asked if I was sure every time we went a little further. The next few days passed and I was happier than I have ever been. Time seemed to not affect this little patch of the world and I felt as if I could go on living here forever. Our bond deepened and I know now that I have found my soulmate; the one I’m destined to be with. I thank the gods that what happened in Lythiiri happened to me. Otherwise, I don’t think that I would have been open enough to let Jericho into my heart. Life-bonded: if not with the ceremonial words it was certainly true in our hearts. It didn’t matter that the words hadn’t been said; didn’t matter what others would or would not say about it. I had found my love – my one true love – and I was happy. I shall always remember that first night, no matter what happens from this day on. My heart sunk to my feet the day that Marius came to me with a list of reagents needed for the removal of my curse. Reality set in and I realize that I have some tough decisions to make. I realize that I didn’t care so much that I looked like a drow…I cared more about how people reacted to that new visage. In this unique village, I no longer cared what my skin looked like. Jericho was there – he loved me and that was enough. I talked with Jericho, though and he feels that I should try and break the curse, should return to what I truly am and not stay looking like a drow just for him. My heart is torn though. I would like to return to the way I looked before, but it’s not as important anymore. I would be content to stay here, unchanged. I fear leaving; for if something happens and they are forced to move, how will I find the city again? We stumbled upon it purely by chance this time around. I have lost my sense of purpose for this adventure. Is changing my looks back really enough of an incentive to risk losing all that I have only recently gained? Yet I place Jericho’s words next to my heart now and I sense the wisdom in what he tells me. Is it fair to my family to vanish, never to be seen or heard from again? Should I ask Jericho to go with me? Perhaps, while looking for the reagents for the spell, we could attempt to discover what became of Logan’s brother, Micha. Again, that seems selfish to me. For he seems to lead the village and I would be taking that from the good people who reside there, for my own personal feelings. If they truly wished to search Micah out, they could have attempted it themselves, many years ago. Is it truly fair that I draw Jericho out of the village? What if something happened because of his mixed heritage, because he traveled with me? What if something happened to the village while he was gone? I would blame myself if harm came to this peaceful, beautiful village. Yet I cannot see myself traveling ahead while he remains behind. It makes me nauseous even thinking about the possibility. Maybe I shall stay. But in the short time I’ve known them, I’ve become good friends with my traveling companions. Jig, with his rough exterior that conceals a generous heart. Kind Alanna with her well-place advice and smile, no matter what lies ahead. Even Ashleigh, enigmatic though he was at first, has become a friend. I would like them all to see their various journeys through. I would like to be able to help them to the best of my ability. Jig and Alanna deserve to find their path in life. Ashleigh deserves to find his worth and to do great things. Yet I cannot help them if I stay and I would feel selfish again, staying for the sake of my own feelings without considering their friendship and the trust that they have shown in me, allowing me into their party. The road diverges and I see myself hurting those most dear to me, no matter which path I choose to travel. My heart aches each time I pause to consider the decision that lies before me and I find myself disturbingly unsure of what to do.

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