It’s been a long, lonely time since I’ve had traveling companions. So long I had almost forgotten what it was to be part of a larger group. I feel old memories rushing back and it rekindles what I thought I had lost forever. It began a few days, maybe a week back. I was traveling to the capital through the forests. As usual, not exactly on the path but skirting it to the side. Somehow I missed a trap placed on the ground and got my foot caught. Not a particularly harmful trap to larger creatures, I quickly extricated myself from it and reset it, planning to continue on my way. This was not to be, however. A large half-orc, dressed in tattered and varied animal furs from the waist down and a silver chain shirt; an odd sight. He came upon me before I could make myself hidden. I hesitantly turned toward him, expecting the same reception I had gotten in numerous cities since “The Change”. Whether it was unawareness of what drow were truly like or through not caring, he actually accepted my company and we decided to share a dinner of roasted rabbit together. I was so excited to find someone to join me after all these years that I happily acquiesced to the invitation.
It was not long after that that we heard another snap. Jig, my newfound companion, went to investigate and came back carrying a frail-looking woman. He dropped her by the campfire and she introduced herself as Alanna Silverkin. Amazingly, she too seemed to have little trouble with my appearance once I’d explained what had happened. We shared our dinner of roasted rabbit together happily, deciding to venture to the capital city together. It was more of a relief than I had thought possible, to be able to share my meal with others when I had been a solitary wanderer for so long. I could not believe my good fortune. Jig’s trap went off again and he went to investigate it.
He returned with more rabbit. Jig began to roast the additional rabbit as we continued conversing. And then something very strange happened. Through the shadows stepped a strangely-dressed human-looking man. He sat down at the fourth spot around our campfire as if he belonged there. He was dressed in leathers, decorated with small symbols of different deities- too many to mention. We were startled at first, but as he seemed to mean no harm, I had no problem when he joined our group headed for the capital. He introduced himself as Ashleigh Cavanaugh.
So our group was formed. Though we didn’t trust each other completely as yet, everyone seemed alright to me. We headed towards the capital. Encountering a few lizard creatures along the way to the next city, we quickly dispatched them. They seemed to be creatures that trapped by using bait. The unfortunate last victim, a young woman, we buried. Ashleigh purified the poison from the meat and we continued on to the capital. Two times after, once to me and once to Jig, the strange woman appeared in our campfire, now turned to a flickering blue, and thanked us for laying her body to rest. She asked us to help her, though she didn’t say how, and said she was from some place called Illidia, which I’ve never heard of. We continued toward the capital. After a brief stop at the next village, with only a few small mishaps, we continued on. I did meet an interesting dancer in that village, though. Her name was Dahlia and she seemed very nice. The only strange thing was that I noticed she had dark, black skin under her veil. Drow? I do not know. I would have confronted her except that she wasn’t with any others and did not seem at all like the vicious drow that attacked Lythiiri. Perhaps she was another like myself, cursed with the appearance of what she was not. I would not want anyone killing me for no reason other than my skin, so I decided to let it be. Perhaps I had even seen wrong, and it was not drow skin under the veil, but only a trick of the shadows. Revealing myself by fighting her, only to discover that she was not drow at all was not a wise thing to do, and so I did not.
We continued onwards. We encountered some strange cat-like creatures with numerous slippery tentacles. There seemed to be a lot of them at first, but most of them disappeared after just a hit or so. I decided later that they must have been something like the mirror image spell, only changed a bit so that they could actually hit instead of just appear. Unfortunately, the encounter with these things had led us off of the path. Jig and I tried our best to find the way back but both found the path to be in totally opposite directions. What to do? We couldn’t both be right… Jig climbed a tree, more quickly and accurately than I would have deemed possible, and spied some smoke coming from a distance away to the northeast. We decided that that would be the best possible option, as I and the others did not want to be stuck out at night with more of those horrific creatures. So we turned our feet in the direction of the smoke and came upon a small village, only five houses in all. Alanna Silverkin and Ashleigh, being the most normal looking out of all of us, went in ahead to see if we could obtain food and shelter for the night. We waited for awhile until at last Ashleigh came back, bearing a bucket of water for Jig to wash in. He told us that they had been hospitable and that we had a place to stay. He even told me that they didn’t mind me without my hood! Startled, I looked at him in surprise but took off the hood anyway. Strange! So long I had wandered and now so many people were okay with what I looked like! Following Ashleigh back into town, I sent a fervent prayer to Corellan that we hadn’t wandered into somewhere we wouldn’t be walking out of again. Any who were okay with a drow walking into their midst without any problem made me just a little apprehensive. The reason for this, however, soon became apparent. We were greeted by a gnoll! Yes, a wise-looking older gnoll who seemed quite civilized and hospitable. I was surprised, but not too disturbed. He seemed nice enough. He didn’t have enough room at his house, but we were invited to stay at his friend’s house. But the next person who walked into the door was the most disturbing of all. Ebony skin met my stunned gaze as a drow introduced as Jericho walked in. The startled cross of emotions that ran across my face – anger, curiosity, loathing, fear, strange attraction (for he was quite handsome) – were so strong that it took a few seconds to school my face back to neutrality. Unlike Dahlia, this one was definitely a drow on the outside. What to do? A million questions in my head and a flood of emotions roaring through my breast, I followed him to his friend’s house to sleep for the night, along with the rest of my companions. Jericho.....he was not part of a larger group of drow; there seemed to be only one drow in the small village, though I had not met the other two inhabitants. Was he cursed as I was? Jericho didn’t seem to me a drow name, or an elven name for that matter. Was he actually a drow? After all the confusion and hostility I had endured, I didn’t want to jump prematurely to that conclusion for someone else. The drow and their ways were treacherous…yet there was almost no way for me to tell if he was truly drow or merely a victim of their treacheries. If he was drow, he was not like any I had previously encountered. I had studied them as much as I could in my days in the forest and he did not act like any I had heard of. He actually seemed quite kind. I don’t know what to do, I admit. Questions of him turned my focus inward and I barely noticed the entrance to the new house, with its equally strange werewolf-like inhabitant. All I know is that he gave us a room for the night and we went upstairs to get some rest. Jericho left somewhere in the middle of it all, probably to go back to his own house.
It has been a very long day, with getting lost and the cat-tentacle beasts. For now, I’ll sleep. Maybe in the morning, when we’ve met his other companions and gotten to know each other a little bit, I’ll be able to tell. If he is evil, which I’m not sure that he is at all, I shall have to attempt to destroy him. Regardless of my other purposes, I made a vow that day when I left Lythiiri, that I would not allow any drow that I encountered to harm another innocent or continue his or her evil ways. I would do my best to stop it, though I myself perish in the process. Perhaps he is not evil at all and there is some other explanation. Then we can continue on our way. Perhaps he had a family? I just don’t know enough yet. It shall have to wait until morning.