Helt Requiem

Purpose
The Thoughts Of Kaicoran Dawn

There is something strangely soothing about standing in the middle of a raging storm. As the wind and the snow beats itself against my face I feel the cold sting of the snowflakes colliding with my skin; yet I don’t seem to mind. Perhaps it is because a part of this storm reflects what has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.

You do not negotiate with a storm. You do not try to find reason in the chaos of the wind and rain, nor do you try to justify its actions. You simply face it.

I had always believed that the chaos that was in me was just that. Chaos. An unnamable source without thought or reason… But lately I was beginning to think that there was something more purposeful and patterned in the shape of the darkness in my thoughts. There was a power granted that I did not possess and knowledge given that I could not have had before. There was someone, or something, behind the veil of shadow in my mind; I was sure of it.

I had taken a break from the rest of the group inside of Asacia’s home to collect my thoughts outside in the snow. The others were taking a short rest before beginning preparations for the next battle; including training with the mentors that had been brought to the house.

But there was something I needed to know before I could move forward. I stepped further away from the house, allowing myself to be swallowed up completely by the storm, and closed my eyes. Directing my thoughts inward, but not towards Selena, I instead searched for the shade in my mind and addressed only what I knew as the darkness that was in me:

I have tried to ignore you for as long as I can remember… I have pretended that you have only ever been part of my imagination and a reflection of myself… but I cannot believe that anymore. What are you and what do you want with me? How do benefit by granting me power?

I waited for a few moments not knowing exactly what I expected in response. There was only the storm that raged around me.

Impatient, and believing that there was in fact something there, I implored again, this time in Abyssal: Answer me…

Silence.

If you will not speak then perhaps you can listen…

Assuming you are like any other being or beings in existence I know you want something. If you want chaos then I can assure you that there will be more chaos to follow in my wake regardless of your presence. If you want power then I can also assure you that I have been set on that path already.

You prey on me when I am weak willed… but what if we could come to an understanding? If your end goal is to take complete control over my being then I promise you that I WILL find a way to expel you permanently. But… if you are willing to communicate your desires then it is possible we can come to a mutually beneficial relationship.

End this manipulation and start an exchange of services. The choice is yours. Continue to gamble on the fact that I will progressively lose more and more control of myself, or begin to work with me as a partner.

A few more moments passed. I remained standing still in the snow, which by now was almost to my knees, and waited…

Perhaps I really was insane and just talking to myself.

I was about to turn back to the house to begin my training but before I could turn to move I felt a presence fill my mind that was larger and more powerful then any I had ever felt before in my life. It seemed to be the presence of a being so large that it encompassed the entirety of my aura with its magnitude so that I couldn’t help but drop to my knees in attempt to keep myself upright.

A voice then filled every corner of my mind:

Kaicoran Illythua Cor-nyss'a.

Child of the rejected court, brother of the daughter of the queen, protector of the unseen and the joint heir of Design

Prophetic child of the Joining.

You speak to me as a nameless entity, giving soul to the darkness and naming it intelligence without comprehension.

You assume that I am Chaos

You are wrong.

I am Desire.

The intensity of Love and Hate, Desire is the enemy of apathy and Chaos. Ally of Pain.

There is a reason the drixl delivered you safely to her in the forest. There is a reason you were chosen.

You were not expelled because you were a half-ling. You were rejected by the court because you heard me in your infancy. Because in your development you embraced the shadow and void and you yearned for power.

Such ambition is dangerous to any in power who fear children of prophesy.

Do not make their same mistake.

Do not reject me.

You are not a child of Selena. Though she aids you, she knows you are not a child of the night. You are mine.

I am higher than she who organized the court. The fey gods bow to me child. And one day they will bow to your sister.

Do not give in to madness and chaos. The schism makes the drixl strong when they resist, not because they embrace it.

I am Ireia, and you are the Protector. Prepare yourself. This is only one of many such adventures.

If you are faithful to me, I will give you strength.

Discuss with me your desires before pursuing them, and you will have luck. Act on your passions when they are constructive, and I will move your obstacles. Swear to act, and not be acted upon, and in MY sight—Under MY gaze—you will be mighty.

Do you agree?

For moment I knelt in the snow, comprehending all that been communicated to me, and felt my mind become still and calm… calmer than it had since before I had left the forest with Sister.

I answered her… If what you say is true then you have spoken great comfort to my mind… If you will allow me to be a Protector once more and help me resist the chaos that is in me… Then yes, I agree.

There was a feeling of approval that resonated throughout my mind and body and then, slowly withdrawing itself, the presence shrunk until it again only occupied a small corner in my mind. Although I felt like something inside me remained changed still.

I felt for the first time that I was whole.

I drew Oathbringr from its sheath and held it with both hands by the hilt, the blade towards the ground, and whispered down into the gem set in the pommel of the sword in Ancient.  

“You are named Oathbringr… so upon you I will make this oath: Agents of Chaos and Madness will fall to this blade in memory of Sister and in protection of all that is good upon this earth… with you I shall wield the chaos within me as a weapon in my hands; never again to be subject to its whims… This I swear.”

A small puff of air blew out from the blade upon the completion of the oath and I knew that I would see this oath fulfilled.

I felt another smaller voice enter my mind; this time it was a voice that I knew.

Peace dear Brother… be at peace…

I sheathed my sword once more and turned back to the warmth of Asacia’s mountain home and felt a single warm tear run down my cheek before disappearing into the snow. It seemed that the intensity of the blizzard outside had subsided somewhat and the light from inside the cabin was brighter and more inviting than it had been a few minutes earlier. The worst of the storm appeared to be over.

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Fire and Light
The Thoughts Of Kaicoran Dawn

I awoke from a sleep that was less troubled than usual. Something about Asacia’s home seemed to forbid the chaos from seeping further into my mind and allowed me to rest. Although I did feel physically refreshed, there was still a dull ache emanating from the center of my being. This ache felt more permanent.

I saw that Dastan was with us now. Part of me that resented that he had not been there for Sister, but I realized that there would have been nothing he could have done. There was nothing any of us could have done.

The memories of dark terrors, blood, and fire were still fresh in my mind. I only felt numb. Even after the death of Sister there were still tasks to be done. The test needed to be completed if there was to be any chance at bringing Sister and Mythia back. We had just received news that there was a fox Syvrian being held by demons in need of our rescue and that she would be important to the completion our task from Death.

Asacia opened her door back into the city of Sanctuary and we stepped out into a pumpkin patch tavern where we found one of the surviving members of the Silver Foxes. The fighter was past drunk, and far beyond talking to, but somehow Pyry convinced her to abandon her drink and come with us. There was another man in the tavern dressed in full shining armor bearing a shield with the mark of a shining sun on it that caught my attention with the glint of the light reflecting off its polished surface.

We would need more fighters if we were to rescue this Syvrian girl without a significant amount of risk; and this man seemed to be an experienced soldier. I asked him if he would take pay to fight with us and he seemed offended at the notion. He said that he fought for honor and principles and would not take money from us for any reason. I asked him if rescuing an innocent life from a band of demons was noble enough of a cause and at this he seemed skeptical of my motivations… He suggested that even if there was a worthy enough cause that we would most likely disagree on the proper way to achieve our ends. It appeared to me that he was right.

Seeing that there were fundamental differences between us, and not having the skills of persuasion that Sister had always possessed, I turned to leave. After walking a few steps however, he called out to me and I turned back to face him. He asked if I was fey… and if I kept my promises… Something inside of me ached again at this question, but I answered him that I did everything within my power to keep my word. I swore that I would never lie to him and he seemed satisfied with this and introduced himself as Roran. I introduced him to Pyry and he swore to her, as she seemed to be the leader of our small remaining band by default, that he would see the task ahead completed.

From there we left Sanctuary towards the lake. Once at the lake we crossed using the dead body of one of the monsters that had attacked the city as a small raft while Pyry pulled us across towards the mines where we were told the fox Syvrian was being kept. Upon reaching the other side we found an abandoned line of carts filled with ore and mining tools not too far off from the mine itself.

However, before we had a chance to even approach the mine we were ambushed by a Bone Devil and smug looking chaotic mage at the mouth of the mine. I was happy to have something to kill again and provide me with a distraction…

The battle was brief but intense. More demons and devils joined the fight from unseen hiding places but Tamyr and Dastan defended us from behind. The Bone Devil seemed to have heard of me somehow and focused all of his fury on me after I seared him with a burst of sunlight. I went down for a moment and came to as Pyry poured a potion down my throat. In the end it was the chaos battle mage that finished the battle by committing suicide through self-explosion of his own mana. The blast shattered the Bone Devil, greatly injured the knight, and should have killed Tamyr and myself, but thanks to the angel rings that we had received from Asche we were returned from death back from the astral plane and into our own bodies.

With the battle over, we ran quickly into the mine to find a Pit Fiend holding the Syvrian girl hostage. He was however willing to negotiate with us and transported us to an unknown location to make a deal. He said that if we would assure him some land on this plane and meet with the god of wickedness, Charcial (sp?), in his place he would release the girl.

We agreed to his terms on the condition that he would provide us a way to escape should things turn for the worse. Immediately after the arrangement had been made we were transported back to the mine and were face to face with a slightly disappointed looking Charcial.

Thankfully Pyry had some valuable information to barter with regarding a lover of Charcial and used that to turn a possibly precarious situation into a profitable one. In return Charcial offered us a door to the Brass city in the Nine Hells and a chance to rescue Lorena; the erinyes that had saved us back in our first battle with the demons. She gave us twenty-four hours to gather an army together and then meet her at the ruins of the Governor’s mansion in Sanctuary.

After Charcial left Asacia conjured another door from the air allowing us back into her home in the snowy mountains to prepare for our next journey into the heart of the demon’s territory. There were mentors for each of our disciplines waiting for us there and ready to train us further; which training we desperately needed.

The dull ache in my chest persisted still, but at least now I had something to keep me focused forward. There were demons and devils yet to destroy.

Tomorrow we were going to Hell.

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Reflections in the Mountains
Journal Entry - Weslyn

It was shocking waking up this morning. I woke up early so that I could get a head start home. My side was hurting a bit from wearing my Brigandine to bed. I quietly got up and quickly got ready so I wouldn't wake up anyone else. I was several footsteps out the door before I realized I was walking in snow. And that I wasn't in Sivrya. In fact, I had no idea where I was.

The snow was gently falling as I was suddenly led back inside by a little man, that I faintly remembered had given me a cookie last night. It was then that the previous few days came back into my mind, and the weight and depression returned.

My last letter to my sister, Kayla, was one of joy and happiness. While it wasn’t entirely truthful, it was close enough. However, since that time everything had been going downhill. Almost as if the gods had it out for us.

We started several days ago, looking for one of Pyry's friends. We rented horses that were fast (but not as fast as Rissa’s) and tracked a caravan that this friend was supposedly guarding. It was there that we were ambushed by Liecheus. It was a very textbook ambush and I should have realized it sooner. We were quickly surrounded by bowmen and asked to surrender.

Given our chances of survival, I was all for surrendering. It wouldn’t have broken our pact with Death, it would just take us a bit longer to accomplish his task. A bit longer was better than not getting home, I thought. The group disagreed and counter attacked the ambush. By some sheer dumb luck, a band of ‘shadows’ saved us.

One of the band, a girl by the name of Asacia, who I sensed was stronger than anyone I had ever encountered, agreed to assist us. She signed to us that she was one of the heroes of old, now a demi god that helped protect Helt. That was what she claimed, anyway. We were teleported by magic to a carriage that Pyry’s friend was being held captive in. We rescued her successfully and then a monk tasked us with going to a city, called Arinyelle, and ‘purging’ it of an obelisk that was tainting the people inside.

I don’t feel like we were given much of a choice to do it or not, but the group decided to go and so I went with them. While we do have our differences in priorities sometimes, I did agree that I would help, and protect them. I also know I could not do this trial alone.

We took the cart that now had no owner and headed towards this cursed city. On the way we encountered several giant monsters, the like of which I have never seen and after fighting one, wish never to see again. It was bigger than a house with tentacles as legs and four heads as one head, that spinned on itself. One of these creatures spotted us and moved to engage us.

When it was close it’s head spun and I was overcome by intense fear. While I have felt fear in many a battles, I could not for the life of me move away from this monster. It’s head rotated again and I felt my body go weak. Fearing the worst, we moved together so that we could use a magic teleportation ring to escape it’s magic and were lucky enough to do so. After the fight, and when my senses had returned, I realized that this ‘hero’ had done nothing to help us. She had sat in the cart and watched us almost die.

Not wanting to cause a scene in front of the group, I ordered Tamyr and a Tiefling girl that Kai had brought, to help me find potions to cure our weakness that the monster had cast upon us all. We exited the rooftop garden that we had teleported into and started walking the streets. I hid my tail and ears with my cloak, by recommendation of Kai and Pyry. I also left Mouse, so I wouldn’t have a large sword to attract attention, or another item that could get lost

As we walked through the crowd, I got an eerie feeling from the humans that inhabited the city. They felt off. It was only after a few minutes that I realized I was walking along the same street again, and that my two companions were nowhere to be seen. I continued in vain to search for a potion shop, but I couldn’t seem to find my way anywhere. I would walk down a street and turn left only to find myself on the same street. I tried backtracking back to the rooftop garden where the group should be, but couldn’t find my way either.

It seemed like hours or days that I wandered through the city, now getting strange looks from the humans around me, like they knew I was different. (It kinda felt like Greyton all over again.) The sky changed from day to night and then to day again. These kept repeating over and over again. Night and day, day and night. The humans of the city seemed to flash and bend with the flashing of the sky. Being present and then gone from one second to the next.

I ducked down a side alley and sat down on the cold stone to try and recollect myself. I felt lost. Not only in the city, but inside my mind as well. I could almost feel something, someone talking to me. I couldn’t make out the words, but I felt scared, like I was a kit again. I wished for Kayla to come and hold me, and to make everything better, but she never came.

It was after several minutes, or maybe hours, of this that I suddenly felt a dark wave of energy erupt in the city and then vanish. Whatever the energy was, with it gone, the city felt whole again. The sky was light once more and the humans, again out on the street, felt more normal. I assumed my companions were behind it. Quickly, I stood and used my senses that Harvad had taught me to try and find the source. It now took only a few minutes to find them with the city not fighting against me, but as I rejoined my companions, they were anxious to leave quickly. After drinking a poition to cure my weakness, and getting Mouse back, Asura conjured up a teleportation circle, which I believe was her first time, and we all stepped in.

 

I found myself at the Sleeping Dragon Inn, but the others were somewhat scattered throughout the city and other areas, probably due to Asura’s inexperience with teleportation. I rested for a few minutes, trying to get the experience of Arinyelle out of my head, and then went about Sanctuary, helping those in need. In our absence, Sanctuary had been attacked by the giant tentacle creatures that had attacked us on the way to Arinyelle. The people of Sanctuary, Mercenaries, Helpers, Guilds, and common civilians had banded together and had fended them off, but parts of the city had been hit hard.

So I helped those I could, until Kael found me and gathered us all together. He told us that Liecheus was in the process of activating the Seal in the Feral Forest. We discussed what action we should take. From stopping him, to maybe setting up an ambush of some sort, getting revenge in a way. We decided as a group that racing to the seal in the Altarin temple would probably be our best choice. With that unsealed, we could wait for Liecheus to forcibly unseal the seal in the forest and then beat him to the book. That is, if we knew were the book was. I tried questioning Kael about the location but he would not answer me.

In order to enter we needed a ‘key’ of some sort. We had something that was similar to what we were told was the key, but we were unsure of its authenticity. So Asche and I were tasked with finding a collector of sorts to appraise it for us. It was a short search to find his house, but we were not given entrance. Asche and I then went to the Patron’s tower to try and pull some strings for us to see the collector. I waited outside.

While I have, as part of the group, been noticed by a few power figures here in Sanctuary, I have tried to keep myself out of the spotlight. It would make it very hard to continue this trial if I had to do extra favors for people who did not care for my well being. I consider the Patron to be one of the biggest power figures here and have kept out of his sight well, or so I hope. Asche on the other hand Seems to be in love with the mysterious Patron. Which in this case was to our benefit. She was able to obtain papers for us to visit this collector and basically get him to do anything we wanted.

We returned to the house and were given entrance, only to discover that he was still not home. We were directed to the front room and told to make ourselves comfortable. It was during this wait that we both heard, over our earpieces, that Asura was dying. I told Asche to go, she being kin to Asura, and that I would meet with the collector. I personally wanted to return with her. While very different from my sister, Asura reminded me of her. After we rescued Asura from captivity several weeks ago, and seeing the horrors that she had faced, I decided that I would protect her like my sister. I had tried my best to do so through the dangers that we had faced since, but here I was now, sitting in a waiting room while her life ticked away.

It was after several minutes that I heard a cry over my ear piece. Asura was dead.

 

Enraged I picked up the closest thing, luckily it was a book, and threw it across the room. My tail fluffed up and my blood boiled. I could feel my left ear twitching. Why did she have to die? After all she had been through? Why? I was later told that the ‘hero’ was there as well.

 

I slowly took out my earpiece and put my head in my hands.

Then, remembering my task, I shook myself out of my stupor, quickly brushed my tail, and then picked up the book that I had thrown.

 

Mourning wouldn’t get me home faster.

 

I only had to wait a few more minutes when a short man entered. I introduced myself and that we had backing of the Patron to use his services to examine a key. He seemed very excited and started examining it right away, in which he told us that it was the correct key and that we would also need a second. By luck, he happened to have one. Using the connection to the Patron, I was able to convince him to let us use his. Starting to magically unlock these keys, he sent me off to find mages to speed up the process.

I put my earpiece back in and called for Pyry and Kai. I knew that they had magics that could probably assist us in the unlock. I was able to contact Pyry, but not Kai. It hit me then, what was Kai thinking? Asura was his sister. He had always seemed unhinged in a way. I asked Pyry where Kai was? She quietly told me over the ear piece, (Pyry and Asche were both kin to her too, Feth, What were they thinking? I must sound so heartless.) that he had said “Liecheus”, and that was it. I thought what would Kai probably do? Revenge was my first thought, it’s what I would do. “Kai!” I yelled into my earpiece, “Don’t be stupid! Whatever you are doing, come back!” I also included some words that my sister and the Elders would not be pleased to hear me say. However, I got no answer from Kai.

Asche eventually arrived, followed by Pyry several minutes later, with Asacia escorting her. Tamyr also stumbled in and occupied a corner with his books and scrolls. Both Asche and Pyry looked shaken, but were both eager to help in any way they could. So the collector asked Pyry and her little Gataki named Tracks, to assist in unlocking the keys. Asche and I waited outside in the cool night air.

An hour or so later, Asacia dragged Asche and I inside and signed to us all that she could find and retrieve Kai for us. She looked troubled for a second and then spoke telepathically to us that she was not allowed to interfere, and that is why she could not help us physically earlier. She still wasn’t allowed to, but could assist a bit, in little ways. She told us that she could teleport Kai to our location. Everyone agreed and then in almost an instant, Kai was suddenly in the room, looking bruised, bloody and exhausted. He looked at us and said weakly “Liecheus is dead” and then collapsed on the floor.

I helped get him onto a couch as the others started to heal him. As I moved him, I noticed arrow holes in his tunic and dirt, ash, blood and leaves tattered his clothes. He looked like he had ran to the Obsidian throne and back.

We settled in again while Kai healed and began to regain conscious, and as the keys were still being unlocked by the collector.

 

After another few hours the collector came out of his back room with a giant grin. He had finished unlocking the keys. I stood up and thanked him, taking both the keys in my hands, when a knife slit his throat before my eyes.

 

I was overwhelmed.

 

My mind took me back to a grove with hooded figures. My neck hurt. Marissa was there. She was in danger. My tunic was soaked. I needed to bring the chocolate back to Kayla. It was blood. The package was on the ground. It was mine.

 

 

I awoke on the floor trembling. My tail was wrapped around my body, almost trying to keep me warm and I could feel my ears flat against my head. Tears were streaming down my face. Asacia was sitting on the floor next to me, holding my hand. I unconsciously pulled her close and hugged her. She gently put an arm around me and quietly whispered, something, I can’t remember what, but it was soothing and comforting. Light seemed to flood into my mind, and my trembling body stopped.

Regaining some function, I noticed the room was in an uproar. The collector had blood down his fine shirt, and was yelling for us to get out. Kai was yelling something incomprehensible as Pyry and Asche held him down. Tamyr was slowly picking up his books and notes to leave.

Asacia helped me up and we all filed outside.

The others were arguing fiercely about something, but I was too numb to listen. My mind, while now somewhat clearer thanks to Asacia, was still playing those memories over and over again. Is Marissa alright? We started down the dark street, lanterns illuminating our way before us. I was then walking on my own power, having let go of Asacia. She stayed close, following me like a shadow.

“I need a drink.” I suddenly said out loud. More to myself, than to the group. They didn’t reply back but all followed me into the only open pub on the street.

It was empty, except for the bartender, who got up from a chair as we entered. Piles of glass were swept into the now dark corners of the pub and only a few lights were lit.

I walked up and all but collapsed on the stool. I was not trembling anymore, but my body seemed very weak.

“Give the strongest stuff you have that will still allow me to fight after.” I wearily asked the barkeep.

“A soldier?” he replied back, raising one of his eyebrows.

I nodded.

“This one is on the house then.” he said with a sad smile, pulling out a clean mug and a bottle of something carmel colored. He poured the mug and then gently slid it towards me with a nod. “Stay as long as you need.”

I nodded back as he turned and walked back out from behind the bar, pulling a broom from nowhere.

I calmly drank the mug clean. It had a refreshing taste to it, similar to something that I had tried once, back home, but a lot stronger. Kayla did not approve of my drinking, but it chases the demons away when it needs to.

I turned around on the stool and heard Asacia addressing everyone telepathically. But with my scattered thoughts, and then the strong alcohol starting to affect me, I cannot remember what it is she said. I remember just being angry, and sad. I think I yelled at her.

The next thing I remember is coming to this cabin via a glass door. I quickly found a warm spot in front of the fire and fell asleep.

 

Everyone is still asleep, except for the little man who keeps giving me cookies. I felt like I should write my thoughts down as I feel myself drifting again, but I don't know what to feel. I don't know how I feel.

 I think I need to sleep a bit more.

 

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Consumed
Kaicoran Dawn

(sitting in a corner of a cabin near a warm fireplace)

Burn… burn… they can all burn… yes….

I cannot distinguish the monsters inside me from the monster that is me… gone… all gone… the light… my light…

BURN.

This isn’t what Sister would have wanted. She would be frightened of me. They should all be frightened of me. So much death… so much hate…

You are of the darkness little shade… of the void… you belong with us…

No… I can’t… I won’t…

You have. And you did.

* * * * *

I tried to focus on playing the fey pipes that Ohm had given me before he left. I have nothing left of Asura now except for memories. Memories of her dancing in the tall grass; of her singing the songs she learned from the other fey children. A small transparent version of Sister danced in the corner as I played and I heard Asche in the other corner singing along faintly.

This is all I have left.

* * * * *

(about a week earlier)

Pedaline woke the next morning sometime before I could. I was almost expecting her to be long gone but for some reason she decided to stay. My injuries must have looked worse than I thought. After a quick breakfast, we left the Black Thorn and headed towards the mage tower since I still had unfinished business there regarding Lawbringer.

As we walked I felt like I was seeing the world again through new eyes. There were new shades of meaning in every movement of every person I saw. Hopes, fears, joy, pain, and countless other feelings were all displayed in the crowds of people we passed like a confusing mass mosaic of emotion. Have people always been like this? I found myself staring at Pedaline for what must have been too long as I noticed what seemed to be a thousand new and different things about her. She caught my eye and gave me a strange look. Was it disgust? Or discomfort? Maybe amusement? I never realized how much information could be contained on a person’s face.

At the mage tower I was able to find Dresden and return Lawbringer to him. It had been a useful tool and a powerful weapon but it did not fit my nature. Dresden noticed a change in my mannerisms and seemed curious. He did not return the money I had spent but instead gave me a different sword named Oathbringr; a hand and a half broad bladed weapon that I was not accustomed to but still fit in my hands well. There was mention of it being asleep and needing awakening and Dresden seemed to think the weapon could become very powerful in the right hands.

After leaving the tower Pyry’s voice came over the communication pearls announcing that a young psionic altarin girl was in trouble and needed our help. Pedaline seemed OK with the prospect of a little excitement and agreed to accompany me as I went to rejoin the group at the western gate of Sanctuary.

It had only been a little more than a day since our encounters in the hidden mountain and rescuing Asura. Sister had experienced so much pain and terror in the last weeks and I hoped that she would have had a chance to rest in a safe place for a while before leaving Sanctuary again; but it seems our timelines are accelerating at an ever-increasing rate.

Once we reached the gate and regrouped, except for Dastan and Mythia, we rented a few horses and prepared to leave the city. Sister looked upset when Dastan’s absence was mentioned.

We left Sanctuary at a gallop and rode westward toward the city of Arinyelle. After several miles of hard riding we found an overturned caravan with all of the riders and horses dead being stuck with many arrows each. We had ridden straight into a trap.

In less than a moment we found ourselves surrounded by archers and facing a large demon commanded by Liecheus who looked down at us smugly. I wished that I still had Lawbringer to sever that smug head from his shoulders.

He offered us a choice. Die now, or live contracted under his service. The contract he offered was magically binding and would allow us certain freedoms so long as we performed a certain number of tasks for him. We discussed it amongst ourselves and it seemed that the consensus was that this contract would prevent us from finishing our original task given by Death and that most of us found dying to be preferable to signing.

Once we realized that we would not be signing it seemed that Liecheus began to realize this as well. We had only a few seconds to come up with a plan. Asche had a gift given to her by the Patron that would allow her to slow time temporarily so we passed her several spell stones that might be able to harm Liecheus enough to kill him while Pedaline would cause a distraction for long enough for us to cut through the archers and try to escape. Prayers were offered under breath to different deities and I offered one to Selena as a last hope.

Asche touched a tattoo on her shoulder and then everything was over in an instant. The sky turned black and we were engulfed in complete darkness. I heard a cry of pain from the direction of Liecheus and the sound of bodies hitting the ground. The darkness lifted and in the place of every archer there was a drixil standing over a dead corpse. The demon had also been turned to ash but Liecheus was nowhere to be seen. Asche’s prayer to Kylandil had been answered by his daughter and we had been saved just in time.

There was another woman with the group of drixils who was mute but was referred to by the others as Asacia. Tamyr seemed to recognize her as a powerful psionic mage and was very excited at her appearance.

Through the help of Asacia we found the young altarin girl, whose name was Marina, and rescued her from what appeared to be slavers taking her to Arinyelle for sale to the city of demons. I hoped that we could return to Sanctuary once we had retrieved the girl but that hope was lost when we received information from an arcadian monk that the city of Arinyelle was in danger of becoming over run by undead.

From one danger and on to the next we set out for Arinyelle; except now with Asacia accompanying us for some reason. A short distance outside of the city we saw gigantic monstrosities rise above the trees with ten legs and a head with four rotating faces that seemed to look everywhere at once. Pyry must have panicked upon seeing them and inadvertently sent up a bright flare that drew the attention of one of the monsters to our group.

What followed was a blur of terror and death. Asura and Pedaline fell during the first few moments and were revived thanks to Pyry’s potions. Miraculously we were just barely able to escape thanks to a ring of blink Asche took from Liecheus and another that Tamyr had with him.

We blinked our way into the city on top of a garden rooftop and took a moment to rest. Most of us had been both paralyzed and poisoned during the fight; to which Asacia was able to help us with the paralysis but not the poison. We would need more curing potions for that.

While the group rested Pedaline, Weslyn, and Tamyr went down and out into the street to look for a cure-poison remedy. I was not happy with staying behind, but I knew I needed rest if there was going to be another fight soon; which was a high likelihood considering our information was that the entire city might become undead.

Again, what followed next was a blur, except this time the blur was more real and present than it was in recollection. At some point, strange forks of purpleish-red lightning spread across the sky and the rain that was just beginning to fall stopped in midair as if obeying time was only an optional requirement of nature now. Day became night and then day again. We moved in one direction but ended up going in another.

Along the way we found a shop that had herbs and potions among which were several meant to cure poison which we gladly drank. There was also a curious small golden flecked potion locked in a box that needed a little convincing to open but was eventually persuaded to release its contents.

Turning away from the now open box I saw Sister collapse on the other side of the shop in Pyry’s arms and Asche suddenly burst through the front door of the shop speaking frantically of an evil creature outside. In a rush of movement, Marina restored Sister to consciousness and we all exited the shop through the back.

The day had once again turned to night and the streets were empty and quiet. Suddenly a wave of dark energy erupted from the center of town and the night became day again. This was becoming tiresome.

With the abrupt arrival of day we were suddenly surrounded by people going about their daily business as usual without being a bit surprised at what must have been a sudden appearance from us. Or at least it seemed sudden. To be honest whatever magic we were dealing with was far beyond my comprehension and our entire experience here had made me feel uneasy. We needed to leave this city.

Eventually we found Tamyr in the center of the city laughing at the sky in the middle of the street. He had apparently destroyed the obelisk in the center of town and prevented more undead from rising. With our task seemingly finished I wished that we leave but Tamyr was insistent on visiting a book shop he had found earlier so we followed him to it.

While waiting for Tamyr I occupied myself by relieving passersby of things that might seem interesting. I found a glass coin in a distracted man’s pocket that was like the one we had received from the goblin the restore us back to life if needed; except this one contained a cloudy blue energy. Curious, I followed the man and recognized him as someone I had followed before who worked with the slave traders in Sanctuary. This time unfortunately he spotted me before I could find his final destination.

One thing lead to another and he ended up dead in the street. Now it was definitely time to leave the city. Guards were called but I was able to escape unpursued with the rest of the group to the edge of the city where Sister was able to create a teleportation circle for us to return back to Sanctuary.

For the most part, we all made it back in one piece. Some of us had lost things in the teleportation while others had lost clothes. It was still an impressive feat for Sister’s first attempt at the magic. After a few hours, we all found our things and each other at the Sleeping Dragon. What had seemed like one day had somehow turned into over a week of time passing from the time that we left Sanctuary due to the strange things that happened to us in Arinyelle.

Sanctuary had been attacked by the same creatures that we saw on our way to Arinyelle and was defended by the many powerful fighters and mages that resided in the city, although there were still substantial casualties from what we could gather.

It seemed that in our absence Liecheus had gone into the Feral Forest and was currently working on breaking the third seal there. Perhaps he was expecting us to simultaneously break the seal in the underwater city and he would have the advantage in obtaining the book of power before we could reach it. In any case we decided that it might be best for us to wait for him there and hopefully catch him off guard and kill him.

There were many things to do and time was pressing so we went our separate ways to complete a variety of tasks. I went to the shadow guild following after Pedaline to check on the state of things there. When I approached the shadow district I saw that the area we had set up Jordana’s shop had been hit hard by the attack so I decided to visit her first before going to the shadow guild.

Jordana’s shop had been ransacked and there was blood inside and outside the shop. The blood was still somewhat fresh which told me this was not from the attack almost a week ago. The blood outside showed signs of a body being dragged away from the shop towards the city so I attempted to follow the trail which was quickly lost once I returned to the city streets.

I looked around the houses nearby in hopes of finding a body but couldn’t find Jordana. I did however find a body. It was Rochelle, a member of the Silver Foxes that had joined us in the cave and disappeared. She was stashed in a bush along the side of one of the houses and was naked with no visible signs of injury; but still dead all the same.

I felt a strange presence behind that made my hair stand on end, but when I turned there was nothing. Something felt extremely wrong about this moment. I gathered up Rochelle in my cloak and took her back to the Shadow guild.

The feeling of wrongness stayed with me for quite some time. Once I reached the shadow guild I don’t remember much else besides standing in the doorway being asked questions. My mind was blank.

It wasn’t until nightfall that I was broken out of my stupor by Pyry’s voice again over the pearls.

 

Asura was gone.

 

I felt something inside of my soul brake.

We can help you… ease the pain…

I asked Pyry the cause even though I knew the answer. Liecheus.

We know where he is… where you can find him…

I took the pearl earpiece out.

She knows where he is…

I felt a pull toward Pedaline who was inside of the Shadow guild. I had made my decision.

 

Give me the power I need.

DONE.

 

Pedaline gave me the information I needed. I drank the golden flecked potion and ran into the Feral Forrest accompanied by figures of shadow. Moving at impossible speeds I saw all manner of foul things along the path of the cursed forest. I was not harassed… for I was a monster amongst monsters.

Burn…

This feels like a dream… a nightmare…

Burn…

I dream in shadows…

BURN.

I am the dark.

 

THEY WILL ALL BURN.

 

I burst into a clearing filled with people. Liecheus was there. Mythia cried out my name. The shadows materialized into dark creatures that began to cut down people like grass before a scythe. I could smell the blood… anticipate the slaughter… Liecheus moved to touch his ring but I was already a shadow flying through the void to consume him.

We connected with an explosion of darkness. Suddenly we had both been transported to the face of a mountain overlooking the sea. Liecheus was sent flying off the mountainside and into the night sky towards a rocky shore far below.

I heard the distant sound of a body hitting stone. Then silence.

Good…

The silence was broken by the screech of an Erinyes. Arrows flew out of the darkness from the mountain behind me and one struck me in the back. I would complete my task.

Ignoring the creatures behind me I ran down towards the ocean and disappeared from the view. I found the crushed and mangled body of Liecheus and retrieved it from the rocks. I set the body on fire and watched it burn.

Very good…

The energy that was not my own left my body and I collapsed unconscious to the ground.

I came back to consciousness in a room surrounded by what was left of Aralondil. Everything was in a haze. My body ached and my mind swam with dark thoughts. I do not remember much else.

I tried to kill a man. Pyry stopped me. There were arguments and talk of the greater good, gods, and wars. I only felt empty… like a dried husk. Revenge had not satiated my rage. It had not quenched my thirst. It had not brought Sister back…

The gods can burn for all I care.

A door appeared from nowhere and Pyry, who I realized had been supporting me for some time now, ushered me inside. Asche slipped a ring on my finger. Something about the home on the other side of the door felt warm and welcoming; drastically contrasting with the night outside and my broken soul. Sister would have liked this place.

I found the darkest corner of the room and turned away from the others. If I cannot be a protector then I will be a destroyer… a monster that monsters fear… a void that consumes… a black fire that burns…

I will be Darkness.

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I have sworn an oath

I am writing this as Weslyn, a tiefling whose name I fail to remember (she is a tiefling after all, and therefore I do not trust her entirely), and I begin our search for potions and antidotes for our wounded party members. We have been through an ordeal; one that I thought meant certain death for us. But I should start from the beginning, only a day ago.

Since arriving on this island, I have been introduced to creatures that I thought were lost to Helt, or have retreated from the world with their awesome power. (Dragons! Dragons are here!) Upon entering Sanctuary, my Corsair partners and I had a…disagreement pertaining to our fortune. With a minor falling out, we were seperated and I entered the campus that held the Patrons' temples, and found the monestary of my brethren. My brethren are dead….. apparently slaughtered by demons. Before I could gather more information, I was led to a hospital and introduced to a powerful healer. I thought her confused at the time, mistaking me for a member of my local order of my brothers, for she asked me if I was dead yet. The importance of this questions would later be revealed to me. Oh, how naive I was when I first set foot on this island. Explaining my situation and visions to her, she confirmed my research; it's location has been uncovered and is being threatened to be taken. I now must see it delivered to the only power that can be trusted with it: Death. 

I was led from the hospital by a peculiar duo, a man and woman, to an inn to meet a team that was undergoing a trial. Upon seeing their faces, I knew that these were the individuals from my visions. I had misinterpreted them in Illydia, assuming that the faceless figures were Arkadian monks like I. Though not what I had expected, they were good, kind, and powerful individuals; I was humbled to be in their presense and even more so to be welcomed like a long departed family member. A beloved member of their entourage had been stolen from them. They were just about to leave the city to where she was being held captive…at one of the mage seals that must be broken in order to acquire the book. Their priorities inline with mine, I joined the team and we set off for the mountains. The trials that we underwent inside the mountain… I will not recount. Needless to say, they put us to the test; I do not know about the others, but I came away from the mountain…defeated.

When I began this journey, I assumed that my role would be what it has always been, that of a more academic, advisory role. I was not prepared to be thrust into such grand schemes and plots far beyond this mortal realm. A portal opened inside a city, which has fallen to the control of demons, with more demons pouring through even as I write this. Though i have read all the stories of grand adventures and heroic deeds, though I had daydreamed of being transported to the past to stand alongside such men like Sain and to stand triumphant with them, these were all flights of fantasy. And yet here I was, in person, to watch the world burn. My faith falter, not in Arcadia, but in myself. Surely, there were others better suited than I for such deeds. There are others far greater than I…

With the first seal burned, and Asura (the stolen companion) secured, we returned to the city. My heart weeps for her, and from what I have recently learned of her ordeal, I fear that she may never be the same. When we returned to the inn, more members of our party were taken from us, though this time for a higher, righteous duty. Ohm, and humble and well learned half-giant, and Snaf, a feisty, ferocious, yet lovable rogue, ascended to rule over the realm of dreams. Though I am new to them, they shall be greatly missed. Though probably the most unlikely of partners, they are the epitome of what I strive for. For if these two could find harmony and peace with each other, surely there is hope for Helt, for balance.

There, our party went their separate ways for the remainder of the day. I believe we all needed time to reflect upon that which had happened to us, and that which still lay before us. Pyry, an Altarin elementalist, asked that I accompany her to the grand library for my help in finding information that she required. What happened to me during this visit, I cannot retell, for I have sworn myself to secracy and fear that should I fail and my journal fall into wrong hands, many lives will be endangered. Needless to say, my already battered mind and soul were pummeled by the events that followed. While Pyry familiarized herself with the library, I stumbled across an ancient volume, one that even I did not know existed. In it, I was shocked to find my name, speaking directly to me, calling me to a sacred duty.

To my shame, I shut down. It was the final blow that I could not handle. My mind left me then, and I cannot accurately recall the events that followed after. Bits and pieces still come back to me, like returning to the inn to leave the books I had found for Pyry, I may have wandered the city. Maybe I made a supper at the monastery. I do know I dreamed, lying at the feet of Arcadia, the statue present in all her temples. There, I swore my allegiance to her services, again. In my dream-like state, I could have swore that I spoke directly to her. I offered myself to her as her blade, her soulblade, to wield as she desired. During my oath, I was given a master, he who will train me to accomplish my mission and sacred calling. 

The following day, one of Pyry's acquantances went missing during a routine escort mission. (I'm noticing a pattern with this group…) While searching for her, we were set upon by the foul man Leicheus. There, he offered us a deal, a contract. We were to serve him, and in return we would be left unharmed. I did not recall it at the time, my attention focused upon the Pitfiend that stood beside him, but the situation now reminds me of a story I have once read, involving Seth offering a deal much like this one…

Again, I will not write here the manor in which we were able to escape, however we received help. Having found Pyry's friend, it came to our attention that another city, north of us (where we are now hidden, searching), had been corrupted and must be redeemed. There may be a few that are worthy to save, but for the rest: death.

I must end here, for I must help my non-human companions in this city of only humans. The effects of the Hibindee poison us still. If my written could travel across time and space, I would cry out to Sanctuary. Beware the horrors that are coming your way! Beware the faces of the Hibindee! Beware it's long reach! Beware!

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A Letter- Reflections

Dear Kayla,

I'm sitting in a small garden inside the city reflecting on our previous battle. While I do miss home, this land is surprisingly beautiful. The flowers and trees are all different but the same and the new smells are refreshing. The sky is usually crisp and almost has a gold hue to it and the air is a bit chillier than home, but still pleasant. The city itself is a melting pot of different cultures and races that flow, and sometimes bash, each other, but it is relatively peaceful for a city this large. Sadly not as friendly as Syvria, but that seems to be common the more I travel about.

We did find Asura, but the other two, Arturia and Lorina, were no where to be found. We had traveled to a mountain cave system that the one called Liecheus had converted into a place of torture and death. I have seen and done things on my travels that I wish I had not, but this was distressing to the soul to see what powerful men do to those weaker than themselves. Luckily, the White Lady was with us and Asura and others were relatively unharmed. Though I don't think they will ever be able to forget what they have seen. I pity them. 

While we all made it back to Sanctuary safely, a fitting name for a city, Ohm and Snaff, the half giant and goblin, that I've had the honor of getting to know are leaving us for a mission elsewhere. While I was cautious at first, I've come to respect them and will miss them dearly. In fact, I think the group is getting closer together. Not even an hour ago I saw Pyry and Asura doing some kind of magic by the fire, our newest member, Tamyr, a scholar I think, was reading from a stack of books that was alarmingly tall, and Asche and Dastan, the bird, wrestling each other as I was leaving the inn. Mythia is helping in the hospital a lot but is always nice to be around, and Kai is handy in a fight. We are all getting stronger and I believe it won't be long before we can leave here.

I could continue to write but I would probably fall asleep in the waning sunlight, so I will end my letter here and head back to the inn.

Know that I love you.

Your younger brother

Weslyn

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Awakening
Kaicoran Dawn

I awoke from strange dreams to a dark alleyway dimly illuminated by the night sky. Blurred memories swirling in front of my mind’s eye refused to focus and for a moment I couldn’t remember how I had ended up in this alleyway… or even where this alleyway was.

Fragments of memory came into view. There was a bald man… gems… a house… a dwarf… blood… fire… Arturia…

All at once the full memory snapped sharply into focus with painful clarity. I reeled inside my head as I felt every corner of my mind burn with such intensity that for another moment there was only the sensation of hot, searing, blinding clarity washing over my entire mental being. I drew in a sharp breath instinctually and tried to steady myself by grasping at the images and sensations of my immediate surroundings. The stone floor of the alley was hard and cool. The night breeze was warm and thick. A slight odor of smoke still lingered in the air. The stars above were shining brightly overhead in the cloudless sky. I was in the Shining District.

As I clung tighter to the present the raging inferno of mental fire subsided to a dull flame that moved to the back of my mind as it continued to burn steadily. I took in another deep breath and attempted to sit up only to now feel my body cry in protest as I became painfully aware of the injuries I had sustained.

My clothes were covered in blood, although most of it didn’t appear to be mine, and there was still an arrow sticking out of my left shoulder which was throbbing painfully in addition to the dull pain in my chin. I sensed that the last remnants of the effects of the hero’s feast had worn off in the time I had fallen asleep and all I could feel now was the soul crushing exhaustion that permeated every part of my body. It’s possible I may have pushed myself a little too hard this time… Sister would not have been happy about that.

Using Lawbringer I was able to prop myself up and hobble out of the alleyway into the street; still struggling to barely stay upright. As soon as I left the alley I felt a pair of hands grab Lawbringer and my bag and then put my arm over a narrow set of strong shoulders bracing me up as I walked. I looked up to see the face of a concerned pale-skinned teifling woman examining me with disbelief. There was just the slightest hint of a sweet-smelling perfume.

“…Petaline?” was all I could manage to say as she leaned me against the wall of a nearby building.

“What it the world have you been doing?” she said while further examining my injuries, “And who have you been fighting? You know, you really need to reconsider what your definition of fun is.”

At which point she pulled sharply on the arrow imbedded in my shoulder; removing it as a fresh pang of pain shot through my left arm and side of my chest. I winced as she examined the shattered glass tip.

“Have you been poisoned?” she said with an extra layer of concern entering her voice.

“I-… I don’t think so.” I said feeling the wound myself. It was shallow enough and would heal under Mythia’s hands with little trouble.    

Looking at the arrow tip and then to me her face went from concerned to questioning to almost slightly amused in a matter of moments, “You really should stick to just stealing things if you’re in that much need of excitement,” she said with half of a sarcastic smile.

“Well there was some of that too…” I said remembering the gems and golden rope in my bag, “How did you find me?”

She looked a little sheepish for split second before regaining her usual casual attitude, “Don’t take this weirdly, but I had a dream about you and I don’t usually get those but it seemed important and… here you are.”

“I had a strange dream too…” I said still feeling the dull burning in the back of my mind. Another wave of exhaustion hit me and I steadied myself against the wall while trying to stay on my feet.

“Alright, alright, I told you not to be weird about it,” she said bruskly while grabbing me again and bracing me against her shoulders as we walked down the street to the nearest inn which was call the Blackthorn.

Before I could do anything, she gave some coins to the innkeeper and took me up a room where I was promptly placed on the bed.

“You should really get some sleep,” she said with tone of authority.

It didn’t take too much convincing. I got under the covers as another wave of fatigue hit me and I felt Petaline lay on top of the sheets on the other side of the bed. I had no more energy left for speaking.

I heard a voice from the other side of the bed before sleep could take me, “Goodnight… you nut…” with a slight chuckle.

Then unconsciousness.

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The crimson webs within webs
I read this fantastic record of that!

Tamyr sat in his small room on the Corsair boat, his attention torn between re-reading one of the many book he had brought along with him for the journey, writing in a journal about the progress of the journey so far, and hoping that the angry yells out on the deck from the Corsairs weren't the final declarations of mutiny. He had already been threatened to be thrown overboard twice now, and he didn't think that he could persuade them again with the promise of untold riches that they would receive for delivering him to the island. 

"I still believe," Tamyr scribed into his Journal, "that if we take passage 5, from 'Army of Earth,' Vol III, and cross-references it with Chapter 84, Entry 395, in 'The Restoration of Wind,' by the author Americ Landil, who also wrote such amazing works like 'Animals of Stone,' 'Murder of the North,' and 'Memory of the Tombs' (which I might say expertly defends the hypothesis that the "magical" ley lines of Helt, as recorded by Sage Winterfell, circa …., ((which took me a while to find, actually. I had to scour the library in the monastery, searching for the works of Uyr Uyrsib that referenced Uyr Uyrsib (((no relation, but from the minor sketches I have found, I swear are the same person, though they are divided through time and space by nearly several hundreds of years and full continents apart)))…"

Tamyr's hand slowly came to a stop as he mentally double-checked his resources and facts, scrambling from his bed to his backpack in the corner, pulling out pieces of parchment upon parchment upon parchment upon parchment, carefully aligning them on the floor, connecting the red pieces of string that spanned between pages torn from different books (they were his own copies, he swears ((though the monastery might have been relieved of it's copy prior to it coming into his possession))). The red strings created a complex and intricate web; each string leading to a vast array of others, all culminating onto a pin that had hastily been struck through a small island, a mere pinprick of land, southeast of Cabraithia. Tamyr traced his finger over one strand of the web, following from page to page, nodding to himself that he remembered correctly.

Tamyr returned to the bed and resumed writing, "I still believe that these two writings confirm my visions. The book is real and is in terrible trouble of being found. These visions She has given me have culminated in this expedition. I feel like Cogh, beginning his great voyage, and I too shall keep record of my actions upon this world. For I know that I have been chosen to join my brother monks, to lead them to these trials, where their awesome strength and courage, granted by Acadia herself, shall sunder all obstacles to return this once-lost object of absolute power to its rightful resting place. For what are monsters and fiends to a servant of Acadia? What can demons do but fall before my brothers? Death shall triumph."

He continued writing, filling pages with his theories, detailing each string the the web he had created, referencing books, and paintings, and poems, and legends, and vision, and magic. This was his ritual on the seas, his acts of meditation and self-alignment to this singular focus. It didn't matter that he had already filled 5 other large journals with nearly identical words. He knew his purpose, and would allow nothing to destroy that strength of will.

The angry shouting intensified once more that night, and fearing that the Corsairs might really turn the boat around this time, scrambled to calm their anger. "I promise, my nautical brethren, that once we stand before the Black Dragon, who has had unfathomable time to gather his wealth, will pay you for your troubles…"

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The Storm Below (A meeting in a Lighthouse)
-World Event

The man in a suit listened intently, his thoughts swirling, his mind engaged in fractals of competing and self-rejecting thoughts as he listened to the Watcher speak.  Almost everyone was there, and more engaged than they had been in almost a thousand years.

The girl in the sun dress was hanging by his side, saying nothing but reaffirming with her expression and stare every word.  The sisters sat at the far side of the table, inseparable now that Angela had woken.   The battlemaid sat with the son of angels, still unsure of how to proceed.

Death spoke next, and the man in the suit nodded.  He glanced to his left, and the two men there nodded at his subtle agreement.  They would join the fight.  Then the battlemaid spoke to their minds of the Telling.  The signs that had long been ignored. The Pestilence that stirred, the Blood that would soon come forth.  Three would emerge.  One would have to be stopped.  And the Traitor was back.  

The pillars had to be removed before the skye fell.  Before true madness returned.  They all understood.  But this second war had started out of nearly nothing, and each of them understood what significance it would bring.  The end of their way of life.  The realm of hunger had to be fought, and the prince of assassins would lead the charge.

But the plans swirled.  More was happening in the storm below.  A new solution would have to be made.  The man in the suit glanced knowingly at the two girls to his right, and they understood.  He spoke.  the sisters were troubled, one was outright furious, but the woman in the sun dress calmed them.  More would be awakened.  The young Shepherd would be chosen.  This would be War.

The one lost to time would return long ago and would need to fix what he already had, the Sleeping would begin to awaken, the sarcophagus would open, Charon would alight, and the sanctuary would be broken.

The threads of Convergence would sing one last time.

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A Letter- Dance and Assassination

Dear Kayla,

I wanted to start by saying, don't be alarmed at how much gold I sent you. I did not mug a rich noble or sack a treasure room. The way of coin is different here. Gold coins are the most common and even simple purchases can include them. It is very different from home and from other places that I've traveled to, but I feel we can use this to our advantage. I have a deal and other jobs lined up to get us a fair amount of coin that I will send your way. With luck, we should be able to afford to contract a healer from the capital.

While things are still calm here, I'm worried that there is a storm brewing just out of sight. While searching for leads of our end goal, some our companions were captured, Kai's young sister, Asura, being one of them. In searching for them, we were approached by a Lady who wanted us to kill one of the other influential people of the town. I was unaware of the offer and could not state my disapproval about participating in so called political assassination, but the group ended up accepting the offer. I fear this might make things more complicated, but it is decided and I will protect them as best I can.

As such, I have furthered my skill in sword combat. I laugh how much my skill has changed since I started those many years ago. I was brutish and aggressive with my sword, but now I dance around like you and the other girls did during Fructidous festival. I'm sure you would laugh with me. That reminds me, while training this past week I was extended an offer to learn <s>Thomottergy</s>, <s>Thaumo </s>, detecting magic. While it is not as impressive as your spells, I am still happy to announce that I can cast some type of magic. I will show you when I return.

We are about to move out now, I think we found were they are holding our companions.

I'll write again soon

Your younger brother

Weslyn

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