Protectors of the Silver Marches

Serenity's Contemplations Part 11

A lot of Emotions and No Answers

This is the first time since leaving Waylon Hill that I am able to write. A lot of things happened since then. Even though it was a short two days ago it feels like a life time. We are in the Plane of Shadow; this place is depressing and morbid. If I didn’t have Bale and his lovely paintings from home I am sure this place would consume me. The rest of the group save Carnifex has shown signs of the ware this place gives to non-shadow creatures. The two that seem most troubled by this place is Elia and Demil. My guess is because they are of Fey origins and are a stark opposite to this place of nothingness. There is no color or life here it is void of anything of real happiness. How anyone can call this home is beyond my comprehension. Along with being here my heart is heavy with new information that has come to my realization.

I have seen signs and I am not sure if it was my mind or heart wanting not to see the truth, however I have found out some of Elia’s past. I found out why she is trying to wipe out the Sharian cult and being so adamant about it. It pains me even now to remember hearing the words screamed at me from a terrified Priest of Mystra. I guess I should start at the beginning so all is made clear.

We found our way to Sorrows Refuge. We defeated the cult that held the base there. In the mist of battle head lady was knocked unconscious by Carnifex. However when later I turned top check on the body I saw Elia slit the woman’s throat with her whip. I am not sure why I didn’t do anything at that point but when the rest of the group confronted her about it all she would say is she was better dead than alive, that she was too dangerous to let live. I think that I wanted so much to believe her, to believe that she did it to keep us (or me) safe and not because of some darker reason, that I defended her to the others in the group. As we looked around the keep I examined the black portal that dominated the room. That is when Demi came to me with a slip of paper. I read the paper and it spoke of Elia and her “Clean up” crew. The letter insinuated that this Bartha lady new Elia and eluded to more that I think I wanted to pretend was not there. I said I would talk to Elia so that Demi would drop it.

I was already feeling sick, and I was holding so much power in me due to the amount I leached off the priest that tried to kill me, that I felt like there was a burning fire in me that wanted out. I knew that I had to at least hold it enough not to endanger my fellow group members. We tied up the remaining sharran cultist and decided that we were going to rest before heading into the portal. I thought this would be a good chance to talk to Elia and asked her into a private room with me. We sat on the bed and she was trying to be close to me. I really wanted to reach out and forget all that I learned. However my nature would not let me just forget it all. I had to push and push. I asked her about why they knew her and how she was connected. She told me some line about how she made a wave in their cult by defeating them, but she wasn’t telling me everything. She was hiding something. I pushed more and more. That is when she yelled and said “it’s in the past just leave it there.’ Then stormed out of the room, I hurt in my chest , it felt as if it would cave in and burst out at the same time. Why was she lying to me? Why was she hiding her past from me? How was I to help if she will not talk to me? I started to sob and the pain in my chest grew to be too much. The energy in my body surged up I wanted the pain to stop I wanted to forget everything and return to the happy times. I think that is when Keiji came running in to see if I was ok. He is sweet and caring in a big brother way. I was slightly happy that he came to me, that however was a dangerous move on his part. I could no longer hold the power inside of me. I felt it boil inside; I felt it trying to escape. Then all the heart break and pain grew again, He touched me and fire flicked out and hurt him. My Gods I hurt a man that only wanted to help! I felt my body being ripped apart and that’s when I screamed at him to run. I did not want him getting hurt further due to me. He had enough time to slam the door when the world went blue.

It felt warm and safe in the flames. The pain melted away into nothingness. All the rage and anger slipped into the burning pier and disappeared. I saw the dancing lady in blue flame again. She was most beautiful. I almost want to say she was Mystra however everything I know of the Great lady states she has dark flowing hair and was taller than the lilth creature that danced in the flame. I felt happiness when I saw her. I felt comfort and serenity when I saw her. She reached out to me and I wanted to go to her I wanted to be safe in her arms. I wanted her to tell me everything will be alright. How did I know she would keep me safe? I never got to her warm arms. I awoke in a bed with black robes on me and Seraphim watching over me.

Everything came rushing back to me. The fight with Elia, the information that lead to her darker past, the fact that she left me alone and hurt. I no longer felt sad instead it was replaced by anger. How could she just leave me there alone!? How could she say she loves me, that she wants to be with me then just leaves me when we have an argument!? I saw a small cup by my bed and with tears running down my face I threw it as Keiji opened the door. For some reason that made me madder than before. Why was it him who came and saw me first why not Elia!? I wanted her to come through the door and say she was sorry that everything would be alright. Instead it was him, he was there and just stood there letting me throw whatever I wanted at him. I was angry with everything and everyone. I tore apart the cot that was my bed and threw the pieces at him. Sometime Elia had slipped in around him and I was standing face to face with her. She stood there in front of me her beautiful eyes looking at me and all she said was “ would hitting me make you feel better?” Now I would like to say that at any other point in my life I would never have hit her but I was pissed at her and before I knew what happened I balled up my fist and socked in the jaw. I felt horrible afterwards and wanted to say I was sorry but I couldn’t form the words.

We all ate and packed up to leave in the portal. The druids we saved from the beasts and Cultest said they would watch over the portal alongside Seraphim. So we five set out into the unknown. I know now that the portal led to a horrible place of nothingness and sorrow. This place is devoid of any true happiness or virtue. It only eats away at you slowly and methodically. When we passed through the portal we found ourselves on the Plan of Shadow. There was a battle with some strange creature of the Plane and we met the “Dark Guide” Demi figured out the currency in this place and we got passage to the main hold of the Cultist.

We arrived at the compound of the Shar Cult. I already didn’t like it and the fact that it was held together by a maze of bridges didn’t help. We made our way through the first guard area. And found a map. It was labeled the “Black Rift” this was made by one of the cultist due to the odd labeling it had. It had places labeled “Weird Shit”, “The Spiral…Sort of”, and “Lumpy’s House”. I am sure a professional cartographer would not use such lame tagging for their map. However this was the only thing that showed us any type of way around this dark and lonely place. (The map is included in this journal.)

We proceeded to “Lumpy’s House” as it was the only place to go from the starting point we were at. Now the name Lumby was a gross and I mean GROSS understatement. The thing was a flesh golem and stank like the 8th ring of hell. It had more rolls than the cook at the college! And I was sure she was the fattest person ever! The two fighters took care of that thing. At this point Elia was having some issues with how dreary this place was and got a tad depressed. I hate seeing her like this, and with a spell I made the terrain look like a Forrest I once saw in a book about the elves. This seemed to brighten everyone’s mood a tad. It almost seemed that the darkness that surrounded this place was giving my illusion mater, or shape. It struck me as odd, but we were in the Plane of Shadow after all so magic works differently here than in my Plane.

We continued on to the next area that was labeled “Far Bellow”. This is where we learned about the bellows that sucked that blackness of this world into an unknown location. I wanted to destroy the thing seeing how it was helping this dragon called Dispyr with this odd ritual that he was trying to do, That without a doubt was a bad thing. However everyone was not happy with that idea. So Carnifex mad a lid out of a few shields that he found. We tied up the women that was there and knocked her out and made her “forget” we were even there. We then went to “Stay away from here”. I wish at some points that we had listened to the words on the map. We found a large creature waiting for us there. Carnifex of course made quick work of the thing by knocking it out. That is when we found the stone Mystra Cleric. At this point I would like to say I am not an evil or terribly mean person but a part of me now wishes I would have left him alone and never helped him. I would have never guessed how my world would turn upside down with a single spell and revival of a cleric of the mighty lady of Mysteries. However as a kind hearted person I could not leave him in that state. I cast the spell to return him to normal.

He was shocked to be where he was with all of us standing around him. And with that I tried to comfort him. It was going well until he saw Elia. Then things went bad, very bad. He started to scream stuff about a monster and evil. I asked him what in the Gods name he was talking about. That’s when the words that shattered my heart left his mouth.

“That monster killed…nay murdered my entire clergy in Death Snows, She and her group of killers from the Shar cult came in and massacred the whole lot of us. She is a monster she killed them in horrible ways that no human could ever do!”

I knew if I didn’t calm him down that things would get messy. Even though I myself wanted to turn on her and demand answers I had to do what was needed at the time. I needed to calm this man down.

“She may have done things in her past that she regrets now, however she works for the great lady Alustriel now and that means there must be some redeeming quality.” I think I was trying more to convince myself then him. I was not doing a good job at calming him it took the pixie to say some sage words to get him to agree to not outright kill Elia. At this point we all turned to Elia and my comrades asked for me about the full story. I still wish I never knew. I am not ready to deal with such heavy knowledge and I have devastating magic’s at my disposal! She began to tell us about how she was indeed an ex-Head Priestess of Shar and that she was considered The Lady of Evil, that there was a “Lady” for each of the domains of Shar. She was ordered to kill any and all clergy of Mystra and to show no mercy. She told us she did indeed massacre the church in Dead Snows.

I say here and now that I wanted to scream at her! I wanted to slap her for hiding this not only from everyone that worked with her but from me! She says she cares for me and that I am important to her however how she could hide such information from me!? I told her everything about me and I would tell her anything! I know I have not lived near the amount she has with her Elven blood, however as I see it we are the same age in prospective and I have a right to know who I decided to love! How could she play with my heart in such a way!?
She saw how upset I was and said to me “I told you that I was not a good person, but I want to make right what I have wronged, I want to have a new better life and live better than I have, I made mistakes and wish not live always in their shadow.”
I told her that in a relationship you need communication and to be open with each other that there was no way we would work if she hides anything from me. I told her that in order for us to work she would need to be honest with me form this point on. I was so upset that I walked away and told her to give me some time and space. To insure that everyone left me alone I ignited my spellfire aura. They seem to keep away from me when that is active. I stood there looking into the darkness of the Shadow realm thinking about all I found out. About what and who I have fallen in love with. Then I made up my mind it was neither the time nor the place to sulk about my love life. There were poor people here in this Gods forsaken Plane in need of a hero to save them. They needed saving and that’s what we were here to do, to save them. She couldn’t be that evil if she was saving people.

So I turned off my aura and told them we needed to keep moving I told the cleric that he could join us if he wishes. I told him that we were the surest way to stay alive. He agreed however we all kept our eyes on him and Elia. I feel guilty for not trusting that she would let him live. But I was uncertain at the moment in time.

We traveled towards the label “Strange Tapestries” We were making our slow way along the cliff side when out of the darkness we were attacked by black acid. By the Gods it burned. I smelled burning flesh and cloth. That’s when we saw that daemon called Distpyr. It may be classified as a dragon however I will consider it a daemon. It was black as the darkness it loves so much. We all ran back to where we came. However physical fitness is not a mages forte and I wound up falling behind. Why must every big bad guy make us run! I hate running! Then came the acid I knew it would hit me. I had no way to avoid it. Then it covered me in full force. It hurt so much. I screamed in pure pain. I heard Elia scream my name and heard her running my way. Keiji also called out to me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them to keep running away. I was half dragged and half carried the rest of the way. Carnifex managed to get the attention of the beast. Then time slowed as we watched our friend and one of the greatest fighters get slammed into head first into the cliff side by the head of the dragon. I screamed out his name and felt a lump in my throat. The physical pain and mental pain were getting to be too much.

Then as if he was not ever fazed by the rush he was riding the damned thing in mid air and then he was falling. It took all of us to help him I gave Demi my infinite scroll case with the fly spell in it and Keiji spotted the falling warrior and directed Demi to him. I never saw how fast that little Pixie moved however it has to be fast for not only did he fly but they were both safe. After that we made our way to “Strange Tapestries”, “Boss”, and “Weird Shit” The tapestries were fun. They had a spell on them to talk and ask us riddles. It took four of us to answer them and each got a dark purple candle. We took them for later.

At one point we were facing some Cultist and I walked up to one of them and had my aura flame going the cultist tried to throw spells at me however I just took them in me and used the power. Then he gabbed me and at that moment I was letting him take me over into the bellows. However when one decides to do a risky move she should inform her party members so they don’t panic. Or maybe I in a small way wanted to see if she cared for me? We went over the edge and I heard her voice scream for me and then I felt Keiji’s hands grab me. At that point the cleric of Shar grabbed my throat. He was hanging from my neck! I was choking and there was no way Keiji could lift me with this damn fools weight as well! I was scared that Keiji would die if he kept a hold of me. So I burned the man’s hands off of me at the wrists, this made me sick and vomit as he fell down the bellows. Keiji took a lot of damage from my flames. I felt horrible I tried to heal him and then I realized that I had take all the magic from his potions and so made a note to replace them.

There was a point that Elia did show she was a better person then she had been. At one point the Cleric of Mystra was grabbed by a shadow creature and dragged off. Elia ran after him and when we got there she was protecting him by standing in front of him so the creature could not get to him. I was over joyed to see this, she could have let him die at the hands of that creature and she didn’t! The creature was driven off by the light pellets that I made for everyone. I tried to tell her how happy I was but somehow I put my foot in my mouth. So I made her upset and she walked off. So I sent her a message in the sending stone.

“I’m sorry but my words did not come out right. I knew in my heart you are a good person. I knew you were changing for you past Please have patience with me.”

She seemed happier with this and said she understood. We made it to”Weird shit” and that’s when Dispyr reappeared to bother us again. He destroyed the bridge going to Library from the current room as I was blowing up the bellows in that room. So Demi said she would play cat and mouse with the dragon so we could get to the Barracks. I cast as many spells on her as I could and one to find me at any point. We were making slow progress as we had no light source as to not to draw attention to us while Demi “Played” with the Dragon.

We got to the Barracks and with a stink bomb and gust of wind we cleaned itout of any other occupants. That is where we are now. I want to go home and see color again, and to feel the sun and smell life again. I want to be happy again. I will sleep but I doubt I will sleep well. I hope we survive this and that we will save all the people. I am uncertain anymore how many are still alive as some have turned into zombie type things. I am worried about the outcome of this.

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