Protectors of the Silver Marches

Serenity's Contemplations Part 12

Back to the Color and life!

We started the day with me being awoken once again in an unfavorable fashion. Why they all seem to think that throwing stuff at me when I am sleeping, or pouring water on me is the only way to wake me is unknown to me. Anyway I studied my spells in this dark and gloomy place. If it was not for the pictures that I have from Bale I fear that I would be consumed by the depression of this place. How I long for the beautiful arch ways of Silverymoon. To see the colors of the maple trees as they change for their winter sleep. All that seems far away and like a dream now. My heart is still low and my resolve is waining. You never read about this in adventure books. You never hear about how hungry or tired they were, how the acid burns the flesh of your body smells. If they did no one would ever leave their homes. I know I would think twice before doing so. I must brighten my thoughts or I will be consumed by this place. Carnifex states we should move on and finish this. I agree with him for once. He still scars me and I feel that I was going to tell him something but with all that is going on I am not sure what it was. Well it will come to me soon.

Later that day:
Dear Gods above and below and every were eles! When you forget something hope its never information for an overly large tin can! Found out that Dysper was a Shade Dragon. Yes we (Carnifex) Killed him, Yes we saved who we could. However when I was identifying the damned dragon as a Shade and told Keiji and Carnifex what a Shade was(the thing I forgot that I was going to tell Carnifex) The oversized suit of metal got pissed at me for “with holding” information from him! I thought females were the only ones that PMSed! Any way the battle went as such.

We made our way down to “OFF Limits” due to the fact that was the only way left to go. This is where being a mage and smart of hell is a good thing. We had earlier were made to answer some silly riddles and got four purple candles. Everyone made fun of me for doing it but I had an inkling that they would come in handy soon. I was right! There were four pedestals that had placed for us to put the candles and we needed four of each “type’ of hero. There was a story there that said Four heros fought and won aginst the Dusk Lord.

I remember reading that there Was type of heroes in my story books as a kid. I looked at the group around us and picked one of each type: Wizard (me), Fighter (Keiji), Cleric ( Our current Mystra cleric), Rouge (Demi) However when I said this they all laughed at me and Demi was being a scardy cat; something about the picture on the wall moving. It was some sort of spell that I so wanted to learn! Anyway Keiji was the only one to take my side. Then the cleric was talked into it. Then I forced Demi into helping. Sometimes it’s hard being stupid smart! Well we watched the picture show us the scene that the heros won then a portal showed. Everyone was scared of going in. Not me I was couriouse what was on the other side! So for protection I tied my rope around me and gave Keiji the other end. I knew that since this was a portal that if it was a trap that the rope would do nothing to save me. However I was done with being here in the world of gray and wanted something eles. I ran into the portal and what I saw was bliss. Color! Mostly gold, but it was color! I squieled and it must have carried back because soon after everyone showed up. We all picked what we wanted from what had to be the dragons hoard. Stupid Dragon! We have your shit now!
After that room we then made our way to “Floating Stairs”. Now this is where if found out that some of the group lacks grace. All we had to do was go down the floating blocks called stairs. Or fly down. Well I guess there was a few ghost trying to have us for dinner too. Well Keiji jumbed fine then gat wacked by a ghost and almost dropped his sword! I activated my fly ring and as I made my way over and down the damned Cleric which is now named brick because that’s what he fell like; a ton of bricks! Elia cought him with one of her whips, Since she is a small elf and he was a stout dwarf this ended like this : WHIP..cought dwarf…Elia flung to her back… scream of pain from Elia…grunt from dwarf….Keiji trying to come and help. So with this comedy rutine unfolding while Carnifex and Demi taking care of the ghosts I flew to help Elia. I shouted “Hold on hun I am coming!” That’s when Elia and Keiji both yelled ok!…I wanted to laugh so hard when they bother looked at each other at they held the whip and Elia felt that she needed to at that moment clearify that I was talking to her. I cast fly on the poor Cleric that never flew before because he started out flying upside down. He cast a spell on Keiji to help with some “lifting” issues. Men are weird. So we reached the bottom and moved on.

We then went to the Library. Now I have a small issue with books. One I seem to burn them when I get angry and two I love them way too much. The knowledge a person can learn from the written word is amazing! However all I need to do is read a book once and I have what was needed from it. So school is boring when I have to reread things! Can’t people read stuff once why sit and reread and reread and so on one book!? Pay attention the first time and your done!

Anyway so when we reached the room with way too many books to be left alone I touched one and then my world exploded! Holy Mystra was it hot and I even moved away from the blasts! I was finding out that look don’t touch works better. However the team took down the flying skull things that fling fireballs. I was not feeling so good, however thru divine awesomeness, and my own inner fire. I got better.

So we went down the corridor that was to lead to the last room and Dysper (by the way one should make note that the damned dragon hadn’t bothered us for a while now so something was wrong). We got half way and the tunnel down was filled with acid! Ok people need to come and go some how! Well both ways to the damned thing was blocked by acid. So I came up with a plan!

The Plan:
Turn Keiji, myself, Brick, and Elia into tiny people to fit in Bale’s box
Have Carnifex hold the box and walk us thru
Cast Major wind spell into bubble form around Carnifex

That was the plan and it worked great! Demi was so happy to have us all her size and she is really pretty no wonder Bale likes her. However they all got to rest while Carnifex and I did the work. Its ok thought they have physical things they do and this is what I do. We made it to the lair of the flying black ass!

There wasn’t much for me to do. I could fly as well as a dragon, and Dispyr was not coming down. He was trying to complete the ritual and so I decided to end the Necromancers that were helping. As soon as we got on solid land Keiji was bull rushed off the platform I screamed but he found his way back. He is the only one that has always been there for me. He has yet to lie to me or use me for his own reasons. He is the one thing I can always count on I can’t lose him! He seemed ok after his dip in the acid pool. That is when Dispyr came out of the Acid wash and if a dargon could smile he was. He hit was with a gleam from a jewl he wore around his neck. I felt something try and pull me into it, however I would not let it take me. That is when I hit that damned Dragon with a fireball, he didn’t like that.

I followed Keiji up a ladder when Dispyr decided that we needed to have a rain of acid come at us. That is when lighting shot out form me in retaliation to Dispyr. Now all that nice stuff I said about Keiji is stretching it when he moved and let it all hit me. It burned so bad that I couldn’t help but scream in pain. The smell of my burning flesh and my clothes were hardly hanging on me. I was writhing in so much pain and it wouldn’t stop! That’s when I hear Elia pleading with me to drink the potion that she had. I hate potions! They are never made right unless by me and taste horrible! However I was in a bad way, I took the flask and drained the magic out of it to use my inner fire to heal me. Then I drank the water that was left so it looked as if I drank the potion.

At this time I felt my cloak tingle with its magic to tell me when I am being spied on by magical means. I activated that ward to make me unseen through such means. There was no way I could do this battle without my spellfire and I didn’t want some unknown person seeing that.

I decided that Ladders were bad and used my fly ring once more. Got to the top of the pillar and landed. That’s when the lowly mage/cleric decided to hit me with a damned Necromancy spell! Oh no you don’t you good for nothing death lover! At this point between the dragon’s acid, the gloomy location, and then this ass I was done! I shouted “I hate Necromancers!” Walked over to him and jolted him in his manhood with a full force shocking hands! He had no chance of living through that. He crumbled into a pile of dust. I looked around and saw Elia smiling and Keiji about to lose his lunch. I felt a tad sheepish after that. I examined that cages that held some of the towns people saw that there was no way for me to open them. Elia had me stand behind her and then the cages burst apart and the people were floated to the safety of the pillar. She then gave great speech about how we were the Great Heroes of the Silver marches.

So we had a plan I’ll go and get the rest of the damn Necromancers dealt with. Elia and I made our way around to the other Pillars and Keiji would come up and free the town’s people. That’s when we got to the last one and Demi was playing with a large bat and Dyspar. Ok so the bar I can deal with, the dragon no so much. I turned the bat into a chicken and it dropped into the acid then I took care of the damned death lover! As I finished with him I turned to check on were Dysper that’s when Demi said Carnifex just killed the damn thing! WE WON!

We found a switch to empty the acid out and got the towns people on their way out of there. From what I can gather is Dysper was draining the magical weave out of these people and trying to open a gateway to the weave so that he could tear a hole into it. I am so glad we stopped it. I help show the town’s people the exit, then I turned and saw Carnifex and Keiji looking at the corps of Dysper. I walked over and noticed that he had runes on him and that he was not actually a black dragon by a Shade Dragon. I told the guys this and they asked what a shade was. That’s when I remembered what I was going to tell Carnifex and explained that they use to be Nethril but stayed far too long in the realm of the shadow and now are the evil shade. I have been battling with myself on telling him, he has such a high respect for Nithril that I didn’t want him to think that these evil people/things were his old people. He is a good person and they do not deserve someone who does so much good. I would hate for them to corrupt him.

Well with this he went on a tizzy and now is very angry at me for keeping information from him. I really did forget with all that was going on. I had just learned it in school not more than a fort night ago. Maybe some time will help him cool down.

We had the dark guide take us back to the portal He then said something to me in Infernal speech “The realm is suffering it awaits the return of the true lord.” This was directed at me and I am not sure why. This bugged me for a while. Who was this “Lord” and what is his connected to the shadow plane?

We made it back to the realm of light and color and birds that sing wonderful songs ! How wonderful! I am so happy to be back even in the Forest of no return!. The druids shut down the portal to the shadow realm so nothing can get through. With this we end for the night with a well needed rest before going back to the town. I think Elia and I need some alone time and to spend some of that time in each others arms. To feel the softness of her skin is more than words can explain. However first we will need to clear up all that I have learned. And that we will have no more lies or secrets between us.

Into the World of Color

To bypass the acid that was blocking the path, Serenity came up with the plan of shrinking us. This was coupled with her using wind magic to protect Carnifex who then carried us through safely. It was surprising to be as small as Demi, though even more surprising was how stunningly beautiful said pixie is when you can look at her properly. I don’t know the beauty levels with pixies, but I’ve noticed that most things fey are rather easy on the eyes, and personally she would up there on any chart I think. Bale definitely won a lottery of some sort with catching the pixies eye, though I doubt he would ever ask it, I wouldn’t mind continuing to help that couple along the road of love.

Getting back on subject, once I got out of Bale’s box, and was large again, no sooner had this been accomplished than Despair barrels into me. I didn’t even really get the chance to make a noise before being unceremoniously dunked into the lake of acid. I don’t EVER want to experience that again! Luckily I managed to get back onto the path before keeling over in the acid, but it definitely changed how quickly I was thinking of taking on Despair again. Turns out in this area there are four pillars that have four of the missing villagers in large cages, guarded by mages. Obvious conclusion is that we must take out the mages and then free the villagers. Not only that, but for the battle with Despair who had slipped into the lake of acid and was lurking about, I didn’t want those guys being able to add boosts or to heal him, and obviously everyone else felt the same way. Everything was going fine, we were working our way around. Demi had, as usual, disappeared off to do her quick dealing with people. Carnifex was almost a one man show, though he doesn’t boast about it, so I can’t really hold it against him. It’s more like I want to try and be as useful as him some how, so it’s a goal to work towards. It’s been a long time since I have had one of those, and I can’t see anything wrong with wanting this as one.

Now, I said everything was going fine, and it was until I started up the ladder with Serenity below me. Despair came for round two, dropping a line of acid straight down onto the two of us. It was obvious that there was no way to fully avoid it, nor protect Serenity without either hurting her, or hurting her in the trying and then her getting hit with the acid. In the two seconds that I had to think and to react, I shifted on the ladder as best as I could to miss most of the acid, only being able to hope that Serenity could try and move out of the way better than I was able to take care of her. The resounding scream that followed shortly along with harsh words about my ability and general sense of being told me that she didn’t like what I had done. Though I knew there wasn’t much else I could have done in that situation, her words still cut. Elia swept in to “save the day” with Serenity, so I continued up the ladder to be of some use somewhere, even if that meant dispatching an enemy. Serenity shot up, obviously having used a fly spell, and reached the top first. I heard, “I hate Necros”, and that was the time I got up there. As I pulled my sword off my back and swung at the Necromancer, Serenity got the most disturbing smile I have seen on her face, walked up to the mage grabbed him by the balls and vaporized him via lightning through the nuts. I have never seen something so outrageously barbaric or inhumane in my life! Just having witnessed it, made me twitch in pain. I almost felt bad for the deceased mage…almost.

Serenity swept back down back to Elia I would suppose, and left me there to take care of the four villagers. Alright…I can do this, no problem. Slight problem, since there wasn’t simply a lock that I could break to let them out. I had to grab a hold of the cage, hold it as well as I could with one hand and CAREFULLY strike it with my sword. It wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever accomplished, but it wasn’t the hardest. A flash of blue light caught my attention and I watched in some difficulty as Carnifex took Despair down. If my eyes didn’t deceive me, his sword temporarily became a scythe as he did the finishing blow, smoothly decapitating the dragon that had been troubling us this whole time. This, this action, I needed to be able to spread that around! This was the coolest thing I had witnessed, I would think EVER. I can spin a tale at the taverns well enough, but this one wouldn’t need any extra twists, no embellishments. How many people can say that they were in a party with a person that in one move KILLED a dragon? I would think not many.

After taking care of the lake of acid with help from Serenity and Demi, that gave Carnifex and I the chance to check out Despairs dead body. Once getting a closer look at the dragon that wasn’t trying to kill me anymore, it became obvious that he wasn’t just a normal black dragon. He had purple runes on his body, they looked almost as if they were implanted into his very hide, obviously from when he was very young. We believe that he might have been one giant catalyst for Shar, meaning he was kind of like Shar’s personal dragon. Serenity helped us, and she commented that Despair was also a Shade. Even though I have traveled a lot and have learned many things, I hadn’t heard of a Shade. She quickly explained to us what they were, and it was obvious that her explanation angered Carnifex, as he picked up Despair and walked away from us. I haven’t seen him riled like this before, and I’m kind of worried as to how the big guy is going to release that pent up emotion. A Shade, so that I don’t forget is an old Netherees that came back, Serenity described them as ‘undead, that aren’t undead’. Not all are Shade, they came back from the realm of shadows fifty years ago. They have a hierarchy that leads to them being ‘upgraded’ to a Shade. Maybe when Carnifex is more himself again, I can have him explain to me more about the Nethril. I’m getting the feeling that not knowing this in the coming months might be a weakness. Not only that, but I wonder if they all have the same fighting style, or if Carnifex is unique in how he fights. Maybe he is kind of like me, where he had the basics and then changed it a bit.

Stepping back into the normal world was nearly painful. It hurt my eyes, it hurt my head, but there was still a part of my heart that shouted with joy at seeing colors other than varying shades of black and gray. I took this time to work on getting my outfit back to how it was supposed to look. It took a bit of time, and so did putting my hair back in place. Feeling a lot more like myself, I figured it was time to try and find Carnifex and see how he was doing. Through the whole trip back out of the Shadow Realm he had been simmering in his, what could only be, anger. Just as I got out there, I got the pleasure to watch him strike down a stone carving of Serenity. He had done it so smoothly, and with perfect accuracy that I know any of my previous masters of the sword would have wept at that kind of skill. We shared a few short words, at which Carnifex asked if I wanted to spar. Only a trickle of unease swept down me before agreeing. It was never the safest thing to do, sparring with someone running with high emotions, but he proved able to control it well enough, though most of the strikes came closer to my body than I was really comfortable with. I was only able to keep up with him for an hour, by then I was panting and had to call it time. Though I was exhausted from the workout, I still couldn’t shake the phantom feel of a few of those cuts that had all but ghosted across my skin.

We made it to Raccoon Hill safely, where we were thrown a huge party. Now, this I like! I definitely enjoyed the alcohol that they had and the festivities. I noticed a certain blonde was missing, so I went to try and bring the young mage to the party. Finding her ensconced around huge piles of books I decided that I might be of a bit more use for awhile helping her with whatever she was working so diligently about. Maybe with my help, we could complete it quickly and she could go enjoy the party as well. She had me first looking for “Shadow Lord” though Demi quickly piped up as one could almost see the light click over her head as she also heard the saying. “Dusklord!” Wind chimes have spoken, so we changed tactics and looked for anything that had to do with that. I wrote down what I could, and every once in awhile, Serenity warned me to not spill the large bottle of liquor I had brought over. I did share it with Elia who was, as always, nearby Serenity.

Making it back to Silvery Moon, we all kind of went our separate ways. I walked into the tavern that I had gone to once, and found an upset Serenity there. When I heard the reason, I quickly joined her in the retelling of what our group had gone through, mimicking the actions not only with words, but in her case, with magic, and every once in awhile I threw in a particular sword sweep to show the action. Serenity had thrown up a spell to show what the Shadow Realm had looked like, and I must say that seeing it made me even more sure that I never wanted to go there again.

Night was going fine, though there was a male mage that asked Serenity about something, who if I wasn’t mistaken was making calf eyes at Elia, boy did he need to find a better target. Not being one to shoot down someones interests, I instead hailed for an order of drinks, hoping that perhaps some alcohol in the others system would let him be shot down by Elia a bit better. When Serenity came back down, I was asked to get an order of the best, so of course I asked for the whole bottle, it was obvious that the masked lady upstairs had wanted it. The boy next to me had misunderstood, and had me write a letter to go along with it. Letters to ladies have never been my strong point, and I stumbled over it a bit, but managed to help him get something at least semi-decent down. I followed Serenity upstairs per her beckoning. Once in the room I was ‘assaulted’ by the two of them. Turns out, they wanted me to…pretend to be Elia to go on a date with the boy. There was a very big part of me that rejected this idea outright, but then that part of me that had been trained by Aunt Matsu, to do what I could for women, or people in general, who were in need reared up. Reluctantly I agreed. Only hope that could come from this is that I could let the boy down and perhaps steer him in a different direction for his love interest. After suffering through the change of body from my over six foot height, and muscles to the tiny five nothing and light as a feather Elia body, I then had to suffer through some of the worst pick up lines I have ever been burdened with. Some of them were so bad, I don’t think I can forget them. The boy was laying it on thick with what his obvious intentions were for the night, which was the farthest thing I ever wanted to do with another man, no matter what shape I was in at the time. Pushing him away, I suggested a walk, which he took to mean, ’let’s go somewhere where we can be loud’…god, it wouldn’t be too much to ask for him to pass out from too much alcohol would it? While on the walk he told me of all the things his father did, what he could make his father do, and what he could do with his fathers money. Really? I let him know, that personally, he needed to accomplish something himself, not with help from his father to even begin to earn an emotion from me. Just as his personal light struck up, Carnifex manhandled him from behind. To my growing horror, somehow, he knew who I was. The fish mouth gape that was adorning my face must have shown my horror, for Serenity quickly changed me back. Hunkering down, I tried to remember why I had even tried to go through with helping the two of them with this kind of thing. I only pray to every god I could think of, that it doesn’t make Carnifex think me any less of a man. I would be doing that enough by myself, I didn’t need someone, especially someone that I looked up to, to question my abilities, never mind my thoughts.

Colors! Colors Everywhere!

As we started to near our goal, I found sanity getting a hold of me once more. The way out of this place was within our grasps. We’d be fine! I mean, all we had to do was beat a dragon, right!? Hahahahaha!
We were ready to confront the dragon, and by we, I mean they. Then again, I take that back- I am willing to do anything to get out of here! The problem was that there was acid. A lot of acid. Filling the hall which we were supposed to walk through! Carnifex was the only person who could possibly withstand the acid, but even he would start to get hurt if he just tried to walk through it. This is when Serenity concocted possibly one of the boldest and ingenious plans ever. She would protect Carnifex with wind magic, and then, and this was the best part, she would shrink all of the tall people so that they could all ride in Bale’s box, and Carnifex could carry us across!

So after a few magic words and some hand gestures, suddenly all of the giants were me sized! And I got a good look at them for the first time! I mean, yeah I can see them fine normally, but it’s different having to look at someone from afar to see them all at once than being able to just size them up in a glance. Keiji is a fairly handsome bloke! And Serenity and Elia are both super pretty! And the dwarf- well….he’s a dwarf.

Alas my little party wouldn’t last long. Besides the fact that Bale isn’t all that big on company, eventually Carnifex got across the acid, and it was time for them to leave and get re-gianted. I was a little sad. But now that I know Serenity can do that spell, I might request a tea party with everyone some time!

They didn’t have long after getting big again till the Dragon attacked, slamming in to Keiji like some pissed off giant flying black lizard. But that wasn’t the only interesting and unfortunate thing happening in the room. There were these pillars see, and each one had a fuck off darker than though mages, guarding a bunch of caged villagers! I decided that these mage guys needed to be disposed of, and quick! I flew up to one, and something that doesn’t usually happen, happened. I fired my blasty blast of fuck you and die at him, and there seemed to be an extra amount of fuck you in there, because it practically knocked him off his feet! It seemed to hurt him quite a bit, and the best thing was, he had no idea who or what hit him! Sometimes I love being invisible- wait what am I saying, I ALWAYS love being invisible! Once he was disposed of, I watched Carnifex release a villager, by basically bending open the bars. I couldn’t do that, so I decided I would be better off just killing of the mage jerks and avoiding the lake where the dragon had dived into.

I continued to make quick work of the Mages. Everything was going well until two things happened. First, a mage did something that made him able to see me, and started trying to attack me. Not okay! So I flew out into the black, hoping I was out of his range of sight. Now remember that dragon I’ve been talking about? Well, he remembered me to. He saw me and he was soon after me. And I got hit with a fist full of dragon claws.

Now a long time ago, Steeve made an observation about me to another guardian. If memory serves, it went something like this:
“Demi will take things that she things are hers even though they aren’t ((what the hell he was even talking about there is beyond me)), and she will annoy you, and pester you, and make smart assed comments, and in general being a buzzing nuisance ((Are we still talking about me here Steeve?)). She can be helpful, just don’t leave your shit out. ((I think there he meant my shit.)) But, whatever, EVER, you do, don’t hurt her. Don’t try to get revenge. She is the most vengeful thing I have ever met, and I used to be married! She will hunt you down and make your life hell.”

Unfortunately for Despair, he never met Steeve, so Steeve couldn’t warn him.

I saw red. I was like an uncontrollable force of nature, that cusses and blasts things! He found that damn dragon, and hollering the words “OH HELL NO BITCH, NO YOU DIDN’T!!!” I cursed him. Not in the sense that I spouted foul, un-lady like words at him (though I do that too, a lot), but I was so mad, I discovered a new trick! And I cursed him.

No sooner did this happen and my rage was beginning to subside when the mage hit me with something, and the cycle started over again! But I knew, despite my cloudy anger that staying in that area and attacking the mage would by my death. Despair was right behind me, and should he somehow overcome my curse, I would be obliterated. So fighting the urge to go bad touch this mage and make him wish he hadn’t ever dared fuck with what I got goin’ on, I flew away, far away. This turned out to be a good plan because Despair used the mage to cure the curse I had put on him, and then flew off to screw with Carnifex. Story of my tiny, useless pixie life. I sincerely hope he flew off because he feared me…but I doubt I was that lucky. And other half to my life story, the other guys picked off that mage before I could even go dish out my can of whoop-ass. Oh well. Having nobody left to own, I decided to go help Carnifex.

Some day, I would like Steeve to meet Carnifex. I would love to hear his stories about him. But I think I already know how they would go. To put it simply, if Carnifex was ever put in a book about the creatures of our world, the discription below his picture would say simply this:
“Do not fuck with.”

As I flew over to see what was up, I saw Despair, plummeting the the lake, with Carnifex above him. The metal man had changed to the remarkably acurate and terrifying visage of the grim reaper, lantern and scyth above to splice that asshole lizard to bits, tattered cloak blowing behind him with the momentum of their fall.

“Well! Nothing to see here!” I said and flew off to join up with the rest of the group.

Now was the issue of getting all of the villagers out. It came to our attention that the mages and the villagers must have gotten into the room somehow- the acid couldn’t have always been there. I began to look to see if there was some sort of trick to it, and there was! It was a big lever, a dragon sized one. I was all like “I got dis’”, wanting to prove myself useful, I went ahead and tried to pull the lever. I’m pretty sure I obliterated my arm muscle. Howling in pain, I flew away from the horrid device, insisting that he lever be broken, because it certainly seemed to have broken my arm! Serenity went over and pulled it with ease, draining the acid to a level that we could easily walk over the walkways.

After the lake was drained, Serenity, Keiji, and Carnifex examined the dragon’s body. Sernity announced that it wasn’t a normal black dragon, and that it was in fact a shade. At this point, Carnifex wanted to know what a Shade was. And then all of the shit hit the fan. See, Carnifex is from Nethril, and he has been looking for these Nethril guys. Except see, they are supposed to be all dead. Except the Shade, who I guess are like Nethril that came back. Like zombies. Except not undead, or something. Carnifex was mad. His blue blowing gaze turned red, something which I have never seen happen before. I thought for sure someone was going to be obliterated, so I flew away. “Do not fuck with”, I thought. But then he just walked away. I was thankful that I didn’t have to see the grim reapers image again that day.

We met up once more with the giant skull eating giant, and he lead us back through the darkness. Just before we went through the portal, he said something to Serenity in a language I couldn’t understand. I wonder what that was about? She didn’t share the information, so I didn’t bother.

We made our way back to the world of color, and man, I thought my little pixie head was going to explode. It was painful. So bright, and happy, and ow, and oddly enough, it was night time! And it still hurt! But my heart hurt more from all the joy at being out of that horrible place. I felt bad for the villagers, they had been in there longer. Surprised their eyes didn’t melt!

We made it to Raccoon Hill and deposited the missing villagers while telling the families of those that did not return that they had died protecting the others. It was mostly true.
Serenity burried herself in books that she had, trying to look something up. Keiji and I joined her. Keiji decided to help. Serenity explained that giant skull eating giant had told her to find the Shadow Lord. I thought about it. Shadow Lord…that seemed familiar. And then I remembered the mural! It had the dark creepy guy in the throne, surrounded by all the shadows!
“Oh I know him!” I said, raising my hand. They both looked at me. “That’s the guy in the creepy painting we killed!”
“No that’s the Dusk Lord, isn’t it?” Keiji said.
“Same thing!” I quipped. Serenity perked up. It seemed I was on to something. They now searched for the Dusklord. They began searching for that, and I went on my merry way!
Then we made our way back to the city, swinging by the orphanage and taking the adorable little kiddies with us so that they could have a better life in Silverymoon! On the way Serenity entertained them with magic tricks. I watched. It was actually really entertaining! I should try that some time!

Once we got back, I instantly went to see if my friends at the high forest responded to the message I had sent them, warning them of Darvin’s trip to the high forest. There was no response. I was preparing to send another bird while venting my upset to my companions when they pointed out that in order to use a messenger bird, the bird needs to know where it’s going, and been there before. At this point, it was suggested that I try to scry someone back home! Knowing that scrying was a type of magic that I didn’t know how to do, I went to find Serenity.

I had a little trouble getting in to the college. They called Serenity down and she made them let me in, to which I gloated at the guards about. We went into something called the divination room, where I told the lady I wanted to talk to Turlang! She looked at me like I was crazy.
YOU want me to scry Turlang?” She asked.
“Yeah! He’s my boss!” I said. I’m not sure if she believed me, but we set up the scry. At first I could only watch him. I tried shouting at him, but he couldn’t here me. He looked to be in a meeting with some forest creatures.
This wasn’t good enough. I needed more. The made it so I was able to hear him. He was saying something about being careful, just taking a look, and then reporting back. I tried to holler at him! But he still couldn’t hear me.
“I need to talk to him!” I said. And then Serenity opened a channel for me.

Turlang and I spoke. I told him where I was! I was so excited! But then Serenity reminded me that I needed to deliver my message. So I asked him what was happening. He told me that there was black, bad nastiness coming out of the old ruins and making the forest sick! I told him we would try to come help! But regrettably, we couldn’t leave till spring. I only hoped that spring wouldn’t be too late.

logs of the warforged 8

Azure was right. you cant trust wizards. It seems all the things he told me about them are true. they will lie to save them selves. say any thing to gain more power or magical items, and never feel bad for doing it. the young mage I have been traveling with has proven this. she lied about the nethril, use her magic without regard for the consequences, appears to acquire new magic item with startling speed. it gives me an unpleasant feeling knowing that the spell book I created is being used to further her quest for power. I have seen it in her eyes when she wields the blue flames she enjoys it far to much and clearly craves more. Azure has agreed to unlock the Templar protocol in case the mage need put down. I will have to return the items she has created for me as well the talisman to her teacher. I can no long honer my end of our agreement to keep her safe. luckly I have anew project to keep me busy and far away from the collage.

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.

Reaching towards Despair

So, Barracks…those are fun right? Well not when they are filled with soldiers that know you aren’t who you are trying to masquerade as. We cleared them out rather quickly, Carnifex got it all together by throwing a noxious fume stick or whatever it is, in there and gassing the guys out. The battle was short and the only thing that was truly interesting was the twin fire pillars that erupted to either side of me, and the horizontal tornado that blew the bad air out, thanks to Serenity. I’m always kind of surprised by the strength of her magic for her being so young. Settling in for the night, it was weird, but Demi said she would guard the door…instead of looting. I’m starting to worry about our little pixie friend. She continues to go on about how certain people or things can’t be trusted. She seems to be keeping a harsh eye on our cleric right now. Not an hour into resting, a large explosion can be heard. The only thing I can liken it to, is like a mixture of a catapult and a cannon. The explosive power of the cannon but the heavy feel of the catapult slinging giant pieces of earth. The entrance to the barracks had been covered over with what looked like a part of the cliff. Carnifex just told us to not worry, so I decided to take him at his word.

When I next woke it was to see he had transformed it into an intricately carved entrance way with a door that even had hinges. How he managed to do that without waking the rest of us I will never know. I respect his ability to work with the stone though, I have not seen another with that great of skill. As we set forth again, it was to the realization that the snow has stopped falling. In this kind of place I don’t know if that is really a blessing or not. Truthfully, I find it kind of terrifying, it makes everything seem much starker. More depressing, and definitely makes everything seem more oppressive. Just as I didn’t like the ashy snow, I don’t like the lack of it. Not in this place anyway.

We made it to the creepy murals. The artwork was everything I would hope that it wouldn’t be. The artist had obviously spent a lot of time to make it seem like a giant throne room, and seemed to be larger than it actually was, with lots of demons starring down at us. Our light sources seemed to make the mural scatter, and become less clear as it passed over it. Serenity, Demi (after some coaxing), the cleric and myself took a candle and put it on a pedestal near the center of the mural. Standing with our backs to the candle light, shadow forms of ourselves appeared and after a moment took on a life of their own! It was something else to watch, and I stood transfixed as we watched those shadow selves take on the demon horde and then finally going against and defeating the dusk lord that had been sitting on its throne. After he was defeated a door way opened up. Serenity and I stepped towards it though we didn’t exactly trust it. The darkness was absolute, and we couldn’t see into it. Using the rope I keep with me, we tied it around her waist and she went into the darkness, with me holding the rope to pull her back if need be. It didn’t take long to feel a tug on the end of the rope, I tightened my grip just for a second, not sure what she meant by the tug, then it went slack. Well…that could be either good or bad, so I dashed on in to the darkness myself, coiling the rope back up as I went.

What we saw on the other side was surprising. We found Despairs horde, his treasure room, where all his shiny and useful items were stored. Our pixie was acting like her usual self for once, oohing and awwing over all that sparkled. I stood off to the side, letting the others do the searching, I didn’t want to let my guard down to much, especially in a place that I thought Despair might show back up to at any time. Serenity had picked up a scroll and started to turn it this way and that, at one point holding it upside down. A frown marred the mages face, and even after Carnifex went over to inspect it, they didn’t do the little, ‘ah hah’ motion. Shrugging at it, I went over to see what they were looking at. Serenity handed it over, and as soon as I was turned it to look at what was there, a grin spread over my face. It had been a long time since I had seen anything written in my native language. It was almost like a breath of fresh air to see the familiar characters written so carefully. What was actually written on the scroll was even more surprising. It was the location of the Muramasa…the legendary sword that had been lost many generations ago. It said it was to the North, closer to the Silver Marches than the Unapproachable East. I hadn’t been expecting that, and I don’t think I will pass up this possibility. Even if it was to just see the sword, I wanted to go to this place. Tucking the scroll into my pack I made a vow to check it out once we got out of this place and the rest of us were safely back at Silvery Moon.

Floating stairs…why did they have to be literal? It was interesting to see these things and how they progressed. Carnifex led the way, and I basically followed suit, not really expecting to immediately be made all but useless. Just as I landed on the second step, a wraith swept up to where I was and touched me. I felt a shiver run down my body and had to catch my sword with my other hand to keep a hold of it. My legs were all but shaking and it took all of my ability to just keep my sword where it was next to me. The creature stole my strength! I haven’t felt this week since I was just a child. It was unnerving and I promptly sat down to try and get my wits about me. Serenity did me the honors of shooting that particular wraith out of this plane with a fire spell. The cleric started to go to jump to come to my aid when he didn’t quite make it. Elia just managed to grab the large dwarf with her whip and went crashing down onto her back as well. Okay…Keiji, this isn’t a time you should be acting like a child! Taking a fortifying breath I sheathed my blade and made the two jumps that were needed to get back to the beginning, shaky legs and all, I managed to make it, grabbing a hold of the whip as I landed so that Elia wouldn’t be dragged over the edge by the others weight, and hopefully the cleric wouldn’t fall do his possible death.

Serenity came to assist simply saying, “hold him hon” at which I had a moments confusion, then remembered that I was basically hovering over Elia. I got an “oh, you’re-” and Elia snapped in with “yeah, she’s talking to me BITCH!” Such anger…she should really do something about that. I can truthfully say I have never been called a bitch before, and really, being called that by someone who barely comes to my chest isn’t really all that tasteful. Serenity cast ‘fly’ on the cleric who safely made it back to solid ground, and I stood up and gave Elia a hand up as well, which was only proper, though her icy response (or the lack thereof) was far from proper. Such anger…

After being healed up from having my strength drained by the Cleric we made our way out of that room and on to the next. The library. I must say there was something odd about the lights in the library, and I didn’t really know what bothered me about them until Serenity skipped into the center of the room and snatched up a book from a shelf. The light sources came to screeching life, as flaming skulls…oh…that’s what I didn’t like about them. Carnifex walks up to the first skull near him and with one sweep of his sword, kills it. I wanted to complain that they really shouldn’t just do as they please, and my desire to do so was escalated as the remaining four flaming skulls turned their sights on those of us who hadn’t really entered the room. Almost all at the same time they blew fire balls at us. It took quick reactions on my part to side step them as best as I could, but the Shar that we had been forcing to travel with us, didn’t make it. As it was, I wasn’t sure if I would make it for much longer, as fatigue from injuries was made known to me. Carnifex had just stood in place as the fire balls came at us, and stood in the blazing inferno as if it wasn’t there. It was one of the…coolest things I have ever seen. Definitely would have to tag it as being ‘awe inspiring’. I stride up to the nearest skull and swing down on it with my sword, not at all pleased by the fact that it is still there before me. Serenity finishes it off as Demi flies by heals me. The rest of the spell words seemed to float away as she darted back to the other side of the room. I was about to thank her when I was hit with a magic missile. All the health I had just regained were gone again. Okay, I’ve had it with these skulls. Going straight for the one that had just done me damage, I struck it, though once again it proved hardier than I was anticipating. Serenity healed me, and I thanked her for the assist. She looked almost ill. I wonder if she has been overdoing it with her magic. May hap we should take a small break if possible after we clear this room of enemies. We finished the enemies off rather quickly and we had to collect the broken pieces and Serenity did a spell on them to make sure that they wouldn’t reanimate again. Thank goodness for that, I would have hated to try and fight them again. As it was, we were all lucky that we got out of that fight as well as we did. Both paths out of the room led to dark water. The paths had sloped down into the murky looking water substance, which we quickly learned was acid. Well, we found our way to the lair of Despair. Now to just bolster ourselves before this fight. This was the moment that we knew was coming. I just hope we can make it through this dangerous encounter with all of us in tact.

Blundering in the Dark part two

So once we were done with almost dying for the moment, we came across the weird tapestries. Well, yes, I would have to agree, they were indeed weird. I had walked up to the one with an odd looking fighter, one of the people we had fought earlier in Sorrow’s Refuge…I think they were called Shadar-kai. The guy in the tapestry said something about what crows do, and to bring him one. He obviously didn’t mean a real crow, but for the moment I was at a loss. Instead I walked around to where the Cleric had been after he threw a small fit. Listening to what the guy there said, I pondered it a bit, before trying a few different phrases. The answer turned out to be “with me” for where the shadows walked in the valley of darkness, and that led to answering the Rogue one I guess. Elia had to pull me aside to explain the shadar-kai one and I have to say it took me a moment to think of a story that I could blow out of proportion to make it a larger than life story but still have a ring of truth. For the first time since the betrayal, I spoke of my friend and his wife. I spoke about the defense we set up against the rivaling clans cavalry.

After I had talked about them, I didn’t give names, I couldn’t help but think of home and those other times before I came to this colder land. Before I had been so desperate to run away from everything that I hadn’t really paid attention to all the distance I put between me and my home of Thesk. Just thinking of my home brought the memory of being able to stare out into the large body of water of the Easting Reach. Vivid edges of the Thesk mountain peaks seemed to rise up in my mind and I had to shut them away lest I get lost in the memories of brighter and mostly happy times. Thesk led my mind to Nene, and from her it jumped to the violent betrayal of my long time good friend. Forcing my mind to stop those thoughts I grabbed one of the violet colored candles that showed up and we continued on. I fear that sometime I might be forced to deal with my past, no matter how much I wish to just leave it there to collect dust. I can kind of understand that desire that Elia has been under, though I think there is a better way of going about it.

Oh, what do you know, another bellow that needs to be taken care of, and a few people that we first were thinking of walking by, but it was decided that we couldn’t let them continue. A silent agreement on a plan swept between Carnifex and myself. As we moved into position to fight, it seems that the Shar priests had no intention of letting us pass. The battle was over before it seemed to begin as the last of the men fell. There’s a scream and then all my members rush out to follow suit. Well, I certainly didn’t want to just be left hanging, especially in this place. This place makes it so that even Yumekichi’s constant presence isn’t comforting. A short possible encounter and then the enemy is gone. Rather anti-climatic if I do say so myself. I of course would shortly regret that thought as we stepped out, and came face to scaly face with none other than Despair. I’m really starting to hate dragons, this one in particular, and perhaps things like lizards at this point. This Despair cretin hacks up some acid towards us, and I was forced to do an evasive maneuver even while carrying the slowed Cleric. Oh, right, I didn’t mention that. The cleric got hit by a spell and was slowed. I was the one to offer to carry him and that is how it led up to me having to do a near dive towards the entrance to the bellows area while holding onto the man. Landing on my back the cleric had started to slip, so of course I caught him. He wasn’t about to die on my watch. Manage to hoist the man and myself into the cave and sit there trying to catch my breath.

To get rid of the dragon, Carnifex suggested that Demi distract the dragon. Serenity casted a couple of spells on Demi to help her in this heroic feat. If the little pixie comes back to us, I will definitely have to look at her in a new light. The fact that she was even willing to do this, smacks of more heroism than most of us in the group have in reserve, myself including. There is no way that someone who can’t face their past can be considered a hero. I can safely say I’m a nice guy who will do his best to help those around him, but when it counted the most, I failed. That failure will haunt me til probably the end of my days. Which, might be soon if we don’t come up with a plan to deal with that dastardly dragon. While Demi is doing her amazing deed, we make our way to the area that the barracks should be. The last half of the dash was slower than we wanted since we had to douse our flames and walk via Elia’s vision. Not sure how that worked, but she got us there as quickly as she could.

Serenity's Contemplations Part 10

Wanted Posters and Snowy Cottages

I was packed and ready for my next adventure with my new found group of friends, and Elia. I was determined not to settle into a melancholy over my family. There had to be people out there that knew my family and I wasn’t going to find them sitting here in the college walls. Plus I had a duty to the people of Waylon Hill. Someone needed to save them from the danger they must be in. Not just anyone could do it, it needs to be people with power and skill, and it needs to be people with honest hearts and clean souls. It was going to us or no one would! We were these peoples only chance at being saved! I thought on how I would feel if my family…If Elia would be taken as they were, what would I feel? What would I risk to get them back? The answer was clear! I would risk everything and not stop until I was beaten or they were safe! So I go out in the dead of winter with finales in school looming over my head. I head to save people from turmoil or worse. That is my conviction.

I decided that talking to Serianos was a good idea. He had helped me so much and he was like a father to me, the only one that I will ever truly know. How odd for a human to have an Elven father. I have heard of stranger though in the North there is a dwarf with two human children. Are we truly so lost as that we can no longer depend on our own to parent us? Are we so lost as a short lived creature that other races take pity on us and try to teach us the ways that our own parents never could? I really think that if I was left in an orphanage as most all human children without living parents are that I would have died much sooner. I am glad for the lessons that Serianos has taught me. I want to make him proud of me and show him not all his words were lost on me. I will protect him as if he was my own father, for he is to me.

I found him at the front gates of the school. He must already know that I was leaving. Damn Damien must of told him. I really wanted to tell him myself. But my classmates always seem to rat me out first. Maybe it’s out of concern I will never know. He had the same stoic look on his fair features. Elves never age! However when I showed with my traveling pack and Bale’s box I swear I saw him age there in front of me! I told him Lady Alusterial had given me permission to leave on this important quest. He looked older as I kept talking so I just stopped. He then took out something from the folds of his robes and said if I was bound and determined to get myself killed he wanted to give me a fighting chance. He also told me that some men have been asking about me at the city gates. That I should lay low with the Spellfire for a short time. I thanked him for his help and told him I would keep up with my studies on the road.

As I walked to the gates I noticed a wanted poster with a person that looked a lot like our new member. I gapped the poster t to ask Elia about it later. I skipped over to the meeting place. We all showed and when Carnifex showed he brought the newly improved cart! It had armor! And it looked damned scary from the outside! However when he opened it, the thing was beautiful! There was a small heater thing in the middle to keep us warm and enough room for everyone! I was excited to start if we were going to be traveling in this! I had Bale make a picture of it with everyone around it! Then we left the gates. That is when our new member caught up with us. And that’s when everyone asked about the posters. He said it wasn’t him and he seems believable. Elia said she would take him and clear it up. I am glad she was helping him because once the guards think you are the guy they will not rest till they get you and some of them are downright scary! You would think they were priests of Torm!

They came back and that is when we got out of the protection of the Mythal that protects the city from everything from spells to really bad weather. This is also when I remembered how much I hate snow! It’s cold and no amount of clothes will ever keep you warm in a silvermarches winter. It sucks! However Carnifex’s creation helped with that. He kept it warm and we even had good food to eat! Carnefex can cook! And as good if not better then the college cooks! He never ceases to amaze me with what he can do, however if one is as old as he is you would pick up a few things. However Serianos must have talked to him at some point because he nearly ordered me to study my books while we traveled! Well fine if he was going to be that way I will show him the caliber of student he is working with! That is also when Keiji decided to help with the studies. Seraphim joined in as well. I managed to fool them into believing that I “read” the chapters over religion and a few others then blew them away with my arcane knowledge but bit the dust at history. Never was good at that subject! However Keiji was a well of knowledge over that subject and even helped me figure out a few tuff spots. I kept getting this vibe that someone was glaring at me. However never found that look on anyone’s face.

There was a few bumps on the road and I had to whip out a few spells to help but mostly it was a smooth ride. One night there was a blizzard and the new recruit was going out to scout. I cast endure elements on him so he wouldn’t get too cold. I went back to bed. I awoke when someone rude had made it very cold and uncomfy in the cart! I found out that Keiji had watched over me while I slept I am sure how I feel about that. I kind of hoped that Elia was going to cuddle up to me. But instead I had a furry monkey! I let go of him, then sheepishly asked Keiji to leave so I could get dressed. He waited for me outside the cart and I saw that it snowed so much that the cart was nearly berried. Someone had made a path around the cart but I was sure that walking in such dreadful weather would only mean for me to get lost. Wet, and cold, Not my favorite things. Keiji must have seen the look on my face and picked me up and carried me. He was taking us to a very small cottage. Why was there a cottage in the middle of no were and were was our damned Ranger thatg was suppose to keep us from getting lost? At that point a snow ball hit me in the head and even though I looked around to see who threw that all I saw were a bunch of kids rolling around in the snow. Keiji carried me on and I saw Elia in the door way. Keiji tripped on something but managed to keep a hold of me. He set me down gently like before and walked into the cottage. I saw that this was a small orphanage of some sort and that there was some small dwarf lady being the headmaster. I helped clean the place up and even amused the kids with pyrotechnics. One lad seemed very intrigued and asked about my training I told him about Silverymoon and how he may be accepted and that there were scholarships for payment as well. Then we left and headed to Waylon Hill.

Dark Bad Conspiracy Place

We Re still here. Guess what Steeve? Damn dragon followed me! Yup. But it’s okay, the hallway is full of light pellets now, so it can’t just appear out of nowhere like abdamn magic…thing! Yeah, take that! Hey, and here was a room with another one of those shadowy death holes. Holes, holes everywhere! Where do they go Steeve? No where good that’s for sure! We must.destroy all the holes!

The dwarf cleric we rescued from statuedome keeps saying he “just needs to rest”. He’s been doing it for my last three recollections. “i’ll be fine if I rest”. What does it mean? I think he’s an imposter! He’s trying to keep us here longer, I don’t trust him.

I started reflecting on my logs thus far and I think it’s time for bed. This realm has not been kind to my brain. the sooner we get out the better. This in mind, I decided to join Bale for the evening and sleep off my troubles. He was welcoming as always, though a bit cranky. Perhaps he didn’t like it there either.

As we were resting there was a loud explosiony sort of sound and then a large rock, like the biggest rock I had ever seen was blocking the exit! But Carnifex said not to worry and that he would take care of it.

Sure enough by morning he had carved a lovely archway out of the offending stone! Hooray! Carnifex saved the day (story of our lives).

We continued on to the location called creepy mural. I was beginning to calm down, and get my wits about me again. I don’t know why I was so worried! We would be out of there in no time! It’s a piece of cake-!

Bad mural is bad! Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck! There’s guys, and they’re bad, and the mural moves in the dark, and its bad, light makes it go away, keep.the light! They want me to place a candle, but the mural wa-watches me, it wants me to place the candle so it can give me bad touch! No! I don’t want to! But the giants say I have to. Alright fine! Here’s your damn candle and here’s me on the opposite side of the room again! Oh, now they are saying I havr th stand next to them, something reflecting out shadows, but I don’t want to! I don’t like this game! Serenity is getting mad. She’s scarier that the bad shadow men, so fine, I will sit there and-heeeeeeye, our shadows are fighting the bad the painting! Go shadows go! Yeah! Ooh is that a doorway?

Okay, so getting a grip now. Our shadows came to life against the seamingly real painting and we watched then defeat the man in the throne. Then a door way opened. Feeling slightly more calm now, I flew through to take a look and-

insert incoherent babbeling about shiny things

So after we left the.dragon’s hoard with new shiny shiny shinies, oh my god so many shinies! I mean um….right! After that we went to the place called floating stairs, which were litterally floating stairs with huge gaps in between. At first I was like “Now what?” But then remembered that I didn’t care because I can fly! Wheeee!

So off I was going when something attacked Keiji! Can’t we just progress in this hell hole without something trying to kill us? I was too far away to help him but it looked like the cleric was going to help instead so I let him be. I worked on finishing off the rest of the dudes who couldn’t seem to see me, so they couldn’t touch me. Haahahah.

Life Without Insects

It has been several months since life as I knew it changed for both myself and the forest I reside in. Anybody who knows me knows that this in truth happens to me a lot, but because I make it a point not to let anyone know me, I will give you the short and sweet version. It’s like one day I am a father to be, trying to maintain a house I can raise a family in while constantly batteling my cravings and inner demons- then the next I’m a Satyr! Living off the wilderness, pissing on trees, getting scared by wild things, and having my things stolen by a sentient insect. So, as you can see change is something I am well used to. Being a vagabond of sorts, if something were to compromise my livelihood here I would move on to find a new life, and so I am always on the lookout for trouble. Well since that damn pixie left, there has been nothing but trouble!

I never thought that the presence of such a minuscule…..thing would make such an impact on how things run here. It is more than just the weird sense of emptiness has filled the gaps between trees and leaves where she used to hide, all invisible, waiting to drop acorns on my head- It’s like the trees are depressed or something! Seriously, the other day this sappling was like drooling, and sap with leaking. I never said this, but part of me even hopes to hear the sounds of her ransacking my home, going through my things, or that something I owned was hers now because I left it out for grabs. I actually overslept for the first time in years the day after she took off because she wasn’t there at dawn to poke me in the face with a wasp-stinger spear!

So yeah, bitch flew off (story of my life) and now shit is all sad. But more than that, something isn’ t right in the woods. The others don’t believe me, but lemme tell ya, purple bubbles don’t just fucking appear out of no where. I just noticed it one day as I was out making my rounds! Just this big, fuck off, glassy looking wall around these creepy ass ruins that have been there for like ever. The others say I’m over reactiong, but seriously- that shit ain’t normal. I always say that you know you are boned when shit just darts randomly appearing out of nowhere with no explanation or reason or anything! Like zombies! Fuck zombies man. Or bills, tavern wenches, angry exes…..

What was I saying? Oh right, the wall. Yeah so shit must be getting real down in the woods of whole structures are juat cropping up out of nowhere. All I know is that when shit hits the fan if there isnt someone to help cool it down I am gone. dont get me wrong, I love this place and all its done for me. But I get the feeling that whatever this is, it’s big, and totally out of my hands.



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