Legacy of the Forlorn

Continuum

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Entry the third,

The recent mess has made it difficult to gather my thoughts. I have also found it a bit more difficult to dote after my brother. He is more easily distracted than ever before, and I find that his interest in disrupting my studies is only eclipsed by his new found lack of focus. I spend more time now watching him and making sure he is alright than I ever did evading his attentions. I know that it is illogical to worry as much as I do, as I know he is a capable person. I cannot shake that something is different and wrong, though, and it occupies as much of my time worrying as it does observing.

That having been said, I have found a precious few moments to reflect…

Having been away from this journal makes it difficult. I have to reach further back to consider the events past. It is somewhat less difficult, if only because the recent events have strung together so eloquently. It is only now that I can better see the links, like a web in the wind of time.

End digression…*

Previously, I had recorded my thoughts on the mites and goblins, which led us to suspect our quarry would be in Greengold. I had never been to the city myself, and found it interesting, if disquieting. Though the city itself was clearly influenced by elven architecture and sensibilities, there was something unerringly human about it. Whether it was the mood of the throngs crowding the street, or the smell of hasty human cooking, my unease was tempered with a curiosity not felt since my childhood. Still, we had better things to do than to indulge such whims.

With luck, our search took us to the mayor, who was a loyal and informed human. I found him agreeable, if indulgent. He let us know a bit more about this Risa we had suspected to be our enemy. He knew that she was a student, and also was expelled by Quillandra, our potential step-mother. The story of that is for another day, perhaps.

What was more disturbing was the news that another student, under the seductive wiles of the exiled Risa, had stolen a key to an Elf Gate and given it to the exile. I suspected him to be a patsy, and thus largely useless. We traveled to speak with him, and allowed Palanon and Elensar to question him, as we were wasting our numerical advantage simply watching them, to say nothing of impeding their… particular methods or questioning.

Outside, we ran into the ubiquitous group of Varisians, who ubiquitously arrived in town to do trade. Meritanus had only enough time to reintroduce us to his family, which had grown by one since last we saw him. We were then beseiged by insectoid plant creatures. Navarre had impressively demonstrated his prowess in battle, but his desire to protect our fellowship has begun to walk a fine line between brave and reckless. I must either devise new ways to protect him… or discuss with him this behavior so that it may be mitigated…

We defeated the creatures handily, but were quickly rallied to try and find out who or what had send them after us. Fearing that our chance at Risa was fading, we followed a scent by way of Nil’sha, and were led into the sewers. A disturbing plant based trap awaited us, and with out already drained resources, we had our most demanding melee to date. I personally had to ensure Elensar’s safety, something I hope not to have to do again.

Once that unpleasantness was done, we discovered the body of a demon, which in and of itself was disturbing, more so when coupled with the mysterious bloody writing scrawled upon the wall. Most disturbing of all was the prospect that this had all been painstakingly calculated to be our downfall. If only trust was not such a fragile thing…

Ah… I fear that I must adjourn for now. The silence is deafening, and signals that something is amiss…

End Entry the Third.

*I have failed to mention the great gift imparted to me by my father. Without mentioning the wonders bestowed on my siblings, I must say that my father outdid himself in obtaining a unique pair of glass lenses that make the study of magic easier. These magic lensesare now among my most prized possessions, making it difficult for me to think of risking them to the vicissitudes of adventure.

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Thoughts of a Druid

Excerpt from the Jounral of Amaras

Having returned from the sewers where we found a most grisly surprise my siblings and I sat down to speak of the events that occurred. Something is afoot in the house of our father that is for sure, a spy lives among us and watches us reporting our secrets to our foes. I am sure it is that snake Hialin but the others stress that I can not simply say it without proof of his deeds. The forest laws are so much easier if you have grief with someone you simply have it out with them and the winner is the correct one. But I defer to them in this and have held my tongue, in fact we feared that his treachery lied not only with him but with his granddaughter as well. For the more we learned of events the more she looked guilty. After meeting with her though we all thought of treachery from her flew from us like a owl after its dinner. She is as guileless as a fawn; as far as Nil’sha and I are concerned however we did learn a great deal about the one we are hunting. Risa by name and a half-fey, half-devil apparently and if that were not enough her soul is as twisted with hate as any we have ever heard of. She tortured and murdered her own father, not great loss there seeing as he was a foul servant of Treerazer but still the hate that would drive one to do what she did. It makes me shudder and truly fear for the realm I call home, she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals I sense. We also learned of her mother the Nymph Brightglade who lives where the Great Golden Oak stands.

I vaguely recall mother speaking of her as a friend when I was younger but I was never allowed to join her in her visits. So it fell to me to find her glade so we could rush to her aid fearing her daughter would seek her out and kill her as well. I offered to begin the search but Elensar interjected stating that I should seek help and that I could not do it on my own. He still does not see me as a capable adult but at least Palanon does for he stepped up to my defense. “Look big brother you gather information in the city, Lor’Athorn and myself will do the library thing, and Amaras will hunt the forest. He is a druid; it’s what he does,” was how he said it and it warmed my heart to know that at least he now looks upon me with a bit more respect then before. The search, however, was not easy, my first stop was the Conclave of the Green, a group all druids in the realm belong to and a very closed group. I could not bring the others or even speak of it to them else I could find myself cast out. Nevertheless the Conclave was near the city in a holy grove performing the rituals of season’s close. It is where we say farewell to one season to welcome another. It felt good to be among them again, dancing and singing the chants to welcome the fiery colors of Autumn to the forest. When we finished I spoke of finding Brightglade and much advice was given along with warnings: “She has changed, young one, and is no longer a friend to us forest walkers.”

But I was determined to find her. I set off for the area that I narrowed it down to with my own memories and their help and began to question the animals and plants in the area. A task that was not easy for to get what I needed I had to speak with those animals who roam the furtherest in the forest. And if you have ever had conversation with a Blueflecked Sparrow then you know they are hard to keep on task as a squirrel is, thought unlike the later they do not feel the need to impress upon you that they know where ever nuts is in the forest. Though I would find it to be Graymuzzle, a grizzled old alpha leader of a wolf pack, who told me where to go. It was a place they knew well and avoided for it was the land of the great cats and walking trees.

Having what I needed I gathered the others and we set off on the trip that would guide us further into the adventure we now found ourselves in. Upon entering the grove we encountered a treant, a young one that I would say no more then a century or two old at best. He was rather rude as well demanding we leave though we came in peace and he even attacked us. I had heard treants could be hard barked but this was beyond reason and he would not listen to our pleas. That is when he summoned the great cats to aid him. My heart fell and Nil’sha let out a whine for as I did not want to harm them she did not either and so I pleaded with the others to do the same and they agreed. I knew that agreement would last only so long as they remained unhurt so I quickly turned to my magic to help. First I called upon the forest itself to trap the animals to tie them up with vines and small saplings it worked to hold two of them up. Another three I used a spell upon that removed their fury and made them as docile as a possum in a tree. The last proved to enraged to be calmed and to fast to be snared and so Nil’sha sought to take him down but he proved stronger and tore into her. So I used a form of magic I never thought I would, I called upon a strong enchantment to steal the creatures free will and it worked. It sickened me to do it but it was the only way to stop him. That was when the Treat moved to attack Palanon and Navarre moved to take it down his own fury eclipsing that of myself when i saw Nil’sha hurt by the mephit. I used my new connection to the forest to try to change: my hands became more paw-like, my nails curved into claws, my mouth forced its way forward while my teeth grew to fangs.

But even with the spirit of the great cat upon me I could not harm the treant, the only way to end this was to get Brightglade to do so. Unknown to me my sister had tried and failed. She was never truly able to master the subtleties of the slyvan language. Palanon took his try at along with my own words and the Nymph spoke. “Prove that you come in peace.” So we did, I ended all my spells freeing the cats but that was not enough. Elensar looked upon her and was struck blind and that was it. By looking upon her we would prove we had come seeking not battle bur parlay. So each of us looked and though I can not recall her exact features I know this as sure as the leaves will fall soon. My heart both twisted and threatened to break with sadness while at the same time swelled to near bursting with love at the mixture of her beauty and the hollowness in her face. I also know that no matter how many years pass no other women will stir such feelings in me for even now as I look upon others of the fairer sex they are simply plain to me and uninteresting. Myself and only a few others were not struck blind at her sheer beauty and that I fear is why I can still recall only fleeting images of her in my mind still. However we were able to speak to her of her daughter and warn her but she felt her daughter would not come for her and I agree. Her anger was directed elsewhere and we just needed to figure out where. However she agreed to help us and asked for one to come forward to take her blessing yet she warned it would require great responsibility to do so. Palanon stepped forward to do so
and though I was jealous I knew he was the right choice. Though he acts the carefree spirit he is so much more deep in his soul, so I ordered Nil’sha to guide him in and back out. The fair lady gave unto him a locket of her hair and advice where to find her daughter armed with that we departed from that place to pursue our quarry once more.

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Quillandra, Risa, and Brightglade

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 5

I generally leave matters of intrigue to Elensar who is far better suited to handle these types of situations, but I’m hoping that writing them out will help me to gain more understanding of the events currently taking place.

My siblings and I sat and spoke about mystery at hand after retreating from the sewers. We know that a woman named Risa seems to be at the heart of this plot. We believe she is the one who charmed Kasuta into stealing the Gate Key. Selwyn told us that she went to school at the university in Greengold, but was expelled by a professor named Quillandra who is Hialin’s granddaughter. Quillandra is also the person who corroborated Kasuta’s story. We decided that we would visit Quillandra in the morning to question her and asked Selwyn to make an appointment.

Before we could retire for the evening, Phos came to pay us a visit. I was surprised to see him here in Greengold. He did not look well. He had just returned from his time with the Mites and explained to us that since the metabolism of Elves and Mites were not similar he had been testing all of his concoctions on himself and was still recovering from the aftereffects. He showed us the fruits of his labor which were contained in two blue potions and told us that drinking the potion will make you as brave and as small as a Mite, but that it has a slight chance to change the user into a Mite permanently … it should go without saying that I took no interest these potions, but Elensar seemed almost excited to try them out. Before he left, Phos took an interest in my mother’s Falcata and asked to hold it. He told he had mistaken it as “that black blade your mother used to carry”. That statement has piqued my interest and I intend to learn more about this “black blade”.

We had one more visitor before the time for rest came. Meritanus did us a great honor by declaring that every summer the Varisians would come and meet us at Greengold and gift to us their finest item. He decided to begin the ritual now and he gave to us an amazing gift; The Cloak of Noble Elven Kind. We thanked Meritanus and promised to do our best to meet him and his people here each summer. Once he had gone we all spoke and decided that Amaras should have the cloak. It will be good for him to have such a fine thing.

The next morning came and we set out to Quillandra’s home. There was no answer when we knocked at her door so we let ourselves in. Her home was completely covered in books and had notes written all over the walls. We found her sitting and reading and she seemed to be totally unprepared to see us. She didn’t seem to have any idea who we were and even after we introduced ourselves she was taken aback at the number of children her husband to be has … it was clear to me that though she seemed to be interested in many things, she had yet to do her research on the family she would be joining.

We asked Quillandra many questions and she gave us a lot of information. She told us that the Gate Key that was stolen is shaped like a cup or chalice to signify Greengold’s historical significance as a supplier of water to the capital; and the key could only be activated by filling it with water from a nearby lake. This gate leads straight to the Elven capital, and would make a powerful weapon to our enemies. She told us that the gate was physically destroyed, and that the magic of the gate was taken apart but not destroyed and so it would be possible for someone to reactivate the gate; but to do so would require a ritual that would take almost an entire day to perform.

We started asking about Risa and quickly learned that she is not an elf. It seems that Risa’s mother was a Nymph named Brightglade and her father was a devil. Quillandra described Risa as having skin as black as night, but that she hides her true form with illusion magic so that she appears to be a beautiful blonde human … though I would guess she could disguise herself as anything. It seems that Risa was not welcome to study at the university until Quillandra vouched for her, but then Risa did something which caused her to be expelled and soon after Quillandra retired her position as a professor there. Quillandra was able to translate the word we found near the dead devil in the sewers; it read “father”. This, naturally, has lead us to believe that the devil we found was Risa’s father whom she, presumably, captured, tortured, killed, and then corrupted. However, I don’t understand why she would write “father” on the wall? She knew that we would come to that place, and she must have known there would be some chance for to defeat her trap … so why would she leave us a clue like that?

This entire time, Quillandra had been wearing a pair of strange looking glasses. My brothers asked if they might try them on and she agreed. After wearing the glasses, they each spoke about how the writing on the wall was multi-layered, though I’m not sure how that is possible. After analyzing the writing on the walls Elensar surmised that Quillandra had been writing magical theorems for reactivating the elf gates and even for changing the places that they could lead to. Elensar suggested that Risa may also have the means to get a pair of these glasses and that she could come into Quillandra’s home without her knowing to read the walls and gain this knowledge and that could be how the gate at the goblin camp had been modified. Quillandra was shocked to hear my brother’s theory, of course. Though Quillandra knew this information could be dangerous in the wrong hands, she assumed that no one else would be able to gain this knowledge, but who better than her former student to infiltrate, steal, and put into practice these dark workings.

We had no other leads to actually find Risa, so we asked Selwyn to post guards at the location of the gate all hours of each day to be sure that no one would be able to start a ritual without alarm. Amaras was fairly certain he could track Brightglade to her home even though she had become a notorious recluse. He told us it would probably take him months to find her. It was the best chance we had of learning anything more about Risa.

In the months it took for Amaras to track Brightglade we returned to our home in Velethi. I was put off by our last exchange with father, Amarune, and Hialin. I confronted Amarune about her strange behavior that day, but she refused to speak of it claiming that she was protecting our father. She told me that she was considering stepping down as one of my father’s advisers and as she left she said, “I hope you enjoy my funeral”. I don’t know what exactly she meant by that … maybe she intends to die and be reborn as a wolf again. She has avoided me as much as possible since that day.

Lor’A secured a manor for us to live in whenever we stay in Greengold. I haven’t been there yet, but he tells me that it set up nicely and that there are wonderful artisan’s tools waiting for me to use them when I am ready.

In preparation to meet Brightglade, I spent some time crafting a gift for her out of metal and stone. I created a handheld mirror frame shaped like a great cat curling about to reach its own tail and a brush for her hair shaped like a great cat’s claw.

Once Amaras found Brightglade’s home we set out. Upon our arrival we were “greeted” by a young treant called Blackleaf who told us to leave. We insisted that we must speak to Brightglade and he took an offensive posture as six cougars stepped out of the woods. We agreed that we should try not to hurt any of them badly and do our best to only subdue. Amaras used his nature magic to great effect that day; he was able to entangle two of the cats with vines and calmed two more. It wasn’t long before all of the cats were taken out of the fight without harm. The treant attacked me right away. We traded hits, and I was trying to only bash back him with my shield, but then he attacked Palanon in a place where could not step between them. I felt great anger wash over me and I began hacking at the treant, using my sword and swinging with all of my might. I was ready to destroy it because it tried to harm my younger brother. Mirri tried calling out to the nymph, but the words only angered her. She showed herself and we were dazzled by her radiant beauty. That made it more difficult to fight it did not stop me from attacking the treant. Fortunately, Paly was able to persuade her to stop the fight. In order to show that we were honest in our intentions, we disarmed and then gazed upon her. At this time I cannot recall how she looked, it seems to have been erased from my memory and that is almost certainly for the best because it was too much for some of my siblings and it blinded them where they stood.

With the fight ended she was willing to parlay. We told her that we were trying to find Risa and that we were fairly certain that she had murdered her own father. Brightglade said little to us, but was willing to give us a token, a bit of the nymph’s own hair, by which we may be able to scry upon Risa.

We returned home and asked our father to use to the token and cast the spell. He learned that Risa is now staying in a place called Daggermark, a dangerous city in the River Kingdoms. It would seem that will be our next destination.

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The Trap at Greengold

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 4

Father has returned and summer has come to the Forest once again; and my siblings and I find ourselves another year older. This past year was filled with excitement and experiences and I have the feeling that this year will hold more of the same. We have always celebrated our birthdays on the same day to make things easier for everyone; as such, father brought us all gifts. I received a sword that my mother used to wield called a Falcata. It has an unusual balance to it, but I’m sure that once I gain some more proficiency with the weapon it will be quite deadly.

The celebration was short, however, and we soon found ourselves getting back to business. Father sat and addressed us. We informed him of all we had learned from fighting the goblins and the Miphit. After taking all of that in, he produced the letter Amarune had sent him, the seal was unbroken and he said he had not had time yet to read it. Amarune acted very strangely then, asking him not to read it. He said he would anyway, and Hialin offered to read it to him, taking the letter from him. Hialin read the letter silently to himself, seemed surprised at something he found there, and then I believe he lied to my father about the contents of the letter. I stood and addressed Hialin, attempting to force him to stop this charade, but Father stood and dismissed both Hialin and Amarune. Hialin left, glad to not be held accountable, but he will hear more from me on this topic. Amarune, looked as though she would leave, but lingered near the door. Father went on to tell us that while in the capital he was being maneuvered into a marriage that he was not interested in, but one that would somehow be good for “everyone”. Naturally, the person he would be married to is a blood relative to Hialin … it is no wonder why he acting so brazen. When Amarune heard that Father would be marrying, she looked shocked and ran out the door … I don’t know why that would upset her so much.

Father asked us to track down the person who schemed to destroy Greengold. We know that this person is female and that her intent was to use the same plague that almost infected Fuanra and Quais on the whole city. Greengold is the second largest city in Kyonin and a major trading hub for all races as it is the only place to legally obtain elven goods. A plague there would be disastrous. Fortunately, Elensar knows the trip and the city well as he holds an official position as a judge there.

Elensar led the weeks long journey to Greengold. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the mayor, a human named Selwin. Selwin seemed rather worried about something, and after inviting us to stay at his home, asked Elensar to take on a case involving a young elf named Kasuta who stole an old and defunct Elf Gate key. It seems that even though the keys magic no longer functioned, it still had great historical value. Selwin told us that Kasuta joined with a gang of anarchists, a local group of young elves whose misdeeds are mostly harmless. After taking the key, it seems Kasuta gave it away to someone and now refuses to give up his partner.
Kasuta was being held at the mayor’s home. We arrived and settled in a bit before making our next move. We decided that Elen and Pally would stay and talk to the boy while the rest of us struck out around the town to see what we could learn.

As we stepped out into the town square we saw a caravan of Varisians rolling in. Sure enough, it was being led by the human Meritanus. We greeted him and his family, who were all doing well including the addition of a new child still being swaddled and carried by Theyla. Meritanus was very excited to see us and insisted that we should have a look at his wares. Just then we heard terrible screams and saw two Elf sized snake-like creatures slithering through the streets. They looked to be made of plant matter and Lor’Athorn called them plant elementals. They burrowed into the ground and came up from the well. They seemed to draw strength from the water. I called out, “To arms!” as I drew my shield and sword. The creatures did not waste time in their attempt to take our lives, but fortunately I was able to hold them back for a while, that is until I moved my shield to protect Meritanus and opened myself up to be hit by the other. The creature slammed into me; it hit square in the chest and almost certainly broke a rib. Fortunately, Amares delivered a massive blow of his own, distracting it long enough for Mirri to restore some of my health. We were able to defeat the creatures, but it seemed that throughout the whole fight they were trying to get Meritanus’ new child … we asked him if he knew why and he showed us that the child had a marking on its head, some kind of magical tattoo that Mertanus’ people say makes the child destined for great magical ability. I warned Meritanus to guard his child closely.

While we were fighting, Elensar and Palanon extracted some information from Kasuta. I don’t know everything that was learned but it seems that the young elf was ensorcelled by a female spellcaster, and we now believe that she may have been the one who summoned those elementals.
Amares used his incredible senses to track the Sorceress to the entrance of a tunnel. We decided that since she has used up some of her spell power for the day that we should move in now rather than differ to a later time when she may once again be at full power.

We moved through the dark tunnels and it wasn’t long before we heard what sounded like a baby crying. We advanced too quickly and fell into a trap. The crying was a Mandragora, and it let out a terrible howl as we approached. Somehow, the howl of the beast caused me to become nauseated and I was unable to fight. Fortunately, Mirri was able to sacrifice her own health to allow me to protect my siblings once again. It is a good thing that she did, for when I made it back to the front line I found the beast was clouding Amares’ mind. Amares struck Elensar down with a fiery hand, but we were able to defeat the beast before much longer.

We were all wounded enough to decide to go back for the night. Before resting however we put together a series of clues.

• There was a slain demon in the room from which the Mandragora came.
• The Mandragora grew from that body, the process takes about a week.
• The Mandragora called out like an infant, and the elementals seemed to be trying to get the baby, this lowered our guard and caused us to advance into a trap.
• This was an elaborate trap that took at least one week to plan.
• Hialin knew we were coming. I believe he had something to do with this.
• Amarune was also acting strangely, but I don’t think that she would betray us.

Now we must start again and hope to find and defeat this evildoer.

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A Continuing Evaluation

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Entry the second,

Recent events have been interesting, to say the least. My siblings and I have encountered unparalleled danger and intrigue, and I have now an improved respect for my father for having to deal with these matters himself. No doubt it is the reason he has a number of advisers, as even our father must have found himself unable to do all of this himself. I digress.

Since the previous writing of this journal, we have been on some adventures, which I feel are inextricably tied to each other, as my siblings would no doubt agree. The first matter involved some faye creatures and goblins. Not only did these faye and goblin factions clash, but the very presence of goblins within our lands was cause for concern enough. Faye were at least reasonable and respectful of the forest, but tales of goblins put them in the ranks of the foul and consumptive.

With news of this conflict, we traveled to the area in which the faye were known to inhabit. Through some impressive diplomatic acumen, our group managed to assuage the “mites”, and parlay. Though a bit trifling, the mites were different, socially, than most creatures we had run into. They valued deceit and quick wit. Palanon had valiantly volunteered his own wit to the cause, but was apparently unprepared to deal with the strange sensibilities of the creatures. Though I chided him for it, I know it was through little fault of his own.

With a bit of cajoling, we learned more from the mites regarding the location goblin camp, their intentions, and the impending attack. Armed with this information, we made an agreement with the mites that we would deal with their enemies to calm them from causing any more commotion. They seemed happy enough with the turn of events, agreeing to send a silent watcher to make sure that things went well.

After a bit of travel, we came up on the goblin band. Palanon, thankfully versed in the tongue of goblins, was able to discern their discussion. We learned that their plan was to attack that night. They had also known of our approach, somehow, a fact which put us all ill at ease. Hoping to catch them off guard, we all prepared an ambush for the goblins, attacking as they marched from their camp.

After a spectacular melee, we defeated the goblins, all save for their leader. This head goblin was already proving to be more than he appeared. He disappeared from sight, leading us to believe he had fled. Not knowing what else to do, we went back to the mites to report our victory. However, the mites greeted us with hostility, claiming that one among us had taken their greatest treasure.

What followed was a quick deduction that the more-than-goblin had made his way here ahead of us, disguised himself as one of us, and stolen the object. Hoping to make it in time, we followed him back to the goblin camp, which we soon found was a disuised and twisted gate. After another heated battle, we finally managed to defeat him before he was able to make use of the gate.

A quick interrogation revealed much. The creature was a mephit, he had a mistress in Greengold, and the artifact he stole was apparently a tooth belonging to Treerazer, cleansed and repurposed. His mistress had apparently wanted to unleash a plant blight like the one we had seen in the caverns. However, Greengold was to be the target, this time.

We had resolved to investigate Greengold, but first we had to make our way to our home for an announcement.

End Journal The Second.

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Ponderings of a Elf

It has been months now since our journey into the forest where we found the old Elf Gate and I felt the need to put my thoughts to parchment on what occurred in that time frame. For some time now I have felt my brothers regarded me little more than a child, one who was impulsive and who’s thoughts should be listened to long enough only for them to pass from one ear to another. I felt as if they had been well warranted for I had not acquitted myself well in either battle or diplomatic talks thus far. However our last two trips out I found this not to be the case, where my loving sister Mirrianna is always welcome of my words and often seeks my thoughts this time it was my older half brothers who asked. And when my words were given they listened and accepted them with our scorn or rebuff as before. Perhaps I have risen a bit in their eyes?

Our latest journey found us in a part of the forest little traveled by our people due to the fey who lived in that area and were always unfriendly if not outright hostile towards others. We found the strange creatures called Mites and opened a dialogue with them and though my brother Palanon tried to use words and half truths, something they respected in the up most his attempt to gain aid failed them. The Mites wanted a mighty gift from us and acting before thinking truly I pulled forth my store of waybread and held it to their leader for sampling. For such small creatures the amount given would see them well fed for many long moons. The gift was accepted and we opened talks about their troubles with the goblins who had somehow gotten into the forest with our knowing it. Agreeing to put a end to their attacks we set forth to engage them in battle. A battle made simple by use of my magic, the forest was more than eager to lend hand by entangling the fell creatures so we could defeat them. My brothers were eager to finish the fight and slay the beast but I urged them to seek surrender which the goblins accepted. After questioning them we learned many disturbing things which made us worry, again I came to the forefront and rather than see the goblins slain out of hand as would have happened if we returned them to the city I suggested they be turned over to the Mites. It was they who the goblins wronged in their attacks so it should be they who chosen their fate. I do not know if the others approved but either way we quickly discovered a deception had been used on the small fey. Someone taking on the appearance of Palanon tricked the fey and took their treasure. Later we learned the trickster was a native to the plain of fire. But why take on Palanons’ appearance or for that matter how did it know what he looked like or that the Fey would trust him? I wonder yet how this knowledge came to the beast but now banished from our world it has taken those answers with it.

We rushed back to the site of the old elf gate to find the….I think they called it a Mephit then looking like a simple goblin attempting escape. I ordered Nil’Sha to take him and hold him which she did with all the skill she possesses and she would have had no problem had it been a simple goblin. However the night sky was light up by a flash of red and the sound broken by my dearest friends pained scream. When my eyes cleared and I saw her body lying limply on the ground smoking I felt all reason slip my control. A hate the likes of which I have never felt rose in my breast like a surging fire , I rushed the little monster with all intent to slay it. Mirrianna moved quickly to use her healing magic to save Nil’sha’s life for her of any knew what that loss would have done to me. And for that I am truly shamed for rather than seeing to her welfare I sought to slay the goblin. I brought my blade down on the little bastard with a roar that would have done Father Grizzly proud and so hard I felt it jar in my hands from the impact and when its blood sprayed through the air I felt a great primal joy. The thing would have escaped though had it not been for the quick actions of the others and only then did I turn my attention to Nil’Sha. With my sisters aid we stabilized the great panther and in her green eyes I saw no reproach for my actions though if she only knew. After we integrated the Mephit the others wanted to return home quickly but spoke of not being able to return for Nil’sha’s wounds were great and would take months to heal. I could not look Mirriannain the face as I spoke those words for there in her eyes I would have seen the truth of my lie laid bare for she as well knew my magic would help heal the cat in a day maybe two. I told this falsehood for I had to be away from the others away from the stifling of the city and the court so I could better deal with what I had felt in me. I chose to stay with the Mites and help them out while I explored my own soul. The creatures had lost their magical item which helped grow their food so I tried to teach them how to do so themselves. I quickly learned from the Magogog their leader that they were as he said in broken sylvan “Crazy?? That much like hard work we no mud toes no dig ground.” After a few days of this we hit upon the idea of the Goblins paying back their debt through labor, some would call it slavery but I call it a better life then they would have normally. Here they can live among the forest learning to till the land and grow things without fear of being killed outright by more powerful goblins or tricked by foul demons. It was a painful process to say the least working though Chug, Mittalktak and others who translated my sylvan words into broken goblin but in time they got the general idea. I found it interesting that in the goblin language they have over forty two words to represent hate or killing but not one for kindness. When Foast arrived at the mounds I bit my farewell and vanished into the forest to see answers, I found them in the old grove my mother loved so much. There I sat in fasting and meditation my soul opened to the world around me. Her words came to me in that quiet place as if she was there with me again.

“The feeling you had was natural my son…it was nothing more than the primal fury all of us carry in our souls. However those like you and I who live so close with nature are more prone to have that natural instinct rise in us. The question comes do you let that fury control you? Do you use it to fuel your rage to destroy as the rampaging bear or do you channel it, hone it to a knife like edge and use it as the crane uses its bill to snatch is dinner? Only you can tell decide my son….but know that now it has awakened you will find yourself changing in many ways do no fear these changes Amaras embrace them.” Though the words used her lovely voice I knew they were the words of Nature and they helped soothe my soul. From there I made the trip home in time to celebrate my birth day…or more the point the chosen birth day of all my siblings. It was easier to track ages if we all turned at the same time or so mother once told me. Father had returned home as well and though weary with his trip and the trials he endured he presented each of us with a gift. When it came time for mine he held out the small box for me and placed one firm hand on my shoulder. “So that you may take your true home with you where ever you are my son.” Was the only words he spoke before moving on. When I opened the box inside I found a small clear crystal ball. Contained in side it was a small forest scene of very glade I had spent so much time in with my mother. Even as I watched day changed to night, animals moved through the scene and to my up most amazement a small miniature of my mother appeared and danced among the wild flowers. I felt surely that my heart must break and I wept openly at the gift given from him to me and for the first time I wondered if I had misjudged him all these years. For in this one small gift my Father showed me that he knew my heart in many ways and he felt the same loss I did.

As things wound down we were gathered once more in the council room where we were told we would soon travel to the city of Greengold to hunt down the women who had sought to invade our home. Though I still feel a quiver in my heart at the mere thought of a women who would see so much death brought to a single city. And to what end? She is allied with TreeRazor yes but why not attack the capital where the very item that demon wants is held now? Also wonder if she is elven or human….I find myself praying for the later for to try and contemplate a elf who would see to bring so much sorrow to her own kin….my blood runs cold at the mere thought.

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A Terror in Whitefall Glade

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 2

A short time has passed since my last entry … weeks, I believe. We received no real feedback from father in regards to the situation he asked us to handle. I suppose he is still considering all of the choices we made. He was summoned to the capital to meet with his sister, our queen, not long after we returned. We were once again put in charge of governing the land; however, things were quite tranquil as they tend to be here. That tranquility was not destined to last long though.

My siblings and I were summoned together for another meeting by our advisors. At the time I was finishing a training session with the Undying Wolf and at the end of the lesson she said something strange to me … she said, “Navarre, your greatest challenge will be allowing your siblings to protect themselves”. I know that that will be a challenge I must face, but it seemed strange that she chose that moment to tell me; it made me wonder if she knows something that she isn’t telling. She went on to tell my brothers and sister of their great challenges to come, but I was too lost in what she said to me to understand what she had said to them. I don’t yet know how I feel about that statement.

Soon Phos was there telling us that the Gnome we had dealt with previously had gifted us two casks of ale made with the hallucinogenic plants he had been cultivating. Phos told us that he wanted one cask for his own “experiments”. I did not care one way or the other, but my younger siblings had a short squabble before allowing him to have it. I would have given him both but, it turned out to be quite fortunate that he only took one.

A group of Dwarven entertainers came to visit and “gift us” with their particular brand of opera. It was certainly not a type of opera that I am used to, and I tried to find the beauty in it, but it was difficult to find. Regardless, long hours and a few glasses of wine later and it had ended. We retired for the evening.

Just as I was waking that next morning, a messenger came to inform me that my presence was being requested in Phos’ personal quarters. I dressed quickly, took my sword and shield, and arrived to find the rest of my siblings were also being gathered. Phos waited for all of us to arrive, he looked rather ill the whole time. He informed us that he had consumed most of the cask of hallucinogenic ale last night and that he had experienced a prophetic dream, or possibly nightmare. He told us that he saw two old friends of his and that they were in some terrible danger. He asked us to investigate the situation because he had a strong feeling that he did not experience a dream, but some kind of vision. I was not impressed by this and thought it would be ill advised to send the remaining governing body out into what was believed to be harm’s way because one of our advisors was suffering from hallucinations. Phos went on to explain that he felt he couldn’t ask anyone else to take on this task without looking like a fool and that he truly felt his friends were in danger. My siblings spoke about whether or not they thought they should go … I said nothing, knowing that if they decided to go that I would stay by their sides. They decided to help Phos.

We began our journey to Whitefall Glade where Faunra and Quais made their home. The place was actually quite beautiful. It is always nice to have the chance to travel and see new and beautiful places; however the enchantment of that beauty did not last long. We came to their modest home and found the door badly damaged. We called out to see if anyone was inside, but there was no response. Elensar went in to investigate, I stayed outside to watch for whatever may be lurking outside. I heard some talking between my siblings going on inside, but soon I found myself beset on all sides.

The creatures were terrible; they resembled wolves, except that they seemed to be made from plant material. They had a way of blending into their surroundings that was far beyond the capability of any natural animal that I have ever seen or learned of. By the time I could see the creatures, they were almost already upon me. There were at least four of them and though I was able to defend against most of their attacks, one of them managed to bite my ankle … it hurt, but more than that the bite transferred something to me; I felt instantly sickened as if I had come down with a fever. We defeated the monsters, and as we hacked them apart we found that the things were not only made of plant material, but their insides also contained what seemed to be natural blood and flesh. I asked Amaras for some kind of explaination as to what they might be, but he had never seen anything like them.

My siblings informed me that they had found Faunra, unconscious in the house. They were able to rouse her and she told us that Quais was missing, but might be found in a nearby cave. We traveled that way, though the going was difficult for me now as I was feeling so sick. Eventually, we arrived at the cave she spoke of. Inside, we encountered more of the beasts, but some of them were different, a few were shaped like small elvannoids and throwing spears at us. Soon after combating these things, the largest and most terrible monster I have ever seen came skulking from the shadows. The creature was shaped almost like a stag, but it was like the others … an abomination. We threw Phos’ Alchemist Fire at the beast as it charged; the fire damaged it, but did not stop it. I was able to absorb the brunt of the attack sustaining only a bruise, but immediately afterwards, it vomited or possibly exhaled some manner of infectious spores upon myself and Mirrianna. I was able to avoid the spore’s harmful effects, but Mirri was not as lucky. Fortunately, the fire damaged the beast badly enough that we were able to make short work of it in melee combat. Mirri quaffed a potion that Phos had given her, and the spore’s harmful effects were ended.

With the combat over, but adrenaline still running high, we found Quais trapped near an enormous mushroom that was exuding the same spores the beast had set upon us. With no time to waste, I took and held in a deep breath, waded into the spores and pulled Quais out of further danger. Mirri administered one of the potions to him, and we gathered together outside of the cave while Lor’Athorn burned the mushroom down with his magic. We felt that thing might have been the root cause of these unnatural creatures, unfortunately, we had no idea what might have created it.
Once safe and away, Faunra and Quais showed us their thanks by giving wonderful gifts to each of us. I received an incredible shield that will allow me to make even greater use of it in combat.

In closing, I must say that I am amazed that Phos’ hallucination turned out to be prophecy. I just hope that no one attempted to take advantage of the situation we left at home.

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A Periodic Evaluation
Herein I write regarding our journey of councilship

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Begin Entry.

I have only just now considered keeping a periodical report of our progress through the footsteps of our father. Though I do not imagine my brothers to find interest in my writings as of this date, I hope that my solid evaluations find some use in the future. After all, if one cannot evaluate ones self, there can be no honesty in the evaluation of others.

Touching lightly on the subject of our previous actions, we have dealt with the human group of Varisians by assisting them in their endeavor, clearing a minor disturbance at a bridge, and guarding them against a demon incursion. Our fellowship of siblings performed admirably, succeeding in all areas. We even gained a bit of admiration from the Varisians, though I imagine they may be tricky to deal with. I wish to learn more about them for future encounters.

We had also had a minor dealing with an uppity gnome, though the illusionist ultimately posed no threat, and we were able to convince him to do some good with his experimental plants. I should hope we do not need to remind him of his place again.

More fresh in my mind is the incident brought to us by Phos. In a strange turn of events, he wished to take a cask of the mead made from the strange brew the gnome had produced with the cooperation from the nearby Dwarven enclave. Phos, being an adventurous individual in his own right, decided to imbibe a great deal of this mead, and soon came ill.

We fretted over him, worried that perhaps there was something dangerous about the mead we had been gifted. Our fears were assuaged, as Phos discovered a more useful purpose for the Mead. It had given him a vision, in which two of his friends, Faunra and Quais were in trouble. Though I imagine he was in a mood to experiment, and sent us to see if his hypothesis was correct, we were more than eager to secure these fellow elves on the chance that Phos was right. Moreover, it would test his credibility as an adviser.

Without delay, we made our way to find these elven friends. We arrived at the glade to find a few troubling signs. A curious bit of vine was affixed to their cottage. What made it curious is that it bled blood, though Amaras assured us that it was natural, if uncommon in these parts, presenting a milieu of worries on that point alone. Faunra was within the cabin, in a terrible state, apparently caused by some beast attack. Her promised mate had been taken by them, while she lay in a dying weakness caused by some dread disease.

What we found next was further worse. I remained outside to help keep a watch, not trusting that the danger would come from within. Adding a tally on my litany of correct assumptions, we were beset by some strange plant creatures. Interestingly, they organs within themselves, and had apparently infected some creatures with a kind of fungal reproductive spore. I must conduct more research into the matter…

A frantic melee ensued, in which I was wounded, along with Navarre . I’ve suffered worse afflictions at the academy, but I could tell a few of my siblings paled at the idea of a stamina affecting disease. It was, thankfully, a much lighter ailment than what Faunra had suffered, and we were able to forge on to save Quais.

Our fellowship found itself in a dank and moldy cave. This was of course the most logical breeding ground for the macro-infection, causing me to wonder if we can stem future infections by removing such sites. But that is for another journal…

Our search quickly found a bevy of plant creatures, including a disturbing humanoid. I write proudly that we banded together bravely, and intelligently, fending off the attack. I admire the way in which we can work together, for it brings out our efficiency in ways I could never have predicted. Also impressive was the alchemist fire that Phos had created. Exhausted of spells, those explosive devises helped us gain an edge. I only wished I had kept one in reserve. I will remedy this by having more of them in the future. Phos was of course delighted by the apparent success of his invention, in which I will continue to invest.

I fear I am not one for writing scenes of action, so I must hasten to the resolution. We managed to rescue Quais, and destroy the dread-infection, though not without some risk to our health. Quais and Faunra were quickly taken back to our capital, where they were expertly treated for their infections. They were quite grateful, embarrassing us with gifts, when our only wish was to see them safe. I humbly accepted mine, as I know my siblings did likewise.

I am glad that we had such a promising resolution, though my brush with mortality, both of my own and those of Quais and Faunra, have made me wonder how much more dire our path may become. I do not fear for my siblings, as they are of good stock and capable of mind*. My concrete fear is of failure. I am a realist, and I know it will come. My concern is with how we handle it. We are a diverse group, and history has taught me that failure can be divisive. I for one am looking to shore myself up against the specter of blame.

End Entry.

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The Council of Nine

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 1

I’ve never kept one of these before but have found reading the journals of others interesting in the past. I decided to start now because I believe that my family, myself included, is about to come into interesting times and a record should be kept.

I’ll need to start with some background information before any of this will make sense. My name is Navarre Edasseril, son of Caladlon. Caladlon is the brother of Queen Telandia who rules Kyonin: the realm of elves. I am the second son of Caladlon and have taken it upon myself to watch over my younger siblings as my elder brother, Elensar, trained to become king.

Mere days ago my father called all of his nine children into his hall. There he told us that he has plans pass on rule of his lands to his children, making us a council. He decided to test us by giving us full charge over a situation that had recently begun to unfold. A group of humans called Varisians had strayed into our lands. Father explained to us, that not long ago a similar situation had happened; at that time the humans wanted to make a shortcut through our lands, they were met by my father and he tended to them diplomatically. He arranged a deal between the humans and dwarves to have a bridge built outside of our lands; everyone was happy … until now it would seem.

Father told us that he would give us any factual information we asked for, but informed us that he would not give any personal opinions, though he gave us free reign to ask his council any questions we liked. We spoke to each of his councilors in turn. Amrune, the military advisor, suggested that we scare the humans away by firing upon them until they retreat. Hialin, the cultural advisor suggested that we kill them outright. Phos, the domestic advisor, babbled on about cooking recipes, but was generally friendly towards the humans. Finally, the Great Owl offered no real advice, but was able to cast a scrying spell which showed that the bridge the humans would normally cross was under the effect of some sort of magical storm; which, at least, gave us some idea as to why the humans chose to move through our lands.

My siblings and I spoke about what we each felt would be the best course of action. There was a general consensus that we should not harm the humans unless they were outwardly hostile towards us. We decided to engage them diplomatically and then see what course would be best. We all hoped for a peaceful resolution.

We took an Elf Gate to an outpost near the place that the humans had taken camp. After most of a day’s travel we arrived at the place. The humans were mostly huddling around a fire. They had set no guard and seemed almost to be celebrating something … or maybe nothing at all; regardless, they were certainly paying no mind to the danger they were in.

We did not approach them with stealth, yet they did not see us until we were mere paces from them. They seemed to regard us with equal measures of fear and wonder. I too found them interesting to behold. I have not seen humans since I gained my first century … the way they live out their short lives is strange to me, and, I think in some ways, to be admired; like a flame that burns powerfully for a short time … there is strength and merit, but very little endurance.

Regardless, we informed the humans that they were trespassing, and they told us that they knew and that they were hoping that the elves would come to help them. The humans told us that they felt forced off of the path when they came to the bridge. They told us they encountered some terrible force … the leader of the humans, named Meritanus, described a shadowy monster that threw magic about with complete abandon. I decided immediately that he was either lying, or had no idea what he was talking about. I have no intimate training in the magical arts, but I know enough to understand that powerful wizards do not operate in such a manner; besides if there were a powerful spellcaster at the bridge we would have heard of it.

We told the humans that we would escort them back to the bridge, but at that moment we were attacked by what my brother and sister later told me are called Lemures: a type of devil that resembles an amorphous mass of flesh. The creatures were resilient, but fortunately not a match for the combined power of my family. I have never before had the honor of battling alongside my siblings in any life-or-death encounter; it was exhilarating, but more than that, I am amazed at and proud of the skills my brothers and sister have learned over the years. I have taken an oath to protect them, and I will not falter in that task, but it is good to see how very capable they all are. We were able to defeat the creatures with only a few scrapes and bruises. Afterwards, Meritanus gifted a strange looking silver dagger to Elensar and we left that haunted place right away to make for the bridge.

After a few days travel, we arrived at our destination. The bridge seemed to have a strange storm hanging over it; right away I could tell that something wasn’t right. As we approached, Palanon said, plain as day, “It’s an Illusion”. I know little about magic, but his statement made sense to me … I was very proud of my little brother in that moment. It seems to me like he tries to act in a way that will cause people to think little of him, when he is in fact very competent. It turns out Pally was correct. We were met by some sort of monster that made quite the spectacle in an attempt to scare us away. Pally called the spellcaster on his bluff and in the moment of truth the illusionist blinked … so I hit him with my shield, disrupting his concentration and breaking the spell. It turned out to be a gnome trying to keep people off of the path because he had been cultivating some strange plants. Fortunately, we had to do very little to encourage a trade agreement between the gnome and the Varisians.

The humans felt the need to celebrate the conclusion of these events, and though I believe it was appropriate, I don’t think they require much of an excuse to have a celebration. Before the party began, however, we were asked to attend one of the elders on his deathbed. It seems that he was the young boy my siblings and I saw that day our father went to treat with the humans … thinking of it now I realize it was about sixty years ago. Meritanus told us that the man spoke to his clan his entire life about the day he saw the elves; I remember him as a young boy and I suddenly found myself facing the same person on the final day of his life … their lives are so short … I don’t know if it is something I will ever truly come to understand. Regardless, the man spoke well of us his entire life after only seeing us once, influencing his entire clan to believe that we are a good and noble people, the least we could do was to sit with him in his final hour to bring him comfort.

The humans began their celebration; I mostly watched from the sidelines as is my way. Most of us kept a polite distance from the humans, allowing them to enjoy themselves, except for Pally … naturally, he went off to “study” the human females. Before the end of the festivities I had a short talk with Meritanus to let him know that this matter was taken very seriously in our court and that he would do well to let others of his kind know the dangers of entering Kyonin. He agreed to do so and promised that his people would not trespass again. I thanked him and wished him well. Soon we were ready to take our leave, but the generous humans had one more gift to give: they draped a beautiful, and magical, scarf around Mirrianna’s shoulders as one more thank you for the help we gave them.

As we trek back home I am left with many thoughts. I wonder what further relations we may have with the humans. I wonder if the next time I see their clan if I will be treating with Meritanus’ grandson. Most of all I wonder what father will think of our actions … I think he will be pleased. We worked as a team, we fought bravely together, and we made just choices that affected the lives of many for the better.

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