Juselen, 3rd, 1014 YE
It was refreshing to be out of Oberon’s cave. Though grateful for the accommodations, I must admit the place had the rank smell of fetid cheese, filthy dog, and the foul earthy smell of an unclean dwarf. Stepping out of the cavernous fissure I spied the first rays of Ammonar’s grace lighting the east.
I paid my reverence to the Lord of Light, taking a knee and offering up a prayer, “I raise my hand in honor to the Lord of the morning, who rises in glory in the east of the world. Piercer of darkness, illumine my path as I go through my day. Way-shower, illumine my path as I go through my life.”
I rose and then greeted Maximus who was seemingly eager to depart as well and needing no encouragement from me to put distance between us and Oberon’s hovel. Ammonar’s light blessed us that day as we made steady progress under His warming embrace.
I woke up to in the dwarf’s smelly cave and wished I was elsewhere. I am unsure if the smell was from the cave, the dwarven cheese, or Tyco. I find Oberron’s fruitless efforts to hide its true location amusing to say the least. The smell of the place gives away its location. The new human who has joined us is very odd; Devin, Debra, Dorian, Damien I think his name is? I will be keeping an close eye on him, he seems off.
My brother gave me quite the scare last night when he was struck by lightning, and I am finding it harder to keep him out of trouble. He is my brother however, so I must try.
Finally out of that dratted cave of Oberron’s and into the light.
Fionnghuala, by your grace, I will make it safely to the Forge, where we will reclaim the weapons before the demon does.
Please forgive me if I’m not concentrating on the trek to the forge. I am distracted by this decision before me.
Should I be a Queen, or shall I remain the wayward child of the Hastinov’s? Perhaps both… Is that too selfish, Fionnghuala?
I feel I am ready to be known, to come out of the shadows.
I love my cave……..
We had a chance encounter with one of my fellow countryman on our way to the fords. Thane Godfre, Son of Magnus, recently arrived from the Danelaw, had been lately titled to the land we were currently negotiating.
How wonderful it was to hear the language of my kin! After being told that we were trespassing, I quickly apologized to his lordship informing him that we were also newly arrived to these lands and had no idea that they had been placed under his dominion. After a brief, but delightful conversation, we paid our tax to one of the Thane’s men who was also kind enough to provide us with a passport for our return journey. Ammonar be praised!
We spent the morning riding towards Turos Tem so we could all cross the river at the ford nearby. The House of the Silver Scales, a powerful trading house has taken command of the entirety of the border forts. I found the house and its leader Silar to be foul and knee deep in all kinds of devilment.
We were hoping to avoid any run-ins with them, but it seems luck is not on our side. Devin (?) was able to talk to the sellswords that happened upon us and contracted our safe passage for a few silvers. It seems he shares a few things in common with the sellswords known as The Silver Swords— this concerns me.
Being near Turos Tem… Lynara, I miss you. It still hurts, but I will push on for you. I will push on for all the ones I have lost. The fires of my rage will not be quenched but by the blood of my enemies. Their blood will stain the field as your death has forever stained my heart. Selenica will be home to the elves once again, this I swear!
I am praying to you while Damien, the warrior of the sun, speaks a garbled language to an arrogant man. Please don’t let this lead to violence. Enough blood has been spilled.
Did I extinguish the stove before I left the cave?
The party crossed the ford around midday with only a minor mishap. Chilled to the bone they rode deeper into the wilderness before making camp for the day
I decided to follow the path you laid before my feet, and then you sent me Nila.
She could have slaughtered us all where we stood, but instead she gave me my birthright, and a clear choice, and a link to my past.
My ears don’t hurt, but my helm needs to be refitted. I don’t want a crown until I earn it, despite the fawning of the Elves.
I have made my mind up that I will take care of Chill Wing on my own if it comes to it. Nothing is going to stand in my way. I plan on making you proud mother and father. I can tell the weight of recent events has been intruding on everyone’s minds. For Ivanova I think more so, for she must decide what she is to do. Will she embrace her destiny and her people or chose to ignore her birthright?
Juselen, 5th, 1014 YE
The party rode deeper into the wilderness. As the midday sun shone down on them, they stopped to take a meal.. It was during their rest that they met a old women gathering herbs and mushrooms from the old forest. Her name was Nila and it was not by chance that they would meet in this time and place. She had been expecting them and gave something to Ivanova that had been taken from her as a baby.
Ammonar’s light began to fade, and as his warmth waned the air took on an all-pervading chill. We established our camp, quickly settling in to the mundane tasks associated with a life on the road. Maximus always comes first, and after stripping him of his tack and harness, I strapped a feed bag on him. I could not help but smile as a look of contentment came to his eyes as he devoured the sweetened oats that were his dinner. I brushed him down, and then checked his hooves.
Satisfied with his condition I partook in the evening meal and settled in for the night checking and cleaning my armor and my sword. I have only known my companions for less than a fortnight, but I am surprised at the utter lack of regard they exhibit for their mounts and oft wonder if it were not for my care, would the creatures ever get fed at all.
As the days toil began to wane conversation began. Dame Ivanova asked how I came to the empire, and unabashed, I told my tale. Upon reaching the climax where I told of my orders from Ammonar — All praise his righteous name! — To slay the demon that burned my orphanage, Ivanova took on a deathly pallor and quickly left the warmth of the fire.
The two elves, Garrick and Avery, which is which I cannot say as I suppose there is truth in the saying that all elves look alike, were quickly at her side. When she returned a brief time later I stood intending to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused. Before I could speak she declared that she was the one who had set fire to the orphanage. She was the one who was ordered by an organization called the Imperial Talons to slaughter the innocents.
Those words – her words – stung me to the bone, and as they settled, anger began to swell within my beast. I slowly reached for my sword intent to strike her down for the crime she had committed. It was Ammonar’s grace who stilled my hand and calmed the rising tide of rage within me. Of course, I thought, Ammonar is truly wise! What better way to slay the Demon than to be united with one who had been blinded by him! Ammonar, with his divine wisdom, had brought us together at this spot – at this exact moment in time – so I could meet an ally to aid in destroying the demon. I drew my sword and drove it into the ground falling to my knee to praise Ammonar. The last rays of Ammonar’s blessed light enveloped the two of us confirming in my mind that we were destined to enact his holy judgement. The demon will die!
Today the elves have a Queen! Ivanova’s destiny has been revealed to us all. Ivanova after some soul searching has decided to embrace her destiny as the Daughter of the Five Stars. I have pledged my life and my clan to her service. Ivanova has taken my oath of fealty and loyalty and in turn has named me has her Marshall of the North!
Today has been a strange day.
Meld naneth a adar, It’s our birthday. For the first time in a long time, it feels worth celebrating.
It’s been a big day. I can’t say why in the event someone who is not me reads this (seriously Avery, I know you read my shit—a few pages are stained with Elven wine and you’re the only person with a bottle left). But it does feel like we’re finally on the path to getting our homeland back, Selenica.
The path is now clear going forward; we have our North Star, forever bright. She had shown a level of trust and faith in me that only my Brother has ever given me. After the events of the past week, I’ve been struggling to be a better person. This will make it easier.
Did you know, Finnoughla? Did you send me these friends, and my people? Did you chose me to be your champion because I’m part elf, and might be a Queen?
Or is my role to find death on this path? To face all the ills of the world and slay demons just to find my redemption in the blood that I have spilled?
Perhaps I will never forgive myself, although the scars are fading. But whatever you have in store for me, I know it is right and if I doubt myself I will put my faith in you instead. And my friends. If even the twins believe in me now, I cannot let them down. Lozen, Oberron, Damien… They have accepted me as Queen. I want to fulfill this destiny, but fear that I do not deserve this boon, this recognition.
Please lend me your strength, Finnoughla. Cover me with your wings. Nurture me like all living creatures. Please do not let the shadows fall over me. Allow me to shine in the light, and to accept my destiny, come what may.
I am almost certain I put the stove out before I left….I think…..maybe……
Juselen, 5th, 1014 YE
I was reminded of home today. We’re getting close to the mountains, and the air smells familiar. How it did before it turned to ash. The scent of pine and poplar, it makes me think of home. But still, we’re getting close. We’re closer than we’ve ever been.
Then of course, that made me think about how I never got to say goodbye. I still have the nightmares; the fire, the screams, the blood; my mother warm had growing cold. I wake up and feel Noelia’s warm body pressed against mine. I think she wants to be more than just my henchman, not sure how I feel about that.
We have to deal with some bad people to get there. I hope we’re strong enough because I know what failure means. The New Hellions aren’t going to reclaim our homeland. They’re too busy infighting. It’s all on us—Avery, me, our friends.
There’s so much more I want to tell you, but for the safety of our journey, I can’t. Not yet. Maybe soon. I’ll sure you’ll hear about it, wherever you are, soon enough. Alright. That’s it for me today. I’ve got work to do.