Well… “home” is relative, I suppose, as my home tends to be wherever I find myself wandering for the moment.
This particular moment, it finds me wandering back towards the city of Na’Silar however briefly.
Even I recognize the necessity of visiting structured civilization periodically.
We finally succeeded in returning the desert to the people as a whole. The enchantments that cursed it have been broken. After over a year of traveling through the sands, battling mages and efreets, exploring lost tombs, buried libraries, and forgotten ruins; we have at last succeeded in resurrecting the Arch-mage Martek, and returning the desert to his watchful eye.
It seems that I have taken the first steps in becoming the last …the ONLY…of the Sacred Druids. The last of my kind. The ONLY of my kind. These titles are not new to me. I have no idea if any elves like me remain, but I do know that I am the only Sacred Druid in living memory, and current existence at this time. As a gift for helping to resurrect Martek, I received the only remaining copy of the Initiate’s guide to Sacred Druidry.
Hopefully I can do justice to the role I have been given. Being a Sacred Druid meshes well with my natural inclination as a Ranger; and while it will potentially mean leaving the desert behind, perhaps it’s time to continue on. Oh I’ll not move too far. There’s a peace that I find in the shifting sands that I found no where else in my nearly three millennia of traveling. For all of my desire to learn if there are others like me out there, I can not deny that the desert is home. Certainly the longest I have ever stayed in one place.
While this adventure may be complete, it has succeeded in stirring my wanderlust with a fierce vengeance, and given me a sense of family that I find myself growing quite fond of. A somewhat dysfunctional little family to be certain, but we work well together when motivated, and can be quite intimidating as a whole.
Each of the party members has their place in my thoughts now:
- the surly destruction mage, Kellyn. Even with her turbulent temper and highly unpredictable magics, is an interesting traveling companion, and I am apparently one of the few that she considers friend. There is certainly much more to her than meets the eye, and she keeps her story close. I find myself watching with a little amusement to see what she will do next. As a gift for helping in his resurrection, the Arch-mage Martek gave her a book of knowledge, and also made her considerably younger. With her already awe-inspiring power levels, this might prove to be an interesting combination for her.
- the strange seal-fey creature Lan. She’s a selkie. A fey-creature that can shift from humanoid (appearing as both high-elf, and orc as she chooses) to seal. She has a strange relationship with Kellyn, as apparently she is the avatar of the goddess Kellyn follows. She has her own brand of magic, and seems to be able to find whimsy in any situation. Her gift from Martek was a palantir. We do not yet know what it does, but she finds amusement bouncing the shiny glass ball on her nose as a seal.
- the wary blacksmith, Ishmael. I do not know what he thinks of the adventures and of the party now. He still seems afraid, and almost resigned to whatever fate traveling with us might bring to him. I’m glad he decided to continue traveling with us for a time though. His gift was information. He now has the knowledge of where to get a special hammer that will allow him to work with any metal; as well as a bar of a specific material that he can use to trade with the gnomes for additional information and skill training.
- Sha’lev. First my student, now my friend. Of all of my students, he has shown the most promise. I have watched him grow much over this past year, and he seems to be coming strong into his own. He has taken on the role of First Paladin of the goddess of Law and Order, Ma’at. It makes me proud to see him succeed and make a powerful name for himself. He has found himself a bride too, it seems. It is his marriage that we are returning to the city to bear witness to. I don’t think his bride (the party-rescued, and newly reinstated Princess and Priestess of the White Palms Oasis) quite realizes what she has gotten herself into, but I imagine she will see soon enough. His gift from Martek was a book that, when read for a week, will help to restore the Dexterity and skills that he lost during an encounter with the undead. He also received specific knowledge on where he could go to advance his fighting skills, information on how to dedicate a temple to his goddess, as well as knowledge on beginning a quest to further his advancement as a Paladin of Ma’at which would give him a sword comparable to his needs.
- there’s ’Lev’s cat Amit. A giant liger, powerful and intelligent, he is a valued party member in his own right. I recognize a loneliness in him, as the only of his kind. Perhaps as a Sacred druid I can help him find a mate somehow. It’s a thought worth considering anyways. I’ll have to ask him what he thinks. Martek gifted him with a limited-use metallic coating on his claws that would allow him to take levels from his enemies and transfer them to himself. Amit is already a truly impressive creature. This makes him even more so.
- and finally Tobias. My heart. I never thought I would find love again, after so long. I didn’t even think it possible. Yet here he is. Renowned warrior in his own right, my desert elf has become more than just a companion, and I can not deny that what I feel is love. The thought actually frightens me a bit, believe it or not. Maybe there’s more than one wedding in the works? Who knows. Elven courtship can take centuries, although my Tobias has picked up the quick pace of the humans. So we will see if he takes his time, or decides to go ahead and pursue more. Martek’s gift to him was a spiked mace that would be nearly impossible to damage, making it extremely useful for Tobias when he is running.
Ahriman, a mage of noteworthy skill with regards to mental magics, sadly was lost in an encounter with a ghostly ship on the glass-sea. He encountered something that caused a crisis of faith within, and he could not cope. The party members tried to help him through the crisis, but were unfortunately unable to do so. This crisis of faith caused a loss of his powers at a critical time, and the loss of his power contributed to his death.
Alex, a fighter whom we encountered in the hidden village at the gates to Martek’s place. His party had been killed by the warring factions of peoples there, and he accompanied us through the labyrinthine maze of the traps and passages to find the minarets that we needed to resurrect Martek. He was sadly lost in one of the wings of the crystal towers, when he could not follow the other party members through one of the puzzle doors.
and Timu, a blind mage of some skill, whom we discovered lost within the temple proper. He made it through to help us resurrect Martek. His gift for helping, was a one-way ticket back to his homeland. I hope he does well wherever he returned to, and is treated with the respect he deserves.
This particular adventure has been a long, and difficult one. We’ve lost several party members along the way, and gained a few new ones. It will be good to relax for a space of time regardless.
As a final parting gift, Martek made it so that anyone we encountered along the journey remembers nothing of us, or of our accomplishments. This is a blessing in many regards, but also a curse in a way, as any story we share of this adventure will be thought as nothing more than a drunken sand-tale.
Resupplying, resting, and re-outfitting the party will take some time, and quite a bit of money, I imagine; but it is well earned leisure time for us all. This will give us the time we need to take a look at where we are going next. There are several options open to the party, and as adventurers I’m sure new opportunities will arise along the way.