Monday, September 29, 2014

Sidetracked...sort of.

Was I ever young?
Those memories have long since faded from me.

I have no visual memories of my family. My parents, my siblings, my mate, my children... all lost to the insatiable void of time. I had a brief moment of hope, when we met the Maker, that he might be able to give me some answers; but all he left me with was more questions. The block to my memory is still puzzling and troubling to me. I can not remember beyond the desert, and it's almost a physical pain for me.

The Maker says I have forgotten to sing... and that makes me wonder what else I have forgotten, and if those memories will ever be restored to me.

This is part of why I am so intent on doing what I can for the sylvan sapling - if possible. My connection to the Sacred has returned, I can hold out some hope that in restoring the tree might allow me a glimpse behind the block in my memories. Having a direct physical connection, not only to the Sacred, but to the wellspring itself might allow me to see behind that veil that perplexes me so.


It is the propensity of the very young, I suppose, to be insistent that the universe centers on them. It's an illusion that is, quite often, a hard lesson to learn.

We waited at the warding walls there at the edge of the Old Woman's forest for a time. We were waiting to see if the knights would pursue us,  taking the time to rest, and using the opportunity to hunt and gather provisions. While we waited and rested, Lan worked with KelLyn to bring her out of the depression spiral she was caught in.

Thankfully, the knights did not pursue us out of the Old Woman's forest. Tobias revealed that the last time they were encountered, that they were able to teleport somehow back to their home on the other continent. So either they have returned home, have decided to turn back and return to the little fishing village, or they are lost to the Old Woman's forest. Either way, they are now only a peripheral problem.

During one of the hunting trips, Fife encountered a very large deer-like creature, and was able to successfully kill the beast. I have never seen a creature like this, and while it does resemble a deer or perhaps an elk, it is much more massive. Once it had been killed, I touched it gently, in a gesture of honor and respect for giving it's life to sustain ours. We fed Amit his choice of the animal, took the horns, hide, and bladder for trade goods and waterskins, and prepared the rest for cooking and preserving. Lan caught some large salmon from the river near by, and I was able to also find a selection of wild roots, mushrooms, fruits, and herbs. We even found a small grove of apple trees, and were able to harvest a good number of the ripe fruits as well.

We all ate well, and were able to greatly add to our provisions, which makes Shalev rest a little easier. I admire his dedication to insuring that the party is well provided for, although I wonder at times if the other party members - Tobias aside - realize just how much his forethought to supplies and provisions is necessary. Looking at them, and how much they do unconsciously rely on others to do for them, I often wonder how they made it through the desert in the first place, those many years ago.

The party discussed options now, and as we had no idea where the red mage KelLyn was chasing had gone, we decided to follow the road to see if it would lead us around the mountain and closer to a city where we could stop to get our bearings and then directions to Ambralia, and then to Qualton. Our other choice was to turn back and go once again through the Old Woman's forest, and we all agreed that was a less than desirable course.

KelLyn expressed her extreme dislike of the fact that we decided to follow the road, instead of following a cold trail to go after the red mage.  I am thankful to see that she has come out of the depression that plagued her, but her anger and acerbic nature has come to the forefront once again. I am concerned that the in-fighting between the party members will end up becoming.... lethal.

So, with her fuming not-so-silently about the decision to travel on the road, we continued our watchful travel - still keeping a wary eye out for the knights in case they decided to pursue or circle around ahead. After a few days, and off to the far side of the road, we discovered the remains of a party of 7-8 people. Nothing but skeletal remnants, and long dead, there was nothing to be found save evidence of a brutal fight that was the cause of their demise.

After about another week or so, we hear horns being sounded ahead of us, and we come across a large stone fortress. Shalev and I rode a little ahead to approach the gates, and we all enter the main gate unmolested by the guards. We find an inn called the Swallow's Rest, and we secure lodgings for a few days to allow us to resupply, and look for information. Almost as soon as we are settled in, we are approached by a courier from the main castle, summoning us to meet with the Count (John) the next morning. We agree, and Fife, Ishmael, and KelLyn  then venture over to a seedier looking establishment, most likely for a desire to be away from Shalev, Tobias, and I. KelLyn still seems rather angry that we are here, but then she is angry about everything these days. So they go off to drink with the promise that they will be ready in time to meet with the Count before morning court.

I decided to spend the evening in quiet contemplation at the Swallow's Rest. A good bath, clean clothes, a hot meal, and a mug of the Philosopher's Tea. All together a relaxing and somewhat luxurious evening. I spent some time just watching the people come and go in the common room of the inn, and then after my ablutions were complete, spent the remainder of the evening in study and deep meditations.

The next morning, around 4th candlemark, we were roused and made preparations to meet with the count. Shalev, Tobias, and I exchanged travel and adventuring attire for court dress, and Ishmael, Fife, and KelLyn - appearing somewhat the worse for wear- made themselves presentable.

We met with the clerk who was to be our escort, and are told of the troubles on the southeastern roads, of brigands and a mysterious old man who appears as a harbinger to the attacks. People dragged off, and whole caravans that have disappeared. When we reach the gates of the castle, we see a smaller band of adventurers leaving, with a distinctly dejected look about them. The courier...cleric.. that was escorting us to the Count made some sort of comment about "not passing their interview".

Looks of caution were exchanged between the party members - those not too hungover to care anyway - and we proceeded onward somewhat more warily. We met with the Count who asked us what our... qualifications as adventurers were. Shalev introduced himself, and the rest of the party with aplomb, and the cleric standing beside the count - probably to truth-say and provide verification of honesty - asked if KelLyn were the one wanted by Penicia for the destruction of the mage school.

Between her constant dialogue of things probably better kept out of a character interview, and Lan's unbelievably short attention span, it's amazing that we made it as far as we did. But the cleric - somewhat wide eyed - verified the truth of our statements, and our characters apparently met what ever criteria the Count was searching for; because Shalev began negotiating with the Count for provisions, a guide through the mountains, giving KelLyn access to a private collection of magical items left over from long ago, and our pick of whatever treasures we found in agreement to take on the task of traveling along the southeastern road to deal with the brigands as well as whatever...evil...we should encounter along the way.

We were then ushered through to the main hall wherein we were able to interview those affected directly by the brigands and attacks. We learned that the attacks seem to be premeditated, and forewarned somehow, as the brigands seem to target the most powerful warriors first.

During this discussion, Lan mentioned quietly that she felt someone scrying the party, and KelLyn took action to stop it from happening. She successfully cast a Dispel, and felt the scrying attempt stop. This apparently was not expected, and the table in front of the Count burst into flames in an attempt to kill us all before we could even get started.

Ishmael used his gifts to douse the fire, and KelLyn immediately targeted one of the clerics to the side as being responsible. The impostor cleric looked panicked at being discovered, and threw some sort of powder into the air, which caused him to disappear. Fife took immediate action, and snatched a knife from Shalev's belt to throw at the impostor cleric - or where he was a second before. He made a successful hit, as the dagger also disappeared, and there was a sound of pain from the impostor. The guards quickly moved to close the gates, but it was too late and the impostor managed to escape unseen and with no further injury.

Lan used her ability to heal to bring the Count back to full health, and to make sure that there were no others who were gravely injured.

Shalev then, in a moment of divine inspiration, cast Dispel Evil on the area, and discovered the unprotected area that allowed the impostor to enter and leave; as well as completely removing the remaining scrying efforts.

The Count then promptly agreed to the terms Shalev had set for our agreement to proceed, and we made plans to head out in pursuit as soon as possible.

Who...whatever.. is behind the attacks now knows that we are coming, and knows - to some degree - who we are and what we are basically capable of. We do have some advantage, however, in Tobias, my fleet-footed hunter, as he can sense evil, and had not revealed his talent for speed. Whatever we face also does not know of the party overall, nor of the efficient destruction that we can cause when given incentive to do so. But they will discover soon enough.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Character stats

Total cumulative Skill points earned: 70
Unspent Skill points: 7

Character stats are based off of a D6 System, and unless otherwise indicated have the same skill level as the base attribute. Skills marked with (S) are special skills that cost additional points to raise.

Perception          4
Blind Fighting            
Memory                     5
Sense of Direction      5
Spot Hidden               5
Stealth/Hide               5

Dexterity            6+1
Group Brawling        
Blunt Weapons        
Edge Weapons       
Projectile Weapons     7
Pick Locks                
(S) Pickpocket/Filch       

Strength               2
Increase/Reduce Damage

Intelligence           2
Languages                3 
Monster Knowledge
Survival                     5
(S) Surgery/Major Medicine
(S) Profession
(S) Read/Write          1

Wisdom                 2
Animal Handling         3
Chirurgy/First Aid       3
Siege Weapons
Willpower                   5

Charisma              3
Command                5 
Etiquitte                   5
Intimidate                 4
Personal Grooming
(S) Chivalry             

Belief in Magic: YES
Will Points: 1
Languages: Ancient High Elven, Elven, Common

For Physical description, character backstory and details, go HERE                                    

Best laid plans...

Such a fleeting thing. 

Even I, who have existed for millennia and will continue to exist long after, can sometimes feel the urgent press of NOW. I wonder how the shorter lived races deal with the constant urgent need that time presents them: a seemingly relentless and continuous flow of time in everyday life. It can be maddening. 

Moments, Days, Weeks, Months, Years... all delineations of something that can not be really cataloged properly. 

However eternal I may be, I can not argue that time seems against us for this current set of goals we have set out to achieve. 


KelLyn made a request of her brother - the captain of the ship we traveled on - if they could make a stop at Blackmoore. It seems a former lover of hers, the late bard Taryn, had left something there in the city that she wished to retrieve. Her brother agreed to make the stop, as he needed to re-provision anyway, and also made mention of the fact that he could get some books for her from the local magic guild.

She was quite enthusiastic about it, although I have noticed that she does not actively study the books that she currently has in her possession. I wonder if it is a proclivity of being a magic user then, to want things simply for the sake of possessing them? 

So we made port at Blackmoore, and her brother set off to retrieve the things he had promised.  KelLyn and Fife attempt to make it over to the Bard's College to pick up the belongings she wanted to pick up from them. Fife is quick to bribe guards when necessary, and also quick to sell stories of the party's adventures... something that I could see being potentially problematic later. Especially  if we ever want to attempt to keep a low profile. 

They made it over to the College, but returned empty handed. A pair of bards approached the ship, but they remained on the dock, as we would not and could not grant them permission aboard the vessel. They told us tales of a rebellion in Una Thrakis, and of a giant elf named Mar Llwellyn ("darkness of the sea") who leads them. 

Shalev asked of stories from home, and they regaled us with news of the rebellions and uprisings in the deserts, as well as stories of the healing cups that KelLyn is seeking. 

They also had some useful information regarding the artifact known as "Melcor's Bow" which the Maker first told us about. It would seem that it is currently in the court of the gnomish king - Damishan - and encased within a solidified volcano. It's something to make note of, in any case, if we ever run across the gnomes that Ishmael and Shalev seem so keen to find. 

KelLyn's brother had not returned by nightfall, and though she was concerned, she agreed that we should wait until morning to raise any alarm.

the next morning, however, the party woke to find that the ship had set sail once again. 

I do not know what occurred on the ship - ocean travel makes me horribly uncomfortable, so I remained below decks in deep meditations - though Tobias and Shalev tell me that there was some trouble involving KelLyn's brother being horribly wounded, Lan summoning a redcapped fae creature who began slaughtering the crew members, and the fight with it when they found it trying to kill the Captain as well. 

Due to an oversight, intentional misunderstanding, or just a desire to have us removed from his ship, KelLyn's brother did NOT drop us off near Ambralia as we asked, and instead we disembarked at a small fishing village named Wimmesey. Half again the distance away from where we wanted to be. 

While we were gathering supplies and equipment for land travel once again, and trying to orient ourselves on where we were versus where we need to go; a second ship docked and a small army of people wearing gleaming silver armor appeared. Tobias and KelLyn reacted negatively to the sight of these knights, as apparently they had run-ins with them before that resulted in the death of one of their party members previously. 

The party decided to track the band of knights, and deal with them first. Tobias and I scouted ahead several times,  but even though they left the little village only about a day before we did, we continued to fall behind for some reason. I let Tobias use my stargem that allows for silent movement, and he used his speed to run ahead to determine how far they actually were. 

He returned to the party the next night, completely exhausted, but after he had recovered, he informed us that they were using magic of some kind to speed their travel and that they seemed to be an illusion or unaffected by direct confrontation. 

KelLyn made an attempt to cast a similar spell to aid in quick travel, but her magic went haywire again, and she instead managed to create another gigantic fairy ring. Lan attempted then to summon another fairy creature to see if she could convince them to aid us. 

Instead she summoned the Old Woman of the Mountain - who instantly took a dislike to "hunter types" and to Fife in particular. I am guessing because he killed the fairy over off of the shores of Penicia all those months ago. She agreed to impede the progress of the band of knights in return for allowing one of her hunters to fire a single arrow at Fife in retribution for her dead kin. 

Fife agreed to the bargain, somewhat irritated at the fact that Shalev and I expressed that his life was not for bargain, and the Old Woman disappeared. 

Three days later we caught up to the band of knights and mages at their camp. It seems that their tracking spells had gone awry, and that they were having difficulty determining which way they should be going. 

Instead of attempting to take them unawares, and using stealth to our advantage, KelLyn decides to walk right up on the road past the camp. She stops to talk to them, giving away ANY chance that we might have had at subterfuge, and a fight breaks out when one of their mages calls her an "apprentice." 

Shalev and Lan had remained hidden with the caravan and supplies, and I wish to some degree that I had decided to remain with them. KelLyn excels in starting unnecessary fights, and I wonder if, at some point, she will start a fight that we can't win. 

I remained at the edge of the road, still under partial cover of the forest, and used my bow to some effect - although the armor that the knights wore was quite effective, so I wasted more arrows than I used helpfully. Ishmael shone through as an efficient and powerful melee fighter in this though, and it was his hand to hand and proficiency with his mace that gained us the most advantage. 

The Captain of the band, and the two mages were dispatched, and the rest of the knights were beginning to engage the fight when the Old Woman showed back up with her hunter. I have never seen an albino elf before, and I don't think it was actually an elf at all, really. Fae are capricious and tricky, but they seem to hold to the letter of the bargain they strike. 

One arrow was fired at Fife, which shattered against him without causing too much harm. The Old Woman then completely stopped the fight, and told us we could move on without additional confrontation, with the warning that if she saw "anything else being thrown through the air with intent to harm, that they (we) would never leave her mountainside." 

We quickly gathered our things and moved on. KelLyn seems to be in the throes of a deep depression, and refuses to do anything. She requires constant supervision now, and will not even do basic things to care for herself. 

After about a day or two of easy travel down the road, we came to a pair of standing stones carved with a druidic warning to "Beware the Old Woman of the Mountain" and an immensely powerful holy field that stretched for hundreds of yards around the area. 

I... felt it. I felt that the field was holy. I could touch the stones and feel the power resonating from them. 

I could feel it. 

My connection to the Sacred has either repaired itself, been returned to me, or whatever caused the block no longer has a hold on me. 

Regardless of why, my druidic powers have returned. I was wary at first, hardly daring to believe the sensation wasn't just caused by the overwhelming power of the stones we stood in. I attempted one of my very easy spells, and was thankfully, and joyously successful. 

I will continue to meditate and study the book, but now that my connection to the Sacred is whole again, it is my hope to increase knowledge and power. All things in balance.. and knowing HOW to use my gift is just as important as knowing when.

I do hope, against all hope, that the sylvan sapling in Tir na'Friar has gone dormant. I could not bear to think of it suffering through another immolation - especially now that the Maker is not there to help sustain it. The ent that I spoke with in the Druidhome grove said that if the sapling has the will to remain, that it will survive.

There is so much that needs to be done still, and things we MUST do before we can even attempt to remove the tree from the city. 

I can only pray for time now. But now, at least, I have some small degree of hope that my prayers might be heard. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Equipment and Items

Coins and Cash -
Platinum:       20
Gold:           150
Silver:          200
Copper:       200

Gems -
20 sapphires
  5 aquamarines
  5 tourmalines (thumb sized)
  6 small emeralds (thumb sized)
 2 medium emeralds (fine cut, 500 gp worth, taken from the pouch of the thief in the pyramid) 
  1 large emerald (extraordinary cut, 1000 gp worth, from the city under the sand) 
  2 black and gold coral pieces
  4 opals  (called "elf tears")

Other Items and Equipment - 
  • Initiates Guide to Sacred Druidry (book - gift from Martek) - carried in backpack
  • Incomplete spell book of druidic spells to Ehei - carried in backpack
  • Star gem (Tishpilar 2.5 inches across. Appears as a pearl.) Allows for completely silent movement. - carried in inner breast pocket of shirt, underneath the armor
  • 0 ent seed. - carried in small protective box in backpack
  • 1 sylvan seed - from the sylvan tree in Emer
  • 6 healthy strawberry plants. Planted in an old helmet. - carried in medium sized box with other seedlings and cuttings
  • medium sized box of various herbs, seeds, and plant cuttings and seedlings gathered with respect from the gardens I have visited. - carried on pack animal with other party supplies 
  • 2 small jars of honey (from Basil) - carried in backpack
  • 2 small jars of honey (traded for at the dwarven village in Emer) 
  • 3 healthy tea tree saplings (gathered with respect from Ma'tron's garden in Tir na' Friar) - planted in small containers, and carried with other seedlings and plants
  • 4 healthy tea tree saplings (gathered with respect from the gardens of the Quadling dwarfs) - planted in small containers, and carried with other seedlings and plants
  • 2 apple tree saplings - The Queen's Apples, given as a gift from the trees of the Queen's orchard in the hidden vale of the lost city of Emer.
  • 4 medium sized jars of tea tree oil
  • 3 small jars of olive oil 
  • 5 healing potions (each heals 1 wound level) - carried on a belt
  • 1 protection from undead scroll spell. 
  • 1 small bag of eye-shaped stones (picked up in the village of the "stealies" unknown value)
  • 1 finely wrought bottle of elven brandy (bottle is decorated with exquisite silver scrollwork)
  • 100 bottles of vintage elven wine (exceptional vintage) - kept in Tobias' storage box on the cart.

  • Bandolier of throwing knives (a gift from Tobias) - carried across shoulder
  • 1 small bag of explosive pineapple seeds - 6 seeds remaining (picked up from the world between worlds during the resurrection of Martek quest) - carried in protective box in backpack
  • 1/2 of a large brick of deep desert salt - wrapped carefully and carried in backpack
  • 1 porcelain tea service for two (made for me by the Quadling dwarfs) - carried in a small protective box in my backpack 
  • 1 porcelain tea service for 8 (a gift from Shalev) - carried in a protective box on the cart
  • 1 half-brick of pressed Big Blue tea (very valuable) - carried in box with my personal tea service
  • 1 block of dry ink - black. - carried on cart with other party supplies
  • 1 dress (royal quality) blue with silver trim - folded carefully and carried in backpack
  • 1 set white dress silks (desert garb - purchased in Bralizar) - folded carefully and carried in backpack
  • 1 set cold weather clothing and furs - folded carefully and carried in backpack. Furs carried on the pack animal with other party supplies, or worn as weather indicates. 
  • 1 set exceptional quality lockpicks - carried in belt pouch

  • worn - Grey fitted leather armor (purchased from Tir na' Friar)
  • worn - silver ring with fire opals in stylized flames under a tree crafted out of abalone shell (ring of promise gifted by Tobias worn on left ring finger)
  • worn - ring of woven platinum and layan thread with a green jade leaf (part of a matching set, worn on right ring finger)
  • worn - green jade leaf pendant (part of a matching set)
  • worn - Fine quality "common" clothes (worn under the armor, and when the armor is off while traveling.) 
  • worn - Family necklace
  • worn - ring of fire protection (worn on right thumb)
  • worn/carried - Quiver of 50 combat arrows
  • worn/carried - Dragon bone and maple bow, strung with dragon sinew (created and carved with intricate designs by Tobias)
  • worn/carried - Sling of Screaming - standard leather sling which is enchanted to cause any ammo thrown from it to scream loudly until found. (good for distractions) - gifted from the Jade Dragon in Emer
  • worn/carried - exceptional quality long sword. Leather wrapped hilt. crafted by Toshi.
  • worn/carried - Kapri’ini’s Scimitar (Crafted from Hardened Bronze Sword Blade Piece) STR +? (no close range penalty) gifted to me by Shalev
  • worn - two daggers
  • carried - ornate scroll tube carved with a sylvan tree at one end, with roots spiraling down the length of the casing. Contains 6 high level druidic spells, and acts as a calendar for the changing of the seasons and holy days. (hung from belt loop)

Note: This does not list items included in the standard adventuring kit. These are items of specific note that the character either started the game with, or has picked up along the way. List will be in continual flux as the adventures continue. 

Druidic spell list

Create - 2
Modify - 1
Destroy - 1
Move/Control - 1
Perceive - 2


Sphere of the Deity (3)

  • [CREATE] Summon the Olives (easy) - Summons a pool of olive oil. Amount of oil based on the power of the spell.
  • [CREATE] Send to Seed (easy) - creates seeds of one type of plant present in the area, or causes one plant present in the area to mature to a seed-bearing age and produce seeds.
  • [CREATE] Invoke the Greater Way (very difficult) - 
  • [DESTROY] Dispell Death (easy) - Decomposes a body into dust. Power of the spell determines the mass destroyed.
  • [PERCEIVE] Hidden Springs (medium) - Will show a number of nearby water sources, with distance and direction provided for each.
  • [PERCEIVE] Translate the Scroll (easy) - D/3 supplement to language skills
  • [PERCEIVE] Whispers of the Way (medium) - D/3 supplement to perception
  • [MODIFY] Clean the Camp (very easy) - makes an area perfect for camping. At the highest level, it will also create a prepared fire pit.
  • [MODIFY] The Javelin of Ceylon (difficult) - 
  • [MODIFY] The Time of Things Unseen (difficult) - 
  • [MOVE/CONTROL] Persuade the Fairy (easy) - adds magic to etiquette vs. fae and elves.
  • [MOVE/CONTROL] The Dragon's Bane (difficult) -
Animal (1)

  • [CREATE] Thorn of the Lion (easy) - Heals an animal 1 wound level. Power vs. damage class of the wound. (Note: This spell is medium difficulty if cast during combat.)
  • [DESTROY] Pox of the Fields (easy) - Animal takes 1 wound level. Power vs. unmodified strength.

Plant (1)

  • [CREATE] Conjure Fruit (very easy) - Creates a basic fruit. Quality of the fruit created is based on the power of the spell.
  • [DESTROY] Harbor's Curse (easy) - This is a touch spell. Harvested wood rots.  Power vs. strength of the object touched.

Human (1)

  • [CREATE] Bind the Gaping Wound (easy) - Seals a wound and increases chiurgury skill (x/3D)
  • [DESTROY] Weariness of Life (very easy) - This is a touch spell. Causes 2 levels of exhaustion. Power vs. unmodified strength.

Vitality (1)
  • [PERCEIVE] Nature of Things (very easy) - senses the type and strength of a spell

Undefined spells from the book of Ehei: 
realms of destruction:
* how to summon elven ancestors to pacify enemies. (ritual)
* A ritual to remove fires (normally used at home, but can be used anywhere)
* how to prevent decay of objects of importance. (can be used on books, wood, or other objects)
* ability to destroy acres of farmland
* turns weapons into farm implements
* restores natural order of an area by degrading walls. (ritual)

realms of hearth and harvest: 
* ability to find herbs
* ability to expand a fire to encourage warmth
* leeches toxin from a body (remove poison) 
* polish and clean metals
* draws all salt out of a body
* improved skills in cooking and alchemy
* restoration of will and potential of a supplicant (ritual) 
* reincarnation according to the weight of a soul (ritual) 
* allows for communication through fire
* shows distance and direction of home from any direction
* any land no longer grown as it should can reveal it's past
* supplement sight with divine energy to see hidden
* prophecy
* impose geas that can not be removed by magical means

* protection spells for a campsite
* blessing spells for harvest
* create food and water

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to the beginning

In more ways than one. 

This road has been long. We find ourselves, yet again, at the beginning of this path. Back on a ship and headed to Alexarta. Which means we are once more on the path toward Qualton, and to Tir na'Friar.

All things are circular, and cyclical.
It seems we still have things to do here before we can proceed onward.  I feel as if I have been given a second chance to correct the misconceptions I had when I was here previously. A second chance to save the sylvan tree, and to restore balance to this area. I mean to take it this time. 

Perhaps by taking my focus off of the minutiae of faith, and focusing once again on the balance of life around me, I have found the quiet voice of guidance again. Even I can still be caught up in the excitement of something new. I was so focused on the smaller things that I lost sight of the larger. My faith has not yet been restored to me, but I feel like I am on the right path after all. 

So I have also come back to the beginning. Maybe it will ultimately bring me clarity at last. 


The party continued on the road towards DragonSpire, discussing what might happen when we encounter the dragons there. 

The whole conversation makes me uneasy, as dragons are volatile at best, and I don't think they will be willing to simply let us in. The fact that the dragons are responsible for the eradication of the druids as they were doesn't do much to settle my thoughts. 

I made a comment that there was a better than average chance that the dragons might want to kill us ... me.. on sight, but it was taken badly, so I refrained from commenting further. 

I've still been somewhat lost in introspection since the Maker left us. He gave me much to consider, and the continued disconnection from the Sacred has left me feeling somewhat bereft. 

After we had crossed through another plain, and come upon the bottom of a black stone ridgeline, Kel Lyn made mention of a very strong residual magic that she sensed. She believes that the ridgeline is where she and some previous party members accidentally caused a tower to explode. She cast a spell to determine where the energy was coming from, and recalled that this plain was cursed by an extremely strong Destroy Plant spell, in an effort of the mage from the then-tower to destroy the druids. 

I wonder at the utter destruction of the druids. Why? Was the world so out of balance that it required the death of an entire people to restore it? What happened that caused such hatred towards those druids of long ago? 

The more I hear, read, and learn about the death of those that came before me, the more wary I am of making my own powers known. Perhaps it is for the best that I cannot access my connection at the moment? 

After another week's worth of travel, we encountered an ancient forest. Old growth, and an extremely holy place. It took us two days to reach the center of the grove, where there was an enormous tree with crimson colored bark. The other party members called it a "redwood", and I - with all of my years - have never seen an entity quite like it. 

My faith might be broken, but my respect towards nature remains. Entranced by the giant before me, I walked up to the tree and put a hand on it in a greeting. It's odd to describe the communion that happened between us, the tree and I. I don't even know if it's something that those with limited life spans could comprehend.

The oldest living things in the world. Ages unnumbered have nourished us, and we stand in absolute serenity, shedding years and cares like drops of rain. Time, the slow, measured passage of eons, is more like one giant river. Flowing ceaselessly from beginning towards some incomprehensible goal. Centered and balanced, the tree and I exist. His roots reach deep within the earth, his branches reach high into the interminable sky. As above, so below. 
In connecting with the smaller things, the cycle of life here, the give-and-take; I also connect with the larger universe.  

I do not know how long I sat against that tree. All else faded except that shared moment of calm certainty. 

The next morning, there was a second, smaller tree there beside the great heart of the grove. An Ent. The Keeper looked at me, and with tears in my eyes, I spoke with him. I asked for guidance, and I told him of the sylvan tree that I am striving to save, and I asked if he might be able to provide some instruction on what I should do.

He told me that The things which are part of my tradition are those things which I must do. He reminded me of the symmetry inherent in Elven tradition, and reminded me too of the circular nature of the druidic traditions. There should be a way to repair what is broken. 

Then he took the book that I was given, The Initiate's Guide to Sacred Druidry, and he turned it over. Upside down and reversed, he bade me read it again. 

Elves have a gift of perfection in speech that - in his measured words- is almost Ent-like. He told me that if carefully managed and studied, that which is done can be undone. He said that he did not know how to heal the sylvan tree, but he said that if the tree had the energy and the desire to live, then it would continue on. I asked him what I can do to help him as thanks for the peace of mind he has given. He replied that I was not yet ready to help him, but that I could return when I am. 

Kel Lyn offered to make him some rocks to use in defense and protection of his grove. He agreed, and she began crafting rocks and boulders with her magic. She botched a spell, and the haywire magic went into the giant redwood. I reached out to touch the tree to make sure it was not harmed, and found myself underground in the roots of the tree as it decided at that moment to impart a gift of knowledge to me. 

The giant taught me a spell that will allow me to locate water sources, with distance and direction of each source provided.

Once the tree had completed the teaching, I was released from the earth, and the party rested for another day to make certain that I was fit to travel. 

I made note of the grove in my journal, and hope to return someday. The giant heart, and his Keeper have much that they could teach me, I wager. The serenity that they were able to help me attain, however, is something I have no way to thank them for. Reminding me of who I am.. of what I am.. and allowing me to refocus has been a priceless gift. 

In the road out of the grove, there are fields and fields of odd looking plants with large green leaves and sweet-smelling yellow flowers (strawberry plants) I gently transplanted two into a container to carry with me, in hopes that I may cultivate them for my own gardens later. 

After we had been on the road for about a week, we came to a ridge line, and a large black stone wall in the distance. Kel Lyn says that this is where there was a curse on the land that she and some previous party members helped to break, and that there was a mage tower here that they accidentally caused to explode. 

Accidents seem to happen quite a lot around her, I've noticed. Perhaps the lack of control is due to her age. Tobias confirmed that this was where the tower was, and where he found the elven emperor's armor that he now wears. 

Shalev slaughters one of the oxen, as we needed to replenish our food stores before undertaking the trek across the barren ridgeline. Amit was given the largest portion of the carcass, and we all eat well. The rest of the meat is preserved carefully and added to our travel rations, and after a day of rest and preparing, we head across the ridgeline. 

It takes us about 5 days to reach the bottom of the first ridge, and another 10 to reach the top of the next. We reached a plateau here, where there is a sixty foot crater in the center. Kel Lyn says that this is where the tower used to be. She casts a spell, and too late, remembers that there is a magical defense still remaining over this place that triggers a violent electrical storm. We all go to the center of the crater, as it is the lowest point that we can safely go to to avoid the lightning that flashes down around us. 

Kel Lyn attempts another spell in Fyrewerian to create shelter for us, and accidentally ends up transporting us across the continent to the shores of Darkmoor, in Penicia. 

She is quite upset about being here, and is acting rather irrationally. She's quite incoherent about anything other than getting away from this place. I gather that this is where she is originally from, and that she left under a certain amount of duress. We travel to the main harbor, trying to convince KelLyn to remain hidden, but she is behaving unreasonably, and will not listen to what we are trying to tell her. 

Shalev uses his family name, and his own nobility to gain us passage on a ship in the Grey Harbor, and lodgings in the Golden Swan inn. While we are there at the inn, he acts with accordance to his nobility, and we are given quite a lavish meal. I noticed that the nobles of the town who were here all vied to be seen in view of him, and I wonder if he realizes that it is HE that draws the respect and attention, not his family name. I am introduced as his advisor, and Tobias and the rest of the party are introduced as his bodyguards and maidservants to maintain the impression. 

The meal provided to us is full of delicacies and is quite delightfully flavored. I will hand it to him, he knows how to make an impression, my student. 

After a night in the inn where we are all able to refresh and rest, we make our way down to the docks to find the captain Mauri Lyn to book us passage back to Ambralia. 

It turns out that this is KelLyn's brother, and there is a moment of instant recognition between them. He tells her - somewhat angrily - that their father is dead, because of the price on her head, but agrees to carry us away from the city with all haste. We board the ship, and as soon as we set sail, we are attacked by two assassins from the Black Hand, who are after KelLyn They are dispatched in rather short (and messy) order, and KelLyn notes with wry amusement that these assassins bear the sigil of her goddess Leilanna. 

Perhaps she needs to have a conversation or two with her deity. 

Thankfully the rest of the trip goes uneventfully, and we arrive at the port of Ambralia. 

So here we are again. Back to the beginning of the road we were travelling. 

Things have come full circle in more ways than one. Now that we are back here, I have every intent on visiting Qualton again, to see what information can be gathered in speaking to the vintner and his family. Then there's Basil and his gardens. We could use a restocking of healing potions, and I need to check on the entlings he has there. The ranger encampment outside of the city also bears visiting, as they have completed the compound bow that they started to build for me. 

Then the next step is to take care of the sylvan tree, and the evil that lies below the elven city of Tir na'Friar. If I can safely remove the tree, then I will carry it back to Basil's gardens, or the family of vintners to care for and restore. Perhaps in restoring the tree, my own connection to the Sacred will also be repaired. 

But in the mean time, I have found what peace I can. I will continue on, and I will maintain as I always have, the serenity and ageless wisdom of who I am.