Eleanor - Fragments, Records and Notes

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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Wed May 18, 2016 3:24 am

Records
10th – 14th Hammer 1352, Hunters' Compound
In a way the last battle in the Fields of the Dead, when we chased after Haram, reminded me of something from the past. The discussion was not needed; we just split into two groups without bickering, planning. It was... fluid. For once there was no struggle for glory and arguing who's plan should we follow. Greil and his men took the point, creating a diversion which made it possible for me, Vincent and some others to run after the Angel. I saw the wings first. Always, the damn wings. It was the same with Brann. I still remember that the narrow passage was filled with his wings. This time, we didn't have the upper hand of having Haram trapped underground, but he was wounded. I saw the drag of the wings, the slightly hunched stance and I knew our time was running short. That opening, where we could take him down was closing so without further delay I attacked. Others joined shortly, circling the monstrosity. Vincent bathed it in the streams of magic while I directed every slash of my blade down and across Haram's body. I saw another mage, whose name I can't recall, casting few fireballs one after another a hurricane of fire, other melee fighters flanking, arrows showering down and bouncing off my shield. Screams and my own heart's pounding filled my ears. After what felt like an eternity, monster's strength withered and after Vincent managed to slow him down, while Vendor, I think, wounded beast's side I brought the final blow, drowning the monster in the purity of greater ruin. And it was done. The last of the Angels of Decay was slain. The fighting, however, continued in the Fields of the Dead. I sent a quick sending to Merc's Captain, and while the mages were burning what was left of Haram, I jogged back to the fields to look for Kory. I found him battered and wounded but it wasn't as bad as it looked and after proper healing the man was back on his feet, bringing destruction upon the undead army swarming about. Hours passed and finally it was over. I stood among the carnage and smoke, surrounded by battered warriors, mages, archers, mercs and others factions' members. The eerie silence was interrupted only by heavy breathing of those that took part in the last battle. I could not believe it was over. Exhaustion was there, present and nagging but after you fight day after day it is hard to just lay down the arms and go back to what? I didn't want to think about that, I knew what lurked behind the corner and I wasn't yet ready to face it. All I wanted was to take Greil on that offer to have drinks at the dump he liked so much, but I knew that if I went, I wouldn't be able to stop drinking. And gods know what could happen then, so I went with Elyssa, we circled the city to make sure there were no undead left scattered in the area. We carried the news. I had an odd feeling being watched or trailed after and I had pretty good idea who could that be. I suppose spreading all this nonsense around wasn't enough. Elyssa and I arrived at FAI later on and we decided to clean our gear and change into a clean set of clothes after a battle. I scraped the surface of things one more. I felt the pull, part of me wanted to tell her but I resisted that fickle, treacherous temptation to share. My mind went to the silence in my head. It bothered me still. I could no longer feel Koraxxes' presence.
.


To keep myself occupied I dived into the planning of the Winter Festival almost immediately after the siege and war were over. Search for Rei took me to the Temple of Ilmater. A place I haven't visited in a very long time. To my surprise, Ivan was there, and his arrival gathered others inside as well. Some aspect of me wanted desperately to believe that things could go to the way life was 10 months ago. But the moment Telia asked to talk to me I knew that it would never be like it was. I suspected she wanted to talk about Terri's accusations. As usual, I'd indulge her, answer truthfully to all her questions and insinuations. Even tho, clearly, she had no right to ask, nor was it her business really. But Terri, with her yapping, was making it everyone's business anyways. I don't have anything to hide, if I did, I wouldn't have spoken in front of the War Council about it in the first place but somehow she managed to make it look like it was that big, dark secret of mine. I talked to Telia, admitting what was there to admit. My mind skipped steps, I wanted to block off pain, guilt, rage, and shame. I wanted to drown it all in the bottle of whiskey. Telia said I should talk to Ameris. And I obeyed, telling her I would do so once the opportunity showed itself. It did, the next day, after my talk with Rei. I told her the whole story and she basically dragged me to Temple so I could speak to Ameris. I didn't want that. I knew that the moment I do it, everything would start crumbling down. It was just the matter of time. With Ameris' words came the realization I've been avoiding for months now. I let the words go, not all of them, but enough still. The second day in the row I was forced to face it all and I did. After that lengthy, revealing discussion I felt exhausted, empty and angry but there was one more meeting left, this time, business. After my departure from the Temple, I visited the Last Anchor. Captain Asher gave me a tour. Such well-furnished place. And the whiskey wasn't half bad either.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:52 pm

Records
15th - 25th Hammer 1352, Hunters' Compound
I prefer solid ground but the time came for HoV to assist Cranston with his mission and that meant working with the Dragon Wing crew. Took me a while to convince Vincent to join but in the end, I dragged him along. We met with them and soon after departed to give chase after some slavers pointed out by Cranston. He got to settle his business, and if it wasn't for the fact I was tied up to a mast, I would have wiped that smirk off Dunn's face with a gauntlet on.

My talks with Captain Asher about her road to redemption take a different turn every time we speak. It's entertaining in a way; she has a rather complicated past full of different stories. This time, she talked about men she's been with. About one of them in particular. Dunn's past doesn't really surprise me given that Des was never the one to fall for Mr. Right. But there are times it takes all the composure and self-control I have to keep listening to her. I don't believe she knows how much pain it causes me when she talks about him. I wish she didn't bring him up.

Search for Rei and Ameris brought me to Temple. How I came to dread this place... It used to be something almost like a home. We, me and Rei, started here. I still remember. Temple was busy as usual. They are occupied with all that is happening. Burials, some rats, rat spread disease and displaced street kids. The post-war dust hasn't yet settled; it will take time. I was about to leave when the person I least suspected to ever entered this building came in. Even Mercs seems to be looking for a way to get involved in all this. Figures, a way to mark territory like any other. He teased me, leaving the question for me to answer. If things were different I could have told him why, but I didn't. I won't make the same mistake again.

I rarely leave the compound now, busy with the preparations for the Festival. I had hoped the Holy Orders would get involved, but they have been ignoring me so far, despite all the missives that went out. I spoke with Isabella and Elyssa about this project, and they gave me an idea. I suggested to them that I could involve Alexandra in it as they were growing worried about the acolyte's detachment. Gatewarden offered that she could set up a fortune-telling stand at the festival if need be. And so, a few days later I approached Alexandra and laid my proposal in front of her. Surprisingly she said yes and from now on she will handle part of the correspondence with the factions. That brings me some relief and takes a solid load off work from my plate making room for another matter that I need to handle.

I attended the first Everwatch meeting this year. The woman I heard so much about, Wai Li, was hosting it. She was voted an acting head watchknight in Sveta's absence. She awarded us some medals and promoted Rei to Captain, leaving her in charge of all operations north. She also wanted to promote me to Guardian, but I kindly refused. I don't think it would be proper without Sveta signing off on it as well. We talked about Everwatch plans for this year and some of the initiatives we could work on. I met one of the members I haven't had a chance to get acquainted with before, Watchknight Goldwind. He told me about Terri's plan to get Arkaine to hunt me down. I suppose things are not going to dissipate on their own. Overall the meeting was quite productive; we know in which direction we should move.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

26th - 31st Hammer 1352, Hunters' Compound
I was supposed to meet Alexandra at the Keep so we could go scout for a location where the Festival could take place. When I arrived at the gate, I found Isabella talking with Xavier and Selengil. Apparently Zhentarim wanted to reach some kind of agreement with Laitae. Like that would ever happen. Shortly after I took Alexandra towards the beach near the lighthouse. She did, however, convince me that this is not the best spot given the insects infestation and sheer distance from the city. I pushed her a little too far, making the same mistake I did with Bath. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

Atashka approached me; she wanted to talk about Praethis and the conflict or a misunderstanding as she put it; she had with Alexandra. I already knew parts of what she told me, and other aspects fell into place in connection to what Xavier had already told me a few days before. The tiefling is not going to live much longer, pissing off so many people. I won't get involved in the whole mess he and Araxina are causing as long as they don't end up on a crash course with what I'm doing. They could, however, stop littering the tradeway with paladin body parts, it is really tasteless and gets on people's bad side.

I finally managed to make the meeting with one of the monks happen. I talked with Mathiu for a longer while before the leader of the Order of Four Ways arrived. Bran appeared to be a reasonable sort which gives me some hope, as long as his faction survives the initial period they could become allies we actually need. The optimism I felt after the meeting didn't last long. I had another meeting on the agenda in the coming days, this time with the Theater crowd and my skin crawled at the thought. For some reason, I feel like I'm intruding into their territory with the Festival project. I better prepare myself mentally for this.

I sometimes wish I could retreat to whatever world Vincent lets himself escape. I thought that he would get better by now, but I guess that is a lost cause. I shouldn't be surprised, the loss he must have felt was probably much greater. Maybe that is the reason I try to keep him included, so I drag him to that meeting at the theater just to force him outside of his head. I listen to the Performers' suggestions, taking them in, adjusting the plan in my head at the same time. I suspect that Kory will laugh once he sees the changes it brings. But at this point, with only three tendays left, we are past a point where we could argue. In the end, we have gathered support only from Dragon Wing, the Performers, Ilmateri and if I count Mercs and Isabella that makes it barely five factions of all of those that exist. That is not what I hoped for, but I guess it will have to do.

Temporary Head Watchknight conducted the first training session for the whole Everwatch today. It was an odd experience altho I didn't really enjoy taking on a command position. There is more of that to come; she plans to organize a training school for whoever wishes to come and take part with external lecturers as well. This is going to cause me a severe headache. Neither of my previous mentors seemed keen on teaching me what all these commands mean, so it's all the same for me. It appears that Terri went as far as reporting to Wai. Temporary Head Watchknight suggested that it would be reasonable to put me in front of a Tribunal on Trial for alleged crimes and moral wrongs. If this must be done, so be it.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:50 pm

Notes on the margins
Nightal 1351 - Hammer 1352
*Tiny scribbles covering margins and bottoms of most of the pages. All written in tiny, tight-knit and shaky script. Some are crossed many times over other are covered in blotches of ink. Only some of them are legible.*
Hidden: show
I look at that damned thing we have spent so much time building and at some level I cannot believe what I am seeing. I am unable to begin to comprehend why and more importantly how.. All this work, all the battles, all the research, and the chase. All worth nothing. Now it is just what it was in the beginning. A skull and four stones. The voice in my mind remains silent. I can barely feel his presence now which scares me even more. It would only mean losing everything we worked for, and I am not sure I can just walk away from that.
...
At first.. I have not noticed it. I directed the blame on the exhaustion, inability to concentrate that stemmed from it. But then I woke up with this unmistakable feeling deep in my chest. A long time had passed since I experienced it but I do remember how it feels. Like a feral beast clawing at your insides. I sat for a longer moment very still, refusing to admit what was in front of me. Somehow some part of me had expected it to happen at one point. I have failed. All the choices I have made, driven by the need and duty to create something that would turn the tide of the war, were at a certain cost that required me to bend more rules and principals than I can count. But I have never broken any till I was forced to lie. Once I realized that all we had worked so hard for is no more, I kept pretending that it doesn’t matter. I kept blaming Koraxxes’ silence on different things. Now.. Now I am falling. They used to fear he would lead me to this. And here we are, I did it all on my own. How bloody ironic..
In the end, all of them were right about me, but that’s not the worst part. That monster of a father was right too.
...
I felt Koraxxes’ presence drifting away slowly just like water slips trough the cracks in the dry, dead ground and I watched the light inside the blade flicker, dim and die as if he was never there. He also left, without a warning. This time, I knew what to expect. This time, I would not wait. I buried the blade as one buries a dear friend that passed away. Not far from where I had buried the skull of the arcanist.
I wish I hadn't been that foolish and formed attachments to things that don't last. I have been so naïve. I have experienced loss times and again, and somehow I still haven’t learned from it. It follows me everywhere I go, and it makes me weak. How can I harbor so many delusions is baffling.
...
I move the bottle gently. The amber colored liquid fire clashes against the smooth, cold surface, never breaking free unless I tilt it more and let it hit the bottom of the glass. The brief taste of freedom before the walls of the glass confine it again. I release it only to burn through me and numb me. Just enough to fill that hollow pit for the time being. I am my father's daughter after all.
...
I watch the undead collide with the walls, part of me wishes for one of them to end me. The other part drains the anger and uses it to strike every time. I watch the carnage and feel little. Tomorrow is another day, another battle; others will die. No one will remember the dead from today. Cara would, I guess, but she is not here to scribe the fallen. The tension in my sword arm is causing the joint to lock occasionally and then it feels like the whole arm has been torn off as I lose any sensation in it at all.
...
It all went down.
It was coming. Not that I didn't know. I just hoped I could avoid it for a little while longer. I want to blame him. Gods, how I want to blame him for all of it. But I can't. Not even now.
I let them disassemble me and drag me through all this reasoning. I wonder what the point was. For it has not made it any easier.
I drown it all in even proportions in work and whiskey. No time to think makes it impossible to feel.
...
*Few, barely readable paragraphs written on a folded, tearing part of the page.*

they haunt me
questions and looks of disapproval

their judgment
a weighty veil attached to my temples
it drags behind slowing me down
exhausting all that is left

he stands behind me in the temple full of former friends
a careful question within the tease

but he is not him
a reminder of what is in the past
clawing down my back
putting out the fire before it spreads
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:05 pm

Records
1st - 6th Alturiak 1352, Hunters' Compound
I was scouting some more, for an acceptable location that could fit the needs of the Festival. Hinzel trailed along. I still don't know why he does that. In a way, it gives me the creeps, especially when I think of rumors that surround that tiefling. I don't like to assume there is a dagger wielding shadow at my back, but nothing can be done about it. In hindsight, I wished he hadn't been trailing me that day. I could have avoided what came next.
I heard someone approaching, and when I turned, I saw Xavier. I half suspected another mocking discussion to take place, some muscle flexing and territory marking but to my surprise he did neither. The request was for me to come to Darkhold to discuss some matters. I already had a feeling what these issues would be. He wasn't in the mood for being trailed by Hinzel and the threat was set out in the open. If I have learned anything from all the previous encounters he wasn't bluffing and I wasn't one to try my luck and risk someone else's life. If I knew that I'm going to be judged harshly for that, I'd have kept my mouth shut, but I didn't. I knew that Hinzel was too stubborn not to trail after us so I just hoped he wouldn't be reckless. I haven't been here since... Since last time, in a different life.
As impressive as the castle is outside it isn't the same inside. It's rather sparse. We sat in some kind of dining room and talked business. As usual, he seemed both annoyed and displeased with my answers, no surprise there. If he thought I'd be stupid enough as to take him on his offer regarding Praethis, he apparently hasn't paid much attention. I wasn't about to get my men involved in this stupid chase not to mention end up in bed with Zhentarim again. I toyed with the idea because it had merit and it made sense on some level, but the risk was too high and right now I had to be careful. Telia's sending reached me and her reaction to my reply was as predicted. Selengil joined at some point while the discussion shifted to my trial. Where Xavier was growing gradually more irritated with my stand in the matter, Selengil wasn't on the opposite side. Whether it was just a facade or not he had a point with his insights. When I emerged from the keep's belly Hinzel was still outside. I was about to walk from one tricky situation into another, a less pleasant one. Even when I answered truthfully to Telia's questions it still somewhat set her off. Her ugly, harsh accusation slapped me hard. I wonder how she does that, how can she cope when she lets the emotions loose. I asked her if that is the only acceptable way, for me to allow her to see what I feel. She acts as if there was only one way a person should behave. I keep my emotions on a leash while she allows hers to rule her. That doesn't make me a monster, but she still called me one. When she was done with me, I left. A bottle of whiskey later I was finally free of her voice in my head.

Cara is back. I know she won't stay long, I know that she will be gone way too soon, but right now I'm glad. I talked to her about the trial, about Xavier's offer, about Telia, and about other things. Her keen, logical mind cuts through the matters with precision. How I wished she could stay. Especially when the other side of the scale is everything that I should keep away from. Is it wrong I let myself consider the offer casually thrown in the mix over the whiskey? I know he is more than capable of it. Is it wrong that I allow myself to smile when he says it? This would solve my problems. This would make everything easier. But then, there is that annoying wedge I keep picking on. It secures me in place for a reason. Finish what you started, I say to myself. Time will come.

I watched Ameris lose his composure. I believe that it the first time I've ever witnessed it, and I was the cause. I wonder what gives them the right to judge me, again and again. We argued in the middle of the street, and something in my head was changing with every word of accusation. The only mistake I made was not the one he wanted me to admit to. He showed me his true colors at that moment. I apologized, because what else was there. It was what he wanted to hear. I caught a glimpse of Alexandra, and it reminded me that we were supposed to scout another location today. This time, we talked less than before, neither had I strength nor was my mind able to handle a more suitable conversation. I think I know which location I'm about to chose for the second day of festivities.

I didn't know it then. But that meeting was the last. It took one look at Cara for me to know I have her blessing, so I smashed Talisen's head into the table before he could jump into the shadows, the spell came next, and then I let him go. I wanted to throw him into the cage for few days, but there was no time for pettiness. We talked about the matters they missed and the upcoming festival. When we were done with planning, I finally told them about the trial and that I can no longer lead them, that I need Kory to take over. I felt the exhaustion of the past few months weighing down on me at that moment. I carried the torch as long as I could now it was time for someone else to take over. Have I not failed, perhaps I wouldn't have to do this, but the wheels were already in motion.

Every time we talk over the whiskey, I can't shake the echo feeling it gives me. I like the stories of the progress they make, tho. Even Merc Captain's smugness bothers me less then because I know he earned the right to brag about this. I'm looking forward to watching them grow.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:06 pm

Records
7th - 17th Alturiak 1352, Hunters' Compound
I have attended the first edition of Everwatch Training School and as I do applaud the idea, I felt rather displaced there. I have never had a military training so all these formation commands do only one thing to me. Cause confusion. The initial disturbance brought about by Dreadlord Harkonis' presence was soon forgotten amidst all the exercises. I hope that this endeavor can continue and another edition happens soon enough. This time, preferably, with a lecture about formations first...

The topic of Atashka and Praethis resurfaced again during my visit at Candlekeep. I wish Alexandra was more inclined to share her thoughts on the matter. That sharp mind of hers most likely made some connections that could shed more light on the whole thing. After that topic was talked over we moved to the one regarding the Festival's final preparations, the lack of response from the Orders. Their observations align with my own. We also talked about my Trial and the fall. Isabella's words gave me a pause. For the very first time, I wasn't judged but she actually offered me a way of looking at it all differently. She handed me a different perception of the same matter everyone has been covering with a thick layer of condescension. There is a small glint of hope in her words.

The first day of Winter Festival wasn't free of incidents. Celestia tried to disturb the end of the bardic contest and steel was drawn but Aeili escorted her out. Ironically Khazark won the first prize, Nea was second and Eva third. The play that Aeili and Telia prepared was quite popular and amusing. The donations, fortunately, were hefty enough to bring some measure of satisfaction. The second day, the only one conducted outside of the city brought some numbers of visitors. On the other hand, the duels proved not popular which in a way was a disappointment. People are so quick to attack each other for many different reasons but very few took their grievances to the arena. The auction was a much bigger success even if I had to return some of the money that Thayans donated due to Ameris' issues with it. The Ebon Blade were a total no-show for whatever reason, odd and disappointing but who was I kidding in trusting that they can show up if their Captain wasn't there to keep them on a leash. The same was for DragonWing booth, none of them made an appearance. The only one that actually stuck to her word was Isabella with her fortune-telling stand. The last day, under the Midwinter Celebration banner, wasn't without disturbances as well but they were minor and dealt with quickly. I managed to dodge Elyssa's attempt to get me to dance.

Overall we have gathered almost 350 bags for the Orphanage and the poor and 150bags for the Soup Kitchen on top of 60 bags I have donated to the ilmateri before the Festival started. I waited for the package from Waterdeep to arrive before I decided to go to the Temple to deliver the coin. Ameris was busy talking with a man. They asked me to stay and the priest introduced me to his companion, a jergalite by the name Vladimir. The discussion soon took a turn for worse, at least where the choice of topic was concerned. They wanted to speak about my incoming Trial and so we did. I asked Brother Ameris to come but I am unsure if he will. Vladimir insights were somewhat different than others have been showering me with, closer to what Isabella had told me. I welcomed his perspective and opinion on the matter, not only because he reminded me of Cara but also due to that subtle yet apparent difference. With very few days left before the trial and the number of allies shrinking with each I was in no position to discard his words. By then I already knew what my next steps would be and I had to prepare for it. All these decisions were slowly crystallizing in my head and I have already made steps towards some of them. In four days the status of many things will change and then it will keep changing till a certain point. I am still unsure about the actual shape and spectrum of what is to come but I can feel it. It is almost as profound as the silence that keeps growing.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:13 pm

Records
18th - 30th Alturiak 1352, Temple of the Guardian in Nashkel
I returned the rest of the donations from the Enclave to Kahanak. He wasn't happy about it and didn't pass on a chance to make me aware of this. After that unpleasant exchange, I found Mercs inside FAI. There was no real explanation for them blowing us off during their assignment at the Festival and for a moment I was considering the outcomes if I was to nudge this towards an actual confrontation. If it weren't for his men around I would have probably pushed him some more. I guess I wanted something to happen - confrontation or whatever else really - because waiting for the Trial was pushing my own limits. I resisted the urge. This itch would have to wait. I watched the Ebon Blade banter for some time before I could no longer stand still. Taking the returned coin, I left for the compound. I needed to start packing. I wanted to be done with it before the Fundraiser Gala in two days.

Packing helped to keep my focus on some issues I needed to sort out before the Trial. I transferred leadership to Kory and left the faction officially a day before the tribunal. There were still some items I needed to pack, but I had to attend the Gala first. I watched them all interact, participate in the auction and dance. I was also successful at deflecting Elyssa's second attempt to get me to dance. I wasn't, however, as lucky with avoiding Ameris. He accompanied me later to the Compound and helped to move the last part of my belongings to the empty residence. We talked about my time with HoV and the way things turned out. I told him the reasons for me leaving Hunters and my plans about dropping from the Everwatch as well. I no longer have a place among either of these factions, but I knew I had to let all the matters settle before I can make any final decision. I suppose, part of me hoped that perhaps with time something would change. Ameris suggested I should get involved with the Temple and the Orphanage, but I declined. I didn't want to do anything that would put me at a risk of bumping into his wife. He tried to explain her behavior but it was up to no good, I knew she had her reasons and fears, and I wasn't interested in trying to accommodate that. I was done always being the one trying. After Ameris and Reine had left, I opened a bottle of whiskey and finished packing everything into the crates. I wanted to leave the residence clean and tidy in case Sveta came back. I was half considering sending to her, telling her about the Trial but I didn't, she left for a reason. It wasn't my place to disturb her.

The day of the Trial finally came, with my eyes focused up front I listened to the voices slowly filling the training room that was acting as a courtroom today. I clasped my hands behind my back remaining perfect form, perfect composure, perfect silence. And I kept it throughout the whole thing in an intact condition. My awareness of who was and wasn't present kept me somewhat distanced but also calm. I listened to Terri's version of the story, offered mine while she tried to interrupt me times and again. I knew part of the Trial was just a formality as I have already admitted to lying but there was that one principle that I needed to stand by. Khazark dropped his little bomb at a point, as did Luke. I stood by the fact that I wasn't dishonorable, but it didn't make a dent. I was found guilty of dishonesty and dishonor and sentenced to three-month moral training. Wai wanted me to apologize to Terri, but I didn't. I would not lie under pressure again. I watched the crowd slowly dissipate and after few words exchanged with Hinzel I was on my way to the residence. There were few things I needed to pick up before I move to Nashkel to serve my sentence. The sending exchange with Dreadlord made me shake my head. Ironically I had to agree with him. Not that it would change anything but I at least I knew I wasn't the only one pointing out the obvious.

The beginning of the three months has been quiet. I tend to my duties at the Temple without a word of protest. I keep to myself, sorting through books the same way I sort through my thoughts. Seclusion proved to be easier than I thought. I'm not even surprised by that, in a way it makes things easier. Cleaning duty, patrols, reading. Little less, little more. I find words to put in these letters. Not having anything else to take care of, not being so wrapped up in everything gives me the opportunity to reach out to my siblings. I haven't been there, for them, in the capacity, I used to, and this is the least I can do now. Maybe this is what I should commit to once this sentence is over. All my other endeavors proved to be more than just merely unsuccessful, and perhaps it is time to face the possibility I can't be more than I am. Even the most delusional of us must one day face the truth.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:50 pm

Records
1st - 30th Ches 1352, House of the Guardian in Nashkel
There is something soothing in a simple, boring even, routine marking every single day of my stay within the Helmite temple. My seclusion continues as I surround myself with duties which partially remind about the past. I have a lot of time to think, study, train and so forth despite quite a packed patrol schedule. In addition to those, I had few moral training sessions with Wai. She took me to the mountains and we trek high, discussing a wide range of topics. Her unwavering optimism is some I have never seen before and the love, I shake my head, this woman's notion about love towards every living being is rather unreal. I used to be fixated on the better side of things in the face of darkness surrounding others but even I wasn't as convinced that the hope exists in every crevice as she seems to be. She urges me to focus on a bigger picture, much bigger truth be told, where all those little things matter no longer. Where we are small and insignificant in comparison to the forces holding more importance and meaning. I looked over the snow covered ranges trying to capture the sense of her words. My gaze drifted to Hinzel sitting by the small camp we made. He was attached by the rope to me during the trek. I was supposed to keep him safe as a part of my training. I guess, I did. He was the only one that came by the Temple so far.

Tenday later another mountain excursion took place, this time with Wai, Klait, Reine and Elyssa. Yet again we climbed high with a goal to scout the vicinity and the insides of the cave where the white wyrm had its lair. We proceeded with caution after Wai's departure, making sure we clear every tunnel before moving further. Elyssa said something to me that day that took me back to the past. I considered her words and realized the irony setting it. She was right, her words so close to my own when I still was little more than a foolish child. Perhaps I have turned into him more that I have realized at first. I dismiss her notions of trying to be less stern and more cheerful which only proves the point. Not for the first time, nor the second I am left with an amusing thought that despite what they used to say I ended up turning into who I am now without any help from him. Something was telling me that at a point things will come full circle, one way or another.

I was quite surprised when the letter from Alexandra came.
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I read it and let it rest few days before I formulated my answer. Her words got me thinking. I disagreed with how she perceived the situation but not just because my point of view was that much different but also because the current standing of things was very, very clear. I sent my reply some days later.
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*A sealed letter addressed to Acolyte Alexandra Keenan is delivered to Candlekeep. There is no symbol on the wax seal. The return address is designated as House of Guardian, Nashkel.

Once the seal is broken and the letter is unfolded, rows written in neat, tight, almost militaristic script would be revealed.*


Dear Alexandra,

thank you for your letter. It was rather unexpected and, truth be told, it took me off guard. I needed some time to gather my thoughts and create a response that would be worth noting down.

I'm doing well all things considered. I've decided to not only keep a low profile but also exclude myself from everything and almost everyone while I'm under a tribunal-mandated training. Would not be proper to have other things and people on my mind while I should be busy with returning to an acceptable moral ground. Besides, shame is a peculiar facet of life and certain experiences. It keeps one in check better than any kind of sentence. My moral training is in progress and not only Captain Reine is responsible for it. Every senior member of the Everwatch can lead a session. I've had some with Head Watchknight and Watchnight Goldwind. A talk, however brief, with Captain Reine, was squeezed in as well. More will follow I suppose as there is nothing but time left.

Don't be mistaken, Alexandra, I am neither courageous nor brave. Far from it. If I had been, I wouldn't have ended up here in such unfortunate predicament. I surrendered to a darker fate, to a path ridden with shame, dishonor, guilt and grim realizations that followed it all because I hadn't been brave and wise enough in the first place. I chose a public trial only because of a possibility it would stop the spread of lies and slander, not to redeem myself in the eyes of others. This a futile cause as far as I can tell. And you, of all people, should be well aware that changing public perception, one's reputation, and others opinions around here is something that doesn't happen unless you have powerful allies and unlimited resources to back such attempts. I failed in this regard with my former guild, therefore, I'm no longer so delusional as to think I can change my own reputation after this. Not that I am concerned about that. Fortunately, I don't have to anymore. I've accepted the reality of things.

It's nice for you o say that I still have friends and allies. Perhaps it's true, perhaps it's not. Only time will verify the validity of this statement.

I've been on and on about matters you've touched upon in your letter. Now, finally, it's time for me to ask you how are you doing? How is Candlekeep treating you? Have you managed to find an endeavor which would allow you to use that analytical mind of yours?

I hope and pray you are doing well, extending your wings and using your voice more often than not.

Looking forward to seeing you during the Everwatch Training School.

With regards,

*signed*
Eleanor
Her reply never came. After a tenday, I decided not to dwell on it any longer focusing on the letter exchange with my family and the words I wanted to dot down in the letter to Sveta. The countless drafts I have already gone through were piling up steadily, matching only the pile of parchments shared between me and Kat. She showers me with words, they come so easy to her, practically spilling over the edges of every parchment she touches. I collected all as they contain not only her thoughts but also pieces of the creations she lets loose. Sketches, poems, quotes she digs from between pages of the books she manages to find. Sometimes days pass by where some part of my attention clings to what she said.

  1. Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone;
    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own.
    Sing, and the hills will answer;
    Sigh, it is lost on the air;
    The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
    But shrink from voicing care.

    Rejoice, and men will seek you;
    Grieve, and they turn and go;
    They want full measure of all your pleasure,
    But they do not need your woe.
    Be glad, and your friends are many;
    Be sad, and you lose them all,
    There are none to decline your nectared wine,
    But alone you must drink life's gall.

    Feast, and your halls are crowded;
    Fast, and the world goes by.
    Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
    But no man can help you die.
    There is room in the halls of pleasure
    For a large and lordly wagon,
    But one by one we must all file on
    Through the narrow aisles of pain.








(((OOC: Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:48 pm

Records
1st - 30th Tarsakh 1352, House of the Guardian in Nashkel
Even with my duties dedicated fully to the Temple, I ended up stretched a little too thin when it came to the longer patrols across the mountains. But it couldn't be avoided, not with me trying my best to stay away from the Temple while Klait was around. The session of my moral training he was responsible for had not gone well and I suppose I was all too eager to take on a tenday long patrol only to avoid talking to him. It did me some good, I had time to finish my letter to Sveta.
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*A page filled with rows written in neat, tight, almost militaristic script.*

Head watchknight,

I have been writing and rewriting this letter for three moons now but I cannot seem to find right words to say the things I want to say. Each draft lands on the pile while my silly struggle continues. So much have happened and, even more, have changed. Whenever I dare to look back I cannot seem to be able to grasp all the ways in which things, people, and relations have altered. Irreversibly.

I have become a coward. I hide behind duties, behind initiatives and projects to have an excuse for not putting this letter together the way I should have done so long ago.

I have failed you. In ways that could have been avoided and yet I did nothing to stop it. I was not at your side when you needed me, too busy with a hunt for something I had put so much faith into and what it the end cost me a lot if not everything. Not to mention I was so fixated on doing anything that could keep me from thinking about the emptiness created by his disappearance that I lost sight of you. I should have done something to prevent that spiral of despair you ended up in. I was too selfishly focused on myself and keeping this idiotic legacy of his alive. I am so deeply sorry for not being there, for failing the mentor that still was very much present. I will not ask for forgiveness because I do not deserve to be forgiven, not yet. But I want you to know, I need you to know, that I have learned my lesson from that. And if I could change the past, I would.

I have screwed up badly on many fronts and even if not everything was my fault, just a twisted, cruel perturbations caused by others and the setting of occurrences I still could have been wiser and could have made better choices. I was put in front of Everwatch's Tribunal for crimes against our code and moral wrongs after Administrator of Phoenix Company reported on me to Wai Li. I agreed to a trial and Everwatch agreed in exchange to make it public. In the end, I was found guilty of two violations: dishonor and dishonesty. The sentence was moral training and an apology. I could not deliver the latter, even under Wai's pressure. We differ in our vision when it comes to what apology should stand for. Fortunately, Administrator backed down and allowed the apology requirement to be removed.

I am undergoing the training right now. I remember what you told me about training sessions you had had with Wai in the past. She sure does love the mountains. I have been walking the Cloud Peaks range recently more often than ever before. I have to admit, these mountains are growing on me. As for Wai, she is different from you. As different as it goes, sometimes I have no idea what to say to her, she baffles me with that seemingly endless optimism and love for everything and everyone. I do not think I have ever met someone so in love with life before. It is a concept so abstract in its design that I find myself puzzled and profoundly confused when we speak. Reine, who is a Captain now, has an entirely different approach. She is, as you well know, very down to earth. She wants me to think for myself again but I fear it is not the best course to take. Every time I do that I find myself in between of things, relations, situations, decisions, choices. I gravitate towards the middle of everything and it is not the best place to think for myself, is it? One of my last moral training sessions were with Watchknight Goldwind. He is pushy, annoying and gets on my bad side with trying to force me out of my comfort zone. If it was not for the seniority he has over me, for the Tribunal's sentence, for the deeply imprinted dutifulness I cannot get rid of, I probably would have walked away from him the moment he started teasing me. But I must obey them, so I do.

I left the Hunters before my trial. It still feels odd when I think about it. I have not burned the bridges, that would be rather unreasonable, but in a way, I made the last cut. I figured this choice would be actually one you would approve of. Even if I have done that for reasons different than you would wish for, it is still done.

This brings me to something that Elyssa said to me some time ago. Words about joy threw me back into the spiral of thoughts that led me back into the past. A cold, ironic realization hit me in the gut, cutting through me with a cruel precision. I used to say the almost exactly same thing to him again and again. I feel laugh rising in my chest, but it is free of mirth. I am unable to define at which moment in the past I have taken the turn in this direction? Is there a point even? Or has it happen gradually? I guess that is what I should figure out now. In some twisted way, tho, I understand him on such a different level now. Having experienced something that brought me into this, having actually been through this on my own without my family keeping me in check and afloat I can see things differently. Not that it matters really but still. We learn every day.

I keep on wondering if you are going to come back. Are you? I know there is little to come back to. Perhaps closer to nothing than anything but you did build a reputation, you have brought the Everwatch into a change it had needed. You were a voice of reason that got lost in the bickering of those hungry for glory and filled with entitlement but you were, and still are, a vital part not only of this order. You did not have it easy and yet you achieved so much during your time here. It would be a waste to let your legacy just wither away. It is easier to not be here, I admit that myself. There were many times, especially recently, when I think more often about moving to Waterdeep and going back to the only thing I am good at. But I am a disgraced ex-paladin and you are the Head Watchknight of Everwatch. You should come back even if only to finish what you have started, officially pass the torch. I will not lie I have an ulterior motive in this.

I need you to release me from the vow I took. I no longer deserve to be your squire nor I find myself fit for such path. After all, I am just a simple, farm born woman that once upon a time had silly dreams and misconceptions about knighthood. We had it coming, so it should not be much a surprise I am asking this of you.

Come back, even if only to say goodbye.
I miss my mentor. I miss the friend I have never had enough courage and understanding to make.

Respectfully,
Eleanor
The reply never came but she did. Wai became officially the head of Everwatch and few days after that I had my first talk with Sveta. Rigid, formal, loaded with disappointment and heavy with regrets. She didn't drag this out and released me from her service. I am becoming a sum of exes. The sum of past versions of myself. How boring.

It's been a while since I ventured north. It was only due to simple coincidence - I had some documents to deliver to the temple in the Gate - that I heard about the sunite auction. I went to see it but found myself unable to enter the Theater. I was busy pondering the issue when Ameris showed up. We haven't spoken since the day before my trial. I was cordial, as cordial as one can be and so was he. Kahanak and a thayan woman joined soon after. Being polite to them both was starting to be difficult so I rebuked Ameris' attempts to get me to go inside and left the premises.

The joined training in Greypeak Mountains was an intense experience and not because of the combat. I was glad when it was done. But with limited access to whiskey it took a longer while to silence the voices in my head. Ironically it is booze I miss the most.

At one point Elyssa came by with a visit. She tried to get me to talk about things but I played my cards close to the chest so the discussion soon turned to other topics. We were disrupted by some masked individual casting darkness around and telling us that we should make it known that Kagger Redyard is ready to take on Bane. Like that should mean anything to me. I did add that bit to the regular report tho, due diligence and all that.

I didn't expect her to come and talk to me after the dissolution of my squireship. And more so, I didn't expect her to have any regrets. She asked me where did she fail and at first it was confusing to me. In the past I had blamed Sveta for certain things, in a way I still did, at least part of me did, but in all truth, I was too tired to have that conversation with her. All these months back then when we used to live together I was so busy fighting her, blaming her. I had no fight in me at this point. And besides... It wasn't Sveta's fault that things turned out this way. If I was to be fair I should place more blame on his disappearance. On the fact that he left me without a word. Like I was nothing to him. Like my everything meant nothing to him. But even after so many months I still couldn't. Not that I didn't wish I was able... I had enough blame to drown myself in it and I didn't want to place it on others anymore. I am the one to take responsibility for my actions. I told her that. I kept telling her that, explaining that my fall, the loss of motivation, the loss of focus was not something she should blame herself. When I couldn't bare this any longer I used the incoming patrol as an excuse to flee.

Duty led me to the OSR compound for a meeting dedicated to retaking of Kheldrivver. Klait was already there and aside from cordial greeting I tried to pay him little attention, focusing mostly on the rest of attendees seated around the table. For the better part of this strategizing session, I remained silent but when they kept going in circles about the plan I whispered some suggestions to Klait so he could speak up but he made me speak instead. Both I and Revenark agreed on few points. After the planning was done I masterfully evaded Klait and got back to Nashkel.

The end of the second month was more eventful than I could have expected. Dunn dropped by the Temple and given that I haven't seen this one since the co-op with DragonWing it was rather unexpected. He confirmed the rumors I have heard about his banishment from the Lions. We talked a little about the circumstance surrounding the events that led to his expulsion from the goodly circles. I felt a sneer rising in my throat but I remained collected. He knew I had my own share of disagreements with that crowd. It wasn't much of a surprise when Dunn told me that he joined Ebon Blade, where else could an outcast go if not under Mercs Captain's wings, at least for the time being. We spoke of Soubar's situation with the orcs and the work with Militia Dunn was doing there. A small spark of interest ignited in me but I didn't let it turn into anything. I had one more month to go, three tendays to figure out if I even want to stay here. If I can go neither north nor south without crowding my family perhaps I should talk to Pharaxes to take me east, as far as Chessenta. I know by now that looking for answers, for him, is pointless but perhaps some measure of closure waits there.

Next time I had guests it was because of Isabella's and Elyssa's visit and even that crowd grew quickly as we were first joined by Dunn, then Dreadlord Harkonis and finally by Sveta. Few different topics were touched upon before former Head watchknight showed up and demanded that Selengil left unless he wished to abandon the clandestine ways of the Zhentarim. I didn't want to argue with her that Wai doesn't in particular mind Harkonis' presence in the light of the fact that Amn has no issue with the Black Network. And due to the patrol I had scheduled earlier I couldn't stay and see where their exchange led. One is certain tho, quite an eventful ending to a very quiet month.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:56 pm

Records
1st - 30th Mirtul 1352, Baldur's Gate

The day of Mercs Tournament came and Sveta dragged me there. Last month of my sentence so I should re-socialize myself and return to society. I noticed Alexandra attached to some man's arm which meant the Eldarian era was over. I watched the fights with mild interest. I've seen all this before. Sveta lost her fight and Hinzel won the whole thing.

Before the first tenday of this month ended the Kheldrivver liberation operation had taken place. It was nothing like what we faced during the war but it bore pale resemblance and it was enough to take my mind off things. After hours of fighting the town was finally cleansed and no troll was left alive. Five months after the war has ended.

The co-op between Candlekeep and Everwatch resulted in a golem of some sort taking quite a lot of space in the temple and a watcher, actual beholder-look-alike living there now too. That's quite an unusual outcome for an expedition to the ruins we once learned about from EDE. I wonder if the Gondians will be able to restore this thing.

The day before the Ducal Court was scheduled Everwatch hosted its second Training School. Wai made me a co-instructor and I led the better part of the physical training. Merc Captain came along with his bunch. After Head watchknight's invitation, he gave in and led the hand to hand combat exercise plus gave a small lecture. Sveta joined us in time for group maneuvers and formation training. We were slowly running out of time, that whole party at the remodeled ship belonging to Captain Asher was supposed to start soon. Everwatch and Ebon Blade had the guard duty for which I was grateful. It meant I didn't have to dress up and pretend. I spent most of the evening drinking and talking with the Captain. Almost like old times. Almost. The party was boring save for an incident with a trap and some full-plated idiot that jumped off the ship. People were talking about the Ducal Court session that was supposed to happen tomorrow. Some of them would attend it while battling a hell of a hangover.

I was running late, the court has already started when I arrived. I wedged myself between Lathanderites and Merc Captain. The whole thing lasted for hours but I remained half amused most of the time so it didn't really bother me that much. It was good to see Reine and hear her comment rather harshly. It's refreshing, really, to hear someone actually not giving a rat's (hiney) about etiquette.

The last tenday of my sentence was a quiet one, I still wasn't sure what I'd do after that aside from procuring two or more bottles of whiskey. I was leaning towards a trip south. Vincent, that has kept in sporadic contact over sendings, was considering going back to his homeland and was willing to drop me off not far from Calimport. Still, the idea that Dunn has planted in me while talking on and on about Soubar was starting to grow. Starved for a project I was starting to be more and more curious. That curiosity led me north. I haven't been in this dump of an inn for quite a while. Tomorrow my sentence would end I had no direction. Dunn was in a rush so he left me with the Captain. The somewhat off feeling that things are not like they used to, just... almost there, hit me again. He told me that his offer from before stands tho but I still declined. I didn't want to commit to anything just yet. I didn't particularly like the change I was starting to see in him. Nevertheless, I offered that I could perhaps help them with the militia as an independent support and a few hours later when Dunn came back we talked details. The idea in my mind was taking shape.

My sentence has ended. I'm free. Time to get drunk.

I went to the Theater to watch the open stage so I didn't really expect the Ebon Blade to be there. Whiskey and pipe changed hands and partially intoxicated I was half considering going onto the stage but I was way too slow in making that decision so there was no room for me. Mercs decided to try and change that but even their loud cheering didn't do much. Bathsheba was there, it was odd to see her. I doubted that she was going to stick around this time. I left with Captain and we walked to Soubar almost in total silence. We exchanged only a few words over whiskey, I wonder why. Still what was said was progress enough anyways, and well I guess I made up my mind then and signed up to help with the Militia.

That being said I dived into work mode almost instantly, dragging Dunn's lazy (hiney) with me around Soubar while trying to estimate numbers and perhaps convince more to join. Planning and first training sessions became the main content of my days. I also have finally written the letter of apology. Sending it meant I was done with all this. Finally, truly, definitely done. Done.

Another of these "almost like" moments passed, this time between me and Sveta. It felt like years since I had stood in the kitchen of the residence, moving between the stove and the table with food in my hands. She told me about the conclusion she had come to. Her need to change voiced again. I still remember the first time, a year ago, when she told me of her concern when she pondered out loud the possibility of being a man instead of a woman. This time around I'm no longer a child and I understand her struggle more so I'll stand behind her in that. Even as the discussion moved towards my current support of the EB and their Militia training. With her so apparent disapproval we land basically home. Like nothing has changed we are back to square one. She points out that I always end up with the same options and I always make the same choice. She brings up the similarities between him and Captain. If that's the case she shouldn't be surprised I chose to help Mercs. She thinks I'm reckless and that siding with EB is even more illogical than when I sided with Hunters, that Captain is a much worst sort and I should reconsider. If only she knew what I know. She doesn't seem to understand that even if I still make similar choices I make them in entirely different circumstances. I'm no longer constrained by oaths, expectations, ideals and loyalties. I have no intention of repeating the mistake I made last time. This time I'm doing it not because it is the right thing to do. This time I couldn't care less what is right. I no longer have to be something I'm not. I'm choosing the in-between. Besides, someone has to keep Dunn from tripping over his own feet or letting Captain get to him.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:31 pm

Records
1st - 18th Kythorn 1352, Calimshan
It was good to see Vincent even if it was probably the last time I ever saw him. I hope he can find peace when he arrives home, after all, Halruua is a land governed by magic so there is a chance they can discover a solution to what is ailing him. He dropped me off a day ride from Calimport. I still remember my first trip to Waterdeep and how different it felt. But this was nothing compared to what I saw in the south. I thought I was prepared, having done all the reading and letters-exchange with Kat. I wasn't.
The second reveal was of a different sort. I was a stranger. No past and no future, only the present. Had I known that things would spin out of control I would have *the rest of the sentence is crossed out*. No. Bullcrap. I don't regret anything.

Finding Kat and seeing her for the first time in so long was another surprise. It wasn't just her beauty that seemingly decided it is time to manifest itself in full glory, it was the way she talked, moved and simply... was. And they called me, rebellious; they clearly haven't met my sister. Everything about her screamed defiance, the ban of norms, the ultimate freedom and willingness to do only what she wants and how she wants it. Two days later all my fears came true but as they did, the realization of being unable to stop a tide was born as well. I could never contain her nor was I sure any longer if that would be the right thing to do. I settled for observation at least in the beginning. The first few days were challenging but exciting. Having been forced out of my armor and fed food foreign both in appearance and taste was just the tip of the mountain. My senses and thoughts were being invaded by colors, sounds, scents I didn't know existed. For the first time in gods know how long I was free of all the burdens associated with what I left behind on the Coast or even as far in the past as home itself. There simply was no room left in my mind for that. Kat and her colorful, very eccentric menagerie showed me around the city. Everything was other-worldly. My so not-little-anymore sister coaxed me into the eye of the hurricane, and I let that tidal power swallow me. There no simple explanation to these various experiences we shared during that tenday. Food, music, art, places, people. In the end, all of it bred quite a few interesting contacts. That was the start of the first contract. It was as dangerous as it was reckless but the pay was good, and the crew proved to be not half bad either. As it was in the case of Waterdeep, part of me didn't want to go back to the Coast. But the Militia training in Soubar was waiting. I wasn't ready to give up yet. More than that, I still didn't want to give them the satisfaction of running me down.



~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~
19th - 30th Kythorn 1352, Winding way Inn, Soubar
After some preparations, I was ready to teleport back. I felt like a mule with all the things I brought back. I had planned to leave the wine case at Sveta's residence and visit her some other time, but we ended up having dinner that day. I told her about the trip and Kat, leaving out some details to avoid a lecture. If the last year has taught me anything, it was a simple truth that a proper dosage of information can save one from an unpleasant discussion with a former mentor. And yet I do like those times when we share a meal. Even with all the baggage and dysfunctional dynamic. We spoke some more about my questionable life choices, her incoming gender change, the situation in the Gate, old and new acquaintances.

Hours later, lighter by a solid number of pounds, I was already in Soubar looking for Dunn. I found Mercs Captain instead. Whiskey and business discussion commenced up to the point when he offered me the position of a lieutenant. I watched the man next to me thoughtfully, wondering what's the catch even as he was saying there is none. A year ago I was in the same spot, sort of. Things have come full circle, and I was facing a similar decision. Even as I was no longer the me from a year ago. At that point, it was either them or perhaps Candlekeep that would be willing to hire me despite my reputation. My options were limited. If I were ready to give up on the Coast, to just leave this place, the choice would have been so much easier. I had my concerns about joining EB, and these had little to do with the rumors, type of work or the rest of the bunch. It was him and the change I've been seeing that was making me leery. On the other hand, I had nothing to lose, nothing else to do and during all the work we have done together, I was only once disappointed with them. Besides, after the trip south I did appreciate the concept of no rules, no code, no other limitations than the ones I set myself. I said yes and we drank to it.

The last tenday of this month was a busy one. My remaining ties with the city got me involved with a supply run for the incoming soup kitchen, this time organized by SCCE. Makes me wonder what happened to the one that Reine and Sveta had initiated. Said supply run resulted in a small event held by SCCE - and with the help of the Ilmateri - in the Harbor. I watched it from a distance, waiting for Sveta to arrive. I felt more misplaced in the crowd of these people than ever before. Come to think of it; it was the last time I followed her orders. Crowd control wasn't a challenge because the poor were well behaved enough.

Before the first mission officially under the EB banner, Mag berated Mercs Captain for his conflict with Zhentarim that did cost Soubar some income after the caravans from Black Network got pulled out. Splendid, why not make enemies with everyone, work is so easy to come by. The mission itself was uneventful. Company was accompanied by Dunn's new-but-soon-to-be-ex female companion, Alexandra and a mage. To be honest, I wouldn't hire a mage unable to speak orcish to scry horde's village. EB received a rather vague intel and was on their way back soon after. That's when Mercs Captain and Dunn got a chance to speak to sickly looking Alexandra. She told them about some tome that was taking hold of her, and help was offered. My split duties between Soubar and CK started then. On the last day of the month, an earth genasi by the name Ashan Wayne joined this merry bunch. I have a good feeling when it comes to his skills, but time will tell if he can fit in.
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:31 pm

Records
1st - 7th Flamerule 1352, Soubar, The Winding Way Inn
The horde came close, as close as Soubar's walls. What was supposed to be a training session for Ashan and me, turned into a desperate defense. We met the scouts not far into the Northern Tradeway, but it wasn't long till we got overrun by gray and black orcs and the only thing left was to retreat. It was then when I was able to send for backup. Mercs Captain, Xela, and Marcel arrived quickly. I mobilized part of Militia, and we left the little cover that the broken walls were offering to meet the orcs in an open field. I was already running low on wards and the last ones I reserved for Militia which consequently forced me to stay back. I had a front row seat to the idiocy of men. His in particular. *The next paragraph appears to be crossed many times by a furious hand.*
I don't know what was worse. Seeing how he spearheads into horde's forces just as Xela's explosive arrows reach the fighters and burn everyone no matter which side of the conflict they were on? Watching how the orcs decimate Militia as a consequence? Or maybe dragging his and Ashan's lifeless bodies back to Soubar and having him dismiss me and treat like I haven't just saved his (hiney)? Each of these was equally bad? Rhetorical question, obviously. And he refused to see that there was something wrong with this picture. I could feel the restraints on my temper stretch, snap in few places, but even as he undermined me in front of the others, I held back what I wanted to say.
I left that self-imposed king of the bloody rubble and bunch of cretins, and a few hours later reached Doron Amar. They have battled with the orcs as well. I spoke with Elyssa and Isabella before returning north.
*The following paragraph is crossed many times over as well.* Had I left... I should have left then. *The next sentence is also stricken.*

I briefed Dunn two days later, and it took a lot of control to be cordial about this. We checked on the two Militia survivors, and he mentioned that Telia wanted to meet him in Elfsong. I offered to accompany him, both to keep an eye on him and to avoid running into Mercs Captain. Beshaba was, however, still looking my way and upon arrival at the Inn they requested to speak in private, so I left to wait by the fountain. Their meeting wasn't long, and soon Dunn joined me with a rather sour visage. The same old story repeated itself. He told me of the familiar judgment Telia passed on him, on us, for working with EB. I shrugged it off; their hypocrisy no longer mattered to me. Their perception of us became the foundation of our comradery so I suppose I should be grateful. Neither of us wanted to go back north just yet, so we sat and talked about the Horde, Militia, the last encounter, Mercs Captain and our reasons for being part of that mess. My idea that being in the Gate would keep me from seeing him turned into wishful thinking when he approached us. His demeanor was even more dismissive and superior than a few days ago; luckily, Endelyon showed up, and Mercs Captain followed her into the Elfsong. Dunn and I waited for them carrying on with our conversation. The codename, the idea of in-between and crash course were born. Some time later when Miss Castillo stormed out of the Inn, we knew something was on. The three of us went back to Soubar where we discussed the deal with SCCE. Soon the construction of the fort would start and if Tymora was willing the caravans from SCCE will at least make up for what business Mag lost due to the embargo issued by Black Network. Ther order that members are forbidden from taking the bounty on Wren Di'Corvi's head was given. The Candlekeep case was brought up, and I offered to contact priestess Aeili.

The next day I met the sun elf mystran, and we traveled promptly to Candlekeep. Dunn was already there. Alexandra brought Aeili up to speed while the two of us prepared some food for the Seeker. The priestess departed to study what was available to her, and Alexandra went into one of her trances. Dunn and I sat there watching over her talking about EB, possible strategies against orcs, the conflict between Mercs Captain and I and Alexandra's situation. We decided to contact Maddy about checking the cursed dagger, and the gnome alchemists came to the Keep to retrieve the object. I left Dunn in charge of Alexandra's safety as rumors about Isabella had already started to circulate. I don't want the part in that conflict, but we have been paid to protect Keenan and so we will. I teleported to Soubar for a few hours worth of Militia training before I was called back to the Keep. When I arrived, First Reader was wrapping up his visit, Captain and Dunn were getting ready for the upcoming mission discussing details; they paid no attention to me and left to take care for last minutes preparations. I noticed that Alexandra is keeping the blanket I gave her. *The rest of the paragraph is gone after being crossed few times.* I retreated to the kitchen, and when Tarina showed up I helped her with food for Alexandra that seemed in slightly better spirits. Two more guests concerned with Keenan's wellbeing came by later, Medune and Marshall. I watched that man from across the room recalling the rumors.

Finally, the hour grew late and EB banded up with CK ready to depart in search for some ruffians in Amnian territory. We met Captain Asher outside of Avowed Quarters, and she insisted on talking to me. She turned out to be the same type of hypocrite as the Lions and started guilt-tripping me for working with EB. Mercs Captain used that opportunity to snap and get snippy with me for talking to Asher. Of course, he did, and I bit my tongue *the rest of this paragraph is illegible.*
Marshall and Drogo caught up with us in Beregost; the guards there recognized Tarina, and we were given a gentle warning before leaving town. A long time had passed before we reached the hideout of these bandits and I never left Alexandra's side and neither did Marshall. Captain sent Drogo and Dunn ahead to scout, and I focussed on the feedback from the connection between Dunn and I thanks to the status spell. Drogo returned to report that Dunn was captured. Isabella was growing impatient, hidden under her spells east of us, Tarina's anxiety was almost palpable while Marshall's and mine silence just hung heavy around Alexandra who stood sheltered from the rain behind my shield. It was time to make contact. Some grunt exited the camp and tried to be cocky, but Mercs Captain stared him down before the man managed to spell out his name. At that point, their boss - Stillwater - made a move and came out from behind the palisade with his men and Dunn. He revealed to us that the three bandits that wanted him to lay siege to Candlekeep were slain, and he would gladly give their bodies back. He didn't know who the trio was working for. Mercs Captain decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get some able bodies for his company. I was staring at the back of his head incredulously, pondering the depths of his arrogance, lack of understanding of how certain things work and sheer stupidity. Making this deal with our contractors present was just going to bite him in the (hiney) soon enough, but he had been ignoring and dismissing me for the past tenday, so he didn't deserve my input. Besides, I knew he wouldn't listen to me anyways. *Another section crossed beyond the point of eligibility.* He intimidated them into a deal, and with the bodies of the three bandits, we left for the Keep. I felt Marshall's unease; I could see plainly the inner battle. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn't have to wait long. Alexandra was displeased with Captain's games as well, and she let him know of it when the bodies were laid at the Keep's Temple. Marshall found us outside and wished to share words with Captain. I finally watched that other shoe drop, and I had to keep myself from smirking. Marshall told him that he is going to inform Amnian authorities about the criminals and their camp. That didn't improve Mercs Captain's mood but at least presented me with an opening to exchange few words with Marshall, and I offered to show him what we are trying to do in Soubar. I wonder if he noticed what I had pointed towards. Captain and I departed from the Keep in silence. He didn't say a single word to me on our way back to Soubar. I guess he was done being a prick for the day. Perhaps the change I had noticed about him finally reached some turning point, or maybe he decided he didn't have to pretend anymore now that I had joined EB. *The following sentences are illegible.* Hell if I know. Unfortunately, I still have some things I dedicated myself to which prevent me from simply leaving. Besides, I am not one to back down or give up that easily just because he can see only as far as the tip of his man-pride. Even tho I somwtimes wish I was that person.

A few days later Marshall replied to my letter. I wanted him to realize that I am not contacting him to influence his decision but because I am genuinely interested in showing him the work Serge and I are doing in Soubar. We met atop of the Inn to discuss not just Soubar but that little aspect of common ground as well. Our conversation, however, was cut short with Tarina's arrival. The shaman delivered a message on behalf of Alexandra. Keenan wanted to apologize for how she had acted towards Marshall. I could smell dramatics in the air, and I knew our talk would have to wait. The three of us headed for the Keep. Guard duties awaited, but Seeker dismissed me quickly to speak with Marshall, so I decided to travel to Doron Amar with Ashan. I heard about Viridiana's predicament from Sveta and decided to pay them a visit. Viri seemed happy with the rum cakes and a discussion about the abductions, shadows, and Horde carried on for few hours.
Maeve - The Water Witch ------ Journal --- Main. Temporarily back.
El - The Sum of Ex-selves ------ JournalBio --- Semi-retired Alt. MIA again.

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.:Retired:.
Yas - She-wolf ------ Journal

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MedalOfValor
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Re: Eleanor - records and notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:10 pm

I decided to post it all in one post because it has been gathering dust for a while and I suck at posting at regular intervals. El has been retired for almost half a year, so I guess it's as good a time as any.
Missing Records
Flamerule 1352 DR, Part Two
Dedicated to BeforeFlames and Bee. Guys, you were the rp highlight of 1352. Miss you!
Hidden: show
8th - 15th Flamerule 1352, Soubar, The Winding Way Inn
If I recall correctly, I have not seen Bath since the day my sentence ended. I stumbled upon her during a routine patrol on Thundar's Ride. She accompanied me to the Inn where we sat and talked. Barely. Few words were spoken between us. We were no longer what we used to. Here wasn't the compound. She wasn't that girl anymore, and I wasn't that me anymore. A brief flash of memory is a dangerous thing. The what ifs in our short conversation led nowhere. I watched her leave.

Another of these long time no see encounters that tenday was with Reine. Part of me was glad she stays away busy with the duties at Kheldrivver. It is not the shame that causes such thought but close enough.

Serge and I gathered the band and went undead hunting to deliver necessary parts for Maddy and her research. It was bearable till Mercs Captain joined us inside the Vault. Sometimes I think he likes to give me reasons to despise him, but that would mean he acknowledges that and I know he doesn't. I can't figure out what is this thing that he is punishing me for. I strapped the dragon's bone to my shield and watched them carry the skull. Mercs Captain's idea was to mount it above the future Fort's door. After the undead, we went demon hunting. Back at Soubar he twirled a knife between his fingers and offered it to me with a simple explanation. Everyone should have a blade hidden in the boot. Really now? I took it and offered no comment. What was there to say? Thank you? Piss off? I hate you? With satchels full of dead parts I sent Ashan to meet with Maddy. I had to head south to handle a different business. It was high time, and I wanted to be done with it.

I met Wai in Everwatch's meeting room, and she accepted my decision. She released me from service and just like that I felt another chapter of my life end. Another version of me that I set aside. Another to join the rest. I was fully becoming just a sum of ex-selves.

Ashan and Drogo accompanied me to the Open Stage. I don't know why I keep coming to see these; I am no longer part of that world nor this crowd. Sveta found me there; she wanted to speak about my decision to leave and the consequences of it, luckily the presence of nobles distracted her from grilling me.

The company's invasion on Candlekeep, as Alexandra named it, was just a prelude to the mess that followed. I knew that it was coming, it was plain as day given the choices made. In those just-before-all-went-to-hell moments, I was listening to them all banter while I stood my guard at Alexandra's side, urging her quietly to drink some tea. My attention clung to Gary, and I felt my patience wearing thin. Mercs Captain might have accepted that freak into the fold, but I didn't have to so I dismissed him shortly after the rest of them followed their so-called leader outside. When Orlich came, Serge and I retreated to the kitchen to give them some privacy, and so he could prep some food for Alex. I watched Dunn work through Tarina's food stash when Mercs Captain returned. I let his mockery slide, shrugging dismissively. He ordered Drogo and Serge to go with him, dismissing the rest. Again, I was standing on the outside, kept out of the loop. I shook my head and gathered the company so we could go on a patrol. Isabella caught up with me not far from the Keep and confirmed my suspicions. Marshall's action had the consequences we both knew would come. I argued with Dunn over the sendings. He told me that he was ordered not to tell me a thing and I laughed coldly. Did that moron of a captain think I don't have ways to procure information? Two forces pushed me forward. Fury and duty. Dunn guessed I would leave for Triel and he was worried, his words clear in my head. I reached Marshall's camp just before nightfall. I watched him from a distance for a long moment, wondering or more like arguing with myself. But the moment my thoughts took the dangerous turn I forced myself to move. I knew what I had to do and say and I did. That questions were there, and the fallen paladin looked and me expectantly. Was I afraid of what Mercs Captain would do? No. Nor was I concerned about what Marshall's friends would do once his message reached them. My mind was already on fire, planning, weighing options. I don't know how long did Dunn stand hidden by my side but once he revealed himself my talk with Marshall came to an end. On the way back to the Keep he asked me if I knew what I was doing and that the baby dragon is going to be furious. Mm. I was counting on it, more so I was hoping and wishing for hell to broke loose, but it wasn't what I told Serge. He wouldn't understand why.

I listened to Alexandra's recapture of her last day at Lion's den and kids departure. She seemed better today, despite the trip to the Gate and back. Eldarian was the last person I expected to show up. I helped Alexandra stand up and walked her to the Inn only to be dismissed so she could talk with him. I went back to the quarters and found Tarina asleep on the couch. I checked with Marshall over sendings and left some food for the shaman. I needed to find Ashan and Dunn, there were plans, contingencies to discuss and there was the baby dragon to handle.

Serge and I found him just outside Soubar, warded and ready but Dunn told him that the issue had been handled and that there is no need to do whatever he had planned. I admitted that I warned Marshall and Mercs Captain looked to Dunn with accusation. He couldn't comprehend that I can learn things regardless of him freezing me out. Ashan came from behind nodding to Serge and me. To this day I don't know if Greil ever realized that he was surrounded and that if he had stricken, we would have taken him down. After all, that was what had been decided. And maybe I even wanted him to lose it. I could see the anger rising in him, and he blamed me for things going wrong. I refused to accept that, and he glared at me before turning and walking away. A small victory, not the one I really wanted, but who was I to say no to a smaller one? Dunn went ahead to Triel and confirmed over sendings that quite a crowd was waiting. That was the part I was looking forward. Fully warded with weapons drawn they stood there surrounding Marshall. I was basking in the satisfaction that picture gave me, but I did not allow it to show as I approached them unwarded and unarmed. The looks they gave me were what I had expected. Prepared as they were they still couldn't see what was about to happen. I spoke with Marshall, and we exchanged promises. Nowadays there is little from the past that is left in me save for the pendant and what it represents. I handed it over to him. Since the fall I shied away from giving my word, but today I did. I felt a twinge of hope, a feeling I long had forgotten. When Marshall turned to speak to them, to pledge his allegiance openly, I watched Ameris' features contort. That wicked little part of me marveled at this sight. Having it happen here in Triel was only making this small victory taste so richer. I had to dismiss Dunn before he made things worse, he didn't understand that this blow was for what they had done to him, to me. I would lie if I said I didn't partially plan for it but it wasn't just the lesson I wanted to teach them that drove me. I could see the idea in my head had taken shape, and I knew Marshall shared some of it with me. If any of it was ever to come true, I needed help. Ameris called it ambition, and I wanted to shake my head. Did he forget what I did shortly after my arrival at the Gate? Did he think I would come to spill blood? I suppose he did. I talked with Isabella at the end of it all, and she understood. Serge found me in Soubar, and we spoke about what had to be done now. I explained to him in detail what Triel and today were really about. After that, we had an angry baby dragon to talk to so we entered the Inn ready to lull.

The next three days passed quickly, Dunn and I kept Mercs Captain and Marshall apart from each other for the better part, letting things die down. I spent so much energy on defusing this situation, trying to do as much as I can before I need to head far south to deal with what had transpired there. I didn't expect that the matters would progress quite so rapidly and now I have little choice than to teleport there soon.


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16th - 30th Flamerule 1352, Somewhere in Calimshan Desert
When I arrived they were already halfway done with the preparations. Kat peered at me with her forehead narrowed as if she could read something in my expressionless face. In a way she probably could, given the questions she asked. There were things I could hide from my sister, but the slowly burning fury wasn't one of them. I was torn between the guilt of leaving Marshall, Dunn, and Ashan to deal with things at home and the need to be away from all that. I wanted to do this job. To work side by side with a crew that wasn't just a bunch of misplaced, untrustworthy randoms picked by a wannabe leader. Khalid was insistent we move out in two days. We spent that time rehashing the plan and getting ready. He looked at me the same way he did last time as if I could make a different choice. Kat agreed with him, and she made an effort of reminding me about that every third hour or so. Tariq and Sheva were on their best behavior. Their dynamic brought back memories of Tali and Cara. There were moments when I was considering the possibilities, but at the same time, I had reasons to go back north, I still had people to go back to, so I put aside these thoughts to focus on the upcoming assignment and the desert.

Blood and sand and the clear, night sky. I fasten the tourniquet around Khalid's arm, and he smiles faintly, his breathing labored. The fever has broken, but he is still weak. Sheva should be back with supplies soon, and then I can rest. Despite the complications and losses we completed the job, and the pay has been collected, and it's heavy in my backpack. The price of life lost usually is. We lost four men in the skirmish, but then again, we killed more. I pass waterskin among the group, making sure they all drink some and then look up to the ridge where Kat's silhouette is barely visible against the night sky. I can think of many reasons why she shouldn't be here, but that is water under the bridge. She was stubborn, so set on doing her part in this and he couldn't say no to her. To his defense, few can. I watch her sit there, motionless and silent and I know that she has learned what I had been telling her from the beginning.

Once back in the city we divided the gold, and it was as if the blood in the sand was just a distant memory. I suppose in a way it was. There is no time like the present, and besides, there is no sense in dwelling on what has been lost in the first place. Such is the way of things. They rise the cups to the sky in the memory of the lost comrades; they drink till they can drink no more and they sing and dance, content to be alive. Lucky enough to have survived yet another assignment. I devoted my last days there to spending time with Kat and tieing up loose ends. Till the final moment, she kept badgering me about changing my mind, and I could tell that perhaps with time such decision will be much easier to make.
Eleasis 1352 DR
Hidden: show
1st - 15th Eleasis 1352, Soubar, The Winding Way Inn
I return only to be scolded by Mercs Captain that I am abusing my power as a lieutenant by having Ashan on the assignment for Alexandra's sister. Of course, he would listen to Liam because this lying piece of shi.t has proven himself so well informed in the past. I roll my eyes and tell him what is what. Him second guessing me makes me want to teleport back south and stay there a bit longer, but before I can make up my mind about this, he asks me to follow him to the ruined temple under the Inn. Difficult to imagine that this place was once a regular temple devoted to Bane. Now it is just a home to were-rats and some heretics. We proceed deeper into one of the corridors, cutting through cobwebs *the rest of the paragraph is stricken many times over and can't be deciphered.*

I met Dunn and Ashan at Lysander's residence to discuss matters concerning EB, current contracts and plans. It is then that we came up with the idea of pit fights. A topic of what direction we should take resurfaces and with that Marshall is mentioned. I told them that there had been no contact or offer of help from the man so we should consider that he won't keep his word. With that, the topic was dropped, and we moved to discuss the new idea in detail. The next day I had dinner with Lysander. It was peculiar to look at that man and remember that inside that flesh he is still Sveta. As much as I wanted the things to remain as they used too, this change made it impossible on many levels. We spoke about our families, my siblings, his mother and stepfather and their reaction to his change. After the meal, halfway through the dessert, he asked me about what happened in Triel last month. Lysander's features might have been still ones of a stranger to me, but I knew Sveta so I could see the disapproval mixed with concern. I ended up deflecting his questions regarding EB and especially Mercs Captain.

Two days of drama at Candlekeep. I sort of expect some dosage of it whenever Alexandra, Tarina, and Eldarian are involved. I met with Isabella and that moron Liam to talk about Lissal, but the discussion brought little revelation. Kahanak and another Red showed up in Soubar offering some quick coin. I signed up Dunn and Ashan for the job having myself been too busy with planning the pit fights to bother with babysitting a new addition to the enclave. Besides, there was also a training session to arrange for the mercs. Mercs Captain chose the mountain trek, and so we went. Afterward, I told him about the fights and the idea behind it. As expected he was displeased to learn about it late. Newsflash douche-bag, this is how you treat me when it comes to information. I hope you like the taste of your own medicine. Later that tenday Serge and I took little Keenan into the High Moors to hone her archery skills, and she did quite well. Ashan, Mercs Captain, Marshall and I spent some time dueling as well. Even then he didn't offer any assistance as if the promise he had made evaporated as soon as Alexandra got him into her bed. I guess I can't compete with that. On one side there is work, a goal, comradery and on the other a new romance and a lover. If he prefers to fool around with her instead of keeping his word, there is little I can do about that. I will have to ask for the pendant back at a point, but right now I would rather beat the crap out of him for being a liar and a weakling. Dunn tells me that I shouldn't care, that it is still a better outcome that what could have happened. Right now I am quite sure I should have let Mercs Captain drop Marshall's sorry as.s. Lesson learned I suppose.

The day of the pit fights came, and it was quite a success, the turnout was bigger than we had anticipated and that translated into a good profit. Half of said coin I left with Ashan, keeping the real numbers from Mercs Captain. It is not like he lacks coin, but he is a greedy and short-sided bastard so he wouldn't understand we need the majority of that fund to remain intact if we want to rebuild the walls. I gave him a satisfactory cut, paid the men, and the rest got to be safely stashed away.

My second dinner with Lysander didn't go well. We argued about my choices as usual. He disagreed with me when it came to the course of action I decided to take. On top of that he tried to cross the line, sure he did claim that it was out of concern, but part of me didn't quite believe him. In the body of a man, he is pushier than ever before. *This part of the paragraph looks more like a large blotch of ink than anything resembling letters.* The never ending disagreement when it comes to this. Neither then nor now can he grasp why I am in opposition to this. The old argument remains alive.

I didn't plan to attend Ameris' sermon; I was merely meeting Ashan in the city when someone assaulted the crowd. An explosion took place killing dozens of people at once. I watched the carnage from a distance. Back in the day I would feel compelled to help, but now I felt oddly detached from it all. The Gate, its people, and their problems were no longer my concern. Besides I didn't want to work side by side ilmateri, lathanderites, and other do-gooders. I was ready to leave when Mercs Captain showed up and wanted to investigate what happened. Luckily that led nowhere, and soon enough we were on our way back to Soubar.

I knew it was coming. The way Mercs Captain was behaving lately, and his treatment of not just Ashan but me, Dunn and the rest did contribute to how the situation was progressing. There were Rose and the illusions Ashan harbored where that woman was concerned. The Darius clan on top of that. What I didn't expect was that he wouldn't come to tell me that he is leaving. I encountered him in the city. He stood surrounded by the new crowd. His decision was visible in the way they were looking at me. I read it on their faces first, then on Ashan's. Still, I wanted to hear it from him. When he joined me, we went to Lysander's residence. Dunn arrived a few minutes later, and we sat around the table. I cradled my tea mug listening to Ashan's reasoning and justification of the choice he made. I wasn't angry with him. I was somewhat a little disappointed maybe, but mostly I was furious with the so-called Mercs Captain. Ashan wanted to ensure Serge and me that he will support us, that despite him leaving he will continue helping us whenever that's possible. I didn't want to disillusion him then and there that his new friends won't allow him. It's an "either you're with us or against" choice. I figured he must learn this on his own. After Ashan had left Dunn and I sat a long while in silence. Our little faction felt apart, and with it, the idea of change got buried deep. It became even more apparent after the Open Stage Night. Damien took it upon himself to use EB as a sponsor for the event without discussing this with anyone. A day later Mercs Captain whipped him in front of the Inn in broad daylight. I had left for Waterdeep before the rotten priest started his rumor mill.


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16th - 18th Eleasis 1352, Waterdeep, Chroster's Residence
The family visit was short, intense but good. To see them thrive, grow and evolve is always soothing. I am eternally glad for Lysander and his family to accept mine and treat them like they belong. It floods me with relief to see the twins standing strong on their own, on the edge of adulthood if not already there. They seem as if their life has always been this stable, organized and full. As for the kids, they smile with their eyes, and it is enough for me. Sometimes I wish that great granny and granny could see it, that my mother could. It becomes near impossible to remember her face in detail. I know that in few years I won't remember it as well as I should. For now, however, I drink in this sight, and it is one to behold.
I made so many mistakes. I screwed up more often than not. I am drowning in failures save for how things turned up for them. I didn't screw that up. I send my last thought to Kat, and I can hear the bitterness in her response. She knows that I'll be by her side tomorrow to drown some of these ideas in a significant amount of whiskey.


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19th - 30th Eleasis 1352, Calimport, Menagerie's apartment
Sand. Sand everywhere. And the heat. Gods, that heat is killing me faster than any booze or other substances. Kat says I don't know how to let go, so she has embarked on the mission to teach me the art of not caring. So I'm not. Or I'm telling myself I don't at least til the scouts are back, and we need to get ready. I think they mentioned it would be an extraction. Details will come eventually. All I know so far is that the coin will be good, better than good. *The rest of the page has been torn off*

The voice from another life. Sometimes forgetting is harder than living. The job went as well as it could, given the circumstances and to their apparent satisfaction the next contract is already lined up. We are leaving for the Tethyrian border at the end of the month. Nothing like a job in a war-torn shell of a country. War makes for happy mercenaries I suppose. I study the map committing to the memory the lay of the land, points of entry and our escape route. I stare at the building's plan, so I know the layout like the back of my hand. Darrow mocks me for it; he knows all too well that I struggle with directions and that my spatial awareness is nonexistent. We spar for hours, Ziri yells orders over the clash of blades, and we move in sync. I am tired. Khalid sits in the corner with a deep frown but when I ask him later what had him worried he only shakes his head. *Ink splotches blacken the rest of the paragraph.*

Before we left, we held a small celebration. Sheva carries Tariq's child, so we had to leave her behind. That night however they sang, roasted a pig over the fire, danced and told stories. My sister asked me that odd question then. I didn't know what it meant. Not til it was too late.
Eleint 1352 DR
Dedicated to Shorn. All dem feels of the past, lol.
Hidden: show
1st - 5th Eleint 1352, Tethyr, Camp outside of Myratma
*The beginning of this entry is gone, covered in soot.* Grim faces. The taste of failure and ash. It will take hours of soaking to get this stench off my skin. No risk, no gain.

I could die here. There is freedom in death.
*The rest of the page is missing.*


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6th - 11th Eleint 1352, Calimport, Menagerie's Apartment
It took a while for things to go back to normal and for now the crew has disbanded to recuperate. So be it. I am delaying my return North. It's not like I want to deal with Mercs Captain, lack of allies, lack of work, lack of... Mm. I don't want to go back. And if it weren't for Dunn I wouldn't even consider it. I remain. I let myself spent hours walking through the city. I read one book after another; I devour more food than I normally do, yes no sane person would call it eating. I watch Kat, and her artsy friends perform; I get drunk or high, or both, take your pick. Rinse. Repeat. Days go by til she tells me it's time. I pack little because I'll be back soon.

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12th - 21st Eleint 1352, Soubar, The Winding Way Inn
I did not expect to see him. He was one of the people from the past that I did not imagine showing up in the present. I ran into Fenix first, and he wanted to clarify something between us, but I told him to piss off. I am not interested in whatever this creature has to say, period. And then as I was about to leave FAI I came face to face with Uriel. I can't remember the last time we spoke. That's the truth of it. How have I *The rest of this paragraph is illegible.*
He brings the past with him. Past that, these days, I try hard to forget, and yet I smile and then hours pass as we talk. The next day and the day after melt together. That half abandoned part of me wants him to stay, but I know better than to wish or hope, he won't be here long. Soon these green eyes will look towards the far, far away and he will be gone.

Ashan found Uriel and me on the beach, and when the druid left, he told me that Alison had left and that Dunn has been MIA ever since. He spoke of Marshall's departure with Santraegers, and I snickered. But with the bad news came the good as well. Ashan told me about his school and training sessions. He even offered me a job, plain and simple. Not to mention, he claimed that before Marshall departed Dunn had pretty much decided to leave EB. Unfortunately, the ranger is nowhere to be seen to confirm that, and if anything, I need to hear that from him before I make any decision. On our way back to FAI, Ashan spoke of the rumors that Damien had been spawning around suggesting I want to get rid of Mercs Captain and that he is out for blood. My former comrade urged me to be careful. I ensured him I would, but all I could really think about was the irony of it. I wanted to laugh out loud. Soon enough the band got together, and Damien was questioned about his hand in the rumor mill. Mercs Captain was as passive as he has been for months and I almost wished he was out for blood. But no, he just smirked at me. I wondered for a moment which one of us was first to invent the only-partially-alive way of being. Where are the good old days?

I searched for Dunn but came empty handed. Sendings remained unanswered so having little choice I met with Alexandra. She is a Guide now, and I guess it suits her. We spoke about the ranger, her work and that she would like me and Dunn to join the Candlekeep guard. She more or less confirmed what Ashan had told me. I suppose Dunn could fit in here if he wanted. I was polite and said to the Guide I would consider this after I exchanged words with the ranger. I need to know where he stands.

A few days later I met with Mercs Captain to see the area where he wants the Fort to be built. When I told him that other factions had come to me with job offers, he remained indifferent. There was no reaction whatsoever. It is not like I expected any, right? Who am I kidding... And when I met Dunn the next day, we talked for few hours only to arrive at the conclusion that it is time to leave EB behind. There is nothing left there worth staying for. We agreed to talk to Mercs Captain together.
We never got to do that.

I met with Pharaxes and made up my mind.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

22nd - 30th Eleint 1352, Chessenta, Akanax
I don't know if seeing Uriel or Mercs Captain's indifference or Dunn's and mine decision were the final push. I don't even know what I expected to find here. You? Perhaps. Most likely... Yes, I wanted to find you here. Alive, well and present.

It's been over a year, and here I am in the country of your youth looking for you. I'm chasing ghosts. I ha... *The rest of the page is torn off.*
Marpenoth 1352 DR
Dedicated to the Baby Dragon. I hate you.
Hidden: show
1st - 13th Marpenoth 1352, Chessenta, Somewhere on the road between the cities
I'm chasing ghosts looking for closure. Or maybe I'm doing this to later tell myself that I did all I could. I waited. I searched. I traveled far to search more. I sent. I wrote. I waited some more.
I did it all and more.
Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if you hadn't left. I like to think I would have been a better person.
Time to go back to the reality.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

14th - 23th Marpenoth 1352, Soubar, The Winding Way Inn
When I was away the Coast got infested with kobolds. Well armed, proficient at magic, good with bow kobolds, not your common Hilltop breed that's for sure. On an average day I hate Mercs Captain's guts, but if it weren't for him, I'd become a kobold dinner. When we arrived at Candlekeep, the narrow approach was layered with little bodies. It seems that these little creatures have become a serious problem.

To avoid Mercs Captain, I busied myself with looking for Dunn, but yet again he was gone with the wind. No one could tell me where the ranger could be hiding and obviously, the sendings did little to help. There was something that we were supposed to do; I was finally ready. To a degree at least because I was unable to do it on my own, I needed him by my side so I could say what needed to be said. I used to have friends, I think. Now upon return, I realized that without Dunn around I could look for Ashan and that's it. I found the warrior inside that new bar or whatever that is, the property of Darius Holding Company. He got me up to speed on recent events, describing the Sembian conflict in detail, the progress he made with his school and that Bentley asked him to be FAI's guard captain as long as the Sembians are considered a threat. I listened to the man, watching him in this new environment. He admitted that he had found home with the Darius Clan. I belong, he said with a smile. Mm, made me think of the group down south. Did I belong with them? Was I a part of something? There were comradery, the brothers, and sisters in arms thing whenever a job was there. I had been enjoying it enough, and it was way better than working with EB but was it home? Kat would snicker at this question; she doesn't bother herself with these distinctions anymore than I normally do. I left when it was proper and went to the Merchant's League to pick up the package from Vincent. The new set of pins and a short letter.

Mercs Captain decided that the company needed a challenge and chose an excursion into the Upperdark. I really could have done without that damned light source over my head, but he insisted. I met a new member, Tek, and a prospect Lunulata. They both fared well in the tunnels. Afterward, the gang ended up hitting the Inn for drinks. By now I was used to drinking in silence and observing, so it was a change of pace when Ashan showed up with his students. Introductions, offers of free drinks, a lengthy discussion about kobolds and sembians kept me from bailing. Truth be told I wasn't interested in any of these threats, my mind kept skipping steps. When I couldn't wait for Dunn any longer, I decided it was time. Now I know I really should have waited. Mm. I still have a thing for rooftops, so FAI's roof seemed like a good place, to tell the truth. I had it all planned in my head. I would have informed him about the decision Dunn, and I had made a month ago, he would smirk and offer some snarky comment, and that would be it. I was supposed to walk away with my head high and all. Nothing ever goes according to plan. I had waited for a long time for him to wake up from this passive stupor. I had been patient with him and the way he had treated us. I had kept my cool when all I wanted was to scream at him or tear him limb from limb. I had waited for him to be his old self and for things to be the way they used to be when the war was ravaging this land. So why then? Why did he tell me I was right then? Couldn't he tell me that months ago? When I was one foot out the door, he admitted fault. I was always terrible at leaving. *The rest of the paragraph is illegible..*
Two days of words, glimpses of the past and few bottles of whiskey was all it took to make me stay. For now. Last attempt. Or so I'm telling myself.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

24th - 30th Marpenoth 1352, Calimport, Menagerie's apartment
Let's face it, implications of certain things scare the hell out of me so naturally, I find myself porting south. There is a job they want to do, the crew got together for it, so here I am. Kat watches me with a narrowed gaze. I know the discussion I can't avoid is coming. She is going to tell me what I already know. The well-established pattern of avoidance. I am not only the Queen of Awkward but the Empress of the Land of Avoidance as well.
Uktar 1352 DR
Keyword: The return of the Panda.
Hidden: show
1st - 10th Uktar 1352, Calim desert, A hidden camp
There is certain tranquility in the desert, and they seem to recognize it for what it is. The crew has a place where they go after a job well done. A place where they get to rest and if need be hide from the world. After the last contract was finalized and coin changed hands, it took them mere 2 hours to pack and get ready. We were at the camp just after nightfall. The chorus of Kat's and Sheva's voices must have carried far. I thought I would have more than enough time to catch up on my letters but then Khalid came up with the mad idea of running drills in the desert. The upside was that I didn't need a bottle of whiskey to fall asleep.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

11th - 13th Uktar 1352, Daggerfort
I kept my word, and before returning to Soubar I visited Robbie in Daggerfort. My brother is a grown man now. A sergeant, fiancee, fierce fighter and a quite skilled carpenter. To hear him lecture me on making a good first impression on his beloved and her family was amusing. I did my best trying to behave so they wouldn't end up running for the hills. They seemed like good, hardworking people with a lot of love to give. They didn't appear to be bothered by Rob's past and the fact he came from nothing which was a relief. He would never accept coin from me at this point, so I left it with Alicia. She promised me to be clever about it, and I trust she will. Before I left, I told them that when they think it's time I can take them to Waterdeep so Rob can share the news with the rest of the family.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

14th - 27th Uktar 1352, Soubar, EB's HQ
When I arrived in Soubar the scenery was different, where a construction site had been a building stood now. It was still missing the dracolich's head above the entrance, and it wasn't the only thing it lacked. No bathroom save for the one in Mercs Captain's room and no separate rooms for men and women were also on the list of things missing. I looked at him incredulously, did he really expect us to do co-ed? Well, I decided he would have to learn to share then. There was no time, however, to argue this because we had to leave for Roaringshore. There was a job for Captain Aulyin Tokkin we had agreed to do. It was a retrieval, and after some effort, we found what was left of Lord Efar. The man was too far gone when we got to him, but we managed to obtain the information we needed and Tokkin still paid us what had been promised.

If it were up to me, I would have let him rot there. I never expected to end up on the other side of Faerun to bail out a man I despised. I wanted to wipe out the surprise from his face with my shield. Perhaps one day I will. A girl can dream.

I knew it was a mistake to allow the good guys mingle with the bad guys when it came to the interrogation of Karm Tarth. The sunite had her way not just with that but with dealing out her version of justice as well. She killed the prisoner after questioning. One good thing came out of this mess tho, a shared idea. For once Mercs Captain and I were on the same page as to what to do next. We discussed the details back in HQ. The only place that seems to be right in this place is a fully stocked bar. I gave him back Dunn's blade, and he told me that the ranger came by in the morning and officially resigned. I wanted to say something, but my mind was empty and craved whiskey. It stung that someone I considered a friend didn't come to see me first and ask where we stood. We sat in silence for a moment before he asked me if I was going to leave too. Well, I was elbows deep in a rather insane plan so no, you moron, I wasn't about to leave you to your own devices so you could hang yourself. And no, I didn't tell him that. I just shook my head because what else was I supposed to do.

I always imagined he was dead. It was a nice, comforting thought. I was disappointed to learn he lived. Xavier found me at FAI. I think that roof is a place where I take all these undeserving men to talk some sense into them. It never works. I would have been better off if I pushed them over the railing. Or at least I would feel better.

The next time I saw Dunn, my fist collided with his jaw. Hard. I didn't fix him. He deserved that, not just for leaving without a word. He introduced me to Wren, and I was surprised to meet another Hoarite. I looked at her as if she was from another plane. In a way, to me, she was. I heard many things about that woman, mostly in connection to the Thayan bounty, her work for SCCE and ties to the Zhentarim. I couldn't care less who she was working for or who she was dating. It was the first time in a long time that I thought about bringing anyone to the old compound. *The rest of the page is missing.*

Every time Dunn was between women, he would bother me with insane questions, ideas, and whatnot. He would, however, behave himself. And when he didn't I was close to breaking his spine in few places to teach him a lesson. It was a second time Mercs Captain bailed me out from a similar predicament. Dunn claims he can still help me handling the baby dragon, but in truth, I am a single parent now. And with the ranger in Candlekeep's employ, there will be fewer instances when we can work together. Already I couldn't tell him about the plan, and it didn't feel right. When the time came, I followed Mercs Captain, and we faced Grand Duke Xander De'Cardi. Little came out of that as the man was later killed by none other than Dunn, the lack of honesty goes both ways. One by one, they leave.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

28th - 30th Uktar 1352, Waterdeep, Chroster's residence
Short visit North to pay for kid's school, buy supplies and leave necessary coin and arrangements with Aimee. We played in the snow on the morning of my departure, and I was mentally preparing myself for the trip I had to make. I knew I was supposed to look forward to it, but I wasn't. Not only wasn't I ready but above all, I felt ill-suited for such endeavor.
Nightal 1352 DR
Hidden: show
1st - 28th Nightal 1352
*The page containing this entry is missing, it seems to be cut out from the journal.*

~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

29th - 30th Nightal 1352, Soubar, EB's HQ
The return to reality meant dealing with petty disagreement between Lunu and Drogo. It meant telling Drogo that if he thinks that Mercs Captain would ever risk his hide to help anyone without a profit in mind, he must be delusional. *The rest of the paragraph has been stricken over by a furious hand.*
Hammer 1353 DR
Dedicated to Litoff and Fury. #cozyindarkhold & #coffee4life
Hidden: show
1st - 17th Hammer 1353, Soubar, EB's HQ
Dunn brought a girl with him. The one I recognized from Ashan's training sessions and from being around the Darius Clan. Vala seemed like any other I saw him with till she informed me of the little endeavor she has been working on. That, and initially that alone, was what piqued my interest. Ranger told me about some orc bounty, and I politely made some notes for the rest of the mercs while I alone was rather disinterested in anything orc related, especially that far south. The pair made me aware of the incoming wedding of Vendor and Terri. Later that day I packed some simple gift and went to witness the celebration only to miss most of the party due to a rather surprising encounter. A man bearing my family's name was there. Apparently, there is a family branch still alive and kicking. I would have been quite pleased with that discovery if it wasn't for what I learned later from Dunn about Harrington, Debonaire and their little crime syndicate. The upside was having something to busy myself with that didn't include dealing with the mercs. I left a letter for Harrington wondering what would come out of it.

Dunn and Vala showed me the clinic, and my interest grew ever so slightly. I could see the potential and possibilities there. Maybe something more. That is probably why I disclosed my own business idea to them. At the same time, I promised I'd supply them with whatever was needed for the time being.

I also met with Wren to discuss a guard contract and the three-day trial run. That was actually something I wanted to do for many reasons, and besides, it was a better job than whatever else had been brought in by EB in the last... well, long time. She joined me at the Fort with Dunn to discuss a particular group of bandits with a rather curious mo. Later the discussion shifted towards local Hoarites. Wren had been meaning to introduce me to an apparently growing presence of our brethren. After they had left, the second leader of Tiamat's little cultist band approached me with a job offer. Coin for information about some individuals involved in a raid on their church. I warned him that I no longer have any ties to the Gate and its people so it may be difficult but he didn't seem to mind much.

I watched the Bladestone training from afar, exchanged words with Derik and Ronja after and had a discussion with Talas. It was my second encounter with him tho I hardly think he remembers the first. There were few similarities between Talas and him that made me shake my head slightly as I drank whiskey. But he does walk a different path than the others, one that others won't be able to join in the type of cooperation I remember from the past. Besides, the sunite influence on him may lead to something else entirely. Time will tell. He did quickly jump to the topic of my trial, and it was evident from his words that someone else had painted him the picture of what I had done. I didn't particularly try to convince him of the opposite aside from denying that I had done anything out of the feeling of superiority and condescension.

To test mine and Wren's compatibility, we decided to go for a training session south of Candlekeep. Instead of conducting our business, however, we ran into Israe and Xavier. The latter being his usual passive-aggressive self towards the drow. I played my part of a mute guard, standing by Wren's side patiently till the other two went away. On the way back to FAI I told her about my talk with Talas, and she spoke at length about the others. *The rest of the page is missing.*

I sent to Kory, and we agreed to meet at the compound to talk. He wanted to know if I want to come back, be part of this again. We spoke of the future, possibilities and the others in the region. I am unsure if I can come back. This place brings back few good memories, but it mainly reminds me of what is no longer. It underlines that word I avoid; it outlines the emptiness left behind. I did, however, promise I'd help him bring them all together for a constructive discussion and so I did.

Shortly before the next company meeting, I had the rare pleasure of meeting someone that left a real impression. I was satisfied to learn that the warlock decided to join this ragtag band of misfits. The meeting itself was per usual uneventful. The next day, however, brought more than a fair share of things to take care off. Frigo wanted an escort for a dangerous excursion, so I sent Everett and Shekels with him. We decided that the cost of said protection will be deducted from the bounty the hin had decided to take on. After a pair of drow showed up, asking for safe passage and undisturbed stay in Soubar. With the recent influx of various monster races, I saw no reason to deny them. I spent the rest of the night making sure everything was ready for the major militia and company training tomorrow. It went better than I expected. In comparison to what they represented half a year ago, it was difficult not to see the progress. I think that is the only good thing that came out of me being here. And despite the changes happening in front of me, changes I wasn't all to keen on, at least this one thing got done.

The other of CoT leaders came to meet with EB claiming there is more work he can offer for quite a cut. I sat and stared at him, imagining a bunch of creative ways he could die. That creature is such a waste of living space. When the man left Everett brought up the escort job they had done for Frigo, and it came to light that he hadn't liked not being paid immediately after the assignment was done. Would have been better if he had only said so. As a result, Mercs Captain did what he always does, undermined me in front of them. I wondered yet again if he would ever think me his partner in this. I guess not. His and Everett's dynamic was already much better than ours ever was, and I could see where that was going even before Everett's promotion. As I was explaining to Mercs Captain that he can't correct me, accuse me of something or whatnot in front of the others without destroying what little authority I held, I had already known that my time with them, with him, was coming to an end. But regardless of that I still did my duty. I met vice Khazark to talk business and Israe to discuss her reconciliation with Mercs Captain. I supervised Lunu's archery training for both militia and mercs. When the right time came, I arranged Israe's and Mercs Captain meeting where the two buried the hatchet, at least for now.

The reply from my alleged cousin finally came, and I met with Dunn and Vala to talk. It was time for them to tell me the whole story. With new tidbits of information in mind, I sent a message back to Harrington agreeing to meet him at his earliest convenience. The pair insisted I accompany them to some masquerade party at the Muse to see Vala perform. Having been left with no choice, I followed them only to leave as soon as the girl left the scene.

Wren's message reached me in Soubar; she finally had some free time to discuss the contract. That was a perfect opportunity to make use of the new contract specialist, so I dragged Xelious with me up north to the gates of Darkhold. He did better than I thought he would and when the initial draft was done the three of us spent some time discussing various topics. With Blackthorne, Xavier, and Selengil not present, the dining hall didn't seem such an unwelcoming place anymore.

It took a while to arrange a date that would fit everyone's schedule but it finally came, and quite a group gathered around the table inside HoV's compound. I felt oddly removed watching the hall filled with people, and I mostly listened to what each of them had to say. While I was gently coaxing some food into grief-stricken Wren, I had to fight the urge to send to Vincent. In the end, I said very little, and it was odd to be listened to. The half a year in EB and recent lessons in obedience and bowing had taught me to expect so very little of the company I keep. *The next few lines in this paragraph are covered with blotches of ink and safe for few words here and there, the content is illegible.* After the meeting, Wren and I left for Soubar to discuss the guard contract with Mercs Captain. He agreed to the initial outline and left the majority of details for us to sort out.

I took Xelious deep into the High Moor and then into the Serpent Trail to test his combat abilities. It wasn't the usual style I witnessed from Tek and other warlocks. Xel calls upon creatures he binds with contracts and uses them to keep the vanguard position while he attacks from the safe distance. Watching him gave me an idea for the next training session in EB's underground arena. And it wasn't the only idea that came to mind then. His abilities and expertise were something that could come in handy with what I had been working on for a while now. It was time to meet with few contacts, so I teleported out the next day.


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

18th - 27th Hammer 1353, Undisclosed location
That is not the worst trade-off that comes to mind, I'm telling myself. Trading one service for another doesn't mean I'll end up right where I am. Or so I'm trying to believe.
Besides, she confirms it's possible. There was even one case on the Coast. It was a reverse one, but still.
*The rest of the page is missing, from the looks of it, it has been torn off.*


~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

28th - 30th Hammer 1353, The camp
I came back only to tie up some of the loose ends, even tho I really didn't have the need to do so. The force of habit perhaps. I organized the training session I had come up with while watching Xelious fight. The mercs were appropriately challenged this time, and some of them didn't fare well against the outsiders. And when the training was done I took the warlock north to finalize the guard contract. The final version was well worded and professionally written. I felt a tinge of regret at the thought of not being able to fulfill it, but I wanted him to finish this assignment. I wanted him to have that feeling of satisfaction. *The next sentence is stricken beyond legibility.*

The day of the long-awaited meeting with Harrington finally came, and I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I had a ridiculous discussion with my alleged cousin in the company of one of the recruits and Xavier who had wanted to see what kind of training the guards receive. The whole ordeal was witnessed by Ameris, Eldarian, and Alexandra. I had to remind myself not to grin. I could certainly appreciate the comical turn. Harrington was full of sh.it which wasn't surprising. Neither was Ameris' intrusion into the conversation. The ilmateri never fails to deliver, but as amused and entertaining as it was for me, I can't say it was for Xavier. But then again, his lack of comfort was the cherry on top.

As the sendings rang loud in my head, we left the city. I was leaving for good. That thought resulted in a deeper awareness of sorts. I thought Xavier would go his way once in the vicinity of Soubar, but he didn't. He followed me to where I had been setting my camp whenever I'm on the coast, and he sat in silence, still and brooding. That man would make a perfect statue. I wondered if he could battle me in stillness if we made a contest out of it. When he finally spoke he wanted to know what happened during the Tribunal and after and this time he didn't argue with me as much as he had done in the past. During our talk, I caught glimpses of a person behind this cold, angry and ever superior banite front. Perhaps in a different setting, if he hadn't been such a prick, I wouldn't have felt such disdain towards him. When Xavier left, I packed my camp, erasing what little of me was left there. For a moment or two, I considered sending to Dunn or leaving a note for Mercs Captain with my creatively worded resignation, but by then I already knew it wouldn't have mattered to either of them. As things stood, there was neither anything nor anyone left. Things came full circle once more. The sendings reached me again; there was no urgency in them just a curious inquiry. I went down to the river, got rid of few things and then teleported away.
═══════✵═══════

Missing notes on the margins
*Tiny scribbles covering margins and bottoms of most of the pages. All written in the minuscule, tight-knit and shaky script. Some are crossed many times over other are covered in blotches of ink. Only some of them are legible.*

Alturiak 1352 DR
Hidden: show
Defining moments are but a few. If we are lucky, we can immediately recognize one for what it is and seize it.
Most of the times, however, we only realize it much later.
If not too late.
***
Last time I stood on Darkhold's bridge you were with me. I was still a child. I understood so very little. I thought I won that day.
Things were different.
Now I was alone, following Xavier in silence. I was more than aware of what this would start and the difference between then and now.
Truth be told. Part of me didn't care. My trial was coming, so why should I care anymore?
Then why was Telia yelling at me? It is not like I was part of their little popular kid's club anymore. We weren't friends; we weren't even allies, and yet she felt entitled to interrogate me, to judge me and to condemn me.
That's the way of the good guys.
***
Winter Festival. The last act. Just before. Decisions and repercussions. Some chapters are ending. A sum of ex-selves.

  • My soul is cracked, and when amidst its care
    It tries with song to fill the frosty air,
    Sometimes, its voice seems like the feeble croak

    A wounded soldier makes, lost in the smoke,
    Beneath a pile of dead, in bloody mire,
    Trying, with fearful efforts, to expire.
***
I want to retreat into the safety and comfort of silence. I want to be very still, untouched, unmoved and unaffected. Stillness and silence.
First, the divine sends down its punishment.
Then you need to face the judgment of mortals.
At the end of it all, the rage tastes like salt and ashes.
A rude awakening.

Counting the days of my sentence starts now.




(((OOC: Fragment of the poem The Cracked Bell, by Charles Baudelaire from Flowers of Evil.
Ches 1352 DR
Hidden: show
I am a year older today.
Letters are my only escape. The anchor to what's left of my sanity.
I miss booze.
***
At the root of it, all that remains is hate. The wonderment is long gone. If only there were a way to change this. Would it make any difference?
Tarsakh 1352 DR
Hidden: show
I remain undecided. Go south? Go east across Faerun? Stay here, do not let them win?
Kat says I don't have to decide right now. Or anytime soon for that matter because I don't have any responsibilities left once this is done.
True enough.
***
A year long squireship has ended. I'm closing another chapter. I wonder if Sveta feels any relief besides the guilt. I hope that she won't consider me a mistake forever. I like to imagine we could become friends now.
***
I wonder if there is a way to sever the connection entirely. Would I be free if I wasn't what I am? Would that mean no more of the persistent state of in between?
Disintegration of self.
Mirtul 1352 DR
Hidden: show
I wonder, what would you think of me if you were here?
I emerge alone.
My sentence is over, and I am about to make the same mistake I always do. I'm choosing the worst possible option. In defiance.
I am telling myself that it is the last one. More whiskey on top of that. Not enough but it will do.


  • Lost in the time, in the way
    Gone but not forgotten
    New secret crimes to repay
    Now the walls have fallen

    And so it's now or never

    I'm breathing in
    I'm breathing out
    I'll cut the ties
    That hold me down

    I'm breathing in
    I'm breathing out
    I'll be the enemy

    Caught, quicksand grip pull me in
    Whisper faith in sickness
    Soon kill the myth, I'll begin
    Be the first to witness

    And so it's now or never

    I'm breathing in
    I'm breathing out
    I'll cut the ties
    That hold me down

    I'm breathing in
    I'm breathing out
    I'll be the enemy


(((OOC: Excerpt of Lyrics taken from Blue Stahli, Enemy.
Kythorn 1352 DR
Hidden: show
To delay the inevitable, I asked Vincent to take me south.
I thought I knew what state of coming undone feels like. My sister proved me wrong.
The art of uncaring. The art of haze. The art of oblivion.
***
Things like to come full circle. A year ago I was making the same decision I'm making now. I'm signing up for something that is going to cost me what little I have left. Perhaps there is a logic to this madness. Perhaps there is none.
I am acting against my better judgment. Don't actually know why. I am expecting something else this time. In the past, when it was still wartime, I would rather have him at my side than anyone from the holy orders, so maybe this is not the worst idea I've ever had.
Flamerule 1352 DR
Hidden: show
If it weren't for the vast resources of self-control, I'd probably end up dead trying to rip him apart.
As it turns out... It was my worst idea.
I mean, I knew things have changed, but I have never expected them to change into something so unacceptable. During the war, we used to be in sync on the battlefield. Outside of it, we would push each other, tease each other way past the limits others deemed proper.
What the hell is wrong with him?
***
I am rediscovering the meaning, taste, and depth of the concept of hate.

  • Slipping off the edge
    Out of phase
    Watching you pretend
    We're okay

    Every day we hike to hell
    And you only think about yourself

    If we're going down, we're going down in flames
    Don't speak, I'll try to save us from ourselves
    If were going down, we're going down in flames
    Going down in flames

    Burning on my tongue
    Every minute
    We were too proud
    Couldn't see it

He is a marvelous teacher.
*The rest of the scribbles is unreadable.*



(((OOC: Lyrics fragments with minor alternations taken from Ella Vos, Down in flames.
Eleasis 1352 DR
Hidden: show
Men lie.
It's the thing they do because they are weak.
Marshall's lie, however, stirred something that was dormant for a while. For a moment there I had thought I found an ally that understood, only to experience another rude awakening later. I should have known better by now.
I risked a lot before Triel and for what? Momentary victory? One that never translated into anything more?
And then Ashan left.


  • We carry on through the storm
    Tired soldiers in this war
    Remember what we're fighting for

    Meet me on the battlefield
    Even on the darkest night
    I will be your sword and shield
    Your camouflage and you will be mine

    Echoes of the fight ring out
    We may be the first to fall
    Everything could stay the same
    Or we could change it all

    Meet me on the battlefield

    We're standing face-to-face
    With our own human race
    We commit the sins again
    And our sons and daughters pay

    Our tainted history
    Is playing on repeat
    But we could change it
    If we stand up strong and take the lead


(((OOC: Lyrics fragments with minor alternation taken from Svrcina, Battlefield.
Eleint 1352 DR
Hidden: show
I have seen all this before. Kat's pale face and wide, unseeing eyes drowning in dread. I slapped her hard back into the reality, barking orders as I dragged her through that hell. Here you have it, kid. You wanted to see the war in all its glory, and now you can't unsee it. But don't you worry. It ain't anything that whiskey can't fix.
***
The old woman said the way to sever the connection is possible, but it is a pricey one. It is a trade one should never make lightly. How far gone would I have to be to make it then?
***
I'm gone half the time, and that doesn't warrant even a single comment. Because why would it, right? Would he even n *The rest of the sentence is stricken beyond the point of legibility.*
***
Green eyes of the druid. The past crashes into the present.
Memories are treacherous, cruel things. They act as the final push.
***
I remember the stories you told me. What was supposed to be a history lesson, would turn into a bedtime story. But I do remember. I can recall your voice with a haunting clarity. Thunder, always thunder.
The things I never said tear at me now.
Marpenoth 1352 DR
Hidden: show
  • And every second I breathe
    I'm coming closer
    With every day that I see
    I'm getting older
    With every step that I take
    I'm moving further
    Away from what I am and who I was

    Let go of yourself like you let go of me
    You were my air
    And now it's hard to breathe
    This is the final page
    So now I'll set you free
    You were my everything
    I was your empathy

    I'll take the blame
    If you take my conscience
I searched for gods know what. Closure? Certainty? Ghosts? Answers to questions that no longer matter? All of the above?
I did it all.




(((OOC: Lyrics fragments with minor alternations taken from The Eden Project, Statues.
***
So dysfunctional.
So bloody dysfunctional I want to scream. I want the blame to lay solely with him. But is it, really?
I'm tired. Tired of avoiding him. Tired of fighting him. Tired of working around him.
Dunn was supposed to be here. We were supposed to do this together because I am bad at leaving. I've always been bad at walking out.
The dichotomy of us. What is this? I miss the past. I miss the way things were at the beginning of this year. Can you give me back the us from before?
I hate you now. I didn't hate you then.
***
I will never know this. Not for sure.
Lines blur.

  • And when the saints of hell surround you all at once
    You just tell them what I told you
    Everything deserves to live on once it's gone



(((OOC: Quote taken from Crywolf.
Uktar 1352 DR
Hidden: show
Tread carefully when you cross the hot sands. That's what they tell you. They don't mention; however, that sand ends up in places it doesn't belong.
Especially when you engage in close quarters hand to hand combat. Sand is a curse.
***
The rare occurrence of you and me agreeing on something is worth opening the bottle Kat had given me before I left. Let's see how long it lasts. I am disillusioned at this point so I don't harbor any hopes we can go back to what we used to be, but this is a nice change of pace for now.
I want to see them burn.
***
With Ashan and Dunn gone, I wonder how long can I keep this up.
***
The point of no return. As if there was a choice. I'd rather stay on the outside of things to remain neutral and objective. But something has to give. I don't see it going anywhere but what else is there. In the end, I want to be able to say I tried it all. Both good and bad, from each side of this equation. Besides, the perversity of boredom, of the lack of challenge. And above all. I told you once, that if you left this is where I would go.
The echo of Xavier's words clings. There is no reality in which I'd believe him. This doesn't change the past. For what it's worth it makes me want to push the limits to see how far I can go.
Nightal 1352 DR
Hidden: show
Now I understand more. Wren's letter lays flat on the bed.
Not enough. Mm. It no longer surprises me. I suppose it's time to plan for an exit.
*The rest is unreadable.*
Hammer 1353 DR
Hidden: show
There is a difference between obedience and respect. This whole situation amuses me greatly. That 180 turn isn't all that unexpected even, it is the Coast after all. But if Sel thinks he can teach me to bow he may find himself surprised. Besides, this whole endeavor turned out to be a great disappointment. Luckily they won't be my concern for much longer, and I can only hope Max will keep Wren safe.
***
Xelious. Would he do it if I asked him to? Could I put the responsibility for that in his hands? Can I trust anyone like that? Stupid question. If I could, thing would be different. I won't ask.
***
I'm done.
With him.
With them.
Maeve - The Water Witch ------ Journal --- Main. Temporarily back.
El - The Sum of Ex-selves ------ JournalBio --- Semi-retired Alt. MIA again.

═══════✵═══════

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MedalOfValor
Posts: 314
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Re: Eleanor - Fragments, Records and Notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:00 pm

BOOK FIVE


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F R A G M E N T S


The camp was not much, but the crumbling structure was providing enough protection from the wind and rain, leaving the candle alone for the time being. A hooded figure sat there, her back against the wall. The blade moved smoothly between the fingers of her right hand while she kept twirling it back and forth absentmindedly. The woman's attention was on the objects laid out in front of her. She ran her left index digit along the edge of the first book. Number five lettered in crimson into the leather cover reflected the candlelight. Then El's gaze shifted to the other, worn looking, tome with number four etched into its front. Her eyelids fluttered, the blade in her hand halted briefly, and she canted her head to the side, listening to the words in her mind.

"Have you opened it yet?"

"Just about to," she thought back. "I hope the fifth one is sturdier." The blade resumed its dance between the woman's fingers.

"That's all you're worried about?"

"Obviously not, but ask me tomorrow."

There was no comment in return, and so she slipped the knife back into its rightful place then picked up the fourth book. She could feel the weight of it, and she had to force herself to abandon a train of thought that popped into her head. Without delay, El wrapped the tome in a linen cloth, fastened it with a strap, and then dropped it into a backpack.

She let out a soft sigh as her hands reached for the already opened bottle of whiskey, and she took a generous sip from it before turning her attention to the book number five. Howling of wolves carried across the Northern Tradeway, coming from the south this time. She had no care for it; there was something she needed to do now. El reached for a quill, dipped it in ink then propped the book on her lap. The words came with the same intensity as the next wave of rain and the melody followed in its wake.


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R E C O R D S

1st - 20th Eleasis 1353, The Northern Tradeway, Camp


My return was as quiet as my departure. One moment I was not there, then I simply was. The sendings rattled in my head, and I let the words pass through me before I thought back at them. I walked the paths of the past slowly, unbothered and inconspicuous for a few days. Tuning myself to words, sensations, and thoughts were both challenging and intriguing. It did not take long for a routine route to form, and I took it every day. Removed, distanced and hidden I watched them. Could not find each and everyone from the list in my head, but it didn't bother me. I had time. Correction. I thought I had time.

The gallows drew me, pulled at me in a similar way the Tower did. I wished I could stand atop of it again. In regular intervals, I visited the gibbet to sate myself. I took note of the commotion about Mercs Keep and pondered the meaning of gold in the banners.

When the day of their feast came, I was still unsure what my choices would be. With the proclamation of the Barony and following reveal came dry amusement, and for reasons, I am yet to understand, the urge for confrontation surfaced. I held his gaze and let him know it was me. No indication of recognition was given til he came over after his speech, as always assuming I would listen.

I don't know what you had in mind
But here we stand on opposing sides
Let's go to war
We arm ourselves with the wrongs we've done
I should have known then at that exact moment that I lost the upper hand. Such a stupid mistake. The one I keep making. I walked away, hoping he would allow me so I could choose where and when, but the moment I heard the doors behind me open again I realized I lost.
Everything you say
Everything you do
You push it in
And you cut me down
War, war, war
The woman by the name of Adira entered the hallway blocking my way, which gave him enough time to bar the door and prevent me from leaving. Why do we keep doing this? Why does he stop me only when I am about leave? He had done it before. It became a theme. It was one of the reasons I had not faced him before I left.

The rage mixed with pain, that feeling is a living thing. The thing, I thought I had under control by now, but it took him mere moments to free it. I wanted to scream. The urge to scream at him always there, never leaving me.

Screaming at the ones we love
Like we forgot who we can trust
Screaming at the top of our lungs
On the grounds where we feel safe
The yearning for confrontation coiled in me. Confrontation he would not grant me. He was never one to give, his right to take all of and from me was assumed. He left before I could say anything. That hit me even harder than him barring the doors and forcing me to listen to his words.
Hush make no sound
Maybe we can wait each other out
It’s a cold war
Let’s go to war

With every settled score
I thought that fighting with meant fighting for
But you turn it around
And even as he spoke them it felt wrong. It felt forced. I knew that power in all of its forms all too well.
This time I willed myself to leave.
He would not have me return to him. Not this time.
Not like this. I ran.

Every feeling in my bones tells me to lash out
And tell you to f*ck off
You’ve got my heart
And I've got your soul
But are we better off alone?

With every battle, we lose a little more
Remember everything that we would die for
You are everything that I would die for
The living thing in me twisted vehemently.
My steps led me back to where you had taken me when my temper flared. I miss the way the arena looked back then. And I always find myself coming back here in moments like these.

I did not expect to see Marshall there. I walked away to steady myself, to don my colors. I stood atop the arena watching them spar down below. The short but powerfully built woman, Althea, drew my attention again. I waited. I knew he would see me before long. And he did, he called out to me and soon would stand behind me. I looked over my shoulder and had to steel myself when I saw what Marshall was holding in his hand.
No. Not again. Not now.
I told him I did not want it. Neither did he as he laid it on the bench and walked away before I got the words out.

What is wrong with them both?

I was leaving when Hinzel stopped me. Peculiar how he remained unchanged towards me, ever consistent in his approach and view of me. Ever kind. I never understood why he would offer such to me. He deserved that to be returned to him, and I did attempt to show him what it meant to me. I had expected him to recoil, but he did not, surprising me once more.

I went to the beach. Do you remember when you found me there after the evacuation of my village and the confrontation with the Santraegers? I keep returning here just like I keep returning to the arena. I still walk the steps we walked then.


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(((OOC Credits:
Soundtrack & Lyrics: Nothing More, used with minor alternations
Revision & Proofreading: Master Silke
Maeve - The Water Witch ------ Journal --- Main. Temporarily back.
El - The Sum of Ex-selves ------ JournalBio --- Semi-retired Alt. MIA again.

═══════✵═══════

.:Retired:.
Yas - She-wolf ------ Journal

User avatar
MedalOfValor
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:22 am

Re: Eleanor - Fragments, Records and Notes

Unread post by MedalOfValor » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:57 pm

BOOK FIVE


═══════✵═══════


F R A G M E N T S
P A R T O N E


The veil of darkness moved lazily, chased by the signs of first light reflected in the glass surface of the only window. For the most part, the chamber remained coated in murky shadows and quietness. Two silhouettes, 3 feet apart, slept on the floor by the wall. The man looked peaceful, his breathing deep and regular. Dark crown of tousled hair framed his face which still bore the signs of strain, exertion, and pain from the day before. The woman, on the contrary, seemed plagued by an uneasy dream, her breathing shallow and quick; sweat shone on her forehead, and she curled inward under her blanket. Whatever her mind had conjured, ultimately forced her to jolt awake.

Instinctively, El reached for the blade which would have been in the left boot but found nothing; her chest hitched, and she looked around in confusion, trapped in the subsiding nightmare and unfamiliar surroundings. A single charge jumped between the tips of the woman's fingers, and she shook her head balling both hands into fists. Slowly, memories of yesterday and pieces of reality clicked back into place — the recollection of where she was forced her eyebrows to draw together into a deep frown. Looking leftward - with a sigh of relief - she noted that her abrupt awakening had not disturbed the paladin. Finally, she pulled herself up glancing about the chamber in an attempt to reorient then tiptoed toward the pile of her belongings stashed on the chair, and before putting her shoes on, she checked the position of the hidden knife. That simple gesture brought her solace, softening the contorted lines of her features. The woman straightened up, seized the heavy, hooded cloak and threw it over her shoulders, letting it cling to her frame. Next, she picked the set of silver, glyph-covered pins from the table, pulled her hair back, and in a few quick, decisive moves braided the unruly mane, sticking the hairpins into the pattern along the way. All that was left was the hood, and it soon covered her head, almost entirely obscuring her visage. Before moving toward the window, she reached into the backpack to fish out a notebook and some writing implements. After the objects have been placed on the windowsill, the woman settled down looking outside. Her hand found the way back to the blade, and before long it resumed its relentless dance. El's expression rearranged showing the early signs of a scowl while she watched, in silence, the first strokes of color break across the horizon. With the tip of the blade rested on the edge of her lower lip, she tugged at the pendant around her neck. Having activated the spell, she murmured the message.


"The game of what ifs, treacherous thing. Returning so soon might have been a mistake."

The reply did not come right away. El thought there would be none and as she picked the notebook to feed it, the sending finally echoed in her head. Weariness and irritation carried across distance with remarkable ease.

"Chaos help me, stop stalling. Stop hiding. Handle it! The truth will close that chapter for good."

"And what if it tries to pry open a new one?"

"Stop being naive."

"Or self-destructive," El's gaze shifted to the blade as she whispered back.

"Or that. You need to face him, or you'll never be free. And he is still here."

The exchange stopped, and she knew no words could mask what she was trying to avoid. Soon the residents of this building would begin to wake, which meant that time was running short. In order to move forward, she needed to process, at least to some degree, what had transpired yesterday. Resentment and exhaustion made for poor writing companions; inflating each sentence's cost to more than she had bargained for. The reprieve did not come, and she surmised she was undeserving of it.

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R E C O R D S - P A R T O N E

21st - 23rd Eleasis 1353, The Radiant Heart Chapterhouse, Marshall's Room


I should have known better, given that nothing has gone as planned so far. This encounter held a different surprise than the one with Hinzel. The almost forgotten warmth I always had associated with Elyssa was unexpected. It seemed like a lifetime since I had spoken to her last. Despite the passage of time, she still tried, just like during my sentence, to share light and warmth with me. At that point, however, I had no right to accept a gift like that. She wanted to see my hand, but I could not allow it. There was no will in me left to explain and argue the whys and ifs.

I was, yet again, on my way to FAI to search for Wren when I stumbled upon a curious scene; Kald with Aeb'el's limp body over his shoulder and some strangers lying lifeless in the dirt. Few scrolls later they returned to the realm of the living. Kald sent for Marshall, and soon he and Althea caught up with the others in the vicinity of the Inn. As I had passed Mercs Captain not far from Soubar without a word of exchange between us earlier that day, so did the silence settle between Marshall and I. The procession to the Cloudpeaks commenced and ended with Aeb'el's burial in the frozen ground. Rai remained hidden in shadows while we carried our conversation and she told me that my rumored death drove Uriel toward the edge, but as with everything Rai says, I took it with a grain of salt. There was no logical reason for it to matter to the druid.

The tiefling woman, Tasha, must have been forced out of her stealth position by Rai. With her presence revealed, she called upon her wolf companion and forced the animal to dig. I had no right to ask Rai to dispatch Tasha, and neither could I do anything against the archer. When the deed was done, she tied a rope around the corpse and dragged it to the Aurilite Temple. I took my leave, meandering down the mountain trail where the snow and threats were less prominent so that I could send to Marshall. We have not exchanged a word with each other save for that short encounter by the arena, but I knew he would come if he knew what had taken place. This time was no different; not a single word was given when he sprinted past me, climbing up the path I have just walked down. I could have walked away then, and I would have if it were anyone else. When I caught up with him, he was already facing Aeb'el. The all-consuming cold and the screaming in my head were but a backdrop. I was being torn apart again, and again. And yet I stood motionless, leaning against a dead, frozen tree. I knew then and there what the outcome would be. What the price for his choice and mine would be. And there I stood. The storm was pulling at me, begging to be released. It was his fight, his decision, his honor and I would never go against that. I understood this better than I wished I had.




When they tore into each other, I forced myself to watch. Why did I return? I could have been miles away, free of this picture and the tempest inside me.
When Aeb'el, in the devil form, brought Marshall to his knees, I pushed down the impulse to move. I must not act. I must remain motionless. Fading away, fragments of me dying.
The erosion of balance.

When Marshall was killed and turned to ice, the Aurilite looked to me. There was a time when I would have charged him, allowing the sheer intensity of fury to carry me. No longer, however, was I able to hold a sword or engage in combat of any kind. The abomination called me a spectator.
The reduction of self.

Trapped in this broken body, I was held hostage between respect for his choice and desire for violence. The Thunder will toll, one day, the scales will even. One day, but not soon enough.

Wordlessly, I watched Aeb'el shift into a Nightcrawler and pick up Marshall's body encased in ice. That silence accompanied me when I followed them to the Temple, where self-proclaimed Lord Cold Circle mounted the ice statue on the wall. The same silence tried to strangle me when I noticed the pendant around Marshall's neck. He had left it there on the bench; I remembered it clearly so why was it here? My eyes trailed every inch of him, burning this scene into my memory, the initial price for understanding. I hated him for it. Even at that moment, I marveled at how alike they were when it came down to a few things; especially the surge of rage, both of them kept evoking in me. Knowing that his friends, allies, and followers would come knocking sooner or later, I left the Temple and waited outside of it to face them. The cold no longer bothered me; I could no longer feel. Nor could I allow myself to feel in the face of what was yet to come. Shortly after they finally arrived, the abomination exited his domain as well. Before he could mislead them, I told them about Marshall's death and removed myself from Aurilite's proximity. I leaned against the snow-covered palisade, listening to openly hostile exchange. I suggested to Aeb'el that he should give them Marshall's blade back, given that he mounted his sword in the dead paladin's hand. When he left to fetch it, their judgment shifted to me. They needed a focal point, someone who they could judge and condemn, so I played my part. Be the monster they need. Be the monster everyone thinks you are.
The monster you fear you may be.

I felt the tug. Dulled as it was, it was still present despite my attempts at eradicating it. There would be hell to pay for all that had been suppressed later; I was slowly becoming disillusioned about this. After a lengthy, fruitless debate, the abominable creep denied them entry to the Temple. They did not really want to hear what happened from me; I was not what they wanted me to be. What did they know about sides? They could not begin to comprehend the reasons and motivations behind my choices, or the understanding between Marshall and me. Just like that, in under a day, I have become a monster again. I wondered then, if I followed Marshall in death, for that was proper and expected, that was what they deemed honorable and right, would that have been commended? My corpse would have been lost under layers of snow. No one would know I was even there. When they left, their anger, grief, and conviction followed behind like a pack of vultures. The feasted and yet remained insatiable. I returned to the Temple, and after Aeb'el issued his empty warning, I was allowed to stay.

My mind kept disassembling each shred of information even as I tried to force it to stop. I weighed the options laid in my head and searched the scenarios that would not cease popping in. I had to be patient; the day was far from being over. The fear that my composure would crack, that the wall which I surrounded myself with could crumble would not leave me. I was aware of the pressure against it all too keenly. I held the beast by its throat, but its claws kept reaching me, tearing in. Bleeding reason, logic, and what little self-control I had left all over the floor, I heard a familiar voice to my right. I could not see him, but he was still there. I remained as I was, staring ahead. If the others got wind of Hinzel's presence, there would only be more death.


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(((OOC Credits:
Soundtrack: Tom Salta, Soundtrack to Might & Magic Heroes VI, Julien Marchal, Insights XX
Revision & Proofreading: eS
Maeve - The Water Witch ------ Journal --- Main. Temporarily back.
El - The Sum of Ex-selves ------ JournalBio --- Semi-retired Alt. MIA again.

═══════✵═══════

.:Retired:.
Yas - She-wolf ------ Journal

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