To be Dacino without blood's guideance

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To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:55 pm

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Hoihe Lafali'Atria Nu'Ruimatria Dacino takes the thickly bound book she recently bought from Candlekeep beneath one of Doron Amar's many trees, during the night, and takes pen to paper.

"It has been a few months since the date of my rebirth, 26th of Eleasis and despite how often I've made sure to record my thoughts coming up to it, I have not revisited my journal eversince - until today.

Why today? To start with, I have had difficulties seeing why I should write a journal in the first place, with how I originally intended them to merely help me remember. As an elf, memories are a wholly different world than it was as a human, or even a half-elf. But more on that later.

However, I have come to realize that I can employ my journal as a device to aid in my planning, my thoughts and ideas - as if I was speaking with a priest or friend or Soora. Truly, it doesn't compare to a chat with Soora, they often bring me upon an enlightened path without my realization at the time after all, nor a chat with Viridiana or a priest like Ameris, but it's something. And while I am trying to beat my fear of judgement out of myself when chatting with Soora, it still does haunt me at times, despite knowing well that she merely wishes to guide me to who I am, I can write whatever and however I wish in these pages unlike when speaking face to face. I suppose, in an ideal world I would write down my thoughts and wonders in this journal then have a chat with Soora, Ameris, Viridiana, Mealir and Soora again. In that order. In such a world, I'd never make a mistake with my choices. For now, this will have to do.

So what is it that served catalyst to me seeking council with a man of wisdom who judges not? If Soora were around, she'd likely be the receipent of this tirade that is to come, but as she still appears busy with whatever she is doing, I guess she'll only get the boiled down summary of my ramblings. Might be for the better, if just so that we can skip the rambling and jump to something fun when she comes back.

In short, I've come to realize that this last two years, since I played the Flute of many, maybe even before when I became obsessed with becoming an elf, my life was as if it was coasting along, as if in a dream. My ideas were at first singular: find proof that someone was made into an elf so Luthien does the ritual Fierlith did without requesting for such. Then, as a half-elf, it was to prove just how elven I am to elves.

This is what Laitae said. Due to not having received the Seldarine's blessing, but having taken it as my own on my own initiative, I became obsessed with protecting it, proving myself. This led to me forsaking friends and ideals. This led to our fallout with Soora about a year ago, when I became a woman. It was at that time my decadence has reached its zenith, and if not for Soora, I'd have fallen beyod the point of no return. Became like those Shevarashites or Netanya. I have to thank her.

Thankfully, Soora had me realize that being an elf, or a woman, or anything doesn't count on what anyone else thinks. Nor does our love depend on what others' think, nor do I need to act in a very specific, alien way to my own deepest nature to be deserving of her love. In fact, it makes me undeserving.

I had thought it was enough, to realize things at a selfish level and be done with it. Then, just a mere few days before the fateful rebirth I wrote about, I learned Viridiana became an elf. I prayed for Sehanine to give me a sign and that was it. And as if a test of whether I deserve it or not, we encountered a drow, chained and pained and harmless. Viridiana, as a full blooded sun elf, despite whatever others would think, despite the army of elves we had with us, stood up for him. It was inspiring, to the point where even I stood up for the drow forgetting, no, ignoring the consequences it might have for my reputation. It was an injured, suffering living being that needed help. That was all my mind could think of with Viridiana's inspiration.

I passed the test it seemed. I was reborn as I should have always been. Funny that. As I first came upon Toril five days and thirty one years ago, in the twenty first of Uktar in 1321, I grew up to be a very tall and muscular man. Hairy too, making my intent to maintain a moustache a nightmare with the beard threatening to grow beside it. It made trying to pass as an elf even harder as a human. Then when Soora stuffed me into that dress I just looked outright ridiculous. But there I was, tall, strong enough to pick Soora up with my little finger and have her dance on it. And pale skinned with dark hair with brown eyes and a strong set of features.

If anything remain, I suppose it's the strong features. My cheeks seem to have a life of their own, standing tall and proud of their synergy with my ears, well pronounced and unquestionably elven. Writing this, even after three months, still leaves me giddy, accomplished. I think it might always return to me, cheer me up even at my worst, this realization that I could do this. But I am rambling, am I not? Compared to my old form, I'm decidedly the opposite. Had Aello take measurements for that orange dress I ordered, and apparently I measure just shy of 4'6", almost two entire feet shorter than I was. And while I complain and white about everyone being so tall, I don't know - it feels right to me. Makes me question how I could have ever lived so tall and lumbering. A male human. To finish the set, I couldn't look more elven even if I tried - and trust me, I am not. Unlike in what feels like ages past at days, and just yesterday at others, where I always wore elven clothes and wore elven weapons as visible as possible like some stuck up noble flaunting his or her jewelry, sometimes I wear human clothes, elven clothes. Makes little difference. The reason as to why I say this is the colour of my skin and hair. Some say it's grey, but beneath moonlight I tell you, it's blue. As for the hair, I have not left the Snowflakes.

It appears however, that while I passed the test, I did not really follow up on it. Soora and I spoke about it, about protecting even the shunned. I understand that few of the shunned are truly deserving of help, but you cannot see that at distance and must try, lest I wind up a hypocrite. We agreed amiably that as long as it doesn't endanger an innocent or a friend, or me too much, I'm free to play hero and saviour. But if it does cause more harm than good, she'll rub it in my nose. Well, we talked about it before the 26th of Eleasis.

Today was when I followed up on it. Since becoming an elf, I appear to have became just a normal elf. One of many, nothing too special. Spent most of my day in Doron Amar, although arguably for the better, as I did not feel wholly in command of my body. Even now I don't, whenever I try to dance I end up fumbling my old steps and twirls. It will come back with time. But I did not adventure, nor participate in expeditions. I listened, listened to others' tales, feeling sorry for being unable to help but not pushing my own limits, just staying safe and cozy. Nothing wrong with that, it's why we fight - so others can stay safe and cozy. It's just, if I did that, I might as well stop calling myself an adventurer.

Yesterday, I went to the Underdark with Viridiana and the army she assembled. Girl reminds me of myself in my first years on the Coast. I could muster armies and do whatever I wanted, having unequivocal support of multiple factions through my endless adventures with their leaders and associates alike. It was a different time for me, granted. Back then, I had the blood flowing in my veins, calling me to do good, making me restless and always advancing with an endless, insatiable ambition. Now, I have no difficulties just resting and enjoying life as it is. To do good is a decision I must take, without anything to guide me to it.

The events in the Underdark, and but a few hours before. made me question about losing the blood. Or at least, what it means.

Krumarth, old friend. A grey orc, like Razzaband was. Laitae protected Razzaband, uncaring of what others think of her because he was her friend and because he fought destiny and carved his own despite all. Yesterday, I finally did as Laitae did, something I did too before becoming obsessed with becoming an elf and trying to show the world just how much of an elf I am. Krumarth, while my party was advancing down the road, was beset by a tiger. The others just stood off, maybe even thinking to help the tiger. I won't speak for Elyssa, I know she is in a difficult place as a leader of a village. Before I could even process what was happening, I was casting spells at the tiger. It was pointless, somehow the damn cat resisted them. But I did, and followed up on it relentlessly, crying "Get off him, now!" Not sure if it worked, but the tiger did get off and instead of just leaving him, I offered him a potion of healing, getting me many strange looks. I did not care. It felt great. It felt like I have come alive since so long.

And so Viridiana and I stood up for the drow and grey orcs the Illithid enslaved as well. Unfortunately, we couldn't do much for them, but the very least we gave them freedom. I hope. I definitely need to pray for them again.

Coming back to the surface, just like the sun rose onto the sky from caverns, I felt like I rose to the same class I once belonged to. I braved tunnels, I faced creatures beyond my own skill at this time to do good, even with fear making my hands shake and threatening to throw me into a run, I stood and fought. I unleashed spells, I destroyed those who robbed others of their free will. We tried to talk, we tried to solve it peacefully but they refused. We took the lesser evil, shame as it was. And Illithid do not belong on the Prime Material.

I am Hoihe Lafali'Atria Nu'Ruimatria Dacino. First and foremost, I am me and Soora's partner in all, including in all time and lives. Second only is my Duty and being a Dacino. A questionable thing, seeing how I do not carry the bloodline anymore. But Kifel taught me it is not the blood that counts. By Seldarine, the more I reverie, the more I realize just how much my past led me to today. I thought my idea to become a dragon was a dead end from misunderstanding things. It was not! It was so that I met Kifel, so that he can teach me this one small thing. I did not listen to him at the time but now, now I realize! Thank you old man.

As I was meaning to say, firstly, I am me - whatever or whoever that might be described as, but one part of it is certain - I am Soora's partner, and an elf. Second comes my Duty as a Dacino, and it is not the Blood that forges the name, but the conviction that keeps my soul pure. A conviction that is aided by being an elf. Laitae is an elf, and she doesn't feel less an elf because Selengil and Saerthal disapprove of her. Neither will I if people disapprove of my convictions. I know Soora, Viridiana, Mealir and even Laitae approve. I know that Sehanine approves, Eilistraee definitely. Corellon is up to question, but I am sure even he sees his children as guides, not murderers.

I am starting to ramble and I should probably stop afore I spend all my ink on this one entry but by hells and by Celestia and Arvandor. For all the doubt that filled my heart going to the underdark to rescue slaves, for all the fear of death and dying and failure and doubt in my own inability to help. For all that, I have received something that was once part of me, but I quelled it thinking it was a nuisance.

This is what Soora wanted to tell me originally, something whose parts I only partially understood. Next time I see her, I'm going to have to thank her. Well, maybe not immideately, I'm sure she'll be preoccupied with the fact I'm shorter than her, but I'll get to it.

"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:00 pm

"Fate is such a strange thing. I've recently gotten my hands on a book called the Pale Book of Fateful Coin which details a tymoran myth about the three kinds of people born: Those lucky, those unlucky and those with the power over their own fate. I like to think I belong to the final category, alongside Soora and the Wanderess crew, plus most people I know.

I must admit it somewhat sounds hypocritical of me to consider myself one of those whose coin fell on its side, with how much destiny and fate has paved my path through life, but I'm certain Fierlith will be able to help me untangle this question. Including - did they flip the coin when I was reborn as an elf again? Would it mean I spent my first thirty one years guided by Fate, and my finding the book now indicating I have became truly free, as fit an elf?

Would be fitting, if that were true. I was, after all, right about convictions! Like before, I was tested by Sehanine on what I've learnt. This time it didn't carry the same degree of world-shattering consequnces of failure, as it did during that fateful fall day when I played the Flute, but it still did bear potentially fatal ones.

The red dragon, Grax, had quite the devious set of traps set up. I almost died. From fear. Apparently he prefers having slaves to dead adventurers, and so I owe my life to the unbending will to rescue their companions of Damien, Michael, Xela and Alexandra. Yes, Damien and Michael, two ebon blade arseholes ended up saving me. And yes, for some absurd reason they are now members of Candlekeep. At least they do their job proper, for what it's worth. Back to the traps, they worked by simulating the death of a party member, to incite the rest of the team to move on without them, letting the kobolds collect them safely - very clever! The trap I fell foul of dropped a giant boulder on me, hollow on the inside with Silence enchantment preventing my calls for help as bladders of blood loosened on its side, making it seem I was crushed.

Now how do convictions come into play? Seems like Alex had her own taste of the Djinni. Faced with the prospect of Xela's mortality, him having survived a trap just barely, she wanted to call off the expedition and teleport us back. This was when I remember my previous lessons and held a speech about going forward no matter what - for to hesitate will lead to the death of the very person you want to protect by standing back. She claims she hesitated for another reason, but I recognize myself in other people easily enough.

As we later learned in our discussion with Grax, he had a contignency ward in place that redirected all teleport attempts into anti-magic cells. If I did not convince us to press on, we'd all be dragon slaves now.

Not much else came to occur, no sightings of Soora yet anywhere. I'm going to send a Sending to her, ask if she's coming around for new year or the solstice. Wouldn't be the first we spent together, but would be the first since I became an elf.

P.s: When I see Soora, I need to tell her of the dwarf I made dance."

"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Hoihe
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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:38 am

"She's no Fierlith, but Aeili is a priestess of mysticism as well. Discussing with her, I unwrapped the mystery the little book threw at me.

If life was a ship, Soora would be the grand winds that never change, that are the cause of the minor winds specific to areas. Sehanine would be the currents of the ocean, not as tangible as the wind but still, if you know your way around a ship you can either exploit it to your benefit or suffer from going against it. As such, the wind and the currents are permanent, no matter what ship I'd be sailing on, I'd still have wind and currents to dance with."
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Hoihe
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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:35 pm

Image


((I really need to update this. Until then, photoshop representation!))
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Hoihe
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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:48 pm

((New portrait! Shipside professionalism.

Image


Credit: Seerti, a friend of mine.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Hoihe
Posts: 4131
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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:48 pm

I pen this report with a heavy heart - to recount such dire losses rips open the fresh wounds upon my conscience. However, Duty to Labelas demands that the lessons of the day are recorded, and those we lost remembered as part of our Song.

On the eve of 18 Uktar, 1354 - the Year of the Bow, a druidess from one of the southern clans of the En Dharasha Everae came to En Dharasha, seeking aid in evacuation efforts. Devils were spotted marching upon her home, and they needed help. Our forces were spread thin however, as two other tasks required doing. I will not detail them in this report.

Deleniel, Eamrae and Shaher were chosen as our delegation. In need of a commander, Mendel has appointed me for my past experience of command upon the High Seas and also of warbands. To balance our party's assets, I requested Natariél to join us, which she gladly did. In lieu of a paladin or cleric, our party was as well rounded as could be.

I was to take point in battle, to draw attention - for my blade is swift and able to hold off fiendish onslaught. Shaher was second in line, while Eamrae and Natariél handling support and utility, in both ranger and wizardly matters. Deleniél's song inspired us, and made us achieve things we couldn't otherwise.

We did not expect combat, indeed our party was formed hoping to avoid bloodshed. It was unfortunately not to be.

Upon arriving in the southern fingers of the woods, a region with which I was grossly unfamiliar with - especially in its sorry, charred state. The villagers have already mobilised, and were on their way north to the other clans, where they could seek refuge and protection. They were eighty strong - children, craftsmen, artists - a few capable of combat, but not against fiends. It was crucial we avoid combat, for just five of us could scarcely protect everyone.

We moved as fast as we could, with Eamrae posted to keep vigil and warn us of skirmishers. Deleniel and I worked to keep our kin calm and focused, their spirits high. By Sehanine, they needed it.

Our first encounter with the Fiendish warband was without much folly. Worg riders were spotted early, and they thought themselves wise to ride around and attack from the front - hoping to catch our charges unprotected. Luckily, we reacted swiftly and held them off with no casualties.

Eamrae's hawkeye was of great help here.

We pressed on.

Unfortunately, our planned route was blocked by a fallen tree - the devastation of these woods worked against us it appeared. I believe we spent too long debating on how to solve this issue, we worried about upsetting nature, we worried about giving our location away. Eventually, we solved the matter by weakening the tree with acid, and then crushing it with elementals. Perhaps, if we didn't while here, things would have been much different. There will need to be research into how to solve such scenarios more efficiently in the future.

Natariél's magic was of great help here.

As expected, losing time as the quarry led to our hunters' vanguard catching up. Hell-hounds. Their breath was vicious, and almost fell Shaher and myself. We held on, just barely - but nine of our kin fell. As experience has taught me, in tragedy, people look for someone who appears to be in control, someone who knows what to do. Lingering, faltering even for a moment in such times while in a position of power will lead to the whole house of cards to crumble. So, I found a hill after tending to everyone, and made a speech for the fallen, while trying to invigorate those who still stood to press on. I don't think they recognized Sehanine's name as keenly as I do, but the speech worked. We gathered the fallen, and pressed on.

Of note should be the strength and effectiveness of Evard's Black Tentacles combined with Grease. It halted a number of the vanguard, allowing Eamrae and Natariél to pick them off without risk. I dread to imagine what would have happened, if those could have joined their foul kith.

Deleniel's song was of great help here.

Hours passed uneventfully, I spoke with who I could. About anything, really - my intent was to keep their minds engaged and distracted from mourning. Now in the safety of this letter, I will admit I sought solace myself. It's easy to keep a clear head when engaged in battle, but once that thrill passes, the severity of our losses threatened to consume my mind. Thankfully, our kin kept me distracted and focused on the present.

Unfortunately, it seemed, our hunters took to the skies, and called for general quarters - sending forth their whole legion to try and claim our souls. I would wager there was at least fifty fiends, if not more - not that I had the chance to count. I ordered Deleniel to keep the villagers together and safe - any straggler that broke was in essence doomed. Safety in numbers. She and Natariél worked to hide our kin in invisibility and I broke from the group, trying to draw the devils' attention to myself.

It worked, of sorts. The most dangerous of the devils engaged me, but only after loosing their hellish spells on our group. Shaher fought bravely, alongside Eamrae and even Deleniel. They took care of the imps and erinyes, while I distracted some more erinyes and horned devils. By Corellon, I know not what possesed our blades, bows and spells that moment - I came out wholly unscathed of the kerfuffle, same for the rest of our delegation - at worst, a few minor wounds. Indeed, even the defenceless kin got away with relatively small injuries.

Relatively, for that army was indeed an army of darkness.

Alas, it was not wholly a miracle. We lost six more of the remaining seventy-one. And many more were severely wounded, needing at least tendays of rest. It was too much. I hadn't the strength anymore to recover our broken morale. Where blood flowed, now tears mingled.

And suddenly - it stopped. Almost eerily, if I dare say. I looked to see what happened, and saw the refugees looking at an elven boy who was engulfed in azure flame. He did not seem injured by it, but still - I dashed to his aid, stopping only when the explained what happened. Apparently, Corellon has shown himself to us.

This vision has restored faith in our kin, and where keening sounds once wailed, now wordless song ruled. It wasn't a mirthful one, the tragedy, even knowing that our fallen's souls were safe with our Father, was too much. But it was an inspired one - and so we marched on.

Nothing else happened for the rest of the journey. After a point, we split ways - certain of their safety.

I know not the names of the fallen, but I am certain that their immortal souls shall live on, far from the sullied grasp of devils. Perhaps, one day they will join us once more, as our children - should they deem it fit. And if not, we shall meet in the Glades of Arvandor, and share stories in our Father's court.


-Reader-Captain Lafali'Atria-Hoihe Dacino of Candlekeep & Sea Seeker, First Officer of the Whistling Wanderess, Citizen of Doron Amar and En Dharasha Everae, Honorary member of Silverstone

"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Hoihe
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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:57 am

Millitary review of the refugee escort mission: A critical assessment of strategical and tactical implementation and execution with intent to reduce casualties in the future.


While many have told me in consolation for the lives lost on the on the seventeenth of uktar in the year of the bow that we’ve done our best, I refuse to believe it. Even if we did do our very best, it clearly wasn’t enough – fifteen kin died. None should have.

I could either find excuses to try and fool my heavy heart into recovering faster, I could spend my days praying to Sehanine and seeking penance, I could fight recklessly in coming battles in misguided attempts to balance the scales – but I shan’t. We’re elves, and while our history is of utmost importance, we know well we cannot change the past. We also know that every violent death is a major toll on our kin. As such, it is best to look to the future and use history to prevent tragedies from repeating ever again. In this document, I will strive to make an assessment that will help us reduce future casualties in similar endeavours.

For better structure, I will break this manuscript into two sections: One to discuss strategic, and one to discuss tactical approaches to this issue. For purposes of clarity, I shall hereby define strategic as involving all actions that affect the field of conflict in a positive or negative way, and shall define tactical as involving all actions that describe specific movement or lack of thereof upon the field of active battle.

The strategic assessment:


Perhaps the greatest friend or foe, depending on its quantity, in saving our kin from villages in jeopardy is time. The more we have of it, the less likely we’ll lose anyone. As such, we must find ways to eke out an edge over our foes, the devils and their kith.

Communication takes the position of utmost importance. We’ve wasted too long on being informed of the danger, we’ve wasted too long on interpreting the danger, and finally we’ve wasted too long deploying the right task force for the job. We must reduce this wasted time to its minimum value.

To do this, we can employ a number of techniques. In this manuscript, I shall recommend providing a Contact Medallion to every community within the Misty Forest, letting as many in each of these communities to become familiar enough with a specific permanent resident of En Dharasha Everae to actually use said medallions. This will eliminate all the wasted time spent on their runners finding and informing us. This would save us critical time.

Then, we’ll need to instruct all the local communities to immidiately begin moving towards designated fall-back zones in the north after informing us. A few are to remain, those capable of hiding, to guide and receive our dispatched help to the main caravan. This will eliminate more wasted time, and keep the devils farther from our forces. However, to safely execute this the villages need a proper warning grid set up so that they are warned of the devils’ advance well before they could pose a threat, as an undefended caravan departing too late is recipe for disaster.

Furthermore, we’ll need to develop a clear and concise list to assess the threat and assign the right volunteers for the job. In this, I cannot assist as I am unfamiliar with the Misty Forest’s strategic overview, this would fall on Mendel or someone else with the right authority.

Finally, we’ll need a few squadrons of rangers we can deploy swiftly if more specialized task forces are not present. This is a difficult task, as devils require an elite squadron to keep at bay without casualties, but I trust our rangers of both local and Everskan nature to have the numbers necessary to balance the lack of experience an adventurer would possess.

With time dealt with, we’ve one more aspect of strategic scale measures we can employ. This is the decision regarding the size and type of task forces deployed. After this discussion, we’ll have a strategic quality to discuss before moving on to tactical matters.

Based upon my experience, I would argue that we’ll need to deploy two different kinds of warbands of differing sizes. This decision can be derived back to the question of time.

A rather dwarven-like task force, consisting primarily of those who can take to melee and hold the line, assisted by arcane magicians and some archers. It is also critical that one with magical healing capabilities to join them, should the first line of defence fall. This task force should be sufficiently large to form a protective flank around the refugees. The refugee caravan should be kept as a single group, for having them split would hamper morale to critical levels. This is not an ideal situation, as it increases the size of this group evermore. However, this group can afford less elite forces to bolster their ranks, as ideally they shouldn’t enter combat at all. Still, on the occasion that the other group fails, they will still need a few accomplished devil slayers to meet dangerous devils. This will be called the ”static defence force”, abbreviated SDF.

A more classically wood elven traditions inspired force consisting exclusively of those who can and will without argument quickly engage and disengage. This force should also consist primarily if not exclusively of those with accomplished experience in small unit tactics, perhaps as adventurers. Their job will be to skirmish with the devil warband pursuing the refugees. By engaging the devils, they will draw their attention and lead them astray from the main group. After each minor engagement, of absolutely minimal duration and extent, they are the withdraw while leaving clear tracks for a while, before disappearing entirely. This should be repeated until necessary. Direct engagement with the entire enemy force is strictly forbidden. All elven lives matter, be they a villager’s or a warrior’s. We’ll not trade the lives of our warriors for those we protect. We will bring everyone back, and this means absolutely no heroics. This will be the ”dynamic defence force”, abbreviated DDF.

Finally, we must discuss morale. Morale is both a strategic and tactical quality. For strategy, it concerns the abiliity to keep moving at the pace of a forced march, the ability to follow orders, and the morale the group possesses upon the scale becoming tactical in nature. Of particular importance should be the morale of our refugees, for every caravan moves at the pace of its slowest member.

To manage the refugee’s morale each SDF should contain a bard or a priest or even someone with speaking experience who can emphathize and keep the populace calm, but invigorated. This is the easy part.

As an easy pointer, I recommend for whoever is managing morale to be an inspiring, but relatable figure. They must know how to bend the truth, to control their own emotions to make it appear that they are ever in control, that they know what needs be done and when. People in distress without a Leader’s calling look to others for guideance, and even Leaders look to others they look up to themselves. As such, we cannot afford narcotic individuals to take positions of nominal leadership in an SDF. Even if their strategies and tactics can leave room for improvement, they should be appointed as the nominal leader. If they lack the strategic or tactical knack for the position, simply have an advisor handle those aspects. Suffice to say, bards may excellent choices here.

The hard part is the morale impact of actions and events. This counts amongst itself deaths, combat and actions that conflict with the general concept of acceptable. Deaths and combat can be balanced by the morale officer, but the last part? If one checks the report submitted on the campaign that brought this review to being made, they’ll find a very clear moment my group lost critical time: the fallen tree trunk. Even within the SDF, there was voices of discontent on us having to destroy a part of nature to continue our escort mission.

To solve this, we’ll need to request clergy to make statements and educate our People on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in pursuit of protecting elven life. Naturally, we all agree that non-martyrial blood magic, undead, summoning fiends, tampering with evil energies is completely forbidden. We can also all agree that magics that rob one of their free will, while not forbidden, are heavily discouraged by our traditional professed values of individuality. However, tampering with nature itself is a dubious question. For one, we don’t know what counts as irreversible damage, and what counts as a temporary setback to nature. For two, even if we did know – would protecting an aspect of nature be worth the life of an elf? For this reason, I beseech our druids and rangers to convene and discuss, then somehow spread the results of their convent to all who work to protect, and all who need protection.

We cannot afford moral dillemas in the field. We need clear and well beaten paths we can defer to.
This concludes the strategic review.


The Tactical Assessment:

This aspect of my manuscript will be less longwinded than my discussion of strategy. I believe tactics to be a highly etherical concept, one that shifts with the dynamics of the battlefield and a good commander knows how to adapt and invent methods on the fly. However, a few general pointers may still be necessary. Furthermore, I will focus on the SDF as DDF is beyond my personal experiences. I will leave their tactics to rangers to discuss.

As we finished with morale, we must start with the topic for sake of transitional clarity. Should any amongst the readers have participated in pitched human battles, they would find this aspect of little importance. Skirmishes play differently, but due to the scale of the SDF’s mission will most likely include at least sixty if not over a hundred elves, we must discuss large unit tactics, where morale acts eerily similar between our goals and that of a commander leading a pitched battle.

Succintly said, as long as morale remains high, casualties will be minimal. The moment morale breaks, be it focused on a single individual or the whole caravan – that’s when tragedy befalls us. As long as people are inspired, as long as they hold out hope, then even if injured, they’ll likely survive by sheer force of will. However, injuries will also be less likely, as they’ll follow orders more properly. Those whose morale breaks will either freeze in spot, or try to run for safety as their trust in being protected wavered. Should either happen, while it sounds harsh, they’re good as dead. As such, we must prevent this from occuring.

The easiest way to prevent this is to keep numbers high, and to properly homogenize the braver members of our caravan with the less steadfast ones. By surrounding a more peacefully minded kin with those of warrior spirit, they too will be invigorated. The opposite is true, if the execution is flawed. For this, I propose we take all children, for numerous reasons, and place them at the core of the formation. Then, we take an equal share of elderly, preferably those with martial past, and of younger kin, preferably those with martial interest, and form the perimeter with them. By keeping the less martially inclined in the core, alongside those whose protection is of utmost importance, we can shield them from the horrors of warfare.

The hardest way is make sure the SDF never engages in combat, or only in combat they are able to win without casualties. This falls onto the DDF to properly pull off, and we can do little tactically to handle this topic. On the occasion that combat ensues, it’s on the SDF to make a good example and appear brave (even if they are in fact panicking), and make the caravan feel protected.

With morale discussed, we can move onto discussions of combat proper. As I previously said, tactics are a nebulous concept that will change based on the battlefield. None the less, I will try and provide information on the fiends my force encountered to better prepare future leaders in how to respond.
The worg-riders: Wrog riders will charge you as cavalry would. Situating the defensive wall on a hill will reduce the freocity of their attack, alongside keeping a united front. Up close, once their charge finishes they will pose little threat to a well prepared spearwall. There isn’t much to discuss here. Beware mounted archers and mages, but their advantages approach nil in a foresty terrain.

The Hellhounds: These are an interesting foe to fight. They fall easily to silver, but are deadly up close. Whatever happens, keep them at least thirty feet from the caravan. Keep the melee fighters ouf that thirty feet as well. Use lures, choke points, traps – anything - to prevent their ability to prevent them from breathing on anyone. Their breath can rend an unprepared millitia without chance for retaliation. I almost found myself falling to them, and I fought dragons and pit fiends before. Perhaps a solution would be to ward a threatening warrior with Fire Immunity, and have him or her keep the hounds busy while archers take them down.

The Imps: Fairly weak foes. Their danger is in their spells of magic missile and elemental orbs. I recommend taking care of them with some kind of area affecting spell. They fall easily, and are only a threat if they can act as artillery.

The erinyes: Winged foes. If such foes appear, get the caravan into some kind of arboreal cover or hide them, while breaking off a part of the SDF to lure them away from the refugees. Not much to discuss otherwise – keep them on the ground and away from the refugees, and use silver.

Horned devils: Same as the ernyes, except tougher. They strike true, and require an exceptional defender to avoid being mauled by their claws.

Pit fiends: Luckily, I have not had to fight any during my mission, but I feel these should be mentioned in any case. First, don’t panick. Second, split the SDF and continue evacuation. Third, have the elitemost fighting force keep the pitfiend at bay. If able, disengage and rejoin the caravan once there’s some safe distance made. Pit Fiends are the generals of the armies of hell, and even if dispatched may likely signal an army of darkness to descend upon you. Not recommended to engage in single combat.

I hope that my manuscript will help prevent future tragedies.

Written by
Lafali’Atria-Hoihe Dacino, Reader of Candlekeep, Captain of Sea Seeker, First Officer of Whistling Wanderess, Honorary Member of Silverstone, Citizen of Doron Amar & En Dharasha Everae.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:22 pm

2355, Alturiak 17.

It has been a while since I've written freely in this little book. My last entry seems to be just a bit of strategic literature, nothing personal written. I can probably blame my lack of records on Reverie, and also on the relatively small amount of personal issues in my life since I've been given Sehanine's and Corellon's gift. It would seem, perhaps, that the Seldarine was not to keen on my laziness, and have given me a bunch of strange signs I've no bloody clue how to interpret. And nobody to talk to.

Allow me to clarify, my journal. I do have people to talk to, but few that knows the full tale that inspires my questions and woes. Elyssa, I don't know where she is. Mendel is busy with the war and I shouldn't burden him with my childish concerns. Nai likely won't help. Eowiel just up and decided to get offended on Laeria wanting an election. Laitae likely won't help, and would instead just say "I told you so!" and laugh at my worries. Nëa I haven't seen in a while. Soora, barring a few Sendings to confirm we're alive, we're keeping distance for now. Mealir and Laya could help, but I'm afraid that they lack the experience that I seek to learn from.

So what is it that gnaws at me? Quite simple, and yet too bloody complicated for me to solve despite all my knowledge of stars and magic and numbers aplenty - the fleetingness of life. Just yesterday, Laeria had an outburst about how she wanted to express her love for her kin, for she was afraid we'd wind up dead from attending our individual Duties, and our numbers would dwindle with stories left untold.

Even before this little quip, I've found my kin to discuss their years wandering freely and lightly. Even with being of Corellon's blood for two if not three years now, I've difficulty wrapping my head around the years ahead of me. It will come, I am sure - but I fear if my kin ask me of my past, of things I've done and learnt... Sure, I can lie or at least make details cloudy, but I've no idea how to handle fitting in a century's worth of tales into my pitiful thirty years.

As if intended as a contrast by the Moonlit mystery herself, I found myself running into an old friend - Krumarth. An orc. A full blooded orc. It brings forth no disdain for me, but I fear what'd happen if those in Doron Amar would come to learn, considering their already hostile stance on tieflings and half-blooded orc-kin. I remember how Laitae found herself ostracised for Razzaband, and she's a noble from Evermeet! But afore I find myself penning a thousand words where a few would suffice, after our little adventure through the Iron Mines of Nashkel, he took his hood off and I couldn't help but see his black hair already greying. It was just a few years since we've last seen each other, and he's already going grey. It made me fear losing him, not to death in battle - that I can reverse if I throw enough gold at the issue, but to old age.

Labelas Enoreth, the Life-Giver! You're the one who blessed us with our youth, I beseech you to teach me how to cope with it. Or to show me someone who can relay me their experiences. Guide me to an elder, who I can confide in freely and learn how they handled the passage of non-elven friends.

And Hanali Celanil, the one with the Heart of Gold! what do you wish me to learn, seeing Laeria and Tialysana? I feel happy for them, as you advise but it also churned at me to remember how far Soora is seeing their antics and hearing their words. I might be misinterpreting the air between them, but still their antics remind me of myself and the snowflake egret.

Certainly, these painful signs cannot be punishment, yet I am uncertain why now it is that I must learn these lessons. Would it not be better to be faced with the less glamorous aspects of living so long once I'm more mature? Why must I have had to see Krumarth's greying hair so early.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:12 pm

2355, Alturiak 19

I'm either a bloody genius, or the greatest fool. Or both.

After in my latest entry, I found myself yearning for kin who knew my plight and I could bounce ideas, woes off them and learn from their more experienced perspectives, there came Netanya. I forgot she knew. She didn't, and rather than counter the logic behind my arguments, she decided to try and defame me before a fellow elf, yelling like some frightened chicken that I'm not a she but a he and a human. Thankfully, the elven lad said he's seen Corellon work in stranger ways, and stands by the fact that I am in fact his kin. Netanya foiled.

But I know well what happens when someone like Netanya has her attempts fail. They'll try harder and harder and harder. I had to take the initiative and find a way or two to prevent others from hearing her presentation of my little tale. There's no way I'm going to just up and tell someone, except maybe Lylan'Suor - she has the open-mindedness to accept such things, but I also can't just stay silent for all I try, my behaviour may indeed confirm Netanya's own words for them.

So I did my own attempt at defaming her, telling kin that she's trying to besmirch my honour for she lost a debate against me, so that my arguments would hold no sway. For the most part, kin accepted and said they wouldn't even believe anything that delusional self-styled aristocrat would say. except for Tialysana. it's not so much she would believe her, but more than she became awfully curious what it might be.

Tried to tell her it was nothing interesting, but she kept on pressing. This is where I thought I was the world's greatest fool.

Then Sehanine or Erevan or I don't know who saved me. The Golden Wheel! A bunch of Amnian merchants.

Almost immediately, I conceded to Tialysana's questioning that Netanya is trying to convince people what a horrible pirate I am, that I sank numerous amnian merchant ships - I made a point to say this loud enough for the amnian merchants to overhear, and continued to get into a rapid and hopefully convincing ramble about how the amnians were actually hurting elves (which is true, House Corwar was a bunch of damnable jerks), and I was merely doing it to protect my crewmates (sort of true, although i did learn of this fact after capturing the matron.)

It worked! Tialysana seemed satisfied and my secret shall remain safe. She might still seek out Netanya though. Sehanine have mercy on me in that case.

On matter of my worries, I've managed to approach Tia'dris on basis of her being older than me and has thus spent more time around humans, so I need her advice if willing to give. She's willing. Then there's Valenfor, who knows. Not sure if I can up and approach him about such though.



p.s.:

Not working. Not enough context for them to help. Lylan may be my only hope. I hope by Hanali she's as understanding as I was expecting.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:39 pm

2355, Ches 9

To tell these two blue elves or not to, that's what haunts me and decided to be rather upfront about its temptation.

From morning to eve, I kept running into people whining about aging, lack of longevity, cumuliating with Krumarth literally spelling it out his kind tends to die at a mere 20 years at most, with a few who avoid a violent death at 40. Even from a human perspective, that's unthinkable. From mine? Frightening. It was quite a shock to hear him describe humans as "living basically forever, with you, elves, an eternity after."

With Lylan I havn't had much luck yet, we travel different roads to hear of her opinion on my poem. Would have been my trump card, an elf I know that is open to self-determination and also experience of living amongst non-elves. Her commitment to a tiefling, who live as long as humans, would have given me all the information I need to build myself up for the tragedies of my friends dying in such a way even a million gold and the strongest Ilmateri can't undo.

Taylenue was my second bet - she's a fellow Sehaninite, no? Pretty much impossible to read her, too well in control of her emotions. On the flipside, apparently I'm very well read. Damn it. Thankfully, when I told her that I am so careful because the Eldreth Veluuthra tried to assassinate me in the Sharp Teeth, she said they were lucky she wasn't there, indicating that whatever her thoughts on "such magics", she accepts me as kin and that's all I can ask for.

Lia'dris doesn't yet know, and I can't get a hand on the lass. She's elusive like an eel. I wonder if Sehanine has an insight in this, if perhaps it might be a bad idea. Travel and roads are her forté, and if I don't run into someone despite trying, it must have a reason.

Consider Tialysana thus. I keep running into her. I remembered I might be needed in Dharasha, so I teleported there. Lo and behold - Tialysana!

She decided not to attend the meeting, and knowing firsthand from my latest months the pain of being lonely even with people around, I decided to stick with her and let the rest have their war talk. It was quite enjoyable, and not something I regret. I learnt a lot about her, but she kept having me shocked by the casualness of how she listed her years spent doing certain things. She spent almost as much time with a random tribe that she protected as I've been alive in this incarnation!

I found myself at loss for how to manage things when she asked about Mintarn, about elves there and the sort. That was sort of manageable but - I'm not sure how believable is me spending a whole century out at the high seas on the same ship is. Probably not at all. Talking about my past will be my undoing. Or rather, my love for talking about my deeds will be undoing. Even in my darkest decade, I found myself accomplishing a number of things I'd love to boast about, adventures, friends, strange creatures I've met!

I tried to dig at how she got used to being an elf around short-lived people by inquiring into Algarond, but it just spawned that grand tale which I do not at all regret hearing. It did not help me much though become wiser in the topic though. Asking about the tribe she grew close with pointedly would have been impolite as well.

Then we returned to meet Laeria who somehow managed to lose her magic for the moment. Lass's silver blooded and now without magic. If that doesn't remind me of my days coming to the Coast, I don't know what would! To top it off, she reminded me of Laitae too who reminds me of olden days, so my wishes to tell tall tales of old were quite sparked to say the least.

Then Angharradh's Totem Sisters came up, which reminded me of Eilistraee and her Changedance. I thought - here's my chance to see how they'd react but they got more coiled up commenting on my inability to perform social reconnaissance than actually giving me the information I needed to proceed.

One topic that'd have given me all the knowledge needed to know which path is safe and which is dangerous would have been the topic of losing magic due to transmutation and Reincarnate. But I promised Laeria I won't talk of her half-dragon nature so I couldn't dig. Bloody Duty. It also makes talking about myself dangerous waters, as speaking of a certain silver dragon blooded sorcerer who did various exploits might sound like I'm trying to refer to her or something, and it's clearly a sore topic for her. I can't even pretend I'm talking about someone else while trying to boast of my deeds around them.

Tialysana might be a possible approach. Sehanine keeps making me run into her. She's a bardess too, perhaps my poetry might work?

Labelas give me wisdom, for it is something I clearly lack . Even the pair of blue elves made a point of saying it out loud. And one of them is a bard.

This might be glory or fall. Worst comes to worst, Mendel stands by me. During the devil wars, he said he's proud to have me as kin, which Tialysana did overhear. But the pain of possible separation makes me anxious none the less.

P.s.: Mealir gave me the perfect cause to bring it up! Laeria is a councillor, and thus should be informed of such matters. After that, Tialysana should be easily handled. With Laeria, I can cite that all councillors before her knew.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:48 pm

1355 Ches 15,

Corellon - Is it so wrong to want to bring peace? To quest towards finding a way so that my descendants will not have to consider the complete and utter eradication of life just to have peace? Why does everyone think my quest towards such a future means I will lay down arms today? Of course I will fight and do everything to protect the People. But that does not preclude me from looking for ways to reduce the amount of lives I need to take, the amount of souls I condemn to eternal torment beneath the heels of a vile god they worshipped for they knew no better?

Our foes are not their mortal spawn. It is the one eye - and by extension those who follow him earnestly, his clergy and allies. If but a mortal spawn dies to protect one of Our People, then is it wrong to mourn the fact that yet another soul went on to bolster his court? But if a priest dies, then even I celebrate - for his reach is now reduced and ours may expand there.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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Re: To be Dacino without blood's guideance

Unread post by Hoihe » Tue May 21, 2019 5:31 am

1355 Mirtul 20,

My attentiveness to this little book has been lacking of late. Not for lack of things to record, but for lack of will and time to sit down. Well, time I had plenty, but of the right sort. There's definitely a lot to record, but the words to do so elude me. None the less, I ought try.

Since the day Mendel elected to appoint me as leader of the refugee mission, things have changed. It changed for the better, for me at least. For eversince the Seldarine bestowed their gift on me, I found my loss of prowess and knowledge and skill disconcerting. By Sehanine, everything else was and is exactly as I'd dreamed, but that feeling of helplessness, as people around me fought and protected others, protected me? It did not do my confidence much good - not that being so short did.

And so it was in the hardships of battle, a expedition I was assigned because everyone expected it to be an easy one - just a little voyage out to a fishing village. But like how the Bitch's fury can befall tiny harmless fishing ships, so were we befallen by the combined fury of the fiendish warband. We lost people - fifteen souls who now dance with the Seldarine in Arvandor, or perhaps have already chosen to be reborn. People keep telling me, were it not for my leadership, were it not for the combined skill and panache of my rag-tag little band of elven warriors of Shaer, of Natariel, of Deleniel, of Eamrae, of myself, it would have been a massacre. And at first I had denied it, for it was Corellon who has manifested his azure flame - for he must have intervened. But I did go out of cover, I did taunt the warband to strike at me and not my kin. I know not what came over me at that moment, perhaps it was how the Protector intervened. Eversince I'd lost my dragon blood, I thought I would never be able to take such risks, that with my goals fulfilled, I had finally lost the spark of adventure.

In that duel, of three cornugons versus me, I found my courage once more and cut them down where they stood. In the battles and skirmishes against devils that followed, I was once more a Dacino worthy of her name. I ducked and danced, I cut and skewered, I avoided their magics with the superior talent our People are born with - and we won. I was injured in that fighting, but nothing a bit of magic couldn't heal, and it taught me lot.

It prepared me for what I was not prepared. What I would never be prepared for. The siege of Red Keep. Now, it is true that in the moment, in the moment I was ready and able. For as one gives themselves to the Seldarine, to their Duty to their people, their thoughts become secondary. It was terrifying, yet I pressed on. It was painful - not for wounds I suffered, but for seeing my kin fall so easily, in such terrifying manner.

I have never felt like this on the battlefield before. I'm a veteran of wars - the Blight War, the Black Orc Wars, Triel. They affected me, true - but none affected me so deep. Mendel told me it's part of being an elf, that through our connection, our fears and hopes, our terrors and joys can be felt ever so slightly. This ever so slightly seems to be an understatement when so many of my People feel them at once. When so many of my people make their final cries of anguish.

When it was all over, when the day was won - I couldn't even cry. I just sat, and stared ahead. Then I cried. For bloody days I cried. I tried to present a strong face to my kin, when they saw me - for it's part of my Duty to inspire. But when I sat alone, watching why I fought - the children, the defenceless ones, I couldn't hold it back.

Sometime during this period I was convinced to attend a festival. There I forgot my plights a while, and even sang a song about storms and being ready for them. Then people sang songs of romance. It had used to be I could bear Soora's absence readily, but perhaps seeing so much death had weakened my resolve for the future. I had to leave.

This was apparently noted by others. And I also kept seeing my old self and Soora in Laeria and Tialysana even more than before. So much so they had to comment about my happiness, or lack the thereof. It was a difficult choice, but I chose to agree with them. I went to the temple of Seldarine, and prayed - I prayed the night away, I gave myself wholly to Angharradh's guideance in such matters.

Everyone deserves freedom, after all. Soora and I will meet again, of this I am sure. When? This I am not sure. But one day, surely. Lass is a true Erevanite, a manifestation of freedom and joy, of the casting down of stuffy traditions. She will understand. She too deserves freedom, while our duties have our enstranged, and the happiness that freedom bestows. I know not what will happen when we meet again, and our freedom would find conflict. I pray nothing bad. Perhaps even matters Derick and Tialysana jest about so slightly might happen. Vendor also said she will understand. And Vendor knew both her and I very well.

And so it would seem Hanali answered. I've no idea how, or why - but a stuffy old wizard seems to be her answer. Well, not old, and not stuffy either. But definitely a wild departure from my previous dances. Ar'ri - a lass much unlike Soora, except more crass and wild, more a sailor, less a lady. Camille - a proper sailor's woman, with so many curses and profane words on her tongue even that cursed Kalma Hellstorm would have found himself lacking. Valge - a untamed one, a druid. Soora - a wild and free lass.. And now, this wizard? A refined gentleman, with a strong and admirable sense of duty. I'd danced previously with lads before, but it was not with such interest, with such curiosity. It was all but a port's dalliance. And definitely never with one so refined as a wizard.

One thing is constant - everyone I danced with was older than me. I wonder if my tale will ever reach Nedrin - or perhaps I can keep this history a secret. Might be better if I did. There's nothing to gain by telling, but so much to lose. I've got Tialysana and Laeria now to help in questions stemming from it. And at least the Misty Forest had, scarred and battered as it is, will return to its old glory too. Perhaps I too shall return to the infamous loquacious and mirthful sailor I was once known as. Shame that Viridiana is not around to see me finally recover from being a moping mess.

I shall send for Soora, tell her of the possibility of freedom before the reunion. Hope she'll understand. Vendor says she will.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."

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