Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

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vindflickan
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Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:47 pm

Dove's journal is a battered leather thing with scratches and marks all over it as if it has been pressed into many surfaces in its time with little regard to what it does to the binding. It is capable of being bound with an attached forest green ribbon. Looking at the edges, there is evidence of water damage in some locations as well as loose sheet being shoved into the journal.

The early parts of the journal are spotty documentation of her time in the forests of Cormanthor as a priestess in training and later low ranking priestess of Eldath. There are many musings on how to help some of those that came to the grove, but identities are carefully written around.

This is eventually broken with four simple words: The Lady calls me.

The next entry begins detailing her journey westward to The Sword Coast until one reaches the most recent entry that lacks a date. The handwriting is rougher and shakier than usual, but remains legible.


I have finally reached Baldur's Gate. It seems like it has been ages since I set out and I've lost track of the date thanks to the fever I've fought for the last week or so, but I am finally here. The walls are a good deal more imposing than I'd imagined from the descriptions I'd been given before.

Mara, I doubt you'll ever read these words, but I truly wish this journey was something you'd been called on as well. I've felt lost far from the wood and I somehow doubt that this will change any time soon. I feel...restless. Doubly so after paying an urchin for a quick tour of the city.

The child at least kept a pace that I could keep up with. It was a small mercy, but there are no markings in the city I know how to read. No game trails. No birdsong. Just shouts and carts and the occasional wreching of drunks in an alley.

It feels like there is no place for nature in the city. Consequently, there is no place for the Lady Eldath and no place for peace of spirit. Perhaps that is why she sent me to the Sword Coast though.

I am uncertain though. It would be helpful if I could find any other Eldathyn in the area, but where do I begin when a city is my starting point? Wandering off into the wilderness aimlessly will achieve little more than my death.

Consulting with the followers of Ilmater may be a worthwhile effort given they have never held contempt for the Lady's teachings even if they follow their Lord. Still...the docks could be a good idea as well given there are so many travelers. I could listen at the caravan stop and have more peace though.

For the time being, I've rented a room in the Elfsong Tavern on recommendation of a local merchant. Pokey was his name I believe. It is too loud in this place as well, but it is better than the streets outside. Staying near the gates means I can exit through the gates easily if I need to feel the soil beneath my feet. Perhaps I shall meet another follower of Lady Eldath that way.

For now, I should rest and let the ache of the road ease its way out of my bones. Travel by cart is kinder than by horse, but it is still more painful than simply walking.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:05 pm

Alturiak, 2nd Day, 1354

It feels like I have not had time to pause for this simple pleasure in an age, but it yet remains less than a tenday since I arrived at Baldur's Gate. I'm not sure whether I should hope that changes or not. To live so much in a short amount of time is both a blessing and a curse. Most of the others I've encountered seem to take the constant thrum of the Sword Coast as a matter of course. It all makes me think of hummingbirds and how they always rush about.

As rushed as things are I have stilled managed to make acquaintances with a number of people since I've arrived...and perhaps friendships. It is hard to tell in some cases. Sindri in particular is a difficult case. His orcish ancestors make him appear threatening, but his tendency to wear bright colors and help show he has a good heart.

Mi-Le is a different story. That man is practically a servant of the Lady Eldath even though he swears he does not follow her. His monastery teaches practices that are very similar to what the Lady asks of her followers. The Lady seems to have guided him through part of his life as well even though he turned away from her in some ways. Thus far he seems the steadfast sort and has even allowed me to set up a small shrine to the Lady in his meditation hall and offered to help me do much the same along the coast as well. His support and friendship will be invaluable in the future.

I've often wondered about how my life could have taken different paths after the fiend. So much of my memory was corrupted or taken by it that I know yet don't know my own family. I suppose that's why I feel a bit of kinship towards Oth. He seems like a caring man who offered to take me to Candlekeep, the place of learning on the Sword Coast, to help research the illness of an acquaintance of his and brief patient of mine. He does not know who his family is and seems overwhelmed by his own mistakes at times. I shall talk to him further and perhaps he'll gain some measure of the Lady's peace.

And then there is Teris. I know little of what to make of him. As a fire genasi, the nature of his people bloodline makes it difficult to know what treatments might prove effective. When we first met, his friends were seeking a healer to deal with a strange, supernatural cold that had afflicted him. I could do nothing beyond talk to him through the night until he was able to sleep. Earlier, he came to share the campfire outside of Baldur's Gate and invited myself and others to a tea party. His mind seems broken and the Lady knows that I know how hard that is to return from. I foresee many talks with Teris in the future. Perhaps I can help ease his soul that his mind might heal even a little.

Tansy. Zoey. Reineke. Isabella. Suvakhna. Rohk. Aeria. Spring. There are so many people I've met in such a short amount of time. Each is interesting in their own right and I suspect I will learn more of them in time. This place seems a haven from travelers and the lost. I don't know how or if I can provide aid to them all. I can only hope what little I can do will give each some measure of peace.

I do know my Lady wants me here though. Her power has seemed to surge within me these last few days that I might better aid others. I feel...stronger in mind, body, and soul as the power grows. It does not ease my pains any, but I have been able to walk farther than I have since the Eldathyn healed me. I do not know what my Lady intends, but for now I am on the right path.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:10 am

Ches, 2nd Tenday and Two, 1354

I find I must confess a failing on my part. As my second month on the Coast approaches its close, I keep being made aware of how much I have forgotten of my training. I forget to compose myself when people need me to be stable. I forget patience in the face of new things. I forget my manners in the face of trial. I forget to care for myself because I care.

All these things I forget when Mara tried so hard to make sure I would always remember them. Truly, I don't fail at them in all respects, but in enough that I have lose touch. I've begun to reread my journal from the beginning. I'm not certain on whether or not it will bring me to great insight or not, but it will perhaps remind me.

Much of the evening was spent speaking with Rania. In the face of the Dragonspear incident, she remains calm despite her worries. It is, for her, simply another tenday on the Coast. Incidents happen every other tenday. She is bothered, but she remains in control of herself despite what she may feel. In this she serves her Lady well.

The matter with Dragonspear remains unresolved and yet Fiquarlani and the others continue to live. In life, there is hope. We have time to work around the matters and focus on what needs to be done. Some look to me for support and my...faltering is not helping. He suffers because I do not care for myself, but so do Juno, Rania, Teris, and others I keep the company of.

So I must remind myself to not forget the self-mastery my Lady asks of me. To be a beacon and shine true, we must be our best self or strive to be that best self even when we falter. Be the example even if it is hard. It will hopefully help soothe them and let me return to being an island of tranquility amidst the storm of events instead of simply causing more chaos.

I also need to remember to care for myself properly...even a Zhent was asking after my health the other day. A Zhent! Slipping like this won't help anyone. Teris is taking my erratic behavior the hardest, I think. He knows something is happening. He is not a fool. That I appear distressed is likely making him worry greatly.

There's so much to do though! Yet I hesitate to put down all of my thoughts and what I am doing in the event this journal is taken. I cannot even tell those it most concerns, but I still must work. Rania is correct in that neither of us is doing what we thought our Ladies expected of us...and yet it is still their work.

The Coast seems to have a way of tempering people. In its storm, people are throw together quickly to learn and grow and endure. I'm already someone I wouldn't recognize from a year ago. My Lady favors me with new manifestations of her power and nature itself and I have become bound. I learn new things each day.

Everyone I know keep teaching me as well. How to care. How to fight even if one does not fight. Ways to think. New ways to apply my lessons. New techniques to use. It doesn't stop either. All the connections and bonds spread out to others like a root system slowly anchoring me in place yet helping me grow. This is where my Lady needs me.

So I will hold to her wisdom and return to my beginnings. Re-learn my old lessons. Stay aware of new teachers while returning to Mara's fundamentals. I will find my peace and stillness in this storm and shelter those who need it most while I act. Lady look over me as I do this as I have learned there is much to gain and lose in the suddenness of the Coast.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:02 am

Ches, 2nd Tenday and Six, 1354

The entry for the day is short and seems more like notes than anything. They are shaky as if the writer was writing on an uneven surface, deeply upset, or both.

Chionthar Ruins. Goblins. Cloakwood Cave. Batiri. ????. Drow. ?????. Orcs.

Mutilation. Totems? Symbols. Infernal? Is it an intimidation? Recruitment? A distraction? All of those?

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:39 pm

Tarsakh, First Tenday and Three, 1354

The druidess sighed to herself as she sat within the stone circle of the shrine. Things had gotten easier of late since she'd made a decision about her path. There were no worries left about what Eldath desired of her. Her Lady had brought Dove to the Coast to heal and be healed.

There was so much much to do lately though. Lately, Dove found herself missed the first month when she'd arrived. People had paid her little mind, but it had been alright. Her pains were lessened from no longer traveling by cart and she had peace of a sort. It had been calm and everything had seemed a bit more in control.

She'd made friends with Sindri, Fiquarlani, Teris, and others. Knights of the Radiant Heart had volunteered to escort her to Eldath's shrine. All Dove had been at the time was a simple curiosity. Why had an Eldathyn, of all things, dared to come to the Coast? That wild and hectic mess of a region that never stopped moving seemed set to defy all attempts at peace.

It was three months in now and Dove yet endured. She remained faithful to her Lady. However, she had changed. There was no denying that. Between Rania's healing and the events Dove had been part of...sometimes she wondered if her past self would recognize her now.

After all, she was standing tall and walking through trees as if it were perfectly natural. Wearing another skin to travel was also another fact of life for Dove now. Teris and Rosalind's gifts meant that Dove wasn't even wearing her simple traveling robes anymore. Her pendant endured though and perhaps that had been an omen of where her path would go.

Dove began to control her breathing and slowly clear her thoughts. It was easier to get distracted now, strangely enough, that her pains weren't as constant and focusing. There was so much to get distracted by too. All her little plans and efforts felt like they hung in the air around her and needed focus to not falter. Especially the matter of the geas...

Fiquarlanitae...

The matter of the five from Dragonspear was what consumed her thoughts the most lately. She kept listening to the four she knew were under a geas and watching them for signs. It kept coming back to the simple fact that she was now certain only Ak'hab and Oth were compelled to tasks even if Juno and Elspeth could likewise not speak.

Bit by bit the picture had been assembled for Dove through the truths that could slip by the geas and the smaller ones that punished but didn't kill. The knight of Tempus had fallen in battle and likely left the group exposed. This allowed the fiends to prey upon the rest and put them in a situation where an agreement or the Hells were their only options.

So Ak'hab, the summoner, made a deal and then...and then Fiquarlani had joined in on it to bring them all back safely. To come back like he'd promised. To protect all of them like he'd promised. Dove could practically hear the devils laughing at such a thing, but...he had kept his word and suffered for it.

What was it Ak'hab had said the other night? The solution was simply two years away if she could wait. Whatever the agreement was must have a time limit. A set amount of service in exchange for lives. All of it was wearing on Fiquarlani though. He was already struggling not to break.

That was what the fiends wanted. If they could not claim the souls directly, they could hurt them over time with suffering from knowledge of the geas. They could hurt the people close to the cursed as well with that same knowledge. Make the world that much darker. That was why Dove had to do something.

No, focus, remember what Mara taught you. Remember what the Lady showed you...

Dove leaned back against one of the stones and forced her mind to clear. Opening her senses, she began to listen to the Song of all and to the harmony of her Lady around the shrine. Her breathing slowly fell into a regular rhythm as she opened herself to the wishes of her goddess and those of nature. Beside her, her journal lay forgotten.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm

Tarsakh, First Tenday and Five, 1354

Dove attempted to slip into Reverie in the inn room. She could hear Oth's breathing from the bed. Smooth and even, his mind seemed less preoccupied than the newly minted Quiet Guide's. His own troubles were forgotten between the quiet times the couple shared and the clarity of Reverie.

The druidess was not so lucky.

The day had started interestingly. Her first true day as Quiet Guide had been very full of paperwork just as Rania had warned her. Acolytes clamored for her attention or told her particular members needed her to sign paperwork for things to continue as usual with the, now former, Moonlady retiring from the Halls.

Dove had tried sitting at a desk for a while and gotten restless as she did the paperwork. Moving around spaces other than the offices hadn't helped either. It felt confining with everyone clamoring for her attention all at once. So she'd gone to the fire.

Sitting out by the campfire had proven far more agreeable when it came to doing her paperwork. It had started out quietly, but people had turned up more and more as the time wore on. Conversation and company made the paperwork lighter...even the fire genasi mage, Xonwaar, had made things more enjoyable.

Then Juno's poetry reading had come up. All the poetry had been beautiful and Juno's shock at becoming High Lady of the Halls had been apparent, but...Dove couldn't lie to herself. She was grateful to Rania for foisting the unexpected title on the paladin. Running the Halls on her own had been a daunting idea.

Even with her retirement though, Rania was intending to stick around as best she could and help the two of them. It was going to be hectic at first, but things would settle into routine eventually. Truth be told, Dove already had ideas on ways to improve the Halls and their overall reputation.

She and Juno were going to have to make the rounds to the allies of the Halls though and introduce themselves though. Ah, politics, the truly cutthroat battles of their lives would be fought there and nowhere near a battlefield. Those were the battles that Dove was confident in being able to win though given enough time.

All of that seemed particularly small at this point though after Durlag's Tower. It was hard to shake the events of the tower. She and many of her allies had gotten Sendings from Cylissa begging for help. The woman and her lover, Dasha, had become trapped in some shadow realm in the depths of the tower.

Mercifully, at first, her friends and allies present immediately had volunteered. Rania recruited others to meet them at the tower. All of them were brilliant fighters, arcanists, and skilled at what they did. It had been necessary and even that hadn't been enough.

The tower...Lady, there had been so many abominations within those walls that Dove's mind still reeled. Undead, constructs, skinchangers, hideous shadow creatures, and still more. It had been a seemingly endless parade of the darkness of the lands set on display by a mad mind set on trapping people within the corridors of the tower.

And yet...they kept pushing lower and lower to find the bottom only to be called upwards again. Directions from Cylissa had been confusing and disjointed. Wherever she and Dasha were had clearly been affecting her mind and made it difficult for her to remember things. After one fight through the tower from bottom to top, some had left but others had returned for another push.

They pushed down...down...ever downward into the depths of the tower. It had taken time, but they found the passage Cylissa had described disjointedly. Hidden behind a curtain it had been vexing to find, but eventually lead them to a door of shadows and to...to...how to even describe it?

Everything in that room had happened so fast. She didn't know where she was, but the moment they stepped through there had been so many spells flying. In an instant, she'd almost died, but Eldath had preserved her and she'd had the time to summon healing energies into her body. It was all she could do as she stumbled after the others, but...her lover had gone missing.

And yet he hadn't, she'd actually stumbled over his fallen body after the others in the confusion. He'd lain there on the floor...stripped of life and beaten by spells. No breath animating his body. He had been gone and the moment she'd realized it her world had dropped out from under her.

Every decision she'd made that had brought her to her newfound status within nature suddenly seemed like a bad idea. Before, her Fiquarlanitae would have been a touch away thanks to Eldath's direct favor. Now...now it seemed like a void had opened up between them.

Nathan though...Nathan had possessed a scroll. He brought Oth back from whatever lay waiting for him. Nathan had brought Oth back to her. She wouldn't ever forget that. They tried to find the way out after that, she and Oth had, but instead they'd stumbled lower only for the others to find them.

There in the depths of the tower they had received one last message trying to explain where Cylissa and Dasha were. A horrified message describing how to find them from the current point in the depths. Dove had told the others and in that instant they all refused to go further.

A Netherese maze that warped the world around it is where Cylissa and Dasha had ended up. It was a gateway to the Underdark. That alone would give most people pause. With Dasha and Cylissa's reputation for being members of Bregan or at least friendly with the drow mercenaries, it seemed like too convenient a trap for good souls.

No one else was willing to push on. Dove had had to tell Cylissa that. She'd had to tell a woman she was being left to die with her lover. Dove shuddered on the couch. The druidess was used to being a healer, an easer of pains, and yet in that moment she had become someone delivering what might as well be a death sentence.

And yet, Dove could go no further on her own. Sending after Sending had come to her as they'd climbed their way back out of the tower. Anger. A sense of betrayal. Frustration. Pain. All of them echoed in Dove's mind. She was having to listen to someone die in the confines of her own head.

The Sendings had eventually stopped. Oth and Nathan had comforted her most of the evening. Dove had even forgotten about things for a little while in the comfort of Oth's arms, but here she was. She sighed as she watched the fire in the inn room.

Every time time she tried to slip into reverie the image had been waiting for her. She could see Cylissa and Dasha. Trapped in a shadowy world as hideous cries came from outside the locked room they'd managed to hide themselves in. Thuds against the door seemed to make them jump.

Dust began to build on the women as they held one another. Their breathing slowing until they stopped moving at all. Dove couldn't bear the vision any long after that and she ended up opening her eyes. She sighed and began to write in her journal. Reverie would be reachable eventually, but for now...she was trapped with her thoughts as assuredly as Cylissa and Dasha remained trapped in the tower.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:44 am

Kythorn, 8th Day, 1354

I've been watching the sun and the moon both rise and set more often in the past months. It is a strange thing in many ways. In the past, I'd have taken a tea to rest and soothe my aches away, but these days I have little need of such teas except on rare days where the pains are worse. Even then I could do without them I suppose, but it is a small comfort that I doubt my Lady begrudges me.

Regardless, this newfound tendency to see both the moon and the sun rise has more to do with the demands of my position. Becoming the Quiet Guide has meant many adjustments in my life and not all of them have been welcome. It often feels like I have little time for myself anymore. Whether it is for the quiet pleasure of an evening reading or getting away to pray at my Lady's shrine in the Reaching Woods.

There is always someone needing something and it always seems to need to be attended to right then. It consumes many of my waking hours just tending to bits of paperwork and talking with the people who need a kind ear just within the Halls themselves. It is rewarding in its own way though.

While my Lady is now honored here, Juno and I continue to plan how we can properly honor the goddesses of the Halls while turning the Halls into what it could be. We both see it has become trapped by associations and certain habits that cause it to not live up to its full potential, but how to get it there eludes us yet.

Juno...she was kidnapped from the Halls recently. Experts who can in through the windows with magic or something similar. They exploited a simple gap in security and now others seem to look upon the Halls in some disfavor. It confuses me every time it comes up. The Halls of Inner Light is not a martial order. Yes, we have guards, but most of use are simple clergy and lay followers.

It will probably need to be addressed whenever we work to reshape things, but for now the echoes of that event continue to plague us. People can be incredibly frustrating sometimes, but they all are coming from their own places and I must remember that. Lady please help me remember that.


----

Dove set down her quill with a sigh and looked up from her writing. It felt like the most coherent thing she'd written in months and yet it did nothing to still her thoughts. The tension from the movement of the devils had done nothing to calm the temperament of the city of late and that did not bode well.

She'd spent so much time just talking with the priestesses of the Halls and acolytes to keep up their faith in the face of such tidings that it felt there was no time left for anything else. Juno's kidnapping hadn't eased matters either. Some of the Ruby Rose were always at hand now when she went to rest.

It had taken half a tenday to convince some of them that she didn't need to take Reverie on a couch in the middle of the second story of the Halls. They hadn't been the only one's worried either. Her lover, Oth, had been worried as well as friends. That was troubling to her enough on its own, but her glimpses of Rania now and again left her soul disquieted as well.

The attacks and murders by followers of Bhaal, especially the ones that had taken Rania's life, had deeply affected the human woman. Her smile was gone and when it was on her face it was hollow. To Dove, it felt like seeing a husk of who Rania had been when they met with all the light in her dimmed and guttering.

Dove walked over to the window in her office and sat in the chair beside it. It was moonrise and while she expected no special insight into things...it was comforting to watch. Selune's slow rise into the sky and radiance were something Dove could hope would find Rania again. Perhaps she'd be willing to talk one day and begin to heal, but for now? For now this would have to suffice.

She muttered a quiet prayer as she rested her head softly against the cool glass before she rose and began to pace. It was a new habit, but one she'd taken too quickly. Pacing kept her legs from feeling like they'd lock into place and let her pretend she wasn't trapped in her office with paper dragons.

Perhaps I should try to go, but...no, Lily needed to speak to me sometime after moonrise and the acolytes responsible for breakfast wanted to discuss something as well...

Another sigh escaped Dove's lips as she thought on what was left for her to do that day. There was no denying that she was endlessly grateful that Juno had taken to handling the more formal affairs of the Halls when it came to contacting nobles and others of feigned importance that helped keep the Halls funded.

Juno handling all of that meant it was certain to be done properly with nothing dubious for anyone to try and discredit the Halls with. Furthermore, Juno's character meant few people might try to lie to the paladin. Dove simply needed to be the kind face and voice where it was needed. She talked to newcomers to help support them in their early days, supported those whom the Coast had already hurt, and in general was the unchanging and composed face people needed.

Such a role did take its toll though. There were some days she wondered if she'd forgotten how to truly smile after spending so long being the Quiet Guide instead of Dove. She knew her Lady would not ask more of Dove than she could handle...at least not without support to ensure that Dove could handle it.

A small, colored paper dragon sat at the corner of her desk. One of many such little gifts that Oth left in her office whenever he snuck in to draw her away to rest or to make sure there was something pleasant in her day. For all the gloom that had followed the man when they met, she could see him walking beyond it day by day and it only made her love him all the more.

Each small trick or joke helped make the days bearable. Though her favorite times were when he 'stole' her away from the Halls for a little while. It was seldom for long, but a quiet lunch here, a stolen afternoon in one another's arms, and sweets waiting on Dove's desk kept her grounded and, if not always happy thanks to all the work, at the very least content.

Those were the times that brought her back to herself. She could feel her laughter and smile rather than simply hear it or see it reflected back in how people looked at her. All Oth asked of her was to be Dove and she was happy to comply.

Dove's pacing eventually stopped and she returned to the chair behind her desk and settled in to write in her journal a bit more rather than do paperwork. Lily would be here soon enough and it would be time to be the Quiet Guide again. For now though...she would be Dove.

vindflickan
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Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal

Unread post by vindflickan » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:51 pm

Flamerule, 6th Day, 1354

Dove settled painfully into the chair in her office. Her wounds were still aggravated from her recent troubles with keeping her anger in check and it made most things all the harder again. It was still not as bad as the start of the year, but she couldn't deny that doing without such pains for a while made their resurgences from time to time frustrating to deal with. She shifted in her chair some as she settled into the extra pillows and looked over her desk and all the paperwork awaiting her.

She began to reach for some of it before pausing. No...no, she had something she wanted to do for her instead. Dove had earned taking time for herself, hadn't she? Settling nerves, coordinating acolytes, beginning to organize for Midsummer, and all the other things meant she had the right to claim a bit of time for something to soothe her own soul. Instead of paperwork, she reached for a blank piece of parchment and began to write...

Dear Sister,

I am uncertain on how long this will take to reach you, honestly, and perhaps slightly worried the letter might be unwelcome. When last I saw you, your troubles had much changed you. I understand why of course. Hardship hurts the soul and some marks, well, I believe we can both agree from experience that some marks are always with us.

Despite that, I wanted to at least try to write you since I was out of the Halls when your letter was left. The news is happy and may your Lady bless you with pregnancy free of troubles and an easy birth. Lady knows how difficult such things can be, but...faith and love shall see you through. Two things you have a great abundance of.

Matters here at the Halls continue as ever at the moment. I've begun plans for Midsummer. Consulting with the Lliirians has shown me there is an appropriate ritual to honor her at that time. Perhaps starting the celebration with it would be in order. After all, a ward to protect the fortunes and happiness of a celebration must surely be a welcome thing in troubled times.

Though...that makes me want to ask how you kept so many people's nerves settled. Juno...well, she attends to the more practical matters of alliances in the city and maintaining connections with those who donate to the Halls. This is needed greatly, of course, but I've found myself at its hearts and being the calming voice for its troubled soul. The ills of the Coast weigh heavy right now and sometimes it feels as if I've lost my face in gaining a title. Every moment I can find to share with Fiquarlanitae feels like the only time that I can be honest with myself.

How did you do it for so long, sister? How did you hold on to your face when you had to wear the face of the Moonlady? Perhaps these are just the silly questions of an idle mind, but such things lurk in my mind lately. Fiquarlanitae has devoted greater effort to helping protect me from myself in these matters though by stealing me away form the Halls. I rather understand those smiles you'd get when Adallan would turn up to whisk you away now. The relief must have been great.

It does bring me to some questions I'd like to ask though if you care to answer them. We've been, well, looking into getting a home in Greennest so both he and I are far away from the city when we rest. It is a bit impractical to need magic to always get around, yes, but to have somewhere of our own...it is the most delightful seeming idea. Where do you even begin though, sister?

Yes, yes. Obviously with getting the home itself first, but where do you begin between plates and a bed? Pots and storage? Utensils and glasses? I've become so accustomed to counseling people of their woes that when confronted with such a mundane problem I sincerely don't know where to begin. Laughable, isn't it? There are so many little things you don't even think about until this sort of situation comes up. And yet I relish the confusion at the same time. Is it strange?

All of it is a sort of delightful confusion. It means something unlike so many other times it is confusion that has been chosen and for once it is shared. Out of it something beautiful may be built. It makes it all seem worthwhile even as I wonder about it and look over all the paper dragons I've yet to look into today. It feels meaningful compared to the this sort of day to day task. Not that ensuring things go smoothly at the Halls isn't meaningful, of course, but you know what I mean, right?

Something in it calls deeply to the soul and resonates. Like the feeling I get when I look at Fiquarlanitae, but different. I'm so proud of him lately. He keeps growing, sister. He is at once far from the man I first met and yet a happier and purer form of him. He grows and his song grows with him. He doesn't shrink away at jokes anymore and asserts himself. It makes me love him all the more to see him becoming more in such a way.

It helps me understand what my mother meant by the fact that she loved my mother more every day. Love is in all the little things, isn't it, sister? The stolen moments. The little mementos. Feeling like children shirking your chores together by running away from duties for a little while. And feeling the other's pulse resonating throughout your body and realizing, if only for a moment, that they are one.

To have a home will let us fill a place with all of that. Prepare a space in which all of it builds up until each corner is full of memories and scents. It feels like an adventure in its own right and one that doesn't fill me with any dread either. Lady, how I've rambled at you even if I don't know that you'll welcome the letter. I hope you do, sister, because you and the good you've done remain in my heart and shall remain there as an inspiration.

My sincerest hope is that this letter finds you in good health and mending in all the ways possible. May your Lady's light shine on you, sister, and may my Lady's peace guard you, your love, and your child to be.

Sincerely,

Dove


Dove looked over her letter to Rania. It would take time to reach her, of course, but it would be possible to send a letter to the temple of Selune in Silverymoon to ensure it found the distant priestess. There was no telling if there would be a response, but even writing the letter had settled Dove's spirits some. She set the letter aside and began to get to work.

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