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 Post subject: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:47 pm 
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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.

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:05 pm 
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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.

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:10 am 
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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.

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:02 am 
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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?

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:39 pm 
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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.

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Peace - Aradove's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm 
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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.

_________________
Aradove Starglow - Druidess of Eldath, Quiet Guide of the Halls of Inner Light
Leah Freewind - Prankster Extraordinaire & Definitely Not A Warlock
Hope Briams - Walking Paradox/Tiefling Paladin


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