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16th of Tarsakh
The whispers are becoming unbearable! We are sleeping in turns with Cyissa, and this saved our lives. On Cylissa's watch one of the creatures has breached through the barrier and attacked us, we were lucky to survive that attack. How long can we last?
After several more hours one of the people we have sent sending to has responded. It was Tamzim. He asked us about details of our exact location. Using the last charges left in the amulet, I told him as much as I could. It was foolish to rely on others, there were two expeditions before after all — they both didn't make it. But a tenuous spark is still dancing somewhere inside of me now, we can't lose hope! We won't give up until our hearts stop pumping blood! My mood was changing again and again, from deep despair to telling silly rashemi anecdotes.
Suddenly I have heard a commotion behind the sealed door. Something was going on outside, a burst of life has slipped into this realm of darkness and decay. I put my ear to the door and started listening. Someone was using material weapons, this might be our saviour! I started smashing the obsidian door with my bare fists, I kept making the noise using the last efforts I had, I ripped my knuckles to blood but I kept doing this over and over, they must hear us!
I was hearing noise here and there outside, the battle lasted for dozens of minutes, but it seems like they weren't able to find us! I have finally sat down, rubbing my wounded knuckles and heavily breathing. There was no use.
"Dasha... We need to do something or they will leave us behind!" — Cylissa said.
She was obviously right... We can't give up now! I have warded us with my wands and remaning scroll and we have stepped through the shadow portal into the real world. We were lucky that the coridor was empty, but the heat was still burning us, especially Cylissa. I was slowly starting to panic, I was trying to shout out louid so I would be noticed.
"DASHA?!" — I have heard a sudden response.
I couldn't believe it! Few more minutes, and he is standing infront of me! I rushed forth and hugged Tamzim tightly, he said that there is no time for this and that we have troubles. He has come here with two companions — Ronja and Athana. They decided to split up and now Ronja and Athana are lost somewhere in the darkness. We didn't have much choice, we are either leaving this place alltogether — or dying here alltogether aswell.
My memories are fragmented since that moment, was it due to Tymora's favor or Tamzim's scouting skills, but in the end we have found the lost companions, we were tending our wounds in the dark room, preparing for the final rush. I was a burden for the group, but even despite this they were succesfully making their way to the freedom! Our spirits raised high, at some moment we felt like nothing could stop us... This was the same moment Tamzim made his first, but fatal mistake. In the rush of battle he didn't notice the deadly trap and stepped into it. A ray of devastating energy has struck his face, he tried to evade it, but the damage was irreversible. With deep concern, Ronja was bandaging his eye... or whatever remained of it. I felt so guily for what happened to him, but he told us not to worry about it. We have regrouped before opening the last door in this cursed keep.
At last! We have left the cursed castle and found ourselves in some forgotten Underdark mines. This place felt familiar to me, I had had only one teleportation scroll remaining. I concentrated and read it... Gathering my last forces, I have teleported us as far as I could. The surface was relatively close from those forgotten duergar mines. Several more hours of exhausting walk, and we are finally here, breathing the fresh forest air.
We have victoriously arrived to Baldur's Gate by the night. Athana left us at the city gates, and Ronja led the remaining group to the Tempus temple. Tamzim's condition was troublesome, but his life is in reliable hands now, we left him there in a custody of temple healers. I hope he would be alright. Ronja bade us farewell and said she was glad to help us.
I have spent this night with Cylissa in a hall of the first tavern we found, we were greedily eating and drinking with no end. She has recieved a sending from Dove and sent an angry response, stating that "And It seems random adventurers who I never met cared more about me than people who I thought were my friends". I told her not to be an arse. The trouble we have got ourselves into was truly horrifying, and even the most powerful people of this world are risking much by trying to venture that deep. Dove later responded that some people are unhappy because of our return. Well, these people are free to kiss my butt then, I am here, back again!
Honestly, Tamzim's deed can't leave my head. Why did he do this? Why did this mercenary selflessly risked his life for us while so-called "heroes" had retreated because of pathetic excuses? I am afraid that his noble deed will only make the situation worse. People are cruel, and I am aware of the accusations they will throw regarding of this. There is another thing though, much more troublesome. I remember that moment quite well, when I pierced Cylissa's arm with my sharp teeth... I liked it. Let us hope that this won't turn into my new addiction...
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19th of Tarsakh
We have changed.
I am still recovering from my imprisonment in the shadow world. After all the things we have survived down there I feel much weaker, and Cylissa feels the same way. I thought that this was a temporary aftermath, but several days have passed, and I don't feel myself any better. The feel is as if like part of us was left in the shadow realm, as we have lost our strengthes and experience. My poor Cylissa has suffered even more from this. Yes, I am much weaker now, but I still have the feral spirit inside of me to protect me, Cylissa doesn't have such. She used to rely on her brute force she doesn't posses now... I see the only solution for her — to begin it from the start, to find others talents she can rely on. It would be a long path, my dear, but we shall walk it till the end or perish!
Today I have decided to take a walk to the Eastern farmlands campfire — a truly revolting place that constantly attracts quarrels and conflicts. This day wasn't an exception. I was aware that some people are unhappy about our return, but didn't expect this be this... ridicolous. Isabella and Rannia have suddenly started accusing me of allying and consorting with drow and even threatened to report to the Flaming Fists about that. They obviously had absolutely no evidences of such, so they started zealously pointing at my bottle of fungus wine and telling that this is the proof of my guilt. To be honest, I am still trying to find the link between consuming exotic drinks and being an ally of a certain group of drow. I was too exhausted to yell at anyone that morning, and it only made these women angrier and their arguments about fungus wine more silly. Isabella demanded me to stop drinking it, and this was the moment when I became enraged! Even the gods themselves can't forbid me drinking the glorious nectar of gods called fungus wine! Unable to listen to that nonsense anymore, I left them soon. Being honest is the worst crime at the Coast...
I don't remember how it happened, but I was lying at another bench near another campfire in a company of Mill. Bran was standing infront of me with a sword in his hand. This wasn't a dream, but I didn't really feel anything about it today. After seeing my apathy, he sheathed his weapon and started his nonchalant conversation with Mill. Should I forgive a murderer of me the second time? More people were gathering, Msciwoj aswell. Tensions were growing in the air, Bran told something to Msciwoj in rashemi and they slowly started leaving. I am not good at speaking rashemi, but if I am not mistaken he said "Lets leave before I slaughter them".
More and more people started gathering around. An old grumpy dwarf called Gren followed them. I thought that he tries to befriend them or something, I wasn't surprised to see behaviour like that from a dwarf. Then I heard this priest of Muradin using spells... and then the fight has begun! Those rashemi thugs started smashing the old dwarf and finally taken him down! This commotion has attracted a truly tremendous crowd. Dove, a priestess of Eldath, tried to tend Gren's wounds, but Msciwoj was truly loyal to his style and struck and unarmed woman in a dress down with his greatsword. These butchers have completely lost their minds because of their long-lasting impunity.
I wasn't able to defeat Bran back then, I have less chances now with my devastating weakness and Msciwoj at his side. But they must be stopped now! I started calling to people and telling them to unite and strike as one, but those cowards were just shaking like sheeps pathetically awaiting their end. Those thugs didn't want to stop, they walked through the crowd looking for new victims, and I guess they will slaughter this humble crowd one by one...
Suddenly an old man in robes approached and ordered them to stop. Obviously, these rashemi reacted as animals they are — they tried to attack him. The man turned out to be a powerful mage. Everything happened so quick. Some spell has caught Msciwoj in a magical prison — was it mage or Bran himself — and then Bran cowardly teleported them both out. That man alone was able to stop the slaughter while the crowd full of weaklings was shaking. I won't be surprised to see them talking to Bran by the campfire the next day though. Everyones has finally seen the true faces of these rashemi villains, even Mill didn't support them in what they have done. I might understand attacking a mouthy old dwarf, but a defenseless priestess of Eldath?!
I was thinking about Isabella at that moment of time. I remember her speaking to Bran after he murdered me like he was her old friend long time ago, I remember her accusing me of numerous crimes because of a bottle of fungus wine. When I compare these two events I see the most clear picture of something called hypocrisy. Meanwhile, the crowd has attracted some more decisive people. They were gathering a raid to catch the rashemi thugs. Me and Cylissa weren't in a condition to fight, but we have decided to follow. Unfortunately, it was too late to trace the teleport, so Tamzim has contacted Sirion using his medalion and asked him to scry. A response has arrived shortly. The angry crowd started the march to the north.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to find Bran and Msciwoj. We searched through Soubar's surrounding and even through the fiery mountains. No traces. The raid reminded me of a treasure hunt disguised as a holy mission. Nevertheless, everyone was tired so we decided to return to Soubar. We have encountered a surprise though. Soubar was on fire that evening... literally. A huge devastating flames were scorching the earth behind the Winding Way Inn. Blood, ashes and a troupe of actors who kept giving us different versions of events. I approached the closes puddle of blood and glided my finger through it. My pulse has increased, I felt so thirsty, and the blood was so fresh... I licked it, the taste was delicious at first, but then I felt a revolting slimy aftertaste... Damn it! I sniffed the blood more carefully and it was obvious — the weaponized slimes were involved!
After torturous conversation with actors we have finally figured out what happened. Two mages attacked Mag using the weaponized slimes and then they teleported away. We were able to trace the teleport — it led to Baldur's Gate. After following them, we occasionally met Gideon. His sudden appearances at everything involving weaponized slimes are getting annoying, we offered some information to us for several bags. Luckily, we had a rich blonde lad named Nathan who agreed to pay. I don't remember what were they talking about. Perhaps they learned something important — perhaps not. As I know, they had continued their investigation. I was too exhausted to join, my weakness after the shadow realm imprisonment didn't help either. I called it a day and crumbled to the bed of the first Inn room I have found.
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25th of Tarsakh
To be honest, things go bad lately. I've had a long talk with Tamzim few days ago. He told me why did he save me, told me about the past events, about the local game of intrigues I am about to drag myself into. His view of events for me is troublesome — he says that I have to change myself drastically towards the good side or perish. He had also claimed that generally people see me as a more dangerous threat than Bran. I could not believe this nonsense then, but I am treated in different way now indeed.
Some people tend to avoid me now, after that stupid story with a fungus wine bottle. I barely have any allies now, even Mill has turned his back on me! He was ignoring me for several days, and when I finally shouted at him he said that he tired of me, tired of all the conflicts and troubles following me every single day. I trusted him so much and he... He beatrayed me! He has betrayed me because he is too weak to walk his own path, a coward who cares about some hags' opinions.
I don't understand it. Tamzim told me that all the relations around is a game, and I am an awful player. I don't agree with him. If we compare their intrigues with poker, then I am just a tired gaper who came in to order some damn beer. As I mentioned before, being honest is the greatest crime of the Coast, and from this point I could probably understand why they hate me... or fear. Obviously, Tamzim tries to manipulate me, but there is one of his advices I would be glad to follow. No more sincerety. No more truth. They don't deserve my honesty.
There is only one person who is still at my side. Cylissa. It is so ridicolous to hear how people whisper about her as if she is a Bregan agent, but even despite all the nonsense she is still with me, she is the only one I can trust. Long time ago she promised that we are going to die the same day... I told her before that my path leads to the gallows, but... I don't know what to say, I can't even describe how am I grateful to her! And I have never told her how I lo—
[The following few sentences were harshly and nervously crossed off, but then the writing continues]
I must admit though that I am having some issues lately. All that fuss, hatred, commotion around me... They are driving me mad, unlocking the gates for the bad side of my spirit. I had nearly lost control not long ago. The people by the campfire had only seen a bottle shattered between my fingers, my sinister leave... But they have no idea how much effort did I put into holding the beast under control... The spiritual link is distorted once again, but people don't know about such nuances. They keep mocking or blaming me, having no slightest idea about the creature living inside of me...
I need a long break. Last few days I have spent in the deeps of the world, alone between the endless darkest caves and deadly monstrocities. In this abyss I am free to unleash my anger and bloodlust, the ancient goods found in process delightfully fill my pockets, and the combat practice is pricless after my weakening and diminishment caused by the long lasting shadow world imprisonment. I am back to the treasure hunt, and with my feral powers I am making a significant success. Would I return to the suface? Not today.
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27th of Tarsakh
This is a dead end. I realised it a day ago, by the Eastern farmlands campfire. Another huge company, another fools justifying Bran. I have become enraged with a lightning speed, I started shouting at them, and Huego the bard, whose music I always enjoyed, has found himself in the center of this little storm. I said that I want to see him dead, I want Bran to mercilessly kill this idiot whenever they meet again so he could finally understand something with his empty head! I declared that I don't care about fighting Bran anymore - I want him to kill every single idiot who mindlessly supports him! But after leaving the company I realised that things are getting way too bad. My feral rage grows, fuzzy is getting out of control, our communion is broken - he is held on a leash now instead, and it might be torn apart at any moment.
As for the allies, the situation is even worse. Me and Cylissa have met Tamzim today at the Ebon Blades fortress. He told me how to improve my relations with the world a week ago, but now he has lost patience himself. It was the last straw when I declared that I am not taking part in the struggle against Bran.
"So the fact I have strived and worked my (hiney) off to get people to fight Bran, literally a meeting taking place yesterday, means (#2) to you?" — he was nearly shouting at me.
I didn't take things seriously that day, everything lost its colors and senses. After telling me once again how he is disappointed in me, Tamzim angrily made his leave with no intent to coming back. I was staring to the wall, taking occasional sips of fungus wine from time to time. Cylissa was looking at me with concern saying no word.
"I guess I screwed everything up... again." — I told her with emotionless faint smile.
"Look... he is just worried. And he is right. We are going down in flames." — she responded.
"If he is so worried, why does he blame me all the time, huh?!"
"Because you have the power to change things. But you choose not to."
I didn't expect to hear these words. They appeared to be the most precise verbal strike delievered to my pride lately. I started thinking about the things, I was arguing with Cylissa, but rather to shape my own thoughts than to persuade her. I was angry at the people, and this was the problem. Hatred destroys the spiritual link, I have gone through it in the past, and back then I had to make the toughest decision I have ever made. I have forgiven Elspeth after she ambushed and murdered me, she kept trying to provoke me even after that, but there was one significant change — the spiritual link was restored.
I was preparing myself for the upcoming callenge. I was clearing my mind and dissolving the anger in the relaxing mix of hot bath and fungus wine. Cylissa was with me, and all the troubles have vanished for us. But I am not escaping from reality — I am preparing myself to enter it painlessly.
The time has come. I was worried and nervous, but Cylissa was with me, she trusted in me, and I casted off all my doubts! The first person I have met was Gren. I apologised to him for all the mean things I said to him, for my disrespectful attitude. The grandpa was surprised to hear it, to my amaze he accepted my apologies with smile and even offered me a bottle of a good ale before walking away. I would have never drunk dwarven ale in my life, but this day was special! After painfully emptying it in seven huge sips, I have continued fixing the things. Kitsy, Mill, Isabella, Huego, Rannia, Teris — noone could escape my sincere apologies!
Every "sorry" pronounced by me costed much of the efforts and willpower, and the reason is every single one of them was true. My purpose was selfish, but the apologies sincere. I am still afraid that people would think I have become someone better than I am, their disappointment is inevitable, but I have just done what I thought was right. The hardest apology is yet to be accomplished, and there is one man I still can't forgive...
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1st of Mirtul
The time is flowing so fast that I can't catch up to all the events going on around me. A barbarian girl who challenged Cylissa for her axe and failed; an orcish fist fighter nearly imprisoned infront of Baldur's Gate whom I helped to find the way to Uruk Lurra instead; my old buddy Oghrunn the ogrillon whom I hired to guard sir William's tomb just for fun, but Oghrunn had indeed to protect it with his life against some evil cultist; a Greengrass party at the Last Anchor where Desmodu has brought a sack of his damnable devilweed; my horrible nightmare where I was a dwarf doing one's crusade for the closest Inn brawl, which appeared to be more real than it seemed; a suspicious shady gnome with a bucket on his head who had provoked Cylissa by dragging a dead corpse to the road and defeated her after...
Nevertheless, this particular day has started pretty harmlessly. I was sitting at the bench with Mill talking about different things. Some people came by and mentioned how beautiful do we look together, and I was only confirming their assumptions with amused smile, making Mill nervous and uncomfortable. When a young naive druidess joined us by the campfire, I started making fun of her and Mill, they were embarassed at first, but then they left me alone... Well not, completely.
A suspicious tiefling in the hood was sitting not far from me. He claimed that he is a bored sellsword who is desperately looking for work, and I didn't hesitate to offer him such. I handed him two bags of gold, a scroll and a letter for Rannia. His task was simple — to deliever it and return with my brand new wand from her. He nodded with a cunning smile and made his leave.
Cylissa joined us later, we were talking with Tamzim right beneath the watchtower, and then the tiefling approached. He made it less than in ten minutes! I accepted my new wand and handed him the remaining payment. He was wondering do we have any more work to do, and after we said no he introduced himself as Deneir and left... as we thought back then. Later we were joined by Teris, Mill, the young druidess, and together we started marching to the Northern field. I wanted Teris to test my newly acquired scroll. Although it didn't work against him, we have spent many long hours discussing different things, starting from the mysterious White Order, that included such figures as Tamzim and Thedran and turned out to be a necromantic sect, and ending with the long discussion about our purposes and lifegoals. Cylissa was very concerned about the last topic. She was worried that she doesn't have any higher purpose, that she is useless...
While Teris was walking around with his boring preachings, I have shouted at Cylissa! Noone dares to insult her, and this includes herself! Enough of the depressive thoughts, I was always saying that she deserves much more and that she is amazing! Instead of her desperate sobs I wanted to see her predatory grin, to hear her battlecry able to shake the walls, to feel the warmth of magma flowing through her veins! Show them your teeth, my dear! It is not about some miserable purpose, it is only about you and the world you are living! But that idiot Teris started his annoying preach once again ruining the whole moment! I have lost my patience then and the fight has started! I was fighting Cylissa with no mercy, I was eager to beat all the crap out of her, and she resisted ferociously, making me more excited! Finally we both crumbled to the ground, heavily breathing and rubbing our bruises. I apologised and embraced her so tight that I have nearly broken her ribs. I was sorry for my outburst... but proud for my girl once again. As for Teris... he kept being a downer, even now! Cylissa told me that he only wishes us well, but I was so frustrated back then!
After Teris left, I sat to the ground and started breathing... breath in and breath out... once again, over and over... The anger was slowly dissolving inside my still mind. All I wanted is some peaceful place where me and Cylissa can spend some time testing my new toy, and the Ulgoth's beard island was just fine for that! After arriving, the experiement has started... I have combined several essences from different sources, including the newly acquired wand crafted by Rannia, and then I called to the spirit, infusing him with that deadly mix... Yes, the result was above everything I have expected! The energy infusion worked succesfully, and my shadowfang technique was improved dramatically, making me much more deadly than ever bofore... It had some unsuspected duration limitations though, but...
I wasn't able to discuss it any longer. The bastard has decided to reveal himself. That's right, that very "sellsword" Deneir from the farlmlands, he caught us by surprise! That son of a bitch didn't use any advance shadowblending skills, but rather simple magical concealment, but I didn't expect it, so he had seen it all! He had seen our hot discussion with Teris and Mill, our kiss with Cylissa at the Northern field, my real power in action... He was amused by the whole situation, but this wasn't fun for me. I shall never again tolerate any sneaky rats, and the only reason I didn't destroy that joker right there is that I am learning from my fails... sometimes. I must have an idea about his abilities before I attack. Nevertheless, I have warned him. Another stalk like this, and I shall crush him, and probably kill... depending on my mood. That jester offered us to state a name and he shall kill the named person for us, but I am not dealing with stalkers! That dummy Cylissa wanted to hire him to kill that shady buckethead gnome, but I just snarled at her, and Deneir had to make his leave... I won't be surprised to catch him watching us again, but this would be the last thing he will see in his pathetic life...
Cylissa was tired today and she left for the night at the Friendly Arm. As for me, I was tired even more but couldn't fall asleep. I was sitting in the Inn hall, rubbing my blurry eyes and trying to realise what is going on. A loud company has attracted my attention. A man with fancy haircut, a woman drunk as hells, and a typical dwarven warrior who ordered about twenty rounds of booze. I was obviously making fun of them, man and woman were too busy with eachother and soon they left us to continue their night in the room, as for dwarf... He was dumb as a stump, fitting my prejudices about dwarves perfectly. I don't know how it started, but word for word and we were already insulting eachother. Yes, I found it amusing to provoke that drunk, I knew that he would follow me once we leave the Inn, but I was too bored and not sober enough to resist...
As I expected, he had followed me to the hollow ground behind the Arm's walls. We have met Oth and Sirion, they were concerned about what was going on and followed us to make sure the dwarf won't kill me in his frenzied rampage... I had to surpise them though. Maybe I don't look like it with my small height and narrow shoulders, but sometimes I can hit very hard. Several confident punches, and that bearded drunk is trying to realise how did it happen that he woke up kissing the ground. Once the dwarf was knocked down, I stopped attacking and helped Oth and Sirion to bandage him instead, but despite the fact that he was the one who challenged me, the dwarf was unable to accept this insignificant defeat. He kept yelling about demonic infestation and calling me names, and after Oth tried to reason him he insulted Oth too and angrily made his leave. After this awkward scene, Sirion has left aswell, obviously not approving my behaviour. As for Oth... I confessed that this was for my mere perverted entertainment, and we had a long serious talk. In the end the elf gave up and left me alone there.
The word has reached my ears about a recent ritual murder at the tradeway. I have found Rannia and some orcish paladin of Torm there... or whoever he was. Rannia told me about some figure in black who was killing his victims with acid dagger. I thought about the buckethead gnome at first, but the figure was tall and slender, so there is only one suspect in my head now... Watch your back, Deneir.
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3rd of Mirtul
The whole Coast is talking about the recent ritual murder spree set by unknown worshippers of Bhaal, but even this pales in comparison to the upcoming Troll attack. This land prepares to war, from Radiant Heart bastards to Northern Watch cutthroats. As I have learned, there are two possible routes for troll attack, and Cylissa dragged me to one of them. I told her this was a stupid idea, and I was right as usual. She wanted to warn Kraak Helzak dwarves about the secret Isabella told her, that the troll army is infused with weaponized oozies so the fire won't be effective against them, but dwarves just laughed at this and told that they don't need her help. Well, what else could I expect from a monstrous race representatives? I sincerely hope that their arrogance will cost them much tomorrow.
We have visited yet another place tonight. Through desolated village of Soubar we made our way to Boareskyr bridge, where Northern Watch was working hand to hand with Ebon Blades and some other vounteers to reinforce the said bridge. They were making barricades from the garbage, they asked for help, while I was just making laugh of it, making some of them really pissed off. I am not even talking about the material of the barricade, but the place itself was very ineffective, and this will cost them many lives. I didn't tell them though.
This is not my war. There is still absolutely no single person in this sick land worth my trust except Cylissa, and they didn't even propose me payment for my help. They keep treating me with suspicion and sometimes with disrespect, but even despite this I would take part in the tomorrow's fun... as a spectator. I do really hope that they will fall, and perhaps then they would finally learn something...
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4th of Mirtul
This day has finally come. I approached the Boareskyr bridge defenders who were hiding behind their silly improvised wall located at the very disadvantageous position. Mailgn, a tiefling warlock who once shared my hostility towards Elspeth, was very unfriendly today due to my unserious behaviour. His ego has eclipsed his common sense, word for word, and Ebon blades thugs are already threatening to murder me right here unless I leave. It was few seconds before the first troll attack. The defenders had a strong squad of arcane and eldritch casters that dispatched the first wave with ease. It gave those fools illusion of invulnerability... and it would be the reason of their inexorable fall, alongside with their bad positioning and idiots at the command. They have only one chance tonight — to destroy the bridge, the emergency solution I suggested them yesterday. But obviously noone would listen to me.
I wasn't waiting for those thugs to turn on me after they finish the first wave though. I traveled to another place where I can watch the show. From what I knew, there were only two routes for troll attacks, but Cylissa has shown me the third, and the camp there was the most impressive.
We have arrived to the Flaming Fist camp. Located along the river in a beautiful forest with giant trees, this camp was already looking safe, and I guess it is not about the quantity of volunteers and Flaming Fist soldiers. Thedran was standing at the entrance of the camp, he was gazing at me with cold eyes. This thug didn't say anything though, he just let me and Cylissa in, and this was the moment I knew this camp would resist. Despite the old soldiers at the command, there was a spirit of freedom here, noone was trying to tell me what to do nor trying to kick me out or blame. The healthy atmosphere around made me feel uncomfortable for my idleness, and I have offered my help as a tracker in their next scouting expedition.
Me, Cylissa and four more people have traveled to a desolated waste searching for Flaming Fist elite squad that was lost during their mission. We could see nothing but clouds of dust and smoke surrounding the sands and rocks, I guess this would be a hard task for a common tracker, but not the one with supernatural abilities. Using my extrasensory scent, I was able to locate troll's ambush with ease. We have chosen the right position to fight them, the Radiant Heart warrior and Cylissa were holding the frontline, while mages were supporting from behind. With no casualties nor even serious wounds, we have won the fight. There were many human bones around, but it was too early to give up! I led the crew forth and soon enough we have encountered several survivors who were desperately fighting surrounded by trolls. We brought them back to the camp safely, and upon arriving I was able to see a bit expected, but still very enjoyable scene.
Malign, Rannia and some other survivors have fled to this camp. Oh, Malign's face was priceless, he was so mad and frustrated. I have traveled to the bridge to see it with my own eyes, and indeed everything went as I predicted: absolutely no defenders remained at the bridge, noone was around but a bunch of colossal combat trolls roaming the ground. To be honest, I knew how to defeat them, even now when they crossed the bridge and grouped up. It would require to use my power obviously and thus reveal it to everyone, but I could destroy all the trolls with it, every single abomination. The other question is — why should I? While still mocking Malign and enjoying his well deserved defeat, I was seriously offering him help to retake the bridge.
"Last chance of yours. Do you want me to save Soubar or not?!" — I declared, but he was still trying to ignore me while hysterically shouting at Flaming Fist soldiers as if it could persuade them to leave the camp and fix his mistakes.
"It is not trolls who defeated Soubar, but its defenders' ill egoes." — I said before making my leave to the camp.
The final assault was nigh. All those little troll raids paled in comparison to what we have finally encountered. An endless avalanche of stinky green mass was trying to erase the camp, to flood the fertile land and turn it into the desolated lifeless waste. The trolls had odds, it is true, but the defenders possessed something more powerful — unity. Archers and soldiers, selfless healers and tricky shady wizards, Radiant Heart paladins and Myrkul warrior, combat dragon and dark assasin, silent swordsmen and mouthy bards — all those people have forgotten about their contradictions for a time and fought as one, so there is no wonder that the common sense was victorious tonight, and nothing remained of a troll horde but a blanket of stinky rotting filth.
After the battle people have started celebrating their victory. As for me, I have quietly left the place. I was curious about what have remained of other battlefields...
Kraak Helzak has survived. Although I didn't help them with advice, they were smart enough to destroy the bridge, which I can't say about Soubar protectors. It looks like a powerful crew of adventurers has finally come and crushed the trolls there, but Soubar fell nevertheless. As for its defenders... Their fall was well deserved and expected, the only thing they can do now is to learn something from their shameful defeat.
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
6th of Mirtul
I can't believe it! I thought this was over for good, but Cylissa's naivety and Tamzim's shady intrigues combined have resulted in
[The following part of the text was angrily crossed out so hard that there is nothing left but ink and tattered paper]
Rannia, Marianne the ilmater servant and a red-bearded Ebon blade thug who was taking part in the lost battle at Soubar were at the hall. I started mocking them all once I crossed the doorstep, and I admit that my spirit was slowly lifting high as their faces went sour... No idea how long it could last, but Cylissa has finally dragged me upstairs to one of the rooms. She tried to tell me the story of how she was spying unseen on the head of the Thayan enclave himself using simple invisibility potion, while I was complaining about this crappy Inn. Cylissa tried to convince me that noone spies on us, that Rannia told her that there is no magic involved but wards againt scrying... Hah! Bullshit! I would rather be shouting out my secrets for hours in the center of Baldur's Gate than believe this nonsense! Those damn wizards are keeping everything under control, but my naive dear Cylissa still thinks that this place provides privacy... and she wasn't even able to finish her childish rant, as we have heard someone knocking to all the doors at the floor... Yes, that red-bearded thug hired by Rannia as a bodyguard. He told us that he wanted to "make sure we are alright"... And after this three more people joined him for this noble purpose... But go on, Cylissa, keep living in delusions.
We joined them downstairs, and my feast continued! I was sapping the smiles from their face while my own grin grew broad, I was sincerely enjoying making fun of everything I have heard, and soon my toxic attitude has turned into the harmless cheerful mood. We were talking about many things, and with every minute of my staying here I was getting more and more chances to have my arse kicked out of here soon by the guards. I didn't care though. The tension reched its peak during Rannia's story about evil dreams of Baldur's Gate, as if she is the only human who has them. She told something about three stages, about a woman, a cage, a demon assault... I didn't take it seriously though, laughing at aasimars burning alive in the houses and other amusing stuff... I was so busy with it that I didn't realise at first why my cheek burns.
Rannia came to me and simply slapped my face. Yes, another tirade about how bad I am, how they are disappointed in me, I have gone through it so many times. Honestly, I didn't feel the burst of anger at the moment. Perhaps because fuzzy didn't see Rannia as a threat. Yes, "Now c'mere and gimme a hug" she said in the end, but despite feeling depressive that evening I refused.
Cylissa caught me at the Tradeway under the merciless rain. She used to be my only solace in the moments like these, but now... Her face was no different from thousands of people who are blaming and despising me. Showing no compassion nor warmth, she was schooling me about how bad I behave, that I have to think about my attitude... I couldn't believe it... I don't need those shittу preaches, I have enough people to blame me already! Just kiss me, idiot!
"You keep saying how wrong I am with a serious voice, enough!" — I shouted at her while sobbing behind the wall of raindrops.
"Because perhaps that's what I think? Change my mind then." — she responded with the same cold voice.
Enough indeed. I teleported myself away from this all, I was feeling so desperate, so hopeless... as if the whole world was against me. It reminded me of my typical dream. An endless field... The red sky... the hunt... the feast... All that typical stuff, but the difference is that fuzzy was silent, he didn't intervene today, even he left me alone in my despair! I don't remember how it happened... I was wandering through the Tradeway, I have seen an arrogant disrespectful elven wizard who has nearly stricken me with his spell and ignored my intimidating voice... I remember him still ignoring my very existence while pathetically trying to escape from me to the ruins... I remember his heavy terrified breath few minutes later, when I was mindlessly smashing his puny elven face with my bare fists, while surrounding goblins were cowardly awaiting me to leave that mage for them... The whole floor was covered in his hot blood... Has he survived? I don't care...
I was able to calm down a bit by the evening. I was sitting at the bench with Tamzim, talking about his most recent decision that was dumb beyong belief. He confessed that indeed everything went out of control, but he is not going to do anything about it... unless he is paid well of course. I wasn't in a mood to shout at him, I just shrugged and agreed. Despite how awful that day was, I still worry about Cylissa. I will make something up, my dear. Our life would have been too trivial without silly decisions after all, huh?
Later we were joined by Sirion, Oth and Stanza, a charming little girl (it turned out that she is actually a hin) who keeps mocking Oth over and over, and his embarassed reaction is always pricelss! But today her mocks have moved to the brand new level as she presented us the first chapter of her book called "Two scoops of love". It was an adventure novel about two true friends — Ozzwald and Jonathan.
"It is a love story, a true love story. About two friends, 'oo go out into zhe wilds as comrades... And come back as somezhing more." — she proudly declared.
She assured us that all the characters are fictional, but for some reason Oth was hiding his embarassed face behind his palms the whole evening long. The book was very intriguing, so I started reading.
"The pain was good." — I started reading, and with every new line of this true masterpiece my face was distorting with a cunning unhealthy grin more and more. It was only the first chapter, but I already wanted more! The story was so exciting! Jonathan was so kind to Ozzwald — would they be able to survive in the wilds? I couldn't wait to read the new chapter, and Sirion shared my passion for... good reading. Dimitry, that mage who was trying to reason Ren when it nearly ended up with a fight, read that too and found it exciting, and this was the moment when Oth nervously left the campfire. Perhaps he is just not into the adventure story genre, honhonhon.
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
9th of Mirtul
I trusted her so much! I have no words, it is just as if the world has turned upside down in but a couple of seconds!
Cylissa... I remember my yesterday's shame when I approached the campfire completely drunk, people were mocking and blaming me again, I shouted at them back, they have seen my hysterical cry, when I was defenseless against their cruel words and they used it only to stab me deeper! This is all because of you, Cylissa, once again it is your fault, what the hells are you doing to me?! We had long talk that night, in the rush of emotions I shouted:
"You are the only one I can trust! I love you, damn it!!!"
I was looking in her eyes with a shocked expression. It was the first time ever I pronounced those three simple words. Sometimes I look overconfident and brazen, but in such sentimental matters I am the biggest coward on the Coast. But I said it. It was too late to turn back, I was just gazing into her eyes with scared, miserable expression, the seconds reminded me of little eternities while I was awkwardly preparing myself to hear her merciless response.
"I love you too" — she pronounced with cracking voice before bursting in tears.
But then... Why, Cylissa, why did you do it to me?! After all we have gone through, after what do we feel to eachother... why have you betrayed me?! She confessed in everything. She told me that she was secretly working for Rannia and lord Eldarian all this time since the Bregan incident. I was making my best to persuade myself that it was just a dream. When I failed, I unleashed my uncontrollable fury, turning the secret lair we were talking in into the ruins. No, it wasn't fuzzy's feral rage, it was my own, my own desperate outburst. Cylissa, how could you?! Why, why did you do it?! I refuse believeing it, everyone can backstab me, everyone, but not you!!! Through the rivers of tears she was trying to tell me that she didn't want to hurt me, that she wished only best to me, she was endlessly sorry for this, she swore that she won't work for them no more. I looked into her eyes and breathed out. She is not a traitor, but rather a dummy. Although I believed her this time, I was still enraged...
Soon we made our way to the Radiant Heart chapterhouse. I knew he was here, Cylissa looked at me with worried eyes, but she knew it is better not stop me now. I started hitting the gates with force, I felt the strong nasty celestial aura behind them, and it means I have come just in time.
"I know you are here, lord Eldarian! Could you please get your celestial arse right here and listen to me?!" — I shouted at him, and the gates have opened.
His presence was unbearable. Like any celestial bastard, he had a revolting aura around him, but his aura was stronger than any other I have ever felt. Calm deep eyes, hypocritic nonchalant smile, confident compassionate voice, exagerrated piousness — this man was a quintessence of everything I hate. I told him to keep his dirty aasimar hands away from Cylissa, or I will be less patient next time. The rage was boiling inside of me, Thedran was here, he looked at me and was ready to attack at any moment. Eldarian told him to calm down though.
"Consider me warned." — he told me with nonchalant smile.
Keep pretending to be a fool, Lord. You are warned indeed. As for Rannia... I will talk with her too, and that talk would be less appealing.
There was another rumor about troll attack tonight. Me, Tamzim and Cylissa have decided to watch it ourselves. We were prepared to fight, but either the rumors were false, or we came too late — no nasty creature around Soubar except Ebon Blade thugs. The baron, the drow lady and other members were talking at the ruins of the rogue town. Alongside with Malign, they were responsible for the fall of Soubar, but their sinister keep was still towering above us nearly untouched, so I guess they don't really care about the results of their arrogance and stupidity. Tension is filling the air as we are drilling eachother with our hostile gazes. I knew that my next step will determine the things, and that step was a step out. No fights with idiots tonight...
On our way to the South me and Cylissa encountered a suspicious dwarf. He started insulting Cylissa for no reason, and on the face of it this didn't look unexpected. A dwarf acting like a witless animal — this is their racial feature after all. But there was something unclear here. First, this idiot wasn't drunk. His gear was good, and he was already holding weapons in his hands. Before I could tell Cylissa to move on, I found them both tossing the insults to eachother. Everything happened so quick...
The dwarf caught Cylissa by surprise and nearly slain her with a quick flurry of strikes! I was confused by it, while Cylissa was recieving more and more wounds! I felt something boiling inside of me, a nearly forgotten primordial rage. Fuzzy was displeased by what he has seen, and I didn't bother him to step in...
...the fight was over. Luckily for the dwarf, my spiritual link was in a good condition, so I was able to stop my inner colossus right before he tore that bastard apart. The dwarf was laying in the mud, beaten hard and hardly breathing. As I expected, this encounter was hardly a coincidence. An Ebon Blade insignia was seen at this mercenary's armor. Perhaps it would have been smart to interrogate him, but I didn't have time nor wish to bother myself with it. I had something better in mind. Cylissa has started panicking, "lets tell them we found the wounded dwarf in the forest and saved him", she mumbled, but she had nothing to do but to grab that bastard by his beard and follow me.
Few hours later the Baron himself descended downstairs and beheld our little present.
"Recognize it?" — I asked the Baron pointing at his defeated recruit.
This was a moment of a long awkward silence.
"I don't really care if it was your order or a coincidence, but I do not appreciate such encounters." — I pronounced with a predatory grin.
In the end, the Baron just apologised for the "inconvenience". Sure, baron. Keep pretending that you are surprised, but if this happens again I won't be that generous...
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
14th of Mirtul
The spiritual link works in both ways. This mysterious thing allows you to communicate with your spiritual companion, to act as one, it makes your spirit share your vision of the world, your purposes and emotions. But on the other hand, it inevitably affects you, making you share the qualities of your spirit. My case is very heavy, since Fuzzy is a bloodthirsty angry evil spirit who is constantly in a bad mood. My spiritual link has reached the incredible level lately, I am able to use my spiritual powers freely now, Fuzzy shares every single thought of mine during my transformations, and I don't even remember the last time he has broken into my conversations, sharing his endlessly important opinion.
But I am changing, and it was obvious long time ago. Not that I was a good girl before, but the feral spirit inside of me makes me more determined, agressive and hostile towards the people around me, he sees everyone around as foe or prey, and this affects me against my will. I guess I am affecting him too, both ways and all, since he is always eager to protect Cylissa, and this constant affection struggle will end up with something I am very afraid of — we will become the one.
In the last few days I feel that the nature of my anger has changed. Long time ago I could say that I am but a victim who is possesed by the evil feral spirit, but now... I can not even say that this anger belongs to Fuzzy, with fear I must admit that the source of this primal fury is me, and the spirit just blends with my will, supporting whatever mindless decision I make. This is all so confusing, and so frightening... The first outburst of this new, unfamiliar anger was several days ago, when I nearly murdered a rude elf with my bare fists, but yesterday it all went way too far.
I was hunting in the southern mountains, ruthlessly pierced by cold wind among the endless snows. After this long and exhausting venture I made a small camp near the mountain passage, and it looks like I have attracted unexpected guests. A group of soldiers has joined me by the campfire without my permission, they were so loud and revolting, making fun of a "cute girl who was lost". Despite their vulgar jokes, they weren't actually hostile, but it was too late...
I have no idea what happened. I was seeing the world with Fuzzy's eyes then. Red skies instead of snowfall, scorched plains instead of snowy mountains, and some annoying scum as my new prey. Those bastards were shocked when I rushed to the first one of them and knocked him down, I started mercilessly smashing his face, turning it into the bloody mash pretty soon. Only when their comrade wasn't able to scream no longer they have finally turned their swords against me, and this was the moment Fuzzy stepped in to protect me...
My perception of reality was lost in this pointless and brutal combat. When I was finally able to stop, I found myself alone in the snows, surrounded by howling wind and several tortured corpses. I shifted back to tiefling form and fell on my knees. I have seen nothing but emptiness infront of me. This whole thing that occured... this is not right. This shouldn't have happened. What is going on with me? I am so confused, so lost...
As expected, I was found soon. A much larger group of people in the same armor came to witness their comrades' horrifying defeat. It would have been smart for me to flee, to hide somewhere, to forget this madness, but I was still here, mindlessly staring into their shocked eyes and seeing nothing but void.
"What now?" — I mumbled with weak emotionless voice.
Today I am writing these lines while sitting behind the iron bars. Yes, this day has finally come — I am rotting in the cage, humbly awaiting for my execution. Here I come, gallows, long time no see...
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
18th of Mirtul
"Pathetic... As usual..."
"What now?! If there is noone else to talk to doesn't mean I am eager to listen to your whining!"
"Caged... Like a sheep..."
"This is done, Fuzzy! What am I supposed to do now?"
"Break free... Or die..."
...I slowly opened my eyes. The same hollow cage, nothing has changed and could not. How many days have passed?
Not that I don't appreciate attention, but those folks are putting way too much effort in it. Isolated cage on on the lowest level of the prison with adamantinum bars and constantly renewed defensive wards — am I that special, huh? Those bastards are constantly watching me, and this is unbearable. They don't speak, don't do anything — just watching over you, day and night, day to day. What is the point of this imprisonment? I really hope it is not about some kind of experiments with my body...
They have taken away everything, every single piece of my equipment. My shadow dagger, my old rusty sword, my beautiful leather armor with mithral scales and defensive runes, my shady hood that is in fact a powerful thought protector, my endless scrolls. I asked them like thousand times to let me write a letter, I must let Cylissa know what happened to me! Bah, no use. I was able to hide my journal though, and this is what really matters, since it contains lots of information they must not be aware of.
I have heard footsteps. Ah yes, a new guard has arrived. This moron shall stare at me for eight hours until replaced by a new one. Execute me already... An arcanist has arrived too, to renew the wards. Those two men have attracted my attention, they were very... suspicious. The blonde arcanist had a bad aura, like all celestial blooded have, but his aura was special, it was very weak, hardly noticable. As for the guard... It was she, and she didn't smell like a human or other humanoid creature. A mix of dust and ashes was her scent, and her eyes... She didn't actually stare at me, but through me, wish I could take a peek down her helmet...
"What is it? Do I hear the worms crawling inside of your head, or is it merely your suspicions?" — the man asked me with a cunning smile.
"I don't really care... Finish your worthless job and get your arse out of here, you are making me sick." — I lazily responded with tired voice.
"Noone can be more used to such attitude than myself, — he smirked. — But there is something you are very wrong at, sweetheart. This job is no way worthless. Not for you."
This was getting more and more shady. After the man finished weaving, I felt that wards didn't become stronger, but rather vanished at all.
"What is this all about?"
"Patience..." — he pronounced with sinister expression, as the "guard" was slowly unlocking the cage.
"So easily, huh? Setting a dangerous criminal free like this?" — I asked with smirk.
"Exactly! You are a very bright one, much smarter than most of the Coast population I have met. This is why I am more than confident that you shall make the... right decision."
After his words, the "guard" has offered me a hand. Obviously, I can't trust this trickster, nor do I consider this shady business as an act of charity. But the lesser evil principle, all that stuff... Yes, I accepted his "help".
Sometimes I am called "coldhearted", but this is nothing compared to this creature near me. Her hand felt like ice, it was dry as sand, but yet gentle and graceful. She led me through the narrow coridors, while the mysterious mage followed. Many guards we met, but all of them were even more strange than the girl whose hand I was holding. Their postures were unnatural, they reminded of statues, I even noticed the sand pouring down from one of them, and their scents were matching their weird conditions. It seems like a closed helmet for guards wasn't the best idea...
Here we come, the lowest level of this dungeon. Heavy iron door opens, and we are entering the torture chamber. I looked around with whistle, what the...
"Soo... — I gave him amused smile while slowly leaning towards the ugly bloody table. — What toys do you want to torture me with? Such a selection here."
"To torture someone I seldomly require anything but my precise words... to my sincere surprise. Nagash, could you please..."
The "guard" has quietly walked several feet to the right only to return with an oaken cane. The mage nodded and accepted it, then he continued his speech:
"This chamber was truly meant to become the final destination of yours, but instead, your fate twists tonight. Thank me later."
"I sure would... — I responded with distrust. — What is your purpose? You better state your price before..."
"Ah, your mere presence at the Coast is priceless and serves my purposes better than anything. — he responded with cunning smile. — Keep doing whatever your heart was always telling you, simple as that."
"Let us pretend that I believe this bullshit. Where is my damnable gear?"
And indeed, the chest was already unlocked and contained all my belongings. Paying no attention to that strange man, I undressed myself and started slowly putting all my equipment on. He was watching of course, but this is not what concerned me at the moment. I am starting to realise who that man is, and this was the first time I have met him in person. Rumors certainly tend to exaggerate things... I know it better than anyone else.
"I am ready." — I have finally declared.
"Then let us see the skies..."
This place was obviously warded against the teleportation, but the thing Alkor was doing was different. Several seconds of weaving, and he had opened a shadow rift infront of me.
"Listen... Not that I'm not into shady stuff, but this is too much. Bad memories and all."
"Worry not, all you require is a good guide, and you are fortunate to have such..."
On the other hand, what other choice do I have? Even if he decides to turn me into one of his "guards" later — still better than prison. I am breaking free, Fuzzy. Will see you soon, Cylissa...
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
21st of Mirtul
I am finally free!
We met at the mountains. She was obviously looking for me, she was hoping I will come back, and this is what happened! I rushed to her, and only after I nearly squeezed her (literally) with my enormous weight I realised that I forgot to shift back to my tiefling form, but she would recognize this clumsy monster everywhere! She stroked Fuzzy's ghost fur first, then embraced me, I was so happy to see her! Few hours later we were already lying in the flower field and not thinking about anything, all the concerns seem to vanish at the moment, only she, I, and the endless sky above us...
I knew that obviously nothing good could happen in my absence at this sick land, but I didn't want to think about it. I was holding her warm hand and thinking about silly things, like if I finally decide to settle — it would be here, in the middle of this beautiful flower field. Is it safe? Not at all. But if I am to die someday, then I prefer in my own house located at the most beautiful place at the surface...
The only bad thing about good things is that they tend to come to an end. Several more hours later we were sitting in our secret place, I was hearing her stories and they didn't seem to please me. She told me that she was tracked down by that jerk Deneir, again. This time she was alone and she was wounded, so that scum put a dagger to her neck and demanded to tell him some information that concerned him, regarding the buckethead gnome who defeated Cylissa once. And... yes, she gave up and told him everything. Blast it. I shall crush that bastard once I spot him! I promised him that he shall die once he decide to sneak on us again, so there is no way for him to escape now...
The list of bad news has only started, but I am already tired of it. All I want to do is to drink in a good company. I didn't see Tamzim for a long time now, I wonder how is that sneaky bastard doing. I proposed Cylissa to meet him, but she gave me nothing but dead silence in reponse. Something was wrong. I tried to find out what is going on, but all she did is mumbling about how stupid she is. Finally she took a breath and declared:
I... I couldn't believe it. Cylissa was wiping the tears across her face, as for me... I was staring to the wall saying nothing. This sounds like an idiotic joke, but for some reason I knew it is true. Tamzim is no more.
The more details I heard, the harder it was for me to control my savage anger. Banished from the lands without evidences, betrayed by the bitch he trusted and executed without a trial... Damnable Baldur's Gate savages! I always knew this blasted land is ruled by cruel barbarians, but now I have no words... I want them dead. I want a giant wave to wash away this rotting rathole called Baldur's Gate. I want it to be conquered by drow or trampled by orcish horde — no matter. I want this city to perish.
Tamzim was an arguable figure with all his shady manipulations, but for me he is a hero. He was the one who selflessly rescued me from the Shadow World, he risked a lot and even lost his eye, while all those riff-raff in shining armor were so disappointed when I came back. He was the one who tried to help me, to make sure I will survive in this nasty swamp called Sword Coast, but I didn't listen... And now I come back only to hear a proud mumble from some hin garbage who brags that she put a bounty on Alkor's head... the man who saved me two days ago.
I want them all die in pain. All those endless adventurers, all those hypocritic thugs called knights, all those performers, scholars and priests of good gods... They are the same cruel beasts as drow or orcs, the difference is that orcs and drow are not hiding their true selves behind the masks of righteousness.
If someday I shall be captured, I want them to read these lines.
Rot in hells, Baldur's Gate. Screw the Dukes. Screw their vile barbaric law. Screw its filthy inhabitants.
Rest in peace, Tamzim. Rest in peace, friend.
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- Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:24 am
6th of Kythorn
We have spent the last two weeks in some gods forgotten village away from the civilization. We were arguing each day, the decision was very tough, I felt like a coward! How can I just leave this damnable Coast after what they have done to Tamzim?! There are so many people to pay their debts... But on the other hand, it was our chance to start a new life, to finaly be happy, to leave this vicious circle of violence and hatred. So the decision was made.
We are leaving this land.
Our ship to Waterdeep arrives in several hours, and what else do we do in this time other than taking a nostalgic trip? We have walked through the Trade way to Friendly Arm and back. We met Desmodu. The man now worships Tymora and wants to open his own gambling hall. It was so good to see him well and alive, it is what gives me hope — the hope that this place has a chance for decent people, not only templars, knights, scholars and other scoundrels. I wish him well, perhpas someday we shall return to see his famous comedy show again. I really hoped to meet Mill, but it seems it is too late. He left this cursed land and returned home, like any sane person should.
On our way we also met an elf, the one who promised Cylissa to buy her a drink long time ago. She was very friendly and naive, while her tiefling companion was even more shy and didn't say a word. We stopped by the Farmlands campfire, those lasses didn't even know who Tamzim was, so I told them the truth. I told them how did he selflessly saved me and Cylissa from the Shadow World in a company of Ronja and Athana. I told them all they need to know about the Dukes land justice, when Tamzim was the one who was able to finally unite people against the fallen shaman and mass murderer called Bran, but yet that abomination still walks the lands in peace, while the real hero of the story is being executed by authorities.
During my passionate storytelling I have nearly forgotten about an old man named Olk who was silently listening to it all the time. He started arguing with me trying to prove that Tamzim's execution was fair, since, besides all his heroic deeds, he was also known for his less heroic shadowy activity, and the recent bhaalist resurrection was also his work. "Justice is optional here" — I answered him, and at this I was completely right. This land contains an insane ammount of people who commited much more hideous crimes than Tamzim and those crimes are well known, but yet they have recieved absolutely no punishment. Bran is the most bright example of it. Olk didn't agree and kept arguing, word for word, and in a rush of anger I have pronounced those three fatal words:
"F*ck the Dukes"
Olk has immediately stood up and put a helmet on. "Sadly, your words can not go unpunished." — was his response. I was lost at that moment. The ship was arriving within an hour, and I am trapped here by that lawful idiot! It was obvious that he won't let me go! He challenged me for a duel. Come on, why now?! Why is this happening right before our final departure?! This was obvious that this jerk won't let us go, and meanwhile the crowd was growing huge, lord Darius was here and he called the Fists who didn't hesitate to come quick. I was surrounded by a mob and couldn't escape now. Cylissa didn't want it to happen, she was afraid to lose me, and I share her fears. If I lose the duel, I shall be imprisoned and won't see Cylissa again. Gods, our escape was so close!
The crowd was patiently waiting. Some mocked Olk for challenging a woman, some cheered for him and told him to kick my demonic arse, but everyone was curious to see that fight. I looked into Cylissa's hazel eyes the last time before announcing my final word.
"So be it..."
In a short time we have arrived to the Baldur's Gate arena, that very place where our final duel with Elspeth was supposed to occur, but I was cowardly ambushed and slain instead back then. Dozens of eyes were watching us from above, Flaming Fists have announced the rules. No potions, narrow arena — guess it is the first time the rules favor me. Olk looked like a skilled fighter and I doubt I have any chances to defeat him alone... But I am never alone.
"Win and be free... Lose and perish..."
"Sure, tough guy. There is only one way. Lets do it!"
"Show them your teeth... Let them fear you... Let them remember..."
This is our last fight, Fuzzy. You and me striking as one, as in the bad old times. We have lost an infinite ammount of battles, but this one has to be won! We shall be free, Cylissa, I promise you!
The fight has begun.
Olk was well prepared to fight a brazen girl with tail, not a feral colossus. The fight was long and tough, he was able to land several devastating hits, but without healing supplies and room for maneurs he didn't make it. At last, the man fell to the ground, pinned down by a weight of his heavy armor. Fuzzy wanted to finish him, and it costed me much of my will efforts to prevent it. I shifted back and was wiping the blood from my nose with a heavy breath. It was over.
Everyone has seen my true power, but this time I couldn't care less. Flaming Fists let us go, and I doubt we would ever return. I looked to the sky. The ship arrives in twenty minutes, meaning we still have enough time!
By the evening we were standing at Baldur's Gate pier, watching the ship arrive while holding eachother hands.
"Well then... are you ready?" — she asked me.
"Anywhere with you, my dear. I... I... I love you..." — I responded quietly while drowning in tears.
"I love you too." — she responded with happy smile. — "Let's go. To the new life..."
"To our life..."
Probably, these are the last lines I am leaving at these tattered pages. I have gone through much at this land, but I have gone through it with Cylissa, since the first weeks to this very day. I am not running away from myself no longer. I love her, and this won't change until my damnable heart stops beating!
We are standing at the ship deck, while the houses in the distance are becoming smaller and smaller, finally fading in the night mist. Every story comes to its end, and ours has the most happy one.
Our journey is over.