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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:54 pm 
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10 Tarsakh 1354

I spent a lot of time at the eastern farmlands fire today. Began playing my music for a few people. Miss Iris showed up, and requested a couple of songs. It was a good time, and I was enjoying myself.

Eventually though, he walked up. I could feel the tension in the air. I continued to play a couple songs, mostly instrumentals as I did not wish to interrupt conversation. I had no clue of his attitude or intentions towards me. I did not leave, but remained wary.

Eventually, others showed up. One in particular was wearing a mask. He told her she needed to remove it. He became aggressive when she would not. Eventually, the tension grew more over this, and she said something about him being a blood mage. He flew into a rage at that, stepping closer and demanding she remove the mask. When she still wouldn't, he tried to forcibly remove it. She was able to get away and ran off.

I made my way south, where I ran into Miss Freya and Miss Ronja selling wares in Beregost. I had a pleasant time there. I played some music while people shopped at their stalls. I eventually bought some gloves from Miss Freya that will make me immune to silence spells, so my songs can be heard at all times while in combat.

From there, I made my way back up north. Shortly after arriving at the campfire in the eastern farmlands, the masked woman from earlier came to the fire, visibly injured. She made the claim that he and his big friend had attacked her. People were understandably outraged. They began to make cries of how he needed to be hunted and killed. While I agree with this, I need more time to save Miss Linela. If he dies.... I don't want to travel those thoughts right now.

Miss Linela showed up soon after this. I tried to divert her from the crowd before she heard what was going on. But she got an idea before I was able to take her away from the crowd. We went back home, where I told her what was going on. She seemed upset by the news of what he had done. I began to speak of how we might be running out of time if people are hunting him, and how I needed to talk to Verenestra soon.

She showed me a book of drawing she had done. Of a small house. Of some children. A room filled with books. She told me that the book of drawings was a book of dreams she would never be able to have. I wanted to tell her that I coud give her all that she wanted. ... But I don't know if I can. I want to believe I can.

But... my doubts also lie elsewhere. What of him? She needs to break any and all ties with him. I know she still harbors some love for him, and wishes to see him saved. But, if I save her... will she continue to try and save him? I hope the answer is no. That path will only lead to misery. For her, and for me. I will have to talk to her about it soon.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:03 pm 
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14 Tarsakh 1354

A note. Attached to the door of the Halls of Inner Light. It is no secret who he is anymore. He named Miss Linela in his note, so now it is in the open. No hiding it anymore. Miss Linela and I spoke of it for a while.

Misses Rania asked me to the Halls of Inner Light to discuss the note. She said that she never had any intention of letting it be known that Miss Linela's former lover was Bran. She and Dove offered to help me in any way they could, but I told them that I was unable to tell them anymore or speak of it.

Misses Rania and I later got into a fight about it, actually.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:25 am 
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15 Tarsakh 1354

Spent the day training, mostly. I went with Miss Linela to train for a bit. She jokes that she is my protector, while I'm her singer. She's ... not exactly wrong. I am not a fighter. But I need to get stronger. If I'm successful, she'll lose most of her power, leaving her nearly defenseless. I'll have to be her protector. So I need to get stronger.

I saw a group of people standing around the Friendly Arm, away from the fire. They were talking about Bran. Seems Dasha was trying to get them all to attack Bran, who was at the fire. Most were disinclined to take action against him. I walked up to the fire, off to the side; observing. No blood was spilled. Bran ended up paying Tamzim to talk Dasha and her friend into leaving, so that Bran wouldn't kill them.

In pleasant matters, I'm working on some more songs. Hope to have them ready to show people in a few days. Even with things on my mind, I find solace and comfort in playing my music. I play it for myself sometimes when I can't find anyone to play for. My music is for myself, first and foremost. Then I hope that it brings joy to others.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:13 pm 
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16 Tarsakh 1354

I had another good day today. I began the day by attending the wedding of Miss Freya and a man named Saul, who I hadn't met before. I played a few songs, and ended up playing "Knight in Shining Armor" for the couple to dance to.

Spent some time with Miss Linela at the Friendly Arm Inn fire. A guy came up by the name of "Kurt". A sellsword. Seemed to be a good guy. Then Tamzim walked up and began talking. Made some intimations that Kurt had something to do with Bran. Miss Linela and I left.

She explained to me that Tamzim worked for some bad people, and that these people were mad at Bran for killing that half-drow operative. She suspects that they might try to come after her in order to lure Bran out. So after Tamzim saying that Kurt was somehow involved with Bran... I can't help but wonder if he is also with these people, and seeking to get close to Miss Linela in the hopes of taking her. I'll have to keep an eye on that one.

I ended the day in the Last Anchor, playing music for Derik and Lannia. Aiden was there, as was Teris. Teris decided to throw an impromptu party, but people were worn out and tired, so it didn't go over very well.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:23 pm 
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17 Tarsakh 1354

A demon. Not Verenestra at all. But a demon.

I walked into our home today only to see Miss Linela sitting on the floor crying. She was bruised and hurt. And then she told me everything. How she was not pacted to Verenestra, but a demon. And she was ... planning on gifting her grace? It's a bit much for me to understand. I just know that she was making a plan for if I failed with Verenestra.

Contingency plans are good, right? I shouldn't feel bad that she was thinking I would fail? Somehow... I do and I don't. It only makes sense. But... I will not dwell on it. It is moot anyway. I can no longer try to buy her pact from Verenestra, and she can no longer try to gift her grace. We move forward from here.

Who is this demon? What can be done? Can I break her pact? Is buying it still an option? If so, what does a demon want besides another soul? Were I able to exchange my soul for hers, would I? Or is it greater love to spare her the knowledge that even thought of that? So many questions. None of which I have the answer to.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:08 am 
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20 Tarsakh 1354

Finally got a couple more songs finished. One that I wrote myself, about not giving up hope. And one that is an instrumental that I've heard before, but never tried to play. I was able to show these songs to a few people, and they have been well received.

I went out training with Miss Linela. She kept spotting someone. I assumed it was a man that I had been told was hired by Bran to keep Miss Linela safe. Turns out it was him. Miss Linela said that if he was going to be around, he may as well pretend to be a friend, as we didn't want to bring more attention to her concerning Bran. I think that's an excellent idea.

I met Derik's younger sister, Tellae. And wow... that girl likes to talk. She speaks so fast and so much ... I could barely keep up. She seems a fun person, though. She came out to where Miss Linela and I were sitting outside the iron mines of Nashkel. Wasn't a bad disruption, though. Miss Linela was not exactly in a happy mood, and Tellae's appearance seemed to help.

Bran had another altercation. This time with the Dwarf, Gren. Everyone was up in arms about it, trying to hunt Bran down. Tamzim was somewhat heading it up, being egged on by Dasha. I've since learned that the dwarf attacked first. And when Miss Dove was struck by Msc, Bran healed her. No one seems to care about these details, though. They just want to hunt Bran.

When I told Miss Linela about this later, she already knew. Bran had gone to her, telling her what had happened, and that people might be looking to her. Which they had already done. Tamzim asked me to have Miss Linela tell him where Bran's haunts were. I asked Miss Linela if Bran had come to the house to talk to her. Her response was, "Does it matter?"

I was actually shocked by that response. I trust her. I really do. But no man wants to hear that a former lover came by their lover's house to talk in private. I never brought this up to her in this way, though. I simply told her that him coming to the house to speak to her would make it look as if they were still in close contact, and make her more of a target. I kind of wished I had voiced my opinion more directly, though. But, I am a confidant man. And saying something like that... would perhaps erode that. I have her assurances that she is through with him.

I know she still loves him. It is a fact I cannot, and will not try to deny. After all, she told Kurt, "No one just stops loving someone...". I believe she loves me more, and in a different way. I must believe this. Otherwise, I will begin to give in to doubts that will lead me to have thoughts that would be harmful to our relationship. She is mine. I am the one she is with. I am the one she sleeps with at night, and the one she spends her time with during the day. As I told her when I was sitting with her the other night, "Who is sitting here right now? Me or him?"

I also need to teach her how to make cookies. She was embarrassed that she was not a cook. I told her that I could teach her what I know. Which is not much. I was just a ship's cook, not a trained chef or baker. But I have some skill. It could be fun. I told her I would teach her how to cook in exchange for the dance lessons she has been giving me.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:36 pm 
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21 Tarsakh 1354

I awoke in a cold sweat, the terror of my dream still clinging to my mind, indistinguishable from reality. I looked around the room, towards things familiar. My hat on a hook by the door. My clothes on the floor where I had taken them off. Miss Linela, sleeping next to me, her snow white hair splayed across her pillow.

The sight of her calmed me somewhat. Her deep breaths a rhythmic reminder of where I was. The rise and fall of her figure under the covers a grounding force, keeping my mind in the present. I reached out to touch her, tentative; wondering if this were a part of the dream.

My fingers made contact with her face, and I could feel her corporeal form granting resistance to my touch. I brushed some hair back from her face and looked at her sleeping form for several minutes, calming myself.

Once I was sure of where I was, I began to think back on my dream. It was horrible. It was nightmarish. It was .... blank.

I could not recall a single detail of my dream. No faces. No sounds. No smells. Nothing. Nothing but a black void. But yet in that void I knew it was something terrible. Something ominous. It was an itch at the back of my mind. But I could not recall it, no matter how hard I tried. I simply could not conjure up any mental images of what I had seen in my dream. The only thing I knew, was that I was terrified of it.

My mind immediately began piecing things together. The false Verenestra had entered my dream once before. Could this be the demon doing so again? It seemed to be the only possible explanation. The demon was taunting me. Tormenting me.

I laid there awake for what seemed like hours, but may have only been a few minutes. I finally fell back to sleep. Fortunately, the dream did not come back. I awoke to head out to my usual spot, the fire in the eastern farmlands. I played some music there. Eventually, a man named Tiberus showed up, and said he had met a large, rude man talking to a priestess of Selune in the Lion's Way. People were immediately alarmed, assuming it was Rania speaking to Bran. A man named Nathan went to see, and teleported back with Rania shortly afterwards. She had indeed been talking to Bran.

I hope good comes of it. She seemed to have a slightly different perspective coming back. I overheard Miss Dove telling Rania that Bran had asked what penance he might pay in order to atone for the striking of Miss Dove. This... is something I wish everyone would hear. Bran did NOT strike her. He healed her. Yet he is offering to pay penance for the strike.

I spoke with Rania later. She had told me before that she was there when Bran was struck down by Kald and Thedran. I asked her to give me her account. Her account was the same as I had heard from other sources that were more sympathetic to Bran, with one major exception. In her version, he used the spell Vampiric Feast -before- Thedran jumped in.

Everyone has biases. Everyone has preconceived notions, as well as being victim to hindsight bias. I read in a book once where our perceptions will remember events in an order in which they don't happen, in order to make sense of a situation. If one places their hand on something too hot, for instance, their body reacts faster than the signal can get to their brain. So they move their hand before they feel the pain consciously. However, their mind remembers feeling the pain first, then moving their hand. I believe that one side or the other is victim to this. There is no doubt that Bran cast what he did. And to some, it does not matter -when- he did. To me is does, though. Unfortunately, it was months ago, and no one can escape bias. No one.

I spent some time at the Last Anchor, where Derik questioned me about me looking tired. I explained the situation and my fears to him. He said he could not quell or validate my fears. But then he switched the topic to Miss Linela, and her happiness. He had said that he had tried to explain to her the difference between happiness and joy, and their counterparts; sadness and sorrow. He said that she needed to focus on something that brought her joy, and in the process, she might have to let go of something that brought her sorrow. I asked bluntly if he had something in mind, or was speaking generally. He responded that he didn't know for sure, but that it was likely that she needed to let go of Bran.

A part of me wanted to scream my agreement to him. I want her to let go of him. But my love for her will not allow me to make that request, lest I seem jealous or pathetic. She needs to let go of him. But the words to her must come from another; not me.

Miss Linela showed up shortly after we began talking. She did not notice my fatigue; or if she did, she made no mention of it. She carried on a long conversation with Teris, one in which I sat mostly quiet. Eventually, Teris began to berate us for our love. I'm sure he didn't mean it that way. I'm sure he had good intentions. But he does not understand us. I interrupted him, and pulled Miss Linela aside to the beach for a talk.

We played a game that we liked to play. One I am getting better at, I believe. I think I won this round.

We ended up back on the beach where we once again ran into Tellae, Derik's sister. We fished for a while, and then decided we would head to the Iron Mines of Nashkel. Things went well for a while. Until I woke up outside the walls of the exterior of the mine, having been struck down. Miss Linela and Tellae were arguing over the proper course of action when I fell. Miss Linela had told Tellae to get me and get out, but she refused, and helped fight. I assured them that the argument was not necessary; that we were all three ok. Miss Linela ended up apologizing to Tellae, explaining that she was very protective.

On my part... I sit here writing this, wondering how I am to protect Miss Linela, when I fell in battle and she had to get me out. I must get stronger. There will come a time when she will need me to protect her. I must be able to do so when the time comes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Freed Bird - Huego Bellecovum's Journal
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:16 am 
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22 Tarsakh 1354

I spoke with an Emrys Kerr today about my dreams. He kept prodding and asking questions, figuring things out. Miss Linela and I kept trying to steer him back towards the dream itself, but he was more interested in how we knew it was a demon. He kept asking questions towards that, and finally we realized that we would either just have to ask him to not help, or tell him the whole story.

After discussing it briefly with Miss Linela, we decided to tell him the whole story. He took it pretty well, all things considered. He told me that I should try sleeping elsewhere to see if I have the dreams, and that someone should consecrate the house.

I left for a bit to get some things done, and came back. Emrys was beginning the consecration of the house, and Miss Linela was getting ready for bed. I told her that I would stay until Emrys had gone, when she explained that he was going to sleep in the living area since I wouldn't be there to help if the demon came that night.

I... I don't have words to describe how I felt. I was not happy about that. Again... I trust her. But... yeah. I was upset. I ended up pulling Emrys aside, and telling him, "I just finished a ten year prison sentence a few years ago. Don't give me a reason to go back."

I tried not to show my jealousy. But Miss Linela saw it, anyway. Rather than be upset over it, she was actual glad that I was. "Endearing", she called it. Well... she called it some other things, too. But I'm not going to write those down.

I left there and went to Candlekeep to see if there was any information on stopping dreams in their public section. I ran into Rania, Isabella, and their new Guide, Adallan. I talked to them about the dreams, and learned I'm not the only one who is having them. Turns out all Aasimar are having them. And they can be stopped with spells. Protection against Evil, and Protections against Lawful together work to stop them.

I'm going to go ahead and sleep at the Friendly Arm Inn tonight, though. I don't want to bother Miss Linela's sleep, though a part of me would love to burst in with the good news that I don't have to sleep apart from her anymore. I'll tell her in the morning, though.

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