Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

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LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:36 am

Was the world outside the mountains always so eventful? I think I begin to understand why I came with Aiden to the Sword Coast. There’s much in my mind, I figured writing might help get it out and let me sleep.

I have a companion tonight, a new friend, perhaps in some ways a new student - to think, me as someone’s teacher… her name is Ylva, a woman from the far north who brings with her all the habits and customs of her people. Good humour, a strong sword arm, and a penchant for drink and celebration. I like her; she has an honest disposition. I first encountered her in those ruins that lay under the road from the farmlands to the Friendly Arms, and she asked if I’d teach her something about shape-shifting (I was as a bear at the time).

Well, we retired to a nearby inn… ah, I can’t recall the name of the place, the one that sits just on the other side of the bridge… regardless, I don’t think I’d go there again.

Necromancers. Necromancers. Damn it, I still don’t know what I should have done! Was I right in my course? Best I write this down… if either of them have come from the south, if they are from the Keep, or from Amn, I can’t afford to forget anything.

The first was Laura, a woman dressed in red robes and a hood shadowing her face, a purple cape over her shoulders. She could charm the skin off a snake, I’m sure. At first, inoffensive enough, but then… I happened to glance her way as she took a bite of her apple…

The fruit rotted when it touched her lips. I saw it, the red skin turned black and the flesh collapsed into muck. And the counter, it decayed at her touch. I didn’t know what to do… at first I tried to find a little more out about her, but there was no luck there. “Came for a change of scenery,” I think she said. I didn’t want confrontation, but I did give her something of a veiled warning. She gave me one in turn, and put her hand on Ylva’s shoulder - Ylva, deep in her cups and rather unaware of the clues I was trying to drop.

It turned out… alright. I think. No blood was shed, and we managed to get her to confess her craft and leave. But what was she doing here…? I looked her over, I didn’t see the sigil of the other necromancer, the one from the Keep. My mind keeps leaping back to Aiden, I worry about him, I worry that one of those people might be here for him.

I shouldn’t. He’s so much stronger than he was when we met.

I digress… as we encountered another almost immediately after the first necromancer left. This one was a follower of Bane, I think I saw his mark on her somewhere… she mistook something I said about Laura and thought I was speaking about her, seemed to be looking for a fight. Fortunately, she took off.
I didn’t get her name, luckily, her appearance was distinctive enough that I might not need it. Elaborate black armour, near white hair, one red eye, one blue, very tall. A woman like that would stick out like a sore thumb anywhere.

… Might their appearance have something to do with the refugees? Perhaps I should speak with Aaron about it.

For all the trouble and mystery of the day, I’m glad to say I’ve at least found a new ally. Ylva wants to learn more of the Druid’s path, and I’d be glad to help her. I’ve kept to the forests so much here… when I go into the city with Aiden he seems to know so many people even when he insists he doesn’t.

I miss him… being able to talk with him about things like this. I wonder if he’s spoken with Annaliza yet…?

Best wrap this entry up. I’ve found some interesting new plants today, must document their properties.
Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:23 am

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Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:33 am

Had a good night tonight, met Marianne and David, got to know both fairly well. Marianne seemed disquieted when Aiden greeted her, I didn’t want to pry so suggested instead us all getting some dinner… I should have expected Ser Marianne to choose the place she did. Looked like one of the Salons mother used to frequent to try and find me a husband…

When did buildings become so claustrophobic?

Either way, it seemed to lift her spirits and the amusing attention Ser David lavished on her lightened everyone’s mood. Perhaps Ser Marianne noticed my discomfort, as she suggested a hill outside Ugoth’s Beard.

Aiden enjoyed his drink and I hope had a good time. He fell asleep on my shoulder; Kuma and I have him safely to an Inn to rest and I sit here now in the gardens, writing.

I’ve found more interesting plants. Will ask some locals about them and add them to the collection.


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Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:50 am

Aiden took me to a place in the north of “Skuldask” today. I hadn’t ventured to that part of the Coast yet, mostly stuck to the woodlands along the Trade Way. I’m grateful he remembered the place though; he must have known I’d love it there. It was a water cave, I think when from an underwater river that fed to the surface, but once inside it was an absolute trove of fungi, many different kinds I’ve not ever encountered. I’ve collected a few samples, still testing some properties. I must go back there again and see what else I can find.

I must think of something to do for Aiden, for showing me that place. For all its resources, it was a beautiful cavern too… the walls are littered with luminescent plants, and the river inside widens into pools. A few creatures, too, they weren’t too happy about the intrusion but we still had a chance to relax and swim.

I find I like the Sword Coast, and yes… rediscovering it with Aiden. Another memory came back to him the other day; it’s happening less frequently now but still as painful and dizzying for him. I wish there was more I could do for him… perhaps I may yet find a remedy in the flora of the coast. Or maybe all he needs is time.


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Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 am

Twice today I’ve found myself on death’s doorstep… the memories are hazy, something of black stone and coldness, isolation. Then the life drew back into my veins and air filled my lungs and I was returned to the waking world, thanks to my companions.

I’m not the warrior Aiden and Aaron are. It was supposed to be simply scouting the fields north, what we came upon was far more. Perhaps I should have turned back… but I could not have left them, neither could I have left whatever was in that crypt. I cannot call myself a hero, but at least, I will write what I remember, for the sakes of posterity.

We were swarmed by hoards of undead when we first came upon the crypt, far more than Aaron had expected. They were defeated, but the crypt was shrouded in a strange, thick, black mist, suffocating and cold to the touch. I communed with the natural forces but the simple act nearly made me sick; whatever in that tomb, it’s a blight, a festering wound, the natural order sickens at its presence.

Aiden gave me some invisibility potions to keep me hidden while we investigated the catacombs; the first thing we came across was a giant book, perhaps eighteen feet high, stood up and held open by a stand made of bones, a throne directly before it. Black mist agains filled the room, and a dim blue light glowed before the throne. Aaron could decipher a little of the text; a ritual had been completed only recently, conjecture would suggest one of summoning. Immediately after we were attacked again by the undead and I heard for the first time the wail of a banshee… and felt the threat of death a second time.

I woke to Aiden holding me… and even there in the the darkest crypt with the stench of the undead suffocating us I felt safe. Mad, isn’t it?

Aaron’s magic did much to protect us as we moved further, but we were made aware of the treachery of that place by what we next found. A small girl, a child named Amy, who seemed at first searching for her mother. But she shied away from the lights and tried to make us bring down our defences; it was all too suspicious, and we found out soon enough the child was not what she seemed. She said her mother was magic - not a person with magic, but that she was magic. She spoke of visitors that stayed forever, and the next person we met within the crypt helped untangle some of that mystery.

This man was still within his senses, olive skinned and wearing the garb of a blacksmith. But his clothes were old… styled from hundreds of years in the past. He spoke of how he came to be there, that he and some dwarves carved their way through an ‘impenetrable’ stone slab, and that once breaking in were overwhelmed by a wretched stench. That he had wandered there since, and the longer he stayed, the less the other ‘visitors’ bothered him. All those shuffling monsters, people trapped, dead but not allowed to die.

…And death was the last request this man made of us. While he still had some sense of himself, and had not become one of the shambling messes we fought against. He said they all wished for death, even those who couldn’t articulate it. Aaron’s code would not permit it, unless he was attacked. Aiden still fights hard to stay on the path of Eldath, and was unwilling to take an innocent man’s life.

The stranger’s existence was unnatural, one of suffering and emptiness. He wished for peace and freedom… I obliged him. Aiden cast magic to let him sleep, and with one strike of my spear, I ended the strangers life. There was a moment I thought I heard his whispered relief…

I know I did the right thing. I simply wish I never must do it again. It brought back memories of Doran, somehow…

I digress. We didn’t explore every aspect of the catacombs possible; a portal had opened, and once we’d passed through closed behind us, locking us out. We had been teleported to the top of an ancient ruin in distant marshlands, seemingly unconnected with the place we just were.

It’s doubtful this is the last to be heard of that place; though we explored it no curse or spell was knowingly broken. I must get stronger before things get worse… perhaps that Druid I met by Boareskyr Bridge, Kern, will have some knowledge to share.

Welcome to the Sword Coast, Iolana….
Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:41 am

I’ve been getting spoiled lately; Aiden gifted me with an Amulet of Eldath. I’ve never been swayed by baubles and jewels but this pendant… even now it lays cool on my skin, soothing as the water of Eldath itself. I don’t remember treasuring a simple thing so much…

I’m glad he’s chosen to follow her path, and proud of his determination. Anything to give him a moment of peace… I know he’s far more trouble than he shares. He is always giving me things, I wonder if he still feels indebted to me… I hope not.

Aiden had also gifted me a curious sample of lichen, one that seems familiar from the south, if perhaps a little paler. I will leave some notes on it.

My other present was from Aaron; I think he worries for me after what happened in the crypt, and offered a wand that will cast spells to make me invisible. He insisted he had no use for it but… all the same… I couldn’t use it. I am determined now to master the skill and make myself able to control such magical items - something tells me this will be important to understand.

I am off to collect more herbs for the refugees.

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Since writing the above, I’ve happened across a series of unusual events!

It all started in the Hilltop ruins while I was gathering cavern moss. Readying myself to defend from what I thought was an imp but… it was a Pixie. I have never seen a Pixie before (images in books not withstanding) so it was a fascinating thing. He had a habit of speaking quite cryptically, but from what I could tell, he had been following me for some time. He knew my habits, that I study and sketch plants, and that I am a ‘green lady’. And he told me then of whisperings in the trees…

The Pixie asked me to travel to the “Uldoon Trail” and gather four rare plants, that their collection was important to the balance of nature. I was then to take them to the traders who deal with the refugees… the Rocky Creek Trade Company. It was all very unusual, and I could not discern much more from the Pixie… but how could I unravel this mystery if I did not investigate it?

It took me a while to remember my way to Greenest - I have since marked a tree there, that I may travel back quickly - and arriving there felt a little aimless. Where to start looking? How was I to know what I was looking for? Something out of place, something the murmuring of nature might guide me to… luckily, I happened across others who were on hunts of their own.

Mhel’gibh, or… Gears, as he asked to be called when I could not properly pronounce his name… claimed he was looking for quartz but as it turned out wanted to test a device. So, my curiosity about the device had to battle with my indignation at being lied to… Another was Miriel, a Sun Elf I believe, who happened upon us having heard of a caravan that thad been attacked. She was soon joined by two friends, Lou and Nilinor. So… a simple offer of help in exchange for help.

We found the caravan, but found them too late. It had been accosted by vermin… the victims have to my knowledge been laid to rest since. It was then Nilinor spotted an unusual clump of plants and alerted me to it; I knew upon looking that it was the right one. I can only hope that with the others, I will be so sure.

I did not keep with the group long after that, and kept scouting the grounds on my own, but came across nothing else. I might try again…

Well. I have had this sapling in my care for a while now and still have not much idea about its properties. Aiden brought me to Solomon, who I was meant to give this plant to… he was as unsure about the Pixie’s instructions, until recalling Queen Dharva had been in search of rare plants and apparently had asked him about them. And I realised I still have a horrible temper… ashamed now of my first reaction, I must say, but I really thought I had gone to all of that and uprooted a plant just to have it given to some Queen’s greenhouse-

That, fortunately, is not the case… both Aiden and Solomon insisted the Queen had the best intentions and is a good woman. All the same, I have decided to hold on to the sapling for now. It wants some water, but seems quite happy to live in a leaf-holder. Such dark red leaves for only a sapling… I wonder if it changes colour as it grows? It reminds me of something I saw in a book as a child, Dhat, I think it was.

I guess my next stop is to speak with Queen Dharva.


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Iolana Arele

LivT
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Murmers of Nature - Iolana's Journal

Unread post by LivT » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:40 am

I have a home…

It’s a strange feeling, I’ve not had a home for myself since leaving the mountains in Amn. I’d treated the world as my home, any tree or cave was a bed, but now… I am the Druid of Greenest. Should the title matter to me? Perhaps not… no, it’s not the title that I care about, it’s… I’ve been invited to be a part of that community, by the Mayor herself. The Uldoon trail is mine to protect, to care for, to nurture. It’s my home.

I’ll perhaps be working more with Solomon too, then. We’ve already begun to consider a plan for the health and prosperity of the lands. There is a tree, one I had gone to with him and Aiden, one we had to teleport to by a rune stone. One far south in the Cloud Peak mountains, high up in the snow. How I had never heard of this place before I do not know, but it was near impossible to tear myself away.

The tree there, at this highest point in a frozen mountain ridge, it grew as if placed in the richest fields under the brightest sun. It was huge, luminous, warm, it radiated life and energy. The tree was a gift from the Gods… and what had started as a pilgrimage began to change into a plan. Perhaps, if we are found worthy… perhaps this tree will bless us with a seed or sapling, and we might take it back to Greenest, let it grow and become a beacon of new life in that new settlement.

Perhaps.

But I doubt it will give something for nothing.

I will go back when I can, just to pray, to commune… otherwise, I continue to explore the Uldoon trail. There are a great many plants here, and I know the locals can make good use of them.

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Iolana Arele

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