- Posts: 55
- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Last Name: None
Height: 170 cm
Eyes: Dark Red
Hair: Bright red, long and straight.
Personality Profile: Edelgarde appears as a polite and modest person. She insists on calling everyone by tytle as she believes respect is due to everyone. She has a sharp mind and is fond of books and lore, since for her knowledge means freedom. Even at first glance she might appear boring and cold, she has a strong sense of humor and likes people's company. She hates unreasonable constriction, especially the taint of her blood. Thus, her moderate behavior is her way to defy that innate and wicked instinct. Edelgarde fears loneliness that's why her piglet familiar Betty always accompanies her. In order to hide her heavily scarred hands she never removes her gloves.
Deity: Deneir the scribe.
Initial Alignment: Chaotic Good
Profession: Candlekeep Acolyte
Base Class & Proposed Development: Wizard, Thaumaturge, Candlekeep adept
Habits/Hobbies: Reading, embroidering. Loves animals.
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Elven, Dwarven, Illuskan, Celestial, Draconinc, Arcane, Chondathan, Thorass
Weapon of Choice: light crossbow
Edelgarde was born in a small settlement near Neverwinter. Her parents are unknown and she was raised by an elderly woman she always considered her grandmother. Since early childhood she could feel the tug of her blood, pushing forward the most wicked and feral sides of her personality.
When Edelgarde was eight years old, her grandmother passed away. Due to her abyssal inheritance, nobody took her in and Edelgarde found herself living off scraps and sleeping on the streets. She knew beatings, starvation and cold.
One day, three of the local kids that liked to harass her took her doll. They dismembered it and dropped the now formless rags into a puddle. As she lost the last memory of her grandmother, the taint of her blood took control and she killed one of the kids. After that, she ran away fearing the reaction of the village.
Two days after, Lord Wilric Serebald, a noble mage from Neverwinter found her and took her in. He needed an assistant for his research that could handle dangerous and corrosive reagents and her innate resistance allowed her to do so unharmed. Most of the time.
She was well fed and cared for. Her master taught her manners and the basic spells she needed in order to aid him. However, the other servants avoided her and even her master seemed to barely notice her. Edelgarde soon found herself preferring the company of animals.
The years passed and she grew fond of books and knowledge. She felt that every notion and concept shaped her into a better creature, giving her the power to discern. Of course, the darkness was still there and the more it tried to pull her strings, the more she forced herself to live up to the values of civilization. Moderation, culture and knowledge defied the bestiality inside of her and, as she soon found out, defiance felt rather good.
As the years passed she realized that her master would always consider her inferior, so she started defying him as well. By stealing books forbidden to her she learnt how to summon creatures from other planes. She grew bolder and bolder. By observing her master for a long time, she memorized all his wards and protections and how to pass them unscathed. One night, while he was away, Edelgarde managed to sneak into his private quarters and discovered that his master's research was about a particular demon he was trying to summon and bind to his will.
Without thinking of the consequences, she destroyed his notes, stole his books and all the money she could carry. Then she fled the manor and catched the first ship for Baldurs Gate.
Goals: Help to stop the devils, knowledge, write a chronicle of the war.
Possible Plot-Hook Ideas and Misc Facts: Lord Sarebald is still around and most likely fuming.
- Posts: 55
- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Edelgarde kept repeating the spell in her mind, while walking the short distance to her destination.
The Lion's Way was lit by Selune's light. The quiet of the night disturbed only by the occasional chirping of a bombardier beatle.
Edelgarde looked over her shoulder for a moment, staring at the bulk of Candlekeep, a dark shadow in the star sprinkled sky.
She briefly considered going back to her quarters, but she immediately shook that thought off her mind and kept walking. Her tail and the hem of her black acolyte robes brushing on the wet grass.
She made her way through a small, thick patch of trees, her eyes still sharp even in the complete darkness, until she emerged in a small moonlit clearing.
With shaking hands and her heart pounding in her chest, she traced the calling diagram she had practiced so many times at the Keep.
The aseptic words of her Planar Lore book kept resonating ominously in her head:
If as much as an hair disturbs the lines of the calling diagram, the outsider will be free and may attack the conjurer.
She kept telling herself a celestial wouldn't chop her head off as first thing upon seeing her. Yet she couldn't completely sure something else would answer the call, could she?
What if her blood attracted a demon?
What if the Upper Planes refused to aid a demonspawn?
This and many other questions scratched at her resolve, while she inspected the newly traced diagram for any imperfection, until finally she forced them out.
With a deep breath, she tucked a strand of red hair behind her ear and started casting the spell. Although she had practiced the words and movements countless times, acting through them on the Weave still felt awkward and stiff.
It felt like cooking a dish for the first time, albeit one whose recipe she knew by heart. It was always like this when casting a spell for the first time.
This time though, she couldn't afford to make a mistake.
While the Weave unraveled around her, she could feel that weird sensation of getting closer and closer to "somewhere else" without moving one inch. And then, finally, she could feel them: the Outer Planes.
She felt the unspeakable evil of the Lower Planes and, with a sigh of relief, she realized it was out of reach for her.
She passed the shifting masses of Limbo, but didn't linger there. Instead, she grasped that faint feeling of peace and brightness, following it with her mind like a thread to the Upper Planes.
With a spike of panic, she realized this was the most important part. She felt the multitude of souls that populated that part of the realm moving and shifting.
She had just a few moments to make her choice.
Edelgarde reached for one of those bright points. Aided by the Weave, she made contact with the creature, who now had noticed her, conveying a simple request of aid.
She wasn't in immediate danger, but she needed aid nonetheless. The creature surely wouldn't mind this detail, would they?
The celestial accepted her call and Edelgarde shaped the Weave's tendrils, breaking through the planes.
The shape of a winged figure appeared inside the calling diagram, becoming more and more definite. Edelgarde observed her in awe, recognizing the creature as an Asura.
She looked like a tall woman in light armor. Her crimson, feathered wings were open, of the same color of her hair. She fell into a fighting stance, her scimitar alight with flames.
For a few moments, her glowing eyes darted around, looking for some hidden foe, then it rested on the calling diagram. Her expression changed from surprise to disappointment.
"What's the meaning of this?" she snapped, her gaze now locked on Edelgarde.
The acolyte stood for a few moments, unable to utter a word.
The speech she had prepared had fled her mind as fast as a hare would flee from a predator.
Finally, feeling the weight of that gaze, she started recalling a few bits and strands.
"Your... Grace..." she said with a dry mouth. "I would first of all convey my most sincere apologies for the sudden call, but unfortunately the situation is di..."
"Cut the crap, child" the Asura cut her mid-sentence. "It's not a hard question. Why. Am. I. In a calling diagram?"
"I... I am a Thaumaturge" said Edelgarde, fighting the urge of running back to Candlekeep. "It was all I could do... Forging a bond with a planar creature and fight the devils at Dragonspear Castle. I mean... look around... Gnolls, Ogres... And this is just the Lion's Way."
The Asura shrugged. "Let me see if I got it right, child. You want -me- to be bound to you?"
Edelgarde considered for a moment the implications of that question. At the back of her mind she still managed to feel surprised at being called "child" at the age of twenty-two. But, thinking of it, she must have looked like a child to an immortal creature.
"Yes. Would you be my Planar Cohort?" she asked, opting for an honest approach.
"No" said the creature bluntly. "Listen" she added. "I am not really fond of long term commitments, as I am not really fond of your kind."
Edelgarde lowered her gaze. Of course she would have said that and she was a fool to think otherwise.
"You mean demonspawns?" she asked rhetorically.
"I mean Conjurers" said the Asura. "Now I know this might sound quite shocking, but tieflings don't have the exclusive on wickedness. Although fiendish blood surely doesn't push you toward holiness."
"One foot in the grave and the other in the proverbial bar of soap" Edelgarde muttered, mostly to herself.
"What?" asked the Asura.
"Oh, nothing" said Edelgarde. "Just something my grandmother used to say."
"The demonic one?" asked the celestial.
"What?! No!" said Edelgarde flustered. "I am not even sure if we were blood related..."
"I was joking" the Asura cut her off, now a hint of amusement on her otherwise stern face. "Look, I know how these things go. You start all in awe and reverence when you summon for the first time. Then you get used to it, as if it was owed to you, until you start trowing angels at your foes as if they were fireballs."
"I can assure you, this is not my intention" said Edelgarde.
"Yes, sure. The road to Abyss is paved with good intentions. No offence" the Asura replied dryly. "Do you think I need your help to fight devils? Why would I?"
With a stab of panic, Edelgarde realised she didn't know nearly as much about Conjuration as she believed she did. One thing was laying a coat of oil from the Plane of Earth, another, completely different thing was dealing with a complex, intelligent being like a celestial. She felt like a child playing in her parents' garden.
"Wards!" she said, recalling her studies in a spark of clarity. Asuras preferred martial prowess over magic and very few of them were casters. "Most of the spells I know are wards. All together they could give you a great advantage."
The creature considered for a few moments. "That might be true, but still it doesn't make me trust you more."
Edelgarde asked herself if it was really over. What else could she do to gain her trust?
Then, her gaze rested on the calling diagram. How could she demand trust if she wasn't giving it in the first place? The prologue of her Conjuration book kept buzzing in her head, dryly enumerating the countless ways a celestial could terminate her life if they deemed her wicked.
Surprisingly, another part of her needed to know if there was hope for her as well. She stepped ahead and with her booted foot she scraped the lines of the diagram, breaking it.
The Asura froze in place, with a dumbfounded expression, but she didn't step out of the circle, nor she unsheathed her sword.
"Have you lost your mind?" she said with a frown.
"No. I just realized I can't demand trust to someone I am not trusting myself" Edelgarde said, holding the creature's bright gaze for the first time.
"Didn't they teach you at Conjuration school that breaking the circle is the best way to get yourself killed?" the creature snapped.
"Yes, but at this point, if a creature as wise and holy as a celestial decides I am evil beyond salvation the world is better off without me" said the acolyte, with a hint of sadness in her voice.
The Asura cracked a faint smile, the first one, sitting on the grass with her legs crossed. Her stern mask was slowly crumbling, replaced by a more serene expression. Edelgarde could read curiosity in it, but also something else. It was as if part of her desperately wanted to trust humankind again.
"Oh this is going to be interesting" she said with a long sigh. "Let us say I am willing to listen to you and I might tag along, for now. If anything, because you need someone to stop you from getting your head chopped off. However I want to know your story first. Start from the beginning and be honest. I will know if you are lying."
"So would a three years old" said Edelgarde. "No offence."
The Asura let out a small chuckle. "What is your name, child?"
"Oh. That was rude of me" said the acolyte, realizing she didn't introduce herself. Her grandmother would have been disappointed. "My name is Edelgarde."
"Good" said the Asura. "You may call me Jasnah. And please, no more Your Graces or similar nonsense. I am not an Astral Daeva. But you might have already noticed, since I wear clothes."
Edelgarde chuckled lightly, surprised by the sudden display of humor, and finally after taking a deep breath, she unraveled her story.
- Posts: 55
- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
The first memory that flourished on Edelgarde's mind was a simple one.
She was sitting on the wooden floor of her childhood house. Outside, the rain pelted the window shutters, turning the dirt roads of the small nameless village into rivers of mud.
Edelgarde's neck was craned toward the table, that, from her perspective, looked incredibly high. Like every other piece of furniture in the house it was very old but kept clean and in order.
Behind it, the curve and squat figure of her grandmother was kneading the dough for the bread. The sleeves of her smock, tucked in at the elbow, showed her tan wrinkled skin. A strand of grey hair that had escaped her headscarf was plastered to her forehead.
While her tail brushed the floor tail, Edelgarde's gaze was drawn to the woman's wooden pendant, etched with Ilmater's symbol, swinging in mesmerizing patterns.
Her stomach growled, but the bread was not yet ready. She stood and reached for the uncooked dough, but the elderly lady caught her small hand mid air.
"Not yet, Edy" she said. "Wait until it's baked."
Edelgarde sighed heavily and slumped on the floor again. Her empty stomach was upsetting her, just like the rain outside. It reminded her that the other children would have spent the following day playing with mud. She wanted to play too, but it wasn't allowed.
Why couldn't she play with them? Her grandmother said it was to protect her.
She couldn't help but think that if they disappeared she would have had the road all for herself.
Then she felt it.
That familiar sensation at the pit of her stomach, that slowly enveloped her completely, like a cloak of darkness.
That sensation suffocated every thing that was good, leaving only a cruel, irrational hatred. Hatred at the children, at her hunger, at everything else.
She just wanted to hurt, render, break and look at the result.
Then, she had enough and sprang to her feet. She marched toward the table, bare feet stomping on the floor. Then quickly grabbed an egg, too quickly for her grandmother to react, and smashed it on the floor.
She observed it in awe, wondering if a human being would break the same way.
At that point, she realized how wrong it was. Normal people didn't think things like that, did they?
She shut her eyes closed to send away that image, ready to count to ten, as her nan had taught her.
"Edelgarde!" the elderly lady's voice brought her back to reality. "Why did you do that? You know I work for that food."
Edelgarde just stared at her, not knowing what to say. The darkness had already started to retreat, leaving only loneliness and sadness like shells on a beach after a tidal wave.
"It's too dark" she said, unable to express with words the maelstrom she felt inside.
Her grandmother sighed, then cleaned the flour on her hand with a rag and sat on her rocking chair.
"Come here" she said, patting her lap.
Edelgarde jogged there, big tears running down her cheeks, and huddled on her woman's lap.
"You know what makes darkness shy away?" she said, patting the girl's short red hair.
"Light" she answered, now seeing reality around her a bit brighter. "But there was none earlier."
"You must find your own light" said her grandmother. "There will be moments when you won't find any light in you. But if you find light outside, if you keep it close, it will chase the darkness away."
"How do I find light?" the child asked.
"Now, that's easier than you think, Edy" said the elderly lady. "Just think of something you really, really like."
"That's easy!" Edelgarde said, her pitch high with excitement. "Story time!"
"Let's make a deal, then" said her grandmother, extending her had toward her. "If you behave, I will tell you a story. And if the darkness comes, just think of it and scare it away."
"You promise?" asked the little girl, shaking her hand.
"I promise" said her nan, nodding vigorously.
Now Edelgarde could almost feel it: that joy and expectation glowed like a small globe of light. She smiled, holding onto it. In that moment, she felt as if darkness couldn't reach her.
"Nan" she said with a sudden realization. "You make the light."
The elderly lady regarded her for a long moment, deep sadness clouding her green eyes. A sadness Edelgarde would only understand sixteen years after, while relating the story to a celestial on the Lion's Way.
It was the sadness of someone who knew that her time on Toril was running out. Someone who knew that she would take the light away with her.
"You know, there are many sources of light" she said finally. "You must find as many as you can. Now, story time. Do you like princesses?"
"I like the fairy godmother better" said Edelgarde. "She can do magic. I want to be a fairy godmother when I grow up."
Little she knew that two years from that day she would hear her last story.
"Did you manage to become a fairy godmother?" asked Jasnah, cocking her head on the side.
"Do I look like a fairy to you?" said Edelgarde, rising an eyebrow.
"You see" the Asura answered unfazed. "Being a fairy godmother is more about improving someone's day and less about having wings and being small. Besides you already use magic."
"I would make the weirdest fairy godmother Toril has ever seen" said Edelgarde.
"Nah. I have seen far weirder faes. Now carry on with your story. I believe you are way past bedtime" said Jasnah, clearly waiting for the tiefling's reaction.
Edelgarde opened her mouth to reply, but caught the hint of amusement in the eyes of the Asura and gave up, resuming her story.
- Posts: 55
- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Edelgarde shivered in the dark, huddled in the narrow space between two buildings. She was covered in mud and felt weak. How long had she been going without any food?
She clutched her rag doll in her hands: Betty was a present from her grandmother, given to her for her eight birthday, and now the last memory of her.
A cloudy morning of two months before, the elderly lady didn't wake up.
Edelgarde still saw her face when she closed her eyes, pale and stiff like wax. That made her feel extremely sad. This was not how she wanted to remember her.
Desperately she had called for help and it took her several tries to find someone who didn't shoo her away.
Shortly after she was watching the local priest mutter his prayers next to a coffin of splintered wood, that had been lowered down a freshly dug grave.
It hadn't felt real. Her mind refusing to acknowledge her grandmother was in there.
She was kicked out of her house and nobody wanted to take her in. For two months she had been living on the streets alone.
She could bear the hunger, feeding only on scraps, or the beatings of the other kids. It was loneliness, though, that threatened to overwhelm her. A dark maze with no way out.
So she clutched her doll, the memories it carried the only source of light.
Suddenly, she could hear quick steps scraping the dirt, before a shadow darkened her corner.
She craned her neck and met the familiar, hostile glares of a ragged group of kids. Instinctively, she curled to a ball to protect herself.
"Find your own light" she muttered with her eyes shut.
"The hell are you saying?" said one of the kids, clutching her shoulders and forcing her on her feet.
What was his name? No. She didn't want to remember, not even fourteen years after. It was easier this way.
"What is this?" he said, noticing the doll. "Is it some kind of fiendish thing? Is that how you curse people?"
Edelgarde didn't answer. She knew well that it would have been useless.
Suddenly, the kid grabbed her wrist and twisted it, trying to wrestle the doll free. The girl struggled to resist, but he was older and her arms, which had never been strong to begin with, were now weakened by hunger.
"Give it back!" she shouted.
But he just laughed and unraveled the rags, tossing them in a puddle.
Edelgarde froze in place, her eyes wide. The last sign left by her nan was no more. That kid had just erased her last memory, as if she had never existed.
The sudden realization hit her like a punch, snuffing out what little light she had left in her.
She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Darkness swallowed her from the inside and then... it became real.
Dark tendrils grew from her extended hands enveloping her and the group of kids.
The one directly in front of her took a step back, but stumbled on his feet and fell in the mud. He frantically looked around, feeling for his surrounding, and Edelgarde found herself smiling at the terror in his eyes.
She could see as easily as if it was broad daylight and immediately spotted the shard of a broken pot, forgotten in the dirt. She jumped and grabbed it, uncaring as it cut her finger.
She darted toward the kid, skidding behind him on her knees. In a moment that felt like an eternity, she surrounded his shoulders with her left arm and slit his throat. Warm blood drenched her arms while he thrashed weakly, before sliding limply to the ground.
Edelgarde didn't move. She couldn't tell how long she spent staring at the pool of blood widening under the boy's body.
It felt good. Until she realized that it shouldn't.
The darkness inside of her retreated with a snap, while that outside had already faded and the blood on her hands dried. In a spike of clarity she understood: by keeping her sheltered, her grandmother wasn't protecting her, but the rest of the village.
Her instinct took over and prompted her to move. She darted toward the woods and stopped only when she came across a small stream, trickling down the rocks. She washed the blood away, squatting in the icy water, before moving again. She walked toward a random direction for hours before acknowledging that she was lost.
Exhausted, Edelgarde sat with her back against a tree, holding her knees close to her chest. She listened, holding her breath. Any noise to her sounded like the howl of a feral creature ready to devour her.
Despite her fear, though, she soon fell into an agitated sleep.
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- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Edelgarde was covered in cuts and bruised, her body barely sustaining on berries and fruits.
She didn't sleep much. They were looking for her and she could hear voices in the distance every now and then, calling her name. When that happened, she hid in the thicket, remaining as still as possible.
She wasn't so naive to believe they wouldn't have killed her.
"How do you know she's here, my lord?" said the familiar voice of Jonas, one of the local farmers. "She might have gone back to Hell."
Edelgarde hid, holding her breath.
"That I seriously doubt" said an unknown voice. "She -is- here, somewhere."
Now she could see them. Jonas was talking to an unknown man. He wore fine, pristine clothes, his black hair and short trimmed beard were clean and perfectly groomed. He was holding his cape, preventing it from touching the soil, and walked carefully, as if afraid of soiling his polished boots. He held a worn, dirty rag pinched between his thumb and forefinger, as if trying to touch it as little as possible.
Edelgarde recognized it: what remained of Betty.
The man gladly gave the rag to Jonas for him to hold, then he started speaking in an unknown tongue, gesturing in an odd way. After a few moments, he stopped and quickly looked around. Finally, his gaze rested on the exact spot where she was hiding.
Edelgarde started shaking violently as he walked toward her.
Was he a mage? If he was, she had no chance of survival.
In a last, desperate attempt, she sprang into motion, running for her life, but Jonas was quicker and caught her in an iron grip.
"No more running, demon" said the portly man, tightening his grip, as she struggled and shouted helplessly. "Thank you for your help, my lord. Now we can free the village of this taint."
The other man ignored him and came closer, regarding her with his ice blue eyes. Light and shadows danced on his face, filtering through the canopy of trees.
"Now, child you have a choice" he said coldly. "When the good man lets you go you can run away, be captured and killed or starve in the woods for all I care. Or you can come with me. Do you understand?"
Edelgarde nodded once, a spark of hope in her eyes.
"But my lord" said Jonas insecurely. "She must be punished for what she did."
The lord regarded him with disdain and Edelgarde was sure she felt Jonas cowering.
"I am not insensitive to the tragedy that befell on you good folk" the lord said, fishing a heavy looking bag from his belonging and handling it to the man. "That's why I want to give my contribution, as small as it might be. I hope this will be of help in the days coming."
Jonas froze in place and slowly left Edelgarde go, his attention now completely absorbed by the purse. He tentatively took it and looked inside.
"That... is very generous, Lord Sarebald" said Jonas, his eyes widening in surprise. "We will follow your example and have mercy on the... child."
"Well, child, you made a wise choice in staying here" Lord Sarebald went back to Edelgarde. "You see, I could really use the help of one of your... kind. In exchange, I will see that you have food and shelter. And education, of course."
He didn't wait for an answer.
After nodding to Jonas, the two men walked away. Edelgarde immediately jogged after them and followed Lord Sarebald out of the woods.
"Now you know my secret..." said Edelgarde staring at the blades of grass under her. "There is darkness in me. This is what I have been fighting every single day. There is something wrong with me, no matter what I do."
"That there was something wrong with you" Jasnah said. "I had already figured out when you broke the calling diagram."
"Not that kind of wrong..." Edelgarde said, surprised at the unblinking reaction.
"At least you are putting up a fight" Jasnah said. "What's the merit of being on the top of a mountain that you've never climbed? Someone who's climbing but is still half way from the top has far more credit."
Edelgarde considered for a moment. She had never seen things from this point of view.
"Are you going to stare in contemplation much longer?" asked the Asura, interrupting her thoughts. "Just asking."
Edelgarde held a small chuckle and carried on with her story.
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- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Edelgarde stared at the brewing potion, observing the small bubbles raising to the top, the globe of light she had conjured casting a bluish light in the room.
Five years had passed since Lord Sarebald had taken her in, but it felt like a lifetime. She was no longer the ragged child lost in the woods.
Now she wore ladylike clothes, albeit simple ones, hiding her tail under the loose skirts. Her long hair was neatly braided and, of course, she was taught manners.
But it wasn't just appearance. She had also learnt how to read, write and basic numeracy skills.
She knew only easy cantrips, but it felt amazing regardless.
Only two things hadn't changed.
One was her loneliness. None of the servants had been openly hostile to her, but they ignored her most of the time, unless they were ordered to do otherwise. Even Lord Sarebald kept his interactions with her to a minimum.
And of course, her darkness was still with her. Since that day, her efforts to contain it had redoubled, but it was still there, at the back of her mind during the day and in her nightmares at night.
The hourglass on the table run out, marking the time to pour the acid in.
She took the bottle in her right hand, but it slipped across her sweaty palm. She pushed her left hand forward, in the attempt to catch it mid-air, but it only caused the content to spill on both her hands and forearms.
Good thing her skin was resistant to mild acids.
Pail flared across her hands and forearms.
Surprise left its place to horror, then pain fogged everything else. Her sight waned and finally, blackness surrounded her.
She woke up in bed.
Her hands and forearms were alight with pain and she didn't dare to move. When she mustered the courage to crane her neck, she could see that they were wrapped in several layers of white bandages.
A spike of panic hit her across the sea of pain. Would she be able to use her hands again? To hold a quill? Or cast any magic?
An unpleasant thought started crawling at the back of her mind: if even those things were taken from her, wasn't she better off dead?
A quick knock distracted her from her thoughts.
Lord Sarebald was standing at the door, his clothes impeccable and pristine as usual. Without waiting for an answer, he stepped into the room and dragged the only chair close to the bed before sitting.
"How are you feeling?" he asked, a slight frown on his brow.
"It hurts" she said in a whisper through her parched throat.
"I know, child" he said. "And believe me, if I could I would have already called a priest from one of the temples. But none of the holy gods would ever provide the power to heal someone of your kind."
Edelgarde didn't answer, feeling warm tears rolling down her cheeks.
"I know" he said opening his arms in resignation. "Not many would accept you. Not even the gods. Look at the bright side, child, you were lucky that one of those few found you."
Why then that bright side didn't look bright at all to her?
That familiar sense of loneliness came back to her, like a faithful hound. If even the gods had forsaken her, what was she left with? Lord Sarebald said he was one of the few who would accept her regardless. Yet that didn't make her feel any better.
"If that makes you feel any better" ha said, as if reading her mind."There is no better way to fight the evil in your body and soul. On my end, I will do what is in my power to find the one responsible."
"The one responsible?" asked Edelgarde, turning her head toward the man.
She had assumed it had been an accident, but she had been naive to believe so.
"It was intentional" said Lord Sarebald. "Someone replaced the content of the bottle with a stronger acid."
Before she could utter an answer, the man left the room, leaving her alone again in the dimly it room.
"Did you find the one responsible?" asked Jasnah, twenty-two years after.
"In a way" said Edelgarde. "There is no way one of the servants could have done it. They could barely read and write. None of them had the necessary notions. That leaves only one suspect. But I figured it out only recently."
"You think he did it?" asked Jasnah in disbelief. "Why?"
"To prove me everyone hated me." Edelgarde said dryly.. "Everyone except him."
"There are other ways to get someone's obedience that don't include acid" the Asura said.
"He wanted a pet" Edelgarde said grimly. "Someone who would waggle their tail for him, no matter what. And for me, it was the easiest thing to do."
The frown on Jasnah's brow deepened, then her gaze rested on the tiefling's gloves. "Those are to cover the scars, I guess."
Edelgarde just nodded.
"You could have those healed properly if you wish" she added. "What he said about the gods was a load of bullshit."
"I had figured that out a while ago" Edelgarde said with a scoff. "But I don't really want to bother a god for a few scars. My hands are still functional... just a bit stiff and itchy every now and then.
Jasnah just nodded and waited for her to resume her story.
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- Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:26 am
Edelgarde sat in the dusty cellar of the manor, observing the circle she had just traced. After deciding it looked passable, she opened her spellbook at the marked page, awkwardly holding it in her bandaged hands, and took a deep breath, resting her gaze on the circle again.
"Don't move, or you'll be bacon tonight" she said.
The piglet, resting inside the circle, regarded her with curious eyes, and Edelgarde couldn't help but ask herself how on Toril she ended up in that situation.
While recovering from her wounds she had been exempted from her duties, therefore she found herself wondering what to do with her time.
She spent most of her days reading any book she was allowed to take. The small, dim-lit room in the servant's quarters, where she had been spending the first days of her recovery, felt terribly oppressive, so she spent most of the day outside.
At first she enjoyed the time spent in the quiet and well cared gardens of the manor, but she quickly grew tired of them.
She relocated in the stables area, that also hosted the coops and pig pen, and found that she could spend hours just observing the animals.
After a few days, she mustered enough courage to interact with them as well. She was especially fond of pigs, as they were incredibly smart creatures. There was a pig sow who just gave birth to a number of piglets. She would have to scrub herself clean of the smell afterwards, but she enjoyed playing with them regardless. That earned her a few stares from the servants, but nobody approached her anyway.
One morning, Edelgarde found that the pigs weren't there anymore.
For a moment, she considered asking one of the servants, but she soon noticed the blood darkening the dirt in front of the empty pen.
She brought her bandaged hand to her mouth and slumped against the wall, tears running down her cheeks.
What did she expect? That they would have kept them as pets?
Edelgarde cursed herself for a fool, but she couldn't stop the darkness from boiling at the pit of her stomach.
Then, suddenly, she froze in place. Did she just hear a squeaky grunt? No. It was probably just in her head.
No matter what she told herself, she could still hear it, albeit barely.
With a sigh, she stood up on her feet and walked toward the nearby stable.
Now she could definitely hear something grunting and scratching at the wood, but she couldn't pinpoint the source, disturbed by the snorting of the horses.
Some more listening revealed that the noise came from underneath the floor. After all, there was an empty gap between the tiles and the ground.
She stumbled on a loose tile, the wood creaking under her foot.
Squatting on the wooden floor, Edelgarde could now hear a high pitched squeal. She smiled and lifted the tile, peaking underneath, heart drumming in her chest.
The small pink creature jumped out of the wedge she just opened and snuggled against her legs. Somehow, the piglet had managed to escape out of the pen, in the stable. It had then managed to squeeze under a lifted tile, trapping itself underneath.
Edelgarde lifted the piglet in her arms, noticing that it was a girl, and darted toward the main building, hiding her in the folds of her dress.
Luckily, nobody stopped her, as she took the less busy path. She entered one of the side corridors of the manor and stopped, catching her breath.
Edelgarde looked left and right, then pushed the cellar's door open with her shoulder. In a moment, after closing the door behind her with a push of her foot, she could feel her eyes adapting to darkness, outlining her surroundings perfectly at the expense of color brightness.
She forged ahead, randomly opening one of the doors that led to smaller rooms, where the wine was stored, hoping that the servant wouldn't choose to serve the wine kept in there for lunch.
Edelgarde paced back and forth for a while, unsure on what to do.
She wouldn't keep her there. They would find her sooner or later, but where could she hide her?
Finally, an idea struck her like a lightning bolt. Maybe she didn't have to hide her at all.
Twelve hours later, exhausted after completing the binding ritual, Edelgarde looked at her new familiar. Although the piglet still looked exactly the same, she could now feel a connection. It was mostly made of simple sensations at the back of her mind, like hunger or boredom, but that somehow made her feel less lonely.
"You will be Betty, from now on" Edelgarde said solemnly. "Hopefully you will be luckier than your homonym".