.:| Quote |:.
"In darkness, no one sees you bleed or cry..."
-- Kierath Ranamor
.:| Vornae Proverbs |:.
"I no naka no kawazu taikai o shirazu."
A frog in a well does not know the great sea.
"Ame futte chi katamaru"
After the rain, earth hardens
.:| Libraries |:.
March 31, 606 ER Gather - Harlan's Glen, Greyhelm
I arrived this evening at the outpost in Harlan's Glen and was directed to the cottage that had been set aside for Sinai and the Dancers. Finding myself the first person in the cottage, I selected one of the lower bunks beside the door for myself and began unpacking my gear and equipment. I had time to do all of this and look back over my journal and some of the letters I had brought before Sinai and Simon arrived, along with news that Travador and Gren would not be in attendance.
Sinai and I soon walked up to the tavern, and it was not long before trouble found us. Bargle the Mad sent a number of his golems to attack the outpost. These golems were nothing like what I have experienced before, ranging widely in both construction and in capabilities, and my weapon blows were largely ineffective against them. In the end, however, everyone pulled together and we were able to repel the threat.
Dame Miranda caused quite a stir when she announced that she was leaving Carak in charge of the town for the weekend and that only an extremely limited number of people would be invested into the two circles. Quite a number of people were upset when she only allowed Sinai and Carak to be invested into the celestial circle, even though they were highly skilled formalists. Sinai tried to argue to have them invested as well, but Carak seemed to want nothing to do with the thought.
Throughout the night there were also several sightings of what were dubbed shadow cats. They exhibited some characteristics in common with pantherghasts, but could be affected by anyone and only paralyzed their prey rather than draining the life force... For some reason, these cats seemed to be focusing primarily on the few hoblings that were in town...
I awoke in time to join Simon up at the tavern for breakfast, though I only had some juice. For some reason, even though I had not eaten since early the evening before, I did not feel hungry. A band of gypsy merchants came in before noon to sell their wares and buy any items we did not have use of. Their prices on some things were a little high, but I did purchase a cantrip tome along with selling some parchment and other items I had acquired.
For the most part, the morning and early afternoon passed by rather slowly. Swarms of giant wasps and some walking plant beings attacked the area, but these were all handled without much difficulty. Eventually, Sinai and Du'Kratha came and joined the rest of us at the tavern, and both seemed to be in quite a good mood.
As the early afternoon passed, there was talk of an expedition into the woods. Apparently a barbarian spirit guardian that they had dealt with in the past had become corrupted, and his former tribesmen were asking for help from Carak in aiding him. It took several hours for Carak to gather up everyone present, but finally we set off into the forest following his lead.
As we entered the forest, I began to sense something was very wrong. I felt a growing sense of dread and wrongness as we walked, and it seemed as if we were traveling in circles. People were beginning to grumble about Carak's leadership when we came across a large willow tree that, unlike the rest of the forest, did not appear to be tainted by chaos. Before we moved on, Lucien tried to talk to it and got beaten to the ground twice for his efforts, much to the amusement of several people. Pressing onward, we then came to a cave, which Du'Kratha said he recognized, though he was perplexed by how it could be in this forest when it should have been several days of travel from our location. Upon seeing the spiders guarding the cave, however, he charged them. After several minutes, Sinai was finally able to get him to withdraw so that we could continue onward.
A short distance further, we spotted a unicorn. It ran off down a different path than the one Carak was leading us down, but the sounds of combat coming from those who turned to follow convinced Carak to change course and follow it. As Sinai, Du'Kratha, and I reached the site of the fighting the unicorn was nowhere to be seen, but we saw the spirit guardian tainted by chaos and held by vines to a Tree of Life that was also tainted. The earth casters set about to trying to purify the tree and the surrounding land while the rest of us held off the attacks of chaos beasts. Eventually they seemed to succeed enough to force the chaos taint back, but the tree was far from safe and in the process Du'Kratha and Lucien had been momentarily tainted. Sinai asked the tree for an acorn with which to plant a new tree, and received one, but Lucien and others managed to talk her out of destroying the existing tree before we left. As both Sinai and I argued, a Tree of Life won't drop an acorn unless it feels it is soon to die, so it was essentially asking us to do this&
Upon returning to town, Douglas shared with us some documents that they had retrieved from an ancient city while we were dealing with the Tree of Life. There was a journal, an alchemy book, and some other parchments that needed translation. I looked over the alchemy book with interest, and he entrusted them all to Sinai for safe keeping. A short time later, Sinai, Du'Kratha, and I returned to our cottage to secure the documents and to discuss some private matters from the other lands we travel to.
While we were there, however, a plant being walked up to the cottage to tell us that our friends were dying. When we looked outside, we did indeed see and hear signs of combat. After a brief discussion, the three of us made our way first to the guildhall and then onward into the fray. The battle was quite chaotic and a number of the key healers were strangely absent. The three of us stuck together quite well, but we were repeatedly cut off from the main force as the plants utilized very sound tactics. At one point, I even offered up my surrender in order to leave the field and rescue Sinai before she bled out and dissipated. Eventually, we managed to turn back the attack and made our way to the tavern. It was there we learned that Cassanova had resurrected during the fight, and that in doing so part of his spirit had gone missing.
The next few hours, including feast, came and went rather quietly. Karahna danced during the feast, and I had an interesting discussion with Sinai about how comfortable I had been around her and Du'Kratha. It was enough that it had made me wonder if my parents had merely adopted me, and even further if perhaps I had not even been born human. Sinai agreed that this might explain several things about me. It is something I will definitely have to investigate further.
As the night wore on, the peace was shattered by the formation of a large chaos pool in town. There were numerous chaos creatures, as well as the spirit guardian again tainted, a chaos tainted unicorn, and some powerful undead. We were all backed into the tavern, and at one point both Sinai and myself were dragged into the chaos pool and transformed for a time, as were many others. It took several hours, but eventually the chaos taint was turned back and things returned to normal.
Following the fighting, Sinai walked me through serving tea, though not in the fully traditional manner, for herself, Du'Kratha, Simon, Carak, and Douglas. We sat around talking of culture and our homelands, which ended up bringing up a lot of painful memories. Sinai noticed my discomfort, but was kind enough not to bring it up in front of others. The tea service went well, though, and Sinai complimented me on how well I did. The cheesecake was also quite delicious.