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Author Topic: A Family Legacy ; Katrien  (Read 4528 times)

minerva

Kindred Spirit?
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2005, 07:40:00 pm »
Kindred Spirit?
   *Quickly scribbled words and notes fill a few pages.  Most importantly is the following*
   There is another… someone who can feel the harmony around us, who can hear the song of the blades of grass, the lyrics of the wind…  Finally I have met someone who can understand.  Connor advises caution but I must explore this.  She invited me for tea…I think I will take her up on that offer.
 
   

   
 

minerva

Dreams or Illusions
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2005, 07:43:00 pm »
Dreams or Illusions?
   Once again a trip to the Arcane tower.  This time they were at least a bit friendlier.  The trip was for your Uncle Connor’s sake, I was there I suppose for support, though I think that was for naught.  A test of the skills the tower had set him to learn was why we went; to see if he could do it, and to convince the final grandmaster to aid us.  What I saw … or what I think I saw was almost too horrific to repeat.  Only by a hair’s breath did he pass the test.  The effect was *blot*…..
   I saw you, my child, in infancy, as a young girl, and finally as a woman.  I saw you take a blade to me… I saw the Alata, Liyalai, and Lindale… the dragons were there… Navarre, Veldrin… your uncle’s hand maimed…  It must have been a nightmare… Connor assures me it was illusion. 
 
   
 

minerva

Blade in the Dark
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2005, 07:44:00 pm »
Blade in the Dark
   Back to those underground caverns once again; this time to aid in the search for a blade. I believe I heard it called the Shadow Blade.   The way was marred at every step by Drow.   *large pause in the writing* At least these Drow did not seem interested in your Uncle or myself, just stopping the party from reaching some ruined dwarvan city.  The battle was well fought, but in the end the plans seemed to be foiled, and some ritual thwarted.  It was on the way back … back to Arabel that I found it.
  Near the body of one of the fallen, was a short sword.  It seemed to crackle with energy.  I carefully picked it up and placed it in my pack.  I must try to find out more about it, it seems too fine a weapon to be on just any Drow.  Sadly there was no time to examine the corpses near by. Perhaps Lar…..
 
   
 

minerva

Bittersweet
« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2005, 11:28:00 am »
Bittersweet
 
  The lights in the house are darkened and Katrien sits quietly on her sitting room couch, a bundle in her arms.  Her face is pale from exhaustion and her eyes red with tears as she lovingly gazes down at the dark face of an infant.
  The baby’s face is relaxed in sleep and from this vantage one can see how truly unique she is.  Her skin is dark like that of her father, but not the same deep obsidian, rather a pleasing dark grey, that shows promise of changing over time.  A shock of her mother’s auburn hair frames her elven like features, but it is her eyes that are most startling.  Lacking the milky blue eyes of most human infants, Lisse’s eyes are a deep forest green, with just a hint of Drow violet/red at the outer rims of the irises.  This baby also lacks the restless ferocity of her Drow counterparts as she serenely slumbers in her mother’s arms.
  A soft rap at the door brings Katrien out of her musing. She gently lays Lisse in the centre of her bed and pads barefoot to the door admit her friend into the empty house.   She swings the door open to find a helmed and cloaked figure on the stoop and beckons the figure to enter.  The sky outside is unnaturally dark and foreboding.  Quickly the figure surveys the shadows for watchers, and slips into the open doorway.   Katrien returns to her room, visitor close behind.
  She once again gathers the sleeping child in her arms and settles on the sofa to hold her baby, a quiet lullaby slipping effortless from her lips.
  The figure watches the scene from her place in the shadow.  She clears her throat.  “Henri’s message was quite clear that I should come immediately”
  Katrien looks up from her song, anguish evident in her features.  “You, my friend are one of few I trust.”  Tenderly she strokes Lisse’s face.  “Not even Lar can I trust with his own daughter.  If the council were to find a way to purge him like Veldrin, Lisse would stand no chance.”  A small tear slides down her face.  “He is not even aware of her birth, which I think may be for the best.  Tomorrow I set out to Arabel.  Connor and Kobal have asked me to join them in some venture.  I cannot take her with me, so my dear friend, as one mother to another I entrust you with her care”
 
  A husky voice returns from the shadows.  “I see.”  The light metal helmet hides what ever expression the bearer might have.  “Katrien, my friend I will do as you ask, but even I might fail to keep her safe.  I have little skills in subterfuge and stealth.  My strength is with the blade, not the shadows.  Will you not at least consider the protection Voltrex has offered?”
  Katrien tips her head slightly to the writing desk, motioning with her chin for the top drawer to be opened.  The figure removes an armored gauntlet and deftly works the latch to slide open the drawer.  Inside on the top of a stack of parchment lay several folded letters.  One is addressed to the Speaker of Nature.
  The hand removes all the letters and holds them up as in question.  Katrien silently nods her head in confirmation.  The figure scans the names on the others, nodding approvingly to her before tucking them into a pocket.
  Katrien sings softly to her baby and for a time it is only the sounds of her voice that can be heard echoing the empty halls of the house.  The song is sweet and lilting, very fey in its nature.  It seems to warms the air like spring sunshine and one could imagine the accompaniment of songbirds.  The infant stirs slightly in her slumber and tiny fists reach out from the blankets toward her mother.   The figure smiles as Katrien feeds the hungry child.
  “So I am to present her to the Tower only as a last resort then, if I feel I cannot protect her?”  Katrien nods in acknowledgment of her friend’s question, before replying.  “I do no want my child raised in the joyless atmosphere I found there.  Voltrex was beautiful, but I found the towers quite harsh and unyielding.” She continues. “Jharl will aid you, but more importantly, he has arcane abilities and is touched by the harmony of life.  He can sing to her, help her with her gift of sound.  The others I named will also assist you should they be needed.”
  The figure nods at her words, then almost hesitantly asks “And what of Lar?  What am I to tell him should he seek me or the girl?”
  Katrien laughs a little.  “Lar seek you?  He is not aware his daughter is no longer in my womb.  To him I am off on another of my grand adventures.  He’ll be more dismayed that I had the kitchen dismantled than I am no longer here to warm his bed.”
 
  The figure frowns and asks.  “When do you expect to be back from your … grand adventure…?”
  It’s Katrien’s turn to frown as she replies “Connor did not say what we doing; only that it was important.  Our last outings have taken us to the Underdark, and I fear it is there we will be returning.”
  “Underdark. You hand me your child to protect from the Drow, yet you plunge willing headlong into their tunnels.  I don’t understand you Katrien”
  Katrien lays the now satisfied child on the bed and proceeds to change her as she answers her friend.   “Someday you will, my friend, someday.  I would expect you of all people to understand what a world ruled by Bloodstone would be like, given your … circumstances”
  The figure squirms a bit and rises to hand her friend some powdered chalk from the table.  “My family is petty and weak; they will rise to whatever banner they feel with benefit them the most. Kensing is a fool, my father and brothers as well.”
  No more is mentioned as the two settle into the comfortable rhythm of friendship.  At some point in the night they sleep and at the first signs of dawn, Katrien rises and feeds her daughter. She gathers a few things and quietly takes them outside to load them onto Fred’s back.   Tucked into the collection of baby items is a small book and wooden flute.  Her friend watches from the door, as Katrien grooms and feeds the ox, all the while singing softly to it.  The lumbering beast seems to be at ease.  Wordlessly Katrien slips back into the house, and gathers her packs and supplies.  Amazingly she has altered her dresses so that her form still appears with child.
  With a hint of amusement in her voice the friend jokes “Katrien, your skill with needle and thread is amazing, but are you sure that is necessary?” She motions to the dress alterations.  Katrien smiles in response.  “You know as well as I that men see what they want, and if Connor, Kobal and the others think I am still with child it will avoid any unwelcome questions. It was not that difficult to make with cotton and the new silk padding I discovered.  Hopefully we will not be gone long enough for my ruse to be discovered.  Connor I think would like to see his niece.”
  Katrien gathers the last of her things and extinguishes the hearth.  The two friends step into the now bright dawn and Katrien locks the house behind her. She gives a satisfied sigh.  “Emily was beginning to harass me for making this place a home instead of a shell of a building.  She’ll likely be pleased now that it is mostly empty once more.”
   The two move off down the empty Krandor streets; Katrien with Lisse’ in her arms, and her friend beside her with Fred’s lead.  They travel past the Shifters tower and follow the safe paths to Fort Hope.  The pair travel almost wordlessly except for Katrien’s singing.  Her melodies safely envelop them, and eventually they reach the great walls surrounding Port Hampshire.   Night creeps into the city as they step out onto the docks.  Katrien reluctantly hands her daughter into her friend’s arms.  Tears flow freely down her face.
  Her finger part the soft blanket covering the baby’s face as she leans to kiss her daughter’s cheek tenderly.   “ E ceela aey Lisse’, illa liystir illa E ceela aeum oilanam.  Quilnyaa amecc coon iloanam aey amacc.  Lucinda illw Az’atta amilannyir eelam aey illa amacc.  Io E wel’an maanyml, Seek the Magic”   With that she kisses her friend's cheek and hands her another letter.  Shoulders slumped she boards the ship, her face wet and crumpled with anguish.
     
     
     
 

minerva

Trapped 1
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2005, 08:15:00 am »
Trapped 1
 
  *Firelight flickers around the expansive cavern. In the distance a looming monument can be seen and not far from, a milling of forms.   The bodies of Remiel and Reventage lay not far from where they fell at the foot of that great temple structure.  Around them, keeping watch and saying prayers are a number of the party members.  Katrien sits huddled next to the fire, a warm blanket over her as she writes in a journal.*[/i]
 
  The dark.  It is so dark and the air feels like it has not been breathed in thousands of years.  Creatures unknown to me walk these jagged tunnels and the climbing.  Never before have I climbed so many ropes.  My hands are barely protected by my gloves, but it is my body that pays the toll.  It feels empty, incomplete without Lisse’s heartbeat in tandem with mine.  I carried her for so long she was indeed one with me.  What have I done?  I may never see the light of day again.  I may never see my daughter again.  Is this what happened to you Poppa?   I told Lisse to seek the magic should I not return.  I don’t know why I said that, it just seemed right at the time.  Are you somewhere alive, but unable to find your way back to me… to us?
        I feel guilty for not telling Connor and Kobal of Lisse’s birth.  Perhaps since we are trapped down here I could tell them, but I think it would add to their worry. In some ways it is good that Lisse’ is not with me.  If this place becomes my tomb it will not be hers.  She will have a chance at life if mine ends here.
        I look around at the fine company I travel with, and I feel humbled.  All I can contribute is my song.  My arrows bounce off these creatures like pebbles against a marble statue.  Surrounded by fine healers blessed by their gods, my meager skills seem almost trivial, but still I suppose it helps.  Connor seems to be in his element as I watch him send forth magic against these creatures.  Poppa perhaps I should have studied harder and followed the path of the mage you wanted for me.  Stuffy towers and dusty books seem to have more of an appeal now than they did so many years ago.  But I suppose my love for old tales; ancient runes and obscure bits of history don’t really count in a mage’s repertoire of weaves.
       My song… *blot on the page*   More and more of Mother’s music can I remember now.  It grows not only in numbers but in the conviction and strength I can send in my words.  Now that I am a mother myself I find my thoughts drifting more and more to her.  My only real memories are those that Veldrin stirred that day.  I cannot get past the block in my mind that lets the music out but keeps her memory within.   Before I left for this tomb I left a piece of Mother’s music with another.  I left Jharl a copy of the chant I found in the Legacy.  The chant that weakens and, if done with enough skill, kills.  I know from my gift that sound is for creation, but part of the process is the return.  I cannot be there to protect Lisse’, but maybe in some small measure the chant will.  Jharl seems sensible enough to use the power wisely.
     
     
 

minerva

Trapped 2
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2005, 08:21:00 am »
Trapped 2
  [/i]
  *Again Katrien is curled under warm blanket and set a bit apart from the group as she writes in her journal by firelight.  This time it is not a cavern she sits in, but instead a rough camp has been made in an ancient hall.  Hewn stone walls and floors, dusty, dirty and still very dark*[/i]
  [/i]
  The mystery of this place seems unending. Remiel and Reventage have returned to us through the power Plen channels.  They said this death was different that ones they had experience in the path.  I’m glad I haven’t passed this world enough to have a firm feeling on what it should feel like.  They mentioned seeing a city, then of being yanked back to reality.  The also mentioned a cold red eye… the eye being the cause of their demise and perhaps what those wards on he hill mean as to a watcher.  Before us stood a door, sturdily made and from what Kobal could tell… the passage beyond…ancient.  Across that wretched lake was a cave.  Plen flew across for a look and returned trembling.  If whatever was over there scared the feathers out of Plen you could bet I wasn’t about to agree we head in that direction.  Through the doors and down ancient tunnels we went. Almost as if being dragged along by some unseen force.
  Is this a prison?  We came upon the diary of one who came before us. It told of attempts to escape, of portals and choices.  Why was that one here… by accident as us, or placed in this maze?  If this was their prison, what crime must they have committed? Would a prison contain an almost magical forest, colonized by strange beasts, and forested in magnificent trees of mahogany and wondrously, yew? The forest and the lake were a welcome break from the stale air and dark rock tunnels. I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer to study the land.  It also seemed to put Connor in a pensive mood.  I’ve not told him or Kobal about Lisse’ and so far my ruse has worked.  I miss her.
  Trapped in this place… no apparent way out… and my Ceela and daughter so far away.  My heart aches so much when I think about them.  I think of all they are missing with each other and how much I am missing with them.  It was never my intent to be away so long. I week or two I had thought.  Now it is months.  My daughter will have changed and grown so much when I get home…If I get home.  Was I wrong to place her in the care of friends and not her father?  He too is missing a time in her life that can never be revisited.  Was I wrong?  Or is Lar following cold trails in the dark searching for me since I did not return when I said.   Indeed is anyone searching for us?
     
     
 

minerva

Freedom
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2005, 06:00:00 am »
Freedom.
  The sky, the wind and the warmth of the sun.  How much I missed these things.  Funny, in the many times I traveled to Orlist Orbinn with Lar I never craved the light and warmth of sunshine.  Some of out trips there took months as well.  I guess I knew I would return home and I had Ceela with me to keep me warm. 
  Ceela… Lar… How do I face him?  How do I explain to Connor… to Kobal…?
  I didn’t know we’d be trapped in that maze for months on end.   I did it so they would not worry…and now it seems to have backfired on me.   Connors’s face was murderous when he discovered my ruse.  Thankfully there was no time to talk about it and he avoided me.   The entire time we spent in that strange abyss… with the voices… he did not seek me out.  He gave me no chance to explain… and I … well upon our strange arrival in Arabel…  I took the first ship I could find to get home.
  Henri I dispatched with a note for Jacee.  The Captain assures me the trip will take no more than 10 days and we sail directly to Port Hampshire instead of docking in Karthy.   Jacee… Lisse’… Please Lucinda let them be safe.   She risked much taking my daughter in.  I only hope I can repay her in someway for this.
  Lisse… how she must have grown… what does she look like … does she favor Lar or me or is she unique in looks.  Does she have the gifts?  Part of me hopes that she is blessed by the Tol, but other hopes it has passed her by so that she is safe from the both elves…dark and Voltrex.
  What of Voltrex… did Jacee have to go?  Do I now have to plead for my daughter back.  I hope not .  Still if there was trouble I told her to seek aid at the Tower.  Seteece and Gloin would help I am sure of it.  They could rouse a fighting force from within their guilds to shame a small army if necessary. Jharl… my once apprentice and now friend, I hope he is channeling that natural ability of his into songs for my daughter.
  Ten days… by my count we should be in within sight of land by tomorrow.  All will be known… tomorrow.
 

minerva

Homecoming
« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2005, 06:09:00 am »
Homecoming
 
  *slowly rocking in a chair, Katrien sings to Lisse’.  The room is small and homey, filled with the sounds of family.  Jacee is half listening to the song as she works on honing the day’s nicks out of her blade.  Jharl is absently composing music to her song on his mandolin while Connor sits in discussion with the master of this house.  The feeling is that of fellowship.  If you were close enough you would hear*


 
  May Lucinda watch over you today,
May sunlight forever shine upon your face,
May you always be in the path of an angel's flight,
May sweet dreams flow through your mind every night,
May the world come to realize the greatness of your life,
May you overcome obstacles, hardship and strife,
May you wisely learn from all of your mistakes,
May love re-enter your heart in the event that it breaks,
May you never be taken advantage of by anyone,
May you always finish all that you've begun,
May each day find you with a smile,
May your time on the land be spent worthwhile,
May you be blessed to find true happiness within,
May you conquer each loss with a glorious win,
May all of your deepest dreams come true,
May you realize just how much we all care for you.
  (Based on the work of Jennilyn)
       
     
 

minerva

A Voice from Fort Hope
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2005, 07:47:00 am »
*sits carefully on the chair and pulls a beautiful violin and bow.  Sits them beside her and takes out a small silver flute. She begins:*
 
  A seemingly straightforward task; find the source of the earth tremors and the unnatural darkening of the sky.  This is what Xora and the Striker of Fear asked of the group of adventures meeting in Arabel on that fateful day. It did not seem too great an undertaking to explore the rumored origins of this disturbance, the area of the Viper’s cave, as this group had been there before on a few occasions.
  What happen though was far from straightforward.
 
  *takes up the violin and bow and begins to draw notes. At first they are light and pleasant, friendly and chatting but continue to something deeper, darker an almost rumbling tone*
 
  The first clue that all was not well was the sightings of Black Wizards along the roads to Shadison’s lair.  The wizards did not speak, but merely watched the troupe pass by.  It spoke of ominous beginnings, as did the continual rumblings of the ground under their feet.  Brave they were, or perhaps foolish, to enter a cave with the earth so unstable.  Enter they did. The consequence was the floor giving way, dumping them deep with a system of even more caves.
 
   * The notes crack as if to sound the earth opening up to swallow the adventures*
 
  No way back … the passage sealed in the tremors.  The adventures were trapped.  Was it by fate that this had happened or perhaps…design?
 
  *She pauses, and takes up the flute.  The notes are cool and hollow sounding as in echoes of the walls of dark caves. As the note drift to the crowd, she tips the flute away and continues*
 
  Barred from going back, forward they went. Forward and down.  For they found that deeper into the ground was the path they must follow going down in hopes of eventually finding a way back up. Caves that were eerily deserted trembled under their feet.  Land slides separated them and exposed veins of wondrous ore.
 
  *Again, up goes the flute and the notes become chattery and strained with hints of discord, still pleasant to the ear, but with undercurrents of strain*
 
   Tempers and patience were taxed as they made their way along the dark tunnels.  Then a turn of events… One shaft repelled down had its exit in none other than the infamous Underdark.  The Underdark may well be a warren of caverns, but it had known exits to the surface. Salvation it seems was found. Nothing is as it seems though.
 
  *lays down the flute and takes the violin and bow again.  The music is dark  and ominous.  The notes pacing slowly as winding their way down dark tunnels only to rise in the fever pitch of battle and fall way to begin again.*
 
  The troupe wandered aimlessly along in the Underdark, battling Drow scouting parties and growing weary.  Then, the group under siege from Drow, their backs to a deep rift in the earth… a discovery was made.  A rope…their rope perhaps? A rope used to descend into dwarven halls and retrieve pieces of the legendary Shadow Artifact not so long ago? 
 
  It seemed a sign… but, the quakes had rocked the ever-changing Underdark as well.  Would the rope still lead to its known destination or elsewhere? Two were sent to investigate while the others held off the onslaught of Drow.  Time passed… They did not return… Was the signal to descend missed in the battle or had something foul happened to them?  Danger present on both sides: the known Underdark, and the unknown rift with two friends missing.
 
   *the notes now turn to that of a climb, careful repelling, hands over hands, hands occasionally offering aid. The notes becoming deeper as the climb goes ever on*
 
   A choice to be made, thus down they climbed. Down in to a seemly ancient cavern. The air cold and stale and, when a hand was reached up, magical barrier…   Trapped once more.
 
  *The notes are somber now but still they maintain an air of wonder.  Undercurrents of excitement and adventure are mixed with strands of uncertainty*
 
   Now one might think that a predicament such as this would zap the morale of band of travelers.  A simple task at the start had turned to a monumental one.
  They were trapped in ancient caverns with no idea how to get out.  Yes, it would drain the spirits of most, but this group was not most.  Among them were some of Layonara’s most seasoned adventures and, truth be told, the mystery of the caverns far outpaced the worries of impending doom.  It was a good thing too, since impending doom seemed to lurk around corners in this place.
 
   *Once more the tune turns to that of exploration, rising and falling in chords of seeming chaos only to even into melodies of fellowship and trust.*
 
   There were strange murderous creatures and powerful elementals to battle, frightfully narrow and treacherous passed to traverse.  Strange sights as well.  A magic portal was found.  Those gifted in the ways of the weave determined that it lead not out…., but IN to this mysterious place. 
 
  * Notes dark and heavy fill the air, the tempo that of a creeping doom.  A dark undercurrent ripples as they spill from the violin as she plays and continues* 
 
  Their explorations at last lead them to deep cavern cut in half by a black lake.  Fed from a glistening waterfall high in the wall, a deep crevasse had formed into a lake.  Structures made by hands, not nature were present.  A bridge, old and broken spanned the gorge.  On the other side pillars inscribed with odd runes an emanating ancient weaves of divination.  A steep descent led to the valley floor and remains of temple; a temple so radiating evil that single glance upon its stones kills.   Across the black lake, veiled in mist a cave also warded with rune stones and home to a malevolent presence.  Carved into the wall and placed by dwarven hands stood a massive door.  A door warded heavily, but by whom?
  Again a choice: known evil in the cave or the unknown behind the doors.  Our party of friends cleared the many locks and traps that ventured once again into the unknown.
 
  *the feeling of doom eases as the melody becomes almost magnetic, inviting you forward, teasing you to follow along as is lead by an invisible string.  Punctuated within the harmonies are the small mechanical sounds of mechanisms released and a hint of both uncertainty and tiny eddies of discord*
 
  Drawn by an inexplicable force they pressed forward and ever downward.  The way marred by traps until they were faced with a towering obelisk ringed with kneeling statues, statues that had once been alive. The alien object radiated weaves of teleportation to those who could sense such things.   Not only were our travelers trapped, but also the restless souls of shadows patrolled the halls. One such shadow was found trapped in the facets and heart of a brilliant diamond.
   The diamond was found paired with a book in crumbling sarcophagus. The book spoke of many things, forests and rivers, trials and failures and of hope. Many things to ponder as the band wound their way through narrow halls to emerge into nature.
 
  * Again, she takes up the flute.  The sounds of nature spring forth, wind rustling leaves, water dancing merrily over pebbles in a stream. The warm as spring sunshine after a cold winter, the mood light and airy but with still the background of weariness lifted somewhat. Letting the notes drift away, the tale begins anew*
 
  Nature preserved an ungodly distance below the surface.  Devoid of sunlight and crowned in a magical sky, a forest appeared out of rock.  A forest that time had somehow forgotten. Or had it? 
  After months of dark halls, even magical sunshine seemed a blessing. Foraging through the forest yielded encounters with yet more inexplicable beasts and plants and the discovery of a ruined tower reaching into an opening in the rocks. The tower proved to be a means of escape form this paradise lost, for however beautiful it was, it was the not the warmth of home and hearth than months underground had them craving for. A climb up this time instead of down, a step in a new direction and a step into yet another set of choices.
 
   *She tips the flute up and this time the notes spring forth spritely. The seem to march forward as if seeking, and then abruptly pull back on themselves only to begin again. The pattern repeats several times in slightly different variations and as it goes forth you begin to sense a current of frustration. Now and then small spikes of satisfaction interweave within the notes, as do chords of chaos and discontent.  Finally the melody builds to a sense of wonder, then it gathers it strands and unites, turning to a conclusion*
 
   Warrens of tunnels ending in lights: the decisions of which to take and which to leave. The leadership and cement of the groups sorely taxed, yet somehow they managed. They managed to solve the riddle if the lights and step into the proper one for it was that light that would lead them forward.  Forward to more traps, forward to more tests.  The puzzles it seemed were designed to test not only the mental capabilities, but the resolve and fellowship of the group as well. And riddle and puzzle they passed.  The passed the halls of levers that had them hoarse with shouting and nerves frayed to very core. The passed the web of tiles which depleted their linguistics skills. Onward to a block of cells where the fate of all could be decided by one.  Each leaving that hall with the foreboding sense that they had very near missed disaster.  Their captors proved to have a twisted sense of humor as they shivered through the last of the tasks, and once complete they knew.
  They passed into architecture glorious in its design and stunning to eye. 
  Monuments seemingly as old as time itself greeted them as they walked those final steps toward the light; the light that would reward them or forsake them: the light that would pull them forward or send them back to be trialed again.
  In unison they walked. In unison they were graded.
 
  * The violin comes up and the music is that of awe and wonder.  If seems to ripple with life on the edge of spilling forth, but somehow contained. As the progress, whispers of unknown creep in as voices in the background, voices straining to be heard. The harmonies then twist to something foreboding , as the energy of a storm contained , the underlying voices now stronger in this place in the composition, then once more the harmonies turn back, but anew in sense .*
 
  In a crackle of time and weave they were whisked away; away to an alien landscape, an alien city.  They had passed, but into what?
  The city stood empty beneath an eerie black sky.  Monuments to unknown gods lined the approach to its core.  It seems at any moment time might let go its hold and inhabitants would spring forth to fill the market square, or bustle from the doorways of the many homes.  The landscape and buildings were bizarre, but yet strangely familiar too.  A close examination revealed why.   The eastern edge of the city was flanked by blood red waters and shadows whirled and writhed in the air.  All around they whispered, called, cried and shouted.  Voices tormented and taught those that walked close to the edge of this void.  Standing at the edge one could clearly tell.  This land, the ground and rock beneath their feet was the same as that which formed the Dragon Isles. Two lands that once were one.  This very coast appeared to have been torn asunder from the lush islands ripe with danger so many leagues above them. But why? 
 
  That answer lay in prestigious halls high on hill overlooking the city.  The marble foyer was a source of architectural awe, as the designs of many races could be distinguished lining it opulent walls.  Ahead was a chamber with a most unusual steward.   At the base of a throne stood a shadowy figure and to its right a crystal skull that seemed to float in mid air. The fellowship stood at the foot of the dais and asked the questions why? Only the sounds of the shadows could be heard to reply.  Fortunately they could be heard, for within the group were two who communed with that at the edge of light. An ancient councilor found. Ancient one cursed. Questions asked and questions answered, a new quest given and accepted.
 
  *Dark and foreboding the tune begins again. The notes twisting in the discord of evil, rising and falling as to punctuate a tremendous battle and then settling down to calm again *
 
  The group set forth once again this time to face that unnamed malevolence that they rightly avoided early on in their trek.   The loathsome presence was smited, a ritual unbound and perhaps even ascension to the heavens thwarted, but most importantly a promise kept.  Once more to the dais the party went this time to speak in council.  Names were given, information received and most of all knowledge was gained.
 
   *setting down her instrument she again picks up the flute and plays.  The undercurrents of voices mingle and call almost to the point of becoming whole. The harmonies intertwine and weave a tune of knowledge and discovery, and then the harmonies become light and airy as once more the sounds of nature creep in. Distant are the voices, as the melodies of birds and trees supplant them. Distant but also distinct, they fade and leave the air, the harmony dropping off to one of accomplishment.*
 
  The sundered lands revisited so the shadows could tell their tales.  Ancient words and phrases were whispered to all until they could be understood.  Once the lands sundered transferred their secrets, our weary family was freed to leave.  Weaves of teleportation added them as they were once again able to see the sun and feel the warmth of its rays and breathe air not dank with age and stillness. Here this tale ends, but an ending it is not.  It is but a beginning. For much is to come of what the councilor told them.  Much that has already begun.
         
 

minerva

Of War
« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2005, 01:01:00 pm »
There is so much to write about and so little time in which to do it.  Lisse’ grows by the day Poppa.  It pains me you cannot see it.  The comforts of home and hearth are ours yet they hang on a fragile thread.  War, while nothing new to this land, has been thrust in to out face.  No where is safe.  Bloodstone’s minions are on the move.  His mages command the very seas and the creatures with them.  He has intentions on the Dragon Isles.  The unsundered of the sundered lands, they must not fall to him.  The home of the cradle cannot be overrun with demons. The home of Sound and Light and Shadow must be preserved.  Twice I have answered the call to save them.  The first was a fierce battle at sea.  Ships of unnatural demons, dead that walked and murderous constructs awaited our swords and spells. That day we persevered, but not before allowing an attack and perhaps scouting expedition to occur on the island, but it was not overcome.
The second more ominous, was at the direction of the Shifter.  He gave us visions of the possible paths that lay before us: oppression, freedom, destruction, or far worse of all apathy.  He gave directions to our own salvation.  Return the necklace of souls to him. Recover it from the void where Moraken followed Xandrial in its pursuit.  What ritual he requires this for I know not, but it seems the key to having his aid. He spoke in the language of the shadows so it is my belief as well as others that he too is sprung from those Ancients. He warned of the Sinthar’s fleet and their designs on Roldem.  His vision was undefined as to time and intent which caused much disruption in those gathered.  *large blot of ink*Fools.  They were under the guise the Shifter was being benevolent with his prophecies for Roldem.  Why should one such as him wish to tell of this impending doom?  He was surely wise enough to know we could not hope to stop a fleet the size of Blood’s.  No… there was a more pressing reason…a soul.  The soul we had discovered trapped where the Broken One had fallen.  The soul tied somehow to that place in Roldem’s kingdom.  The Shifter sought to draw our attention to that soul and preserve it before Bloodstone or Xandrial could claim it.  Roldem may have its strategic placement as a base for war on Mistone, Dregar and those precious, but invasion as well could cover the intent of gathering the soul to his purpose.  Much time was wasted in altruistic discussion but finally Connor was able to bring about some sense.  (Small sketch in the margin of an elf dressed in red and a club) With Rhizome’s aid we were able to make a hasty journey to where we had last seen the soul.  Blood’s minions were close at hand, but thankfully it answered to the shadow tongue and agreed to come with us.  The shadow artifacts Lue carried supplied the proper vessel for which to transport the soul.  It was with little time to spare we made it back to Dregar, again grateful for the help of the trees and their protector.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:10:53 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

Family
« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2005, 02:53:00 pm »

Lisse how you grow and how time seems to have flown.  Chubby hands and feet that used to flail and punch the air now run about and grab hold all they can find.  Two years.  It hardly seems a day at times and an eternity at others.  Your presence is a smile in our lives.  Your have served to soften the edges of that crusty fool Jacee. I see her smiling more than not now, her training set aside to aid Ellen and her husband as well as care for you when I am away.  Your presence in the guild hall is always and adventure as I never know what you will be into next as I see to supplies and manage the accounts.  It warms my heart to hear the tingle of the chimes Jharl made for you.  Your affinity with music is astounding, but then I’ve no recollection of my childhood and no other musical children to compare you with.   The short visits your father makes warm my heart as well. It seems time has allowed the fires to cool, but I made my vows and I am true to them in both my heart and actions.  His stories amuse you as they ever do me and the presence of the both his and your warmth next to me at night fills my heart until his next visit.  He tells me not where he has been and I do not press. You two are my Ceelala.  Connor I see less and less of as my business grows .I know he is there by the bareness of my pantry. Keeping pies and cakes around the house is a never ending task. One I happily accept.  It is a fair trade for the elven lessons he shares with you and I might add myself when I can spare the time.   Lar chuckles at the fact I could learn the Drow tongue with ease but stumble over elven which is so very alike.  Perhaps I try to hard.  The syllables flow of my tongue like notes to a long forgotten song. There, but not quite there, as if the memory needs to find just that last link to fall into place.   Daily I check Poppa’s journal, my journal and I guess yours now too Lisse’.  The pages remain as they were.  No new melodies since mother’s lullabies graced the pages.  No prophetic words of wisdom from which to chart our future.  It pains me at times to look at you and know that I have spent with you half of the time I was allowed to spend with my mother.  I wonder if she knew. And now, seeing and experiencing the world as I have I wonder if all I have been told is correct.  I’ve lost touch with the happenings in Drake.  I’ve not inquired after my uncle and his family in years.  Perhaps I will have to do so soon.  You should get to know your family Lisse’ and maybe I should get to know them better as well.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:11:28 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

The Telling of the Tale
« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2005, 03:46:00 pm »
The Telling of the Tale.[/b]
 

 
In search of a tale and find a mystery. Such is my luck.  I had read about the rare flowers that surround the Arcane tower in Spellgard and how once a year they would bloom to a vision of small angels dancing above them.  I wanted to see for myself this sight and at the appropriate time Connor and I made our way to the city of magic.  It was a strange group assembled to watch the event.  Healers from the Lady’s temple and Ilsares’ as well as that grumpy mage Moraken were there.  The healers relayed the tale to the crowd as we waited for the stars to align.  They did a passable job with it, but it lacked somewhat in the delivery.  Perhaps I will have to take it upon myself to tell it once this mess is over. And what a mess it is.  When the arrow of Ilsare’s bow pierced the eight of Lucinda the flowers were supposed to bloom.  They didn’t. 


The mages present were able to detect a malevolent force holding back the bloom… interfering.  They deduced that a show of concentrated intent might push back that force and allow the flowers to bloom.  So those of us present joined hands and focused on the love and promise these flowers were to represent.  I had thoughts of the love that fills my heart for the blessings in my life; Lar, Lisse’, Connor, good friends such as Jharl and Jacee, my music, my song and of course the magic.   Others joined with their similar thoughts I suppose and together two flowers did open. 


 One was blue, the other red.  Above them were not visions of divine creatures, but solid tiny angels.  They at first were happy and embraced in the love that they had put asunder to bend to the will of their masters.  But then they realized we had not undone what was done to them.  We had in fact released them to fight again and they returned to their corrupted forms once more. It was a terrible sight to see two so beautiful, twisted and deformed in their opposite.


 Before their corruption was complete they told to search for the way to free them.  They told us we had been lied to.  That their deaths were in part in vain as the Gods may have set aside their differences, the two summoners did not and they died at the hand of the other.  We were told to seek the unicorn, and the paths of the forest high.  We resolved to gather and do just that.

     
 

minerva

The Singer or the Song
« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2005, 03:51:00 pm »
The Singer or the Song [/b]
  I don’t care what others sat Lisse’, Ilsare either draws the vainest of the fools to her fold or she turns them that way. We were gathered to continue our investigation of this disturbance in the tale when who had the audacity to show up but Reventage.  She starts talking like she had somehow been elected to be the leader of the investigation, and then she has the nerve to deface the tower grounds by removing some of the sacred flowers.  She never stopped to ask if she could take the flowers, she just dug them up and walked away.  Who the hells does she think she is?  She might be able to pull a stunt like that at an Ilsare temple, but on Lucinda’s grounds? We at least got the flowers away from her, and into neutral hands.  I think Rashar was caring enough to repair the damage she did the Tower lawns with her shovel.
  That was just the start of the spectacle.  On our way to the Unicorn River, Acacea began to hum the tune that sprung forth from the blue flower.  It is such a gracious harmony.  Full of mystery and vitality, with strands that awe and eddies that comfort, just like the Lady’s gifts.  It was Magic.  It was such as pleasure to listen to and it seemed to resonate from within that little Halfling that for a time it eased my discontent with Rev and her new champion Athus.  Leave it Rev though to mess things up.  Not content to just have the blue song filling the air she asked Athus to hum the melody that occurred when the red flower opened.  Athus is a much finer healer than singer.  It was awful.  I’ve heard better catfights.  It wasn’t an improvement when Bil joined in.  In that case the catfights were a symphony compared to the noise they made.  But when Rev decided to sing… Acacea’s melody overpowered the red to such a degree to make Rev look like a bawdy bordello singer *note in margin… maybe I’m not that far off, her grammar, manners and way of dressing and all[/i]*   True to form she figured that the celestials didn’t know what they were doing and tried to change the red song .  The resulting caterwaul was horrific to the point near deafening.  She did this not once but twice.  Only by threatening her bodily did we prevent a second disastrous encore.  She and Athus actually got offended when Connor made the remark it wasn’t the song that was the problem, but the singers.  Ilsare may be the goddess of love, but Rev is the priestess of self-love.
  Poor Connor, the blue song seems to have some kind of effect on Alantha.  She gazes at him with the eyes of a puppy.  It’s almost comical except she somehow has gotten it into her head that I am a threat to her infatuation; to the point of muttering insults and shoving me.  I shall be patient with her but wary as well.  She is Drow and I know that rivals in anything are not tolerated well.  I don’t wish to have a knife thrust in my neck anytime soon out of unsubstantiated jealousy.
  It was an interesting[/i][/b] journey through the forest to Legodia’s encampment.  The caretaker of the forest was surprised to here that were knew of the “paths of the high”.  She told of a legend of a woman who lived in a tower deep in the forest.  At one time a kindly benevolent soul, but then in one stroke she turned to darkness.  The paths that once lead through beauty to her tower became tortured in shadows.  The river boiled black and the images of steeds rose and then fell from its surface.  All the unicorns disappeared after that day.  She told us that many had tried to reach the tower of the Silvery Witch, but few succeeded.  Those that did manage to return returned changed forever.  They fell into morose and depression and eventually withered.  A sobering thought as the skies opened up to a downpour that halted out progression.   I’ll have to do my best to avoid miss high and mighty as well as Alantha until we gather again.
 

minerva

Of the Heart - The tower breached
« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2005, 04:20:00 pm »
Of the Heart
  “I need no temple or vows or ring. I am yours for as long as you will have me.”
 
  <span />
 
  Those were the words we uttered to the gods that fateful night almost 9 years ago. A promise I have kept; a promise I will keep. In keeping it you are safe Lisse’ but at what cost to me? Am I destined to find love that is both real and everlasting? Love still fills my heart when I look at you. Love still fills my heart in those moments Lar decides to share his life with me. I have tried over the past few months to share my feelings and doubts with him, but he will have nothing of it and will not even listen, leaving should I even brooch the subject. Does he have his doubts or was he even true to begin with? Have I fulfilled my role as broodmare to the prophecy and he stays only in case my womb is needed again? I wish I knew.
 
  Now to complicate matters even more my heart has been besieged by love of another. A man I should have no earthly reason to like, let alone love. I suspect what he is and yet since our trip here to this tower, the desire I feel when he is close is almost overwhelming. To give into it would be disastrous. I followed my heart once; I am not so sure I should do so again. Can I love both and still be true to my words? Will the temptations of my heart and his dark powers overcome my resolve?
  <span />
  The Tower Breached
 
*a second entry written while in the shadow of the tower*
 find myself drawn more and more to his side. The touch of the hands that would once repel me now draws me near. His hands are magnificent as he commands both grace of their movement and power in his voice to call the weave to his bidding. When he casts those weaves upon me it is his hands I feel. An intimate feeling such as I have never felt in any other.
And what of this cursed tower? First we labored long to get here, fighting legions of demons. Disabling the deadly traps at the door lead to an interior garden of both magic and mundane. Secrets were discovered in the two antechambers off the gardens. The secrets of one who sought to forge a semblance of life. Immediately evil assumptions were made, but ones not bound in evidence. I found myself agreeing with Rufus *large blot* The guardians of the inner tower proved to be much more formidable than we had thought. Half the party lay slain before the wise decision to flee was made. Thankfully I was able to shadow Rufus with a cloak of weave and tend his wounds as he battled fiercely. Our re-entrance to the tower gave a grisly sight. Our comrade’s remains were no longer in sight as the golems that guarded the garden were strangely familiar. We found there corpses in a pool located within the tower. A pool that absorbed and amplified the weave.. a pool that seemed to be transferring all that they were to the golems in the hall. Rufus and Connor we able to decipher the mechanism and stop it in time, thank Lucinda. Athus healed the damage to their bodies and guided their souls. And now we camp another night outside this tower. At least I can draw comfort from Rufus’s arms around me as we rest and contemplate what to do next.
 
  *in the margin… I saw the body of a unicorn... I wonder if we made a clay sculpture if we could use the device to transfer the essence of that unicorn in to the sculpture…. If so would it be able to tell us what happened? Could unicorns communicate..alas we haven’t a ranger or druid within our party.
 
(Tower of Strands, take 3)
The previous events have worn Rufus weary. He sleeps so sound I cannot wake him. Perhaps it was for good, since the events of the tower seem to have gone in a haywire direction. I do not even begin to imagine I can understand it all; Magical paintings binding a demonic deva that nearly took our lives, An ancient receipt for gems precious beyond belief, A room with a decomposing unicorn and a trunk containing a horn, A cryptic message about tears in river. All of this is beyond me, yet I will stay fast. If my contribution was any it was preventing Rashar from blowing up the tower and those within it. It is a good thing I sought refuge and the flower while the demon within battled those much stronger than I. The result of the death of that horrible thing was a brief glimpse into a happier past and wedding plans as well as hint as to Narsil’s local. Emily seemed happy, but as I know all too well happiness is but an illusion.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:14:20 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

Sadness
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2005, 11:59:00 am »
*Kat sits on the edge of her bed and gently strokes the hair of a sleeping Lisse’.  She sighs and moves to her writing desk and opens the black journal and begins to write.*
It seemed so clear at the time.  Our love was fresh and new, and Lisse’ was a product of that love.  You were so happy sa Ceela to be a father. The love and the tenderness present in every glance and touch.  At the time I both believed and dismissed what you told me about my amulet.  It is with a breaking heart that I find I must discover both its truth and the resolve to use it if necessary.  Your unwillingness to talk to me has lead to some hard conclusions.  The part of my heart that still belongs to you begs that they are wrong.
 Kat carefully removes the amulet from her neck to remove the tiny scroll contained within.  She copies the script she finds and then replaces the scroll within the jewelry.  She murmurs to herself“. Connor will not lie to me.  He can tell me if this is what Lar said it was.”
  *She closes the journal and tucks it back into her belongings, before curling up beside her sleeping daughter*
   
   

   
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:16:44 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

Minaret of Symphony
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2006, 02:37:58 pm »
The search for the other tower with the clues from Emily’s past illusion lead to a strange place. A portal created by all there to a rift in time it seems. What should have been happy was in fact despair. The overwhelming happiness that I felt entering the grove served only to remind me of how fleeting true happiness is. I let the others search for a way in. My talents are unappreciated by the egos of others. Curiosity was the only thing that lead me to the statue and the wonderful song written in its base. Without my aid the door may never have opened, my skill bolstering the mediocrity of both Rev and Acacea’s talents.
]Minaret of Symphony (2)
It seems we have been flung back in time, back to the day preceding the wedding of Narsil and Emily. Guest rooms prepared, musicians and caterers assembled, all seemed well except for the foreboding sense this was but an illusion too. Rufus was not at my side. It would seem that time conspires to separate us. I listened as the musicians played the piece they had prepared as it was the ruse of use being a traveling band of musicians hired for the festivities that gained us entry. The music was of course romantic nonsense on might expect from Ilsare. Still it touched a cord deep within me, strengthening the morose feeling that the tower was pressing on me. Connor and the others scoured the place finding all sorts of enchanting items I cannot begin to fathom. I was content to sit in the gardens among the beauty of nature and compose within my heart.
Minaret of Symphony (3)
 found a room I want in our my home. Perfect was the sound in this small room. I think I could play here forever. For the romantic fool Narsil appears, he at least had knowledge in the finer points of civility. His sanity was deeply in question when we found him though. Rev in her egotistical glory shut down any chance of dialogue with her enforced ignorance. The whole process left me weary and hungry. Too bad the others did not feel the same. Forced to share a room with the pie plate scying Halfling was a form of torture. She bought out the cards and wanted to read them for me. She would think I am as gullible as the masses to these subtle forms of enchantment. The cards simply draw on the precepts that affect all lives. Tis one of the first Rules, but I somehow doubt Acacea knows of the Rules.

Minaret of Symphony (4)
Death and demons... the nightmare to the illusion that preceded is what we awoke to. The only bright spot is Rufus is once more at my side since we no longer seem to he held in the past. Decay and rot in a tower left to hate. Connor described a room where Ilsarians devised a bypass to the weave. The abomination of it all! With an insane struggle we made our way thru the tower. The chapel held by the direst of the creatures. Narsil’s room inhabited by a creature I did not see due to my falling to Rev’s foolish behavior. It took all we had to make it to the relative safety of the Library. Once again, the others searched as I was content to browse the literature collection, crumbling as it was. Rufus procured a few pieces for the piano, while Xeen’s fiction found another home within my pack. Savin discovered a diamond and some other things.
Minaret of Symphony (5)
Things become even stranger… as a dwarf is dreamt into our midst. I cannot say he is unwelcome though as we need all the help we can get to fight back the demons that dodge our movements with in the tower. Alantha too has found her way to us, perhaps drawn by the song. I follow and I try to aid where I can. It is selfish of me, but I spend most of my thoughts on Rufus and exploring my feelings for him. The others seem not to want my aid.
Minaret of Symphony (6)
The flowers bloomed, the story retold in an illusion of divination with the circle complete. Perhaps now we can find the song to scribe on the statues that sentinel this place and return it to it’s proper place in the weave. Rufus grows dearer in my heart. Is there yet a spark of goodness to be kindled into a flame? Do I really care?
Minaret of Symphony (7/8)
  Trials .
After much discussion, though, discussion, argument and discussion, it was finally decided that Narsil’s room should be searched. The result was death, taint and few new clues. One death was mine. I went to aid Alantha in retrieving Connor and Rufus and fell myself. Strangely I awoke to of all people, Plen.
The results of that search have kept us trapped her in these walls. Rev in her ultimate ego was tainted by some force. Plen removed the taint but in doing so severed Rev’s connection to Ilsare. I do feel a twinge of pity for her, how much a blow this must be to that ego. In the months we have been working on the strange device it seems the Harper of Ilsare does not like her own company and craves the attentions and company of others. The device, I will write a more complete description later when I feel more inclined. Suffice it to say, the large faceted crystal is a means of transforming spell into song. Connor works night and day on it. Rev butts in to “help”. I offer my assistance and understanding when asked or when I feel compelled by an obvious error, of which, with Connor’s analytical use of the gift, there are few.
We had the song to scribe, we had the path home, all we had to do was make it out of that forsaken tower. Too easy to be true. The minions on the lower levels had grown in numbers in our dalliance upstairs. The numbers spewed out by the portal proved to be too much as most fell on the way out. Left were the weavers and one sole defender. Fallen were the healers and Acacea. The solution, to move the portal to stem the tide of new foes. A monumentous task, directing sound through soild tower stone walls to convince a icon of evil spewing to move. True, it was only anchored lightly to the library by Rev’s manipulation of it’s magic, but still a difficult task. Connor aided with his gift. Indeed after this is over I shall have to petion the Chord to grant him bard status as he seems to be able to use the gift of sound with his knowledge of the weave as I use mine with my knowledge to for music and art. We were able to move the portal , but the foyer was still awash with minions. Next was to try and con them into the library as to if a greater curiosity was there and not out leaving. Again we were able to direct sound through solid stone walls and make it move into the room to intice the creatures away. Precious time was bought to allow us to finally escape that cursed stone trap. I really care not if it ever returns to it’s place in time. I just want home. Dragging the corpses out into the light of day was morose. The idea of how to touch their soul in this pocket of time and return them to life was daunting. First I had thought of using my gift as I have in the past, to gather the power of life in sound and call the discord around them back to harmony. The singing in the tower had about done me in. Jharl remembered the horn; the horn that Plen carried. None of us dare touch it. Connor in his wisdom found the way to use it powers and it’s attachment to Plen. Returned to us once more he after rest was able to revives the others. Then it was discovered. Acacea in her foolish attempt for the door ahead of us all had failed in her task to protect the unicorn. The crystal beast with I have to admit I have come to just barely tolerate, was taken from her still body by one of those foul creatures. So in Acacea’s failure, we are stuck here longer and with another dilemma. Once more we must breach those doors and reenter that hell. We must again risk out lives. I would surely leave the thing if I did not feel it was important for our return.
 Session 9
We have the think back, kind of. As I sit and write this entry Rufus is moody and pensive. Jharl’s look wavers between blackness and hope as I have heard him mention the words “a son” at least a dozen times. That horrid taunting effigy of the tower sits taunting still and we all gather around the box. The box is not unlike one that exists in a fable; the fable of a man who found a box that contained his greatest wishes and dreams. He toiled for an eternity to gain entry to the box, but once he did he found that life without dreams, when all dreams are fulfilled is not worth living. On that he took his life. The effigy has warned us that to open this box is to do the same. Locked inside is our desire for the unicorn or the unicorn. Which I am not sure. We have lit the buttons to show us our greatest dream. Or have we. Others talked of high achievement or love eternal as being presented to them, but my dream was an oddity. It was an image I had rejected long ago brought forth again, the image of a loving Lar and a loving family life. This illusion of truth I had rejected in the past, so rejected it once again for the illusion it was did not prove difficult. For that was the secret of the dreams. Achievement without worth is nothing. Had the box shown me something I would say was a greater desire I may have had more difficult a time rejecting it. This was simple. It was sad, yes, to face the reality that it is not my truth. My happiness comes from within and is not a product of those around me. It is not a right, but something to be earned. I have earned the right to be loved in my thought and deeds, while Lar has not earned the right to that love in his. As I feel the warmth of Rufus at my side I also am saddened at the realization that this too will fade. The tower has afforded us an illusion of closeness that will shatter once we are thrown back into the truth of reality. The dreams of the box are done with. The imp is taunting us with it’s nightmares. If the key to the dreams was see through the illusions and reject them, will the key to the nightmare be to see past the truth and accept it? I do dread what the next touch of those keys will bring. Nightmares have haunted me for some time. I wonder which it will choose.
Session 10
 Courage in facing what you cannot change and going on in the face of sorrow. Some how I knew this would be the night mare I would face. The thought of losing her tears at my very being yet I know I have little to say in the matter. I will lose her either to time or events. I must trust my love has shown her the path she must tread and trust that it will always lead her home again. Nightmares the box unlatches. The effigy of the tower was still taunting as to who would open this Pandora’s Box and accept the fate of the Unicorn within. Acacea has changed so much in this passage of non time. I suppose it is inevitable but the qualities that were once charming have certainly lost their glow. At best she is annoying with only small glimpses of her former charm. At her worse she is a spoiled petulant child, rude and self centered. She speaks with no care of the feelings of others. Her words are crude as is her humor. Yet in all of this she somehow judged herself better than the rest of us and of fewer faults. Even as we came to a consenus that the plight of unicorns should fall equally on our shoulders, she reached and opened the box on her own. It took all of us to free the unicorn, yet it’s fate lies on a small set of shoulders attached to a very narrow mind.The song once again rang from the sentinels, the tower pulled back as the pendulum of time nudged into life. Back to where we started but I fear we pulled a menace with us.
 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:26:42 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

A Whole New Light
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2006, 02:39:15 pm »
A Whole New Light  
*Kat sits by the firelight open journal on the table and a pensive look on her face.*  
There is no life without change. Change is one constant that cannot be ignored. The events of the last week have certainly altered my views of those whom at one time I called friends. I hope my conscious can somehow come to terms with the terrible act I aided in committing. Somewhere there is a sickness brewing; a sickness that I aided in perpetuating without even trying to cure. I can only pray that those to whom I was party in forcing this evil upon never discover this plane and decide to seek vengeance. My sorrow is for them, but also for myself. I passively stood and watched as Triba, Reventage, Vin and Athus condemned countless others to suffer the fate of Timoshev.  
 

minerva

Played the Fool
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2006, 02:43:03 pm »
Played the Fool  
Poppa it’s difficult to accept that you’ve been played for a fool and that a large part of your life has been nothing but a lie. Sadly that is the case for me it seems. It is so very hard. I look at her innocent face and ask myself why? Why does she have to be drawn into this and really is there any hope at all. It scares me the twinges of disgust I feel, but I know not if it is for her or for me.    
Yet in all of this I find my heart once again drawn to the flame. Perhaps this time wisdom will prevail. I should despise him for what he admits he is, but I can’t. I am happier than I have been in years when he is with me. It is the nagging doubt that he will be like all the other loves in my life and abandon me when I no longer amuse them or serve their purpose. I can see a spark of hope in him. Then again I said the same thing about Lar and was played the fool.  
It would seem that Connor and I have drifted apart. We share a house yet seldom do we talk. When we do talk it is generally in angst about something. It is time to move on again. I cannot make him see the cold and arrogant creature she is; that his affections will be tossed aside as her track record with Rhizome has proven. Who will be her next Remiel? Will he serve as stud to further her brood as the strange elemental did. I’ve even heard rumors that things are still intimate in that relationship even as she courts my brother. Some lessons are best learned in other ways so I guess I will leave him to live his life while I try to make some semblance of one for Lisse’ and I. A new home, a new start, a new chapter in our lives is about to unfurl. Thankfully I still have friends to rely on. Jharl has filled the void that Connor’s absence has left. He has been a rock of support in all of this. Several old friends have returned much to my delight; Mikey, the lovable man with a giant sized heart and the enigmatic bard Perago and his wife. I have come to view Derrick an Enzo as close friends. I often wonder what might have happened had I taken Enzo’s flirting seriously those many years ago. Bris remains steadfast even though I don’t see her nearly as often as I would like. It seems she too has found love again. I am happy for her.  
Love again? Is there hope? Poppa I wish I knew. I can only follow my heart for as foolish as it might sound, that is where my magic lies. I sense a new beginning yet also a new pain. Strife and sorrow fill the songs that echo in my head, yet deep within there resides a touch of hope.
 

minerva

A Visit and a Story
« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2006, 02:27:55 pm »
A Visit and a Story    
*shortly after dinner time, there is a knock on the door of 108 Hlint. Kat opens the door to find Connor standing, holding a box.  
"I hope I'm not too late for dessert," he says grinning. "Always in time for pie, eh brother?" winks Kat as she motions him inside. "Of course," he smirks as he steps in the house, giving the wards a polite nod. *within seconds he is nearly bowled over by a rambunctious Lisse'* "Uncle Connor!" screams Lisse' in delight as she powerfully hugs his legs. He holds out the box. "This is for you, Lisse'"She opens the box with wide eyes to find it filled with fresh raspberries. She quickly stuffs two small handfuls of berries into her mouth before taking the box and running off to the kitchen to finish the rest, completely ignoring her mother's calls to eat slowly or she'll get a stomach ache. *Grinning in amusement, Connor and Kat follow to the kitchen and sit and chat a bit while Lisse' goes about finishing off the raspberries.* "Did you just come to bring me raspberries, Uncle Connor?" her eyes and face in a hopeful expression. "Of course not! I also came to read you a story before bed," he replied. "But it's still early! I don't want to go to bed now..." she pouted. Connor grins, "Well then, we'll just have to play for a while then."  
*Lisse' giggles in delight, wipes her hands on her dress and runs off to the family room. Kat sprang up quickly and stopped her, insisting that Lisse' was her hands properly before playing. Lisse' protested half-heartedly washed her hands and went off to the family room. While Kat composed a new song, Connor entertained Lisse' with games, a few stories and some illusions of animals that seemed to spring from cushions in the couch, run all over the room and then disappear into the bookshelves.*  
*After a while, it was time for bed. Kat took Lisse' upstairs while Connor cleaned up a bit from their games. When he was finished, he went upstairs to find Lisse' ready for her story. Connor sat next to her bed and began to read the book he had brought...* -------------------------------------------------------- "Chimera" // the book is illustrated. Each break below indicates a new page with a different picture Long ago, there lived in the forest a young girl named Kailee. She was a pretty, smart and talented girl, but she always wanted to be better. Better clothes, better toys, better than her friends, better than she was today. She wanted to be perfect. One day she was out walking and saw a falcon flying overhead. "I wish I could fly like the falcon," she said. A short time later a fox ran fast across her path and disappeared into the forest. "I wish I could run fast like the fox," she said. Down the path, she saw a squirrel run up a tree. "I wish I could climb trees like a squirrel," she said. Suddenly, a voice behind her made her jump. The voice belonged to an old peasant woman. "Why do you want to be like the creatures of the forest, my dear?" the woman asked. "Because they're better," answered Kailee. "and I want to be better too!" The woman reached into her satchel and pulled out a gnarled stick. "This is a magical stick," she said. "When you see an animal you like, point the stick at the animal and tell the stick what you want." Kailee's eyes lit up. "Ooohhh, a magical stick!" she said as she reached for the stick. The woman pulled her hand back before Kailee could grab it. "But, be warned. The stick will only work 10 more times, and after that, you'll be that way for good." Kailee nodded. "Ten times. Thank you lady!" and she ran off into the forest. Kailee soon spotted the falcon again. She pointed the stick to the falcon and said, "I want wings like a falcon!" And POOF! She had wings that carried her through the air. Another fox ran across her path as quick as anything. "I want to have fast legs like the fox!" And POOF! She had legs like a fox that carried her quickly along the ground. She spied a squirrel and said, "I want to climb trees like a squirrel!" And POOF! She grew claws on her hands like a sqirrel. Kailee ran through the forest pointing her stick at animals and saying "I want this..." and "I want that..." ...the nose of a wolf... ...the eyes of a cat... ...the teeth of a lion... ...the fur of a bear... ...the tail of a tiger... ...the ears of a rabbit... Before she knew it, the forest grew dark. "I need to get home!" she said. "Mama and Papa will be worried!" And so Kailee ran off home. She got there very quickly because she was quick like a fox. She smelled dinner cooking before she could see the house because she had the nose of a wolf. She could see in the dark because she had the eyes of a cat. She ran up to her door and went inside. "I'm home!" she exclaimed with joy. Her parents turned around and screamed! "GET OUT! OUT FOUL CREATURE! BEGONE FROM OUR HOME!" they cried, as her mother swatted at her with a broom. Out she went as fast as her fox legs could carry her. Kailee walked to a stream and sat down on its banks. She wrapped her arms around her legs and buried her face in her knees. "They didn't recognize me," she cried. "Mama and Papa didn't know who I was." She lifted her head and realized why. For the first time, she looked at her reflection in the stream. She looked like a monster with a falcon's wings, a fox's legs, a squirrel's claws, a wolf's nose... ...a cat's eyes, a lion's teeth, a bear's fur, a tiger's tail and rabbit's ears. Kailee didn't even recognize herself. She cried softly, clutching the magic stick in her hand. Through her tears she said, "I wish I was myself again..." And POOF! She was her old self again. Kailee threw the stick into the stream and ran back home. She burst through the door and hugged her mama and papa tightly. She was already perfect the way she was. -------------------------------------------------------- "Read it again, Uncle Connor," Lisse' whispered. Connor read the story again, but this time, she was asleep before Kailee even got wings. Connor closed the book and set it down gently on a small table. Rising as quietly as he could, he kissed Lisse' on the forehead and said, "I love you, Lisse'. Sweet dreams." He then turned and walked silently from her room, closing the door quietly behind him.  
*He talked briefly with Kat a few minutes more, telling her to let Lisse' know that the berries are in season, and that she should come by soon to help pick more, before the mean ol' ogres eat them all. After a brief exchange of farewells and hugs, Connor walked out the door and into the cool Hlint evening air.*
 

minerva

New Beginnings
« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2006, 02:29:08 pm »
*Katrien lounges on the cushions of the dais in front of a roaring fire. Open on her lap is her journal, the ink of a new entry drying on the pages. The flames flicker and dance on the walls of her new home. To the side a child sits playing at the piano, practicing scales and simple melodies as her mother listens. The girl’s face is beginning to lose the look of childhood and evolve into that of a young lady. Dark skin that has faded to pleasing grey, a mass of auburn curls frames her face and complement violet eyes. The talent of the girl is obvious, as is love of the notes she plays. Katrien smiles and compliments her daughter’s efforts and returns to her writing.* Apreal , 1397… 21 years… have they have flown by. It sometimes seems like only yesterday I arrived in Hlint as a naïve 17 year old girl with no real plans or aspirations besides finding a meal and safe place to sleep. Illusions of adventure crowded my head at the time and I must admit I found it fun risking life and limb in those early days to steal a few branches of hickory from under the noses of Orc, or chant insults to Ogres from behind the backs of warriors. Assisting in the recovery of Ronus’s nephew was my first real adventure, though I mostly just tagged along to see what would happen and perhaps gather a good story.  A chance meeting with a willful young druidess, her charming companion and their adopted son has left me with a lifelong friend in Brisbane. I stood with her on the day she said her vows to Plenarius and even as time has passed and they are no longer together I admire her spunk and her willingness to say what she thinks, even if she comes across a bit abrasive at times. Tom has matured and moved on, while Plen’s duties to Katia took him away from Bris’s side. Recently she has hit a crossroads in her life with the events of her mother’s doing. I will help her in any way that I can.]The days when bantering and adventuring were my main concern ended with the appearance of the Lairilweki twins in Hlint. Marked by their poison and then chosen by some gift of the ancient T’oleflor race, I am but a pawn in their schemes. Lisse’ is proof of their treachery, an innocent created by my naïve notion that love and kindness could overcome. It has not all been misery though. Through these events I have forged many bonds of friendship and one of family. Connor I hold in my heart as the brother I never had. We are similar is some ways. He commands the weave not though mysterious phrases and subtle gestures, but with a force of inner will the weave works for him. It is much like the threads of harmony I see fleetingly and knit to patterns for my needs. Kobal has become a fast friend as we work together to find a cure for this poison that hangs over all our heads. We have traveled through much to gather the things we need. We now wait I think till the time is right for the wolf to be called. Kobal’s time has been sorely taxed with the recent events of the Crescent Moon and Shield clan. The ballad of such lies half finished on my desk, the recent move taking my time from it. I was honored to help in their plight, but I shudder to think of the vileness of the once Thane continued but the world is now one bloodpool less. I wish I had endeavored to learn a bit more dwarven from Gam, but my repertoire of dwarven battle cries and drinking songs has improved. I hope someday to find a dwarven bard to teach me the songs I really wish to know of that race; the ones of the stalwart nature and fierce family pride that I see. The façade of rudeness and vulgarity really doesn’t suit the inner pride I have discovered in those few dwarves I have come to hold dear. The dragons… My curiosity piqued I have managed to see the dragons of this world… well most of them. My skills were of little use for negotiating, but still traveling with those sent to forge an alliance with the dragons was thrilling even if I am just now, 10 years later, beginning to understand some of the things I saw and heard back then. Blue, Green and Black those were the ones I was able to glimpse in the negotiations. The prize of it all though was the spectacular trip to that unknown place, some plane I know nothing about and see the magnificence of the metallic dragons. Their majesty is breath taking and I for one am proud to have been among those to escort their hatchlings into this plane and world. I hope they have fared well as I’ve not seen nor heard of them since their release. ]The experience with the Dragons and the lessons I have learned from my Drow dealings have made me pay more attention to what is going on in this world. Information on the past and the present can be hard to come by. Many of those who know keep things close to their breast thinking that only their peers can be worthy of knowledge. It is this hoarding of knowledge that leads me to become more active in world affairs and lend my bow, voice and quill to aid when needed. Little did I know the sacrifices that stance would take as I missed the first four months of my daughter’s young life trapped and tested below the ground. The Ancient one told us many things, the voices of the sundered lands more. In some ways I am richer for the experience but I would have loved to have seen more of Lisse’s infancy. Still, I came away wiser for the experience and hopefully it will make a difference in Lisse’s world. I also made sure to tell all the tale in both word and prose. I also used the wisdom garnered to prevent the loss of that mysterious soul I helped free on the sundered isles. If not for Connor’s and my badgering I really believe Ilsare’s cleric would have left it to mercy to Blood’s forces as they overran Roldem in those dark hours. ]Roldem…I feel for the loss of its beautiful cities and the scourge of its countryside. Its populace is decimated but at least now with our help, it is once again free of the demons that ravaged it. I was there for the reconnoiter of its plight and there for guerilla attacks on it’s defenses. I stood with my dwarven companions to hold the docks and hills as others disabled key defensive positions.  ]I look back on it all and wonder. I wonder where I found the time to perfect my tailoring. Where the drive came from to turn my hand from quill and flute to the intricacies of gem cutting and the precision of alchemy. Somehow I managed to create a business and a name for myself. While my creations are not as well known as those of the larger trading guilds it still provides me a means to support myself and pay for Lisse’s tutors. Even more important than the financial gain are the friends and allies I have made along the way. Jharl is much more to me than the apprentice I took on some seven years ago. Connor called him my substitute brother, but he is no substitute. He is as much an Uncle to Lisse as Connor and in fact I do view him more as family; brother is a good word. The Leilon Arms has been an immense factor in my success. Derrick, Enzo as friends and the many contacts I have made with the new waves of adventurers serve to make each merchant night a worth while experience. Then there is Lisse’s third Uncle. A giant heart to match his size and a spirit to teach my daughter that being different from the rest of the pack is no sin. Mikey was my first friend in Hlint and he is now my daughter’s giant protector.I think of this new house in Hlint and finally my independence. More space has meant that finally I can have a room to myself to devote to my studies. I have heard rumors and read lore of an archaic group that much like me used music to tease the weave to their needs. The tower in Spellgard snubs me as having lesser gifts and refuses to admit those like me into their ranks. My knowledge of the weave and how the harmonies of sound affect it are mostly ignored. Some times I would like to scream in frustration as mages in their self sanctimonious manner spout off theory and ignore what I can call forth. ]Most call me a Bard but then they see the stereotype of performer on the stage. The Chord exists for those of my fellows who see this as their calling. What of the enigmatic Ozy? His is a calling of intrigues and lore; a recorder of histories and events with an ear for music and an appreciation for its intricacies. I see my calling as somehow different. My love is for the song but not the lyric; the sheer ability to tease sound into the call of a bird or the whisper of wind. Sound creates, that my gift has taught me. This I feel a need to explore, a need to expand my music to do more with the weave. I want to understand this group that was once heralded as Spellsingers and their Spellsongs. Why are they no longer prominent in our world or are they merely secretive and elusive? I was there when the Ancient Library rose and even though I dread treading on Voltrex soil, many an hour have I spent in its halls. Perhaps the answer lies within the tomes I have yet to uncover. Perhaps it lies elsewhere. I too have yet to solve the riddle Poppa left me with all those years ago. Seek the magic he said. I still wonder what he meant. Did he refer to these singers or something else? I have devoted myself to Lucinda in his memory, but have become disillusioned with those that hold office within her temples. Then there is the mage that has captivated my heart of late. It may only be the fleeting effects of the Deva’s song or perhaps it is the magic Poppa spoke of? I would indeed like to know where Poppa went that day and why he has not returned. My heart tells me he walks with Lucinda and with my mother, but still a piece of me holds out that he may yet hold his granddaughter and feel her lilting laughter lift his heart. *again Katrien looks up to Lisse’s music as the warmth of the fire dries the ink on the pages. She smiles at her daughter and closes the journal. Opening her arms to an enthusiastic cuddle, the two snuggle in front of the hearth as Katrien picks up a child’s book to read aloud. The tale is a wise one about a little girl who wishes to be different until she discovers she is loved just as she is. *

« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 05:29:37 pm by minerva »
 

 

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