Diary of a Life Reborn
I seriously hope you weren't just watching earlier.
I found a book stuffed in my belongings. A very racey book. Like a manual for making love. If this isn't Hedia's, then I'm a dumb orc. Or maybe it was Keerla that stuffed it in my bag? She can be mischievous.
Granted, it's an entertaining book, but still!
Ack, gotta go check on Tojan.
Okay… that was an evening.
I was right, that book was Hedia's. How do I know? She ASKED about it. In front of Caling and Laerune.
One of these days, somebody is going to make me blush so hard that it permanently sets in.
Speaking of Laerune... She's got this cursed shield stuck on her arm. A blessing to remove curses cast by Hedia couldn't free it. I suspect Laerune's not going to be able to remove it without something like a blessing to break enchantments. That could remove all magic from the shield though, and it actually does have some useful aspects. I don't blame her for not wanting to go to that extreme.
Laerune and I did talk one on one for a while. She was surprised I was willing to talk. I'm sure Leena and others would disapprove of me talking to her. I understand why they would prefer shunning her. She did something terrible.
But so did you, Lorie. And I forgave you, right? You turned yourself around and became as much of a beacon of light as I was. No, a bigger beacon. And that wouldn't have happened if I continued to shut you out. That you were also a side of me makes me realize that I could have been the same way.
If we all shut Lae out, if she has nobody to turn to, then who will be there to guide her to something better? Don't get me wrong, I'm not ignorant of her faults. But I can't believe that giving up on her does any good.
I don't think you'd be happy if I did that either.
Maybe I should talk to Caling... see what she's doing to help Lae.
And I still need to return this book to Hedia. I wonder if I should bother, she'll probably just give me another.
I'm tired. Time for some reverie.
Good night, Lorie.
Aoth made an interesting comment earlier today when I was talking to her about how I'm handling you being gone. She asked me if I've tried writing to you, I think meaning like actually trying to send you a message. I replied I have only written to you if you were watching me while I wrote in this diary, thinking of how I closed off the last entry with wishing you happiness. She laughed and told me she writes in her diary as if she's writing to her sister, and probably took my comment to mean the same.
You know what, Lorie? I like that idea. So here I am, writing to you.
Shae's back, so I'm hoping things are looking up for the Knights. I think we've got ourselves back on track. We knighted Cecil and Keerla, and with the plan to have Artos be a captain along with Shae and myself, I think we should be alright with leadership. That's good, I need something to distract my thoughts a bit. Doing some actual work might help.
In case you are worried about what I wrote the other day on handling you being gone and how it's the end of an era… Well, I did talk to Fadia and Hedia. Still not sure I got the answers I'm looking for. Hedia told me it helps to focus and keep close to loved ones still around. And Fadia looked like she was having the same struggle I am. It makes me realize I was wrong, elves can struggle with this just as much as the rest of us.
Fadia obviously sees your departure like I do. The end of an era. While for me you are my past life, to Fadia you are a one of a few sisters. The "Fearsome Foursome" is what you called yourselves, right? You, Fadia, Rith, and Lune. I don't think I knew Lune well, but Rith and Fadia made me feel like an honorary fifth member. Fearsome Fivesome?
Fadia's thinking of trying to track down Rith and Lune. I told her to add Thorn to that list. Heh, she thought I was going to ask to add Andu. I admit I feel guilty that I didn't think of him until she asked.
Well, off to rest for me. Give Jerrick a hug for me, Lorie.
I'm finding it a little difficult to write down what I'm feeling right now. I've sat at this diary several times, and when I think of what to write my feelings collide and I can't decide on the words to say. I can't put this off any longer, so I'm just forcing myself to write. Just let it all out.
I gathered my courage and asked her a question as we neared Norwick. "This isn't simple nostalgia, is it?" I asked her.
"No, it isn't," she answered.
Those three words… they carried answers to all the questions swimming through my head. Maybe it's because we used to be one, but at that moment, I suddenly knew what her thoughts and heart were.
The sudden nostalgia was her saying goodbye to everything. She was planning to leave. She made up her mind that she would stay with Jerrick. It was as plain to see as a full moon on a cloudless sky. Though she tried to hide it, you could tell she hurt from the decades of separation.
She left for Praka with others. Leena, Arty, Aoth, Val, Rasuil, Fadia, Theaon. They succeeded, the sudden winter has ended and summer returned to it's rightful time of the year. The heroes returned... Except for Lorelai. Just like I expected. Just like she planned.
I gave my old life to Lorelai. It was comforting to be able to visit her, live as a cat vicariously through her. To know I won't see her again (except, perhaps in spirit), it saddens me. Yet I am comforted by the fact that Lorelai is with Jerrick once more. She is with her Love and can be happy. And so I can vicariously have that happiness, right?
With her leaving, the last of the Rawlinswood lycans is gone. The end of an era. It's hard letting go of such an important part of my past. How do elves deal with this? Seeing decades turn into centuries? I suddenly wish this was something I thought to ask my father. I suppose I should turn to some of my elven friends for advice.
Farewell, Lorelai. Be happy and whole.
Honestly, if I ever do tire of Norwick or Peltarch, I think it might be nice living in my father's village. It's peaceful here. My mother's tribe still live with the elves, still holding onto old traditions, except for the fear and distrust of outsiders. About the only trouble is occasionally from the nearby bugbears.
I did try to corner Lorie and for a sister-to-sister chat, but I kept getting distracted by cousins of some form or another. I do feel bad in a way, I have family here that I barely know. Granted, that is mostly due to circumstance. I still cannot help but feel guilty. I wonder if Lorie feels the same.
Lorie seems to be very nostalgic, too. We just left for home this morning and we stopped at the rock that was the start of our life on our own. Run out of home, with no idea where to go, a prayer to Selûne, and placing faith in a shimmering star. I remember it just as vividly as her; back then we were one. Yet she seemed so much more mindful of it as we sat on the rock tonight.
Perhaps it is just her getting older? I know I'm older, but I still feel young. And as elves go I am young. I bet I'd feel old if I was still a half-elf.
Seeing as we're alone now, I should have plenty of opportunity to finally ask.
What is going on? I was trying to relax outside of the druid glen when Lorie comes over to say she is going to visit Dad. And that she insists I come along. Does she realize that I may have duties like the Knights? Apparently not, as here we are at our father's home.
She said she wanted to talk to Dad about something, but would not say what. Maybe I should make the most of this surprise trip and talk to him to. I should ask him for some advice on what to do about the Knights Requietum. And then see if I can figure out what’s got Lorie so worked up. I tried asking Tojan, but she she shrugged and talked about having become a marshmallow knight. Keerla’s doing, I'm sure.
I think Tojan knows but won't talk about it. I know our pixie.
Maybe it's the upcoming rescue of Jerrick? I know that I'm a bit worried. Like I wrote before, it would crush her if he died. But I have faith that the people she has gathered will succeed. I mean, take a look at her own daughter for example. Leena has fought demons.
I'll figure this out tomorrow. Dinner time for now.
I'm feeling a little better. Screaming out my frustration in the woods helped. Speaking my mind helps too.
Like with Aoth. I let her know that it upset me that I wasn't kept in the loop. Upset not as a fellow Sword Captain, but as a friend. She admitted it was an error of judgement, not just as a fellow Captain, but with our friendship as well. She's not the type that forges a lot of friendships, which I should suppose isn't surprising. Bring reclusive is not an uncommon trait among druids and woodsfolk.
It's a friendship kept. I'll not dwell on what could have been done any more. Accept and move forward.
I hope I can do the same with the Knights, but I know it won't be that easy.
What was that gnomish word Lorie likes to yell out when she's pissed off? Because right now I just want to scream it at the top of my lungs repeatedly.
There are no words that can properly express how pissed off and frustrated I am right now. Probably is for the best that I'm not a werecat… Even as an elf I feel like clawing the hell out of something.
Laerune killed somebody. Doing something she should have known better than to try. Even if she didn't mean for somebody to die, she had to have known it would cause harm. She had to know what she did was farking stupid. If the Knights aren't disbanded after this, it'll be a miracle.
And to top it off, any warnings that were given never reached my ears. I'm a Sword Captain. And people didn't think to come to me to tell me some of the Knights are being fucking stupid. Aoth apparently knew, but she didn't tell me. Maybe she thought she could handle it? I don't know.
It hurts to see this self-destruct. Shae's plan for the Knights Requietum was great. She had a vision I could get behind. And it's all been trashed. I want to try to save it, but I fear that's impossible.
This... I just... Dammit all!
Keerla gave me a rapier she doesn't need anymore, I'm guessing she found a better one. This is certainly a well crafted blade. It has to be, I see Master Z's mark on it and he has high standards for his craft. I think I'll use this instead of the elven rapier that Fadia gave me years ago. It also is a high quality blade, with a hilt that is good for parrying. However, I don't know how to parry effectively. Perhaps I can find somebody who can and pass the rapier to them?
This rapier Keerla gave me is made of silver, which would hurt undead more than the other rapier. And shapeshifters, of course. Does Keerla realize how ironic it is for me to wield this sword?
It feels very surreal to hold this sword and not feel any adverse reaction to it. I guess I'll just accept the surreal irony of it.
Something is also going on. Winter started with more snow than the recent past. At first, this didn't bother me because it means a return to old norms. But Hedia told me that something happened that spooked Lorie. And I hear rumors about a man or wolf sighted in the snow. And Leena made a worrying comment about Jerrick being under assault.
No wonder I found Lorie passed out on the cushions with a cup of Leena's sleepy tea. And Tojan's worrisome fluttering about.
Be strong Jerrick… It'll crush Lorie if you die.
The Circle has new members. There's Korra, whom I met briefly before. She's from Lethyr, and came here to help the Circle. The other new one is Imizel, who is follower of Lurue. Both seem like good people.
Leena and Aoth did this welcoming tradition with them. First, the memorial of the defeat of the Defiler. A reminder that even Druids can be lured by the promise of power. I'm one of probably a handful of people still alive that recall those days that the Defiler threatened the Rawlinswood and all of Narfell. It is comforting that the new generation of the Circle take measures to be conscious of the past so as to not repeat it.
After the somber story at the memorial, we entered the inner half of the glen where there is this great stone of power. There, Leena invited the two new druids to come to it and introduce themselves to Nature's connection that the great stone possesses. I happened to voice my curiosity of what would happen if I were to touch the stone, and of course Leena encouraged me to do so.
And so I did. And I could feel the connection! I felt peacefulness. I felt wildness. I felt wind. The trees. The animals. Dying leaves as they fall from trees. New life as birds hatch from eggs. Wolves chasing down a deer for dinner. Water flowing through babbling brooks. Balance.
Most importantly, it felt familiar to me. I could hear the Call of the Wild.
I was lost in thought, but Aoth said something that caught my ear. Being druid or not, the land still makes that Call. It got me thinking, and got me talking quietly to Aoth about it.
Ever since I gave up my old body for this reborn life, I thought the Call of the Wild was something not for me any longer. I was no longer a werecat, and I did not feel it. It's something that I miss dearly. But Aoth made me realize that it's not that the Call doesn't reach out to me, it's that I haven't let myself listen for it.
While that Call doesn't bring out the Beast in me, it is there. And it's happy that I finally listened.
I hate undead. I hate fighting them. My reasons for the hate is due to not being able to effectively fight them.
Leena's mace has helped some, though. I gotta thank her for it.
I visited Peltarch yesterday, finding Keerla of course. She seemed to want to go find something to hunt (as usual). A fellow by the name of Scott mentioned needing to train more on fighting undead so it was decided to head to the Norwick Crypts. We had a good size group. Keerla, that Scott fellow, Vick (a scout for the city, I think), Thyr'qara (elven warrior with a flaming halberd), Roslyn, another warrior named Farrgin. Along the way we also were joined by a Selûnite priestess called Ute and a halfling druidess (I think) named Sasa.
It's been ages since I ventured into those crypts. Last time had to have been when I was still a Fuzzy. I don't think anything has changed there. Still nasty undead. Little ghostly ones, zombie ones, giant ones, ghoulish ones, ghoulish and priestly ones. All very nasty. Regular arrows do nothing, so I had to use the more expensive ones. The mace Leena gave me worked well though, even against the zombie ones. Again, I should thank her for it.
I also want to talk to Ute more. It seems like I don't often run into fellow Selûnites, so it's feels extra special when I do. Ute is nice, though a bit touched in the head. Hah, like I haven't had mental issues.
But I'm tired for now. Time to rest.
I've been allowing Kat and Keerla to keep teasing me. I know I shouldn't. At least, I've got to draw a line. Though I think part of me keeps hoping Thorn will swoop in to rescue me. That's awfully selfish of me, I know. I should just face reality and move on.
Yet another thing I'm jealous of Lorie for. She found love with Jerrick and kept that love. They had two lovely daughters. And even though Jerrick is stuck away on some god-given task, I can tell their love never faded.
Me? Andu came and went a couple of times. He was a good mate, but gone. Kiana started off as a fling, but grew into an intense love for each other. Yet, she vanished. Thorn… Well, considering he already had Fadia (and Adriell before that), it was never going to happen. If not for that, we probably would have become mates. But again, he's not here.
To be honest, I kind of feel like I shouldn't bother for now. I've not had much luck finding a lasting love like Lorie did.
The past days have had both good and bad. I'll start with the bad first to get it out of the way.
Hedia had arranged a masquerade celebration to honor the defeat of the demons in Jiyyd and the closing of the abyssal portal. I had almost forgotten about it and showed up late. Still, it was a nice affair. Except that it ended in tragedy. The bartender apparently slipped in one of those drinks that turn people into undead. This time the victim turned into a giant beast of a zombie thing. Nobody else was seriously hurt, fortunately. After some discussion with the manager, everybody headed off to find the bartender. I didn't follow, there were more than enough to crowd the streets. I'll have to check with Leena to see what happened.
Speaking of Leena, let's get to some good news. She's engaged! I'll need to pester details out of her on how Arty proposed. I'm happy for them both. Arty and Leena make a really cute couple.
Also, I appear to have a fan! Some bard by the name of Nate apparently remembers me as I used to be. Not directly, more that he's heard tales (as bards do). I must admit, I find his excitement in just having seen me to be quite amusing. I wonder what would happen if I actually said hello.
A few interesting discussions lately.
First, I spent some more time with Keerla. Last month I had started telling her about my past and how I became who I am today, specifically about Lorie and I. I didn't get to finish the story, so she asked me for the other half. In return, I got her to tell me about her past. It's nice that we got to share stories of ourselves that we haven't really told anybody else about. Trust is important with family and friends. We also talked about past loves. Well, Keerla only had one. Me, I've only had two.
No, stop lying to yourself. Three. Thorn, you loved him. Granted that was a no go because he had Fadia, but you still loved him. And worry about him.
I also got to talk to Aoth while hunting in the kobold caverns. She's an interesting sort. She almost always acts reserved. And some questions she will ask people are usually crafted to make the other person really think. It's her questions that remind me of an old friend, Khaya. Khaya was a priestess of Oghma, and I always felt a bit mentally fatigued after talking to her because she always made me really, really think. I suspect Aoth would take that as a compliment. Khaya did.
Last night, I was with Kat. She needed me to help her. I still hope to find some way to solve her problem for good, but… it's not something I think that would be an easy fix, or if fixing is possible. I say that based on my own experiences and at how complicated she seems.
She gave me a gift. I mentioned how I was trying to save up money to get a new armor that would let me cast spells better and also sneak better. And she so happened to have a suit of displacer beast leather armor. It left me a bit amazed that she gave it to me! Not fully surprised, but still, I've got the armor I wanted.
But still, Kat's a complicated situation for a lot of reasons. What am I gonna do?
Money. Honestly, it's something I don't usually make a fuss about, since I live in the woods. I usually just worry about gathering enough gold to cover any healing potions I use up, or arrows. But some people? Money can be everything. And that kind of attachment to money seems to lead to bad things. Greed can be ugly.
Case in point, the trouble that found me when I went to visit Peltarch. (Isn't it always like that? You only find trouble when you don't look for it.) This banker started asking Roslyn if she's found out about something he was wanting to know. Roslyn is a halfing friend of Leena's that has a knack for finding information. So this banker fellow (who was rather rude, mind you) had received a notice requesting some transfer of funds with a bank in Baldur's Gate but something seemed shady so he wanted to know more about it.
Soon after he left, a few odd people showed up. They looked like some kind of mercenary company at first, but by their attitude it felt more like a gang of cutthroats. They started to harrass this blond-haired female warrior. Sounded like she thwarted plans in the past. But it also turns out she's a member of the Peltarch Guard and arrested them.
In hind sight, I wonder if that trio was sent to Peltarch as a distraction.
After the guards hauled the thugs away, all of us adventurers decided we needed to check Norwick, where there was a woman that was wanted by the thugs. Leena used her tree-walking spell to get us there. Sure enough, there were a large group of thugs, and they had the town militia beat up. And their leader was there. Words were exchanged, an offer made and rejected… and then a big fight.
When we defeated the thugs, these contingency spells would trigger, both bringing the thug back to life and teleporting them away. And in the middle of our big brawl, Roslyn busts out of the inn's window with the girl they were looking for, while more thugs poured out of the tavern. The thugs weren't anything we couldn't handle though. That leader, Kurth, though, he was a tough one. And to think he only used his fists! But before we could kill him, he used something to teleport away too.
Why would this Kurth go through all this trouble? Money. Specifically, this girl's brother left an inheritance to her.
Like I said, greed can be ugly. It turns people into monsters.
I had decided to spend some time in the Rawlinswood, and decided to visit the druid glen. It's been a long time since I actually had stepped foot in the glen and was looking forward to seeing it again. I wish I could say it was a relaxing time, but the moment I arrived I found myself involved in helping to stand guard over Leena and Aoth as they performed a ritual. They did succeed with what they were attempting, but then some nefarious shenanigans happened after. Why is it that I have such a knack for finding situations that put me in over my head?
And yes, I realize I'm being vague on what happened. There's the possibility said nefarious forces are scrying. If they are, then I hope they are disappointed that I won't elaborate.
Last night, I was finally able to get Kathea to open up to me about what is bothering her. Her problems are very much NOT what I expected. Again, I will not provide details here. I promised her that what she told me would remain secret. I don't share this diary with anybody, but it's conceivable that I could lose it someday and so I will honor my promise and be discreet.
Honestly? I'm even more worried for her. I've had experience with her problem before, yet this already looks to be much more complicated. I need to think on how I can help. For now, just be there for her? That seems right.
This is going to be another problem that'll be over my head, won't it?
Raryldor has had this cat with him for years and years and years. Bigby's his name. I'm not sure what kind of cat he is, but I'm pretty sure he's not an ordinary cat. He's smarter than most cats, at least. He's a mischievous one, often trying to get into people's belongings to swipe some food or a shiny trinket.
He seems to be fond of me. He often seeks me out for a snack or affection. And of course I oblige. Today he decided to give me a gift instead. He caught a pigeon and presented it to me to have as a snack.
I know that would probably make most people cringe. But not me. I used to be a cat after all. I think Bigby senses that.
The bird made a nice snack. Keerla thought so, too. She had asked for a wing. No, that didn't surprise me. When I first met Keerla, that girl was skinnier than a sapling. She probably is used to eating whatever food she could scrap together when she was growing up. She's starting to become like a little sister to me, lately. Today she had asked for some advice on what to do to woo somebody. I hope I gave her some good advice. At the very least, I gave her honest advice.
The big news is that the demon portals in Jiyyd have finally been closed. I don't know the full story yet, but it's hard not to hear rumors of it. Of course, with victory came a price, some people did die in the battle, but were brought back.
One of those being Hedia. She's taking it a bit hard. Death tends to weaken the spirit when you are brought back to life, and with her she feels her connection to her goddess has lessened. She can't help but second guess herself because of it.
I can understand her pain. Faith to a divine servant is a very personal thing, I imagine. It's part of what defines them. To lose some of that would be like losing a part of yourself.
Now, despite what I'm about to write next, I want to stress one thing (even just if it's for myself and not whoever discovers this journal and reads about me). I hold no ill will toward Lorie and forgive her for what wrongs she's done to me.
The feline beast within her, that call of the Wild… It used to be mine. I had embraced it in my heart, I was as much a cat as a person sometimes. I gave that up when Lorie and I split. I do not feel the call of the Wild in me. Though I still have some feline mannerisms, I am no longer a cat.
I miss it. I am sometimes very jealous of Lorie.
If there's any proof of me forgiving her, I guess this would be it.
I move on though. There is more to me than the feline I used to be. I am still a sorceress. I am a scout. And now I'm a knight.
A knight. I still find that funny.
Poor Shae is such an innocent soul. Or sheltered, rather. She doesn't quite understand innuendo, which made for a hilarious conversation with her and Cecil. It made me think of Thorn, and how he and I used to joke around.
I really do miss him. Selûne, please make sure he's safe.
It's official now. The Knights Requietum. It'll feel funny calling myself a knight. It'll probably be funnier having people salute me. I'm excited though.
For Shae, this isn't just reviving the old Order of the Watchful Repose. The Knights Requietum will be something more. Not focused on just undead, but devils, demons, evil mages, and lycans.
That last one would make me seem to be an odd choice, I bet. Yet, I think I see what Shae is thinking of with choosing me. Lycans are complex. Yes, there are some (perhaps many) who are evil and blood-thirsty. But obviously, there are some who aren't (after all, I lived the life of one, and my sister still does). And then there are those who are simply suffering the curse of lycanthropy. I think that's where I can help the most. If we can free those of the curse rather than hunting them down, we'd save innocent lives. And we'll stop the evil ones from hurting others and spreading the curse.
So it makes sense to me for Shae to ask me to join her Knights. What surprised me is that she wants me to be a "Sword Captain Arcanus." She's making me a leader. I'll be overseeing the magical conduct of the group. If this isn't a sign that I should focus on my magic more, I don't know what is!
I'm a bit nervous, I admit. This sounds like a lot for me to take on, but this feels like an opportunity that I should not skip. So I'll be praying extra hard to Selûne to guide me in my role to come.
I also should pray some for Kathea. She was upset earlier this evening and asked me to sit with her. She told me the reason she was bothered was because she thought she got Laerune mad. She didn't seem to want to talk more about what happened. I think Kathea just wanted me there with her.
I can understand feeling bad at upsetting somebody. I know I feel bad when I do. But I can't shake the feeling that there is something more that is bothering Kathea. I especially can't help but think this considering the other night when she took Keerla, Laerune, and I into the Underdark.
Should I pry more? It seems to be something Kathea's not willing to talk about. She probably should though. I'll have to see if I can get her to open up about it.
Selûne seems to have a way of giving me a nudge in the right direction when I'm feeling down. And I can see the path clearly.
Shae Aers asked to speak with me today, and what she shared was both expected and surprising. She's extended an offer to me, and I feel it's something I should accept. It'll be good for me. I gain something I have come to realize I've been lacking.
A goal, a purpose. Something to strive for.
And something to belong to.
I feel excited by this.