Lauriella sits in the inn near the sundial with books and notes spread all over the table. She is copying book after book of protective circles. while doing so she remembers Her lessons to the group earlier. There were many not casters there but only one true caster that she knows of, Chae. The rest in the city either did not hear or chose not to come. Still she did her best and gave Lady Varya the first book she copied to share with other spellcasters of the city.
Shortly after they finished an erinyes walked up to the group. Varya chased her away then the barbed and cornugons showed up summoning lemures. the fight was again huge. Even the marilith showed up again. At least one of the adventurers went down and had to be healed. Lauriella herself used spell to some effect. Ball lightning and lightning bolts from her wand. She also dispelled the protections of the cornugons and loose arrows on the lower minions. Some chased her but she was far enough back that she could run out of the way so was hurt much less this time.
Lauriella looks up and waves to the waitress. when she comes she asks, "A bottle of whiskey and a glass of ice please."
The waitress comes back, "A couple silver will do it Lady Lauriella."
She pays the waitress and pours whiskey in the glass. As she does her hand starts to itch. she inspects it. There is a swelling in the palm of her hand. hives spread and form a ring around where she palmed the coin. She places her hands beneath the table and scratches the area to relieve the itch. Looking down she whispers, "Its too late to kill you with silphium, perhaps with whiskey."
She thinks about it some more and whispers to herself again, "No that would not be right, for you may become a good soul and there must be a reason for all of this in the end. I will bare you in Mulhorand. My sisters at the House of life will take care of you hidden from his sight. Then perhaps you will become more noble and good than I. Not that I'm anything to admire."
She continues her writing still musing. She remembers that after the battle she stayed near the dais praying for forgiveness and asking the Lady to help protect the city. She made many vows that night. In the morning she came back to the sun dial to find a new mage there. Most knew him as Jonni. He mentioned where she might find his tower and wanted one of the books. The dwarves mounted a mining expedition for the minerals to make protective circles. She said she would stay here and write five more copies one for Jonni and four for the Ceruleans.
Which is what she is doing now.
Protective circles of the higher planes by Lauriella
(She pauses deciding since she has never said her last name to anyone in Narfell she need not pace it to ink now)
Protective Circles of the higher planes by Lauriella of the House of Life guild in Mulhorand.
First I will cover the five circles of the higher planes and what they must compose of. If you are a mage that affiliates with the seven heavens those that see that society is mightier than the individual and that good must always overcome evil this is the circle that you must make.
She draws out a thaumaturgic triangle within a circle. marking brazier placements.
All higher planes protective circles start in this configuration. Up to this point each wizard aligned with each plane must make it out of the planes reinforcing metal. They are"
Seven heavens,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Gold
Twin paradises,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Electrum
Happy Hunting grounds,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Copper
Once this is finished the mage must painstakingly and exactingly write specific runes of protection affiliated with the plane that they most adhere too. in the center of spaces between the triangle and circle. if not done properly the protection magic will not work. It will take the training and patience of a magic of third circle or better to do this. Otherwise the circle will have no effect.
Next along each of the sides of the triangle you must make exacting runes of the plane you are protecting against. Each side of the triangle must have a complete list of runes of protections. The higher planes runs draw the energy from the weave. the lower plane runs prevent energy from the lower plane from entering the field you are protecting.
Each of these must be made out of a powered metal that is poisonous in a way to the lower plane that is associated with it. These are
The Hells ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Silver
After which you must place a slow burning oil that you can find in any mage shop into the braziers with specific essential oils mixed 50/50 with each other and 1 to 10 with the slow burning oil. The two oils for each higher plane are.
Seven heavens,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Myrrh/Ylang-ylang
Twin Paradises,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Jasmine/Lavender
Elysium,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Coriander/Palo Santo
Happy Hunting grounds,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Orange blossom/Red Cedar
Once the braziers are lit all preparation is finished. Magic from the plane will collect and swell within the circle keeping it powered. The mage must stand in the center with minimal concentration can uphold the protection. They may cast outside the circle. however if the circle is marred the magic will dissipate and the mage will be left defenseless. It will take something with a will from the plane it defends against to have a much greater will than the mage to break the plane of the circle. A mage may control and maintain a circle up to four meters per spell strength before there is weakness in the design. Thus a caster of the 5th ring may control an area 20 meters in radius. A caster of the 9th ring up to 36 meters of protected area with these designs.
In the rest of the book Lauriella makes all the protective runes of the higher planes within the various circles and all the hindering runes of the lower planes the mages must make along the sides of the triangle. On the last five pages she draws out full circles for the mages to study and learn. Exhausted she catches her breath for a moment then goes to pray. Rarylador shows up along with some others.
They speak about current events. When night comes Lauriella goes to the west wall to pray. Rarylador and some others follow him. Again they speak. When morning comes An odd bard shows up. He sings a poem about a caged bird. Lauriella gets upset not only remembering the Ghaele trapped in Vellin Rokiri's dungeon but her own close call to becoming his pet. She leaves the sundial to find some comfort alone.
She opens a new spell book. Upon it is listed one spell as promised by Vellin. It is Magic Jar yet she must do much to understand its every nuisance for if she miscasts it her soul will be forever lost from her body. She cannot truly cast it without the utmost of understanding and taking very careful precautions.
Vellin guides Lauriella to the basement where there is a long empty room with a high ceiling. The only thing she can see other than conjuring supplies is Something large and covered with cloth. It looks like a giant bird cage. There are some permanent summoning circles also near the back engraved in the floor. In the front half there is only the emptiness of walls, ceiling and floor.
Vellin speaks, "We have little time, Lauriella. I will go through with you all of the planes and how to make circles of protection against them. First your current adversaries the Baatezu. Then the rest of the lower planes. Then the neutral and finally on the last of the three weeks the good. For even though you affiliate with them you will have to know how to protect yourself. Even the high planes hate to be hampered by a mage or sorcerer and will not abide by your will unless you are protected and they are held. There is no hinderance for a good mage to cast protection from good when you deal with celestials."
"I know this."
"Good, Now that you have been here a week and a half and I have come to you each night I want to test something. Draw your circle against undead."
Lauriella does what he says. She begins to draw out the circle, making a perfect circle and her triangle. When she starts to place the symbols of protection within the triangle and along its borders she starts to feel sick. She continues even after loosing most of her dinner. When the final runes are to be put in place she stops. She tries to force her muscles to place the last runes on the ground with silver dust but something is forcing her hand to stay.
She starts to weep, "They will be undead!"
"No, my dear far from it. They will be alive and mortal. they will have an alter ego that may transform into a vampire like creature. And in a hundred and fifty, two hundred years they will die having produced many children as Anjaiyi produced Randyl and Seryne. You will raise them until the boy or girl is a teen. Then, my dear, then I will take over for they need a good mother to teach them ethics so they may learn to control and repress their darker side. That is if you do not bare an abomination. Your necromancy it will help to protect both you're life and the child from doing that. Your magic will feed it into a good development. Now! Stop your quibbling. We have much to do to prepare you to stop these infernal incursions in your lands. What is the weakness of infernals? What do you make a circle with?"
Lauriella wipes her eyes, "Silver like undead."
"For Tanar'ri you use iron filings"
"Electrum as it preservers me it is dangerous to them."
"Good! She has taught you well, Lauriella. And remember the weakness or strength of one is not necessarily the strength or weakness of the opposite. That is why you use hot ash to trap celestials and gold is their strength."
She nods keeping eye contact with him.
For two an a half weeks more He Refines her leaning of protective and summoning circles. Every night he comes to her even though she knows his seed is already taken. He takes great pleasure in her regret and sorrow. As if planning something she does not know about. She is suspicious of his intentions.
On the last day circles are drawn out across all the floors all the way to the back of the large area. Vellin smiles, "It is the last day Lauriella. It is sad that you must leave. I have taken great pleasure in pleasuring you and almost fear you leaving. I sometimes forget how lonely this old mansion becomes at times. Non the less, Today we will test you. Open your book of circles.
She opens a now thick book of summoning and protective circles. He takes his cane and points to the first circle in the corner of the left side.
She repeats, "Pandemonium- protective"
He points to another.
He walks her back as she defines each circle. She looks checks her notes and repeats the circle along with taking some extra notes. Vellin smiles while she gets more and more involved in making sure she is right every time.
Vellin's man comes down, "Master. A guest."
Lauriella looks up from her book to see that Vellin is suddenly miffed at something. Still he bows to her, "Stay here Lauriella I shall return momentarily."
He turns around and walks down the room and up the stairs. Lauriella is left alone. She waits only a short moment when she hears static near the back of the room. Curious she walks to the back where the huge cover is. Fining the end of the cover she peals it back. There is a basalt circle covering the ground Upon it sits a giant bird like cage made of steel. There is a gaunt looking elven woman on her knees naked in the center of the cage. Her back is lashed and there are bite marks all over her body. The woman turns to her. Her opalescent eyes show defeat from years of torture. She Screams, "Fawn, I'm so sorry! So very sorry! Please! Please release me! He made me do it to save his grandson. I wanted none of this!"
Lauriella's immediate reaction to the Ghaele's eyes is a profound anger. She looks everywhere for a way in. There is nothing. She strikes the edge of the circle with her fist trying to free the creature. She's blown back with an electric charge three feet back. She calls up a spell hitting the circle with a negative energy ray trying to mar it. It rebounds hitting and draining her. The Ghaele moves toward her, "Your not Fawn!"
Lauriella calls out, "No, I was her apprentice."
"Then you have not the power to break this circle! leave! leave while you still can. He will...…"
Lauriella turns around to see Vellin walking toward her. She screams, "That is a Ghaele! A holy knight of the Avandorian courts! Release her!"
Vellin stops for a moment, "This creature is a criminal. This is the creature that forced your mentor into her Valin. Fawn killed the male and it was this creature that set the male upon her. Do you really think I should let the vile creature that tortured my granddaughter in law loose to wreck havoc upon the prime once more, Lauriella?"
"He lies! It was He that summoned me and forced me to the task!"
Vellin takes a few more steps. Lauriella backs up slowly. For she sees he has components in his hands. She is protected from evil so he must have something not of enchantment in mind. Looking back she suddenly sees she is right in front of a circle and unlike the others it is open behind her. She looks at him narrowing her eyes. She looks straight in his eyes and says, "Bytopia-Cage!"
"Did you really think that I would let you leave, Lauriella while you carried my prodigy inside you. Do you think that I would let you wander in the dangerous wastes of adventure possibly killing your self and my child in some cavernous abyss. No Lauriella, I will keep you safe until you have borne fruit. Then I will let you go your way."
"You lie! When I bear your child you will find some excuse to keep me right here. The child needs its mother you will say. Only a few years. And when a few years goes by: The child is but an infant still you will need to stay until decades past and you have no more use for me."
Vellin feels the build up a magic yet Lauriella does not move her hands or start to speak incantations. As he starts to cast to push her the rest of the way into the circle, She exclaims, "Good-bye Lord Vellin Rokiri, WULD!"
The magic is released in the Thu'um. Lauriella shoots to the stairs as she releases the last of her silver dust into the air catching Vellin by surprise. His eyes and skin burns backing him up as she makes for the stairs. She runs up the stairs and threw the main entrance. She crosses to the gates as fast as she can and pushes them. The gates are locked. She turns around and walks to the middle of the garden bracing herself for what is to come.
Vellin walks out with his mask uncovered. He still looks young but his fangs show plainly in the night. He sees her standing midway to the gate. Walking up, He laughs, "So! Little elven doll. She has taught you the Thu'um. She is not the only planes walker in this family. And now you are trapped! Surrender. I will not hurt my unborn!"
Lauriella her eyes narrowed not in fear but in anger replies, "The Thu'um is not the only thing she taught me. She starts to cast magic circle of protection against evil. Vellin laughs and starts to counter-spell then stops, for he sees she is using no components. The grass underneath her feet blackens and withers. The corruption spreads to the surrounding garden. The beautiful garden that took him centuries to grow and trim. The only thing he truly loves in his undead life starts to die wholesale as the Athasian magic takes hold. The ground turns black and barren for twenty meters around the Sun elven Mage. The circle goes up as it does Vellin in distress drops to his knees.
"How many spells to I have left Vellin? How much of a wasteland shall I make of this land?" You tell me? Release me or you will never grow another plant in this area for a thousand years!"
Vellin looking up at her slowly nods in despair, "Go. I will come for my child when they start to show signs of their affliction. Never come back Hemt Sithmore! I will forever deny you entrance."
He swings his hand at the gates. They open. She backs out beyond them, turns around and runs for her life.
The journey is taxing but she makes it to Peltarch. There she posts upon the local heralds board. Lady Varya Tiller has asked me One Lauriella the mage to help with the defense of the city by teaching my way of protective circles to the other mages that defend the city. I have returned from Vaasa much refined in this endeavor and am willing to teach these things to others. I will be in the park by the west gate for three days starting at new moon. (OOC Saturday 10-11 Texas time.) Thank you.
Lauriella gets out of the bed and goes to her medicinal herb bag. She roots around it looking for something, frowns and roots around it picking up jars once again and putting them back into place. A voice behind her speaks, "You are such an amusing creature, Lauriella. Every Priest or Priestess of the house of life must attend to the ailments of the populace in Mulhorand. That is by law is it not?"
She refuses to turn around. She closes the bag and looks at the mirror in front her with a curtain over its glass. If she could make one quick move. She doesn't She is bound by her promise, "It is law, yes, Lord Rokiri."
"That would include tending to young women who make mistakes is it not?"
Lauriella sighs, "Yes."
"I had the vial pinched from your bag. You have made a bargain. The knowledge to protect your city from the lower creatures in trade for a child. I admire your spunk. What would you say to me when I asked why nothing has happened a year from now. That you had a stillbirth. My seed did not take?"
"It still may not."
We will test that, You and I tonight at dusk. Tell me how long for a sun elf mother. A human only needs 9 months. What of your kind?"
"You enjoy taunting me don't you?"
"Nothing of the kind, my dear. I am just looking out for my own interests. I have not hurt you in any way."
"2 years. In eight months the women will know. In twelve the men will too. Why me? I am sure you could have had any woman in the village to do this for you or several others from Thay. Is it because of Archmage Fawn? Or is it just that you love to corrupt the innocent."
Vellin chucks, "You are no innocent. You are a practitioner of the three dark arts. conjuration the art of calling forth creatures and subjecting them to your will. Enchantment: altering the very minds of your enemies to do your bidding. And Necromancy. You practice the white form of necromancy that does no harm to the natural laws and yet it is still Necromancy. Your favorite drink is whiskey. And you by no means came to me a virgin. No Lauriella, innocent is a far cry from where you stand.
However your heart is a good heart and though not completely individualistic you have a fair sense and duty to society without being a hypocrite like the shiny knights that kill for their honorable gods and use evil as justification for their deeds.Lady Fawn does have a fair hand in this yes. I have bent her only apprentice to my will by pact. It will infuriate her to no end. My grandson is a lucky man to have her by his side. It should have been my side she stood by instead of his, but she was already in love with him though she would never admit to it." I will not harm or interfere with you further Lauriella. You will preform your task as I will have preformed mine for you. You see, I like you just the way you are and my son or daughter will end up a good person when you raise them."
She turns around, mystified, "I don't understand. You are...……."
"Yes, I am all of that and you see through my actions quiet clearly. I will tell you my story. Perhaps you will change your mind about me."
"I highly doubt that."
Vellin gets an amused smile then lays down on his back, "I was once a young wealthy lord in a region of Vaasa. The village I led was small but profitable. All in the village were never want for food or clean water, a heath to warm themselves with and all enjoyed their livelihoods as I ruled the area with a kind hand. Then one day she came. She showed up a lady of finery and I was enchanted. She turned me within a month. The two of us went on a rampage for many years. First my own village then others. After centuries of slaughter and sating ourselves I finally found the power I needed to attain my revenge. I killed her. Now free from her slavery I could walk as I wanted. I became pennant of my actions and help the nation of Vaasa defeat the Lich King in my own way.
The new ruler thankful for my actions and advice gave me this village to rule. I turn no one these days satisfied upon a few volunteers that give some of their blood so that I do not starve. Yet although I will never rid myself of the curse and I will never get back my innocence I will follow my other ambitions until someone more powerful than I can end me. My soul going to the hells where it belongs."
Lauriella raises her chin, "I don't believe you."
"My dear, I would not expect you too. I will leave you to your own devices. Be at the gate tomorrow. You have the spell to quiet my guards now. We will begin my side of this bargain."
Vellin turns into a mist which floats out the door. Lauriella sighs and puts the silver dust back across the threshold.
Lauriella walks up to the mansion on a hill with an overview of the entire village down below, nestled within a small valley. The mansion is large and has gardens covering a hundred feet in front of it. beyond that is a high wall. Two stone centuries are buttressed on each side of the gate. It is mid afternoon. As she approaches said gate the centuries turn their heads in her direction. Stone Golems! He guards his gate with Stone golems she thinks. She takes several steps back until the golems turn their eyes elsewhere. At that spot she starts her work.
Lauriella takes a medium size bag out of her pack along with three braziers. Within the bag is silver dust she bought in Damara at great expense. (I'll ask a Dm when I come in next time to delete 100 gold from her coin) She draws out a 9 meter circle the area she can comfortably control within her experience and talent. From there she draws out a triangle, putting the braziers at each of the triangles points. Within the circle itself she now makes a complex pattern with the magic symbols for both Bytopia (the twin paradises) and symbols to harm any undead coming within. When done she mixes essential oils along with a slow burning base oil within the braziers and lights them with flint, steel and a nest of loose weave threading. There she waits in the center of the circle a mirror palmed in the back of her hand.
When dusk comes an old toothless man bent over from age comes to the gate. He observes her and goes back to the large home. It doesn't take long for a large man in sorcerer robes to show up at the gate. He looks to be in his mid to late 30's. He has the dark skin and black hair of a native. His dress is noble but not regal, conservative. He walks with a cane. With a wave of his hand the gate opens up and he walks through coming up to the very edge of the circle. He observers her quickly and the circle she is within then tries to stare into her eyes. She averts them, monitoring him with from the side so she does not look directly into his eyes.
The man grunts, "Have you come to challenge the mighty Shadow Angel, priestess of Mulhorand?"
"I was sent to learn so that I may help the people of my home, Lord Rokiri. We are in distress from Infernal attack."
Rokiri starts to walk around the circle in an attempt to look her square in the eye. While doing so he speaks, "You come to my home and make a circle of protection against the undead. Your are a Sun elf in the dress of a Mulhorandi priestess of the house of life. Not only that. Those robes of yours are of a Mulhorandi death mage. This circle; He taps the ground is not of Torilian manufacture. It is Oerthian. How did you come by the magics of Greyhawk young elven?"
"I will not say for to do so would betray my teacher."
Vellin laughs, "Do you truly think that I do not know the magics of my very own family, young elven? This circle is the product trained by my grandsons wife. Lady Archmage Fawn Vail. I did not know she would take an apprentice. You must be very special. Very special indeed. Do you know of her nature? Her true nature? I showed my very own grandson the way to have her come to him. Warned him of the dangers too."
"I don't know what you are talking about."
Once again Vellin laughs, "You lie almost convincingly. Something my granddaughter in law is wont to do. You still will not look into my eyes and hold my gaze. Yet, you are protected. Do you not have faith in your ability to draw out a proper circle? I cannot deal with someone without the strength to look into my eyes. Stand tall and accept your own strength or leave in defeat."
To say Lauriella is in fear is an understatement. She trembles within her circle. She closes her eyes and remembers what Hemt Netjer Fezim taught her. She places her feet shoulder length apart closing her eyes. She meditates a moment for the strength to hold this potential adversary at a stand still. When she is done she raises her head and stares him straight in the eyes.
Vellin smiles, "Good! Now this. This is a woman I may deal with. As you see. Your circle protects you from my charms. Now tell me what I need to know?" He starts walking again around the circle. Now she follows him with her eyes, confident that her circle will hold him out.
"Devils are attacking the capital city of Narfell where I reside. They search for a celestial sword held by a bard. We have defeated their first wave however they continue to possess the populace within the city. They kill the host to attack along the city streets."
"And why have you not taken charge. You are a demonologist and necromancer of the house of life? This is your field of study."
"My will is not strong enough and I have not acquired the proper spells as of yet to work my field, Lord Rokiri."
Vellin suddenly turns and tries to put his hand across the barrier. Sparks fly. He bends the barrier but it doesn't break. He grunts in pain and backs off. The next thing he does is back up a few steps and observes the runes within the Thaumaturgic triangle, "You're ways are closest to the twin paradises. Much more to my tastes than Fawn: who in fact is insanely individualistic. I can work with this. I will teach you how to help defend your nation, barbaric though it is. Narfell what a depressing land."
"What is the price? My Mistress says there is always a price. And there are rules I will adhere too. Rules My mistress has spoken to me."
"Of course there is a price and rules my dear. Fawn keeps her people close to her and safe. I will not attempt to turn you for I have a healthy fear of what she can do and more over she has a guild of planeswalkers to seek revenge if I should displease her. Her and I have fought a detection war ever since she married my grandson. Neither of us trusts the other and regularly test one another's defenses. Tell me your rules and I will tell you my price."
"I will spend no more that 3 hours with you after dusk. When I am away I will stay at the local inn. I will not invite you into my room. I will put silver dust along the window frame and before the threshold. I will not eat your food or drink your drink. I will bring my own. I will protect myself with magic at all times from your enchantments. And know this Lord Rokiri. Mistress Fawn will be watching me the entire time."
Vellin smiles, "It is funny that a woman that follows no rules but her own would make such a set of rules for her apprentice. I will accept this offer on one condition. I will teach you the fine art of making protective protection and summoning circles along with the coveted magic jar and follow your rules except for one thing." He looks to Lauriella.
Lauriella nods to him, "Go on I will say ya or nea depending on your price."
Randyl's mother is a Rashemen witch. A half-vampire born of a woman I never turned or corrupted. She is completely independent of me and mortal. Though she ages slowly. I wish another son or daughter. My price Hemt is to replay that. Anjaiyi, Randyl's mother is getting older. I need another child Therefore I will come to you at the inn and invest in my own future. You will wipe the silver from the threshold and let me in to do this task."
Lauriella Sithmore raises her chin defiantly, "I like my lovers breathing."
"Then your task here is done, young elven leave my lands and go home."
Vellin turns to leave. Lauriella quickly assesses the needs of Peltarch against the needs of the vampire lord in front of her. She raises her voice, "Stop!"
Vellin turns to her with a measured front, "I will accept your proposal for my need is great but only on your word as a gentleman and by law you will not turn or try to affect me in any other way. And know this Lord Vellin Rokiri. If you harm me in any way Archmage Fawn will come back and seek the revenge justly due."
"Oh, young lady, I know the consequences of my actions if I were to try to do any harm to you. This, this will not occur for I fear the hand of the Archmages Anchorome and respect their power."
Lauriella steps out of the circle she throws her arm out to him. He clasps it desert fashion his hand embracing her forearm, "What is your name Hemt?"
"Lauriella Sithmore of Evermeet."
Vellin's eyes go wide, "Sithmore! I have more to worry about then than the Archmages of Anchorome. The shadow thieves have a long arm in this land"
He bows to her taking her hand, "Let me show you the mansion, Lady Sithmore. Mother of my second child."
It start like most things at the sundial. It was a bright sunny day. several adventurers including me were lounging at the benches or around the railings. I was speaking to someone I think it was Chea. A little boy came down to the dial. His innards exploded. A Cornugon along with 4 barbed devils attacked us. I didn't see it. I'm suppose to be the specialist in demonology and I didn't see it. If I had paid attention looked into his eyes I may have been able to save him. What am I saying. I have not yet achieved the power to do much of anything yet. The Baatezu attacked us. One came straight for me. I dodged off the bench and ran to the other side of the railing. There I used my spells to little effect. the others Jasmine especially managed to put them down.
The innocent child was but a few bones and innards. Lady Varya said she would clean it up. She also mentioned that this had happened before. I would not let her. I cleaned the body up myself. I gave what few remains there were to the guard for proper burial and sent him to the parents. After cleaning up the mess most were in shock. I took the opportunity to run to the Edge. Gnarl was there. I asked if he had electrum dust. He said he didn't. I explained to him what was going on. He gave me two electrum ingots.
I then went to Hemrod's. After explaining events to him, he turned the electrum bars to a fine dust. From there I went back to the sundial. There I made a protective circle as large as I could possibly control with the sundial in the center. I stood and held the protection for two nights and a day. Most had left when I finished the circle. As I held it people gave me updates. Whatever was happening it revolved around Isolde. I sent several people to look for her and her lover.
Gnarl helped me stay awake and concentrate of the protective field while I continually asked people to look for Isolde. I was becoming quite strained by the magic near the end of the second night. The Devils must have sensed that the circle was there because after the second night and most of the 2nd day they attacked the west wall of the city. People ran to the alarms and smoke. I was swept away in their wake. When I got my wits about me I ran. seeing more cornugon I ran up to try to seek a peaceful end. I did not exactly know what was going on. I did know that if something wasn't done they would invade. I was the first to get to them.
I held the bridge and spoke to what looked like the head devil at the other side. Raryldor was right behind me. The bodies of a large Peltarch patrol were strewn about the other side. I started to negotiate with them in infernal. The lead cornugon kept picking up bodies and throwing them at my friends while I was trying to speak to it. Finally I got upset. As it picked up another body I said, "Don't do that again!" He tossed it as I threw a spell of dismissal. It never went off. Raryldor shoved me aside saying, "Get to safety and the fight started."
I threw every offensive spell I had and could not touch their magic resistance. I fell twice in the battle only to be healed by those that call me companion. I resorted to my longbow. It had minimal effect on the lesser devils and demons. Did I say Demons? Yes, demons. they were working together. There was a Marilith among them. One of the lead Devils must have had its soul stone. they finally disappeared. Then I saw a greater Baatezu lord to the north. It seemed hesitant. I thought that perhaps I could defuse the situation, but the adventurers attacked. I knew then there would be no other way. I joined in.
We defeated the thing. We went back to the sundial to lick our wounds. When I returned to the sun dial there were few there. Shesaarai led me to the city hall where we had a conference with a mage.He wanted to sacrifice 10 mages to get rid of the menace. Isolde was there. It seems a sword she has is the center of the problem. I at first said we should throw it into the negative material plane. That would certainly destroy it. When I found out it was an intelligent celestial blade, I became more reserved and listened.
No one really knew much about it other than it will awaken when it feels a worthy and pure soul take it up. Everyone decided that planer ally should be used. We all gathered round the dais on the west gate where I plan to make a garden. Shesaarai led the ceremony. She mentioned that she was exhausted so I enspelled her with cats grace, bulls strength, and endurance. I then put protection from good upon myself just in case the celestial angry from being summoned attacks us. I kept out of Shesaaria's way but made sure to be close enough to offer assistance.
The Archaeon told us that there were several of these swords out there. and explained a great many things about it. Some adventurers, including myself, told it the heavens should be involved to help protect the city this thing so important. It said because of honor they could not. the angel said that things were not bad enough yet. It talked about its honor. I was slightly angry, however I know greater things call the angels to attention so I calmed down. It said something about the blade that scared me. It said that there are two souls within the blade. One is a good soul bright and light. The other lies in shadow.
It would take the power of an archmage the strength of Shaia or Fawn to penetrate a blade and find a soul to banish it. Steel is not flesh. And to just bind one soul to a blade is hard enough. Two? I do not know if it is even possible to do such a thing. The spell faded and the Angel left. We walked back to the sundial.
Later still angry and regretful I made a trek to the spellweaver library. I wanted to find every defense I could for the next attack. Perhaps a possible way to dispel the Devil lord behind all of this. Omar the librarian refused. Would not even breach the subject. He told me that only members were allowed in that section of the library. I was incensed. How could a mage guild be so callous about the protection of the local cities. I started pulling books off the shelf and tossing them on the ground randomly as I read the titles. I did make sure not to actually hurt the books.When I was done I thought that the clay golem was going to physically eject me. It didn't and neither did Omar care a bit. I stomped out exclaiming he could clean up all those worn out books himself.
I know it was wrong and I was acting out now. I was so frustrated for the second time in my life I have lost an innocent to possession. I should have been ready. I thought due to the rarity I would have all the time in the world to learn it properly and prepare. I was wrong! So wrong!
When returning to Peltarch I noticed it was nearing dusk. I met Raryldor at the sundial and told him I need to pray. He thought that was a good idea. I went to the dais on the west wall repentant of my actions at spellweavers and depressed by my inabilities to help more than I did. I meditated and prayed under Selune.
Lauriella finds herself on a familiar patio in the back of a mansion sitting on a chair in front of a table. On the other side is a 6 ft woman of perfection. Her skin is sky blue. Both her eyes are a milky silver hue. Her hair is a sharp silver color that goes down to her waist in tight curls. Silver tribal tattoos of animals interweave along her entire body. She is breastfeeding a small baby.
Lauriella blinks, "Where am I?"
The woman smiles, "You are wherever you are. Your conciseness is with me."
Lauriella stands and tries to touch her. Her hand goes right threw the woman's body."
"You're earrings are highly enspelled. they give no benefits to you. they are for me to monitor you. I also have another way to feel you."
"What happened to your eye? Why are you not hiding?"
The woman laughs, "Lauriella, still the same. So many questions. As foretold by Selune herself the curse of the wolf was transferred from me to the second child. I had twins. this is Strega Vail." She pulls the child off its meal for a moment and turns it around. The child has two wolf-like eyes.
"You see Lauriella, When I finally expelled the last of the demon from my mind it threw one last curse at me. If I every shapechange people would know me through that eye. Selune moved the curse to my daughter so that I could do something for her. Now I must leave Toril and do that task with Randyl. It will take decades but as bargained I will complete it then leave Toril for good."
"What are you? Are you even mortal."
Fawn laughs, "I know all to well I am mortal. I call you friend and that means something. So I will tell you. My mother comes from a world called Krynn. She forsook her duty for my stepfather, a human and became a powerful transmuter in a place called Sigil. I am what is called a High Ogre or if you will an Irda. We can live 5,000 years and our magic, it is different. I am saying all this because I am leaving and the others that know of me have agreed that with this long trip we may bring you into my protective fold. You must never mention this to anyone else. Keep it close to your heart like all the things you saw at school. My real name is Igraine Sierra it means leader of enchantresses. I was born with enchantment in my very blood. I brought you here because I felt great pain from you. What has happened and I trust you have not used black necromancy.
"I haven't Fawn. I was distraught I could not save an innocent child possessed by a baatezu."
"Tell me then. Everything."
Lauriella explains everything she saw and felt through the ordeal with the devils. Fawn listens quietly. When Lauriella is finished, Fawn does not speak for a long time. Randyl comes on to the patio, "I though I heard talking?"
Fawn replies to him, "I'm speaking to an old friend. Take Strega please I wish to be alone."
"You and your spirits. I should have known." He takes the baby inside. Fawn continues to sip her coffee while thinking. When she has collected all her thoughts She speaks.
"This is what I trained you for as to your wishes still it will be a very long time before you can do as you wish in this regard. Still I can recommend something. Even though you cannot preform the things you want. You may be able to help with knowledge." There is a village in Vaasa. The village's lord is Randyl's grandfather. Go there. He may or may not be able to help. He may want you for himself too. He's jealous of Randyl because of me."
"What do you mean?"
"Randyl's grandfather is Vellin Rokiri. He is known as Shadowangel. He helped the populace there defeat the Lich King. Vellin is a sorcerer and a warrior. He's also a very old vampire with a lot of experience. He will know by your dress: Your official dress that you are trained by me. go there and learn what you may."
Lauriella nervously asks, "Are you sure?"
"Yes but there are rules to make sure he does not harm you or try to take you as a prize. Though I doubt he would. He will know I am watching somehow and should not hurt you. Only spend a few hours a night with him starting at dusk. Then leave. Make all this an agreement beforehand. Do not eat his food or drink bring your own. Protect yourself with spells at all times. Your willpower will likely never match his in your entire lifetime. Make sure he knows the both I and Randyl will be watching in some way. Stay in the village inn the rest of the night and during the day.
Vellin is very organized. In that way you two will get along better than he and I do. Always be careful in his home."
"There is one more thing. Remember when I told you that memories stay in the minds of exorcists forever unless they learn to flush them out?"
"I keep some memories of good people. They form in my brain like people they have some memories of themselves and speak to me when I go into my mind to rest. They are like companions to me."
Fawn throws our her forearm on the table. There is a tattoo of a vine going from her wrist up to the crook of her elbow. Butterflies wrap around the vine.
Lauriella's eyes go wide, "The butterflies in the field!"
"Yes that was me...…...and them." She points to each, "This is a little 7 year old girl called Elena, This is Shaia, this," she smiles, "This is Randyl, and this one. This one is you. The question is will you let me keep her. I will flush her out if it is your wish."
"Is she still afraid of you?"
Fawn smiles, "Not anymore Lauri. Not anymore."
"Then keep her, mistress if she helps you with the pain. Keep her."
"Thank you, Lauri. I shall then. Now off to wherever your body is."
Lauriella leaves her trance and finds herself on the dais. She has a walk with Rarylador through the swamps. Afterward she tells him she must leave. She baths and makes ready with makeup and regalia of her position in the House of life. Just before dawn she gathers the rest of her things, goes down to the sundial and hugs Raryldor good-by. She rushes to the caravan to Darmara to make the connection to Vaasa, a name of a devil on her lips that name is Lyshan.
The last few days have been filled with both adventure and fulfillment. Where do I start? I will start with my idea for a garden. Early last week the Baroness Tiller found her way to the dais. I was able to speak with her at length about placing a night garden in the dais area. She took another and I to the place. She seemed amicable to the idea. I did not mention to her I wanted to plant flowers that bloomed at night but from my dress and attitude she must have deducted what I was envisioning. Or Varya told her more of my idea than what I assumed. She mentions that perhaps the flowers should be raised so adventurers would not destroy the flowers walking around in plate. A very good idea that I did not think of. I told her that if it is approved I would be willing to work with everyone that comes until the garden is complete. I also said it was the perfect place to watch the sunset or moonset being its on the west side of the city. She seemed to really like the idea and hopefully it will get approval from the powers that be.
The baroness herself is a pleasant older woman that bears the sign of chantrea a human goddess of agriculture. I guess I found the perfect person to make all this happens. If or when it gets approved it will be up to me to complete it I suspect and will willing do this for the betterment of the city and populace. I am excited.
On a magical front I almost feel the ability to tap into the weave to a greater depth after seeing for the first time the home of my ancestors, Fey. How did it happen? I will write it. I was invited to see the end of the rainbow in Fey. Little did I know the preparation and willpower I would need to make such a journey. I had to prepare as many see invisibility as possible for the leader of the group wanted to pass by the denizens undetected yet wanted us to see one another for protection. I also had to buy some iron stones to protect me from the enchanting effects of the chaos magic that infects Fey.
Once the group was ready. We went to an old witches home that worked like a grand maze. The doors teleported you randomly to other places within the maze. Luckily our guide looked to know what she was doing for she guided us safely threw and we found ourselves in a great arboreal forest. We avoided the natural creatures not wanting to fight several miles until we came upon a place that is called Avalon. There we found an end to a rainbow. The mystic beams of light drew down upon a heap of gold coin. Some of our group threw down rings and other small things taking some of the gold. Each would take the same value or even less than they gave. It warmed my heart happy to see such generosity and control among the group. After we gazed at the beautiful scene for some time the leader asked us to preform a ceremony of sorts. We turned ourselves into pixies and flew around the rainbow three times. Enchanting magic straight from the weave itself filled the air around us. It altered our consciences making us feel joyful and light.
It took some time to come back down from the feeling. After all was normal again we explored a near-by castle. The castle had a feeling of wrongness everywhere you looked. People who have succumbed to the chaos magic and were turned to stone were collected here. Some of them had chisel marks upon their faces: As if someone or something were trying to make them different. In other areas These statues or souls were molded into things like furniture and ovens. It crushed my former feelings and made my heart weep. The good thing is all in the castle, everything, was covered with a thick layer of dust. It seems no one has been there for centuries. After exploring we quickly made our way back to the witches nexus. My spells failing just as I was about to leave and a denizen chasing me. Eventually, we made it back to town.
One day, when my spells are equal to the task I will return. I will possessed the petrified people to see if a soul still exists within. Then I will figure out how to turn them to flesh once more or I will figure out how to release their spirits so that they can go to their afterlives and enjoy the fruits of their god or goddess's rewards.
Later the next day I sat down with Gnarl a good humored and practical dwarf I call friend. We conversed on magic, enchantments and the differences between black and white necromancy as practiced by the house of life in Mulhorand.
Shesaarai came along with some very pointed questions of me. I answered honestly and as best I could. She said that I should be interested in the spellweaver guild. I told her that I was in fact and had been to their library several times to do research and ask how one would petition entrance into the guild. So far I have found no way to do so.
I then asked her about the Ceruleans. She said that she was in fact a member. She told me it amounted to a guard force of mages set to protect the city and lands. Less of a guild and more of a defensive force. I told her that I would not be sure that they would want to have a mage trained in Mulhorandi death magic. She said to think about it and gave me a name: Lycka.
I have been back to Narfell for near two weeks and have met a dizzying array of people. Some I found enchanting and/or interesting. Others I found downright irritating. Some I believe will help me in my first major goal. There is a dais along the outside west wall of the city. a perfect place to set up a shrine or a sanctuary if you will dedicated if not in name to Lady moonbow. I asked around about it quite a bit. and wondered what the powers that be in the city would say to something like this.
The first person I met that was very enthusiastic was a small gnome with a mechanical leg. She told me the story of finding a goblin leg hold trap the hard way. How a giant raccoon rescued her and ever afterward she dedicated her life to a gnomish god. Her name is Pingui Chiami. She is a bright young priestess learning her way among the city dwellers of Peltarch. She told me that if I were to go to an open forest at night. The flowers that bloom at night would most likely be found where the moonlight hits the ground between the trees. She even offered to help me find them if I get permission too.
The other important person I met in this endeavor is one Lady Varya Tiller. I explained to her what I wanted to do, plant flowers around the dais to pretty it up and make it welcoming to anyone wanting to relax and watch the setting sun or in my case Selune. She said that her mother was a Baroness living not too far outside the south gate. She said she would speak with her and arrange a meeting for me, Baroness Anna Tiller. Perhaps I should find some new clothing for the meeting. I am not sure.
I have ventured out with many people of patrol finding Orcs, gnolls, even an abandoned ruin where yaun-ti slink along the corridors. I've met or have gotten reacquainted with many, Reyhenna, Autumn, Shesaarai, Issac, and Unen. A broad chested barbarian by the name of Atlan who I scarred with my magic accidently while on patrol. I am still having some trouble with my area of effect spells. Later we went on venture again this time I paced my magic. Throwing an electric sphere and my cloud of bewilderment at opt times when no one was it their paths. Hopefully this will continue. If I am to continue to venture in these lands I will need these types of spells and will need to fine tune my control.
I met Verika again lately and have been seeing her around the sun dial. Even though she, as far as I know, has taken care of her problems. She was cold and aloof to me. I have decided from now on to ignore her. I've given the elven plenty of chances to be personable and she ignores the offers. I am finished caring about her troubles.
I did draw several summoning and protective circles along a wide flat area just past the western wall the other day with chalk. It will take many years to get the powdered metal to make true summoning circles to call the host of the higher planes and elemental planes to my calling. But practice makes perfect. I imagine that anyone traveling around them would stare in wonder at all the drawings.
I have been invited to go to fey. I am not sure what to think other than my curiosity to explore the fabled land where my ancestors have come from. Raryldor has given me stones that will help the magical effects of the plane or world. I am not sure which it is. The leader of the expedition wanted me to know see invisibility. I have learned it and store it twice in my head.
Soon I will know what this land looks like. I am excited.
Raryldor also gave me some advise on learning to enchant items. He said it was a good way to make some extra coin for my studies. I have no idea how to do this being that it is far away from my focus on magic, however I see the wisdom in his words and will make some attempts at it. Soon I will also reach enough understanding to work with 5th circle magic. This is the circle where the start of my true training begins. It is the circle where Magic Jar can be employed if one knows the spell. I still have to learn a host of other things before using it. enchantments to shield my mind, languages to be able to speak to the demons and devils I may have to fight within another's mind. I'm also starting the fear the raw power in these spells and my ability to control the magic.
I will wait and keep working upon my will, keep studying the magic and technique to be sure when I must possessed someone and dispel a demon from their body that I am fully ready for it. For I know one misstep, One weakness the being can latch onto could spell my doom. The first step in this will be gaining control of one of the Mulhorandi temple/crypt guardians. If I can accomplish that I know that at least my willpower will be up to the task.
Lauriella paces the deck at night knowing she must confront her own misgivings about someone in Narfell before stepping upon land again. She must write it all down to flush it out of her system and stepping in front of Selune to praise her patron again. She must also confront herself on the fact that Sehanine Moonbow barely tolerates what she is becoming: a white necromancer one practiced in Mulhorandi death magic. Her teachers have given her all the tools she needs. The knowledge and guidelines to practice the art safely with no malic in the heart to turn her from her purpose. To save those possessed that the clerics can no longer handle. It is rare, yes but common enough that her own brother succumbed to a demon or devil so vile no one could expel it.
The first mate comes up to her. His eyes show misgivings. She looks to him, “Yes, Charles?”
“Begg’in your pardon, Lady Sithmore. Just be want’in to be thank’in you for com’in on board. Capt’in is fly’in the grey flag. Pirates well, They be keep’in well away.
She smiles softly and nods, “I’ll go to my room now. I must write down some things.”
“Aye, Well there be’in clear skies ahead and waves be roll’in gentle. Night.”
She goes down to her private room, a rarity on a ship but there were two good reasons for having one. First, she’s a woman. Second, Her name is feared among sailors and it is considered good luck to have a Sithmore on the ship. Pirates avoid ships with Sithmores’ traveling on them. Once there she lights the room and takes her quill and other writing implements out.
Two days before I departed for Mulhorand I met Gnarl on the city streets of Peltarch. He said there was a grand meeting at the town hall. We walked there and to the second floor to find many adventurers, towns people and what looked to be a seneschal along with a triefling negotiating round a massive table. I paid the triefling little mind at first because I did not want to presume, she was there to cause any trouble. In fact, she seemed to be one of the main negotiators.
They were negotiating a trade deal with Norfolk. Turning to Gnarl I see him watching the engagement beaming with a little more than pride. I smiled for this seemed to be a good thing. I had heard there was a bit of a stir up between Peltarch and Norwick over crop yields and things, but I did not know the full of it. And It looked to me like they were working their differences out. A tower was mentioned several times. I do hope that it was Verika’s tower that she often mentioned and that she had put away her differences with the dwarves and sanctioned this meeting. That would cool tempers down on both sides. It seemed like the most fruitful of meetings although I could not see Verika, herself there.
Gnarl, I and another that came in after us stood at the threshold and listened respectfully as they closed the meeting and headed out the door. One of the adventurers that knew me asked me to come with them to celebrate with some wine. Being in a good mood I accepted and was swept away with the party goers to a theater of sorts. We passed many hallways and doors to find ourselves in a large room with instruments and the like. There was a heated bath in the middle of the room. Similar to Fawn’s in her mansion on the Astral plane that uses coal in an oven underneath it. Several disrobed and jumped in.
This is something I am not used too. In Evermeet Families may take baths together but a community bath. No that doesn’t happen. In Lapis there are public baths but women have their baths and men have their own. There is no mixing. Too much trouble can come of it and besides the Sithmores are well know for their seductive ways. There was also a fireplace and lots of alcohol. I found a bottle of whiskey I enjoy and took it up. Sitting down and relaxing in a high back chair by the fire. Another of the adventurers joined me.
Some of the ones in the bath taunted me in good humor. I smiled and blushed making them laugh all the harder. It was ok. I’m good humored about such things.
The Evening was going wonderfully. I had found the Peltarch theater. There were a few friends among the revelers. I sat back, relaxed and sipped my whiskey while quietly listening to the banter of everyone in the hot tub. Then there was a name mention. A name that weaves itself into all the history books of Lapis Port. That name is The Tenth lord of the Nine, Garugath!
I spoke sharply to them in Mulhorand so angered by the mention of the name. It is a name that decimated most of the outlying farms and villages surrounding Lapis Port. I told them that what they were saying could not possibly be. According to lore a devil or demon banished to hell could not come back for at least 100 years. According to the histories of Anchorome, The Mage Fawn with the help of the Archmage Shaia Fereldon banished the devil from a ranger by the name of Arrilan as it has possessed him in a lycanthrope form of a werewolf. That was near 50 years ago. It could not be Garugath.
The whole of the building shook. I knew that in anger I may have made a grave mistake. Still after nerves calmed the triefling Maerve mentioned that she once worked for him. I was shocked and stunned. Not knowing what else to do I turned around and left sweeping my whiskey bottle with me. Once finding my way out I went to the inn near the sundial and sat down alone drinking the rest of the night. The lore of the dark lord swirling in my head. How could he possibly escape the banishment!
I must have blacked out early in the morning for I woke up the next evening on a couch inside the inn. My head pounding and having a sour taste in my mouth. I must not have gone too far because I wasn’t messy. Thank lady Moonbow. I paid a few copper for a bath upstairs and made an herbal remedy for the hangover. I know Rarylador had been with me part of the evening and I was rude to him. I apologized once I got my wits about me. It is so unlike me to loose control over things like this. But I now know why. The story of the possession of Arrilan, His werewolf army and what Fawn is claimed to have done set me on this path of being an exorcist.
I also know that if Garugath is back there will be trouble non-stop in Narfell until he is extinguished once and for all.
Hemt Netjer Fezim meets Lauriella at the dockyard. She has a small package with her, “Lauriella please take this. It will resupply your remedies.”
Lauriella bows and accepts it, “Thank you Hemt Netjer.”
Your herbalism is good, your enchanting is excellent, but your necromancy needs work, Lauriella. You must find the confidence to do the work properly. When you come back, come back with a mind to control. Then perhaps You will field with me an others looking for misplaced guardians or to fight against the undead Thay sends our way.”
“I will do my best Hemt Netjer.”
“Good these things take time. You have no seal to communicate with the House of Life. A gift from us.” Fezim presents her with a wax seal for letters. It has her wizard mark upon it. Lauriella is flabbergasted, “What may I present you in return, Hemt Netjer?”
“You have already helped us much in both your spells, herbs, and advises, Hemt Sithmore. It is something given to any who wear the ears of the house to be able to send letters. It is not a gift. It is a confirmation.”
She leaves. Lauriella gets on the ship being that she is now barred the land route. Once settled she writes a letter.
Dear Archmage Fawn Vail of Lapis Port,
I traveled to Mulhorand upon your advice immediately. I have trouble with my necromancy. What they do here is more practical than my teachings at the school. My knowledge of enchantment has grown by leaps and bounds. But something more important than my advance concerns us both. At the border of Thay I was stopped by customs. They made a rigorous effort to hold me there but having diplomatic papers and being bureaucrats of the highest order, they could not prevent me. They also questioned me at length and may have divined me though I do not think they found anything. At the end of their interview I think that they thought I was you in disguise for they put the same cuffs upon my wrists that you use in the circle. They told me that I may only travel once through the lands of Thay; adding many rules to which I must abide in their realm. When I came to the southern border, they took the cursed bracelets off and let me go my way.
I wanted to warn you of this incident for if you go to Thay you are in great danger.
Lauriella uses her new seal after pouring some wax into a steel ring on top of the folds of the letter. She takes it to the captain, “Do you deliver letters? I heard that ships often do?”
“Course we be do’in that kind of thing, lass. Part of a merchant trade. Five silver will get the letter where it be need’in”
“It goes to the city of Lapis Port in Anchorome.”
“Ah well there, beauty. Never know when the Abigail be trolling the waters off Anchorome. Rory’s cutthroats and all. Be mak’in that a gold then.”
“Look at the name on the letter, who it is from.”
The captain takes his spectacles on and reads the name on who it is to be delivered to. Then the name of the sender. He looks up, “Well I’ll be a bilge rat. Me pardons miss Sithmore. You need not worry bout getting the letter to the mage. No money required. By Umberlees storm, It be gett’in to where it be need’in to be.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
“Ye most welcome, if you be need’in anything. Anything ta’ll you be lett’in me know.”
“All I need is rest, Captain, but I graciously thank you.” Lauriella bobs her head and goes to her quarters for the long voyage home.
The next major thing to happen to me in Narfell is the caravan rescue. Almost a dozen adventures hang around the sundial when a merchant runs into camp telling us all that his wagons have been stolen by bandits. We charge south to find not only bandits but golems. Some of them made of green crystalline stone like emeralds, Others were made of just stone. I stay well in the rear using my arrows and spells when necessary. Eventually we find a hidden glen where the wagon train is stashed. A young woman is there with it.
The young woman is the caravan merchant’s daughter. At first, we thought her a captive prize. We quickly find out it was her that gathered the bandits together and hit the wagon train. It seems the golems were hers to. So, an adept at magic. Something I am still far from in my own learnings. Humans learn so fast. I find myself a bit jealous of their easy grasp of knowledge. She was taken to authorities to receive a slap on the wrist from what I have heard. The merchant was happy as we retrieved his goods. We find ourselves splitting treasure in a large field of things that were not among his merchandise. It was a lot. My count of the treasure was 2 rings, a belt, two scrolls, a full heal potion, a helm and a pair of boots of the elven kind.
Now well equipped I feel I may venture off road somewhat. I had heard much about the swamps to the east of Peltarch. I venture there to find kobalds. I make several excursions there until I found a cave entrance. Going in I was quickly overwhelmed by five of them. One hit me with a hammer knocking me out. For some reason they left me there unconscious for some time. When I woke, I stood and used the remainder of my magic to defeat the two that were left. I then ran back as fast as I could to the city.
Raryldor admonishes me for going off on my own. When we meet up again. He told me I should only run in crowds do to my weak stamina. I must agree but have little coin at this time. Enough to live but not enough to pursue my high goals. After a few days I find myself back in the swamp again but will not go into the cave. I practice my magic upon them. I pick up little but feel good about keeping their populations down so the Peltarch farmers beyond the wall may sleep soundly at night.
During this time two things happen First, I meet a dizzying array of new people and go out on Excursions with others. Mostly Raryldor stands beside me and leads the group. At other times like a foray into orc territory. Others take the lead. Of these two things I find the vast array of adventurers both foreign and local most interesting.
There is Chea the Sorceress. She worships the human aspect of Lady Moonbow. We have quite the conversation sitting at the benches near the sundial about a woman’s wisdom and how men don’t understand us. We also speak somewhat on the differences between mage and sorceress. She is a quiet woman pleasant to speak with.
I do not remember her name, but I met another priestess of Correllon. A half-elf dark of skin but looked to me not of drow descent. This woman is a very good woman and if I need to speak on something, I feel I cannot trust Raryldor on I believe I may speak to her. Especially on this magic business I now find my mind split upon. He has been hounding me that I need to seek out the meta-magic to extend my spells. My Mulhorandi teacher wants me to instead build up my will so that I may survive the white necromancies and possessions I will endure when preforming exorcisms.
Both are being practical. Narfell is much more wilderness than even Anchorome. Being able to extend my spells to maximum limit will help me survive this harsh land. However, I find my willpower even though strong from my mage training too weak for the specialties I have been trained for. I am not sure which way to stand, which way to train. Perhaps I should train myself in both techniques and eventually will be able to do both. It will take longer to start my real trade but perhaps it is the way it should be. To wait and have the patience to slowly master both things.
There is a woman that doesn’t speak in town. I do not know her name. She confused me at first when she spoke with her hands. I paid careful attentions and after awhile could make out some of what she is saying.
There is a strapping young monk that comes to the dial occasionally, Nathelin, He likes to exercise within the ring of stone that surrounds the dial. I like to watch especially on cold days.
Starting to pick up along of coal in my excursions I ask someone if anyone would likely buy it. One of the adventurers mention a dwarf by the name of Gnarl. Gnarl owns or is invested in the Edge. A premium weapons maker in the commerce center of the city. A few days later I find him wondering about town. I stop and we trade and make small talk. Like other dwarves here I find his pleasant manner and unsophisticated nobility amusing and enlightening. He is another good person to be round.
There is Jasmine. I’m not exactly sure what she does. I’ve had little to speak with her about as of yet but she is of note because of the red outfit she wears.
There are a few others. I forget most of their names but will try to remember them more. One day there was a woman of the guard along with another man whispering that there will be some kind of protest at Verika’s tower and during that time they will assail it to confront her. I did not hear all of the conversation but thinking back on my mistakes in Anchorome I keep my silence. Perhaps I should not interfere with something I only hear partially.
Raryldor also takes me with him on several occasions. We fight kobalds to and into their cave to find nothing. Giants, and other things. I stay well back and use my bow as best I can. I do help occasionally and sometimes hurt when a spell misfires. This occurs mostly with my cloud of enchantment that is meant to confuse the enemy. I really need to tighten up on my hand gestures to hone them into perfection. Especially when I have learned a higher understanding of that particular school.
At one time he sorely admonished me on my reliance of my magics over my bow. Being quite angry he said to me to use it conservatively. I cannot say that he is wrong. I must learn to place practicality over my first nature to use magic instead of bow. Soon I may be able to buy a better longbow and be able to help those I am with better than my current weapon.
I would also like to write about the city council meeting I and Gnarl walked in on and what set my nerves off at the bards guild however at this time I tire and wish to meditate on my training here in Mulhorand.
Lauriella backs into the corner of the room in fear as the mummy struggles against its bonds. A tall tan woman in a white dress shouts, “No Lauriella. We will do this again until you get it right!”
Once she calms down, she looks to the other, “I can use magic to control him.”
“Guardians are not meant to be controlled so Hemt Sithmore. You must find self-resolve, courage, self-confidence. The guardians know the robes of the house of life. If you have the will to face one with level head and soft confident words they will do as you will. Now: if they smell weakness in your voice, posture or in your eyes. This is another matter. They will attack you just as surely as a tomb raider. Just as readily as one of the guardian abominations that Thay make to mock Mulhorand and do damage to our northern cities. So, I say again. Stand before the mummy and order him to calm himself. A true guardian understands our language and will respond. That is how you know it is a true guardian or some abomination of a necromancer’s making.”
Lauriella once again stands before the mummy. It starts to struggle. She puts her chin up and stares straight into its eyes, “Good! Now command it to settle itself. Tell it that we are moving it to a temple. Lauriella does. The thing continues to struggle. She turns her eyes back to Hemt Netjer Fezim, “You still lack the self-confidence. Lauriella I cannot believe you are of 4th circle trained by one of the greatest of mages of the triad and yet at this stage you cannot show the will to control a mummy without spell.”
“I am doing my best Hemt Netjer.”
“You’re best is not enough. If you cannot control a mummy at this stage in your development how could you possibly expect to control and vanquish a spirit within your own or another’s that the spirit is trying to take over. I will give you exercises to practice upon others in Narfell. This requires no magic. It requires that you learn to deal with others from a position of strength and not of friendship or companionship. I will also give you a few books on the study of defending your mind. When next you come back, I fully expect that you will do better.”
Lauriella bows her head.
“Now get some rest. We have but three days before you board a ship. I wish to make every night count.”
Lauriella leaves the testing room and goes back to her rented inn room. She opens her journal.
We get to the other side of the border within a few days. Everyone moving out of the way from our undead horses as they speed at twice the velocity of a normal horse. We come to their checkpoint. A Thavian bureaucrat takes off the bracers. We make camp a few miles south of the border. After a dinner at a local inn Nulara goes to the room we rented. I open my journal and begin to write, watching the nearby tables for trouble.
After several weeks I relax into my new existence among the people of Peltarch. On long days and some nights, I talk among others around the city sundial to get to know them. Raryldor an elven cleric of Correllon takes me under his wing. He offers me gifts to get me started in my studies. I don’t know what to think about this at first and question him about it. He told me that he looks after all elves of Peltarch and the surrounding lands. Upon his insistence I accept his help.
While he is there, he often councils me and continually asks about my magic, and what I have achieved. At first, I accept his curiosity as small talk. Later he becomes more insistent about it. When Raryldor is not there several other adventurers including Verika, I Believe, have counseled me not to trust him. That he has his own agenda and that I should be careful not to trust him so much. I am somewhat cautious now but still I find Raryldor an honest male. He is very complicated like Fawn, but honest where Fawn is secretive. I like being by his side not for his gifts or his help but for his keen understanding of life in Peltarch. Do I think he has his own agenda? I wouldn’t be a Sithmore if I did not. Yes, he has an agenda, but I believe that his goals will always in some way be for the benefit of either the city or the elves he watches over. Being a priest, I may also talk to him privately about my concerns without the world knowing.
Also, during this time, the burning of the gate by Verika became a hot subject. She came into camp many times to discharge her ire at the dwarves over this white dragon and dracolich moving to her paranoia of the dwarves wanting to burn down her tower.The only thing I actually saw was the burning of the gate. The other stuff she mentioned I only have hints and half-trues listening to others along with some broken truths I was trying to put together to help the woman if I could.
One night tired of her prattling I asked her for the full of the situation. She told me of Cy this white dragon how a ranger raised it from an egg and that it has protected the surrounding lands for many years. The dwarves got into some kind of a land dispute with it and They wanted to kill him or something of the sort. Meanwhile this Cy had found out about a dracolich that is threatening the land and wanted to do something about it which would hurt the dwarves in some way.
So, I asked her, “Evil dragons by nature that are raised by good people often revert once the father/mother is gone. Does this ranger still live? Is he still in contact with the dragon? For I feared that perhaps the ranger had left Cy to his own devices and the dragon had gone back to his evil state.
Verika made several long statements somewhat accusing me of being a dragon hater without saying it. I told her, “No I’m just looking for the information needed to help her as best I can.” She goes on for quite some time but in the end she stops her diatribe. I honestly feel for her position but it was her that instigated violence against the dwarves. As much as I feel that she has a point in worries for her draconic friend she is wrong in her actions. I think on everything she has said and agree that she does have an argument. I then try to council her that this dispute need not end in violence. I ask her to parley with Norfolk to reach common ground.
She quickly dismissed my advice. Saying that there is nothing more she could do and the Dwarves mean to destroy her tower over the gate incident. This is when I know that Verika is a person that will not bend to the views of others. I now find her an angry and ridged person not willing to compromise with others for the greater good of the community. If I were to travel with her; I would have to watch her carefully. However, my relationship with Raryldor seems to make her uncomfortable therefore I can see no way where the two of us would end up together. Still I hope for the best and hope that with age she will slay her demons and become less angry and self-centered. Then perhaps we may have kind words for one another. I will write more on this later. For several Thavian's are watching me and one has already come to me with a marriage proposal.
I find their manners about such subjects in great distaste. They see any female mage and want to form a union for more power. I have dealt with this for many days now and hope that when we get to the capital city of Kurth, These advances will be quelled. I will find the proper man when I damn well decide he is the right person to deal with my own goals and repercussions of the path I have taken.
When dawn comes Nulara is still sleeping. Lauriella pulls herself out of trance and opens her journal. For a week after my adventure I asked questions of the locals and various adventurers. From that perspective I launched an excursion to Norwick, alone and unaided. I wanted to find out if what was said was true. There is a grand library in Norwick centered around a mage guild called the Spellweavers. I find the city again without incident. I also find the vaulted library.
There I find many a volume on local lore and legends (whether true or not) I revel at all the information. Reading and resting for a full two days and nights. While making my way back I find several dwarves at the north gate. One of them is Ylva. I join the campfire. Ylva introduces me to her uncle Thorin. They are all in a jovial mood and I welcome the light air of the conversation. At one point Thorin gets a serious demeanor talking about a white dragon by the name of Ky, Verika's misdeed and a dracolich. I pay close attention but the merriment around the small camp puts it to the background. At this point I find the dwarves enchanting. Their unsophisticated practicality and views of life itself is refreshing to one who does not look to the optimistic outlook on life. I find my self enchanted by their simple enthusiasm of life. Especially Ylva's.
I will say much more on Verika and especially Raryldor while on journey along with many others, but I see that my chaperon is waking up and must put the journal aside for now.
The women make a breakfast of radishes and other hardy vegetables that are resistant to rot, along with roasting some hard tack bread with cheese. They watch as others quickly pack up their camp and rush south. Nulara and Lauriella pack their camp in at a leisurely pace. Nalara calls up their horses and they ride the rest of the way. At the gates of the border they are quickly met by a low-level administrator. He looks at Nulara and throws out his hand. She hands him some papers. The man reads them obviously bored with his position. He waves her forward as if this was a normal action. When the man comes to her he almost misses something. He throws up his hand. She has her papers out too. but takes a second too long. He looks up. Seeing that she is an elf his eyes become sharp, "You will have to go to the building over to the side, Hemt. We require further investigation."
Lauriella bobs her head. She dismounts and goes into the small building in front of the gate. Once inside she sees a small office. There is a clerk there just behind a barrier. A window lets people place papers on a small counter and for the clerk to converse with them. She steps up to the window and places her papers on the counter. The young man studies her. He then takes a small wooden wand like staff, "Please show me the side of your face?"
Lauriella brushes her hair to the side. He stares at the markings, "You are third of fourth circle, Hemt?"
"I must go to my supervisor. A mage of station must tend to a mage of station."
"Lauriella nods while he goes to the back area."
After 15 minutes or so a human dressed in red robes comes to the counter and orders, "Step back please."
Lauriella takes two steps back. He studies her carefully. Then says, "Hemt of the fourth circle from the western outskirts."
"I have papers."
The other mage face turns sour, "I read them when I am ready, Hemt. Name?
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore."
The Red robe starts to write on a form then suddenly stops. Without moving his head he orders, "Name." once again.
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore." She looks to the side where the two guard are at post. When she walked in their eyes were droopy and they were sloughing. Now they are fully alert and starring suspiciously at her. She sighs and turns her attentions back to the wizard."
He puts his quill down, "I must send for my supervisor." Lauriella twists her mouth in an unbecoming way but still bobs her head to the wizard. He leaves her for near an hour. She waits over an hour before another spellcaster steps up to the counter. This one has a pale cast to his skin. The whites of his eyes are bloodshot. He wears red robes with black trimming. Lauriella digs into her pack for a small mirror. As the mage watches her he simply replies, "Do not do that."
Lauriella stops what she is doing. She lifts her chin and replies, "Alright. We both know what we are dealing with."
The vampire mage grunts, "Perhaps."
He looks down at the paper, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore of the fourth circle. Gold elf." Picking up a quill he again begins asking questions, "Major fields of study?"
"Enchantment, Conjuration, White necromancy, Exorcism, Mulhorandi herbal remedies."
The mage writes all of it down and furrows his brows. Looking up he studies her very carefully. For what Lauriella doesn't know. Going back to his form he asks, "Trained by?"
"Hemt Netjer Tarset."
The quill stops its movement. He studies her again for a very long time. When he is done he tells her, "I must get my supervisor from city hall."
Lauriella sighs and bobs her head.
She waits almost three hours this time but when someone comes up to the window on the other side she is aghast. It is a Lich! Wearing almost black robes lined with red. There is a circlet on his head with ivory inlets rounding the center.
She stammers, "I have diplomatic papers!"
The Lich says nothing. Instead he produces a small paper envelop. Opening it he tilts it to the counter. A dead spider falls out and lays there. Now he speaks, "You have a choice 'Hemt Sithmore' You may answer my questions honestly or...…." He looks at the dead spider.
"I believe this is against diplomatic policy." Lauriella raises her chin.
The lich is unimpressed. The creature watches her every move, reaction and eyes. His eyes seem to bore into her. She uses her mental will to defend herself rather than spell. The lich stops and looks down picking up the quill, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore. Despite your heritage and status we will allow you to cross our country. However there are conditions. You will not be allowed more than one mile from the trade route. You will not be allowed in any temple. You will try to free no slaves, And you will not be able to return Thay once you have crossed our border, Ever. Do you accept these rules."
"Take off your bracers of dexterity."
She does. The lich produces another set of bracers. These ones have runes on them that are familiar to her. The Lich crosses out a line in the report on the counter. As he writes he speaks, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore. Trained by one known as Hemt Netjer Tarset, Also known as Archmage Fawn Vail of Lapis Port, Real name: Igraine Sierra.
"Put on those bracers hemt and you may leave. There will be someone at the border of Mulhorand to release them once you have crossed."
"They are cursed!?"
The lich states, "What do you think, Hemt. Do you think that we would allow one of your kind to walk unhindered within our lands?"
Lauriella frowns but puts the other bracers on. As soon as she does the runes light up with a soft green light. She places the others in her pack and begins to leave. As she touches the door handle the Lich asks her, "Hemt Sithmore, I have a message for your mistress."
She swivels her head to the side asking, "What is it then?"
"No one. Absolutely No one escapes the eyes of the diviners of Thay. Not even a princess of the High Ogres."
She opens the door and leaves knowing the lich has answered a question that has plagued her for years. The question she has now is, 'what does that mean?'
Lauriella walks out to meet Nulara. The priestess rushes up to her then stops mystified, asking, "Hemt Sithmore? You are one with the wolf, Jackal, cat? How could this be? You wear silver upon your skin."
Getting the reference but not understanding the magic runes for they are far to advanced for her shakes her head, "No Hemt. I am not and do not know why they put these on me. Do you know what they do?"
"Yes, They prevent you from changing skins."
Lauriella thinks back to her time in Lapis Port. She nods to the other priestess, "Let us make hast. I wish these cursed things off of me as soon as possible."
@winterhawk99: The two women sit by a campfire a mile from the customs office of The Thayvian border. No one disturbs them. They see other campfires in the near distance. Waiting until morn for customs to open so they may travel the birth of the land Thay occupies. One is a short human woman with a bald head. Three blue rings are painted upon her crown signifying she is from the middle class of Mulhorand. Her outfit tells a different story. It tells all who know that she is a priestess of the house of life. In Mulhorand all of the middle class whether teacher, mage, witch or actual priests of a deity are called priests and priestess.
The other is an elf of tan-gold skin and copper eyes. Still young her hair has some premature grey strands among the strands. A result of standing against an archmage in a battle of possession. She stands almost the same height as the human at 5'8''. The pair stare at one another and speak quietly.
You have gift for Hemt Netjer, Lauriella?"
The elf smiles, "I do, Nulara. She flicks a dead firefly up in the air. Light suddenly floods them. After adjusting she digs into her pouches, producing a box. She stretches her arm out for Nulara to look inside.
"It looks like dried roses."
"They are roses. These roses called Riln Roses can be crushed into a powder and mixed with spices to make a potion of love that inspirers both love of the body and love of the soul."
"Ah, Now this. This is an excellent gift." Many a couple in Mulhorand will like this."
"If used with both's full knowledge, yes it can be used for good things and if given to Hemt Nejer I know it will be used wisely."
"The rules of the house are sacred. We will use it wisely and just."
Nulara asks, "You do not shave your head?"
"Neither does Hemt Netjer Tarset. It is not our way. She taught me to braid it and slip the sliver cups on the ends."
"This is western style the style of the secret city of magic."
"Yes I believe so. I was there once and met their Pharaoh."
"Not many meet Pharaoh here. Too many people to much land. He has ministers tend to the peoples needs. Slavery it is abolished. The house of life promotes these things. The lower classes they still have a hard time but are free as long as they follow the laws of the land.
They struggle from the Thavian's advances but are happier."
"Do you think that we will have problems tomorrow."
"Yes, You are an elf. The Thay they don't like the elves. The good thing is we have provided the proper papers. It should not take long. You have god to worship?
"I honor all the elven gods but my heart goes to one called Sehanine Moonbow."
"I do not know this god. What is she like?"
"She's the elven goddess of the moon."
"Ah, We have a god for the moon, too. His name is Khonsu the traveler."
"And you? Do you have a patron? One that your heart is close too?"
"Yes, I honor Bastet and work as a midwife when not pursuing the arts."
"A fine occupation to help bring the newborn into the world."
"I enjoy it. and help with the censes when I can. You seem a good person like Hemt Tarset is said to be?"
"I try to be."
"What is Tarset like? I have never seen her but she has been here many times to oust the evil from many in Mulhorand."
"She's complicated. She has an iron will. She doesn't warm to people well. She can be rash but rarely speaks unless she considers you friend."
"She is legend here as where you are from. You are a lucky woman to study under her."
"If you become Netjer and stay steady in your studies do you think you will pierce the vail of insanity when comes the time?"
"I honestly don't know Nulara. Fawn told me that if I pursue possession that eventually other peoples' memories will overwhelm me. That is the time when I will stand and find a way to make the memories leave me or fall into a lifelong insanity."
"Yes this is what is read in the House of life. Why walk a path that few others would pursue, knowing the price you will pay even if you break the memories.
"I have good reason. Let it go at that?"
"Why did you leave before ending your apprenticeship?"
"So many questions, Nulara. And that is why. I had too many questions and learned too much of the school and its Archmages. They sent me away. They liked me and I would have had I not learned too many secrets."
"I think you are a very good person Lauriella even if you do look like a peasant. I think after this journey I would say I would ride with you again."
Nulara leans back on her bedroll, "We'll sleep now. Let others rush the gates come morning. Take our time with breakfast. The night watch over you."
"The moon watch over you."
"Lauriella leans her back into the log behind her. Her packs used as cushions. She falls into trance while watching Selune."
I arrived in Peltarch in the rain. As I moved my way to the city square, I found a temple of Selune who is an aspect of my own goddess Lady Moonbow. Immediately I felt the warmth and comfort that those in the city were like myself. As I reached a central location (a wide area with a sundial in the center) I noticed several adventurers.
The three I noticed most were an elder elf, a cleric of Correllon. One Rarylador. Another Ylva, and one more Aranwe. Two elves and a dwarf. There is much, much more about these three central figures that have influenced my dealings with Narfell on a whole, but this is for a later time. Tonight, I write this log for the prosperity of my descendants. If that is if Lady Moonbow blesses me with them.
Where was I? Yes, they swept me up across the near lands of Peltarch to a cave. As we entered, we were accosted by creatures I have only heard in legend, Oghthys. Both Ylva and I were swallowed whole quickly by the beasts. I am not sure how Ylva survived. I used my meager spells trying to help Rarylador defeat the monsters. When my spells were done the only thing left that I could do was use my longbow. The creature backed me into a corner and swallowed me whole. In the throat of the beast I struggled for I held my breath just before knowing what was about to happen. I hoped that it would in fact not use its teeth for a small target. It was slowly crushing me. In desperation I found the wand that Archmage Fawn had given me before the voyage. A wand that emits a shock to anyone I touch it too.
Holding it in desperation I release its full force inside the creature’s throat. I got lucky. The monster’s reflexes kick in and it throws me up. I crawl to a corner of the cavern system and make myself as small as possible while the experienced adventurers defeat the creatures. The battle is long but eventually all is well. Ylva is also discharged by a Oghthys so large that It can no longer venture from the chamber It lived in.
The group decides to go back home. While venturing back we encounter a curious situation. A female elf, whose name I learned later as Verika, was challenging the guard of Norwick, A town not to far south of Petrarch, by the western gate. She make a lengthy speech about a white worm and dracolich. Violence inferred. She threw a spell to burn down the gate. The dwarves attacked her.
Wanting to qualm the violence I threw a spell of enchantment. A cloud of mist that would confuse all in it. The spell misfired because of some minor flaw in my casting. It affected all around the gate, but the magic energy somehow sent me running right into my own spell. In the end many that I didn’t want effected by the spell were effected including myself.
Verika left and the dwarves stood down. Not so much from my casting but more from the situation playing itself out. By this time the group had whittled down to Raryldor, Aranwe, and me. We made it back to Peltarch then separated each to his or her own devices. I went to the local park and praise my goddess for surviving the incident.
The caravan stops in Kront. As Lauriella disembarks she is approached by a female in a similar gown. They appraise one another. It is the other that bows to her, “Hemt Nulara Hahpet, at your service Hemt Sithmore.” I recognize her. We shake arms, desert fashion: Placing our hands on the forearms of the other to make sure no weapon hides upon our strong arm.
Hemt Nulara is the first to speak, “By your dress you understand the forth circle?”
I readily smile, “It is truth Hemt Nulara. I have worked to hone my understanding of the weave.”
The young woman nods and smiles to her, “All is well then. We have a need of one that understands the forth circle. The land is sundered in Mulhorand. The guardians wander. With my mistresses help perhaps you could add to the gathering and resetting of the temple and tomb mummies to their proper places.”
Lauriella smiles, “I will do my best to set them to their proper places. I have not completed my training yet in Mulhorandi arts.”
Hemt Nulara replies, “All is taken care of Hemt Sithmore. Hemt Netjer Chathe Fezim is awaiting to complete your training. She would also like to request your services for an extended period. Coin is rare now in Mulhorand, but she is willing to provide all the herbs and curatives for you to carry out your duties in Narfell.”
“A fair enough bargain Nulara.”
Nulara turns from her. She casts two spells while throwing horse bones to the ground. The spell spawns two phantom horses to which now Lauriella is use too. They continue the journey to the Thay border alone. But then again in this territory who would challenge two hedge mages of Mulhorand that know white necromancy.
Early in the morning Lauriella looks out the window of Violette’s shop while putting on her make up. The uniform was quite expensive with all the sliver on it, but she has to wear it. The good thing is she can choose to wear the simple headdresses until she actually arrives in the city of Skuld. No one currently was in the area near the sun dial that adventurers tend to congregate too. She relaxes. If anyone saw her in her Mulhorandi gown they would surely stop and question her.
Putting the last of the Kohl eyeliner on she looks in the mirror. Her eyes have a hawkish appearance now. It doesn’t look perfect, but she hasn’t been doing this for near fifty years like Fawn. The dress is of course way too revealing for her with little to give to the imagination. ‘Why can’t the Mulhorandi wear normal clothes’ she says to herself. She finishes the outfit by putting two small dots of Kohl on each side of the ends of the eyeliner signifying that she is what amounts to the hedge wizardress of some amount of strength.
She sneaks through the city as fast as she can through the gates where a caravan is waiting going to the city of Kront. There she will meet Hemt Nulara Hahpet. From there they will travel together and alone through Thay and on to the capital city of Skuld where the people are rebuilding their small empire with the help of the escaped slaves (now freemen) of Thay. Many a guard turn their eyes to her. One wolf-whistles. She rolls her eyes and keeps going to find them ready. She jumps in quickly. After a ½ hour they are off to the races. The first thing she does is re-read the sealed letter from the House of Life sent to her. Explaining that Hemt Chathi Fezim has been in communication with Hemt Tarset and would like to complete her training in Mulhorandi death magic if she so wishes. She could not but jump at the chance.
The next thing she does and read all the diplomatic papers and passes that are afforded to her for the journey. Everything seems in order, so she becomes satisfied by that.
At last she opens a blank journal and begins to write:
Here in lies the notes of a new life in the country of Narfell
Lauriella Sithmore Former Apprentice to Archmage Fawn Vail of Anchorome
Winter Solace comes once again to the world of Toril. This time it does upon a new moon. Selune is hiding her face. Lauriella not being able to go to the city without a chaperon again picks her flowers making a bouquet and walks down to the shrine, knowing that she is not breaking any of the teachers’ rules this time. Her mood is ecstatic for in five short months of rigorous training and teaching she will be the first student to graduate with a full apprenticeship to her Mistress. She wants to thank Lady Moonbow and show her gratitude for her patron deity.
Once she gets there she throws two dead fireflies upon two of the hedge stones and uses cantrips to light the alter. She places her flowers upon it. Then in celebration she dances and sings to the absent moon. Midway through her celebration she hears a crunching sound. Becoming aware that there may be someone there. Within the light of the shrine she can see nothing, so dark the new moon. She backs away from the alter until she can switch her eyes to infravision. When she does she sees that she is surrounded. A raiding party of orcs from the nearby mountains have come to pillage the lands. She throws up her meager shields drawing out her dagger. She hears gruff laughter as they move in on her.
Lauriella says one last prayer and sets her feet determined to take as many with her as she can before they break the bounds of the sacred altar. They casually approach her. They toy with her. There are almost a dozen of them and she is but one small elf wielding a simple dagger. She raises her dagger to strike the first one in striking distance when from out of the forest rages a giant of a creature with gangly arms. It holds within its hands a tree trunk. While running up to them it raises the tree and slams it down on several of the war party.
Lauriella backs away to the altar as the fight resumes. The creature is at the least ten feet tall covered with fur and walks on two lets. Its maw is huge. Large enough to swallow her whole. And she makes out three small eyes on one of the sides of its face. She now knows: It’s a grey render. The render and Orcs fight for their meal. Lauriella cannot but stay close to the alter as the dizzying fight flows around her. Axe and sword against claw and tooth. One orc gets close enough for her to strike. She stabs it in the kidney losing her only weapon. The orc smacks her back against the seven-foot stone slab. He raises his sword to strike then disappears as a giant furred hand lifts him up and throws him. After that the few remaining orcs run for their lives. The Render bloody and beaten an axe buried in its upper back, moves toward her. With no weapon and no spells, the only thing Lauriella can do is raise her arms in defense and close her eyes. She prays one last time to Lady Moon bow and waits the inevitable.
Nothing happens. Lauriella opens her eyes expecting to see the jaws coming down upon her. Instead there is a woman lying on the ground bleeding to death. The bloody axe lying beside her. She is 6 foot tall and naked. Her skin is sky blue and her hair is a mass of silver curls going down to her waste. She is beautiful. Her form so perfect it would madden an elven princess in a rage of jealousy. There are strange tribal tattoos of animals completely covering her body as if the very moonlight was sewn into her skin. They glow with Selune’s soft light.
She exclaims loudly, “It must be a guardian of this shrine! She runs. She knows the ingredients she need and where to find them near. Collecting mud broad leaves that will stay the wounds and other natural medicines she runs back. The woman has crawled her way to the alter and lays upon it. Lauriella goes to work. As she works it seems hopeless the creature is cut so badly. She manages to dress most of the slashes but fears the woman could die from blood loss. She smashes some tree bark with her fists and pries her mouth open, “Here this will help with the pain.”
As she does the creature opens its eyes. One is silver and pure like and angel’s. The other is yellow and feral.
“Mistress! Mistress Fawn! No! No! Why! I am of no import to the greater things! Why would you do this!
Fawn closes her eyes back up. Lauriella doubles her efforts. First she touches her stomach and speaks a cantrip. Both children are alive. One kicks out as if feeling something wrong. Knowing Fawn never leaves the compound without her archmage robe and scroll case she races to the edge of the woods where the grey render came from. Sure enough there are robes there and the scroll case. She runs back opening the case along the way. Pulling them out she looks for a particular necromantic spell. Shuffling them down as she reads them to find out what they are. It’s not there! The only scrolls that are left are written in some strange unknown language she could not even pretend to understand. Fawn arches her back and grabs Lauriella’s arm.
Lauriella begins to cry, “Help me help you mistress. I don’t understand the scrolls. What can I do!”
She hears a deep male voice behind her, “That’s because the scrolls are in Kolshet. An ancient magical language only the Archmages of Anchorome understand. Give me those scrolls now and go home, Lauriella! I’ll take care of this.”
She turns around to see Randyl. His eyes speak that he is so angry that there seems to be a twinge of insanity in them. Lauriella flees as she is commanded. Lauriella is restless the rest of the night unable to go to trance.
Early She is called to Shaia’s office. As Lauriella walks in she sees the headmistress’s face is set with a grim countenance. She stands before Shaia and waits.
“Your expelled. You will not complete your necromantic training. The only question; Is what to do with you now? You may not know everything but eventually you’ll figure it out. I wanted to keep you here for the rest of your life. You would be cloistered from everyone else and keep under watch but still able to pursue your studies. Fawn adamantly disagreed saying it wasn’t your fault. That all have a right to pursue their goals. It doesn’t matter if it is your fault or not. You have within your head forbidden knowledge.”
“Mistress, Who or what is Fawn?”
Shaia stands up and slams her fist down on the desk, “That is enough! No more questions! One more question and I swear I will imprison you into the middle of the earth!”
Lauriella casts her eyes down, “I will say nothing of what I have seen.”
“That is not enough! The promises of the youth mean nothing! Even if you were to keep your promise what would happen if a mage battles you in enchantment! What if someone breaks through your defenses and reads what things you know of this school and of Fawn herself! Randyl loves her.”
Shaia softens her voice, “I love her. And I will not let some accident put her in danger again with an endless array of foes hunting her down for her magic. I know it was an accident. I told her never to take an apprentice. She disobeyed me. Not only that she took on a Sithmore.”
“What is to be done with me, then?”
“We hastily chartered a ship and a special chaperon. He will take you as far away from us as possible. You’re being sent to a place called Narfell. If the winds ever carry word that you have spoken about what you know of your Mistress I will come and find you, and what Fawn did to you will not even compare to what I will do to you when I catch up with you. Do you understand?”
Tears start to flow from Lauriella’s eyes, “Yes, Archmage.”
“Gather your things up and go to the docks. She’s waiting for you there. You will not be harassed by your family. They fear Fawn too much.”
Lauriella gathers all of her things. Most fit within a backpack. She takes the wagon caravan to the docks in a depression. Dragging her feet to the docks she finds Fawn waiting. Fawn rushes up and hugs her by a black sloop. Its flags fly the arms of Lapis Port and the Golden Katana, “Look at me. Chin up. I wish to speak to you woman to woman.”
Lauriella looks up her eyes red from the tears she has shed all day.
“Now, please don’t feel so bad. It isn’t your fault, Lauriella. Just bad luck. You almost made it. In fact, I declare you my first successful apprentice.”
Lauriella chokes out a laugh as Fawn continues, “I have three things for you. First Randyl took the time to make you a spell book. It has a few spells within to help you get started.”
Lauriella takes the book and nods to her.
Fawn then hands her a large package about as big as her belly that is starting to bloom, “You have been trained in the herbal remedies of the house of life. This package not only contains spell components but herbs, barks, flowers and other things so you may use them if needed. Included are remedies for croup and several doses of silphium if you should need it.
Lauriella replies softly, “Thank you, mistress.”
“Mistress no longer, Hemt Sithmore. Call me friend for you are only the 6th person I have said those words to.”
Fawn raises up a steel coin, “I purchased this just for you. I hurt you badly when I tested you. Use if you….”
“I know what it is Fawn. It’s a Velvet coin. Why would Janine’s husband take me across the ocean? He will tell everything he knows to Janine.”
“If you know what this coin is you know that Velvet’s loyalty stands with the Katana and that he is a professional. He never speaks of what he hears from one to another even if it’s his wife. If he did he would be quickly eradicated by several of his patrons. If I am correct you have only ever seen the worse of what sex can do to a woman and sadly it was at my own hands within your mind. Velvet will heal that and still cuts a striking figure at sixty something. Use it don’t use it. It is up to you. If you choose not too: give him his coin when you land in Narfell."
Lauriella nods and takes the coin. The two women have a long hug before Lauriella boards the sloop.
Several months later as the ship enters the inner sea Velvet passes by her as she looking at the steel coin. He stops, “You have a coin, Lady Sithmore?”
“I will be in my cabin if my services are needed.”
Later that night Lauriella makes a decision and quietly enters the captain’s quarters. She comes out in the morning a new woman. Determined to make her teacher proud of what she will do with her life in this new land.
After a few short weeks of vacation Fawn calls Lauriella back to her office. When she gets there, she finds Fawn pacing the room. Fawn looks at her and says, “Sit down Lauriella.”
Fawn doesn’t sit down behind her desk. Instead she pulls a chair up and sits opposed to her. Lauriella notices that even though its been near half a year, Fawn is still not showing her pregnancy, even when she knows Fawn has been pregnant nearly six months.
Fawn cuts off her musings with her voice, “This year I am supposed to teach you advanced techniques of necromancy. I will but there will be conditions. You understand?”
Lauriella nods to her, “I understand. What are the conditions?”
First there are facets to every school of magic. The house of life considers necromancy a good and noble pursuit as long as certain rules are kept.”
“Yes, Fawn I’m ready to listen.”
First there are considered spells which although can be very harmful don’t tap into the souls of others, Things like Cause Fear, and Horrid wilting, Necromantic healing These kinds of spells you can use.
“Mistress……. Fawn. I’ve never heard of necromantic healing?”
“It’s a rare spell few have, even in Mulhorand. I will show you.”
Fawn takes a knife and cuts a deep wound into Lauriella’s hand. She then casts a spell using a powder as a component. When she is finished casting, she grabs her head and puts her mouth to hers saying open your mouth. Lauriella does. Black vapors come out of her mouth and go into Fawns.
Fawn says, “Now look at your hand.” She does finding no wound or pain. Fawn then shows lauriella her own hand. It has the wound upon it.”
Fawn continues, “Its not really a healing spell. It is a spell of transference. As you see I’m wearing my archmage robe which will regenerate the wound.”
Lauriella surprised says, “That’s amazing.”
“And dangerous. If you ever find the spell on your own use it wisely. It can kill you; for you’re taking the wounds of another that may be stronger than you.
Now there are spells to turn living beings into undead. There are many cultures that do this. The elves have the baelnorns. Mulhorand has mummy guards for their temples. All these people are volunteers. To have the procedure preformed on them. You must promise me that if you do this you will always make sure they know what they are getting into before you preform this. And never do it to an unwilling subject.”
“I promise, Fawn.”
“On possession: The only reason for you to use Magic Jar is on someone already possessed or someone you know for sure has evil in their heart. Never ever try to magic jar a good person. It is forbidden.”
“There are also ways to control undead, bring them back to speak with you. These spells effect the already dead. You may use these spells with limitation. All spirits deserve their afterlife. When you use these spells, it upsets the natural balance between the heavens and mortal life. You can use them for very short periods or in the case when I bring a friend back once a year, I make it for him a happy affair. We dance the night in the graveyard, and I tell him of the mortal lands. He appreciates it going back to his afterlife at dawn, happy for a night of seeing me.”
“How do I tell if I’m using it in a good way or an evil way?”
“You will know it in your heart, Lauriella, and you do not actually think I’m going to send you off without monitoring you do you for these are the secrets of the House of Life.”
“How would you do this, Mistress?”
Fawn holds out some small earrings with jade stones at their center, "Wear these. Once you put them on you can not take them off. They are unobtrusive and signify to anyone of the house of life that you have apprenticed under them and are a member which we will correct soon being that I am the Hemt Netjer of the house of life in a certain city. In other words, you just got a promotion. If you ever use black necromancy I will know, and I will be able to summon you by spell and question you about it. Understand.” She holds the earrings out to Lauriella. Lauriella hesitates. If she takes them, she will be forever connected to Fawn. What would happen if they come to a disagreement? The lure of necromancy and exorcism then takes hold she takes them and puts them on.
“One more thing Lauriella. For the next few months you will have to learn the Mulhorand language.”
“Ok, Fawn that will be my next task.”
Several months later Fawn receives a letter and calls Lauriella into her office. As she enters Fawn tells her, “Come on we’re leaving.”
“Where are we going Fawn?”
“To a city deep in the Sands of Itzcala. They have need of our services. Here. Wear this. When we get there, you will need to use honorifics. Always call me Hemt Netjer.”
“Yes, Hemt Netjer.”
Lauriella puts the tight-fitting thing that looks almost like a lingerie on. Its tight in the hips and leaves little to the imagination. There’s a broad collar that goes around her neck. The top is so skimpy she feels embarrassed. Yet she still puts it on and the sandals that strap up half-way up her shin.
Fawn leads her out into the field. The Damsel Fly is there. They get in. The main room is tight. No more than three could occupy it comfortably. Fawn sits in a chair between the two portals armored both outside and inside by a mesh like metal. All the sudden they fly straight up in the air making Lauriella’s stomach feel funny. Then Fawn moves south at a blistering pace that makes her head feel dizzy.
Just within six hours a city against a mountain range springs out of the desert. They land near a great pyramid. There is a figure waiting for them. A middle-aged man of olive skin and black hair. Fawn ushers her out of the vehicle and they stand before him.
Fawn speaks to him in Mulhorandi while bowing, “Greetings, Pharaoh. I and my apprentice Hemt Sithmore have come at your request.” Lauriella quickly bows to match what Fawn is doing.
“Hemt Netjer Tarset. It is always a pleasure.” He walks up and locks forearms with her. Then he comes over to her holding out his arm, “Hemt Sithmore, Greetings young lady.”
“A pleasure to meet, Pharaoh. How do the people fare?” She takes his arm grasping her hand on his forearm.
“Ah, A diplomat. Hemt Netjer seems has chosen well.” He then puts his lips to her ear, “Perhaps you should speak for her, Hemt Sithmore. You must know her ways with others are not so good.”
Lauriella laughs bringing Pharaoh also to laugh with her.”
He then gets serious, “A boy has been possessed, Tarset. Our priest cannot persuade the thing to leave. That is why a letter was sent.”
“The trail to you is long. It has been four moons.”
“Is everything set up?”
“Then I will see him straight way.”
The Pharaoh takes them to a large building near the pyramid. Lauriella sees the sign that it is the House of life. He leaves them there. As Fawn and she walk in, the guard bow to Fawn. Several hems and hemts show them to a large room. There chained to a chair is a small boy. There is a protective circle around him keeping him in and protecting those on the outside of the circle. The boy doesn’t display any sign of possession.She walks up to him taking out a bone needle. She throws a strange spell, pokes his arm and tastes the blood. The boy says, “Some one new to play with. You will beg me to enter once I am done with you.”
Fawn ignores him and walks back. “Everyone come with me.” Several men and women walk out of the room into the hallway with her, including Lauriella.
Fawn looks around, “Has anyone been casting planar magic in the last year?”
There is a man there wearing the same color dress as her, “No, Tarset. Why would you ask such a question? This type of magic is rare here.”
“I know but this demon is a Pride demon from the realm of Fade. I am wondering just how it got here. It’s not suppose to be able to, unless someone brought it.”
The other of her rank ask, “Can you send it back?”
“Yes, but it will take some time.” Fawn suddenly stops and bends over holding her stomach. Two of the hemts move over to her supporting her. One touches her stomach. She looks over to the leader, “Hemt Tarset is pregnant with twins.”
The other frowns, “Call Pharaoh we must discuss this. Hemt Netjer Tarset. We will not allow you to perform this exorcism.”
“Hem Netjer Aiemapt, I am the only one that can do this exorcism. First of all, your circle is wrong. I will redraw it.”
“No! Tarset. We do know the potency of this demon. You will not enter with the unborn inside of you.”
Lauriella steps up, “I will do it Hem Netjer, I am Hemt Netjer Tarset’s apprentice. Hemt Sithmore.”
The archmage looks at Fawn. She nods going into her scroll case she takes out a scroll and hands it to Lauriella. Opening it she sees a very complex circle. She sighs. Retrieving the necessary supplies from the ship and returning she goes into the room with the boy. The demon taunts her while she’s erasing the first circle. She ignores it completely as Fawn had taught her. When she starts to redraw the new circle the boy rages and spits at her trying to disrupt her concentration. It kicks at her tries to erase lines. Anything to disrupt her or mar what she is creating. As she is finishing the circle it screams out, “This is impossible! You could not know! How could you know!”
She sets her chin and completes the circle walking out sad in the fact that she doesn’t have the knowledge to do it herself.
On the voyage home both women are listless. Each knowing that the boy will eventually waste away and die. The demon will be trapped in the circle until someone most likely Fawn after she gives birth can dispel the creature.
Lauriella rushes to Shaia’s office. Shaia stands up, “What’s wrong?”
“Something with Randyl and Fawn. Randyl tackled her. She tired fighting him off but he forced her eyes to stare into his then they disappeared.
Shaia slams her hand into the desk, “I hoped this wouldn’t happen, but figure Fawn would be the one in a hundred it happens to twice. We have 15 minutes or so to get Miwa here and go after them. You’re coming with us.”
Shaia casts a spell. Lauriella exclaims, “Me! I’m not ready for anything like this, whatever it is!”
“Ludwig! Teleport Miwa over to the gate right now. Fawn’s curse is back.”
She looks at Lauriella, “She trusts you now. You have to come with us. Between you and Miwa the two of you will be able to bring her back.”
“Bring her back! From what? I don’t even…………” Lauriella stops in her speech as the smell of hot ash and melted rock assault her nose. She turns around. Walking up to them is a being she only knows from Lapis Port legends. She has never seen one before.
The woman has a slight elven figure. The white scales that are showing on her arms and legs show old cuts and wounds making her looks slightly disfigured. The scales themselves are twice the size of a dragon disciples. Her eyes are a deep watery blue. Her white hair has red coloring mixed into it and her face is painted with body paints in an elven pattern. There are large black claw marks tattooed across the left side of her face. She has great white wings like a dragon disciple. Her eye teeth are extended into fangs, meant for taking down game. The woman is wearing a robe of some foreign design. Still there is a katana belted to it while another belt wrapped round her waist holds a mithral fighting fan.
For the first time in her life Lauriella knows she is standing in front of an Elder Fey’ri. The creature stops and ignores her, “Where is she Shaia?”
“Randyl took her to the island, Honorable.”
“Are you stupid. How in Avernus did this happen? She’ll kill him. And who is this student?”
“She’s not a student. She’s Fawns apprentice. We may need her too.”
“Miwa turns her eyes to her, “What’s your name?”
“Lauriella Sithmore, Ma’am.”
“It is not Ma’am. Shaia do you not teach your apprentices honorifics? By the way how did a Sithmore become an apprentice here?” She turns her eyes back to Lauriella, “I am Honorable Miwa Duskmere of house Yuki. If you want to address me properly it is Honorable.”
Shaia responds, “Miwa we don’t have time for this. Seconds count and you know why. Do you have Fawn’s hair?”
“I do. Randyl gave it to Seryne some years ago.”
“Ok, I can track her. Both you touch me. We’re going for a ride.”
Suddenly Lauriella finds herself on a prairie. With in seconds giant cave lions surround them. Miwa goes into action. She steps out from the group making strange body movements, chirps, clicks and growls. The lions back off and disappear into the bush.
Lauriella looks to Shaia, “She learned the animal language here on this island while taking care of Fawn when she was sick. Those scars on her face tell the lions that she is part of their clan.”
Miwa comes back, “I assume that neither of you have been here before. The house is trapped. Your not allowed into the Vails home until you do a blood sacrifice. There’s a guest house in the woods ringing the island. I’ll take you there.”
They follow the elder fey’ri to a mansion in the woods with room for at least a dozen people to live in comfortably. As they walk in Miwa starts speaking a different language. Again, Lauriella looks to Shaia.
“It’s infernal, Miwa’s milk language. She was born in Avernus. We all know it except for you because of our dealings with Kenshinville or with Ammothrawen the founder of the Golden Katana.”
A woman’s voice answers her. As they walk into a grand study, they see a human woman in blue and white robes. A pendant of stars with an eye in the middle is hanging round her neck. She is a priestess of Selune. On the couch covered in a blanket is Randyl. His hair as turn prematurely grey.
Shaia spurts out, “Could we all speak the common language please. Lauriella doesn’t speak infernal.”
The priestess asks, “Who is the young lady, and does she know the extent of the knowledge of being here?”
Shaia comments, “This is Lauriella Sithmore. Fawn’s apprentice. Fawn has some trust in her and Lauriella knows she is an astral. She does not know everything else so let us not loose our tongues.”
The woman smiles, “I see you worship lady Moonbow. Tell me how did a Sithmore gain Fawn’s trust?”
“She tested me, priestess. Afterward she went from hateful to pleasant toward me. I don’t know why but I am grateful for it.”
“How did she test you, Lauriella?”
“She made me fight her in a battle of possession.”
The priestess smiles, “And you lost. There is your answer.”
“I don’t understand. It’s not like she could read my mind.”
“No, she couldn’t but if she did possess you; she was able to read both the memories that you cherish and the memories of your worst dishevelment’s. Do you know why a demon who possesses someone takes some time to take full possession?”
“No Fawn hasn’t taught me necromancy yet.”
“You see when someone possesses another, they cannot help but see the very worse and/or best experiences of the one that is possessed. A demon will possess a soul and sit there for weeks, months, even years until they can interpret all the memories they see. Then they will fully take over the body until it burns itself out. They need time to figure out how to either subvert the individual or mentally destroy them.”
Shaia goes up to Randyl, pulls up a chair and holds his hand, “Randyl are you awake?”
He opens his eyes, “I’m awake.”
“how do you feel.”
“Like I was tortured for a week and a half, how do you think I feel, Shaia.”
“Your alive and well. She didn’t kill you and she didn’t enslave you. How badly did she hurt you?”
“I’m not talking about this. Leave me alone.”
Shaia purses her lips, “Is Fawn alright?”
“Far as I know she’s in one of her commas. It will take a few thousand years to bring her out of it.”
“Can you let Lauriella in to tend to her with Miwa?”
“Fuck them both Shaia. Fawn can stay there for all I care.”
“Shaia rubs her head then looks at them, “Come with me, you two.”
She takes them outside on the porch. Helena the priestess Lauriella learned from the conversation and her take chairs. Shaia sits down on a high stool, “I didn’t figure the curse would effect Randyl. He was sane. The question is how do we get them back together? Is their love broken forever over this? And where is Brath?”
Helena speaks, “I sent Brath to our main chapter in Sigil. He can play with all his aunts and uncles there.”
Helena’s words stir something in Lauriella, “Sigil?”
Helena squints while weighing her words, “It’s an island much like this except its vast, miles and miles of city stretch out from its center. You need a key to get there. It’s a type of passport if you will.
Now as far as getting these two love birds back together. Non-of us knows or will probably never know what exactly takes place during the curse. The people the curse comes under are really, secretive as we know. The thing is we do have time. What is the most time we can stay here Shaia before the everyone needs to return?”
“A week at most. I must return tomorrow morning so I can compensate for the loss of two teachers.”
“Ok well; Fawn may wake up in a few centuries though I doubt it. I doubt it will be more than 5 days or I think that’s how long she took last time.
Shaia you and I will work on Randyl for the next few centuries, He’s human like me. In time we can turn him around. Lauriella and Miwa will have to work on Fawn. She’ll feel such strong morose and guilt over Randyl but she will know Randyl himself most likely did not hurt her back so she should be easier to bring along.”
Lauriella asks, “What am I to do for thousands of years until Mistress Fawn wakes up?”
Helena laughs, “Have you seen the gasthaus library?”
Shaia perks up, “Helena. I think for security purposes Lauriella should only read Torilian manuscripts.”
Helena nods, “That would be proper.”
For several centuries Lauriella studies Torilian lore, geography, customs of nations and all sorts of subjects. She tries to keep it all in but somehow keeping everything in her head is hard to do. Just when she really gets bored Shaia and Helena bring Randyl out of his stupor. He preforms a blood ceremony on her in front of the house and she is allowed in so long is someone is right next to her. The funny thing is the same rules apply to Shaia as she is considered also a guest that should be watched carefully.
One day Randyl comes out while Lauriella is picking fruits out of the backyard garden/orchard. She asks, “Have you seen her yet?”
“No. She won’t be around me when she wakes for a while……. maybe never.”
Lauriella shrugs because she knows going any further would create a sharp rebuke, I’ve been tending to her. I don’t understand the comma she’s in?”
Randyl looks out at the two alien craft behind the yard by a waterfall, “When she comes under too much stress or uses too much magic she goes into a comma for a few days, week. I think it’s a healing processes. She knows how to slowly heal her own mind being her high skill in enchantments. It’s normal Lauriella.”
She points to the machines, “What are those?”
Randyl smiles, “Those are our spelljammers. The big one is called a wasp. That was her parents craft before they died. The little one is a damselfly. It’s new a wedding gift to us. She used to have another one that she crashed, before we got married. The new one has more armor than the first it’s harder to maneuver but virtually impregnable now. Custom made for us purchased by friends we saved.”
Miwa comes out with two cups of coffee. She has a plate of raw organs and some wine too. Lauriella winces as she sits down with them at the table on the porch. Sliding the coffee to them she pours a glass of wind and starts gorging herself on the liver and gall bladder of whatever she killed. Lauriella has to turn away watching the antelope on the prairie.
She hears the other sigh, “Grow some scales, Lauriella. We cant eat cooked meat, or grass like you elves and humans can.”
Randyl chides her, “You know sis. You could have eaten somewhere else?”
“I wanted some company. The cats’ language is too basic.”
“Wait! She’s your sister?”
Randyl laughs, “No her name is Miwa not Seryne. She’s my sister-in-law.”
Lauriella tries but fails to figure it out. Randyl watching her laughs again, “Elder fey’ri men are polygamous. My sister is married to Most honorable Kioshi Fellmirr. So is Miwa.”
Lauriella gets a look of total disgust which makes Randyl laugh even harder.
Miwa points her chopsticks, That’s the look my sister gave me when I said we had to join after Kioshi joins with her. Said it would never happen in her lifetime. The bitch kept her promise too. She may be sixty now, but she can still beat the shit out of him and wear him out under the sheets too……………. I’m jealous.”
Randyl laughs so hard he falls backwards off his chair, exclaiming, “I think I’m finally back.”
Miwa shows her fangs smiling, “I knew that would do it.”
When Fawn wakes up it takes centuries to calm her from her guilt and grief; Another few centuries until she’s ready to meet her husband again. In the end Helena and Lauriella watch them holding hands in a small glade with a statue in the middle of it at the west end of the island.
Helena turns to her, “The curse is broken forever now. It’s time for us to go. Thank you Lauriella. If you continue perhaps one day all will be revealed to you. Keep this place a secret. Keep it close to your heart.”
The rest of the year goes rather well until the end. Fawn gets bitchy. For some reason she can no longer eat any meat. She throws it up as soon as it goes down which in turn makes her more unreasonable than she usually is. Lauriella does the best she can to help her mistress. The year ends with Lauriella hoping that Fawn will have her back for the final year.
Near the beginning of her third apprenticeship year Fawn takes her down into the practice field early in the morning. There are several drawn out summoning circles there, both generic and complex.
“How do you like a real sting lizard instead of the spirit you molded before?”
“Well I have to feed it more and it seems to get into more trouble.”
“Remember to let her go every other year or to mate and take care of her babies. I don’t know much about sting lizards. I have silk and he has a misses somewhere.”
“You knew there would be sting lizards in that grove, didn’t you?”
Fawn waggles her finger at her, “Too much curiosity, Lauriella. Stick to what I’m willing to teach you.”
“That’s better. We’ll be covering conjurations spells this year. As you know there are many conjurations that deal with calling forth energies and not creatures. We will not be focusing on those so much. What we will be focusing is calling forth creatures and getting them to work for you.”
“You mean subduing them, Fawn?”
“That’s exactly what I don’t mean. Lauriella, why did I ask you to get rid of your familiar and lead you to find a real animal?”
Lauriella winces in thought, “Because you think it wrong to trap a spirit in an earthly form?”
“Yes, good observation. Spirits deserve their afterlife whether very small or very big. Just like you deserve to live you’re life the way you want, so long you stir no trouble for others.”
“Yet you are a necromancer of renown too. You have controlled spirits.”
“For a short time, yes. Then I leave them to their eternal rest. I borrow some of their time but do not subject them for years on end. You see the difference?”
“I think I see. I’ve never really considered that before.”
“The same thing with conjurations. Now for small conjurations you don’t even need circles like what you see on the ground here. Hedge magic to call animals. Their understanding is small and for a piece of bacon a dire wolf or badger will do what you want for a short time.
You still need the spell to guide it. But you have no long-term relationship with it and can readily conjure these creatures from the local area.”
“Yes, mistress. I already know this.”
“Good I’m just reminding you of the training. Now greater conjurations including dire bears, Elementals, archaeons, devils, valkyries, demons and greater undead. For these you always must make a circle for yourself and a circle for the creature itself. There are two ways you need to decide upon to get it to do as you wish. The first that everyone knows is subjugation. If you use this method, you will constantly be fighting its will every time you summon it. There is a better way. You negotiate its service to you. These creatures all of them. They like things as much as you and I do. Some of those things are very different. If you can acquire them on a regular basis you will have a lifetime servant as long as you are respectful of their time. In other words, don’t make a habit of calling them all the time.
The bad thing is the further away a creature’s world view is the more likely you will have to subjugate it. I had to break all my elemental servants, but my higher planes servants I negotiate a contract with each and everyone one of them.”
Lauriella purses her lips, “But how do you do that?”
Fawn smiles, “I’m glad you asked. She takes a clear glass vial with some hair in it and shakes it. A light comes down from the heavens blinding the two women for a moment. When they can see again there is a hound archaeon in front of them. Lauriella feels funny for a second. The hairs on her arms stand up for a moment then the feeling dissipates. The heavenly warrior walks over and sits down beside them, “I see that you are keeping good company for once in your life, mistress. I am called Skylark young lady.”
Wide eyed and gawking Lauriella stammers, “Your Mistress Fawn’s servant?”
“No, I am Mistress Fawn’s partner. We have made a contract. She may call upon me in certain times of need. For this service I receive a small vial filled with the tears of a nymph every fifth summoning.”
Fawn smiles, “He accepted my service even though my willed failed the first time I summoned him. Skylark, this is my apprentice. Lauriella.”
“A pleasure to meet you.”
Lauriella thinks, “You two never have a difference of opinion? You always do as she wishes.”
Skylark laughs, “We always have differences in opinions, But, while I am here unless her wishes are egregious in my eyes or beyond my abilities, I will obey her. She’s my employer so to speak. I do give her much council about what is right and wrong and try to tamp down her insane individuality.” The hound shrugs, “But you can only do so much.”
Fawn laughs, “I’m afraid that point will probably never be settled. Ok, you probably would like to get back to your duties. I release you.”
Skylark disappears. Fawn sets her to task making circles similar to the ones she drew out earlier. She explains what each one does: if protective, how it protects the mage. If summoning what creatures and what safety precautions must be used.
As they work Randyl walks across the field in leather armor, heater shield, and long sword. He looks sweaty from a hard work out. Lauriella thinks that he will pass by them without a word, but he stops and turns to them, “Fawn do I smell wildflowers?”
“I’m hot and sweaty too, Randyl. I’ve been working with Lauriella and we have been making many trips to the forest lately.”
“I’m smelling wildflowers from 20 feet away. Turn around and look at me.”
“Randyl! I am teaching my apprentice. Go home and change.”
“You’ve been away quite a bit lately. Turn around and look at me. I just want to make sure everything is fine.”
“Everything IS fine Randyl. Now go home before your spoil our conjurations.”
“As soon as you look straight into my eyes.”
Fawn looks at her. Lauriella sees her eyes move as if she is calculating something. Before Lauriella can figure out what she is doing Fawn takes off on a run, away from Randyl passing her. She starts to pull components out of her robes. Randyl even in armor quickly outpaces and tackles her. Knocking the components out of her hands.
Fawns on her belly screaming, “I’m not going to do this with you Randyl! I love you too much!”
“My choice honey. This is my duty. Lauriella pick up those components and give them to me!”
“NO Lauriella! He doesn’t know what I will do with him! I’ll kill or enslave him, even if he survives, I’ll leave him. Don’t do it!”
“No, you won’t! I’ve trained twenty years for this just in case. Turn around and look into my eyes, Damn it!”
Lauriella picks them up but doesn’t know what to do. She waivers between the two of them. Randyl yells at her, “Lauriella if you don’t give me those components you will never see her again!”
She exclaims, “I don’t even know what the two of you are struggling about!”
“Don’t do This! I will find another!”
“Not good enough honey! Our love will survive this and this time only one of us will be caught up in the insanity. I’m and archmage gods damn it! I am a hell of a lot stronger than he was!”
Lauriella makes her decision and gives the components to Randyl. He roughly flips Fawn over on her back. She kicks and scratches him turning her head to the side. Randyl grabs the sides of her head and forces them face to face and forces her lids open with his thumbs. Randyl quickly throws the astral spell as Fawn is punching him in the face. Just before they leave, he turns to her, “Get Shaia quickly! When we are gone!”As they disappear Lauriella notices that Fawn seems to strain in pain. She seems to get taller or longer. The silver strip of hair starts to widen taking over her red hair. They disappear before she can see anything else.