When not at the sundial, Lauriella now spends much of her days in the library of the government building of Peltarch. Studying anything in history she may have missed while she stayed centuries on the astral plane at the Vail island.
On this particular day she reads a letter that came to her via caravan route from Mulhorand from Hemt Netjer Fezim.
Dearest Hemt Sithmore.
It has come to our attentions that at least three instants of demonic possession to which our clerics have no idea how to vanquish. These demons are far an above different than anything we have experience. When divined these demons have general names but we have yet to deduce the exact names of them. Two we have learned are called hunger demons. One through rigorous divination where a holy angel was called, we know now is something called a Desire demon.
We know nothing about these creatures and by what plane of the abyss they come from. Being that we can no longer contact Hemt Netjer Tarset; We send this letter to you hoping that you may clarify what is happening.
Being that we know you are with child and that you may not contact the spirit world or interact with the undead we will seek to contain this problem on your advise.
Do not under any circumstances try to seek to take care of this on your own! It is too dangerous for the special child you bare within you.
May Horus-re protect you and your goddess of the moon comfort you.
Hemt Netjer Fezim
Lauriella gets up and paces about the library thinking on what she has just read. Not only is she concerned about what she read. Her back is starting to hurt so she must spend an amount of time standing, sitting and laying down. She is now 1/2 way through her pregnancy. She is starting to show. It will be another year before she births the child. She looks up at the ceiling exclaiming, "Humans have it so easy, Lady Moonbow."
She takes up quill and ink to pen a letter.
Dear Hemt Netjer Fezim.
It is not the third incursion of the fade into Toril. It is the fourth that I know about. If there are incursions coming it is because somewhere on Toril an unusual planer spell was used on this world to rip Realmspace therefore letting a plane not known to Toril to mingle with our magics.
As you have implored I cannot commune with spirits until my child is born, and therefore am of little use. My best advise as a demonologist is to wait and listen for other mages from other countries to report instances where similar things occur.
The demons of the fade are attracted to untrained mages. They possess said mages and take them completely over. They may seem beneficial at first but eventually they take complete control and run amok until they can either find a more advanced mage to attack or a commoner to possess until said time they can find another mage. Beware for the House is in danger. Begin training your prospects and apprentices heavily on both mind abjurations and the dangers of making any deal with the demons of the fade.
Hopefully in the next year, with very good luck: I will be able to find a mage that also knows about the plane of Fade and when I have birthed my child will be able to go directly there to find out what goes on from the good spirits that inhabit this unknown place. For I know something of this place of mirages. I will quietly research and gather information about other regions until such time as I may participate. Sending updates where affordable.
May Lady Moonbow shine her light upon you.
Hemt Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella rolls up the parchment, stamps it with her seal, places it into a tube and again places her seal over the cap. A seal that has her wizard mark in the center within a double circle. inside the double circle are the words in Mulhorandi. Official document of the House of Life of Mulhorand."
Again she gets out a parchment and starts to write.
Dear Baroness Anna Tiller,
It has come to my attention that something or someone on Toril has broken the protective weave of Realmspace to let demons on Toril that by all Lore should not be able to breach the prime here.
Being a demonologist and steeped in the lore of several outside influences, I know of these things most mages would not.
If you come upon certain possessions, particularly of mages! please let me know. I have hope that I will be able to bare my child before things become critical for by law I may not engage with spirits until said prodigy is one unto themselves.
You will know these possessions in that you will be confounded by what types of demons they are. They go by the general names of Hunger, Desire and Pride demons. I am hoping that I may have my child and then be able to go to a plane little known by torilians seeking out wisdom from the good spirits that dwell there to stop the demonic incursion into Realmspace and sew up whatever breach brought them here.
Lauriella Sithmore. Hemt of the house of life.
When done, She rolls and stamps the scroll putting it into a tube. After which she writes the same letter to the Ceruleans, heading it, To who it may concern or Nadia whichever is best to read this."
Once done she leaves the scroll in its tube at the door of the Ceruleans in city hall. Then she makes the short trek to the south wall and beyond to Baroness Anna and Lady Varya's home putting another scroll tube against the door.
Dear Hemt Netjer Fezim,
This is Hemt Sithmore. My situation has changed. I have been charged as a deputy to investigate the hostile magics of an illusionist spreading chaos in the city state of Peltarch. I cannot at this time come back to Mulhorand to continue my studies in the necromantic arts.
As soon as the investigation is over I will take the very next caravan to Damara and set sail for your fair country. Many have said I should have my baby in Narfell however they have not the understanding nor the facilities to hide said baby from the father of the child. Furthermore I have been abandoned by those who do not understand the necromantic traditions of both Evermeet and Mulhorand in the art of white necromancy and the rules of using the art for the betterment of Toril instead of the subjection or destruction of the land. They are a narrow minded people.
On this regard I also do not think that having a trade or treaty alliance with the nations of Narfell is possible in the long term. Narfell is broken up into singular city-states that bicker both within and with one another. Most but not all here I find selfish and barbaric.
Even the one light I saw turned dim. A high cleric of an elven god became so controlling that I had to take sound action to stop his attentions to my work. However there is still hope here and I will do my very best to help my newest home to acquire some culture and sophistication. There are many individuals that merit high regard.
Giving an example of the chaos I am dealing with here, The capital city has either lost or soon will loose their king who owed a large dept to a neighboring city-state called Norwick. Instead of paying the required gold he payed them in grains much needed in his own state for the winter because he wanted to keep his wealth. He let the people go hungry so he would not loose a copper to the neighboring state to which there is no war and little strife.
Now the others in the nobility bicker over who is to aquire his title. There is much infighting within the nobility itself. I cannot with good conscience recommend that we trade Mulhorand's grains, fruits and spices for the hardwood and ores which I know you need desperately. The situation here is total chaos. The cultures too different. They will not trust you and you will come to not trust them.
Moreover there is a city-state in Narfell called High-hold. They cozy up to the Thavian wizards as a whore to a customer. They do not know what they do. The Thavians will corrupt them to the point were I fathom a slave trade very soon within their borders.
There is also another situation brewing. It seems the peasantry is about to or already has started to revolt over the grain shipments to Norwick. A warehouse was attacked and burnt almost the the ground just before when I came back from my last trip. Also there were pamphlets attached to blood soaked rags that read, "Peltarchian Souls,
For ten years, we have suffered the rule of a tyrant and his so-called royal family. A family thanks to whom our homes are invaded by fiends, while our military fights against itself instead of for us. Thanks to whom our crops have been sent to greedy foreigners by royal order, while our children and elders starve. Thanks to whom we have had to kneel to a throne, beg for the dole, and suffer their luxury.
On this, the eve of his demise, know the truth: his time is at an end, and ours is to come. Wait for the call.
Now you know the full extent of the problems I am dealing with. I highly recommend not going forward with any trade or alliance talks with any city-state in Narfell.
Despite all these recommendations I do wish to continue my longer journey in Narfell. There is much I can do to help these barbaric people. There are many souls that are of good disposition and or long for a stable society. I will do what I can here as the centuries turn. I still call this my home.
May you bask in the day by Ra's light and feel cooled in the night by Lady Moonbow's beams.
Hemt Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella carefully roles up the scroll and stamps it with her official seal. Then she puts it in a scroll case again stamping the cap with her seal, addressed to the house of life in Mulhorand. going to where the caravans take on cargo she waits until the right one that she knows comes. Once he is there she greets him. giving him the scroll saying, "This is a letter to the house of life make sure it is carried to the maid of the inner sea's captain. He will take it from there.
The man gives her a slight bow and takes the tube.
Winterhawk99 last edited by
It's late as I put quill to ink today. The stars shine and Selune is a quarter waxing soon to be in her glory. I was wrong I think about Lady Varya. There was something much deeper in her dreams than just manipulation of an outside force, The illusionist or as Verika calls him now, The Headache. Before I go into that there is something else that came before.
I met Garen at the sundial. We were doing what most adventurers do there. I to my books and bottles he to his armor mending and sword sharpening. I noticed his skeletal arm. He said he replaced it. At first I thought perhaps he is a palemaster, however his dress in armor and carrying the weapons and mending supplies of the warrior class made me think twice.
An old man showed up and showed Garen some antique he had purchased. They talked about it while I watched. When they were finished the old man invited the two of us to his apartment at the bottleneck to tell tales of our travels. He and I discussed it and figured what the hells. Sounds like a good time. When we got there we found a guard standing but her throat was slit. Erurk showed up while we were examining her. After we were done we went to the apartment. It was trapped.
Erurk worked set off the trap while Garen and I hid way off to the side of the hall. He opened the door as we came from both sides. Garen looked in then I looked peeking my head between the two rather large men. The old man was sitting in the front room in front of the table. There was some kind of device with buttons on it underneath his chair. It was a trap.
I said I was not going in there until I was sure it was safe to walk. Erurk turned himself into a fairy...…..Ok that doesn't sound right because Erurk is this hulking half-orc twice as tall as me and at least three times a wide, but that's what happened. He flew about the room making sure there were no more traps. After which I carefully stepped in and examined the device. I could make no heads or tails over the symbols on the buttons. As we were discussing how to disarm it Garen pulled out a scroll of find and remove traps and disarmed it. We lowered our eyebrows and looked at him.
Next we examined the old man. His throat was slit and he was dead. We opened another door to find a form that looked like they were sleeping in a bed. there was a device in the corner. it was both humming and had a whirling sound. Erurk approached it as he did the device hummed louder and the fan within whirled faster. I told him to back up. Stepping just within the threshold of the room I bent down and examined it. It was something I had seen before. a proximity trap. There was a bottle of green liquid attached to the top of it. Acid or poison. I did not know which. we backed away and tried the door on the other side of the front room.
It opened to an office. There was a tripwire plain to see around the counter. Erurk jumped over it behind the counter. That's when I saw just a flash of another man in the room. I backed up into the corner to prevent any harm to my unborn. That's when the man leaped from the shadows and attacked Erurk. Three things happened at once. I threw phantasmal killer, Garen threw a spell from scroll, and Erurk jumped on him. The assassin a belt of alchemist fire grenades at his waist died as the grenades exploded, Erurk stopping the blast by jumping on top of him.
I thought him dead but amazingly he got back up, burnt and bruised but not dead. He must have one hell of a suit of armor. Meanwhile I had sent Simsee to get the guard writing that I, and my compatriots had found a murder. The first to show up was Lady Varya just after the assassin had died. Quickly on her footsteps came the guard. One of them rushing into the bedroom and setting off the trap. I had put something about traps in my note but the guard must not have read that part. Guards big on bulk not much on brains. Luckily Lady Varya had a heal potion and gave it to her. As we were being questioned I started wrapping the woman for proper burial. The guard stopped me saying they were taking over. I backed up and gave them a nod.
Lady Varya walked back to the commons with us as Garen explained the old man showed him an antique sword hilt he had just purchased from Hemrod. Lady Varya's eyes lighted up and said that they had just sold one to him. Her and I think she mentioned Isolde but I forget the other name it could have been someone else.
We talked at the sundial for quite awhile and Lady Varya seemed to have some form of breakdown. She was questioning her service to the defenders because one of its leaders is evil. As we talked about it I told her, "There is always a way to do good in the world, no matter who you are. You must find your path to doing that while maintaining your dignity."
She looked at me very strangely. Saying, "Your right." She walked off and out of my vision for sometime.
When she came back she had resigned from her post and came back wearing the colors of Chauntea. I smiled to myself and thanked the goddess for giving my words meaning for her. Lady Varya after that seemed much more composed. I also promised her that I would stay in Narfell until this Illusionist was captured. Not the gnome the Illusionist that is using project images to harm the surrounding populace. In the days afterward I concentrated on maintaining my health, praying and helping adventurers going afield with my abjurations.
A few people said that my baby should be born in Narfell. I should not sail to Mulhorand to have him or her. Unfortunately Narfell being mostly dislocated city states does not have places where I can hid him from his father. They also do hot have the facilities to deal with the child itself. I plan to have my baby in Mulhorand where the house of life will be ready to deal with my particular situation. I really hope the Headache is caught before I come to term in 15 months.
Lauriella sits down at a table on the patio of the in. She opens her journal and begins to write down all that has happened to her these last few weeks.
I kept my condition secret for over four months. When the morning sickness came I could no longer hide it. Lady Varya was the first to notice it as we defended Norwick from a goblin raid. Later Raryldor wanted to take me to the dwarven crypts. He must have seen I was hesitant. I was hesitant that I should not be around undead at this time. I tried very weakly to deter him but he wanted to show me. I went. I stayed as far away as I could from them. I didn’t get but a few scratches and I was not that far along yet.
Four months is little compared to the two years of the experience. Near the bottom we encountered mummies. I tried to stop them with my will and ended up like in Mulhorand turning to a corner and shaking in fear. I know that I am still not ready.
Raryldor killed them. Afterward I cut the sacred herbs out of their chests and smelled them. They were not rotten or corrupted in any way. Come to think of it, I should have taken a wire and pulled the parcel of herbs out of their brain cavity. That may have told me more of what I needed.
Within days Raryldor found out. He was angry. The funny thing is he never raises his voice or seems angry but I know him enough now to tell when he has lost all ability to think normally. He rejected me.
Just after that another wizard challenged me on my lore. I know the lore of the west like the back of my hand. He bullied me hard until I left. I should have held my ground but what difference would that make. I ran to the dais on the west wall and prayed hard.
The next day I packed up all of my bags and was going to leave on the next caravan. As I got there I looked back. I even said my good-byes to Thau’lira. The caravan driver was motioning to me to come but my eyes stared at the walls of Peltarch. I said to myself, “No, not this time. I will not let those that would cast me out have their way. I will stay and find a way to help as best I can the people of the lands here in Narfell. Picking up my bags I walked back through the gates determined to make a difference.
The next night I prayed again. Raryldor came and sat watching me. He had some hard words to say to me and I to him. We exchanged a low keyed but heated conversation. If you were an elf you would have run to the hills by what we had said to one another.
That’s when I knew. I knew that all that Raryldor wanted was a battle mage so he could have someone beside him when he ventured. He made every effort to effect exactly what I studied. I extended my spell limits for him instead of investing whole heartily in my will as I am supposed to do.
I realized that things would never be the same between us. He had abandoned me. As I got out of range of his sight I brushed my hands together and said to myself. That is that. If that’s the way it must be than I will accept it.
As I walked back to the gates I saw Lady Varya at the campfire. I hope she did not hear what I told him. I felt extremely embarrassed because I said things to Raryldor she never should have heard.
I stayed close to the city for the next week finding solitude wherever I could to figure things out.
When I was ready I reappeared and helped adventurers going to different parts of Narfell by using my spells to help them. I also filled some spell crystals and gave them to Gnarl for the help he gave me in electrum and silver dust for my protective circles.
While I stayed by the sundial Raryldor would often come and sit beside me. We didn’t talk. I’ve had enough of his views on how I should spell cast and I am sure he has had enough of me in some other way, but my heart eventually softened and I did speak with him a little just before the crazy gnome sorcerer came to the commons.
The gnome ran around casting haste upon himself along with several other spells. Eurek had had enough along with the rest of the humans. They started to chide and berate him. The situation for me was getting dangerous. I threw up a few shields including ghostly visage, and lesser mind blank.
Eventually things got out of hand and the gnome threw a color spray at Eurek. The spray also caught another. The gnome cast invisibility on himself and escaped.
Several nights later he showed up again. Lady Varya hit him and I put a hold spell on him to keep him there until the authorities could sort things out. When Jasmine came she did sort things out. I was given a stern warning for using magic against another myself. Varya almost went to jail for the night.
When Jasmine was finished Varya became extremely upset, leaving the sundial area. Firguring that she would go home I went there finding her praying in the field back of the house.
I sat away from her at first just to let her know that someone cared for her. When she started to speak I got up and gently placed my hand upon her shoulder listening to her own inner struggles.
In the end She told me she had been with someone after a very long time. Afterward she received a vision of pain, pestilence and death. I nodded to her thinking about it. At first I could not figure out what she was saying. She went home to get some rest. I hopped that I had comforted her somewhat.
As I came back through the gates the skies darkened with dusk settling in. I went to my place to pray.
As I was praying Lady Moonbow must have taken my prayers in good council for I myself had a vision of the mark on her hand. The mark the orc painted on her hand under the instruction of the project image we saw in the caves when we investigated the illusions that haunt the city.
When next I see her I will ask about it. So this is it. I will stay here unless called back to Mulhorand to speak with them on the Narfell situation. A situation I find hard pressed to advocate at this time due to the nobility infighting.
Lauriella brings her bags off Tymora's Luck and heads to the station where she can pick up a caravan going to Narfell and the capital city of Peltarch. As she looks back at the ship she see's that they are taking down the grey flag that tells other ships there is a Sithmore on board. A family member of a powerful thieves guild of the western provinces, who worship the god mask with such abandonment that it brought the god back from total disillusion.
She sighs thinking about the many dualities of her existence. In Evermeet she is but another common elf. She grew up that way, only to learn as she aged of her ancestry and connection to Lapis Port in Anchorome. She is a death mage steeped in the trainings of necromancy, enchantment and conjuration. Yet she does her best to remain of good disposition for the betterment of all the nations that she has lived and traveled in. She surrounds herself with good and noble people yet when it was time to decide by trial her first baby will be a hybrid undead and mortal creature. The spawn of a vampire lord.
She is learning to hold her own against the wills of others yet deep within she is still a woman of misgivings and questions. The only thing that anchors her is her unwavering faith in the moon goddess. With that she decides she can continue to support all of the populace of Narfell which she loves. Along with the dwarves of Norwick to which she admires.
She takes the first caravan to Peltarch negociating hard to pay no expense. With her expertise in herbal medicine she gains a free ride and they are off.
It is but one night when the caravan hears a wolf baying in the moonlight. It continues for hours. On the second day another joins the song while they have traveled many leagues.
On the third night the caravan driver comes into her wagon asking if she had an enemy. For by now most mages of the 5th circle have acquired many.
Lauriella replies, "There is but one that I know that would seek me out, good sir. If the wolves persist in tracking the caravan let your guard be known that I will take action to avoid harm to your charges."
The caravan driver gives her a short nod and or bow. She doesn't know which and in the morn they continue their journey.
On the last night before reaching Peltarch the wolve's howls get louder. There are rustles around the wagons. Lauriella waits until the moon passes two hours past it's Zenith then steps out of her perch. Walking into the woods she calls up her now considerable abjurations. stopping in a small clear area she waits for them.
The wolves come in pairs, surrounding her. When the whole of the pack comes into her infravision she uses an unseen hand and makes a circle of protection against lycanthropes. Again she waits.
A large wolf steps out of the brush and approaches her. It stops shy of her circle of protection. Hives now cover most of her arms and up into her shoulders as she needed silver powder to protect herself. Still she stands tall and looks the wolf straight in its eyes, "You may have found me, Vellin but I no longer fear your wrath. Remember what I can do. Remember who taught me. I respect both your magic and abilities but I will show no fear no matter how this ends. Begone now knowing that I will do whatever it takes to protect what we have made from your machinations. And one day I will find a way to free your captive. whether I can enter your abode or not."
The wolf grows and lets out a viscous wail. It circles her several times to find a flaw in her ritual magic. Finding none it backs away. The pack dissolving along with it into the depths of the forest."
Within her circle Lauriella sobs placing her head in her cupped hands. When finished she wipes the tears away and steps out of her circle making her way back to the caravan knowing the wolves will plague her no longer.
The next afternoon they arrive at the western gates. She disembarks and wanders into the commons of Peltarch renting the inn room. There she puts salve on her rashes. She looks into the mirror provided wondering what she will say when Rarylador finds out what she has done.
Her thoughts then turn to a piece of cloth with parchment on it. There is a blood spot within an older one with a message upon the paper. She reads it.
Understanding the significance of the information based on what she has heard in rumor and innuendo she sighs, "This will complicate my mission for the nation of Mulhorand. She finds a chair and goes into reverie to await what fortune and future has for her in the next weeks.
Lauriella walks along the docks carrying her travel bags and books. She has a box of Mulhorandi spices with her and her medical bags are full once more. She has a full bottle of Silphium even though it is too late for her to use it. She finds the only ship leaving for Damara today. The Captain and first mate stand to the side of the dock going over ledgers of cargo, crew and passengers, While the hold is being loaded up. She comes up and stands in front of the two, "Need a night pilot, captain?"
"Good morn to you too, Hemt. You can pilot? How many runs you make on the Damara/Mulhorand run?"
"One. I assisted Jao on the Lady's Fortune."
"I know Jao. Good pilot. Too good at bones. I'll pay...…."
"All I need is fare, captain."
He looks surprised lowers his eyebrows giving her a respectful take. Opening his crew ledger he takes up his quill, "Full name, Hemt?"
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore."
The captain sighs putting his quill down, "I'll not have a Sithmore on the Queen Mermaid. You'll run us to rock and then your family will join you in plunder. I'll not be marked by your kind and be having my cargo looted. Be off with you."
Dejected Lauriella leads them to the local inn. They purchase a private room after she looks at the docking schedule. The next Ship to Damara leaves in three days.
After settling in Lauriella tells Itet that she's taking a bath. Grabbing a towel she heads to the baths section at the end of the hall. After the water is poured she takes her hand and with a cantrip warms the water. Slipping in to get rid of the grime of the desert. After she arches her back and lays in the bathtub enjoying the small respite. Itet comes in for her bath after about an hour. Before the Bastite can start to flirt Lauriella gets out of the tub.
"Where are you going, Lauri?"
"Water is getting cold, and I have to make some notes."
"I could share."
"She smiles. Nice try, Itet."
The young human shrugs. Lauriella goes back to the room and dresses, Narfellion fashion with her leather coat and high boots. She sits down taking up her quill and personal journal.
Samwell put me to the test back in Peltarch. I mentioned the Spellweavers and what I had done in frustration. He suggestions that we go down in try to resolve the issue. I thought that it might be a good idea. Verika decided to join us. I took care to watcher her from time to time.
I have never traveled with the woman and am now very suspicious of her intent towards others. She always stands outside the rails of the sun dial circle. She adds little to conversation but sharply listens to others. Still she walked beside us and caused no trouble. I'm actually a little impressed. The three of us journeyed to Norwich with little holding us back but a few gnolls, which we quickly dispatched, saving a merchant in the process. When we went inside Omar was his usual cheerful self if you get the joke. He asked me if I were going to trash the library again.I told him no. I told him with honesty that I felt sorry about what I did and offered one of my books on protection and summoning circles. He took it. Glanced at the pages and gave it back saying that he didn't need it. I knww then a peace offering would not be accepted. Samwell had some questions. I waited while he engaged the librarian. When the two were finished I asked about my 5 petitions and what will be done about the incident. He said I am not welcomed back.
Understanding I said, "A fair judgement." Inclined my head slightly and walked out. And to say truth it was a fair judgement. I won't be going back there and because of their callousness in not helping me help Peltarch I will not return. I payed a high price to bring Peltarch help. I do not blame the spellweavers for that. I do blame them for their uncaring attitude towards their allies and the common people of the lands. And so it ends each party has agreed to judgement. I do not fear any more retribution from the spellweavers nor Norwick. Samwell stayed inside while Verika followed me out. She said it was probably to protect my honor. I figured it was probably true. Thank you Samwell, but it wasn't necessary.
During these weeks in Narfell it happened we had a strange encounter at the Sundial. Snakes and bears came to us hidden in illusion as ravens. For some reason I was suspicious and stayed away from the birds. When they transformed we took care of them, Samwell and myself as well as Lady Varya. We found a symbol of a fist within a triangle. The symbol of Leira, However the symbol was wrong. What was a fist doing within the triangle. The Baroness Anna deputized us to find out what was going on. We followed a trail of clues out of the west gate. There we found some farm hands bailing hay. They looked somehow wrong too.
While we were interrogating them they turned into orcs and attacked us. After taking care of them we found a farmer bound and hidden in the hay bales. He head had a nasty lump on it. He said he was hit on the head by one of the an elite special guard of Peltarch. Lady Varya asked a lot of questions and we headed for the orc caves. In the back of the first area we met with a project illusion. It had a male voice. It offered a boon to us. Neither I nor Samwell would take it. Lady Varya amazingly did. It drew the same symbol the illusionist put on the animals and orcs to enchant and cover them with his mirages. The image vanished leaving us wondering on both it and Lady Varya's decision. Walking back she explained that she did it on purpose to get closer to the quarry.
I hope that she faired ok while I was away to Mulhorand. I had to leave before there could be further investigation. I did notice that while all these Illusions were going on at the sundial that Verika was there playing with a ring on her finger. I asked Lady Varya if she saw it whispering to her. She nodded and tried to interrogate her. Verika looked somewhat miffed that she would be accused.
The other thing that happened to me is that while I was praying one night by the west gate one of the women. I am so tired I cannot remember her name. It was not Sheesarai. I think it was Nadia. She thanked me in my efforts to help Peltarch and gave me two spells as gifts from the Celureans. She told me that more than a few of their membership have petition their leadership for my induction. Perhaps as a member of such an organization I might be able to help the common people of the land.
If I am asked formally to join I believe I will. Baring any interference from my new duties to the house of life.
I also met Maeve the triefling once more. We spoke alone at the railing by the sundial. I am still not sure about her. We did air some differences and the I think each of us left more respectful of one another. Do I trust her? No. But now I respect her enough to watch her actions and see if they speak as to her words. Then perhaps a trust may form. Evil in Peltarch is not obvious. Like underhanded calishamian merchants it lies in wait for opportunity. And sometimes good people are misread. It is chaos at times when thinking of all the adversaries proclaiming righteousness while keeping a blade in their boots.
I will endeavor to stay out of the politics of groups and nations of the humans and dwarves as much as I may, however promoting Mulhorand and their open hand of friendship towards Narfell may become a problem. I will look to weave the tapestry of this situation most carefully and ask Rarylador of his recommendations.
Lauriella closes her journal and puts it away as Itet comes in and leisurely throws her towel upon a chair. She sits down and smiles at her, "You ready to feel the comfort of a woman yet?"
Lauriella laughs, "Itet, you are too much. get some sleep. or I'll enchant you to it."
"You can't do that, my hemt. They told me of your affinity for enchantment. I made sure to protect myself."
"Whatever you have, Itet, You certainly don't have it on now."
"I think I'll read right here just as I am."
"Do what you will then, I have to study."
"And I found out that you really don't"
"Have hair. Fancy that."
Lauriella blushes and goes back to her studies, shaking her head. Itet smiles and starts to hum.
Lauriella hears a commotion outside the tent. She stops tending to the young man with pellagra. She stops what she is doing and goes outside. There she sees her assistant Itet, A member of the house in the 2nd circle and worshiper of Bast, in a hard discussion with a couple that appear to be between 30 and 40 in human years. She walks up them, "What is going on here, Itet?"
"They want to speak to their daughter, Hemt Sithmore. I told them that you will not at this time speak with the dead."
The Husband has an incredulous look about him. He shouts at her, "You are a death mage of the house of Life, Hemt. I demand satisfaction. We have waited near a year to speak with our daughter who was raped and killed. We wish to say our goodbye's."
She spreads her feet shoulder length apart, looks down and closes her eyes. When she is ready. She lifts her head and stares him directly in his own eyes, "My apologies, Sir. I am with child and can have no contact with spirits or the dead until I bare my son or daughter according to the laws of the House. I am sorry for your loss. Will the two of you dine with me this night. We will remember her in respect."
The husband still angry slumps his shoulder, "Then why hemt, did they send you a death mage to tend to the villages if you cannot do your chosen work? Tell me why this is so!"
Still holding his eyes, Lauriella replies, "The land is sundered. Many a village have lost their representatives of the house. I am needed to help with the backlogs of villages that need people tended too, and to give advise to the Nebs of the villages.
I know loss. I know the horrors of rape and control. I would gladly call your daughter back to speak with you however I cannot endanger my unborn around the spirit world. I do hope you understand. I will help by paying my respects with you at my table. It is the best I may afford."
The peasant places his hands together and does a short bow, "I apologize, Hemt Sithmore. I am at a loss of my patience. We have waited so long."
In her concern for the couple she nods to them then walks up to the woman who is weeping. She hugs her, "We will celebrate your daughters passing to the spirit world. I have no doubt you set her with things to make her light when she reaches the scales of truth. Be calm mother for your daughter must have a happy afterlife.
When my baby is born I will return. If you still have not had satisfaction I will tend to your needs personally."
The woman breaks away from her and kneels upon the ground, "We accept, Hemt. You have done more without spell than you will know."
"Then make yourselves ready and return at the hours of evening feast. We will be ready."
The husband helps the woman up. They leave the woman crying. The husband less angry in his tenor. Itet comments, "You give the peasants too much leniency, Hemt."
Lauriella looks over to her, "Are you my assistant or are you my chaperon?"
Itet smiles, "A little of both it seems for I have my assignment to keep you safe as well as assisting your duties."
"Figures. Make our table ready, Hemt. We have guests."
After dinner Itet is eating an apple and watching Lauriella as she reads and writes at a makeshift table. One leg is held high from the knee while the other is down. She comments, "You are very pretty you know?"
Lauriella looks up, "I'm rather plain for a sun elf. My hair has grey strands from my test for apprentice, and I have more than a few scars from my life in Narfell."
How old are you? Still young?"
She looks up calculating, "I am 215 cycles. I was most likely born when your great, great grandfather was alive. In human years? Perhaps 22 or 23."
"I've never known an elf are you all as pretty?"
Lauriella looks to her, "Is there a point to all of this Itet?
"I would welcome you under my blankets if you so would wish, Lauriella. It is after all not an affront to our gods for two unmarried women to mingle in the night."
Lauriella raises both her eyebrows. Looking at Itet's holy symbol she replies, "I think that's more of a Bast tradition than any of the other gods and goddesses of Mulhorand."
Itet laughs and bites into her apple again. She chews and swallows. After which she asks, "I heard that elves have no hair. Is that true?"
Lauriella blushes hard, "That is none of your business, Hemt Imoson."
The human mage laughs, "And what of your moon goddess. Do you not have celebrations with your sisters at high moon where you dance and find one another?"
"Your lore is not completely correct. Yes we dance and celebrate to the moon. We do not mingle unless there is a man that we like that is available."
Itet points to her, "I see your eyes, Hemt Sithmore. You are either in love at best or infatuated at least. Tell me tis true?"
Again Lauriella blushes, "There is an older elven that I do like. However the life of an exorcist is extreme. I would not put him through the nights where I wake from trance fighting and hurting him before I can regain some form of sanity after I have expelled a creature from the mind of another. I will not put someone through the trials that my mentor Fawn puts her husband Randyl through."
"A death mage must have a sad life. The ones that are not corrupted."
"My goddess is strict on necromancy. She fortifies me. Keeps me from becoming what we all fight against Itet."
Itet uncovers her blanket and shows that she has nothing on except what the gods gave her. Lauriella blushes and turns her head away."
The younger mage laughs, "So you know both the pleasures and the hurt of the flesh, Lauriella. I only make fun."
When Itet covers up again Lauriella turns her head back to the girl on the cot, "Yes I know both. Now get some sleep. I have a lot of research to do and notes to take before we leave for the next village."
"You don't know what your missing. Everyone needs a bit of pleasure on the road."
"Spoke as a true Bastite, Itet. Let it go. We have much to do in the next week."
Lauriella walks into the large library room. There are quite a few Clerics in the room along with Hemt Netjer Chathe Fezim. They are seated in an open circle of chairs. Chathe stands and walks up to her. They greet grabbing one another's forearms.
Chathe speaks first, "I received your letters on your problem Hemt. Because you are the only one properly trained by Tarset, I have gathered a number of priests of the temple to discuss this with you."
"Thank you Hemt Netjer."
The archmage takes Lauriella's hand and guides her to the open chair. Lauriella waits for Chathe to sit then sits herself, "Priests of the temples this is Hemt Lauriella Sithmore. The one I told you about. Lauriella, to my right is Herhot. He is the high priest of Horus-Re. To my left is Sotar. He is High priest of Throth. To your right is Hor-Uta, high priestess of Hathor. And on your left is Makara, High priestess of Isis. Please explain to them what your letters said to me."
Lauriella takes a deep breath and then meets each one separately with her eyes, "It began with a trip to Vaasa to help the people of my new home...…………."
When she is done she bows her head and waits in respect and for the priests and priestesses to digest the information she imparted to them.
Sotar is the first to comment, "This may be a rare thing in the lands you come from, Hemt Sithmore. It is not so rare here. In fact it is becoming common among the northern provinces. You were lucky to escape."
Herhot chimes in, "Sotar, Makara, Why is it that the vampires of Thay particularly wish to have mortal children? Other undead of the Thay hierarchy pay little mind to their living subjects."
Makara answers the question, "Unlike most undead vampires have virility. My summation is that because they are thinking beings with awareness of their sexuality they seek out some normalcy by taking mortal concubines and seeding them. A vampire as we know always seeks to hide themselves among the living. They have the same greed and afflictions of the soul that mortals do. They would want their prodigy to flourish if by some means they die permanently."
Lauriella asks, "What should I expect?"
Sotar rubs his bearded chin, "About 10% are abominations Hemt Sithmore. Most of these are peasants and working class. These pregnancies are hard. You will become allergic to silver. Sunlight with begin to hurt your eyes for a time then you will become extremely uncomfortable with it. The sunlight will not hurt you nor the baby but it will make you feel like your skin is burning. This will all subside after the birth of the baby. If it is viable.
Vampires particularly like mages for they know how the weave works. The magic they wield seems to protect the child. However, like you most mages are of frail constitution. The vampires also like this for it stands for a better chance that the baby will be born normally and the mother will die in childbirth. A warning to you Lauriella. When you have the child and if you live. He will come for you and the child. Perhaps not for years. I am not as perceptive on how long an elven lives being there are few both here and in Thay. He will eventually come."
"Our life expectancy is somewhere around 9 centuries, Hem Netjer Sotar."
Hor-uta looks up, "I would think based on the Vampires of Thay it would be anytime from the time of birth until the child becomes an adolescent. Most likely a 60 or 70 year span of time?"
Lauriella swallows, "He is a powerful sorcerer."
Makara comforts her, "That may give you time to prepare then."
Lauriella looks around, "Is this hall protected?"
Sotar frowns, "Yes, Hemt Sithmore. The temple of Throth is always protected. The libraries of the temple hold all the secrets of Mulhorand. It is at all times as most temples including the House of Life."
Lauriella bobs her head, "Thank you, Hem Netjer. What of the child if it is not an abomination?"
Hor-Uta answers her, "The child should by our experiences grow up normally until they hit puberty. Then depending of their raising and certain precautions they may stay that way. If they live in darkness and have bad parents they're soul with twine. They will appear normal but will be able to transform into a form of vampiric double like a twin. They will still be mortal but will have the abilities of a vampire in this form."
"What may I do to stave off the effects to give my child a chance at normalcy?"
Chathe answers her, "This is the house of life question. I will give you further reading materials but basically it is this. Give him or her large quantities of everything that vampires shy from. Give them silver jewelry to wear. Make sure they get lots of sunlight. Some of our women who have babies like this have their children swim in the local streams and rivers where the water travels. Give them lots of garlic in their meals, and have for them mirrors so that they learn to use them."
Herhot concludes, "Lauriella child, Horus-Re is a forgiving god. He knows innocence when his chariot looks out upon the lands. You follow these ways for the child and remain faithful to your goddess moon and he will have mercy. Perhaps your own goddess will. Do not doubt the power of the gods to show their mercy to innocence by healing blight within them."
Makara rests her hand upon Lauriella's, "Hemt Netjer Fezim tells me you are extremely faithful to this elven goddess of the moon. Take our advise and stay faithful. Child you have no idea how much this will help you with your baby."
Lauriella nods and grasps Makaras hand, "Thank you Hemt Netjer."
Chathe looks to her, "Hemt Sithmore; The house of life has not been able to contact Hemt Netjer Tarset for several months. Would you know what has happened that we have lost contact?"
"Tarset sent me a vision. She has taken a long journey that will take decades to complete. She is gone from this world. She will probably not be back within a human lifetime."
Chathe frowns, "Then you are invaluable to us, Hemt Sithmore. You are the only one who was taught the full of Tarset's magic. You must be protected in some way. I also worry about your frailty."
"I have a ring that helps me. I am also willing to do what is necessary to survive so my child will have a chance at a normal life."
Sotar smiles, "Good, You are ready then Hemt. As per the rules of the house of Life you will not engage with any undead until the child is born nor do any exorcism."
Chathe continues, "You can study and teach in the library or you could go to field and tend to the villages with no hemt to help with ailments. As for the child. He may live in one of the temples when you are not with us. That is when he or she can eat solid food. Until that time all agree the mother should be with her baby to bond with. What must be decided is which temple you would wish them to grow with. With this however; you must align yourself with greater Mulhorand. We know you feel Narfell is your home and you already align with them. We will be a secondary allegiance for you. Perhaps one day you will help establish relations between the two countries. This is our hope.
"I don't understand? you wish for me to be some form of ambassador?"
Herhot answers her, "Not as such, Hemt. We wish for you to promote Mulhorand to your people that we may one day have good relations and possible trade with them. After the slave revolt and immigrations to our lands. we are missing many things to help the freed slaves, but also grow rare things that the people of Narfell would appreciate. If you were to speak positive words about our nation then perhaps a friendship could be formed. Thay would think twice about damaging us as they have no regard for us now."
Lauriella closes her eyes in thought. She doesn't open them when she answers, "Narfell and Mulhorand are such different cultures. Narfell is barbaric and wild full of adventurers and those seeking to gain their human throne. They are suspicious of our necromancy and I hear it being a that I am a death mage in the house of life.
Mulhorand is a land of laws and edict. Where society has its structured tiers. Life for the commoner though not easy is not fraught with where they will get good food and water a home to live in. Both the priests of temples and the priest of the house work together to keep peace in the land.
It would be hard to seek common ground. I will do what I can."
Hemt Netjer Fezim smiles, "That is all we ask of you, Hemt. What are your choices?"
Lauriella thinks a long time, "If this birth goes like you say I will need my exercise. I will go to the field and help with the villages. As to the child. I would like them to stay at the temple of Throth if it is a boy, The temple of Hathor if it is a girl.
Realize Hems and hemts Netjer the child will be on my breast at least 5 years. I do have time to change my mind."
Herhot nods, "Of course, Lauriella. If all comes to fruition you will have not only our respect but also Pharoh's. We will do what we can to hide the child from its father, and protect you when you are here."
Chathe asks, "How long before you think you will be ready after the baby is born, Lauri?"
"I'm fifth circle now and can use the proper spells. I strengthen my will daily. If all goes as you say I should be able to start when the baby is born some 21 months from now."
Sotar nods to them all, "Then we have a contract. I am glad we can come to a conclusion." He gets up. Everyone stands. The clerics leave.
Chathe hugs her, "I am sorry this happened to you. By your story you were brave and intelligent enough to get away."
"I couldn't save the angel."
"It's ok, There will come a day when you will be able to. Think as that and it will firm your resolution."
Lauriella begins to weep.
Lauriella goes about her work in her cabin. She opens up one book where she drew a symbol of an axe and sword with a spider on top. Raryldor had asked her about it. She remembered that her group in Mulhorand had come upon an amulet that had the very symbol on it. One of the minor Hems said that he new what it was. He said it is the symbol of The Sons of Lolth, but seemed to be afraid of saying anything more.
She muses on the symbol and writes down. Does this have a connection to Vhaeraun? I must find out. As she continues to muse there is a knock on the door. With a wave of her hand an unseen servant in the room opens it, surprising the large captain of the ship whose frame is as big as the door itself. He looks around as if there were a ghost in the room then asks, "Miss Sithmore? I have heard you are a mage of the House?"
"Well met, captain. And yes, I am." She replies questioningly.
He stammers still looking for someone in the tight quarters, "Our pilot is sick with fever."
She immediately drops her quill and takes up her herbal bag. They walk down to another cabin in the upper deck meant for officers and guests. There she finds the half-orc that calls himself Jao, hot with fever and delirious. The captain stands beside her. His countenance grave, "Should we bleed him?"
Lauriella raises and eyebrow, "Bleeding is a superstition of the sword coast. captain. No, we will not bleed him. We have to keep him warm to burn the fever out. He must eat and drink as much as he can. and I will make a herbal tea for him like this." She gets her mortar and pestle out and grinds together yarrow, elderberry flowers, and peppermint. Adding a cup of water she pours the concoction into a metal bowl. With a simple cantrip she heats the solution to steaming. Then she makes the pilot drink it.
"I will tend to him. He will need to drink this twice a day until the fever breaks. It will take a few days but he will recover." She says as she examines the broad chested sailor that has most likely spent most of his entire life at sea.
The captain grunts, "Good, but we will need to have someone to guide us during the night hours."
"All mages know the stars and can calculate. I offer my services for the time it takes."
"I will pay you the going rate of a first mate."
"It's not necessary, captain. How about a return of my fare? That should be pay enough."
He nods, "You're not much like the rest of your family are you, lass?"
"At this point I'm not really sure, but it is my duty to help."
"If you can track the stars and know your numbers you'll make due. It's a deal then. Thank you."
Lauriella smiles, "Well met and welcome."
She stands on the deck beside the wheel, a sextet in hand, charts in front of her. The first mate a half-elf mans the wheel. The night air has a chill as a north wind cuts across the sea. It chills everyone on deck. Most keep their hands in their coats. All except for the new woman pilot that seams completely immune to the chill of night.
She takes her measurements and tells the young man, "I need you to turn the wheel 12 degrees, 40 minutes, and 22 sec...…………"
He interrupts, "We are not that precise, Ma'am"
She looks up to see him looking back an eyebrow raised, "Ok then 13 degrees."
Again his right eyebrow raises, "You've never done this before have you? That's Starboard!"
She blinks, "No, I know where we are. I know where the harbor is on the map. We seem to be always drifting off the course I set?"
"Waukeen have mercy! The tides, currents and winds drift the ship often to the side. You must adjust your numbers for the shifting."
"Ok! A moment then." She looks at the numbers again back three hours. She looks up to the stars with the sextet. The first mate sighs heavily.
"15 degrees. that should compensate." There's a long pause as the first mate slumps at the wheel. She gets it commanding, "Starboard."
"I'm doing my best."
A few hours later she takes a reading and brings the sextet down, "that's strange"
The first mate tenses. What's strange?"
"We're slightly off course again."
There's silence. the first mate turns back to her anger in his eyes.
He stares at her. She swallows, "The other starboard?"
He lowers his voice, "It's not called the other starboard...……..It's PORT! YOU STUPID WENCH!
"Ok! OK! I got it. She points Starboard. She moves her arm. Port. "
"And what is behind us?"
She looks back, "The Ass?"
"UMBERLEE'S STORM! YOUR ALMOST RIGHT. ITS AFT!"
"Oh I though sailors called it the ass they yell so loud."
The first mate turns to the wheel and holds it in a death grip.
After four nights the pilot comes up on deck. He walks over to the pair the first mate is muttering to himself, "I am most thankful to you hempt. I would have been weeks in bed without you."
"You are most welcome Jao. I think I should get back. I may have to check on Frank in the morning. He seems to be under some stress."
"Keep that witch away from me!" The first mate replies.
Jao narrows his eyes. He never liked the first mate unbeknownst to Lauriella. He gently takes the sextet off of her and check the stars and charts himself, replying, "We are on coarse. You did well, Hemt Sithmore."
The first mate cuts in, "It's not because of this slut that we're on coarse, Jao."
"Did you take any readings?"
"Lauriella. I want to make you a deal. You saved my life. I wish to teach you the fine arts of piloting if you will. You see you have to know the waters you sail in to anticipate all the things that can make the ship take a drift. If you stay here with me I will teach you this sea, and how it moves. Then you never need to book passage. You can hire on as a pilot."
Lauriella considers it, "I think I would like that."
"Good then its a fair payment. The deal is done. Here have the sextet back and I will assist."
The first mate visibly shakes, muttering to himself as he stays at the wheel.
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.