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.
Lauriella backs into the corner of the room in fear as the mummy struggles against its bonds. A tall tan woman in a white dress shouts, “No Lauriella. We will do this again until you get it right!”
Once she calms down, she looks to the other, “I can use magic to control him.”
“Guardians are not meant to be controlled so Hemt Sithmore. You must find self-resolve, courage, self-confidence. The guardians know the robes of the house of life. If you have the will to face one with level head and soft confident words they will do as you will. Now: if they smell weakness in your voice, posture or in your eyes. This is another matter. They will attack you just as surely as a tomb raider. Just as readily as one of the guardian abominations that Thay make to mock Mulhorand and do damage to our northern cities. So, I say again. Stand before the mummy and order him to calm himself. A true guardian understands our language and will respond. That is how you know it is a true guardian or some abomination of a necromancer’s making.”
Lauriella once again stands before the mummy. It starts to struggle. She puts her chin up and stares straight into its eyes, “Good! Now command it to settle itself. Tell it that we are moving it to a temple. Lauriella does. The thing continues to struggle. She turns her eyes back to Hemt Netjer Fezim, “You still lack the self-confidence. Lauriella I cannot believe you are of 4th circle trained by one of the greatest of mages of the triad and yet at this stage you cannot show the will to control a mummy without spell.”
“I am doing my best Hemt Netjer.”
“You’re best is not enough. If you cannot control a mummy at this stage in your development how could you possibly expect to control and vanquish a spirit within your own or another’s that the spirit is trying to take over. I will give you exercises to practice upon others in Narfell. This requires no magic. It requires that you learn to deal with others from a position of strength and not of friendship or companionship. I will also give you a few books on the study of defending your mind. When next you come back, I fully expect that you will do better.”
Lauriella bows her head.
“Now get some rest. We have but three days before you board a ship. I wish to make every night count.”
Lauriella leaves the testing room and goes back to her rented inn room. She opens her journal.
We get to the other side of the border within a few days. Everyone moving out of the way from our undead horses as they speed at twice the velocity of a normal horse. We come to their checkpoint. A Thavian bureaucrat takes off the bracers. We make camp a few miles south of the border. After a dinner at a local inn Nulara goes to the room we rented. I open my journal and begin to write, watching the nearby tables for trouble.
After several weeks I relax into my new existence among the people of Peltarch. On long days and some nights, I talk among others around the city sundial to get to know them. Raryldor an elven cleric of Correllon takes me under his wing. He offers me gifts to get me started in my studies. I don’t know what to think about this at first and question him about it. He told me that he looks after all elves of Peltarch and the surrounding lands. Upon his insistence I accept his help.
While he is there, he often councils me and continually asks about my magic, and what I have achieved. At first, I accept his curiosity as small talk. Later he becomes more insistent about it. When Raryldor is not there several other adventurers including Verika, I Believe, have counseled me not to trust him. That he has his own agenda and that I should be careful not to trust him so much. I am somewhat cautious now but still I find Raryldor an honest male. He is very complicated like Fawn, but honest where Fawn is secretive. I like being by his side not for his gifts or his help but for his keen understanding of life in Peltarch. Do I think he has his own agenda? I wouldn’t be a Sithmore if I did not. Yes, he has an agenda, but I believe that his goals will always in some way be for the benefit of either the city or the elves he watches over. Being a priest, I may also talk to him privately about my concerns without the world knowing.
Also, during this time, the burning of the gate by Verika became a hot subject. She came into camp many times to discharge her ire at the dwarves over this white dragon and dracolich moving to her paranoia of the dwarves wanting to burn down her tower.The only thing I actually saw was the burning of the gate. The other stuff she mentioned I only have hints and half-trues listening to others along with some broken truths I was trying to put together to help the woman if I could.
One night tired of her prattling I asked her for the full of the situation. She told me of Cy this white dragon how a ranger raised it from an egg and that it has protected the surrounding lands for many years. The dwarves got into some kind of a land dispute with it and They wanted to kill him or something of the sort. Meanwhile this Cy had found out about a dracolich that is threatening the land and wanted to do something about it which would hurt the dwarves in some way.
So, I asked her, “Evil dragons by nature that are raised by good people often revert once the father/mother is gone. Does this ranger still live? Is he still in contact with the dragon? For I feared that perhaps the ranger had left Cy to his own devices and the dragon had gone back to his evil state.
Verika made several long statements somewhat accusing me of being a dragon hater without saying it. I told her, “No I’m just looking for the information needed to help her as best I can.” She goes on for quite some time but in the end she stops her diatribe. I honestly feel for her position but it was her that instigated violence against the dwarves. As much as I feel that she has a point in worries for her draconic friend she is wrong in her actions. I think on everything she has said and agree that she does have an argument. I then try to council her that this dispute need not end in violence. I ask her to parley with Norfolk to reach common ground.
She quickly dismissed my advice. Saying that there is nothing more she could do and the Dwarves mean to destroy her tower over the gate incident. This is when I know that Verika is a person that will not bend to the views of others. I now find her an angry and ridged person not willing to compromise with others for the greater good of the community. If I were to travel with her; I would have to watch her carefully. However, my relationship with Raryldor seems to make her uncomfortable therefore I can see no way where the two of us would end up together. Still I hope for the best and hope that with age she will slay her demons and become less angry and self-centered. Then perhaps we may have kind words for one another. I will write more on this later. For several Thavian's are watching me and one has already come to me with a marriage proposal.
I find their manners about such subjects in great distaste. They see any female mage and want to form a union for more power. I have dealt with this for many days now and hope that when we get to the capital city of Kurth, These advances will be quelled. I will find the proper man when I damn well decide he is the right person to deal with my own goals and repercussions of the path I have taken.
When dawn comes Nulara is still sleeping. Lauriella pulls herself out of trance and opens her journal. For a week after my adventure I asked questions of the locals and various adventurers. From that perspective I launched an excursion to Norwick, alone and unaided. I wanted to find out if what was said was true. There is a grand library in Norwick centered around a mage guild called the Spellweavers. I find the city again without incident. I also find the vaulted library.
There I find many a volume on local lore and legends (whether true or not) I revel at all the information. Reading and resting for a full two days and nights. While making my way back I find several dwarves at the north gate. One of them is Ylva. I join the campfire. Ylva introduces me to her uncle Thorin. They are all in a jovial mood and I welcome the light air of the conversation. At one point Thorin gets a serious demeanor talking about a white dragon by the name of Ky, Verika's misdeed and a dracolich. I pay close attention but the merriment around the small camp puts it to the background. At this point I find the dwarves enchanting. Their unsophisticated practicality and views of life itself is refreshing to one who does not look to the optimistic outlook on life. I find my self enchanted by their simple enthusiasm of life. Especially Ylva's.
I will say much more on Verika and especially Raryldor while on journey along with many others, but I see that my chaperon is waking up and must put the journal aside for now.
The women make a breakfast of radishes and other hardy vegetables that are resistant to rot, along with roasting some hard tack bread with cheese. They watch as others quickly pack up their camp and rush south. Nulara and Lauriella pack their camp in at a leisurely pace. Nalara calls up their horses and they ride the rest of the way. At the gates of the border they are quickly met by a low-level administrator. He looks at Nulara and throws out his hand. She hands him some papers. The man reads them obviously bored with his position. He waves her forward as if this was a normal action. When the man comes to her he almost misses something. He throws up his hand. She has her papers out too. but takes a second too long. He looks up. Seeing that she is an elf his eyes become sharp, "You will have to go to the building over to the side, Hemt. We require further investigation."
Lauriella bobs her head. She dismounts and goes into the small building in front of the gate. Once inside she sees a small office. There is a clerk there just behind a barrier. A window lets people place papers on a small counter and for the clerk to converse with them. She steps up to the window and places her papers on the counter. The young man studies her. He then takes a small wooden wand like staff, "Please show me the side of your face?"
Lauriella brushes her hair to the side. He stares at the markings, "You are third of fourth circle, Hemt?"
"I must go to my supervisor. A mage of station must tend to a mage of station."
"Lauriella nods while he goes to the back area."
After 15 minutes or so a human dressed in red robes comes to the counter and orders, "Step back please."
Lauriella takes two steps back. He studies her carefully. Then says, "Hemt of the fourth circle from the western outskirts."
"I have papers."
The other mage face turns sour, "I read them when I am ready, Hemt. Name?
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore."
The Red robe starts to write on a form then suddenly stops. Without moving his head he orders, "Name." once again.
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore." She looks to the side where the two guard are at post. When she walked in their eyes were droopy and they were sloughing. Now they are fully alert and starring suspiciously at her. She sighs and turns her attentions back to the wizard."
He puts his quill down, "I must send for my supervisor." Lauriella twists her mouth in an unbecoming way but still bobs her head to the wizard. He leaves her for near an hour. She waits over an hour before another spellcaster steps up to the counter. This one has a pale cast to his skin. The whites of his eyes are bloodshot. He wears red robes with black trimming. Lauriella digs into her pack for a small mirror. As the mage watches her he simply replies, "Do not do that."
Lauriella stops what she is doing. She lifts her chin and replies, "Alright. We both know what we are dealing with."
The vampire mage grunts, "Perhaps."
He looks down at the paper, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore of the fourth circle. Gold elf." Picking up a quill he again begins asking questions, "Major fields of study?"
"Enchantment, Conjuration, White necromancy, Exorcism, Mulhorandi herbal remedies."
The mage writes all of it down and furrows his brows. Looking up he studies her very carefully. For what Lauriella doesn't know. Going back to his form he asks, "Trained by?"
"Hemt Netjer Tarset."
The quill stops its movement. He studies her again for a very long time. When he is done he tells her, "I must get my supervisor from city hall."
Lauriella sighs and bobs her head.
She waits almost three hours this time but when someone comes up to the window on the other side she is aghast. It is a Lich! Wearing almost black robes lined with red. There is a circlet on his head with ivory inlets rounding the center.
She stammers, "I have diplomatic papers!"
The Lich says nothing. Instead he produces a small paper envelop. Opening it he tilts it to the counter. A dead spider falls out and lays there. Now he speaks, "You have a choice 'Hemt Sithmore' You may answer my questions honestly or...…." He looks at the dead spider.
"I believe this is against diplomatic policy." Lauriella raises her chin.
The lich is unimpressed. The creature watches her every move, reaction and eyes. His eyes seem to bore into her. She uses her mental will to defend herself rather than spell. The lich stops and looks down picking up the quill, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore. Despite your heritage and status we will allow you to cross our country. However there are conditions. You will not be allowed more than one mile from the trade route. You will not be allowed in any temple. You will try to free no slaves, And you will not be able to return Thay once you have crossed our border, Ever. Do you accept these rules."
"Take off your bracers of dexterity."
She does. The lich produces another set of bracers. These ones have runes on them that are familiar to her. The Lich crosses out a line in the report on the counter. As he writes he speaks, "Hemt Lauriella Sithmore. Trained by one known as Hemt Netjer Tarset, Also known as Archmage Fawn Vail of Lapis Port, Real name: Igraine Sierra.
"Put on those bracers hemt and you may leave. There will be someone at the border of Mulhorand to release them once you have crossed."
"They are cursed!?"
The lich states, "What do you think, Hemt. Do you think that we would allow one of your kind to walk unhindered within our lands?"
Lauriella frowns but puts the other bracers on. As soon as she does the runes light up with a soft green light. She places the others in her pack and begins to leave. As she touches the door handle the Lich asks her, "Hemt Sithmore, I have a message for your mistress."
She swivels her head to the side asking, "What is it then?"
"No one. Absolutely No one escapes the eyes of the diviners of Thay. Not even a princess of the High Ogres."
She opens the door and leaves knowing the lich has answered a question that has plagued her for years. The question she has now is, 'what does that mean?'
Lauriella walks out to meet Nulara. The priestess rushes up to her then stops mystified, asking, "Hemt Sithmore? You are one with the wolf, Jackal, cat? How could this be? You wear silver upon your skin."
Getting the reference but not understanding the magic runes for they are far to advanced for her shakes her head, "No Hemt. I am not and do not know why they put these on me. Do you know what they do?"
"Yes, They prevent you from changing skins."
Lauriella thinks back to her time in Lapis Port. She nods to the other priestess, "Let us make hast. I wish these cursed things off of me as soon as possible."
@winterhawk99: The two women sit by a campfire a mile from the customs office of The Thayvian border. No one disturbs them. They see other campfires in the near distance. Waiting until morn for customs to open so they may travel the birth of the land Thay occupies. One is a short human woman with a bald head. Three blue rings are painted upon her crown signifying she is from the middle class of Mulhorand. Her outfit tells a different story. It tells all who know that she is a priestess of the house of life. In Mulhorand all of the middle class whether teacher, mage, witch or actual priests of a deity are called priests and priestess.
The other is an elf of tan-gold skin and copper eyes. Still young her hair has some premature grey strands among the strands. A result of standing against an archmage in a battle of possession. She stands almost the same height as the human at 5'8''. The pair stare at one another and speak quietly.
You have gift for Hemt Netjer, Lauriella?"
The elf smiles, "I do, Nulara. She flicks a dead firefly up in the air. Light suddenly floods them. After adjusting she digs into her pouches, producing a box. She stretches her arm out for Nulara to look inside.
"It looks like dried roses."
"They are roses. These roses called Riln Roses can be crushed into a powder and mixed with spices to make a potion of love that inspirers both love of the body and love of the soul."
"Ah, Now this. This is an excellent gift." Many a couple in Mulhorand will like this."
"If used with both's full knowledge, yes it can be used for good things and if given to Hemt Nejer I know it will be used wisely."
"The rules of the house are sacred. We will use it wisely and just."
Nulara asks, "You do not shave your head?"
"Neither does Hemt Netjer Tarset. It is not our way. She taught me to braid it and slip the sliver cups on the ends."
"This is western style the style of the secret city of magic."
"Yes I believe so. I was there once and met their Pharaoh."
"Not many meet Pharaoh here. Too many people to much land. He has ministers tend to the peoples needs. Slavery it is abolished. The house of life promotes these things. The lower classes they still have a hard time but are free as long as they follow the laws of the land.
They struggle from the Thavian's advances but are happier."
"Do you think that we will have problems tomorrow."
"Yes, You are an elf. The Thay they don't like the elves. The good thing is we have provided the proper papers. It should not take long. You have god to worship?
"I honor all the elven gods but my heart goes to one called Sehanine Moonbow."
"I do not know this god. What is she like?"
"She's the elven goddess of the moon."
"Ah, We have a god for the moon, too. His name is Khonsu the traveler."
"And you? Do you have a patron? One that your heart is close too?"
"Yes, I honor Bastet and work as a midwife when not pursuing the arts."
"A fine occupation to help bring the newborn into the world."
"I enjoy it. and help with the censes when I can. You seem a good person like Hemt Tarset is said to be?"
"I try to be."
"What is Tarset like? I have never seen her but she has been here many times to oust the evil from many in Mulhorand."
"She's complicated. She has an iron will. She doesn't warm to people well. She can be rash but rarely speaks unless she considers you friend."
"She is legend here as where you are from. You are a lucky woman to study under her."
"If you become Netjer and stay steady in your studies do you think you will pierce the vail of insanity when comes the time?"
"I honestly don't know Nulara. Fawn told me that if I pursue possession that eventually other peoples' memories will overwhelm me. That is the time when I will stand and find a way to make the memories leave me or fall into a lifelong insanity."
"Yes this is what is read in the House of life. Why walk a path that few others would pursue, knowing the price you will pay even if you break the memories.
"I have good reason. Let it go at that?"
"Why did you leave before ending your apprenticeship?"
"So many questions, Nulara. And that is why. I had too many questions and learned too much of the school and its Archmages. They sent me away. They liked me and I would have had I not learned too many secrets."
"I think you are a very good person Lauriella even if you do look like a peasant. I think after this journey I would say I would ride with you again."
Nulara leans back on her bedroll, "We'll sleep now. Let others rush the gates come morning. Take our time with breakfast. The night watch over you."
"The moon watch over you."
"Lauriella leans her back into the log behind her. Her packs used as cushions. She falls into trance while watching Selune."
I arrived in Peltarch in the rain. As I moved my way to the city square, I found a temple of Selune who is an aspect of my own goddess Lady Moonbow. Immediately I felt the warmth and comfort that those in the city were like myself. As I reached a central location (a wide area with a sundial in the center) I noticed several adventurers.
The three I noticed most were an elder elf, a cleric of Correllon. One Rarylador. Another Ylva, and one more Aranwe. Two elves and a dwarf. There is much, much more about these three central figures that have influenced my dealings with Narfell on a whole, but this is for a later time. Tonight, I write this log for the prosperity of my descendants. If that is if Lady Moonbow blesses me with them.
Where was I? Yes, they swept me up across the near lands of Peltarch to a cave. As we entered, we were accosted by creatures I have only heard in legend, Oghthys. Both Ylva and I were swallowed whole quickly by the beasts. I am not sure how Ylva survived. I used my meager spells trying to help Rarylador defeat the monsters. When my spells were done the only thing left that I could do was use my longbow. The creature backed me into a corner and swallowed me whole. In the throat of the beast I struggled for I held my breath just before knowing what was about to happen. I hoped that it would in fact not use its teeth for a small target. It was slowly crushing me. In desperation I found the wand that Archmage Fawn had given me before the voyage. A wand that emits a shock to anyone I touch it too.
Holding it in desperation I release its full force inside the creature’s throat. I got lucky. The monster’s reflexes kick in and it throws me up. I crawl to a corner of the cavern system and make myself as small as possible while the experienced adventurers defeat the creatures. The battle is long but eventually all is well. Ylva is also discharged by a Oghthys so large that It can no longer venture from the chamber It lived in.
The group decides to go back home. While venturing back we encounter a curious situation. A female elf, whose name I learned later as Verika, was challenging the guard of Norwick, A town not to far south of Petrarch, by the western gate. She make a lengthy speech about a white worm and dracolich. Violence inferred. She threw a spell to burn down the gate. The dwarves attacked her.
Wanting to qualm the violence I threw a spell of enchantment. A cloud of mist that would confuse all in it. The spell misfired because of some minor flaw in my casting. It affected all around the gate, but the magic energy somehow sent me running right into my own spell. In the end many that I didn’t want effected by the spell were effected including myself.
Verika left and the dwarves stood down. Not so much from my casting but more from the situation playing itself out. By this time the group had whittled down to Raryldor, Aranwe, and me. We made it back to Peltarch then separated each to his or her own devices. I went to the local park and praise my goddess for surviving the incident.
The caravan stops in Kront. As Lauriella disembarks she is approached by a female in a similar gown. They appraise one another. It is the other that bows to her, “Hemt Nulara Hahpet, at your service Hemt Sithmore.” I recognize her. We shake arms, desert fashion: Placing our hands on the forearms of the other to make sure no weapon hides upon our strong arm.
Hemt Nulara is the first to speak, “By your dress you understand the forth circle?”
I readily smile, “It is truth Hemt Nulara. I have worked to hone my understanding of the weave.”
The young woman nods and smiles to her, “All is well then. We have a need of one that understands the forth circle. The land is sundered in Mulhorand. The guardians wander. With my mistresses help perhaps you could add to the gathering and resetting of the temple and tomb mummies to their proper places.”
Lauriella smiles, “I will do my best to set them to their proper places. I have not completed my training yet in Mulhorandi arts.”
Hemt Nulara replies, “All is taken care of Hemt Sithmore. Hemt Netjer Chathe Fezim is awaiting to complete your training. She would also like to request your services for an extended period. Coin is rare now in Mulhorand, but she is willing to provide all the herbs and curatives for you to carry out your duties in Narfell.”
“A fair enough bargain Nulara.”
Nulara turns from her. She casts two spells while throwing horse bones to the ground. The spell spawns two phantom horses to which now Lauriella is use too. They continue the journey to the Thay border alone. But then again in this territory who would challenge two hedge mages of Mulhorand that know white necromancy.
Early in the morning Lauriella looks out the window of Violette’s shop while putting on her make up. The uniform was quite expensive with all the sliver on it, but she has to wear it. The good thing is she can choose to wear the simple headdresses until she actually arrives in the city of Skuld. No one currently was in the area near the sun dial that adventurers tend to congregate too. She relaxes. If anyone saw her in her Mulhorandi gown they would surely stop and question her.
Putting the last of the Kohl eyeliner on she looks in the mirror. Her eyes have a hawkish appearance now. It doesn’t look perfect, but she hasn’t been doing this for near fifty years like Fawn. The dress is of course way too revealing for her with little to give to the imagination. ‘Why can’t the Mulhorandi wear normal clothes’ she says to herself. She finishes the outfit by putting two small dots of Kohl on each side of the ends of the eyeliner signifying that she is what amounts to the hedge wizardress of some amount of strength.
She sneaks through the city as fast as she can through the gates where a caravan is waiting going to the city of Kront. There she will meet Hemt Nulara Hahpet. From there they will travel together and alone through Thay and on to the capital city of Skuld where the people are rebuilding their small empire with the help of the escaped slaves (now freemen) of Thay. Many a guard turn their eyes to her. One wolf-whistles. She rolls her eyes and keeps going to find them ready. She jumps in quickly. After a ½ hour they are off to the races. The first thing she does is re-read the sealed letter from the House of Life sent to her. Explaining that Hemt Chathi Fezim has been in communication with Hemt Tarset and would like to complete her training in Mulhorandi death magic if she so wishes. She could not but jump at the chance.
The next thing she does and read all the diplomatic papers and passes that are afforded to her for the journey. Everything seems in order, so she becomes satisfied by that.
At last she opens a blank journal and begins to write:
Here in lies the notes of a new life in the country of Narfell
Lauriella Sithmore Former Apprentice to Archmage Fawn Vail of Anchorome
Winter Solace comes once again to the world of Toril. This time it does upon a new moon. Selune is hiding her face. Lauriella not being able to go to the city without a chaperon again picks her flowers making a bouquet and walks down to the shrine, knowing that she is not breaking any of the teachers’ rules this time. Her mood is ecstatic for in five short months of rigorous training and teaching she will be the first student to graduate with a full apprenticeship to her Mistress. She wants to thank Lady Moonbow and show her gratitude for her patron deity.
Once she gets there she throws two dead fireflies upon two of the hedge stones and uses cantrips to light the alter. She places her flowers upon it. Then in celebration she dances and sings to the absent moon. Midway through her celebration she hears a crunching sound. Becoming aware that there may be someone there. Within the light of the shrine she can see nothing, so dark the new moon. She backs away from the alter until she can switch her eyes to infravision. When she does she sees that she is surrounded. A raiding party of orcs from the nearby mountains have come to pillage the lands. She throws up her meager shields drawing out her dagger. She hears gruff laughter as they move in on her.
Lauriella says one last prayer and sets her feet determined to take as many with her as she can before they break the bounds of the sacred altar. They casually approach her. They toy with her. There are almost a dozen of them and she is but one small elf wielding a simple dagger. She raises her dagger to strike the first one in striking distance when from out of the forest rages a giant of a creature with gangly arms. It holds within its hands a tree trunk. While running up to them it raises the tree and slams it down on several of the war party.
Lauriella backs away to the altar as the fight resumes. The creature is at the least ten feet tall covered with fur and walks on two lets. Its maw is huge. Large enough to swallow her whole. And she makes out three small eyes on one of the sides of its face. She now knows: It’s a grey render. The render and Orcs fight for their meal. Lauriella cannot but stay close to the alter as the dizzying fight flows around her. Axe and sword against claw and tooth. One orc gets close enough for her to strike. She stabs it in the kidney losing her only weapon. The orc smacks her back against the seven-foot stone slab. He raises his sword to strike then disappears as a giant furred hand lifts him up and throws him. After that the few remaining orcs run for their lives. The Render bloody and beaten an axe buried in its upper back, moves toward her. With no weapon and no spells, the only thing Lauriella can do is raise her arms in defense and close her eyes. She prays one last time to Lady Moon bow and waits the inevitable.
Nothing happens. Lauriella opens her eyes expecting to see the jaws coming down upon her. Instead there is a woman lying on the ground bleeding to death. The bloody axe lying beside her. She is 6 foot tall and naked. Her skin is sky blue and her hair is a mass of silver curls going down to her waste. She is beautiful. Her form so perfect it would madden an elven princess in a rage of jealousy. There are strange tribal tattoos of animals completely covering her body as if the very moonlight was sewn into her skin. They glow with Selune’s soft light.
She exclaims loudly, “It must be a guardian of this shrine! She runs. She knows the ingredients she need and where to find them near. Collecting mud broad leaves that will stay the wounds and other natural medicines she runs back. The woman has crawled her way to the alter and lays upon it. Lauriella goes to work. As she works it seems hopeless the creature is cut so badly. She manages to dress most of the slashes but fears the woman could die from blood loss. She smashes some tree bark with her fists and pries her mouth open, “Here this will help with the pain.”
As she does the creature opens its eyes. One is silver and pure like and angel’s. The other is yellow and feral.
“Mistress! Mistress Fawn! No! No! Why! I am of no import to the greater things! Why would you do this!
Fawn closes her eyes back up. Lauriella doubles her efforts. First she touches her stomach and speaks a cantrip. Both children are alive. One kicks out as if feeling something wrong. Knowing Fawn never leaves the compound without her archmage robe and scroll case she races to the edge of the woods where the grey render came from. Sure enough there are robes there and the scroll case. She runs back opening the case along the way. Pulling them out she looks for a particular necromantic spell. Shuffling them down as she reads them to find out what they are. It’s not there! The only scrolls that are left are written in some strange unknown language she could not even pretend to understand. Fawn arches her back and grabs Lauriella’s arm.
Lauriella begins to cry, “Help me help you mistress. I don’t understand the scrolls. What can I do!”
She hears a deep male voice behind her, “That’s because the scrolls are in Kolshet. An ancient magical language only the Archmages of Anchorome understand. Give me those scrolls now and go home, Lauriella! I’ll take care of this.”
She turns around to see Randyl. His eyes speak that he is so angry that there seems to be a twinge of insanity in them. Lauriella flees as she is commanded. Lauriella is restless the rest of the night unable to go to trance.
Early She is called to Shaia’s office. As Lauriella walks in she sees the headmistress’s face is set with a grim countenance. She stands before Shaia and waits.
“Your expelled. You will not complete your necromantic training. The only question; Is what to do with you now? You may not know everything but eventually you’ll figure it out. I wanted to keep you here for the rest of your life. You would be cloistered from everyone else and keep under watch but still able to pursue your studies. Fawn adamantly disagreed saying it wasn’t your fault. That all have a right to pursue their goals. It doesn’t matter if it is your fault or not. You have within your head forbidden knowledge.”
“Mistress, Who or what is Fawn?”
Shaia stands up and slams her fist down on the desk, “That is enough! No more questions! One more question and I swear I will imprison you into the middle of the earth!”
Lauriella casts her eyes down, “I will say nothing of what I have seen.”
“That is not enough! The promises of the youth mean nothing! Even if you were to keep your promise what would happen if a mage battles you in enchantment! What if someone breaks through your defenses and reads what things you know of this school and of Fawn herself! Randyl loves her.”
Shaia softens her voice, “I love her. And I will not let some accident put her in danger again with an endless array of foes hunting her down for her magic. I know it was an accident. I told her never to take an apprentice. She disobeyed me. Not only that she took on a Sithmore.”
“What is to be done with me, then?”
“We hastily chartered a ship and a special chaperon. He will take you as far away from us as possible. You’re being sent to a place called Narfell. If the winds ever carry word that you have spoken about what you know of your Mistress I will come and find you, and what Fawn did to you will not even compare to what I will do to you when I catch up with you. Do you understand?”
Tears start to flow from Lauriella’s eyes, “Yes, Archmage.”
“Gather your things up and go to the docks. She’s waiting for you there. You will not be harassed by your family. They fear Fawn too much.”
Lauriella gathers all of her things. Most fit within a backpack. She takes the wagon caravan to the docks in a depression. Dragging her feet to the docks she finds Fawn waiting. Fawn rushes up and hugs her by a black sloop. Its flags fly the arms of Lapis Port and the Golden Katana, “Look at me. Chin up. I wish to speak to you woman to woman.”
Lauriella looks up her eyes red from the tears she has shed all day.
“Now, please don’t feel so bad. It isn’t your fault, Lauriella. Just bad luck. You almost made it. In fact, I declare you my first successful apprentice.”
Lauriella chokes out a laugh as Fawn continues, “I have three things for you. First Randyl took the time to make you a spell book. It has a few spells within to help you get started.”
Lauriella takes the book and nods to her.
Fawn then hands her a large package about as big as her belly that is starting to bloom, “You have been trained in the herbal remedies of the house of life. This package not only contains spell components but herbs, barks, flowers and other things so you may use them if needed. Included are remedies for croup and several doses of silphium if you should need it.
Lauriella replies softly, “Thank you, mistress.”
“Mistress no longer, Hemt Sithmore. Call me friend for you are only the 6th person I have said those words to.”
Fawn raises up a steel coin, “I purchased this just for you. I hurt you badly when I tested you. Use if you….”
“I know what it is Fawn. It’s a Velvet coin. Why would Janine’s husband take me across the ocean? He will tell everything he knows to Janine.”
“If you know what this coin is you know that Velvet’s loyalty stands with the Katana and that he is a professional. He never speaks of what he hears from one to another even if it’s his wife. If he did he would be quickly eradicated by several of his patrons. If I am correct you have only ever seen the worse of what sex can do to a woman and sadly it was at my own hands within your mind. Velvet will heal that and still cuts a striking figure at sixty something. Use it don’t use it. It is up to you. If you choose not too: give him his coin when you land in Narfell."
Lauriella nods and takes the coin. The two women have a long hug before Lauriella boards the sloop.
Several months later as the ship enters the inner sea Velvet passes by her as she looking at the steel coin. He stops, “You have a coin, Lady Sithmore?”
“I will be in my cabin if my services are needed.”
Later that night Lauriella makes a decision and quietly enters the captain’s quarters. She comes out in the morning a new woman. Determined to make her teacher proud of what she will do with her life in this new land.