My father's mother, my grandmother left Anchorome many years ago in disgrace. Rory Sithmore, Master thief and grey ribbon seduced her. When she found out she was pregnant she left for Evermeet and bore my father. There they stayed. He eventually married and my mother bore me. Now I return to Anchorome. Little did I know after years of painful study and work I would fail and end up on a ship to Damara. Here is how it happened.
The gold elven begins taking her bags off the ship when she is accosted by two ruffians. They easily snag her up and though she fights them she has not the strength to fend them off. No one disturbs them for each have a grey sash wrapped round their belts and after all these are the docks of Anchorome.
She is taken to a restaurant a front for one of the biggest brothels on this side of the ocean. They take her struggling into the very bowels of the place; past the whores, the dancefloors and the guard. Three stories down to a lavish apartment with an oversized office. Cabinets along the walls hold missing artifacts that defy logic in that they are all gathered together.
The ruffians force Lauriella into a seat in front of two women. One an ordinary looking humanwoman except that her eyes are snakelike. The other a succubus in her prime a dark beauty that beams a smile in her direction. Meanwhile another ruffian places all her bags on a counter behind her.
Lauriella swings her head back to the two women sitting in front of her. the human is the first to speak.
"You are Lauriella Sithmore. Do you know who I am?"
She swallows hard before speaking, "Yes, I know who you are. You are Janine Sithmore a name you took from my grandfather when you took control of the guild after his death. And that abomination is Aileen concubine of Rory never allowed to see the light of lapis for her involvement in the Shar affair."
Janine nods, a very serious expression on her face, "Aileen and her loyalty are mine now. I see that your grandmother and father did teach you the history of the Sithmore family. That is good. Tell me Lauriella why are you here?"
Incensed even with the guard around Lauriella retorts, "That is none of the Sithmore's business! My family disavowed you! Release me now!"
Aileen stands up and slams her hand down on the oak conference table. She leans into it staring down at her. Lauriella has to turn her eyes away from the demon's.
Janine not changing her expression says, "You are in no position to make demands, young lady. If I want to I can have you stripped here and now, throw you into a room to be used by our private customers. We've never had a gold elf before. You would make a fine addition and as far as the world knows. You may have simply fallen off the ship en-route. So I ask you again, What is your business in Lapis Port!"
Lauriella takes a good stock in exactly what situation she is in. She sits erect but calms herself, "I have come to study magic at the school for the arcane."
"There are many, many schools on the Mainland. Why here? If you do not like the family why would you go into the very city where we were born."
"There is no teacher that anyone knows like Archmage Fawn Vail. The only one known that can exercise demons threw arcane magic. The only good Archmage that wields the powers of darkness to repel the very same. That is why I have come to Anchorome."
Janine smiles for the first time, "You may not know it but you have the same attitude of all Sithmores. You are a Sithmore whether you like it or not. The shear gull of standing among grey ribbons with threat all around you and displaying such bravosi. I commend you. You do realize that Fawn does not take apprentices, besides that to even become an apprentice of one of the other teachers there are 4 rigorous years of general schooling. So rigorous that only 1 in 10 graduate. Of those only 1 or 2 are accepted every few years as apprentices."
"I have studied Lapis and the surrounding lands as long as I could walk. Every scrap, every rumor, every bit of lore. I will succeed where others have failed. I will become Archmage Fawns apprentice."
"You also realize that in all these years only one Sithmore has become an apprentice at the school and she was forced upon Archmage Shaia Fereldon by Rory himself as a favor she owed. You will fail just because of your name and then you will return to us. We'll find a place for you in the family. With enough talent perhaps a mage position." She smiles and continues, "However I understand the Sithmore children. You must try your hand. The guild is willing to sponsor you.
You will never lack for supplies, rent or tuition. That is if you are willing to due us a favor by reporting back all that you see. We are especially interested in Archmage Fawn."
Lauriella frowns, "I will never stoop down to the ways of the family. You are nothing to me and mine. The very name is a stain upon the lands of Toril."
Janine swings her head from side to side smiling like she has heard this song before many times. Then she looks at the young elf, "And how will you pay for this schooling. Do you think to just show up and be inducted? umh!"
Lauriella flatly states, "I have plenty of coin." as she hears shuffling in the background. Looking back she sees the two grey ribbons counting the coin it took her a human lifetime to acquire. She looks back at the woman."
She turns back to Janine who is smiling, "No, you really don't have any coin. Now are we in business together?" to be continued 'The first years of schooling'
For several weeks Lauriella disappears then She is seen at the docks no longer pregnant and rumor has it bags and baby in her arm at the docks boarding a small merchant ship named the Scandal.
A month later there is a post at the docks.
A storm on the inner sea brought several merchant ships together lead by the scandal. The ship was lit like a torch with magical lights turned herself to the wind leading the others almost through it. She went down near the end. overwhelmed by high waves. The navigator and captain were last seen lashed to the deck maintaining the wheel while crew abandoned the ship on the tender. to be saved by the other, larger merchant ships.
lost at sea
Captain Johnathon 'Whiskers' Tagart
Navigator Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella sits stone-faced on a chair charred by fire, before a desk also singed by flame within the library that just a few days ago fire elementals destroyed. She has cleaned and catalogued all the books, floors, drapes and shelves she can possibly do. Stacking the books neatly for those that work here can figure out what book the illusionist she thought had disappeared stole. Her guild seal is also missing either burnt to cinders or stolen by the same mage that copied her form and destroyed the library in front of her because she dispelled his or her other illusions in the commons.
She had cried for hours until the tears could no longer form. Now she feels empty. Trying to wrap her head around all that has occurred. She had tried her best to stay out of the daily frays of the city only to be pushed front and center. She can hardly walk now and goes barefoot, her feet too big for her boots swollen from activity.
She writes her reports almost calmly but underneath a storm of depression and misgivings are crescendoing to weigh down her heart. She closes her eyes and breaths calming herself, "I will get though these loses and set backs." She exclaims while remembering the only good thing she has done over the past few days. Helping an escaped concubine by the name of Natha to know what freedom means.
She begins to write her first report.
To the Cerulean leadership
It started in the commons as I was speaking to Gnarl and Viktoria. Another Gnarl a copy appeared and entreated us. We asked the copy many questions trying to figure out what was going on. As we were engaging this illusion a copy of Viktoria appeared. Again we questioned the illusions to no avail.
A darkness spell was casts from some unknown person in some unknown direction. there was a shuffling, and pushing of bodies while we where entrenched in the darkness. When the spell dissipated no one could tell who was the right Gnarl or Viktoria. Worried that these copies would spark trouble I used my wand of dispelling. The illusions were dispelled.
A few minutes later a copy of myself appeared, She made a proclamation cast improved invisibility upon herself and left. there was a rumbling and explosion that came from city hall. A commoner ran up to use and said the library was on fire.
All of us rushed to it. There in the middle of a burning library was the copy of me holding a book. She cast the same spells I regularly use. She said while holding up the book, "I found what I was looking for. Here are some friends to entertain you." Two elder fire elementals appeared causing more fire spreading it. We fought them along with others rushing to the scene. Viktoria went down. I tried to pull her out of the flames but what could I do being so pregnant and her in full plate armor. We did manage to revive her.
When all was done we spoke to Herald Fisher about the missing book, Since then I have gone back every day to try best that I can to clean the damage and stacking books for the workers to categorize so that we may have an inventory of all missing or books burnt to unrecognizability.
My guild seal with my wizard mark is either stolen by the figure or burnt to cinders. I will place my mark upon each report now to show that it is me with no wax seal.
I have seen this form of work before by a mysterious illusionist I was investigating for Baroness Tiller before becoming a Cerulean. I thought him gone for near a year but this smells of his work and his dedication to chaos itself. I may be wrong but would put odds on it at the gambling hall.
Lauriella rolls the scroll up and places it to the side. Bringing out another scroll she begins the next letter.
To the Cerulean leadership
A woman has immigrated to Peltarch from the east. I learned that she comes from a place in Shou a province called Wak'an. I do not know the east but the someone in the leadership should know.
This woman is the escaped concubine of a shogun. The shogun did something to her when she was but a child along with what she calls her sisters. He magically altered her voice so that she can only speak at not much more than a whisper. She is also extremely submissive and frightened.
I took her under my wing so to speak. got her new clothing and spoke with her at length about her condition. She also spoke with Verika. The young woman's name is Natha. She did not know if she was surgically or magically altered. When Verika showed up at the commons the three of us spoke of her condition. I and Natha were invited to help Verika research the problem. We went to a laboratory where Verika and I examined her in detail.
She has no surgical alteration. Her voice is being altered magically. What magic neither I or Verika could discern for it was alien to both of us or at least to me. I always question Verika's veracity to some extent. I also patiently worked on Natha's self-esteem. Over the days she is improving well in this regard. Verika thinks she has a solution that by weakening the bonds of magic surrounding Natha she may cure her with a potion.
the magic is not coming from Natha herself but from objects unseen or unknown. that much I know from the detects both Verika and I used. please advise and if you see Natha please have a kind word for her. She is lost in a foreign land and needs reassurance of safety. I will do my best to help her. Please advise on the magic or what I may do to help her get her voice back or if the leadership should be involved.
Lauriella takes a deep breath. before writing the last letter. Her hand shakes. She has to calm herself before penning the next letter.
To the Cerulean leadership.
I sat in this library a week ago with high hopes. I seemed to do everything right. Today I sit in this burnt out library only remembering my failures. If I had not dispelled the illusions this library would be whole. if I had not done what I did at the west gate. Misinterpreting intentions I would not be writing this letter. Duty calls and I must write of this occurrence.
Natha and I were at the west gate when a pixie appeared. It wanted us to get the bleached bones of the dead and make a sacrifice to open a portal. It sounded completely evil to me. We spoke with it at some length trying to find out where the portal would lead, why it wanted to open a portal. It would not answer our questions or answered as if sacrificing a living being was normal for adventurers to do. We refused to acquis to its demands.
It disappeared for a time but came back dropping a skeleton on the dais I normally worship upon. again we entreated it and plead for it not to do the ritual to open the portal. We also found a mysterious letter on the ground it read.
Elf of darkly white
And human in silence
Heavy does your heart weigh
of sins of the past
The winds howl cold, will
You stand steadfast? Search
where the dead roam, Find
Rest for your soul, somewhere to call home
We tried to convince the pixie not to go through with the ceremony. It disappeared again coming back a short while later with a cow to sacrifice.
I use necromantic magics. I fend off the corruption of my soul with a firm faith in the goddess. I have to watch every spell I use to make sure in my heart I am doing the good and proper thing. I could not let the pixie sacrifice the cow. As the pixie attack the it I used negative energy ray to kill it since we could not dissuade it from its path. The pixies body fell upon the bones. The portal opened and arm skeletons poured out of the portal. I used my spells but quickly realized we would be overwhelmed.
I rushed to the commons and called to arms everyone there. we rushed back to find the guard fighting several dozen skeletons, ghouls and other lower undead. I threw undeath to death to clear the immediate area. Then threw a scintillating sphere near the portal where a mass of skeletons where gathered. It destroyed the portal. There were still plenty of undead. We fought them until all were down.
The situation was explained and everyone left including Natha on my suggestion that there was a room at the inn for her. She looked very tired. I stayed through the night and into the morning to clean up the mess. That is when a strange woman came to me.
She was dressed in white armor with a skull helm on. She was looking for her familiar. I explained what the pixie was doing and that I felt forced to kill it. She asked who I was and what authorization I had to use magic as such. I told her I was a magic defender of the city.
She asked if I was a cerulean and why I wore no blue if I was. That surprised me. I showed her my badge.
She said her name was Chaevre' Vaelen and that centuries ago she herself was a cerulean. She then admonished me hard. She spoke of stranded adventurers on a pocket plane. I am sorry. I do not know this woman or if this is all true. I knew in my heart that stopping the ritual was the right thing to do. I still feel, I don't know what I feel at this time. My heart is torn.
She did something with either the ether or astral. I don't know but her familiar reformed and she left.
Lauriella sets down her quill and stares at the letter wondering if she really did the right or wrong thing. She finally states under her breath, "Let lady Moonbow be the judge when I meet my end. it is all I may do now."
She rolls up the scrolls and ties them with bows bringing them down to the CQ at headquarters. When she returns she sits back down in the chair and goes into a deep trance.
Lauriella finishes praying and singing to the moon shortly after midnight along the outside of the west wall. When she is finished she lays upon the dais looking up at Selune in all her glory. Tis a full moon: A high holy night of summer. She day dreams in meditation of the good things she has done for the city. From helping her friends by using abjurations on them as they fight the battles to keep the humanoids at bay, To the book of summoning circles she created for the mages of the city.
When She is finished she seeks out two stars she knows and brings out her sextet. Carefully measuring their angles to make sure its properly calibrated. She places the device in its wooden box and looks to the walls. The walk back to the library seems to get longer every day. She sighs looking and feeling around from something to focus on. Just then a cool wind comes down from the north bringing a sense of comfort on this hot and humid late spring night. She smiles thanking whoever sent her the boon.
She leans heavily now upon her staff. Her eyes dark with worry, fear and days spent researching in a sunless library. When she gets there she opens another blank scroll and begins to write.
General report to the Cerulean Elders.
I am no longer fit for field duties. I can hardly stand, sit or even lay down for any length of time. I am 19 months into a 24 month pregnancy and have a hard time just going to the west gate to worship my mistress. I will still endeavor to sit in the commons when the occasion warrants, listening for anything related to magic that I may be able to report. I will also do as I can on occasion to help adventurers and other Ceruleans with my abjuration magics. Though my limited spell repertoire will have little use to one of my own who may readily cast the same spells as I.
My last field report (unless I get sucked into some incident of not my intention) is about the maze Lacaine has beneath his lair.
I came out of the library one misty morn to find the sundial gone replaced by a portal. Lady Varya was there, along with a Thavian monk I know as Nadia(Not the Cerulean). Along with a young woman I have never met and a few others.
As adventurers would they all jumped into the portal and asked me to come. What could I do but join them. We found ourselves in a grand maze with many portals teleporting us across the maze structure to further disorient us. When we first entered we were set upon by both undead and created abominations. I threw my most powerful spell that drains enemy souls within a wide area, undead or not. My friends where very close when I threw it. The spell is called Evil Blight. It effected the enemy without hurting my friends. I was pleased that no one got hurt but our foes. The armor made short work of them.
From there we wandered along the maze fighting undead, assassins and at times demonflesh golems. The inventors machines came into play as Lacaine set toxic gas to the maze. All of us at one time or another fell to our knees gasping and chocking on the fumes. Yet we carried on.
We made great progress to which Lacaine had to act for his minions were dying all around us by both sword and spell. The place shook from time to time as he tried to manipulate the magics of the mage. After we dealt him a serious blow he had enough of us and created two portals. He voice carried through the maze saying ignorance or Knowledge as we studied the portals. I had no spells to detect which portal would be which. Divination is one of my weaker schools and I have little in the way of spells to scry such things.
One of our more individual comrades took it upon themselves to jump into one of the two random portals. We followed and found ourselves back in the commons. The portal dissipating as the last member appeared. That is when someone told me the inventor was dead. I was joyful in the information. Still his machines obviously still exist. Should we go after the lord of manor or Lacaine remember that they have most likely stockpiled many of these devices.
After all was over I weary started to walk to the library. Keeping up with others is becoming a chore in itself. Lady Varya thanked me for coming. It is uncharacteristic of her to do this. I smiled weakly and said you are welcome Lady Varya. Then left for more deep studies into my stronger schools.
I will be at this for at least another month and cannot break from this important research. I hope that you may defeat Lacaine and The Lord of the Manor before I stick my head out from my books. Lady Moonbow and Lady Mystra watch over you all while I study.
She waits for the ink to dry and rolls up the scroll. Placing it a tube with her seal upon it she gives it to the defenders' CQ on duty. She struggles up the stairs and lays down by the chair she uses falling into an uncommon elven sleep.
Lauriella works silently in the city library. Most by now pay her no mind at all; moving around her as if she doesn't exist. She doesn't mind and often gets asked from time to time where one may find a particular book. Late at night she is reading a manuscript about a rare magic item when a beetle crawls across her desk.
Almost haphazardly she cups her hand trapping it while not paying much attention. Closing her fingers she picks it up gently and examines the large beetle. It's a scarab! She suddenly stands and looks around the bookcases. There is no one there.
She looks at the beetle, "Your not suppose to be here little fellow. Someone must be playing a trick on me...…..or? Or one of the new Mulhorandi immigrants are trying to get my attention. I don't want to think about any alternative for I worship Sehanine Moonbow not Osiris."
She looks around again seeing no one in the library or the hall. She gets her herbal kit out and puts the beetle in an empty jar then pokes holes in the lid, "I'll find a graveyard for you little one. There's one close by. You'll feel at home there."
She goes back to her work. After a while she pulls out some water and rests. Opening her journal she writes.
There was an incident that called me to duty about a week ago. I do not think that it warrants a report to the Ceruleans however I wanted to put it into my journal for prosperity.
A rough...….very rough looking woman in heavy, green armor stopped by the commons asking about a man by the name of Eric. Her speech left little to be desired and although she did not speak common well the words she used were...….Lets just say the color of her words matched her rugged appearance. She informed us that she had lost her man. She told us rather roughly to go find him, and that she would be staying at the inn until he shows his...……..Face.
Shortly after she left a bard showed up from the college and complained that a man, Matching this Eric's description had passed to the private parts of the theater. I changed into my Cerulean uniform and went to investigate with Rika: A tall and rugged Uthgardt woman from the spine of the world.
The bard found us in the theater and opened the back rooms for us. He told us to get the man out whatever it takes and that he was last seen in room B4. I calmed him down and said we would while Rika marched in to look for the right room. I quickly followed.
We found the room and opened the door to be face to face with three female vampires! Two were attending to this Eric in their own way. Rika immediately attacked them in a frenzy while I stood behind the door throwing what spells I may.
We killed two of them. The other pulled Eric's body down a large hole in the floor dug up from the sewers. Rika took great pleasure in cutting off the heads of the vampires while I investigated the hole.
I told her we should have some help. Rika debated me about it for a minute then just jumped down into the hole. Here I became indecisive for a moment. I went to get more help when I slipped and caught myself at the edge of the hole with my hands. Dangling between room and sewer I tried to lift myself up but could not as heavy as I am now. I fell the last few feet into the sewer thankfully not hurting myself.
From there we followed the vampires killing them as we went. I happened to have some copper arrows that collected static and could not only pierce my enemies but also shock them with electricity. I used them and my few offensive spells killing vampires until we found Eric again. Rika took great care to chop of their heads and put them in a large sack. Meanwhile in the fighting She was also bitten.
I knew I had to get them back up to the surface but had never been in the sewers before. We wandered finding more vampires and something new! Cultist from the Black hand. Together Rika and I fought them. I used the remainder of my spells and resorted to my wands. We slew them all.
Free of the cultists and vampires we were almost at one of the exits when crystal oozes attacked us. I tried fire then acid and nothing worked. I had one charge left in my lightning rod. Giving it a go the ooze was repelled by it then came at me faster than I ever thought a jelly like substance could move. I happened to also have my apprentice wand of electric jolt with over a hundred charges on it. I moved and hit it with jolts till it died.
Finding the exit we went to Selune's temple at the docks. Rika and Eric were cured and all went well. Coming back to the commons the Rough looking woman met us and paid us a handsome fee. Eric acted like a puppy dog in front of her as I have seen other men do with dominant women. and they left.
On that note I question myself. I am afforable. I give people the benefit of the doubt until they ruin my trust. I have seen many relationships where there is a dominant male or female towering over their man or woman who agree to their every whim. I think this is wrong. A partnership should be of equality. Each playing their part for the greater good of the family and yet most I have met have wanted to completely dominate and enslave me in some way. Whether physically or mentally.
Must I become the cold hearted bitch everyone thinks of when they see me in my necromantic robes to fend off the advances of these dominant males? I don't believe that is the right answer either. I guess it doesn't really matter. No one wants a woman that can pull the strings of their soul by magic. I knew studying necromancy whether black or white would lead me on a lonely path. I think I must learn to accept that. In this way I may yet be warm and inviting to the people without suffering the disappointments of relationships. It may be what I have to do but It doesn't help the fact that I am still lonely, sometimes afraid, and sometimes the weight of my mistakes crush me into deep depression.
@winterhawk99 Lauriella sits back in her chair and thinks about the gnomes last week and the wild adventure they sent her and near a dozen associates on.
It all started when Jonni, Kenton and I along with others were discussing current issues in the commons. Suppi the gnomish sorcerer and another Gnome by the name of Vanoogle joined us. Jonni got the gnomes going with ideas and they began to build something where the sundial use to be.
They build a (how do I describe it) a giant machine of mish-mashed parts calling it a rocket. Realizing there were many explosives surrounding the machine some of us convinced the Gnomes that the commons were not the best place to make a contraption with explosives. They dismantled the machine and moved it to the west looking for some rocky ground because the soft ground of the sundial as suggested was not a good place to make their experiment.
They then walked to the dias of the west gate. Seeing what they were doing I stood in the middle and protested that this is the place I sing to the moon. They could not build it here. They then looked around and found a large flat boulder to set up their machine. They then urged everyone to go. They wanted to find an earth-mote or flying city if you will.
Jonni and others convinced me it was safe so I joined them. Among our group was Suppi, Vanoogle, Lady Varya, Isolde, Rary, Jonni, Verika, Kenton Seth, Reyhenna, and the curious woman I mentioned before that would not say her name.
We all got on and the rocket took off with a roar. It rattled, shook and did many strange things while we flew higher and higher. It looked like the device was going to get out of hand and we where going to shoot all the way up to the stars when Isolde and the two gnomes finally got it under control. When they did we saw one of these earth motes and landed upon it.
Denizens immediately challenged us. Rary and I spoke with them calming them down. They offered us welcome only if we defeated some raiding Orcs that flew to their floating island on Halruaan ship.
I have never heard of a Halruaan and thought it would have a helm like a spelljammer. It does not. Upon further research I found the references about them. They are skyships that cannot go to the stars like spelljammers. They use giant turtle shells to levitate and ride the winds. They have steering sails too. They use a simple control rod made of silver and capped with gold to control their movements.
We sought out these orcs and found them quickly enough. After the first half mile we ran into mages. I was in the back protecting the newcomer with no name. However too close to the battle by a few steps. A fire brand spell hit me full force. I wound up on the fugue plane and I wasn't alone. Reyhenna was with me. We spoke and I found out that she had been there five times already and had been brought back by friends. It gave me hope for this was the first and hopefully my last venture to this plane of spirits.
I woke up back in my body penniless and checked my belly. Thankfully the baby was still alive. I counted my blessings and gave Lady Moonbow my respects. As we recovered the orcs had moved a cannon toward us. I shrank back against the cliff while others took on the orcs trying to fire the cannon. They were also firing from the top of the cliff too, arrows and stones.
We managed to capture the cannon and roll it forward. Our archers including myself harassing the coming orcs. As we moved we saw a large contingent in front of us surrounding their ship. We decided to use the cannon. I moved far back from the front to keep safe along with the strange girl who I used invisibility on.
When we moved forward most of the orcs were dead. Rarylador and others were going hand to hand with the orc chieftain. The giant of a creature seemed amused, Our warriors were tired and wounded. Some were cut up badly but they wore him down. He suddenly brought a potion up and was trying to uncork it. I knew it was my chance but I was low on spells. I did have a small cantrip called unseen hand that can pick up small objects or trip traps. I used it as the cork popped open for him. Just before he drank my invisible hand knocked the potion right out of his hand.
He looked directly into my eyes and said, "That just wont stand!" I ran as he grabbed a rope and swung over my way. He was not fast enough. Others caught up to him before he caught up to me. They fought hard bringing him to his knees. He plead for mercy but they cut off his head for unopposed entrance to the island. I am not so well with this action but knew that is what the denizens wanted. We then destroyed the rest of his ship that didn't get damaged by the cannon fire. Rarylador took the head back to the earth mote people meanwhile a Lammasu show up.
We spoke with it and found out it lived here to help hapless sailors and ships lost in the sea of falling stars. I told him that when I pilot I will put some mithral shavings into my pilot lantern on deck so that he will know he has a friend at sea.
The rocket itself was done its energy spent. We teleported back to the commons in good health. An amazing adventure finished and a place we are all welcomed up in the sky.
Lauriella labors in her thoughts as she sits in the library with papers and reports surrounding her. From broken swords to a giant rocket ship made by Suppi and another gnome by the name of vanoogle to a halfling's freedom purchased with a dragon egg she has much to think about.
She winces on what to write about first. The one of most import she feels are her observations on the Black hand. A group of seemingly invincible cultist who have banded together to cause chaos and evil across the lands of Peltarch.
She begins to write.
Letter to the leader of the Ceruleans, Lycka.
Personal and confidential.
In the last several weeks I have been involved with instances with the Black hand a group of seemingly indestructible Cultist that use undead, traps and abominations to terrorized the lands and its people.
I have personally met the one called the inventor. A vampire that uses clones to protect himself. His first appearance that I know of occurred when attacking me along the west gate as I worshipped. I ran for help and a number of adventurers helped to disarm and remove the trap he left in his wake. After which we killed several of his clones until he retired from us his voice whispering along the winds.
Later Lady Varya and Verika got mixed up with this black handed cult. A paladin by the name of Henry was slain. The black hand sent his sword to Lady Varya though the courier service known as Fast Travel.
Later as I sat in the commons with Kenton Seth we noticed that guard quietly setting preparations for a siege. All went to the west gate. The group included Myself, Raryldor, Ivory a cleric of Talona, Verika, Nathelin, Kenton Seth, and Elyl. We had some problem with the guard but came to an arrangement as Zombie Orcs were attacking the west gate.
We and the guard broke through their ranks and quickly put an end to their attack. The guard continued North and we went west to the farm houses. There we met with weak resistance from both Orcs and cultist. We continued to the cliff wall where we found more cultist defending the cavern system. We quickly put them down too.
Going into the caverns we found many cultist and undead. We worked our way deep into the depths where a foul poisonous mist was spreading. Many choked on the fumes. In one room we found a cunning trap made by the inventor. Disarming it we moved on. The mists in the caves weakened but did not stop. We knew there were more of these hideous death traps deeper in the caves.
Meanwhile a disembodied whistling started to be heard among our numbers. We tracked the sound to find another diabolical machine of destruction. Again we disarmed it. Now the mists within the cavern system began to dissipate. We moved on.
At the very end of the cavern system We were looking around for the inventor when suddenly we were surrounded by vampire adepts. The battle was fierce with Verika falling in battle. I survived a scratch from the vampires. A woman mage showed up and began to cast. I threw firebrand upon her and hid. The others took her down. I found out her name was Claire and some knew her in life. The threat gone we made our way back to Peltarch.
I picked up the staff of this Claire in the division of gains. It is a powerful staff of animate dead. Upon suggestion I believe it may be scryed to help in ending this group that calls itself the black hand. I will keep it until that time and then possibly sell it for a number of spells in Oscura being that Hermod has already told me he will not sell necromancies. Or have it destroyed so no one may use it (please advise)
A night later Verika was in camp with me when a strange human man teleported into the commons. He was wearing read formal clothing that made me suspicious. I found out his name is Jenkin Crow and he had a mission for Verika.
He told us that there is a Hin being held in Oscura on capital offense that knew how to find the lairs of the Black hand leaders, and knew how to defeat each of them. He told us that he could have the Hin released but he needed something to trade and he knew exactly what he wanted.
He told Verika of a dragon egg the kobolds held in their cavern system. For the egg he would have the halfling released into her custody for questioning. Then he teleported himself out.
She invited me to join her. Along the way we picked up several other adventurers. Autumn, A human Kronan woman who will not say her name, and a fighter type that swings a double bladed axe. We fought our way through kobolds, Lizardmen trying to get to the eggs and abominations. finding a kobold egg keeper that wanted to give up the fight. He gave us the dragon egg for his freedom and we set course for Oscura.
there we met Jenkin and sealed the deal escorting the halfling via teleportation to the commons. There he told us the full story. Both Verika and I asking many questions of him.
There are three leaders of the black hand. the leader of these is Lacaine who holds up in the mountains above a ruined city within. He gains his power from an unknown source within these ruins. He surrounds himself with a gauntlet of undead and created abominations within the mountain's depths. He is untenable until the other two are dealt with. The power his uses is the power of regeneration. By going into the ruins and breaking the link to his power source He can be put down.
The next leader is the inventor. the inventors real body is hold up in an old fortress. He surrounds himself with both traps and undead. Along with clones he constantly creates. The halfling Trick said he knows of a group of Vampire hunters that are willing to help out getting rid of the inventor. However he will not reveal the name or location of this group even as I pressed him. He did say that when we are ready He will call upon them to help with ending this menace. We must destroy all his clones and find the real body. Then we may do away with him once and for all.
The third calls himself the Lord of the Manor. He has a Manor house somewhere in Damara. The halfling told us his trick of survival. Every time his body is cut down a slave he owns takes his place as a sacrifice to the demons he involves himself with instead of his own soul. Thus he is resurrected. He told us that we must keep him occupied and run magical interference to this connection with this process and we may defeat him for good.
Trick said that though these three walk in apparent invincibility their biggest weakness is that they fear dying permanently. Once either the Inventor or Lord of the Manor are defeated the others will go onto the defensive. It will be much harder to defeat them in their lairs as their paranoia sets in. They will work separately thereafter and alone. We take care of the other lesser and Lacaine will be left alone on his mountain. Then we may take him out with a powerful enough group.
The Hin is hiding near a temple in the realms controlled by Peltard, however I can only reveal his whereabouts to Lycka personally for fear of scrying by these powerful cultist. I believe this is prudent at this time.
Lauriella puts it into a scroll tube and places her seal upon it and waddles down to the CQ on duty delivering it to him.
Lauriella takes up the scroll case from the CQ on duty at the defenders headquarters. She pulls out the two notes and reads them. She stares at the ceiling for some time before answering out loud, "Lycka wants me to be more perceptive and use my arcane skills more. I think I can do that."
She rethinks every encounter she has run an report on backtracking it in her mind for points to work on. Her investigative skills need some improvement. Once satisfied she can make proper adjustments she opens her journal.
Lycka wants me to use my lore and spellcraft more along with sharpening my perceptions of each incident. I see in the city. I need to start to remember every other person around me and what exactly they do. Lets make this learning curve sharper than others I've been working on. So many things preoccupy my mind from the baby to my own research in the arcane. I need to focus more on my duties to the city state itself or I may well be asked to leave after a year.
On a different note I would like to refer to two individuals. The first is the court wizard I often see at the state meetings I've been at. Usually I stop at the threshold at the council chambers and listen quietly and respectfully when I happen upon a meeting. A few times I have curiously walked in without being thrown out. often standing behind someone I know in case I was asked to leave.
The last time I happened upon a meeting many of the other Ceruleans were there. I timidly walked in and stood by Jonni, hoping to listen to what is going on. The court wizard there who I have seen but do not know smiled at me with a certain familiarity I would not expect. It struck me as odd. I was eventually guided to a seat beside Jonni and listened to the meeting on the Cerulean that attacked the royal family. This was way beyond my experience and so I listened quietly without interrupting. Still the court wizard's reaction to my presence struck me as odd. Is he divining me or had he heard rumors, or is it just that I am pregnant (that may be a good assumption) I do not know what to think as of yet but will be watchful of further attentions.
The other person I want to mention in the journal is Thorin. Thorin has been confusing me to some extend. When first I met him I found him jovial and amendable as we sat by a campfire and celebrated late in the night.
The second time it was when the sailors toke the celestial sword away from the city for safe keeping. So the Baatezu would stop attacking the city. Thorin was there. His reaction to me was much more reserved and undecided. It may have been about the incident with the spellweavers. That was probably it.
Recently he meet me in the commons and had yet another reaction. He did give me some good counsel about the welfare of the citizens of Peltarch and my responsibilities. Seemingly much calmer than last I was in his presence.
Lauriella winces while closing the journal, "Please stop kicking me. You're hurting your momma. Go to trance little one. We still have a long way to go." She goes on asking in her head, 'Do all babies kick like this or is it the human side of him? He feels like he wants to kick his way out of my womb."
She unrolls another scroll paper and begins to write.
Dear Hemt Netjer Fezim of Kurth.
Greetings from Peltarch in Narfell from Lauriella Sithmore.
I have come to the conclusion that no ship will likely take me from port in Damara to Mulhorand as far along as I am even with some experience in piloting. I will have to have my baby here and trust in the women I know here to have the birth. I have done all that you and the high clerics have prescribed in reference to the baby so that they have a chance at a normal life. May Lady Moonbow protect me and the child.
I have been invited and accepted into an military organization of mage protectors in the city state of Peltarch. My first loyalties must stand with those that call themselves the Order of the Cerulean Stars. I know this has no bearing on my guild membership in the House of life, however I want to make the division of my alliances quite clear. I believe by my being a member and taking care of the people here a good duty and may bring a steadying influence to their barbaric ways.
After the baby is born I will again travel to Mulhorand on a regular basis to help in whatever way I may, and complete my necromantic studies. The only thing I fear now is the protection and non-detection of my child. I will spend every gold I have to either make or have made an amulet for him or her.
In that way though I may not completely protect him from Lord Rokiri I may make it hard for him to find the child. Thank you for all advise and counsel. I will return within the year I believe.
Thank you and may your gods bless you and the house of life.
Hemt Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella rolls up the scroll and places her seal upon it. Places it into a tube and again stamps her seal to the end. She waddles out to await the caravan to Damara. While she waits she soaks up as much sun as possible though the light is starting to burn her eyes and the heat from the direct sunlight makes her uncomfortable. She sighs when the caravan finally comes. Giving the scroll case to the man she trusts she waddles back to the city hall library to continue honing her lore and understanding.
Several days later Lauriella has all she needs to make the letters she needs to make. She draws up a table to a comfortable chair in the city hall library. She takes up her quill and begins to write on a form letter stating her status as a Cerulean.
The first thing she sees is Name:. She hesitates thinking 'Would anyone know who the family is? Would they shun me as soon as they saw the name. I've never had a problem on journey with the ships but then again I know my name has an advantage for merchant ships to carry me to another port."
She chews her lip making the decision.
Name: Lauriella Sithmore.
Position: Knights of the Cerulean Stars (1 year probationary)
Rate of pay
Again she hesitates. She didn't even know there was pay associated with the Ceruleans. She writes
Rate of pay: Unknown
When done she puts it in a scroll case. unrolling another scroll to be written. She again takes up her quill and writes.
Report Lauriella Sithmore of the Cerulean stars
With lightning crashing where the missing Sundial stands a Mad Mage appears late at night wanting those that stand around to play his games. I have seen him twice. His games and tricks so far have done no permanent harm or laid use of offensive magic but the defenders should know about his antics.
He appears to be a human mage of medium build wearing a help to hide his face. The first time he appeared with a lightning stroke I watched his every move most carefully.
He set four different colored crystal balls on the ground and put an ordinary looking broom in the middle of the commons circle. He then asked each there including myself to touch one. Rarylador was the first. He touched one of the balls and disappeared. When he came back he was covered in mud and wastes. He smelled like the sewers.
The second person touched a globe. I forget who or what happened because I was concentrating on the mage trying to figure out his end game.
Then I touched a globe. I grew to the height of a hill giant effected by an enlarge spell the device unleashed. Rarylador then touched another globe. He was influenced by a shrink spell. I almost mushed him thinking he had turned into t a mouse. Then I thought it over again and knew I could not claim plausible deniability. I held my position and watched as Unen touched the broom. A shower of gold coins rained from the heaven upon him. Once the shower stopped the mysterious mage I now call the Trickster disappeared.
Several days later coming back from praying to Lady Moonbow just after midnight I found the Trickster again playing another game. There were three portals in the area the sundial usually stands. He told I, Rarylador and another to enter one of the portals. Rarylador jumped into one of the portals immediately. Then I jumped in another.
I found myself in a shallow cave. There were cages full of animals and a guardian for all the beasts caged within. He said he was a beast master. Going out of the cave I found myself in an arena. There was blood on the ground and a few bones. They looked human but I did not stick around to find out. I saw a rope on the other side. I managed to climb up after quite a struggle and found myself in Norwick behind the temple of Chauntea. I questioned the likes of a fighting arena in the city for a moment but started back to Peltarch.
As I waddled toward the city I became very tired and tried my newest spell. Phantom Steed. The spell misfired a second time. It seems that I am not pronouncing the wording just right for the spell to enact. I will have to work on that. Disheartened I stopped for an hour and rested. Waddling the rest of the way to town. There was no one in the commons so I waited to make sure any that may have gone through the portals made it back ok. Then rested.
I do not know if this mage/Trickster will come back to play his games but will watch and comment upon them if he does. Advise? What should I do If things get out of hand or the mage becomes adversarial?
Lauriella rolls up the letter and places it into the same scroll case. and goes on to the next letter.
Report: Lauriella Sithmore of the Cerulean Stars
Recently one night a portal opened up in the commons and a Thavian wizard walked out from it. Both Verika and Droim was with me to witness the incident.
The wizard was looking for Eurek. I know there is something going on between Eurek and the Red Wizards. Something about him being framed by the same illusionist I was or am investigating for Baroness Tiller. I myself said that I was a magical defender of the city and disliked portals popping up in the center of town. He told me he could destroy me before I even started to counterspell his magic.
I knew it was true and most likely made a mistake but Thavians are dangerous were-ever they tread. I felt I had to put myself out since no one else would. I distrust Verika's motivations and think that if things go south she is more likely to turn tail and run rather than stand for the city and the defenseless.
From this point I stopped my banter with the mage and listen to him. He was disappointed in not finding his quarry and blatantly said that he was also testing the cities ability to defend against he and his collogues. The statement raised the hairs on the back of my head. I centered myself as taught, staring him straight in the eyes without saying a word. After making his proclamation along with some other threats to the city if Eurek isn't found he left through the portal.
She puts the letter in the same tube and takes out yet another scroll. She sights as she begins to write this one.
Personal to the other members of the Ceruleans:
When an elven woman gives birth to a half-elven there are usually complications. Sometimes those complications are grave. My pregnancy is further complicated but I cannot say how. Baroness Tiller knows the details and if at all possible I would like to have her as midwife though that may not be possible with her duties.
I am writing this letter in case I should pass while giving birth. If this should happen I would like my fellow Ceruleans to burn my body until even the bones are ash. I will wish not to come back. I know I have a home in Lady Moonbows arms once I have transcended.
Have my ashes sent to Evermeet. My parents have a small farm just north of Drelagara (Ask for the Sithmore farm). they have already lost their son, my brother. I am the last they will birth. They will be sad but let them know I did what I could for all peoples that I have met. I had an interesting life to say the least and meet whatever fate with the same curiosity I did in life.
I should have enough coin to do all this. Take all my research and use it well in the coming centuries. As for my things Keep them for the next Cerulean that may need them to do their work.
Thank you for listening to my wishes
She puts the last scroll with the others and goes down to the defenders headquarters. There she hands it to the Sgt. CQ on duty. and walks back up the stairs to read and study.
@winterhawk99 After a blistering month of action Lauriella sits down in the library of the city hall and recluses herself for several months.
The first thing she does is write in her journal: I finally had it out with Rarylador at the commons by the Sundial. His controlling personality and outright condemnation of me brought me to the boiling point. I told him off in no uncertain words what I thought of him. My Father always told me to beware of wolves bearing gifts. I thought that He being a cleric would be different...….No He was far from it! He has ever tried to turn me from my true purpose and now I have another support system. The Ceruleans. I may only be a probate member but I have people I can turn to that understand the trials I have been through.
After a grueling month of going outside and just before I recluse myself here the elven offered me a spell crystal. I would not take it freely. Instead, I traded him for a gem of higher value. It didn't mean much to me but he walked away with a smirk on his face. It angered me even more. So much has happened in between including my induction into the Ceruleans. I will speak of this and other things in this journal.
The first thing I want to mention is the Red Dragon returned. This time with a half-dragon. They appeared in the woods east of the rift. close to gnoll territory. I found out the Halfer's name is Hed'ral and the dragon's name is Kauleth. They were thrown out of their home by their mother, Inferno (Rass as a nickname). They found a lair in the mountains. Which mountains they did not say.
We were trying to negotiate a deal with the pair when the same gnome paladin along with a gnome sorcerer named Suppi got hot under the collar and attacked the dragon. The dragon of course retaliated and killed Suppi. I am not sure he killed the paladin. Someone put the body or bodies in a bag and took them to temple.
Meanwhile Jasmine showed up and started to negotiate. Most by this time left the area. I stayed behind leaning up against a tree to back her up in case things got ugly. Jasmine paid some kind of tribute to the dragon. I believe it was a sword but am not sure. they made an arrangement which I could not hear all the words of. Then the halfer and dragon left the area.
I know that most of my spells would bounce of the dragon to no effect but I had to be there to support Jasmine just in case. Perhaps it was not wise but no one else would. Perhaps one day things will be different.
There are many other events that happened while I soaked up the sun for my baby to be birthed as a normal half-elf. I have taken great care to follow the prescripts of my guild on handling such a birth. I do worry that I will not survive it so will make a last will and testimony before I am due.
For now I tire easily and must rest.
@winterhawk99 After two months of research away from everyone I came back out of the library to find a dizzying array of action. The first thing to happen was late at night. The halfling Droim and I were discussing various subjects when a portal appeared where the sundial usually is (It got destroyed by a black pudding). A human dressed in nobleman's clothing stepped out and convinced us to step into the portal He called himself Vox. He wanted us to do a job but he wouldn't say what it was. He said there would be treasure. Needing funds for my research I jumped at the opportunity. So did Droim.
We found ourselves in a dungeon with another nobleman. The nobleman told us that Vox ran slaves and that we were his most recent victims. The other then told us that there was another man 'Ted that had died recently and told him there was a secret escape that opened by a switch or chain. He brought us to a table where poor Ted's body was covered up with a bloody sheet. We discussed what to do next and decided to pull a few of the hanging chains.
The first chain we pulled released several gems. to which Droim collected for us. The next we pulled let loose a rabid Penquin that made straight for me. I shot it with an arrow and Droim finished it off. We pulled several more releasing coins, giant spiders, One chain turned Ted into a zombie that attacked us. We handled it all well and found the chain to release a trapped door. Droim easily made it through the trap door first. I had some problems squeezing through the tunnel due to my condition. I'm now getting quite plump, but the nobleman unused to tight places and used to an easy life had the hardest time. We almost had to pull him out of the other side.
Once on the other side Four guards attacked us immediately. I took charge throwing phantasmal killers and negative energy rays to kill three of them. The other ran away and up a ladder. The nobleman unfortunately did not survive the initial attack. Droim and I chased the guard to a room with two ladders. We discussed it and went up the other to find ourselves in a large grand hall in front of a woman in a mask and wizard robes.
The guards wanted to kill us. She wanted to do worse things to us. We explained that a man named Vox had accosted us with lies of treasures to put us in her dungeon to be sold as slaves. The woman got very angry and called out 'VOX!' The nobleman showed up. She admonished and threatened him. Telling Vox she didn't want her dungeon used for his illicit hobbies. He became like a begging puppy dog. I smiled inside while maintaining a serious face. Droim meanwhile talked the woman down quite nicely.
She turned to us and was thinking of killing us again to save face. Droim told her she should let us go and we would not breath a word of the incident. She paid us off for our silence with our promises.
Back in the commons we dumped out the items she gave us. There was a wand, some potions and a couple of scrolls. One of the scrolls was Animate Dead. I told Droim he could have everything but that one scroll. I said I would like to keep it. Droim agreed and I picked up the scroll.
Two things happened about this incident later. The first is I heard that Droim had gotten quite drunk at a tavern, Danced on the tables talking about how he bested a mage and saved a pregnant woman. I shook my head and smiled. That's not exactly what happened but I think Droim should have his day. If anyone ever mentions it to me I will tell them that what Droim said was true. The other incident involved the scroll. I at first took it to Hemrod to see if I could trade it for another. He would not take it, but said I could probably trade it in Oscura. I went down and met a mage there. I traded the scroll for a scroll I had been looking for a long time. I traded it for Phantom Steed. Now that I have that spell I will search for ways to pick up the arcane version of speak with dead, false life and more to enhance my white necromancy.
The next thing to happen to me is as I was sitting in the commons I noticed a lot of mages and bards I know gathering around me. Jonni was there along with Skye, Shesarai, and others. They invited me to Jonni's home. There they formally asked me to join the Ceruleans. I accepted. We had a meeting. It was very secretive. So much so that I will not even write about it in my journal. I will say it was quite the education on the political structure of Peltarch and the Ceruleans themselves along with their history. I am now what is called a one star in the order. I am to observe and am to be guided by the others over the first year of a probationary membership. I look forward to it. I have also been asked to add Mystra to my prayers as well as Lady Moonbow. So now after singing to Lady Moonbow, I add a few prayers to Mystra to keep the weave stable. And yes I can now sing to my goddess again. I still cannot dance until I made up for what I have done in the recent past.
The very last thing to happen to me was while going to the farmlands with Shesaria we came across some strange tracks. Not so much me but she noticed them. She said that they always seem to appear behind her. I could see nothing having no sense of tracking what-so-ever. The tracks disappeared after we searched much of the area. I called up simsee to see if her true dragon sight could pierce the veil of this unknown track leaver. Meanwhile more adventurers gathered around us wondering what was going on.
We gave up and started back to the commons when a farmer ran past screaming about a dragon. We all went to the ridge south of the farms and found a huge dragon sleeping across the road. The carcass of a cow beside it. Autumn took charge and offered it treasure to leave. Then sang to it. Her song was starting to work when a dwarven paladin or knight walked up to it sword in hand trying to intimidate it. The dragon almost killed him...…...TWICE! I was thinking its going to attack and we would all be dead. It was irritated to say the least. Autumn managed to talk it down and it did eventually leave. Thank the heavens. We all went back to the commons. Both I and Autumn tried to counsel the knight but he made such excuses and deflections that I finally knew it would be of no use to speak with him on the subject again. I finally sat back down to rest my aching back and got a good rest. I wonder what grand events will happen upon the morn.
After walking along the west wall to get as much sun as she can, Lauriella goes back to the library opening her old books. Before she starts her research she digs a fist full of silver coins from her pack holding them in the palm of her hand as long as she possibly may. The baby kicks in seeming protest.
She looks down to her slight belly, "It's ok. I'm not trying to hurt you. I am only doing my best to make sure you are born without curse or disease. I hope you understand in the end. Not that you will remember anything from now."
When she can no longer hold on she drops the coins, takes a rag and scoops them back into their pouch. Putting salve on the irritations she goes back to her work.
She doesn't know if her letters will be answered and there may be a good chance these incidents are singular, but It does strike her oddly that there have been 3 demons reported that come from an alien plane not known to most here on Toril.
Her training and practice while she was an apprentice have prepared her somewhat but what did she really know about the mysterious Fade plane and it's inhabitants.
She knows that the plane does exists though only referenced and described by her mentor Archmage Fawn Vail. If she could go back to the Archmage's library on her island she could learn more about it. Lauriella again goes back to her notes to quantify and be able to give others a general understanding of this place.
The Fade is a plane or demi-plane inhabited by both the spirits of mortals that are molded into their greatest attributes and by demons that constantly monitor the prime to seek out mages dabbling in things they should not so they may corrupt and eventually possess said mage.
The plane itself is described as something like the ethereal but different. It is a plane of constant change and mirage. Many objects and creatures of the plane look like one thing but are quite another. Sight is hindered in the realm. There is a bubble like quality to it as if looking through a glass bowl. There is also the prevailing fog like quality to the air making vision both distorted and close.
Spirits of those finding themselves here after death become distorted or if you will purified. When the plane is done with them they exemplify the foremost quality they had in life. You will find spirits named Compassion, mayhap a cleric of a good healing god or goddess that healed the sick and homeless. There are many others as there are emotions and qualities. Spirits of Valor, Honor, Mercy, Justice and Joy.
These spirits like the demons of the plane may possess an individual. When this happens a more symbiotic relationship occurs. The person the spirit is inhabiting becomes closer to the spirits prime emotion. A spirit of Valor will try to influence its host to great accomplishments on the field of battle. A spirit of Honor will try to influence its host to be honorable in all that he or she does.
A spirit's aim is to live with the host not to completely control him. They do not try to burn the mortal body out only to seek another host later like a demon, and also a spirit will leave a host if there is a conflict between host and itself. It also has to be invited into the others body by the host itself.
A demon of the fade on the other hand will at first tempt its host with power, dreams and other measures to gain entrance. Using blood magic is sure to draw demons to oneself. If a demon does not get invited to the host it will wait for the host to do blood-magic. After which the mage will be in a weakened physical state and the Demon can try to force its way into the body.
When this happens the Demon will contain the other soul or outright destroy it when it finds the hosts weaknesses in their will. The demon will use the body to do various goals the demon has while the host will physically age, become diseased and eventually expire within a short time period. The demon will leave seeking out another host.
Fade demons particularly like mages and the stronger the better. With powerful mages the demon will force its way in and wait unnoticed reading the hosts memories until it finds all the hosts weakness. It will then try to influence the host to do things unbecoming but that the host finds enjoyable. Drink, women, men, all the sins of the spirit. When the host becomes weak enough in soul the Demon will make a hostile takeover similar to the demons we have seen on Toril since the age of the elves.
These fade demons also come in various forms of negative emotions and/or prime bad influences in ones life. They share names like, Hunger, sloth, desire, Pride, and other negative activities.
there is a ceremony where one can send a mage to the realm of fade. If there is some form of extra-planer breach that lets the fade influence the prime of Toril then this ceremony should work. The problem is without access to the information for this ritual I have no idea how to make it work, unless I can find the information on my former mistress's island in the astral. The second problem is it will be another year before I may interact with spirits.
Hopefully these incursions are singular instances and there is no need to fear an invasion of fade demons on Toril. but we all must be watchful of such. If there is let us hope that we will find a means to send a mage into the Fade and take counsel from the spirits of the realm to undo the damage created.
Lauriella rolls up the scroll and marks it in case someone asks her about the situation. She is now prepared to speak to others that she sent scrolls to previously.
When not at the sundial, Lauriella now spends much of her days in the library of the government building of Peltarch. Studying anything in history she may have missed while she stayed centuries on the astral plane at the Vail island.
On this particular day she reads a letter that came to her via caravan route from Mulhorand from Hemt Netjer Fezim.
Dearest Hemt Sithmore.
It has come to our attentions that at least three instants of demonic possession to which our clerics have no idea how to vanquish. These demons are far an above different than anything we have experience. When divined these demons have general names but we have yet to deduce the exact names of them. Two we have learned are called hunger demons. One through rigorous divination where a holy angel was called, we know now is something called a Desire demon.
We know nothing about these creatures and by what plane of the abyss they come from. Being that we can no longer contact Hemt Netjer Tarset; We send this letter to you hoping that you may clarify what is happening.
Being that we know you are with child and that you may not contact the spirit world or interact with the undead we will seek to contain this problem on your advise.
Do not under any circumstances try to seek to take care of this on your own! It is too dangerous for the special child you bare within you.
May Horus-re protect you and your goddess of the moon comfort you.
Hemt Netjer Fezim
Lauriella gets up and paces about the library thinking on what she has just read. Not only is she concerned about what she read. Her back is starting to hurt so she must spend an amount of time standing, sitting and laying down. She is now 1/2 way through her pregnancy. She is starting to show. It will be another year before she births the child. She looks up at the ceiling exclaiming, "Humans have it so easy, Lady Moonbow."
She takes up quill and ink to pen a letter.
Dear Hemt Netjer Fezim.
It is not the third incursion of the fade into Toril. It is the fourth that I know about. If there are incursions coming it is because somewhere on Toril an unusual planer spell was used on this world to rip Realmspace therefore letting a plane not known to Toril to mingle with our magics.
As you have implored I cannot commune with spirits until my child is born, and therefore am of little use. My best advise as a demonologist is to wait and listen for other mages from other countries to report instances where similar things occur.
The demons of the fade are attracted to untrained mages. They possess said mages and take them completely over. They may seem beneficial at first but eventually they take complete control and run amok until they can either find a more advanced mage to attack or a commoner to possess until said time they can find another mage. Beware for the House is in danger. Begin training your prospects and apprentices heavily on both mind abjurations and the dangers of making any deal with the demons of the fade.
Hopefully in the next year, with very good luck: I will be able to find a mage that also knows about the plane of Fade and when I have birthed my child will be able to go directly there to find out what goes on from the good spirits that inhabit this unknown place. For I know something of this place of mirages. I will quietly research and gather information about other regions until such time as I may participate. Sending updates where affordable.
May Lady Moonbow shine her light upon you.
Hemt Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella rolls up the parchment, stamps it with her seal, places it into a tube and again places her seal over the cap. A seal that has her wizard mark in the center within a double circle. inside the double circle are the words in Mulhorandi. Official document of the House of Life of Mulhorand."
Again she gets out a parchment and starts to write.
Dear Baroness Anna Tiller,
It has come to my attention that something or someone on Toril has broken the protective weave of Realmspace to let demons on Toril that by all Lore should not be able to breach the prime here.
Being a demonologist and steeped in the lore of several outside influences, I know of these things most mages would not.
If you come upon certain possessions, particularly of mages! please let me know. I have hope that I will be able to bare my child before things become critical for by law I may not engage with spirits until said prodigy is one unto themselves.
You will know these possessions in that you will be confounded by what types of demons they are. They go by the general names of Hunger, Desire and Pride demons. I am hoping that I may have my child and then be able to go to a plane little known by torilians seeking out wisdom from the good spirits that dwell there to stop the demonic incursion into Realmspace and sew up whatever breach brought them here.
Lauriella Sithmore. Hemt of the house of life.
When done, She rolls and stamps the scroll putting it into a tube. After which she writes the same letter to the Ceruleans, heading it, To who it may concern or Nadia whichever is best to read this."
Once done she leaves the scroll in its tube at the door of the Ceruleans in city hall. Then she makes the short trek to the south wall and beyond to Baroness Anna and Lady Varya's home putting another scroll tube against the door.
Dear Hemt Netjer Fezim,
This is Hemt Sithmore. My situation has changed. I have been charged as a deputy to investigate the hostile magics of an illusionist spreading chaos in the city state of Peltarch. I cannot at this time come back to Mulhorand to continue my studies in the necromantic arts.
As soon as the investigation is over I will take the very next caravan to Damara and set sail for your fair country. Many have said I should have my baby in Narfell however they have not the understanding nor the facilities to hide said baby from the father of the child. Furthermore I have been abandoned by those who do not understand the necromantic traditions of both Evermeet and Mulhorand in the art of white necromancy and the rules of using the art for the betterment of Toril instead of the subjection or destruction of the land. They are a narrow minded people.
On this regard I also do not think that having a trade or treaty alliance with the nations of Narfell is possible in the long term. Narfell is broken up into singular city-states that bicker both within and with one another. Most but not all here I find selfish and barbaric.
Even the one light I saw turned dim. A high cleric of an elven god became so controlling that I had to take sound action to stop his attentions to my work. However there is still hope here and I will do my very best to help my newest home to acquire some culture and sophistication. There are many individuals that merit high regard.
Giving an example of the chaos I am dealing with here, The capital city has either lost or soon will loose their king who owed a large dept to a neighboring city-state called Norwick. Instead of paying the required gold he payed them in grains much needed in his own state for the winter because he wanted to keep his wealth. He let the people go hungry so he would not loose a copper to the neighboring state to which there is no war and little strife.
Now the others in the nobility bicker over who is to aquire his title. There is much infighting within the nobility itself. I cannot with good conscience recommend that we trade Mulhorand's grains, fruits and spices for the hardwood and ores which I know you need desperately. The situation here is total chaos. The cultures too different. They will not trust you and you will come to not trust them.
Moreover there is a city-state in Narfell called High-hold. They cozy up to the Thavian wizards as a whore to a customer. They do not know what they do. The Thavians will corrupt them to the point were I fathom a slave trade very soon within their borders.
There is also another situation brewing. It seems the peasantry is about to or already has started to revolt over the grain shipments to Norwick. A warehouse was attacked and burnt almost the the ground just before when I came back from my last trip. Also there were pamphlets attached to blood soaked rags that read, "Peltarchian Souls,
For ten years, we have suffered the rule of a tyrant and his so-called royal family. A family thanks to whom our homes are invaded by fiends, while our military fights against itself instead of for us. Thanks to whom our crops have been sent to greedy foreigners by royal order, while our children and elders starve. Thanks to whom we have had to kneel to a throne, beg for the dole, and suffer their luxury.
On this, the eve of his demise, know the truth: his time is at an end, and ours is to come. Wait for the call.
Now you know the full extent of the problems I am dealing with. I highly recommend not going forward with any trade or alliance talks with any city-state in Narfell.
Despite all these recommendations I do wish to continue my longer journey in Narfell. There is much I can do to help these barbaric people. There are many souls that are of good disposition and or long for a stable society. I will do what I can here as the centuries turn. I still call this my home.
May you bask in the day by Ra's light and feel cooled in the night by Lady Moonbow's beams.
Hemt Lauriella Sithmore.
Lauriella carefully roles up the scroll and stamps it with her official seal. Then she puts it in a scroll case again stamping the cap with her seal, addressed to the house of life in Mulhorand. going to where the caravans take on cargo she waits until the right one that she knows comes. Once he is there she greets him. giving him the scroll saying, "This is a letter to the house of life make sure it is carried to the maid of the inner sea's captain. He will take it from there.
The man gives her a slight bow and takes the tube.
It's late as I put quill to ink today. The stars shine and Selune is a quarter waxing soon to be in her glory. I was wrong I think about Lady Varya. There was something much deeper in her dreams than just manipulation of an outside force, The illusionist or as Verika calls him now, The Headache. Before I go into that there is something else that came before.
I met Garen at the sundial. We were doing what most adventurers do there. I to my books and bottles he to his armor mending and sword sharpening. I noticed his skeletal arm. He said he replaced it. At first I thought perhaps he is a palemaster, however his dress in armor and carrying the weapons and mending supplies of the warrior class made me think twice.
An old man showed up and showed Garen some antique he had purchased. They talked about it while I watched. When they were finished the old man invited the two of us to his apartment at the bottleneck to tell tales of our travels. He and I discussed it and figured what the hells. Sounds like a good time. When we got there we found a guard standing but her throat was slit. Erurk showed up while we were examining her. After we were done we went to the apartment. It was trapped.
Erurk worked set off the trap while Garen and I hid way off to the side of the hall. He opened the door as we came from both sides. Garen looked in then I looked peeking my head between the two rather large men. The old man was sitting in the front room in front of the table. There was some kind of device with buttons on it underneath his chair. It was a trap.
I said I was not going in there until I was sure it was safe to walk. Erurk turned himself into a fairy...…..Ok that doesn't sound right because Erurk is this hulking half-orc twice as tall as me and at least three times a wide, but that's what happened. He flew about the room making sure there were no more traps. After which I carefully stepped in and examined the device. I could make no heads or tails over the symbols on the buttons. As we were discussing how to disarm it Garen pulled out a scroll of find and remove traps and disarmed it. We lowered our eyebrows and looked at him.
Next we examined the old man. His throat was slit and he was dead. We opened another door to find a form that looked like they were sleeping in a bed. there was a device in the corner. it was both humming and had a whirling sound. Erurk approached it as he did the device hummed louder and the fan within whirled faster. I told him to back up. Stepping just within the threshold of the room I bent down and examined it. It was something I had seen before. a proximity trap. There was a bottle of green liquid attached to the top of it. Acid or poison. I did not know which. we backed away and tried the door on the other side of the front room.
It opened to an office. There was a tripwire plain to see around the counter. Erurk jumped over it behind the counter. That's when I saw just a flash of another man in the room. I backed up into the corner to prevent any harm to my unborn. That's when the man leaped from the shadows and attacked Erurk. Three things happened at once. I threw phantasmal killer, Garen threw a spell from scroll, and Erurk jumped on him. The assassin a belt of alchemist fire grenades at his waist died as the grenades exploded, Erurk stopping the blast by jumping on top of him.
I thought him dead but amazingly he got back up, burnt and bruised but not dead. He must have one hell of a suit of armor. Meanwhile I had sent Simsee to get the guard writing that I, and my compatriots had found a murder. The first to show up was Lady Varya just after the assassin had died. Quickly on her footsteps came the guard. One of them rushing into the bedroom and setting off the trap. I had put something about traps in my note but the guard must not have read that part. Guards big on bulk not much on brains. Luckily Lady Varya had a heal potion and gave it to her. As we were being questioned I started wrapping the woman for proper burial. The guard stopped me saying they were taking over. I backed up and gave them a nod.
Lady Varya walked back to the commons with us as Garen explained the old man showed him an antique sword hilt he had just purchased from Hemrod. Lady Varya's eyes lighted up and said that they had just sold one to him. Her and I think she mentioned Isolde but I forget the other name it could have been someone else.
We talked at the sundial for quite awhile and Lady Varya seemed to have some form of breakdown. She was questioning her service to the defenders because one of its leaders is evil. As we talked about it I told her, "There is always a way to do good in the world, no matter who you are. You must find your path to doing that while maintaining your dignity."
She looked at me very strangely. Saying, "Your right." She walked off and out of my vision for sometime.
When she came back she had resigned from her post and came back wearing the colors of Chauntea. I smiled to myself and thanked the goddess for giving my words meaning for her. Lady Varya after that seemed much more composed. I also promised her that I would stay in Narfell until this Illusionist was captured. Not the gnome the Illusionist that is using project images to harm the surrounding populace. In the days afterward I concentrated on maintaining my health, praying and helping adventurers going afield with my abjurations.
A few people said that my baby should be born in Narfell. I should not sail to Mulhorand to have him or her. Unfortunately Narfell being mostly dislocated city states does not have places where I can hid him from his father. They also do hot have the facilities to deal with the child itself. I plan to have my baby in Mulhorand where the house of life will be ready to deal with my particular situation. I really hope the Headache is caught before I come to term in 15 months.
Lauriella sits down at a table on the patio of the in. She opens her journal and begins to write down all that has happened to her these last few weeks.
I kept my condition secret for over four months. When the morning sickness came I could no longer hide it. Lady Varya was the first to notice it as we defended Norwick from a goblin raid. Later Raryldor wanted to take me to the dwarven crypts. He must have seen I was hesitant. I was hesitant that I should not be around undead at this time. I tried very weakly to deter him but he wanted to show me. I went. I stayed as far away as I could from them. I didn’t get but a few scratches and I was not that far along yet.
Four months is little compared to the two years of the experience. Near the bottom we encountered mummies. I tried to stop them with my will and ended up like in Mulhorand turning to a corner and shaking in fear. I know that I am still not ready.
Raryldor killed them. Afterward I cut the sacred herbs out of their chests and smelled them. They were not rotten or corrupted in any way. Come to think of it, I should have taken a wire and pulled the parcel of herbs out of their brain cavity. That may have told me more of what I needed.
Within days Raryldor found out. He was angry. The funny thing is he never raises his voice or seems angry but I know him enough now to tell when he has lost all ability to think normally. He rejected me.
Just after that another wizard challenged me on my lore. I know the lore of the west like the back of my hand. He bullied me hard until I left. I should have held my ground but what difference would that make. I ran to the dais on the west wall and prayed hard.
The next day I packed up all of my bags and was going to leave on the next caravan. As I got there I looked back. I even said my good-byes to Thau’lira. The caravan driver was motioning to me to come but my eyes stared at the walls of Peltarch. I said to myself, “No, not this time. I will not let those that would cast me out have their way. I will stay and find a way to help as best I can the people of the lands here in Narfell. Picking up my bags I walked back through the gates determined to make a difference.
The next night I prayed again. Raryldor came and sat watching me. He had some hard words to say to me and I to him. We exchanged a low keyed but heated conversation. If you were an elf you would have run to the hills by what we had said to one another.
That’s when I knew. I knew that all that Raryldor wanted was a battle mage so he could have someone beside him when he ventured. He made every effort to effect exactly what I studied. I extended my spell limits for him instead of investing whole heartily in my will as I am supposed to do.
I realized that things would never be the same between us. He had abandoned me. As I got out of range of his sight I brushed my hands together and said to myself. That is that. If that’s the way it must be than I will accept it.
As I walked back to the gates I saw Lady Varya at the campfire. I hope she did not hear what I told him. I felt extremely embarrassed because I said things to Raryldor she never should have heard.
I stayed close to the city for the next week finding solitude wherever I could to figure things out.
When I was ready I reappeared and helped adventurers going to different parts of Narfell by using my spells to help them. I also filled some spell crystals and gave them to Gnarl for the help he gave me in electrum and silver dust for my protective circles.
While I stayed by the sundial Raryldor would often come and sit beside me. We didn’t talk. I’ve had enough of his views on how I should spell cast and I am sure he has had enough of me in some other way, but my heart eventually softened and I did speak with him a little just before the crazy gnome sorcerer came to the commons.
The gnome ran around casting haste upon himself along with several other spells. Eurek had had enough along with the rest of the humans. They started to chide and berate him. The situation for me was getting dangerous. I threw up a few shields including ghostly visage, and lesser mind blank.
Eventually things got out of hand and the gnome threw a color spray at Eurek. The spray also caught another. The gnome cast invisibility on himself and escaped.
Several nights later he showed up again. Lady Varya hit him and I put a hold spell on him to keep him there until the authorities could sort things out. When Jasmine came she did sort things out. I was given a stern warning for using magic against another myself. Varya almost went to jail for the night.
When Jasmine was finished Varya became extremely upset, leaving the sundial area. Firguring that she would go home I went there finding her praying in the field back of the house.
I sat away from her at first just to let her know that someone cared for her. When she started to speak I got up and gently placed my hand upon her shoulder listening to her own inner struggles.
In the end She told me she had been with someone after a very long time. Afterward she received a vision of pain, pestilence and death. I nodded to her thinking about it. At first I could not figure out what she was saying. She went home to get some rest. I hopped that I had comforted her somewhat.
As I came back through the gates the skies darkened with dusk settling in. I went to my place to pray.
As I was praying Lady Moonbow must have taken my prayers in good council for I myself had a vision of the mark on her hand. The mark the orc painted on her hand under the instruction of the project image we saw in the caves when we investigated the illusions that haunt the city.
When next I see her I will ask about it. So this is it. I will stay here unless called back to Mulhorand to speak with them on the Narfell situation. A situation I find hard pressed to advocate at this time due to the nobility infighting.
Lauriella brings her bags off Tymora's Luck and heads to the station where she can pick up a caravan going to Narfell and the capital city of Peltarch. As she looks back at the ship she see's that they are taking down the grey flag that tells other ships there is a Sithmore on board. A family member of a powerful thieves guild of the western provinces, who worship the god mask with such abandonment that it brought the god back from total disillusion.
She sighs thinking about the many dualities of her existence. In Evermeet she is but another common elf. She grew up that way, only to learn as she aged of her ancestry and connection to Lapis Port in Anchorome. She is a death mage steeped in the trainings of necromancy, enchantment and conjuration. Yet she does her best to remain of good disposition for the betterment of all the nations that she has lived and traveled in. She surrounds herself with good and noble people yet when it was time to decide by trial her first baby will be a hybrid undead and mortal creature. The spawn of a vampire lord.
She is learning to hold her own against the wills of others yet deep within she is still a woman of misgivings and questions. The only thing that anchors her is her unwavering faith in the moon goddess. With that she decides she can continue to support all of the populace of Narfell which she loves. Along with the dwarves of Norwick to which she admires.
She takes the first caravan to Peltarch negociating hard to pay no expense. With her expertise in herbal medicine she gains a free ride and they are off.
It is but one night when the caravan hears a wolf baying in the moonlight. It continues for hours. On the second day another joins the song while they have traveled many leagues.
On the third night the caravan driver comes into her wagon asking if she had an enemy. For by now most mages of the 5th circle have acquired many.
Lauriella replies, "There is but one that I know that would seek me out, good sir. If the wolves persist in tracking the caravan let your guard be known that I will take action to avoid harm to your charges."
The caravan driver gives her a short nod and or bow. She doesn't know which and in the morn they continue their journey.
On the last night before reaching Peltarch the wolve's howls get louder. There are rustles around the wagons. Lauriella waits until the moon passes two hours past it's Zenith then steps out of her perch. Walking into the woods she calls up her now considerable abjurations. stopping in a small clear area she waits for them.
The wolves come in pairs, surrounding her. When the whole of the pack comes into her infravision she uses an unseen hand and makes a circle of protection against lycanthropes. Again she waits.
A large wolf steps out of the brush and approaches her. It stops shy of her circle of protection. Hives now cover most of her arms and up into her shoulders as she needed silver powder to protect herself. Still she stands tall and looks the wolf straight in its eyes, "You may have found me, Vellin but I no longer fear your wrath. Remember what I can do. Remember who taught me. I respect both your magic and abilities but I will show no fear no matter how this ends. Begone now knowing that I will do whatever it takes to protect what we have made from your machinations. And one day I will find a way to free your captive. whether I can enter your abode or not."
The wolf grows and lets out a viscous wail. It circles her several times to find a flaw in her ritual magic. Finding none it backs away. The pack dissolving along with it into the depths of the forest."
Within her circle Lauriella sobs placing her head in her cupped hands. When finished she wipes the tears away and steps out of her circle making her way back to the caravan knowing the wolves will plague her no longer.
The next afternoon they arrive at the western gates. She disembarks and wanders into the commons of Peltarch renting the inn room. There she puts salve on her rashes. She looks into the mirror provided wondering what she will say when Rarylador finds out what she has done.
Her thoughts then turn to a piece of cloth with parchment on it. There is a blood spot within an older one with a message upon the paper. She reads it.
Understanding the significance of the information based on what she has heard in rumor and innuendo she sighs, "This will complicate my mission for the nation of Mulhorand. She finds a chair and goes into reverie to await what fortune and future has for her in the next weeks.
Lauriella walks along the docks carrying her travel bags and books. She has a box of Mulhorandi spices with her and her medical bags are full once more. She has a full bottle of Silphium even though it is too late for her to use it. She finds the only ship leaving for Damara today. The Captain and first mate stand to the side of the dock going over ledgers of cargo, crew and passengers, While the hold is being loaded up. She comes up and stands in front of the two, "Need a night pilot, captain?"
"Good morn to you too, Hemt. You can pilot? How many runs you make on the Damara/Mulhorand run?"
"One. I assisted Jao on the Lady's Fortune."
"I know Jao. Good pilot. Too good at bones. I'll pay...…."
"All I need is fare, captain."
He looks surprised lowers his eyebrows giving her a respectful take. Opening his crew ledger he takes up his quill, "Full name, Hemt?"
"Hemt Lauriella Sithmore."
The captain sighs putting his quill down, "I'll not have a Sithmore on the Queen Mermaid. You'll run us to rock and then your family will join you in plunder. I'll not be marked by your kind and be having my cargo looted. Be off with you."
Dejected Lauriella leads them to the local inn. They purchase a private room after she looks at the docking schedule. The next Ship to Damara leaves in three days.
After settling in Lauriella tells Itet that she's taking a bath. Grabbing a towel she heads to the baths section at the end of the hall. After the water is poured she takes her hand and with a cantrip warms the water. Slipping in to get rid of the grime of the desert. After she arches her back and lays in the bathtub enjoying the small respite. Itet comes in for her bath after about an hour. Before the Bastite can start to flirt Lauriella gets out of the tub.
"Where are you going, Lauri?"
"Water is getting cold, and I have to make some notes."
"I could share."
"She smiles. Nice try, Itet."
The young human shrugs. Lauriella goes back to the room and dresses, Narfellion fashion with her leather coat and high boots. She sits down taking up her quill and personal journal.
Samwell put me to the test back in Peltarch. I mentioned the Spellweavers and what I had done in frustration. He suggestions that we go down in try to resolve the issue. I thought that it might be a good idea. Verika decided to join us. I took care to watcher her from time to time.
I have never traveled with the woman and am now very suspicious of her intent towards others. She always stands outside the rails of the sun dial circle. She adds little to conversation but sharply listens to others. Still she walked beside us and caused no trouble. I'm actually a little impressed. The three of us journeyed to Norwich with little holding us back but a few gnolls, which we quickly dispatched, saving a merchant in the process. When we went inside Omar was his usual cheerful self if you get the joke. He asked me if I were going to trash the library again.I told him no. I told him with honesty that I felt sorry about what I did and offered one of my books on protection and summoning circles. He took it. Glanced at the pages and gave it back saying that he didn't need it. I knww then a peace offering would not be accepted. Samwell had some questions. I waited while he engaged the librarian. When the two were finished I asked about my 5 petitions and what will be done about the incident. He said I am not welcomed back.
Understanding I said, "A fair judgement." Inclined my head slightly and walked out. And to say truth it was a fair judgement. I won't be going back there and because of their callousness in not helping me help Peltarch I will not return. I payed a high price to bring Peltarch help. I do not blame the spellweavers for that. I do blame them for their uncaring attitude towards their allies and the common people of the lands. And so it ends each party has agreed to judgement. I do not fear any more retribution from the spellweavers nor Norwick. Samwell stayed inside while Verika followed me out. She said it was probably to protect my honor. I figured it was probably true. Thank you Samwell, but it wasn't necessary.
During these weeks in Narfell it happened we had a strange encounter at the Sundial. Snakes and bears came to us hidden in illusion as ravens. For some reason I was suspicious and stayed away from the birds. When they transformed we took care of them, Samwell and myself as well as Lady Varya. We found a symbol of a fist within a triangle. The symbol of Leira, However the symbol was wrong. What was a fist doing within the triangle. The Baroness Anna deputized us to find out what was going on. We followed a trail of clues out of the west gate. There we found some farm hands bailing hay. They looked somehow wrong too.
While we were interrogating them they turned into orcs and attacked us. After taking care of them we found a farmer bound and hidden in the hay bales. He head had a nasty lump on it. He said he was hit on the head by one of the an elite special guard of Peltarch. Lady Varya asked a lot of questions and we headed for the orc caves. In the back of the first area we met with a project illusion. It had a male voice. It offered a boon to us. Neither I nor Samwell would take it. Lady Varya amazingly did. It drew the same symbol the illusionist put on the animals and orcs to enchant and cover them with his mirages. The image vanished leaving us wondering on both it and Lady Varya's decision. Walking back she explained that she did it on purpose to get closer to the quarry.
I hope that she faired ok while I was away to Mulhorand. I had to leave before there could be further investigation. I did notice that while all these Illusions were going on at the sundial that Verika was there playing with a ring on her finger. I asked Lady Varya if she saw it whispering to her. She nodded and tried to interrogate her. Verika looked somewhat miffed that she would be accused.
The other thing that happened to me is that while I was praying one night by the west gate one of the women. I am so tired I cannot remember her name. It was not Sheesarai. I think it was Nadia. She thanked me in my efforts to help Peltarch and gave me two spells as gifts from the Celureans. She told me that more than a few of their membership have petition their leadership for my induction. Perhaps as a member of such an organization I might be able to help the common people of the land.
If I am asked formally to join I believe I will. Baring any interference from my new duties to the house of life.
I also met Maeve the triefling once more. We spoke alone at the railing by the sundial. I am still not sure about her. We did air some differences and the I think each of us left more respectful of one another. Do I trust her? No. But now I respect her enough to watch her actions and see if they speak as to her words. Then perhaps a trust may form. Evil in Peltarch is not obvious. Like underhanded calishamian merchants it lies in wait for opportunity. And sometimes good people are misread. It is chaos at times when thinking of all the adversaries proclaiming righteousness while keeping a blade in their boots.
I will endeavor to stay out of the politics of groups and nations of the humans and dwarves as much as I may, however promoting Mulhorand and their open hand of friendship towards Narfell may become a problem. I will look to weave the tapestry of this situation most carefully and ask Rarylador of his recommendations.
Lauriella closes her journal and puts it away as Itet comes in and leisurely throws her towel upon a chair. She sits down and smiles at her, "You ready to feel the comfort of a woman yet?"
Lauriella laughs, "Itet, you are too much. get some sleep. or I'll enchant you to it."
"You can't do that, my hemt. They told me of your affinity for enchantment. I made sure to protect myself."
"Whatever you have, Itet, You certainly don't have it on now."
"I think I'll read right here just as I am."
"Do what you will then, I have to study."
"And I found out that you really don't"
"Have hair. Fancy that."
Lauriella blushes and goes back to her studies, shaking her head. Itet smiles and starts to hum.
Lauriella hears a commotion outside the tent. She stops tending to the young man with pellagra. She stops what she is doing and goes outside. There she sees her assistant Itet, A member of the house in the 2nd circle and worshiper of Bast, in a hard discussion with a couple that appear to be between 30 and 40 in human years. She walks up them, "What is going on here, Itet?"
"They want to speak to their daughter, Hemt Sithmore. I told them that you will not at this time speak with the dead."
The Husband has an incredulous look about him. He shouts at her, "You are a death mage of the house of Life, Hemt. I demand satisfaction. We have waited near a year to speak with our daughter who was raped and killed. We wish to say our goodbye's."
She spreads her feet shoulder length apart, looks down and closes her eyes. When she is ready. She lifts her head and stares him directly in his own eyes, "My apologies, Sir. I am with child and can have no contact with spirits or the dead until I bare my son or daughter according to the laws of the House. I am sorry for your loss. Will the two of you dine with me this night. We will remember her in respect."
The husband still angry slumps his shoulder, "Then why hemt, did they send you a death mage to tend to the villages if you cannot do your chosen work? Tell me why this is so!"
Still holding his eyes, Lauriella replies, "The land is sundered. Many a village have lost their representatives of the house. I am needed to help with the backlogs of villages that need people tended too, and to give advise to the Nebs of the villages.
I know loss. I know the horrors of rape and control. I would gladly call your daughter back to speak with you however I cannot endanger my unborn around the spirit world. I do hope you understand. I will help by paying my respects with you at my table. It is the best I may afford."
The peasant places his hands together and does a short bow, "I apologize, Hemt Sithmore. I am at a loss of my patience. We have waited so long."
In her concern for the couple she nods to them then walks up to the woman who is weeping. She hugs her, "We will celebrate your daughters passing to the spirit world. I have no doubt you set her with things to make her light when she reaches the scales of truth. Be calm mother for your daughter must have a happy afterlife.
When my baby is born I will return. If you still have not had satisfaction I will tend to your needs personally."
The woman breaks away from her and kneels upon the ground, "We accept, Hemt. You have done more without spell than you will know."
"Then make yourselves ready and return at the hours of evening feast. We will be ready."
The husband helps the woman up. They leave the woman crying. The husband less angry in his tenor. Itet comments, "You give the peasants too much leniency, Hemt."
Lauriella looks over to her, "Are you my assistant or are you my chaperon?"
Itet smiles, "A little of both it seems for I have my assignment to keep you safe as well as assisting your duties."
"Figures. Make our table ready, Hemt. We have guests."
After dinner Itet is eating an apple and watching Lauriella as she reads and writes at a makeshift table. One leg is held high from the knee while the other is down. She comments, "You are very pretty you know?"
Lauriella looks up, "I'm rather plain for a sun elf. My hair has grey strands from my test for apprentice, and I have more than a few scars from my life in Narfell."
How old are you? Still young?"
She looks up calculating, "I am 215 cycles. I was most likely born when your great, great grandfather was alive. In human years? Perhaps 22 or 23."
"I've never known an elf are you all as pretty?"
Lauriella looks to her, "Is there a point to all of this Itet?
"I would welcome you under my blankets if you so would wish, Lauriella. It is after all not an affront to our gods for two unmarried women to mingle in the night."
Lauriella raises both her eyebrows. Looking at Itet's holy symbol she replies, "I think that's more of a Bast tradition than any of the other gods and goddesses of Mulhorand."
Itet laughs and bites into her apple again. She chews and swallows. After which she asks, "I heard that elves have no hair. Is that true?"
Lauriella blushes hard, "That is none of your business, Hemt Imoson."
The human mage laughs, "And what of your moon goddess. Do you not have celebrations with your sisters at high moon where you dance and find one another?"
"Your lore is not completely correct. Yes we dance and celebrate to the moon. We do not mingle unless there is a man that we like that is available."
Itet points to her, "I see your eyes, Hemt Sithmore. You are either in love at best or infatuated at least. Tell me tis true?"
Again Lauriella blushes, "There is an older elven that I do like. However the life of an exorcist is extreme. I would not put him through the nights where I wake from trance fighting and hurting him before I can regain some form of sanity after I have expelled a creature from the mind of another. I will not put someone through the trials that my mentor Fawn puts her husband Randyl through."
"A death mage must have a sad life. The ones that are not corrupted."
"My goddess is strict on necromancy. She fortifies me. Keeps me from becoming what we all fight against Itet."
Itet uncovers her blanket and shows that she has nothing on except what the gods gave her. Lauriella blushes and turns her head away."
The younger mage laughs, "So you know both the pleasures and the hurt of the flesh, Lauriella. I only make fun."
When Itet covers up again Lauriella turns her head back to the girl on the cot, "Yes I know both. Now get some sleep. I have a lot of research to do and notes to take before we leave for the next village."
"You don't know what your missing. Everyone needs a bit of pleasure on the road."
"Spoke as a true Bastite, Itet. Let it go. We have much to do in the next week."