In which there is a challenge issued, a battle fought, and new armor appears!

Tomika, the 21st of Aperire 976   (2nd day in Eternos)

Dawn found me as I was doing my daily morning workout.   With Tath not in the room with us, there was plenty space to move around quietly without waking Amayah.  After washing up I headed downstairs to the common room of the Laughing Swan to meet up with everyone for breakfast.   As the others showed up, I found myself staring at Theradon as came down the stairs.   Attempting to hide my blushing face, I looked away before he could catch me staring….I hope.   Together the group discussed the plans for the day.   Amayah, Theradon and Felix decided that they would head directly to the Temple of Heironeous, while I would head to the Dragon Warrior Temple to check on Tath, agreeing to meet up with them afterwards at the Temple of Heironeous.  Mazrith was more silent than usual and didn’t have much to say either way, so we left him to his own devices.

Even though I could sense Tath through our shared bond and could tell that he was happy, I still wanted to see him.   Last night was the first night that we had been parted since I bonded with his egg 6 years ago.  I was happy to see that even though he was having fun with his new dragon friends, he was happy to see me also.  I asked him about how his day went and filled him in on the information that we had found the previous day.  Giving him a kiss on the snout (much to his embarrassment) I told him I would come see him again tomorrow, and left to meet up with the others at the Temple of Heironeous.   As I was walking out, I was stopped by the Captain of the Dragon Warriors that I had met yesterday.   Blocking my path he asked me, “And just where do you think you’re going?”   Slightly put off by his stiff demeanor I told him politely that I was on my way to meet up with my fellow companions at the Temple of Heironeous.   “You’re not going anywhere, until you prove yourself to me.”   Completely putting me on the defensive I hotly retorted back, “And why should I have to prove myself to you?”  “I want to see what kind of warriors Prox is turning out these days.” he said.   Prove myself to him?   Really?  Well if he wanted to test my mettle, that was fine with me.   I’ve put up with bullies for far too long and I was not going to put up with his rudeness.   I felt my eyes narrow as I glared at him and told him in firm voice, “Fine.”   Pulling out his great sword, he lead me over to the sparring ring.   I sized him up while we walked in silence over to the ring.   This was not going to be an easy fight, nor a friendly one.

Once over to the ring I did some slight stretches to get my muscles warmed up, and mentally called out to Tath to let him know what was going on and to ask him to lend me his strength.   I sent up a quick prayer to Kord, and started to step into the ring just as Tathandral came running over to watch, knocking over two warriors in his excitement and haste.   “He lacks discipline,” said the Captain, apparently feeling some need to voice his disapproval.   He was seriously starting to make me upset and I had the feeling he was trying to get me get me off balance before the fight.   “I am a calm mountain lake,”  I told myself.  Repeating a mantra my friend once taught me I took a breath and continued, “This man is but a cloud casting a shadow upon my surface.  I will be here far longer than he will be.”   Feel myself calmed I answered, “At least he has character.”   “Character,” he said, “Is nothing.”   Standing my ground I replied back, “Character is everything.”   And with that I stepped into the ring.

“It is tradition for us to introduces ourselves to each other,” he told me.  “I am Captain Shean Wyatt.”   I gave him a curt nod and told him, “I am Alusair.”   “What?” he asked, “Just Alusair?   No surname?”  I just looked at him in stony silence, not bothering to reply.  “I have a surname,” I said to myself, “But there is no way that I’m giving it to a pompous ass like you!”  We both squared off, saluted, and launched our attacks at each other.

I attacked him in earnest, not to much to prove to him that I was worthy, but I just wanted the fight to be over with.  It was stupid.  I shouldn’t need to prove myself to him.  My first swing missed.  “You’ll have to do better than that!” he called out.   He easily parried my next swing and moving swiftly he delivered a crushing blow to me that I was too slow to deflect.  The bone-jarring impact startled me.  This guy really wasn’t messing around.  And he was good.  Very good.   “Give up!” he called out to me.   Shifting my weight to a better fighting stance, I answered back, “Make me!”    I attacked again, but it was to no avail.   It seemed that his defense was almost perfect from years of fighting.   The man knew his stuff, I’d give him that.  I felt like my legs were weighted down and my sword was too slow.   I attacked him again, this time more clumsy than the last.   Sense my growing frustration, he called out, “How can you fight me when you’re fighting yourself?”   He attacked me rapidly, it was almost impossible to deflect any of his shots, his great sword was a blur in his hands.  He landed another strike on me, this one more crushing than the last.   It felt like he was trying to kill me!   Trying not to let my growing alarm reach my face, I searched his only to find it completely masked and impassive.   With a painful grimace I brought my sword back up to defend against his ceaseless attacks.  “Why do you continue?” he asked. “‘Cause I’m too stubborn to give up…and too stupid not to!” I thought to myself.   I could feel Tathandral’s encouraging but concerned presence behind me.  I thought about Amayah’s willingness to learn when we sparred and her chiming laughter when we talked into the night, giggling like carefree girls.  Who would be there to correct her stance and grip on her weapon or  throw pillows at her head while we made faces at each other?   I thought about Felix’s steadfast and growing friendship with Tath and myself.   I thought about Theradon’s brief kiss from last night and  my growing feelings for him.   I wanted the courage to express feelings for him and to kiss him in earnest.   I thought about Mazrith and our talk on the docks and how I hoped he was on the slow road of healing through his pain and darkness.   I thought of all my friends and told Shean, “Because there are people worth fighting for.  People worth protecting,” I said. With the remainder of my fleeting strength, I launched myself at him and put everything into my attack, finally scoring a hit against him.   However this only proved to be a small and short lived victory for me.   With a quick series of blows, he drove me down to my knees, and held his sword to my neck.   “Yield,” he demanded.   Defiant to the end, I refused.   My body was battered and bruised.   I could feel at least one or two cracked ribs and knew that I bled freely from multiple cuts.   Battered, bruised, but not broken.   “It is honorable to offer to someone to yield.  It is not honorable to accept,” I told him.   With the pommel of his great sword he shoved me over.   The back of my head hit a rock, and as darkness closed in I knew I had lost.

In the darkness a flame appeared in front of me.  This time it was a flame that seemed to be composed of ice.   “Do you wish to continue?” asked a female voice.   I answered her in the same manner that I had answered the first time.  “At what cost?”   “What cost do you wish?” she asked.   “Does it jeopardize my friends or our quest?”   There was a moment of brief silence before the voice answered.   “The cost will come later and is irrelevant to your friends, quest and to you.”   As much as I would have loved to haunt Shean for the rest of his days, I knew that Tath wouldn’t survive long without me.  Already I could hear him calling distantly to me “Alusair….get up….wake up….”   I told the voice that I would accept her offer and wished to continue.   I felt energy pour into my body and knew, just as before, that I was completely healed.

“You’ll never be strong enough to protect anybody.” I heard Shean say.  As my eyes flicked open I looked to see him turn his back to me and walk away.   Standing up, I looked down at my armor and saw that this time instead of red, I wore a gleaming white armor etched with dragon symbols and designs all over it.  Dragon wings sprouted from the back of my armor, and my sword had lengthened from a long sword into a great sword.   Laughing, I called out to him, “But I’m just getting started.”   Shean whirled around…and froze.   Awestruck he just stared at me.   For a few moments we stood like that.   I would keep fighting him, but he was going to have to make the first move.   He started to walk over to me, then to my complete and utter shock, he knelt down in front of me, placing his greatsword on the ground.   Looking up into my stunned face he told me. “I yield.”   “Alusair,” I heard Tath say, “What did you do?”   I had no idea.    An excited Tathandral continued to  shout jubilantly into my mind, “Alusair you won!  You did it!”     The training grounds were completely silent.  I looked around and saw that everyone had stopped what they were doing, and were also kneeling down on the ground before me.

Trying to snap out of my shock, I crouched down so that my eyes were level with Shean’s, and placed a hand on his shoulder.   “Farstrider.” I told him.   Confused he asked me, “What?”   “My last name,” I told him, “Is Farstrider.”   With a grin I told him “I would be honored if you would show me how you were able to beat me so quickly, my brother warrior.”   After how he had just treated me this was obviously not something he expected.   With a hesitant smile he told me, “I would be honored to teach you what I know.”   Hearing some people move up behind me, I heard Amayah shout, “Alusair are you ok?”   Startled by the presence of my friends, I turned to greet them as the white armor disappeared.   “What are guys doing here?” I asked them.   I was supposed to have met them at…..oh….right.   “You were supposed to meet us at the Temple of Heironeous, but when you never showed up we worried and thought to find you here.”   “Sorry,” I told her, “I got hung up by a little friendly, duel.”   “It didn’t look so friendly to me,” said Theradon.   I looked up at him and he told me, “We’re also here to see if we can meet up with someone from the Wyatt family.” He quickly explained that at the Temple of Heironeous they had found that Azreal the Fair was once known as Azreal Wyatt and that his descendants still lived here in Eternos.   Turning I saw Shean had heard our conversation and had come over to join us.  “What do you want with the Wyatt family?”   asked Shean, suspiciously.   We explained our quest to him and he told us what he knew about Azreal: that he had died a hero, and had spent a great deal of time on the continent of Angora.   The others went to go find Mazrith and I stayed to speak with Shean some more.   He told me that his family still had the sword of Azreal in their possession and if I cared to see it, I could meet him at the temple in the morning and he would take me to the family home to see it.  Agreeing to meet up with him, I left to catch up to the others at the Laughing Swan.

Music and the sounds of laughter and talk met me at the door of our Inn as I walked inside.   My gaze swept around the room.  I saw some of the others sitting at a table, but Theradon was not with them.  Looking around a bit more, I saw he was sitting at the bar drinking heavily with two dwarves.   Did I miss something?   I sat down at the table where Amayah was at.  She told me that there was a great festival coming up.  The Festival of Lights was in a few days in a town called Feinster.   Feinster was at least 2 months away by walking and at least 1 month away by horse.   Since both Amayah and I had expressed interest in going, Theradon and her had tried to talk to some of the local wizards to see how much it would cost us to go.   5000 gold???   That was almost all the gold we had left.   Every year I looked forward to the Festival and knew that Feinster was supposed to put on the best celebration in the world.   I found my gaze drawn towards Theradon again.   He had never been so deeply into a cup of drink before.   Maybe he was upset about not going?   Amayah had said that the wizards were very rude to both of them.   An idea occurred to me.  Before I could lose my nerve I told her “I’ll be back in a little while,” and raced upstairs to our room.   Scrubbing the dirt and sweat from my skin, and meticulously cleaning the caked dirt from under my fingernails, I cleaned all the grit and dirt away from my fight with Shean.   I brushed my hair, curling it slightly.  I dabbed myself with a small amount of perfume, and proceeded to fish out my scarce amount of cosmetic pots I had carefully hidden in my packs.   I added a small amount of color to my eye lids, pinched my cheeks to make them more rosy in color and painted my lips with a tiny pot of rouge.   I slid on my blue dress to complete my transformation.  It was show time.

Trying not to draw the attention of my friends, I slipped downstairs and headed to the door.   “Who is that??” I heard a drunken Theradon call out loudly, just as I reached the door.  My hand froze in place.  Oh Gods, please no.  “Please don’t recognize me,” I prayed fervently.   “That, my lad,” said one of the dwarves, “Is a beautiful woman!”   I heard Theradon chuckle in agreement, “Well whoever she is, I like it!”  As the dwarves started to laugh with him, I made my escape out of the common room and headed for the wizard’s tower.    Once there I tugged my dress down as low as I dared and tried to put on what I had hoped to be a slightly vapid look as I knocked on the door.   One of the wizards answered and before he could say anything I gushed to him “Oh!  Are you a great wizard??”   Startled he looked at me.  I could see his chest puff up in self importance as he replied “Why yes, yes I am.  How may I assist you.”   “Oh thank the stars that I found you!” I cried.   “I can see now that surely you are indeed a great wizard!   I have just heard that there is a Festival taking place in Feinster and I would be ever so grateful if you could help me get there!”  As I said this last part I squeezed my arms in front of me, hoping to emphasize the already embarrassing amount of cleavage that I was displaying.   “Um, well yes….I…I could certainly help you.” he choked out.   “How many of you would there be?”   I told him that there were 5 of us and a dragon.   I saw him start to calculate in his head.   I grabbed a hold of his arm, pressing it to my bosom, I told him with a wink, “And if you were to stay and join us for the festivities there would be 6.”    Feeling that I had the upper hand.  I dazzled him a brilliant smile.   This was going to be easy!  If I could secure us passage maybe Theradon would see that I was good at something besides just fighting….something I wasn’t even very good at yet.   I imagined how he would be grateful as I returned triumphantly to the tavern announcing my great deed.  How he would sweep me up in his arms as he realized I was the beautiful woman that he had seen earlier.   Twirling me around he would tell me how I was as clever as I was beautiful and kiss me….”4,000 gold.” said the wizard, interrupting my thoughts.   “What??” I asked him confused, still slightly caught up in my day dream.   “I said the passage would cost you 4,000 gold,” repeated the wizard.   Dismayed I tried to look at him with big doe eyes, “But sir, I had hoped…”    He cut off my reply,”Do you by any chance happen to have some friends that stopped by here earlier?”  He then proceeded to give me a fairly accurate description of Theradon.   “I have many friends that could fit that description,” I tried to bluff.   “Well,” he told me, “I’m afraid 4,000 gold is sadly as low as I am willing to go for a group of that size.”   With my day dream smashed to pieces, I told him in a crestfallen voice, “Oh.  I see.   Thank you anyways.”  and headed back to the Laughing Swan.

Hearing that there was still music playing, I walked through the doorway.   Depending on how drunk Theradon was maybe he would want to dance!    My heart skipped a few beats and this time I entered the room, bolstered by the confidence of his words calling me beautiful earlier….only to find him passed out and snoring on the floor.   Well at least my secret meeting and failure with the wizards was still stafe.   I smiled slightly to myself at the sight of the nobly dressed man, snoring drunkenly on the floor like a commoner.   Deciding not to let the night be a total loss, I went and enjoyed the music and still did a little bit of dancing.

I should get some rest.   Tomorrow morning I will meet up with Shean in hopes of seeing the sword of Azreal and maybe we can get settled on where to go next.   And with luck I will get the chorus out of my head from the song the bard was playing earlier, called Taykell’s Adventure, “Oh, Fathers hope for daughters, someone light and frilly.   They leave the house, to find a spouse, a blessing in it really.   The land your father farmed on, was split among his sons. If this goes on much longer, soon there will be none…”

 

Aviva, the 22nd of Aperire 976 (Third day in Eternos)

 I woke with the dawn as usual on our third day in Eternos.   At breakfast there was little conversation about what to do for the day.   Theradon announced that he was going to go to the Arena to try and win some money through betting, and that Felix would be accompanying him.   Amayah said that she would not mind going with me to see the sword of Azreal, and after a bit of talking Mazrith decided to accompany us.

As we walked to the Dragon Warrior Temple to meet up with Shean, I filled Mazrith in on what had happened the previous day.  He looked stunned when he heard about the armor and started to question me about the color, and when it had started appearing.  I told him all that had happened yesterday and about the time that it had also happened while we were fighting the Kraken during our trip on the ship.   When I explained to him that the armor was red the first time and white a second time, he said that it was the armor of a Dragoon and that he didn’t know if any had still existed.   The fact that mine had been two different colors was very rare.  I showed him the ring and after some examination, he declared that he was going to head to the library to look up some more information on the armor instead of going with us to the Dragon Warrior Temple.

Once Amayah and I met up with Shean at the temple he took us to his family home in Eternos where the sword was kept.   Amayah tried to sense if there was still any magical power, but alas any of the magic that the sword once held was broken just as the sword itself was in many pieces.   Shean’s family proved to be a fount of information, telling us that the sword had been with Azreal the Fair during his entire career, and also that there is a keep that Azreal spent much time at a keep while he was in Angora and that the keep is still standing.   Wanting to share the rest of this information with the rest of the group, Amayah and I thanked the Wyatt family for their time and walked back with Shean to the temple.

On the way back I finally asked Shean the question that had been on my mind since yesterday.  Why had everyone started kneeling to me after our fight?   He explained that the armor that I was wearing was that of a Dragoon, and that she must be blessed to have that armor for only warriors that are blessed are granted it and since mine has appeared with two different colors I must truly be blessed.

Well that’s all that’s happened so far today.   I figured it would be best to get this all written down before the rest of the group meets back up with us here at the Laughing Swan.  Hopefully Mazrith will be able to fill me in more on the armor!   And with luck the group will be able to decide where we should go next!

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In which a destination is reached, information is found…and a kiss??

Sorren the 20th of Aperire, 976

Land ho!   Today we finally reached our destination, the city of Eternos, after 3 long months at sea!   Thankfully our voyage this time was rather uneventful.   That next day after we battled the shadow creatures, Amayah sought me out and we started sparring every morning, and Mazrith became my sparing partner at day’s end.    Felix it seemed was rather sea sick for the most part, and Theradon, seemed to forgive me for my rude behavior that night.   There is not much to not about the travel in particular.   The New Year came and went.  We celebrated rather boisterously on the ship with drinking, dancing, and song.   That night as I looked out at the stars, the cold sea air turning my cheeks pink with cold, I made a wish for the New Year.  I prayed that Kord would hear my wish that he would grant us all the continued strength to see this thing through to the end, and to stop the Shadow Man.   I haven’t told the others this but almost every night I am plagued by nightmares of what I saw that night. In the dream I am helpless.  My sword is too heavy to lift, my feet are stuck in place and I can’t move.  And all around me, my friends have their souls sucked out by the shadow spawn.  The creatures dance around me, claw at my clothes and hair and taunt me, knowing I am powerless to help my friends.  And just as I am about to scream out in the night, I feel Tathandral’s cool and calm presence in my mind soothing away the nightmares, telling me that he is there.  His silent presence like a warm balm. I am thankful that I have yet to wake Amayah from my nightmares, since she had taken to sleeping in my cabin with me and Tath so she can avoid the Captain’s unwanted attention.    Tonight is our first night in Eternos and back on land.   It is my hope that the change of scene will stop the nightmares.   Thankfully they are not as frequent, so I believe that this might help them stop completely.   If anything, they just strengthen my resolve.  I would not want the others to think that I was weak and worry about if I could hold my own in battle.   So we took our leave and said our goodbyes to the Dragon Wing and Captain Jasmine.   As she said her goodbye to me, she bowed over my hand, kissed it and wished me well.   I don’t think I will ever fully understand that woman.   Maybe that is a good thing?  In any case I wished her well in return and hoped to see her again.

The party decided it would be best if we split up for the day, meeting back up later towards evening.  I told the others that I wanted to check in with the Dragon Monastery there in town, and Amayah expressed her wish to accompany me.   We made our way to the temple.  I was rather nervous since I had never been to that this particular temple and did not know anyone there nor there ways.  Since I am currently lacking funds and did not wish to impose on the others, I planned that I could stay there with the other Dragon Warriors.   After making a few inquiries I was directed to a crotchety grumper of a man who informed me where I could stay, but that Amayah would need to stay elsewhere.   I thanked him for his time, and we made our way off the grounds.  As we were leaving, we were approached by two members of the guard informing us that Tath was not permitted outside the temple.   I asked Tath what he thought of this and he was actually rather excited!   He was very very happy to stay and talk with the other dragons.   As he bounded off, we were approached by a small child who was puffing from exertion.  He told us between breaths that our party had purchased rooms at an inn called The Laughing Swan.   Knowing that we had a few hours before the rest of the party would arrive, Amayah and I decided to do some window shopping, stop at the park and take in the sights as we slowly made our way there.

After everyone arrived, Theradon informed us that he had a very fruitful day.  He was successful in locating a book in the great library that provided much information about the Legendary Warriors.  At last, we were finally getting a few more clues and pieces to the puzzle!   He suggested that we start here in Eternos, as there was a temple of Heironeous where Azreal the Fair had studied at to become a Paladin.  Skarra the Healer he learned of the Catfolk and was from an island off the coast of Lemuria.   Mondo the Strong was a barbarian who was from a tribe in western Lemuria.   Scaleron the Wise was from Ulimar, just south of Lemuria.   Wolgar of the Mountains was a dwarf from Ironforge.   Nothing new was discovered about Voldo, and Almeria the Powerful and Vadania of the Woods were both elves from Morrowind.   With that the group decided it was getting late and we should get some rest since tomorrow would be a long day and would decide how long we would be in Eternos before setting out on the next part of our journey.   As the rest of the group dispersed and went to their rooms, I approached Theradon…

“You are a very resourceful man, dedicated to the cause.  How very noble of you,” I said.  Could I have sounded any more stupid??  Smiling he replied back, “I was taught well.   I do not wish to see the world destroyed, or covered in darkness.”   Feeling a little more relaxed I agreed, “Neither do I.  It is very admirable though how well you are able to find information for the quest.   I will endeavor to help in the search tomorrow.”   “Excellent,” he said.   “Hopefully we can gain some knowledge about the location of the gems and retrieve it.”  I could tell the conversation was winding to an end.  Wanting to still talk with him some more before going to bed I told him softly, “I care about the world too…and…and…andsomeofthepeopleinit!”   I stammered out the last part quickly in a rush of breath.   As he looked up at me I continued on quickly, eager to change the subject and hide my embarrassment.  “Um, yes,” I started rather lamely, “That would be good to find more information tomorrow.  Either way, it sounds like our travels will take us all over!”   “Yes, I believe it shall.  I will not let the world end on my watch.   Will you be staying here tonight or at the Dragon Warrior’s Temple?” he asked.   I gave him a grin and told him, “As much as I am loathe to be parted from Tath, I think I will stay here. It will do him some good to spend time with others of his kind. He was very excited.”  Feeling brave I added, “Besides, I find the company here more pleasing!   It is my hope that before we leave for the next part of our journey that there is music and dancing, and I would not mind a good night of drinking and merriment. We’ve been cooped up on a ship for the past few months. I think moral could stand to be boosted slightly.”   “Hmmm,” he mused with a thoughtful look on his face, “You may be right, perhaps a party is in order.”  Sensing I had his attention I pointed out, “This battle against the darkness, and the Shadow Man. I’m not suggesting we forget about it, or let our guard down. But surely, a night of merriment and fun would do us all good?”   Wanting to drive the point home, since I had his full attention, I continued on, “We might not get another chance to enjoy ourselves, Theradon.   If there is any evidence from what you have found, we will be travelling for a long time.”   “We may not,” he agreed.   “I’m sure these few days in Eternos may be our last quiet ones.  Best make the most of it.  If you do require anything please let me know.”   Slightly crestfallen, I nodded.   Had he not understood my meaning?  That I was starting to care about him and wanted to spend time with him?  Perhaps a more direct and blunt approach was needed.   I told him that I did not currently require anything at the moment, and if I did I would not hesitate to tell him.   Not wanting to give up quite yet, I tried one last time to get through to him.   “I agree with you.” I said quietly.   Looking into his eyes I stated “I think we should make the most of the time that we have.” Together I thought to myself, not willing to be completely so bold as to say it out loud.   “I find you most enjoyable and easy to converse with,” I added.   “Why thank you.” he said.   “Well,” he continued, “I believe this day has worn on me though and I shall retire for the evening.” and with that he leaned in close and kissed me on the cheek.   “Sleep well young Dragon Warrior, tomorrow will be quite a long day,” he said as he turned and departed.   Stunned, turning ten different shades of red, I stood there with my finger tips pressed to my cheek.  My first kiss!   Staring after him, I saw him turn back for a quick glance.  Smiling he wished me, “Good night.”   I needed to say something back!   Quick!  What should I do?  What should I say? I willed myself into action, for my rapid thoughts to form into words.  Now was my chance to say something eloquent, to stun and amazing him, like he always did to me.  I opened my mouth to regale him with how fascinating I found him, how much I was beginning to care….”G…g.g.ggg.gg.Good Night!,” I stammered.   And then he was gone.   With a groan I covered my red face in my hands, my cheek still tingly where his lips pressed against my skin.   I made my way to the room Mazrith had purchased for Amayah and myself, quietly slipped in, and here I now lay in my bed jotting this down before I head to sleep.   Thankfully Amayah is still sound asleep lest she see me grinning like a loon.   Tomorrow is another day and as Theradon said, it will be a long one.

-Alusair

In which there is fire, shadows, and a villain!

Liv the 19th of Juno, 975 (Nightfall of the 3rd day  in Koilos)

Screams from the city are what woke me and the others tonight from our slumber.   Tath, Amayah and I were woken in the the middle of night suddenly from the screams.  Alarmed, Amayah dashed out of the room to rouse the others while I donned my armor and grabbed my sword.   Once we were on deck we saw that there was a huge fire in the city.   Captain Jasmine burst out of her room, half clothed, hair in disarray and told us to hurry.  With that Amayah and Tathandral took the sky while the rest of us headed on foot.   I don’t think any of us were prepared for what awaited us there!

Citizens were running and screaming as they were chased by….shadow creatures.  There were some that were winged and others had four legs.  It appeared that they were draining the very souls….their life force out of the people that they chased, as a white mist formed around the poor people and was sucked into the creatures’s maws.   With no time to waste and many already laying dead around us, we charged into battle.   Felix went into a blood-raging frenzy as he hacked and slashed around him, killing the shadow-spawn that were unfortunate enough to come into contact with his wicked blade.  Theradon seemed to wrap the very fabric of the night around him with his cloak as he weaved through the battle-lines, and striking.   Amayah bolstered our courage and gave us protection from the wickedness and evil shadow creatures, casting her druidic blessings upon us.   Mazrith was all of the elements combined into one being.  He flowed like water around his enemy, striking with fire that blazed in his heart, swift as the wind, and as determined as earth.   Tath fought like a wild demon himself:  all tooth and claw.   I was hopeful that the creatures would be cast back from whence the came if there was daylight, so I cast a spell on Tath to make him as shining as the sun, but this seemed to be for naught.   I tried to stike the enemy in front of me down, but it was also for naught.  Many of my blows were glancing, or shallow wounds made on their shadowy hides.   Thank the stars for Maz and the others as they were able to make quick work of the fel beasts.   All in all, I felt utterly useless.  I am a Dragon Warrior, I am supposed to be one of the first and foremost in battle!  But try as I might, I was unable to take down my own opponents.

As we headed to the next set of enemies, I was determined to do my part.   It must have shown on my face as we faced down more shadow creatures for it seemed my very presence terrified them and they were loathe to attack us.  This gave me heart, and I attacked the creatures with a renewed conviction to do whatever I must to keep my friends safe, and the

innocents around me that had been attacked. We were down to the last few creatures when suddenly a man stepped from the shadows.   The air chilled to an icy temperature as he approached and the shadows seemed to bow to him before he banished them from his presence.   Mazrith gave an inarticulate yell of rage as he charged him down and struck with a fury I had never seen before.   As he cut him down, the man seemed to ooze black ichor and darkness.   Amayah rushed over to see if the man was dead, when suddenly he reached and grabbed her around the neck.  As he stood up he pulled her to his chest in a choking grasp and spoke  with a voice that was like a mixture of oil and honey: “What right do you have to interfere with me and my creatures?”  “What right do YOU have to attack my temple and kill my master?”  yelled back Mazrith.   “Am I supposed to know you…” replied the Shadow Man speaking to Maz like he was a thing far beneath his notice.   Theradon and Maz charged the man again, as did Felix.  “What should we do?” asked Tath.  “We must protect our friend,” I replied.   As I said this I noticed the sword started to pulse in my hand.  I looked down to find that the sword that I had grabbed was not the sword that I generally carry, but the old rusted sword I had been trying to clean to no avail.   How had I not noticed this before?

The Shadow Man dodged blows and blocked, and was then struck down by Felix.  I charged in as he threw down Amayah.   Standing over her prone form I raised the sword up to strike my own blow against the man.  As I raised the sword aloft and yelled my defiance at him, the sword grew in length to that of a great sword, as it smote him.   The Shadow Man fell back.   “It seems I may have underestimated you all.”  “That is because we have the Gods on our side,” I replied.   “No, mortals…the Gods have forsaken you.” and with that he was gone, and my sword became a long sword once more.   Without a word, Mazrith turned around and left also.   All around us were the dead and injured.  Paladins, priests and clerics started distributing their healings as best as they could.   Amayah and Theradon took Felix to a cleric.  Tath decided to stay behind as well as he was also in need of healing and was concerned about his friend, Felix.   I however wanted to find Maz.  I was upset that he had left with no explanation for his actions.  No care for those around him that had been hurt, including his own friends.  Planning to give him a piece of my mind and demand an explanation, I went in search for him.

After a bit of searching, I found him at the docks near the ship.   I could tell by the way he sat that he was troubled.   As soon as I saw this, the biting words and speech that I had planned, died on my lips.   Wordlessly I sat down next to him, putting my hand on his shoulder in quiet comfort for the briefest of seconds, afraid that he would stand up and leave.   He remained silent, so I did as well, waiting for him to talk first.   “Even with all of my power, I was not able to defeat the man who killed my master and destroyed the temple…So where does that leave me?” he asked.   I thought about my response and quietly told him, “We have not seen the last of him. You know this to be true. We WILL defeat him. You will grow stronger. He is wrong, the Gods have not forsaken us.   You showed your master honor by standing up to the main that caused their death. You will avenge him. And I will help you. We all will.”   He remained silent.   Wanting to help his anguish, I continued on, “The personal battle with him may have been lost this night, but was it really? You hurt him. You know that he bleeds. The war has just started my friend.”  He replied back, “Now I will have to find a way to become stronger. Thanks, but we should get back to the ship.”  As he got up, he reached down and offered me his hand.   As I took his sword calloused hand in my own, I got an idea.   “Yes,” I said, “We have ways to get stronger. I suggest we spar with in the morning. This battle wont wait for us, and we best not lose our edge. If he was all powerful, he would crush us now. Since he does not, I believe he can be beat. I’ll see you first thing in the morning, my friend. Bright and early!”  “I’ll be up anyway.” he said.  “Then I’ll see you on the morrow!”  With a nod in agreement, he left.   And with that I went back on the ship as well.

Shortly afterwards, the rest of the party got back to the ship.   While we discussed what had happened, Theradon filled us in on some information he had found while we had been in the city the past few days. He told us that one the of Legendary Warriors, Azriel the Fair studied at the main temple of Heroneous in Eternos, where he studied to become a paladin.   He also learned that Scara was of the Catfolk.   If we are to learn more about Wolfgar of the Mountains, he was advised that we should travel to Ironforge and speak with the dwarves, and that there was a book in the library of Eternos that could tell us more about the Legendary Warriors.  He also found that the map we carry is elven made and if we wanted to know more about it we would need to speak with the elves.    At the very least, we now have something to go off of to give us direction.

As the group split up to head back to our quarters he approached me.   “You fought well,” he said.  Normally such praise from him would make my giddy, my heart race and butterflies in my stomach.  But not tonight.  How could he have though that?  I was utterly useless the whole battle!   “I did not,” I replied flatly.   ” But thank you for your kind words anyways. I’m just not strong enough yet. Perfect Mastery is not easily attained though, if it was, it would not be worth attaining.”   “There is no such thing as ‘Perfect Mastery,’ there is always room for improvement. Your attack in the end with that sword of yours was quite impressive though, ” he replied back.   “I don’t know what happened,” I confessed, “or how.  But I think it will again.  I *will* master the sword.   And you might not think there is Perfect Mastery, but it is worth trying to achieve. I will be the first.”   He looked at me and said, “Perfection, it is quite an exciting prospect.”   “I will do what I must to ensure those I love are not helplessly preyed upon ever again,” I replied back quietly.   Wanting to be done from the conversation, I turned from him and walked away.   As I walked off I heard him say to me “Keep striving for that perfection, and you will find the strength you desire.”

It has been a very long night and I can see the glimmer of dawn.  I think it best if I get some sleep.  After all, tomorrow I will have a new sparring partner and I want to give him my very best.   And after some sleep I won’t be as grumpy to be around so maybe Theradon will forgive my rudeness.  Tomorrow begins the next 3 months back out on the sea.

-Alusair

 

In which there is information gathered, a birthday, and more shopping

Liv the 19th of Juno, 975 (Third Day in Koilos)

The morning dawned on our second day in town.   This morning Amayah was kind enough to see if any of us had magic items, so that way we could take them into town to have them identified.  I must confess that I have wondered about some of the things I carry, but I did not find it to be likely.   Much to my surprise she said that the ring I wear and the old sword that I have been attempting to restore both glowed with a magical aura.   The ring is a dragon with a diamond in it’s mouth.   I don’t remember where I got it or from who.   I decided that I would pay a temple of Kord a visit to see if I could gain any further information about my two items.   Upon arriving the cleric agreed to take a look at my things, and so I waited for him to be done.   When he came back he had some mixed news for me.  The sword, he said, was indeed magical but he was unable to identify it or how to get it cleaner since it seems the rust will not completely come off.   The ring though, he seemed almost…amazed by.   He told me that it was very special and cautioned me against telling anybody about it and to always have it near if not on my person.  He insisted that there was no payment for “one such as you.” and he said he merely wished to bless me on my journey.   I’m still not sure what to think of what he said.  I gave him a hug and went on my way.  I stopped by the leather store so I could obtain leather for the saddle I need to make for Tathandral since the time is soon approaching when I will be able to ride him through the clouds and sky.  Thanks to the generosity of the party, I was able to purchase what I needed.  I’ve never made one before, but how hard could it be, right…

…Apparently I really suck at making the thrice cursed saddle!!! I bought 3 hides that day…and 3 more still today!!   Blast and hellfire.  I better make sure I have plenty before we depart on the ship again to Eternos.   But in anycase I should backtrack a little bit so I don’t jump ahead…

Once I got back to the ship, Captain Jasmine told us that she we needed to clean up and dress nicely since there was to be a party on the ship that night.  I polished my armor till it gleamed.   I thought about wearing my new dress, but I wanted to save that for walking around town with Theradon the next day.  Plus I don’t always feel comfortable with wearing something that shows my shoulders and back.  When I was younger kids used to pick on me by sneaking up behind me or running by and grabbing a feather.  So in the armor I went!   We all sat down for supper but there was a seat still open for someone.   A man started walking up the ship and Captain Jasmine yelled out to him that he was late and then introduced him as Captain James Rito…her HUSBAND!!   I had no idea she was married!   After we all got over our shock, he wished her a happy birthday and the party started.  I had no idea it was her birthday.  Had I known…and had money, I would have gotten her something.  Maybe Tathandral has some scales that he has shed that I can give her.  I know people all around the world prize dragon scales!   The night was filled with drinking, merriment, music, and dancing. I danced with Captain James a few times, and Theradon.  Captain James was just like Captain Jasmine in his flirting…as in he never flirted with me!  Do I smell?  I know I bathe regularly.  Surely Tathandral would tell me if I smelled offensively.  Maybe there was something in my teeth?  *sigh*  The party was still fun.   I was woken up by Amayah knocking at my door seeking refuge from Captain James.  Apparently the man walked into her room and promptly fell asleep, completely clothed in his drunken stupor.   We talked for a bit and she mentioned that she wanted to start working more with her staff, so I offered to spar daily with her.  It will be nice to have someone to spar with regularly instead of alone like I have been.  Plus I think this is a good sign towards re-kindly old friendships.   Felix seemed very talkative with Tathandral like the two of them have been old friends instead of just becoming recent ones.   All in all it was a good night.

This morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  In the end I decided I would be brave and spend my last day in Koilos wearing my new pretty dress since Theradon and I would be taking in the sights together….and getting me some more leather.   My dress that I wore is a beautiful cobalt blue with navy blue trim, silver edging and silver designs.   We spend most of the day in each other’s company just quietly walking, and talking about whatever came to mind.   It was a nice relaxing and carefree day.   A good way to end our three day break in Koilos before heading back out to sea. *yawn*  I should get some sleep.  Tomorrow we start the next leg of our journey.

-Alusair

In which there is a voyage, a kraken, and “land ho!”

Aviva the 20th of Augustus 97

Morning dawned and we went to go see the ship today! It is a beautiful ship called the Dragon Wing. A very good name for a ship if I do say so myself! The Captain of the ship is a very interesting woman. Mazrith had warned us that she flirted with him very openly, and this proved to be true once we came to gain passage on the ship, although he may have been a tad over-reacting since she was formal and polite with me, so maybe she was just being more friendly with him? Her name is Captain Jasmine Swallow, and looks as if she belonged on the ship. A very striking and majestic woman. She greeted everyone and upon seeing the group decided that she would charge us 500 gold less! I have no clue why she decided this, but I am not going to argue! Also on the ship are a few others. There is a wealthy looking merchant man, and a woman with two men with her. I don’t know much about fanciness, but she has the look of a…aristocrat or diplomat. And if the two men with her aren’t bodyguards, I’ll eat my hat…or at least I would if I had one! It will take us 3 months to get to Koilos and another 3 months to get to Eternos. I plan to spend much of my time cleaning the sword I bought yesterday in the marketplace in Calaigh. I think with some good hard work and love I might be able to restore it to it’s former glory. I also plan to keep up with my morning and nightly excercies and swordwork, and try to get reunited with my former friends. Hopefully we can get to know each other again like we used to. At least I hope so.

-Alusair

Elodi the 3rd of Decem 975

Wow, I’ve heard battle-hardened warrior speak of fighting and battles past as “Going to see the Kraken,” But I don’t think they literally meant it!!! Roughly a month and a half has gone by since I last wrote. Nothing to note had happened until earlier today. We were going along just fine when the ship came to a complete stop and threw everyone to their feet. Amayah flew up to see if she could find what the cause was when she yelled out that she saw dark shapes moving under the ship, but it was too late! Long tentacles shot up from the water and struck many people on board as the creature wrapped itself around the ship. Wild exileration coursed through me as I felt the adreneline high of my first real battle. With the initial suprise over, we sprung into battle. We fought on and on but it seemed the creature was winning. I was fighting as hard as I could with my fleeting strength…and then, there was nothing but darkness. I was surrounded in darkness, but suddenly there was a flame burning in front ot me, flickering like a beating heart. I heard a voice ask me: “Do you want my power?” It was neither male nor female, and seemed to come from every direction. Cautious I asked it, “At what cost?” The voice replied back, “There is no cost.” Knowing that Kord calls for strength and courage in his follwers I answered back “If it will help me save my friends, yes. If it will help me push back the darkness that Vanadia spoke of, yes. If it will help me protect my beloved Tathandral, yes. Three times I say to you, yes.” The voice spoke and said, “Then take me, young warrior.” I reached out to the flame and pulled it close to me, craddling it against my chest. It was warm and soothing and pulsed in my hand. The next thing I knew, I was back on the ship facing the Kraken’s tentacles. Not only was I completely healed, but my armor had been replaced! The armor was red in color with dragon patterns upon it and two wings on the back. Rejuvanated, I faced my foe and fought with everything I had. Upon seeing me get back up and sensing I was better, Tath threw himself into the battle, as did the rest of my friends, with renewed vigor. Together, we were able to  slay the fel beast and send it back from whence it came. As soon as the battle ended, the armor faded away and was replaced by my standard armor. Amayah selflessly healed others around her, including me, even though she was wounded herself. No one had escaped the battle unscathed. Tath insisted that I tell her not to worry about his hurts. Several crew members were killed, including one of the bodyguards. The creature left behind a black ichor that could not be removed from the deck no matter how many times it was scrubbed. I told the Captain that I believe this to be the darkness that Vadania spoke of. After that Tath and I retired to our rooms since he was still very injured. As hurt as he was, he was still bursting with questions, check me all over to make sure I was really ok. Theradon came by our room to see how Tath and I fared. I told him that Tath needed many days of healing and that I was fine, just a little embarrassed that I didn’t do so hot in my first battle. I’m sure there will be more though in the future! While Tath spends time healing I plan to meditate and see if I can still feel the flame within me and bring forth the red armor once more. I don’t think it is gone for good, but I don’t know how to make it appear again. We still have plenty of time until we get to Koilos though. All warriors must “Face the Kraken” at some point, I guess I just hadn’t expected it to actually be a real Kraken. Could be worse though, at least I lived to fight…haha and write another day! Thank you Kord for watching over me.
-Alusair

Elodi the 17th of Juno 97

We have made it to Koilos! And with no further incidents I might add. Everyone has recoved from their battle with the Kraken and are excited to be in port and on land! Try as hard as I might, I was never able to make the armor appear over the course of our journey here. However I was able to clean my sword just a bit more! Beautiful things are to be seen and found here! I had a couple items on my list of purchases to make, and was able to find them with ease. I decided that since the other women on the ship wear dresses, that it might be nice to try and wear one once and a while at supper when we are all taking our meals together. Part of me wonders what the men’s reaction would be like. Well ok maybe just one in particular…I mean…umm…Yes, so I found  also some beautiful green silk ribbons that I plan to gift to Amayah as a thank you for all of her healing she provided me and Tath after and during the battle. I think they will look very nice on her. As I wandered through the marketplace there was a silver woven bracelet with a ruby set into it. I could tell that the metal and ruby were dwarven and the weaving was elven. It was very beautiful, but alas it was far too expensive for me. I could never afford something so costly, plus when whould I ever wear such a expensive piece of frippery? I don’t regret my path in life, but I think perhaps I will allow myself to think wistfully of such things every once and a while. And we do have a few more days left here in the city. We will be in port for three days, afterwards we can either head to Eternos by ship or by foot. Today is only our first day of being here. Theradon and I spoke briefly after we got back from the marketplace. We discussed possibly spending the last day in  the city together seeing the sites. He informed me that he also solved my puzzle box that I had gotten from him. I never doubted that he would not be able to solve it, but he still remains a mystery to me. Maybe thats part of his allure.  Hehe, who knows, maybe I’ll wear my new dress for him while we walkaround the city!   By the Ancients, did I seriously just right that! Blast and hellfire, I’m like a little girl with a crush on the first village boy who smiles at her! Either way, things are starting to look promising for a nice relaxing time in Koilos!

-Alusair Farstrider, Dragon Warrior of Bronze Tathandral

In which there is a quest assigned, old friends, and new beginnings

Tomika, the 19th of Augustus, 975

Thank the stars that I remembered to grab this journal before leaving the Dragon Monastery!   Keeping a journal doesn’t seem very warrior like to many, but I’ve seen several officers are the Monastery filling out reports and orders.   By the Ancients, not all of us fighters are illiterate!   Since this is the first time I have left the Monastery in six years I figured it would be best to keep a written record of my adventures.   Maybe someday this will be duplicated for the monasteries to use or even the libraries in Eternos or Tolaria.

I received a message from the training masters a few weeks ago on the 4th of Augustus.  It was a somber one informing me that my old nanny had passed away from this world into the next.   She was a kind old elf named Vadania.   Back before I found Tathandal’s egg, I lived in the town of Prox.  She took care of me along with some of my childhood friends: Amayah, Mazrith, Felix, and Theradon.   Since the town was not far from the Monastery, I was able to go to the funeral the next day on the 5th, and celebrate her life.  I saw my old childhood friends there and we were gathered up so that we might listen to the reading of her will.  In her will she told us that she was happy and grateful for the time she had with us, however she then started to caution us.  She said that there was a great evil in the world once more.  In her rooms we found a map, probably the finest I have ever seen crafted.  Elven made on dragonhide, it was very detailed.  Also she left us a pouch of ten thousand gold!  Just how far does she expect us to go from home?  She said that the only hope we had was to find the eight legendary gems and bring them back to the Dragon Monastery.   I thought they were just stories, though she always made them seem real when she told them to us, almost as if she lived part of them.   That night there was great celebration of her life.  I danced like no one was watching, I lifted my voice in song…I may have been a little drunk…

The next day we set off to head to Calaigh, which was two weeks away from where our journey started.  Our party knew that we needed to head there in order to charter a ship to head to the mainland.   I enjoyed this quiet time with our group and getting to know my friends again.  They have changed much these last six years…or maybe I’m the one that has changed.   I had many long conversations into the nights with Theradon in particular, and many pleasant mornings watching the sunrise.  He usually had the last watch and would wake me as requested about an hour earlier than the others so that I might stay in practice with my weapons practice and exercises so that I may keep my skills honed.   For the most part the nights passed uneventfully.  There was one night where we were attacked by a pack of wolves.  Amayah was able to calm the animals, and Tathandral was able to speak with them and tell them to leave us be.  Our party had minor injuries compared to that of the wolves.  I know that I killed one and Felix killed one also.   I’m glad that our party was relatively unharmed, but I know that will not always be the case.  It was a good way to test to see if we could work together as a team.

We arrived in Calaigh and went our separate ways for a few hours.   Amayah and I went into the market area to look at the various wares.   Theradon and Felix went to to a different area and Mazrith went to the harbor.   I knew that I wanted to look for a couple of things in particular.   One of those being a puzzlebox.  As luck would have it, I found one made out of ironwood and purchased it.  I went next to look at the weapons and armor.  There was a gleaming sword as shining as the stars, with the symbol of Pelor etched into it.  It had a beautiful balance, but I knew deep down that such was not a weapon for me, as I am a follower of Kord and the weapon was too costly.  I looked over the merchants other wares and my eye happened to see a sword underneath the rest.  It was old and rusted.  The sword had seen had seen better days and been used by many.  Only loving care with a rag and whestone would bring it back to a polished shine and edge.   Knowing we would have a long voyage ahead of us, I offered to take the sword off his hands.  The merchant was overjoyed and said I could have it for a gold, I gave him two to thank him for his time.   There was something about the sword that told me I was meant to have it, like we had met before in a different life.   With my purchasing done, I met up with the group.  Mazrith informed us that he had managed to gain us passage on a ship for a fairly low fee.   He seems like he is very resourceful to have along even if he is quiet.   He is a watcher for sure.  Every once and a while I see him drawing his surroundings.  Perhaps he will be interested in joining me in the mornings for some weapons practice and sparring.   Either way I think I’ll get all the time I want to get to know my friends again on our ship voyage.

I should probably get some sleep.  We’re currently staying at an Inn called the Hungry Hippogriff.  I offered to stay in the stables with Tathandral since he wasn’t allowed to say in any of the rooms.  I gave Theradon my puzzlebox before I came back here to the stables.   I told him that it was dark and mysterious, an enigma like him and seeing it reminded me of him.    Who knows that tomorrow has in store for us!  I plan to at least be fully rested and ready to greet the day…if I can fall asleep that is!    Breathe deep, seek peace…

-Alusair Farstrider, Dragon Warrior of Bronze Tathandral.