A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Trappers Tales XXXIX
Timeless - Dead Heads

Well, recently I wrote that I needed to find ways to stop dying.
I am not off to a good start.

The difference is, this time it wasn’t quite as unexpected as usual. We were told we needed to make a potion in the alchemists lab, as previously mentioned, and we’d have a chance to go to another dimension to free the dealmakers, as awful as that concept is, but it was apparently the best way to go.

Personally, I’m not sure that the Black is bad enough to release Bagoda even if we didn’t have to die for it, but nevermind.

When we arrived on the other side we weren’t alone. Rowan was there, but seemingly without her memories. We took her with us, as we looked for our way forward. Hopefully we can help her, if not retrieve her.

We made our way down the river along a boat, with a minor detour to obtain tribute for access and a delay as we encountered the man who previously warned us of an ambush, and we’d ignored. Apparently we’d soon encounter two people, one a friend, the other a foe. Thus, when we came to a village, we were on guard. It looked mostly empty, except for a child who wanted friends, as his had all gone missing.

We dropped our guard.

It turned out his friends he wanted us to play with are pumpkin headed horrors and he was a fire demon. We dispatched them, but it was frustrating. We need to start listening to him, apparently.
Back tracking to the town, we discovered a man drinking inside the pub. He explained he was a shaman who was on some kind of spiritual journey, and had gotten stuck here. Apparently this village was where people who made deals with the deal makers serve penance, but with the fire demon around it had become an empty horror.
He also knew where the deal makers reside, so we’re soon off to catch up with them.

This wild ride seemingly has no end, and I don’t especially enjoy it.

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An Alchemist's Tales XL

I… I have discovered something while being in this world. I Have discovered that I need to learn to let go… Death is not the end, Rowan is proof of that. She is here, well her shell is at least. She is still as kind as ever, but her memories are gone… To be quite honest she looks like Bagoda got a hold of her and took what made Rowan, Rowan… I am starting to realise how trading memories is a dangerous game, even more so than I did before. I am thankful that my most recent request was for a task, and not something personal that I might have deemed unimportant…

Rowan, after seeing you how you are, I might request you not be revived… Everyone has said their peace with you, we have an ending… If it was your time, than so be it… I… I would feel terrible if you came back as a shell of a person… It would ruin any chance Roy would have at moving on. and as much as I care for you I Don’t want to risk the people that are still alive.

Maybe this is the potion working on me, have I just grown colder to people? I feel like in the past I would blindly seek to bring her back if i could, but here I am second guessing that decision… Is this a new found wisdom… or am I… Changing…

On the subject of change, I feel this weird shift inside me. Like the ice isn’t settling… I am not quite sure but maybe something is missing… Maybe i am not strong enough to control it? I wouldn’t know what to do, maybe grandmother can help once we get this whole situation delt with… to be honest I worry I might not have a full party to travel with if my request backfires… or a party at all…

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The Lost One's Tome I
Away from home

13th of Flamerule,

I write this entry with quivering hands.  My final destiny lies before me, and I march towards it with anticipation.  For soon my blade shall taste the blood lf the vial creature that has slain my kin.  I will have my vengeance.

I have ventured mountains and forest alike .  Slain every manner of beast from a simple wolf, to decrepid corpses.  And have not once faltered in my cause.  For that is not the heroes way.  This legacy shall be my greatest achievment, tp be remembered generations from now.

I go towards my glory and await the chance to record my deeds yet again.

- Reia Vasarius

The Next Page

Date Unknown,

Oh my.  Well they certainly were a dramatic one weren’t they?  I’m not quite sure who this Reia is or what they were seeking, but I can only assume they unfortunately did not suceed and are in fact the skeleton I found this tome and khol on.  Such a shame, they seemed alright, if not a bit dour. I would not have ripped out the other pages before that last one but they appeared to have had large amounts of dried blood on them. 

Well I hope you rest well miss Vasarius with your bones now burried, and that you do not mind me taking your pack and the journal and gems that were inside of it.  I do not like the idea of pilfering a corpse, but supplies are rare out here.

I guess this will be my journal from now on.  Where to start?  Firstly, my name is Solyn’ia.  Though most simply call me Ia.  I am from Aelin-Uial Allanar, but currently reside in an unknown part of the Feywilds. 

Sadly I am not some bold adventurer like this books predecessor, nor do I have some grande purpose for being here.  I simply happen to be very lost and have been for I assume several months now.  In truth I’ve never fought a day in my life.  The feywilds are just not a wise choice for storming off into. 

I do not know where to go next, or have any semblence of how to get back.  What I do know is I must keep trying at least.  The way I left things back home were not ideal, and I would hate for that to be my parents final memory of me.  So I suppose I’ll end my rest here and keep going for a few more hours.  I have been thinking of looking into a cave I found the other day. 

I’ve watched it and nothing seems to come in or out of it, nor does any noise happen during any hour.  Perhap’s I’ll find more salt portions to dry a few berries put with, or at least a safe nights rest in there. 

It’s strange, but it almost feels like something calling out to me to go inside and look.  As if I’m supposed to.  Maybe I have begun to go mad and am imagining it.  Or am being lured in by some sort of charm weilding fey creature.  Neither bodes well so I hope not. 

If I am however then I would ask whoever finds this to please bury any remains that were found near it.  And feel free to keep the journal and anything else on my person.  Clearly I will no longer be needing it.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXVI
Promises

“We will make it through this”

Those were the last words I spoke to you. I failed to protect you. Seeing you in this form now it hurts more then anything. I want to tell you so many things, but the words don’t come out. Seeing you again without your memories is torture beyond belief. You are before me once more, but I can’t reach you. I failed. So no matter the cost I’ll protect you once more. I’ll deliver you to your next destination.

This river that lays before us, I will guide you through. I will earn you passage past the Sphynx and the Dragon. No gate will stand in my way. I will solve the riddles and I will offer everything that I have to get you through. I will deal with anything that stands in my way, whether it be a demon child an its minions or the monsters that lurk in this land. I will find the way and take you there. I will confront the deal makers and find the exit to this land.

I will overcome anymore obstacles that stand in my way. I will give everything to keep you safe once more. And then I will do the hardest thing of all. More difficult then dealing with Bagoda more painful then the Lich, more destructive then The Black. I will say, “Goodbye”

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An Alchemist's Tales XXXIX

I don’t have much to say… we are headed for another lab, and to find out if I made a horrible mistake, or if we really will be reunited with Rowan… I pray for the second option. To be honest I never know what to expect, especially after what I found out about her relations with my family… I probably shouldn’t have gone back there.. or even had the idea to… but I can’t help but feel like it was our only option.. she vanished. with no leads… they discovered nothing on their scouting mission either.

I fear the worst is yet to come.. who knows what we will find in this lab, if it truly is untouched I can only guess what will be inside… it might be worse than any drow we have faced before… as hard as that is to believe…

On a different note, I feel much stronger now. at least compared to dieing… The potion seems to have worked, but i can’t help but feel like something is missing… like i haven;t tapped into everything i am capable of. I guess i just need to give it time, this is all new to me I can’t expect to understand it all immediately.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXV
Royalty

I figured out I was royalty, or as close as I can get. My father is a duke or something like that. He took control of Castow and is apparently looking for mother to try to bring her back. The look on my face when I found out was probably quite funny. A woman named Marsha found us and was looking for my mother. Her and her apprentice Kathyrn work for my “father.” Kathryn seems rather harsh at times, I don’t think she is always like that. It must be because she has been in high society all her life. I dread the day if I ever have to appear as one of them.

I worry about Mireya and her child. They are now involved in the mess of this family. That child is considered royalty and potentially a threat to others. It makes finding him all that more important.

We went looking for you. I tried. I really did. I didn’t want to give up, but I was putting the others in risk. I just know you are out there somewhere. I need to see you again, to know the truth. My only hope at this point is mother. I know the two of you have not seen eye to eye, but at this point I don’t have anyone to turn to for help.

Which means we need to delve into another alchemist lab. They hold the key to returning the deal makers. With them back we can keep The Black in check. Then we can find mother, and then you.

-Roy

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Trappers Tales XXXVIII
3rd 1st day, Ches - Back Again

3rd 1st day, Ches

Well, we’re on our way back to the forest, it seems. Well, the lab north of the forest, anyway. I’d rather go around the forest than through, given what we ran into last time. At least we won’t be alone, this time, though.

While we were in Baecrest we heard rumours of someone looking for Estelle. We assumed it was someone working for the Black, so went to find out more about it, but instead discovered it was someone from the King’s court. She brought information that the King was wanting Roy’s mother back at court, because he wants his ex-wife back there.
This came as a bit of a fireball trap, really, especially for Roy, given he just discovered he’s royalty. I wonder if we’ll be able to use this to our advantage later. Probably not, especially if we don’t manage to recover Ms Marsk.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that. While we were doing our daring jail break, we left her at the Shrine of Obit Hai, which we thought wouldn’t be a problem. However, by the time we got back there we discovered that it had been taken over by men belonging to the Black. This has left us in a bit of a bind, as we have no idea where she even is.

So, we’re back to taking down the Black, which leaves us with going through one of the labs belonging to the Alchemist. Again. Which brings me back to the start, where we’ve at least got help for this. The person looking for Ms Marsk didn’t come alone, she brought a student of hers, who happens to be Kalebs sister. I didn’t even know he had one.
She’s a bit uppity, but getting covered in goop and gore will probably bring her down fairly soon. I hope so, anyway.

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Trappers Tales XXXVII
2nd 4th day, Ches - Disappearing Act

2nd 4th day, Ches

Rowan is gone. Another one left behind.
Well, maybe. We don’t know what happened to her.

Everything was actually going well, for once. We’d managed to free Estelle, Ander and Kaleb. Roy was hurt, but everyone was on their feet, and the enemy were falling. Mireya was holding her own, Estelle is apparently really scary, I was untouched, and Rowan was safely off in a building, and then… I don’t know if they had a bomb, or if it was some kind of spell caster letting fly or… All I know is the building half disappeared. Not disappeared, exploded outwards. Is it possible to store arcane energy so that it can be used later, maybe? I don’t know.

When we were able to get over there, there was almost no trace. Digging through the rubble, Roy found a bowstring, and that’s about it. Given what we’ve seen of magic, it’s possible she’s been taken away to who knows where.

Rowan, if you’re out there, we’ll find you.
If you’re not, well, Mireya can bring people back from the dead. Maybe we can do the same for you.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXXVIII

She can’t be… She can’t be… How could this have happened… We planned. We made sure she was out of the way with her condition from the fight in the sewers… I saw the 2 arrows shoot before the explosion happened. I don’t understand What could have caused it.

I feel so helpless in this situation, and guilty that she of all people, was the one to die… She was kind, innocent… She just wanted an adventure, and we warned her not to come. We told her it was dangerous… Does this really have to be the end? Is she really gone? Did she get transported to another plane like we did? did she die and her body didn’t survive the blast? did we just miss the body in the rubble? I wish we had any form of answer…

Is there nothing I can do? Can I not help Roy survive this in anyway? I can’t bring her back… Mireya can’t either without a body. I am starting to realise how the magic of us mortals is limited…

Honestly maybe it’s time i take things into my own hands… Take the bad cards we have been dealt and flip them into benefiting us for a change…

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXIV
Rowan

“Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The sounds of a hammer can be heard piercing the dark. The bright orange glow of the heated metal enters into view. Sparks erupt from the metal as a hammer strikes it illuminating the man. His face obscured by the shadows. The man appears focused on the metal before him. He examines the now dull piece before sticking it in the forge. The flames flicker around the sword as the man watches.

The man is now seen in a town square next to a gallows. There are three men around him, all wearing leathers dyed black. The man stands before them with his sword in hand. With a ferocity in his eyes he swings felling the guard standing in front of him. He lifts his sword and swings it towards the second.

“Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The man is once again hammering the metal. His focus is still on the metal, but he is working slower now. His body is moving autonomously guided by countless hours of practice. He pauses, examines the metal before returning it to the forge to heat it to the bright orange glow returning the room to silence.

An arrow flies through the air hitting the man. He falters, grimacing from the pain. Glancing in the direction past gallows he sees a flash of light and hears a low rumble. Using the distraction to their advantage, the guards go on the attack. Blows are traded and when it seems the man will be bested by the guards, a crack of lightning hits taking out the two. The man pauses before heading in the direction of his friends.

“Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The man has returned to hammering the metal into shape. The metal has grown in length and is thinned down to a fraction of its original thickness. The man is now shaking as his hammer strikes the metal. The sparks fly and land around him. He takes a brush and steadies his hand. He brushes the metal removing any fire scale. He then returns it the forge to bring it to temperature leaving him to his thoughts.

The remains of a building lay before the man. Panicking he searches the rubble for his goal. He tries and tries to find that which he seeks. Eventually the man falls to his knees defeated. A voice is heard and a hand is placed on his shoulder. The man rises and flees leaving the wreckage behind.

“Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The man has begun hammering the the sides spreading the metal. The man is breathing heavily. The previous events beginning to take its toll. He examines the metal now wider then before. He clamps it down and bends it slightly, adjusting its alignment while it’s still hot. After he finishes he returns it to the fire one last time.

The image of a woman flashes before his eyes. The woman is smiling her face accented by freckles, to the man nothing is more beautiful in this world. She is walking next to a stream and her smile becomes a laugh. She then speaks to the man, the words spoken sincerely and with enthusiastically. Both of them are content in the moment, wishing it could last just a little longer.

“Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The man has returned to his work. The area is brighter now, daylight is breaking the horizon. The man is now fully illuminated. A scar can be seen running down his left cheek. The hammering slowly stops. The metal has been hammered flat with no real shape or purpose. The man’s face comes into full focus revealing eyes that are bloodshot with new tears forming. The man sets the metal down and walks to go outside. Before leaving he grabs a small leather bound book. It’s open to page with one word written.

“Rowan”

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