A Fallen Light, A New Hope

A Blacksmith's Workings
Marked

It’s not surprising that the black wants us captured or killed. With the Duke missing we represent one of the larger threats left in the area. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that he sent his goons against us. It looks like it will be dangerous to travel from now on though. If he has people looking for us there won’t be many places left to hide. We will have to thank that man with the raven if we ever get the chance. He gave us the warning about the ambush and that helped us take care of the guards without trouble.

After a short stay back in Baemore we headed north to a church that was supposedly abandoned and safe. Upon arrival it proved the opposite, an elf named Gal’l was inside. Rowan said something peculiar to him and I will have to ask her about it later. I would have then, but shortly after the church was overrun by undead. My scar started to burn shortly after they appeared. We had to move away from the church as it started to collapse and head further north to the nameless order. Upon arrival we found that monster again.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel fear seeing that monster again. My scar was not letting me forget the day that I encountered him before. There was no doubt in my mind this was the same creature, I saw it turn to ash and its armor decay before my eyes. But there it stood just like that day, no it looked stronger and this time filled with a desire to destroy me. I pushed past the pain and stood my ground against the creature and its ally. My friends had encountered his ally once before and had killed him. I guess they are like Iona, whats dead never stays dead. We pushed through the creatures and made our way into the sanctum of the Nameless Order. We met an old friend and some new faces. I don’t quite remember much after that. I was focused on the monsters last words. I was marked and it wants my body for service of its master.

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Trappers Tales XXXIII
2nd 1st day, Ches - Well, I've been afraid of changin'

2nd 1st day, Ches

It appears Iona wasn’t killed by Bagoda.
Well, kind of killed by her, but not entirely. There’s some kind of core there, that once was Iona, but it isn’t her anymore.

Then again, thinking back on it, even before she was taken Iona wasn’t the Iona I grew up with. Before she was changed into that… thing, she’d changed.

The girl I grew up with would never have started killing people for coin.
She’d never have compulsively lied to her friends.
She’d never have put her suicide on her friend.

It makes me worried about when the changes crept in. It was only after we all gained these powers that she started to change. Has it effected the rest of us? I mean, obviously I’ve changed, but that’s not the way I mean. I mean something more insidious. More creeping.
I feel we’re all more ready to reach for our weapons now, but that may just be a result of us becoming more comfortable with them.

I wonder what other changes are happening we don’t know about.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXXIV

I don’t know what to say… I never thought any of this would happen… I thought that chapter of my life had ended… she made her choice and scared me for life… but I am constantly haunted by it…She should be dead… she should be at home with her grandmother and grandfather to be honest… but this whole adventuring thing has destroyed her family… it’s cost her literally everything… and despite knowing it was her own fault that she made the choices that she did… I can’t help but feel like it is my fault… and that i owe her… because I am still here and mostly intact and she is the plant like thing that wants nothing but someone to care for her… love her…

I forget that she lost her love… selise sacrificed herself… poor girl… if she only knew what she sacrificed herself for… a selfish little girl… who I wish I could hate. but i don’t… she is my best friend… she is probably the most important person to me that is not family… and I need to find a way to save her… I will save her from her fate… at least she can die as a human that way. and finally be at rest. no one deserves to become something like that…

I don’t know what to do about her but i am sure something will come up… a solution usually does. besides I have Kaleb to worry about, he doesn’t seem like he will wake up anytime soon… and well to be honest I am just glad he is alive and well… I… I am sure Ander will be happy to see him returned in one piece…

I will leave you with one last thought… What is the point of anything if you lose what is most precious to you…. I fear i may learn this lesson myself if we do not act in a certain manner…

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A Blacksmith's Workings XX
Scars

Some scars are fake. The orcs left a scar on that region without ever existing. That manufactured scar was there to scare and terrorize the people. Whether it was Dentin, Ellis, or Kesba, they had all seen the horrors of that creature. The elaborate setup to appear as if its only orcs terrorizing the village.

Some scars are tangible. During the fight with the minotaurs I was acutely aware of the scar and the trouble it foreshadowed. I though nothing of it at the time. It was just a scar, a reminder of the past. A reminder of the mistakes I have made and the mistakes I will continue to make.

Some scars run deeper then they appear. That woman, no that monster that appeared to us in the orc village. She caused a pain I have never experienced before. Something about her gave so much power over me. By her mere presence I was reduced to nothing. I couldn’t think or act all I knew was the pain. And then it was gone. Rowan wasn’t happy to figured out the news of this scar.

Some scars are invisible. Iona left a scar with Aaron that I thought was long healed. But her reappearance proved that wrong. He hesitated in that fight. He chose the feelings he has for the twisted body of a long dead friend, one who used him in such a selfish manner, over us. More proof that not all scars heal I guess.

Finally some scars are still a mystery. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Rowan about her collapsing in the forest after we returned from the story book. I have been to selfish with my own issues and my own scar. Which is turning into more of a mystery itself. I have been “marked for death” or “claimed by another.” The dagger Iona left for me in my leg also worries me. Will this become another scar?

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Tales of the Huntress XVI
Fear and Loss

11th of Ches

I spent a day in bed rereading this thing after I found out the consequences of my deal. I suppose I was trying to piece together who I’ve been these past few months. All I found was a lot of pointless declarations and promises to myself. A bit of whining too but that’s neither here nor there. I’m tired of swearing to reinvent myself and then just being disappointed when I end up being just me. So I guess this will be my final promise. The one I keep.

I’ve cried my only and last tears for Randal and my parents just as they finished crying theirs for the little girl in that locket a long time ago. I don’t think it will stop hurting, but I don’t have to dwell on it. I don’t have the luxury to be honest. So goodbye to my family, and my life as Rowan Tallstag. I can’t be her anymore, but I won’t be the sad and self hating shell Bagoda tried to mold me into either. Rowan Evenwood is as dead as
Rowan Tallstag. If I’m neither I suppose that makes me just Rowan in the end.

I want to cry, to scream, and rage at a lot of things right now, but what good would it do? What good has it done me in the past? There’s too much to do and I can’t waste any energy on screaming or moping. I certainly can’t waste time. I hope for the best outcome, and a happy ending with my friends who if I’m honest are more a family to me than anything else by this point. I’m optimistic but I’m not naive, and I understand things are against us. I’ll fight for the best outcome to my last breath, but accept that it may be a far away dream.

I’m worried for all of us. Mireya is still no closer to Briar and I’m not sure how having Anzo back in her life will affect her. I think if they can come together and be there for each other that they may be alright. Then again Anzo doesn’t always have the best sense. Aaron is not much better. His friend’s transformation far outweighs any relief at finding Kaleb alive I think. I never knew her, but I saw enough in that creature to pity it, and know that Aaron’s pain at seeing someone he loved in that way must be enormous. Perhaps I should try to talk with him? I say the wrong thing more often than not, but I need to do something. Arseni as usual seems to be the only one who has it together. I hope I can help share that burden a bit in the coming days.

Roy always finds new ways to worry me. This time though, I’m absolutely terrified. That wound and whatever is bound to it grows more frightening every new incident. Both Iona and the night carriage owner alluded to something being behind it, and then the witch in the camp made it burn…whatever is behind this it can’t be anything but vile and evil. I’m afraid at any moment he could be ripped away and there’s nothing I can do. I want to blame that stubborn and self sacrificing attitude of his, but I’ve always known the type of person he is, and I don’t think I can fault him for it. Not when it’s also part of what I admire about him. I promised him my support and I won’t break that no matter how scared for him I might be. So for now I’ll keep it together and stay by his side. To the very end if I have to.

All I can do for anyone right now is be there and protect them when they need it. Which may be often with how things are going. Every bit of strength we gain seems to draw stronger and stronger enemies to us. Our luck may run out soon. Still I’ll do what I can. For the sake of this strange family I’ve found my way into.

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Hunting Pt 1
Hello and Goodbye

The floors creaked as the well used shoes made strides across them, one by one they hit the floor walking towards the old wooden arch way leading into the kitchen.

It was a well aged establishment, the building was made from dark wood from an old forest that had partially been burnt down from a time long past, the only thing new was the long counter; made from a fine oak.

The old woman walked, carrying the last of what was left out from the day, there were almost no lights on, only a few dim candles; something caught her attention and she looked down, she placed the bin filled with plates and mugs on the counter and bent down to pick up what it was; a single platinum piece “Oh…my” she said as she scooped it up.

“Grandmother… … …” an eerie voice said as she stood up, the older woman quickly looked around. “Who is there!?” a half frightened voice called out.

“I am home grandmother.” the eerie voice called out again.

The old woman stood up and turned around, a look of shock on her face quickly turned to horror as giant teeth met her eyes as the creature leaned over.

“I am sorry grandmother… but I must give all of my love to only one, and sadly it is not you.” The eerie voice called out, the teeth did not move, it was almost as if the voice came from inside the mouth of the beast.

“What!? Who are you!?!?” The older woman called out.

“Good bye Grandmother, send grandfather my love”

The old woman dropped to the floor, little bits of blood poured under into a dip in the floor and the creature was gone.

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Trappers Tales XXXII
1st 6th day, Ches - Ruminations

6th Ches

I missed my birthday, and after that last fight I’m not sure I’ll make it to my next. Well, maybe. I guess I don’t even know when my birthday is any more.

Still, somehow, we managed to get through, so we can die another day. I honestly thought we were done for. I don’t know how many times I got knocked out, but I’m sure it was a lot. I felt like I basically couldn’t contribute, as I was trying to stay on my feet.

But, what’s done is done. The important thing is what is to come. It appears we’ve got a few things to do. First, we’ve set our eyes on locating “the lurker,” whatever that is. Then we’re to go after The Black’s aide. Hopefully somewhere along the line we’ll find Kara.

No one has seen her for a little, according to Zia. I hope it means she was smart enough to leave, but I don’t know where she’d go, and the rumours of her being entangled in all this don’t fill me with hope. I knew those arena fights were no good, but I didn’t anticipate anything like this.

We’ve been friends since we were little kids. I don’t know what I’d do if she’d turned against us. All I know is no matter how much it would break my heart, I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to hurt her.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXXIII

That last fight… was not something I want think about… we barely made it out of that horrible place… This is starting to be more dangerous and more serious than ever… Honestly I feel powerless to help protect anyone… I am starting to realise that maybe two swords is not the best way to fight my enemies… I am not the best fighter, and i am not really that good at magic… to be honest I can’t really do that much besides make potions.. Mireya and Areseni are the powerful ones.. the spells they can use… I need to protect them more. I guess i should let Roy rush the enemies. he seems to lose control when he fights…

I will see how this adventure goes.. maybe it’s time I take on the sheild… It’s what He would have wanted anyway… anything to make me saffer…

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A Blacksmith's Working's XIX
Pain

Something’s not right.

I fell four times that day, or was it five. I was so close to the brink of death, yet I kept pushing. The undead knight weilded power beyond my belief. There was so little I could do to stop it. I had to stand firm and withstand the full force of its might. I fell to this creature, but I persisted and rose to fight the monster again. It took everything I had to beat this monster and our goal wasn’t even completed. So I pushed on.

Something’s not right.

We encountered familiar faces, a group who had previously beat us in the arena now stood before us, walling me from our goal. The previous encounter could mean nothing to me at this point, I had to break through them. They fought hard and I was no match for their strength. But with the help of Mireya and the others I rose to fight them again and again. It took everything I had to do my part and it left my body broken.

Something’s not right.

Rowan had tried to warn me that my single-minded goal of protecting everyone above myself was dangerous. I didn’t listen to her. I took risks to protect everyone, risks that caused me great harm. She won’t be happy when she realizes what happened, I don’t think I can hide the outcome from her. I don’t think I could hide this from anyone.

Something’s not right.

I made my choice, now I must live with this fate.

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A Nightmare
In the White Lady's Tower

The icy prickles of the breeze are the first thing the girl notices around her. She looks around, brows lifted in confusion and mouth open but not making a sound. The trees form a maze around her and her vision is clouded with the thick fog rolling in from between them. Goosebumps raise on freckled skin and she brings up her hands to rub down them to create friction. The simple pale gown that hangs off her shoulders doing little to protect her from the humid and cold surroundings.

Bare feet start to walk through dead leaves and broken twigs. She makes her way through the forest with slow steps. Every noise has her turning quickly and gasping. She still keeps going deeper and deeper as the tree line grows thicker and paths become blocked by thick brambles.

What feels like hours in, she stops and a voice calls out.

‘What are you doing?’

It’s full of laughter and belongs to a young man. She turns in the direction and walks towards it.

‘Troublesome girl, really.’ The same voice with the same amused joy in it. She craves to hear more and starts to run towards it.

’C’mon lets go home’

So familiar…

’Aren’t you supposed to be the older one? You sure don’t act like it.’

There’s a split path up ahead a vague figure down the left. She squints her eyes catching sight of longer hair. Auburn just like hers.

‘Sister?’

She stops right at the start of the path. Panting and kneeling over. She tries to say something to the figure but her voice is still gone. The girl looks up just as he turns around and amber meets green a smile on the young man’s face. Her brother’s face.

Rowan tries to call out again, silence. He laughs shaking his head and turning to walk away. The trees end not far down the path and she sees the dark just beyond them. Waiting for her to come home.

She smiles and takes a step towards it.

’Don’t be so quick to throw your life away,’ Another girls voice. Relieved and exasperated all at only. She feels a warm embrace around her.

‘I know I’ve made mistakes,’ a young male full of regret, she wants to comfort them immediately. Because it’s alright, they survived together and they’ll keep doing it.

‘I don’t think we’ll make it out of this one,‘. Yes they will, she’ll make sure of it. She’ll drag him off the battlefield herself if she has to. This voice female, with a male voice repeating the same line after it.

“I can get angry over you …but -” Her heart skips a beat. She knows how the line ends. She remembers how safe she’d felt at that moment.

The voice come from the other path one by one and by the time the last one speaks she can’t resist turning her head to look down it. Four figures all standing in a clearing at the edge. Moving among bright lights and weapons being slung around them. A fight?

They need her help. She can protect them, she…

Glances back to her brother who keeps walking down the opposite path expecting her to follow. Her fists clench and she glares at the ground. She inhales and turns around on the path sprinting towards the other now. When she looks down back at her hands she sees a bow in one, and arrow in the other. The gown is gone and dark leather are in it’s place. Ahead she begins to hear the sounds of the battle. Crackling of lightening and fire, the clang of steel. She steps out into it and knocks back the arrow letting it loose into the fray.

She doesn’t see the brambles growing on the other path to the farm and blocking it off for good.

Rowan’s eyes shoot open and she rushes to lift herself up from the bedroll. Slender hands hold her up when she almost falls back from the dizzy spell lifting up so quickly causes. She gasps for air feeling the air robbed from her lungs somehow. There’s shouting in a language she doesn’t understand, but recognizes. The same voice switches to common.

“It’s alright, you are safe…”

She doesn’t care about that. She snaps her gaze to the elf assisting her and manages to get out. “My friends…where are they?”

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