A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Tales of the Huntress XII
Mimics

8th of Uktar,

Damn. Mimics.

Disgusting creatures! I can’t believe I spent nearly that whole fight inside of one! I struggled and pulled as best as I could but nothing worked. I just remember the thing kept biting into me over and over again each time I moved. It hurt like a blight I’ll say that. It just kept tearing me apart so I screamed and then I just passed out from the pain at some point.

I woke up to Mireya healing me thank whoever is still out there. But it was still a bit nerve wracking. Something ate me! I almost died. What a shite way to go it would have been too.

I think I’m feeling better at least, more like myself. Strangely enough I think this was the kick in the arse I needed. Sulking about is just going to leave me with regrets when I actually do finally bite the dust. Best thing I can do is move on and accept what’s happened in the past. I can’t afford to waste any time these days.

This town we’re in now has me no less on edge. Full of thieves and corrupt rich men. Like Kestral’s Corner all over again really. We need to hurry, the sooner we help the professor the sooner we can get the additional rooms and lab constructed. Having it done while we’re out with the elves is the best option. We can’t afford to be displaced from home for too long later into the winter months.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, hopefully it all goes down smoothly.

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Trappers Tales XXVI
1st 1st day, Uktar - Making Friends

1st 1st day, Uktar

Well, on the bright side, I’m not alone in fearing my magic.
On the other hand, if these people knew quite why I’m afraid of it they’d probably be less friendly.

They are friendly people, which is what makes it so disappointing that they’re so unreasoning. I got to talking with one of the guards, and I feel that they were guarding us in no uncertain terms, and he seemed a right good sort. Given how Roy was bundled off, I’d hoped to kind of talk him over to our side, as it were, and get some assistance. Mireya and Aaron were manufacturing a plan, and I was going to help them, but instead I wound up just being a distraction to the guards.

I’d hoped to have a little more time working on him when I asked about sitting at his table while eating, but instead he came to us. For some reason he didn’t think it odd when everyone else bundled out the room, which was fortunate.

They used the time well, and found Roy in a cell proper, before coming back to me. I think I was starting to make a legitimate connection with the man, because when it came time to leave he decidedly didn’t want me to.

We had to leave the mask and Roy’s hammer behind, so I’m hoping if we return to the nest of fanatics my association with him will help, and either he’ll be a little softer towards us than otherwise or be able to obtain the items somehow.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XIII
Mistakes

1st of Uktar

I think I have made some poor choices these last few weeks. The letter to mother was probably not in my best interest. Her reaction to the events was terrifying. Even if the letter had reached her, I think it would have been worse. She would have arrived in Baemore thinking Kosef was dead. I worry how long she plans to stay in this area. She could complicate matters with Bagoda and my family, there is also Rowan to consider. She may not approve of the choices I am making, especially when it comes to Rowan and Kosef.

The Brotherhood we visited was a mistake. We should have never gone there. I gave them to much credit as a group. I hoped they would see me as a victim rather then a monster. That was my mistake. I should not have talked with them or talked with them as a group. I expected too much out of these fanatics. I lost the mask and my hammer because of this. The hammer was a good weapon but the greatsword I retrieved so long ago is a fine weapon, especially now that it is repaired. The mask worries me. On one hand it is no longer in my possession and I don’t have to worry about its affects on me. Yet it is still out there and so is its sister. I fear what happens if the use the mask or its location is discovered. I can only hope that their fear will bury that item forever.

One final note is that the mask’s location may prove to be valuable information in the future.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXVII

1st of Uktar

I don’t know what to say.. this power I feel… its so different and nothing like I would have ever imagined… just think what i could do if I took the time to study this… No. I have more important things to do, i can study when it is done. but this power to protect myself and aid others… I feel like I am empowered! I must keep practicing the justicar, she is amazingly talented. I hope I can make her proud, maybe i can join her order when this is all said and done. Keep and eye on Baemore as I run the alchemy shop… these are all thoughts to think about for the future… for now. the alchemist and the elves… Our next major destination. I plan on using my time there wisely, I plan on asking someone to teach me their language. or at least start the process. this is something that will take months of practice.. but if we spend enough time in their city it will speed up the process by a small amount i am sure.

But first something needs to be attended to. I have let more important tasks stop me from pushing this for to long, but with our loss at the arena It is important that we get all the gold we can. That stash needs to be found, and to be honest i worry with whats going on there.. every time we go by the path to hayfield it seems like something has changed… i feel like we will need to liberate that city once more… i just don’t know to what extent…

Eitherway we need to get some rest here before we set out… hopefully I cna practice my new found abilities and be able to use them soon.

P.S I have gone to speak to the black about finding phineas if i do not return I pray someone looks here to know where i went. I do not plan to attack him or let him on that i am aware of anything.

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The Healer's Diary XXI
Mireya's Thoughts Vol. 21

1st of Uktar

Uktar… The Rotting, they call the month. Uktar has always been my least favorite time of the year. The meaning behind it — the rotting away of the green and the oncoming of a deep freeze — is depressing… and for one such as myself, born in the month of the melting of snow, something has always seemed uncomfortable about this time to me.

Yet this year there is something more to it. Perhaps it is that the “rotting” does not seem to be in only the environment, but in so many aspects of my life. Exiled from my home, my sister hating me, my infant son stolen from me, the person who I need most with no recollection of any of what has happened over the past few months… and now I feel that the tenuous relationship I had forged with some of my friends may be eroding as well.

I’m embarrassed to say that I lost my patience with Rowan during our stay with the Brotherhood. I know that she was sick and I understand her frustration with that fanatical woman, but I just felt so angry to think that she would put Arseni and myself — all of us, truthfully — at such risk for the benefit of giving her a piece of her mind. Walking in, my intention had been to simply fly under the radar by being friendly and accommodating of whatever they asked of us and hiding my own abilities. After meeting the woman in charge, she did not seem like a hateful sort of person or like she would cause any problem for us so long as we did not raise any red flags.

Unfortunately, yelling in someone’s face over the fact that your boyfriend has been apprehended for saying something foolish tends to be a bit of a red flag.

What bothered me was that I wondered how she could ever think that our calmness in the face of the news that Roy had been arrested would mean that we were planning on leaving him to his fate. I know she is smarter than that, so how she could not see that getting us all thrown into a cell with him would only make rescuing him even harder perplexes me beyond all belief.

Not to mention, though, that I honestly believe it may have done Roy some good to have a consequence to what he said to her about the mask. The issue that I have time and time again with this group is that the majority of them seem to lack the ability to think critically about the situations they find themselves in and exercise the caution necessary to not exacerbate matters. In a time when I am desperate to rescue my son, every single moment counts. Being unintentionally side-tracked is one thing, but side-tracked for no other reason than that someone said something stupid or didn’t stop and bother to think before jumping into a dangerous circumstance is feeling all the more unacceptable the more that it happens.

I am willing to accept until proven otherwise that Aaron has learned from his past mistakes, and I can always count on Arseni to keep a cautious countenance. But I have to admit that Roy worries me at times, and Rowan even more. I just hope that our visit with the Brotherhood has taught them something and that it won’t get any worse. With things only looking to get more dangerous, I can’t afford to lose any allies.

The changing of the seasons may bring more changes than those to the leaves on the trees.

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Tales of the Huntress XI
Doubt and Despisal

1st of Uktar,

I’ve always wondered about my place within the group, but recent events have me doing more so than normal. I know Mireya had to have been hiding knowledge of her plan at the Brotherhood purposefully. How easily Aaron knew to follow her, did Arseni know as well? Was I the only one they didn’t trust? To say it hurts I inspire such a lack of faith would be an understatement. I know what she must assume, but she was fairly cross with me before I could correct her. Then again, I guess I deserve no less acting as rash as I did earlier.

I was so tired and ill, and then there was this woman shouting and judging without good cause yet again at us. I couldn’t take it anymore. Everything these people and I have done for the sake of others, the dangers and sacrifices we face, and all it seems to earn us is ire and disrespect from narrow minded curs who have only their own petty interests in mind! I couldn’t listen to another person act so high and mighty while putting someone who has done nothing wrong and been so horribly punished for nothing more than doing the right thing!

I don’t even know if it had anything to do with it being Roy. The thought that I could have lost him didn’t even hit me until later that day. I’m just so tired of watching this group suffer, and of feeling as if everything right we try to do is destined to bring us more misery. I think I would have reacted the same for any of us, although I will admit my sulking the next day was inspired by my own attachments to the situation. I had let my rage build up so much that I spewed it out at the most inopportune time, and almost made things so much worse. How could I be so foolish?

No wonder she struck me, or could barely stand to even speak to me later. I have always known I was not as clever as some in the group, but I feel it now more than ever. How many more mistakes and mis steps an I allowed before they realize just unsure and doubting of my own capabilities I am? How long before they realize the burden I impose on them?

I admit to being over protective of them and emotionally attached to this group. Perhaps more than I should be, but…

Who else do I have? Tavion would not even say a word to me that day in the carriage. One of my best friends, that I remember learning how to knock an arrow with as a young girl, and he would not even spare me a second glance. Hrodegeirr and Anzo have always needed each other more than me, I always accepted that. And my own family…they feel more like a distant memory than a family. They never write, or have even attempted a visit since I came to the area for good. And I have no truly fond memories of them. Just absent figures with barely any presence in my life.

Honestly these people feel like the closest to family I have at the moment, and yet I seem to only be pulling them down. Even the one that means the most to me. I’m trying to stay positive and smile through. But I don’t know how much longer I can pretend that everything’s alright. Or how much longer I can pretend that I’m not just an outsider trying to give herself a home.

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A Grandson's Letter

Grandmother,

It has been a few weeks since i have seen you and since I can’t go visit you I thought I would write you a letter. Things are going a lot better out on my own than expected… and I am glad i have my friends… a second family here with me. we are planning on adding our own alchemy lab to our home so I will be able to continue to study and keep up my passion as well! I still want to make you proud and follow in your footsteps…

I won’t give you the details of what I have been up to but we have found some old books on alchemy from a long time ago, i was able to understand some of it, but a lot of it is in elvish. I am thinking of picking up the study of the language. I know i can do it, you pushed me to be the best and I am confident I can learn the language. Hopefully i will be able to show you the next time i see you.

I also want you to know I have given up my search of my mother like you asked of me. I am now just on an adventure with my friends, we have our goals. but mine have changed. I am sorry for making you worry, my curiosity got the best of me and put me in some bad situations as I have told you before… but Mireya has opened my eyes in more ways than one and I now need to return the favor I guess..

I am rambling, but I just want you to know that I… no we, are ok. and hopefully by the time we are allowed back into town Arseni will be back to normal. I miss you grandmother… and I look forward to be able to have dinner with you once I can re enter town.

P.S how are things in town? We have been wondering if everything has been normal since we were exiled. we are trying to find a way to overturn Callum if he doesn’t change his mind. and one of the ways we thought about doing it is trying to get a new mayor elected. one of the names that came u were you and Igan Now I do not want to pressure you into anything, but think about it. or ask Igan if you prefer… but we need to be allowed into baemore, We are one of the best chances at protecting the city and we can;t do that i we are not allowed in… If you can think of a different way we are also open to the suggestion.

Love,

~Aaron Lyne,

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The Healer's Diary XX
Mireya's Thoughts Vol. 20

27th of Marpenoth

So now I know why she wanted him.

Or rather, I know why she wanted a child. Why she wanted him, I can’t imagine. Was this her way of getting back at me for ignoring her deals, for encouraging Aaron and the others to stay far afield of her influence? The loss of a child seems such a unimaginably high price for simply foiling a few plans and putting a nick in such a large ego. I can’t imagine how the logic could possibly work within her head unless there was something else, something important about my son in particular that intrigued her.

But then, the fact that I cannot follow her logic is a problem in and of itself, isn’t it? Her mind does not work as that of a human — for human she most certainly is not — and so perhaps it is an exercise in futility to try and understand where Bagoda is coming from. But if her ire ignites at so little nudging as a simple person who wished for nothing but to keep to herself and protect her friends, I worry at what she may do once she realizes what course of action her insidious maneuvers have now encouraged me to pursue.

At the very least, I can feel secure in that Briar’s safety remains an important factor to her plans. For what all else she may intend for him, worries I held that she may kill him to get at me feel unfounded for now. My concern no longer lies in his life or death, but what her plans will do to transform him from innocent child into the sort of dark creature that is of her image. When I have him back — for I will have him back — will he be my child anymore? Or will he have forcibly been metamorphosed from my son into someone unrecognizable and evil?

No, I cannot think like that. The short echo of a moment in which I gazed upon his face gave me a glimpse of the undeniable light that is his and his alone. It will take more than a witch’s words and actions to remake him anew… and just like his father, I must believe that no matter how he may be lead astray, his heart will remain steadfast and strong and always compelled towards goodness. That is the legacy which he inherits from the parents he has never known. I must believe that this will somehow bolster him through what is to come.

To speak of Anzo, it seems that he is finally in true possession of the letter which I intended for him. I thought that I would have liked it better for him to have been aware of the situation before it had escalated so far, but perhaps this is better.

Now he can know the name of his son.

Some part of me hopes that knowing of his existence may compel Anzo to truly settle down, to take his life seriously and consider his actions beyond their impact upon himself. Another part of me fears that the knowledge of what happened to Briar will only compel him towards recklessness, as before. If his folly leads him into the jaws of danger once again, I hold no hope for his survival. Bagoda needed him then… she does not need him now.

And then, it is just as likely that I may never see him again. With his memories gone, my letter must seem like ramblings of a woman gone mad… Oh, Anzo, if only you could realize that this deal you’ve struck threatens to break so much more than the heart of just your brother.

It is our last day here and he has not come.

I must try and rest easy in knowing that I can do or say no more than I have. This is now up to him.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XII
Trust

27th of Marpenoth

The town still does not trust us very much. They are afraid to deal with us, but at least our money is still good. We went to see the duke who was unaware of Mireya’s child. He is worried about what Bagoda can do with an ally. It appears the young child will be used as a vessel for the 4th. Along with that the shadow creature we fought in Baemore seems to be working with Bagoda. She seems to have her hands in just about everything. I’m worried what her next move will be.

Our next stop was Dalewin where Anzo was staying with my Uncle Luther. It appears that he has no memory of me either. I still fear to meet with Kosef and find out his memories are gone. It would almost be like losing him again. Its starting to look like Bagoda got what she wanted from me without my help.

The alchemist labs have always been a goal of ours. Between Aaron’s desire for knowledge in his craft and Arseni’s hope to revert to normal, we decided to investigate the lab near Dalewin. The forest that it was located in held some very interesting things. A hag who reeked of her vile nature, we chose to avoid conflict with her for our own safety. There was also a treant who guarded the forest and cared for the life in it. We met a drow, one who we thought we could call an ally. He helped guide us through the lab and its dangers, only to betray us when he reached his allies. His betray game at a surprise to us and we were caught off guard. He nearly took us out. His magic is unlike any I have fought before. He burned through me with ease.

Especially with the brother mask, I think the best course of action now is to head to the Brotherhood of the Silent. Lamb. But first Arseni will need time to adjust to his body. The treant gave Arseni a new form, a human male form. It isn’t his original form, but it is a form he should be happy with. I wonder what he will do now. His form was his primary reason to adventure, now that is solved what will his course of action be.

Seeing my uncle reminded me so much of mother. I wonder how she is doing and if she was affected by Bagoda’s magic.

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Tales of the Huntress X
Risk and Recklessness

27th of Marpenoth,

I can’t believe how reckless I’ve gotten! That fight was nearly the death of me and it was no ones fault but my own. I let the drow back me into the corner and had to resort to knocking myself out to take that damned witch with me! I’m so used to running without any consequence is open space I try to act the same closer in. It’s not the first time either, I made the same mistake in the arena. I was so focused on my next shot I didn’t pay attention to anything else and I almost died.

That’s not the worst part though. Mireya and Roy were also nearly done in. If I hadn’t been stricken down so easily and stayed up to take out the mages I could have made the cleric more accessible and things would have gone a lot smoother. They could have died and I could have prevented it.

I can’t even imagine what I would do if

I’ll need to be more careful for my friends sake, and my own I suppose. I’m no good to them dead. I need to realize the battlefields we’re walking into aren’t the forest clearings I’m used to.

Then there’s that thing in the swamp. Maybe Roy’s right, considering how we barely got out of that fight alive challenging her before could have left us a lot more vulnerable. I still wish there was something we could have done, even if I know that’s foolish. I need to consider my own advice though, doing something rash or foolish because I think it’s right doesn’t only affect me. Isn’t that what I’ve been preaching to Aaron and Roy after all? I’ll let the Brotherhood know about her for certain though. It’s not everything I want to do, but it’s the best I can do I suppose.

My letter to Kosef didn’t get a response, not unexpected but still disappointing. At least Anzo is doing well at the moment and Mireya seems to have brightened up slightly from her time with him. I really do hope he’ll stop by. It might be good for her to not be so isolated.

Once again I’m left with much to think about and little time to do it. We leave at dawn to go to the Brotherhood. I’ll admit I’m worried. I have hope things will go well, but if they don’t then I can only change that hope to our skills making things easier for us than it did last fight. The things we run into and face seem to grow stronger and we are getting out worse off each time. I’m afraid that if we keep moving forward we’ll run into more than we can handle at this rate.

Perhaps I should leave something just in case…

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