A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Blacksmith's Workings Final
Final

It’s been months since the events that claimed the city from The Black. The sounds of banging metal erupt from the silence of the early morning. A man is working at a small makeshift blacksmith area. The young man is in simple clothes and his wearing boots and leather gloves. His hammer is of a quality that is well beyond the forge he is using. The red hot piece of metal he is hammering begins to flatten. Satisfied with the length he moves it back to the fire. After a short time he moves the metal back to the anvil. He begins to hammer the metal and shape an edge into a blade. He knows the edge must good as this piece will see a lot of use in the next few months. After another cycle of heating and hammering a place for the handle has taken shape. The man is finishing his work as a voice erupts from the distance.

A woman’s voice rather harsh and serious tone is heard, “Roy, we are leaving.” The young man stops his hammering and inspects the blade. Satisfied that the shovel is formed he takes it and quenches the tool into water. He reaches off to the side and picks up a rather large sword and small backpack. He starts to walk away from the forge before stopping after a few steps. Roy turns back and stares towards the forge for a moment. He pauses and thinks back to those he lost and those he left behind. He turns away and starts moving forward.

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Trappers Tales - Epilogue
Wondering

I wonder if I made the right choice? Probably not. But neither did Mireya, so at least I’m not alone. And this way, Roy is safe. Safe enough. Perhaps if Mireya didn’t make her decision they’d have been able to find another way to save Roy, but I guess we’ll never know, now.

I wonder who the girl was. I wonder if she thought I was rescuing her. I suppose I did, in a way, anyway, but I can’t help but feel as though I lied to her. Well, maybe not. She won’t be in pain anymore, and won’t be tortured further. One brief pain, at worst, and she was free. Kind of.

I wonder what Lexana will ask of me next. Will she teach me, or just use what I am currently? Will I be able to have any influence on my life, or am I as much a slave now as I would have been otherwise? Will I be able to turn her, or become strong enough to overcome her later?

I wonder if I’ll get to see my friends again. I only just found Kara, and now I may have to lose her again. And Zia will worry if I don’t check in occasionally. I also worry about Aaron, now his wisdom is gone. At least Roy will be fine, I made sure of that. Well, assuming I behave myself. Maybe I’ve doomed us both.

Ultimately, I wonder what caused us to be cursed like this. A quirk of chance? Fate? The gods showing how little they care for us, once again?
I don’t think we’ll ever know. Only have to deal with the consequences.

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An Alchemist's End

Aaron sits under a tree in a fenced off yard a small garden rests near the edge of the yard, and a flower patch with a plaque besides that. He is reading through an old and worn journal. With a quill at one side and his pet fox curled up and enjoying the sunlight of a beautiful morning on the other, Aaron takes hold of the quill and turns to an empty page.

A few months have gone by since i have last written in this journal… I used to use it as a means to keep tabs on myself. I have never been one to think before I acted, but this let me reflect on the decisions I had made so I could grow from them. I never told anyone I would reread these when i was awake up on my watches, I knew that by the end they all thought I had a hand in ruining their lives in some way. But they trusted me, they knew I did everything I did for the right reasons however misguided I might have been. And I will always remember that bond of trust I had with all of them.

A lot has changed since those days, I am no longer adventuring, mind you I still have my powers over ice, they have been useful with some of my alchemy, and I have been working on a way to use it to replicate the potion I used to receive these powers in the first place. Truth be told I think that kind of creation is beyond me for the moment, I have a lot of learning to catch up on. Thankfully the shop is up and running again, and with grandmother busy being mayor I have been able to prove to her I can run the shop. It’s been nice having a relaxing life as an alchemist again, and business is going great. I am not sure why some people seem to care, but apparently being a former adventurer a dn of the heroes that saved this city brings up the popularity of your shop. To be honest I wish they wanted my potions because they were of good quality, but I guess I will take what I can get. All of this popularity over being a hero… if they only knew the cost this fame had come at maybe they wouldn’t idolize it so much.

Despite all of the hardships we all had to deal with the past few months, not everything has been bad. I have been seeing Devon since I have been back, He has been good distraction from having lost so much recently, and to be honest, I like having him around.to be honest he has been my rock, and I wouldn’t be here enjoying this garden or maybe life if it weren’t for he, he rescued me. After the funeral I didn’t leave my room for a few days. Not even to eat… he stopped by one day and basically forced me to take him out for the supper I owed him from almost 2 years back. I couldn’t believe he actually remembered, but he snapped me out of my state of mind. Got me realising there is a city here that has so much to offer… and that i have so much to offer it in return. He convinced me to rebuild my home, my shop, and to regain my passion for my craft. I owe him so much, and am so glad to have him in my life.

A faint “Aaron?” can be heard coming from around the house. Aaron looks up and puts the quill down. He doesn’t move, but turns his gaze to a small plaque at the center of a patch of chamomile, and smiles. The plaque reads : “In memory of Mireya, may your struggles and sacrifices never be forgotten”.

A young man comes around the corner “ Aaron, we are about to open! You were supposed to wake me up after you showered!”

Aaron looks at the young man and replies “I am sorry Devon I wanted to get some fresh air, i completely forgot, let’s go open our shop”

With that, the journal is closed. To be stored and never to be written in again. But Aaron is always sure to take it out to remember his time as an adventure. And to never forget everything and everyone he has lost in the process.

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In closing
Warm wishes

He sits upon his throne, made of shadows and bone; content with nothing as he stares out into the hall; cold and empty of life, except the small boy who sat across on the other end in silence. He would stare at the young boy, giving him orders to which he did not respond but only stare.

Time went on, days, weeks and soon months; it did not take long before the silent boy would clear his throat. Surprised the man who sat upon the shadowy throne angrily looked to boy “You will serve me.”

The silent boy only smiled back to him, “You will not defeat me… boy.” The young boy looked at him, after a short pause “I do not want to defeat you.” Taken off guard the man on the throne stood “You will not expel me!” to which the young man replied “I do not want to expel you.”

A moment passed and the man atop the throne looked more angered than before, the large hall filled with an even greater presence as he looked to the young boy.
“Then what!? What do you want… boy.” The man said as he looked to the boy, to which the boy replied with only a smile. Days went by before the man on the throne sat down, as he did the boy spoke on his own “You will sit, and I will stand… I will use you and you will not use me.” The boy smiles to the man on the throne as it crumbles underneath him. Throughout the hall, all that could be heard was the hushed giggle of the young boy.

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The Lost One's Epilogue
1 year later

There is no specific date on the page

Its been awhile since I’ve written anything that isn’t notes. Then again, I wasn’t in the best place for awhile. After the fall of the Black and the deal with the reeds. But I’ve shed enough tears for both. There’s nothing left to say that I haven’t thought of night after night by this point.

I’ll be heading to Baemore soon. I think I’ll stay for awhile and pay Zia a visit this time. She’s lovely company and maybe she has news about her brother. It’ll be awhile before I finish the anatomy and herbalism tome I bought in Baecrest at least, and between the jobs I did in the city and the trip I took tp the arena I have enough funds to let le stay still for a bit. More than a bit honestly, but I loathe to let myself feel too domestic in a single place these days.

So much has changed since I first came to this place. I’ve long stopped comparing it to the feywild and begun to appreciate it as it is. It’s a rather beautiful realm when you really look at it. I’m glad I’ve decided to stay for now.

I can’t say that I’ve discovered some grand purpose or even figured out what direction I want my life to go in. But that’s alright. I’m simply wandering wherever my next whim takes me and learning what I can, meeting new and fascinating people (some of whom I gladly call friends) and helping anyone I can out along the way.

I don’t have the answers I was looking for in the beginning of all this, and I still barely know what I’m even doing. But for now I think I’m happy to stay lost for awhile.

- Solen’Ia A’Darine

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Trapper's Tales XLIII
Dark Paths

Well, this probably isn’t good.

That lich we ran into in the southern Crestwood is back in our lives. According to the Duke she wants to take over the island and set up her own kingdom, and the most efficient way for her to do this is by using undead, so if we’re not careful our homes will be overrun by undead, vampires, ancient deal making magic users and the gods who abandoned us only know what else.

It’s apparently why Roy is getting stalked by the… thing. She apparently wants him as a protector, having proven his worth by defeating it previously.
However, it’s not the only thing she’s after. Apparently as an unaligned magic user, I’m worth something to her as an apprentice. I guess she doesn’t know that I can’t really control it very well.

Still, maybe there’ll be something good we can make from this. If we can convince her to make her island home elsewhere, on a little unpopulated island, maybe? she’ll be happy enough, and I may be able to learn something along the way.
I’m not so sure that Roy will be able to benefit as much from being stalked by her thing, though.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXXIII
Name

A lich, the source of the curse I have. I have suspected it was her from when we first met. The curse that holds me and binds me to the revanant She is the source. It also appears that Arseni is tied to Lexana as well. She seeks us both, a champion and an apprentice.

But what can be done about that monster. The last time I met her she had me immobilized. All I could muster was to flee. I don’t know if I have the power to face something like that.

It appears our attention now shifts to the Black. Retaking our home is the most important.

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The Lost One's Tome V
Farewell

Dear Arseni,

I am unsure what exactly compelled me to write this, but I felt like it was necessary.  I was a stranger and an outsider and you sheltered me without any hesitation or doubt.  Few could claim to be so kind and noble.  You and your friends saved my life. You save many lives, and aren’t thanked nearly enough flr it from what I’ve seen.  So thank you.  For everything. 

Forgive me, but I am afraid I told a small lie before.  Whether we survive our assault on the Black or not.  I will not be returning to the Feywilds.  My family knows, and they have accepted it.   If I live I intend to stay with the wood elves for a time, to study and train in hopes of learning more about this gift, and to help in their efforts to rebuild in anyway I can.  I think the time for old predjiduces has long passed, don’t you? 

Whether I live to do that or not, there is one thing I want you to know.  Your group inspired me, but mostly, you did.  You were afraid and you were hesitant, just like me.  I am still afraid, but I will not let it stop me.  It never stopped you.  You showed courage and kindness like I have never seen, and even when you faltered remained a good man. 

You are a good man Arseni.  For all that you doubt, know that is the one thing you never need to.

Farewell,
Solen’Ia A’Darine

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXX
Again

This city is forever burned into my mind. It’s beauty and wonder, there is no city like this back home. But those aren’t the things that latch tightly to my mind.

It’s you.

This city was part of the first adventure with you. I invited you along because we needed help with the forest. To your surprise we found a forest unlike any you have experienced before. We seemed so innocent back then. I was keeping an eye on Mireya for Anzo’s sake. And you wanted to keep an eye on me. I wonder what would have happened if I said no to you joining us on that trip. You wouldn’t have crossed paths with Bagoda and maybe you would still be here. I would be able to return home and see you Rowan, but without all our adventures would it be the face I grew to love.

I wish I could ask you for advice. What would have thought of the Bone Mason’s deal? Would you have accepted it? What would make of Aaron’s new sword or the chance at dealing with Bagoda?

I haven’t thought about what happens next too much, I’m struggling to leave you behind.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XXIX
Deal

Twelve Lives. For assistance in helping the elves, twelve lives is nothing. A deal that seems to favor us. We had to kill the drow in the city as the second part of this deal, but that seemed inevitable given our end goal of driving them out. Twelve Lives. It seems unfortunate that Arseni is placed with the task of the killing. He seems less then thrilled by that fact.

The Bone Mason and the City of the Damned. A world and creature that emit death to all who approach, but the power he holds is what we desire. Magic that can fight The Black outside the dealmakers and their rules.

The toad pixies were a surprise. Selfish little creatures, only after the enjoyment of torturing others. The wishes they can grant do nothing to help others. Curious creatures though.

Looking back at it its not just the lives of others we have to offer up. The souls are what the Bone Mason is truly after. We would be damning twelve souls to an eternity of suffering. Makes me feel for Arseni, he is the one that has to do the act. If only there was something I could do to help him with this problem, but its only twelve more

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