Lilith's Journal: Chapter 1, Entry 10

Safe Harbor, The River, Rude Birds

The next morning, I awoke with a start. Roran was breaking camp. It looked like we were ready to go back to the village. Perhaps the goblins and orcs and worgs were gone?

“It’s safe to go back to town now, right?” I asked. “Or even to my house, I mean it’s just a little ways over there,” I said pointing towards the game trail that lead to my home in the woods.

“I’m sorry but I don’t know when you will be able to go home,” said Roran apologetically.

“But why? Why us? Why our village? Why not some of the other kids?” I said trying to hold back tears. "We didn’t do anything wrong, it's not our fault!"

“I don’t have the answers now Lilith. But I do know that it is dangerous to go back to Tarenvale. Even that aside, do you really want to witness the devastation? To watch the injured dying suffer? They died so that you kids can live on. So you can realize your destinies,” Roran replied. "Dalton believed in you to the point of sacrificing himself for you, and I do too. There is something about you that those monsters were willing to destroy an entire village to stop, and I aim to make sure never do.”

Evander nodded in agreement. It was too dangerous to go back. A scout or spy could still be watching over Tarenvale. If they were still there, the kids might not be as lucky the second time around.

“I have nothing in Tarenvale waiting for me besides my mother anyway,” I sighed. “What must we do?”

“We must travel to Newport and cross the river,” he instructed. “On the other side of the river lies the answers you seek. We must find the oracle.”

The children nodded, and Roran handed us each a travel bag full of supplies. So started our journey to discover ourselves, and our destinies.

Our group traveled for about 2 weeks to reach Newport. We stuck to the woods and avoided any roads or settlements as we marched on with nothing but our own willpower and stamina.

During the few moments we rested, Roran taught Evander the basics of swordsmanship. I admit I found myself watching him from the campfire as his bulging muscles and sweaty form attacked and defended against foes that only he could see.

When I wasn’t watching him, I taught reading and writing to Tyler and Evander. Tyler picked up reading right away, but Evander didn’t have his patience for written text and Roran had to bribe Evander with sparring lessons to get him to study with me when we weren’t traveling. I suspect he was angry at me for going out with Tyler, but if he was, he always seemed so… clueless about it.

When we did finally arrive in Newport, I can honestly say I was disappointed. Tyler always talked up Newport as the place to go. He would talk about the people he saw, the foods he ate and the gleaming spires of the three churches. All I saw was a dirty, overcrowded port city with beggars and cutpurses abound. Tyler told me it was because we were in shanty town, not the upper class area. Mister Roran told us it was the best place for people to disappear. I hope he didn’t mean it literally, because with all the strumpets and drunks around, I wasn’t so sure that people really didn’t go missing. And with the tattered clothes we were in, it wasn’t like anyone would really notice us if we did disappear. I made sure to stick very closely to Evander, and Roran during our stay.

We maintained a low profile the entire two days we stayed in Newport. Roran wouldn’t let us wander far (especially me for some reason). He tied Ma`ud’s twin-tails together to disguise his true breed as a kitsune`. Ma`ud wasn’t happy about it either, or the leash and collar I was required to keep around his neck like a leather noose. Roran also made me always wear my hood up, my half-elven ears hidden behind my hair. When I asked him why he made me do that, he told me that though I shouldn’t be ashamed of my elven heritage, other people in town thought differently about elves. I reminded him I was only half-elf, but he shook his head and told me that humans generalized too much, or some such thing. Tyler told me that wealthy merchants would pay to have elven maidens captured and enslaved because of their exquisite beauty, and that as long as I always held his hand, he would never let them take me away, but I’m not sure if he was telling me another story like the mage with the REAL dragon or not.

We stayed two nights at the Torn Sails Inn. It was by far the biggest inn I had ever stayed at, but not nearly as nice as the one in Tarenvale. I found my memories shifted to all that we left behind. I missed my mother horribly. There was no one quite like her in Newport, and the small things that I remembered about her like the rustling of parchment, the smell of incense, that little song she always hummed absentmindedly to herself were things I missed most. By the time Roran finally secured horses and a ferry over the river, I was ready to move on.

The ferry over the river took two days. At first it was pretty exciting. The ship was SO BIG and the river so vast. But after two days of nothing but open sea and no animals to talk to but seagulls and Ma`ud, it became the longest two days of my life. It’s worth mentioning that sea gulls are the rudest birds I ever talked to, and so boring! All they ever wanted to talk about was how they found this scrap of bread, and that scrap of meat was theirs. I could live out the rest of my life happily, never engaging another one in conversation EVER.

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