Lilith's Journal: The City of Tentia. Day 2.

Garret's family notes were just one piece in a crazy jigsaw puzzle of our history, and I had a burning desire to put everything together, if nothing to prove that my father was not the man in these books, and that Dalton was no traitor. I would only find that information in the biggest, and most complete library in the known world. Luckily for me, I was in the right place- The City of Tentia!

Aeryn, Garret and I set out for the library while everyone else went to check on Dalton at the castle.

The librarian was LATE, keeping us waiting for what seemed like hours. When the frail old man finally opened the door and let us in, I went to look at the history books. I found lots of info referencing the magus, but nothing specific. I checked the maps and texts, and it quickly became obvious that any and all of the archives with specific Magus history had been REMOVED!

When I talked to the librarian, he looked up the missing books and informed us that the Queen of Tentia had checked them out for the royal library. Those books were public record! What gave her the right to seize every book with anything useful on the Magi! I was outraged, and told the librarian so. He didn't even care! He made some lame excuse about what the queen requests, the queen gets! What makes HER so special?

Well I was not going to settle for this! I marched right up to the castle gates, and demanded to be allowed access to the royal library. The guards let us in, but only after Garret fibbed, and told them we were here to see Roran.

The guards wouldn't even let me near the library. They escorted us directly to Roran's sleeping chambers at the castle hospice. There we met Alaric, Rothus, and Evander. I tried to explain the terrible fate that had befallen the books, but they didn't even care!

One of the clerics was present. He seemed concerned about my agitated state. I tried to explain the importance of getting access to the library but he did not seem terribly moved. I told him that magic was in flux, and that fire magic no longer worked. He shook his head and told me I was being silly, and that nothing was wrong with magic. I tried to show him, by casting spark at him. I knew it wouldn't work, but the priest of Sarnrae clearly overacted and we were seized by the guards and ejected from the castle!

I was VERY put off by our treatment at the castle. When I was done with my research, I was going to send a strongly worded letter to the king about everything.

We reconvened at the Prancing Pony inn for lunch. Apparently to gain access to the castle again we have to make a formal request. I tried to explain to the guard that it had been a HUGE misunderstanding, and that the cleric was never in danger, as I knew fire magic would not work. I was only trying to cast it to show him that it would not work! Evander wrote a letter to the queen requesting an audience, while Garret and I pieced together what limited information we had on the history of the Magi.

Later that day, I hatched a plan to get into the castle and read the books the queen locked up in her personal library. Those books WOULD be returned to the public library!


 

Lillith's Journal: The City of Tentia. Day 1:

We arrived in Tentia a few days later unmolested thanks to Elwyn Ransom. I didn't even have a chance to properly thank him before he disappeared into the forest as suddenly as he had appeared a few days previous.

I had heard rumors of the capital cities majesty, but could never have imagined the sheer size, and color, and vibrancy of the place by reading about it in books. We were challenged at the gate by guards wearing the orange and golden tabards of the Queen. When they asked us our business we explained that our friend Roran was very sick and in need of a healer. Things got weird. The guards seized control of our horse and wagon. I tried to protest, but before I knew it we were escorted to an Inn called the Prancing Pony. The guards told us Master Roran would be well taken care of. Did the guard really refer to him as Master Roran?

We were locked inside a room for several hours. Rothus and Evander became restless. Garret smiled at me with his sweet smile and put a strong arm around my shoulders, and said this was a good time to go over what he had discovered about the one called Sindarin. I don't remember much about the two hours. Rothus fiddled with the lock on our door. Apparently he broke something too because he spend a good amount of time trying to dig it out. At some point Ma'ud appeared at the window, and lept inside. Alaric chased him around to put a silly disguise on him. He mentioned something about him looking too much like a magical creature. Of course he did, he WAS a Kitsune after all!

What intrigued me was the history book Garret shared with me. He explained the book was a history book of his people and that the knowledge was passed down through the generations. Apparently it was MANY generations because notes went back some 500+ years in his book. So did the named of the Seven Magi, known as “the protectors of the world”. They were listed in alphabetical order by name, the color of their gemstone blades they wielded and the powers of nature they protected. I got a really cold, queezy feeling in the pit of my stomach- like when someone drinks too much stout- and it occurred to me that I RECOGNIZED two of the names... Dalton: wielder of the Ruby sword, Roran: keeper of the Sapphire blade. I almost dropped the book when I saw a third name- Sindarin: master of the Onyx edge. My supposed elven father, a magus? No, something was off. My mother told me he was a druid. Why would she lie?

My stupor was broken by the rattle of keys in the door, followed by the crackle of arcane magic, as two men dressed as queens-guard entered the room. They were followed by a beautiful, middle aged woman who I assume cast a knock spell on the door when the keys curiously failed to unlock it. The woman introduced herself as Evangeline, a servant of the queen.

Evangeline apologized for detaining us. Apparently it was a mistake, but she would talk to the innkeeper, and as long as it took for Roran to recover under the expert care of the palaces healers, our meals and rooms would be covered. I swear I saw a twinkle in Rothus's eyes when he heard that we had just earned ourselves an all-expenses-paid vacation in downtown Tentia! Before I could object, Aerynthia and Garret are dragging me through town on a shopping spree. We were gone until dusk.

I was unable to sleep with so many questions about the Magi on my mind, so I borrowed Garret's book and went downstairs to the common room of the Inn, and started tracing Garret's ancestors notes back over 1,000 years. I also learned the names of the Seven Protectors of the World, maps of the lands the guarded, and the colors of their weapons that seem to be linked with the elements of magic:

Dalton: ruby (fire)
Farian: amethyst (time)
Galdira: pearl (light)
Kaylie: emerald (earth)
Nemien: citrine (wind)
Roran: sapphire (water)
Sindarin: onyx (shadow)

I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach again when I realized that Garett and I already tried fire magic, and it had failed. It must have been due to something that happened when Dalton was killed by the shadowy figure- someone who commanded shadow magic... I suddenly felt very ill...

Sindarin was known to wield shadow magic... it couldn't be.

About then Rothus came downstairs and sat by me. I asked him what he was doing up so late. He looked at me oddly and mentioned that it wasn't late, it was early. I looked out the window to see the sun peeking through the rooftops of shops down the street. Absentmindedly I tugged at a magical ring on my finger. Had I really been up all night? 

 

Lilith's Journal: The Journey to Tentia.

We started out on the road to Tentia. We had supplies and a wagon given to us. With some magic, I was able to summon a mule to carry us. The donkey we were going to use was very uncooperative, so I carried him back to camp with my hair and left him. Evander and Rothus seemed wierded out by the spell. I tried to explain it was just hair, but Rothus ran off and disappeared for a very long time. I am sure Evander was just jealous that I could pick a whole donkey up by myself without his help. The donkey was gone the next day. I knew the camp was destitute, but desperate enough to eat a donkey? How horrible! Roran was loaded up and we were underway. A new companion was with us as well. His name was Garret. He was a VERY handsome, charming young sorcerer.

Garret had been sent from Newport by the Oracle long before the attack on the camp. He had an official writ from her, and news of Tarenvale. He knew nothing of the attack on the camp, but did inform us that the village of Tarenvale was now the City of Tarenvale! A lot had changed since our terrifying flight two years previous. Most of the town had rallied to push back the orc army. Other surrounding villages such as Denton, Kerfal, and Rynal had since joined the Tarenvale community.

We inquired about the residents of Tarenvale, including my mother Glenda who had moved closer to town. Much had remained the same, yet enough had changed that I would like to return. It was reasonable to assume it was safe to return since the orcs were gone. When Roran was better, I would make it a point to visit my old home. It had been far too long since I had seen my mother. I know the others felt the same way.

While traveling on the old highway, we met another young man at the edge of the woods. At first we though he might be a bandit. He was dirty, in stained leathers, with a wild growths of hair. He said his name was Elwyn. He was a hunter of goblinoids, and said he could guide through less dangerous backroads leading to Tentia. We had heard of random attacks by orcs and goblins, though we had not experienced any, but with Roran in a weakened state, we did not wish to. I accepted his help begrudgingly. He had a foul odor to him, and looked very much like a vagabond, but he did know ideal camping spots, plentiful hunting grounds, and he did lead us safely through the terrain in record time without a single goblin attack. I decided, that with a proper bath, he might be tolerable company, but he would really need to learn some proper hygiene before I would be caught socializing with him!

With the days of hard traveling ahead of us, conversation was plentiful between Garret and I. There was a special connection I felt with him. and I really felt warm and fuzzy being near him We had much in common. We were both magic users, both spoke Draconic, and both loved the arcane arts. We became fast friends on out journey, and talked much about our training and upbringing. Garret came from a well to do family outside Tarenvale. He had learned magic about the same time as myself, and had a history book with him about the ancient ways. Apparently it was a family heirloom that he had copied himself. He asked me about my family. I told him about Glenda, and Tarenvale, my friends, and enemies. When the subject of my father came up, I was pretty embarrassed to talk about it. Still I felt a connection to him, and begrudgingly opened up about my druid father Sindarin that I had never met.

His reaction was not what I expected. He furrowed his brow, and told me he recognized that name from his history books, but that name was one of the oldest, most powerful of the Magi, not a druid. I laughed, surely it was not the same Sindarin! After all his history book went back thousands of years. The possibility of someone living that long- even for an elf, was preposterous! He promised that once we got into town, he would let me read his books. Until then we found other things to talk about.

The road was hard on my magic too. An odd side effect of fire magic was that it could not be willed into existence. Normally I lit campfires with my spark spell. But for some reason the magic no longer worked on the road. Even Garett tried (thank the spirits I wasn't the only one that could not preform, or that might have been very embarrassing). Evander and Rothus said I was being "loony Lilly" 'cause fires couldn't just be willed into existence. I wanted to light their pants on fire to prove them wrong, but fire magic was charging up, but not manifesting, and they would not sit still long enough for me to try anything else. When Rothus told us a story of how he had once been a powerful mage himself that gave up magic for his true love, I laughed, and called him a "ridiculous Rothus". Sadly, Garret, Alaric, and Elwyn actually though he was being serious!



Adventures of Rothus page 55

We decided to go back to the castle and talk with the guards. We ask them if we can see the queen or see the books she took from the library. They recognize lily and deny our request. They do agree to forward a message of the same, with the posibility of a scribe copying the books. We don't trust them to do it, though.
Evander writes up a letter and we sign it, asking for an audience with Evangeline. Evan then delivers it to the guards. 
Lily plots to sneak into the castle and sets a stool in the town square. She watches servants walk in and out looking for someone she can use as a disguise. We take shifts to watch lily and make sure she doesn't do anything stupid. Right before I start my shift Evangeline with two guards comes into the inn under cloaks. They ask to talk with evan and the rest of us. Evangeline says she got the letter and wants to know why the books are so important. We try and explain, then decide to get lily. Evangeline sends cole the guard to get her and when they find maud, lily is disguised as a servant. We call lily on the sending stone and hear a voice we dont recognize. Lily must have been kidnapped!!
Maud gives her away and the guard grapples her then drags her back to the inn. Lily activates her daemon hair and fights back in the common room. We find them fighting as the inn guests are moving away. At first glance it appears this man kidnapped lily! I draw my dagger, but evan points out the man is Evangelines guard.
I see a Citrine stone on Evangeline's hip, attached to a hilt. I ask about it and she admits that she was once known as Nemien, the guardian of the wind. Dalton protected fire and roran protected water. She asked for daltons ruby, but unfortunately it is not the magical stone, just a mundane ruby.
Evangeline and lily talk about magic, determining that Cendarian has the shadow and fire stone, which is why lily cant cast fire or shadow stones. Wind magic is weak, which means Evangeline is weak too. She is over 300 years old! Only the magic sustains her. The guardians gain power when they are at their seat of power. The ruins by tarenvale are rorans seat of power. Evangelines seat is in the distant land of calderan. Pearl is light. Amythist is time. Emerald is earth. We must bring roran to the ruins.
Roran is about 700 years old, dalton was over 3000 years old.
Evangeline stole her gem and was trained by dalton on how to use it.

Adventures of Rothus, page 51 [D-833]

On the Road to Tentia:

We have Roran on a cart being pulled by a donkey that Lily summoned up. She says it was magic, but I suspect she just went out and lured the beast with some food. I mean, Garrett had a donkey so they can't be too hard to find. The group is stuck going as slow as the cart and as slow as Evan in his armor, so I decide to zoom circles around them to keep an eye on our perimeter. With my skills, there's no chance I'll be seen or heard by an attacker, so I'm not worried about leaving the group.

Up ahead I see a man dressed in greens and browns crouching in the brush. I let the others know in case we are attacked. Then the man in green stands up and approaches, yelling "Greetings!" Well, I guess he's not going to ambush us then. His name is Elwyn Ransom, Ork hunter and guardian of the woods. Apparently, he just lives out here away from the towns and keeps the roads and forests safe for good folks like ourselves. Which explains why we haven't run into any orks or goblins on our journey. Elwyn agrees to walk with us a while as we continue to Tensia.

Our guide leads us to a large rock face with a split down the middle. It makes the perfect windbreak for a fire pit and the ground is level for our bedrolls. We decide to make camp and get some food cooking. Garrett and Lily try to light the fire with a flick of the wrist, which obviously doesn't work. You can't just wish a spark into existence, so Evan shows them how to do it with flint and steel. Garrett and Lily are really frustrated that Evan had to do it, and keep waving their hands hoping to create a flame. The argue back and forth, something about "magic is failing" or whatever. Personally, I've never put much stock in magic. I'd rather trust in what I can see and feel. Next thing I know they are flinging all kinds of spells all over camp yelling, "That worked, that worked!" But no fire spells for whatever reason.

Seeing as there were three new additions to our little band, I decide to let them in on a little 'secret', "Ya know, I was once a powerful wizard. Yup, but I had to give up all my powers to save the life of my beloved."

"You're a kid, how long ago did this happen??"

"Oh, well, I once was an adult, but when I gave up my powers my age reverted back to an age before I was a wizard. That's why I am a kid now. And most of my memories were lost, too. So I can't teach you anything about it." I explain.

Evan, Aeryn and Lily give me a look like I had just grown ten stories tall. The others look appraisingly, weighing the pros and cons of believing my story. I think I hooked them. I'll have to see if  I can use this to my advantage...

We all settle into our bedrolls and fall asleep. In the morning it is a half day's walk to Tensia. As we approach the gate, two guards approach and insist on seeing what is in our cart. We show them Roran lying there. "Can you please direct us to a place where we might find a healer?"

"He will be healed in the Castle." they order, as they swiftly collect up Roran and move him into the guardhouse.

"Wait! Bring him back! where are you taking him?" Lily shouts.

One guard comes back to us, "This man is under the protection of the Queen. We will bring you to an Inn where you can stay until he is well."

The Adventures of Rothus, Page 50 [D-831]

Camp of the Oracle:


We have decided to keep a very close eye on Alaric, as he still might have helped Dalton during the attack, but it has become too complicated to keep him tied up. None of us want to spoon feed him or deal with the other end. Honestly, he doesn't look that scary and he didn't even bring a real melee weapon. His bow wont be enough if he decides to attack us!

We need to bring Roran to someone who can heal him and there isn't anyone skilled enough in the camp. Tensia is a big city, there will definitely be someone there who can do it, and hopefully they will do it for free. We wont be able to scrounge up enough gold to pay for this kind of thing. I mean how often does a person fall into a coma from a fireball launched by a shadow? Aeryn doesn't even know what is wrong, which means it's going to be expensive.

As we are discussing it, Ma'ud starts acting weird. Lily says Ma'ud smells someone approaching, so I jump into the brush and prepare for a fight. The guy is easy to spot, as he rides a donkey and is dressed for attention. He looks like a bard or something, with that outfit. At first, everyone is pretty on edge, but the guy shows us a letter written by the Oracle! The guy is Garrett Miner and he is supposed to go to the camp of the Oracle and meet us. We tell him what happened to the camp and how we are going to Tensia. Garrett was just in Tensia and he is on his way to the camp of the Oracle. As professional adventurers, we consider the possibility that Garrett is a friend of Alaric's, since supposedly there are two such folks somewhere around, but Garrett and Alaric agree that they have never met. That's good enough for me.

Lilith scares away the donkey talking to it, even though I calmly pointed out that a donkey would be very useful for heavy labor and such, labor that we might have to do ourselves. Evan says that the donkey could carry gear, or Roran when we go to Tensia, and that made Lily see reason. She chased after the donkey and tried to lead it back. We all followed and Evander decided to tackle it! They are pretty evenly matched, actually. I would take bets, but I know my companions are too poor to bet. Evan wrestles the beast to the ground and it neighs in protest. I run over and remove its feed bag to try and tempt it with food. Then, out of nowhere a mass of hair engulfs the donkey!

THE HAIR IS COMING FROM LILITH'S HEAD!!

Something horrible has possessed her and is controlling her hair! This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. I run into the trees and hide. Lily lifts the donkey off the ground with just her hair, then carries it back to camp. The rest of our group follows her in awe. There's no way I am coming out if hiding yet, so I stalk them from the shadows. Once Lily's hair returns to normal, I let my guard down and come out into the open. It seems whatever horror took over has left her and she is back to her regular self.

It's time to sleep, so we set up bedrolls and try to get some rest. I don't know how I am going to avoid nightmares of hair fiends. Maybe I will stay up all night instead...

In the morning, the donkey is missing. In its place is pile of freshly cooked meat! Man, if I knew donkey tasted this good, I would have never considered wasting it on labor. And here it turns out that Lily can cast a spell that summons a beast to carry stuff anyway! We hook it up to a small cart and lay Roran on it. He still looks bad. I'm not sure he's going to recover, but I wont say it out loud.

James says the church of Sarenrae will help us. He also helps us pick out rations for the trip, stuff that's easy to prepare on the road. We head off while the sun is still low in the sky.

Everyone is optimistic, now that we have a plan of action. We ask Garrett all about the world beyond, since we have spend so many months in the camp. He tells us Tarenvale is still there! The night we left, Dalton rallied the townspeople against the orcs and won the day! They rebuilt after the orc attack and now they are bigger than when we lived there! And our families are all doing well too! Now we need to go home to see them. Ma and Pa must be so worried about me, I have to let them know we are ok. Maybe I can send a letter when we get to Tensia.

Alaric is getting pretty cocky now that we decided not to kill him. He challenges me to a duel of stealthing, so we run off into the bush. He's okay, but I can move twice his speed and still not be seen. It's the difference between a professional and an amateur. (I am the professional, of course). 

Lilith's Journal: 2 days after the battle in the Gypsy camp.

Where to begin...

Our guardian and protector Dalton- the Magus who saved us from the massacre at Tarenale is dead. All that remains of him is a pouch of ashes and his masterwork blade. Roran,- Dalton's friend, and fellow Magus- lies unconscious and unresponsive despite the camp healers's and Aeryn's best efforts to rouse him.

The gypsy camp leaders- Joachim and the Oracle- are missing, and presumed captured. Their tent and wagon burned to ash. The camp is in disarray- so many innocent's were trampled when the Magus did battle.

A dark figure was also seen in the camp, but no one knows who he was, or why he was there. Everyone says he was Dalton's master, and that Dalton betrayed Roran and gave his soul to the shadow before he was struck down. I was there, I know what I saw- the shifting gem was a infernal dance of colors, shifting from red, orange, yellow and back to red. The dark shadow figure laughed with an echo in his voice- more otherworldly then mortal. He hit Dalton with tendrils of shadow and death. Dalton turned to ash in seconds, and was gone.

Even Evander and Rothus think that Dalton betrayed us, but they forget all that he did for us. I know he cared deeply for us all. He risked his life for us countless times, he was a hero of the Great War! Dalton loved Tarenvale. He was like the father I never had, and he would never betray me. It isn't true! There had to be a reason for what he did! I just wish he had told me what it was before the shadow took his life...

Ma'ud, my animal companion and loyal Kitsune' was able to track the camp leaders scent about a thousand paces into the woods before the trail went cold. Most likely due to powerful travel magics such as a teleport spell or a dimension door. We did however, meet a charming young man in the woods by the name of Alaric. He said he was traveling with friends, and got separated, but we found no trace of anyone else in the woods. He says he knew nothing of Joachim, the Oracle or the shadowy figure. I believed him, but the boys didn't right at first. They tied him up and drug him back to camp.

It eventually became obvious that Alaric was telling the truth. To the best of our knowledge he really had nothing to do with the attack, or the disappearance of the the camp leaders. Eventually he is set free, and for whatever reason, decided to stick around with us despite the rough first encounter.

We did what we could to help put the Oracle's camp back together. Of course with the Oracle gone, it really isn't much of a "Oracle's Camp" anymore, but some things are hard to let go.

Travis, Raven, and Tyler went their separate ways after the massacre in camp. I was sorry to see them go, not that I blame anyone for leaving after all that happened.

Aeryinthia, Evander, Rothus, Ma'ud, Alaric, and I were put in charge of bringing Roran to a healer in Tentia- one of the bigger cities in the realm, and our capitol. It was the hope that with a proper healer, and medicine, there was a good chance we could wake Roran up, and learn about what happened.

We started to prepare for the long trip.

The Adventures of Rothus, Page 49 [D-830]

Camp:

Lilith wants to find the Oracle and Joachim, but there is no sign of them anywhere in the camp. She takes Maud around like a hound, sniffing every surface and thing. The little fox gets real excited and runs off into the woods with Lily chasing after. If something fun exciting is happening, I definitely want to be there, so I follow Lily and Aeryn is on her feet too. After a short distance, we find a strange boy! He says his name is Alaric, but its probably a fake name. Dalton only just betrayed the camp, I'm not sure if could have done it by himself and suddenly Alaric is here in the woods hiding? Doesn't sound like a coincidence to me. We take his bow and arrows, then tie him up. Lily says he's cute, but I think he looks like an ugly murderer. He warns us that he is not alone and that we must keep an eye out for his two friends!

Maud is not at all interested in Alaric, and keeps sniffing away deeper into the woods. We are all on the hunt again, but now we have a prisoner. Maud leads us eventually to a clearing and stops. Lily says the scent just ended. Seems to me that's what happens when you wait too long to track something, but Lily and Evander are convinced Joachim and the Oracle went through a magic door or something. I don't see any magic door, and don't know how there could have been one, but what do I know.

As my stomach starts grumbling, we turn around and follow Maud back to what's left of the camp. Fortunately, our food stores were still reasonably untouched. We prepared a quick dinner and gobbled it up before turning in for the night. 

Rothus attacks!

Here is a visual representation of Rothus leaping out from behind concealment to fire on an unsuspecting enemy, as portrayed by Dr. Who.

New Pages Found, More Stories of the Tarenvale Travelers!

After a long break from posting, the Tarenvale Chronicles is picking up again with new adventures! Stay tuned for updates!