A Collection of Letters, Stories and thoughts from Waterdeep

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A Collection of Letters, Stories and thoughts from Waterdeep

Post by erisa »

A letter home

The following letter was sent to Ariella's sister, Ariadna. It was written in beautifully
cursive elvish:

My beloved sister,

How have you been? I'm sorry I have been neglectful of writing to you. Life here in Waterdeep
has certainly been very different than I had imagined it to be. It's had its rewards and
challenges. I feel like I have grown so much as a person and I hope that I have been a
good representative of the love and generosity of Lady Hanali to all that I have met here.

You know how our parents were always very strict with me. They never wanted me associating with
N'tels who were not of our faith. Don't tell them but I have met so many people here in Waterdeep,
so many different kinds of people. I even have my own room here in a place called Adventure's
Guild, a place that our parents would have certainly disappoved of as there is only one elf
who lives here and he's a very carefree individual. He doesn't even speak our language
most of the time but I have enjoyed his company. His name is Heriphon but I call him Lira.
He considers himself a singer but I like to think of him more as a preformer. ((She stops at this part
and giggles to herself wondering if she should describe his pantsless attire and decides maybe it would
be better not to.))

He has a beautiful girlfriend named Luva. She is a very powerful wizard. I have seen her
call beings from other planes to aid her. It actually frightened me the first time she did it.
She also is a very talent craftsperson. I hope one day that Lady Hanali will bless me with
half the talent Luva has in making things. I feel lucky that she considers me her friend and
not a foe since we had a misunderstanding about Lira. I thought it very generous of her as
with her powers she could have very easily killed me with a fireball. ((At this point she
stops and giggles thinking about the first time that she met Luva, which was in the middle
of kissing Lira.))

I guess there is another elf named Wren who is the guildmistress but I have never had the
pleasure of meeting her.

Next door to me is this beautiful human woman named Maday. She is a singer and a playwright
and I'm sure some day she will be very famous. She tells me that her career was thwarted
when a pink thonged menace named the Hypnodancer came into the tavern and enthralled
everyone there and stole from them. It seems that since then, this place has not had any
venue open to the preformers and they have all suffered because this person has not been
caught. I wonder if that day will ever come. I pray for her sake that it will happen. It is
sad to see one so talented unable to thrive. She seems to have taken over the duties of
the guildmistress for now to give herself a sense of purpose. ((She stops for a moment and
sighs at this part)).

I have also been blessed to have become friendly with a dwarf named Tib. He is a kind
fellow and a master weapon maker. He also is an expert miner. I have counted on him many
times to help me procure iron to craft things. He is very open minded and I assisted him
a few times with Lady Hanali's blessings to craft some weapons. I was surprised that he
let me do such a thing but it worked out well in the end.

Speaking of which, you will be pleased to know that with the blessing of Lady Hanali I have
been able to craft many things to help people. For the elves in Renvanna, she has blessed
me in creating items that aid with healing along with other items that help enhance
abilities like movement. I feel so thankful to Her to be able to do this for our people there
they are a wonderful group, but I don't see them as much as I had hoped to.

I hope someday you will have the pleasure to come and meet them. I have worked especially
close with the following elves there:

Castien, whom I call Keth. He is kind of the wild one of the group but he's very talented
with finding things others cannot. He is also very good at hiding. One time I went walking
in the hills near this area with him and nearly lost him a few times. He has a sharp wit
and I have enjoyed his company several times alone.

Earlanni, whom I call Lelya. She is a beautiful druidess who is very kind and gentle. Her
companion, Kiv, whom I call Eryn, is much like her in that way. I know this is going to
sound strange but I see them almost like twins. He is very strong and I've seen him turn
himself into a bear a few times. It was really amazing to watch. The first time I witnessed
it I almost did not believe it. I have had wonderful moments with both of them alone, talking
to them about their views on things which are different from mine. They do not like being
amongst the N'tel and rarely come to the city. ((She sighs again thinking about the time
Eryn died sacrificing himself for the group and was generously revived by the Leaflord and
how she has not seen him since then)).

I briefly also met one named Kohlar. He seems to have had a very tragic story as he was
once enslaved. I have not had a chance to spend any quality time with him yet. He does
like to cover his body in grease and I don't know how to feel about that. I don't think
I will touch him if I do not have to.

The warden of Renvanna is Magolir. He seems well versed in the history of Renvanna and
he has a fairly good singing voice. We have had an interesting working relationship. ((She
stops again for a moment wondering if she should tell her about the time they had a disagreement
and decides against it.))

I have also had the pleasure of getting to know Master Sywyn, the head ranger of Renvanna.
I call him Taur. He has been very generous in allowing us to use the ranger station for
our supplies and things. He is steadfast and amazing with his bow. He has guilded me around
Renvanna and told me extensively about area. We have spent many days together enjoing each
other's company. I am always sad to leave him when I come to the city. ((She stops at this
point and bites her lip, thinking of him.))

The other elf who is from Renvanna actually lives in the city at the Temple of Beauty. His
name is Aelenta but I call him Zalir. He is young but very wise and humble. He is an
amazing talent as a singer. I have had the pleasure of hearing him sing many times. He is
very quick and talented with both the bow and the sword. On several of our outings, he
was instrumental in protecting the group. He even saved my life from several
thugs and would be robbers. Don't worry though, the city is generally safe. I have walked
around here several times at night by myself. ((She giggles to herself thinking of his
other "talents".))

His benefactor, Sir Ambrose, is a paladin of Lady Sune. He is incredibly handsome and
generous. I hope one day to show you the beautiful golden armor he gave to me for granting
him a small favor. It made me cry when he presented such a magnificent present to me.

There have been others that I have met but it's hard to form friendships when people come
and go so quickly. I hope the next time I write I will have more friends to tell you about
and hopefully other interesting things.

I love you and miss you.

Ariella ((signed with an embellished letter "A" with a heart at the tip))
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Survivor's Guilt

Post by erisa »

The following conversation took place in Renvanna in Elvish:

Ariella blinked her eyes open, confused for a moment of where she was. She looked around and
realized that she was in Elven land called Renvanna. But how could this be?

Her final moments of life prior to that moment of waking up in Renvanna were spent in abject
terror with a gigantic Sh*t demon standing in front of her. She was cornered and alone,
unsure where her companions were, standing against the wall of hidden the lair of Plague Rats in
the Castle Ward. Her last memory of life was seeing the demon raise its gigantic hand to
strike her and then she was immediately transported to another place. It was a realm that
she had only heard of, the realm of the dead.

All of a sudden, she was pulled back into the light and awoke to Zalir speaking with the Head
Priestess. She looked around seeing only Zalir, Keth, and Lira. Where were the other 4 that
had gone with them? Oh Gods! She knew immediately upon hearing the words "teleportation
scroll" and "I could only save 3" what had happened. Sinking to her knees she began pounding
the ground with her fist crying. Oh Gods! Sheshe, Luva, Kyle and Nyx had not been so
fortunate. Zalir graciously cast "prestigitation" on the other three elves and they were
immediately cleaned. He, however, was still covered in a horrible amount of excrement, blood,
and other filth. Despite this, she got up and hugged him tight, crying and thanking him at
the same time for rescuing her. He quietly recieved her embrace and just as quietly walked
away afterwards.

Keth and Lira both took their leave from the priestess to try to personally process
the horrible events that had happened. In her now unclean state, she walked over to Taur.
"I have returned, beloved. I will make myself presentable to you and then afterwards I just
request that you hold me." Immediately, Taur ordered one of his underlings to take the armor off
of Ariella and help her to clean it again. He then escorted her to his private bath and she
sat in the hot tub alternately scrubbing herself and wailing. It seemed like an eternity
that she was in there. Seeing her hands completely wrinkled, she realized it was time to
leave the tub. She dried and wrapped herself in a robe that she borrowed from him.

Wordlessly, Taur sat against the back of his lounge sofa that was large enough to fit two
people. He opened his arms to her, and she snuggled against him between fits of crying and
screaming "Oh Gods!" as he held her tight against his chest. After her eyes were too pained
and puffy to cry anymore, she finally spoke.

She recounted to him about how Sheshe had been looking for this accursed place for months and
that she regretfully helped Sheshe to find it. Since he had never met Sheshe, Ariella
recounted to him about how she was a fierce human woman who was like a force of nature, a
strong warrior who enjoyed fighting. She also recounted some of the other times she had
spent with Sheshe, between fond memories of crafting with her to their last frightening
encounter at Red Larch when Sheshe rescued her and the human Kyle from the hobgoblins and
harpies who almost beat Ariella to death.

She recounted to him about how they went to this place and had successfully vanquished the
evil plague rats and their disgusting sh*t golems. She recounted how many times they had
been struck by disease but thanks to some fine preparations were able to overcome that

She recounted how they came into this room with a gong and a bizarre puzzle and a door
blocked by lightning and how Sheshe unsuccessfully tried to unravel the puzzle over and over again
and got hurt several times in the process. It was finally Keth who figured out the puzzle.
At this point her lip quivered and she said "Oh Taur, for the first time in my life I wish
Keth had not been so clever."

Once the lightning had abated, they went to the other room. They successfully opened the door,
something she wished they had not figured out. It was then that all hell broke loose.
Between the gigantic sh*t demons, the sh*t golems, and Sheshe's cloud of bewilderment,
they were doomed.

She told him about how the Mystran Elf Luva was the first to fall. He recalled seeing her a few
times in Renvanna. She regretted that she had not been able to honor Luva's request to
learn about Luva's past as Luva herself seemed to have no memory of who she really was.

She also told him about the other N'tels that were with them. She told him about the valiant
former paladin, Kyle and about the half orc, Nyx. He wrinkled his nose and grimaced at the words
"half orc" but wisely made no comment about it.

She told him about how at one point, the only one she could see was Sheshe and she was
doing her utmost to heal Sheshe. Somehow, she and Sheshe got separated and that was when she
had been cornered and alone with the demon.

It had only been by the Grace of the Seldarine and some miracle that Zalir had survived
and used a teleportation scroll to drag Keth, Lira, and herself out of that place of
abject horror. She still could not believe it. All she knew was she felt some of her
abilities to bless others with the Love of Lady Hanali had been diminished and that it
would take some time to regain them.

She requested at this point that Taur let her take her reverie in her favorite position,
lying with her head on his chest with him holding her. He smiled gently and nodded and
bid her try to think of something much more pleasant so that she could rest. She drifted
off, forcing herself to think about more happy thoughts, things like the first time that she
had come to Renvanna and how they had met.
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Wielding the Moonblade

Post by erisa »

Ariella walked slowly into the house in the abandoned section of the treetops where the ancient
eleven bones were discovered. The others looked to her as she looked down at the pile of bones.
Zalir had suggested that she wield the moonblade in the absence of its owner, Magolir. She
was touched and honored to be given this responsibility. She was grateful to be in the company
of Zalir, Keth, Lelya and Kohlar to attempt to complete the task ahead of them.

They had been told by Elven history expert Danilo Thann of the Bard College that the blade
was thousands of years old and that it in its current state was nowhere near its powerful
potential. It was in need of recharging. The only way to recharge it seemed to be by absorbing
the dreams and nightmares of ancient elves. By absorbing the nightmares, they were giving
those elves a chance for rest and peace that they had not known in the last terrifying
moments of life. They did not know how many charges it would take to fully charge it nor
what the blade did when it was fully charged.

The blade was much lighter than she had imagined it to be. It was quite dull and looked like
with a little love and polishing that it could somehow, at least superficially, be restored
to some of its former beauty. She wondered if it would shine and sparkle as bright as the
sun when it was fully charged.

She prayed over the bones and asked for the guidance of the Seldarine before touching it
with the tip of the blade. Suddenly, she felt herself levitating. It was a strange feeling
floating above the ground. Although it was only a few seconds, during that time it felt as
if time had suddenly stopped. She remembered seeing this same thing happen to Magolir
seconds before falling to sleep and waking up in the nightmare world.

Although the scene in the nightmare realm had been witnessed several times by the Renvanna
elves, it somehow never got easier or less horrifying. Each time, after touching the bones, the
elves would be transported to some ancient town. Each time, there were terrified, defenseless
villagers running for their lives against an attacking army of red and gold elven warriors.

Even though the events happened thousands of years ago, Ariella was revolted by the thought
of elves fighting and killing each other and even more so of her having to engage them. This
time, Zalir suggested that they employ a different strategy. He suggested that she drink a
potion of improved invisibility and focus on keeping the Renvanna elves from sustaining
injuries that could "kill" them and force them back to the real world. Ariella liked this idea
as it meant that she could do what she did best, focus on helping others and healing injuries.

As soon as she woke up in the nightmare realm, she got to her feet. Using the blade, she
created an escape portal. She then drank the potion.

Within seconds, the enemy elves began attacking. Kohlar fought valiantly but was knocked
back into reality soon after the fighting began. Ariella did her best to run between the
Renvanna elves casting healing. She was glad that Lelya was there helping with this task.

They successfully vanquished the enemy but at a cost: they were only able to save one elf.
She turned the blade to the lone survivor and absorbed her into the dream needle. Somehow the
needle seemed to twinkle for a second and then went back to looking as dull as before.

The Renvanna elves exited the portal and awoke in the abandoned house. Ariella did her best
to hide her disappointment that only one villager was saved. It was decided that they would
look for more bones and try to help more elves to find peace.

This second outing proved to be very different from the first. It seemed as if they had
come across an invading horde. There were so many of them. As Ariella ran trying to heal,
she found herself running into more and more warriors who, thanks to invisibility, completely
ignored her. Ariella soon lost sight of all of the Renvanna elves and could only find Zalir
fighting alone. She did her best to cast spell after spell of healing on him so that at
least she could protect him.

Forgetting that she was still wielding the dull blade, she decided that she could not let
Zalir fight this battle himself and threw off the safety of invisibility. Why were her attacks
so ineffective? It was then that she realized with horror that she was stil holding the
blade and quickly switched weapons and drew her sword.

By the grace of the Seldarine the attackers were vanquished. Where were Kohlar, Keth and Lelya?!
Now that she no longer had to worry about being attacked, Ariella ran through the village looking
for them.

By some minor miracle, none of them had "died" and been sent back to the real world. She
found Kohlar first, lying face down on the ground. She immediately healed him to where he
could stand. Not far from him lay Leyla lying sideways by a hut. Again, she healed her to
where she could stand. Off in the far distance, she found Keth covered in sand mumbling
about how Ariella had abandoned him. To this, Ariella bit her lip and healed him to where
he could stand. Leyla then assisted in bandaging him and fully healing him. "Thank you Lanni,
at least SOMEBODY cares about me!", said Keth.

Ariella walked away. She felt terrible that Keth felt that she had ignored his cries for help
but truthfully in all the chaos she had been unable to hear him or know where he was. She
was disappointed that they were unable to save even one villager this time. Would this
group get better at saving the villagers? She hoped so. For now, it was time to return to
the village and plan for next time.
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Post by erisa »

Ariella walked up to Taur at his usual post near the ranger station with a smile. She was going
to greet him with a kiss as always but today he was not smiling at her. She stopped suddenly
when she noticed his unusually serious demeanor. "Vane, (pronounced Von-eh) I have bad news
for you. Castien bid me goodbye this morning and walked out into the Westwood alone. No
one has seen him since then. We have not recovered his body, but I fear the worst.
Aelenta went looking for him, but he also has not returned yet."

Upon hearing this news, Ariella sunk to her knees. The last time she had seen Keth was
when he was remarking how abandoned he felt when she did not run to heal him in the
nightmare realm. "Everyone knows who is your favorite (referring to Zalir)!" Why
did this have to be their last conversation?

"Oh Keth", she whispered as the tears filled her eyes. Only a few days ago we had been rescued
by Zalir from that horrible place that had claimed 4 other lives. Only a few days after that
you told me how you felt that you finally found some meaning in your life, that you were
going to study the way of the bow. How could this be?!

"Everyone knows who is your favorite" rang in her head. Oh Keth, how wrong you were. The
first time I saw you I thought how handsome you looked and I found your carefree demeanor
so fun and refreshing. I enjoyed the times we spent together, especially the first time
we went to the bath at the Temple of Beauty, where I gave you the nickname "Keth (to seek)"
and you called me "Ella". You were my favorite for a time. I tried to show you in so
many little ways. The two items I specially crafted for you when others only received
one or no items.

I could never tell exactly how you felt about me though. Sometimes I wasn't even sure if
you liked me anymore. Unlike the others who always showed me a smile or a kiss when I
them greeted them affectionately, I never knew what kind of reaction I was going to get from
you. That's why I turned my attention elsewhere.

At this point she did not try to stop herself from crying. It was again Taur who sat beside her
and gently and quietly wrapped his arms around her to comfort her. She let herself rest her head
on his shoulder as she cried until her eyes hurt and she could cry no more.

All of a sudden there was a commotion in the village. She felt Taur let go of her and stand up.
She looked up to see Zalir carrying the body of Keth on his shoulder. "Oh Gods, Zalir!" she cried.
"I found him surrounded by ankhegs on the road along the undercliff. He had already fallen but
I managed at least to avenge him. I'm sorry, Paramour."

"Thank you, Zalir" as she motioned him to bring the body into the ranger station. Taur helped her
back to her feet as Zalir walked into the station and gently laid the body down. She closed her
eyes and prayed. Ariella began the grim preparations, first removing the items from Keth's body
and then preparing his body and dressing him again. So many little bites covered his body. She
thought of how his last moments must have been filled with a mixture of terror and frustration at
being unable to fight off the onslaught. Oh Keth, why did you go to such a place alone?! She
finished the grim task and sunk next to his body, holding his cold, lifeless hand in hers and cried.
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A Celebration of Life Ceremony

Post by erisa »

The day of Castien's celebration of life had arrived. Zalir, Leyla, Kohlar and two new elves,
Rothilion (Ro) and Ril attended the ceremony with Ariella presiding. The ceremony started
with some opening remarks.

"Thank you everyone for coming to the celebration of life today for our dear Castien. As
many of you know, I called him 'Keth'. Although we will miss him, we must take comfort in
the knowledge that he is at peace now in Arvanaith"

It was at this time, she invited those in attendance to say a few words or perhaps sing a
song or recite a poem.

Zalir stepped up and said, "You were as unpredictable as the quickest of silver, and I
know it was the Jack of Seelie Court you saw as your example of who to be in this life
you lived." He then placed a piece of Jade in Keth's hand.

It was at this point that Zalir decided to do something unpredictable to honor Keth's memory
and unleashed a poison bomb and a hammerhead shark on the party and disappeared.

Ril looked confused and asked, "Is this...part of the ceremony? I'm not familiar with such
unusual traditions."

Ariella shook her head and replied, "It was fitting for Keth though. He was always so
unpredictable. Keth lived his life as he pleased. We never knew what he was thinking. He
could be thoughtful one minute and mischievous the next."

Ril understood and nodded stating, " Ah, the fall quessir was a follower of Erevain."

Ariella fondly recollected the time that Keth asked her to throw a blessing on the goblin
alter and giggled.

It was now Lelya's turn to speak. "I will miss him. Together we stood in some dark places
and stumbled. but his mirth in the face of it all helped lift the horror." She then set a
braid in Keth's hand. "Where you walk, Dear one, we will watch with you there. In this
wood we we will turn to hear your step, and as in life wonder that we can hear none."

Kohlar remarked how he was a brave warrior and fought well in the nightmares.

Ro placed an arrow on Keth's chest and said, "Rest well my kin...I will take up your
vigil for your friends. Let not my arm falter...lest the lives in my care be forfeit."

Ril said quietly, "I did not know the quessir, at all. But...happy is the one whose
departure from the mortal realm is marked with fond words and remembrances from
friends. This much i can say with confidence. I would imagine if he could see us now, a wide
grin would be visible on his face."

Ariella then bade whoever wished to join her in the ceremonial dance to come gather in
the circle. Lelya and she stood on opposite sides of each other, dancing in a pattern
well known to the community in a celebration of life like an image and a mirror.

It was as she was doing the dance that Ariella suddenly felt compelled to draw out the
moonblade, as if it had a nature of its own. Without thinking, she gently touched the
blade to Keth's forehead.

They had been transported to an area that Ariella had never been, the Underhill. Out of
the tall grass walked a familiar figure. It was Keth! But how could this be? At this point
Ariella did not question the logic but ran up to kiss him.

He asked if they were also out for a walk as he had been.

Kohlar asked, "Are we in a nightmare?"

To this, Keth answered, "Nightmare? this is the Undercliff. I thought i would have a look
around, perhaps find some other ruins left by our ancestors."

As the group was casually talking, they were suddenly attacked by Angkhegs. Ariella was not
wearing any armor and had not cast any spells on herself and became an easy target. She
ran for her life and thankfully, the creatures were dispatched by the others.

Ril asked if they were in a dream or not as the Angkheg's sting made his arm throb with pain.

Keth was confused by the question. "A dream? This is the undercliff...are you lost?"

They were again attacked and again dispatched the Angkheg's quickly.

It was then that Keth remarked, "Feels like I've been fighting them forever."

Ariella told him, "Oh Keth, it's because you fell here."

"Fell? What are you talking about? I'm standing now"

"Zalir found your body here. You were surrounded by them."

He was not convinced by her words and told her to stop joking.

It was only after some convincing and hugging by Lelya who told him that the moonblade
had been used at his memorial service that he began to remember what happened.

"I...I think i remember now...I was out her looking for ruins or anything...I am...dead?"

"Yes, Keth"

Leyla added, "She brought us here out of love for you. A love we all hold, Dear One."

He remarked how real it all felt.

Leyla replied, "It.. this is a gift, Castien. Some peace to see you once more, and to see
you to your own peace. Castien...it is time."

He looked at Ariella and then at the dream needle. "Then perhaps it is time to move on...
but at the same time...perhaps my dreams will go with you, always. I would be nowhere
else but at your side."

"It is all we hope for, Castien.", said Leyla gently.

Ariella hugged him tightly and kissed him one last time. "Goodbye, Keth."

It was then that she pointed the tip of the blade at him and absorbed the dream into
the needle. The needle sparkled for a moment and then faded again.

Ariella then used the needle and opened a portal back to reality.

They awoke again in the grove nearby Keth's body.

It was then the part of the ceremony for Keth to be buried in the ground. Once his remains
were covered, Ariella placed a sapling on the top and covered its roots with dirt so
that his body could aid another being in giving it life.

She bade all the attendees a heartfelt thank you and slowly walked back through the hidden
door into Renvanna.
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Better, Together

Post by erisa »

The Portal to Renvanna hummed and cackled as Ariella stepped through it from the Seldarine
temple. It was a crisp, cool, early morning and very quiet except for the portal and the
usual wildlife. She had had a successful mining run with Tib and was happy to be back to see
the other elves, especially Taur. As she walked through to Renvanna, Taur, as usual, was
standing near the portal waiting to greet her.

"Welcome home, Vane." He said as he embraced her tightly and gave her a kiss. He seemed
unusually somber, however, causing Ariella to be concerned. "Taur, did something happen?"
she asked while looking up at him. The gold flecks in his blue eyes flickered for a moment.

"Vane, I have terrible news for you. Dauquinal has fallen. He died to plague rats in the
sewer. A Selunite N'Tel named Alec Dole graciously carried his body all the way back from
the city. Dauquinal's body and his possessions are in the ranger station. The ancient Miyeritari
bow was also lost."

"Oh Gods! Not again!", she cried upon hearing this news. She put her left arm through Taur's
right arm and leaned on him as they walked into the station together. "Will you be alright,
Vane?" "Yes, Taur." Taur took his leave to resume his post in front of the Ranger Station after giving
her a comforting hug and kiss.

As she cleaned and prepared his body for burial, she thought about the other elves and how
they would react. They would be by the ranger soon for fellowship and to gather their supplies.

The first one that came through the door was Lelya. She stood up and walked to her, giving
Lelya a tight embrace. "Leyla I am so sorry about Dak". Lelya looked puzzled for a moment.
"Has he left to chase the wind?" Ariella shook her head sadly and wordlessly motioned to
his lifeless body. "It was the city, wasn't it? The city took him from us!" Ariella nodded
grimly, "Taur said it was the plague rats". "So much loss. It is heavy on me, Linde. What
was lost Millenia ago and yesterday. There is a balance of death and life but this... This
is a Sundering too. One that we are making ourselves."

It was after this that both Rothilion and Magnolia walked into the station. Ariella greeted
them sadly and looked at them and then at Dak's body. "I will be in the air," said Lelya
as she quietly walked out of the Ranger station. Upon seeing her distress, Rothilion walked
out behind her and had the following conversation privately:

"This must stop"

Leyla hung her head, her face full of despair. "I did everything but beg him, Ro. Dak...I
pleaded with him to help us. I had to."

"Yet he went out on his own"

She turned her face away, "I needed to know, if I could not fight any longer, that there would
be another to take my place...and now the human city has taken him. As it has taken so much
from us."

"Dak would take your place? How so?"

She then threw her arms around Rothilion and held him tight. "I don't know how much longer
I can endure this, Ro. The grieving for the pain of Millenia, the grieving for what was
yesterday taken..."

"We are vulnerable when separated"

"It's a downpour without end, and my ground is turning to a river beneath me. I will be
washed away."

With a gentle conviction in his voice, Rothilion said, "We must stop venturing off alone, even
if we desire a Worg or Wolf."

Leyla held him tighter upon hearing these words. "You came..to be protector, for me and for
Kiv..you said that. Vow to me you will not leave, Ro."

"I will become that for all in the Ranger station." he said as he glanced in that direction.

"Vow to me that you will not leave me alone to face this downpour."

"If you will vow to not venture off alone, even to capture a beast. Can you do that?"

She leaned in and gave him a kiss. "I swear it. We will stand together."

"Will you swear this by the Oaklord?"

"On all that I hold sacred." She then stepped back.

He nodded with a firm resolve, taking her hand in his. "I will defend as long as there is
something left to defend. But the venturing alone MUST STOP. NOW."

"Will you look with me? Will you stand here in the forest, until the others are ready? You
must tell them Ro. They will listen to your voice."

He nodded firmly. "I will tell them all. We will see if they will listen."

"One reed will seep and sink. But joined...we will sail through this."

The other elves began walking out of the ranger station, including Jory and Ril who had
gone in while Rothilion and Leyla were having their conversation. Ariella looked at
Rothilion somberly.

After all had gathered, Rothilion said in his loudest voice, "The N'Tel city soaks up our
members like a tidal wave. I am here to protect you all...I need you to listen to me."
Lelya set her hand on his shoulder to support his words while Ariella nodded encouragingly.

"The strength of the People is our shared history..and our belief and our way of life.
The N'tel care not for any of this..and while there are honorable members among their
numbers..they care not for the people."

Jory shook his head. "I disagree with your reasoning."


Jory replied, " I don't like you speaking about the humans that way."

"You will get your chance, brother, BUT not NOW."

"Waterdeep is not all humans"

Magnolia then turned and said, "Jory, let the elf speak."

"Very well"

Rothilion continued, "History has proven your logic flawed, Jory...Whenever one of us
falls...it is alone, or in the company of the N'Tel...I am not saying that you can't deal
with them or interact with them..."

"They die alone, too.", Jory observed.

Ril simply lowered his head in silence, listening.

"Please continue", said Magnolia.

"But I am asking...begging...each one of you...to promise me that you will go nowhere that
may put you in danger without at least one kin to watch your back. And yes..they die alone
as well. But Lady Grief feels the wounds of each of the People that fall in battle and She

It was at this point that Leyla could not contain herself any longer. She squeezed her hand
on Rothilion's shoulder as the tears streamed down her face.

Rothilion continued, " The N'Tel are careless with their lives because they have a few
short decades. We CAN NOT allow their carelessness to infect us."

"I think that is a...very good idea," said Magnolia quietly.

"Jory, I have many in the city that I consider friends among the N'Tel. I ask only that you
have kinfolk with you when in danger."

Wiping her tears away, Leyla added, "You are my beloved Renvanni...all of you are. My love
is with you. But.. I am Suffering. There is so much grief we face. If it does not end..I..
Will...BREAK. I can feel it already."

"The N'Tel are not for the most part Evil...but they have proven dangerous to the People."

Upon seeing Leyla's distress Ariella opened her arms out to her and beckoned her. Leyla then
rested her head on her shoulder while Ariella held her tight.

Magnolia then asked, "Are you sure it is not their knack for incompetence that is their

Ril looked at Magnolia and then back down again.

Rothilion then turned to Jory, "Jory, does that sound like a reasonable strategy to you?"

Jory replied, "I agree with your strategy. Ril and I often work together, along with others.
I am terrified of the sewers and would never go alone there...and of this forest."

Leyla said, "You do not need to fear this forest, Jor'yth, not while we are together. But
I cannot protect you in the city."

Magnolia added, "Just respect it."

Leyla then gave Ariella a kiss and let go of her.

Jory replied, "Oh, I fear it, last night was a prime example. There is darkness in this
forest. But I hear Ro's advice."

Ril then spoke quietly with some hesitation, "I..there is much grief here...I know there
have been other passings recently."

Ariella then added, "Everyone, Rothilion is speaking the truth. I would not be standing
before you today if Zalir did not rescue me. He rescued the Seldarine followers with his
scroll. The other four were lost." Her green eyes looked downcast at this recollection.

Magnolia reflected and said, " Outsiders are unknown variables, it is stupidity along to
risk your life on a gamble. Although there are others who are useful, I do not think I
shall bet my life on someone untried... So, I will agree with you for now."

It was at this point, Ariella suggested for the group to take a walk in the woods together,
to investigate an abandoned inn to take their minds off of things.

Rothilion shook his head. "Your answers first..I have to ask for your promise. Magnolia
and Lanni have given it. What say the rest of you?"

"Of Course, Rothilion", answered Ariella.

Rothilion looked to Jory and Ril for their answer.

"You must not go to the mines, Linde, not without us. We could not bear to lose you there."
Ariella looked down and said quietly, "Magolir almost died there as did Kohlar. I can't
risk losing any of you to lightning bugs."

"And we will not be parted from you"

Ril began speaking, "It seems to me that...grief weighs heavily, and... perhaps...the edge of
fear as well." With some hesitation he added, "for good reason, to be sure. I would just
like to say that..we ought to honor the depths of grief, of loss.." He struggles with his
words. "...without giving into fear...Perhaps what we need is..I'm sorry. I'm not sure
what it is that I'm trying to say. My words fail me. My heart is heavy, that is all I know."

Ariella put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him. "Oh Ril, you are amongst family here.
Don't feel that you cannot express yourself."

Rothilion added, " As are all of ours...but as soldier and protectors of the Seldarine and
Renvanna we must fight on."

Ril and Jory both nodded at this sentiment. "In memory of those who have passed on," said
Ril quietly.

Ariella agreed, "Especially because of their sacrifices."

"And in our duty to the one who returned to us, Eli", said Leyla softly.

"This is my proposed strategy for the survival of this group...I would just like to know if
you will follow my advice".

"Of course, Rothilion. Anyone is free to go to the mines with me or the crypts even." said

"Thank you, Ariella, but i would like to know Ril and Jory's thoughts. we are the free People."

Ril then asked, "What exactly is it that you wish for me to do, Ro?"

"I will not dictate what anyone chooses to do"

Jory replied, "I am in agreement with not going alone and to ensure a group of trustworthy

Ril stated with some hesitation, "Your sentiment is understandable, and your advice is sound."

Rothilion smiled, "Interesting phrasing, Jory. It is obvious that I push you and Ril too hard..."

Ril asked, "...surely you 're not say we should never set foot outside Renvanna..."

"No, Ril"

Magnolia observed, " I think the point is you two should make sure to work as a team."

Leyla added, "Do not leave us, to die alone, Ril. Do not let the persuasions of the city
take you from us and our need. If you must endanger your life by spending time with them,
then let us be with you. They will never care for you as we do."

"I only ask that you have one that is here in this circle to ensure your safety."

Magnolia added, "You both do everything together already it shouldn't be too difficult."

"I have laid out my strategy to prevent more deaths among us..you are all free to do as
you will."

Ril asked, "All this is true, and certainly I would prefer to be in the company of kin in
danger, but...can you reassure me that, in any given time, that each of you can be ready
to be present with me?"

Jory stated, "I can only promise to try. You have to understand I am not from here, and
my family and parents are in Waterdeep, with thousands of other elves."

"That will have to do."

Magnolia added, "I am also not from here, but I do not look sound advice in the face."

It was at this point that the discussion turned to the inn and preparations.

In the midst of the discussions, Ril whispered, "I am no priest but...I can see Ro is in

Leyla whispered back, "His is mine too Ril"

Ariella added, "All of ours. The walk will be good for all of us"

Before leaving, Ariella turned to Taur and gave him a parting kiss. "We will be back."

The group then set out to search the abandoned inn in the forest to clear their heads and
lighten their hearts.
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A Shocking Loss

Post by erisa »

This was not the way it was supposed to be...

She had volunteered to help prepare this body for burial even though High Priestess Isolveing had told her she could let others handle it.
She had to do it, she said to herself, for all that he meant to her and because she would lose her mind with regret if she did not.
Lying before her was the mutilated body of Sywyn Feren, his legs broken, and his once beautiful face and half his body melted away from
acid. She cast whatever healing spell she could to at least try and restore his body to some semblance of what it was.

Oh Taur...if I would have known that the last time, I was going to see you alive was when I gave you that quick kiss and ducked into the
ranger station I would have never left your side. Everything happened so fast. The group was inside the station talking about discphering
the book we found and all the sudden there was a noise outside, the sound of combat and then some yells that trailed off.

When I ran outside and didn't see you, I began panicking. I knew something was very wrong not seeing you at your usual station. All I could
do was call your name. Thankfully the others had more presence of mind about them. Zalir saw that you had fallen down from the railing and
we got to you as soon as we could, but it was too late. Seeing you lying there in a pool of your own blood in such a mutilated condition I
could do nothing but cry and scream your name and cradle what was left.

The creatures of the forest came to pay their respects to you, a white stag even touched its antler to you. You were, after all, a guardian
to them as much as the elves in Renvanna. An eagle told Leyla how the two humans attacked you, how they were fighting for your keys to the
ranger station and how you died, as you had lived, defending Renvanna and us.

Rothilion carried your body back to Renvanna. The High priestess Isiovieng told us you were too burned and broken for her to try and help
revive you. I could do nothing but cry and pound my fist in frustration.

Others will remember you as the stoic hero of Renvanna, the protector. I will remember you as my comfort and my refuge. You were my "Taur"
and I was your "Vane". I had told Ril the other day that due to you, I felt grounded here, that this was my place of peace. I will never
forget the times I took reverie lying on top of you while you held me or all of the times that I could count on you to welcome me home when I
stepped into Renvanna from the portal, no matter what time of the day or night it was. How I will cherish those times that I stood with
you watching the snow fall over the village as we talked for hours while you stood watch with the others. No matter what, you
were always looking out, a slight smile here or there and a quick sideways glance at me. I loved seeing the gold flicker in your blue eyes
and your slight smile of amusement when I would squeeze your free hand in mine.

I had hoped to spend decades, maybe even centuries with you. I had hoped one day to bear your children. Now my world is shattered.

I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my body. How will I be able to weather these storms without you? It was you who comforted me
when Keth passed away and when so many died in that horrible place with the plague rats. It was you that kept me from losing my mind with
your calm demeanor and loving touch. I feel so lost now.

Rothilion told me to channel Lady Hanali's divine power, that she will guide and comfort me as well as Lady Steelheart. Perhaps because
this pain is so recent I can't feel anything right now. I just feel so empty and numb.

She was finally finished preparing his body for the funeral. Closing her eyes, slowly she kissed the unblemished part of his face several times
and then gently covered it with the burial cloth.
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