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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:35 pm 
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30th Flamerule - 2nd Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


I had a chance to attend the Everwatch meeting. Wonder why Sveta wanted to storm through all the matters. I thought there would be more discussion regarding all the topics at hand. I have to finish the draft of those bloody missives, but I no longer feel like there is any sense in doing so.

Can't bring myself to visit the hold, knowing who have they come in contact with and who is now residing there. Pharaxes, I have never met this Hoarite, and yet... With him gone, I can't face his former mentor. The old man is the one that brought all the pain back to him. Asking myself to overlook that, especially with the empty space I try to avoid so carefully, is not really working.

Met a farm boy named Clement that wish to become a knight. He doesn't know how to read so I took him to that small library-bookstore in the Gate where we spent some time learning the first letters. At some point we figured out that he needs glasses due to his not so good eyesight. I hope he gets a pair before our next lesson.


***********************************


Bits and pieces


There is many things I no longer talk about. They remain in my head, present at all times, not letting me forget that I have made choices that will cost me greatly in the end. The feeling that I do what is right no longer the only thing that I need. The desire to know if what I chose to do is the the thing that will help me uphold my ideals creeps in. Tali speaks of trust, but this is not a matter of trust, that is a matter of choice when your options are profoundly limited. If I proceed I will no doubt pay for it, if I stand idle or leave the coast the cost will be different but just as grave. Why do I feel so trapped? Why do I see only cost and punishment awaiting me at the end of every choice? Should I oppose forces many times stronger than me only to keep the appearances? Should I be narrow-minded and blinded by the black and white expectations? Does it make me unfit for being Gods' tool if I chose the lesser evil to battle the greater one?

Great-granny warned me so many times that the lack of balance leads to choices we cannot unmake, that is why she tried her best to imprint on me the ideology of balance, the idea of standing in the middle, never too merciful or too zealous but balanced.

I should have never been as delusional as to think I can be more than a farm girl. But it is too late for that now, isn't it?
I need to make up my mind.

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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Last edited by MedalOfValor on Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:59 pm 
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3rd-5th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


Days have been passing me by. I dropped the whole idea about the war-council, letting Sveta take over it. It's not like my name carries any weight so it's for the best that she took over. Most of my time is put into research, reading and spending hours at the temple. I feel oddly suspended.


6th-7th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


And the war-council have taken place few hours ago, Kael's odd messenger took a letter back to his master. Watching the whole thing brought back memories from the meeting that Heartwarder hosted. The Guide acts like we do not know that without cutting the Arcanists from the source of their power, supplies and so on is the only thing we should be focusing on. We cannot however abandon every other effort while doing so. Not everyone is sitting safely behind warded stone walls. That is why I was so much more inclined to agree with the cowled and masked archmage called Kael that was sitting in for EDE. With many disagreements floating around Sveta managed to distribute some objectives between the groups. Time will show how it goes.

Given that Terri helped with the Gem of Fire, I offered my help with the next Gem. That blade still on my mind all things considered. Once the Phoenix leader gets the mithrall dagger that is needed in order to open the domain we will move. From what she has told me, our mutual friend wants to be there when it happens.


***********************************


Bits and pieces


I pray for guidance, for certainty, for balance. But is being thrown into the depths just to test if I can stay on the surface a right course? And it isn't fear of what is to come when a price will have to be paid, it's the lack of certitude that gnaws at my bones. An alliance shallow and risky comes to my mind. This particular shape of how things are. I see them for what they are and I know that even when committed to this I have to be vigilant, in constant anticipation of their betrayal. Somewhere between contingency plans I make a point to myself. What is worse... Taking a gamble or not doing anything at all?

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:28 pm 
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8th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


We needed to held our own meeting, and now that they have that gods' forsaken dump, Tali wanted to meet there. I wasn't happy about that but I have long since learned that it doesn't matter in the end. Crossing the corridor I watched the old Hoarite intently, trying to picture certain images in my head, but that only fueled the cold fury wrecking havoc on the frontier of my mind so I gave myself a strong mental shake while passing byPharaxes. Calm, composure, control, discipline I kept telling myself. Neither Arakes nor Cranston showed up during the meeting, I wonder how they are doing. Sitting across from Tali, both at our respective heads of the table, made me think about my purpose, my reasons to be there. Am I trying to act as a proxy of the man that should be sitting in this chair instead of me? Am I trying to prove something to myself or to them? I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him and there where times – not long ago – when I haven't even thought myself a part of this group. I am.. I was.. His student. His friend. His family. And yet here I am sitting at the head of the table listening to Tali thanking me for all I have done for this group despite me not being a Hoarite, making me a representative and in a way the co-leader. Part of me feels detached from all of it, because if things do not change this group will never rise over the petty image that seems to be clinging to it. Revenge hungry mongrels. Can I make them, Tali especially, realize this? We need to adapt, change. I sit looking around, sounding reasonable in my arguments. Cara's arrival snatches back to the reality the wandering part of my mind. Control, discipline, focus snap back into their rightful place. There is not a one person at this table I trust fully but somehow I always find myself most at ease with Cara around. Why is that, I have been asking myself so many times now. We discuss matters at hand, decisions are made and then I have a moment to speak to the priestess alone. She clarified something that has been on my mind for a while.

Later on I stumble upon an Everwatch meeting. Did I miss a notice about it? Bath joins me soon after, I had in mind to spar with her or talk, but with them around I decided to let her listen, trying my best to explain the current state of affairs so she has a chance at knowing what is really happening around here. Every time I talk to Bath I feel I'm somehow failing her, making her wary, annoyed or something between those two. She reminds me of my sister so much that maybe I should leave her be.


9th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


Talisen tried to explain the idea behind the Hunters to Bath with a goal of recruiting her in mind, but instead their meeting somehow ended up in a drinking game which. Meeting Cara on the way to the hold we both stumbled upon drunk Alika, then Talisen and Bath in the bathroom. No longer than few heartbeats have passed for me to shut down the influx of memories before I tended to Bath, while Cara decided upon forcefully sobering up Tali by pushing his head under water for a better effect. I took a soaking wet, confused girl to one of the rooms offering her dry and clean tunic and a towel. After braiding her hair I went to the kitchen in order to prepare a warm meal for the now less-drunk bunch. The man I passed on the way to the hold, as expected followed me, because soon enough we heard him knocking on the walls. Given the general mood I asked him to join us for dinner. I stood with Cara next to the fireplace with tea mugs in our hands, watching the four of them at the table. As always we ended up discussing matters at hand and exchanging point of views. Tali as usually was quick to act and after one conversation with Jacques he decided to gave away the keys to the hold, so I had to intervene and take them back. Maybe there is more truth to what Cara said than I want to admit. Family of a different breed? Maybe. Some day but not yet.

***********************************

Bits and pieces

*Couple of notes written in a very tight, simple, almost militaristic script*

The cool surface of the temple floor no longer apparent in my thoughts. The dull pain in the kneecaps from hours of kneeling diluted by time. Having lost myself in the steady stream of words of tense, desperate prayer my freed my mind and it is no longer fixated on the now. The path has never been been so complicated, steep, convoluted and hard to discern. My faith has not changed, as it has always been strong and fueled by the purpose and understanding what is expected of me. Not even now when the understanding is lost and the purpose is put to a test. I do not question gods' will, but I do question myself every step of the way. Where will I stand when it comes to making another choice? Where will those choices leave me at the end of all this?
***
Bath words still ring in my ears. Her exasperation with me grows with each discussion or so I think. I should let go of the idea that flickered in my mind few days ago, I tell myself each time we part and the feeling I somehow failed creeps in again. Why, for the love of gods, am I doing all this?
***
Breathe in, breathe out. Again. Breathe in, breathe out. Pain keeps me in check, steely grip of focus. Breathe in, breathe out. Again. And again. Even, measured and controlled repetition of the same routine over and over again. Pain so raw that it chastens my senses. No hesitation. No second guessing. Discipline. Control. Duty.
Again.

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:24 pm 
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10th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


The meeting with EDE leader Mendel went surprising well. We agreed on exchanging our intelligence reports before meeting again, this way next time we sit down we will possibly be able to plan our next move as a cooperative effort.

After the talk was concluded I went with Vincent to the northern farmlands to spar in the arena. Fighting with a mage is as different as it gets so we came to a mutual understanding that it would be good for both of us to spar regularly in order to learn. After the training session I tried to invite him and Bath – who was watching our spar – for dinner but he declined my offer and only the girl accompanied me. For the first part it was only me, Head Watchknight and Bath. Obviously the topics of current events were mentioned, around dessert Tali showed up and joined us. Not long after that Rei stormed in pissed obviously at the move OSR leadership pulled. She wasn't given time to vent however because a rabbit jumped out of the chest next to my bed. Black-shadow engulfed rabbit mind me, after that a portal opened and when I came closer to it in order to inspect it, the portal sucked me in. It led to an ancient-looking forge. The rest followed me, Bath got trapped on the other side of an ancient door, but the Shadow-Rabbit was kind enough to open them for us with an energy beam. In the room, were Bath stood, was statue of a man with a sword strapped to his back. Statue of Koraxxes as he was in life. An inkling forced my hand to take the sword before joining the others that were trying to find a way out. We found another door, this time heavily warded and the Shadow-Rabbit didn't want to get close to them. It had a valid reason because the door suddenly exploded. Inside a shadowy figure was waiting, once I revealed my name to it, it took upon my form, a perfect mirror image of me. It said I carried the blade of a traitor and we argued about Koraxxes and Karsus, in the end the copies of the rest of us started appearing and the fight broke off. We defeated them and the Shadow-Rabit turned into a Light-Rabbit. A voice rung in our heads with a simple thank you. Those words were followed by a warning. One of Koraxxes' allies will betray them all...


11th-13th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


After some preparations we tracked down the Flies in the Serpent Hills. Trail of dead, disfigured, diseased yuan-ti led us close to their temple but ropes we found couple of steps before the temple's door caught our attention. Soon after we were going deep into and under the mountain passing by even more bodies and more excavation sites till we stumbled upon a cultist. He confirmed that the Talonites do not have the amulet of once buried he also said that the reason he stayed behind was due to taking care of a prisoner. Cara turned out to be this prisoner. We executed the Talonite and moved further, deeper through an ancient, tomb of netherese origin, fighting the occasional cultists till we found their leader. He fled, hiding behind a force field then tried to bargain for his life with us in exchange for information. The cultist stated that they were looking for some netherese family-trees. He mentioned another lich who is considered by the Talonites an enemy and confirmed once more that they do not have the amulet of once buried. Once he wanted to leave unharmed Corvus shifted into the phase spider and attempted to kill the Talonite but failed, we were forced into letting the cultist go.

Hours later Terri contacted me that they were ready to move into Cloudpeaks in order to reach Azukyl's domain. So together with Tali we hurried south to meet up with the others. Tad, Terri, Selengil – couldn't she find another elf? - were waiting. Ysmrylda was leading us up to a place were elven sacrifice was needed, and apparently the current dread lord was suppose to be serving as aforementioned sacrifice. Selengil found a loophole in the ritual however and instead of us bleeding him dry he only caught off his finger. This act counted as a legit sacrifice and with the mithrall dagger as a key we entered the domain. The gem was there, bound to the outsiders. I took it and we defeated the winged creatures. Ysmrylda showed herself for a moment before she was banished by Azukyl and taken with the demon hunter to Baator. Now we need gems of earth and wind.


***********************************


Bits and pieces


The look on Bath's face when she opened the door to her room told me everything I needed to know. No matter what I do to give her all the information she should have in order to have a picture full enough to be able to make her own mind about things I only end up pushing her over the edge. I fail. I keep on failing. Should I leave her in the dark about things? Should I keep as far away as possible to let her do her own thing at her own pace?
***
I have to do what must be done... Distant echo of the phrase he used to say so many times and that used to exasperate me so much. Now I find myself using it as well. I did something I have never done before and even though I know it was right, the way I did it feels dirty and wrong. Even if I haven't spoken the words it doesn't change what I have done. All I can do now is pray that what I did was justified enough...

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:42 pm 
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14th-16th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate


I saw Cara briefly, just before we departed for the dragon hunt. The hunt itself was.. I don't know what it was really. Nothing like we had expected. Velika did not take the Gem of Fire, asking us to deliver it when the time is right. The gem itself has no aura or I am unable to discern it. The dragon we faced was not a dragon at all, just a shadow left by the real Rith Ua Vorex before she fled – but that we learned later from Velika. This can also mean the Gem is not an original one.

After the fight we met incorporeal copy of Kory. Not to mention the egg we found and the Death Knights that followed us to get it. I couldn't think of anything else than to teleport to Koraxxes' home, but even there the Knights were waiting. Squabbling over which one of them should get it. Koraxxes' nowhere to be seen at the time, yet the moment I sent for him, he ripped through the undead generals with little effort and then suppressed Cara's curse. Temporarily or something before teleporting her and Talisen to safety while we stayed behind. I looked at Bath and all I could think of was how to make her safe without changing everything. She should not have come with us. What were we thinking, how irresponsible was that? Haven't I already decided to leave her out of it? Because of my negligence the situation unfolding before her was borderline ridiculous and I needed her to understand all this without being forced into anything. Once we understood what the egg was, for us there was no other way but not for Bath. The angel that sacrificed itself to seal off Rith Ua Vorex child for eternity merged with the wyrmling creating a powerful beacon of positive energy. Velika meant for it to be forcefully open with the Arcanist around so she could kill their bodies with such overwhelming blast. That would be the perfect moment for us to use the vessel.

We needed to teleport to Velika's crypt as another tremor shook Koraxxe's home and he took us there in order to avoid a battle. Passing by the hungry coven of vampires yet again I had strong suspicions what Bath was feeling, why she was so reluctant to do what had to be done. Velika suggested she would give us the vessel in turn for the egg. She would be dead after releasing the power within it anyways and we could carry on the plan even after her death. Bath handed out the egg reluctantly and once Velika was holding it something happened, the energy from the egg engulfed her and soon after she stood there weakened, no longer a vampire with the egg crashed at her feet and a dead wyrmling inside of it. In that moment Mavlon attacked, chaos broke loose. I grabbed gravely wounded Velika, shouting for someone to take the skull. Koraxxes ordered us to run while he was trying to hold the traitor off, and so we run. As we crossed the barrier that had stripped us of all the wards a thought flickered in my mind. The coven was no longer controlled by Velika and before I could hide us under sanctuary they attacked. The portal we had used the last time remained dead, not a single trace of magic in it. After making sure Velika was human once more I healed her and she led us out.

Once we left the crypt and were able to teleport, Vincent took us back to the hold. Bath, who carried the vessel, remained silent, while we all gathered in the main chamber over a simple dinner. From what Velika told us Mavlon has the Gem of Earth, that leaves the Gem of Air then. We spoke of Koraxxes, wondering if he survived the battle with Mavlon and soon enough I knew he did. I wanted to apologize to Bath on her way out from the hideout. Her emotions conflicted, I could see the surface but... Even if I tried to really know what Bath was feeling, I couldn't put my finger on it. She was blunt with me, it was as refreshing as it was painful. No in a bad way but this time at least I knew my decision would have grounds in not only my view on things but also in her so clearly stated distrust and contempt. While I was working my way through those thoughts I felt Koraxxes presence. At first it was just a tingly feeling, then his voice in my head reassuring me that I should trust Bath and as the blade started glowing his ghostly form materialized next to me. Bath got her explanation out of Koraxxes but I doubt that it has changed anything at this point. She left and before I could go back to the compound I met Terri stepping out of it. She doesn't think that Mavlon is the traitor but thinks I may be one, she does however stated that she has faith it's not the case. From all the words spoken by Terri I couldn't shake off a feeling that something was wrong with her. I wonder what kind of treatment is Elvinia making her go through. Does that endanger us in any way? The mention of a blue man should ease Vincent's fear of Terri, I hope for that at least.


***********************************


Bits and pieces


Since he left the odd feeling has been dominating some part of my thinking process, the frontier border of it. I know that thanks to what I am, I am never alone, and yet I've been experiencing the same emptiness I did at home. Now, even if only temporarily, I take comfort in the tingly sensation at the back of my head, the soft glow of the blade, and the occasional words. Koraxxes' presence in my mind is gentle, as unobtrusive as if he has always been there. Ancient ghost bound to that blade diminished the void he left me with. I know it's only for a little till Koraxxes' recovers from the battle with Mavlon, but for now I allow myself to enjoy the ancient entity being within thought's reach.
***
Bath's misconceptions, prejudice and judgmental approach towards me mixed with all those extremely intense feelings caused by what I have put her through fuel my inner guilt and regrets. I should never have had introduce us and all those matters to this girl. I remember an old saying that Granny used to repeat over the years... The hell is paved with good intentions gone wrong. I did apologize to her and promised I would no longer bother her. Koraxxes' tells me she does not trust what she doesn't understand. I know how deeply true it is. The thing is that trust for me comes easier as I have my faith to rely on, and I guess I am simply more used to work with limited palette of choices. Or maybe in the end for me its simply duty I cannot abandon by not making a choice. Perhaps both to a degree. Have it not been for how close of a resemblance of Kat is she I wouldn't feel so protective of her. Cara's words come back to me again. Will I be ever able to free myself from it?
***
Sitting in silence on the floor with my back against the cold, stony wall of the compound I can hear Velika tossing and turning in a bed behind the door to my left. I wonder can she even sleep? She has been immortal, undead, a vampire for a couple of centuries. I suppose that the shock of the change is still there... But I am not one to ask her that, I failed with Bath so badly that I'm afraid to approached Velika right now. That leaves me here by the door acting as a guardian. Soft glow of Koraxxes' blade laying across my lap is lighting the otherwise rather dim corridor just enough for me to see clearly. Despite of two hours of the usual routine of discipline exercises and meditation my mind keeps going back there. Even Koraxxes is silent, not absent but silent nonetheless. His presence as comforting as it was in the beginning unfortunately extracted some of the thoughts I have been suppressing for two months now. A fleeting notion of the lack of emptiness made that emptiness only that much more evident. Dull pain, scrapes the sides of my mind with tenacity I can't explain. And the colder it grows, the more numb the edges of my thoughts feel.
*A few rows, written in a tiny, very tight script follow the entry*


    before the dawn breaks the silence
    right in this moment
    I feel most exposed

    nothing is as it seems

    his absence
    peels the layers of composure
    leaving me bare

    and I'm drifting

    the cracks split my world in two
    feeding the emptiness
    full with fear and guilt

    memories distant and cold





(((OOC: Had to cut out one entry and place it under another date as we finished the quest after two weeks hiatus.
Pardon the non-native for a poor attempt at writing a poem.

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Yas Sharra - She-wolf. Her dirty paws and furry coat. More animal than anything else.
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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:40 am 
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17th-20th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate

I've spent the last few days in the compound, barely leaving it, as if my presence would change anything if Mavlon or the Death Knight's arrived. I know it wouldn't and yet I remain here, vigilant with tension so high it makes every little movement an internal battle. I look through the reports and the books again and again trying to find a way. No dice.

21th-23th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate

Once I decided to leave the compound I met Edward again - another Helmite - and managed to introduce him to Sveta. Couldn't stay to watch his trials so I don't know how they went.
Next day I arrived at the rally point for the Kheldrivver operation and couldn't believe the chaos I was seeing. In the end I got separated from the main group and had to fall back, fortunately they managed to reach their objectives anyways. I showed up briefly at the ball, but after realizing that I had misunderstood the general idea behind it I left rather quickly. Here is to hoping no one really saw me..


24th-26th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate

Due to previous arrangements I didn't make it in time for the War Council meeting. One can't be in two places at once even if one tried. I travel between Head Watchknight's house and the compound, staying at the residence only to make meals and resupply. I look back, not far, just three months back and, gods, how it makes me wonder..

27th-28th Eleasis 1351, Baldur's Gate

As promised a tenday ago I kept my word and have not reached out to Bath so it was a bit of a surprise to find her near to the inner entrance to the compound in a state somehow bordering on a break down. I listened to her, the words that were clear and those she blurted out while crying. I let her stay at the hold and she has been there on an off since our discussion. She seems a little bit better, partially at least. I remain within reach should she ever need me there but at the same time I keep the distance, keep my guard high. This time I keep my habits by the throat not letting them force my hand. All this in order to avoid another failure.

***********************************


Bits and pieces


Stillness and silence fills the compound. Vincent buried in some books rarely leaves his room, clearly overwhelmed by everything that has happened. Kory has been busy with his studies under the old hoarite – whom I still treat like nothing more than the piles of rubble we have to get rid off.. That leaves our guests that keep to themselves even more. Haven't seen Tali since he and Cara got teleported out of Koraxxes' tower, so before the battle with Mavlon. Arakes has been gone for a while as well. It doesn't look good. It doesn't look good at all and despite me trying I can't seem to find a solution to this rather simple issue. And this problem does not involve overpowered hordes of undead armies, ancient liches dating back to the Netherese era that could simply wipe out the city with a wiggle of their pinky, too well organized, too powerful cultists with some really insane relics at their disposal. If I cannot handle the simple guild problems how am I suppose to make any difference, even the tiniest one, in regards to the threats that the coast, my friends, allies and others are facing? Sometimes, at the moments most fleeting I see how badly blown out of proportions and unreal it all is. Insignificance of our efforts, even united seems grotesque. But as we cannot change how things are we must face them but in a smart way. The issue is... What way is that really?

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:44 am 
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29th -31st Eleasis 1351, Hunter's Compound


The first meeting with EDE went not as bad as I could imagine, we talked about Scornubel and how to evacuate the population and the situation in the High Moors. It was decided that we should meet again the next day.

Elves were running late for the second meeting so Vincent went on his own as I was due for another one with Sveta at the House of the Guardian. Objective was to ask for their aid and receive it. The meeting in Nashkel was tense. Fortunately the the efforts of Head Watchknight, sir Latonar and mine paid off and the House of Guardian granted support.

We went to the plane of shadow to get Ysmrilda back and if it hadn't been for Koraxxes' sacrifice we wouldn't have probably made it. Now with the three of them present - even if in limited capacity - I somehow feel hopeful.


1st-3rd Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Trying to figure out a way to help with the undead I went to the Lathanderite Temple in Beregost, now I have to visit Candle Keep which won't probably be easy.
As tight as our funds are now I still managed to buy – I hope – sufficient amount of rations and other supplies if things go entirely south. There is also an upcoming mission with EDE in the Serpent Hills tunnels. Maybe this time we will learn more than we did last time because I hold little hope for us being ahead of the Flies.


***********************************


Bits and pieces

*A couple of sentences written with heavy hand as the pressure marks the tightly connected runes.*

Even with him gone she still thinks that every decision I make is a wrong one. She has never trusted my judgement and she probably never will. Not that it isn't also my fault, but I can't just tell her everything without putting her in a position she would not want to be, in a position that I wouldn't want her to be. Not only because she lacks flexibility but also because I don't want to endanger her position as a respected leader. We grow even more apart now once he is gone than we ever did before. Her never ending disappointment with me only adds to one I carry with myself.


***********************************


Letters to family


*Clean, milky white envelope addressed to Robert Ford, Daggerford Guard, containing a letter of credit for 1000 gold coins and a folded note stuck next to it. Over the time the handwriting of the author improved greatly, now the runes are put together tightly in an almost militaristic way and yet they remain neat and easy to read. *

Dear Brother,
It came as a bit of surprise to learn from your last letter that Jamie left for Neverwinter with that small trade cartel. I'm so proud and glad that he moved away from this part of the coast. I suppose I should send word to him soon and possibly some coin. As we are at the topic I'm sending you 1bag of gold as a letter of credit, I know you can take care of yourself but I am also well aware that guard's pay is small and besides... Robbie, if things go south, and what I mean by that – really south – I want you to lave for Waterdeep.
Things here are tense, undead from both sides of the conflict are on the move. And two days from now the ultimatum given to us will expire and if we don't deliver what they ask for the army will move towards the gate.
I miss the kids at times but as you probably gathered from the letters they are doing better.
Be careful and vigilant brother.
May the Triad protect you and guide you.
Love,

Ellie

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:30 pm 
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4th-5th Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Long since I've lost hope that we can ever beat the Talonites to anything so hearing the ancient entity speaking about the whereabouts of the amulet of once buried made me only cringe inside. This means the Flies are already making a move towards obtaining it and as usual we are a step behind.

Slap on wrist to make us aware. As if we were a bunch of defiant children. We chased the undead down the streets. I watched the death knight fall under my blade while drowning in light of the missiles Vincent hit him with.
Of course they said no, how else could they have acted. Will the undead keep playing with us till we give them what they want or will they grow tired sooner or later and just take it? There is no way for me to know.


6th-8th Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

We managed to collect another piece for our little plan that with each day seems less plausible. Even with the vessel ready - assuming we can get the gem of earth from Mavlon - we would still need an object that would draw the Arcanists in and in the end destroy their bodies. And if the dwarves failed at neutralizing one of them how are we suppose to get - let's be realistic here - even half of them?
I stretch my mind too far. One thing at he time. First I want to see Mavlon's body turned into a pile of ash, ancient or not she is way over due. I've seen Eldarian around so I could possibly ask him for help where the Mavlon is concerned. Or Kael..


9th-12th Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Having a chance to look, briefly but still, around the elven forest and the village I can't help but feel confined each time I go back to the compound. I spoke with EDE once more about our plans where the venture into the Marsh is concerned. For some odd reason I mentioned Mavlon, not by name, but just as a general issue. I know Hunters and EDE have a long way to go before we can call each other allies and yet I find myself wanting to have Kael, Ithilwen and Mendel on our side when the time comes to bring Mavlon down. The issue is I'd have to explain so much to them and the things I fear the most is the possible negative reaction towards it all.
We went to the Marsh where we found the Harrad's rest. Venture into the tomb took us a while but in the end we found the Amulet of Once Buried in the hands of a skeleton belonging to a giant. We were well aware that trap is there and once it sprung Brann as the Angel of Decay together with his cultists faced us claiming we will all die. But he was the one that fell that day. Ithilwen took the Amulet and Kael set the tunnels on fire. Our first so called victory against the Talonites.


13th-17th Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Recovering from the battle with Brann is a slow process but at least I have time to draft some plans. I need to do something with the dwindling numbers of this group. I can't pull through with all that we have to do having just Vincent and Bathsheba around. There is only so many things Koraxxes, Ysmrilda and Velika can help with.

That brings the other problem forward for which I need to find a proper solution. Mavlon. Getting the gem from her. We all need rest, a moment to take a deep, slow breath as we have been working so hard towards this. Regardless of my relatively low hope for success that would actually make a real dent in the problem we still have to finish what we have started. I just wished I wasn't left with only one from all of them standing by my side.


***********************************


Bits and pieces


I've cleaned the mess at the residence. Picked up the pieces of the dummy, got rid of the wine stain. There is barely visible - only in the right light really - mark in between the stone tiles. When have it gotten so bad? Have I neglected my duties as a squire to the point Sveta goes of the rails? Should I even feel responsible for that? Being a squire makes it difficult to build a friendship. There is little to none understanding or trust between us for it to be possible. And yet here I am feeling guilty and responsible for the fact I have never managed to change that. Not that I haven't tried, Gods know I did, but they also know that I haven't tried hard enough. Discouraged by her harsh judgement, disappointment and resentment towards him. Even now I fail at reaching out to her. The wall is there, a barrier I have never felt with him even tho I had to climb different ones. His disappearance cut deep enough for me to loose interest in what was happening with her. I suppose I have been feeling responsible in a way for the fact that's he is gone. And that only led me to a conclusion I should avoid pushing, meddling and helping. Especially with those that do not wish for it. Supposedly also a reason why I mishandled Bathsheba. Trying not to overreach and yet prepare her was a failure in its own design. And so I tie my hands being my back now, avoiding any kind of involvement. But by the same token I'm forsaking my mentor to her own demons hoping someone else may bring her the peace she needs.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:26 pm 
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18th-22nd Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Watchknights were supposed to keep the Lathanderite fair safe so I went there to fulfill the duties given. My mind however kept running towards the more important objective, the damned stone in Mavlon’s possession. I expected the festivities to go as planned but things took a different turn. Liam caused a disruption that ended up in bloody fight on the streets of Beregost before he was taken into custody. Some people just lack reason and crave attention over everything else.

My research into the relics that we could use once the Vessel is completed has been taking me nowhere so far. Despite the efforts I have little to none understanding what kind of relic and how powerful do we need to make the plan work.

I asked EDE for help with obtaining the Gem of Earth from Mavlon and the elves will come to support the Hunters in this mission. I’m glad for their willingness to cooperate with us. As for the Amulet of Once Burred they are still working on figuring out what kind of power this artifact holds and what are our options. Hopefully they will solve this puzzle sooner then later. Talonites are far from idly standing by.


23rd-27th Eleint 1351, Hunter's Compound

Decision has been made, the expedition into where Mavlon keeps the gem will take place two days from now. Preparations and plans should be my main focus but after receiving the letter from the Chrosters I find it difficult to keep my attention on the task in front of me. The cold worry creeps in, pulling at my thoughts. I have to put it aside, for now.

Once the elves arrived at the compound I explained to what we need and why, with Vincent’s help and without going into some of the details we managed to tell them the story and reveal some of the parts of the plan. After receiving Koraxxes’ intel about Mavlon and her coven we went to the crypt, the same one we had visited before. There we found a portal which took us to some kind of hunting grounds for the yuanti. With a help of an astral lion of sorts we fought our way through to the gem. We were lucky enough not to face Mavlon and Ysmrilda took us back to the compound. Aeili and the lion are now staying here as our guests until the priestess is ready to open a gate for this creature to go back to its plane of existence. Now we hold possibly everything we need to build the vessel. And well keep it safe from Mavlon and the Death Knights.

The news from Waterdeep leave me little choice. I look at Vincent, he is not sure that me leaving is the best idea given we need to move forward with the vessel, amulet of once buried or the search for something that would play the part the egg was suppose to. But he knows as well as I do that as long as the distraction in the form of my family stands in front of me I won’t be able to fully commit to my duties here. Dry chuckle escapes me, not because I find this whole predicament funny but simply because I can’t change this one thing. The force of the family ties and the duties in regards of that are something that I can’t ignore. And so I will leave the safety of the Vessel in Vincent’s. He promised to fully commit to finding us some information about anything remotely resembling the power the Rith Ua Vorex’s egg had.


28th Eleint – 5th Marpenoth 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

I didn’t waste my time and just after the first family dinner and the night filled with their stories I started working on the problem. Running through my sister's things felt wrong on some level but how else am I suppose to figure out were she went. I always knew Kat was a wild card, but I have never thought she could have just run away without a word like that. An animal tamed and caged for so long runs away once it tastes the freedom again? It’s like her to act on a whim but to cause so much trouble to the family that agreed to take them in is still unacceptable by any standards. And so I go through her things, the little mountains of notes, sketches, books in which she circled whole sections or simple lone words. I talked to her teachers, friends and the picture they paint of her is different from what I used to see Kat for.

The rest of the kids seems to be doing really good. They settled at last into their new life at the school and in the big city. Even Chrissie and Adam struggle much less now than in the beginning. Twins turned out to be a hardworking pair and their employees are happy with them. Adam’s sword training is taking the rest of his time during the day but he appears content and invested. So despite the perturbation Kat’s disappearance has caused my siblings are as happy as I have ever seen them. I made the right call bringing them here.





(((OOC: No PC for a while meant no gaming so the entries will be back-dated for now. Waterdeep bits are to explain El's disappearance from the coast during my pc-less time;)

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:27 pm 
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6th-11th Marpenoth 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

I've been searching for Kat for couple of days now. With little to none luck even with all the traces she left. As if all those threads I have followed were set up just to mislead me. Could it be that my little sister did in fact leave the clues for this sole reason? Should I be worried sick that I can't seem to find her? Why in the gods' name would she leave in the middle of her preparation for the admissions at the Bardic College. What is even more bizarre is the fact that she took only one thing with her – that damned red notebook. All her clothes, notes, books, drawings, stones and other belongings were left behind in the exact spots she put them down before disappearing.

At the end of the next tenday I should be done with going through every part of the city and I fear I won't find her. If only was she willing to respond to my sendings but no, the stubbornness of her silence angers me even more than her vanishing act.

My thoughts travel back to the Coast at times. I left at a very inconvenient time. Not only unsure of Sveta's state, but also leaving Vincent alone with the Vessel, Velika, and Ysmrilda still in his head. I'm unsure if my decision about taking the Blade of the Traitor with me was a right one, but I am also painfully aware I'd feel less confident without it.


12th-15th Marpenoth 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence



The rest of the kids were already sleeping, nicely wrapped up in their sleeping bags on the floor in the guest bedroom Aimee usually lets them use if the usual once per tenday dinner drags till the late evening hours. I was reading through Kat's notes scattered on the desk like bird feathers when Chrissy came to me, her pale, milky-white face framed by tousled locks was very sober for the kid her age. My mother's eyes were looking at me from that triangular, little face in a distinctive, intense way. I scooped her up placing her on my lap - once more realizing she weights almost nothing - offering a soft smile. Her brow furrowed then she tilted her head to the side and asked me about our father. Something twisted uncomfortably inside of me, anxiety creeping in made me wrap my arm protectively around my sister's waist. Her question should not have surprised me but it did. How was I suppose to tell her that I haven't talked to Benedict since the evacuation of the village really, that in all fairness I shut him and any thought about him off, away from my mind. I struggled for words for a moment, running my fingers through her hair before I found the courage to confess to my little sister the truth. She nodded slowly in response, staying silent for a longer moment before she spoke softly, watching me closely. Sometimes it is hard to think of her as a 9 year old when she sounds so reasonable. Aimee gives me credit for that, claiming I was a good parent to them, all things considered, especially my young age, but I think that Chrissy is like that not just because of me. My thoughts tightened as her words sink in. She kissed me on the cheek then jumped down and went to her sleeping bag. Soon her breathing slowed down and I knew she fell asleep joining the others. She left me slightly shaken with that very simple observation. I suppose there is some truth to what Chrissy said. Issue is, do I want to think of it in this way?



16th-22nd Marpenoth 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Whenever I’m not busy with searching for Kat I spent my time at the Halls of Justice. I read, attend sermons, carry out discussions, listen to lectures and if Julian accompanies me we make time for a sparring session. I have not win one yet. I hope however that this time will come eventually. I like the quiet hours in the library, it’s the only chance I get at searching for something that would act accordingly to what the dragon’s egg was suppose to be. Every now and then I argue with Sveta’s stepfather, discussion can grow heated given the topic we rise at times so it happens we have to agree to disagree. Few times he pointed out that my way of viewing things has been altered not only due to my great granny’s teachings but also because of my brief time under the Hoarite. Julian states I tend to look at things from more sides than an average faithful. I do not limit myself to one dogma or one doctrine as I try to take what’s best in a mix of them.

I have met few people that Kat’s notes led me to. Neither of them however knew where my sister could go. They had suggestions about her reasons, some of those more than troubling. I have visited the places Kat used to spend time at, looking for her or for a clue, but yet again I did not succeed. In a way this search, reading the notes, poems and scribblings feels like I’m getting to know the girl, that young woman I have never seen before. She was always there I think, hidden under the layers of hard work, gloomy days without a proper meal, my father’s drunken screams and words on which she would rather choke than speak them out loud. Now her words scream at me from the pages, paper scraps and margins in the books. I should have seen it coming. I should have known better. Haven’t I myself went through a similar phase when I realized I no longer have to hide? I see the change in all of them, its more or less visible depending on which of my siblings I look at, but it’s still there. For me and Rob it was different, we were weight down by the responsibilities we took and could not forsake. Jamie had to leave all of us behind in order to prove to himself he can do well without our protection. Thomas and Emilia do not speak of home, as if that time has been forgotten, making themselves busy with work and new life. They try so hard to not appear as commoners. Kat went rouge and when I look at the kids… Yes the kids. The change in them manifests itself differently, their understanding of things and memories are altered by the fact that the kids perceive their surroundings and process happenings in their own way. Nevertheless its still there. At some point it will be more evident and it will make them question what they remember but for now, for now they learn what it means to simply be happy and live without fear. That thought brings me back to one of the poems I found in Kat’s things.



    Still I Rise
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may tread me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I'll rise.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I'll rise.

    Out of the huts of history's shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that's rooted in pain
    I rise
    I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise



(((OCC: Pieces of the poem by Maya Angelou

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:57 pm 
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23rd-30th Marpenoth 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Following Rob’s advice I let go of my search for our sister, temporarily of course. In his letter my brother suggested that a break might help me with finding a new perspective on the matter so here I am, occupied mostly by my studies, visiting kids at school, helping out Aimee whenever I can and reading. Life seems almost normal which at some level makes me oddly uncomfortable. It doesn’t really fit in places and I find myself pulling at a couple of loose ends. My thoughts clouded and stormy go back to walking the same paths I have walked so many times. They do not bring me any consolation, far from it, but I keep coming back, trying to find a way around things obvious and painful. With the window open, looking out into the pebbled streets I can smell the storm coming. My hands reach out to the cold comfort of Koraxxes’ blade and the longing for the voice in my head intensifies. When will I learn, I wonder.

1st-9th Uktar 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Since I left home I haven’t exchanged so many letters with Rob and Jamie like I did during the last moon. Kids do contribute to that task, especially Martha, but it doesn’t change the fact I suddenly have so many things to discuss or share with Rob or to ask Jamie about. Aimee encourages me to invite Rob over to see the kids, as he has not seen them in a very long time. Maybe I really should do that, he could see for himself the change that happened.

I retraced all my steps regarding my search for Kat, trying to find that other perspective my dear brother has been talking about and I think I have no idea whatsoever where that perspective could be. They say devil is in the details so maybe I should ask Robbie for help when he decides to visit. For now however I intend to spent few productive hours over the books I borrowed from the Halls of Justice.


10th-16th Uktar 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Chroster’s subtle suggestion that Kat can no longer be in the City of Splendors hit me harder than I could have expected. What if they are right about that? Would it mean I can do nothing more to get her back? It would be like searching for a needle in a haystack, as she did not leave any indication about her whereabouts aside from all those little clues, notes and whatnot I have been chasing so far.

To avoid the vicious circle of unpleasant thoughts I focus on preparations for Rob’s arrival. Kids can’t wait to see him, that much is obvious in their never ending questions, frantic creation of gifts, cards and slightly crooked and creepy chestnut figurines that Adam is so fond of. As for the older batch of my siblings they await Rob for quite another reason. They are proud of the achievements they managed to score and now they want him to see that his watchful eye, support is no longer needed. That he can live for himself. What I and Rob know and they don’t is that we both still must support the rest given the expenses of schooling and training, but at least twins have started to stand on their own.


17th-24th Uktar 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Rob’s arrival has caused so much joy and happiness for the kids, that I was able to leave the troubling thoughts in the far back of my mind. Seeing him almost overwhelmed with the change in our siblings was somewhat a reward. Later at night we sat on the bench in front of the window and talked for hours. At first he had troubles processing all that was happening. Kids were never before so happy, well fed and cared for, their laughter so laud and light made my brother stare in wonder. Once things settled down we came to an agreement, we did good. We came far from that hole we were once stuck in. We talked about the past, his words still as bitter as ever when certain things were mentioned. Watching him sip the wine slowly, with that chagrin shadow crossing his features I realized that he also has changed a lot since he left home. No longer could I see only that defiant young boy, determined to make ends meet by leaving for Daggerford with Jamie at his side. That boy was still there but in that one moment my brother suddenly turned into a grown man, with shaped views, strong morals, dreams, regrets and a past that has been wearing him down. He admitted that it’s not easy for him to let go of it, he can’t simply forgive and forget. Neither can I in all fairness but I quoted Christina’s words to him anyway and he chuckled coldly. Some of those wounds need much more time to heal than other.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
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25th – 30th Uktar 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

We received a short letter from Kat at the end of Rob’s visit. Both of us read it multiple times as if it was hard to comprehend those few paragraphs. Upside to the whole thing is that we are at least sure she is alive and well. Her explanation was simple, blunt and laced with so much defiance as it is probably possible to put in a letter. Rob dismissed the idea of searching for Kat stating that she must do what she feels is right for her. I may disagree, having in mind that she is still a child to me, but I also know that it would be pointless to chase after someone who does not want to be found.

Life went back to normal after Rob’s departure so I have yet again time to spend hours at the Halls of Justice, trying to make the most of the last couple of days I am here. After I conclude my studies I try to spar with either Julian or Thomas, my younger brother is not as good a sparing partner as Robbie but he is making a remarkable progress under Chroster’s tutelage.


1st – 4th Nightal 1351, Waterdeep, Chroster’s Residence

Who would have thought that the preparations for the trip home would be so tiring. Looking at my luggage now I wonder how did it happen that it grew so much that it appears very bulky… Well I hope Vincent can teleport us with all this, otherwise I will have to face few days on a ship which I would really like to avoid. My memories from the last ship voyage are not the best. Having in mind that the payment for next semester at the boarding school is due soon I left needed bags of gold with Aimee, adding some amount extra for supplies and winter clothing.

After speaking with Vincent briefly over the sendings I am slightly worried about his state of mind. I suppose having Ysmrilda in his head is not without a cost. We will have to find a way to ease his struggle once I’m back. As far as coming back goes I feel somewhat sad. This city, this house, this family and having mine close made me realize the difference between here and there. Nevertheless there are things at the coast that need to be wrapped up and I can’t do that while being here. But once everything is in order maybe, just maybe, I should think about moving here.


5th – 12th Nightal 1351, Hunters' Compound

Trying to read through all the paperwork from the council, notes, reports and newspaper materials takes up a really big chunk of my time. Then once I can read no more I have Vincent to worry about. He is twitchy, more than usual and seems to suffer from some kind of anxiety. I suppose his connection to Ysmrilda is different from the one between me and Koraxxes, he is sharing his mind and body to a degree with her. To the best of my ability then I try to keep him occupied.

We held a meeting the other day at the compound. Kory brought in the Captain of the infamous Ebon Blade and a man calling himself a Doombringer. After reading the notes from the council and talking with Kory I have to admit I was curious about the man behind the supposedly evil mercenaries and I have not been disappointed so far. Be it for the faint resemblance or simply for what and how he spoke. Bath joined us some time later, and it was good to see her. The second guest was an entirely different story and I wish Pharaxes could have heard Kulyeh’s claim to the title of Doombringer. I believe the old cleric would have a fit if he had witnessed that. Our meeting was disturbed by one of Elder Circle's members by the name of Thistle. She was intrigued by people entering the ruins and disappearing inside so she tried to inspect the door, once brought inside the compound she discussed a matter of one Jacob Evans. Quite a disturbing news, and besides I carry a certain dislike for racism.


13th – 19th Nightal 1351, Hunters’ Compound

There is something oddly amusing in those passive aggressive encounters with the Zhentarim as of late. Kory received a sending from Greil and send me instead, so I picked the package I prepared earlier and was on my way. I saw Xavier and Ambrose approaching Triel as well, they made a small stop to ward themselves before entering the ruins. I followed slowly in their wake, casting a sending to Greil as a precaution. Ebon Blade, some bystanders, Israe and Zhentarim stood at the base of a little hill where the mercs made camp. Kulyeh lurked in the shadows somewhere to my left while I listened to the exchange. Israe’s saviors left with her a longer while later which gave the others a moment to talk. I have a feeling that setting camp here in Triel wasn’t the best idea and they will have to revisit the concept. Days later I saw them all in front of the FAI where Ambrose with his loyal servant Blackthorn ended up stirring a discussion that started with my blades and went on towards the topic of their keep, situation in the north and tyranny. I do certainly enjoy the word games as any other commoner should but in moderation. Soon the two of them were joined by Selengil and Xavier which made the picture tad bit comical. It never ceases to amaze me that the highest ranking Zhentarim can just idly stand by the FAI. Luckily for the simple folk they do provide us with a peculiar type of entertainment.

As far as meetings go I had a pleasure to see the Heartwarder again. I have heard about her return to the Gate but haven’t had a chance to actually meet with her so her coming to the camp near the FAI was a lucky coincidence. I was almost sure to hear something about my not fancy-girly enough attire but she surprised me with a compliment. It was good to see her, it means Radiant Heart once more has a voice of reason among them.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:50 pm 
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20th – 25th Nightal 1351, Hunters’ Compound

After some discussion we decided to go to the War Council meeting this time in numbers. Given the rules I attended the meeting as Rei’s second and Vincent together with Kory were representing the Hunters. It wasn’t much different from what I remembered, and once exhaustion after a rather busy day settled in I decided to leave a bit sooner than the whole thing was suppose to end, but before doing so I informed Terri that the gem she thinks is the Gem of Ice is indeed a fake I gave her. In hindsight I am glad I did so, she never consulted with any of the Hunters the other options for the gems then putting the four of them into the Vessel. I learned from Kory that she had other ideas in mind so in the end my lie to her turned out to be justified. Otherwise we would all be screwed by her selfishness, months of work, research, the battles we fought to get the gems, all of that would end up being worth nothing. Talisen's plan however worked perfectly.

Spend the next few days trying to teach Vincent the calming exercises and the routine of control in order to help him with the anxiety he is suffering from. I had to adjust the sequences to his limits but I think he will get a hang of it eventually. And if I am not mistaken I can see a slight improvement in his behavior already.

Decided to take care of some loose ends. This day marks half a year since…It was a high time for me to finally close the door shut. Now things are going to change. And I couldn’t care less…


***********************************


Bits and pieces


I decided to go back to the house we shared. Thick layer of dust settled upon the sparse furniture and things I left there so many moons ago.
For what felt like painfully long stretch of eternity I stood in the middle of the room with my eyes locked on the spot where he used to sleep.
Took all the control and composure I could master to force my legs to move, my arms to function.
I gathered all that could be salvaged with a strong conviction to donate it to the poor. Now the space felt even more vast, more apparent. I locked the door behind me with that little, heavy key and dumped it into the nearest sewer, leaving the package at the soup kitchen.
I walked away.
Only to find myself in the middle of the arena.
The irony made me chuckle, a cold and condescending little laugh.

He is gone. Truly gone.
I have been avoiding accepting that fact for half a year now and I have had enough.
He is not coming back.


    You said you'd stay forever
    But I blinked
    And the world was gone
    You wade through the water
    Slowly your hands grow numb
    I wish you felt me falling
    I wish you'd watched over me
    You said you'd stay forever
    But I blinked
    And the world was gone
    And the world was gone
    And the world was gone


I have waited long enough to know it now.
His last lesson for me.
There were times I yearned for an explanation, letter, sending or whatnot. Now I can see that there was never suppose to be any.

I am done waiting. I am done longing.


    In dreams
    There's a way
    To die.
    Well I towed you from the wreck
    Of dimming shadows in my head
    Only yesterday.
    Only yesterday
    I laid you to rest.
    Only yesterday
    I wept for your shape
    In it's endless decay.
    And I raised your voice from a stone
    With the song of the dead.
    In dreams
    There's a way
    To die.


A storm is coming, I can taste rain in the air.
I will not look for him when the lightning strikes and the thunder roars.
This time I will relish it.


******************


*Later that day, watching the fires dancing in the fireplace in the Hunters’ Compound, Eleanor sips her drink slowly, swirling the crimson liquid gently in the glass with a subtle movement of her wrist. Once the wine is just a memory she wraps both journals tightly in a thin leather scrap, securing them with a strop. She places the little package at the bottom of a chest in the little chamber they turned over the time into a office of sorts. El runs her finger through damp strands of hair before her hand falls to the hilt of Koraxxes’ blade, she nods slowly, resolve forming on her features, and reaches for a dark leather bound book which she places in the space her former journals used to occupy. After leaving the room Eleanor heads for the corridor where Pharaxes has his post. She regards the old Hoarite priest with a cold gaze.*

“It is time we speak…” *Her clear, level soprano echoes in the slightly cluttered with rubble but otherwise almost empty hallway.*







(((OOC: Lyrics with minor alterations taken from Houses and Snow Ghosts.

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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - The path to Knighthood
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:55 am 
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26th – 30th Nightal 1351, Hunters’ Compound

Had the opportunity to officially meet Isabella Villame. Both Sveta and Rei spoke highly of her on many occasions so I was glad to finally make an acquaintance. No In a way she reminds me a lot of Cara, similar level-headed nature and reasonable take on many matters. It is Council’s loss not allowing her to become a part of it. I also met Talisen’s friend, Myhun who recently has returned to the Coast. After a longer discussion about the war status, politics and all we ended up venturing towards the lion way in response to a sending. There we found an ominous red mist covering a considerable patch of land close to the Candlekeep. Soon we discovered three beings standing in a triangular formation chanting from another plane. Abel made an appearance to inform us that those are three sisters, high priestess of Talos chanting from the Fury’s Heart in order to ring that plane into ours with help of Abel’s brother. According to Abel we had days before the second defense of Candlekeep would take place. That started a chain of events, mostly planning, informing allies and asking for their aid as well as rather lengthy tho hasted preparations.

This matter led me back to the city where I intended to search for Rei. On my way to the temple an elven woman dropped a dead body to my feet asking for help. I led her to the temple, realizing that it is the first time I cross its doors since after the evacuation of my village. I took care of the fallen female then looked around for Rei only to find her upstairs with Ameris, Telia and Kana. I shared some information with all of them which in the end made me feel like the harbinger of bad news. I removed myself with Rei at my side at some point. We run into Herran on our way out which led to a discussion about open stage night that Rei’s pups could enjoy. Which basically means she asked him for something that would be dirty minded and simple. If such a show would ever end up being hosted I am definitely going to see it, because right now I can’t really imagine it.

Rei wanted the Hunters to man the front-line defenses with Ebon Blade men, that forced me to make a deal with the Captain in order to acquire their services. We discussed it at FAI and rather quickly we came to an agreement about the price and way of payment. Half up front, the other half after the battle. Greil patiently endured all the inquiries I made and after I satisfied my curiosity for the time being we left to meet with Isabella at the Keep. Some of the details of Ebon Blade’s capabilities and aspects of Rei’s plan were discussed. After merc’s Captain left we talked for couple of hours about mutual friends, acquaintances and such.



~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

1st – 4th Hammer 1352, Baldur’s Gate

Isabella inquired about Velika because of potential research into the necromentals. I also learned from Elyssa that Aeili has passed away, which saddened me. The priestess was always kind and helpful on many occasions. I hope there is something that can be done for her. Later we witnessed OSR meeting with Selengil, which apparently didn’t go any different from what he had suspected. Not that the outcome was in any way surprising to us. Once a little crowd was established around the campfire the topic of bounties was brought up which ended up badly for Terri who managed to irritate a talosian stormlord and for that she got wrecked. Can’t say I didn’t quite enjoyed the little entertainment. OSR showed up not long after with their announcement regarding those on whose heads Coven put bounties on.

Next day I visited the temple for a short while, hoping to talk to Rei about Candlekeep defense plan but things were rather busy there so I had to wait for a longer while before she was ready to head towards the keep. After short planning session a small group gathered close to the fountain in the little square in front of the main building of the keep. Merc’s Captain turned out to have quite a sense of humor and a talent for merciless teasing which turned a very dull, plan-filled day into something more appealing.

Another short meeting with Abel took place, this time with OSR present. Inquiries were made, mostly directed towards finding answers and solutions. Some of Abel’s words shed light on the problem we are facing. A longer planning session took place next. Elvinia presented plan that one of their members created which was close to Rei has already created. She pulled me and Greil on the side for moment, discussing the specifics of our part in her plan.

In the very early morning Hunters took part in a small evacuation effort, securing those farmers that survived. I witness an elf summon and command undead, I suppose people decided that in war time all the tricks are granted a free pass. After the civilians were secured I left the city limits. The battle against Cain was soon going to happen and I couldn’t be in two places at once. In the late evening I had the dubious pleasure meeting two other members of the Ebon Blade. Pugdush who is of orcish blood if I am not wrong and a dwarf Werthic. I wished that creep had pushed my limits just a little bit more so I could have put him in his rightful place around the floor level but I suppose all in due time.

The day of the battle just like Elyssa planned they summoned the three sister’s in order to stop the rift. Cain appeared not long after but due to his phylactery’s destruction he was soon dealt with and his army felt into disarray which made it possible for the defenders to win the battle. The second defense of Candlekeep was a success, just as the siege of the Gate has started.

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Yas Sharra - She-wolf. Her dirty paws and furry coat. More animal than anything else.
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Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
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 Post subject: Re: Eleanor - records and notes
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5th – 7th Hammer 1352, Baldur’s Gate


Battle after battle makes it difficult to keep with writing. The city is under siege and the enemy seems like an endless sea of undeath clashing against our walls. We fight on the walls, we regroup, we offer healing blessings till no more can be called upon, we discuss options and then we are back on those walls or on the streets facing the army that never tires nor needs healing.

Isabella’s suggestion was met with Ameris’ acceptance and given that they couldn’t figure out where to perform the research I offered the Hunters’ compound to be the place for it. It is, after all, underground and could be sealed off easily. After asking Pharaxes to prepare the grounds for plague infested undead guests I dragged few specimens in and locked them up in the cage. For some reason, I found this amusing that in the end we got to use the cage for the undead keeping. Now we wait for Ameris to study them and I - as sure as hell - would rather sleep in the city under siege than in the compound with those things around, not that I do not trust Pharaxes capabilities to keep us… Well, healthy.



~~~~~~~✵✵✵~~~~~~~

8th – 9th Hammer 1352, Baldur’s Gate

I and Kory met up with Elyssa, Ameris and Telia and took them to the compound so they could study the undead. We assisted only to the extent it was needed otherwise letting them work. I wasn’t sure what their reaction to the cage would be, and to the rest of that room. I’m also not sure they believed mine and Kory’s words that we do not use it for what it might have been used before the Hunters had taken over this place. Both Ameris and Telia worked on the undead we provided and after turning them the priest took a while to meditate and commune with Ilmater while I led his wife and Elyssa to the main chamber for a cup of tea. Being around Telia still evokes a strange feeling of caution, granted it is no longer as strong as it was during and in the after match of our confrontation so many moons ago, but it is still there. I expect her to turn into that judgmental, harsh and unpleasant version of her at any moment. I suppose that is one of the reasons why I stayed away from the temple for so long. The three of us talked a little, Elyssa seemed more than a little distraught and frustrated with a lack of progress regarding the lack a solution to the threat, the Council lacking reason and trust and the general state of things. Surprisingly I and Telia agreed that it is easy to put blame when the situation is dire without taking into consideration how difficult it is to build alliances and cooperate. Egos, pride, suspicions, prejudice and rumors work against those kinds of attempts. The priest walked in which led the discussion on a slightly different road where Brother Ameris spoke of one of the experiences he shared with his wife and which made their mutual trust even stronger. The trio left shortly and I started cleaning every space that the undead have been in. What could have been burned been burned. Pharaxes took care of blessings and consecrations.

.


Kory, still optimistic we will win the war, suggested a festival. If he is correct this should be a good project to undertake after life goes back to normal.

.


After Merc Captain left that hole of an inn he likes so much, I had a somewhat different conversation with Xavier. The usual passive aggressive one, but also bearing a mark of something tad closer to a discussion. This time about power, leadership, influence and some of the aspects of tyranny. He mocks me just like the others but it doesn’t make any difference and even if it did I would not be as stupid as to try to stop him. Besides, as long as he thinks me weak and stupid I’m not in any danger. Not to mention, fiery whiskey actually fitted well into the whole picture. The only good thing in this gods forsaken dump is this whiskey. I need to remember to stack up on it.

.


Sometimes it seems like there is no end to the sea of undead raging against the walls. Breaches form too quickly for us to be able to seal them. They are in the Palace District now. The final battle is close.

.


The Blight is gone. Banished for the next few hundred years. I can’t believe we actually won. Not that it feels like a victory really. There are still remains of the undead army to kill and one more Angel to nail down. We got to finish Brann so why not Haram too. Plans need to be made. Maybe then it will feel like it’s really over.

.


Captain Asher wanted to meet. I had mixed feelings about that especially when I recall the instance to which her name is attached to. And yet I am the last one to judge when it comes to her and their choices. His choices. Echo of which I have been fighting against for a long time. In the end, it’s not the past that makes me uneasy but the fact that she brings the past into the now and I’m doing what I can to not think about it. Her intentions behind the meet led us to a hoarite monk but that meeting got cut short so I and Kory retreated back to the main room of the Anchor for some drinks and discussion. Hinzel and Merc Captain joined not long after but with Captain’s Asher departure the discussion died down almost entirely leaving us all in silence at which point Vincent showed up. His comments – I can’t decide if they annoy or amuse me more, especially when his focus shifts to Greil – led to a discussion that brought back another wave of unpleasant memories. That was the topic of my last quarrel with him and Sveta. Love. And here I found myself in a room filled with bitter words spoken by a bitter group of men. We all stood by the same conclusion with perhaps Hinzel being the only one trying to make a slightly, but not much, different point and Vincent growing even more sad and distracted by the voices than usual. Love is a lie. And lots of sad dust as the mage would say. Lots.

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Yas Sharra - She-wolf. Her dirty paws and furry coat. More animal than anything else.
✵Journal✵

Eleanor - Sum of Exes: Ex-Paladin, Ex-Squire, Ex-Leader
Formerly: Squire to Head Watchknight Sveta Asperan, student to Doombringer Tegeus Cromis, Leader of Hunters of Vengeance
✵Journal✵ & ✵Bio✵


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