Shadow Hunters

Safety in Storms III: By Gaston Redcap
Part 8- Stride

Safety in Storms: The life of a sorcerer
By Gaston Redcap
First draft

Stride

Dear reader, I don’t want to do this anymore. The whatever-it-is is killing my libido muse. I can’t make it work anymore and I don’t think it is the wine. The changeling drow is quite happy with my unhappiness at the moment.

“Have you ever been so desperate to please that you turned on your ally for the respect of another?” the drow is speaking so I guess this means I should write some more. I answered that I was once very hungry, but now as my carriage awaits I a…a…ah to the nine hells with it! I am a poor cheap bard dear reader. I haven’t made decent coin for years and I followed this drow for hopes of fame and fortune. Forgive my lies, I no longer wish to invest in them.

“Yes, I have turned on a friend” I tell her “My pet dragonling and I were starving and we started to take the forms of cooked chicken legs and sweets in each other’s eyes. He would have ripped my neck out for sure until I remembered I could just unsummon him.”

The drow gave pause to measure my stupidity, but you had to be there dear reader, I was out of my mind with starvation. The changeling or drow spoke again “My master had many plans, which as I said before lacked interest to me, but apart from myself, his razorclaw slave was a key weapon or tool in his plots.” The drow seems to be lost in memory now, and not speaking. I welcome the break in translation since it really can’t speak well at all.

“The razorclaw was named Stride. I met him and was jealous that he pulled so much attention from my master, but as time passed, I found his council to be helpful and as selfish as I am, he didn’t mind focusing on my life. Had he not been a slave…” at this moment your bard started to feel sick again “Do not besmirch my memory Gaston! Stride had heart, and love, and desire for peace when chained among animals as a slave! This is depth that I will never achieve! I would have been his follower, his acolyte, his son had not my upbringing taught me he was beneath me!” She gestures!

Blinded in darkness I was! I could not see for the drow had filled the room with clouds of darkness, yet I could feel the singe of lightning cross my brow and body at close range, so I did not move. How foolish of me to follow a pretty girl, only to end up on death’s door. The clouds parted, and the drow was holding herself arms crossed. His form, it’s form…

“Pardon me, dear bard, I was taught this style of anger communication by a fighter and it is growing on me. I had much preferred bluffs and other forms of trickery to the direct use of emotion. Now, my master told Stride to change his religion, to form a bond with the local temple. A symbol was made of Melora with a blackbird inside. Stride was captured by monsters deep in the mountain. This frustrated the followers of the Raven Queen since the follower was just granted to them, but master seemed pleased. I was told to become Stride and when I had forgotten small details my master corrected me. I made a good razorclaw. I was told that one day I would be on the surface again. Was I to be thrown aside? No, he was planting me, and I had purpose, but wasn’t told what it was. Stride seemed to have more going on in his head in the last days I saw him. I was only interested in myself of course so I never questioned the slave about his worries.”

The drow is now going upstairs, I follow to keep in earshot, because I think she forgot she was talking to me. The stairs creak and that creak echoes through the eerie room. “Master told me that he had plans for travelers who had been in the great hall for some days. I knew the naïve party. They had brought poor Fie Vemaru to his death. Write that down, Fie’s death was the Shadow Hunter’s fault not mine.” I remembered her saying the wench party was powerful, but now I’m quite happy, if things go awry, the Shadow Hunters may appear and save assist save me! Is there a summoning word I wonder?

“Plans were in motion, I was kept up on Stride’s actions by my master, but I don’t know how he got such information: Stride was now able to become a large cat, He had made ties to the party members, he had made a small profit. Word-for-word recounts were given to me. My next act was to wait for Stride to show. He would fill me in on key emotional and unseen elements and I would switch places as master had wanted, Stride’s future was unknown to me and I cared little.” The drow sits in a chair upstairs in a dusty cobwebbed bedroom deep in thought.

“Stride finally appeared as a large feline, chaos ran through the streets, then when we saw his face in razorclaw form he was full of life and it was easy to tell that the party had made him feel reborn. He had trouble bowing to his master in that moment of zeal. I was unable to look at my master at the moment, both out of fear and I was killing those orcs that had followed Stride. To others, my lightning arc was faster than thought, but for me it was as slow as mushroom jam, I saw arrows flying from my master. I pushed my arc through Stride. I felt many things: pleasure that master would focus on me, happiness that Stride was truly free, anger that he was happy before me, excitement to steal his life and friends, guilt for snuffing out the light of my only counsel.” The changeling drow now looks at me, but I look away. “I was given his clothing, and his symbol of Melora, which he may have abandoned much earlier than that. I felt more tantalized at the thought of becoming a good person the easy way.”

I am looking out the window, realizing it was facing the forest and the back of the Inn where the drow had informed me bodies lay. “Am I to take it that Stride is back there?”

The drow looked at me with some amusement “He was no orc, a single blast by me and some arrows? I was ‘killed’ by my master as well but I still breathe. No, he is buried much deeper. He is buried in intrigue and plots and lies and the dealings of…” Her expression changes as if she crossed some line, lilts her head in a look of ‘what’s done is done’ and walks to a closet. The closet has loose door and bloats as if overstuffed, I think I see a humanoid shape in it.

“Now you will hear of Adasunu”

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Safety in Storms II: By Gaston Redcap
The second time the sorcerer died

Dear reader, the madness of this moment fills the room. I see the drow woman pace in and out of the darkness, a leg that reaches heavens he-hey! passes into view then a small glint of her dagger reflects off her belt. This confessed murderer is agitated at her own disability to speak. I get hints that my captor? lover is quite intelligent but trapped under some curse. I make a note to give her my ‘kiss of the alligator’, which once pulled a princess out of a deep sleep and I would even say my kiss gave her a shiny glow.

I find out that she is a sorceress and she commands any form of spark that she needs. I ask her to demonstrate for her Lover and she stepped forward to her wine glass. She not only chilled the wine with a passing of her hand, but it is now sparkling! As she walked away I started to show her my prowess with the flute, but she then showed me another of the sparks she could produce. Down one flute Distracted because of her display for me, I focused on the paper and went back to writing for her.

She tells me that in Stormpeak, a mountain not far from our Inn, her master tried to kill her. She tells me she traveled with a party naïve to her true form (as of this writing I’m not sure what that means) to a castle deep underground. The party was a group of wenches sirens that were controlled by a lucky guy an elf named Sucaeva. My sorceress told me that this Sucaeva was her pick for a new master, a necessity since the old one was trying to kill her, however the elf never accepted the role. She didn’t give up, and after battling a green dragon she found the gem her real master had sent her for hidden in a training dummy. She believed there was meaning to this, as if she was being called a dummy. The gem was known to her: cursed it would make her take her own life in search of a sister gem. I offered to be her Master but she must have missed the words.

Now the party had a swordmage in it that had died in a large chaotic fight with ogres and goblins. The body was left with a Raven Queen temple, and I must say I have visited these temples, not the best food for the poor visiting dignitaries. The sorceress used her charms to seduce a nun of the temple by pretending to be a leader of the temple (again baffling to me how she did that being a drow). Orders were given by the sorceress in disguise to dispose of the swordmage’s body and when she returned to prepare the new body so that everything looked the same. Fearing for her position after the affair, the nun did as told and my lover…killed herself replacing the body of the male swordmage with her own? What? I am pushed to continue the story. She awoke being tended to by the naïve party’s bard, Shira. I of course know Shira, one of my brightest pupils. There are some music notes she was not aware of until I showed her how to cup herself properly.

She told Sucaeva immediately and he seemed happy to have her there, but a cat-based female named Syral was unhappy to have…the…changeling…

Oh shit-on-a-shiny-silver-piece, she’s a man. The next chapter is about a cleric cat. Can’t be what the drow said but I’m a bit nauseous at the moment…

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From the diary of Miria D´Urban. HighLady of Lencia. Part 7
In a dark place.

Dear Mother,

I am sorry, I am really sorry. Please forgive what I have done for it was the only way I could save my friends.

When I recognized Mordred´s armor among the crowd after returning to the old lady house I almost fainted. My worst dreams had became true, he was condemned by my lack of courage. He was now exactly the same type of monster he used to hunt and all this was my fault.

My companions were quick to help me but I was so shocked that I could not tell them the truth. Mordred had come for me and that he would kill anybody in his path. I tried to play it down, to ignore it but I think everybody saw through my weak attempt at bluffing, instead they kept quiet just offering their help, I made a damning mistake not accepting it and telling the truth at that moment.

With the old lady happy, we went back to our rooms and of course Syral insisted in staying with me saying that she would protect my sleep, amusingly she fell asleep on a chair almost immediately while I was cleaning my weapons and armor, so I picked her up and put her in my bed. I would have kissed her then and I should have but for my stupid pride not wanting to recognize how close the two of us had become. Since I started teaching her about our customs she had been getting more interested in Lencia and us, trying perhaps to prove herself and her people to me, I doubt she knew what she was doing but she managed to cross the line between close battle companions and Ladyfriend and then, at the same time I knew that I loved her I knew the pain Grandmother felt when she was denied.

The following day while I was asleep, the others came and confirmed my suspicions, apparently Mordred had been feeding from me for sometime although I cannot say how much. My companions worried about it but I dismissed it again with my usual bravado even if in my inner self I was terrified. We parted for the day and Syral insisted in accompanying me while I spoke with Captain Kurrick about some forgeries we had found. Afterward she managed to take me to a bathhouse trying to cheer me, she got more than she bargained for as in the closeness of the bath and after a lot of embarrassment about bathing together due to the storm in my heart I broke down and told Syral how Mordred had met his end and how I was to blame. I would have tell her more but a message from Sukeva interrupted, recalling us to the High Ancestor chambers.

Upon reaching the Battle Chambers I had made up my mind, I would leave as soon as I could arrange it and spare my friends the horror that was to come. I sought the High Ancestor´s advice and asked for his blessing, then finding myself alone with Syral, I managed to tell her my feelings and how much I loved her. I kissed her and how I wish those would have been the only pair of lips I had touched yesterday.

Sukeva and Shera interrupted us again and set us on the task of escorting a priest to Moradin´s Temple to choose a successor for the High Ancestor. Along the way, the Sun turned black and an unexpected eclipse happened, it was a trap! some low lives attacked and while we were fighting them Mordred´s servant arrived. Another creature of evil and darkness, during the fight he toyed with me making me attack Syral and drinking my distress like a sweet nectar while taunting how I was to be taken by his Master. I can´t remember how it ended as I lost consciousness and almost died there, after reviving me my companions refused to tell me what had happened afterwards with the vampire just that he had fled after a blow from Syral. The worst was still to happen.

That night after leaving my friends in a celebration dinner I met the vampire again, apparently after tasting my blood he could follow me anywhere. I managed to buy some time and prepared my escape, leaving a farewell letter for my beloved she-cat. Then went to face Mordred in the center of Outlook. I was a stupid, he was too strong for me and I knew it, there was no way I could defeat his fell powers and the bonds that still connect us for (oh mother forgive me!) I still love him so much. The only thing I managed was to bargain for my friends in exchange for the surrendering of my blade and maidenhood.

Even that was a mockery as I was in such state of primal lust that I did not try denying him, despite what I had told Syral I went willingly to Mordred´s embrace and kisses. Offered him my most precious treasure like a common whore, shaming me and our bloodline. After that, being granted a reprieve I fled to the secret temple and crossed the portal to Lencia.

Now I am in a dark and forgotten chamber somewhere, defeated and disgraced. Asking myself where is my bravado, my honor, my soul. I can only feel a deep pain, I look at my sword and wonder if it can wash all the stains of my sins.

You daughter.

M.

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Difficult Thoughts
A shifter's thoughts

The gnome finishes her preparations for the night and finally heads for the door. But when she opens the door a shifter greets her, dejected and crumpled before the doorway, a many-creased, much-read letter in her hands and a small kitten on her lap. The gnome sighs and gently helps her inside, letting the door close behind them.

I don’t know what to do, the shifter finally confides. She sits on the edge of the bed, letter still in hand, kitten sniffing the bed coverings. I can’t stop thinking.

With no jokes or teasing, the gnome carefully puts her arms around the other’s shoulders. The shifter pulls her legs up; heels on the bed, chin on her knees, and the gnome suggests that, perhaps, getting the thoughts out might help.

And so eventually she finds the shifter a piece of paper and a quill, and keeps her distance, kitten on her lap, but ready should the young woman ask for her.

Shera Shira says its important to rite write down your thawts thoughts when you have to many, so Im going to try writeing writing things. But its really hard if I can only think of two things over and over and over again.

Shira says to start at the beginning. I don’t know where that is but I’ll try. Well actually I gess guess that’s the bath. Ever since then I’ve been confused. Wait no, since Miria started talking about Ladyfriends.

I really want to talk to her again. Have a really long talk. She said Ladyfriends meant different things, but she also said True Love, but she also told Sukava Sucaeva it wasn’t like him and Shira so I don’t know what to feel. I was really, really happy though when she kissed me. Even though she said she wished I was human.

And I know the reesons you gave and I know they make sense but your going to change Lenthia Lensa Lencia right? So then shifters would be ok there, right? And I would help fight Mordred! I killed him. Sucaeva said vampyrs go to smoke when they die but then you have to stake them. I didn’t stake him but I turned him to smoke! He grabbed you and I was so angry I didn’t care if he killed me but I was going to make him drop you and I did! I know I’m not strong like a fighter and I can’t heel or do those things like the paladins you love but I’m not useless right?!

Small, gentle hands press on her shoulders. The shifter lifts her quill from the hole she tore in the paper and quickly wipes at her face. Only when her breath comes naturally again does the gnome back away.

And I didn’t even get to properly explane myself. I tried in the bath and almost did in the hall but then she said I love You and kissed me and then we were moving and I never properly said anything.

…I want to go to Lencia. I can’t be a human, and I don’t want to be and I really don’t like that you would wish such a thing but I’ll learn to wear a dress and I’ll be a refined lady like Shira. I won’t give any reeson for anyone to think badly of me. Would you let me come then?

Shira says there will always be people who go away, and I know that, but.. She also says it usually gets easier to deel with but it’ll take me longer, maybe. This is like when Stride died. And I really liked Stride because he was the first shifter I met outside my tribe and he was kind and smart and really made me think why I called Melora my god. And I miss him so much but this is different.

I love all the Shadow Hunters, even Tex. …Although I don’t really know why. But its different for each person. And I do miss Tex and I’m sad her and Miria couldn’t get along although I understand why, but. I want Miria back. I keep thinking I’ll sneak away and find Lencia myself. Sucaeva would hate me for it and so would Miria but I want to.

…But then who would protect Sucave and Shira? Without you around I’m the only one who can protect them. So then Im back to not knowing what to do.

…I don’t think writing helps.

The shifter sets down the quill and fiddles with the papers. Silence hangs heavy in the room until she stands and hugs the gnome. The kitten mews softly and the shifter finally lets go her vice-like grip to pick up the small nameless one. She stands about, unsure what to do, and then finally mumbles her thanks and an apology. The gnome offers her room and company, but the shifter simply smiles and shakes her head and lets herself out. She forsakes her own room and instead enters the fighter’s, cold and unused, and curls up atop the sheets, both letters in hand and a kitten at her throat, but no sleep comes.

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Safety in Storms: By Gaston Redcap
Part 10 – Purpose

A hissing out of rhythm sound startled me from my sleep. Quick to brandish my weapon made of the finest woods magic, I aimed the table leg sword at the sound to find my dark lady had returned to me. He-hey! I quickly remembered her incoherency and deduced her words to be “Are you awake?”

I had changed locations to a fine establishment called the Oak’s Inn in a poor deteriorated outpost bustling big city. Her desire for me must not have been quenched, so I dropped the shaft, and sang to her of our love being renewed. She hissed more words to me, and dear reader for her speaking in this grand story, I will use my wording to save her modesty and thrill your minds. “Your being here sets me on the edge of fires that will melt your heart when you lay hands on me!” As she moved to my side, I begged asked her to take a moment as I opened a fruity wine for us to share in the broken fine glasses I found earlier in the day.

She…she told me of this place housing bodies she and her adoptive father had buried just behind the Inn. Ahem This woman was a deadly viper and the truth of the old saying ‘Don’t be feeble in the head, Drow do evil while not dead’ held true! I downed my drink showed no fear and told her she would pay for her crime with death. Gold was given to me as she said “Write my story jumpy noble bard, and when I finish, you may take me into the forest, where the elves will surely agree with you. As far as death, thrice I have defeated it.”

I spewed set aside my drink and told her after some thought that the payment would not be enough, she must let me have defend her. She asked what my purpose was and I said “-He-hey!- A woman like you will do well to have my scent on her to repel the beasts and villains that roam the world.” She thought well on my words. The woman receded into the shadows and with her coal skin, I lost her at times, but it just took a reflection on her eyes to have me freaked attentive.

“Collect your coins and some paper is under the front desk.” She peeled of her cloak He-hey! and began to tell me her story. “Purpose is confusing to me, why not enjoy and survive? Those with purpose seem unhappy and often they are blinded to those who get hurt. I shall tell you different events in no order, when we reach the last one, you will have your scent on me.”

“My purpose is to find if I am good or evil, a weapon or just a discarded tool, a being of flesh or the storms themselves. Introduce your book, and we will start with the second time I died.”

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Farewell.
A sad parting.

Miria left the hall quietly with a heavy heart. Her excuse of having to go to the privy would not hold long but she was counting on the council members to keep her companions busy long enough to get to the temple. Leaving the secret chambers she mumbled a hasty excuse to the door guards and exited the building to the empty streets of Outlook.

There Miria stopped dead on her tracks. In the shadows a figure could be seen. Reflexively her hand went to Raven´s Tooth hilt. “Damn! That vampire again.” she hissed.

“Did you miss me mortal?” The figure laughed “I was just waiting for you. I have tasted your blood, you can´t hide from me. Now, be a good sheep and come with me, my Master awaits. He has been searching you for a long time and grows impatient.”

Finding enough will to tear her gaze away from the vampire Miria stood her ground. “No monster, I know now who your Master is and I am not going to accompany you. You will have to kill me first and he will not be pleased if you dare to do so.”

The vampire smiled “So we are at a standstill, yes?” his gaze went from the fighter in front to the building she had exited. “Perhaps other ways could be used to comply with my Masters wishes, child.”

Miria faltered for a second thinking about her friends, most importantly Syral. “No!” desperately she tried to bluff her way out and save her friends. “I… I will not follow you, but tell… tell your Master that I will meet with him in Tradetown in half a candle. If he really wants me he can come then, not before.”

“You are too bold mortal, you misjudge your position. You are not but a glorified pet.” Said the vampire as he blended with the shadows the whispered “Anyway I´ll comply with your wishes and convey your words to my Master. We can follow you if you try to escape”.

Miria bit her lip in an effort to control her panic. This was to soon, she had to move fast and try to trick her way out or everything would have been for naught. Running through the dark streets she reached the Battle Chamber building and went to her room. Entering, she stood looking the bed for a second and remembering its last occupant.

Crying, she took a parchment from her backpack and put it on the bed. Slowly, Miria untied her Highborn mask and removing it from her face, kissed it and deposited it besides the letter. Tears fell on the lacquered material. “I am sorry my love” she managed to mutter between sobs “I wish I could change it, I wish I could take you with me.” then with a last “I hope you understand.” she took her backpack and closed the door.

Steeling herself, Miria crossed the town. If someone recognized her they dared not stop her as her naked face radiated with such a determination that made even the worst gang members run away in fear. Entering the market plaza, she stopped in the middle and waited, while some nocturne souls stared at her.

The wait was not long. “We meet again at last, my beloved” A dark, hooded figure carrying an executioners axe entered the plaza from the opposite side, the few drunks and patrons of the night market hastily run away from the noise of steel boots striking the stone. A gauntlet went to the hood and threw it back. Miria averted her eyes from the figure to avoid the pain of remembering his face, his loving smile turned into a predatory snarl. To avoid looking at his fangs.

“You refuse me!? don´t you want to see what have I become just for you, my love?” the voice echoed on the empty square. “Look at me!” The vampire thundered. His free hand extended to the fighter beckoning as his voice lowered, changed, commanded “Look at my face. Come to me. Take my hand and be mine my love, forever!”.

Somewhere deep inside a voice screamed in horrified denial as her face started to rise towards the vampire knight. One foot shifted, then stepped closer to the vampire, her hand reached forward. Eyes met and she knew she was lost. His smile grew gentle as he pulled her close against him, arms wrapping warm around her. He lowered his head and brushed his lips over hers, barely touching and never breaking eye contact.

“There now. This is much better, is it not?”

He stroked her face and a languid heat spread heavy over her mortal flesh. Her head drooped, seeking the strength of his shoulder, but his fingers under her chin prevented her motion. To do so would pull her eyes from his and he couldn’t have that. Not yet. He kissed her again, backing slowly into the shadows. One arm vined around her waist, lifting her. She clung, whimpering as he devoured her defiance. Looking away was no longer an option. He had her, almost entirely.

“A boon my Lord, a boon and a promise, I beg you Lord” she managed to say with the last shreds of her will.

“You dare, child? why should I grant you this boon?” The eyes commanded, fangs glittering under the dim light of the streets.

“Because I will freely give what can not be taken. In the name of the love I have for you, you will never attack my friends for I will give my virtue by my own will.” she paused “Because in exchange of one more day to say my farewells I will give you the blade of the Shadowfel, a powerful weapon that now has part of my soul. That way I will be your complete slave, body and soul.”

He laughed, “Ahhhh. I can taste your fear for your friends like a wine sliding over my tongue. Let me sip once more.” He kissed her again this time drawing blood “So sweet, beloved. I am going to enjoy you. I´ll grant your boon and promise on my honor not to attack your friends but I´ll take my reward before I release you.”

Lowering her gaze she said “There is a place nearby, it´s called the Lady´s Bodice.”

“Take me there.”

Next thing she realized, a bed lay firm under her back. He leaned over her, slowly removing her armor, while she arched into his touch. Every time her eyes tried to close, he drew her gaze back. His smile was lazy as he worked. Time lost all meaning, her world reduced to glittering eyes and impossibly warm hands. He peeled armor and fabric away as if unwrapping a treasured gift, his fingers doing the seeing for him. She spiraled into need. He leaned back, then stepped away from her. Cool air licked at her naked flesh. She watched, aching, as he stripped away his plate armor and attire. She wanted so much to drink in the view, but the ruby eyes held her firm. Her hands reached for him, craving his naked muscles, sound coming from parted lips.

“Invite me.”

A measure of will came back to Miria. She found her voice, and managed a weak, “No.”

His laughter was soft and indulgent. He took a single step toward the bed, power rippling off of him.

“Invite me, Miria D´Urban. For I am your True Love.”

Eyes darkened and glowed, reasserting control. She groaned, turning her head away, then groaned again. She could not break eye contact and that was her only hope of salvation. A swirl settled between her thighs, ruffling the tangle of pink curls. She cried out, parting her legs, biting her lip against the words battering free.

Once more, he came to her, soothing her with his touch. She shivered as his body slid over hers. His fingers brushed up her legs, stroked her arms, to her cheek. Once more, his voice resonated through her. She was drowning in heat, falling at a deadly rate into primal lust while he remained calm. A second face entered Miria´s feverish mind, making her lose control, wiping away the last of denials. When he whispered again, staring at her so intently, she could breathe but one damning word.

“Yesss”

Her neck was bared to him, the pulse offered freely now as her voice crashed and her mind fled to the other image inside her, “Syral…”

When she woke, she was disoriented. She opened her eyes carefully, recognizing the room. She was still naked, blood on her thighs and on the pillows, one hand slapped to her neck, already the wounds were closed. Her clothes and armor were spread nearby, Raven´s Tooth missing from its sheath. Her body still ached with satisfaction, betraying the storm in her mind. She snatched her shirt up and started to cry while she dressed. When she sat down to put on her boots, a wave of dizziness struck, forcing her to lean back against the chair. “It was the only way” she kept repeating “The only way to protect her”.

Quickly, with the lure of the bed and the memory of his touch pulling, she slipped out of the room. With luck, she could get to the relative safety of temple and be away before her companions would have time to find her.

She continued crying.

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From the diary of Aleksandra D´Urban. Lady of Lencia
Sidestory. Fate

My Dear Lyra,

Just a quick note to say that I made an official request to your grandfather for you to leave your house and come to mine to become my LadyFriend, I even agreed to the outrageous amount he proposed to the council. I hope to have you with me soon, then my life will be fulfilled and my loveless marriage will not matter.

I await for you, light of my eyes.

A.

D´Urban,

I would rather marry my granddaughter to a demonlord than have her turn into your lover. The dowry was just an excuse to save face in front of the council. There is not enough money in the world for you to have her. Never dare to look at her again.

Caldane D´Ulrich.
Lord of the Northern March.

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Letter on top of the bed
Miria

My Dear Ladyfriend,

I am really sorry for having lied to you but it is the only way I can be sure you will not follow me or try to change my mind. By now I am sure that somehow Mordred is back from death and he is after me. Do not underestimate him, he was a great man and a magnificent Knight of Pelor while he was alive, I fear what he has become, a dark, relentless, bloodthirsty beast. I will try to lure him away from you three, but I beg you avoid him at all costs, more than your lives could be lost.

Give my best to Sukeva, to Shera, and to Tex when you meet… her, I wish them a lot of sucess in the road they are taking. Being a part of the Shadow Hunters has been the most fulfilling experience in my heart since I left Lencia, even with Tex included. Being with you was the stuff from my Great grandfather´s tales, the closeness, the fighting spirit, the love.

And that brings me back to you, my dear Ladyfriend. I wish there would be another way but I am not doing this out of pride or misguided duty but rather love. I will not deceive us any longer, you are the only Ladyfriend I could have, even if you are an uncivilized barbarian, you will always be my uncivilized she-cat. I do not care what others might think, it is a rare thing for us Highborns to find True Love but within you I found it although I was not able to recognized it for what it was until too late. I will not throw your gift away but the other side of that coin is that my enemies will try to hurt you or, might the Gods forbid it, Mordred to find out about you. That is the true reason I am running away instead of taking you back with me, if we are apart, nobody will be able to touch a hair of your lovely head. Do not worry about me, I am used to being hurt so what it is a few more poisoned daggers…

There is a last sacrifice I must make for you but no matter what happens it will be gladly given so no need to be sad.

I will always love you and treasure your memories
Lady Miria Aleksandra S´Jet Dominus Urban

M

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From the diary of Miria D´Urban. HighLady of Lencia . Part 6

Dear Mother,

I write to you as I watch Sukeva play with some rats in a dusty basement. It looks that now we are the adventurers for everything in this city. We save rats from unseen assassins, open new inns and rescue non existent babies from imaginary monsters with 3 heads and tentacles instead of wings and we cannot walk through the city without a crowd following us. How embarrassing is to be a hero sometimes.

Fortunately the enemy army is gone, we just went outside to free the guardian spirit of the city and other than a few stranglers we did not have anything worthwhile to fight, we ambushed a couple of orc patrols, some ogres and a funnily dressed orc warlock with a big sword and that was all, nothing to worry over much . Although I must say that I find a little bit difficult to coordinate with my companions, setting an ambush with them it is almost impossible, they call me bloodthirsty but they are eager to charge the first mangy orc scout they encounter instead of waiting for the main group but I hope one day I will be able to teach them how to set up a proper ambush. Well, anyways Sukeva told us that the spirit was gone to a better place so that it is the end of it. Pity about the defenses I guess they will have to rebuild them now.

Dear mother on the other hand I have to say that Syral was a very brave. You know, I cannot but wonder, specially when sometimes she looks at me in such a funny way that even if she she is still a little bit uncouth if she could be my Ladyfriend. Better stop writing, I am blushing just from thinking about the possibility and Sukeva will wonder what I am doing.

Your loving daughter.

M.

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Sucaeva's memoires
Sucaeva goes to Hogwart's

The city of Ylarie was truly a site to behold. Though it was an expansive city, by Eladrin standards, its white towers and colonnades blended into the natural flora of the feywild, that one could almost call it was grown there. Its central white tower, where an elder Bralani watches over the surrounding domain, serves as a shining beacon to all who would need shelter from the many dangers that lurk in the arcane forests of that outer world. In addition, at the base of that tower was, and perhaps still is, a school dedicated to the arcane arts. Wizardry is a learned art, and if one has the aptitude and the patience, one can learn to tap into the great river of arcane.

The bells chimed signifying that morning lessons had begun. The adults wound their way the corridors into the various libraries, cloisters, and practice halls whilst the children gathered in the gardens before being divided up and dispatched to their scheduled lessons for the day. Those wishing to gain admittance had to gather in the eastern gardens. The prospectives were mostly Eladrin though there were a few Elves and even a couple of Half-Elves. Despite what is often said about the elven races, we have the same feelings and emotions and as children, we run and play much the same as Humans or Dwarfs. One elf, with a bit of a wild look to his eye was being particularly rambunctious who was trying to show off for his peers by tumbling around the gardens and doing handstands. The teacher for the morning lessons had to create a loud bang with his wand before the students came to heel. The instructor, a tall, Eladrin male with an overly stern look addressed the group, “Today, we will begin to determine if you possess the disposition and aptitude required for the study of magic. We will have to test you on how well you can retain the words of power needed to conjure, adjure, and invoke, as well as how well you respond to the implements wizards use to channel arcane energy. I will spend some time with each of you individually before you break off into smaller groups. So, let us begin.”

Over the course of the next few days the students were tested and each was given the choice of which implement they would like to try. Many of the Eladrins and Elves chose wands, though a few chose the orb. The Half-Elves gravitated towards the tome. A few in the group, including the wild elf, chose the staff. Its connection to the earth seemed to keep it rooted and stable, while at the same time, commanding great power. Once the implement choice was made, the students were schooled in the basic cantrips that are the mainstay of any wizard’s spell book.

Some of the students showed great promise in their studies, while many others still showed aptitude with basic spell craft. However, one student just could not get a spell correct. he either forget a key word or neglected a somatic component at a crucial time. He tried again and again, and it seemed like he could almost manifest a mage hand, but then the hand would dissipate when it tried to manipulate anything. Despite the suggestions of his teachers, he kept trying, but eventually he had to resign himself to failure. He might have been kin to the Eladrin, but magical skill was simply not in his blood. A particularly cruel child told him, “You will have an easier time getting that staff to bloom than you will at any sort of wizardry.” He did not know how right he was.

It has been a long time since I have thought about those days. My ambitions to become a wizard were quashed, but I did gain a great power of a different kind. I suppose I lament what my abilities had cost me. The beast within had to be awakened and would not arise through quiet reflection and study. I wonder, will I even feel that consumed again?

…“Sucaeva, get you @$$ back in the bed! Your spot is starting to get cold!” She has yet to fail at putting a smile on his face, He put his quill down and went back to the bed to put his thoughts to rest once again.

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