Shadow Hunters

From the diary of Miria D´Urban, HighLady of Lencia.

Dear Mother,

Yesterday I think I died. I was fighting an ogre when his pet hellhound jumped on me and then I do not remember anything else. I woke up in a funny place cold and grey, full with strange people in robes that could not remember much. But that is not what the priest said when greatgran died. There was also a big skeleton that tried to trick me but I managed to outwit it and escaped back to the world with the help of an old man. I saw a platinum dragon too but I do not know why Bahamut was doing in the other world, I do not like the gods messing around with my life. When I made it back I found that poor Elias had died too, I do not know why he came to the Nine Pillar Hall but until we find enough money to resurrect him the priests will keep his body safe.

After resting a little bit Sukeva just told me that now we have to work for the mages killing a renegade some place around a sea of shadows, where he is holding Karal hostage. Not bad we can kill two birds with one stone and then I will deal with the damn ogre on our way out of this place.

Lost! We got lost again, I hate this place and the iron eating monsters. I am down another lantern and lucky that I could escape with my armor intact, not thanks to Syral, the kitty spends too much time hissing and too little working out. I almost got Sukeva to give me the floating ring for a while.

Found the stairs to the sea. Apparently they were built to connect the duergar cities with the upper mountain, Shira managed to fool a patrol making as if we were on a diplomatic trip. That little one has a silver tongue I wish I could do the same but nobody pays attention to me unless I am threatening them, it is so depressing.
The sea of shadows was kind of dark. Without light we could see a green star glowing but of course without light I cannot see anything at all. So we stumbled around for a while until we found a bridge. Then followed it until guess what, we found another pack of undead! I swear half the world died inside the mountain and cannot be still. I hate it! I hate it!

After resting a little bit finally found the green star. It was a tower and inside some minions from the renegade mage. Killed some in the ground floor, climbed a rope (Sukeva fell down again) and killed a few more nasty monsters, including a follower of Vecna that tried to scare us tearing of his face, very impressive but I killed it anyways. Alas! we were late, somehow Syral managed to spoil the magic ritual the Vecna guy was doing and instead of eating Karal´s soul it ended up inside a black gem like the one Sukeva was carrying around.
Syral being the magpie she is took the gem and transformed into Karal. It was such a surprise, I had to grapple her so Sukeva could take the gem from her lest the transformation be permanent, I would not like to travel with a Karal looking she-cat although her looks were very much improved by Karal´s skin tone. Here the gnome was less than helpful jumping on top of me while screaming in my ears that we had to make her take the gem off. Strange enough Sukeva did not help me much. I wonder why?, perhaps he is afraid to touch Syral.

Pity that there was not much loot inside the tower, a few wizard books and some gold. I never get what I need. We should stop chasing magic users or I will not get a new armor in a lifetime. And now we need to find a way to get Karal from there so he can reincarnate like he was always saying. Will he turn into a she this time or Devas never change sex? I will ask Sukeva what he thinks.

Your loving daughter.

………..

M.

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From the diary of Miria D´Urban HighLady of Lencia. Part 2

Dear Mother,

Now before we depart for the depths again, I will take some time to reflect on yesterday´s events. Last night I wrote to you of how we entered the Horned Hold through the trapped door and made our way to the duergar leader in his rooms. Today I will continue from that point.

As I said, Sukeva was fighting Murkelmore while I was holding two duergar brutes at bay and the rest killing a mage. At that point the leader seeing that his mage was done for and that the two soldiers were not far behind decided to escape and seek more help. Pushing aside Sukeva the damned duergar bolted through a secret door in his fireplace, so quickly we finished the other two and chased him to the adjacent room.

Keep in mind dear mother that at this point I was spent, heavily injured and the others were not much better, but we needed to finish Murkelmore before he had time to rise the whole fortress against us. So we barged on the other room, some kind of slave holding area, only to find that, curse them!, it was guarded too. The guards rushed at us and we had to beat a hasty retreat. Stride cast a cloud of darkness but a duergar mage somehow managed to land a foul spell on Sukeva slowing him.

At that moment time stopped for me and my heart froze. I was not seeing Sukeva in front of me. It was me again, cornered by the ghouls and ready to die. It was Mordred holding me, pulling me on his charger and then being dragged underground by the hungry undead. My beloved savior, first from myself and countless other times from our enemies, how I miss you my Mordred, may Pelor reward you eternally for all your kindness to me.

It became very clear to me. There was no way in the Nine Hells that I was going to leave a trusted friend to die again. I put Raven´s Tooth on Shera´s hands and ordered her to run. I had decided that like Horatius at the bridge, I was going to hold the line and allow everybody to escape and if I was to find my death inside the hold, so be it. Steeling myself I advanced and pulled Sukeva behind me while the duergars charged us.

The first round went badly for the both of us. The black dwarves managed to hit us no matter what we did and bloodied Sukeva. While Sukeva broke off from the fight I managed to close the door and spike it with my javelin. Alas!, it was not enough. The duergar hammers tore down the door on a couple of hits and closed on us again. Defending myself somehow I made it to the other door of the room. Fortunately I was the last and everybody else was making good time towards the exit. The duergar landed more blows on me and then I knew I was going to die. My armor was battered, my shield twisted, blood flowing freely to the floor I was hemorrhaging to death and with only a dagger to fight back, ready to charge them for the last time when Shera saved me.

Instead of running away the silly girl closed on my position saying that she was not going to allow me to die. With some gestures she cast some spell of hers and suddenly my wounds closed just enough and I got my strength back a little so I could close the door on the cursed duergars. This time apparently held long enough, with a burst of speed I charged Shera picking her up and jumped in the next room while Syral closed and bolted the door. From there it was easy enough to make it to the secret door and the trapped room again. Out of the Horned Hold at last we made a harrowing escape from the duergar patrols and traced our way back to the Nine Pillar Hall without further encounters.

As I am telling this I watch the gnome deep asleep. While I caress her locks I wonder what to think, on the one hand I do not want to die again but surviving when my friends do not would be to die in the inside. I barely know some of them (and now Stride seems to have turned back into a nameless drow, there seems to be a big curse there), but even if I pick on Syral for being such a child and sometimes mock Sukeva for being… Sukeva, I would not mind sacrificing all for them to be safe.

I am starting to believe that it is some kind of balancing act of universal justice. The same way Mordred loved and cared for me I love my companions (except perhaps for Stride until he stops changing) so I will say it here so you can hold my secret safe, I love Sukeva, I love Shera and I even amusingly I find myself loving that jealous she-cat Syral and will do my utmost to see them safe as long as I am able.

Your loving daughter.

M.

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From the diary of Miria D´Urban. HighLady of Lencia. Part 4

Dear Mother,

I am very tired of this. In the last two days I have been stabbed, poisoned, burned, bitten, petrified so I decided to run away for a few hours even if the battle for Outlook was still raging at the walls. With general Sizeroom out of the picture the militia should hold on. I just could not continue fighting yesterday but of course it was because according to my friend Rea I had my left hip and shoulder dislocated, two ribs broken, right wrist sprained, could not move half the fingers from the shield hand, was missing a front tooth and I was in my Blood Moon to boot, although this last thing came as a surprise, I guess that when you are busy being pummeled by a big dragon little things like having your period tend not to be noticed, but no problem that our elven heritage cannot heal, I will be as good as new in a couple of days at most.

The funny thing of all this mess, dear mother, is that I am kind of hiding in a house of ill repute due to a silly mistake. After the battle with Sizeroom, while the eladrin was trying to make us have a dinner altogether and because the kobold troubles I told you, I could not go back to the Pickled Imp I decided to change inns to a better one so I grabbed the first passerby and asked where could I get a bath and a masseuse, on account of my shoulder giving me trouble when lifting Raven`s Tooth, and he pointed me to the Lady´s Bodice thinking that I was searching for some female company, do not laugh at me mother, because here a masseuse is not a skilled healer but a female entertainer (but why he did not realized I am a woman even under the armor is puzzling). Soon I was in this… house, I am afraid I scared all the ladies inside when I bashed the doormen through their doors after they barred my way saying that I could not enter because I was not a member nor a male, and being a little bit tired I decided to take a room anyways so I went for a bath while the girls fixed my injuries.

I must said that I had a great time at the Lady´s Bodice, the girls due to their regular occupation know a lot of human anatomy and how to give a nice and relaxing massage, also the Bodice has nice baths, pretty popular among the high classes I was told. And as nothing improper was going on as all the regular customers where busy with the fighting we had the chance for some girl talk about my friends (they were very interested in Sukeva I do not know why), how the battle was going and lots of gossiping on regular life (do you know some paladins go to the Bodice on a regular basis!?!? It is outrageous, if they are spending their time there when do they have time to come to the rescue of cute helpless maidens like me?). I must confess that although Rea is an excellent masseuse I could not avoid thinking about a certain pair of dexterous hands over my skin. Would it be bad to have her as a Ladyfriend even if she is not of our kind?

But feel proud of me mother, I never allowed my wounds to slow me, not even for a second, and if I have to carve a path of blood and death back to Lencia to face Father again I will do it alone or at the head of an army. Like the old horse master used to said sometimes I am as bloody minded as a three years old mare on heat, funny that I remember that now.

Your Loving Daughter.

M.

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From the diary of Miria D´Urban. HighLady of Lencia. Part 5
After the Purple Worm

Dear Mother,

You were right, I only had to wait for the signs and the way would be shown. Now the threat to Outlook is gone. The Purple Worm rush was the last chance for the invaders, once we killed it the only thing remaining is to free the spirit from the clearing and to mop up the rest of the rabble, surely even an incompetent like General Stone will be able to do it.

While fighting the worm I was scared for a second, just like in my first battle as a green recruit with the Phoenix Hawks. It was just a moment when the damn beast ate me but soon I recovered and finished it with a few strikes to the gut, then teased Syral about how I did not need her help at all. I guess that now the stupid dwarf will want to make good his promise to drive me from the city, well let him try I have my ways and the guardian agreed to help me. Anyway it suits me to leave, almost all my affairs are in order, only the kobold slaves remain to be freed and some other hidden enemy has decided that she wants to kill me. Adventurers! we live such a busy lives.

So now that brings me to the point where I have to decide what to do with my companions. They want to come with me to Lencia to help but they do not imagine that the dangers that await them there are not the ones they can face with naked blade and eldritch power but rather words and hidden moves. I am going to fight a type battle where I am but a mere novice and they know nothing at all. No matter what they think I will take steps to safeguard their lives even if I have to leave in the dark of the night like a common thief.

I will miss them surely, but more than enough blood will be spilled before this is settled and I will not have their blood on my hands. Specially Syral, I wish she was a human or an elf to take her into our house in the place she deserves, alas the Gods like to laugh at us and our trials.

Please dear Mother, when you read this come back to my side. Without you to sing to me my dreamscape has become a cold place. My black twin is gaining a foothold in and a dark shadow stalks me where my memories of my beloved paladin should be.

Your loving daughter.

M.

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Sucaeva's memoires
Yet another page in the chronicle...

Sucaeva’s Memoires
Part II

The door slowly opens, with each tiny creak sounding like a cacophony to the elf who was trying to quietly enter his room after checking on the shifter Syral. He did not want to wake Shira who had crawled into his vacated space on the bed. He marveled for a minute at how a simple sheet could so perfectly outline the curves of her body. He bent over, brushed the hair from her face and kissed her on the cheek before proceeding over to his desk. He begins to write…
I have been thinking about when I would next have the opportunity to put my thoughts to paper again, and it seems the Fate Weaver has presented me with the chance. However, I would have preferred not to be up so early, especially not after our ordeal with a purple worm and an army of orcs. I was woken up be an ear piercing scream (for me at least) coming from Syral’s room. I tried to wake up Shira, but she is not a morning person, and besides, she was far too comfortable wrapped around me. With a sigh, I extricated myself from her arms, got dressed, grabbed my healing kit, and went to her room to see what was wrong. Apparently she had a night terror with some gruesome side effects. She had awoken to find her fingers mangled, and then (why she did not wait on me, a healer, I do not know) proceeded to push her finger into place on her own. She described the dream to be, but even now I cannot make sense of it. In her dream we were all killed by an unseen archer, and Tex figured prominently in these events, though I cannot remember how. Sadly, I could not worry too much about her dream. She was in hysterics and I had to calm her down and make sure that no permanent damage had come to her hand. I managed to get her to a measure of serenity (I use the term loosely), and I set the bones in her hand with a splint so that they might heal properly. Hopefully, my ministrations will be effective. This is the second nightmare she has had that has resulted in bizarre consequences. I wish I knew what they meant, but, sadly, this seems out of my element. I am not as skilled a spirit talker as Myinn or…Karal. Thankfully, due to recent events, we have earned ourselves a bit of a respite as the army surrounding the city seems to be in disarray. However, I am convinced that this trial is over. I suppose I should try to explain.
My companions and I were informed, by the ‘ever-wise’ General Stone, that the magical defenses protecting the city might be weakening and that the enemy was going to use a purple worm to breech the physical ones. The general also told us that there was a way to halt the worm. There is an ancient barrier that could repel invaders of this magnitude, but that they had not needed this shield for a long time, so of course, the barrier was inactive. Naturally, the Shadow Hunters were nominated to exit the city, get past an entire army, enter the forest and restore the outer protections, a task that would be suicide for anyone…except for us. I cannot help but take pride in what we accomplished. We managed to evade detection and not alert the army during our trek to the forest, though we were almost found out because Miria and Syral, sadly, do not know when (or how) to stop bickering. We had to duck into a house to evade some orcs who were coming up on our position, and they kept chatting until Shira and I could get them to be quiet long enough for us to be out of danger. Thankfully, the guards were not alerted and we were able to make it to the forest. What awaited us there was unusual and ghastly.
We came across an eccentric dwarf who had sequestered himself in a tree house so that he could guard over a grove where the key to the barrier was. After a good deal of convincing he agreed to help us and led us to a stone plinth in the middle of a grove. As I got close to it, I felt a sudden dark energy around me, and when I looked to my companions it was as if they were frozen in time. A ghastly spirit appeared to me and called to me. I could not advance for the mere sight of this apparition made me uneasy. I find it difficult to describe in words what it looked like, but it looked withered with agony and age, and the dark energy that emanated from it was…terrifying. A spirit should not be like this, especially since I sensed that it was a tree spirit and the forest around it was alive and thriving. What it said next unnerved me most. It said many things about how it was lured and trapped, and how its energy was used to power the special barrier, but I found myself having trouble believing it. There is one desire from the spirit that I am sure of…it wants to die. It begged me for death, which seemed so unnatural to me, but as the spirit was in pain, I had no choice but to give it the release it needed. A follower of the spirit way could not do otherwise. Before I could convey what had happened, I noticed something moving in the undergrowth. A party of orcs leaped from the trees and ambushed us. Thankfully, we were able to fight them off without exhausting ourselves. I am amazed at how far we have come together. We fight as a unit now, a pack, and that is a great comfort to me. After the fight, I was able to tell everyone about the tortured spirit. Even as I was telling them, I could feel that dark force nagging at me, and hopefully, I was able to master my expression. I did not want everyone to know what that spirit made me feel. I managed to convince everyone that we should release the spirit, well, everyone except the dwarf. To make matters worse, the runes on the plinth were in dwarven, and so Miria had to be enlisted to help me. Things from then on did not go on as planned. I told Miria what to look for, and I performed the ritual according to the information she gave me, but as I completed it, the effect was not the spirits release, at least not that I could sense, but rather the summoning of the purple worm to the plinth. Apparently, what I had told Miria did not register as she had searched for the glyphs that would bring the worm to her for an epic battle. Miria amazes me in so many ways, and not all of them positive. We learned that we had roughly an hour, or less, to prepare for its arrival. Though, I think we greatly underestimated the beasts’ speed as the ground began to rumble beneath our feet. Then, in a burst of dirt and rock, the worm shot up through the ground, and before anyone could say a word, the creature lunged forward and devoured Miria! My friends and I could scarcely believe it, but we wasted no time in throwing everything we could muster at the foul thing. While we were fighting the beast, I noticed a figure emerge from the trees, elevn in appearance with skin the colour of obsidian…a drow! There was something familiar about her, but I did not have time to ponder the issue as I saw Shira get eaten. I could feel my heart in my throat, and I attacked the beast bite, blast, fang I could muster, but then I saw a plume of vapour emerge from the worm’s mouth and then materialize into my beloved gnome. I breathed a quick sigh of relief before our new drow friend was devoured, but she also managed to escape in a similar fashion by using some sort of teleporting magic. I noticed more orcs gathering at the edges of the battlefield, but they did not approach. They merely waited while we continued to fight with the worm. After a while it looked as if we might defeat the beast (I admit, I did have my doubts), but before we press our advantage, it plunged itself into the ground and proceeded unerringly towards Outlook. We barely had a second to breathe before rushed forward, but instead of attacking us, they jumped into the fresh hole and followed the overgrown earthworm towards the city. The drow came straight to me and advised me not to go into the hole and follow; however, before I could consider her advice, Syral jumped in and ran after them. It took me a second but I realised what was happening and I urged the rest of us to follow her. The drow acquiesced, amazingly, and she started calling me “B” (which was my second big clue that it was Tex) as she followed my lead. We gave chase (for which I am not properly built) and eventually we arrived in Outlook with a host of orcs and who knows what else at our backs. Just before I exited the tunnel I summoned a wall of brambles and thorns that would hopefully keep them at bay while my companions and I dealt with the worm. We chased the creature through the streets, but I noticed that it was not moving randomly. It was following a dwarf with an odd contraption strapped to his back. The worm was being lured from within the city!! I believe that it must be that accursed “There shall be a new dawn!” group. I did not have much time to utter a curse I had to focus on killing that beast. Thankfully, the creature had grown tired of trying to digest the armoured titan that is Miria and spit her out. I called on the spirits to protect her and indeed all of us as we strove to restore balance to this city. The worm stopped in front of a house (I am not sure why), and then we continued to pummel it with whatever we could while the drow, whom I assumed must be Tex, went to seal the hole. Miria was relentless, even after being eaten and flung over a fruit cart, she did not shy away from charging the beast again and again. I cursed once again as I saw Miria become devoured again. Thankfully, her stint in its belly was shorter this time as soon enough, I saw the glint of steel emerge from the beasts’ gut, after which Miria was soon to follow. We very nearly had victory.
While we were dealing the final blows against the worm, Shira had chased down the dwarf with the strange contraption, killed him, and then had gone a bit loopy from the purple smoke. She rejoined us, and we mopped up and got rid of the few remaining orcs that got through my wall. We had once again saved the city from certain destruction, and the people cheered us when we eventually returned to the battle chamber, but the machine and that otherworldly substance still trouble me. That purple smoke was not of this plane, and I can only assume that the subversives within the city were in league with the army from without. So many many dangers, and I fear that we will never be rid of them. In fact, this motley crew seems to attract disaster, much like that strange purple smoke. However, for now we have earned our triumph and we deserve rest, but I fear that we will not be able to rest for very long. I suppose I only need enough time to lie down and get a little sleep…waiting for a very sneaky gnome to crawl in with me later.
Sucaeva takes a minute to flex his fingers and relax in the chair for a minute to consider what he had written. A sleepy moan and sigh came from behind him, but as he turned around he merely saw Shira readjusting herself in the bed. He thought about going back to the bed, but he wasn’t quite ready yet. “I am sure my leftover warmth will last her a little longer. I should probably try to finish this entry before I get interrupted again,” he wondered aloud to himself. Sucaeva then laughed a little bit as he remembered the last ‘interruption’ he experienced. “Hmmm…I suppose some interruptions would be okay, ha ha.” He thinks about what to write next and then puts pen to paper again…

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Purple Worm's Head
Why waste the gifts of darkness?

…and on the ground heads are seen stacked as if on display. Heads that held so much information on things that would probably surprise the party.

Schemes, desires and well kept secrets are things that Tex had traded in so often in the past, and they had much weight in Stormpeak. You could say that that weight doubled in the Underdark, where drow thrive. These heads, which had the potential for the same amount of strategy, were trumped by heavy blades.

Tex is awash in dizzyness. The death of the dwarf by arrow meant little, even as information gathered points to an archer coming to kill him. The beheaded pile showed the power of muscle, of pure purpose, of equalizing all forms of life into rotting husks.

Now, NOW things begin to click for Tex! Miria had killed so many in the short months they had been working together. Vicious cuts from the blade of the maiden that seemed to be grunt work, or simple pleasure now showed more purpose to the red-eyed drow. The purpose was accomplishment, of taking away pieces of the puzzle and thus making plans moot.

Miria was proud of killing the purple worm and made every effort to display it. Drow would do it slow, with twisted painful days and weeks sapping the life out of the enemy, but the pink one produced savage slashes to make the worm fall quickly. This is definitely the easiest character value to understand for the drow sorcerer: Kill and be done with it.

Sucaeva too had thrown up a barrier that did not relent when a master sergeant or a lowly supply henchman walked through. The primal power he set forth had one task, which was to wipe clean the enemies from the board so that the elf could focus on the next kill.

Shira found the wisest enemy in a house and before the rest could question, reason or riddle with him, snuffed his gray matter with a gesture. She had the strongest power, she used it, she moves on, triumphant, richer and free of nuisances…

Syral, is of course the deadliest member of the party. Her blade is something to be feared indeed. Tex has spent many conversations with the razorclaw, who has ten cuts in the carcass to any one cut of the next party member…

and the conversations are engaging! How is it she uses her charm for rationale rather than rule-breaking? This is dizzying in itself.

Is the path to virtue, and understanding life simply killing rather than planning? Tex studies these Shadow Hunters and wonders why so much of the drow’s effort has been put into survival rather than being merciless. Father knows best it seems.

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Nightguard Report
Side story

To: Cpt Kurick. Battlechamber
From: Sgt Stobe. North Gate Guardhouse.

Captain, our fears have been confirmed. We found the third exsanguinated body in Elf Town tonight, a human female in the trade, it seems that along the lunatics, the fifth columnists and the monsters, we now have a vampire to deal with. I´ll strengthen the patrols but we will need additional help. Perhaps we could use that crazy human friend of yours to lure the vampire in the open and have the Heroes deal with it.

Sargent Stobe, Night-guard.

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Ogres, Miria and Orcs
venting with a bard is not a good idea.

Hello my fellow traveller, might you use a song to brighten your day? Or perhaps a story of wonder? Could you imagine an evil unicorn? How about a crying drow? Yes a crying drow. Well it is a true story if ever there was one!

My name dear sir is Gaston Redcap, and I have traveled from the west to search for an audience worthy of my years of training and uncanny natural ability. Ha ha you won’t believe it but I can tell from your appearance that YOU are my perfect audience! It is truer than the words of Bahamut dear sir!

This ’morrow a beautiful woman came to my place of work, which is common, so I thought little of it. My cave usually, er, I mean my cottage is the spot where women learn all about love if you get my meaning he-hey! She was startled to see me because…I was the most handsome man she met and she started crying almost immediately under her cowl for finally finding passion in her heart.

There was more though, this woman had skin that gave darkness new meaning, and fiery red eyes that made her tears seam pink to me. She was drow sir, and I had calmed her fires and turned them to love.

Now wait wait, you say this is silly but, Ok I’ll let go of your sleeve but just let me engross you for a few minutes more, and this story will be only a gold piece…a SILVER piece sir…Ok Ok I’ll pay you, just sit down!

This money came from her you know, she couldn’t communicate at all in the common tongue so I offered to write her thoughts in song. Over the day, she told me some odd news indeed.

There is a town of hearty dwarves that rely on women to protect their city. Due to our proximity, I only imagine she meant Outlook. The lady said that her group of courtesans were secretly great fighters under the silks and corsets, and well you know those shapely bodies he-hey!

This group of women has an elf male that keeps them from being lost in the wild. The drow woman said her best friend was also in the group, a cat creature with womanly appearances. The drow said she was confused about the cat, but that was before she saw my lush chest hair as I opened my burlap, I mean my fine silk clothes, so she would see everything a man offers over that of a woman he-hey!

This group of women had a fallen princess from a land called Lencia. Have you heard of it? It is out west? Like me? Like me! Oh yes of course I knew that of course. Just testing you on the geography as it were.

Where was I? Oh yes, this foul ex-princess woman is so ugly that she is forced to wear a helmet in fear of men running away. The drow said she wished to learn how to fight better from the ugly princess, but that the ugly princess only mocked her for having a perfect body. The drow said she desperately wanted to befriend the ugly ex-princess but to no avail.

Ogres and Orcs attacked the women in their sleeping chambers as they were dreaming of moustachoid men and pouting in mock kisses, as I understood her words. The secret group of female fighters defeated the monsters, but the previous mocks were too much for the drow’s dainty disposition. She spent moments with her cat friend and promised to return, but only when she regained her wits about her, to stand-up to the ugly ex-princess and had found comfort in the knowing arms of a real man like myself.

Why, I myself met the metal wearing she-beast, it was she that gave me this black eye, and scorched my fine clothes with lightning from her eyes as I protected the drow woman’s escape.

Sir? You nodded off. I wrote a song that the woman paid a silver to have written! Would you care to hear? Ah, I will follow you as you mount your horse and sing you away with it!

OGRES, MIRIA, AND ORCS
words by the bard Gaston Redcap
tune by the bard Gaston Redcap

What makes you scream dear children and ladies?
The sight of Orges and Orcs o’er the lands,
Well what if I told you there was worse than that?
The black heart of Miria D’Urban!

She finds no love so gives none back,
The reason is simple to see,
She replaces the sword not a sword with a sword,
Thus keeping her wedding bed free.

She killed a woman in the streets for sport,
She granted a necromancer reprieve,
She carried the head of a ranger for days,
And slept in the chambers of thieves.

But fear not dear ladies and children of the world,
She lives in the sewers most days,
She fears those who do good and right,
So respect what your elders do say!

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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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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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