The Journal of Ielenia Galanodel and Company
Written directly from Lady Ielenia's notes
Chapter 1: The Beginning of the end of Innocence
Chapter 2: New chances and old fears
Chapter 3: A new life, A path accepted
Chapter 4: Long dark nights
Chapter 5: Escape! and Love (lust?) at first sight
So the respect of one admirer could lead me to a route of escape? Little choice did I have in accepting his help, and his instructions on the tunnels beneath the city. Walking through a dark tunnel or forested glen is not so different and though I doubted I moved as quietly as the shadowkin, my luck held that only orcs patrolled the under tunnels of the city. I had taken the armor that Vistani had made me so long ago, and my beautiful daggers I had one off a foolish nobleman in game of chance one night. Slipping from shadow to shadow in the poorly lit tunnel was simple, and several times the terrible smelling orcs passed within only a few inches of me. I hated these dark tunnels but if the directions the young guard had given me where correct, to more turns and I would be well on my way to the wilderness around the city. As the first waif of fresh air came down the corridors, I turned and followed the sweet scent of the forest and water to a ancient grate over a opening. Outside the moon shined down on a waterfall going down into a forested valley. Something inside of me longed to go down and run through those trees, the wood elf in me I suppose. It felt so alien having spent so much time among humans and cities. I looked over the gate and seeing the ancient padlock I pulled a thin pin from my hair letting the golden curls cascade down my back and started working on the old padlock, soon enough my ears picked up the click and the lock fell to the ground with a clang. I froze then my sensitive hearing listening for tell tale shouts, but to my relief there was none. I eased the grate open very very slowly as it was old and very rusted, it took several hours to finally open it with as little noise as I could and I saw dawn starting to come over the horizon.
The sun was fully up as I made my way to the floor, the forest stretched out wonderfully in front of me, it's whispers filling me with happiness. Though part of that may have been that I was out...and FREE! Of course now looking back I know that it was way to early to be celebrating anything, and as I stepped into the shade of the mighty pines, a nervousness crept into me. Something was nagging my senses, putting me on edge and the shivers down my spine where getting more frequent. If I had been attuned more, hadn't spent so much time in the cities. My elven heritage might have saved me the pain that came next. As it was, life in the arena saved me as I moved as the whoosh of a club passed me by. I rolled across the clearing and came to my feet with daggers in hand only to see a monster unlike anything I had ever seen. It's long arms with sickly greenish looking skin where long and one held a large jagged club. It's eyes where small but it had a nose that was long and pointed. It's hair hung in greasy tendrils down it's shoulders. It sniffed the air and seems to grunt and shuffled forward it's black eyes watching me. I could see the muscled strength in it's arms and I knew if that club landed it might well be the last thing I ever saw. So I dived to the side of it and struck out at it's leg, but even the finely balanced and sharp edge of my knives didn't penetrate the sickly green skin. I also forgot to take in the length of the arms and barely managed to dive to the side as the club whistled around and clipped my armor. if not for the wonderful construction of it, I might have lost the use of a arm. I tried several feints and slashes but the creature seemed single minded in it's attacks. Finally I got in close enough to sink a dagger deep into it's thigh, but to my surprise the creatures arms wrapped themselves around my back and waist and pulled me tight against it's chest. I remember feeling panic as I felt it's strength squeezing me and I pushed hard against it's chest trying to escape. The pain in my back was incredible and I remember tears starting down my cheeks as I realized this thing might very well kill me here, only a few hours escaped. I managed to twist my hand and plunge a dagger into it's lower neck and it howled and one clawed hand wrapped itself in my golden tresses and yanked my head back, I felt something crack and pain exploded down my body making me cry out. Having exposed my neck the creatures grinned it's black and green teeth where sharp as it dived down and bit between the shoulder and neck. The sheer pain almost made me black out, I could feel it's teeth gnawing deeply into my shoulder, and to my horror the wound on it's neck was almost closed this thing healed it's own wounds! Darkness washed over my eyes and I felt a great tiredness settle into me. I knew then I was dying for I had felt such a sensation before. No wonder they had the hole sealed, not to keep slaves in but keep this thing out, I couldn't blame the young guard, he probably hadn't even know. I felt my warm blood gushing down under my armor and over my breasts, soon I would be nothing more than a meal and forgotten all together.
Something denied this conclusion and that great terrible anger burned a path up out of my belly and with a howl more primal than the creature. I stabbed hacked and slashed at it's skin, uncaring as the wounds healed. I was not going to die as a meal to some loathsome monster in a valley! Darkness had almost taken my vision entirely, but still my arm slashed viciously, the creature had stopped biting me and was howling even as I howled. And then I was falling and landing hard on the ground. I could only groan in pain as I rolled over, the flash of pain in my mauled shoulder made me wince and I looked on as the creature toppled. I felt everything blurring but I noticed bushes moving across the clearing and bright green eyes staring at me. For a second I wondered how I could be looking in my own eyes, then a gentle voice spoke words in a language I hadn't heard in a long time, in elven the person said "Sleep warrior"
I awoke later stiff and sore, and more than a little surprised to wake up at all! I was resting comfortably under a pine, my armor had been removed and lay near me in a pile as well as my precious daggers lay sheathed. I gingerly felt my shoulder and was shocked to find it whole and only a few light scars, I would have swore a oath that my arm had been gnawed off by that creature. I looked around a bit sleepily and noticed some berries and fruits piled on a leaf near by. But no sign of the person behind the eyes I had seen. I managed to stand stiffly and was surprised again at how good I felt and looked for my cloths, which where hanging from a tree limb and mended at that! Though a little stiff, my arm was moving freely and my back only had a slight dull ache, so I pulled my cloths on and, searching around I could find no trace of my rescuer and only a few blood stains where I had fought the creature. Remembering how it had healed it's wounds I decided I should leave quickly, not totally sure such a thing was dead. Returning and dawning my armor again I walked quickly east, since it was the only way I couldn't see mountains. Now you might think being from a mountain village I would have headed deeper into the mountains, but truth in fact was I had NO idea where I was or where my village was. One thing I did know was that I had come here from the city of Greyhawk, and that city was east and north of Northreach. Maybe in that great city I would find some clue to my home, or even track down my old master Vistani and get information from him. So I started out, it was late in the afternoon, but with the food I had been given and a new eagerness, and a fear of that things return, I moved getting as much distance as I could between me and that thing. I traveled till my shoulder throbbed and my legs where a bit weak.
So I made camp and removed my armor then laid out under a ancient oak and watched the stars through the foliage. Memories flooded back of my village and my friends all hanging out under a large maple near a pond till late into the evening. Teina would play her harp and I would play along on my flute as the others talked and relaxed from a day of chores. We would sing and joke and talk about grand adventures, I don't seem to remember being enslaved and trained to fight in arena's much less trained as a whore being part of those dreams. I couldn't help to frown, and I wondered briefly if I could ever again smile or dream without the darkness of my past coming to haunt me. I wondered briefly if I would be safe sleeping here, but I was so tired sleep won out over caution. Thankfully the sun rose without incident and I awoke feeling even more rested and my shoulder was even better that day. I donned my armor and ate fruits as I set out at a brisk walk trying to figure out how to find the city of Greyhawk in all this woods. How foolish another wood elf would have taken me for, our people prowled the woods long before humans figured out how to use clubs. When I found a road cut through the woods, I decided to follow it even though caution warned me people would search along it. Before mid day I heard horses coming from behind me, I ducked into the woods and held motionless as the riders came around the bend in the road. My heart froze as I saw Dejah and his men coming towards me, that brutal dwarf actually rode a mean looking boar! They passed me by and my heart unfroze as they rode from my sight. I was up and moving parallel the road, but keeping to the woods, I ran like the wind for the rest of the day, dodging between tree's as I went. Late in the day, tired from my run I came upon a large clearing and I fell to my knees despair on my face as Dejah amused face stared at me from not 20 feet away. His men where fanned out in a semi circle ready, though I was to tired to run. He strode over to me, I vowed to go down fighting and slipped a dagger from a sheath subtly as he came close. He grabbed my chin and looked again deep into my eyes, like he had the night he had first taken me to his tent. I cursed in elvish and spit at his face, then lashed out with my dagger. his hand caught my wrist and then I felt myself being shoved around and over till my face was in the grass. He laughed and joked how he always enjoyed me in this position best, and my anger bubbled up again. My foot lashed out and caught his ankle causing him to fall over me, I rolled over and came up straddling him my other dagger descending towards his throat. I caught a flash of surprise and respect before something heavy crashed into my head and his hand diverted the dagger. I fell over onto my back, vision blurring, I saw that evil dwarf patting his dwarven axe and grinning even as I blacked out.
I awoke as dawn broke over the new day, my arms sore from being bound above my head. I struggled briefly and saw Dejah drawing near. His eyes spoke of violence as he came up and lashed out with his hand. My jaw burst from pain and I closed my eyes with it. His hand grabbed my golden curls and yanked my head back demanding I look at him, so I did. He smiled and told me I would be fighting today, if I won he would kill me, if I lost it was back to Northreach and his brethrens hidden stronghold beneath. He leaned closed and kissed me softly on the lips, my eyes went wide as he was almost tender about the kiss. He chuckled and let my hair loose and slashed the bonds, he motioned to my armor and told me to get dressed. I watched warily as I donned the armor and he motioned two of his hobgoblins forward, one wielded a heavy mace the other a morning star. I looked for my daggers and Dejah laughed and tossed them to my feat. I scooped them up as the mace swished over my head and I moved away trying to get out of their way to get my balance. I knew that daggers against these two was a tough fight, and a Idea sparked as I angled them so our circles took us closer and closer to the human rogue Dejah favored. With a wild swipe of his morning star one of the hobgoblins moved in to quickly and I slashed his arm before diving next to the human, to his credit he realized I was up to something but not before I tripped him and drew his longsword and dived away as the morning star almost smashed my skull and the human barely rolled to the side so it missed him. I heard Dejah applause as I came around with a decent weapon in hand now. I battled defensively now parrying and dodging their blows trying to come up with a plan, using every trick I could to give me a edge. Our concentration was broke as a thundering was heard and a knight in shining armor and a huge warhorse came charging across the field. Behind him from the rode stepped a halfling in robes and a dark human in robes and a staff, then with a roar form behind them a dwarf in spike armor came out, blood lust in his eyes. The knight demanded to know what was happening as he reined in and motioned to the dwarf to stop, Dejah in his usual cocky manner told them to leave, this was legitimate business. The knight looked at us, and I had to deflect a blow as the hobgoblins tried to sneak attack in on me, so I was distracted as they spoke again. A second later all hell was let loose. The Knight charged Dejah and the Dwarf sped past heading for the evil dwarf of Dejah's. I saw between ducking and dodging the hobgoblins, the human halfling drop one of Dejah's warriors in a single hit with his hand. Needless to say I was impressed then chanting and their robed human dropped a ball of fire from the sky to land on the human I had stolen the sword from, this shook to the core having never seen battle magic before.
I wish I had seen more of the fight, but by the time I finished off one hobgoblin the other decided to run. As I looked around I saw the rogue down and the new dwarf battling with Dejah's dwarf. The knight was on foot fighting Dejah, and the wizard was standing seeming to be lost in thought. The halfling had downed another warrior with the help of a man with a large crystal sword, and was running to help out against Dejah. I chose then to go after Dejah, a feral growl issued from my throat and I ran at Dejah swinging low catching him on one thigh. His roar of pain was something to be heard, he jumped away from us and vanished. I cursed and looked for him desperately, I noticed the evil dwarf drinking from a vial and then he moved away at incredible speed, I doubted even I could have caught him. The new dwarf growled and started after him at a much slower rate. I shook my head and wiped my sweat soaked hair from my neck as the knight approach and drew off his helm. I noticed he was half elven even before I saw his eyes. I blinked as a cloud seemed to engulf my mind and I couldn't stop staring, people asked me who I was and I answered mechanically since my eyes couldn't come off of my half elven knight. He was devilishly handsome and his eyes raked me from head to foot as he stepped close, even the smell of armor and sweat off him didn't offend my nose, and seemed to only increase his appeal. I tried to clear my head but I couldn't help looking into his eyes again. They made camp and buried the bodies and looted what they could from them, I stayed close to the knight who I found out was one Sir Eric Meadowlark, a paladin for Hanali elven goddess of love, this surprised me but then again, he definitly had inspired love in myself, or was it lust? It was hard to focus when he stared at me. Though after some work their wizard and ranger who was Zamir Al'ekbir and Jareth Half Elven, he was the one with the beautiful crystal sword I had mistaken for human at a that distance, managed to remove my collar. Lucian Diamondew returned as the bodies where lain to rest carrying the axes and armor of the other dwarf, all bloody. I chose not to comment since I was still unsure of my status among these people and the fact they traveled with a goblin, who the wizard seemed to keep as a pet was more unnerving. Garret, the halfling monk I found out, stayed to himself and cooked over a fire. They spoke of going to Northreach to rescue a friend of Zamirs, then they asked....ASKED, if I would help them since they had heard my story by this time and thought I could help with the town.
How to answer them? Go back to the one place I wanted to avoid the most. But then Sir Eric looked me in the eyes and asked me quietly to please help them in this, and part of me melted as his look, I smiled and promised to help them as I could. I still couldn't explain why this half elf effected me so strongly, I wanted to go and have him hold me in his arms and feel his strength and courage. I wondered how they planned to get me in, and felt fear for being enslaved again, but Sir Eric saw my look and smiled warmly and promised he'd never let anything happen to me. Still again for some reason I trusted him completely, and nodded. Though apart of me knew Dejah had escaped and he would be looking for me, and for those who had killed his men, and even Sir Erics beautiful eyes couldn't keep a shiver of fear down my spine at that thought.
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Or go on to Book II
2001-2002. Sean Nichols. All Rights Reserved. None of these materials may be reproduced in any fashion without express written consent.