The Journal of Ielenia Galanodel and Company
Written directly from Lady Ielenia's notes
BOOK I I
Chapter 1: Adventurers Assemble
Chapter 2: Night of the mad Gods
Chapter 3: Northreach AGAIN!
Chapter 4: Gods bearing gifts, never trust them
We entered Loftwicke slowly and my new friends pointed out various sights. I noticed a few people looking surprised at our entrance and more than a few nodded to Eric. I was curious to this but we soon arrived at a pleasant Inn, much nicer than the best in Northreach. As we entered the innkeeper got a look of weariness and greediness, he bowed to Eric and asked if he would like the same rooms. Eric affirmed this and asked if we may perform for his guests. I saw the innkeeper sigh inwardly, then nodded. The next few weeks where a whirlwind of performances and steamy nights. Never had I imagined one man could make so many loose their inhibitions, and the dances I had been taught only enhanced the aura of sensuality Eric had thrown on the crowds. Each night people would retire away with others, and usually not always their wives or betroths. We would retire from the stage and Eric and I would go upstairs and consummate our own passions till the wee hours of the night. After a few weeks Eric dolled out our earnings, I was shocked to see gold and platinum not to mention a lot of silver. I decided to do a little exploring and purchase some things now that I had more money than my entire village had.
First I decided to find a smith and commission a sword, I had been using Eric's, but now that I was free and had the money I wanted to indulge myself. I based the design off a sword I had seen long ago back in the city of Greyhawk. After paying the smith and leaving I decided to look around the whole town, I still couldn't believe I was free to go where and when I wished. I walked along the avenues and streets of the town marveling at the sites and sounds. This town was so much different from the dirty and soiled Northreach, but soon I found that even this town had a dark side. I found the slums which looked and smelled much more like Northreach, I steeled my nerves and decided I had started this journey I should finish it. Walking along I was more than a little aware of stares, people in fine cloths where rare here, and even rarer was elven women in expensive gowns. Several toughs approached me with lewd comments and suggestive winks, they started to surround me asking if I was here to get a little dirty. I then decided perhaps some places are best left unexplored, at least until you dress for the job. Looking at the leader, staring deep into his own eyes with unwavering determination, which unsettled him he drew a club out and suggested that perhaps we all should go somewhere quieter and get to know each other. I smirked which caused him to frown as I drew Erics sword with a ringing sound of steel and disarmed the leader and smacked two others on their wrists, then returned the sword to it's home all in one deft motion. Looking at the leader I asked him if he was sure he could handle this, and perhaps that it was time for him to enjoy a few drinks with his friends somewhere else. The leader started to bluster, then realized his buddies had backed off and ran away. He glared at me and puffed himself up trying to look mean and said this wasn't over. Chuckling I said it already was, and brushed past him to make my way back to the Inn. I felt strangely relaxed and well...Free at that moment.
During this time it seems Zamir had taken up with a mage in the guild there, and it seems Jareth had fallen in love with a young half elven girl and her parents didn't agree with the idea. Jareth asked for his friends help in rescuing the girl from her family and bring her with him. Some worked on this problem as the rest continued our performances. We also began hearing rumors of silver and blue dragon sightings, also of demons and celestials. Most of this didn't make a lot of sense, but Zamir had learned of another companion of his who was being held by the shadow kin in Norhreach. A elven woman named Lia, and she was being forced to fight in the arenas. I began to wonder about traveling with this Zamir, it seems a lot of the wizards friends ended up slaves. I had no desire to become another one. But since I had no idea where to begin looking for my family, I agreed to help them rescue her. We decided to liberate Jareths lover on the way out, where he said they would marry at a shrine along the way. Personally it sounded a little crazy, and I was sure the girl was using poor Jareth, but he seemed sincere so I would do my best to help him. In a whirlwind of words and stealth we managed to sneak the girl away with the help of her brother. Then we stopped at a shrine outside of town that had a attending priest and Jareth and she where married. She was pretty and quiet, though their first night in camp they made more noise than Lucian in rusty armor. I prayed Eric and I had not made such noise together in our love making, for it was almost embarrassing.
How to describe what I felt knowing again I would be tempting fate, and walking back into the place that had used and abused me for over a decade? Scared, yes that was true and more than a little excited at the thrill of danger. I felt something building in the distance, a fate being dealt out. I wasn't sure then what would happen, but dark and terrible things would be happening. The rode was much shorter than before and though we had more people we all fell into comfortable habits. But as Northreach got closer more and more problems between Jareth and the others was occurring, much revolving around his wife. I watched her closely, seeing how she played and toyed with him. She used herself masterfully to control Jareth. A earring Klang had been using to masquerade as a elf was hanging off his wife's ear. I knew no reason that it should be and felt concern over it's magic. I drew upon a ability I had not used in quite awhile. I feared the answer but I knew I had to see if the shadow had taken his wife. A inky blackness surrounded her seeming to trying to control her every actions, never had I had such a strong seeing when using this. Usually it only gave me a clue as to whether someone was trustworthy or not. We traveled on and I was troubled, trying to decide what should be done.
We Camped in a clearing in the woods and dinner preparations and watches where starting to be taken care of when I decided to check on Jareth's wife. I had noticed the Shadow clinging to her getting worse and darker, It seemed it had grown even worse and I pulled Jareth off to the side and warned him. But he acted irrationally and accused me of lying. I was insulted, and more so worried for he had a look in his eye, the others also pulled him away and told him she was being possessed, that the earring that had so affected Klang awhile back, was on her ear.
He got even more irrational and fled into the woods. Trusting in Eric and Lucian to handle things here I slipped into the woods and moved so quietly as only a wood elf could. He ran through the woods lost in indecision, so my precautions where for not, and came to a small clearing where he pounded impotently on a large oak, my heart bled for him at that moment. Soon he got a hold of a grim resolve I could see it in his eyes from my perch in a leafy elm, and he drew his magnificent crystal sword and started towards camp. Before he could leave the clearing I fled back to camp to warn the others of his state. Upon reaching camp I saw some changes, people acting strangely, so I stayed hidden as Jareth came in and talked to my lover Eric. Some words pasted between them and Eric reached towards Jareth and placed ever so subtly the earring on his ear. I doubt Jareth even realized he did it, and I was shocked at Erics actions. Jareth started to transform, his hair whitening and his skin darkening, My hands went to my dagger as I saw Jareth halfelven turn into a Shadow kin before my very eyes. All my senses where focused on him and I moved out with such exquisite grace and stealth that I doubt anyone paid me any attention. My mind relived the terrors of the shadow kin and my blood burned hotly for his blood , I moved slowly up behind him but hesitated as none of the shadow I normally sensed on his kind was present. He was not tainted as the rest of the shadow kin were. I stood in indecision, gripped so close to that terrible rage that had saved me so many times in the arena. All the training and discipline was all that kept it at bay, barely. I heard little of what was said or done but Jareth stormed off into the woods again and I moved off after him thinking that the woods was a better place for my needs. He moved to a small stream and sat down watching it, brooding over all that had happened, I believe he didn't even know he was a shadow kin yet! I moved silently up behind him and raised my dagger ready to plunge it into his back and end this foul corruption. I was seized by indecision again, knowingly killing a non shadow tainted person would be wrong, but suffering this shadow kin to live was wrong as well. I stood still, agony of my choices written on my face. Disobey my gods edicts or kill someone I knew was not evil. A crisis of faith that would change my life forever, I decided his fate was his own and his gods. He was not tainted by shadow therefore not my concern, and maybe the earring could undo what had been done, But I did know that his wife was corrupted to the bone and someone needed to do something about her. Turning my rage towards that I moved away not even a blade of grass disturbed behind me to mark my passing.
Upon reaching camp I went for the beautiful sword I had made and drew it's gleaming perfectly balanced blade, ready to sink it deep into her evil heart. Yet Lucian stood near her seeming to be talking to her, then he enfolded her into a embrace, I stood shocked as his armors spikes sank deep into her flesh and her face twisted in pain as her blood flowed down her body and his armor. Lucian held her there for awhile the blood dripping to the ground, the only other sound was Zamir's quiet snores, he had gone to bed early for last watch. Lucian let go and her body slid to the ground with a thud, her blood pooling around her and seeming to shimmer in the red moon light. A cry of rage issued from Eric and he drew his sword and struck Lucian squarely. His blade glimmering as it cut into the dwarfs magical armor. Lucian reacted by drawing his axes so fast I could have sworn they just appeared in his hands. I started to cry out as the axes swished towards my lover, but so controlled was Lucian his axes instead smashed into Erics sword and the metal flashed once with light before sundering into pieces with a crash. Even as I ran forward to stop Erics next senseless attack I marveled at the dwarfs control of his battle rage and his speed and expert movements. Never did I wish to face off against him in battle. I moved forwarded but tripped over Zamirs staff and landed faced down in the dirt as Eric tried to hurt the dwarf again, but Lucian just backed away his eyes blazing with battle lust under his helmet. I scrambled up and grabbed Eric to try and drag him down but he fended me off easily, but then Garret the ever resourceful halfling moved up behind Eric and landed a blow that seemed to stun Eric. I grabbed his face and stared into his eyes, the beautiful blue of his eyes where dull and blank but a I'm sure he saw my green eyes boring into his, pleading for him to stop this madness. He collapsed onto the ground catatonic, not moving and barely breathing. Jareth arrived and demanded to know what was happening and where his wife was. He had anger in his eyes, but my heart was out to Eric worrying at what had happened I barely gave Jareth a second thought. As I moved Eric to our tent, Lucian stepped forward and explained things to Jareth whos barely controlled anger seems to be a aura about him.
I got Eric comfortable then went out to see what was happening worried that my new friends would soon be hurting each other even more. Jareth seemed in shock and I learned not only did he learn of his wife's death but that he had been transformed into his current state, a shadow kin. I went over and retrieved the pieces of Erics sword and then even through the soft boots I wore I felt the shadow in the ground, saturating it. I knew that something had to be done quickly but had no idea what, so I drew upon whatever ceremonies I could remember from my childhood, as the others quietly talked and worked things out, all except Zamir who still slept peacefully, and Garret who retreated back to his mount and fingered a loaded crossbow. I worked hard setting things up and chanting what I could remember of purifying rituals, and to my astonishment when I was through the shadow fled from the ground and it took on the comforting feel of sanctified holy ground. I marveled in the after glow of working with a gods blessing barely aware of the others, but knowing I must check on my lover and see if something could be done for him. The others headed me off first and we discussed what had happened. I could see the dull pained look in Jareth's eyes, and I felt once again my heart go out to him, for He had lost all but his friends again, and they had almost killed him! We figured the earring had some how possessed her with a creature from the lower planes, but it was all guess work on our part since we knew little. Strange we did not think to wake Zamir the wise, surely he would have known what had happened, but no we decided we must move on through the day. I went into my tent and looked at Eric then sat down next to him, cursing only slightly the silk skirt of my gown, for I was still not use to wearing such dresses yet. I prayed for help for Eric and a second miracle of the night happened and my hands glowed! I set them upon Eric's chest and felt a soothing warmth wash out of my hands into his chest and he blinked and curled into a fetal position, I wasn't sure but I thought he was crying. I took his head and laid it upon my lap and ran a hand through his blonde locks noting absently that my hair hanging next to his was close to the same color, the abstract thought worried me and I set myself to review the nights events and learn what I could.
As dawns light broke the horizon and we where packed and ready to go, Lucian told me he would get Eric's sword reformed and I gratefully handed the pieces to him trusting in the dwarfs knowledge of weapons and armor. I gravely handed my beautiful sword to Eric and asked him to use it while his was repaired, he refused but I insisted and I think he took it only to stop a argument than any desire to wield the fabulous sword, But I knew what was right, I could live without a weapon till we reached town. I quickly went to Jareth and told him to cover his head for I realized the light would affect him badly, he seemed to confused but gave way to my desire as we finished getting the mounts ready to head towards Northreach. I rested comfortably upon the front of Eric's saddle, feeling safe and assured at his arms around me. The wind felt vibrant and alive and the sunshine greeted the day, only the strained and quiet conversations foretold of the strange night before and the tension our friends shared. Eric seemed withdrawn, and talked little, but I leaned back against his chest and watched a bird fly across the sky, content in life and still marveling at the trust Shevarash had placed in me the night before.
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Or go on to Chapter 3: Northreach AGAIN!
2001-2002. Sean Nichols. All Rights Reserved. None of these materials may be reproduced in any fashion without express written consent.