The Thirteenth Day Past the Equinox, 778;
Given this chance to work with the Pathfinder Society, I had expected my life to take a turn towards epic quests and exploration. Surely there is no better place to be told where to go to reap glory and new experiences than there.
But of course, the first job given to us is to find the bodies of some hapless few who went before us. Or at least, I assume to find their bodies. Any competent, living people could make contact with the Pathfinder Society after as long as they’ve been gone through some way or another, and I was told there were casters with them. So. That.
But it could be worse. I could be alone. Astranimbus is a dear companion, but I’ve come to find her as a part of myself more than a friend. I cannot imagine parting from her. But there will be others setting off on this ‘quest’ with me. I haven’t quite had the chance to meet them, but I assume they’ll be as much of a misfit as I am.
Which is a great joy, I might add. I would hate for one of us to be despairingly normal in a group of fools and freaks.
The Fourteenth Day (?) Past the Equinox, 778;
So I touched the stone.
Really, I touched the stone. Honestly, there are only so many things more foreboding than the words ‘I touched’ before any random, meaningless object when it comes to the line of ‘work’ I was after. I suppose they should hand out papers listing off the things that are alright to touch and the things that aren’t alright to touch. Oddly enough, I’m fairly sure nothing is always alright to touch, so why even bother? Funny, funny.
But here we are, and I touched some stone and we all got sucked through into some odd pocket world where no sun shines and no stars shine. I know it’s a pocket world or something to that nature because Astranimbus is blank, void of stars. For my entire life with her, she’s been a beautiful painting of the night sky, even when it was day time! I hope she’ll be alright here. I’ve never seen her like this. She’s acting alright, and he feels alright, but… If the stars aren’t above, can she live forever still?
Can I still cast spells? I figure I should put away my book and take out my incense. I don’t know what to expect from it, but at least it’ll help me clear my mind… Maybe if I throw my voice to the spirits, I’ll be able to put my worry to rest.
No point in keeping track of days here. There are no days here. We’ve traveled so far the first day only so I could lose track of time entirely. So I suppose from now on the entries will have to be chronological by order. I do hate that. I enjoy dating my entries. To be entirely honest, I’m not too sure I had the dates right to start with. I figure if I ever become a legend, my diary will surface and maybe people will assuming I was an adolescent at the time of the writing or that I grew to be a thousand years old. But now the date is especially worthless to keep.
It is the seventeenth of midsummer, year eighty seven.
There, now any historians will assume I’m an elf of great age. Wonderful!
Anyways, I’m growing so distant from the purpose of this journal that I might as well burn it if I continue along this course.
So there’s a fairy, quite wingless… Poor thing. I don’t have any idea how I could help her, but she’s more than adorable and worth the effort. I’ve only heard of Fae as a sort of distant legend or thought. No one I’ve ever known claims to have seen one firsthand.
But I suppose I hardly know anything about her…
I don’t like these lands. I get the strange sense that I’m being watched. Astranimbus is unsettled…
So there are spirits in these woods… Great, roaming, massive spirits of alien purpose. I suppose even my spirits have alien purpose, though. Astranimbus helps me for reasons I hardly understand. Maybe I’m here to propagate the teachings of the Heavens, the stars and the void. Maybe I was chosen, or maybe I chose, or maybe there was a coin flip between two gods and I got mixed into the middle somehow. But again, I’m getting off subject!
A bird with burning embers for eyes… No one would ever believe me about that…
Maybe they’ll see it too. Then they won’t think I’m crazy at least.
I enjoy these long rides through the wilderness… They help me find perspective, and in this world where things have suddenly changed so dramatically, isn’t that the most important thing?
It’s been a large while. Political intrigue, oh my!
But in all seriousness, I’m as lost now as I ever was before. I felt the presence of a spirit in the library, and it told me it would speak soon. It did not give me a name, a feeling, a thought, but I felt it as I often feel Astranimbus beside me; inexplicable and mysterious. Besides that, there was also another odd spirit, or perhaps it was the same. Honestly, I feel as if everyone around me has some insight into what is going on besides my companions and I.
Delores; An odd character. I don’t know how I feel about him. It is not my nature to judge one solely on appearances, as the most shining armor holds the most barbed of hearts and rags clothe rich of spirit, but…
I suppose it’s the immense magical power I can feel around him. It is my dream to be equal to that. One of my dreams, at least, but who doesn’t have such a lofty goal as that!? Delores owns what appears to be a labyrinthian library in a mysterious land, and he has a plan for the world around him. He collected star charts! I cannot imagine he has much to gain from charts other than using them to make a set of stars for this sky. Think of such a thing… Envy isn’t very becoming of me, but I am becoming envy.
How fascinating. I’ve never been quite so jealous. Maybe one day I’ll have a little friend to sit around with in a room, speaking telepathically and casting spells with great whimsy.
But then there are others I am less intrigued by and more worried by…
Lord Piersym does rub me the wrong way, as he does to Astranimbus as well. His spawn, his brood, whatever that little cretin is, is even worse on my presence.
We took a job from her, and while I had clear ulterior motives, everyone else is treating this like a regular task. Can’t they see that there is more at stake here than getting paid?
Oh well, good on me if I save the day.
Its eyes burned into me. I don’t have much else to say. I wrote earlier that long horse rides gave me better perspective. That was a foolish notion. What’s the point? Can I even win? Do any of the things I set out to do? Impossibilities stretch before me. My life will be over long before it’s begun.
It’s been a long time since I’ve wrote here. It feels like a longer time even still. My fingers tremble as they grip the quill, but that’s from a new… Ripeness that was never there before.
I don’t know quite exactly what to take from all that’s happened. I’m old now. That was made evident long before they told me. I could feel it, though I guess maybe I still needed them to speak the words. Old. Old. Old. Decrepit. Crone. Venerable. A skeleton. My back aches, my body feels as if it had wasted. I’ll never bear children, not that I’d ever wanted to, but…
Old. Old. Old. Can I even still fight like this? My armor weighs at me so much more than it ever has before. It’s worse than the first day I put it on. It doesn’t fit quite right. I’ll need to adjust it heavily for it to be better. Maybe. Simply, I cannot carry my pack with me anymore. I feel like I’d hobble onto all fours like a mule if I tried. I can’t believe how heavy it is… I kept it with me to keep exercised for long travels. Now it’s just a reminder.
Burned. Old. Wasted. And now I’ve got this blinking light on my forehead. I don’t feel particularly smarter… Not avenues of wisdom or insight have opened to me. Why did I make that deal? I know exactly why I did. I was hoping it would help me never make the kind of mistake I made by making that deal. Through some mental hoops, I figured that if I made this awful exchange now then I would never be without a clue as to what the next step might be.
Fingers like bones. Veins on the backs of my hands. I hate to see myself in the mirror. And I don’t feel any closer to the answers that evaded me the day before. I stood before a demon of intellect, a spirit of Lore great and wise and powerful, and I felt so tiny and insignificant. How can I possibly convince these creatures to be on my side in any way or shape or form? How could I convince them to bring the stars back?
Do any of them feel so particularly against it? Am I getting signatures? Why must I plead a case when it is simply the natural order of things?
Astranimbus feels worried for me. I’ve grown incredibly irate as of late. I can feel it. She makes sure to warn me. Anger breeds bad spiritual energies, I think. I don’t want to be the bait for a great spirit of bloodlust and Bone.
I read through my old notes though, and perhaps I am just a bit more… Aware than I was before… Clues that evaded me of situations long past come to me now. I can recall names of long gone acquaintances. At least my head is still all here in this awful state. I’ll figure out a cure for this problem as soon as I’ve settled this whole ‘star’ business.
Aboleths, mermaids, and rain.
To put it all down as simply as I can, HORRIBLE CREATURES OF THE DEEP ARE WITHIN A STONE’S THROW OF THIS TOWN. They’ve enthralled a great number of people already quite possibly. Lord Piersym was likely a more than willing thrall. The silks of his home, the tapestries, the decadence… Those don’t betray the notion of ‘mind slave.’
Spirit of Sleep… I feel as if there were mistakes made, but all in all everything seems to have ended out quite alright. The little one is… Changing? That is what she wanted, right? Should I have warned her away?
Do I have any business to? I may be old, but I am still young, and Fae and Elves are timeless creatures. What true wisdom do I have in this matter, and what say should I have over the life of another?
Delores still proves she is far more capable than I. The details of the ritual, of the spell to draw in the Spirit of Sleep were lost to me. One day perhaps I will scribe down such things for myself.
She accused me of wishing to be a mother. I don’t know why that burns in my memory as brightly as it does.
But the little one seems to be fine now. She’s changing. Who knows what will come out of that cocoon, but she’s alive at least. I think I helped that happen. Astranimbus did at least. I know she is not quite like the spirits here… She’s my guide, my mentor, my only true love in this world. She’s more me and I am more her than she is like the spirits above. I can feel the difference, an immense alien presence when I am before a Great Spirit. Astranimbus is as mysterious as the void between the stars, but at the same time…
She’s my adorable little fox. Perhaps if Astranimbus was less like me, Aisling never would have been in danger in the first place…
So, maybe we are saving the day. I am as lost as the next. Or maybe I’m not… I understand vaguely the ‘why’ of what we’re doing. I just cannot pin down the ‘how’ quite yet. We are going to commune with a spirit of healing. I could ask it to heal my body, sure, but there seems little sense in doing that for the long term goals. I doubt it would simply do so either. And what curse would it bestow on me for such a favor?
Spirits don’t really seem to have the idea of favors either… Or things such as life and death having meaning. Or rather, they do when it is what their meaning and purpose aligns with… The Silent Death…
Right, back onto topic… I think I have a better idea of who my travelling companions are.
Aisling; Currently, she’s a cocoon. I’m sure that will remedy soon enough. She’s warm enough and I can keep the little bug safe until she’s ‘hatched’ I suppose. I’m a bit worried that something went wrong. I hope not, as she is quite easily one of the more agreeable and cheerful members of our little party. She’s a spellcaster of sorts… She sent me a soothing dream once, or maybe I just dreamt it on my own.
Arianna; From the time we left the PFS to a while ago, I didn’t quite know who Arianna truly was. I’ve seen many of her ‘types’ before, rogues and vagabonds. She fingers the hilt of her rapier as if it offered alms to the poor and healing to the ill with every last grip. But over the past few days, I can at least say I trust her. She has a kind enough heart and seems dedicated to whatever cause will get her home while being relatively good of heart. What more can be asked for?
Kenser; And what could be said of our unruly, horny bard? He certainly pulls through when he’s needed and sometimes when I never could have known he was needed. His knowledge of the language of the Mer is both valuable and uncanny… He’s a valuable ally, and he’s a good person. You just need to get past the awkward, fumbling come-ons. It has gotten much, much better ever since my age has increased… Silver linings.
Ratan; He saved Aisling. He’s a loner foresty type who’s just looking to get home. I can appreciate that. I don’t know much more about him though.
Boris; The poor fellow. His entire world has turned around from under him. That Leon man is dead, Piersym is dead, and simple, poor Boris is left standing in the wreckage. Enemies will be on every side of him, and he cannot possibly save himself from them if they advance in a way befitting the great artificers, the deceivers and tricksters of the deep, do. But his fate is in his own hands. I cannot save a man who does not know he needs saving at all.
Delores; Cute. If I wasn’t robbing the cradle with him, I might consider him as a replacement love interest from Kenser.
Kidding. Mostly. A very large part of me feels intimidated by his presence, as if I would be much safer breaking his neck or strangling him so he could not cast a spell. Another large part of me is reassured. After all… He is on OUR side, yes? And he needs me alive until I can repay whatever debt he assumes I owe him. As if I would ever balk at the idea of adventure. If only my feet weren’t so sore with it…
And another part of me wishes to know him better, to unlock whatever mysteries he hides. It infuriates me to no end when there is a box so clearly labelled as ‘locked,’ with no attempt to hide it before me. I’ll keep fiddling with the latch, the pad, whatever it is that might be keeping me out.
One of these days, the simple question of, ‘What horrible but likely misunderstood monster are you?’ will bear fruit. One of these days.
So where to next? To meet the healing spirit. If my journal is found and this is the last entry, then the healing spirit likely healed me until I was nothing more than a solid mass of healed flesh, misunderstanding my desire to be ‘healed’ with my desire to be ‘impervious to harm ever again via being an inanimate mound of unharmable flesh.’
I fear I’m growing a touch cynical over all of this…
I’d be so much more angry if the spirits that harmed me were not simply the most beautiful things I have ever seen…