To Whom It May Concern, Dear Journal? Dear Someone? Leef? Myself?
I know it may be difficult for you to understand this, and every day may feel like a struggle to live. Some days, you wonder if letting go would be easier than fighting, but I promise you, people will come into your life that will help you see that maybe there is hope in the future. That maybe there is hope in the new dawn.
I am not sure how to go about writing you. Or how to write down my story on these pages, but a good friend of mine told me that writing down the good moments in my life might help to organize my thoughts. I have not changed much in some ways, such as my distrust in anything humanoid because of loss and because of our time in Novarra…, but I think I may be starting to let people in to some degree.
We (the Oracle’s chosen; crazy to think about right?) have been in the city of Ellandyr for 2 days now. You remember that feeling when 1 day felt like weeks? Well many things have happened today, many of which I think have brought our disjointed and traumatized group closer together.
Our group goes from being supportive of each other to distrusting and angry in the blink of an eye. I’m hoping that due to the expectations set upon us because of our station that this will unite us in one cause instead of tearing us apart like the twin titans hope for. Speaking of that b⚿⚿⚿⚿ Khar’shan, I want you to know that mortals are not the root of our struggles. They were only pawns of Khar’shan and everything the twin titans stand for is a lie. They do not care about those who follow them. They only care about themselves and the power their followers give them. They are jealous, selfish, and cold gods. I want you to hold on to the idea that what you are experiencing will not last forever; your sadness and pain will turn into anger and rage, and this will lead to the sweetest revenge. These days we are closer than ever to getting revenge for what Khar’shan has done to us. There are many followers of the twin titans here and I believe we will be able to seek even more revenge. You may see that as twisted, calculated, and cold, but it is how I have survived this long.
Our companions consist of Actaeon, a fallen first order dragonlord who plays everything close to the vest, cracks jokes in order to hide his discomfort and pain, but has a heart that seeks to help the less fortunate; Shadow, a compassionate and strong individual who could be a great leader, but has also been tormented by Khar’shan to believe everything and everyone he loves is a lie; Torag, funny and headstrong, he seeks to find justice for those manipulated by the twin titans, and is fearless to a fault; Rendu, charismatic and easy going, he somehow finds ways to ease those around him; Briar; gentle-hearted and passionate, our best friend if you can believe we can have one, stronger than she knows, but is too self-conscious to see it; and lastly, Leef, kind and easy going, seeks to see the good in the world despite all he has gone through, but is not always honest with himself or others. It’s hard to believe that we can label these individuals as acquaintances … friends … and even having a best fey friend, Briar, and telling her how much we care about her. This is still such a foreign concept. I… it’s hard to stay so closed off, when we have to work so closely together to make things better in the Emerald Isles. Especially when the Oath of Peace is ending soon, and the world seems at odds more than ever before. I am certain that this is because of the Twin Titans. They have been manipulating fey and mortal as long as time anew.
I am always seeking more answers as to why our life started so grand, beautiful, and carefree, but quickly became something dark and horrible. I have realized that the power you will learn to cultivate came from the immortal goddess Kiora. For this very reason, I decided to go to the temple of the five in the hopes that she would commune with me. I was worried because the immortals are typically mortal gods, not fey ones. I also have forgotten how to pray to the gods or higher beings or whatever we should call them. Sure, I have seen Briar pray to Eos, but this situation did not seem like the same thing. The high priest Athos told me that to pray to Kiora, I just needed to tell her what was in my heart.
I knelt in front of Kiora’s statue and mentioned something along the lines of how I felt betrayed by the Gods, not her specifically, but in general because of the difficult life I have had. I mentioned wanting to find hope to fill the void inside myself and how my powers may have come from her.
Leef told me later that Gods often respond to prayers in symbolic visions to help us learn something. This seems odd to me. Why don’t they get right to the point so that we can follow them more easily? What happens if I do not correctly interpret the vision she gave me?
This vision consisted of me being engulfed in light. The light became a large white expanse and I saw a being of pure light in front of me. I assume this is Kiora, but there is no way to really know. This being beckoned me to follow. The bright expanse became a black expanse of beautiful and bright constellations. The being of light pointed to 14 stars that brightened. A darkened, black smoke moved in and dimmed 13 of the 14 stars. The being of light held the last star, and moved it to be with 2 more stars. The being of light looked at me and then looked at and pointed at the 1 bright star that remains of the 14. The vision then faded. It seemed to me that this vision most likely relates to the stories of the constellations of the emerald isles. A visit to the academy archadium helped me to copy a tome of these stories in my magical copy book.
Due to our party slaying Delica, a burning sun’s avatar, there was a feast in the evening of this night. We wished to sacrifice this avatar to the Goddess Kiora, and it was so. Most of my companions were tired of the long day of being watched by everyone in the city because of our deeds. They decided to retire to Shadow’s house for some relaxation and drinking fun. Torag and I stayed at the feast for a time. Torag to mingle, eat, and drink something called a pina-colossus. I would later learn this was a very well thought out and tasty drink. The more you put into it, the larger it grows, and as you drink it, it becomes smaller. Bizarre, but it was entertaining to watch Torag drink it.
My goals were definitely different from Torag’s. I was in search of Makhaila, the ever watchful left hand of Queen Aminatou. In order to ensure privacy, I chose to speak with her telepathically. I wanted to know who in the city we could actually trust. She mentioned that there are fractured aliases between the queen and king. Those loyal to the king appear to only do so because he keeps them rich. She notes the importance of avoiding the slave trader nobles Aineias, Kepheus, and Orestes. They can be recognized by how they flaunt their position. The centurions appear to be good in that they only follow orders and as for the dragonriders, only Tarchon can be trusted. Lastly, she mentions that she has no proof, but the nobleman merchant lord Taran Neurdagon seems to be pretending to be good. He has put out bounties against the Lady of coins (the city’s thief’s guild). She does not understand why they are at odds.
I am having a hard time wrapping my head around being in this city with all of its political, legal, and convoluted intricacies. As you know, we do not really have a home base, but being somewhere that is very rigid, bare, and with minimal flora is difficult. Briar mentions the smell, the plants here somehow smell more artificial. It makes me miss the forest, but I know that what we do here is important. It is definitely a process for me, trying to put the good of many people, mortal and fey alike, before my own desires. Restraint is something I have struggled with since I gained the ability to defend myself. But at least I have my companions who will hopefully prevent me from … you know, killing someone who might offend me.
Torag and I headed back to Shadow’s home in the noble district. Shadow made a toast to our accomplishments and to our ties and support of the 5 Immortals. The wine Shadow had purchased was very good, although much different than the fey wines Briar and I are used to. I was distracted by the exuberant voices all around me celebrating our accomplishments since coming to Ellandyr, but it appeared that Leef and Briar had a conversation regarding Briar’s hair. The poor thing, it is a bramble mess with no hope of being combed. But, I suppose this was partly Leef’s side of the conversation. I saw his head at one point turn into Briar’s but with short hair. I missed what she said, but her eyes showed sadness, and a hint of pride? She quickly drank a whole glass of wine and left for the courtyard. I was thinking of joining her when Shadow asked if we could talk in private. Why does everyone seem to want to talk to me alone late a night, I wonder? Is it easier to talk to others at night?
Shadow did not speak for a bit of time, but when he did, he seemed focused, but unsure. He asked me to use my psychic abilities to try to communicate with his wife, River. His wife and child disappeared, and the life he knew was taken from him. In a way, I can sympathize with him. The circumstances surrounding what has happened to him scream the influence of Khar’shan and I may have to take turns sharing my revenge with him. He goes into and out of a dark mind space, at least since he came to Ellandyr, often. But, I suppose that makes sense. There are probably too many memories here for him.
Just the night before, Leef asked me to help him communicate with his mother Riesz. Will this become a nightly occurrence for my companions to ask me for help? It is weird for me to be approached by others to use my abilities to help. Prior to my companions, most of those who saw them did not live to tell others about them. I suppose it is nice though. Being needed … and possibly even wanted.
I told Shadow I would be willing to help, but that I needed to see an image of River and to know more about her in order for my abilities to work. He excused himself and came back with Leef. He asked Leef if he could turn into his wife River. Leef, being always helpful as he is, seemed at first confused by the statement, but I think he quickly caught on to what Shadow needed my help to do. Through descriptions and Leef’s changeling abilities, they manage to recreate River’s image. Shadow then gave me many descriptions about what River was like, compassionate, strong, kind, competitive, his anchor… It must have been really hard to talk about her and “see” her. We have all lost so much, and it is easy to become so self-focused and forget that. We have only been together for a little over a month, but they have already taught me a great deal. I … Clio we internalize things a great deal and often do not express it. I know that is from years of abuse, but moments like this remind me that we are all trying to battle personal demons.
In the morning, when I wake, I will attempt to communicate with River. I just worry what it will do to Shadow if we cannot make contact. He already feels like a ghost and no one remembers him even though we are at his home and that we communicate with him daily. Not making contact does not necessarily mean she’s dead or gone. But to Shadow, I am not sure he will recover from that blow, regardless of what we tell him.
I took my leave to the courtyard and found Briar passed out with half her hair cut off. Apparently I was correct in assuming that Leef managed to convince her to cut off her hair. Her hair is rather beautiful as most fey. I hope I can help her manage it. I found a dagger in her hand and gently shaped and cut off what remained. I heard her mumble something about me being her best friend and it made me smile. I gently patted her head and went over to the grass to sit. What a whirlwind of a day.
I feel myself still putting up walls, but simultaneously, taking them down. I’m having a hard time retaining the excuses I have given for not opening up more to them. A protection mechanism?… Fear they will die as the others did and my heart will be broken again? Or the fear that maybe they secretly hate me for being what I am? It is becoming more and more difficult to have these dichotomous feelings and Briar and Leef being who they are makes it even more so. They are my friends, and they have their quirks, but they are kind, gentle, and I think sincere. I am trying to believe more that there are sincere people in this world. Only time will tell if I can get past my own demons to let them see parts of me that I have not let out in a long time. But, there is a part of me that wants to let go and feel more free, like we once did in the Wyldwood. Maybe soon, but our trauma is not something that can be overcome quickly. However, if anyone can help me do this, I think our group of warriors may be the ones to do it.