Letter 50

Dear Herkus,

Even though you haven’t had a chance to send me any more of your recipes, I was able to recall most of your pot pie dish. I couldn’t find all the veggies you use, the market here isn’t as varied as the forest but it still turned out really tasty.  I even felt proud of it enough to offer some to the queen, her Amazonian servicewoman, and Dia. Although I guess it isn’t too odd to offer it to Dia as she has traveled with us before. I’m so happy Leef gifted me his cooking utensils. I also got an alchemy set at the market today. 

Oh yeah, we are back in Ellandyr! Sorry, I probably should have led with that, yeah? After the Sour Vintage, we traveled a bit more and ended up finding the legendary ghost ship. Neither Clio nor I really wanted to go on it. There’s just something about boarding a ship captained by a dead/not dead madman who slaughtered fey for kicks that didn’t sit well in our guts. At one point I sort of ran my mouth about it and Shadow instructed me to “put a sock in it. I inferred that the reference he made was intended to shut me up, but I’ll be honest at first I didn’t understand the phrase so I stopped speaking as I worked through his meaning. I suppose regardless his desired effect was realized. Why don’t mortals use typical phrases like “one hoof past your back” or “you can dance with a dryad but never trip over the vine.”  I’m not stupid, it just takes me a bit to understand what they mean when the mortals use phrases like this. I mean, you never did, but your phrases and patterns of speaking are different from every other mortal except Leef, who’s terms confuse even the rest of the mortals in our group. He once said to me, “Sometimes you have to risk it for the biscuit!” and he seemed very matter-of-fact about that statement. I still haven’t figured out what biscuit he was referencing or how high risk a biscuit could be. It might have been his way of letting me know I used too much flour in the breakfast I made that day and it might chip a tooth, but Leef is just too kind to blatantly state that. 

Anyway… where was I?… Oh yeah, so, the ship was creepy. I think it was fairly standard as far as creepy ships went, though. There were some treasures other’s found, some turned out to be a horrible idea to keep. Torag found a box that complicated things later on. Actaeon opened a treasure chest. I’m not sure what all he procured out of it but he seemed happy about his findings. Then a ghost lady with a drum asked us if we were ready to return to Ellandyr, (by the way this was the only things she could say. Torag tried talking to her several times with little success.) Finally Leef said yes and then there we were in a different dream plane of existence and it was so bizarre. I somehow knew that I was a crewmate of Arklander’s ship and that I was loyal to the captain, but I also knew I wasn’t. It was such a strange dissonance that pulled at my mind. 

The man himself called us and said we would have to complete a task to leave the current dream we were in. After four of us (Actaeon, Shadow, Leef, and Torag) swore an oath to the ship, we went to look for some personages. Clio, Rendu, and myself weren’t comfortable with swearing an oath in front of such a person at this time. I believe if the time comes again, I might take the oath. I’m just wary of swearing myself to things or people without knowing the entire deal. Especially if that person is someone who made a prior deal with Khar’shan and is suffering eternal consequences. If he wasn’t already a madman, I’m sure that nugget of torture has influenced his capacity for deception greatly. 

We had to fight three beings and any others that would help them. We only were able to find out sort of why one was considered a traitor of Arklander. It was because he couldn’t be bothered to finish the work Arklander commanded him to do. The other two seemed to expect us and they actively started the fight. I also don’t like killing without knowing the reason or the consequences behind it, but as Actaeon said, they were already dead and it was the only way to escape the dream state we were in. It is my hope that the justice we imparted might have led to them to honestly resting in peace now. Souls that willingly offer their passing to a god or something they believe in give their energy to that god and gain peace that way. Souls that are trapped and bound to an object or place… They frighten me because their existence feels as though it is made of resentment. I hope they rest well now wherever they are and with whomever they serve. 

Everyone fought valiantly. It still shocks me to see everyone’s abilities in action. Either for offensive or defensive work. I am so grateful for Leef loaning me his wand of magic missiles. I really want one of my own now! It was so helpful! Typically in a fight I stay back and out of the way. I might cast a spell that can create damage but for the most part I’ve realized my role is to make sure that others stay safe as much as possible. But that wasn’t really an option here so I used the wand and helped where I could. I will be the first to admit though that I don’t want to have that role again any time soon. I was in awe watching Actaeon swing down that great axe and all it’s magic power. It was oddly beautiful. A similar thing happened with Rendu’s sword. He later explained to me that it is his ability to smite in Palladia’s name that gave him that power. Shadow’s new bow is fearsome as well. I admit it terrifies me. To be on the receiving end of a bow so formidable… Let’s just say I am grateful an ally wields it. Clio and Leef were powerful as well. Clio’s adaptability never ceases to amaze me and I am so proud of Leef for holding his own against opponents who stuck him very hard. I am grateful Clio was able to respond so quickly to his situation and somehow lighten the blows he took. But Torag… Poor Torag. I don’t think he was scared of the ghosts the way I am, but because of their ever shifting forms his punches just couldn’t land. I wish he had some magic gauntlets or something, that might have helped. It must have been very frustrating for him. 

Afterwards, Arklander tried to get someone to commit to being the new captain. Everyone who made the vow to the ship refused and if we didn’t have an enemy before we do now. So that’s great. And by great I mean “twelve trees and no useable sap” great. Then he disappeared and we went up on deck to discover we were nearly in Ellandyr. 

It was then that I realized that being below deck for so long and the movement of the water combined made me feel quite sick. Leef was very compassionate towards me. He said when he first set sail he had to get used to the sea sickness as well so hopefully that means I will too if we have to be on the boat again. He assured me that fresh air and watching the horizon was the best options but I’m also going to look into some plants that will keep the feelings of sickness at bay. Maybe I’m not the only one to have felt those effects. 

Once we smoothly docked we were met with a crowd and the queen who seemed very happy at our arrival. The one who wasn’t was the king. He made thinly veiled comments about “the heroes” and what the world needed as heroes, indicating that we weren’t it. He then went to shake all our hands, but I just couldn’t do it. I made up an excuse that I didn’t want to dirty his hands with mine but in truth I couldn’t stand the thought of having any contact with that man. I was shocked at first that Clio would shake his hand but she said something to him that I couldn’t hear, and the look in her eyes would fill a fire elemental’s heart with ice. 

We were shocked that we had traveled all that way in a day and weren’t exhausted. That’s when I decided to go to the market and get supplies. I’m feeling better about being on my own in this city. The vegetable vendors are very kind and I think they are getting to know me. That reminds me I need to try to get some seeds from the produce I buy and save them to cultivate. Shadow said Clio and I could make the courtyards our own for the time being. I think that while we are in town, however,  I will purchase any produce I want to cook with and support the farmers and merchants here. That’s what you would do right? If we are ever in a location that we might not have food then I can use the seeds. 

I’m about ready to turn in but our meeting with the queen was interesting. We are going to be able to fix up the Gjallerhorn a bit. I suppose we do need a ship to get to the Amazons for Shadow, the Fates for Clio and also the Lotus Witch for me… (I’m fine if we go to the other’s quests first.) It’s not that I don’t want to know how to break my curse, I do… I just don’t know what will happen if I set foot on that island. I mean in one way it bodes well that upon meeting Pholon I wasn’t instantly in love with him, right? So that also narrows down my concerns. I have figured out that it has to activate with someone with whom a child would occur otherwise how would the curse pass on? So a male. And apparently it’s not just any male. So that’s even better. But does that mean?… Never mind. It does no good to dwell on it. I just need to focus and put it out of my head. Ciamar a tha e, eadhon leis an reusanachadh a tha a ’sìor fhàs agus mo thuigse air mar a tha am mallachd seo ag obair, tha eagal orm fhathast a bhith dèidheil air daoine eile? Is urrainn dhomh innse gu saor dha Leef agus Clio gu bheil gaol agam orra. Tha mi ag aideachadh gu fosgailte gu bheil gaol agam ort, ach tha pàirt dhòmhsa fhathast a tha a ’sgreuchail nach eil e sàbhailte a bhith fo chùram. Gu bheil e ceàrr a bhith a ’toirt gràdh do dhaoine eile seach nach eil ann an gaol ach a bhith air a reubadh air falbh. Chan eil mi a ’tuigsinn.

gaol agus gràdh,


Druidic 1 How is it, even with my growing logic and understanding of how this curse works, I still fear loving others? I can freely tell Leef and Clio I love them. I openly admit I love you, but there is still a part of me that screams it isn’t safe to care. That it is wrong to love others because love is only meant to be ripped away. I don’t understand.