After several days journey we are now in a moment of pause to allow me to write you. With the help of Rendu’s harp most of our travels between islands take about two days. There is both a lot ot fill you in on, but also nothing really to say. We went to the isle of Yonder to retrieve some items we needed to complete our tasks and mission, as well as WONDERFUL NEWS we were able to find and save Leef’s mother Reece.
After that it was less pleasant because we fought a dragon. Yes a real adult (well sort of adult we haven’t quite figured some things out yet) dragon. It was a rough go and I’m so glad that we have multiple people who can heal. Actaeon made me very nervous, Clio as well. They were put into a difficult position in the water and I was sure we would lose him if not both of them.
Once the battle was over we harvested what we could. While I don’t love butchering I understood the need for the items of this creature, and it took several of us a lot of hard work to get everything that we could. I hope to have some new hide armor made, although we shall see what everyone else needs.
We were also able to locate this dragon’s hoard. I have never needed money like this before. But magic has a cost. And everything we need requires a lot of magic.
We are now sailing to the island of Drake. We have a tip that something we need is there. I’m anxious to go.
I don’t love sailing. I don’t even enjoy it one bit. I am happy I have a role on the ship, I’m the cook. While I am not the best or most proficient in the kitchen I’m glad I have a way to solidly contribute to everyone.
Tha mi gu mòr ga ghabhail a bhith a’ toirt seachad do dhaoine eile. Dh’innis thu dhomh aon uair gu bheil biadh a ‘frithealadh dà adhbhar gu ìre mhòr. Chum do chorp a chonnadh, agus d’ anam a bheathachadh. Tha e na thoileachas ro thric air a ghabhail gu mì-fhortanach a bhith ann am biadh a tha air a cho-roinn le daoine eile ann an sàbhailteachd. Tha mi airson àite a chruthachadh airson a h-uile duine a bheir an t-sìth sin dhaibh. Gu math coltach ri mar a chruthaich thu am faireachdainn sin timcheall ar dachaigh dhuinne agus do dhuine sam bith a thàinig seachad1.
I’m not entirely sure what to say in the continuation of this letter. So much has happened since we saved Leef’s mother (she’s very kind and patient and I can see where he gets his temperament.) I wanted to quickly write you though before we reach our next destination.
We went to the island inhabited by the dragonborn, it was a perfect place to set up Riesz so she would be in less danger and able to relax for the first time since leaving Ylisse.
The island was sick. Very sick. Clio and I did our best to identify the fungal growth that was harming their land. In the end it seems it was tied to a rather nasty dragon. We had to travel through a very intricate maze like tunnel. Often our group was split in half. I admit I felt a little more useful than normal, I was able to conjure several animals to aide us in searching for things, solving puzzles, and even protecting. Actaeon seemed to get along quite well with the 4 bears I brought out. For being spirits and not real creatures they certainly took a liking to him too. I get this fuzzy warm nudge in my mind when I am trying to consider who I should bring out. I think they want to be around him more. The dire wolves are the same to be honest. Who would have thought conjured beings would have such personalities. The fight with that one was not easy but several good things came of it. One is the exciting addition to our group. Actaeon’s dragon! Or rather, the egg. It still needs to hatch and all that.
I learned a bit more that one of the dragonlords prior who was accused of being a traitor in fact was someone who helped save the eggs. And with some of the Foxtail. I have a few more theories about this curse and how it came to be… but I can’t dwell on that right now.
Happily the island will now begin to heal from its blight. I had the opportunity to cast a growth spell to help with their crops for the next year. Thank you again for the notes on how to do that. It did take me the full 8 hours… Rendu was with me the whole time to watch over just in case. I’m not sure why I find that so embarrassing. I mean I was just casting a spell. The other’s were busy getting things back to the ship so I was grateful to have someone there. I just felt very self conscious. I believe you told me once that spell casting requires a certain amount of vulnerability, but still…
ANYWAY, we set off again for fire island so we could take Sa’Kull, who refers to everyone as meat, back to his kin.
I had an interesting conversation in transent. I have begun to practice more with my carving. I’m quite proficient in spoons at this point. You’ll see I have sent you a few with this letter. I’ve now begun to work on mugs. Those are more challenging. I didn’t want my first efforts to go to waste, and technically they hold liquid so I took them to Ilharg and Pholon and then had a very…um…awkward converstion with Pholon.
I have firmly decided he is not the one to ask if I want more information about my kind. I remember quite a bit as I left the tribe when I was 11 but beyond that age group I only know vaguely how tribes work. I’m not sure why I’ve been so curious. Maybe it’s because I want to understand my own tribe and their treatment of me, or maybe so I can understand more about Jadus… I’m not sure. Clio has told me that knowledge is power, so I’m trying to gain knowledge in a lot of different areas. I can for sure tell you I don’t feel very powerful, just more confused.
Pholon doesn’t have a “mate” in the sense that I remember. As far as I understood, mates were for life. And it was a very deliberate process in the Foxtail tribe between families and the chief for two members to become mates. Well I already knew the Scorpion tribe was different but I am still in shock at HOW different. Pholon has foals!!! I don’t know if they are colts, or fillies or what, honestly I’m not sure he knows. But while he did have what he calls a “girlfriend” it doesn’t seem like there is the same kid of commitment there. To say I am shocked is not adequate. I was so sad for him. He seemed fine but it’s heartbreaking to me. I know I am often preocupied with love and the real meaning of it, but even I know at the very least there there is a bond that forms. The only bond he has really is Rendu. That’s awful.
I hugged him. I don’t remember the last time I hugged one of my own kind. Perhaps it was the morning my da’s mum went the way of the land. It wasn’t nice or not nice. Honestly, for the first time in my life I was grateful that the pain in my back didn’t subside. That means we are both safe from each other. He’s very muscular so it was hard to truly put my arms around him. He’s also not a Foxtail and we are known for our small stature. I think if he had hugged me back my spine would have been crushed. Thank goodness it was over before that happened. I don’t think I want to hug him again.
We made it to fire island.
I am doing my best to not be appalled by the lizardfolk, and their way of life.
I realize that I still have a long way to go in regards to ignorance and prejudice concerning others. I have learned a lot from you and this group about mortals and fey and all the in-between. But I can say with certainty the lizardfolk at best make me uncomfortable and at worst terrify me.
I don’t even think it’s because I’m a vegetarian because everyone else seemed to have reservations about our meal with their group. They sacrificed one of their own for a meal. Let me repeat that in case it didn’t land. THEY SACRIFICED ONE OF THEIR OWN. FOR. THE. MEAL. THE MAIN COURSE WAS THE SON OF THE LEADER!!!!!
Herkus, I cannot begin to describe my revulsion. It was all I could do to hold it in my mouth. Actaeon had to explain to me that if I didn’t eat it and refused she thought that meant that I wanted one of her stronger sons to be on my dinner plate.
I both admire and am can’t believe that every other person was able to stomach and endure the main course. No one ate more that a mouthful of course but I couldn’t even manage that much. I kept it tucked in my cheek the entire time praying no one spoke to me. I couldn’t understand draconic anyway. I have considered learning it but now I’m not sure I want to. I was able to slip it out and burn it quickly expressing both my gratitude and my apologies to the individual. Although he did willingly get killed.
It felt like an affront to sacrifice. I still have so much to learn.
We’ve been tasked to help eliminate the rival clan who follow the titans. Getting there will involve a lot of swimming so we waited until I could make it so everyone could breathe underwater. We have just finished fighting off an ambush and are preparing to go underneath the waves. I’m excited to call out aquatic creatures for the first time to help us. The two octopi I conjured seem to be very excited to help us.
We’ve arrived in the enemies hold inside a volcano. Yep I’m in a volcano. Sometimes my new reality astounds me. There were a few fights not long ago. Of course my comrades were all valiant and took care of the worst. Both of my octopi have seemed to bond with Torag. Who knows what happened under the water while we were fighting but he seemed very pleased with himself and the octopi also seemed to be preening with pride.
We followed a path that Actaeon found. I freed a cyclops using water. I felt rather proud of myself. Those who had lock picking kits and know how weren’t with us. I guess they were busy with their own less benevolent cyclops. Anyway I used water to get the shape of a key inside the lock and then froze it as solid as I could and turned. I didn’t think it would work and that it was a silly attempt but through some miracle it did!
Aaaaaand that’s about the end of my triumph. This next bit isn’t easy for me to write.
As we had neared the forge I felt a ping in my head. Like something was beckoning me, and I had to find it. After I freed the cyclops I was so distracted by it that I started up a hallway. I alerted the enemy of our location and put everyone in danger. If Rendu hadn’t healed as much as he did we would all have been in a lot of trouble. I healed too, though I admit it was minimal. I was so distracted by what would draw me away. I didn’t want to bother anyone with what was going on. For all I knew it had something to do with my curse. How could I endanger any of them with something like that? I had to handle it on my own, or so I thought.
Hindsight has a way of bringing a lot of shame with its clarity. I felt I had to go into the lava to get to whatever it was that took all my attention. I feel so weak minded. I don’t recall Actaeon behaving this way. Truly I thought that if this was curse related it would be best to go alone. I have always lectured others about that, and about how they try to get themselves killed and force me to patch them up. I could crawl into a hole right now thinking of all the times I nagged at them. Every bit the mule Torag accused me of being.
Rendu called out to me but I ignored him, hoping he would just let it go. I felt the others needed him more. Especially since I wasn’t aiding them and they might need healing. I just wanted to find whatever it was and then I was going to go back and help. Truly this was my plan. Although there were some enemies around and I had several hits land on me, I was determined I would not take away time and energy from the rest of the group.
I made it to the island in the lava and remember very little after that. Everything happened so fast. Salamanders and fire snakes surrounded me. I did my best to heal myself and hold them off but in the end everything went black. It felt cold and hot. It didn’t hurt but it was also painful. My soul felt pain and in those moments before the darkness overcame me my thoughts turned to my family.
You and your pipe. Clio braiding my hair under the stars. Leef laughing and dancing. Shadow baking fish and adding too much spice. Actaeon executing a ridiculous plan what somehow works. Torag punching his way through each problem. And Rendu playing music with his whole heart regardless of the size of his audience.
The flashes were clear but fast. And my heart missed you all so much it begged to stay behind.
Then I felt a burn in my lungs and I gasped. Beside me Clio held me, Leef cried and Rendu looked fearsome with his wings out and eyes lit up. I knew in that moment that he sacrificed his strength to bring me back to safety. The others finished fighting. Actaeon went on what could only be called a cleaning frenzy of anger.
They told me that Damon the Lich was the one who destroyed the enemies and raised me from the dead with a spell. I am grateful, although I am confused as to why… I understood when Torag’s father helped him. That’s his father. I don’t know why Damon would help me in particular. Or maybe if it had been any of us who don’t have a god as a parent he would have helped. It’s assuming a lot that it had anything to do with me specifically.
All my efforts to not waste their energy and resources backfired. I had hoped to keep them all safe from something I felt only affected me, but they had to use even more to save me. I feel terrible about it.
There is some wonderful news in all of this. Zirconis, the dragon, was the one calling me. Right now they are still in their egg, but I hope with all my heart when they hatch they care for me as much as I already care for them.
Le m’ uile chridhe ‘s m’ uile ghràdh, ‘S gealladh gu ‘m bi mi ni ‘s fearr, do nighean gòrach,2
Druidic 1: I take it very seriously to provide for others. You told me once that food serves two purposes most of all. To fuel your body, and to feed your soul. The comfort of food shared with others in safety is a pleasure too often taken for granted. I want to create a space for everyone that provides them that peace. Much like how you created that atmosphere around our home for us and any who came by.
Druidic 2: With all my heart and love, and promise to be safer, your foolish daughter,