Talia, p. 89

* a short entry splattered with drops of ale*

gods… Yosho is dead… and I hear this in another’s tale of bravery, not from a friend.  That damned orc is responsible… may he burn forever in the nine hells he was sent to.

Talia, p. 88

I saw a woman today, in Temon’s shop.  Familiar, and yet I cannot remember where I have seen her.  It is bothersome.

And we have moved from the Sword.  I’ve yet to talk to Trystan, but it seems I shall sleep in the Traveler now when I am not working out east.  Fortunate perhaps. I hope.

I also hope she will forgive me soon.  The silence now is worse than the isolation was.  Sometimes I can sense the hurt, the betrayal, but that is not what I intended.  If she could only see it as I do, she would see why it is necessary.  But after several nights, I have not seen the woman in red return.  I hope I was not wrong.

Tomas, An Introduction

Name: Tomas
Race: Human, Male
Age: ~17 years, give or take
Class: Rogue

His black hair is cropped close, his eyes deep pools that drink up the light. His smile, when he chooses to use it, has a boyish charm, though he might be considered more plain than handsome. He is still young, but carries himself as one who has seen more than most in his short years.

Brief history:
Orphaned a left in the care of the temple, Tomas spent his early years growing in, but separated from the city. Boyish curiosity led him to exploration of the temple grounds and eventually to the city beyond. Often in trouble, Tomas was faced with the choice of conforming to the temple, or to be expelled. At 15, Tomas began life on the city streets Tomas eventually connected with others when exploring abandoned buildings. Troubles continued to follow as there were often tangles with the young nobles. Eventually Tomas was forced to flee, the city guards being pressed into action by some of the richer families. Tomas found passage at the docks on a vessel bound for new lands to trade with. After several months at sea he arrived at Leefe, seeking a chance to begin again.

Leaving the clearing (Talia, p. 87)

She stands near the edge of her field, facing the tight wall of trees that form the perimeter.  The normally cloudless sky is grey and dull.  The trees shift in the light breeze but otherwise there is no sound.

“I can’t stay here, you know.”  Her voice soft.  “I can’t find her from here.”

The minutes pass, stretching the silence.  She nods once to an unheard reply then shakes her head.

“I know you want me to be safe, but I can’t keep hiding.”  She takes a deep breath, closing her eyes.  “I will be careful. I am not alone.”  The wind picks up around her, blowing her hair into her face.  She turns, brushing it aside and opens her eyes to look at the empty field behind her.  “I’m not leaving you.”  Her voice filled with hurt.  “You will still be with me, but I cannot do this from here.”

The wind gusts again, pushing her away from the trees.  She turns to brace against it.  Stepping forward she reaches a hand out towards the trees.  The branches shiver and twist, crossing together in a lattice.

“Please… don’t make this harder.”  The clouds above roil and large, wet drops start to patter on the ground and her skin.  She closes her eyes, shivering, breathing becoming labored.  “Don’t… make… me…”  The rain is steady now, the grass droops under the barrage, her red hair plastered against her.  She raises the other hand, both outstretched ahead of her.  Her jaw clenches, eyes open, staring intently ahead, glimmering with a light of their own.  Her words are firm, forced.

“I… can’t… stay… here!”  Light erupts from her hands, blasting into the trees.  Branches snap from their locked hold, several trunks pulled from the ground.  Behind her, lightning splits the sky, striking the hilltop . Ahead, the fresh turned ground, the width of a path, soaks up the rain.  The branches overlapping tremble and pull away, leaving the opening clear.

She lowers her hands to her sides and steps slowly.  Rain and tears glisten on her cheeks.  “I’m sorry.”  The words are barely a whisper against the dying wind. She walks past the trees in silence, and without turning, is gone.

Talia, p. 87

It makes no sense to me anymore.  Everyone I speak to has a different story.  They each see a different force working at the center.  When I speak of the connections I see, they look at me with sad, confused eyes, as one might look at a troubled child.  Am I the only one that sees it?

The other was killed, not by mistake, but as a warning to a friend.  It was not to have been me, I believe that now.  The ones that mistook me for her have vanished, though I have learned there are further connections I was unaware of before.  He leaves me alone, for the time being, and my shadow… sent someone to me.  Why? The others do not trust her, but I cannot believe my shadow would intentionally send someone to harm me.  I will watch her closely.  Trust should not be so freely given, but she has done nothing to earn my distrust either.

My dreams have been peaceful… placid… but I feel they are false.  They lull me into a sense of false security.  I know I have disturbed her.  She sensed my fear.  So she offers me this in its place.  Even as her travels keep her away, in this she is always with me.  She means to protect me, but I will not be caged.  Even by her.  If I cannot dream, I cannot know what is seeking me.  I have not seen the woman in red in months.  I must find her, and to do so I must leave this protection.  I will return to that Inn. To our only connection I know.  If she still seeks me, she will find me there.

Naradra, pt. 13

We are nearly ready. The helm has been contained, for now. Young Raynor’s body lives, but his eyes stare mindlessly ahead. He has no light, no spirit… no soul. The witches spoke true, on that at least. Their words still echo in my mind. Is a soul for a soul a trade I can make? If we destroy the helm, how many souls will be freed? And is the cost of that too high?

I regret I was not able to return to the Tree People. If things had been different, perhaps that would have been reason to stay on this isle.

Raynor will be saved… and Terri… will either return to his son, or fall at my side. I see nothing for myself beyond that.

There is little point in writing more. I doubt I will see this journal again. We must move quickly, and I can have nothing, not even this, slowing me down or being a distraction.

( * Carefully, the leather bound book is wrapped in an oiled cloth. With the edge of her sword, a narrow floorboard is pried loose and the bundle slid into the space between. Tapping the board back in place, she returns the desk above. Surveying the room, she gathers her bag and steps out into the cold morning. * )