Prose, Az Journal

Siriwattinaya, July 20, 2011

It was an exciting and exhausting day for Siri – the escape from arena was nothing comparing to those adventures she had when crossing the evil and dangerous lands from her home to Kansk. The bruise on her neck was barely seen with the treatment of her own secret medicine and the magic of the spring.

When the moon was shinning above the woods and Siri was alone by the spring, she thought of her family far away. She took out the pendant which led to the killer of her grandmother’s family and wondering when she could solve the mystery and revenge for what they’d done to her family. She wish someone from Elven court someday could give her some clues since her family had a very strong relationship with them before it all fall apart. Tears came into her eyes and dropped into the spring. Siri sighed and quietly wiped the tears off.

Then Siri thought about the group she just made friends with and the adventure they made so far. She couldn’t help but smiled. What a strange group of people! Siri found that she liked them more and more everyday. However she was not very sure of Ceylanda, “who is she?” All Siri knew about was Argent’s encounters with her. “I shall keep distance with her until I found out more about her” Siri told herself.

“What would happen next?” Siri hoped that she could spend some time with the Elven ambassador and his retinue, maybe she can find out something about the pendant and her family. “But the Elf is strange, they don’t like to hang out with other races.” If the Elf ambassador refuses her request, Siri decided that she should return to Kansk and continue her physician practice till the team figure out what to do next.

“That Brunitas!” Siri’s fists tightened, " how I wish him being punished for how he treated his gladiators and those slaves!" Siri made her mind that if Brunitas still came after her when she return to Kansk, she would make sure to return the favor of what he did to her.

Siri thought about the falsehood she tried to do with Brunitas. “What a terrible liar I am!” Siri giggled.

“Maybe I should practice more. After all, I am with a bunch of people who always doing something weird. It is something good to have!” Siri yawned and felt her eyelids heavier and heavier. " I shall rest now and think about the rest tomorrow……"

Vol, July 20, 2011

As Vol watches Siri drift off to sleep by the spring a thought crosses her mind. Sometimes I wish I could sleep like the humans… I wonder what they think about while they sleep. Granger told me that they dream and it sounded really unnerving. Having your mind go places involuntarily and not be able to control it. Having it think about things that were impossible—like an imagination on the loose. Probably if I could sleep I’d just think about Lorwyn like I do anyway.

Looking at the small lady, so far from home, alone. Her family gone and she goes by herself into the land of the enemy—so small, yet so brave. She was brave enough to stay behind and face Brunitas and almost end up a slave herself…. Humm, she couldn’t convince him that she didn’t know about the rescue operation. He could probably tell by the look on her face—she is so innocent. I wonder if I might be able to help her.

After a short revere Vol spends time trying to repair her clothes and spiff up her equipment. She fondly cares for the bow given her by the elven court and the sword Shadon had given her. She felt so lucky that someone cared.

As the morning dawned she approached Siri and offered her some fruit she had picked as the sun came up.

Siri, I don’t know how to say this as it is not something I ever thought I would do but I would like to offer you some help in arguing your way out of things. The Bardic school gave us a lot of training in dealing with people verbally and I will offer you what I have. I’m not an instructor but I am willing to try. Maybe, if there is a next time, you might be able to convince someone of something that is not quite true.

Ceylonda, July 28, 2011

It’s odd hanging out with elves again, Ceylonda reflected. Real elves, that is - L’yon, Barefoot, and Smiley don’t count. Like her, they hadn’t been typical of their race since leaving the forests decades ago - each for different reasons, each with private griefs to burden, buried way down deep never to be found. Yet some somehow, here I am sitting at an elven healing spring with two elves barely out of the forest.

Vol is so funny. I’ve never met an elf so innocent, yet so impatient. Does she ever relax? All she can think about is training and finding her boyfriend. Ha! He probably just got tired of her whining and went on walkabout. Or maybe she wouldn’t blow him. Although it would be really amusing if he’s one of the elves that got sold to Sakura! That will make for some awkward bedroom conversation. Ceylonda smirked at that thought. Hopefully no one noticed, but she wasn’t going to open her eyes to find out; the mud patches hadn’t been on long enough. Sunbathing naked on the poop deck out in the ocean was nice, but this couldn’t be beat, especially while wearing facemasks from the mud in Shadon’s spring. Leave it to L’yon to think of that! I’m going to have to bottle up some of this and take it with us. Soon, her thoughts drifted back to her new companions. Temporary companions, she edited herself. Vol’s okay, but we’re never going to be close. Too odd, too different. But what a singing voice! And smart as a whip in that academic sorta way. And safe - way too moral to backstab a comrade.

The other elf, Shadon, was as different from Vol as he was from her. For starters, he was an Etharch, or a “grey elf” as the humans liked to call them due to their long grey hair. He’s sure carrying a lot of grief, Ceylonda reflected. And not handling it well at all. He barely says a word and usually looks like he’s staring off into space. Ceylonda wasn’t sure why but Shadon hadn’t liked her from the start, probably because he’s a muckity-muck in the Elven Court of the Dire Forest. Just L’yon’s type; I wonder if he’s made an advance yet? Recently they’d met a high elven arcanist named Tilith and Ceylonda had kept her distance. Shadon had interpreted it as disrespect and scolded her later. “What part of my being a pirate did you not understand!” she said, launching into a tirade that carried more venom than was rightly aimed at Shadon. Damn, he really got to me. Then just as she was getting really wound up on her soap box he looked off into space as if having an epiphany and said, “When hope is restored for the elves you will return to our ways.” The reaction was unsettling. If he would have countered with a verbal assault or even some good ol’ fashioned fisticuffs she could of shrugged it off. How did he know exactly how to hurt me?

Like her, these elves hadn’t stayed with their own kind. They had three humans and a dwarf with them. Oddly, it was the dwarf, Durgoth, who was the most pleasant. He had to be the most easy-going dwarf she’d ever met. Maybe he’ll cure me of my instinct to always throw captured dwarves overboard awhile before interrogating them. Ceylonda wasn’t much sure what good he was, but she’d never heard of a dwarf who wasn’t rich, except for outcasts, of course. Dwarves were rich to begin with, but since 99% of their population had migrated underground, the 1% remaining were even more so, having inherited the holdings left behind by the others. And how od, that he worships Ra, a human deity. At least he’s not going to set me up; he’s way too nice for that.

Siriwattinaya was new to the scene. Asianic and a sorceress - two reasons not to trust her. Ceylonda and L’yon agreed they’d need to keep a close eye on her. I’m sure she has some ulterior motive against someone in this group. But who? Probably Shadon. She probably thinks she can get to Tilith through him. Why is it all sorcerers seem to scheme against each other?

Argent. Sigh. I thought you were dead. Back in Kansk Ceylonda was enjoying the local gambling scene with her crew. When she looked up across the card game and saw Argent swagger in she was hit with a rush of emotions. Anger, embarrassment, loss of pride, thoughts of revenge, and, damn it, a wetness between her thighs. There was no time for either of them to hide. They locked eyes at exactly the same time and the recognition was instant. He’d changed a lot. Older, more mature, filled out—-must be middle-aged by now. She, of course, looked exactly the same. His grandchildren would be dead from old age before she would get her first wrinkle. Our grandchildren, perhaps? Nope, never gonna happen. No way she was going to get serious with a human and watch him grow old and die. Not after watching L’yon go through that - I saw what it did to him. And besides, from what she could tell Argent hadn’t done shit in the last decade. She’d figured that if by chance he was still alive he’d be the lord of some plantation or in command of an Imperial ship of the line by now, not tending a bar with Uthred in that dump on the docks. What a shame. Still, he has a spark. Perhaps he’ll make something of himself yet during his short human life.

Argent, of course, was the real reason she was here. She could give a fuck about the missing elves. Unless there was a reward, of course. Even if there was, chances are she’d be making just as much money right now hauling cargo down the coast. But where’s the fun in that? Ceylonda wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. Argent had promised her a big reward. She didn’t really care about the money, except on principal of course. Piracy had been good for her - she had funds stashed all over the empire. She was probably richer than Durgoth. The real fun was watching Argent try and figure out how he would make it up to her on an innkeeper’s salary. She reviewed the tally in her head: One chest of imperial tribute, plus 10 years of compounded interest, and I’ve given them the only real lead they’ve had on who’s involved with the missing elves, plus the assistance of my crew in the escape of the elven gladiators. Yeah, one way or another, this is going to be amusing.

Ceylonda smiled again and stretched her arms, taking in more rays of the sun. Then she turned over onto her tummy to give the sun something else to work on for awhile.

L’yon hummed an almost imperceptible medley of bars, which in their code meant, “Rest peacefully. I am alert, and I have my eye on the sorceress.”

Prose, Az Journal

Chaldea PeterAdkison