Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Journal of Katherine, Entries 35 to 39

This set of entries from the journal of the young cleric Katherine, as penned by the indomitable Kirk, brings her story up to the same point, chronologically, as that of the Chronicles of the Amazing Trevor.

Entry 35
I told them all. I am so relieved! It went well. I told them I ran away. I told them that I lied to the monks. I told them of the sorcerer Keith and his mentor. I told them of how I fell for him - and his magic. And I told them I was a lady of the Power of Light, traveling in disguise for safety and as a punishment. Done! I had to know that I would be safe; that I could trust them.

Karl was upset - in that I shouldn't lie again. Brute was upset about my treatment there. Brute also wanted to know why I ran away. That was a topic for another night, for the reason is complicated. Ohm Uri fainted. I stated that I was willing to leave the party, because I was not truthful with them, but they wanted me to stay. Maybe these are my new friends and family? I will always be truthful from now on; it is much easier this way. A fresh start, a new beginning, now is the time for me to work hard and earn their trust in me. I also told them that I learned some songs by the sorcerer. I wanted to make sure there would be no more surprises from me. I must explore that secret room in the house. I want to see if any books can help me learn more of White Sorcery. Back to the travels: we went north to find the tracks. We settled into a mindless trance, some days are worse than others, each one of us doing what is natural and expected: Brute - bent on destroying goblins. Karl - doing his workouts every night. Boomtuck - so money hungry, his illusions are spilling out of his head now. Trevor - wishing he was back in the city. Ohm Uri - quietly observing. And me - left to do all the rest, maybe because they think my place is the kitchen. Well, it seems like that. I lost track of how many days. Nothing much, but the road again.

We came to a burning village, filled with more horrors of war. I saw bodies tied up, tortured and killed. I immediately set about to prepare them for a proper funeral. Karl helped me, and the others went to explore. Soon, we heard battle cries and we started after them. On our way, we were ambushed by four goblins, two in front and two behind us. I turned and prepared for their charge, for Karl was well in front. The Power of Light held strong my shield, for one goblin's spear broke, and the other I blocked. I swung and connected a hard blow on a goblin, and its skull cracked under the weight of my hammer. Furry rose as I realized these hideous creatures were responsible for the torture and deaths of these villagers. Brute was right next to me in an instant, and felled the other goblin. The two in front of Karl turned and ran and then hid, but Karl just broke the hiding places and crushed them within. But still battle was raging. We continued to follow the sounds, and came across Trevor and Ohm Uri and soon the last goblin was dead. I healed our injured from the battles. My thoughts turned to the children, so I urged all of us to spend little time in the village, and resume the trail.

The tracks lead west, towards the trees and into the woods. We pressed on until we came to a camp. When we searched, Karl found an arrow head - the kind that rangers would use. This is a good sign.

Entry 36
We found Merity and the children. They were safe in a cave, I am now with them writing and answering their many questions. I am the same age as some of them, or maybe a year or two older. Seeing the trauma and strain in their eyes, I can tell they grow up fast in conditions like this - much like I grew up fast, under a different set of circumstances. The cave is home to a ranger, a girl, about as old as me, much stronger, but dirty, or should I write filthy, fighting for what she believes.

Let me back up for I skipped many details. It was morning, after we broke camp; Brute was following the trail leading through the woods. We passed in the woods in the late afternoon when the temperatures get hot, but here, the temperature feels cooler in the cover of shade. The trail went close to the clearings, but stayed out of site. Merity saw the same farm houses through the trees that we saw; only we saw burnt frames of ghostly reminders of the goblin's raid. I can only imaging the terror she and the children felt, as they were walking then, looking out at these very same houses, possibly with the goblins attacking, and they just huddled to remain unseen.

We came to a campfire where evidence showed the two groups of children were here together. This was the spot where they separated because of the wolf attack. Brute found the tracks leading towards the west. "This was not good," Brute said and he mentioned that Orcs live there."

We settled in to make camp, and in the middle of the night, we were awakened by Orcs attacking. They did not last long. In the battle, an unknown arrow sails into the last one alive. This arrow was from the young ranger, named Faylen, I mentioned earlier. Faylen led us to the cave where we are now. I was grateful that she held the children safe. I think she was more grateful they were coming with us. Half of them are now sleeping. Trevor dozed off first, and mumbled something about a mirror in his sleep. There is a different view of Trevor I see in the cave, how the firelight dances on his features. The others were hard on him, for not telling of my secret sooner, but he was doing it for me. That was thoughtful. Young Merity was there, and I watched closely how Trevor was with her. He treated her with respect. I approved. What am I thinking, how can I have any time for a relationship, when I've devoted my life to the Power of Light? But Trevor looks cute on the fur, almost comical with the way he tries to keep his clothes from getting dirty. The trip back to the city should be easy, but long with the children. Let us see how Trevor handles the children.

Entry 37
Back in Aden, the city, our first stop was to tend to the children. We promptly took them to the Temple of Light. A different priest we talked to now but, we left the children in good hands. We will check up on them in the morning. A short word about the trip back: I had suggested that Trevor sing a song for the children to make the time pass faster, but he would have none of that. Instead, I sang to Ohm Uri's playing. The music lifted the children's hearts. I gave encouraging words of comfort, retelling some stories I learned, and showed a joyful smile of infinite hope. Trevor was cold and frowning. On another night, I tried again to warm Trevor to the children; still he was cold, even stating that children are never to be around and in shows, or the like.

One last attempt to lighten Trevor's heart, I tried my old songs of sorcery that I learned years ago. I found out that my armor makes it near impossible to work these songs. After removing it, I showed the "Whisper: Softly on the Breeze," as I call it. This sends a message on the air, as I whisper to someone far away, but still within sight. To my amazement, Trevor heard my words! I had remembered it all this time! Keith and I would use that many times to plan late night meetings - we would talk about the far away places he traveled, and just show me so much magic. Somehow, he was able to alter the songs. He truly had mastery over it. Next I tried the "Sorcerer's Palm Push." This can move small objects without touching them, just by concentrating and with the right gestures. I tried it on a rock, but Boomtuck wanted to interfere. So, I used it to lift Boomtuck's dagger from its sheath. That was a surprise! The children and I laughed at that. It was nice to hear the children laugh, after all they were through.

I had persuaded Trevor to open the secret door, in exchange for a promise to have a glass of wine in his company. Once in the room, I found a nice book on arcane fire. I'll read this after the wine and food. Trevor also found something of interest.

Entry 38
Boomtuck, that gnome made a mess in the house. It was good that he did not go to dinner, as I had stated rather forcibly that he not go with us. However, his mess does not even compare to the mess that Trevor made this evening. Let me back up to before dinner...

Trevor thought going out for food would be best. So I wanted to get more comfortable, instead of this chain mail. I must really get a better suit, since I do not require this disguise anymore. I thought about Trevor. I agreed to just a drink, yet we are now going "out." He has been good to me. He did keep my secret when I asked of him. He has been close to me in battle, and was able to come to my help, when it seemed like I was in trouble. Could he have a fancy for me? Would he think of this as a "date?" Date or no date, I had to be presentable. I put on my formal white evening dress, and tied my sandals on my narrow feet. Letting out my long braided light-brown hair, the curls fell naturally over my fair shoulders. I haven't felt like this in a long time, but I knew Brute was near and I am much more confident in myself. Brute has become like a protective older brother. I went down stairs, Brute saw me with my hair let down, and a striking evening dress on my slender frame. He only shook his head sideways and rolled his eyes. I did not see the events that were coming this evening like Brute did, and he was able to see through Trevor.

We continued to wait for Trevor in silence. Then he appeared and well, appeared amazingly. He dressed in a scarlet red tunic, gold trimming on his outfit, his hair almost blowing in a non existent wind. A man of this talent and statue will make a fine lady proud some day. I wanting to say something, but I waited for him to say first. But did he? No. No remark of me or how I am dressed. He did speak, but only about food. Did he think I was fat or ugly, or not his type? This was just the first of many awkward moments this evening.

The inn was called the Boars Head. The three of us sat at a place where Trevor wanted a quick exit. Why, the reason will be along soon. Instead of talking about me or him, he was fixed on the smell of good food. After dinner was served, Trevor was annoyed by a rather vocal woman, with vast tracks of land, I can add. Trevor did not want the attention of that woman, and I saw that same look before, the look of avoidance. Then the woman remembered.

She invited herself to eat at our table right between me and Trevor, putting her back to me! That was so rude! Losing track of what they talked about, I was no match for that bosom of hers, for Trevor seemed fixated upon it. I thought Trevor was better than that. My pale green eyes seemed to pierce a cold wind, compared to her wide warm eyes with obviously fake eyelashes. My thin arms didn't have the massive soft texture of hers, the kind that show wealth. Then I was snapped back to the inn when I heard Trevor discounting me as just a business associate! That hurt! He must not have any feelings for me. How could I think of this as a "date?" Brute was quiet through all of this, but I can only imaging him telling me "I told you so." I was beginning to loose it. Brute must have seen me as a vengeful angel, for I was ready to strike like Karl in a blind rage, but again, Brute had that look about him that states "don't make a scene, finish and leave quietly." I recalled the breathing techniques that calm and relax, I slowly realize I am less stiff and the anger left. Then I hear this same woman telling the entire bar, that, Trevor never showed after he promised to meet her. This was a different Trevor that I knew. Was this true? I looked at Trevor, and he was caught in her trap. He did not look at me. If he made a promise, he had to keep it. I could not accept this. I do not mind who he saw, for I have my own past too, but, he should be sincere and keep his promises. My next memory was back at the mansion, I was swimming in thoughts, trying to put the pieces together. Maybe Brute had some words for Trevor (only of what a big brother would say), after I retired to my room, alone. I wrote the events, for good or ill, here in my journal. Did I discover the real Trevor without all of the illusions? I let down my guard with Trevor. With Keith, it was just so much more fun, musical, and magical.

Enough of this fantasy, I must be onto real work. The evening wasn't a total waste, I did get the book. And let me write of it. It mentioned a few elementary magics, but got cryptic early. It would take a while to learn of these runes...the book is too difficult. It decided I am not ready. But worse still, is this room. It is calling to me. The mirror. Let me find Trevor and Brute...

Entry 39
Instead I found Ohm Uri and he brought disturbing news that the children were missing from the Temple, the very same children that we dropped off there. He showed a bag of shackles he found. This was bad news, indeed. What happened to the priests at the temple? Were they killed? I rushed out of the house, not wasting time to get my armor, but only in my evening dress - the same that I wore to dinner on this ill fated night - and I asked that Brute be ready in the courtyard and all to head to the temple.

When we arrived, Brute started tracking the children's movements to the wharf. The priest at the temple stated that it is closed on certain days. I made a mental note to review this with the high priest in the morning. Meeting up at the wharf, the barge with the children was easily spotted. I had almost fallen into the water, if it were not for Boomtuck. He summoned colored lights which illuminated how close to the edge of the dock I was. I gave him a wink that I was grateful for his actions - maybe the small things matter the most with Boomtuck. The slavers were hiding the children in barrels. Ohm Uri and Karl were first on the boat. Karl lost control when he noticed the two slavers, and blindly swung his weapons and appeared like a wall of whirling blades. We had to get the children out of the boat, for Karl's rage threatened their safety. The rest of us did just that. Not realizing how many children were still in the boat, I tried the "Whisper: Softly on the Breeze," to get Karl to stop. However, only Karl knows what he heard in his head, but I must have reached him, for he did stop. Ohm Uri pulled the slaver free from Karl's view and bound him.

Once the children were calm, due to another nicely timed conjuration from Boomtuck, we decided where they should go. I succeeded in arguing against Trevor. He insisted the children were noisy, a burden, and a number of other names I will not write here. He did not want the children to stay at Broderick's house, but I could not trust anyone to take the children.

In the morning, we will deliver the slaver to justice and be used to further expose anyone else involved in the enslaving.  And the temple should have priests living there, to minimize this type of ruse.

When we arrived at the mansion, I wanted to have Ohm Uri and Trevor watch me as I get my things from the room. That room has strange witch craft powers. I cannot stay in that room. But, the same mirror that was calling out to me, the same mirror that I covered, the same mirror that lead me to the secret room, the same mirror that Trevor mentioned in his dream - that same mirror, Trevor was now staring into...

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