The lovely Katherine continues her recollection of recent events...
In the morning we meet refugees from the north. A dirty woman approaches Trevor and he is taken aback, pushing the woman elsewhere - no compassion in him - I am shocked. Then a group of men want to join us because we will fight the goblins. Brute scares the poor leader into not going. Would Brute have behaved like that to me? I ask Brute to not be so mean. He wants me to tell the next one who wants to join: "no."
Our sixth day away from the city, and we pass the village we saw before. Not much has changed. We continue our way and make camp near night fall, off of the road. We sleep in rotation, so that we have a constant watch in the night. Trevor and I on the first, Kull and Boomtock on the second, and Brute and Ohm Uri on the final.
On our watch, I hear something approaching. We quickly wake the others, and they see one human form limping towards the camp. Brute calls for me and I rush up not knowing what to expect. I see Brute carrying young Faylen, and her injured leg is the cause of the limp. I call upon the Light to heal this good woods-woman, a defender and keeper of the children we escorted a few days past. I add more energy into the healing this time. This feels good to me. A wonderful.
Brute gave me the task of persuading the next one not to come with us. Young Faylen is the next one. Once she is able to talk and listen, I give her the options of either going to Aden, the city, or to go back to her cave. She chooses to go back to her cave, since she doesn't like the city.
However, at the mention of the goblins we are going to fight, she tells the tale of Clifftown, where most of the goblins are. Faylen says it was a modern place. Located on the edge of the lake, it had an abundant supply of trade. All lay in waste now. The goblins have ransacked it. She talks of abominations of humans with animal heads nailed to trees. And of horrible monsters with open sores on their skin. The goblins refer to them as avatars. Faylen continues with a story of how the druids casted spells to hold the rocks back from falling on the town. If we can find the druids to cancel the spell, the rocks will crush the goblins. Then I ask if she could guide us to the druids?
There are two ways to get there, by land or by sea, Faylen adds. Land would take a long time, and sea would be a day. We must get a boat, though. Brute plans to take a few sneaky ones, like Ohm Uri Boomtuck and Faylen, past the goblin guards and float away with a boat. Seems too easy.
Kull, Trevor and I wait in the rain by a little lagoon for the others to get the boat. I thought this could be a good time to talk to Trevor about us. So I clear my head, prepare mentally, get ready to start with a big question, walk towards Trevor, and he vanishes. If I could curse! I try my whisper, no answer. I call out to Trevor, still no answer. Did something happen to him? I detect magic and get a faint glimmer. Was it foul magic? Then I see something written in the mud, but cannot tell what it is. Next, I feel a tap on my shoulder, Instinct gave in, so I swing round with my mace and into thin air, for I see nothing there. Then I hear Trevor's voice saying it's me. I say, "You told me that you didn't know invisibility. And now you do. Why? I could have hurt you." He replies, "I found another ring in the folds, but I cannot get it off." Kull remarks "You should not use magic if it is unknown." Trevor replies basically, that he takes chances. Then says he will go and help the others. And it is quiet. I call out to him, and no answer. He just left. Or I think so. Sometimes, he makes me so upset. If I could curse. I could have hit him, and I wanted to ask him my questions, but now, I really want - stop.
I wait with Kull in silence. I close my eyes to focus on hearing. Nothing but the rain. What seems like hours, Kull then states "They are here." I see the ship materialize from the fog. It seems all too easy.
I find Trevor...
I ask him to remove it. Now he says that since he is dry he might be able. And he tries and says it is still stuck. I say, "Put your hand out. I will touch you." I didn't want him reaching out to touch me - anywhere. I put my fingers on the ring and gently pull. It easily slips off. What is he talking about it being stuck? Once I have it, I move to keep it for a "piece of mind." And Faylen agrees with me, we do not want him snooping around and not respecting our privacy. But Kull and Ohm Uri side with Trevor. Reluctantly, I give the ring back. This is not over yet.
Brute's patience runs out. We load our gear in the boat and Boomtuck stays behind with the cart and horses.
I look back at Boomtuck, as we slip out into the night. Kull has stated a number of times that he does not like water. He hugs the mast. I find a place in the front, and hunker down. Slipping through states of consciousness in the night, I lean my head over the boat. I see little glowing or flashing things occasionally. This water world is most strange. Is it real, or am I imaging? I look up and see the night sky. Somehow, young Faylen is able to guide the boat. We all trust her.
We travel all night and it is morning now. No land in sight. I did not mind. The wind is blowing steady and stronger now, and the boat has picked up speed. Sailing is wonderful. I like the front. The wind in my face, my hair blowing back, the sound of the water against the wooden planks, and the spray as the boat goes up and down plowing through the waves, these are treasures of the adventure. These cannot be bought with coin, they must be experienced. I move to sit with my legs dangling over the side and look into an endlessness of the water depths. Every so often I see a slice of silver flash as a fish swims past. This is the free spirit - the wayward traveler. My mind wonders of other seas to travel.
Trevor joins me in the front of the boat, and I point out the wave patterns on the water and the silver flashes of fish. I show him where the water appears darker the wind is stronger, because it adds to the ripples. Trevor mentions the fish, and Ohm Uri soon has six and we all have a meal. I ask for some wine, Rose I say. The ride seems a little bit more refreshed. But, I am still upset about the ring business.
We continue until about mid day. So quickly it happens. My intentions are instinctive. Ohm Uri sees land and in his excitement, climbs the mast of this thin boat. The boat leans and we over compensate, sending the boat over to the other side. I see water coming over the gunwales and Trevor and Brute loose their grip. Kull grabs Trevor. I manage to have a solid grip on the ore handle and with my free hand reach out and grab Brute. I under estimate how much the boat leans and Brute hangs free. All of Brute's mass is put on my small frame. I will always remember the pop sound when the handle just slips right through my fingers. I sail overboard into the clear greenish water trailing Brute.
With my earlier fascination with the water, I did not think I would be this intimate with it. The water is cold at the initial shock, but now, it feels warmer. Brute, always so kind to me, tells me to grab his shoulders, and to hang on. He started to swim after the boat. Now I can swim, although I am not the best, but Brute, with the reflexes of a savanna cat, grabs a tossed rope, and pulls us closer to the boat under sail. Water is spraying everywhere, that I must turn my head so I can breath. Once we are close to the boat, his free hand pushes me up and Trevor, who is looking rather smug, pulls me into the boat. Now I realize, I am in my rather fine dress soaking wet, and it is clinging to my body, revealing my form a bit more than I'd like. I look at the rest of the men, they are staring at me, mouths open, and I am over my comfort level. Faylen is laughing hysterically. Once Brute is back, he is quick to have the rest turn their heads, so I wrap up in a blanket.
Trevor offers to use his conjuring to dry my clothes, but I cannot take that. First, he tricks me into touching his hand when I took off the ring, and now, he wants to press dry my clinging wet dress with his magic. I know he can sense the touch when he uses that spell, and the thought of him wanting to do that when I am vulnerable - I expected more from him. I simply say, "I just want to be alone." I huddled in my blanket, teeth chattering, lips blue, trying to close out the wind...
The boat lands and I am somewhat dryer, now. We make our way inland, and we hear birds chirping, but also see them up close, and deer came right up to us. They are tame. Then it gets quiet, too quiet.
I call out "We come to seek the aid of the druids. We want to speak, to parley." Out comes this man, right from the wood. I introduce myself, "I am Katherine, of the Temple of the Light, and we seek aid. This is Kull, and Ohm Uri, and..." "The amazing Trevor," Trevor adds. And I continue with "... and this is Brute." This man interjects, "The Great Brute? The one that has killed multiple minotaurs in a single battle..." He continues with the stories, of killing and such, most seemed a bit too unbelievable. I zone out. Finally, he introduces himself as Daymond. And he agrees to help, if his friends come along: a wolf, a weasel, and a bird.
We pile back into the boat and Ohm Uri has an idea to rig the sail so it catches the wind, but will pull the boat into the wind. Maybe Trevor is correct in knowing Ohm Uri is a magic user, for this does seem like magic: to make the boat move into the wind with the sail. We all agree to let him try. Brute pushes off and we move about in a huge half circle, heading right back to the beach! Brute has enough of this. We row. The trip back takes longer.
The weasel, one of the druid's friends, curls up around my leg. I ask if I can touch the wolf, but Daymond advises against it. The wolf routinely growls at Trevor. Good girl, I'm thinking. Maybe it senses that "cursed" ring.
Under the cover of the Daymond's fog conjuration, we make it safely back to the lagoon where Boomtuck is waiting. Wasting no time, the druid knows where to go. We all make it up to a part of the cliff away from the town and the rock fall. But the last of the trip is a shear 100 foot climb. Only Daymond, Kull and Brute will climb it. I turn to Brute and Trevor, and ask about the people down in the town. They will get crushed too, I add. Both assure me they would have been killed already. I look at the amount of rocks being held back. I did not protest this idea before, as I did not fully comprehend the magnitude. The creatures in the town will be crushed beyond being recognized. I again move to protest, but the druid is out of site and Brute is half way up. I can only wait for the job to complete.
Then I hear Kull shouting and making a ruckus. He is challenging the goblins and their king. Then everyone must hear the rocks. I get sick, knowing the deaths of possible humans may be near. Deafening is not enough to describe it. The ground shook underneath my feet, so much I am almost knocked down. My heart felt the power and force released. The dry dust rose so thick that I cannot see the top of the cliff. I hear only a ringing sound. Then, Instinct kicked in again as I see Kull lowered by rope through the dust, and as I thought Kull must be near death. He is bleeding bad from his shoulder, his arm is limp. I call the Light to aid him, and reach into the pool of energy I have and put my hands on his wounds. Then I feel it like flood. A strong pure surge of Divine goodness flows through me. My eyes are shut, yet, I see beyond the stars. I feel a bliss. I open my eyes and see red blood seeping through my fingers, contrasting against the blueish light from the cure. I sense under my hands, the mess of flesh and muscle form and join where it was torn and cut, veins and tissue reattach to make whole. The worst of the wound heals.
Instinct gives way back to Death being so close and great. I melt out of myself. I see dust hanging in the air, and I see myself kneeling over Kull, my hands and clothes stained with blood. I see Brute say something, but cannot hear anything. Then a darkness envelopes me, as I comprehend the magnitude of the destruction...
(Entry 43 will continue)