The Music Within: The Bladedancer Chronicles
In the long flowing script of the Elven Language, Saitylvaness Slyvari pens the milestones of her journey throughout the human lands of Varisia. The following are her accounts of the events during those travels, the adventures she had and the friends she made along the way.
Moonday 23, Rova 4707.
My day first day in the town of Sandpoint began early. After a pleasant exchange with Ameiko Kaijisu, the owner and operator of the Rusty Dragon Inn where I am staying, I made my way through the market. I love the sights and sounds of festivals. There is always such excitement in the air! While I would hardly consider myself a follower of Desna, no one could argue with the beauty she inspired in these people. After a few brief encounters with the locals, I found my way to the Sandpoint theater. A charming man by the name of Cyrdak Drokkus, even gave me the opportunity to perform during their local talent show! That is where I met Tom O' the Six Strings for the first time. He's a rather handsome man, as humans go, though I must admit I find his demeanor strange at times. His skills seemed modest, and yet his lute was a masterful piece of art! I'm still unsure what to make of this fellow, but he is...interesting to say the least.
After another short brief excursion outside making my way through town, I decided to stop in a local bar for a drink. That's when I met Aegon Skye. He was the first Elf I had seen in weeks and if others who live away from the forest are like him, hopefully he will be the last! At first I found myself interested in what he was doing here in Sandpoint, and where he was traveling to. I thought was that he was the man I was looking for, the one that would help me recover my stolen gifts, but I was wrong. There could never be a more insufferable man who ever walked the earth! He's so stupid! How could anyone be so rude to someone they just met? I don't care how interesting he seemed, I've already had enough of him to last an entire lifetime!
Luckily I didn't have to deal with him long. The town was attacked by Goblins during the closing ceremonies of the Swallowtail festival. I did my best to help defend the people of Sandpoint. Realizing most of them had probably never held a sword in their lives; I felt it was my duty to protect them. I took a rather nasty bite just below the hip, but the Goblins were scattered, a small price to pay. Several others fought as well to protect the people of the town, including that jerk Aegon. Seeing him fight made me somewhat glad I spent so long training at the Tower of Stars. His grasp of magic seemed impressive, but his bladework was awkward. He lacks the grace required to execute the simplest of maneuvers, instead he seemed to favor wild swings, and hoping one blow would finish off an enemy. He fights like a dwarf! Tom was there too. As comrades in combat go, I'd much prefer him to that stupid Aegon. At least he seems to appreciate the company of others! It seems Tom has a bit of magical aptitude as well. He must have just been pretending to be average when I met him at the theater, his voice is actually quite lovely, almost inspiring. At first as I moved to his song, I felt as though his very words were guiding my blade, but as the battle went on, I realized it was something entirely different.
The masters at the Tower of Stars always assured us that when we heard the Bladesong for the first time, we would know it. It was beautiful and terrifying. The pulse of the song didn't just move with the world around me, it was a culmination of every living thing singing in harmony. It was soft at first; I could barely make it out. But as I opened myself up to it and began to trust in its rhythm, I felt as though I knew what was happening before it happened. Needless to say the experience left me quite drained. They say masters can move within the song for days, after less than a few seconds its rhythm became too hard for me to keep up with. I need to redouble my efforts and training. It's more difficult alone, and I miss Talathel's laughter as we sparred and our master's jovial chiding. I wonder how Talathel's travels to Ravenmoor are fairing. Perhaps I will write him a letter before I leave Sandpoint. Tomorrow I will travel a short distance from the town and really begin my training.
I was invited by a rather charming man to lunch tomorrow. His name was Aldern Foxglove. The others will be there too. Hopefully I'll be able to ask them some questions. They all seem like very interesting people (except Aegon).
Gozzik Goblinslayer, or so he named himself, a fairly won title after today's events! I also heard him go by Gozzik Redknife, I wonder if that is his real name? I must say he is by far the most adorable Halfling I have ever met! During the festival I actually mistook him for a child dressed as some hero of old. But I don't think I'll ever mention that to him! He seems rather quiet and reserved for a Halfling. I haven't been able to learn much about him yet. He is the very serious type and but somewhat wild in a fight. He mentioned being from the Shriikirri-Quah, I've read about them. Of all of the Shoanti tribes, the Hawk Clan is the most peaceful. They also have a very strong connection with animals. I admit the bard who sang of them never mentioned the tribe's race. I always imagined they were humans. Could the whole tribe be made up of Halflings?
Veritas seemed upon first inspection to be rather naive and somewhat strange. But he is a very honest and open person. He reminds me of slightly of Talathel when we first arrived at the tower, so full of life and ideals, ready to change to world for the better. I'm unsure of what type of powers he possesses, but when we were fighting, he conjured up multiple pairs of arms! It was a little shocking at first, but living in a tower of mages tends to inure you to such bizarre things after a while. Hopefully he'll come to lunch and I'll be able to ask him more about the nature of his powers.
Jan, of lover's lane, apparently. I'm not entirely sure what to make of her yet. I must admit, she is rather pretty, but something about her demeanor seems rehearsed. She is rather brave though, and I must admit, in the heat of the moment when I was surrounded, I saw her decide to come to my aid. I haven't yet had a chance to properly thank her; hopefully I'll be able to do so tomorrow. Until just recently, she was working out of the Pixie Kitten here in Sandpoint. I've never really been interested in going to a place like that, but her constant endorsements about the place have me slightly curious. Her fighting style is also somewhat interesting, perhaps I'll see if she'd like to spar sometime.
With any luck I'll get to know more about these curious individuals tomorrow. I'm still on my search for the one Wylan divined would help me recover my stolen gifts from the tower, so it seems I'll be in Sandpoint at least a little while longer.
Toilday 24, Rova 4707
The forest beyond Sandpoint is very peaceful. It's the perfect place for my morning exercise routine. The clinging mist in the trees reminds me of our training ground outside the Tower. Everything inside the town is quiet and still when I return, much as I left it heading out each morning. The guards seem to be much more alert, but still aren't too difficult to slip past. I've actually taken a liking to moving about the town in the shadows. The terrain is different but it keeps my skills sharp. I've more than doubled my regiment that we used training at the Tower, I only hope my fellows are doing the same.
The morning was little more than browsing the shops and getting to know the locals. I stopped by the local blacksmith shop to see about getting some new armor. They didn't really have anything that fit, but promised they could alter one and have it ready for me by tomorrow.
Lunch at the Rusty Dragon was interesting to say the least. Aldern Foxglove, a noble from Magnimar, invited us all to lunch for saving his life. He was very gracious to us. Perhaps a little too gracious to me. He is a rather attractive man, as humans go, tall, well groomed, very well dressed, and very pleasant to talk to. His hands leave something to be desired though, they were soft and smooth, like he had never worked a day in his life or ever held a weapon. He insisted he enjoyed going on boar hunts, though I wonder if he ever caught anything. But for all that, her was very sweet. He spent most of the time fawning over my every word, and drinking a fair amount of wine. After a while, his advances began to get a bit awkward, but I just smiled and let it go. He told me of his estate and holdings there, as well as the influence he has. I can only assume human women must be attracted to such things, as every time he mentioned them, he gave me a knowing smile, like he was sure it would impress me. Of course I smiled back, told him how interesting his life must be and how amazed I was by his every exploit. At one point he we got on the topic of language, he didn't openly say it, but I know he speaks Elven. I told him about the Ra Iaur and my travels up to my time in Sandpoint, he seemed overly excited by just about everything I said. He gave everyone a large sum of money, far too large in my opinion. But he swore it was as nothing, so I took it as not to insult him. He also gave me a pair of magical feather tokens beautifully crafted into a golden hairpin, and begged me to send him a letter when I plan on traveling through Magnimar again.
Lunch itself was wonderful. There was some kind of mushroom and beef stew, as well as fresh strawberries and bread. I spent so much time talking with Aldern that I missed out on the chance to really ask a lot of questions to the others, hopefully they will stay in town a while longer. I did manage to over hear a few interesting points though.
Tom seemed very guarded the entire meal. From his usual suave and laid back demeanor, I could only assume something was really bothering him. He mentioned something about missing Magnimar, though weather he simply passed through, or lived there, I'm not sure. He was much less talkative than I thought he would be, which was disappointing. I really do enjoy his company, he seems to have that aura that people just gravitate toward.
Veritas was raised by a group of monks who called themselves the "Keepers of the Cycle". I've never heard of them, but he explained that his powers were a manifestation of a god of an entity known as Asura. Apparently there are a great deal of these types of beings, but Veritas said they select one closest to how they view the world. He also mentioned Asura was a creature of capriciousness, desire and violence. It seemed strange that he would pick such a being. The more I get to know him, he seems to be such a sweet person, but the fact that he aligns himself with a being means I suppose I don't know him very well at all yet. People seem to accept him a great deal more than they did when he first manifested those strange arms, myself included. They even made jokes about him being used as coat rack and able shopping companion. He seemed to take it all with a smile, I suppose he is used to people looking at him strangely.
Gozzik still didn't talk a great deal. He is very to the point and seems to dislike idle conversation. Or talking about himself at all for that matter. I have only known a few Halflings, but he is very singular in his disposition. I wonder what he experienced in life to make him so hard. Perhaps he is just uncomfortable with new people or groups. I'll have to make more of an effort to learn about him. I want to know all about his people and travels, he seemed very comfortable talking about moving around, and seemed to hate the idea of staying in one place. I suppose the wanderlust calls to everyone to some degree.
Jan is very interesting. I think she must be a traveling saleswoman for the Pixie Kitten, I rarely hear her talk of much else. She spoke for a while with Aldern, and easily convinced him to spend the evening there. I've heard her make the same offers to Tom and the others as well. She always seems to be talking to someone about something but never really talks about herself. I'm still not quite sure what to think of her, but she's very funny, and I enjoy having her around.
Aegon Skye is still stupid. We said almost nothing to each other all day, though I offered to help him search the graveyard if he was intent on doing so. More because if he found any Goblins he'd be outmatched than because I really thought I could contribute to actually tracking the foul little creatures. He has still yet to apologize for his earlier rude behavior, and I doubt he ever will, but even so, I should perhaps attempt to be nicer to him if I am going to have to keep running into him for a few more days.
We met with the Sheriff this evening. He told us all about the "Late Unpleasantness" and the Goblin attacks. He thinks that whoever orchestrated the attack might not only have a vendetta against Sandpoint, but be someone inside the town itself! I've walked down the streets and greeted the people, I couldn't imagine anyone siding with Goblins and attacking their own people! Apparently the remains of Father Tobyn, the priest who used to oversee the church and died in the Late Unpleasantness five years ago, were stolen. Why would anyone want to steal the remains of a priest. Everyone I spoke with said he was a very kind person. His daughter Nualia apparently also died in the fire. The group decided that they were all going to do some investigating tomorrow, though no one seemed to be able to decide where or with whom they would go. I plan on going to talk to Madame Niska. She may have more details on who could possibly be behind the attacks. The Sheriff seems to think she is the one to talk to on the history of Sandpoint. Hopefully her insight will bring some new leads to light.
Sandpoint has certainly become a magnet for trouble over the last few years. I only hope this Goblin attack was completely unrelated to the events that happened five years ago. These people have suffered so much already. I feel like the people of this town really need my help. And a Knight of Stars never turns her back on people in need. It seems as though I am going to have to put my search for my stolen belongings on hold for the moment.
Wealday, 25th of Rova, 4707 AR
This morning Bethana Corwin approached me early on with a letter. It seems as though Aldern felt as though he had to make a quick exit after his night at the kitten. I wonder why humans feel so ashamed of such things. I suppose my people just view it differently, we don't love any less but we certainly have no qualms with being open about one's intentions. His letter was quite adorable though, as though he was still singing my praises as he left town. There is a very carefully drawn map included on the back and the assurance that if I am ever in Magnimar, he would be more than delighted to entertain me. His letter was much less forward than his advances the previous evening, but no less amusing. I will have to make a point to write him a letter at some point and see how he is doing. I've enclosed the letter, he left me just in case I ever decide to visit Magnimar.
I had breakfast with Bethana, she is such a delightful Halfling. She told me all about her family and her life here in Sandpoint. Her company was much appreciated since I normally just eat breakfast alone. Life in Sandpoint seems very interesting, even though it is usually not this eventful, everyone is happy just to do their day to day chores and toil on. I asked Bethana if she ever wanted to leave it all behind and go explore the world. She laughed as though the very idea was preposterous. The mindset of the younger races doesn't seem so different from my people's when you really think about it. Strange how different we think we are.
My meeting with Madame Niska was very informative. She gave me a full account of the history of Sandpoint, as well as the "Late Unpleasantness". What a horrible fate to befall such a place. If I didn't know any better, I would say with all the strange and terrible events to transpire in this village's very short history, it must be under some sort of curse! Aegon and Gozzik were there as well. We didn't speak much, nothing more than simple pleasantries, Aegon because he has nothing but stones in his head, and Gozzik because I think he was rather disenchanted with being in the same room with the both of us. Niska made an amusing comment, she called us "children of the millenia" what an odd name. It suits us well enough I suppose, but I wonder what made her come up with it. Perhaps where she is from that is a common name for Elves. I never bothered asking where she was from, perhaps I'll stop back tomorrow and do that. I'm sure she has all kinds of interesting tales about her homeland.
I got my new armor today! It fits very well; I am quite impressed with the skill to alter something like that so quickly. I'm going to have to spend a few days training extra hard to get used to the extra weight. Luckily I don't think it will limit my mobility at all. I noticed Aegon wore his as well, I hope he doesn't think I was just copying him, that would be too embarrassing! Though I have to admit, it was a wise purchase. I'm going to have to talk to Ameiko about getting a chest or something to put my extra things in if I'm going to be traveling the area a great deal.
We had a meeting at the town hall. I noticed Veritas staring at me quite a bit, I wonder if it was the shockingly new color I chose for my hair, or perhaps he just has fine appreciation for beauty. Tom was the first one to notice, he was very curious about the reasoning behind it. I told them all about how it started as an inside joke, and how it's been going on between my friends at the over and I for over 50 years. They all seemed rather daunted by that. Jan seemed very interested though, I offered to teach her the spell if she'd teach me how to use human make up. She seemed to be quite adept with it, I knew she was wearing it but you could barely tell, even from up close. She did seem rather bothered by my inspection of her though, humans seem very possessive of their personal space, it's such a strange way to live, never touching or connecting with other. Aegon of course could care less; the look of distain on his face was rather obvious.
We met the "unofficial member" of the Sandpoint town guard. Shalelu is a rather striking Elven huntress would roams the region protecting its inhabitants. She has a warm and honest demeanor about her that everyone seemed to like. Aegon seemed particularly infatuated with her, though with his social skills, I would be surprised if she gave him a second glance. Apparently she has been fighting the Goblins of these lands for some time, as well as a Bugbear who she admits is her match in combat. She must be terribly gifted with a bow to hold off a small Goblin force alone. I hope I get the chance to see her in battle, perhaps I'll even get some pointers on my archery techniques. Even as I write this, I can hear her in the next room over, speaking with her companion, a strange bird she got from a far away jungle to the south. She also provided us with an excellent map of the area and a great deal of information about the Goblin tribes of the region. Both should come in handy if I plan on traveling the area. For now though, the Sheriff has asked that we all stay in town and stay visible to the general populace. Apparently he is going to Magnimar to see about securing more guards for the town. I'm still waiting to find this person the diviner told me would be able to help me. Hopefully they make an appearance soon though; I fear the trail is growing colder by the day.
Aegon and I had a slight altercation in front of everyone. I can hardly even remember what it was about, I was so mad I wasn't thinking straight. I do remember almost feeling the need to draw my sword. Why does he make me so angry? Every little thing he does gets under my skin for some reason! I'll just have to do my best to ignore him before I make an even bigger fool of myself in front of anyone.
We all headed to the Rusty Dragon after the meeting for a little relaxation with Shalelu. The food was wonderful, as usual. Ameiko is an amazing cook; her dishes are so exotic and yet seem to appeal to everyone. I'm going ask tomorrow how she prepared the fish, that's certainly something I'd like to have again. It was almost nice sitting around the table, as strange as it sounds, these people who were complete strangers just a few days ago are starting to become familiar friendly faces.
Gozzik has a deep respect and love of animals; he's actually agreed to help me pick out a horse before we go our separate ways. He seems to know quite a bit about animals, and was quite intrigued when Shalelu told him about some animal emporium in the area. Perhaps I'll travel there with him. While I have no real desire for a pet, seeing exotic animals from other regions could be very interesting.
Veritas can sing! After a few glasses of wine, he had Ameiko accompany him on her instrument while he performed for her. It's so adorable how obvious it is that he admires her. I'm not sure how she feels about him, perhaps she is just being flirtatious like she was with Aldern, or perhaps she really is interested in him. For his sake I certainly hope she doesn't string him along, while he tends to be rather jovial, I feel like he is the kind of person who wouldn't take that kind of disappointment very well. He reminds me of Queldran. I haven't seen my younger sibling since I left the Tower; I hope he is doing well. The last I heard from him, he was training with Brynwelen to enter the Tower as well. I hope he makes it, mother and father would be so proud of him.
Tom didn't end up coming with us. Apparently someone mentioned seeing him outside talking to one of the girls from town. It seems a lot of women here are quite infatuated with him. They love to gossip about him, I've heard all kinds of unmentionable stories that I can only assume are nothing more than rumor. He's become quite the town heart throb. A few women have even approached me to ask if I was involved with him! I made it very clear that we were just friends. While Tom is the charming sort I think I could get along with, and he has excellent musical talent, I don't really think we'd be very good together. Sometimes when he thinks no one is looking, I catch him wearing a look of concern instead of a smile. Something seems to be constantly on his mind, perhaps it's just fear of another Goblin attack...
Speaking of Goblins, Aegon was actually not acting like one for a change. He still insisted on being overly mysterious and vague with his answers, but he at least gave answers. I assume only because Shalelu was there. We spoke about his sword. It's probably one of the worst weapons I've ever seen. The blade is covered in a black film of some sort he claims can't be cleaned off. More interesting, it is covered in Thassilonian runes. The dimwit probably can't even read Thassilonian. Perhaps I'll take a look at it one of these days. He also mentioned that the blade has always held a razor sharp edge despite its worn look. Normally I'd assume magic, but he swears he's checked it out thoroughly and it's completely non magical. I'll probably have to do that properly as well.
I'm going to have Jan teach me about human make up tomorrow! I'm not sure how well she will take to magic, but I'll certainly give it my best effort to teach her. I'm going to have to set aside enough money to buy a kit like the one she described to me; the whole process seems rather involved. I've got a lot of shopping to do tomorrow, perhaps I'll see if Jan wants to come with me, if only to instruct me on the proper items for my makeup kit. It's strange now that I think about it. She seems so strong, almost like she's putting up a front like a man, and yet she wears makeup. Certainly from what some of the other bouncers outside the kitten have said, she hardly acts very ladylike. I wonder where she acquired such skills then?
Oathday, 26th of Rova, 4707 AR
The new armor suits me well; I had little trouble moving in it, even performing complex maneuvers. It's a bit louder than I'd like, but that is to be expected I suppose. My new workout regiment is really taking its toll on me. Bethana said this morning that I looked like 'something the blink dog dragged in'. While I found the comment humorous, I think perhaps I'll ease into the routine a bit. I have to admit, I really think it's beginning to pay off though, I can feel the accuracy of my strikes increasing each day.
The citizen's all seem to be moving past the events of the attack. I even heard a few people joking about the Goblins, saying how funny it was that they saw one leap into a barrel of water and almost drown. I guess that is just another way of dealing with a tragic event, to just be able to laugh at it. I can't say I could laugh knowing what they Goblins did, but even so I'm glad to see the people of Sandpoint recovering.
Jan is a mad woman! When I asked her to help me put together a kit like hers, I never imagined it would cost so much money! Wigs, powders, grease and oil of different colors! I haven't felt so daunted about picking up a new skill since I started learning to cast my first spell! While I admit the techniques she showed me were quite clever, the sheer magnitude of what is required is unreal! She said with this kit I could disguise myself as a Lizard folk and they'd never even know. I'd just as soon learn magic to change myself into one as remember all the specifics of how and when and where to apply a certain shade of foundation or powder to make it look real! It's no wonder the majority of human women can't learn to master magic! They fill their heads with so much knowledge of makeup, it almost like a strange of a sort of alchemy! I doubt I'll ever be as skilled as Jan with it, but perhaps tomorrow I'll give it a try.
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