Friends Remembered

Silent Dream nodded at the two Kankoran guards as he approached the hut. “The Elders sent me,” he explained to them in their native Wolfen language. “They wish me to verify her story.” They nodded at him and stood aside to let him pass. He entered the hut. The only occupant was a lone Human woman tied to a chair, sitting in the center of the room. She had been found wandering the woods like a child and brought back to the tribe.

A Human wandering the woods alone? The war made even the Kankoran wary, and the Elders immediately ordered her imprisoned. She did not speak their tongue, nor the language of the Haveans. They questioned her in the language of the revered Elves, and finally she was able to respond. They accused her of being a spy for the Eastern Territories but she denied any involvement. The Elders decided they would send for a Mind Mage and have him look through her thoughts to discover the truth.

So they sent for Silent Dream.

“Hello,” he said to her in the tongue of the Elves. “My name is Silent Dream.” He tried to smile reassuringly at her, but his own nervousness about what he had to do made the teeth he bared at her a lot less comforting than he planned.

“I’m… Moli. Kineo,” she replied haggardly. Then she added, “I’m not a spy.”


“Are they following us?” Moli asked him worriedly.

“Not yet, but soon,” Silent Dream told her. “We need to keep moving. Get as far away as possible before they realize.”

“Why are you doing this?” She finally asked. Her initial elation at this haphazard rescue was starting to turn into concern. Though the memories were fading she still remembered enough about him from their mind bond. “You know your people will consider you a traitor. They’ll never welcome you back. You’re giving up… everything.”

“I told the Elders the truth, but they wouldn’t listen. They refused to believe you weren’t an Eastern spy. They sent messengers to Bataria, so you could be turned over to the Wolfen.”

“But why help me? Why do this to yourself?” Moli asked again, confused.

“Because they’re wrong, and what they’re doing is wrong,” Dream told her, matter-of-factly.

Moli stopped asking and simply accepted this. For now. But they had a ways to travel in order to reach the Inland Sea. There would be more time to talk when the danger was less. Instead she said a quick prayer of thanks. “Thank you Horus, for guiding this one to me.”

“Who’s Horus?” Dream asked.


“But it isn’t right,” Dream said to her. He and Moli sat around a small campfire, talking softly. Finally Dream felt they were far enough away to risk some comfort. Moli had been telling him about The Gods of Light and Darkness. “If the Gods are so powerful, why is there evil?”

Moli nodded thoughtfully. “Without evil, there can’t be good. One defines the other.”

“But the Gods could could just get rid of all evil. Why even let that choice exist?”

Moli tried not to smile. The Kankoran had so many questions – but he was asking them. It showed he was thinking about what was being said. And she was more than happy to answer these questions. “If mortals weren’t free to choose then our choices would become meaningless. That’s why there are evil Gods and good Gods. Together they oppose each other and keep the world in balance.”

Silent Dream’s furry face scowled in thought. The idea of divine beings on such a scale was normally a far-away idea. He preferred to look within himself, or place his trust in those things around him such as his friends, his tribesmen, and even the forest itself. “But how can you tell me that a God or Goddess could be responsible for the beauty of all this-” At that he swept his arms out, indicating the wilderness around him. “-but still allow there to be evil?”

She looked around at the forest, trying to see the beauty he saw. She had spent weeks of terror trying to survive this place as she fled, but in these last few days with the Kankoran he was beginning to make her believe the place wasn’t all that bad. Maybe in time he could convince her, as she was slowly convincing him about the role the Gods could play in his life. “It’s because of Her goodness that this exists. The Gods of Light placed beauty in the world to inspire the good within us. Remember,” she told him with a stern fervor inspired by her own past, “it’s about choice. Free will.”


“We’re here!” Moli practically shouted as she crested the hill and the Inland Sea came into view. “We made it!”

“I told you I would get you here,” Silent Dream said proudly.

She turned to face him. “I did help. A little.” She smiled playfully at him.

Dream nodded and smiled back. “Of course, but it was more than a little. Your illusions saved our life many times over. Thank you,” he said to her sincerely.

“You can thank me, but thank the Gods too. It was Apis’ works which gave us the places to hide.”

“Well yes then, of course. Thanks to Apis as well,” Dream conceded. The words felt foreign on his lips. They had talked at length about the Gods but Dream wasn’t fully convinced. Still, he could humor Moli. He could humor his friend. “If we follow the coast we should find a town, I would think. I can take you that far.”

“But why only there?” Moli seriously asked. “I’m going to head to Lopan. You could come with me. See the Holy city for yourself.”

“A citizen of the Wolfen Empire? In Lopan? Perhaps I failed, and the woods drove you mad.”

The air around Moli shimmered and suddenly a short, female Wolfen stood where she had been standing. It talked with her voice. “You know what I can do – with my powers rested it would be simple to bring you with me.” The air shimmered again and a bearded Human male with an eyepatch and a pipe now stood in her place. “I don’t think anyone would bother you if you looked like this,” the man said with Moli’s voice. She held it a few moments longer then dropped the illusion, resuming her normal appearance.

“It seems like an awful big risk-” Dream started to say, but Moli cut him off.

“Don’t answer yet. Think about it as we go towards civilization. Then give me your answer.” She turned away from him and headed down towards the water. Dream followed her, exasperated. She was mad if she thought he would go anywhere in the Eastern Territories.


“So what do you think of the city, S.D.?” Moli asked the bearded human walking next to her as the boat they were on docked at Sekti-Abtu.

“It’s…” Words were failing him. Sekti-Abtu was big. And busy. This was the exact opposite of everything he was ever used to. The sights and smells of the city were overwhelming him, pushing his concerns away for the moment. He gaped and looked around with wide-eyed wonder. True to her word, Moli maintained a projected illusion that made anyone looking at him just see a gruff, unapproachable Human. Nothing out of the ordinary.

“You’ll get used to it,” Moli told him. “First order of business – find an inn and get rooms to stay in. It’s been months since I’ve slept in an actual bed. You can sleep in one, too. It will change your life.”



Silent Dream opened his eyes. He was sitting in a meditative pose near the dying embers of the fire. The rest of CrIsis was similarly pre-occupied, milling around the camp. He pulled out and looked at the letter he received this morning. It was from Moli, in Renvin. He re-read it again, trying to reconcile the woman in his memories with the author of this note. It wasn’t working.

Dream looked around at the rest of CrIsis. Even though it had been three days since the events in the town of Yggdrasil, Dream still wasn’t sure he could talk to them yet. Not about something like this. Sure, he shared the letter with them once he received and read it. That was proper procedure. But it was then dismissed with no further discussion.

That was fine. It was what he deserved for how he acted. Between his false assumption of the Nameless Man‘s death, his insistence that CrIsis stay in Yggdrasil in violation of the will of the Gods, and the mindless panic he shamelessly displayed as they left, he was lucky that CrIsis hadn’t begged the Gods to replace him already. He sighed quietly. Self-pity wouldn’t solve anything either.

It had occurred to him some days ago that he should ask Malkin something about Elanu, and this letter gave him even more reason to write to him finally. Silent Dream pulled out his magical quill and parchment and began to write.

Malkin,

This is another letter from Silent Dream. I wish to ask you a question and give you an update on my friend in Renvin. I know you are busy with your research but I hope you don’t mind.

Some days ago I re-read and reviewed the very first letter given to CrIsis. It was from Elanu the Wanderer. He gave a lot of advice to the first CrIsis members in that letter. He also gave them a great gift. He instructed them in how they could call upon him in a time of great need. They needed to use a special ring and call his name. It seems this ring was lost forever when brave Overkill was killed for the final time. Do you know if there is another way to call on Elanu? I fear such a time of great need may be upon us sooner than we think.

Today is the 3rd of Corg. This morning I received a letter from my friend Moli Kineo in Renvin. Moli Kineo is not her real name but it is the name she prefers to go by. This letter surprised me. I told you that I saw her chained in a vision. In that brief time I was also attacked dismissively by a powerful force. In this letter she implored me and CrIsis to visit Renvin and meet with Lictalon himself! I have written a copy of her letter and you should find it included.

If this letter truly is from my friend Moli then I strongly believe she is no longer herself as I remember her. She talked of transition and indoctination. And then she called Lictalon her lord God. The Moli I knew only spoke of one God in such a way. Horus, the God who gave her hope and helped her find justice. I know there is little right now which can be done. Moli helped me understand the power of writing and knowledge. Right now this is what I can do. I can share what I have learned and hope it is useful in some way.

Thank you for your help and all you do for CrIsis.

Silent Dream. of Dream Lake. and of CrIsis.

Note: This letter to Malkin was written in Elven, on parchment paper, on the 3rd day of Corg, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.


Image Credit:

Forest Village: Veli Nyström

 

9 Responses to “Friends Remembered

  • That was touching and deep, a glimpse into the past and the wary gaze into the future!

  • I feel bad for Dream, he takes things so personally….
    People in CrIsis have changed Gods before, and Horus never showed up in person to Moli…
    So glad someone finally asked about Elanu… now to see if Malkin doesn’t have bad history with him too!!

    • There’s too many possible “reasons” behind what has happened for Dream to speculate and put them all in a log. Did the same Lictalon who can mentally command every Elf in the world simultaneously do something to her mind? Did she change it on her own? Is she just pretending and playing a dangerous game? Did Dream bring undue attention to her by doing that Object Read and cause this problem?

      Bottom line – this is not the Moli he remembers. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that I have made up a vague, unspecified background for this character that I didn’t flesh out or share which clearly tells me this is “out of character” for her. This belief will persist, and will impact his future decisions accordingly.

      Don’t feel bad for Dream. He’s going to care about things like this, even if he’s the last person in CrIsis to do so. Feel bad the day he doesn’t care anymore – for that will be the day the character truly dies.

      • The Gods broke Xerx’ses when they allowed his tribe to die. He realized that they saw the worlds in centuries and millenniums. Also, we get our auguries from them and then query when they take or demand a course of action we don’t like. Xerx’ses is working hard on finding a balance of the moment with personal relationships, and waging a never ending War against Evil.

        Being a God is about choices.

        Choices that if done at the personal level can be manipulated by someone playing a longer game for their ends. Still he tries and has watched those that followed him be torn away against their will. Like Moli, Rincewind is cared for and Xerx’ses feels powerless. For he promised to finish this quest first. His promises dictate his actions so he can gain favor for his people being trustworthy.

        We all take it personally, we also all have very different end goals.

        • I am very happy that Xerx’ses connected so deeply with Rincewind, and the long view is correct.
          Xerx’ses views are rightly influenced by his past, which had many dark moments.

      • Everyone reacts to things differently, but just because they are reacting differently doesn’t mean they aren’t reacting correctly. After all, what is CrIsis but a collection of individuals briefly (on a Godly scale) drawn together and united for one grand purpose? Our differences make us stronger as a whole – at least, as long as we don’t let those differences divide us and tear us apart.

      • Great points, and I agree, she has changed- just wanted to point out that she may not be evil- nor should Lictalon be judged until there is more info…

        • Indaris just posted his log and mic dropped all of us. Talk about being politely direct to seeking information.

  • Very glad to see one of CrIsis tapping into our sources for intel and info..not like Ursus is the one to think about it, he can barely keep his own thoughts in Check…

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