Renewed Correspondence

Neither Of Us Are The Same People We Once Were

My friend Moli,

This is a letter from your friend Silent Dream. I received your letter a few days ago. It was great to hear from you again! I had received worrisome visions that made me concerned for you. But since I read your letter I no longer worry about what I saw in that vision.

I do not have enough papyrus to write about everything which has happened in these last several weeks. Instead I will share with you the events of these last few days. Starting with the fourth of Corg.

The God Osiris guided us through the wilderness of the former Disputed Territory. The pieces of Osiris held by Xerx’ses and Indaris directed us firmly to the area where the great Tree of Life is! A wizened Danzi met us as we neared. He knew of us and our arrival. He led us the rest of the way to the Tree. We discovered there was a whole community that surrounded and protected the magnificent Tree.

The Danzi presented us to the Tree. An ancient Elf and Dwarf both arrived as well to witness what happened next. We drove the Left Arm of Osiris into the ground at the base of the Tree. The Elf and Dwarf knelt together and clasped hands. I silently prayed to Great Apis in thanks. The Tree shook and grew taller. Several large leaves fell to the ground. “The Tree will attempt to purge its reliance on the Old One.” The Danzi announced that suddenly. Then we felt a change wash over the area. The evil taint which had been in the area was suddenly gone. It felt like being in Ma’ip again. The Tree’s purge of the Evil was successful. All was well.

The leaves were gathered and passed out to each of us as a gift of thanks. We noticed there were many legendary rune weapons and artifacts leaning against the Tree. Anyone walking near them took obvious care to avoid them. We could identify a few of them. They were all evil. We were told they were placed there in order to keep them safe and try to purify them.

The Nameless Man noticed the Elf wore an old uniform and insignia which seemed similar to that of the Western Empire. He questioned the Elf. Grignak joined in. The Elf informed him that it was regalia from the ancient Elven Empire. The more they talked about it the more it seemed the Western Empire may have grown out of the remnents of that ancient Elven Empire. Xerx’ses joined the conversation once he saw the Elf bore a sigil of the famed City of Baalgor. The four of them excitedly traced together the origins of the beginnings of the Western Empire.

One by one the Danzi beckoned us to touch the Tree. Each of us was directed to touch in a different spot. This is what I experienced.

I suddenly found myself standing in the snow-covered woods of my homeland. It was a familiar place. This was where I claimed my name. The memory was recreated exactly. The scent of new fallen snow mixed with the smell of blood from the recent fight. The Danzi loomed tall over me. “Tell me your darkest fear. Tell me your greatest hope.” That was what the Danzi said to me. These were not hard questions to answer. Ashamedly I admitted my great fear of snakes. I only realized this fear recently. But it nearly drove me mad with fright. Even thinking about it was difficult. The Danzi understood and touched me. The fear lifted from me. This was a great gift.

My greatest hope was just as easy to answer. It was in my prayers every night to Apis. It was to be useful to CrIsis. It was to help them succeed in this quest. The Danzi told me that my lightheartedness was more of a gift to CrIsis than I realized. He then looked more serious. “Looking into your future, there is something that you will need.” He said that to me. He reached out to give me a small wand-sized branch of the Tree. Before I could take it he changed his mind. He then presented me a longer staff-sized branch. When I took it I could feel the great magic it possessed. I was honored and humbled to be presented such a gift.

Xerx’ses told me a similar scene happened to him. His greatest fear was that Kom’var would die when he died. The Danzi told him not to fear. Xerx’ses was told Kom’var will live up to 400 years after Xerx’ses death. Xerx’ses greatest hope was that Lictalon could understand the modern day. The Danzi told him each of us must go to Lictalon and help him to understand.

The Nameless Man was taken behind the Tree. He told me only that he would live to see his family die and their children die. I do not know if that was in relation to his greatest hope or his greatest fear. During this exchange the tree Twiggyleaf disappeared mysteriously. The Nameless Man was silent on what this meant. I have respected that silence.

Father Indaris had rejected the gift of the leaf from the Tree. In response the Danzi told him the Tree had nothing more to offer him. Grignak and Ursus each took their turn as well. We all waited patiently and respectfully. I do not know how their exchanges went. I do know that Grignak learned his wooden rune sword Trigom had been hand-carved by Lictalon himself from a branch of the Tree!

We stayed in Glade for the next day. I familiarized myself with what my gift from the Tree could do. Amongst its great abilities it can bestow the power of flight! This was different though from my experiences with the flying broom. It enchanted my entire body. Soon I was flitting through the branches of the Tree. Many faeries accompanied me playfully. It became a grand game that consumed the day.

Xerx’ses had a long conversation with the Elf and Dwarf. I even participated in it for a short while. Ursus convinced our host to fashion a new net for Heebo while we were here. As everyone whiled away the day the Danzi remarked something to Ursus and Xerx’ses about Humans being created by Elves, Dwarves, and a rogue Old One. This sparked some forgotten memory in Xerx’ses. “I didn’t know I knew that!” That was what Xerx’ses exclaimed. Maybe if I was a scholar or a reseacher I could have been similarly excited at the revelation of such ancient secrets.

Xerx’ses, Grignak and Indaris prayed at the Tree with the Right Index Finger of Osiris. They prayed and wished that their dear friend Roggan could experience what we were experiencing. Then his voice filled the Glade. He was awed and happy and talked for a bit. Xerx’ses cried as he listened to his old friend. Then Roggan departed once more.

The Nameless Man was approached by his spirit friend Tobi. His friend wished to be released. The Nameless Man offered to bring him back but he declined. They embraced. Then Tobi moved on and was finally at peace. Throughout the rest of the day The Nameless Man kept to himself or talked with some of the other residents. I didn’t learn what he was up to until later that night.

Each of us in CrIsis was invited to sit with The Nameless Man that night. Together we smoked and shared of ourselves. The Nameless Man shared his experiences as a father. Ursus shared details of his home. Ursus and I convinced Xerx’ses that he should go on a Snipe hunt. He was and is very excited by this prospect. I think it will be great fun.

The next morning on the fifth of Corg we awoke and prepared to leave. Grignak arrived wearing a new kilt which he fashioned from the leaf. Even among leaves from the Tree these leaves I was told are special. It is strange to me that Grignak honors his gift in such a way. Those who follow the Goddess Bast are so strange to me. We all gathered together. Our new friends came to wish us good-bye as well. The Danzi offered us one last piece of advice. “Know that you face a power that is a greater power than any you have faced before.” That is what he said to us.

Ursus hugged the Tree goodbye. The Tree’s final gift to us was an instant transport away from Glade to usher us on our journey. We arrived in a more northern forest. Ursus was the first to recover his bearings. He recognized we were in his adopted homeland of Kiridin. Shortly after our arrival Ursus’ chieftan friend WayRa Tiriaq greeted us. He did not call us by name. He called us by the nicknames which Ursus calls us. He knew why we were there and brought us to the village. There we would meet a scout who could lead us to Terosh.

Ursus gave us a tour of his village as we walked through it to meet the scout. We came upon a beautiful Elven woman named Nimaya. She said she could guide us to where she last knew Terosh was. She said we would head out the next day. That night we all enjoyed the hospitality of the village. There was a grand feast with Kalruck Beast and other seafood items. It was a massive smorgasbord spread out on large tables with stone and wooden seats.

During the feast I talked a lot with Nimaya. She was very familiar with the wilderness. We had a lot in common. Grignak noticed something about how she was talking to me. He talked with each of us and made us realize there could be more between us. This was strange to me. It is not the way of my people. You know this. It is also not the first time this has happened. Nimaya and I walked off into the night together. But I saw her glance back at Xerx’ses as we left. I discovered that night she also worships Bast. We did not sleep much at all.

I will not describe the activities that followed. They were wild and enjoyable. Later we rested together and talked about our homes. She told me she was originally from Renvin! It had been over 100 years since she was last there. Lictalon’s call across the world did not persuade her to return. I told her that we were invited to visit the new kingdom and she offered to wait for us after Terosh and lead us there.

On the morning of the sixth of Corg our sometimes companion Heebo rejoined us. He was given the net that was made for him in Glade. Grignak said a prayer to Bast. Chief Wayra spoke to the village as we readied to go. This is what he said.

“We send CrIsis off with all the blessing of the Ancient Ones and the blessing of the god Khonsu. Owr own Nimaya shall lead CrIsis to where she knows Terosh, the evil one, is hiding. The ones of CrIsis have shown they are strong and we believe they shall be able to take down the evil one and free our lands.”

Nimaya led the way with me alongside her and Xerx’ses on the other side. We traveled uneventfully. The map we followed made it seem we would be traveling for months to get where Terosh is. But our journey should bring us near someone CrIsis has been meaning to visit. A person named Stonelogger. We will visit him too on this journey if the Gods are willing.

That night Nimaya cooked an amazing meal. She kept glancing over at Xerx’ses during the meal. Grignak said some things to her about me to help me earn favor with her. I think? Then he tried to convince her to sleep with him instead. I respect the Goddess Bast as is proper but this whole thing confuses me. Even The Nameless Man saw something weird was going on. Privately he warned me to be careful. Nimaya and I slept together last night but I am starting to feel weird about this. Am I doing this for me or for her or for Grignak? I need to answer that.

That is probably a lot more than you needed to hear. I apologize. I have taken to writing much more that I used to. I feel like I am getting the hang of this. I will end this letter to you on an event you may find amusing.

On the seventh of Corg we woke to a normal, cold morning. My friends in CrIsis were underprepared for this weather. We traveled and I was ready to help them with my powers and extra gear. But that was when some sort of Ice Demon attacked us! We rallied to defeat the monster. Nimaya and I stayed together with our bows. That is when the event happened.

I attempted to set the beast on fire with my powers. I do not know if what happened next was just bad luck, a special ability of the demon, or the Goddess Bast intervening. But instead of fire erupting under the demon it erupted all around Nimaya. Poor Nimaya! Before I could react Grignak rushed over to help her. He pulled her from the fire. This gave her a perfect view of Xerx’ses showing off and slaying the Ice Demon with more flair than usual. Even for him. I saw the way Nimaya looked at him. I know where I stand.

I think this was a sign from the Gods. I will not ignore their will. But I will say this – I can’t wait to take Xerx’ses on that Snipe hunt.

Be well Moli. May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you walk.

Note: This letter written in Elven, on parchment paper, on the seventh of Corg, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

Image Credits:
Daria Ridel
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6 Responses to “Renewed Correspondence

  • Oh my god, this could have been written by Azariel! The Deja Vu is strong with this one.

  • Love that he ended with the fire on Nimaya…. Great log, set up the scene very well.

  • And even though the “TWIGGYLEAF” disappeared, I somehow think, it may re-appear soon in another form…..

    • One cannot kill a Twiggyleaf, just momentarily make it leave.
      Sorry, had to get that pun out….

  • I always enjoy Dream’s POV of the adventure that we are in. Gives it a fresh coat of lovleyness.

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