|Returning to find things not as they seem|
Ah, Celembril. City of my birth. Though I have been gone but a year, it feels good to return, and yet, events have soured my homecoming, and provided ominous omens for our future travels.|
On our way to Celembril, we met a very aged elf, and a large half-ogre traveling together. I will refrain from relating my impression of the half-breed, though he seemed a worthy enough warrior in spite of his breeding. The elf, however, was a most enigmatic character. He wandered off into the woods, carrying our blind Jacques in tow. I know not what they spoke of whilst gone, but upon his return Jacques seemed much more sure of himself than at any time since the loss of his sight.
We also learned of the tournament. I had not even realized that one was happening, and so fortuitous to be commencing so close upon our arrival at the Temple Of Whispering Air.
I spoke at length with my old teacher of history, Noreil. I always remembered fondly my talks with him, and my time away has changed little, in that aspect. However, time was relatively short, and though we talked late into the night, it still did not seem enough time. Nor, throughout our time here, did I have the chance to go and see my family, who I am sure were anxiously awaiting word of my good health. I hope, if I do not see them before I leave, that I have done them proud, and brought honor to our family.
And speaking of half-breeds, we came across a rather odious half-elf in one of the nearby taverns, a product of some deluded elf falling in love with a beastly human. I had not intended to join the tournament, as I both felt I had nothing to prove, and little wanted to pit my skills against either of my companions. Fate, it seems, though, had plans to include me in the events, for the half-breed was ready to try her worth against me then and there. While I was a bit embroiled in drink, I was quite sure that I could dispatch her post-haste.
On the day of the first round of the tournament, I spotted Airond, my old nemesis, foul and arrogant thing that he is. He thinks he is so superior to me simply because his family has been in the nobility for a few thousands years more than has mine. What rubbish!
It turned out, though, that the scrubby half-breed was more capable than I had at first anticipated. Still, I bested her handily enough, in spite of her attempt to pilfer the crystal shard, and the aid of some foul knave cleric in the audience. And, too, the half-ogre presented little difficulty, though he fought with honor, to my surprise. My showdown with Airond, however, was not to be, for I then lost to none other than the human, Jacques. He never ceases to surprise me. Quite outside my expectations, but I find myself respecting him more and more. He it was who finally bested Airond, but that was not the "highlight" of our stay.
The dark woman had returned, and she apparently knows Jacques, though from whence I cannot readily say. She was wary, this time, of my prowess and my new blade, though she was more determined to take from us the precious shard. Still, we dispatched her handily enough with the help of the aged fellow we met on the road.
Even so, it troubles me. How much more will we see of her before we are finally rid of her? I must confess, in the depths of my heart, that were she to be completely set on standing against us and offering no retreat as she has done in these our past two meetings, we would not be equal to her abilities. I would not see her bring harm to either of my two most worthy companions, nay, nor even to the half-breed guttersnipe with whom she seemed to have some arrangement to retrieve the crystal. Even she does not deserve the kind of death that would surely await her at that woman's hands.
However, I am by no means certain that I want her as a traveling companion, which is what our human seems set upon arranging. Why he should consider taking on this thief is beyond me, but she will get no quarter from this direction. Still, she's good enough in a fight, and should she mend her thieving ways, she may just be tolerable.
Our journey lies before us, though, and I will not fail nor falter, no matter the obstacle....
|Associated Regions: Tel-Tenauril, Tel-Ithilien, Celembril, Temple Of Whispering Air|
|From the journal of Islan Diemyn|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz