|Temple of Whispering Air Archives, Restricted Library|
Most honored professor and blades instructor, Noreil:|
At your request, I have commenced to catalogue the events upon reaching the isle in the midst of the ruins of Lloleyn. There was, indeed, no reason to apologize to me; I completely understand that you, as one of the Temple's foremost personages, are not always free to converse with students, even in regards to such important matters as these. I write this in my chambers in the hope that, upon your perusal, we may discuss these matters more fully in preparation for my official trials to be titled formally as Bladesinger of the Realm.
It was, it seemed, after the fight with the human Artemis that I felt ready to call myself bladesinger, though I knew the honor could not officially be bestowed upon me until I had returned to Celembril for my trials. This human follower of our beloved queen did seem quite the savage to me then, though I must admit that I was little different. Bearing the brunt of his attacks gave me insight, it seemed, into the presence of mind required for a bladesinger to achieve his grace and deadliness in battle. I was long in thinking on this during our journey to Lloleyn, though once we had reached the isle in the lake that covered the blasted hole, I had little time for reflection.
It was upon our arrival that we met with another band of adventurers, a rather motley group, I must admit even now. Who would not, when they journeyed with a satyr, of all creatures? Their group, however, consisted predominantly of humans, which is unsurprising given our location, though I had quite honestly not expected to see anyone there at all.
I was again nearly disgusted at the sight of them, one of whom included a paladin of the Church of Aesia. I had figured him another zealot like Artemis, fit not even for the short, pathetic lives that humans live. In that, as in many other things regarding the human race, I turned out to be quite wrong. This paladin, Dantas by name, seemed very open and understanding, at the least for a zealous paladin of the Selladorian nation. We even managed to form a loose partnership during our short journey together.
In short order, we were again whisked away, similar to our experience in Thanandir, though it happened much more abruptly. We found ourselves walking through what appeared to be the old Selladorian capital of Lloleyn, though the city was...imperfect. One of the other party, a quite aged (I believe is the proper term) human who claimed to have lived in Lloleyn before its destruction, led us to the temple, as we were each in search of powerful relics likely to be found there.
I came across, while perusing the temple's library, a most wondrous book. A book of spells it was, bound in blue dragon's hide. The hide of a blue dragon! An archwizard could scarcely hope to have such a finely crafted receptacle for his power! And the spells inscribed there. To a one, they were all exceptionally powerful; I even saw there the legendary "Wish". I had only heard rumors and late-night tales in the barracks at the Temple of that wondrous incantation!
I had precious little time to marvel, however, as we were after something even more important. We fought several creatures, strange and terrible to behold, but dispatched them with little trouble. It was here I gained a new respect for my temporary human companions, in particular the paladin.
It is worth diverting here, for a moment, I think. At the time, I was woefully ignorant and prejudiced towards that poor, short-lived species, and the products of love between an elf and a human. It is true that I had developed a powerful respect and even--perhaps--friendship with the enigmatic Jacques, but I had considered him the exception to the rule. Arilyn certainly did nothing to change my opinion of human blood (and I must admit, she still retains an uncanny knack for vexing me). It was here, with death staring at us all, that I received the first glimmers of the thought that maybe, just maybe, my contempt and disdain for humans was misplaced. I say misplaced, but more accurate would be to say completely irrational and against what is good and just in the world.
It was here also that I learned what power the crystal I wore truly contained within its miniscule frame. We came upon an old, doddering human wizard (I remember feeling surprise throughout this ordeal that humans were even capable of the thought necessary to use arcane magics). He wore the object of our search: the second crystal shard. Through this, he had recreated the city of Lloleyn, and reigned over the empty capital as a virtual god. Indeed, our strongest attacks did not even budge him. It was only through Arilyn's skillful swordplay, by severing the chain that held the crystal at his breast, that we were able to vanquish him (a technique she had used on me not long before, to my great dismay). As soon as she had retrieved the crystal, we were whisked away, lost to our new companions, and deposited in another wasteland, this one of snow and ice. I knew, even through the cloud of my befuddled Common sense, which had come upon me during our short stay on the Isle Of Ruin, that we were not prepared for such a climate, and were in dire straits. Still, though, my thoughts returned to my growing skill and to my family, which ever weighed heavily on my mind in idle moments.
Thus did I feel the training, and the code, of the bladesinger come to fruition within me.
One final note. I look back upon my attitudes and feelings towards humans during those days not long gone (even by human standards), and I am filled with a volatile mixture of emotions. I am shamed and saddened that I could have been that blind and naive for so long. Even so, I find a small measure of happiness in knowing that I have found what I think is the right path, though I do not claim to walk it perfectly. It shall be some time, I think, before I rid myself completely of that blight.
Arilyn, however, will taste my steel yet, if she is not more careful with her tongue.
I remain humbly, as always, your student
Islan of House Diemyn
|Associated Regions: Lloleyn|
|From the journal of Islan Diemyn|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz