Ben's Personal Notes
[A diary entry, with not too much care given for the quality of the writing]
It seems months since I have put my thoughts to paper, though, that is likely because I haven’t felt the need until late. I expected Arabel to be another quick stop in my journey, as I had doubted I could offer anything to the momentous issues that are plaguing it, perhaps that is still the case. Yet, I seem to have made the right allies, not just those I would call companions, but those I would call friends. They are more capable than me, that much is clear, but they seem thankful for my aid, as much or as little as I provide.
Amongst them, a Herald of Akadi – A woman in an incredible position to her goddess. Much in charge of herself and those around her, she has been the one leading the efforts to cleanse Tilverton. It seemed an impossible job, but over the course of a tenday, we have moved from little hope, to easing the storm, and pushing the shadow back from Eastway. Tilverton, for the time being, is unmoving. The undead and shadow hiding, and the surrounding lands, while still plagued by undeath, have seen life return. Wind, rain, wolves, cats and goblins are all finding their way into the area. The Herald deserves the credit for this, though she seems more than happy to offer her word in favour of the Wind Rider for His and my assistance in the matter.
Next is for us to determine the next step, though I imagine this will take much trial and error, with us being some of the first to attempt a feat of this nature. Though for now, I close away this entry, and begin to pen letters home. It’s been a fair while since I have, and if I’m to be honest, I’m looking forward to hearing from my brother … perhaps I should visit - it’s been too long.
[A letter written with extreme care, packed with three feathers in an exquisite envelope, and sealed with a beautiful purple wax, accented with golden yellows where the mold rises]
I should apologise for not writing sooner, especially considering the urgency of your last letter. I know I have stated many a time that I’ve always wished to follow in your footsteps, as you did of your father, and I can only presume that is why you sent that note with such haste. I’ve never been one to go against your word, and as per your wish, I won’t enlist. You spoke highly of your service, and for that, I have always had the intent of one day joining the ranks of the Purple Dragons as you did, and I would be lying to us both if I said that the timing didn’t seem right when I had heard of the war. Though, you always avoided talks of your experience on the front lines, and from the stories I’ve heard from veterans over the years, I am pained to say I can imagine why.
Though, that is enough of that – I’m sure you will be glad to hear that I have allied myself with people aiming to clear the shadow that plagues the Tilverscar and Moonsea ride, and as of last night, we are showing success in our efforts. My service to Shaundakul is ever more apparent than it has been, I just hope I continue this path.
Let mother know I am well, and don’t tell him, but I plan on having a blade smithed for Jake for his thirteenth birthday. I’ll make sure it’s appropriate for a proud Squire. When it is done, I’ll pen him his own letter and see it sent home with haste and care.
Wind on your back
[A large inblot stains the page, confirming that the quill was pressed in thought for a significant amount of time]
Wholesome... She picked the perfect word to describe it. Wholesome.
I'm... excited, to have this again. It's been... What, two years since Amy died? More? Since then, everything has been casual, I've not actually felt for someone since. It's a welcome change, that much I'm certain of. To have someone to embrace, talk to and otherwise just enjoy their company with no expectation - It's bliss
I'm watching her dream now - Her breathing is steadying, though still coarse, that venom must have been strong. My prayers and blessings seemed to have eased her breath for now, hopefully it will last long enough until she recovers on her own.
We sat and talked for ... hours - It must have been hours. Laughed, cried, all while keeping each other comfortable. The things she's told me... She must trust me more than most would, and that on its own is a feeling almost uncontested for warmth. She lay next to me, softly reading as I fell asleep. I haven't felt this happy in years. Gods I hope it lasts.
The path I travel has always been fraught with challenge. But... this will be something else. A long, difficult journey, but I'll see her through it, I'll be there to make sure she comes out alive, and ... still her.
The past few nights have been a mix between struggled and ... bliss. She trusts me enough to tell me everything, even if she knew that it risked us. I... don't know if I trust her more because of what she told me, because she trusted me with it... or less. Whatever the answer to that, it doesn't change that I'm here, it doesn't change who she is now - Just who she was forced to be. She's passed that, and I'm going to see that those fears and memories are put passed her too. I won't let her struggle with it any longer, not alone.
The Seer read her - Crowned by The Lovers, and ahead of her, the Queen of Cups, marriage... If I hadn't watched the deck shuffled and drawn myself, I don't think I would've believed the chances.
There was more to the reading, and it led to a conversation about something that had been plaguing my mind. It was... needed - It all needed to be said, though I can't put to words how heartbreaking it was to watch her cry, only to get pushed away when I tried to comfort her.
Though, that is all hardly why I put my thoughts to paper. Since day one, she's been scared of the future. A Human and an Elf won't grow old with each other, and I can't imagine the pain that will cause her. For me, she will be my life, for her - A passing love. She brought something up, a conversation I had wished for a later date. I'm a Paladin fo Shaundakul, she is faithful to the Seldarine... Once we both pass, that will be it... Never to see each other again.
She brought up the idea of converting to Shaundakul... I'd never ask her to, I'd never pressure her to, but whatever she decides, I'll support her.
MrPenguin-Phil last edited by MrPenguin-Phil
[A package is sent off to Marsember, containing a letter or two, as well as various gifts: An expensive Brandy, complete with a decanter, a fine bottle of wine, and an expertly crafted Steel Arming Sword]
Father, Mother, Jake,
I don't write enough. I say it every time, and then I continue to leave it months between letters. I hope I don't worry you three too much with it, I'm just ... Busy? I can be, but I suppose I just get distracted, finding something dumb to do instead of sitting with a quill. By the time I'm sat, I'm too tired to write, and by the morn I've forgot.
I never did write to you all about Claeryss, did I? I... Well, I met a cute Elven woman a while back, and... to put the long story short- I'm engaged... Take a moment, Mother, let that sink in. She's- Well, she's wonderful. She's beautiful and easily the smartest person I've ever met. Silver tongued too. I... wasn't even this crazy about Amy. Feels awful to put that to paper, rather than just thinking it, but it's the case. I don't think I could've done better.
In other news, I've been up to much. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you had already heard this tale, without any names- But I fought in the Thayan Arena, and I cut down countless undead, including a giant and a knight, only to have my sword taken by a second undead knight, riding on fiery horseback. I punched him. That's how it ended. A right hook. It brought me a lot of praise, and I can't say I've been complaining, even weeks down the line. I held my gauntlet high, I showed that filthy city what it meant to aid The Helping Hand. I wish you had been there to see it.
Other than that, Tilverton is...fixed? I think we did it. Cleansed, the shadow gone, with just rubble and scorched earth left to rebuild. I don't really know what else to say. The Herald I wrote about ascended to High Priest, she has wings, though that was long before this revelation. Wings. I find it hard to believe how... just- normal that felt to write. "Hmm, wings? Oh, yeah! Neat huh? Not too special though". Gods, what even is this City.
But, that's hardly all. The main reason I even sat down to write this out, is today, I entered a notorious gang hideout, the biggest, baddest Arabel has likely ever seen in recent years. Responsible for the death of a Warden, countless innocents, including over forty children recently. Today I stepped into their base, through a locked portal, with my sword out, along with my allies - We cut them all down, their leaders, their underlings, and we torched that place. I walked in there not knowing whether I'd actually make it out. We were all doubtful. I said goodbye to the woman I know call my wife, yet I never said goodbye to you three. Months without a letter, only to find out I had died only a week ago? It wasn't a comforting feeling, so, I suppose it guilted me into writing this. Regardless, I wish to move on from this, I've said my peace, it's cathartic.
If you could, there's a separate note attached for Jake, make sure it's not bundled with this, I don't wish to ruin his mood before his gift.
[A Steel Arming Sword is passed with the note, wrapped around the hilt a ribbon, tied with too much care and grace to be done by Ben]
Gods little brother, it's been... too long since I've seen you. I can only imagine how you've grown. I hope you are well, and I wish you luck for your training at the Spurbright Estate - You'll follow in my footsteps, I'm sure of it... Though I can't say that's exactly comforting.
I've got some expensive potions to show you next time I visit - You'll like them, a lot... You can turn into animals, Penguin, Dog, Horse, Bird! .... Don't tell Father
Take good care of my gift- It wasn't easy to come by. Use it well, and be well brother.
I hope you are all well, truly - Know that I am, especially considering I've got my wife-to-be smiling at me across the table. Maybe you can meet her soon.