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Messages - Winterhawk99

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Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: Today at 01:46:57 am »
          Lauriella wakes up in her bedroom There are a crowd of people in her cramped quarters. Cyr is sitting in a chair holding her hand. She looks around to see John, her first mate, who looks not more than 20 years old now. There is a moon elven priestess of Sehanine there along with a stoic looking Sun elven male in what looks like some form of official robes.
      She tries to sit up but Cry pushes her back down. “Captain you need to rest.”
     “Screw that, Cry. What’s going on and what are these elves doing on me ship? Her eyes soften a somewhat and she asks if everyone is, ok?”
      “Aye, Mrs. Lauri everyone is ok and these elves are here to help.” He turns to the elves. “My pardons Chancellor and Dreamwalker. Captain Sithiir was always around humans most of her remembered life.”
      The sun elven gives him a slight nod, “We know. I have seen and given my council to Dreamwalker Tra’ia.”
      Lauriella looks to Cyr for an explanation.
     “This is Dreamwalker Kaylea Tra’ia and Chancellor Elural Mer’ra ambassador to Ascore for the empire of Cormanthor. They came as soon as they knew an elven archmage was in trouble.”
     “It’s just stress how long have I been out?”
     “Two weeks, captain. I turn back to Ascore soon as you fell. Everyone has been worried about you.”
     “TWO WEEKS! We have to get back there’s war brewing. The cities need supplies.”
     He squeezes her hand, “Captain. You need to listen to them. But I wanted to say. Your theory of a potion of youth was right. It healed the men from the chronomancy sickness. The elves procured them from their capital city.”
       She looks at him queerly, “And just why would Cormanthor help us?”
      Cyr puts his head down giving the chancellor time to speak, “To be truthful archmage Sithiir, your lieutenant traded your technology for it. He thought you were on your death bed, and in truth you are in a way. Or should I call you by your countrymen’s title Hemet Netjer?”
      “Just call me Lauri.”
      The dreamwalker whispers to the Chancellor, “She is the mother now. I can feel the change when she woke up.”
       The chancellor nods and again concentrates on Lauriella, “Lets start with the good news. Your men are free from their time displacement. When we came at the behest of the government of Ascore as soon as we saw your ship and its technology. The handheld sextets, the construction of the ship itself, what it was made of, The water clocks and other instruments so far in advanced to even our own we knew we had to get our government involved.”
       Cyr whispers to her, “You should see their ship. It flies and looks like a giant butterfly.”
       She looks a bit distant for a moment and looks back at the chancellor, “Anything else you stealing from me?”
        He clears his throat in some irritation, “We were privy to your spell theories, Mrs. Sithiir and we had to go into your thoughts and memories. I have a good grasp on enchantments and went into your mind to try to heal you and found out about what’s going on with you………Why you had a seizure.”
      “Well go on then. It’s not like I had a choice, did I?”
      This time it is Kaylea who speaks. “Mrs. Sithiir you were never cursed by the gods. Your problems are in two parts. The injury to your head some two centuries ago your time and your memory loss. Which was intentionally caused.”
      Lauri just stares at her with her mouth open.
      This time the chancellor speaks. “When I went into your mind, I found your memory was locked by powerful enchantments. I was only able to unlock a very small part of your memory. See if you can think back to the day you woke up.”
      She closes her eyes and thinks back. “I feel a searing pain in my head. Sand under me. I hear the surf. I lift my arm and find my head is wrapped with bandages. There are open clams on a log beside me and a canteen of water. I try to get up and end up spitting up bile from the pain.”
      The Chancellor nods. “Now try to think back just a little further.”
      Lauriella attempts to think back further and for the first time sees and feels a vision. “I’m laying on my side. I feel nothing, cannot move my limbs. A giant insect comes into my view. It looks….looks like a giant metal dragonfly. It lands about 50ft away.”
       She pauses a moment giving time for the chancellor to say, “It’s a machine called a damselfly. Go on I have seen this memory it is one of only two I have been able to unlock”
      She concentrates. “I see a strange woman come out of its belly. She is tall and wears the robes of a Mulhorandi enchantress. She………She is Hemet Netjer but also has hair Long silver hair and her skin is sky blue………I have never in my life seen someone like this. Is this a celestial or something? Her eyes are silver. She’s bending over to  my ear.
      She’s whispering something, “Lauri, what did you do to yourself? I don’t know if I can fix this, but I will try. I am so sorry, but I must make you forget me to forget all of your past life. You must forget all the special magic I taught you. You would not understand but I as all my people are hunted. I cannot have you knowing me after this. If you live go and make a new life.”
       Lauri pauses and then says, “She’s making a circle around both of us, and she has a diamond….she’s casting………….It’s dark.”
      She looks up at the two of them confused.
      The Dreamwalker speaks. “We believe the person you saw as something that is called a High Ogre. They are very magical creatures. Most now live on the astral plane where magic is unhindered. A few come to have their children here meaning Toril where it is relatively safe for them being that they are also natural shapechangers. Those that hunt them for their skin or to enslave them have a means to see through the shapechange but hardly come to toril to find them.
       We believe she was your first teacher in magic. We also believe she is the cause of your memory loss.”
       Lauriella rubs her forehead, “Why would she do that I am of no import to the greater scheme.”
     The dreamwalker frowns, “All under Sehanine’s light are of import Lauriella. To answer your question as far as we know it was to protect herself. She was in her true form so you must have known her true form. Therefore, you may have been a threat damaged as you were……are.”
       “What do you mean are?”
      The chancellor looks to her sadly, “And here comes the other problem, Mrs Sithiir. What you did damage with your head injury. Try as she may and with as much expertise as she may have had this person the enchantress could not put your skull completely back to wholeness. She left tiny bone splinters in your brain.
       It is what gives you your multi personality disorder. Its also why you have an iron will like a trained monk and your general emotions are dulled.”
      Lauri looks at Cyr and slaps him, “How dare you! I trusted you to keep my secrets!”
      Kaylea rushes the ben and pins Lauriella’s back against the headboard by her shoulders. “Calm down or I’ll make you sleep! It’s not your lieutenant’s fault. If you need someone to blame, blame the chancellor.”
      She stares daggers at the Dreamwalker, “I always know who I am.”
      The Dreamwalker stares into Lauriella’s eyes with both sternness and pity, “But you cannot help be the representation of the clothing you wear. Now you are the mother, there is the Captain, The engineer, the maiden, the necomancer and others in your head. You compartmentalized your brain to these things so you could maximize the undamaged part of it. Even if you didn’t know it. It is a brilliant survival strategy. May I let you go now, Hemet? Or will I have to sedate you?”
      Lauriella’s shoulders slump, her face reddens from grief and guilt. She turns her head to the side not wanting to meet anyone else’s eyes. She breaths heavily and wipes a tear from her eye before she turns to face them again, “So I’m insane. You going to take me to some prison for people like me now. Take me from my home?”
       The chancellor smiles for the first time, “On the contrary, Mrs. Sithiir. You took charge of all of this and leaned to handle it. We would like you to come to Cormanthor for us to study you. It would be a grand help for others with disabilities similar to your own.”
        “Sir I have supplies to get to Hadrian and Southbank as soon as I may. There is a war coming.”
       “You need to hear me out first, Mrs. Sithiir. Those bone splinters have been migrating deep and deeper into your brain. That is why you had your seizure. If you continue in your stressful life as an adventurer. They will migrate all that much faster. You will be dead in 2 to 5 years.”
        “Now that I know what’s wrong, I am sure it can be fixed.”
        The Moonwalker shakes her head, “Mrs. Sithiir. The injury was so long ago that your body thinks these splinters are a normal part of your body. No amount of healing, regeneration or even death and resurrection can heal them. If you continue to adventure you will die within 5 years. If you don’t, you may live another hundred or hundred fifty years. No more.”
      Lauriella looks downtrodden.” I would like everyone to leave now. I am tired and need to go to trance.”
      Cyr looks to her, “Please let me stay, Captain. I want to be here if you need anything.”
     Lauri just huffs and lays back while Cyr again takes her hand. The others quietly leave to the stateroom.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: December 04, 2021, 09:43:20 pm »
     At 2300 Lauriella locks the rutter and helps the crew set up tables on the deck of the moonflower along with a circle of chairs where more can be added when needed. She then hands the wheel off to her 1rst mate John Calandro going to her bedroom to wash up quickly and dress in her working clothing.
    When she comes back up the anchors are down and most of her shift is sitting around drinking surprisingly Cyr is there along with five of his crew. She greets them and sits down. Cyr leads them in a short prayer to Selune, Reflection begins with Lauriella telling her men a story.

     Cry then stands. “I had me a great uncle lived near a fey wood. For all I know he may still be there. He’s a crotchety old coot and a warlock to boot. Well, I visited him just before I come to Mulhorand to sign with the company, and he told me a story. So here goes.”

    “He heard something outside and being no one visits him he walk out and find another moon elven. She was a pretty thing with bright red hair and green eyes. Surprising really since most us moon elves don’na have red hair.
     So, he take his pipe out of his mouth and asks her, “What does a young maid such as yourself want with an old elf such as I?"
     "A place to stay for a few weeks, months, until I am done with my tasks. I have trade coin."
      "Have no use for trade coin here girl. You'll have to do better than that."
     "In my studies I have heard that warlocks like to conserve their energies. I could light the fires. clean the house do all the things a maid does while staying. Also, potions to ease an old one's bones. I could also make a good meal: save you from the day-to-day chores."
     Well, seeing that she wore a certain pendant of a sect he knew she was a vegetarian. "No meals from you, no, thank you girl. I like a good rabbit with my breakfast. I don't suppose you be willing to get me one. Besides that. I hate the taste of mushrooms. What's your name?"
     She narrows her eyes. Her fingers go into a pouch. He takes note of it without moving, "Rosemallow."
     Now me uncle new that was a bold-faced lie. So he say, "Don't want the name you gave yourself. I want your given name, girl?"
     Well, my uncle seen a lot of things being he older than most the trees in the forest. He knew she was something like royalty in another kingdom from her name which translate roughly to something like royal transmuter.  "So. You are Transmuter Or will be when the time comes."
     "H...…….How! Are you...……" He waves her off, "No, I'm not. I'm just old and seen more things than most. You can stay. You can stay if you go and do all those things plus two more. First, Tell me what you really doing on the reaches of the fey wood. Second, I want you to teach me a few spells. Of your magic not the elven magic or the damn magic the humans embraced. Your magic in your language. That's my price. Take it or leave it, princess or whatever you call yourself nowadays."
     Well, that young maid she frown and concentrate a moment thinking about it. Seems this sect of elves keep them magics real close to themselves. At first, she tries to divert him. "There are no princes or...……." But he cuts her off.
     "I'm losing my patience, girl. What you here for?"
     Knowing she lost the argument that girl just sighs and says, “"I just want to bake some apple pies."
    Well for a moment me uncle quite confused then remember she a transmuter and gives off a hearty laugh pointing his finger at her. "Transmuter! Right! can't get a simple spell to work for you. Ha! I'll enjoy this. You can sleep on the couch. Remember your promises to me. Don't suppose I could see you for real from under that spell you got on you?”
     "No. It isn't in the contract, Warlock."
     "Didn't think of it till now. Alright set yourself up. You can stay."

     My uncle watches her the next morning place a fresh pie onto an iron plate and places a cage of dwarven craftsmanship on top locking it down with wing nuts. She takes it and starts to walk off the porch.
     "You think you'll even find them, princess."
     "They can't resist."
     "It'll be cold for they smell the damn thing."
      Her eyes turn to him. She smiles and touches the iron plate saying an incantation. The plate starts to glow red. cooked apples and cinnamon fills the air, along with a hint of nutmeg.
He takes the pipe out of his mouth and points it at her, "Human magic. I thought better of the great sorcerers."
Her eyes sharpen a moment. They become angry, " They are their own people. Unique in their own way."
     "Maybe you don't remember lassie. Too young. But I remember. They will always be little more than animals.”
     My uncle remembered when humans weren’t so civilized. “It does not matter the humans can and do enslave themselves showing they barbaric. They are weak and short lived. They don't have time enough to find the greater things in life. Think that fancy cage going to stop the mad fairies do you." He chuckles and waves her off.
She turns her head rather sharply and walks into the woods. Late in the evening she comes back pie in hand still in the cage. She finds him in his rocking chair smiling, "Don't worry princess. Eventually they will find you."
     "Stop calling me that! I'm no princess."
     The old elf smiles and places his pipe in his mouth, "Well now you done for the day there you can start to keeping your promise here."
     For two weeks the young moon elven bakes a pie in the night goes out with it in the morn and comes back late afternoon. My uncle taunts her with a whole array of discussions. He offers her venison, insults her intelligence, her cults customs. Every night she ignores him goes in and does the housework as if she lived alone.
       On the 15th day she comes back pie in hand covered head to toe in mud. The cake also covered in mud. He laughs, "Finally find them did you. I don't see one with ya, princess."
     "I still have one thing old elf of the woods."
      "What's that?"
      "I still have my pie." giving him a wicked smile, just before she goes in the door and shuts it."
     "I expect you be cleaning up all that mud young lady!"
     The next day she comes back drenched. Some parts even show a little more than they should. My uncle laughs hard, "Aye you a true beauty, princesses and I see you don't have your pie this time do you."
      "Nor they old elf. It dissolved. Too bad for them."
      The old man laughs as she goes in the door.
      The next day when she comes back the warlock laughs even harder. Her hair has been turned to leaves and she doesn't know it.
     "What are you laughing about now."
      "Now there's a sight to see a wild elven princess with the hair to match."
       She feels her hair, sighs and shakes it. The leaves turn back to the silky red hair she came to him with.
      The old elf laughs, "Now that's the old magic I'm interested in."
      She prances up the stairs to the cabin, "As you well know old elf. You can't have that one piece of magic."
      "You still have a promise to keep, princess."
      She turns and walks in the door.
     For another three months the young elf comes back partially charmed, bedazzled, once naked except of course for the pie, "Got to hand it to you, princess. You got spunk. So, what do you have to wear now? You keep going you won’t have any clothes and have to live like a nymph."
     "I have more clothes and; besides, I still have my pie."
The old elf just shakes his head as she goes up the stairs trying to hide herself with the pie plate.
      Then one afternoon everything changed. She comes up the path and upon her shoulder is a creature the size of a cat with butterfly wings. long slim leather straps fall from its ankle. It’s platinum wings fluttering time to time for balance. The young moon elven walks up to my uncle with a proud smile upon her face. The weird dragon like creature munches sticky apple pie from her fingers.
     He smiles at the young elf, "So you did it princess. Finally got one of them to join you. Have you made the bond yet?"
     "Her name is Nym."
     "Thought I saw a gold tinge in the wings. good on you. Expect you will be leaving soon. there is of course the question of final payment."
     "I know." She walks in the door. A half-hour later she comes back ready for travel with two scrolls in her hand. She hands them to the warlock, "I trust you can read them?"
     Undoing one of the scrolls he studies it intently, "I'm rusty of course but yes, I can read it."
     "I'll be going now." She starts to walk off the porch when the old elf says, "Hold on just a moment, there princess."
      She turns around the dragon aggravated by the swift move unbalances her. She lands in the dirt. Both dragon and elf laugh. She dusts herself off, "What is it?"
      "Just so happens I got me something that's more important to you and yours than me and mine." He pulls something out of his vest carefully wrapped in parchment paper and extends his arm for her to take it. She walks back up the porch accepting it from him.
      Opening it up she finds an ink well. She examines it and looks to him mystified.
      "There are some things more important than magic young lady. That is an ink well taken from a plantation by a slave over a thousand years ago. Maybe two thousand. That ink well started a revolution that was the downfall of an entire race. Look at the bottom of it.
       The woman looks to the bottom and is stunned. Tears fill up her eyes as she traces the runes that mark a name in an ancient language, "Thank you."
     My uncle smiles, "I knew you had heart princess. Good that you relish the past too. Wasn't mine to keep you know. Just waiting for the right person to come along. Now get you going off my property. No need for one such as you lingering around seeing what I be doing at night."
     She throws a kiss to the old elf, turns and makes her way into the woods with her new companion. The old warlock sucks on his pipe and smiles for the quiet company these last few months.

     “I think he told me that story cause it’s a story of persistence. She stayed with him for months and would not give up until she got herself her little pet dragon. Don’t think I told that one yet but being our situation, I think it appropriate. And if I hadn’t been persistent in officer school, I would not be here with all of you now. Glad he told me that story.”
      The rest of the circle raised their mugs and glasses then drink to him as he sits down. Lauri stands up.
      “We sailors often lose sight of persistence. I know I do. We all know the say’in when the ship sails all debts are paid, but sometimes……….”
      Lauriella’s glass drops out of her hand. As the glass breaks upon the deck her eyes roll to the back of her head. She falls to the deck in convulsions.   

General Discussion / Retiring Lauriella
« on: December 03, 2021, 02:47:15 pm »
     I will be retiring Lauriella very soon and finishing her story. I thank everyone who made her last server such a wonderful experience. I will be taking some time off from Nwn but will continue on discord.
     For my novel fans I will be working and finishing the last novel in the Childern of Hell trilogy and I will be making a fan fiction novel on Lauriella's life ventures throughout her life and career on Toril. I will be using some creative license as always when I write her book and will include all the pcs of others unless the players wish not to be in the book or books. (I am not sure I can present her entire life in just one book)
     If anyone does not want their character in this or these novels, or wants the name of their characters changed who interacted with Lauriella: Speak now or forever hold your peace. I do not want to put someone else's character in a novel who doesn't want their character within it.
     Everyone I played with and who dmed me were absolutely wonderful and I am honored to have known and played with you. I'll make a new character after I am finished with these novels.

      Thank you all

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: December 02, 2021, 09:23:58 am »
   Lauriella is disappointed as she loads but 25 tons of supplies from Ascore. The shipping lanes are mostly closed as winter storms drive most cargo and caravan merchants to port for the winter. The Moonflower was designed to the best of her ability for all contingencies except for breaking through winter ice. Luckily with the Mythallars spread across the narrow sea she has not had to deal with that. but she has had to deal with a surprising number of squalls. She has been delayed in both acquiring a full load of goods and by weather. She will not return without a full load so she decides if she cannot in Harborage, she will sail south to Zenith to pick up the remainder. Zenith is a farming community and will have much of what she needs for Gabriella and the whole of the southern cities.
     Near dawn the last of the shipment is loaded and she sets out of harbor working her way around the dwarven stone ships. A few miles out the sun breaks the horizon and she hands the wheel to Cyr as the shift changes. She goes down to her stateroom and washes herself with sponge and a bowl of clear water in her short clothes. When she is somewhat clean. She goes to her mirror and studies herself for near 15 minutes and makes a decision. Going to her bedroom and to her writing desk she pens an entry into her old private journal.

     Wisemen often say that life is a journey of self-discovery, self-understanding. Since my accident. Since I knew the memories of my early years would never come back, I have little time to explore this concept. There was always a need for my services when on land, A company to build and rebuild here, A wife and husband to please, A lost love to write, log entries, paying employees. Sailing to make profit.
     I have always wondered why I am so different than everyone else. Why am I so religious? Why do I change slightly by what I wear? Why sometimes so drastically with the seeming inability to control it. Why always seeking out emotional support and relationships? Why I am hardly affected by fear. Why at the same time being humble before the gods yet arrogant towards other mortals depending upon my dress.
     I believe I have found the answer and this answer frightens me. I believe I know why Jeri is so obsessed with destroying me. I believe that in a way I am a reflection of him. A reflection that chose a different path that although I could become just like him, I chose a higher path. Instilling in myself such discipline in my life while being flexible with others that I do more to the good than evil in the world. Where he has given into the depravities of self.
     Sometimes it's hard to look oneself in a mirror when knowing the truth and the truth came to me as I studied my own magic made by another. A copy of myself mixed with demon blood. Is not your own magical signature a mirror? A mirror more exacting than any piece of glass? For your magic comes from your soul and mind.
      My magic is so cool and analytical. There is no true passion in its wielding. There is no heart put into it. Someone once told me that magic is a tool. The tool can be used for good or evil. Every spell including undead necromancy is merely a way to do good or evil in the world, and in certain circumstances evil magic can be used for the highest of purposes.
     In part I believe this. I make use of demonology because I have not found its reverse in gating in creatures for, I have never found a name of an appropriate creature from a higher plane. That does not change what I have seen in myself.
     Understanding self is a two-edged sword. You see all your higher attributes of soul however you see the depths of your own insanities, your own faults and misguided ideas.
      Everyone wonders of self and why the way they are from time to time in life and I have asked these questions without truly exploring as most people do. I believe I have some understanding now. The reasons why I am so attuned to the positive and negative planes. For they are pure energies. why mathematics plays so much within all my magic.
     Mathematics, physics and engineering are combinations of unfeeling and cold hard truths. It either is or it is not. It either works or does not. All quantifiable by cold hard equation. A tradesman, artist breathes life into what he creates through passion of dream. This I cannot do. Thus, I am like very much like the one my friends and I ultimately seek to destroy. It is why I seek love and relation wherever I go so seemingly passionately. It is why I seek mates of honor, courage and have a deep bond with society. It is because I am always in need of a mate to look up to. Someone better than I. I am always in need to feel those strong feelings for love of another. Only once did that happen. It was with Alluin who saved me along that shore in the Dalelands. The one I Truely love and will wait for at the entrance of the gates of the moon. Yet now I even question this love for is it truly love or some concept that I have conceived to delude myself.
     I must feel love on some level for every time I think of this upcoming war, I see Ava's body broken and lifeless on the cobblestones in front of the palace of Arabel. I still weep for her two centuries after. I fear that one day things will be too much and I fall into my depravities much like my adversary has. Denouncing the gods, only thinking of self and self-interest without any regard for others. These thoughts prey upon my every waking moment now. My trances only go back now to the memories of my mistakes and willing machinations against others for the so called good of the community. Were all these things truly for the good of the community? I cannot assess this at this time.
     Time will tell what becomes of the rest of my life and where my soul goes. The only thing I can do is but move forward with this new awareness of my maladies. I pray Sehanine has mercy upon my soul in the end and I will endeavor to keep her edicts and my vow to her. In that I may end life in peace.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 29, 2021, 07:39:48 am »
      Lauriella comes onboard two hours before dawn drunk as a skunk. Cyr gets her to bed rather quickly and has Arelush watch over her. Cyr wasn't sure that was the best of ideas being Lauri is in her working clothes but figure she won't come out of trance before the cabin girl gets some sleep herself.
      When Lauriella wakes up two hours after dawn the ship is already underway according to her orders. They are to stock up on flour, dry goods, pickled goods and salted meats. any non-perishable food they can get their hands on before the war becomes too obvious and the prices of surrounding city states go through the roof. She plans on acquiring 100 tons of food to be quietly warehoused in the various cities that have been threatened by attack. Gabriella was handling the land logistics. Lauriella's job is to get the food and supplies to port.
      She goes up to see Cyr at the wheel. She puts the rudder lock on and calls everyone to the galley. As they gather, she begins to write up the duty roster for the run. Many of the crew quietly talk to themselves and occasionally snicker including Cyr. She looks up to them.
      "Allright you juvenile delinquents, what be so funny?"
       Jonney Rae is the first to speak up, "Begg'in your pardon captain. Just wondering why that young gigolo come running out of yer stateroom and dash himself overboard so fast? Cyr said he was about 18 in elven age. Wha'dd he do? Misfire?"
      Another crew member chimes in while she's staring daggers at them. "Aye our old witch of the inner sea should be changing her name. Should be old cougar of the inner sea."
      She looks up again from her roster, "You all done or should I be adding more to the ship roster for dock duty while everyone else on shore leave? Matter of fact that wasn't a gigolo. He a young mage don't know nothing about being a man yet. His name is Celorin. He just got scared of his own prick. Might I remind ye: I had to explain to some of you about the birds and the bees, stick a few silvers in ye hands and send you to the first port brothel I could find when yer bunks started waking me up in the middle of the day."
      Another crew member fakes an aghast look upon his face, "Boys! Our Beauty got denied...... By an 18-year-old virgin!"
      Another in the back cuts in, "told you, she should have shaved her mustache. where's me coin?"
      Lauriella rubs her head and flips the roster to Cyr whispering to him to finish it. She puts her hands on her hips.
      "Har, Har! Ye all had ye laughs. Please do continue. I got me important news here that may save yer lives. You all targets because some asshole mage wants to make an example out of me. I'm too damn tired right now and I've got a worse headache than when I wake up. Bugger off, the lot of ye! I'll talk to ye at dinner when ye calm yer asses down."
      She flips them off as she leaves which brings more laughter from the men.

      At dusk Lauriella is up. Arelush is helping her dress in her standard captain's uniform. She helps Lauri with her make up and puts her hair into dreadnaughts. After Lauri puts her overcoat on, she stares at herself in her full-length mirror. Arelush takes a ceremonial sword off the wall and puts it on Lauri with its hip strappings. "The lieutenant asked me to make sure you have this, Ma'am. I don't know why?"
      The captain sighs a moment and looks down at her feet. She takes a deep breath and stares in the mirror again almost looking agitated, "I know why, Arelush. Best not ask too many questions on why one day I wear something and another I wear something else. Just the way things must operate. Could you be a good sailor and call everyone in the galley for me?
     "Aye, my lady." she looks up at Lauri who is looking straight into her eyes. "Captain, I mean Captain."
     "Lauri nods to her."
     As Arelush makes for the deck she quickly looks back to see Lauriella staring into the mirror again."

     When Lauriella comes to the Galley the men immediately quite down. The cook takes one look and goes back to making breakfast for her men and dinner for Cyr's team.
      "Ok everyone, gave ye a day to have ye fun. Time to know what we are doing and why we doing it. Refugees filling up the cities down south and they hurting for food. This isnt a profit run this is a mercy run. I'm the one footing the bill. Means you be getting standard pay with no share. Sorry, but we got to help the cites we live around. I don't mind ye complaining a bit but ye still get yer pay. Some of ye may know war and the hardship it cause. Those that do know we doing the right thing. That will be the end of it.
     "Aye, Captain!" Some still look disappointed.
     They say those giant crystals along shore keep the water warm but we going to Ascore the northern end of the narrow sea. There may be bergs. Most you haven't seen one or more. A berg a hell of alot bigger under the water than above. We try going full sail through them they could rip the sides out of the haul even if we got us 10inch hardwood ribs. So anyone! I mean anyone see one we set the tenders in the water and pull the moonflower till we out of them.
      We'll only make a knot or two till we clear but we won't be sinking our girl. She'll bounce off anything rather than get ripped to shreds.
     "Aye, Captain!"
     There has been a threat to everyone here. It's bad so I'm telling ye all up front. Some mad mage made a copy of me but different. She look like me and a cross of some demon pirate slut bitch. Problem is she somehow got copies of me research and probably can cast magic near as well as me.
     I found her lab. In it she has specific ways she was going to torture each and every one of you when she defeats me and takes the ship. Including you Arelush. I or one of me land companions going to kill her eventually but that mean you all in danger. I want marshal drills start with each crew every break for now. I know its going to be tough on ye but ye get 12 hours off to rest.
      This a serious thing. worse happens and she gets to you. You fight to the death cause what's in store is worse than death. And ye know that she have to kill me first to get to you. Remember that. Dying honorably in combat quick better than anything she has in store for ye. I'll start training Arelush meself. When women fight we fight a whole lot differently then ye men.
     I wish this not so. I been able to keep me crew out of conflict for as long as can remember. This mad mage got a thing for me though along with our ship and all of you. Might just winter in Ascore just to keep ye safe but know the cities need us.
     If any want to bow out of contract now I do na blame ye but also have to think about what I unleash to the future history so ye have to stay in contact so I can send yer home.
     So speak now if the fear in ye hearts outweigh the bonds of ship and crew."
     Lauri waits several minutes. No one speaks and most of her men look angered. She looks to Arelush who sits with a completely neutral face. Lauri cannot read her.
     "Good. I have no malice to anyone not wanting to move on as crew but I see I build a fine family to the man or woman. I am the one honored to be your captain. Dismissed."


Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 26, 2021, 01:22:40 am »
     Lauri sits in a chair at the bow sipping moonshine late at night. Now that the Moonflower is wintering most of the men are asleep all except her first mate who pulls up a chair beside her. Lauriella's silk shirt is dirty from work and her pants are torn at the thigh from slipping on a sail hook in the rain. Though there is no scar for her ring of regeneration has taken care of the laceration.
     "Mind me pulling up a chair, Lauri?"
     "Suit yerself I just be enjoyin the tide and the quiet night."
     "Aye, you look as old and tired as I feel. want me to get cookie out of bed?"
     "Nae. let him rest. It will just iritate him."
     "Ye look sick."
     "Just stress. Too much come together. got to make my priorities that that means all of you."
     "More than that I reckon. Want to tell me about it?"
     Lauriella takes her finger and dips it in the moonshine. she then traces the rim making it sing while she thinks. "Not sure I can explain it. When that mad mage Jeri explained to us there going to be a war. I was all for it. maybe a chance to get that bastard clone of his. So, I sent letters trying to get people to come to my banner. Sent letters warning people war was coming and made a play to fill the void Cassandra left. So, I could add those projects to the war effort. I thought it was a longshot you know, but did succeed for about a day till the university put the hammer down.
     I didn't see that much of a problem. Figured they would do it but had to make the play you know. The real problem start when I was looking up maps of these cities trying to figure out how the enemy would come at us if they took the offensive.
     As I was drawing out plans Ava's face kept popping in me mind among other things. Orcs dragging women and children out of houses and Dis embowing them right outside their doors. Me on the ramparts while the kobald plane touched mages worked through me magic shields. The slaughter in the palace.
     Ignored it best i could and kept going. Met Eliezra at the patio bar. while I tried to get her to join the army I kept seeing her as Ava. Me hand started trembling. Kind of glad she decided not to join. Shes a sweet girl got the short end when some psychopath used her. Ever since then I try to concentrate on anything doing with this upcoming war my hands would shake.
     So sent more letters. The last was to the Church of Selune. I asked for a single cleric to advise me. They tell me to fuck off. Nicely of course. But still the same. That was the sign I knew that Selune don't want me in this war. That somehow, I fuck it up like the last time. She rejected me. As before. but then again....
      John finishes her statement, "I am of no import to the greater scheme"
      She turns her head to meet his eyes, "Aye. Since been an achmage been getting a taste of real power. Selune must be unhappy to slap me down hard. It's ok I deserved it.
      Anyway that was just before the meeting with Kliment. He dressed me down and i knew he would but you know us sailors we build our men back up after dressing them down so they do better. He didn't had nothing good to say about me. And he tried lying to me again twice. actually thrice. said in decree that Cassandra was fine and my war a fantasy when it obvious it not. Then in decree changed his mind and said she very sick. Then tried telling me she fine again at the meeting.
     I will never trust Kliment again."
     "Think he an agent of this Jeri Shellach."
     "He a necromancer but not anything like me. I would nae put it past him and the fact he try to convince me the truth not the truth in the meeting probably makes him in cahoots with Jeri. As far as Cassandra. I think she gone or Jeri change her for his own manical pleasure of experimentation. I think she lost to us."
     She takes a sip of moonshine and continues, "Seems every time I start caring for someone, they taken away from me. Alluin, Ava, Cristine, Zard now Cassandra. Might just go down to the conch slums and hit Eleizra on the back of the head and kidnap her just to keep her safe."
      "You arn't going to do that though. You too good of a person. But I know what ye have. Battle sickness. Comes when veterans seen too much."
      "I been in plenty of battles before."
      "Aye you have but have ye been in a war since? war different you know. Large scale slaughter and some the evilest deeds happen in war."
      "Ye right John, I not been in a war since then. before yes by record but have no memory of it."
      "Don't know anyone ever got over it neither but if anyone can it be our captain. I say ye put yer regular uniform on. Rent a Cat and so some sailing be yerself. maybe find an island fore ye cute red head."
      "I'm not fucking her, John."
      "Maybe you should or maybe I get there first. that none the main thing though. Way I see it ye made two mistakes. We sailors. We got us one law that the regulations of the Merchant fleet. We got us one captain whose word is law on ship. We not like these landlubbers with all their politics. each captain the same and if we fleet each commander the law of the captains. It all be sensible. These ground pounders they make no sense with all their ins and outs and who on top and who on bottom. It all confusing to us.
       Second you been a captain now more than half the centuries ye live. Ye use to command and being you still alive makes me think you a good one. whether in war or on ship. But you use to being a captain and giving the orders. You expect to be at the top. Besides have a look in the mirror. We all know ye old and experianced. They see some 20 year old girl still wet behind the ears. Dont even know how to relate to you age and ours. they do nae see it that way.
      Lauriella thinks a moment, "If'n I was human I would be......48-50 years old."
      And hear some human mage probably a 10th of yer age telling a matriarch of a successful merchant family and an achmage to boot how she should be doing things."
      "Wasn't exactly like that but I hear you John."
      "But, I also have to admit. You goddess gives you a sign to keep away ye should keep away. You always been a righteous and humble woman to the gods Lauri even when they fuck ye up the arse. I say listen to them signs. Besiden, we like our Captain safe to ye know. Question is what ye going to do now?"
      "Think I give the order to load up enough food and water for refugees in case Southbank get attacked and sacked. Have enough for 300 people to make it to Harborage. Meanwhile I'll take these plans to that gnome village and find me a master tinker for my machine. maybe that that cat to find an island for Gabby. and make those spells to get the machine running."
       "I'll tell the lewy yer wishes." He pauses. "You and he be having some troubles of late?"
      "He just getting like the rest. I would be firing him but I can't and he a good officer."
       "He'll be the 5th over me two contracts. Shame that elven magic you girls have over men when ye dance that dance. wish I could take a gander sometime."
        "Think maybe I should get a gay lieutenant sometime but then I see him tip-toeing along the deck singing bawdy show songs and think that will sure strike confidence in the crew. Besiden I would have to belt the men as well as the women."
        John looks aghast, "Don't think you can be belting a man."
        "I'll do it meself. Sure, I can figure it out with a little hammering and stretching."
        "OUch! dont be gettin a gay luietenat. Probably castrate the whole of us. Damn sure ye aint wearing yer necromancer robes underneath?"
        "nae would be funny though a bunch of belted men on the ship. Would show ye what we women go through," She smiles.
        "Now that's what I be looking for a genuine smile from our captain. Brightens the mens' day you know."
        The two end up sipping moonshine and watching the stars to the early morning hours: Quietly enjoying the listing of the gentle harbor tides. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 24, 2021, 03:26:56 am »
     Lauri was not surprised when a decree was slipped under her door after she read it. She recognized how fast the university understood what they had done and corrected it. Though it did take a full day. She quickly writes a letter and slips it under the stateroom door. A few hours later a letter and another decree are slipped under her door.
     She had been working non-stop for over a day now and planned to until she can leave ship. Her eyes have become slightly hollow and her skin color a slightly paler shade of bronze. She has started to look slightly gaunt. The crew doesn't disturb her for they know she not only working hard for the community but also for them redrawing the time machine from the original to incorporating magic resistors to the device instead of using her original idea.
     She goes to the bedroom to her writing desk and pulls out her journal.

     I made a play to take over the special projects section of the university. I was surprised it worked at first with Master Cerquas. It took them a little over a day to correct it. Even though I am an achmage now politics still always play a part of the game. To the university it would be like a lieutenant running a flag ship frigate so I am not surprised. Besides that, I am a foreigner from a competing human empire.
     They did extend a fig leaf in the Master Kliment would like to see me and offered me two apprentices to work with. A good deal so I handed my own over to him an old report on conjuration. I had to laugh. I told him that Cassandra was in grave danger, kidnapped and probably being used for some experiment. He did not believe me and said she was in good health according to her familiar.
     In his second decree his tune changed. I'm betting he will be asking me what I know of the situation. We'll see.
     I've come to realize that If I stay here, I will need a man and a woman companion. I haven't seen a man yet that even comes close to my standards. There are however three women I have an interest in. One is hard to keep tabs of. A young Amaunator priestess. The other two Cassandra and Eliezra are both also extremely good people. One humble and shy and self-conscience even though she may become one of Conch's champion warriors one day. The other a public socialite but when she takes off her mask changes drastically.

Lauriella pauses and laughs saying, "I wonder when she realizes she is not the only one that wears masks unfortunately I cannot control mine." She continues writing.

     I received a letter back from the mayor of Southbank. He is depending upon the enclave to protect the city. Its both a good assumption but also a bad one. The enclave may or may not protect Hadrian and Southbank however we do need to prepare. War is a devastating thing. This is my home now and we need to prepare. I dont think he will listen to me until things get really bad unfortunately. If they get bad here but he is forcing me to think more offensively than defensively. I must remind myself that if the battle comes to Southbank and the city is unprepared. Cyr will have to set sail for Harborage or Ascore. I do not want to risk the Moonflower of my crew over this war.
     I screwed up so badly in the revolution of Arabel. I worry that I will do the same here. Watching men and women die because of mistakes you made is the hardest of lessons. It changes you forever. Losing a mate in battle is even worse. Forgive me Ava. I must study until I can compensate for every contingent. I refuse to let men who will trust in my leadership be slaughtered wholesale. I must find a way to protect my army like I have protected my crews these centuries.
     Finding an amicable dragon will help much in this effort. That is if I can and somehow get him to agree to join us.I will also need one or two officers to carry out my orders. Most like two. One should be a cleric. I'll have to see if I can get a high cleric of Selune or Sehanine to be one officer. I dont know about the other. perhaps one of these apprentices that Master Kliment offer, but i think that will be redundant. I will wait to send other letters until things get more urgent. I know i will want some elven archers and sorcerers from Covington. I will also need warriors. There is just so much to go over and I still dont know if I may be able to attract all of these people.
     I must keep going over everything until I am confident in myself that I can do this and think i am competent enough to lead an army.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 23, 2021, 01:22:39 am »
     Lauri is in her short cloths in her stateroom going over book after book of summoning lore and books pertaining to suspected dragon lairs within the region. She discounts any evil dragon and looks for good dragon lairs. As she is reading dusk arrives and settles in. Arelush brings coffee and she sees Cyr walking behind her. He pauses a moment in concern but walks up and salutes her.
     She rises and recognizes him, "Sit down we need to speak to each other in earnest."
     "Yes, Mrs. Lauri."
     He sits and she joins him. He slides the paper to her. she opens it up and starts reading as she speaks to him. "I want you to listen and not say anything. I should fire you now. Every time I see the signs from my lieutenants, I usually fire them for the good of the ship. It was never anything personal. The fact of the matter is I can't fire you Cyr.
     I thought someone who had cleric training would be immune to the dance and being in close quarters with me. I'm the one that did this to you. The question I have for you is can you keep it together until I can send you home?"
     "Yes, Ma'am I can and will."
     "Good. Look I'm an old woman and no use to you in that way. You're still young. When you go home Cyr find a young woman, make babies. Fall in love with your family. You know she will dance for you and the love you two share will become stronger. And don't forget the company either. You're a good officer. One of the best 2nds I've ever had. And you're a good person. Let us just put what happened behind us and try to deal with our situation, ok?"
     He nods, "It's just that living with you so many years......."
     She stops him. "I heard all this before many times and I do feel sorry for what I put my 2nds through. It's just I have to worship and because I am so vulnerable when I do I need someone to watch over me. If Zard would have made a good officer I would take him along. He is a good sailor but doesn't like the situation on ship so stays home working with Christine on the shore side.
     So, we are good for now. just remember to use your harness for now on. and keep your longbow and sword by your side."
     "Aye. I will."
     Lauriella nods and looks at the paper again. "This is interesting. Word travels fast. You see this? This Hurtsport has called me out on using both my maiden and married name. Why would he do that?"
     "I saw it too. He's being very slick about it too. Over two different issues."
     "Well, if Giona knew about my maiden name I would assume his boss would to. The question is why is he showing he knows like this? Sending me a message or just calling out to others that I use both my names without specifically speaking both?
     "I would instinctively say that its just paranoia but I saw it too and know you use both names to keep a low profile when necessary."
     "It's of no matter. I have more important things on my mind other than wondering about an owner of a newspaper I'll probably never see. Right now I have so many problems a war is coming Cyr. That clone of Jeri Shallach, the one who made the rats and shadow hin. He has raised a clone army. They will march on the surrounding cities unless we stop them.
      We are raising several armies to do that. Thats why all these books. Im looking for a dragon to be an elite unit when I raise my own army in the effort. Thats if i can either convince or bribe him."
     "My advice would be not to wear a dress."
     "Are you kidding me!"
     "Yes" They both laugh. Lauri comments, "Thank you, Cyr Nice to think we can be normal again."
     "Aye, Mrs. Lauri. we can. I do know my boundaries just remember I do slip sometimes."
     She sighs, "I know. Let us forget it then. Now I have already devised a defensive plan for Southbank. The way things are and if I was the opposing commander, I would take Southbank before Hadrian. It's smaller and a perfect front for attacking Hadrian at both the bridge and through the land/water route. We may have to make ready to sail again. What I plan if Southbank is attacked is use every ship that harbors here for the winter to take the populace and as much stuff as we can on the ships and have the fleet sail to harborage. Meanwhile I put clothes over my troops armor and have them disguised as common citizens. When the enemy comes knocking most likely from the stadium side but could be from the woods side to the troops go in the various shops and homes while I rain as much acid, tentacles, shadow storms, and other area spells. After I weaken them then the troops can fire and make a counter attack. It still needs a lot of refining. I can use my dragon friend and the demon I summon too. but the demon only as a last resort. I wish I knew the name of an avandorian entity I could gate but I don't. I am looking though with these books."
    She thinks then tells him, "It will depend on the overall strategy those with other armies will want to do. We know the fakesha has 10,000 troops held up in 8 forts in the area but we don't know where those forts are. It's a mess right now. I've already wrote letters to my allies and done my best to take the reins of the special projects section of the university. I will try to contact the elves and though they don"t know much about me and seluneites."
     "Sounds like you have your work cut out for you, Mrs. Lauri. Best put on your necromantic uniform and work on it. I'll keep Arelush out of the stateroom tonight and set up a bunk for her in my cabin. Your intellect and analytical mind work best there. But no one wants to be around you."
     "Aye, I'll do that and thank you, Cyr."
     He gets up and salutes her. She recognizes him. As he leaves, she changes cloths and starts her work in earnest.

Development Ideas - Feedback / Re: Monster/Creature Re-Balance
« on: November 22, 2021, 07:29:11 am »
The minotaurs on the Longwalk quest near Sullivans are fairly easy to defeat now.  Other than perhaps the casters (they are still reasonably challenging) they could all use a boost.

I found as a caster alone that the Minotaurs on the longwalk were near impossible until Lauriella reached the upper limits on level for the quest. -- Done

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 17, 2021, 08:20:34 am »
          Cyr comes back from shore leave at about 2hours to high moon. He looks up at the mizzen mast to see Lauriella at the top taking down the three main mast pulleys one by one with two other men. She's in her working clothes and has several tools strapped to her including the crowbar she's using to free the lines from the pulley's. He becomes angry as he always does in this situation and walks up to her first mate.
     "John Calandro! What the hell is our captain doing on top of the rigging doing what her crew is suppose to be doing?!"
     "What ever the hell she wants, sir. I been with her two contracts now and she twice the sailor anyone on board is. Leave it alone lessen you want another fight. This really why the men respect her so much. So with all due respect it not your business. You have yer own shift."
      "SHE'S 350 YEARS OLD!"
      John half smiles and takes a cigar out of his pocket. "Still looks in her twenties to me but then I be a human. I tell you what, Lieutenant. I'll call her down and you can say 'Captain you be 350 or so. You can't have babies anymore. Ye an elder older than dirt and should not be working with the crew. Stay at the wheel and call out your orders that be you place.' Then my good officer. After she slaps the ever living shit out of you I'll quietly smirk when you got a fish covering your eye tomorrow."
      "I hate first mates."
      "That only because we the sensible ones. Never ask a woman's age or even bring it up. And never tell them what they can and cannot do because if you to you get a stick so far up yer ass you'll never get it out. and every time afterward you get in a fight they will take that same stick and shove it farther. Women never forget something like that, sir. Especially women like our dear Captain."
      Cyr grumbles, "I still need to speak to her. signal her down from there."
      John signals the lantern man. It takes awhile for Lauriella to notice because she is involved in shooting the shit with her men on the mast while working. She scrambles down along the Jacob's latter and comes up to them. Taking her work gloves off she asks, "There a problem gentlemen?"
     Cyr grits his teeth as he sees that her hair and working uniform is a mess with dirt, grease and oil. "I have news ma'am. Important news."
     "Well spill it then?"
     "Remember the newspaper report? How there was a cryptic message but that Hurstport did not mention what it was?"
     "I found out what it said. It said, 'Sit more, be where her port lies."
     Lauriella gets concerned, "It too cryptic to be translated properly. I know this very weekend he ran from me as soon as he knew me name even if I was being nonchalant and not being aggressive to him. I have not written a letter to him in some time hoping he forget about me for me ultimate plan to teach him a lesson and show him Selunites really pose no danger but obvious he researched me and found me maiden name I use in town.
     Me first instinct is that he set up something for me liken I set up for him. If so I needs be doubly careful, especially around Southbank. It could also mean that he set me up for a fall. Lots of evidence floating around I meant him harm when I really did not. Teach him a hard lesson, yes. Hurt him, no. I do know I have to be a bit more cautious about what I do especially being an agent of the university. I hear you Cyr and will take precautions. Also have the crew be wary. I care not if I die doing me best to help out the doomed empire. I do care that me crew get back home and safe to their loved ones. I owe them that.
     That being said we may have a guest in a few days for the full moon."
      Cyr gets infuriated beyond his normal frustration at these time when he thinks he needs to check his captain, "Gods damn it, Lauriella! You know how...…..how vulnerable you are when you dance! You just said you need to be more cautious! What in the nine hells did you do this for! Is it because your so lonely and need to fuck someone. I'll buy you a good whore personally!"
      John Calandro sees his captain's eyes go dark and shrouded. He does an about face and walks off before he gets caught up in any friendly fire.
       Lauri's voice turns very cold and unbending, "Interesting you did'na say giggaloo, Mr. Stafford. It just happens that a halfling woman a friend of mine asked me to call to Sehanine to help in a problem that could destroy the entire empire and wipe out her people to extinction. Thus I invited her to the ceremony where I will plead with the goddess and ask her to favor an entire race not of our own for the good of Toril. Your instructions are to be that she doesn't come in line of my sight until I start the dance. I will not bend on this. You have your orders, Sir!"
      "You still have not told me your dream, Captain! I am your cleric and need to know."
     "I didn't dream. It is like I have always told you. We sailors. We are of no import to the greater scheme. We live our lives. We do our work. We die at sea or in our old age and hopefully move on to a better place. The gods do not see us. The gods do not notice us. We are the backbone of society the working stiffs that know our place and do our work happy in a good retirement if we get there.
      I am relieving myself of duty. You will take over until I come back. I'm going to Hadrian and finding a nice human giggaloo to fuck the hell out of. When I come back I will relieve you smelling of sex and smiling. You have your orders, Mr. Stafford!"
     Cyr's mouth twists in unsaid words but he sharply salutes her. She doesn't even recognize him. She walks over to the tender and takes it to town.
     After she leaves John comes back, "I warned ye, I did." Cry takes over the nightshift in a dower mood.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 17, 2021, 12:29:59 am »
     Lauriella gathers her men in the Galley at breakfast time after talking to Cyr. “Alright. Everyone needs to hear this. First: Shipping lanes are closed. We hold to Southbank till spring. I’m shifting everyone to daylight hours. Remember that Sails need unrigging, Anchors greased, Tender gone over for leaks or wear. The aft needs revarnished before we settle down for wintering.
     You all needs to remember even if the Mythallar keep the water from freezing we still in northern lands. Means anyone around is shutting down during the winter not influenced by the weather crystals. I’m giving everyone 24 hours to acclimate to the new ship time. Especially my night crew. Get yer sleep. Like I said still lots of work to do.
     Second: I think I found a cure to the ageing. Something I should have thought of long ago. There be two potions that can in theory not only nullify the effects but can make you all younger. One a potion of youth will bring everyone back to 18-20. The other a potion of longevity will give you all back 15-20 years so almost were ye started.
     Now men there’s a bit of danger to this. The first time you take one of these potions they will work 100%. The second time you take a potion of longevity there a chance it ages you the number of years instead of make you younger. The more potions you take the greater the chance it age you, and they are rare potions may not even be invented yet according to me friend Gabby. Now the potion of youth you take once then done. You try to take any age reducing potion after that you will age plus what you gained is taken away.
      I’m telling you the dangers now, so you all know this is a one shot thing. I would not take another potion after that. So, we can stop the malady and get you all back to yer natural ages.
      Third: I have completed all my designs on the time device. I have collected all the materials for it, I have had my plans looked over by the only other Chronomancer, A dwarven sorcerer I know that be living. Everything checks out perfectly in his eyes. I’ll be taking the plans to a master Tinkerer in the next few weeks to have the invention made.
      Now I still have to make the controlling spell which will be based on star/constellation movement over time. And I still have to experiment and make sure something living can be sent in time, The right time calculated, and go to that time alive and non the worst for wear.
     I do say this lads. You may be going home as soon as this spring. Back to yer families and loved ones. Wish me luck on my experimentations.”
     Cheers go up from all the men except for one. Cyr smiles but says nothing.
     Lauri continues, “Ye got yourselves 24 hours. Remember the rules. No more than 3 at a time on shore leave so no one be hogging the time. Tomorrow I want everyone up and ready for work. You dismissed. Cookie coffee in my state room for Cyr and meself.”
     The cook grumbles and sets a pot on the stove. Laruiella and Cyr go back to her stateroom and sit down.  After Arelush brings them coffee Cyr slides the newspaper over to her. “Might be interested in the editorial, Captain. By the way how is Arelush do’in?”
     She opens the paper. “I could turn her into a good sailor but was hoping she officer material. Sadly, she not. She cant retain the higher math and will never do well in the sciences. I’ll offer her a 10 year contract if’in she wants after her 5 year contract up. This time with full sailor’s share. Would be nice to have another woman on the ship. Even with the obvious problems.”
     “She probably get pregnant during this contract. She’s of age.”
     “Mayhap, mayhap not. I’ll deal with it as it comes. Most likely I find a place for her and her man to stay while she pregnant and reminder she does she loose pay until she ready to ship out again. That will mean until the baby comes and is weened. Remind her of that lieutenant.”
     “Aye, Captain.”
     “Damn it! Someone got to that reprobate, Giona Morton, before me.”
     “You can’t save everyone, captain. Besiden, it did not say he come to a bad end.”
     “I know and come on Cyr. It did not say he didn’t neither. Read between the lines. Someone got to him before me. This owner whoever he is; He just covering his ass. And look at this: looking for a new editor to boot. Its ok though If I had brought him onboard would have had to pitch have me cargo out to see to accommodate his rotundness otherwise, he may have sunk the Moonflower.”
      “You experienced in leading a team.”
     Lauri looks at him like he’s crazy. “You do realize I’m a field agent for the university now. That would not last long if I’m a damn editor. Besiden, All Editors are swarmy lying sons of bitches. I could not lie like that.”
     “Might I remind you my captain that you were the agent in the Obsidian Shield that lead a misinformation campaign in Cormyr for the city of Arable in the revolution. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to lie.”
      “Was a long time ago. I a changed woman and the revolution did not turn out so well in the end.”
      “Right my intrepid, Captain.”
     She throws a balled-up napkin his way, “You funning me. Lieutenant?”
     He sits up in his chair at attention and salutes her, “Oh I would never do that, ma’am”
     They both snicker.
     “Any other news I should know, Captain?”
     Lauriella sighs, “Aye, Cyr. Look things getting dangerous in the university. I’m going deeper and deeper under the surface. My direct superior is in hiding. I disappear like Giona, take my plans to Gabriella. She smart enough to come up with the proper spell and have the machine made.
     I do not think I’m in over me head yet, but I tell you I’m close. Depends on what my turbaned acquaintance tells me next time we meet. Then I will know for sure. The council of mages they professors all caught up in their work and experiments. But I tell you like all places there is someone or something above them. May be one man or woman. May be a Cabal of arcanist secretly guiding the council for their self-interests.
     That is why Cassandra is in hiding and why she doesn’t want me to follow up on the apprentice involved in both the Rat project and the shadow stalker project. I want that apprentice Cyr. In all my life I have found few that have done eviler than this…….this villainous piece of filth.
     But I must needs follow my orders in this. Cassandra is trying to protect me, that I’m pretty sure of. I’m not sure the motivations or intentions of my turbaned associate. At least not yet. He does know that he cant scare me, but that doesn’t mean he wont work for me now. I drew my boundaries with him. We will see if he respects those boundaries or not.”
       Not only that Jax has come back to me. He has a gold band on his leg. It defies all my attempts at scrying it. I can’t identify what it does and can’t get it off him. I must expect the band is finder’s device so whoever put it on knows where I am at least when I call Jax until this little band is explained to me further by whoever put it there if it is a friend. If its an enemy then I will have real problems if I call him to me. I hate working in the dark, but no one trusts me enough yet, so I don’t know who the real enemies are and who my real allies are.
      Currently the only one I half trust is Cassandra. Anyway, I have two reports to write to the council. One about my time device and what I found in Covington. The other about the dark stalkers following my group to the plains and the making of a sword of light.”
     “Be very careful, Captain. Do not let them suck you in too far.”
     “Aye, Cyr. I’ll do me best.”
     Cyr gets up and salutes her after finishing his coffee, “Best be checking on everyone. Thank ye for the update, Captain.”
      Lauri stands and recognizes him. He vacates the stateroom. Laruiella goes to her mage desk and stares at the chalkboard for a moment. She looks over to her blueprints on the desk. She then erases what she has and writes along the top. A spell to transcend time itself.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 11, 2021, 11:38:30 pm »
     Before weighing anchor in Lachery for home Lauriella does her shipping slips up and weighs coin at the harbormaster office. Cyr comes in.
     “Find anything worthy of our time, lieutenant?”
     “Same as the harbormaster said. Shipping dead in the narrow sea once the north wind starts up.”
     “Think you could teleport the ship and all back to the inner sea.”
     “Wish, that I could. Profit will be ok to hold out the winter but. If we have to stay till next year we’ll have to double time the shipping season.”
      “Aye back home then.
      Lauriella exchanges slips with the harbormaster and some pleasantries handing him two letters and some coin. The two walk out to the docks and the Moonflower. In a half and hour all the ropes are gone from the slips the sand bag bumpers are lifted and the ship sets sail for home.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 11, 2021, 12:53:45 am »
     Lauriella wakes up from her trance at about 3 in the afternoon. She drags herself in her short clothes out of her bed and past the stateroom, grabbing the letter on her desk and tearing it up along her way to the galley. The cook is cleaning up Cyr’s crews’ lunches. She looks at the left-over crab cakes and subverts the urge to regurgitate. She sits down at the main table on the bench. The cook notices her.
      “Troubles with your trancing, Mrs. Lauri?”
      “Aye, Cookie. Been mean’in to talk to you anyway.”
      “Nae, Chamomile tea if ye have it.”
     “What on yer mind, captain?”
     “Want you to stop with all the crab and lobster. Everyone getting pretty sick of it. Been thinking of throwing yer pots overboard without their buoys matter of fact. Cookie listen to some reason. I give you a good stipend for the ship lauder. We need more smoked meats and salted pork. We really need some variety. More breads and vegetables even some good fruit the first few days. I know you pinching a bit from the coffer I give you but it’s getting too much. If’in we do’na have enough meat get a fishing pole and catch a few cod or something.”
      Will one of her shift men sits down beside her while they are talking. He also looks a bit ragged and tired.
     “I would na pinch from you, Mrs Lauri.”
     “Then what are you doing with the lauder coin?” Lauri folds her arms and leans back raising an eyebrow.”
     The cook slides her tea to her and sits down resting his head in his fists elbows on the table, “Well been meaning to tell you. Being we been away from home so long been planning a feast on the long night. It be coming three day after the full moon so thought it appropriate.”
      “I do hope its one hell of a feast, Cookie.”
      He slaps the table and laughs, “Aye, me captain. It will be one hell of a feast.”
      “I still want to see some more variety as of today. We have an understanding now?”
      “Aye, Cod and Herring it is then till next port.”
     “Then some red meat and chicken too.”
     She turns to Will who looks upset, “Something wrong, Will? Ye look upset?”
     “Just Missing Jodi and the kids, Mrs. Lauri. We been here a long while now. We work’in and run’in loads now. Seems we may be here too long and we getting…. Even if we do get back what will they think of me so much older? You said you could stop what happening to us and get us back but….” He does his best to hold back the weeping, yet tears form around the corners of his eyes.
      She swings her leg over the bench facing him. He drops his head into her chest and she holds him, “It’s alright, Will. I will be going to that place I told you about soon. Covington. There is a dwarf there that can answer the rest of my questions to get you back and most likely stop the aging.
      In truth I never thought about what your wives and children would think when you return. Once I take the malaise off you all I know of two potions. One is a potion of youth which will take all you back to young again. I be thinking 18 or so for a human. There also a potion of longevity that will take you back 15 years or so. Give or take. They very expensive and very rare but I will see if someone can make them for ye all.”
      He nods his head as she holds him, “Now I want you to be getting some sleep knowing that If it’s the last think I do I will get you all back to your families. You know me well enough. I won’t be stopping till it’s done.
     Now go back to bed and get some sleep. Dream of better things, Aye.”
     “Her crewman nods one more time as she releases him. He gets up and shuffles off to the bunk room. “Thank ye, Ma’am for the reassurance.”
      She swings her leg back over the bench and slumps down looking at her tea.
      The cook mentions, “Some good advice, Mrs. Laurie. And for more than one person in the galley. Best finish your tea and go back to ye memories.”
      “Aye, Cookie. Have to rewrite a letter first.”
      Lauri finishes her tea and gets up. The cook puts his fist over his heart. Lauri recognizes him rather limply and wanders to her stateroom and her mage desk to rewrite a letter. 

    Dear Turbaned Associate.

     It’s really sad you know. Again, you have saved us and treated us like the tools you think us. You did not save us out of some higher idea but so we could be used by you again and again. You’re archaic Netheresse milk language has betrayed your origins even if you speak near perfect Mulhorandi. This is the problem with the Netheresse Arcanist as described in my history books.
     You all think yourselves as near gods. Power doesn’t make you a god. The more power you have the more responsible you need to be. And that is why I have channeled my energies to become Cassandra’s personal assistant and field agent. For behind her façade of the uncaring, seductive socialite she is secretly a good person doing an overwhelming job. Keeping track and reign on these special projects.
     But then again, I get the feeling that you would not care whether she lives or dies. You are above all that. Centuries from now an arcanist with just such an attitude will bring the whole of the empire down with a single magic spell aimed at stealing the very weave from Mystra.
      Your own work will come to nothing. Your name and works will be forgotten. Time will cover you completely over before I am even born.
      I am a university apprentice and must report my observations to my superiors. As of now my superiors are the council itself. If you want to put a lid on what I say to the council then put me directly under Cassandra’s wing. Then I will report to only her. Then she can edit my observations for her reports to the council.
      I do not fear you like she does. For in the end, I know that there will be someone waiting for me at the Gates of the Moon or I, her.
      Your threat seemed to me small and childish and nothing that a grown man would say to someone. Honey,  and incentive, Sir are much better ways to deal with issues. Your ego shows in the childish manner in which you deal with others.
       We do not have to be enemies. I am of the belief that there is something above the council that guides it. I am betting you are among those shadowy figures that may move the council. I am a loyal member of this University and have much experience in what you are having me do at the moment. Perhaps not about the shadow magic but in other ways.
       I will do my best at the job the university has handed me, and the Job Cassandra has handed me.
       I will say this. Working together demands a certain respect among participants whatever their rank and file. Learn to respect others as you would be respected.
       Threats against my ship and crew were not needed. As I told Cassandra I don’t take well to childishness. My crew are innocent men. Hard working, tough as nails and they know what their jobs are but innocent. There was absolutely no need to threaten them nor was there a need to threaten my ship.
      I will do my duty for the university and Cassandra. If you wish; we will discuss this more at length but be prepared for I will ask you about the parts that I do not know so that I am fully armed to deal with the university’s problems.

     Thank you,
     Apprentice Sithmore


     It’s really sad you know. Again, you have saved us and treated us like the tools you think us. You did not save us out of some higher idea but so we could be used by you again and again. You’re archaic Netheresse milk language has betrayed your origins even if you speak near perfect Mulhorandi. This is the problem with the Netheresse Arcanist as described in my history books.
     You all think yourselves as near gods. Power doesn’t make you a god. The more power you have the more responsible you need to be. And that is why I have channeled my energies to become Cassandra’s personal assistant and field agent. For behind her façade of the uncaring, seductive socialite she is secretly a good person doing an overwhelming job. Keeping track and reign on these special projects.
     But then again, I get the feeling that you would not care whether she lives or dies. You are above all that. Centuries from now an arcanist with just such an attitude will bring the whole of the empire down with a single magic spell aimed at stealing the very weave from Mystra.
      Your own work will come to nothing. Your name and works will be forgotten. Time will cover you completely over before I am even born.
      I am a university apprentice and must report my observations to my superiors. As of now my superiors are the council itself. If you want to put a lid on what I say to the council then put me directly under Cassandra’s wing. Then I will report to only her. Then she can edit my observations for her reports to the council.
      I do not fear you like she does. For in the end, I know that there will be someone waiting for me at the Gates of the Moon or I, her.
      Your threat seemed to me small and childish and nothing that a grown man would say to someone. Honey,  and incentive, Sir are much better ways to deal with issues. Your ego shows in the childish manner in which you deal with others.
       We do not have to be enemies. I am of the belief that there is something above the council that guides it. I am betting you are among those shadowy figures that may move the council. I am a loyal member of this University and have much experience in what you are having me do at the moment. Perhaps not about the shadow magic but in other ways.
       I will do my best at the job the university has handed me, and the Job Cassandra has handed me.
       I will say this. Working together demands a certain respect among participants whatever their rank and file. Learn to respect others as you would be respected.
       Threats against my ship and crew were not needed. As I told Cassandra I don’t take well to childishness. My crew are innocent men. Hard working, tough as nails and they know what their jobs are but innocent. There was absolutely no need to threaten them nor was there a need to threaten my ship.
      I will do my duty for the university and Cassandra. If you wish; we will discuss this more at length but be prepared for I will ask you about the parts that I do not know so that I am fully armed to deal with the university’s problems.

     Thank you,
     Apprentice Sithmore

     She puts her pen down and re-reads it. Again, it is a hard letter but one she thinks may bear fruit to temper her problems with the mysterious figure that guides those set against the shadow stalkers. She’s put a stake in the ground. Its now up to the mysterious turbaned man to respond. Hopefully she has not overstepped her bounds with him.
     Lauriella goes back to bed and into trance hoping her actions play out to make a more diplomatic partnership with the turbaned mage.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 10, 2021, 12:30:06 am »
      At dawn the very next day, Lauriella ends her shift. The crews exchange and she goes down to her cabin. She looks at her hands with some distaste. They have gone back to her working hands. Calluses have formed and her fingers will not bend straight anymore. She calls for Arelush. When she comes she tells her to get her a razor knife and some sperm oil from the galley.
     She directs the cabin girl that the cook keeps the whale oil in a small compartment on the side. While she is fetching her needs Lauriella washes her face and arms in a bowl of clean water. She then opens her records safe and pulls out a 6 inch brass tube. it is very thin and light with a screw off cap.
      When Arelush comes back with the items Lauriella gently takes them from her. She pours the sperm oil into a bowl and puts it on the state table. She then takes the the razor knife and cuts off as much of the calluses as she can. Arelush winces every time she goes a spot too deep and blood trickles out of a wound. Lauriella pays little attention to it. She watches to make sure she regenerates without the bumps reforming.
     When finished she soaks her hands in the whale oil for near half an hour. "For your knowledge the oil from a sperm whale can make the hands more supple. If you choose to become a sailor some day you will need it. Especially when age starts to show. You may go now. No lessons today. I am too tired."
      Arelush places her fist over her heart and leaves for the galley. Lauriella brings her hands out of the bowl and uses a towel to clean them off. She then takes the tube and goes to her writing desk. She pulls out a small scroll and inks a message. She then rolls it up carefully and places it inside the brass holder. she screws the cap on tightly. "Jax! to my back!"
      Her familiar flies down from the rafters and attaches itself to her back. She goes back up on deck. Taking her arm she reaches back. Jax crawls up her shoulder and places himself upside down on his perch. She ties the tube to his leg. "Find Cassandra. and deliver the letter."
      Jax flies southeast toward Conch.
      That part done she goes back down to her writing desk and pens another letter. This one she leaves on her desk. Having accomplished her desires she undresses and goes to bed for an uneasy revelry. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Lauriella Sithiir
« on: November 09, 2021, 01:04:39 am »
        Lauriella comes aboard the Moonflower. John Calandro her first mate hands her the manifest. She looks it over while reading it out loud, "20 ton Oak 10 ton duskwood, 10 ton maple 5 ton dry goods, 5 ton blacksmithing supplies, 1 charcoal forge. How much did Lieutenant Stafford pay?"
    "Right here, Ma'am 54 thousand"
    "Wood green or dry?"
    "Dry as a bone, ma'am and straight as an arrow."
    Lauriella makes some quick calculations in her head and writes a note down on the paper, "We want no less than 10,000 net if the wood right as you say. if we can get to the full 20%, I say we be doing ok on this run."
    "Aye, Captain."
    "Lachery a short trip but good to get depth of the shoreline from here and make a new chart. Have the men plum every shift. We keep to within 5000 feet of shore on our westward then be free on the return. She looks at the rising sun and mentions, "Stay on for an hour for me John. Cyr sometimes has a time out of harbor on a hard tack and wind coming in to shore from the north. Watch to make sure he navigating the river ok. There a few tight spots for us."
    "Aye, Captain."
    "Dismissed. I'll take me leave to the cabin."
    John places his fist over his heart while Lauriella goes down to her cabin.

     When she comes down Arelush is cleaning the stateroom. She puts her hand over her fist and puts her head down in a bow. Lauriella sputters off as she goes to her mage desk, "Chin up! I work as hard as you do! Remember that a fancy title means shit on a ship!"
     Arelush pouts a moment but puts her arm down once Lauri recognizes her and goes back to her work. Meanwhile Lauri goes to her mage desk and unseals several scrolls with mathematical equations, symbols, and notes she made while interrogating Pearl and squeezing as much information about how the shadow stalkers think from her.
     She then goes to her bedroom. There she opens her writing desk and brings out her journal.

     I am not sure where to start about this last shore leave for 4 days. So much has happened. One thing that did not happen was a meeting with Cassandra. Nor was there any word from the university. I hit them hard in my last report. Things had to be said. The lack of security, the detachment of the Mage council, the dark experiments with little or no control that have gotten out of hand.
     I was hoping to console Cassandra and possibly set up a system where we could work together to get a reign on things but that has not happened. I will have to wait until returning from my duties and obligations to my work and crew. She was able to help us when we needed her through her familiar. Damn flighty dragon was supposed to stay by my side but flew off as soon as it left me its package. The council needs to learn to take their noses out of their books, their heads out of their asses and learn to look at the reality of our times, the crises that we face in the here and now. The university is responsible for the security of Conch. They need to take that obligation seriously.
     The Dark stalkers attacked Hilltop and abducted several halflings. They jimmied the shield wall with their mathematical formulas to let them in. I will have to find a way to counter that. I know the mechanics of the shield but do not know the mechanics of their formulas. The good news is Pearl being partly connected them may have given me all I need to do just that.
      I took her to the patio bar and got her tipsy. She started to spout off mathematical formulas, numbers and symbols of the dark stalkers. If I can learn to understand them better on this run, I may be able to help counter both their magic and engineering.
      Interesting enough there was one symbol that truly interested me. It seems that copper will harm them in some way. Pearl drew a symbol representing an amulet. and another the same made or inset with copper and she wrote the death symbol underneath. I am only assuming it would mean death for them and to avoid this or any amulet made or inserted with copper. There is another option it could mean death for anyone opposing them if they wear an amulet like this, however I think the former seems a more plausible definition. I will work on all of this off shift.
     During the attempted rescue of Hilltop, I did notice some form of shadow creature. They looked much like shadow demons but were much bigger perhaps 7 or even 8 foot tall. I have never heard of the like before and none of my books covering shadow creatures have mentioned them. Makes me wonder if a follower of my patron's adversary may be in some way involved with this whole affair.
      In the end we wound up on some other plane of existence. A plane of shadows. Was it the demi-plane of shadows? I dont know. but there was an odd set of mirrors set up. Vyc, Gabby and Pearl were tortured in the center of this strange machine. I found a way to weaken the machine while others pulled them out. I found no way out of the plane with the three wounded as they were, so I created my portable mansion to get some relief to my fellow adventurers.
     While we were there The Turbaned Menace showed up in the pocket plane. That is some feat of magic. I do not like this one. He only sees us as tools for his own musings and revenge upon his one-time apprentice. I did pick up on his accent. it is a very old Netheresse accent. So, he is not Mulhorandi but can speak it like a native. I must be very careful but will start a new file just on him. He's trouble and I fear we will clash one day. I needs must be very careful.
     On patrol at the market just the other night I spied someone hiding. What do you know; it was Mr. Morton in the flesh. Even had all his badges on. Such poor form. I questioned him on what he was exactly doing hiding near the tree and making sure he wasn’t doing anything elicit. He asked me my name. I gave him my maiden name as planned, mostly because I would not bluff my way out of a galley after getting in the cookie jar, He started to speak then yelled out SITHMORE! YOU’RE APPRENTICE SITHMORE! He then proceeded to run away from the market as fast as he can peeing his pants along the way.
     Someone must have told him my maiden name that’s the only way I figure he could find out. I always sent my letters with my married name attached. It’s of no matter. Now that I know exactly who he is and what he looks like; I made arrangements with Vyc to initiate my grand plan to make the man learn an important lesson. Cyr thinks I should feed him to my dragon friend. If I let him eat Giona he’ll most likely get such a heartburn that he would never come back to my summons, so that’s definitely a no-go. Vyc has a full and detailed description of Mr. Morton. Meanwhile I’ll think up more things for Mr. Morton to do while on ship here if my plan works out.
     My itch from the rats has ended but there will be consequences. Gabby insisted she examine me in her study. I had nothing loose enough except a dress for her to do it so I did the worse thing I could do. I put it on. During the examination I tried my hardest to seduce her. I’m not sure if she figured it out yet but now Gabby and Pearl who was there are a danger to me. Gods and goddesses why did you burden me with this malady. I was also quiet embarrassed when I came to my senses again.
     During the examination the pain was outrageous, but my mind was so into Gabby that I did everything to ignore it. A rat like creature broke through my skin and ran away. The two of them tried to catch it but to no avail. It got away. I was in no condition to help at the time.
     I should throw all my other dresses away except my moon dress, but every girl likes to feel like a girl sometimes. Even me. Besides what would I do when I want to be held.
     Vyc and Talia are having some problems. Vyc adopted a young female Gnoll. When Talia found out about it. She was displeased. Her and Karra fought a bit of a war of words. I did not see Karra again, but Talia consoled in me just before ship duty. I feel Vyc can become something better than what he is now but am not naïve enough to fully trust him. He is an asset as I am one of his assets. I do nudge him time to time to think about things. If he does become a better person than very good. If not as long as he respects me, I will respect and deal with him.
     I met one of the people I have been meaning to look up again, Eliezra. She told me of a secret church of illmater in the slums. I was intrigued. I gave her a large sum of coin to help her in her efforts. 75,000 in fact. Because I have certain connections in the slums if I visit, I will have to wear my necromancy robes. No one will challenge me in them. At least I do not think. I can be more of an asset to Cassandra if I can conduct our business (If I formally get the job I want) presenting myself differently. Especially in the close quarters of the slums.
     That is all I can write now. Rest calls to me, Then the long night begins.

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