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Author Topic: Sherina Tsirak - The Spellmaiden  (Read 17424 times)


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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2019, 07:32:46 pm »

Truths in the Abyss

I told Ash about the Wish spell. His reply was, that even if we got him back, got back my dearest husband... He will be executed for murder, as he had just recently been through a similar court process regarding Fae. It’s horrible. This way, there’s truly nothing I can do.
I... I don’t want to keep running away all the time. I can’t. can’t go on. I can’t keep up, can’t keep running, rushing and stressing all the time... I will keep the memories of me and my love. Some days have passed, and without me knowing it, all became calmer. Not sure how, not sure why. The grief and sadness are still crushing... but I feel it crumbling, bit by bit, like a thick stone layer. Bit by bit the pieces are falling off, revealing my heart purified by the tears. I feel... almost freedom, and ever-present peace. And at the same time, I feel so, so horrible for ever feeling such a thing.
I told Ash about my difficult state as well... he seems to understand properly and well. His consolation was what I needed at the moment, and the suggestion to allow myself to feel... good. Simply good.
Later, Ash and I went to see Michael’s grave. Ash said his last words to his friend and comrade. Based on his last words, he was the first to propose the soul trade contract to the devil Nuzu – which was later used on Michael, now keeping his soul forever bound in the nine hells. In the grasp of his master, fighting the endless blood war.
After we returned to Hadrian, with Ash protecting me along the way, he had to leave for some work regarding the Society. No wonder, it’s an inn and an organization in one – of course, it demands a lot of time investment from its headmaster.
Unexpectedly, after I sat down on the bench close to the Coin, I could hear the conversation of some people. I didn’t care much, people talk all the time. And especially in this state, I couldn’t bother to look and care, even if they might’ve been my friends.
But then a name was spoken.
My attention perked up as I listened further, and took a look at whoever was saying it. Morgaine. Morgaine just expressed that based on her opinion, opinion of a person who’ve met him TWICE in the whole months after him and I returned from Sullivans – based on an opinion of that person HE APPARENTLY was selfish!
He was troubled, yes. He had a hard time controlling his rage and anger, yes. But don’t we all have a character flaw?! His ones were those which people took as a whole part of his personality, and didn’t care for anything else! If anyone was selfish, it was all his ‚old friends‘, not caring a bit about the massive changes in his mind and heart.
I moved swiftly and stood two inches behind her. Breathing. Thinking about Michael. How unfair this all is. How I wish nothing of that day happened.
But now I’m here.
Listening to all the people ridiculing the man who gave the most to me, in all areas. ... I stepped back.
Afterward, with Joriin I talked about strengthening my staff – the one Michael, my love, carved for me when he was still alive in this realm. The mage proposed using dragon’s blood, fire giant blood and something to do with the Fire Plane. The days get blurry currently, I have a hard time remembering stuff when I spend more than half of the day swimming in the pale waters of the past.
I then corrected Morgaine and explained her more about Michael. Not like it changes anything. We then talked about other, mostly work-related stuff, since now I’m her spellmaiden.
Feeling the need to see the grave again, I walked to the place beyond the brook of the East River Crossing. I got a few bolts from the bandits, nothing I cared about at this point. They might as well have me, my life lacks feelings currently.
I saw some nasturtium flowers, few of them I picked to set down on the grave, and as usual, left a sweet cake on the memorial to my love.
Upon arrival back to the Society hall, I was greeted by Ash, and we went on and sat on the cushions by the fireplace. Such thing reminds me of home... home I’m not sure I can return to anymore.
We talked and shared things, I had to let my tears flow freely again. I wanted to keep my helmet on, as I try to do all the time lately. But I couldn’t function, so after apologizing, I took it off. And Ashes eyes went wide with worry and horror – since now I can’t look into any mirror without seeing Michael hugging my pale body from behind, I’ve been evading them completely. He seemed direly concerned, and then he spoke. It seems I’ve forgotten to eat again. Nhh... The truth of the matter is, that the last meal I remember is the breakfast with Uldur... and that was... I don’t know.
Though during our conversation, Ash swore he saw a glimpse of myself. I believe him, I simply barely feel anything besides the obvious. Sorrow and guilt.
After a bit of a chat later, we decided to take a walk to Hilltop. Nature is charming as usual, its serenity and beauty flicker through the thick veil that enwraps me. It is nice.
At the Hilltop, Ash treated me to food – halflings are amazing cooks, and the hearty meals were as tasty as they were filling. It was fun, and relaxing, as we talked about... normal things, day-to-day stuff. In the end, I told him my thanks, and that I feel more ‚here‘.
In his words, regrettably, he knows exactly what I meant.

Looking for a company to keep me in check, I stumbled upon Belorfin, having a sole time at the Coin square. I don’t know what I’ve been talking about, it’s all swirly and a blur. I remember grabbing a sweet cake slice, then heading there...
And then Ash holding me by my wrists, and a strong, intense pain all over my thighs and hips. It was worse with every movement and every breath, tearing at my skin and sending a searing pain throughout my tired body. Ash then spoke harshly and coldly, which got me moving mindlessly forward. He and Bel used healing wands on me, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to move out of that place. Out of his place.
I left the slice of cake there. Good. As it should be.
At the Society hall, they both seemed to be nervous about what happened. Thankfully, Belorfin explained the sorcerous part of me to Ash – that is didn’t have to be intentional to happen. Which is true, that emotions override the sorcerous abilities. I never wanted to take my life, I never wanted to throw away all Michael fought for and sacrificed for.
I’ve been taken to Sullivans by Ash, who then left me there in Vivi’s company. She treated the scars I got from the devil, and we snuggled for a moment. Then I’ve shown her the cave Michael and I used to reside in back, back long ago. The peaceful times of living at the edge of the jungle.
Meeting with Uldur far later, he’s shown me a well-hidden grate trapdoor close to the rowboat in the Hadrian outskirts. Inside was a rust monster, and a massive boulder blocking the crater-like hole in the floor. I shattered the boulder and we took a look down... seeing nothing at all. While we waited to see whether it’s a monster den or not, I sang. I sand to him the same song I hummed to Ash several weeks ago, the one the melody of which both Ash and Michael liked.
And now, for the second time, I sang. Softly and carefully.
“Salve your war-sickened, shattered-glass soul”
“Let down your arms and defenses”
“Leave your weapons behind at long last”
“And forgive others their offenses”
“Soon, our troubles will be overcome”
“And our ever-long struggles shall cease”
“Ere long, our upside-down world will turn right”
“and in time, we’ll bring about… peace.”

Tears streamed down my face... The same song made Michael talk about how he wants to have me healed, then travel and then retire from the life of violence and struggle, the world of the fight.
Uldur and I talked for a time and left shortly after. He told me about the troubles he’s facing with his frail, aged body, and that he might lose memory when attaching himself to a new host. And asked me to write a chronicle about Michael’s life. That he always wants to remember his friend. Oh, Uldur Uldur. So lovely, kind and pure. I’m happy they were friends. Close friends.
Both of them have a place in my heart.
Uldur took me home. The real home. I kept telling him various things, from experiences to facts to memories. Of how Michael dived into the cushions the first day we cam from Sullivans and yelled out with joy, of how my carving of this very house started the movement towards his recovery to full health. Of how Michael and I were hanging up the wreath above the stairway, me sitting on Michael’s shoulder while he kept me up, holding me by my side and thighs while I put the wreath on the wall. Of how gentle, caring and breathtaking my honeymoon was.
Uldur is going to live with me if I will decide to return to this house. And he promised he is going to be with me for as long as he has to, for as long as I need him to.
Thank you. Dear Uldur.

I went to see Vivi the day before, we had a short, but nice time. I dozed off on the forest floor, waking up with Pattie guarding me the whole night. Bestest girl.
A few hours later, Uldur and I went to clean the house. It was dusty, and in a dire need of a thorough cleanse. Fortunately, Uldur seems to have a natural knack for sweeping the floors, and the rest was up to me. We managed wonderfully, and then as we were ready to take a minute to rest – A GOBLIN FELL IN THROUGH THE CHIMNEY!
Running around in mayhem and panic, I quickly casted Protection from Elements on the burning creature. Uldur then gave it some sweets, and it told us that there’s a ‚shiny‘ up on the roof. Then it escaped through the chimney again. Uldur is determined to grate the surprisingly used and uncovered the entrance as soon as possible.
We went out to seek for the goblin and heard a telltale rustle as it plunged from the roof, leaving a small ruby among the blades of grass.
Leaving my new housemate to do whatever he deemed right, I went on and started tenting to the garden. Lots of work, lots of weeds and for some reason, lots of peas.
Before leaving for the town, I put on my light blue flowy dress. I deserve to wear light clothes again.
How unexpected. Leave three men alone with enough ale and they will start plotting things like a flock of elderly women. I walked in on Ash, Uldur and Cashand having a conversation with a mentioned name – Michael. As Michael’s lawful wife I approached, only to be politely announced by Uldur that it’s something secretive. Little brats.
Some minutes later Uldur told me a summary – that there might be a demonic attack on Valstiir, therefore there is a chance of me encountering Michael. Not much to believe in, as his contract clearly stated ‚blood wars‘, which is an ongoing eternal battle between demons and devils.
I went away to discharge my magic reserves for a little bit, only to return to an empty hall. Shrugging, giving up on the world of men, I was greeted outside by wheezing and panting Ash with Uldur, who’ve been trying to find me in panic. Caring boys. I gave each of them a hug to thank them for their care and to help calm them down. Suddenly, Ash noticed my dress, immediately spilling out words of appreciation. Uldur has been as clueless as ever, so it took a little explanation from Ash to get things click in his metal mind.
Right after that, we went on an adventure mixed with a patrol. Nothing like a service to the public and a time with your friends.
Right as we arrived, amidst of a friendly chat – Uldur collapsed to the ground and dozed off for a minute. I had to persuade him to go to sleep and rest at home, and to my relief, he considered the idea worthy of trying. Now to hope I will actually find him at home.
I stayed and talked with Ash for a moment longer, and then suddenly remembered how we talked about having a picnic at the peaceful place... the Abyss. I carefully brought it up as I planned, unsure whether he’s going to have time now or when, though I made an apple pie for the occasion. It does not matter to me.
His approach, jovial as it sometimes is, suggested that the decision of timing is up to me as a lady. As much of a gentleman as ever. I admit it warms my heart whenever he helps me in and out of a rowboat. I’ve never been used to such approach and treatment... and it’s nice to say the least to know a man who does such.
The question of the picnic blanket came up, and unexpectedly of Ash – we went out to the wilds to hunt down bears. As I feared, the plan was to skin them and use their furs as camping blankets. Marvelous. We searched on and on, and thanks to my „woman’s intuition“, as Ash likes to call it, we’ve slain two bears whose pelt was useable for our purposes. He is very nice, I have to admit that. It’s still surprising how fast we’ve become close friends, and it makes me happy knowing that he can accept me the way I am now and still cares, even though I’ve been at my worst.
During our trip to the Crypts of Moander, we talked about many things – including Uldur’s body. He desperately needs one, a new host. The ideal solution seems to be hiding in the Asylum, with many mindless victims just... waddling about, drooling over themselves in the abandoned building of death.
So we agreed to go there together when the time comes.
Hopefully, it’s soon.
Ash seemed to be in high spirits – a bit of free time among an avalanche of duties probably does this to anyone. We walked in a fast but relaxed pace, both eager to lounge at the place of utmost serenity.
After we successfully created an oasis of comfort amidst the cold stone and on the edge of the endless pit, I cut each of us a slice of pie and the picnic had begun. One of the few ones in my life, and definitely one of the most interesting of places. I’m still conflicted about feeling good, but I try to keep Ashes advice in mind – to take the will to live as a blessing from Michael. It’s now my duty to stay alive and to do as much as I can – preferably of the good.
Now let’s have an enjoyable night.
I can see what is so calming about this place. The vastness, eternal void... the size of your problems barely matters in comparison to something that monstrous, and in a way, majestic. In the eternal darkness perhaps might be creatures, spectral serpents with glowing spines, gliding through the void in eerie silence and sliding of scales.
The play of my imagination was halted by the start of a conversation, a talk that has been as pleasant as it was long. I like how much we tell each other, with no boundaries to what we uncover or not. It is beautiful to never be afraid to say what you feel like saying, without the need for the stress of being judged. Just you and that person, and vast nothing, a place for only two of us. I’m honored he brought me here. Our friendship must mean a lot.
One of the things we talked about is war. That one may come at any time, and neither he nor I will be able to refuse our help. Definitely not me. Not with what I can do at this point, to turn a battle around purely with my will and intuitive spellcasting. Such a frail little affectionate being I am, and yet so deadly at times.
Overall, it has been a fine, wonderful and lovely conversation. Time with Ash is always enjoyable, after all, and the fact he stayed at my side during the worst time of my life yet means probably much more than he realizes... or maybe he knows. He knows many things, all while hiding his warm heart. I am glad I get to hug him at times, his caring nature is present in the little acts and words. He’s a fascinating person to explore and get to know.
And I’m glad he finds my company pleasant too.
We packed up the picnic ‘equipment‘ and prepared to head back to the familiar Hadrian, when I remembered something. I remember I wanted to let Ash touch my shadowy form back at the Society, but he kind of got lost... the power of the Shadow Taint was making my shadow magic too potent and powerful. It’s considerably toned down now, though the effectivity is still the same with certain spells.
I called him over and announced, that if he wants to try to feel and touch... now’s the time.
I focused, calling upon the energies beyond, enveloping me in their calling, caressing familiarity. A slight coolness and then serenity, as the shadows engulfed my body, the maelstrom of darkness subsiding as it revealed my dark, shadowy form. Standing there, unbreathing.
I opened my eyes, and took a breath.
Ash gazed at me unblinking, as if enthralled, just as before. I stood still and patient, then extending my hand, smiling, to help guide him to me, to the experience of the touch.
He raised his hand, meeting mine, so I used the opportunity to gently guide his touch, planting his palm onto my side, just below my waistline. Ashes eyes widened, his hand gently exploring the new, strange surface.
A gasp. Was it of amazement, fascination or excitement? Only he knows at the moment.
Continuing my patient, gentle approach, I let him pull me into a firm embrace of his armored arms, so surprising and calming at the same time.
I often hug my friends, but in this hug has been something really close, expressing a hint of full trust and vulnerability. And that’s something I don’t mind sharing with my friends.
With his hand tightly gripping at my side, his other hand finished the embrace, sliding around me, all over my back, only to caringly pull my head closer to his chest, tying us in the serene moment. A moment of us truly. The tenderness amidst void and death, such a fragile moment yet overflowing. The shadows circulating over and through me made me receptive to the touch, I felt his breath on my hair as he leaned over, pulling me even closer, as if snuggling. I lost track of time, only the sensation of the embrace and everlasting silence of the Abyss.

Slowly, he pulled himself back, raising his hand to caress my cheek, I felt the shadowy surface welcoming his touch. My heart paced rapidly, fluttering in surprise, my eyes glued to his, absorbed in the intensity of the moment – and then my spell focus broke and the shadows flew away from where they came from. Only usual me remained in his arms, as he jolted awake, suddenly nervous.
A bit strange, really, as we hug quite often. I did my best to comfort dear Ash, helping him once again find the peace he comes here to experience, to the edge of the everpresent nothingness.
And then I heard him. To say a lovely thing.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:43:14 pm by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2019, 08:43:20 am »

Dawn of the day

Since I forgot my arcane staff down at the Abyss, the first quest of the morning was to retrieve it. How fortunate that I managed to meet Cashand and Uldur, who have taken a walk with me so we could get to the business – the Devils Weed.

Devils Weed seems to only grow on certain nights on the Southbank graveyard – not the worst place to be at, albeit unfriendly an full of undead. Which kind of goes hand in hand, if you think about it. Anyways. Joriin needs the ingredient to complete his poison to become a Pale Master – a brave, big and admirable step. I support him in his aspirations since he is undergoing the transformation for his safety. He wants to research negative energies better, and if he would not change his body this way, he would be in a grave danger further into the research. So I’m glad he is being responsible – to the applicable extent.

The search was thorough, long and unsuccessful. We’ve cleared the undead from the graveyard and mausoleums, however no sign of the plant we were looking for.
Next stop ought to be Sullivans, I had an idea to take a walk there the way Michael took me to the Old Battlefields, back when he used to raise undead with the help fo the artifacts.
As we entered the old, withering palisade lines, I remembered the Chasm. Ice-cold sweat washed over me, making me dizzy, as I realized I might not ever be able to go down there again. But, I had my friends with me. Those who would support me and those who have been with me on the hardest day.
So I invited them with me to the Chasm, to take a look at the fairest place, my most favorite of all.

As we descended, I was overwhelmed. Memories, feelings, the things that were and were to be, all weighed down on me. I took off my helmet, tears mixing with the falling rain. I clung to Uldur for support, and he had provided. Cashand stayed a bit back, not sure what to do, so he just admired the scenery, nature, waterfalls. He loves that place. Just like I.
My mind wandered and I spoke it. I told them many things, about how I first discovered the chasm, how Michael took me there and I knew I have to return once more, later, with someone special. How everything was nice on that day. How it rained on my honeymoon, and how gentle everything was.
Joriin checked the caves, while I and Uldur rested near the place the thing took place. I figured that having memories with my friends on such places might do me well – they won’t be connected only to Michael, but as well to many others. Though with the number of my friends, I doubt there will ever be ‚many‘. Why bother by numbers though, when every single one of them has a place in my heart. Ash, Cashand, Uldur, Shi’Vail, Vivi, others. I love that they allow me to hug them – especially those two, as in those cases it seems like an achievement of the highest grade that they are happy to do these sort of things with me.
I’m glad.

Cashand returned from the caves and the three of us talked. I’ve been telling the master arcanist about the fun things about being a sorceress with a gift of fire when an idea struck my head – why won’t we go for a little swim in the stream of the chasm? Uldur, half asleep at the time, decided to go for a nap while Cashand and I dived in and bathed – after a short talk making sure both of us are comfortable with it - bare.
It’s not like I care, he has seen me half-nude before and kept it casual and nice. Just like this time. We talked and relaxed while Uldur, softly snoring, was having a nap. I’ve discovered that Joriin wants to meet a dragon – so I told him about Zoanantuss, and I wish him the best with meeting the bronze-scaled, majestic creature.

Later I went to Sullivans, to just roam around and forget about the world. I discovered a village of Malar’s Hollow – a human settlement amidst the dangerous jungles of the monster territory. It was eerily quiet. I left shortly after.

Surprisingly, I met Ash on that day as well. He has joined me on a late lunch on the Society patio. We had a bit of casual talk, though he seemed distracted throughout a portion of it. Talk went on about many things, from our goals to Ash being good at the recruitment talks. From which we got to more... interesting part of the conversation I’d say? There were some things not said in words. And it was nice that way.

Returning from a morning visit, I went on to have an apple juice at the Society hall. Ash had some ordered, as the last time I was there I’ve had nothing to drink – he and Grano seemed to forget that people who do not drink alcohol exist. That’s how it goes with innkeepers I suppose – you do not expect the other kind of customers.
I’ve stumbled upon Morgaine and others, having friendly spars and chats. It’s been a relaxed part of the day, everyone had fun and Belorfin had, of course, his bagels which keep appearing seemingly out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s another mystical spell, in either way it’s nothing I should care about.

Uldur hasn’t been feeling well, so I walked him home and together we had a nap.

The hours passed, and I found myself in the town again, this time meeting Joriin. If was the last day before his ritual – the one he might not return from. Ans as we agreed before – we had some things to experience together. Including dinner at the fancy Skyborne Hall, or whatever the name of that restaurant is.
A word gave a word, and suddenly, we were in Hadrian brothel. Discussing and appreciating the furnishing and interior designs, we peeked into a room after room. Staff had to think some things, seeing a Master Arcanist and a Mayor’s Spellmaiden rating and judging the rooms of the establishment. In the last room, Joriin and I found things familiar to me – chains and other equipment. Talking about it on our way back to the main floor, we came to know that both of us fancy this sort of ‚play‘. Interesting thing to share with friends, for sure.

Arriving at Nualla’n, we went to roam the deep woods of the elvish region. I’ve never been there before, that’s why he offered me to do so. Together.
The forest was lush and green, with many exotic plants and small forest critters. We’ve seen a memorial to Celeb – a woman I still feel a slight unease around. We walked further, our robes getting stuck in the foliage until we reached a high watchtower.
The view was... breathtaking. In the night, the full moon and stars tinted the leaves silver, the waterfall, and streams akin to liquid glass, as the breeze softly rustled in the bushes. It’s been a magical night, we sat in the high tower, looking upon the world almost as if it was a map. At that moment, we didn’t talk much. The beauty of nature and elvish architecture was overwhelming. Perhaps we could visit one more time.

As the last stop, our journey of experiences then took us to Valstiir, finally for the promised dinner. It was fine, Joriin as a Master Arcanist got his order hurried... The perks of a high position, I’m sure. We have talked about some deep things, as we often do, including his dream to have a loved one. I did my best to reassure him and put off his fears – because he is a lovely man, and half-undead or not, a suitable partner will surely appear in his life.
He sometimes needs a little consolation, and I’m here for everyone who needs me. As I always were. We shared one last hug, tight and intimate, as it could be our last.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 05:38:34 am by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2019, 06:58:00 pm »

Building What’s Lost

In the rays of a sunrise, I departed towards Sullivans Port, trying to keep my promise to Vivili – to visit her as often as humanly possible. Fortunately, I found her in the fields – yes, the very fields I was teaching Michael at about farming. The fields of „Plants fear the Iron“, where I always corrected him – that the „plants like the Iron.“ Spoiler
Nostalgia aside, Vivi and I had a pleasant time together – perhaps beside the talk about how Ash is sort of forcing her to stay with Nuzu in a relationship to prevent the attack on Valstiir enclave. That doesn‘t sound like Ash. I don’t know who to trust anymore.
Stopping by Hadrian’s Inn for the usual sweet cake for my past darling, I stumbled upon a wounded man, limply leaning on his sword in the center of the square. If wouldn’t be me if I haven’t come closer and show him the necessary directions – this time, it seemed to be quite dire, so I suggested using the services of the local Temple.
Temporarily preventing the man from receiving his treatment, there went mister Raul (with whom I talked about my order, though it seems it might take longer than any of us estimated) and a halfling trader, offering us various valuables. Surprisingly, I chose a Phoenix belt, an accessory suited to my needs. The only thing left is to wait until the end of the Skettus silent auction for the Elven Crafted Amulet, and I should be good to go to any battle or situation.
I went on with my day afterward, visiting the grave of my dearest one, with a book and a cake. I like to read at that place, it’s very enjoyable and serene... after you get rid of the constant nuisance of ever-returning bandits.
As I was slowly closing the chapter, a proclamation echoed through my head – it’s Joriin! He seemed to have successfully finished his ritual, which is something I want to see the results of! I’ve been waiting for the news, almost desperately, as he has become quite a close friend of mine.
I can’t say I’m not surprised, as the disdain of Arcanists towards sorcerers is widely known. Even though all of this, Cashand and I have come to a mutual understanding, and we seem to accept and support each other in a way.
I have to see him.
I lunged into a hug with Joriin, joyful of my friend’s return – though he was changed. His previously black-brown hair has faded in color, leaving it steel grey with streaks of midnight blackness. Heh, both of us have come to a conclusion that now he’s even more pale than I – which seems to be a personal achievement of his own. I wonder HOW pale would I be after undergoing such a transition. Perhaps I’d be white as the snow on the cursed mountain...
As Joriin and I were catching up, deeply indulging in a friendly conversation, the man from before, now bandaged, has come to the square again, meeting our Mayor Morgaine and her partner, Fjord. Those three have talked some introductory stuff, as it often goes in such situations. Our Mayor loves to welcome new arrivals and travelers in person.
Joriin, curious nonetheless, walked up to them after a while, casually asking several questions. I joined them soon, now even I have become curious about this red-haired fighter.
His name turned out to be Darius Arren, a temperament fighter with a sword and a spell. Seems to be of a sort not unlike Uldur, though something about him is vastly different from the knightly teddybear Uldur proves himself to be.
Later the group separated, leaving Jorrin and me on our own again, next to hi favorite cart with kegs. I wonder what made him pick that spot... Perhaps his love for wine?
Not minding the business of the port town, we talked and agreed to continue at his estate.. or a mansion, I should say? His enclave.
Fun thing is, that I barely keep in mind his immense power and the position he has. When he’s with me, he simply becomes... my friend. And that’s all he is at that given moment. Perhaps that’s why he spends so much time with me. Perhaps it’s refreshing.. perhaps it’s something else. Either way, I’m the one sorcerer he doesn’t hate – so I’m content with the situation!
At his place, while we were talking about both magical and non-magical stuff, he had shown me a creature he can summon, an undead two-weapon fighter. Towering mummy, never tiring out, not knowing pain nor fear. A rather impressive ‚pet‘, as he calls it.
After that display of power and skill, he’s shown me another change of his body – his, now completely skeletal left arm, entwined in magic.
„May I touch?“ was my question, a careful one, as I didn’t want it to sound too pushy.
He allowed me, with a smile, offering me to take an even better look at the bath.
My soul filled with expectation, Cashand took off his glove and lifted the sleeve of his suit, exposing the skeletal limb. I stared at it with marvel and curiosity, watching its smooth movement and soft texture, as the light of the mythallar shard occasionally reflected on the dull bone surface.
I reached forth to gently touch it, running my fingers across the smooth textured surface. I felt a few tiny dents here and there, y fingertips following the curves of the bones. Entranced by the wonderful display of willpower and magic, I became absorbed by the studying of the arm. I ran my hand lower, carefully exploring and touching the bones of the wrist, palm and fingers. Cashand chuckled, watching me play and explore, seemingly quite amused and happy with the situation. I remember him being afraid to take that step, worried about losing friends. Why would he worry, though? I expressed how beautiful I find it to be, which surprised him a great deal. I held his hand, feeling the gentle warmth emanating from the hard, smooth surface, albeit a bit rough at some places. Not giving it much of a thought, I intertwined my fingers with his phalanges, taking in the feelings with an open heart. I looked up at him, thankful and glad. Continuing the talk, I forgot I held his hand – which I later apologized for. Thanks stars, Cashand didn’t seem uncomfortable in the slightest. He didn’t accept the apology, telling me there is nothing to be sorry about, that he is happy someone expresses a genuine interest in the things he’s done. And gave my hand a little squeeze.
I must admit, such warmth, kindness and openness are rarely found in people, and I certainly didn’t expect to find such traits in a Master Arcanist – and a necromancer in one.
As our talk continued, both of us gave the bath a thought. As his estate seems to lack a proper bathtub, as unexpected as it is, we went to my place to let him have a bath in my steel-rimmed tub. It’s not like that bathtub hasn’t seen more men than I did... as if it matters, after all. Caring about friends is important and necessary. And to be frank, Joriin and I have seen each other already, so there was nothing to be nervous about. For both sides.
I prepared the bath, as usual, warming it up with my inherent flame, with Cashand watching from the distance. He then sat down into the hot water, relaxing, and I was invited to touch his skin. It seems the half-undeath made his skin more resistant and hardened. So I did.
I gently slid my hand across his upper back, not feeling any difference at first. Though as I slightly pressed on the skin, I felt the unusual toughness. I went a bit further and pinched at his right shoulder. He obviously didn’t feel a thing. As I continued my touches, Joriin tried to reassure me, saying that I can do as I wish, and to try what I wish. After that I sat next to the bathtub, leaning my head backward, resting against his humerus. We were both relaxed and content, with Joriin flexing his phalanges now and then, and I watched. As the wholesome evening continued, I mentioned my last will, that I’m giving my body to him for the research purposes. He.. was thankful, but not excited about the idea of me passing.
Definitely, a nice and lovely evening. I slept well... no more nightmares, it seems, at least not for tonight.

Morgaine’s proclamation disturbed the writing of the Michael’s chronicle Uldur asked me to write. She’s preparing to go to the Asylum again... and as her spellmaiden, a guard, I had to be there. I quickly dressed into the battle robes, grabbed my staff and rushed out of the door.
Thinking about many recent events I arrived to see Mayor and Fjord already at the square. Even though they’re together, there aren’t many familiarities and affections shared. Usually. A few more people have gathered along the way, including Casper.
Upon entry, our party met a mysterious, masked woman – calling herself ‚Lue‘. She turned out to be disguised Vivili, my troubled, crimson flower. She came to help us, being the only one who truly knows what lies in the Asylum. The deeper we got the heavier my head became – not because of any spell, but because of the knowledge of how vast and difficult the renovations are going to be. Even though Joriin already offered his golems, it will take some time and considerable effort to transform that wretched place into a true health-promoting facility I dream of.
Deep in the maze of Asylum, we found Zilta, seemingly wandering about. Not much later we left to explore the surroundings, finding a small crypt, though we were able to see the massive rest of the underground, beyond a pitch-black pit. Giving up on the crypts, we headed back up – meanwhile, the hordes have emerged, though have been immediately punished by the spell of Zilta and I. I gave Morgaine several battle wands to use in the times of need – I trust she is going to use them in the best-suited situation. She is my Mayor, after all. How sad I can’t craft more wands, as I’m not getting re-paid the sealing fee of the Arcanist Guild craft rooms.
As soon as Vivi exposed herself, throwing away the disguise, Joriin distanced himself, declining to work alongside her. Laws and position don’t allow him, as he later explained to me, and I further told it to Vivi. She, fortunately, understood.
Continuing our mission, the group decided to walk back to the main gates after paying a brief visit to the Groundskeeper. And, at the gates... A massive ancient vampire, far more enormous than any of the giants living in the Landslide part of the hills, squeezed out of the entrance door. My summon and Pattie frightened out and blindly attacked – by a split second I managed to send Pattie back, evading a deadly blow. Giant and we then talked. Only briefly, as Count Voust didn’t seem to obey the laws and requests presented. Instead, the fight has begun.
All of us had fought beyond our limits and with all of our powers – Fjord held the ancient vampire back, so the spellcasters were free to rain magic and fire down on him. The magical resistances of the monstrosity have worn out, his flesh tattered and charred – with the beast now fleeing to the depths of the wretched building. We followed.
The main door locked behind us upon entry, leaving us trapped in the massive labyrinth of pain and death. We pushed on and through the endless, soulless monstrosities until we reached one of the larger halls – now hosting two magma balors and Narrius himself.
The battle was quick and ferocious, draining our powers even more. I was already out of magic, being able to weave only little cantrips and keep my eye on the Mayor.
She was struck down, yet I’ve been able to stabilize her in time – which seemed to make Narrus the Tyrant even angrier. His focus turned towards me, as his booming voice resonated through the polished stone hall – “Die, DIE!!”
He got me.
His fangs dove deep inside of me, I felt my own armor piercing me as he tore my flesh…
Then I woke up, fighting for breath, suffocating. My vision was blurry with tears of struggle, I saw a hint of red and then blue, vibrant colors against the grey… was it ceiling? Colors got lost by the seconds, and when I no longer even felt my body struggling for breath... A wave of healing, soothing energy washed over me, a familiar and welcomed feeling of the healing wand magic. I could breathe again.
This was close.
The situation was as follows – Vivili, seemingly not knowing about my allergy, emptied a whole potion inside of my mouth. I’ve been fortunate that at least someone remembered my situation and used the wand – I wouldn’t be able to write this entry otherwise. Thank gods.
Vivi… Vivili felt horrible.
Just a few minutes after a helmed Arcanist, apparently looking for Zilta, has appeared and opened a portal to the Arcanist building in Hadrian, and we safely passed through.
I had to have come crepes with cream and a short rest.
Coin, here I come.

Meanwhile, the energies got out of balance and the sun got surrounded by the black aura. Undead flooded the streets, and as a guard, I fought. On my patrol, I rescued a bearded young man – apparently of celestial origin, as he sported a pair of rich-plumed, pearly white wings on his back. The soft fluff of feathers stained with the decomposing, dark fluids spilling out of the wounds of the zombies.
I at least healed him, as I couldn’t help him up due to his size and heavy armor. His name is Johannes, and he is indeed, an Aasimar. Something seems a bit off about him, his history not having much of the expected parts of a partially angelic being. Well, be it what it is, I needed to keep the man safe. A citizen is a citizen, and the safest place at that moment was by my side. So, I had him tag along for the duration of the patrol until we parted ways.


Uldur told me of his favorite memory of Michael. The joy he has seen on the face of my beloved when he presented him the black unicorn horn – at the time the last ingredient for the Selune temple cure. Even though, I doubt it would have worked.
Later in the morning, I went to the Sailor’s Coin... It’s a nice place for when I feel like being alone but not entirely, in case I’d start doing something to myself again. That time Ash saved me haunts me still, as I’m unsure whether I will one time turn against myself again, and that time, there wouldn’t be anyone to save me. Or, willing to.
People are not the nicest, with some exceptions of course.
I met Cashand as he was resting at the inn by the fireplace – surely getting some heat into his body, as he has mentioned before that ever since his pale master transition, there are times when he feels incredibly cold. Perhaps I could ask him about trapping my flame in a magical blanket or something, so he can find comfort and warmth anytime?
Either way, we slowly started talking. As close friends, able to enjoy eachothers‘ company without the words. Just as it was now. First one who spoke was I, and from there, the laid-back conversation of a fire sorceress and a pale master had bloomed onwards. We talked about various topics – his wonderment and curiosity about what would have become of me if the shadow taint was allowed to consume me whole, his admiration for Roz’dha’s spellcraft, his plans, the fallen enclave, friendly hikes, red mists... and how we two can do some work to stop the mists entirely. As usual, Cashand presented many good ideas, and especially one surprised me, as he mentioned that NO ONE tried this yet – to simply TALK with the druegar! Morgaine bragged about killing them once in a while, but especially from someone like her... to not even try the utmost base of diplomacy!? That let me down if it’s true. Now I doubt that any of the deep dwarves would be willing to listen to us, due to what humans put them through already.
My dear Joriin mentioned he’d like to drink less, and since his favorite beverage is wine, I tried to work something out. In the end, I brought him a bottle of a currant-blackberry juice. His warm and surprised smile when I handed it to him, and the taste seemed to be similar to the taste of wine. I’m glad.
The moments by the fire were interrupted by Johannes stopping by, and not-so-subtly asking about Michael’s death. Cashand has tried to steer the conversation away, keeping an eye on me for any signs of discomfort. After the worst had passed I casted a Message cantrip and mentally told Joriin of my gratitude – he simply smiled in response.
A clearly audible announcement came up – Any adventurers and such were to see Planewalker Steven Darvis at the Hadrian’s Magic Store. The task was simple – to explore what lies beyond the new portal gate. A hefty bunch of people has gathered, and within a while, we all stepped through the planar gate, into the unknown.
The other side was... a city, it seemed. Much different than our cities usually look, with tall, slightly wrenched buildings and wide walkways. Housing freely-wandering hordes of undead, which quickly fell under my flame and the joint effort of all those who have passed through. A moderate while later we’ve found a door, being opened by unusual mechanism Johannes seemed to know.
So we entered.
It was a building, with long, winding polished stone corridors and halls with cushiony couches and feather-soft beds. Yet none of us dropped their guard.
The building was empty.
On a hidden town square, we’ve found a huge, glowing obelisk adorned with various runes – meaning of which I didn’t know. Fortunately, we had Joriin with us, but before he could do any further research on the faintly glowing, pulsing pillar – a man of a name ‚Honest‘ pressed one of the runes. In his imagination, it seemed like two.. pleasuring women, and that was the reason for his action. Strange man, certainly not the sort I’d like to ever meet in person.. especially not in private. His action at first seemed to caus nothing – however, after a few seconds passed, a pack of water elementals has emerged, drowning several members of the group under their forceful waves. We defended ourselves and helped those who have breathed in the copious amounts of water, making sure everyone stays alive.
To my disappointment, most of the present folk couldn’t find a better thing to do than to criticize Joriin for something that would've never happened without Honest’s dull action. I walked up to the necromancer’s side, being silent support. He is a nice person, and can’t be left alone in this – even though he can easily manage, and certainly does not mind. I was surprised by his question – „Are you okay?“
The words of care rarely heard from anyone else, let alone another mage. I tilted my helm to the side, whispering to him a few short, warm sentences.
The pillar seemed to be a key to the planes, something beyond my current understanding but Cashand seemed familiar with it. Johannes just stood there, looking at the two divided groups, trying to bring them to work together. Joriin and I were open to that, but the other mix of people were of much less willing sort. As it is was by a chance, the two people who kept themselves blind to who Michael truly was were there too – the halflings Casper and Marlee, glaring at everyone else without a reason. Hmh, and Marlee kept telling me before that she prays for Michael’s quick recovery – and when he recovered, she was the one to first throw accusations and untrue words at him! People who keep two faces should at least be subtle about it, this is just annoying. Anyways, the second group declined to fully join forces, despite Joriin’s battle capabilities – thanks to which we all finished the mission alive.
We’ve found several books describing the base four elemental planes, available for anyone to study for the knowledge of their creatures. Darius, Johannes, and Joriin set up a book study meeting – and after my playful question whether a lady is being left out, Darius simply remarked that my role was already solidified due to ‚my relationship.‘ Now I don’t know what it was supposed to be about, as the conversation has been quickly steered away to other topics. Downstairs, Johannes asked Cashand and me to later be in privacy with him, which seemed alright to both of us... so we agreed.
Before we left though, Helle pulled me aside. I told her coldly of Michael’s death, expecting her to be joyful at his demise, as many others surely were. Many, many others. While at times being even worse human beings than he could get to be. But Helle... seemed sad about hearing it. Perhaps for me, as I always accepted her, even though her Sharran religion.
Joriin and I certainly didn’t expect a time at the large inn room – which I have still pre-paid by Vivili – with the manly Aasimar telling us both about each other, and some traits of each of us. It was interesting, to say the least. And he got to scratch my head in the metal gloves... which gave me a thought. With Cashand’s skeletal arm... could it feel good? I got to try it.
After our time at the inn, Johannes and I parted ways with Cashand, who went home.
Me and the Aasimar went on to study the fire tome... at least I did, he studied whatever he could.
But before that we went to visit Michael’s grave for a moment, leaving the usual cake and a bunch of wildflowers. Then, Johannes decided to talk. We have done so for a little while and headed to my basement afterward, exploring the various creatures and their forms.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 10:44:47 am by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2019, 03:25:32 pm »


I spent a major part of the previous day at Sullivan’s Jungles, specifically at Vivi’s place. Uldur called me over via hazily-explained proclaimation – I had to follow my gut feeling, and fortunately, it was correct. Although the plan was to go on a little exploration, we ended up hanging out in Vivi’s cave. The topics got deeper as she shared various stories and knowledge, getting to the subject of the Vall, and to the topic of the pain.
I asked my question, as her
contained madness gives her a unique viewpoint – and I learned to listen to the mad. And she told me similar view to the one Ash shared – I am free to live my life, and I’m allowed to be happy. Once more, differently and again.


The next morning, after a night with zero sleep due to comforting and supporting Uldur in his slumber, I caught a ship to Hadrian. Fortunately for my exhausted body and mind, the bedrolls at the back of the ship are sufficient for a few hour long nap, and while I rested at least a little bit, the ship arrived to the port town.
Besides feeling tired, I felt like hanging out. Thankfully enough, Joriin was available for a bit of a friendly chat, and as I went to ask him a question I was nervous about – Johannes approached us, disrupting my question right as I was to spill out the main part of it. The winged man leant against a pillar supporting the trellis of the General Store, giving me space to scurry over to Cashand and quietly ask what I wanted to. To be fair, I’ve been nervous as I haven’t been for a considerable while.
The... Cashand’s answer stunned me for a split second, as he told me he’s been thinking about the same thing. How the head scratches feel with his new, skeletal arm. Smiling warmly as he does, and just as considerate, letting me know that the timing and place is up to me. Sweet necromancer.
Later on, Johannes let me play with the almost white fluff of his wings. Soft feathers neatly folded over one another, in the perfect shape – just a bit too small to get a fighter in a full armor into the air. My hands snaked over each of his wing, feeling the thumb part, the numerous small feathers of the top and then towards stroking the long, massive main feathers. While he and I were waiting for Cashand to come back, Johannes started talking. Sharing personal matters of his father’s passing, and his feelings of loss. So be it, I lent him an ear.

After our wait was over, Joriin, Johannes and I went on a long trip, far beyond the Patrician plains, deep into the snowy cold mountains. The peaks, infested by demonic spawn and wild energies, house a deep, maze-like crypt with its corridors winding left and right, spliting only so they can join a few hundred meters later. Amazing architectural strusture for sure, but deadly if you can’t face what’s inside.
And we, fortunately, could.
Cashand’s primary intent was to show Johannes how to speak with ghosts. Apparently there is supposed to be such room in the depths of the icy maze. Yet as it often goes, we didn’t have enough luck to find what we were looking for.

Biting frost clawed onto our flesh as we ventured onto a path back to the town of Hadrian, fighting through the cold-changed animals and otherwordly beings, lashing at us with their powerful limbs. We got through, and after several hours of a hike, we got back to the town of prostitutes and cheap ale.
On our way though, stoppin by at the Northern Farms, I pulled out a package of fairy floss for Johannes, for which he thanked me. Stressed and nervous, not knowing what Joriin could like, as I’ve never seen him eat, I handed him a gold-ribbon tied pack of 'caramel roaches' – caramel and soft nougat coated in a crispy chocolate layer. I received thanks in return, though whether he tasted them is a mystery.

We went to sell our finds. Johannes went inside with the bag of loot, while I stayed outside, enjoying the evening sky up above. Cashand, heading in, suddenly stopped and turned towards me. And again, that kind smile while a veil of regret and dark flickered through, somewhere deep in his gaze. After Johannes‘ depart, Cashand and I traveled to his estate, accompanied by a friendly conversation.
Touring parts and separate buildings of his private enclave, we mainly talked interior decoration and various remakes possible to make to various parts of his floating island. It has a lot of potential, with its own inn and many other possible venues. Discussion proceeded further as we reached his bedroom – admittedly, the last thing I would see myself being at is a Master Arcanist’s bedroom. Yet here I am, folding my cloak and setting down my lovingly carved staff.

Cashand sat down on the bed, his back against the head of the bed, waiting for me to get closer. I sat down as well, turning around a bit, allowing him a comfortable access. Nice and considerate, he gently placed the palm of his left hand on the top of my head, and as he spread his fingers to the sides, I got familiar with the new feeling. He started slowly, massaging my head with the bony hand. The sensation, intense, light and yet firm, sent slight tingles over my scalp and neck, making me instinctively lean into the gentle swirling touch of his phalanges.
His hand, although unnatural, felt warm on my head. I felt my body get limp further and further, dropping into the serene bliss of care and light affection, shared among two close friends. My shoulders have drooped as I gave in to the comforting sensations. Cashand, noticing so imediately, had offered me himself to lean on as a support – which I gladly accepted.
Whole late evening and night flowed by on the same, harmonious tune, until we both fell asleep.

The past days were hectic, to say the least. The mist had caught its breath, now ravaging the land with even more fervor. Pain and chaos. Focusing on the brightness, on the small compliment Ash gives me now and then. I have to keep going on, if not for myself, then for Michael and the sacrifice he made.
Ash, Three, Bel and I fought the incoming horces of the mist-risen dead in the plains, leaving Uldur to keep the city safe from any runaways. Now are the times we need to be able to lean on each other, as any singular pieces will crumble under the weight of events and duty.

Day has started on a lighter note, with an early noon chat with my friends. I had a short moment of warmth with Morgaine as I told her of my first picnic with Ash, which made her smile. Unfortunately, I had no more good news or at least distractions for her. Her job is busy and tasks are hard, and even though I’m her guard, I feel I’m not doing anything to ease it all up.
I wish she would tell me all I could help her with.
And I still have no idea where to start about the Harvest Moon... I might need to meet with Morgaine and the head of the organization, after the Voust thing is dealt with, to see their visions for the place.

After that, Uldur and I went home... originally. He trailed off the path into the hidden cellar-den, a place he comes to brood at quite often, based on his own words. And there, in the dim light of a singular torch, unable to cast enough light to do more than to just draw out the shadows, he told me of all the trouble and turmoil going on. He had declared a conflict among large factions, in an attempts to make things at least have a chance to get right. But what can get right in this knotted-up mess anymore?
No matter what we choose, someone will die, and such grim times I certainly didn’t expect to lie in the future. All while Uldur, the lovely knightly man, keeps himself withering just to remember all he needs to. Cashand can’t seem to get his hands on a master Mentalist, which is the worse news in this situation. If anyone, Uldur deserves priority in all the help. Always kind and protective. Keeping the duty Michael given him long even after his death, Uldur has been there for me and many others, and he is the main reason why I am alive. He saved me, nurtured me back to health and thanks to him I stand up from the bed each day, grateful for his presence. In budding panic and reality overwhelm, he also managed to tell me about the growing danger for not only him and Vivili, but also for Ash. And told me the word Ash gave him for me – that after whatever happens when 14th takes him, if he lives, he will be with his mother and I may come to visit. I will, Uldur, I will. And if he doesn’t, I shall keep my word and give his remains to the quiet, living Black.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 10:15:24 pm by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2019, 09:12:14 am »

Sing a Lullaby for the Doomed

Ash, Vivi and I went to the Voust estate. There I’ve discovered a bloodstone access system, which allows you to enter most doors if you drip the blood onto the crystal artifact. We got to many places inaccessible before, and discovered a blood-covered map to the last key we need, it seems. In a crypt, nearby a burning fire pit – or a brazier, seemingly of a shape of a skull.
We seem to be closing in on the Voust mystery, fortunately.
With more and more info gathered, we only need to locate the crypt and gather enough force.
If only more people were interested in lifting off of their derrieres, but that’s kind of an everlasting problem with adventurers in this sick city. Although surprising is, that it’s the same situation despite the high-set bounty on Count Voust.
Interesting, though not much.

Soon after a brief reast and armor re-patching, Vivili went back to Sullivans, unsure of being this close to inhabited areas of Southbank. Understandable, given current circumstances.
Ash and I walked together, close, through the slightly foggy forest near the river Gillian. I felt like taking him by the hand. I couldn’t decide, so I stalled, we walked, and I lost myself in thought – until I lost the time itself, and we were at the ship. As it goes with me, I give honesty and expect honesty. So I told him. What happened I certainly didn’t expect, though it made my stomach squirm and heart race.
He approached close, sharing just a few soft, affectionate gestures. His hands in the armored gauntlets, surprisingly gentle given the slightly worn-off metal. The other arm, until now limply at his side, looped around me in a gesture of protective fondness. Each of his movements spoke volumes, in the quiet language only two of us could understand at that moment. My hand drifted upwards, and started to gently stroke his head, to which he replied by long, slow brush of his nose against my neck, the unique, pleasant tension rising -
...We breathed it out, his hands giving a last, slow drift along my form before I opened the door up from the cabins..
Though it feels like something new opened between Ash and me.
I wonder where this goes.

Disembarking from the ship we headed straight to other, The Damned, usually docking close to the storage of the Lower Reschotti Estate. On the deck, there was already Joriin, resting against the loaded boxes with sailing supplies.
Others soon joined in, including Darius and Belorfin. The whole group of us went on to aid a distant village, located quite a distance upstream. As sketchy as it seemed, in the end we received information and later, a barely suited compensation. Though the most surprising about the whole mission was – that they let me take the lead. It happened on its own, spontaneously, and they were fine with it. The thing is, an order of tasks needed to be established. Cave of unknown secrets, which ended up being a creation system for lesser Yuan-Ti and similar creatures. After that, the group of us went to fight our way through the narrow, poorly-lit tunnels of the local mines, overrun with earth elementals and creatures of the dark. Lastly, a task for an Arcanist mentalist, some underwater exploration. Uncomfortable experience through-and-through!
Ash managed to put a smile on my face again, offering his hand as he always does when I’m about to board a boat.
Appreciated. As all the times he did it before.

Only him, Bel and I returned as a group to the town, allowing ourselves a well-deserved rest at the Adventurers‘ Society. It’s been calm, harmonious... we were simply enjoying the evening as the minutes rolled by. Relaxed among my friends, I conjured a little flame, shaping it into a cygnet swan. It spread its wings, searing plumage elegantly spread like two fans, and I rose the flame upwards, the swan spiraling upwards, glowing. Twirling as it worked its wings upwards. Staying there for a bit, like a nova star, only to descend and fly in a lazy elipse, wing brushing the stones of the fireplace before finally laying its head to rest an inch above Ash’s reaching palm. It was beautiful, difficult but rewarding. I almost chuckled, as even Bel liked it enough to express himself.
It was amazing.

As the first stars started to rise during the dusk, Ash and I embarked on a journey towards our picnic spot. The most calming of places, in the Crypts of Moander. He invited Belorfin as well, desiring to get him to know me better, so the things are even more at ease. That would be nice. Though in the end, Ash was glad he didn’t come.
Since, our long, deep and open conversation evolved into something else when I asked about what he wants to do in case the things with 14th Legion turn out grim. His expression was that of thinking, and then, blinked into a realisation. He slowly leant close to me, spending a second to breathe in some courage before giving me a soft, careful kiss, as if going too intense could shatter the moment itself. It did not. I played to his affections, my heart felt as if melting and opening, the warmth flooding my whole chest area. I lost my breath for a split moment, then exhaled and gave in.
I allowed myself, to live, to move on, to feel. Like Vivi, Uldur, Ash and many others told me to, that I can and I may allow it to myself. So I did and never looked back.

Adra. I believe you’re proud of him.

Returning back to Hadrian from the unexpected close happening at the Enclave Monastery mountain, at the very same place Ash and I camped weeks ago. But this time, we let go of anything but that very moment, not caring about anything but each other and ourselves, for a small moment in time. A serene, pure night, with few words and many gentle, loving gestures.
I could not see myself doing such thing, yet there I was, letting all my breaches fall, being vulnerable and open.
I wonder whether he does it to sate his heart, or to scare away the dark?


On my way home from the Queen of the River, I stumbled upon Darius arguing, again, with a person. Waiting for my red-clad friend to notice me, I leant against a tree with a gentle, calming smile. He’s going to need that exact smile when he turns over to see who came new.
After a brief talk, he bid me to find a safe place for us to talk. Me, eager and happy to host guests at my home at any time of the day and year, gladly invited him over to my beautiful garden and cozy house.

Our talk included his plan to free Vivili, with the help of devils... he apparently works with Nuzu, though not in a way Michael did, only as a mean to an end. Though she left a mark on him, a mark that burns and heats up his body, making it even more difficult to control his rage and bloodthirst.
He himself pointed out, after hearing my talk about my loved husband, that he clearly has some similarities with and is going to do his best to avoid making the same mistakes Michael did. I thanked him for it, not wanting to lose another person close to my heart, another one that makes me smile, despite my worn-out heart.


Meeting Cashand hours later, I only asked him to prepare for a big trouble, and a lots of fire. He appreciated and understood, not forcing me further. I always keep the secrets I promise to keep. Even though, by now there’s a literal mound of them, piled up inside of me.
In stasis and silence.

Few days have passed, and the day of punishments - and end of a voting - came.
With most citizens voting for the 14th legion to leave, all prisoners were set free, including Vivili. But, to our surprise, the devils appeared nonetheless, destroying and rampaging all over Hadrian.
Each of us fought relentlessly to the best of our ability. I, keeping in ming to not waste my flame, called forth the summoned creatures, who tore the flesh of devils and baatezu with their pincers and mandibles, poisoning them and weakening them for my comrades to defeat.

Vivi and Johannes ran away, and even wanted me to come with. I had to decline, there is no place for me to hide at this moment. I must defent what matters, until the end.

By working together, we prevailed, though the city was in ruin, streets covered in ash, dust and blood.
Hadrian being secured for now, I and few others have rushed into Southbank to see the state of things. The riverside town was plundered and destroyed, with a sad, disappointed Cashand in the center of all of it. He defended the town well, but as soon as one orc slipped around him, all was lost.

Ash, Belorfin and I headed forth, following the footpath of the orc horde coming back to their dens.
We were met with a surprising defence, and my fire was, again, completely useless. At those times I envy wizards even more, being able to learn anything they want. While I, without the gift of the flame, would only reign by my protective and soothing spells. Besides those I remember from taking control of the shadows.
Either way, we come to a standstill, stopping the fight.

That moment I’ve seen that my staff is no longer in my hand, and then I recalled the flash and tearing sound that sounded when an orc champion swung his ax at me. I must have blocked it, with the blade breaking the spell seals of the wood, making the impact from within and without shatter the textured redwood. The splinters stuck in the light chainmail and in my hand only confirmed it, and with that, I slowly returned home after Cashand reassuring me that he is still alright with me, even though I did not come with him to defend Southbank... I did not even notice him leaving, to be exact.
No matter, all of us staying together is what is important. Me, Bel and Ash. Cashand and I.
And the troubled Darius, who wandered away who knows where.

Johannes brought me, Uldur, Joriin and Ash dolls made by Vivili - a plushie of Uldur, of me, of Michael, of Ash, and of Cashand Joriin. I found a place for mine and Michael’s ones next to the lavender-bearing kobold plush on my bed, also felted by Vivi.
Based on what Johannes told us, Vivi went away with Nuzu, who teleported her somewhere safe... no one knows where, and it’s probably for the best. The closing of one story.

Due to my staff being shattered to splinters somewhere at the bottom of the Southbank forest chasm, I was in dire need for some tool to help keep me alive. So, my lovely Cashand took me on a shopping spree to the Underdark - right into the Drow city Michael prevented me from visiting the last time him and I were there. So this time, having Cashand instead of Michael by my side, we went on, exploring the wonderful architecture - graceful yet gloomy, a darkened underearth cityscape of black, burgundy and red.
Being his usual kind self, he helped me pet an underdark animal - a small fuzzy ox-like being, called “rothe”. Using his body to shield my small form from the gazes of druegari, I pet the pack rothe with excitement and glee.
Continuing our sightseeing trip, despite the markets being closed on this day, we went on to see the temples, taking in the enticing beauty, which grasped both Cashand and I by our hearts and didn’t let go.

Certainly, a lovely time together. As any other.


Not finding any staff-like items for sale anywhere, I got a thought of having a spear instead of an actual staff. Similar in form, only bearing a blade, it seems far better for me than a usual, blunt staff. He agreed.
Gathering of the materials went well, we got enough shadow iron for a high-quality spear and I brought oak wood from my basement storage area to make the pole base tough enough to not shatter easily. It will get reinforced further throughout the enchanting, allowing it to withstand the same and even tougher conditions under which my staff from Michael broke.
During the forging process, Cash and I had another of our “perfect kiss moments”, again, not harvested. We both realize we keep having these moments, ideal, almost magical opportunities for our first kiss, yet we never have one. Being as close as we are, no kisses are needed. Our hearts are close enough already as we are, to neither of us needing to care about such displays and gestures, despite both of us being curious about the feeling of each other.

Besides, Ash found peace with me. And Joriin is glad things are the way they are.
As he said himself, what matters to him is my safety and my happiness. No matter where I find it.


Further preparations and discussions revealed things we have for the spear creation. A frost shard, radiating biting cold, several vials of wyverns blood, gold, hook horror claw... and the shadow gem Michael gave me in return of me letting him feel how I heat up during the pre-release part of fire spells... such a long time ago. We lived in Sullivans still back then.
And I’m trailing off again... no way to command the heart, there is.

In order to create the spear, we returned to his skyfloating estate. Choosing his study desk, after him reassuring me it doesn’t matter whether it gets stained or not, we started with the process, with him determined to be only there to guide me and help me, while I do majority of the work. He seems keen on teaching his little sorceress... still, I can’t get over how unexpected this whole thing is. Master Arcanist and a small, fiery sorceress.

At first we set down all materials needed, on the desk and on the nearby windowsil, continuing with pre-writing the blade runes.
Heating up the blade, we inserted the sharpened hook horror claw slightly sideways into the scorching hot dark metal, so it tears and rends the flesh when struck, making any wounds difficult to heal the standard ways. After that, the time for sharpness runes came. Joriin helped to guide my hand in some of the symbols, runecarving being a bit foreign to me at that time.

Cooling the blade down with the first vial of wyvern blood, we let it simmer, bubble and cool itself, with the blood pooling inside the rune ridges.
Next, quite an unusual task for me - imbuing the frost essence of the shard into the shadow iron blade itself. I’ve been able to do only because of already being familiar with Cashand’s magic, and used to its feeling and thanks to trust we have to each other. I felt what he was doing, and tried to follow. The shard connected and merged into the spearhead, locking itself in the metal and immediately flooding it with cold, cold so strong it sucked out the red color out of the claw, leaving it ashen grey with only a washed-out, reddish hue.

Moving over to the other side of the spear, to the lowest point of the spear handle, Cashand started melting a chunk of gold in order to sculpt a ‘bed’ for the shadow gem to be secured in. Helping out with my innate fire, several stubborn chunks have molten down, making the part perfect for our needs. Now, I inserted the shadow gem into place - it fit perfectly.
From this point on, only a web of enchantments was woven, and imbued into the crystal, with carved runes on the handle leading the energies towards the blade and back. I popped open the last vial, letting a tilted blade of the dagger lead the blood in a gentle stream over the whole spear pole, as I turned in a slow and fluid motion from the left to the rightmost end of the pole.
Before we covered the spear handle in thin white hide to let the blood soak up better for the next two days, we could see the runes start dimly pulsing purple as the enchantments were settling into the weapon.

Now, off to rest and relax in the embrace of the only pale master my soul is at peace with.

Update: Theme songs!

« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 10:32:14 pm by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2019, 02:07:05 pm »

Tulips, Flames and the Blade

The sun was scorching hot, and the farms were bright, everything lit up with the direct, noon sunlight. I wiped my forehead as I straightened my back up from the planting, only to see him approach. My love, in his traditional farming clothing. His vest neatly tied, his wide and loving smile shone just as brightly as the sun, for me. He brought me a flask of water, let me have a drink, and then we kissed. The taste of his made my heart flutter, as many times before, as it will many times again. His large, rough hand, usually wielding the Silver Star towershield, gently stroke my cheek as our lips got separated, my cheeks blushed from work and affection.
„Come, Silver, let’s rest for a while,“ he bid me, and I followed. My hand in his he guided me under the young tree amidst the sunbasked fields. We sat down into the small shade provided by its rich leafy crown, adorned with few sparrow nests. I leant against him, and closed my eyes with a deep, content, relaxed exhale. My love, my everlasting shield.
I could feel his arms envelop me, the arms that could strike, protect and love. All of love, and all of affection, could be felt in each of his gaze towards me. I returned the gaze with the same feelings, knowing this is the man I am happily married to.

I fell into a peaceful warm nap, as I heard his heartbeat, and
the wind that shakes the barley.


I tap my hand against the flat surface.
Soft bed.
I opened my eyes, gazing at the stone ceiling. My smile fades as I realise.

Though, I held something in my hand, I looked over... Cashand. His bone hand in mine, and his eyes glued to me, warm smile on his lips: „You were smiling, I didn’t want to disturb you.“
A smile has returned to my face, slightly sad this time, as I snuggled to him for the rest of the morning. This time he was warming me, comforting my heart, as few tears rolled down my cheeks.

Fully focused on preparations for the farming festival, I've been scurrying about in the areas around Hadrian, seeking seeds. Smiling wide, I found a patch of blue tulips, harvesting few of them for my dear love's memorial.
What caught me unprepared was the group of bandits, marching in a small group towards the northern mines and farms. Being torn out of my calm afternoon, I felt the surge of warm air raise my hair, unleashing lashes of fire on the group.
Being stronger than they seemed, even despite my strain I didn't manage to take out their leader, who then ran back towards the Hilltop path.
I shrouded myself, bending shadows and light, becoming invisible.
And followed.
What happened afterwards... it might have been a mistake or a virtue, but I spared his life and the lives of his comrades, rushing back to Hadrian with the news and pleads for help.
Besides the guards who've fortunately come to guard the north, from heaps of people and adventurers, only the sweet Shi Lei came. The same man who've helped me collect meat for the upcoming feast on the Farming Workshop.

Doing our best, both of us tried and did our best, but Shi went head-on into the huge bandit camp ahead. In an effort to help him, I stood by his side, holding against something I will never be able to defeat.
And as could be expected, even though I expected death...

We were captured.


I woke up, bound to a metal pole on the wall, with a heavy collar on my neck. I heard a shuffle right of me, looking up and sideways I saw Shi Lei, bound to the pole as well, though not bearing any signs of a collar. Must have something to do with my magic. Both of us were stripped off our weapons, but for some reason, they haven't taken my helmet. That left me a slight advantage in that which followed - questioning with an overconfident mage
We were questioned, and due to a slip of a tongue which I hoped to give me the advantage of staying alive in case things turned out for the worst, I've been educated that sorcerers have 'precious blood', valued highly as an ingredient.
Just before the mage left to get his superior, a lower baatezu has been summoned to guard us alongside a mountain giant, carrying my spear!

Of course, the mage didn't leave without scarring my throat with the shock reaction of the collar to give an example. Surely to make me 'behave' better for what is to come.
Shi and I attacked after I used deception, as Ash suggested me doing long ago, to hand Shi my spell wands for the battle, and as soon as things started to look vad, I ran for the door just as he requested, turning invisible thanks to the wand I had. Glad I kept so many if them, for they have saved my life that day.
But not the lives of bandits.
Then again, their choice.

"Everyone will underestimate you. Even I did. Use it."
                                        - Ashram Aardyn

I climbed over a wall, slid into wild dog kennels, and defeated an elite guard in a close combat. Taking a look at my wounds, shaking limbs and ragged breath, I knew I don't have much time left to escape. Only visible route forward seemed to be a narrow, thorny path leading besides and through the stream. I was unable to see anything under the thick canopy of trees, getting cuts from stones in the water as I crawled, dragging the spear behind me. Dizzy, I lost the ground -

Tumbling down the rocky waterfall at the end of the stream, I gasped for the breath above the water. Who stood nearby was Fjord, watching me struggle, as I tried to stand up, bloodied and battered, with only the spear in my shaky arms to help.
Good thing us, he did not behead me right at the spot, and even, though after triggering one strong spark of the antimagic collar, managed to unlock it.
Using my spear as a crutch, I waddled and limped behind him, desperately trying to not lose a pace. Pushing through, step by step.
Almost in company, but alone, leaving a dripping trail for the carnivores to follow.
I blacked out.

Sure, of course!
Days have passed, I recovered to the point I can make a difference, yet I'm still unable to find people to stand by my side in order to rescue Shi Lei! Such a good man, deserves something far better than being held by bandits! But of course, again, excuses and booze have more value than life and the only race people participate in is the race of worthlessness with as much pleb style as possible.
I'll stay silent.
Everything comes around.

Now let's focus on the upcoming event... people need some relief. And to be honest, I need one too.

What needed dealing with today, besides discussing further things with mr. Browne and seeking instructors, was - Morgaine.
There's been an uproar on the street, at the estate housing the refugees. I stepped in to learn more about the situation, with Morgaine by my side. Though, as soon as the citizens stopped fighting and were willing to listen and calmly discuss the core problem, she summoned a damned Cinderscale into the crowd, triggering chaos and panic.
What brought her to this I don't know, but it is surely a way to lose respect and trust as a figure of peace and order in the town. Cashand and I then had to lie in order to comfort her, she's still the mayor and people need her in a good shape.
Afterwards, the three of us went to the festival grounds where I proposed changes to house refugees there. Of course, Morgaine's only contribution was a thought to ask Devlan about the chapel key, while Cashand helped me polish some of the ideas. We had to think of the changes for the sake of refugees, and only thing she's talking about was how Cashand won an archery competition and how she got drunk on a festival day.

Strangely enough, the two of them agreed with Johaness' idea, which is me running for mayor. Both of them seemed happy about the idea, but not so much after I declined the idea and position.
I wouldn't be able to bear politics. I'm a good advisor, true, but I highly doubt my skills as a mayor. Though, there's no one else capable with good ideas than Darius... but he needs to sort himself out first. I won't run, and will stay hoping he will make it in time.
Otherwise, I don't know who may bring order to Hadrian. Perhaps a suitable candidate might appear at the last moment...


I came home, and discovered, that Ash was right once again.

I’ve learned to love my reflection in the mirror, always accompanied for a split second by a visage of Michael. My loving, ever-steadfast iron wall. It is true that now I feel happier, calmer, more free and more appreciated, less divided from others including my friends... But there is just something about that love that keeps me loving him further. And that will never go away, just like Ashes love for his dear, loved Lyra. He told me more than several bits about her, I’m happy he shares such. I can imagine how fair and lovely she was, and I see how she could love him.

This bond Ash and I share... It is so fascinating for a reason I am unable to put into words.
Both of us have lost the same thing, and found the same thing.

I’ve visited Michael’s grave today, as I do every day. I wasn’t able to do so for almost a week, oh how I missed the little spot. Just like in times he was alive, the place is my anchor in life, the place I come to find peace at. And a company, though my dearest is long gone.
How hard to believe so... There’s so much we haven’t done together.
All the things that could have been.

I brought him a white tulip to make up for my absence and talked to his gravestone, cleansing myself of the frustration and hopelesness of the past days.
Finding peace, as if distantly in his arms.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 06:21:51 am by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2019, 01:55:25 am »

Lily of the Valley

After giving a few days purely to myself, my mood got far better. Which resulted in having fun with Uldur, Ara and Johannes, all while being invisible and having Uldur to play along with the act. A little lighter moment of a day, among these heavy clouds.
Arariel’s bow skills are getting better, shooting with grace and deadly precision. I helped them with a task, raining fire upon a huge lake serpent while they all stayed out of the deadly reach of my spells. It’s happening very few times, that people keep an eye on the spells on the battlefield. Nonetheless, it’s only more appreciated thanks to it.

Arariel also mentioned that Cashand and I would be helping her with creating a special bow out of her own wing tendons and other unique components, which I complied with. I’m sure we’ll be able to choose something else than her wingstrings, something even stronger and more durable. I need to discuss more with Cashand later, and the three of us should get together some time to create a viable plan for the enchanting and creating process.

Such meeting has indeed happened, as Cashand and Ara, each holding one of my hands, headed to my house to have a lunch at – of course, with me cooking. We had a lovingly relaxing time together, with good food, good laugh and bit of a fire sculpting magic and a gentleness among each other. And tomorrow’s... gonna be difficult.

Running about Hadrian in a rushed finale of preparations, after announcing its happening and location again I met the person I’d expect the least to meet on this day – Darius!
The man happened to grow close to my heart, perhaps because I see someone in him, but more refined. He has potential, yet struggles to control himself – even more so ever since he turned his armor red. I continue to see the good in him, despite his bitterness and anger... that way, I get to catch him in his bright moments.
He seems to feel close to me as well, finding peace, comfort and a confidant.
I’m glad.

He offered his help with bringing meats and leathers for teaching people how to sure and treat each, which surely is appreciated and I hope he could perhaps stay and teach people a thing or two about hunting – given he’s going to feel up to it.

I told Cashand abotu it when I met him, his bruised self towering relaxedly with just another magic book next to the wine cart at the docks. Giving him a light cheek kiss to not cause pain, I softly told him of new things happening, and offered him to come with me for final preparations. He happily agreed to do so, as if it could be any other way... Him and I are certainly close in a special way.
There’s no one else I’d be gladly dissected by after I pass. I trust him fully.
Anyways, while I’m still alive I should get to what happened next.

Cashand and I, walking hand in hand, slowly approached the workshop grounds, passing several signs showing the direction towards the event itself. We both were smiling in expectation, and as the lit up, beautiful area emerged fully ahead of us, he squeezes my hand in contained pride, keeping his continuous calm. But I knew better, knowing the sides of him rarely anyone knows.
Despite his state, he insisted on helping me finish the preparations, to get it done quickly before the event starts. I sent him for shovels, shears and the like, all while planting countless plants to show off the bounty that can be gotten with a pinch of care and dedication, and stocking up the seeds barrel with all what I gathered earlier. I was faintly smiling the whole time, at times thinking of how Michael would feel, seeing me like this... organising a big thing for so mnay people, mainly on my own, for the sake of city, myself and people alike.
Even though some visual memories already faded, I can still recall his caring and proud smile, similar to the one Cashand’s lips bear every time I succeed at something. I’ve been blessed to have so many nice people in my life, so many to call my loves and friends. The difference at times being hard to tell, with me deeply loving everyone I truly care about wholeheartedly. Loving Michael, Darius, Cashand, Vivili... All love the same, yet different in each case. Depends on what they needed the most, and often times, all a troubled soul needs are open arms and an open heart.
Truly, the day I departed for Sullivans‘ changed my life for the best it could become.

With preparations being done, people have started to gather just as the instructors got to their stations, the leatherworker and I soon getting the pleasure of seeing my red-clad warrior carrying a mound of leathers and meats towards the festival gate arch. Being impatient to hug him, I helped however I could in quickly putting away the materials he brought, just for the friendship we share. I couldn’t help but smile, knowing he’s another person with a gentle and rightful heart I know that side of, even though just about anyone else seems pretty occupied with calling him names and assuming the worst. Perhaps I got fortunate, knowing the gentle and valor of him, of the man weighed down by Nuzu’s mark reacting with his own body.
And me being able to bring him calm is the best reward I could get for sticking by through all the things with him.

Johannes, Ash, Cashand, Morgaine, Bel, all of them were there, along with many attendees – some of them i recognised from the Harvest Moon ubications, and quite a fair number of them were regular citizens, bubbling with interest in the crafts of self-sufficiency.
I took upon myself the farming tutor role, organising the last bits after I caught up with instructors and pointed some of the newcomers to the craft station they were interested in.

Among many I had the pleasure to work with that day, one woman stood out. Her name being Lily, a woman who lost her home in Hadrian due to the devilish assault. Gently and caringly, I asked about some details on how to improve the situation, willing to do all what is in my power as a woman, spellmaiden and a sorceress to set things right once again.
Like I told Michael and others countless times, when they asked ‚why‘... Who else, if not I?

Lily and I remained working together for the rest of the day, learning plenty about each other and the farming alike. The spark in her eyes, the excitement of successfully planting something only to see it sprout up... Willingly or not, a huge smile appeared on my face, as I’ve seen this exact expression on a person I dearly love so many times before.
Actually, I even mentioned him on the event board, as a honorable mention for helping the city with food reserves, now being used to feed those in need, as well as for keeping me inspired and giving me the strength to make one more step after each step I take.

The workshop continued for two additional days, even with people from closer parts of the region coming to see the events and crafts, and participate in learning and discussion.
I’m the most glad.


During a break before starting the next day of lecturing, Darius and I spent several hours together. Talking at my home then taking a walk to Hadrian, he revealed to me the nature of his troubles and the plans he’s setting up. Later on we went to explore the basement section, of which I got the key of earlier by the leader crafter to give to whomever I see fit from the people attending the workshop. It seems even heads of some guilds are glad for such initiative, making me even happier about my decision to commit to such.
Either way, Darius and I ended up fallign through the sewer trapdoor that locked behind us. Not knowning how deep in the sewer labyrinth we are, we both shrouded ourselves in spells, I went as far as transforming into the swordbearing armor form.
Only to find out the way our was just behind the corner. We both laughed, and for the first time I can recall Darius has hugged me first, strongly, with eased and loud laughter ringing out of his helmet. One of the sweetest and most cherished moments of that day.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 06:19:19 am by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - A Memory Book
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2019, 03:50:20 am »

Following One's Dreams

Recent days, I took a break from the world, a long needed one for sure. City is more-less stable, and there are plenty of others who are free to help as well, out if their own will, just like Uldur, Ash and I helped over the past week or two.

I really haven't feel like diving back into the vortex of chaos Hadrian became. So I thought of something that I wanted to do for a long, long time, left the people behind and ventured off. Close and far away, I walked, without notifying anyone. It's not like my 'guardians' would let me go alone.
I walked to all the places Michael and I wanted to go to. To travel, see more of the world, visit old places and new.
Chasm, Nualla'n, Battlefields.
Abbey, Gillian River, Farms.
And many more.
New places and old, one by another. And then stay at Sullivans', as if trapped, and swimming in the things that have been, grieving in the serenity brought by the sunrays beaming through the leaves.
And I would never change it to be the other way. I will never forget, I can't ever forget. His smile, his voice, his heart. The arms that could hold me as easily as if I was a bunch of flowers, the careful touch, the contained passion, the dedication. Let out bit by bit, washing over me more and more, always considerate and yet so powerful and wild, nearing absolute overwhelm.
I look forward to sitting there again.
Now I must continue, or rather, want to.
To do another thing I wanted to do for about a long while - wyvern research.

First time after a while, I'm camping in the wilds again. Being alone... Not easy, not nice, yet the only way things can be right now. I miss him.

It took me almost the entire next day to get to the Patrician Peaks, and rest of the evening to find a suitable spot for my several days of planned research. Avoiding some bears and stray bulettes, the ideal spot was found and a tiny camp set up. I've never actually thought that Endurance and Strength enchantments are going to be this useful to me personally, yet here I am, climbing and dragging equipment into the mountains. Not a day passes when I'm not grateful for my accidental skills, the gift and the tool.
I'm also getting better at certain controlling stuff and aspects of it, yet it will take a while to master my spell sculpting. Partly for making better enchantments with Cashand, partly for my own sense of accomplishment.
I wonder whether Michael would be proud of me. Heh, he would, certainly. Sweet iron shield.

I must say I'm truly glad, glad I've gone on this trip to travel to all the places we wanted to visit, even though it's not together. Yet I feel his company, even though I realise it's only in my memories. His soul is forever gone, after all.
And all that only due to anger and recklessness.
Morgaine was right. The time I won't be at his side might be the time he slips up again.
There was no helping it.
And won't ever be.

Now as I'm reflecting on the months past, I see several shapes in the dark. I should go to sleep shielded with an Invisibility spell.

*a dried mountain daisy marks the spot to resume writing*

Dear journal... this morning was among the most magical ones as of late. The early dawn exploded over the pale blue morning sky, spilling the streaks of color everywhere, staining the blue in a warm pink gradient. Seeing that, being there, breathing in the sharp, chilly mountain air, lightly smelling of ferns and dew.
They were there.
Gliding across the wide sky, unending in their dance of a morning habit, about six wyverns pounded the air with their wings, graceful yet bestial. Younger and older, some trying to snatch a rabbit, other, an adult, dragging a mountain lion. Feral grace, beautiful bloodshed.

I quickly pulled out the blank book I've gotten for this exact purpose, and started writing and sketching. My fingers stiff, yet I continued as my breath carried out one cloud after another, falling onto my chest and turning into a cascade of jewel-like drops.

The notes and data are coming together, a symphony of sketches, paragraphs and smears. I should rewrite this at home, whether at my house or at Cashand's place. We still need to think and plan the changes for his mansion, and I believe having something to focus on might help my loved Arcanist as well.
I know he's shielding me from any problems, grief and peril... But I fell the need to be at his side as well, whenever he might need it. Actually, this whole trip is happening only because his colds are getting manageable for him on his own.

I can't wait to- - -

Oh gods. What was the herb mixture Vivili kept making for me? Common Agrimony, petals of Calendula, Goldenrod... Damn, I wish I kept some alcohol on me for treatment of wounds. I gave all the aged brandy I found to Ash. I should carry some spirits in a small hip flask.

Two whole healing wands gone in order to patch myself up.
In short - a territorial wyvern female. I still need to clean my spear. With dire bears around, it's not wise to be clouded in a scent of blood.

I better move and return back. Thankfully, over the past days I managed to gather enough observations and information about these wonderfully wild creatures.
And my research can surely help Joriin and I raise the young wyvern we are planning on having.

I took the shortest route home, and plunged into a hot bath. And gave in to another round of memories, this time of a much warmer kind.
Then I heard a knock on the door, and seen a familiar, tired smile.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 06:20:14 am by Sherina »
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Re: Sherina Tsirak - The Spellmaiden
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 05:56:08 am »
// since we have the essay spam holidays again I might as well sneak this in since I FINALLY got back to writing this abysmal thing I need to finish one way or another :P

Come and Go

After taking a few days break to enjoy the comforts of a civilised life, my hellhound’s company and the warmth of the hearth, I filled my days with reading, lounging and bread-in-egg with parsley and similar tastiness, just to enjoy and treat myself while I look over the book draft and rewrite it into the final manuscript.
I disappeared without a trace - Ash reacted quite harshly, but being with him never felt the best… just like before, I felt like rowing a boat alone. Especially after losing a good friend - Darius.
So ending that chapter… is good.
Says enough that I don’t miss a thing about it. It’s likely I just wanted to try to be a light for him, but he wants nothing of that.

On the evening of the third day, just as I was finishing the dough for an apple roll-pie, a familiar proclamation sounded - one of my most favourite ones. I wrapped up my work and let the dough sit, covered with a dishcloth.


Walking through the fresh late evening air in a special dress of blue and violet with upper-arm-high gloves, my lips were in a smile and I felt my impatience regarding meeting my best friend again beat within my chest. I know that if anyone will have understanding for my wyvern research work, it’s him.
Seeing me visibly surprised him, bringing a warm smile on his face and we shared a hug, like we always did every time we met - ever since I asked him whether he’d like one a long, long time ago.
I felt such rejoice of seeing him, the silvery eyes in the nightfall.

Cashand filled me in on the news from the latest weeks in the town. Seems the winged girl I took to the temple healer, Wren, has become a mayor of the town. Which also meant a tax increase and a definite end of my previous job in the service of Hadrian.
During our talk a young, blonde nobleman strolled by, approaching my mage to ask for his spells. While the Arcanist was preparing the spells needed, the man introduced himself to me politely and with a certain grace - Oscar Eisenhuth Montgomery lll, an enclave noble of a good family and heritage. Our conversation was short but fulfilling - people with good manners are rare, and as such highly appreciated, at least by us. It’s quite a rarity to see Enclave nobles acting this nice towards the ground-dwellers.
As we talked he smoothly took my hand into his, and chuckling, remarked that Oscar is likely as bad with other races as he is. I held the warm bones of his hand with gentleness, appreciating the gesture we shared more and more often.
I reached my hand to cup his cheek, feeling the stubble of his against my palm, that’s when he suggested going out to celebrate my return, and to help him get his mind off of the Guild stuff.

We ventured out to the Enclave, taking a walk around the lakes. Walking around hand in hand, we’ve been talking a bit about our plans - and as we crossed paths with a pegasus, Cashand commented that he’d like to have one someday… but also, that he’d taint it by the time anyways, as the pure little things they are. I took a step closer to him with a smirk and we joked for a small while. And then, another of our gentle moments, the ones when we simply thank each other for the good things and then move on, as if nothing happened after our sincere eye contact breaks. I’ve always felt such peace and thankfulness with him.
We went to sit down into the clean, lush grass at the side of the stream. 
But it wouldn’t be Cashand if he didn’t first make sure I’m alright with it -

“We don’t need a bench if you don’t mind the grass.”

I looked up at him with a slight chuckle and reminded him “You’re speaking with someone who loves farming and who has lived in a cave for a considerable while, why would I mind grass,” I finished with a wide smile, amused but glad of his caring nature.

He gave it a second of consideration “I don’t know, maybe you’re trying to turn fancy,” he commented with a cheeky grin of his own.

I couldn’t help but giggle - “For you? Perhaps I’d consider.”

Cashand leaned back against a boulder and I went to rest my back against him, sitting partially on his left thigh. On that he moved to rest his hand on my forearm, supporting me from the side. As we were watching the stream, greenery and sky, his grin gradually softened into a warm smile: “You know that I don’t care if you are fancy or not, I like you the way you are.”

Feeling the warmth from within, I thanked him and with a smile, I closed my eyes and went to relax fully against his chest, with the back of my head on his shoulder. I could hear his breath, the birds around and the bustle of the city, and the gentle undertone of the crystal clear stream of the park we were in. 
So it happened we spent some hours like this. The only changes were in the daylight, the ever-moving bees and butterflies tending to the flowers, and that I hugged him around the arm, bringing myself deeper into the feeling of safety. And a slight movement, and I felt his kiss on the top of my head with a warm breath out.
And we shared another thanks, as the sun has slowly started to set and the sky got colored in crimson and purple, like dripping watercolor on white fabric.

I strolled down from the little sky palace through the portal towards the Mayor’s Office. I needed to talk with Wren, mainly regarding the rebuilds of the Harvest Moon Charity in order to add another storey and overall expand it more so it serves those in need better.
After a later meeting with Mannus about plans and having them adjusted and fixed, I went home only to find a letter from Neasa, stating her concern regarding Pattie’s presence by my side.
What is concerning is, that previously even high-standing people like Chan and Morgaine were alright with her and she was treated as any other familiar… but now, things seem to be changing with the arising population of knights roaming about.
Cashand and I are both concerned. This could bring me to a sure death, and more than likely will, if Neasa will push it forward. Which, being a devout follower of a God of Law, she’s probably going to.
We’re going to try to get me a permit to own her - though obviously, as a free bloodcaster, this might probably hasten my way to the pyre.

After several brief errands I had to run, I met with my necromancer again and we went on a walk to clear our heads a bit. Our steps have lead us to the Crypts of Moander, where I’ve shown him the place Ash took me to few times - Cashand loved is just as much, and we spent a while there, before heading back home. The safety and warmth I feel the more noticeably the more time I spend with him is truly unique. I admit we likely -do- act like a couple already… but I don’t want to ruin what we have by trying for that.

Seems while I was away Cashand made some changes in his palace, and being so trusting as we are, he was definitely excited to show me all of them. The spelltesting glyph circle in the lower main hall I noticed the other day already, but he hasn’t show me the rest up until this day.

He’s shown me various parts of the upper level of the estate - even though he didn’t tell it outright, judging by the nature of those changes it was to make the place cozier and more for two people than for a single one…

And then, we got to see the study.
He was proud to announce and show with a wide gesture that he has put couches in there, so I can sit and read comfortably close to him while he does his work. But…

I watched the inner swirling of a perfectly round orb, stable on a little metal stand on the top shelf of his desk. Cashand noticed, quick to explain
“It’s something that can hold souls for a short while. Longer than a gem could.”
I felt a fragment of my smile fading and I nodded, my thoughts jumping to Nuzu and her soul gem trades with the 14th legion. With a little sting I felt at my heart, I leaned closer in order to squeeze his hand. The mage smiled back, though weakly. With a shadow of an apology and a great deal of regret in his eyes, and fear. Yet giving me the gentlest smile he could at that moment.
I got a hunch, and I needed to ask. Speaking quietly, nervous about the answer yet understanding.
“Sweetheart? Is this part of the things you are nervous about showing me?”
“I guess… yes it is some of the parts that I am nervous about showing you and telling you about.”

I see.

I brought my hand up to cup his cheek gently as his gaze drooped, our eyes breaking the contact.
“As I have said and still stand by, I am a horrible man inside and I do horrible things.”
I let my thumb gently stroke his cheekbone as he slowly spoke. Shortly after I brought his head lower, so he can lean his forehead against mine.
He closed his eyes and put his arms around me, wrapping me in a soft hug, dressed in his thick velvet suit.

Minutes have passed, and one of us had to cross that bridge.

“Do you feel like telling me?”
“Do you really want to know?” he asked gently, worried.
I pulled his head a tiny bit closer, our foreheads now pressed closer together. He gave me his understanding and support so many times before, if I fail to do the same now…
“And how else could it be?” I said warmly, though with a tightened throat.
Such unexpected warmth created a crack on his composure, which slowly fell in the safe privacy of the study, like the autumn leaves in a tempest.
His voice was shaky. “I don’t know. I just worry, as I know that… what I do is something a monster would do.”

The gentle vulnerability of his let my emotions out of their cage. I felt myself starting to shiver in the slight draft coming from the half-opened window towards the slit underneath the door.
He pulled me closer in the hug, soothing my heart with the feeling of security that’s become so familiar. He started to speak softly, with a slight shake in his voice. He spoke about how he uses souls to feed the mythal shard that is holding his island up in the sky. He spoke about how his servant always looks into the shard, because part of his soul was trapped there to give it power. Few tears rolled down his cheek as he kept talking. I held him in a tight hug, his hug on the contrary lightened, as if he didn’t want to keep me there in case I wanted to leave. He seemed like he knew I was going to leave.

But he never left my side, and I am not leaving his. I couldn’t held back the sobs I muffled in the decorative, frilled jabot of his shirt, but never for a moment I wanted to leave. He continued, trying to comfort me with back rubs and sincere words of apology choked on tears.
I took his hand into mine, intertwining our fingers.

He decided to continue.

Telling me all about the lives that fell in order to keep the island up, about the staff he had in the past which managed to twist him into something he was not entirely, about a battle and Celeb, my colleague in Morgaine’s mayoral guard…  He continued and I held onto him, hidden in his arms. This man has done things, but who has not - my flames and scorpios took more than a handful of lives, and no charity work and warmth can balance what’s already lost - nor anything can be done about it. Only to move on and try to be better than we were yesterday, which I see is possible both for him and for me.
Still sheltered by his embrace, I felt a gentle kiss on the top of my head.
“Are you okay?”
At first, I had no words. All have left me just like the pooled tears left my eyes to flow and drip down on the dark blue of the fabric. In the end, the only ones I found were the simple and true ones, the only words that mattered to me in this changing and crumbing world.
“I love being with you, Cashand.”

His rough fingers gave my cheek a rub, and he looked down into my eyes with as much warmth as ever.
- “I love being with you, Sherina. That’s why it was, so hard for me to talk about this, as I don’t want to ruin what we have.”
Poor soul, as if you ever could. I thanked him for his trust and openness, gently, while I snaked my hand down his arm to brush the back of his other hand briefly, only to move it back towards his shoulder to rest there.
“I hate hiding things from you. It was hard for me to do so as I didn’t want to hurt you or anything, as I love you and care a lot about you, and would most definitely hate myself if I hurt you in any way.”
This moment my eyes were glued to his and my heart pounded against my chest more than ever before. With the feeling of tightness on my chest, I breathed out:
“I love you too, Cashand. And I cannot imagine it being otherwise.”
And I know you cannot too.
You told me before.

It looked like he wanted to move in for something but he stopped, giving me a weak smile back with the silver of his eyes still on the tarn blue of mine.

Under these circumstances, doing what I wanted could either make our relationship crash or bloom. So shard by shard, by each gentle word that continued, I threw away all the boundaries I’ve learned to keep, I tilted my head upwards for my nose to brush against his tear-drenched cheek, took a breath

“I’m sorry, Cashand” I whispered out, right before my lips touched his, as lightly as a touch of moth’s wings. I felt my magic burn within me, and I knew he could feel that too. His breath and movement froze. Yet after a second, he gently returned the gesture.

And I couldn’t help but smile.

The letters are sent and the only thing we can do is wait.
Death or a permit.

What happened the other day didn’t happen again, at least not yet. Though now we know a bit more about each other, and trust each other more than a bit more.

Meeting of the Council became a meeting of the Hadrian Initiative since not a single councilor came. We’ve been discussing the mist and other problems of the region that need solution. Somehow, the one mostly speaking was I - likely due to being informed and having experience with certain things.
It was more of a habit to be helpful to them, to try to be among the ones fixing things around. But today, today the region and its people didn’t really matter. No one besides my pale master would stand up to support me against something. Others are just words, who would do it but only if it was on a 100% safe and comfortable for them. Which, let’s be honest, most of them would never bother. I’m lucky I have the heart of the Weave on my side to support me every second of the day.

But it wasn’t only about waiting this day.

Mayor Wren organised people to come and head to the scorched beaches of the fallen enclave - and into the very building I wanted to take a look into ever since I came here the first time, with Casper and Michael. Chan, Tanner, Raven and several others joined us and we descended deep, through the echoing halls and twisting corridors full of dust, dried bones and many, many footprints.
I traced out a silhouette into the air from memory, of a red reaver scorpion and it materialised, guarding me along with my magic shields. I can’t do as much as wizards can, but I won’t stay behind too much here. This is where the mist cult’s traces lead to, and we can finally end it here and now.

We battled through numerous cultists, undead pawns and mutated beasts, at times being almost overrun when they managed to get us pinned in their familiar environment, until we came into what seemed to be the lowest hall of the underground maze.
After the worst was over, I saw the skull again. The same skull that axe-swinging idiot used to taint all the lands he possibly could.
Looking back at all of it, I can really thank Nuzu. Every minute felt like a fight and a ballet amids sharp eggshells, and now after some time has passed, I feel more confident, safe, and have finally time for myself. I hate when my kindness gets the best of me and blinds me, but at the same time I love bringing at least the bit of the light I can.
Chan picked the skull up, and his head tilted oddly as his helm’s visor stayed turned towards the skull, motionless. I couldn’t breathe. To my relief he then moved and secured it in the enchanted satchel House Skettus provided.
Hand in hand, the Arcanist and I left the crypts, leaving others to do whatever they want.
We need to think of what to do in order to get rid of the lingering mists.

Though, first, -I- needed to have something to defend myself with for when another fight comes. And so it happens I got an idea for a project not long ago, a light crossbow made of the giant thunder lizard bones with a lightning enchantment drawing power directly from a golem heart. And soaking the bones in a good quality potion could add to my nimbleness and better aim as well, hopefully.

Our way has taken us to the Isle of Sauros, a home of many lizardfolk tribes, most of them hostile and each of them raiding the other tribes every once in a while. Thick vines and giant ferns towered from the undergrowth, lianas climbing the ancient trees in a web-like pattern, with real, giant spiderwebs among the distant forest canopy.
The few buildings that are there have been punished by the jungle’s humidity long ago, the logs and roofs rotting away slowly and patiently in the land where traditions never change and blood flows just as much as water.

Vested in our spells with summons be our side, we treaded through the thick greenery, sometimes finding improvised paths that eased up the travel on us. We didn’t have an exact destination in mind, though in the low river bank, there have often been thunder lizards to be found, breathing their volts up at people crossing the plank bridge up above.

Being ready for this exact welcome we drew closer as we walked. I kept my left arm shrouded in my spellflame, ready, with the spear in my other hand. Cashand has managed to maintain his regal posture and step, though the wariness reflected in the small lines on his face and the flicking eyes.

A while after we found our way to a stone wall section and followed it. And just behind the bend was a scouting unit and, to our luck, one lizard of the species we were looking for.
Their hissy battle shouts sounded out as one of their crossbowmen spotted us, firing the first bolt. In a flood of adrenaline that hit after the bolt chipped away on my living stone armor I pulled the Weave and threw blazing spears, homed to the target by my focus and will to live. Cashand’s undead started holding off the melee warriors in the meantime and I commanded my scorpion to join it, while we disposed of the rest. The electric teal, serpentine body of the lizard started advancing to us with a feral elegance -
And it was over.

We took a minute to catch our breath, before we went to process the giant lizard’s corpse, salvaging for the materials needed. Despite my care, the hard scales caused my blade to slide into my thigh in a jolt of pain as we were almost finished. The sharp inbreath and instinctive arch of the back have alerted the Arcanist, who immediately went to sit me down and treat the wound with the utmost care - decided to finish the job himself, he asked me to rest while he does so.
It’s not rare that I feel like a burden, yet everyone feels like that once in a while. Things happen, and the people who are true and close to you won’t let you down, even when the life itself will.

۞Iskvaeri Mai Traahen
☼Oxana Vulpeti
♫Charlotte Von Krall
♛Artemis Aurelia