I am sure Nimue has a fine selection to break our fast.
I will see you both in the dinning room after the bath.
There is no report of danger near by.
He's a good friend like few. Doesn't speak much, but he cares for all of us, and I'm sure he'll care for you. Anyhow, come meet the rest of the team
Valia, could you please show some composure? The Maiden has graced us with guests, at very least avoid talking with your mouth full.
You have to forgive her, Phaere and Lady Cassia, she welcomes you like the rest of us. I'm Viserys, and I'm glad to have you here
What you talkin' about, Vis'? For all your dandyness, I was the first to greet her, Ha! It also looks like she already feels pretty at home to me; she chewin' on food faster than I am and Nimue ain't even here yet!
Phaere: If you're going to stay here, Cassia, get used to this. For starters, you'll get people that feel like a family should, and a place that you can call home with a warm and fuzzy feeling in your chest.
Viserys: I'm afraid you'll have to wait some tendays before meeting the others, though. Most of us are traveling for the Run, and only few remain here at this time of the year. The High Priestess and I, her novice; Valia, our smith, and Sevran, our best warrior.
Phaere: You airhead, how's she supposed to know what a Run is?
We travel to the humans and elves--all sorts of folks, actually--and bring them help, food, art and other nice stuff, to make friends with them and gain allies. It happens each season or so
The berry muffins are here!
I hope you rested well, child. The Lady sent me dreams tonight, I was waiting for you.
Ma-. . .Master Savren, there is. . . There is probably no reason to guard this compound, my former master was a Aboleth. He cannot follow me here, and my family discarded me decades ago. No only Lolth herself could punish me for what I'm doing. I am sorry, I didn't intend to cause you discomfort. . . I was just scared.
Cassia almost dropped the [detect poison] spell, but she was not that out of her element. But then something Pheare said caught her, it took her a few moments to process, but by the time she was introducing the rest of the group it had coalesced.'Egrit-shethoth'
Wait. Did you say you give away food, just to make friends? Why in the demon webs would you do such a thing? food must be hard enough living as you do.
The lady sent dreams to her? Why, why was this Eilistraee so interested in me. I am not one worthy of such divine attention. Punishment yes, but not . . . This.
Whatever atrocity they inflicted on you to make you think this, know that everyone is worthy of love and happiness here.
Eilistraee came to your aid for a simple reason: you had use for her, and our, help.
The Lady sees us as her children, Cassia; is it not the instinct of a mother to nurture her young? Why do you see yourself as worthy of punishment, but unworthy of the kindness of a mother? You can talk freely, if it brings you comfort.
As your second question comes answers that as well.You needed a guard just because you were scared. As to if you were followed, there is always that danger as well. Often when new to the surface there are those that offer danger that you do not know follows you.
Food is freely offered. There is so much about us. The sharing of food is an act of friendship. So it follows that the giving of food makes friends. Is it better to have a few friends or even one foe?
I have. . . Hurt many creatures, I have damned them to a life of slavery to wicked and cruel creatures. I have lured hundreds of lives to serve as Slaves or food to aboleths. It would have been better for me to have refused and died. At least then I would have done something Nobel. But now, out fo fear and weakness I obeyed my former master, and for decades I assisted in their twisted tierney, so twisted I've become! If Eilistraee knew what I've done, she would discard me like everyone else!
Fear is a powerful emotion; when life is on the line, even the kindest souls can succumb to it. The Poisoner knows that, and it's the reason why she blinds our people to all but fear and hatred. “Love is weakness; the world is your enemy, and all in it can only be either feared, hated, or ruled with force”
Nimue: And when you are alone against a world of foes, what can you do except trying to survive, whatever it takes. How can you know right from wrong when you've never seen right. How can you find the courage to stand up for what's just, when you have never been loved and protected?
Phaere: In short, how can you choose if you believe the coin only has one side?
Nimue: Eilistraee knows that too, Cassia, and she fights to show her children what was hidden from them. She teaches them life, like a mother should. Our Maiden helped you while knowing what you went through.
We aren't here to sing pretty lies; the actions that you describe are grave, and you brought pain into this world. However, your feelings of guilt prove that you could tell right from wrong, and perhaps your being here is proof that you had the courage to make a choice, one that might have costed your life. That's remarkable, few of those who come here possess that clarity of thought.
It means that you might be ready for the next step. Your pain won't help those whom you have wronged and hurt. It won't bring them back, nor it will make the world a better place or save others from that fate. But if you are shown love and courage, you will be able to help those who suffer. You will be able to save lives, and bring joy and beauty to those whom you meet. You'll make the world a better place because you are in it.
Child, if justice is what you crave, what better step than turning the very strength that you used to wound into a force of hope and good? That's what our Lady calls redemption, and for many of us it's the first step towards peace
Phaere: And, you know, one of these days we can have roasted fish, if you like. Coming up wth exotic recipes is one of my talents, after all.
Please, Show me. Show me how to smile, show me how to not hate myself, show me how to sit and be exposed to so many, all the time and not scream at the terror of it. Show me how to want to be better, show me how to want to care. I am. . .
I am hollow, and cold. Please I don't want to live like this anymore.
Lady Cassia, do you not believe that I have hurt others? Yes there was a choice there to die, or to live to save. Eilistraee knows you as well as Lolth does. The Dark Maiden welcomes you. Would Lolth? Or just use you until done with you?
Sighs softly. A sadness in his eyes appears.We forgive you, we will help you to forgive yourself. We can show you ways to protect or save others. We will help you find joy.
We can not undo, we can only try to make better then before. We can not forget, but we can forgive and give.
You have already made the first, and perhaps hardest, step towards smiling once again. You have shattered the delusion, recognized that wrong has been done, and accepted the responsibility for having done it. The courage in facing such pain is telling of your inner strength, as is your determination in finding a new way. Be at ease, because things can only get better from now on.
Now, there are two aspects that you need to work on. Let life smile at you, and let us love you--for if you don't know love, you won't be able to give it. You're safe here; try to simply enjoy what we offer, the beauty in the small things that was tarnished by strife and fear in the Underdark, and to share in our comradery. It's far from easy, coming from the dark below, but you've already begun.
And if you don't know how to have fun, me and Phaere will show you the proper way. Ain't it true, sweety?
Valia: No need to worry, lady, she's in good hands
Viserys: Don't mind her, that's just how she is. Back to the matter, we can also teach you our arts--medicine, music, herbalism just to name few. Focusing on my studies and the guidance of Lady Nimue were invaluable in building a new beginning. There is a sense of satisfaction and peace of mind in creating something.
Phaere: Or our magic. I can teach you the spellsong, and how to play instruments. And paint. And cook tasty food. And dance. Nothing to wash away the grim of life like letting the passion of a dance carry you, and shatter all chains and barriers.
Nimue: Whatever you choose, to dwell unduly on the past prevents us from creating a better future. Sevran speaks truly when he says that the past cannot be denied, but our actions can improve what's yet to come and lighten the burden that makes smiling so hard.
There are many ways to begin. For example, we often help our human neighbors with healing or in dealing with nearby threats, and a simple act of kindness has the power to make you feel to have accomplished something good and meaningful--because you will have indeed. The change begins from how we experience the small aspects of our everyday life.
I have some tasks that you might do alongside one of us, but I'll need to know what you can do first. In the worst case, there's no reason to worry: we can teach you, and a powerful sorceress has many ways to make herself helpful.
Viserys: It may seem most rude of me to speak such things without your permission, but there's something that I feel compelled to tell you.
If you left someone that you hold dear down there, we should go get them. Reuniting with the ones who represented treasured beacons in the darkness below, having them here, by your side...
...it can make all the difference in this world. Don't leave the good of your past behind, lady, you *will* regret it.
If that's the case, dear, we could even organize an expedition. Actively helping other drow to find the light of Eilistraee is our duty--and joy--even if it comes at a high risk. But we can count on many skilled guides.
Phaere doesn't always have the right words, but she raised a valid point before. Undoing your torturer, and making sure that no one will suffer for their actions could be a healing balm to your soul, breaking a chain that binds you to the past. But you need to want it, and to be ready for it. You've just escaped from that nightmare, and need to just focus on healing.
Well ill try smiling, but I'm not good at finding things to smile about. But i can try.
I'm also not very good with touching, or being exposed. It his hard to not see you all as threats, and . . . whenever someone would touch you in my family it was to punish, and doubly so for my master, I mean my former master. As for rescuing the people i dragged down into slavery, I don't even know if that is possible, They reside in the deepest and most alien parts of the Dark lake. The city where they would be kept is filled with Aboleths and a long ways underwater. As for myself, my magic has manifested in acid like sprays, and UI can wither creatures at a touch. I also can summon darkness not even the eyes of Drow can pierce with every spell. Not much that is useful to a temple i'm afraid. The master would have me hinder and wither prey in order to capture them, but other then that i have little skill in anything other then lying.
Lady Cassia even the skills you list can be of use in defense of the temple. The darkness can prevent a foe from finding an entrance. The acid can be used against many of the jellies monsters that at times threaten the temples. The servants of Ghaunadaur. You almost certainly have other skills of which can be used in different ways then you used in the past. It though is not that you have to do anything now except heal. That is the most important. In time you will decide what you want to learn.
It of course must be remember that Cassia has the right to make her own choices. To leave when she wants to, do as she desires. There is nothing that she must do except forgive herself.
I do hope you will stay for a time to learn of Eilistraee. To learn of the surface if you wish to stay above. We offer our help in what you want to learn and do. All we would ask is that you become a friend.
It's not easy to find something to smile for. Sometimes you just feel like the world is trying to crush you and all is bleak--songs have no melody and food has no taste. But there's always something unexpected, a drop of color amidst all the bleakness that puts things into perspective. Because existence, mayhaps even the gods and the planes, have no purpose by themselves; they just are...
So, even though life loves to give us rancid lemons, in a senseless existence, what's even the point in dwelling on bad stuff—or the point in anything but a search for beauty and for what makes us feel wonder and the world look just a bit prettier. Live as art, 'cause gravity is overrated--that, and the selfish altruism, is my spin on Eilistraee's philosophy. I like to call this idea "Optimistic Nihilism". Poetic, isn't it?
You're right Sevran, our guest doesn't need to do anything but heal. It was just that... from her words and from the feelings that she let transpire, it seemed to me that her healing was being hindered by a burden weighing down her heart: that of guilt, and injustice. I know you understand that we can offer her our love and a family, but true forgiveness can only come from her forgiving herself. Every person must find her own path to that end, but all pass through undoing the pain that we have inflicted, or compensating our past evil with kindness and good.
Child, you may choose to stay here and rest, or you could... hmmm... A nearby hamlet of human hunters has asked for our help with a strange disease, and we're sending one of our priestesses to work Eilistraee's magic, and gather some curative herbs to offer them. I'm sure your presence would be welcome, and learning to recognize some medical herbs can always come useful. However, anything you prefer, name it, we'll see to it.
Viserys: I stand by what I said before. Leaving people with whom we share a strong bond behind will only come to torment us in the end. Given the mention of the Darklake, you must come from Menzoberranzan. We have a portal for that place, and our dear Jhelnae will help us go unnoticed. That said, I take that you were truly alone down there; don't worry, lady, you have us all now.
I had never heard of an aboleth city in the Darklake. I've traveled across the Underdark for quite a few years, but I've only been warned to stay away from the Glimmersea as far as aboleths go. I've been in Llurth Dreier, tho, far south of here. It's a nasty, naaasty place, and aboleths and mind flayers rule it, but there's also moondancers in there. They know how to ward all the slimy, psychic bullshit off, and do their best to be a jagged thorn in the side of those ugly slavers. I went with them to smuggle a few people away during my stay, heh, good times...
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