A year and a half in the life of a paladin

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Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

A year and a half in the life of a paladin

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:1q8bwh9x]*Inside the cover of this leather bound diary, someone has written the following*[/b:1q8bwh9x]

[i:1q8bwh9x]This is an account of the Paladin Talwyn Aureliano of Torm, sent from Tantras by the Church of Torm’s Coming in the last few months of the year 1374 DR to the Kingdom of Cormyr. It has been determined that this is an accurate and factual chronicle of events during Talwyn’s time in Cormyr, specifically while he resided in the city of Arabel. All the names and places are true and have been verified by War Wizard Vanderghast and the regent of Cormyr.

It is the opinion of this scribe, that this diary be put into archive as it is a valuable historical document and eyewitness chronicle to the incredible events that occurred in and around the city of Arabel during the years 1374 [late] to [early]1376 DR. While at times it is sentimental, rambling, even touching, it is still deemed a worthy document to be stored in the Crown’s archives.

The Crown of Cormyr holds this diary as a record of the service of the Paladin Talwyn Aureliano of Torm to the city of Arabel and the Kingdom of Cormyr.

1377 DR[/i:1q8bwh9x]

[b:1q8bwh9x]*On the opposite page is the following*[/b:1q8bwh9x]

[b:1q8bwh9x]This Diary is the property of Talwyn Aureliano, Paladin of Torm.
If found please return it to the nearest temple of the Triad.[/b:1q8bwh9x]

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 1 – 1374 DR[/b:1q8bwh9x]

As I write this, tears fill my eyes. Today a lovely lady was killed and I am responsible for it.

Oh Torm forgive me.

We had taken the patrol mission out to the Stonelands and were full of confidence. I assured her that goblins were a small threat, but I was sadly mistaken in our abilities as the first horde of goblins we encountered where a vicious and very capable bunch.

I yelled at Lilly to run back to the fort but she was surrounded and cut down. I fought my way towards her but it was too late, she was gone. I had to retreat back to the camp, fighting as I went. The guards finished off the pursuers but I was a broken man. Drinking a healing potion, I steeled my resolve and headed back out to get her body. I killed the remnants of the goblin horde, cold comfort it was.

I picked her up and staggered back under the burning sun, returning to the fort with her in my arms. I requested immediate return to Arabel and took her body to the temple of Tyr to see if anyone could help. Alas, the good father there needs a thousand gold coins to raise her from the dead and I am a poor knight, without the funds to do this.

Oh how bitter life can be.....

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 2[/b:1q8bwh9x]


Praise Torm and all the gods of light and goodness.

When I was at my lowest ebb, wandering the streets in a blue funk, I overheard that a female elf had been raised by some kindly cleric. Not even daring to hope that it could be Lilly, I went dashing through the streets, asking people if they had seen her. I got a brief hint that she may be at the visitors club. Hope and anxiety rose in my heart as I sprinted for the club. Bursting through the door and across the room, there she was.

I wept tears of joy and relief at seeing her alive again. We embraced but she was still extremely weak, almost collapsing in my arms. She'd been helped by a friend of hers, a half-orc named Ol. He is the oddest half-orc I have ever met and I have to re-evaluate my opinion of the race. Maybe they aren't all vicious thugs and monsters but like any other intelligent beings? I don't know what to think but I do know that my heart is whole again. The emptiness that was there is now gone.

I took Lilly to the Tired Traveller so that she can rest there. She fell asleep in my arms, I could barely let her go. But she needed her rest and I needed to go forth and continue my investigations of this city. I have been here a week now and the temple of Torms Coming in Tantras will want a report soon.

Time to get cracking on that.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 3[/b:1q8bwh9x]

It is time to put things into order.

I have come to Arabel as a knight errant after being assigned to this region by the Temple of Torms Coming in Tantras. Being an outsider and paladin of Torm, I hope to be able to gain the trust of many here and be able to see what the situation here is as one should be ever vigilant for corruption. I believe that there many numbers of factions here but I have to learn about them and approaching them will take some time. I must carefully consider which faction to join, if any are even suitable?

I had intended to start this journal upon my arrival at this city; however events and circumstances were at times quite overwhelming. This place is nothing like Tantras at all. Yet in many ways there are similar, both are riddled with the petty and not so petty intrigues, the foibles and follies of the ruling classes and the daily struggles of the ordinary folk. When I first arrived here I was befriended by an extremely decent chap named Llewellyn but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

I was quite the worse for wear, having fought of a deranged female elf that lured me out of the west gate of the city then stated that humans had killed her family and therefore I must die. Lucky for me I was able to dodge her first thrust and snatch out my long sword and cut the traitorous bitch down in a very tough fight during which I received an almost mortal wound. It's no wonder humans had slaughtered her miserable brood, if that was the way they carried on. Thankfully the gate guards helped me onto my feet and I was able to stop the worst of the bleeding by using the divine healing touch bequeathed to me by Torm.

Staggering back into the city, I wandered about, finally collapsing on a bench in the market place. It was here that Llewellyn approached my and gave me succour. He took me to an Inn and paid for my room, as well as treating my wounds. I will never forget this and he will be the man I will endeavour to repay someday for his kindness.
After a day's rest at the Inn, I ventured forth once more to further investigate this city. It is quite the metropolis and takes quite a bit of exploring. I traversed the length of the city and was told that small jobs could be found at a place called the visitors club. This was most fortunate as I had all but exhausted my meagre funds. I managed to find a number of small tasks and errands to do there and soon had enough coin again to pay for lodgings and board.

I decided to return to the market to see what my new found wealth would be able to purchase and discovered that the prices here are rather steep. In truth I was a bit a taken aback by the surely nature of many of the merchants whom I spoke with, obviously they must have a number of browsers pass through and are quite short with their customers.

I thought it best to save what little funds I did have until I could afford some decent mail. Returning to the public seating benches, I struck up a conversation with a quite striking red headed woman named Kimberly. She was quite enchanting and extremely friendly to me. We talked for a while and I mentioned that I'm a bit of a singer and know many songs.

I've always liked raising my voice with songs of praise and belting out stirring hymns but as well I really enjoy just singing for the sheer pleasure of it. The elders back in temple said I could have been a bard but they were glad I stuck to my path. But I digress.
I was going to give Kim a rendition of a rather humorous song called "The Little Red Hen" when she suggested that we go to the public baths. I had never been to a bath house before and was intrigued by the idea. I followed the lady to the bath house and entered. Once inside, I was agape at the sheer opulence and luxury of this bath-house, I'd never seen anything quite like it. Kim led me into on of the bathing chambers and just stripped her clothing off right in front of me! I was stunned and not to say a little embarrassed by her quite wanton display. She invited me to the sing the song while she sat in the water. Steeling my resolve and not wanting to disappoint the lady, I gave a rather fast rendition of the hen song while trying to focus my gaze to the back of the room.

She laughed and applauded my efforts. The song is rather amusing, being slightly bawdy. Then she said for me to join her in the water. I was hesitant at first but she was very insistent. So I removed my clothing and gingerly entered the water but sat some distance away from Kim. I was very conscious of the fact that here I was: a paladin of the Loyal Fury, sitting in a hot bath with a naked woman I barely knew and I'd only been in this city for two days! I remarked that to her that I was informed that when I set out for Arabel from Tantras, I would encounter adventure, excitement and really wild things but this was beyond the pale. The lads back in Tantras will never believe it. Kim then told me that she too was a paladin of Torm but had renounced Torm and his ways, saying it was too restrictive a life. I didn't know what to make of that statement. I have heard tales of some who had lost their way but they often then fall into shadow but Kim was not evil and seemed quite a good soul, if a little erratic.

Kim started to become extremely familiar with me and told me that she already had a lover. I was flabbergasted and lost the powers of speech. She moved close to me and took my and placed it on her thigh. It took every effort of willpower and furious silent prayer to Torm to resist the temptations of this Siren like woman. I stuttered out about her lover but she waved my concerns away and took my other hand and placed it on her breast. Torm's blood! I had to cross my legs as my flesh was beginning to betray me.

Seeing that I would not "press" the issue any further, she climbed out of the bath and dried her self. I shot out of that bath like an arrow springing from a bow and threw my leather armour on even though I was not dry. She asked me not to speak of this incident to anyone but I had to confess my sin of touching a woman to a higher authority.

We parted from the bath house and I returned back to the market place feeling quite unnerved by the whole experience. It was the very first time I had seen a woman naked and she was already with another man. I can not be with such a person, under no circumstances and I resolved to keep my distance from her from that moment on. Be cordial and polite yes but never let her get that close again. She is trouble and I wouldn't want to be the catalyst for her lover to challenge me for making free with his paramour. Best stay well clear of that ball of trouble.

It was then by happy circumstance or perhaps Torm intervened in some way but I then came across the highest ranking Tormite priest in this city, Brother Chadin. My relief at finding a fellow Tormtar and a high priest at that was huge. Brother Chadin was very kind to me and showed me where the temple to Tyr was. At last I found a holy place where I could pray to Torm and the other gods.

Once we entered the temple, I had to confess to Brother Chadin about my encounter with Kimberly. He listened carefully and told me that it was no sin to spend time with a lover in a bath. I would have thought that since he is a priest of Torm, he’d be fully aware of the vows of paladin hood? I can only give my heart to one woman and I am not of the nature of being a jack the lad with the ladies. I have loved previously, deeply and was committed to marry but fate was cruel and she was taken from me. I also find it a little distasteful that the bonds of love and friendship between man and woman are not seen as sacred by many. They must be pure and free from lust. Lust blinds us and makes us act in a base manner.

Brother Chadin absolved me and sent me on my way. I am very grateful to him for his kindness and for taking the time to listen to my troubles.

I grow tired now and need to start my evening’s devotions to my Lord Torm.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 4[/b:1q8bwh9x]

Another day begins.

Well then, time to continue this journal, so that it can be a record of my time here and if I fall then it can be sent back to Tantras for the elders who dispatched me here to read as a testament of my deeds.

After leaving the Temple of Tyr, I wandered back to the Visitors Club to see if there was any work that needed doing. While I was there, I made the acquaintance of a woman named Marina Knight. She said she needed some aid in finding some other woman’s lost ring and sensing that she wasn't of a dubious nature I agreed to lend my efforts to her cause.

We found the house and the lady very soon and descended into the cellar. There was a concealed doorway which led to a rather disquieting area filled with vermin. Battling our way through the vermin, Marina became quite ill from receiving some nasty rat bites but she is a very determined woman and doughty warrior and said that we must go on. We pressed on, deeper into this dank place. I grew more uneasy, this place had the feel of some long dead evil and it rested lightly.

We then came into a large chamber, which had the appearance of a sort of meeting room or shrine I couldn't exactly say which for sure. I there were some sort of floating things which I'd never seen before. They had the appearance of being misshapen eyeballs and lunged to the attack. Yet Torm favoured us on that day and with a few hard swipes of our blades, marina and I were triumphant and the eye things lay dead. Perhaps they are akin to the dreaded Beholders that I have read about, who knows? I had a healer’s kit on me and treated Marina's wounds and managed to get rid of the ailment that plagued her.

We took the ring back upto the lady and she gratefully gave us a quite generous reward. So we left the lady and went back to the club to celebrate our small victory. I bought a round of ale for us both and sat down to talk. We discussed our lives and started to become good friends. I sensed in her a honourable soul and began to tell her about the true faith. She seemed intrigued and I thought what better way to reveal Torms truth, than by taking her to the temple and showing her the book of Torm. She agreed and so we left the club and went to the temple of Tyr.

Marina was quite impressed with the temple and spent a while reading Torms truth. Unfortunately she revealed to me that she is a follower of the Lord of Battle and as much as she liked what Torm has revealed, could not embrace the true faith. I still have hope though that in time, she will see the truth and come and join us in the light. I admire her greatly as a loyal friend and steadfast companion but do not feel any romantic feelings for her. I see her in some ways as a sister I never had, as I am an only child.

Since then we have ventured upon a number of occasions together and here is where I must recount another one. We had received news that a shrine to Tymora was in trouble. At first I was a little unsure if they would want a paladin of Torm to aid them and by lucky happenstance, Brother Chadin wandered by. He quickly reminded me of the Debt of Persecution and at once, I knew what I had to do. So we quickly made our way to the shrine. Once there, we spoke to the priest there, who himself was wounded. He told us that undead were loose in the crypt below the shrine and need our aid in ridding it of these foul creatures. He gave us the key and with the help of another person, the elf Solaris, we made our way down into the crypt. Once there we encountered a number of undead and quickly dispatched them. But entering the final room was a sight that I will take with me to my grave. It was a charnel house of depravity; the mutilated clergy of Tymora were strewn about the chamber, blood everywhere and the stench of death hanging heavily in the air.

Both Solaris and I were unable to withhold from being sick at this most terrible vista and Marina herself was visibly shaken at the sickening tableau in front of her.
There was a mysterious figure who said we'd interrupted his work and before I could strike out at this vile creature, he vanished in a flash of light. Yet as he vanished even more undead then rose to attack us. I was beside myself in rage at this most unholy depravity and threw myself at the twisted spirits, smiting them with fury. I thank Torm that we were able to drive back the darkness there but I count that day as the day I truly lost my innocence. I had never imagined, even in my darkest dreams, that someone could do such evil to others. It shook me to the core.

We made our way back up to the priest and reported that the crypt was now free of the vile taint. We received a reward from him which I thought was rather unnecessary as I would have done this deed for free but my companions were also involved and so I accepted the priest’s tokens of gratitude and shared them with my allies. I was deeply troubled by what I saw and made my way back to where I'd last seen Brother Chadin. I was in luck as he was still there and I gave him an account of what I'd just witnessed. He looked gravely concerned and thanked me for my efforts in driving back the darkness there. There is something most evil at work within this city, some sinister force that masks itself and hides in the dark places. This city, although having many persons of good intent and character, has a cancer gnawing at its vitals and I vow to find and destroy this abomination as Torm is my Lord and witness. I will need allies though as I firmly believe that this figure in the crypt would not be acting alone. I can count on Marina as she has no ties to anyone here and I know that she trusts me. I think I could also call upon Brother Chadin in the not to distant future but I must make absolutely sure though that he is free from the vices and corruption that plague this city. I do think though he is a loyal son of Torm. But we must never forget the lesson of Tenwealth during the Times of Troubles; even the most virtuous can fall from grace.

Enough for now, I must go out and see how my darling Lilly is faring now. Her wounds have healed nicely and her strength is coming back fast.

She is a constant source of inspiration to me and I will one day hope that she will do me the honour of agreeing to marry. But that is for the future and although I know she loves me, we must proceed with care. It's a long time before Shieldmeet and that will give us time enough to grow together as a couple.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 5[/b:1q8bwh9x]

So another day in Arabel has past as I find myself in the "Traveller" with enough time to add some more to my journal.

It was an interesting day today. I bumped into Brother Chadin again at the market. It's always good to see him. He was discussing some business with another fellow and so I waited till he had concluded before speaking to him.

We talked for a while and as we speaking a couple of my friends chanced by. Marina had just returned from a hunting expedition and Llewellyn had just exited the 'dragon. Introductions were made all-round and Brother Chadin seemed pleased that I had made so many friends here. I think it vital that we, as Tormtar, extend the warm hand of friendship to all of good character. I find it a great joy in meeting new and interesting people. I firmly believe that if we are to truly change the world, we must change peoples thinking. Reason is our greatest tool, it creates an atmosphere of understanding, which leads to caring, which is love. Through that bond we can build a better world for all. Hmm, perhaps I could suggest that this be the basis of a sermon which Brother Chadin could preach?

It was during our conversation that I questioned Brother Chadin about the numbers of Tormtar here in Arabel and asked if he had intended to establish a shrine of his own here. As far as I know he is the ranking Tormite priest here and although we have a glorious temple to Tyr, I see no reason why a shrine to Torm can't be built. I will try to find out why Brother Chadin is cautious in this matter and I will endeavour to aid him in anyway possible. I digress again.

Llewellyn made an interesting revelation in that he said he been ejected from the Knights. I was speaking at the time to Marina but heard enough to know that Brother Chadin was concerned enough to offer his assistance in this matter. He had said that the knights have recently lost their leader and were in a regrouping phase. This is troubling news. They reject a noble and loyal man like Llewellyn at a time when they need all the recruits they can get. Another question springs to mind: why wasn't a chain of command properly established? Was there no Knight-Captain ready to step forward? I pray that they are quick to get their affairs in order otherwise they cease to be an effective force for good in this city.

And now I'll try to pen down what I remember of my forth and fifth day hay. Actually that its a rather happy memory. It's when met Lilly. I had seen her about the visitors club o a few occasions but we hadn't really spoken at length. I had just returned to the Inn after helping a few lads out with Nada's bug infestation and notice a familiar looking elven woman practicing her sword work on the combat dummies. She was dropping her elbow, causing her swings to go a little wide of the mark. I mentioned it to her and she took note as her next few swings were good solid hits.

She then stopped and said hello to me. I recognized her as Lilly but she was now an elf. Before when I had first met her, she was human. I asked her how this had happened and we sat at a table and she told me her story. She said she'd been wandering alone outside (very foolish of her) and was attacked by some mysterious being. She said she blacked out and when she came too, she had been transformed or polymorphed into an elf. I think she has not fully come to terms with her new form and isn't really aware of what this all means. I said that maybe there is some divine purpose to it all, trying to look on the positive side.

Well we talked for most of the evening before heading of to the 'Traveller for a rest.
We spent the next day exploring and doing odd jobs abut the place. I have to say she was very charming and I soon found that I was wanted to spend all my time that I could spare with her. We spoke of many things and I have begun to tell her about the true faith. I believe that she is likes what Torm's message has to say and will soon embrace the true faith. I found that I was becoming deeply attached to Lilly as she lights up a room when she smiles. She cares deeply for others and has a noble grace that I think was part of her transformation. Those days were quite something and I thank Torm for guiding Lilly into my life. I think we can be something special.

I'd best sign off here.

I need to get some rest before the new day and devotions begin.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 6[/b:1q8bwh9x]

The rest of the fifth day:

After Lilly and I parted, I continued to explore Arabel. Lilly had to meet some of her other friends and I was due to begin my evening devotions, so I sauntered back to the Temple to Tyr in the heart of the city. I have been through the temple on a number of occasions now and have yet to speak with anyone from the order of that’s that are supposed to be in residence. All I say is that the place is well guarded but of the active knights, there is little sign. I will assume then that they are out and about, fighting the good fight, for now.

I completed my prayers and bade the temple staff a good evening and wandered back out. I headed north and soon discovered I was in front of a museum to art and history. I decided to have a look inside. Inside where a number of statues and displays which I enjoying viewing. While I was wondering about, I came upon a bard or priestess of Ohgma named Tiana Nel-Aramon (I think she is both?). I introduced myself and she remarked that she thought that paladins got all they needed to know from their faith. I replied that this isn’t so and that I actually enjoy reading and learning new things. She was quite delighted to hear this. She then began to tell me that she has been investigating flying creatures such as birds and insects, hoping somehow to deduce the properties that enable these creatures to fly without magic. I pointed out tat might be a task for a follower of Gond. She laughed and said that wisdom and knowledge where available to all who seek it.

We fell into deep conversation and somehow drifted onto the topic of music. I mentioned to her that I am a bit of a singer. This intrigued her and she asked me for a song. So I gave her a rendition on an old love ballad I know well. I sang and she was appreciative.

She then suggested that we go to the Pride of Arabel. I hadn’t been there before and was enjoying her company. We crossed the square and entered the Inn. Inn though is a poor description of this place though; it’s more like a palace that you can hire or reside in for a while. Such opulence and luxury, it left me gawping. She bought me a drink and we talk some more. She then mentioned that she felt like taking a bath and would I like to join her.

What is it with baths, women and me? For the second time in not so many days, another woman whom I’d only recently met was inviting me to bathe with her. Incredible! I wondered if I must be, in their eyes, something akin to some sort of amusing bath toy? Torm only knows. Do these ladies feel the need to clean me up or something? I do wash everyday but for the life of me, I'm still amazed at this free notion of mixed bathing. Brother Chadin assured me that I was in no moral danger if I behaved appropriately. I have stuck to this advice like glue.

Anyway, we headed downstairs and I was a bit mindful of my last episode in the baths and also of the fact that I was starting to have feelings for Lilly. I resolved not to flirt or act with any impropriety towards Tiana, and turned my back to avoid seeing her undress, as well as retain my lion cloth for my own modesty. The bath in the ‘pride was wonderful though, fantastic for relaxing tired muscles. The hot water made me a bit drowsy and I again remarked to Tiana that this was not the average adventure one would expect to have. I told her about myself and how I was a poor knight with not much in the way of funds. She was kindness in itself to me, paying for the bath and the drinks. I have since paid her back for that evening. We are becoming good friends now. Again she has astounded me with her kindness by making me a wondrous set of clothing. She gave them too me, a fine gift indeed. She is a master crafter and flawless seamstress. I will now only take my business to her and will recommend her highly to friends of mine if they seek quality fashion. I hope to be able to save enough money to buy Lilly something nice from Tiana. I also must get enough money to upgrade my armour and invest in a long bow too.

Well that will do for now. I think I have just about caught up with my account now as the next day was the day that Lilly and I set out for our fateful trip to the Stonelands. A day that will haunt me for a while to come and remind me that we need more allies and better equipment before going out there again. I do now though have a burning desire to make war on the goblins, as they showed Lilly mo mercy when she lay dying and so they shall receive none from me.

It is time now for evening prayers. I hope this first week of my journal finds you good and well my brothers back in Tantras.

Your ever loyal paladin

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 10[/b:1q8bwh9x]

Where to begin this entry?

Well it all started a couple of days ago when I was helping some young lads out with their efforts to aid the Tymoran shrine. Unfortunately for them, things didn't go to well for them, with two of the three dying down there and the third member just plain ran off in stark terror, screaming about skeletons and the horror of it all. I suppose not everyone is cut out for a life of thrills and danger. Anyway, the lads who died, Owyn and Logan, soon returned to the shrine to try to retrieve their gear but very quickly discovered that they could not enter the crypts again. Also the poor lads where buck naked and starting to feel the cold somewhat. Owyn was particularly embarrassed by his lack of apparel and hid around the corner for most of the time. I told the lads to wait while I rounded up some good and willing people to help them with their predicament.

By luck, I managed to find a few good men in the club who immediately agreed to aid me and the lads. One of who was a fellow paladin of Torm but more on him later.

They quickly spoke to Parner and then went down into the crypt to deal with the menace. It short order, Owyn and Logan's gear was recovered, including my longbow which I'd lent to Logan. Owyn though had left before the chaps had completed the mission and so I am looking after his gear till I can find him again. In hindsight I should have arranged to set up a convenient meeting time so I can return his belongings to him in a timely manner. I have not been able to find him since and am beginning to wonder if I will ever do so as Arabel is such a large city and people come and go all the time. Only time will tell.

Well after that little issue was sorted, I went and spoke with the paladin who introduced himself as Jonan Goodwyn. He is a fellow Tormtar and we got talking very quickly. He then asked me to follow him so we could speak in private. I agreed and followed him to the 'pride. Once there, he led me downstairs into one of the reading rooms there and we got to talking.

He left momentarily before returning and asking me about my background and knowledge of this region. Being absolutely new to this Kingdom, I have no real knowledge of the history of it, just some stories and things I had heard previously.

I think he used some sort of divination potion to see if I was lying (Torm forbid!) and was satisfied that my answers where a true account. He wasn't aware of my presence in the city. I told Jonan to seek out Brother Chadin and speak to him as well. I also told him the names of other potential allies that I have thus far made here in Arabel.

Aside from that there is not a lot else to write about. Lilly is still recovering from her brush with death but gets better with each passing day. Soon we will be able to go out again and do valiant deeds together and make a difference in a positive way to the place.

I hope this finds you well my brethren in Tantras.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 15[/b:1q8bwh9x]

Well, it’s been an interesting few days of late. Where to begin then?


Ah yes, Lilly. She is back on her feet now and we spent an evening talking together at the Dancing Dragon. I told her all the news that I could, including Brother Chadin's planned crusade and also gave her a mail shirt, which she was very happy with. It was pure bliss the time I spent with her, every moment feels of joy when we are together. I had been previously busy writing a poem in her honour and told her what I’d done. She was most eager to hear the poem, which could easily be turned into a song, and so I gave it my best effort. Here is the poem, which I have entitled “Sunshine Girl”:
[center:1q8bwh9x][i:1q8bwh9x]Sunshine girl, your smile can clear the clouds away,
You make my world happy when my skies are grey,
I take you in and everything around me sings of joy,
You say the word and I will be your ever loving boy.
And if I stumble on the way,
You take my hand and I know everything’s Ok.
You’ve got me in a whirl,
I’m so in love with you, you’re my sunshine girl.

The breeze blows, swirls your dress and my heart skipped a beat,
Your smile just glows, your bathed in sunlight from your down to your feet.
The sun’s bright rays capture magic and fire in your eyes,
And now you’re mine, it makes me so happy I could almost die.
And when we are so far apart,
I look into the sun and hear the beating of your heart.
And when I’m feeling sad and low,
All I have to do is think of you, my sunshine girl.[/i:1q8bwh9x][/center:1q8bwh9x]

Lilly loved it, much to my immense relief. I think I have touched her gentle heart in a way I don’t fully understand but I am really going to enjoy finding out.

I find when I’m with her all things become a vague background, as though the world is only made for two people. This is a strange and sometimes disturbing feeling as I have duties and a code to uphold but when I see her smile, all else fades. I must speak with Brother Chadin about this. I don’t want to fail my oath to Torm but equally I want to be with Lilly. It’s all so new and confusing but at the same time, it’s magical and wonderful. Anyway, after I sang for her I gave her a silver ring. She was so happy and hugged and kissed me quite passionately. I think if I was to preserve a moment in time, I would freeze that. The joy and love on her face was something extraordinary, and seeing her happiness, I was elated beyond words. I told her that I will give her two more rings in the future if we are to be fully wed. Next will be a golden ring to signify our betrothal and lastly a platinum ring for our marriage. It’s a custom that peoples of the Vast used to follow, a soldier would give his bride the three rings, and she was to sell each ring, one a year to support herself and the children if he didn’t return. If after 3 years he hadn’t returned, then he was probably dead and so the woman was now free to wed again.
I didn’t tell Lilly that part, didn’t seem right to be speaking about death on such a happy moment. So we spent the rest of the evening being close and soon it was time for her to leave. We kissed and I can still smell her perfume in her hair. Rapture….

I went to bed and just couldn’t sleep a wink that night. In the morning I prayed to Torm and prepared myself for another day.

The next day was a rather uneventful one really although I did bump into Tiana Nel-Aramon again. I had also just run across Brother Chadin and made the introductions before Brother Chadin’s friend, Mr Helmoot, came by looking for Brother Chadin’s aid with some important matter. Tiana and I made our goodbyes and she took me to the Pride and where we had a very pleasant meal together. We spoke on many things and I believe that we will be very good friends soon. I very much enjoy her company as she has many interesting things to talk about. She then said she was tired and we parted with a hug. I shall look forward to her and Lilly meeting, I think they could become good friends.

The next day I was wandering about the city, trying to find something worthy to occupy my time with. I noticed a young woman was seated in front of me, wearing the symbol of Ilmater, and so I struck up a conversation with her. I introduced myself and I found out her name is Hali and she is a priestess of Ilmater. Just as we were starting to get acquainted, young woman wear red leather armour came over and asked if could help out with a small job. Hali and I agreed to and soon we were getting to know Mina. She is another nice young lady whose is a good comrade to have by your side. Together we accomplished a couple of small tasks but I was a bit overwhelmed by Hali’s concern over the injuries I had sustained. The woman was very attentive but as much as I tried to dissuade her, the more persistent she became. She gave me a few potions of healing and cast a number of cures on me. Admittedly, a couple of times I was a little worse for wear but I have my own healing arts and would rather see that Mina or Hali were better taken care of.

We’d completed our first job and Mina was sharing out the reward when Hali informed us of her vow to poverty. She was very reluctant to take the money that she had earned through good work but I managed to persuade her that she could use the money for her temple. She agreed but after our second job, she just politely refused to accept any more money. I tried to get her to see that she herself wasn’t taking the cash, but she was adamant and so Mina and I just split the reward. I will give half of my reward to the temple of Ilmater anyway.

We then went out and where think about what else we could do when a very ill favoured fellow strode by and entered the Tymoran shrine. I had a feeling that this man was not the sort of chap you’d bring home to dinner and to met the family. I told the ladies to wait a moment while I investigated this fellow. I went inside and gave him the look. I was almost sickened by his aura; the man reeked of evil like dung reeks flies. He had an almost palpable miasma of depravity but was behaving himself and actually was looking for work. I asked him what his business here in the shrine was. He declined to answer at first before making snide remarks about me and we soon fell into verbal sparring.

I wanted to have it out with him, there and then. To stand in front of such and evil man, to know that he is capable of such wickedness and to do nothing about, really tears me up inside. It was fortunate that the ladies came in to see what the hullabaloo was all about and Hali managed to calm me down. I was trying to goad the swine into making a rash action, admittedly this is not the sort of thing one should normally do but when faced with such rampant evil, I could see little other choice.

Hali said that my actions were not motivated through good and I agreed with her. However, I strongly believe that if evil is to be confronted and defeated, then we must take a good long and hard look at our methods. She said that by my actions, I was being as evil as that man to which I replied that taunting is a legitimate tactic in combat; it unsettles your enemy and gives you an advantage. I knew I would have been thrown in jail or worse for brawling but I think that if it meant that creature no longer drew breath and could not harm any one else, my sacrifice would not be in vain.

Hali left me to return to her temple and I was left with my thoughts. I think I like to see my enemy clear in front of me, no ambiguity, just a straight out fight. And this now leads me to the current day.

I was praying in the evening in the temple of Tyr when I noticed a woman enter, then leave shortly afterwards. I finished my devotions and quickly followed her. I caught up with her at the market and quickly introduced myself. She said her name was Dawn and she was a priestess of Tyr. I mentioned that I hadn’t yet managed to come across any of the knights of the Merciful Sword and she said to meet up with her later. I did so and she introduced me to Knight Initiate Jason Erikson. Jason then took me back to the temple and along the way was hailed down by a number of people who wanted to speak with him about legal matters. I noted that it must be a very busy time for the knights to which he readily agreed.

We entered the temple and he showed me into a room and then proceeded to instruct me as to what was required to be a member of the order. Actually most of it is the paladin’s code anyway, just embellished or changed slightly here and there to suit the particular nature of this order of Knights. I have to say though that I’m becoming rather reluctant to join with the order now for a few reasons. Firstly, as I mentioned before, I like to deal with my foes head on, no murky mucking about with legalities. If I join the knights then I’m expected to act like a judge and be fair and impartial. I don’t think I can do this. I would fail in this matter as I would want to see the vile miscreants cop the full force of the law and that isn’t fair. I have to look deep within myself and try to see why I feel such anger and rage at evil doers. My temper, when confronted by such cretins, is a very short fuse.

I feel that I’d be better off serving in the kingdoms army. I have always had an affinity with the military and did my bit back in Tantras and have seen active service in a number of capacities. I’d like to be able to see my foes arrayed in front of me, to know that the men and women beside me are all brothers in arms and will stand shoulder to shoulder when the killing starts. I would be able to help lead and inspire the rank and file, to whom I actually identify more with than the knights. And finally, Tiana had given me a copy of the Arabel Enquirer, to which I found an article mentioning that a Zhentish army was camped not far from the border. This to me, along with Brother Chadin’s planned crusade, tells me that I would be better of serving as a mercenary paladin than a Knight of the Merciful Sword. I told Sir Jason that I will always be ready to aid him and his fellow knights but I know now that their cause is not the one for me. Now I have to somehow plead my case to one of the military arms of the kingdom, the Purple Dragons.

I hope that they look on my application favourably when I finally submit it.

More to follow….

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 18[/b:1q8bwh9x]

Ahh, just back in for a slap up meal of sausages and something else, which I am uncertain of it’s actual origin. It could be vegetable but I’m hesitant to pass judgment on it for now. It was tasty though and I’d say the Dancing Dragon does excellent fare.

Now then, after I’d had my meeting with the Knights and Sir Jason, I again found myself with very little to do. I wandered back over to the market to see what was going on and sat down on one of the benches there. I recognized vaguely one of the others who was already seated at the bench but couldn’t put a name to the face. Just as we were starting to get chatting, one of those magical messages came through announcing that Bree Donovan was giving a performance in the ‘dragon. I said to my companion that this would be worth seeing as I’d heard rumour and scuttlebutt about this bard. He nodded and came with me.

So we trundled off to the ‘dragon and quickly got a table. The room was already starting to fill up and it’s fortunate that we got there when we did. Bree was waiting for her friend to return so she could give her performance and during that time, a few more people showed up. There was one chap whom I’ve seen about the city a fair bit. He sat by himself but he’s easily spotted in that he’s got quite strikingly red hair and he’s almost always with a woman. But this day he was on his own.

Bree soon got on with her show and I have to say that it was magnificent. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the rest of the audience where appreciative as well. Bree did an encore and I stayed behind as I wanted to speak with her about my own poetry and songs. Once the entire crowd had left, I went up and quietly introduced myself to her. She seemed quite bemused that a paladin of Torm would be interested in songs and poetry and bade me to wait while she quickly sorted out her Halfling friend.

I waited about and soon Bree returned and we quickly got down to business. She said straight out that she wanted to hear my work so I gave her a rendition of “Sunshine Girl” to which she said it was nice and mentioned that Lilly must have loved it. But she prefers her subject matter to be earthier, more angst and drama. So I reluctantly performed a song I wrote for a very close friend of mine who loved and lost badly. The man was a mage who was engaged but threw it all away when he went travelling and fell in love with another woman. My friend, a good man at heart, was also a bit of a cad when it came to the ladies and I have to say, I have used him as a negative role model: this is how you don’t do it!

Anyway, I gave Bree a performance of “Forbidden Fruit”
Here it is in full:

[center:1q8bwh9x][i:1q8bwh9x]Forbidden fruit they say is the sweetest,
I wouldn’t know,
I’ve never tasted any other.
The grass on the other sides always greener,
I wouldn’t know,
I’ve never grown my own.
You ask me if I’ll love you forever,
I couldn’t say,
I never understood tomorrow, oh no
You asked me if I’ve ever felt this way ever,
I couldn’t say,
I don’t remember yesterday.

But when I went away and left you all alone
how could I know,
There’d never be another summer?
And when you went away and left me on my own,
why didn’t you say then,
what you’re saying now,
there’ll never be a chance for us oh no, no no

When you lie they say some part of you dies,
I wouldn’t know,
I’ve never told the truth.
They say experience is the greatest teacher,
I couldn’t say
I never learned my lesson oh no.

But when I went away and left you all alone how could I know,
There’d never be another summer?
And when you went away and left me on my own,
why didn’t you say then,
what you’re saying now,
there’ll never be a chance for us oh no, no, no

Every devil is a fallen celestial but when you cross that line,
You’re never coming back again.
They say everyone destroys what they love but that isn’t so,
It’s what you love that destroys you.

But when I went away and left you all alone how could I know,
There’d never be another summer?
And when you went away and left me on my own,
why didn’t you say then,
what you’re saying now,
there’ll never be a chance for us oh no, no, no

Forbidden fruit they say is the sweetest,
I wouldn’t know..[/i:1q8bwh9x].[/center:1q8bwh9x]

Bree was very impressed with that and I think she really quite liked it. We talked some more before she had to dash off to another engagement she had. Maybe I can sell her some of my poems and songs? Lilly seemed to think that they could be worth something. I’m not sure to be honest, they are just what I have written to pass the time and reflect on certain things. But if some bard is willing to fork out gold for them, I’ll take it and use it appropriately. I have no idea though what the going rate is if there is any rate at all?

After that I went out again and this time got talking to two brothers, Sendot I think their family was but I know that one of them was a mage and the other a warrior. Good lads actually and I agreed to help them with a little job they had in mind. One of the crew they picked for the job though had a nasty demeanour and I thought it best to keep a close watch on this miscreant while the job was on. Unfortunately he was a ware of who I was and behaved himself the entire time, knowing full well that I’d have pounced on any slip up he may have made. You’ve got to be cleverer than that if you want to catch these villains.

After the job was done I was pleasantly surprised by Tiana. She poked me in the ribs as I was telling the misanthrope to mend his wicked ways. It was so good to see a friendly smiling face. I left the rest of the lads behind and took Tiana out to lunch. We went to the Red Sword and had a couple of wines before I needed to have a little doze. I paid for her room and mine and we slept the best part of the afternoon. A bit indulgent I know but she has been exceptionally kind to me and I wanted to repay the favour. I asked Tiana was there anything else she wanted to do and she said she wanted to go exploring to the south. I agreed and so we suited up in our armour, her is very impressive, and set out for the south gate.

Once out of the city we climbed a ridge and low and behold, it was the redhead chap with some lovely young elven woman with him. Tiana and I politely said hello to the lovers as we past and soon headed further down the road. We quickly saw a huge cat and wild boar roaming the wilds but I was more concerned with the four kobolds we had to kill.

These little buggers had set up an ambush but Tiana spotted them and we quickly dispatched them with relative ease. The night was coming in fast and so I thought it best that we returned to the city. She agreed and we came up over the ridge again and the lovers where still there. I remarked to Tiana that we may have intruded on their little tryst. She laughed and said that was probably so. We had to part though as I had evening devotions to attend to and she her library work in her tower.

In all, it was a good day.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 21[/b:1q8bwh9x]

Once again I return to my journal with a heavy heart. Interesting how the most recent events impact so heavily on one’s conscience. I suppose though I should try to maintain a linear narrative here so this makes sense to you, my brothers back home.

The previous day I was out and about the city, looking for meaningful tasks to accomplish or to try to aid those who are new to the city. I ended up at the ‘club and was immediately approached by a Halfling who wanted my aid. I asked this fellow if he respected the ideal of law and justice to which he glibly replied in the affirmative. I agreed to go with him and help. However, once I met up with his other companions I decided to see if any where actually evil and lo and behold, the Halfling and his human warrior companion immediately were revealed to be evil.

The Halfling was trying to give me a couple of healing potions but I refused them and told them that I can not work with such people. The group then began to get quite incensed, accusing me of cowardice and not living up to the true ideals of paladin hood. I held my temper and calmly explained to them that they had absolutely no idea what being a paladin means and told them to mend their wicked ways. They began to get rather abusive and it took a great deal of personal restraint on my part not to immediately challenge them all to duel but instead, I remembered what Hali had said and left the lowlife scum and walked away. I will though not forget those insults and slurs and I have marked those fools down as ones to be watched. Once enough evidence of their crimes has been gathered, I will be able to hand them over to justice.

I returned to the ‘club and was a bit surprised to suddenly find another Halfling tugging on my sleave. This one was a fair lass and had no taint of evil on her. She introduced herself as Poena and wanted my aid in a job. I agreed as she had quite a charming brogue and was actually a very amusing girl. Just as we were about to leave though, one of those magical sending’s came across, asking all paladins to attend a meeting at the Dancing Dragon. I said to Poena that I needed to see what this was all about and asked her to accompany me, to which she agreed. We set off and soon where at the ‘dragon.

Once there, I met with an elven paladin of Corellon, Teladril and another human paladin named Chard. Teladril was in an extremely agitated state, almost hysterical I would say. He said he had sensed some dire evil prescience out in the market place and need our help to confront it. Both Chard and I though hadn’t felt anything out of the ordinary and I asked if this evil was actually a person. Teladril replied he wasn’t sure. I shook my head and began to explain to him that this city has laws and that just because someone is evil, we can’t just summarily execute or attack the fiend as we had no proof of wrong doing and as such would be breaking the local laws which as paladins, we are sworn to uphold unless these laws are actually unjust or corrupt. So far I haven’t seen anything to show me that the legal system of Arabel is unjust. Of course there may be the odd miscarriage of justice but the knights are often able to rectify these problems to make sure that justice is done properly.

So I tried to calm Teladril down but he was in a fervour pitch of holy zeal and shouted that he felt the evil again, this time quite nearby and just outside. He charged out of the Inn with his sword out and frantically scanning the milling crowd outside the Inn. Both Chard and I followed and this time I firmly told Teladril that if he didn’t put his sword away, the guards would arrest him and he’d be in disgrace. He put it away but again, suddenly detected the “dire evil”, and pointed to a man wearing dark coloured robes. I have seen this fellow before and I have felt his taint, although it was faint when I first detected it. This time though, it was quite strong and Teladril had a point but still we had no evidence or proof that this villain had actually done great evil.

I saw Brother Cold nearby speaking with Mr Helmoot and immediately asked him to intervene in this matter. Thankfully Brother Cold realised the gravity of the situation and began to reason with Teladril. Teladril though at this time was threatening the evil man in dark robes with his sword and I’d say was a hair’s breath away from being arrested. Brother Cold managed to calm things down and to instruct Teladril about how things are done ere in Arabel. I could do no more and also had obligations to Poena. I have to say that the lass was very patient during the whole affair and maybe she found some of it amusing to watch, who can say? I thanked Brother Cold for his intervention and left with Poena.

We quickly accomplished the job for the war wizards and went our separate ways. I then again bumped into Teladril as I was on my way to the ‘dragon to meet with Lilly. I told him that he needs to tone his zeal down a bit. He stiffly informed me that he had taken vows to fight evil when ever and where ever he found it. I nodded and replied, you have also taken a vow to uphold the law and if you attack an evil man with provocation or ample evidence, then you are breaking the law and your vow. He didn’t take this very well and I have to say I felt the irony of my words. It was not only but a few days ago that I had this conversation with Hali and then again a similar one with Knight Initiate Jason Erikson and I think I’ve had a little epiphany. As much as it galls me, we must use the tools of law to fight evil otherwise we are as base and chaotic as those that break the law. Personal feelings have to be set aside and justice must be administered impartially. I’m still though no ready to join the knights as I must work on my own prejudices and weaknesses before I become a worthy candidate.

Anyway, before I left Teladril, I told him that I had made friends with a high priest of Corellon, Lomyrion from Evermeet. Lomyrion and I share a secret though, we want to both rid the city of the half-orcs and orcs. At first I agreed to covertly join Lomyrions crusade but since then, I have meet a few half-orcs, including Ol’ who helped Lilly, that have made me re-evaluate my prejudices towards half-orcs. There is even a half-orc who follows Ilmater about the place. I am very confused by all this and will have to confess to Brother Chadin about it. Teladril was enthusiastic though about hearing of Lomyrion and set out to track him down at once. This was good as I was starting to be late for my rendezvous with Lilly.

We met quickly and spent the rest of the evening together. I walked the city with her, holding her hand and feeling again absolutely elated to be in her company. She’d just finished a small task and had enough money to buy a suit of mail. So we headed back to the market to do some shopping. She bought her mail and then we went back to the club for a while before I had to leave as I was almost falling asleep at the table. She smiled and kissed me and I went to my bed in a state of bliss.

The next day was a rather soggy one and headed out to see what the day had install for me. I immediately ran into Brother Chadin and his friend Juline Galley. They said they were going to escort a caravan and Brother Chadin invited to me to attend this small escort party. I was quite proud that Brother Chadin had chosen me to accompany them and was very eager to go.

We set off with the small caravan and immediately were assaulted all along the way.

Brother Chadin fought like a lion, smiting these foes with great acumen while I stayed with the caravan, guarding the gnomic merchants. Suddenly a Lizardman warrior appeared from no-where and before I had time to react, he’d cut down two of the gnomes. In a fury I turned and smote the creature with Juline but the damage had been done. I had failed to protect these peaceable folk from harm. I held back my tears of shame but I was dying inside. All these gnomes wanted to do was to engage in law trade, so they could provide for their families. The villainous scum that prey on these folk sicken me to the core and although Brother Chadin has assured me I haven’t failed in my duty but I know I have, the dead lifeless eyes of the gnomes who fell tell speak of my failure.

We got the rest of the caravan to its destination and made our way back to Arabel. Once there we were given our fee for the job but I felt as though I had ashes in my mouth. I offered to write to the fallen gnomes families but Brother Chadin assumed that responsibility.

And so that ended my day, and I find myself here, alone in my room with this journal and the memory of those two gnomes broken and lifeless bodies to join me in my sleep. It won't be an easy night and I will pray that their souls find golden shores and their families can move ahead with their lives after such a devastating loss.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 25[/b:1q8bwh9x]

I begin this journal entry in a happier frame of mind.

First off, I spent another magical evening with Lilly. We met outside the temple of Chauntea, I ran up and pick up and whirled her about, and such was my joy at seeing her again. She laughed and it was music in my ears. We kissed and just held one another for a long moment. She told me her studies and training is going well and I told her how proud I was of her. She has embraced the true faith is making every effort to learn all she can about the ways of Torm and I’m very enthusiastic about this. Elves are rare in his service but their numbers are increasing as the message is spread and I believe she will be able to help lead many of her people into the service of the Loyal Fury one day. We have to take a long view of this and what better servant of Lord Torm than an Elf? The only cloud in this silver lining is that I will probably not be alive to see it as she will go on long after I am gone. I try not to think of that and I know she doesn’t either but one day we must face up to my doom. I can only hope that maybe she will find solace in our children (if we have any?) and service in Torms’ name. Enough of the melancholy.

We wandered about the city, hand in hand, just talking as lovers do. It was a clear night and the stars were shinning above. I think it’s moments like this that true happiness could be found. Embrace the joy of the moment as it’s fleeting, rare and elusive but oh so wonderful. We went back to the ‘dragon for a drink and a light supper. I rented a room for us so that we could have privacy and she and I sat and talked until the wee small hours. The candles had burned down low and she said that she had to return to her own lodgings to finish reading a theological tome. Before she left though, I sang her another song which I’d written for her. She looks at me with absolute love shinning in her eyes as I sang this song for her, which I have entitled “Together”

[center:1q8bwh9x][i:1q8bwh9x]In a warm and cosy space,
the glitter from your face
is falling all around me,
And when I’m broken and disgraced,
I long for your embrace,
As the winter winds confound me.

Together, together,
our light will shine so bright
when we’re together,
We’ll take our place to stand and face
and I,
Won’t worry about what could have been,
‘cause what could have been survives,
In what we have today.

In the temple of your warmth,
I take shelter from the storm,
of all my pain and sadness,
At the alter of your smile,
I find sanctuary awhile,
from the whirling madness.

Together, together,
our light will shine so bright
when we’re together,
We’ll take our place to stand and face
and I,
Won’t worry about what could have been,
‘cause what could have been survives,
In what we have today.

Now each day I recreate,
this blessed and holy state,
of loving you.
Let the sun break on the skies,
dry the tears from both our eyes,
so we can see our love anew.

Together, together,
our light will shine so bright
when we’re together,
We’ll take our place to stand and face
and I,
Won’t worry about what could have been,
‘cause what could have been survives,
In what we have today.[/i:1q8bwh9x][/center:1q8bwh9x]

She stood there, just holding me as I sang for her. I am such a lucky man. I suppose all men feel that way when they feel the love of a woman? It’s a miracle because I never knew how empty my heart was till she filled it with her love. She had to go though and we kissed lovingly and she left me to sleep. I slept soundly that night, no nightmares or troubled dreams. Her presence is like a healing balm on my soul, taking away all the doubts and fears that I carry within.

The next day I ran into my dear old friend Llewellyn. He’s a great bloke and I really enjoy being in his company. He was in the market and had just purchased a extremely garish and lurid set of clothing from one of the merchants. I thought it was for a fancy dress party but he quietly told me that he wanted it for camouflage. I was dumbstruck for a moment. That riot of colours stood out like a pair of dogs bollocks but I didn’t have the heart to tell him. Orange and red and puffy sleeves are not the height of fashion but he liked it. I said that he should seek out something less harsh on the eyes.

So we went off to the tailor in the north east of the city. There he asked my opinion and I said get something with a bit of blue in it. He choose a lovely set of clothes but complained that he wouldn’t be hiding in the sky. I tried to get him to understand that if he dressed like that, no one would really take much notice of him but the awful orange/red ensemble was shouting out “Look at me!”. We went back to the market and bumped into Poena and a couple of her friends, an elven woman named Rith and a man named Wynn, the one of whom was the red headed lover boy I’ve seen about the place. I finally learned his name at last, although he never actually gave it to me himself. I sense a deep sense of self absorption in that man, too focused on the ladies or something like that. I mean what does it take to be polite? Good manners cost nothing and if anything, make a good impression on people. Maybe if I was a woman, he’d be all over me like a rash? Bah!

Anyway, I asked their opinion on Llew’s choice and it was Wynn that actually backed up my argument by saying that orange and red aren’t really a good combination. Rith and Poena were non committal but I think they were also in agreement with Wynn and I. Llew then had to return to his grove and the others went off on their separate ways.

I then spent the rest of morning wandering about the city, taking a small job with a friend of mine, Solaris and some of his associates. What an absolute shower they were! No discipline or command structure and not even willing to listen to an experienced hand like myself. I will not work with such amateurs again. I had to do all the fighting, which I don’t mind but also save their sorry skins a number of times as they acted with such disregard for their own safety. Never again will I knowingly work with them, they are a bunch of nincompoops. I don’t mind Solaris, he’s an alright sort of chap but those others were just plain baggage.

After that debacle, I left with Solaris and we went back to the ‘pride for a pint. I bought the drinks and we chatted for a while, swapping recent histories as to what we’ve been up to. I then left Solaris as he was going to have his lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for food. I sauntered back to the market and again bumped into Llew. He had come back into town to buy some healing potions from someone he called “dog woman”. I was a bit stunned by his choice of terms. I’d never call a woman a dog, unless she was an evil harridan and I was taunting her to put her off balance. I remarked to Llew about his but he seemed unperturbed by it all. Anyway, this blonde woman ran up, looking rather dishevelled and unkempt and smell rather ripe as well. Llew bought his potions and start to head out of town. I ask to accompany him back to his grove and he agreed. We wandered out of town and started talking about women. He said that the “dog woman” had taken a fancy to him but he wasn’t able to reciprocate he feelings for him. I asked him why and he explained that he is part cat and she dog. I said love can be blind but he replied, rather cannily, that it still retains its sense of smell. As we were approaching the grove, Llew notice a large number of goblin tracks. Rather than just the two of us charging an entire clan of goblins, we went back to get a few more allies.

As we entered the city, we ran into Poena. I asked her for her help and she readily agreed and rushed off to gather a few of her friends. I went off to do the same while Llew went back to keep an eye on the goblins. I saw Solaris again and asked him to help out. He agreed but then began to dither and want to go shopping. I was running out of patience and had to leave him in the end. And due to waiting for Solaris to pull his finger out, I missed the battle! Oh the ignominy of it all. Poena had raised a small army of warriors who basically slaughtered the entire band in a matter of minutes and then set about looking for more things to kill. I went along with them for a while before I noticed that there were a couple of tainted amongst their number so Llew and I quietly left them to carrying looking for trouble.

I went back to town and was feeling a little lost as to what to do now. Llew said I should try to convert or preach to some people. I was a bit a taken aback by this but thought to myself, well got to start somewhere I suppose. We wandered back to the market, and he pushed me forward, indicating that I speak with a chap, a mage named Jonathon Lyonard.

I began by introducing myself and starting asking him questions on his thoughts on the nature of the soul and metaphysics. We got into quite a discussion and I noticed that I’d been gathering a bit of a crowd. All we’re watching this little effort of mine to try to bring a person into the true faith. I even noticed Brother Chadin wander up and sit down. He sat down right next to this elven woman who I have to say is one of the most evil people I have so far detected in this city.

I have discovered her name is Lithu and Chadin was sitting there, causally discussing the weather with the harpy! I know Chadin is young but I am deeply disturbed that he openly fraternizes with such evil people. I am beginning to have some doubts about his choices and I think he needs to take a good long, hard look at himself in the mirror. I would hate to have to denounce him but if he continues in this vain, I will have no choice. I pulled him aside and told him that he was speaking to someone who was the equivalent (or maybe is?) of a mass murderer. When I detect her taint, it makes my headache and I feel some extreme discomfort. I told him that he mustn’t associate with this woman anymore. He was rather surprised but agreed.

Just as we’d finished talking, a Halfling ran up and announced that the temple of Ilmater needed some help. Brother Cold was there and we instantly stepped forward to aid the temple. However, there was no response from Brother Chadin. I made a loud comment that we needed a few good men to go with us and shot him a meaningful glance but he just ignored it.

That is almost the last straw! I will confront him about his dereliction of duty. I don’t care if he’s the highest Tormite priest here! He still has to obey the duties set down by Lord Torm. If he doesn’t pull his head in and start to sing from the same hymn book, I fear that he will be disgraced and cast out of the fold for his failings. He is far too casual and flippant in his approach to the duties. That lad needs a swift kick up the arse before it’s too late. I’d hate to see him fall but he’s starting to drift and that isn’t good.

Anyway, Cold and I ran down to the temple and were introduced to a mute half-orc named Skrift by the priestess there. We were told that a caravan of Ilmateri pilgrims had been lost on the south road and we immediately set out to try to find any survivors.

We soon encountered a number of goblins as well as the wreckage of the caravan. We rounded a copse of trees and found a small goblin camp and a hole in the ground. We climbed down the hole and were confront by an appalling sight. The bodies of the pilgrims were everywhere, mutilated, impaled and hacked to bits. I felt my blood begin to boil. I don’t often feel such rage but such sadistic cruelty makes me see red. We pushed into the tunnels and Skrift found the remaining survivor, a very shaken monk. We started to leave but were attacked by a large band of goblins. I threw myself into the melee, hacking madly at these vile little bastards. Death was too good for them.

We cut them down in a minute; such was the ferocity of our assault. Quickly, we left the tunnels and made our way back to Arabel. We took Torin (the monk) to the temple and we’re thanked by the priestess for our efforts. I offered to escort Torin upon his return journey and will wait to see if they want me to do so. Seeing that there was little else for Skrift and me to do, we left the temple and Brother Cold and I offered to buy Skrift a pint. I am now of the opinion that each individual has the capacity for good and I will encourage Skrift as much as I can to embrace the true faith. We ended back at the ‘dragon and I bought a few drinks for the both of us. Skrift produced this flask of spirits and offered me some. I took a draught and almost lost my lunch as it was like drinking liquid fire! He was amused by my reaction but not in a malicious way. I quickly bought a pint of milk to line my stomach and told Skrift I was of for a rest. He nodded and I staggered downstairs to crash into a bed and dream of Lilly.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 31[/b:1q8bwh9x]

I can barely contain my joy!

Lilly agreed to marry me, she did! Torm, Sune and Hanali Celanil be praised.

It's hard to think straight and I have an idiotic grin plastered all over my face but I'm past caring about that. I feel like breaking out into a song and dance, I feel like shouting for joy but that would probably get me locked up. Again I'm getting ahead of myself but it's my journal and I'm floating on a cloud right now.

Anyway, the day began with me meeting up with a chap who I came across yesterday named Ae'drin. We teamed up to do some good but Ae'drin fell and I barely managed to get through the fight alive. It was through careful tactics and a trusty longbow that I managed to smite the last fiend. I gathered Ae'drin's body and spoke with Parner. He managed to put me in touch with Ae'drin's spirit. Ae'drin asked that I contact Lithu, so she could raise him. I was flabbergasted. Lithu is someone who radiates strongly of evil but his spirit said that she has turned a corner and is now doing good works.

I had to see this for myself and so I shouldered his corpse and set out to find this evil elf. I soon stumbled across her at the market and got her attention and told her what had happened. To my astonishment, she immediately agreed to help try to raise her friend. We went to the temple of Chauntea and she tried but her first attempt wasn't successful. Never the less she said that she would persist. I just didn't quite know what to make of this. Perhaps there is some good in her after all. If that was so, then every effort must be expended to bring her into the light. She told me to take Ae'drin to the house of death, to which I did. She also asked me to get a small diamond from the temple of Tyr and gave me the cash to do so.

I bought the jewel and met up with her at the house of death. She said that Ae'drin would have to wait a day before the ritual of resurrection could be done. I took this opportunity to speak with her, even though I was taking an enormous risk, I felt that sometimes these risks had to be taken.

We talked for while and I asked her if she was truly rejecting evil to which said yes. I am still very wary of her and it's going to take her a long time to claw her way out of the pit but I must offered my hand to her, to help her reach the light. If I fall along the way, it will be worth it if she is brought out of shadow.

more to follow...

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 37[/b:1q8bwh9x]

I've just finished my morning’s devotions and I have been rereading my last entry to gather my thoughts about the events of the last couple of days.


I've had some time to reflect about our conversation and what this may mean for me and her redemption. The real question here is: is she lying?

When we talked about her desire to change for the good, it brought to mind the parable of the Frog and the Scorpion. I'd asked Lithu if she had ever heard of this story and she said no, so I related the tale to her.

It goes like this:

[color=red:1q8bwh9x]One day, a frog was about to cross a river when he bumped into a scorpion by the riverbank. The frog was a little nervous at meeting such a dangerous creature but the scorpion was being unaggressive and actually wanted to cross the river as well. It asked the frog for its help in doing so, as the scorpion couldn't swim. The frog was dubious.

"Why should I help you? You'd only sting me!" said the frog.

"Why would I sting you? If I did that while we were crossing the river, we'd both die," replied the scorpion.

The frog thought about this and knew that the scorpion was making sense, so it agreed and the scorpion climbed onto the frogs back and together they set off across the river.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a terrible stabbing pain in its back. The scorpion had stung him! The frog began to die as the venom took hold and he starting to sink and drown.

"Why? Why did you do it? We're both going to die now!" croaked the dying frog.

"I couldn't help myself, it's my nature," relied the drowning scorpion.[/color:1q8bwh9x]

Lithu thought about his for while and I too have reflected on this parable since then. She is evil, there is no doubt about that and as such, she is like the scorpion. Betrayal, murder and depravity are her stock in trade. The issue I have to decide is whether or not she will be able to overcome her nature. I think I may need a lot more help in her redemption. I must ask Brother Chadin to lend his aid and perhaps too, Brother Cold or any cleric that follows a goodly faith. Because in truth, since my engagement to Lilly, I must know think of her happiness and balance my decisions with her in mind too. If I am like the frog and help Lithu alone, I may end up being stung and drown along the way and that serves no purpose to anyone and it would break Lilly's heart.

Speaking of Brother Chadin, I've had a bit of time to also reflect on his actions. I may have been too quick to judge his action in regards to the matter of aiding the Ilmateri pilgrims. Perhaps he had greater tasks to accomplish and was seeing if I was upto the challenge. I was just stunned that he didn't say anything when the problem arose and his close friend, Brother Cold said nothing either. The key to this is communication. We need to speak clearly to one another, so that misunderstandings can be avoided and actions aren't misinterpreted. If we can do that, we can work in harmony and achieve our goals with greater efficiency and that is what it's all about.

Well after my very deep talk with Lithu, I headed back to the market square to see what was happening there. I like to observe the goings on of the people and while I'm there, I try to find out who's been naughty. On this occasion though, I have to say I think Teladril may have been right after all. I was concentrating to sensing evil when suddenly it came upon an overwhelming aura of evil, so strong it stunned me. I could barely stand and focus on anything, my vision blurred and my head felt like it was about to burst, such was the pain.

At first I thought it was the aura of this naked fool that was claiming mistreatment from the guards. He said that he was being persecuted for following his god. When I recovered from my daze, I asked him whom he followed. The fool glibly replied, "The lord of murder". I couldn't believe it? This imbecile was obviously not a criminal mastermind, more likely criminally insane, but none the less, he represented a danger to the citizens of Arabel. But before I could say anything, a war wizard stepped forward and detained the swine for public indecency. I applauded the wizard but he seemed not to care. I then tried to see if the aura was gone but no, again I was dazed by the strength of evil in the market.

Suddenly I noticed a very badly injured young woman. She was asking for where she might find a healer. Rather than tell her where one was, I quickly cast a cure on her, to stem the bleeding. To our surprise, the wound closed immediately and she was well again. I quickly urged the young lady to follow my as I was deeply concerned about the presence of such great evil in the market.

She followed me and I quickly introduced myself and explained why I took her aside. I also gave her a potion of cure serious wounds, so that she might be able to survive another assault upon her person. She was very surprised and grateful and told me her name but I have to say, I was still a little dazed from the aura of evil and now I can't quite recall it. I gave her a quick run down about the city, telling her where to find safe and respectable employment but I had to return to the market to try to find what or where this great evil was. She thanked me and headed off, I hope she is able to fend for herself and makes some friends here quickly because that's vital to survive here in this city.

I returned to the market and tried again but this time only sensed the usual low life and faintly evil individuals. The great evil was gone. Rather than rush about like a headless chicken, which I'm sorry to say was how Teladril behaved, I started to move about the market place. I was beginning a search pattern in the hope that if I did come across it again, I may be able to narrow down the candidates. Then a thought occurred to me, what if the evil wasn't in front of me, but below? After all, I have heard tales about vile monsters and foul things that lurk in the sewers beneath the city. Perhaps it was beneath my feet when I was detecting evil? I am still unsure but I know now, that although Teladril was acting rashly, he was right about there being a terrible evil here.

I saw Lithu again while I was searching for this great evil and I have to say, her evil was like a candle compared to what I had previously felt from that other source. I told her what I was doing and she amazed my by pointing out two individuals that she knows are evil men before I had chance to scan them. Again though, I must be ever wary of her and have to wonder if there was a hidden agenda there. Perhaps those men, although definitely evil, are her enemies? What better way to rid yourself of an enemy than by getting someone else to do it?

The old proverb: "[i:1q8bwh9x]the enemy of my enemy is my friend[/i:1q8bwh9x]" came to mind here.

I was about to resume my search for the evil when suddenly I saw her, Lilly. She was standing there, watching me and smiling. I ran up to her and whirled her about in a joyous embrace. We kissed and held one another for a long tender moment. She said she had some time to spare and was out looking for me but was just enjoying watching me from the distance. We then set off together as she had a few small errands to run and so I went along with her, to see how far her training had progressed. She had done remarkably well and her martial skills are progressing nicely. I gave her two of the cure potions that I had so that she will be able to stand and fight longer against her foes.

I was suddenly seized with a thought. I took her hand and asked her to come with me. She asked where we were going but I said it was a surprise. We ran and skipped across the city like a couple of happy children and her laugh rang out like silver music. We came to the Jewellers and went inside. I asked her to wait a minute longer while I quickly bought a gold ring for her. I returned, knelt before her and asked her to become my wife. She took the ring smiling with happiness, kissed my head and said yes.

I shouted with pure joy!

I said that I could no longer wait and that life is to short and uncertain. We must take and make the most of our moments together and she agreed. We embraced and kissed for a long time, much to the embarrassment of the shop keeper.

I also had to gently remind her that we had to start our life together now as we only will have a limited time to be together. She was a bit confused at first till I reminded her that she was an elf now and could look forward to centuries ahead while I'll be long gone. She looked stricken at that news but I told her that elves can engage in the reverie, something I have learned about from my elven friends. I must get Lilly to spend time with them as she was not elven born and so doesn't really know what her new life as an elf can mean. Nor do I think she is fully aware of the latent power she possesses within her. There are skills and abilities the elves have that, through time, she can learn. When I explained to her about reverie, she seemed to take comfort in that. I know she will greatly miss me when I am gone but I vow that even in death, my spirit will always be with her.

I then said I had another gift for her and so we headed to the seamstress shop. There I bought her robes of Torm, which look wonderful on her. The dark colours contrast nicely with her platinum blonde hair and fair features. She also bought her wedding dress and we again just shared the joy of just being in love with one another. Soon though she had to go back to her quarters to pray and continue her studies.

And so ended a day of miracles and wonder.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 41[/b:1q8bwh9x]


I just don't believe it! Another woman and again, where do I find myself but in a bath with her! Astounding! Incredible, it defines all reason!

It all began a few hours back when I was wandering the city. I'd previously come across Lithu again and she asked me why I had such a happy grin on my face. I told her that I had gotten engaged to be married. She was congratulatory but I detected some note of sourness as well in her demeanour. Maybe she had started to harbour some feelings towards me, I don't know. She asked me who the lucky lady was and something made me hesitate. I gave her Lilly's first name but no more. Again, I must be extremely careful when dealing with Lithu. She still is definitely evil and she has told me that she was a priestess of Beshaba, so if she feels any resentment or feels jealously towards Lilly, then I have to take care. I think I have to warn Lilly about Lithu just to be safe and tell Lilly not to trust this woman at all, under any circumstances. If Lithu is going to turn from evil then she has to prove it by repeated acts of good deeds, self sacrifice and kindness. Again I have to get Brother Chadin to get in on this as he will be able to counter anything that Lithu does if she is just toying with me and hopes to hurt me by striking out at Lilly.

After that, I wandered back out into the city and had bumped into Jonathon Lyonard. He started to say something to me about one of the noble houses but suddenly stopped. Meanwhile, across from us, a very attractive red headed human woman was reporting a crime to the guards. She had found a body in the Tymoran shrine and as a good public spirited citizen, was reporting this to them. Jonathon said he had other things to attend to so I turned and offered my services to the guard. The guard said that if was to be of help, I could take the body to the temple of Chauntea. I agreed and followed the red headed woman to the shrine. Once there I quickly shouldered the grisly burden and staggered off to the temple. The woman waited for me at the Tymoran shrine and I quickly returned there. We then spoke with Parner before sorting out a little problem of his. I introduced myself and she gave me her name, Shanee. From her look and carriage I surmised that she must be a priestess of Sune and asked her if it was so, to which she smilingly said yes. She hadn't been in the city long and so I thought to take her to the 'pride as I know the Sunites are lovers of fine things and she was a very nice lady.

I bought her a couple of bottles of fine wine and we sat and talked. She asked me about myself and I told her my happy news. She was very thrilled to hear of my love for Lilly and I did say that I felt a debt to Sune for bringing Lilly into my life. I also remarked that it was a shame that there was no shrine to Sune as I have always liked the things she stands for, love. She asked me about my past and I told her my life's story. We seemed to strike up a genuine rapport and before I knew it, she was asking me to join her down in the 'prides baths. I said I would go with her but I would guard the door so that no one would disturb her while she bathed. We headed downstairs and she started to remove her clothes right in front of me, even before I had a chance to turn away, lest I gaze on her nakedness. Oh Torm, why do you test me so?

I turned away as she daintily stepped into the bath. She then said that she wasn't going to talk to my back and said that I should join her in the bath. I was struck with a moment of indecision. She said that there was nothing wrong in sharing a bath and I was reminded of Brother Chadin’s words. She also said she wanted to see how stuffy and stiff paladins could be. I thought to dissuade her of this notion, I am no Tyran paladin and can be fun also but I must take care not to cross the line. Anyway, I stripped off and she was rather appreciative of my tattoos and asked their origin. I said that I had them done while I was in Tantras. I also think she was eyeing my body with a much practiced eye and without being too prideful, think she liked what she saw. It's nice to know that one can be attractive and pleasing to the eye but I only want to please one woman.

I climbed into the steaming water and quickly settled down, keeping a safe distance from Shanee. I told Shanee that I was a bit of a singer and she asked me for a song, so I said that I had written one for Lilly as a love ballad. I sang "Together" for Shanee and she loved it. She was very appreciative and said that my words were enough of a homage to Sune for thanks. I laughed and she asked me why and I told her that she was the third woman to have gotten me into a bath. She laughed and asked after the other two. So I told her the tale of what happened in my first days here with Kimberly and how Kim tried to seduce me. Shanee said that Kim was a woman who knew what she wanted and I said that Kim couldn't have me as she was with another man. Shanee seemed bemused by that and said that there was nothing wrong with pleasure and the act of making love was a wonderful thing. I felt my ears begin to burn. Sweat started to bead on my brow. I was extremely nervous again. For a moment there I though Shanee was going to try to jump my bones too. Torm's blood! This is incredible. I think I know what it is now that makes me so attractive to these women, the fact that I am unattainable. The object that people desire the most is often the one they can never have. I think they enjoy, in some unconscious way, taunting me with their luscious, firm bodies, knowing full well that I will not take advantage of them. It must give them a sense of power or little thrill to know that they can inspire a reaction in me but I know that I will not give in to my base desires. I remained true to Lilly and will save myself for her and our wedding night.

I mentioned this to Shanee, saying I had never experienced the pleasures of the flesh and since she was a priestess of Sune, I wanted to know if there was a book I could read that would give me some insight to the act itself. She laughed uproariously and said that the art couldn't be learned from a book, you had to practice it. She said she used to practice a lot back at her home temple. I was speechless, jaw hanging agape! It took a full minute before I could gather the ability to speak again. Again, for a long moment I thought something was going to happen as was ready to bolt for the door, naked or not but thankfully the moment passed. I then asked Shanee if she could tell me what I need to do to make a woman...happy. She was greatly amused by that but said that I would have to find out on my wedding night. Love and desire that exist between true lovers would overcome any hesitation and she believed that if I stumbled, Lilly would take the lead. This was almost too much. I'm going to ask the proprietors of the 'pride to install a cold plunge pool next to the baths as sometimes you really need a cold refreshing dive into the icy waters to cool yourself down.

Shanee then said she'd had enough of the bath and got out to dry herself. I was feeling relaxed and wasn't ready for her when she stood up right in front of me. By all the gods, she is a fine looking woman that I can attest to. The man that ends up with her will have to be either very broadminded or blind because I don't think she will settled for the love of one man. I sank under the water to hide my embarrassment. I could hear her laughing under the water at my antics but I knew she wasn't being malicious. I think she really likes me and I am looking forward to becoming her friend. I think also that I will ask her to officiate along with Brother Chadin, at the wedding.

I resurfaced and lay back in the bath, knowing Shanee was seated behind me and was watching me in the water but I didn't care anymore. I think that because I have resisted her temptations and I am comfortable with my own body, I could begin to feel at ease. I dozed off for a while as Shanee dried her hair. Those baths are remarkably soothing. The next time I see Lilly, I think I'm going to have to take her there, not to make love but to start to get to know each other on a physical level. I awoke and quickly got out of the bath. Shanee was already dressed and was still watching me. I think women get as much pleasure at looking at a handsome man as men do looking at a beautiful woman. Nice to know that you are a handsome man...

We left the baths and said our goodbyes. I told her that if she ever needed my protection or just a friend to talk to, then she can call on me anytime. We bade each other a fond farewell and headed our separate ways. I thought it best that I return to the 'dragon and write up this extraordinary day as fast as I could while it was still fresh in my mind. I feel no guilt as I know that I have not committed any sin. I never felt any lust or desire towards Shanee just simple friendship. However, I think I'm going to have to speak with Brother Chadin again about these phenomena of me, baths and lascivious women.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 44[/b:1q8bwh9x]

An interesting and revealing day…

Where to begin then?

I awoke quire early this morning, so began my devotions to Torm. After that, I donned my mail and left the ‘dragon to see what the day held. I’d just wandered into the market when a young woman asked the crowd if they could help her with a small job. I quickly scanned her to see if she was tainted and she came up clean, so I stood up, introduced myself and offered my services. We quickly dealt with the matter but then she had to go off and see another person. She said her name was Vee, but I think that was just a nickname but I didn’t press her to get her full name. She quickly wandered off and just as I was passing the temple of Chauntea, I espied the bard Bree. I hailed her and spoke with her.

She said she didn’t remember me though, which was understandable as we’d only met once so I gave my name to her again. I also told her a little trick that enables you to recall someone’s name when you meet them for the first time. Basically you try to use their name in the conversation as often as possible, thus you reinforce the memory of it in your mind.

Anyway, Bree asked me to come along with her to and I followed her back to the market. There she proceeded to shout out some strange brogue to a dwarf across the square, going on about a longbow. I really couldn’t follow what they were saying as their accents were so thick; you could use them to build a shed with. Bree seemed to be very distracted and again forgot my name. She then went off with some one armed chap who was saying he was collecting monies for the various good temples. I scanned him too but he came up clean but I felt that he wasn’t on the level and so didn’t offer any gold to him. There are offering bowls in every major temple here and if people feel so inspired, then they can go there and donate. I will have to watch this fellow as I am of the mind he may be a con artist and if so, I’ll be reporting is him to the temple authorities and hope that he ends up dancing the hemp fandango! If he’s genuine though, then I still think he’s going to have a hard time convincing the citizens to hand over their hard earned money and it goes against tradition anyway.

After Bree took off with this chap, I got talking to an elf that was standing nearby under a tree. The fellow was almost naked, clad only in what I can only describe as a posing pouch and boots. I remarked that the law here takes a rather dim view on public exhibitionism and he nodded and put on a shirt and a pair of ragged trousers. As we were talking, the young woman who I helped the other day came along. She knew this elf, whose name turned out to be Silmar and I suddenly remembered her name, Celine. She seemed happy to see me and we got talking amongst ourselves. The Llewellyn wandering up and I were glad to see him too. I introduced him to the others and Llew remarked that I seem to make friends where ever I go. I suppose I do, I’m just a very gregarious sort of bloke and like to meet new people and makes friends where I go. As we were talking, Rith came wandering by and a man, who introduced himself as William. I gave him my name and he said that Brother Chadin had mentioned to him about me. It turns out that he is a fellow Tormtar and I was glad to make his acquaintance. While we were all conversing some poor chap ran up, almost half dead, claiming that he’d been assaulted and robbed by some chap called Hallistra? I could get the name as this fellow was very distraught. Llew quickly healed the man while I asked William to get the guard. Just then a war wizard sauntered by and I got his attention and told him that a crime had been committed and pointed out the fellow who needed our help. Meanwhile Kimberly had shown up and so there were a lot of people suddenly standing about the market place.

I suddenly remembered though that I had to speak with a true elf. I asked Rith if I could have a few moments of her time and explained to her about Lilly not being elf born. I asked her to help Lilly learn the ways of Elves and she readily agreed, and told me that her man was also human. I think she felt kindly towards us as she is in a similar situation with her man. I thanked Rith for her help. During this time Celine mentioned that she wanted to see the grove that was out of town. Llew and Rith agreed to lead us out there, and so we soon had a rather large band of people ready to set out. I noticed Kimberly was sitting by herself and I thought she could do with some company. I’ve noted that Kim seems a bit down of late but I didn’t know why. I asked Kim if she’d like to join us and she readily agreed. Just as we were about to set off, another elven woman suddenly confronted Kim about Xantre. It was a very tense moment and I had to intervene, stepping between the incensed elven woman and Kim, and pointed out that this was neither the time nor the place to have this discussion. The ladies both backed down but I could see that the elven woman was still very angry. As Kim and I caught up with the rest of the group, I asked Kim had she been breaking hearts again to which she tersely replied that that wasn’t funny. I said I wasn’t trying to be funny, just asking a matter of fact question. Kim said nothing further.

So then Rith, Llew, Silmar, Celine, William, Kimberly and I set off to the grove. Rith said that she would scout ahead to make sure the road was safe. I was a bit hesitant to let her go ahead alone but she is a master scout and tracker and I’d only get in the way.
We soon arrived at the grove and I have to say it’s a truly marvellous place. The only sad thing though was Williams’s reaction. He seemed rather distant; in fact I think he found the whole atmosphere rather not to his liking. I tried to get him to see the beauty of this sacred place but there is something lurking within that man, some sadness or melancholy that I don’t understand. I also tried to tell him about the eastern code, the way of the warrior. I had learnt of this code, as it is quite similar to the paladin’s code. He hadn’t heard of it before and I think he needs to learn more about it as I believe he has a very heavy heart.

While we were at the grove, I had a brief chat with Kim. I told her my happy news about my engagement to which she seemed to be taken aback. She mumbled something and I thought it was because she was still feeling down but now I begin to wonder. There is a reason for this but I’ll get to that soon.

Soon it was time to head back to the city and we were about to head out, with Rith scouting ahead. Another elven woman, named Tyana had joined us on our return journey. Rith went out and came back quite quickly, saying that there was s giant blocking the pass and so we had to take another route from the grove back to Arabel.

We set off in another direction, and Rith said not to stray from her scouted path. However, Llew and Silmar found the remains of a deer and rather than leave good meat to waste, were butchering the carcass for its meat. Rith asked me to get them back and just as I was walking up to them, a hill giant sprang from behind a tree, smashing his club into Llew, and killed him with one blow. I charged the giant and coped a massive swipe to the ribs, almost knocking the wind out of me, Silmar and the others were peppering the giant with arrows and I staggered back, gulping a couple of cure potions before charging back into the fray. We quickly killed the giant but Llew was dead. I felt very sad but this was not the time to grieve. Celine though was very distraught, saying over and over that it was all her fault. Rith and I tried to assure her that it wasn’t but she was so wound up we may as well have been talking to a brick wall.

I shouldered Llew’s body and Silmar grabbed his gear and we headed back to town. But I was carrying a lot of stuff, mail isn’t light and so Tyna offered to take Llew’s body as she was travelling light. She quickly set off and got to the temple of Chauntea ahead of us.

Our return journey was without incident and soon we were back in Arabel. We quickly made our way to the temple and saw Llew’s body lying there on the flor. It was at this point that I felt the grief at the death of my dear friend start to well up and I had to turn away. But then a miracle occurred. Llew suddenly came back to life! He was very weak but he was back with us. Just as I was about to offer my thanks, I got a tap on the shoulder. It was Shanee. I said hello and introduced her to the others but they were still pre-occupied with Llew. Shanee had come into the temple to see about buying some armour and said she didn’t want to interrupt what was going on. Silmar and Rith had to go off and do other things and I had noted that Celine was taking a bit of an interest with Llew. I whispered to Shanee that we’d best leave them alone to talk and loudly asked her if she’d like to come for a gentle stroll with me. She smiled and said I was the perfect gentleman as I offered my arm to her. We left and casually promenaded through the city. It’s nice to step out with a lovely woman on your arm, although I wish it was Lilly.

Shanee and I ended up in the city centre and sat down to talk about things. I asked her if she would help officiate at my wedding. She was very surprised and said that she’d never done it before but I re-assured her and said there was a first time for everything. She seemed quite thrilled to be a part of the ceremony and I said that I wanted her there as Lillian and I were a love match and what better way to bless our union than to have a priestess of Lady Firehair there. Shanee said that she’d have to start to read up and learn about the rituals and I said for her to take her time as I still haven’t confirmed a date yet with Lilly for the wedding. I think I’m going to have to organise the whole thing as Lilly is very busy with her training and I want it to be a special day for her. Shanee then kissed me on the cheek and rushed off in a very happy mood.

I headed back to the market and came across Celine and Rith talking. I stayed with them a while before they had to wander off. I then thought to myself that I hadn’t seen Tiana for a while so went down to the tower library where she normally resides. She was there, doing here stint at guard duty as the tower had been broken into a few times of late. I asked her if she’d like to join me for breakfast to which she readily agreed. We went to the pride and I bought her breakfast and lemonade. We sat down to eat and talk. I also told Tiana about my engagement and she seemed to be very surprised by this news. She asked me who the lucky girl was and why I’d never mentioned it to her before. I detected a sour note in her voice to and now I know what this all may stem from. I think Tiana, and even Kim may have had strong feelings for me. I had no idea that these women where interested in me on a romantic level. Both of them had shown a desire to bed me I suppose by taking me to the baths but I’d never have guessed that they might actually feel more than that. Maybe it’s because I am a man and as such, don’t pick up on the subtle signals that women send out sometimes. I was just trying to be a good friend to both women and I think I may have hurt both of them. I know Tiana is upset because as we hugged and I kissed her cheek to say goodbye, she reddened and rushed off. I think I may have heard her crying but I’m not a hundred percent sure about that.

Oh Torm, I didn’t mean to hurt these ladies in anyway what so ever, especially Tiana. I do feel very strongly towards her and would have considered courting her had I not met Lilly first. I feel very bad now as Tiana is a good woman and deserves better than that. I just don’t know what to do now. I can’t be with both women as it isn’t right and I have to marry one. I think I may need to speak with Shanee about this as she is much better at dealing with affairs of the heart.

[b:1q8bwh9x]Day 48[/b:1q8bwh9x]

The day after death...

As I write this entry, I am quietly seething with cold rage. Dying wasn't pleasant but since I have returned, the light that I had inside me has dwindled to a flickering candle and has been replaced by a smouldering anger.

I have been cheated, lied to and robbed by my so called comrades. The Tymoran priest, Justiah and his companion Jonathan Ravl have robbed me and my friend Skrift. They left Skrift's body at the alchemist’s garden but brought me back as well as Calladon, as they knew that if I was to return via the light of Torm, I would find them and expose their perfidy. When I was raised by dear Brother Cold, Justiah had the effrontery to be wearing the clothes that Tiana had made for me. He claimed that he thought they belonged to Skrift, but Skrift had said in the fugue plane that he was carrying my body and equipment when he fell. So then what I know has happened here is that Justiah and Jonathan picked over the choicest bit of gear (since Calladon, Skrift and myself were dead at the time), took all out our gold and as an after thought, brought me back from the dead.

I noticed that they didn't rob Calladon as he is a retainer of one of the noble houses and so if he cried foul, then they would feel the wrath of that noble house. However, they thought they could swindle a knight errant of Torm, the biggest mistake of their lives. I know I can not defeat them in direct combat, so I am going to use other means to take those bastards down. I will contact the guards and report them as well as issue bulletins about the city tell all and sundry not to trust these individuals. Bodies can be mended but reputations once tarnished are almost impossible to clean up again.

First though I am going to give Justiah and Jonathan one, and only one, chance to redeem themselves by asking them to return my gold, longbow and Skrifts armour. If they deny that they have these items, then I'm going to then report them to the authorities as corpse robbers and begin to ruin their reputations and seek to have Justiah thrown out of the Temple of Tymora. His act is basically deceitful as Brother Cold quietly mentioned to me after he raised Calladon that Justiah claims to worship Tymora, but coverts gold more. He had done an evil deed and this will not go unpunished.

That fool has made a very dangerous enemy. I don't normally hold grudges but when I have been lying to my face and cheated, my honour demands satisfaction. The fool has sown the wind, now he will reap the whirlwind. It will be his word against mine and he isn't a paladin so his word is worth as much as a pile of fly blown dog turds.

The irony here is that, if he'd had asked for compensation, I'd have given it freely. But since he has taken to cheat me, I will show him no mercy as the punishment for treachery decreed by Torm is swift death. However, Brother Cold came up with a more fitting punishment for him, poverty. He will soon know what it means to wrong a son of the Loyal Fury.

I hope to see Lilly today as it was her love that brought me back to this world. I also am praying for Skrift. I had almost converted his soul to the light of Torm in the fugue plane. But we were separated before he could fully embrace the light. I sincerely hope he has found peace.
Last edited by Talwyn Aureliano on Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:32plqegw]Day 53[/b:32plqegw]

What a set of days! From the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy, I have ridden the gamut of emotional and spiritual turmoil.

First off though, I’m glad to say that Justiah has come forward and returned my money. I was very annoyed by the way I was treated by him yesterday. I’d asked a number of times, after I’d been raised, what had happened to my cash but got the run around and buck passing from him and Jonathan. I am very grateful that they retrieved my body and sought out Brother Cold to raise me but I think that he was trying to pull a fast one and when confronted with the true extent of his deception, he knew the game was up.

Sometimes I feel that if you don’t get a result with a kind word and patient inquiry then grab the miscreant by the short and curlies and give a good hard squeeze works a treat. I will have nothing further to do with him. I don’t think he is an evil man but there is something definitely not right there.

Aside from that, I am ashamed to report that today I let a comrade down badly and was driven from the field of battle. Celine and I were overwhelmed by undead and I told her to run but she bolted in the other direct. My magic had faltered and I couldn’t harm the malicious spirit and it was close to killing me.

I retreated as fighting to the death would serve no purpose.

Parner still thanked me for my efforts, much to my surprise and chagrin and I walked out of there feeling utterly worthless. I had been affected by the spirits touch and sort aid form the temple of Ilmater. I went in but I felt I was unworthy of their aid yet I was followed outside by Amyriel who without a word healed me. Another woman was with her but she said nothing while Amyriel and I spoke. I gave her my share of the reward that Parner gave my as I was hoping against all hope, the Celine had somehow survived the undead. Amy told me to buck up my ideas and get it together as I have helped many people in the past and would be no use to anyone if I gave up now. I owe that saintly woman more than gold, she gave me my self confidence back. Without her words I think I may have renounced my paladinhood and become a simple mercenary. I will do almost anything for her now and will tithe double to her cause from now on.

As penance for my failure, I vowed not to eat nor drink for two days. I did this in the halls of the Tyran temple in full view of the high priest and his attendants. No food or liquid has passed my lips in that time and I completed my vow as well as donating more money to the Tyran coffers.

I wandered back out into the streets and saw Celine sitting under one of the shelters at the market. She was alive! I fell to my knees and begged her forgiveness. She kissed my cheek and said all was forgiven. She had managed to crawl out via a tiny basement window and was looking for me. I gave her share of the reward and told her of my penance. She seemed very concerned for me and I am glad to have made such loyal friends.

Sometimes I think I don’t deserve them. I left Celine to go and spend the night in a prayer vigil back at the Tyran temple.

Come the dawn, I returned to the market and again saw Celine. We sat and talked for a while and a fellow I hadn’t met before named Mathias sat across from us on the bench and we started to chat with him. Then like the dawning of the sun and just a beautiful Lilly came out of the Dancing Dragon. She was wearing a lovely gown of soft green and she look as exquisite as the spring. I kissed her and held her for a long moment and Celine smiled as she is glad for us and celebrates our love for each other. Celine and Lilly have also become good friends and I hope that Lilly will get to meet more of the good people I have so far met here. Then as luck would have it, Rith came by. I introduced Lilly to Rith and it was a good moment. I was still though deeply trouble by the last couple of day’s events and Celine knew how fragile my state of mind was. She mentioned to Lilly to be good to me, to which Lilly replied that she always is. And she is that.

Rith and Celine were heading out of the city and I asked if Lilly and I could go with them but I think that Rith wanted to spend time training Celine and so Lilly and I were left to our own devices. We did a few minor jobs about the city and I realised that I had now enough money for a suit of half plate. I still had enough for our wedding and Lilly insisted that her man needs to be well protected. I am in wonder at the love that she shows me everyday and I will not let her down. We went back to the market and bought the armour, and Lilly said how handsome and dashing I looked in it. That girl always knows just what to say to ease my mind.

I took her hand and asked her to come with me. She asked where we were going and I said it was a surprise. Hand in hand we walked to the ‘pride. We got there in short order and she was very impressed by the place, as was I on my first visit. I led her downstairs and into the baths. For the first time in my time in Arabel, it was me taking a woman to the baths not the other way around. The baths were unoccupied and so we went in. She looked about in wonder at the beauty of the place. I turned to her and gently took her hands and kissed her tenderly. I said that it was time that we began to get to know one another on an intimate level. I took of the armour, and stood there before her naked. She admired my tattoos and the rest of me. She the removed her gown I was breathless at her flawless beauty and together we entered the bath. She sat in the middle of the bath and realised that it was a bit too deep for her so we moved closer to the edge, with me sitting behind her, massaging her back. I didn’t touch her in an intimate way as I think she isn’t ready for that and I believe we should save ourselves for our wedding night.

We spent a good hour there together talking and just enjoying the intimacy of the moment. She told me that since she has become elven, she feels everything in a much different way, almost that her senses are heightened. I asked how she might feel when we are able to be with one another and she replied that she didn’t know as she had never been with anyone else before. I really wish that Shanee had a book that we could read but I think we will just have to do the best we can and I must say that I’m looking forward to exploring that new realm together.

After a good long time just cuddling in the water we thought it best to leave as others may wish to use the baths. We dried off leisurely, both watching each other with love. She combed hair gorgeous silver hair and tied it back. I love running my hands through it and it always smells of flowers. We were both rather tired and so headed back to our room at the ‘dragon. There we fell asleep together, snuggling up close and drifting into the realm of dreams…

[b:32plqegw]Day 57[/b:32plqegw]

It’s been as they say in the east, interesting times.

First though, I have regained my bounce. I went with a few fellows to fight undead and I the first melee was drained of strength. I now know what it’s going to be like when I’m an old man. Anyway, rather than retiring, I forged on with my stalwart comrades and through it all, Torms power flowed through me. The flesh was weak but the spirit was definitely willing. We triumphed over those foul things and returned to the surface.

I then caught up with Celine again at the ‘traveller. We talked for a while before heading over to the visitors club. Celine wanted to practice her archery and was peppering the target dummy with arrows hen we noticed that something odd was happening. We soon found out what is was, Poena! The sneaky little miss was quietly repairing the targets while concealed and the only way I found her was by almost treading on her toes. She was just having some fun with us. I introduced her to Celine and Poena said that she was heading out to the wilds and asked if we wanted to go with her. I said that I as waiting to meet Lilly and wished them well on their little hunting trip. It’s really nice to introduce people to each other, to be a catalyst for future friendships.

I didn’t have to wait long till I heard from a messenger boy, that Lilly was shopping in the markets and wanted me to meet her there. I sauntered over there and we embraced and kissed. There was some commotion going on in the market, apparently some half-orc had gone berserk and had attacked members of the public. He didn’t last long though and was now food for the crows. Lilly and I left the market and wandered of hand in hand. She wanted to help someone with a pest problem and said that she needed to do this alone. I agreed but gave her a cure potion and waited for her outside. She dealt with the problem and we headed back to the club. There we bumped into Celine again and I suggested that the girls go out together. I wasn’t feeling all that good for some reason; I don’t know what it was, a bit of a headache I think? I was also quite tired, so I kissed Lilly goodbye and went back to our room.

The next day I went out and ran into Kim. I asked if she was upto a little adventure and we went out and patrolled the roads together. I still think she has feeling s for me as she was asking about the wedding in a hesitant way. I said we haven’t set a date yet, I need to talk to Lilly about that and we need to set a date soon as many of our friends want to know. I also need to sort out a venue and caterers as well.

Anyway, Kim and I returned to the city to see if we could get some paid work and Kim put out one of those magical sending thingies asking if anyone wanted to help us out with caravan duty. We waited for people to come and see us at the market but only Brother Cold was interested. It wasn’t enough to ensure the safety of the caravan, as I’d previously experienced. So instead we sat under the shelter at the market. Brother Cold went off to pray and Kim asked me for a song. She was keen to hear a ribald sailor’s tune which I’d told about. It’s called “O’Reily’s Daughter” and it’s a bit coarse. I’d only sing it when trying to raise the spirits of troops in the field, as the rank and file often appreciate a bit of coarse humour and it’s good to show that you can empathise with the lads.

After that, Brother Cold returned and I mentioned to him that I’ve written a poem for Amyriel. I will send it to her in a letter but I’d like her to hear it first. I gave a rendition to Brother Cold and Kim and they said it was lovely. I felt better for doing that and can’t wait to see how Amyriel reacts to it. Just as I was getting up to stretch my legs, I saw in the distance, Shanee heading north out of the market. I excused myself and ran after her as I really wanted to speak with her about Tiana. I caught up with her in the north eastern part of the city and asked if she had some free time. She said she did and we went and sat down in the gardens of the Temple of Tymora. I told her of the situation that I have found myself in, that I’m in love with Lilly but have discovered that Tiana is in love with me. Shanee said that I have to be true to love and if I love Lilly then I must stay with her and try to be as kind as I can and to get Tiana to accept that. I feel a great deal for Tiana and would have courted her if I hadn’t of met Lilly first. It was Lilly though who captured my heart. I have also written a poem for Tiana which I will give to her personally when I see her next. I thanked Shanee for her advice and I know that she is a very decent, caring and kind woman.

I then had to go as I was needed elsewhere. I had arranged to go and do some mercenary work in the Stonelands but found that I’d be doing it alone. I spent a whole day out under the desert sun, slaughtering goblins and taking their ears. I dislike taking body parts as trophies, it’s a nasty practice but in order to get paid you have to have proof that you’ve killed the little beggars. I returned to Arable with a sack full of ears and got my reward.

As I was moving down to the main thoroughfare of central Arabel, I noticed a commotion going on, guards and citizens where fighting something. I rushed forward to lend my aid and found that mephits had been summoned and was inside the magic shop. A guard named Zakk and a number of other citizens plus I charged in and cut the little creatures down but it was too late for the shop keeper. When I exited the shop, I saw that a number of innocent civilians were scattered about the streets dead. Someone or something was summoning creatures into the city and people were dying because of it. I went off to heal my wounds and recoup my spells before heading out again to patrol the city.

I bumped into Wynn and told him the news. He looked concerned and thanked me for the warning. I know that when push comes to shove, Wynn is a man you can count on. Then I saw Tyna and warned her about the menace to public safety and she too thanked me. I was about to move on when a very distraught woman come up and asked if I could help her with retrieving her gear from Nada’s house. Her name was Cherry Applegate and within a minute, she was surrounded by me, Wynn and Jacob who is a paladin of Tyr. The tragic thing though was that three paladins couldn’t help this poor lass. I offered her what meagre gold I had but she didn’t take it. Wynn gave her a healing potion and we stood by and tried to find some good souls who could help her. She soon saw an elven friend of hers and he said he’d help.

Just as I was about to leave William Carter came by and I also told him about the strange goings on. Will gave me Llewellyn’s shield, as he’d been carrying about since the other day, when Llew was killed out in the wilds. I hope to give it to Llew soon. Also I want to ask Llew to be my best man at my wedding to as he is my oldest friend here in Arabel. I asked William to accompany me on a patrol of the city. We wandered the street and soon found more signs of carnage in the southern districts. We ventured down into the sewers to see if the perpetrator had fled down there but found nothing.

We then returned to the surface and ran into a wizard and his companion. They had been attacked and betrayed by a wizard called Thant. We went with them back to the noble house to which the wizard was a retainer of for a while but no more came of that. Will and I headed back to the market and were talking amongst ourselves about Brother Chadin when a lovely lady stood up and asked us why we were talking about her husband. We were both surprised and quickly found out that this was Monah, Chadin’s wife. I was very pleased to meet her and we talked for quite awhile. She has even offered to help with the wedding and I may take her up on that very kind offer as I think the arrangements may need a woman’s touch. Lilly has no time to sort things out for it as she is very busy with her training and I am all at sea really when it comes to these sorts of things but I think with Monah’s help, the wedding will be a wonderful affair. I thanked her kindly for her generous offer and bade her and her lady companion a fond goodbye.

[b:32plqegw]Day 64[/b:32plqegw]

It's been a sad few days of late.

Firstly, I have broken Tiana's heart. I have died again and this time paid a price to return.
Brother Chadin was killed, then raised and has now lost his speech and hearing due to him committing some sin. Torm has taken his voice away and is definitely annoyed with Chadin.

It's been a series of small disasters.


I met up with Shanee the other day and as I wrote before, discussed Tiana's hidden love for me. Shanee told me to speak with Tiana and to tell her that we can never be. I love Lilly and feel deep affection for Tiana but I can't love her in the way that she wants me to.

I went to see her at her library tower. She was very happy to see me and she talked at me for hours. I could barely get a word in. I told her that there is a problem now with the wedding, since Brother Chadin had fallen and also has fallen from grace, he can't perform the ceremony. When I first mentioned that there was a problem, she looked hopeful, perhaps thinking that Lilly and I were over but her face fell when I told her the full story.

We went outside together and still she babbled. She didn't seem to think to ask me what I'd been doing but then again I think she was talking to cover her nervousness. I finally managed to start to speak with her.

I told her I knew that she had deep feelings towards me but I could only ever return her love as a friend. I told her that I had been killed in combat twice since we last met and that death can sharply focus ones perspective on life. She was very distraught at that and looked at me with great concern and care in her eyes. It almost broke my heart. I know she really loves me. Oh Torm and Sune, I didn't mean it for her to fall in love with me.
Tears formed in her eyes as I gave her this poem I know:

[i:32plqegw]Every time I think of you
I get a shock right through like a bolt of blue,
It's no problem of mine
but it's a problem I find,
living a life I can't leave behind.

There's no sense in telling me,
the wisdom of a fool won't set you free,
but that's the way that it goes
and it's what no body knows,
and every day my confusion grow.

Every time I see you Tiana,
I get down on my knees and pray,
I'm waiting for the final moment
you say the words I can't say.

I feel fine, I fell good,
I feel like I never should,
Whenever I get this way
I just don't know what to say,
why can't we be ourselves
like we were yesterday?
I'm not sure what this could mean
but I think you are what you seem,
I'll have to admit to myself
that I'm going to hurt someone else,
but I'll never see if we were meant to be.[/i:32plqegw]

She was crying all the way through the poem and I knew I have crushed her hopes and dreams. I have caused this gentle loving and caring woman great pain and I feel absolutely awful for her. I don't know whether to tell Lilly or not about this. I have no idea how she will react to the knowledge that another woman is in love with me. I love only Lilly but I have seen that these things, love triangles I think they are called, can often tear all three people apart. I have spoken to Brother Cold about Tiana's suffering and asked him to help her find some comfort and ease. He is a gentle man and I will also enlist the help of Amyriel and Shanee as they are women and may be able to reach Tiana if Brother Cold can't.

I can't write any more, I must go and pray to Torm for understanding and forgiveness.


So many things have happened of late, I don't know where to begin.

Well the good news is that I have told Lilly about Tiana. I spoke to Wynn about this and he said absolute honesty was the key here. So I was honest with my beloved. What a remarkable woman she is. She said that she understood that some women could feel more than friendship towards me and that she wasn’t that surprised by Tiana's love for me. She said she trusted me to act with our best interests at heart and to act with integrity and compassion. I have done so but when she said those words, I felt close to tears as she is such a wonderful girl; there is no malice or jealousy in her heart. I said I was deeply sorry but she said there was nothing to forgive. She cradled me in her arms and I just held to her like a drowning man. We snuggled up together in our little bed and I slept as sound as a babe in her arms.

Since then though, it's been a real maelstrom of events. Chadin has gone mad with grief, Celine is devastated by the death of her dear friend Silmar and I think my good friend William Carter carries a deep emotional wound within him.


I just don't know what to do about him. I love him as a brother in the service of Torm and will not give up on him but he is lost to us for now. William and I saw him staggering into the city carrying the bodies of Rith and Amyriel. He was mad with sorrow, wordlessly crying out their names. He threatened a city official with violence and for that was jailed by the guard. I said to William that we should to the prison to see what we could do to help him.

The governor of the prison there was a fat pig of a man and wouldn't listen to any of my requests. There are times when my oath to paladinhood are servery tested. I went to speak with Chadin while he was in his cell. He was still screaming and carrying on with such an outpouring of grief, it dam nearly broke my heart to watch him. William, dam him, said that he had other things to do and left me there! He said that people die and Chadin should just move on. That man has a hole where his heart should be. I begin to question his virtue if he can show no compassion to a fellow brother who is in such torment. I will be very guarded now towards William, a good comrade to have but don't expect any empathy from him.

Chadin was finally released and was screaming and crying. I struck him a sharp blow to his cheek and that quietened him down for a moment. I then took him gently by the hand and led him to the temple of Ilmater. However, once there not one of his friends listened to a word I said. Some dwarf started to attack him, punching Chadin in the face, in his own attempt to snap Chadin out of it. Brother Cold was too wrapped up in his own despair and wasn't listening either. I tried to tell them all that Chadin had lost his mind but no one heard me. I left in disgust and said nothing further.

I go now to see what has transpired since then, I don't hold out much hope though. I feel that things are spiralling out of control with many people. Hubris is catching up with many of them.

[b:32plqegw]Day 74[/b:32plqegw]

It's been quiet these last few days.

I haven't been able to spend much time with Lilly as she is still very busy with her studies. It also seems she is having problems summoning her clerical powers now. Maybe she still needs to have more practice?

I've so far managed to save 500 gold coins for the wedding and desperately need to talk with Shanee about the wedding. I had hoped for a grand affair but I will never be able to afford such a wedding. I will be able to pay for food and drink for the guests, buy Lilly an enchanted Platinum ring and a night together at the 'pride and that's about it thus far. I can't even buy myself a decent suit of clothes as what I would like is just too expensive for my meagre budget. Brother Chadin won't be able to perform the ceremony either, it will just be Shanee. I had meant to write to Anyndil about asking his help in all this but I don't think it's worth it now. He will only tell me what I already know, that you need gold and lots of it to have something good happen.

I am vexed by this and think I may just have to wait forever to be married as it has to be done properly. I am so tired though of the wait, my patience is wearing thin. Maybe we should elope? Just the two of us and have Shanee marry us? I just don't know any more....

I am also getting concerned about Celine. She is associating a lot with evil people these days and as such if she carries on this way, I will have no choice but to start to distance myself from her. I love her like a little sister and have told her about the oaths and duties that I have but she still quests with these people and I fear for her soul and life.

[b:32plqegw]Day 77[/b:32plqegw]

What a day it was!

It must have been a feast day to Beshaba because anything that could go wrong did.

The jobs that I enlisted for all turned out to be failures that we could not complete and thus never ended up accomplishing the tasks. This is quite a set back for me as I am quite eager to earn as much cash as I can for my future with Lilly. The one bright light though was I managed to aid a pair of lovers with their dilemma.

On the way back from that little task, I almost ran over Monah Ode, Chadin's wife. I said hello and said it was nice to see her but I detected a deep sadness with her. I asked her what was wrong and she told me, Chadin had betrayed her and his marriage vows by sleeping with another woman.

I was stunned, shocked and felt overwhelming empathy for Monah. To me, the marriage vow is one of the most sacred oaths that you can take. It's about trust and love and Chadin has thrown that all away. I didn't know who the other woman was, until later that day but it doesn't excuse his betrayal. I now know why Torm cursed Chadin with dumbness, but Chadin is still cursed. I can not have him perform my wedding ceremony now. It would hypocrisy of the highest order for him to stand there and lecture Lilly and I about the sacred promises of marriage. I can only hope now that Shanee will marry Lilly and I. I told Monah that I too was having doubts about my wedding but not about Lilly. I think though that she was suffering much more than I.

I spoke to Monah for a while then Xantre came out and was showing her his sword. I felt a little sad that Xan bought the sword as he had sold a healing artifact to get the money to buy this magical weapon. The other day he had asked my advice about which object to choose, the artifact or the sword. I put it to him that it was a choice between life and death, the sword was a death dealing weapon but the artifact healed and thus gave life. In the end he chose death. It made me sad and I left him and Monah talking without a word.

I wandered the city feeling quite despondent. Earlier I had spoken with Rith. I was sitting in the market and she noticed my glum mood and asked me what was wrong. I told her about my problem with my wedding and that I can't afford even a decent suit of clothing. As a paladin, we are supposed to have the best that we can afford and I feel a great degree of shame that I can afford very little. She offered to loan me money but I refused it. My pride and melancholy got in the way of her kind offer and I think she was offended by that. I apologised humbly and left without saying anything further.

I wandered the wilds for a long time but found nothing. I know that Lilly would have been devastated at my death but in truth, I felt at the time that I am not worthy of her as I can not provide the things that she deserves. I have no title, no patron, and no position here in Arabel. What sort of husband would I make for her? Perhaps a glorious death in battle would be the best way for me to leave this world.

I returned to the city and was about to go out to the Stonelands to kill as many goblins as I could before falling when Rith flagged me down. I almost didn't stop but something inside me made me turn back. She spoke with about Celine and I expressed my deep concern over the company Celine had been keeping of late. She nodded and asked me to keep a watch on the company that Celine has been associating with and to detect if they are evil or not. I immediately agreed. I had a purpose again. I love Celine and have grown very close with her as she is the sister I have never had. I had felt deeply hurt by her spending time with this evil woman named Valari, who Rith thinks may be a Banite! If this is so, and if this woman even bruises Celine, I will kill her. I will take full responsibility for my actions but I vow now that Valari is on a knife's edge and one slip and I will take her head.

My talk with Rith has given me a new purpose. Why is it Torm that the women in my life, those who are friends to me, seem to save me at my darkest hour? I pray to you that you shine you protective light on these women and keep them safe from harm.

After I spoke to Rith, I wandered back to the Market place and come upon Anien. She is a lovely lady mage and is a good friend of Monah. However, it was at point though, that a fierce commotion was occurring. Chadin was being berated by Rith for his betrayal of Monah. Rith was really laying into him and Chadin was crying with the grief of what he has done. Then his lover Neiranda (I'm not sure of her name or how to spell it properly) came forward and then the real fireworks began. Rith and the other woman were almost at each other's throats.

Celine was there and I walked over to her and asked her to stand aside and come with me as this was not her affair. She did so and as we moved off, I told her that no matter what happens next, I loved her as the sister I have never had. She looked shocked at this but then nodded and smiled at me. Rith swore foully at the other elven woman and I stepped forward, shouting at all of them to get a grip and calm down.

After that moment, I felt clarity of life that I had never experienced before. I was prepared to die so that others may see the folly of their actions but instead they relented at the last moment. We went off with Anien to do a small job but it again fizzled and I was left standing with Celine. She looked at me and started to cry. I held her and told Anien that I had to stay with her, that I had to look after my little sister. Celine told me she felt the weight of all the world bearing down on her, that she is living a secret life but I shushed her and head her, stroking her hair and letting her cry on my shoulder. I have never felt so close to anyone, nor felt such a bond before.

[b:32plqegw]Day 79[/b:32plqegw]

Oh what a day. I have gained a sibling. Celine and are not blood relations but she is the sister to me that I never had. She and I have become family. I care so much of her I can't really explain. It's a pure platonic love. I have never had any family, being an orphan and only child and now I have a wife to be and a little sister now. Together we will be a family, something I have always wanted but never had. I have something to live for now, the women in my life. There truly is a light that shines in the darkness of everyone’s life.
I have found mine.

Celine and I walked to the 'pride together, hand in hand we sat in front of the fireplace and talked long into the night. She has told me why she has been associating with Valari and her crowd. I won't write it here though as this journal may be read by another. I told her of my despair of not being able to provide for Lilly and Celine almost cried at that. She knows how much I love Lilly and has offered to help us. This time I didn't refuse her help and I will not in the future when it is offered by kind and loving friends. Celine feels for Lilly and I in a way that I can not understand but I know that she too is seeking the warmth and comfort that the love of family can bring. I hope that one day, Lilly and I have a baby girl that we can name after Celine.

And so as the fire burnt down low, I felt an inner glow from the bond that has grown between me and my new found sister. Thank you Torm for putting these most wonderful of women in my life. I will never despair again as I know that I have the love and support of two women. I was wrong to doubt and the wedding will be for love. It will be a simple ceremony now, something that needs not to involve the temple. I have written to Shanee and explained about my concerns. I think now I want to get married in the grove as it's is nature and is a sacred and beautiful place. I am a simple man in truth, I ask not for much but I want to give so much.

With the help of loving friends, I will achieve a most magical and beautiful day.

[b:32plqegw]Day 83[/b:32plqegw]

And so another few days have passed in Arabel.

The first day started very well. I left the 'dragon in the early morning and walked over to the market. My eyes fell upon the two people I love most, Lilly and Celine. I just dashed across to them and enveloped them in a big bear hug. I was so preoccupied in hugging them that I didn't notice that they had been talking to Rith and I caught her up in the group hug to. She wriggled out but I think she was glad to see us all happy together. I kissed Lilly deep and lingeringly as it been a few days since I'd last seen her. Celine just giggled at our antics. I can't help myself with public displays of affection towards Lilly, I don't care what people think about it. I love her and that's all there is to it.

Anyway, just across from us, laying on the ground and bleeding was a dwarf and a hin standing next to him named Alamera. The dwarf needed healing and Alamera was urging him to take off his clothes so she could apply bandages to his wounds. I just walked over to him and lay my hands upon him and also cast a cure o the poor chap. Alamera said that I could be arrested by the guards for this, to which I replied "Sod 'em!"

That is a law that I can not respect and if some hot headed guard throws me in jail for healing an injured person, this city had better prepare itself for a very annoyed paladin. First off though, I will seek to have the law amended so that healing people in public is not deemed a crime but rather seen as a worthy public service. I have to ask what imbecile enacted such a harsh law anyway. Probably some evil minded bugger who enjoys seeing people who have compassion in their hearts get thrown into prison for stopping and taking the time to heal a wounded soul. Mark my words; I am getting to the point where I think I may start having to take an active role in city politics.

[b:32plqegw]Day 91[/b:32plqegw]

I have been here a few months now and have settled in quite nicely. I have a fiancée and a foster sister. Now it's time to begin looking for like minded souls here in the city, perhaps find a patron. I am still leery of applying for the knights in that my last application was knocked back saying that they thought that I was just seeking for something to do.

Well what can you say to that? Any application sent, if viewed cynically, will say that the applicant wants something to do. I wanted to serve the knights but after the rejection of my application and then a subsequent talk with Jason Erikson, have realised that they are probably not the organisation I could put my endeavours behind. I need to find out if any of the noble houses are dedicated to law and good works. If none are then I will begin to form a private regiment. I have already spoken with a few people here about this and I know I could have in a short time, quite a number of willing volunteers who will be glad to serve in this regiment.

I see the regiment as a body that has no political ties with any of the factions within the city but instead acts for the good of all, by maintaining law and order, helping whenever and where ever we can, acting fair and impartially. The regiment would embody the ideals of loyalty, tenacity, audaciousness, high spirits, bravery, endurance, determination, courage and mateship. I see it being open to all those who would embrace these ideals. I need to meet with William Carter and Laura the helm priestess again to start to work on the regiment’s charter. Brother Cold came up with a workable name for the regiment too, "The Free Lances". I quite like it.

Well, I have digressed quite a bit! Anyway, Lilly had to leave not long after and so I went and did a small job with Celine and one her friends Andrew. I have been meaning to catch up with Celine and chat but always something gets in the way.

The next day I was with Lilly again. She and I went to watch Miss Bree give a performance at the 'dragon. Lilly hadn't seen Bree before and so we waited till Bree was ready. Just before Bree started, Celine came in and wandered over to us. She hugged Lilly and kissed me on the cheek before both girls sat down in front of me. I sat behind Lilly and cuddled her while Celine lay her head on my shoulder.

What contentment! There I was, in a crowded room not even really noticing the performance because I had two fantastic women to occupy my attention. That was a real high point. I felt totally at ease. Being surrounded by love is a most wonderful thing. Celine eventually got up and needed to stretch her legs, leaving Lilly and I to watch the rest of Bree's show. The show it's was good, Bree doing her usual numbers. What was more interesting though were the people watching the show.

In fact, just after Bree had finished her second number, a war wizard gated into the room, causing a bit of a flap amongst the audience. He demanded that a fellow wizard named Theo I think, to report immediately to the prison. Then later, at least another wizard was manhandled out of the room after making some rather unflattering comments to Bree and about her work. An utter dolt that chap was but I wasn't all that interested in getting involved in a bar room fracas. Lilly proved to be quite amusing too, she thought the appearance of the wizard was part of the show. Celine playfully tapped Lilly on the side of the head and made a face at her but Lilly just pouted and said she hadn't been to one of these things before. I felt so glad that they get on so well together, they are like sisters really. It's a good sign for our lives in the future as a family.

After the show Lilly went up to thank Bree for the performance. Bree had noticed us together and in her broadest brogue asked Lilly if she was my muse (Bree calls me the poet now). Lilly was a bit dumbfounded and didn't really know what Bree had just asked her but I'm now getting used to Bree's dialect and answered for Lilly, saying that she was my fiancée. Bree smiled and said to Lilly to keep me happy and writing more poetry.
Then Lilly and I went back to our room for a while, sharing those precious moments together before she had to return to her training and study.
Ahh, I live for those moments.

[b:32plqegw]Day 94[/b:32plqegw]

The generosity of some people can be so astounding, it almost breaks my heart.

I ran into my old friend Lomyrion, who has been a way for a little while now but I am so happy to see him return. Before I came upon him though, I was working with a new friend of mine, a Tymoran paladin (if there is a such a thing?) named Tiara van Malken. She is a nice girl and we did a few odd jobs about the place before we came across Lomyrion just south of the market square. I introduced her to Lomyrion and told him of my good news. He seemed happy to hear that I was marrying an elf. I an glad he does because I know that a portion of his people are against such unions. Tiara wanted to keep on working and kindly excused herself so that Lomyrion and I could catch up. So we went to the 'dragon to talk and exchange recent stories. While we were talking he did something that I will never in all my days forget. He offered me a thousand Lyons as a wedding gift! I was speechless and stunned and was overwhelmed by this act of kindness. This time I accepted and felt tears sting in my eyes as we talked. I asked him to be a guest of honour and he has accepted. With friends like Lomyrion, I know now that the wedding will be a stunning success. I can't wait to tell Lilly about our good fortune.

Perhaps I should also ask Lomyrion to also bless our union? He has also agreed to help Lilly with learning the ways of the people and I know he will do a fine job and she will excel at it.

After that I wandered about for a while, looking for odd jobs here and there and bumped into Cherry Applegate. She was going to Abner’s but she had missed the delivery time. So we chatted a while and she said she wanted to head back to the market. I said we should promenade with grace back there. She giggled as I offered my arm and then we set off.

On the way back we ran into her lover Holon. Cherry hadn't mentioned that she and he was an item and I am glad that she has found a good man to be with. I think Holon may have been a tiny bit concerned to see his lover on another man's arm but all we were doing was strolling together and talking. He should trust Cherry as she is a good girl and won't stray from him. I bade them farewell and wandered back to the market.

I'd then bumped into Tiara again and this time we decided to head out to the Stonelands for a spot of goblin bashing. It was a most productive time out there and I have to say that I love the sun. I would have stayed longer and done a bit of basking in the sun but Tiara wanted to head back and collect the bounty. So we returned and she handed over the bounty trophies and we got our money.

Tiara had to head on home as the sun had really taken it out of her. I told her to drink plenty of water and to have a cold bath to rehydrate herself. I think she may have had a mild case of sunstroke. Funny really, I just can keep on going in the heat. I must be used to it.

I sauntered back to the market and was about to take a seat under one of the shelters when Wynn called out to me. He was standing with Shanee and asked if I would help them hunt down an ogre that was seen on the south road. I immediately agreed as I also had been meaning to speak with Shanee about her conducting my wedding ceremony. We set off down the road and soon came to the spot where Wynn said the ogre might be. There was no ogre but rather a very large and wounded Grizzly bear. We kept our distance from the animal but then a woodsman appeared. Wynn seemed to know this fellow and spoke to him as the chap calmed the bear.

We asked if he'd seen any other ogres and he said that the may be some lurking further down the road. So we set off with bears in tow (the woodsman had a smaller one of his own) and went down the south road. We came to a glen and stopped for a moment when suddenly disaster struck. The grizzly suddenly turned on the woodsman, killing him instantly. I was unarmed so I punched it in the snout before I got my sword out. Wynn and Shanee joined the fray but the bear almost tore my head off with one swipe of its paws.

Bleeding badly, I staggered back while Shanee healed me. Wynn managed to finish the beast but it was too late for the poor chap. We gathered his things and I picked up his body and we set off back to Arabel. Once we arrived at the city, Wynn sent Shanee off to summon Brother Cold while he and I made our way to the Ilmateri temple. Once there Wynn asked me to fetch a diamond, which I did by dashing across town to the Tyran compound and jogging back. It seemed though that Brother Cold already had one on him so I gave him the one I'd bought anyway. I owed him a favour for raising me before.

Then Wynn and the chap talked for a little while before he suggested that the man pay for the diamond. Wynn said that I'd bought it but I replied that Brother Cold should have 100 Lyons and the other should go to the temple. He made the donation and then left, still a little unsteady on his feet. Now I have repaid my debt to Ilmater and his people twice over and I am glad to have done so. I can always get more money and I am no longer worried about the wedding as I know that money isn't a problem but the celebrant may be.

This leads me to me having a good long talk with Shanee. She isn't happy that I have demanded that Chadin no longer perform the ceremony. I explained to her about the fact he has betrayed his marriage oaths and vows and is no longer suitable to conduct the service. She said I should be more forgiving but I refrained to comment on that. Chadin has let his wife, church and friends down badly by letting the little head do the thinking for the big head. I just don't know what to do about him anymore.

Anyway, I also tried to explain to Shanee about the sacred bond and trust and emphasis that Tormtar place on oaths and vows. She said that the first duty should be to love. God's she is naive! Yes there is a duty to love and I understand that is the way of her faith but she has no concept of what it means to be a paladin. Luckily Wynn returned from his shopping expedition and was sporting a very elegant set of clothes. Both he and I then set about explaining to Shanee about the duty that I as a paladin could be expected to perform. I told Shanee, that until I get married, I am under the sanction of my church, and as such, if the church orders me to set Lillian aside and marry another woman for state or political reasons, then I must do so or forfeit my paladinhood. She said that was ridiculous and stuck to her point about marrying for love. I also pointed out to her that if things in the marriage sour, that if the love dies, I can not seek an annulment nor divorce unless it is granted by my church. Lilly would have to betray me before I had grounds to do so and even then I would not be able to ask for a separation but would have to wait until the church gave me leave to do so. And then I would never be able to marry again, nor love another woman for the rest of my life.

Shanee was deeply troubled by this and I could see that she isn't keen now to perform the ceremony as it goes against her beliefs. She doesn't want to marry a couple that will be bound by such restrictive vows; it just goes against the grain with her. I don't think she is going to be able to perform the ceremony now, which deeply saddens me as I had hoped that she would.

I am now running out of candidates for the celebrant. I am now left with only three that I know and trust, Brother Cold, Sister Amyriel and Lomyrion. I will ask them in that order if they can help me here as I can't count on Shanee now but I will wait till I have Shanee's answer first.

Anyway, I stood up and asked Shanee if she was going to do it, a yes or no question. She said she needed time to think and so I agreed and left her and Wynn to their devices. I can only pray that Wynn talks some sense into her, and that she accepts the fact that I and Lilly are paladins of Torm and as such, will hold to our vows for better or worse till death or dishonour do we part.

[b:32plqegw]Day 101[/b:32plqegw]

How could I have known when I met you,
that you'd always be on my mind?
If I'd know I could never forget you,
I'd have turn and run away the very first time,

because, I didn't need it,
no I didn't need it,
I didn't need it,
didn't need to fall in love.

It happened so fast I just couldn't stop myself,
from falling into your arms,
but I guess there will be a price to pay,
for falling for your charms,

because I didn't mean it,
and I didn't need it,
no I didn't mean it,
'cause I didn't need it,
didn't mean to fall in love with you now
no I didn't mean to fall in love.[/i:32plqegw]

What have I done?
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:2inkot6n]Day 105[/b:2inkot6n]
This surreal odyssey my life has become recently,
It’s not something I’ve asked for, not a gift and not a curse.
It’s not so easy to explain, without revealing all my pain,
Unburdening my heart till your mind cracks with the strain.
First my concentration slips, then my heartbeat speeds and skips,
The room goes dark; I lose all feeling in my fingertips.
My stomach twists up in a knot; my mouth goes dry, eyes bloodshot,
I lose all sense of time and where I am and who I’m not.
Now I seem to disappear, where do I go when I’m not here?
I dream of death come face to face with everything you fear.
I walk the line that keeps you sane, stumbling through the freezing rain,
Crossing to non existence only to return again.
Then I stand alone at last, where birth meets death and future, past
And look across eternity, so thick and moist and vast.
But as I slip into the void, my life complete my soul destroyed,
My body pulls me back, conscious, paranoid.
Call me paladin but don’t call me wise, when you look into my eyes
This ecstasy of agony should come as no surprise.
You shouldn’t want to be like me, to see the things I’ve had to see,
To live beyond morality is neither beautiful nor free.[/i:2inkot6n][/center:2inkot6n][b:2inkot6n]

Day 112[/b:2inkot6n]

What a miserable wretch I am!

I write this in the temple of Ilmater, sharing a place on the floor with people who have more moral fibre and decency that I do. The last two days I have come from walking in the clouds to spiralling down to a hole in the ground where I belong.

I have hurt those ones I love the most by having a momentary lapse of reason.

I don’t even love the woman, Kim, whom I betrayed Lilly with.

I felt a deep sense of compassion for her and in an instant of weakness and lust, succumbed to her charms. She said she loved me but in hindsight I know she is as fickle as the summer wind. Maybe she does in her way but it doesn’t excuse my traitorous behaviour. I should have been stronger. It was my anger at being robbed and being ignored by the guards while that fat little hin mocked me from the shadows. Ky’ran warned me about giving into hate and I am afraid I did so. I was consumed by rage and let my guard slip. Then there she was, offering love and comfort and Torm help me, I fell for her soft embraces, hot kisses, full breasts and silky thighs.

Today I awoke on the cold hard floor, covered in lice and filth. I washed myself as best as I could but some dirt just won’t scrub out. The stain may fade with time but if you look closely, it’s always there. I went to the market and saw Celine. She was livid with me and I was too chagrined to say much. She smacked my face and asked how I could have done it? I said nothing and she told me that I dare not cry or she’d kill me. She was so disgusted with me, she felt physically sick. She told me to get out of her sight and I left without a word. I went out of the city heading south, thinking to just keep on walking when I started to come across Orcs. I felt a small sense of consolation, here was a chance for an honourable exit. I started hacking my way though them, killing over a dozen in minutes but they took a piece of me too. I thought that I’d keep walking the road and fight till I fell. Next I was attacked by Worgs, huge beasts they were but I still managed to prevail. Why couldn’t I die? I was to find out soon.

As I was fighting another Worg, Xantre came by and found me. He killed the one I was fighting and just said to follow him. I was badly wounded and limped off after him. He took me to the east gate where I saw Celine cradling Lilly in her arms. Celine looked at me with pure hate and loathing. Lilly was almost dead, she had suffered the same wounds as I had. Oh my lord, I sought to hurt myself but again I end up hurting the one I love the most. Lilly and are somehow bonded now, even though I am not worthy of her. I can’t seek death now as if I do, she will die too. Xan ordered me to my knees and to beg Lilly’s forgiveness. I did and Lilly slowly rose and laid her hands on me. She healed some of the worst of the wounds but I saw the deep hurt that I have caused that gentle girl.

I miserable beg her for forgiveness. She asked if I was in love with the other one, I said no, and I know that to be true. She was barely holding on, asking me why? Why did I do it? Was she better then her? I said she wasn’t. Lilly was so wronged by my betrayal, we were to save ourselves for each other, for our wedding night. Celine then punched me in the face, knocking me to the ground. My vision blurred and I spat out blood. She said get up, now and I knew that if I tarried she’d give me such a kicking.
Lilly told her to stop. Lilly is heartbroken but I think she still loves me. She told me that I have to earn her forgiveness and work on building her trust for me. I told my wronged family that I have confessed to Chadin and told them of my penance. Celibacy for six months, no drinking, live in poverty, give any money to the church, beg for food and do all that I can in the name of good. I also have to live now, as death is not an option now.
I must live with the guilt and shame for the hurt I have caused. It’s a life sentence now.

I am so ashamed. I feel to my knees and started to bash my head against a rock but Lilly stopped me. The tears and blood flowed freely and for a moment both of the women I love more than life saw that I was so sorry and for that instant felt a spec of sympathy for this pathetic excuse for a man. Lilly said that she needed time alone from me. I just nodded. She then ran off, hiding her face. Celine came forward and gently wiped the blood and tears from my face. She said that’s all the kindness I get from her for now.

She then ran off after Lilly, to comfort her dearest friend, to give her solace from the hurt that I have done to both of them. I have never felt such pain. I collapsed in a heap out there and just sat there, feeling utterly sorry for myself. Then out of the blue, a gentle hand touched me from behind. It healed my wounds in an instant. I turned to see who had healed me but that kind soul had vanished. Maybe it was a passing spirit that took pity on me? I don’t know, but I do know that I shall now work as hard as I can to do good works.

No more anger, fight only when necessary. I shall work with the Ilmateri as they are always in need for aid. I work and strive now not for myself, but for the ones I have let down so badly.

I pray now that I can be forgiven by Lilly and Celine. Torm, if you hear me, if you haven’t turned away from your miscreant of an unworthy son, let me walk again in the sun one day. I go now to pray everyday and beg for food and money for the temple of Ilmater.
I will buy the rags of a beggar because that’s all I’m fit to wear.

Oh Lilly, I am so sorry…….

[b:2inkot6n]Day 116[/b:2inkot6n]

Ilmateri often say that today is the first day of the rest of your life.

I suppose this is true.

Again I slept in the temple, on the floor with the outcast and beggars, those that society no longer wants nor values. It’s given me a unique perspective on life and how people deal with the hurdles and obstacles that life throws in their path. Some just balk and never try to get over the barrier because they are too afraid. Other only try half heartedly knowing that they will fail and thus it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Then there are those who are simply broken people, those who have lost everything in life and their will to stand up and try again has just snapped, broken like a dry twig. I know now what marvellous work is done here and I am deeply humbled and grateful for the life that I had. I used to think my life was not perfect. I am an orphan, having no family at all save for the ones back in the temple of Torms Coming back in Tantras. I had found a family here, with Lilly and Celine and I’ve thrown it all away in a moment of lust.

I started my day with healing any of the sick and curing the worst of the ones who are afflicted with disease. Once my curing abilities had been exhausted I went out to earn some meagre money so as to give more money to Chadin and any beggars that I see.
I have yet to start to beg for food, as I am now fasting. It’s been two days now since I last ate and I will not eat again until the end of the week. I hope this does not affect Lilly. I need to suffer and atone for my sins but please Torm and Ilmater, spare Lilly from my pain, I beg of you.

I wandered the streets and stumbled into the market. Under one of the shelters, sitting there was Shanee. I went up to her and she smiled at me and asked if I have become a monk now, as I was wearing a monks robe. I simply nodded and said in a fashion I have become a monk. I also told her that I won’t be requiring her services as Celebrant for the wedding as I don’t think I will be getting married now. Shanee looked deeply concerned by this and wanted to know what had happened. She asked me to come with her to the ‘dragon and tell her. I followed although with great reluctance as Lilly may still be at the ‘dragon in our room and it’s also where I succumbed to my lust with the temptress.

We sat in exactly the same spot upstairs as I did when I fell. Oh the irony of it all. I started to tell Shanee of what I had done, of how I had betrayed Lilly buy laying with another woman. Shanee looked concerned. I also told her see was right, that sometimes temptations just can’t be resisted. I started to cry as the enormity of my transgression sunk in again. I curse myself for being weak. I managed to resist the charms of women before, why did I fall now, just as everything was going so well? I told Shanee that I had to earn Lilly’s forgiveness. She replied that that isn’t so. If Lilly, and for that matter Celine, truly love me for who I am, then they will forgive me as they will know that I am truly repentant. I was a bit dumbfounded by that revelation and it’s has kindled a tiny flame of hope in my soul. I still feel though that I must work to ease the pain that I have inflicted so carelessly of Lilly, I can do no less.

Shanee said that love can find a way. I dearly pray now that it does. I asked Shanee to write or speak to Lilly as well, not on my behalf but to give her counselling and someone neutral to talk with. She agreed, albeit a little reluctantly, to do so as she has never met Lilly before. Shanee also said that she was still my friend. I almost broke down when I heard that. The tears stung in my eyes but I held my composure. She hugged me and said to be well.

She then left and I was alone again. I left the in and ran into Lomyrion. He asked if I was busy and I said I was in seeking alms and food for the poor. He noticed my condition and inquired if everything was alright. I began to feel extremely uncomfortable in his presence as he is a very holy Elf of Corellon and I said to him that I am corrupted and have sinned. He seemed deeply concerned and offered to aid me. I said that if he wanted to help then he could give a donation to the temple of Ilmater. He was a little taken aback by this and said that if I carry on like this he will not give me the wedding gift he’d promised me. I felt lower than dirt. I said nothing as I feared that if I did, and in public too, then I would just lose my mind. I told him that I had to go, to continue my task for the poor. I could not endure to be in his company a moment longer as I felt like excrement. Bile was rising in my stomach and I turned and almost fled from him before I disgraced myself even further.

Later on after I had done a few menial tasks about the city, I came upon Chadin. Again I felt extremely uncomfortable in his company. I just handed the money I had to him and then left. He said to me that he was glad to see that I am taking my penance seriously. The man doesn’t even know what hell I am in. He was with his lady, not his wife and I just don’t know what to make of that. I walked away even though I heard someone call out my name, probably wishing to speak with me. I am in no fit state to be with friends any more. I do though feel that Shanee is the only one that I can turn to now. She is a kind, decent, caring and loving woman and for that I will love her as a friend.

I must go now and continue my journey alone. I have given my boots and clothes away to the poor, except the tunic that Tiana made for me. I go now bare foot and only clad in a robe. My feet are blistered and bleed quite often as the cobblestones are often sharp and my feet are soft and not used to it.

Time to help out with the sick once more....

[b:2inkot6n]Day 122[/b:2inkot6n]

The darkness of the penance is starting to fade.

My resistance to disease started to fail me two days ago. I think it was due to the intense misery I felt. I had no love for myself. I could heal others but not myself and the immunity to common ailments faded. I started to cough, get a fever, shake and have blurred vision. My body felt like it had been beaten with clubs, my joints throbbed and ached. I have never felt so much pain before. Because I was living amongst the poor and sick, I caught their sickness too. My feet were almost shredded but I managed to bind them with rags.

I limped in the direction of the market and saw Ky’ran. He asked me what was going on and as I started to explain my purpose, Xantre came forward. He was smouldering with pent up rage towards Kimberly. It seems that Kimberly has done something to Xan that is absolute terrible. Betrayal is her nature but I forgive her for the transgression that she made with me. She knew that I was to be married and I should have resisted. However, if she truly loved me, then she would have not slept with me when I was to be married. She should have done the honourable thing and held her affection for me in check. But we are both human and frail and let lust rule us. The thing about making mistakes is that we learn from them and never repeat them again. I vow that I will never make that mistake again but I fear that Kimberly has not learned her lessons and is doomed to repeat them.

Xan made some dire threats against her but I implored him not to give into anger. If he attacks her then he is only breaking the law. If he kills her then he is a murderer and will suffer for it. He is now in a deep relationship with a lovely elven woman named Shara and he must learn that he has to control his desire for revenge otherwise he will doom their happiness. Ky’ran echoed my sentiments and told Xan not to give into hate. As we were talking, Valari came by and asked why I was begging. I told her I was collecting for Ilmater and the poor. She asked if I followed Ilmater to which I replied I serve him. I serve all gods of goodness ultimately through the debt of persecution. I just happen to be doing the work of an Ilmateri as it is good for me to suffer for my sins.

Valari then started talking with Xan and Ky’ran asked me to go with him. I followed him to the ‘dragon and we went into a room to talk quietly. He was deeply concerned about my state of well being but I assured him I was alright, even though I was coughing badly at the time. He asked about my penance and who had proscribed it. I told him it was Chadin as he was the first priest I saw after I had sinned with Kim. I had been speaking with a half-orc of all people, a complete stranger and told this fellow what I had done. I never caught his name but the half-orc said that I would do the right thing and it gave me the impetus to confess to Chadin as soon as I saw him.

I explained to Ky’ran about my penance and he nodded but I also informed him of the extra measures I had taken, the fasting and removal of boots and clothes. He looked at me and knew I was earnest in my desire to atone. I then asked him if he knew where flowers may be obtained. He said he wasn’t sure and asked why I wanted flowers? To give to Lilly and Celine I answered. He said that I’d be better speaking with them but I said nothing in reply. I know though that if you want a woman to feel that you care for her, then flowers are an excellent way to show her that. Ky’ran said that they grow out in the wilds and it was dangerous out there. I nodded but was adamant that I was going to seek them out. He said if I needed help, to call him and he would aid me. I thanked him and left to continue begging.

I headed back to the centre of the city and then wandered northwards. As I was passing one of the noble estates, I saw Celine. She stared hard at me and asked what I was up to. I told her I was begging for the poor and started to cough badly, this time fleck of blood came up. My vision swam and I staggered over to a fountain to splash cold water on my fevered face. Rith appeared next to Celine, she had been lurking in the shadows. I can’t recall now what was said as my head was pounding and eyes ringing. I know though that Celine said something cold and unkind. When I think of it now, I have to say that I think I have hurt Celine the most. She looked up to me, we became family and I have let her down badly. She is starting to slip into the grey limbo of hate and I have to save her from being consumed by it. I shuffled off away from them, feeling shame and remorse.

I continued to wander about, coming back to the market. I decided to just ask the crowd in general if anyone knew where flowers may be obtained from. Almost immediately, a little chap piped up and told me that they can be found in fields to the north of the city. I thanked him for his information and started to turn away when a shadowy figure pressed two beautiful flowers into my hand. I was still a little feverish and didn’t see who this kind soul was. I must have a guardian watching over me. I thanked whom ever it was aloud and shuffled off.

I continued to meander about the city, getting the odd donation here and there. Somehow I ended up back at the market. There on a bench, sitting quietly was Lilly. I shuffled up and she looked up at me with concern. I said hello and asked if she’d seen Celine. She said she hadn’t but I looked about and saw Celine just behind the stalls. I limped over to her and handed her and Lilly a flower each. Celine stared suspiciously at the flower and asked my why I was giving it to her. Because it’s beautiful I replied. She suddenly softened and was silent while Lilly put her flower in her hair. I said nothing further and just limped away. If I could, I would fill their rooms with flowers, blooms of all colours and varieties. I would have petals strewn beneath their feet and shower them in blossoms.

I will go to the fields to the north and gather more flowers soon for the ones I love the most.

I then headed out of the city as I needed some air. The sight of Lilly putting the flower I gave her in her hair had changed something within me. She still loves me. If she didn’t she would have crushed the blossom under her feet and spat in my face but she accepted it. She was also very worried about my well being, seeing how emaciated I was. She gave me some food and told me to eat. Those words alone where sustenance beyond compare. She fills my thoughts all the time as she is an extraordinary woman. She is compassionate, kind, clever, witty. Compliments like that fall far short of the actuality that they are almost insults. I have never met anyone as brave and loving as she is.

While I was walking out to the east, I found a dead man some miles from the city. I looked over his body and saw that he was from the knights. I shoulder his corpse, gathered up most of his belongings and headed back to the city. On the way back though I ran into some orcs. Rather than abandon a knight, I fought them all. Luck again was with me as Silmar appeared from behind the orcs, skewering and peppering them with arrows.

I am starting to seriously believe again in divine providence.

My cough started to fade after that. I staggered back into the city and was passing the temple of Chauntea when Andrea ordered me to stop. She demanded to know who I was carrying. I didn’t know the poor chaps name, only that he was a knight from the compound as his garments showed and he had a key. I told her I was taking the body back to the temple of Tyr but she ordered me to give it to her along with the key. As I was placing the body on the ground, Lilly came over to see what was happening as did Rith.

Rith and Andrea took the body away before I had chance to hand over the rest of his gear. I had found no money though on him, only his sword, flail, a healing potion, a large number of arrows but no bow, his knights garb and a large amount of medicine bags.

Lilly asked me what was going on, and I told her that orcs were ravaging the country side. She asked me if I was going back out there and I said yes. She sighed and looked worried again. This time though she came up close and pressed a gem into my hand. For luck if I believe in that she said softly. I believe in you I answered her as I clutched the gem tightly in my hand. She seemed both happy and flustered at the same time and stuttered about having to go back to her studies again. She said “take care love” before she quietly left me. She called me love again! My spirits rose like the sun at dawn, my nightmare is starting to fade away. I know now she and I will be together again. I still have a long way to go before she can be fully at ease with me, but I will be patient as time heals all wounds.

She was still wearing the flower I gave her. I am still under penance but I know now that I will be redeemed. All I have to do now is have Celine love me again as her brother, to melt the ice of grief and hate that surrounds her heart and we will be family again. I will never let them down, ever!

Since that moment, I have begun to heal. My feet are still wrapped in bandages but no longer bleed. My fever and cough have gone and I feel the vigour returning to my limbs.
So much so that when I was asked to help out a small band with the lumber problem, I agreed immediately and with that little group, was like a whirlwind of retribution to the villains that had disrupted the lumber supplies to Arabel.

So I write this entry with renewed hope, a sense of guilt and despair has lifted.

I will always feel a debt to the temple of Ilmater for having a wretch like me stay with them. There are more good deeds to do, more souls to save and to find and regain the love and trust of the two that mean more to me than anything else in the world, Lilly and Celine.

[b:2inkot6n]Day 143[/b:2inkot6n]

It's hard to smile when you are dying inside.

So much has happened of late and my life is in such turmoil that focusing on keeping a journal has been far from my mind.

My shameful lustful night with Kim has resulted in her becoming pregnant. My disgrace is complete. That and my spiteful letter to the knights was the final catalyst for my fall.

Torm's face and voice is gone from my life.

I can't pray to him anymore for his divine gifts.

I accept that as punishment for my many sins.

I have no one to blame but myself and I will shoulder the responsibility.

Many of my friends have been supportive, some even disbelieving that I could be cast out of the fold.

I wrote to Lilly, telling her the truth about Kim's condition. Her reply was brief and left me doubting now that she loves me anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if she just walked away. I deserve nothing from her.

I have been trying to follow the duty to the best of my ability, giving help to those I can. I am sleeping again in the temple of Ilmater, a fitting place for one who needs to suffer for his transgressions.

I severed links to my past yesterday. The painting that Shanee gave me, I sold to Temon. Afterwards I wept silently, as it was one of the few things I treasured.

I also gave away my last flowers and will not gather anymore. I also sold the gems that I was saving for Lilly and almost sold her wedding ring. I will give it to her as a last gift instead when we speak for probably the last time. I have nothing left now but weapons, armour, a set of clothes and a few other small items like healing bags and some food.

I tried to give Guyton the masterwork two handed sword yesterday but he refused and Chadin slapped me, accusing me of being too humble.

Chadin doesn't understand what it is to be a paladin. He is a proud man and has Torm's favour. Through it all, all his sins, he has won through. I don't think I will be so fortunate.

Then a number of people gathered around, all in high spirits as it was Sydney's birthday. I could not share in their joy, in fact watching them only reminded me what I have lost, made me feel cold and a feeling of terrible sadness arose. I got out my last flowers, put them on the ground in front of Sydney and then I said to them to have a nice time and quietly left. Seeing their happiness only reinforced the pain I felt and I could no longer bear to stand near them.

I walked off and sat in front of the temple of Tyr but did not enter as I feel too ashamed to enter there now. I had gone in a couple of time earlier but each time I felt like a thief, profaning the temple. So now I will not go inside as it is not appropriate.

Lomyrion has offered to name me Elf Friend and feels that I could serve Corellon. I am deeply humbled by his most generous and kind offer but I don't believe the father of the elves would want a disgraced and fallen paladin in his service. I have to redeem myself first before I could take service with another god and as much as it is a lovely thought, I could never really be accepted by Corellon I think. He would look into my heart and see that I am a weak.

I have to see Kim again and start to give her money for our child.
I will keep nothing for myself, I will Tithe to good causes and sleep with the beggars.

Well, there is nothing left now but the duty.

[b:2inkot6n]Day 151[/b:2inkot6n]

[b:2inkot6n][center:2inkot6n]UNDER ARABELIAN SKIES[/center:2inkot6n][/b:2inkot6n]

[center:2inkot6n][i:2inkot6n]There’s a long old road winding down by the east way,
Where the smell of Cedars hangs so gently in the air,
I long to walk that road with my helmet off
and the scent of flowers blowing through my mind,
To sit and sing by a bright fireside with my friends as we share our lives,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,

There’s a girl I used to know in that slow town,
With eyes like stars and wild winds and thunder through her hair,
And we would laugh and shine, drink sweet wine till our love lit up the night,
And she took my hand and gazed at me and pledged friendship and love for eternity
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,
And I felt so at home on that long hot summer night.

There was an adventure that never ended that summer,
From forest to city, tavern to temple we borrowed in our souls,
And there were hearts I touched and they touched mine,
Before exploding into separate lives
There were smiles of those I knew as they walked away,
And that we’d all meet up again some day,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,

But I knew it couldn’t last forever,
And now I have to put my heart and soul back together.

The last several months have left me battered and broken,
Built me up and tore me down, ten thousand miles from home,
And if I had to say where I lost my soul I’d be sure to find it on that road,
The friends that I cherished and loves that I’ve lost, so many moons ago
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,
Under Arabelian Skies,

Now I feel so alone on these long cold winter nights…..[/i:2inkot6n][/center:2inkot6n]

[b:2inkot6n]Day 156[/b:2inkot6n]

There is not much to write here really.

I gave that masterwork two handed blade to Ky'ran. He needs it more than I and I'm not worthy of it.

I'm spending the next ten day period in prayer at the temple of Ilmater.

When not in prayer, I will work the humble tasks here in the city, earning a few gold coins and giving that to the temples. If needed, I will fight.

I am putting aside money for the baby in my bank account and will give it to Kim when I see her next.

Aside from that I had an idea as to how to redeem myself in regards to the knights.

I saw Cherry perform the other day and her song about Sir Caspian gave me a clue. I need to start to research and read about a certain sword that has been lost. Perhaps if I can retrieve this blade then I can hope to redeem myself? Even if I can, I can never hope t be a member of the knights. I feel too uncomfortable in their presence now and in the off chance that I do regain my paladin status, I don't believe they would want me anyway. I've submitted an application to join the army instead. I think I can do a better job there.

I must return now to my prayer vigil.

Torm be merciful to your unworthy son.

[b:2inkot6n]Day 159[/b:2inkot6n]

[i:2inkot6n]Those who walk the road of good and the paths of righteousness are beset from all quarters by the inequities of the selfish, the ignorant and the tyranny of evil people.

Yet they are blessed as those, who in the name of selfless good, that endeavour to shield the weak and the good souls from the shadow and the darkness, for they are true and good people and are keepers of the faith.

Torm commands us to strike out with great vengeance and furious anger, at those who attempt to corrupt and destroy all that is good in this world.

They will know his name when he lays down his justice upon them. [/i:2inkot6n]

This is a sermon I remember from my youth.

How appropriate it is now. I have encountered the selfish, the ignorant and the evil here in Arabel at all quarters.

I have been accused of being a traitor by Jonathon, which is a baseless lie. The man is a fool and I have no respect for him now.

I have stood upto to evil men in the market, confronting those who use guile and deceits to fool the innocent. It staggers me still that people ignore a paladins word when someone is pronounced evil. The selfish are easily seduced by the sweet lies and soft words of those who have evil in their hearts.

Although no longer a paladin, I can still see an evil man by his actions.

There is much happening now, Chadin too has fallen from grace. By apologizing to Kevan Bhaliir, he has earned Torm's displeasure. He should have stood firm with Ky'ran, regardless of their differences. I will not say anything to him about this though, as its upto him to resolve it.

Chadin seeks martyrdom by challenging the high priest of Bane to a death duel. I think Chadin is finally standing upright for the faith for the first time and although I do not wish him to die, if he strikes out at our enemies as commanded by our lord, then he is doing the righteous work.

I told Monah about this. She is somewhat concerned but there is still a lot of resentment and hurt that she has towards Chadin. Later I saw her again with Cold inside the 'dragon. She'd told him about Chadin's intentions and we were discussing a away to try to get Chadin to rethink his approach. I feel that he needs to redeem himself first before he fights, so he has the full backing of Torm in this battle. Then Monah's seedy lover, a thug named Leon started to make disparaging comments about Chadin and my temper began to rise.

First I asked him not to say anything further as it wasn't helping at all. But he got abusive and so I told him to go and play hide and go fuck himself as I have had enough of hearing the drivel of fools. He just walked upto me and attacked me before I knew what was happening. Cold and Monah dragged him off and Monah told me not to judge him but he's condemned himself by his actions. I know I was wrong to swear at him but he has shown his true nature. He is a violent thug and I hope that he doesn't strike Monah when they have their first real argument. Cold healed me and then left while Monah and I had a full and frank exchange of views.

She thought I was feeling sorry for myself but that is not the case anymore, I feel a burning anger at the way things happen about here. We flung epithets and accusations at each other, saying hurtful things and lashing out at each other.

But, I have no real quarrel with her and neither she with me and by the end, we forgave each other. She genuinely wants me to redeem myself, to be a force for good. She still believes in me even after my fall. We embraced and parted on very good terms. I will never speak to her lover, Leon, nor will I aid him in any way as I believe him to be an evil man. I will ask fellow paladins to look into his soul and see if they can confirm my suspicions.

Yet through all this, I feel that I have more support from my elven friends like Lomyrion and Dina, than I do from my own people. They are helping me find clues about the lost sword of Justice, Orblyn. I will be writing to Yarwil Ondis at the shrine of Ohgma and also Tonald Sigermane at the museum for further information about the sword. I also asked Knight Veteran Ariana to search through the orders achieves to see if they had any clues. I told her how sorry I was for insulting her superiors and asked her to pass on my apology. I believe that if I can recover the blade, and return it to the knights, then I will have gone some way to redemption.

It has been hard for me to follow my prayer vigil, not through any lack of trying though. And I still have not heard back from the Temple in Tantras but I suppose the letter is till en route there.

Follow the duty of Torm always, salvation is found through service to others, to strike out at corruption within the hearts of wicked people, stand firm and true against evil, smite traitors with a quick and painful deaths, reform unjust laws through questioning and improve them so they are equitable for all. Be resolute in your faith, be loyal to family and friends, obey your leaders but not blindly and strive to aid all good beings of this world.

This is my mantra now, if I break the law by striking out against evil as Ky'ran has done, so be it. I am being true to my faith as he has always been.

Praise and glory forever unto the Loyal Fury!

[b:2inkot6n]Day 164[/b:2inkot6n]

My quest for the Sword of Justice has begun. I found a small map in one of the tomes I was reading in the Museum. Thinking that I may have stumbled onto a clue as to it’s possible where it may be. I immediately set forth and went to search the location that this scrap of paper indicated. On my out of the city I came upon Alaethe, a very shy girl but who has a heart of gold. I told her what I planned and she asked if I wanted her to accompany me. I said no, as this was a task that I had to do myself. So instead she cast a few spells on me, that enhanced my fighting abilities and I set out onto the East Way road.

I had gone about half way when I suddenly saw a very large group of orcs near the windmill. It was over a dozen and steeling my resolve, I shouted my battle cry and charged into them. My sword flashed brightly in the moonlight and with a flick of my wrist, I slashed the throat of the first orc, sending a shower of blood spraying into the night air. The rest of the orcs charged in and this was a fight I will never forget.

Four orcs moved in close and I leapt forward to meet them, my sword a shimmering light in the darkness. An orc darted in, only to fall back, his guts spilling onto the ground as I disembowelled him. It fell back, screaming as I hewed it the next one. Swaying aside against a clumsy thrust, I rolled my blade and then plunged it deep into the orcs chest. It cried out and staggered backwards. I stepped back and swung at the next opponent, my sword flashing in the air. It took the orc in the side of the neck, cleaving through skin, tendon and bone. The orcs head struck the ground while its body stood for several seconds, blood fountaining into the air before it collapsed limply to the ground. I pivoted on my heel, ramming my sword into the next orcs face. The blade sunk deep into its eye and it too fell back dead. The other orc archers now had a clear shot at me and started to pepper me with arrows.

[b:2inkot6n]“TORM’S FURY!” [/b:2inkot6n]I cried as I charged into the archers. I ducked as a shaft went whistling over my head and as I came up, lunged forward, plunging my long sword into the archer’s flank. The orc stumbled and another arrow slashed past my face. I spun to meet them, running forward, kicking out at the first once and hacking at his companion. I dodged a savage blow to my head and slashed back with an overhead blow, cleaving the orc in twain. Then I had three more orcs attacking me, forcing back as I parried furiously. Seeing my chance to attack, I stepped in, slicing through the arm of one orc, and then chopping into the chest of another. A sword stabbed into my shoulder and I gasped with pain for a moment as I whirled to face this new threat. Blocking a wild second cut, I sent my own blade in a deadly riposte that opened his throat.

The air was full of the screams and cries of dying orcs and suddenly I was under attack again, this time from a bunch of goblins that scurried forward. A blade tore into my side and caused me to stumble for a moment. But before a death blow could be delivered, I struck back at the goblin thug, smashing the hilt of my blade in its face, sending it reeling back, blood streaming from its ruined face. Goblin archers shot their shafts at me but my plate and shield turn most of the arrows aside. I hacked at another goblin, dropping it then charged the archers, slashing furiously at them. Thrusting my blade through one archer, I wrenched it free to hew another in half with one blow. Another black arrow slammed into me but I gritted my teeth, my long sword clove the head of another archer and blocking a further stab with my shield from another. The last two goblins rushed in, stabbing at me with their short swords. I turned to meet them head on, carving downwards into the first and slashing the throat of the last.

[b:2inkot6n]“IN YOUR NAME LORD!”[/b:2inkot6n] I yelled as I stood triumphant on the field, the bodies of orcs and goblins scattered about me. I felt such an exultation, felt so alive at that moment. I had taken on such a large band of orcs and goblin and victory was mine. I was drenched in blood, some of it my own. I quickly stripped my armour and healed myself before setting off to where the map indicated.

Once reaching the hills south of the East Way, I suddenly was set upon by four Worgs. I leapt to meet the first beast my long sword slicing deep into its rib cage. The second worg snapped at me with its jaws, biting my leg. Then a woman appeared from the tanners shop, and immediately leapt into the attack on the Worgs. Together we made short work of them. I thanked her for her help but she said nothing, and left without a word.

I started my search of the hills of the area but found nothing. Just as I was leaving, on top of one of the hills, I saw a Malar Panther. I knew that this creature was beyond my abilities to fight. I have seen more experienced warriors being hard pressed to dispatch such creatures. I felt no shame in retiring to get help in dealing with this monster. I used the portal to quickly return to the city and as I was heading to the market, I saw Poena and asked her for aid. She immediately agreed and we set off back to where the Panther was. She cast a number of spells that enhanced our abilities then summoned a huge lion. I charged up the hill and started to attack the foul beast, Poena called down divine energy to smite the creature. I was a hard fought battle but in the end we were victorious.

We spent the rest of the day digging about the hills, trying to find a clue or something that was indicated on the map but to no avail. Poena was very enthusiastic, as digging and riddles are some of gnome’s favourite pastimes. We were confronted again by another Panther, but it was not a Malar panther. Poena was shaking with fear but I told her to stand firm. The panther then transformed into the woman who had helped me earlier fight the Worgs. She said she could smell Poena’s fear. I had the sense that this woman was not a good soul but since I no longer have my divine ability to confirm that, had to just ignore her for the moment. Poena and I returned to the city and she said she’d looked to the map that I found.

I am starting to think now that it’s just a simple treasure map, 15 gold coins buried by Tippo Tigelwillies in 1332, well over forty years ago. But I must make sure of this and will write to the public office to see if they have any census records of this person.

I then later went out with another group of people whom I’ve never worked with before. The mission was a success but the leader, an Elf named Silivren was killed. He is the vainest Elf that I have ever encountered. More concerned with his appearance than anything else. He even complained that the rain was hurting hair and that he’d broken two nails in service of the city. I said nothing though, rather just do my duty and carry on.

Aside from that, not much else to add. I still am doing the best I can to regain my lords favour. I am tithing regularly to both the Tyran temple and the temple of Ilmater, keeping only enough money to replenish my stock of healing kits and potions. The rest I have set aside in my bank account for Kim and the baby. I may have to though give a large potion of that as a donation to the church as part of my redemption.
I retire now to pray and thank Torm for that great victory out on the east way.

Glory to the Loyal Fury!

[b:2inkot6n]Day 168[/b:2inkot6n]

I met a woman today named Ebano, a bard of Sune. I mentioned that I was good friends with a Sunite priestess, Shanee. I was stunned to hear her say that she’d seen Shanee recently. We were on a mission for the ‘dragons and I managed to focus on that but all the time I keep thinking at the back of my mind about Shanee. I thought I’d managed to put her out of my mind when I sold the painting she gave me. And now I hear that she may have returned to Arabel.

I spoke with Ebano at the ‘pride after the mission. We had a good long talk and she told me she saw Shanee last week. My head was reeling. All the feelings I had for Shanee came back. I just don’t know what to do if Shanee is back? I have to settle things with Lilly, who is never here, I have to try to be a father to a child and help Kim with that and now there is a chance that the other woman I felt deep a love for may have returned. But Ebano and Poena later, both said that I have to think of myself first before I can think of others.

So here is what I resolved to do: Firstly, to ask Lilly to make an effort to met me and sort this out once and for all. I hate to put an ultimatum on her but this has dragged on long enough. If she can’t or won’t see me, then I will call off the engagement as since I am no longer a paladin, I am free to break it off. I will send her the platinum ring and move on with my life. I will never look back. It will be one of the most painful things I will have to do but this waiting in limbo is too much. Sometimes you have to let go the thing you love in order to be free.

Secondly, to give Kim enough money to help her buy the things she will need to care for the child and then send her away to Suzail where she and the baby can live safely. I can not be there for her while I am in pieces nor can I be a strong father for my child. It is not fair to either of them and people may think poorly for my decision but I have to put my redemption first before I can start to help others.

Finally, if it is really true and Shanee has returned, I will try to seek her out and see how she is, if she still has feelings for me. I don’t know what I will do if she does but I will not marry her as I have yet to reclaim my paladinhood. These are my only goals now, to reclaim what I have lost and to find Orblyn. All else is a distraction.

Praise unto Lord Torm, may he steel my heart and protect those I love.
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 179[/b:3nfe1fm6]

It's been a while since I had anything worth writing.

To be honest, I'm not sure if it's worth keeping a journal anymore but I'll persist for now.

There has been outrage and evil committed against the Elven people. Long have I suspected that the forces of darkness are capable of acting in unison and the assault on the shrine by disparate evil ones shows that to be so? I have quietly set things in motion, speaking with people I know and trust, gathering support so that a stand against evil can be made. A secret war is happening now and it is a war that must be won.

I was confronted by a junior paladin of Torm in the halls of mercy the other day. I told him the truth of my situation yet he treated me like dirt. It was almost as though he thought that any fallen paladin was not even worthy of the attempt at redemption. I told him I was questing for Orblyn and he implied that I was not even worthy of handling the blade. I think that he needs to look deep into his heart and think about the nature of compassion and forgiveness, otherwise he will be a cold and merciless man, and that won't take much to push him to evil. Rather than argue with him, I left.

I don't think ill of him; he's just all full of zeal and vigour but lacks life experience to judge things properly. The irony is that I am still very well regarded by many here in Arabel, including many paladins who actually know me. That most gracious lady, Baroness Bresk, asked me to perform an errand for her, which I was most pleased to do. So if a high ranking noble lady and paladin of Lathandar can tolerate, trust and even smile kindly at a fallen paladin, I know that I am still worthwhile. Deeds are what count in the end. I am still doing as best I can for the good of my faith, friends and the city in general.

I have achieved my goal of regaining my proficiency that I lost when I fell three times in one day. Now I have to regain Torms favour, which seems to be an impossible task. I try to keep the peace without violence, demonstrated when I managed to stop two men fighting in the market place. I try to adhere to the law as best I can but there was an occasion when I let the Elves take one of the villains who was involved in the massacre away to exact their justice. I see it as just and in a way, I was following Elven law this time. I seriously doubt that Cormyrian law would have been able to do anything to these most vile people but all avenues need to be tried. I need to find Sword-Captain Kaye and tell her what I know as she has written to me, asking for details about the massacre.

I have let Lilly go or rather she has let me go. We were supposed to meet a few days ago but she never arrived. I am used to the disappointment now and realise that I was a fool to believe that she could change and fit me into her life. In hindsight, I should have never started to court her, I was impetuous but what is done is done. I will send her the last ring and bid her goodbye.

I still hold a special place for her in my heart but the love has faded. To be a couple, both people need to be there, both giving and receiving. Lilly has other things that she needs to do with her life and I need to redeem myself in the eyes of my god. There is no point in holding onto something that has no chance. I wish her well in her life and hope that she finds peace and happiness.

So now I am free from all the loves in my life. Lilly has gone, Kim has moved to Suzail and from what I gather, Shanee only made a very brief visit to Arabel but has not returned. I made a faux pas by thinking that there might be something between me and Cherry but she feels like I am her brother. Actually I am content with that. I know that she and I are the closest of friends and thinking about that, it's better that way.

I resigned from the Boast as well. I was telling the meeting about the massacre and my plans to fight the rising tide of evil but instead of support, I got suspicious and indifference from many of the members of the meeting. I was still very on edge at the time and Dante Fairwood just pushed a line of questioning that made my temper snap.

I stood up, announced my resignation and left. I don't regret it at all. I can't be a part of an organisation that is more concerned with rebuilding houses when the threat of evil is a far greater menace. What is the point of building a house, only to see it destroyed again when the next assault by the forces of darkness occurs? I applaud their sentiment but in order to have a stable and prosperous and above all safe society, chaos and evil need to be driven back so that people can live their lives in security and peace.

Well time to go out and see what else I can do for the good of a city that is not my home.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 184[/b:3nfe1fm6]

There is an old expression, engraved on many memorials and tombs of fallen warriors:

"Love hath no greater than he who will lay down his life for another"

Again, I have fallen in the service of this city. I gave my life so that others may live.

My dear friends managed to stop the fiends in their tracks and the Lady El'vryth brought me back into the land of the living. I will continue to fight for this city, there is no other way forward. I have never asked for recognition, plaudits or rewards. All I want is to be redeemed, to know that what I is do is right and just.

I am going to pledge myself to the Elves as part of the Debt of Persecution. They need all the help they can get since that terrible night. Anything I can do to aid them, I will. If it means dying again, so be it. I am at peace now, nothing can harm me anymore. I have found my faith again, but I am yet to hear Torms voice. He will call his son in his own time I suppose. I will be waiting.

Death is but a doorway, salvation is found through service!

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 187[/b:3nfe1fm6]

Yesterday I had the strangest experiences.

First off I saw that ponce Loren wearing Tormtar robes, talking with a man who was clad in armour inscribed with the symbols of Torm. What game is Loren playing now? I don't understand him at all. Has he found faith in the church again? If so then I am happy for him but wary at the same time.

I was talking with Saly at the time and didn't feel like talking to Loren anyway. It would have only lead to another argument between us and that is not productive. He has his on plans and intrigues on and it's best to leave him to it. Although I do believe though that Loren actually works for the best interests of the city even it he does it in ways which are often strange and byzantine.

Later on, I was approached by Annabel Autumn, Valari and Rhyana. I was very tired at the time, feeling disconnected and out of sorts and Valari said that there was a strange man causing a disturbance at the 'pride. She asked if I might speak with the fellow, to calm him down. If it was an issue of simply dealing with a drunk, then I could be of some help, as it would be a matter of law and usually a few calm and kind words are all that is needed to calm such people down. So I agreed and set off for the Inn. I also wanted to see how much Annabel has been ensnared by the corruption of the forces of evil and I am sad to say, from what I have observed of her and her interactions, it is pretty bad.
I was though secretly suspecting some sort of a trap. I thought for a while that Rhyana and Valari would try something, some dastardly and underhanded plot on my person but in fact, it was as they said it was, a man spouting gibberish in one of the rooms upstairs. I was prepared to fight for my life as the best way to deal with a surprise attack is immediate counter attack but instead found myself heading out the east way with them in a daze.

Then we entered a nightmare world. I had heard once before, Chadin talking about demonic and fiendish farm animals but dismissed it as pure nonsense.

I will never joke on it again.

In the end we came back safe and sound and the ladies didn't even touch me at all. I was so on edge, expecting a knife in the back, a bedazzling spell or worse but nothing. However, I have learned that Annabel does work openly with evil people, Banites and alike although I can't tell if she is evil herself. When I did have my sense, she was not showing any taint but of course this may have changed since then. I have learned though the evil can take many guises, the soft alluring smile, the gentle touch. Yet again, none of this was directed at me. What were they upto in the end I can not say. I will though be ever alert for their ensnaring feminine wiles though.

So I will have to end my friendship with Annabel as she is obviously in bed with the powers of darkness. And in addition, never expose myself to such unnecessary danger again by being with Valari or Rhyana. It was a calculated risk which paid off this time. I am not a gambler by nature and will not take such a chance again. Too much is at stake.

More atonement will be needed.

I was so disoriented and exhausted that I was dozing on my feet in the market. I often find it hard to rest these days. So many people want different things of me. There are too many things pulling at me.

I am caught in a bind of honour and obligations and the duty. A friend wants me to help someone while she is away. This person, if found by certain parties, would be killed. I owe the person, who has asked this favour, my life. I am getting to the point where I will have to take a stand and no matter what I do, there will be major consequences. I hate this but there is no way out.

I have offered to donate a substantial sum of money to the Elven council. I told Lomyrion that I am prepared to offer my service and sword to his people. He will speak to his fellow council members. Since there is no shrine to Torm here and the debt of persecution states to aid goodly faiths (and the elves need all the help they can get), I believe that my gift to the elves is a way of helping and keeping in line with the duty.

Time to go and find Lady El'vryth and offer her the donation.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 199[/b:3nfe1fm6]

Well then, it seems that so much has happened recently I scarcely know where to begin.

Firstly Shanee came back, then left without a word and now I find that she's back again. I just wish she'd had let me know what was on her mind and that she'd not taken off like that. It really upset me because it seemed that another woman who I loved was abandoning me....again.

Anyway, I will talk with her and see what her story is. To be honest, I still love her deeply but I have found that to care too much is to let yourself be open to heartbreak. I'm over it now and have purpose in my life. If she can't be a part of that then I will accept her choice and move on. I do hope that she can be with me. I only wish she'd have let me know what she was thinking. I know she was upset after the incident with the Dire wolves.

I was trying to reassure her as she'd suffered a big shock in firstly seeing me killed, then running from the wolves and letting three farmers die and finally seeing me die again only to be miraculously raised by Torm. Although it could have been Sune, I am really not sure which god took pity on us and spared her more pain by healing my mortal wounds as I lay bleeding to death. I supposed, being a woman, the shock of battle and such was all too much and I may have said something but for the life of me I can't remember what it was but I think it was something that was meant to try to comfort her but it didn't work.

I do know though that she was very huffy when we got back and wouldn't speak to me. What was I supposed to do? Tell her "Yes Shanee, it's all your fault! You were an idiot and you should've not run backwards and but forwards through the wolves towards the guards at the gate?" I know women well enough that sometimes you don't have to be that brutally honest with them. She is a gentle, kind and caring lady and I often wonder why she adventures at all when most of the time it involves fighting and dying.

What a mess...

More important things though are the continuing assaults on the city by Talossians and the cult of Myrkulites. I have decided to do something about this.

First off, when these attacks occur usually an undisciplined mob rushes out to try to fend off these villains. I have seen that there are many concerned citizens that value the safety and stability that the city has to offer and as such, believe that these good folks could be brought together in a coherent unit of auxiliaries. I have begun discussions with Lance-Lord Baba about this and have gain, in principle support from him. Also I spoke with Dame Melanie Bresk and she was keen to get behind the idea and said she'd speak with her sister, the Baroness, about lending her houses' support to the endeavour. She also suggested that I contact house Fezznick as well. I will do so as soon as time permits. Perhaps speak with Kurt first?

The auxiliaries would be an irregular unit of adventurers, who are able to act together on behalf of the crown and also have official sanction from it. They would not be a vigilante force but rather an armed band of loyal citizens who care deeply for their homes and fellow citizens. All activities would require a report that would be sent onto the Lance-Lord and of course, the unit would be under the command of representatives of the crown when times of strife arose.

So far I have got a very positive response from a number of people who believe as I do, that more needs to be done to drive back these constant threats to the city. No more will we sit back and let these evil buggers intimidate us. If we stand as a united body, we can defend the freedoms that Cormyr has to offer all peoples.

We must not give into the terror!

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 204[/b:3nfe1fm6]

Well...things are just wonderful at the moment. Shanee and I are becoming as close as can be. She has my heart and I have hers.

I am also going to begin looking at the possibility of serving her goddess Sune as Shanee believes that I have so much love to give, that I would be a perfect servant of Lady Firehair. But more importantly, when we pass on, we will be together forever. I could not face the prospect of spending eternity without the one I am devoted to. I will have to see Ky'ran and have a talk with him and others in the Tormtar about this. I am not abandoning Torm but choosing to serve another goddess whom perhaps I am more suited too.

I just pray the Sune will accept a fallen paladin into her service. Shanee will pray to her and write to the higher church authorities on my behalf as she wants me to be with her as much as I with her.

I believe in love.....

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 208[/b:3nfe1fm6]

There are times when I think that I should just pack it all in., but every time I get knocked down, I get back on my feet and begin all over again.

There was another Orc invasion of the city. I fought and died in defence of the city and its people. I and others were stripped by some lowlife scumbag looters of all the things that we had painstakingly put together. For me, I lost a forge pass, swords, tools, armour and shield....all gone.

Rebur Kest, the main pawn broker of the city had my armour for sale. It's the only suit with that golden dye scheme and it was in his inventory. I can't even be bothered to report it because nothing will be done and it's probably been sold by now anyway.

The scum that sold it will enjoy the gold that mine and other peoples gear has netted him. I don't put much stock in material goods usually but it's really galling to be robbed so callously by a complete stranger. Yet I ferverently hope that the excrement will find a special place in the hells one day, all prepared and waiting for them.

No matter what I do, I'm getting no where in getting my paladin status back. I act lawfully, try to encourage others to do so as well...but nothing happens. In the end, there is absolutely no point in complaining about it as no one listens anyway.

I fear it is time to face some harsh realities. I am a lesser man. No point in denying it.

Torm demands unswerving loyalty and selfless sacrifice. I did it all but to no avail, so I will stop. No more effort, nothing. Yet I have to ask: Why serve a god dutifully when that god ignores you constantly? I am beset with doubt, my resolve is gone and I've lost my religion. I know now that the eyes of Torm where hardly ever on me and so I have to say I feel no loyalty to him any more. The more I think of it, that time when I was raised and healed as I lay dying, it was Sune's hand that saved me, not Torm's. This spared Shanee the pain of seeing me die again.

My faith in Torm is gone. Some may say if it's gone then it was never that strong and I say to them, you are full of ..... [word crossed out] Walk a mile in my shoes and see how long you can endure the pain and constant humiliation of being a fallen paladin. Every man has his breaking point, and I have found mine. I am at the nadir of my life. It's been ages since my fall and although I have gone someway in redeeming myself, I have reached the end of my tether. I can't do this anymore.

Ky'ran said I'd be breaking oaths and vows but I accuse Torm of breaking his promises too....faith goes both ways. All that service, all that loyalty, duty and sacrifice for nothing!

I never asked for much, just a fair go!

A god has to look down on his followers and hear their prayers and all this time, Torm has deemed me unworthy. When you have given everything you have to find redemption and at the end, only to find emptiness, it's enough to break the strongest soul.
I cried out to him again and again but nothing. Taryn said there will be consequences for my decision, so be it. I have to thank her for helping me after my death....she is a mercurial soul but her heart is in the right place.

I hope that my former brethren in the Tormtar will see that my leaving is the best thing for me and do not hate me for it. I go to serve a goddess that in the end, I am more in tune with because of who I am now. Now my mind is made up and I am resolved, I am leaving the faith of Torm for good.

All things change and I have changed since I have come to Arabel.

Enough of my melancholy thoughts.

Ahh well...time to slowly rebuild once more, climb that ladder again. Am I merely going through the motions though? I just don't know anymore....

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 214[/b:3nfe1fm6]

I find myself in a classical dilemma between the head and the heart.

Shanee wants to leave Arabel and this just came out of the blue which left me stunned and a bit on the back foot. She feels that she is no longer of any use here which I have to say I find hard to believe. She wants me to go with her, to settle down somewhere and start a family.

However, I have begun to think about all this. I'm still not converted to Sune's faith fully and I still very much want to regain my paladin status. I still have the vestiges of it lingering in my memory and everyday, when I wake, I am reminded as to what I have lost. Leaving Arabel would mean I leave all those issues and problems unresolved.

I also have a bit of hesitancy in regards to Shanee as well. Does she want to leave so that I won't be in harms way anymore? I know that she loves me but of late, I haven't heard her say it recently and I find that her embraces were brief and perfunctory.
She never closes her eyes when I kiss her lips, and there's no tenderness in the touch of her finger tips. She's trying hard not to show it but maybe, maybe I know that she's lost that loving feeling? How do I bring it back and change her mind? But why would she lose it? I just don't know anymore....

To be frank, I am certain of one thing. I'm not quite ready to leave right now. I've gotten over my last mishap and am well equipped and provisioned. I feel that I'd like to resolve some of these outstanding issues first. Shanee isn't the centre of my life but I do want her to be with me, to share the journey together as equals. Walking hand in hand to a golden sunrise....on onto a bright future...

I will have to see what she wants.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 217[/b:3nfe1fm6]

Shanee's gone.

I went to see her to speak about things last night but when I got to her room I found it was empty. All her things were gone. She left without telling me or leaving a note or anything.

I stood there in the empty room, looking about in confusion and rising fury. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach and bile began to rise in my throat. I think I lost my head for a moment because I punched a hole in the door. I staggered out of her room in a daze and wandered out into the cold rainy night. It was a good thing it was raining as no one could see my tears.

When I think about it now, I thought that she would always be there for me, that this would be a love that would save me. But again, I've been let down by the one I thought I could depend on the most. She must have had her reasons but I really don't understand them. Was I too much for her, did I smother her with my affection? Why did she come back anyway? She had her reasons and I thought it was to be with me but it seems I was mistaken. When she came back I thought at last, here is someone who I know will be my soul mate and steadfast companion through the journey of life but I now realise that she is not what I thought she was.

However, lately we had been having some problems, small fights and arguments.

She hasn't been around much either, citing one reason or another, making excuses or saying she's too busy. Is that the behaviour of a true lover? I think not. I have to ask myself, that's not a good enough reason to leave is it? I don't know what to believe in anymore. I thought that Shanee would be there to help me in my conversion to Sune. I left Torm's service for her and now I am betrayed. I end up with nothing but what's new there eh? So then I'm done with Sune, there no point in continuing to try to learn her doctrine since her priestess has shown me that it's fickle as the summer wind.

I won't mind now if I fall apart because there is more room in a broken heart.

I believed in love, what else could I do? I was so in love with her. So much for love eh?

All that is left now is death and glory.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 222[/b:3nfe1fm6]

I swear there must be some sort of conspiracy towards me and going on at the moment with some of the women that reside here in Arabel

No sooner than I take a vow of chastity, swearing off any potential love or romantic liaisons in favour of a life of spiritual forefillment which was witnessed by my dear friend Sister Chrissa Roemer of Ilmater. Then suddenly and utterly inexplicably, I begin to receive attention from the ladies again. Shara, the elven ex-lover of Xantre, kissed me by surprise and when I asked her if she has feelings for me, she said yes. I told her I can not return her affections due to my vow but she said she is a patient woman.

Then there was gentle Rav, the elven mage, who also kissed me so passionately it took my breath away when I was escorting her to the Dancing Dragon Inn. Again, right out of the blue and left me blushing like a beetroot. I had to go and stand in the cold rain for a while just to re-focus and get Rav's perfume out of my head. Amelia seems to wants to spend a lot of time with me too and now so many other girls are being kind and nice to me, flirting and flashing coy suggestive glances in my direction.

It beggars belief!

Am I just a manwhore who's large reputation for being an excellent lover and prime stud has now got all the women of this city all flush with breathless excitement?

Torm Preserve Me!

I've told my friend and comrade in Torms service Isendel, since he is the only Tormtar priest currently in Arabel and he thinks it's funny! Then Graf the bard found me in the bath's with Yasia, monk of Azuth, who was naked. I didn't really want her to be there but Yasia just dropped her knickers and jumped in. She is a free spirit and it even made Graf uncomfortable. She left us and walked out of the baths and into the market place in her birthday suit, an oversight on her part as she really likes to go out in the buff. I'm not even in the mood for a relationship and I am determined this time to be as solid as granite in my faith and commitment to my vow.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 225[/b:3nfe1fm6]

I blame Sylviana! She is the most stupid of elven women if there ever was one.

I had an "intense" discussion with her a few days back because she was questioning why I would constantly wear my armour and helm all the time. She said I was hiding from the world and now I realise I need that barrier of steel to fend of these females and their wiles. It was Sylviana that convinced me to remove my helm.

Torm give me strength, I beg of you!

Ophias would have kittens if he saw what was going on but at least I have Isendel as a witness to show that I make no effort to seduce these women. Am I the flame and they the moths? Buggered if I know what drives them on? Even while confessing this quandary to Jacen Tyrane, paladin of Tyr and arbiter of justice, some woman put her hand on my arse as she walked by and made appreciative comments.

I think I need some sort of disguise but I don't have enough money to buy paint for my armour, dam it! I think I'd rather face Otho the Black Dragon than deal with this horde of lascivious females who appear determined to make me break my vow.

That does it, next time some woman bats her lashes at me, I'm going to start singing pious hymns!

"Onward Tormtar soldiers, marching as to war!"

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 229[/b:3nfe1fm6]

The greed and arrogance of the elven woman Saemach is unbelievable.

After complete ling a hazardous journey deep in the mountains near Thunderholme to rescue a woman from the clutches of Malarites, we were amply rewarded by the brother of the woman for our efforts. There were enough of the spoils to go about for all of the group there yet Saemach demanded both magical bows and an amulet for herself. She cloaked her greed under the guise that she was arming her warband. With a leader like her, I expect there will be more dead elves very soon, which is a great loss to us all.

I was so disgusted by her selfishness that I just left the room with nothing. I was so furious and sickened by the bickering that I had to get some of the cold mountain air to calm my temper. I can only pray that one day Lady El'vryth returns to take up her rightful place as head of the elven council and dismiss that awful bloody woman Saemach. Even Nessa, the high druidess, doesn't seem to think much of Saemach and it beggars belief that other elves actually follow this avarice harpy.

Anyway, enough time and thought has been wasted on that miserable cow.

Now then, Amelia Celest, priestess of Torm and Chaplin to the Knights has been helping me a great deal of late and wants to bring me back into the fold of Torm and the Triad. I am ready now to begin my preparations for the vigil of prayer that is necessary to become a paladin once more.

I have been serving the law, acting with chivalry and kindness and have stuck fast to my vow of Chastity even though I have found out that I have a dedicated woman who is in love with me. We discussed this deeply and she is happy to wait till I am a paladin again and then once that is achieved, I can seek to court her and perhaps even marry her as I am not going to make the same mistake again by living in sin with a woman as I did with Shanee. It's amazing really, to be the object of another's desires and love when you did not expect it nor sought it out. That is why I believe that this is genuine and the fact the she has reached out to me, shown her vulnerability, I will be ever more determined to get back that which was lost.

I even was inspired enough to write a song for her which I will give to her when I see her next.

I am almost whole again.

I have had no luck in locating the lair of the Black Dragon but have been working hard to bring a number of villains to justice. I have had to council many of my allies not to act rashly or take the law into their own hands but to trust the Lance lord and the guards to act on our behalf. We can assist them by gathering evidence, taking witness statements and avadavat. The more we follow the law, the stronger it will become and the better for society as a whole.

I go now to pray and to speak with Isendel and Amelia about the vigil.

Torm, show mercy on your son and let me walk in your light and serve you once more.

I am ready my lord.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 238[/b:3nfe1fm6]

It's been a while since I felt like writing anything.

A few things have happened of late but nothing too devastating or such like. In some ways life seems to have fallen into a sort of rhythm, with the odd event popping up to pique the interest.

Koren and Del's fashion show was great fun and I was glad to be able to help. I do pray that they manage to sell some of the items displayed, they are fine clothes and those girls deserve some sort of reward for their efforts. A while back, Ketu asked me to help out Cold Sigars, but now I find she's got a bounty on her head and is wanted dead or alive but mostly dead.

Seems she couldn't get away from the Sharran's after all. I thought she'd managed to free herself from their influences yet from the evidence, it appears she's well in league with that evil bastard Anen and his motley crew. Sad really, for her that is, she will be hunted down like some rabid animal, find herself trapped and alone and die a painful death. Taryn will grieve but Ketu has made her choices. I still believe she stole my wand. That letter she sent smacked too much of a loud and false cry of innocence. Those who deny most vehemently, often have something to hide. It's pointless worrying about it now she is a dead woman walking.

Amelia fell some time back and I haven't seen Isendel for a while. I will have to now write or try to speak with Constance about my idea to educate the citizens about the law with public lectures and hand outs.

The Lance lord said that education isn't his concern, the man has a lot on his mind right now but I think that if citizens better understand their rights and responsibilities, of how the law works, how it can function as a force to keep society stable, then there is the chance that it may make his job a little easier. It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. If Constance can help me speak with Dame Hawkwinter, then I may be able to present my idea's and gain the knight's backing for this venture.

I also find myself sending time with a certain lady. Nothing to break my vow but we are close now. She has a checked past, a string of wronged people that feel resentment towards her. Her actions have been a bit mercurial and sometimes a bit hurtful but I believe, never truly evil.

I am hoping that she can see that her actions in the past have upset many people and she takes responsibility for that and start to somehow make amends. As someone who is on the road of redemption, I can honestly say that everyone deserves a second chance because people can change if they truly wish to. I pray that my ethical standards and morals are an example to her, something that she can embrace and believe in too and put into practice. I am falling more in love her day by day, even though people tell me things about her that often make me pause and reflect. I think I will have to see this through, see if she is able to become the better person that she has the potential to be. I am going to be there to help her, encourage her and be her support. I have to try.

It's also nice though now to be asleep in bed, to be awoken in the middle of the night to feel a silent svelte like figure slip into my bed behind me, to smell her scent and to feel a pair of soft slender arms wrapping themselves around me, holding me in a warm loving embrace.

Nothing more than that, just cuddling and sleep, and I am content.

I sleep well now.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 245[/b:3nfe1fm6]

I have laid a few ghosts to rest.

I saw Monah Ode the other day and at the same time, Anien came back to Arabel. She surprised me by sneaking up and putting her hands over my eyes and saying "guess who?" Took me a few minutes to recognize the voice but it was Anien, lovely as ever. We were talking when Monah wandered by and started to really dig into me about all the things I'd done and that was it! I said to her, "Why don't you just cut out my heart since you hate me so much!" Anien was shocked and Monah was taken aback. Monah said she didn't hate me and wanted to talk so we went upstairs in the Dragon and spent the next few hours going over the past.

She knows I've tried to make amends for the mistakes that I've made and knows that I've learned the hard lessons. We thrashed out the issues for and I finally found that she doesn't hate me, if anything, I think she and I have a good chance of becoming the friends we were all that time ago. So in that sense that ghost is laid to rest at last. Talking with Monah also gave my some food for thought.

I then went to speak with Constance, paladin of Tyr about gaining her and the knights help at being reinstated. It was a painful hour with her as I recounted my past to her. She beat me twice to within an inch of my life as an object lesson. I won't forget it in a hurry. I told her about the woman I was seeing and my desire to be with that girl but Constance said that's good, lay down your paladinhood. Either be a paladin or be a husband.

I had a choice to make, a mutually exclusive choice. Perhaps it was some sort of test: give up all ties to any relationships if I ever hope to be restored.

If that is the test then I say screw it! I feel no need to prove my faith to anyone anymore.

I've had enough of this crap! I know within myself that I am capable of being both a good man and a husband. This bollocks about a partner being a distraction is a load of absolute twaddle: a partner can enhance you if the relationship is good and balanced. I know Constance has her views on the matter of relationships and perhaps she wasn't the best person to speak with but I really am over the whole thing now. Her beating me was the last straw. I don't take kindly to force, I am disciplined man when I need to be and a larrikin most of the other time, this is how I have so many good and loyal friends, by being a good and cheerful soul. So when she smacked me with her sword, it proved to me that there was no going back anymore. Not that way at least. I'm not going to become some soulless, dull and oh way too serious sort of paladin just to satisfy the rest of those joyless people.

Bugger that!

Why jump through hoops for the clowns? It's the ringmaster's opinion that counts.

Life is there to be lived, sure duty and loyalty are the things that I adhere to always but I do it in my own way. If that annoys or upsets some others, so be it. They choose to be upset, it's their state of mind that is disturbed, not that my behaviour or actions are wrong.

I have thought long and hard about the moral and ethical code that many paladins live by and have distilled the essence of the values to which are important. These are the values that I live by: High spirits, bravery, tenacity, comradeship, audacity, endurance, determination, humour, compassion and loyalty. These are the things that matter most to me in life. It seems that many of the paladins have forsaken their sense of joy, buried it under their sense of duty. I feel a degree of sympathy for them because I firmly believe they could be even greater if they embrace a bit of happiness in their lives.

Torm himself stripped me of the state of grace and I firmly believe that if I do something spectacular, worthy and good, he'll restore me in his own good time. A long while back I felt his hand on my soul, nudging me towards that state of grace when I was helping the Baroness Bresk with the undead plague threat. So if it happened before, it'll happen again. I still revere the Loyal Fury, he is my god. I know there is more to this. I know he has a gentle side and has a sense of humour. It's just not seen all that much as he's always fighting evil with grim steely determination but it's still there none the less.

Since then, I have spoken with my lover and told her about the choices I had to make. She was worried but supportive and seeing that, I resolved there and then, to be there for her. I've renounced my vow of chastity but we will not consummate our love until we're wed...she's adamant about that. I knelt before her and pledged myself to her and she took my hand and said she is mine and I am hers. We spent the rest of the evening in the library talking and snuggling...very nice!

I'm happy now...free at last. All my life I've been told what to do, who to obey, who to serve.....now I'm going to start living for me.

Because in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.....

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 251[/b:3nfe1fm6]

The last few days have been a bit hectic.

Arn Jungor, retainer and blademaster of House Deschurr led us on a doomed mission to hunt dire bears. John Swiftson had to withdraw early on and although we were doing well, Arn was literally ripped to bits by this massive tiger that just seemed to come out of nowhere. We called off the hunt and returned to Arabel but we had no luck in finding any other Deschurr retainers. Arn's remains were taken to the house of death, hopefully the good priests there may be able to restore his body so his soul can be brought back.

Since then I was rather busy with other work and it's been quite rewarding. It's still good to know that there are reliable people out there who will stand firm with you and watch your back in the most of dire of circumstances.

There was in incident out at the East Way graveyard where myself, Graf, Rav and others came to help Baroness Bresk and her brave friends, which of whom many had fallen. We entered the graveyard to be confronted with hordes upon hordes of undead....I've never seen so many....and at one point sheer terror at the hopelessness of the situation unnerved me. I no longer have that steely resolve of one of true faith. Yet through it all, I fought hard and we managed to aid the Baroness and others retrieve the fallen and their effects and retreat back outside.

I saw Saly the sorceress the other day and resolved to speak with her candidly.

A while back I found her to be rather distant and on occasion, even a bit rude to me. I asked her if I'd upset her or done something wrong and she said no. She was hesitant at first but soon we got talking and she told me about a man who had some dark influence over her for a short while. She's free is him now and has made efforts to try to find some peace for herself. I was glad that she is in a better frame of mind and said offer her a flower in order to improve her mood. I'd have never thought that trying to give a girl a flower would make her cry but Saly pushed the flower away tearfully and ran off. I was stunned and tried to find her to talk but she was no where to be seen. I am deeply disturbed by her reaction. All it was to be was a simple gift, something to lighten her mood, nothing more. I like Saly but I don't feel any desire for her, just deep concern for a human being who is in pain.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 256[/b:3nfe1fm6]

Today, I ran into Knight Initiate Ophias.

He was trying to gather some people to go on patrol down to the coastal town of Immersea. He kept raving about some dire peril, some sort of animal disease that may have broken out down there. He also intimated that we may run across some dangerous felons out that way. So I made a sending, since he had no money, and soon a few of my friends came by. I asked them to help out and soon had Sydney, Koren, Hedia and a hin who's named I can't recall join up with us. The druid Jon and his companion Ala were interested but Ophias said we had enough. Odd that, as Jon may have been able to help identify and deal with any animal diseases or wild beasts that often roam the highway. Still, Ophias was giving the orders and we followed him

We discovered that although he’s brave and dedicated, Ophias is a very poor combat leader. He insisted on a rigid tight formations and wait for his commands. Unfortunately the enemy isn't paying attention to any of that, they are trying to kill you and dam the formalities. So often we'd find ourselves with the enemy or wild animals right on top of us before he was ready to give the order to fire. Good thing we didn't run into anything truly dangerous or organised.

Later in the town of Immersea, I tried to get Ophias to see that there is another way of leading, a way of inspiring your friends and comrades, of trusting them to do their duty without being told. There's a job to be done, so you get out there and do it! You don't muck about or it'll cost you. He didn't listen but I have hope that he'll learn.

Koren, Hedia and Sydney weren't all that impressed with Ophias which is a real shame. He's so tightly wound up in himself that he can't see beyond the dogma and this make's him appear arrogant and uncaring. I know he's not a complete ass but he really needs to find a better way of dealing with people.

Last night I had a long and deep talk with Anien. She and I had a lot to discuss. She told me she see's me as a little brother in way, definitely a wayward one but she cares for me none the less. She cares enough to warn me that I have to be careful with women; I'm just too charming and open with them. I have to be more circumspect in the future as it's really becoming a bit embarrassing the way some of these new girls to the city just try to bat their lashes at me, smiling all coyly and calling me "sir" when I am no knight and am not worthy of the title. So far no less then 3 new ladies to the city have flirted with me...it's unbelievable. Am I that much of a man whore who women just want to be ravished by?

I must though try to keep the helm on more often when meeting new ladies! Be polite and helpful but distant from now on too. Anyway, Anien is back now and I've tried to encourage her to try to make new friends. She carries a great sadness within her, she has lost love twice and I feel for her. I hope she can find the strength and trust within her to open her heart again to others.

[b:3nfe1fm6]Day 263[/b:3nfe1fm6]

You never know when love will strike, nor lightning for that matter.


By the gods what a woman!

There is something about her; a true sense of gentleness and caring that wants to break from the sins of her past. She has risked so much in wanting to begin a new life. She has told me everything about her past. It's a tragic tale that has left deep wounds on her soul, made her the person she is. However, I know she will strive to find her way into the light. I know she has evil in her heart but she has a purpose now, a goal. I will be there to help her, I can do no less. The love, faith and trust she has shown me only strengthens my resolve to be the man she needs. Eve will have to find a way to atone for her sins, by doing good and selfless deeds, aiding others for no gain, being true and kind. I am thinking of asking for the advice or even aid of Baroness Bresk. She may be able to help Eve break free from the bonds of evil, embrace a new dawn.

Eve though has warned me though her former associates may take a dim view on her choice of life change. She's written to me and I know who they are. I've yet to decide as to a course of action. I passed on a message via Rav to them, to let Eve go as there was no profit in hunting her and that if they try to come after her....I will be merciless. Rav was also sad as she asked if there was any chance of a relationship between us, to which I said I only felt friendship towards her. I have to be careful now as Rav talks with the people that may try to hunt Eve. I really like Rav but for now, I have to keep her at a distance.

I've quietly spoken to a few close and able friends and I know there are more I can call on for help if I need it. I'm sure a few of them would leap at the opportunity to go and terminate some of these villians with extreme prejudice. I'm not sure the law can be any help here although I should try to speak with the Lance-Lord, gauge his reaction to this information that I have.

Hmm...we'll see....
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 268[/b:1ua5s37b]

Who am I?

That's what Jacen Tyrane and this elven priestess, who had a name so long I can't even pronounce properly, made me consider today while speaking with them at the house of death.

Jacen has obviously been hearing things about me, keeping tabs on what I've been doing. He asked me an insightful question, to which I automatically replied. Do you wish to regain Torm's favour? To which I instinctively said yes. He then asked why and I had no answer for him.

The vow of chastity, the denial of who I really am, made me see that I am unable to focus clearly on that goal. Quite frankly, I am quite content at the moment. In many ways I have never been happier. I have the absolute love of Eve and I want no other woman. She is more than enough for me.

However, women still flirt and smile at me. I ignore it now...it's boring. So then here I am now: I help Eve to find her way into the light of Lathandar and I really don't care what happens to me anymore. All I want is for her to be safe and happy. Eve is making slow but steady progress. She did something remarkable the other day she stepped into the fight to save Henry, who lay dying in the sewers. Eve managed to heal him but was killed along with Dame Bresk.

Eve gave her life for someone she didn't know without hesitation!

That act of selfless sacrifice, to stand tall and brave and to care for others made me weep. I told Bromsay of her actions and he agreed that she is on her way to being a better person. She has a long road ahead of her but with the encouragement and assistance of good and open minded souls, she'll get there. I am glad I was not there to see her fall in battle; I would have gone out of my mind. But Joe Kence my good friend and priest of Sharess and the others who were there saw to her resurrection. I am in debt to my friends for their constant support and love. Sydney holds a special place in my heart. We've know each other for a long time and I've always cared for her. She gave me a fine gift the other day. Again, words were inadequate to express the gratitude and thanks I felt towards her. I pray that one day, Syd finds herself a decent, kind and loving man to be with her on the journey of life.

So then, I am a man, no longer a divine champion. There is little point in dedicating yourself to a way of life that is totally not who you are. If the only way to regain Torm's favour is to deny who I am, then it's really quite pointless. He knows who I am. I am still quietly convinced that one supreme act of courage, loyalty, duty and above all, stunning success would turn my fortunes in regards to being redeemed. But I am not ready to try for that now. I know that. I still have my own path to find. I suppose by saving Eve, I've replaced my own quest for redemption for hers. I think she has a far better chance than I will. If I have to, I will lay my life down for her to see her in the light...

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 272[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve and I have a long hard road ahead of us. I am starting to really find out as well who the truly good, kind and compassionate people are. All those in House Bresk are, they have my complete admiration. They've shown Eve the way forward and have offered help and aid if she needs it. Others too have been understanding but I'm beginning to come across cynics, doubters and I suspect some unkind souls.

Sylviana is one of them. She won't give Eve a fair go. She thinks Eve has some hidden agenda, that Eve's manipulating me by using her feminine wiles on me. Yes, Eve and are lovers but that's not the issue and as much as I enjoy the intimacy, Eve certainly doesn't control me at all. She's really quite gentle and loving. It's just going to take time to get people to come around to her and to see that Eve is truly committed to being a good person. Eve is still afraid though, afraid of her former associates. Rav stopped by while we were sorting out the spoils from a mission that Syl, Dwalin, Joe, Maureen and I had just come back from. That was one of -the- most hair raising battles I have ever fought! Vicious Slaadi, Vrocks, Succubi, Rakshasha's and huge Shadows all attacking at once. It was truly an epic struggle between the forces of good and absolute evil!

But I digress...

Rav made mention about Eve, probably fishing for information I think. Maybe trying to install doubts too, I don't know. She didn't change my mind though. Rav is an enigma, I want to trust her, I really do. I will need to talk with her and see if she really wants to be saved. Her expulsion from House Bresk and the various people she associates with make it hard for me to see if she is truly naive or instead, fiendishly cunning and playing us all for fools. Later, Syl refused to concede that Eve is genuine and we parted after shouting at each other in the street. She really annoyed the hell out of me. Stupid interfering cow!

Anyway, Eve and I ended up spending quality time together at the Serpent. Eve and I were sitting on the couch cuddling and talking in our room when suddenly Sir Richard Emmerson and Private Bryant burst open the door. Eve sat up in a fright and I was a bit stunned as well. They were apparently hunting Ketu but even if they found her, there would be nothing they could do to restrain her. Saw that predicament before when they'd cornered Paige there a few weeks back. Michifier the Inn's owner rules there and will brook no funny business.

So the lads quickly apologized and left us alone, much to our relief. I wasn't interested in hunting Ketu. I still remember promising to Taryn to keep her safe. A promise I couldn't really hope to keep but I won't betray that promise and Taryn by trying to hunt Ketu down. Ketu has done nothing to me and I hope that one day too, she see's the error of her ways and makes amends.

I left Eve sleeping in the bed and went out to find something to do. I ended up ambling about the city and went outside to check the roads where clear of threats to travelers. As I was heading down Calantar way, I noticed an armoured figure bathed in Red light, wearing faded red plate coming towards me. Wynn!

"Bugger me!" I exclaimed, to which Wynn replied "No thanks," with a smirk.

I couldn't believe it. There was Wynn, paladin of Sune and notorious ladies man back from his self imposed exile. It was good to see him again. We talked and I gave him half of the enhanced throwing axes we'd found in that foul crypt. Wynn and I patrolled the roads and at the end I asked if he'd be willing to help Eve find her way forward. I believe the more people that are behind her, giving her support and encouragement, the better her chance of success of becoming a good soul. He agreed but albeit reluctantly I think. He won't break his oath but he will aid her and talk with her. That's all I ask really, is that people give her a fair go, let her have a chance to prove herself.

Serysses then wandered by and I introduced him to Wynn. Wynn then bade us farewell and left while I continued to talk with Serysses. He asked if I'd chosen between passion and duty and I said Passion. Actually I meant love but that's what he asked. Serysses is another who will be more accepting of Eve, he said he trusts my judgment and is willing to give her a chance.

As we were talking though, three figures walked by, one of whom was a thug of a half orc. I've seen this one about before and when I had my paladin abilities, saw he had evil in his heart. The thug rudely pushed between us and I called back to them, not to be so bloody rude. He stopped and started to insult me. I gave the insults straight back and asked if he and his little mates felt if they were ready to die. He lashed out with an underhand blow and the fight was on. Serysses stood back while I battled the half-Orc and his human accomplice. I took a mighty blow from the half orc, forcing me to down my last two potions of healing before I turned and smashed him down to the ground, then smote ruin on his scaly mate.

Serysses stopped me from completely killing them and their little witch who was with them stared bleating about murder and asking my name. I can't believe the audacity of these evil swine! They'd have shown my no mercy what so ever. They lost a fight, they are sore losers. Those bastards would have cut my throat and looted me dry if given half the chance. Serysses got me to withhold killing the two that were down. I know now that was a mistake. Next time, I'll show NO MERCY at all. Sod 'em! It's about time these evil swine get some payback. The amount of times I've heard of people being murdered and looted by scumbags like the ones at my feet....makes me think that next time this happens; I'll do unto them as would unto me.

They sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind of natural justice

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 279[/b:1ua5s37b]

I just haven't really had the time to write of late, so much going on.

Eve and are engaged, I asked her to marry me and she readily said yes. I know she's the one for me. We have a lot to do to organise our wedding. Have to wait till Koren gets back so we can get Eve a dress and me a suit.

Eve tells me that she thinks she's still being hunted. Twice now sending’s having been made for her to met some nameless man. She's wise and cautious enough to not trust this as a genuine offer of work. I know who this man is who is looking too met with her. I quizzed Vadal today about him and he gave me his name after I gave him the description that Eve gave me, Justian Yamamoto. I have no quarrel with this man but should he try to harm her, he will know fear, then pain, then death. I'd rather it didn’t come to that and have asked Vadal to make discrete enquiries and also to quietly warn these people off. If however, they refuse to be reasonable, then I will hand over the list of names that I have to the Lance-Lord and Sir Richard Emmerson as well as take direct action myself.

All we want is to be left in peace, to get on with our lives.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 281[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve was killed yesterday. She was jumped by a minotaur while we were exploring some ruins that had been discovered to the North of the city. She was cut down before anyone knew what had happened. I felt as though my world had collapsed about me. I was shattered. Lucky though Kitty was there, she calmed me down somewhat. Eve somehow came back. I don't know what deal she struck with the powers that be but I'm grateful that she's back. She's still very weak after her ordeal, her spark has faded a little but given time, she'll recover.

She is no warrior and as such, I won't be bringing her on dangerous missions anymore. I will not put the woman I love in the path of danger again. She is a dancer not a fighter.
Well, time to go out and patrol the roads. Got my first Malar Panther claw today...have to give it to Anien and see what she can do with it.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 285[/b:1ua5s37b]

Today I decorated for bravery and for extraordinary services rendered to the Crown of Cormyr!

All I did was be in the right place at the right time, help defeat those Talossians scum and aid my comrades as well as recover the Sword of Justice for the Crown of Cormyr! Whether it be fate, or pure chance, I shall never know but it seemed that the Talossian scum had located their base in a cavern in the Thunderholme mountains, the same cavern which the last wielder of the Sword of Justice had died in. Those fools had no idea that behind a rock fall was one of Cormyr’s most powerful relicts and had those idiot lightning worshippers recovered it, they would have been able to ransom it easily back to the kingdom for a fortune. Instead, we found their lair, conducted a frontal assault [they thought we were going to attack via their secret entrance] and slaughter all of them.

I noticed after the battle, some old markings on the cave walls that I’d read about months back and saw the name “Tigelwillies” scratched near the rock fall. My comrades thought I was mad as I began to dig but they soon set to helping me remove the rocks and we cleared enough away to be able to enter the next set of caverns. Inside, were the remnants of a Draco-Lich! A fearsome undead dragon. Yet it was so old that its foul magic’s had waned and its powers were all but spent. Still, it was a very tough beast to kill with only highly enchanted blunt weapons having any effect against it and we had but 2 with us.

I had a moment of inspiration as the battle raged between us and the creature: I poured Holy Water over rocks and we threw them against the beast. It worked like a charm! Soon the Draco-Lich was reduced to a splintered skeleton and beyond it’s remains we found a large loot pile. Thrust into the massive mounds of silver, gold and gems, was the glittering Sword of Justice.

My hand trembled as I reached towards it and when I gripped its hilt, I felt the touch of Torm on my soul, removing most of the stain of my sins from it. Everyone said I glowed briefly, a golden hue or aura surrounding me which faded only after a few moments. I knew that I had come a long way towards redemption, the reinstatement of my paladinhood.

We quickly recovered the rest of the horde and made our way back out of the mountains.

I handed the Sword of Justice over to Lady Lhal. Regretfully I was unable to keep the blade but I know now it rests in the Halls of Mercy and will be available if the city is in great peril.

I was glad to help drive back that menace of the Talossian cult and recover the Sword. I was also thrilled at being invited to the ball at Lady Lhal’s palace. Of course I took Eve with me and she was really excited at going to a formal ball. She had a new dress and all, she looked lovely. Eve was very nervous though, she wasn't used to being in such august company. I also think the all the wine she drank went straight to her head and made her feel a little ill, so she quietly excused herself and went home to our rooms to sleep. I know we should of have a meal before heading out, oh well. She's not much of a drinker, a couple of glasses of wine and she's flying.

The ball was great and many other people received awards, including Syd. I like to gently tease Sydney, calling her the Heroine of the People. She got all flustered but the truth of the matter is, she really is a hero. In truth she a very shy girl and needs to come out of her shell a bit more, to stand up tall. Maybe then some decent bloke will take an interest in her.

I had the dwarf Orden of the Iron Forge make a masterwork chain shirt for Eve. Ord is an excellent crasftsdwarf and he gave Eve a personal fitting, adjusting the shirt to her liking and of course, being a woman, she was very particular with the styling of the armor but we didn't mind at all. She was really made up with her present and later, gave me a special treat, my own private dance.

I went out with her, following her while she did minor chores about the city. She seemed a little embarrassed that her day was not very exciting compared to the things that I get upto. I tell her my stories of battles and adventures and she sits with me, her eyes wide and full of love as she listens to the events and happenings. We wandered about together and I have to say it was nice just watching her. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best. Taking the time to spend with those you love is probably one of the most important things you can do. It doesn't matter what they do, just as long as you show them you care and are interested in them.

Later, I was approached by Ky'ran who said he needed my help in some matter. I agreed and he soon gathered a few people together, Phoenix, Hedia, a woman named Ciara and Ord. Ky'ran was given a box by some dark stranger and told to deliver it to a man named Edgemont in the East Way Inn. We wandered out that way and soon arrived. However, once there, Ky couldn't find the man he was supposed to give the box too. Also, Theo the hin had followed us and told us that the box was stolen property. Of course Ky'ran, being the narrow minded and stiff necked soul that he is, didn't listen to Theo. He was being accosted by some drunk farmer who got violent as he was demanding that Ky hand him the box. Ky'ran refused because the man would not identify himself. The man grew crazed and attacked Ky'ran. Hedia and Phoenix started to shoot the drunk while I tried to subdue him with my whip. He stopped, started gasping and choking then screamed as a sheet of flame enveloped him, burning the man to ashes. We were all stunned but what was even more intriguing was that none of the locals in the pub seemed to see anything. It was very odd.

Outside, we saw Ann the mage and a few other girls. Ann was involved with this mystery somehow but not in a bad way. I know Ann has had a shady past, what with her relationship to Durdyn and all but she seems to be on the level for the moment. Ann called Ky'ran a fool and I do believe he was being foolish. It took the entire group arguing with him to get him to go back to the knights compound as that's where Theo said the box was stolen from. Why Ky took so long and failed to trust some reasonable people make me scratch my head and tested my patience. He's a noble man but there are times where I think he's forgotten the message and just worships the creed. He is too dogmatic and not charismatic enough nor able to think beyond a narrow set of parameters. Ophias is worse. In a way I think these paladins are somewhat shallow, no real depth to them at all. They are good men but there needs to be something more than just dedication to duty. I can't exactly say what it is for now but I know that Sir Richard is a far more capable man than Ky'ran.

Anyway, we returned to the city and found the compound had been locked down. So Ky couldn't speak to Father Toman and get this mess straightened out. I think there was some skulduggery going on and Ky had better tread carefully less he sully himself by making a wrong decision.

After that little mess, Orden, myself and the mage Vanessa headed up to Thunderholme. There, the three of us were commissioned to fight a band of Frost Giants. I was a bit dubious that the mere three of us could pull of this task but what happened next was worthy of a great battle hymn or song.

Vanessa used her magic’s to enhance Orden and myself, strengthening our arms and sheathing us in stone-skins. Then like a wolverine, Orden fell on the giants in a dwarven battle fury.

It was glorious! By Torm, Tyr, Clangeddin and Tempus, we were death incarnate that day!

We fought back to back, hacking and cleaving our way through their ranks. They were huge, towering at least 15 feet above us and they had huge pet polar bears to also attack us with.

The biting cold faded from my mind as I worked up a sweat fighting them. Orden smote his ruin on them and I slashed and hacked madly at all comers. Ness stayed back, quietly summoning these mystical blades to attack the giants in the flanks, thus distracting them enough for Ord and me to take them down. We must have slain at least 40 of the beggars before we came on a massive one, a tribal chieftain who threw magical death. Orden was slain on the spot and it was only the power in my medal of valour that enabled me to get out of that chamber alive. Ness went invisible and retrieved Orden’s body and his things and we made the long journey back to Arabel to get him raised. Once Orden was back with us, we steeled our nerves and went back to finish the job. The giants had got some reinforcements since our departure and again we had another hard fight with them. Again though, Ness's magic’s made Orden and I almost invincible. I am beginning to see that having a pet mage is a very handy thing. No wonder that Talsossian bastard Durdyn seduced Ann and Jen. We fought our way back into the lair and confronted the huge giant and hacked him and his lackeys to pieces.

I have to say the three of us against a horde of giants, was probably tantamount to suicide but as they say: who dares wins!

The dwarves rewarded us handsomely for our work and we found a coupe of enchanted blades as loot. Orden will sell them off and we'll have even more money. I'll be needing a new wand of healing now since my old one is almost used up but now I'm flush with cash, I'll be shopping about for some other things.

I also can add that I've made more friends now, Orden and I shared the comradeship of fighting side by side. That creates a special bond that no one can really understand unless they have been there fighting. You don't fight for honour or glory, you fight for the man [or dwarf] next to you and he or she does the same. It's simple, honest and true. You watch their back and they watch yours and together, you share something unique.
So in all, I can say that if I need to, I can call on some quite powerful people to help me if anything goes wrong.

Rav spoke to me earlier and said that Eve was safe now, the hunt for her is off. Probably because the villians know that if they tried anything, they would bring fury down on them. I don't fear them anymore, pity them rather as they are lost souls but as I said before, no mercy what so ever if they dare to strike out at Eve. Rav was tearful as we made our goodbyes, she was in love with me and although I felt deep affection for her, I wasn't in love with her. It made me sad to see her cry but I can't help feel the love I have for Eve and her for me. Rav has to make her way in the world without me although if she ever needs my help, I'll be there for her.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 291[/b:1ua5s37b]

Life goes on....I can't stop it!

Levity aside, Eve and I are finalizing a date for our upcoming nuptials. We've got a guest list and now need to think of venues. Eve is keen on an outdoor setting but knowing the weather, it'll most likely be raining so we'll need an alternative place, somewhere under cover and dry. Next is finding a priest to perform the ceremony. I'd like Bromsay to do it if he is available but again, he is a busy man and may be unable to get away from his duties. So again, we'll need a contingency plan just to be safe.

Anien is going to plan and arrange my bachelor party and that should be fun. I'll be inviting quite a few folks along to that, both make and female too, since Anien will be there, might as well let the girls join in the fun. Just as long as she doesn't go through with her threat to get that girdle of sex change, I'll be enjoying myself I think. The party will be in 7 days hence, need to get on with invitations and some sort of plan for what the entertainments will be. I'll need to get a bard or two to play for the evening. Xan wants to end the night with a drunken brawl in the pub, which to me sounds a little unseemly but could be fun none the less.

Aside from that there is not a lot else going on. Amy, the sweet halfling lass, has informed me that someone I know has evil in her heart. I suspected as much and Maureen is also quite concerned about this woman. I need to speak directly to the woman and try to get her to change her ways. So far though, I have had no cause to say she is evil and actually would say she has some good qualities but she must repudiate darkness if she is to be saved. Also I need to get out and do some more work, need to get a bank roll together again to pay for all these costs involved with weddings....who'd have thought getting married would be such a drama?

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 293[/b:1ua5s37b]

After falling in battle with goblin chieftains, I have been robbed of my sword by a lying, low life, scum sucking piece of filth. Everything else was returned except my blade. How no one could not have seen it being taken from me is beyond belief. The excrement thinks he can get away with it, poor fool. He will know fear, then pain and then he will die.

I will have justice!

There are still some good and decent people that can be counted on to do the right thing.

Mr Jach Bros, merchant and purveyor of trash, treasures, weird and wonderful items, returned my sword to me after I spoke with him at length. I convinced him that the blade was stolen by some scum sucking, low life oxygen thief and then sold to Mr. Bros who bought the blade in good faith. He was unaware her was receiving stolen property. I will have to work out how I can repay Mr. Bros for the loss of his gold that he paid for my sword. I'll write to him and ask him what he would like done. At the moment though, I'm almost broke as I've been unable to find a decent crew to head out on a well paying job. Caravan runs are ok but they don't pay all that well and treading in cow dung and dealing with silly gnomes is enough to test even the patience of a saint.

Eve came on a caravan run the other day, she was excited but I was in dread all the way that something bad would happen to her. When the caravan was hit in the side by a veteran group of orcs, and Eve was standing there, I nearly panicked but Xan and Syd counter attacked and Eve managed to hold her own so my fears where somewhat misplaced. Yet one good blow for an Orc and she'd be dead. She is definitely not a combat specialist and I will have to start training her in how to survive if she does come with us on caravan runs.

Tonight is my bachelor party. I have no idea what Anien has got planned but I think she's got some mischief lined up. My plan is to travel from pub to pub, starting at the Visitors centre then we'll saunter out to the East Way Inn, then use portals to go to Immersea, Eveningstar, then onto the World Serpent Inn before returning home and continuing on with the pub crawl.

I think it will be fun.

I dread the morning after though....

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 303[/b:1ua5s37b]

Today is the big day.

I'm somewhat a little nervous about getting married but Eve is the woman I want to be with more than anything else.

Seems that Windy tried to organise a bachelorette party for Eve earlier but it wasn't all that well attended and Eve herself was a bit disappointed. Eve feels that sometimes she is just tagging along with me. I told her that people take time to warm up to others and that she should know that she does have friends and people who care for her. She made an interesting observation that often, the entertainer is can be the loneliest person despite being the centre of attention. I thought my heart would burst because I could see how alone she feels sometimes. She is now, in a way, truly mine. She has given herself completely to me and will say the final words later today that will bind us in love for eternity.

I know I've missed some people who I could have invited to the wedding but in all truth, I just can't remember everyone who I made friends with over my time here. If they are about near the time and have got the time, then they will be welcome. Anyone trying to mess up Eve's day will feel the wrath of myself and a number of my friends. I will not be merciful if some misanthropic fools think they will get their jollies on trying to ruin a wedding.

It's been a while since I've had a chance to put pen to parchment. So much has happened in the last 10 days.

My own bachelor party was a great success although we only ended up getting to five of the 10 known pubs that are dotted about Arabel and beyond. Many people came and wished me well and I am grateful that I have managed to make so many friends and associates over the time here. I ended up getting horribly drunk, dancing with Magister, Cherry Applegate did a striptease for me, some thugs tried to pick a fight with me in the 3 Bars Tavern and I ended up trying to dance drunkenly in my underwear on a table in the World Serpent Inn, rather unsuccessfully I may add.

The other amusing thing to note was most of the people at my party were women. Not many of the men I knew showed up but almost all the girls did. I think they were quite amused at being invited to a bachelor party and I owe a great debt of thanks to Anien Melyan, who in a way is like an older sister to me now. Given time, she and Eve will become close too and I'm glad of that. Anien and Eve will outlive me by many years, since they are both half elven and when I am gone, they will have the bond of family to comfort them in the years before we all see each other again in that far green country.

Other things to note, I met a huge, probably ancient and very vicious white dragon while out with Neil Bryant, Saly and some others. The dragon demanded a virgin sacrifice, to which I said "Bugger That!" Needless to say our defiance incensed that overstuffed ice gecko and it proceeded to stomp us into the ground. Ironically, we were looking for the source of these sewer spawn that had been plaguing the city at the time. It was a bit annoying on my part because right at the very beginning, right before we set off traipsing about the countryside, I told the group where this Tiefling Sekhemet, the one responsible for the sewer spawn creatures, had gone. When I gated into the World Serpent Inn during my bachelor party, I almost ran right over him as he was activating the gate to travel to Eveningstar. I was right next to him as he whispered the password and although I was drunk, I was not incoherent and I recognized the word quite easily. I considered, albeit briefly, chasing him but I was probably too drunk to really take him on and I was having fun anyway.

So when I tried to tell Neil and the others, I was practically all but ignored and we went on a rather boring and fruitless tour of the country side trying to find this "grotto under water". In the end they finally listened to me and we went out to the Haunted Halls Caverns, took the elevator down to the lower level and lo and behold...sewer spawns galore! Eldaris used his powers to keep them at bay but there where so many we had to retreat least we become food for the spawns ourselves.

After that episode, I again had another encounter with the spawn things in the village of Yaesol. We'd run into a bunch of raiding Lizardmen and where making sort work of them when suddenly, out of the water, loomed this huge tentatcled monster. It attacked us and the lizard men and a massive three way battle ensued. The lizard men were decimated in short order and meanwhile, Nessa, Sir Richard, Eldaris, Sydney and myself hewed away at the tentacles and spawns. I carved my way into the centre of the beast and sliced at the heart of it. Gods, the stench was appalling but in the end, we defeated the creature. The village was destroyed and it's going to take time to rebuild, if ever.

Aside from that, not much else to add really.

I've got to get ready soon for the wedding...I've got the rings, my suit and a preacher organised. All I need really is for Xan and Brie to show up and be best man and bridesmaid. Oh, and of course Eve too. The rest of the details can take care of themselves.

So then, my last hours as a bachelor draw to a close. Only a few hours now and I will be joined in holy matrimony to Eve Seline. I've got my vows ready and I hope Eve has thought of what she is going to say. It doesn't matter if she hasn't because all I need to hear from her are two words: I do. And she said that to me earlier today while I was cheering her up.

So then, Torm, this is a short prayer to you: I know I'm a prodigal son who has failed you in the past but I am a good man who knows what is right and I ask you to extend your hand over the woman I love. She is kind, gentle and caring woman and I swear with all my heart, that I will be a dutiful and caring husband to her. I ask this as she has made the journey from darkness to light and needs your protection and support.

There is little else to ask Lord Torm so I won't bother you any further.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 305[/b:1ua5s37b]

Well, I'm finally married and I have to say that I'm as happy as a king.

The day was marred, only slightly, by Constance's the fallen paladins half dragon bastard son. As I was waiting for the guests to assemble outside the dancing dragon, the wind blew cold and snow and ice started to appear. Constance came up and whispered a warning but I was not going to cancel the day. That's what these thugs and bullies want, fear and if you give in to them in anyway, you are lost. Anyway, we made our way down to the shrine of Lathandar and again, the cold followed us. Many guests joined us for the ceremony and I know that there were a few that wanted to be there but for various reasons, couldn't make it.

Bromsay began the ceremony and throughout it, was interrupted by snide remarks from the half breed who was cowering invisible. Soon the very air grew frigid and benches started to turn to blocks of ice. But Brosmay was resolute as was Eve and I and throughout the interjections, we stuck fast to our commitment to each other. That's one thing the Aurilite fails to grasp: it may be a powerful being but it has no control over the choices we make. Our souls are our own and we can choose to deny the terror and intimidation that it tries to force upon us. The love Eve and I have for each is enduring and can not be broken by fear nor even death. All the Aurilite can do is harm our bodies but never our spirit, for I know for certain now that if anything were to happen to her or me, we would meet again on those white shores of that far green country. Evil can only triumph when good people fail to stand resolute. If anything, the actions of the Auril has served to strengthen my faith in Torm. I am loyal now to my wife and my god and this city we call home, regardless of what happens to me.

The Aurilite tried to get all of us to pray to his perverted deity but I refused and hurled derision and insults back at it. We were then attacked by water elementals and Sir Richard and Eve were almost killed but thanks to the grace and light of Lathandar, they were saved. After the ceremony we made our way to the upstairs of the dancing dragon and there danced the rest of the night away. Eve was feeling a little under the weather after that episode with the half dragon and had to lay down for awhile but she rallied her strength and returned to mingle with our guests and friends. Matilda the bard played for the evening and I danced with Eve and a few other ladies while Eve had a dance wit the best man, Xan. He showed us that he really is an excellent dancer, far better than me. Then, without warning, coloured lights began to appear on the dance floor, bathing us all in multi-faceted hues. It was breath taking. Soon though we had to retire to our suite at the Pride and Eve threw the bridal Bouquet while I threw the bride's garter. Dana caught the bouquet and Marthad caught the garter. I hope that they find happiness.

When we got to the Pride and collected our room key and headed upstairs, we found there was a ghostly bird hovering in our path. At first I thought it was just some illusionist trick but then a circle of the sweetest flowers appeared in a ring about Eve and I. She was amazed and we knew then our marriage was blessed. We held each other in the circle and spoke of our love. Then we retired to our room.

The next day, I left Eve resting in bed and was downstairs eating my breakfast when I heard that Orcs where in the slums of the city again. I buckled on my plate armour and headed out to do what I could to help. There I found the usual chaos and of course, many adventurers had fallen during the course of the fighting. And again, there was the looting of the dead much to my disgust. I almost fell twice but managed to fight my way clear and heal up. But my friend Magister was not so fortunate. I found his body, surrounded by a pile of dead bandits and orcs. Clearly he'd given a good account of himself and had sent many a foul villian screaming to the lowest pits of hell. I started to recover his gear and body but he had so much that I could not carry it all. Jierdan was there next to me and I asked him to recover the armour and other effects and as well place an invisibility on me. He did this and I have to say he did a good thing for it enabled me to stagger out of the battle without being assaulted.

I saw Jacen as I stumbled out of the slums and he told me to head to the house of death. It took me a while to get there as I was so heavily burdened. I think that some of Magisters gear had already been looted before I had chance to recover it all, for he had no gold and a few things had obviously been taken. Magister had also been collecting the effects of other adventurer's that had died in the carnage and I wasn't sure who's property was who’s. So I handed it all over to Jacen for him to sort out. I could have become a rich man but I knew if I did, that would dam me for eternity and I myself have been one of those who have been looted dry of my effects and would not wish it on any good person.

Since then I've managed to get Jierdan to hand back the plate armour.

So after that episode, I've done a few jobs about the city.

I also took Windy, Ann and Brie out for a picnic down by the water at Immersea. We were having a lovely time till suddenly, Sir Richard, Ciara, Koriano and Valiand lunged out of the water, spraying us all, closely followed by a bunch of those tentacles which we quickly hacked to pieces. Apparently they'd found another spawn mother in some underwater chamber which had collapsed and they where lucky to escape drowning.

I took the girls home and went to rest. I later found Windy and Ann again and we went out to Eveningstar to do another job. I have to say, although Wynn warned me about Ann, I believe she is a good woman at heart. I really enjoy her company and since she is a gypsy, she sort of is family in a way as Eve is also gypsy. Ann has done some questionable things in her past but all people have a chance to make amends and I think Wynn is a little to quick to judge sometimes. I know that I will help Ann and Windy as they are good friends and as well, Xan would be furious if I let anything happen to them while he was out.

Windy has offered to help train Eve in how to be an effective support member of the party. Eve needs to get over her fear and start to join us and come along on our expeditions. She can be a valuable member of the team, raising our spirits with her songs. She feels though that she doesn't contribute enough but since she is still learning basic magic and she is no frontline fighter, she still has a part to play. And I will feel good to be there with my wife smiting the foes of this great city.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 310[/b:1ua5s37b]

I hardly know where to begin...

[u:1ua5s37b]It's been a whole day now since I saw him!

The True God!

Torm himself walking this world![/u:1ua5s37b]

I must gather my thoughts and try to preserve that memory.

It began when Sydney, Maureen, Windy, Kale and a couple of others had just finished smiting a band of orcs out near the springs. We were dividing the spoils when suddenly a dark figure appeared and called out to Maureen. It claimed it was Sekhemet, the Tiefling she once loved. We recognized this thing to be a Bodak, one who is cursed for eternity for the terrible evil it did in life. The figure cruely taunted Maureen, even though she was pleading with it, tears in her eyes. Syd and I carefully moved on either flank of the creature. Then, it pronounced that Maureen had betrayed it and unleashed shadow fiends to assault us. We quickly dispatched them and then smote the Bodak. Poor Maureen, she was devastated, collapsing on the ground weeping piteously. Syd held her in her arms and the rest of the group made their way back to the city. I stay with them, trying to explain to Maureen that her love for Sekhemet was probably the only good thing to happen to him in his life.

Then a glowing figure in golden armour, wielding a huge two handed sword came striding towards us. He called out my name and sneeringly referred to me as one of "his lost sheep". He claimed he was Torm. I asked him to show me his gauntlets so I might read the words of duty and service that are inscribed upon them as only the True god would have but he ignored my request. He challenged me to fight, Syd and Maureen offered to help but I knew I must face this thing alone. We clashed heavily, our blades became a blur of steel, striking massive blows on each other. I was able to smash the thing full in the face with my shield, knocking it to the ground and delivered mighty killing blow as it struggled to its feet. The thing then faded, like wisps’ of smoke dispersing.

I fell to my knees and prayed to Torm, humbly beseeching him. All the pain and remorse at my failure to him, my breaking of oaths, my transgressions all welled up within me. Tears trickled down my cheeks as I begged my lord to forgive me. Then all become still. A soft golden light appeared in the distance and started moving towards us. I stood shakily, expecting another attack by the shadow spawn simulacra, peering intently at the figure approaching us.

A gentle calm fell over me as I beheld the shining Golden Lion!

I fell to my knees in rapture and submission.

[u:1ua5s37b]The Loyal fury, the True God was here, with us![/u:1ua5s37b]

[u:1ua5s37b]Day of Days! [/u:1ua5s37b]

I could barely speak such was the onslaught of conflicting emotions. Sydney and Maureen were at first unsure and thought this may be another trick but I knew, beyond any doubt, that this was my lord.

He spoke unto to me and much to my regret and to all Tormtar who revere every word uttered by Torm that I can not recall his exact words which he spoke. Yet such was my joy at just beholding my god in all his glory. He then manifested two objects in front of me and bade me choose one of them.

Before me was a shield bearing his symbol and a ring.

I choose the shield instinctively.

Then, I still tremble now as I write this, I felt his touch on my very soul!

[b:1ua5s37b][u:1ua5s37b]He redeemed me. [/u:1ua5s37b]

[u:1ua5s37b]He called me to his service as one of his true sons, a paladin of Torm.[/u:1ua5s37b][/b:1ua5s37b]

I am unworthy to bare his shield still but I know now that Torm loves his prodigal son and I vow now to honour his trust with every fibre of my being. He is a stern god but also a loving and kind one. Tears fill my eyes as I recall his magnificence, to behold that massive Golden Lion, the flames rippling about his celestial mane, that face so proud and regal. Even if it takes a life time, I am wholly his to command now. I know my duty, it is the fourfold duties and they are to faith, my wife, masters, and all good beings of Faerun. I will serve him with pride and loyally. I have been given my chance and will hold true.

[b:1ua5s37b][u:1ua5s37b]I am redeemed![/u:1ua5s37b]

My paladinhood confirmed upon me by Torm himself. What more can one ask?[/b:1ua5s37b]

After that miracle, Etheldrek the half dragon Aurilte showed up, no doubt drawn by the power of Torm’s manifestation and began to tell us about the Bleak Lady and how this being had betrayed Auril. He demanded the crystal shards and said he's ram them in Syd's forehead to see what he needed to do. Syd refused and even though we where completely outmatched by him, we stood firm. He beat us down, smashing Syd, Maureen and I to the ground the ground with icy blasts of cold. He took one of the shards from Syd's pack and examined it. Then there was a flash of light and as I painfully struggled to my feet to attack him once more, I saw his face pale beyond its normal pallor as he gasped and threw down the shard in fear.

I guess he didn't like what the shard revealed to him. He faded into the shadows leaving us shivering and gasping. I used my wand to heal Syd and Maureen and we limped our way back up the ridge and paused for a moment. I turned to the two women and said that I loved them as dear friends. Sometimes these things need to be said, we often forget to tell the people we care about that the mean something to us. A simple phrase, a few words can change a person beyond measure. I am reminded by a vision of Torm I had a long time ago, this is what he said:

[i:1ua5s37b]"Each life is linked to all life and your words carry with them chain reactions, like a stone that is thrown into a pond. If your thinking is in order, your words will flow directly from the heart creating ripples of love. If you truly want to change your life my son you must change your thinking. Reason is your greatest tool, it creates an atmosphere of understanding, which leads to caring, which is love..." [/i:1ua5s37b]

I recall these words now and know I must practice them faithfully.

There was much more that occurred on that day but I must go and find my wife and be with her. I will take her to the temple soon and we will pray together and I will show her what a wondrous God I serve and Torm will see that Eve has saved me in her love and gentle ways...

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 313[/b:1ua5s37b]

My recent triumph has been soured.

Xantre and Windy have said that Eve has betrayed me. Xan said a hin girl was to deliver a note to "the blonde dancer". Xantre found a bag near the 'Dragon which was apparently Eve's things. In it was a note addressed to Eve signed from her "shadow lover". The note was about poisons. When he tried to talk to Eve about this, she fled from him, not giving an explanation. Windy and Ann also are witness to this.

Xan said Eve snatched the note from him and so the one piece of evidence is now with her. So then, this can only mean one of two things: Either this is some foul plot to ruin our marriage or Eve has been playing me for a fool all along. I think it’s the former but I must be certain.

My code comes first, serve my faith, then my family, then masters and other good peoples. My Lord Torm teaches that all traitors are to be given swift and painful deaths. If she has betrayed me, then she and those she plotted with will die by my hand, then I will submit myself to the law. I will plead guilty and be judged by the laws of the land. I know that Eve is innocent but so far the evidence is damming. The alternative will be terrible...for all concerned....

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 316[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve is innocent. Thank Torm for that!

It was a foul plot by some misanthropic worshipper of Mask pond scum to discredit her and sow seeds of distrust between us.

I have to say they did their work well, almost had me fooled. They certainly fooled Xan and Windy. Eve didn't help matters by running away from Xan. She wanted to protect him and Windy from her former associates. Ha! More like they needed protection from Xan because he'd gut them all and hang them by their own intestines if he knew what they were doing. They play a dangerous game and one more stunt like that and Mask will be requiring a new cabal of sycophants in Arabel.

Drogo helped me find Eve. When we found her I asked her got go with me to Tyr's Holy Temple where the truth could be spoken. She swore to me in the Halls of Mercy, in front of Father Toman, high priest of Tyr, that her love is true and I believe her. I will never distrust her again.

Well…so ends another day.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 324[/b:1ua5s37b]

Gods, I've hardly had time to spend with Eve let alone sit down and write in my journal.

So much has happened this week. I hope I can remember it all.

Let's see now, went off with Neil to fight an army of Ogres lead by some powerful Ogre Magi. It was a terrible struggle and Windy was killed as was Neil at the end but we slaughtered the Magi's army. The gutless coward ran with his tail between his legs, no doubt to plot and scheme revenge. Next time, no talking, just kill the bugger. I hate how villians love to hear the sound of their own voice and how they love to rant at you, often saying things like, "oh you're all going to die, attack them lackeys" blah blah blah.

I suppose though one can be some what grateful that they so love grandstanding, it gives you the time to assess the situation tactically, count numbers of the foe, prepare potions and enchantments and when they're done with their self serving drivel, kill them quickly since you're all fired up and have a plan of attack.

Then the Bresk Estate was set ablaze by the memory ghost thing of Oliver apparently. Edana and Matilda where home at the time and were lucky enough to escape his onslaught but Jarvis and the guards and servants where not. Many adventurers came to help fight the fire and I organised a bucket chain try to fight the fire. Neil showed tremendous courage by braving the inferno many times, searching for survivors and recovering items important to the Bresk's and their retainers. The bucket chain failed though because we lost heart as the flames grew higher and our work seemed to be having no effect. All our efforts seemed to be for nothing and it was a heartbreaking moment for Matilda and Edana to watch their house burn to the ground.

I resolved there and then to help house Bresk and immediately launched the appeal for donations to help them rebuild. With the help of a kindly priest of Ilmater, Toman, we have so far raised well in excess of 5000 gold coins for the Bresk's. Many people have responded well to the plight of House Bresk, showing true generosity and good will. Many things were donated apart from money such as clothing, jewellery and an enchanted war hammer that belonged to Stel, which Dame Bresk can auction off to raise further funds.

I was also nearly killed by one of those memory simulacra shadow thingies. Some monk caught me while we were chasing it in the slums and kicked six colours of snot out of me. Lucky for me the guards chased it off and my friends returned to save me. But I heard later that Xantre was killed fighting it but Aman the dwarf managed to kill it.

Then the other day, the whole of East Arabel was flooded and subjected to a barrage of lightning strikes. That lightning dam near killed me and Kyle as we tried to enter the sewers but they were flooded out. Running about in full armour during a storm is a silly thing to do: stay inside next time. I'm pretty certain that again, this is some aspect of the memory crystal. Vrugar the half orc woman offered herself as a sacrifice and she was taken. It did stop the storm. Afterwards, a curtain of light like a rainbow appeared throughout East Arabel.

Then there's been a rash of relationships and marriage proposals. Xantre and Windy and Xander and Maureen have both gotten engaged. I wonder how long it will be before Neil Bryant pops the question to Dame Melanie Bresk? I've seen they way they look at each other and there is that magic dance of love going on there. Neil would be good for Melanie, he'd settle her down and she'd make him very happy.

Eve and I are more in love than ever. Every day I try to get her fresh flowers as I love to see her smile with delight with all the presents and treats I give her. She has made my life stable and grounded me. We are starting to adventure together now; she accompanied me on a trip to smite some orcs the other day and handled herself well. I still think she'd prefer to be on stage, surrounded by hundreds of admirer's but at least she is making an effort to go with me and do the things I do. That's what a good solid relationship is based on, accommodating your partner's interests. I love to watch Eve perform and I know she's got many admirers. I am not a jealous person and I total trust her now. She will stay faithful to me and I to her.

Sylviana returned and seemed to be causing some trouble for Windy and Xantre. She said she'd been held captive or something like that. At first I had little to say to her as when I last saw her, she'd been unkind towards me and Eve but Eve told me she'd had a long woman to woman talk with Syl and that they sorted many things out. But later that day, we found out that Syl was killed and her spirit, feeling no ties to the mortal world moved on. Eve sang a lament for her and it was beautiful. I took her body to the house and Eve placed flowers and her pipes next to Syl while I smoothed Syl's hair and put a flower in her hand. I gave Syl's equipment to Xantre because I was fairly certain Syl didn’t have a will and leaving her gear to be auctioned off by the house of death seemed wrong this time. Xan was the closest thing to family she had so it was best that he deal with her gear.

So the last week has pretty much exhausted my stocks of healing supplies but I have some money again and will be looking for a new wand maker since Stel the gnome is no more. With all these distractions, it's hard to focus on progressing with my quest to redeem myself. Still, act with integrity and honour, perform the duties and debts and in time, it will come to me.

Time to go find my wife and take her out to the 'pride for a nice candle lit dinner.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 329[/b:1ua5s37b]

I have fallen again in battle to a chicken of all things!

I went to help out at the north eastern farms but as soon as I arrived, I and the people who also arrived with me were set upon by demonic farm animals...hellish cows and fiendish chickens.

They tore me to shreds.

Next thing I know is I'm naked in the temple with Wynn handing me a suit of cloths and Aman paying Gustan for my resurrection. I was told that a retainer of house Bhaliir retrieved my equipment. I hope he will return it. If he doesn't or it's been lost then I see very little future for me here. Without the tools of my trade, I am all but useless. I can do little now but hope and pray.

I went to the halls of mercy to pray for guidance and was granted a vision by Torm. I appeared in a light forest, surrounded by golden lions. I saw a knight clad in golden armour. He pointed to an amulet on the ground, indicating that I pick it up. I did so and we spoke briefly. He warned me that the enemy would need to be directly confronted and that the amulet was a method of concealing evil.

I have seen such an amulet before, Xantre has one! I don't think he is evil but his amulet may hold some clue as to how to defeat it's enchantments.

So now, all I have is the clothes that Wynn gave me and the money that Madeline handed back to me. My faith is secure but I am unsure what to do now. Eve will be upset I know. Lucky she was resting at the time and didn’t see my body. She will still be mortified though, especially when I tell her all my gear is gone.

I can only be a servant of Torm and if I must fight with barehands, so be it. If I am to die, then at least I will have known true love and the fact my god has forgiven me.

Into your hands I commit my fate Lord Torm.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 333[/b:1ua5s37b]

I have almost all my gear returned, by Lyle Kross of House Bhaliir although one box with my healing supplies and wands was still missing. It's that box that I actually want the most as it contains my medal given to me by Lord Lady Lhal. The medal means a lot to me and it has powerful magic residing in it. Lyle thinks the woman Madeline may have the box. I hope she does.

I have a wonderful wife and with her by my side, and Torm above, I am able to weather the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I was feeling rather low after my incident with the fiendish chickens...gods how ignoble and inglorious...pecked to death!
I was truly a "henpecked" husband. Even Eve liked that joke. Anyway, when I saw her today and told her of my adventures and mishaps, she was concerned but through it all, all I could focus on was her smile. It shone for me and me alone. That in itself is worth more that her weight in gold.

We went to the ‘pride and with some fine wine, sat in front of the fire and talked late till late in the evening. I was pouring my heart out to her and she started teasing me! Poking fun and generally ribbing me. She truly is my soul mate 'cause only a really wife would do that to her man. We then talked on serious matters for a while and I told her how I was feeling a bit lost and directionless after my set back.

She said this though and I remember it well,
[color=red:1ua5s37b][i:1ua5s37b]"I know it's hard and you felt like you've lost everything you worked for. Just remember though, your true value is what you have done for Arabel and others and not to focus on the negatives’ but rather strive to be who you are. Whatever you decide, it's ok with me. Since no matter what, we will always be together." [/i:1ua5s37b][/color:1ua5s37b]

She held me close and kissed my as we snuggled on the chair sipping our wine. She is like the sea breeze, fresh and reinvigorating. I am in awe of her at times; the way she is always amazes me. Her beauty is flawless and I have her as a wife.

I am truly blessed.

I told her of my vision I had while praying in the halls of mercy of Torm in the form of a golden knight and the forest full of golden lions. The enemy is out there now, using an amulet that masks its true nature. I know where one of these amulets is and if that stubborn ass doesn't let it go, he'll have it taken from him and never see it again. I was he'd not be such an idiot sometimes. I feel deeply for him but there are times when he acts like a child and that makes me want to smack him in the head for being so truly imbecilic. Anyway, I digress.

The vision told me that direct conflict was coming. War will be upon us again. The time for skirmishes is over. Then in the vision, we were attacked by shadow hounds, huge snarling slobbering beasts. They projected a chilling aura which unnerved me but I soon found heart again and ran forwards unarmed into battle.

I soon awoke and went forth to spread the news of my vision. I came upon Shalina and Nathan and then the light faded and the shadows grew long and soon we were set upon by the hound. I was unarmed but I still fought as best as I could. In the end we came upon a "Dark Mother", some sort of Shar priestess who has a sword of the elves. The sword was stolen by the walking flyblown corpse the elf Anen prince of thieves and lord of the 3 Bars. I suspect he's still lurking in the shadows, plotting his moves carefully. Execution will only slow someone like him down for a while...it'll take more than the headman’s' axe to end his story.

Many people had gathered after I made a sending warn people to stay inside and adventurers to arm themselves. The dark mother did the usual evil prattle spiel, blah blah blah...you're all going to die etc. I am going start to rate these speeches by the villians for colour and depth of visual imagery. Points will be awarded for good use of metaphors and alliteration. I also think throwing jokes at them will put them off, because no evil person can stand the sound of laughter, especially if it's at their expense!

So we got another clue and of course she disappeared. So I told Eldaris of my vision and about the amulet I saw. Again, I am helping the city authorities fight the never ending list of threats to this place. I heard a good explanation as to why Arabel is such a troubled place. Jacen Tyrane said it's because Tymora was here during the Times of Troubles. I was in Tantras during that time and saw the battle that took place between Bane and Torm. Many gave their lives to aid Torm during that fight but he did not take the young. I and many of my class mates wept that we were not chosen but it was for the best. Since that battle, Tantras has had many odd things happen and so it is the same with Arabel.

And so now I find myself alone here, with the diary. Eve is asleep but I can see her face in the flickering candlelight. She is relaxed and breathing lightly. I love her...

Time for sleep now.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 333[/b:1ua5s37b]

Today I fought and help defeat the memory thingy shadow simulacrum of Constal [formerly Lance-Lord] Baba. He was promoted recently to the highest level of military commander there is in Cormyr. Not bad for a common man to rise so high in the ranks.

Gods he's a tough bastard. I'd hate to have to face the man himself in a true fight.

What soured the victory though were Wynn falling and his gear being looted by some scumbag half orc. He grabbed the loot that was dropped at my feet when the Constal’s simulacra vanished.

That really annoyed the hell out of me. Wynn needed that money for his raise and that toe rag scum sucking bottom dweller just swooped in like a vulture and stole the lot. I gave chase but he eluded me in the sewers.

I made two sending’s after wards, one calling for donations and the other predicting that the half orc's life span would be short. Some people saw it as a threat but it wasn't. It was a statement of fact: death -was- coming for him. For that I got arrested on a minor infringement. So Wynn and I helped defeat another of these things and for our troubles, Wynn gets killed and I get arrested by a small minded guard. Ahh well, that's life.

Being a hero isn't always parades and flowers.

Anyway, went out to smite some orcs after I was released from jail.

Out there we saw a stone giant and some Gnolls. They were heading out to join some army apparently in the Hullack forest. Xan and I killed them fairly quickly. I wanted to investigate that but the others wanted to deal with the orc camp so I had to go with them.

Then Eve helped out with some delicate negotiations. She was in her element and those hard bitten mercenaries where putty in her hands. I can see a great career for her as a skilled diplomat. Something I should raise with the authorities.

Well off to bed... Eve is waiting....

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 337[/b:1ua5s37b]

I'm an angry and am almost a disillusioned man right now.

After saving the forests from being burned to the ground by an volcanic eruption of sorts, Nathal and I giving our lives in the process, we got insulted and disdain from a bunch of dwarves who showed up to stick their noses into a situation which was pretty much in hand. Nathal made a mistake in charging a mass of elementals. He didn't see how big they were and as a result, was cut down in short order. I tried to get to him but was driven back and when he died...they came for me.

So, after fighting our way through a crypt full of undead, climbing the frozen wastes of the Stormhorn Mountains to find an artifact that would stop this volcano from erupting, I die and for my trouble, get grief from some half pint git how hasn't got the stones to show his face outside his helm. I have marked him and will seek him out later.

I will not help dwarves again and will help only if I am actually ordered to by either a city official or member of my church. I will also give Macca his money back for raising me, as I don't want to be beholden to anyone. Those idiots have just lost a loyal friend because they couldn't keep their arrogant gobs shut for 5 minutes.

Pathon was worried that some war may erupt between the druids and dwarves. Nathal said he'd try to smooth things over. I won't be involved as I can't stand them anymore.

My well of human kindness, tolerance for all peoples, has all but died and dried up. Evil is a state of being...I can understand that. Arrogance is worse in many ways and I'm seeing a lot of it these days. I had to bite my tongue a few times working with some certain druids.

I've helped the grove many times in the past and never asked for anything yet still...they treat city people like despoilers. But I push down my anger and work with people that make me sick at hearing their rude remarks and seeing their arrogant faces because it's for the common good.

For the common good...innocent lives saved...yes...I'm glad to do that. Yet I see this whole adventure as a failure. Nothing was really gained, only disaster averted. Where is the real achievement there? Will the children of the East Way be able to play and grow up safe and have kids of their own? Probably not. Why? Because they live in interesting times.And as to myself, I look at the whole thing and see that I achieved nothing and in fact, have gone backwards personally. Dying and being raised takes a lot out of you. As the Tormish litaney goes, "each success adds lustre to Torm's name, while each failure diminishes it".

So, my death was a failure. I made a mistake by trying to save an over zealous comrade. Nathal tried to cheer me up later by saying that we'd done a good thing but my cynicism and rage where barely under control and I agreed just to mollify him. I am getting tired of being the one of the ones who gives it all for this city and see nothing for my efforts. I'm not talking about material gain but each time I go out and fight, it costs me in supplies and in healing wands. I shouldn't complain but really, there comes a point when even a saint can begin to question his path of that path is sliding downhill more often than up. I should be happy, I have a beautiful wife, many friends and respect of good people but I'm not happy. Eve is my joy and I cherish every moment with her. Yet it's not enough just to sit back and be content with my lot. I am starting to wonder if I would be better off not going out and instead, selling everything I own so I can actually use the money for something decent and lasting. Hmm...

I need to see Eve....it's been 2 whole days without her....I miss her.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 342[/b:1ua5s37b]

I died today because I wasn't paying attention.

It was my own fault. I was too busy daydreaming, and so I was mauled by a huge tiger, I couldn't even get out my sword and shield. It was like I was trapped in a slow spell or such like.

I've paid a heavy price to return to this mortal life. Eve's love and my service to Torm are all that I care about. I don't think I'll be much use to people now the damage done and it will take ages to heal.

I feel a bit dead inside too, cold and hollow, like something’s been taken from me. Such was the price to return from death.

Eve will be shocked when she see's me...the scarring is bad.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 345[/b:1ua5s37b]

I’m still on the road of recovery since that mishap with that damned tiger that chomped me. My strength slowly returns but its taking time to get back to normal.

I helped fight and defeat a humanoid army the other day. A hard battle and in the end, we finished the job. I sent a report to the Constal and the next day we walked the battle site together. I gave him a full account as to what happened. He was impressed by our achievement and commended me for my service to Cormyr.

Aside from that, I’m feeling quite close now to my goal of redemption and re-instatement but now that the end is in sight, I’m left pondering. Once I achieve that goal, what do I do next? Eve and I are starting to look about and try to decide what we can do with ourselves.

She is lucky in that she’s one of Arabels premier bards and can find work anywhere. I’d think that she’d have no real problem in becoming a noble retainer if she put her mind to it. Yet for me, there is no faction apart from the knights that will take on a paladin. And there is no way I will ever again apply to the knights unless Torm himself commanded it. Even if he did, which I very much doubt, I’d make a poor knight of the merciful sword anyway.

So that leaves me with basically zero options as none of the noble houses I’d seek to serve here will take on a paladin of Torm. The only other group would, could be the purple dragons. However, I’ve been told that the military don’t recruit paladins as it may go against their [the paladins] gods edicts? What nonsense is that? I’ve seen priests in the service of the army here. How is it that they get to be recruited and not a paladin? Both professions serve gods, a priest through worship and prayer and a paladin through loyal service. I feel that it’s a contradiction and it makes no sense to me what so ever. But that’s how things are done in Cormyr. Who am I to argue?

So then, after all this time, I stand now at a crossroads. I will begin to investigate the redemption ceremony, see if there is any thing that I have to undertake before I’m re-instated.

Well, if there is no future here apart from being a mercenary sell-sword that just happens to be a paladin, I’m going to leave and take Eve with me back to Tantras. I see no point in staying on here in that capacity as a grubby mercenary. We have saved enough money together for the journey and I know I’d get a position back there in the city guard or the temple’s army.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings….

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 350[/b:1ua5s37b]

Friends come and go but enemies accumulate...until you kill them off.

Tagnar and Mord, the dwarves, are now on my list. In fact I'm starting to find that there are few dwarves I'm really happy with anymore. I'm not a racist man by any stretch of the imagination but lately I've found to be at odds with a number of Dwavres. So far only Macca has proved reasonable. Nami would be another but I haven't seen her for a while. Tag is just an evil bastard.

I've known about his taint for a while and today I tried to warn Loriel the Ilmateri novice paladin from working with him. She is far to trusting and naive and if she carries on this way, she'll lose her paladinhood very quickly. Anyway, Tag took exception to me reminding Lori about her vows and challenged me to a death duel which I happily accepted. He raved about lies and me besmirching his honour. He has none anyway.

Lori and Macca both were against a death duel and Tag insisted on no aids in the fight. Next time I agree to a duel, it's no holds barred. I will not accept those terms again. If people want to fight me, then they can deal with the full force of my arsenal of potions and wands.

Another dwarf, Folinar showed up at the area and started to berate me about standing up for what I believe is right, going on about how we need to be tolerant of others believes. It took every ounce of will power not to tell him to shove his head up his arse. What an imbecile! He expects a fallen paladin to meekly let a fellow Triad member disgrace herself by working with an evil shit like Tag! I may have lost my paladin hood but I know what is right and her working with Tag was not right. Fol is a fool and I'll have nothing further to do with him.

Eventually it was agreed that Tag and I fight to the second blood, and we clashed. Torm was on my side and I felled the evil dwarf, breaking his spirit. Lori ran off crying, acting like a hurt little girl. Windy was watching my back because that snakey bastard Mord was lurking about. So then, I'm now almost at war with many of the dwarves here as they tend to stick together as a clan. So be it. I am sticking to my principles and will speak out time and again to stop innocents like Lori from making errors like that.

I saw Eve briefly today. She was to be busy with practice, some sort of performance. We hardly see each other lately these days. She is reluctant to adventure and I don't blame her while I have to work as hard as I can to rebuild my strength. So we are at an impasse. She is bored and I am at a loss as to what to do for her. I love her dearly but I can't be there all the time and I suspect she's getting restless anyway. I beginning to suspect that this will be like Shanee all over again...I just know it. Eve will grow apart from me and I'll be left alone once more. I try so hard to include her in things, try to keep her amused and included but I'm getting frustrated and disappointed. What else can I do?

Bah...my heart is hardened to such things! Shanee burned out some of it when she left me, Kim and Lilly as well...why should Eve be any different? I am going to have to say something about this as I'm unsatisfied with the status quo. Dark are my thoughts these days...I see little reason to be happy.

I still follow the duty and obey the law but slowly the joy is ebbing away slowly.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 354[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve and I had our first fight today.

She'd been in a bad mood, vexed that there was little to do about the city. I knew that many of the people were busy with Brok's trial and it'd have been pointless to make a call for people to come and find work. She stomped about, walking off and leaving me standing alone like I didn't exist. It hurts me when she walks off and leaves me like I'm just some flunky and not her husband.

I've also been in a foul mood of late because of the whole Xantre and Windy affair. He got it into his head that somehow I'm the source of his problems and wanted to duel me to prove he was right. I refused to duel him as one; he should accept responsibility for his philandering and two; it would prove nothing and I suspect he'd want to try to murder me anyway. I don't trust anything he says anymore and am sorely disappointed in that my best man and former friend has sunk so low.

Now, getting back to Eve.

She wandered off, leaving me at the market and went back to the Pride, not even talking to me. I followed and watched her sit and stare into the fire for 5 minutes before I left her. I was furious but said nothing. I hate being ignored and dismissed, especially by the one person who means the world to me. I went out and sought a battle and found some stupid bandits who obliged me in letting off some steam.

When I came back, she was sitting in our room. I was injured and she didn't say a thing. So I started to pack my things and said to her that I knew I wasn't making her happy anymore so I'll remove the burden of myself from her presence and threw my wedding ring at her feet. That got her attention. She was stunned and snapped out of her mood.

I stormed out without saying anything and went downstairs to cool off in the baths. When I came back up, we both relented and apologized to each other. She says she loved only me and wants to be with me and I said I was so very sorry to her. We cuddled and kissed and held each other tightly because I think we both knew how close we came to it all ending.

We spent the rest of the night making up to each other and I have to say, it has made us closer as a couple. We've also resolved to speak candidly to each other, to honestly express our thoughts and feelings so as not to let things fester. She needs to know that I feel her frustrations and share them at times. I know she also wants time apart from me, to do her own thing. I know she feels at times that unless I'm there, she can't do anything alone. I want her to have a rich and full life with and without me. I do my very best to find things for us to do and of late, when we make a call for work, many people show up and that's heartening. Yet there are times too when all I want to do is just spend quiet times with her. I did push for her to come adventuring and she's done that. I have to be more attuning to her feelings, wants and needs. Ask her what she wants and not make her do things she isn't comfortable with. I think we'll be alright now.

Aside from that there is not much else to add. Work has been steady, Windy seems to have found new friends and I'm happy for her. Eve and she are the two people I care for most here. If anything were to happen to them, I'd be a wreck.

I asked the other day at the library for information about investiture ceremonies but the librarian either didn't hear me or was deliberately ignoring me. Rather than push the point, I left. Knight Initiate Lucan though mentioned that there may be some thing in the Halls of Mercy. I'm almost at a point now where I can feel that I could confidently perform any quest or task that may be required of me to be instated as a guard of the Halls of Mercy.

I know my wife wants me to succeed more than anything else because she's told me her love for me will carry me through the hard times. Eve maybe could help me find out what I need to know, she knows history and things better than I and mayhap, be able to help me put the final bits into place. It would be a little unusual I'd say but I think Torm could look into her heart and see that there is only a desire to see me become all that I can be. She wants the best for me as I do for her.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 359[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve, Windy and I got very drunk last night we actually had a very fun time together. Zora and Charnes stuck their heads into the room to see what all the noise was about and saw Eve weeping cause she thought Windy was dead. Windy had just passed out dead drunk and wasn't dead (she thought Windy had been killed by Orcs) Eve soon worked that out. I've never seen two women so drunk before, it was most amusing. Eve was been very capricious and Windy was just her usual self...funny.

Things have been going well for Eve and I. We've been saving our money and with all the regular work we've been doing, we're starting to build a tidy sum that we share together in one bank account. I leave the house hold finances to Eve as she is better at dealing with those things. She's recently got Macca to make her a new spear and a helm. The spear looks very impressive and she has been talking to Zor about getting it enchanted. I can see that won't be cheap but she does need a signature weapon. Something that distinguishes her from all the other adventurers.

I've also hired the services of a valet named Cal. He is a mature man, a bit rough about the edges but I believe he's got a good heart. Eve was very impressed that we now have a servant. I hired Cal so he can help out with small things and domestic chores. Eve no doubt will find many tasks for him. I've taken on Cal on a weeks trial and at the end, if he and us agree and like each other, we will make a permanent and binding contract with him. He's worked for Loriel before and so I trust her judgment on his character. I will make sure that Cal is well treated and we will never treated him like a servant but more as a friend. Eve has yet to meet him and secretly I'm a bit glad he's here because it get's me out of doing the laundry. He'll handle all our domestic chores for us which is a blessed relief. I've also instructed him to look after Windy too since she’s practically family with me and Eve.

Well, time to head off now with Eve. We're off to Suzail for a few days. It is time to have a little holiday together away from the constant clamour of Arabel. I've booked us a top Inn to stay at and arranged for flowers to be set up in our room for Eve.

So we'll be back here in a week’s time. I think a good relaxing break will do us the world of good. I finally feel that I'm back on track again and all is well in my world. Perhaps it's the solstice seasons' cheer infecting with its uplifting mood? Whatever it is, I'm glad of it and wish all my friends all the best for them.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 365[/b:1ua5s37b]

Eve and I had a lovely holiday in Suzail, it was nice to get out of Arabel even if only for a week or so. I think we both needed the break and to be able to spend time together without interruptions.

Since our return we’ve been doing the usual things, work and play.

I went on a quest recently to track down a traitorous knight of a now dead Kingdom called Alistere. A group of us including Macca, Zurk, Amy, Shania the WereRat and others sailed to this desolate lave to find the clues as to who betrayed the queen and her subjects. We also learned that the Kingdom used to guard a special treasure, a rune.

We found out who in the palace helped the traitor and left justice to the spirits of the dead there. Later, we ventured into the Aunoroch to hunt down the traitor knight. He was in an old crypt, attempting to release this rune from its stasis. He'd also summoned demons and such to delay against interference. He was wrong in thinking a few demons could stand against us and we cut them down with out too much hassle.

We confronted the blackguard in a chamber where he was attempting to release the rune. I can't say I really understood much that was going on but I knew we had to kill him. Again, that didn't take to long. But the process of releasing the rune had begun and Shania threw herself into the vortex of magic. She somehow became the vessel for the rune, since if it was released, chaos would ensue. We headed out of the collapsing chamber at speed.

On the surface, Shania grappled with her new found power while at the same time, some swine, who I now know is named Rhaziel, tried to provoke her into murder. I counselled Shania not to use the power and not to strike out at this man. It would be murder, even if it wasn't in Cormyr, the fact remained that she killed this man who offered her no violence, merely hateful words. She listened to me and we all left.

I find Shania intriguing. At first I was repulsed by her lycanthropy and I know for a fact Windy loathes her with a passion but I believe that Shania is making an effort to somehow break free from her curse. I know she is at heart a kind and gentle woman but the rat nature often asserts itself in her, making her act in rat like ways. I think she needs all the help she can get. I've been meaning to speak to Brian Lucan of the knights but when I see him, I've forgotten or he or I are too busy with something else. I have to at least try to help Shania as I'd be a hypocrite in denying her a chance of redemption.

Speaking of Brian, yesterday we encountered an orc who was acting as a toll bridges man. He was charging 10 gold to enter a camp where orcs had gathered to probably assault the surrounding countryside. The orc seemed coherent and quite reasonable. At first I thought, "let's just kill the bastard" but as we continued to talk with him, he showed an intelligence and understanding that I have rarely seen in full blood orcs. Xander and a couple of others attacked him and the orc pleaded for mercy. Brian intervened and granted the orc mercy as he was expected to because all paladins must give mercy to a fallen foe that asks it.

This seemed to annoy many of the party and there are times when I feel that people just don't fully understand the code of conduct that a paladin has to adhere to. I tied up the badly wounded orc and told him to lie there quietly but when we came back, the poor fellow had bled to death from his wounds. I felt very bad for letting him die that way. I could have healed him with a charge from my wand or applied bandages to him. I let my prejudices stay my hands from acting in a merciful manner. I feel shame for that. Maybe this orc could have been one of those rare individuals that break free from their terrible culture and embrace a gentler, more civilized way of life. We will never know now and his mind is lost forever.

When I came back, I was in an introspective mood. Hedia came up with me to Windy's room and there we had a few drinks with Windy and Shalina, Windy’s new best friend and I suspect, lover. I left the room to answer the call of nature and saw a light coming from under the door of my room. I went in and saw Eve reading at the table. I was a bit drunk at the time, which she finds greatly amusing, and staggered over to her and cuddled her. The other girls followed me in and we soon had a room full of women.

Things were going well but then Shalina started to say some things that were at the least arrogant and the worst, downright rude. Eve and Shalina started to spar verbally. Windy and I watched as they sniped at each other. I have to say that Shalina really did sound rude, making comments about how easily she could destroy the furniture in our room! What a thing to say as a guest in someone’s home, extremely rude. It also shows how thoughtless she is. I mean we know she is a powerful priestess but there is no need to flaunt her power in our faces. I also think there is some sort of female rivalry going on between Eve and Shalina, both are remarkably beautiful women and I've noticed women are just as competitive as men and are quite capable of being nasty about it. Windy took Shalina with her and they left as the mood had degenerated because of Shalina's arrogant behavior. I still call her a friend but if she antagonizes my wife further, she'll find herself flat on her ass with a very sore nose.

Eve and I spent the rest of the evening snuggling and talking quietly.

[b:1ua5s37b]Day 372[/b:1ua5s37b]

So since my last adventure, I've been feeling that little bit closer to my goal of being appointed a guard at the Halls of Mercy. I must do more to act with the law, even though I think War Wizard Darwill has done much to make the law as unpopular as he can. His iron fisted approach to law enforcement only serves to drive people into criminal acts that otherwise they would not have. When will people learn that to truly defeat crime and injustice, you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, not crush them under the jackboot of tyranny!

Eve is disheartened by what she see's as injustice and the lack of true justice. We try not to talk about that as I know it upsets her and I hate arguing with her. She is such a wonderful woman though and I know she will support me in my quest to be redeemed.

I have a hard time maintaining my respect for a number of the city's officials. I still trust Eldaris and Torvis and the Constal, they are men who know how to balance justice and act rationally. I was very disappointed to hear that Sir Richard sentenced Brok to death. As if that was the only sentence he could pronounce! He had in his capacity as judge, to pass down a jail term instead of the ultimate penalty yet he choose to execute Brok. Maybe he wanted to make a name for himself, to show how hardassed he is. I'm saddened that he choose retribution over mercy.

I wonder if justice is truly served when it's not tempered with mercy?
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

Talwyn Aureliano
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Western Australia

Post by Talwyn Aureliano »

[b:18luffa1]Day 376[/b:18luffa1]

I've also been doing some reading of late. I've complied the code of conduct that a paladin must follow.

Here is what I must do now, a code that I must strictly adhere to:
Law abiding: The paladin endeavours to abide by the law of the region. In lawless regions, the paladin abides by laws of their own country.

Service to liege or church: The paladin is often expected to perform services for their liege or church.

Cultural traditions: The paladin preserves cultural traditions such as marriage, hospitality to strangers, respect for your elders, and so forth.

Merciful: The paladin will grant mercy to a fallen foe.

Courtesy: The paladin is polite. Think of the rules that a gentleman or gentlewoman might follow.

Honesty and oath keeper: The paladin keeps promises and is honest. They would not cheat someone and would give them a fair deal.

Generosity: The paladin is generous to others in need, even when it is troublesome to do so - sharing their last loaf of bread. The paladin is generous in praise of others.

Morality of associates: The paladin ensures that those who associate with them are of sound paladin and follow similar tenets to the paladin.

Valour: The paladin is valorous in battle, attacking mighty foes and only retreating when faced by the grimmest odds. This does not imply that the paladin would disobey orders to stay in battle, for example if a retreat was sounded the paladin would retreat, they'd just perform a rearguard and make sure everyone else who was able could retreat first ...

Honour: The paladin behaves in an honourable manner, and will not accept dishonour. This typically includes accepting duels, challenging people who impugn one's honour, and more.

Humility: The paladin is humble and does not discuss their successes, not seeking the limelight. The paladin will accept praise with humble thanks, and be embarrassed by more.

Chivalrous: The typical chivalric code of battle, ensuring a fair fight and helping a downed opponent get up and get their sword. Ambushing someone is poor manners, and fails to show who is truly the better warrior.

Industry: Life is too short to waste it on irrelevant matters. While others are drinking, this paladin ensures that everything is ready for tomorrow, things are clean, the garden is tended to and so forth.

Tithing: This is the typical tithe that various religions have required of their followers. More importantly, the paladin is expected to tithe on anything of value they receive.

No more than 10 magic items: It would be greedy to use more. Others can make better use of them.

Limited wealth: The purpose of life is not to accumulate wealth. Any money the paladin makes over that required to maintain one's properties, position, the church, and servants, must be donated to an appropriate cause where it can be better used. [/color:18luffa1]

I've been too lax in the past, and that has to change now.

From now on, I must be resolute, firm of purpose. I hope Eve will understand my changing behaviour. I will still be the man she married but I will become something much greater when I've regained Torm's favour.

I pray that the Loyal Fury shine his light on my wife and I, to help us through our lives together and shield us from evil.
[color=blue:18luffa1][center:18luffa1]Torm, the True God.
Release me from my sins.
Let me face your enemies,
With my weapons and my Faith.
Let me be the bringer of Your Justice,
and deliver this World of them.
I place my soul on your hands,
and my worthless body before You.
I ask only for Strength and Conviction,
to bring down Forces of Evil and Darkness.
Victory or Defeat,
Life or Death,
I care not.
I only pray that I will bring Honour to Your Name,
and Your Justice for all.[/center:18luffa1][/color:18luffa1][/i:18luffa1]

[b:18luffa1]Day 382[/b:18luffa1]

I've been back for a few days since my retreat of contemplation.

I was saddened to learn that a new friend and fellow Tormtar Caspar had fallen in battle and could not be recovered.

He had named me as beneficiary of his estate and worldly goods. However, I only got 2 of his items thus far since some woman named Shiva is purportedly holding the rest of Caspar’s gear. I have no idea who this Shiva is and I seriously doubt that I'll see any other items from Caspar’s estate. But still, if I find this woman, then I'll have words with her, find out why she never delivered the items to the house of death. Greed most likely and no sense of honour but I'm used to dealing with scum like that.

Aside from that, Eve and I find ourselves looking about with very little to do. We are not members of any faction, nor likely to be accepted into any either. Seems rather a shame really but such is life. I've wandered about town these last 2 days, seeing a few familiar faces here and there. On the whole, it feels like I'm newly arrived to the city and no one seems to know me anymore. It's definitely an odd feeling, being in a city of over 20,000 people and feeling quite isolated. If it wasn't for Eve, I don't think I wouldn't have bothered to come back. If nothing changes soon, then I think we will leave this place as there is little point staying in a place that holds no purpose for Eve and I anymore.

[b:18luffa1]Day 389[/b:18luffa1]

Life goes on...

This will most likely be my last entry.

I will hand this diary over to my dear friend Cherry Applegate the bard. She can use it to make stories or songs I suppose. I could leave it with the barman at the ‘pride to pass onto her if I don't see her soon.

Eve has said to me she is also keen to leave and explore new worlds and we'll be heading off very soon. She is bored here and to be honest, so am I. Also she's been sick every morning for the last week or so and hasn't felt like going out much. I just hope she's upto the rigors of travel very soon. I think that taking a caravan will be best considering Eve's condition.

Back to Arabel though, I see it's always the same old stuff. The city is always under attack or something by whatever insane group or creature that decides to commit suicide by assaulting Arabel. This city is a death zone for such beings. I am amazed that Arabel's reputation as being a graveyard to all would be conquerors has not deterred the latest bunch of fools who think they can sweep this city aside and dance on the rubble.

We can leave here now. I know that I did my best. I never really got all that far here but I had some great experiences as well as terrible ones. I made some close friends, who I will regret leaving behind but I am looking forward to making new friends as Eve and I travel the realms together. Meeting her here was the best thing for me. Our wedding was something truly lovely and we treasure that day above all others.

I will be catching up with the few close friends that I have left here before I leave. Saying goodbye takes time but it has to be done. Probably take a few days to organise our journey and for me to make our goodbyes. Aside from that...it's possible I may come back this way one day but it will be a while before that happens.

So after a year here I have come full circle. I came with nothing and leave a wealthy man with a loving wife. I came as a paladin, fell from grace and by hard work and perseverance was redeemed by Torm himself.

In all I think I did well by coming here. I leave with a good reputation, excellent skills and a clear conscience.

[b:18luffa1]Day 437[/b:18luffa1]

Eve and I returned to Arabel once more. It was her whim as she realized the life on the road with a knight errant paladin isn’t as glamorous as she imagined it to be. She hates camping and detests having to squat in the bushes to relieve herself.

After just over a month heading east she threw a massive tantrum when a centipede bit her on her nethers while she was squatting doing her business. She flew into a tearful rage and demanded we return back to the city. Rather than argue with her, and seeing that the journey would only get worse, I agreed. Luckily for us we encountered a War Wizard who was preparing to return to Arabel and let us go through the portal he had created.

On our return I encountered a new ranged of foes and have come up with a new mantra:

So many evil bastards to kill...so much to do...

Also: Lessons learned

1. The law is only as strong and effective as those who enforce it

2. Women are drawn to powerful men

3. Never try to swing too hard in duels, just stay focused and calm

4. Information is the key to defeating your enemies; gather as much as you can

5. Giving a make over to a wild shape changing girl can be the most bizarre thing I've ever done

6. Your wife can be a tease and really push your buttons but she doesn't mean too much by it

7. Try to keep a hold on your temper at all times

8. Always be supportive of close friends when they are vulnerable

9. Be wary of those who try to manipulate you to their own ends...always question others motives

10. Get a good nights rest as often as possible

[b:18luffa1]Day 439[/b:18luffa1]

Sometimes I think my wife is a complete idiot!

The gods must have taken away her common sense when they made her so beautiful because she is fixating on being "forever young" at any price, whatever that means?

Torm give me strength to endure Eve's lunacy! I've tried to be subtle, telling her metaphorical stories about such people who sought this eternal youth and the terrible price they have paid for it but the woman can be as dense as granite and even more stubborn than a drunken dwarf!

I lost my temper with her today, shouted at her because she was blithely going on about her "apprentice" Handal, a nice young elven bard, and she said he was being headstrong and arrogant and then went on about how she could succeed in her quest for undying beauty and not fail where others have! I was livid.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, is that is a prime example or what?

I dam near came close to slapping her face, maybe knocking some sense into that thick head of hers but I refrained from beating my wife for now. Although the way she carries on, perhaps a smack on her arse like you would a petulant child might be in order because that's how she's behaving.

Why she can't be more content with life is beyond me? I don't know how much more of this I can take...all this rubbish about her "fans" and admirers. Yes she is a hugely popular bard and dancer but that is not the point.

Bloody hell...she's my wife and dam well better start acting like it!

She can't even boil an egg for heavens sake! She is more concerned with surface appearance than substance. After almost half a year of marriage, she has learnt nothing about what I believe in or stand for, nor has she tried to make compromises. She lied to me about being pregnant when she knows it's a family I want. She says she is still in her prime and can't have a child now. So when, I ask, is a good time eh? Tell me that and maybe I'll understand but she can't tell me because her head is so empty. It’s filled with the need for attention and adoration. She can't even grasp that even that is ephemeral.

I mean how dense is that?

If there is to be beauty, there has to be ugliness, pain goes with pleasure, light and darkness and so on...Eve wants it all her own way and doesn't give a toss about consequences. Well if she seeks vampirism, I'll kill her myself before she turns and then find a way to die as nobly as I could.

I can have my pick of women here. There are many that smile demurely at me but it’s Eve that has my heart, for now. She had better learn fast that she is about to lose it if she continues down this path of self destruction.

[b:18luffa1]Day 445[/b:18luffa1]

The longer I spend in this city, the more and more I begin to despise those that are in charge and profess to have the common good at heart!

What a pack of self obsessed wankers!

Almost all of them are only concerned about their own position and their little bit of self deluded prestige their fancy titles give them. I really wonder about the state of Lady Lhal's mind and her city counsellors when I see who is in charge here. A pack of toadying sycophants are those who hold power and title here.

I've been taught to obey "those who rule" but I honestly have to question that edict when "those who rule" would allow a dwarf to be tortured after he'd been beaten in a duel...no clean death for Karl the dwarf [one of the few I still respect], may his soul rest in peace. Knight veteran Juline, that coward [spits to one side] and Lilyis allowed Nathan to inflict humiliation and torment on old Karl.

They hide behind the law, gutless and spineless excuses...they are as guilty as Nathan in their infamy. A good person is someone who is prepared to stand up and against what is overtly evil, they did nothing! Therefore they condoned Natha's evil. There are higher moral laws than those laid down by man and there are times when those laws have to be set aside to do what is right and necessary.

I only regret I was not there at that duel. I'd have smashed Juline down and taken on Nathan regardless of the consequences and if Lilyis would have tried to stop me, she'd have got 4 foot of steel rammed into her guts. I can have no respect for those that by their inaction, allow such depravity to occur. Next I hear Eve got arrested for having a joke with Catsby. Sergeant Tim Cultan seems to have the sense of humour equivalent of a turd in a lunch box. I think I might challenge him and smack his teeth in just as an object lesson.

Now the old miserable tosspot Ky'ran has resurfaced once more. If there ever in the entire history of this world, has there been a man in need of the attentions of a good woman, it's him! Although, I pity any woman who would actually try to do it.

The miserly bastard didn't have the common decency to say hello because again he's so self absorbed in his personal pursuit of glory. In fact he pointedly ignored me even though I was right in front of him so that's that, he can go take a crap from the highest building here for I care. I can't believe he is a paladin of Torm because I have to say in all honesty he hardly takes any time to help anyone else but himself. Not once have I seen him down at the visitors centre helping new arrivals and thereby following one of Torm's edicts that we aid and equip new adventurers. All he is concerned with is his own personal glory and dam everyone else who doesn't aid in that quest.

Everyone thinks he's incredibly brave! Balls I say! He's too stupid to be brave! Thick as cow dung and less attractive. The man hasn't got the intelligence or the wit of a dead snail and he's about as personable as one as well. The man is about as wooden as an outside toilet door. He could not inspire a band of drunks to have a piss up in a brewery and the idiot always gets himself and often others in his parties killed. He's a danger to all around him and if he gives me any cheek, I'll gladly punch his lights out. I might even knock a bit of humility into the old tosser. I'd probably get censured by the authorities but bugger it, least I can say I've ACTUALLY met Torm twice and I think I know his doctrine and try to practice it a lot better than Ky'ran ever could.

I am at a loss here. Those who I am suppose to follow and obey I now loath. I still have respect for Dame Melanie Bresk, Constal Baba and a couple of others in authority but that's about it. There are friends I'd fight to the death for but the rest of them, those "powers that be" who run the city in the name of the crown, well lets just say I wouldn't even cross the street to piss on them even if they were burning to death.

I am not an evil man, I despise racism and cruelty, nepotism and corruption, yet it is all I see flourishing here. I begin to understand why paladin of Sune Wynn is so miserable all the time. At least Eve is now behaving herself. She is not being stupid because she knows she'll get a dam good thrashing if she does. I laid down the law with her, much to her surprise and strangely enough, she complied completely. I think she likes it when I’m stern and hard with her. She needs to be dominated. I despair at times but if this is price I must pay to keep my wife happy and on the straight and narrow, then so be it.

I've also got people watching her, so one slip and she'll find out what wrath REALLY is…

[b:18luffa1]Day 455 – Final Entry[/b:18luffa1]

I write this final journal entry huddled out in the desert under a small tent while Eve is asleep in the bedroll next to me.

Well that's that's it.

Lilyis, the corrupt War Wizard, tried to arrest me three days ago outside the main gates of the city for speaking out that the guards where lying over their assault on an innocent half orc. She wasn't even interested in listening to the truth or witnesses who had observed the event that had transpired before. She came straight up to me and activated her wand. So, I cocked my right arm and punched her crocked teeth in! Dam it felt good to smash that tyrannical Bhaliirian whore! She flew back screaming, blood everywhere! The guards set to attacking me and got a few hits in but rather than stay about and continue to fight against a whole garrison, I retired from the field with the use of an invisibility potion.

So now I'm a wanted man in Cormyr.

No doubt Lilyis is still smarting from the beating she got. Well it's good that she did. Tyrants will only last so long before they are removed. My heart is still pure and I retain Torms grace. It's hard to be obedient to someone that allies themselves with sheep sodomisers like the Bhaliir crowd. I noticed that there is a drive to make Arabel a human only city. Racism and intolerance are being allowed to flourish and it will only be a matter of time before representatives of the regent herself will be called down to see what a mess this city has become. This city needs an inquisition as well as an enema to flush out all the turds that are in charge at the moment.

I regret nothing at all. In fact I'm proud of what I've done.

Lilyis was itching to arrest me. I somehow suspect it's almost as though she knew what I'd written previously and had taken personal offense to it. The fact she ignored the near dead half orc on the ground in front of her and came straight for me showed her clear intent to have a crack at me. Well, I had the last laugh, Eve and I have escaped and we're off to freedom via the Aunoroch desert. Eve admitted to me that coming back was a mistake now.

Never mind.

As to Lilyis hunting me, no doubt she'll try to gather overwhelming forces to seek me out and use underhanded means to stalk me. I don't trust her at all nor will I say to anyone where I am. She is a fool and if she does, she won’t live long. I will spare any one of good intent and heart that comes after me but I'll take Lilyis' head and stake it on a pole as a warning to others that there is a price for Tyranny. I will also continue to fight against oppression and injustice where ever I can. Perhaps try to aid the real victims of Arabel’s oppressive regime, the peasants and ordinary people. It will be sad to have to fight former friends but unless they throw off the shackles of the oppressor "High Wizard" and rise up with one voice and say "NO MORE!" I can not call them friend.

You have nothing if you have no rights.

I am sad that I had to leave like this but she will understand. Maybe it's best this way. I will always be loyal to the people and crown of Cormyr but I can not abide and hold my tongue while corruption walks its ranks of authority.

Why did Eve have to drag us back here? I knew it was a mistake.

Ahh well, what's done is done, no use in crying over spilt war wizard blood. In fact, I suspect the people of the city will be secretly cheering my actions. Mayhap I can get enough popular support and clear my name? It'd be interesting to see many in the city say no to her for a change; I doubt the jail can hold a good number of the citizens of the city. Anyway, I've got a lot of friends. Some of who will speak on my behalf I hope. Other will do more than speak...that is the true test of friendship. I pity anyone that would seek to come after me. I'll be merciful, except to those sheep buggering corrupt War Wizards and their cronies.

However, I can not remain in a Kingdom that sponsors a woman that acts like a Banite Tyrant to her fellow citizens. The code does not permit me to. So much for the so called "Freedom of Cormyr!” Bah...what a cruel joke. There is no use in fighting a corrupt system of a city that is run by people who have the vision and creativity of moles with cataracts. Even if amendments to the law were suggested, they would no doubt be ignored.

Lilyis' connections run deep and it's clear that she is well entrenched here, so nothing can be done about her. There may not point in writing to the regent or higher powers because the author was one who assaulted a war wizard but I must try.

I'm still quite amazed that no one has explained to that wench the simple rule that with great power comes great responsibility. I wonder if the Zhent’s didn't actually triumph in the because end the way things are here now with such sins as nepotism, cronyism and bad behaviour is the rule here now.

I'm quite disgusted with the way things have deteriorated here. My example will no doubt spur others to action. So I'll exercise the one free thing I have, my ability to leave with my wife and return to Tantras.

[b:18luffa1][There are no more entries by Talwyn in the diary][/b:18luffa1]

[b:18luffa1]*A note has been added in another’s handwriting on the last page of the diary*[/b:18luffa1]

[i:18luffa1]It was not long after the Paladin Talwyn Aureliano of Torm and his wife Eve Seline fled Cormyr that this diary was received at the Court of the Regent of Cormyr. Once the Regent and Head War Wizard read through the contents was an inquisition held into the state of affairs of the city of Arabel. Witnesses were questioned and events thoroughly investigated.

The corrupt War Wizard Lilyis was tried and convicted of treason and was burned alive at the stake in a public execution for her crimes.

The noble House Bhahiir was destroyed. It name was removed from the rolls of honour. It was also found that many of its members had to be executed for treason and other high crimes against the crown.

A pardon was issued to Talwyn on behalf of the crown although he has never returned to Cormyr.

The Crowns agents have learned that Eve Seline abandoned Talwyn Aureliano not long after they departed Cormyr. Once again, she secretly returned to pursuing her foolish search for a source of eternal youth. Her vain and dangerous obsession quickly drove her to take up vampirism. She found an old vampire who, seduced by her wiles, agreed to turn her into one of the living dead. She then destroyed the old vampire as he disgusted her with his decrepitude. Eve then set about creating a vampire coven of her own making. She insinuated herself into an unsuspecting travelling troupe of bards, slowly murdering each one and turning them into her vampiric slaves.

It is said that Talwyn relentlessly hunted her coven down over a period of months, following her trail of death. He caught her as she was creating more sycophantic vampiric followers who would worship and adore her. He decapitated his insane wife before she grew too powerful and destroyed the coven she had founded. Their bodies were burned and the ashes scattered over a near by salt lake. The Church of Torm granted an annulment of the marriage to the half elven bard Eve Seline, citing her pursuit of darkness and his resolute action in destroying her and the coven of vampires.

Talwyn Aureliano returned to Tantras for a year and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Lions as a Knight Captain and made a Champion of Torm. After a year of service with the Lions, he was given a new mission to return to the West to act as liaison and aid the Dark [drow] Elven cult of Eilistraee. His last known where abouts was said to be Skullport near Waterdeep.

The Crown of Cormyr holds this diary as a record of the service of the Paladin Talwyn Aureliano of Torm to the city of Arabel and the Kingdom of Cormyr.

[b:18luffa1]1377 DR[/b:18luffa1][/i:18luffa1]
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

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