Monday, October 1, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 19: Past Becomes Present


Fourthmonth 20 (continued)

We went to the Black Angle for the evening. Oh, how I am beginning to love that place.

Unfortunately, alcohol seems to impair my judgment very badly. After a couple a few several rounds, I decided it would be a good idea to visit Ea-Shamar. You see, my intoxication had given me a brilliant plan.

I visited Ea-Shamar. First I yelled at her about Monala. Then I offered to help recover Iu-Molan in exchange for her ignoring Gannen. After an argument that is now a bit blurry in my memory, it became apparent that she was not going to agree to this situation. I almost threatened to not help in the search for Iu-Molan, but I decided that that would be taking it a bit too far. I wouldn't allow Monala to harm the girl just because I was stubborn. We decided to leave town.

We didn't exactly know where we were going, mind you. I decided our top priority should be finding Gannen. The rest of the crew actually agreed with me (maybe this Runechild thing is really working out) and Soern cast a scrying spell on him. He discovered that Gannen was in the streets of a town, killing people. Monala was standing with him, watching. This made me angry enough to scream a few curses at her, including a few choice words about her heritage. Soern “helpfully” reminded me that a scry is a one-way connection. I shot him a dirty glance and he shut up.

Soern decided that the town Gannen was in looked like the northern port town of Gorzam, where Blank originates from. So, we set course for Gorzam and sailed off.


Fourthmonth 21

Sailing, sailing
Over the bounding main
Where many a stormy wind shall blow
E're you come home again
Sailing, sailing
Give me your answer do
I'm half-crazy
Over the...

You know what? I'm pathetic. Would I feel so guilty about losing him if I didn't love him? Probably not. I feel no guilt over the loss of Iu-Molan, even though that was probably also preventable on my part.

Damn you, Monala.


Fourthmonth 22

Gorzam. I will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Also, Blank seems to be somewhat of a local hero. Coincidence? I think not.

We went to visit the Scurvy Seadog, a tavern run by Blank's Uncle Grisby. Upon meeting Mr. Grisby, I politely introduced myself in the manner in which one should greet a person of the merchant class. This elicited a rather strange response from Grisby. He frowned, looking a bit confused. Eventually he said, “You'll be looking for the Governor? Well, we went and threw him out a couple o' years ago, so ya don't need to be bowing or “sirring” or any o' that load of shit.” He grinned. “Pardoning milady's ears o' course,” he added in a bit of a mocking tone.

Serious as stone, I corrected him, “It's Dame, not Lady.” He shook his head and sighed, as if he couldn't believe he was listening to this. A smile crept across my face and I proclaimed, “Just kidding.”

Grisby blinked, forced a laugh and quietly commented to Blank that he “really knew how to pick 'em crazy.” Blank nodded. I decided to keep my mouth shut for the time being.

Blank asked him about Gannen, and Grisby basically confirmed what we had already seen through Soern's scrying spell. He added that these “two people” had appeared and killed people several times, always taking the bodies with them. Curious.

Blank and the rest of the crew remained at the Scurvy Seadog for awhile while I wandered around near the docks. I examined the boats, trying to decide if I wanted to buy one of my own or not. Deciding that another boat wouldn't really be beneficial, and seeing that there were very few available to buy anyway, I decided to not buy a boat.

I returned to the Scurvy Seadog just as the crew was leaving. I asked where they were going, and Blank told me they were going to the Black Market. I asked, confused, if that was an actual, physical place, and he informed me that it indeed was.

“It's right down the street from Lenny's Fish Market on Commerce Street. Just look for the sign.”

Just look for the sign? What kind of Black Market had a sign? Apparently “Don Marko's Illicit and Pirated Goods” did. Wow.

It was a very grody store, but it had a good selection. I didn't really touch anything (for fear of contracting Lockjaw), but I did have a look around while the crew purchased some stuff.

We returned to our ships. Soern cast another scry on Gannen and found that he was standing at the Temple of the Hor'Quan, conversing with a dracha.

Before sunset, we left Gorzam. Good riddance.


Fourthmonth 23

We're going to go to the Temple of the Hor'Quan, but first we're stopping at Pental so I can fill Lord Morek in on what's been happening, and perhaps request assistance. We will, supposedly, arrive tomorrow.


Fourthmonth 24

Commodore Blank's about as accurate at predicting arrival times as those witches who try to predict the weather are at guessing when a storm is coming. Blank's a witch as well... Hmm... Perhaps all witches are simply untrustworthy. Damn mages.


Fourthmonth 25

We arrived at Pental in the middle of the night last night. Early this morning, I met with Lord Morek and told him what had been happening, and what we planned to do about it. Our conversation eventually arrived at what our main goal was. When I told him we planned to restart the Hor'Quan Empire, he was very supportive and even granted me a Knight partner, Dame Jocelyn Riet, and a small batallion of Squires to assist. Milord is most gracious.


Fourthmonth 26

I was on watch duty today and had to deal with a flock of angry seagulls who had decided that the crow's nest was their roost and that I was an intruder. Theoretically the peck marks will heal without scarring.


Fourthmonth 27

Per usual, our one day trip from Pental to Ao-Manasa has turned into a two-day journey. This is torturous. I suppose I'm just a bit more anxious than normal. Okay, perhaps a lot more anxious than normal.

After we arrived in Ao-Manasa late in the evening, Soern and Blank scurried off to the Black Angle to pick up some items from Cer-Athane. I stayed at the ship, fearing the wrath of Ea-Shamar. I didn't really want her to find out I was back so soon, especially since I didn't have Iu-Molan with me.


Fourthmonth 28

We had a meeting to discuss how to best reach Gannen (well, Iu-Molan, K'Max's, and Monala too, I guess). Soern recommended scrying on Gannen once again and then teleporting to him. I agreed wholeheartedly with this plan.

We figured that was what Monala was expecting us to do, however, so we decided that we all shouldn't go and we should leave something behind so Monala couldn't get “all the pieces of the puzzle” as it were. It was decided that Paerk and Jocelyn would remain behind, mostly because they were the least likely to end up in jail. We left them with the key we retrieved from Gannen's home.

Soern then cast another scry on Gannen. He was in a dark cavern with Iu-Molan. He then teleported us in. I hate teleporting. It feels like I'm being dragged through a hole in the fabric of the world itself. A very cold, slimy, stabbing kind of hole. Magic makes my skin crawl. Almost literally, in the case of teleporting. I found myself on the floor of the dark cavern. Everyone else was on their feet. I scrambled to mine and looked around.

It was dark, but not dark in the sense that darkness used to be for me. It was as if all the colours were muted, but the shapes were as clear as always. I am still getting used to these runechild eyes. I could make out many shapes in the room. There was a giant glass-like block of ice in the center of the room. There were also quite a few ice mephits that I was concerned about, Iu-Molan, whom I was pleased to see, and Gannen, whom I was more than pleased to see. Something glittered atop the ice-block. Looking back at it, I noticed that it was one of the seeds from the Isle of the Jeweled Trees. Curious. Underneath the iceblock, there was a soft, orangish glow.

I thought it may have something to do with the riddle Lord Morek gave me back in Thirdmonth. The thing about restarting the volcano.

Free the fire,
From icy fist,
Meet seed with flame of earth,
With storm and stare,
With will of heir,
Of right blood and right worth.

Soern suddenly yelled at us not to melt the ice. I suppose he had the same idea I had. Restarting a volcano while inside of it may be hazardous to one's health.The Aur-Xica seemed rather excited all of a sudden. Perhaps it felt the impending battle with the mephits that were already beginning to charge us. As we were fighting, I tried to make my way over to Gannen, but there were too many mephits for that plan to work. Suddenly there was a big burst of fire, causing the ice-block to melt and the seed to fall straight down into what appeared to be magma.

I yelled at Soern for his carelessness as I smacked the last of my mephit attackers, but he claimed that it hadn't been him that had cast the fireball. Monala. I screamed her name but got no reply. The only sound I heard was a steadily increasing rumbling beneath my feet. Running over to Gannen, I tried to talk to him, but he was zoned out and catatonic.

The rumbling grew louder. Mark grabbed Gannen and began to run towards the daylight that we hoped was an exit. I helped Iu-Molan to follow and we all fled, just as the magma began to rise into the cave. Death-by-volcano was not in the plans for the day, so we kept running, finding a way out of the cave. Once out, we scrambled up some rocks to the top of the Temple of the Hor'Quan.

There was a horrible shaking, and on the horizon, we witnessed a giant stone structure rise out of the ocean just as the sun was rising for the day. It was a beautiful,and terrifying sight.

Poor Gannen's mind was seriously messed up by Monala. Soern said there really wasn't much he could do here and suggested we teleport back to the ships, where perhaps Paerk would be of more help. It also started to rain.

When it came time for Soern to teleport us back, he kept glancing around at everyone. When I asked him what the problem was, he explained that he wasn't sure if he could teleport everyone back, but that he would try. This revelation evoked many painful images in my head of teleportation-gone-horribly-wrong. I was so distracted, I didn't even noticed Soern cast the spell. There was that creepy feeling, and then I appeared on the Fearful Lightning, shivering. I glanced around and noticed that everyone else had made it in one piece as well, including Gannen, whose arm I grabbed onto protectively.

Paerk took a look at Gannen and everyone debated for awhile on the best way to fix his mind. At first, Paerk thought the most obvious way to fix him would be to kill him and then resurrect him again, but I (almost violently) vetoed that idea. Eventually Paerk decided he could cast a restoration spell on him to fix him, unfortunately, he needed to look over said spell first and wouldn't be able to cast it until tomorrow. Even tomorrow, he would need to know Gannen's Truename for the spell to work. Perhaps by morning, Gannen will have recovered naturally enough to tell Paerk his Truename.

Soern then messed with Iu-Molan's memory so she would think Gannen got taken away by Monala again. Clever that. Anyway, Paerk, Blank, and I escorted Iu-Molan to Ea-Shamar, who thanked us, but seemed a bit stressed. Apparently there had been a prison break earlier that day and several prisoners had escaped. Blank asked if Illiam had escaped. When Ea-Shamar informed him that Illiam had indeed gotten away, I swear, Blank nearly became a Champion of Justice right then and there. Well, a Champion of Justice-Against-Illiam anyway. That's like a Champion, but with more piracy, and more hatred of Illiam.

I then proceeded to have another little chat with Ea-Shamar about not bothering Gannen. She reacted exactly the same as she had before. There was no way she was going to pardon him. I then, rather stupidly, demanded an audience with the Steward. She was a little surprised and at first denied my request, but I eventually convinced her to allow it.

My conversation with the Steward went thusly: I told him to stop his focus on Gannen. He asked me on what grounds I was requesting this, and I basically admitted the crew was at-fault for Mischa Mevarin's death, which didn't go over well. He ordered Ea-Shamar to question me and had me dragged out of his audience chamber. Once back with Ea-Shamar, she berated me for being an idiot and bringing Gannen to the attention of the Steward once again. Apparently he had been beginning to forget about the whole ordeal. Oops. She strongly suggested that we should leave town for awhile, to let things cool off a bit. Captain Blank obliged, and we were off.


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