It is the 14th of Majestic. We all were invited by Elanu Groff to join him in a feast at his estate in New Crests. My friends in CrIsis were treated well by the guests. I was not. Many of the people were actively rude to me. Some tried to be polite but would only do so if no-one was watching. Only two people were brave enough to “be seen” talking to me. Since I kept my distance from the party this was not too hard to do. The perfumes these people wore was very strong. I stayed away from the main groups to keep the air clear. To those two people I told some of the things which have happened since I joined CrIsis.
I covered some of the highlights. Our travels through the Baalgor Wastelands. Our battle against the God Kirgi. Our victory over a crew of Alu Demons. The failed attempt by Wizards, Weavers, and Internalists of the Tri-Arcanum to bar our arrival to their tower. Our witness to the current battle of the Gods.
Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful day.
It is the 15th of Majestic. The Festival of Bast starts at sundown. Xerx’ses, Indaris, and The Nameless Man are accompanying Grignak to the temple. They will celebrate and honor Bast directly. Xerx’ses is taking Eyes with him. She’s acting like they are on a date. Yet she won’t stop staring at The Nameless Man.
I have elected to stay behind tonight. I am still confused and unsure about the relationship I started with Cherkanan. I am pretty sure I will still honor Bast this evening by contemplating my feelings for her and remembering my time with her in private.
It is the 16th of Majestic. We have left New Crests and are sailing north. Eyes and Xerx’ses are an item now. She no longer seems preoccupied with The Nameless Man. I only noticed this because they flaunted it to everyone. This was a surprise to me but I’m happy for them.
Shortly after pulling out of port we spotted two pirate ships approaching us. They flew the flag of Blackbeard. They were adjusting their course to cut us off. Watching them it seemed as if their course was anticipating a sudden burst of speed from us. I find that a bit curious. I only started using my powers to enhance the speed of the ship recently. I wonder if they questioned any of the new crew while we were in port.
How do I address this? I wasn’t in the Wolfen Navy but I remember being told about a phrase they used. “Loose lips sink ships.” I believe that is what they said. But we are CrIsis, we are not military. Would I use my powers to ferret out the person or people who spoke? What good would it do? This capability will end up in a book soon anyway. I will think on this some more before I bother the everyone else with it. It is always better to present solutions.
The Nameless Man summoned a fog around us. We successfully evaded the pirates. Grignak used a chant I haven’t heard him use before. I think he used it to make the ship a place of magical power. I could feel my powers strengthen as they do at such places. But it seemed he also accidentally called forth a tectonic entity. Heebo stepped up and had little trouble using his great strength to defeat it.
It is the 18th of Majestic. Today I went to Xerx’ses and talked with him. I asked him what he could tell me about Lictalon. What was his connection to psychics? Out of respect for Cherkanan I did not elaborate why I wondered about this. Xerx’ses told me that Lictalon crafted the ritual which put the Old Ones in eternal slumber. Xerx’ses called them the Chaos Lords at first. I had not heard that term used for them before. Xerx’ses told me Lictalon’s name is a power word synonymous with duality and change. He thinks Lictalon may have been a Demigod like King Avramson. If so then pioneering interesting uses between psionics and magic would have been within his reach.
After that talk I offered to give Xerx’ses a chance to see his wife for some brief moments. I told him he would need to join with me in a trance. Then using the letter she wrote him where she announced her pregnancy we could see images of her in the present day. Through the link of the trance he would see what I saw. Xerx’ses declined. He said his wife was a warrior and he would sully both her and his father if he “checked up on them.” He felt this might make him weak-hearted and cause him to abandon his friends or oath to Isis. I respected his choice and let him know the offer stands if he ever changes his mind.
Before we finished talking I asked his permission to do a psychic diagnosis on him. What Cherkanan said to me has worried me. I wanted to make sure my powers have not caused anyone else any problems. Instead of permission he told me to heal myself and become more like him. I am not sure that is a goal I can attain, or even should try to attain. I am disappointed Xerx’ses would not let me asses his health. But I thanked him for taking the time to talk with me and answer my questions.
It is the 19th of Majestic. Today I went to talk with The Nameless Man. It had occurred to me that Malkin might be able to find some information about Millenkosh. I wanted to ask The Nameless Man what he thought about me asking, since they are friends. I also thought I should offer him the same chance to see his wife Crystal and his son Bron through my powers that I offered to Xerx’ses. And of course I wanted to see if he would let me use my powers to assess his health. But he surprised me.
He instead asked that we just sit and talk without magic or psychic powers. He told me that when such things become mundane they become dangerous. He alluded to what happened with Ursus when he also told me that a lack of focus causes accidents. Then he changed the subject and asked if I had ever built anything before. He invited me to join him in a secret project. He said it was therapeutic to do such things. I am no stranger to hard work. I gladly agreed to help The Nameless Man in this endeavor. He made me promise not to use my powers or magic. I found that odd but I agreed.
He seemed to consider my powers to be similar enough to magic that he saw no meaningful distinction. I tried to explain the difference and how they are an extension of myself. I believe he understood but just didn’t care. To him such things were unwanted. He told me he looked forward to a day when he would never have to cast a spell again. I found that curious at the time. But now I think he meant he looked forward to the day he could go back home to his farm and family.
We did not talk much more. We left to grab tools and timber. We also pulled in other able-bodied crew members with time to join us. We spent the rest of the day working. We still have a long way to go. The Nameless Man did not further acknowledge the questions I had come to him with. We did not use magic or powers. Nor did we even talk about them. It seemed as if the Nameless Man was observing me as we worked. Like he was looking for an answer to a question he was asking. I think I will keep helping him in this project.
It is the 20th of Majestic. Today I started the day by talking with Ursus. I know his beloved Ansa is a delicate topic to discuss. But since he found out about her pregnancy I wanted to give him the same opportunity I’ve given the others so far. I also wanted to ask if I could pay him for some of the engraved weapons he has been working on. I had an idea for my powers which I wanted to practice. If it works I wanted to have nice weapons to use as did it. I also intended to see if he was available for some fun archery practice. But both of us have too much going on to do that this trip.
Talking with Ursus was pleasant and refreshing. He has such a direct way of speaking. He readily agreed to help me by engraving the weapons I asked for but it would take time – more time than this trip had. I made him the offer to be able to see Ansa and he gladly stopped his work to take that opportunity.
He handed me her letter and we sat facing each other. I meditated quickly to enter the right trance. Carefully and deliberately I reached out with my mind to bring Ursus into the trance as well. Once we were connected I focused on the letter from Ansa and Malkin. Both of us received the psychic flashes of insight. We saw Malkin as he wrote the letter. Ansa stood beside him. She dictated her words and he wrote them. The vision was fleeting but it was long enough to see she was clearly pregnant.
Perhaps if I was a better storyteller I could write this in more detail. How do I represent the joy which Ursus expressed as he saw the pregnant Ansa? How do I illustrate the pride and love he radiated? I do not know. Once the vision was over I broke the trance. Ursus seemed grateful. I left him to his task.
He does not know this but I have another reason for why I asked him to engrave those weapons. It is not just because he does great work. I wish to help him pay the debt his trial levied him with. Ursus and CrIsis say they do not hold me responsible for what happened. But I know what my role was. If I cannot take the blame then I can help pay the restitution.
The rest of the day I spent again with The Nameless Man and this secret construction project. Without using my powers it’s tough to be a true asset. I do not know much about carpentry and construction. I am learning how to be helpful rather than a hindrance.
It is the 21st of Majestic. This morning I went to talk with Father Indaris. I gave him the same offer I gave the others so far – to allow him to see a loved one. I also asked him what he might know of Lictalon. I thought if Lictalon was a Demigod as Xerx’ses said then Father Indaris may know more about him. I also wanted to ask him if he would let me do a psychic diagnosis on him.
Indaris was able to tell me some interesting things about Lictalon. It seems he could force his will on reality and make changes. That sounds like what one does with magic but the way Indaris said it made it seem different. He told me Lictalon witnessed the birth of a God, adopted Her, and helped raise Her, yet she turned out to be evil and vindictive. Indaris shared some other interesting things as well but very little of it was certain. He suggested I might learn more at the Library of Bletherad.
My offer to let Indaris see his loved one was well received. He did not have anything recent I could use but next time he gets a letter from her he said he would be glad to take me up on that opportunity. He extended his trust to me to perform a psychic diagnosis, which I did. I was pleased to discover that there did not appear to be any problems. I told him as much.
After parting from Indaris I re-joined The Nameless Man. He talked with me more today as we continued to work. I think I realize now what he is doing. Inviting me to help him in this task is his way to tell me I should rely less on my powers and more on my physical abilities. I will record exactly what he said to me so I can remember it without having to rely on my powers.
“This work could be done faster, but if we were to just use magic, how much time would we have to deliberate and think about what we are doing, and what we have been doing. This task would simply be forgotten as a menial quick passing, yet when we applied ourselves to it we change we see what we are capable of.” He pointed at a scuff mark and then at a crack in a board. “You did this one and I did that one. We shaped it through our flaws and our hard work. We left an impression on it and it has left an impression on us. This memory will be with you for a long time and you will take, pride, and regret in your work, but it will be deliberate and take more time and thought. Magic can be a great tool, but without taking time to think about all the aspects of the tool, we loose focus of being deliberate. Look at the others see how magic changes them and controls them.”
He paused and continued sanding out the scuff. “It’s a means to an end, but it takes the meaning out of life. You could read my mind within a second and know everything about me, but do you really know me? Have you dined with me, have you until now put in a hard days work of labor with me?” He stood and paused a moment, then continued. “Trust me I do look forward to never having to do it again. I took it up to make the world right again, but I’m getting old. It’s time my apprentice takes my mantle when we finish our quest. I know there will be some who come looking for trouble and I’ll be there, but there will be others to stop those people too.” He grabbed some rags to stain part of the wood. “I wouldn’t want to be a god. If I was, what would I do? I would just want to be with people. So many gods stealing each other’s believers. Maybe I could help them pass on to their right deity.” He thought about it for a moment then said, “Nah, I just want to retire grow old and watch my grandkids take over the farm.”
It is the 22nd of Majestic. Today I went to where Grignak has been working and took some time to talk with him. I wanted to give him the same offer about seeing a person he cared about that I gave everyone else. Perhaps that woman Katheryne? I also wanted to get his permission to check if my past actions had caused him harm. But mostly I wanted to ask his advice about Cherkanan. I was still unsure how to proceed there. I thought with his experience he would have good advice to give.
My question about Cherkanan amused Grignak. He could tell I was not well versed in ‘casual sex.’ This is correct. My tribe and my people rarely consider such activities for their enjoyment only. We think of family-building. But with Cherkanan that would not be possible. He stressed that I should talk with her. I needed to build an emotional and a logical relationship with her, not just a sexual relationship. Grignak told me that to only focus on a sexual relationship would be unhealthy. I realized I have not written to her. I will set some time to do that soon.
Grignak very politely declined my offer to join in a trance and see Katheryne. I told him the offer would stand if he changed his mind. When I asked him if he would allow me to check his health he instead asked me to tell him what my concerns were. So I told him I was worried that what I did which affected Ursus could have also affected everyone else.
I called the mind a delicate, fragile thing. He insisted it is also resilient and suggested we talk through our issues instead. I responded politely at the time of our conversation but I do not agree fully with him. I know how fragile the mind can be. How easy it would be to inflict harm upon the mind. To change the way someone thinks, remembers, or even perceives the world. It is as simple as plucking a leaf off a tree at the end of the autumn season. So easy that the most innocent of abilities can do damage if one isn’t careful. Such is the burden of all those who share these abilities I have.
Grignak simply told me to let go of the guilt that is plaguing my life. He postulated that what happened to Ursus could have been due to other factors. Such as his relationship at that time with Ansa. I do understand what he told me. Others in CrIsis have told me similar things. This is how they try to make me believe I did not create the problem that afflicted Ursus. But just because Ursus was metaphorically a blind man who stumbled to the cliff’s edge does not excuse that I was the one who pushed him over.
This talk with Grignak though made me realize that I didn’t need to use my powers to see if my friends in CrIsis were healthy. I think this is also what The Nameless Man and Xerx’ses tried to get me to understand, too. Bu talking like this and getting to know them better I would be able to assess if there were problems. I didn’t need my powers to do that. I thanked Grignak for his advice and for talking with me.
I then worked more with The Nameless Man. The project continues to slowly progress. It will be many more days before it is completed. It will not be finished before we dock in Haven.
Note: These are excerpts from Silent Dream’s journal. They were written in Elven from the 14th through the 22nd of Majestic, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.
“The Outdoor Party” by David Vinckboons, courtesy of Pinterest
All other images courtesy of AZ_RUNE