Well, a lot has happened since my previous journal. Maybe not so much, be it certainly feels like a lot. I recently ran to the rescue of a few sisters of Corinna. Tulia, my old friend, was among them. She’s still in shock from the whole experience and hasn’t said much. She’s finally sleeping, but I’m still wide awake so I thought I’d jot down the story of the adventure.
I was on the way to Lorindale with my new friends to try to shut down the plague artifact we had found. I decided to check up on Guilfort to see how everyone was doing. That’s where I found Barry and the beaten Sister of Corinna.
Let’s first digress. Sisters of Corinna are awesome. They vow to never harm a living thing and they go everywhere. They’ll literally walk through a battle field and help people out in the middle of the freaking battle! They have guts, and they want to help anyone out. Everyone around knows them and they’re easily recongizable. We all have such high respect for them, that the punishment for treating one harshly is usually death. The sisters don’t like it, but we all enforce it.
So needless to say, seeing a beaten up Sister is like witness an act of war. I’m stunned. I help Barry bring her to the Windrider house. When I’m close enough, I recongize her as one of the sisters from Tilith. The same chapter that Tulia joined.
Linea and her mother start looking at the Sister when she tells us about the attack. There were others. I hate to do it, but I force her to tell me who. As soon as I hear the syllable “Tu-” I’m running to the barn, taking a horse (I hate horses) and riding for where they met.
I must not have been in my right mind. I passed a few people on the road, almost running over some guy who was just trying to say hello. Oh well, time to socialize later. Right now a friend is in danger.
When I got to the site of the attack my nerves were getting the best of me. There were bodies, but none I recongized. Luckily, I had learned enough divination from the Lady Arilynn to put together a hasty tracking spell. Not my best work as a magician, but better than any tracking spell I’d ever done before. Partly because I was using a piece of Tulia’s scarf. I knew it was hers because no one, literally no one, has a cobalt scarf but her. Cobalt is considered poor fashion, but it does go with her eyes.
As I was about to take off after the trail, both Kel and Torg showed up. I was ecstatic they were coming, but with no horses I knew I had to hurry ahead. I simply yelled for them to follow me and took of down the path.
Along the way the horse gave out and I had to follow on foot. I barely paid notice. I was getting closer, I could tell.
They were at the top of a hill. I could hear them. I was too concerned to cautiously approach. I literally ran into the middle of the goblin encampment.
Yeah, dumb. I know.
I figured Torg + Kel would be there to help me out. I was fired up enough, I figured the three of us could take on a few goblins. Well, there were like 20. I ran right into the middle of them. Why? Well, they had Tulia there.
She was surrounded by goblins holding sticks. She had a sword, but of course a sister would never use a weapon. The goblins were beating and taunting her. Her cheeks were bright red from the tears and she had a dazed look. I have no idea how long she’d been like that, but I immediately ran for her.
My mind was in overdrive. First things first, neutralize the threat. As soon as I had hold of Tulia, I placed a physical barrier around the two of us. I know I sometimes brag, but this was a pretty darn good barrier. No way anything was going to hurt her.
I’m not sure she realized what was happening, but she did realize that the goblins had stopped hittin her. She hurriedly undid the knots that tied the sword to her hands and threw it on the ground. She just sort of collapsed against me, sobbing. I put my arms around her. I had no idea what to say, and I was still furious.
I looked up and saw the goblins still trying to attack my friend. I did something I’d never done before. I got inside their heads and I gave them back all the torture they’d inflicted on Tulia. All the horror she’d experienced was now theirs. A fitting punishment, I should think. Most of the goblins couldn’t take it. They were left dazed and whimpering, too stupified to do anything.
The few that were left were quickly dispatched by Torg and Kel. Linea showed up as well, with some new guy. I didn’t recognize him, but I was glad for the help. As soon as Tulia calmed down a bit, I checked her injuries. She wasn’t in shape to walk back on her own, so I decided to carry her as far as I could.
So, while I’m carrying Tulia back to Guilfort, my mind is going into overdrive. Thinking over all the things that have happened the past few years. I find myself singing a song from one of my favorite childhood stories. I thought I’d include it for the rest of you. The story goes somewhat like this:
In the time before times, there was an upright man and an evil queen. The upright man was a healer, a teacher and a carftsman. He went from town to town helping the people and spreading a message of hope and peace.
The queen was the opposite. She was cruel, petty and wicked. Her kingdom was subject to many laws, and entry was punishable by death. He subjects were so terrified of breaking the law, they usually carried out the sentence.
It came to pass that the upright man visited the queen’s kingdom. His charisma, his kindness saved him from death by the people. However, the queen was furious. In retaliation she cursed him. If he could not bring back the heart of a star within the year, he and all her subjects would die.
Distraught, the man decided to seek out a fallen star. Months passed before the next star fell. The upright man was ready. He tracked down the star and captured it.
It may not be common knowledge, but the stars are their own people. When the crash land on our soil, there is still hope for them to return to the sky. This star was a young female of the Star race who had been playing too close to the terra firma and was caught in its pull. She had a fiery personality and was furious at being captured.
The upright man was distraught upon finding the star. How could he remove the heart of such a beautiful creature? He thought of the queen’s kingdom and the myriads of people he met. Is one star’s life worth a kingdoms? Who is he to decide? While it weighed heavily on his heart, he continued on his journey to return the star.
The heart of a star is a desparately sought component for its magical ingredients. During the journey, they had many adventures avoiding those who sought harm to the star. There are volumes upon volumes of story about their adventures, too much for this story.
Slowly, the star began to fall in love with the upright man. It was a subtle thing, and barely noticed, but she no longer resenting him for capturing her. She even learned his love for others, willing to sacrifice herself for the queen’s kingdom.
The man also fell in love with star. The closer they came to the Queen’s kingdom the harder it became for him to think of handing over her heart.
When he arrived back in the queen’s kingdom, she met them at the gates to her castle. The people of the kingdom gathered round, knowing their fate rested on the outcome of this meeting.
“Here is your star”, the upright man said tearfully, presenting the young star to the queen.
The queen looked between the star and the man and her face slowly transforms into a viscous snarl. “What have you done!”
Taken aback, the man and the star withdraw into each other’s arms.
“You’ve stolen her heart, she is useless to me now!” the queen belows. Magical energy courses through her hands and into the sky.
The man and the stars eyes meet for a second. They both are about to say something when suddenly the life is extinguished in the upright man. He falls to the ground. The star drops to her knees besides him, tears falling from her eyes.
The queen ignores the star and returns to her castle.
The star picks up the body of the upright man and travels the land searching for a cure. There are volumes upon volumes of stories about her adventures seeking a cure for death. Too many for this story.
The star had given up hope. It has been a year since the death of the upright man and she is no closer to finding a cure. She prepares to end her own life. She climbs to the top of a cliff with the body and sets him down. Distraught, she sings one final song:
Blessed is the man who does prevail
Doomed are the peacemakers when they fail
If hope springs eternal, it never did here
I guess I lost all my hope last year
I tried to steal the moon from the sky
I am lost and lonely, I drift in space
My dreams are haunted by his face
Blessed are the drifters, the stars that die
Whose light expires before goodbyes
Goodbye, my love
Binary star, you’re the brightest blue by far
Searched this whole world for love that’s true
if only I’d said “I love you”
Moved in sympathy, the moon goddess grants the star her wish. However, the moon has no dominion over the terra firma. Instead, she transforms the upright man into a star and returns the young star to her rightful place. It’s said the love they shared caused them to outshine all others in the sky.
The two are known as the constellation “The upright”.
Tonight, the upright constellation is crystal clear in the sky, and I keep finding myself humming the tune. Maybe it’s a sign of how unsettled I am.
Well, Tulia hasn’t talked, but at least she drifted off to sleep. I’m still a bit unsettled by events. I had no idea the power I could wield. I mean, warding, sure, it’s fun. But what I did to those goblins felt right. I know black magic is considered evil, but I’m not sure what else I could have done in such a situation without hurting the other sisters. I’m just glad everyone is ok. We found four sisters still alive but in poor condition.
If this was really a path of iron setup, like Torg suspects, then I think one of us will have to protect these sisters while they recover.
I am grateful for one thing. These friends I’ve met recently are loyal and trustworthy. I couldn’t have asked for better companions.