Kalleron could not put all of his thoughts into his letter to Miria. So, he once again took out his quill and began again…
There was so much more I could have said in my letter to Miria…so much more I wanted to say, but those things are best kept within the pages of this book. I should not have raised my voice at Miria, and I know that she almost lost her daughters…but she almost lost us as well. We have all been so close over the years and Kaela and I have thought of her and Syral as family, but when Miria confronted us, it was as though we were hirelings who, having failed at their task, were about to be executed. We had erred in that we should have been at the manor looking after our cousins who, despite having great ability, were not overly blessed with common sense. I thought that our ability to preserve the twins lives, as well as another relation of Miria (Dame Aira, if I remember correctly) coupled with the fact that we had learned more about those damnable things would have curried us some favor. However, we were met only with the unbridled rancor of Lady Miria D’Urban. She laid into us with words as she would a horde of Gnolls with her broadsword. I felt as though with each new reprimand (I am kind to call them that) I was being cleaved in two. I realize now that I was wrong to dally at the library, and that we made several mistakes in how we went about our business the other day, but at the moment I was hurt and angry at Miria. The twins would probably have been attacked anyway, but we saved them! My sister almost died for them, but Miria threatened her life!! Is it really that strange that I raised my voice to her?! My idea contributed to the hastened attack on the twins. I say hastened because I believe that the attack was inevitable. I will not contradict Miria on this matter, and will accept responsibility for my mistakes. Miria almost lost her children, and I cannot imagine the kind of pain she must have gone through when she heard the news, but I felt so hurt when she seemed to gloss over the threat to our safety as we rescued her girls. These thoughts are selfish, and I am not proud of them, which is why they will remain in this tome (right? You sneaky reader whoever you may be…). I suppose I should chronicle some of the events of the past couple of days…
After Kaeala and I arose, we went to the bridge to Old Town, running into Emthri along the way. We all met Luc at the bridge, and we exchanged stories about what happened after we got separated the night before. Kaela and I had a run romp over the rooftops, Emthri stayed at a club the whole night, and Luc got to deal with the guard and his family. I think we enjoyed the rest of our evening more than Luc did.
After a bit of chitchat about the previous night’s “frivolities” we proceeded to do what any sensible group of adventurers would do. We went to the guard house to inform them of what we knew of the situation and tried to persuade them against having the soiree that evening. After our encounter, I have but one question to put to Lencia, “Are there no logicians in this city? Is there perhaps someone with a bit of wisdom?” I guess I had two questions. I could probably ask more, but there would not be much of a point. Needless to say, we failed in our attempt to dissuade these people as parties of such “caliber” are of monumental importance to these highborn. Mother and Miria used to tell us stories about a city that was under siege and how almost no one in that town had any sense. Our parents argued with the councils to little avail and the army and city guard were tied up in rules and regulations…I distinctly remember our parents saying the name of Outlook, but perhaps they got the name of the city wrong.
Well, after we left the guard captain, I had what I thought was a stroke of brilliance. I figured that if we knew more about what these creatures wanted and how they thought, we would be better able to combat them in the future. So I suggested that we go to the library, which thankfully, everybody endorsed. However, as nothing in this city can be simple, we could not gain access to the library without getting through the maze of bureaucracy at the university, with a little help from my sister and rather impressive bluff on my part (it helps when no one in Lencia can identify what my sister and I are). With my new ID, and a little trickery we managed to get all of us bar Luc inside the library. It was an impressive building with its high windows, rounded archways, and floor after floor of books. Sadly, Luc could not sneak in like Kaela and Emthri and was left to try to get permission from the chancellor of the university. So, he left to procure permission while the others and I went off in search of knowledge. The clerk gave us directions, and we (relatively) quickly found the information we needed on the Bunderhops and how they operated. After I finished my research, Kaela, Emthri, and I got back together and discussed ways to get back into the building, but most strategies we came up with were rendered moot due to the various magical alarms and whatnot placed around the building. Well, as we were leaving the university we ran into Luc, who had finished his task quicker than I expected. As he came to us we all noticed that he was not alone as a very attractive half-elf female was standing near him.
Attractive is simply not the right word. She was beautiful, and though I had not seen her before that moment, there was something familiar about her. She was clothed in hides and had the sweet smell of the forest and open plain about her, and though she displayed an outward serenity I could sense something primal and powerful about her. Then as all the pieces fell into place, and I felt foolish for not realizing immediately that she was a druid, a protector of the natural world. At first I thought that Luc had a devil’s luck and I was congratulating him on his good fortune, but he kept saying that he had just helped her and had not known her until a few moments prior. I wonder if she’ll like me. I noticed that she was whispering a lot with Emthri. Does she like him, or did I imagine her eyes lingering on me for a minute? She was also trying to get close to me, I think. One can only hope I suppose. Sadly, I did not get to know her that well as Kaela was being her normal, protective self, but I did find out that she was a druid of considerable power. She also claims to be fighting the organization that has hired the Bunderhops. That’s all that I was able to learn as anytime Adruvia came to me to tell me something (since she has apparently decided that I am best person to confide in), Kaela would get closer, which would cause her to clam up. Perhaps when Kaela is distracted I will be allowed to discover more about this lovely druid.
I cannot fault Kaela for wanting to protect me. I count myself among the luckiest creatures in the world that I was born with such an amazing sister as her because she has always been there for me, to keep me safe and out of trouble when my curiosity got the best of me (which, admittedly, happens quite a bit). We can compensate for each other’s weaknesses, and she always seems to know exactly how to help me, like when we procured that fake ID for me. Her quick thinking and charismatic wit are the perfect counterpoint to my dry wit and logic. However, despite all of these pluses, she has received an edict from our mother stating that no woman is supposed to come near me without Kaela being present (apparently). I know I have done the same for Kaela, but that is a brother protecting his sister’s honor. Plus, I do not think I have been as zealous about it…okay, maybe I have. Perhaps if I relax a little bit on Kaela, she will allow me to get closer to Adruvia.
Anyway, Luc had arranged for us to meet with the chancellor and upon showing Luc’s very official looking letter of introduction we were allowed into the restricted sections of library. I was dazzled as it was more than I could have hoped for. I admit that my own desires for knowledge had subsumed whatever altruistic motives I may have had at the moment. I looked through the tomes of ancient lore and found several spells and rituals that would complement my assets nicely, and allow me to track down those foul creatures as well as protect my allies. We all left the library and returned to the D’Urban manor.
I was in high spirits, but my ebullient mood was short lived as when we arrived at the house, we found the house in chaos. Luc went into the kitchen and asked to be apprised of the situation. A few moments later, servants were running scared out of there and shortly afterwards Luc emerged in full armour, brandishing his swords. I gleaned from the fleeing servants that the twins had sneaked out, and that many were afraid for their lives. Who could blame them? Luc needed to be calmed down, and while he was regaining his senses, I was able to use my little bag of tricks (a book really) to track the twins down to the same inn that Kaela and I stayed in the other night. We went as quickly as we could to the inn, but found that we were too late. They were most likely already at the party. We gave chase and arrived at the little soiree, much to the chagrin of the other guests. After enduring many a snide comment during our search from the various highborn guests, we eventually located the twins and managed to get them out of that building as soon as we could. We almost got back to the manor, and naively, I thought we had made it without incident, but then we were ambushed by four creatures. What ensued was a very hard battle.
Had we not had our hands tied by the two twins we had to protect we would have dispatched the monsters with greater ease, but it was not meant to be easy I suppose. The creatures seemed to be ignoring us, for the most part, and made attack after attack on the twins. One creature grabbed me, but thankfully I was able to teleport to the top of a building. Sadly, the two girls were not so lucky as those blasted toads with their long tongues, managed to not only grab, but also swallow them whole. From my new vantage point I was able to use my magic to pin them down for a time with a wall of fire while my sister Kaela all but single handedly held two other toads off. Adruvia used her powers to assist Kaela with the front two while Luc and Emthri were harrying those in the rear. Emthri’s mind magic is facinating to watch. He was able to attack the enemies and give us openings for attacks at the same time, but anyway…We showed our prowess as a fighting group once again as we were able to keep those monsters on the defensive and from escaping…or so I thought. Sadly, as we thought we had the upper hand, the two creatures who had the girls disappeared, and one of those blasted things escaped our net with one of the twins in its gullet. It made for the open end of the street while its companion tried to make its own escape across the roofs. The creature could go far before it became pinned by my ball of lightning. I screamed for my companions to chase the other one I used my magic to contain the one before me. The creature was pinned by my lightning, which Luc took full advantage of when he scrambled up the building and slahed the creature open with his swords (a very impressive display…for a non-magic user). We had rescued one twin, but as I was relishing our success I saw my sister bloodied and about to be felled by one of those things. That brought me out of my reverie, and thankfully, I was able to use my lighting to give Kaela some breathing room while Adruvia used her skills to halt the creature…permanently. We put an end to all but one of those things, who got away. After the battle we got the twins safely back to the manor, and awaited our next greatest trial…our confrontation with Miria.
These past two nights have been hard. We almost lost the twins…and to make matters worse…I do not think that anyone will let me go to a library again. I suppose I should end my ramblings now. One last thought…Miria, if you ever read this, know that I will ever respect and love you as my aunt and friend, but I beg of you not to threaten Luc as his devotion to you is unparalleled (and it would be foolish to lose such an ally). Kaela also does not deserve your venom as she did as she has always done…look after her foolish yet brilliant big brother.
Kalleron finally puts his quill down and relaxes on the coach. He lets his thoughts wander before slipping into the waking dreams of his meditations.