Thursday, May 9, 2019

A letter to Alair, and further adventures in pet ownership

Dear Alair,
   Thank you again for sending along a copy of the story you read to those of us gathered at the Adventurer's Guild recently. Also, I feel it cannot be said enough - you have a great talent for storytelling - perhaps sometime in the future, I will have the opportunity to hear you share another story.
   Speaking of stories, I have included a copy of my chronicles of my adventures - I will admit that I'd thought of redacting some of the more personal entries, but I later realized that my inner thoughts may lend more context to the events detailed in my notes, so I left them in.  I hope they won't cause you to think negatively of me.
   I admit to being curious to know more about you - I have never met another thinblooded elf before, quite possibly due to my mother not wanting to acknolwoedge the existence of of sun elves who were not pure. (The gods know she went to great lengths to conceal my own impure lineage - she never told a soul that my father was human, since I could pass as a full sun elf until my recent visit to the Night Market.)
   Please excuse my handwriting mistakes - my overly enthusiastic pet sand dragon feels I've apparently spent enough time wrtiting, so I will end my letter here.
   I trust you are doing well, and I hope to hear from you soon.


"Junior! Look at the mess you've made of this letter," Ëlinyr said, looking down at the excited juvenile sand dragon, who started wagging his tail. "Every time you nudged my arm, you messed up my handwriting. I was trying to keep it neat for Alair." She sighed and read over the letter, noticing things she should have added in, but was a little too distracted by Junior to fully finish her thoughts.

"I guess this will have to go as is, as I've no more time to write a second letter tonight, and I'm sure you won't leave me in peace to write even if I did," Ëlinyr said to Junior, and reached out a hand to pat his head. "You want to go for a walk, don't you?"

The sand dragon waggled his tail even more and opened his mouth in what looked like a grin, then scrambled off to go get the harness and lead Ëlinyr used for walking him. At least he's smart enough to get his leash himself, Ëlinyr thought to herself, and got up from her desk to prepare to walk her scaly little companion.

note: the handwritten version of Ëlinyr's letter is here: page 1 page 2

Friday, April 19, 2019

Not quite human

[Excerpt from Ëlinyr's journal]

So I woke up this morning with pointed ears once again.  They're significantly less pronounced than they were when my blood was more strongly sun elf, but they are indeed pointed again.  I am wondering if something happened when the Night Market attempted to change me to human, and they weren't entirely able to remove the elf heritage from my blood. Strange, that it would manifest now and not immediately after my transformation, but I suppose it is what it is, and I must deal with it. I am still not shimmering in the sun, so there is that. I am an elf, but not a sun elf.  I still have the full range of emotions I've been experiencing since I shed my sun elf heritage, too, so I feel that the ears are the only thing that have changed.

I do hope that this recent development does not make its way back to my mother.  While she did disown me, I have no doubt that if she heard my ears were presenting as elven again she would march back into my life and cover me in shimmering makeup, and ensure I never set foot outdoors in the rain so as to not disturb the illusion that I was, in fact, a full-blooded sun elf.

Gossamer made an offer to me recently, to help discredit my mother and weaken her position in the nobility, low as it is - his idea was to spread news about my human heritage, and how my mother covered up the fact that my father was a human and attempted to get me married off to any sun elf noble she could find before my human heritage was discovered. I think I shall take him up on this offer, just in case she does find out I am appearing a little more elfish these days - if she does find out, I would be much happier were she not in a position to do anything about it.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Adventures in pet ownership

(note: this was submitted as an entry in the 2019 Kishar Story Competition, and won first place in the medium-length category! -Beth)

Day 1

As of today, I am entering into a new and exciting chapter of life: pet ownership.  Farspeaker Mando gave me the baby sand dragon that hatched from the egg I found on a recent adventure, and told me his name is Licky-Lick Junior.  (I’m given to understand that there’s a sand dragon in Farspeaker Mando’s care named Licky-Lick - I’m wondering if my new scaly ward is a direct descendant of said sand dragon, or if he simply earned the name due to a possible resemblance to the older sand dragon.)  As of right now, he is asleep, and looks rather adorable.  He’s also rather small - not much larger than a kitten.  I wonder just how large he’ll end up.  I’ve been told they can grow to the size of a large dog, but it’s possible he’ll turn out larger or smaller due to genetic variations.

I doubt he’ll always be this quiet and sleepy - I suppose I should enjoy it while it lasts.

Day 2

Junior (as I’ve taken to calling him) seems to be a little more energetic today.  He eagerly explored my room, and was very curious about Koios and Kateryn when they visited my rooms earlier today to meet him.

Thankfully, he seems to have quickly picked up on how to use the litter box, as I haven’t seen any accidental bathroom messes.  Which is good, as I really don’t want to clean those up from random places around my rooms.  I’m quite proud of him - hopefully he turns out as smart as his adoptive mother.

Day 7

Junior somehow got out of his crate and made an absolute mess of my rooms while I was teaching this afternoon.  (Thankfully, he didn’t get to my research notes, but I think I’m going to have to buy yet another red dress, as he mauled mine and it’s full of holes now.)  I think I’m going to need to get better locks for his crate, as he somehow managed to get himself loose. 

I retract what I said earlier - I’m not entirely sure I want him to turn out as smart as me.  That might be terrifying.

I will say, however, when he calms down (typically after I take him out to the gardens so he can run around until he’s exhausted), he’s downright sweet - he’s started curling up at my feet while I’m reading in the evenings, which is rather endearing.  I think this was a good idea, hatching a little pet sand dragon.

Day 14

oh gods, what have I gotten myself into

if this is what child-rearing is like, I am never, ever having children

Day 30

I’m getting used to having a boisterous pet sand dragon, although my gods, he needs a lot of attention and exercise.  Kateryn did say she thought I needed to get out of my rooms more, and I guess this counts, right?  I take him for two walks a day, and play with him in the evenings, and sometimes it seems like he still has energy.  I don’t know how he does it.  Keeping up with him is exhausting sometimes.

Junior got to go on his first Adventurers’ Guild trip recently, which he loved.  Seeing him run around and burrow in the sand near the Outpost was incredibly amusing, and he seems to have acquired a few new friends from the Guild.  I think I prefer having a rambunctious sand dragon over the pile of crabs Flint recently acquired. 

I’ve started to train him a little, beyond using the litter box anyhow - he understands the commands for sit and roll over, but “stay” proves to be a challenge at times.  Eventually he’ll pick up on it, I’m sure, but for now I’ll try to have extra patience with my wiggly little pet.

Day 46

He chewed up my lecture notes for tomorrow’s class.  I am trying very hard not to be terribly angry with him, as he’s young and doesn’t know better, but dammit, I needed those and now have to spend the night rewriting them and hoping I didn’t miss anything.

Junior, you are lucky you’re cute.

Day 70

I managed to find some of that plant that is casually referred to as “sand dragon-nip” - and oh, Junior’s behavior is hilarious while he’s under the effects of the plant.  Rolling around, pouncing on his toys, wiggling about happily until he falls asleep in a blissful haze - it’s all amusing.  I should see if it is possible to get some planted in the Academy’s gardens, as I don’t dare try to grow a plant in my rooms.  I doubt it’d last long after it started sprouting leaves, as Junior would probably devour it.

I suppose I should also take care to make sure he doesn’t end up partaking of any while we’re out adventuring where it grows natively - I’m not sure I want to wrangle his increasingly large self through the desert while we’re out on a mission.  (I suppose I could entrust Mukhif with his care, but then again, Mukhif is typically tasked with making sure I don’t get knocked out during an adventure, and I doubt saddling him with Junior would make that any easier…)

Day 87 (after Ëlinyr has turned human)

Oh my gods how did I not realize how emotionally rewarding it was to have a pet?!  Oh wait, I know, it’s because sun elves don’t have emotions, and I am now HUMAN, and therefore feel things.  Intensely.  I absolutely adore this little wiggly dragon, and will take such good care of him, no matter how many of my books he chews on, and no matter how many times he hides my shoes in ridiculous places because he thinks it’s a game.  (I’ll admit, it’s a rather amusing game when I’m not trying to get ready for meetings or classes.)

I just want to hug him and snuggle him all the time.  He’s so warm and smells like warm desert sun and it makes me happy.  I don’t even think he noticed that I came home from this last adventure with non-pointy ears, he was just happy to see me.  (And so was Koios, who took care of him for me, I don’t think he was prepared for just how ridiculous Junior can be.)  And I was so happy to see him. 

He’s still a ridiculous amount of work, and often reminds me that I never want to procreate - he’s more than enough for me - but oh he’s such a sweet little sand dragon, and I love him so much.

Day 99 (after Ëlinyr’s mother disowns her)

I wish I had brought Junior with me to the Guild house yesterday.  I bet he would have bit my mother.  She would have deserved it, too.

He seems to have picked up on my mood (how can one not be a little sad about being disowned, even if it was by a mother you’d hated and could never seem to please?), and has been by my side the entire day. He’s even managed to remain somewhat calm, and isn’t as energetic as he usually is.  He doesn’t even mind when I cry on him, he just snuggles closer, as if to tell me in his own little sand dragon way, that everything will be alright. 

He may frustrate the hell out of me at times, but gods, I’m happy I have this wiggly little sand dragon. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ëlinyr processing some... feels (post-game 50)

[excerpt from Ëlinyr's journal, presented exactly as written]

- I am human now. HUMAN. And gods, now that it’s sunk in, I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from me… I feel jubilant, ecstatic, all sorts of feelings, and so very, very intensely - is this what it’s like, being human?

- I almost think that I am legitimately happy, for the first time since I was a little girl - it’s been so very long since I last felt truly happy that I’ve forgotten what it felt like, and even then… oh gods, the FEELINGS.

- what would Father say to me, though, knowing I’ve done this? I hope he’d be happy for me, and would want me to be happy above all else, and oh goodness, I am happy, honestly happy, how did I live for so long without feeling like this? without feeling?

- I’d heard rumors about the Night Market, that you could buy almost anything there, but until a few days ago I’d never been, so I truly had no idea

- one of the Hiwani that recently joined the guild, Kazz, also changed his race - he became… agh, I can’t remember, but it’s the same race as those depicted in the statues at the elemental shrines in the desert - anyhow, he underwent extreme torture to pay the cost

- OH, I nearly forgot. We finally tracked down the dwarf, Marta, who’s been involved in the Hiwani and Gnoll abductions - apparently she even put a hit out on Gossamer because of how we took down Dobarra’s (did I spell that correctly? unsure, and whatever, she’s gone now) warehouse and slave-selling operation. Why on earth would someone want to assassinate Gossamer? I find him highly entertaining, and enjoy adventuring with him - and I don’t think warehouse destruction is a killable offense

- Anyhow, the Jin Shi have Marta now, and as I’ve written previously in my notes, we have the name of her boss and the location of her books, so she won’t be a problem any longer

- It’s a shame she’s such a vile person, I find her sass very… attractive

- aaaaaaagh I’m a human

- oh yes, there was also a boat trip as part of our most recent adventures, we went to try and find the crew of a missing merchant ship and trade some goods with some nearby mermaids while we were at it - apparently a large aquatic Hiwani named… Blackfin? I really need to get better at remembering names, anyhow, he destroyed the merchant ship by, if I remember right, punching a hole in it. (I could be entirely misremembering it, however, the past few days have been a little… muddled, memory-wise)

- I seem to have acquired an assistant - Moira, one of the students I rescued from that ill-planned student expedition to the ruins in the desert, expressed that she wished to work as my assistant - and since she proved to be, well, an enthusiastic adventurer who shows some promise, I suppose I’ll keep her

- I really should tell Mother I’m human sometime soon

- Oh gods, though, what if she tries to take Mukhif back? He’s been having such a rough time of things lately, with that blackout during the infiltration of the Corsair fort, and then that whole thing involving the coin that’s tied to The Twins and recovering memories of his daughter

- well, if she tries to take him, then I simply won’t let her. plus, I’m sure Obeah would assist in any efforts against my mother to keep Mukhif safe, after all, they are “second-besties”, whatever that means

- I do hope my newfound humanity inconveniences her, as she’s inconvenienced me so many times over the years with her constant attempts to marry me off to sun elf nobility - who’s going to want me NOW, Mother? probably no-one, boo hoo for you

[end of written entry]

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Letter from Scholar Ëlinyr to Scholar Koios, both of the Royal Academy (post-game 48)


First, please tell Kateryn that her "grand idea" of encouraging me to join the Adventurer's Guild has most recently ended up with me exploring the sewers, which is an experience I could surely have done without - and said experience ruined one of my favorite dresses. Since this whole "adventuring" idea was hers in the first place, tell her she owes me a new dress. Preferably a red one.

Also, I think my mother is plotting unpleasant things. She sent me a... gift. A Rewoven, named Mukhif, who is to do whatever I say. (If you aren't already aware, Rewoven are those who have committed some sort of grave misdeed and, in order to atone for their misdeed, enter into slavery with no memory of their past or what horrible things they may have done. I believe the Night Market is involved in this somehow. In order to pay his debt and receive atonement for whatever misdeed he has done, he must serve another until whatever forces that be deem his penance complete.) Essentially, he is a slave, but I just cannot stomach the idea of owning another person. Of course, Mother would never stop to think on whether or not her daughter, whose entire existence is devoted to distancing herself from Sun Elf culture and the Lotus Court as much as possible, would even want a slave - she probably thinks she did me quite a favor. I am incredibly suspicious of her next move now. She's mentioned a noble friend of hers that is looking for a wife, and I'll be damned if I end up forced into a marriage with Lord Whats-his-elf thanks to my mother. I trust her motives even less than I trust those of Obeah (a fellow member of the Guild who I'd best describe as a scoundrel), who keeps trying to talk Mukhif into doing... inappropriate things. I sincerely hope Mother hasn't planned anything... unpleasant.

I will say, though, Mukhif has been incredibly helpful. I find myself knocked out less often when we encounter miscreants and monsters while out adventuring, and he even provided me with a cushion to sit upon when we ended up on an ocean trip to rescue some lost sailors. The ocean, I've determined, is not a place I feel comfortable - the wetness, the constant shifting of the boat, and the smells all are unpleasant, and when we sailed out of sight of land, I was filled with such anxiety. I do not want to go on a boat, ever again. No matter how many times Obeah keeps talking about the grand sailing library of one of the water peoples whose name I've since forgotten. I love books and knowledge, but not that much.

Complaints aside, adventuring has been good for me. I have seen many sights I don't think I'd have seen ordinarily, and have actually managed to make a friend in the Adventurer's Guild! She's a newcomer to the guild, a fire aetherite named Moyasu with a fondness for books and studying alchemy. I'm curious to see if there are areas where our research overlaps - it would be quite interesting to see how magic and alchemy interact.

I also have some distressing news to share. It appears that someone is capturing Hiwani and selling them as slaves - but not by normal means. The Adventurers' Guild encountered animals recently who are able to perform basic tasks and assist their owners, by use of a command gem. The animal has a gem embedded in their forehead, and the owner of said animal has a gem of their own, with which to issue commands to the animals. As you may have determined by now, these animals are actually enslaved Hiwani, whose appearance has been changed so they more closely resemble a specific animal, and given that they are trapped in animal form, they cannot speak to tell anyone that they are not what they seem. Should you see any animals with gems in their foreheads, please bring them to the Adventurers' Guild - Mukhif can remove the gems and free the trapped Hiwani, like he did very recently. I am glad he didn't outright kill the animal, as it was attacking a male dwarf and the owners of the animal didn't seem to care about its welfare - the chaptermaster of our branch of the guild said that he didn't care what was done with the animal, and Obeah had plans to retrieve the gem from its forehead, likely by any means necessary, to help fund the purchase of a boat.

Aside from the terrifying discovery involving the Hiwani and the trip to the sewers, and that damned boat trip, things have been well these past few weeks. I've taken advantage of things being somewhat quiet to focus on my studies of magic - I've learned how to summon fire and earth force bolts, in addition to air and water, which means I should be in good shape to take on most any elemental creature. I just need to get better at hand-to-hand combat, as I am still miserable at that. (Thank goodness for Mukhif being present and keeping me relatively healed up in my recent adventures.)

I am hoping this letter finds you well, and that sometime soon I shall see you at the Academy - I haven't been able to spend all that much time at the Academy as of late, as I have been traveling with the Adventurers' Guild, but I am currently in the city and will try to visit you before we leave for the desert outpost.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Chronicle: Game 43.5

I have been encouraged by friends to get out and explore the world beyond the four walls of The Royal Academy’s library, as I apparently spend far too much time perusing books, so I finally listened to them - mostly to stop their incessant pestering. I made the decision to go out on a mission with members of the Adventurers’ Guild - as I have heard many stories of their experiences, I thought they would be best to work with for what would be my first adventure, and apparently my first stealth mission.  I shall tell more of that later.

But yes.  My first adventure.  And, well… it was indeed an adventure.

The band of adventurers, a small group consisting of four - a necromancer, a rogue, a scout, and myself - were given the task to determine what the corsairs were doing in the Lady’s Forest.  (I will admit to some trepidation when faced with the task, as my mother would often tell me stories of the strange creatures that lived in the forest, in an attempt to dissuade me from exploring its depths.)  It was indicated that there was some suspicious activity occurring in the forest, and our group set out to investigate and learn as much as possible about what was going on. For the most part, the necromancer (named Evixa) and I spent most of the expedition working together, as we were the only magic casters there.  (She seems rather preoccupied with turning people into zombies, including herself.  Curious.)

We were not very far into the forest when we apparently disturbed some moas from their home.  I ended up killing one of them, albeit unintentionally.  I may have been a little too eager to test out my evocation skills on a live target.  After all, there aren’t many who actually volunteer to be test subjects for destructive magic.  But I digress.  We were also, at some point, attacked by creatures that looked like earth elemental wolves of some sort, which attacked with wicked spikes coming out of their backs.  I’m quite glad I wasn’t hit with any of those spikes, they did not look pleasant.  In fact, we ended up encountering a number of strange creatures in the Lady’s Forest, including something that resembled a pair of bright magenta tigers, some sort of blue, slimy lizard-type creature, a giant orange centipede, and a pair of creatures that resembled slender horses with a single curved horn coming from their head.  These latter creatures were most interesting, as it appears that their horns have healing powers - they healed scarred tree bark with a touch.  They also smelled quite pleasant, like honey.  Upon my arrival back at the Academy, I did some research and found out that those creatures were forest kirin.  I think, out of all the creatures we encountered, these were the most fascinating.  I shall have to do more research on them…

Strange creatures aside, we did indeed encounter orcs - a handful of scouts, and one massive orc who wielded an anchor for a weapon.  He was fierce, and while fighting him I realized I am in dire need of swordsmanship training.  That anchor HURT when it made contact with my leg - despite quick healing from Evixa, I’m still rather tender there.  Somehow, however, our tiny band defeated him, and the necromancer tried to get information from him. We weren’t able to learn much - just that there were a number of orcs in the woods, and that they did indeed have a leader.

After more traveling through the forest, we came upon a blockade wall at the edge of the forest, extending into the Silver Sea - and the scout and rogue decided that the best course of action would be for them to swim around to the other side of the blockade and attempt to set the wall on fire from within.  Their plan wasn’t quite as effective as initially planned, and Evixa and I managed to blast a hole in the blockade from the front and joined the rest of our party as they fought the orc scouts guarding the blockade. We were able to defeat them, and continued on our way.

Eventually we made it to where the corsairs were camped out.  They’d built a rather sturdy wall around their compound, and breaking through said wall or scaling it without assistance were not options.  After discussing the remaining possibilities (involving attempting to unlock a back entrance that may or may not be guarded), the rogue decided he would sneak in, with the scout staying nearby for backup in case a distraction was needed, while Evixa and I stayed near the back wall and waited for the rogue to toss us down a rope to assist in scaling the wall.

This is where I learned that I am not nearly as good at climbing as I hoped.  I made it three quarters of the way up the wall, lost my footing and my grip on the rope, and slid most of the way down before I caught myself, managed to get a better grip, and finally made my way up the wall.  (This is why I tend to stay in the library.  I don’t end up falling nearly to my doom there.)

Once we scaled the wall, apparently our mission had turned into a stealth mission - had I known this ahead of time, I wouldn’t have dressed in my red dress. I’m a scholar, not an adventurer. Eventually we made our way up close to the main encampment of the corsairs. And given my bright attire I was easily spotted, so I ended up making myself the best distraction that I could and dashed as fast as I could across the camp, drawing the attention of the orcs guarding the camp so the others could attack them. This led to a fierce battle against the orcs at the encampment - we ended up being chased into the forest, our tiny group fighting fiercely, and eventually we felled the last of the orcs.   The rogue searched the camp for anything of importance, and found a chest in the largest of the tents in their encampment.

With the orcs defeated, and the chest acquired, we made our way out of the forest. And of course as we were close to exiting the forest, there were more moas.  We tried to scare them off.  We failed.  More moas died.  The silly birds brought it upon themselves.

Once out of the forest and back under the wide open sky again, we examined the contents of the chest - there was a fair bit of goods and coin inside, and two very curious letters. Both letters seemed of an amorous nature, one wrinkled and obviously well-read, waxing poetic about how much they cared for the recipient and how they couldn’t wait to be reunited with them, the second more somber in tone, looking less physically worn, and wishing the fight between their peoples would end. Most curious of all: the letters were signed with a seal belonging to the Lotus Court.  I sincerely wish I had thought to take the letters with us, but after the long trek through the forest and the rough battle with the orcs, I was a little worse for wear and not quite thinking as quickly as I normally do. I do wonder who wrote those letters, and to whom (I’m assuming an
orc camped out in the Lady’s Forest, but who?), and what they really mean.

I asked around, and the rogue’s name is Flint, and the scout is named Erax.  I only properly introduced myself to Evixa.  Ah well, I am sure to see them again, and I’m quite sure they’ll remember this clumsy scholar-mage sun elf. After all, I was rather… obvious.  Stealth missions are clearly not my forte, it seems.  I plan to take some time to recover from this most recent mission (my body and my pride took a fair hit during this recent adventure) amongst my beloved books before venturing out again.

The chronicles

This is a place for me (Beth) to post chronicles written by Ëlinyr, the sun-elf evoker I play in Kishar.  Not only will this include official chronicles I've written for the game, but also entries from Ëlinyr's point of view that will help share information about her backstory.  It'll help me have an easy place to find all this, and help others learn more about this weird nerdy sun elf who's joined up with the Adventurers' Guild.