Friday, November 15, 2019

For Halloween, I went to a party at J and Kasi's dressed as Ëlinyr, and at one point ended up borrowing a cloak from J's costume closet because I was freezing cold. J took some photos of me in the cloak, and I loved how they turned out - and ended up inspired to do a portrait of Ëlinyr wearing the cloak with her usual "stealth" dress. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. ~Beth

Thursday, September 26, 2019


[Excerpt from Ëlinyr's journal]

I'm not sure I'll ever become entirely used to having feelings.  For roughly 90 years of my life, I didn't have them, and now I'm almost overwhelmed with emotions. Happiness from seeing how excited Junior is to see me when I get home from a day of teaching, anger when I hear of some injustice happening in the world that I wish I could fix, fear at the fact that despite the civil war ending, we still have an incredibly fearsome foe (who I dare not name) to face. How do races other than elves deal with it? How do they not simply go mad?

Then again, I guess they're born experiencing emotions, and are likely quite used to it, so I doubt it's as much of an issue with them as it is with me at this point. I must ask Alair at some point how he's dealt with having feelings and emotions.

Oh gods, speaking of feelings and Alair...

I've had dalliances in the past, but they were typically brief - and never involved feelings. After all, I was a sun elf, remember?  Even if emotions were involved, they weren't expressed. But now, there are feelings when it comes to Alair. I find myself growing more and more attached to this man, this poet with an amazing gift for words. I often find myself reading through the poetry he sends in his letters (which I've collected in a lovely wooden box I found at a shop in the Copper District before all this civil war nonsense broke out). When I receive a letter from him, it's the highlight of my day - and when our paths cross in person, I delight in every moment we get to spend together. When I'd received a letter from Telovere, telling me Alair had gone missing while trying to retrieve information on Taslima's forces, the fear and worry that fell upon me almost literally hurt. Alair was in trouble, and if something were to happen to him, I don't think could bear it.

And of course I went to rescue him. I had to. I don't think I could live with myself if something happened to him because I didn't act. B'hari and Flint and others in the Guild helped me - after all, I'm  just a thinblooded elf scholar, and while I've gotten better at fighting, I can't take on a large number of enemies myself. When we'd finally broken through the Nocturnal Empire's forces (who'd imprisoned the members of the Sultan's Might encamped by House Khazad, as well as Alair and others who the Sultan's Might had imprisoned), and I caught sight of him, I realized that I would do anything to keep him safe. Even though I'm just a thinblooded elf scholar. And when we rescued him, I felt such overwhelming relief. He was safe, and after undoing his bonds, when I looked into his eyes, for a few moments, it felt like all was right in the world. (Until I remembered that we were in the middle of a civil war, and then all those other emotions came crashing in.)

Is that what love is? Or part of what love is? I have no idea, as I don't think I've ever felt it before.

Good gods, am I in love with Alair?

And if I am, how do I tell him this?

I've studied magic for decades. I fight alongside the members of the Adventurers Guild, and can rain down meteors on my enemies. I've raised a sand dragon as a pet. I've even managed to successfully lead armies into battle against Taslima's forces. And yet when it comes to love, I'm as clueless as a first year student in Introduction to Evocations at the Royal Academy. I have no idea how to tell someone I experience intense emotions for them, and quite possibly love them, without being blunt and academic about it. And that's not romantic at all, I'm sure.  I may not be experienced in love, but from observation, I know what not to do, at least.

If I dwell on this much more, I might cry from frustration. I wish I knew what to do, other than write a note that says simply "I love you, and I hope that doesn't scare you away", as I don't know if he feels the same towards me.

Gods, emotions are the worst at times.  I mean, feeling emotions and being able to express them is still better than being a sun elf and at the mercy of my mother's whims (and oh gods do I have a story about my mother to write at a later date, suffice it to say that Obeah made my last interaction with her far more bearable than the one where she disowned me), but damn, it is so very rough at times to deal with these feelings. I mean, at one point I was so scared for Alair and so overwhelmed that I almost started crying. In front of the other guild members. Crying. In front of Flint and B'hari and Obeah and everyone else. I was so afraid for Alair, and worried about what might be happening to him at that very moment.

Oh gods.

I think maybe I am in love with Alair.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Another letter to Alair (pre-game 58)

note: At the point in time when Ëlinyr is writing this letter, the city of Kishar has broken out in civil war and the surrounding Jeweled Cities are also experiencing various stages of unrest. Isildar, the home city of Ëlinyr and her fellow adventurer Flint, has been destroyed, and things are rather unsettled in the realm as of late. Ëlinyr, who has kept up somewhat regular communication with Alair up until the war broke out, writes this letter in hopes that her dear friend is alright.


I hope this letter finds you, and finds you well, considering all that is going on in Kishar as of late. I apologize for not having reached out sooner, but given the general unrest in the Jeweled Cities, I've had a lot going on. I hope you understand - and I hope you are alright. 
I'm sure by now you've heard the news about Isildar. I'm unsure if you have family there, but if you do (and if you're on better terms with them than I am with my own family), I hope they are safe and well. I'm unsure of where my mother is at right now, or if she's even alive. While she disowned me the last time we saw each other, and while we've never had a good relationship, I do wonder if she is alright. She is the only family member I have left, after all. I feel sadder about the destruction of the Pearl City than I do about the potential loss of my mother - I did grow up there, after all, and I'm honestly afraid of what I'd see if I were to return. 
I'm unsure if you've heard the most recent news about the Docks District - the chapterhouse of the Adventurers' Guild there was burned down, and one of the members of the guild was captured by Taslima's forces. She's now in control of an entire quarter of the city, from what I have heard, and that makes me a little nervous. While I know the Scholars' District is safe for the time being, I still worry about the Royal Academy and my little shop as well. I hope they both remain standing for me to return to when everything calms down. 
I'll keep this letter short - I'm not even sure if it will find its way to you. If you do receive this letter, please let me know that you're alright - I'm currently staying at the Outpost, with a number of other members of the Guild, and letters sent to the Outpost will find their way to me, I'm sure. 
Please stay safe. 

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]