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A simple journal

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My name is Aniamha. I am Sylvari. I awoke in 1325 AE, on the 12th day of the season of the Zephyr. I am of the Cycle of Night. My Luminary is Malomedies. Although darkness may follow me, I will find my way through it.

I had a journal like this once. A first one. It belonged to a Sylvari who had no experience, but a purpose. As a Valiant of the Hunt, this Sylvari believed that she could do anything, as, in her foolish youth, she believed all Hunts came to be.

I lost everything that day: my love, my friends, my mind, my connection to the world. I became Soundless, terrified of the idea that Mordremoth would return, even in my nightmares. I cut myself off, dove into each library head first and made cartography my only focus. I did not see anyone, did not meet anyone. I became of Night. Truly, of Night.

But over time, I learned. I still bore shame for my failure, and in my stupidity tried to hide it upon joining a group for the first time since Maguuma: the Kindred. They welcomed me, accepted me into their ranks. Their Herald, most of all, is the one who brought me to realize how foolish I had been all that time.

I learned in my failure. I would no longer hide my pain, I would no longer lie in shame. It is so that one must learn to move forward, even after having lost so much, if not everything. I believed I was in for a long, lonely way back up to what I was meant to be. Whatever that was.

I was wrong.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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Today, I made one of the most interesting encounters. I was in Amnoon, having gone back to the pen where Maverick was being kept to greet my scaled friend before heading to the refugee Camp near the city. I wished to check on the state of things there, the Kindred and I having passed through there not long ago. It was good to see that many people there were being well taken care of, and that newcomers were always welcomed with open arms. I did not, however, anticipate to meet someone from the centre of Kryta there.

Cassus Fleetwood. A human, tall, dressed in pelts and with clear, almost white eyes. He was a healer, clearly devoted to helping the refugees there, making sure they were comfortable and healthy. I don’t even know why he approached me specifically, yet, moments later, I accompanied him in a round around the camp, visiting tents of ill-stricken refugees. One of them was already dead by the time we got there. I had rarely felt such sorrow for a stranger from someone else.

Afterwards, upon learning I was a cartographer, he asked for a guide on his way to the local tavern. I led him there, and was invited to join him, as thanks for the help around the camp. We spoke of many things: my maps, my scar, where we came from, what he did, why he did it. We spoke of the Dream, of purpose, of things we wished to do.

Time passed quickly with him. The moon had already come out to shine by the time I realized Maverick needed tending. Yet, I was not in as much of a hurry to leave the conversation. With him it seemed… Natural. Easy. I was sad to say goodbye, something I haven’t felt in a long time. Fortunately, he offered to come meet Maverick tomorrow.

I look forward to tomorrow.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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Another interesting encounter today.

I was overjoyed when I saw that Cassus actually came to the pen to meet Maverick. My raptor seems to like him as well, his druidic aura must be quite appealing to him. We were mid conversation when another human approached us. Female, rather small, brown hair. She went by Lily. She was seeking help to find Augury Rock.

As a cartographer, once more, I offered my help, since it was my job. Thus, we decided we would all travel to Augury Rock. She and I mounted Maverick, but Cassus introduced us to another being: Frost. Similar to Setareh, it had a Jackal-like build, but seemed more ghostly. I was glad I had taken the time with Sirenii to get over my initial, irrational fear of Jackals. Then again, it could be excused. A two-headed one nearly killed me and the Kindred.

We left for Augury Rock. As I was aware of the camp of Followers of Ascension, I guided them there. We asked around, and were finally directed to Augury Rock itself. That is, however, where everything went wrong.

We ventured too far. We were suddenly submerged by Branded, as their attack took over and threatened to corrupt Augury Rock. We climbed out, Lily being the only one who came out unscathed. I was fortunate to end up with a Branded crystal in my leg, which, as I am Sylvari, did not affect me. It was Cassus who came out the worst.

A piece of shrapnel had embedded itself in his shoulder. He wanted to leave it in, but I knew better. I’ve had to pull such shrapnel out of my shoulder myself. I’ve had to pull it out of Pact soldiers. It couldn’t wait. So… I asked for his favourite tree. Then his favourite flower. Then his favourite bush. Once he was distracted enough, I pulled out the stone.

It… Tore my heart to see him in such pain. He reminds me of Fiachra. But he is more… Gentle. More caring. He focuses on healing things, rather than to destroy them. Seeing him hurt… It scares me. It makes me want to do more, to avoid what happened in Maguuma. Again.

I am suddenly aware of the constant presence of the Brand. It might not affect me, but it affects them. It can hurt them, corrupt them. Travelling around it has suddenly become so much more dangerous, so much more terrifying. It’s like Maguuma has been brought to my doorstep again.

We went back a little, to a camp in the cliffside of the rock, where we made sure Cassus’ wound was treated. It had become nothing but a flesh wound thanks to his magic, but I couldn’t help but to worry. I cleaned out the blood from his hair, made sure he was covered and warm. Yet, I couldn’t sleep well that night. I got out of bed and did some astronomy. I tried learning how to make a sling. I was no good at it. I felt useless, vulnerable, again.

But it’s over now. They’re both safe. I can rest easy today, knowing I brought no one to their end.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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In order to deal with the Brand threatening to corrupt Augury Rock, we went to the Temple of Kormir today, asking the Priests what we could do. They suggested we go to a place called Prophet’s Fall, in the Highlands. I admit I was worried, since I had not yet done my scouting in the Highlands. It was in fact, the reason I came back to Elona in the first place, before I met Cassus.

The view was incredible. It was terrifying, but incredible. We managed to get in by climbing over the gate. As soon as we entered, Branded were upon us. I tried to keep them away from Cassus and Lily, but Cassus darted off on his own. He gave me the scare of a lifetime. I got angry at him afterwards. I feel horrible for doing so, but Maguuma kept flashing through my head. What if he had been wounded, corrupted, died? Alone. Like her.

We made it to the centre of the spiral, for better or for worse, and found what we were after: Glint’s essence. Cassus’ crystal staff was the only thing capable of absorbing the energy, so Lily and I held the line as he maintained his spell. Branded came upon us. One held me up in his claws and was ready to crush me if not for Lily’s glyph. My back was riddled with Branded crystals, but all I cared about was Cassus and Lily’s well being. No Branded had touched them. I was glad.

Five minutes was, indeed, all she needed.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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We had come back to Kormir’s temple and taken settlement in one of the abandoned houses. A sandstorm had picked up, Cassus barely managed to get inside. I thought this would be a normal day, but oh, I was wrong.

We heard a cry from outside. And of course, Cassus went out to see what had happened. And I, of course, followed. We found a refugee panting, begging for help. His family had gotten stuck in the storm. I shared a look with Cassus. Of course he would say we’d go find them.

And so we did.

We set out in the middle of the storm. I had to hold on to his coat to make sure I kept my footing. We scaled the cliffside, and made our way through quite a few obstacles before finally finding our way to where the refugees had set up a small camp, protected by rock walls surrounding them.

We decided to stay with them, the grandfather too frail to handle the trip back. The woman was very… Grateful. She was not shy about hugs, either…

Once they had all been reassured and gone to sleep, Cassus and I stayed up. I don’t really know why, but he had put his arm around me during the conversation. It was… Strange. It felt safe, like that. Warm.

I asked him if he was afraid of going back to Augury Rock after what happened. He said he wasn’t, but when I asked why, he lied.

He knew why he wasn’t afraid. And at first, he didn’t want to say. But he did show me.

He kissed me.

And all of the sudden everything made sense. The safety, the warmness, the look in his eyes when he smiles. He is so much like Fiachra, but sweeter. Gentler. More caring. Still not as careful though.

I had fallen in love. Again. And I didn’t even know it. Again.

But I know now. I was happy when I realized it. I was also utterly terrified, but I suppressed it. Maguuma would not happen again.

Not to him.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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Today, we went to take back Augury Rock. We knew what was going to happen, but it still did not prepare us for what went down. It did not prepare me, at least.

As soon as Cassus began the spell to project Glint’s essence on the Branded wall that was covering Augury Rock, Branded swarmed us. Lily and I managed to take care of them coming out rather unscathed, but… A Branded Wyvern showed up. I tried to lure it away. To no avail. Cassus’ spell had hit its ultimatum and the Wyvern knew it as well, going straight for him.

There was an explosion.

I only saw him briefly. I called out his name. The next I saw of him, was in a crater, covered in his own blood.

His ribs were broken, I could feel them crack under my fingers. He wasn’t breathing. He was… Dead.

Gone too soon.

Maguuma had happened again.

And then, the impossible happened.

From what Lily told me, my tears created saplings on the ground, causing branches to wrap around him and begin to glow. A druid spirit appeared, apparently paying its respects. He came back. Cassus came back to life.

And I had no idea how to deal with it.

Because he had died. And I hadn’t been close. I hadn’t been there to support him. If not for that Druid Spirit, I would have been lost for good. I could not lose my love a second time. I couldn’t.

He didn’t even remember he had died. He simply came back, in awe that a druid healed him. And in the meantime, I stared out in front of me, still dealing with the crippling pain of his death.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see, or think. His voice was an echo, I was convinced I was hallucinating.

And then, it dawned on me.

Cassus was alive. My love was alive.

I could move again, but not speak. Dealing with such a death, only to find that it didn’t happen, is… Confusing. Blinding. Muting. As we made our way back to the First Camp, I remained silent. There was a war of emotions going on within me and I could not, for the life of me, let it explode in front of him. He had just braved death. I was in no position to break down.

As Lily went to sleep, I could no longer hold it. Panic submerged me, in my lack of understanding what had happened. I was convinced I was hugging a corpse. I couldn’t breathe. But once more, he made sure to calm me down. I tried to distance myself, saying I would probably have nightmares that night, but he didn’t want to budge.

Where I go, he goes, he said.

I did have nightmares that night. But he never moved an inch.
Posted Oct 11, 18 · OP
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After Augury Rock, it was strange to see things return to normal so soon. Cassus insisted on traveling to the Highlands with me, to accomplish my initial goal when coming back to Elona: scout out and chart the Desert Highlands.

We started out in the camp we came by when traveling to Prophet’s Fall to gather Glint’s essence, although we made sure to avoid that direction altogether. We set out across Salt Flats, finding the skeleton of a dragon, a scion designated as “Vlast” by Cassus. It was an enormous carcass, undoubtedly capable of swallowing Maverick whole. We spotted a structure further ahead, pillars on top of a plateau. My curiosity took the best of me, so we decided to go there to have a closer look.

There were 6 pillars total, one of them very nearly broken down completely. Cassus theorised the structure was man-made, although I was uncertain, and served as some kind of Temple to the six Human Gods. Having his feedback on these scouting trips I usually do alone was… Refreshing.

There were enormous claw marks present as well, fresh according to Cassus. I had in mind they were older, perhaps even made by the Scion himself, but I had strong doubts since, as Cassus wisely pointed out, the sand would’ve covered them up by now. I will be the first to admit, however, that I was very glad not to find some enormous, clawed beast on top of that plateau. After what Cassus had just been through, I was surprised at his willingness to come to the Highlands with me in the first place, throwing himself in possible danger once more.

All that to accompany me.

We then continued further West. We came across a small oasis, with clean water and even local fauna obviously aware of it as a local hub, away from the sun and with both flora and a fresh water source I imagine it is a very popular spot for them. We briefly stopped to replenish ourselves, then followed the stream.

We encountered a gap, with a bull dolyak at the bottom. We managed to distract it, giving each other the time to cross. We then came across a cave with the most curious creatures, insects looking like sea creatures. They swarmed us fiercely, clearly very territorial, but the trip through the cavern was worth it, as we emerged in Brightwater Inlet.

It is, undoubtedly, Cassus’ favourite place. The look in his eyes made it very clear. The wade-deep water, growing all kinds of flora, attracting fauna as well. The trees were green, there was a small village in the middle of the water, set on a small island. It felt alive. And Cassus loved it.

He gave me a lotus, which was one of the plants that grew there, and then looked for the highest point in the Inlet so we could have a nice view on the sunset.

Despite me being well-aware that this was still me doing my job and I was technically there to scout things out and work, I have to admit.

It was by far the best work day I had ever had.
Posted Tue at 04:57 am · OP
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