In the words of Phi; a journal entry…
I am currently in a medium sized town named Kadith that sits pretty much on Clall Lake, more commonly known as the Rose Mist Lake. I did not have much trouble finding my way to this place as the road is fairly well traveled and marked for passage. There was some incident with a crocodile and a cheetah who both tried to make a meal out of my new war horse, Steel. I provided ample reason for both predators to avoid doing such a thing and admit that perhaps I was too forceful with the crocodile; it did not survive the encounter with my mace. I do not delight in killing animals, they are only here doing what is natural for them. Still, I can ill-afford for Steel to be wounded, or for my mule Sassafras to be lame.
I find it much easier to travel now that I have a stalwart companion in Steel. He was expertly trained by the same family who provides all of the war horses to the Silver Scale Knights in Celebraan. I know from working with my father’s horses that Steel is of excellent stock and his majesty and strength awe me. Standing beside a 19 hands tall white stallion makes one feel quite small in comparison; I am careful that he does not step on me! I make sure that I am up each morning as the sun rises to do my 5am workout and to take care of Steel and Sassafras before we begin our travels. I know that the bond between us will be stronger the more time I spend caring for them myself, and I enjoy the work.
Kadith, upon arrival, reminds me of home in some ways. Though it is much larger then my birthplace it still has a community feel. You can tell the roads are maintained, the buildings scrubbed with care of presentation, and the people are friendly towards travelers. I easily found someone who directed me to Base Camp, an inn of some renown. Once Steel and Sass’ were stabled I rented myself a room, bathed, and then settled in for some information gathering down at a restaurant called The Dig. My current mission is to help the local magistrate with a problem, namely one ghost that has been haunting Kadith and stealing odd items from the town. I’d assume it was just a petty thief, or perhaps some kids, but I was assured that they Mayor’s wife had seen the ghost.
I admit that while I am good at speaking to anyone, I am not so great at asking the right people about the right things apparently. I spent the first night in town laughing with the patrons at The Dig and really just scrubbing myself mentally of road grime. Turning in around 10pm I went to bed no more enlightened about the Kadith Curse (as some had called it) then before I trotted in. Tomorrow I will head towards the other side of town where all of the law offices and magistrate are. It is claimed that the Kadith Curse seems to be more central to that region of town, and so that is where I will begin my search for further information.
5am in Kadith is a time of silence and solitude. I groom Steel and Sass then went for my daily run. It feels good to be under my own locomotion again, testing my muscles and trotting along at a good pace. No one is around to watch me really, but I find that I miss the company of Jacob and Henry. Those two are living in a life of luxury back in Celee, having more money than they know what to do with. I do, and do not envy them, but I still wish they were here with me…
Rose Mist Lake is as gorgeous as all the brochures and pamphlets promise. I took a rout along the lakeshore just to get a good idea of what all the fuss was about and I was not disappointed, that’s for sure. At one point I stood, silent and still, to watch a herd of deer approach the mists, pass into them and disappear towards the lake. It is simple pleasures like these that I feel should not be taken for granted, as all too easily they are lost to more pressing matters. As I run I speak to Bahamut in my thoughts and keep up a dialogue throughout; it is the best time for me to mentally go over the past, present, and future plans for my missions. As always I pray for Chiron’s return and that I am guided towards finding him as soon as possible; he is ever first in my prayers and thoughts as well as the last.
The day has dawned bright and clear by the time I am showered and ready to depart my room once more. I think the best way to start off is to resupply and thus have a good reason to move about town and ask all sorts of questions. No one seems to mind my questions here as it is, and I am careful to be professional as well as friendly. There is a Knight’s outpost here, but I was instructed to deliver a sealed letter to their commanding officer once I had handled the Kadith Curse issue. I’d really like to know what’s in that letter, since it was mentioned that this is my final test before I begin my proper trials. Ah well… time will tell.
The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
My day has started with the General Store and there was not much to be found there. I picked up the usual things, rations, rope, etc… There I found out that I could commission a tabard for Steel and set off to the Tailor’s Shop. I learned from the Tailor that the small temple of Bahamut had been trying to rally support from Celebraan to have a trained Cleric sent to help them with the Kadith Curse, and I believe that would indeed be me. Returning to Base Camp I retrieve Steel and ride to the temple to check in. Upon arriving I see there is a similar horse tied in front, though this one has some type of special barding attached to it; I make note of this and proceed into the temple.
Sitting with a priest, lost in conversation, I spot the man who must own the horse out front. He too is wearing armor and seems rather agitated, gesticulating regularly and with fervor. I wait quietly to be approached, eyes raised to the visage of Bahamut behind the alter. It is not long before the armored man, who I am later told is Peter, takes his leave and the priest comes to sit by me. I start by turning so that he can see my full face, tattoo glinting softly in the light; it amazes me that I can always catch just a glimpse of the effect. He smiles broadly and we exchange names, and reasons. I am quickly thanking him for his time, receiving a blessing, and trotting out the door after Peter.
Turns out that Peter is actually the head guard for one of the major noble families who live in Kadith and they had just been robbed of a family heirloom. It sounded like a typical ghost theft item and so I introduce myself to the man; he looms over me in height once I’m off my horse. Instantly relieved he sets about showing me where the theft occurred, answers all of my questions and then takes his leave so that I may move about the property unrestricted. I am actually amazed at the amount of trust placed within me, a stranger wearing Bahamut’s symbol and nothing else to recommend her. I admit it puffed me with pride for a moment or two that I could be that person; be working towards a goal greater then myself.
The item stolen was a small hand mirror, bejeweled and long in the family. I look around the area is was sitting before going missing and note that the window is open and there are tiny, barely visible claw marks along the top of the dresser. I admit to being quite perplexed, because from what I know, ghosts do not need to be “let in” and nor do they leave visible evidence of their passing. It’s all quite intriguing, but in the end, I believe I have made no headway in the case and take my leave. Amazingly as Steel and I turn towards the road I catch a glimpse of color on the wind. After a blink it is gone, but I am fairly sure that I just saw a scarf…fly… by…
Eyebrows raised I kick Steel into action and chase after the scrap of cloth as it disappears into the woods nearby. Just as I am about to lose it I spot it again, floating along in a weaving path – ‘this must be the ghost’ I think. Steel and I chase after it but I lose it amid the brush and tangle of trees. Not to be easily discouraged I keep looking and eventually spot it, at rest, high in the crook of some branches. Climbing up there I find, much to my sheer amazement, an assortment of what can only be described as “shiny knickknacks” tucked into a nest of fabrics. A mirror fitting the exact description given to me but an hour ago rests upon the top of the pile, and I immediately figure what’s going on: someone’s pet raven has escaped and has been pilfering light objects from town.
Figuring that the best thing to do is leave everything as I found it, I head back into town to procure a chicken cage. After a bit of research I’m given some good advice and set back off into the woods to put it into practice. Setting the cage up with some wire, I pulled the mirror down from the nest and place it inside. Then I wait. And wait… annnnnd wait…. Not long after the moon raises full into the sky I sense some commotion up in the tree above and hear some odd squawking noises. Whatever is up there has surely noticed the mirror is missing, though it doesn’t take long for the creature to notice as moon glints from the object. It zooms down, lands by the cage and prances right in to retrieve the mirror. Ah-ha! I pull the string, slam the door and tie it to keep tension before rushing over. What I find is downright perplexing.
Not a bird at all, the small thing is making a big ruckus in the cage and flapping all about. It seems to be some sort of bat with arms and legs and claws, but as it settles down a little I notice a horn. Squinting I peer at it and it peers back; I’m at an impasse…what on earth did I just catch?! Deciding to figure it out later I ransack its nest, pull down all the cloth and the trinkets, stuff everything into a saddle bag and grab the cage. Riding to town is fairly quiet, and the creature seems content to clutch the mirror in sullen silence. By the time I make it back to town, settle Steel and get to my room I am so exhausted I fall to sleep with a prayer upon my lips and a holy symbol in my hands.
5am comes early today and as the door is knocked upon I am quick to call out that I’m up – no need for the Inn staff to have a look at my newest acquisition. Speaking of, the creature is awake and watching me with suspicion. I can’t blame it, though I can try to figure out what “it” is. I watch it, and it watches me, each trying to figure something out about the other. It dawns on me that I have heard of something that fits this creature’s description, called a Huitzil. It’s basically some type of dragon hybrid cross with a bird or a bat, and they are known to be harmless but avid in their love of shiny objects. Bingo!
The Huitzil is not pleased to be in a cage and I cannot really blame him. From what I’ve heard he had the run (or wing as it may be) of this town for several months as the Kadith Curse. I leave to find him some food now that the market is open, and he glares at me from a soiled cage. One thing at a time little dragon friend! After procuring several fruits I open the cage and offer it an apple. Snatching it he zooms out of the cage, perching on my bed to watch me warily and eat. I ignore him as best I can to look non-threatening and clean up the soiled bedding left in the cage. Placing new stuff I try to tempt him back into the cage with a silver coin; he foils me by grabbing it from the side. I try again with a gold coin, hiding it in the bedding – he retrieves that as well without going into the cage.
At that point I was rather frustrated and not knowing anything else to do, figure perhaps Bahamut’s visage might help. He is a type of dragon creature, so what could it hurt? Summoning my power I can sense my tattoo growing warm and outlining in shimmering silver color. Completely forgetting the other fruit and his coins, the Huitzil inches his way to me, climbs onto my arm, hop-skips up, and begins….licking…my face. Right on the tattoo – slurping and nuzzling me. Well… at least he has stopped making odd noises and seems content. I easily place him back in the cage, hand him more fruit and cover it with my cloak.
My next stop puts me and my saddlebags full of precious items and trinkets at the Magistrate’s Office where I explain the situation and offload the stolen items to be returned. Figuring it best to return the mirror in person I head that way and am greeted almost like family, the gratitude is almost overwhelming. I assure them that the situation has been handled, that the Kadith Curse was no more than a curious creature in love with shiny things, and am on my way to the Knights outpost.
My excitement mounts as I ride towards the outpost, sealed letter carefully tucked into my pouch. I announce myself, am given an appointment and then spend the rest of the day finishing up some shopping and resupplying. I dropped more fruit off for the Huitzel, but it seems to be sleeping the day away, clutching gold and silver pieces like favored teddy bears. I kind of like the little guy, and it seems to me that perhaps Bahamut sent him to be a test upon my skills and patience. Perhaps I can convince him to stay with me as a sort of pet while I am in town, as I really do not know what else to do with him. He clearly cannot be released anywhere near other towns and I get the feeling that he really wouldn’t survive very far from the relative shelter and safety of civilization; he’s is quite young.
Eventually my time to visit the Knights has arrived, and after straitening myself up I head on in. I am greeted by Lieutenant Abrims, a no-nonsense kind of Knight. Presenting my letter I stand at attention, waiting as he reads. After offering me a seat he asks me to please tell him what I had been up to in town and any previous experiences. I really don’t know what he’s looking for in terms of experience, so I run down the general list of things that I had been doing or taken part in. And then, just like that he is standing and shaking my hand and telling me congratulations, I am now officially entering the Knights as an initiate!
I did it! I mean, I really did it! I keep my composure of course, but inside I am fairly bursting with happiness. My next mission begins in two days and the Lieutenant tells me where I can go to get a uniform. I think he could have asked me to flap my arms and fly to the moon, and I could have powered my whole way there with exaltation. I can only pray that someday Chiron can share in this with me, as it was his dream also. Unfortunately there has been no word from Celebraan in regards to his rescue, though I am told that in two days I will be embarking upon a mission that is relevant to it. Right now it is enough, it must be enough. My search for answers, for clues, for anything… continues.
I think I am the only person in the world who actually wants to go to Hell.
It is hard to beat a person who never gives up.