sciolist: http://magggg.deviantart.com/gallery/24017469 (Drow4)
[personal profile] sciolist posting in [community profile] lost_in_navir
Day 12 -
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The clock is ticking. Laura's in there scrying and communing and so on. The others are at some coffee shop or other nearby. Me, I'm trying to pray, in a huge temple to the idea of silvery goodness. I hope Irrasha can hear. He's certainly not overly communicative to me, but I'm not overly surprised. Still voices of calm and contemplation aren't my thing. Laura says it's real, Laura casts spells. There's a huge temple. It's enough to work with. My knuckles aren't white as I look at my fists, but they do go a little bit shinier and greyish. I'm not sure fists are my thing, either. Running like hell. That could be my thing. Laura'd come out of scrying and find the others and I could be on a Lightning Rail to somewhere else. I could run, and they'd go on and do it without me, because I don't think there's time to stop. I don't want to die. I could probably hide in Scijaarn for long enough that they'd need to go without me. I don't want to die. I wasn't even really there when Milo died, we died but I'm sure that being crushed by an undead tentacle can't have been one of the better ways to go. Pietra and Zak had their essence drained away by undead. That was creepy enough even to survive, and I definitely don't want to go like that.

I breathe, slowly, and look around at the Temple. People devoted. People calm. People... People still looking at me as though there should be another smaller Temple of Irrasha in a different district for a bloody Drow to go visit. Fuckers. I'm not wearing mud. I'm wearing a veil. I'm civilized, you ignorant little gnomish shit. And your hat's ridiculous. And breathe. Good points of getting out of town, then. Not offending the poor citizens with my horrific presence. Saving the World. Dying. I don't think I'm an old drow, maybe there's hundreds of years in this body. Hundreds. We've been here three years? maybe only two. No, three? Whatever. Hundreds of years, if the world doesn't end... If... If we save it.

So Laura's going to come out of there and we'll have a plan, and I'll smile and I'll sing, and we'll do it. Maybe we'll even survive.

Day 13 -
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This is it, then. Day of farewells. Goodbye Redblade, who looks faintly unsettled that a nice half-orc with a remarkable sense of flair seems to have turned into a nervous and skittish drow girl. Drow Woman. Oh yes. I am a rocking embodiment of empowerment. I'm not wearing a sign on my arse saying 'slap me if you're drunk'. Carl never had this trouble. A couple of slightly worryingly earnest gnome matrons, yes, but that was a couple. In three years of wandering about and more inns and taverns than I can count. Now my backside has achieved some bizarre communal status for the inebriated? So, goodbye to Deathsgate Guild despite your palpable sense of fun and better dress sense. Goodbye to all my new admirers that have no idea I had tusks and an abundance of body hair just two weeks ago.

We jump tonight to somewhere on the border. We jump at dusk, so we arrive after dark. It sounds thrillingly military. What proportion of paratroopers survive? Misdrops all over the Holtese border, and we have no idea where the 101st are? Scarily military, then. Teleport into the vicinity of the battle lines and then hike to the Objective. Then... we see what He has to say and we wing it. Loving the plan. Come on, Carl. This is what we do, extemporise. It'll feel better once we're moving. Better once we're not waiting. From the balcony, I can see airship cradles taking people to Neveriven, Karduire, Away.

Rachael and Jaik ran off to jump off Skyway together. Yeah, I know. It's just interesting to phrase it like that and see what I think. Do I want to jump off a big rock? No. Argonth was enough. But, it's part of saying goodbye. Goodbye to the Raging Clawfoot, you provider of hope, hot showers and a sense that maybe this could all work out. That was a turning point after some travail and difficulty to find that civilization wasn't just a dream, that magic was actually useful for more than a fireball. Waking up in a good-sized room with a woman that smelled nice and watching skycars flit past the balcony while eating a pastry and drinking coffee. I never said goodbye to Lizetta, before she left for High Carradine. I doubt I'll get the chance, it's not worth saying much by messenger at this point. She's dead, or not, or undead, or not. I saved her from a slightly unfulfilling life as a nightclub singer and delivered her through a brief dream of prosperity to a likely multiple demise by sinister agents of Holt. There's a lesson for people seeking to do good, no? I tried. I did my best? Well, maybe not by her, but...

Drenak's with Shayla, and that's good. I liked her... I do like her. We even managed to save her. Jaik and Laura are happily married, maybe because we're all going to die, and it's easy to be happy in the face of that. Yes, Carl - you're a ray of sunshine. Thank you Carl. Good of you to notice. I hock the sword. Goodbye to the Dragon's Hoard and your sterling service as purveyors of mystic kit. Almost always able to find what we need through a combination of artificery and maybe some naughty wish-based salvage and acquisition. If what we come down to needs me to lift a blade, we're so far stuffed it will physically hurt. Besides, with that money I can just afford another scroll of mass heal. And that might help. Yes, I have the gold. See the gold. Yes, I have paperwork and guild membership. ... Yes, and fuck you very much too, I *know* I'm not a man.

Um... yes. That's another interesting one to turn over in my head and consider. I've been a member of the Clifftop guild for a couple of years, now? Walked past the library a few times. Sat in the Drunken Dragon quite a lot. That is a secret door over there. Not a bad secret door, either. And now I notice? There's a conversation itching to happen, next time we do the 'not a real woman, not a real elf' thing. I'd bet I'm elf enough to work the Longsword of the Elves (or whatever D&D's equivalent is). I'm not going to risk taming unicorns, but I could point at bits and demonstrate hormonal twitchiness that seems to be reliable indicators of female, too. It's not like Drenak's a Real Dwarf, for all his going native... Well, Duncan, I mean, or Drenak. In fact, by observing fruitbearing shrubs of a particular genus in his vicinity, I could really prove to Duncan just how little of a Real Dwarf he might think he is. Not that I would, I think that would be really wrong, but... in case of preachiness and Shom and ... what would Shayla think of that? ... So... I'm a woman/girl/female thing. I used to self-identify as male, but... is that because I happened to be male, or because bunches of chemicals were doing things that evidenced societally recognised maleness cues? Is my soul human? I've never been human here. I used to self-identify as human, but is that because I was human, or because... weird. Very Weird.

They said it was a day to say goodbye, in case we're not coming back. I thought that I didn't have anything to say goodbye to, but we've spent so long here, so long coming back to here that it's an anchor. It's a part of us. Goodbye goblin markets with your windy passages and very suspect things-on-sticks vendors. Goodbye to the cogs and the undercaverns, home of weird and nasty monsters. Goodbye to Scijaarn's odd media services where tabloid journalism is somehow cleaner and fun despite an occasional frisson of excitement for gladiatorial combat. Goodbye Ren, killed by our inability to manage unfamiliar threats, as much as the actual mind-flayer beaks. Goodbye to Firelight and other even classier drinking establishments. I'd really love to stay, to see what happens, to drink my way a little bit past caution but not so far as wild abandonment, to see what happens... No. Too weird. And... oddly hairy. Well. It's likely not going to be an issue, with the death and all. No sense being distracting. Come back to that, if we survive. Goodbye to the dwarven restaurants I can no longer eat in, despite a fond remembrance of pickles. No, I am housebroken, No, I am not accompanied by a secondborn. What the fuck do you mean 'your kind'. Miserable bearded, bald old man. Goodbye misanthropic dwarves, even though we're taking one with us and misanthropy isn't the right word since he (and they) like dwarves just fine, it's only me.

It's only me.

They said it was a day to say goodbye. In case we're not coming back. I thought I didn't have anyone to say goodbye to. Lizetta's gone. Rickelli was one of the most interesting courting I've done, and it was a challenge, but she's got a life and it doesn't mesh with me adventuring, and now I'm too tall. Kessler's more a professional rival than a friend. Shayla's solidly Drenak's, Col. Morgrus thinks I'm an idiot. Bastard. He thinks I'm an idiot for telling him something True about the High King a fucking year before the coup and revolution laid it out. Miserable bastard. Jasma? She's a stuck up prissy spoilt dwarf princess and I don't regret not staying in touch with her. Hang on... Did I spend that festival of the warrior playing halfling girl to Rickelli? Sweet fucking Harbingers. I'm sure that's not it. We did lovely things, she danced well, we likely had different cultural ideas about what was going on. I can't say goodbye to Rachael, or the others - we're going on together.

It's only me.

Goodbye Carl. Master of many tables and dice. Drifter through countless temporary and unfulfilling positions without being ground under by corporate boot, nor yet buoyed up by ambition. Indifferent lover, Uninspired musician - there's reasons why you belt out cover versions with such passion. Loyal friend to Fatty, slain by the vagaries of this adventure and his own bad luck. Was Fatty just someone you could be with and feel a tiny bit superior? Even if you were a bit of a loser, a gamer, a drifter you weren't as bad as him, were you? Loyal anchor to David, likely much improved after you were jettisoned to Navir by a naughty dragon. No more will you worry his fiancée that you'll drag him back to student silliness and irresponsibility. But look how you've grown. You've dodged gnomish assassins, ridden dinosaurs, rescued fair maiden and whiny child. You've fought giants, well, giant scorpions. You've fought vampires and wraiths and demons. You've had slightly naughty thoughts about the pre-teen gnome empress. Cut free from the increasingly unbalanced leanings of Milo, the halfling without a background, you became a lover, not a fighter. You harnessed a gleeful lack of understanding consequences and made a triumph of talking shite to people in engaging ways. You freed a dragon. Not always correct and not always good, you got things done and you helped this pack of misplaced Outsiders claw their way to right here. Whatever else anyone says, you made a difference. Usually a good one, too. I think.

It's a far, far better thing that I do... or something. It's a good run. It's a good world, and it's been better to me than my own. That's more than enough.

We jump, tonight.

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Lost In Navir

November 2011

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