It’s no real secret that I’m not much of an Azure Guardsman, I mean I’m a fair hand in a fight, but I’m no Jazira or even Taura for that matter. I’m not a skilled diplomat, spy, or tracker. I’m a fair healer, and I can and do contribute to our efforts but usually it’s in more subtle ways. Also, unlike everyone else I’m not here out of a sense of loyalty, duty, or family obligation to King and Country. I’m here because I screwed up and this was the only real option left to me. Please don’t misunderstand, I took an oath to the King, the United Kingdom, and the Guard, and I will uphold those vows and do the very best that I can to fulfill the goals set before us. I’ve always believed that Phos has guided me to where I was needed, but for the life of me I still am not sure what my purpose here is. I just don’t feel like I completely fit in.
Because of this I also find it difficult to find any real companions among the guard. If I’m honest, I believe that most think of me as nothing more than the company clown, and that doesn’t really bother or surprise me given how I’ve chosen to live my life. But it is another barrier that I have not yet figured out how to get over. This is not to say that I don’t like the other guardsmen, or I feel left out or anything. Some of the other guardsmen are friends but I wouldn’t say that I have made any close friends. Please note that is not a criticism of the other guardsmen and has more to do with my own failings to be sure. Despite this I do think that I am at least on friendly terms with several of the other guardsmen.
I have found that most of my closest friends are non-guardsmen. Gwaedhon and I seem to get along very well and we work well together. Our specific training seems to work well together. I just wish that some of the things that he chooses to do wasn’t so disagreeable. I fear that he delves a little to deeply into the necromantic arts. Taura is also a good friend, even if she is a bit disapproving of my lifestyle. She is an excellent companion in a fight and has been very loyal since that day that we found her nearly dead on the road where her supply train was attacked.
And yet… it was with my two closest friends that I felt the most… well, not betrayed but let down maybe.
April 14, 1407
After the fight at the docks we were able to get Terquail stabilized if not completely healed, that would have required a minor miracle given the wounds that he had sustained, but we did manage to save his arm and his life.
This Morning Lady Mune arrived. She was there to help discuss our plans to cross the desert. While I was a little taken aback to see her here unannounced, I must admit that I found her presence exhilarating. Lady Mune is beautiful, intelligent, cunning, and extremely dangerous, and in some ways, I’m drawn to her like a moth to the flame. Dancing with death as it were… but oh what a Glorious death it could be. But I digress… Lady Mune is a shining example of my appalling lack of common sense and self-preservation that I have had over the years where women are concerned, and if I don’t learn to control it, it will likely get me killed…. or worse. But life would be boring indeed if I could not enjoy the company and companionship of the fairer sex.
Lady Mune and I spent most of the afternoon together and I even showed her the silks I had purchased and gave her the choice of colors to pick from. She seemed especially pleased with herself and expressed her pleasure quite nicely. Sadly she had to leave afterward in order to get her people moving and in place for our arrival.
Later in the evening Jazira took several of us to a meeting she had set up with a local noblewoman named Princess Dejah. Gwaeden, Taura, and I accompanied her to the meeting and Artemis was tasked with watching the entrance way where we entered the building.
The Princess Dejah was stunningly beautiful I must say. Luckily, I had been with Lady Mune most of the day or her beauty and… other qualifications might have proven very distracting to me. Jazira spoke with her for a few moments there in the alleyway and it quickly became evident that they were more than merely friends, it sounded like they were family, but I am unsure of that.
We were quickly invited in where an older Elf was waiting for us sitting at a table eyeing a chess board. We were all introduced to our hosts and in turn our hosts were also introduced. The Princess Dejah al’Rashid and Akmed al’Jafar, the High Vizier of the Sultanate of Sadina. It was at this point that I realized that our presence was merely decorative as there would have been nothing we could have done to save ourselves at that point. So, I decided that I would try to at least attempt to keep the discussion calm. I found the nearest seat, pulled out my Bandura and began to play conscious that I needed to NOT activate any of the instruments more specific uses.
I won’t try to give an exact accounting of the following conversation except to say that we were given some advice on how to proceed with our mission, and what the options were for every approach to the problem so to speak. I could tell that Jazira was not taking what the Vizir said at face value, but I could not get a read on the man myself…. he had been at this for far to long for the likes of me to tell if what he was saying was truth, deception, or something in between. All in all, the meet went smoothly but the information did more to muddle the waters than clear them in my opinion.
When we got back to the tents Gwaedhon dropped a hornet’s nest on me. He informed us that the reason we had been sent on this expedition was because of some information he had received from a Headmaster Kanis. He had taken the information to Phildren who was the one that had officially sent us down here. To say the least, I was a bit taken aback. I really thought that Gwaeden would tell me about things of this nature. For him to leave me out of the loop was a bit disheartening but when I learned that Kanis was a Lich I began to understand why he had kept quiet… I really was shocked to hear that not only had Gwaedhon met with this thing but that he had been learning from him as well. Somewhere in that discussion I began to drink without even realizing it, and soon I was too drunk to care. I remember Taura and someone else getting me to my bed. I also remember thinking, as Taura carried me, that in her own way Taura is quite an impressive woman herself… I think I will keep that to myself.
April 15, 1407
Jazira decided to call another meeting to discuss whether we would continue the mission as planned or choose another path. I was in favor of continuing even though that was exactly the Vizier had recommended but it became quickly clear that Aretimis would have nothing to do with this plan any longer. He and his family had evidently suffered at the hands of the Vizier before and he wanted nothing to do with it. To make that clear he informed us that his wife, who has been traveling with us, would no longer be involved. Jazira herself seemed to want to take a different path.
I decided to press the point and suggested we should at the very least try to contact the New Umbrian diplomat before we made any changes to our plans. Jazira agreed and I was given permission to go to their estate.
When I arrived the gate, itself was unlocked and no one came when I rang the bell, so I decided to go to the door. I knocked a couple of times and even called out to see if anyone would answer but it was to no avail, nobody answered. Still, something just didn’t seem right, and I decided to detect magic to see if any was still active and I did see that there was still something active. I decided to leave a note and that was it. I left the house and returned to our tents.
That evening as I was sleeping someone tried to Dominate me through the Dream Realm. Gladly the attempt was unsuccessful, but I decided to wake both Artemis and Gwaedhon to let them know what had happened. Together they set up a trap in case the individual decided to try again.
April 16, 1407
Gladly I awoke this morning, and nothing had happened so Gwaedhon and Artemis headed off to their own beds. I went in search of a bath and breakfast. Sometime after I had entered the bath the lights went out.
I awoke on a carpeted floor, naked and wet I might add, with Taura standing behind me and a Dark Elf standing in front of me and my head feeling like It would split open and empty its contents on the floor. The Dark Elf was dressed in robes and carried a Staff. As I looked up at the individual I realized two things. First this was a female Dark Elf and second, she was very pale and thin looking. She stepped forward as I was looking at her and said lie still, this should help but it will likely be unpleasant. At which point she pointed the staff at me and unleashed what appeared to be lightning. When I regained my senses, I did feel better but that was not fun. The woman asked Taura to go into the next room to get me some clothes and with a nod she did so, returning a moment later with a lady’s silk night robe… wonderful. I took the garment and put it on, but it only barely covered me. I decided to sit for the discussion that was to come.
She asked my name and the purpose for my coming to the estate the day before. I explained who I was and that I merely wished to try to meet with the ambassador should they still be here. It took a bit of doing but I was able to convince her that I was telling the truth. In turn I asked who she was and after a bit of discussion I was able to get her to tell me that she was Sarai Ammishaddai, the former Consort of Arch-Duke Dante l’Umbria and that she had been here for a time recuperating from wounds she had sustained when Dante had been assassinated and that I had created a bit of a situation for her. Shortly after that she looked away and when she looked back she instructed Taura to take the rug and go back downstairs. We apparently had been followed and she wanted Taura to distract them while she spoke to me.
What I came to learn was that I had placed the lady in jeopardy and that now she would have to leave. I suggested that maybe we could help and tried to convince her of that. That is when she finally allowed Jazira to come into the room. I sat quietly as Jazira convinced her that we could indeed help her out and make plans for us to get her on board one of our ships where she might be safe.
It was a long walk back to the tents in nothing but a silk bathrobe and Taura had the good graces to at least look a little shamefaced about the whole thing.
We wound up changing our plans, and quickly packed up our gear and got everyone to the boats including Lady Ammishaddai. I contacted Lady Mune and we established a plan to meet with her so that she could join us. Now we are back at sea on our way to Ionia and it looks like it could be a long trip.