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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mark's Journal #15: Sunset on our day in Aristaal...

Mark’s fifteenth journal 02/10/10

When I had settled down and regained my senses, I heard Tori! She was whispering to someone. I walked over to the sound of her voice, and realized she was comforting Drew. He was dying, and kept asking her if he did all right. She told him that he should not listen to others, but he should listen to his heart. With those final words, Drew died. I demanded where in Ori had she been! I’m sure she shrugged that casual shrug of hers when she said, “Around.”

James returned, and after filling him in on the situation, we buried Drew. After that, James, Avaron, and I made our way to the hospital. Leviss was sleeping. Praying, it was some time later when a doctor told us that with their help, he was on the mend, and should, hopefully, regain most if not all of his mobility.

We needed a place to stay, and the hospital was not a place for the mostly healthy. After an ELPS member directed us to the Warmshearth Inn, miraculously rebuilt exactly as it was, we get a room and I collapse. My sleep was a blessing and a curse, and I awoke feeling well rested, and fully restless. Avaron told me that James went to see Leviss, and that she was going downstairs to talk to some members of the wizarding council. I was not centered, not focused, and not ready to face the day. I prayed to Erathis for the safekeeping of my friends, and for the strength and guidance to keep order to chaos. I cleaned my armour and shield, sharpen my sword, and dress with more purpose than I had felt in what felt like weeks, but was only a matter of days.

Clumsily making my way to the hospital, we were told that Leviss was free to go, but that his legs would have to remain bound and that he should not be shaken for several weeks until his legs had a chance to heal. Just then, the Archmage showed up. I have no idea if he appeared out of nowhere, or walked in the front door, being blind it doesn’t matter. He told us that his “kidnapping” was an illusion, meant to draw the council together, and work in a harmony that has not been seen since Avaron’s father was in Aristaal. He told us to keep this a secret and then he left, as suddenly as he arrived.

With the Council cleaning up what was left of the city, I felt it was time to get out of this city. Our services could no longer be deemed useful, and we had suffered enough due to being here. Gathering supplies, we made our way to the library, where Avaron’s instructor gave us an unexpected gift: Swiftmane Truefoot, and Quinn, our long-lost horses, in good health, and in fine spirit. He told us that we should wait until the closing of the ceremony tomorrow before we leave.

The ceremony was held at midday at the library. The bard professor made a fine speech about the strength of the citizens of Aristaal, the dedication of the Council, and the power of unity. While not as uplifting as the occasion in Portsmouth, there was a certain sense of finality and restoration here in Aristaal. Ed, the Geomancer professor, made a statue of a Red Cloak to honour those who gave their lives for freedom. Also, we, the Guard, were honoured. Referred to as the “Sightless Swordsman, Emerald Kobold, and the Child of Chaos”, we were credited for our effort.

We have lost so much here in Aristaal. My vision, so many good people, buildings, history, and even our friend Tori, as she told us that she would be remaining to build a colony of druids in Aristaal. But, we have gained as well. James, after years of being away, rejoined our ranks. Wisdom, understanding, and unity. We have paid high prices for each, but we look forward, not backward, in the hope of carrying a little light to the darkness.

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