14 Tera 1333
I just had the most incredible talk with Kumori. Well, I did most of the talking… My skin is still flushed with goose pimples.
I was all ready to write to you, everyone was asleep, and Kumori was on watch. He sat in the fashion of his folk, legs crossed, and always on a mat. He looked up from his naked steel blade, his family sword, and in a voice so quiet and reverent, he said to me, “Obedient Sister,” (I think he is the only one of them that has ever referred to me by my title), “I would hear of the truths of your gods. Your passion and devotion for them reflect highly upon them, and it is time I delve into a deeper understanding of them, thereby knowing better their people…” His voice became so very low then, almost trailing off. I think he finished with, “…and myself.”
I knew the rhetoric, but this was a more important moment. Mere church dogma would not do. As I spoke, his eyes returned to the blade sitting across his legs, shining almost of its own accord in the dim candlelight – light that was swallowed up by the gloom of the shabby warehouse we had chosen to squat in. This very same spot had been used as a hiding place by the gang of villains that attacked us yesterday, in the woods across the river.
It is hard for me to fathom, but I am the healer of the group. I think it may be a good thing, because I am pretty pathetic as a warrior. OK, I know you would disagree. But still, love, if you could see our true warrior, Kumori, in action, you would certainly understand what I am saying. When we were ambushed by the gang of thugs, our Kaidanese warrior’s blades whirled so fast that you could’t even see them. With a pealing ring of steel, his weapons flew from their sheaths. It does not even seem like he puts any effort into it at all. Its a beautiful dance to watch, and in a heartbeat, his foes, one by one, crumpled to the ground.
There were five of them laying in wait for our return. They’d destroyed the boats, so we had no way to return across the river. Four of the men were trained warriors, but their weakness lie in their lack of coordination. They had set a trap for us, but it was haphazardly executed. Thank goodness for that, because we all nearly perished as it was. All but me, for by Mormekar’s grace and blessings, I was able to remain hidden throughout most of the ambush, sneaking around and healing my dying friends. I have to say, my dearest, that I think I am overcoming that little problem I have… you know how flustered I get when those I care about are hurting. I don’t know if it is because they keep putting themselves in danger by taking stupid risks, or maybe that I am getting used to seeing them cut down, but I feel much more calm (I don’t freeze up anymore) when I see their bloody, or singed, bodies lying there in need of treatment.
In fact, and I am really not bragging about this my love, I was the savior of the day. I am sure, were it not for my healing spells and some curing potions, we would regrettably have lost two or three of our party. Thank Mormekar once more. You see, the ambush in the woods was a ruse to draw us out into the open. There was a crass and, yet again, gruff dwarven wizard hiding behind some bushes in the open area between the woods and the riverbank, and as soon as we emerged from the woods, he assailed us with lightning and fire. And he nearly killed us to a man.
If that were not bad enough, the bad guys had some archers set in hiding across the river, town-side, where we could not get at them. They were menacing us with arrows until we eventually killed the dwarf and his minions on our side of the river. We took cover from the archers, and I guess they eventually gave up and fled. I doubt it is the last we will see of them. Unfortunately, none of us got even so much as a peep at them. Yay, more unknown foes to deal with.
Hey kid, don’t worry. I did just fine. Mormekar protected me, and I don’t think the archers even saw me. The grass was high, the afternoon overcast, and you know me… I know how to keep out of sight.
Eventually we got a ride back over the river (that creepy dockmaster arranged it), with bodies of the enemy and the captive in tow. The dead were taken to the Anwynite temple, and the prisoner to the gaol. We were greeted by some of the manciples, who helped heal our wounds.
I am not going to bore you with the trivial politics of this pathetic town, but suffice it to say, the elder council paid us some money for dealing with the goblins, then pretty much dismissed us. I guess they don’t care who killed their mayor, and all that. Oh yeah, the ruling Vizcondesa finally showed up. She is one haughty broad, and I took an instant dislike to her. I bet she is in on whatever plot the conspirators have going on, though there is no way in all of hell I could prove it. She reeks of self-important duplicity.
We decided to stay in town, however. There is just too much going on to leave, and too many suspicious circumstances. We were hoping to discover who had given the orders to the dwarf (oh yeah, the vile cow called himself El Toro Negro, which means the black bull… I laughed when he threatened us with his “mighty” name). We had interrogated one of his men who’d surrendered, but got nothing useful from him. We wanted to wait until morning in order to speak with the dwarf (I can’t even come to say his name again, hehe) after he was given the Ceremony of Life. Turns out his spirit was not there in the church to be raised. We all found that odd, and I asked the high manciple (a very sweet old lady) if I could attend the funerary preparations on his body. She quickly agreed, kindly thanking me for volunteering for such a distasteful task.
I knew something was amiss. The dwarf’s spirit did not return with his henchmen’s, and while the rest of our party was interrogating the two raised underlings, I set to the task of examining the dwarf’s corpse. To my utter horror, I found that in addition to the battle wounds which killed him, – Kumori is amazing with those strange thin blades – the dwarf had been stabbed seven times in the chest, post-mortem. These were the same wounds as we saw on the body of the murdered mayor. Post-mortem stab wounds, delivered after his throat had been slit. So whoever was behind the mayor’s murder did this. I am not completely sure what the connection is, but I am guessing that they did not want the dwarf to be raised, lest he be interrogated. Not sure how the stab wounds fit into that, but just a guess. Of course, as Dorak put it, we have been thwarted again. Of course. Whoever they are, they are smart, and cover their bases well.
I guess that witnessing the miracle of the Ceremony of Life spoke to Kumori’s heart of hearts. I watched the troubled look on his stolid face after he saw the raised men with his own eyes. Kumori had nearly died that day on the green by the river. I think Mormekar may have come for him, he was that close to death. But I brought him back past the brink, Mormekar forgive me. Surely by no work of mine, but by our Lords above and below, the great warrior’s heart was touched, I think. Perhaps it will be a long struggle for him, to come to the truth of the word. But I solemnly did my very best to give him my perspective on the making of the world, the birth of the gods and the fruits of the tree. And finally of death and the Maker’s gifts. I showed him, I hope, the way of truth.
I believe that Mormekar has touched Kumori. I saw his face, I watched him diligently as I spoke, reverently cleaning his blade, even though it did not need cleaning. It is his ritual, to do so, and I admire him for that, and much more. Just as I was finishing my talk, telling him about the Maker’s blessed gifts, and how they foil the evil one’s machinations against us, Kumori’s regard left Satori, his weapon, and met mine. What I saw in those steely eyes made me feel uncomfortable, yet somehow heartened. I asked him if I had upset him. He said no, but averted his eyes once more. He gave his sword one last swipe with the cloth, then put it away.
He is thinking about it, Calli. He is troubled, and I think for his soul’s sake, that is a good thing. You know me, I don’t preach or proselytize. I care for people, and their souls, but it is not my job to convert them. I serve our Master, and it IS my job to enforce His will. But in this case, I feel as if I have done something special. Kumori and I are on parallel paths. We are made of similar cloth, for a similar purpose. The evil that shrouds his country, his homeland, must be removed. If the Gods deem that Kumori should be blessed with the tools of the Maker’s gifts in order to survive to complete the mission, I am all for it.
Dreams work miracles on the soul, and by the way Kumori is thrashing in his sleep, I see the gods in action. I won’t disturb their work by waking him, even if doing so would save him some pain. I let him sleep, and listen to him whisper Terak’s name, though I will tell no other soul of it but you.
Ok hon. I told Kumori I would take watch, and I have spent an hour writing. I need to put pen and parchment down now and do my duty.
My love forever,
15 Tera 1333
I just wanted to jot this down before I forget. Guess what hon? We are heroes… When we set out this morning, it seems the whole town is celebrating us for stopping the goblin threat. They are planning a great feast in our honor. I have to laugh, because what I think they are really celebrating is the lifting of the curfew. Now they can sneak out at night for a drink at the pub, or some other more clandestine affair.
Also, it seems that this morning, the old constable, Sir Gapala’s dead spirit, found its way after all these weeks, back to the temple. High Manciple Cierra was beaming with the news as she paraded him around the town, bedecked in his used but recently polished armor and helm. I thought those things had been “disintegrated” by “goblin sorcery”. This is yet another piece to this puzzle, a quandary that seems to grow with each passing day.
Love you, will write soon,