The Origin of Hope

Journal of Ju'Huo 菊火

Adventure Week 1

It has been almost two months since the light wall began to fade, and with it, came the brutal end to the safety and peace that we have all been blessed with. My family – the kindest humans that I’ve ever known – did not lose faith in the Light, just as they wholeheartedly embraced me, an elf, even if it garnered them endless scorn from other members of nobility. I cannot bring myself to speak of my father, the Centurion, who I lost after the magical cataclysm on the bridge during our escape from the Orcs. It pained me even more to hear that some of the soldiers thought that it was his foolishness that will get us killed. I stand firmly by everything that he believed, and his legacy will echo through me. He would have never left those in need, and neither will I. He believed in the Light so strongly as to even see something within this darkness, and I will try to see the same. He had given me the artifact that he was keeping safe, and which must be brought to the Cathedral of Light. I will see this through. I do not know what the artifact is, but he instructed me not to look upon it, and I will not disobey his wishes. I am no leader. But as the daughter of the Centurion, I must do whatever I can to fulfill my duties to the 7th Legion.

Among the refugees that my father helped save, there was a cleric and a ranger, both of whom I was glad to have met. The human cleric is an interesting being, who at first shocked me with his bluntness when I tried inspiring some of the refugees to keep going, but then he came over and succeeded where I had failed. Since then, he was kind to me, despite me being an elf. There is also a spiritual connection that I feel, as we are both followers of the Light, but his flame of faith seemed to have somewhat subsided as of late.

The ranger is a fellow elf, and we can both speak our native tongue, as well as the tongue of the dragon-beasts. I’m sure it would look odd to those who do not know us, but how exhilarating it is to be able to practice a multitude of tongues! One never knows when the occasion would call for it. But of course, he is somewhat of a sneaky Elf, preferring to climb and hide and be overall agile… something I never got good at myself. Nonetheless, he is quite skillful, and helped me explore the abandoned village at the edge of the coast, even finding food for the survivors.

The village is where we have come to a stop after continuously running from the horde of orcs that chase us. It is here that I blame myself for not having stopped the refugee advance towards the boats, because that’s were an unimaginable thing happened. Through some kind of powerful magic, there was a blinding explosion, and all those gathered around the boats were dead – including my trusted legionnaire who was born in this village! – and the rest of us were flung back from the shockwave. When we came to, we couldn’t believe our eyes – there was an enormous ship falling from the sky! Black smoke, fire, a mechanical tentacle, it was all just too much to make sense of! When everything settled down, it turned out that these creatures – who looked like humans, and dwarves and gnomes – were just as disoriented as us. They spoke some strange language, and wore very strange clothes. Their mechanical and steam-like attire seemed somewhat unnerving. And lo-and-behold, who was their Captain? A Tiefling, along with a dark priest… bearing the symbols of The Lady. Luckily, I did not sense evil from them, and explained our own predicament. They were kind enough to help us with our wounded, although it made me uncomfortable that their priest began spreading his influence and turning our refugees away from The Light. Not to mention that he spoke with me as if he was speaking with a little child… it seems that even those strangers were just as distrustful of elves as the denizens of Anar.

For most of the day, their Captain was nowhere to be seen, and I wasn’t allowed to go to their ship to look for her and to ask what her next plans are. Although Reverent Matthews was correct in pointing out that we have a bit of a language barrier… at least our cleric can speak Western Common, and they also have an interpreter. That human interpreter seemed to have been of a high rank among them, as he hangs a lot around their priest and Captain. He also seemed to be familiar with a little gnome from their ship, who seemed to like to keep to herself, but who looked incredibly interested in… seaweed. The last time that I saw her near the beach, she was looking and touching that muck. Well… to each their own. I’m sure that seaweed is useful – probably edible.

My greatest concern is getting all of these people to safety, and fast. The orcs are still chasing us, and Light-knows how fast they’ll find us. The Tiefling had apparently sent her scout to look for any sign of the orcs, and then reported back that she saw none, but that the entrance to this coast has become blocked off. Well… we weren’t planning on going back that way, were we? And now that we have no boats… perhaps we could use this strange flying ship to escape? If it is still functional, and if those Westerns would be hospitable enough…

As the night fell, I stayed at the refugee encampment near the beach, to watch over the survivors, and I have awoken in terror to the sound of screams coming from the ship!



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