(270 Moliko 377: The Crossing, Zoluren)
Found by a hale and sturdy young oak on the town green was an open journal. Many pages had been torn out but one entry remained…
“I find there is little else I can occupy my time these days than to scribe in my journal. There are many ages of history, but I believe that each individual goes through ages, or perhaps its stages. Sometimes it feels like ages so I will choose that term for now. In my first age, I was an energetic young Mur. Believing the world was mine to do as I pleased, I explored the various guilds to find a philosophy that would suit my needs. I remember the look that Gauthus gave me as I barged in the mage”s guild. He tried to convince me that he could help me. The arrogance I had when I replied, “No, I can help you.” That still makes me chuckle. I continued on my way through the middens. Such a horrid place, filled with the lowlife of the lands. Many of my people reside there. It pains me to see such conditions. I stumbled on the observatory where I heard of the famed Kssarh. He was a Mur like me, so I felt that I would explore what he had to offer. I walked into his chamber, he greeted me with an insult. I greeted him in kind and was promptly tossed out of the window. It was a long fall down with only the hard ground to stop the descent. I broke a few bones, and my ego was bruised. To this day, my tail aches in the cold weather.
I was wandering the streets of the Crossing one morning when I happened upon my friend, Jokbed. Seeing my confusion or perhaps lack of direction, he spoke of riches and adventure and encouraged me to seek one known only as ”the black”. I shrugged him off saying I would consider it and went on my way. It was a matter of days later that chance would find me face to face with the one named. I was being chased by the town guard for… liberating a weapon from it”s captivity. I made my way into an area where I felt I could elude their patrols and came across something I had not discovered before. As I entered, I found myself bound and gagged. What happened next changed my life forever. I stood there motionless as the black instructed me on what it meant to be who I really was. All I could do was absorb his teachings and beg for more. He sent me on my way with a smile, or maybe it was a smirk knowing I probably wouldn”t survive…
Many years later, I came across the only woman I would ever come to love. A beautiful Elven bard she was. I courted her for many months and when all seemed doomed to failure, she decided that she wanted me in her life. Thus began my second ”age”. We shared many adventures and I hesitated to tell her of my chosen direction. However, she just smiled at me and said, “I already know.” I questioned my own ability to keep such things hidden and if I was really an open book, but in the end, she was a very perceptive woman.
Chance, fate, choice, whatever one may call it, brought me into my third age. While traveling alone along the northern roads, the call of a raven drew me towards the woods. I searched in vain until deciding I should continue on. As I made my way back to the road, I glanced up to see a thin raven staring back at me. Having not eaten that day, I pondered making it my next meal but just stood there as it gazed upon me with some strange intent. Question upon question went unanswered. I felt foolish speaking to some strange bird in the trees. Mocking myself, I concluded in rhyme. I still recall the words that would change my fate forever.
‘Raven eyeing from the trees,
Call you have, answer me please.
I stand in the cold, hungry and of tire,
Speak now before I cook you in my fire.’
As I turned to make my way home, the raven spoke back to me in rhyme. Those words have faded from my memory, but they led me to one who would become my second mentor. I would return to the same spot many times in my third age to speak with the enchanted bird. It was on a cold winter”s day, a few years before the Gorbesh came, that a figure emerged from a tower and approached me. He spoke little, just motioned for me to follow, and follow I did. He spoke of ages past. Not the kind of ages in one”s life, but many lives long since forgotten. He spoke of wars gone by, and wars to come. He continued of the great warriors of past, and ones yet to be reborn. I wondered why he spoke these things to me and why I chose to remain and listen, but I did. There were many adventures in the third age, some best not remembered or written. But of my second mentor I can only say, he was a man of great conviction and thought. I do not know of good, nor evil, I know only of quest and deed.
My fourth age may perhaps be my last. I have not heard from the raven in many years and I find myself becoming old and feeble, sleeping more than wake. My beautiful Elven bride remains only in my memories. I returned to Ratha not long ago to see the house we once shared now stand abandoned. I smiled slightly, gazing upon the overgrown ivy along the crumbling walls. I traveled back to the lands I called home. I had never really settled in one place, but I find the green very comforting to me. I think of my friend Jokbed, and of my Elven wife. I dream of the talking bird and the man who taught me of quests. I have little left except a charm he gave me. I keep it safe from curious eyes and have only revealed it to ones who know of such things. Perhaps I will pass it on, or maybe it will fade when I do. My fire dims and the weather changes to winter. I wait for the end to come and recall the ages I have lived with a smile. May Harawep watch over me and those in my memory. -S.”