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Two Tails…. Er… I mean Tales.

Lt. Gwenn’s journal

“Well, a prehensile tail can be quite… fetching, Gwenn.”

I swear, I don’t know what made me blush about that– her words, the image in my mind of Marco’s tail, or the thing she said about lockpicking. I do not think she was talking about actual locks.

In any case, the conversation was strained, to say the least. But it– and Tristram’s girl trouble– did prompt me to consider writing him a letter. Apparently, it’s not such a bad idea, if you want someone to continue to care about you and keep you in their thoughts while out saving the world (or just your own skin).

Tristram’s girl trouble. Indeed. Colette is. Well. She’s trouble.

I do not like her. And I’m not sure why, except perhaps her brashness, her aggression, lack of manners, her bossiness, and the way she is so self-absorbed she thinks it’s appropriate to demand Tris write to her, no matter what dangers he might be in! Plus, she turned me into a rabbit. A genuine, floppy-eared, fluffy-tailed, panic-hearted rabbit.

In short: she’s probably perfect for him. And…. I don’t have to love her. She is not my betrothed. She’s his, which means the only time I’ll need to deal with her is if something happens to Tristram requiring me to bring his body and personal effects home.

Meeting Colette and Lady Cale renews my determination to keep Tris from harm, if only so I never have to deal directly with either woman again.

And oh, she did get my hackles up when she was berating him. Why do these women think it’s acceptable to speak to him that way? Do they not know what he’s like? Where they see passive acquiescence, I see quiet strength. Have they never realized that his loyalty is unshakable? How could anyone who truly knows him doubt him, even if no letter comes for six months or more? True– we were reported dead. But if someone you love is supposedly dead, you do not respond to their restoration with anger and recriminations, but with warmth and joy!

At least… that’s what I would have thought. Before we met up with Kyala.

And I got my own dose of talking-to from that quarter, mainly for seeking her out in the first place.

Kyala has apparently become a dedicate of Ioun, and a high-placed one now. She had the books Ser Carrigan had checked out in her office, but refused to let us view them. She also hinted that she knows something about what happened in Ilyria and to the invokers, but wouldn’t tell me what. She sent us a map to Carrigan’s expedition, and sent us on our way in the morning.

I do not trust her. She’s holding back, and what she isn’t telling us could be lethal. Holding back secrets about Vecna’s sister could literally kill Firiel, especially if there’s any connection between that and the library. Letting us follow Ser Carrigan to the library will almost certainly mean his death, whether he succeeds in his quest or not. At best, if he is wildly successful, his execution could be delayed. Could it be delayed long enough to stop the Regent? Could it be delayed enough to smuggle him off the continent?

And keeping information about what destroyed Ilyria…. well, that’s unacceptable. Of all the mysteries and fears we’ve faced since this all started, nothing terrifies me as much as that thing. Firiel’s hitchhiker and even her blood lust are frightening… but they are small, localized, limited to one victim at a time. Her tragedy is great, but it is a personal tragedy, not one that has swept an entire people into the sea.

Ilyria… was a whole island burned. The invokers were an entire group, hundreds of devout followers of Erathis, obliterated. Whatever that is, it is a weapon that cannot be permitted to go unchecked.

Kyala knows something about it. And she isn’t telling me.

Is that because she doesn’t trust me with the information? I doubt it. She would have to believe I’m capable enough to do something with it, and I saw in her eyes last night. Kyala thinks I’m just a child. Just a girl who should be playing with dresses.

She might be right in some ways. I might be a child. But she’s hiding this from me, and I can’t accept that she’s doing so for innocent reasons.


M–

It’s been brought to my attention that it’s courteous to write to special friends and associates when one’s lifestyle is hazardous. Marco, I hope you do not mind me taking the opportunity to write to you, as I do not have many other friends who aren’t in my present company and sharing in my peril.

Going to Vilnera was interesting, to say the least. Oh, I do wish I could say we were triumphant, but the truth is, we were flummoxed, captured, and barely escaped with our lives. Indeed, we did clean out the mines, but at the possible expense of releasing an unknown reptilian beast. Now, should you hear rumors of dragons to the south… well, my elf companion assures me that it’s little worse than an overgrown lizard with wings. Goodness– dragons!

Sava had to be bypassed for safety reasons, but I wonder…. did you sense me staring across the lake that night? Or do you know how hard it was to turn right at that fork in the road?

Ultimately, we paid a short visit in Aethmell. To our delight, we found a new inn us opening there to replace the one that burned down. However, it is quite lovely and should carry some of the best ales from Fimmelheim and whiskeys from Numaire. There’s even a fine smoking selection, and of course rooms for weary travelers. Of course, you should visit sometime. Be sure to visit in spring. A fine time for travelling such short distances, particularly if the snow has melted.

Evan wanted to continue on towards Cale’s Cross, where there was quite a ruckus when some miscreant tried to pass himself off as a deceased relation of the Cale family! Lovely scandal, I do say.

After that, we traveled on to Kollund, where our knight met a dear friend of his and introduced her to us. Really, she is such a striking girl. Did I mention, I felt downright transformed by her acquaintance? Looking at the two of them reinforced in me the importance of ensuring his safety, such that he might return to her in one piece.

I suppose our path has now brought us to Masir, where an old friend of mine has found a new home among the clergy. Briefly reacquainted, I was relieved to see her well and whole, though I do wonder at what has happened to her in the years since I saw her last. Remembering the incident you and I both witnessed, albeit separately– she may know something of it, but will not speak of it. Ah, I do not suppose you have any more insight into its source?

Really, it is no matter. You know there is always a new quest beckoning tomorrow. I can’t discuss it openly, of course, but we are always seekers of knowledge.

Speaking of seeking knowledge. There is something I wanted to ask before heading to certain doom. Have you found me in your Lineages yet? Even yesterday, I checked the latest edition. Records still exist with my name.

Ever your friend,

–G

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