Sunday, 26 April 2015
I spent some time working with a pickaxe at the excavation site. I needed something to do to keep myself out of mischief - and some sort of exercise to halt the apparent tendency my armour has to shrink if I stay idle for too long! I really must have a word with Denion about that when the opportunity arises. My work was interrupted by the crier calling that demons had invaded the area though of course shut away down in the gloom of the place I was digging, I was unaware of their arrival 'til the voice rang out across the lands.
Once matters were settled, the conversation turned to people digging at the site, maybe hoping to find some sort of treasure. And the topic expanded to include trading in rarer items. The former isn't the main reason I visit the excavations - there may still be something to be found to aid us in our labours to defend the lands - and the latter I don't indulge in. I did comment that maybe some have more acquisitive natures than others.
And I did add a point that many already know and possibly do themselves. If I have purchases planned - equipment for myself or others say, or potions to distribute - then I make sure I take time to farm for the needed plat, and to do so before paying out on the items I need. And I will perhaps farm for more than I actually need at the time. No reason why not - coin can be considered part of our equipment, to be used as needed.
And as for treasure ... every time I rest with Ellyana held close and secure in my arms I know that I have already found the greatest treasure the lands could ever offer me.
Monday, 13 April 2015
Coin in hand, I went to visit the tallyman as I do every few cycles. But he would not accept the plat. My repeated pleas fell on deaf ears as he turned away, pretending to busy himself with other work.
I've had to put aside for now the armour that Denion made, and also much of my other equipment. However I found a parchment that mentioned other gear I can still use, though with nowhere near the effectiveness I have become used to. Fartown, Milltown, Ryndall, Caern - it seemed there was quite a journey in store in order to get hold of what I can use. And immediately I ran into the first obstacle. The tallyman has closed the ferries to me, changed the locks of the doors to UnderValorn so it's not possible to traverse those so-familiar tunnels that have served me well over time. It's always been my belief that one should be as self-sufficient as possible but now, for the first time in many cycles of the 'rifter, I needed help just to get to Fartown. Fortunately the cannon was kind to me once business there was done, and it dropped me just outside the portal to Ryndall. Again, once I bought what I needed I could take the portal to Milltown, then walk to Dundee. Pausing only for healing I made my way to Caern, arriving rather wet to find the last item on my shopping-list.
I've helped many make their way around the lands, opening hatches and doors for them. Perhaps not for those specific enchanters who have helped me these past few turns, and to whom I owe my thanks, but the principle is the same. The enchanters assist me, and they in turn will have been helped by others, others who perhaps I have aided in their travels. And so long as this spirit of co-operation and comradeship endures we can stand strong as we defend this place we call home.
So, for now, what to do? I fear that training may be out of the question. Creatures I've been used to despatching almost without a thought now leave me half dead before finally falling to my blades. Many places I can not visit, others I can not reach unaided. I've found a place where I can farm, after a fashion, though it involves a lot of running around between my chosen spot and a nearby healer. The exercise will do me good, no doubt! And at least I can feel that I am still useful as I get rid of a few seadwellers.
Someone asked if the current setbacks will stop me from attempts to defend the lands. The answer is no. It may not be possible for me to fight as effectively as usual, to take on the creatures I habitually fight, but that won't stop me. And no, don't misunderstand: I'm no hero, I don't put myself forward as an example of what one should do under adversity. I'm a rogue of the lands, no different from many others. And I'm blessed (or cursed) with a streak of stubbornness that doesn't let me stop trying to do what I do, and to keep on doing it.
Friday, 10 April 2015
When it comes to the subject of plants my thoughts are somewhat ambivalent. Ellyana of course loves them as she does all good things in nature. The Ni shrub intrigues me, festooned as it is with berries which look so much like the bud roses on her cloak that I feel there must be some bond, some connection, between them. Many flowers and herbs have their uses I'll admit. My lady uses them for her healing salves and potions, while I seek those with more toxic properties, to use on my blades. As I commented a couple of turns back while we were being treated to a most delicious meal, often Ellyana and I will both find a use for the same plant - the poisonous or beneficial properties demonstrated being dependent on the strength of infusion made or the manner of its production. Flowers can be decorative as well as providing a source of food for bees. And without the bees, we'd not have the sweet dainties and drinks so beloved by many.
On the other hand, I have to say I've seen far too many plants this last cycle, and not in a pleasant way. I've spent marc after marc training in the greenhouse. The air is warm, and heavy with the reek of vegetation. It's not always too easy to see, and the aggressive inhabitants are quick to tear their roots free from the ground to launch an attack on any who walk past. I lost count of the numbers as I hacked away at the lumbering brutes, but eventually I reached my goal. And all the time my dearest Ellyana was beside me, offering blessings and healing, smiles and support.
And after the greenhouse - the maze of tunnels beneath the volcano on Kili. It's a terrible place down there. The air is tainted with choking fumes, so tainted that you can hardly breathe and your eyes stream. The passages twist and turn, so much so that even the most capable reader of charts might go astray. Certainly my own small ability was sorely taxed as I sought the way out, coughing and half-blinded, Ellyana's hand grasped firmly in mine. And sometimes not only her hand. The darkness and the foul air affect Ellyana deeply, her steps slowing as the heat and stench bring on a blinding headache leaving her incapable of movement. And in those times I'd not hold her hand in mine, but carry her in my arms through heat and darkness, searching for a way up to light and air that though filled with a rain of ash is somewhat sweeter. And then on to the beach where a soak in the water would cleanse and cool us.
It's no load to carry the one you love, no imposition to give help if needed. Can we quantify the help we give? I think not. It's a calculation that can not, and certainly should not, be made. I recall, vaguely, that very subject being discussed long ago, and my own response. My thought has always been, when it comes to protecting and assisting the one who holds your heart and your very soul, that you freely give whatever is needed.
Ambivalence about plants, yes. But not when it comes to the well-being of my lady. I always have tried, always will try, to do all I can for the one who holds my entire being in her hands. And as so many have discovered, that is no labour, no burden. And it brings its own joy.