To My Dearest Sister Tiyana,
I fear that this letter bares bad news, for I will not be returning shortly from my logging expedition as I have found a calling. I was deep in the forests of Minoc logging and making boards to bring back to you when I befell a most serious situation. I had just felled a oak tree and was in the process of de-branching it. The skies were clear and sun shining brightly, the heat felt good on my bared back. The birds had been chirping the most wonderful of melodies and all in the world seemed… right. Then suddenly those melodies stopped and silence befell the deep forest. I scanned what little could be seen through the thickets of bushes and trunks of trees. A gust of wind blew through my little self-made clearing and the hairs on my neck stood on end.
I heard a series of clicks coming from the north and I hefted my double bladed axe into my arms and stepped cautiously towards the sound. I crouched behind a bush and slowly pulled the branches from my view. And there before stood the most hideous of beasts I have ever witnessed. It looked like an ant... but huge. It was bigger than two of me and it had huge mandible claws that it clicked together sporadically the sound sending shivers down my spine. I turned to run… I am no warrior.. I had no armor to stop those wicked claws from tearing me apart. As I turned all I saw was branch. I lay on the ground watching a cloud pass by the sun as I tried desperately to gain back my breath. My head ached from where, I can only gather, I must have ran my thick head square into in my haste. The cloud past and I closed my eyes to the glare. Then I could feel a shadow spread across my face. I smiled as I thought it just another cloud. Suddenly a high-pitched screech brought me rushing back to reality. I snapped open my eyes to see that huge red armor plated ant staring me in the face. I rolled left just as one of those massive claws snapped where I had just moments before been. I gasped loudly and snapped my axe, which amazingly I had held onto during my encounter with that tree. It caught the beast square in the side.
Now I am no weakling my sister and that blow would have felled many a tree, but all I heard was a loud "thunk" and a grunt from the ant. I turned and ran again in absolute terror. This time I ducked the branch and headed for the trail in hopes I may be able to reach my horse and camp in a clearing beside the path. I was not 10 steps away from the beast when a liquid splat impacted on my back and searing pain shot through my entire body. I cried out so loudly that the quiet birds all scattered. I collapsed gasping for air and praying for release from the agonizing pain coursing through my body as the acid spit ate away what little clothing I had and into my skin. I laid face first into the soft moist moss covered ground waiting for death to come, as it surely would if not from the claws from the ant coming towards me, the acid still eating away my flesh. Suddenly I heard a bellow and words I did not understand. There was a flash of light, I had to close my eyes to the brightness, I could feel something calling to me deep in my head but ignored it as results of the recent activities. Then there was a crash and what could only be metal on armored ant plate, coming from behind me. A grunt and crash followed soon after. I rolled over, the pain forgotten, to see my enemy, the ant bearing down on a groggy knight dressed in golden plate armor. The ant was between him and his sword. Forgetting everything as adrenaline rushed through my body. I grabbed my axe and leaped onto my feet. I took but two steps and leaped landing on the ants back. With every once of my strength I struck that axe down on to the beasts neck in a gap in the hard armor. The hard armor split and my axe blasted deep into the creature's neck. Acid blood splashed onto my arms and legs. I leaped off the back rolling on the impact and came surprisingly to my feet. Anger and adrenaline aged me on. I sprinted for the beast, axe above my head. I swung in rapid succession, the first swing removing one claw. It landed 10 feet away still grasping at air. The back swing took the wicked beast in the neck right beside the gash I made not moments before. I felt the swing of the axe slow but not stop. The momentum of it spun me about putting me off balance. I quickly spun back around after recovering my footing to see the now headless ant twitching on the ground its acid blood soaking into the mossy earth.
It was then, sister, the pain hit me. Acid was eating my arms and legs, not to mention my back although the pain there had subsided somewhat. The golden plated man stood and limped towards his sword. He groaned as he picked it up.
"Well young warrior, as it turned out it was not I coming to the rescue but you coming to my rescue, well done lad!" He raised his hand and removed his golden helm. White hair spilled out and cascaded over his golden shoulders. " The name be Nigel, paladin, and I am indebted to you."
"Drakel, milord, Drakel Von Gorak, lumberjack." I replied grimacing. He glanced at my arms and immediately began chanting something. Soon a bluish light surrounded to me and before my very eyes I swear sister the wounds vanished, all pain dissipated. "Thank you, m'lord" I promptly replied.
"Don't be 'm'lord'n me lad, it is I who should be honoring you. That was a nifty move you made there. And if ya hadn't I would have not survived them claws." He smiled and called his white steed over with a whistle. " Come let's go to yer camp, I saw it on my way by, that's when I heard yer screamin" I picked up my axe and we walked through the forest. I was on edge glancing in all directions. But without event we made it to my humble camp.
"Lumber jack you said wasn't it?" he asked as I handed him a skin filled with water.
"Aye, but I do not feel satisfied with it, but you don't want to hear that." I replied taking the skin back after he had taken a deep drink from it. I lifted it to my lips and took a drink of my own.
"I have a question for you lad. When I came in I called to the gods to grant me strength and make this ant my sworn enemy, did you feel anything?" I choked. "Tis just a question lad you do not have to reply, for it is your business. But if you had.., then you too may have the calling. And by the way you swung that axe a great paladin you would be." I stared in shock at this great knight… no paladin. He was considering me as one of his own sister. There was none of that look that one gives us half elves. That contempt at our very blood, our longevity at not being truly human and not truly elf.
So I write this letter on my way to a moongate. I will pass it to someone when we reach this Luna that we seek or to a courier if one should cross our path. And I swear sister I will return home, someday, but first I must go for I feel somewhat more complete, more restful, at beginning this journey of my life. I will write soon to inform you of my travels and adventures and to let you know I am alright.
With Love and Honor, Your Brother,
Drakel Von Gorak
To My Dearest Sister Tiyana,
I write in hopes that my last letter was received intact for I fear I will have to place it into the hands of a man I believe is quite out of his mind. Much has happened since that time. Nigel, the Paladin that came to my rescue but two days ago, has become a good friend. We had no interesting encounters on the road towards Minoc and weather good tell today. It was at a cross roads where one might head northwards to Minoc or continue east to Vesper that we encountered a truly bizarre man.
The day was not so nice as what should be expected of a summer day. The clouds whirled above and the air smelled of rain that was surely coming by the dark nature of the clouds above. The wind howled over the mountains to the north swirling along the treetops. My golden hair was drawn across my blue eyes as I bent my head to the gust of winding, bowing to its power. Nigel wore his golden helm and armor as he rode straight backed on his white steed oblivious to the coming storm. The horse snorted and tossed its head in pure defiance of the coming storm, at least the beast seemed aware of the change in weather. We spoke little as we were both weary from the road and it had been a long day, coming near time to set up camp. Our destination was north to Minoc to a moongate, which would hopefully enable us to reach the destination in which we sought, Luna, the Paladin city.
Nigel has spoken to me of what I can expect. If it were true that during the encounter with the Solen Ant (I was informed that that is what the hideous beast is named) I felt the calling to the Paladin order then I will be in for a difficult and tedious period of training. I am to learn of things such as swordsmanship, tactics, healing, and the mystic arts of the Paladin. I cannot wait and I am therefore anxious to reach this moongate. An especially powerful gust of wind drove me to close my eyes against the flying bits of sand and leaves of the towering trees on the side of the path. When I opened them again the road in front was no longer empty. Instead stood a man no taller than my chest wearing the most oddities for clothing.
Bright green short pants, a yellow tunic was topped off with what could only be called a jesters hat in a most dreadful colors of green. Yellow. and orange. He had his head down into a book and had seen neither Nigel nor myself. In fact if we hadn't stepped aside I am sure he would have ran straight into Nigel's horse, he was that absorbed. Nigel and I locked eyes and he held a grin that spoke of laughter. "Good day sir and good travels!" Nigel shouted to the odd man's back.
"What!" The man stammered as he spun about, eyes as round as our mothers serving plates. He must have truly not noticed us for his hands threw the book; he had been so absorbed in, nearly ten feet into the air. If it weren't for Nigel's quick reflexes that book would have landed soundly into a puddle. "Oh now where did you be coming from scaring an old man such as myself like that… no manners I say… silly youth anyhow." He stammered so quickly I barely understood as Nigel handed the book back. "Now lads what be yous up to, to create such misery onto an old man as meself?"
At first I had thought he was joking about the age thing but as I walked closer I saw that his hair was white as snow and his darkest of green eyes spoke of age and wisdom that you would also see in the eyes of the elder Silvermoon Elves near our home even though they are smooth of skin. " I am Drakel, m' lord, Drakel Von Gorak and this is Nigel of the Paladin order of Luna. And you are?" I asked protecting my eyes from the recent gust of wind.
"Oh paladin eh… Luna you say, I been there, a busy place it be most certainly. And where do yous guys be heading on such a dreary day. I would think youngin's like yous would be in a tavern drinking and carousing with the ladies." He winked and knowingly touched the side of his nose and gave out a most heart filled chuckle that made it impossible to be nervous around the man.
"Nay good sir we be on most pressing business to reach the city of Luna as young Drakel here is required to undergo training there in hopes he may become the noble paladin that I foresee." Nigel said dismounting off his stead.
"Ah yes Luna I have been there before, a busy place I say, men in golden armor such as yerself walking around all high and mighty, are you a paladin then … I am sorry did you say yer name." The man looked at Nigel under squinted eyes betraying a sudden mistrust in us. " It is common courtesy to speak thy name when encountering others, eh? I have never met such rude youngin's as yerselves." He pointed accusingly at both of us. Nigel looked at me and shrugged so I spoke.
"Ah… I am sorry m'lord I should have introduced my friend and myself before hand please accept my apologies. I am Drakel and this is Nigel. And you are?" I asked adding a bow… can you believe it sister I actually bowed. (Don't laugh too hard sis')
"And where be you two headin' to trouble no doubt, young lads as yerselves?" He asked again. At this point I was getting rather worn of the conversation and decided it was best to move on, as this would lead nowhere.
"Ah Luna sir and if we plan to reach there in decent time we should leave your company if thy will excuse us." Again I bowed and turned to leave. Nigel gave me a wink and smile as he swung into the saddle with fluid ease.
"Luna! Well why didn't yous guys say so… I have a rune to Luna and if you wait but a few hours to rest my weary brain and meditate I will cast thee a gate so yous guys can be there tonight instead of two days hence." Both Nigel and me stopped in our tracks. This was surely a god send sister as I swear I did not want to walk another step on my worn feet let alone the next two days to reach this moongate. And So I sit writing this letter as the old man, for he still hasn't given us a name, sits quietly eyes closed in meditation. Oh wait he must be done for he is stirring…
Ha ha sister it just took us five minutes to remind this man why we are here and where we are going. But alas the gate is open and Nigel has checked and it is to Luna. So I must sign off. I will give this to the old man with explicit instructions on the front in hopes he will send it your way. I will write soon of my adventures in Luna.
With Love, Your Brother
Drakel Von Gorak