Excerpt: Journal Entry

* Author’s Note: I tend to change up the POV in my fiction from time to time. It is a writing technique that I like, and can appreciate the merits of.

(Looking for other excerpts? The prologue can be found here; another one, Day of Departure, can be found here.)

Journal Entry: 17 Sun’s Dusk, 2E 582

I have decided to pen about some of the people and places that I encounter on my journeys, making it easier to tell of them in my letters home – if I don’t note things daily, if not hourly, I might forget important details. There has been so much happening lately, my poor head is awhirl! Jotting things down will help clear it, I think.

I have been invited to join two different guilds in the past two days, which was a bit of a surprise! I had always heard that it was difficult, at best, to get an invitation to any guild, and finding ones that are worth joining is an ordeal in and of itself.
One guild is loosely-based, with members of it scattered far and wide. They are adventurers and explorers, mainly. They roam the land seeking new places to discover and explore, monstrous creatures to battle, and the forgotten cities of ancient civilizations, whether they are above or below the earth. The task that they gave me to do involves braving an underground den of spiders, which I have yet to complete. The arachnids are among the most deadly in existence, bearing venom for which there is no cure – one bite will certainly doom an unfortunate soul. I am to slaughter the largest spider that I can find, and bring back one of its legs and mandibles as proof – and, I must sing the tale of the battle! I had great trepidation about this adventure, at first, but the second guild that has invited me to join their ranks has renewed my confidence and given me hope. They approached me while I was dining at the tavern the other night; they were having a loud party of celebration and saw me talking with the adventurers, and sat with me for a time before leaving.

They are a relatively small, but seemingly close-knit group, consisting of nearly all of the races of the land. If I were to join, I would be the only one representing my homelands, at least for the moment. There are few of my countrymen here, which leaves me yearning for the sights, sounds, and smells of home more often than I care to admit to myself. A brew which is highly sought-after by my people is kept in stock at the tavern – the taste of it overwhelmed me with loneliness. These cold winds blowing from the nearby mountains would chill me to the bone, if Ingvar hadn’t told me the proper attire to wear. The clothing from my homeland is sometimes suitable during the day, when the sun warms the air, but when the sun goes down, the temperature drops considerably during this time of the year. At least I’m not in the frigid city far to the north of this pleasant one on the lake; it is ice-bound for these next four months, and heavy snow-storms make travel there virtually impossible. I left that region just in time!

I digress – this is how scattered and fragmented my thoughts are, recently. Whenever I try to think of the smaller guild and the people who are members, my mind seems to drift off to common, mundane thoughts and affairs. As I was mentioning, they represent nearly all of the races of the lands, but seem to mainly be the dark elves – their kind seems to be quite prolific, like the cockroaches some of them remind me of. I’m not trying to be cruel or hateful, but the dark elves, especially the women, fill me with slight loathing and I can’t figure out why. They seem polite enough, but some of them have eyes like spiders – black, glittering, and soulless. The armour that they sometimes wear adds to, and enhances, that insect-like appearance.

The leader of the guild is a mystery – I have yet to learn what his name is. He is tall and lean of build; always clad in dark leather clothing, face shrouded by a cowl day or night. I have never seen him remove it yet, even indoors, so his racial background is also unknown to me, as of yet. His eyes burn with an intensity that I don’t believe that I’ve seen or experienced before. It is terrifying, in a way that I can’t describe, yet mildly intriguing. I find myself wanting to tell him everything about myself when I am in the same room with him, and it is all that I can do to bite my tongue and remain silent. I think the thing that helps me hold my thoughts is his constant companion and possible consort, Evesori. She is a dark elf by appearance, but is quite pale for her kind. Her eyes watch everyone, staring with a hunger that reminds me of a starving lion. The clothes that she wears – or rather, doesn’t wear – would make even the most common courtesan blush with shame. Her tops are always tight, low-cut, and midriff-baring. Her breeches are thin and clingy, leaving nothing to the imagination. For all that she exposes, she might as well be wearing nothing at all.

There is another woman – well, a girl, really – who also seems to be at his side when Evesori is not. Her name is Wrenna, and she is a sylvan elf who works at the tavern. She is always clad in the common clothing of a servant, but isn’t unattractive. Wrenna seems less intimate with him than Evesori, as she speaks politely to him with words of respect, but I can’t help but think that I noticed him embracing her tightly in the stairwell the other night, before he and his little party left. I’m probably imagining things, and why their personal business would be of any concern to me strikes me odd, yet here I am penning down these idle side-thoughts. I suppose that I’m still indecisive, and looking for reasons to delay this important decision-making. I suppose that I wouldn’t want to be in a group that engages in clandestine, low-brow activities, as it wouldn’t do any good to associate with coarse people. They seem nice enough, yet something nags my mind about them…something beyond the concerns I’ve already written about.

At any rate, I have been given a few days to decide whether to join them or not. It doesn’t seem like a bad idea, especially given the task that lies before me. Their numbers might help me in defeating the spider-queen. Who knows? Perhaps they would have information about a few of the other places that I might be tasked to explore, and might be willing to help me if I join.

The oil is burning low, so I’m going to close this journal for now. I shall write more tomorrow after I’ve made my decisions. Sleep beckons…I hope to dance with Endymion in my dreams.

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