Aetah: Dreams of the Deep

Seren's Journal I

- 1 -

I despise these wretched human lands.

Thanks to my obligations to that madman, I have been stuck in Whiteport for so long that I myself am going mad. I have been sustaining myself by offering my services to the nobility here, but it is all a frustrating endeavor and I am learning nothing that will further my abilities or bring me closer to ending my contract so that I may return home.

At this point, Whiteport has been passively under siege for…some while. I have been less than diligent about keeping track of time. I am unclear as to why this siege is happening. The city is mostly conducting business as usual, but I doubt it will be sustainable for long.

Now is a good time to get out.

- 2 -

After making inquiries as to who outside this city could use my services, I was approached by a noblewoman, her bodyguard, and a child. She is offering me a great sum to accompany them to an isolated location. She introduced herself as Lady Lucila, though that is clearly not her full name. She conducts herself as well as a human can, I suppose, though the same cannot be said for her attendant.

She is certainly withholding important information. Unfortunately, I am desperate to leave and her offer is good. This is either a trap, an impossible task, or both. Hopefully this will not end in my being sacrificed in order to use my magical fae blood in some sort of ritual.

We will be setting sail in a few days.

- 3 -

I am beginning to doubt my employer’s means of paying me. Our vessel is a slovenly old dinghy that is unsuited to people of our station. Furthermore, I fail to understand why we are bringing a child, of all people, along on this excursion.

To add further insult, they hired an uncivilized barbarian whose “conversation” I have been forced to endure for the extent of our journey. I am apparently to work with this person for whatever task it is they have us doing.

Perhaps it would be a mercy if all of this does turn out to be a trap. At least then I would not have to listen to this clod speak any longer.

- 4 -

Where do I even begin?

We finally reached shore only to find a burning keep being overrun with unspeakably disgusting vermin. Lucila and the child stayed behind while the rest of us followed her bodyguard up to the keep.

Up in the walls of the keep, a group of other people were doing battle with these vermin and their leader. A creature called Netherfang (christened “Netherfuck” by the ever-so-eloquent dwarf) evidently had been summoning and commanding these chitinous abominations. It was summarily defeated before I had the opportunity to get within the walls. After it fell, our combined groups cowed the chitins into retreating.

It was at this point that I had the dubious fortune of acquainting myself with these individuals. There was a human in armor, a cleric it seems, who I have not had the opportunity to converse with. The dwarf with the badger immediately set about rifling though the corpse of the creature formerly known as Netherfang. Strangely, she was one of the less off-putting people I’ve met in the past several days. She is a studious naturalist and has diligently taken notes over her travels, compiling them into an encyclopedia. I can respect that.

Then there is the other one. It is as if the fates have conspired to grind my dignity into dust. A half-breed warlock with the most embarrassing magical predilections. He lacks any finesse and his primary use of magic is essentially offensive pyrotechnics. His immediate course of action after the cessation of battle was to attempt to eat the vermin. These on their own would be bad enough, but no, this man is the first person with any arcane expertise that I have met in ages. Two arcanists can always do more than one…and I must work with him to expand my grimoire.

We regrouped and went inside the part of the keep that was still intact. I met one more individual, a sanctimonious herbalist harboring petty superstitions about my kind. Hopefully I will not need to collaborate closely with her.

It was then that my employers introduced themselves to the others and explained to all of us the reason for their presence at the keep. The king of Hisalia is dead. The child is his heir. The boy I had been calling her bodyguard, is her cousin. Human politics are frustratingly mortal.

I was blessed with great fortune to be an attendant of the child queen’s coronation. In this squalid, blood-splattered keep. Long live the queen, though she is mortal, so it will not be long enough. Assuming she survives.

I want to go home.

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Sina

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