These are the collected, surviving journal entries of Jena, ranging from the 11th of Cal to the 19th of Trical, 1328.
Journal entries extend from as follow:
1328: Cal 11th, Cal 22nd, Cal 25th, Trical 19th, Trical 27th
The sun was bright that day we emerged from the Giants’ Tears. It was a relief to be free of the oppressive darkness and tones of rock and stone looming over our heads. The breeze coming through the forest was like the welcoming caress of a lover, or so I have heard in bard’s tales.
Though the weather was fine; the day was bittersweet when we emerged short a friend. I wish I didn’t have to leave your body in that evil darkness at the bottom of the cliff. I think you would have liked to have rested under sun-warmed rocks where flowers would grow in the spring and butterflies dance in the summer.
But, you are in a place of eternal summer now; safe from anymore harm and sadness. Rest well, my dear friend. I will miss your smile and laughter, remember your bravery and courage, and weep for all the might-have-been’s. You were almost a sister to me at the end. There was so much I wanted to ask you about, especially about relationships between men and women. Funny, but you were the only one I felt I could speak about my failings and inadequacies as a woman. It will be hard finding some one I can ask for advice about buying a dress (yes, I am thinking about buying one when we get to the next town) and make-up.
Oh what a fool I feel I have been! Now there is no one to tell me how much a fool I have been. I miss you so much already. It is as if a light, even one as small as a candle, has been estiguished; reducing the light around us, and leaving us with a longing for its light once again.
Rest well, my dear friend. I love you with all my heart and will miss you greatly in the coming days. But I ask you stay near my heart, for I feel we are in for some mischief that you will not want to miss.
We have arrived at the last place on Gaeleth I ever thought we would return to, Aboris’shifa in the company of the Sheik. It has been a long journey away from Shir Amanod, but as soon as a ship is ready we shall return their to lay claim to the map piece buried with Ye’amin. Alas, I get ahead of myself and leave out the details you would like most.
As soon as we left the catacombs beneath the Tears’ of the Giants; Ye’amin’s ring shone brightly; urging us east. We rested the day and the night beneath the stones. In the morning we left with haste when those extra-large mosquitoes returned with friends. The trip through the forest to the coast was uneventful. Upon the beach we found the oddest elf one could imagine; Seamus. He is a bard. He plays the bagpipes (not the odd part), and he was raised from infancy by dwarves (this is the odd part). Seamus speaks with a heavy Dwarven accent and doesn’t understand a lick of Elven. He is a handsome and good natured chap.
A storm rose up and we headed in land. We made camp and settled in for the night to let our clothes dry (we did get soaked before finding shelter). Lucian got a silly idea in his head to take a shower and had his clothes stolen by a shipwrecked group of kobolds. The elf, finding his robes and pack missing, returned to camp with nothing but a small branch for covering to ask us if we had taken his stuff. We were than approached by the kobolds who left a message carved on a bone (little stick figures, a ship, and a cage). It sounded like a plea for help, but we could not understand it. Seamus, who can speak kobold, of all things, tries to communicate with them. With the storm causing the tide to rise higher than normal, we follow the tiny creatures to a ship that had run aground on rocks off shore and was about to be torn apart by the storm.
I dove in the sea after the creatures and followed by a stranger we encountered following the kobolds (I’ll explain later). Seamus and N’Kara braved the waves later. The ship’s crews were all dead and were being eaten by a large scorpion. In the hold with a multitude of creatures was a druidic kobold in a cage. I tried to bend the bars, but lack enough strength. No tools were available and the kobolds could not find the key to the lock. Seamus arrived and picked the lock. We grabbed the kobold and the creatures and raced from the ship as the wind, waves, and rocks tore it apart.
Upon land we were thanked by the kobolds and the returned in land to find shelter from the storm. During the night Artimus, the stranger, N’Kara, and Lucian talked. Artimus left to return to Aboris and his church. Gunju was upset by Atrimus’ disappearance and frightened by the stranger who revealed himself to be a half-dragon named Xzaks (his real name is really long and unpronounceable by human tongue). Gunju would have killed him right then and there had not I and N’Kara interposed ourselves between them. Gunju left in a huff and I followed to talk to him. Suffice to say Gunju does not trust Xzaks and awaits proof that he is not a demon.
Atrimus, surprisingly, appeared with a priest of Olorin, a crew of fifteen, and their captain. They were there to take us back to Al Fahim. With little choice and even less information to continue the quest, I agreed to return to Al Fahim. In the five day journey to the desert nation I foolishly shared all our knowledge of the Spinstone and the quest to the priest and captain. Seamus proved to be very talented with his odd instrument and N’Kara almost seduced the captain.
We were met by a hostile welcoming party at the dock at the fortress of Tanel. The crew turned on us and the docks were guarded by fierce rangers. The battle that ensued was bloody and shrouded in fog. We were able to cut the ship free and retain three of the crew members to try to sail to freedom. Early into the evening when our situation looked grim, the Sheik transported himself to the deck of the ship. We then bargained with him to continue our quest. We learned two interesting facts from him; one, Brigian was forcing him to help us, and that he wanted Al Mudim for himself. He then transported us (after Atrimus was render senseless) to the street outside the temple to Mikindim in Aboris’shifa.
So we await a ship, and I am consumed by my foolishness in trusting these people and being to lead the group successfully. Seamus and Xzaks came close to death in the battle; a battle we should have avoided. I should have fought the captain and his men in the forest and continued on our own. The only reason I work with these men are to gain access to Ye’amin’s books, notes and resources to find more clues that will help in our search for Al Mudim. I am thinking about transferring leadership over to Gunju; but his alien culture and ideas could cause trouble. None of the others show the ability to be a better leader. I guess I am stuck with the job for now, but if I am asked to step down I will not say “no”.
Be glad my friend that you are not with us here and now. Even though I feel you and Seamus would have enjoyed each others’ company and our antics; things are complicated and very dangerous. My suspicion that dark forces seek the relic too is confirmed. Demons and undead will stand in our way each step, and people will try to take the Spinstone and map pieces from us. I can only pray Yatindar gives me wisdom to make the right choices, that Brigain is kind with our future, and that Galanus is not one of our enemies. Rest well dear friend, and know that you are always in my heart.
It is official. I am head-over-heels in love with Gunju. I know, I know…. I have taken leave of my senses. My senses fled when this amazing warrior from a distant land entered my life and stole my heart.
There is not enough blank pages in a Temple of Lul to thoroughly document every word, movement, gesture, or look that contributed to my present situation. I believe the beginning of the end was the duel he fought against the champion, hired by Ye'amen's family. I have seen him fight before, and have myself faced off against him – but in this fight, he was absolutely amazing. The speed and grace with which he moved is beyond the words of even a bard. The duel almost ended tragically, after Gunju almost killed his opponent. Between myself, N'Kara, and the priest (or priestess?) of Galanus, we were able to save the man. Gunju, for breaking the rule of no death, was given into my custody – on the donditions that he be given no weapons, food, or drink, and be confined in his room until dawn.
The night was spent talking of his homeland, and the beginning of the Chillian language. This was the first time I believe I have seen the man smile in al lthe months we have travelled together. I was mesmerized by the light that came over his face as he told me of the beauty and magesty of his land.
The following evening, Gunju invited me to accompany him to the home of Ye'amen's family. I was surprised and flattered. I was again, when I saw Gunju in an ornately embroidered robe he called a 'kimono' – and his positive appraisal of me in a dress. The dinner was wonderful, and the Chief Scribe's family so bright and vibrant. One of his sons asked for the price of my dowery, and Gunju responded that I was taken. My only response to this was to lamely say, “I am?” The man had informally claimed me as his. I wanted to catch his eye to see the truth that he truly returned my love – but he was receiving enthusiastic congratulations from the sons.
Since that night, I have sensed a growing closeness between us. It is like an itch in a spot on my back I can't reach. He is so close. He is almost always nearby. We talk and we laugh, but there is still a barrier between us. I want to cross it, to know this marvelous man more fully in every way, but fear, uncertainty, and a little doubt hold me back. I must know if he understands fully what I am offering him, and what he wants. I must know, and I will have a definate yes or no from him before I can continue.
PS - All is fair in love and war…
I barely know how to begin this letter. I am pleased beyond words that you are once more with us. There have been many times in the past months that I could have used some of your dry wit and skills. I have missed our little talks, and the times of silence where we were just content to be together. There is just so much to tell you, but paper can only hold a little – so I will be brief.
I am sorry to have to leave without saying 'good-bye', but I had to leave. I am pregnant with Gunju's child. I know this must come as quite a shock to you – I am not sure how to feel, myself. There is joy that Gunju has accepted me into his heart, and that there is a new life developing within my womb. It feels good to be rebuilding the family I lost so many years ago. I wish I could have seen you whole and healthy, after your return – but the spell blinded me for six days. (Oh, how Gunju fussed over me! He is very over-protective, and I will have to remedy this soon, before he drives me crazy.)
My feelings for Gunju endlessly amaze me. I can hardly describe the strength or depth of my devotion to this strange warrior. He has gone against almost everything he was taught, to believe in and to love me. It makes me wonder why I am worth it. His bravery is without question to defy his family, culture, and traiditions to confess his love. How grateful I am to have him when we touch – it is as if lightning courses from his body to mine. It energizes my spirit like the powers Yatindar grants me. He almost completes my life.
What will complete me is a family. Marrying Gunju (if he ever proposes) will be the first step. This child is the next. Someone to carry on my family's blood line, if not their name. I would also like to include you in this little circle, if you ware willing. I love you like a sister, and worry for you as if you were my own child, too. There was not a day since your death, that I did not think of you. Even now, the pain is still there.
I hope you are doing well, and adjusting to the party. Xzax can be gruff at first, but possesses a noble and true heart. N'Kara has connected with Xzax. She seems more relaxed and trusting of the party. Lucian has matured in his power, and as a person, but he still has some growing to do. I wonder how you are getting along with Seamus. He is a very dedicated man, and a skilled fighter, even if he denies it. I hope you will get time to visit. I wish to have a chance to catch up, and know what everyone else is doing. Please write soon. My prayers and love will always be with you, and the others. Take care.
Sorry I have not written sooner, but Gunju has me worn out. No, not in that way. He is starving for knowledge of Kur Maeth, Rakore, Karmen, and the gods and anything else not Chillian. It is exhausting trying to keep up with his hunger for knowledge. I believe it has something to do with our approaching marriage. I think he is trying to understand me so he can fit me better into his lands.
Love is a complicated thing. It is the greatest gift the gods gave us, in my opinion. It is a power in itself. It can raise cities, or destroy them. It brings life and death. It something that fills every part of you and can not be touched. Love is hard to describe. I tried once to describe to Seamus the calling of a cleric; it was very hard. You just know. The realization doesn’t come all at once; it sneaks up in the middle of the night and smacks you between the eyes. When I first met Gunju; I never thought this was the twin of my heart. I was very impressed with his fighting abilities when we first met, but his was loneliness and vulnerability that captured my heart. I loved him even if it met he would kill me for dishonoring him. I just couldn’t let someone kill themselves for no reason.
But, you also must be patient. Love can not be rushed or forced on someone. You must not change what you are doing, but do not push the issue with Seamus. I do not approve of any scheme to force Seamus into finalizing his feelings. I know it hurts to wait; I didn’t want to with Gunju. But believe me when I say it will turn out for the best in the end. Trapping Seamus in your plan would be harming the free spirit you find so attractive. It would hurt him and you in the end.
Now, concerning your last letter; what ever it is, it is NOT you. We are not dictated by our bodies, but our spirits. The body is just a shell, a husk, and will not follow us into the next existence. Our spirit is what truly defines us. It is our heart, our souls, our dreams and ambitions. The spirit lives on after the body is gone, but the body cannot live with out the spirit. Whatever evil creature that you saw in your dream is not you, not now or ever. You are you no matter what form you inhabit. And remember, we love you, not that body. I love you, Gunju loves you too, as does all the others. We are your friends and will stand with you against all your enemies; even your past.
Rest assured that my love is with you always and will never leave. Though miles separate us; my heart is with you always.