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The Journal of Calamar Eldanil:
14: The Path To Glory
7th Sunflowers 591
I am not much for writing journals.
I have never felt the need to write down my thoughts at all, though I know this to be a favourite pastime of Calamar’s.
Emotions come to me, I feel them, I act upon them, and they’re gone. Or they linger… and I act upon them again. I don’t examine them. I don’t write them down.
I have never been one for introspection. I live in the Now. Yes, there is a certain amount of planning that goes into action. But I tend to rush in without fully considering the consequences of my actions.
I have paid for that lack of planning this day. In blood not mine.
That is why I feel I must write now. To remind myself of my folly … and perhaps to tell just how much Calamar means to me when I am simply not eloquent enough to put such thoughts into words that will do it justice. I pray that he has the opportunity to read this... someday… somehow…
A part of me is gone. I feel out of sorts and … empty. It is a feeling I am unfamiliar with.
But I know what I must do, no matter the consequences. This is the first time a course of action for me has been so utterly clear that I can do nothing else. There was so little true planning before, when all was said and done. Planning is not my strongpoint. And now, both my head and my heart tell me the same thing. I cannot live as I am now. I cannot simply let it be. I will not rail against the fates and talk about what is “fair.” Life – and death – happens. But it was too soon. I cannot believe this is what was meant to happen. Not for him. Not for those whose lives he has touched. Not for me…
Am I selfish? Yes. I’m quite sure I am. I’ll accept that judgement if it is said of me. I am far from perfect. I wonder sometimes what it is Calamar sees in me…
Am I doing something I will regret? No. Never. Even if he decides against my desires, I will have done everything in my power to find out if that is what he really wants. I want … It doesn’t matter what I want. Not really. I want him to be happy. If he is happier there … Apart from me … If it is too late and he has forgotten all we’ve shared…
A part of me will die then. Perhaps more than a part. But I will know he is happy. That will have to be enough.
This is the last part of the tale though. I should start at the beginning. That is the way of things, isn’t it? The beginning… If I can remember it all… Corellon grant that you read these words some day, Calamar… They are as true an account as I can make.
I prepared my spells that evening before meditation. My magic is the only thing in which I am disciplined. Calamar would chuckle to hear me say that, but he would also know it to be true. We knew the following day would bring a battle. Both of us could feel it in our bones. As if the earth pulsed with it. Violence in the air… He prayed for his spells that morning and I still remember the way the sunlight looked in his hair, streaming from the lone window in our room within the inn. I remember the tenderness that swelled within me. I remember touching him lightly, fingertips at the back of his neck. And I remember what he said to me, as clear as if he were saying it now.
“My dearheart one,” he called me. “These past months basking in the embrace of your love have been solid proof of the power of the Seldarine.” He always put so much stock in the Gods. And looking at him, I could see the way they filled him with certainty. For a moment, I confess I was envious of that certainty. The way Corellon, himself, shone from within him like a bright light. “Whatever is to happen today, know that I love you more than all else and I feel this love shall carry me through even unto the plains of Arvandor. A kiss for luck and know his love is yours forever.”
A kiss he received indeed. Words could not convey what I felt then. I have never been nearly so good at words as he. But we could not be distracted for long. The enemy would attack mere moments later, just as the sun was painting the sky a distant red with its rising.
When we left the inn, we could see Corran and Sousa upon the wall. Calamar called out to them. “Courage and perseverance, friends!” he said. “Your gods shall watch over and protect you!” The conviction in his words made me smile and squeeze his free hand, just as he tossed a salute to Corran and blew Sousa a kiss.
The enemy arrayed outside the walls attacked from all sides. As we walked out that morning, seeing what there was to see, we noticed signs that they were approaching from the ocean-side as well. We passed word about that to the guards and then went about the business we had all discussed the evening before – namely, making sure that the tunnels beneath the town were well fortified. We found that the enemy was already well underway with their own plans in that regard… A fleetingly heard magical incantation later, and huge men, dark as coal, had entered the underground tunnel through the blocking stone. Obviously, our foes planned to storm the town from within. That was, of course, not something we could allow. We tried to hide in order to take them by surprise, but Calamar and I are not built for that sort of thing. We were spotted and the enemy moved in – barbarians and a supply of undead. It was not a pretty sight.
What happened then was quicker than it had any right to be. But that is what happens in the heat of battle. Calamar was magnificent in his ability to take care of those undead. All my friends did well. Narion and Rackhe were both death-wielding machines I was very glad to have on my side. I did the best I could to support them all, casting spells and using my bow and rapier and even my spiked gauntlets as needed. We took many injuries during that fight. And when Lazarus Solnee, that scum of a mage, made his presence known, he sent a magic ball of fire towards us to announce it. A cleric of some sort in Solnee’s employ cast a silence spell on a pebble and threw it towards us to keep us from casting any spells in return. I was already invisible at that point so I picked up the pebble to toss it back at them. And the fight began anew.
It is all a blur to me now. Images and emotions and violence. I know that Solnee retreated with his cleric, though I cast a Web at him. It only worked for a short time. I know that violence sang in my veins. Magic was cast back and forth doing damage on both sides. Weapons were wielded with great and terrible result. Narion nearly fell but was revived by Calamar just in time, once again seeing to others before tending his own wounds. Rackhe was determined to get to Solnee, Narion, to make short work of that annoying cleric, the two of them tumbling around and rushing through the enemy as if they were nothing but tall grass in a field. In the midst of all this, I too was feeling the bite of my wounds. I cast a Fly spell and lifted myself above those that could harm me in order to recover and return to the fight. Calamar, finding himself surrounded by the slashing and driving weapons of numerous enemies, and now bleeding, bruised, and battered from so many – too many – grievous wounds, seized an opportunity of a break in their attacks and flew up to join me to finally see to use his divine powers to heal himself. It was then that Solnee launched a fireball at Narion – hitting us all – including Calamar and I hovering near the ceiling. This proved to be too much for Calamar and he fell…
I remember the very moment. The way my breath caught upon seeing him hit the floor… Watching as his eyes dulled over with the spark of life leaving his body… I followed him down to see if there was anything I could do to revive him, the enemy all but entirely forgotten, but he was already gone. His wounds proved too much for his small frame to bear. Grief was momentarily consumed in anger. Fury I have never felt in all my life … I drew a scroll whereupon I had engraved a fireball spell and I threw it at Solnee with all of that fury, wanting him to burn… It was enough to distract him at least – until Rackhe could finish the job. Seeing Solnee’s head felled from his shoulders was all I needed at that moment. The barbarian shaman was still about making a nuisance of himself, but he was a useful target for my aggression and once again, Rackhe and Narion came to the rescue, finally killing the creature. Narion was sorely wounded once more by that point and Rackhe was able to call forth a small measure of power from a wand and heal us in order to continue the fight.
But the fight had gone out of me. Seeing Calamar’s lifeless body upon the ground nearly undid me entirely. We spoke, my friends and I. Of the battle. Of the equipment strewn about the place now that our enemies were dead. I remember telling Narion and Rackhe to gather it when they were able. It is a wonder I had the presence of mind to speak at all. But the fight was far from over and Narion and Rackhe would not be held back for long. They left to add their skill to the continuing fray. I could not join them. I could not leave Calamar’s body alone and unattended.
I have been told there was more fighting. That my friends were sorely pressed, their skill tested. I have already said I am selfish. I was not there to help them. I could think only of what I had lost. Calamar was gone and the world around me had gone pale and colourless. I gathered his lifeless body into my arms as tears streamed down my cheeks. I could not stop myself. And it hardly mattered. There were none to see me. I would not have cared if there were.
I remember I prayed. I kept thinking, “Calamar would laugh if he could see me now…” but I prayed. Corellon … I have never been one to call upon you. But I am begging you now. Do not take him from me – from us … Please… I will do anything you ask of me… Anything …
I know Narion returned then. I know that I was still weeping. And praying, Calamar’s holy symbol clutched in one of my hands as I cradled his body against me with the other.
I have been told that the Forces of Light prevailed that day. That dwarves, elves and humans all fought together to secure that victory. I have been told it was glorious. But for me, there was no victory. There was only loss. Yes, my selfishness knows no bounds. As relieved as I was that the battle was won, it was a hollow thing for me. I do not know what I would do if offered the choice of losing the battle and keeping my love by my side over this horrible, bottomless loss I feel now. Would I make the noble choice or the selfish one? Thankfully, I have not been tested in that regard. I do not think I would be noble. In that, my friends are so much better than I …
Yes, Calamar can do so much good in the world; it is true. But I miss him for myself. I freely admit that too. Corellon help me … I can see my unborn children in his eyes and I will not let him go without a fight. I cannot. I am not built otherwise.
Arlen One-Eye was defeated and killed, as was only right. Baron Tees and his advisors handed over their banner in a symbolic request to ask for mercy for their men. The Baron had dealt with us honourably, and was given this mercy in exchange for that. Rackhe…
It was only later I discovered that my ranger friend had fallen in the battle. Narion later informed me that the half elf ranger had fallen to the flashing blades of Arlen’s men, who had surrounded him when he had rushed forward to end the pirate captain’s life as he had Solnee’s. I discovered this some minutes earlier though, when Rackhe appeared in the tunnel, a glowing and shimmering spirit … as a full-blooded elf. With Corellon’s symbol about his neck. Of all the ones Corellon could have sent me to answer my prayers, this was perhaps the most ironic he could have chosen – especially considering my friend had previously worshipped a different God. I do believe Corellon has a rather wicked sense of humour.
Rackhe… as saviour. Forgive me, my friend, but it made me smile, even through my tears. Luna would have been proud of you. I know Narion did as you asked and shared tea with the little girl in your stead until you could return and take care of that yourself.
The choice Rackhe gave me was an easy one compared to the one I imagined might test me. I could leave Calamar in Arvandor where he had become a petitioner, or seek him out on a quest that may mean my own life. And quickly – for the longer it took to reach him, the more he would forget… And if he forgot entirely, no amount of pleading would bring him back to me. Perhaps Rackhe expected me to take more time with that decision. Perhaps to others, it seemed hopeless. An impossible task. But I do not think Corellon himself expected anything less of me. And I have always been a fool to rush in… No matter. This time, it served me well. I have to believe that.
“I will be searching,” I replied without hesitation.
With or without my friends, I am going on this perilous journey. It matters not to me how dangerous it is. Though with them is certainly preferable. Without Calamar… What is my life without him? When did it come to this? There is much I remember, but when this love of mine seeped into my very soul… I know not. I just know that it has. I have lived my life fast and free… and now I find myself bound to another. It feels right. And all I can do is be true to that love.
They will rename the west gate Hero’s Gate. Statues of Rackhe and Calamar will stand at either side of it to guard the way - to protect those entering. The names of all those folk who fell in the war will be inscribed upon the plinths of those statutes.
I know Rackhe will return. I feel it through the divine power his spirit is projecting. Corellon Himself has made this possible. And for that, I will owe Him my allegiance and worship for all the rest of my days. Now it is up to me to fight for you, my love. To bring you back to see this gate they have made for you, or to die trying. If I fail, I will indeed be dead. Either way, I will see you in Arvandor.
I only pray you will see me. I pray that you read these words some time in our future together.
There are only a few words left to write. They are simple words but my heart is in them.
I will find you. Do not forget me
I love you.
TO BE CONTINUED...