Amnesia

Letters to Sypha, 5th Journal, 2nd Letter

My beloved,

When my father visited me a few days ago I was reminded how eladrins can be cruel in their judgement. As I was catching up with my father, he made a passing comment saying the realm was a «drab plane». It was a innocent remark and I am sure he didn’t mean harm. When I heard him say these words part of me cringed because, even if I will always call Summer my home, I feel contected to this realm. It is part of my heritage. It sometimes feels like the exposure to the magnificience of Summer and the feywild has dulled the senses of Eladrins to a point they only find dispointment outside of the splendors of their homeland. But is the starry night sky worthless but for the handful of its brightest stars?

But you are not like the others, my love… You see beauty in all things. This is what drawn me to you. You see beauty even in the humblest of all, in the commoner, the orphan, the half-breed, the pariah… …in me. Sypha, you found beauty in me at a time I was feeling nothing but contempt for myself. I will forever be thankful for your loving eyes, for it is through them that I came to accept who I am.

I won’t lie, I can still be quite judgemental of myself but also of others. However, I do strive to see the world as you see it. I rarely come accross something so foul, be it a person or a place, that is has not some redeeming quality. Where one would see an unkempt peasant, I also see a good father hard working for its family susbsistance. Where another would see a savage barbarian, I also see a courageous warrior, proud of the glory of his clan. To my eye, a barren tundra is but the perfect canvas for the snow’s immaculate purity.

I have now spent a week with my new companions and I am now confortable enough to share with you my first impression of them. It is always a perilous exercise to form an opinion on someone based on limited information so I will try my best to be even-handed in my appraisal.

Let me begin with the Mouth, the self-styled rapscallion and bard, thought the latter is a bit of a presumptuous statement on his part. He is capable musician to be certain but it takes more than that to be a bard. Can you call anybody who wields a sword a warrior? His dextrous fingers makes up for any flaws with his technique but there is something much more important that is missing. He has yet to find a muse. What’s a bard without a source of inspiration? If one day he finds one, he might be able to transform his pleasing melodies into something that truly touches the soul.

Thought I might sound harsh in my critique, it is because I feel there is so much potential in him. With dedication and under the right tutelage, he could easily become a bard of great reknown. However, he seems fairly content to coast on his natural talent. But maybe I am being unfair, maybe his true calling lies on the battlefield. It takes a special kind of man to launch himself in the thick of battle with blades shorter than the claws of most beasts of the feywild! And it takes an extraordinary one to be able to do it and yet come out of it unscathed! With daggers, the man is truly peerless. Every movement is calculated to minute detail and delivered with implacable precision and celerity. Like the bard needs its muse, the duelist needs a rival to invigorate him. I look forward the opportunity of seeing him in action some more and maybe pick-up a maneuver or two to add to my own repertoir.

Mouth is not like any drow I have ever encountered so far. When I mentioned to the group that my love was waiting for me in my homeland I would have expected a drow to scoff and make some disparaging remark. Mouth beamed at me and gave me a heartfelt congratulation. It was not some mischievous flattery, I got the sense he was genuinely touched by the fact we would remain true to one another despite being separated for so long. I have seen Mouth interact with his companions, he deeply cares for them. They are family to him and he will defend them till his last breath. He is ready to dwell in the shadows to guard them of what lies in the darkness. Behind Mouth’s flamboyant attitude, lies a delicate heart.

Then there is the Fey, which I already mentioned in my first letter to you. Ah… Quite a seductress she is! The woman’s pulchritude is a match for any of Summer’s beauties, but alas, she has not been blessed with any of their grace… Free spririted to a fault, self-centered and haughty in demeanor, she embodies all the foible typicly associated with the Eladrins and takes them to new extremes.

Of all the members of the forgotten, I have spent the most time with Fey so far. Unlike some of her companions, the Fey had no qualms, right from the start, in discoursing with the stanger that I was. She is not of the shy type that is certain! This worked in my favor for I was able to learn a lot on the forgotten through our conversations.

The Fey used this opportunity to size me up and started leering at me. (Now that I think of it, I think caught a hint of apprehension (or was it jalousy?) in Mouth’s eye when he realized that the Fey was looking at me with her flirtatious glare.) While the Fey would have been amongst the fairest that have been guilty of this, it is not entirely uncommon that I draw such attention from the womenfolk. I normally feel unconfortable when this occurs, but when she looked at me like that, I was completely taken aback and overwhelmed by an intense feeling of revulsion. It is the first time I reacted like that and I can’t explain it… It is like my unsubconsious knew something was wrong… I did not know how to react so I instinctively did what I normally do in such situation, I said was flattered but I that I was commited to a woman from my homeland. Luckly that did not seem to endanger the sympathy she had for me and our conversation carried on as if nothing had happened.

We spoke at lenght of the predicament of the Forgotten. In contrast with some of her other companions, the Fey seems quite content with her new life. She says she does not wish her old self interfere to what she has become. I cannot understand her stance on the matter… Does not she care for the friends and family that she might be leaving behind? Does she not think of them and their grief?

The Fey and I do not agree on a lot of things but our discussions have been civil and enjoyable. But for all the exchanges that I had with her, I know precious little on her motivations. If she doesn’t care about her past self, why does she choose to share the destiny of the forgotten instead abandonning them and try to make it out on her own? Staying with them is bound to inexorably draw her closer to her old life. Just recently she learned that she was the Goddaugther of the Lord of the Hunt! Yet, contrary to what she feared, it does not seem learning about her heritage changed her the slightest. She remains the Fey, fickle like a feather in the wind…

The Guardian and the Healer are two special cases. I found them to be rather untalkative. Only the Mouth seems to be able to get a word out of either of them. Hence, I got to know about them throught the words of their comarade rather than from their own.

There is a trichotomy in the Guardian. First there is sullen and brooding guardian, which is probably his prevalent statement of mind. This guardian seems quite content enjoy a moment of solitude a bit away from the group, be it to do his gruelling daily exercise routine or to tend to the maintenance of his weapon and armor. Then there is the merry guardian, which I caught a glimpse of during our stay in Nesmé. This is the guardian that lets himself get dragged in the Mouth’s gambling and drinking escapades. His intimidating presence alone will make anyone think twice about resolving to violence should they find themselves on the losing end of a game of chance with Mouth. And finally there is the ferocious guardian, throwing himself in battle with fierce abandon. Through my years of travel I have forged myself into an adept duelist but even if we were to fight a thousand duel, I doubt I could best the dwarf a single time. There is no worst match-up for my style of combat, which rely heavily on feints, deceptions and finesse. How can you trick someone who completely surrender its mind to bloodlust? He will just walk right into your trap, bare through the pain and make you pay twice as dearly. For as long as the Guardian stands, the Forgotten are safe…

The Healer is austere in manner as you would expect from priest of Kelemvor. Of all the forgotten, I think the Healer has the most normal reaction to his predicament. The drow is consumed by the quest to reclaim his lost identity. I have heard from the others that the group missed an opportunity to learn more about their prior lives during a recent encounter with the Lord of the Hunt because of the stubborness of the Fey. The Healer visibly still bears a grudge towards her and will avert his eyes in her presence. Providence has been unforgiving to the forgotten, but the man of the robe can always find some measure of solace in his piety.

Last but not the least is Autumn. A later addition to the group, the young woman does not suffer from the condition of her comrades in arms. She tied her fate to theirs by her own free will, for better or worst. Althought she has been raised by her father in a city, she can trace back her lineage to the tribes living in the forest in the north of Luruar. She still very much have a primal streak to her, despite being brought up in the confort of civilization. I have been assisting her in her foraging duties and I can tell you that nobody follow tracks or drives games like Autumn. Her skill would put to shame the hunters of her grand-father’s tribe! However, from what I have seen so far, when swords clashes and her life and those of her friends are in danger, she can become nervous and ineffectual. In these moments, I can clearly see in her eyes that she is riddled with self-doubt. She is so young and show such promises! She shouldn’t be tormenting herself so.

Autumn first welcomed my addition to the group with a mix of trepidation and guarded curiosity but she has been quickly warming up to me as the days passed by. The thrill of making a friend seem to have prevailed over the anxiety having a stranger in her midst. We had time to bond during our foraging excursions and she has started to open up more and more around the campfire. She might be getting even a bit… too confortable! Just yesterday, she suggested that we compare battle scars, an offer I respectfully declined, much to her chagrin.

It sometimes feels that, even thought she has known the Forgotten for longer, she is more at ease with me than with them. I can’t be certain why it is so, but I have an hypothesis. I sense that she still feels as an outsider. I can empathize with her since it is a feeling I only know too well from my youth in Summer. It’s easy to see why she would feel as such. The Guardian and the Healer are distant by nature, the Fey will at times openly treat her with disdain and the Mouth will alternate in between being flirtatious toward her and being irritated by her quirks. Even thought they probably care for her more than they are willing to show, it is hardly a vigorous endorsement… This leaves Autumn yearning for the acceptance the Forgotten are unwilling to profess… In contrast, I have readily provided her with mine, totally and unconditionally.

As much as I been enjoying Autumn’s company, her vivaciousness never failing to bring me a smile, this budding frienship comes with its… disadvantage. When I am trying to have some privacy, seeking to sooth my soul playing the hymms of my homeland, Autumn will come see me between two songs and try to cheer me up. It puts me in a difficult position because, even thought I would rather be left alone, I know she means well. I won’t dare show any signs of aggravation for fear to hurt her feelings. So I had an idea, I offered to teach her how to play the flute. She enthusiastically took me on on my offer. She is a bit clumsy but she is a very eager student and she is making steady progress. My hope is that, in time, we will be able to share a moment of tranquility together, craddled only by the soft notes dancing in the wind…

I cannot possibly comprehend what afflicts the Forgotten but I can’t help but feel that their «curse» portend an ill omen. Their purpose may be ominous yet I see beauty in the Forgotten.

Laurelian

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