Curious Beginnings

Elara's Backstory

Elara Dwin'annia

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; for I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
— The Old Astronomer (1868) by Sarah Williams
  This takes place before the Season 7 Campaign of the Wayfinders. I apologize for any grammar mistakes in advance. I don't boast about being any kind of professional writer and do this for my wonderful party and my own creative outlet. I put a lot of love into this story and spent a lot of time finding music to paint each scene. Please give it a listen while you read each section! I hope you enjoy! - Kosmos

Mental characteristics

Personal history

The First Meeting

“Any moment. Surely, it will be any moment.” Her heart flutters with excitement. “One thousand years it’s been since mankind saw this comet, and here I am.” She continues to trace the stars with her finger. “I wonder who else is looking at these stars in this moment. I wonder…who else will look up tonight?” From the corner of her eye, towards the northern horizon, blue light begins to form. She quickly sits up looking off towards the direction. The light grows larger and brighter, and her eyes widen in awe. Shooting across the sky is an enormous comet. It flies steadily overhead with a burning bright blue hue, lighting up the entire field in which she finds herself. “Here it is! She smiles brightly, standing up and tilting her head upwards as the comet shoots over her. The comet breaks off into several different tails, casting colors from the entire spectrum as pieces of it burn off in the atmosphere. Bright blues, greens and purples illuminate the night sky. They reflect off her face as it travels overhead. Tears roll down her face. Overwhelming joy consume her being as she stands alone in this field, watching this astronomical wonder.   As she stands there, a trail of light separates from the comet. It dives downwards, falling in her direction. A bright burning light comes shooting down into the field before her. Expecting a crash from the impact, she pulls her arm up, covering her face and shielding her eyes from the burning blue light. It touches the ground but strangely there is no sound of impact. She peeks from behind her arm covering her eyes. A warm bright blue glow remains in the field in front of her. An energy like no other radiates out from within it. Her hair swirls around from the energy and she stands there in shock and wonder. Her eyes focus on movement from within the light. An outline of a figure begins to form, and she takes a step backwards. The figure walks closer to her, and as the bright light fades, only a soft blue glow emanates from this being. Dark blue robes that reflect space itself come into focus. Pure white hair that comes down into braids on either side of the figures head and his skin is pale porcelain color that emanates a beautiful blue glow. She stands there in bewilderment. The closer this being gets, the energy becomes stronger. A warm and comforting energy that makes everything in the vicinity seem to drift softly, as though gravity is weaker here. He stands in front of her and silence fills the air, and then he speaks. “The stars have brought you to this point, but why?” He says in elven. ” “The…stars?” She replies faintly. Trying to find words, something to say in return, but nothing surfaces out of sheer awe. His hand comes up from his side, reaching an index finger out to lightly touch the center of her forehead. “That's for you to discover.” He says softly to her. As he speaks those words, her hair swirls around her from the energy of this power and her body begins to glow a soft blue hue. Her vision fades to darkness, and her sight is taken to the middle of a nebula. Blues, greens, pinks, reds, and yellows surround her, and stars glisten within this cloud of color. Her body is weightless, and all the movement of the universe begins moving in fast forward. Planets, stars, nebula, the creation of stars, the death of stars, the elements, earth, her home, all come whipping past her in streaks of vision before she's thrown back to the here and now.   Her eyes slowly open, and she finds herself falling forwards. The man catches her as she stumbles to her knees. Weak and out of breath from the visions he had given her, she looks up to him. “What…are you?” She says between sharp breaths. His head tilts to the side as he looks down to Elara and smiles. The white braids that frame the sides of his face sway softly from the energy he emanates. His eyes are a light blue color, and his face is stern and handsome. Elven ears poke out behind his hair, and he smiles down at her. “My name is Celestian, the Star Wanderer. I am the keeper of the stars above you, I am the guide for wanderers and the curious, I am a deity among the astral plane.” Her eyes widen. “…I don’t…I don’t understand.” Her voice shaking as she talks. "But why? Why would you be here before someone like me?” Her voice trails off, and her gaze falls to the ground beneath them. He watches her before pulling her chin up to face him once more. “Your appreciation of the sky above you, extends beyond that of the average being.” He says as he helps her back up to her feet. “I entrust this to you.” He holds his hand out, palm facing upwards. Blue energy begins to form within the center of the palm. Small white orbs dance around the blue light. They begin to connect and build like a constellation, as a dark rich blue circular pendant that depicts space itself begins to form. It is wrapped in an intricate sterling silver border and swirls as if seeing space itself through a small portal. He places the pendant in her hands. “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist. The universe was made to be seen by your eyes.” He takes a step back. “Use what I have given you, It will serve you well in the future Elara.” Small orbs of light begin to drift upwards as his being fades up towards the night sky. Her heart races as she watches him slowly fade. Thousands of questions pour through her head, but none of them seem to surface when she tries to speak. Don’t go. She pleads to him over and over in her head. “We will meet again, I promise you. Follow the stars and let them guide you.”He says as his being fades into the night sky and Elara is left standing there, clutching the pendant in her hands. Falling back down to her knees. Pulling the pendant up to her chest. Her thoughts racing and her soul feeling a magic energy that was not there before, she is left alone in the field, trying to fathom the first meeting of the Deity, Celestian the Star Wanderer.  

The Wanderers Notebook

The sky is clear this evening and the stars shine brightly, Elara holds the pendant that was gifted to her from Celestian himself months prior. Staring into the void of space it depicts. Her face is somber yet curious at the same time. The events that had occurred have done nothing but occupy her mind constantly over the past several months. Her hands fall back down to her sides and the pendant dangles around her neck. She stands at the balcony looking out across the High Elven City Elohim. The dim lights along the path fueled by the arcana of the elves bring into focus the riders of the White Flame, in which her father Nuya Dwin’annia is head of. There was a faint feeling of sadness upon seeing her father’s regiment ride back into the city. The sound of the horse’s hooves hitting the meticulous carved stone and the clanking of elven armor echo down the street. She quickly tucks the pendant under the collar of her robes as the soldiers and her father dismount from their horses. Nuya looks up to the balcony above him to see his daughter standing there. He gives a stern look as he goes back to speaking with the rest of the regiment. A cart is presented to him with items too difficult to make out from the 3rd floor balcony. Nuya and a few others remain around the cart speaking before he turns, walking into the building as soldiers begin to carry in the items they have acquired.   A chilling breeze flows in through the streets of the city. Her hair swirls and hits her face as she tucks a few strands behind her pointed ears. She stands at the balcony watching the soldiers haul items from the cart into the headquarters of the White Flame. Watching as they finish moving the items and take the cart away. Pushing off the balcony and turning to walk into her room. Elara heads down into the main hall of the headquarters. There are soldiers rushing past her with what seems to be handfuls of books and other miscellaneous items. “My lady, its late. You should be in your room no?” A soldier stops next to her among the chaos of their return. Her eyes jolt up to lock eyes with the elven man. “If I am to take my fathers seat, should I not be present for these things?” He smiles at her. “In due time my lady.” He begins to walk past her. Elara scan’s the items in his arms, stacks of books, but one seems to catch her eye. A pale blue binding with gold etched stars traces down the spine. She stands in the empty hall, watching the soldier walk away into another room where they categorize the items they bring back from their missions. The great hall is quiet and empty, the closing of the door from the soldier echoes throughout. Its no secret to her that these items come at a cost. The tribes in which they come from have all been pillaged. The lives of these people have been cut short in order to maintain a safe zone for this city. Savages, as her father would say, but she can’t help but wonder, who really are the savages here? Elara sits patiently on the steps of the staircase, watching as soldiers come and go through the hall. She heads to the other door knocking softly and pushing it open. “Father.” She steps into the room. There before her sits her father Nuya at a large desk. His armor next to him and his sword resting up against the side. “Elara, I’d appreciate it if you would return to your own quarters. Now is not the time.” She folds her arms. Her face falling to a frown. “I am simply here to make sure you are alright.” She says faintly. He looks up at her from his desk. “The White Flame are skilled soldiers. You know this.” He looks back down to his desk, writing things on parchment. She continues to stand there, scanning the room. On another table sits all the items acquired from the mission. “From the savages.” He says to her as he continues to write. “We will destroy them come morning.” She walks closer to the table. The book she saw previously sits with the rest of the Items. Nuya stands up from the desk, walking towards Elara, standing between her and the table. “My daughter, there will come a time where you will take my seat. A true honor to be head of the White Flame for the city of Elohim. Though, you are far from ready to be concerned over these missions. You must train, as these soldiers do first.” He ushers her to the door. “Why do you destroy those items?” She looks back at him as he’s opening the door. “To discourage any plots and knowledge from the enemies who might wish us harm. Now go, I have work to do.” She is ushered out from the room and the door is closed behind her. She turns, staring back at the door In silence, clenching a fist at her side.   Elara quietly sits behind a pillar in the great hall while in meditation. The sound of the door opening and closing brings her out of a meditative state. Nuya is seen walking down the hall and then up the large curving staircase. The soft patter of his footsteps echo across the cold stone as he ascends to his chambers. She waits patiently for some time before she stands up, looking around the hall once more and quietly making her way to his office. The room is dark, the candles have been snuffed out and the only light is from the moon that shines brightly through the window. She looks at the table of items, the light of the moon shines in and illuminates the very book that caught her eye hours before. She quietly walks towards it, if not by sheer curiosity then by the guidance of the star wanderer himself. In the light, the cover shimmers from the gold etchings. Adorned in the center is a sun surrounded by small stars and beautiful trim. She reaches out and traces the etchings with her index finger. Her heart thuds heavily in her chest as she slowly opens the book. The first page reads “The wanderers guide of Aurora.” Her eyes widen and her heart beats faster. Reaching to touch the pendant with her other hand. She continues to stand at the table, flipping through the pages. Entries from a follower of Celestian speak of the world outside of Elohim. The pages seem old and withered. Her breathing gets frantic, picking the book up from the table she sits on the floor.   The moonlight continues to shine through the large window as she sits and reads the entries of this previous follower. Enthralled by the tales and descriptions of the world as tears begin to fall. A life that has been concealed by her own kind and a world beyond the wasteland waiting to be explored and unveiled to Elara. Her red hair tumbles down across her face and the pendant around her neck glimmers as the moonlight reflects off it while she looks over the book. “My father…killed this person….” Her hands tremble with anger, tracing across the writings in the book with her finger. More tears fall down across her cheeks. “They were a follower of Celestian…and he killed them.” Her gaze moves from the book up to the window. Looking out at the night sky. Her memory flashes back to her meeting with Celestian. “I want….to see these places with my own eyes…” She flips to another page, pausing at the blank pages within. “I want to write my own entries…” Pulling the book close to her chest.  

  “I want to wander…”

   

The Letter and The Escape

Elara in an overwhelming moment of emotion, grabs a quill from the desk and begins to write a letter to her father. She leaves it on the table, wiping the tears from her face, Elara makes her way upstairs. She reaches her room and closes the door, leaning back and breathing heavily. Thoughts spinning, and absolute fear engulf her being from the actions she is about to take. Quickly grabbing a bag and filling it with essentials for travel. She searches through a drawer and pulls out a dagger, hooking it onto the belt of her robes. She grabs her cloak and throws it on. Then she grabs her quarterstaff and slides it behind her back, which is held in place by her belt. She puts the book into her pack, stepping out onto the balcony. She looks upwards to the night sky, sliding the hood up over her head. Elara takes a scarf and wraps it around one of the pillars, jumping off the edge of the balcony and effortlessly sliding down to ground level. This isn’t something new to her, she wandered out often to watch the stars. Her movements are second nature. She quickly looks around before ducking into a dark alley, following its path twisting and turning through the city. Its late at night and her face is well known, should the guards find her, she’d be taken back to her father. She pauses at the end of the alley where it opens to a main street. Two guards casually walk past, talking to each other. She tucks back into the darkness of the alley behind some barrels as they pass by. Taking a moment to breathe and noticing the stale bread left out in the trash next to her. She wraps it quickly inside the scarf and tucks it into the chest of her robes, sprinting across the main street to the next alley. The anxiety in her chest makes her feel almost ill. Panic and fear overtaking her in the moment, her hands shaking.   She reaches the edge of the city where it breaks from buildings and structures to a small forest of willow trees. Darting through the forest, the long drooping branches of the willows hit her across the face, running across the creeks as the water splashes on her legs and soaks her boots, she stops and fills a small water skin. Her pace quickens, sprinting faster through the willows before she reaches the clearing. A wide stretch of open grassy land used primarily for farming. The gusts of winds blow hard across the field as the tall grass sways. This was where she first saw him. She falls to her knees, breathing heavily. “…I can do this, I can do this. I have to do this.” Elara falls flat onto her stomach, the sound of people walking along a nearby path and the wheels of a cart draw her attention. She peaks her head up slightly over the grass line to get a better view. 4 guards and a horse drawn cart in tow following along an east side path towards an exit gate. She creeps slowly and quietly along the grass, staying as low as possible. She watches them closely as she figures out her next move. Uttering a small cantrip under her breath she casts Thaumaturgy. A small sound loud enough to gather their attention from the other side of the cart. “woah, woah, easy there.” A guard says, halting the horse. “Did you hear that?” They begin walking towards the noise. She quickly crawls out from the tall grass, ducking under the cart. “Listen, you can’t go stopping at every sound you hear.” A guard says casually as they walk back to the cart. “yeah well, the wastelands… I don’t know, I’m just on edge.” The cart begins to move, and Elara is found propped up underneath, her dagger wedged into the wood for something to hold onto, her legs on either side of the frame to keep herself up. She closes her eyes, and for the first time she says a prayer to Celestian.   A few minutes pass and the cart slows down to a stop, a conversation begins around it. “Nuya wanted to have things ready come morning.” One of the guards says “Right well, make it easier on us, will you? Haul that through the gate to the end of the path. There’s a small outpost there.” A soldier on the wall yells down to the guard. “You’ve got to be joking right? That wasn’t the order. The order was to bring it here, to you.” The soldier chuckles a bit from up on the wall. “Oh? Thought you wanted to be part of the White Flame?” He says with a cocky tone. There’s some grumbling back and forth until a loud rumble as the gate begins to open. The cart starts to slowly move again as Elara adjusts her grip to keep herself held up underneath it. Her arms and legs trembling from exhaustion. After a few minutes, she leans back, looking out underneath the cart to see the wastelands spread out for miles. The path has embankments on either side, and she counts to three. Pulling the dagger out of the wood with one hand, dropping to the ground and tumbling quickly off to the side once the cart passes over her. She lay still and quiet in the sand as the cart continues down the path towards the outpost. “Alright now listen men, keep your swords at the ready. You’re in the wasteland.” The guard says as their voices fade off down the path.    

The Wasteland

Elara lays quietly in the sand as the guards fade off into the distance. Her head lifts, looking around her surroundings as a dry gust of wind blows across the wasteland. The realization of what she had done, the fear of the unknown, and the excitement of it brings a rush of emotion like no other. She lets out a deep breath, slowly standing up to get a better grasp on her surroundings. Sand and rock stretch out for miles. Dead and dried plant life peak out from the dunes of sand, as another gust of wind blows across the peaks. It’s quiet and empty, and the view brings Elara much pain. “…. we did this…” She mumbles under her breath, taken back by the sights before her. She sheaths the small dagger at her belt and pulls out the quarterstaff from behind her back. Pulling her hood up over her head, she begins to trek through the wasteland, towards the mountains that sit miles off in the distance.   Several hours have passed and the aurora dances across the late-night sky as the stars twinkle in unison with the light show above. The sky is beautiful and brings Elara some comfort as she walks through the dead wasteland. She chose to follow alongside the convoy path towards the mountains. Keeping a good distance in the event the guards are making their way back to Elohim. She treks on for a few hours as the sky transitions into light blues and pinks from the sunrise. With each step, she lives with the guilt that her people had done this. This wasteland is the result of arrogance and ego brought on by the High Elves. A once beautiful and lush landscape is now dead and deserted, sucked dry of its resources. Elara stops at some rock faces, turning to look back towards her city. Elohim has vanished off into the horizon. She then realizes how alone she really is. “I’ll take a break here…” The rocks create a natural out cove for her to take shelter in. She drops her bag onto the sand and curls up into the corner, her back pressed against the sandstone, she pulls out the book from her bag. Re-reading the entries on the first few pages. She flips to the empty pages and stares down at the book before rummaging through her pack to pull out a quill and a small glass jar of ink.

It would seem this book has found its way into my hands. Respectively, I would like to continue these writings. If I can motivate another person to explore this world we live in, then I have done what I feel was the soul purpose of this book. My name is Elara Dwin’annia, a follower of Celestian the Star wanderer, and this is my story…

She closes the book, resting it on the ground next to her as she pulls out the stale bread she found on her journey through the city of Elohim. Its dry and old but its enough substance to satisfy her sudden hunger. The adrenaline has since run out and the exhaustion of traveling for hours now has caught up with her. She sits quietly, eating bits of the bread while she gazes out across the wasteland in front of her. Her attention jumps quickly to the sound of rumbling and shifting of the sands. She sits up cautiously, wrapping the rest of her bread back up in the cloth and putting it in her bag, as well as her book. She throws the pack on and slowly crawls out from the out cove, looking around. There is nothing for miles, she stands up, grabbing her quarterstaff and venturing out into the wasteland once more. The sun sits directly overhead as she continues to travel. The sound of tremors comes and goes, and it makes her anxious. “What is that?” She says, hiking up over a huge sand dune. At the top, the wind blows hard and in front of her lay a great valley with the mountains just out of reach. What once was a flourishing lake is now a dried and cracked flatland. Her hair whips across her face from the wind and her hood flies back.  

A Rude Awakening

The tremors that have been occurring since she left the out cove have begun again, louder and louder the sounds get. “That’s…that’s not tremors, that’s…---” She quickly turns around as a huge creature breaks out through the sand. Huge jaws with sharp teeth frame the rounded head of this creature as it lands in front of her. It has large, heavy scale like armor across its body, and gazes down at her with small black eyes. The Bulette comes charging at her with intent to kill. She steps backwards, and the sand beneath her give’s way. She finds herself tumbling down this huge sand dune as the Bulette dives into the ground once more, moving down through the dune towards Elara. Tumbling down with the sand, Elara lands at the bottom. She quickly looks up to see the scales of the Bulette peaking out from the dunes heading in her direction. She stumbles to her feet and breaks into a sprint. Running as fast as she can across the wide-open flat land. The Bulette is fast and sends tremors through the ground as it chases after her. “Dammit, dammit, dammit!” She says out loud. Dust kicking up from her shoes as she continues to sprint across the dried lake in a panic. “Think of something, THINK OF SOMETHING ELARA!” Her face falls to a stern look, gathering the will power to turn and face this thing head on. She spins around on the heels of her feet, taking a defensive position and preparing herself for the encounter. The Bulette breaks out from the ground in front of her, she takes a step back, muttering a cantrip. Her hands burst into a bright blue flame that goes hurling into the face of this creature. It winces back, releasing a deafening screech as the sacred flames engulf around it. Elara takes the moment of distraction to turn back around and continue sprinting towards the mountains, as the Bulette bursts through the flames and gives chase. Breathing heavily as she’s running, “Tsk, what the hell is that thing made of!?” She yells out. “I need something more.” She thinks quickly, her head turning to look behind her, noticing the creature isn’t there. “WHERE!?” Her gaze turns forward again. The Bulette comes bursting out of the ground in front of her. Her eyes narrow, ducking and sliding down across the dried sandstone underneath the creature, before stumbling back up to her feet behind it. She finds her footing, digging her heel into the ground and muttering a small prayer to Celestian. “Lend me your strength.” She holds her palm face out towards the creature, a flash of bright radiant light shoots out from the palm into the face of the Bulette once more. The energy from the bolt pushes her slightly back as the creature screeches out in pain and falls to the ground. The weight of it falling causes the ground to tremble, and billows of dust rise from the center of this flat land. She quickly turns once more, bursting into a full sprint towards the mountains.    

Minutes, Hours, Days

Elara’s full sprint slowly dies down to a steady walk as the creature seems to have stopped chasing her. She collapses at the bank of the dried lake where the cracked dirt returns to a soft yellow sand once again. Her heavy breathing slows to a calm rate, and she rolls over onto her back, shielding the bright sun with her arm. “Not prepared, definitely not prepared.” She says to herself. She closes her eyes and listens to the shifting of the sands as the wind carries it along. She remains like this for awhile before slowly sitting up and taking a sip from her water skin. “…I should have thought this through better. At this rate, I’ll be out of water before I reach the mountains.” She corks the water skin and places it back in her bag. She looks around the wasteland, a slight paranoia rest with her. Not knowing what else she might run into out here. Her eyes gauge the position of the sun and estimate there to be a few hours left of daylight before night arrives. She stands up, brushing the sand off her robes and picking back up her gear she continues walking. Small creatures scatter across her path as she journeys through the wasteland, generally harmless aside from a scorpion here and there.   The sun begins to set below the horizon as the sky turns to stunning yellows, oranges and pinks. The temperature cools down and amidst the dusk of the wasteland, Elara is seen journeying through the sands. With night bringing her the most happiness, as the brightest stars slowly begin to appear in the sky. They give her drive to keep going instead of turning back around. They guide her way and give her better sense of direction. Where most people would fear the night, she welcomes it kindly. As dusk turns into night, the heavens open up to a clear night sky. With her breath showing from the cold desert air she pauses, pulling back the hood of her cloak to look upwards. The sky shines brightly with stars as the galaxies streak across the sky. The aurora dances and swirls with colors. While she has seen this sky many times, this moment in particular felt different. She felt free from the confines of her city and the pressures of the culture. Now she stands here on her own, finding her own way. While terrifying, its equally moving. This is how the world should be seen. She lays down on the sand, using her pack as a pillow, and looking up to the heavens. Her hand comes up from her side to trace along the constellations she sees with her index finger. Her memory flashing back to the initial meeting with her deity Celestian, which has consumed her thoughts over the past several months. There are so many questions to be asked, yet no one able to answer them where she resided. "Perhaps I can find answers in Sol..." She says out loud as her face falls to a frown and her eyes narrow. "...when will we meet again?" She closes her eyes and falls into a meditation.   Her eyes slowly open a few hours before sunrise. Her body cold without fire, she finds herself shivering. Elara leans up to pull out the bread from the other day only to find it missing. "..I know I packed it away. I know I did!" She pats herself down in a panic before the thought pops into her head. "Down the dune? Did it fall when I tumbled down the sand dune!?" She abruptly stands up, the fear of running out of food and having only a small bit of water left in the water skin gives her anxiety. There is a sense of discouragement in her heart. "If I move faster...I can get to the mountains, maybe find something there, or...." She looks down to the ground as a scorpion scatters across the ground. "...A last resort..." She nods to herself. Elara quickly gathers her things and continues her journey to Sol. Her pace is quick, her journey now pressured with the need for food and water leaves her no time to stop. Sand and dirt cover her skin and clothes, while blisters fester in her shoes as she continues to travel through the wasteland. The sun has risen for the day and the heat across the land begins to intensify. She takes out the water skin while walking, a small sip of water remains which she gladly drinks. "This isn't good." She looks around, the mountains are closer but still a days worth of walking at least. The wind picks up and blows heavy across the wasteland, sand billows off the rocks and dunes and she pulls her cloak up to cover her face. Keep going... she says to herself as every step taken burns from the blisters in her boots.  

Good Ideas and Bad Encounters

A day has since passed, hunger and thirst start to set in making her feel exhausted. She stops and rests a knee on the ground, wiping her brow. "I'm truly an idiot." Her chest fills with anger. "Now here I am in the middle of nowhere without food. I have to figure something out or I wont be making it anywhere." She looks down at her hands as a thought pops into her head. "...there's an idea." She smirks.   She closes her eyes, focusing on the small creatures she's come across so far on her travels. One in particular is that of a snake. Her eyes shoot open and her spell brings her focus to the creature shes searching for. "There." She stands up, following the guidance of the spell to locate it. A large snake is seen slithering across the sand a little ways away. She slowly makes her way towards it before casting another cantrip. Her hand bursts back into flames and blue like radiance goes shooting towards the snake. It writhes in pain and twitches before laying dead in the sand. "HA! YES!" Elara rushes over. Its scales glisten beautiful orange and red colors in the sunlight. She taps it with her boot. "Please be dead." It remains still and she kneels down to pick it up. "I don't have fire but...." She places a hand over it's body, focusing her arcane and purifying it to be able to eat. As she does so there is a screech behind her from the air. She slowly turns around and looks up. Two flying creatures making their way in her direction. Long thin bodies with feathered wings and tail. "Time to go!" She grabs the dead snake and her quarterstaff with the other hand, running off through the sand, fast over sand dunes and ducking in and out of rocks as these creatures follow close behind. "Would you KINDLY leave me be!" She shouts, sliding down another dune, kicking up sand as she does so. She stumbles, one of the creatures swoops down with claws drawn and scratches her across the shoulder. She turns and quickly smacks it with her quarterstaff and keeps running. The sand turns to more rock formations and she weaves in and out between the stones. The creatures frustratingly try to follow as she quickly ducks into a small cracked portion of the stone and disappears from sight. They fly in circles overhead screeching loud before losing interest and flying off. Elara presses her back against the stone, sliding down to the ground wincing as her hand on her shoulder shows blood. She sighs while still trying to catch her breath."Fantastic." She slides her arm out from her robe, placing her free hand over the wound and channeling the divine magic to heal it. She slides her arm back through, and fixes her robe once more before peaking her head out from the cut away of rock. The wastelands are a dangerous place, let alone someone not prepared or knowledgeable on the creatures that occupy this dead land.    

Hope in the Water

It's been about a week since Elara left Elohim. She finds herself at the base of the mountains where she begins to head southward toward Sol. She slowly follows a small dirt path that winds through the rocks at the base of these mountains. The trees here that line the cliff side are mostly dead and dry. Only a few desert flowers bloom along side the path, holding on for dear life in this wicked land. Her body is tired and aching, her stomach rumbles from hunger and her mouth feels as dry as the wasteland itself. She leans heavily on her quarterstaff as the heels of her feet inside her boots bleed from the blistering of the journey. The early morning sun shines down through the dead trees and the clouds cast shadows across the sand dunes from where she came. She pauses for a moment to look out toward the horizon. As cruel of a place it is, there is something to be said for the sights she has seen. She turns back to continue down the path, time passes and her attention comes to a soft trickle of water down the rock face. The water drips down from the mountains. She takes the time to drink, holding her water skin up to the trickle and over time filling it half way. The most rewarding drink of water she's ever had. It brings her a small glimmer of hope in the bad position she finds herself. She finishes resting and packs her stuff back up to continue on. Some pebbles fall down from the cliffs and she quickly tilts her head up to look. A faint flash of a small red hand tucks itself back behind the rocks and goes silent. Her eyes narrow, packing her things up she heads back onto the small path towards Sol.    

Mountain Path

Some time has passed and her head continues to turn back down the path from where she came. The sun is setting and over the course of a few hours she has been followed. While shes only caught a brief glimpse, its safe to assume they are goblins. The wasteland holds many creatures and these are no different. Their skin a dark red color unlike the green shade most commonly seen. Every now and then she'll hear a faint cackle in the cliff sides. "Do they think I don't know?" She sighs. All jokes aside, they still are a threat. With the sun now setting behind the horizon, a heightened sense of danger creeps into her mind. Her hand rests calmly by her dagger as she holds her quarterstaff with the other. These creatures have no morals. They will kill and devour, among other things without a care in the world. Her hand tightens on the quarterstaff. She's exhausted from the journey but with goblins in tow, she cant afford to stop. The sky changes from yellows and oranges to dark blues then to black, the aurora dancing over top with greens and purples. With night brings hopeful goblins and their next victim. They start getting frantic and bold, throwing pebbles down in her direction as she walks the path. "This isn't good.. I don't know how many their are." Even with night vision, they are clever enough to stay up above in the cliffs. The torment gets worse as she continues walking through the night. Until an arrow comes whipping past the side of her face, landing into the dirt in front of her. Her eyes widen, turning around to see where it was shot from. Cackling in the cliffs billow out before another arrow is shot in her direction, this one however hits her, slicing in to the muscle of her upper thigh. She falls to her knee as her hair tumbles down across her face, looking down at the arrow sticking out of her leg. Move Elara, move Elara, MOVE! She shouts to herself in her head. She winces at the pain, wrapping her hand around the tail of the arrow and quickly pulling it out. She screams out across the mountain face and the goblins stir up into heavy laughter. She tosses the arrow on the ground and takes off running down the path as the blood soaks through her leggings. They trail her as she runs, a few more arrows come whipping past her in an attempt to bring her down. Elara is terrified, these things have enough brain cells to craft arrows and other weapons, as well as stalk their prey. This is different from the other creatures out in the sands. This isn't just instinct, this is murder, and they know exactly what that word means. One of them jumps down behind her on the path, pulling back on the bow as she sprints. It releases and hits her below the shoulder in the back. She stumbles forward as the pain knocks the breath out of her. Her quarterstaff goes flying out of her hands and rolls down across the path. Her hands land in front of her on the dirt, crippled over she breathes heavily as she stares down at the ground. The goblins emerge from the cliffs above and begin to descend down towards her. "enough." Her eyes narrow and her hands turn to fists. "ENOUGH!" As the Thaumaturgy is cast, her voice booms across the mountains. The shock brings fear into the creatures. She turns around, her hands lighting up with blue flame once more before casting sacred flame at the goblin standing in the path. Its consumed by flames and the fear of their comrade burning to death sends the rest of the tribe back into the cliffs. She reaches out to her staff and finds her footing, running for her life down the path.   As she stumbles her way along the dirt path, the blood from her wounds saturates her robes. Her body weak and unable to conjure healing, she leans heavily on her staff. Between the rocky cliffs of the mountains there is soft fire light in the distance. Her head lifts up as beads of sweat run down her forehead. "...Sol...." Her pace while slow, finds a push to continue walking. She continues to stumble along before reaching the outer gates of the city Sol. Elara smiles faintly at the welcoming sight of the city gates. She takes another step forward, the exhaustion. hunger, thirst, and blood loss catching up with her, she stumbles face first into the sand. "Hey! HEY!" She hears shouting in the distance, looking up briefly to see the shadowed outline of people running to her from the gates, her eyes slowly close as she falls into unconsciousness.    

Healing Wounds

Her eyes slowly open and she finds herself in the comforts of a small room. Her shoulder and leg wrapped in bandage. She turns her head to the side, her pack and staff rest in a chair in the corner. She slowly sits up, leaning her back against the head board, looking down at herself as she is wearing a long white robe. There is a soft knock on the door and then opens slightly. A young half elven girl peaks around the door. "Oh.. you're awake!" The girl steps inside the room. Her hands carry a small tray of meat and cheese. "Y-yes..." Elara's voice trails off as the girl places the tray on the night stand. The girl is tan from the sun and has brown hair that is tired up into a tight bun. She wears comfortable looking robes that tie off with a cloth wrap at the waist in a dark red color. "My name is Sinje, I am the one who tended to you when you arrived." She looks back to Elara and smiles warmly. Elara looks to her shoulder. "I am grateful. Thank you. My name is Elara. I stumbled into a mess out in the wasteland. Goblins on the trek here." She frowns. "I wasn't very prepared..." Sinje tilts her head "What were you doing out there in the first place?" Elara looks back up to her with a somber expression. "Leaving Elohim." Sinje's eyes widen, taken back by the drive in Elara's voice. "You journeyed all the way from Elohim to Sol, through the wasteland on your own?" Sinje pours some water into a glass, placing it on the night stand alongside the tray of food.. "...I did." Elara replies softly. "That is pretty impressive considering how brutal the land is. Let alone the creatures that inhabit it. Judging by your wounds, you already know that. You're lucky to be alive Elara." Sinje walks to the door. "One second, I'll be right back." She smiles before exiting. Elara looks down at her hands, resting across her lap. Her red hair tumbles down across her face. She feels relieved to have made it, the journey was painful and terrifying in more ways than one and while a fear of the unknown rests within her, it brings her anxiety and curiosity at the same time. She thinks of all that has occurred over the past few months. Her thoughts fall to the face of Celestian. When will I see you again? She thinks to herself as her hand comes up to touch the pendant that dangles around her neck. Tears start to flow down her cheeks as she bursts into a heavy sob. Sinje appears again with Elara's clothes folded in her arms. "I've taken the time to clean these for you...." She sees Elara crying. "Ah! Hey hey its okay! Its okay!" She places her clothes on the chair and sits on the edge of the bed. "I feel like I've been to hell and back. Now what?... where do I go from here? I don't know if this is what I should be doing, I don't know if I can even do this." Elara says faintly through sniffles. Sinje takes Elara's hand. "Well you came to a very nice city. You wouldn't be the first person to seek refuge here and you certainly wont be the last. In fact, how about you help out around the Inn here, earn your stay till your wounds heal and you figure out your next course of action? I'd be happy to help you." Elara looks up to her. "Why are you being so kind to me?" Sinje's face sinks to a frown. "I'm half elf. My father a human merchant, fell in love with my elven mother from Elohim. The city wasn't very fond of that, and even more so when they found out she was pregnant. They were gonna leave together from Elohim to here. Planned it all out and what not. Although, I guess the guards at the gates of Elohim gave my father a hard time and well... one thing lead to another and he was killed. I don't ask about it much as it still bothers my mother. She was grateful to have found solace in Sol. AH! I started rambling! I apologize! I guess what I mean to say is that... I know the city, I know what they can and have done to people. I understand why some would leave." Elara nods somberly. Her thoughts flash to her father. An anger billowing inside her chest. "Well...I would be grateful to work here should you allow me. I would like to pay off any debt I owe to you or this establishment for taking care of me.." She smiles behind her tear stained cheeks. "Hey, you should take a walk around the city." Sinje smiles to Elara. "It would be good for you to get some fresh air. When you get back we can figure something out for work. Go see the sights! You've come all this way no?" Elara nods. "y-yeah..I'll do just that." Sinje tosses her a wave as she leaves her quarters. Elara looks over to her clean clothes on the chair before getting up out of bed, wincing at the pain in her shoulder and getting dressed.  

Sol

She opens the door that leads out into the hallway. Its quiet and the soft sound of plates chatter from below in the Inn. She makes her way to the stairs that lead down before stopping at the window that rests at the landing. Framed by beautiful stained glass, the window looks out onto the city of Sol. There is a burst of excitement upon seeing this beautiful sun stained place. The yellows and copper colors cast from the aesthetic of Sol brings her intrigue. Its very different from Elohim, so very different. The sun shines through the window, catching the stained glass and bouncing rainbows of colors across her face. "....I finally made it..." She closes her eyes as the warmth of the sun comforts her. The window is cracked slightly open and the sound of dancing chimes paint the wind with music and mystery. Off in the distance sitting at the center of Sol rest a large temple, the top of it shimmers off the sun.   Elara descends down the stairs that open up to the main hall of the Inn. The early morning brings many guests and patrons to the establishment for food and beverage to start their day. People of all races and backgrounds sit at the wooden tables chatting among each other as bar maids scurry around from table to table. Some pause to eye the red haired elf as she makes her way across the Inn to the exit but quickly go back to their meals as she passes. She steps out into the open air of Sol. The dry wind blows down the streets and kicks up sand here and there. The streets are busy with vendors and customers alike. Rushing through the streets to start their days of work or shopping. Oxen pulling a cart of goods passes by her and she takes a step back. "Watch your step! Oxen coming through!" Yells a cheerful cat like creature that sits at the front of the cart, its face hidden by a bright red scarf. "o-oh Im sorry!" She pulls the hood of her cloak up over her head. Looking down the street as the Tabaxi waves a hand in acknowledgement. Elara makes her way through the city, taking notice to the beautiful architecture and scenery as she passes. Canopy's of multi colored cloth sway over the market stalls. Each holding various goods as customers and merchants shout and haggle prices. A bard sits at the edge of a well, playing a instrument she's never seen before. She continues to walk down the street, looking at the stalls of goods as she wanders through. She stops at one stall in particular. Bright royal blue fabric droops overhead of the tables, shielding the sun. Many antique looking items rest on the table. Things like magnifying glasses, quills, steins, compasses, knives, pendants, and books. "Many of these things come from across the globe." An elderly man appears in front of her. His voice shaky from old age. "I see.." She runs her hand along the feather of an old quill. "Looking for something in particular?" He asks and she shakes her head. "Oh no no.. Just looking." Her eyes fall to a small copper owl charm. It brings her a reminder of her Deity Celestian and she pauses, staring down at it amid the passerby's in the street. From the small readings on her Deity she knows the owl is representative of him and it is often mentioned in readings about Celestian. She looks up to the man and smiles brightly. "Thank you for letting me browse." He nods as she turns with a wave. The new sights of this small city brings her hope and a spark to keep wandering. It fills her with excitement and a curiosity as she walks through the streets. Would I have ever considered leaving Elohim had I not met you that night? Have you been watching this unfold since we first met? She thinks to herself while looking up to the sky, shielding the sun with her hand, she smiles warmly.  

Drink up!

It has been about two weeks since Elara arrived to Sol. Her wounds on her shoulder and thigh have healed and for the past two weeks, she has been helping Sinje in the tavern with washing dishes in the kitchen. Paying her back for her room and board there. Today was busy in the tavern, and while its still bustling with patrons, Sinje comes storming into the kitchen with excitement. "YOU AND ME! To the center of the city! Its about time we get some air and experience the festival!" Sinje shouts. The past few days there has been a hustle of people in the city, setting up a festival in the center of town. A celebration of a joyful summer as the solstice reaches its highest point. The days are long and give way to later sunsets, and as the city that honors the sun, its only fitting. "I'd love to!" Elara turns, drying her hands on a towel. "Lets go! Lets go!" Sinje grabs her hand and they make their way to the door. The sun has set and the night sky is clear. The aurora dances overhead with beautiful greens and purples. The main road is decorated with red, orange, and yellow streamers. Insignia of the sun dangle down across the street as music is heard in the distance. The center of the city is filled with people. A band plays uplifting music to the side of the square as vendors sell ale and a large bonfire illuminates the area in the center. SInje pulls Elara to the vendor, "Two Ales!" She shouts, handing over coin and placing a ridiculously huge tankard of ale in the hands of Elara. "Oh...my.." Elara stares down at the tankard. Sinje laughs, "have you not had a drink before?" Elara shakes her head. "Ah no I haven't..." Sinje bursts out laughing. "No time like the present!" She takes a huge sip of her own ale. Elara stares at the tankard, the froth on the top slowly settles and she joins her in taking a drink. The two continue drinking, watching people dance and shout in the center of the square as they chat among themselves for an hour or two. As time sinks into the late evening, their drinks are finished and a wave of intoxication washes over Elara. "Is it normal to not feel your face?" Elara looks to Sinje and they burst out laughing. "Yes, YES IT IS! It means its time to dance!" Sinje shouts, grabbing her hand and dragging her off to the center of the square.  

Are you with me?

The music stops and quickly changes to an even more uplifting song. Strong drums fill the air as various instruments slowly come into play. People start chanting and singing along with the song as the large group of people dancing start moving around the bonfire."Oh no no no! No no no!" Elara shouts over the music. "Yes this is happening!" Sinje swings her around by the hands dancing to the music with the crowd of people around the bonfire. Elara begins to follow the steps of Sinje, laughing with embarrassment, shyness, and alcohol. They both laugh and dance awkwardly as people start whisking Sinje away. Strangers take Elara by the hand dancing with her and spinning her around as others step in and take over. One after another she meets various people. Dwarves, humans, elves, Tabaxi. So many faces, laughing and smiling as they dance around the fire. The Tabaxi she saw earlier takes her hand, twirling her around. "Why hello!" He smiles. She sees Sinje next to her dancing and she bursts out in laughter. Maybe it was the alcohol, or Elara finding comfort in the chaos of the night, but she starts dancing on her own. Twirling around to the beat of the drums between people. Moving graciously around the fire with the others The embers of the fire drift into the air towards the sky as she looks upwards. As she is spun around in the dance, her eyes lock on to a hooded figure in the distance. The man is leaning up against a stone wall of a building, arms crossed, hood covering his eyes, and his face smirking faintly in her direction. Small bangs of white hair peeking down from the hood the man is wearing. The moment in which Elara finds herself, feels as though time has slowed, as her heart races frantically. “Celestian?....” She says softly under her breath. The hooded man lifts his head up slightly and the faint smirk on his face turns to a comforting smile but before she could see his face, she is quickly spun around. “What did you say M’lady?” The Tabaxi merchant that is currently dancing with her shouts over the music. Her eyes blink frantically. Trying to look through the crowd of people in the direction she saw the hooded man. “Oh! Uh..n…nothing!” She shouts back to him. There is a break in the crowd and the hooded man is no longer there. She lets go of the man she was dancing with, pushing him away “Hey! WAIT!” The man whom she was dancing with shouts. She stumbles through the crowd to the edge in a panic, losing her footing she falls to her knees. Her eyes dart back and forth across the many vendors and tables on the edges of the city center but the man is nowhere to be found. Sinje appears next to Elara, placing a hand on her shoulder. She quickly turns to look up at her, slightly startled, snapping her back to reality. “You alright?” She would go on to ask. “…y-yeah.” She says faintly. Returning to gaze at the wall she saw the hooded man. “What is it?” Sinje asks looking over to the same direction as Elara. “I thought I saw…” Her eyes shoot down to the ground. “I just thought I saw someone I knew.” She looks back up to her smiling. “Ahahaha! Maybe I’ve had too much to drink!” Elara brushes the hair out of her face. "Elara you are drunk!" Sinje laughs, grabbing her hand and pulling her up. She stumbles a bit, brushing off her robes. "Oh...yeah..." Her eyes glance over her shoulder back to the wall. No one is standing there and her heart sinks in her chest. A wave of sadness rushes over her and a reminder that she needs to continue her journey strikes her thoughts. "You want to head back?" Sinje asks, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Y-yeah..." Sinje puts Elara's arm over her shoulder and helps her back to the inn, stumbling down the street from intoxication.  

Order of the Sun

The sun shines heavily into the room. Elara brings a hand up over her head and grumbles. Rolling onto her back she stares up at the ceiling for a minute, recalling the night before. "I was seeing things..." She says under her breath, sitting up and letting her legs dangle over the edge of the bed. She gets dressed and makes the bed, heading down to the kitchen. "Good morning.." She says softly as Sinje sits at a small table eating breakfast. "Oh good morning! Here grab something to eat." Elara sits down at the table. "Sinje..." Elara says faintly. 'Hrm?" She looks up from her food. "I need to start planning my leave here." "Oh? Thats right, you were looking for something on the other side of the mountains right?" Sinje asks, putting the fork down on the table. "Yeah...I'm hoping to find more information in Verde." "Well, I happen to know the Order of the Sun is running a caravan through the tunnel in two days time. You could join them so you wont be alone." Elara tilts her head. "You think they'd let me?" She asks, biting into some toast. "Oh Im sure! We can head over there and figure something out. Although... I'll be honest, Im rather sad I will have to say goodbye to you..." Sinje frowns. "I really enjoyed my time here, Im glad to have made a friend along the way." Elara gives her a large smile. "Lets head to the Temple then..get that sorted!" Sinje stands up and heads to the door, Elara follows behind.

Elara Dwin'annia cover
by opiu
Hair
Long, apple red hair.
Height
5'7"
Weight
130 lbs

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!