Alseera’s Journal, 9th entry
Aurumay also wanted to know how I was getting on: did I like my classes? am I settling in and making some friends? I told her that I really didn’t have enough experience yet with the classes to make a judgement, since I’ve just started the General Magic suggested by Quizmet. The one class I did have, on the ethics of certain types of magic, was interesting but seemed a bit more appropriate to the School of Divinity than the School of Arcana. Then again, breadth in studies doesn’t hurt, either. Also, I noted that for the little time I’ve been here, I’ve already been involved in two battles, which has absorbed some time (chiefly going back and forth to Greydon) and energy as well.
Certainly I feel pretty comfortable here, have managed so far to support myself all right, and I’ve become closer to Kethra, Bernard, Dane, and Whurel.
Wanda came up, and Aurumay was a little disappointed at the prospect of a misfit between her and the several of us. She encouraged trying to find something positive in Wanda’s presence (difficult, since Wanda treats me like dirt under her feet) and try to learn something from everyone. That’s good advice, but in this case I believe it is advice better given to Wanda than to me. I only recently found out Wanda is also a spellcaster, for example, but not from her talking about anything like her classes.
The basic library course is done, and I have a good idea of how to use this library now. It is much more complete than the one I used in Ilbris, which was pretty much limited to magical subjects; this one has all kinds of stuff. I doubt if I could read all of it even if I spent my whole life here!
Besides such homework as has come up so far in the General Magic curriculum (not much, yet), I looked into several items.
The Drak-esk Ork is going to take some time and effort. It is full of old, obscure references in languages written long ago (so the phraseology is, um, strange to ‘modern’ ears) and I’m going to have to wade through it. I sure am glad I know Draconic; I’d be lost on this subject without it! Some of the stuff I saw was actually written by dragons…and their thought processes are a lot different, evidently, than mine!
I found more information on the Wild Hunt. In past ages, before the Empire, it appeared when some great evil was present in the land. This wasn’t just raids by organized bands, even large ones, of hobgoblins or orcs, but something unnatural, unholy. Only then did the Hunter appear. Modern scholars have tended to consider it only a legend, which is patently untrue from personal experience! If you look back into the few scrolls from the older Lorin period,, you get something of a different perspective. Those authors treat it as a fact of the “elder age.” (I don’t know what they mean by”elder age,” yet. More research will no doubt be necessary.) So, whatever is causing the Wild Hunt to appear in these areas (so far, counting the experience with Jack the caravan guard, verified more or less by me personally from Falloden to Greydon), it is likely to be something very nasty indeed.
On that “Dark Lord” the elves mentioned, the references were mostly obscure in that over time a number of “dark lords” have been around. Some of this appears in history texts, other parts in books about legends. The one reference that stood out was one that mentioned a “Dark Lord of Fear” who came into Lorin not long after the empire arrived. He was supposed to have fed somehow on the fear of his victims, taking them to his estates where they were terrorized to insanity. This Dark Lord of Fear was undead, and his favorite prey was said to be children. Ugh. No mention of what happened to him, or if he was destroyed. I’ll see if I can find any references to where these “estates” were, in relation to the Falloden-Seville-Greydon axis on the map. I passed all the information I found on both the Hunt and Dark Lord back to Quizmet and Aurumay.
I didn’t find even a single word about our red-tinged gold in the library. I may consult a moneychanger or two; they might have seen coins like that in the past, perhaps. A shot in the dark, perhaps, but something to try.
The records on Bella Nightshade were skimpy and out of date. The entries I found only mentioned that she’d been an instructor of Druidic Studies for 10 years here but mentioned neither that she’d left, nor that she was a major disappointment to several of the present staff. Not much to go on.
One druid is not likely to be a hideous enough evil to summon the Wild Hunt; if I had to make a bet, I’d lay odds on this Bella being some kind of agent for or feeding off of a much worse evil, with both taking advantage of the recent ‘rising’ of raids from the steppes as convenient cover for their activities. But what that ‘much worse evil’ may be is only guesswork at this time.
How to make magical items? Monstrous subject! At first glance, it is full of strange recipes, many of which seemingly contradict each other! Weird phraseology and arcane languages were also rife in this subject, and, like the Drak-esk Ork, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to dig through it.
I’ve made some samples of my sweetened chilled-firm cream with flavorings. I think it tastes really good (You could get fat fast on this stuff! Much watch out to not eat too much of it…if I can muster the willpower), and will try it out on the others. Found out you can’t use flavorings with any water in them…it makes sharp ice crystals — Ow! Bits of fruit have to be really small for the same reason. Can’t be too cold, either, or it has the consistency of a brick until it warms up some. Also, you can’t mix it too vigorously (as the Mage Hand first did) or it sort of turns into sweetened, flavored butter!
I also signed up for the Flute Performance class. This may help in supporting
myself. I was accounted pretty good with a flute in Ilbris, so maybe with a little practice and study I can play the inns here. Besides, I like it playing the flute; it relaxes me.