I labor to all that I feel I must. Guided by a sensation of destiny forged by my own mind and the influences of others. Yet, in the midst of this, there are times I become distracted. I am distracted now as I make my way through this cavern. Cursed to long for something I cannot have. Though perhaps the denial of my wants is what makes it so sweet when I do indulge? I ponder this thought as I ascend from the caverns on faded stone stairs and tread out of the cavern’s mouth across a forest. The blanket of night covers me. The night feels like a cool, a tender mercy allowing me to walk where I otherwise would be unable. The gods, unwilling to stop me or perhaps in sympathy to give me this brief moment of freedom from a curse. My mind churns over the questions of what a god may or may not feel but the absence of any definitive answer leaves me sick of the question and I abandon it. Besides, I had arrived at my destination.
My pointed ears are filled with the consuming sound of rain pattering against foliage. I stand just past a tree-line just breaking onto a sandy beach of which an endless ocean sits. The ambient sound is deep, the drops of water, heavy as they splash and break across the sandy beach and forested tree line at my back. Paired with the rain is the musical sound of numerous bugs and the occasional call of a night-bird. Inhaling, my lungs are filled with air that is clean. It feels purifying and a deep calm settles over my body. It is risky, but I have abandoned wisdom to indulge my soul in whatever healing it says I need. My fingers, calloused from wielding a blade, wrap around the leather straps of my breastplate and I undo it. Lifting it up then releasing, the heavy enchanted mithril metal clunks into the grassy sand.
With my visible armor relieved I dismiss my wards. Dissipating the arcane in an equally flagrant disregard for my own safety. Wisdom murmurs in my mind that I am a fool but is left silent when I affirm that I know I am foolish and sometimes, one must be foolish. With my mind having no rebuttal I further abandon myself to the draw of my emotions and spirit. I step out from the tree line fully exposing myself to the weather. I feel I am handing control of myself over to the elements, the gods, to the universe and all its intricacies. There is nothing left to safeguard me. In my vulnerability, I am united with the spirit of Toril.
The rain splatters around me and quickly soaks my spider silk top. The sky above, thick with dark clouds, but the sensation is not menacing. More lethargic as the large masses float lazily along the dark sky and bless the earth below with its life giving water. In front of me, there is the ocean and as I draw nearer the sound of the pull and crush of waves upon the shore pairs with the sky water. I am close enough that the crashing waves gently caress my bare feet before being drawn back into the ocean.
There I stand. The expanse of ocean illuminated by the distant and vague light of a concealed moon. The sound of crashing waves. Of Rain. Of night’s bugs chirping and thrumming. Of the occasional roll of thunder. My blood red eyes close and I stand letting the environment further consume me. The rain drips from my white hair, from my chin. And I feel as if I am being washed. Am I dirty? Yes. My soul is dark and has courted many foul powers in a quest to both survive and do what I believe I must.
But this place. This quiet. It has a way of disarming me. As if everything I had done was irrelevant. And perhaps it was? Should I perish or continue to live, this world would be as it was. The waves of the ocean would still crash. The clouds in the sky would continue to float by. The winds would blow, the birds would sing, Toril would not cease to exist if I were gone. For all I have done, all I am, and all I would strive to be, my effect on this world is akin to the storm that rumbles above my head. Fleeting and passing. Promising to eventually disperse and give way to clear skies.
Like the storm above me that brings water to the earth below I too leave a wake of rain. That rain is an essence of myself that is given to those around me. Nurturing whatever it is I nurture. Like the cloud, I move by, depositing what I have and leaving behind those who consume it to do with it what they will. I breathe in again. My lungs filling with the wet, cool, crisp air of ocean, beach and forest. My chest rises. I hold it. Then release slowly, my chest falling.
Before now, my mind would have been too chaotic to adopt this tender meditation. Paranoia would have been too ripe to allow for my mind to rest. It is not that the dangers I fear cease to exist. No, in fact, I cease to care. The power they held over me was a power I granted them. Without my permission they were empty. And so I stand. On the surface. The ocean licking my feet, the rain cleaning my flesh. The wind blowing my hair. I am a part of this world and despite the efforts of my cousin to quell me from it, I endure.
I tread a few paces further into the ocean so that the water rises to my knees. My thighs bare. The waves lap gently across me. Breaking around me then pulling back out as the water continues its eternal dance of crashing upon the shore only to retreat a breath later. Leaning forward I dip my fingers into the cool ocean waters.
“Corellon.” I say my forsaken father’s name softly. In this state of attunement, I feel he hears me. A sensation washes over me. First of surprise, then of disgust and last of resentment. Yes, I have my fathers attention now. A thin smirk touches my lips, my eyes close, the world I now walk is spiritual. It is not physical. I leave my body behind.
All at once I feel my mind in the company of Corellon. His shock in my muttering of his name has drawn his attention. He says nothing but his spirit resides alongside mine. I feel he displays himself to me, grand in his presentation. Denoting the pride of the Seldarine in his stature and bravado of his presence. Yet, there is a twinge of mischievous chaos. That slight inclination towards chaos that brought him to me. That would not allow him to ignore my call even though it was subtle.
In the spiritual realm I look to Corellon and we see each other plainly.
“You remind me of her.” The voice of a god rolls like thunder. Consuming in all directions. Filling the senses. Words spoken not of our mortal tongues but of the divine. Words that speak to the soul, not the ears.
“I am her.” I reply simply. A daughter of Lolth. When my people were banished we were bound to Lolth. Our only hope for survival in the deep dark. Without the Queen’s guidance we would be lost. As a result, I am in some ways a fragment of Lolth. Truly, her daughter.
Now, it was not Corellon and I, but Corellon and Lolth who stood gazing at each other. My voice is my own again as I say. “Through me, she escapes the confines of your prison. There are cracks in your wall, father. And with each passing cycle, I make those cracks bigger.” the words come out boldly, angrily, the emotion one could only have when their people have faced an oppression that has lasted generations. More generations than most races could imagine and could ever feel themselves. A deep blood feud the likes of which can be spoken of but only understood by those whose blood fuels that feud.
Corellon smirks. “You are not strong enough.” He says. And he is accurate. All at once his presence leaves and I feel my spirit is alone. A wave crashes into my physical body and my body stumbles, my legs take one step, two steps, a third back and the pull of the ocean throws me off balance and I collapse. My white hair rises upwards, floating and moving with the tug of water. I hold my breath and struggle to pull myself free of the ocean's grasp. I fumble to the beach.
I hear Correllon laugh at me. As if it was his hand that pushed the wave that knocked me over. How easily I was discarded. “I am not strong enough…” I mutter to myself after choking coughs dispel the ocean water that had made it to my lungs. It is a painful thing to admit but a truth I feel I must take to heart.
The effect of hitting the ocean floor and the waves crashing over my head had knocked some sense into me. I could feel the effects of the drug wearing off. My skin was wrinkled. It felt as if I had only been in the ocean for mere minutes but the ache of my muscles and the wear upon my skin suggested otherwise. It had stopped raining too. The dark clouds having thinned. The light of the moon more vibrant as it broke through to shine clearly.
I lay upon the beach and breathe in the earthy scent of wet sand. Slowly finding my strength I bring my soggy body up towards the tree line. Collecting my breastplate I fumble over to a nearby tree with heavy thick branches. I collapse beneath it and lean against the wooden trunk wrapping my breastplate between my arms and body, hugging it as if it were a close friend.
Leaning my head upon the tree my eyes close. Reverie. My mind wanders, pondering over the many thoughts the Elder Brain had left me. Some were coherent. Some were not. An unknown amount of time passes but when I stir from reverie I note that the sun has risen and its golden rays burn my slightly opened eyes. I let out a disgusted and pained sigh. My mind races trying to remember where I was. I fumble around on my belt and find my lens. I crack it and think of Andunor. A breath of a moment passes and I am back beneath the earth. Back to my grave.
I try, with some dignity to walk through the hub and exit. Retaining some grace though my disheveled hair and damp body did not do any respect to the title I had been bestowed. Leaving the hub I make for the Gondola. Eager to find a bath to wash the sun and surface stench from my body. I remind myself I should not take so much of the narcotic next time. I wandered far further than I had thought myself capable. What was dream and what was reality are all twisted. I cannot tell them apart. Perhaps it was all reality? I could not know.