Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

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Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:27 pm

Garrett sat reading, jotting notes down as he did so, pouring over the vast number of books that filled the city. He had gone over about sixty so far, with another forty in his bag. From all this, the history of the island and a greater body of knowledge slowly revealed itself. With it came darker insinuations about the island. Finishing his latest book, "Deities: Kelemvor," he set it aside and began to jot down his thoughts on a new page.
When I left Cormyr, stowing away on a ship, I wanted to escape the lethargic methods my master insisted on teaching with. Books upon books, just hiding away in a library and not gaining nearly enough practical experience. I wanted more.

But now, being here and seeing everything and learning everything about the greater world, I'm left wondering if the old man just wanted to protect us, to guide us down a good path before others put foul ideas into our heads.

I've come across several books so far defending necromancy as having a goodly place in the world, each contradicting one another's work. The first one I was ready to accept, but the more I read, the more it leaves me uneasy.

A few excerpts for future reference:
From A Brief History of Minmir and Myon,
"Minmir yet thrived, and a council of our people led it wisely and well. Until their trust was betrayed by a human adviser in the Minmir court, by the name of Manfried. An elf-friend and trusted counselor, he fell to the lure of dark, necromantic magic. Subtle at first, the taint of his magic spread through Minmir while all frantically sought the source, hidden all the while behind the trusting smile of a friend."

From Deities: Kelemvor,
"Cyric plots endlessly to regain dominion over death, a portfolio he held briefly, and instructs his mortal followers to oppose those of Kelemvor by disturbing the rest of the dead, mutilating corpses to prevent identification, and supporting all kinds of necromantic activity. "

The sheer amount of material defending and promoting necromancy that I am coming across is leaving me wondering, has the church of Cyric infiltrated institutions of magic? I was worried about being captured and sacrificed by them ever since encountering that brazen Cyricist walking the streets of Cordor. Have I missed the real threat entirely, that they seek to subvert Mystra and Kelemvor by casually promoting evil until it is accepted? I'll need to keep my mind sharp and be on guard. The first step might be to try and find goodly folk on the island. Although, at this point, I'm not even certain who I can trust anymore.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Unease lingered within the Arcane Tower through the evening, bodies having been dumped there earlier by someone struck with panic, warning about an Underdark raid on Bendir. Jadoth's words on the matter remained on Garret's mind: They're powerful like gods, there's no way to defeat them, it's not even worth trying to fight them. Nothing can be done. Garrett sat slouching on a couch, staring at the ceiling. How does one even react to that? What should he even do? Just give up and do nothing, and wait for them to come for him? Is this why everyone was content to stand around while a follower of Bane preached in the outskirts of Cordor, gaining a new follower while everyone stood around ignoring it? Is this why an elf was content to defend a drow as being her friend?

The words of Miss Starlock resonated even more than Jadoth's.

He wasn't going to sit and wait to die.



He made it this far, he wasn't going to just give up. He made the decision months ago that he wasn't going to just sit, that's why he stowed on a ship in the first place. And when it went south instead of northeast like he thought it was, he didn't go back to Cormyr. He asked the trade caravan if he could tag along as they unloaded their cargo from the ship. It was a simple enough agreement, he was too useless to be paid, but being able to cast some minor protective spells gave him enough value to keep around. And at the next port they reached, the seamen were content to keep him around to cast bull's strength on them to make their jobs easier.

His time with the caravan taught him a lot about life, his first time making choices of his own without his parents or master intervening. The caravaneers had a lot to teach as well. Don't wear robes, they'll limit your movement too much. Don't hesitate to take the life of a fellow man if you're certain they won't hesitate to take yours, bandit raids are ruthless and quick. But likewise, don't hesitate to help someone in need that you find on the road, if you're ever in a time of need you'll be hoping passers by will be there for you. Don't believe everything you hear, a lot of roadside hawkers and scammers lie to take advantage of travelers who don't know the area.

The time to be afraid was over, especially if he was going to die no matter what. Especially if everyone around him didn't care about what walked the surface. Maybe he couldn't even count on anyone else to keep him safe. Between Jadoth and Kerri, he was left with the impression that heroes no longer walked the land, and the darkness walked upon it without fear.
"So this is how it was going to be", Gary thought to himself. He wasn't sure if it was determination or anger pushing him, but something within him stirred. He made his way back to his quarters in Cordor and began to review his spellbook. His methods were sloppy, he needed to take time and improve himself.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:05 am

Garrett sat at a table, reviewing his notes. So many things to do. Chores and tasks, people to find, things to inspect. He still wasn't certain what to make of his new position under the Trade Minister. The city's intrigue was thicker than cold porridge. Was he just setting himself up as scapegoat? He made stipulations regarding the job to cover that aspect, to try and keep them from having the ability to entirely place blame on him. What a risky game, and for what gain? He wasn't being paid. His initial thought was it could be a method to encounter rare books or artifacts passing through the city. What better way to learn about such things than working in trade of a port city. But will it ever amount to anything? He paused on the thought. He was gaining quite a bit of valuable information and experience through it, that in itself had a value. But, it was clear, he was going to have to watch his back.

He thought to Astra and the conversation with her. After a smile and pleasantries, she made herself clear. She made her point and now didn't want to speak anymore. It surprised him how much the conversation bothered him. He spent months moving on and seeking new paths, the evening caught him off guard completely. He stared blankly at the wall reflecting on it. He used to look up to her, she was one of the most respectable and trustworthy mages he knew. More than anything else, he felt disappointed.

He looked down to the papers before him again, adding notes and scribbles to a map, deciding to drown out his thoughts and feelings with work.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:36 pm

A map attached to a page in his notebook, the adjacent page filled with a list of names and information.

Image





Shop name ----- owner ------- notes

Outskirst
1: "Why die young," Feign
2: "The Apothecary," Katjan
3: "Mystical Merchandise," Melisenda Zonara.

West Cordor
4: "Irthos Irthir," Eurwyn Dolgellau.
5: "Kane's Wares," Sean Avery Kane
6:"Colts Weapons & Armour," Colt
7: "Caige's Cache," Caige Ridre
8: "Iggy's Bottle Shop," Ignatious Beguiler
9: "Duskwood's Armoury," Geralt Duskwood, associated with the Waynolt Family.

East Cordor
10: "Wind Rider Wares," Aeon Sol
11: "The Trove," Skadi Kholsgard
12: "Dale's Designs & More. Repair Kits always in Store!," Dalafaerion Snowcloak
13: "All That Glitters," Dalgean Holtingo.

Interior shops
14: "Botanica Extraordinaire," Lilah Lannald.
15: "Millerby Trading," Skylar Millerby
16: "Gold Wyrm Merchants," Ghelph Dothrine. Exact same inventory as Ironmoor's.
17: "Welby Vertebouteille, the best merchant in town!", Welby Vertebouteille
18: "The Enchanter," Timothy
19: "The Silver Dragon Smith Shoppe," Caldor
20: "Skald Runaways Mercantile," Sofina Andvagor
21: "Fletchings of the People," Lysanthir Rivvikyn
22: "Oceanic Systems," Patrick O'Sullivan
23: "Treasure Hunter's Bounty," Rutger Stocke
24: "Wild Card Wares," Aramos
25: "Whatever you need," Carlie Nefzen.
26: "House Amolyn Magic and Armourments", Jaslyn Marie Naethandrel, associated with Fools Clover.
27: "Black and White," Igogh
28: "Silverweb Wands and Alchemy," Valeran Begood, associated with SilverWeb
29: "Silver Blacksmith," Zethan Ravensclaw
30: "To guard your funds is to venerate WAUKEEN and to share them well seeds your future success. Worship HER, and you shall know wealth. Call on HER in trade, and SHE will be there. The BOLD find GOLD, the careful keep it, and the timid yield it up," Qasi yn Fortun el-Waukeen yi Athkatla
31: "Tina's Treasures," Tina Trapspringer.
32: "Wave Rider's Good," Einkill Anzulkarin. Associated with the Wave Riders
33: "Roshnak's," Roshnak Ugor, associated with Dragon's Lance
34: "Short Assortment," Glint Stonejaw
35: "Winter's Rest Clinic Shop! 90% of Proceeds go to Clinic Operations!," Snow Emil-Sudentan, associated with Winter's Rest Medical Centre.
36: "Minex Mercantile Outlet," Rann McClow, associated with Minex Mercantile.



Notes:
27/1/142
4 noted switching from Blackthorn's hands to Eurwyn Dolgellau.
10 noted switching from Tabitha F Nutcracker to Aeon Sol.
13 noted STILL selling only garbage. A warning will have to be issued.
25 noted switching from Thaddeus' hands to Carlie Nefzen.
31 noted switching from Taestra Rinn to Tina Trapspringer.
32 noted switching from Henrik Duisternis (associated with Healing Potions and Hodgepodge) to Einkill Anzulkarin.
36 noted switching from Rann McClow (associated with Minex Mercantile) to Wylaana.


Report 22/2/142
The shop Crafts, Imports, and Salvage (32) has a lot of undesirable stock that hasn't moved or updated in at least three tendays. The shop's in a prime location with high visibility in the mercantile building. If they're not going to take their business seriously, they should be spoken to.

Shops selling morally offensive goods:
The Enchanter (18) is selling an Infernal Contract (self explanitory). Why Die Young? (1) is selling a Mask of the Skull (infused with necromantic magic). The Order of Shadows(16) is selling a Mask of Death (infused with necromantic magic).

Other notes: The Guldorand Trading Company (13) has switched hands from Everett Addams to Dalgean Holtingo.


Report 9/3/142
16 noted switching from David Ironmoor to Ghelph Dothrine. The inventory is exactly the same, Dothrine is likely part of Ironmoor's Order of Shadows, or at the very least is a friend of his.

Warning issued to The Enchanter (18) for stocking an infernal contract.
Warning issued to The Good Deal Market (16) for stocking a Mask of Death.
Warning issued to Why Die Young? (1) for stocking a Mask of the Skull.


Report 2/4/142
Einkill's shop (32) changed names from "Crafts, Imports, and Salvage" to "Wave Rider's Good." It is now associated with the Wave Riders.
Frostblades: Reasonable prices, for all adventurers (11) has changed hands from Mach S. Fryar to Skadi Kholsgard.
Shop 2 for sale, formerly owned by Katjan.
The Good Deals Market (16) has changed names to Gold Wyrm Merchants.

The previous 3 warnings were complied with.

Warning issued to Gold Wyrm Merchants (16) for stocking a book of chromatic dragon summoning.
Warning issued to Irthos Irthir (4) for stocking a book of demonic summoning.

Tina's Treasures (31) is selling a shield with Thaddeus' maker's mark, as well as elven ceremonial armour.
The Trove (11) is selling a kama called a moon blade. Is this a real one? I've never seen a moon blade.
Millerby Trading (15) is selling Myon chain armour.
I will ask Snow-Emil about these elven items.
Last edited by Party in the forest at midnight on Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:44 am

Garrett walked through the empty hall. Candles snuffed, signs missing, it had been empty for days. Save for his occasional visit, to see if anyone was there. The silence, broken only by the sounds he himself made. He left the building, the evening turning his gaze inwards.

"Who am I?
Do I even know?
Or do I define myself by what I am not?"


He walked the empty alleys of Cordor, the pattering of rain on the cobbles amplified by the silence of the early morning hours.

"When put like that, it sounds quite negative.
Do I believe in nothing myself, if all I can do is contrast myself to others?

No.
I am an incomplete vessel.
That is the answer- I am discerning with what I want to become for I still have the potential to become."


These questions weighed on his mind as he left the city for the farmlands. From the gap between the tree line and clouds, the morning sun rolled its light over the countryside, reflecting off the accumulated water on the ground with brilliant light. Garrett took a few moments to breath deeply the morning air and focus himself.

"I define myself by what I do not want to be, to close my vessel off from it.
By discovering what I am not, I have filled myself with purpose for who I am.
In uncovering these definitions, I have found a path to becoming."


Returning to his apartment, Garrett changed out of his damp coat and sat on the edge of his bed with a book open in his lap and pen in hand. He scribbled a few pictures: One of a dragon, one of a lion, one of a winged cat. The words of the man stuck with him. Garrett never asked him about himself, but he could read between the lines. He drew a circle.

"Is there inherent right or wrong, or is it determined on circumstance?"

He drew a line through the circle, and filled half of it with ink.

"The thin line. Or is it a spear, the horizon that pierces between day and night. The dawn and twilight-- The horizon doesn't care if the sun is rising or setting.
To walk means one's feet will touch both sides.
But I choose to walk, rather than avoid the circle.
I am critical of myself, but what do I see in others, those I would call kin--
Self-serving, complacency with murder, conspiracy. They too overlook sins of their peers.
I value where I step, and as such, I need to not lie to myself about where my foot falls."


He thought some more and continued scribbling.

"Journey.
The journey that led me here.
The journey for what is to come."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:30 am

Garrett knelt before an altar, focusing his mind on a mixture of prayer and meditation. He spent hours in place, ignoring his hunger and warding off mental exhaustion.

"The Body of the Woman. That which I touch, that which She allows me to touch. She will always be important to me, but I've lost faith in those that serve her. It tears at my mind, as such I need to act rather than dwell."

He kept his eyes closed, filling his thoughts with the sounds around him. The floorboards creaking, a gust of wind outside causing the trees to rustle. He quietly prayed, filling his head with the Lord of Spell's dogma.

"Reason. Calm, cool, collected. I'm not nearly good enough at being calm. I need to change myself. The lesson in meditation is something I need to take to heart. To better myself, in all aspects. It is important to know when to use magic, and when to not. To trust when I cast a spell, it has a purpose that it will serve. And to trust myself when I do not cast a spell. In time, I will work to add to the collective of magic knowledge, but for now, I must focus on the moment. Where I am now, where I am going, where I hope to end up. And to focus on everything I learn on the way. The end result is the product of time, it is not instantaneous. It requires patience and persistence."

His mind drifted, thinking about the election and everything that happened over the previous month. He opened his eyes and stared at the wall, clearing his mind of thought. His duty to himself would eventually fulfill his duty to the city. Orderly, things would happen, one at a time. He closed his eyes once more and took to meditating.

"I am the board on the wall. I am the mat on the floor. I breathe as one with the motions of the wind. I move in tune with the torch's flickering flame."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:02 am

Garrett sat at the table in his room, head in his hands and empty bottles beside him. Birds outside cawed, irritably he pushed himself up and went to the window and peered out, watching them fight over scraps of bread. He closed the window shutters and went back to his chair, uncorking another bottle of spirits. The events of the day repeated in his head, an unending carousel of misery.

"There is a place that I would like to show you. Where people like us have gone before.
A place cut off from where normal men tread, so that they could reflect in peace. And they have left notes of their findings."


The ruins, a place of legend he had read about in a book. A place he never dreamed he would ever set foot into. As soon as he heard where they were traveling to, he knew this would be the destination. It was just as the book said, yet it couldn't have prepared him for what he encountered within.

"Take a look around, but be respectful. We are guests in this place.
This is a journey for the self. Insight left by many who came before us."


While the entire land was a habitat to everything lost to whispers, the most well-kept room of the ruin stood as an illusion defying itself: A truth where there should be none. Grand statues and stonework surrounded him, columns standing as a monuments. And at their center, was the Mirror. The written works, judgement upon himself through his own introspection. He saw his outline in the Mirror, but the more he looked, the harder it was to catch his reflection. And with the lack of a reflection, so too did he become empty inside from the burden of what he saw. This was knowledge he now knew, there was no unlearning it.

The void within, a sense of loneliness he could not resolve. After the election, he saw everyone around him become complacent and simple. Yet he still had purpose, there was one purpose. And now, the question burned into the core of his being: Stand up for what he believes, or turn away and pretend nothing changed? Just as all the others do, to maintain the illusion of a pleasant life?

Out of a drunken state of despair he dragged himself outside of his room to the nearby altar and prayed. Not to a deity, but to a human. He prayed for Her guidance, that the legends from home were true. He prayed for hope. Shortly after, he passed out.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:52 pm

*An entry in his journal...*
With everything going on, it is selfish to expect Aleska to help. I'm hoping Arthur is alright. It's strange there are so few dedicated cooks and bakers in this city. But, I thought long and hard, and realized the solution is well within my grasp. Baking, much like magic, follows strict rules. By very carefully including a recipe and its ingredients in with a standard transmutation spell formula, I've discovered I can transform one kind of food into another! I might be able to finally place a date on when to hold the celebration. I long to get it out of the way. I've discovered I'm bad at this sort of thing, I should leave festivals up to bards. With the kidnapping and uncertainty, is it hollow to hold a celebration to try and promote the idea that things are improving? I don't know, but, I'd like to promote the illusion.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:30 am

An entry in his journal...
I'm glad the celebration is over with. It wouldn't have gone anywhere nearly as well without Piper's help, she does her faith a great service with her dedication. It was stressful, I discovered I'm really not good at this kind of thing. But, now that I've got some time to sit and relax and reflect, I'm realizing I did cross a major milestone for myself.

When Jasper first interviewed me for Arcane Tower membership, he asked, what does magic mean to me? It made me stop and think about why I do what I do, and the conclusion I came to was I admire magic for the possibilities it represents. As an example I used magical light-- At some point, someone created this very basic and fundamental spell. It's now become a staple for creating fireless light sources and has a vast number of applications. On that day I said I hope to someday create a spell that others will find a use for.

Seeing Elysia's excitement at the concept of flesh-to-cookie as a spell and her note taking as I spoke about it was possibly the best feeling I've had in years. Both her and Piper saw potential for the spell, Piper was excited for what it could potentially mean for future celebrations. And after the celebration, all of the transmuted baked goods were gone! I feel as though I may have finally taken that first step in helping expand magic as a field.

Lord of Spells, I offer my utmost gratitude you. For the insight into a new depth of magic, and for guiding my discipline and focus. And likewise I must offer my thanks to the Lord of Knowledge for the creativity, for allowing the idea to become reality. I need to write about the spell and distribute it, for the sake of the growth of magical studies as well as the greater body of knowledge as a whole.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:51 am

An entry in his journal...
Black step, white step, and the thin line between. Today I chose the white step into the light. I am filled with fear of what all of this means.

The fear of my life being on the line. The fear of realizing what it would mean to lose all grace from the Radiance. The light is part of my life fairly regularly, the daylight that I take for granted, for it is always there. I panicked when I realized, what if it was suddenly gone? The eyes of those who envy the light, will they be watching me? Their prying questions. I watched the Blinded and their bloodthirst, I open myself up to being ripped apart by them and their insatiable hunger. For should the Radiant wish it, I could simply be cast away to them.

It was the trip to the Shining Sanctum that inspired my choice today. The Sanctum was quiet, solemn, it was a place of learning. Contemplation. A luminous place that defied itself, lucidity despite the blinding light, a place where truths were laid bare.
Today I found myself in a place of noise and distraction and flaming hot sunlight, but the core lessons of the Sanctum stick with me. The iconic mask reminded me of that day and guided my choices (and I am left wondering, was he a disciple of the Sanctum?):
I will not run. All experiences are knowledge and growth. And this is the core of what I am. I must learn, I must see the world for what it is, with my own eyes.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:27 pm

His words the tenday prior stewed within his mind, "I will not run."
And likewise, their questions stuck with him. What was it he would not be running from, where was it that he stood?
And while it was unrelated, his conclusion filled him with resolve. "I will not run from knowledge. I have read every book put before me, agree with it or not I will read it and judge its material based on what is presented, not upon sentiment. And I have found a gap in knowledge, there appear to be few historians left."


***********

The return to the Sanctum, the place of learning.

Image



The conversation was long and focused on past just as much as present. And as always in this place, truths came from oneself. The isolation paradox:
Those who don't understand the theory of inverted light, who don't see the world for what it is, don't understand enough to be a friend. And those who do understand it aren't friends.


Although a second truth emerged through action which caught Garrett's attention. He removed his armour; he let his guard down. Potentially a purposeful misdirection, but as a statement the act said, "you are not a threat."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:36 am

Several empty bottles littered Garrett's apartment. Much like the last time he visited the Sanctum, it was now time to deal with the revelations. He realized, while perhaps he didn't have any he would consider friends, he also hadn't necessarily given some of the people in his life a fair chance either. It was time to pull the light from their eyes and show them the truth, introduce them to his real self.

Piper, a reliable woman. He enjoyed speaking with her in the past, despite the few similarities between them they both desired to see a better world. She insisted his plight was common, that many don't feel joy themselves yet would take the time to give others what they don't have. He sighed and took a long drink. She pried further, "What do you mean then? Help me understand."
Only a tenday prior he said those very words, what a strange experience to be on the receiving end. It was impossible to not make the mental connection between himself and the other and wonder if this is how he felt when asked that question. He chuckled at the absurdity of his life.
"Did I say something funny? I didn't mean to!" She said, breaking his thoughts.
"Understanding is pretty important. A lot of people just straight up don't care to understand. And, eh, it's fine. I just asked someone else something with those words a tenday ago." He said, leaning back in the chair and looking upwards.
"Understanding another person is one of the most important things I think we can do. How could I make someone laugh, if I do not understand what brings them joy? What might weigh their spirit down? It is in knowing another person that we can set them free." She replied.
The thoughts lingered with Garrett. This must have been how he felt, someone so out of touch with his life experiences, asking to understand. He set his thoughts aside, and began to explain his sense of self.
The two spoke at length, he quoted an excerpt that best described his understanding of the world, the description of the inverted light. Although she didn't understand, she expressed her own internal struggles, things so outside of his realm of experience he couldn't fathom how to even give advice. The conversation was heartfelt. Although no answers came from it for either of them, he was left with a sense that he could count on her if he ever needed to.

Next, he sought out Dusty, a woman he had come to know and speak with on a few occasions before. A scholarly woman, interested in the elevation of society, and interested in working with him in educating the masses. Although she professed a similar understanding of the world, her personality was dominating and preaching, rather than one of listening and understanding. It was hard for him to get a sense of her, she was enigmatic. She kept her secrets close to her-- The mark of someone who had something to lose. But at the same time, she valued knowledge and education. He bestowed upon her the truth, his plans for the coming months. She too hadn't seen any books describing a portion of the island's history, despite its presence upon everyone's lips. It had to be researched, it had to be recorded.
She interrupted the conversation with an affectionate touch, one he couldn't find within himself to reciprocate. Awkwardness and shame surrounded him, the failure to live up to expectations. He sat hunched over, leaning on his knees with his face in his hands. How many men would leap at this opportunity, and yet here he was, not able to perform. So much weighed on his mind as it was, a new slew of questioned only added to the burden. Why couldn't he find it within himself to enjoy life? Was he this bound to misery? Or was it that sense that she was using him? She described earlier about how many she would bed. The advances were out of nowhere. Was this her attempt to try and cheer him up, or part of her own games? Should it even matter? He lifted his face from his hands and looked her over, thinking to himself, "her form is a visage many seek in their lives and dreams. But it's not my dream to partake, I shan't find myself in her bed in the morning."
Somberly, he got to his feet and took a hearty swig from his flask, ignoring her attempts to comfort him with a hug, then left for his apartment.

Garrett stared out his window at the moonlit land outside, the quiet cobbles and glimmering sea standing silent within the darkness. He wanted to cry out into the night, but knew deep down it was futile-- The night was silent in its ways. The only place help and strength came from was within, and from no other.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:56 pm

Garrett sat within his apartment, shutters closed to block out the world. They were right, how could he claim to believe in personal growth if he drank so much. He abandoned his alcohol, all thirteen bottles, before he left. And now he sat, alone, with only himself to confront. His head aching fiercely, he sat in the darkness with only the sun peeping through the shutter cracks to keep him company. A thousand scattered thoughts darted through his mind. Sheer and utter chaos filled his essence, good and evil held no bearing in the noise within his head.

"The Diamond is right, I need to stop drinking. I thought about it, I picked it up after I lost the sense of purpose I gained. Dealing with people became a chore. I didn't care about it because nothing mattered. It was an expression of nihilism, a trait I need to not absorb."
"The only aspect of Shar I will allow into myself is her prophet's description of the blinding light. That much is truth, which extends outward and exists outside of their faith. It is a truth that would exist without her, a truth her prophet put words to."

"I feel just like I did when I left Cormyr, this burning need to leave it all behind. I'm sick of the politics, the idiotic games played in this city."
"You only feel that way because it doesn't fulfill you anymore."
"Is there anything here I care about? Is there anything here I'll miss?"
"I felt alive during those dark months. A lie of the self to confront, I am just a bloodthirsty, prowling animal, just like all of the others around me. The warbands and their dedicated bloodlust paraded as heroism. I am no better."
"I felt a strong sense of meaning and purpose. I felt... Was I happy? Was that happy? I think I was. I didn't think about it until now. Then nothing came of it. Not towards others. My notes are extensive and my own. The entire process up until now has been one of learning. The roots of a plant are not visible, but predate the plant's upward growth."

"Did they see me for what I truly am, a weak and pathetic idiot?"
"They betrayed you first. You fed the night and the night turned its back."

"Only two ever cared for my work. The Spear, for it fed his own work. He paid me with books, he understood. But he is gone. To where, I will never know. What will he think if he sees me again?"
"Part of me wishes I pledged myself to him and ran off with him, wherever he went. But I wouldn't have known back then, it was the journey he set me on that brought me to this conclusion."

"And then, he cared about my work.
"His thoughts were thick enough to pluck from the air. I am lost, but not blind."
"He was thinking about a role for me to fill.
He was finding a place for me.
Among them."

"Does this fill me with fear? Hesitation? This is becoming very real. I don't know how I feel.

"Do I really want to deal with all of this? I have a project right now, I don't want to shift into something new. I should stop and do one task at a time."

"If he is half as good of an employer as the Spear, I'll be paid."
"I was envious when he described the lessons he gave his apprentice. I haven't had a master care to such an extent."

"How does one even seduce a Banite. I don't understand. I sort of wonder what--"

"The other one is right. I'm ruled by hate, and as long as it rules me I will not be able to meaningfully maintain myself."
"How do I make peace with it? I should ask him."
"So the night must have seen my weakness as well."
"I could have aspired to be so much more than I am."
"For once I feel shame. I don't care what the dastardly think of me, but those of pure intention?"
"You didn't think they touched this forsaken trash heap when you first arrived. The message board slanderer was right, they're irrelevant."

"I need to research, I can't just forsake this place just yet. The gap in history must be righted. What will I do when it's complete?"
"An option did appear."

"I don't belong there, just like I don't belong here."
"That's not true, the Avian one speaks like you. He understands the white step and black step and its purpose. He understands the line. And the Tormite walks as you walk."
"Lost souls. Am I a lost soul?"
"Are these people like me?"

"He stated the concern that had been lingering upon my mind.
The entire landmass of Arelith was a monument,
'nearly all bear his banner without realizing it.'
I came to that conclusion. It fills me with unease, the true face is a power outside of our ability to fight as long as we fight each other."
"Then why would I walk towards it?"
"I want to keep my hands clean, it's a facade if I am part of a larger machine. He cares not what gods one follows, as the ends justify the means."
"All paths currently serve the machine. Every time I read the Cordor message board I see unknowing servants, ignorant to their actions. Every time I listen to people gossip, their lies feed the inferno."
"Thinking about it fills me with disgust. If the razing light destroyed it all, little of value would be lost. It would pave a path for something new, better, to take its place."
"The denial of where one's foot falls leads to this. The failure to acknowledge their feet moving. They lash out, blinded, hungry for power. Hungry for control. Hungry to give their friends everything, at the cost of all integrity."
"Others see it. I've heard many complaints. But they remain silent-- Scoundrels operate within the boundaries of society and have infinite energy to undermine everything against them. And people walk in fear. I walk in fear of it too. How much simpler is it to not engage the beast."
"I could just free myself from this entire charade and find new insight."
"Is there any coming back from it, no matter how clean I keep my hands?"
"What is this fear. What happened to serving knowledge as a principle and not running from it. Above all else I am learning. A perspective outside of my inherent one would give unknown insights. For an eye seeking truth, there will be truths. Light will always cast a shadow."

"Several facets I encountered throughout the day. But it was the new facet, the one contemplating aloud my role and purpose, that fills me with pause. The light did not shine through the gem, I saw something deeper."
"I've been used by most everyone I've met on this island. What am I opening myself to?"

"Even he is capable of deriving enjoyment from the world. What is wrong with me?"

He closed his eyes, the imprint of a celestial pattern filling his visual memory.
"The spear delivered the vessel, the boat. The diamond delivered the sea chart and half-wind compass star. A journey is happening, regardless of which choice I take. "



He fell asleep on these thoughts and awoke early in the morning hours, and wandered outside to the shoreline to watch the sun rise. The horizon, the line between night and day.
He was reckless. He acknowledged this as his largest flaw. He needed to keep the Spear's lessons in mind. He needed to remember his resolution, and examine his life with logic, not marred by sentiment. The path that would feel the best was not necessarily the best choice. Much as a fire burns, it would leave smoldered bridges in its wake.
He thought about the artistry that surrounded him in that place, namely the various symbols he recognized from stylings back home. It was a strange sensation he had a hard time putting words to. The recognition of a shared origin. While the Lion struggled with oppression he never experienced himself, Garrett felt a sense of understanding in the long journey that led to this place. For him, it was a dissatisfaction with the heavy handed ways of his master, a sense that there was more to the world than a library, and a willingness to abandon everything just to see where travels would take him. Perhaps this was just how he dealt with discontent, an intrinsic part of himself to be aware of.
He sat and focused on the long shadows being cast as light hit the trees. What even was it that roused the flame within. The epiphany of discontent, but, where did it come from? He thought over the long day. The antithesis of that which he despised, a reminder as to how he ended up there in the first place. A reminder to his desire to never back down, to never run. The more he talked about it and his experiences, the more it fed the flame. The more the others spoke, the more it fed the flame. The Tormite's presence and words fed the flame. He shivered slightly as he reflected. Was this the power of a divine presence, exerting an unworldly influence? He had no idea what to think, no conclusions would come from analyzing it. Research would yield more answers.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:30 pm

The weight of the heart. The weight of the soul. The weight of all actions.
The flame within, lit a month prior, burned stronger than ever. It was impossible to be silent or idle around the moral bankrupcy he found himself surrounded by.

"The blade removes limbs so the body lies wounded. But the soul and heart survive.
The disease runs deep and kills the body at its core. Invisible until it is too late.
I am the magistrate to the gate of my being. The scale in hand, the two must be weighed."


Work. His work, his thick book of notes.
It came to use, his knowledge feeding those in need. And in return it was fed.
He burned inside, he was alive.

"Black step, night step.
A hin wearing a cloak of radiance, now snuffed of light so all may see the truth.
Supposition and speculation now given motive and firm ties.
I gave them the darkness, may they act upon it and bring justice.

They serve a banner without worship, their radiance is without conviction.
Only their own petty pursuits of flesh and nepotism!
May their shallow light be engulfed by the shadow of virtue."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:46 pm

The fire within burned. His desk, a hive of papers and notes, his chosen namesake. Countless thoughts filled his head, thoughts of place and purpose. Thoughts of creed and mantra. Thoughts of black and white.

"Leadership changes people. Two chancellors now, unable to speak to me because of gossip and petty matters. It hasn't escaped my thoughts that he was the only one to tell others to deal with things. I understand why-- I'm a resource to acquire. But that raises other questions. How come nobody else cares? It's easy for others to deflect answers, 'Oh you're just being used.' Just as I've been used by many others. Just as I was used by Wylaana. And yet, she couldn't spare me her time?"

"He's not the only one who valued me though. My mentor paid me well. Would anyone ever believe me if I told them they just treat me better than anyone else has?
They wouldn't. They'd say I'm being exploited, yet they would expect me to work without gratification nor pay. They would expect me to be a patient slave, to beg for attention once they return from idle chatter. Wylaana already expressed such ideas, how dismissive! To ask me a task, and then reject my answer. And I gave her an answer, and now she is too busy for payment.
The servants of light put more value in truth than anyone else I have met. For many ends, some of which align with my own. The sun and moon both tire of the disease, and I tire of Cordor."

"In my heart is the decision. The scales tip unfavourably, the sin of the disease carrying an unmatched burden. But I will stick to my resolution, the final choice will happen once my project is complete and I have as many details possible to come to a proper conclusion. I never want to ask myself how I ended up at this point in my life. My decisions must be conscious, I must be aware of each action as a step along a path. The destination is not an accident."

"I discredit the night too readily. The more I think on these villains, the more I realize how deeply their disease seeps into the island. Ruin follows all who stand against them and their tyranny. But the shadow lashed out when they grew too bold, still I hear their pained screams against the strike. A thousand lights shining from a thousand souls of the settlements, the shadow drawing from the umbra cast. May the disease be dismantled.
There is no more shame, let them judge me from the darkened nooks in which they reside. My ends remain the same, and to them I stand. The only ends in which I am a means. With resolution I have taken heed of the words of the Penitent and the Avian, I will convert my weakness into inner strength."

"I despise being recognized by the warband members as being 'that guy we saved, but he was safe, so it was a waste of time.' The gall to say that to my face, and then tail behind me, uninvited, as I went to train. I teleported out after he ran ahead, he will not have my aid. I will return and continue training later."

Garrett looked over his notes and notebook, pausing before flipping through the book and removing a page from it, the profile on his mentor.
"If the book should ever become translucent, I shall protect those worth saving. Profession and faith are meaningless in the face of deed, loyalty is earned. And he has mine. Although a candle in the Sanctum himself, I will not assume he associates with the light."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:26 pm

He laid in bed, reading through a book acquired a day earlier. Filled with just as much history and compassion as it was filled with entropic instruction.
"Is this an avenue I want to pursue? How deep am I getting here? I want to keep my hands clean, how dirty are they going to get if I chase this?"
On these thoughts, he reflected on how he got to this point.

He had started out wanting to spite the Arcane Tower and write about Arelith's history of the Church of Cyric, a thing some of the Tower's members wanted left forgotten. And then, he began to learn things. Unsettling things. A web of deceit and lies, a strangling net of tyranny. And its agents, everywhere. Even within the Radiant Heart.
"If one cannot trust the Radiant Heart, where do they turn to?"
He knew the answer. The tyrrany had to be dismantled. May the only blood on his hands be his own.

He needed a priest. He needed two priests. One, of Oghma. His own soul was at risk here. His life focus became knowledge, would Oghma accept him if he employed deceit to flush out truth? Is that an acceptable means to an end? As much as he wanted to try and help root out evil, doing such was inherently risky, and should he meet an early death how would his soul be judged? He shivered, feeling a deep sense of fear. As much as his endeavors with enchanting kept him regularly praying to Azuth, he wasn't advancing the study of magic as much as he felt he should be. Deep questions he needed answers to.

He closed the book and got up, moving to his desk. He closed his eyes, his head filled with thoughts. A million things to write, where to start. His pen touched his paper and he wrote none of them:

I walked into a bakery midday looking for lunch. I didn't realize at first how popular it was, considering the locals didn't talk about it. The sides of the bakery had tables for people to sit and eat, and the centre of the room had a table where people could pick up their food. At the back, I could see the outline of a baker, lit by the glow of the oven. This particular bakery specialized in pie, specifically a five-flavour pie that the baker particularly enjoyed. Each fifth of the pie had its own filling: Meat, blueberry, apple, cherry, and some sort of pear or peach that had a flavour so gentle one couldn't quite tell what it was. Although the flavours were separate, the pie baked as a whole, its flavours seeping together.
I looked around the room, people gorged themselves on pie all around me, enthralled by the taste. At a table near the door I watched a group heckle and laugh at someone outside, claiming he ate a slice of meat pie and how clearly it was the worst flavour. One of them jeered, spitting crumbs and crimson juice dribbling down his chin. Another laughed, their teeth stained blue. I thought it strange, were they not eating the same pie?
They devoured their slices and returned to the centre table, snatching up more plates, not even giving the baker a glance.
I walked up to the table and gave a nod to the baker, taking a slice of apple pie. Intrigued by the acknowledgement, he slipped a vial into his hand from his sleeve. Staring at me with a grin, he dripped the mysterious fluid onto slices of blueberry and cherry, and laid them out closest to the unruly table.
I went and took a seat at a table on the other side of the room, eating in silence. The flavours were all there, the meat, the blueberry, the cherry, all with my apple. It was all the same pie. And yet, by the door they sat, still heckling those outside. Eventually, they returned to the table to gorge themselves on more pie, grabbing the tampered slices.
I watched as they ate, their movements grew clumsy and imbalanced. They lost their grace, making a scene of themself in a stupor. How strange, they lost all sense of time and place. Loudly, they commended one of the other bakeries around town, not realizing they were in the wrong one. The baker paid them little heed, for he was busy baking more pie.
Last edited by Party in the forest at midnight on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:48 pm

A fortunate encounter. Garrett hesitated on reaching out to the man, uncertain of what it would bring. As fate would have it, he stood there before the Tower that day, and was eager to talk about history.

He spoke at length of the past, a man who had seen bitter war and suffering that tempered him into pure resolution to his beliefs, bending knee to no one -- Not even the gods for the sake of his soul. For no god existed that carried his beliefs. A sentiment Garrett understood, although for different reasons.

Garrett reflected on himself. Was he weak, his resolution impure? Could he make this kind of sacrifice? His search for history to try and salvage his soul, was that weakness? He thought on it.

"He described having worshiped Shar in his younger years. I told him I wouldn't judge, that I've met enough people who have been through a lot of things incomprehensible to anyone but themselves. The path they took led them to that point, it is unfair to hold it against them.
I should give myself the same courtesy. I cannot compare myself to him, my path is different and so therefore so is my resolution.

I have changed who I am for the sake of the gods, but in doing so, have found new resolution to myself.
I want to record history because it is the right thing to do."


Garrett made a point of listening to everyone he spoke to and reading every book put before him. Every strong belief had a purpose to it, a lesson that could be extracted, even if unintended by the writer. From the conversation, he learned a new mantra:
"Never let the law stop you from doing what's right."
It resonated.
He thought back to a person he saw, terrified, afraid, lost. He wished to reach out and help them, yet held back, afraid knowing someone could possibly hold it against him. He sighed. He recognized his greatest weakness was his desire to try and make the world a better place. Life would be significantly easier if he didn't, yet, this was a part of himself he did not want to let go of. This was his own resolution.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:44 am

Garrett flopped down in bed, arms and legs splayed out as he stared up at the ceiling. What strange things he learned. He would call it suspect if he didn't hear matching things from other, unrelated people. What a strange new piece of the puzzle he called the Truth, an elusive thing where statements from multiple sources align. A strange new piece, largely for how it weighed on his own life.

For years he misjudged the lamb. It was the lamb who first set his feet in motion, not his mentor. The most passionate feeling he had felt, at his hands. A passion he carried for years. A passion that pushed him to make choices, even hard ones. A passion that led him to exactly where he was now. Full circle. There was no such thing as coincidence. He could only speculate as to what forces beyond toyed with his life, and why.

Passion was a generous word. It was hate.
"Honest, Garrett. Be honest with yourself.
Veiling the truth to make it prettier only obfuscates its meaning. And likewise, many veil their own actions with internal justifications and excuses.
Don't do that. Don't become that. Face yourself.
This is what happens when you give into your hate.
I followed it to a Rat's Nest.
I followed it to a Sanctum. Twice.
I followed it Home.
And it was only there that the veil lifted and I saw myself for what I was becoming.
And was called out for my weaknesses, by those with knowledge on how to turn them into strengths.

I want to believe there is a white and black step, that I have the clarity to see my actions for what they are.
I want to believe in a greater good, and that I can contribute to it.
I want to believe everything will work out for the better.
I want to believe I can make the world a better place by recording its history.
I want to believe my magic research will improve the lives of others.
I want to believe my soul will be judged fair towards Azuth or Oghma, whichever path I end up succeeding at more.

It's not often I get to talk about my research, I figured it was unimportant. Angela took interest in it, would I pass judgement under Azuth's dogma? I wish I could find priests of their faiths. I have no idea what I am doing.
The only priests that enter my life are of faiths I would fail at under Kelemvor's judgement. It's unfortunate. For no matter how many aspects I may cross with other deities, the core of their faiths are outside of my being.

My life is duality and paradox."


Curiously, he looked through his notes, flipping back some years back. What else happened in 139? Did anything significant happen to him that year?
While most of his early notes were undated, he did catch one from that year, in the same time frame as the flame being lit. His curiosity satisfied, he closed his notebook and left it on the bed next to him. He didn't know what to make of the information, but he didn't believe in coincidence.

He set these thoughts aside and focused on what was within his power to control. Research, learning, and planning what to do next.

Outside of the revelation of a new Truth, a different Truth was also challenged. For what purpose was the knowledge downplayed and contradicted, were the other accounts part of a lie to mislead others? It cemented his original assessment some months back, "This isn't something people actually do. It's all a ruse."

He still had to write details down regarding a divination lesson he received. Although he dabbled with the school and worked to uncover its secrets, he had been touching the fabric of it without knowing it or understanding the significance of what he saw. It wasn't until he saw an aspect that he realized he was seeing things not every mage was capable of seeing. He was thankful to have learned meaning to some of its mysteries.

He closed his eyes and gathered his thoughts. He had so many projects started, yet so few close to completion. Trying to learn about the history of Arelith's Cyricists was difficult, they touched every part of the isle and yet it seemed like few had first hand experience with them. Angela had a lot of interesting accounts of early Cordor, it would be interesting to put together a compiled history of Cordor, however this in itself was also a giant endeavor. He was directed to Amadeo for more details, someone he needed to follow up with. A simpler place to start would be to try and finish gathering details about attacks on Bendir. He wanted to finish at least one book within the near future. Perhaps as he kept talking to more people, he would find other small projects to write about.


He still had no name for the abstract discomfort at the back of his mind, and chose to not think about it further.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:57 pm

Garrett found himself lying in bed once more, a whole new set of thoughts on his mind. He originally set out to craft spell components, encountering a group of people in the Nomad along the way.

"Why did I sit there for hours sitting on a tavern floor petting his elfy ear like an idiot.
What kind of depraved lunatic am I?
Why did I enjoy it?
It was nice, watching someone just relax. I can't explain it. I don't know how to explain it, or why I felt compelled to act on it.
My life is absurd enough. It's not like it's any more strange than anything else I've seen.

Was it the familiarity? He said it was years since he drank, yet here he was today, picking it up again. The anger and voice was my own just a year ago, before I was convinced to stop. Why did he stop, which voice was it that was his guiding light?

I'm realizing for the first time in years, I'm not angry. It's been part of me for so long, I feel strange without it. I'm left wondering, are my convictions my own or were they forged out of hate? I don't feel languor, what is it that drives me, do I still have the force of will to keep writing such large projects? I need to find out. I need to find my inner strength, for myself."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:44 am

He knelt at a wash basin, scrubbing vigorously at his coat, completely coated in dried blood and gore from a day of training and exploration. Giant beasts and covetous creatures felled in lands so foreign to him they defied rational understanding. Treasures were had, and lessons were plentiful.

He saw a new facet, terror.
He knew it existed, yet seeing it for itself was an experience in trepidity. It was the face of war, of battle. And yet in respite, it faded as quickly as it came. At one time he would have considered this a true face, yet, upon reflection he came to realize there likely was no true face. A diamond of many facets, each of equal importance, each with a purpose. An experience outside of his own, he saw himself as still having the capacity to be whole.
He reflected on lessons from his mentor, the aspect of becoming one's surroundings, to dress to them, to become one with them. Perhaps this was it, the lesson on a more significant scale, as to encapsulate one's entire being with refraction.


"Life doesn't need to make sense. Not everything will make sense, it just is."
A recurring theme, ideas he felt, ideas Jadoth also expressed.

His thoughts drifted to the land he walked hours prior. A visualization of paradox and mystery, concepts taken shape. Harsh and glistening rains, explosive yet tame. Shifting landscapes, reality passing without any care or concern that any dared observe it. Physical, or perhaps not. It was incomprehensible, illogical, yet existed. Being told to not think about it for it exists to confound suddenly gave it meaning. The strangeness of understanding something upon finding out it is nonsense. It stood out, playing off his thoughts over the previous months. He'd come to see and experience many things, he'd come to want to experience more of the world, to make meaning of it for himself. And at some point, he came to realize, this is his life now. Surrounded by mystery, embraced by experiences he never dreamed he would encounter. It filled him with a need to learn and write. To make a defining mark that a moment in time happened. The voices of multitudes who would be lost. The efforts of many, for whatever ends they serve. History was a thing that belonged to everyone.

He reflected further on the nonsense in his mind. The evening's tranquility contrasted sharply with the ferocity of battle, leaving him with new thoughts and motivation. Time itself was fleeting, skirmishes raked across the land, he recognized he could die at any moment. He felt a need to embrace life for what it is.
To experience in the moment and appreciate it, for what happens tomorrow is irrelevant should he die in the night.
To believe that friendship is a thing that can exist, and to accept that it is temporal and fleeting.
To embrace nonsense as a concept, and spend his efforts understanding what could be understood.
An abstract sense lingered on his mind, an inclination with no name. Held back only by his sheer force of will, his focus to himself and his studies. It distracted him, he didn't like it. He had too much else to do. The voice of nonsense itself, the last time he acted on it he sat in a tavern petting Jadoth like a cat for a few hours. What point did this vice even have?
None.
Not everything had to make sense.
Just accept that it is,
and that it happened,
and move on.

Hardness of resolve. Strength of will. Presence of mind.


He felt a sense of wholeness. It had been a while since someone said his name, and meant it. The feeling he was left with was inexplicable. He tried to not dwell on it or define it, and just enjoy that it was there. Although completely unrelated, he likened it to an understanding of True Names. That a word could have power and meaning outside of itself.


He felt strength in his convictions.
"I will not give up my honour. I will not give up my hope. I will not give up my desire to make others smile. I will not give up my desire to see the world be a better place. These things are attainable."

The flame within burned.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:14 pm

"Do you know what you enjoy?"
"This moment, right now. I enjoy this."
"What makes it enjoyable?"
"I have absolutely no idea. But you look relaxed. I don't know, maybe it's just... Nice feeling that I can improve the life of someone else? I try and not think about it too much."
"Well, it might help to think about it."
".... Do I need to think about it?"
"It might help."

----

Garrett reclined on a couch in his quarter. Never had he felt such a burning desire to say everything on his mind, to correct Jadoth's assumptions, to give context to life.
"I wanted to tell him, not running was one of the best decisions I've made. I wanted to tell him I'm not so innocent, I used magic to steal something, and it was one of the most fun things I've done recently. I wanted to tell him why I'm afraid of Kelemvor's judgement, why resolve is so important to me."
He resisted, his willpower keeping his conscious mind at the forefront of his being.
"I'm not about to start making a habit of confessing to strangers. And when it comes down to it, that's what he is. And I need to remember that."

He enjoyed company in the moment, yet in its passing came anxiety. Deep down, he felt fear. Fear that his resolve was failing, fear he would place trust where he shouldn't, fear that he'd find himself doing this again, fear of what that would bring.
He struggled to focus outside of his thoughts in an attempt to calm himself, but found he couldn't.
He pushed himself up and tossed on his coat and helmet, then made gestures to teleport. He needed guidance, The Penitent immediately coming to mind. Someone with a stronger will than he had.
"I need control over myself. If there's one thing I can count on him for, it's lessons in control.


----

It was a long, difficult conversation, his mind filled with so many thoughts it became meaningless noise. And yet, one voice among them stood out.
"Listen to yourself, do you hear the words you're saying? If it was anyone else, you'd be tagging a profile about them."

On that thought, his mind fell quiet, he could no longer hear words being spoken to him. Inward, he reflected on his life in a long moment of silence. How much of it was spent hidden away, his adolescence spent learning the basics of magical theory and mastering cantrips and simple spells. Always busy and isolated, he gave very little thought to thoughts that lingered in the back of his mind, an internal voice trying to ask him questions. It was easy to lose himself amid libraries filled with books, and after leaving Cormyr, trying to perfect the few simple spells he was capable of. And upon reaching Arelith, finding a wealth of new knowledge and avenues to wander, research and adventure to busy himself with. It wasn't until Wylaana tried forcing herself on him that it became difficult to ignore. And the artwork he soon found himself surrounded by.

"Why. Why do I lust after him. I don't want to lust after him. Why can't I just be normal, why am I this way? Why can't things just be simple for once in my life?" He vocalized quietly, mostly to himself.
"Because life is complicated." The Penitent answered. It sounded like something Jadoth would reply with.

Garrett began to hear his advice. It was unexpected-- Go and talk to him, and find answers to all of these questions. The Penitent seemed unbothered by Garrett's concerns.
"Have I just lost my ability to trust people? Am I too consumed by paranoia?" He thought to himself. He had faith in The Penitent's ability to give good advice, being older and worldly. He didn't like it-- It was difficult advice for him to approach, he felt nervous about the entire thing. But with few other ideas on how to proceed with his life, he accepted it.

Filled with confusion and few answers, they parted ways. Garrett left for the Sanctum, a place of solitude. He had encountered hard truths there before, ascending to its summit to reflect felt fitting. He soon found he the door wouldn't respond to him. It caught him off guard, he never considered that it wouldn't. And in a way, it reassured him that his soul wasn't as far gone as he thought.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:42 pm

Garrett laid in bed with a new book lying on his chest, holding it gently like a precious treasure. He gave up on reading, his mind too full of thoughts.

He approached Jadoth. It was difficult, the elf expressed difficulty in being close to others or even being able to develop any kind of attraction to others. A bit disappointing, but Garrett was glad he asked, his mind was now free from dwelling on the unknown. He knew now. Jadoth's words after were significant, "If it helps, I don't think any less of you."
It was meaningful, lifting his anxiety.

More importantly, he had the audience of a man of mystery. One he had heard of mostly in rumour, known only through whispers. The two spoke for hours, despite messenger requests to pull him away. Yet he stayed, listening and offering his own thoughts, history. His calm and thoughtful eyes locked on Garrett, contemplating every word he said. Although a shared faith between them, his demeanor represented it in a way Garrett felt he himself lacked. A patience and composure he had been working to foster in himself, expelling the impulsive indiscretion from his being. A shared interest was there, a love of new books.

"I thought about offering him my other services, but a moment didn't come up in the conversation to do so. It would be rude to bring it up out of nowhere, it would make me seem desperate.
All in good time. Once I complete the other task for him, I will have a concrete service I can offer."



Lying in bed and reflecting, he felt his sense of self challenged. A strange state of mind where the weight of multiple fragmented aspects of history, each told from a different source, shattered his own self perception. The many facets of the island and the perspective of those who live upon it. Some unified, others not. The impossible task of gazing through the gem and trying to find truth. He laid there and closed his eyes. The world was changing around him, and he along with it.


And yet, Astra's words some days prior lingered, setting off bitter nostalgia in his mind. A weight of the past remained. Unanswered questions, abandoned dreams. Two voices in his mind spoke.
"There were two options. Sit in Cordor and struggle an uphill battle out of a desire to see a dream through, or go out on my own and make things happen. I decided to do things with my life. Dreams aren't worth waiting for. Reality is what I make of it."
"I'll live the rest of my life wondering if I could have made it."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:49 pm

At times, Garrett encountered things that made him think back to the lessons he received from a well-traveled man of many names, his true face long forgotten by the world. The man described his experiences and explained his methods, and yet, many of the lessons only began to make sense as Garrett's experiences with the world broadened. He sat within an abandoned watchtower where they once met, reflecting on what he learned.


"He taught me about leaders. Few and far between, those with a special fire burning within them. Something most don't have, or just can't find. They have a sense of purpose that drives them to greatness. They are the pages of the history book, they are the songs of the bards.

I've met only a small handful of such people. They have a distinct way of speaking, of evaluating the world around them. A cunning to them that their demeanor otherwise hides. A force of presence. Multitudes latch to them, although many seem to not know why.
These few have an understanding of how fragile the world truly is, placing great value in knowledge. For truths are the cracks that run across the illusion we call reality, the perceptions we lie to ourselves with as we sit within our tribes. It is the role of the leader to be mindful of the fissures. To guard one's own, and to drive a wedge into the enemy's and fragment them.

He also taught me about his role. Behind the burning light of a leader is a deep shadow they cast. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Between the many inked lines of history is where he makes his living. It's men like these that provided him with the screen he needs to be the missing page of the tale.


Leaders understand their role, and I understand mine.
For I am an asset to be acquired. Few will understand this, or why I do what I do. But this is my place in the world."

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:52 am

The power of words.
A several hour long conversation with Astra, challenging the wall of conviction he built up for himself and leaving his mind an empty shell which soon became infested with doubt.

Doubts that he was accomplishing anything.
Doubts anything good would come out of the future.
Doubts he would ever feel anything but lonely.
Especially doubts he would ever feel anything but lonely.

Unable to bring himself to do anything, he left to wander the isle with his fire elemental.

Snowy mountains surrounded him, biting winds carrying the howls of beasts and men. From the haze of a snow storm a hulking monstrosity approached from a bridge, the elemental setting its thick fur aflame and scorching all around it. Garrett prepared to heal the elemental after the beast exhaled a blast of icy cold breath upon it, dampening its flames. Before he could, a pain presented itself in the back of his mind. It quickly grew into a pulsing headache. He backed away and struggled to control the elemental, realizing he was as good as dead if it dissipated into primordial fire once more. His eyesight starting to fail as something filled his mind's eye. Blindly trying to back away from the conflict he bumped into a boulder. Feeling it out with his hands he sat on it for support, and clutched his head in his hands as the noise in his head increased. Focusing became impossible, a thousand thoughts that would slip away from cognition the moment he tried to grasp onto them. He could no longer observe the world around him. Eventually the noise became a singularity, and he passed out.

He awoke in the snow, in a grove of coniferous trees. Shooting stars filled the sky with dazzling lights, although the constellations themselves remained the same. The constellations were different, they shouldn't look that way for another two months. Had he been passed out for two months? A blood-curdling shriek distracted him. Bristling, he struggled to move in the snow, making his way towards a tree to hide for cover. A woman ran out from deeper in the woods, wearing a wedding dress that was now torn and bloodied. She too struggled against the snow, tripping and quickly standing again to try and escape. Garrett approached her from his hiding place, asking a barrage of questions.
"What's wrong? Do you need help? What's going on? Where are we?"
The woman looked at him with terror in her eyes, begging for him to run. He took out a roll of bandages to try and stop her bleeding, when out of the corner of his eye he noticed hounds approaching. He moved in between her and the hounds and tried to cast invisibility, only to find the Weave impossible to grasp and manipulate. An ethereal horseman approached from the shadows of the grove. Despite having no head, its gestures indicated its focus on the woman. Garrett recognized it from legends he heard around Cordor as hailing from the Plane of Shadows, and grew tense.
"Go, just... Go! You, move!" He ordered her, then turned his focus to the horseman, and took a deep breath. It was a long shot, but he could at least try speaking to it. His experiences taught him to discount nothing.
"What do you want? Where am I? Why am I here?" He asked. It ignored him, focusing on where the woman ran and commanding the hounds to chase, save for two which turned their focus on Garrett. He drew two daggers. He stayed behind to be a diversion so she could get away. Having no spells, there was little he could do. The snow was so thick, he could barely move. He faced the hounds and repeated his own personal mantra.
"I will not run."

The hounds leapt at him, knocking him to the ground. One wrapped its jaws around his throat, clamping down hard. The other bit and ripped at his legs. His arms free, he stabbed and stabbed at the one at his neck, plunging the dagger deep into its skull. He couldn't tell if it was dying, but he himself couldn't breathe. The world grew dark around him.

He awoke in the snow, his clothing damp with sweat and absolutely freezing cold. Jagged cliffs surrounded him. He looked up at the sky-- The stars were exactly where they should be for this time of year. Was that a vision of the future? He tested his grasp with the weave, finding himself able to touch it once more, and teleported himself to the Arcane Tower. A storm raged around him, the wind whipping rain against him. A few meters away lightning slashed at the ground, catching him off guard. He struggled to move, his body horribly sluggish and unresponsive, and his mind still dizzy. He felt as though he was trapped within a dream.

He entered the Tower, finding absolutely nobody inside. It was still, silent. He went to the message board and began to scribble a warning that something would happen in two months, to describe what he saw. It dawned on him that perhaps he actually was knocked out for two months, not a vision of the future. Which meant these were his final thoughts as he laid there dying. He began to scrawl his thoughts and prayers onto the paper, more for himself than anything. In hopes that the act of writing within a dream would make the thoughts more substantial and stand out, that his prayers would be heard.



Image



He hung up the paper on the board, and went to hide behind a nearby bookshelf, sitting with his knees to his chest and arms wrapped around his legs. His body felt cold, he wasn't sure how much of this was the embrace of death or just his clothing being soaking wet.

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Re: Garrett Kelson - journal and short stories

Post by Party in the forest at midnight » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:35 am

Each night, the vision would return in his sleep. Each morning, he awoke feeling unrested. Day by day, it took its toll on him. The world weighed on him. His past, his present, his future. All actions as a whole, coming together on a scale within his mind. Judgement was coming.

Alone. He was alone.
The other diviners had friends. Companions. Others they could rely on, others for comfort.
Garrett had hounds. Hounds surrounding him. Hounds wearing masks of smiling faces. He wasn't certain if anyone he knew was actually a friend. Trust was a thing he could rarely give. More than ever, it ate at his waking moments.

Purity. His soul must be clean.
All other thoughts had to be set aside.
He rummaged through his belongings and found his old clothing, that which he wore when he first came to the island.

Focus. His mind must be sharp.
Emelina suggested writing out his thoughts, how it helped her. He disliked putting thoughts to paper, but would do so to say he had. He closed his eyes and reflected, allowing the vision into his mind's eye, and scrawled down everything that came to mind.


THE WHEEL OF FATE
Four serpents,
Two at its centre turning the wheel, wrapped around a mirror.
Two complementary of one another at the opposites of the wheel. Ever reflective of the True Mirror between.
But there should be five, where is the fifth?
The Fifth Candle can engage the prophecy, it must be accounted for, where is it?


THE PROPHECY OF THE BANDED SERPENT
Between strings of fate.
Should they cross, the moonlight will reveal innocence.
Should they entwine,
innocence will be lost to sin,
Chauntea's order shall be lost,
the bite of betrayal will be guaranteed,
and from the forests shall the hounds come to feast.
AND SO HAVE I HEARD THE WORDS OF PROPHETS GREATER THAN I.
MAY THE THIRD TORCH NEVER SEE THE FLAME OF PERFIDY.


THE PROPHECY OF THE SERPENT OF SIN
Depravity will lead society into ruin,
collapsing around the licentious as their foundations crumble.
Anything more is an illusion.
AND SO I HAVE SEEN THE OUROBOROS,
THE DEVOURING CYCLE OF END.
ONE BY ONE,
UNDER THE GUISE OF MORE.


THE PROPHECY OF THE SERPENT OF TORMENT
Twin serpents, Sin and Torment.
The eyes of Sin watch with curiosity,
the eyes of Torment watch with fury.
Should one reach forward so too shall the other.
AND SO I HAVE SEEN THE TEASING EYES.
AND SO TOO DO I NOW UNDERSTAND.


THE PROPHECY OF THE SERPENT OF HORNS
To carry the marking is to carry the burden.
To bring peace is to be sequestered.
The fate for the Marked Ones to guard themselves.
To shirk fate will bring ruin.
AND SO I HAVE SEEN THE MARKINGS
IN THE GRAND MIRROR I HAVE SEEN MYSELF.

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