People sometimes seem to get confused about what is real and what isn’t. One of the good things about me is my ability to keep my story straight. I will tell you the trick to it is simple. I am surprised more people haven’t thought of it. When I decide that I have to tell a lie, I tell it to myself first, and then I decide to believe it, and when I believe it I make that lie more real than any other memory of what happened, and then I think of those other memories as dreams—just dreams. Otherwise it takes too much to remember. I can’t hold a shape if I stop believing in who I am. You can’t just remember every detail—oh yea, that nail is wicked long and black, and the knuckle is hairy, and there is a mole on the back of my hand, and the first finger is longer than the second, and my beard should look like its been growing about two days, and this time my eyebrows should actually meet over my nose, and… its just too much. You have to study the whole creature and then imagine yourself to be that creature and then believe it until reality shifts. I used to think if I believed hard enough I could change other things, but the only thing I have ever been able to change is myself.
Anyways, if you remember the lie as if it really happened, all the details of it, sight sound, scent, touch, feel and taste, then it becomes real and you will always remember it the way it was. No one can trip you up that way.
See that’s what happened with Bartholomew.
He’s the paladin I was telling you about before. Bartholomew decided first that I was his squire, then later decided that he would fire me as his Squire. Except of course I am not his squire and I never have been. It was a lie he told to the guards. But he told it about Daeson, and there is already enough rough and rummage for me to remember about Daeson. And “squire” just doesn’t fit into what I know about Daeson. Then I realized they think I am just “pretending”, lying, like some con man. And I realize that my comrades, the ones I have been adventuring with had no idea who I am, not really. They just think of me as some thief. I don’t think they really like Daeson, and they don’t realize Daeson is only one of who I can be.
But I was surprised at the paladin for lying. But moreover there wasn’t a real need to lie. I don’t understand why he would lie about me being his squire. There are things you need to lie about, but why lie about things when you don’t need to.
We came here to Restonford to meet up with Peltar, the great and powerful. But when we got here the whole town was in an uproar because the Baron Restonford had just been found dead, knifed in the chest, several times. [And no, I didn’t so it!] So no matter where we went there was some guard telling us to move on, but not to leave town, and questioning us about why we were here without being willing to talk to us about the reason we came here.
Well the sorcerer was more interested in investigating the death of the Baron Restonford than in helping us, and—oh yeah—I don’t think I mentioned that now we are in enemy territory. This land is at war with Velune so I guess that makes us spies. Which sort of reminded me that I have been a spy before, but that was so long ago and I don’t really remember exactly what I was doing, but I do remember I was serving an elven lord or maybe even a king. I think I was a good spy. I have always been a terribe thief, my heart just isn’t in it.
I know Daeson grew up in Celene, pretty close to Enstadt, I even met Prince Orlando once—not Daeson—but me.
Anyway, the guards in Restonford wouldn’t let us see the Great & Powerful Wizard of Restonford, nor would they let us into the dead Baron’s castle where he was “examining the crime” scene—which reminds me of someone I used to know and how he used to talk. I’m trying to remember.
But then I noticed this errand boy, about my size, that they sent to the guardhouse to retrieve Inspector Clouseau, their lead inspector. Cloussea looked kind of familiar with his red hair and spectacles and the way he would take off his glasses and would say something profound. And when he took his glasses off everyone would pause waiting for him to say it, so I know it was a well established habit, the kind of habit that people get used to and it becomes a defining characteristic. See I notice those kinds of things. I have to.
So when Clouseau went back into the Castle, that is when I become Griflet, the messenger boy. It only took me a few minutes of talking to him and one handshake to get a good feel for who he was, and even though I knew there was something wrong, I didn’t really understand what it was until I was Griflet, and then I was only too happy to not be Griftlet anymore. I cannot imagine being stuck with only one form, especially when that form is so flawed. I will never become him again. He scares me.
As Griflet I was able to get into Clouseau’s house—his wife is very nice, and makes the bestest waffles, in fact the first waffles, I have ever had. Did I mention that you can never sit down to eat waffles, they can only be eaten on the run, which makes the Girlsinberries jam hard to eat without making a big mess. I guess that is why they have all those deep grooves. If there truly is a blessed afterlife that I pray that the Goddess Avandra provides us with Waffles every day. Once, a long time ago I got to see the girls in the big wooden cask jumping and stomping and making girlsinberries jam, which is why they call it that. Only the most beautiful girls in the village are allowed to participate, the ones selected as the most beautiful at the harvest festival. It is amazing. They stomp and romp, rubbing the berries, and crushing the berries, and then throwing themselves into the berries [makes me excited just thinking about it] while the old women stand in a circle around the huge vat and instruct them in the fine points of jamming, and the men ofthe village stand further back and admire their fine culinary skills. I could only stay for a while and then I had to go back to my wagon.
So anyways I was able to sneak Brandon Darkelf into the castle as an inspector, so he did get to the sorcerer who then agreed to meet with us, except, of course, when we got to his house the guards once again refused to let me in, and I had to go take care of the horses because of the lie the paladin told, so I missed most of what happened inside the house, but I did get a dice bag and 25 gold from one of the two guards, so I guess we are even, at least he had the privilege of paying for his rudeness. He wouldn’t even step aside to let me pass. Looks like real bone dice, or ivory maybe, I will have to get them appraised sometime if I remember.
I did finally get into Peltar’s Tower. There is this old crone living there with the wizard whose name is Charone, I think, and she wasn’t very friendly, but then no one in this country is. She wouldn’t even make me anything to eat. The old sorcerer has this stairwell grown from a single tree. The leafy bush part of the tree, the canopy is all bunched up into a magical bushy shield at the top of the stairs and it will not let you pass to go exploring the upper levels of Peltar’s Tower.
I wonder at what magics it takes to bend a twist a tree into such a marvelous living stair. It reminded me, of course, of the houses of the nobles in Celene, where the elves command such powers over nature to fashion living homes. Brandon looks like an elf, but he says he is something else—an Eladrin, and he says he is not even from this world but from another world where the Eladrin Empire holds sway over all the creatures in that realm and humans are the slaves of the elves and the elves feed off their souls, and turn their souls into black energy that they breath in like a cat sucks the life breath from a baby. I have watched him eat souls before. He is the most dangerous creature I know.
I don’t think I want to go there.
So after their meeting with the sorcerer, the old wizard said that he would go find Andrella, the Baron’s daughter, as she was the only one who might know where the Artina’s Gift flowers are—remember them—the luminous flowers that the City of Velune needs to reinforce their magical barrier.
Now I have to stop here and say that I know bullhockey when I hear it and I have to call bullhockey because someone is lying to someone and I am feeling like someone told me to sit awhile under the bull’s tail. They think I am stupid, but I’m not and here is why. They take us down below the city into some super secret place that only a very few of the most elite guardians know about and tell us their most special secret. Right. Then they send us to meet this wizard, Peltar, who tells us that the dead Baron Restonford, not him, was actually the keeper of the secret, but that he will go finish our mission if we will stay here and ferret out the Baron’s death. Right. See I completely expect some guy in a black uniform to come at me with his black wand and make it flash and suddenly I will be working as Travis the Courier in some postal station on the border of Orcish territory. No way this story is going to have a happy ending. None of it makes any sense at all. I can look like almost anyone but I know I cannot tell the difference between the truth and a well crafted lie. At least not yet. But I used to know someone who could!
So I’ve been watching people real close, because I may have to become real quick to try to escape them when those black guards come for me.
So, where am I? Oh yeah. We end up riding to Garriton where there is this well established super secret assassin’s guild, looking for clues because there were three suspects in Restonford the night the Barrod got gacked, and three clues were left in the Baron’s room, that were so obvious only a numbnut could have been so stupid as to leave those clues behind, so your know they have to be planted, or at least that is what both Bartholomew and Brandon say. The three clues are: a red leather button from the vest of a Garriton Innkeeper named Abraham. A golden violin string from the harp of a bard that was visiting Restonford the night of the assassination. Also there was a red ruby, that was maybe one of the eyes of a Barracuda holy symbol born by the cleric of some fish god they worship in Garriton. You always have to be careful about folks who worship fich gods, especially if they have bulgy eyeballs. I have read stories about them, they will just haul you off to sea in nets to feed their fish god. They have already tried to get us to go on a “lake monster” hunt, but I think they just see us as fish food. I almost forgot—Brandon—who can talk to the dead, as well as swallow their souls—looked through the dead Barron’s eyes and saw that he was completely surprised by his death. He didn’t see it coming. So its hardly likely he was covorting with the Garreton clan before getting himself stabbed in the heart!
Bartholomew and Brandon were in such a hurry to come to Garriton and I think that was a mistake because we should have looked much more closely at the clues back in Restonford first. I wonder too was Peltar is hiding behind his leafy bush. I don’t trust him at all. I think he has sent us on a wild gooseberry chase!
So on the way into town, Brandon Darkelf decided that we should pretend to be someone other than who we are. We decided after a lot of talking that I should be a human princess that is betrothed to Prince Orlando of Celene, and that Brandon is Orlando’s emissary sent to fetch me, and that Bartholomew is my father’s guardian demon, a Tiefling fetched from hell as my protector.
Again I don’t think Brandon or Bartholomew understand what it takes for me to become someone imaginary. It is dangerous. Twice as dangerous as becoming someone real, someone who also exists, who has a separate and unique soul. I offered to become Blanche Dubois, but they said she was too old, and I guess that’s true because a human would barely live long enough to be a pet to an old elf.
So here we are in Garreton. I have no idea why we are here really, or what we are really here to accomplish. But they expect me to help them ferret out information using my feminine wiles, so I guess I will.
I am a leaf on the wind.