Old accounts of places I remember.

by LadyTia

We've been everywhere, from the southern desertlands to the northern forestlands; from the temperate eastern hills to the icy mountain ranges of the western front. I remember each in a different light. The desertlands and forestlands being among my most favourable memories. It was to the South which I remember well. We braved great heat only to see the most enchanting of night skies and caravans of traders and scholars and beautiful faces wrapped in light royal garments. Ah those windy nights, mostly like a festival every night. Tents waving about in regions of the desert that were mostly safe, these festivals had a tendency to move around.. a different oasis every night.

I adored the night stars, on the winds of the lone dunes. And mine own eyes have seen the kinds of festivals held by roving bands of my kind and the kinds of others. I have, for longer than I can recall, always had no flack about the celebrations held among strange looking lizardmen, shadows, elves and dwarves, sometimes humans. And near the larger tents where the bards would build the larger fires we would gather as the ladies passed around the fire great goblets for us to drink from; and drink whatever we fancied we would. We were not a part of a tribe and we didn't have to be pre acquainted; we had plenty time to get to know one another around the fire, and with food in our bellies and goblets of liquor in our hands to the stars and the sands we sang. The winds we thanked for not blowing us to the nightmarish mirages.

The scholars and warriors both told wise tales of places the rest of us haven't yet ventured. Sometimes, the tales merited a good and hearty laugh. Other times, there was a blanket of fear which permeated from those horrific, but well told tales nonetheless. We learned information about trade routes from the traders and where to find which types of goods.

I sat by the fire, pulling a grey cloak from me, shaking my sandy hair out. 'Round the fire I saw before me some delegates and some wanderers; all kinds of creatures. There was one who sat next to me, pointing out obvious differences in our appearances. He laughed heartily at me for having ears that pointed much moreso than his, I merely smiled and nodded, suggesting he should drink some more. This well fed fellow was short in stature and had a very deep sounding voice. Braided locks of red, black, and grey hair waved around in the calming breeze, locks which hang from the sides of his head and the back of it too. A long braided beard soaked up the ale which he couldn't quite get in his mouth. His skin was much darker than mine, a reddish grey in tone. I would say he had spent many a day out in the daylight hours. His eyes were dark grey and very squinty - I could see his eyes certainly didn't favour the light.

"You're too pale.. you need some sun," he proclaimed after sizing up my skin colour. I smiled respectfully and replied, "but you would think that, for you look as though you're born of the sun."

"Your eyes," he exclaimed, "they're sharp and round like the tip of a pike. How do you see from them," which then was followed by an amusing round of laughter about the fire.

"Its because I am not accustomed to daylight .. looks as though your eyes could use a reshaping as well," I replied with yet another round of laughter now turned on the dwarf.

"Hahahahahah," he commented, "you're alright. Odd looking, but I suppose for an elf its fitting. Heheheheh.." and as he stuck his hand out, introduced himself, "Grewyrdh, I am."

Smiling in his direction I reached my hand out to his and shook it. He had quite the strong grip. A fitting observation considering he had a few drinks already, and I replied, "Ri Lehtraea, nice to meet you." He nodded back as the greeting was finalized. We continued to tell stories around the fire, each one of us who hadn't drank him or herself into a stupor.

The LizardMan had very interesting things to share. Now here was one I'd like to go adventuring with. He sat a bit back from the fire, his skin glistening under the moonlight a few different shades of blue. His language was so mysterious, the slurring of the tongue to emphasize emotions and rushes of adrenaline. His eyes were huge, and the pupils were large and a yellow colour. His hissing tongue would on occasion wind up sticking out at the festival goers in jest, and always a deep, charcoal black. Normally his skin was green and yellow scales laid out in a diamond shaped pattern but he wore many old thin layers of clothing about his body. He would shed every night, or so he had told us. I didn't know what to call him except for "Syahz'trast'vasa", a phrase he used. I think it meant LizardMan or he who outgrows his confines. He was a very mystical breed. While many were nomads, this one wandered for experiences and knowledge. He would drink only the finest varieties of a special berry wine that he made and kept with him always.

Next had been a dark figure who wouldn't sit near the fire but would talk a lot about the stars at night. S'handor ' ah Galik, he called himself. As I said he had much to say about the stars and how they were beacons of light in the depths of the darkness. He was trying to find out if any of us understood what he meant by that. I knew by the tone in his voice that he was a long way from home, but didn't reveal so soon. Those deep, dark yellow eyes were very deceptive. He actually looked human, but always had a cloak of spectral darkness around him wherever he went. His hair was a radiant mix of greens and blues. Sometimes, against the vast darkness away from the fire, he would don his black cloak right before the winds would pick up. He always knew when the winds would pick up.

I make inferences with words like often or always because some of these same nomads and delegates ran into one another at various night gatherings and became closer than just acquaintances.

After a while of the wanderers congregating to similar festivals frequently along their travels, the storytellers and travelers started sharing drinks and creating bonds that would last for a very long time.


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