2-3 Summershine, 613th Ring

Hi! Not sure what this is about? Find out HERE.

2 Summershine, 613th Ring

This all started with a journal, so I suppose it only fitting that I keep a journal of my own to record how it finishes. I hope it finishes, at least! How dreadful would it be to set out on a grand journey and never find what I seek? Oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?

First things first, in case someone finds this. My name is Gnoreen, of the Thistlefern clan, in Cloudsong. This past Springbloom, I found an old journal in my grandmother’s things, and it recounted the grand story of its author’s search for a cache of magical gems. But the journal was incomplete! The end is missing, and the story just cuts off. I suppose a better gnome would just leave it at that, but I HAVE to know what happened!

I know the journal was not written by Grandmother—the handwriting’s not right, and I don’t think the author was a gnome. No one in Cloudsong said the story sounds familiar, or knows how Grandmother might have come by such a possession. But Elder Orla says there’s a scholar in the village of Winter Rest that might be able to help me find out who wrote the journal. Or, at least, there was the last time she was there. It’s been twenty rings and the scholar is human. I hope they’re still there.

I’ve made arrangements with the elders for my harvesting duties to fall to another, and I’ve sold all of Grandmother’s belongings that I don’t wish to keep, along with some of my own. I don’t think it’s much money. We don’t really use coin here in Cloudsong, although the elves we trade with sometimes pay us in coin (which the Elders say is fine when it’s been a plentiful season, as you never know when such things might be useful). I saved back some of Grandmother’s jewelry, and I’ve got seeds to sell or trade (the elves say some of our berries and rootles aren’t found everywhere and they like to trade for seeds. I figure if they can grow them, so can others), and also a pouch of gems. From what I know of the world outside of Cloudsong, gems are just as good as money in a lot of places. Hopefully all of that will be enough to help me make my way.

I’ve packed what clothes and food I can carry, with a few other essentials. First thing tomorrow morning, Flippy and I are setting off for Winter Rest! Oh, Great Mother, I don’t know if I will sleep a wink tonight!


(Oh! Flippy’s a squirrel, by the way! She’s my best friend, really. I’m so glad she wanted to come with me on this trip!)

3 Summershine, 613th Ring

I suppose if I’m speaking the strict truth, today went as planned. I left Cloudsong and arrived in Winter Rest. But I have to say, it surely wasn’t what I expected.

First off, we didn’t get to leave until midmorning. I wanted to set out earlier, but the Elders surprised me with a farewell breakfast, and it seemed like everyone in Cloudsong was there to wish me well on my journey. That, at least, was a nice surprise.

As Flippy and I were finally setting out, the skies opened up and it rained on us all morning. I didn’t reach the river until past midday, and poor Flippy spent the whole time curled up in my vest. The river was high for this late in the ring, and running very fast, probably because of the rain. We found shelter under a gnarled old oak and ate lunch while I thought about how to cross. Swimming had been my original plan, but there was no way that was happening. I remembered that the elves use a bridge to cross it, and decided that was my best bet.

Thank the Great Mother, the bridge wasn’t too far from where we stopped, which I guess makes sense. If the elves use it to go to Winter Rest and beyond, it would be somewhere along my way, too. When I got to the bridge, I was nearly hit in the face with a flying shoe! I managed to duck it (falling on my rump in the process and landing in a large puddle of mud, uck), and called out.

The shoe turned out to belong to a human monk, named Lihni Fogcloud. She explained that she was traveling north in hope of finding the elven settlement, but when she was crossing the bridge, a board gave way and she fell through, getting stuck. Her shoe had come off when she was swinging her leg, trying to wriggle free. The poor thing had been there most of the morning and was exhausted. I gave her a little of my food and water while Flippy chewed the wood around her leg. Once the whole was wider, Lihni was able to pull herself free. She was grateful for my help, but had no coin or trinkets to offer as thanks. I told her it was fine, really. We were happy to help. But she insisted I remember her name, and that if I am ever in the city of Southhold and in need of assistance, I can go to the monks’ cloister. If I tell them her name and her mark—here she held up her arms to show me two stunningly beautiful firebirds inked around each—they will help me. I thanked her and we parted ways. I don’t know that I’ll ever find myself in the position to need the monks’ help, but I guess it’s good to know it’s available.

After I (carefully) crossed the bridge, I continued on my trek south. The skies cleared not long after that, turning the day clear and warm, if a little muggy. The ground remained soggy most of the day. Flippy and I stopped only for a short break to rest and eat at the edge of the forest, and then made to press on. The sun was beginning to set, but I knew that Winter Rest was only an hour or so past the forest.

Here’s where things got…weird. As I started walking again, I stumbled over a tree root hidden in the bracken. I caught myself on a nearby tree, but it was enough of an impact to shake it. This resulted in an ominous buzzing sound.

I have heard tales of that kind of buzzing, and I didn’t hesitate, moving away from the tree as fast as I could. I slipped my sling from my pocket and turned, shot at the ready. Sure enough, a giant wasp was barreling right toward me! I released the shot without thinking, and it hit true. The wasp let out a keening, high buzz and fell to the ground—the shot mangled its wings.

It wasn’t deterred, though. If anything, it was even more mad! It rushed toward me across the ground. I stepped back and fell on my rump (again), dropping my sling. Without thinking, I flung my hand in front of me and cried out.

That’s when it happened. This weird, tingly feeling covered my whole body and then this…pulse seemed to move through my arm, coming out of my hand. A blob of energy hurtled toward the wasp and when it reached the poor creature, it erupted into a ball of flame, burning the wasp to a crisp.

It’s been a long time since anything like that has happened to me—almost seventy rings, to be precise—not since that eagle tried to carry me off as a child. It wasn’t a fireball, then, but sort of a burst of static. It felt the same, though. Mother and Grandmother said it was just the forest trying to protect me, and it never happened again. But now, I have to wonder, is this me? I’ve heard stories of people using magic, but no one in Cloudsong has it.

Maybe there will be someone here in Winter Rest that knows about these things? Anyway, I didn’t stick around after what happened with the wasp. I was so startled, I just scrambled to my feet, grabbed my sling, and ran, almost the whole way to the village.

It was after dark when I got here, but there wasn’t a gate or anything. No one challenged me as I entered the village proper. I managed to find a tavern. It’s got a strange name, The Sword & Assassin, and it’s not very clean or cozy, but it looks to be the only place to stay if you don’t live in town. I was able to get a room for the night, at any rate, and a warm meal.

While I was eating, I kept hearing folks talking about something in the mountains back north. From what I could gather, there’s a rumor of the elves showing off some new discovery. That doesn’t really sound like the elves I know, but I was far too tired to ask anyone for more information. Besides, I wouldn’t even know where to begin, with so many strangers. Most of the people I saw tonight were human, but the tavern’s owner is a halfling—he’s not very chatty, though, and there were a few other kinds of folk in the common room while I ate. Maybe tomorrow I can find out more? First, I want to see if I can find out about that scholar. And also maybe see if there’s anyone who knows about magic? That’s probably enough to be getting on with for now.


(I probably should tell somebody about the bridge, too, shouldn’t I?)


One thought on “2-3 Summershine, 613th Ring

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s