Medievia Mudslinger

November 4th, 2001

Velsie - By Velsie

I write this story for my little son, Gonz, whom I hope will someday understand all of the whys and hows about adventuring that I had to learn on my own. He asks me now when he is little why I decided to become an adventurer and my life before he was born and, while he cannot understand now it is my hope that he will be able to read this if anything should happen and I cannot tell him myself.

I don't remember my mother, I write this in my journal because I fear the same will happen to my children, though I hope it never does. I grew up only knowing her from the few portraits my father kept after her death. As a child, I would sit and stare at them for hours. She was a very beautiful woman, with soft brown eyes and long, smooth hair that was black as night. I know that her name was Raizel, and I am named Velsie after my mother's mother. More than that I do not know. It is somewhat ironic that someone I knew so little of would have so much influence in my life.

I stopped asking my father questions about my mother when I was young, though I still wonder who she was, and what she was like. He never talked about her, but I know he loved her very much. At night, when Father thought I was asleep in bed, he would always sink into deep thoughts and glared into the sky with sad eyes, holding Mother's locket. A neighbor once told me that Mother had died defending our homeland against an evil dragon's surprise attack. Father had nothing to say about it when I asked him, only to tell me we would talk later. That later never came.

Father, my then ten-year-old brother Silguz, and I moved to the City of Medievia, where we lived for almost twenty years. When I was five or six I remember asking my father why the other adventurers would kill the poor janitors. I would wake late at night to the sounds of battle and the screams as they died, hugging Father and crying for Mother. I remember him saying only, "Velsie, some day you will understand." When I turned ten it came time for me to begin my studies and training as an adventurer. Though my brother had chosen the path of the warrior, I chose to become a healer. I vowed to do all I could to help good people, and to always fight against evil dragons.

I knew I would probably never know if that was, indeed, how my mother died, but I did know that it is how our homeland was destroyed. Much to my surprise, my Father supported me and enrolled me immediately into a cleric's guild to learn the art of healing. He forbade me from fighting, though, and I was not allowed to leave the city walls or even to venture into the poor quarter, where I thought I could do the most good.

When I was fourteen, my father bought a house near a large carnival. It was the most beautiful place I had ever lived. The people in our small community lived in peace and harmony, so different from the City of Medievia. Here I heard the sound of children's laughter everywhere instead of the poor janitors' death cries. My brother chose instead to stay in the City of Medievia with our Grandfather to continue his training. When we moved I met many of Father's friends, and made quite a few of my own. My best friend was Rose-Say. She had a small booth where she still works as a face painter in the carnival to this day. She was never known for being an exceptional artist, nor very patient with her subjects. Most of them were small children who she said do nothing but squirm and wriggle when she is trying to paint. She was very creative, though, and also very kind. One evening I will always remember is the time I volunteered to let Rose-Say make my face into a "masterpiece." When I went home that night, Father didn't recognize me at first and almost had me killed, thinking I was some new breed of monster.

My favorite of my father's friends who came to town for meetings and gatherings was Kyler. He always would bring me treats like shitaki mushrooms and berries from Ruellia. I was also fond of Sashia and her beloved husband, Skybolt, who lived two blocks down the road from us. Sashia was a great cook. I loved her mushroom soup and would visit them in the morning after dad left the house to fight the evil monsters in the catacombs. One month after my sixteenth birthday, I met Karina when she and her son, Vakarin, stopped by our house for dinner. When she learned that I was studying to become a healer, she asked me if I wanted to join her clan with my father. At the time, she was the Princess and leader of the House of Swords and Magic Clan. I knew, that to become a powerful healer as I had always dreamed, that joining the clan would help since I already knew many of the members. My father, one of the senior members of the clan, said only, "Perhaps when she is older." Karina nodded at my father and gave me a knowing wink.

All that night I could not sleep. I lay awake the whole night thinking of what it would be like to join the clan. I decided I would do everything possible to realize my dream and that nothing would stop me. After a bit of discussion that morning, my father gave his approval. I had only to agree that I would be in the clan to further my studies as a healer, and to never leave the town and go out adventuring. He made it very clear he did not want me to ever even risk getting hurt or killed.

It was right then that I vowed to not be overly-protective of my children or stifle them. I hope I will have made good on that promise by the time my children are old enough to read and understand this. The next day Karina came back to visit. It was almost as if she had known the night before what was going to happen. When I was enrolled it was as if I could feel every member of the clan sending their congratulations and welcomes straight to my heart. Being a part of the clan was great. I always had someone to talk to and new people to meet. Not much else had changed, though, since my Father had given me such strict rules. The other members of the clan were very helpful, but their teachings did not do much good without a chance for me to practice them.

I had learned at least one thing that came in handy, however. Father had taught me to use the portal and, on rare occasions, would let me venture back to the City of Medievia to do our shopping. One day when I was seventeen, I was home alone and very bored. Father was in the catacombs, Kyler had gone trading, Karina was far away in the City of Trellor on family business, and Sashia and Skybolt had gone to Mount Vryce.

Though I knew it was against my Father's wishes, I used the portal. Instead of telling it to take me to the City of Medievia, as I usually did, I entered it without saying anything. The portal did not take me to a city, but instead flung me far out into the wilderness. I was scared, and very worried that I might never see my father again. I remember I surveyed the area and saw a town just off to the west surrounded by rivers. I later knew this town to be Riverton. I entered the town and learned of the plight of the dwarves, enslaved and made to work in the mines by the evil wizard Malevich. I used some of my limited power to heal those of them who had the courage to fight for freedom. Grateful for my help, they taught me how to ask dragons for rides to the city, and I vowed that I would someday help free them from their terrible fate. I soon found I was not alone in fighting for the people of Riverton. The priests and priestesses in the Temple of the Sun were trying their best to use the power of Light of the Sun also to defeat Malevich. Many of them were also healers and taught me a few spells that I found quite useful.

One of my new clannies, also, would join me in fighting Malevich, a warrior named Kalliste. She also quickly became a good friend and would secretly join me each day. For weeks, each time my father left to fight in the catacombs, I would sneak out of the house and fly back to Riverton to help the dwarves. I made sure to return home before Father and was very careful that he would never discover my secret. I did not want my father to worry about me or worse, to tell me I could no longer go.

It was quite by accident that Father found out about my adventures. Though Kalliste had promised never to tell my father, she could not help it when he asked where she had been adventuring each day in order to become such a skilled fighter. Kalliste was a good soul but could not lie to my father, who outranked her in the clan, when he persisted with many questions.

At first Father was furious that I had been disobeying him. He forbade me from leaving even the house and threatened to make me leave the clan. He said that I was not mature or responsible enough to be in a clan. Two days later Father received a mysterious note that smelled faintly of lavender and cinnamon. He would only tell me it was from a wise friend. With tears filling his eyes my father asked me to sit and talk with him. I was surprised to hear my father tell me that he had been wrong. He understood, now, that I was a young woman ready to make my own decisions. He said that in helping the people of Riverton that I was mature and responsible and quite ready to be an adventurer. He kissed my forehead and hugged me close.

The next morning when I woke, Father had already gone to fight in the catacombs. On the table lay several packages and a card with my name on it that I keep to this very day. I opened the packages first. There were many pieces of beautiful armor that fit me perfectly and made me feel as if I had the power to heal an entire army! There were also some mysterious staves of oak. After admiring myself in the mirror, I opened the card. It was written carefully in my father's handwriting and read:

Velsie, this was your mother's armor, she was a great and wonderful healer just as I'm sure you will someday be. I trust that you will make good use of them. The staves will each cast powerful spells that will help you with your fight. Your mother would have been very proud of you and I know she would have loved you as much as I do.

I remember very distinctly what happened right after receiving my mother's armor. It is a tale I will hopefully live to tell my children and my children's children in person and not just in this journal. I was so excited to begin my adventuring again that I summoned a dragon immediately and flew to Riverton, sure that this time I could defeat Malevich. I met up with Kalliste at the entrance to the mines where the dwarves were being kept and made to work. This time, instead of running through the mines serving to heal only those dwarves who had risen up to try and break free, we journeyed down into the depths of the mine in search of the evil wizard himself.

We knew we had gotten close to Malevich because the area was full of his servants, who were each very difficult to defeat. Somehow, Kalliste and I battled our way through. We stopped to take a break. We were both tired and very badly hurt. I healed Kalliste the best I could. Just as I sat down with her to rest, a tall, twisted man walked in the room. He sneered down at us and began to chant. In a single blast of his magic Kalliste lay near death. He then turned to face me, laughing. I summoned the last of my mana to transport us out of the mines and back to the statue in the middle of Riverton park.

Kalliste and I were taken to the Temple of the Sun where we healed and rested the night. I was determined that, although Malevich had won that battle, he would not defeat us. Malevich was much harder than I had thought and it nearly cost us our lives. We decided to leave Riverton for a while to study more and become more powerful before we were to come back and try to kill him again. The Riverton mines is also where I met the father of my children and the greatest love of my life. I shall leave him to write his own tale, though, and also save the tale of our life together for another time, for this is only meant to be a short story of why and how I became the adventurer I am today.

I became a great healer, but found that even the most powerful of healers cannot defeat Malevich alone. And now, with children to think of, I dare not risk my life in trying to do so. Perhaps when Gonz is older I will try to kill Malevich again and free the people of Riverton once and for all, unless I have the second child I am hoping for. It is a great comfort to know that I am not alone, that there are a great many adventurers that would help all of the people of Riverton be free.

In the meantime I continue to help the people of Riverton in any other way that I can, including taking Gonz with me on healing missions. I am happy to report he is growing up to be a fine healer, one that I hope will understand and carry out his family's legacy well.

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