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A New Life

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My life begins today. My past is a myth, a ghost, a vapor, once glimpsed and now gone forever. I will not dwell on it.



As I travelled to Annakol City, I heard many rumors. I heard that Sidonia has a castle outside of town, and that she gives shelter to those who wish to grow strong. It is said that there are warm beds and places to train with the bow, the sword, and other skills as well. I must find the castle tomorrow.



I also heard that there is a gem mine outside the city. It's best producing years are long past, but they say that with hard work you can dig out a few gems to sell to the jeweler in the city. I will need gold to begin my new life, and this sounds like a good place to get it.



There are many taverns in Annakol City, so I should be able to earn a copper or two with my songs. I must write new songs. My old songs are part of my old life, and I have forgotten it. I would give up music, but I have no other trade now, since I do not intend to make my living as I once did.



But, that is the past, and I will not remember it.



To hide myself, I whacked my hair off into a very rough, and I hoped very masculine cut. It seems to have worked, but tomorrow I must find someone to cut my hair back into a more feminine style. It will be rather short, but there is no help for that. I also hope that a bit of henna will help me change the shade. I should be far enough away that no one will recognize me, but I will take no chances.



I have also taken a new name. I do not remember the name my mother gave me, and I will kill anyone who uses the name that....he....called me. A new life requires a new name.




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Sidonia's Castle has turned out to be all I could have wanted. In the basement are many rooms for training. There are combat dummies to practice against and archery targets. I already have small skill with a crossbow. I tried the longbow, but I am not strong enough to draw it. I will have to work on that. I bought myself a rapier, but even that thin blade is too heavy for me to control. I have much work to do. For now, I will learn to use a dagger.


I have tried practicing a new song, but the audiences do not seem to care for my singing. I am more than a little disappointed.


I am getting stronger, and I am learning new skills, but after my first day, I am exhausted. Tomorrow I will continue. I will grow strong. I will never return to the ways of the weak.

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I hurt. I fell into bed last night exhausted, and today it seemed to take hours just to get out of bed. I have never felt so stiff in all my life. The day went slowly because of it, but I didn't let it stop me.


I found the gem mine and exhausted myself there, but the jeweler paid me enough to make it worth my while. Then I went back and trained again for a while. I wasn't doing very well at that, so I wandered around the castle a bit, and I found another training area. It is another level down, and you could call it a live fire training area. I was attacked by rats, and bats, and something with wings and a long pointy nose. It looked a little like a giant mosquito. It wasn't too bad, and it felt good to survive all that.


I also found some interesting stuff, but it was a bit gruesome. I guess there were a few who weren't quite as lucky as I was. Yes, there were bodies down there. They were a pretty awful sight, as most of them had been chewed on by the rats. I would not say I was proud of having taken from the dead, but they won't be needing it, and I didn't actually strip the bodies or rifle the pockets. Most had been carrying backpacks and I found things there or lying nearby. One poor fellow seems to have gotten a healing potion out and then been unable to drink it before he was killed.


It was a sobering experience, and I was strongly reminded that my new adventure could end very suddenly...and violently.

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Two more days have passed, and I have finally grown strong enough to wield a rapier. I like this much better, as I can keep my opponent a bit further away.


I ventured into the forest for the first time. A short time later, I retreated. There are undead in the forest, and many goblins and kobolds. There are also many bandits, but the forest is also dark and quiet. I had to kill a spider as large as a pony. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen. I would have run, but it sprang out of nowhere and cast a web about me. I fought through my fear as it's terrible teeth, or mandibles or whatever they are snapped at me. I shudder even now, as I write about it. I am glad that I bought antidote from the Priestess near the Inn. I felt so awful after fighting it that I am sure that it poisoned me.


I also killed a bear.


I shudder when I think about what I have faced, and I can barely contain myself, I am so happy and proud that I survived. I always felt that I could be more than I was allowed to be, and now I am proving that I am right. After fighting I needed a drink. Inside the Feisty Chicken I talked to Lino while I calmed my nerves. It's a nice little Tavern with a few rooms. They have a house performer by the name of Alesia, but I asked if I could come in and sing sometime. I have to be careful not to anger the house bard, but I think that I can earn a little spare coin here.


I may need another drink so that I can get to sleep.

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Yesterday I went to Nif on the other side of the forest. I sang a few songs. They seemed a rather boring lot and I hope I made their lives better with a little song. They seemed to enjoy it, but not much. I didn't stay long as there was nothing to do there but fish.


I found a teacher, and he is going to teach me the long blade. He called it a rapier. I found a good one in town, long and slender but with an odd purple blade. My teacher looked at it carefully and declared it a good blade, so I am happy. I spend most of my time on drills, stamping my feet and thrusting the sword out to full extension. It was exhausting, but I can feel myself getting stronger everyday.


After hunting in the forest for a bit I made my way back to the gem mines. The potions and scrolls I am using cost a small fortune. I was working my way through the mine, searching for the little nuggets that I could pry out of the rock, and suddenly, I was not alone. She wore very little, and all of it red. Now this will sound odd, but it matched her wings. Yes, wings. She was so pretty, I couldn't take my eyes off her. Of course, it didn't help that she was wearing almost nothing. Her name is Celestial and she looked like heaven to me. I so wanted to touch her wings and...but no, I couldn't bring myself to do anything. I was far too embarrassed to broach the subject.


She helped me out some. She has powerful magic, and she used her magic to blast parts of the cave walls and gems seemed to rain down around us. She wouldn't take any of them, but let me keep them all. She gave me a few other things, but I cannot even use them yet. I will save them for later, when I am stronger.


I fell asleep dreaming of her wings folding gently around me.

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My master worked me hard again today. I hurt more than I have ever hurt before, and that is saying something. Today he set me a task. I must go into the forest and bring him the ears of at least ten kobolds. It's a bit grisly, but he wants me to prove that I have actually hunted. Kobolds are not a problem, as they seem to cluster around this one large tree, and no matter how many I kill there always seem to be more.


I am a little surprised by the variety of inhabitants in this forest. I sometimes see Kobolds and Goblins near each other, and I thought they didn't like each other. There are Orcs, and they don't like anyone, but they never seem to fight among themselves. It seems their only goal is kill the human. I suppose that the Bandits manage to stay hidden so that they don't get attacked, but the undead do nothing to hide, and they don't seem to attack anyone but me. It is a conundrum.


I so wanted to see Celestial again, but she was no where to be found. Almost everyone remembers her when described. How could anyone forget her. I cannot. I slept atop the wizard's tower inside Sidonia's walls and dreamt of her again.

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