(OOC: Still heavy on exposition, I know. Dreams are good for back story, though. I too shall be laying low after this, and maybe a return letter from Yoth, see if we get any more players in the game, so to speak.)
Clearly, the people of Glenlight were smarter than Godia had thought. None had sought to join her. She didn't blame them. Maybe she'd pick up some hangers-on along the way, or maybe she'd go it alone. Such was life.
She checked her map: her first destination on her westward journey was Greentower. A logging town, under the control of Baron Richard Greentower. Technically, Godia outranked him, but in practice, they were equals. Glenlight was only a duchy by tradition, the last remnants of a realm that once ruled vast swathes of Azalas. For all intents and purposes, Godia was an baroness who simply happened to not have anyone between her and King Alexander II. Baron Greentower was somewhat bitter about this; they saw eye to eye on many matters, but Greentower always cringed when he had to call her "Duchess." Plus, Baron Greentower had a terrible crush on Godia, one that tested his wife's patience. So she hoped to get through Greentower without any awkward interactions.
She took her bag, slung it across her shoulders, and entered her waiting carriage. It was a smooth ride — Alexander II had a curious, unbridled enthusiasm for the infrastructure minutiae that allowed a kingdom like Azalas to operate smoothly, and well paved roads were part of that. The day turned to night, and the carriage was comfortable; sleep soon overtook her.
The streets of Skysea smelled of salt water. They always did. She was a little girl, weaving her way through the Skysea marketplace. Her mark; a short, jolly man with a black beard and glittering blue eyes. She casually walked past her mark, deftly slipping her fingers into his pockets. A single token, copper painted yellow, marked with a great eye inscribed in a triangle. She vanished into the marketplace.
She was back at her home, handing the token back to the mark. Her father. He smiled and said, "nicely done, my girl. Nearly missed ya myself, and I'm an old hand at the game. You've got talent, my dear." His smiled turned morose, though, and he sighed, turning to look out to the ocean. He continued, "still, I gotta say, it's no way to make a living. I'm fine with teaching you the tricks of the trade, as long as you want me to, but I'd really rather you focus on your magical studies."
Godia replied, "it's... well, it's more about the other things I learn working with you. The little ways to tell when people aren't quite paying attention, the ways of slipping away from trouble... I don't think any magical tome can teach me that."
Her father's smile returned and he said, "good to know you've got the right attitude about these lessons. So, how's the spell-casting coming?" Godia replied with a wave of her hands and a few magical words; a blue butterfly flew from her hands, and landed on her father's nose. He chuckled and said, "why, I can even feel it tickling me with its little feet!"
The butterfly flew back to Godia, and its colors enveloped the dream. Everything faded but the butterfly, which swirled, becoming a girl, a pretty young lady in blue, with blonde hair. She smiled, and kissed Godia, a nervous peck on the lips, and Godia felt a warmth in her heart she'd never felt before. The moment seemed to last forever. But then it vanished, and Godia saw the girl from a distance, passionately kissing a boy... "me and you," she told Godia, "it was just a little fun,
nothing serious, just a little laugh..." The scene melted, washed away by Godia's tears.
She was standing before her father now, nervously staring at his shoes. She said, cautiously, "I... have a... I need to tell you something."
"Tell me what's on your mind, Godia, and know I'll always love you."
"I..." she struggled to find the words, "I... like girls... in a way most girls like boys..." she finally said. She looked up at her father's face; he still smiled, unfazed by the news.
He nodded and said, "I have a confession as well. I accidentally stumbled on your, uh, artwork collection a month ago." Godia went red with embarrassment, but her father continued, "but I figured you'd tell me when you were ready, so I decided not to push the issue. I'm glad you were honest with me. Still, best be careful; not everyone is as tolerant as an old thief like me."
She was at the Skysea Academy now, slipping through the library of arcane lore. The forbidden section was up ahead. She daintily hopped over the magical ward, as her father had taught her, and listened. She heard the golem that patrolled the area, and slid out of its view. In this way, she navigated the forbidden section, dodging her teachers and the patrols with the deft skill of an expert. She'd avoided the rookie mistakes other students had made; the wards would have picked up an invisibility cloak or spell. But the simple artwork of a trained thief was something the Academy had never planned for.
She found it. A tome, its cover marked with a great eye inscribed in a triangle. The Book of Many Worlds
, written by the mighty Azog, the alien god of secrets. To any other it was a dangerous magical tome. But before she opened it, Godia knew what needed to be done. She knelt, and whispered, "oh mighty Azog, I have served you all my life. Grant me your holy mercy, and allow me your secrets." She felt a warmth come over her, and opened the book, and read of the Secret of Many Worlds.
She was a woman now, a young adventurer, a mercenary dealing with noble's troubles. But she was at the border between Yoth's territory and Azalas on her own business. She felt the power coursing beneath her feet. The Secret of Many Worlds, the stitching that tied these worlds together. Through many nights of studying the Book of Many Worlds
, she had learned how to sense this stitching, and the many things one could do with it. A wise mage could speak to the dead through it, if the dead wished to speak to them, for it was connected to the heart of the worlds at Alleantis. A crafty mage could slip messages through it, allowing instant communication across the world. You could hear the tales of far away worlds in the stitching, of the places from whence the fragments of this one came, if you so chose. You could even sense new worlds being added to this one, if you knew where to search. And some mages, mighty, dangerous mages, could draw upon this power, though to do so was a destructive act that would drain the very world's life force. She had no interest in any of these tricks, however. Not at this moment. To simply feel the world's heartbeat, to gaze upon such power and majesty, that was enough. She fell into that tranquil beauty, and into a dreamless sleep.
edited 11th Mar '11 8:17:30 AM by KillerClowns