Spring, Deoch 3
I suppose most journals start with a name, and I see no reason why mine should be different. My name is Ashram, Ashram Seif. I do not know why I sit here, writing by the moonlight into a careless book. Perhaps the fact that it can’t care, or judge, is exactly why I yield my thoughts to its pages. Now the only problem I face is where to begin. The beginning, although the most obvious answer, is not necessary the correct one. In light of this, I will talk about my parents and their lives.
My father always stands out the most in my mind. Be it because I envy his simple blind thought, or just his structured role in society, I know not why. His name was Desmond Seif. My father was born in the small town of Piet, to parents I know nothing about. His childhood lies behind a shroud to me…all that I know about him I’ve learned after his death. My father was a warrior, one who lived and eventually died as they all do, by the sword. He was not like the others; however, he did not fear the evils of this world. He joined a band of adventurers who sought to rid the world of evil, but even a fool knows that such a thing can never be done. My father would venture into the depths of the Piet crypt for weeks at a time. I guess he eventually grew bored of his tasks down there, or maybe he just grew headstrong over the years. All I know is that one day he declared he would strike and destroy the heart of the evil. That was the last time he ever left home…
My mother, Sheena Seif, is a person I still cannot understand to this day. She too was born in the town of Piet, and I’m sure she never ventured out from it. She barely ever left the house, and when she did it was to get food and supplies. Her parents were local yeomen farmers in the region. My mother never did much of note as far as history is concerned. She was just the village seamstress, and that was from necessity instead of choice. She also had the role of raising me by herself since my father was gone for so long and so often. There are many things I’d like to ask her now…if only I could find her again.
My parents’ history isn’t the real purpose that I write in this book, though. It might be a weakness that I have inside, or a need beyond my control, but I have to impart the story of my existence here. My visions, my impressions of the world, and my history, all of these things I place here so that my mind can finally be free. So, the beginning…
I was born in the 3274 year of Danaan. My life as a young child was a normal uneventful one. For the most part I was your typical little curious kid. My family was anything but typical, however. My father was always gone with his job, and mom worked to feed the two of us. She also had the task of raising me all by herself. I can’t help but admit that for some reason there was an underlying old feel to my mother. I loved her, and she loved me, but I never really felt close to her like I would imagine most children do. I wanted to, I tried to…I just couldn’t. Maybe I wasn’t doing the right thing, or maybe she just wouldn’t let me in, to this day I’m not really sure which is true. She was always busy with her seamstress work, and I did my best to keep out of her hair. I spent a lot of time outdoors playing and sometimes just sitting and thinking. While I was indoors I usually found anything to occupy myself while my mother just sat and sewed. Even at dinner we hardly spoke to each other, it was like there was an invisible wall between us. I think this separation is what made my father into the hero of my childhood life. Going outside and enjoying nature was one thing, but even an inventive child can get bored. So I made it a habit on spring and summer days to sit on the fence post and wait for my father in hopes he might come home that day. He almost never did, but I really didn’t care. The few times he happened to come home when I was waiting made it more than worth it. My father was totally different from my mother. He loved me and showed it in every way possible. He would bring home new toys or sometimes just some money for me to spend on what I wanted. My father would sit down at dinner and before bedtime, telling me wonderful and amazing stories of monsters and how he had rid the world of them. One thing my father would let me do that meant more to me than anything else, was care for his sword. I knew that his sword was the one thing that allowed him to destroy the evil he worked his entire life to fight. Toa certain extent, his sword was an extension of himself, the righteous hand by which he was cleansing the world. Letting me take care of it was a sign of trust that made me love him even more. Something tells me that he had to redo everything after I tried my hand at it, but to a kid a thing like that doesn’t matter. I think that my love and admiration of swords comes from those days of long ago. Perhaps the saddest part of my child life was that of my mother and father’s relationship. I could tell that mother was not just cold to me but also to father. It was as if a flame that had once been there was just snuffed out. They would argue over the smallest of things, and father would always wind up storming out of the house, usually not returning ‘til long after I went to sleep. The fights always wound end up over the same thing… Mother would scream and yell how she had to raise me all by herself. She would tell father what a horrid husband he was, and how it would be better to not have a husband at all. She would point to her workroom and spout words up at him, pointing out that she was the only reason that we had food and a house. My father wouldn’t even try to defend himself against her, usually looking at her with pain tinged eyes making her calm down. He would try and make her understand what he did, and why he did it, but she seemed just not to care. To her the evil could not be fought, much less be defeated. She would tell him how wasteful he was being with his life, and that he should be more like her and just accept the way things were. My father could never do such a thing; however, it just wasn’t in his soul to lose heart. My childhood is just a melting pot of short happy times, solitude, conflict, and confusion. I guess the inevitable prefers to come sooner rather then later, because when I was 8 my father left the house in a rage at my mother. He said he was going to prove to her that the evil could be d
The period of my life once father never returned is quite chaotic and filled with things probably best forgotten. I can’t forget them though…forgive yes, but never forget. Since my father was gone and the outside was quickly losing the intrigue it once had, I had to seek some other way to pass the time. My father had collected a decent amount of books in his travels, so I suppose it was only logical for me to read them. I only had one problem: I couldn’t read. After voicing my problems here and there while on some errands for my mother, I was told the banker might be able to help. I happened to be in luck for a change, because the banker was not only able to read but willing to teach me in return for my services at his store. I was more than happy to oblige, and slowly but surely I learned to read. My only real job in the store was sorting and manual labor, which didn’t interest me but it made me think about some interesting concepts. The first few days I was nothing but questions one after the other. The mentality of sorting was eventually ingrained into me though, and I’m sure it had a large effect on me later in life. The idea of clumping something in a group just because they were the same things escaped me for the longest time. This was only the beginning in my little world of discovery, however, because I had no idea what the books father had collected contained, but I would find out soon enough.
Before I tackle that, I have to talk about a certain person in my life whom I met through the gift given to me by the banker. I knew that reading would open up my world to the realm of books, but I had no idea it would do so much more than that. There was another family that moved into Piet when I was just a very small child. With them they brought a little girl, who would soon grow up to be the trickster of the town. Her name is Niobis. I remember the first time I saw her, a scraggly little thing to be honest. She liked to pick on me a lot, but it was in jest and I was never really hurt (at least not that bad). To this day I still don’t understand the point of childhood pranks. I guess some people get their kicks out of them, but I know I never could. I didn’t pay any attention to Niobis, not until she saw me reading outside one day and asked me if I could teach her. I didn’t see why not, at the risk of having a prank or two played on me that is. Besides, I might finally be able to get some payback I was long overdue. Surprisingly enough…I actually became a friend of hers after a while. She’s quite bold for a woman, and in many ways reminds me of my father. She has that fire deep in her eyes that my father did, the fire that my mother never had.
But enough of that for now. Where was I? Ah yes the books. My father’s collection of books contained treasure troves of knowledge waiting to be had. Some were books of literature and poetry, while some even had songs. Many had laws and rules, ways by which men and women were to live their lives. It was only after reading these books that I came closer to understanding my mother. She did not think about or question any of the rules. They were there for a reason, and should always be obeyed. She was caught in the wheel of tradition. The closer to the rules you are, the less you travel and see, and only once you break free of this go around will you truly see the world. With most people, understanding is coupled with compassion, but for me this was not the case. Once I understood my mother, I started to hate her. She was ignorant, that’s all she was. That’s the one thing that I can not stand, ignorance. Ignorance is the rejection of one’s own drive to learn. My mother could have learned to read, to think, to be something more than she was. Instead she decided to live the life of a seamstress, and just pass the days on one by one. When my father tried to explain things to her she couldn’t understand, not because she was stupid but because she refused too. Ignorance…Evil… they seem to go hand in hand. Man created evil from his own ignorance, and it is ironic that he still burns in the fire he created. Yet, I still love my mother, and I always will. Her eyes were not those of a cruel and sadistic person, no, that type of ignorance is different. Cruelty comes from a mix of ignorance and pride. My mother was possibly one of the most humble beings on the planet. So why would she refuse to learn? The question prods at me to this very day and I still have no complete answer. The only thing that I can think of is quite simple, she gave up. She was not a fighter like my father, and to her breaking the rules was a type of conflict. She would rather live in a shell than try to break out of it. I suppose that such an ideal isn’t bad, but if everyone was that way then I think it would be catastrophic.
There was one last category of books handed down to me from my father. Within their covers there was the history of not just Piet but the entire world. Dating back to a time before time, the past of ancient civilizations were revealed to me. One civilization particularly caught my eye, the Aosda. Tales of this great civilization abounded. The more I read on the Aosda the more questions I had. I wanted answers, and I wanted them now. Of course no one could really quell this blazing desire I had within me, and unfortunately it just grew. I would have denied it then, but now I know for sure that it was nothing short of an obsession. I lost track of the world around me. My mother, the town, Niobis, none of them seemed to exist to me as I just dug through books over and over. I had to find something, there had to be something somewhere…
This search continued on for many years until I was 19. Then, my mother finally came to me one night, and that’s when things changed forever. She was trying to talk me out of my obsession, how I couldn’t go on ignoring the real world around me by building up this fantasy of the Aosda. She told me it was nothing but a silly myth made up by people with nothing better to do. I didn’t listen to her, to be honest at that point I don’t think I could have listened to anyone if I wanted to. Of course a fight ensued, and the end was unfortunate for us both. I vowed, like my father before me, to prove her wrong. I swore to find Aosda again, to unlock the knowledge and the power that the civilization secrets contained. That very night I packed up what I though I would need and grabbed my father’s dagger before marching out of the door. My mother was there, but didn’t try to stop me. I looked into her eyes and felt a pang of sorrow, but I could not turn back now. All I could do is swear to her I would return to her one day and share with her everything I could so that she might be happy. She just stood there and shooed me away, saying that she knew this would happen someday. So that night I left my home, departing with words I will never forget,
"I’m sick of the obvious. What I want lies buried in the sands of time."
I thought about saying goodbye to Niobis, but I knew she would only want to go with me. She always acted like the village was a small cage. I didn’t want to complicate her life with my problems, and I assured myself it was better this way. So I left Piet, not planning to return any time soon.
As well read as I thought I was, I was unprepared for the world that lay ahead of me. Getting to Loures proved to be no problem, but I preferred to go through the woods to avoid the bustle of the roads. Luckily I knew that as long as one avoided the east woodlands the woods are fairly safe. My rations lasted me a while, but not nearly long enough. I eventually had to head back to Loures, making some money here and there as a shop hand. I lived like this for a while, still trying to collect more books and information on the Aosda civilization. Time passed slowly, creeping on and on ‘til finally an entire year had gone by. I had read every book I could find, but I finally had one lead. I saved up enough money to get food for the trip and headed off to the west. The path I had to follow was difficult, I couldn’t afford passage on a ship so I had to just follow the coast. I saw many beautiful things along the way, each one giving me an increased bit of hope for this world. I also had a lot of time to think…and to miss things. I didn’t think I would miss home, but I did. I have to be honest in that I didn’t miss my mother much, just the comforts of home. The ability to lay down in my bed and feel comfortable when I went to sleep. Being able to trust in the fact supper would be on the table every night. For a brief second I saw what my mother enjoyed about her ignorance, and that maybe it was bliss after all. But my surroundings quickly changed that idea, and reaffirmed to me that bliss from ignorance is completely hollow. In the end the beautiful things made up for all the discomfort, and I wouldn’t have traded them for anything…well, almost anything. There was something that nothing else in the world could make up for. And as much as I hated to realize it, it was Niobis. I actually missed her, and once I started I couldn’t stop. In fact, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t miss her before. I didn’t move after my first few days that this hit me, and for a while I wasn’t sure I could go on at all. I really did love Niobis. As much as I didn’t want to admit that I loved anything on this earth beyond my parents, I did. I hoped she was doing all right. I wondered what she was doing period, but there was no way for me to know, especially not here and now. So I decided that I had no choice but to continue on my sojourn.
Many more days passed. I finally reached the area that I had trekked so far to find. It looked to be the remains of an ancient temple. I set up camp and started to try and read the writings I could find, but to no avail. In my rush it had never occurred to me that I had no knowledge of the writing of the Aosda, or any of the ancient civilizations. I couldn’t believe I had made such a ridiculous error. Determined to gain something from this I continued to explore the fallen ruins. At last I had come upon an important discovery. There seemed to be some type of passageway beneath a collapsed archway. I spent the next few hours tossing rocks to the side before taking my torch and dagger into the depths.
It was dark, cold, and cramped as I descended down deeper and deeper. Luckily the most I had to deal with in the way of monsters were rats and small spiders. By the time I got to the bottom I was already feeling worn out and drained. I looked around and saw numerous markings about the walls and floor. I tried to decipher them but failed miserably. There were three passageways before me, so by chance I decided to go right. I apparently got lucky. Someone else had decided to go right a long time ago, as was apparent by the skeleton with a spear through its rib. I made careful note of the floor as I pressed onward. After what seemed like a mile of nothing but stones I saw something in the distance that caught the light of my torch and flickered it back to me. As got closer I realized it was a statue, one made of a brilliant white metal, possibly silver. I approached the statue with caution, finally standing in front of it and trying to look behind for a door. As hard as I looked there was nothing I could see. I sighed and leaned on the statue, only to be greeted by the noise of grinding stone and gears. Fearing for my life I jumped to the side, to my surprise directly into a hole in the wall. I’m not sure for how long I slid along the cold rock, but my torch was put out and my dagger had been lost before I even got into the hole. Surprisingly enough, I did not fall from a hole in a ceiling, but instead I seemed to float. The room I was in seemed to have eyes peering at me from all around, a dark green that seemed to pierce into my soul. What happened then, well no one could ever forget.
"What is it that you seek?" boomed a low voice, as if it echoed from the center of the planet itself.
I swallowed hard, my head throbbing as I felt like every memory and thought I ever had was being defiled by these…things.
"I seek the secrets of the Aosda," I replied, trying to sound as confident in myself as possible.
"Why do you want their secrets, do you want their power?" The voice did not ask, but demanded.
"I want their knowledge, their wisdom."
"Fool, do you even know what that would mean? Within their knowledge lies the power to destroy the world if one should wish it!" the voice exclaimed, sounding almost shocked.
"I would never wish such a thing, I only want justice."
"What is justice besides a twisted perspective of revenge!"
I couldn’t answer for a while. I myself wasn’t sure what justice meant to me, so I answered the best I could.
"Justice and revenge both know the sides of right and wrong. Justice fights on the side of right, revenge fights against it on the side of wrong." I smiled, pleased with my answer. There was a long pause before the voice spoke to me again.
"You are not ready to judge what is right and what is wrong…not yet."
I waited, nothing happened and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say, or even if I was supposed to say anything at all. All I could do was float there, wondering what was going to become of me.
"You will be watched, when you are ready return to us. If you are not ready when you return then you will die. Be wary in your duty that lies ahead, falter in it and we will know. We will be watching…"
Then there was darkness, total darkness. I heard a faint voice, as if from far away. It was the same voice from before but softer. His words seemed to echo in my head.
"He is one of the sword."
Then I just felt as though I was flying through the air, then a bright flash appeared before me, and the next memory I have is waking up in a foreign inn. When I looked at the mirror in the dresser I noticed that my hair had turned pale silver. I knew from this point on things would be changing…
Summer Deoch 3
Having finally familiarized myself with this town I find that I was transported to the inn in Mileth. I was determined to find my way about by myself, and I went about acquiring a stick. After this I headed for the crypt which everyone spoke about. I found fighting the rats there quite simple and even tedious. I slowly worked my way up to a dirk and shield, and even a pair of boots. I was told the time of choosing my path was near. From what I had asked of the good people around, I knew that my path would involve magic. I had always wanted to wield the powers of magic, and I must admit that I felt the ancient powers of the Aosda would be in the form of magic. I was not sure which path to take until I was faced with the question. To control or submit to nature…I firmly believe that it is harder to create than destroy, but I know that in order to create justice, the darkness must be destroyed. So I choose to be the master of nature and join the circle of wizards. What I learned of the art I owe to my mentor Porfilius. As much as I try to be a loner in this world his assistance to me was invaluable and will never be forgotten. The choice of elements for me was easy; Srad was the element that called to me from my soul. My ability with the sword is lacking, but someday I know that I can improve this to at least be competent with a blade. My advancement was slow but steady, but I knew that as long as I was diligent I would prevail.
Fall Deoch 3
Today is a day that will change my life, forever. I had given up on my love for Niobis, I knew that no matter what I felt my life was not one meant for such things. I was sure that I would only drag her into this jihad against evil, helpless and headstrong, the worst combination for anyone to be. I had pushed back my feelings for her into the recesses of my mind. "She’ll be happier without you," is what I had to keep telling myself. This day was no different than any other, until I saw a figure before me in the shop of Dar. She was standing there with her jet-black hair, I saw the side of her face but could not be sure. She was wearing the clothes of a rogue, much to my surprise. I wasn’t sure it was she until I heard her try to haggle with Dar, it was then that I knew. I couldn’t help but greet her cordially, no matter what I was dying to say. I hugged her and in time I told myself, in time I will show her how much she really means to me.
From that point on we were almost inseparable. We have fought many evils and so far succeeded. She seems much more adept at fighting monsters than I am, but I assure myself that with patience I too will become powerful. Soon we will be joined in fairy love, although our bond is already much stronger than that. I have two years to catch up on with her, and I plan not to waste another minute. At times I’ve thought of settling down with her, but I know that she is the exact opposite of my mother. Which I guess would make her my father. Whether that’s good or bad I’m not quite sure, but I am sure that I will stay with her through anything.