Ling-Mai’s Diary – I’m Ling Mai and I almost died.
After the others left the keep. Lee Ping and I stayed behind in hopes that its owners will return and I can talk to them about helping Lee Ping. I search the castle for magical information. I left once to get food. The keep is crumbling. Magic seems to be dissipating. 3 weeks later, a figure appears. He is wearing a golden long jacket, red and black robes, amethyst sash. Helmed figure with a golden silver staff, gemstones, runes on his body. He introduces himself as Duncanis the Great Platinum Knight of Damie.
I explain my situation to him and ask him for his assistance. I tell him that a chaotic planar creature put a spell on my husband Lee Ping turning him into a horse. He turns back into human form once a month during the Lunar Blur. I ask him if there is anything that he can do to help Ping. If he helps me uncurse Ping, then I can tell him where Talib is. Duncanis examines Ping with a gem. He tells me he doesn’t have time to cure him but he can inverse the curse so that he is human most of the month and susceptible to his horse form during the Lunar Blur. He tells me that the magic he has done will work for 40-50 years, it isn’t permanent. I will need to quest to remove the curse completely. If I find someone that is able to remove the curse then I need to use the information on a scroll that he gives me. Duncanis gives me a scroll with the spell with the magic that he laced into the original curse. We will need that info to uncurse him. I tell him about what happened with Antares and bringing back “Edda.” Duncanis confirms he was Talib. I tell him he went back to the Bard City and he says he’ll take care of him. I worry about the Bard City and its residents including my companions. I feel I should get back right away to warn them. I ask him about my pregnancy and how I’m worried about the baby. It is growing much more than normal. He recommends getting rid of it. He teleports away.
We head to the Bard City right away. It takes us 2 months to get there, we trade up to horses on the way. We reach the Bard City. I am worried about my friends and companions. I tell Fletcher but he says he knows all about Talib and doesn’t seem concerned about it. We need to use him to save the world, etc. Antares comes back and he knows about it too. He says there is nothing to worry about as he came in possession of a wish and has put magical bindings in place requiring him to help free the world. Talib is under his control he says. Nobody in this darn city seems to be worrying about the fact that Talib is free and wandering around and living in the city and living in the clock tower. I know we probably have to work with undesirable people to save the land from the devil and aberrant threat, but Talib. I’m pretty sure most of us grew up being taught that this guy was bad news. I just, I can’t deal with this right now. I mean it’s kind of like a deal with the devil, right? Sigh.
My pregnancy has accelerated at a big pace. I am huge. I look very pregnant. I ask for Antares’ help. He recommends getting the baby out now. He says he could use Talib’s help. Talib swears he’ll do what he can to help me and my baby. I am very leery of accepting but I say yes for my baby. I go into surgery. I am in a dream. I see Talib. He meets me in my dream. He tells me do as I say, swear your life fealty to him and he’ll save my baby. I ask him for proof that there is trouble with the birth. He shows me the scene with Antares deep in surgery, blood everywhere, frantically trying to save me and the baby. I agonize over the decision. I want to do anything to save my baby but all I have learned about Talib and what he has done. He says I have to make a decision right away. It is the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. I say no to his offer. He disappears. I scream out in pain and agony and desperation. I scream out for divine intervention. I call out to god/goddess of motherhood, fertility, family to help save my baby. I yell that I said no to Talib, I said no for the sake of the world, for the sake of humanity, if any gods/goddesses that stayed in this plane, I pray to them to help me.
The gods must have heard my plea because night comes to the field. The full moon rises, the moon shines on a serene pool in the glade. As I approach the glade, a shapely woman who looks like she is in her 30’s with large hips, swollen breasts, long hair, water beading off her 5’6” frame. She tells me she is ASIER. Goddess of water, moon, birth and women. She is in the Sylvanus pantheon, neutral deity. I ask her what can be done, is there any way she can help my baby? She says I’m not a divine vessel so she can’t do a lot. She asks me to worship her, become a divine vessel for Asier. I accept.
I wake up. I learn the birth was very difficult. I barely survived and the life of the baby was not looking good despite their best efforts. But then things miraculously turned around. The baby survived and is healthy. I had a baby boy who also happens to be a centaur. Lee Ping comforts me and says he will support me. I decide to name my son Sacchio Tsuyoi Mun Ping. It means fortunately born strong moon, an appropriate name I think.
Sacchio is a strong, robust and healthy boy. He was able to walk almost immediately after birth. I’m not sure how centaurs grow, if the pregnancy was any indication, he may reach adulthood sooner than humans. I will have to research this, but I have not heard of any WingTai centaurs.
By becoming a worshipper of Asier on Argyll, I am now a Rogue/Cleric. It seems like my spell casting powers are diminished, but I do what I am able. Channeling energy seems to be affected as well, I don’t seem to be able to do it as often. There are various domains I can choose. I am trying to choose between Defense, Night, Healing or the Water domain. I’m need to learn more about Asier and the pantheon of Sylvanus. The holy symbol is 3 moons, one waxing, one full and one waning. This focus on moons sounds about right. I have been following the cycle of the moon religiously for the last 15 years. It must have been fate. And my body has undergone some changes as a result of my experience. I think I have gained some curves and an enhanced bosom. Ping seems to like it : )
Crimeri is the village closest to the Mage Knight Keep. It seems like a good place to settle for a while and build a shrine to Asier. I believe the group agreed to meet up here in several months. I can spend time with Ping and raise our son. I will teach him Common, which is long overdue. Ping will be a good father and he will still be a horse a few days of the month, but I think that will help Sacchio. Although, I need to find a wizard to help do the ritual required to remove the spell entirely, maybe Antares would be willing to do it or know someone who could do it?
I’ve even started to gain followers. I gain my first follower, a middle aged Crimeri woman, Freya Nimblefox. She is a good witch, neutral good. She has a small fox as a familiar. Her patron spells are water and wisdom.
What is next? I have the scroll that needs to be delivered to the Lord of Danethelia, whoever that may be. The Lord of Danethelia nine years ago was Edmund. Not sure who it would be now. Survivors may have gone to Viet Qune, the elven court? Ping may want to go to Journey’s End and see if there were survivors, or if there is still a Lord there and if he needs to serve them in any way. Sacchio is still just a baby even though he is much more mobile than others of his age.
But I can’t help but think that if we are making deals with necromancers, the undead and people like Talib, then who is to stop the devils/demons/aberrants from making similar deals with different groups as well? Did not some in the Church of Damie that did such a thing? But I also wonder that if there are undead and evil creatures that would align with us, would there be any devils/demons/aberrants that are unhappy with things have gone and would want to align with us as well? These are dark thoughts, I do not like to think about this.
Whatever thoughts I might have, I do feel like I have a purpose now. It is time for the divine to come back to Argyll. Many gods and goddess left us, but many stayed for better or worse. The ones that stayed, I believe want us to survive and thrive. I thank Asier for my baby’s life and for my life. I must help others as she has helped me. People are turning to evil/undead for the world’s salvation and I can’t help but think that there are other options out there as well. We should be able to turn to the divine, to the good, to the living, for our salvation.