I, Lyrlandi, now embark on a journey of my own, but to where I do not know. It seemed my mother held some great delusions of grandeur, especially in regards to me and my fate. And my father may have felt the same way. Maybe she even got that idea from him before he disappeared, lost in battle. The poor soul.
She said he was a king, or at least a lord, but all I have ever known is poverty and hunger. It was hard to believe any of her tales when I grew up my entire life without shoes, dirty, with barely enough tattered rags to protect my modesty, and surely not enough food to grow properly. Perhaps life was better elsewhere to the west, but here on the outskirts of this human town, life has been harsh and its residents harsher. She said long ago we were robbed and forced to live in our squalid, makeshift hut. I could believe that. But I cannot fathom why, as an elf being so mistreated, she would linger in these accursed lands. It was all nonsense about being a "ruler of kings."
I sit here now, curled up near the hearth with this book upon my knee, drawing curious looks from patrons and ire of the barkeep, as I am surely taking up unwanted space and sullying even the floor with my unwashed body. I do not blame him though, for it is obvious I do not have even a copper piece to my name and cannot begin to pay for this shelter and warmth. I'd wager many even think I stole this book and writing implement. Surely I must be a sight to behold: a small, emaciated elf with a disheveled mop of matted, dingy hair. It is hard to recall a day when my hair actually was its true color, like that of carrots. And my skin would be porcelain, if it wasn't soiled so. The only thing that couldn't possibly be dirtied are my eyes, which many have remarked as an unsettling, fulgid green.
Why am I even writing in this journal? My thoughts have wandered, and I fear I have begun writing nonsense. The old man said I should write… if anything, I do it for his sake. It is only through the charity of the temple that I have learned to read and write at all. But I think this has been a fruitless exercise. After so much soul searching, I only have the desire to toss this book into the fire and flee this horrid civilization. If there was anything my mother did teach me well, it was how to survive in the wilds and get by with nothing.
To any unfortunate souls who happen to come across this: apparently the fire didn't do its job. Destroy this and spare the world the ravings of a madwoman.
(The edges of the journal are slightly blackened and the outer strap is falling apart, but overall it is still serviceable.)
"I believe you dropped this," a nonchalant male voice said.
Lyrlandi had just left the tavern and was not planning to go to the town artist for work after all. She was making her way to just leave when someone got her attention.
"Excuse me?" she asked, quite confused as she wasn't aware of any possessions to speak of that could be dropped. Looking down at the young man's outstretched hands, she saw the charred journal. She quickly snatched it out of his hands, not out of fear of losing it, but because she didn't want him or anyone else reading it.
"What.. Why did you-" she began, only to be interrupted.
"It's a long story, Lyrlandi. You.. Probably don't remember me."
The destitute elf studied his face for a moment, thinking he looked familiar. Yes! That's right. This young man and his family were neighbors for a time in the outskirts of town. With their farm burnt to the ground, they came here for a new life. Apparently they did not have much issue finding a new residence within the safety of the town's walls, as lackluster as those living conditions may still be. Lyrlandi just couldn't quite remember his name after all this time.
"It's Gwenham," he said smiling sheepishly. "Um, look.. I heard your mum passed not long ago… She actually asked me to look after you a bit before then. You know, make sure you stay alive and out of trouble?"
"Oh?" Lyrlandi asked, eyes already beginning to roll. She did love her mother but the fact that she had continued to incessantly prod her from beyond the grave was exasperating.
The young man nodded solemnly. "Yes.. And that leads me to ask you: where are you going?"
The two had a brief conversation from that point, and it was there that Lyrlandi decided to stay for just a little while longer and maybe try to earn some coin, as opposed to just leaving the town, as he said it would be like suicide.
Reflections On Your Mother
The Dream Whisperer came to me again. She bade me to write of reflections on my mother… It seems no matter how much I try to avoid thinking of her, she still manages to infiltrate my mind. First Gwenham, now this Dream Whisperer…
Where to begin? She was a lovely woman who loved me deeply, as I loved her. Surely she seemed to have all the best intentions for me. And yet I cannot help but feel she was led astray. She led ME astray. What if all that love was misplaced in me? I am afraid that all the attention, all the things she said and did was not for me, but toward some.. Ambition. An ambition she knew she could not accomplish herself, one which she thrust upon me.
This journal entry seems more about me rather than my mother. And yet, to the level she obsessed over my destiny, how could it not be?
Mother, I dearly miss you. And yet. At the same time I am relieved by your passing. It is.. Disgusting, these feelings. How could I possibly feel this way about my own mother?? It can't be. It shouldn't be. I wish it wasn't so. I do not want to write about her anymore. DREAM WHISPERER LEAVE ME BE.
Reflections on your father
Now the Dream Whisperer beckons again and bids me to write reflections upon my father…
It is hard to say, as I have never known him personally. Everything I know I heard from my mother. She said he was a kind man, a courageous man, and chivalrous to a fault. It all sounds wonderful, but given everything else she has told me, I am skeptical. Only his name, Odreloh, is what I can willingly believe with no doubt. Before I was born he left, sworn by duty to protect his homeland and to protect me and my mother. Soon after being born my mother migrated with me. I have no one else's words to go by save for my mother's. I hope her words about him were at least accurate, but the fact that I have not met anyone that has heard of him speaks volumes.
I wish I could meet him, if only to prove or disprove what I have heard. And if he turned out to be the man he was rumored to be, even better.