Memories 2: Adrastai
The memories that I write here will be added to, as I am still in the process of awakening.
As you will have read in the first page of my memories, I did what was unconventional for a girl, to say the least, and joined the Adrastai. Training did not go smoothly. My memories are disjointed still, and therefore I present extracts of what I do remember, copied from my awakening diary. These are not all the memories, only a handful, but the ones that may be of most interest.
As described in my memory diary
[...]New trainee, for want of a better word, and cant have been there more than a few weeks or months, I get the feeling. Think of two teenagers, ripe for trouble.......
I was stood with this other trainee, in a training room, wood panelled walls. We had been having some lesson in sword practice, the first with *live* swords, I believe, and everyone else, including the instructor, had gone. This other trainee, a guy, was known as a prankster, and for messing around. He had taken it upon himself for some time to try to hassle me, both over unconventional ancestry, and gender.
I was just picking up my swords from the floor at the end of the class, when he decided to attack me with what I can only describe (without drawing a picture of the weapon) as something like a slightly curved hatchet, that he grabbed from one of the racks. Now, prank or no (and it was simply a prank, designed to try and scare me) it was still a REAL weapon - not a wooden training one or anything like that. My first reaction was to block the cut, and for some reason the blade of his weapon shattered - mine went straight through, and cut his head open, killing him instantly.
I completely freaked, and legged it. In a rational moment I probably shouldnt have, but I certainly wasnt thinking clearly at this point. I legged it, and fled out of the city, into the mountains, ended up taking up for a time with some wild - shamanic- elves, and refusing to return to the city, believing that I would be done for murder. About a year later though I was found and pursuaded to return to the city and my training, since, as it turned out, that although metal and looking as if it was real, the weapon that had shattered had been designed to do so, as something to do with much more advanced training, and thus neither of us had known about it, and it had been put down all along to a tragic accident.
I spent several months there at least, until prusuaded to return by none other that the Shaman, The incident was recognised as an accident, and the boy killed, had actually been under severe reremand for bullying and “hazing”. The accident was discussed, and I was not blamed.
RPG as training
It was a full days session, so quite a biggie, and more advanced, beyond your basic 101 training. Basically what the idea was, loads of us, advanced trainees, and newbies, and fully fledged too, were out at this old ruin somewhere. The trainees (newbies and avanced) paired off, one advanced, one newbie. The advanced one would act as the bodyguard of the newbie. The idea was to protect the newbie, all through this ruin, and against all kinds of unexpected suprise attacks (engineered by the fully fledged ones). It would work out handy training for all. The natural combat practice of relevance to everyone, plus us "advanced" trainees having to actually be aware, all points radar for possible attacks, and the newbies getting a good insight into tactics and "things to consider".
Well lets say it was a good day. . And some quite funny incidents as well, of course. I can remember getting to the end of one "journey round the ruin", and having to stop to laugh... OH yes, and it was after the training session was over for the day, and three of us found these orbs (think of the orbs you get in photographs) floating in a corner of an old courtyard, and they were quite warm if they floated near your hand.
Now if youre not going to do what you're told
There were I think four or five of us out and about. There was this beautiful river, running in deep cut mossy banks through this woodland, the sun slanting down through late spring leaves. Just being there was a feeling of "wahey!", as we splashed down a narrow gravel bank following the river (easier than pushing our way through the growth above). I have a feeling it may have been close to the headwaters of a big river that comes up into my memories from time to time usually much nearer the sea. Anyhow, we came to this hunting camp we had set up earlier in the day, and yes, hunting had been productive. And we all ended up chilling round the fire, telling tall stories, and laughing. And then two of us heard this rustle in the shrubs nearby, and after a bit of stalking, I reached into the bush, not quite sure what to expect (OK it was a thick shrub!) and yanked out this lad who was one of the Adrastai in his first year of training (you can tell by the grey tunic) and we were all asking "what are you doing out here! Skiving isnt really the sort of thing you know" *grin*.
I dont think he seriously got into trouble actually, he stayed with our bunch and returned to the town with us later.
Theres a small track, probably an animal track leading down the steep hillside to the sea. I have to go down there, but I have serious misgivings about it . Unlike in this present life, I did not like the sea and trusted it even less, in spite of the Shamans teaching me about the sea and its spirits and energies. That was thanks to parental attempts at drowning me as a toddler. Then as now (as an adult in both lives) I was a strong swimmer, so ... yep.
So I am not too thrilled about scrambling down this path, but I have to, and thats that. I get to the waters edge, and splash in. I have to dive down a short way, but am able to retrieve what I am looking for. Its a black rectangular thing, thats just bigger than the palm of my hand. It looked as if it was made of polished charcoal, but was much harder. (it certainly wasnt charcoal). I turn and start scrambling up the path again. I mean this is a hands and knees thing. I notice in the earth there is lots of real charcoal. As if ages back there had been a massive scrub fire along this part of the cliff.
Back to the top of the hillside, and Shadowdancer, and we head off. Now I have to get this black thing to someone a few days journey along the coast, and I am also aware that somehow, carrying this thing will attract danger. So I am keeping an extra sharp lookout. Sure enough, we are trundling along in the afternoon sun, when I become aware that a group of entities are coming the opposite way, and somehow I know they are foccussed on the black thing. So I tell shadowdancer to take off and hide (knowing they are not interested in the horse!), and I head off the side of the path into some bramble and scrub, hoping that the entities will pass us both by and not spot us, so we will get a head start past them. I come through the scrub and bramble-like creepers into this small clear grassy space, and duck down behind a little hillock, knowing full well they will probably spot that someones been through the creepers and scrub, but hoping they will look around, see no-one at first and go off. Needless to say, that doesnt happen. Three or four entities come through the shrub, straight for me. These are the ones I remembered even in the earliest days of my elfy awakening. Probably about two heads taller than me, slim and covered with short black greasy hair and clawed hands. nasty things. So theres a hell of a fight, luckily i think the bright sun puts these things off a bit, and after a nasty fight, I did win out. So I am stood there, just taking a deep breath *phew*, and I hear a suprised and angry voice behind me. *drop your swords*
I dont, but I turn around, to find three chaps stood behind me, with drawn swords. Bandits, or at least wild elves. I reckoned the first. When I turn round they are pretty suprised, lol. Now both males and females had really long hair, and most Adrastai were guys, so this bunch look pretty suprised when I turn round and they see I'm a girl, hehe.
It turns out they havent seen entities before, and they assume I am there after them. In fact they refuse to believe that I am not actually interested in bothering them. Two decide to attack me, and I quickly find that while they are terribly enthusiastic with thier swords, they arent much good, and its pretty much a doddle to keep them dancing round until they realise I am actually trying not to hurt them, and dont want to kill them. Theres a small cave that leads back down to the sea, one of them ends up in the sea up to his knees, and swearing, and the other just gives up and realises "well OK, she isnt interested in harming us after all", while the third has a good go at jumping on me from behind, and after being introduced to the grass at speed, backs off. Basically my attitude is "ok, I'll keep playing til you get bored", especially since I am feeling rather full of myself having bumped off those entities.
Finally they realise that I am not there to bother them, and we get round to talking. I explain about entities, and that they are best avoided (to put it mildly), and say that I am simply passing through about my own buisnuiss that doesnt involve bothering these people. And then I head on my way, and give a yell to Shadowdancer.
The memory of the attack was in fact one of my earliest memories, and proved to be the one that would identify the world in which it took place, and also reveal someone I had known in that life. I have re-written the account, since the original writing is somewhat too confused to make sense to the outside reader, as many of the things that I have since understood, made no sense to me at the time.
Shadowdancer and I were heading towards a village that we both knew very well, carrying something important (now believed to be the artifact found in the memory above), and we also knew that we were being followed by entities, as we passed the borders of a forest. However we passed the forest, and what we believed to be the dangerous places, without incident, and began to relax, heading down into a grassy valley. That is when the entities struck. One minute we were relaxing, and looking foward to reaching the village, the next I was lying in the long grass, with two arrows in me, and Shadowdancer running for her life.
Now, somehow the arrows were poisoned, not with traditional poison, but something that could in turn taint you with evil; I suppose the entities wanted me to either die, or become evil like them... I believed that Shadowdancer was running because she believed I would immediatly turn evil, however the person who was Shadowdancer, has in this life told me that she ran because she was so terrified of the attack. I called out to Shadowdancer to come back, that I was not evil yet, but only saw her running.
I pretty much gave up. All I could hope, digging my fingers into the soil, was that I would die before the posion took hold, and before the entities came out of the forest. I was willing this to be over quickly, and was very suprised when I found Shadowdancer next to me. How I made it onto her back I will never know, and from then on my memories are very hazy. All I wanted to do was let go, and yet I knew that if I did, I wouldnt stand a chance. And coming up to the village, seeing people ahead, and muttering something. The next paragraph of the account comes from my friend / Shadowdancer.
She brought me through the village, to the Shamans hut, believing him to the the one person who I stood a chance with, and our arrival creating quite a stir, at an attack having happened fairly close by. But while I did survive, and was getting back to my usual ship-shape self, Shadowdancer was blamed for somehow not stopping the attack, or protecting me enough. However final judgements were reserved until I was able to put in my version of events
I was able to speak on Shadowdancers behalf, pointing out that if she had not come back for me, that I would have been dead and not stood a chance, and Shadowdancer was indeed cleared.
The Fight At The Lake
The background to the events I do not know. Basically the situation was this: there was some dispute or something, between me, and this woman who was a bandit or pirate or something like. We had agreed that a fight to the death was the only way to settle matters, and I had let her choose the place for the fight. She had chosen a lake. each of us starting stood on small floating wooden platforms, (clearly thinking she had the advantage), and no holds barred. Three other Adrastai were there, and completely convinced that I would be the loser in this fight. In fact everyone was - this womans friends too. (I do like the encouragement, dont you? *grin*). Thing is, I didnt like the sea (I think that was down to certain parental attempts at drowning me as a toddler in that life, and I have a feeling she had picked up on that somehow), but I had come to be a pretty good swimmer, and freediver. (funny, freediving is another instincive skill I have now)...
I was slightly taken aback when this woman appeared and had decided to fight in the nude. (I had only removed all weapons bar a hunting knife). LOL. Oh well. I shrugged it off.
So the fight began. The woman clearly thought we would only fight on top of the water. I attacked straight in, grabbing her by the throat, and dragged her off the wooden platforms into the water. Cue frantic struggle under the water. I knew I would be able to stay under longer than her, so I was holding her under the water, until she blacked out. I didnt want to kill her and I didnt. Once she stopped wriggling, I pulled her out of the water and returned her to her friends.
Fight over. No one hurt other than her pride. Once she had woken up and coughed up half the lake, she wasnt too grumpy at still being alive, either, hehe. We didnt part as friends, but we did part with respect.
The journey up the river
Five of us were going inland, to *Do Something*, and it started off that we were talking about seafood, and reaching a consensus that while it was quite nice, its nothing we would pine for. [in this human incarnation however, i am addicted to Chinese prawn fried rice, and sushi..].
We went down into a river valley. Now this has come up in a lot of memories and dreams on the subject, that we used to frequently get around, especially in wild, unknown or wooded places, by travelling along rivers. For one thing they cut through deep undergrowth that we would otherwise have to hack through, and for another you were usually out of sight of anyone you didnt want to be noticed by.
This was a wide shallow meandering river, not more than shoulder deep anywhere and susually about waist deep, travelling more through jungle like forest than I have recalled to this date, and I also have a feeling we were waaaaay beyond any usual places we ever went to. This was totally unknown ground.
We got to a bend in the river, and two of us spotted things in the water - well we knew what crocodiles were, even though we werent exactly used to them. Like the horses in this world not being exactly like the horses you meet in the Human world, these crocodiles were also definitly crocodiles but somehow different. Certainly thier behaviour was different. If you moved past them without excess splashing or fuss, they barely even turned to look at you. Thats not to say we didnt sidle past with swords in hands, heh. One of us did slip and the splash attracted a crocadilly, but the guy swung up onto a vine that was hanging down into the water, and as described in other recollections, merged his aura with that of the vine plant, so that the crocodiles lost interest and went off.
We talked about waiting until dusk to continue as the elven version of crocodiles were thought not to potter round at night, but as my lifemate pointed out, the carniverous fish come out at night. (the weird little black bity ones that looked like black sandeels that I wrote about once before that we suspected were the Corruptions answer to piranhas) and the shoals would be a serious danger in a river this size. So we scrapped that idea and kept going.
It was a fraction before sunset when we came to the end of the river - basically where it flowed out of the base of a low cliff. Now it was pretty simple to scramble up the cliff which was just a glorified slope, but at this point those people we had wanted to avoid being seen by, all popped up at the top of the cliff. They werent evil as such, I never got an evil vibe from them, these were simply the wildest of the wild elves, and we were after all sneaking through thier territory. However communication was limited to an enthusiastic shower of throwing spears. Three of us were tippy-toeing though the undergrowth at the base of the slope, just out of immediate sight where the other lot couldnt see us, and the other two were keeping them looking elsewhere. Cue leaping out of bushes, and tackling poeple, and sliding down the slope into the river. (luckily no crocodiles were here). In the end we were allowed to pass... And I woke up.
My Draestari friends, and auric concealment in undergrowth
I was in a courtyard somewhere of.. well I didnt have the feeling it was a castle, or a mansion, or anything like that. I had a feeling it was something like a cross between a palace, a fortress and a temple.. And it was somewhere I had been, not a lot, but a few times before. Built of pale tan stonework, weathered and ancient. With dark wood inlays . I hurried across the courtyard, and up some wide steps, that *seemingly* led nowhere, but to a non-descript and rough wooden door. wide, low and rectangular.
I banged on the wooden door, and it opened a bit. This guy, someone I knew, looked out. Looking quite suprised.
"I told you I would be here" I said
I had the feeling that through life events and stuff, this guy had come to trust nothing, not even his friends.
" Yeah well, its different for you, isnt it?" he said "you can pass for one of them, youre not just another drae"
"I guess it is" that was the truth, and something I knew he was jealous of. "anyway, I brought you some of those wild herbs you like" and I handed them over in a little leather bag.
Out on long expeditions, I had the chance to find some of these things that didnt grow close to home, and this guy who's main hobby in life was cooking, really liked it when I found some on one of the Adrastai missions and brought them back for him! I did, when possible.
He sort of cheered up at that and opened the door enough that I could slip in.
We headed across an inner courtyard, that was much more finely kept than the outer one. If you can imagine gothic architecture with a strong elven twist, you've got the picture, and into a rather chaotic hall (stuff everywhere, and a few other Draestari around. All people I knew, we had a kind of uneasy friendship going. They didnt entirely trust me - half Tularin, and Adrastai at that so I was clearly on the Tularin side, and yet I had these links with the Draestari, being half Drae myself, and not, as some Tularin people did, seeing them as evil or weird.
Suddenly there was this really bizarre high pitched screeching outside, some sort of creature. I went to the nearest window, which like most of them in this hall, was open, letting a nice breeze in and looked out. Outside, and coming directly towards the window, was a huge black wolf like creature. I slammed the window shut, and just as it broke the glass I had the inner shutter halfway across - trapping a snarling slavering nose. It recoiled, and I closed the window, turning to the others. "Shut all the windows!, NOW!" Well all the windows on one side of the hall were hurridly closed, and I turned to the other side "what about those windows?" I asked.
"Nothing can get through those" one of the women there told me. I zoomed over for a look, to see for myself. And there was a huge eagle-like creature flying in, again on the attack. Well I had my bow to hand, and let off a couple of arrows at it, and it screeched and flapped off before circling back.
(Basically, what I *think* was happening, was this place was being attacked by wild creatures that had somehow become Tainted. This wasnt anything like thier normal behaviour)
We decided that we had to get out of there, the place was under a concerted attack from these creatures and others like them, and we seemed to have one advantage, if we could hide under the auras of things like plants and stuff, they coulcnt clearly see ours and would become confused. So thats how we all made our getaway.
I woke up, just as we had made it to a forest, and left the creatures attacking an empty hall!
The pendant - from my diary May 2009
I looked down at the leaf litter on the woodland floor, there was something among the leaves. I picked it up, and it was a pendant. Small and delicate, made of a light brown wood, framing three jewels of what looked like smoky quartz. A brief Google on the magical properties (said Google search conducted now on Earth of course, lol) states:
"Smoky quartz enhances one's ability to see "as through a glass darkly" thus allowing one to see through to clarity. " As of now I havent gone back to this memory to explore it further as to whose it may have been. I dont think it was mine. But that instantly strikes me as a useful stone for any Adrastai to carry about.
The articles and images contained within this website, (with the sole exclusion of the website background itself which is used courtesy of weebly.com) are fully copyrighted. No image, or part of the text - including the content of the text - may be reproduced in any form or media, (including; but not limited to: video, internet, text, audio, CD) without the written and hand-signed permission of the webmistress of this site.