Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another instalment of this great story from Elgarion, entitled
The Tavern Respite
Background music by Smartsound
Chapter 5, “The Outlander”
Elgarion hobbled on aching feet up the steep staircase at Bear Tavern, a faint smile upon his weary face. The week had been long with sun, wind and road beating upon him, but again it ended on a pleasant note–amongst the patrons of Bear Tavern, the townsfolk of PaxLair and travelers from beyond its borders. Tonight, he would not write in his journal, save one singular passage.
There was much discussion this evening about Outlanders and Avatars. Having been emboldened by drink, I made suggestion that they were one in the same. Others were in agreement. This is of considerable relief to me. If this be true, then I rejoined the world at a time in which the Avatars have, in fact, returned. Relief… should another emotion instead burden my spirit? Some blame The Fall upon the Avatars. That answer is not clear; even after my considerable research I find too many conflicting texts. Relief… my people… still trapped within The Void, possibly by fault of those whom I now befriend. Avatars. And I feel relief in their return.
Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps those who agreed with me are also mistaken. Maybe the Avatars are still something of our distant past, never to resurface. All I know, is I am no Outlander. I am of this land and no other. As are my people. And regardless of possible errors of their ancestors, I trust in my new friends, that their offers of aid are genuine. And I trust, if in fact the Avatars have returned, they know not what they did.
Again, Balec treated us as royalty, ensuring we enjoyed our evening. My dearest of friends Blake Blackstone the Dwarf and Stryker Sparhawk from White Hart again took refuge here this eve. Luka, the kind bartender from the Order of the Drunken Elder’s Tavern accompanied us in good spirit. Tolly, a new acquaintance of mine took great interest in our talk of Outlanders and Avatars. Such an odd surname he has. Gabriel Nightshadow happened by, a man which I had not seen for some weeks. It was good to see him again, and I learned something new of him. He openly claims to be of a time forgotten, but the circumstances for his claim seem entirely foreign to my own. I dare not speak as openly as he of my calamity. I fear most would think me insane. Adnor Sundragon sat next to my friend Stryker and provided him good company. Grimace? Another new acquaintance. He also spoke much of The Fall. Grimace. A surname perhaps? A nickname… I am not certain. Interesting, nonetheless. There were others, many of whom I cannot recount. Jack Frost be one, a man who I see often. I shall make better accounting of those in attendance in the future, for these notes might prove valuable, but I truly thank them for their camaraderie this evening. Our spirits were high, and our steins repeatedly empty yet filled again.
Elgarion paused a moment and stretched his aching back. Thinking just to rest his eyes, he let his head sink into his folded arms while sitting at the desk. One minute became two. Then ten. Perhaps another paragraph would have come if sleep did not overtake him. The candle slowly burnt away. The quill in his hand dried, as did eventually his ink well. The darkness took him again, and Elgarion De’Kahli returned to his people. A familiar yet haunting poem echoed in his unconscious mind as his spirit flittered about The Void in hopeless confusion.
Darker than moonless night.
All light escaped my sight.
Time waned, relentless pain.
Why… why? My futile wanderings… in vain.
Whispers teased from the gloom,
I begged for sight.
But nothing came,
Save the night.
This endless plight,
All light escaped my sight.
Darker than the moonless night.