Journal of the Rising Sun Fellowship (IC #2)

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
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Journal of Karamia Dawnstrike-Sunblaze

The sea...rolling in from the mind spins in the memories it evokes. There is someone far away...I need to see heart aches with love for him...Cyaer. My sweet darling...I can only move inches at a time. The sand beneath me is drenched in blood...the Light is still with me and I recover slowly.

Not all of the blood is mine. Scattered around me lie humans, dwarves, gnomes, draenei...and Kaldorei. All as desparate as I was to avoid the conflagration that we fled from. I turned to look at what remained of the island city state of Theramore. The battle still raged as I was flung from my mount. My poor wyvern gave his life to save me. The blast reached out to engulf me as I flew over, trying to flee before the mana bomb exploded. What madness! Whoever ordered that thing dropped...the deed of a truly bloodthirsty Warchief.

I am bloodied and beaten, the survivors of the blast were desparately fleeing as well. My backpack is near me and I struggle to reach it. There are potions inside, but most of the bottles are broken. The fall from the sky nearly killed me. I know bones are broken, my left leg and arm, where I landed after tumbling from the sky. The Light kept me safe, kept me from dying...but I am injured so severely. The only water I can reach is the sea, salty and useless.

Cyaer, I know he must think me gone, deserting him...tears rain down on the beach as I slump unconcious. I feel the sand beneath me, gritty and cold. As I drift in and out of conciousness I hear footsteps near me. Someone uses the Light, a blessing in a strange tongue. I do not understand it. I cannot see who it is, I am too weak to do anything but breathe raggedly. The steps came nearer...I feel conciousness slip from me.

All these things I remember as I float in the strange dream that carries me from Kalimdor. What is this I experience? I race towards the east...miles and miles of ocean beneath me, passing the Maelstrom...high above it I am carried by something...large and dark...I am wrapped in a tight bundle, my eyes see only what is below me. I can hear the whoosh of very large wings flapping, it has an almost other world feel to it. My head spins in delirium, I lose conciousness again.

When next I awoke I hear the sounds of battle, explosions and the whistle of missiles flying. I am still carried by head spins as I realize my netherdrake is beneath me. How I was put on him I do not know, my wounds are bandaged...I am healed somewhat..bones have been set and I can feel the Light working to clear my head. I am tied to the saddle so I can hardly move. I whisper to the mind of the netherdrake, seeking answers.

The rumble in my mind from him is soothing "A kind stranger took pity on you and healed you, she called to me from the relic you hold in your pocket. I came to the call to find you. She had done what she could to heal your broken body. She told me to take you home..we are almost there. Sleep...when you wake we will be home on Sunstrider Isle."

My head spins again and I drift away in blessed unconciousness. Home soon...home to love...I am coming home...soon...
The woman with the brown hair sat on a grassy knoll overlooking a vast expanse of grassland. It stretched out before her in a field of green dotted with pink, yellow, and violet dots of color from tuffs of wildflowers. A warm breeze meandered in, curling around her with a soft embrace, caressing her cheeks and gently tugging at her hair.

Not far away was a waterfall. She had visited it the previous night and sat for a long time, listening to the pouring water while lost in a memory. It had taken her awhile to get to sleep that night, the memory vivid in her head and she felt the absence of her husband. She wanted to be curled up next to him, have him arms around her... but the space next to her was empty and would be for any number of nights untold.

She lifted a cup of the strange tea to her lips. She was finding that the more she drank it, the more she liked it. She took another sip before setting the cup down and picking up her journal.

(New entry in a light green leather journal etched with a tree)

Honeydew Village has been left behind for the moment, although I think I would like to go back and visit the innkeeper again. I didn’t properly thank her for her kindness when I was searching for my husband.

I did find him, out in the middle of a battlefield. We fought our way back in and spent the day doing odd jobs as needed. We decided to return to Honeydew for the night—it was much calmer there and it felt good to be wrapped up there beside him.

He left early the next morning to see if he could get word on his brother, but didn’t come back. News of additional fighting reached me a few hours later and I knew that he had been called out again. He is not with me now, but I did speak with him briefly over the guildstone. He is well for the moment, his brother had suffered a broken leg and since disappeared. I left word with several of the monasteries and hopefully one of them will have Xal or at least know where he is.

So now I am looking for the both of them, but it also seems that my aid is needed by the locals here. I have spent the past two days working on helping to clear out virmen from fields, locate lost animals, recover stolen crops, and whatever else I am needed to do. Staying busy helps to occupy me--it is better than I be useful while I worry than just sitting idly while I worry.

It is peaceful here this morning, the land is beautiful and much calmer than in the Jade Forest. I can only hope that the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance there does not come to mar this serene valley. It would be nice if Sol were here to share this with me but I know that he cannot turn his back when called out to fight. For now I will try to be content that Sol and Xal are doing alright (or as well as one can with a broken leg) and make my way through this land alone.

Not all who wander are lost, but admittedly, I have been lost more than a few times. Maybe I should just try wandering for awhile… or get a guide.
A green Leather journal, The Knight takes out his quill and ink well, and begins to write.

Today...and all of this week have been hectic, I have been training with monks...and i think its been helping me. I am not tired anymore...they taught me to use my inner essence to keep my body full of energy and awake, It makes me feel better, and yet...the strangest battles of my life...I fought inner emotions, Anger...Hatred...and Vengence...It was, I feel peace with my self.

This time away from my sweet Auxilia, my wife, It makes me upset, but...I suppose It's what needed to be done...We came here together to fight together, but no...Accourding to my General...I have to fight In The TownLong Steppes today...and how ever long it must take me to finish up there, tonight...I will sneak spend the night with her, there In honeydew, I'll speak to her later when the general is not around.

I still need to find Xal....It...It worries me that I do not know where he is, I would hate to tell his Girlfriend...or Tislina that he went M.I.A.
The hunter sat there leaned up against a tree, a tournicate to keep the blood from leaking out of his side, gunshot he was not used to, one of the Alliance used fel bullets..the damn !@#$%^-...Xal put a small chunk of wood in his mouth, and bit down...he knew this was going to hurt.

He grabbed his leg, and snapped it back into place, yelling out in pain, the sounds filling the forest, He met a new friend...he called him Chi...he was a tiger, something he was oh so familar with, He wished he never got rid of the guild stone...simply to keep in touch with Dawn, or Tislina, he missed them both, Dawn especially, He would be home soon...and he would hold her close, He loved her.

Next....was removing the bullet...

He took his throwing kife, and removed the tournicate, he Bit down on the wood again, and dug around with the knife till he pulled out the bullet, after getting it out...He passed out there, to much blood was lost...Was he?
I am lonely, so desperately lonely.

I have caught myself sleep riding to Falconwing square twice. Once a guard stopped me, and woke me. I don't know what awoke me the second time. I'm only glad that I did.

I have purchased several sleep draughts that knock me out for several hours at a time. While I do not like the feelings of lethargy and feeling drugged, I can only hope I have slept at least without moving unbeknownst to myself.

I cannot stand it any longer, I need to do something about this. I need to talk to Tislina. I can hope she can remove this cursed rune from my face and my life forever.

I have the sleeping draughts, and I have a poison that will freeze or lock me in position for a quarter of an hour. I will not hurt her, nor will I allow her to approach unless I am incapacitated. I have new rope that she can bind me with.

Light let her free me from this curse, this horrible, horrible curse once and for all.

I dread to think of the alternative...but I will not let the animal me loose, I cannot let him loose...I will destroy myself before he gains control of me. I will do what I must.
Kreindis lay on the beach of Stranglethorn Vale, under the shade of a large tree. Beside him layed Tislina. They both were close to eachother under a red blanket that had a golden trim. Kreindis stirred slightly as he slowly woke. He pushed himself up into a sitting position, stretching his arms. He looked over at Tislina sleeping beside him and smiled, thinking, "She looks so beautiful and peaceful asleep..." He leans down to kiss her, before sliding out of the blanket, moving his side of it over her to keep her warm. He moves over to where the fire he had made last night was, and re-lights it. He reaches into his bags and pulls out some eggs, bacon, fruit, and two plates. He sets the eggs and bacon to cook, and sits by the fire for awhile before deciding to pull out his journal and quill.

A few good things and a few bad things have happened since I last wrote. I suppose I'll start with the better things.

I have returned from my training trip in Eversong Woods. I searched for Tislina like I normally do, as I know she would want to see me. I found her at the Falconwing Square Inn. She was happy to know I was safe, I could tell, but something was still wrong. Apparently, her past has been coming back at her alot. I suggested we go somewhere to be alone together for awhile to make some new, happier memories so that she could forget the bad ones. We did go, and it has been great. But, as I was packing things for the trip, Tislina's sister entered my room. We got into a fight, and both came out wounded. She sounded like she wants to kill Tislina and I. I'm not sure why about Tislina, but I am almost entirely sure that she wants to kill me because of my love for Tislina.

Anyways, we still went to Stranglethorn Vale. We have spent our time on the beaches together. We have been talking about the happier moments of our past. I enjoyed the memory, especially of the time she passed out at a Hardwrench Hideaway, and me and Kel'Tira had to wake her back up. You know, now that I think about it, that may have been where my feelings for her began to develop. To be exact, when we sat on the beach together, looking at the sunset over the ocean. It probably was. Anyway, we have gone on a walk down the beach, holding eachothers hand, and set up camp for a while. She has not awoken yet, and I do not want to disturb her rest. She looks so beautiful and peaceful asleep...

Kreindis closes his journal as a silver dragonhawk descends infront of him, holding a letter. He takes the letter, and the dragonhawk flies off. He looks over the letter, and sighs. He was needed for training some new Blood Knights.

He walks back up to the cooking fire, and lays out food on one of the plates for Tislina, and places it on the sand close to her. He takes an apple and quickly eats it, writing a note to Tislina to read when she wakes up.

Tislina, I have been called to Silvermoon City to help with the training of some new Blood Knights. I just wanted you to know this, so you arnt left wondering about me. I want you to know that I want you to be safe, and that I love you.

With love, Kreindis

Kreindis leaves the note beside Tislina's breakfast, finishing his apple and taking his bags, walking down the beach to the zeppelin that will take him to Tirisfal Glades, where he can go back to Silvermoon City.
A leather bound book, with the symbol of harmony embossed on the cover:

I miss home. I miss my master, but I shall uphold his teachings, and learn from my new allies, the Horde. I feel I must walk a mile in their shoes and learn from where they are coming, in order to aid them to change where they are going.

They rush here and there, there seems to be so much chaos in this city of Ogrimmar. They savor not life, but getting everywhere quickly. It is sad. They need a moment to sip a cup of hot tea, and relax some.

I seek refuge in their libraries and places of learning so that I may read their histories, and see why they behave the way they do. What I have read so far is surprising, and explains much. I wonder how many times I shook my head as I read through the books and scrolls.

I asked about a guild to join, and while I had many offers to join some that seemed friendly but seeking warriors, I heard of one that peaked my interest. It is not an orcish guild, but one comprised of the race called the Sin'dorei, or blood elves. I looked into their history, and they seem to be a very up and coming guild, or fellowship as they call themselves.

Honor, valor, compassion...these are qualities I can work with, and I asked about joining them. I was accepted tentatively into their fellowship, The Rising Sun Fellowship. I look forward to meeting some of my fellow members, and working with them. Learning from them, and about their culture, and hopefully teaching them something of my own culture

A journey begins with but a single step, and so my journey has begun.
I am dreadfully worried about Cyaer. The curse set on him worries me, and yes, scares me. I wish there was something I could do for him, Light knows I would do anything for him.

Well, almost anything.

I cannot give myself to him to satisfy him, nor do I think he would ask that of me.

After he left, the next day Loki stopped by, creating enough of a distraction for me to slip out and find passage back to Pandaria. The portal almost did me in, after the healers' dancing around my near-death state.

The monks pour strange tinctures down my throat, vile mixtures that, however much I might hate them, truly do seem to be curing me slowly.

Light, keep the Fellowship safe in my absence.
I went to Falconwing Square late last night or rather early this morning. It was dark and no one was around. I mailed the letters I needed sent. I can only hope I will receive responses soon. For a brief, very brief moment I thought of going in to the inn. And instead headed back to my place of solitude.

I asked Azmos to help me as a go-between. To aid me in my purchases, and to be there when I have the rune removed. I'm thinking of going to Silvermoon City, and going to the mages conclave. Perhaps for a little coin, I can be rid of this once and for all. I trust Azmos to help me, and he says he has ways to assist me too.

I have been remiss in my duties to the Fellowship, my marriage, and friendships. And once this is done, I will be able to go back to some sort of normalcy again. Normal, good old friendly normal, how I have missed it.

I sometimes think of seeking out a certain warlock...and carving a simple rune on his cheeks, so he never ever makes a joke of someone else's distress. Let him wear his markings for all to see. Then, light help me, I forgive him. I forgive him for all this pain and suffering. For all I have gone through since I had this rune placed here on my left cheek by Viragona. I forgive them all...and I will forget it all if I can be be rid of it.

And I have found that tears help wash away the anger, the hate...the torment. I have cried the past several nights, feeling the intensity of the rune upon me. And I am resolved to maintain control of all my faculties. For I am Cyaer Sunblaze and I will not let something arcane control who I am. I am a proud Sin'dorei and I refuse to bow to this rune. A weaker man may have succumbed to this rune, but I will not, I will NOT SUCCUMB!!! I WILL NOT YIELD!! I AM A SUNBLAZE!!
Kreindis stood by his trainer, infront of several other Paladin trainees. The trainer looked over the group of trainees, before speaking, "Could anyone tell me what Hammer of the Righteous is?" Nobody spoke, raised their hand, or anything. The trainer looked to Kreindis, "Kreindis, will you please demonstrate?" He nodded, walking over to a nearby training dummy, pulling out his mace. He swung it up to the bottom of its head, a powerful shockwave of the Light flowing out across the ground beneath it. After the golden wave disappears, Kreindis moves back over to the trainer. "Thank you for that perfect demonstration. Now, everyone! Get to work in practicing in this!" All the trainees walked to their own training dummy.

The trainer turned to Kreindis. "Krei, I want you to take a break. You've been exhausting yourself recent." Kreindis nodded, "Alright, sir. As much as I don't like it, I will." The trainer smiled, "Good. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go watch the trainees." He walked over to the training dummies and began watching the trainees train. Kreindis walked over to a wall and leaned against it, pulling out his journal and quill, and turning to a fresh page.

I have been called back to Silvermoon City from being in Stranglethorn Vale with Tislina. They needed me to help train some new Blood Knight recruits. I didn't want to leave her so suddenly without notice, so I left her a note. I would have awoken her to tell her in person, but I didn't want to disturb her rest. She looked so beautiful and peaceful while asleep.

Anyways, my trainer has me taking a break from all the work I've been doing. And I'll have to. He knows best. He did train me to the strength I'm at now, after all. So I suppose I'll just sit and wait, as much as I don't want to, until I can train again.

Maybe I can get away for a while and be with Tislina, for a while. I don't like being away from her.
A green Leather journal, sealed by a single strap, Solorin opens and writes

I have finshed my part..of this battle here in Pandaria, it is a beautiful place, a nice place to settle down, Im happy now that I am done, no more fighting..for a while atleast, I know I'll be back out there, doing something Eventually, but for now, my focus is to help Auxi with her Missions, One...So shes not alone, and neither am I, and two..I know she is strong and I know she can manage her self, but I want to make sure I protect her, She is my wife...and The only one I will ever have, or want to have, I need to make sure she stays safe. I still cannot help but feel horribly guilty for her capture, I blame myself, if I had been stronger, or if I had been...Close to her at the time, this would have never happened....I Need to be here for her, no matter what the cost, I love her, and that Is all that matters to me.

She found my brother, and well us being brothers shared stories..and Talked for a bit, he seems to worry about a girl named 'Dawnalia' Alot, it was all he talked about, strange, I've never seen him in love before, It is new to me, but I must Digress.
Last night, I sought out a mage, and Tis answered the call. I was concerned for her safety more than anything, and took a sleeping potion to incapacitate myself. I slept through the whole ritual, and awoke a new man...I mean, I"M FREE!! FREE! FREE! FREE!!

I looked around, and I was alone. She had already left, but that was to be expected, I probably slept over three hours...wait, is that the sunrise? I slept all night! What a grand surprise! A new day for a new free me! I feel like dancing! I feel like singing! My heart is free, my mind is free...

The tears flow without my bidding, I was free of the curse...I was free at last! Oh, Tislina you have no idea what you have done for me, for Mia, for my life, for my marriage! I owe you oh so very much!

I sat on the table and wept. The release from such a horrible curse had taken its toll on me, I couldn't help it. No more worries, no more dreading of breaking my vow to Mia, and now I can be me again. It overwhelms me, and I have learned something about myself that I shall never ever forget.

I am strong willed, and I can overcome adversity. And most of all, I know now how much I truly love Karamia. Her heart is precious to me and I will never break it again. She is my everything, and I realize how much she means to me. Oh, Karamia...I love you.
The hunter sat there in his room, wondering when he would see dawn, or if she even knew that he was back, so he wrote her a small letter,

"Dawn, I'm in the infirmary, I got sorry I suppose, although I admitt it was not my fault, If you wish to come visit me, please feel free, I look forward to seeing you soon, I love you


He gave his note to shadow, and shadow flew off to find Her.

He visited with Tislina for a while, it was nice to talk to her as it always was, she was a good friend to him. He told her about how he got hurt, and what he knew of the warchief...but were the rumors true? Is Garrosh going insane? regardless, He knew that if something went down...He would sign up to help, He was not going to let those close to him fall..He was better than that.
A solid black leather Journal, Loki Writes.

Who am I? What have I done? Have I pushed her away? Or...did she just leave to go to training? I don't know...I've been alone for...13 days, 13 miserable days with out her, her voice or her touch, For the moment, I am alone, and for the moment, I am lost...I don't know what to do.

The voices of his past return to him, voices of those that Hurt him


He sat there..on his bed alone in his home, crying..Waiting for her just to walk back through the door..just to help him get through it all, He loved her...but was afraid she did not love him anymore, or that...she was scared to be with him, Loki took off all of his gear..and walked down to the dock, with one final prayer for Her..He jumped into the water.

A few hours later, he awoke in his bed, soaking wet, he looked around his room, no sign of anyone..he was alone...all over again, and again..just like the past 12 nights...He cried..harder, and louder than he ever had in his life.
A shadow shifted between the rocks. It looked first at the pandaran held prisoner and then at the two hulking Yaungol standing nearby. She would not be able to take both on at once. She would need to incapacitate one and then kill the other before she could free the prisoner. It would have to happen in quick succession to ensure that she maintained the upper hand. She slipped from between the rocks and got to work.

Several hours later, she trudged into an inn. The blood staining her daggers from the few kills she had had to make had been washed off in a nearby lake. Slipping onto a stool, she order some soup and tea from the innkeeper and sat for a moment staring out the window.

“I see you are thinking of someone close to you?”

The innkeeper’s words brought her out of her reverie and she blinked at him for a moment as he set down the soup and tea. In fact she had been thinking of her husband, more specifically a few nights ago when he had returned from the Dread Wastes.

“Your ears are blushing,” he offered by way of explanation before turning back to the kitchen, a small smile on his face. He thought it was good to see someone with happy thoughts.

(New entry in a light green leather journal etched with a tree)

Solorin is done fighting for now, but now I am getting calls to go out. He comes in from fighting and I head out to do search and rescue. This has not been the most ideal of trips.

What we thought would be time spent exploring this land together has ended up in being quite a bit of time spent apart. He was called out to the front lines and I have been called out to track down missing people, stolen supplies, and to scout out roads to ensure that they are clear for travelers. We do see each other at night, for which I am thankful. There were a few nights spent apart and there will probably be a few more before things settle down.

On another note, parts of this land are simply beautiful. I am quite taken by several locations and have spent a number of hours leaning against the bridge in the Arboretum watching the cranes fish in the stream. I am currently on the back porch of an inn here in the Kun-Lai Summit waiting for a Jenyu guide to come take me to his village. The waters here are restless and dark, not like the Aboretum. It is not as peaceful.

The woman with the brown hair pauses in her writing to look out over her lake. A cold draft touches her cheek as she tilts her head, contemplating the waters.

‘The lake would be beautiful.’

The lake would be beautiful and it was just a few steps away. All she needed to do was...

“Are you Auxilia?”

The voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she looked up to see a Jenyu standing a few feet away.

“Yes, yes I am.” She shut the journal and tucked it into her bag, next to a bone pendant.
Dawn sat with her back resting against the white trunk of a tree, looking over the ocean. She watched the waves lap gently against the grassy shore. Leaning forward, she hugged her knees to her chest and rested her head on them. She looked at the water for a bit longer, tracing patterns with her eyes over the shimmering surface. A pink leaf drifted out of the tree above and settled on her blonde hair with the other leaves that had fallen there. She had not bothered to brush the colorful leaves away, and as a result she had what looked like a crown of leaves resting on her hair. With a sigh she leaned back against the tree, outstretching her legs. A light breeze blew around her and most of the leaves went with it.

She glanced up at the sky, watching the clouds drift about. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a black shape gradually flying closer to her. She smiled when Shadow landed beside her and took the letter from him. She watched him take flight again before reading the letter. When she had she smiled and hugged it close to her, not wanting the wind to take it. Hurrying, she folded the letter and slipped it into her bag, grabbing it off the grass as she did so. She stood and began to walk, eventually breaking into a run despite herself. Afterall, she wanted to get to the infirmary as fast as possible.
Kreindis crouched on a low tree branch, looking over the training grounds, watching the Blood Knight trainees practice. They were becoming stronger and stronger every day. It would only take around three days before they could venture out on their own.

But, Kreindis didn't see that at the end of the days, though. He saw Tislina, and being with her again. He missed her much, and wished he could be with her now. He was sure she felt the same. He was eager to get back to her. To see her again, to feel her touch again, thats what he wanted. He rarely got to, but he enjoyed every moment he did get to. He was lost in thought for a while, and didn't hear his instructor until he was practically yelling at him.

"Kreindis! Get down here!" Kreindis leaped down from the branch, landing in front of him. The instructor looked at him curiously, "What were you doing up there, Krei? You looked like a rogue, perched up there." Kreindis smiled slightly at the thoughts of Tislina again. "I was just.. thinking of my love, is all." The instructor nods, "I see... I am sorry to interrupt your happy thoughts, then. You are needed for another demonstration for those who aim to be healers." He sighed, "Its fine... where am I going for this one?" The instructor smiled, "The Hall of Blood." Kreindis nodded, walking to the Hall, for yet another demonstration...
The recent days have been long and satisfying. I feel refreshed after my trip with Krei to Stranglethorn and so I am back to my old self. Xalandir is home safe with wounds that he will recover from. I spoke with him in the infirmary and he revealed some interesting rumors about our so called warchief. All the same, I am glad he is safe. I freed Cyaer of the rune he used to bare. He sent out a call for a Mage last night and I answered it. It wasn't hard to get rid of, and I am glad he is free of the influence.Of course my little Amethyst keeps me happy. To top it all off, I have seen no sign of Keyadrion since freeing Krei from his rune. Hopefully it will stay this way.

I must admit though, there is one thing that would have made it all even better. If only Kreindis could have been with me. I wish the two of us were not so busy so we had more time to spend with each other. At least I don't have to stress over his safety for now. Afterall, how dangerous could training recruits be? Now all I have to worry about is finding my original house key...
( Keyadrion )

Keyadrion sat in Undercity, hidden by the shadows, his legs propped up on a dark iron chest. His journal was in his hands, along with a quill. A voidwalker stood nearby him, watching. He began to write,

Things have taken an... interesting turn. I will fight the battle against my brother and his precious Mage alone no more... It appears that Tislina's sister, Tradissa, wants my brother dead as well... She said she wanted something from Tislina, too, but she didn't tell me what that was. I suppose its a more... personal matter, to her. If its not something she feels like telling me, I wont press. After we exchanged names, she tossed me the key to Tislina's room at the Inn... I'll have to get some fun out of that...

And another thing... that annoying Mage removed the rune from my brothers chest, but not before I took control of my brother and dug his knife into her shoulder... Oh, I -finally- made a strike... I cannot wait to make more...
A leather bound book, with the symbol of harmony embossed on the cover:

And so it begins, my journey to learn about the Horde and it's people. I took up the challenge put forth by the warchief Garrosh to aid those in the Northern Barrens. And soon found myself engaging a hostile group of humanoids called the quillboar.

I thank my master for his teachings and lessons, for I found myself using every skill I had to defeat these pigmen, and to return stores stolen by them. When I encountered the leader of this ragtag group of quillboars, I found he would not listen to words of compromise or peace, only the heavy thump of my hardened fists and calloused feet beating him senseless.

I find myself being drawn into the conflicts of the Barrens, and having to use force rather than words to engage those who know only war and death. I find it sad. How can one promote peace if others only know violence? I am still bound and determined to make a difference here.

One other thing I have noticed, even out here on the plains of the Barrens, life is not savored but rushed. Everyone is hurrying here and there, not taking the time to enjoy the region they are in, the stark beauty of the flora and fauna. I try to take my time, and stroll along, but even I have found myself pulled into the rush, rush, hurry, hurry mindset of everyone here.

As evening arrives and the sun sets over the hills and mountains about me, I hear the roar and cough of the great cats that reside here. And the flocks of birds that twist and turn in the fading light, their flights seeking out a perch for the night. I have a hot cup of tea, and a simple dish they eat out here. The food is good, and I inquire as to the spices they use. The food tickles the palate, and I find it delicious out in a place that seems so devoid of spice and flavor.

The area is both a surprise and delight to my senses. I find I like the simple life of merely surviving exciting.

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