The Lost are Found

edited January 10 in Real Time Quests (IC)
J.,

Kherasija the Blind Seer has his eyes back – no, not by some miraculous wonder, but by nature of the return of his seeing-eye guide, a brave young boy from Mirith who had gone missing in recent days. Yes, after all these years of curiosity, I finally had my first meeting with the Royal Seer. I will regale you with all the bizarre details very shortly, but first you must know that, after the adventure, my bones are in sore need of rest, and as such I will tarry here in Mirith for a day or two longer. Such is the nature of life: you leave your home to enjoy the Festival, and come back with so much more than you’d bargained for.

Let’s get right to it then: not long after I arrived in Mirith in the early afternoon of Day 111 of the current Fighting Moon of Year 451, I found nanasisan at the bank. We were chatting there when we came across the Bank Manager, a pleasant man by the name of Z.R. Naut. Mr. Naut was late to work, having been kept up all night by the sounds of screaming coming from the stable, which he said lies directly across from his rooms in the castle. According to Mr. Naut, the royal attendants eventually had to go so far as to sedate the screamer with a heavy mix of ginseng and lotus flower. Nanasisan offered to go check at the stable, but Mr. Naut pleaded with us not to, since the screamer in question hadn’t gotten much sleep since losing a certain boy, or so we were told.

Nanasisan then suggested, “Blind Seer”, and everything suddenly made sense. The screamer could be no one else but Kherasija, Royal Seer of Mirith. Ryen used to always tell stories of how this Kherasija would scream about birds and tell prophecies based on their movements. But of course, Kherasija couldn’t see the birds himself, and so he relied on his seeing-eye boy or any other sighted folk who happened to be nearby. The prophecies in those days generally involved “darkness circling in” (which I now believe was most likely a prediction of the Void and all the harrowing trouble it would bring, a perplexing topic which still makes little sense even in hindsight, to say nothing of how confusing it must’ve been for Kherasija in foresight.)

Moving on: according to Mr. Naut, Kherasija was now screaming about shadows in his dreams again, instead of the “usual” screams about birds. Rather concerning. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Naut asked if we could try and help find the boy (though he seemed to be less concerned about the swirling darkness, and more about catching up on some much-needed sleep—and as a man who is intimately familiar with both the intricacies of sleep deprivation and the exigencies of the desk, I can’t say I blame him.)

Mr. Naut explained how the boy had gone missing near the cemetery last moon, having been attacked by… brigands I suppose? It was not entirely clear. But the boy was reported missing after this event, and Mirith had sent guards to the cemetery and found nothing. After questioning him a bit further, we did learn from Mr. Naut that Kherasija and the boy were often seeing following birds. Not being much of an ornithologist myself, I was most relieved when he mentioned that there were some large bird populations around Foehan (though I do not know how he had managed to acquire that tidbit of knowledge.). Additionally, I of course had not forgotten about the population of harpies that roosts in the woods northeast of town, so traveling in that general direction seemed to be the best course of action overall.

Before we left, Mr. Naut offered to reward us with a discount rate on our savings account for next time, and he took the opportunity to entertain us with some of his personal philosophies on millionaires and the poor and how there was just too many of both. I replied, rather dryly I admit, that there wasn’t so much as a single gold piece in my bank, or my purse. To this he responded, “The fewer the possessions, the greater the freedom!”, and off he went. Truly a most curious banker.

So nanasisan and I set out in the direction of Foehan. He started to hear some birds as we approached the outskirts of town, but it was the wrong kind of bird: we had stumbled into a large nest of angry harpies, juvenile and aggressive in their first contact with the world. We fought for hours against wave after wave of the angry birds. If it wasn’t for nanasisan and his quick lightning bolts, we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the bloody town. But eventually, we began to hear faint prayers to the goddess on the eastern wind – definitely not a bird. We fought on, and the prayers grew louder, as if coming from above. A child’s voice then rang out: “Help!” I scanned the line of trees but all I could see was sparrows roosting above, chirping in hushed tones. The voice then asked if the harpies were gone, and just to be safe, we patrolled the area, taking out any stragglers nearby. Once all was clear, I shouted at him to please come down now, and he emerged from an outcrop of rocks with several sparrows sitting on his shoulders, a few of which began to clean themselves in the dust and dirt below.

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We made sure he was okay and then asked a few basic questions. The boy corroborated the banker’s earlier story, saying that he had been taken by “bad men”, but that he had managed to run away. How and why he got to Foehan is beyond me, but he wasn’t in much state to talk, so I gave him a potion of strength to give him energy for the road, and off we went. Not long into our journey, we stumbled across a new black robe of protection in the forests, and I asked that he wear it. He protested a bit, saying it would cause him to trip, but I insisted, as I didn’t want to be responsible for any damages if those harpies were to attack again. Naturally, though, the robe was much too big on him, and so he tripped the whole way home, over every last bracken root, log, and pebble. At last, as we reached the eastern gates of the city, I breathed a big sigh of relief – only to watch the boy trip one last time, face first into the river. I fished him out and finally allowed him to change out of the soaking, oversized robe, and once all was well we decided the thing to do would be to visit the stable and check on the boy’s master.

Kherasija was awake when we arrived. The reunion was rather touching, and Kherasija was most humbly grateful. Being a poor seer who had lost everything in the attack, including his ornate walking stick, he had nothing to offer us, nor did we wish to take anything from him—though we did happily accept his offer of apple pie, brought to him fresh by the baker. We returned to the subject of the staff: the boy proposed asking the King for a new one. Kherasija refused, noting that it would not be the same as the original, which was a gift from his father. But things quickly took a turn for the better: as it turned out, nanasisan had a friend named Jenos who had found a walking stick, ornate with the most beautiful designs, light as a feather but stout as a rock. Nanasisan offered to go find Jenos, and the boy volunteered to come along and see if the stick was indeed Kherasija’s. After a brief interlude where Kherasija, to my great astonishment, felt his way to the water trough and drunk straight from it with untamed fury – “the water of the animals is good for me, it helps me understand them clearly” – we were off again. Kherasija, for his part, began to meditate – a process which would keep him busy for hours, per the boy.

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The rest of us met at the bank, and Jenos offered the boy the stick. He took it up in his hands, threw it in the air and caught it with a flourish. He then slammed it into a nearby pillar – not a scratch – and for the last test, he peered at the end tip, where we could all see a small “K” carved into it with a knife. He claimed to have carved it when he was learning his first letters. Altogether a fine piece of craftsmanship!

Now, by this point we were all very tired from the adventure, and thus we made our farewells, and I went off to the inn for the night. It was only this morning that I realized something funny, during a later conversation with Rieven (that rogue you went to the Void with): I forgot to ask Kherasija for my fortune! Or for anything else that might be helpful… I ought to kick myself. Ah well—let’s just blame all the excitement, and be glad that it’s finally come to an end.

L.
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