I decided to step in, as things were getting out of control, and gave a very Inspiring speech. The Abbott seemed sympathetic, and I'm sure he saw the truth in my words, but he also thinks we're charlatans. He somehow figured out that El is not a blind seer, and I think that made him mistrust our motives. He made a rather cutting remark about me - as if I am insecure! I know I am skilled and talented and beautiful…

Daideó, he was right. I know that you know it, too, but I thought I was past all that. I'm floundering. I feel like I'm just spinning in circles from one life goal to the next. I thought at first that I could be the great hero to save the continent of Pelonia, and that bards would sing my name throughout the land. But then I found out that Pelonia isn't even the continent - it's just one country! I also started wondering if the humans here are even the “good guys” - so much prejudice, ignorance, and corruption. The very first day we arrived here, some cutthroats tried mugging us! People have also started to go missing - at first a thief or drunkard here and there, but the city is living in fear now: children and even groups of workers are starting to disappear!

But there is some good, too. The Abbott demonstrated some compassion - he set us up in the Crimson Cloak Inn for a week to get us on our feet for the winter, and allowed us into the Temple's library. He refused to get us an audience with the King, but I think we left on good terms. The common people are also nice enough - they are simple people with simple lives, and I suppose it's not their fault they're ignorant of the world beyond.

We've spent the last month performing in the local public houses. El has been helping out, too - she's actually quite a good dancer: elegant and graceful - I wouldn't tell her, but I do envy the elvish form sometimes. I know, I know - “heart over height”, but unfortunately that's not what most people believe. I'm usually treated as if I were a child, even though they know about other species like dwarves.

We have tucked away a good amount of coin - enough to buy a carriage and supplies for a journey to the North. We discovered that there was a secretive group living in the forest near the mountains, and El believes they are elves that could help her - she's very keen to visit. Sharn and I also triangulated the source of the pulsing rings that interfere with magic to a peak just beyond the forest, so it seems like that is the place we should go.

I have been having strange dreams lately - about light and darkness. It seems “simpler” than my regular dreams - I know that life is far more complex than mere good & evil. Intent and motivations are a complex dance of colour, a mental tapestry.

Speaking of complexity - El's eyes are turning into a starscape. I've never seen the like of it before. Before they were all a murky blackness, and now I see points of light. Scáthfile is also changing - he is growing into a fine panther, bigger than Sharn, and I have to be careful about bringing him out in public most of the time. He looks deadly, and is. Dogs cower in fear, which makes me feel quite secure. I've taken to riding him like a pony at times, but he doesn't always like it. Whenever Firia goes out to the countryside to hunt, Scáthfile goes with her, and they always come back with something nice to eat or skin and sell.

Sharn has been making potions to help save up money, too, and is tolerated even if she isn't really making a lot of friends. I help her sell in the marketplace - I look a lot less threatening, and I admit I take advantage of my reputation of being a brilliant “girl” that can out-talk “adults”. I'm okay being a bit of a curiosity here - it adds to the mystique of our music show. We're starting to get invitations to play now, so we'll be raising our rates.

I don't know if this will ever truly be a “home” to me, but it's a decent vacation spot and commercial centre. It's certainly warmer here than in the mountains.

Lots of love,

Maebh the Marvelous Musician