Liberty Journal 13
24 Flocktime, 595 CY
The Sodden Hold is downright hostile. We’ve already fought more doppelgangers, invisible stalkers, and mimics. We’ve fallen into spiked pits, and blade-choked pools. We found a raving lunatic who might be beyond all hope. It’s like another world in here, even though I know the Free City is just outside… I want to leave so badly, to go back to the Crooked House and talk about the Champion’s Games. But the awfulness of the place isn’t the real reason I want to leave (well, not the only reason).
I met someone.
Down here, of all places. Ilya Starmane was a prisoner for a month or more, so tormented by the doppelgangers that she didn’t believe we were rescuing her. I guess she believed us when we rescued her!
Even dressed in rags, after thirty days without so much as a hairbrush, she was so pretty. I even said “Beautiful” before I could stop myself; I told her that I meant her name, but I can’t be sure if she believed me. Elven mystery is so intoxicating… it’s more than that, though. Remember what I said about Firlis being ordinary? Ilya is NOT ordinary.
She says she comes from a family of influential merchants (not that I’m interested in gold, but it certainly doesn’t hurt), so I bet the doppelgangers have replaced her, either for money or power. I told Ilya not to go home until we could go with her, because she’ll need adventurers’ help to root out a dug-in doppelganger. To be fair, I also didn’t want to risk never seeing her again. I’m not proud of myself, but I do think she needs our help.
Or maybe just MY help. The fellows don’t seem to like Ilya; Mom seemed really mad at me for lending her my hat of disguise. Hey, I just found the thing; it’s not like I was attached to it. Hells, maybe I’ll let her keep it and go back to wearing the hat you gave me. It can be a token of my favor or… something.
I don’t know anything about elven courtship, but I’m going after her as soon as I get her back to her life. After what I’ve already seen, I bet the sight of her all cleaned up would just about stop my heart.
I need to be careful, though. I keep taking stupid risks and getting hurt, which is driving Mom and Drake up the wall. It really is insanely dangerous down here… and now I’ve got a new reason to return to the Free City.
And that’s the other problem, isn’t it? Mom and Drake can’t stand me growing up. It bothers them, I know it does, that I’m a woman now, with a woman’s needs. I’m fine with them protecting me – especially Drake, since it’s damn near all that’s keeping him from going crazy – but neither one of them is our Dad, and there’s NO WAY they get any say in who I fall in love with.
Gods, I think I am falling in love with her.
All my love,