Hoihe Lafali'Atria Nu'Ruimatria Dacino takes the thickly bound book she recently bought from Candlekeep beneath one of Doron Amar's many trees, during the night, and takes pen to paper.
"It has been a few months since the date of my rebirth, 26th of Eleasis and despite how often I've made sure to record my thoughts coming up to it, I have not revisited my journal eversince - until today.
Why today? To start with, I have had difficulties seeing why I should write a journal in the first place, with how I originally intended them to merely help me remember. As an elf, memories are a wholly different world than it was as a human, or even a half-elf. But more on that later.
However, I have come to realize that I can employ my journal as a device to aid in my planning, my thoughts and ideas - as if I was speaking with a priest or friend or Soora. Truly, it doesn't compare to a chat with Soora, they often bring me upon an enlightened path without my realization at the time after all, nor a chat with Viridiana or a priest like Ameris, but it's something. And while I am trying to beat my fear of judgement out of myself when chatting with Soora, it still does haunt me at times, despite knowing well that she merely wishes to guide me to who I am, I can write whatever and however I wish in these pages unlike when speaking face to face. I suppose, in an ideal world I would write down my thoughts and wonders in this journal then have a chat with Soora, Ameris, Viridiana, Mealir and Soora again. In that order. In such a world, I'd never make a mistake with my choices. For now, this will have to do.
So what is it that served catalyst to me seeking council with a man of wisdom who judges not? If Soora were around, she'd likely be the receipent of this tirade that is to come, but as she still appears busy with whatever she is doing, I guess she'll only get the boiled down summary of my ramblings. Might be for the better, if just so that we can skip the rambling and jump to something fun when she comes back.
In short, I've come to realize that this last two years, since I played the Flute of many, maybe even before when I became obsessed with becoming an elf, my life was as if it was coasting along, as if in a dream. My ideas were at first singular: find proof that someone was made into an elf so Luthien does the ritual Fierlith did without requesting for such. Then, as a half-elf, it was to prove just how elven I am to elves.
This is what Laitae said. Due to not having received the Seldarine's blessing, but having taken it as my own on my own initiative, I became obsessed with protecting it, proving myself. This led to me forsaking friends and ideals. This led to our fallout with Soora about a year ago, when I became a woman. It was at that time my decadence has reached its zenith, and if not for Soora, I'd have fallen beyod the point of no return. Became like those Shevarashites or Netanya. I have to thank her.
Thankfully, Soora had me realize that being an elf, or a woman, or anything doesn't count on what anyone else thinks. Nor does our love depend on what others' think, nor do I need to act in a very specific, alien way to my own deepest nature to be deserving of her love. In fact, it makes me undeserving.
I had thought it was enough, to realize things at a selfish level and be done with it. Then, just a mere few days before the fateful rebirth I wrote about, I learned Viridiana became an elf. I prayed for Sehanine to give me a sign and that was it. And as if a test of whether I deserve it or not, we encountered a drow, chained and pained and harmless. Viridiana, as a full blooded sun elf, despite whatever others would think, despite the army of elves we had with us, stood up for him. It was inspiring, to the point where even I stood up for the drow forgetting, no, ignoring the consequences it might have for my reputation. It was an injured, suffering living being that needed help. That was all my mind could think of with Viridiana's inspiration.
I passed the test it seemed. I was reborn as I should have always been. Funny that. As I first came upon Toril five days and thirty one years ago, in the twenty first of Uktar in 1321, I grew up to be a very tall and muscular man. Hairy too, making my intent to maintain a moustache a nightmare with the beard threatening to grow beside it. It made trying to pass as an elf even harder as a human. Then when Soora stuffed me into that dress I just looked outright ridiculous. But there I was, tall, strong enough to pick Soora up with my little finger and have her dance on it. And pale skinned with dark hair with brown eyes and a strong set of features.
If anything remain, I suppose it's the strong features. My cheeks seem to have a life of their own, standing tall and proud of their synergy with my ears, well pronounced and unquestionably elven. Writing this, even after three months, still leaves me giddy, accomplished. I think it might always return to me, cheer me up even at my worst, this realization that I could do this. But I am rambling, am I not? Compared to my old form, I'm decidedly the opposite. Had Aello take measurements for that orange dress I ordered, and apparently I measure just shy of 4'6", almost two entire feet shorter than I was. And while I complain and white about everyone being so tall, I don't know - it feels right to me. Makes me question how I could have ever lived so tall and lumbering. A male human. To finish the set, I couldn't look more elven even if I tried - and trust me, I am not. Unlike in what feels like ages past at days, and just yesterday at others, where I always wore elven clothes and wore elven weapons as visible as possible like some stuck up noble flaunting his or her jewelry, sometimes I wear human clothes, elven clothes. Makes little difference. The reason as to why I say this is the colour of my skin and hair. Some say it's grey, but beneath moonlight I tell you, it's blue. As for the hair, I have not left the Snowflakes.
It appears however, that while I passed the test, I did not really follow up on it. Soora and I spoke about it, about protecting even the shunned. I understand that few of the shunned are truly deserving of help, but you cannot see that at distance and must try, lest I wind up a hypocrite. We agreed amiably that as long as it doesn't endanger an innocent or a friend, or me too much, I'm free to play hero and saviour. But if it does cause more harm than good, she'll rub it in my nose. Well, we talked about it before the 26th of Eleasis.
Today was when I followed up on it. Since becoming an elf, I appear to have became just a normal elf. One of many, nothing too special. Spent most of my day in Doron Amar, although arguably for the better, as I did not feel wholly in command of my body. Even now I don't, whenever I try to dance I end up fumbling my old steps and twirls. It will come back with time. But I did not adventure, nor participate in expeditions. I listened, listened to others' tales, feeling sorry for being unable to help but not pushing my own limits, just staying safe and cozy. Nothing wrong with that, it's why we fight - so others can stay safe and cozy. It's just, if I did that, I might as well stop calling myself an adventurer.
Yesterday, I went to the Underdark with Viridiana and the army she assembled. Girl reminds me of myself in my first years on the Coast. I could muster armies and do whatever I wanted, having unequivocal support of multiple factions through my endless adventures with their leaders and associates alike. It was a different time for me, granted. Back then, I had the blood flowing in my veins, calling me to do good, making me restless and always advancing with an endless, insatiable ambition. Now, I have no difficulties just resting and enjoying life as it is. To do good is a decision I must take, without anything to guide me to it.
The events in the Underdark, and but a few hours before. made me question about losing the blood. Or at least, what it means.
Krumarth, old friend. A grey orc, like Razzaband was. Laitae protected Razzaband, uncaring of what others think of her because he was her friend and because he fought destiny and carved his own despite all. Yesterday, I finally did as Laitae did, something I did too before becoming obsessed with becoming an elf and trying to show the world just how much of an elf I am. Krumarth, while my party was advancing down the road, was beset by a tiger. The others just stood off, maybe even thinking to help the tiger. I won't speak for Elyssa, I know she is in a difficult place as a leader of a village. Before I could even process what was happening, I was casting spells at the tiger. It was pointless, somehow the damn cat resisted them. But I did, and followed up on it relentlessly, crying "Get off him, now!" Not sure if it worked, but the tiger did get off and instead of just leaving him, I offered him a potion of healing, getting me many strange looks. I did not care. It felt great. It felt like I have come alive since so long.
And so Viridiana and I stood up for the drow and grey orcs the Illithid enslaved as well. Unfortunately, we couldn't do much for them, but the very least we gave them freedom. I hope. I definitely need to pray for them again.
Coming back to the surface, just like the sun rose onto the sky from caverns, I felt like I rose to the same class I once belonged to. I braved tunnels, I faced creatures beyond my own skill at this time to do good, even with fear making my hands shake and threatening to throw me into a run, I stood and fought. I unleashed spells, I destroyed those who robbed others of their free will. We tried to talk, we tried to solve it peacefully but they refused. We took the lesser evil, shame as it was. And Illithid do not belong on the Prime Material.
I am Hoihe Lafali'Atria Nu'Ruimatria Dacino. First and foremost, I am me and Soora's partner in all, including in all time and lives. Second only is my Duty and being a Dacino. A questionable thing, seeing how I do not carry the bloodline anymore. But Kifel taught me it is not the blood that counts. By Seldarine, the more I reverie, the more I realize just how much my past led me to today. I thought my idea to become a dragon was a dead end from misunderstanding things. It was not! It was so that I met Kifel, so that he can teach me this one small thing. I did not listen to him at the time but now, now I realize! Thank you old man.
As I was meaning to say, firstly, I am me - whatever or whoever that might be described as, but one part of it is certain - I am Soora's partner, and an elf. Second comes my Duty as a Dacino, and it is not the Blood that forges the name, but the conviction that keeps my soul pure. A conviction that is aided by being an elf. Laitae is an elf, and she doesn't feel less an elf because Selengil and Saerthal disapprove of her. Neither will I if people disapprove of my convictions. I know Soora, Viridiana, Mealir and even Laitae approve. I know that Sehanine approves, Eilistraee definitely. Corellon is up to question, but I am sure even he sees his children as guides, not murderers.
I am starting to ramble and I should probably stop afore I spend all my ink on this one entry but by hells and by Celestia and Arvandor. For all the doubt that filled my heart going to the underdark to rescue slaves, for all the fear of death and dying and failure and doubt in my own inability to help. For all that, I have received something that was once part of me, but I quelled it thinking it was a nuisance.
This is what Soora wanted to tell me originally, something whose parts I only partially understood. Next time I see her, I'm going to have to thank her. Well, maybe not immideately, I'm sure she'll be preoccupied with the fact I'm shorter than her, but I'll get to it.