Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (13)

    So now we are done with the lair of the ogres, the temple of the barbarian fairies.  Miyara now has decided that first we should visit the druidess before we resume the search for Shishei Godanji's dragon statue.  Whether we should return to get the white sogin roku from the pillar of stone is an issue of much less importance, although the barbarians consider it otherwise.

    We returned to the light of outdoors to a fresh day in mid to late spring.  I am ashamed to say I have lost track of the days, but the season is clear even in these barbarian lands.  Bathing in the river was a luxury after the foul mess underground.
    Once we reached the road, Mongo left us.  I am not sure why the Giant would abandon us now with Miyara's statue still not found, but his departure seemed friendly enough.  At least he left without the traditional argument that these barbarians seem to use for most occasions.
    The rest of us turned south towards a place called the Yetsin Valley, of which Carimera is the queen.  We are to visit the druidess.  I am afraid it is my failure that has caused us to be delayed -- Miyara will not admit it, of course, but she has said that the druidess may be able to heal my hands.  I do not know why else we would be diverted so.  I was told the journey would take about a week.

    The Yetsin Valley did not seem to be much of a kingdom.  There were no guards, no outposts, no brutish barbarians in Carimera's livery demanding bribes in the guise of taxes, no cities, no sign of anything other than a road, a river, and a forest.
    We had camped for the night when suddenly I heard a faint voice from a long way off.  Then a figure appeared, although it seemed like it had been there all along.  It was blue, transparent, and luminous, in the form of an aged fairy of Goru's race in a long robe.  His feet hovered above the ground.  His face was contorted as if in pain or effort, then he said something in a barbarian tongue.  His voice faded and the apparition vanished.
    Apparently he said something like "they" are coming, and we should not let the crystal of air fall into their hands.  He mentioned some place called Iyari.  There was much discussion among the barbarians.  Obviously they did not fully understand what had been said.  For my part, I just did not see why it was important.  The crystal of air clearly was not the statue.  Of course I did not ask Miyara about it -- if she chooses to follow this lead, then I shall follow her.  She need not explain anything to me.

    The Druidess had a temple in the center of a stone circle in open grassland the other side of the river.  In the past, Miyara told me, a ritual was needed to enter the temple, but now that the druidess was in residence, there was a plain entrance.
    First, though, we were to stay in a camp outside the stone circle to wait while our request for an audience was considered.  It seemed strange that the Queen of these lands didn't just demand entry, being a barbarian, but refreshing that at last there is an indication that these peoples can on occasion show respect.
    Yet another of our company left here -- Shon announced that he would remain here to entertain these worthy workers, and moved to the workers camp rather than the guest tents.  He was no loss to us, I am sure.  His tuneless barbarian shanties had been annoying.
    Even the barbarians took this opportunity to bathe and make themselves presentable.  Perhaps there is hope yet that they could become civilized, under the correct rule of law and civilized rulers; left to themselves, however, I am sure they will never rise above their current state.

    We were called before the Druidess for our audience.  She was most polite and friendly, speaking to each of us in turn and from her tone also asking if there was anything we needed.
    I was too ashamed of my failures to ask for help with my hands, but Miyara took on herself to ask for me.  The Druidess took my hands in hers and spoke, and they were healed.  Miyara later told me that she had taken on an obligation for a future quest to the Druidess in return for healing -- yet another debt to my worthy elder cousin! -- and that until that was discharged, my hands would hurt when I damage others.
    Shon -- he left us after the audience request, so was present now -- showed the Druidess his flaming box.  Miyara translated for me that she said that orcs have a tradition of making magical items in the form of a box.  This could merely be a box that glows, or it could be a magic wand or similar.  I suggested to Miyara that Shishei might want it and could take it back to Nippon.  The Druidess, however, was saying that Shon was fated to have it, so we will not be taking it back home with us.  Apparently there is an orc is a town called Furipota that might know more about it.  I silently resolved that one day I might visit there to find object for the Shishei, and perhaps regain some honor that way.
    The Druidess knew something about Iyari, which is a monastery in the mountains.  Rich barbarian humans and fairies like to send their second sons there.  Apparently she did not comment on the apparition who delivered the message, or if she did then Miyara did not consider me worthy of the knowledge.
    The Druidess then gave Miyara her task.  She is to seek a man called Etiyen Bastia.  She is to bring him here, or if that is not possible she is to tell her why and what happened to him.  He was last known to be headed to the town of Curutsofen, and apparently Rawena had been charged with meeting him but had failed.  Rawena did not seem particularly dishonored by her failure, but cheerfully told Miyara something, presumably how to get to Curutsofen.  Even under the most civlized circumstances, these barbarians continue to amaze me with their lack of any higher concepts.
    The Druidess then talked to the others.  Obviously I didn't care what tasks they had been charged to perform.  My concern is to help Miyara obtain the dragon statue, to discharge her debt to the Druidess on my behalf, and to solve the puzzle of why Master Og was wearing Shishei.
    Goru was told of the location of the stone of stone, which is in Kalako Sutoha.  Others produced various baubles and objects for the Druidess to examine.  One of these was a scroll in the fairy language that brought Goru to tears when he read it; Rawena, in an unusual act of kindness, let him keep it.
    One of these objects was a beautiful egg crystal held by Carimera.  Miyara told me that she had asked Carimera for it to presesnt to the Shishei, as it was especially magical for its own sake, but that the Queen had basely demanded a price for it.  It is sad that these barbarians act so.

    After the audience, we then returned to the camp.  We were to rest, eat, and leave the next day.
    That evening, Miyara asked the group who had been imprisoned by the ogres -- an entertainment troupe who had accompanied the Master Og -- about the Master.  They said that the leader of the troupe had come from a town outside Aruta Dorufa, and that Og had been with the troupe a very long time.  Jeison knew that the leader showed up with Og many years ago when Jeison was young.  Apparently they leader is now in jail, having defied his obligations to pay taxes.

    Stoiko will also leave us here.  At this I was saddened, as he of all of the barbarians seemed the most civilized.  I will miss his well intended attempts to get me to debase myself by learning his tongue.