Recently I got a ping from a Discord server that I’ve not visited in several months, and it reminded me that the annual Blaugust blogging celebration was right around the corner. I was reminded of a community of fresh-faced content creators who, without the desire for status, fame, nor fortune, explode onto the scene once every year to start up a new hobby or revive an old one. I likewise pictured the selfless mentors who give time and advice freely throughout the course of the event, hoping to encourage the follow participants and subsequently add to their ranks. Lastly, my mind wandered back to a bygone era when I was much more active both on this blog and within the greater community. I realized that I have not recently posted about the latest step in my writing journey.
This is an unsanctioned continuation of the Reliquary Series as heard on the Loreseekers podcast.
Jiana Muse slowly opened another tome. Study was important to her. It was the one thing she could count on to help her escape the harshness of the world. Perhaps this one would be able to hold her attention. She slumped over the desk and peered through the strands of black hair that fell in front of her eyes like a defiant curtain. With her recent adventuring, she no longer bothered to keep it neatly pulled away from her face. A few lines into the volume, the words began to blur together as her mind returned, once again, to the recent showdown with Elkar Bazram and his army of cronies. She picked up a quill that was sitting on the desk and started to scratch a pattern into the surface. As she replayed the events of the battle in her head, she applied more and more pressure to the quill until the tip snapped. In a short fit of anger, Jiana sent a pulse of electricity through her right hand, causing the quill to burst into fire. She quickly dropped it to the floor and stomped at the flame with her sandals.
The young wood elf bounded through the thick underbrush of the Grahtwood, darting this way and that, chasing whichever animal grabbed her attention. She was fascinated by the creatures, and often went out into the forest to observe their interactions and behaviors. Of course, being Bosmer, she observed a diet of mostly meat, but the relationship she held with the animals of the wood was much more complex than predator/prey. It was as if she could speak to them, and they sometimes obeyed her commands.
Jiana Muse shuffled along the sandy road. Since joining The Reliquary, she had been assigned to shadow an agent who had been present at the indrik hunt, a large redguard named Braxwolf. Braxwolf talked more than Jiana liked, and drank more ale than she preferred. In fact, they were opposites in most ways. Her frail frame and pale skin sizzled under the uncompromising Alik’r Desert sun. Braxwolf’s bald, brown head reflected it nearly as much as his heavy plate armor did, but he did not seem bothered by the heat. Jiana sometimes wondered if this was Jibbs’ and Kash’s idea of a joke – sending a small, quiet vampire into the blazing desert with this chatty tank of a man. But Brax’s sword and shield were second to none and his heart desired only good. Despite their differences, he was the perfect mentor.
Her name is Jiana Muse. At least that’s what she called herself as a little girl in the streets of Davon’s Watch. Her real name, as well as much of her childhood, was forgotten, perhaps intentionally. It was a name that sounded genteel, like the nobles who sometimes traveled through town on their way to important business, and who she had always admired from a distance. She’d watch them from the dusty shadows, learning to mimic their mannerisms and vocabulary. That’s why she chose the name for herself. It was like the name of a powerful queen.
Nowadays, when I need a part for my gaming rig or a new music track to listen to, I need go no further than my personal laptop, which is stored conveniently in my living room cabinet. With a few clicks, the product in question will soon be leaving the nearest Amazon shipping facility or downloading to my personal device. But there was once a time when purchasing such a luxury would entail putting on my shoes, exiting my domicile and transporting myself to the happiest place on Earth: the local Best Buy.
When I first started playing LOTRO, my kid’s ages were 10, 8, 6 and 4 years. In those days, they had a fairly strict bedtime of 8:00 in order to maximize both their sleep time and my wife and I’s sanity. Thanks to this rule, I was able to put off playing video games until afterwards. It was convenient for me to be able to completely separate video game time from family time, as I was very cognizant of the fact that my kids were growing up quickly, and I didn’t want to be distracted from spending quality time with them, especially for something as trivial as my own personal entertainment.